THE SERVICE of The Temple
to be performed within its courts and walls by the "priests to God" and to the people. These, as we have shown, are immortal and mortal men, the sons of Zadok and the sons of Aaron. So long as sin and death are in the world, the Melchisedec service of the Messiah-erected temple will continue; and the sons of Zadok, the Prince, or Just One, members of his immortal flesh and bones, will also with him be sacerdotally regarded as identified with the sins and trespasses of the people.
Therefore it is, that the priesthood under the New Covenant of the kingdom is not purely immortal, but of a mixed character. A priesthood composed entirely of resurrection men, of angelic or spiritual nature, in whose flesh there was no sin or evil principle, would not be in harmony with the institution, and therefore unfit to perform a service for the purification of the erring and the ignorant; for priesthood must be sympathetically related to the ignorant who worship through it, having infirmity in itself, that it may offer for itself as well as for the people.
The infirmity of the New Covenant priesthood of the kingdom resides not in Zadok and his sons, but in the priests, the Levites, who minister to the people, and perform the humbler duties of the order. Nevertheless, the Just One and his sons are represented in the service as offering their burnt offerings, and peace offerings; not for themselves as individuals and sinners, but only in their priestly capacity as part of a priesthood of mixed character, which partakes of Christ's mortal flesh, as well as his immortal nature, in reckoning the mortal descendants of Levi and Aaron among its constituents.
It would be discordant with the fitness of things that the priesthood should be wholly mortal, or entirely constituted of immortals, seeing that the kingdom itself is a mixed institution the subjects thereof being Israelites in flesh and blood; and its higher order of kings or rulers, incorruptible men. The Twelve Tribes will then be obedient, and keep the covenant of Yahweh, and be "a kingdom of priests and a holy nation." This is said of Israel in flesh and blood subsisting. They will be the secondary kings and priests over the nations; the intermediate order between these and Zadok and his sons, the kings and priests to God over them and all the earth.
The kingdom and priesthood under the Mosaic law was of an unmixed character, the members of its civil and ecclesiastical orders being all of them subject to death. Not so, however, with the kingdom and its orders in the Age to Come. Its subjects and inheritors are an intermingling of flesh and spirit, until the kingdom shall be surrendered to the Father at "The End;" when the people, and all their superiors worthy of exaltation, shall be all spirits, or incorruptible men; and priesthood and priestly service, but not the royalty, will be done away.
Israel and the nations subjected to them will bring of the flocks and herds of Kedar, and of the rams of Nebaioth, and present them for sin offerings, and burnt offerings, and thank offerings at the north gate of the inner court of the temple; and present them to the Levites of Aaron's seed. These, who are not permitted to approach the altar, nor to minister before the Lord in the temple, will have the "charge at the gates of the house, and minister to the house" "for all the service thereof, and for all that shall be done therein."
They will therefore take charge of the people's gifts; and "they shall slay the burnt offering and the sacrifice for the people, and they shall stand before them to minister unto them." They will slay the sacrifices, namely, "the burnt offering, and the sin offering, and the trespass offerings," upon the eight tables of hewn stone in the porch of the north gate, and at the right and left side of the north entrance without. They will then wash them in the place appointed at this gate; and divide a portion to the people, and reserve that devoted to the Lord.
The people's part of the sacrifices they will boil in the corner courts of the paved outer court of the sanctuary; but "the most holy things," or parts of the sacrifices and offerings dedicated to the Lord, of the meat offering, the sin offering, and the trespass offering, will be boiled and baked in "the holy chambers of the priests" on the two sides west of the inner court, and eaten there by the sons of Zadok, "the priests that approach unto the Lord." After this arrangement will "all they that sacrifice come and take of the pots of the Lord's house, and seethe therein"-Zechariah 14: 21.
While the Levites are slaying the sacrifices and passing to and fro in the inner court, they are to wear linen garments that perspiration may not be produced. But they are not to go forth into the outer court with these upon them; but to put them off "and lay them in the holy chambers, and put on other garments:" and the reason given is, that "they shall not sanctify the people in their garments." It will be their duty after washing the sacrifices, to transfer the fat and the blood to the sons of Zadok, who on the Eighth Day, which is our First Day of the week, and the Sabbath of the Age to Come, instead of the Seventh, as under Moses' law-on the Eighth, shall they burn the fat upon the altar, and sprinkle the blood upon it.
This is the duty of Zadok's seed. They are privileged to approach the altar and to enter into the temple, and stand before the Lord; but not the Levites, the people's priests. They are ministers of death to the sacrifices before the people; but the sons of Zadok, everliving ministers, salvation-clothed, before the Lord. The former slay the unblemished yearling lamb for the daily morning offering by fire, the voluntary offerings of the Prince, and the things devoted of the people; while the latter cause their rich odour to ascend in clouds from Hah ariail haharail, the Altar, or Lion of the Mountain of God. *.
1 Moreover, when ye shall divide by lot the land for inheritance, ye shall offer an oblation unto Yahweh, an holy portion of the land: the length shall be the length of five and twenty thousand reeds, and the breadth shall be ten thousand. This shall be holy in all the borders thereof round about.
Question.—Is not the area of land to be inherited by the twelve tribes of Israel according to Ezekiel 47:13, too limited?
The eastern boundary (47:18) is from Damascus and Gilead by Jordan to the East or Dead Sea, giving an average breadth from the Mediterranean of about fifty miles. The northern boundary is from Hethlon and Hamath to the waters of Kadesh on the south, a length not exceeding 260 miles.
This will give a territory of about 13,000 square miles, quite inadequate for the entire twelve tribes in full return to the land of promise, especially in view of the fact that the Holy Oblation extending over fifty miles each way is to be deducted from it.
Moreover the specification in Ezekiel does not correspond with the original grant and the inheritance given unto the Fathers by oath and promise. This promise referred to a tract of country extending from the river of Egypt to the Euphrates (Gen. 15:18), roughly estimated by Dr. Thomas to contain 300,000 square miles (see Elpis Israel, p. 211).
The disparity is by no means slight, and indicates a different period of inheritance.
Answer.—The point of your argument appears to be that Ezekiel's specification of Israelitish re-settlement does not harmonise with what we might expect from the general promise to Abraham contained in Gen. 15:18, and therefore cannot be connected with the fulfilment of that promise.
Even if your premises were sound you would have difficulties in the way of your contention greater than the apparent discrepancy between Ezekiel and Moses. For instance, how could you get rid of the unmistakable evidence proving that the vision contained in the last nine chapters of Ezekiel is connected with the second appearing of Christ, and consequently with the fulfilment of the promise made to Abraham. This evidence may be summarised as follows:—
1st. Ezekiel sees a building erected upon the ancient site of Jersualem, and called "a house." (Chap. 40:1, 2.) A portion of this house is said to be the place of Yahweh's throne, where He
"will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel for ever."
A condition of things precluding any further declension on their part, so it is written,
"And the house of Israel shall no more My name defile" (Eze. 43:7).
Referring to their past misdeeds, Yahweh said that He "had consumed them in His anger." This evidence proves:
(a.)That Ezekiel's vision portrays a structure which will be erected when the children of Israel are again received into the Divine favour.
(b.)That the extension of this favour will be made at a time when Yahweh sets up His throne in Jerusalem.
We have only to ask the name of the one who is to sit on that throne of Yahweh, and we see at once there is only one possible conclusion, viz., Jesus Christ being the King, the fulfilment of that prophecy takes place at the time when the blessing promised to Abraham and his seed is consummated in Him.
2nd. Ezekiel further testifies,
"Moreover when ye shall divide by lot the land for inheritance, ye shall offer an oblation to the Lord," &c. (chap. 45:1).
What is the meaning of this? Is it a redivision of the land connected with past history, or is it connected with the establishment of God's kingdom? If we follow on from the chapter containing the quotation to the end of the prophecy we shall see that after specifying the measure of the Holy portion of the land, and the several divisions of the twelve tribes, Ezekiel mentions a new city. This city is part of the arrangements which come in with the reconstruction of Israelitish affairs.
From the day of its establishment, this city is identified with the name of Christ, for "The Lord" is said to be there. In view of this testimony, then, we are not justified in lifting out the fortieth chapter of Ezekiel from its context, and saying it is not connected with the period of the fulfilment of the promise which God made by oath to Abraham.
The evidence is just the other way; these premises in fact establish the fact that the temple prophecy is to be fulfilled in the restoration of Israel and the coming of Christ. For this reason we may be sure that the topographical allusions continued in chapters 47. and 48. are capable of interpretation in harmony with the general prediction concerning Abraham and his seed.
If at first sight there appears to be any contradiction between prophecy and prophecy, we may rest assured such contradictions are only apparent and due to our imperfect knowledge, or imperfect grasp of the subject.
As to the several places mentioned in Ezekiel, their exact locality has not been determined. If their position were known, and beyond question, the case might be different, but even then it could not be reasonably argued that Ezekiel's prophecy has no connection with the promise made to Abraham.
It is possible that other members of the Abrahamic race are included in the promise contained in Gen. 15:18. In view of the promise contained in Gen. 21:13–18, it need be no surprise to us if Ishmael's descendants were given possession eastward of Jordan at the time Israel occupies western Palestine In that case "the desolate" would have many "more children than the married wife" (Isa. 54:1.)
And the twelve tribes would occupy the long strip of land between the Jordan and the Mediterranean seaboard. A satisfactory explanation of your difficulty would be forthcoming if the exact site of the places named in Ezekiel were known. The subject is worthy of investigation if other matters of more importance did not press for attention. The suggestion above may be the kernel of the truth of the matter.
Questions on the subject answered by Brother Sulley.
The Christadelphian, Aug 1888
The paradise "a garden enclosed" by the River of Egypt, the Mediterranean, the Persian gulf and Euphrates approx 300 000 Sq miles
In that day shall Israel be the third with Egypt and with Assyria, even a blessing in the midst of the land - Isa 19: 24ie. Israel a third portion in the midst of the paradise
7 And a portion shall be for the prince on the one side and on the other side of the oblation of the holy portion, and of the possession of the city, before the oblation of the holy portion, and before the possession of the city, from the west side westward, and from the east side eastward: and the length shall be over against one of the portions, from the west border unto the east border.
...the Prince's portion is the land to the west and east of the Holy Oblation. Actually, as a later reference shows (48:21-22 RV), the Holy Oblation is considered as part of, or taken from, the Prince's portion.
In 45:13-15, the people of the land (Israel) give a percentage of the grain, oil and flocks-between 1/2% and 1½%-to the Prince "to make reconciliation for them," and (v.17) "It shall be the Prince's part" to prepare and offer the established periodic sacrifices for Israel. He will not of course actually do all the work himself: no leader ever does: but he will head, lead and supervise the immortal priesthood who alone may approach unto God's holy Altar with the offerings.
Some have trouble accepting the fact there will be sacrifices in the Kingdom, and with an immortal Christ having anything to do with them. There should be no difficulty. First of all, there is abundant scriptural testimony, not just in Ezekiel, that there will be sacrifice.
Sacrifice has always been prominent in God's plan of redemption for man. From the Garden of Eden, sacrifices pointed forward for 4000 years. Then for 2000 years the Memorial Bread and Wine-a very similar institution (but suited to a different dispensation)-have been pointing backward, memorializing, keeping in memory.
Clearly therefore God's wisdom has determined that a periodic observance is beneficial and necessary for weak mortal man. Sacrifices were best suited to the national dispensation of the Law of Moses, and the Kingdom is a similar economy-political, national, compulsory and universal: not individual and selective, as at present.
Modern man's chief objection to sacrifice is that he thinks he has developed and matured beyond that kind of ordinance and instruction. The idea humiliates him. He looks down on it as a relic of an earlier, more childish age. But in truth, there has never been an age more spiritually juvenile and retarded, and more in need of being taught simple, basic elementals, than the present.
Man is today a little more clever with his Tinker Toys than previous generations, but there is far less wisdom, and very little spiritual understanding. Even untutored savages have had the discernment to recognize the evidence all around them of a power and knowledge greater than themselves: but what benighted superstition was ever more utterly ridiculous than the modern religion of mindless, purposeless, moralless Evolution as the great Creator of all things?
What terrible blasphemy to see all the wisdom and beauty of God's glorious handiwork-the evidence He appeals to of His power and divinity (Rom. 1:20)-and to create an idiot god of blind chance to explain it all!
The re-institution of sacrifice, with rigidly-enforced judgments, is exactly what debased and degenerate mankind needs to slowly lead it back to the first glimmerings of holiness and wisdom and spiritual awareness.
It will be a long, hard process, because of man's dulled senses, but God will lead him back to cleanness and holiness and spirituality. The sacrifices of the Kingdom will point back, as the ancient ones pointed forward. Those foreshadowed; these memorialize.
Bro Growcott - BYT 4.18
15 And one lamb out of the flock, out of two hundred, out of the fat pastures of Israel; for a meat offering, and for a burnt offering, and for peace offerings, to make reconciliation for them, saith Adonai Yahweh.
A NEW MEANING TO THE OLD SACRIFICES
Under the first or Mosaic Covenant, the priests are said to
"make reconciliation with the blood of the sacrifices upon the altar, to make atonement for all Israel" (2 Chron. 29:24);
so under the second, or New Covenant of the kingdom, Ezekiel speaks of
"one lamb to make reconciliation for them" (Ezek. 45: 15).
But withdraw from the premises the death and resurrection of Christ, and faith in them and the promises, and the reconciliation under both covenants is imperfect and vain.
Animal sacrifices are necessary to the service as types or patterns, and memorials. The Mosaic reconciliation was typical; the Ezekiel reconciliation, memorial or commemorative.
The typical Mosaic could not perfect the conscience of the worshippers, because Christ had not then died and risen again; nor could they when he had risen, because they were offered by High Priests, whose functions before God were superseded by a High Priest of the tribe of Judah after another order than that of Aaron, then in the presence of Yahweh himself.
The Ezekiel reconciliation, however, will perfect the conscience, because Christ had died and lives for evermore; which death and resurrection connected with the reconciliatory offerings by faith in the worshipper, and offered to God through the Prince of Israel, the High Priest upon his throne after the order of Melchizedec, will constitute sacrifices of a character such as have not been offered on the earth before.
- "Faith in the Last Days," p. 81.
The Prince offers sacrifices
17 And it shall be the prince's part to give burnt offerings, and meat offerings, and drink offerings, in the feasts, and in the new moons, and in the sabbaths, in all solemnities of the house of Israel: he shall prepare the sin offering, and the meat offering, and the burnt offering, and the peace offerings, to make reconciliation for the house of Israel.
The service of the temple will be daily, weekly, and annual.
... We proceed to remark, that before the edifice is opened for public worship, the altar has to be "purged and purified," the house reconciled, and the glory of the God of Israel to make His august entry by the eastern gate.
The cleansing of the altar and reconciling the house, which are synchronous, commences on the 1st day of Abib, (sometimes called Nisan, the First month of the Jewish ecclesiastical year, and answering to part of March and April,) and continues for seven days. This is a grand and important national event, for it is nothing less than reconciling the House of Israel itself.
....This event will complete the reconciliation of the House of Israel in form as well as in principle. The reconciling of the temple, altar, and inner court, will be the formal memorial celebration of the reconciling of the Tribes of Israel, when, having believed in Jesus and been baptised into him, Yahweh shall have
"cast all their sins into the depths of the sea"
-Psalm 68: 22; Micah 7: 19; Zechariah 10: 10-11.
Then will Jesus, who is the glory of God, attended by the 144,000 redeemed from among men as the First-Fruits unto God and himself, with a voice like the noise of many waters, and as the sound of a great thunder, ascend into the hill of the Lord, escorted thus into the holy place.
They will sing the new song before the throne, even the song of Moses and the Lamb. By the eye of faith we see them approaching
"the temple by the way of the gate whose prospect is towards the east,"
Mount Olivet, long since in sunder cleft, and all the region round, shining with the glory; we hear them exclaim with loud hosannas,
"Blessed be He that comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed be the kingdom of our father David, that cometh in the name of Yahweh. Hosanna in the highest!"
We behold the glorious multitude demand admission for "the mighty God," the Conqueror of the World, within the walls of the city where he intends to dwell.
"in the midst of the children of Israel for ever." "Lift up your heads, O ye gates," say they; "and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors: and the King of Glory shall come in!"
Ah! now how still the crowd! How hushed is every voice! "Who is this King of glory?" is the only sound, echoing from Salem's walls, that vibrates on the ear. The answer to this bursts forth as the roar of many waters proclaiming him to be
"The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle:"
and followed by a renewal of the demand for admission, saying,
"Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors: and the king of glory shall come in. Who is this king of glory?" do ye ask? Jesus, "the Lord of armies, He is the king of glory."*
18 Thus saith Adonai Yahweh; In the 1st month, in the 1st day of the month, thou shalt take a young bullock without blemish, and cleanse the sanctuary:
19 And the priest shall take of the blood of the sin offering, and put it upon the posts of the house, and upon the four corners of the settle of the altar, and upon the posts of the gate of the inner court.
20 And so thou shalt do the 7th day of the month for every one that erreth, and for him that is simple: so shall ye reconcile the house.
Feast of Passover
21 In the 1st month, in the 14th day of the month, ye shall have the passover, a feast of 7 days; unleavened bread shall be eaten.
PASSOVER EXCLUSIVE TO ISRAEL
The reader will observe, however, that the Passover is a feast for Israel's observance, not for that of the nations. The Prince, or High Priest, is to prepare it,
The Passover is the Fourth of July for Israel - the anniversary of the independence of their nation; which can only be celebrated by those Gentiles in the Age to Come who acquire citizenship in their land.
The reader will observe, however, that the Passover is a feast for Israel's observance, not for that of the nations.
The Prince, or High Priest, is to prepare it,
"for himself, and for all the people of the land," that is, of Palestine; because the passover is the memorial of the deliverance of the Twelve Tribes and their rulers from the power of all that hate them.
In this deliverance, when it is fulfilled in the Kingdom of God, the nations are punished after the manner of the Egyptians; becoming a sacrifice at the hand of the destroyer, while he passes over Israel whom he comes to save.
The Passover is the Fourth of July for Israel - the anniversary of the independence of their nation; which can only be celebrated by those Gentiles in the Age to Come who acquire citizenship in their land.
Herald of the Kingdom and Age to Come, Nov 1854.
Eze.45:21-25 very interestingly reinstitutes the Passover and the Feast of Tabernacles, but not Pentecost-the other of the three great feasts of the year. The foundation Passover sacrifice, typifying Christ's great offering, and the joyful, yearend harvest Feast of Tabernacles, typifying the final millennial ingathering, are still both relevant to the peoples of the earth.
But Pentecost is the Firstfruits, and has already been fulfilled in the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.
Bro Growcott - BYT 4.18
22 And upon that day shall the prince [Messiah] prepare for himself and for all the people of the land a bullock for a sin offering.
Question.—It is not easy to recognise the appropriateness of the Lord Jesus assuming the position of the Ezekiel service and having to prepare "a bullock for a sin offering for himself and for all the people of the land" (Eze. 45:22.) His immortal associates not being included Abraham the heir of the world might more fitly take the position.
Answer.—When Christ offers as the Prince, the act of necessity includes all the members of His house as well as the people of the land, for all his brethren are "one in Him."
As to the method of the preparation of the sacrifice, the menial work connected with it would be done by the mortal priests (chap. 46:1; 45:14). And the Prince himself does not appear to personally take part in the removal of the offering from the table to the altar. He stands by the porch of the east gate at the time of the offering, and presumably while one of his brethren take the sacrifice up to the altar (xlvi).
The Christadelphian, Aug 1888
This question is of special import in considering the "one great sacrifice;" for if this Prince offering for himself and for the people, under the memorial institution of sacrifice, be the Christ, then did Messiah offer both for himself and the people when once
"he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself;"
for there cannot be a memorial of that which has not been; neither will it be denied that all the sacrifices of animals, in themselves inefficient to the putting away of sin, point, either as type or memorial, to his work who offered one sacrifice
"for sins for ever," "by which one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified."-(Heb. 10:10-14).
The Christadelphian, May 1874
There will be a service under the New Covenant as there was under the Old. Its prinicple will be memorial, not typical; even the extension of the principle upon which is now celebrated the death and resurrection of Jesus.
Hence, the "reconciliation" will be a memorial reconciliation made perfect by the blood of the Covenant which institutes it. The reconciliation of the Old Covenant was typical and imperfect; because the dedication blood, being merely that of bulls and goats, could not perfect the conscience in taking away of sins.
When the Prince under the New Covenant
"prepares for himself and for all the people of the land a bullock for a sin-offering" Ezek. 45: 22,
it is memorial of his own sacrifice of himself, and memorial of the reconciliation which the people enjoy through the blood of the Covenant with which, through faith in it, their
hearts will be sprinkled then, as the true believers are at present.
Faith in Last Days
The dedication of the house, the reconciliation of Israel, and the return of the glory of God to the temple for the first time since its departure in the reign of Zedekiah, being accomplished, the next thing is the celebration of the fulfilment of the Passover, nationally, in the kingdom of God. The reader will remember what the High Priest in the days of his flesh said to his brethren upon this subject.
"I will not any more eat of this Passover," said he, "until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God."
...The feast of Pentecost, fifty days after the Passover, is not celebrated in the temple service of the kingdom. It was primarily fulfilled in the events of the fiftieth day after the crucifixion; and will be secondarily or nationally, in the latter rain of the spirit on Israel when restored previously to the building of the temple by "the man whose name is The Branch."
The two wave loaves of that feast, made of fine flour, represented "the First Fruits unto the Lord." The sons of Zadok being the substance of that representation, as Jesus himself was of the wave sheaf, waved before the Lord by the Aaronic priest on his resurrection day, the shadow will not be reproduced hereafter in the service.
Christ and his brethren, the First Fruits, being there in person, the representation would cease to be in place.
Neither will there be "a memorial of blowing of trumpets" on the first day of the seventh month, as under the Mosaic law. The thing represented by the "memorial" will have been altogether accomplished before the dedication of the temple to be built by Jesus.
It began to be fulfilled by the proclamation of the gospel of the kingdom by apostles; and will be wholly completed when the "everlasting gospel" shall be preached by
"the angel flying through the midst of heaven"-Revelation 14: 6-7.
There can be no type when the thing typified has come to pass in full. It has then answered its purpose and is abolished.
The day of Atonement on the 10th of the seventh month forms no part of the amended service for the same reason. It was a type, and will be secondarily or nationally, and therefore, entirely fulfilled in the reconciliation of the house of Israel.
The Mosaic atonement primarily prefigured the reconciliation of those who, believing "the word of reconciliation" ministered by the apostles, should have their sins and iniquities borne away by Jesus when resurrected, as represented by the bearing away of the sins of Israel by the scape-goat. *
23 And 7 days of the feast he shall prepare a burnt offering to Yahweh, 7 bullocks and 7 rams without blemish daily the 7 days; and a kid of the goats daily for a sin offering.
The passover must be restored before it can be eaten of by Christ and his apostles in the kingdom of God. This is one of the things to be re-established at "the restitution of all things;" and the law of its restoration...
This was spoken by the prophet to Israel of the fourteenth generation concerning the observance of the passover by Israel of the generation contemporary with the
"restoration of the kingdom again to Israel"
when it should be constituted under the Prince. Moses' law said all about the observance of the passover before the Prince appeared; but as Moses ceased to be the lawgiver when He came, a New Code is revealed through Ezekiel which will become the law of the kingdom under Shiloh.
When Ezekiel's passover is observed at Jerusalem, Christ will be there, the apostles also, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, and many from the four winds of heaven -- all of them the first-born redeemed from the earth, saved by the sprinkled blood of the true paschal lamb of God, and who shall find themselves in Canaan as inheritors of its attributes; celebrating their own redemption, and the overthrow of all their enemies by the Lord Jesus at his revelation in flaming fire, attended by the angels of his power.
The bread and wine of "the Lord's Supper" are the remains of the passover, which are to be shared by the circumcised of heart and ears, until Christ comes in power and great glory.
I am informed by a Jew, that when they eat the passover they eat no lamb, but have a dry bone of one on a dish; and that all who celebrate take hold of the lip of the dish, and unitedly offer a petition. This is remarkable. They have slain the true lamb, which believers of the gospel feed upon; while only a dry bone remains to them, strikingly illustrative of themselves.
Faith in the Lamb of God supplies the absence of the lamb in the Lord's supper. The broken bread and poured out wine, memorialize His sacrifice for believers; and the testimony, "this do in remembrance of me until I come," keeps alive the hope of His appearing in the Kingdom of God. When hope becomes a reality, the supper will give place to the passover; for when Christ is come, the memorial of His coming ceases to be prophetic of the event.
Elpis Israel 2.4.
The Feast of Tabernacles
25 In the 7th month, in the 15th day of the month, shall he do the like in the feast of the 7 days, according to the sin offering, according to the burnt offering, and according to the meat offering, and according to the oil.
The Mosaic Feast of Tabernacles was "the Greatest of the Feasts."
It was celebrated during seven days, beginning on the 15th of the seventh month of the ecclesiastical year, which is the first of the civil year, which in its antitype is
"the acceptable year of the Lord."
This year of civil or national acceptance under the new covenant, begins with the first day of the month, when the temple, altar, inner court, and nation, are reconciled by Messiah the Prince. Like the rest of the Mosaic Feasts, the Feast of Tabernacles represents
"the knowledge and the truth,"
first in relation to Christ's Household, and secondly, in relation to his nation, the Twelve Tribes.
The members of his household are
"strangers before the Lord, and sojourners; their days on earth are as a shadow, and there is none abiding."
Like Israel, as it were, during the interregnum, they
"sojourn in Meshech, and dwell in the tents of Kedar;"
passing the time of their sojourning there, rejoicing in fear and trembling. But when their elder brother, the High Priest of the covenant, shall come out from the Royal Presence to bless them, they will be pilgrims no longer; but permanent dwellers in their Father's house, partaking of "the joy." They will have passed through the primary signification of the Feast, and have attained perfection.
The Feast of Tabernacles was the celebration of the ingathering of the harvest. As a type, this had a two fold signification, namely, the ingathering of the Royal Household of the kingdom, when Christ shall "gather his wheat into his garner" at their resurrection; and the ingathering of the Twelve Tribes, when at that crisis they shall be gathered "from the outmost part of heaven," and replanted in their own land.
They now sojourn literally in Meshech, and dwell in the tents of Kedar; but when the kingdom is restored to them under the New Covenant they will dwell in their own habitations, and the nations will come up to Jerusalem to worship their king, and occupy the booths.
But the antitype of the feast, which is,
"a feast of fat things for all nations,"
is not fully completed till the wheat harvest of the Age to Come shall be entirely in-gathered at its expiration, when "death shall be swallowed up in victory," and the earth shall lie under the curse no longer. The feast of tabernacles, therefore, continues to be celebrated in the temple service, for this temple is
"the holy of the tabernacles of the Most High;"
wherefore its posts and walls will be adorned with palm trees, the branches of which, with those of other goodly trees, the Israelites carried on the first day of the feast, as the emblems of the joy that awaits the nation, when it shall have obtained the victory over all its enemies on the establishment of the kingdom of God.
"in the seventh month, in the fifteenth day of the month, shall the Prince do the like in the feast of the seven days, according to the sin offering, &c."
-Ezekiel 45: 25; Leviticus 23; Zechariah 14 &c.*
*The Herald of the Kingdom and Coming Age, Sept 1851.