A message for Shemini Atzeret — the Eighth day of Assembly
By Sanford Beattie
***This was a great message from Brother Sanford at our Sukkot gathering, teaching that there is hope for the lost in the future. Enjoy.***
Do you have friends or family, loved ones, that have died, or look like they will die, without
receiving the knowledge of God’s way of life? What is going to happen to them? It is knowing
what God has planned for them that gives me hope and encourages me to remain steadfast in
keeping God’s law. It is God’s plan for them that is foreshadowed by the eighth day of the Feast
of Sukkot. And that is what I wish to address here.
God’s intentions are clear:
John 3:16* “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever
believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son
into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved.”
1 Timothy 2:4 “Who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
2 Peter 3:9 “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but
is longsuffering toward us, not willing [desiring] that any should perish but that all should
come to repentance.”
Romans 11:25 “For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest
you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until
the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. 26 And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written:
‘The Deliverer will come out of Zion, And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob; 27 For
this is My covenant with them, When I take away their sins.’ [from Isaiah 59:20-21]
28 Concerning the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but concerning the election they
are beloved for the sake of the fathers.”
So how is God doing? He said all Israel will be saved. Has that happened yet? Okay, so they were
to be blinded until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. How is that coming along? If God is
trying to save everyone in this life, you would think that when Messiah was on the earth, the most
progress would have been made. And yet at the end of His ministry, only a relative few were
disciples. The largest religion in the world today is Christianity, with Catholics in the majority.
They bow down to idols, don’t keep the Sabbath, or the Torah—some of the same things God
accused Israel of through the prophets. What about the Protestants? They don’t keep the Sabbath
or Holy Days or Torah either. And what about the billions in China, India, and the rest of the
world that have never even heard of Yeshua, the “only name under heaven given among men by
which we must be saved”, as Peter said in Acts 4:12? If God is trying to save the world right now,
He is not as all powerful as we think He is. He’s in a battle with Satan over the hearts of men, and
He is losing. But in this message, I want to show that God can and will keep His promises to Israel
and the world — that He knows exactly what He is doing and has all power to bring about exactly
what He said He will do. So why does it look like God is failing?
John 6:44 “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will
raise him up at the last day.”
Romans 11:7 “What then? Israel has not obtained what it seeks; but the elect have obtained it,
and the rest were blinded. 8 Just as it is written: ‘God has given them a spirit of stupor,
Eyes that they should not see And ears that they should not hear, To this very day.’ ”
(Referencing Isaiah 29:10; see also Deuteronomy 29:4; Jeremiah 5:21; Ezekiel 12:2.)
2 Corinthians 3:13 “unlike Moses, who put a veil over his face so that the children of Israel
could not look steadily at the end of what was passing away. 14 But their minds were blinded.
For until this day the same veil remains unlifted in the reading of the Old Testament, because
the veil is taken away in Christ. 15 But even to this day, when Moses is read, a veil lies on
their heart. 16 Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.”
Matthew 13:10 “And the disciples came and said to Him, ‘Why do You speak to them in
parables?’ 11 He answered and said to them, ‘Because it has been given to you to know the
mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. 12 For whoever has,
to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even
what he has will be taken away from him. 13 Therefore I speak to them in parables, because
seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. 14 And in
them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says: “Hearing you will hear and shall not
understand, And seeing you will see and not perceive; 15 For the hearts of this people have
grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, And their eyes they have closed, Lest they
should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, Lest they should understand with their
hearts and turn, So that I should heal them.” (Citing Isaiah 6:9-10.)
Yeshua said His goal at that time was not to convert everyone. The parables were not given
to make it easier to understand. This was because it was not their time. And He quoted Isaiah,
showing it was not their time in Isaiah’s day either. Yeshua also said:
Matthew 10:34 “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring
peace but a sword. 35 For I have come to ‘set a man against his father, a daughter against
her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’; 36 and ‘a man’s enemies will
be those of his own household’ ” (as prophesied in Micah 7:6).
How many of you have tried to convert your family and friends, to tell them all about keeping
Torah, the Sabbath, the Holy Days? How did that work out for you? God is not calling everyone
at this time. He is calling some into what the New Testament calls His Church. And He expects
those in it to keep His law, overcome sin, and develop holy, righteous character. And to accomplish
these expectations, these are the ones to whom He gives His holy spirit.
Romans 8:8 “So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. 9 But you are not in
the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does
not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.”
Unless we are led by the spirit of God, we are not God’s children.
Romans 8:14 “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.”
He gives His spirit (Acts 5:32) and His eternal salvation (Hebrews 5:9) to those who obey Him.
So what happened to the promises to Israel—promises God made to Abraham about his descendants?
Not just promises that if they obeyed, He would bless them physically, but promises that He would
someday save them too.
Micah 7:18 “Who is a God like You, Pardoning iniquity And passing over the transgression
of the remnant of His heritage? He does not retain His anger forever, Because He delights
in mercy. 19 He will again have compassion on us, And will subdue our iniquities. You
will cast all our [their, AV] sins Into the depths of the sea. 20 You will give truth to Jacob
And mercy to Abraham, Which You have sworn to our fathers From days of old.”
Psalm 130:7 “O Israel, hope in the LORD; For with the LORD there is mercy, And with
Him is abundant redemption. 8 And He shall redeem Israel From all his iniquities.”
Ezekiel 11:19 “Then I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within them,
and take the stony heart out of their flesh, and give them a heart of flesh, 20 that they may
walk in My statutes and keep My judgments and do them; and they shall be My people,
and I will be their God.”
Ezekiel 18:30 “ ‘Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his
ways,’ says the Lord GOD. ‘Repent, and turn from all your transgressions, so that iniquity will
not be your ruin. 31 Cast away from you all the transgressions which you have committed,
and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. For why should you die, O house
of Israel? 32 For I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies,’ says the Lord GOD.
‘Therefore turn and live!’ ”
Ezekiel 36:24 “For I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and
bring you into your own land. 25 Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be
clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. 26 I will give you
a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh
and give you a heart of flesh. 27 I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in
My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them. 28 Then you shall dwell in the
land that I gave to your fathers; you shall be My people, and I will be your God. 29 I will
deliver you from all your uncleannesses. I will call for the grain and multiply it, and bring
no famine upon you. 30 And I will multiply the fruit of your trees and the increase of your
fields, so that you need never again bear the reproach of famine among the nations. 31 Then
you will remember your evil ways and your deeds that were not good; and you will loathe
yourselves in your own sight, for your iniquities and your abominations.”
Isaiah 11:9 “They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, For the earth shall be
full of the knowledge of the LORD As the waters cover the sea. 10 And in that day there shall
be a Root of Jesse, Who shall stand as a banner to the people; For the Gentiles shall seek Him,
And His resting place shall be glorious. 11 It shall come to pass in that day That the Lord shall
set His hand again the second time To recover the remnant of His people who are left.”
Isaiah 49:5 “And now the LORD says, Who formed Me from the womb to be His Servant,
To bring Jacob back to Him, So that Israel is gathered to Him (For I shall be glorious in the
eyes of the LORD, And My God shall be My strength), 6 Indeed He says, ‘It is too small a
thing that You should be My Servant To raise up the tribes of Jacob, And to restore the
preserved ones of Israel; I will also give You as a light to the Gentiles, That You should
be My salvation to the ends of the earth.’ ”
This is not happening now. This is what happens to Israel and the Gentiles after Messiah returns
at the seventh trumpet. God is working with a relatively small group of people now. Hopefully we
are part of that group, The template was given in the Torah. A priesthood was established to help
teach the Israelites, who would, if they followed God’s law, be a model nation setting the example
and teaching the nations around them. We are learning God’s way, and hopefully, with the help of
God’s Spirit, we are overcoming and developing the character He wants. When that seventh
trumpet sounds, if we have overcome, we will be changed, and this mortal will put on immortality.
As it says in Revelation 5:10, God will make them kings and priests, to reign on the earth. Then,
those who are changed are put to work helping those who are still alive, both Israel and Gentiles.
God will pour out His Spirit, they will see the Messiah and learn His ways. They too will be
expected to overcome and develop godly character.
But what of those who have died? What about the Israelites who died in the wilderness, and later
generations who did not follow God and rejected the message of the prophets. What of the Gentiles
who never knew God. What of our friends and relatives who don’t believe us when we witness to
them. Even if they’ve heard of God, did they really believe Him? Did they follow His ways, keep
His Sabbaths and His laws? If so, they will be resurrected with the saints in the resurrection at the
return of Christ. This is God’s decision. He knows whom He has called; and He knows who is
ready for eternal life. But we know there are many who have not been called. And they need to be
given that same opportunity to believe and trust in God—the same opportunity that we have been
given to develop righteous character through God’s spirit—so they too can be saved.
Revelation 20:4 (AV) “And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given
unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for
the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had
received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with
Christ a thousand years. 5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand
years were finished. [Death is a sleep, from which the dead need to be awakened. That is a
subject I do not have time to address now, but scriptures are numerous in showing that.] This
is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection.
Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ,
and shall reign with Him a thousand years.”
Revelation 20:11 (AV) “And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose
face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw
the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened [to understanding]:
and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of
those things which were written in the books, according to their works.”
How long is this great white throne judgment? Does it take place instantaneously? Are the dead
judged solely on what they did in this life? What about those who never heard of the name of
Yeshua, or even of the true God?
Acts 24:15 “I have hope in God, which they themselves also accept, that there will be a
resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust.”
Matthew 10:15 “Assuredly, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom
and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city” (which rejected the witness of
Matthew 11:20 “Then He began to rebuke the cities in which most of His mighty works
had been done, because they did not repent: 21 ‘Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you,
Bethsaida! For if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Tyre and
Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. 22 But I say to you, it
will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment than for you. 23 And
you, Capernaum, who are exalted to heaven, will be brought down to Hades; for if the
mighty works which were done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained
until this day. 24 But I say to you that it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in
the day of judgment than for you.’ ”
If God is saving and judging them based only on what they have done in this life, Sodom is certainly
a candidate for the lake of fire. And yet Yeshua said it will be more tolerable for them than for
Capernaum. Their fate could hardly be the lake of fire and be more tolerable. And Yeshua says if
He had witnessed to them, they would have accepted the witness. Is God unfair? Or will He indeed
someday witness to them?
Matthew 12:41 “The men of Nineveh will rise up in the judgment with this generation
and condemn it, because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and indeed a greater
than Jonah is here. 42 The queen of the South will rise up in the judgment with this
generation and condemn it, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of
Solomon; and indeed a greater than Solomon is here.”
Luke 12:45 “But if that servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying his coming,’ and
begins to beat the male and female servants, and to eat and drink and be drunk, 46 the
master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him, and at an
hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the
unbelievers. 47 And that servant who knew his master’s will, and did not prepare himself
or do according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. 48 But he who did not know,
yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom
much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed,
of him they will ask the more.”
We see here glimpses of punishment, condemnation for bad behavior, witnessing, teaching. So
what is the day of judgment? 24 hours? The day of the Lord is a period of time, probably a year.
The day of trial in the wilderness was 40 years (Psalm 95:8; Hebrews 3:8). With God, a day is as
a thousand years (2 Peter 3:8; Psalms 90:4). Think of it more as the “time of judgment”, and keep
in mind that judgment does not just mean sentencing.
1 Peter 4:17 “For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God;”
This is our day of judgment. It is not instantaneous, and it is not just a sentencing. It takes time.
It is a process of learning and overcoming with God’s spirit. And this will also be true for those
who have not been called at this time.
Acts 17:30 “Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men
everywhere to repent, 31 because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in
righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by
raising Him from the dead.”
1 Corinthians 15:22 “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.”
John 5:28 “Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves
will hear His voice 29 and come forth—those who have done good, to the resurrection of
life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.”
The word for “condemnation” in the above verse is usually translated “judgment” and should be
so translated here (as it is in numerous other translations: ASV, RSV, ESV, YLT…). It refers to a
period of teaching, trying and testing, not just sentencing.
And there will of course be punishment and correction, just as there is for us:
Hebrews 12:6 “For whom the LORD loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom
Deuteronomy 8:5 “You should know in your heart that as a man chastens his son, so the
LORD your God chastens you.”
In the parable of Lazarus and the rich man (Luke 16:19-31), the rich man is waking up in a future
resurrection. Whatever nightmare or vision he is experiencing, he is oblivious to the passage of
time, totally unaware that his five brothers have long since died. This time gap is a ”great gulf”
that stands in the way of taking any message back to them. And besides this, it was not God’s time
(during Yeshua’s human life) to save the world.
The Eighth Day festival reminds us of the many times scripture speaks of events occurring on an
eighth day. Whether it be the consecration of the altar, or of the priests, the healing of lepers, or
cleansing from abnormal discharges, this symbol of the eighth day following a seven-day period
of cleansing represents a new beginning, and also a dedication, and often a return, to God. There
is a parallel in these with what we see in the Eighth Day. Many have noted that the thousand years
mentioned in Revelation 20 is the Millennial reign of the Messiah, and that the Feast of
Tabernacles (Sukkot) reminds us of that time. And at the end of that time, the rest of the dead will
be raised, as pictured by this Eighth Day. It is perhaps the most comforting feast day of the year,
confirming that ours is not the only day of salvation.
God starts things small. He likens the kingdom to a grain of mustard seed that grows to become a
huge tree. He chose the smallest of nations to eventually become great and teach the world, even
if they failed. His church started with 12 apostles and grew from there. The firstfruits will be in
the first resurrection and teach those in the Millennium. Then the rest of the dead will be resurrected
and the whole world will be offered an opportunity for salvation.
What is the purpose for this temporary life in the process of receiving salvation and eternal life?
It is not an easy life. Why do we have to go through trials and training in the law of God? This is
a major subject in scripture, but simply put, it is to develop godly character. Character is the ability
to come to the knowledge of the right way to live, then of one’s own free will to choose the right
instead of the wrong, and then to actually do the right. God created us with free moral agency. He
cannot just speak the word and instantaneously make us righteous because He does not want
automatons for children. He is teaching us to obey — sometimes through hard-earned experience,
and sometimes with the rod of correction. The goal is for us to learn how wonderful and good
God’s way of life really is, so that we will choose that way of our own free will. God will not give
eternal life to those who have not proven that they will always obey Him, because they fear, respect
and love Him, knowing in the depths of their beings that their Heavenly Father knows best. We
must have God’s law written in our hearts, meaning that God’s way is our way. For God to know
that we have achieved that goal requires teaching, testing and correction.
Those in the second resurrection cannot receive eternal life without this same teaching and testing.
And this requires time. It cannot be done by divine command alone. It requires the cooperation of
each person being led by the Spirit of God to overcome. A death bed repentance does not cut it.
Repentance is just the beginning of a new life. The thief on the cross (Luke 23:42-43) was not told
that he had it made. (Jesus was put in the grave that day; He was not in paradise that day.) Rather,
the thief was told that very day (from the very time of his repentance) that he would someday make
it, because God declares the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10).
We will see our friends and family again. We are not being offered salvation and eternal life just
for our own benefit. We are being trained now, ahead of most, for a job: to be able to teach our
friends and loved ones, and the whole world, God’s way of life. Our individual life experiences
help equip us to have the understanding, compassion, patience, mercy and love we will need to
carry out this responsibility. The Eighth Day will be a new beginning for the world, being cleansed
of their uncleannesses and returned to God.
God is indeed all powerful. He will fulfill His promises. His plan will play out just as He said it
would. And all will be given an opportunity for salvation and eternal life. The physical creation
was easy. Creating character in free moral agents is God’s greatest and most challenging work.
1. God has said He wants all to come to repentance and be saved.
2. Only a relatively small number are being called at this time. The vast majority, if they
have even heard of the one true God, are not obeying Him.
3. Only those who are “called, chosen and faithful” (Revelation 17:14) are destined to be
raised in a “first” resurrection, to rule with Yeshua for 1000 years as priests (teachers).
During that time the earth will be filled with the knowledge of God, and His Spirit will
be poured out on all flesh.
4. The Biblical Holy Days picture God’s plan of salvation from beginning to end — from
Messiah being slain from the foundation of the world (Revelation 13:8) because of
Adam’s sin (as pictured by the Passover sacrifice) … all the way through to the time
of the “Eighth Day” when forgiveness through that same sacrifice will be offered to the
whole world, all the way back to Adam and Eve.
5. Creating character requires time, teaching and testing. The judgment day (Eighth Day)
is that time of teaching and overcoming for most of the people who have ever lived.
The scriptures show it is not a momentary sentencing based solely on past behavior.
There is an opportunity for all mankind — to repent and overcome and be saved — to
be granted life forevermore.
“He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will
not blot out his name from the Book of Life.”
Copyright © 2023 Sanford Beattie