In his first inspired sermon after receiving the Holy Spirit on Pentecost, the apostle Peter summed up God's instruction for mankind: "Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began" (Acts 3:19-21).
But what are these "times of refreshing" and "times of restoration" of which Peter spoke?
God's plan for mankind involves restoration. The Feast of Tabernacles symbolizes the restoration process, which will start with the return of Jesus Christ, pictured by the Feast of Trumpets, and the banishment of Satan, depicted by the Day of Atonement. Once these events have taken place, as represented by the previous Holy Days, the foundation is in place for the restoration of the creation to peace and harmony with God.
The seven-day Feast of Tabernacles, which begins with an annual Holy Day (Leviticus 23:34-35), pictures the 1,000-year reign of Jesus Christ over the earth after His second coming (see Revelation 20:4). This period is often called the Millennium, which simply means "1,000 years."
This feast also reflects the "rest" symbolized by the weekly Sabbath (Hebrews 4:1-11) that celebrates the great harvest of humanity when all people then alive will learn God's ways. Humanity will at last be restored to a right relationship with Him (Isaiah 11:9-10).
In the beginning, God created mankind to cooperate with Him in a beautiful relationship characterized by love, peace and obedience to His laws. At the completion of His creation, "God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good" (Genesis 1:31). This time of peace and harmony abruptly ended because of Satan's deception and man's disobedience (Genesis 3:1-6). Disobedience cut mankind off from God's way (Genesis 3:21-24). The Bible describes the tragic result that later followed: "Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually" (Genesis 6:5).
This broken relationship between God and man has continued through history to our time. Paul reflected on the human condition: "Through one man [Adam] sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned"(Romans 5:12).
Thankfully, as Paul also knew, the breach created by man's disobedience is healed through Jesus Christ: "For since by man [Adam] came death, by Man [Christ] also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive" (1 Corinthians 15:21-22).