The Feast of Tabernacles and Amillennialism

Having been raised in a Church that believed in the literal interpretation of Scripture (for the most part), I grew up mostly familiar with the pre-Tribulation rapture teaching. Consequently I am often baffled when I am confronted with those who want to allegorize everything in Scripture.

Take, for instance, those who say that we are in the millennial reign of Christ right now. This is one of the teachings of Amillennialists. This philosophy, originating with Augustine, says that the millennial reign of Christ is occurring right now, and it will end with the rapture of the Church, as well as the separation of the goats from the sheep, and judgment day. Some of them seem to believe that there will be a literal Antichrist shortly before this time, though many teach that the various popes have been occupying the “office” of the Antichrist since Constantine.

Very frequently, though not always, you find that these people also teach that the Church is the Israel of God. This is known as replacement theology, where the Church replaces Israel, and all the Old Testament prophecies concerning Israel apply to the Church, unless they are negative, and then they still apply to natural Israel. I tackled this idea in my posts The Israel of God and The Israel of God Revisited.

While reading through Zechariah the other day I came across three unusual prophecies that should end the idea of replacement theology, unless you allegorize them, of course. Funny, I don’t remember any pastor ever preaching from this part of the Word of God. This is a prophecy of the millennial reign of Christ, which concerns the actions of the Gentile nations during this time;

16 And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles. 17 And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain. 18 And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, wherewith the LORD will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles. 19 This shall be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles. Zechariah 14:16-19

The nations which come against Jerusalem will include all the nations of the whole world, as we can see in Jeremiah 25:26, and in Revelation 19:19.

I have often noted that the bible repeats things for emphasis. Here we have three mentions that the feast of tabernacles will be celebrated by the Gentile nations during Christ’s earthly reign. This may be because this is the day that Jesus will return, to rescue Israel.

It may also be to commemorate the fact that God has left his mansion in Heaven to dwell in shacks (tabernacles) among men.

The question I have for those who think we are in the millennial reign right now is; How come you don’t celebrate the feast of tabernacles? I don’t know of any Christian denomination, except maybe the Jewish Messianic denominations, who keep this feast, but this prophecy is specifically for and about the Gentiles.  Yes, Israel is in the prophecy too, but they will already be in Jerusalem.  It will be the Gentile nations who make this annual journey.

Gentile nations who do not send representatives to Jerusalem to observe the feast of tabernacles, during the millennial reign, will be cursed with droughts and sickness. Does this happen today? There are droughts, and plagues, from time to time, but this is not because we do not observe this feast. No. None of the conditions outlined in these verses can be observed today.

The only answer is that this is a prophecy for another time, a time that is soon coming, but is not quite here just yet. More evidence that Jesus will return for a literal thousand-year earthly reign!

One little note of interest; It appears that some of our modern technology may make it into the millennial reign. Since every nation will be required to send representatives to this feast, and some of those nations are a long way away, some form of rapid transportation will be needed to get them to Israel. If we were to return to the era of sailing ships, and horses and buggies, a round trip from many nations to Jerusalem, and back, would take the better part of a year.

Of course this would also mean that the Gentile nations should have been celebrating this feast for the last 2,000 years, and yet we don’t have any evidence that this was ever done, or even attempted!

While I would never doubt the salvation of someone who claims to have been saved through faith in the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, I am certain that some eschatologies did not come from God. Preterism, Amillennialism, and Replacement Theology, appear to be prophetic schemes that were introduced into the Church with the purpose of causing confusion among Christians.

I am so often frustrated at the modern Church’s ignoring of the Old Testament. Most Christians don’t know what the Old Testament says, let alone believe it.  The New Testament is solidly built on the Old. In the book of Revelation alone there are over five hundred references to the Old Testament!

Here’s what Paul had to say about the Old Testament law and prophets;

But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets: Acts 24:14

About dknezacek

An average, ordinary guy. Author, husband, father, pilot, aircraft builder, test pilot, machinist, artist, just ordinary stuff that lots of people do. Don't forget bible student. Dan's passion is bible study, especially including the End Times prophecies.
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4 Responses to The Feast of Tabernacles and Amillennialism

  1. Sheryl says:

    Hi Dan! I was born again at home when I was twenty-three; just me and the Lord Jesus! I was immediately driven to the Old Testament-I couldn’t get enough of it! I had a head knowledge of the New Testament, and I started memorizing all scriptures, right after I got saved The OT was never even given a second thought as I grew up in a Christian home. Because of my OT background since being saved, it gives me a clearer prospective on current events-especially, in Israel and the whole middle east. I’m sad that the average Christian really only reads the NT- the whole Bible is necessary in the beautiful living tapestry of the scriptures. It is impossible to grasp the whole scope of biblical prophecy without the OT and the NT!

    Btw, about the scripture Zechariah 14:16-19, this old world is going to be turned upside down during The Tribulation Period, is it possible that the land masses will be pushed together as they may have been before the flood? Personally, I’m longing for a total pastorial setting during The Millinial Reign of the Lord Jesus Christ! 🙂

    • dknezacek says:

      Hi Sheryl,

      Sorry, somehow I missed your comment.

      Yes, actually the bible tells us that the mountains will fall at the return of Christ. This may be what is behind the increasing seismic activity today; it will culminate in the reversal of continental drift and the restoration of the early-earth conditions for the millennial reign.


  2. toddottt says:

    So the entire nation of Egypt is going to be punished with drought? According to the book of Revelation, by the end of the Millennium, the population of the earth will be “as the sands of the seashore?” How are all those people going to fit into city as small as Jerusalem, not to mention fit in the Millennial Temple? Yikes! It’s sure going to be crowded!
    The modern Church does not ignore the Old Testament. They interpret it based on the New.

    • dknezacek says:

      What? I think you are reading into my statements something that I did not actually say. Actually the nation of Egypt has had many droughts in it history.

      I don’t recall saying that this will happen in the future, but it wouldn’t surprise me.

      Personally I think Cairo will be destroyed in a nuclear blast, probably during the Psalm 83 war. I think Cairo is the city known as “the city of destruction” in Isaiah 19.

      After this the Arabs will sue for peace with Israel, and they will experience a period of prosperity. How long I cannot say, but it will be long enough that northern Europe will become jealous enough to attack. That attack is the Ezekiel 38-39 war, and it is the last gasp of western civilization before Armageddon.

      But I digress…

      The New Testament is solidly based on the Old. In fact there are 500 references to the Old Testament in Revelation alone. Jesus taught us how to interpret the Old Testament, on the road to Emmaus, and the Apostles disseminated that information throughout the New Testament. If we interpret as the Jews do we are ignoring the Master!

      A great many Churches do indeed ignore the Old Testament, while others treat it as if nothing has changed and we are still under the OT law. Both are incorrect.

      You are correct that we should interpret the Old Testament based on the New, but most don’t. The fact that the majority of professing Christians still think we are saved by faith-plus-works is a sign that we live in a time of great biblical ignorance.

      As to the population of the earth, the bible tells us that the mountains will fall at the return of Christ. This will reverse tectonic drift and effectively recreate the early earth, which will have much more land area allowing many more billions to live all over the world than is currently possible.

      By the way, the entire current population of the earth could fit within the city limits of Jacksonville Florida. This world is really very sparsely populated today. Oh I know places like Hong Kong are relatively densely populated, but just go a few miles north, and you hit the Gobi Desert which is a very big space and is very empty.

      Thanks for writing,


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