The Feast of Tabernacles
Each year thousands of Christians gather at places all over the world to observe and celebrate
Jesus Christ's Reign Over All the Earth
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
To many, 'Feast of Tabernacles' is a strange-sounding phrase, and conjures up a picture of something impossibly remote and archaic. Yet the Feast of Tabernacles looks towards the future and pictures a time for which mankind has yearned down through the ages.
Excerpt from 'God's Holy Day Plan' (study guide) —
The significance of Tabernacles
The name of the Feast of Tabernacles derives from God’s command to ancient Israel to build temporary “tabernacles,” sometimes called “booths,” to live in during the festival. The Israelites left their houses and built temporary dwelling places (the Hebrew sukkah denoted a “hut of woven boughs”) to live in while rejoicing before God. These reminded them of their release from slavery and their dwelling in booths when God brought them out of Egypt (Leviticus 23:34, Leviticus 23:41-43). In stark contrast to the hardship of slavery, this festival emphasizes rest, peace and prosperity as it meets the needs of all people, including strangers, widows and the poor.
The Bible emphasizes that, as with booths or temporary dwellings, our physical life is transitory. The apostle Paul’s writings reflect this theme: “For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven” (2 Corinthians 5:1-2).
The Feast of Tabernacles anticipates the Messianic period spoken of by numerous Old Testament prophets, and foreseen by the Apostle John (Rev 19:1 - 20:6) as 1000 years, when Jesus Christ has returned to govern the earth as King of kings, and begins to heal our weary, war-torn planet. While we don't know when this millennium will begin, it will be a time of great peace, abundance and joy. Mankind will experience the way of give as opposed to society's current philosophy of get. The millennium is the next major step in the never-ending Kingdom of God and its eternal rule.
We read in the Bible that Jesus observed the Feast of Tabernacles during His earthly ministry (John 7:1-14) nearly two thousand years ago. God also inspired the prophet Zechariah to write of a time yet future, when all nations of the earth will "worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and...keep the Feast of Tabernacles" (Zechariah 14:16-19).
Long ago God instructed His people to carefully observe His Feasts.
“Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘The feasts of the LORD, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, these are My feasts.'" Leviticus 23:2
Notice He did not say they were their feasts. In obedience to God’s command, members of the United Church of God assemble in many locations around the world to observe the Feast of Tabernacles and experience a foretaste of 'the Millennium'. The feasts are Christian in nature and meaning, with God our Father and Jesus Christ at their heart and core. To learn more about God's feasts, click the link below or see the Worship category of our online library.