Jacob's Feast Day Pattern
Jacob's wilderness journey set a prophetic pattern for his descendants who later came out of Egypt and returned to Canaan after 40 years in the wilderness. One can follow the life of Jacob and see the feast days manifested in his journey, even though the feasts were not to be formalized into holy days until Israel came out of Egypt.
Jacob received the birthright and blessing in Beer-sheba, the "well of the oath," and from here he began his journey to the house of Laban in Haran. (See Gen. 28:10.) Beer-sheba represents Jacob's Passover experience, wherein he obtained the birthright.
Jacob at Bethel
From Beer-sheba he went to Luz, the "place of almonds." There Jacob had a remarkable dream, which led him to rename the place Bethel, the "house of God." This was Jacob's pentecostal experience. Almonds primarily represent watchmen. Almond comes from the Hebrew word shawked, whose root word is shawkad, "to watch or awaken." The almond tree was so named because it was one of the first to awaken after its winter sleep. We see this meaning in Jeremiah 1:11 and 12,
11 And the word of the LORD came to me saying, "What do you see, Jeremiah?" And I said, "I see a rod of an almond tree [shawked]." 12 Then the LORD said to me, "You have seen well, for I am watching [showked] over My word to perform it."
God never slumbers or sleeps, but watches over His Word to make certain that it is always fulfilled and understood at least by a few. God also calls watchmen such as Jeremiah to be caretakers of His Word. This is also the reason there were 22 almonds on the lamp stand in Moses' tabernacle. They signify the watchmen over the Word, which is God's light to the world. The number 22 signifies "light" in the Bible, and for this reason the word "light" appears 22 times in the Gospel of John. In fact, because there are 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet, the number 22 is associated with the Word, or the light of His Word.
The lampstand was located in the Holy Place of the Tabernacle, the place of Pentecost. As you recall, the outer court was the place of the bronze altar of sacrifice, where the sacrifices were killed. This speaks of the Passover experience as we begin our walk toward the full presence of God in the Holy of Holies. Crossing through the second veil into the Holy Place (Pentecost) we see the place of the lamp stand and other articles of furniture. In order for a person to be a true watchman, such a person must know God on a pentecostal level of experience. He must be filled with the Spirit, and not merely justified by faith. The lamp stand was filled with olive oil, by which the lamps burned and gave light to the room.
There is much more than one could say on this subject, but in this present study our purpose is merely to show that Jacob's wilderness journey led him to Luz, "almonds," which represents his pentecostal experience. There Jacob had a dream in which he saw a ladder reaching from earth to heaven, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon it (Gen. 28:12). Because people have thought of these "angels" as merely superhuman beings, they have missed the message here. Jacob had caught a vision of the essence of the Feast of Tabernacles, wherein we will put off the limitations of the flesh and be given the ability to move back and forth between heaven and earth. While this vision came as a part of Jacob's Pentecost, it was actually meant to be a foretaste of Tabernacles.
Jesus Himself alluded to Jacob's vision in John 1:51, when He told Nathanael,
51 And He said to him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, you shall see the heavens opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man."
Jesus here foretold the fulfillment of Jacob's prophetic dream. There would be little point to having angels climb up and down a ladder. The significance of the dream is that the day would come when the Feast of Tabernacles would be fulfilled, and a spiritual "ladder" would be set up between heaven and earth. Those who experience that feast would be able to move from spirit to flesh and back to spirit, even as Jesus Himself could do after His resurrection. But if we reveal everything here, we will have nothing further to say when we come to our section on the Feast of Tabernacles.
Getting back to Jacob's dream at Luz, keep in mind that he was sleeping at Luz. That is, he was sleeping in the place of "watching." While God needs no sleep, Jacob did. In the realm of Pentecost, the watchmen are still asleep in some way. That is, they do not have a full experience with God yet. They have yet to fully "awaken" to who God is and to understand the full Word and walk in its full light.
After he awoke, he made a vow to serve God. Again, this reminds us of Israel's vow to God at the foot of Mount Horeb, the place of Israel's first Pentecost. In Exodus 19:8 we are told what all the people vowed,
8 And all the people answered together and said, "All that the LORD has spoken we will do!" And Moses brought back the words of the people to the LORD.
What Jacob did at Luz (Bethel), his descendants did 263 years later at Horeb. This makes it clear that Jacob's experience at Bethel is a pentecostal story.
Why Was Jacob Financially Broke?
From Bethel, Jacob traveled to Haran, where he worked for his uncle Laban for 20 years. Jacob's parents had sent him to Haran not only to escape the wrath of his brother, Esau, but also to find a wife. (Gen. 28:6). Is it not strange, then, that Jacob arrived in Haran penniless and had to work seven years first for Leah and then another seven for Rachel? It was customary in those days to give a dowry to the bride's father or guardian to seal the contract. Surely Isaac would have given Jacob a generous dowry. Yet he was penniless when he arrived in Haran.
The Bible does not tell us what happened, but we do find an interesting account in the 29th chapter of the book of Jasher. Beginning in verse 30 we read,
30 And Isaac finished commanding Jacob and blessing him, and he gave him many gifts, together with silver and gold, and he sent him away. . . and Jacob was seventy-seven years old when he went out from the land of Canaan from Beersheba. 31 And when Jacob went away to go to Haran, Esau called unto his son Eliphaz and secretly spoke to him, saying, Now hasten, take thy sword in thy hand and pursue Jacob and pass before him in the road, and lurk for him, and slay him with thy sword in one of the mountains, and take all belonging to him and come back. . . .36 And Eliphaz came near to Jacob and he answered and said unto him, Thus did my father command me, and now therefore I will not deviate from the orders which my father gave me; and when Jacob saw that Esau had spoken to Eliphaz to employ force, Jacob then approached and supplicated Eliphaz and his men saying to him, 37 Behold all that I have and which my father and mother gave unto me, that take unto thee and go from me, and do not slay me, and may this be accounted unto thee a righteousness. 38 And the Lord caused Jacob to find favor in the sight of Eliphaz the son of Esau, and his men, and they hearkened to the voice of Jacob, and they did not put him to death, and Eliphaz and his men took all belonging to Jacob together with the silver and gold that he had brought with him from Beersheba; they left him nothing.
So Jacob escaped with nothing but his life and stopped in Bethel for the night. If we were to relate Esau's robbery to the prophetic patterns--even though this detail is not given in the Bible, we could easily see how this correlates with Israel's Red Sea experience on their way to Mount Horeb. Esau was called Edom (Gen. 36:8). Edom means "red." Even as Jacob's life was in great danger when Esau's son caught up to him, so also was Israel's life in danger when Pharaoh caught up to them at the Red Sea. But in both cases God delivered them.
Beyond this, the type and shadow tends to break down, because there is no evidence that Pharaoh actually did rob Israel of the gold and silver they had been given when they left Egypt. The type and shadow also breaks down because Jacob was a man in search of a wife and needed to have a dowry. On the other hand, Israel was the "wife" on her way to Horeb, where God was going to marry her. The dowry in this case was to be given by God in the form of spiritual gifts and the earnest of the Spirit.
For this reason, I believe, God saw fit not to include this particular detail in the story of Jacob's journey. Nonetheless, it is of historical interest to us, and in its own way supports the overall parallel between Jacob's wilderness journey and that of Israel.
Jacob in Haran
Jacob arrived at Haran, and when he met Rachel, he "lifted up his voice and wept" (Gen. 29:11). Why? Because he was so happy to see her? No, Jasher 30:9 says, "Jacob continued to cry because he had nothing with him to bring to the house of Laban." When Jacob met Rachel, it was apparently love at first sight, and he knew perhaps by divine revelation that she was the one he was to marry. However, having nothing to give her father for a dowry must have made him very unhappy.
Jacob then agreed to work for Laban for seven years as a substitute for a dowry for Rachel. At the end of seven years, Laban gave him Leah instead. Leah was Rachel's twin sister (Jasher 28:28), so Jacob did not know that he was marrying Leah instead of Rachel until the following morning. When Jacob confronted Laban about this, Laban gave the excuse that Leah was older and had to be given in marriage before the younger could be married. Laban then promised Jacob that he could also marry Rachel the following week, if he would agree to work for him another seven years. This he did.
Leah and Rachel represent two levels of love relationship. Leah was certainly the lawful wife of Jacob, but Jacob loved Rachel. In types and shadows, we find that Christians, too, have different relationships with Christ. Some are merely lawful Christians, in that they have gone through the steps of justification by faith. Others have a love relationship with Christ.
To put it another way, there are two words in the New Testament (Greek language) that are translated "love." One is phileo, or "brotherly love," and the other is agape, or "divine love." Brotherly love is good, but it is the sort of love that brothers and sisters have while they are young. It is a 50/50 relationship, a judicial love, where they learn how to respect the rights and property of their brothers. On the other hand, divine love is the pure, mature love that is unconditional. It is a love where neither husband and wife demand their rights, but seek how they may better meet the needs of their spouse.
This is the difference between Leah and Rachel. These different relationships with Jacob teach us also the difference between the Christian and the overcomer.
Insofar as Jacob is the classic overcomer and shows us how God trains people to be overcomers, we can see in this story how the overcomers-in-training attain first to the legal (fear) relationship with God, and later attain a true love relationship that casts out all fear. Learning to love is to move into higher levels of maturity in Christ.
Jacob's bondage to Laban may have seemed oppressive to Jacob, but God had ordained this bondage in order to teach him some valuable lessons--and to provide us with the proper types and shadows of Pentecost. Jacob was in bondage to learn to be a servant, because this was the essence of his pentecostal training that had begun with his "Bethel" experience.
Many years later, the nation of Israel was called out of Egypt into a wilderness to learn obedience to the voice and laws of God. Pentecost is a time when we learn how to be God's obedient servants. We learn to hear the voice of God, and to hear is to obey. It is not a feast wherein we rule and prosper, but a feast in which we learn obedience by the things that we suffer (Heb. 5:8).
Even so, Pentecost is also a time where we are called to develop the vision or dream of Tabernacles, even as Jacob dreamed of that experience at Bethel. The foretaste of the feast of Tabernacles is given at the beginning. For this reason, Israel's first stop in the wilderness was at Succoth ("Booths" or "Tabernacles"), and the people were told to dwell in booths during their long sojourn in the wilderness (Lev. 23:43). That is, they were to live in booths as a constant reminder that their home was not in the wilderness under the Feast of Passover or under the Feast of Pentecost. Their hope was in the Feast of Tabernacles, their true promised land.
Working for Laban was the equivalent (in the Biblical types) to Israel's dwelling in booths in the wilderness. How do we know? As we will see later, oil of frankincense is another Biblical type of the anointing of Tabernacles. The Hebrew word for frankincense is lebonaw. The root word is laban, which means "white" and speaks in Biblical types of the white robe, which is the righteousness of saints (Rev. 19:8), as well as the change of the body such as Jesus portrayed in His transfiguration in Matthew 17:2,
3 And He was transfigured before them; and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as light.
Moses then appeared talking with Jesus, because he, too, had experienced an early Tabernacles on the mount when he returned with his face glowing (Exodus 34:29). Elijah also appeared at the same time, because he had experienced another portion of the Feast of Tabernacles by being "caught up" in the whirlwind. We will have more to say about these individual experiences at the appropriate time. Meanwhile, we are showing that Laban means "white" and signifies the hope of Tabernacles even during the servitude of the Feast of Pentecost.
After 20 years of servitude, Jacob left Laban in the 21st year to return to Canaan. The timing of his release from servitude is very interesting, and perhaps even hints that he was familiar with God's Jubilee calendar. Whether or not he knew it is unimportant, however, since we are told specifically that God told Jacob when to leave (Gen. 31:11-13). God knew, and so God told him to leave on the 49th year of the 45th Jubilee.
Jacob was born in the year 2107 from Adam. This was in the 43rd Jubilee year. He died 147 years later on the 46th Jubilee. Jacob's release from bondage came during the final rest year (49th year) of the 45th Jubilee, and the following year returned to Bethel in the 45th Jubilee. The timing of these events in the life of Jacob are underlying proofs that Jacob was a pattern overcomer, trained by God, but showing us the path from "Jacob" to "Israel."
Esau, on the other hand, was Jacob's twin brother and shows us how NOT to be an overcomer. His life is a contrasting pattern in his character development. But as the ninth chapter of Romans clearly tells us, God chose Jacob and rejected Esau before the children were even born, in order that we might also know that God is sovereign in His choices as to who will be an overcomer to rule in His kingdom and who is raised up to be the opposition. The opposition is necessary to train the overcomers in faith and love, as we so clearly learn in studying the life of Jacob.
Jacob at Mahanaim
After Jacob left Laban's house, he stopped at a place called Mahanaim (Gen. 32:2). The name in Hebrew means "two camps." There he heard that Esau was coming to meet him with 400 armed men. Jacob was afraid and divided his family, flocks, and herds into two camps (Gen. 32:7). God used the situation to set a very important pattern for the fulfillment of the Feast of Trumpets, the first of the autumn feasts.
We have already shown how the Feast of Trumpets is the appointed time for the resurrection of the dead. We have also shown how God instructed Moses to make two trumpets. Blowing just one trumpet summoned the rulers of the people, while blowing both trumpets summoned the entire congregation (church). And so Jacob divided his household into two camps. This prophesies of two resurrections. It also prophesies of a division between the Leah company and the Rachel company--that is, the church and the overcomers.
Genesis 32:1 and 2 also tells us that Jacob was met by angels, God's host. We are given no further details, but it is enough to set the prophetic pattern of events at the coming resurrection of the dead. Jude 14 and 15 says,
14 And about these also Enoch, in the seventh generation from Adam, prophesied, saying, "Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones, 15 to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds which they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him."
This is, in part, a quotation from Deuteronomy 33:2, which speaks of God coming upon Mount Sinai in fire on that first day of Pentecost.
2 And he said, The LORD came from Sinai, and dawned on them from Seir; He shone forth from Mount Paran, and He came from the midst of ten thousand holy ones; at His right hand there was flashing lightning for them.
So the hosts of God coming at Mahanaim is an early pattern of God coming upon Mount Sinai, which is, in turn, the pattern of the second coming of Christ, as Jude tells us. Jude, however, tells us the purpose of His coming with many thousands of His saints, or holy ones. It is "to execute judgment upon all, and to convict the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds." Jude might have been familiar with the story of Jacob that is found in the Book of Jasher, for there we find more details of the heavenly host that Jacob saw at Mahanaim. Jasher 32:27-33 says,
27 And the Lord heard the prayer of Jacob on that day, and the Lord then delivered Jacob from the hands of his brother Esau. 28 And the Lord sent three angels of the angels of heaven, and they went before Esau and came to him. 29 And these angels appeared unto Esau and his people as two thousand men, riding upon horses furnished with all sorts of war instruments, and they appeared in the sight of Esau and all his men to be divided into four camps, with four chiefs to them. 30 And one camp went on and they found Esau coming with four hundred men toward his brother Jacob, and this camp ran toward Esau and his people and terrified them, and Esau fell off the horse in alarm, and all his men separated from him in that place, for they were greatly afraid. 31 And the whole of the camp shouted after them when they fled from Esau, and all the warlike men answered saying, 32 Surely we are the servants of Jacob, who is the servant of God, and who then can stand against us? And Esau said unto them, O then, my lord and brother Jacob is your lord, whom I have not seen for these twenty years, and now that I have this day come to see him, do you treat me in this manner? 33 And the angels answered him, saying, As the Lord liveth, were not Jacob of whom thou speaketh thy brother, we had not left one remaining from thee and thy people, but only on account of Jacob we will do nothing to them.
The account then tells how the second, third, and fourth company of angels met Esau as he rode toward Jacob. By the time Esau arrived at Jacob's camp, Esau had become quite a nice fellow, humble, subdued, and thoroughly frightened. He had experienced a total attitude adjustment from the time he left home with 400 men of war with intentions of killing Jacob to the moment of their actual meeting.
The angels, or hosts, in this story appear to represent people who are resurrected from the dead. These are the overcomers who have lived and died in years past. They are raised from the dead in order to assist those who are alive in the time of the end. All the overcomers are called to rule with Christ in the Age of Tabernacles, and this primarily entails a calling to judge the earth. This does not mean CONDEMN the earth, but to establish true justice among the rest of the world's population in accordance with the divine law. 1 Corinthians 6:2 says,
2 Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is judged by you, are you not competent to constitute the smallest law courts? 3 Do you not know that we shall judge angels? How much more, matters of this life?
The divine law was given in the days of Moses, and Israel had it in their possession for centuries. They failed to establish righteousness in the earth, not because the law was faulty, but because the administrators of the law did not know God and did not have the ability to apply the law with wisdom. Then the Church had the divine law in their Bible for nearly 2,000 years in the Age of Pentecost with hardly any more success than Israel in the Passover Age. But in both ages God was training a small remnant of overcomers who would know God and have His Spirit by which they could administrate the divine law in perfect wisdom. These are the hosts of God who will judge the ungodly, restrain all injustice, and teach all men the law and ways of God. Isaiah 26:9 says,
9 At night my soul longs for Thee, indeed, my spirit within me seeks Thee diligently; for when the earth experiences Thy judgments, the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness.
Even as Esau was restrained by the fear of God (and Jacob) from doing harm and violence to Jacob, so also will the overcomers restrain evil upon the earth in the Age of Tabernacles. Jesus said that in the regeneration the twelve apostles will be the Chief Justices of the Tribes of Israel in Matthew 19:28,
28 And Jesus said to them, "Truly I say to you, that you who have followed Me, in the regeneration when the Son of Man will sit on His glorious throne, you also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel."
We saw earlier from Paul's letter to the Corinthians that there will be other positions that the overcomers must fill in order to judge the world and even to judge angels. This is the meaning of the prophetic story of Jacob's experience at Mahanaim, where he saw the hosts of God.
Jacob at Peniel
When Jacob heard that Esau was coming with 400 men to kill him, he went out that night to pray. The story is told in Genesis 32:24-31,
24 Then Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him until daybreak. 25 And when he saw that he had not prevailed against him, he touched the socket of his thigh; so the socket of Jacob's thigh was dislocated while he wrestled with him. 26 Then he said, "Let me go, for the dawn is breaking." But he said, "I will not let you go unless you bless me." 27 So he said to him, "What is your name?" And he said, "Jacob." 28 And he said, "Your name shall no longer be Jacob, but Israel; for you have striven with God and with men and have prevailed." 29 Then Jacob asked him and said, "Please tell me your name." But he said, "Why is it that you ask my name?" And he blessed him there. 30 So Jacob named the place Peniel, for he said, "I have seen God face to face, yet my life has been preserved." 31 Now the sun rose upon him just as he crossed over Penuel, and he was limping on his thigh.
This event in the sequence of Jacob's wilderness journey represents the Day of Atonement, or the Jubilee. It was the day of decision for Jacob, and the outcome of this divine wrestling match was the most important turning point in Jacob's walk with God.
We have already shown how the twelve spies gave their evil report on this day. For them it was also a day of decision, whether or not they would declare the Jubilee and inherit the Promised Land. Israel refused to be obedient, and so they did not prevail as Jacob had done. They did not receive the blessing from the angel of God's face, or presence. So in this way they did not fulfill the works of their father, Jacob. It remains for us today to fulfill the prophecy of Jacob's experience at Peniel.
This was the place where Jacob received the name "Israel." In Dr. Bullinger's notes on this passage in The Companion Bible we read his comments on the meaning of the name Israel:
"Israel = God commands, orders, or rules. Man attempts it but always, in the end, fails. Out of some forty Hebrew names compounded with 'El' or 'Jah,' God is always the doer of what the verb means (cp. Dani-el, God judges).
In other words, Israel does not mean "ruling with God," as is so commonly thought. It means "God rules." God changed Jacob's name from "contender, supplanter, or heel-catcher" to indicate a change in his character. No longer is he contending with men, thinking that God is unable to establish his calling or give him the birthright and blessing. No longer does he think that God needs a helping hand from man to establish the kingdom on earth. Now Jacob realizes that he has been inadvertently contending with God all these years.
At Peniel Jacob learned the lesson of the sovereignty of God. He now learned that God had been behind both Esau and Laban, that God had raised up both of these men to afflict Jacob and teach him to stop contending with men. It was to teach him that God was not as helpless and dependent upon men as he had thought. Jacob and his mother had thought that disaster was about to occur when Isaac intended to give Esau the birthright. For this reason, they plotted to give God a helping hand and take the birthright by deceit.
Later, Jacob was upset because Laban was cheating him in his wages, but Jacob was intelligent enough to prevail over Laban as well. But at Peniel Jacob came face to face with God and received one of the most important revelations ever learned in the Scriptures--that God rules in the affairs of men, and that there is nothing any man can do to prevent the kingdom of God from being established in the earth. More than that, I believe he also learned that no man can prevent a believer from obtaining his calling, his birthright--that which God intends for him to do in the kingdom of God.
The next day, when Esau met him, Jacob-Israel told him, "for I see your face as one sees the face of God" (Gen. 33:10). Jacob could finally see the face of God in the face of Esau. No one can see God's face (presence) in Esau unless they see it by divine revelation and understand the absolute sovereignty of God. Do we see God in every circumstance? Or do we merely see the face of the devil in our adversaries? This is the revelation of Peniel, and this results in the name change from Jacob to Israel. This is a primary distinction between the believers and the overcomers. It is also necessary to have this clear revelation in order to judge the earth properly and equitably with no animosity against our "enemies."
Jacob lost the wrestling match with the angel, but in losing the battle against God, he won the battle against the ignorance in his own soul. Jacob prevailed, or succeeded. He did not succeed in overcoming God or converting God to his viewpoint. Rather, Jacob submitted to God's revelation and thus prevailed over the enemy in his own fleshly mind. Dr. Bullinger comments on the idea that Jacob "prevailed" over the angel, saying,
"prevailed = succeeded. He had contended for the birthright and succeeded (25:29-34). He had contended for the blessing and succeeded (27). He had contended with Laban and succeeded (31). He had contended with 'men' and succeeded. Now he contends with God--and fails. Hence, his name was changed to Isra-el, God commands, to teach him the greatly needed lesson of dependence upon God."
We must learn to turn the Day of Atonement into the Jubilee, which is the highest form of the sabbath rest. When we stop fighting Satan and start resting in God in all things, recognizing God as sovereign, rather than thinking the earth belongs to Satan, then and only then will we be able to enter God's rest.
Jacob at Succoth (Booths)
After Jacob's wrestling match and after his meeting with Esau, Jacob continued his journey, entering the Promised Land. Here he settled in Succoth (Gen. 33:17).
17 And Jacob journeyed to Succoth; and built for himself a house, and made booths [Hebrew, sukkah] for his livestock, therefore the place is named Succoth.
At Succoth, Jacob was finally back in the Promised Land, his inheritance. It is very appropriate, then, that he would call the name of the place "Succoth," Tabernacles, or Booths. In the sequence of feast days, the Feast of Booths, or Tabernacles, is the final feast day in the law's prophetic revelation.
Nothing further is said about this place, so we can glean very little information about the Feast of Tabernacles from this single verse. The main details of this feast must be obtained through other Bible laws and prophetic pattern-stories. Even so, we do learn one detail from the above verse that is usually overlooked. Succoth is a place where Jacob builds a house and the sheep remain in booths.
Years later, God told Israel to dwell in booths during their time in the wilderness. They were not to build houses until they entered the Promised Land. Jacob fulfilled this pattern, not building a house until he returned to Canaan. Also, God Himself lived in a tent (Moses' tabernacle) throughout the wilderness wandering. Only after they came into the land of Canaan did God instruct Solomon to build Him a house, that is, a temple.
In this we can see the progressive stages of our maturing and experiencing God. We must remain movable so long as we are still in the learning stages. Like Israel, we are to be led by the Spirit from one water hole to the next, learning different lessons at each stop. Each genuine revival in the past has been based upon a new revelation of truth that God has injected into the history of Christian thought. Many reject each truth, and many distort it later, not understanding it through the eyes of God--yet the truth always will stand the test of time. Meanwhile, we are called to remain movable, not fixed in our belief systems, thinking that we already possess the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
This is the weakness of most denominations. They are houses built in the wilderness, having fixed creeds that assume a full knowledge of truth far too early.
The fact that Jacob-Israel built a house in Succoth suggests the pattern that in the fulfillment of Tabernacles the overcomers will have a full knowledge of God by means of the fullness of the Spirit. The Apostle Paul prays for us toward that end in Eph. 3:14-19,
14 For this reason, I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, 16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man; 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.
The Feast of Tabernacles is the point where the overcomers will experience the fullness of God permanently. Prior to that appointed time we have remained under the earnest of the Spirit that characterizes Pentecost. At times some, like Moses, have been able to move into the experience of Tabernacles on a temporary basis, but no one has been able to enjoy it permanently.
In Pentecost we have not entered into God's highest rest (sabbath). Even as there are three sabbaths (the 7th day, the 7th year, and the Jubilee), so also are there three levels of rest which believers can experience. These rests correspond to the three feasts. The first two feasts are kept while we yet live in tents. The third is kept in a temple of rest.
During Israel's sojourn in the wilderness, God sought a resting place for the ark of the covenant and for the people of Israel. Numbers 10:33 says,
33 Thus they set out from the mount of the LORD three days' journey, with the ark of the covenant of the LORD journeying in front of them for the three days, to seek out a resting place for them.
Ultimately, God found a resting place in Solomon's temple, which is a picture of the fully-mature believer who has experienced the Feast of Tabernacles. God has been searching for a resting place in the earth for a long time. Solomon's temple was only a type and shadow of the true resting place that He desires in us. Solomon's temple was filled with the Spirit on the 8th day of Tabernacles (1 Kings 8:2; 2 Chron. 7:1-10).
We are God's temple today as a corporate body. God seeks to rest in us, even as we seek to rest in Him. When we, like Jacob-Israel, go to Succoth, we will then build our house and enter His rest in the highest sense. But the rest of the sheep and the goats will remain in booths, like Israel in the wilderness, for they will not yet be ready for the Feast of Tabernacles. Like Israel of old, the majority of the Church knows nothing of the Jubilee, nor can they clearly see the face of God in the face of their enemies. And so, like their predecessors under Moses, they will keep only a Day of Atonement. They will have to remain in tents for the age to come. They will have to learn obedience by the divine law at the hand of the overcomers, who are called to rule and judge the earth.