Feasts Of The Bible – Part 5

Tabernacles

Introduction

Now that we have arrived at the last of the seven Biblical feasts it is important to remember that they are not isolated events, but they are both a revelation of God’s relationship with the nation Israel, and a prophetic window into the work of their Messiah. The first three feast are prophetic pointers to the Son of Joseph, the suffering Messiah and the salvation He would bring. The fourth feast announces the covenant relationship that can be entered into through the work of the Yeshua. Then the final three feasts point to our Glorious future when the Son of David, the Messiah King, prepares to claim that which is His – His Bride and His Kingdom.


During the Feast of Tabernacles Jewish people around the world loosely construct booths (Sukkot) that are to be a reminder of God’s provision and their dependence on Him. The Feast is a seven-day focus for the Jews on the time their ancestors wandered in the wilderness living in tents, the Jews therefore refer to the feast as Sukkot, which means booths. The forty-year journey required them to learn to depend upon Yahweh, before they could cross into the Promised Land where they could settle and build permanent dwellings. Of the seven feasts, Sukkot is the one that is more of a holiday, being a time of rejoicing before the Lord their God, which is the reason the feast is known as “The Season of Our Joy.”


The Feast of Tabernacles coincides with the latter rain and the third and final harvest, the harvest of fruit (Feast of Ingathering). A harvest which they could only take part in once they entered the Promised Land. The feast was a time of great rejoicing and joy at the bounty received from the Lord. The clear message of this feast season was, that God wanted His covenant people to learn to rest in Him.


The Feast of Booths (Sukkot) is the seventh and final feast of the Jewish calendar, it took place over seven days and a number of different sacrifices were offered over the feast, with each grouping being divisible by seven. Seven in scripture is symbolic of perfection and completeness, thus the Feast of Tabernacles points to a time when man’s rule on earth comes to an end – completeness – and that God’s rule on earth commences – perfection.

Gregorian Calendar & Jewish Feasts

Historical Background

The instructions the Lord gave the nation of Israel concerning the Feats of Tabernacles are recorded in Leviticus 23:33-36:


“And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, ‘Speak to the people of Israel, saying, On the fifteenth day of this seventh month and for seven days is the Feast of Booths to the Lord. On the first day shall be a holy convocation; you shall not do any ordinary work. For seven days you shall present food offerings to the Lord. On the eighth day you shall hold a holy convocation and present a food offering to the Lord. It is a solemn assembly; you shall not do any ordinary work’.”


So, for seven days after “the gathering in of the fruit of the land,” the people of Israel were to dwell in booths in remembrance of their wandering for forty years in the desert. Then, on the eighth day, they were to have a High Sabbath day of rest characterized by much rejoicing.


For the Israelites the Feast of Tabernacles had two aspects to it:

  1. It was a looking back to the forty years the nation of Israel wandered in the desert living in tents. The forty years in the desert were brought about by the nation’s unbelief and disobedience, but it was only temporary. Even during their wandering, God was in their midst, present as a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. God was in their midst, their protector and provider, who would lead them to the promised land.
  2. The feast was also a look forward. The booths are loosely constructed by the Jews so they are able to see the stars at night. This is a reminder that they are pilgrims passing through this life, and that God has an even greater rest for them in the future when He would be dwelling with them permanently in the Kingdom.

Tabernacles and Jesus

Jesus will fulfill the Feast of Tabernacles at His second coming when He will tabernacle amongst us and introduce a thousand-year literal rest. Until then we find spiritual rest for our souls in Him (Matthew 11:28a).

Besides building booths, there were two other rituals that were a distinct part of the Feast of Tabernacles. Both point directly to Jesus:

The pouring out of the Holy Spirit

As part of the ritual proceeding the festival, a priest would draw water from the Pool of Siloam with a golden pitcher. The High Priest would then pour this water into a basin at the foot of the altar, while priests blew trumpets and the people waved palm branches and sang. This ritual of the pouring out of water took place on the last day of the feast and was called Hoshana Rabbah (the day of the great hosanna). It was a day when they would pray for rain, and look forward to the salvation that God would bring through the Messiah.

The Holy Spirit is linked to rain – to the blessing of rivers of living waters; rain speaks of revival, refreshing, and restoration. Where the Jews look to the rain as evidence of God’s favour, the Church needs to see the latter rain in the prophetic, the feast of Tabernacles being a shadow of the reality that is in Jesus. Jesus will fulfill the promise made in Zechariah 12:10a, that He “will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication.” The Feast of Tabernacles celebrated a harvest of fruit. The return of Jesus at the end of the Tribulation will signal a spiritual harvest.

In scripture water is one of the symbolises used for the Holy Spirit, an example can be found in Ezekiel, where the prophet uses water as a symbol of the Holy Spirit of God, to describe the work of cleansing of the hearts of sinful mankind:

“I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules. (Ezekiel 36:25-27).

The symbolism of water for the Holy Spirit is used by Jesus when He attended the Feast in Jerusalem, on one occasion He cried out “… ‘If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water’” (John 7:37-38). Jesus was saying that He was the true Hosanna, and that all who come to Him will receive salvation, and be filled with the Holy Spirit.

The Lighting of the Temple

Many of the tens of thousands of Jews who were celebrating this last day, would have carried burning torches illuminating the city of Jerusalem. So, on this day it was customary for the Jews to thank God not only for the rain, but also the sun that was necessary for a good harvest. They recognized that God was the true light (Psalm 27:1) and that He would give them spiritual light and life through the Messiah.

John also records that on one occasion Jesus made another bold statement saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12).

Jesus made two powerful proclamations declaring that it was He who was the reality to which the feast pointed: He was the true source of Living Water, and He was the Light of Life. The Feast of Tabernacles is pointing to a time that should cause rejoicing in the Church. The Bride should look forward to the fulfillment of the promise, that the Lord Jesus will tabernacle with mankind on earth. A time when the Lord will reign from His throne in Jerusalem as the rightful heir to the throne of David. Unfortunately, this feast is absent from the Christian calendar.

The Feast of Tabernacles Prophetic Aspect

The Feast of Tabernacles represents the Millennial Kingdom, the thousand-year reign of the Messiah on earth – God Tabernacling with man. Satan is bound, sin is almost completely lifted, it will be a time of great rejoicing. This special time of rest is described in detail throughout the Bible, particularly by the Old Testament prophets. Isaiah was looking forward to this time when he wrote: “And the ransomed of the Lord shall return and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away” (Isaiah 51:11).

The Feast of Tabernacles is the only feast that the nations will be required to keep during the millennium:

“Then everyone who survives of all the nations that have come against Jerusalem shall go up year after year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Booths. And if any of the families of the earth do not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, there will be no rain on them. And if the family of Egypt (the world) does not go up and present themselves, then on them there shall be no rain; there shall be the plague with which the Lord afflicts the nations that do not go up to keep the Feast of Booths. This shall be the punishment to Egypt and the punishment to all the nations that do not go up to keep the Feast of Booths” (Zechariah 14:16–19)

Note that his requirement will be enforced by a curse of drought on those nations who do not comply with the instruction.

All other feast could be celebrated by the Jews during their desert wanderings, while only once they had entered the promised land could the Jews know and enjoy the feast of Tabernacles. This is a clear shadow of the future reality when the Feast of Tabernacles will once again be celebrated after a wilderness experience of The World, the people of God will then move into the promised land – The Kingdom.

“On the eighth day you shall hold a holy convocation and present a food offering to the Lord. It is a solemn assembly; you shall not do any ordinary work” (Lev. 23:36).

After the seven days of living in booths and remembering how Yahweh brought their ancestors out of Egypt, the Feast of Tabernacles ends with a special Sabbath eighth day. This last great day is of momentous prophetic significance, it is the final holy day of the year, and it depicts the final steps in God’s plan. After this—eternity! Even though the description of the millennial earth is that of a paradise, it is not the final rest God has for us. This eighth day was a day of great rejoicing and corresponds to the creation of the New Heaven and the New Earth.

“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:1-4).

Eight in Bible numerics symbolises new beginning: Jesus was raised from the tomb on the first day of a new week – the eighth day, Pentecost also took place on the eighth day – Sunday. The seven feasts have been a powerful prophetic revelation of God’s plans for mankind. The number seven symbolizes completion or perfection, God’s perfect prophetic plan for mankind – the seven feasts – is at an end. Now on this special sabbath, God points to a momentous new beginning, eternity with Him. The apostle John explains that heaven will be on earth, God will dwell in our midst, and the history of man on earth will have come to an end. The living God will ‘tabernacle’ in the midst of his people (Ezekiel 37:27-28) and then, forever (Revelation 21:1-3).

While there is much to rejoice in this revelation from God, there is the somber note, the New Heaven and New Earth will be preceded by the Great White Throne judgment. Only those saved by the blood of the Lamb will have eternal life on the New Earth.

The Transfiguration

Transfiguration of the Lord - My Catholic Life!

Matthew 17 records that Jesus took the disciples Peter, James, and John, up onto a high mountain, and that He was transfigured before them: “His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light. And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him” (Matthew 17:2-3). Many who read Peter’s reaction to the transfiguration of Jesus, believe that he is over whelmed and bewildered by the event, mumbling: “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, let us make here three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah” (Matthew 17:4). However, this is not the case at all, Peter believes that the transfiguration with Moses and Elijah present is the introduction to the Kingdom. Then, as the Feast of Sukkot is associated with the Kingdom, Peter offers to build three tabernacles, one for each of them. The actions of Peter during the Transfiguration then, is evidence that Jesus will establish His Kingdom during this feast.

The Hypostatic Union in End Times prophecy

The hypostatic union is the term used by the Church to describe Jesus as both Son of God and Son of man. That Jesus was fully human in nature, yet remained fully God at the same time.

There is an amazing confirmation of the hypostatic union of Jesus in the Feast of Tabernacles:

Jesus as the Son of Man

Jesus, as the Son of David, returns to earth to establish His Kingdom. On His return Jesus fulfils two covenant promises made by God with the nation of Israel:

  • The man Jesus is a descendant of David and when He sits on the throne of David, in the city of David, He will fulfill God’s covenant promise to David.

“I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever” (2 Samuel 7:12-14).

  • Jesus in restoring the nation of Israel will fulfil the Land Covenant made with Abraham in Genesis 15:18. All the land God promised Abraham will finally belong to Israel, under their Messiah Yeshua.

Jesus as the Son of God

The eighth day of the feast of Tabernacles indicates the commencement of the New Heaven and the New Earth, where all believers will live in the New Jerusalem, under the eternal reign of the Son of God.

Those theologians who reject the kingdom rule of Jesus are ignorantly ignoring the prophetic fulfilment of the Hypostatic union. Jesus rules as both the Son of David and the Son of God, which is revealed in the eight-day celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles.

The Feast of Tabernacles – A Feast of Opposites

The importance of the feast for the Jews and those living during the millennium, should spark the question in our minds as to what is the relevance of the feast for the Church? Remember that the Feast requires the Jews to look back to a time when their ancestors dwelt in temporary dwellings, but for the Church it requires us to look forward.

In a way the Feast of Tabernacles is a feast of opposites, for the Jews, they look back and remember, but the Church must look forward and hope (the biblical definition of hope is “confident expectation”) in the promises that we have in Jesus.

The Jews look back and see their release from captivity in Egypt, the church looks forward to a release from the captivity of the world.

The Jews look back to a time when God delivered them from slavery and captivity in Egypt, the Church looks forward to a time when Satan will be bound and the world will be delivered from the accuser and will be released from our sinful nature.

The Jews look back and see how God took them out of an earthly government and established a heavenly government; the Church looks forward to a time when the Kingdom of God rules on earth over all nations, with Jesus on the throne.

The Jews look back and remember when God established His theocratic rule over them, when they were guided by His presence and under the authority of His laws. The Church looks forward to the establishment of the theocratic rule of Jesus, “The government will rest on his shoulders. He will be named: Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6).”

The Jews look back at a time when they lived in the desert, the Church looks forward to a time when creation will rejoice, and a worldwide healing will take place with the earth being restored (Psalm 96:10-13; 98:8-9; Romans 8:19-23). The rivers and oceans will be cleansed of the filth and pollution of mankind, rubbish dumps with millions of tons of waste and toxins will be removed. When Christ begins to rule the earth and all of Creation is put under His direct authority, the land, sea and sky will rejoice and celebrate.

The Jews look back to a time when God miraculously provided water from a rock; the church looks forward to a time when Jesus (the rock that is cut out without human hand [Daniel 2:34]), will pour out living water over Jerusalem when He returns (Zechariah 12:10).

The Jews look back to a time when God miraculously provided Manna for them in the wilderness. The Church looks forward to a time of the miraculous provision of God when the plowman will overtake the reaper (Amos 9:13).

The Jews look back to a time when the clothes they wore, and the sandals on their feet never wore out. The Church looks forward to a time when their body will be a heavenly body, that will never wear out or grow old, a body that will last for eternity.

The Jews remember a time when the visible presence of the Lord was a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire at night, rising over the tabernacle in the middle of the camp of Israel. The Church looks forward to a time when the visible presence of the Lord will be God the Son – Jesus, who will rule from His throne in Jerusalem, the centre of the earth (Joel 3:2; Revelation 20:6).

The Jews look back to a time of training and testing as God moulded them into a nation, so that they could become a people unto God, and move into the Promised Land, claiming the promises of God. The Church looks forward to a time when our trials and testing will be over, and we will have the fulfilment of God’s promises, living and ruling with Jesus (1 Corinthians 6: 1-3; Revelation 20:6).

The Jews look back to a time when Moses Chose 70 men to assist with the responsibilities of governing the nation of Israel, and God placed His spirit upon these new leaders (Num. 11:16-17). The Church looks forward to a time when we will rule and reign on the earth with Jesus, and the Spirit of the Lord will be our life blood (Revelation 20:4b; Daniel 7:27). Our ultimate calling as Christians is to rule under Jesus Christ’s authority in the kingdom of God, over all nations and people. Christ will be “KING of Kings and LORD of lords” (Rev. 19:16). The kings that Jesus is superior to, is the Bride of Christ, which will establish the hierarchy of the Kingdom of Heaven.

The Jews look back to a time when the Holy Spirit was present on Moses and the 70 elders restrained sin within the camp of Israel; the Church looks forward to a time when the presence of the Holy Spirit will be upon the whole earth and restrain sin in all mankind. Sin will be so constrained that man’s life will be extended – as in the time before God flooded the earth – people will live to be very old, a man dying at a hundred will be considered a baby (Isaiah 65:20).

The Jews look back to a time when they came under the judgement of God for breaking His laws. An example would be the death of the rebellious Korah, when the earth opened up under him and he and his family went down alive into Sheol (Num.16:32), instilled fear and wonder into the nation of Israel. The Church looks forward to a time when we will judge the world with God (1 Cor. 6:2), and are filled with awe and wonder.

I attained the concept of the Jews looking back, and the Church looking forward from a website a number of years ago. I have searched Google for the site and have failed to find it, so I cannot give the proper credit. The information is too valuable to leave out, so as the Holy Spirit is the ultimate author of all Christian writing, I went forward with including the information. If anyone finds the site, please pass on the web address to me.

The Birth of Jesus during Tabernacles

Several scriptures indicate that the first day of Tabernacles is actually the true birthday of our Messiah. John also hints at the timing of the birth of Jesus is during the Feast of Tabernacles writing, “the word became flesh and tabernacled among us…” (John 1:14).

In the text of the Gospel of Luke, we see that there were shepherds in the countryside guarding their flocks “by night” (Luke 2:8). It would be very unlikely that shepherds would be out in the fields at night on December 25 which is mid-winter in Israel, and Bethlehem can receive snow at this time of year.

John the Baptists father, Zachariah’s service in the Temple was according to the Abijah division (Luke 1:5-25), which according to 1 Chronicles 24:10 served during the 8th week of the Hebrew year. During his service, an angel visits him and he is told that he and his wife Elizabeth will have a son. After he finishes his service, he goes back home and Elizabeth soon conceives.

Six months later, the angel speaks to Mary and informs her that she will become pregnant with a son (Luke 1:26; 36). At that time, the angel tells her that her relative Elizabeth is pregnant, so Mary hurries to see her (Luke 1:36-45).

Three months later, John is born. His birth would be around Pesach (Passover). The feast that has a tradition to leave an empty seat for the prophet Elijah, who’s prophesy indicates would announce the arrival of the Messiah (Malachi 4:5-6). Jesus is born six months after John – at the time of the Feast of Tabernacles which is nine months after His conception at Hanukah! There is too much evidence for these occurrences to be coincidence.


Other evidence relative to the birth of Jesus on the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles, is the length of the Feast of Tabernacles, which is eight days. All male children according to the covenant of Abraham, were required to be circumcised on the eighth day of their life:


“God said further to Abraham, ‘Now as for you, you shall keep My covenant, you and your descendants after you throughout their generations… every male among you shall be circumcised… and it shall be the sign of the covenant between Me and you. And every male among you who is eight days old shall be circumcised throughout your generations’…” (Gen. 17:9-12)


It is no coincidence that the birth and circumcision of Jesus were built into this feast which He will Scripturally fulfil. The infant Jesus fulfilled the covenant, where blood is shed, on the day which is a prophetic pointer to when the blood of Jesus will allow mankind to enter into eternity with God.
A note of interest, pertaining to the covenant requirement of the circumcision of male children on the eight day of their lives, is that the blood clotting agents, prothrombin and thrombokinase are at a peak in the baby’s blood on the eight day.

In Genesis 17:10 we see a variation of the blood covenant which was a common practice in the Middle East at the time of Abraham. If two families wished to enter into a covenant of interdependence with each other, the patriarchs would enter a blood covenant with each other. They made an incision on their arms and allowed their blood to drain into a container of wine. The patriarchs then each drank the mixture, the symbolism being that the two families were then of one blood. The scars on the arms of the Patriarchs were a lasting signature of their covenant agreement. The understanding of this blood covenant brings new meaning to Genesis 17 and the covenant of circumcision. The covenant of circumcision that God initiated with Abraham brought the Israelite nation into an everlasting covenant with God (Genesis 17:1-27). The problem is that on circumcision, the Jewish baby sheds blood and there is a circumcision scar to mark the covenant agreement with God, but where is God’s covenant wound? The wonder of this blood covenant is that Jesus fulfilled His part of the covenant, as the Son of God on the cross. On His resurrection body all the wounds received prior to the cross are gone, only the wounds Jesus received on the cross are still present on His body (Luke 24:39; John 20:27). Jesus retains His wounds as a reminder that He has upheld His part of the covenant; on His return to earth at the end of the millennium the Jews will ask Him, “What are these wounds on your body?” and Jesus will answer, “The wounds I was given at the house of my friends” (Zechariah13:6). Just as Joseph used his circumcision wound to reveal himself to his brothers, Jesus uses the covenant wounds that He received on the cross to reveal Himself as the true Messiah to the Jews at the end of the age.


The circumcision of the infant Messiah on the eight day of Tabernacles, prophetically pointing to a new beginning, with a New Heaven and New Earth is of great significance. The shedding of blood covenant is fulfilled by Jesus on the cross opening the promise of eternal life for all, and the promise of eternal life with Him in the New Jerusalem will be fulfilled on the eight day of Tabernacles, the same day as He was circumcised.

Conclusion

There are five aspects of the Feats of Tabernacles that are important for all believers to remember:

  1. Jesus used the festival to reveal his messianic identity.
  2. Jesus used the festival to reveal himself as the true river of life, and that all who come to Him will receive salvation, and be filled with the Holy Spirit.
  3. Jesus used the festival to reveal himself as “the light of the world”.
  4. The Feast points ahead to the return of Jesus as King of Kings, to establish His Kingdom. The Son of David ruling from the City of David.
  5. The eight day, a special Sabbath, corresponds to the creation of the New Heaven and the New Earth.

Unfortunately, the wonderful significance of the Feast of Tabernacles has been forgotten by most of ‘Christianity’ because the feast are not taught in a majority of churches, so the message is lost. Thus, few churches benefit from the celebration of God’s master plan of Salvation for mankind, and the magnificent role God the Son plays in it.


Peter explained Pentecost to the Jews in Jerusalem, but he pointed forward to the Kingdom (Acts 2:19-21). The Church must be forward looking, we must be watching and waiting. The Church has a great hope; the Church has a blessed assurance, we must live like that really matters. Remembering the Feast of Tabernacles and the promises we have is a good way to keep the great honour of what the millennium holds for us, which includes:

  • A time when we will be released from the captivity of the world (Isaiah 51:11).
  • When Jesus will pour out living water on the whole earth when he returns (Zechariah 12:10).
  • When the presence of the Holy Spirit will be upon the whole earth (Zechariah 12:10).
  • When we will be released from our sinful nature (1 Cor. 15:44-49).
  • The establishment of the theocratic rule of Jesus (Rev. 20:6b).
  • When creation will rejoice, and a worldwide healing will take place (Isaiah 55:12; 53:4).
  • When the ploughman will overtake the reaper (Amos 9:13).
  • Our heavenly body will never wear out or grow old (1 Cor. 15:53).
  • The Spirit of the Lord will be our life blood (1 Cor. 15:44)
  • Jesus, who will rule from His throne in Jerusalem, the centre of the earth (Zechariah 14:9; Luke 1:32-33)
  • The fulfilment of God’s promises, living and ruling with Jesus (Revelation 5:10).
  • That we will Judge the world with God (1 Corinthians 6:2).


The Jews commemorated the feast every year, because of the importance of the feast in their relationship with Yahweh. Are not the promises of the Feast of Tabernacles important enough for the Church to remember each year, and spend time in thanks giving and worship to our God for His wonderful plan for us?
A question that all that follow the Lord Jesus as their saviour should ask, is do I truly honour Him in all I do?

Clarification


The Church is not required by scripture to keep the feasts, they were a part of the covenant relationship of the Nation of Israel with God. The question I am regularly asked is, what is the point of following the feasts if the Church is not required to do so?


It is time for me to be blunt, the majority of churches today ignore the seven feasts established by God, because they are seen as Jewish traditions, this is as a result of replacement theology. Instead these churches celebrate “Christian” traditions of Christmas and Easter – both pagan holidays. Christmas is the birth of the sun (winter solstice), the sun god Helios, and was introduced into the Church by Emperor Constantine, a sun worshipper. Easter, is the celebration of the spring equinox and the queen of heaven, Ishtar. She was also chosen by Constantine, an anti-Semite, in order to separate the Church from the Jewish Passover. Bearing in mind God detests these pagan gods, and hates it when man takes what he has ordained and contaminates it with his wisdom and philosophies, do you really believe keeping these “Christian” traditions, and ignoring God’s powerful prophetic message in the seven feasts is honouring Jesus?


An example from scripture of God’s attitude toward syncretism can be found in 2 Samuel 6:6:


“When they came to the threshing floor of Nakon, Uzzah reached out and took hold of the ark of God, because the oxen stumbled. The Lord’s anger burned against Uzzah because of his irreverent act; therefore God struck him down, and he died there beside the ark of God”.

Uzzah and his kin had placed the Ark on a wagon, to transport it to Jerusalem. This was contrary to God’s law, which stated that Levites were to carry the Ark on wooden rods (Deuteronomy 31:25; Exodus 25:14-15). Years before this event, during the time of the High Priest Eli, the Philistines defeated the army of Israel and captured the ark (1 Samuel 6:4). The Philistines joy at their success was short lived, as God punished those living in the city where the ark was stored; “He brought devastation upon them and afflicted them with tumours” (1 Samuel 5:6). To see if the plague was truly from the God of Israel, the Philistines place the ark on a cart harnessed to two cows who had never been yoked before and released them (1 Samuel 6). The cows, pulling the cart, made their way to the land of Israel, restoring the ark to the Israelites. Uzzah had reinterpreted God’s law, he had copied the methods of the pagans in transporting the ark, man’s wisdom was superimposed on God’s wisdom. God hates the mixture. He could not allow the insult to pass and this is a clear message to all believers – do not allow syncretism, man’s wisdom, to become part of our relationship with God! To impose pagan practices into our worship of God is repeating the error of Uzzah – not treating God with reverence and honour.


I Have heard a sermon given by a minister on ten reasons why Christians should have a Christmas tree, and I have been told that an elder gave a sermon on ten reasons why Christians should celebrate Christmas. My response to these arguments, is that Uzzah would have been able to give more than ten reasons why it was appropriate to transport the ark on a cart!

Death of Uzzah

The reasons that the Church should follow the feasts, with a focus on their significance in God’s redemptive plan, and an understanding of the role of Jesus within each one, are:

  • The feasts will play an important part in the restoration process for the Church, by once more finding our conecction to our Jewish heritage and drawing on the rich sap of the Olive Tree (Romans 11:17).
  • By following the feasts, the Church will then separate itself from the syncretic contamination of paganism in our faith, which God detests, loaths, hates, despises and abhors. What amazes me, is no matter how many synonms I use to describe the abomination of paganism in the Church, I will always get a “yes but” back. There is no “yes but”! God is clear in scripture, do not mix that which is of man, with that which is from God.
  • Jesus is our Jewish Bridegroom, who will returning for His bride to be a part of a Jewish marriage ceremony. Jesus will not return for a bride whose gown is stained with man’s philosophies, rejecting a God ordained Jewish heritage.
The sun god Helios
The queen of heaven Ishtar

~ Neil Taylor

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