This week in our review of the Book of Mormon we’ll wrap-up our theme of sanctification and the fall holy days. Five days after Yom Kippur or the Day of Atonement, Israel was commanded to gather, build temporary shelters, sacrifice and live in booths for eight days. This annual gathering is called Sukkot or the Feast of Booths/Tabernacles. However, in a messianic fulfillment this annual gathering symbolized the age when Yehovah/Yeshua would return and rule over the righteous for a thousand years – the Millennium.
The Feast of Tabernacles and the Prophecy of Zechariah
The strongest indication that there is a connection between the Millennium and the Feast of Tabernacles is in the prophecy of Zechariah, which state that any nation that does not observe the Feast of Tabernacles shall receive no rain -
And Yehovah will be King over all the earth; on that day the LORD will be the only one, and His name the only one. Then it will come about that any who are left of all the nations that came against Jerusalem will go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of armies, and to celebrate the Feast of Booths. And it will be that whichever of the families of the earth does not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of armies, there will be no rain on them. And if the family of Egypt does not go up or enter, then no rain will fall on them; it will be the plague with which the LORD strikes the nations that do not go up to celebrate the Feast of Booths. This will be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all the nations that do not go up to celebrate the Feast of Booths. – Zech 14:9,16-19
(As a side note, this scripture indicates that those who are not in covenant with Yehovah at the beginning of the Millennium will be expected to come into covenant at some point. Those who refuse to come into covenant God will eliminate.)
Dwelling in Temporary Shelters
The primary action that we see here for those who observe the Feast of Tabernacles is building and living in the sukkah or booth for eight days. Yehovah declared that the sukkah was to remind Israel that He liberated Israel from Egypt to live under His sovereignty.
That your generations may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God. - Lev 23:43
When we live under the sovereignty of God,
we go where He leads us,
we live under His sovereign Law and
we submit absolutely to His sovereign Will.
In a messianic or millennial context, we do likewise
A Messianic Feast of Tabernacles
One of the correlations to the Feast of Tabernacles some commentators of the Book of Mormon make with the Feasts of Tabernacles is the gathering that King Benjamin calls in the Book of Mosiah. Let’s consider the address of King Benjamin as an example of what we could see in a Messianic observance of the Feast of Tabernacles – Mosiah 2-5
One thing that we should expect in an address given during a messianic observance of Sukkot is concepts that were included in the Day of Atonement – Yom Kippur – which is what we see here with King Benjamin. To review Yom Kippur, go HERE. When will look at the major themes in King Benjamin’s address this is what we see.
The Davidic Covenant
The first topic we see in King Benjamin address is that he is outlining various aspects of the Davidic Covenant as a Davidic King.
Establishes the Law – 2:3,4,13,17,20,21,22,24,41
The very first thing we see at Mosiah 2:3 is that animal sacrifice is made, which we see will occur in the Millennium as prophesied in the Book of Ezekiel – Ezek. 44-46. Though we see here these sacrifices are made according to the law of Moses, the performance of sacrifices in the Millennium will be different because Millennial Believers will live the Law rendering the sacrifices for personal sin inactive – Jeremiah 31:31-33.
Another interesting thing that we see mentioned here is that there were no prisons or slavery – 2:13, which seems to be something that we would see in the Millennium.
Establishes Peace – 2:4
Chosen by the People – 2:11
Notice here that King Benjamin was chosen by the people and not by higher level leaders.
Does not seek riches by being King – 2:12,14
Does not seek the praises of men – 2:15,16
Received specific commandments from God for his People – 2:31
Right to rule passes from father to son – 2:30,31
The Messianic Covenant
In chapter 3, we see King Benjamin teach on the Messiah’s redemption of Humanity.
Yehovah, the God of Israel, to take on a mortal body – 3:5
Mortal Yehovah to perform miracles, cast out devils – 3:5,6
Mortal Yehovah atones for the transgressions of Humanity – 3:7
Mortal Yehovah shall be called Jesus Christ, which is really a Greek form of the Hebrew name of Yeshua HaMashiach.
Yeshua (Jesus) is the creator of heaven and earth (physical creation) – 3:8
His mother shall be called Mary – 3:8
Yeshua saves Humanity from eternal physical death through His resurrection – 3:9,10
Yeshua redeems man from the transgression of Adam – 3:11
Believers to have faith and repent to receive a remission of sins – 3:12,13
Until of coursed they are changed and become sanctified.
The Law of Moses(sacrificial system) to be made full through the Atonement – 3:15
Humanity to be judged by their works – 3:24
Receiving a Fullness of the Law
In chapter 4, we see King Benjamin’s people receiving a fullness of the Law, which included primarily the Messianic Covenant. Though we don’t see all seven covenants listed in King Benjamin’s address, he discusses the one of primary importance here in chapter 4. Moreover, King Benjamin’s people have not yet been Born of God because they as yet have not been changed having overcome personal sin.
The people accept the Messiah’s Atonement – 4:2
The people receive a remission of their sins but as of yet have not been changed – 4:3,12;5:2
Continue to keep the Law – 4:6,14,15,28
The people come to a knowledge of God’s glory and will be filled with His love – 4:11,12
The people’s knowledge increased and they received a fullness of the Law.
The people will live peaceably with one another and to love one another– 4:13,14,15,16
Take care of the poor – 4:16-26
Watch your thoughts, words and deeds – 4:30
Born of God
In chapter 5, the Spirit wrought a mighty change in the people so they only do good continually – 5:2
“Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for the Spirit remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God” – 1 John 3:9.
The people enter a covenant to do God’s Will and to keep the fullness of His Law – 5:5,6
They receive the Baptism of the Spirit and become a new creation of the Spirit – 5:7
The people are Born of God – 5:7
The people to be Sealed – 5:15
The Last Great Day
When we look at the progression of concepts of a developing relationship with God that we see manifested in God's Appointed Times, the natural conclusion is to realize that relationship for all eternity, which is what we see at the eight and final day of Sukkot. Some consider the last day of Sukkot as a day that never ends - Eternity. Indeed, we can make that connection with Yeshua(Jesus) and eternity in the 7 chapter of John where he declares -
In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water - John 7:37,38.