Book: Occult Holidays or God’s Holy Days—Which?

Occurring in the seventh month of the sacred calendar, the fall feasts and holy days portray the future fulfillment of God’s plan for all mankind. These vital days foretell how and approximately when end time events prophesied in the Old and New Testaments will unfold.

We will begin our survey of the fall holy days by focusing on the Feast of Trumpets—which falls on the first day of the seventh month (Lev. 23:23-25). Trumpets is the fourth (or “middle”) of God’s seven annual holy days, and indeed functions much like a fulcrum or a “tipping point” in the history of the world. Why? Because Trumpets pictures God’s direct, climactic intervention in the affairs of man—leading directly to the literal return of Jesus Christ and all the resurrected saints with Him to establish the Kingdom of God on earth—on this very day.

Historically, God required the priests and Levites to blow silver trumpets as a memorial throughout the day of Trumpets (Psa. 81:3; Lev. 23:23-24). They also blew hundreds of shofars, which were trumpets made from rams’ horns, used primarily in time of war. During such times, God would lead Israel into battle as the priests carried the Ark of the Covenant— while blowing trumpets (Josh. 6:1-16; Judges 7:8, 16-18). If the people had been obedient to God and faithful to His covenant, He would fight for them and give them victory over their enemies (Deut. 28:7; Lev. 26:7-8).

In addition, guards who watched over the cities and villages of Israel were to blow the shofar if an enemy attack was imminent (Ezek. 33:1-6; Joel 2:1, 15).

The Feast of Trumpets in the New Testament

There is not a direct reference (by name) to the Feast of Trumpets in the New Testament. However, based on the chronological structure of John’s Gospel, we can surmise that the feast mentioned in John 5:1 was probably the Feast of Trumpets. John’s framework for his Gospel is: Passover, John 2; Pentecost, John 4; a feast of the Jews, John 5; Passover, John 6; Tabernacles and Last Great Day, John 7 and 8; and Passover, John 12-19. Based on the seasons, John has the following sequence: spring, fall, spring, fall, and spring.

Since the feast in John 5:1 was after Jesus’ reference to Pentecost in John 4, it must have been a fall feast. (If it had been the Feast of Tabernacles, it is likely that John would have mentioned it, as he did in chapter seven. If it had been the Day of Atonement—a fast day characterized by absolutely no work whatsoever—the Jews would have been even more vehement against Jesus for healing a man and telling him to pick up his bedroll and walk.) We can conclude, therefore, that the feast mentioned in John 5:1 was probably the Feast of Trumpets.

The Birth of Jesus Christ and the Feast of Trumpets: As the Word of God demonstrates, God has always used His feasts and holy days to fulfill His will as well as certain major prophesies. We have already seen that the “appointed time” for Jesus to die was the Passover day in 30 AD, which God had set “before the foundation of the world.” But what about Jesus’ birth—was it likewise predetermined “before the foundation of the world” to occur on a particular day? Was that day a holy day? And if so, which holy day? What do the Scriptures and history reveal about Jesus’ birth?

Paul confirms that Jesus was born at the precise time appointed by God: “But when the [appointed] time for the fulfillment came, God sent forth His own Son, born of a woman” (Gal. 4:4). This indicates that the time of Jesus’ birth was predetermined. While the Gospels do not announce the specific day of Jesus’ birth, He was clearly born at a particular time preordained by God to fulfill His will and prophetic plan.

There is a preponderance of evidence found in the New Testament, the writings of Josephus, and other historical sources, as well as information relating to the calculated Hebrew calendar and specific astronomical events, from which we are able to determine approximately when Jesus was born— perhaps even the exact day. A chronicle of pertinent information documenting when Jesus was born is, unfortunately, too expansive to be included in this book. Such details, however, are carefully documented in two books: A Harmony of the Gospels in Modern English—the Life of Jesus Christ and The Holy Bible In Its Original Order—a Faithful Version with Commentary, both by Fred R. Coulter. It is sufficient to mention that the complex scriptural and historical evidence systematically compiled in these books supports the Feast of Trumpets in 5 BC as the most probable date of Jesus’ birth. These books may be obtained from York Publishing (see address in the front of this book) or from

The Prophetic Meaning of the Feast of Trumpets: The book of Revelation unveils the prophetic meaning of the Feast of Trumpets, as the book depicts the “day of the Lord” described in several Old Testament prophecies. These prophecies give us many details regarding the day of the Lord—the time of God’s direct intervention in the affairs of man, when Jesus Christ returns in glory as King of kings and Lord of lords, to take control of this world (Rev. 11:15; 19:11-21). The Bible informs us that often a day in prophecy is a year in actual fulfillment (Num. 14:34, Ezek. 4:6). Isaiah 34:8 describes it as a “day of vengeance” and a “year of recompenses.” Therefore, reckoned from Trumpets to Trumpets, the “day” of the Lord is the final year leading up to and including Jesus Christ’s return to earth.

This coming day of the Lord is a time of disaster, famine, pestilence and war with death and destruction unparalleled in all of human history. The prophet Jeremiah indicates that ultimately all nations will be involved in the end time day of the Lord (Jer. 25:15-17, 26-27). God will intervene powerfully from heaven against all the nations of the world—none shall escape (verses 30-33). In fact, when Jesus Christ intervenes mightily in this world, He is going to shake the earth so violently that it will be nearly thrust out of its orbit (Isa. 13:6-13; also see Hag. 2:6-7). The prophet Isaiah describes the awesome power of God when He “arises to shake terribly the earth” and begins to make Himself known to the world. There will be no doubt that such events are from the hand of God (see Isa. 2:10-12, 18-21).

God gave Daniel a vision of this time, saying, “There shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time” (Dan. 12:1). Jesus described for His disciples a time of tribulation coming at the end of the age—a time so devastating and destructive that if He did not intervene to limit those days, no flesh would be saved alive. “For then shall there be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until this time, nor ever shall be again. And if those days were not limited, there would no flesh be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days shall be limited” (Matt. 24:21-22).

Throughout history mankind has suffered greatly from war, famine, pestilence and natural disasters. But nothing will compare to the day of the Lord: “The great day of the LORD is near; it is near and comes swiftly, the sound of the day of the LORD. The mighty man shall cry bitterly there. That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of ruin and devastation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, a day of the ram’s horn and alarm against the fortified cities, and against the high towers. ‘And I will bring distress on men, so that they shall walk as the blind because they have sinned against the LORD. And their blood shall be poured out as dust, and their flesh as dung.’ Neither their silver nor their gold will be able to deliver them in the day of the LORD’S wrath; but the whole earth shall be devoured by the fire of His jealousy, for He shall make even a full end, yea, a terrible end of all who dwell upon the earth” (Zeph. 1:14-18).

The book of Revelation documents the fulfillment of such prophecies— describing an electrifying demonstration of power as Jesus Christ directly intervenes and personally manifests Himself. The opening of the sixth seal sets the stage for the day of the Lord to begin: “And when He [Jesus Christ] opened the sixth seal, I looked, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as the hair of sackcloth, and the moon became as blood; and the stars of heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree casts its untimely figs when it is shaken by a mighty wind. Then the heaven departed like a scroll that is being rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place. And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the powerful men, and every bondman, and every free man hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains; and they said to the mountains and to the rocks, ‘Fall on us, and hide us from the face of Him Who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb because the great day of His wrath has come, and who has the power to stand?’ ” (Rev. 6:12-17).

Trumpets and the Day of the Lord: The day of the Lord actually begins with the opening of the seventh seal—in which seven angels successively sound their trumpets, signaling various phases of God’s direct intervention signaling the last year of human rule under the sway of Satan the devil. Ultimately, this great “day” will climax in angelic war from heaven against the united armies of men and demons on the earth.

John describes what he saw in vision regarding the seven trumpet plagues sent from God by the hands of angels: “Then I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them. And another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar; and much incense was given to him, so that he might offer it with the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar that was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense went up before God from the hand of the angel, ascending with the prayers of the saints. And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire from the altar, and cast it into the earth; and there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings, and an earthquake.

“Then the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound their trumpets. And the first angel sounded his trumpet; and there was hail and fire mingled with blood, and it was cast upon the earth; and a third of the trees were burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up. Then the second angel sounded his trumpet; and there was cast into the sea as it were a great mountain burning with fire, and a third of the sea became blood; and a third of the living creatures that were in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed. And the third angel sounded his trumpet; and there fell out of heaven a great star, burning like a lamp; and it fell on a third of the rivers, and on the fountains of waters. Now the name of the star is Wormwood; and a third of the waters became wormwood; and many men died from drinking the waters because they were made bitter. Then the fourth angel sounded his trumpet; and a third of the sun was smitten, and a third of the moon, and a third of the stars; so that a third of them were darkened; and a third part of the day did not shine, and likewise a third part of the night. And I looked; and I heard an angel flying in the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, ‘Woe, woe, woe to those who are dwelling on the earth, because of the voices of the remaining trumpets of the three angels who are about to sound their trumpets’ ” (Rev. 8:2-13).

When the fifth angel sounds his trumpet, hordes of demons will be released from an abyss to join human armies using futuristic weapons: “And the fifth angel sounded his trumpet; and I saw a star that had fallen from heaven to the earth, and there was given to him the key to the bottomless abyss. And he opened the bottomless abyss [to release the imprisoned demons]; and there went up smoke from the pit, like the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by the smoke from the pit. Then locusts [demons] came onto the earth from the smoke; and power was given to them, as the scorpions of the earth have power. And it was said to them that they should not damage the grass of the earth, or any green thing, or any tree, but only the men who did not have the seal of God in their foreheads. And it was given to them that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months; and their torment was like the torment of a scorpion when it stings a man. And in those days men will seek death but will not find it; and they will desire to die, but death will flee from them.

“And the appearance of the locusts was like horses prepared for war; and on their heads were crowns like those of gold; and their faces were like the faces of men; and they had hair like women’s hair; and their teeth were like those of lions. And they had breastplates like iron breastplates; and the sound of their wings was like the sound of chariots drawn by many horses running to war; and they had tails like scorpions, and stingers; and they were given power to injure men with their tails for five months. And they have over them a king, the angel of the abyss; his name in Hebrew is Abaddon, but the name he has in Greek is Apollyon [Satan the devil]. The first woe is past. Behold, after these things two more woes are still to come” (Rev. 9:1- 12). John is no doubt graphically describing futuristic weapons to be used by human armies and demons. This fifth trumpet represents the aggressive attack by the prophetic “beast” of Revelation 13 against nations north and east of Jerusalem (Dan. 11:44).

After the five months, a coalition of kings from the east will retaliate against the “beast” with the largest army ever amassed in the history of the world. This massive, 200-million-man force will be armed with powerful, sophisticated weapons—and backed by the supernatural strength of hordes of demons. “And the sixth angel sounded his trumpet; and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar that is before God; and it said to the sixth angel, who had the trumpet, ‘Loose the four angels who are bound in the great river Euphrates.’ Then the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year, were loosed, so that they might kill a third of men; and the number of the armies of the horsemen was two hundred thousand thousand; and I heard the number of them.

“And so I saw the horses in the vision, and those sitting on them, who had fiery breastplates, even like jacinth and brimstone. And the heads of the horses were like heads of lions, and fire and smoke and brimstone shoot out of their mouths. By these three, a third of men were killed: by the fire and the smoke and the brimstone that shoot out of their mouths. For their power is in their mouths; for their tails are like serpents, and have heads, and with them they inflict wounds. But the rest of the men who were not killed by these plagues still did not repent of the works of their hands, that they might not worship demons, and idols of gold and silver and brass and stone and wood, which do not have the power to see, nor to hear, nor to walk. And they did not repent of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornications, nor of their thievery” (Rev. 9:13-21).

The prophet Joel describes this battle that takes place between the armies of the fifth and sixth trumpets: “ ‘Blow the ram’s horn in Zion, and sound an alarm in My holy mountain!’ Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, for the day of the LORD comes, for it is near at hand—a day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness. As the morning is spread across the mountains, so comes a great people and a mighty people; there has never been the like, nor shall there ever be again, even to the years of many generations.

“A fire devours before them, and behind them a flame burns. The land is as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness— and nothing shall escape them. Their appearance is as the appearance of horses; and as war horses, so they run. They shall leap with the noise of chariots on the tops of mountains, with the noise of a flame of fire that devours the stubble, like a mighty people set in battle array. In their presence the people shall greatly tremble; all faces shall grow pale. They shall run like mighty men. They shall climb the wall like men of war, and they shall march each one in his path, and they shall not break their ranks. And each one shall not crowd another; they go every one in his own path. And when they fall upon the sword, they shall not be wounded. They shall run to and fro in the city; they shall run upon the wall; they shall climb up upon the houses; they shall enter in at the windows like a thief. The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble. The sun and the moon shall grow dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining. And the LORD shall utter His voice before His army; for His camp is exceedingly great; for powerful is He who executes His Word, for the day of the LORD is great and very terrible; and who can endure it?” (Joel 2:1-11).

These wars of vast destruction will envelop the entirety of the Middle East—as well as extend from the western seat of the “beast” into the lands of the Far East, the origin of the kings of the east. Once these armies have fought to a standstill, the seventh angel sounds his trumpet, and the first resurrection takes place on Pentecost (Rev. 11:15-19).

The time from Pentecost to Trumpets is approximately four months. During this time, another seven angels will pour out the seven last plagues. The final, seventh plague will culminate in the battle of Armageddon. This colossal, epoch-ending war will pit God and His angels against the “beast,” the “false prophet,” and armies from all nations of the world—as well as against Satan himself, with his demons. “And after these things I looked, and behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened. And the seven angels who had the seven last plagues came out of the temple; they were clothed in linen, pure and bright, and girded about the chest with golden breastplates. And one of the four living creatures gave to the seven angels seven golden vials, full of the wrath of God, Who lives into the ages of eternity. And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from His power; and no one was able to enter inside the temple until the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled” (Rev. 15:5-8).

“Then I heard a loud voice from the temple say to the seven angels, ‘Go and pour out the vials of the wrath of God onto the earth.’ And the first angel went and poured out his vial onto the earth; and an evil and grievous sore fell upon the men who had the mark of the beast, and upon those who were worshiping his image. And the second angel went and poured out his vial into the sea; and it became blood, like that of a dead man; and every living soul in the sea died. And the third angel poured out his vial upon the rivers, and into the fountains of waters; and they became blood.

“Then I heard the angel of the waters say, ‘You are righteous, O Lord, Who are, and Who was, even the Holy One, in that You have executed this judgment. For they have poured out the blood of saints and of prophets, and You have given them blood to drink; for they are worthy.’ And I heard another voice from the altar say, ‘Yes, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are Your judgments.’

“And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given to it to scorch men with fire. Then men were scorched with great heat; and they blasphemed the name of God, Who has authority over these plagues, and did not repent to give Him glory. And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the throne of the beast; and his kingdom became full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues because of the pain, and blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores; yet they did not repent of their works. And the sixth angel poured out his vial into the great river Euphrates; and its waters were dried up, so that the way of the kings from the rising of the sun might be prepared. Then I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet; for they are spirits of demons working miracles, going forth to the kings of the earth, even of the whole world, to gather them together to the battle of that great day of the Almighty God.

“Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is the one who is watching and is keeping his garments, so that he may not walk naked and they may not see his shame. And he gathered them together to the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon. Then the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and a loud voice came out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, ‘IT IS FINISHED.’

“And there were voices and thunders and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were on the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great. And the great city was divided into three parts; and the cities of the nations fell; and Babylon the Great was remembered before God to give her the cup of the wine of the fury of His wrath. And every island disappeared, and no mountains were found; and great hail, each stone the weight of a talent [180 lbs], fell down from heaven upon men; and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, for the plague was exceedingly great” (Rev. 16:1-21).

After the last of the seven plagues has been poured out, Jesus and the resurrected saints will descend to the earth from the sea of glass in a final battle against the beast, false prophet and their armies. As they are descending to the earth with clarity and singleness of purpose on this Feast of Trumpets, the seven angels will continue blowing the trumpets of God mightily for all the earth to hear. “And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies, gathered together to make war with Him Who sits on the horse, and with His army. And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet who worked miracles in his presence, by which he had deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. Those two were cast alive into the lake of fire, which burns with brimstone; and the rest were killed by the sword of Him Who sits on the horse, even the sword that goes out of His mouth; and all the birds were filled with their flesh” (Rev. 19:19-21).

The prophecy of this climactic battle—as pictured by the Feast of Trumpets—is found in Zechariah: “And the LORD shall go out and fight against those nations, as when He fought in the day of battle. And His feet shall stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the Mount of Olives shall split in two, from the east and to the west, and make a very great valley. And half of the mountain shall move toward the north, and half of it toward the south.... And the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with You…. And the LORD shall be King over all the earth; in that day there shall be one LORD, and His name shall be one…. And this shall be the plague with which the LORD will smite all the people who have fought against Jerusalem. Their flesh shall consume away while they stand on their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their sockets. And their tongue shall consume away in their mouth” (Zech. 14:3-5, 9, 12). Thus, the battle of Armageddon ends.

This overview summarizes the prophetic meaning of the Feast of Trumpets, with a focus on its final fulfillment when Jesus Christ and all the saints return to the earth. There are numerous additional prophecies in the Bible that magnify the meaning of this pivotal “day of the Lord”—the fulcrum or “tipping point” in the history of humanity. The reader is encouraged to thoroughly study the Word of God—Old and New Testaments—for a more complete understanding of these events. The time is at hand. The prophesied events of the last days and the return of Jesus Christ are near.

The Day of Atonement

The tenth day of the seventh month is the Day of Atonement. It is a special fast day—with no food or water for the entire day—as reckoned from sunset to sunset (Lev. 23:26-32). As recorded in Leviticus 16, special sacrifices were offered on Atonement.

In the Old Testament, on this day, the high priest was first required to make special sacrifices for himself and his house. Atonement was the only day of the year the high priest was allowed entry into the “holy of holies”—to access the “mercy seat,” a type of God’s throne in heaven (Heb. 9:24). (The mercy seat is also known as the “Ark of the Covenant,” as it contained the two tables of stone.) Thus, he entered the holy of holies and ceremoniously sprinkled the blood of a bullock on the mercy seat to make an “atonement” for himself and his family. Having done so, he was then allowed to perform “atonement” sacrifices for the people of Israel.

Next, he presented two identical live goats before the Lord and drew lots wherein God Himself selected one goat for a sin offering and the other for Azazel (KJV, “scapegoat”).

The goat for the sin offering was then sacrificed and its blood sprinkled upon the mercy seat to make atonement for all the sins, transgressions and uncleanness of the children of Israel. The goat for Azazel was not sacrificed, but was presented alive before the Lord. The priest laid his hands upon the live goat’s head, confessing over it all of Israel’s iniquities and transgressions. Finally, the goat was led by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness and released.

The New Testament Meaning of the Goat Sacrificed for Sin: The symbolic meaning of this unique ritual involving the two goats could not be fully understood until the apostle John had written the book of Revelation and canonized the New Testament. With the books of Hebrews and Revelation, however, the meaning becomes clear. It is generally recognized that the sacrifice of the one goat and the sprinkling of its blood upon the mercy seat was symbolic of the sacrifice and shed blood of Jesus Christ for sin. The high priest represented Jesus Christ Himself, our High Priest. In the book of Hebrews, the apostle Paul gives the interpretation of the Atonement goat sacrificed for sin and the high priest of Leviticus 16. “But Christ has become the High Priest of the coming good things, through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made by human hands (that is, not of this present physical creation). Not by the blood of goats and calves, but by the means of His own blood, He entered once for all into the holiest [holy of holies], having by Himself secured everlasting redemption for us…. But now, once and for all, in the consummation of the ages, He has been manifested for the purpose of removing sin through His sacrifice of Himself” (Heb. 9:11-12, 26).

Paul adds that, unlike the temporary purpose of the sacrificed goat, Christ’s sacrifice is once for all time, and thus supersedes all temple rituals and sacrifices. “For the law, having only a shadow of the good things that are coming, and not the image of those things, with the same sacrifices which they offer continually year by year, is never able to make perfect those who come to worship…. Because it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins…. Then He said, ‘Lo, I come to do Your will, O God.’ He takes away the first covenant in order that He may establish the second covenant; by Whose will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all…. But He, after offering one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down at the right hand of God. Since that

time, He is waiting until His enemies are placed as a footstool for His feet. For by one offering He has obtained eternal perfection for those who are sanctified” (Heb. 10:1, 4, 9-10, 12-14).

The Meaning of the Goat for Azazel: First, we need to realize that “Azazel” is another name for Satan the devil. Beginning with Adam and Eve unto this day, Satan and his demons have led all human beings into sin. He is a liar and the author of sin (John 8:44), as well as the “god of this world” (II Cor. 4:4). Although it is through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ that we have our sins forgiven, Satan, as the originator of sin, must be removed in order to fulfill God’s plan for mankind. Through His sacrificial death and His resurrection, the living Jesus Christ has triumphed over Satan, his demons and their power: “After stripping the principalities and the powers, He made a public spectacle of them, and has triumphed over them in it [that is, through His life, death and resurrection]” (Col. 2:15).

Clearly, at the cross, Jesus triumphed over Satan and the demons— but they have not yet been removed. Until they are put away and prevented from influencing and deceiving human beings, there will never be an end to human sin (Rev. 12:9; Eph. 2:1-3; 6:10-17). Because Satan is the author of all sin, the high priest was to confess the sins of the children of Israel upon the head of the live goat, Azazel. The Azazel goat was not sacrificed because Satan and the demons are spirit beings and cannot die. Rather, they must bear their own sins, for there is no atonement for them.

The book of Revelation completes the picture—showing that the removal of the live goat into the wilderness by the hand of a fit man symbolizes the removal of Satan the devil just prior to the establishment of the Kingdom of God on the earth. “Then I saw an angel [symbolized by the fit man of Leviticus 16] descending from heaven, having the key of the abyss, and a great chain in his hand. And he took hold of the dragon, the ancient serpent, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. Then he cast him into the abyss [symbolized by the wilderness of Leviticus 16], and locked him up, and sealed the abyss over him, so that he would not deceive the nations any longer until the thousand years were fulfilled; and after that it is ordained that he be loosed for a short time” (Rev. 20:1-3).

During the final generation of the Millennium, God will exile the incorrigibly wicked—those who refuse His salvation—to the geographical area of Gog and Magog. At the conclusion of the Millennium, Satan and his demons are released from the abyss for a short time—with one, final mission: to go out and deceive the wicked into gathering themselves to battle against Jerusalem. When they attack the holy city, however, fire comes down out of heaven from God and consumes them—which is their first death (verses 7-9).

The final judgment and second death of all the incorrigibly wicked from the creation of Adam and Eve will take place at a later time (Rev. 20:14-15).

The ultimate fulfillment of the Day of Atonement will include the final judgment of Satan and the demons: “And the Devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet had been cast; and they, Satan and the demons, shall be tormented day and night into the ages of eternity” (Rev. 20:10).

While Satan and the demons will be tormented day and night forever, apparently the lake of fire will not continue into eternity. Rather, their torment will be to live in the blackness of darkness forever: “They are clouds without water [the incorrigibly wicked], being driven by the winds; trees of late autumn, without any fruit, uprooted, twice dead [the second death in the lake of fire]; raging waves of the sea, casting up like foam their own ignominious shame; wandering stars [Satan and the fallen angels], for whom has been reserved the blackest darkness forever!” (Jude 12-13).

Becoming “At One” with God: An understanding of the term “atonement” leads to a deeper spiritual meaning of the Day of Atonement for true Christians. The word is made up of three parts—“at-one-ment”— meaning, “to be at one with God.” When we fast (with no food or water), we become acutely aware of how utterly dependent we are on God for life, breath, food and water. We realize that God created everything to sustain our temporary physical lives, which are subject to death. We understand that we have no capacity within ourselves to live forever. The gift of eternal life can come only from God the Father through Jesus Christ—by His love, grace and mercy.

During one of David’s fasts, he wrote these moving words, describing how he desired to be at one with God: “My soul longs, yea, even faints for the courts of the LORD; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God…. O God, You are my God, early I will seek You! My soul thirsts for You. My flesh longs for You, as in a dry and thirsty land where no water is, to see Your power and Your glory—as I have seen You in the sanctuary. Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise You.

“Thus I will bless You as long as I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name. My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips when I remember You upon my bed and meditate on You in the night watches. Because You have been my help, therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice. My soul follows hard after You; Your right hand upholds me” (Psa. 84:2; 63:1-8).

When Jesus faced the agony of His torture and crucifixion, He kept His mind fixed on the Father’s promise that His flesh would not see corruption—that He would be resurrected back to eternal life and be with the Father once again. “I have set the LORD always before Me because He is at My right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore My heart is glad, and My glory rejoices; My flesh also shall rest in hope, for You will not abandon My soul to the grave; neither will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption. You will make known to Me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy. At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore…. As for me, I will behold Your face in righteousness; when I awake, I shall be satisfied with Your likeness” (Psa. 16:8-11; 17:15).

In Jesus’ passionate, agonizing prayer to the Father just before He was betrayed by Judas Iscariot, He epitomized the whole purpose of God for all who will receive eternal life and be at one with God the Father and Himself in the first resurrection: “Jesus spoke these words, and lifted up His eyes to heaven and said, ‘Father, the hour has come; glorify Your own Son, so that Your Son may also glorify You; since You have given Him authority over all flesh, in order that He may give eternal life to all whom You have given Him. For this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, Whom You did send.

“ ‘I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work that You gave Me to do. And now, Father, glorify Me with Your own self, with the glory that I had with You before the world existed. I have manifested Your name to the men whom You have given Me out of the world. They were Yours, and You have given them to Me, and they have kept Your Word. Now they have known that all things that You have given Me are from You. For I have given them the words that You gave to Me; and they have received them and truly have known that I came from You; and they have believed that You did send Me. I am praying for them; I am not praying for the world, but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours. All Mine are Yours, and all Yours are Mine; and I have been glorified in them.

“ ‘And I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I am coming to You. Holy Father, keep them in Your name, those whom You have given Me, so that they may be one, even as We are one. When I was with them in the world, I kept them in Your name. I protected those whom You have given Me, and not one of them has perished except the son of perdition, in order that the Scriptures might be fulfilled. But now I am coming to You; and these things I am speaking while yet in the world, that they may have My joy fulfilled in them.

“ ‘I have given them Your words, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not pray that You would take them out of the world, but that You would keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in Your truth; Your Word is the truth. Even as You did send Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, so that they also may be sanctified in Your truth.

“ ‘I do not pray for these only, but also for those who shall believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, even as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, in order that the world may believe that You did send Me. And I have given them the glory that You gave to Me, in order that they be may one, in the same way that We are one: I in them, and You in Me, that they may be perfected into one; and that the world may know that You did send Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me. Father, I desire that those whom You have given Me may also be with Me where I am, so that they may behold My glory, which You have given Me; because You did love Me before the foundation of the world. Righteous Father, the world has not known You; but I have known You, and these have known that You did send Me. And I have made known Your name to them, and will make it known; so that the love with which You have loved Me may be in them, and I in them’ ” (John 17:1-26).

In this beautiful and loving prayer, Jesus begins to reveal what it truly means to be “at one” with God and Jesus Christ for all eternity. In the last chapter of Revelation, the apostle John saw in vision how all those who receive eternal life will be “at one” with the Father and Christ for all eternity in the New Jerusalem. “And there shall be no more curse; and the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it [New Jerusalem]; and His servants shall serve Him, and they shall see His face; and His name is in their foreheads. And there shall be no night there; for they have no need of a lamp or the light of the sun, because the Lord God enlightens them; and they shall reign into the ages of eternity. And he said to me, ‘These words are faithful and true; and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent His angel to show His servants the things that must shortly come to pass.’ ‘Behold, I am coming quickly. Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book’ ” (Rev. 22:3-7).

This is the glorious meaning of the Day of Atonement for all true Christians who love and obey God the Father and Jesus Christ. Observing this special fast day in spirit and in truth brings us into the awesome reality of being “at one with God.”

The Feast of Tabernacles

The Feast of Tabernacles is a seven-day festival beginning on the fifteenth day and continuing through the twenty-first day of the seventh month (Lev. 23:34). Also called the “Feast of Ingathering,” this festival celebrates the completed harvest of all the abundant blessings of God (Ex. 23:16; 34:22). Additionally, God commanded the children of Israel to dwell in booths for the seven days of the feast to remind them that they dwelt in booths, or tents, when God brought them out of the land of Egypt (Lev. 23:39-43).

This feast also commemorates God Himself dwelling with Israel by placing His presence in the tabernacle (Ex. 25:8) and later the Temple (II Chron. 5:11-14). For Israel, this feast also pictured the time when God had given them rest from their enemies after they settled in the Promised Land during Joshua’s time (Josh. 21:43-44).

The primary Old Testament fulfillment of the Feast of Tabernacles occurred during Solomon’s reign when all twelve tribes of the children of Israel were settled in the kingdom. At that time, they celebrated a seven-day feast to dedicate the temple, after which they celebrated the Feast of Tabernacles (II Chron. 7:8-11). For a brief time, Israel was the model nation God had intended them to be, representing Him to all the world. Thus, they were in the Promised Land; they had rest from their enemies, plus the abundant blessings of God; and He was dwelling among them with His presence in the temple—all a type of the coming Kingdom of God under Jesus Christ.

The New Testament Is the Key to Understanding: When Jesus first appeared to the disciples after His resurrection, He gave them clear discernment of the Scriptures: “And He said to them, ‘These are the words that I spoke to you when I was yet with you, that all the things which were written concerning Me in the Law of Moses and in the Prophets and in the Psalms must be fulfilled.’ Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures” (Luke 24:44-45).

From Luke’s account, we recognize that Jesus is the one Who unlocks the hidden meanings of Old Testament teachings and prophecies. After all, as God of the Old Testament, Christ was the one Who inspired the Old Testament writers; He was also the one Who inspired the apostles to write the words of the New Testament (II Tim. 3:15-17). Thus, the New Testament interprets the Old Testament.

Likewise, it is the New Testament that interprets the meaning of all of God’s feasts and holy days—providing insight into the little-understood plan of God (Eph. 1:8-10; 3:1-5), and opening our understanding of the Word of God.

What follows is a short summary of the Feast of Tabernacles, viewed through the perspective of the New Testament.

The Meaning of the Feast of Tabernacles in the New Testament: The Scriptures teach that the Feast of Tabernacles held a special meaning for Jesus Christ during His fleshly life—because He was literally God in a human “tabernacle,” dwelling with men. The apostle John concisely authenticates Who Jesus was, and why He came in the flesh: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and not even one thing that was created came into being without Him…. And the Word became flesh, and tabernacled among us (and we ourselves beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten with the Father), full of grace and truth…. Behold the Lamb of God, Who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:1-3, 14, 29).

In John chapter seven, we find Jesus preparing to keep the Feast of Tabernacles in Jerusalem. At that time, because the Jews sought to kill Him, He instructed His mother and brothers to go on ahead of Him to Jerusalem. Thus, Jesus traveled in secret, and did not reveal His presence until the middle of the feast when He began to teach the people. On this occasion, He revealed the profound truth that all of His teachings were from the Father: “But then, about the middle of the feast, Jesus went up into the temple and was teaching. And the Jews were amazed, saying, ‘How does this man know letters, having never been schooled?’ [He was taught by the Father, not in rabbinical schools.] Jesus answered them and said, ‘My doctrine is not Mine, but His Who sent Me. If anyone desires to do His will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it is from God, or whether I speak from My own self. The one who speaks of himself is seeking his own glory; but He Who seeks the glory of Him Who sent Him is true, and there is no unrighteousness in Him’ ” (John 7:14-18).

Jesus emphasized that He had come from God the Father in heaven: “Then Jesus spoke out, teaching in the temple and saying, ‘You know Me, and you also know where I come from; yet I have not come of Myself; but He Who sent Me is true, Whom you do not know. But I know Him because I am from Him, and He sent Me.’ Because of this saying, they were looking for a way to take Him; but no one laid a hand on Him because His time had not yet come. Then many of the people believed in Him, saying, ‘When the Christ comes, will He do more miracles than those that this man has done?’ The Pharisees heard the crowds debating these things about Him, and the Pharisees and the chief priests sent officers to arrest Him” (verses 28-32).

Following this encounter with the Jews and Pharisees, Jesus declared that He would be with them only a while longer, confirming that He was “tabernacling” among them. “Then Jesus said to them, ‘I am with you yet a little while, and then I go to Him Who sent Me. You shall seek Me, but shall not find Me; and where I am going, you are not able to come’ ” (verses 33- 34).

As Jesus told the Jews during the Feast of Tabernacles, He was God “manifested in the flesh” (I Tim. 3:16)—temporarily dwelling among men (or as John wrote, He “tabernacled among us”), teaching the Word of God, and ultimately destined to give His life to save mankind from sin and Satan. Then after His resurrection He would return to God the Father in heaven.

As the Lord God of the Old Testament, Jesus created Adam and Eve, and they dwelt in the Garden of Eden with Him. After they had sinned, however, they were driven from His presence and no longer allowed to dwell with Him. Later, God dwelt among the children of Israel by placing His presence in the holy of holies in the tabernacle or temple. In the end, however, that too proved unworkable, as the temples were all destroyed because of sin.

But since Pentecost, 30 AD, God has begun to dwell—to tabernacle— through the Holy Spirit in each truly converted Christian.

True Christians Are a Tabernacle or Dwelling Place for God: For converted members of the body of Christ—who have the indwelling of God’s Spirit—the Feast of Tabernacles also has a special, personal meaning. There exists a unique, spiritual relationship between true believers, God the Father and Jesus Christ—by and through the power of the Holy Spirit. Upon conversion, when we receive the begettal of the Holy Spirit of God, we become a special dwelling place for God—a tabernacle or temple of God! As Paul writes, “Don’t you understand that you are God’s temple, and that the Spirit of God is dwelling in you? If anyone defiles the temple of God, God shall destroy him because the temple of God is holy, which temple you are” (I Cor. 3:16-17).

Today, God no longer dwells in a physical tabernacle or temple made by human hands—He dwells in us by the power of the Holy Spirit. In fact, Jesus promised: “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him. The one who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word that you hear is not Mine, but the Father’s, Who sent Me” (John 14:23 -24). And again, “Dwell in Me, and I in you” (John 15:4). Also see Galatians 2:20.

In his first general epistle, John wrote concerning this special indwelling of the Holy Spirit: “No one has seen God at any time. Yet, if we love one another, God dwells in us, and His own love is perfected in us. By this standard we know that we are dwelling in Him, and He is dwelling in us: because of His own Spirit, which He has given to us…. And we have known and have believed the love that God has toward us. God is love, and the one who dwells in love is dwelling in God, and God in him. By this spiritual indwelling, the love of God is perfected within us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment because even as He is, so also are we in this world” (I John 4:12-13, 16-17).

At the present time, our fleshly bodies are likened to a temporary tabernacle. However, in order to live with God forever, we need to be clothed with eternal life—changed from fleshly beings to spirit beings. “For we who are in this tabernacle [this fleshly body] truly do groan, being burdened; not that we wish to be unclothed, but to be clothed upon so that the mortal flesh may be swallowed up by life [in the resurrection (I Cor. 15:49- 50)]. Now He Who is working out this very thing for us is God, Who has also given us the earnest of the Spirit” (II Cor. 5:4-5).

In addition, although we live in this world (society), Jesus said that we are not of this world (John 17:14-15). Likewise, as Paul admonished the Corinthians, we are to be separate from the world and its ways: “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and lawlessness have in common? And what fellowship does light have with darkness? And what union does Christ have with Belial? Or what part does a believer have with an unbeliever? And what agreement is there between a temple of God and idols? For you are a temple of the living God, exactly as God said: ‘I will dwell in them and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. Therefore, come out from the midst of them and be separate,’ says the Lord, ‘and touch not the unclean, and I will receive you; and I shall be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters,’ says the Lord Almighty” (II Cor. 6:14-18).

It is through the indwelling of the Spirit of God that we receive the power to overcome sin and to develop the character of God for eternal life. Paul emphasizes the central importance of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit to overcome the pulls of the flesh and human nature; to develop godly character and receive eternal life at the first resurrection: “However, you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if the Spirit of God is indeed dwelling within you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. Now if Christ be within you, the body is indeed dead because of sin; however, the Spirit is life because of righteousness.

“Now if the Spirit of Him Who raised Jesus from the dead is dwelling within you, He Who raised Christ from the dead will also quicken your mortal bodies because of His Spirit that dwells within you. So then, brethren, we are not debtors to the flesh, to live according to the flesh; because if you are living according to the flesh, you shall die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God. Now you have not received a spirit of bondage again unto fear, but you have received the Spirit of sonship, whereby we call out, ‘Abba, Father.’ The Spirit itself bears witness conjointly with our own spirit, testifying that we are the children of God. Now if we are children, we are also heirs—truly, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ—if indeed we suffer together with Him, so that we may also be glorified together with Him” (Rom. 8:9-17). In the resurrection, we will each be glorified with a new, spiritual, permanent dwelling as it were—with an immortal, incorruptible, eternal spirit body and mind (I Cor. 15:35-55). With this glory, we will shine like the stars of heaven (Dan. 12:2 -3; Matt. 13:43; Gen. 15:5).

Through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit of God, we become special, temporary tabernacles or temples for God’s abode—until the resurrection, when we receive the fullness of our inheritance. “In Whom you also trusted after hearing the Word of the truth, the gospel of your salvation; in Whom also, after believing, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory” (Eph. 1:13-14).

While we now enjoy this special relationship with God the Father and Jesus Christ, we are looking forward to dwelling with Them in the New Jerusalem—and with all the spiritual family of God in the Kingdom of God for all eternity. “Behold! What glorious love the Father has given to us, that we should be called the children of God! For this very reason, the world does not know us because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are the children of God, and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be; but we know that when He is manifested, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him exactly as He is” (I John 3:1-2).

This confirms another promise Jesus made to His disciples—that He would prepare a special dwelling place for them in the New Jerusalem. On the night of His last Passover Jesus told His disciples: “In My Father’s house [the New Jerusalem] are many [permanent, eternal] dwelling places; if it were otherwise, I would have told you. I am going to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; so that where I am, you may be also” (John 14:2-3).

This then is the unique, spiritual meaning of the Feast of Tabernacles for all true Christians—a dwelling place with God, now and for all eternity.

The Prophetic Fulfillment of Tabernacles for All Nations

As with the Feast of Trumpets and the Day of Atonement, the book of Revelation is the key that unlocks the prophetic meaning of the Feast of Tabernacles. After Jesus Christ and the resurrected saints return to the earth from the sea of glass, the beast and the false prophet are cast into the lake of fire and their armies are destroyed, as pictured by the Feast of Trumpets (Rev. 19:11-21). Then, Satan and the demons are bound in the abyss, as portrayed by Atonement (Rev. 20:1-3).

What follows these two climactic events epitomizes the meaning of the Feast of Tabernacles: Jesus Christ and the saints establish the Kingdom of God and rule the world for a thousand years. “And I saw thrones; and they that sat upon them, and judgment was given to them; and I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus, and for the Word of God, and those who did not worship the beast, or his image, and did not receive the mark in their foreheads or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years…. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is the one who has part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power. But they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years” (Rev. 20:4-6).

Jesus Christ as King of the World: Before Christ’s crucifixion, Pilate interrogated Him, asking if He was “the King of the Jews.” Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then would My servants fight, so that I might not be delivered up to the Jews. However, My kingdom is not of this world.” Pilate then asked, “Then You are a king?” Again, Jesus replied, “As you say, I am a king. For this purpose I was born, and for this reason I came into the world, that I may bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” (See John 18:33, 36-37.)

With His answer, Jesus laid bare the truth that He had indeed fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah which says, “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government [of the Kingdom of God] shall be upon His shoulder; and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and over His kingdom, to order it and to establish it with judgment and with righteousness from henceforth, even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this” (Isa. 9:6-7). “And the LORD shall be King over all the earth” (Zech. 14:9).

The millennial reign of Jesus Christ as King will bring a righteous world government over all nations. The heavens and earth will rejoice: “Say among the nations, ‘The LORD reigns, and the world shall be established; it shall not be moved; He shall judge the people with righteousness. Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; let the sea roar, and the fullness of it. Let the field be joyful, and all that is in it; then shall all the trees of the forest rejoice before the LORD; for He comes, for He comes to judge the earth; He shall judge the world with righteousness and the people with His truth’ ” (Psa. 96:10-13).

When Jesus establishes the Kingdom of God on earth, His capital city will be Jerusalem. All wars will cease. There will be universal peace, and man will rebuild the desolate cities: “And it shall come to pass, in the last days the mountain [kingdom] of the LORD’S house shall be established in the top of the mountains [kingdoms], and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow into it. And many people shall go and say, ‘Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob. And He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths.’ For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the Word of the LORD from Jerusalem. And He shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people; 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 any more…. And they will build the old wastes, they will raise up the desolations of former times. And they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations” (Isa. 2:2-4; 61:4).

God will even change mankind’s nature—from its present carnal hostility toward Him and His righteous, perfect laws, to a nature of obedience and love. All people will be offered the opportunity for salvation and eternal life. “And I will sprinkle clean waters upon you, and you shall be clean. I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from your idols. And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit within you. And I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh. And I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you shall keep My ordinances and do them. And you shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers. And you shall be My people, and I will be your God” (Ezek. 36:25-28).

The knowledge of the Lord will cover the earth as the seas do today. People will enjoy unbelievable wealth and the private ownership of land. “And there shall come forth a shoot out from the stump of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots. And the Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon Him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD. And His delight shall be in the fear of the LORD. And He shall not judge according to the sight of His eyes, nor after the hearing of His ears. But with righteousness He shall judge the poor, and shall reprove with equity for the meek of the earth. And He shall strike the earth with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips He shall slay the wicked. And righteousness shall be the girdle of His loins, and faithfulness the girdle of His reins.

“Also the wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the cub lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the suckling child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the viper’s den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea…. For bronze I will bring gold, and for iron I will bring silver; and for wood I will bring bronze, and for stones, iron…. Violence will no more be heard in your land, neither wasting nor ruin within your borders; but you will call your walls Salvation, and your gates Praise” (Isa. 11:1-9; 60:17-18). Also, “they shall sit each one under his own vine and under his own fig tree; and no one shall make them afraid; for the mouth of the LORD of hosts has spoken” (Micah 4:4).

All nations will keep the Sabbath and holy days of God: “ ‘And it shall come to pass, that from one month to another, and from one Sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before Me,’ says the LORD” (Isa. 66:23). “And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations which came up against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles” (Zech. 14:16).

As the Feast of Tabernacles pictured the great ingathering harvest for Israel, the coming millennial reign of Jesus Christ and the saints (as kings and priests) will be a great spiritual harvest of God. During this onethousand- year period, literally billions of people will be converted—and at the end of their lives, they will receive immortality as they enter the spiritual Kingdom of God for all eternity. “I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away, and there was no more sea. And I, John, saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice from heaven say, ‘Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men; and He shall dwell with them, and they shall be His people; and God Himself shall be with them and be their God. And God shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, or sorrow, or crying; neither shall there be any more pain, because the former things have passed away.’ And He Who sits on the throne said, ‘Behold, I make all things new.’ Then He said to me, ‘Write, for these words are true and faithful’ ” (Rev. 21:1-5).

From the beginning of creation, the whole plan and purpose of God has been simply to dwell with His people—His spiritual family—for all eternity. It is the desire of God the Father and Jesus Christ to unselfishly share the endless wealth of the universe with their family. Thus, the Feast of Tabernacles pictures a major stage in the fulfillment of God’s master plan.

However, the Feast of Tabernacles does not complete God’s plan. There is one more holy day—the “eighth day” following the Feast of Tabernacles— which will consummate the awesome plan of God. In Chapter Thirteen we will examine the scriptures that fully explain the meaning of this little-understood eighth day, called the “Last Great Day” (John 7:37).