From “Feast of Tabernacles,” Chapter 6- The Blowing of Trumpets: An Introduction to Tabernacles
The Day of Trumpets was really an introduction to Israel’s third Feast, the Feast of Tabernacles or of Ingathering. Like the Feast of the Passover, the Feast of Tabernacles is of a threefold nature. The Passover included (1) the Passover itself, (2) the Unleavened Bread, (3) the waving of the Sheaf. Then Pentecost stands alone, between the Passover and Tabernacles. And finally Tabernacles is observed, likewise in a series of three ordinances, (1) Trumpets, (2) Atonement, (3) Tabernacles.
It might be interesting to consider the three Feasts of the Lord in the light of the creative work in Genesis. When God commanded “let there be light,”–light sprang forth out of darkness, and we had the beginning of the old creation, the first day. And so it was said concerning Israel at the time of the Passover, “This month shall be unto you the beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you.” (Ex. 12:2). Then on the third day, God commanded the earth to bring forth her produce, “the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself.” (Gen. 1:11) Hence Pentecost occurred in the third month, the time of harvest and fruitfulness, when the precious fruit of the earth was to be gathered in. And finally we come to the seventh day, when God “rested from all his work.” (Gen. 2:2). So it was that the Feast of Tabernacles was observed in the seventh month. Furthermore it was not only observed in the seventh month, but it was the seventh event in Israel’s series of Feasts and their accompanying ordinances:
2. Unleavened Bread
3. Sheaf of Firstfruits
In other words, it is the feast of rest for the Church–the consummation of God’s glorious purposes in His people so far as this dispensation is concerned. We have much more to say regarding this rest which “remaineth for the people of God,” but we will deal with it later when we consider the various characteristics of the Feast of Tabernacles.
A NEW HARVEST
From the earliest days in Israel, time was reckoned not only from the month of the Passover, but there existed what was called a Civil or Agricultural year, which began in the seventh month. It is evident from Ex. 23:16 and 34:22 that the seventh month was the end of the old and the beginning of this new year. Also, from Lev. 25:9 we discover that the year of Jubilee began in the seventh month. All this helps us to understand more clearly Joel’s prophecy: “He will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month.” (Joel 2:23). The “first month” mentioned here is not the Passover month, but the beginning of this Agricultural or Civil year. A good translation is, “At the beginning of the season…” It was the end of the year, when the corn, the wine and the oil were gathered in, but it was also the beginning of a new Agricultural Year, when the rains could be expected.
All this is beautifully significant so far as the Church of Jesus Christ is concerned–for she has now come to the end of her long–and in many ways, discouraging career, and is about to enter a New Day in the Spirit. We thank God for her beginning at the Cross–the fountain and source of every spiritual blessing that we have ever enjoyed in the Church, or shall ever enjoy in eternity. We thank God also for the great harvest which began at Pentecost and has continued in considerable measure ever since. But the real harvest is just ahead! A harvest not only of souls, but of the fruit of the Spirit in the midst of the saints. Pentecost was a harvest of Firstfruits. This Feast of the seventh month constitutes the real ingathering of God’s great harvest field: “The feast of harvest, the Firstfruits of thy labours, which thou hast sown in the field: and the feast of ingathering, which is in the end of the year, when thou hast gathered in thy labours out of the field.” (Ex. 23:16). GHW
The one thing evident as we continue this journey toward the Feast of Tabernacles, is that the Kingdom of God is an ever-expanding realm that takes in all of heaven and earth. There will be mileposts in that journey, but will we ever be able to say that we have truly arrived? Many see heaven as the end of the trail. But considering the eternal nature of God and the fact that He will make a new heaven and earth, I am convinced that heaven, as we think about it now, will be another new beginning, full of adventure and learning.