Anyone who has experienced the Feast of Tabernacles, with the Church of God International, should have noted that you leave the feast each year with mixed emotions.
You have a wonderful feeling for what you have experienced the week before. You also feel great when you consider that the eighth day of the feast is when the promises to God’s Children, Israel, are fulfilled.
Revelation 21: 1 Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. 2Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3And 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. 4And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”
It is a wonderful time that the Last Great Day portrays. A time of renewal. A time when we go to our eternal home – the New Jerusalem.
There is also a great feeling returning home to your own bed and your own comfortable setting.
On the other hand, there is always such sadness at the end of the feast. It is a time when you say bye to so many people you love. Some, you don’t know if you will ever see again. At most CGI feast sites you will also see youth crying about leaving new and close relationships. Knowing they will be returning to smaller churches with fewer youths and will have to deal with sticking out in a secular world. All of this is as it should be.
You see the first seven days of the feast pictured how Israel dwelled in booths until they entered the promised land. What naturally follows is the entry to the promised land. They entered the promised land by their enemies being slaughtered before them.
For Christians we see the same type of thing. We tabernacle with Christ for a thousand years and then the promised of the New Jerusalem comes. But in both cases the enemies of the Lord were cut off before they entered the promised land.
Revelation 20: 11Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. 12And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. 13The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. 14Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.
There will be people that you love that will not repent, and therefore, will not enter the promised land. There are others that will be so arrogant they will not enter the promised land. To see loved ones disappear forever will be a time of great sadness and this time will occur prior to us inheriting the final promises.
Therefore, we are sad to see loved ones go and yet happy to know that we have finally made it to our Eden, our Home. It is a time of mixed emotions.
There is one thing that hits it home to me more then anything else each feast. I see that without the outside distractions so many older teens and young adults will genuinely consider there relationship with God. So many sit on the fence and don’t make a full commitment to Jesus Christ.
It is with sadness that this occurs as God’s Holy Spirit could help them in the days ahead to remain focused on their commitment, instead of the world slowly blocking out the light of the gospel within them. Sometimes it is because they don’t feel perfect enough yet – they will never be perfect enough without Christ. Sometimes it is from peer pressure. Are you going to let others decide what relationship you have with God? Sometimes it is because of difficult situations and relationships they need to resolve to find a suitable environment for God’s Spirit to act within – work diligently on this.
Whatever the case, they delay the greatest gift they could ever receive, God’s mercy, grace, love and assistance in their life. Sometimes the door closes and no one knows how much of an opportunity they will ever have again.
While we tabernacle we have great hope that ALL will enter the promised land as a huge multitude. But in Israel’s day, only Joshua and Caleb went in from their generation. So I am happy that they are actively considering their relationship with God by the time we leave, but it is with sadness that I see them pull back from a full commitment to Jesus, my friend and theirs.
The end of the feast is full with mixed emotions but from then on, let the good times roll – basking in the glow of our Lord and Saviour and in the Light of His Father and Ours.
May God have blessed your journey home with the greatest desire to take hold of the New Jerusalem. May you act upon that desire today! May it never leave your heart forevermore!
May God Be With You ‘til We Meet Again!