Todays Sermon Notes
The Feast of Tabernacles
Celebrating God's GLORY!
25 "And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; 26 men's hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 27 Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28 Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near."
ITS TIME TO BE LOOKING UP JESUS IS COMING!
Moses set up the tabernacle... then the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. Moses could not enter... because the cloud had settled upon it, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. - Exodus 40:33-35
"And the Word became flesh and TABERNACLED among us, and we beheld His glory!" -John 1:14
There are many kinds of cycles in the universe.
Some are cycles of Life and Destruction.
There are cycles of sin, cycles of Plenty and Want.
There are also cycles of creation. Day and night, the seasons
There are cycles of blessing, cycles of growth and cycles of increase.
God wants to break you out of every cycle of destruction and into His cycle of blessing!
In the Old Testament God gave us a yearly cycle of life!
Living in this cycle is designed to draw us into God's glory
Where we experience His ever-increasing blessing.
In God's calendar each New Year begins with the feast of trumpets.
The trumpet call is designed to wake us up and draw us into a ten-day period of seeking God, called the Days of Awe.
The Days of Awe lead us to the Day of Atonement, a day to humble ourselves before God, to repent, and be restored to fellowship.
Following this cycle each year keeps us constantly in a mode of seeking God and drawing close to Him!
Avoiding Spiritual Drift
Most Christians who are far from God didn't get there intentionally. They didn't choose to rebel against God; they just drifted away! Over the course of time, we tend to accumulate things that hinder our fellowship with God. One day we realize we are no longer close to the Lord and are not sure how to get back!
Part of the solution to this "spiritual drift" is to allow your life to be linked to God's cycle of BLESSING.
As we meet with God, He can deal with the issues that cause our hearts to grow cold.
The cycle of God’s BLESSING brings us to a place where we experience His Glory anew!
The climax of the cycle of blessing is the Feast of Tabernacles. Tabernacles, or sukkot, is a time to come boldly into His presence, knowing that every hindrance is removed. It's a time to experience God's glory and joyfully fellowship with Him.
What is the Feast of Tabernacles?
In Leviticus 23:34-43 God gives instructions how to celebrate this feast. God instructs the people to go out into the countryside and cut down palm fronds, leafy branches, and poplars. They were to bring these branches back to their homes and build tabernacles, or temporary shelters. In Hebrew, the word for a temporary shelter is sukkah. Sukkot (the plural of Sukkah) is the Hebrew name for this feast.) They were to feast in these shelters for a week and rejoice before the LORD!
God instructed them; "Live in tabernacles for seven days... so your descendants will know that I had Israelites live in tabernacles when I brought them out of Egypt."
When God's people came out of Egypt they lived in tabernacles (sukkot). God told them to build a tabernacle for Him also, so His glory could come down and dwell in their midst (Ex. 25:8).
The Feast of Tabernacles celebrates God's glory living with His people as they dwelt in tabernacles.
In the Bible there are actually, FIVE TABERNACLES WHERE GOD'S GLORY IS MANIFESTED.
In a broad sense this feast celebrates all five of these tabernacles!
The First Tabernacle is the Tabernacle of Moses.
Exodus 40:33-35 describes Moses setting up the Tabernacle. When he did, the Glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle and dwelt in the midst of His people. Because God's glory dwelt with them, they enjoyed perfect provision. Manna came from heaven every day for them to eat. Their shoes did not wear out. God met their every need.
They also had complete protection.
Every enemy that came against them was defeated.
They enjoyed total health.
Not one among them was weak, sick, or infirm!
God's glory brought God's blessing.
The Second Tabernacle is the Tabernacle of David.
David set up a tent for the Ark of the Covenant, surrounded it with praise 24/7, and God's glory came down! In Psalm 63:2 David writes of this tabernacle, "I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory." God's blessing was poured out and Israel enjoyed incredible prosperity and victory over every enemy.
The Third Tabernacle is Jesus! John 1:14 says, "And the Word became flesh and "tabernacled" [literal translation] among us and we beheld His glory." In Jesus, God dwelt among His people and manifested His glory, releasing life, healing, salvation, and deliverance.
The Fourth tabernacle is the Church. Acts 15:16-17 describes the church as the restoration of the tabernacle of David. We are to be the place where God's glory is enthroned on the praises of His people. When the church is fulfilling its call, the glory of God dwells in our midst and great blessing is released in the earth.
A Fifth tabernacle is the Eternal Tabernacle. Rev. 21:3-4 says, "Now the Tabernacle of God is with men and we will live with them." The result of this is continual blessing. It says, "He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or morning or crying or pain."
Rev 21:1-4 1 Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also, there was no more sea. 2 Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. 4 And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away."
TABERNACLES CELEBRATES THE GLORY OF GOD DWELLING WITH HIS PEOPLE.
Experiencing His Glory
To understand Tabernacles, we need to understand God's glory.
Glory is the tangible manifestation of God's presence.
God is always present everywhere, but there are certain times when He reveals His presence in a way that is discernable to our five senses.
In Moses' Tabernacle God's glory was manifested as a shining cloud.
At Mt. Sinai it was revealed in thunder and fire.
Sometimes God's presence is evident through miracles and acts of power.
Elijah sensed God's presence in a gentle whisper HIS STILL SMALL VOICE.
There are many ways God can manifest His presence.
If you ask people to share a testimony of God's work in their lives, they will almost always say things like this. . .
"I knew God was speaking to me... "
"I felt I was surrounded by His love!"
"The room was filled with a strange light"
"I had strange sensation... I felt heat all over my body, my hands where tingling... I didn't know what it was!"
"I sensed God in a way I can't explain... I didn't see anything, but He was there... face to face!
"I didn't understand what was happening. I couldn't stop weeping, tears were rolling down my cheeks, and God was there with me!"
These are all testimonies of people experiencing God's presence!
They heard God's voice, they saw a vision, they had a physical response to His presence.
GOD WANTS US TO EXPERIENCE HIM!
Any time you sense God's presence in a tangible way... what you are experiencing is His GLORY.
In His presence everything changes.
In God's presence we find God’s LOVE manifest in salvation, repentance, empowering, healing, provision, & fulfillment!
God doesn't want His glory to be rare occurrence! He wants us to seek His presence, to dwell in His presence, to live with a continual experience of His power and goodness!
CELEBRATING HIS GLORY
THE FEAST OF TABERNACLES IS A CELEBRATION OF GOD'S GLORY.
It's a time to remember past experiences of His glory.
It's a time to seek His face and experience His glory now.
It's a time to callout to God for a fresh outpouring of His glory in the New Year.
One week a year God asks His people to tabernacle with Him.
God promised a special blessing for those who would do this.
Tabernacles is a time to celebrate the fact that God tabernacles with His people.
He wants His glory to be a normal part of our experience!
He tabernacled with Israel in the wilderness.
He tabernacled on earth in Jesus, and He continues to tabernacle with us today through His Spirit.
As you celebrate tabernacles, call out to God for His glory to come, and dwell with you!
Here are some ways to celebrate Tabernacles:
. Set aside time to Tabernacle with God
. Find times to meet with Him.
. Spend relaxed times in His Word.
. Get together with family and friends.
. Share testimonies of His goodness!
. Eat your favorite foods.
. Thank Him for His blessings.
REMEMBER that God wants to TABERNACLE with His people!
- ENJOY the FUN of celebration with God!
- ANTICIPATE God's glory! Ask God to tabernacle with you!