Mo’ed: Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles/Booths) and the Marriage Supper of the Lamb

Biblical Tabernacle/Booth (Heb. Sukkah)

Leviticus 23:39 “On exactly the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the crops of the land, you shall celebrate the feast of the Lord [lit. Yahoah] for seven days, with a rest on the first day and a rest on the eighth day. 40 Now on the first day you shall take for yourselves the foliage of beautiful trees, palm branches and boughs of leafy trees and willows of the brook, and you shall rejoice before the Lord [lit. Yahoah] your God [lit. Elohim] for seven days. 41 You shall thus celebrate it as a feast to the Lord [lit. Yahoah] for seven days in the year. It shall be a perpetual statute throughout your generations; you shall celebrate it in the seventh month. 42 You shall live in booths [lit. sukkot] for seven days; all the native-born in Israel shall live in booths, 43 so that your generations may know that I had the sons of Israel live in booths when I brought them out from the land of Egypt. I am the Lord [lit. Yahoah] your God [lit. Elohim].” (NASB 1995)

The last of the appointed times (Heb. mo’edim) is known by a few names:  the Feast of Tabernacles/Booths (Heb. Chag Sukkot, or more commonly just Sukkot) and the Feast of the Ingathering (Heb. Chag HaAsiph).  In accordance with the calendar discovered among the Dead Sea Scrolls (DSS), this eight-day festival commences on the 15th day of the seventh month and ends on the 22nd — both on the fourth day of the week.  The first and eighth days are annual or high Sabbaths.  The first yom of Sukkot coincides with the “evening” of 10/2 and the “morning” of 10/3 of the pagan Gregorian calendar.

Let’s explore some of the Biblical passages referencing this festival.  The first mention of sukkot or booths is found in Genesis 33:17; it explains how the ancient settlement of Succoth derived its name:

Genesis 33:17 Jacob (Heb. Ya’akov) journeyed to Succoth, and built for himself a house and made booths for his livestock; therefore the place is named Succoth. (NASB 1995)

To add more detail to the key passage in the opening of this article:

Leviticus 23:33 Again the Lord [lit. Yahoah] spoke to Moses, saying, 34 “Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘On the fifteenth of this seventh month is the Feast of Booths for seven days to the Lord [lit. Yahoah]. 35 On the first day is a holy convocation; you shall do no laborious work of any kind. 36 For seven days you shall present an offering by fire to the Lord [lit. Yahoah]. On the eighth day you shall have a holy convocation and present an offering by fire to the Lord [lit. Yahoah]; it is an assembly. You shall do no laborious work. (NASB 1995)

As mentioned above, this festival was first referenced as the Feast of the Ingathering at the time of the Exodus (note that the article refers to this event as a “founding myth” although archaeological evidence proves otherwise) from Egypt — which had a second stop after Pi-Rameses at another Succoth in the Land of Goshen (Heb. Eretz Goshen):

Exodus 23:14 “Three times a year you shall celebrate a feast to Me. 15 You shall observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread; for seven days you are to eat unleavened bread, as I commanded you, at the appointed time in the month Abib [not Nisan], for in it you came out of Egypt. And none shall appear before Me empty-handed. 16 Also you shall observe the Feast of the Harvest of the first fruits of your labors [aka Latter Firstfruits or the Feast of Weeks (Heb. Shavu’ot] from what you sow in the field; also the Feast of the Ingathering at the end of the year [aka the Feast of Booths] when you gather in the fruit of your labors from the field. 17 Three times a year all your males shall appear before the Lord [lit. Yahoah] God [lit. Elohim]. (NASB 1995)

The three pilgrimage festivals (Heb. Shalosh Regalim) will be developed further below.  This passage reiterates two of the three:

Exodus 34:22 You shall celebrate the Feast of Weeks, that is, the first fruits of the wheat harvest, and the Feast of Ingathering at the turn of the year. (NASB 1995)

But, why are sukkot associated with this festival?  It all has to do with remembrance of the Israelites wandering through the desert wilderness for forty years — a generation — living in temporary dwellings (hence, the sukkot).  After all the miracles they had witnessed firsthand, they acted like insolent children who did not trust Yahoah nor follow His commandments:

Numbers 32:10 So the Lord’s [lit. Yahoah’s] anger burned in that day, and He swore, saying, 11 ‘None of the men who came up from Egypt, from twenty years old and upward, shall see the land which I swore to Abraham (Heb. ‘Avraham), to Isaac (Heb. Yitzhak) and to Jacob (Heb. Ya’akov); for they did not follow Me fully, 12 except Caleb (Heb. Kalev) the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite and Joshua the son of Nun (Heb. Yehoshu’a ben Nun), for they have followed the Lord [lit. Yahoah] fully.’ 13 So the Lord’s [lit. Yahoah’s] anger burned against Israel, and He made them wander in the wilderness forty years, until the entire generation of those who had done evil in the sight of the Lord [lit. Yahoah] was destroyed. 14 Now behold, you have risen up in your fathers’ place, a brood of sinful men, to add still more to the burning anger of the Lord against Israel. 15 For if you turn away from following Him, He will once more abandon them in the wilderness, and you will destroy all these people.” (NASB 1995)

Nothing has changed!  As do all religions, rabbinic Judaism (with Pharisaism being its precursor; see Matthew 23) changed the Word of God through false traditions (embellishments not found in the Scriptures), the precepts of men (manufactured theology), and doctrines of demons (assimilated paganism).  We were warned against these!  Look at how their forefathers complained and wished to return to Egypt under bondage, how even Aaron (Heb. Aharon) forged the golden calf not long after the crossing of the Red Sea, and even Moses‘ (Heb. Moshe[h]) disobedience impeded his entering the Promised Land!  It took the archetype of Joshua the son of Nun to lead the Israelites into the Promised Land just as Joshua the Anointed/Messiah (Heb. Yehoshu’a HaMashiach) — Yahoah incarnate — leads both Jew and Greek (Gentiles) to Salvation to this day!

An interesting observation often overlooked regarding v12 above is the symbolic rejoining of Jacob (aka Israel) and Esau through Joshua and Caleb.  Kenizzites were Edomites (from the future Idumea where the Herodian dynasty hailed), or sons of Esau.  For more on the Herods and eschatology, read my article entitled “Revelation Study: Mystery Babylon.”

Sukkot was also a time for the Law (Heb. Torah) to be read to ALL of Israel — men, women, and children:

Deuteronomy 31:9 So Moses wrote this law and gave it to the priests, the sons of Levi who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and to all the elders of Israel. 10 Then Moses commanded them, saying, “At the end of every seven years, at the time of the year of remission of debts, at the Feast of Booths, 11 when all Israel comes to appear before the Lord your God at the place which He will choose, you shall read this law in front of all Israel in their hearing. 12 Assemble the people, the men and the women and children and the alien who is in your town, so that they may hear and learn and fear the Lord your God, and be careful to observe all the words of this law. 13 Their children, who have not known, will hear and learn to fear the Lord your God, as long as you live on the land which you are about to cross the Jordan to possess.” (NASB 1995)

Verse 10 is referring to the sabbatical year when the arable land was to lie fallow; see Leviticus 25:1-7,18-22.  For more information on that practice, read my article entitled “Mo’ed: Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) and Future Judgment.”

When those of the northern Kingdom of Judah were released from the Babylonian captivity, Sukkot was restored as one of the appointed times:

Ezra 3:1 Now when the seventh month came, and the sons of Israel were in the cities, the people gathered together as one man to Jerusalem. 2 Then Jeshua [lit. Yeshua, shortened form of Yehoshu’a] the son of Jozadak and his brothers the priests, and Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel and his brothers arose and built the altar of the God [lit. Elohim] of Israel to offer burnt offerings on it, as it is written in the law [lit. Torah] of Moses, the man of God [lit. Elohim]. 3 So they set up the altar on its foundation, for they were terrified because of the peoples of the lands; and they offered burnt offerings on it to the Lord [lit. Yahoah], burnt offerings morning and evening. 4 They celebrated the Feast of Booths [lit. Chag Sukkot], as it is written, and offered the fixed number of burnt offerings daily, according to the ordinance, as each day required; 5 and afterward there was a continual burnt offering, also for the new moons [lit. chodesh; =months] and for all the fixed festivals of the Lord [lit. Yahoah] that were consecrated, and from everyone who offered a freewill offering to the Lord [lit. Yahoah]. (NASB 1995)

The reason why these FIXED festivals of Yahoah were reinstituted was that the sons of Israel “were terrified because of the peoples of the lands.”  In fact, these festivals are fixed on the same month, same day(s), and same day(s) of the week in perpetuity!  Revisit the Qumran calendar.  That is NOT the case with the Masoretic (Babylonian) calendar observed by the modern Jewry.  In fact, the fourth (or tenth!) month is named for the Babylonian deity Tammuz; that is an ABOMINATION (Exodus 20:3)!  Read the upper portion of my post entitled “Why explore the Qumran calendar?

Regarding the pagan tradition of marking months by the sighting of the first sliver of a waxing crescent immediately after a new or dark moon, read the lower portion of the same post.  God did not mark His months in that manner; see Lunar Cycles 1-3.

Further confirmation of the restoration of the appointed times is found in Nehemiah:

Nehemiah 8:13 Then on the second day the heads of fathers’ households of all the people, the priests and the Levites were gathered to Ezra the scribe that they might gain insight into the words of the law. 14 They found written in the law how the Lord had commanded through Moses that the sons of Israel should live in booths during the feast of the seventh month. 15 So they proclaimed and circulated a proclamation in all their cities and in Jerusalem, saying, “Go out to the hills, and bring olive branches and wild olive branches, myrtle branches, palm branches and branches of other leafy trees, to make booths, as it is written.” 16 So the people went out and brought them and made booths for themselves, each on his roof, and in their courts and in the courts of the house of God, and in the square at the Water Gate and in the square at the Gate of Ephraim. 17 The entire assembly of those who had returned from the captivity made booths and lived in them. The sons of Israel had indeed not done so from the days of Joshua the son of Nun to that day. And there was great rejoicing. 18 He read from the book of the law of God daily, from the first day to the last day. And they celebrated the feast seven days, and on the eighth day there was a solemn assembly according to the ordinance. (NASB 1995)

Note how the modern Jewry corrupts the TaNaKh (OT) through their version of the “four species.”  Compare that to v15.  Also, perform a Google search on sukkah images; none are as is described in the Scriptures.  They do not “follow the Law” as they proclaim; they do what is convenient like in most other religions; they desire to have their “ears tickled” (2 Timothy 4:1-5 concentrating on v3).  Also, v17b is significant:  “The sons of Israel had indeed NOT (emphasis mine) done so from the days of Joshua the son of Nun to that day.

Sukkot was also observed in the New Testament:

John 7:2 Now the feast of the Jews, the Feast of Booths, was near.

14 But when it was now the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the temple, and began to teach. 15 The Jews then were astonished, saying, “How has this man become learned, having never been educated?” 16 So Jesus answered them and said, “My teaching is not Mine, but His who sent Me. 17 If anyone is willing to do His will, he will know of the teaching, whether it is of God or whether I speak from Myself. 18 He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who is seeking the glory of the One who sent Him, He is true, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.

19 “Did not Moses give you the Law, and yet none of you carries out the Law? Why do you seek to kill Me?” (NASB 1995)

Verse 19a bears repeating:  “Did not Moses give you the Law, and yet none of you carries out the Law?”  Again, some things never change!  Their actions did not live up to their lip service; that is how the Word is corrupted by “rabbinic sages” in the Babylonian Talmud (Heb. Talmud Bavli).  Babylonian calendar.  Babylonian Talmud.  Mystery Babylon!  Why else would Jerusalem be referenced as Sodom and Egypt (Revelation 11:8)?

Sukkot is also observed during Christ’s literal millennial reign, which will occur after the Great Tribulation but before Judgment Day when Satan is bound (Revelation 20:1-3):

Zechariah 14:9 And the Lord [lit. Yahoah] will be king over all the earth; in that day the Lord [lit. Yahoah] will be the only one, and His name the only one.

16 Then it will come about that any who are left of all the nations that went against Jerusalem will go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord [lit. Yahoah] of hosts, and to celebrate the Feast of Booths. 17 And it will be that whichever of the families of the earth does not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord [lit. Yahoah] of hosts, there will be no rain on them. 18 If the family of Egypt does not go up or enter, then no rain will fall on them; it will be the plague with which the Lord [lit. Yahoah] smites the nations who do not go up to celebrate the Feast of Booths. 19 This will be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all the nations who do not go up to celebrate the Feast of Booths. (NASB 1995)

To learn more about End Time events, read my article entitled “Revelation Study: An Overview of Eschatological Events.” (Hint:  This topic is not taught correctly in ANY modern church nor synagogue.)

As promised, this section will be wrapped up with a brief discussion of the three pilgrimage festivals (Heb. Shalosh Regalim; =three feet) required annually by ALL sons of Israel.  Why “three feet?”  Because if you remove a proverbial leg from a three-legged stool, it falls — meaning that these three festivals are the cornerstone of Judeo-Christianity:

Deuteronomy 16:1 “Observe the month of Abib [NOT Nisan!] and celebrate the Passover to the Lord [lit. Yahoah] your God [lit. Elohim], for in the month of Abib the Lord [lit. Yahoah] your God [lit. Elohim] brought you out of Egypt by night. 2 You shall sacrifice the Passover to the Lord [lit. Yahoah] your God [lit. Elohim] from the flock and the herd, in the place where the Lord [lit. Yahoah] chooses to establish His name. 3 You shall not eat leavened bread with it; seven days you shall eat with it unleavened bread, the bread of affliction (for you came out of the land of Egypt in haste), so that you may remember all the days of your life the day when you came out of the land of Egypt. 4 For seven days no leaven shall be seen with you in all your territory, and none of the flesh which you sacrifice on the evening of the first day shall remain overnight until morning. 5 You are not allowed to sacrifice the Passover in any of your towns which the Lord [lit. Yahoah] your God [lit. Elohim] is giving you; 6 but at the place where the Lord [lit. Yahoah] your God [lit. Elohim] chooses to establish His name, you shall sacrifice the Passover in the evening at sunset, at the time that you came out of Egypt. 7 You shall cook and eat it in the place which the Lord [lit. Yahoah] your God [lit. Elohim] chooses. In the morning you are to return to your tents. 8 Six days you shall eat unleavened bread, and on the seventh day there shall be a solemn assembly to the Lord [lit. Yahoah] your God [lit. Elohim]; you shall do no work on it.

9 “You shall count seven weeks for yourself; you shall begin to count seven weeks from the time you begin to put the sickle to the standing [barley] grain. 10 Then you shall celebrate the Feast of Weeks to the Lord [lit. Yahoah] your God [lit. Elohim] with a tribute of a freewill offering of your hand, which you shall give just as the Lord [lit. Yahoah] your God [lit. Elohim] blesses you; 11 and you shall rejoice before the Lord [lit. Yahoah] your God [lit. Elohim], you and your son and your daughter and your male and female servants and the Levite who is in your town, and the stranger and the orphan and the widow who are in your midst, in the place where the Lord [lit. Yahoah] your God [lit. Elohim] chooses to establish His name. 12 You shall remember that you were a slave in Egypt, and you shall be careful to observe these statutes.

13 “You shall celebrate the Feast of Booths seven days after you have gathered in from your threshing floor and your wine vat; 14 and you shall rejoice in your feast, you and your son and your daughter and your male and female servants and the Levite and the stranger and the orphan and the widow who are in your towns. 15 Seven days you shall celebrate a feast to the Lord [lit. Yahoah] your God [lit. Elohim] in the place which the Lord [lit. Yahoah] chooses, because the Lord [lit. Yahoah] your God [lit. Elohim] will bless you in all your produce and in all the work of your hands, so that you will be altogether joyful.

16 “Three times in a year all your males shall appear before the Lord [lit. Yahoah] your God [lit. Elohim] in the place which He chooses, at the Feast of Unleavened Bread and at the Feast of Weeks and at the Feast of Booths, and they shall not appear before the Lord [lit. Yahoah] empty-handed. 17 Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the Lord [lit. Yahoah] your God [lit. Elohim] which He has given you. (NASB 1995)

With as many times as the Tetragrammaton was employed in just this one passage, does anyone honestly think that we were to forget His Name because it was so sacred?  Absolutely NOT!  The commandment is:

“You shall not take the name (Heb. HaShem) of the Lord your God IN VAIN (emphasis mine), for the Lord will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain.” (Exodus 20:7; Deuteronomy 5:11)

He wants us to know Him, His Name, and to have a personal relationship with Him through prayer and obeying His commandments.

Note the use of Adonai in the HaShem reference above.  This is the reason why “the Lord” is translated for the Tetragrammaton.  Read further in that section:

“As pronunciation of the Tetragrammaton came to be avoided in the Hellenistic period, Jews may have begun to drop the Tetragrammaton when presented alongside Adonai and subsequently expand it to cover for the Tetragrammaton in the forms of spoken prayer and written scripture. Owing to the expansion of chumra (the idea of ‘building a fence around the Torah’), Adonai itself has come to be too holy to say for Orthodox Jews, leading to its replacement by HaShem (‘The Name’).” — Wikipedia, “Names of God in Judaiam,” “Adonai” section.

Again, false traditions and precepts of men exceeded what was required by manufactured Jewish law (Heb. Halakha).  In doing so, the TRUE pronunciation of the Tetragrammaton was lost and forgotten until the discovery of a DSS fragment in Greek, which confirmed that the Hebrew “vav” was pronounced like the Koine Greek “omega.”  He did say that He is the “Alpha and Omega,” right (Revelation 22:13)?  The Greek ‘Ιαω (iota-alpha-omega) is consistent with the Hebrew Yahoah.  Furthermore, reciting “Adonaiinvokes the Greek Adonis, who was synonymous with the Babylonian Tammuz.

“The annual wailing for Tammuz was very ancient and very widespread, even mentioned in the Bible (Ezekiel 8:14 and possibly Isaiah 17:10).  In the Levant Tammuz was called ‘adoni, ‘Lord’ — hence the Greek Adonis.” — Garder, John and John Maier, “Gilgamesh,” p.154

There is the Mystery Babylon tie-in again.  False traditions.  Precepts of men.  Doctrines of demons.  It is right before our eyes, yet most do not perceive it.

Returning to the Shalosh Regalim…  Why these three?  Let’s examine what has/will occur during these festivals in accordance with God’s calendar:

Passover/Unleavened Bread

Feast of Weeks/Latter Firstfruits

Feast of Tabernacles/Booths/Ingathering

  • Sukkot are symbolic the temporary housing during Israel’s 40-year wanderings through the desert wilderness after the Exodus
  • This is a great segue into the next section… The Marriage Supper of the Lamb!

The Marriage Supper of the Lamb

A Jewish Wedding Chuppah.  Photo courtesy of Wikimedia.

As Sukkot, or the Feast of Booths, is the last festival of the year, so is the Marriage Supper of the Lamb (of God) the last scene in the Book of Revelation.  Based on my article entitled “Revelation Study: An Overview of Eschatological Events,” we know that the following major milestone events will occur at some time in the future:

The Memorial/Day of Blasting/Shouting (Heb. Zichron/Yom Teru’ah) strongly points to the Second Coming and the commencement of Christ’s millennial reign, and the Day of Atonement (Heb. Yom Kippur) likewise points to Judgment Day as judgment is the flip-side of atonement.  By the process of elimination (but it is much more than that!), the Feast of Booths points to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.  As Christ was crucified on Passover — representative of an unblemished (sinless), one year old (His Earthly ministry lasted 1.58 years), male paschal lamb, that is how the moniker of the Lamb of God was applied.  This allusion was confirmed in the foreshadowing of John 1:29,36:

John 1:29 The next day he saw Jesus [lit. ‘Iesous; =Joshua] coming to him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is He on behalf of whom I said, ‘After me comes a Man who has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.’ 31 I did not recognize Him, but so that He might be manifested to Israel, I came baptizing in water.” 32 John [lit. ‘Ióannés] testified saying, “I have seen the Spirit descending as a dove out of heaven, and He remained upon Him. 33 I did not recognize Him, but He who sent me to baptize in water said to me, ‘He upon whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining upon Him, this is the One who baptizes in the Holy Spirit.’ 34 I myself have seen, and have testified that this is the Son of God.”

35 Again the next day John was standing with two of his disciples, 36 and he looked at Jesus [lit. Joshua] as He walked, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God!” (NASB 1995)

Before moving on, this passage requires further examination:

  • Note in v30b that John said “… for He existed before me.”  How can that be as we know that John was conceived EXACTLY six months prior to Christ on the 22nd day of the twelfth month on the first day of the week?  Many modern “theologians” and “Biblical scholars” state that the Scriptures do not explicitly convey the deity of Christ.  But, the answer to the question posed above is answered in the opening passage of the Book of John — specifically John 1:1-18.  In fact, the incarnate Christ is the preincarnate Yahoah — the firstborn of Creation (Colossians 1:13-20 concentrating on v15).  Even Christ’s Hebrew Name Yehoshu’a means “Yahoah saves;” they are one and the same.
  • In v29b, how can Christ “… take away the sin of the world?”  The incarnate Christ is the Suffering Servant of Isaiah 53.  He was the only sinless person conceived and born on this Earth — not Mary (Heb. Miryam) nor anyone else as some churches falsely teach.  Most Catholics assume that the Immaculate Conception refers to Christ — not Mary.  Only He is our Salvation and Redeemer through His Blood shed so that believers in Him may have eternal life (John 3:16-21 concentrating on vv16-17).
  • The “baptism of John” was nothing new under the sun.  Yochanan was performing a full-body immersion (Heb. tevilah/Gr. baptizó) in a gathering of “living water” with its source as a natural spring (Heb. mikveh).  The Jordan River (Heb. Nahar HaYarden) qualified as a mikveh as its source is the Banias spring at the foot of Mount HermonYochanan was overseeing full-body water immersions as these were converts to the “sect” called The Way (Heb. HaDerech), which is the TRUE church — to the Jew first and also to the Greek (Gentiles); see Romans 1:16.
  • What does v33b mean when it states that: “He upon whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining upon Him, this is the One who baptizes in the Holy Spirit?”  The Hebrew Mashiach and Greek Christos both mean “Anointed One.”  Yehoshu’a — immediately after His tevilah — was immersed in something that no king or priest of Israel could — He was anointed with the Holy Spirit while the rest were anointed with fresh olive oil and fine spices (Exodus 30:22-33).  The Scriptures also state that Christ immerses in Spirit and fire (Matthew 3:11; Luke 3:16).  Believers are immersed in the Holy Spirit; the destiny of unbelievers is the lake of fire (Heb. Gehenna) on Judgment Day.  Choose life and believe in Him!
  • In v34 it speaks of the “Son of God.”  Only two people in the entirety the Bible were bestowed with that title:  this first was Adam (Luke 3:38), and the second was Christ (numerous references).  The fallen angels of Genesis 6:1-4 concentrating on vv2,4 were also referenced as “sons of God” as they were created in Heaven on Yom Rishon.

Returning to the Marriage Supper…  Sukkah is translated as booth, canopy, hut, lair, pavilion, and shelter according to the New American Standard (NAS) Concordance.  In fact, several Hebrew words convey this concept. In the NT, the Greek word is skéné meaning a tent, booth, tabernacle, abode, dwelling, mansion, and habitation.

This is the only feast that employs a canopy (Heb. chuppah).  It “symbolizes the home the couple will build together.” A Jewish wedding is comprised of two distinct phases: 1) sanctification/dedication and 2) marriage.  The three occurrences of this word are found in:

All three passages may be found here for your convenience.

Okay, so who’s getting married, and who are the invited guests?  The answers to these questions reveal two more false teachings in Christianity.  This is what the Bible states regarding the Bride (of Christ) — the wife of the Lamb:

Revelation 21:9 Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and spoke with me, saying, “Come here, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.”

The New Jerusalem

10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, 11 having the glory of God. Her brilliance was like a very costly stone, as a stone of crystal-clear jasper. 12 It had a great and high wall, with twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels; and names were written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel. 13 There were three gates on the east and three gates on the north and three gates on the south and three gates on the west. 14 And the wall of the city had twelve foundation stones, and on them were the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. (NASB 1995)

Revelation 21 is provided within context for your convenience.

So, the Bride is definitely New Jerusalem — NOT the “body of Christ” (=the church/believers) as is erroneously taught in most Christian churches. There will be a New Heaven and a New Earth, and the New Jerusalem will descend from the former to the latter.  It’s the elect (=chosen ones/saints) who are invited to the wedding feast after the Judgment Day!  Folks, our domain is on Earth — whether the current incarnation or the New Earth that is to come.  WE DO NOT GO TO HEAVEN!  We have been deceived!  What does Revelation 19 state?

Revelation 19:7 “Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.” 8 It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. 9 Then he said to me, “Write, ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.’” And he said to me, “These are true words of God.” 10 Then I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, “Do not do that; I am a fellow servant of yours and your brethren who hold the testimony of Jesus [lit. Joshua]; worship God. For the testimony of Jesus [lit. Joshua] is the spirit of prophecy.” (NASB 1995)

If the church or body of believers were the Bride, then who would be invited to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb?

Now, read Matthew 22:1-14 and 23-30.  What do verses 14 and 30 say?

Matthew 22:14 For many are called [lit. invited], but few are chosen. (NASB 1995)

Matthew 22:30 For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. (NASB 1995)

The elect/saints/chosen ones will be “like the angels in Heaven” and “neither marry nor are given in marriage.”  Is Christ a liar or are our churches with their false traditions, precepts of men, and doctrines of demons?

This message is similar to the Parable of the Ten Virgins.  What is Christ Himself going to say to the majority who consider themselves “Judeo-Christians?”

Matthew 25:12 But he answered, ‘Truly I say to you, I do not know you.’ (NASB 1995)

Just imagine hearing those words uttered by the Son of God…  Wow!  Do those who will be resurrected from the dead or the living who will be caught up — IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE TRIBULATION — reside in Heaven?  NO!  We will tabernacle with Christ in the New Jerusalem on the New Earth after His millennial reign!  THAT is what the Scriptures state; anything else is a false teaching!

A parting thought…  Although we must take the Talmud with a HUGE grain of salt as was discussed earlier, the following does fascinate me.  Jewish eschatology expects that Leviathan will be slain and that her skin will be used as a covering for a sukkah. The most pertinent quote from that article is as follows:

“In the Talmud Baba Bathra 75a it is told that the Leviathan will be slain and its flesh served as a feast to the righteous in [the] Time to Come, and its skin used to cover the tent where the banquet will take place. The festival of Sukkot (Festival of Booths) therefore concludes with a prayer recited upon leaving the sukkah (booth): ‘May it be your will, Lord[/Adonai] our God and God of our forefathers, that just as I have fulfilled and dwelt in this sukkah, so may I merit in the coming year to dwell in the sukkah of the skin of Leviathan. Next year in Jerusalem.’

Folks, this great banquet on Sukkot is none other than the Marriage Supper of the Lamb between Christ and New Jerusalem described in Revelation!  I believe they got this one right… (although we still have a little more than 1,120 years to go!).

Be sure to read the companion articles in the Mo’edim (appointed times) and Agricultural Feasts series:

Shema Yisrael! (Hear, Israel!)

Copyright (C) 1995-2018, L. Alan Schuetz.  All rights reserved.

2 Timothy 2:15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. (NASB 1995)

HaDerech Scroll - Paleo-Hebrew

Afterlife: Believers’ Souls Do NOT Go to Heaven!

Ancient Concept of the Universe

Luke 16:23 In Hades he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and saw Abraham far away and Lazarus in his bosom. 24 And he cried out and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus so that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool off my tongue, for I am in agony in this flame.’ 25 But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that during your life you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus bad things; but now he is being comforted here, and you are in agony. 26 And besides all this, between us and you there is a great chasm fixed, so that those who wish to come over from here to you will not be able, and that none may cross over from there to us.’ (NASB 1995)

One of the biggest hoaxes that modern churches have thrust upon us is concerning the disposition of the soul after death — aka the afterlife. Almost universally, Christians will vehemently state the souls of deceased believers immediately go to Heaven, but that is NOT what the Scriptures state. So, if not Heaven, then where (if anywhere)?

Most Christians believe they belong to “New Testament churches;” therefore, they have no use for the Old Testament (OT). But, what did Christ say on this subject? Examine Matthew 5:17-19. Is He a liar? Have all things been fulfilled? If you think so, then why is there a need for His Second Coming?

In fact, this ALL revolves around His Second Coming and the appointed times (Heb. mo’edim) in the Fall — known by the Jewry as the Days of Awe. So, where do ALL souls go after death — both the righteous and the wicked? The Bible calls this specific place by three names:

  1. She’ol (65x in the OT);
  2. Hades (10x in the NT; 4x in Revelation); and
  3. Paradise (3x in the NT; this portion of She’ol/Hades is for believers in Christ only; see where Lazarus went in Luke 16:19-31).

To be perfectly clear, none of these is Hell (which is a misnomer) nor the false precept of Purgatory.

This is what the Bible states, and this is but a sampling of each:

The passage in Acts 2 is important as even Christ’s soul descended into the netherworld of She’ol/Hades/Paradise. Recall that He was dead and buried for THREE DAYS AND NIGHTS (15-17 Abib) in accordance with the sign of Jonah. [Note: The source passage is found in Jonah 1-2.]

Examine the Greek word translated as “Paradise” again; it is a park, a garden, an enclosure! The souls of both the righteous and the wicked DESCEND to the netherworld — using whatever name desired: Sheol, Hades, or Paradise.

Can you handle the truth? Judgment Day — aka the great and terrible Day of the Lord — will occur on a future Yom Kippur (=Day of Atonement). The flip-side of atonement is… JUDGMENT!

Those who are TRUE believers in Christ will be given Grace, which is a judicial pardon/clemency on Judgment Day after His Second Coming and Millennial Reign! (Yes, Judgment Day is a thousand years AFTER the Great Tribulation!). His First Coming — incarnate — was as the Suffering Servant of Isaiah 53 who brought salvation to the world. His Second is as the conquering priestly king of the order of Melchizedek (Heb. Malki-tsedeq; =my king is righteous[ness]) vanquishing all evil and establishing His Kingdom — where believers will ultimately reside — on the New Earth.

Those who do not believe in Him will be judged by the Law of Moses, found guilty, and will be thrown into the lake of fire known as Gehenna, thereby experiencing the second death.

Only three people, who were born incarnate on Earth, are currently in Heaven: 1) Christ, who was resurrected, transfigured, and ascended to the right hand of the Father; 2) Enoch; and 3) Elijah. The latter two are the witnesses (or the metaphorical lampstands [representing the Light of the Word] and olive trees [representing the anointing of the Word]) of Revelation. As ALL humans MUST die (i.e., the first death), the two witnesses will as well in Jerusalem; see Revelation 11:3-13.

Note: Jerusalem is spiritually called Sodom and Egypt in this passage. She is also called Mystery Babylon as rabbinic Jews follow the Babylonian calendar in which the fourth (or tenth!) month is named after the Babylonian deity Tammuz, put more faith in the Talmud Bavli (=Babylonian Talmud) than they do in the TaNaKh (OT), and recite Adonai for the Tetragrammaton which invokes the Greek Adonis (aka the Babylonian Tammuz). That’s why it’s necessary for an undefiled New Jerusalem to descend from the New Heaven to the New Earth. Also, the two witnesses are taken back up into Heaven after they are resurrected. Their bodies/temples were specially prepared (or at least Enoch’s was documented as being so); in the Book of Enoch, what appeared to be a hot coal was pressed to his lips to purify him. Focus on Revelation 11:5 if anyone desires to harm them before their time of prophesying is completed. They are no longer normal human beings as we know them.

After the wicked are thrown into Gehenna in perpetuity, the Marriage Supper of the Lamb between Christ and the New Jerusalem will commence on Sukkot (=Feast of Tabernacles); see Revelation 21:9-14.  For more on the End Times, read “An Overview of Eschatological Events.”

To recap, this is the order of the second resurrection that will occur just before Judgment Day; see 1 Corinthians 15:20-58. But, to reiterate the central theme of this discussion:

John 3:13 No one has ascended into heaven, but He who descended from heaven: the Son of Man. (NASB 1995)

So, there you have it, folks… The souls of the deceased — even the righteous/elect — are certainly NOT in Heaven. Not Adam, who was a literal son of God (see Luke 3:38); not Abraham; not Moses; not David; not Mary — NO ONE save Christ at this time.

Be sure to examine the articles, calendrical documents, maps, and figures in the following series:

Shema Yisrael! (Hear, Israel!)


Copyright (C) 1995-2018, L. Alan Schuetz. All rights reserved.

2 Timothy 2:15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. (NASB 1995)

HaDerech Scroll - Paleo-Hebrew