Then I, John, 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 heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”
Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me,“Write, for these words are true and faithful.”
And He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son. (Revelation 21:2-7)
As we enter into the time of the Feast of Tabernacles, it is worthwhile to review the origin and prophetic overtones of this celebration. The Feast of Tabernacles, also known as the Feast of the Ingathering, has multiple meanings.
The one mentioned in the Book of Exodus is agricultural in nature – Observe the Festival of Weeks with the firstfruits of the wheat harvest, and the Festival of Ingathering at the turn of the agricultural year. (Exodus 34:22)
The more elaborate religious significance from the Book of Leviticus is that of commemorating the Exodus and the dependence of the People of Israel on the will of God – You are to live in booths for seven days. All the native-born of Israel must live in booths, so that your generations may know that I made the Israelites live in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt; I am Yahweh your God. (Leviticus 23:42-43)
It is noteworthy to see that they were directed to build temporary shelters and to live in them for seven days. Noah was told to build an Ark – a floating “tabernacle” – and all of his family and the animals lived in it for 7 days:
Then the Lord said to Noah, “Enter the ark, you and all your household, for I have seen that you alone are righteous before Me in this generation. You are to take with you seven pairs, a male and its female, of all the clean animals, and two of the animals that are not clean, a male and its female, and seven pairs, male and female, of the birds of the sky—in order to keep offspring alive on the face of the whole earth. Seven days from now I will make it rain on the earth 40 days and 40 nights, and I will wipe off from the face of the earth every living thing I have made.” And Noah did everything that the Lord commanded him. (Genesis 7:1-4)
The Church is rescued by the Rapture, just like Noah’s family and the animals were saved in the Ark. The Lord tells us:
Your dead will live; their bodies will rise.
Awake and sing, you who dwell in the dust!
For you will be covered with the morning dew,
and the earth will bring out the departed spirits.
Go, my people, enter your rooms
and close your doors behind you.
Hide for a little while until the wrath has passed.
For look, the Lord is coming from His place
to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity. (Isaiah 26:19-21)
In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if not, I would have told you. I am going away to prepare a place for you. If I go away and prepare a place for you, I will come back and receive you to Myself, so that where I am you may be also. (John 14:2-3)
The next example of the Rapture is the Transfiguration:
After six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John and led them up on a high mountain by themselves to be alone. He was transformed in front of them, and His clothes became dazzling—extremely white as no launderer on earth could whiten them. Elijah appeared to them with Moses, and they were talking with Jesus.
Then Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it’s good for us to be here! Let us make three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah”— because he did not know what he should say, since they were terrified.
A cloud appeared, overshadowing them, and a voice came from the cloud:
This is My beloved Son;
listen to Him!
Then suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone with them except Jesus alone. (Mark 9:2-8)
In this “Transfiguration” we see a perfect representation of the future Rapture. In the original Greek, the word was metamorphothe, which was translated into Latin as Trans Figura, the changing of appearance or of the body itself.
Notice who is present:
- The Godhead, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
- The Old Testament believers, represented by Moses as the law-giver and Elijah as the first prophet
- The New Testament believers, represented by Peter, James, and John
The Rapture representation is complete when considering the word Mark uses for the transformation: stilbein. This is the Greek word used for the glistening gleam of burnished brass or gold, or of polished steel, or of the golden glare of the sunlight. This radiance is the natural state of Jesus the Messiah. At the Rapture, we will also shine with this radiance.
Dear friends, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet been revealed. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him because we will see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself just as He is pure. (1 John 3:2-3)
Since the Transfiguration happened on the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles, Peter made the suggestion of building a tabernacle for each of them. He probably expected that God would usher in the new age, the “Day of the Lord,” during the Feast of Tabernacles.
There are also some who believe that it was likely during the Feast of Tabernacles that Jesus was born. Note that He was born in a shelter:
The dedication of Solomon’s Temple also occurred on the Feast of Tabernacles.
So Solomon and all Israel with him—a very great assembly, from the entrance to Hamath to the Brook of Egypt—observed the festival at that time for seven days. On the eighth day[b] they held a sacred assembly, for the dedication of the altar lasted seven days and the festival seven days. On the twenty-third day of the seventh month he sent the people away to their tents, rejoicing and with happy hearts for the goodness the Lord had done for David, for Solomon, and for His people Israel. (2 Chronicles 7:8-10)
When Jonah finished his preaching against Nineveh, he rested on the Feast of Tabernacles.
Jonah left the city and sat down east of it. He made himself a shelter there and sat in its shade to see what would happen to the city. (Jonah 4:5)
The Feast of Tabernacles appears to be a rehearsal for the Rapture and the End Times. Have you confessed with your mouth and believed in your heart that Jesus is Lord?
On the last and most important day of the festival, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone is thirsty, he should come to Me and drink! The one who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, will have streams of living water flow from deep within him.” He said this about the Spirit. (John 7:37-39)