Tabernacles

The related timings of the births of Jesus and John the Baptist

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It is not specifically stated in the Bible when Jesus was born. However, the indications from Scripture give us a pretty good guide of when He was born, and importantly, when He was not born. We are given clues in the details concerning the priestly service of John the Baptist’s father, Zechariah, and the fact that Jesus and John were cousins.

Zechariah, was of the priestly division of Abijah (Luke 1:5,8). Back in King David’s day, the priests had been separated into 24 turns or divisions. These turns began in the first month of the Jewish calendar (1 Chronicles 27:2), March or April of our modern calendar. According to Talmudic and Qumran sources, the turns rotated every week until they reached the end of the sixth month, when the cycle was repeated again until the end of the year. This would mean that Zechariah’s division served at the temple twice a year.

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Feast of Tabernacles Celebration

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2016-feast-of-tabernaclesWe’re having our second celebration of the Biblical Feast of Tabernacles on Sunday 16th October at 6.30pm, and everyone is welcome!

Join with us in celebration as we reflect on how the Lord Jesus has already fulfilled this feast partly in His first coming, and how He will completely fulfill this feast at His second coming.

There will be praise and worship with our guest worship team of Ivan, Kristie & Emma and teaching from Andy King. There will of course be Hebraic dancing open for all to participate in, and plenty of nibbles, cakes and refreshments afterwards.

You can learn more about the Christian significance of the Feast of Tabernacles here, and about all three of the Biblical autumnal feasts (Feast of Trumpets, the Day of Atonement and the Feast of Tabernacles) here.

God bless you.

Sukkah 2015
Our little ‘sukkah’ (Tabernacle) last year

Feast of Tabernacles

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(This is not a transcript of the message at our Tabernacles celebration, just a tidied version of my notes. It does however contain all the Scripture references and so will hopefully prove useful for study.)

Tabs

The Feast of Tabernacles may not feature in or be important to the British calendar but it is one of Gods celebrations and rehearsals, set in Israels calendar, to teach us about Gods important events in history. These events are called the Feasts of the LORD. This is why it’s important for us as Christians to understand it and celebrate it. God has given us His feasts to get our attention and listen to Him.

Intro

  • It’s the 7th and final feast, hence very important. Seven is an important number to God, the number of completion. Set in the 7th month of the Hebrew year. Every 7th year the Torah was to be read out aloud in the hearing of the whole nation at Tabernacles. Deut 31:9-13
  • Known as the Season of our Joy, a week of rejoicing, commanded to rejoice at this feast. All the feasts were to help Israel remember her roots as well as looking forward to her future.
  • Solemn yet joyful celebration, Jewish men take clusters of leaf branches of palm, myrtle and willow trees & lemony etrog fruit (in Hebrew acronym for faith (emunah) repentence (T’shuvah), healing (raphah) and redemption (goelah)) & wave them before the Lord as a sign of welcoming the coming King. It’s what happened in Jerusalem when Jesus made His triumphal entry in John 12:12-13, Ps.118:25-26
  • Tabernacles is unique amongst the feasts, in that the nations also were invited in ancient times to come up to Jerusalem at this season to worship the LORD alongside the Hebrew people. When Solomon later dedicated his Temple at Sukkot (Tabernacles), he also called on the LORD to hear the prayers of all the foreigners that would come there to pray (2 Chronicles 6:32-33). Thus, Jerusalem and the Temple itself were destined from the start to be a “house of prayer for all nations” (Isaiah 56:7; Matthew 21:13).
  • Tabernacles came to incorporate symbolic events with water and light. The water ceremony was performed by the priests and involved collecting water from the pool of Siloam and pouring it out in the Temple. There was also a light show with dancing every night.

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September 2015

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Andy wondered if it would be possible to rent St John Fisher to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles and would Celebration Church like to be involved. My first thought was: ‘This is a bit Jewish and what will people think?’ Having spoken to Andy, prayed and looked at what the Bible says, I see no reason why we shouldn`t be involved. In fact, if it teaches us what it meant to them and its relevance to us then, it will be good for us. Here are a few thoughts that I gleaned (no pun intended) from looking at the Feast of Tabernacles.

This feast was held at harvest time, so it was a celebration, but it was far more than Harvest Festivals of today. It not only celebrated how God had provided for his people but the fact that God dwelt among them. “I will put my dwelling place among you, and I will not abhor you. I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be my people”. (Lev 26:11-12). They were a people always going astray and yet their God had covenanted Himself to dwell with them. Amazing!

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