Saturday, September 29, 2012

Now, But Not Yet!


Waiting is perhaps one of the most difficult demands we face in life. It seems that most people could use a bit more patience but the only problem is that they need it now.

Unfortunately, when people hear “not now” they imagine never. This however is not usually the case. There is a huge difference in a mother telling her children that they can’t have a cookie right now and the kids believing that mom means they can never have a cookie. However, for the child, and sad to say for many adults as well, “Not now”, means “never!”

While reading through the Bible this week I came across several “Not now” realities. Instead of saying “not now”, the New King James Version of the Bible says, “Not yet”. After hours of study I have come to realize that Jesus has a “not yet” answer for several concerns. Out of the 39 times that phrase is used in the Bible; 10 times it is used in just the Gospel of John and 4 of those times in only 1 Chapter. That’s right; more than 10% of the “Not Yet’s” in the whole Bible are said by Jesus in only 1 Chapter. Let’s look at that chapter now.

John 7
1  After these things Jesus walked in Galilee; for He did not want to walk in Judea, because the Jews sought to kill Him.
2  Now the Jews’ Feast of Tabernacles was at hand.

Note: Expound on the Feast of Tabernacles
·        Feast of Sukkoth
·        The last and greatest of 3 major feasts each year (Deuteronomy 16:16)
·        Feast of Ingathering – Celebrated after the harvest
·        Commemorates the protection and provision of God in the wilderness
·        To be celebrated with much joy and rejoicing, with family, friends and neighbors
·        Solomon dedicated the Temple in Jerusalem on this day (2Ch 7)
·        Ezra resumed sacrifice after the return from Babylonian captivity
·        The Ark of the Covenant was placed in the Temple and the glory of God was so powerful the priests could not stand to minister. (1Ki 8)
·        God commanded the Children of Israel to make booths, tabernacles, tents, temporary shelters outside their homes and celebrate the feasts in these booths, tabernacles, for 7 days of joy and rejoicing. The 8th day is the “Great Day” of the feast in which a special gift is to be presented to the Lord. (Exo 23; Deut 31)
·        The book of Leviticus 23:33-44, describes how and with what the celebration is to be observed.
·        Many believe, as do I also imagine, that Jesus was born at the time of the Feast of Tabernacles. (John 1:1&14 – dwelt = tabernacle)
·        The Feast is a forerunner of the great harvest of the earth unto Christ both the 7 years of joy, rejoicing and feasting in the heavens, as well as the 1000 year reign of Christ on the earth when according to Zechariah 14 and Revelation 20, all nations which survive the great tribulation will come and worship the Lamb in Jerusalem.
·        And even after the 1000 year reign, on the 8th day, a new heaven and a new earth wherein we will tabernacle with Him forever

Revelation 21:3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.

·        On top of all of this … Today, September 30, 2012, coincides with the 15th Day of the Seventh Month and thus today begins the Feast of Tabernacles!
·        Happy Birthday Jesus and thanks for the protection and provision …

Well anyway, as John records in verse 2:

2  Now the Jews’ Feast of Tabernacles was at hand.
3  His brothers therefore said to Him, "Depart from here and go into Judea, that Your disciples also may see the works that You are doing.
4  "For no one does anything in secret while he himself seeks to be known openly. If You do these things, show Yourself to the world."
5  For even His brothers did not believe in Him.
6  Then Jesus said to them, "My time has not yet come, but your time is always ready.
7  "The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it that its works are evil.
8  "You go up to this feast. I am not yet going up to this feast, for My time has not yet fully come."

Not yet! But, not yet does not mean never …

John 7: 14  Now about the middle of the feast Jesus went up into the temple and taught.

Now, there is a good argument for a mid-trib visitation and reason for a mid-week service as well … Jesus will use any excuse to teach the Word.

Remember I told you that the feast lasted 7 days and the 8th day was a “Great Day” in which a special gift was presented to the Lord? Well, let’s follow the story a little further -

John 7
37  On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, "If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.
38  "He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water."
39  But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

I believe, just like it happened 2000 years ago, Jesus will come to you in the middle of this week teaching you from the Word and Will of God.

Also, let’s not forget that next Sunday marks the historic “Great Day” of the Feast in which we present our best gifts to the Lord. What would a special gift look like? What would God be really, really joyful about … what gift could you bring to the Jesus that would make all of heaven rejoice? A soul!

This week I am going to ask you to remember the goodness, the protection and the provision of the Lord on you and your family during the wilderness experiences of your life and next Sunday, the “Great Day” of the Feast of Tabernacles, invite a friend, an enemy, a family member, neighbor or co-worker, and bring them to the Tabernacle of the Lord as a present to Jesus. 

John 7:6  Then Jesus said to them, "My time has not yet come, but your time is always ready.

It is “Not Yet” time for some things but it is full well time for others! People need the Lord … who do you know that needs Jesus?

Whomever you bring will drink of the water of life freely and can even take the well home so that they never thirst again …

Bring a friend and Jesus will go home to Tabernacle with them.

Today however, you may be in need of a refreshing drink yourself. Good news … you can come to Jesus and heal your thirsts today …