Sukkoth, The Feast Of Tabernacles, The Feast Of Booths – Sermon Outline
A discussion of this Jewish feast follows. Repetition is used to enforce understanding.
Sukkoth is a Jewish festival beginning on the 15th day of the month of Tishri and celebrated for nine days by Orthodox and Conservative Jews outside of Israel and for eight days by Reform Jews and by Jews in Israel that celebrates the harvest and commemorates the period during which the Jews wandered in the wilderness after the Exodus, marked by the building of sukkoth.
A sukkah is booth or hut roofed with branches, built against or near a house or synagogue and used during the Jewish festival of Sukkoth as a temporary dining or living area. Sukkoth is the plural of sukkah.
The Feast of Tabernacles, also known as the Feast of Booths and Sukkoth, is the seventh and last feast that the Lord commanded Israel to observe and one of the three feasts that Jews were to observe each year by going to “appear before the Lord your God in the place which He shall choose” (Deuteronomy 16:16).
The Feast of Tabernacles, like all the feasts, was instituted by God as a way of reminding Israelites in every generation of their deliverance by God from Egypt. Of course, the feasts are also significant in that they foreshadow the work and actions of the coming Messiah. Much of Jesus’ public ministry took place in conjunction with the Holy Feasts set forth by God.
The Feast of Tabernacles begins and ends with a special Sabbath day of rest. During the days of the feast all native Israelites were “to dwell in booths” to remind them that God delivered them out of the “land of Egypt” and to look forward to the coming Messiah, Jesus Christ, who would deliver His people from the bondage of sin. This feast, like all of the feasts of Israel, consistently reminded the Jews and should remind Christians as well that God has promised to deliver His people from the bondage of sin and deliver them from their enemies. Part of God’s deliverance for the Israelites was His provision and protection of them for the 40 years they wandered in the wilderness, cut off from the Promised Land.
Appointed Feasts For Jews
Leviticus 23:2 New King James Version (NKJV)
2 “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘The feasts of the Lord, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, these are My feasts.
Rosh Hashanah (Feast Of Trumpets) – Repentance – Leviticus 23:23-25
Yom Kippur (Day Of Atonement) – Redemption – Leviticus 23:26-32
Feast Of Tabernacles (Booths) – Rejoicing – Leviticus 23:33-44
Notice that God spoke to Moses, who was a descendant of Shem. Shem was one of the sons of Noah, and was the father of the Jewish blood line that led to the birth of the Messiah, Jesus. Notice that the other two sons of Noah, Ham and Japheth, had no part in this conversation. Those two sons were the fathers of the Gentiles, which is called, “nations.” Notice that the feasts are God’s feasts, and they were given to the Jews to celebrate and keep. The Gentiles, then and now, had/have no reason/necessity to keep the feasts. The fifteenth chapter of Acts discusses the matter of Gentile Christians, and whether they had to keep the Law. The decision was that they did not have to keep the law, which included the feasts. However, each feast is fulfilled in Christ; so, there is great value in studying the feasts, and in keeping them.
The Feast Of Tabernacles
Leviticus 23:33-44 New King James Version (NKJV) – In Times Of Moses
33 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 34 “Speak to the children of Israel, saying: ‘The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the Feast of Tabernacles for seven days to the Lord. 35 On the first day there shall be a holy convocation. You shall do no customary work on it. 36 For seven days you shall offer an offering made by fire to the Lord. On the eighth day you shall have a holy convocation, and you shall offer an offering made by fire to the Lord. It is a sacred assembly, and you shall do no customary work on it. 37 ‘These are the feasts of the Lord which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, to offer an offering made by fire to the Lord, a burnt offering and a grain offering, a sacrifice and drink offerings, everything on its day— 38 besides the Sabbaths of the Lord, besides your gifts, besides all your vows, and besides all your freewill offerings which you give to the Lord. 39 ‘Also on the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the fruit of the land, you shall keep the feast of the Lord for seven days; on the first day there shall be a sabbath-rest, and on the eighth day a sabbath-rest. 40 And you shall take for yourselves on the first day the fruit of beautiful trees, branches of palm trees, the boughs of leafy trees, and willows of the brook; and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God for seven days. 41 You shall keep it as a feast to the Lord for seven days in the year. It shall be a statute forever in your generations. You shall celebrate it in the seventh month.42 You shall dwell in booths for seven days. All who are native Israelites shall dwell in booths, 43 that your generations may know that I made the children of Israel dwell in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.’”
The Feast Of Tabernacles In Times Of Jesus
John 7:1-2 New King James Version (NKJV)
1 After these things Jesus walked in Galilee; for He did not want to walk in Judea, because the Jews sought to kill Him. 2 Now the Jews’ Feast of Tabernacles was at hand.
7:2 Feast of Booths. The longest festival of the Jewish year (lasting seven days), this feast followed the Jewish New Year and the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur, Lev. 23; Deut. 16). It was a celebration of God’s gracious provision for the Israelites in the wilderness and the completion of the year’s harvest. There was a ceremonial water-drawing (commemorating the provision of water in the wilderness, Num. 20:2–13) and a lamp-lighting ritual. The first of these ceremonies provides the setting for Jesus’ proclamation in vv. 37, 38, the second for His statement in 8:12.
The Words Of Jesus At The Feast Of Tabernacles
John 7:37-39 New King James Version (NKJV)
The Promise of the Holy Spirit
37 On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. 38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” 39 But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.
7:37, 38 At the climax of the feast, Jesus repeated dramatically the message He had given to the Samaritan woman (4:10–14) making clear that coming to Him meant believing in Him.
7:38 as the Scripture has said. What follows is not an exact quotation from the Old Testament, but there are several Old Testament passages that connect water with the end-time gift of the Spirit (e.g., Is. 44:3; Ezek. 36:25–27) and the blessings of the present (messianic) age (e.g., Is. 12:3; 58:11). Jesus fulfills the meaning of the Feast of Booths. The word “rivers” implies great abundance, benefiting not only believers, but also those around them.
7:39 the Spirit had not been given. Jesus is referring to the blessing of Pentecost. Of course, the Holy Spirit was present in the Old Testament period, but at Pentecost He entered into a more intimate relationship with believers (14:17; 1 Cor. 6:19). This is the Messiah’s gift to His people: He baptizes with the Spirit (Matt. 3:11; Mark 1:8; Luke 3:16), but this blessing in its full measure and glory must await the ascension of Christ who will pour out the Spirit from heaven upon His people (16:7; cf. Eph. 4:8).
During this Feast Of Tabernacles, Jesus is declaring that its fulfillment is in Him.
Jesus’s Discussion With Jews On The End Times
Matthew 24:3-36 New King James Version (NKJV)
The Signs of the Times and the End of the Age – Jews Told Of Great Tribulation – The discussion occurred between Jesus and Jews. Gentiles are not a part of the conversation.
3 Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”
4 And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. 6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.
9 “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. 10 And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. 11 Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.12 And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But he who endures to the end shall be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.
The Great Tribulation
15 “Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand), 16 “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. 18 And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes. 19 But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! 20 And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22 And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.
The Coming of the Son of Man
29 “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
36 “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.
“No One Knows the Day or Hour.” Consider The Event. This statement refers to the discussion that Jesus was having with the Jews, and is specifically related to the Jews. It does not refer to 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18.
The Catching Away Of The Saints.
1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 New King James Version (NKJV)
This passage relates to believers in Christ who will be caught up to heaven prior to Matthew 24:15-36. It also refers to those who have died after having been born again, but also, prior to the Matthew event.
Saints Caught Up To Heaven – No One Knows? (Same as Matt 24:31?)
16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.
Saints Return From Heaven With Jesus
Revelation 19:11-21 New King James Version (NKJV)
Christ on a White Horse
11 Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. 12 His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. 13 He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. 15 Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 16 And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written:
KING OF KINGS AND
LORD OF LORDS.
The Beast and His Armies Defeated
17 Then I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the birds that fly in the midst of heaven, “Come and gather together for the supper of the great God,18 that you may eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them, and the flesh of all people,free and slave, both small and great.”
19 And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army. 20 Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone. 21 And the rest were killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse. And all the birds were filled with their flesh.
Those who had been caught up to heaven with Christ (1 Thes 4:16-18) return to earth with Christ being their leader. The Battle of Armageddon takes place and Christ is triumphant in a spiritual battle. Relate this passage to Zechariah 14:16-19.
Feast Of Tabernacles During The Millennium
Zechariah 14:16-19 New King James Version (NKJV)
The Nations Worship the King-Fulfilled In Christ
16 And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. 17 And it shall be that whichever of the families of the earth do not come up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, on them there will be no rain. 18 If the family of Egypt will not come up and enter in, they shall have no rain; they shall receive the plague with which the Lord strikes the nations who do not come up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. 19 This shall be the punishment of Egypt and the punishment of all the nations that do not come up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.
Consider the others who are present during the Millennium. (Re: Rev 19:11-21)
Consider the test and those who will be tested.
Revelation 3:10 New King James Version (NKJV). Read this verse very carefully.
10 Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.
I, and other born-again believers in Christ, have already been tested and found to be saved, born again, and indwelled by the Spirit of Christ. There is no reason for believers in Christ to be tested again. Again, consider the purpose of the tribulation, which is “to test.”
Three Required Feasts For Jews To Attend
Deuteronomy 16:16 New King James Version (NKJV)
16 “Three times a year all your males shall appear before the Lord your God in the place which He chooses: at the Feast of Unleavened Bread, at the Feast of Weeks, and at the Feast of Tabernacles; and they shall not appear before the Lord empty-handed.
Consider the worship music that is provided by Paul Wilbur. It was recorded in Jerusalem during a Feast Of Tabernacles in some past year.
Psalm 122:6 New King James Version (NKJV)
6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: “May they prosper who love you.