Keeping The Feast of Tabernacles Zechariah 14:16-21
The prophet Zechariah prophesied that the remnant of Israel along with the nations would come up to Jerusalem and worship every year to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. Most notable is the fact that the families of Egypt and the Canaanite would also come up. These verses represent the universal nature of the gospel.
The time for the event is “in that day”. That day refers to the eschatological day of the Lord. These events were scheduled for the last days. Dispensationalists and other futurists have made these texts literal. They believe that Jerusalem will one day be the site of a new physical temple. So far that has not materialized. However, even if a temple were rebuilt in Jerusalem, it would not be the temple indicated in Zechariah.
The Geo-Centric Temple Was Destroyed
During the first century, the physical temple located in Jerusalem was the central place of worship. In a conversation with the woman at Samaria, Jesus informed the woman that not only was Mt. Gerizzim in Samaria not the true place of worship, but neither was Jerusalem in Mt. Zion. See John 4:19-24.
He spoke of an imminent coming of the temple of God and a new place of worship which was in God, and him alone. God is not limited to a local place. Anywhere in the world men could worship him without making a trek to Jerusalem.
Coming to the New Jerusalem
The place for the celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles is in the heavenly Jerusalem. It is the Jerusalem mentioned in Heb. 12:22-23 and Rev. 21:2, 22. In fact, the Bible says that God and the Lamb are the temple of the new creation.
In the Hebrews letter, the saints come to Mt. Zion, the heavenly Jerusalem and a festive gathering. This is the gathering for the Feast of Tabernacles. The word used in the text is paneguri and means a Festive Assembly. From the comparison text in Rev. 14, we note these are the 144,000 and company who are before the throne, i.e. in the kingdom with Palm branches in their hands.
They came out of the great tribulation and serve God day and night in his temple. It is the new people of God, created in Christ Jesus who go up to Him and offer their praise and worship eternally in the heavenly Jerusalem and temple of God.