Jesus Observes Tabernacles
The Apostle John is the only New Testament writer to tell us how Jesus observed the Feast of Tabernacles. John 7 says,
2 Now the feast of the Jews, the Feast of Booths, was at hand. 3 His brothers therefore said to Him, "Depart from here, and go into Judea, that Your disciples also may behold Your works which You are doing. 4 For no one does anything in secret, when he himself seeks to be known publicly. If You do these things, show Yourself to the world." 5 For not even His brothers were believing in Him.
This is a prophetic pattern of the second coming of Christ at the Feast of Booths, or Tabernacles. It shows that Jesus is coming in the midst of this feast (7:14), and that the Holy Spirit will be poured out on the eighth day (7:37-39). It also shows that His "brothers" wanted Him to show Himself openly in order to advertise Himself. They seem to have believed that if He would make a show of His powers and abilities to heal, then everyone would proclaim Him to be King. Perhaps they suggested that He ride into Jerusalem on a white horse with an entourage of dancing girls and cheering disciples. He could throw off the yoke of Rome, and for that matter, the yoke of the current priesthood. It would be a great career move.
But John says that they did not believe in Him. It is plain that, at the time, they would have disagreed with John's assessment of their faith. From their perspective, they wanted an open show because they DID believe in Him. They believed in His ability to heal and raise the dead. They believed that He could fulfill the people's expectations of the Messiah, if only He had some expert marketers to advise Him. Yet by the time John wrote his gospel in later years, he probably shook his head, wondering how they could have been so silly. He knew the truth of the matter by this time. At the time, they disagreed with Jesus' marketing techniques. They did not really believe that He was doing what His Father was telling Him to do.
6 Jesus therefore said to them, "My time is not yet at hand, but your time is always opportune. 7 The world cannot hate you; but it hates Me because I testify of it, that its deeds are evil. 8 Go up to the feast yourselves; I do not go up to this feast because My time has not yet fully come." 9 And having said these things to them, He stayed in Galilee. 10 But when His brothers had gone up to the feast, then He Himself also went up, not publicly, but as it were, in secret.
Jesus said that it was not yet His time to be manifested openly. It was not His time to be proclaimed King and to take His rightful position as Heir of all things. The dominion mandate had been given to Adam in Genesis 1:28, and this right to have dominion over the earth had been passed down to Seth, Methuselah, Noah, Shem, Isaac, Jacob, Judah, David, and finally to Jesus. Jesus was the rightful King of the earth, but He was to be proclaimed openly at an appointed time.
The first time Jesus allowed Himself to be proclaimed openly was on "Palm Sunday" a few days before He was crucified. Though it was the Passover season, the people acted as though it were the Feast of Tabernacles, waving palm branches and singing Psalm 118:25 and 26. If the people had known the appointed times, they would have understood that His time of ruling the earth would come not at Passover, but at the Feast of Tabernacles. Even so, the people set a prophetic pattern on Palm Sunday that will manifest later at the appointed time.
In John 7:7 Jesus made a rather odd statement that "the world cannot hate you; but it hates Me because I testify of it, that its deeds are evil." What does this statement have to do with the situation at hand? It seems to be a prophetic statement that as long as the world hates Jesus, they will not see Him openly manifested. It would seem from this that Jesus will indeed manifest Himself openly as King of Kings among all nations; however, men will not necessarily see Him until they have come to love Him.
In other words, all men must go through the stages of development in their Christian lives, as they come to know Him and love Him. These stages are represented by the three feast days of Israel, as well as in the three parts of the Tabernacle of Moses. In our Passover experience of justification, we come into the outer court of the Tabernacle of Moses. From there, we "see" Christ in a dim light through two veils. As we progress from the outer court to the Holy Place through the experience of Pentecost, we pass through another veil, and we "see" Christ in a greater light. But only when we penetrate that third veil by means of the Feast of Tabernacles do we come face to face with Jesus Christ in all His glory.
Biblical precedents indicate that when God comes in glory, He hides that glory by veils, because most men are not equipped to view Him in His full glory. The purpose of the three feasts is to prepare men's hearts to view His glory when He comes. It seems likely, then, that the second coming of Christ will not be an open manifestation of Himself to the whole world at the same time. Only the overcomers who enter into the experience of Tabernacles will see Him fully in His glory. The rest of the world will see Him only through veils until a later time when their eyes have become accustomed to His light. Most people, perhaps, will see Christ only through His body.
The glorified overcomers will veil that glory when they come to teach the world of God and His ways, as did Moses, who had to veil his face in order not to frighten the people. The glory of God is too much for the carnal man until he has had opportunity to grow in the knowledge of His glory. We will deal with this more fully in chapter nine.
Jesus did not openly go to Jerusalem for this Feast of Tabernacles in John 7. He went in secret, and He did not even go with His disciples. This seems like a very strange thing for Him to do. By sending the disciples ahead, He set the stage for a prophetic pattern of His second coming. He came to Jerusalem, not openly, but "in secret." Many were looking for His coming, but they did not know He was there, nor did they see Him:
11 The Jews therefore were seeking Him at the feast, and were saying, "Where is He?" 12 And there was much grumbling among the multitudes concerning Him; some were saying, "He is a good man"; others were saying, "No, on the contrary, He leads the multitude astray." 13 Yet no one was speaking openly of Him for fear of the Jews.
Finally, then, Jesus made His appearance. He did not come specifically to the disciples, but suddenly appeared teaching in the temple.
The Midst of the Feast
14 But when it was now the midst of the feast, Jesus went up into the temple, and began to teach.
This prophetic pattern seems to indicate that Jesus will come in the middle of the Feast of Tabernacles of some year. The manner of His coming will be "in secret" (Greek: kruptos, "hidden, concealed, secret"). Paul used this word in Romans 2:29, saying, "he is a [true] Jew who is one inwardly." He will manifest Himself in His temple TEACHING the Word to the people. In the old order God inhabited buildings of wood and stone, but today He has moved and taken residence in His people. Paul says that we are the temples of God now (1 Cor. 3:16). Therefore, what Jesus did in His first coming--by suddenly appearing in the temple made of wood and stone--is not what He will do the second time. This time He will appear, or manifest Himself, to the world in His people, His true temple. As we have stated earlier, the overcomers will see Him face to face, but the rest of the people will see Him through veils of flesh in lesser degrees of manifestation.
Malachi 3:1 says,
1 "Behold, I am going to send My messenger, and he will clear the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple; and the messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight, behold, He is coming," says the LORD of hosts. 2 "But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner's fire and like fullers' soap. 3 "And He will sit as a smelter and purifier of silver, and He will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, so that they may present to the LORD offerings in righteousness. 4 "Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the LORD, as in the days of old and as in former years.
Malachi tells us some details of His appearance. He will come like "a smelter and purifier of silver" (3:3) in order that the true priesthood may be able to offer to God an acceptable sacrifice. This is written in Old Testament terms, of course, but we must see it in a New Testament light. The priesthood that God is now establishing is no longer Levitical, but is of the Melchisedec Order, of which Jesus is the High Priest (Heb. 6:20). Malachi wrote in his first chapter that the priests of his day were offering blind and lame sacrifices on the altar, and he asked the people if God was pleased with this (Mal. 1:8, 9). And so in chapter three, Malachi prophesies that God was going to purify and cleanse the priesthood, so that they might offer to God an acceptable offering.
Paul tells us in Romans 12:1 that we are to present ourselves to God as "living sacrifices" that are acceptable to Him. The problem is that Isaiah 42:18 asks, "Who is blind but My servant?" This is confirmed in many places in Isaiah's writings. Isaiah 44:18 even tells us that God blinded their eyes. God's servants are also lame in their Christian walk, even as God caused Jacob to be lame after he wrestled with the angel (Gen. 32:32).
This is the nature of the Christian while he is limited by the revelation of Passover and Pentecost. The veils still blind us to the true nature of God in His glory. We are still limited in our ability to walk the Christian life, because, though we have been imputed righteous, we are not yet actually righteous.
In other words, we
are not yet acceptable offerings to God in the fullest sense of the word. The
Feast of Tabernacles is a time when all of this will change, for He will come
to His temple--His body, His priesthood--to purify them, so that they may truly
offer up an acceptable offering. The divine law in Leviticus 2:11 states
that no offering can be mixed with leaven, and yet the Pentecostal offering was
two loaves of bread baked with leaven (Lev. 23:17). This
prophesies to us that as long as we remain in Pentecost, we are an unacceptable
offering to God in the ultimate sense. God must purify us through the Feast of
Tabernacles in order that we might come fully into the divine presence with no
veils between us.
All that are with me salute thee. Greet them that love us in the faith. Grace be with you all. Amen.
God gave Moses the Seven Feasts for the Israelites to observe every year forever. But he calls them HIS feasts, not the Feasts of the Israelites. He intended these for all mankind.
These feasts are also called high holy days and high sabbaths. Saturdays are not the only sabbaths.
Jesus Christ fulfilled the first four Feasts with his First Coming.
For those who study the fulfillment of Bible Prophecy, it is uncanny how each and every detail was fulfilled. Only God could do such a thing.
This chart from the Daniel's Timeline video shows each Feast and when it occurs annually. The Hebrew lunar calendar is based on the moon and our solar calendar, the Gregorian, is based on the sun. These two reckonings of time are never compatible and so the feast days vary year to year and depend on the day of the first new moon.
And of course, the new moon is unpredictable which causes us to have to wait for the new sightings before anyone knows when the new months actually start. It makes it a little tough to plan ahead! Which is precisely God's intent.