Sukkot: Pointing Us To Future Fulfillment

We finished Rosh HaShana/Yom Truah, the Jewish New Year and the Day To Blow The Shofar, the first day of Tishrei, the seventh month, the month of fulfillment, and we blew the shofar, and considered the important things that the important shofar reminds us of, like our need to be spiritually alert while we wait for King Messiah Yeshua to return.

We searched our souls for the Yomim Nora’im – the 10 Days of Awe between Rosh HaShana and Yom Kippur and confessed our sins and turned back to the Lord where we needed to turn back. Now we are celebrating the last holiday of the seventh month – Sukkot – Tabernacles or Booths.

God is a great mathematician. There are numbers and mathematical relationships throughout nature. Numbers are found in the holidays, particularly the number seven. The number seven symbolizes completion. Sukkot is the seventh holiday in the seventh month, the holiday and the month of completion. The holiday lasts for seven days – a complete week. The theme of completeness is reinforced by the holiday starting on the fifteenth day of the month, when the moon is full. And the theme of completeness is further reinforced because Sukkot comes in the middle of the year, when the year is full. It takes place six months after the new year, Passover, and six months before Passover.

According to the Torah, for the third and final time of the year, Jewish men were required to go up Jerusalem and give thanks to God, particularly for blessing us with the harvest. We were to thank the Lord for providing for us, for giving us land to grow crops, seeds to plant, sun to shine on them, rain to water them, strength to harvest them.

We were instructed to build sukkot, booths, and live in them for seven days. We were commanded to take willow, palm and myrtle branches, and fruit, and wave them and praise the Lord, who is so good to His people, and be happy.

These booths that go up one week and come down the next remind us of the Exodus from Egypt. They remind us that our God can save a nation of slaves from a powerful nation like Egypt. They remind us that we were saved by God’s grace – not our ability to save ourselves. The booths remind us of our 40 years of wandering in the wilderness that resulted from our unbelief, our lack of faith, our disloyalty and our disobedience. These temporary and weak structures remind us that we are weak, frail creatures and our lives on Earth are short. Here we have no permanent home.

The booths also point us to the future. They point us to a greater Exodus that is to come, an Exodus from these ages of sin, rebellion, transgression, disobedience, sorrow, and domination by the forces of Satan and the demons, sin and the sin nature, and death.

The booths point us to the golden age of mankind, when King Yeshua returns to Jerusalem His capital and gathers the harvest of humanity into His glorious 1,000 year Millennial Kingdom (millennial means thousand years).

That’s what I want to focus on this morning – the future aspect of Sukkot: what the Millennial Kingdom will be like; and what life in the New Heavens and the New Earth and the New Jerusalem will be like. God gave the prophets of Israel many revelations about the Millennial Kingdom. Obviously with so much truth that the Lord gave us, it’s something that He wants His people to understand. Here are some of the key prophecies about the Millennial Kingdom, along with a brief summary of each.

Isaiah 2: Now it will come about that in the last days the mountain of the house of the Lord will be established as the chief of the mountains, and will be raised above the hills; and all the nations will stream to it. And many peoples will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; that He may teach us concerning His ways and that we may walk in His paths.” For the Torah will go forth from Zion and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And He will judge between the nations, and will render decisions for many peoples; and they will hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not lift up sword against nation, and never again will they learn war.

In the Millennial Kingdom, there will be a new world order. Jerusalem will be the center of world government. The Lord Himself will be there – and that will be in the Person of the Son of God. King Yeshua will be in Jerusalem. He will rule the world from there. He will teach the world from there. The nations will learn His Torah, His teaching, from there. He will end all warfare. Peace will prevail.

Isaiah 11: A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him – the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of might, the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord – and he will delight in the fear of the Lord. He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears; but with righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the Earth. He will strike the Earth with the rod of his mouth; with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked. Righteousness will be his belt and faithfulness the sash around his waist. The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them. The cow will feed with the bear, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox. The infant will play near the cobra’s den, and the young child will put its hand into the viper’s nest. They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the Earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his resting place will be glorious … He will raise a banner for the nations and gather the exiles of Israel; he will assemble the scattered people of Judah from the four quarters of the Earth.

During the Millennial Kingdom, a descendant of King David will rule the world. We know, of course, that that royal heir is King Yeshua. He will be filled with the Spirit of God, and the Holy Spirit will equip and empower Messiah to be a perfect ruler. The Spirit of the fear of the Lord will rest on Him. He will greatly respect, reverence and honor God, His Father. He will be full of wisdom, understanding, knowledge and wise counsel. His government will be characterized by justice, which is in contrast to the injustice which has characterized so many other governments. All of His decisions will be wise and right and fair. No longer will there be the poor and needy who are taken advantage of. The Son of David will be a firm ruler. He will judge the wicked quickly and decisively, even killing the wicked when He needs to. During His rule, nature will be transformed, returning to an Eden-like state so that animals won’t kill other animals. His capital city, Jerusalem, will be glorious. He will gather the scattered people of Israel back to the land of Israel. Under His government, the world will learn about God. All the peoples of the world will be full of the knowledge of the Lord, abundantly and fully, as the waters cover the sea.

Isaiah 65: I will create Jerusalem to be a delight and its people a joy. I will rejoice over Jerusalem and take delight in my people; the sound of weeping and of crying will be heard in it no more. Never again will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not live out his years; the one who dies at a hundred will be thought a mere child; the one who fails to reach a hundred will be considered accursed. They will build houses and dwell in them; they will plant vineyards and eat their fruit. No longer will they build houses and others live in them, or plant and others eat. For as the days of a tree, so will be the days of my people; my chosen ones will long enjoy the work of their hands. They will not labor in vain, nor will they bear children doomed to misfortune; for they will be a people blessed by the Lord, they and their descendants with them. Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear. The wolf and the lamb will feed together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox, and dust will be the serpent’s food. They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain,” says the Lord.

During the Millennial Kingdom, Jerusalem will be filled with happiness. God will be full of joy because of the righteous and happy condition of His people there. The Jewish people will be so close to God that we will know how to pray so that God immediately hears and answers our prayers. Nature will be transformed into an Eden-like state. There will be no sadness. There will be no premature death. Lifetimes will be extended. This age will be characterized by people being close to God, and by peace, prosperity, safety, happiness and long life.

Amos 9: “The days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when the reaper will be overtaken by the plowman and the planter by the one treading grapes. New wine will drip from the mountains and flow from all the hills, and I will bring my people Israel back from exile. They will rebuild the ruined cities and live in them. They will plant vineyards and drink their wine; they will make gardens and eat their fruit. I will plant Israel in their own land, never again to be uprooted from the land I have given them,” says the Lord your God. The Millennial Kingdom will be a time of abundant harvests; the restoration of the Jewish people to Israel; a time of building and planting; prosperity, peace and safety.

Jeremiah 23: “The days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land. In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. This is the name by which he will be called: Adonai Tzidkaynu – The Lord Our Righteousness. God the Father will cause a descendant of David to rule over Israel. Of course, we know that is King Yeshua. He will rule with wisdom and justice. He will save the Jewish people and enable us to live in safety. He is a human being, a descendant of David, but He is also divine – Adonai Tzidkaynu – the Lord who enables us to be righteous, so that we are able to be in a right relationship with God and able to live the right way.

Ezekiel 37: After giving Ezekiel a vision of a valley of dry bones turning into living people, the Lord said this: These bones are the people of Israel … I will bring you back to the land of Israel … I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land … My servant David will be king over them, and they will all have one shepherd. They will follow my laws and be careful to keep my decrees. They will live in the land I gave to my servant Jacob, the land where your ancestors lived. They and their children and their children’s children will live there forever … I will make a covenant of peace with them; it will be an everlasting covenant. I will establish them and increase their numbers, and I will put my sanctuary among them forever. My dwelling place will be with them; I will be their God, and they will be my people. The Jewish people will have a national resurrection; whereas we were scattered among the nations and spiritually dead, we will be given new spiritual life and gathered to Israel. God Himself, in the Person of the Son of God, will be living with us. King Yeshua, and possibly the resurrected King David, will be ruling the world from Israel. God will make a covenant with us that creates lasting peace, eternal peace. The Jewish population will greatly increase.

Zechariah 14: I will gather all the nations to Jerusalem to fight against it … Then the Lord will go out and fight against those nations, as he fights on a day of battle.

On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west, forming a great valley, with half of the mountain moving north and half moving south … On that day living water will flow out from Jerusalem, half of it east to the Dead Sea and half of it west to the Mediterranean Sea, in summer and in winter. The Lord will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one Lord, and his name the only name … Then the survivors from all the nations that have attacked Jerusalem will go up year after year to worship the King, the Lord Almighty, and to celebrate the holiday of Tabernacles. If any of the peoples of the Earth do not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord Almighty, they will have no rain … On that day holy to the Lord will be inscribed on the bells of the horses, and the cooking pots in the Lord’s house will be like the sacred bowls in front of the altar. Every pot in Jerusalem and Judah will be holy to the Lord Almighty, and all who come to sacrifice will take some of the pots and cook in them.

The Lord, in the Person of the Son of God, will return to Earth and save Israel from certain destruction. His feet will touch the Mount of Olives, which will be split in two. The geography of the area will change. Water will flow from Jerusalem east and west. King Yeshua will rule the world from Jerusalem. Everyone will know the truth about Him and His Father, the High King. The peoples from the nations who survive will be required to come to Jerusalem to celebrate this holiday, Sukkot, every year. The Jewish people will be very holy. The Temple will be rebuilt and sacrifices will be offered.

Although Israel is the center of the Millennial Kingdom, and very blessed, the other nations of the world will also be greatly blessed during this golden age. Romans 11: If the Jewish people’s transgression means riches for the world, and their loss means riches for the Gentiles, how much greater riches will their full inclusion bring!

Revelation about the Millennial Kingdom was not only given to the Jewish prophets who lived before Messiah arrived. Revelation was also given to Messiah’s representatives, the apostles whose writings are found in the New Testament. Here is the key New Testament passage on the Millennial Kingdom.

Revelation 20: John wrote: I saw an angel coming down out of Heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain. He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended. After that, he must be set free for a short time. I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Yeshua and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Messiah a thousand years … they will be priests of God and of Messiah and will reign with him for a thousand years. When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the Earth – Gog and Magog – and to gather them for battle. In number they are like the sand on the seashore. They marched across the breadth of the Earth and surrounded the camp of God’s people, the city he loves. But fire came down from heaven and devoured them. During the Millennial Kingdom, Satan will be prevented from influencing humanity. Those who were alive right before Yeshua returns and were martyred because of their faith will be resurrected and help Messiah rule on Earth. At the end of the Millennial Kingdom, Satan will be released and will deceive many people and cause them to revolt against King Yeshua. That rebellion ends in a fiery holocaust of the rebels.

While most Christians don’t believe these prophecies will be literally fulfilled so that Messiah Yeshua is ruling on Earth for 1,000 years, we do for the following reasons:

We go by the Golden Rule of Interpretation: “If the literal sense makes sense, seek no other sense – otherwise you get nonsense.” The literal sense is the preferred sense – unless there is a compelling reason to use a non-literal sense. There is no compelling reason not to interpret these prophecies literally.

In fact, there are compelling reasons to interpret these prophecies literally. Some of these prophecies don’t make sense apart from them literally being fulfilled in the Millennial Kingdom. For example, we know that there will be no death in the eternal state, so when else, other than during the Millennial Kingdom, can this apply? The one who dies at a hundred will be thought a mere child; the one who fails to reach a hundred will be considered accursed.

These prophecies must be literally fulfilled because the faithfulness of God is at stake. God made specific promises to a specific people about a glorious future time on Earth. God will be faithful to His promises, so the Millennial Kingdom must happen – otherwise God would be breaking a promise – which is impossible. If God won’t keep His promises to Israel, how can you be sure He will keep His promises to you?

Another thought: The Millennial Kingdom will allow time for the fullness of Israel and the nations to come in. Many human beings will be born during this time, people who will know the Lord and become the sons and daughters of God like we are, and join us in eternity.

After the Millennial Kingdom comes the final resurrection, the Day of Judgment, the destruction of this entire universe, followed by the creation of a new heavens and a new Earth and a new Jerusalem, into which the final harvest of humanity will be gathered. That is the ultimate fulfillment of Sukkot.

The key passage is Revelation 21 and 22: John wrote: I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children. But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars – they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”

John saw the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. It shone with the glory of God, and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal. It had a great, high wall with twelve gates, and with twelve angels at the gates. On the gates were written the names of the twelve tribes of Israel. There were three gates on the east, three on the north, three on the south and three on the west. The wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. The city was laid out like a square, as long as it was wide … 12,000 stadia in length, and as wide and high as it is long. The angel measured the wall using human measurement, and it was 144 cubits thick. The wall was made of jasper, and the city of pure gold, as pure as glass. The foundations of the city walls were decorated with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, the fifth onyx, the sixth ruby, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth turquoise, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst. The twelve gates were twelve pearls, each gate made of a single pearl. The great street of the city was of gold, as pure as transparent glass.

I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there. The glory and honor of the nations will be brought into it. Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

John also saw the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever.

The new Jerusalem is the capital of the new Earth.

It’s amazingly big: it’s a cube or pyramid shape, 1500 miles by 1500 miles by 1500 miles – about the size of the moon. Millions of people, probably billions of people, can live there.

It’s amazingly beautiful. It’s made of a kind of gold that is transparent like glass. This immense city shines with the glory of God.

It has wall, about 200 feet wide or 200 feet tall, or possibly 200 feet wide and tall, made of diamond or a diamond-like jewel and decorated with other jewels. The wall has twelve foundations, and on the foundations the names of the twelve apostles are written. Those twelve Jewish men are very important in the New Jerusalem and to the New Jerusalem.

The wall has twelve gates, with twelve angels guarding the gates, so that the city is protected. The twelve gates are made of twelve huge, pearls. On the gates the names of the twelve tribes of Israel are written. Those twelve Jewish men, and the tribes and people that came from them, are also very important in the New Jerusalem and to the New Jerusalem.

The city will be made ever more magnificent because through its twelve gates, the glory and honor of the nations will be brought into it.

A city needs a water supply, and the New Jerusalem has the best water supply. The water of life, as clear as crystal, flows from the throne of God the Father and Messiah the Son through the middle of the great street of the city, bringing continual life and refreshment to those who drink it.

On each side of the river stands the tree of life, bearing twelve crops, a new crop every month. Even its leaves are beneficial. They bring healing to the nations. Those who eat the fruit will experience unending life and pleasure.

These are some of the amazing things that will be in New Jerusalem.

There are some things that will not be there:

There will be nothing that causes us pain.

There will be nothing that causes us to cry. There will be no tears.

There is nothing to make us sad. There will be no sorrow.

There will be no death. Only unending, glorious life.

There will be no sea – which is chaotic and dangerous. Everything will be calm and orderly.

There will be no wicked people. The cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars will not be there. You don’t want to be cowardly, unbelieving, faithless, someone who does abominable things, a murderer, sexually immoral, someone who is involved in the occult or magic arts, an idolater or liar.

There will be no temple. There will be no barriers of any kind to separate us from God our Father and our elder brother and Lord Yeshua. We will have complete and unrestricted access to the Father and the Son.

There will be no need for any external light source like the sun or the moon, for the glory radiating from God the Father and God the Son will give light to the city.

There will be no night – no darkness which prevents us from seeing clearly and in which danger can lurk – only perfect clarity and safety.

There will be no closing of the gates since there will be no external dangers, since nothing evil will exist. Nothing impure, unholy, ungodly will ever enter that city.

There will be no curse – only unending health and blessing and prosperity and life and joy and peace.

All true. All real. Praise the Lord for Sukkot – and everything it teaches us, especially about its fulfillment in the Millennial Kingdom and in the New Jerusalem. Amen.