Tabernacles: An Intro
Tabernacles is one of the three Fall feasts. Have you ever noticed that God tends to do certain things in one season, but allows other things to rest for a while? God is on His own timetable and His own calendar. Time is different to God – after all, He sits outside of time. Because we sit in a box called “time,” the passage of time appears as a straight line. We don’t know what awaits us tomorrow or next year. We only know the current moment.
God has already set all things in motion. In fact, this is a mind-blowing thought, but in God’s time, everything is already done. He is watching our will interact with His sovereign plan, creating destiny. Because He sits outside of time, time is circular and cyclical to Him. The cycle of the earth around the sun; the cycle of the seasons each year, the cycle of rain – all of these are examples of how time is to God. So it follows that we are studying the cycle of the feasts, which mark out the times and seasons for God’s people, and reveal a great deal about “what” God is doing and “when.” Your destiny is being worked out in His timing – it’s only a question of “when” He has determined the right time for your destiny to be manifested. It’s not “if” your destiny will be made manifest because His promises are sure – its “WHEN!” So we had better get a handle on God’s pattern of doing things.
The Feast of Tabernacles (or “Sukkot”, or “Feast of Ingathering”) falls on our calendar between sundown on October 14 and sundown October 20th. This joyous feast follows the “Day of Atonement.” Sukkot is associated with the fall harvest – God’s people are commanded to rejoice to God for his provision during this feast! Traditionally during Sukkot, huts are erected quickly and are used for eating in during the days of the feast. They are constructed not only to eat and rejoice in but to remember the Tabernacle.
As God’s people wandered in the wilderness, the Tabernacle was made as the place of worship. But after God’s people acquired the Promised Land, the Temple was built as the place of worship. But now, Jesus the Messiah has come in the flesh, and now is seated at the right hand of the Father. And now we New Covenant believers know, the Temple of God resides within you.
The Feast of Tabernacles is about fellowship, God’s provision, and the ingathering of the final harvest. During this time, we’re rejoicing in the fact that Jesus Christ dwells within those who believe in Him by faith. God is not confined to a Tabernacle, a Temple, or any other monument that man can build. For what could hold Him? Nothing! He desires to dwell within us, His people. We are His habitation!
Back to Tabernacles
The Tabernacle had 3 levels: the Holy of Holies; the Holy Place, and the Outer Courtyard.
The Holy of Holies in the tabernacle was a place of death, fear and dread (especially for anyone who approached at the wrong time or with the wrong credentials) for Israel. Now, it may be entered by anyone, anytime who dares believe God through His Son, Jesus Christ. the Holy of Holies is now a place of enthusiasm and relief; where we may cast our cares upon Him who cares for us! When Jesus was crucified, the second He gave up the ghost, the veil in the Holy of Holies in the Temple was torn in half, removing the separation from between God the Father and His creation man.
The Holy Place was where all the prayers and rituals were performed; offerings were offered, and items of profound significance were kept. The showbread (often called the “bread of the presence”) and the incense were two of them, which is a picture of fellowship and prayers. (Remember, during Sukkot, the people are eating together – which represents fellowship).
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.”Revelations 3:20
The Outer Courtyard was the outer, external area where people came and went. There was only “one” gate where people could come in. (Jesus is the “only” gate by which we may enter into eternal life..). The outer Court had several important items. One of them was the altar, and another the bronze laver. When one entered the Tabernacle through the “only” gate (JESUS), one could come to the altar, put his hands on the horns of the altar and receive mercy. The bronze laver was a place where one had to wash their hands. When we come to Jesus, we must repent (cleanse our hands) and obtain His mercy.
Let’s put this all together with Ephesians 2:19-22:
“Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,
having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets,
Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone,
in whom the whole building, being joined together,
grows into a holy temple in the Lord,
in whom you also are being built together
for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.”.
Individually, our bodies are the temple of God, but corporately, our collective body of Christ also makes up the real temple of God. Let’s add to our learning of Tabernacles season with one more verse:
“6 Then the survivors from all the nations that have attacked Jerusalem will go up year after year to worship the King, the Lord Almighty, and to celebrate the Festival of Tabernacles.”Zechariah 14:16
This verse is being spoken of during the Millenial Reign of Christ! If we are going to be celebrating the Feast of Tabernacles after Jesus wins the war with the devil and during the 1,000 year Millenial Reign, then this feast was a feast that God intended to transcend time.
The Feast of Tabernacles is about celebrating our fellowship with God, made possible only by coming through the “one gate” – Jesus Christ – and having His presence within us individually as well as among us corporately as the body of Christ on earth; the holy indwelling of God. We are His habitation!
Partake with us in celebrating this Holy time- So how do you prepare your heart to be intimate with God?
- Make the time holy, by setting this time apart from your regular routine
- Confession and repentance matching your actions
- Sacrifice- an offering unto the Lord in honor of Him!