Thursday, September 23, 2010

First Day of the Feast of Tabernacles

Jerusalem, A Praise in the Earth
Watch the Feast live from Jerusalem!
The ICEJ Feast of Tabernacles is underway in Israel and you are invited. Just click on this link and join in:
The Feast of Tabernacles, or Sukkot, is the 7th Festival. It corresponds to the Sabbath rest of the world; i.e., eternity in the Kingdom of God. It lasts for 7 days plus one more day which is called the great day of the feast. Each night in the temple courts, huge candles were lit which shed light all over the surrounding area. It was their equivalent of Illuminations at Epcot center. It was during this time that Jesus made his famous announcement: 
John 8:12 “Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, "I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life." 
Each morning of Tabernacles, a water pouring ceremony was offered to the Lord as a visual prayer for rain. Shortly after dawn each morning, while the many sacrifices were being prepared, the high priest was accompanied by a joyous procession of music and worshipers down to the Pool of Siloam. The high priest carried a golden pitcher that he carefully dipped into the pool and brought it back to the Temple Mount.
At the same time, another procession went down to a nearby location south of Jerusalem where willows grew in great abundance by a brook. They gathered the long, thin willows and brought them back to the temple. At the Temple, the willows were placed on the sides of the altar so that their tops formed a canopy of drooping branches over the altar. Meanwhile, the high priest with the water from the Pool of Siloam had reached the southern gate of the Temple. It was known as the WATER GATE because of this ceremony. As he entered, three blasts of the silver trumpets sounded outside the Temple, and the priests with one voice repeated the words of Isaiah: 
Isaiah 12:3 - "Therefore with JOY you will draw water from the WELLS OF SALVATION"
As the high priest poured out the water libation before the Lord, a drink offering of wine was simultaneously poured into the other basin. Three blasts of the silver trumpets immediately followed the pouring and signaled the start of the Temple music.
With this as a background, we can better understand Jesus’ words:
John 7:37 “On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, "If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.”
Finally, I edited the previous two posts to include some clearer concepts on the “old” and “new” covenants. I read through Tim Hegg’s book: The Letter Writer, and found some very pertinent material that I included there. Since most of the people who are attending the ICEJ Feast of Tabernacles are Gentile Christians who love Israel, I thought I'd close with another quote from Tim that is appropriate.
page 246
"Note carefully the reason Paul gives for why salvation has come to the Gentiles: salvation has come to the Gentiles “to make them (Israel) jealous.” Surely the ingathering of the Gentiles is a significant fulfillment of the Abrahamic covenant, and fully necessary to prove God’s faithfulness. In fact, the ingathering of the nations is considered the final victory of the Abrahamic promise and is the fulfillment of the “mystery” contained in the Gospel.
Yet here, in Paul’s expose’ on Israel’s future, the salvation of the Gentiles leads to or brings about the jealousy of Israel, which moves her, on a national level (verse 26, “all Israel will be saved”) to faith in Yeshua and therefore restoration to God. In Paul’s understanding, the salvation of the Gentiles is, in one sense, a means to an end. The “fulness of the Gentiles” is not the final movement of the Divine symphony. The Gentile believers perform a servant role to bring about the consummation of the “new covenant” in which Israel comes to her own rightful position within the covenant promises of God."

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