A Mandate from Heaven

by Maxine Carlil, ICEJ Australia

Feast of Tabernacles 2022 celebration gathering ICEJ Prophetic Times 2023 Maxine Carlil

How amazing that in 1980, God asked a group of praying Believers residing at the time in Jerusalem to be His agents of fulfilling prophecy.

Zechariah 14:16-19 speaks of a time in the future, seemingly in the Messianic age, when the nations will be required to go up to Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles. “And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.” There will even be the withholding of rain for the nation that does not go! In 1980, nations began to ascend to Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast!

Astonishingly the church has by and large ignored this yearly appointment with the LORD which, following the dramatic events that usher in Messiah’s appearing, will remain as a commandment.

And yet it is the culmination of Redemption! Just as Passover is the beginning of Redemption.

The Beginning of Redemption
Passover celebrates deliverance from slavery. The dramatic Exodus from Egypt required only that the Israelite slaves had to put their trust in the blood of the lamb. Deliverance was by God’s Hand alone. Our redemption begins when we put our trust in the Passover Lamb as1 Corinthians 5:7 indicates.

If Passover is freedom from a sinful life. Shavuot/Pentecost is accepting a holy life. It is another milestone in the Redemption story.

Confirmation of Redemption
When the people of Israel arrived at the foot of Mt Sinai fifty days after their deliverance, they were free people but freedom without responsibility is not true freedom. There they received God’s Divine Instructions, the Torah, to ensure that as people in covenant with a holy God they would live holy lives. That event is remembered each year. It was on the Day of Shavuot, that God poured out the Holy Spirit on the first Messianic Believers. That day also, first fruits were offered to the LORD to celebrate the harvest. A wonderful symbol of the outworking of redemption in our lives as we produce the fruit of the Spirit.

“And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” Ephesians 4:30

Completion of Redemption
The unfulfilled Feast, Tabernacles/Sukkot, looks back each year to God’s provision and protection for His people in their wanderings. The fragile shelters that are erected and lived in for 7 days are a reminder that our security is not in seemingly solid circumstances and material comforts but in God alone. It is also the final ingathering of the harvest and looks forward to the final Redemption.

Revelation 21:3 “And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God.”

In a way we cannot imagine with our finite minds, we will be dwelling with God and He with us. Now that’s a celebration to look forward to.

Joining the Celebration Now

Feast of Tabernacles 2022 Australia march through jerusalem ICEJ Prophetic Times 2023 Maxine Carlil

For over 40 years there has been a foretaste of the future millennial global celebration. It began in a school with about 1,000 Christians from different nations. Over the years it has swelled up to 8,000. The presence of so many from the nations bringing messages of encouragement and friendship has blessed Israelis who are more used to hearing messages of hate.

Those who know the Hebrew Scriptures see prophecy coming true. “Our prophets declare that in the Messianic times, all gentiles will come to Jerusalem to celebrate this feast with us. When you asked me today, I heard the footsteps of Messiah,” exclaimed a senior Rabbi in wonder when asked by those Christians back in 1980 about a Christian celebration of Sukkot.

Feast of Tabernacles 2022 Australia Indigenous Australian flags ICEJ Prophetic Times 2023 Maxine Carlil

Our distant lands of Australia and New Zealand and others in the Oceania region, have been represented among the nations year after year. And twice, from the tropical north and the desert lands of Australia, our First Nations people have taken a sacrifice of praise and worship to Jerusalem and presented it before the assembled pilgrims. Psalm 97:1, “The LORD reigns; Let the earth rejoice; Let the multitude of isles be glad!”

Remarkably, there have been reports of unexpected but welcome falls of rain in countries while citizens of that country have been worshipping at the Feast including Australia.

Celebrating the Feast of Tabernacles hosted by ICEJ, has been eagerly embraced by many Christians who understand the joy it represents. Sukkot follows a time of deep soul searching, confession and repentance during a period on the biblical calendar known as the Days of Awe ending with the solemn Day of Atonement. The days they prophetically point to, the ones that belong to ‘the great and terrible Day of the LORD’ (Joel 2:11), will also be followed with rejoicing undreamt of, as all ‘tears will be wiped away’.

“Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.” Romans 8:23

How blessed to have the opportunity to be part of that amazing gift the LORD handed to gentile Christians begin a prophetic process. We surely do not want to neglect such a gift. Celebrate it. Pray that churches will awake to the significance and joy of this wonderful Feast that points to the final Redemption for which we yearn.

Images courtesy of ICEJ International

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