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The Feast of Tabernacles Meaning

Sukkot, booths, Resurrection, 1000 years, one thousand years, Judgement, restoration, rebuilding, Messiah, Christ's reign, Last great day, book of life, Ingathering, harvest, festival, sukkah, hossana rabbah

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The conventional perspective on the meaning behind the Feast of Tabernacles, also known as Sukkot, is that it looks forward to the 1000 year reign of Messiah.  This 1000 year period is commonly known as the Millennium.  This is briefly described in Revelation 20. 

Rev 20:4  “And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.

This reign of Messiah will be a time of restoration.  Israel will finally fill their role as the priests of the Creator.  Of course this will be under the direct leadership of Messiah.

Isa 61:1 "The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me, Because the LORD has anointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound;  2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, And the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all who mourn,  3 To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.  4 And they shall rebuild the old ruins, They shall raise up the former desolations, And they shall repair the ruined cities, The desolations of many generations.…6  But you shall be named the priests of the LORD, They shall call you the servants of our God. You shall eat the riches of the Gentiles, And in their glory you shall boast.

One place instructing the observance of this festival is in Leviticus 23.

Lev 23:39  ‘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.’ 

This joyous festival is also a celebration of harvest.  It was intended to be celebrated after they had ‘gathered in the fruit of the land’.  It was also called the Feast of Ingathering (Ex 23:16).  The celebration lasted seven days.  The eighth day was a different occasion, linked in time but intended to carry a different meaning.  The Hebrew word for ‘booth’ in these verses is ‘cukkah’ or ‘sukkah’ (Str.  05521,  a hut or lair)  The plural is ‘Sukkot’, which is the name by which Hebrew speakers know this festival. 

Temporary Dwelling

Even though there is a close connection with the harvest, the Creator also made a connection to dwelling in these ‘booths’.  Israel dwelt in ‘sukkot’ when they departed Egypt.  Actually, when Israel came out of Egypt they typically dwelt in tents.

Num 9:17  “Whenever the cloud was taken up from above the tabernacle, after that the children of Israel would journey; and in the place where the cloud settled, there the children of Israel would pitch their tents.

The Creator evidently wants the festival to remind us of the temporary nature of Israel’s condition in the wilderness.  Was it only Israel in the wilderness that lived in temporary circumstances?

Heb 11:8By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.  9 By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise;  10 for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God…. 13  These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.  14 For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland.  15 And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return.  16 But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.”

It was not just Israel in the wilderness that lived in temporary circumstances, But Abraham, Isaac and Jacob did as well.  They were not enticed by the civilization of the day, but looked forward to a permanent dwelling place from the Eternal.

Heb 12:22  “But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels”. 

The heavenly Jerusalem is the city that descends to the earth after the 1000 years of Messiah’s rule (Rev 20:4, 21:1-4).  Certainly the world will be a different place as of its arrival.  The patriarchs evidently understood such a place would be worth the wait.  However, it was not just the patriarchs and Israel in the wilderness that were in temporary circumstances.

Lev 25:23The land shall not be sold permanently, for the land is Mine; for you are strangers and sojourners with Me.

Even once Israel was in the Promised Land they were reminded that their circumstances were still not permanent.  They were travelers on the Creator’s earth.  Hundreds of years later Solomon was still well aware of the temporary nature of life as we know it.  That has not changed to this day.

I Chron 29:15  “For we are aliens and pilgrims before You, As were all our fathers; Our days on earth are as a shadow, And without hope.”  (Dedication of Solomon’s temple 29:1-22)

1Peter 2:11  “Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul,”

II Cor 5:1  “For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.” 

The city the faithful look for is eternal and it is in the heavens.  It will not always be there, but it will not descend to earth until after evil is eliminated

Rev 21:2Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.  3 And I heard a loud 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.  4 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."

It appears that city comes to earth after the 7th day, which would logically begin the 8thday.  So is there anything special about the 7th day or is the first day representing the Millennium the same as the next?

Movement of the Spirit

John 7:37On 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.’

The record in John 7 is interesting.  The Feast of Tabernacles is seven days long.  This is consistent throughout the Hebrew Scriptures or Old Testament.  So the last day of the Feast is the 7th day.  John calls it ‘that great day of the Feast’.  Indeed the seventh day of the Feast was the climax of the festival in New Testament times.  The 7th day was, and still is, called ‘Hosanna Rabbah’, the ‘Great Salvation’ by Judaism. 

Messiah talked of ‘rivers of living water’ as a description of the Spirit moving.  Likely He was making a connection to ‘living water’ poured in a ceremony that took place at the temple during the Feast of Tabernacles/Sukkot while He was there.

As part of this water pouring ceremony willow branches were cut & waved making the sound of wind (Heb. ruach) beginning the first day.  The Hebrew word ‘ruach’ is also the word used to refer to the Spirit.  The High priest brought water, also a symbol of the Spirit, from the well of Siloam below the temple and poured it on the temple altar, an assistant poured wine, representing blood, on the altar.  The water was drawn from the well amid great celebration.  A flute player known as the ‘pierced one’ coordinated the arrival at the altar of those waving the willow branches and the High Priest carrying the water.  The first six days of the Feast those waving the willow branches circled the altar once.  The 7th day they marched around the altar 7 times and beat their branches on the ground to remove leaves.  This was symbolic of the removal of sin.

According to the Companion Bible, Appendix  10, seven is the Biblical number of spiritual perfection.  It is also a hallmark of the Holy Spirit’s work.  This certainly fits well with Messiah’s statements on the last, 7th, day of the Feast in John 7.  However, the Spirit seems to be moving powerfully during the entire millennium.  Except for the traumatic return of Messiah His 1000 year reign doesn’t seem to be segmented into seven different periods.

Isa 11: 2  “The Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon Him, The Spirit of wisdom and understanding, The Spirit of counsel and might, The Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD.  3  His delight is in the fear of the LORD, And He shall not judge by the sight of His eyes, Nor decide by the hearing of His ears;  4  But with righteousness He shall judge the poor, And decide with equity for the meek of the earth; He shall strike the earth with the rod of His mouth, And with the breath of His lips He shall slay the wicked.  5 Righteousness shall be the belt of His loins, And faithfulness the belt of His waist…9  They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, For the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD As the waters cover the sea.  10  And in that day there shall be a Root of Jesse, Who shall stand as a banner to the people; For the Gentiles shall seek Him, And His resting place shall be glorious.  11  It shall come to pass in that day That the Lord shall set His hand again the second time To recover the remnant of His people who are left, From Assyria and Egypt, From Pathros and Cush, From Elam and Shinar, From Hamath and the islands of the sea.  12 He will set up a banner for the nations, And will assemble the outcasts of Israel, And gather together the dispersed of Judah From the four corners of the earth.  13 Also the envy of Ephraim shall depart, And the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off; Ephraim shall not envy Judah, And Judah shall not harass Ephraim.

Eze 36:7  Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: "I have raised My hand in an oath that surely the nations that are around you shall bear their own shame.  8 But you, O mountains of Israel, you shall shoot forth your branches and yield your fruit to My people Israel, for they are about to come.  9 For indeed I am for you, and I will turn to you, and you shall be tilled and sown.  10 I will multiply men upon you, all the house of Israel, all of it; and the cities shall be inhabited and the ruins rebuilt.  11 I will multiply upon you man and beast; and they shall increase and bear young; I will make you inhabited as in former times, and do better for you than at your beginnings. Then you shall know that I am the LORD…23 And I will sanctify My great name, which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst; and the nations shall know that I am the LORD," says the Lord GOD, "when I am hallowed in you before their eyes.  24 For I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land.  25 Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols.  26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.  27 I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.  28 Then you shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; you shall be My people, and I will be your God.”

These accounts are certainly not talking of the world we live in now.  It describes a very different world.  This is a future time when Messiah, son of David, will be moved by the Creator to intervene directly in the affairs of this world and restore Israel.  Israel has not represented Him the way He wanted, but He evidently sees that they can be rehabilitated and He can use them to make an impression on nations worldwide. 

Destruction and Restoration

Of course, intervening will more or less mean taking control of the world.  Massive armies will be destroyed and the evil powers of the spiritual realm will be shut up (Rev 19:19-20:3, Zech 12:3-4, 9, 12-13).  After initial great destruction Messiah will move to restore and rebuild.  However events flow together, there seems to be no distinction between one of the 7 days of Tabernacles and another.

Zeph 1: 14The great day of the LORD is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the LORD: the mighty man shall cry there bitterly.  15  That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness,  16  A day of the trumpet and alarm against the fenced cities, and against the high towers.  17 And I will bring distress upon men, that they shall walk like blind men, because they have sinned against the LORD: and their blood shall be poured out as dust, and their flesh as the dung.

Amos 5:18  “18  Woe to you who desire the day of the LORD! For what good is the day of the LORD to you? It will be darkness, and not light.  19 It will be as though a man fled from a lion, And a bear met him! Or as though he went into the house, Leaned his hand on the wall, And a serpent bit him!  20 Is not the day of the LORD darkness, and not light? Is it not very dark, with no brightness in it?

2Pe 3:10  “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt (loosed) with fervent heat; both the earth (land) and the works that are in it will be burned up.”

Zech 14:1Behold, the day of the LORD is coming, And your spoil will be divided in your midst.  ...  3 Then the LORD will go forth And fight against those nations, As He fights in the day of battle. 4 And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, Which faces Jerusalem on the east. And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two, From east to west, Making a very large valley; Half of the mountain shall move toward the north And half of it toward the south. …8  And in that day it shall be That living waters shall flow from Jerusalem, Half of them toward the eastern sea And half of them toward the western sea; In both summer and winter it shall occur.

Eze 36:36  "Then the nations which are left all around you shall know that I, the LORD, have rebuilt the ruined places and planted what was desolate. I, the LORD, have spoken it, and I will do it."

After the initial judgment of Messiah on this evil world He will begin to restore this world.  This doesn’t seem to be a restoration that starts slowly with a climax toward the end relating to a great 7th day of salvation.  The entire period of Messiah’s reign on earth is pictured as a time of rebuilding, movement of the spirit and pervasiveness of the knowledge of Messiah.  The witnesses in Scripture are too numerous to mention.

Joel 2:25  "So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, The crawling locust, The consuming locust, And the chewing locust, My great army which I sent among you.  26 You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, And praise the name of the LORD your God, Who has dealt wondrously with you; And My people shall never be put to shame.  27 Then you shall know that I am in the midst of Israel: I am the LORD your God And there is no other. My people shall never be put to shame.  28 "And it shall come to pass afterward That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your old men shall dream dreams, Your young men shall see visions.  29 And also on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days.”  

Hab 2:14  “For the earth will be filled With the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, As the waters cover the sea.”

Jer 31:27 ¶  "Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, that I will sow the house of Israel and the house of Judah with the seed of man and the seed of beast.  28  "And it shall come to pass, that as I have watched over them to pluck up, to break down, to throw down, to destroy, and to afflict, so I will watch over them to build and to plant, says the LORD….  33 But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.  34 No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more."

Isa 65:8  ‘Thus says the LORD: "As the new wine is found in the cluster, And one says, ‘Do not destroy it, For a blessing is in it,’ So will I do for My servants’ sake, That I may not destroy them all.  9 I will bring forth descendants from Jacob, And from Judah an heir of My mountains; My elect shall inherit it, And My servants shall dwell there…. 16  So that he who blesses himself in the earth Shall bless himself in the God of truth; And he who swears in the earth Shall swear by the God of truth; Because the former troubles are forgotten, And because they are hidden from My eyes.  17 For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; And the former shall not be remembered or come to mind.  18 But be glad and rejoice forever in what I create; For behold, I create Jerusalem as a rejoicing, And her people a joy.  19 I will rejoice in Jerusalem, And joy in My people; The voice of weeping shall no longer be heard in her, Nor the voice of crying…21 They shall build houses and inhabit them; They shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit.  22 They shall not build and another inhabit; They shall not plant and another eat; For as the days of a tree, so shall be the days of My people, And My elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands.  23 They shall not labor in vain, Nor bring forth children for trouble; For they shall be the descendants of the blessed of the LORD, And their offspring with them.

The 1000 year reign of Messiah will be an unprecedented time of prosperity and peace.  Not only Israel, but other nations of the world will also seek to be a part of this restoration.

Many understand that during the Feast of Tabernacles people should dwell in ‘temporary quarters’ to remind them this life is temporary and Israel lived in tents.  In fact, man’s entire tenure on earth is temporary.  Is the Millennium temporary?  YES!  Messiah will be building a new earth, but it is still a physical earth for physical people, some of whom will die.  It still has days, months and years (Isa 65:20, 66:23).  People will plant crops and harvest them (Isa 65 above).  However, in Israel anyway, idolatry, lying, immorality or the many other plagues common to this life now will not be tolerated.  The earth will come to be a very different place from what we now experience.  So when it comes to being temporary the Millennium is just another segment of man’s temporary tenure on earth.

Millennium 7 days or 1?

Consider that Messiah talked about a number of things as He attended the Feast of Tabernacles recorded in John 7.   His topics include: His doctrine was not His, but it came from the One who sent Him (vs. 16).  Moses gave the Law, but they weren’t keeping the Law (vs. 19).  If someone’s flesh is circumcised on the Sabbath so the Law of Moses is kept why be angry if He purges what defiles and makes someone whole on the Sabbath? (vs 23)  I have not come on my own, but was sent from the One who is true.  You don’t know Him.  I am from Him (vss. 28-29).  I am going to Him and you cannot come there (vss. 33-34).

These messages do not seem to be geared toward the Millennium.  They don’t describe anything to do with a restoration or ruling Messiah.  Only the message on the last great day, the 7th day, has a special connection to the Millennium.  The spirit moved in New Testament times and our own times, just like the water pouring ceremony was enacted every day of the feast.  However, the spirit will move in a much more powerful way during the Millennium.  The Spirit will move to eliminate sin as the leaves were beaten off the willow branches the 7th day and the Spirit will be pervasive in the children of Israel enabling great salvation.

This author can find no indication in Scripture of a connection between a seven day period and one thousand years.  That connection in Tabernacles comes from our perception of the situation rather than any direct statements of Scripture. There are connections between one day and a thousand years (II Pet 3:8, Ps 90:4).  So a connection between the 7th day and the 1000 year Millennium is easier to support in Scripture than the 1000 years being represented by 7 days.

The 8th day looks forward to a new age of the presence of the Father on the earth and all things working together under His leadership.  Consider that human life on earth was originally in accord with the Father and His way.  That changed with ‘the fall’ of Adam.  Many have examined the Biblical record to determine the dates of Adam’s life.  Unfortunately this has not resulted in agreement.  The exact time of his ‘fall’ is also unknown.  Even if these dates were known we would probably still be guessing exactly when the first 1000 year ‘day’ of human separation began.   Generally it seems that humans have been in charge for about 6000 years.  The seventh 1000 years may be imminent.  

The chaotic state of the world and weapons of mass destruction also seem to be in place to fulfill some of the dire prophesies that will bring the return of Messiah.  So, from that perspective also the seventh 1000 years may be imminent.  

Consider that the seven days of the Feast of Tabernacles are intended to foreshadow the entire 7000 years of the age of human rule on earth.  The entire 7000 year tenure is a passing phase, a temporary existence.  The Creator and His spirit have been working during that entire time.  There is a first fruit harvest from those first 6 days or 6000 years, but His spirit will move in great power through Messiah in the 7th day or 7th 1000 years to prepare a great harvest and to enable salvation unlike on any other day.  The Millennium is the time of great salvation when Messiah will overthrow the works of men, restore the earth as it was originally intended to be and enable in men receptive minds toward their Creator.

The Sabbath day is a day of healing, refreshing and restoration.  Even so the 7th day of man will be a day of healing, refreshing and restoration.

Resurrection

Rev 20:4 And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. 5  But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 6  Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.”

This certainly indicates that after the first resurrection at the beginning of the Millennium there is no resurrection until after the Millennium, the 1000 years.  If the time of great salvation is during the Millennium what hope is there for those that are resurrected after that time?

Mat 3:12  "His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather His wheat into the barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire."

The Feast of Ingathering is the logical time when the harvest is gathered into the barn.  The residue is purged.  8th day events often include connections to purging and cleaning.  They don’t seem to have a direct connection to resurrection or teaching.

As it turns out the first phrase of Revelation 20:5 does not appear in two significant Greek texts of Revelation.  It is also absent from older versions of the Aramaic text of the Scriptures, the Peshitta (see also Holy Bible: from the ancient Eastern test, by G. Lamsa © 1933, renewed © 1968 A.J.Holman Co.).  The Sinaiticus (see transcription or original document) and Alexandrinus (frame132r) Greek text does not contain that phrase.  These are two of the oldest and most respected Greek texts.  Their only other rival, the Vaticanus text does not include the book of Revelation.  This brings into serious question the authority of that statement.  It would suggest the sentence was added to the text by a copyist.

The Lamsa text mentioned above reads: “…lived and reigned with their Christ these thousand years. 5 This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection; over such the second death has no power, but they shall be the priests of God and of his Christ, and they shall reign with him a thousand years.” (Rev 20:4e-6)

The flow of thought is really better without the comment about the rest of the dead.  This is another indication it was not part of the original text.

Without that sentence the account of the resurrection of the dry bones in Ezekiel 37 can be taken at face value with the text around it.  That surrounding text is all about the restoration of Israel in the Millennium.  Among other things, would it be a stretch to think “all the house of Israel, all of it” would include also the dead of Israel? 

Eze 36:10I will multiply men upon you, all the house of Israel, all of it; and the cities shall be inhabited and the ruins rebuilt”

Ezekiel 36 continues to explain that Israel will be brought back to their land from wherever they were scattered among the nations (vs. 24).  The Spirit will move and be instilled in the people (vs. 27).  The restoration of Israel will be a witness to all their neighbors that their Creator has returned and is behind their prosperity (vs. 37).  Ezekiel 37 continues with the resurrection of the dry bones.  They will also have the spirit instilled in them (vs. 14).  The chapter continues explaining that the houses of Joseph and Judah will be merged into one nation again (vs. 19, 22).  Ezekiel 38 continues with the rebellion of Gog and Maygog described in Revelation as occurring immediately after the 1000 year reign of Messiah and the Saints (Rev 20:7-10).

We can’t necessarily assume that sequential time order of the text is maintained by ancient Hebrew authors.  It could be that the dry bones resurrection is recorded here because it shows the movement of the Spirit as does Ezekiel 36.  However, the great day of the movement of the Spirit is the day of Hosanna Rabbah, the 7th day of the Feast of Tabernacles, which is likely the whole 1000 year reign of Messiah, the Millennium.   So both context and sequential order indicate this resurrection of Ezekiel 37 is a Millennial event.  Revelation doesn’t really contradict this.

Teaching the Resurrected

John 5:28Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,  29  And shall come forth; they that doing good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that practicing evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.”  (KJV + Scripture4All.org)

This quote is mainly from the KJV, but the verbs (doing, practicing) came from Scripture4All.org.  Scripture4All has a very literal word for word translation of the original Greek.  As such it’s not very readable, but it bends over backwards to supply the primary meaning of the Greek.  These verbs are Aorist participle.   A participle is an action in process.  Aorist generally gets its tense from the context.   

This very literal translation of these verbs indicates that these resurrected people may actually have an opportunity to be doing good or doing evil.  Consider that generally according to the Law if one steals he must repay double.  If one does that the Law is kept.  The theft is forgotten and everyone moves on. 

In the same way, the soul that sins shall die (Eze 18:20).  So when they die, haven’t they paid their penalty?  Wouldn’t those resurrected come up with a clean slate?  Anyone resurrected would need time to establish a new track record.  Under Messiah’s 1000 year reign without Satan to distort understanding (Rev 20:2) everyone can be taught the value of righteousness without prejudice.  This will take time.  There is time in the 1000 year reign of Messiah.  The examples of Scripture shown in 8th day events do not indicate any time for changing.  A final purge certainly takes place on the 8th day, but building a track record would need to happen before that. 

Acts 5:32  "And we are His witnesses to these things, and so also is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him."

The Creator doesn’t force His spirit into anyone.  People must want it and seek it.  This has been the way He has dealt with mankind from the beginning.  It takes time for us to see ourselves and repent.  Humans are slow to change.   There is learning taking place in millennial events during the 1000 year reign of Messiah (Isa 30:21).  8th day examples don’t include a time of teaching.

A resurrection of all dead during the Millennium would mean those who repent will be harvested during the time pictured in the Feast of Ingathering, Sukkot.  The Spirit of God moves in a powerful way especially on the 7th day.  There is a wave sheaf harvest, a first fruit harvest and a great ingathering harvest.  There do not appear to be any more harvests indicated in the special appointments of the Creator.

It has been estimated that as many as 100 billion people may have lived throughout history.  The destruction that occurs just before or at Messiah’s return will evidently decimate the population of the earth (Isa 24:6, Isa 13:11-13).  It seems unreasonable that the population could naturally recover to produce more than a few billion in even 1000 years.  Assuming the resurrected have a reasonable chance to repent of their conduct in their first life, in order for the great time of gathering in to be the Feast of Ingathering, it would seem that the dead would need to be judged before the end of the Feast of Ingathering/Sukkot, the Millennium.  If the dead were not resurrected until after the great ingathering was over, the potential number that could be redeemed could dwarf what was gathered during the great Ingathering. 

Without time for change the dead would simply be resurrected to be destroyed.  This would have no long term positive effect, but smacks of cold revenge.  The Creator’s ways are generally very logical, merciful and intentions clear.  A greater ingathering after the great Ingathering seems inconsistent with that approach.  This seems especially the case since there is no direct connection between 8th day events and any kind of resurrection, not to mention a harvest.

Time to change - Restoration

Earlier we quoted Isaiah 65 that has Messiah creating a new heaven and new earth.  We saw that after the traumatic, even cataclysmic return of Messiah to rule on earth He will move to restore. 

After that destruction certainly the earth will need to be restored.  ‘Civilization’ as we know it has polluted and corrupted the earth and the atmosphere.  It is likely Messiah will want to start with a clean slate on which to rebuild a peaceful and productive earth.  All the contaminants from the pollutants in the air to the garbage in the landfills will need to be destroyed and returned to elements usable to His natural creation. 

Likely the rivers that flow out from Jerusalem will begin the restoration process (Zech 14:8).  The land of Israel will be the early beneficiary. 

Eze 34:13And I will bring them out from the people, and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land, and feed them upon the mountains of Israel by the rivers, and in all the inhabited places of the country.  14 I will feed them in a good pasture, and upon the high mountains of Israel shall their fold be: there shall they lie in a good fold, and in a fat pasture shall they feed upon the mountains of Israel.  15 I will feed my flock, and I will cause them to lie down, saith the Lord GOD… 23  And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd…26 And I will make them and the places round about my hill a blessing; and I will cause the shower to come down in his season; there shall be showers of blessing.  27 And the tree of the field shall yield her fruit, and the earth shall yield her increase, and they shall be safe in their land, and shall know that I am the LORD, when I have broken the bands of their yoke, and delivered them out of the hand of those that served themselves of them.  28 And they shall no more be a prey to the heathen, neither shall the beast of the land devour them; but they shall dwell safely, and none shall make them afraid.”

Amos 9:11In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old:  12 That they may possess the remnant of Edom, and of all the heathen, which are called by my name, saith the LORD that doeth this.  13 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that soweth seed; and the mountains shall drop sweet wine, and all the hills shall melt.  14 And I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them.”

Isaiah 65 talks of Messiah restoring the earth.  Part of this is evidently making a people in whom He can rejoice in that they do what is pleasing to Him.  They live up to the standard the Creator intended from the beginning.

Isa 65:17 ‘“For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.  18 But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy.  19 And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying.  20 There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed.  21 And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them.  22 They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands... 25 The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, The lion shall eat straw like the ox, And dust shall be the serpent’s food. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain," Says the LORD.’

It appears that even the life expectancy will change and be restored similar to how it was before the flood or even before Adam’s sin.  It seems that someone dying at 100 years of age will be considered a mere child.  Note that one known to ignore the standards of the Creator after 100 years of life will be cursed.  Whether or not there will be a set length of time within which people must repent is not clear, but the curse of this sinner will likely ban him from Israel if not from life.

We should ask ‘why in this utopian society would ‘the child’ die at 100?’  Earlier in the verse it indicated there would be no children dying without living a full life.  Consider that the phrase “the child shall die an hundred years old” is parallel with “the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed”.  The ‘child’ that dies is the sinner in this parallel thought.  Those that respond to Messiah’s graciousness and live in accord with His standards will live a full life.  Those that don’t may not live a full life.  This would likely apply to those brought back from captivity as well as those brought back from the grave. 

Mat 3:12  "His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather His wheat into the barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire."

Mat 13:40  "Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age.  41  "The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness,  42  "and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.”  

The time for gathering the harvest would logically be represented by the Feast of Ingathering, Tabernacles.  It celebrates the harvest of the whole 7 days, i.e. 7000 years of mankind.  There is no indication in the appointments of the Creator of an additional harvest from the dead after the time of Ingathering.  The seventh day of Tabernacles is likely the day of great salvation, the Millennium.  The spirit of God will move powerfully at that time to convince both the living and the dead.  The contrast with the world we know will be undeniable.

Unfortunately, it appears some will not catch the vision of the Creator even at the end of the 1000 year reign.  The end of that age will see the elimination of those who refuse to learn the way of peace.