During the eight-day celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles, the first and the eighth day of the Feast of Tabernacles are said to be “HOLY.” What is their significance?
God declared that the first and eighth day of the Feast of Tabernacles were both “Sabbath rests.” However, there is a notable difference between the two Sabbath’s. The first day was more like a “firstfruits” offering to the Lord. The head of the family gave the firstfruits of their harvest, and no one was supposed to work.
“On the first day there shall be a holy convocation. You shall do no customary work on it (Lev. 23:35).
As a reminder, the three corporate gatherings God commanded all the heads of the household to attend and contribute their firstfruits harvest was Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles (Ex. 23:14-17).
But the second “Holy Day” was a “sacred assembly,” and was corporate in nature celebrated on the 8th day with ALL celebrating with joy, much like a wedding reception.
“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 (Lev. 23:36).
The first and eighth day of the Tabernacles celebration were “HOLY DAYS,” and confirm the blueprint found in the New Testament of how the Lord will redeem His corporate covenant blueprint through the two resurrections written in Rev. 20:4-12. One is at the beginning of the Millennium that calls forth the Lord’s “Firstfruits” remnant, and the second at the end of the Millennium that calls forth His “Bride.”
When it is the Lord’s time to fulfill these Fall Feasts, the first day of Tabernacles will commence the “promise of our glorified bodies” for those chosen to be His “Firstfruits” remnant. This includes the “dead in Christ” and those alive during this time who are chosen to reign with Christ in the Millennium (1 Cor.15:52-54).
God’s Word instructs how our bodies will go from corruptible to incorruptible. According to the Law in Numbers 19, while we are in our mortal bodies (which the Lord symbolically refers to as “tents” to describe our bodies), we are “unclean.” This is because we have inherited the sins of Adam, which is why believer’s bodies still get diseases and die (Rom. 6:23).
But during the fulfillment of Feast of Tabernacles, the process of “death being swallowed in victory” begins with the “Firstfruits” remnant (1 Cor. 15:54; Rom. 8:19; 2 Peter 3:13). In order for the “Firstfruits remnant” to receive immortality, they must go through a lawful “purification process:”
“This is the law when a man dies in a tent; All who come into the tent and all who are in the tent shall be unclean seven days”(Num. 19:14).
God required a 7-day cleansing period, which is the same length of time of the Feast of Tabernacles before the 8th day of the “sacred assembly.” On the 3rd and 7th day, the “clean person took hyssop and dipped it in water and sprinkled it on the tent.” Afterwards, the body was considered “purified.”
When this Feast is fulfilled, Christ, as our High Priest, will be the One who is “clean” and able to cleanse us (Num. 19:11,12). On the 8th day, the remnant will be able to lawfully present themselves to the Father:
“After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb”(Rev. 7:9)!
During His ministry on earth, Jesus appeared at the Feast of Tabernacles in the middle of the week, perhaps the 3rd day as it would then coincide with the Law of Purification” (John 7:2-14;37-39; Num. 19).
A blueprint that coincides with this “cleansing” and ready as one “set apart” is found in the laws concerning circumcision. Circumcision was a SIGN of the Abrahamic Covenant (Gen. 17:10-12). On the 8th day, every male was circumcised (set apart). In the New Testament, this is a circumcision of the heart (Gen. 17; Rom. 4:11,12). In the Millennium, it will be a complete body circumcision (set apart from death):
“For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life” (2 Cor.5:4).
The 8th day was also the “law of presentation of the “firstborn” (Ex. 22:29.30).
“They shall come with weeping, And with supplications I will lead them. I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters, In a straight way in which they shall not stumble; For I am a Father to Israel, And Ephraim (whose name means fruitful which is the “Firstfruits” remnant) is My firstborn” (Jer. 31:9).
And finally, the “law of the priesthood” required 7 days to consecrate a priest before they could go before God on the 8th day:
“And you shall not go outside the door of the tabernacle of meeting for seven days, until the days of your consecration are ended. For seven days he [the priest] shall consecrate you (Lev. 8:33).
Through the order of Melchizedek, Christ was confirmed as our “High Priest,” sitting on the right side of the throne next to His Father, making a way for us to become “priests.” Christ was not born of the tribe of Levites, who were assigned the priesthood. He was born of the tribe of Judah (Heb. 7). However, Melchizedek sets the example of the ability to enter into a “Holy” priesthood that did not come through the Adamic lineage, but a holy lineage of the Father and His firstborn:
And they sang a new song, saying:
“You are worthy to take the scroll, and to open its seals; For You were slain, And have redeemed us to God by Your blood, Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, And have made us KINGS and PRIESTS to our God; And we shall reign on the earth” (Rev. 5:9,10).
EZEKIEL 44 gives us a clue to the difference between the holy “Melchizedek” priesthood, and the sinful “Levite” priesthood that continues to wrestle with sin because of our Adamic nature. Ezekiel describes the “idolatrous” priests who are limited to minister to man in the outer court.
But Ezekiel also describes the priests called the “sons of Zadok,” who could minister to man in the outer and inner court, as well as the “Holies of Holy” (Ez. 44:15-20; 48:11). These are the “priests” of the Melchizedek order, who are “set apart” first, and chosen to be a part of the first resurrection. They are given access to minister to God in heaven and earth, going back and forth as Jesus did after His resurrection.
The wool and linen garments written in Ezekiel 44 are symbolic of the garments made of the flesh (earth) and the spirit (heaven). The wool garments come from animals and signify the flesh, or earth. Wool makes the body sweat, which is a sing of labor. Linen is made from plants and signifies the spiritual realm. Linen does NOT cause sweat, thus symbolizing a rest from labor.
Having the ability to go from heaven and earth, with “linen garments,” as well as “wool garments,” is the fulfillment of the dream of Jacob’s Ladder in Gen. 28, and later fulfilled through the resurrection of Christ (Acts. 1:3; Luke 24:37-39; 2 Cor. 5:1-5; 1 Cor. 15:35-50).
On the eighth day of the Feast of Tabernacles, the “Firstfruits” Remnant will be “caught up” or “Harpazo” and presented to the Father. This will be a firstfruits “sacred assembly.” The Firstfruits Remnant (overcoming “body” of believers described in Rev. 2, 3, and 14:4), will be joined to the “Head,” Jesus, and become united. The “Firstfruits” Remnant will have the ability to go back and forth from heaven to earth as Jesus did after His resurrection in linen and wool garments. Why? So they can “reign as priests” with Christ in the Millennium (Rev. 5:9,19;Rev. 20:6).
At the end of the Millennium, at the second resurrection, the “Bride of Christ” will go through this same cleansing process and will be set apart on the 8th day.
The heart of God is for His physical creation to manifest His glory. The inheritance of the “sons of God’ is a glorified body that was lost in the Garden of Eden, but redeemed through Christ. God created a redemption plan that is divided into three stages:
First, JUSTIFIED through the Passover experience as we accept Christ and our Spirit is reunited with the Lord, producing PEACE (Rom 5:1,9).
Secondly, SANCTIFIED through the Pentecost experience as we receive a deposit of His glory through the Holy Spirit, working out our salvation through fear and trembling, producing POWER (Phil. 2:12).
Thirdly, GLORIFIED through the Tabernacles experience as we receive our incorruptible bodies, producing REST (1 Cor. 15:53).
This process of the Lord’s glory covering the earth will continue to go from “glory to glory” until ALL creation submits to Christ’s authority. The Millennium will begin the process of entering into the fullness of “rest.” It will produce a harvest at the end of the Millennium, the “New Jerusalem.” Then ALL of creation will enter into REST and redemption in His time.
“And I heard a voice from heaven saying, ‘Behold, the TABERNACLE of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God.
And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.
Then He who sat on the throne said, ‘Behold, I make all things new.’ And He said to be, ‘Write, for these words are true and faithful””(Rev. 21:3-5).