By Lorelei Nettles
Celebrating God’s Holy Days helps us better understand His plan
My family and I just returned home from an 8 day festival (Numbers 29:35, Leviticus 23:36) commanded by God. Actually it is two separate times. One is called the Feast of Tabernacles (FOT) and the other, the 8th Day. It is a wonderful time that God asks us to keep as a reminder of what is to come. “Seven days shalt thou keep a solemn feast unto the Lord thy God in the place which the Lord shall choose: because the Lord thy God shall bless thee in all thine increase, and in all the works of thine hands, therefore thou shalt surely rejoice.” (Deuteronomy 16:15)
In John 7:37-38, we see that Christ spoke to the people while keeping the Feast, “In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.”
As Christians we are to emulate Christ. That doesn’t mean we pick and choose what parts of His life we want to emulate as many do. If Christ kept the days, we too should keep them as He nowhere says we are to stop. Note that if He was keeping these days, the gentiles who started following Him would have learned to do so as well. (John 7:11)
Let me share some information that more clearly explains it. “Tabernacles are just that – tents – temporary dwellings.
This festival is also called Sukkot in Hebrew and the feast of in-gathering. What was the focus of this feast? It was a celebration of the large autumn harvest in the holy land. God blessed them with abundant crops. But there’s more to it than just plentiful good crops and tents. It symbolizes so much more today. There is spiritual meaning in this physical event. It foreshadows a large spiritual harvest. God has given us physical lessons to teach us spiritual truth. It’s the same with this festival, the Feast of Tabernacles.
…Christ knew that this was a special yearly celebration and it wasn’t intended just for the Jews. Leviticus 23:2 rightly calls them “feasts of the Lord.” They weren’t just feasts for Israel or celebrations just for the Jews, but Jesus set the example showing they were for everyone and they continue to be God’s festivals.” (Beyond Today Program: Celebrating the Feast of Tabernacles in Today’s World)
The FOT is representative of the 1000 year period after Christ’s return. A time of peace and harmony where the people who have survived the tribulation will learn God’s way without being under the influence of Satan in their lives.
The 8th Day is what follows that millennium. A time when all who have died not having the knowledge of the truth of God, will be resurrected to life again and have the chance to learn the truth and find salvation. (2 Peter 3:9; Revelation 20:4-6)
This is but a short synopsis of this holy day period and are only two of God’s holy days. There are other spring and fall holy days that represent God’s future plan and remind us of what has passed. It is an awesome experience to attend the Feast of Tabernacles and 8th Day. It is a total refreshment to the mind and spirit and what it represents is a glorious time under Christ’s leadership in the Kingdom of God!