It has frequently been my habit to give some sort of overall review of the Feast of Tabernacles that has just passed and to make some comments on certain elements of those days. In looking back on the Feast of Tabernacles this year, I have no interest in doing such a thing. This is not to say that there were not particular themes or issues of the Feast of Tabernacles for me this year–indeed there were, including a marked tendency for the Feast to include, for me, people with whom I have had a longstanding history which took on a new chapter or, frequently, carried along familiar and well-worn paths.
There was one aspect of the feast, and that is the messages of the feast, that I would like to ponder about in greater detail. Although the means of listening to the services was a bit more varied than usual for me, with the messages of about half of the feast or so being piped through audio near the pool or via online streaming, there was a general theme that many of the messages carried with them that is distinct from what I have often heard at the feast. It is a general focus of Feast of Tabernacles messages to focus on the millennial future, or on the eighth day, on the Great White Throne judgment and the opening of salvation to humanity at large. At this particular feast, though, the focus of the messages was mainly on our need to live and walk in such a way that we would be counted worthy to enter into the millennium and to be worthy to sit in judgment over humanity and angels.
I do not think that this is a bad concern to have when it comes to the Feast of Tabernacles. When we look at the millennium and reflect upon the reign of Jesus Christ and redeemed human beings, what allows those redeemed human beings who have entered into eternal life over whom the second death has no power to rule is their having demonstrated faith in God and Jesus Christ after having been called by them and living in obedience to their ways with the help of the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit. While we normally focus on the desired promised ends of our lives should we remain faithful until the end, it is well worth being reminded of the need to be faithful until the end so that we reach the end desired by us and by God above.
When we speak about the world to come, it is often worth pondering how it is and why it is that things will be that way. How does prophecy reflect the implementation of the law of God that reflects the eternal and unchanging nature of both God and Jesus Christ? How does this character and nature and law differ from the sorts of laws and natures that we find around us in the present world? When we speak of the duties and responsibilities of members in the present age, and the sorts of expertise we should be gaining through the deepening of our knowledge of the truth and our adherence to it, it is well worth considering as well the lasting and eternal results of that obedience and that competence. What is it that we will bring with us from this life into the world to come and for all eternity? Much of the knowledge that we gain is very limited to current conditions, but some things will remain valid and valuable for all eternity. Let us cultivate these things.