Richard Agee

Sukkot and the Millennium ingathering

Richard AgeeGod will put a trial on the nations who do not come to the Great Ingathering, i.e., the Feast of Sukkot (Tabernacles). God told Israel to bring in their laborers to Sukkot — even the “stranger,” or foreigner. So this among God’s appointments with mankind is not just for the House of Yehudah (Judah) or the House of Israel. God wants to “harvest” the peoples of the world into a new reality without sin and death.

Sometimes during Sukkot, we have to face trials such as rain. Today, we will look at what the Prophets, particularly Zechariah have taught us about Sukkot. 

We want to know God’s will, His desire, intention and purpose for us and the rest of His creation. If we know God’s will, we will not be caught off guard. God uses plants, trees and animals to represent ideas and concepts He wants us to understand. 

God compares His people to sheep (1Kings 22:17; 2Chr. 18:16; Psa. 74:1; 78:52; 79:13; 95:7; 100:3; 119:176; Isa. 13:14; 53:6–7; Jer. 12:3; 13:20; 23:1; 50:6; Ezek. 34:3, 10–12, 17, 20, 22, 31; Mic. 2:12; 5:8; Zech. 10:2; 11:16; 13:7), which are among the dumbest animals in the animal kingdom. He talks about people who are goats, who take over the best land the sheep are supposed to graze and pushes them onto the poor land. Sheep need a shepherd to guide them. But if their shepherd is not watchful, they will go astray easily. 

God also uses the lion as an example of the Devil, who harasses and kills the sheep. 

Where is God taking mankind? To Heaven? To eternal life? What is He showing us? This is called the Feast of Sukkot, or Tabernacles. It is the last, great ingathering. There’s the barley harvest at Pesakh (Passover), wheat harvest at Shavu’ot (Pentecost), but Sukkot is when everything else is harvested (Ex. 23:16; 34:22). Sometimes we want God to hurry up and get it all over with so we can live in peace and harmony. It seems that in the past 2,000 years the world certainly has not gotten better. People still go to war. There’s still lots of gossip and backbiting. There’s not a lot of the love of God in the community.

All throughout the New Testament, we read in Peter’s and Paul’s writings how they were trying to intervene in various arguments and squabbles (1Cor. 1:10; 11:18; 12:25). 

Most of the Bible talks about the “God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob,” but Isaiah talks about the “God of Jacob.” We read about this 1,000-year reign of Messiah, yet after 1,000 years, the Bible tells us there will still be another war.

Those who lived before us did not receive the promise because we would have been excluded. We would have been cut off before we had even been born but that is not what God wants. 

We read in Zechariah 14 about how all the nations will keep the Feast of Tabernacles but there are some nations that will resist and God will take away their water, which dries up the plants and causes starvation. The events of Zechariah 14 happens after Yeshua’s return.

“Behold, a day is coming for the LORD when the spoil taken from you will be divided among you.” (Zech. 14:1)

This entire book is only about the Feast of Tabernacles. Why?

“For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city will be captured, the houses plundered, the women ravished and half of the city exiled, but the rest of the people will not be cut off from the city.” (Zech. 14:2)

God always talks about a remnant, not a large group. He deals with a remnant first. In this case, it’s a remnant of the Jewish people. 

“Then the LORD will go forth and fight against those nations, as when He fights on a day of battle.” (Zech. 14:3)

God is the one who sent the nations against Jerusalem, yet He fights for Jerusalem, not against it. 

“In that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives will be split in its middle from east to west by a very large valley, so that half of the mountain will move toward the north and the other half toward the south.” (Zech. 14:4)

The mountain will no longer be a mountain. Only a very small part of the mountain has olive orchards in modern times.  Today, if you visit Jerusalem, you will find many more graves there than olive trees. 

“In that day there will be no light; the luminaries will dwindle.” (Zech. 14:6)

Where will this happen? New York City? Santa Rosa, Calif.? Brisbane, Australia? No, this will be seen in Jerusalem. This doesn’t sound like good news, does it? 

“And in that day living waters will flow out of Jerusalem, half of them toward the eastern sea and the other half toward the western sea; it will be in summer as well as in winter.” (Zech. 14:8)

This “living water” will flow towards the Mediterranean Sea to the west and the dead sea to the east. This is the “living water” of hope, encouragement and comfort. This is after the battle of Jerusalem.

“And the LORD will be king over all the earth; in that day the LORD will be the only one, and His name the only one.” (Zech. 14:9)

There will be only one God, only one name. Is this “problem solved”? Or is there more work for God to do?

There will be more for God to teach and more for people to learn and to practice. Those who see this will rejoice and teach others what the Creator wants. 

But some will not rejoice. 

“Now this will be the plague with which the LORD will strike all the peoples who have gone to war against Jerusalem; their flesh will rot while they stand on their feet, and their eyes will rot in their sockets, and their tongue will rot in their mouth.” (Zech. 14:12)

Just as during the time of Moses, when God brought fear upon Egypt, not everyone will die, just a part. They will ever die or obey. 

We see these nations, who despise Jerusalem and her people. They kill most of the people there. God can’t leave this unpunished. 

“Judah also will fight at Jerusalem; and the wealth of all the surrounding nations will be gathered, gold and silver and garments in great abundance. So also like this plague will be the plague on the horse, the mule, the camel, the donkey and all the cattle that will be in those camps.” (Zech. 14:14–15)

This plague will not be on the camp of Judah but on the camps of the surrounding nations who attach Judah. 

The first Feast the nations will come to celebrate is going to be Sukkot, not Pesach, or Shavuot. They are coming for the last feast of the season, not the first. 

“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 of hosts, and to celebrate the Feast of Booths.” (Zech. 14:16)

The nations don’t have to go through the judgment that God puts on Judah and Israel. They get to come in at the end. Yet, there are still going to be people at this point who won’t want to accept God’s invitation. 

“And it will be that whichever of the families of the earth does not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, there will be no rain on them.” (Zech. 14:17)

God will put a trial on the nations who do not come to the Great Ingathering. God told Israel to bring in their laborers to the Feast of Sukkot, even the foreigner (Deut. 16:13–14). 

When we think about Sukkot, we shouldn’t be concerned about the moral strength or weakness of our President and other leaders. God will take care of that. God is going to take care of them. The Feast of Sukkot is not just for the House of Judah or the House of Israel but for the world. 

God didn’t create humans to all become Jews, but to be like Him. Yeshua calls all those who are thirsty, not just the Jews. Even Egypt will able to drink from God’s water. They will resist at first but they will come. Many of us resisted God when He first called us. We are to hunger and thirst for what is right. The entire seventh month is all about ingathering, not just Sukkot.

Speaker: Richard Agee. Summary: Tammy. Recorded on day 5 of Sukkot 2014 in Occidental, Calif.

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