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God's Salvation Plan in the Biblical Feast Days

 8th Day of Assembly (Shemini Atzeret)
by Bill Wong

 


 


7.  8th Day of Assembly  (Shemini Atzeret)

 

The 22nd day of the seventh month, immediately following the 7 days of the Feast of Tabernacles/Sukkot:

 

Leviticus 23:36, 39

John 7:37-39 

 

 

Tanakh -

On the 8th Day of Assembly (8th day after the start of the Feast of Tabernacles), no water ceremony was performed as it was during the 7 days of the Feast.  Jews believe this Last Day represents God asking His people to remain with Him one more day, even after the 7 days of joyous festivity.

 

 

B'rit Hadashah (NT) -

What started in the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot) is finalized on this 8th Day. This feast symbolizes the fulfillment of God's salvational promise and His dwelling among us again – forever.  After the Fall final harvest is complete, everything is remade as the Almighty God and His only-begotten Son, the Lamb will dwell among all who are written in the Book of Life.

 

 

 

God will dwell again with His people forever in a new heaven/earth/Jerusalem:

 

Ezekiel 37:24-27

Isaiah 65:17-19

Revelation 21:1-7 

 

 

--- On the 8th Day of Assembly immediately after the end of the 7-day Feast of Tabernacles, God Himself will dwell forever with His people as the heavens and earth are made new and New Jerusalem comes down from God.  This 8th day after 7 (the number of perfection) days represents a complete renewal as can be seen with the new heavens and new earth, and the eternal New Jerusalem. This corresponds to the temple water ceremony in the past not being performed on the 8th Day after the start of the Feast of Tabernacles (it is only done in the 7 days of Tabernacles) – because God has fulfilled His promise of salvation for His people.  And as alluded to by the rabbis, it indeed does represent the final act of God for His people and that we spend even more time with Him; in fact – eternity with Him.  The 8th Day of Assembly is the final act in God's redemptive plan as God remakes everything and God Himself will be with us for all eternity.

 

Just like the 7-day Feast of Tabernacles parallels the 7-day week and both symbolize the 7,000 years since Creation in God’s plan of salvation where the 7th millennium = the 7th day Sabbath rest (as discussed in the previous article about Tabernacles), the 8th Day of Assembly symbolizes the time when after the 7,000 years, all heaven and earth will be remade and God dwells among His people forever. 


 

 

The Feast of Tabernacles and the 8th Day of Assembly is a two-stage process to change from the old heaven, old earth and Jerusalem to the new heaven, new earth and New Jerusalem.   The new creation only begins with the 1,000 year Kingdom of God the Messiah establishes upon His return.  He will restore Israel and make her the center of the world, His residence, as people will be able to live close to 1,000 years again as they once did in the early days of Genesis:

 

Isaiah 65:

17   " For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; And the former shall not be remembered or come to mind.

18   But be glad and rejoice forever in what I create; For behold, I create Jerusalem as a rejoicing, And her people a joy.

19   I will rejoice in Jerusalem, And joy in My people; The voice of weeping shall no longer be heard in her, Nor the voice of crying.   

20   " No more shall an infant from there live but a few days, Nor an old man who has not fulfilled his days; For the child shall die one hundred years old, But the sinner being one hundred years old shall be accursed.

21   They shall build houses and inhabit them; They shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit.

22   They shall not build and another inhabit; They shall not plant and another eat; For as the days of a tree, so shall be the days of My people, And My elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands.

23   They shall not labor in vain, Nor bring forth children for trouble; For they shall be the descendants of the blessed of the LORD, And their offspring with them.

24   " It shall come to pass That before they call, I will answer; And while they are still speaking, I will hear.

25   The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, The lion shall eat straw like the ox, And dust shall be the serpent's food. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain," Says the LORD.     (NKJV)

 

 

But the new creation of a new heaven, new earth and New Jerusalem only truly and fully occurs after the millennial Kingdom of God and the symbolism of the Feast of Tabernacles is complete with its final harvest.  The Feast of Tabernacles shows us that our earthly bodies are only temporary dwelling places/tabernacles, and it also shows us that even the 1,000-year Kingdom of God is temporary.  

The 8th Day of Assembly which immediately follows the 7-day Feast of Tabernacles (the 8th Day is virtually a part of Tabernacles, but is yet separate from it) completes God's plan of salvation as outlined by the holy days, when after the Great White Throne Judgment which is the final/Fall harvest of ingathering all who are in the Book of Life (the 2nd resurrection of Revelation 20:1-15), the Almighty will recreate everything anew.  After 7,000 years of preparation and cleansing or consecration (the 6,000 years of man plus the 1,000-year Kingdom of God), Shemini Atzeret, the 8th Day of Assembly represents a new beginning.  

As we read in the article about the Day of Atonement, the start of something new on the 8th day/year after a 7 day/year consecration period (a 7 + 1 pattern) is a consistent theme in the Bible.  For instance, circumcision of males occur on the 8th day (Genesis 17:12); the Levitical priests began their ministry only after 7 days of ordination (Leviticus 8:30-36; 9:1-7); and the altar of the Temple in the millennial kingdom is consecrated for 7 days before being used from the 8th day onwards (Ezekiel 43:25-27).

 

This 8th day, the 8th Day of Assembly after the start of the Feast of Tabernacles, symbolizes the end of this age altogether after the millennial kingdom.  All the harvests have completed; and Satan, sin and death are destroyed.  Indeed, because the 8th Day follows immediately after Tabernacles and is somehow considered part of it but yet separate, the events after the 1,000-year kingdom (the enemy being done away with, the 2nd resurrection of the Great White Throne Judgment, etc.) can even be considered as the beginning of the 8th Day. The 8th Day of Assembly ties up the restoration and salvation of all creation as the new heavens and new earth are created and God and His Son will live among us forever.  This 8th day is a new beginning, an everlasting beginning.

 

The 8th Day represents everything --- God's people and all creation, being remade and everything is now eternal.  No longer temporary are the tabernacles of our bodies and the tabernacles of our dwelling places, but we and all of creation are now remade and have eternal tabernacles, dwelling with and under the tabernacle of God and the Lamb.



Let us also be reminded as we touched on in the Feast of Tabernacles article, that God’s 7,000 years with man followed by His eternal dwelling among us is completely outlined in the Sabbath week and the 7-day Feast of Tabernacles with the 8th Day at the end:



7-day week


Days 1-6 = 6,000 years


Day 7 = the Sabbath = the 1,000-year Kingdom of God


After day 7 = Eternity in the New Jerusalem with a new heavens and new earth



Is the same as:



7-day Feast of Tabernacles


Days 1-6 = 6,000 years (man is fallen in sin and God cannot dwell among us; this time is used to reconcile mankind)


Day 7 = the 1,000-year Kingdom of God (the 7th millennium or last/7th set of 1,000 years) = the Sabbath


After Day 7 = Eternity in the New Jerusalem with a new heavens and new earth

 


In other words, the first 7,000 years of man are the 7 days of the Feast of Tabernacles and the 8th Day represents the 8th “millennium” which is really everything after the 7,000 years and is all eternity.  This is why after the 1,000-year Kingdom of God and Satan is destroyed, Revelation 21 opens with God eternally dwelling among His people forever in the new heavens and new earth, in New Jerusalem --- this is what Shemini Atzeret, the 8th Day symbolizes.  So we see that the 7 + 1 (8th) pattern of a new beginning after a consecration/preparation period, also applies to blocks of 1,000 years/millennia, as well.



Note:  This is why the belief that Sunday is the “8th day” and new worship day which replaces the 7th day Sabbath has it completely wrong.  The 7th day rest is both the 7th day Sabbath and the 7th millennium in the 1,000-year Kingdom of God, and they are for us to observe now as we can see from the truth that the 7th millennium has not even occurred yet (and remember, the Law endures longer than heaven and earth as Messiah says Himself in Matthew 5: 18   "For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished."   NASB).  We can agree that all is not yet accomplished.  So the Law, which includes the 7th day Sabbath is not obsolete and still applies to everyone, as do the Biblical feast days.

 

As strangers and pilgrims on this earth, we look forward to this 8th Day of Assembly as the ultimate fulfillment of God’s wonderful promises, because we know our citizenship is with God and Christ; wherever they are, that place is where we will be.  As pilgrims, we are just passing through our temporary dwellings as represented by the Feast of Tabernacles/Sukkot, but God has promised us an eternal homeland and an eternal city, and He will provide it on this 8th Day:

Philippians 3:

20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,    (NKJV)  

 

Hebrews 11:

13   These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.

14   For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland.

15   And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return.

16   But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.     (NKJV) 

 

 

 

As glorious as the Feast of Tabernacles is with Messiah dwelling among us during the 1,000-year Kingdom of God, it still is a temporary set-up preparing us for what is to come which is eternal. This transition from what is temporary (Feast of Tabernacles) to what is eternal (the 8th Day) is seen when the Bible tells us that God uses a copy and shadow of things to point to heavenly/eternal things; that which is earthly and temporary must come first, to then be followed by what is spiritual and eternal:

 

Hebrews 8:

5    They serve a copy and shadow of the heavenly things. For when Moses was about to erect the tent, he was instructed by God, saying, "See that you make everything according to the pattern that was shown you on the mountain."    (ESV, quoted from Exodus 25:40)

 

 

Hebrews 8:5 above applies to the millennial kingdom of the Feast of Tabernacles with the Law coming out from Jerusalem – it is a copy and shadow of New Jerusalem that will come down out of heaven from God.

 

This transition can also be seen by the fact that God shows us there are many things involved with the 7-day Feast of Tabernacles such as dwelling in booths and a total of 70 bull sacrifices, 14 rams and 98 male lambs; but yet God tells us almost nothing about the 8th Day of Assembly – for example, there is no description at all and just 1 bull sacrifice, 1 ram, 7 male lambs (see Numbers 29:12-38).  This absence of information about the 8th Day when compared to the Feast of Tabernacles which immediately precedes it, goes so far even to the point that of all of God’s holy days, only the 8th Day does not have a name and therefore why it is just called the 8th Day (all annual days are named: Passover; Day of Atonement; the Feasts of Unleavened Bread, Firstfruits, Weeks/Harvest, Trumpets, Tabernacles/Ingathering).  And even though it is a separate feast day, the 8th Day name is only called this, because it is connected to another feast (Tabernacles).

 

In other words, descriptions of and information about the 8th Day is missing; there are no specifics on what it is and how to observe it; it is even missing a name. 

 

However, it is actually in the very absence of specifics by which God tells us the meaning of the 8th Day and how truly transcendent it is.  For that which can be seen can be said to be temporary, but what is not seen points to those things which are eternal:

 

2 Corinthians 4:

18   while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.    (NKJV)

 

 

Indeed, father Abraham’s life consisting of his pilgrimage and unshakeable faith which we are to emulate reveals this truth as well.  Abraham, the father of the faithful, did not see the promised city; he did not see the promised heavenly homeland.  Nevertheless, he obeyed and lived and moved in temporary dwellings, always knowing that he was only a stranger and pilgrim on this earth, moving ever forward until he attains to that which he cannot see – the heavenly city and heavenly homeland God has prepared:

 

Hebrews 11:

8    By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.

9    By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise;

10   for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.

11   By faith Sarah herself also received strength to conceive seed, and she bore a child when she was past the age, because she judged Him faithful who had promised.

12   Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born as many as the stars of the sky in multitude --- innumerable as the sand which is by the seashore.

13   These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.

14   For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland.

15   And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return.

16   But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.    (NKJV)

 

 

Abraham’s life and pilgrimage is a picture of the Feast of Tabernacles and the 8th Day of Assembly.  He lived in temporary dwellings until he finally attained to the eternal dwelling.  It is the truth of the 8th Day deriving its name from and immediately following the Feast of Tabernacles/Sukkot which reveals to us everything we need to know about what the 8th Day of Assembly means.

 

Abraham knew that what cannot be seen (just like why the 8th Day seems to lack information on what it is and how to observe it) is the thing which is the most awesome thing of all.  Abraham is called the father of the faithful for a good reason.  The Biblical definition of faith is to be assured and convicted of things which are not seen, and knowing it is the thing which cannot be seen that is actually greater and more powerful than what can be seen:

 

Hebrews 11:

1    Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

2    For by it the elders obtained a good testimony.

3    By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.   (NKJV)

 

 

Shemini Atzeret, the 8th Day of Assembly is the assurance of that which is not seen; it is the fulfillment of God’s promises.  The 8th Day is the ultimate fulfillment of the Biblical definition of faith which Hebrews 11 portrays beautifully.

 

And so the Bible tells us that in comparison to the Feast of Tabernacles immediately before it, the 8th Day not having enough of a name or description/information is not an indicator that it is less important, but that it is very important and transcendent and eternal.  We see and know this by the simple truth: where on the Feast of Tabernacles we dwell in temporary shelters, now there is no mention of shelters at all.  This does not mean we do not need a home; it means that we no longer need a temporary home, because we now have an eternal home.  Tabernacles/sukkots/booths are no longer required, because our eternal home will come to us – this is the heavenly homeland and the eternal city that God has prepared for us, New Jerusalem.  It is the fulfillment of Abraham’s faith (and all believers’ faith) based on God’s promises of a heavenly homeland and heavenly city.


Where the Feast of Tabernacles is symbolic of the 7 days (7,000 years) of this age which was, is and will be passing, the 8th Day is symbolic of a new beginning after the 7 days (7,000 years) that will go on forever into eternity.

 

As the 8th day from the start of the Feast of Tabernacles, the 8th Day of Assembly which comes immediately after the 7 days of the Feast of Tabernacles represents what happens after the millennial kingdom – God making a new heavens, a new earth, and the New Jerusalem.  But there is a major wedding-related event yet to occur as hinted at in the previous article about the Feast of Tabernacles.  


The Feast of Tabernacles has multiple meanings; one of the major ones is that Tabernacles symbolizes a wedding supper with all the guests gathered together (even including the “guests” of the 2nd resurrection).  This means that even though Messiah comes for His bride on the Feast of Trumpets/Yom Teruah and gathers everyone with the Day of Atonement/Yom Kippur Jubilee shofar blast for the Feast of Tabernacles wedding supper, there is an even greater symbolism of the wedding or a duality in the wedding motif/pattern in God’s salvation plan. 


Why do we say this? 


This is because the Bible tells us that there will be an appearance of a bride on the 8th Day!  In Revelation 21:2 the Bible tells us that New Jerusalem comes down “out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband”.  The heavenly city, the heavenly homeland we have always hoped for is called a bride! 


How can that be if Messiah came for His bride already? 


Here is where we must lift up and praise our God even more, and give Him thanks because He is so good and His mercy truly endures forever!  The Heavenly Father has always wanted all mankind to be with Him forever and this is reflected in His dual meaning of the bride.  Yes, His son came for His bride, but the ultimate goal of the Heavenly Father was to see as much of mankind reconciled to Him as possible – and therefore He has multiple harvests with the 2nd resurrection of Revelation 20 perhaps being the largest of them all, because of its judgment from the Great White Throne with the Book of Life and the books of the recorded works of men laid open.  God bends over backwards to give as many people as possible the ability to inherit eternal life and to dwell forever with Him.


The revelation of New Jerusalem as a bride after death and the enemy have been destroyed and after everyone has been judged before the Great White Throne means that all who have come out of these resurrections now are given the gift of eternal life and will live forever (all who are in the Book of Life).  And where will they live?  In New Jerusalem!  In other words, since everyone with eternal life now dwells in the heavenly homeland: the heavenly city, New Jerusalem and New Jerusalem is considered a bride adorned for her husband – this means that everyone who has been chosen to dwell with God and the Lamb for eternity are considered to be a bride/part of the bride! 

God has prepared for Himself a people, and now God has prepared a new residence – and He and His son will reside among His people for all eternity.  This is an important reminder to everyone about the important truths woven throughout the fabric of the Bible --- with God, all His chosen people are Israel (not just Jews, but both Jews and Gentiles together are Israel) and it is not just about His people Israel, but it is also about His land Israel/Jerusalem; Messiah marries not just Israel, the people, but also Israel/Jerusalem the land/city:

Revelation 21:

1    Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea.

2    Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God,

        prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

3    And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them,

        and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God.

4    And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying.

        There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away."

5    Then He who sat on the throne said, "Behold, I make all things new."

        And He said to me, "Write, for these words are true and faithful."

6    And He said to me, "It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End.

        I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts.

7    He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.

8    But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters,

        and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death."

9    Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls filled with the seven last plagues came to me

        and talked with me, saying,

        "Come, I will show you the bride, the Lamb's wife."

10   And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem,

        descending out of heaven from God,

11   having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal.

12   Also she had a great and high wall with twelve gates, and twelve angels at the gates, and names written on them,

        which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel:

13   three gates on the east, three gates on the north, three gates on the south, and three gates on the west.

14   Now the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

15   And he who talked with me had a gold reed to measure the city, its gates, and its wall.

16   The city is laid out as a square; its length is as great as its breadth.

        And he measured the city with the reed: twelve thousand furlongs. Its length, breadth, and height are equal.

17   Then he measured its wall: one hundred and forty-four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of an angel.

18   The construction of its wall was of jasper; and the city was pure gold, like clear glass.

19   The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with all kinds of precious stones: the first foundation was jasper,

        the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald,

20   the fifth sardonyx, the sixth sardius, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase,

        the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst.

21   The twelve gates were twelve pearls: each individual gate was of one pearl.

        And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.

22   But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.

23   The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light.

24   And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it.

25   Its gates shall not be shut at all by day (there shall be no night there).

26   And they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it.

27   But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie,

        but only those who are written in the Lamb's Book of Life.    (NKJV)

 

 

This is our new home, as co-heirs with Christ:

 

Romans 8:

16   The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

17  and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him,

        that we may be also glorified together.   (AKJV)

 

Galatians 3:

29 And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.   (NKJV)

 

Ephesians 3:

1    For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles--

2    if indeed you have heard of the stewardship of God's grace which was given to me for you;

3    that by revelation there was made known to me the mystery, as I wrote before in brief.

4   By referring to this, when you read you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ,

5   which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit;

6   to be specific, that the Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow members of the body,

       and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel,     (NASB)

 

James 2:

5 Listen, my beloved brethren: Has God not chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He

       promised to those who love Him?   (NKJV)

 

 

God always meant to tabernacle with us – can we imagine that the Almighty would even consider to live with us?!?  So let us become the kind of people that God would want to live with forever.  Remember what the apostle Peter said; let us be worthy to belong where righteousness dwells.  The heavenly father and Christ are righteousness, and where they are is where righteousness dwells:

 

2 Peter 3:

10   But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the

elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.

11   Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness,

12   looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?

13   Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.    (NKJV)

 

Jeremiah 23:

5    " Behold, the days are coming," says the LORD, " That I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness; A King shall reign and prosper, And execute judgment and righteousness in the earth.

6    In His days Judah will be saved, And Israel will dwell safely; Now this is His name by which He will be called: THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.    (NKJV)

 

Jeremiah 33:

14   'Behold, the days are coming,' says the LORD, 'that I will perform that good thing which I have promised to the house of Israel and to the house of Judah:

15    ' In those days and at that time I will cause to grow up to David A Branch of righteousness; He shall execute judgment and righteousness in the earth.

16    In those days Judah will be saved, And Jerusalem will dwell safely. And this is the name by which she will be called: THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.'    (NKJV)

 

 

Let us be loving, trusting and obedient children; we must not continue to sin against Him, but live in the ways He has given, because He truly knows best and loves us more than we can ever know.




Please see next article in the God’s Salvation Plan in the Biblical Feast Days series: Conclusion: the End from the Beginning - for us, for eternity

  

Link to God’s Salvation Plan in the Biblical Feast Days articles outline