Christian Churches of God
Feast of Ingathering or Tabernacles
(Edition 3.0 20030612-20070202-20111120)
This paper is derived from the paper Ingathering (No. 139) written by Wade Cox.
Feast of Ingathering or Tabernacles
The Feast of Ingathering is the third time in the year when we are commanded to leave our homes and come before the Lord. It is also called the Feast of Tabernacles or Feast of Booths. At these three times a year when we go before God to keep the Feasts, we are commanded to give an offering to Him.
Deuteronomy 16:16-17 "Three times a year all your males shall appear before the LORD your God at the place which he will choose: at the feast of unleavened bread, at the feast of weeks, and at the feast of booths. They shall not appear before the LORD empty-handed; 17 every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD your God which he has given you. (RSV)
Exodus 23:17-18 Three times in the year shall all your males appear before the Lord GOD. 18 "You shall not offer the blood of my sacrifice with leavened bread, or let the fat of my feast remain until the morning. (RSV)
We give our offering at the beginning of the Feast. The offerings are made then so that in early days the food could be distributed to help those attending who had nothing. Those in charge are expected to use the funds of the church to organise and supply the needs of the Feast. However the offerings dedicated to the Lord are not used for that purpose. Additional funds are provided from the second tithe to assist the poor. The church funds are also used to help those who do not have enough income of their own to attend the Feast.
Our offerings are now of money. When Christ returns and his system is set up, we will also bring our second tithes in produce to the Feasts. The offerings are given to the priesthood, the new Levites.
We can’t grow in knowledge and faith unless we do things the way the Bible tells us they should be done. What we have to do is faithfully obey. We are soldiers in the Army of God and are now in training so that we can arrive at a point where we can be useful to help Jesus Christ when he returns.
Where do we stay during the Feast of Ingathering?
Israel is commanded to live in booths for the entire Feast. Originally the booths were made of branches, but this was later reorganized around tentage, probably for environmental reasons and because of the larger number of people attending. We have now reorganized for the same reasons and stay in hotels or rented houses. Dwelling in booths, or being out of our homes, is mandatory for the entire Feast.
Leviticus 23:40 And ye shall take you on the first day the boughs of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and the boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook; and ye shall rejoice before the LORD your GOD seven days.
Leviticus 23:42-44 Ye shall dwell in booths seven days: all that are Israelites born shall dwell in booths: 43 That your generations may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your GOD. 44 And Moses declared unto the children of Israel the feast of the LORD. (KJV)
Hosea 12:9 mentions that Israel lived in tents during the Feast, and would again be made to live in tents. The children of Israel had to live in tents in the desert, to impress on them that they had to have faith in God and rely on Him. Leaving our homes to attend the Feast is a symbol of our faith in God.
Leviticus 23:33-38 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 34 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, the Fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the feast of tabernacles for seven days unto the LORD. 35 On the first day shall be an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein. 36 Seven days ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD: on the eighth day shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD: it is a solemn assembly; and ye shall do no servile work therein. 37 These are the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, to offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD, a burnt offering, and a meat offering, a sacrifice, and drink offerings, every thing upon this day: 38 Beside the Sabbaths of the LORD, and beside your gifts, and beside all your vows, and beside all your freewill offerings, which ye give unto the LORD.
Leviticus 23:39 Also in the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when ye have gathered in the fruit of the land, ye shall keep a feast into the LORD seven days: on the first day shall be a Sabbath, and on the eighth day shall be a Sabbath.
Leviticus 23:41 And ye shall keep it a feast unto the LORD seven days in the year. It shall be a statue for ever in your generations: ye shall celebrate it in the seventh month.
We no longer offer sacrifices of burnt offerings, as Messiah became our sacrifice forever when he was crucified on the stake.
Hebrews 9:26-27 For such an High Priest became us, Who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners and made higher than the heavens; 27 Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for His own sins, and then for the people’s: for this He did once, when He offered up himself.
Read also Hebrews 9:11-14; 9:22-26 and 10:10-12.
The Fifteenth day of the Seventh month is a full moon. God’s Law tells us that the months begin with the New Moon and the date of the Feast is then worked out by following this rule. To be able to keep God’s Feasts correctly, we need a calendar, and this is worked out for us by the Church. For more details on God’s Calendar see the paper God’s Sacred Calendar (No. CB20).
Why do we keep the Feast of Ingathering?
Leviticus 23:41 And ye shall keep it a feast unto the LORD seven days in the year. It shall be a statute for ever in your generations: ye shall celebrate it in the seventh month.
Leviticus 23:43 That your generations may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your GOD.
From these Scripture verses we learn why we keep this Feast and when we are to keep it.
When Christ returns the baptised adults still living will be changed to spirit beings. Also, the saints who have already died will be changed to spirit beings as they are resurrected.
However, the children are not forgotten in God’s Plan and are seldom told that they are going to be kings and priests, and that in the Great Harvest, the Great Ingathering, they will become the leaders of this physical world as they grow up.
So for all the young people who have wondered what will happen to them when Christ returns, there is a great message and blessing. We see that Ingathering is also a physical harvest and now is the time to start thinking about it, so that those involved will be well informed and well prepared.
The Feast is a symbol of our coming out of the world’s systems. Christ brought us out of Egypt into Israel. That was a physical sign of a future redemption. He brought us out once and he is going to bring us out again, spiritually and physically. We will join Christ at his return, but there is great work to do and we will take part in the harvest in that period. See also the paper God’s Holy Days (No. CB22).