HOW THE FEAST OF TABERNACLES SHOWS CHRISTIANS ARE PILGRIMS IN THIS WORLD
Eric Snow, sermonette, 10-13-07, Ann Arbor, MI, UCG
Most of us have just came back from the Feast of Tabernacles.† We have interesting, even exciting, stories to tell each other.† But the Feast isnít a mere vacation.† What is the symbolic meaning of living in temporary dwellings for eight days?† We know what the Feast of Tabernacles in type foreshadows in Godís master plan for the human race.† It represents the general prosperity and spiritual knowledge the world will have during the millennium.† But what is the Christian living meaning of the Feast?† Letís briefly consider what we symbolize while briefly living in hotels, motels, or even tents during the Feast.
S.P.S.:† By ritualistically living in temporary dwellings during the Feast of Tabernacles, Christians symbolically confess that their temporary physical lives arenít important compared to spiritual life in the kingdom of God.
Whatís the hardest lesson of faith?† It likely concerns actively living this life on the basis that the unexperienced next life is more important than this presently experienced life.† Do we emotionally, psychologically, and financially really believe that?† Or do we hedge, just in case there is no God and no resurrection?† Do we keep one foot in the church, one in the world, as a backup plan because of our (secret) doubts?† Do avoid observing the Feast because we fear losing† jobs or failing classes?† Is it because we didnít save the money, the second tithe, which God requires of us.† This financial self-sacrifice puts our money where our mouths are, to walk the talk about the next life being more important.† If we donít save it, weíre ritualistically admitting that we think this life is more important than the next.† But as Mr. Fisher said in a sermon during the Feast, we shouldnít sacrifice the world tomorrow for the world today.
What is the Christian living principle and meaning of the Feast of Tabernacles?† We know that for the Days of Unleavened Bread that it symbolically represents getting sin out of our lives.† By removing physical leavening from our homes, weíre ritualistically confessing that we should conscientiously commit to obeying Godís law.† Likewise, the Christian living principle of the Feast of Tabernacles is that weíre pilgrims temporarily passing through this world during this present physical life.† It isnít ultimately that important compared to the next life.
I Chronicles 29:14-19
David said this while gathering the materials for building the temple.† It shouldnít be seen as a mere coincidence that the temple was later dedicated by Solomon during the Feast of Tabernacles.† The temple built of stone in Jerusalem was a physical place for God to dwell among His physical people of Israel.† Likewise, our bodies are a dwelling place for the Spirit of God, by which God dwells in His spiritual people, true Christians.
Now, if we are aliens and pilgrims on the earth, just passing through this world, how should we live?† We Christians should live as ambassadors of the kingdom of God while living in our respective nations.† Mr. Fisherís question during the Feast in Jamaica:† How many of the Americans here came to Jamaica during the Feast because they are Americans?† His overall point was that as Christians our nationality as Americans, Jamaicans, Canadians, etc., is unimportant compared to our identity as true Christians.† Should Godís law and manís law conflict, we must obey God rather than men.†
I Chron. 28:2-3
Because he had killed many men in battle, David was not allowed by God to build the temple.† Thatís because Davidís life in type, as a foreshadowing, didnít represent properly the meaning of the building.† The temple of God symbolically represents peace, as Solomonís reign later had on earth.† It would be wrong in type to have a great warrior build a temple to the Eternal that symbolically represents Godís peaceful resting place.† Similarly, we Christians have to avoid getting caught up in the worldís politics and military conflicts.† One of Roman Catholicismís greatest errors was to commit fornication with the kings of the earth symbolically by using the power of the state to achieve its spiritual and physical goals.† As the church and state increasingly unified from the fourth century on, the state corrupted the church doctrinally and spiritually much more than it had been before the time of Constantine and the Edict of Milan (313 A.D.)† Example:† Writer in independent church newspaper saying true Christians should be willing to go to war against radical Islam.† Thatís the same error as saying we should wage war against Communists or Nazis in prior decades:† Our job as true Christians is to stand apart from this world, and live lives that point to Godís kingdom as the ultimate solution to the worldís problems.† Since the end doesnít justify the means, Christians shouldnít compromise with evil, which is inevitable in human politics.† How many people say, they are voting for the lesser of two evils when choosing one candidate instead of another?† They are still voting for evil then, right?† The world thus shows it is a product of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, a mixture of both.† We should choose the tree of life instead, not this tree that still brings death.
Conclusion:† Most of us have just returned from the Feast of Tabernacles.† But are we willing to go on to live the tabernacles life?† We ritualistically lived in temporary shelters.† We symbolically confessed that weíre just mere strangers in this world, just pilgrims passing through.† We should avoid getting caught up pursuing materialistic goals or serving this evil worldís political and military systems.† We shouldnít give up the world tomorrow for the world today.