From “Feast of Tabernacles,” Chapter 1- Continued
THE ORDER OF THE FEASTS
As we begin this study, we would exhort the reader to carefully read all that we have to say in this first section of the book, for it is written to form a foundation, as it were, for some of the glorious truths which are to follow. We realize that much of the information that is given concerning dates and seasons may appear insignificant and unimportant, but they are necessary, nevertheless, in order that the reader may more readily appreciate the glorious truths concerning the third and last Feast, the Feast of Tabernacles.
The three great annual Feast of the Lord in Israel’s worship are set forth in considerable detail in Leviticus and Deuteronomy. In a very real sense these Feasts prefigure and typify the whole Church age beginning with the Cross and consummating in the manifestation of the Sons of God and the glorious display of God’s power and glory. It is, of course, this great unveiling that we are chiefly concerned about–for the eternal purposes of God begin to be accomplished in that glorious event. But we cannot have a proper understanding of the end, unless we know somewhat of the beginning. We cannot appreciate the Glory, unless we learn about the Cross. We cannot enter the Kingdom, unless we first learn obedience by the things which we suffer. The Feasts therefore begin with the Passover, and end with the Feast of Tabernacles; and in between we have the various steps and degrees by which the Church is brought out of death and into life, out of rejection and into exaltation, out of suffering and into the Kingdom. The three Feasts in Israel’s annual cycle of religious ceremonies were:
1. The Feast of the Passover.
2. The Feast of Pentecost.
3. The Feast of Tabernacles.
These three Feasts, moreover, consisted of seven major events, three of which comprised the Feast of the Passover, then one stood alone–Pentecost, and then the remaining three events comprise the Feast of Tabernacles. A brief summary of the Feasts with their various festival events may be helpful:
I The Feast of the Passover, or the Feast of Unleavened Bread.
This Feast consisted of:
1. The Passover. (See Ex. 12:1-23; Lev. 23:4, 5; Deut. 16:1-3).
2. The Unleavened Bread. (See Ex. 12:18; 23:15; Lev. 23:6-8; Deut. 16:3-4).
3. The Sheaf of Firstfruits. (See Lev. 23:10-14).
II The Feast of Pentecost, or the Feast of Weeks, of Harvest, of Firstfruits.
(See Ex. 23:16; Lev. 23:15-21; Deut. 16:9-12; Acts 2:1).
III The Feast of Tabernacles, or the Feast of Booths, or of Ingathering.
This Feast consisted of:
1. The Blowing of Trumpets. (See Lev. 23:24-25).
2. The Day of Atonement. (See Lev. 16; 23:27-32).
3. The Feast of Tabernacles. (See Ex. 23:16; Lev. 23:34-44; Deut. 16:13-15).
All Israel’s worship seemed to center around these three great annual Feasts. They were the occasions of great convocations, the keeping of sabbaths, the eating of certain foods, the performance of certain ordinances and rituals, and a time of great consecration and sanctification: “Three times in a year shall all thy males appear before the Lord thy God in the place which he shall choose; in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles: and they shall not appear before the Lord empty.” (Deut. 16:16).
It is our intention to deal at some length with each of the seven festival events comprising the three Feasts, and to show in what manner they have been fulfilled, or shall yet be fulfilled, in the Church of Jesus Christ. Our primary purpose, of course, is to present the last great Feast, the Feast of Tabernacles, in the light of the New Testament–and especially in the light of what God is now doing in the formation of His Body, the Church. For truly the Lord is moving by His Spirit, moving o’er all the earth–brooding dovelike over the distressing state of affairs existing in the Church today, that He might bring order and harmony and peace out of chaos and darkness. And as surely as the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the deep in the beginning, and commanded light to shine out of darkness, and life to spring up out of the place of death–so surely will the voice of God once again in the ends of the ages restore the glory of Zion, and give unto her “beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.” GHW
I so love the hope Bro. Warnock conveys in saying, “For truly the Lord is moving by His Spirit, moving o’er all the earth–brooding dovelike over the distressing state of affairs existing in the Church today, that He might bring order and harmony and peace out of chaos and darkness.” Keep in mind…this book was first published in 1951. Many people have come and gone since then, but the basic mess remains. We have not grown “up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ” (Eph. 4:15).
But there is hope. In Philippians 1:6, the apostle Paul tells us, “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work among you will complete it by the day of Christ Jesus” (NASB). The J. B. Phillips New Testament renders it, “I feel sure that the one who has begun his good work in you will go on developing it until the day of Jesus Christ.” These two translations tell me that we are a work in progress, yet with a definite finish in sight. May we press on in our quest for truth.
In the next round, Round 15, we begin Chapter 2, The Feast of Passover.