Habakkuk 3: 17-19

Sunday, October 2, 2016, the Year of Our Lord

Pastor Carolyn Sissom



I have multiple teachings on the website about the Feast of Tabernacles. This year I prayed unto the Lord and asked Him how He wanted me to preach this or even if I was to preach it.  Last night in my dream, I was standing before you preaching on the Feast of Tabernacles.    This year because of the trouble in our nation, I present the Feast of Tabernacles to you as the Feast of Rest (Heb. 4: 9-10).


In Habakkuk, we have been studying the rest and peace in Christ Jesus in the day of trouble.  Habakkuk is the Old Testament book of faith


Everything in life---health, family, finances church, ministry, and nation must be laid at the feet of Jesus.


  God is bringing America to its knees.


Hab. 3:17:: “Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labor of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls…”


This verse describes the very life blood of the nation.  Without the fig and olive trees, sheep and cattle, Judah could not exist.  The “fig tree,” is a symbol of security and hope and represents the nation of Judah as a whole. 


The word for “fruit” in Habakkuk 3:17 means “produce; crop or wealth”.  This portrays the natural and spiritual wealth of Judah and America.  Emblematic of the nation (Deut 8:8), the “olive” tree was a symbol of vigor, strength, and prosperity.  Oil, of course, is a symbol of the Holy Spirit.


Habakkuk is painting a picture for a famine for hearing the Word of God (the fig tree).   The woeful lack of the Holy Spirit (the olive tree) has emptied the field, the flock and the fold.


Hab. 3: 18-19: “…yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation.  The Lord God is my strength, and He will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and He will make me to walk upon my high places.”


Feast of Tabernacles is a glorious celebration of harvest, prosperity, joy, rejoicing and the glory of Israel.  In view of the Chaldean army bearing down on Judah, the prophet knows they cannot exist without the fruit, the flocks, and the fold. 


But the prophet’s “burden” had taken him to the watch tower to receive the “vision” of the Lord.  Habakkuk is transformed by God’s own faith.  His “prayer” breaks forth in song.


Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.”


“Rejoice (alaz) means to jump for joy; to exult; be joyful; triumph.” (Strong’s #5937)


Habakkuk 3:18 shows the powerful reality of resting in the Lord.  The fruit of His peace is His joy and strength (Neh. 8:10).  The word for “joy” is stronger than the word for “rejoice.”  It is to spring around under the influence of violent emotion.


Joy is eternal.  Joy is not based upon anything circumstantial.  Joy is pure, uninhibited emotion pouring from the heart of God Himself. (Ro. 5:5)  Happiness is a choice.  Joy is eternal for the Kingdom of God is righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost.


Who or what is the source of all this joy?  Habakkuk had a vision of the God of (his) salvation, a vision of Jesus!  He saw the One whose very name means “salvation, liberty, deliverance, and prosperity.” 


Jesus is our joy because Jesus is our Peace.  Peace is the foundation of joy.  Security begets expression.


Isa. 55:12:  “For you shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace; the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you with singing and the fields shall clap their hands.”


Those of us who have learned to “rest in the day of trouble” know these verses well.   We have come to understand that His rest is progressive, as well as once-and-for-all.   There is a rest that is “given” and a rest that is “found.”


Habakkuk prophesied (2;1-4) that his vision was yet for an “appointed time,” or for the “festival.”  There are seven Feasts of the Lord and three main Feasts:  Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles Deut. 16:13-14: “You shall observe the feast of tabernacles, after you have gathered in your corn and your wine and you shall rejoice in your feast…”


The Church in America has come through two Feasts, and is in the first days of the third.  We have experienced Jesus Christ as our Savior, the Passover Lamb and as the One who baptized with the Holy Ghost, as He did on the Day of Pentecost.  We are meeting Him in the “third day,” in the third meeting in the third dimension, as Lord and King.


We are now living in a serious time, the “day of trouble.”  God will no longer deal with America and the Church in America as children or teenagers.  We are the most blessed nation on the earth.  In 7-l/2 short years, we have seen our nation under attack by the Chaldeans with corruption in all three branches of our government,


Acts 17:30: “In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now He commands all people everywhere to repent.”


In the Feast of Passover, the Outer Court of His purposes, there is a rest that is “given.”  Our sins are forgiven and washed away by the blood of Jesus, and we experience peace “with God.”  In the Feast of Tabernacles, in the Most Holy Place, there is a rest that is “found.”  In the high calling of coming to the fullness of His stature, we experience the peace “of” God.


Eph. 4:13: “Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; but speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ.”


The Lord is dealing with us now as sons, commanding us to renew our minds.  All things are out of Him, and through Him, and into Him.


Romans 11:36:  For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory forever. Amen.


 We are going “through” Him now.  The living Word is the filter through whom we all must pass.  He is the flaming Sword that turns ‘every way” (Gen. 3:24; Heb. 4:12).  Every sin---individually, corporately, nationally---that we have not faced is being dealt with now by the spirit of the “Chaldeans.”


Put plainly, He is not going to allow us to carry our “mess” into His Kingdom.  He invites us all:


Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and you shall find rest unto your souls.  For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” (Mt. 11:28-30).


Sandwiched between Passover and Tabernacles is His “yoke” of covenantal discipline, the Feast of Pentecost.  It is in the realm of Pentecost that we are buffeted, sharpened, and strengthened to “overcome” and fight the good fight of Faith.  The American Church has experienced childhood and adolescence in God, and is not only being called, but being pushed, pulled and thrust to the place of maturity and full responsibility (Phil. 3: 12-14). 


Hos. 6: 1-3: “Come, and let us return unto the Lord; for He has torn, and He will heal us.  He has smitten, and He will bind us up.  After two days will he revive us; in the third day He will raise us up, and we shall live in His sight.  Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord; His going forth is prepared as the morning; and He shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.”


“The seasonal rains in Palestine pertain to this Feast and are symbolic of the outpouring of the Word and Spirit.


  1. The Early or Former rain---This was the spring rain for the Feasts of Passover and Pentecost.  This pointed to the fruit harvest of the Feast of Tabernacles.  This speaks of the outpouring of the Word and Spirit upon the early church (beginning of church history); also the outpouring in the early walk of the believer. (Deut. 11: 10-15; Lev. 16:4; Joel 2:23)
  2. The Latter Rain--- This was the fall rain that brought the Fall Harvest (fruit) to maturity. (Zech 10:1; Hos. 6:3; 10:12; Jas. 5:7; Joel 2: 12-21).  This speaks of the outpouring of the Word and Spirit upon the Latter-day church (end of this age); also the outpourings in the Latter walk of the believer (Tabernacles). “ (G.H.W.)


The flow of this church, Eastgate Ministries, is in the same river as the Latter Rain Movement which began in the 1940’s.  In 1951, George H. Warnock, one of the Father’s of the Latter Rain Movement, wrote a book, The Feast of Tabernacles, which is now a Christian classic. 



The Feast of Tabernacles is a Feast of:


  1. Unity – Israel left all and came together (one, yet individual). (Eph. 4:13)
  2. Joy –for the harvest. (Rom. 14:17)
  3. Ingathering – final harvest. (Rev. 14:15)
  4. Rest – enter the land, obtain the promise. (Heb. 3:18)
  5. Glory – of the new order.  (Rev. 21:23)
  6. Restoration – as in the days of Ezra, Nehemiah, Haggai, and Zechariah. (Joel 2:25)
  7. Appearing of the Lord –In the Church and then in the air. (1 Thess. 3:13)



Lev. 23:39: “In the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the fruit of the land, you shall keep a feast unto the LORD seven days on the first day shall be Sabbath, and on the eight day shall be a Sabbath.”


All the Feasts of the Lord were observed in connection with Sabbath days, but the Feast of Tabernacles is the real Feast of rest.  It took place in the “seventh month,” thus pointing to a time in God’s purposes when the Church would come to completion, to maturity.  Just as the weekly Sabbath was the end of Israel’s week of toil and labor, so the Feast of Tabernacles is the end of the Church’s time of strife and turmoil.


Heb. 4:9: “There remains a rest to the people of God.”


This “rest” encompasses all that Habakkuk saw, for his “vision” beheld the finished work of Jesus Christ in His death, burial, resurrection, ascension, and coronation.


From Genesis to Revelation, God has ordained “rest” for the people of God, calling us to proceed from rest to rest, from glory to glory, Noah and the Flood, Ruth and Boaz, the Ark of the Covenant coming to Mount Zion as its final resting place---all these and more are pictures of our New Testament Sabbath rest in Christ.


Num. 13:20:  And what the land is, whether it be fat or lean, whether there be wood therein, or not.  Be of good courage, and bring the fruit of the land.  Now was the time of the first ripe grapes.”



Like the 12 spies sent forth by Moses to spy out the land, we have but tasted the first fruits of the Spirit, the earnest of our inheritance (Rom 8:23; Eph. 1: 13-14).  Let us be people of another spirit, like Caleb and Joshua, who believe that it is time to possess the whole land!  It’s time to bring America and the nations back to the Lord.


Habakkuk’s song is about to conclude, but the government and peace of the One it extols will never end.


Everything that can be shaken is being shaken.  All that remains is a King and His Kingdom that cannot be removed.  Behold the King!  Behold His Person!  He is Jesus the God of our Salvation.


Hab. 3:19: “The Lord God is my strength, and He will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and He will make me to walk upon mine high places.”


Where are we to walk?  In the “high” or elevated places, God enables us to go forth on the heights.  He will bring us safely over every peak and precipice.  Our Heavenly Bridegroom has invited us to the top of the mountain.  We are called to walk and live in heavenly places (Eph. 1:3; 2:6).


Song 4:8: “Come with me from Lebanon, my spouse, with me from Lebanon; look from the top of Amana, from the top of Shenir and Hermon, from the lions’ dens, from the mountains of the leopards.”


This way of life is in the heavenlies above the roaring of the lion and the den of the leopard, far above all principalities and powers.  It is Job’s undiscovered path and Isaiah’s highway to Zion.  It is the place of transcendent prayer raising men above their present circumstances.  Both testaments describe this upward call and walk with the Lord.


Carolyn Sissom, Pastor

Eastgate Ministries Church

Scripture from K.J.V. – I entered into the labors of Rev. Kelly Varner (1949-2009) – Rest in the Day of Trouble; Feast of Tabernacles Sermon by: Carolyn Sissom; Feast of Tabernacles by: George H. Warnock. 

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