Feast 7: The Feast of Tabernacles (Leviticus 23:33-44)
- “Again the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘On the fifteenth of this seventh month is the Feast of Booths for seven days to the LORD.’ On the first day is a holy convocation; you shall do no laborious work of any kind. ‘For seven days you shall present an offering by fire to the LORD. On the eighth day you shall have a holy convocation and present an offering by fire to the LORD; it is an assembly. You shall do no laborious work. ‘These are the appointed times of the LORD which you shall proclaim as holy convocations, to present offerings by fire to the LORD – burnt offerings and grain offerings, sacrifices and drink offerings, each day’s matter on its own day – besides those of the sabbaths of the LORD, and besides your gifts and besides all your votive and freewill offerings, which you give to the LORD. ‘On exactly the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the crops of the land, you shall celebrate the feast of the LORD for seven days, with a rest on the first day and a rest on the eighth day. ‘Now on the first day you shall take for yourselves the foliage of beautiful trees, palm branches and boughs of leafy trees and willows of the brook, and you shall rejoice before the LORD your God for seven days. ‘You shall thus celebrate it as a feast to the LORD for seven days in the year. It shall be a perpetual statute throughout your generations; you shall celebrate it in the seventh month. ‘You shall live in booths for seven days; all the native-born in Israel shall live in booths, so that your generations may know that I had the sons of Israel live in booths when I brought them out from the land of Egypt. I am the LORD your God.'” So Moses declared to the sons of Israel the appointed times of the LORD.” (Leviticus 23:33-44 NASB)
This is the seventh Feast on the seventh month, and it was to last for seven days. The number “seven” is the biblical number of completion. This is the grand finale in God’s plan of redemption; Yahweh dwelling with His people.
The Feast of Tabernacles is the most joyful and festive of all Israel’s Feasts. It is also the most important and prominent Feast, which is mentioned more often in Scripture than any of the other Feasts. The Feast of Tabernacles is known by at least two names in Scripture. Most often it is referred to as “Sukkot” or “Booths or Tabernacles.” The English word “tabernacle” is from the Latin tabernaculum, meaning: “booth” or “hut.” It acquired this name from the biblical requirement for all Israelites to dwell in tabernacles or temporary shelters during the holiday. It was to be an annual reminder of God’s provision during the 40-year wilderness sojourn when Israel lived in similar shelters.
This final Feast of the year is also known in Scripture as the “Feast of Ingathering” for it was observed after all crops had been harvested and gathered:
- “Also you shall observe the Feast of the Harvest of the first fruits of your labors from what you sow in the field; also the Feast of the Ingathering at the end of the year when you gather in the fruit of your labors from the field.” (Exodus 23:16. NASB)
The Feast was celebrated with great joy. The joy was twofold, for it commemorated God’s past goodness and provision during their wilderness sojourn, and it commemorated God’s present goodness and provision with the completion of harvest.
The mood of Sukkot is joyous, and it is a time for celebration. Remember the progression: repentance on the Feast of Trumpets, forgiveness and atonement on Yom Kippur, and now it is time to rejoice and be glad during Sukkot:
- “and you shall rejoice in your feast, you and your son and your daughter and your male and female servants and the Levite and the stranger and the orphan and the widow who are in your towns. “Seven days you shall celebrate a 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 will be altogether joyful.” (Deuteronomy 16:14-15. NASB)
Everyone, including Gentiles (stranger), were commanded to rejoice during Sukkot.
The Feast of Tabernacles falls in the autumn of the year. On the Hebrew calendar, it occurs on the 15th day of Tishri, the seventh month (usually late September to mid-October); only five days after the solemn Day of Atonement. The Feast of Tabernacles lasts for seven days. The first day and the day after Tabernacles (the eighth day, known as Shemini Atzeret) are considered sacred assemblies, or Sabbaths (Lev. 23:36, 39). As such, no work of any kind is permitted on these days.
Three portions of Scripture outline the biblical observance of the Feast of Tabernacles. The people were to live in booths and rejoice before Yahweh with branches (Lev. 23:33-43). There were to be many daily, sacrificial offerings (Numbers 29:12-39). In a sabbatical year, the Law was to be publicly read during Tabernacles (Deut. 31:10-11).
Because of the joy associated with the Feast of Tabernacles, it became the most prominent of Israel’s holidays. It was referred to simply as “the holiday” by the ancient rabbis. The importance of the Feast of Tabernacles is also seen in its inclusion as one of the three pilgrim feasts; Passover and Pentecost being the other two. Three times during the year, all Jewish males were required by Yahweh to appear before Him in the Temple. These were known as Pilgrim Feasts because of the required pilgrimage to Jerusalem. During the Feast of Tabernacles, the people brought their tithes and offerings to the Temple, for they were not to “appear before Yahweh empty-handed.”
Great importance is seen in the scriptures with the great number of required sacrifices during this Feast week. Further importance is seen in the fact that it was during this festival in which Solomon dedicated the newly built Temple to Yahweh (2 Chron. 7:8-10). At that ancient observance of Tabernacles, the Shekinah glory of Yahweh descended from Heaven to light the fire on the altar and fill the Holy of Holies.
The Service of the Feast of Tabernacles:
In the days of the Temple, the Jewish pilgrims flocked to Jerusalem for the Feast of Tabernacles. Upon arrival in Jerusalem, the pilgrims focused their energies upon building booths for the Feast. By the afternoon of Tishri 14, thousands upon thousands of leafy booths lined the streets and dotted the surrounding fields and hills. All were carefully located within a Sabbath day’s journey (a little more than a half mile) of the Temple. At sundown, the blast of the shofar (ram’s horn) from the Temple announced the arrival of the holiday. A sense of increased excitement fell over the city as darkness came. Myriads of twinkling campfires studded the surrounding countryside.
The Feast of Tabernacles occurs at Israel’s change of seasons and marks the beginning of the winter, rainy season. These refreshing rains bring necessary moisture for working the soil and the sprouting of new crops.
During the Feast of Tabernacles, the intense anticipation of rain came to be reflected in the temple services. Each morning of Tabernacles, a water libation (sacrificial pouring out water) was offered to Yahweh as a visual prayer for rain. Shortly after dawn each morning, while the many sacrifices were being prepared, the high priest was accompanied by a joyous procession of music and worshipers down to the Pool of Siloam. The high priest carried a golden pitcher capable of holding a little more than a quart of water. He carefully dipped the pitcher into the pool and brought it back to the Temple Mount.
At the same time, another procession went down to a nearby location south of Jerusalem, known as Motza, where willows of the brook grew in great abundance. They gathered the long, thin willows and brought them back to the Temple. At the Temple, the willows were placed on the sides of the altar so that their tops formed a canopy of drooping branches over the altar. Meanwhile the high priest with the water from the Pool of Siloam had reached the southern gate of the Temple. It was known as the WATER GATE because of this ceremony. As he entered, three blasts of the silver trumpets sounded outside the Temple, and the priests with one voice repeated the words of Isaiah:
- “Therefore you will joyously draw water from the springs of salvation.” (Isa. 12:3. NASB)
The high priest slowly proceeded then to the stone altar in the Inner Court of the Temple and ascended the right side of the ramp. At the peak, he turned to the left where there were two silver basins which drained to the base of the altar. One was reserved for the regular drink offerings (libations of wine), and one for the water libations during this Feast.
As the high priest poured out the water libation before Yahweh, a drink offering of wine was simultaneously poured into the other basin. Three blasts of the silver trumpets immediately followed the pouring and signaled the start of the Temple music. The people listened as a choir of Levites sang the Hallel (i.e. the praise Psalms 113-118). At the proper time, the congregation waved their palm branches toward the altar and joined in singing:
- “LORD, do save, we beseech You; O LORD, we beseech You, do send prosperity!” (Psalms 118:25. NASB)
At the same time the priests, with palm branches in hand, marched once toward the altar.
Psalm 118 was viewed as a messianic Psalm, and, as such, gave the feast a messianic emphasis. This is why Jesus was greeted by the crowds shouting, “Hosanna” (Hebrew for “save now” ) and waving palm branches on His triumphal entry into Jerusalem (Luke 19:38; John 12:13). They viewed Him as the Messiah King, come to deliver (“save now” Israel in fulfillment of Psalm 118).
This same imagery is in view in Revelation 7:9-10, where redeemed saints worship, with palm branches in hand, around the throne of God and of the Lamb.
The celebration of the water pouring (as opposed to the ceremony) was observed during the evenings of the Feast by an impressive light ceremony in the Temple. As the second evening of Tabernacles approached, the people crowded into the vast outer court of the Temple known as the Court of the Women. In the center of the court stood four towering menorahs (lamp stands), each with four branches of oil lamps. Their wicks were manufactured from the worn-out linen garments of the priests. Each menorah had four long ladders leading up to the lamps, which were periodically refilled by young priests carrying large pitchers of olive oil. The Feast of Tabernacles began in the middle of the lunar month, when the harvest moon was full and the autumn sky was clear. The outline of the surrounding Judean hills was clearly visible in the soft moonlight. Against this backdrop, the light of the Temple celebration was breathtaking. All night long the elders of the Sanhedrin performed impressive torch dances, while the steady yellow flames of the menorah oil lamps flooded the Temple and the streets of Jerusalem with brilliant light.
The sound of Temple flutes, trumpets, harps, and other stringed instruments swelled as a group of young Levites would recite the 15 Psalms of Degrees (Psalms 120-134). With each new Psalm they descended to the next step.
This celebration was repeated every night from the second night until the final night as a prelude to the water drawing the next morning. Nothing in ancient Israel compared to this light celebration. It was so spectacular that the ancient rabbis said, “He that hath not beheld the joy of the drawing of the water (the Simchet Bet Hasho’ayva celebration) hath never seen joy in his life (Sukkah 5:1). The light celebration was reminiscent of the descent of the Shekinah glory in Solomon’s day, and looked forward to the return of the glory of Yahweh.
This Feast also served as the historical backdrop for the important teachings of Jesus in John, chapters 7-9. John recorded that it was the day after the Feast of Tabernacles (the eighth day), which was considered a Sabbath, when Jesus returned from the Mount of Olives to teach in the Temple (John 8:2; cf. 7:2, 37). During the Feast of Sukkot it was said that Jerusalem was the light of the world. As the Pharisees came to entrap Him, Jesus proclaimed:
- “Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.” (John 8:12. NASB)
The Pharisees did not question the meaning of His statement. They knew it was a messianic claim, for they immediately called Him a liar. They were familiar with the many titles in Scripture which ascribed LIGHT to the Messiah. He is called the “Star out of Jacob,” the “light of Israel,” the “light of the nations (Gentiles),” a “refiner’s fire,” a “burning lamp,” and the “Sun of righteousness.”
According to the idioms and symbols understood and practiced by the writers of the New Testament, the symbol of light spoke of the menorah in the Temple. The Menorah, which is one of the oldest symbols of the Jewish faith, is a seven-branched candelabrum used in the Temple. It has been said that the menorah is a symbol of the nation of Israel and their mission to be “a light unto the nations.”
Later, that same eighth and last day of the feast, the Messiah reinforced this same truth when He healed the blind man. As He did so, He repeated, “As long as I am in this world, I am the light of the world” (John 9:5). The Pharisees were again angered at Jesus. The issue continued to be His messiahship (John 9:22). This time, however, they chose to find fault in that He had healed the blind man on the eighth day, which was a Sabbath (John 9:14). More than just a messianic claim, Jesus’s claim to be the “light of the world” carried a reference to the Temple light celebration. The celebration was still vivid in their minds. They had just celebrated it six nights in a row. The light that Jesus offered would light not just the Temple, it would light the whole world. He, Himself, was the source:
- “He says, ‘It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant To raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also make You a light of the nations So that My salvation may reach to the end of the earth.’” (Isaiah 49:6. NASB)
The Servant of Yahweh is Jesus, He is the light of the nations.
On the seventh and final day of the Feast of Tabernacles, the Temple services reached a climax. Jewish tradition held that it was on this day that God declared whether there would be rain for the coming year’s crops. Consequently, on this final day of the Feast, the Temple water-pouring ritual took on great importance. Water was the foremost thought on every one’s mind.
On the other six days of this Feast, the silver trumpets gave three blasts. On this day the trumpets gave three sets of seven blasts. On the other six days, the priests made but one circuit around the altar. On this day, the priests made seven. As they marched around the altar, they sang the Hosanna verse (Psalm 118:25), and the people waved palm branches. For these reasons, the day was known as Hoshanah Rabbah, or “Great Hosanna.” Thoughts of rain for the coming year and messianic fervor were at their highest pitch.
The year was AD 30. It was Hoshanah Rabbah, the last day, the great day of the Feast of Tabernacles. As the people intently watched the priests conduct the service, a loud voice rang out from the crowd. The priests glared in consternation, and the people whipped around in great surprise to see who dared interrupt the service. They saw a young Galilean in His early 30’s, the one whom many held to be a great rabbi, a prophet, or even the Messiah:
- “Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.'””(John 7:37-38)
The sound of His words produced silence, then ecstasy. The religious leadership was infuriated, indignant, and threatened. Some wanted to kill Him:
“Some of them wanted to seize Him, but no one laid hands on Him.” (John 7:44 NASB)
The authoritative claim was understood by all, believed by some, spurned by others. Jesus was claiming to be the long awaited and promised Messiah.
It was during the time of this Fall Feast that marks the beginning of the construction of God’s sukkah, the sanctuary in the desert (Exodus 25:8-9). In Exodus 25:9, the word tabernacle is the word mishkan in Hebrew. According to tradition, Moses again ascended Mount Sinai for 40 days and nights to receive the second set of tablets and descended on Yom Kippur, carrying them as a sign of God’s forgiveness of Israel for the sin of the golden calf and as a symbol of the lasting covenant between God and Israel (Exodus 24:12-18; 34:1-2; 27-28). The following day Moses relayed God’s instructions for building the mishkan à a dwelling place. Why was the mishkan built?
“Let them construct a sanctuary for Me, that I may dwell among them.” (Exodus 25:8 NASB)
To establish the relationship between Yahweh and Israel, God would dwell amidst the people. Therefore the mishkan, the tabernacle in the wilderness, was instructed to be built by God for Him so He could dwell with His people. Spiritually speaking, this physical tabernacle was given by God to teach and instruct us that He desires to live and dwell with His people.
The sukkah, or booth, symbolizes man’s need to depend upon God for his provision of food, water, and shelter. This is true in the spiritual realm as well. With this in mind, let’s look at the context by which the word tabernacle is used in the New Covenant.
Jesus tabernacled (sukkot) among us (John 1:14). The Apostle Paul told us that our earthly physical bodies were tabernacles:
- “For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.” (2 Cor. 5:1)
- Peter spoke about his coming time he would have to die and leave his earthly body, “Yes, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance; knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ has showed me.” (2 Pet. 1:13-14. KJ 2000 Bible)(See also 1 Cor. 3:16)
The Bible speaks of both new heavenly bodies for each believer not made with hands which are reserved for each of us when we leave this world and receive them from God, as well as a heavenly tabernacle (2 Cor. 5:1-2; Heb. 8:1-2; Rev 13:6; 15:5). This heavenly tabernacle is seen coming to earth (Revelation 21:1-3. Clearly this is symbolic and not a physical, literal city. It is symbolic of the bride of Christ. Revelation 21:9-10, 14; Eph. 2:19-22). The church is the true spiritual tabernacle or body of Christ: (read) 1 Cor. 12:12, 27; Eph. 4:12, 5:23; Rom. 7:4 (We will look further into this in Study Series 12 The Messianic Temple).
So, the booth, or sukkah, was a temporary dwelling place. Historically, it was to remind the people of their exodus from Egypt as described in Leviticus 23:42-43. Prophetically, the sukkah pointed toward the return of Christ, when Christ would raise the righteous dead souls out of Hades/Sheol, rapture the righteous living, and they would all literally see Him “Face to face” and forever be with and dwell with Him in heaven forever.
One of the most outstanding truths of the Feast of Tabernacles involves the seasonal rains in Israel. Christ is the rain that came down from Heaven as well as the living water and the fountain of living water spoken of in John 4:4-6, 10-14, 20-24; and Rev. 21:6 and 22:1-5, 17 (See also the reference to Yahweh in Jer. 2:13). Christ desires that we drink of the water He gives, which results in everlasting life in heaven (John 4:14) that we might be filled (Matt. 5:6).
The fullness of this Feast was experienced at the coming (Parousia) of Christ with the resurrection of the righteous dead and rapture of the righteous living in the Spring of AD 66, and the subsequent taking of them with Him to His Father’s heavenly home for the wedding in AD 70.
The Old Covenant type/shadow Feast of Tabernacles was to celebrate and commemorate: 1) The end of the wanderings in the desert of the children of Israel. 2) It also was a celebration of their inheritance of and entry into Canaan à the earthly promised land.
The anti-typical fulfillment came at the end of the 40 year transition period (AD 30 -70) when the obsolete empty Old Covenant city and temple were destroyed, the righteous dead and living taken home to heaven, and the New Covenant eternal Kingdom fully consummated. The New Heavens and Earth relationship in the shed blood of Christ between God and man was fully consummated. The resurrected righteous and raptured righteous were taken to heaven to “tabernacle in the very Face to face presence of God in the unseen realm,” and the post AD 70 church would be where God would now tabernacle with man in the seen realm in the church.
Tabernacles speaks of the final harvest, as well as the final rest. Remember this was a 7 day feast with a Sabbath on the eighth day. (Read) Lev. 23:36 again. The end of the 7th Feast was a separate or 8th Feast. It was called Shemini Atzeret, and meant a sacred assembly/ingathering. It was the type/symbol/sign of the full consummation of the Festal calendar. Why was that Sabbath at the end of the Feast? It pictures REST! Do you remember what Paul had told those Christians in Col. 2:17? (Read). The very Sabbaths he spoke about in verse 16 still were shadows in existence at the time he wrote them in AD 63. However, he goes on to tell them in verse 17 how that fulfillment, or substance, in Christ was about to come (Greek: mello). Yeshua the Christ is our Sabbath rest, and He was about to return just a few years later. He was coming to rescue His persecuted followers before the outpouring of wrath and take them home to heaven and remove the obsolete Old Covenant type/shadow. We, as believers, now rest totally and completely in Him, and then upon our physical death we will immediately go into His physical presence and will literally see Him “Face to face” and enter the heavenly Promised Land to forever rest in His presence.
I mentioned earlier in our study that the Feast of Tabernacles is also known in Scripture as the “Feast of Ingathering,” for it was observed after all the crops had been harvested and gathered:
- “And He will send forth His angels with a great trumpet and THEY WILL GATHER TOGETHER His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.” (Matthew 24:31. NASB)
- On Pentecost in the Spring of AD 66 Jesus inaugurated this “ingathering” when He raised the righteous dead souls out of Hades/Sheol, and sent forth His angels and raptured the 1st century righteous living saints, and gathered them all to Himself in the “aer” to be safe with Him (in the barn) before His angels gathered and bundled up the chaff on earth (disobedient OC Hebrews) into the cities to be burned in the outpouring of God’s wrath (Matt. 13:37-43, 49-50) (We will look at this in more depth in Study Series 15 Lesson 3 Parable of the Tares).
- “For behold, the day is coming, burning like a furnace; and all the arrogant and every evildoer will be chaff; and the day that is coming will set them ablaze,” says the LORD of hosts, “so that it will leave them neither root nor branch.” “But for you who fear My name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings; and you will go forth and skip about like calves from the stall.” (Malachi 4:1-2. NASB)
- Upon the completion of the outpouring of wrath on OC Israel with the destruction of Jerusalem and their temple in AD 70 Jesus took His “ingathered” bride back to His Father’s heavenly home for the full consummation of this “ingathering” for the wedding and celebration (Rev. 19:2, 7-9).
Just as Pentecost in AD 30 (the beginning of the church) was on an eight day (Sunday), so also Pentecost in AD 66 was on an eight day, where Jesus resurrected the righteous dead and raptured the righteous living to be gathered to Himself in the “aer,” to then be brought back with Him to His Father’s home in the heavenly Promised Land at the end of the Feast of Tabernacles/Sukkot in AD 70 (The end of the second exodus antitype true fulfillment of the OC 40 years dwelling in tents first exodus before they entered into the earthly promised land type).
Yahweh not only raised the righteous dead out of Hades/Sheol, raptured and gathered His 1st century children in AD 66, and brought them to the wedding in heaven in AD 70, but He also brought the heavenly realm down and re-united heaven (unseen realm) and earth (seen realm)(Eph. 1:10) and began to TABERNACLE in their midst in the post AD 70 church:
- “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them,” (Revelation 21:1-3. NASB)
This age in which we now live is the eternal New Covenant Kingdom age. We are the seen realm of the one eternal Kingdom (consisting of both the unseen heavenly realm and the seen earthly realm in the church). God dwells among His church. We have access to the throne of God 24/7. As the saved of the nation’s we walk in the light in the seen realm of this eternal Kingdom. We are the light of the world today, a city set on a hill:
- “In the daytime (for there will be no night there) its gates will never be closed; and they will bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it;” (Revelation 21:25-26. NASB)
What does that mean? Look at Isaiah 60:11:
- “Your gates will be open continually; They will not be closed day or night, So that men may bring to you the wealth of the nations, With their kings led in procession.” (NASB)
Here we see the reason that these gates are never shut; that men may bring into it the wealth of the Gentiles and their kings in procession. This is a reference to the power of the Gospel. The next verse tells us that only those written in the Lamb’s Book of Life may enter it:
- “and nothing unclean, and no one who practices abomination and lying, shall ever come into it, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” (Rev. 21:27)
Salvation is always available, the gates are always open to this city. Look at chapter 22:
- “Then he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb, in the middle of its street. On either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.” (Revelation 22:1-2. NASB)
Here the river of the water of life flows forth from the heavenly Temple into the earthly realm of the church to the nations of the world. The Tree of Life is there in the ”heavenly realm” of the city, and its leaves are for the healing of the nations in the “earthly realm.” The river of the water of life was predicted in the Tanakh in Ezekiel 47. We are to be involved in taking the water of life to the nations. What is the water of life? Rev. 22:17 (NASB):
- “The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.”
This is a call to salvation! The world is not ended after the creation of the New Heavens and the New Earth –> this is the beginning of the everlasting growth of the eternal Kingdom (Isa. 9:7; Eph. 3:21). We, the church, are the visible realm of the eternal Kingdom and are to bring the everlasting gospel to the nations to bring healing and save souls and add to the everlasting increase of the Kingdom.
We are now living in the seen earthly realm of the New Heaven and Earth one eternal Kingdom (once we physically die in this earthly seen realm of the Kingdom we will then live forever more in our new glorified bodies in the unseen heavenly realm of the “one” eternal Kingdom). We are part of the one true church/body of Christ. The Holy Spirit indwells each and every believer and Jesus and His Father dwell among us, and we need no earthly Temple; we need none of the rituals and ceremonies of the Old Heavens and Earth.
C.H. Spurgeon said: “Did you ever regret the absence of the burnt-offering, or the red heifer, or any one of the sacrifices and rites of the Jews? Did you ever pine for the Feast of tabernacle, or the dedication? No, because, though these were like the old heavens and earth to the Jewish believers, they have passed away, and we now live under the New Heavens and a New Earth, so far as the dispensation of divine teaching is concerned. The substance is come, and the shadow has gone: and we do not remember it.” (Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, vol. xxxvii, p. 354).
The Old Heavens and Earth world order under the administration of animal sacrifice, which was epitomized in OC Judaism has passed away, and we now live in the New Heavens Earth world order through the shed blood of Christ in the seen realm of the New Covenant eternal Kingdom. May God help us to fully understand and serve in our position in the seen realm of the New Heavens and Earth, where righteousness dwells, and where Yahweh dwells with His people.
*Addendum: Important note about Calendar(s) and the fulfillment of the Festal Calendar:
In regards to the Jewish calendar revolving around their feast days, it is important to remember that Passover was the beginning of their national calendar, just like Canada Day (July 1st) was the beginning of Canada as an independent nation. However, we use at least two other calendars here in the West. One is the solar calendar beginning in January, and another is the School Year calendar beginning in September. Furthermore, farmers work with their own agricultural calendar. So, not all of the events in our lives are associated with the solar calendar. Nor did the Jews have only one calendar to work with.
Israel had a national calendar beginning at their exodus from Egypt (April). They also had an agricultural calendar (or world calendar) beginning in the Fall (Sept-Oct). They believed (I believe correctly) that the world was created on the day of Rosh HaShana (the Day of Trumpets) (Hebrew means “Head of the Year” or beginning of the year). And it should be noted here that some Christians have suggested that Jesus was born on Rosh HaShana (as I believe), thus ushering in not only a new year on the calendar, but also a new creation. Rosh HaShana in the Jewish agricultural calendar is the day when the new year is counted which determines their sabbatical years and the Jubilees.
The Jewish agricultural/world calendar years were incremented each year at the Fall festival of Rosh HaShana (the Day of Trumpets). This means that the Fall Festivals are actually at the beginning of the agricultural/world calendar year, while Passover is at the beginning of their national calendar. So, there is a lot more going on here than just the national calendar starting with Passover. We Christians have radically over-simplified all of this and reduced it to a mere fraction of the meaning that it had for the Jewish people in Old Testament times.
There are thousands of books written on the Jewish festivals and their calendar system. We Christians are almost totally oblivious to the huge rich library of resources which the Jewish people have available to them. We are often satisfied with a meager little crumb off the table while the Jews feast on the lavish banquet of their festal traditions. They laugh at our ill-informed shallow understanding of the Temple, Sacrificial, and Festival systems. Their whole language and culture is wrapped up in that system. We Christians have not done a good job of understanding it.
I say all of the above in order to note that not a single one of the festivals, as far as I can tell, was ALL fulfilled at one single event in the life of Jesus and the Church. Instead, we see parts of several festivals fulfilled at the Cross, or at the Resurrection, the Ascension, Pentecost, or the Parousia. Thus, it is not legitimate to apply ALL of the Passover typology to the Cross, nor ALL of the Yom Kippur typology to the Parousia. The fulfillments cannot be tied up in a neat little package like that. Various aspects of each festival were fulfilled at different times in the work of Christ and in the Church.
For example, we see some aspects of the Passover typology (Death Angel killing the firstborn of the Egyptians, forty years wilderness wandering, etc.) fulfilled during the transition period, while other aspects were fulfilled at the Parousia when the wrath was poured out on the Jews. It is the same thing for the Yom Kippur typology. Some of it was fulfilled at the Cross (scapegoat), some at the ascension (High Priest entering the Holy of Holies with blood), and other parts of it at the Parousia.
In the Jewish agricultural calendar, Pentecost was the grain harvest festival in the Spring, while Sukkot/Tabernacles was the fruit and vegetable harvest festival in the Fall. I do not believe the Bible tries to posit the fulfillment of all aspects of ANY Feast into any single event in one year. Rather, that there are several aspects of many of the Feasts occurring during several different events between AD 30 – 70.
Another example of this “multiple dates and events” crosslink of Festal fulfillment can be seen in Jesus’ parable about the wheat harvest (Matt. 13) at the End of the Age, which is definitely focused on events at the Parousia in AD 66 – 70, however, some clear fulfilling aspects of this Feast of Pentecost we see applying to the beginning of the Church in AD 30 with the first fruits saved in Acts 2, as we looked at earlier in this study.
So, again, I do not believe that it is possible to wrap up all of this Festal typology in one neat little package like some have tried to do. There is a lot more going on in the fulfilment of the Festal Calendar that needs to be studied and taken into consideration.
That all being said, I believe this two part Study Series 8 Lesson 1 and 2 will provide an incredible amount of understanding and blessing for all, as we study through “YHVY’s” Festal Calendar, which He gave to Israel to display His plan of “redemptive history” –> our God is a God of details and wonder.
See also related “Topic Studies & Terms”:
Related full “Study Series” (available upon request if not hyperlinked):
[For a more in-depth study see eschatology “Study Series 8 Lesson 1 God’s Festal Calendar (Spring Feasts)”]
[For a more in-depth study see eschatology “Study Series 8 Lesson 2 God’s Festal Calendar (Fall Feasts)”]