Teachings from Dr. Clay Pawley




The Feast of Tabernacles

Jesus said during the Feast of Tabernacles, that all who believe on Him, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water (John 7:37-39).

John 7:37-39 – “In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.
38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.
39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)”

He was talking about the joy of the Spirit-filled life which comes through prayer. What was the background surrounding the events in John 7, when they observed the Feast of Tabernacles?

First, there is the Biblical background for the Feast of Tabernacles. During this feast the Jewish people were to dwell in booths seven days and remember their deliverance from Egypt (Leviticus 23:40).

Leviticus 23:40 – “And ye shall take you on the first day the boughs of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and the boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook; and ye shall rejoice before the LORD your God seven days.”

Upon each day of the feast they would offer sacrifices unto the LORD. The people of Israel lived in tents for 40 years during the wilderness wandering and God provided for them. The Feast of Tabernacles was a yearly feast which reminded them of God’s deliverance and provision. There were “7” feasts that Israel was to observe every year, which we call “The Feasts of Jehovah”. These seven feasts are recorded in Leviticus Chapter 23. The “7” feasts are:

Unleavened Bread
The Day of Atonement

Second, there was the Traditional background, which included manmade traditions. These were things the people added to the observance of the Feast of Tabernacles. Everyday water was taken from the Pool of Siloam and poured upon the altar. As the water was poured out all the people sang Isaiah chapter 12 (Compare: Isaiah 12:3). On the 7th day of the feast the people marched around the city "7" times shouting “Hosanna”. They called the 7th day the "Great Hosanna". The people would march behind the priest and Levites carrying golden vessels. They took water from the brook of Siloam and poured it out on the eastern side of the altar. As they poured out the water the people sang: "Ho, everyone that thirsteth, come ye to the waters! and with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation" (Isaiah 55:1 & Isaiah 12:3).

Isaiah 55:1 – “Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.”

Isaiah 12:3 – “Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.”

During the feast it became a common Jewish saying, “He who has not seen the rejoicing at the pouring out of the water from the Pool of Siloam has never seen rejoicing in his life”. That's when Jesus cried out, "If any man thirst let him come unto Me”. “I am the living water". When Jesus spoke of rivers of living water, He was speaking of a continual supply of the joy of the Holy Ghost.

The work and ministry of the Holy Ghost is so important in the life of the Christian. That’s why we must pray to be filled with the Holy Ghost. Jesus promised to send the Holy Ghost (John 14:16-18, 26; 16:7, 13; Acts 1:4-8). The following are a few of the joyful blessings of being filled with the Holy Ghost.

· Joy in the New Life the Holy Ghost Gives (2 Corinthians 5:17) – God makes us a new creature by birthing us into a new family, the family of God.

2 Corinthians 5:17 – “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”

· Joy in the Forgiveness the Holy Ghost Gives (Psalm 32:1-2) – The true happy person is the person whose sins are washed away.

Psalm 32:1-2 – “Blessed (happy) is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.
2 Blessed (happy) is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.”

· Joy in the Assurance the Holy Ghost Gives - The Holy Ghost bears witness with our spirit that we are the children of God (Romans 8:16).

Romans 8:16 – “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God”

The Holy Ghost seals us from the moment we trust Jesus as our Savior, until the day He returns for us and give us our new glorified body (Ephesians 1:13; 4:30).

Ephesians 1:13 and 4:30 – “In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise”…..” And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.”

· Joy in the Peace the Holy Ghost Gives (John 14:27) – God gives us divine peace. The LORD gives us “Perfect Peace” (Isaiah 26:3) and “Great Peace” (Psalm 119:165).

Isaiah 26:3 – “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.”

Psalm 119:165 – “Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.”

· Joy in the Ministry the Holy Ghost Puts You In (Acts 13:1-4) - The Holy Ghost spoke to Paul and Barnabas and called them to go and preach His Word. This was all centered around prayer and fasting.

Acts 13:1-4 – “Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.
2 As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.
3 And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.
4 So they, being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed unto Seleucia; and from thence they sailed to Cyprus.”