The Feast of Tabernacles
The implied perfection of Atonement is the completion of corporate maturity of the Body of Christ. The Blowing of Trumpets and the Day of Atonement are both the necessary preparation for and part of the Feast of Tabernacles. Tabernacles consists, in part, of all that Trumpets and Atonement symbolize. Therefore, we see it paralleled in Ephesians 4:13:
- Tabernacles is a feast of victory in war (Trumpets), and a
- Feast of holiness (Atonement), and
- The Feast of Tabernacles is a feast of unity.
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.
Lev 23:35 On the first day there shall be a holy convocation. You shall do no customary work on it.
Convocation means ‘‘assembly.’’ The entire Jewish camp came together for one purpose. It was “full and unified.” It pictures the completeness of the believer and the Body of Christ – whole and unified.
- Tabernacles is a feast of joy:
Lev 23:40 “And you shall take for yourselves on the first day the fruit of beautiful trees, branches of palm trees, the boughs of leafy trees, and willows of the brook; and you shall rejoice before the LORD your God for seven days.”
Deu 16:13-15 13“You shall observe the Feast of Tabernacles seven days, when you have gathered from your threshing floor and from your winepress. 14And you shall rejoice in your feast, you and your son and your daughter, your male servant and your female servant and the Levite, the stranger and the fatherless and the widow, who are within your gates. 15Seven days you shall keep a sacred feast to the LORD your God in the place which the LORD chooses, because the LORD your God will bless you in all your produce and in all the work of your hands, so that you surely rejoice.
During the Feast of Tabernacles, the adult males circled the brazen altar seven times – a rare, joyous occasion. This was a time of the harvest of the remaining summer grain, grapes, and olives. These plentiful and prized fruits served as a symbol of great joy and provision.
Jeremiah 33 (following) speaks of the time of the end when Tabernacles has been fulfilled. Verses 14-17 speak of the time when Jesus (the Branch) will reign and Jerusalem shall dwell safely. Verses 9 and 11 speak of the joy and prosperity that will be known as the Bridegroom and bride and others (mortal humans living in the Millennium) offer up sacrifices of praise to the Lord:
Jer 33:9,11 “Then it shall be to Me a name of joy, a praise, and an honor before all nations of the earth, who shall hear all the good that I do to them; they shall fear and tremble for all the goodness and all the prosperity that I provide for it.” 11The voice of joy and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the voice of those who will say: “Praise the LORD of hosts, For the LORD is good, For His mercy endures forever” – and of those who will bring the sacrifice of praise into the house of the LORD. For I will cause the captives of the land to return as at the first,” says the LORD.
- Tabernacles is a feast of Ingathering:
Exo 23:16 “And the Feast of Harvest, the firstfruits of your labors which you have sown in the field; and the Feast of Ingathering at the end of the year, when you have gathered in the fruit of your labors from the field.”
- Tabernacles is a feast of rain – the Living Water of God (which brings increase and ingathering).
Deu 11:14 “Then I will give [you] the rain for your land in its season, the early rain and the latter rain, that you may gather in your grain, your new wine, and your oil.”
Hosea 6:3 Let us know, let us pursue the knowledge of the LORD. His going forth is established as the morning; He will come to us like the rain, like the latter and former rain to the earth.
Joel 2:23-24 23Be glad then, you children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God; For He has given you the former rain faithfully, And He will cause the rain to come down for you – the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month. 24The threshing floors shall be full of wheat, And the vats shall overflow with new wine and oil.
Hosea 6:3 teaches that He shall come as the rain unto us. In Joel, the former rain refers to the seed rain (in the Spring) and the latter rain refers to the harvest rain (in the Fall). In Joel 2:23-24, God promises to give the former and latter rain in the first month (of the civil year) which is in autumn’s harvest time (the time of the Feast of Tabernacles and Ingathering) – the normal time for the latter rain. This implies a unique event that happens once. It constitutes an eschatological event.
Hag 2:7-9 7”’And I will shake all nations, and they shall come to the Desire of All Nations, and I will fill this temple with glory,’ says the LORD of hosts. 8‘The silver is Mine, and the gold is Mine,’ says the LORD of hosts. 9‘The glory of this latter temple shall be greater than the former,’ says the LORD of hosts. ‘And in this place, I will give peace,’ says the LORD of hosts.”
The glory of the last days “temple” (the latter-day Church) through the new covenant, will be greater than the “former temple” – the people of God under the old covenant. The “latter rain” of the Holy Spirit who grants us the Living Water of God (should it happen immediately after the rapture as we propose in this book), shall bring about the greatest harvest of souls and of fruit of the Spirit through the translated Body of Christ which will continue to serve in a ministry of evangelism and do marvelous works.
The LORD speaks through the prophet Daniel indicating that in the latter days, God’s people shall do great exploits. During these last days, who are the people of God? Energized Jewish evangelists or those sanctified and glorified? But we are getting ahead of our story. Still ponder this passage which we just referenced above:
Dan 11:32 And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.
Now let’s consider “living water” in more depth, this source of all life from God in heaven:
Jer 2:13 “For My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, and hewn themselves cisterns – broken cisterns that can hold no water.”
Ezek 47:1 Then he brought me back to the door of the temple; and there was water, flowing from under the threshold of the temple toward the east, for the front of the temple faced east; the water was flowing from under the right side of the temple, south of the altar.
Ezek 47:9 And it shall be that every living thing that moves, wherever the rivers go, will live. There will be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters go there; for they will be healed, and everything will live wherever the river goes.
Ezek 47:12 Along the bank of the river, on this side and that, will grow all kinds of trees used for food; their leaves will not wither, and their fruit will not fail. They will bear fruit every month, because their water flows from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for medicine.”
In those days, God’s living water comes from the sanctuary (the Holy of Holies) from under the altar of incense (the altar dedicated to praise and worship). It causes healing, life, and growth to everything in its path. Is this verse, which predicts the Temple of the Millennium, a symbol of glorified believers, just as the New Jerusalem is identified with the complete body of believers?
Whether or not there is a rebuilt Jewish Temple established in Jerusalem, the Bible gives us strong indication that the Body of Christ comprises the Temple in the very last of the last days. We believe the Church is the true temple of God, implying that the living water from the sanctuary flows from God’s presence through the body of Christ to the parched world! Just as Christ used the analogy of the Temple to represent His body (“Tear this Temple down and in three days I will raise it up” – John 2:19, paraphrased), after the rapture / resurrection of the church, the Head and the Body will be together, in glory, and through both the Head and the Body, the river of life will flow with Jesus being its source:
1 Cor 6:19 Know ye not that your bodies are members of Christ? (KJV)
John 4:10 Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”
Jesus possesses that living water; for He is its source, and He remains eager to give it to all His people who ask for it.
John 7:2, 37-39 2Now the Jews’ Feast of Tabernacles was at hand… 37On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. 38He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” 39But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.
Jesus promises rivers of living water to flow from the innermost being of those who believe in Him and receive the Holy Spirit. It is significant that Jesus chose the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles to disclose this eternal truth. Nor is it incidental that the eternal life the saints enjoy, forever and ever, begins with the river of the water of life.
Rev 22:1 And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb.
Rev 22:17 And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.
Images of water, latter rain, the Holy Spirit, Christ giving living water, the river of life, the culmination of Tabernacles – all of these reflect the magnificence of the life that the source of Life, Y’shua supplies to us.
- Tabernacles is also a feast of rest:
Lev 23:39 Also on the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the fruit of the land, you shall keep the feast of the LORD for seven days; on the first day, there shall be a sabbath–rest, and on the eighth day a sabbath–rest.
Again, the number seven signifies divine completion, perfection, and rest. Tabernacles is a feast of sevens. All the feasts were on Sabbaths (days of rest for Israel as the Christian Sabbath, Sunday, should be for the Church).
But Tabernacles is, if you will, “especially special” because it is in the seventh month. The last day of the feast was on the 21st day (the triple of seven). Thus, it implies complete rest (indeed, sabbath means seventh). Then the next day (eighth day), comprises another day of rest or a Sabbath, which hints that after the fulfillment of the Feast of Tabernacles, there will be continual rest. Tabernacles is the Seventh event in Israel’s series of feasts. The feast lasted seven days. God rested from His work of creation on the 7th day:
Gen 2:2 And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done.
The Feast of Tabernacles is a feast of rest for the Church:
Heb 4:4-5, 9 4For He has spoken in a certain place of the seventh day in this way: “And God rested on the seventh day from all His works”; 5and again in this place: “They shall not enter My rest.” 9There remains therefore a rest for the people of God.
- Tabernacles is also a feast of Glory:
Although not stated specifically in Scripture, Tabernacles constitutes a feast of glory. According to the Pattern we have disclosed, the glory of God, or His manifest presence, is a major theme for the third part of the Pattern. So, by implication, the fulfillment of Tabernacles would be the period when God’s glory is manifested. We have seen the link between the Holy of Holies, where God’s glory dwelt, and Tabernacles on the Day of Atonement. Also, Tabernacles is when God dealt personally with each Jew in separated booths. This implies a special presence of God with each believer. Also, the rain, former rain, and the latter rain coming down in one month at the Feast of Tabernacles, signifies the greatest outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the earth and within the people of God. It is the manifested presence of God coming into them. At their indwelling, it should be expected the LORD will work through His Glorified Body – the Church.
The Book of Zechariah, which concludes with every nation going forth to Jerusalem to keep the Feast of Tabernacles, speaks repeatedly of God dwelling with His people, and of His glory being manifest. Notice also the references in Zechariah to latter rain, living water, inheritance, and the Lordship (Kingship) of Jesus. Most scholars interpret these passages as occurring after the visible return of Christ. But could they happen before?
Zec 2:5, 8 5“For I,’ says the LORD, ‘will be a wall of fire all around her, and I will be the glory in her midst.’” 8For thus says the LORD of hosts: “He sent Me after glory, to the nations which plunder you”; for he who touches you touches the apple of His eye.
Zec 2:10-13 10“Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion! For behold, I am coming and I will dwell in your midst,” says the LORD. 11“Many nations shall be joined to the LORD in that day [All Israel?], and they shall become My people [the Church?]. And I will dwell in your midst. Then you will know that the LORD of hosts has sent Me [Y’shua] to you. 12And the LORD will take possession of Judah as His inheritance in the Holy Land, and will again choose Jerusalem. 13Be silent, all flesh, before the LORD, for He is aroused from His holy habitation!”
Zec 6:12-13 12Then speak to him, saying, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts, saying: “Behold, the Man whose name is the BRANCH! From His place He shall branch out [becoming many branches!] And He shall build the temple of the LORD; 13Yes, He shall build the temple of the LORD. [Repeating something said by a prophet, is his way of providing dramatic emphasis] He shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule on His throne; so He shall be a priest on His throne [His Church shall reign with Him], And the counsel of peace shall be between them both.”’
Zec 8:22-23 Yes, many peoples and strong nations shall come to seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the LORD.23“Thus says the LORD of hosts: ‘In those days ten men from every language of the nations shall grasp the sleeve of a Jewish man, saying, “Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.”’”
When the Lord gives the latter rain, He will also “make flashing clouds” – the glory of God will be manifested:
Zec 10:1 Ask the LORD for rain in the time of the latter rain. The LORD will make flashing clouds; He will give them showers of rain, grass in the field for everyone.
Zec 12:8 In that day the LORD will defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; the one who is feeble among them in that day shall be like David, and the house of David shall be like God, like the Angel of the LORD before them.
Zec 14:8-9 And in that day, it shall be that living waters shall flow from Jerusalem, Half of them toward the eastern sea and half of them toward the western sea; In both summer and winter it shall occur. 9And the LORD shall be King over all the earth. In that day it shall be – “the LORD is one,” and His name one.
Zec 14:16 And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations [those who were not already raptured before the day of the Lord, or killed during the time of Great Tribulation] which came against Jerusalem [even members of attacking armies or the peoples represented by them] shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.
Zec 14:18-19 If the family of Egypt will not come up and enter in, they shall have no rain; they shall receive the plague with which the LORD strikes the nations who do not come up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.19This shall be the punishment of Egypt and the punishment of all the nations that do not come up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.
Peter understood the connection between God’s manifest presence and the Feast of Tabernacles. He was eager to celebrate Tabernacles with Jesus, Moses and Elijah, right then and there, in the midst of God’s shekinah glory enveloping Jesus at the Transfiguration:
Mat 17:1-5 Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, led them up on a high mountain by themselves; 2and He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light. 3And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him. 4Then Peter answered and said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, let us make here three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” 5While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!”
The word shekinah does not appear in the Bible, but the concept clearly does. [Kabod is the Hebrew word, Shekinah actually comes from the Kabballah.] The Jewish rabbis coined this extra-biblical expression, a form of a Hebrew word that literally means “he caused to dwell,” signifying that it was a divine visitation of the presence or dwelling of the Lord God on this earth. The Shekinah was first evident when the Israelites set out from Succoth in their escape from Egypt. There the Lord appeared in a cloudy pillar in the day and a fiery pillar by night: “After leaving Succoth they camped at Etham on the edge of the desert. By day the LORD went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night. Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people” (Exodus 13:20–22). God spoke to Moses out of the pillar of cloud in Exodus 33, assuring him that His Presence would be with the Israelites (v. 9).
Verse 11 says God spoke to Moses “face to face” out of the cloud, but when Moses asked to see God’s glory, God told Him, “You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me, and live” (v. 20). So, apparently, the visible manifestation of God’s glory was somewhat muted. When Moses asked to see God’s glory, God hid Moses in the cleft of a rock, covered him with His hand, and passed by. Then He removed His hand, and Moses saw only His back. This would seem to indicate that God’s glory is too awesome and powerful to be seen …
The visible manifestation of God’s presence was seen not only by the Israelites but also by the Egyptians: “During the last watch of the night the LORD looked down from the pillar of fire and cloud at the Egyptian army and threw it into confusion. He made the wheels of their chariots come off so that they had difficulty driving. And the Egyptians said, ‘Let’s get away from the Israelites! The LORD is fighting for them against Egypt’” (Exodus 14:24-25). Just the presence of God’s Shekinah glory was enough to convince His enemies that He was not someone to be resisted.
In the New Testament, Jesus Christ is the dwelling place of God’s glory. Colossians 2:9 tells us that “in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form,” causing Jesus to exclaim to Philip, “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9). In Christ, we see the visible manifestation of God Himself in the second person of the Trinity. Although His glory was also veiled, Jesus is nonetheless the presence of God on earth. Just as the divine Presence dwelled in a relatively plain tent called the “tabernacle” before the Temple in Jerusalem was built, so did the Presence dwell in the relatively plain man who was Jesus. “He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him” (Isaiah 53:2). But when we get to heaven, we will see both the Son and the Father in all their glory, and the Shekinah will no longer be veiled (1 John 3:2).
Retrieved from https://www.gotquestions.org/shekinah-glory.html
King Solomon discovered the connection between God’s manifest presence and Tabernacles:
2 Chr 5:1 So all the work that Solomon had done for the house of the LORD was finished; and Solomon brought in the things which his father David had dedicated: the silver and the gold and all the furnishings. And he put them in the treasuries of the house of God.
2 Chr 5:3 Therefore all the men of Israel assembled with the king at the feast, which was in the seventh month.
2 Chr 5:12-14 12And the Levites who were the singers, all those of Asaph and Heman and Jeduthun, with their sons and their brethren, stood at the east end of the altar, clothed in white linen, having cymbals, stringed instruments and harps, and with them one hundred and twenty priests sounding with trumpets – 13indeed it came to pass, when the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the LORD, and when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of music, and praised the LORD, saying: “For He is good, For His mercy endures forever,” that the house, the house of the LORD, was filled with a cloud, 14so that the priests could not continue ministering because of the cloud; for the glory of the LORD filled the house of God.
We live today under the impression that God’s glory cannot manifest. But is this true? It was manifested before Israel as the Temple was completed and anointed with worship and praise. Could something like this happen when the Rapture occurs and the then living believers (along with the then resurrected but who currently sleep now) are made complete and anointed with the Glory of God?
In 2 Chronicles, we learn that Solomon’s temple (a symbol of the worship of God during the time of rest from war) was dedicated with worship and singing. This was done during the ‘‘feast which was in the seventh month’’ – that is, Tabernacles – and God shows His approval by filling His house with His glory. God filled His Temple with His glorious presence in the appearance of a cloud that was so heavy the priests could not perform their duties. This is God’s supreme intent for the Body of Christ, the Temple of God in the last days. God will again fill His house with His Glory! His presence will be obvious to everyone.
Therefore, to recap, the Feast of Tabernacles is perhaps the most comprehensive statement of the salvation for which we are destined. Its meaning includes all the following:
- Victory in War 5. Ingathering
- Holiness 6. Living Water
- Unity 7. Rest
- Joy 8. Glory
While the ultimate glorification of the Church awaits when we return with Christ at His visible return, let us allow the Holy Spirit of God to manifest the truth of Tabernacles in our lives even now. Let us appropriate these truths today, as God guides, inspires, and indwells us ever more fully. We are not to defer or delay the realization of sanctification which will yield, through the power of the Holy Spirit, the glory of God in our lives. This would be an act of unbelief and disobedience. Our lives are to witness to His glory, even today, as the “leaven” is “thrown out” and as we “put on” Christ. We should manifest – now – the victory that Jesus won for us over the world, the flesh, and the devil (1 John 2:16), as we allow the holiness of Jesus, the Bread of Life, to be “kneaded into our lives”. For without holiness, the Scripture tells us plainly, we cannot see Him, “Follow… holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.” (Hebrews 12:14)
- Let us lay aside our differences and dwell together in unity.
- Let the joy of the Lord be our strength, rather than that which the world gives.
- Let us go forth and gather in the harvest that is waiting for us.
- Let the Living Water flow from God’s throne to the thirsty world.
- Let us enter God’s rest, and allow Him to do even greater works than Jesus did (John 14:12) through His Body the Church, with Jesus as Head.
- Let us do “great exploits” as the LORD told Daniel His people would do.
- Let us realize that as we grow into a mature, unified body, God’s glory will manifest itself, in His Church, from “glory to glory”, advancing toward the fullness that will be realized in the revealing of the Children of God.
Hosea 12:9 (KJV) And I that am the LORD thy God from the land of Egypt will yet make thee to dwell in tabernacles, as in the days of the solemn feast.