Beginning from Sunday December 14 to Sunday December 21, 2014, the city of Warri will be charged with spiritual activities as the God’s Kingdom Society (GKS) the Church of the living God celebrates the Feast of Tabernacles with sermons, processions, quarter to quarter announcements and holy convocations. The eight-day spectacle which the GKS started celebrating in Lagos since 1935 provides a grand opportunity to draw the attention of the people to the imperative of exclusive and true worship of God Almighty, the Owner and Possessor of the entire universe and His son Jesus Christ, the King of Jehovah’s universal Kingdom now set up on earth and growing by the grace of God.
Time of Old
In time of old, the Jews, following the law of God celebrated the Feast of Tabernacles, also known as the Feast of Ingathering, from the 15th day of the Jewish 7th month (Ethanim or Tishri). It lasted a full eight days (Leviticus 23:33-43). The festival was celebrated by families tenting in booths, to remember the 40 years they lived in temporary shelters during their journey from Egypt to Canaan.
Even at that time, the reading and expounding of the law of God to the congregation at the Feast was of vital importance as it is written: “And Moses commanded them, saying, At the end of every seven years, in the solemnity of the year of release, in the feast of tabernacles, When all Israel is come to appear before the LORD thy God in the place which he shall choose, thou shalt read this law before all Israel in their hearing. Gather the people together, men, and women, and children, and thy stranger that is within thy gates, that they may hear, and that they may learn, and fear the LORD your God, and observe to do all the words of this law: And that their children, which have not known any thing, may hear, and learn to fear the LORD your God, as long as ye live in the land whither ye go over Jordan to possess it.” – Deuteronomy 31:10-13
After the 70 years of exile in Babylon, the children of Israel found written in the book of the law, the injunction about the celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles and they celebrated it with much enthusiasm. “And they found written in the law which the LORD had commanded by Moses, that the children of Israel should dwell in booths in the feast of the seventh month…And all the congregation of them that were come again out of the captivity made booths, and sat under the booths: for since the days of Jeshua the son of Nun unto that day had not the children of Israel done so. And there was very great gladness. Also day by day, from the first day unto the last day, he read in the book of the law of God. And they kept the feast seven days; and on the eighth day was a solemn assembly, according unto the manner.” – Nehemiah 8:14-18
All peoples of the world who worship God in spirit and in truth are spiritual Jews in as much as they exercise faith in God Almighty through Jesus Christ, the seed of Abraham. (Galatians 3:7-9; Romans 2:28, 29; 9:6-8). True Christians, whom St. Paul called the “Israel of God” are therefore in order to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles in that they are spiritual Jews. Thus, all the laws God gave the natural Jews which are still relevant in the Christian era should be observed by all Christians. The Feast of Tabernacles is one of such. However, such feasts as the Feasts of Passover, Unleavened Bread and Harvest, etc., which are all types pointing to Jesus Christ are not to be observed anymore. – 1 Corinthians 5:7,8; Galatians 3:24, 25.
Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ showed Christians a practical example by participating actively in the Feast. (John 7:1-8, 14-17; Matthew 10:25; 1 Peter 2:21).In spite of the fact that the atmosphere was thick with threats of violence against him, he boldly dispensed the kingdom message to the wonder and admiration of the multitudes who came to the annual festival, leaving those sent to arrest him dumbfounded.
The record of Apostle John states: “Now about the midst of the Feast Jesus went up into the temple, and taught. And the Jews marvelled, saying, How knoweth this man letters, having never learned? Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.” The record states further: “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.” – John 7:14-17, 37, 38.
The active participation of Jesus Christ in the Feast is no doubt for the purpose of teaching his followers its importance and relevance in the Christian era. By his visible role at the Feast of Tabernacles, Jesus Christ presented himself to the world as “a minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man” and as “an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building” (Hebrews 8:2; 9:11) Thus, in celebrating the Feast we are honouring Jesus Christ who is now in our midst spiritually. – Ezekiel 37:27; Revelations 21:3; Matthew 18:20.
Spirit of the law
“For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.” (John 1:17) In celebrating the Feast therefore, the children of God must do so within the context of the grace brought by Jesus Christ. That being so, we are not to make sacrifices any more because Jesus Christ has been sacrificed for us “once for all”. (Hebrews 10:10-12; John 1:29; 1 Corinthians 5:7) St. Paul declared: “Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” – 2 Corinthians 3:17
Very importantly, it should be pointed out that there is a prophetic command that all peoples of the earth should keep the feast of Tabernacles in these last days as it is written: “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. And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain. And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, wherewith the LORD will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles. This shall be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.” - Zechariah 14:16-19
In the text just cited, “Jerusalem” stands for God’ Organisation while “Egypt” stands for those who do not know God. All are required to come to the Feast for their own blessings symbolized by “rain”. (Ezekiel 34:26) It could be seen therefore that the Feast of Tabernacles is of great significance to people of God in this age. All people of goodwill are therefore invited to attend the Feast for their edification and salvation in the end by the grace of God.
HAPPY FEAST OF TABERNACLES!.
Please direct all inquiries to:
God's Kingdom Society (GKS)
(The Church of the Living God)
Salem City, P. O. Box 424,
Warri, Delta State, Nigeria.
Tel: +234-708 668 8474, +234-807 858 4844,
+234-8100987661, +234-802 329 5127.
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; publicitysecretary@mountaingks