December 17
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December 17



According to Easton's Bible Dictionary:

-"Tabernacles, Feast of: the third of the great annual festivals of the Jews (Lev. 23:33-43). It is also called the "Feast of Ingathering" (Ex. 23:16; Deut. 16:13). It was celebrated immediately after the harvest, in the month Tisri, and the celebration lasted for eight days (Lev. 23:33-43). During that period the people left their homes and lived in booths formed of the branches of trees. The sacrifices offered at this time are mentioned in Num. 29:13-38. It was at the time of this feast that Solomon's temple was dedicated (1 Kings 8:2). Mention is made of it after the return from the Captivity. This feast was designed (1) to be a memorial of the wilderness wanderings, when the people dwelt in booths (Lev. 23:43), and (2) to be a harvest thanksgiving (Neh. 8:9-18). The Jews, at a later time, introduced two appendages to the original festival, viz., (1) that of drawing water from the Pool of Siloam, and pouring it upon the altar (John 7:2, 37), as a memorial of the water from the rock in Horeb; and (2) of lighting the lamps at night, a memorial of the pillar of fire by night during their wanderings. "The Feast of Tabernacles, the harvest festival of the Jewish Church, was the most popular and important festival after the Captivity. At Jerusalem it was a gala day. It was to the autumn pilgrims, who arrived on the 14th (of the month Tisri, the feast beginning on the 15th) day, like entrance into a silvan city. Roofs and courtyards, streets and squares, roads and gardens, were green with boughs of citron and myrtle, palm and willow. The booths recalled the pilgrimage through the wilderness. The ingathering of fruits prophesied of the spiritual harvest." Valling's Jesus Christ, p. 133." ( Easton’s Bible Dictionary )

According to Dr. Stephen Jones:

-"After giving the Law to Israel, God sent them to Kadesh-Barnea, where they sent twelve men to “spy out the land.” When they returned, the spies unanimously agreed that it was a good land to inherit. However, ten of them brought a message of fear, insisting that they would be unable to conquer the land. Caleb and Joshua, on the other hand, had faith that God would give them the land and urged the people to cross the Jordan as God had commanded. The people then wanted to stone them! Caleb and Joshua escaped being stoned only because the glory of God frightened the people. That “decision day” was the 50th Jubilee from Adam. (See our book, Secrets of Time.) It should have been a day of rejoicing and gladness, a day of blowing the trumpet as the signal for every man to come into his inheritance (Lev. 25:13). Because they refused to enter the land, having no faith, this day came to be commemorated as the Day of Atonement, a day of mourning, fasting, and repentance. If Israel had followed the recommendation of Caleb and Joshua, they would have actually entered Canaan five days later on the first day of Tabernacles. This festival was a seven-day period representing the time of the conquest of Canaan. (When Israel did finally cross the Jordan 38 years later, it took six years to subdue the Canaanites; in the seventh year the land was divided up among all the tribes and families of Israel. In other words, it was seven years from the Jordan Crossing to the Inheritance.)

A detailed study of the feasts leading up to the Feast of Tabernacles can be found in our longer book, The Laws of the Second Coming. Studying these things shows that there is more to salvation than just the spring Feasts of Passover and Pentecost. The fall feasts deal with the final perfection of man. It is meant to portray man’s true inheritance in the land.

The Promised Land

The Promised Land is NOT in heaven, but on earth. Canaan was a land filled with “giants” and “enemies” of God who had to be conquered and destroyed. It is common knowledge in many circles that these “giants” represent the carnal tendencies of our own flesh, which we are called to subdue and conquer. This is absolutely correct, but the obvious lesson is often missed. Our bodies are our inheritance. Like Canaan, our bodies are presently inhabited with lawless and ungodly desires that rule us. This has been the case ever since Adam, whose sin sold us all into bondage. God had formed Adam from the dust of the ground. His flesh was made of earth (Heb. adama), and hence he was named after the ground from which he came. This glorified flesh was his inheritance. But through sin, Adam incurred a “debt” that he could not pay. So he was sold into bondage to the earth (Gen. 3:17-23) until such time as a near Kinsman would come to redeem him. Adam lost the wonderful, glorified body which had been clothed in the light of God. After his sin, he was naked and ashamed, and God clothed them with coats of skins (Gen. 3:21). The whole idea behind God’s plan of salvation is to reverse the effects of Adam’s sin upon creation. The law and the prophets from Genesis to Revelation show us how man is redeemed and how he regains the glorified, immortal body that is his lost inheritance. The feast days inform us of the three steps toward receiving this full inheritance: justification, sanctification, and glorification. We are justified in our spirit, sanctified in our soul, and glorified in our body. The first major pattern of this process of full salvation is found in Israel’s wilderness journey under Moses. At Passover, Israel became “the church in the wilderness” (Acts 7:38), for they were justified by faith. At Pentecost, Israel was given the Holy Spirit. However, they refused to hear His voice, so they were led, not by the internal witness of the Holy Spirit, but by an external pillar of cloud and fire. Even so, they had opportunity to learn obedience. Then if Israel had gone into the Promised Land on the 50th Jubilee, as Caleb and Joshua had recommended, they would have regained the inheritance that had been lost in Adam. That is, they would have been fully glorified, fully changed into His glory as they passed by the ark. They would have exchanged their coats of skins for the “house which is from heaven” (2 Cor. 5:2), as Paul put it. They would have been released at that Jubilee from the house of bondage, and every one of them would have returned to his inheritance. They would have inherited far more than a mere piece of real estate in Canaan. But this was not to be, for this was only a pattern. It was not possible for them to inherit the glorified body that side of the cross. Ultimately, they had to settle for a parcel of ground, rather than true and ultimate inheritance. Israel’s story tells us that our inheritance is not to be received in heaven as a spirit, but on earth in a glorified body. Our hope, the “Promised Land,” is not to forsake the earth and go to heaven, but is “the redemption of our body” (Rom. 8:23). It is to receive the type of body that Jesus had after His resurrection. It is a body that is immortal and glorified. It is a body that has authority in both heaven and in earth, because it has the genes from both realms, even as Jesus Himself did." ( The Barley Overcomers, Dr. Stephen Jones ) -GLORY TO GOD!-

December 17

And now abides faith, hope, and love, these three; but the greatest of these is LOVE.