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Rabbi Schneider - God Among Us

Rabbi Schneider - God Among Us
TOPICS: God's Presence

In the 1960's during the hippie revolution something emerged and the something that emerged that I'm referring to beloved ones, is that many Jewish people came to faith during this time in the late 1960's. It was called a Jesus revolution. So many young people, so many hippies came to faith in Jesus and many of these hippies, once again, were Jewish people. Jewish people were coming to faith in mass numbers. I mean not millions, but many, many Jewish people coming to faith during this season.

And what was happening is they were going to churches and when they would go to churches often times the message they would hear at the churches were, "Well you're no longer Jewish," or "You know you shouldn't keep Passover anymore," or "You should give up all your Jewish traditions". And it was really alienating a lot of these new Jewish believers. And so during this period something was formed that is called today Messianic Judaism. It was an entity, a fellowship of congregations who wanted to create an environment within the worship service where Jewish people could come and worship Jesus in a context that was culturally familiar to them. And so we have the spread then, of what is known today as a movement called Messianic Judaism.

Now let me simply say that Messianic Judaism is a Christian movement in the sense that Messianic Jews believe that Jesus is the Christ and believe in all the orthodox doctrines of evangelical Christianity. It's just an expression of Christianity that is designed to make Jewish people comfortable worshiping Jesus; again, in a context that's familiar to them. So I'm saying that beloved children of God today, because when this movement was created and began to develop, called Messianic Judaism, one of the by products of the movement is that Gentile churches started also to hear more about the Jewish roots of the Christian faith.

And so for example, as the Messianic movement began to grow, what also began to happen more and more is that Jewish believers began to go into Gentile churches and teach for example, on the Passover, how the Lord's Supper or Communion comes out of the Passover. These Jewish believers were invited to go speak in Gentile churches on the appointed days of the Lord that are sometimes referred to as the Feast of Israel or the Jewish holy days. And slowly what happened was the Gentile church, the church at large, began to become more and more familiar with the Jewish roots of their Christian faith. And this is a right thing, this is a good thing.

Remember Jesus, Yeshua said to the woman of Samaria in John chapter 4 when she began to dialogue with Him about spiritual things; Jesus said to her, He said, "Woman". He said, "You don't know what you're worshiping". She was not Jewish. She was not a descendant from the twelve tribes of Israel. Jesus said to her, "Woman you don't know what you worship". He said, "We know what we worship for salvation is from the Jews". Paul spoke of the same phenomenon in Romans chapter 11 when he speaks of the Gentile church being grafted in to the olive tree. And the olive tree are the scriptures that came from Israel, the prophets that came from Israel and finally the Messiah Himself, Yeshua of Nazareth that was crucified with the sign above his head that said, "Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews". So, "Gentile believers have been grafted in the scripture," says Paul in Ephesians, "To the commonwealth of Israel".

So I use that concept today that I just shared with you as a launching pad to continue today my series that I'm entitling, The Prophetic Fulfillment of God's Fall Holy Days. And this series that we're in right now, The Prophetic Fulfillment of God's Fall Holy Days, it is the bread and butter of understanding the Jewish roots of the Christian faith. Now we're gonna continue today with the Feast of Tabernacles or Sukkot. I've already covered in this series beloved ones, the Feast of Trumpets, which is also known as Yom Teruah or Rosh Hashanah. I've covered Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. I encourage you to go back and get this entire series. And we're gonna continue now with the last of the fall holy days in this series. I'll be speaking of once again, Sukkot or the Feast of Tabernacles.

Now this feast is a joyous time. I want to begin a context for you by bringing you back to it's origin. We're gonna go now to the 23rd chapter of the book of Vayikra or the book of Leviticus. Hear the word of God as I set the tone by reading this foundational scripture. Here we go. The Lord says to Israel as He's giving them His outline for His calendar, including all His holy days. He says this, "You shall live in booths for seven days. All the native born in Israel shall live in booths so that your generations might know that I had the sons of Israel live in booths when I brought them out from the land of Egypt. I am the Lord your God".

And so what we have here is the Lord telling His people, "On the seventh month of My calendar," which is called in Hebrew the month of Tishrei, "I want you to celebrate the Feast of Booths or the Feast of Tabernacles". The Lord gives us many instructions about it, but I want to concentrate today on the fact that the Lord has His people living in booths, that we call individually in Hebrew a sukkah. When we refer to the booths plurally, we're speaking of Sukkot. He has his people living in booths to remember that when they were in the wilderness 35 hundred years ago, as the Lord was leading them out of Egypt towards the Promised Land; when they were in the wilderness for 40 years wandering they were living in these temporary shelters called Sukkot and once again individually it's called a sukkah.

So sukkah if you're talking about one booth, if you're talking about many booths we say the word Sukkot. Now why would the Lord have His people every year, even to this day, build a sukkah and spend time in that sukkah for seven days every year during the Feast of Tabernacles? What's the point? The point is beloved ones, that when I go into my sukkah every year I'm able to look through the walls of it. I'm able to look through the roof of it, because it's made of natural material that we can see through.

In other words, it's made of branches and leaves and so on and so forth, but it's not so thick that you can't see through the walls. It's temporary and that the point is, is that when we go in to our sukkot and we are able to look up through the roof and see the sky and realize that there's not a big accumulation of possessions in there; it reminds us that when God's people, Israel, was in the wilderness for 40 years wandering, all they had to rely on was God. They had no grocery pile stocked up. Remember there was only enough manna on the ground for one day each day, except for during Shabbat they were able to carry it over from the previous day. But every day they had to gather fresh manna and if they tried to accumulate the manna it would become foul and infested with worms. Which meant that every day they had to freshly rely on the Lord for their provision. They had no accumulation of anything, but yet God was faithful and provided for them.

And so every year when I go into my sukkah I'm reminded of the fact that all I really need in life is God, that even if I lost everything and even if you lost everything beloved one, you would still have God and He would be enough. He would supernaturally provide for you just like He did Israel during the wilderness wandering 35 hundred years ago. Remember He brought water out of the rock. Again, He brought the manna supernaturally on the ground. He provided quail supernaturally. God was with them in their midst, but I'm not so much focusing on provision today. I'm focusing on another concept that I want to make relevant for you personally as we consider this last of God's fall holy days, the Feast of Tabernacles or Sukkot.

All of Israel lived in these booths. They all had, every tribe was camped there in the wilderness, each family living in their own sukkah. But in the center of the camp there was a main tabernacle, there was a big tabernacle. In fact the Lord told Moses when Moses was on top of Mount Sinai exactly how to build this tabernacle. The Hebrew word for it is called mishkan and some of you have studied a little bit of the tabernacle. For others of you this may be a brand new concept. But I'm gonna read for you now from the 25th chapter of the book of Exodus and you're gonna hear of God's instruction that He told Moses and the children of Israel to build Him a tabernacle so that He could dwell with His people.

Hear the word of God, because I'm gonna make application for you. I'm reading now from Exodus chapter 25, verse 1 and then verse 8 and 9. "Then the Lord, then Yahweh God spoke to Moses saying, 'Let them construct a sanctuary for me that I might dwell,'" I want you to remember that word dwell, "That I might dwell among them. According to all that I'm gonna show you is the pattern of the tabernacle and the pattern of all it's furniture just so you shall construct it". But I want you to get this main theme, listen again. The Lord said, "Let them construct a sanctuary for me that I might," get it now, "dwell among them".

So when we think of the Feast of Tabernacles we remember that every Israelite family was in their own temporary booth, their own temporary shelter or tabernacle, but in the middle of all their booths was the Lord's tabernacle. And He told Moses exactly how to build it and the reason He said He wanted Moses to build it, listen now church, was so that God Himself, the God of Israel, so that Yahweh could dwell, could be present with His people. I want you to hear this, God Himself, listen, desires to dwell with you and that's the theme I want to concentrate on today. It's not just about what God can do for us.

Often times when we think about our relationship with the Lord we're so thankful to Father, we're so thankful to Jesus that we can pray to Him, that He loves us. But sometimes what we don't comprehend church, is that it's not just about what He can do for us, but it's also that somehow Yahweh God Himself, the God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ gets pleasure and extreme satisfaction out of Him being in relationship with us. When we choose to love Him somehow He delights in that. He wanted to dwell with His people. He got pleasure out of sharing life with them and so that's where I'm gonna focus on today. But before I give some specific application I just want to lay a little bit more of a cultural context for this Biblical feast of the Lord that we call Sukkot or the Feast of Tabernacles.

So I'm switching gears for a second just to lay a complete foundation historically for you. Did you know that there's only one feast in scripture that we specifically read about that the people of God, Gentile and Jew alike, will celebrate during what scripture calls, listen now, the millennial period. Let me say that again. In the book of Revelation we read that there's gonna be a thousand years in which God will reign on earth. This is after Armageddon and I don't have time to walk through a lot of detail concerning end time theology right now. But we read in the book of Revelation that there's gonna come a time where Jesus is gonna bind the devil for a thousand years. He's not gonna be able to operate on earth and Jesus Himself will exert His kingship over the earth, it's called the millennial period.

We read in Zechariah 14 that during this period where King Jesus exerts His authority and reigns on this earth, we read that everybody that loves Him, everybody that knows Him, Jew and Gentile alike will worship Him during, listen now, the Feast of Tabernacles. The Gentiles from all over the earth that believe in God will worship God in a special way in connection to the Feast of Tabernacles. I'm reading now from the book of Zechariah chapter 14. I'm gonna read verse 16 and then 20 and 21. It says this, speaking of the concept that I'm sharing with you now beloved ones.

Hear the word of God. "Then it will come about that any who are left of all the nations that went against Jerusalem will go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts and to celebrate the Feast of Booths. In that day there will be inscribed on the bells of the horses, 'Holy to the Lord.' And the cooking pot in the Lord's house will be like the bowls before the altar. Every cooking pot in Jerusalem and Judah will be holy to the Lord. And there will be nothing unclean," the scripture goes on to say, "That will enter in".

This describes the millennial period. In fact when we look in Zechariah 14 we see that this period of God's reigning on earth, that every pot to Him is holy, takes place after Armageddon when God steps in and destroys His enemies. So I just wanted to set the stage here to help you understand that if you're Gentile and watching today the Feast of Tabernacles is particularly relevant for you, because we read that during the millennial period Gentile believers will worship the Lord during this feast that we call Sukkot or tabernacles.

Now I want to move on now more directed to the concept that I'm really wanting to drive home as we look into this prophetic application of tabernacles for our life today. I'm going to the book of Revelation chapter number 21. I'm gonna read verses number 3 through 5. The point that I'm wanting to address here now it the concept that even as the Lord was camped in the center of ancient Israel in a tabernacle and He was visible to them, because over the tabernacle beloved church, listen, over the tabernacle in the desert 35 hundred years ago, for 40 years the visible presence of Yahweh God manifested over the tabernacle as a glory cloud by day and then as the day began to turn to night that glory cloud would switch into a flame of fire.

So for 40 years the visible presence of the Lord was in the center of camp amongst ancient Israel, so that they saw the glory of God as a pillar of fire by night and a glory cloud by day. The point was Father God was showing His people that He was dwelling, listen, that He was tabernacling with them. And the prophetic application that I'm gonna be driving home today and next week, you don't want to miss this, is how close God is to you.

Hear the word of God. Revelation chapter 21, verse 3 through 5. "And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, 'Behold the tabernacle of God is among men. And he will dwell among them and they shall be his people, and God himself will be among them. And he will wipe every tear from their eyes, there will no longer be any death, no longer any mourning, or crying, or pain, the first things have passed away.'" And he who sits on the throne said, "Behold, I am making all things new". And he said, "Write for these words are faithful and true".

The point is that we are right now in between time periods. When we think of the Feast of Tabernacles we first of all think about it in it's original, historic context. God Himself tabernacling with His people 35 hundred years ago as they were in the wilderness for 40 years, visibly demonstrating His presence with them through the glory cloud and the fire. We see as we look in the book of Revelation chapter 21 that when we go to heaven God's presence is gonna be fully manifest there. He's gonna tabernacle with His people fully and He's gonna wipe every tear from our eyes.

So the question for us now is, what phase are we presently in? How is God tabernacling with us today? Well let me wet your appetite if I could by the beautiful word of God with this scripture. The Bible says, "We shall call," speaking of the birth of Jesus, that "We shall call his name Immanuel, meaning," get it now, "that God is with us".

I want you to know that even though we are not in heaven God is here, listen, and He is so much nearer to you than you realize. God wants to wake us up to help us understand, listen now, how close He is. Now on next week's broadcast I believe the Lord is gonna awaken us to help Him perceive in a greater way, listen, how close He is to us. And I'm gonna also give you some tools, revelation and understanding to help you discern in a greater way that God is closer to you than you realize.

You see the point is, is that often times God is doing things, He's speaking, He's knocking at the door of our heart, but listen, we're not recognizing Him. We're not hearing Him. I'm gonna show you how God is so present to you even in the ordinary routine affairs of your life. You're not gonna want to miss it. I just feel in my heart God wants to say to you, "I love you. I love you so much and I'm gonna bring you in to a greater experience and realization of My presence with you".
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