“And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.”[Revelation 21:3]
It all started in the Garden. God creating man in His own image. Man dwelling with God in perfect harmony. God made His home with man. Man in right relationship with his Maker. It was paradise.
Then paradise was lost.
Adam and Eve were cast out of the Garden — separated from God. The entire creation was cursed. The consequences of sin and death ensued, and the earth — man’s home — became the devil’s playground.
Ever since man was expelled from the Garden, he has been trying to do one thing — find a way back to God.
That is the essence of the gospel. Man could never make his way back into right relationship with God on his own. Man could never merit the privilege of being allowed back into the presence of a Holy God. That is why God had to initiate the plan of restoration and provide the only way of salvation by coming to us.
When it comes to the final fulfillment of the Feast of Tabernacles, we must be reminded that God’s people are awaiting the Day when the dwelling place [tabernacle] of God will forever be with man!
The Word Become Flesh
The entire gospel story of God’s redemption hinges upon the restoration of God and man through the Person and work of Jesus Christ. As Peter says, “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit” [1 Peter 3:18].
The Lord Jesus Christ is the Creator — God the Son — the Word become flesh. The good news is that God, in His love for humanity, chose to leave His position in heaven, temporarily laying aside His divine glory, and came to earth to “tabernacle” among us in human form [see John 1:1-14]. That is why He is Immanuel — God with us — and He came to provide mankind the only way back to God the Father.
“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.” Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”[John 14:1-6]
After accomplishing the work of redemption through His death, burial and resurrection, Jesus spent valuable time teaching His disciples about the kingdom of God. Just before ascending to heaven, Jesus promised to tabernacle with His people in a new and living way — through the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit.
“Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?”[1 Corinthians 3:16]
In one very real sense God’s kingdom already has come in the Person and work of Christ, and God’s Spirit dwells within every believer. But in another sense God’s kingdom is not yet because evil remains at work in this world and the restoration of all things is yet future.
So how and when will the Feast of Tabernacles be ultimately fulfilled?
The Second Coming of Christ
Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever.”[Revelation 11:15]
If we are following the prophetic timeline that God has established through His appointed Feasts, then we should remember that the first two fall feasts will be fulfilled at second coming of Christ. The Feast of Trumpets will be fulfilled when the last trumpet is sounded and Jesus returns from heaven to earth on the clouds in power and great glory [see Matthew 24:29-31, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18].
The Day of Atonement will be fulfilled, as all Israel will be saved when Christ returns to punish the enemies of God and trample the Antichrist and his hostile armies surrounding Jerusalem.
Immediately after the Lord Yeshua defeats His enemies and liberates Jerusalem, He will be exalted as King of kings and take His place on David’s throne in Zion to reestablish His Kingdom Israel on earth.
Zechariah provides a glimpse into this awesome Day.
“Behold, a day is coming for the LORD, when the spoil taken from you will be divided in your midst. For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city shall be taken and the houses plundered and the women raped. Half of the city shall go out into exile, but the rest of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then the LORD will go out and fight against those nations as when he fights on a day of battle. On that day his feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives that lies before Jerusalem on the east, and the Mount of Olives shall be split in two from east to west by a very wide valley, so that one half of the Mount shall move northward, and the other half southward. And you shall flee to the valley of my mountains, for the valley of the mountains shall reach to Azal. And you shall flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the LORD my God will come, and all the holy ones with him … And the LORD will be king over all the earth. On that day the LORD will be one and his name one.”[Zechariah 14:1-6, 9]
Once King Jesus takes His place on the throne, God’s people will be invited to take part in the marriage supper of the Lamb, which will be the great victory banquet on earth celebrating the triumph of the King.
Jesus said … “I tell you I will not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”[Matthew 26:29]
The Millennial Kingdom and the Feast of Tabernacles
Once Jesus returns to the earth as King, He will rule and reign His Kingdom from Jerusalem, and the saints will rule with Him. Many have called this the Messianic Age, or the Millennial Kingdom of Christ. The Kingdom will be God’s way of bringing paradise back to the earth. God will live in physical, bodily form in the midst of the earth, and we will dwell in the presence of Almighty God.
The Millennium will be a literal 1,000 year period for Christ to reign as King and for God to dwell with man. It will give mankind the privilege to enjoy an age of unprecedented peace, prosperity, knowledge, restoration, longevity, blessing, and beauty.
Interestingly enough, the Feast of Tabernacles will play a prominent role during this unique Messianic Age, as the survivors of the nations will be required to present themselves before the LORD each year to celebrate the Feast of Booths.
“Then everyone who survives of all the nations that have come against Jerusalem shall go up year after year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Booths. And if any of the families of the earth do not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, there will be no rain on them. And if the family of Egypt does not go up and present themselves, then on them there shall be no rain; there shall be the plague with which the LORD afflicts the nations that do not go up to keep the Feast of Booths. This shall be the punishment to Egypt and the punishment to all the nations that do not go up to keep the Feast of Booths.[Zechariah 14:16-19]
The saints of the Most High will rule and reign with King Jesus and the nations will be subject to Him. There are a variety of passages that portray this unique Millennial Kingdom, but for sake of time I will only share one more from the prophet Isaiah.
“It shall come to pass in the latter days
that the mountain of the house of the LORD
shall be established as the highest of the mountains,
and shall be lifted up above the hills;
and all the nations shall flow to it,
and many peoples shall come, and say:
‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD,
to the house of the God of Jacob,
that he may teach us his ways
and that we may walk in his paths.’
For out of Zion shall go forth the law,
and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
He shall judge between the nations,
and shall decide disputes for many peoples;
and they shall beat their swords into plowshares,
and their spears into pruning hooks;
nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
neither shall they learn war anymore.” [Isaiah 2:2-4]
The New Heaven, Earth and Jerusalem
After the earth is allowed to experience this 1,000 year Sabbath rest of peace under the Lordship of Jesus Christ, the Bible then describes a New Heaven and New Earth, where God makes everything new and dwells with His people forevermore. Everything that was lost in the Garden will be restored and recreated, and there will be no more evil, no more sin, no more death, and no more suffering.
“For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth, and the former things shall not be remembered or come into mind.”[Isaiah 65:17]
The Apostle John provides even more detail about the eternal state of man and God’s promise to tabernacle with mankind forevermore.
“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.’ And he who was seated on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new.’ Also he said, ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.’ And he said to me, ‘It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son’ … And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it, and its gates will never be shut by day—and there will be no night there. They will bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations.”[Revelation 21:1-7, 22-26]
As you can see, the Feast of Tabernacles symbolizes the ongoing, perpetual state of Holy God dwelling with man. Just as God commanded Israel to set aside the 8th Day of rest following the Feast of Booths, He has set aside an eternal 8th Day — the Day of New Beginnings of Recreation — which will be the everlasting life we will experience through and with Christ in the New Heaven and New Earth!