Lisa Taylor (4 Oct 2011)
"Rapture on the Feast of Tabernacles (Revised)"


Dear Doves,


          For those of us who look for the Rapture during the Jewish feast days, I encourage you to stay on alert through to the end of each festival cycle.


          (The following is a repost, with some additions, of a study I compiled on why I consider the Feast of Tabernacles to be a candidate for the Rapture.  My apologies: the additions make this piece long and windy – or longer and windier :)


          The Feast of Tabernacles is a weeklong feast with an eighth day tacked onto the end.  It memorializes the time that the Israelites lived in the wilderness after they were brought out of Egypt.  During the first 7 days, the celebrants are to live in booths or tabernacles.  See Leviticus 23:42.  The first and eighth days are to be observed with a sacred assembly.


          Here are a few possible Rapture connections to the Feast of Tabernacles:


The Last Trump & Tabernacles


          There is no scripture that expressly links the Last Trump of 1 Corinthians 15:52 to the Feast of Trumpets/Rosh Hashanah.  That position is based upon a rabbinical or traditional convention.  In fact, trumpets are blown on other Biblical feasts and festivals: “Also at your times of rejoicing – your appointed feasts and New Moon festivals – you are to sound the trumpets over your burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, and they will be a memorial for you before your God.  I am the Lord your God.”  Numbers 10:10.


          So, if the Last Trump is not sounded on the Feast of Trumpets, when else could it sounded?  The answer may be simpler that you think.  Since the cycle of the 7 Feasts of the Lord (Leviticus 23) is observed during a course of 7 months, beginning with Passover and ending with Tabernacles, why couldn’t the Last Trump be a trumpet blown during the last feast in the cycle?


          Scripture seems to back up this possibility.  Check out Psalm 81:3-4: “Sound the ram’s horn at the New Moon, and when the moon is full, on the day of our Feast; this is a decree for Israel, an ordinance of the God of Jacob.” (NIV)  This verse refers to the Feast of Trumpets, which is a new moon festival, and to the Feast of Tabernacles, which is a full moon festival.  Throughout the Bible, the Feast of Tabernacles is referred to as the feast or festival.  (See 1 Kings 8:2, 65 and 12:32; 2 Chronicles 5:3 and 7:8; Nehemiah 8:14, 18; and Ezekiel 45:25.)   Furthermore, blowing the shofar on the Feast of Trumpets and the Feast of Tabernacles is not a suggestion, but a decree from God.  He clearly wants a (first and last?) trumpet to be blown on these two feasts.


          (*Note: The KJV reads differently for Psalm 81:3. “Blow up the trumpet in the new moon, in the time appointed, on our solemn feast day.”  But if you look at the Hebrew, which you can check for yourselves at, the word for “in the time appointed” (“kece”) means “full moon.” And the Hebrew word for “on our solemn feast” (“chag”) also refers to the Feast of Tabernacles in the Talmud, 2 Chronicles 5:3 and 1 Kings 8:2.)


Sign of Jonah


          A fellow dove, Pastor Daniel Lizarraga, posted a great study a few years ago about the sign of Jonah and its relationship to the Church Age.  You may remember that the unbelieving Pharisees asked Jesus for a miraculous sign and he replied: “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a miraculous sign!  But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.  For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.  The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now one greater than Jonah is here.”  Matthew 12:30-41.


          In a nutshell, Pastor Lizarraga noticed that the sign of Jonah consisted of three feasts, not just one.  He sees Passover in the three days and three nights.  (Note: Passover tends to be a catchall for all 3 spring feasts.  Technically, however, Christ died on Passover, was buried for 3 days and nights during the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and was resurrected on Firstfruits.)  He sees Pentecost in the 120,000 Ninevites who repented, because the number is a multiple of the 120 Christian believers who were in the upper room at Pentecost.  (See Acts 1:15.)  And he sees Tabernacles in the fact that Jonah made a booth to watch the outcome of the city.  (See Jonah 4:5.)  Finally, he sees all of this as an illustration of the Church Age.


          I believe that his insight is confirmed by Scripture.  The 3 feasts that make up the sign of Jonah are the same 3 feasts that make up the Pilgrimage Festivals.  “Three times a year all your men must appear before the Lord your God in the place he will choose: at the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of Weeks and the Feast of Tabernacles.”  Deuteronomy 16:16.  (See also Exodus 23:14-17.)  This is no coincidence.  God has highlighted three out of the seven Levitical feasts for a reason.  At the time Jesus pointed the Jews to sign of Jonah, he was making a specific point about Gentile believers coming to the faith.  In addition to the Ninevites, he mentioned the Queen of Sheba who came to the faith during the time of King Solomon.  (See Matthew 12: 42.)  Jesus was showing the Jews that the conversion of Gentiles would be a sign to them and that the 3 Pilgrimage Festivals would be connected to this sign.


          In book of Jonah, the Jewish prophet is sent to Nineveh, a Gentile city, to warn the people of its destruction after a period of 40 days.  The Ninevites believe his message and repent to the God of the Israelites, who preserves them from judgment.  We thus have an illustration of Gentiles who come to a saving faith in God within a framework of events that point to the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of Weeks and the Feast of Tabernacles.  This is the sign of Jonah. And it is being fulfilled by the Church, a predominantly Gentile body, who has accepted the resurrected Christ (i.e. Unleavened Bread) as her Savior.  


          The Apostle Paul observed that our current age would be characterized by Israel’s unbelief, but that it would not be lasting.  “Again I ask: Did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all! Rather, because of their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious …. I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in.  And so all Israel will be saved ….”  Romans 11:11, 25-26.  It is the role of the Church to make Israel envious.  We are an illustration – a sign of God's mercy to all of mankind.  Like Jonah, the Jews will watch God save a group of Gentiles from destruction.   


          The Church, had its beginning on Pentecost, also known as the Feast of Weeks.  It was at that time that the Holy Spirit began to indwell believers.  In a spiritual sense, Pentecost has never ended.  Believers continue to be indwelt by the Holy Spirit.  In fact, Paul referred to our present age as Today.  “But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.  We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first.  As has just been said: ‘Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion.’”  Hebrews 3:13-15.  Someday, however, “Today” will end.


          If the Church Age is connected to the 3 Pilgrimage Festivals, then the next event on God’s prophetic calendar is the Feast of Tabernacles.  The Ninevites were spared judgment as Jonah watched from a tabernacle.  Likewise, the Church will be spared the judgment of the Tribulation through the Rapture.  Will Jews also be sitting in tabernacles at the time?  


          It is interesting to note that the one of the Haftarah synagogue readings on Yom Kippur, which is five days before the Feast of Tabernacles, is the entire book of Jonah.  So, Jonah will be fresh on the minds of the Jews.  ("Haftara refers to the Book of Prophets reading that follows the Torah reading on Sabbaths and holidays ." Quote from  


          Lastly, the name “Jonah” literally means “dove.”  Isn’t it interesting that there is a book of the Bible entitled “Dove,” the sign of the Holy Spirit, which is about a bunch of reprobate Gentiles who are spared from judgment?  Talk about an illustration for the Church Age.


Harvest Pattern


          The Feast of Tabernacles is the last of the 3 harvest festivals – which are Firstfruits, Pentecost, and Tabernacles, respectively.  Jesus may have established a pattern by being resurrected on a harvest festival – the Feast of Firstfruits.  Future resurrection events, therefore – including the Rapture – could occur on one of these festivals.  Since the Church had its start at Pentecost, which celebrates the firstfruits of the crops, it  would be fitting for the Church to be “harvested” at the end of the harvest season.   See Exodus 23:16-16 and Exodus 34:22-23.    


          Jesus also referred to the period of 4 months between Pentecost and Tabernacles. “Do you not say, ‘Four months more and then the harvest?’  I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields!  They are ripe for harvest.  Even now the reaper draws his wages, even now he harvests the crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together.”  John 4:35-36.  Our job has been to participate in this on-going harvest.  Someday, however, our work will end and there will be a final harvest of the Church. 


Booths & Heavenly Chambers


          There is a lovely passage in Isaiah that talks about the people of God entering chambers during a time of judgment.  It is viewed as an Old Testament reference to the Rapture: “But your dead will live; their bodies will rise. You who dwell in the dust, wake up and shout for joy.  Your dew is like the dew of the morning; the earth will give birth to her dead.  Go, my people, enter your rooms and shut the doors behind you; hide yourselves for a little while until his wrath has passed by.  See, the Lord is coming out of his dwelling to punish the people of the earth for their sins.” Isaiah 27:19-21.  Note that the people are told to hide themselves, but for a short period of time.  It is interesting to note that the Feast of Tabernacles is celebrated by the entering of temporary structures or booths for a period of 7 days.  Could this point to the Church entering chambers in heaven ahead of the 7 year Tribulation?


          Jesus said, “In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you.  I am going there to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”  John 14:2-3.


Pattern from the Transfiguration


          The Transfiguration is discussed in three out of the four Gospels: Matthew 17:1-13; Mark 9:2-3; Luke 9:28-36.  The accounts are all similar: Jesus, Peter, James and John go up a high mountain where Jesus is transfigured before them.  Suddenly, Moses and Elijah appear in “glorious splendor.” (Luke 9:31.)  A cloud envelopes all of them and they hear the voice of God.


          Peter also says something that may connect the Transfiguration to the Feast of Tabernacles; he asks if they should build 3 shelters or booths.  "Peter said to Jesus, 'Lord, it is good for us to be here.  If you wish, I will put up three shelters – one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah."  Matthew 17:4.  This statement may also give us insight into the timing of the Rapture, because there seems to be a parallel between the Transfiguration and the Rapture passage in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17:


“For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.  After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.  And so we will be with the Lord forever.”


          Similarly, at the Transfiguration, Moses represents the dead in Christ because he experienced death.  Elijah represents those who are alive at the time of the Rapture because he never experienced death.  They, the dead and the alive, join Jesus and are transformed.  Also, Old Testament saints and New Testament saints are together during this event as represented by Moses, Elijah, and the three disciples.  Although they are not in the air, they are on a “high mountain.” (Matthew 17:1.)  A cloud envelopes them and they are with the Lord in the clouds.  Lastly, the voice of God is heard, and we know from other scripture that the voice of God is like the sound of a trumpet. (See Revelation 1:10 and 4:1.)


          The Transfiguration appears to be a rehearsal for the Rapture.  Perhaps it is also an indicator for its timing.


In Secret


          There is a passage in the book of John that expressly links Jesus Christ to the Feast of Tabernacles.  It is during a time where the Lord’s brothers mock him for not having a more public ministry.  


          “Therefore Jesus told them, ‘The right time for me has not yet come; for you any time is right.  The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify that what it does is evil.  You go to the Feast.  I am not yet going up to this Feast, because for me the right time has not yet come.’  Having said this, he stayed in Galilee.  However, after his brothers had left for the Feast, he went also, not publicly, but in secret.  Now at the Feast the Jews were watching for him and asking, ‘Where is that man?’ …. Not until halfway through the Feast did Jesus go up to the temple courts and begin to teach.”  John 7:6-14.


          It is interesting that Jesus initially attends the Feast of Tabernacles in secret.  The people and religious leaders are actually looking for Him, but He came when they were not expecting Him.


          People often criticize us for believing in a “secret” Rapture.  Wouldn’t it be something if this passage is a hint for when and how Christ will come for us?  Since the Feast of Tabernacles is a multi-day festival, no one would know the day or hour that He would come.  


          Jesus also makes an intriguing statement during the Feast.  "Jesus said, 'I am with you for only a short time, and then I go to the one who sent me.  You will look for me, but you will not find me; and where I am, you cannot come.'"  John 7:33-34.


          This is exactly what will happen after the Rapture – people will look for us, but not find us.


A Bride Catching Festival


          Judges 21:19-25 deals with the time that the Tribe of the Benjamin was permitted to seize wives as they are dancing at "the annual festival of the Lord in Shiloh."  (Shiloh is the place where the Tabernacle of Moses was set up in Joshua 18:1.  It was still there when the narrative in Judges takes place.) 


          I cannot find a consensus as to the identity and timing of this festival.  Some commentators say it was just a local festival, others say that it celebrates the beginning of the grape harvest which is traditionally celebrated on the Fifteenth of Av, and others believe it is the Feast of Tabernacles which celebrates the end of the grape harvest.  The text tells us that the girls are dancing in a vineyard, so the festival is likely to be connected to either the beginning or end of the grape harvest.


          Furthermore, since the men of Israel were required to go to Shiloh to observe the Pilgrimage Festivals while the Tabernacle was there, it is quite possible that festival was the Feast of Tabernacles.  (Later, when the Temple was built in Jerusalem, Jewish males were required to go to Jerusalem.)


          There may also be a hidden pattern in the narrative.  According to the Bible, the Tribe of Benjamin had offended the Israelites by their unwillingness to surrender fellow Benjamites who had committed a heinous crime.  A conflict ensued between the two sides resulting in the deaths of the entire Tribe of Benjamin, with the exception of 600 fighting men.  According to Judges 20:47: "But six hundred men turned and fled into the desert to the rock of Rimmon, where they stayed four months."  Now, the Israelites had made an oath not to give their daughters in marriage to any Benjamite.  Consequently, they realized that the tribe of all men was bound to die out.  Regretting their vow, but unable to break it, they devised a plan to get wives for the remaining 600 Benjamites.  First, they determined that no one from the camp of Jabesh Gilead had assisted them in the war.  So they put that entire camp to death, except for 400 virgin girls.  Then they took the girls to Shiloh and sent an offer of peace to the Benjamites at the rock of Rimmon, who accepted the women as wives.  Then they told the remaining 200 men to go to an annual festival of the Lord at Shiloh.  "So they instructed the Benjamites, saying, 'Go and hide in the vineyards and watch.  When the girls of Shiloh come out to join in the dancing, then rush from the vineyards and each of you seize a wife from the girls of Shiloh and go to the land of Benjamin.  When their fathers or brothers complain to us, we will say to them, 'Do us a kindness by helping them, because we did not get wives for them during the war, and you are innocent, since you did not give your daughters to them.'  So that is what the Benjamites did.  While the girls were dancing, each man caught one and carried her off to be his wife."  Judges 21:20-23.


          Please notice that the 600 Benjamites obtained wives in increments of 400 and 200.  First through killing, and second through a bride snatch.  If you add an extra zero to 600, 400, and 200, you can see the timeline of 6000 years of human history.  During the initial 4000 years, God obtained a wife through killing or the sacrificial system.  After the final 2000 years, Christ will obtain His wife through a bride snatch – the Rapture.  The name Benjamin translates to "son of the right hand."  Jesus Christ is the ultimate Son of God's right hand.  "Jesus replied, 'But I say to all of you: In the future you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.'"  Matthew 26:64.  The 600 Benjamites initially fled to the "rock of Rimmon."  Rimmon is Hebrew for "pomegranates."  The fruit is connected to only the High Priest.  Jesus is not only our High Priest, but He is also our Rock.  The Benjamites stay at Rimmon for four months before they seize their wives at Shiloh where the Tabernacle is located.  (Shiloh is also a name used for the Messiah in Genesis 49:10.)  Finally, there are four months between the Feast of Pentecost and the Feast of Tabernacles. 


          Perhaps this strange story about the snatching of brides is prophetic.  Perhaps its timing, during the grape harvest, gives us a clue to the timing of the Rapture.  Judges 21:23 uses an interesting Hebrew word for "took" – it is "nasa."  It means "to lift up."  It is the same word used in Genesis 7:17 to describe the lifting of Noah's Ark during the Flood.


          "And the children of Benjamin did so, and took them wives, according to their number, of them that danced, whom they caught: and they went and returned unto their inheritance, and repaired the cities, and dwelt in them."  Judges 21:23.


          "For forty days the flood kept coming on the earth, and as the waters increased they lifted the ark high above the earth."  Genesis 7:17.


The Great Multitude and Tabernacles


          We know that in eternity, God will tabernacle with men – which will be the ultimate fulfillment of the Feast of Tabernacles.  "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."  Revelation 21:3.  But there may be another observance of the feast earlier in the book of Revelation.


          In Revelation 7:9-10, we see a Great Multitude in heaven right after the global earthquake of the Sixth Seal in Revelation 6:12-17:


“After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb.  They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands.  And they cried out in a loud voice: ‘Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.’”


          Now, take a look at the passage in Leviticus that concerns the Feast of Tabernacles:


“‘So beginning with the fifteenth day of the seventh month, after you have gathered the crops of the land, celebrate the festival to the Lord for seven days; the first day is a day of rest, and the eighth day also is a day of rest.  On the first day you are to take choice fruit from the trees, and palm fronds, leafy branches and poplars, and rejoice before the Lord your God for seven days.”  Leviticus 23:39-40.


The timing of the Great Multitude may be connected to an observance of the Feast of Tabernacles because of the reference to holding palm branches, and to the fact that the group will reside in the tent or tabernacle of God:


“And he said, ‘These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.  Therefore, they are before the throne of God and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will spread his tent over them.”  Revelation 7:14-15.


          (The King James Version uses the phrase "he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them" in Revelation 7:15.  The Greek word for "dwell" can be translated "to fix one's tabernacle" or "to live in a tabernacle or tent.")


We also see the Great Multitude standing before the Lamb.  Apparently, they have been accounted worthy to escape the time of distress that is to come upon the world.  "Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man."  Luke 21:36.


          There may be another connection between something that Jesus said at a celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles and something that is said about the Great Multitude.  John 7:37-39 states:


“On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, ‘If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink.  Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.’  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.” 


          And Revelation 7:17 states:


“For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water.  And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”


          Finally, the description of the Great Multitude resembles the make-up of the Church – "from every nation, tribe, people and language."  Since we see them after the global earthquake of the Sixth Seal, there could be a connection between that earthquake and the Rapture.  (Earthquakes are connected to the resurrection events of Jesus Christ and some Old Testament saints in Matthew 27:51-53 and Matthew 28:2-7, and the Two Witness in Revelation 11:11-13.)


Blood Red Moon & the Church Age


          On the day of Pentecost, Jews from every nation heard Spirit-filled believers speaking in languages that they understood.  Peter addressed the crowd, specifically applying this event to a prophecy from Joel 2:28-32:


          "Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say.  These men are not drunk, as you suppose.  It's only nine in the morning!  No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:  'In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people.  Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.  Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy.  I will show wonders in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billows of smoke.  The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord.  And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.'"  Acts 2:14-21.


          It is significant that Peter applied this specific prophecy to the Church, because it shows us that the Blood Red Moon is a sign that is connected to the Church Age.  The Apostle Paul also quotes from the same passage in connection with his description of the Church Age – a time where both Jews and Gentiles will come to Christ.  “For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile – the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’  Romans 10:12-13. 


          To this day, people continue to be filled with the Holy Spirit when they become believers in Jesus Christ.  They prophesy, see visions, and dream dreams.  But there are certain parts of Joel's prophecy – signs in the heavens and on earth – that have yet to occur.  It is possible that when these signs do occur, they will mark the end of the Church Age.


          The Blood Red Moon is only referenced in Joel 2:31, Acts 2:20, and Revelation 6:12.


          "I watched as he opened the sixth seal.  There was a great earthquake.  The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red, and the stars in the sky fell to earth, as late figs drop from a fig tree when shaken by a strong wind.  The sky receded like a scroll, rolling up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place."  Revelation 6:12-14.


          So, a great earthquake is also connected to the Blood Red Moon. 


          Perhaps not coincidentally, during the Feast of Tabernacles (on Tishri 21), the prophet Haggai gave the following prophecy about the rebuilt temple in Jerusalem:


“This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘In a little while I will once more shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land. I will shake all nations, and the desired of all nations will come, and I will fill this house with the glory,’ says the Lord Almighty.”  Haggai 2:6-7.


          The writer of Hebrews quotes from this passage in Haggai in connection with the sound of a trumpet blast and the voice of God at Mount Sinai:


"At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, 'Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.'"  Hebrews 12:26.


          Author David Lowe, in his book Then His Voice Shook the Earth, believes that this shaking will occur at the sounding of the Last Trump (see 1 Corinthians 15:52 and 1 Thessalonians 4:16), which is the actual voice of God.


          "When the people saw the thunder and lightning and heard the trumpet and saw the mountain in smoke, they trembled with fear.  They stayed at a distance and said to Moses, 'Speak to us yourself and we will listen.  But do not have God speak to us or we will die."  Exodus 20:18-19.


          "On the Lord's Day I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet …."  Revelation 1:10.


          This may support the contention that an earthquake will occur at the time of the Rapture.  Perhaps as a result of the voice of God.


          Finally, the Blood Red Moon may also be a full moon.  Since the Feast of Tabernacles is a full moon festival, it could confirm the timing of the Blood Red Moon.  (Note: there is a disagreement as to whether the word "moon" should be translated full or whole moon.  According to a note in the New King James version for Revelation 6:12,  only the " NU-Text and M-Text read the whole moon.")


The Birthday of Jesus Christ


          Many scholars believe that Jesus was born in the fall.  It is possible, then, that His birth is prophetically connected to one of the three fall feasts.  I am a fan of the Feast of Tabernacles as being best choice.  If Jesus was born on the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles, His birth and circumcision would coincide with the exact days that people were required to assemble for that Feast.  See Leviticus 23:35-36. 


          Jesus, Mary and Joseph literally lived outside in a temporary structure, a place for animals, during the time of His birth.  "She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn."  Luke 2:7.  We find out in Genesis 33:17 that Jacob made booths or shelters for his cattle; the Hebrew word used for those booths is the same word used for the Feast of Tabernacles – "succoth."   Think about that!  Jesus actually complied with the mandate to live in a tabernacle at His birth.  So, whenever you see a nativity scene in someone's yard at Christmastime, remember that you are seeing a Jewish family living outside in a temporary structure.  Which is exactly what happens every fall during the Feast of Tabernacles.


          Jesus also took on a mortal body – a temporary structure – when He dwelt with us.  "The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.  We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth."  John 1:14.  Please note that the Greek word used for "dwelling" literally means to abide in a tabernacle or tent.  So, in a larger sense, Jesus fulfilled the Feast of Tabernacles by His very presence here on earth.


          Is it possible that we will receive immortal bodies during the same feast that Jesus was born in a mortal body?


          “Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked.  For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.  Now it is God who has made us for this very purpose and has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.”  2 Corinthians 5:1-5.




          Two significant things happened to Jesus Christ on His eighth day:


“On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise him, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he had been conceived.”  Luke 2:21.


          He received His name Jesus and He was circumcised. 


          Circumcision is the sign of the Abrahamic Covenant that God made with the Jews:


“Every male among you shall be circumcised.  You are to undergo circumcision, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and you …. My covenant in your flesh is to be an everlasting covenant.”  Genesis 17:10-13.


          There may be a connection between this and the Church of Philadelphia of Revelation 3:7-13. 


          Philadelphia is the church that God promises to keep “from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth.”  Revelation 3:10.  Its members are associated with those who will participate in the Rapture.  Philadelphia is told the following:


“Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God.  Never again will he leave it.  I will write on him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on him my new name.”  Revelation 3:12.


          Every overcomer will have the name of God, the New Jerusalem, and the new name of Jesus Christ written on them.  Will the new name of Jesus, written on our flesh, be a sign of the New Covenant?  And will we receive this name and sign on the eighth day of Tabernacles? 


          Finally, we are told that Philadelphia will be made a pillar in the temple of God.  At the time of the Rapture, the members of the Church, each living stones, will be assembled together as the Temple of God: 


“As you come to him, the living Stone – rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him – you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”  1 Peter 2:4-5. 


"Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God's people and members of God's household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.  In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord."  Ephesians 2:19-22.


          It should be noted that  the dedication of Solomon's Temple occurred on the Feast of Tabernacles.  See 1 Kings 8:65 and 2 Chronicles 7:8.  Perhaps the Church, the Living Temple, will be assembled and dedicated on some future Feast of Tabernacles.




          Please do not get discouraged as we wait for the Lord's return.  Whether He comes this year or not, we can know for a fact that He will come at the right time.




                            – Lisa Taylor