Is the Feast of Tabernacles Really About the Millennium?

Usually these posts more-or-less reflect the consensus of Wascana Fellowship. This one is about a more personal view of the Fall Festival season mentioned in the Old Testament. In other words, this view does not necessarily represent the overall views of members of Wascana Fellowship. Feel free not to be persuaded by what follows. 🙂

After spending almost 30 years in Herbert W. Armstrong’s Worldwide Church of God I had some very fixed ideas about the relationship between the Old and New Covenants and the prophetic meaning of the Holy Days given to ancient Israel. After every one of the spring festivals has literally come to pass in the life of Jesus Christ, who can blame anyone for getting excited about the apparently as-yet-unfulfilled autumn festivals?

Herbert Armstrong’s focus was on the 1000-year reign of Jesus Christ on earth, so he assumed that the 7-day Feast of Tabernacles referred to this period of time. The way he organized it is more-or-less represented in the chart linked below.

Herbert W Armstrong View of Fall Feasts

While I no longer hold the view that these days are required celebrations, I admit to still feeling that they have a strong symbolic meaning linked to Jesus’ work in the past, present and future. I believe they already have a partial fulfilment in what Jesus has done for us. I also believe it is still possible for them to have literal fulfulment in the future.

I do not, however, entirely agree with Herbert Armstrong’s strong Millennium focus, nor with a pre-Millennial Day of Atonement. The Day of Atonement is about bringing reconciliation to the entire “land” or “community,” not about individualistic salvation. Atonement is about the “judgment” part of salvation. After Atonement, sin has left the land entirely, never to return. Satan is cast into the lake of fire, along with Death and Hades. Atonement, to me, pictures the time of Satan’s judgment and the “Great White Throne Judgment” before a “new heavens and a new earth.” Sin’s time on earth is finished.

If my conclusions are correct (hey, I’m only human), the Feast of Tabernacles is about the rest of eternity in which Jesus reigns in peace and harmony – forever. Jesus, God’s “Tabernacle” remains among His (all remaining) people – forever. We will always be His people, and He will always be our God, tabernacling with us forever. See the chart linked below for some of the reasoning behind this view.

Proposed Alternate View of Fall Feasts

For those of you celebrating the Feast of Tabernacles, Happy Feast!

About John Valade

I facilitate and teach in Wascana Fellowship. I have been married to Wanda since 1984. M.Div. from Briercrest Seminary, SK in 2011 and B.R.E. Canadian Bible College (now Ambrose University College) in 2000.
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4 Responses to Is the Feast of Tabernacles Really About the Millennium?

  1. Randy Olds says:

    Hi John,

    I’ve been meaning to get over here to your site, and today was my first opportunity.

    Interesting take on the Fall Holy Days. I’ve not put as much time and effort into understanding the significance as you obviously have, but I like your ideas.

    I know that they do signify something and I know that Armstrong’s ideas about them have some serious flaws, but I have not yet really dug into the Bible trying to seek out exactly which events God is foreshadowing with these festivals.

    My reading of Zechariah 14 and other verses seems to indicate that Tabernacles is probably pointing to the Millenium, but I’m still not sure.

    I’ll have to look around your blog a little more. I like what I’ve seen so far.

    • John Valade says:

      Thanks, Randy. I have much less faith in my infallibility than HWA did. Zechariah 14 certainly looks Millennial. The question for me was whether Millennial = Tabernacles. The other question for me was how much my reading of Zech. 14 presupposed Herbert Armstrong’s teaching that it was linked to Tabernacles.

      Once I could question that link, other ways of looking at it became possible.

      Revelation dedicates 3 verses (20:4-7) to describing the Millennium, and more than a chapter for the new earth. That suggests a greater emphasis on what follows the Millennium: eternity with Christ.

  2. jamesbradfordpate says:

    Hi John. I have a question about your view on the Day of Atonement. In your chart, you refer to sacrifices that will take place at the time that the Day of Atonement represents, which seems in part to be the judgment. Do you believe, then, that not everyone in the second resurrection will be condemned to the lake of fire? Do you think people will get a “second” or “first” chance then to receive Christ’s sacrifice?

    • John Valade says:

      Thanks for the question, James. I don’t know that I have enough information to say one way or the other. I have to admit that my heart is still with the idea of a chance for those who have not really had the opportunity. Proving it, however, is problematical. I hope that “judgment” is not limited to sentencing at that time.

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