The Feast of Tabernacles is the last of the autumn feasts, and it is the final feast of the seven annual feasts. It is celebrated from the 15th to the 22nd of the seventh month, by sacred year (Lev. 23:34-36). The Feast of Tabernacles was not only celebrated in the Old Testament times, but it was also commemorated in the New Testament times by Jesus and His apostles. In this last age, too, the Church of God celebrates this feast, following the teachings of Second Coming Christ Ahnsahnghong. Christ Ahnsahnghong came to this earth according to the prophecies of the Bible, and he rebuilt the once-ruined Zion, restoring all of the feasts of God.
After Moses had come down from the mountain with the Ten Commandments, which God had allowed for a second time, he explained the words of the covenant, as well as the work of building the tabernacle, to the Israelites (Ex. 34:27-35). Then those who were willing presented various kinds of materials to the Lord, including gold, silver, linen, and wood. God's people brought all of these building materials for the tabernacle in seven days—beginning on the 15th day of the seventh month (Ex. 35:4-29; 36:5-7). God appointed the Feast of Tabernacles and commanded the Israelites to celebrate it for generations to come, so that they could remember the seven days that they had brought the building materials for constructing the tabernacle. The Feast of Tabernacles is also referred to as the Feast of Booths.
The Israelites kept the Feast of Tabernacles by making tents. They used palm fronds and myrtle trees, or willows, to build booths, which were then spread onto the courts of the house of God and onto their own rooftops. They lived within these booths for seven days with great joy. Helping their neighbors in need, they kept the feast holy (Neh. 8:9-18; Lev. 23:39-43; Deut. 16:11-15; Zech. 14:15-18).
Prophecy and Its Fulfillment
In the Bible, "wood" represents people (Jer. 5:14), and the "materials for the temple" represent the holy saints (Rev. 3:12). In the desert, the Israelites abundantly gathered materials for the holy tabernacle for a week and completed it. Afterwards, during the Feast of Tabernacles, they constructed booths—houses of woven grass and trees—and joyfully dwelt within them for seven days. This history is a prophecy, the fulfillment of which is seen through the gospel work, accomplished by the gathering of the 144,000 saints represented by the "wood" and by the "materials for the temple." We should work for the movement announcing Jesus' coming, laying its foundation by gathering the saints, the materials for the temple. The saints can be gathered through preaching the gospel, just as the Israelites had gathered the physical materials for making the tabernacle.
The Promise of the Feast of Tabernacles
The Feast of Tabernacles is the blessed day when God gives us the power of the Holy Spirit so that we can gather the 144,000 saints, the materials of the heavenly Jerusalem temple. The prophet Zechariah prophesied:
Zech. 14:16-19 『Then the survivors from all the nations that have attacked Jerusalem will go up year after year to worship the King, the LORD Almighty, and to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles. If any of the peoples of the earth do not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD Almighty, they will have no rain. If the Egyptian people do not go up and take part, they will have no rain. The LORD will bring on them the plague he inflicts on the nations that do not go up to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles. This will be the punishment of all the nations that do not go up to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles.』
The above prophecy reveals that those who do not celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles will have no rain—they will not be given the Holy Spirit—and that plagues will be brought upon them. Nevertheless, today some people boast, saying, "We have received the Holy Spirit," or, "We have received God's blessing," even though they have never kept the Feast of Tabernacles. We have to realize that these false declarations are merely the deception of Satan.
God promised to give the Holy Spirit to only those keeping the Feast of Tabernacles. Jesus specifically addressed this matter:
John 7:37-39 『On the last and greatest day of the Feast (of Tabernacles), 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.』
The prophet Zechariah explained that the people who do not celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles will have no rain, and Jesus declared that God's people could receive the Holy Spirit by celebrating the Feast of Tabernacles. Considering the above words, we can conclude that the Holy Spirit is only given under God's grace and can only come upon those who keep the Pentecost and the Feast of Tabernacles. Nevertheless, even those who have never celebrated the Feast of Tabernacles say, "We've received the Holy Spirit." Do you think that these boastful words are the work of the Holy Spirit or the work of evil spirits? In cases such as these, different gods must be at work, for the true God of the Bible promised to give the Holy Spirit to only those who commemorate the Feast of Tabernacles. As God has promised, no one can receive the Holy Spirit unless he keeps the Feast of Tabernacles.
Long ago, the Pharisees understood that the Messiah would come to the earth, but when He came, they did not receive Him. Likewise, nowadays many Christians understand that the Holy Spirit of the latter rain must be poured down upon God's people, but they fail to realize how they can receive the Holy Spirit (Jer. 8:7; 3:3).