ROBERT: So during the Feast of Tabernacles God wants us to experience the overflowing joy of being in His presence. To understand where we get Tabernacles and what it pictures you need to realize when Israel left Egypt they lived in tabernacles, temporary shelters in the wilderness. And God spoke to Moses and said build a Tabernacle for me too so I can live with My people. And so they made a Tabernacle for God in the middle of their camp and God’s glory came down and dwelt among them and He met all of their needs and they experienced His presence. And so the Feast of Tabernacles is the celebration of God’s glory. One week a year God asked His people to leave their normal activities behind and tabernacle with Him. They were to make temporary shelters, Sukkahs, as a reminder of how God’s glory walked with them in the wilderness. And God promised a special blessing for those who would do this. He says if you’ll treat this week as special I will meet with you. So what do we do at Tabernacles? Tabernacles is a time to remember. Remember how God came down. Tabernacled with His people. It’s a time to share testimonies and share stories of the times God has met with you. It’s a time to enjoy the fun of celebration with God more than any other feast this is just a fun time! Leviticus 43: Rejoice before the Lord your God for seven days. Deuteronomy 16: Be joyful at your feast for Lord your God will bless you and your joy will be complete.  Number 3: Bring an offering. It’s an expression of thanksgiving to God. Deuteronomy 16: No man should appear before the Lord empty-handed. Bring a gift in proportion to the way God has blessed you. And then finally it’s a time to anticipate. To call out to God for His glory to come and tabernacle with us again. It’s a week to draw close to God. So in Tabernacles plan to meet with Him every day. Spend relaxed times in His word. Get together with your family, with your friends. Share testimonies of His goodness. Eat your favorite foods. Thank Him for His blessing. And especially if you have children build a tabernacle, a Sukkah. Nehemiah 8 describes when in Nehemiah’s day they celebrated Tabernacles. They said go into the hills and bring back branches from olive and wild olive trees and myrtles and palms and shade trees to make Sukkahs. And so the people built Sukkahs on their roofs and on their courtyards and their joy was very great. So why not build a Sukkah? You know you can be, there can be all kinds of Sukkahs. Wherever you live you can have a Sukkah. Be creative. You can have a model Sukkah. You can have a backyard Sukkah. You can have an indoor Sukkah. You can have a rustic Sukkah. You can have a Sukkah in a tent. You can decorate your Sukkah. You can light up your Sukkah. You can picnic in your Sukkah. You can sleep in your Sukkah. But as you enter your Sukkah remember God wants to tabernacle with you. Enjoy the fun of celebration with Him. Anticipate. Call out to God for His glory to come and meet you in that Sukkah. At Tabernacles God wants to draw you into His presence to experience His glory. Now more than of any other feast I believe Tabernacles is a feast for Christians. The Bible says this is a feast specifically for Gentiles who worship the Lord. Zechariah14: The time will come when people from among the Gentiles will worship the King. How many of you are included in that description?

 

AUDIENCE: (CLAPPING AND RAISING HANDS)

 

ROBERT: Well worship the King the Lord almighty and celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles. This day this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing. So if you’re a Gentile who worships the God of Israel this feast is for you. There’s a second reason why Tabernacles is important for Christians and to explain that I want to answer the question when was Jesus born? We know He wasn’t born December 25th cause shepherds don’t keep their flocks in the fields in late December in Israel. Some say well we can’t really know when He was born. But maybe we can. In Luke 1:5 we’re told that Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist, was the priest of the Order of Aviyah. The priesthood was divided into different orders. Each order was assigned a specific time of the year to serve in the Temple. 1 Chronicles 24 tells us the priests of Aviyah served in the Temple during the 12th through the 18th of the month of Sivan, which is basically in June. And we’re told that during those days when Zechariah was serving in the Temple an angel came to him and told him that when he went home to his wife Elizabeth she would get pregnant and give birth to the forerunner of the Messiah. Now I can’t prove this tells us when Jesus was born but I think it’s very interesting. The angel appears to Zechariah during the 12th through the 18th of Sivan. He completes his time in the Temple, packs up, goes home to his wife and assuming he got busy you know on the angelic assignment right away.

 

AUDIENCE: (LAUGHTER)

 

ROBERT: We could think Elizabeth may have conceived around the 25th of Sivan. If she had a normal pregnancy of 285 days John the Baptist would have been born on the 15th of Nisan which just happen to be Passover. The one who came in the spirit and power of Elijah did come on Passover. Now Luke 1:36 says Elizabeth was six months pregnant when Jesus was conceived. So if Elizabeth conceived on the 25th of Sivan and you count six months then her sixth month would have been the 25th day of Kislev and that would have been when Jesus was conceived. That just happens to be Hanukkah, the Feast of Lights. The Light of the world was conceived in the Feast of Lights! So while Jesus was probably was not born in December, He was probably conceived in December. And if Jesus was conceived Kislev 25 and Mary had a normal pregnancy of 285 days the birth of Jesus would have been on the 15th of Tishri which just happens to be The Feast of Tabernacles. Now I think that’s why John described Jesus’ birth this way in his Gospel. In John 1:14: The word became flesh and tabernacled among us and we beheld His glory. It shed some new light on the Christmas story. In Luke chapter 2 we’re told Mary brought forth her child and laid Him, in most of our English translations say, laid Him in a manger. Now the Greek word there is phatne and it can be translated manger but it can also mean a stall or a stable or a temporary shelter. As a matter of fact phatne is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew word Sukkah. Genesis 33 Jacob made Sukkahs for his cattle. So during the Feast there were no rooms in the Inn but there were Sukkahs all over the place. In Luke 2:7 says “And she brought forth her firstborn Son and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes and laid Him in a Sukkah.” And on that Feast of Tabernacles the glory of God came into that Sukkah as Jesus the Messiah was born. Now Jesus gave a promise at Tabernacles. It says on the last day of the Feast He said in a loud voice “If anyone is thirsty let him come to me and drink.” Whoever believes in me, streams of living water will flow from his innermost being. Now to understand what He was saying we need to understand the context. A key element of Tabernacles was the Ceremony of Outpouring. It was the high point of the entire cycle of appointed times. Every year at Tabernacles the high priest performed a prophetic act. He took the golden pitcher. Filled it with water from the Pool of Siloam. Carried it up to the Temple and poured it out at the altar. Huge crowds would accompany him. They would gather around. They wanted to hear the sound of the water pouring. It was an appeal to God for the latter rain in the natural realm. Also an appeal to God for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the spiritual realm. God had said I’ll pour out my Spirit on all people. This was repeated every day during the Feast. Each day the celebration was bigger. Everybody got more and more excited and that helps us understand John 7 when it says On the last day, the Great Day of the Feast, the priest would have brought water from Siloam. Carried it up to the altar. He would have lifted the pitcher high and prepared to pour it and a hush would have fallen on the crowd. And then just as the priest is about to pour the water Jesus cries out in a loud voice If any man is thirsty let him come to me and drink. For he who believes in me from his innermost being will flow rivers of living water. And see that is Jesus’ goal. Overflowing life. That is the goal of the whole cycle of feasts. As you go through these feasts you begin with redemption. You begin, you move into a celebration of God’s provision. You end up experiencing His glory and the Living Water of Jesus bubbles up from inside. That’s what the goal of the Feasts are. That’s what Tabernacles is all about. So this year at Tabernacles receive God’s river of life. Celebrate His glory and rejoice. Lord Jesus, we thank You. Lord, we thank You for Your Feasts.

 

AUDIENCE: (APPLAUSE) Whoo!

 

ROBERT: Lord, I thank You that even though they have been stolen away from us in the Dark Ages, Lord, You are restoring them to us. Lord, You are releasing a new level of blessing on Your people, Lord, that will help bring forth a last days revival. Lord, I pray for each one, Lord, that Your Spirit would quicken them as they celebrate the Feasts. That it would not just be a ritual, it would not just be a holiday, it would not just be a religious observance but Lord that You would meet with them individually as they celebrate and bring them to a new level in You. Lord, we thank You, Lord. I pray Your blessing on each one. In Yeshua’s name. Amen. Amen. Thank You, Lord! Thank You, Lord! Thank You, Lord!

 

AUDIENCE: (CLAPPING)

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