We’re in the most important month of the Jewish calendar. After celebrating the Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah) and the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur), we celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot) this week. The Feast of Tabernacles was celebrated at the dedication of the Temple of Solomon (1 Kgs 8:2), in the Restoration Period (Neh 8), and the Gospels record that our Lord Jesus not only celebrated the festival, He took traditional elements of the celebration and applied them to His own life and mission (Jn 7 & 8). It will be the principle feast of the Millennial Reign of Christ upon earth. It’ll also have a fulfilment in the last day Church. The Church will spiritually experience the Feast of Tabernacles.
The name “tabernacles” comes from the Hebrew word “sukkah”, which means “a booth or tent.” This name was given to the feast because God commanded in Lev 23:42 that the Israelites were to dwell in tabernacles or tents for seven days as they celebrated the feast – “Ye shall dwell in booths seven days; all that are Israelites born shall dwell in booths.” The root word of “sukkah” is “suk” which means “to cover with oil; to anoint.” Therefore, the spiritual meaning of the Feast of Tabernacles is that the Church in the last days will dwell under the anointed covering of the Holy Spirit.
The seven feasts of the Lord are “a shadow of things to come”, and Jesus Christ is at the center of all of them. Christ is our Passover, He’s the Unleavened Bread that purifies us, the Giver of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, the coming King whose arrival is announced by the blast of the trumpets, the One who banishes Satan for a thousand years, and who tabernacles with man as King of kings.
The Feast of Tabernacles will take place during a time called the Latter Rain. Before the full harvest comes, there must be a double-portion of rain. The Former Rain (Early Rain) in Israel comes at the beginning of winter (3rd month) during Pentecost. Early Rain “Moreh” (Heb) – sprinkling rain. And what the Early Rain does is to soften the earth for the farmer to plough. The earth during the summer becomes parched and so hard that you cannot begin the process of agriculture until the Early Rain comes to soften the earth. The Latter Rain comes at the end of winter. “Yarah” (Heb) – overflowing rain. And this is the greatest outpouring of rain in the whole year.
1. Now, the purpose of this rain is to bring the crop to maturity for the harvest.
This can apply to us individually. We should never rest only on the Former Rain, but should look and pray for the Latter Rain (Zech 10:1), so that we can be presented blameless unto a perfect man, being conformed to the image of Jesus Christ in fullness.
2. The rain is given for the sake of the harvest.
James 5:7-8 tells us that God is bringing forth the harvest but it cannot be gathered until the Former/Latter Rain has fallen.
3. The rain facilitates the harvest and ties in right with the Coming of Jesus.
“The farmer… being patient… until [the earth] receives the early and the late rain.” It’s both interesting and instructive to observe that God has promised the “Early and Latter Rain” in terms of physical fulfilment. When the Children of Israel were about to enter the land of Canaan, God said through Moses, “I will give you the rain of your land in his due season, the first rain and the latter rain, that thou mayest gather in thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil.” (Deut 11:1-14). It’s clear from this passage, and a number of others, that the harvest was dependent upon the rain, and that the rain was promised by God, contingent upon obedience.
It’s been prophetically declared over Cornerstone, “It’s raining”. Question for you – Are you in the harvest? Are you concerned about the harvest? The main purpose of God filling and anointed you with the Holy Spirit is for the harvest. A sober warning for us all in Prov 10:5: “A son who sleeps in the harvest brings shame to His Father.”
There are seven aspects to the Feast of Tabernacles where we can experience the present reality of the future ultimate fulfilment of this feast. By cultivating a lifestyle of 1. Revival and restoration; 2. Ingathering (evangelism); 3. Joy; 4. Glory; 5. Unity; 6. Rest; 7. Not only to look for but to hasten the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:12). We’re that generation that will see the greatest outpouring of the Holy Spirit and ingathering of souls ever in history. Are you ready!