From “Feast of Tabernacles,” Chapter 1- Continued
THE OLD, THE PATTERN OF THE NEW
There is a simple order that God has established relative to the progression of Truth and to the creation itself, and it is this: “Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.” (1 Cor. 15:46). This principle is evident everywhere in the Scriptures. First the old creation, then the New. First darkness, then light. First a garden in Eden and the tree of life, then the Garden of God and the real Tree of Life. First Adam, then the Last Adam. First the Passover, then the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world. First Law, and then Grace. First the typical Feast of Tabernacles, then the unveiled glory of God in the spiritual Feast of Tabernacles. And the wonder of it all is this, that the end of the Old is the beginning of the New; and out of that which is destined to pass away there cometh forth that which is destined to remain.
And so it was that God called light out of darkness. It came to pass also that from the first Adam there came Christ, destined not only to become the Last Adam (the last of Adam, the last of the old race), but the Second Man (the beginning of the second creation). Likewise, the Last Passover was the occasion of the true Passover that was sacrificed for us. And when Christ died on the Cross, and the veil of the temple was rent in twain–that was the end of the Law, but it was also the beginning of Grace. God always “taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.” (Heb. 10:9).
It is important, therefore, that we should always observe that which is first, and natural, and from the natural learn to discern in what way it typifies the spiritual. If we read of the natural Passover, God intends that from the various circumstances and rituals connected with the natural we should hear what He would say to us concerning the spiritual Passover, even Christ. If it is the Feast of Weeks, then in this God would teach us concerning the true Feast of Weeks, even Pentecost. If it is the Day of Atonement, then let us learn to discern the pattern of the true Atonement. And so likewise, if the Feast of Tabernacles is being observed, it is for the purpose that we might learn great and mighty spiritual truths from the natural circumstances and events transpiring at the Feast. If we bear this in mind we will receive a mine of wealth from the various occasions in the Old Testament and New when the Feast of Tabernacles was observed. There are three occasions in particular that we shall refer to, as having a most remarkable application to the spiritual Feast of Tabernacles which lies just ahead of us. These three occasions are: the dedication of Solomon’s Temple, the restoration of the temple following the captivity, and the presence of Jesus at the Feast of Tabernacles in the time of His earthly ministry. These three observances of the Feast will be dealt with in detail in the last three chapters of the book. The particular characteristics of all three events must find their glorious fulfillment, only on a much higher and vaster spiritual plane than when they were first observed–in this great hour in which we live. GHW
First the natural, then the spiritual. We see this truth even in God’s self-revelation to mankind. As natural beings, God uses the natural realm to reveal spiritual truths to us, so that we might see something greater and inquire of it. The apostle Paul writes in Romans 1:
16For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, ” BUT THE RIGHTEOUS man SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.” 18For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. 20For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. 21For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures. 24Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. 25For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. (Rom. 1:16-25 NASB)
In Psalm 19:1-6, we read, “1 The heavens are telling of the glory of God; And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands. 2Day to day pours forth speech, And night to night reveals knowledge. 3 There is no speech, nor are there words; Their voice is not heard. 4 Their line has gone out through all the earth, And their utterances to the end of the world. In them He has placed a tent for the sun, 5Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber; It rejoices as a strong man to run his course. 6 Its rising is from one end of the heavens, And its circuit to the other end of them; And there is nothing hidden from its heat.”
The natural first, and then the spiritual. We will see more of this principle as we move forward in our journey of discovery.