The Feast of Tabernacles Part VI

Scripture: Jeremiah 17:13, 'O Lord, the hope of Israel, all that forsake thee shall be ashamed, and they that depart from Me shall be written in the earth, [or LOST] because they have forsaken the Lord, the fountain of living waters.' [A prophecy concerning Messiah and identifying Him as the fountain of living waters Jesus announced Himself to be at the Feast of Tabernacles].

John 7:6-9, 'Then Jesus said unto them, "MY time is not yet come: but your time is always ready. The world cannot hate you; but Me it hates, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil. Go YE up unto this Feast: I go not up YET unto this Feast; for My time is not yet full come." When He had said these words to them, He ABODE STILL in Galilee.'

[The time God had ordained for Him to journey to the Feast of Passover as they sought to persuade Him in verse 4 was be a future Passover and His crucifixion. But they could go anytime they chose.

His first public entrance to Jerusalem was in the procession with palms (Matthew 21:8). By that He showed Himself publicly to the world, and brought on His own death. Thus His appointed time was not yet. So He remained in Galilee as the caravan departed with His brothers in it].

John 7:10-30, 'But when his brothers (of the flesh) were gone up, then went He also up unto the Feast, NOT OPENLY, but as it were in SECRET. The hostile Jews sought Him at the Feast, and said, "Where is THAT MAN?"

And there was much MURMURING among the people concerning Him: for some said, "He is a GOOD man:" others said, "No; but He DECEIVES the people."

Howbeit no man spake OPENLY of Him for FEAR of the Jews. Now about the MIDST of the Feast Jesus went up into the temple, and taught. And the Jews marvelled, saying, "How is man learned in the Scripture, never having attended theological school?"

[As it is in this day, the people imagined one must attend Bible School to be equipped for the ministry, and were at once fully decided in their prejudice against Him because of His absence of school endorsement. His doctrine was not systematized according to the rules and traditions of the establishment schools, which are designed to produce a graduate!

Like Brother Branham, Jesus was neither school-taught, nor self-taught. He was God-taught in the sense of the inspired prophets. He learned, no doubt, from Joseph and Mary, weekly synagogue, the annual festivals in Jerusalem, and He heard and read the Scripture (for He quotes only from the Old Testament and unlike Paul, not from any other literature), and He studied nature and men and the Spirit].

'Jesus answered them, and said, "My doctrine is not MINE, but His that sent me. If any man will do His WILL, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of Myself. [In other words, YOU too can have What I've got if you can learn to get yourself out of the way. Full assurance of faith comes from obedience under pre-eminence].

He that speaks of himself seeks his OWN glory [or ambition]: but He that seeks His glory that sent Him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in Him".'
[Like Moses, Jesus came only because He was SENT. His Words and His deeds were only what the Father had commissioned (John 5:19). Without inspiration He would have said nothing. Without a vision, He'd have done nothing. He would not have appeared].

'"Did not Moses give you the Law, and yet NONE of you keep the Law? Why do you go about to kill Me?"' [Because there was no striving to do the will of God in keeping the Law, the people could not realize His vision and God's doctrine. This is confirmed by their enmity].

The people ['they of Jerusalem,' verse 25] answered and said, "You have a devil: who goes about to kill You?" [They accuse Jesus of being paranoid, but the conspirators said nothing as it was dangerous to have their plans canvassed before the people before a decision by the Sanhedrin and high priest].

'Jesus answered and said unto them, "I have done one work, and you all marvel. Moses therefore gave unto you circumcision; (NOT because it is of Moses, but of the FATHERS); and you on the SABBATH day circumcise a man".'

[Christ exposed the unthinking hypocritical injustice of the hierarchy, who were unfaithful to the Law they proclaim, to serve the Fathers. He proves to them by their own Law that His works, for which they condemn Him, are lawful, and He places the Fathers above the Law which was given secondarily because of transgression, and as a school teacher, to lead them back to the promises given to the Fathers—Galatians 3:17-24)].

'If a man on the SABBATH day receive circumcision, that the Law of Moses should NOT be broken; why are you angry at me, because I have made a man every whit WHOLE on the SABBATH day? Judge NOT according to APPEARANCE, but judge RIGHTEOUS judgment." [Faith requires that both our motive and objective are according to the Word].

'Then said SOME of THEM OF JERUSALEM, [A select few in the multitude, better instructed than the rest who KNOW of the conspiracy to kill Jesus and declare it without NAMING them]. "Is not this He, whom they seek to KILL? But, lo, He speaks BOLDLY, and they say nothing unto Him. Do the rulers know INDEED that this IS the very Christ? Howbeit we know this man WHENCE He is [i.e. Nazareth]: but when Christ cometh, no man knoweth WHENCE he is".' [The Jews were anticipating the THIRD or second PHYSICAL Coming].

'Then cried Jesus in the temple as He taught, saying, "Ye both know ME, and ye know WHENCE I am: and I AM NOT COME OF MYSELF, but He that sent Me is true, whom ye know NOT. But I know Him: for I am from Him, and He hath sent Me." [In other words, I AM your Messiah].

'Then they sought to take Him: but NO MAN LAID HANDS ON HIM, BECAUSE HIS HOUR WAS NOT YET COME'.

[Jesus travelled alone to the Feast, and not as a pilgrim. He may not have stayed in Jerusalem but nearby, perhaps in Bethany, which was about three miles south east of Jerusalem. He appeared not incognito, not in the character of a festal pilgrim, but in the capacity of a prophet—to contrast the insufficiency of the festal symbols with their real fulfilment in His person. Presumably He 'taught' concerning the Feast of Tabernacles].

John 7:31-36, 'And many of the people believed on Him, and said, "When Christ cometh, will He do MORE miracles than these which this man hath done?"

The Pharisees heard that the people murmured such things concerning Him; and the PHARISEES and the CHIEF PRIESTS sent OFFICERS to TAKE Him. Then said Jesus unto them, "Yet a little while am I with you, and then I go unto Him that sent Me." [Knowing their design, Jesus directs these words primarily to the officers who have entered the assembly of the hearers clandestinely, waiting an opportune time to seize Him. Then, speaking to the assembly, says], "Ye shall seek Me, and shall not find Me: and where I am, thither ye cannot come".

Then said the Jews among themselves, "Whither will He go, that we shall not find Him? will He go unto the dispersed among the Gentiles, and teach the Gentiles? What manner of saying is this that He said, "You shall seek Me, and shall not find Me: and where I am, thither you cannot come?"'

John 7:37-39, 'In the LAST day, that great day of the Feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, "If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink. He that believeth on Me, as the scripture (Isaiah 58:11) hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water." (But this spake He of the Spirit, which they that believe on Him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)'

The rites of libation and dancing in the lights of the great Menorahs in the court of the women ceased before the eighth day.

On approaching the Watergate on the southern side of the inner court the shofar sounded three joyous blasts which were explicitly related to Isaiah 12:3. A priestly procession circled the altar. When the opening words of Psalm 118 were reached, 'O give thanks unto the Lord; for He is good: because His mercy endures for ever,' every male took the lulav with his right hand and held aloft the citron in his left (a sign of harvest gathered in), and the cry of 'Give thanks unto the Lord' was repeated three times. The same thing happened at the cry, 'Save now, I beseech Thee, O Lord' (Psalm 118;25). Since all this took place at the time of the daily offering, the water was offered to God in connection with the Daily drink offering (of wine). A chosen priest mounted the altar on which stood two silver bowls, one for the reception of the drink offering and the other for the water. When the priest had poured the water and wine into their respective bowls, they were then poured out as offerings to God. The crowd then called out "Lift up your hand"! as a sign that the water and wine was fully poured out and it was at this moment that Jesus stood and cried, "If any man thirst, let him come unto Me and drink. He that believes on Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water." The effect upon the multitude would have been electrifying. Everybody would have known whose cry it was, and its significance, namely, that everything embodied in that rite of past experience of salvation, present prayer, and future hope was available and offered through Jesus.

In Ezekiel 47:1-12, the waters of the river of Life are prophetically described as issuing from under the threshold of the Temple eastward and bringing healing and life to all that is touched. (It's interesting that when the Israelitish high priest placed the blood on the horns of the altar, he commenced with the eastern horn. The order of living creatures which announced the first four Seals ran East, West, South and North). Zechariah 14:8-9 also spoke of the day when 'living waters shall go out from Jerusalem . . . and the Lord shall be king over all the earth . . .' then in verses 18-21, God says that all Gentiles who fail to attend the Feast of Tabernacles shall be smitten with the Plague. With this agree the words of Revelation 22:18-19.

The Rabbis considered the water pouring at the Feast of Tabernacles as emblematic of the outpouring of the Spirit in the days of Messiah. The Spiritual import of the water drawing appears in Isaiah 12:3, and Jesus openly presents Himself as the personal object of a saving faith and the fulfilment of the Old Testament symbols. The invitation first given to the Samaritan woman at Jacob's well (John 4:1-15) is here extended to all the people at the great Feast in Jerusalem. The New Testament closes with a similar invitation from the Spirit and the Bride (Revelation 22:17).

Isaiah 12:1-6, 'And in that day (when Israel recognizes their parousia) thou shalt say, "O Lord, I will praise You: though You were angry with me, Your anger is turned away, and You comforted me. Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; He also is become my salvation." Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation. And in that day shall ye say, "Praise the Lord, call upon His Name, declare His doings among the people, make mention that His Name is exalted. Sing unto the Lord; for He hath done excellent things: this is known in ALL the earth. Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion: for great is the Holy One of Israel in the MIDST of thee".' In the TYPE at the Feast of Tabernacles, the people cried, 'Hosanna' or 'Salvation'.

John 7:40-44, 'Many of the people therefore, when they heard this saying [about the living water or Holy Spirit], said, "Of a truth this is the Prophet [of Deuteronomy 18:15]." Others said, "This is the Christ." But some said, "Shall Christ come out of Galilee? Hath not the scripture said, 'That Christ cometh of the seed of David, and out of the town of Bethlehem, where David was'?" So there was a DIVISION among the people because of Him. [This division was among those who RECOGNIZED Jesus to be a prophet. Some thought Him to be born in Nazareth and therefore not also Messiah]. And some of them would have taken him; but no man laid hands on him.' [A further division among the people, of those who were His enemies, probably undercover officers].

John 7:45-49, 'Then came the officers to the chief priests and Pharisees and they said unto them, "Why have you not brought Him?" [As no man had laid hands on Jesus, the Officers did not].

The officers answered, "Never man spake like this Man." Then answered them the Pharisees, "Are ye ALSO deceived? Have any of the RULERS or of the PHARISEES believed on Him? But this people who know NOT the Law are cursed".' [This 'curse' is the threat of excommunication and a means of intimidating the officers and of seducing them to exalt themselves, like the denominational hierarchy, above the people and the Law. This is the spirit we know in the New Testament as Nicolaitanism.

The hierarchy always assume the ignorance of the laity, and cast it up against them as a reproach. And as we've already noted, the laity always accounts those without establishment qualifications as ignorant of God's Word. These Pharisees are on their way to put Jesus to death, as they pretend, according to the Law, as a false prophet (Deuteronomy 13:1-5), while the PEOPLE are on their way to acknowledge Him as Messiah. Oh yes, It's hidden from the wise and prudent and revealed unto babes.

John 7:50-53, 'Nicodemus said unto them, (he that came to Jesus by night, being one of them,) "Doth our Law judge any man, before it hear him, and know what he doeth?" [First the OFFICERS spoke in FAVOR of Jesus, now a COLLEAGUE does so]. They answered and said unto him, "Are you also of Galilee?" [The Pharisees had contempt for Galilee which was despised for its remoteness from Jesus and for its mixture of heathen population]. "Search, and look: for out of Galilee arises no prophet." [So the meeting broke up WITHOUT voting to arrest Jesus]. And every man went to his own house.'

John 8:1-3, 'But Jesus went unto the mount of Olives [perhaps as much for His own security as for prayer]. And at DAWN He came again into the temple, and all the people came unto Him; and He sat down, and taught them'. [After the Sanhedrin failed in their attempt to get possession of Jesus, and had become divided among themselves, (as related in 7:45-52), Jesus was able to appear in the temple again and speak to the assembly again. He returns to the temple at dawn as the Scribes and Pharisees now make as if they would examine His teachings and credentials with a view to acknowledging Him, though their purpose is to trap Him (verse 6)].

'And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto Him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, They say unto Him, "Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what do You say?" This they said, tempting Him, that they might have to accuse Him.

[The Scribes were present because a question of scripture was to be introduced as a trap. It involved the death penalty under Jewish Law but NOT under Roman Law. Herein lay the malicious temptation. If He decided in favour of the woman, He violates the Law of Moses; it He orders her stoned, He violates Roman law. Above all they wished to find out whether he would venture, with Messianic authority, to lay down a NEW law].

But Jesus stooped down, [perhaps discerning their thoughts] and with His finger wrote on the ground [in contempt] as though He heard them not.'

John 8:7-9, 'So when they continued asking him, He lifted up himself, and said unto them, "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her." And again He stooped down, and wrote on the ground.

[Jesus put the test back upon each of them. According to Deuteronomy 17:7, the witnesses were to cast the first stone. Here, the first one means, he who will have the courage to condemn, being himself innocent. The Prophet had solved his problem and returned to His symbolic idleness, scribbling in the sand to demonstrate His disdain, that they may understand that it now rests with THEM to act. That is, in the first place, to condemn themselves. As previously, He did not confront the woman in her consciousness of guilt, so now He looks not upon them. They fail the test and depart].

And they which heard it, being CONVICTED by their OWN conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the ELDEST, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.'

[It is historically attested, that at that time many prominent Rabbins were living in adultery (read Wagenseil on the Sotah, page 525). And some of them must have feared that when He lifted up Himself again, they might hear something further that would be less pleasant. Being shrewd, the eldest departed first. Only the woman, the disciples and the people remained].

John 8:10-11, 'When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, "Woman, where are those thine accusers? has no man condemned thee?"

She said, "No man, Lord." And Jesus said unto her, "Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more".' [As none of the accusers had condemned her, the one they'd asked to judge her case could not bring a condemnation].

John 8:12-18, 'Then spoke Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the Light of the world: he who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the Light of life".

The Pharisees therefore said unto Him, "You bear record of Yourself; Your record is not true".

Jesus answered and said unto them, "Though I bear record of Myself, yet My record is true: for I know whence I came, and whither I go; but you cannot tell whence I come, and whither I go. You judge after the flesh; I judge no man. And yet if I judge, My judgment is true: for I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent Me. It is also written in your Law, that the testimony of two men is true. I am ONE that bear witness of Myself, and the Father that sent Me bears witness of Me".' [That's TWO witnesses].

[The rulers who threatened to take Jesus and occasioned His saying,—"I shall soon go away from you", have involuntarily ACKNOWLEDGED Him before the people. Now He has the attention of the people once again].

John 8:19, 'Then said they unto Him, "Where is Your Father?" Jesus answered, "You neither know Me, nor My Father: if you had known Me, you should have known My Father also".'

[The power of God in the miracles of Jesus and His Word in the Old Testament was in harmony. Jesus had been speaking of His REAL Father, therefore the malicious Pharisees, knowing God is invisible, intentionally inquired after a human father of Jesus to witness for Him. Hence Jesus' answer, "If you had known Me, you should have known My Father also." In other words, "God is as much a stranger to you as I am. And you're rejecting Me]".

John 8:20-29, 'These Words Jesus spoke in the treasury, as He taught in the temple, [the treasury was the public place in the Court of the Women where everybody deposited his temple gifts]: and no man laid hands on Him; for His hour was not yet come. Then said Jesus again unto them, "I go my way, and you shall seek Me, and shall die in your sins: whither I go, you cannot come".

Then said the Jews, "Will He kill Himself? because He saith, 'Whither I go, you cannot come'." [Suicide was abhorrent to an Orthodox Jew and the suicide is separated from God.

Jesus meets their mockery, and says that THEY are from across the gulf]. And He said unto them, "You are from beneath; I am from above: YOU are of THIS world; I am NOT of this world. I said therefore unto you, that YOU shall die in your sins: for if YOU believe not that I am He, YOU shall die in your sins".

Then said they unto Him, "Who art Thou?" And Jesus said unto them, "Even the same that I said unto you from the beginning. I have many things to say and to JUDGE concerning you: but He that sent Me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I have heard of Him".

They understood NOT that He spake to them of the Father. Then said Jesus unto them, "When you have lifted up the Son of man, THEN shall you know that I am He, and that I do NOTHING of Myself; but as My Father hath taught Me, I speak these things".

[Not being Spiritual, and anticipating the THIRD (or second physical) Coming to establish the Kingdom of Israel, His hearers understood this to mean, "When you have acknowledged the Son of man as Messiah and lifted Him up in a POLITICAL sense, you shall know that I am He". Jesus manifests and conceals Himself as the Father instructs Him. His hearers take it that God's Messiah must let the Messianic people take the initiative in His exaltation as we saw in John 6:15].

"And He that sent Me is with Me: the Father has not left Me alone; for I do always those things that please Him". [pre-eminence].

As He spoke these words, many BELIEVED on Him. [Jesus now addresses the new INTELLECTUAL believers, admonishing them to grow in faith and in the grace of God]. Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, "If you CONTINUE in My Word, then are you My disciples inDEED; And you shall KNOW the truth, and the TRUTH shall make you free".

They answered Him, "We be Abraham's seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free?" [The new disciples now jump to a new error, supposing Christ is speaking of POLITICAL bondage. Because they were Abraham's seed, they claimed on the strength of Jewish theology, based on Genesis 22:17; 17:16, etc., not only freedom, but even dominion over the nations. But Jesus makes it clear it is SIN from which He would emancipate them. Not only for being BORN of the flesh but for being carnal-MINDED, and practically hostile to the truth: from COMMITTED sin].

Jesus answered them, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever commits sin is the BONDSERVANT of sin. And the SERVANT abides NOT in the house forever: but the Son ABIDES ever".

[The bondservant is not an organic member of the household. (And neither is the self-styled Jew, not being Abraham's seed by flesh or by faith). He has NO inheritance and can be expelled or sold (Genesis 21:10; Galatians 4:30). You'll recall when it came time to PLACE Isaac as FIRSTBORN and heir, Abraham cast out the bondwoman AND her son Ishmael. As when it came time to adopt or place the end-time Bride, Jesus cast out the FALSE church and her bastard-born denominational children. The 'Shout' of the prophet of Malachi 4:5-6 and Revelation 10:7 called out all the virgins, as we read in Matthew 25:1-13, I Corinthians 13:10 and Revelation 18:4.

According to the Law of Moses, the Hebrew servant must be set free in the seventh year but even if he wishes to remain a servant of the house, he does not thereby become a member of the family (Exodus 21:1-11).

Jesus goes on to show that the servant of SIN in under the Law, an involuntary subject of the Law, and therefore SLAVE of the letter and a slave of SIN (Deuteronomy 27:26). This is the point of Paul's teaching in Galatians 3:10, 'For as many as are of the works of the Law are under the curse: for it is written, "Cursed is every one that continues not in all things which are written in the book of the Law to do them".' The slave of the LETTER, therefore, being a slave of SIN, abides NOT in the House of God—the theocracy of Kingdom (II Corinthians 3:6, 'the LETTER killeth (as the wages of sin is death), but the SPIRIT giveth Life'.

In the Kingdom of God there have been CHILDREN and SERVANTS. Please read Galatians 3:8-24, 4:1. These SERVANTS, the unbelieving Jew, will be one day driven out (Matthew 8:10-12; Romans 9:3, 11:7, 20; Galatians 4:30).

The Son, however, is by blood, ONE with His house and HEIR of the house. This expresses the perpetual dwelling and ruling of Messiah in the Kingdom of God. And in fact the children themselves, under the Old Testament, not having attained their maturity, are put under the same Law with the SLAVES.

So under the Old Testament, even the natural CHILDREN of the House could attain only in maturity much more than the servants. But under the New Covenant, when a son is adopted, placed in authority or born again (into the Family of God), although He be a babe in Christ, He is no longer SERVANT to SIN as he was before His new birth, and must recognize his place in the Body. Read Galatians 4:1-7, 31].

If the Son therefore shall make you free, you shall be free indeed".

The House of God has its Son and Heir, its first born, and this Son must make the servants free before any freedom can be spoken of among you. He is the only one Spiritually free and the only one able to grant Spiritual freedom. If we refer to the Book of Ruth and to Hebrews 11:39-40, we see how the servant, Israel, had first to be redeemed before Boaz and Christ could marry their Bride. Only when He has paid the purchase price can He receive them to membership as placed brothers and joint heirs. Of course Israel rejected their redemption; the nation miss the marriage and will forever be God's servant. bb960320.htm

The Feast of Tabernacles, Part VII


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