My wife Mary and I just returned from enjoying eight wonderful days in the Wisconsin Dells. Thirty seven years ago I said I would never go back again—mostly because it rained every day except the one where everybody finally rode the famous “Ducks” except I was in bed sick! Well, you know what they say about never saying never will never be wrong.
Never mind! This time, despite the recent Branson tragedy, I made sure to ride a “Duck” through the Lower Dells and also a boat tour through the Upper Dells, enjoying the famous porous sandstone Cambrian bedrock seen above ground only here; in Potsdam, Germany; Potsdam, New York; and Zurich, Switzerland.
We were not in the Dells on vacation. We were there to keep the Feast! Yes, we ate well in our full kitchen in our cabin on Lake Delton. We also enjoyed eating out, from a yummy Mac’n’cheese to a juicy New York strip at Del-Bar which just had to be good at $40 a chop! But we’re talking
We were celebrating the 2018 Feast of Tabernacles and Eighth Day with 500+ brothers and sisters in Christ from 22 states, Canada and Australia in the beautiful Wisconsin Dells, our choice from 65 sites worldwide. During the eight days, here are highlights of the exciting messages God inspired His ministry there to give us:
♦ In the Millennium the whole land will flow to keep the Holy Days in Jerusalem the way we did into the Dells for the opening night service of the Feast (Isa. 30:29; Psa. 134:1).
♦ The Feast is a yearly monitor of our spiritual growth and it should bump us up!
The School of Tabernacles
♦ The Feast is the equivalent of about 10 weeks of Sabbath services.
♦ The Feast sets your pattern of service for the coming year.
♦ Part of our commission is “That Your way may be known on earth, your salvation among all nations” (Psa. 67:2).
♦ Israel thought they were in good shape in Gilgal poised to enter the Promised Land under Joshua, but actually they were prospering lukewarm Israel with boundless pride. What good is worship if it isn’t what God wants! What good is fun at the Feast if nothing changes!
♦ Ecclesiastes is read by the Jews during the Sabbath of the Feast. Eccl. 4:9-12 teaches the value of synergy in doing God’s Work as a family. One Belgium horse can pull 8,000 pounds. Two “stranger” horses can surprisingly pull 20,000-24,000 pounds. But two horses raised and trained together can pull 30,000-32,000 pounds—four times! The Work we are doing has eternal ramifications for us and so many others worldwide.
♦ The first Holy Day pictures the beginning of the 1,000-year Millennial reign of Jesus Christ on the earth—the seventh day towards the end. The power of the God Family’s light defeats Satan’s power of darkness. Like Mordecai told Queen Esther, “who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Est. 4:14).
God is preparing kings, priests, judges & teachers
♦ A king studies and lives by the Word of God (Deut. 17:18). A priest teaches and exemplifies God’s law (Mal. 2:7). Like Ezra, we must seek, do and teach (Ezra 7:10). “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for” four specific purposes: “doctrine … reproof … correction … instruction in righteousness.” “That the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Tim. 3:16-17). We must lay our foundation brick by brick.
♦ Since God corrects every son and daughter He loves, are you joking that God loves you too much! Our trials have an eternal purpose. They drive us closer to God. Let’s not waste our pain! People wanting comfort and empathy want somebody who really knows what it’s like. Ask God for eyes that really see people’s needs.
♦ We must maintain personal prayer and Bible study at the Feast of Tabernacles. F=Focus on spiritual so we’re not distracted by the world. O=Others need our prayers. T=Transform (Rom. 12:2).
♦ Celebrating the Feast is an act of faith. Paul Harvey is famous for his “If I Were the Devil.” We should meditate on “If I Were God.” The Bible tells us what God is like and what He does.
♦ God gives us peace and expects us to make it for others. God expects converted brethren to work out any problems through the Holy Spirit.
Vision demands action
♦ Micah (4:1-3) probably copied Isaiah (2:1-5). Parallelism is the dominant trait of Hebrew poetry, rhyming ideas not words.
♦ Every kingdom including the Kingdom of God has four parts: king, subjects, law and territory. Being carnally minded was chapter one of our lives!
♦ Righteousness—being right and doing right in accord with divine right—leads to peace and joy and that’s what will result when God’s Holy Spirit “covers the earth” like Sherwin-Williams logo of paint. When Jesus reigns, Holy Spirit will pour! “The work of righteousness will be peace, and the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance forever” (Isa. 32:17).
♦ The Being who met Joshua with a sword (Josh. 5:17) will return with a sword (Rev. 19:15).
♦ God’s Family is the army of the Lord. In Numbers Israel fought as a family. In Numbers 30 husbands covered (KAPHAR) for vows made by wife and daughters. God won’t accept excuses from the head of the marriage and family. God didn’t accept Adam blaming Eve and lamenting “I don’t remember naming this one” [the serpent]. God doesn’t accept Adam and men being weak. The wife is not weaker but precious. Eve was made from Adam’s rib that protected his heart, and a wife must be the heart of the family as she serves as her husband’s strong helper. Our kids are like arrows that must be trued (Psa. 127:3).
♦ God uses living water to cleanse His temples. The Gihon Spring was the only fresh living water within five miles of Jerusalem. God never entered the second temple or Herod’s temple like He did as the shekinah for Solomon’s. Solomon was anointed king over Israel at the Gihon (1 Kings 1:33). An earthquake in A.D. 1000 altered the Gihon. We are the temple of God and need Jesus Christ the living water powering us.
♦ Today we are witnessing “the great cultural shift of the ages.” The essence of true culture is looking to God.
♦ The Feast is a journey and a trip kept in temporary dwellings—just as we are
Strangers & pilgrims
on our journey to becoming sons and daughters in the Family and Kingdom of God. We must count the cost (Luke 14:28) which is putting God ahead of every other relationship. It costs our life!
♦ We are preparing for rulership just as Queen Elizabeth II prepared for when she was crowned at age 25 on Feb. 6, 1952. We must learn to serve. Let God magnify our abilities. Let God guide us. He has everything under control at all times.
♦ The message to the dead Church in Sardis gives five keys to being spiritually alive and winning the prize: 1) Be watchful. “We are God’s personal concern” (1 Pet. 5:5, Phillip’s). 2) Strengthen things which remain. 3) Remember. 4) Hold fast. 5) Repent NOW. Repentance is not a one-time act. It’s a lifestyle! God is holding out His hand to His kids. You are participating in the God-making process!
The Eighth Day
♦ This separate Holy Day following the Feast of Tabernacles pictures all who have ever lived—including stillborns because life begins at conception—having their opportunity for salvation by being resurrected back to physical life. The speaker commented that his daughter Nicolette “will have perfect parents for the first time!”
♦ The Eighth Day is a “sacred assembly”—ATZERATH (Lev. 23:36). The Eighth Day was “the solemn close of the whole cycle of yearly feasts” and completed the reading of the law on this day. “If anyone thirsts” (John 7:37) is fulfilled by the Eighth Day when anyone can come! We dwell in temporary booths only for the seven days of the Feast. The Eighth Day leads to a permanent dwelling after the dry bones of the 12 Tribes of Israel (picturing what will also occur to all people of the earth as Israel sets the example) are resurrected to physical life, given the Holy Spirit, become God’s people and He their God (Ezek. 37). No other religion has this truth about the Eighth Day.
♦ Judgment begins on us, the firstfruits, now as the house of God (1 Pet. 4:17). We are being judged NOW and are having our one opportunity for salvation NOW.
♦ What comes next after the Eighth Day ends with New Heaven and Earth and only God Beings left? We don’t know yet because there are no more Holy Days in God’s thrilling plan of salvation!
♦ What will ensure we come back for the Feast next year? Will Jesus find the faith? (Luke 18:8). A fritterer will get a fritterer’s reward! Jesus promises “Whatever you ask in My name, I will do it” if we fulfill the seven conditions. Step out in faith to ensure you come back next year!