But on the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have got in all the fruits of the land, you will keep the feast of the Lord for seven days: the first day will be a Sabbath, and the eighth day the same. Lev 23:39
Tabernacles. It starts with a Sabbath. It takes seven days. It adds another Sabbath at the end. It takes place in the seventh month. And it ends on the 21st. Sevens all over.
As we know, God worked for six days and rested on the seventh. Therefore, seven is a picture for the finished work of God, but also for rest. The many sevens portray perfect rest. We rest in the finished work of God, restored by Jesus on the cross.
Therefore, Tabernacles is a feast of rest. God in our midst, as it happened before: and the word became flesh and tabernacled in our midst.
But also the other way around: on the mount of transfiguration Jesus came into perfect rest in the presence of God. This rest was so strong that – according to Luke – the three disciples fell asleep. When they woke they saw Jesus gleaming.
You in me and I in you – and they in us. Just like Jesus said in John 17.
Why did Peter want to build tents then? Because this happened in the time of tabernacles, and his thoughts were full with it. Let us build tents. Later on, Peter recognized what these huts, these tents were meant to be: we are the living stones of the temple, and Paul said that we are the temple. We are those tents. What did Jesus say on the way to the cross? “In my father’s house there are many mansions. I go to prepare a place for you.” He, on the cross, prepared a way for us to become part of the father’s house – therefore, to become a mansion for God to live in.
But back to this rest. How do we get there?
Well, we are a triune being. Our spirit is the portal to the spirit realm – being spirit and living there. It is Eden, the place of the spiritual realm breaking into the natural – being more natural than what we call natural. Absolutely stunning. It is the portal to this rest, to the kingdom of God. Our spirit is the holy of holies. Our soul is the holy place, while our body is the outer court. Our body is almost blind for the spiritual – it only gets to feel the outflow, the reactions of it – for example in the form of healing.
Our soul lies in the middle and has to decide which way to develop. It can go towards the body, the natural – we call this egoism, materialism, body cult – or develop towards the spirit, the kingdom.
As a picture of this, let’s have a look on church movements: pentecostal, charismatic, and Word of Faith streams have three options:
- stay were they are, with the danger of God moving on and them becoming the pharisees of the time. Stay in Pentecost.
- move back to the evangelical realm, deny the gifts of the Spirit, become seeker friendly, and almost blind for the spiritual. Move back to Pessach truths.
- move on into the next move of God. Move into Tabernacles.
Only in Tabernacles we experience the fullness of Pessach and Pentecost.
In Pessach, God forgives our sins. In Tabernacles, we realize that God has set us free from sin. In Rom 7, Paul says that he wants to do good, but is to weak. But in Rom 8 he says there there now is no more condemnation. We can live free of sin. We do not have to sin. No longer are we sinners, forgiven. We are sons. A new breed. For whom the Lord sets free is free indeed.
In Pentecost, we have a downpayment of the Spirit. But in Tabernacles, we have the fulness of the Spirit just like it was on Jesus.
How do we get there? Our soul has to decide to go into the holy of holies.
Living in our earthly bodies, we live with a vail. It is called conditioning, imprint. We see with natural eyes, think as we were taught. And this is were we can change:
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Rom 12:2
What does that mean? We become a new creation by changing our thinking. We progressively do what God wants: the good, the acceptable, and the perfect. Let me rephrase this: The more we see and accept what already is – we, a new creation, set free, sons of God – and think accordingly, the more we will grow into God’s will. We do good in Pessach, we please God in Pentecost, but we are mature in Tabernacles.
Change your mind, for the Kingdom of God is at hand. Mat 3:2
As man thinks, so is he. What the heart is full of comes out. To repent means to change our thinking, our mind. Why? Because what we think fuels our actions. We are not changed by outward law, but from the inside. It is the Spirit, given into our hearts, that changes us. This is the law written on our hearts in this better covenant. This law is the Spirit.
We are reminded that God tore the vail when Jesus died, the vail between the holy place and the holy of holies. Thus with the vail that prevents us from seeing the kingdom.
But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. 2Co 3:16
As soon as we turn towards the spiritual, the inner most being, the holy of holies, the vail is lifted. When God moves on, and we stay behind, we become the Pharisees and the Jews of the day, the ones Paul is talking about in the section above. We start or keep on looking through our natural eyes, outward, through law, our own strength, spiritually blind.
Therefore, a cleansed thinker lets us see. See what? See the finished work of Christ. See a king and priest that is seated. In the old covenant, priest were never sitting while on duty, but Jesus sits. His work is done. We see the manifest glory of God. When it fell on Tabernacles, when the temple was donated by Salomon, nobody could do any work or duty. There was rest.
Before Tabernacles there is the Day of Atonement. The word in Hebrew means to cover up. Because in the old covenant, sins were covered up that day for another year. In the new covenant they are forgiven and forgotten, and we are set free from sin. Lets call this day then a Day of Restauration.
After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will raise us up, that we may live before him. Hos 6:2
Before Jesus healed the lame and the blind in the temple, he cleansed the temple. Not of sin, but towards a different kind of thinking. A cleansed thinking. Thoughts that cannot hurt any longer, as the focus is different. Rest.
A cleansed and changed thinking is a precursor to reach the promised land. Changed from “there are giants in the land” to “we will eat them like bread”. Changed from “do you not care that we will all die” to “we will go to the other side”. The promised land is no piece of real estate, nor is it heaven. It is a person and a state of mind. Jesus and rest. In him.
There sin has no sting, as we are free. Death has no victory, for it is overcome. More on that later.
In Hosea, God promises to raise us up on the third day that we may live before him. Sounds like: come up here, spoken to John in Revelation. Sound like: we are seated with Christ and reign. Let us just realize that we are. Come into rest.
The call is out – Feast of Trumpets. The promise is there – Tabernacles. The day we live in is the Day of Atonement, the Day of Restauration, the day to change our thinking.
For the cineastes among us: which pill will you take – red or blue? Let us know in a comment.