Zion's Hope: Prophecy with Precision, The Feast of Tabernacles

The final three appointments of God will occur right on schedule, ending with the Feast of Tabernacles.

Marv Rosenthal (photo credit:)
Marv Rosenthal
(photo credit: )
The redemptive work of Christ associated with His first coming, which the four spring feasts depict, is history. Men can look back at those events. They can be examined as historical facts. In contrast, the three fall feasts have not yet been fulfilled. They predict, with absolute certainty, events that will yet unfold. As the four spring holidays were fulfilled literally and right on schedule in connection with Messiah's first coming, the three fall holidays will likewise be fulfilled literally and right on schedule in connection with His second coming. These seven feasts are at the very heart of prophecy. And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the feast of tabernacles for seven days unto the LORD. And ye shall take you on the first day the boughs of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and the boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook; and ye shall rejoice before the LORD your God seven days. And ye shall keep it a feast unto the LORD seven days in the year. It shall be a statute for ever in your generations: ye shall celebrate it in the seventh month. Ye shall dwell in booths seven days; all that are Israelites born shall dwell in booths (Leviticus 23:33-34; 40-42). On the fifteenth of Tishri, the seven-day Feast of Tabernacles commences. It is the seventh and final feast. It usually occurs in October. Observant Jews erect little huts or booths from bulrushes and palm branches as a reminder of the temporary housing erected by their forefathers during the Exodus wanderings. At Tabernacles, also known as the "Feast of Ingathering" because samples of the fall crop (things like dates and pomegranates) are hung in each family's booth to acknowledge God's faithfulness in providing for His people (Exodus 23:16). Each day of the seven-day Feast of Tabernacles was filled with joy and important festivity. On the last day of the feast, the High Priest of Israel, in a great processional made up of priests and tens of thousands of worshipers, descends from the Temple Mount to pause briefly at the Pool of Siloam. There, he fills a pitcher of water, and the procession returns back to the Temple Mount through the Water Gate. The High Priest then makes his way to the great stone altar. He pours the water out of the pitcher into a silver basin which drains to the base of the altar. In Israel, the "latter" rains normally stop in March, and there is no rain until late October or November, a period of almost seven months. If God does not provide the "early" rains to break up the hard soil, there will be no spring crop, and famine will be at the doorstep. This water ceremony, at the Temple, was intended to invoke God's blessing on the nation and provide life-giving water. It is in connection with the Feast of Tabernacles that the Gospel of John records a fascinating event. John wrote: "In the last day, that great day of the feast [of Tabernacles], Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water" (John 7:37-38). This, we are told, Jesus spoke concerning the Holy Spirit (John 7:39). Not only could He provide "water," but He could provide "living water." In Israel there are three primary sources of water. There is water from a cistern, but it can leak out or become stagnant and go bad. There is water from a well, but sometimes a well can dry up. And there is "living water": moving water that never goes bad or dries up. It is like the Jordan River. It is this last kind of water that Jesus freely provides. The Son of God was saying in the clearest possible way that He alone is the source of life and blessing; He alone can provide "living" water. The Feast of Tabernacles speaks eloquently of the messianic Kingdom, of a new beginning without the ravages of the curse of sin. In that day, the earth will give her full bounty, all animals will be docile, armies will no longer march, graves will not have to be dug, and every man will sit under his own fig tree (satisfied and fulfilled in every way), and truth and righteousness will be a reality in the earth. Fifteen hundred years before the birth of the Messiah, the seven feasts foretold the major redemptive work of His life. Only a God who is not bound by time, and knows all things before they come to pass, could have foretold these astounding events. Soon, very soon, the trumpet will sound the final blast of this age, signaling Christ's coming. The dead in Christ will be resurrected. The living in Christ will be raptured. And the long night will revolve into a glorious new day for all those who have accepted His invitation and attended His appointed times. The four spring feasts relate to His first coming: In Passover, His vicarious, sinless, substitutionary death is depicted. The Feast of Unleavened Bread testifies to the reality that, as the Lamb of God, His body would not decay in the grave. The Feast of Firstfruits illustrates that death could not hold Him prisoner; His body would not remain in the grave. The Feast of Weeks commemorates the coming of the Holy Spirit and the birthday of the Church. The three fall feasts portray events associated with His second coming: The Feast of Trumpets depicts Christ's coming and the Rapture of the Church. The Day of Atonement points to a great host of people, Jews and Gentiles, who will not take the mark of the Antichrist and will be saved in connection with the Lord's second coming. The Feast of Tabernacles speaks of the day when the Messiah himself will tabernacle amongst men, wipe away every tear, and bring in the millennial Kingdom which men have dreamed of since time immemorial. Even so, come Lord Jesus. Marv is a Jewish believer in Jesus. He is an internationally renowned Bible teacher and director of Zion's Hope, Inc. His works include: "Not Without Design," "The Pre-Wrath Rapture of the Church," and "The Feasts of the Lord." For more information: www.ZionsHope.org