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The Feast of Tabernacles symbolises God’s restoration process for humanity, starting with the return of Jesus Christ, pictured by the Feast of Trumpets, and the banishment of Satan, depicted by the Day of Atonement. Once these events have taken place, the foundation is in place for the re-establishment of peace and harmony with God.
The seven-day Feast of Tabernacles begins with an annual Holy Day (Leviticus 23:34-35) and pictures the 1,000-year reign of Jesus Christ on the earth after His second coming (Revelation 20:4). This period is often called the Millennium, which simply means “1,000 years.” During this time humanity will at last be restored to a right relationship with God (Isaiah 11:9-10).
The name ‘Feast of Tabernacles’ derives from God’s command to ancient Israel to build temporary “tabernacles” (sometimes called “booths”) to live in during this festival, symbolising that, as with booths or temporary dwellings, our physical life is transitory.
The basis of Christ’s rule during the Millennium will be the restoration of God’s law (Isaiah 2:2-3). The effects of sin will be reversed and God will heal people: “... the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped. Then shall the lame leap like a deer, and the tongue of the mute sing for joy” (Isaiah 35:5-6 ).
During this 1,000-year period, God will change even the nature of wild animals, reflecting the peace that will descend upon society. Isaiah 11:7-9 tells us: “The cow and the bear shall graze; their young ones shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play by the cobra’s hole, and the weaned child shall put his hand in the viper’s den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain...”
Of even greater importance will be the spiritual healing that will take place, as a result of a spiritual transformation. God, speaking through the prophet Ezekiel, describes how this will happen: “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them” (Ezekiel 36:26-27).
The foundation for this relationship begins with instruction in God’s law, including the observance of these very festivals we are now studying. Notice the words of the prophet Zechariah: “And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles” (Zechariah 14:16).
The fulfilment of the Feast of Tabernacles offers a marvellous opportunity to those left alive at Christ’s return and the resurrected saints who will rise to meet Christ in the air at His second coming (I Thes 4:16,17). But what about the thousands of millions of people of past generations who have lived and died without ever understanding—or even hearing—God’s truth? The next article in this issue of Bible Insights Weekly provides the answer.
Bible Study Guide - God's Holy Day Plan: The Promise Of Hope For All Mankind