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SPECIAL PROPHECY UPDATE NUMBER 86B
September 21, 2002
SUKKOT – THE JEWISH FEAST OF TABERNACLES
The Jewish Feast of Tabernacles (Tents) began at sundown on Friday and will continue for seven days. Although tourism is down drastically, there will be a few thousand Christians that will have processions during the feast. During the time of the earthly ministry of Christ, on the last day of the feast, a special priest would leave the temple mount and proceed southward to the old city of David, under which a spring flowed through the old tunnel of Hezekiah into the Pool of Siloam. Fresh, flowing spring water that flowed throughout the year was looked upon as providing a source of water that provided life year round, as opposed to springs that dried up during the non-rainy season. So it came to symbolize something that provided eternal life. The special priest would collect two pints of water in a golden vessel, and then carry it back upon the temple mount. It would then be carried to the top of the very high altar that stood in the court of the men in front of the steps that led up to the door of the temple’s Holy Place. In the southwestern corner of the altar a small hole had been made that led down under the altar into the subterranean cavern under the temple. This particular feast is a very joyous one, and as the people waved palm leaves they would cry out to the priest on the southwestern corner, “raise your hand, raise your hand,” to show he had poured the water, finally cheering and shouting for joy when he did. The water would proceed under the temple southeastward in a conduit that emptied into the Kidron Valley for drainage of the blood from the sacrifices. It was a picture of living water, which symbolized the living Spirit of the God of Israel going out from the belly of the temple into the world.
It is very interesting to note the words of Jesus on the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles, probably uttered immediately after the priest poured the water.
John 7:2, 37-39
 Now the Jews' feast of tabernacles was at hand.  In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.  He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.  (But this spoke he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)
During the time of Christ the Spirit of God in the temple’s Holy of Holies was to be proclaimed to the entire world. It was a single, local, visible temple. Today there are many local temples that God recognizes individually as His local, visible, temples. And it is from these individual bodies that the power of the Spirit is to go forth into the world. The first such church was formed and organized by its head and foundation, Jesus Christ, during His earthly ministry. This church, which already existed as a local church of about 120, was empowered by the Spirit at Pentecost after Jesus was glorified. And, just as the water flowed out of the belly of the temple into the world was a symbol of the Holy Spirit, so does the Spirit flow out of churches of the same like faith and order as the one empowered at Pentecost.
All believers are indwelt by the living Spirit of God and make up the family of God, and truly their witness of the Spirit is to flow out from within them into the world, but a local church that teaches, preaches, and practices the faith once delivered to the saints is also indwelt by the same Spirit in a special way, and its testimony that goes out into the world is to proclaim the truths of all the Word written by the Spirit.
 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.
 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
SPECIAL PROPHECY UPDATE NUMBER 86C
September 23, 2002
SUKKOT – FEAST OF TABERNACLES CONTINUES
The Jewish Feast of Tabernacles (booths or tents), which is still in progress, began last Friday at sundown (See previous Update 86B in Archives). Of all the great feasts of Israel, established in Leviticus 1:1-44, the Feast of Tabernacles is the only one we can be sure has not been completely fulfilled in prophecy. It is one that is directly associated with the coming of Messiah, and was to be a season of great rejoicing. The rejoicing pictured the joy that would one day be manifested at Messiah’s coming to plant His kingdom on earth. The feast is described in verses 39 to 44 of Leviticus 23.
 Also in the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when ye have gathered in the fruit of the land, ye shall keep a feast unto the Lord seven days: on the first day shall be a Sabbath, and on the eighth day shall be a Sabbath.  And ye shall take you on the first day the boughs of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and the boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook; and ye shall rejoice before the Lord your God seven days.  And ye shall keep it a feast unto the Lord seven days in the year. It shall be a statute forever in your generations: ye shall celebrate it in the seventh month.  Ye shall dwell in booths seven days; all that are Israelites born shall dwell in booths:  That your generations may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.  And Moses declared unto the children of Israel the feasts of the Lord.
Verse 40 presents, thousands of years in advance, a picture that became a reality when Jesus made His triumphant entry as the Messiah on His last Passover Feast in Jerusalem, as is recorded in John 12:12-16.
 And ye shall take you on the first day the boughs of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and the boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook; and ye shall rejoice before the Lord your God seven days.
 On the next day much people that were come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem,  Took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried, Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord.  And Jesus, when he had found a young ass, sat thereon; as it is written,  Fear not, daughter of Sion: behold, thy King cometh, sitting on an ass's colt.  These things understood not his disciples at the first: but when Jesus was glorified, then remembered they that these things were written of him, and that they had done these things unto him.
But He was rejected, and the Feast of Tabernacles, although partially fulfilled, has yet to be completed. When He comes at His Second Advent it will be completed, and all nations on this earth will come to Jerusalem yearly to worship at the great Feast of Tabernacles for a thousand years.
The following Scriptures attest to His first coming as the Lamb of God to establish His Kingdom, and of his rejection as their King.
Mark 1:14, 15
 Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God,  And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.
 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.
John 19:14-16, 30
 And it was the preparation of the Passover, and about the sixth hour: and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King!  But they cried out, Away with him, away with him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar.  Then delivered he him therefore unto them to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and led him away.  When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.
The following Scriptures attest to His Second Advent as the Lion of Judah to deliver Israel from the antichrist and his great army at the final battle of Armageddon, and then to set up His Kingdom and manner of worship for a thousand years
Zechariah 14:3, 4
 Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.  And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.
Zechariah 12:8, 9
 In that day shall the Lord defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the Lord before them.  And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.
 In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness.
 And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles.
Zechariah 6:12, 13
 And speak unto him, saying, Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name is The BRANCH; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the Lord:  Even he shall build the temple of the Lord; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both. (“both” means He will unite the priesthood and ruler offices in Himself, in that He will be both the eternal High Priest and the eternal King)
This is the King and the Kingdom of which Daniel wrote in one of his visions, which will soon be the reality of Luke 21:27, 28.
Daniel 7:13, 14
 I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.  And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.
Luke 21:27, 28
 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.  And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.
SPECIAL PROPHECY UPDATE NUMBER 86D
September 25, 2002
SUKKOT – FEAST OF TABERNACLES LIGHT
The Jewish feast of the harvest, the Feast of Tabernacles, was described in Prophecy Updates 86A and 86B, which appear now in our Archives. The feast is still in progress this week in Israel. In these previous updates we covered its connection with the First and Second Advents of Christ, and with some Scriptures He uttered during its observance during the time of His earthly ministry. The feast also pictured spiritual light going out from the temple courtyard into the world. The events from John 7:1 to 9:41 occurred during the Feast of Tabernacles. In Update Number 86B we covered the picture presented at the feast by the water going out from the belly of the temple as representing the Word of the Spirit going out to a spiritually dead world. In this Update, we will connect a light ceremony of the feast with the ministry of Christ, as it represents the light of God going out into a world of spiritual darkness. The event contained in the following Scriptures occurred during the Feast of Tabernacles.
 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.  When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay,  And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing.
Jesus sent the blind man to the same place the special priest of Update 86A went to collect the water that eventually went out from the belly of the temple into a spiritually blind world. The water pictured the cleansing Word of the Holy Spirit who dwelt in the Holy of Holies in the temple.
 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;  Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior;  That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
John 6:62, 63
 What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before?  It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.
 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.
 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;  That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,  That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
The following Feast of Tabernacles information was taken from a book by Alfred Edersheim, D.D., Ph.D., titled “The Temple,” Eerdman’s Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan.
BEGINNING OF QUOTED MATERIAL
“At the close of the first day of the feast the worshippers descended to the Court of the Women where great preparations had been made. Four huge golden candelabras were there, each with four golden bowls, and against them rested four ladders; and four youths of priestly descent each held a pitcher of oil, capable of holding one hundred and twenty log, from which they filled each bowl. The old, worn breeches and girdles of the priests served for wicks to these lamps. There was not a court in Jerusalem that was not lit up by the light of ‘the house of the water-pouring.’ The ‘Chasidim’ and ‘the men of Deed’ danced before the people with flaming torches in their hands, and sang before them hymns and songs of praise; and the Levites, with harps, and lutes, and cymbals, and trumpets, and instruments without number, stood upon the fifteen steps which led down from the Court of Israel (men of Israel) to that of the Court of the Women, according to the fifteen songs of Degrees in the Book of Psalms.
It seems clear that this illumination of the temple was regarded as forming part of, and having the same symbolic meaning, as ‘the pouring out of the water’ in Update 86B. The light shining out of the temple into the darkness around it, and lighting up every court in Jerusalem, must have been intended as a symbol of the Shechinah light which once filled the temple, and of that ‘great light’ which ‘the people that walked in darkness’ were to see, and which was to shine ‘upon them dwell in the land of the shadow of death.’ At any rate, it seems most probable that Jesus had referred to this ceremony in the words spoken by Him in the temple at that very Feast of Tabernacles.”
 Then spoke Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
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The temple was the dwelling place of the Spirit of God and, as such, the Jews were to carry the light of His Word to all those that dwelled on the earth. Jesus called out His first church, made of His disciples, and they followed Him for almost three and one-half years. He organized them, led them, and taught them during this period. He called them up to a mountain in the fifth chapter of Matthew, and began to teach them what we call “The Beatitudes.” He them informed them what was to go out from them as a local, visible, temple of God’s presence, and from all other churches of like faith and order down through the centuries until his coming.
Matthew 5:1, 2, 14-16
 And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him:  And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,  Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.  Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
He continued to teach them throughout his ministry with the light of the truth, the Word of God, and then delivered this last teaching and commission to them just before his departure. It is the same commission delivered to all of His true churches today.
 And Jesus came and spoke unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.  Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:  Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.