Feast of Tabernacles and the Millennium

Do you not know that you yourselves are God’s temple, and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple. 1 Corinthians 3:16-17

The Millennium has been fascinating me lately for several reasons and has become a focal point of a prophetic prayer group that has met weekly in my home for over five years. We intercede for the nations and stand against the wickedness that is attempting to overtake and extinguish the Light of His Glory; and please know that intercession is requisite of the Body of Christ (Matthew 26:41) or you become complicit with the work of the enemy. Why a focal point of the Millennium and what does the Feast of Tabernacles have to do with Millennium, you ask? This I will attempt to answer in this treatise, though as I begin to write I wonder how I will be able to synthesize meaning without attempting explanation of many of the mysteries of God. I will for sure avoid eschatology because theologians always have and always will argue this unknown.

“God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds (Hebrews 1).” God spoke to His people through the prophets before Christ, but that doesn’t negate their function today. He still does nothing without first speaking through His servants the prophets. They validate and bring life through the rhema word which enlightens and aligns with the graphe or written word. As we see in scripture the prophetic speaks to those things that are to come. In prophetic intercession we reach out in the Spirit to grasp hold of and pull into existence the will and purpose of God. That is precisely the objective of our prayer group. As our most prophetic member of the team decrees, she is going to taste of the millennium in her lifetime. We should all decree His kingdom come and His will be done. Why am I so interested in trying to understand? Quite simply, I’ve been reading the Old Testament prophets in the word of God and each encounter raises my expectation and energizes my faith. We must understand that the graphe or written form of God’s word is inerrant and all that has not transpired to date will indeed manifest. Please grasp the inerrancy of the Bible or your faith will never be settled, and you will miss the joy of finding your destined purpose.

The millennium is the desired next great event on God’s calendar. All the Old Testament prophets prophesied the Millennium, the thousand-year reign of our Lord Jesus Christ, which will be followed by a new heaven and earth. We should clearly see the plan of God to tabernacle with us for eternity. We can only guess as to its beginning, but we can hasten its manifestation by completion of our purpose. I have already used the word purpose several times and it must be the starting point of understanding. God, the Uncreated One, with no beginning and no end, created everything for His pleasure. God spoke into being all things and gave all purpose. God continually speaks to His creation and all things created are purposed to speak back in what He desires, which is worship. It is known that even the stars and planets have a unique audible language of worship, a sound constantly returning to the Creator. As human beings, God’s word tells us that we were created in His image to take dominion of the earth. As such we were created with a brain capable of reason and a free will that can be a huge stumbling block when it errs from His purpose. In Romans 8:19 the Apostle Paul states: “the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God.” Stay with me, I am going to tie all together and answer the topic of this treatise.

God certainly didn’t need us. He had angels to perform His requirements. A third of the angels rebelled under leadership of Lucifer, His most brilliant creation to that point in time, and were cast from the presence of God, the Uncreated One. I can’t even fathom Lucifer’s ignorance to even imagine that he could replace God. Regardless, it was part of the grand plan of the Creator. We know that the first Adam became a living soul that erred. God continually called to His creation to return unto Him. He so wanted to dwell with us that after we continually failed, He sent His Son, Jesus, the second Adam, a life-giving spirit, to redeem what was lost. Through Jesus we were restored and given a choice of dwelling in eternity with God or with Satan. Consider 1 John 3:4-8 (AMP) Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness [ignoring God’s law by action or neglect or by tolerating wrongdoing…being unrestrained by His commands and His will]. You know that He appeared [in visible form as a man] in order to take away sins; and in Him there is [absolutely] no sin [for He has neither the sin nature nor has He committed sin or acts worthy of blame] …. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil.

Jesus, the Godman, was the final redemption and issued the blueprints of the Kingdom and introduced His governmental form called Ecclesia. The Body of Christ departed from His plan and has suffered for so doing. Will we finally get it right in this day? I certainly hope so and am actively taking my share. So, as we now await Christ’s return to rule and reign with those of us that know Him, we must ask the question: have we done the requisite work? We are progressively headed toward the Millennium where the wicked will be separated and dealt with. Scripture tells us that only the Father knows the hour. Will we see this? I probably won’t, but as my prophet prayer partner desires, I expect a taste of it. It is a given that it will happen, but God’s eternal time is far different than ours. The Apostle Peter explains eternal time: “With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day” (2 Peter 3:8).

The world we live in today is certainly exhibiting signs that it is beginning to be out of control. This to the Remnant should fuel our hope and confirm our faith, because we are getting close to the Millennium. Consider the millennial prophecy in Haggai 2:6-9: “For thus saith the Lord of hosts; Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land; And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the Lord of hosts. The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the Lord of hosts. The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the Lord of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, saith the Lord of hosts.” That’s Jehovah Tsaba, Lord of hosts or angel armies, Lord of all, King of Glory. While angels belong to God, scripture tells us they are ministers to the heirs of salvation. The Lord has this. Isaiah 60 says even though we are surrounded by gross darkness we must rise and shine in this hour because the glory of the Lord is upon us. If you are an heir, then all we need to do is stand strong in our faith, proclaim the Gospel, and see the salvation our God promises.

So, Moses institutes this Feast of Tabernacles, also known as Sukkot, where the people build and dwell in booths or tabernacles each year, which in the Hebrew calendar falls in the September-October time frame. In Leviticus 23:33-36,40-43, The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “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. On the first day there shall be a holy convocation. You shall do no customary work on it. For seven days you shall offer an offering made by fire to the Lord. On the eighth day, you shall have a holy convocation, and you shall offer an offering made by fire to the Lord. It is a sacred assembly, and you shall do no customary work on it…. 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. You shall keep it as a feast to the Lord for seven days in the year. It shall be a statute forever in your generations. You shall celebrate it in the seventh month. 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.’”

As one reads Holy Scripture, it screams out over and over that God wants to dwell or tabernacle with us. He fellowshipped with man, His most prized creation, in the Garden of Eden. When man fell, God continuously called throughout time to return to Him. Some heard the prophets and dwelt in His presence. His presence accompanied and dwelt with His people for 40 years in the wilderness. The LORD went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light. In that wilderness, God instructed Moses to construct the tabernacle for this reason: “that I may dwell in their midst” (Ex. 25.8). His mercy with us all is only possible from a God who loves. King David is the perfect example of desire to dwell with God. Even though David sinned, his heart was for God. As David was in exile in the Judean wilderness, listen to his heart for God: Psalm 63(TPT) “O God of my life, I’m lovesick for you in this weary wilderness. I thirst with the deepest longings to love you more. with cravings in my heart that can’t be described. Such yearning grips my soul for you, my God! I’m energized every time I enter your heavenly sanctuary to seek more of your power and drink in more of your glory. For your tender mercies mean more to me than life itself. How I love and praise you, God! Daily I will worship you passionately and with all my heart.” David established continual extravagant and costly worship on Mount Zion and wanted to build an extravagant house for God which had to be accomplished by his son Solomon. Jesus the Godman restores the covenant relationship with God and for two thousand years a remnant is still trying to get it right. God patiently awaits the day when King Jesus can take us into the Kingdom Age of the Millennium.

In the temple period the people would travel to Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles. We see in the millennial prophecy of Zechariah14:16-19 “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. 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 is prophesying regarding the Millennium; the Feast of Tabernacles being kept during the thousand-year reign of Christ. The celebration will be with all nations, Jews and Gentiles alike. All people will come to Jerusalem because that is where Jesus the Messiah, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, will sit on the throne of David and rule His kingdom. In a millennial prophecy, the prophet Amos (Amos 9:11) prophesies “On that day I will raise up the tabernacle of David, which has fallen down, and repair its damages; I will raise up its ruins and rebuild it as in the days of old.” Not only was the temple designed by David the most spectacular building ever created, but more importantly it housed the Glory of God. The Millennium will be God dwelling with us; Jesus in His resurrected body, and we rule and reign with Him.

Consider the Incarnation spoken of in Isaiah 7:14, “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.” Immanuel – “God with us.” In the New Testament, John speaks to the Incarnation in his Gospel (Jn. 1. 14) by introducing the Word who became flesh and dwelt (Greek “tabernacled”) among us and we beheld His Glory. In John 2:20-21 Jesus referred to his own body as the “temple” wherein the Glory of God dwelled. Later in the Gospel (John 14:10-11) Jesus says the Father dwells in Him and He in the Father. Note what the Apostle Paul says in 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 regarding the indwelling “Do you not know that you yourselves are God’s temple, and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.”

Is it coincidental that the real date of our Savior’s birth is the time of the Feast of Tabernacles?” Consider also that Jesus attended the Feast of Tabernacles and drew upon a custom of obtaining pure water from the Shiloach spring located beneath the City of David and pouring the libation upon the altar. The Gospel of John records Jesus on the last and greatest day of the festival, as He stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given since Jesus had not yet been glorified. Many of the people therefore, when they heard this saying, said, Of a truth this is the Prophet. Others said, This is the Christ…(John 7:37-41). Why is this so significant and why would the people proclaim Him the Prophet or the Christ. The answer is those had read the prophecy of Zechariah. Zechariah 14:1-9 reads “A day of the Lord is coming, Jerusalem, when … I will gather all the nations to Jerusalem to fight against it …  Then the Lord will go out and fight against those nations, as he fights on a day of battle.  On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west, forming a great valley, with half of the mountain moving north and half moving south… On that day there will be neither sunlight nor cold, frosty darkness.  It will be a unique day—a day known only to the Lord—with no distinction between day and night. When evening comes, there will be light. On that day living water will flow out from Jerusalem, half of it east to the Dead Sea and half of it west to the Mediterranean Sea, in summer and in winter. The Lord will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one Lord, and His name the only name.

Previously in Zechariah 12 we see written The Lord, who stretches out the heavens, who lays the foundation of the earth, and who forms the human spirit within a person, declares: “I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that sends all the surrounding peoples reeling. Judah will be besieged as well as Jerusalem. On that day, when all the nations of the earth are gathered against her, I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock for all the nations. … On that day the Lord will shield those who live in Jerusalem…. On that day, I will set out to destroy all the nations that attack Jerusalem. And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son… Zechariah 13:1 “On that day a fountain will be opened to the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and impurity.”

Consider the indwelling Paul calls the “Great Mystery” in Colossians 1:27 “God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” In Ephesians 1:7-10 Paul makes it quite clear “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace that He lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. And He has made known to us the mystery of His will according to His good pleasure, which He purposed in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to bring all things in heaven and on earth together in Christ.”

Finally, we read in Revelation 21:3 “And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.” In other words, God Himself will tabernacle with us for eternity.

So, we see that throughout the history of man that God seeks to dwell with us. “In all their affliction He was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in His love and in His pity He redeemed them; and He bare them, and carried them all the days of old.” (Isaiah 63:9)

Guy Diffenbaugh, DD

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