A SUMMARY OF THE “TABERNACLES” EXPERIENCE
Copyright © 2016 Robert B. Thompson. All Rights Reserved
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.
Truly my life has passed like a dream in the night. Where did the ninety-one years go? Many thoughts have accumulated in my mind over the past seventy years, since I first heard of the Feast of Tabernacles.
There are three major observances of the Jews: the Week of Unleavened Bread; the Feast of Weeks (Pentecost); and the Feast of Tabernacles.
- The Week of Unleavened Bread (Passover)
- The Feast of Weeks (Pentecost)
- The Feast of Tabernacles
Spiritually applied, they speak of the three major works of redemption: the initial acts of salvation; the giving to us of the Spirit of God; and the Fullness of God dwelling in us.
- The initial acts of salvation
- The giving to us of the Spirit of God
- The Fullness of God dwelling in us
Some parts of the Christian Church have come as far as Pentecost. However, as far as I know, the spiritual application of the Feast of Tabernacles is largely unknown.
Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.” (John 14:23)
The expression “In that day” sometimes is used in the Scriptures to refer to the time when we have experienced the third work, the fullness of God entering and dwelling in us. There are references in the Scriptures to the indwelling of the Godhead: “What house will you build Me?” and “Where is the place of My rest?”
Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. What kind of house will you build for me? says the Lord. Or where will my resting place be? (Acts 7:49)
I wish to make clear that the “Tabernacles” experience comes after the baptism with the Spirit. It is a real intervention of God, as is true of the born-again experience and the baptism with the Spirit.
Christian faith does not consist of understanding and believing the facts about the Lord Jesus Christ. Rather, it is in our grasp upon the Lord until our every thought, word, and deed is an integral part of Him.
To continually eat the flesh of Christ and drink His blood, which we do by living in strict obedience to the Lord Jesus, is not religion. It is eternal life.
The primary characteristic of this third experience is that of our oneness in Christ in God. All we think, say, and do become part of Christ working within us, as we choose to seek Him and obey His every desire.
I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity [oneness]. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. (John 17:23)
Obviously, this is death to our first personality—that born of our biologic parents. Nevertheless, it is God’s emphasis in the present hour that we seek Christ for what He has for us today, even though it may mean “death” to our fondest desires at this time. Our treasures will be restored later.
When God has created His throne in us, the source of the River of eternal life will be in us. It is God’s purpose that when the Lord Jesus returns and sets up His Kingdom on the earth, the saints who have attained to the Tabernacles experience will go throughout the earth, bringing eternal life to those people of the nations who will accept Christ.
Fishermen will stand along the shore; from En Gedi to En Eglaim there will be places for spreading nets. The fish will be of many kinds—like the fish of the Mediterranean Sea. (Ezekiel (47:10)
It’s that simple. We obey Christ implicitly and pray that we may become the house, the resting place, of God. After that, we will obey the Lord in whatever tasks He assigns to us.
“In that day” refers to the day when we invite God into our person in His Fullness.
In that day you will say: “I will praise you, Lord. Although you were angry with me, your anger has turned away and you have comforted me. Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord, the Lord himself, is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation.” With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.
In that day you will say: “Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done, and proclaim that his name is exalted. Sing to the Lord, for he has done glorious things; let this be known to all the world. Shout aloud and sing for joy, people of Zion, for great is the Holy One of Israel among you.”
In that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. (John 14:20)
Notice the phrase “in that day” in the Scriptures above. This is the experience of “Tabernacles.”
I have read that the passage above in Isaiah was spoken during the Feast of Tabernacles. How could the Jews have known of the connection between Isaiah chapter 12 and the Feast of Tabernacles?
On the last and greatest day of the festival [the Feast of Tabernacles], Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, RIVERS OF LIVING WATER WILL FLOW FROM WITHIN HIM.” By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified. (John 7:37-39)
The Feast of Tabernacles — The Rest of God
Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. (John 14:23)
With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation [the throne of god formed in the saints]. (Isaiah 12:3)
When I arrived there [after going through four levels of judgment and of the Holy Spirit], I saw a great number of trees on each side of the river. He said to me, “This water flows toward the eastern region and goes down into the Arabah, where it enters the Dead Sea.” (Ezekiel 47:8,9)
On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. (Revelation 22:2).
This is the saints ministering to the people of the world.
So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. (I Corinthians 15:45)
A song from Galatians 2:20:
I’m living by the Life of Jesus. I’m living by the blood of the Lamb.
I’m living by the Life of Jesus. So whatever He is, I am.
I’m thinking what the Lamb is thinking. I’m speaking all the words that He gives.
I’m doing what I see Him doing. I am living by the Life that He lives.
The song above is the fulfillment of the Jewish feast of Tabernacles.
When the song (Galatians 2:20) is true of us, we have attained to the fullness of salvation; it is the rest of God. From then on to eternity, we will be learning and gaining experience, and performing whatever tasks God assigns to us.
Let us orient ourselves for a moment to the relationship of the Church to the Kingdom of God.
The Church is the Body of the Messiah, the One who will represent God to the earth, and govern the earth. It is the Royal Priesthood. As such, it is necessary that each member of the Church be living in the “Tabernacles” experience, that is, filled at all times with the Presence of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
What I term the “Church Age” occupies the period of time from the resurrection of our Lord to His return to the earth to set up His Kingdom. Those who want to be joined to Him in establishing the Kingdom on the earth must be living in the “Tabernacles” experience when He comes again, whether they are those who return with Him from Heaven, or living on the earth at that time.
I don’t believe there is a significant spiritual difference between those in the spirit world and those on earth who have attained to the Tabernacles experience. Both groups will be clothed with their resurrection bodies when Christ appears.
The Kingdom Age is the period of time that (1) begins when the Lord returns with His saints, and (2) ends with the final resurrection and the coming down through the new sky of the new Jerusalem, the Royal Priesthood, to be established for eternity upon the new earth. The purpose for this thousand-year Kingdom Age is to bring the members of the Church who were not ready at the beginning of the Kingdom Age for the resurrection of their bodies.
Following are some passages that refer, I believe, to life on the present earth during the Kingdom Age. They may give you the impression, as it has to me, that God’s emphasis today is on bringing many saints to the fullness of the Tabernacles experience. Then they shall be prepared to work with the Lord Jesus, when He comes, in the setting up of His Kingdom on the earth.
What I am speaking of here are the passages in the Book of Isaiah that tell of the bringing of eternal life to the nations of the earth, so that those who will receive may enter fellowship with God. The “tabernacle saints,” if I may use such a term, will serve as chariots who will bring the Presence of God to all people living on the earth.
Something similar to this may at the same time be operating in the spirit world for the multitudes there who were not spiritually prepared to return with the Lord Jesus.
In the last days the mountain of the Lord’s temple will be established as the highest of the mountains; it will be exalted above the hills, and all nations will stream to it. (Isaiah 2:2)
“All nations will stream to it.” All nations! Wouldn’t we be pleased today if all nations would flock to Jerusalem to hear about the Lord Jesus Christ! Well, that day is at hand. But first the Royal Priesthood must enter the Tabernacles experience.
The infant will play near the cobra’s den, and the young child will put its hand into the viper’s nest. They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. (Isaiah 11:8,9)
It is my impression that the passage above is describing the Kingdom Age.
See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn. Lift up your eyes and look about you: All assemble and come to you; your sons come from afar, and your daughters are carried on the hip. Then you will look and be radiant, your heart will throb and swell with joy; the wealth on the seas will be brought to you, to you the riches of the nations will come. (Isaiah 60:2-5)
Notice below what takes place after the Lord makes His Royal Priesthood “oaks of righteousness”:
And provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.
They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations. (Isaiah 61:3,4)
I have mentioned previously that after the saints pass through the waters of judgment and of the Spirit, they stand along the banks of the River of Life and bring eternal life to those of the nations who will receive God at that time.
He asked me, “Son of man, do you see this?” Then he led me back to the bank of the river. When I arrived there, I saw a great number of trees on each side of the river. He said to me, “This water flows toward the eastern region and goes down into the Arabah, where it enters the Dead Sea. When it empties into the sea, the salty water there becomes fresh. Swarms of living creatures will live wherever the river flows. There will be large numbers of fish, because this water flows there and makes the salt water fresh; so where the river flows everything will live.” (Ezekiel 47:6-9)
In the light of what I have written above, it might be pleasing to God if we who preach the Gospel would concentrate on teaching the baby Christians, those who have “accepted Christ” and have not grown from there, how to become oaks of righteous behavior.
Jesus proclaimed that when we become one in Him, which is to become one in the Father also, that the world will believe that it is God who has sent Jesus Christ into the world and will do what Jesus has prophesied. Then there will be no more talk of wars and rumors of war.
They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. (Isaiah 11:9)
(“A Summary of the "Tabernacles" Experience”, 4272-2, proofed 20210901)