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Christianity in the Old Testament, Part 5, Concluding Bertrand Comparet's Sermon, with Commentary
Here we shall finally conclude our presentation and commentary on Bertrand Comparet’s sermon, Christianity in the Old Testament.
After Comparet had presented a lengthy survey of Christian professions made in the Psalms and how they were interpreted as being Christian in nature by the apostles of Christ, Comparet returned to one of his earlier themes, to correctly assess the nature of the Old Testament feasts in relation to the phases of the ministry and the expected return of the Christ. So Comparet appropriately explained that the Spring feasts of the Old Testament calendar were related to the First Advent of the Messiah, and that the fall feasts relate to the expected Second Advent.
From there, and in relation to a name which is present in the Old Testament but which is obscured in the English translations, Comparet’s sermon necessarily goes on to describe what Satan truly is in Scripture, in relation to the name Azazel which is found in the Hebrew of Leviticus chapter 16, but which is translated only as scapegoat in our King James Version. To properly understand the significance of the Day of Atonement in the fall feast schedule, Comparet rather adeptly finds it necessary to explain the significance of Azazel, and that also requires a proper understanding of the meaning of the term Satan. So we left off the in our last segment of this presentation with the following paragraph from his sermon:
The fallen ones (Nephilim) were in the earth in those days, and even afterwards when sons of God (sons of God is mistranslated from the word nephilim meaning fallen angels) came in unto the daughters of men and they have children born to them, they are the heroes who, from of old, are the men of renown.” The fallen angels who followed Satan into rebellion were the ones who left their first estate (or condition), as we are told in Jude 6. The King James Bible says, “There were giants in the earth in those days,” but this is a pure mistranslation, as the Hebrew says “The nephilim were in the earth in those days.” The meaning of nephilim is, the fallen ones, obviously the fallen angels who had gone into rebellion under the leadership of Satan.
Here Comparet was correct in his explanation of nephilim, and where the King James Version says giants, the word is actually nephilim, or fallen ones. To us, this helps to indicate that the so-called “sons of God” of Genesis chapter 6 were actually already-fallen angels, and thus their bastard offspring were named fallen ones. But Comparet erred where he said that the term “sons of God” is mistranslated in the King James Bible. The Hebrew does indeed say “sons of God”. However we have already contended, in a paper at Christogenea titled The Problem With Genesis 6:1-4, that the original text should most probably say “sons of heaven”, and that the Masoretic Text is corrupt. This assertion, that Genesis chapter 6 should say “sons of heaven” where it reads “sons of God”, will also be corroborated where Comparet cites 1 Enoch here in this last part of his sermon, so we shall discuss this further when we discuss the Book of Enoch, 1 Enoch, a little further on. Now we shall continue with Comparet where he asks:
Who is Satan? The word Satan is not the name of any person, but a mere title, meaning the opponent. He is sometimes called Lucifer, but this also is only a title, meaning the shining one, or perhaps the light bearer. To learn who the person is carrying these titles, we must turn to the book of Enoch, as I have said. Enoch chapter 6 says, “And it came to pass, when the children of men had multiplied, that in those days were born unto them beautiful and comely daughters. And the angels, the children of the heaven, saw and lusted after them, and said to one another, Come, let us choose us wives from among the children of men and beget us children.” It goes on to list the names of the chief ringleaders among the rebel angels, among whom is one named Azazel.
Actually, the name Lucifer is a title which means light-bearer. I would not translate it as “shining one”. The word is literally a compound from the Latin words lux, a noun for light, and fero, a verb meaning to bear or to carry. This Latin word, fero, was borrowed from the similar Greek word φέρω, which bears the same meaning. The term Lucifer appears only in the King James Version or in other English versions, or the Latin Vulgate at Isaiah 14:12. The corresponding Greek term in the Septuagint is ὁ ἑωσφόρος, which properly means bringer of the morning, a reference to the morning star, the bringer of light, a term which appeared in Greek literature from the time of the Epic Poets Homer and Hesiod.
But Isaiah 14:12 is speaking of the king of Babylon. The term Lucifer is used in reference to him, and he is identified as a mere man in verse 16 where it says of him, “Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms…?” So it is wrong to say that Satan “is sometimes called Lucifer”, as it perpetuates the Rerrant oman Catholic idea that there is some singular supernatural Satan which is presently not of this world but who has some power to operate within and have control over this world. That concept is not found in Scripture.
The King of Babylon, like all the ancient Pharaohs of Egypt, the ancient kings of the Hittites, and many other ancient pagan kings, had considered himself the Sun on Earth, a light-bearer and law-giver, after his own pagan profession. So it says in Isaiah chapter 14, “13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: 14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.” This is poetic language describing a man who imagined himself to be god on earth, and to have a right to rule over the people of God on earth, a right which only Yahweh God actually has, although Yahweh allows whomsoever He wishes to rule over His people, usually for their punishment. So here Yahweh is making an example of a man who rules over all nations, but who is proud of heart and is going to be punished for his insolence. So while Lucifer does not properly refer to Satan, as a proper noun referring to a single supernatural being, it does in this case refer to a satan, as an improper noun which can be used to describe any man who is opposed to the will of God.
In the Gospel accounts, for example, the apostle Peter is called “satan”, where Chirst tells him “Get thee behind me, Satan…” This was because when Christ expressed the Will of God in reference to Himself, Peter protested and thought that he had a better plan. So at that moment Peter was acting contrarily to God, and was therefore acting as a small-s satan, acting as an opponent to Christ. There are other entities which collectively are a capital-S Satan, a particular Satan, because they have been and are forever contrary to the will of God. Furthermore, every bastard is such a satan, because a bastard’s very existence is contrary to the law of God. Therefore bastards are congenital satans, they are contrary to God from birth.
In any event, the Book of Enoch describes a collection of angels that sinned, and collectively they may indeed be called Satan, as they were – and as their descendants still are collectively Satan – because they do many things which are contrary, or adversarial, to God. [In Genesis chapter 3, this is the “Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil”.] So continuing with Comparet, he says:
Enoch chapter 8 records, “And Azazel taught men to make swords and knives and shields and breastplates, and made known to them the metals of war and the art of working them. And there arose much godlessness and they committed fornication and they were led astray and became corrupt in all their ways. And as men perished, they cried, and their cry went up to heaven.” It tells how Yahweh sent a committee of four archangels, Michael, Uriel, Raphael and Gabriel to investigate and report back to Him just how bad conditions really were. In Enoch chapter 9 they report, “Thou seest what Azazel hath done, who hath taught all unrighteousness on earth ... And the women have borne giants and the whole earth has thereby been filled with blood and unrighteousness.” In Enoch chapter 10 Yahweh orders Raphael to, “Bind Azazel hand and foot and cast him into darkness: and make an opening in the desert which is in Dudael and cast him therein.” Then God pronounces sentence upon Azazel, “The whole earth has been corrupted through the works that were taught by Azazel: To him ascribe all sin.” Yahweh commands that Azazel be kept imprisoned in darkness in the pit in the desert, awaiting his final judgment and condemnation.
Of course, Comparet’s purpose in this sermon is not to give a full survey and treatise on the nature of the fallen angels from apocryphal literature such as 1 Enoch. He is only actually attempting to explain the presence of the term, Azazel, in the Hebrew language of Leviticus chapter 16. So his purpose is somewhat narrower than the elaborations that we are providing here. But I must provide these elabortations in order to attempt to clear up some of the misconceptions concerning not only 1 Enoch, but also misconceptions concerning the fallen angels, which have been extant in Christian Identity circles for quite some time.
There are different books named after Enoch, and not all of them have equal value. What Comparet refers to here is 1 Enoch, and it only survives in two extant sources. The first and longest-known is the Ethiopic 1 Enoch. It is called Ethiopic because it was preserved in manuscripts in Ethiopia for many centuries and rediscovered by Western scholars in the 19th century, when it was translated into English. This book is actually several books concatenated into one, and I believe that it has suffered many interpolations which actually bring it into conflict with Scripture, so it must be used very critically and very carefully. The other source is the many fragments of 1 Enoch found in the Dead Sea Scrolls. These I believe are legitimate, or at least, much more legitimate, and better reflect the Enoch writings which were cited by the apostles.
That being said, there is another concern to address. If someone who is familiar with our Two-Seedline teachings peruses Charles’ edition of 1 Enoch, he may be led to believe that there are two groups of fallen angels. This is also true if someone reads the Scripture and accepts certain misconceptions concerning Genesis chapter 6. While Genesis 6 mentions so-called “sons of God” which both “saw” and “came in unto” the daughters of men, that does not mean that those presumed angels were in heaven when that event took place. Yet many commentators have made that assumption, and Robert H. Charles, the translator of the most popular edition of 1 Enoch, which was first published in 1906, was one of those commentators.
Furthermore, when we read modern publications of ancient books, we must often discern between the comments of the translators or the editors, and the original material. So when we read Charles’ edition of 1 Enoch, and we see at the heading of chapter 6 the title “The Fall of the Angels...” etc., we must understand that is how Charles interpreted the material, but it is not necessarily what the material originally intended. 1 Enoch chapter 6 parallels and greatly expounds upon what we see in Genesis chapter 6. Charles interpreted this to be describing the fall of the angels. But we must ask, is that really the case? At the very beginning of 1 Enoch there is certainly an indication that the angels had already fallen.
From Charles’ edition of 1 Enoch, chapter 1:
1 The words of the blessing of Enoch, wherewith he blessed the elect [and] righteous, who will be living in the day of tribulation, when all the wicked [and godless] are to be removed. 2 And he took up his parable and said – Enoch a righteous man, whose eyes were opened by God, saw the vision of the Holy One in the heavens, [which] the angels showed me, and from them I heard everything, and from them I understood as I saw, but not for this generation, but for a remote one which is for to come. 3 Concerning the elect I said, and took up my parable concerning them:
The Holy Great One will come forth from His dwelling,
4 And the eternal God will tread upon the earth, (even) on Mount Sinai,
[And appear from His camp]
And appear in the strength of His might from the heaven [of heavens].
5 And all shall be smitten with fear
And the Watchers shall quake,
And great fear and trembling shall seize them unto the ends of the earth.
6 And the high mountains shall be shaken,
And the high hills shall be made low,
And shall melt like wax before the flame.
7 And the earth shall be [wholly] rent in sunder,
And all that is upon the earth shall perish,
And there shall be a judgement upon all (men).
8 But with the righteous He will make peace.
And will protect the elect,
And mercy shall be upon them.
And they shall all belong to God,
And they shall be prospered,
And they shall [all] be blessed.
[And He will help them all],
And light shall appear unto them,
[And He will make peace with them].
9 And behold! He cometh with ten thousands of [His] holy ones
To execute judgement upon all,
And to destroy [all] the ungodly:
And to convict all flesh
Of all the works [of their ungodliness] which they have ungodly committed,
And of all the hard things which ungodly sinners [have spoken] against Him.
Here, from the very beginning of 1 Enoch, we see a need for the wicked to be removed, and a description of watchers who should be in fear, ostensibly, in fear of judgment for the wrongs which they had already committed. So later on in Enoch, at the heading of chapter 6 where Charles wrote the title and mentioned “The Fall of the Angels...” etc., we do not have to accept Charles’ interpretation. In fact, I would assert that we must reject it, and that the angels of the race-mixing events of Genesis chapter 6 were already fallen. While the term watcher is used to refer to certain of the angels of Yahweh in Daniel chapter 4, that by itself does not preclude the possibility that men of Enoch’s time used the term to refer to angels, even if they were fallen angels, just as they continued to refer to fallen angels as “sons of heaven”. In that same manner, in the Aramaic Targum of Jonathan for Genesis 4:1, it says of Cain “and he was like the heavenly beings, and not like earthly beings”. In 1 Enoch chapter 14 and elsewhere the watchers are called “the children of heaven”.
The actual text of Charles’ translation of 1 Enoch chapter 6 opens with the words “1 And it came to pass when the children of men had multiplied that in those days were born unto them beautiful and comely daughters. 2 And the angels, the children of the heaven, saw and lusted after them, and said to one another: ‘Come, let us choose us wives from among the children of men and beget us children.’ 3 And Semjâzâ, who was their leader, said unto them: ‘I fear ye will not indeed agree to do this deed, and I alone shall have to pay the penalty of a great sin.’ 4. And they all answered him and said: ‘Let us all swear an oath, and all bind ourselves by mutual imprecations not to abandon this plan but to do this thing.’”
Now, there is nothing here that leads us to conclude that this describes the actual fall of the angels. Instead, it could very well be describing the intentions of angels which had already fallen. They may have been angels and “children of Heaven”, from the viewpoint of the men at that time, but that does not necessarily mean that they were angels in heaven. These are the watchers of 1 Enoch chapter 1, who right from the beginning of the work are already portrayed as quaking with fear. Therefore they must also be related to “all the wicked” of the first few verses of the book, all the wicked who had already sinned against God. Since for man, sin was in the world from Adam to Moses, yet sin was not imputed, as Paul of Tarsus explains in Romans chapter 5, then the reference in 1 Enoch chapter 1 must be to angels which had already fallen.
Comparet is correct, that one of the fallen angels named in 1 Enoch is Azazel, and that in the book, all sin is ascribed to him. So we read in 1 Enoch chapter 10: “And the whole earth has been corrupted through the works that were taught by Azazel (Azâzêl): to him ascribe all sin.” However this same chapter describes the fallen angels as being bound in literal chains and cast into literal pits in the desert, which reflects some of the reasons I cannot accept the work as canon. Azazel is, however, mentioned in fragmentary portions of the Enoch literature in the Dead Sea Scrolls, in a similar context (i.e. 4Q203).
Returning to Comparet:
With this background, knowing who and what Azazel is, we are ready to commence our study of the day of atonement. The instructions for the day of atonement are found in Leviticus chapters 16 & 23. Usually I read to you the scriptures on the point and then explain it. However, if I read it in detail here, just Leviticus chapter 16 alone would take all of my time. So, I suggest that you first read Leviticus 23:26-30 and all of Leviticus 16 and we will now study its meaning.
Leviticus 23:26-30 contains instructions for the Day of Atonement: “26 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 27 Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD. 28 And ye shall do no work in that same day: for it is a day of atonement, to make an atonement for you before the LORD your God. 29 For whatsoever soul it be that shall not be afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut off from among his people. 30 And whatsoever soul it be that doeth any work in that same day, the same soul will I destroy from among his people.”
Concerning Azazel, the most pertinent portion of Leviticus chapter 16 is found in verses 8, 10 and 26, where the name appears four times, but is translated as scapegoat in the King James Version. As we proceed, Comparet shall read the pertinent portion using the name, Azazel, rather than the dubitable translation. For now he continues:
Ordinarily, the high priest performed his duties dressed in a magnificent embroidered robe, decorated with golden ornaments as well as colored embroidery and with the golden breastplate set with twelve jewels, each with the name of one of the tribes of Israel engraved on the jewel. Read Exodus chapter 28. It was the best man could do to indicate the majesty of one who, when so clad, represented the Godhood. The high priest when clad in his regular robes of office represented Yahshua in all the glory and majesty of Yahweh, before He came in the form of a man.
On the day of atonement however, the high priest laid aside his magnificent robes, bathed and dressed entirely in white linen, symbols of sinless purity. This was representing Yahshua coming in human form, having for a time laid aside the full majesty of the Godhood and being without sin, Leviticus 16:4. The high priest was himself a man, with the faults and sins which all men have. He must cleanse himself of his own sins before he can act out the part of Yahshua in the ritual of the day of atonement. Therefore, he next sacrifices a sin offering on behalf of himself and his household. By this he is cleansed of his sins and so can play the part of the sinless Christ, Leviticus 16:6,11 &14.
Leviticus 16:4 describes how Aaron is to dress himself. The later three verses, 6, 11 and 14, mention the sin offering for atonement being made by Aaron. Continuing with Comparet:
The symbolism of the animal sacrifices offered by individual sinners was clearly this: Realizing that he had sinned, the sinner went to the temple and offered his sin offering, the death of the animal symbolizing his faith that the death of the real Savior would pay the penalty of his sins. By this, he was cleansed of his sin, he left the sin and its penalty at the temple. While the sinner was freed from the penalty, the sin must still be accounted for. So, the sins of the people accumulated at the temple all through the year. On the day of atonement, the temple contained all the sins of the people for the entire year. The temple must be cleansed of these accumulated sins before the rest of the ceremony could be performed. After the high priest had offered the sin offering on behalf of himself and his family, he was ready to make the great atonement for the people. The real meaning of this has been concealed by mistranslation in the King James Bible. In many of the modern translations, it has also been mistranslated.
The Hebrew reads, “And Aaron shall take from the assembly of the children of Israel two kids of the goats for a sin offering, and he shall take the two goats and cause them to stand before Yahweh at the door of the tabernacle. And Aaron shall cast lots over the two goats, one lot for Yahweh and one lot for Azazel; and Aaron shall bring near the goat on which the lot for Yahweh has fallen, and shall make it a sin offering. And the goat on which the lot for Azazel fell, he shall cause to stand living before Yahweh, to make atonement by it, to send it away for a goat of departure into the desert. And he shall slaughter the goat of the sin offering which is the people’s and shall take its blood into the inside of the veil, and shall sprinkle it on the mercy seat and at the front of the mercy seat, and he shall make atonement for the sanctuary because of the uncleanness of the children of Israel and because of their transgressions in all their sins. And he shall make atonement for himself and for his household and for all the assembly of Israel.”
First, concerning the name, Azazel. The rabbis have long disputed the meaning of this word. The definition in Strong’s Concordance reflects some of that disputation. But Strong’s definition, based mostly on the first portion of the word, which is related to a word that can mean rough, does not adequately account for the meaning which he attributes to the entire word.
Here Comparet did something I would not have expected. Where he said “goat of departure”, he is doing the same thing that the King James Version did by translating the name Azazel as “scapegoat”, which originally seems to mean the goat that escapes, in spite of its modern use as the goat that gets the blame. So if we accept Azazel as the name of a fallen angel, verse 10 should be read: “ 10 But the goat, on which the lot fell for Azazel, shall be presented alive before the LORD, to make an atonement with him, and to let him go for Azazel into the wilderness.” Continuing with Comparet:
Before we finish this, let’s understand this part of it. The high priest has received from the nation of Israel two goats and he has cast lots over them to select one goat for a sin offering to Yahweh on behalf of all the people and the other goat is then selected for Azazel. The goat of the sin offering, on behalf of the people, is then slaughtered in sacrifice. The high priest then takes its blood into the holy of holies, where he sprinkles a little of the blood on and before the mercy seat where Yahweh sits. Thus he reminds Yahweh that blood has been shed to pay for all the sins of all the people. This symbolizes Yahshua offering His own innocent blood, shed to pay for all the sins of all the people who will accept Him as their Savior.
We must qualify this. The blood of Yahshua was shed to pay for all of the sins of all the people of Israel, who will all ultimately accept Him as their Savior. Comparet continues:
Hebrews chapter 9 explains, “6 Now when these things were thus ordained, the priest went always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God. 7 But into the second went the high priest alone, once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself and for the errors of the people…. 11 But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation. 12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by His own blood he entered into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. 13 For if the blood of bulls and of goats and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh; how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal spirit offered Himself without spot to Yahweh, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?… 22 And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without the shedding of blood is no remission of sins. 23 It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. 24 For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of Yahweh for us: 25 nor yet that he should offer Himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with the blood of others; 26 for then must He often have suffered since the foundation of the world. But now once in the end of the age hath He appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.”
So Yahshua was offered, to bear the sins of many. Surely, the sacrifice of the goat as a sin offering on behalf of the people, symbolizes Yahshua offering His own life as the sacrifice for us and entering heaven to stand before Yahweh to offer the shedding of His own blood, as the proof that no blame now remains upon those whom He has thus saved. Christianity? Of course it is! Remember, all this is found in the early part of the Old Testament. Yahweh didn’t give us a different religion there, nor make any mistakes which needed correction later. He was right the first time and all the time. He gave us Christianity, in all its completeness, in the Old Testament.
Next, the high priest comes out of the holy of holies and he lays aside the plain white linen and resumes his gorgeous robes. This symbolizes Yahshua coming again, not as a mere man who could be treated with contempt and murdered, but returning with all the power and glory of Yahweh. The high priest now took the other goat, the one selected for Azazel. This goat was not sacrificed. The high priest laid his hands on the head of this goat and confessed over him all the sins of all the people. Leviticus 16:21-22 instructs, “And Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them on the head of the goat, and shall send him away by the hand of a fit man into the desert: and the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited: and he shall let go the goat in the desert.”
Notice that the scapegoat gets the blame, but it is also the goat which gets away, while the other goat dies. Today, as we use the term, it is usually the scapegoat that gets punished instead. So we do not really use the term scapegoat in the same exact manner as it appears in the King James Version. Continuing with Comparet, we find why the sins were placed on the head of the goat for Azazel, and for this reason I have long accepted, and still would accept, his premise concerning the name Azazel as the actual reading of the word:
Remember how the book of Enoch reported Yahweh’s judgment upon Azazel? Unto Azazel ascribe all sin. Since he had taught men to sin and had created and ruled the evil conditions which kept them sinning, Azazel must himself bear the full responsibility for all their sins. For him there was no sacrifice to pay his penalty for him. To him the message was, “Here Azazel, all these sins are yours, you must answer for every one of them.”
Notice the perfect consistency of Bible symbolism. The goat bears the people’s sins and takes them away into an uninhabited desert. The Bible’s doctrine of forgiveness of sin is not merely that Yahweh withholds the punishment we have earned, it is that Yahweh has removed the sin and all its unclean stain from us. He has separated us from our sins. Psalm 103:12 promises, “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath He removed our transgressions from us.” The sin and all its consequences are gone from us and delivered to Azazel for him to bear the consequences of his own misdeeds.
We can add one further observation to this. In the actual sacrifice of Christ, there was a scapegoat as well. Barabbas, according to Luke and John, was a robber, a murderer, and a leader of a sedition, so he had many sins upon his head. But the Judaeans chose to let him go, and to have Christ, who was without sin, crucified instead. But in that same manner no sin was placed on the head of the goat that was sacrificed for atonement in Leviticus 16. So Barabbas was indeed symbolic of the scapegoat, or goat for Azazel. Continuing with Comparet:
The day of atonement is not just something out of an old religion, superseded now by the new. It is the mystery of Christianity in its purest essence. Leviticus 16:34 commands, “And this shall be an everlasting statute unto you, to make atonement for the children of Israel for all their sins, once a year.” While we no longer sacrifice one goat and drive another out into the desert, we are supposed to understand the truth which the ceremony symbolized and never forget it. The Hebrew new year came on the first day of the Hebrew month Tishri and the day of atonement came on the tenth. Then on the fifteenth of Tishri began the week long feast of tabernacles.
Again, we must reject the identification of the Feast of Trumpets, the first day of Tishri, with the modern Jewish New Year. Now Comparet continues by discussing the Feast of Tabernacles:
Leviticus 23:34-43 gives the rule. “Speak unto the children of Israel saying, The fifteenth day of the seventh month shall be the feast of tabernacles for seven days unto Yahweh. On the first day shall be an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein. Seven days shall ye offer an offering made by fire unto Yahweh: on the eighth day shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto Yahweh: it is a solemn assembly; and ye shall do no servile work therein. In the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when ye have gathered in the fruit of the land, ye shall keep a feast unto Yahweh seven days: on the first day shall be a sabbath and on the eighth day shall be a sabbath. 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 Yahweh your God seven days. And ye shall keep it a feast unto Yahweh seven days in the year. It shall be a statute forever in your generations: ye shall celebrate it in the seventh month. Ye shall dwell in booths seven days; all that are Israelites born shall dwell in booths: that your generation may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am Yahweh your God.”
Now let us consider what this means, remember the Israelites were then farmers and stock raisers, theirs was an entirely agricultural civilization. Very few made a living as merchants, even as it is today! The agricultural year began with the plowing and sowing of seed and it ended with the completion of the harvests. The last harvest was the grape vintage and by the time of the feast of tabernacles, even this was complete. The farmers had worked hard all year and now their labors were finished, they had their crops gathered and stored in their barns. Now they could rest and enjoy the fruits of their labors. We have lived under the curse of a fallen world and have spent all the age in hard labor. However, when Yahshua comes the second time, to free the world of its curse and set up the kingdom of Yahweh in all its glory, it will start a new age, Yahweh has not forgotten our labors. The reward of our good deeds awaits us, just like the farmer’s crops stored in his barn, then we can rest and rejoice.
Of all the festivals, only the day of atonement was a somber one, the others were happy. The feast of tabernacles was the most joyous of all. Emphasis was laid upon the people dwelling for seven days in brush shelters, sometimes called booths, and there was mention made that this was in commemoration of the exodus from Egypt where the people were nomads without any houses. It does not seem that this was the entire significance of it, because it is associated with the idea of the end of this age. We know that this age will end in terrible war and devastation. It may be prophetic of a time to come, when destruction of cities will again force the survivors to dwell in such temporary shelters as they can find.
Actually, I would rather believe that the Feast of Tabernacles is scheduled to look forward to the time described in Ezekiel chapter 37: “26 Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them: and I will place them, and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore. 27 My tabernacle also shall be with them: yea, I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 28 And the heathen shall know that I the LORD do sanctify Israel, when my sanctuary shall be in the midst of them for evermore.” The tabernacle of Yahweh is the physical body of Yahshua Christ.
Furthermore, the Feast of Trumpets originally had nothing to do with any so-called Jewish New Year. But in ancient times, trumpets were employed to call men to war. When Christ returns, all of His enemies are going to be destroyed at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb described in Revelation chapter 19. So we believe that the Feast of Trumpets is prophetic of the ultimate calling of the people of Christ to war against His enemies. Continuing with Comparet:
There are some further things about the feast of tabernacles we should study, first the word itself. In the Hebrew there are three words which have all been indiscriminately translated tabernacle, meaning a tent or temporary, moveable dwelling, but these three words have different meanings. The first is ohel, meaning a tent, the second is sukkah, meaning a hut of brush and twigs, or a booth. Both of these words mean a temporary dwelling place. The third word is mishkan, meaning a permanent dwelling place. On the exodus from Egypt, the people were constantly wandering about and had to dwell in tents, if they were lucky enough to have them, or in booths made of brush. In Hosea 12:19 Yahweh warns us, “I, Yahweh, thy God from the land of Egypt, will yet make thee to dwell in tabernacles, as in the days of the solemn feasts.” This reinforces the idea that the command to live in such brush booths for the seven days of the feast of tabernacles was prophetic of a coming time when we would again be in flight from disaster and would have to take what shelter we could get. We will come back to the meaning of these words a little later.
We have a small issue with this. While these different words certainly must be distinguished, the word mishkan was also used throughout Exodus to describe the Tabernacle in the Wilderness constructed by the children of Israel after the Exodus. That tabernacle was both portable, and apparently not meant to be permanent, as it was replaced by the temple in Jerusalem. Continuing with Comparet:
One further significant thing about the feast of tabernacles, it came right after the last harvest of the grape vintage was completed. In Matthew 13:38-41 Yahshua explains the parable of the tares sown among the wheat saying, “The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; the enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the age; and the reapers are the angels. As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this age. The Son of man shall send forth His angels and they shall gather out of His kingdom all things that offend and them which do iniquity; and shall cast them into a furnace of fire.” We know that the coming end of this age is with the final world war, including the battle of Armageddon. This is the process of gathering out all the wicked for destruction, other prophets have written of it as the harvest of the vine of the earth.
For example Joel 3:13 states, “Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe: come, get you down, for the winepress is full, the vats overflow; for their wickedness is great.” The idea is completed in Revelation 14:14-19, “And I looked and behold, a white cloud and upon the cloud One sat like unto the Son of man, having on His head a golden crown and in His hand a sharp sickle. And another eagle came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to Him that sat upon the cloud, Thrust in Thy sickle and reap: for the time is come for Thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe. And He that sat upon the cloud thrust in His sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped. And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle. And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and he cried with a loud voice to him that had the sharp sickle saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth, for her grapes are fully ripe. And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth and gathered the vine of the earth and cast it into the great wine press of the wrath of God.”
Certainly no rest for us, as enjoyment of our reward is not possible until the harvest removes from us the wicked who have ruined our every effort to build the kingdom of Yahweh during this age. So the symbolism of the feast of tabernacles, coming right after the harvest and marking the first time in the year when we have had time and opportunity to enjoy the fruits of our own labors, is fully consistent with the other portions of the Bible which develop other parts of the same basic idea.
Now, to get back to the meaning of tabernacle. There was a fulfillment in the birth of Yahshua, which occurred on October 4, 4 B.C. on the first day of the feast of tabernacles.
I would date the year to 3 BC, for reasons given in the earlier portions of my commentary of the Gospel of Luke. The time of year is more important here than the year itself. Comparet continues:
No, He was not born on December 25th, for this is only an old pagan holiday celebrating the winter solstice, which can be traced back to at least 2000 B.C. in Egypt. In John 1:1,14 we read, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with Yahweh and the Word was Yahweh; And the Word became flesh and did tabernacle among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” He came to live among us in the form of a mortal man only temporarily, so it is said that He tabernacled among us. The great fulfillment is yet to come, when He comes to remain forever among us, in fulfillment of the rest of the prophecy in both Old and New Testaments. First in Leviticus 26:3, 11-12 where Yahweh says, “I will set My tabernacle among you; (Here the word is Mishkan, My permanent dwelling place) and My soul shall not abhor you. And I shall walk among you and will be your God and ye shall be My people.” The fulfillment of this is again prophesied in Revelation 21:3 saying, “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 Yahweh Himself shall be with them and be their God.” Here the word translated tabernacle is the Greek word skene, which like the Hebrew mishkan, means a permanent dwelling place.
The word for tabernacle is also mishkan in the similar verse and promise which we had cited earlier, from Ezekiel chapter 37. But according to Liddell & Scott, a σκηνή, however, is primarily only a covered place, a tent, and in the plural a camp. Then generally, it can be a dwelling-place, house, or even a temple.
We read in Revelation chapter 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.” That tabernacle must be the returning Christ, and represents Yahweh God in the flesh. Comparet continues:
We have reviewed the Old Testament and found it to be as fully a Christian book as is the New Testament. We have shown this on other occasions that the Old Testament is just as fully a Christian book, just as the New Testament is as fully an Israel book as the Old Testament.
While we are about it, let’s correct that false use of the word testament, meaning the written will by which a dying man leaves his property to others. The words used correctly mean a covenant, it is a solemn contract to agreement between two or more persons. This correct usage makes sense and is consistent with all the Bible has to say about it. Yahweh made His covenant with Abraham and Yahweh never breaks His word. The Bible tells us in Jeremiah 31:31-33, “Behold the days come, saith Yahweh, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which My covenant they broke, although I was an husband unto them, saith Yahweh: but this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel: after these days, saith Yahweh, I will put My law into their inward parts and write it in their hearts; and will be their God and they shall be My people.”
However we must add that in English a testament is not only a will, even though that is the primary use of the term. But a testament can also be “something that serves as a sign or evidence of a specified fact, event, or quality”, according to certain dictionaries. The Scriptures in each testament are certainly something that serves as evidence of the facts of the covenants which they contain, so in that manner they certainly can be called testaments. Comparet continues by discussing the difference between the two testaments:
The only change is from a rigid code of laws which are followed just to the letter and no more, to a code which Yahweh has written in the hearts of His people so they now obey Him willingly, out of love, not out of compulsion and fear. It is the same covenant, dealing with the same laws. In Hebrews 8:8-10, this passage from Jeremiah is quoted exactly, showing that the new covenant is merely the old covenant written in the people’s hearts. There is no way the preachers can twist this into a repudiation of the Old Testament, or more correctly Old Covenant. Indeed, it is the clearest kind of affirmation of it as being right and good from the very beginning. Yahweh was always faithful to His word, the only change to a new covenant is one which will make us also faithful to our promise to obey Him and be His people.
There is as much Christianity in the Old Testament as in the New. There is as much Israel in the New Testament as in the Old. Both Testaments are but the two halves of one consistent book, written by Yahweh, who is always truthful and consistent. He knew the end from the beginning, He made no mistakes and no failures. Yahweh had no need to abandon anything and make a new start. In the beginning only His chosen prophets fully understood His message, indeed that has always been true. With the passing of time, the message was more clearly unfolded for the people in general, but it was always the same message throughout the entire book. The Israelites are Yahweh’s people, and He provided Christian salvation and redemption for them despite their sins, so that He could make good all of His wonderful promises to His people.
Speaking of the people of the Exodus, Paul told the Corinthians, in chapter 10 of his first surviving epistle to them, that “that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; 2 And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; 3 And did all eat the same spiritual meat; 4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.” Then in chapter 3 of his second epistle to them, he makes an allegory of the vail which Moses had worn at Sinai and says: “13 And not as Moses, which put a vail over his face, that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished: 14 But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ. 15 But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart. 16 Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away. ” So according to Paul of Tarsus, the Old Testament certainly must be a Christian book.
For these reasons and many others, Christians should never consider the people of the Old Testament to be Jews. The term Judah was the name of only one of twelve tribes in Israel, most of whom were never called Jews. Rather, the people of the Old Testament were pre-Christ Christians, because they all looked forward to the redemption and salvation which would ultimately come in the form of Yahshua Christ. Yet Judaism is a corruption of the Old Testament which happened in the process of the corruption of the old kingdom of Judaea. So, as we have cited before in other contexts, we may read in The Epistle to the Magnesians where the 2nd century Christian bishop Ignatius wrote that:
It is absurd to profess Christ Jesus, and to Judaize. For Christianity did not embrace Judaism, but Judaism Christianity, that so every tongue which believeth might be gathered together to God.
This concludes our presentation of Christianity in the Old Testament, and of Bertrand Comparet’s sermon by that title.