We Americans observe a special day of Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving was established by President Abraham Lincoln on October 3, 1863, proclaiming the last Thursday in November as A day of thanks. Later on, in 1941, Congress set the fourth Thursday to be a national public holiday.
For most of us here in the United States, even in these troubling times, it’s still an enjoyable occasion. Yes, some are dealing with tightening budgets, worries about the economy, health care needs, family problems and other types of concerns that we have. But usually, we are able to put those things out of our minds and relax with other family members on Thanksgiving Day.
This day of Thanksgiving was originally given as a religious observance, set apart to give thanks to God, for the blessings of the past year. But, sad to say, it has become “turkey day”, “football day”, T.V. day, etc., AND, for many, GOD IS NOT IN THEIR THOUGHTS AT ALL .
Though established by men, The Day of Thanksgiving, is in keeping with the principles of God’s Word, as we are exhorted to give thanks to our Great , Loving God, for all the innumerable blessings He pours out upon each and every one of us. I Thessalonians 5:18 “In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” Ephesians 5:20 “Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
All of us have so many things to be thankful for, no matter if we are being tried in some way - we might have a serious illness - maybe we’re being persecuted in some fashion, whatever, but God is aware of these things. We can still be thankful; even rejoicing in them: I Peter 1:3 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to His abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. 4. To and inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, 5. Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6. Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations (trials): 7. That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.”
So we ought to “bless” God, thank God, despite any adversity we might be facing. And that extends far beyond Thanksgiving Day, itself!
There are many feast days that man has established. Some are secular in origin and nature and some may have religious overtones. The Jews observe, “Hanukkah”, called the “feast of lights” or “feast of dedication” (John 10:22) Other nations have their observances of special events. Having established the fact that Thanksgiving Day and a few other national holidays ( father’s day, mother’s day, etc.) are in keeping with the principles of God’s Word, we should be warned that SOME ARE NOT! Any RELIGIOUS HOLIDAY, other than GOD’S FEAST DAYS, are NOT ACCEPTABLE TO HIM! Amos 5:21 “I hate, I despise your feast days, and I will not smell your solemn assemblies (places of worship). 22. Though ye offer Me burnt offerings and your meat offerings, I will not accept them: neither will I regard the peace offerings of your fat beasts. 23. Take away from Me the noise of your songs (of worship); for I will not hear the melody of your viols. 24. But let judgment run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream. 25.Have ye offered unto Me sacrifices and offerings in the wilderness forty years, O house of Israel (modern Israel is identified as Americans and British people.). 26. But ye have borne the tabernacle of your Moloch and Chiun your images (Heathen gods, passing their origins of Xmas, Easter, New Years, Mardi Gras, Valentine’s day, etc.), the star of your god, which ye made to yourselves. ( There will be punishment for this!) 27. Therefore will I cause you to go into captivity beyond Damascus, saith the LORD, whose name is The God of hosts.” (Jeremiah 10:2--5)
GOD DESIGNED AND GAVE CERTAIN “FEAST DAYS” TO HIS PEOPLE FOR A WONDERFUL, ENJOYABLE AND ENLIGHTENING EXPERIENCE!
They began with the weekly Sabbath day and continued with Annual Holy Days; they were established for man to understand the Plan of God.(Mark 2:27, 28) They’re all listed in Leviticus the 23 chapter and they are called FEASTS.
(My purpose today, is NOT to explain nor prove the Sabbath day and Holy days! I will point out one fact: They are called My (God’s) Feasts, not man’s, not Moses’, not Jewish - GOD’S.) But, Old Testament Israel usually had their minds on the physical part in keeping God’s Feast days. But we have a greater opportunity to DINE AT THE LORD’S TABLE!
“BE THANKFUL TO FEAST AT GOD‘S TABLE”
Old Testament Israel was never thankful for God’s Feast days. They always rebelled against the Truth that God tried to teach them and tried to devise their own way of worship. Look at Israel’s record: I Kings 12:13 “And the king (Jeroboam of Judah) answered the people roughly, and forsook the old men’s counsel that they gave him. 16. So when all Israel saw that the king hearkened not unto them, the people answered the king, saying, What portion have we in David (under the Davidic Throne)? neither have we inheritance in the son of Jesse: to your tents, O Israel: now see to thine own house, David. So Israel departed unto their tents.” The dividing of the House of Israel and House of Judah! If you continue on through this chapter, you’ll see that God’s Feasts were to keep the people in the true worship of God. But the new king (Jeroboam) devised a plan to keep them away from feasting at God’s table. Verse 27. If this people go up to do sacrifice in the house of the LORD at Jerusalem, then shall the heart of this people turn again unto their lord, even unto Rehoboam king of Judah, and they shall kill me, and go again to Rehoboam, king of Judah. 28. Whereupon the king took counsel, and made two calves of gold, and said unto them, It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem: behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. 32. And Jeroboam ordained a feast in the eighth month, on the fifteenth day of the month, like unto the feast that is in Judah, and he offered upon the altar. So did he in Bethel, sacrificing unto the calves that he had made. (Remember, God ordained His Feast of Tabernacles in the seventh month to “feed” His people), 33. ...the fifteenth day of the eighth month, even in the month which he had devised of his own heart; and ordained a feast unto the children of Israel: and he offered upon the altar, and burnt incense.”
This evil king knew that by changing and distorting the time and day of worshipping God would CUT PEOPLE OFF from being fed or feasting at God’s table. This is what has kept people from the TRUTH OF GOD: OF BEING FED BY GOD’S TRUE MINISTERS and OF FEASTING AT GOD’S TABLE!!
BABYLON, THIS WORLD’S FALSE RELIGIOUS SYSTEM, HAS USED THIS SCHEME!
Speaking of the end time, the return of Jesus Christ and the Beast power now arising, NOTICE! Daniel 7:24 “And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings. 25. And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and TO THINK TO CHANGE TIMES AND LAWS: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.” (31/2 years).
It appears that SUNDAY WORSHIP or the MARK OF THE BEAST, will be enforced upon hapless people. But true Christians know the Truth! They’ve been feeding on God’s Word on every Sabbath day, every Feast Day, and in their own personal Bible Study. Psalms 119:140 “Thy word is very pure: therefore thy servant loveth it.” Proverbs 30:5 “Every Word of God is pure:...”
We are instructed in the New Testament: II Timothy 2:15 “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of God.”
A new born baby must start on milk and then gradually be able to digest more solid food like meat. God’s Word describes Christians as needing that type of nourishment. Hebrews 6:12 “For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. 13. For every one that useth milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. 14. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.”
CHRIST STRONGLY CHARGED HIS MINISTRY TO FEED HIS SHEEP
John 21:15 “So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto Him, Yea Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. 16. He saith unto him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Feed my sheep. 17. He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because He had said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said ujnto Him, Lord, thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.”
Acts 20:28 “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Spirit hath made you overseers, to feed the Church of God, which He hath purchased with His blood.”
I Peter 5:2 “Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind.”3. Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.”
God gives warnings to those that are negligent in these responsibilities. Jeremiah 23:1 “Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the LORD. 2. Therefore thus saith the LORD God of Israel against the pastor that feed my people; Ye have scattered My flock, and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the LORD.”
As a result of false teachers giving people “spiritual garbage”, these wicked ministers will cause God’s nation, Israel, to go into national captivity. At Christ’s return, He will gather them back to safety and give them TRUE SHEPHERDS. Verse 4. “And I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them: and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking, saith the LORD.”
God’s people cannot worship with unbelievers and still expect to be FED WITH TRUTH! I Corinthians 10:21 “Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the LORD’S TABLE, and of the table of devils.”
Old Testament Israel was condemned because of their wretched attitude! Malachi 1:11 “For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering: for my name shall be great among the heathen, saith the LORD of hosts. 12. But ye have profaned it, in that ye say, The table of the LORD is polluted; and the fruit thereof, even His meat, is contemptible. 13. Ye said also, Behold, what a weariness is it? and ye have snuffed at it, saith the LORD of hosts; …should I accept this at your hand? saith the LORD.
Be thankful to feast at God’s Table NOW, and you WILL DINE with Christ FOREVER! Luke 22:29 “And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me. 30. That you may EAT AND DRINK AT MY TABLE IN MY KINGDOM, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”