During the Feast of Tabernacles I have been pondering various things. As I discovered the reason why there will be sacrifices during Christ’s millennial reign, I decided to explore the fuller pattern which led me to the ultimate sukkah. I won’t begin to share all of it with you but I can tell you that there is a progression that has been taking place over the millenniums. This is seen in many patterns.
This pattern originated with Adam and Eve lived in the Garden of Eden. It was a place where God came and walked among them and it would not surprise me if God told me it was in the shape of a square. Eventually, Sin came into the Garden of Eden and hid God’s face from man. Man had to be exiled from the Garden of Eden but God planned to correct this problem. Exile was a common feature in this pattern followed by times of God dwelling with His people.
In the time of the Exodus, God’s people dwelled in tents (sukkot) around the Tabernacle in the wilderness. At that time, God’s Spirit only dwelt within a few people known as prophets and God’s Spirit came to dwell among the others within the Tabernacle. In order to fellowship and worship God, people had to make sure they were ritually clean (tahor) before they could come to the Tabernacle and bring their offerings.
Since Jesus’ death and resurrection, God’s Spirit dwells within all believers—within the “tent” of their bodies (2 Peter 1:13-14). Galatians 5:25-26 commands us not only to live in the Spirit but also to walk in the Spirit. We assume this means we must produce the fruit of the Spirit instead of the deeds of the flesh but I think it also has a deeper significance that is more evident in the future. Meanwhile Paul has reminded us to purify or separate ourselves from anything that can defile our flesh or spirit and be holy (2 Cor. 6:14-7:1). This involves avoiding sin which defiles our spirit and following the dietary laws to prevent the defilement of our flesh (Lev.11:43-45).
First Corinthians 15:51-54 tells us we’ll be changed at the sound of the shofar and made imperishable. We don’t know exactly how we will be made different in preparation for Jesus’ millennial reign. It’s hard to say for sure if God’s Spirit will still be within the bodies of believers but Ezekiel 43:4-9 explains the Lord’s Spirit will fill the temple (Ezekiel’s) and He will dwell there forever. This is “forever” in the sense that He will dwell there until heaven and earth pass away.
When Jesus’ millennial reign is over and the New Jerusalem comes down to the new earth, the nations of those who are saved will walk in the light of the New Jerusalem which is also known as the Bride (Rev. 21:9). Remember, believers are living stones which are being used to build a spiritual house (1 Peter 2:5). The light that fills the New Jerusalem is the glory of the Lamb and God. In addition, the kings of the earth will bring their glory and honor into it (Rev 21:24-25). I believe their glory is a result of being separate from that which is unclean and a result of the production of the fruit of the Spirit in their lives.
The Most Holy Place of the original Sukkah in the wilderness (the Tent of Meeting) represents the New Jerusalem where Spirit-filled believers will walk in the light or glory of the Messiah whereas previously, men’s sukkot remained outside the Tabernacle/Temple area. The New Jerusalem (the Bride of Christ) is where people can dwell in complete unity with Jesus (the Light)–He in us and we in Him, in complete intimacy. Do you see how deep this concept is? Even now, individual believers are sukkot for the Spirit of the Lord but not on the same level of what is coming in the future.
Lastly, because God’s angels guard the gates of the New Jerusalem in Revelation 21:12, the New Jerusalem also represents the Bridal Chamber outside which the friend of the groom stands while the marriage is consummated in the historical Jewish wedding tradition.
Today we can’t fully see God’s glory that was seen by the people in the Tabernacle. We can only see His awesomeness in His creation including His children. As you spend time in a sukkah during the Feast of Tabernacles, ponder the light of God’s glory which is seen in this world God created. Imagine the glory of Jesus that was seen by those who watched Him perform miracles among them and by those who sat under His teaching. When you imagine the New Jerusalem, know that God’s glory exceeds that while enhancing it at the same time. When you step outside your sukkah, let God’s glory be reflected by you as you produce the fruit of the Spirit for God’s world to see.