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1. Introduction

Feast of Tabernacles is the final in a six-part series on the law. In “The Old Covenant”, we looked at the Old Testament law, its purpose and its effect on humanity. In “The Law No Longer Applies”, we find that the law is obsolete, nailed to the cross. 

The third in the series: “Sabbath Rest“, is essential to understanding teaching on the feasts.
The fourth in the series is Passover, Pentecost and Day of Atonement. These are the three most important feasts in the Hebrew calendar. Jesus fulfilled all of the laws, including the feasts.

The New Covenant, Great Commission and Jesus’ enthronement fulfil the Feast of Trumpets. Now we will find that being One in Christ – abiding in Him, and He abiding in us completes the Feast of Tabernacles.

2. Old Covenant Feast of Tabernacles

A. The Old Covenant Feast.

“Speak to the children of Israel, saying: The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the Feast of Tabernacles for seven days to the LORD.

Leviticus 23:34

B. Purpose of the Feast.

You shall dwell in booths for seven days. All who are native Israelites shall dwell in booths, that your generations may know that I made the children of Israel dwell in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.'”

Leviticus 23:42-43

This feast was a remembrance that they dwelt in tabernacles as soon as they came out of Egypt ( figuratively, the world). It was during the busy time of the autumn harvest; there were at least two (the 1st and 8th days) and probably three (the weekly Sabbath) when they could do no work. They would often put up temporary shelters to rest in and find refuge during the days of harvesting. 

C. For That Era. 

Some people have said that a statute forever or an everlasting statute means eternity. However, the scripture above contains a limitation: the phrase, ‘In your generations’.

You shall dwell in booths for seven days. All who are native Israelites shall dwell in booths, that your generations may know that I made the children of Israel dwell in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.'”

Leviticus 23:42-43

The Hebrew word for generations can also be translated as age.

דּוֹר dôr; properly, a revolution of time, i.e. age or generation;

The feast was to be celebrated physically until the end of the Old Covenant age.

Paul refers to the Millennial New Covenant age in his epistle to Timothy:

Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy.

1 Timothy 6:17

Therefore, the Feast of Tabernacles, as a physical requirement, does not go past the Old Testament and Old Covenant eras. Under the New Covenant, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit tabernacle are inside us.

D. Age is Defined in Greek.

The Greek word for age is:

αἰών aiōn; properly, an age; by extension, perpetuity (also past); by implication, the world; especially (Jewish) a Messianic period (present or future): — age, course, eternal, (for) ever(-more), (n-)ever, (beginning of the, while the) world (began, without end).

This is where we derive the word ‘eon’. When we study eternity, we will find that this word is sometimes mistranslated as eternity rather than age.

We have seen that sin no longer reigns, and now grace and righteousness reign. Also, the law was nailed to the cross, and God established a kingdom for Jesus.  We are under an entirely New Covenant and under a completely different age.

E. In the Wilderness, the Tabernacle of Meeting was OUTSIDE the Camp of Israel.

Moses took his tent and pitched it outside the camp, far from the camp, and called it the tabernacle of meeting. And it came to pass that everyone who sought the LORD went out to the tabernacle of meeting which was outside the camp. So it was, whenever Moses went out to the tabernacle, that all the people rose, and each man stood at his tent door and watched Moses until he had gone into the tabernacle. And it came to pass, when Moses entered the tabernacle, that the pillar of cloud descended and stood at the door of the tabernacle, and the LORD talked with Moses.

Exodus 33:7-9

It was also a private meeting place between one man (Moses) and God. We will find that abiding in God and Him abiding in us is not so much related to going to church for public worship and teaching of the word as it is to your personal relationship with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

3. Mountain of Transfiguration and Feast of Tabernacles

A. When was Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration? 

Although it is not specifically stated in the Bible, it most likely occurred shortly, perhaps a week or fortnight, before Jesus went to the Feast of Tabernacles in Judea. He travelled from the Mount of Transfiguration to Capernaum (41km or a two-day walk), where his brothers asked him about going to the feast in Jerusalem.

Now the Jews’ Feast of Tabernacles was at hand. His brothers therefore said to Him, “Depart from here and go into Judea, that Your disciples also may see the works that You are doing

John 7:2-3

B. What happened to Jesus on the Mount?

and He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light.

Matthew 17:2

Jesus was glorified.

C. Glorification and Tabernacles.

The Apostle Peter saw a relationship between Jesus’ glorification and setting up booths:

Then 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.”

Matthew 17:4

Being Jewish, He was looking ahead to the Feast of Tabernacles.

D. It is about Jesus fulfilling the Feast of Tabernacles.

 In the next verse, God speaks, gently rebuking them, saying that the Feast of Tabernacles is not the focus, Jesus is the focus and whom we should listen, not the law or the prophets:

While 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!”

Matthew 17:5

God says that Jesus fulfils the Feast of Tabernacles, like every other aspect of the law.

Because this feast is part of the Old Covenant ordinances, it was nailed to the cross, as we find in Colossians 2:

Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:

Colossians 2:14,16 KJV

4. Jesus at the Mount of Transfiguration

A. Jesus was Glorified.

and He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light.

Matthew 17:2

B. Jesus was Justified as the Only Begotten Son of God.

While 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!”

Matthew 17:5

C. Jesus was Glorified as the Son of Man.

Now as they came down from the mountain, Jesus commanded them, saying, “Tell the vision to no one until the Son of Man is risen from the dead.”

Matthew 17:9

D. Jesus Supersedes the Law AND the Prophets.

And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him

Matthew 17:3

The Father said to listen to Jesus ahead of Moses and the prophet Elijah.

5. What is the Feast of Tabernacles to the Son and Daughter of God?

A. The Tabernacle is a Dwelling Place where you Abide.

The word ‘abide’ in Greek means to make a home:

g3306. μένω menō; a primary verb; to stay (in a given place, state, relation or expectancy): — abide, continue, dwell,

In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

John 14:2

Many people think that John 14 is a story about after you die. Although people can use it in that setting, Jesus is talking about abiding and glorification for the next three chapters.

B. Jesus Made a Way for Us to Abide (Tabernacle) in Him and Him to Tabernacle in Us.

Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.

John 15:4

C. Abiding in Him, and Him in Us, Brings Fruitfulness.

“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.

John 15:5

D. We Will see Our Prayers Answered When We Abide in Jesus and Pray According to His Will.

If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.

John 15:7

6. Temple of Holy Spirit

A. Tabernacle is a Mobile Temple.

The Feast of Tabernacles is also fulfilled in that our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. We are mobile temples of God, over a billion of us. The Temple of God is no longer in natural Jerusalem, the city He referred to as Sodom and Egypt:

And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.

Revelation 11:8

In the same way that Moses’s first Tabernacle was mobile, so is the true Tabernacle of God—the Temple of the Holy Spirit.

Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?

1 Corinthians 6:19

7. Feast of Tabernacles and our Glorification

A. The Feast of Tabernacles is Linked to the Glorification of Jesus.

This was because the Father was inside of Jesus – and Jesus was in the Father, so, therefore, prayers are answered.

Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves.
“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

John 14:11-13

B. Glorification of Jesus is Because He is Inside of Us.

“I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours. And all Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine, and I am glorified in them.

John 17:9-10

We are meant to be glorifying Jesus (who is inside of us).

C. The Glorification of Us is Because We are In the Father and In Jesus.

that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one:

John 17:21-22

We have God’s glory inside of us—Jesus has glorified us! It is not when we go to heaven; He has already done it.

D. Glorification is Because We are now a Justified Son of God.

For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.

Romans 8:29-30

We are meant to be growing from glory to glory:

But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.

2 Corinthians 3:18

 This growth in glorification comes through suffering with the right attitude:

and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

Romans 8:17-18

8. False Theology About Celebrating Tabernacles in Israel

There is Futurist – prophetic thinking that to break or prevent famines in your country, people from every nation must go to Israel to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles. This is based on a prophecy in Zechariah that says:

A. The Zechariah Prophecy.

And it shall be that whichever of the families of the earth do not come up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, on them there will be no rain. 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. This shall be the punishment of Egypt and the punishment of all the nations that do not come up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.

Zechariah 14:17-19

B. The Great Famine of 41-54 CE.

In these days, prophets came from Jerusalem to Antioch. Then one of them, named Agabus, stood up and was shown by the Spirit that there would be a great famine throughout the world, which also happened in the days of Claudius Caesar.

Acts 11:27-28

Paul and Barnabus were in various nations affected by the famine (41-54 CE). Paul, being well versed in the law and Barnabus, a Levite, would have known the prophecy in Zechariah. However, we do not see them returning to Jerusalem to break the famine.
Even Peter, an apostle first to the Jews (who was probably in Antioch at the time), does not refer to travelling to Jerusalem to attend the feast to ‘break the famine’!

Neither Paul, Barnabas or Peter travelled to Jerusalem to break the famine of 41-54 CE, why should we think it is necessary?

C. The Trip to Jerusalem.

If it were of importance, then surely they would have referred to it in the following verses. Instead, they sent a gift to the church in Jerusalem.

Then the disciples, each according to his ability, determined to send relief to the brethren dwelling in Judea. This they also did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul.

Acts 11:29-30

There was no evidence that this trip ended the famine, which had continued for thirteen years.

D. Dating the Requirement to Celebrate The Feast In Jerusalem.

In the previous verses to Zechariah 14:17-19, we find that the timing is the “Day of the Lord”.

And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives,
Which faces Jerusalem on the east.
And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two,
From east to west,
Making a very large valley;
Half of the mountain shall move toward the north
And half of it toward the south.

Zechariah 14:4

Because the mountains of Jerusalem have never been physically split, with Jesus standing on the Mount of Olives, it has been assumed that it will happen in the future.

E. The Prophecy of Micah.

There is another prophecy when a valley is split by the prophet Micah.

For behold, the LORD is coming out of His place;
He will come down
And tread on the high places of the earth.
The mountains will melt under Him,
And the valleys will split
Like wax before the fire,
Like waters poured down a steep place.

Micah 1:3-4

This event prophesied by Micah happened seven centuries before Christ in 701 BCE. The valleys never split; the mountains didn’t melt like wax as Micah had prophesied. Micah was prophesying the destruction of Jerusalem in 701 BCE. There is nothing in scripture that demands the prophecy of Zechariah happen literally.
Zechariah 14 prophesies the destruction of Jerusalem in 70CE, with Jesus coming in judgment over the city at that time. Zechariah’s main prophetic ministry is related to the Second Temple period, from 516 BCE to 70 CE. It is, therefore, appropriate that his book should finish on the note that this temple is no longer needed since the Temple is now inside each one of us.

And all the Feasts vanished away at that time:

In that He says, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.

Hebrews 8:13

9. Summary

  1. Like the rest of the law, the Feast of Tabernacles has been nailed to the cross and is now obsolete.
  2. The Feast of Tabernacles has been fulfilled in Christ.
  3. Tabernacles is a shadow of us abiding in Him and Him abiding in us.
  4. The fulfilment of the Feast is His Justification on the Mount of Transfiguration.
  5. Jesus was justified as the First Born Son of God.
  6. Jesus was glorified as the Son of Man.
  7. If we abide in Him, we are also glorified sons and daughters of God.
  8. Abiding in Him and Him abiding in us results in fruitfulness and answered prayers.
  9. Our fruitfulness and answered prayers glorify the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

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 © Use by Permission Awakening Impact Ministries / Dr Neville van Eerten D.Miss. 2024

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