You can imagine what the Millennium will be like by reading scripture.
But if you’d really like to picture it, come actually live it
starting Wednesday night.
God’s holy festival called the Feast of Tabernacles (Lev. 23:33-36) pictures nothing less than Jesus Christ’s coming rulership of the earth for 1,000 years. The meek really will inherit the earth (Matt. 5:5) and bring the “restoration of all things” (Acts 3:21).
We’re going to act it out. A dress rehearsal! Is God calling you out to be a part?
The Feast begins at sundown Wednesday night and lasts for seven days until sunset Oct. 11. But we don’t go home yet because the next day is the grand finale Holy Day called the Eighth Day (Lev. 23:36) with a special meaning all its own. This pictures when most people who have ever lived will receive their opportunity for salvation.
My wife and two of our daughters will celebrate the Feast in Puerto Vallarta, one of Mexico’s renowned beach resorts on the Pacific side. This was our choice this year from 60 possible sites around the world. Other Church of God flocks (John 10:16) offer additional sites.
Yes, Mary and I look forward to romantic sunrise and sunset walks on the beach and a pirate ship cruise. Ahoy, matey, sounds like a wondrous vacation, but far above that it’s really a spiritual gathering to worship God the Father and Jesus Christ and to be trained in how to be a king, priest, teacher, judge or other servant leader in Jesus Christ’s coming government that will rule from Jerusalem (Rev. 1:6, 5:10).
Opening night service
is always so thrilling to look forward to. Psalm 134, the last of the 15 Songs of Ascents leading up to the Feast, sings about “you servants of the Lord, who by night stand in the house of the Lord!”
Expect goose bumps when you stand to sing the opening night hymns in praise to God. Seven hundred making a joyful noise in PV! To be a tenor in a big choir singing four beautiful numbers during the seven days is an amazing privilege.
God the Father and Jesus Christ promise they will be there in spirit, and I’m guessing They and their angelic choir will somehow sing from their heavenly throne along with all their sites. Awesome uplifting music fills the Feast just like it will the Millennium.
Another big thrill of the opening night service is to discover who all has gathered at PV—maybe an old friend you had no idea was coming to the Hotel Friendly resort. PV will have brethren from Mexico and the United States, probably from Central and South America, but no doubt from other countries around the world. What a surprise to find out!
These are brothers and sisters in Christ who are seeking God’s will and committed to looking out for the interests of others above their own. It’s all to God’s praise, thanks to His Holy Spirit, that His people from around the world whom I mostly don’t know—yet—will come together in temporary dwelling of unity (Psa. 133:1). The Feast, like the Millennium, is all about family. Seven days to picture 1,000 years to come!
All of this will be exceeded on a grand scale when God tells the nations they must keep His Feast and His Holy Spirit fills the earth. Egypt is one of the nations you’d think least likely of coming up, and Zechariah 14:16-19 spells out how God will convince them to come. Won’t accept My reign? Then no rain for you!
The main feature of the Feast will be a church service each day to worship and teach. In the Millennium, all nations will “go up to the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths” (Isa. 2:3).
Those who keep the Feast now and are taught now can be in the first resurrection and become one who does the teaching then. Meek means teachable and responsive without God having to yank the reins.
Maybe you say
“Sounds exciting but I can’t afford to go.” Would a God who commands the keeping of His Feast not command a way to pay for it? God directs His people to save 10% of their income, a second tithe commonly abbreviated 2T, so we can afford to go (Deut. 14:22-27). In years where that gives you extra, God’s way is to share that bounty with those who have need (Neh. 8:10). That’s how I was able to go to Squaw Valley, CA 48 years ago, when I had only one month to save 2T.
“But I can’t get off work.” God commands we keep the Feast, especially the first Holy Day and then the Eighth Day. Hopefully you can manage your annual days off work. Secondarily, you can ask God for favor and tell your boss that you must go and request leave without pay. Thirdly, you just go and trust God for the outcome. Many tell stories of being offered a better job.
“But it’s too late this year.” Then determine you will be ready to keep the Feast next year. Start saving your 2T and do not rob or borrow from it, lest you steal from God in your “tithes” [plural!] (Mal. 3:8).
But here’s the good news: you can
Attend Feast services online!
It can’t compare with being there in person, but it’s way beyond not being there at all.
Here’s the link for tuning in to services originating in either Lake Junaluska, NC or Bend-Redmond, OR: https://www.ucg.org/members/feast/sites/2017/celebrating-the-feast-at-home. This link shares the schedule plus also offers study materials and sermons about the Feast of Tabernacles and Eighth Day.
If God is opening your eyes and urging you onward, step out in faith and experience a foretaste of the Millennium!