Sukkot – Unity in the Love of Messiah

 

The Hebrew word for Sukkot (Tabernacles) is סוכות ‘sukkot’ which is the plural form of סוכה ‘sukkah’ which means a dwelling place.  סוכה ‘sukkah’ comes from the root word סך ‘sok’ which literally means a protective covering as in the temporary dwellings which shepherds would put together from thorns, bushes and small trees while residing in the fields watching over their flocks.

 

Looking at the pictograph meanings of the letters in the word סוכה ‘sukkah’/סוכות ‘sukkot’ reveals what this protective covering points to.

 

The letter ס ‘samekh’ is a picture of a thorn which were used by shepherds to protect their flock and enclose/unify them together.  ס ‘samekh’ also has the meaning of piercing as in the sharp barbs of a thorn.

 

The letter ו ‘vav’ is a picture of a nail which is used to connect objects together.

 

The letter כ ‘kaf’ is the picture of the palm of the hand.

 

The letter ה ‘heh’ is a picture of a man with outstretched arms.

 

In the plural form, the letters ו ‘vav’ and ת ‘tav’ are added.  The letter ת ‘tav’ is a picture of a cross.

 

Sukkot is a picture of the sheep (mankind – John 10:16) being gathered together by the Good Shepherd (John 10:11-18) through His work on the cross.  His outstretched arms/hands were pierced on the cross revealing the love of God to mankind.

 

The Hebrew word for love is אהב ‘ahav’ which is consists of the outside letters  אב ‘av’ which means father and the middle letter ה ‘heh’ which has the meaning of revelation.  The Father’s love revealed.  In ancient Hebrew, the letter ה ‘heh’ was depicted as a man with outstretched arms, like unto Messiah on the cross. Again the love of the Father is revealed through the giving of His only begotten Son on the cross as an atonement for the sins of mankind (John 3:16).

 

Further connecting the Name of God to His character of love and the revelation of this love at Calvary is seen in the ancient pictograph meanings of the Sacred Name.

 

The pictographs of יהוה ‘Yahweh’ speak of Him being revealed through the nails in His Hands.

 

 

The Biblical feasts were designed to be shadow pictures of the Messiah (Colossians 2:17) who is the manifestation of God’s love (John 3:16).  They are yearly wedding rehearsals for His bride to keep them in His cycles of righteousness (Psalm 23:3) for the sake of His name/character which is love (1 John 4:8).  The feasts were designed to be outwards signs of His Word to the world.  This Word of God became flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:14), He is the fulfillment of these sabbaths, the Body of which these shadows were designed to lead to (Colossians 2:16-17).  The Word is the character/name of God (Revelation 19:13; Matthew 12:18-21 – Isaiah 42:1-4; Revelation 14:1; 22:4; Deuteronomy 6:6-8), which is love (1 John 4:8).  Built into the feasts/sabbaths is the will of God, the plan of salvation for mankind, not their condemnation (2 Peter 3:9; 1 Timothy 2:4).

 

Sukkot is a foreshadowing of the Most High “tabernacling” amongst mankind (Revelation 21:1-4; 22:3-4) where His people will see His Face and His Name shall be in their foreheads.  It is God’s name/character of love that is written in the heads of His redeemed people (Revelation 22:4; 14:1; 3:7, 12).  The prophet Ezekiel was shown that His mark is depicted in the letter ת ‘tav’ which was written in ancient times as the image of the cross (Ezekiel 9:4).  It is through the cross that Messiah Jesus reconciles mankind back to God unifying us in His love (Psalm 22:22; Hebrews 2:10-12; John 17:21-26; Ephesians 2:5-6, 13-22).

 

Unifying mankind in the love of God through Messiah is perhaps the most important message of Sukkot. Sukkot is a yearly remembrance that none of us are worthy (Romans 3:23), all of us are walking around in tabernacles (2 Peter 1:13-14; 2 Corinthians 5:1-4) of a fallen, carnal nature (Romans 7:24).  Only Messiah Jesus is worthy (Revelation 5:4-9, 12). We are only made worthy through His work (Colossians 1:22; John 17:19; Acts 26:18), and God working in us to present us blameless and sanctified in His sight (Philippians 2:13; Jude 1:24; Ephesians 5:26-27; Philippians 1:6; 1 Thessalonians 5:23).  As a result, we can rejoice for through Messiah Jesus we can be born again (1 Peter 1:23-25) unto righteousness and sanctification and delivered from this body of death. This blessed state comes not by our works, but by His mercy and grace, His working through us (Titus 3:5).

Our fleshly bodies are withering away, which is seen in plants during Autumn, yet we can rejoice for God has given us hope in Him (1 Peter 1:21-25).  As a result we should love one another as He loves us (1 Peter 1:22; 1 Corinthians 13:9-13) and receive one another unto His Glory (Romans 15:7).

None are worthy of Him or His gift of eternal life (Ecclesiastes 7:20; Romans 11:32; Galatians 3:22), we are only made worthy through the Lord Jesus by dwelling in Him and walking in His love (John 15:1-7).

 

We are saved by grace through faith because of God’s great love, not by our works (Ephesians 2:4-10).  All mankind is on the same footing regardless of their various religions and beliefs (Romans 2:10; 1 Peter 1:17-25).  We come to believe through Him working in us, not by our own righteousness (John 6:44; 10:29; Philippians 3:9).  We love Him because He first loved us, therefore we have no room to boast (Titus 3:3-5; 1 John 4:10, 19; John 15:16; Ephesians 2:3-5; Romans 2:23; 3:19, 27; 1 Corinthians 1:29-31).

 

We are sanctified and made worthy by Him, not by our works (1 Thessalonians 5:23; Ephesians 5:26-27; Jude 1:24) but by His works (Colossians 1:22; John 17:19; Acts 26:16).  He who sanctifies and they who are sanctified are one (Hebrews 2:11).  This unity comes through Jesus not by our knowledge of doctrine or religious movements or our “works”.

 

We perform His will by Him working through us, not by our power/works (Philippians 2:13; 2 Corinthians 3:5; Hebrews 13:21; James 1:16:18).  Therefore, we are to bow down before Him and not judge our fellow man (Philippians 2:1-16; Romans 14:9-13; Psalm 22:27; 86:9).

 

As a result, all things should be done “heartily” (Colossians 3:23-25) unto His glory (Romans 9:23-24; Philippians 1:11).  We have no right for boasting.  We have no justification for condemning others as we are all in the same position.

 

Messiah took upon Himself our debts on the cross and commanded us to take up the cross as well and follow Him (Matthew 10:21; Mark 8:34; Luke 9:23-25; 14:27).  We are now to be dead to sin and the debt it holds to walk in the freedom of His Righteousness (Galatians 2:20; 5:5:22-25; Romans 6:6-18; 1 Corinthians 6:20; 7:22-23).  As there is no longer any condemnation to those who have been forgiven their debt, we should no longer focus on condemning others (Romans 8:1-39).  Our focus should be on the ministry of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:14-21) and forgiveness (Matthew 18:23-35).  The purpose of this ministry of reconciliation is to gather in the harvest of which Sukkot celebrates (John 4:34-38; Luke 10:2, 20).

 

2Co 5:14  For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:

2Co 5:15  And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.

2Co 5:16  Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more.

2Co 5:17  Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

2Co 5:18  And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;

2Co 5:19  To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

2Co 5:20  Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.

2Co 5:21  For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

 

This is not to say we shouldn’t “judge fruit” (Matthew 7:15-20) and call a stone a stone and a dead branch a dead branch.  Yet, we must remember that God can raise up children from stones (Matthew 3:9) and He can graft dead branches into His olive tree of life (Romans 11:16-24).  We should not judge by appearance but judge with righteous judgment (John 7:24) and see one another as He sees us, who loved us while we were yet sinners and at enmity with Him (Ephesians 2:1-10; Romans 5:6-8).

 

We should put our focus on working out our own salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12) for it is He that is working in us according to His own pleasure (Philippians 2:13).  We should focus on obeying the voice of the Lord (John 10:16, 27) and being faithful to that which His Holy Spirit has convicted us of (John 16:8).  We should be prepared to give an answer for this hope in us in meekness and fear (1 Peter 3:15), not in condemning and finger pointing which comes not from the spirit of meekness but of pride.

 

Unity comes only through Messiah and the New Covenant in Him (Psalm 50:5; Isaiah 49:3-9; Hebrews 2:11; 13:20-21; Jeremiah 50:5; Ephesians 2:15; Colossians 1:20; 2:1-11) and walking with Him (1 John 1:3-7).  This unity will be manifested at His return.

 

Psa 50:3  Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence: a fire shall devour before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him.

Psa 50:4  He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that he may judge his people.

Psa 50:5  Gather my saints together unto me; those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice.

 

The Hebrew word for ‘gather together’ in Psalm 50:5 is אסף ‘asaph’ which is the same Hebrew word used in reference to Sukkot.   Sukkot is called the feast of “ingathering” {אסף ‘asaph’} in Exodus 23:16 and 34:22.

 

It is through Messiah that we are unified and sanctified by the body of His flesh through death (Colossians 1:20-22; Romans 7:25) and are delivered from our carnal body of sin and death (Romans 7:14).  It is through Messiah that we are delivered from this bondage and fear (Hebrews 2:15) unto freedom and joy (Romans 8:15-39).  It is only through Messiah that Sukkot can truly be a season of joy (Leviticus 23:40; Deuteronomy 16:14-15).

 

We have been delivered from the carnal flesh which is at enmity towards God and man who is made in His image (Romans 8:7; James 3:9).  We have been delivered from the carnal flesh which seeks to divide (1 Corinthians 3:1-4) and appoint man as head and not the Lord (1 Corinthians 3:4).  We no longer should live after the flesh (Romans 8:9-10) but live unto the will of our Father by the working of His Spirit (Romans 8:13-17).  His will is that none perish and all come unto reconciliation with Him.  This is the theme of the Fall Feasts (Yom Teruah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot).

 

In ancient times, the first step of making a blood covenant with another was the exchange of one’s robe or coat with their covenant partner.  Messiah took our garments of sinful flesh (Romans 6:6; Isaiah 53:4-5) that we might have His garments of salvation and righteousness (Isaiah 61:8-10; Romans 13:14; Galatians 3:27), that we might stand before God on judgment day, clean and spotless (Romans 5:2; 14:4; Ephesians 5:27).  It is through His actions and His actions only, that we can escape condemnation (Colossians 1:22, 28).

 

Sukkot reminds us that our earthly house/body will be dissolved but we have the promise of a heavenly house/body in which we can stand before Him on judgment day (2 Corinthians 5:1-10).  As a result, we are given the ministry of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:14-21) and not of condemnation (2 Corinthians 2:10-11; Ephesians 4:27).  As He died for all, we should no longer judge others after the flesh but look upon them as the Lord sees them (2 Corinthians 5:14-21).

 

The season of Autumn in which Sukkot occurs and the change of colors in the leaves of the trees during this time reminds us of these themes of Sukkot.  Each Autumn, the time of Sukkot, the leaves change colors reminding us of death which shall surely come yet there is hope in Messiah that through faith in His work on the cross we might be resurrected and delivered from death (Colossians 1:24; 2:14).  The green leaves that “resurrect” during Spring are a foreshadowing of this resurrection and reminds us that trusting in God and His Word is our only hope (Jeremiah 17:7-8).

 

The Hebrew word for leaf is עלה ‘aleh’ which literally means the lifting up of the yoke to place it on the shoulder.  Leaves are related to this “lifting up” as they are lifted high up in a tree.  The root of עלה ‘aleh’ is על ‘al’ which is the Hebrew word for yoke, in particular the yoke being lifted up and placed on the shoulder for work.  We can take upon us the yoke of Messiah and trust in His work (Matthew 11:28-30) or we can try to obtain salvation by our own works in which we will fade away and die in our sins (John 8:24; Acts 15:10; Romans 2:12; Galatians 2:16; 3:10).

 

Isa_64:6  But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

 

All nations are gathered and unified by Jesus who sanctifies us, not by our works or knowledge (Romans 15:16; 1 Corinthians 6:11; Hebrews 10:10-23).  As a result we are to walk in His love (Hebrews 10:24) towards all mankind (Galatians 6:10; 1 Thessalonians 5:15).  Sukkot is a foreshadowing of His return where those who are prepared and sanctified (Ephesians 5:26-27) will be called to the marriage of the Lamb (Revelation 19:7; Matthew 22:2-14).

 

Heb 2:11  For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren,

Heb 2:12  Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee.

Heb 2:13  And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me.

Heb 2:14  Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;

Heb 2:15  And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.


Rom 15:6  That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

As the leaves change color and fall to the ground, Sukkot reminds us that we should cast our crowns at His feet for we are not worthy but He is (Revelation 4:10).  As mentioned before, the Hebrew word for leaf is עלה ‘aleh’ which means to be lifted up but can also means to uncover or strip off the clothes as in the “lifting up” of clothing. All mankind is naked before Him (Hebrews 4:13) and must be clothed with His righteousness lest our shame be revealed (Revelation 16:15) and we be destroyed (Matthew 22:11-13).

 

We are to humble ourselves and bow down to Him at Yom Kippur, that we might rejoice with Him at His coming (Psalm 21:1; 149:2; Isaiah 25:9; 1 Thessalonians 2:19).  When Jesus returns to gather the harvest, He will be wearing a golden crown (Revelation 14:14; 19:12-13) and will give His people an incorruptible crown of glory/life/righteousness (1 Peter 5:4; James 1:12; 2 Timothy 4:8; 1 Corinthians 9:25) for they did not rely upon their works, but upon His (2 Timothy 1:9-10; Titus 3:5).  The return of the Lord at the great harvest is our hope, joy and crown of rejoicing (1 Thessalonians 2:19).  We will glory and rejoice in Jesus (Psalm 21:1-7) as kings and priests (Revelation 1:6; 5:10) kneeling before Him (Philippians 3:7-16) as every creature in heaven and in earth will worship Him (Revelation 5:11-14).

 

 

Sukkot & the Gospel

 

As mentioned before, Sukkot is a foreshadowing of the second coming of the Messiah and the marriage of the Lamb.  This is the encapsulation of the Gospel.  The Hebrew word for gospel is בסר ‘basar’ which means to bring good news.  בסר ‘basar’ also means flesh as a feast with meat was prepared in ancient times when good news was brought (Luke 15:20-24) and during weddings (Matthew 22:4).  The first use of the word בסר ‘basar’ is seen in Genesis 2:24 which is speaking of Adam and Eve becoming “one flesh”.  This was a picture of Christ and His bride (Ephesians 5:30-32).

 

Sukkot is a feast of joy in which we can sing and bless the name of God, bearing forth the gospel of His salvation, the Lord Jesus.

 

Psa 96:2  Sing to Jehovah; bless His name, bear news (בסר ‘basar’) of His salvation (ישועה ‘yeshua’) day by day.


Psa 145:10  All thy works shall praise thee, O LORD; and thy saints shall bless thee.

Psa 145:11  They shall speak of the glory of thy kingdom, and talk of thy power;

Psa 145:12  To make known to the sons of men his mighty acts, and the glorious majesty of his kingdom.

Psa 145:13  Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and thy dominion endureth throughout all generations.


Rev 5:8  And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.

Rev 5:9  And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;

Rev 5:10  And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.

Rev 5:11  And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands;

Rev 5:12  Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.

Rev 5:13  And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.

Rev 5:14  And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever.


Eph 3:1  For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles,

Eph 3:2  If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:

Eph 3:3  How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words,

Eph 3:4  Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)

Eph 3:5  Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;

Eph 3:6  That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:

Eph 3:7  Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power.

Eph 3:8  Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;

Eph 3:9  And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:

Eph 3:10  To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,

Eph 3:11  According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:

Eph 3:12  In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.

Eph 3:13  Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you, which is your glory.

Eph 3:14  For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

Eph 3:15  Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,

Eph 3:16  That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;

Eph 3:17  That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,

Eph 3:18  May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;

Eph 3:19  And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.

Eph 3:20  Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,

Eph 3:21  Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

 

This Mystery of Christ is the message of the Gospel.  The love of God for ALL mankind.  Love that breaks down the barriers and walls which man has set up to divide (Ephesians 2:1-22; 1 Corinthians 12:13).  Love that breaks down the wall of sin which has separated man from God (Isaiah 59:2; John 3:16; 12:32; Isaiah 49:6; Revelation 5:9).  This love is revealed in our actions towards our fellow man, not in our intellectual proclamations.  All of us see through a glass darkly which keeps us from seeing eye to eye (1 Corinthians 13:12).  The only remedy for this is love (1 Corinthians 13:1-13; 1 John 4:7-21).  Love and patience towards one another until the Lord returns and His salvation is fully revealed (Isaiah 52:7-10).  Love allows man to understand that we can have differences of opinions but ultimately if we abide in love we can dwell in peace and unity (Ephesians 4:2-16, 32; 5:1-2; Colossians 3:9-17).

 

Scripture declares that love of one’s fellow man is equated with love of God (1 John 4:11-12, 20-21) and is the fulfillment and purpose of His Word (Matthew 22:39-40; Romans 13:8-10; Galatians 6:2).  It does not say love of one’s fellow religious counterpart, but of one’s fellow MAN (Galatians 6:10; 1 Thessalonians 5:15; 3 John 1:11), even our enemies (Luke 6:35).  This love is manifested in service to one another (Galatians 5:13-14; 6:2; John 13:35; 1 John 3:16-19), in particular the poor and weak amongst us.  Sukkot is a feast which was designed with these very people in mind (Deuteronomy 16:13-15).  When Messiah returns and the harvest is gathered, it is acts of service unto the least which will display we are His sheep and not goats (Matthew 25:31-46).

 

Man was created in God’s image (Genesis 1:26-27) but that image was corrupted when Adam sinned.  From there man took up the image of Adam which still pointed back to God, but in a corrupted form (Genesis 5:1; 1 Corinthians 15:45-49).  Messiah came to earth in the very image of Almighty God (2 Corinthians 4:4; Colossians 1:15; Hebrews 1:3), who is love.  His life displayed that love and He calls all those who believe in Him to display that love as well (John 13:32; Galatians 5:13-14; 6:2; 1 John 3:10-11; Ephesians 3:17-19).  This is the essence of the concept of ‘Christ in us.’  It is through His love that man is formed into His image (Colossians 3:10; Romans 8:29) where there is no longer Jew or Greek, Barbarian or Scythian but Messiah is all and in all (Colossians 3:11).

 

Colossians 3:10  And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:

Colossians 3:11  Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.

Colossians 3:12  Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;

Colossians 3:13  Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.

Colossians 3:14  And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.

Colossians 3:15  And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.

Colossians 3:16  Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

Colossians 3:17  And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

 

 

Related Studies:

 

Shadows of Messiah – Autumn

 

All the Ends of the World Shall Remember

 

Pronouncing the Sacred Name

 

Sukkot – Feast of Tabernacles

 

Musings – Seek His Face & The Golden Rule

 

United We Stand Divided We Fall

 

Daily Tidbits 1/21/12 – Unity & His Glory

 

Daily Tidbits 1/19/12 – Unity

Daily Tidbits 1/20/12 – A House Divided Cannot Stand


Musings – United We Stand Divided We Fall

United We Stand Divided We Fall

blessing 4

Comments

comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *