The Gathering
December 18, 2019

The Gathering

Passage: 2 Corinthians 3:16-18
Service Type:

Last Wednesday, we spoke about the light. We are in the season in which the Jewish people celebrate the miracle of light. The festival is called, “Hannukah”. The recapture of the Temple by the Jews after the conquest of Alexander the Great was attended by a miraculous event. The Jews lit the Temple Menorah but had only enough oil for it to burn one day. But, the Menorah burned for eight days until new oil could be consecrated. We are the light of the world and shine for all to see. 

Instead of talking about the light tonight, let’s talk about the oil. We have with us in the sanctuary some oil. A sacred substance. The substance of anointing. The substance that miraculously lasted for eight days creating the Jewish celebration of light. The true anointing comes from the Holy Spirit. Oil is the symbol of God’s Spirit. The name for oil in Hebrew is:

This word is almost certainly the origin of the Latin word “semen” meaning “seed” from which we get our English word “semen”. The word is very closely connected to “life”. The word for eighth in Hebrew is very closely connected to “shemen”.

You could say that the word “eight” or “eighth” in Hebrew draws its roots from the word “shemen”. Okay, let’s process: oil is the symbol of the Spirit. Oil is linked to the number “eight”. So, the power of the Spirit is linked to the number “eight”. Seven is the biblical number for “completion”. Eight is the number for “beginnings” or that which is “above completion”. Here’s some synonyms for “above” – “exceeding; surpassing; overflowing; abounding.

But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. /// 2 Corinthians 3:16-18 (NIV)

Since the number “eight” and “oil” which is a symbol of the Spirit are linked then where the Spirit is Lord you find “a new beginning; living beyond limitations; living beyond the finite”. Why are you telling us this? First, we are in a season of the miracle oil. We are in a season in which oil and light worked together to produce a miracle. For those who are oil and light, expect a miracle! Second, the Lord has been speaking to the leadership about Capstone, which we plan to share with everyone the first Sunday in January. But, the number “eight” is also linked to the mystery day on the Jewish calendar:

You find this day mentioned in two places in Scripture: 

On the eighth day you shall have a sacred assembly. You shall do no customary work. /// Numbers 29:35
For seven days you shall offer an offering made by fire to the Lord. On the eighth day you shall have a holy convocation, and you shall offer an offering made by fire to the Lord. It is a sacred assembly, and you shall do not customary work. /// Leviticus 23:36

The seven days spoken of in Leviticus refer to Sukkot or the Feast of Tabernacles. The Feast of Tabernacles is known to the Jews as a feast of Ingathering since it celebrates the Fall harvest. It also foreshadows the coming of the Lord. The mysterious eighth day spoken of here has always been curious to rabbis. Very little is given by God to tell us what is to be done on this day. French Rabbi Rashi explained Shemini Atzeret this way in his commentary on Leviticus:

God says to Israel, “I have detained you [to remain] with Me.” This is analogous to a king who invited his sons to feast with him for a certain number of days, and when the time came for them to leave, he said: “My sons! Please, stay with me just one more day, [for] it is difficult for me to part with you!”

All beautiful! But, the Spirit of the Lord is saying that there is a gathering coming. We are to ask for what we have labored for and prayed for. This is the time of the end of an era and the ushering in of another. A platform must be created from which God will finish His work.

Today’s Scriptures:

  •       2 Corinthians 3:16-18 (NIV)
  •       Numbers 29:35
  •       Leviticus 23:36

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