Without water you can’t live. In fact, your physical body consists largely of water. And the supply of water in your body must be constantly replenished for you to thrive. Usually we rely on our sense of thirst to tell us when and how much water to drink. Sometimes, however, for various reasons, our sense of thirst may fail us. And when that happens individuals may become sick or even die from dehydration. At other times, people may thirst, but seek to satisfy their thirst with impure water that, either slowly or quickly, produces disease and death. Do you thirst for living water, pure, flowing, abundant and life-giving?
The Spirit of God is analogous to water. “On the last day of the Festival–the great day–Jesus stood up and cried aloud. ‘Whoever is thirsty,’ He said, ‘let him come to me and drink. He who believes in me, from within him–as the Scripture has said–rivers of living water shall flow.’ He referred to the Spirit which those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not bestowed as yet, because Jesus had not yet been glorified” (John 7:37-39, Weymouth translation).
When God revealed his law to ancient Israel, he commanded them to keep, besides the weekly Sabbath, a series of annual festivals. All of the commanded assemblies are rehearsed in Leviticus 23.
Among them is the Feast of Tabernacles, beginning in the seventh month of the sacred calendar on the fifteenth day of the month. It was to be kept for seven days (Leviticus 23:34). At the end of the eighth day, the last great day, or high day, of the feast, the festival season ends (Leviticus 23:36). In certain respects the eighth day is a feast of its own, with its own special meaning, though closely connected with the Feast of Tabernacles. The Feast of Tabernacles coincided with the fall harvest season in Israel, and was to be a celebration of rejoicing accompanying the great harvest of the fall season (Deuteronomy 16:13-15).
The weekly Sabbath, and the Feast of Tabernacles, which we recently observed with others of faith at time of this writing, both are intended to point us toward the time when God’s Kingdom will be established on the earth. Each Sabbath, and each Feast of Tabernacles, if kept properly, gives us a small foretaste of the Kingdom, to be reminded and convicted of its reality.
They remind us that the promised Kingdom of God is not just a pie-in-the-sky, Utopian dream, but an actual change in the government of the earth that will occur. It’s called the Kingdom of God because it will be a Kingdom, a literal government, established by the divine intervention of God Almighty himself in the world’s affairs and it will be ruled directly by God in the person of Jesus Christ (Daniel 7:14; Revelation 11:15).
Part of the reality of that promised Kingdom, however, is the fact that human beings have an opportunity to be participants in it, to have a part in the Kingdom of God, not as mere flesh and blood human beings, but as Sons of God changed into the likeness of Jesus Christ, helping him to administer truth, equity and justice on the earth (Daniel 7:27; Philippians 3:20-21; 2 Peter 1:4; 1 John 3:2; Revelation 20:6).
But what will it take for that opportunity to become a personal reality for each of us? From a personal standpoint, what will it take for you to be in God’s Kingdom? Continue reading →
What’s the purpose of human existence? Why do YOU exist? And does it have anything to do with your own personal long-term happiness and fulfillment? Have you ever stopped to think – to ask?
Philosophers have pondered the question for thousands of years, but lacking God’s Spirit and rejecting his counsel their answers have been unsatisfactory and incomplete. Winston Churchill said, “…he must indeed have a blind soul who cannot see that some great purpose and design is being worked out here below…” (speech before the U.S. Congress, December 26, 1941). But he — though a great leader — did not know what that purpose is! Human beings of themselves cannot fully discover God’s purpose, but God does reveal it through his word coupled with the discernment granted through the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:6-14). Continue reading →