Scripture reveals that keeping the Feast of Tabernacles is a vital part of the New Covenant, but many today are not yet aware of this truth.
When we can see the purpose of our Father’s Word, it becomes easier to walk in, and to understand. But what is the New Covenant purpose for the Feast of Tabernacles, also known as Sukkot? And why are Yahuweh’s [God’s] people to keep this Feast today?
Let’s look at the Scriptures to see for ourselves.
We recall that Yahushua [Jesus] is our example in everything, so we will first see what Yahushua tells us, and then look at His example of keeping the Feast of Tabernacles. Perhaps we can discover the truths of Scripture by His words and examples.
Do as Yahushua Did
Our starting point in understanding the Feast of Tabernacles is to notice first what Yahushua said and did, as our example:
“Go ye up unto this feast: I go not up yet unto this feast; for my time is not yet full come.” (John 7:8)
“But when his brethren were gone up, then went he also up unto the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret.” (John 7:10)
“Now about the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the temple, and taught.” (John 7:14)
Here we see Yahushua telling His Disciples to go to the Feast, then later we see Yahushua Himself goes to the Feast. Then we see the prophetic message in John 7:14, that in the midst of keeping the Feasts, Yahushua taught His people.
It is in the keeping of the Festivals, the ‘moedim’ or Appointed Times of Yahuweh, that Yahushua continues to teach His people, giving them much wisdom and insight. This is because when we are obedient to observe Yahuweh’s Biblical Feasts, we are placing ourselves in the position of being taught and guided according to His purposes.
Finally, following Yahushua’s example of keeping the Feasts is a vital part of our learning to ‘walk as He walked’ (1John 2:6). All that Messiah did, and all that He said, is for our example today. Likewise all that the Disciples said and did, is for our example.
Let’s now look at what the Disciples did, as they too are our examples today.
Do as the Disciples Did
Notice what Yahushua told His Disciples:
“Go ye up unto this feast: I go not up yet unto this feast; for my time is not yet full come.” (John 7:8)
We saw in other writings Yahushua’s Disciples [‘talmidim’] kept Passover and the other Feasts. Here we see Yahushua telling His Disciples to attend the Feast of Tabernacles, also called ‘Sukkot.’
Those who are Yahushua’s Disciples today are realising that they, too, are being told to attend the Feasts of Yahuweh. But what did the apostle Paul have to say about the matter?
Do as the apostle Paul Did
Let’s look at what the apostle Paul said and did, regarding some of Yahuweh’s Feasts, as an example for us:
“But bade them farewell, saying, I must by all means keep this feast that cometh in Jerusalem: but I will return again unto you, if God will. And he sailed from Ephesus.” (Acts 18:21)
“Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” (1Corinthians 5:8)
“Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers [‘imitators’] of me.” (1Corinthians 4:16)
“Be ye followers [‘imitators’] of me, even as I also am of Christ.” (1Corinthians 11:1)
“Brethren, be followers [‘imitators’] together of me, and mark them which walk so, as ye have us for an ensample.” (Philippians 3:17)
“Not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an ensample unto you to follow [‘imitate’] us.” (2Thessalonians 3:9)
Paul practiced, and taught also, that Yahuweh’s people are to keep the Feasts of Yahuweh — and Paul urges us to imitate him. Now let’s see what Scripture reveals about the importance of choosing to keep Yahuweh’s Festivals.
Why Attend the Feast of Tabernacles?
Throughout Scripture there are many issues, some of which are minor, and others we might consider major. Some would use the phrase, ‘not a salvation issue’ to refer to any minor, non-covenantal issue.
We recall Israel was ‘saved,’ but fell in the wilderness because of refusal to keep the Feasts, and the other commandments and statutes of Yahuweh (Ezekiel 20:13, 21, 23-24). Thus what we think is not a ‘salvation’ issue may be in truth a ‘Covenant’ issue.
An easy-to-remember rule of thumb is this. If the refusal of some item prevented Israel from entering the Promised land, it is easily seen in Scripture to be a Covenant issue. The Festivals of Yahuweh, we then find, are indeed Covenant issues. Let’s look further at this important matter.
To find out what is a part of the Everlasting Covenant of Yahuweh, and what is not, we need only look for a certain word in the fine-print of the New Covenant provisions, in what Scripture calls the Torah.
The Hebrew word ‘owlam’ is used throughout Scripture to mark all the eternal provisions of the New [Everlasting] Covenant. The word ‘owlam’ is Strong’s number , and is translated “for ever, everlasting, perpetual, eternal,” and it corresponds to the Greek word ‘aionios,’ meaning ‘eternal.’ Wherever we see this Hebrew word among the Covenant provisions of Scripture, we know that particular item will remain “forever” in Yahuweh’s covenant.
In the following Scripture passage, notice the term ‘everlasting’ pertains to the Covenant in Yahushua’s Blood:
“Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” (Hebrews 13:20-21a)
Here we see that the Blood of Yahushua is the Blood of the Everlasting Covenant, which is simply another term for the ‘New Covenant.’ We will not go deeply into the matter here, but one may find 16 direct references to the Everlasting Covenant found in the Torah [Old Testament], in addition to the one seen in the Hebrews passage above.
In the following Scriptures, notice where the word ‘owlam’ is used in each passage:
“Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee…And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.” (Genesis 17:5,7)
“He hath remembered his covenant for ever , the word which he commanded to a thousand generations. Which covenant he made with Abraham, and his oath unto Isaac; And confirmed the same unto Jacob for a law, and to Israel for an everlasting covenant:” (Psalms 105:8-10)
“And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the LORD throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever .” (Exodus 12:14)
“And ye shall observe the feast of unleavened bread; for in this selfsame day have I brought your armies out of the land of Egypt: therefore shall ye observe this day in your generations by an ordinance for ever .” (Exodus 12:17)
“Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant.” (Exodus 31:16)
“And ye shall keep it a feast unto the LORD seven days in the year. It shall be a statute for ever in your generations: ye shall celebrate it in the seventh month.” (Leviticus 23:41)
“You shall keep the Feast of Sukkot seven days, when you have gathered in your produce. You shall rejoice in your feast because the LORD your God will bless you in all your produce and in all the work of your hands, so that you will be altogether joyful.” (Deuteronomy 16:13-15)
In the few passages above, we see that the Feast of Tabernacles is among the Festivals that remain an eternal part of the New Covenant — the Everlasting [eternal] Covenant made with Noah, Abraham, Isaac, and Israel — and finally sealed by the Blood of Yahushua.
Notice also in the above Deuteronomy passage, that promises of blessing and joyfulness are given to those who rejoice in Yahuweh’s Feast. There is much blessing and joyfulness, when we walk in obedience to Messiah’s Word!
We can now see the importance of the apostle Paul’s teaching in Romans chapter 11, that by faith in Messiah Yahushua, the Gentiles are grafted-in to full citizenship of Israel. The result of this grafting-in of Gentiles by faith, is that they are now active participants in YHWH’s New Covenant made with Israel and Judah (Jer 31:31-33). This means that Gentiles in Messiah are now counted among YHWH’s people, and they can now receive the blessing and joyfulness of participation in all of God’s Covenant Feast-days, including Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles!
So we see that the main reason we attend Yahuweh’s Festivals is because He has told His people to do so. It is His will that we attend His Feasts, and through the Blood of Yahushua, He makes us perfect to ‘do His will.’A secondary reason for participating in the Feast of Tabernacles, is that this Feast will be kept and observed in the future, eternal Kingdom under the rulership of Messiah Yahushua.
The prophet Zechariah tells us of that future day, that anyone among the nations [‘Goyim; Gentiles’] who refuses to keep the Feast of Tabernacles, will suffer the punishment of having no rain on their land, and Yahuweh will also smite them with a plague (Zechariah 14:16-19). Those who are wise, are beginning to learn today, in advance, how to keep Father’s Feast-days!
The Meaning of Yahuweh’s Festivals
As we grow in our knowledge of Yahushua, He not only shows us some of the reasons for what He has told us to do, but He even shows us the meaning of what we are doing.
First, the Feast-days become testing-grounds for those who claim to be among His people. In this regard, the Festivals serve to reveal those who have a heart to be obedient, and to filter-out those who do not.
Second, Yahuweh’s Festivals are an an annual, ‘show-and-tell’ teaching of Father’s Word. As we participate in Yahuweh’s Festivals, we grow in the knowledge of Messiah, and receive further revelation of Bible truths. It is also during Yahuweh’s Festivals, that the Holy Spirit greatly increases our understanding of Yahuweh’s plans and purposes, and of the prophetic picture or ‘shadow’ of things to come (John 16:13b; Col 2:16-17).
Third, as we gather together in sharing of our lives together for the eight days of the Feast of Tabernacles, we see vividly how Messiah manifests Himself among us, as Yahuweh-living-in-Yahushua, and as Yahushua-living-in-us, which is a little-by-little fulfillment of Yahuweh Tabernacling among His people:
“That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.” (John 17:21)
“I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.” (John 17:23)
The complete fulfillment of Tabernacles will begin when He physically returns for His Bride, in the near-future. It is then that we shall know Him, even as we are known.
The Goal of Yahuweh’s Annual Festivals
As we participate in Yahuweh’s Festivals throughout the year, we grow in our understanding that all His Festivals picture our journey of preparing ourselves for the Marriage of the King. Yahuweh’s Festivals are as wedding rehearsals; and only those who participate in the wedding rehearsals [Festivals] will be a part of the Wedding of the King!
We then see that all Yahuweh’s Feasts are part of the Bride’s preparation for this eight-day, final Festival of the year, which is prophetic of the Wedding Feast, and of the time the Bridegroom becomes one with the Bride!
The Wise Virgins would not want to miss this rehearsal!
Planning for the Feast of Tabernacles
Do you want to attend the upcoming Feast of Tabernacles? The time for planning is now.
Many groups will host the Feast at various locations. A few of these sites appear in the sidebar of this post around mid July, and a few others may be listed as they become evident. Others may be searched out for your particular area.
A few example resources for the Feast days can also be seen in the sidebar of this page.