Festival Of Tabernacles

The Vine and the Branches
The Festival of Tabernacles is the last festival of the year.  This 7 day festival always occurs on the 7th month starting on the 15th and ends on the 21st of the month. There is also attached to this feast an 8th day that represents a related, yet distinct difference from the other 7 days. This festival has many rich meanings within it that will be discussed here. This feast is also known as the Feast of Booths because the Israelites dwelled in booths, tents, or tabernacles in the wilderness when God brought them out of Egypt. These coverings were temporary and corruptible. They used leafy branches to create these coverings. At the start of the 1st day of the feast, these booths were beautiful and covered with the fullness of the leaves on the branches. But because the branches were detached from the vine of the tree, they corroded and withered away over the course of the seven day festival. By the end of the festival, the booths no longer had leaves and were withered away and died. Without the nourishment from the vine of the tree, the branches were without hope of survival. So who do the branches represent and who does the vine represent?

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. John 15:5-6
(Jesus is the vine that sustains us. We are the branches that wither away and die without the vine. The Festival of Tabernacles reminds us yearly of this fact.)

The Eighth Day
While the Festival of Tabernacles is 7 days, it's really all about what those 7 days are leading up to. It's the 8th day that these proceeding 7 days point to. This 8th day is what the festival is all about. The temporary booths of detached branches represent our corruptible fleshly bodies. And the 7 days represent 7 thousand years of mankind dwelling within these corruptible bodies that eventually wither away and die. 
At the end of the 7 days, there is an 8th day with a very distinct difference from the other 7 days. All mankind no longer dwell in booths, therefore all of mankind no longer have fleshly bodies, but are given their eternal heavenly bodies. Therefore this day pictures the new heaven and new earth. This is when God makes everything new. It is the 1st day and beginning of all eternity. The plan of God is now complete, and this is the new beginning, the restoration of all things new. So just as new born babies are circumcised on the 8th day when their foreskin is cut off, which represents sin, we too are cut off from sin on the Eighth Day Feast because we are no longer in the flesh. We are spiritual beings with heavenly bodies filled with the Holy Spirit for all eternity. This new heaven and the new earth is the completion of the plan of God in restoring and redeeming his people back to himself for the rest of eternity. 

Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? 1 Cor. 15:51-55 (This is the 1st resurrection, but it shows the same thing that will happen at the great fall harvest resurrection. The great white throne judgment will occur and then soon after the new heaven and new earth comes on what is depicted by The Eighth Day Feast.)

For the generations to come every male among you who is eight days old must be circumcised. Gen. 17:12
 (The foreskin represents sin, it is cut off on the 8th day.)

And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly; 2 Peter 2:5 (Noah was the 8th person on the ark. He was the one accepted by God, and this marked a new beginning for mankind.)

“You must give me the firstborn of your sons. Do the same with your cattle and your sheep. Let them stay with their mothers for seven days, but give them to me on the eighth day. Ex. 22:29-30 (The 8th day is the day of acceptance of the Lord.)

The Lord said to Moses, “When a calf, a lamb or a goat is born, it is to remain with its mother for seven days. From the eighth day on, it will be acceptable as a food offering presented to the Lord. Lev. 22:26-27 (The 8th day or anytime after is when sacrifices and offerings are accepted by God. The first 7 days are all preparation

Do not leave the entrance to the tent of meeting for seven days, until the days of your ordination are completed, for your ordination will last seven days. What has been done today was commanded by the Lord to make atonement for you. You must stay at the entrance to the tent of meeting day and night for seven days and do what the Lord requires, so you will not die; for that is what I have been commanded.” Lev. 8:33-35 (The priests were cleansed and purified for 7 days all in preparation for the atonement sacrifice on the 8th day.)

“ ‘When a man is cleansed from his discharge, he is to count off seven days for his ceremonial cleansing; he must wash his clothes and bathe himself with fresh water, and he will be clean. On the eighth day he must take two doves or two young pigeons and come before the Lord to the entrance to the tent of meeting and give them to the priest. The priest is to sacrifice them, the one for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering. In this way he will make atonement before the Lord for the man because of his discharge. Lev. 15:13-15 (Ceremonial cleansing and purification lasts 7 days. The 8th day atonement is made.)

The Great Fall Harvest
This 7 day feast is also called the Feast of Ingathering because it occurs during the great fall harvest season that pictures the resurrection of the rest of mankind. This final resurrection, which will be the vast majority of people that have ever lived, occurs toward the end of man's 7000 years of dwelling in fleshly bodies on the earth, which is also toward the end of the 1000 year millennial reign of Christ. That is why the 7th and last day of the feast is considered the greatest day of the feast. This last day is when the great white throne judgment occurs spoken of in the book of Revelation. We no longer dwell in booths after this day because all mankind will have been resurrected at this point and either thrown in the lake of fire or been transformed into spirit beings. 

"On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” John 7:37-38. 

And just as the Israelites entered the promise land at the end of their time of dwelling in booths in the wilderness, mankind will enter into our eternal promise land at the end of our time dwelling in fleshly bodies.

Celebrate the Festival of Tabernacles for seven days after you have gathered the produce of your threshing floor and your winepress. Be joyful at your festival—you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, and the Levites, the foreigners, the fatherless and the widows who live in your towns. For seven days celebrate the festival to the Lord your God at the place the Lord will choose. For the Lord your God will bless you in all your harvest and in all the work of your hands, and your joy will be complete. Deut. 16:13-15

The Lord said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites: ‘On the fifteenth day of the seventh month the Lord’s Festival of Tabernacles begins, and it lasts for seven days. The first day is a sacred assembly; do no regular work. For seven days present food offerings to the Lord, and on the eighth day hold a sacred assembly and present a food offering to the Lord. It is the closing special assembly; do no regular work. Lev. 23:33-36
“ ‘So beginning with the fifteenth day of the seventh month, after you have gathered the crops of the land, celebrate the festival to the Lord for seven days; the first day is a day of sabbath rest, and the eighth day also is a day of sabbath rest. On the first day you are to take branches from luxuriant trees—from palms, willows and other leafy trees—and rejoice before the Lord your God for seven days. Celebrate this as a festival to the Lord for seven days each year. This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come; celebrate it in the seventh month. Live in temporary shelters for seven days: All native-born Israelites are to live in such shelters so your descendants will know that I had the Israelites live in temporary shelters when I brought them out of Egypt. I am the Lord your God.’ ” Lev. 23:39-43

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 Festival 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. Zech. 14:16-17