Church of God, New World Ministries

The Feast of Tabernacles

Let’s recap what we have learned so far: AFTER Christ has died for our sins to redeem mankind — AFTER He has sent us the Holy Spirit and picked out a people for His Name to become kings and priests through the thousand years — AFTER — His glorious second coming — AFTER He has finally restored the redeemed by placing all the sins upon the head of Satan, their real author, and separating both him and the sins from the presence of God and His people, thus finally perfecting the AT-ONE-MENT, making us finally joined in one — then we are ready for that final series of events in God’s Plan, the commencement of the “Marriage of The Lamb,” the establishment of the Kingdom of God on earth and the reaping of the great harvest of souls for one thousand years. This festival, The Feast of Tabernacles, pictures the MILLENNIUM!

To portray His Plan, God took the yearly material harvest seasons in Palestine as the picture of the spiritual harvest of souls. In Palestine there are two annual harvests. The first, produced by the early rain, is the spring rain harvest. Second, produced by the “latter rain,” comes the main harvest—the much greater fall harvest

When is this festival to be held? Notice, “at the year’s end” (Ex. 34:22). In this verse the festival of tabernacles or booths is specifically called the “feast of ingathering.” The harvest year ended at the beginning of autumn. Just as Pentecost pictures the early harvest — this church age, so the festival of ingatherings or tabernacles pictures the fall harvest — the great harvest of souls in the millennium!

Contrary to what II Cor. 6:2 says, Today is not the ONLY day of salvation. Today is a day of salvation. (Isaiah 49:8). The original Greek words of Paul in II Cor. 6:2 should be translated “A day of salvation, not the day of salvation.”

What is the time setting of Zechariah 14? The millennium! “The Eternal shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one Eternal, and His name one…there shall be no more utter destruction; but Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited” (verses 9-11). It is the time when “living waters” – salvation, the Holy Spirit — “shall go out from Jerusalem” (verse 8). The “waters” are literal as well as figurative. God often pictures His spiritual PLAN by material events.

In that day, when the earth is safely inhabited, when the Holy Spirit is granted to all mortal flesh, what happens? “And it shall come to pass that everyone that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, AND TO KEEP THE FEAST OF TABAERNALCES.” Notice verse 16. After Christ returns, the nations — mortal Gentiles who have NOT YET received the opportunity for salvation — will come to Jerusalem. Why? To keep the Feast of Tabernacles!

What happens if the nations refuse to KEEP THE FEAST? “And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, even upon them SHALL BE NO RAIN,” The nations will be forced to keep the feast. And if they still won’t obey, “There shall be the plague, wherewith the Lord will smite the heathen” — there are still heathen nations just beginning to learn the way of salvation — “that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles. This shall be the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles” (verses 17-19).

Now let’s look at the Old Testament account of this Holy Day. “Thou shalt keep the feast of tabernacles seven days, after that thou have gathered in from thy threshing and from thy winepress. And thou shalt rejoice in thy feast, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter…Seven days shalt thou keep a feast unto the Eternal thy God in the place which the eternal shall choose; because the Eternal thy God shall bless thee in all thine increase, and in the work of thy hands, and thou shalt be altogether joyful…and they shall not appear before the Eternal empty; every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the Eternal thy God which He hath given thee” (Deut. 16:13-17).

Why is this feast called the Feast of Tabernacles or Booths? During the millennium, the Kingdom of God into which we may be born will rule the nations which are composed of mortal men begotten by the Spirit of God. The billions of mortals alive during the millennium will still be heirs to the Kingdom of God. They will not yet have inherited it as long as they remain mortal flesh, for “flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God” (I Cor. 15:50). “Ye must be born again”—of the Spirit” — to inherit the Kingdom, said Jesus.

Remember that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were merely heirs when they dwelled on earth (Heb. 11:9). While heirs they dwelled in tabernacles or booths, sojourning in the land of promise. Booths or temporary dwellings pictured that they were not yet inheritors. Thus, we read of the Feast of Tabernacles that “Ye shall dwell in booths seven days…that your generations may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt” Lev. 23:43). Israel dwelled in booths in the wilderness BEFORE they entered the Promised Land. Those booths pictured that they were only heirs. Even during the millennium, when the Kingdom of God is ruling over mortal nations, the people will be only heirs to the Kingdom. They must overcome their carnal nature and grow in knowledge and wisdom to inherit the promises.

The typology is beautiful. As the Israelites dwelled in booths, or temporary dwellings, so must you and I dwell in temporary dwellings (our physical bodies) during this lifetime. The Holy Spirit dwells in us developing a “new creature” in Christ. When we are changed our physical bodies pass away and the Spirit is magnified. (II Cor. 5:1-5). Now turn to II Peter and read verses 13 and 14. “Yea I think it meet(suitable), as long as I am in this tabernacle (body) to stir you up by putting you in remembrance; Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle (die), even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath shewed me.”

What a marvelous Plan. God is fair. But wait! What about all those who died before Christ’s return and never had an opportunity for Salvation? What about your loved ones and mine? What about all the babies that were aborted or killed before ever coming of age to be able to KNOW GOD? Are they GONE FOREVER? Absolutely NOT! God is fair. This group of peoples’ HOPE lies in the seventh and final HOLY DAY — The Last Great Day!

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