"Three times a
year you are to celebrate a festival to me.
God identified three times in the year that His people would
gather as one body before Him to demonstrate their common ground
of faith in Yahweh as the one true God. Although the names of
these three times of assembly may vary, they are most commonly
identified as Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles. Ancient Israel
is a foreshadowing of the church. The lesson to be learned in
this for the church today is to acknowledge our need for a public
demonstration of community (common-unity) in Jesus, and to acknowledge
the lordship of Jesus over His body, the church. God is very concerned
that His people faithfully demonstrate
collective unity in Him regardless of tribal affiliation
(denomination). Yahweh clearly stated that He wanted these festivals
to be celebrated by His people in perpetuity, that is forever
(Exodus12:14, Leviticus 23:21, Leviticus 23:41, Hebrews 13:8).
These celebrations are happening in Huntsville, Alabama, and in
our Tennessee Valley region!
Unity at Passover:
The festival of Passover began the annual cycle of corporate celebration
in unity. In John 13:35 Jesus, having celebrated the Passover
with His disciples, said By this all men will know that
you are my disciples, if you have love for one another."
To what is Jesus referring? He is encouraging a meaningful demonstration
of corporate unity and love through the Passover meal. In 2 Chronicles
30, King Hezekiah commanded something very similar and for the
same reason of unity. After 40 years of neglect, the king ordered
the tribe of Judah to lead the way in restoring the corporate
celebration of Passover in unity.
An invitation was sent to the ten revolted tribes to stir them
up to come and attend this festival, not with any political design
to bring Judah and Israel back together, but with a design to
bring them back to the Lord God of Israel. This can be a prophetic
lesson to the politically/denominationally divided Christian community
of today. We should set aside differences that we might corporately
celebrate the Lamb of God through whom we have redemption by His
blood. 2 Chronicles 30:10 records that some scorned the invitation
but many came from all tribes to celebrate the Passover.
Unity at Pentecost:
The common-unity and corporate relatedness of God's people
is established in these words from the Lord in Exodus 19:5-6.
Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep
my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above
all people: for all the earth is mine: And ye shall be unto me
a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. It is well
established in Jewish tradition that this declaration, and the
giving of the Ten Commandments, occurred on the original day of
Pentecost at Sinai. The feast of Pentecost should be celebrated
in the Tennessee Valley as the birthday of the Church (the priesthood
of all believers). It is a special time to cry out for fresh anointing
upon every member of the body of Christ. Pentecost celebrates
our unity through the anointed word and spirit. The fire that
fell on Sinai at Pentecost (Exodus 19:18) is the same fire that
fell in the upper room at Pentecost as recorded in Acts 2:1-3,
And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were
all with one accord (unity)
in one place. God works where there is unity in righteousness.
The power of Pentecost was due in great part to the unity of these
saints and the bond of their peace through the Holy Spirit.
Unity at Tabernacles:
Both Old and New Testaments identify the feast of Tabernacles
as a time for corporate celebration (John 7:2). The lesson of
unity is found in Nehemiah 8:1, 9-18, When the seventh
month came and the Israelites had settled in their towns, all
the people assembled as one man in the square before the Water
Gate. They told Ezra the scribe to bring out the Book of the Law
of Moses, which the LORD had commanded for Israel. This day is
sacred to the LORD your God. Do not mourn or weep. Go and enjoy
choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have
nothing prepared. This day is sacred to our Lord. Do not grieve,
for the joy of the LORD is your strength. So the people went out
and brought back branches and built themselves booths on their
own roofs, in their courtyards, in the courts of the house of
God and in the square by the Water Gate and the one by the Gate
of Ephraim. The whole company that had returned from exile built
booths and lived in them. From the days of Joshua son of Nun until
that day, the Israelites had not celebrated it like this. And
their joy was very great. They celebrated the feast for seven
days. Again it is stated of the festival of Tabernacles;
And when the seventh month was come, and the children
of Israel were in the cities, the people gathered themselves
together as one man to Jerusalem. They kept also the feast
of tabernacles, as it is written, and offered the daily burnt
offerings by number, according to the custom, as the duty of every
day required;" (Ezra 3:1,4). A corporate Celebration
of the Feast of Tabernacles in the Tennessee Valley is an acknowledgement
that all of us together represent the Tabernacle of God
among men (Revelation 21:3).
Three times a year in the Tennessee
Valley: If not us, who? If not now, when?
If you would like to be a part of the Christ
Our Passover on Tuesday, March 30, 2010, then please reserve
your tickets early by calling (256) 882-7651.