Feast of Tabernacles
Forerunner, "Bible Study," August 1996
In these studies on the holy days, we have seen God's plan unfolding. The process of salvation, revealed in the spring festivals, culminates in the Feast of Trumpets, picturing Christ returning to earth in power to crush Satan's end-time attempt to subjugate the world. Saints from all ages will be resurrected, or if alive, changed to immortality. For the first time in history, man will be totally at one with his Creator! Satan will then be bound for a thousand years, and his evil, destructive influence will be totally cut off.
The Feast of Tabernacles pictures the ensuing Millennium when the whole earth will rest. In Hebrews 4, the writer discusses the Sabbath as a day of rest. He uses Israel entering the Promised Land as a type of our entering into rest when Christ returns. If the week typifies the length of God's plan, we are now living on "Friday," the sixth day, as almost 6,000 years—a thousand years as a day—have elapsed since Adam's creation. Christians should be busy preparing for Christ's return and His coming Sabbath rest.
Comment: Man is proud of his powerful computers, satellites, modern scientific labs and medical discoveries. In spite of this, he fights with nature and other men. Crime, drug abuse, sexual perversions and all sorts of other evils escalate. The deaf and blind go unhealed. Man pollutes his air, water and soil because he does not know how to manage a civilization. With all his technological advances, man cannot get along with his neighbor.
The earth being "full of the knowledge of the LORD" means far more than "everyone will go to the right church"! God's knowledge is vast; He knows how to make a civilization work—even a high-tech one! In the Millennium, man will be at peace. Nations, neighbors and even spouses will not fight. Cancer, diabetes, heart disease, blindness and deafness will be eradicated. Eyeglasses and braces will be found only in museums. The deserts will produce bountiful harvests. The animal kingdom will peacefully co-exist with humanity. All this will be the result of an unprecedented explosion of knowledge in how to do things right!
Comment: As King of kings, Christ will appoint His faithful followers as kings and priests over the earth. They will have abilities as God has today. If a person considers an action that would hurt himself or someone else, the glorified children of God will teach them to choose a better course. At that time, people "shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain" (Isaiah 11:9).
Comment: After Jesus Christ returns, the survivors of all the nations will be gathered, and He will appoint the resurrected saints to rule over them. If they initially rebel against His rule, He will cut off all rain until they submit and keep the Feast of Tabernacles.
4. How will their keeping of the Feast of Tabernacles show submission to God? Zechariah 14:16-19.
Comment: During the Millennium, people will be required to go to Jerusalem for the Feast of Tabernacles to worship the King, Jesus Christ. The Feast will be their primary reminder of where they are in God's plan and when they must secure their salvation. If they fail to keep it, they will reveal their refusal to accept Christ as sovereign and to cooperate with Him in His purpose.
5. What occurs at the end of the Millennium? Revelation 20:7-10.
Comment: God will release Satan for a short time when the thousand years end. The people, familiar with Christ and His kings and priests, will have lived in unprecedented peace, happiness and prosperity. They will have learned and lived God's way from birth. Surely, Satan could have no influence on them!
Almost instantly, however, he will raise an army of people "as the sand of the sea" out of "the four corners of the earth"! His arguments will persuade them that they should and can destroy Christ and his throne in Jerusalem. God, however, will annihilate them all in a blinding flash of fire from heaven and cast the Devil into the Lake of Fire, never to be freed again!
Comment: This rebellion at the end of the Millennium is often overlooked in the joy of considering Christ's wonderful rule. Satan's influence is so powerful he can influence millions of people to follow him seemingly overnight. Having drawn away a third of the angels from God (Revelation 12:4; Isaiah 14:12-14) and overcome Adam and Eve, he has wielded almost total control over man.
His present power will be greatly magnified very shortly when he is cast down to earth to begin the Great Tribulation. He would deceive the very elect if it were possible (Matthew 24:24). It is no wonder Peter instructs us to be sober, to be vigilant, to resist Satan in faith that Christ might establish us in the end!