Peace and Joy - Tabernacles
By Ron McGatlin
A few days prior to my visit to a piece of land at the east coast of North Carolina a dark tragedy had occurred that created a strong offense of darkness upon the land affecting the godly people of the land. The men gathered and walked the perimeters of the land anointing with oil and praying driving off all darkness. The couple who owned the property went to the spot where the evil act had occurred and worshiped the Lord while cleansing all the natural residue as well as the spiritual atmosphere.
A few days later I along with several others visited the same area. I experienced something that I have experienced only once before in the natural and twice before in spiritual dreams. For lack of words I will describe it as being completely surrounded in perfect peace. The day seemed perfect walking among the scattered trees without any obstruction or obstacles, a gentle breeze blew across the water, the skies were clear, and it was neither hot nor cold. Perfect peace from heaven seemed to settle upon this place. There was not the least hint of fear or strife or any threat seemingly in the entire world. Praying gently in the Spirit, it was as if I was surely walking in a piece of heaven come to earth.
This was only a small portion of a larger piece of costal land; much of the rest of the land was a potential Garden of Eden: a place of production and life that had been in the past a dream that had failed and was now awaiting full restoration from the failure of natural human works of the previous owners.
For me this is such a clear picture of the condition of the world now and the need for the new owners of this world to bring the return to the perfect ways of God as in the Garden of Eden. God is taking us back, and the land is being reclaimed to be restored to the perfect peace of God on earth as it is in heaven. Jesus came with the announcement of the angels of peace on earth and goodwill toward man. God is in the process of restoring His kingdom; His original design of righteousness, peace, and joy on earth by His Spirit.
Joy is Peace in Action
I cannot remember where I heard it said that joy is peace in action and peace is joy at rest. Today God is speaking in my spirit to return to walking in the fullness of joy.
Believe it or not, this is something that we can do now in this time of the fulfilling of the work of Christ Jesus. We can decide in our hearts to enter walking in the full provision of perfect love that is invading our spirits by the Holy Ghost reality of Christ Jesus.
God is restoring the Garden of Eden experience of innocence, purity, and holiness of Christ abiding within our beings. His all-consuming LOVE seeks to dissolve all within us that is rooted in our past lives of worldly mixtures, creating His perfect peace and full joy in our hearts regardless of our natural circumstances. The peace of God and joy in our hearts is not dependent upon the situations and circumstances of our natural lives. Actually the circumstances or our natural lives are greatly affected by the peace and joy in our hearts.
Come up Higher
There are now two realms of existence – two realities of life in which we can choose to live. One drains our life and makes us tired and sick. The other is life giving and makes us joyful and filled with peace.
Probably most Christians have been trained, as have I, that we could not live on the “mountain top” spiritual experience all the time. It was believed that we must come back down to naturally focus upon natural things and manage life from our natural understanding with God’s help and only occasionally entirely shift our focus temporarily to the spiritual realm of existence. It was generally believed that only after death in heaven would we be able to live in the presence of God continually.
Three Major Shifts of Change
There were three major Old Testament feasts that were kept faithfully by the Jewish people and are still observed in this day. The feasts of Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles were prophetic pictures or foreshadows of the season to come in the time of the Messiah and afterwards. Christ Jesus and His work within the people of God are the fulfillment of these great patterns of spiritual reality proclaimed in the many aspects of these three great feasts. This is not meant to be a teaching on this vast subject but only to refer to some of the major points clearly visible in history.
The feast of Passover was fulfilled in natural life in the shedding of the blood of the Lamb of God, Christ Jesus, for the sin of the world. At the crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension of Christ, the major shift of Passover was released into the world. The second major feast fulfillment began fifty days later at Pentecost when the Holy Spirit came to abide in the people of God, empowering the people with the life of Christ within.
After this first century time of Christ Jesus and His disciples bringing forth the fullness of the gospel of the kingdom to this world, there came a great falling away when religion of mostly human design replaced the reality of life in the Holy Spirit. The dark ages came forth within a few centuries after the last apostle of the Lamb passed away. True believers were greatly persecuted and scattered. A perverse man-made religion developed. The Holy Spirit pulled away from the perverse religious systems that developed by the rule of man with demonic assistance. However, there was probably always hidden somewhere a remnant of true people of God even during the darkest of the dark ages.
It was only around five centuries ago that God began to restore the reality of the true works of Christ Jesus on a broader scale. First was restored the works foreshadowed in the feast of Passover. The gospel of forgiveness of sin through faith in Christ and His once and forever sacrifice at the Cross became real again as it was in the first century. It was around the 1500s that it began to be revealed and restored to the people. Salvation by faith was restored widely to the people. After around 400 years of costly and difficult restoration a major portion of the people of God were walking in this restored grace reality.
Only a little over 100 years ago the works that were pictured in the feast of Pentecost that had been birthed shortly after the life of Christ on earth, began to be restored again to the people of God. In the early 1900s the baptism and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit along with the power gifts began to be restored to the people of God. By the decades of the 1990s and the early 2000s the works of the time of Pentecost were fully restored unto a major portion of the people of God around the world.
The full spectrum of the ascension gifts of apostle, prophet, evangelist, shepherd, and teacher began to be restored, especially the prophet and the apostle gifts began again to grace the world with the functions required for major shifting and transformation in the Body of Christ. A new dimension of praise, worship, and prayer in the Spirit along with revelation-filled Bible teaching and inspirational Spirit-empowered preaching encouraged and spiritually strengthened a major portion of the people of God.
Manifest Presence of God
During this season of Pentecostal restoration, the manifest presence of God was often present in gatherings. In our church meetings and especially in revival type gatherings of extreme corporate worship, prayer, and inspirational preaching of the Bible, we often shifted our entire focus upon God and things above and experienced awesome encounters with the presence of God. There were often miraculous healings and spiritual encounters in the tangible presence of God with us. The works of ministering spirits (holy angels) were apparent in many such gatherings.
This was and is the wonderful godly experience of the season of restored Pentecost. This season had been pictured or foreshadowed in the Jewish Feast of Pentecost and began to manifest into the natural shortly after the ascension of Christ Jesus at the coming of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost when supernaturally the Spirit of God settled upon God’s waiting people. The Holy Spirit empowered them with the Spirit of Christ abiding within them doing the supernatural works of Christ, the same great works as He had done before His crucifixion and ascension. And now in the past 20th century the reality of Pentecost was again restored to the people of God.
The Feast of Tabernacles
There was a third great Old Testament feast that pictured or foreshadowed a season of God within and among His people. This great feast was known as Tabernacles, a season of being with God continuously. A season of leaving the elaborate natural life and its many demands and human focused glory and entering into a season of individual and family life with God on a daily basis. A season of less focus on the luxuries of natural life and a great increase on focusing on the Spirit reality of life in and with God on earth as it is in heaven - a season when God would tabernacle with His people, and they would be His people and He would be their only God.
Apparently the fulfillment of the feast of Tabernacles was never in the past widely fulfilled as were the feasts of Passover and Pentecost. Only in this now season has the restoration of the things of God on earth including apostles and prophets and all the gifts of the Holy Spirit been available and widely exercised on earth. The real gospel of the kingdom as Jesus proclaimed and demonstrated it, that has been dormant for most of two thousand years, is now again being widely proclaimed in this day.
The season of Tabernacles is now beginning to manifest in and among God’s people. No longer need there be the coming in and going out of His manifest presence. There is within individuals and in family dwellings and in areas of our life the potential to walk and live moment by moment in the presence of God with us in a tangible sense - such oneness with Spirit God that there is never any separation and distance between God with us as the foundation and reason for our lives. This is the “come up higher” life dwelling with God in higher places.
For thus says the High and Lofty One, Who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy, “I dwell in the high and holy place, with him who has a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.” (Isa: 57:15)
There is now beginning a major shift among many of God’s people. Earthly value systems are being changed to spiritual heavenly value systems. As God’s people continuously focus on things above and not on things on earth, many difficulties of life such as stress, over busy, running to and fro, trying to do and become things that are of little significance to real life in God. The hype and mixture of our lives will be dissolved in the pure holy fire of God’s love, and His presence in us will consume our past Babylonian style ways. The New Jerusalem lifestyle of “God with His people” will become the guiding city of life in this world.
Many extreme difficulties during the coming time of cleansing judgments will only serve to bring us back to the simple but powerful life as the Garden of Eden was before the fall of Adam. Full restoration is involved in Tabernacles. Our God is faithful and has not left us orphans but Sons of the living Father God. “On earth as it is in heaven” is becoming reality.
If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit – Gal 5:25.
Live in the Spirit, Walk in the Spirit,