The Feasts of Israel
Were the Feasts of Israel about Faith or Fun or did their festivals bear the fruit of faith. That fruit fed a national system of charity and hope that provided aid for all in times of emergencies. It was their Faith Emergency Ministry Auxiliary, FEMA?
There was a purpose for the feasts. They had a function in the greater community of the people and only filled those needs of society when the people came together for the true purposes of those institutions of God.
- "Three times in a year shall all thy males appear before the LORD thy God in the place which he shall choose; in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles: and they shall not appear before the LORD empty:" Deuteronomy 16:16
Most people who think they are celebrating the Feast of Tabernacles today have no Living Network of Ministers who are supplying a Daily ministration. They have neither Apostles nor Levites who are actually providing social services of their people, for their people, nor by the people. Nor do they elect and support living stones to become the living altars of a peculiar people.
- "This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with [their] lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching [for] doctrines the commandments of men." Matthew 15:8, 9
Modern Christians praise Jesus with their mouth and honor him with their lips too. They have many doctrines written by men and denominations which bring division. They sing familiar hymns and echo the saying of the righteous. But what are they doing? What are their daily practices? Is their social virtue manifest in the charity and sacrifice of Christ or the Corban of the Pharisees? Are their deeds those of the Nicolaitans? Are their benefactors Nimrod, Caesar and the fathers of the earth?
Who will Repent and build a network practicing Pure Religion through Faith, Hope and Charity by way of Freewill offerings of the people, for the people and by the people through the Perfect law of liberty in Free Assemblies like both Israel and the Early Church?
Some modern Churches think they are celebrating the feasts as "spiritual feasts" of God's word. Christ was far more practical in his ministry where real loaves and fishes were served, the hungry fed, the naked clothed, the sick healed, all without the Free bread and Benefits offered at the table of Caesar.
The Eucharist of Christ was not just a wafer or "crumb" but actual meals shared with the people. The early Church services we see in the Bible were actually real service provided by a servant government. But the function within a Christian community is only fulfilled in society when the true Kingdom of God is written on the hearts and minds of the people.
What poses as Church service today is merely about making people feel saved and righteous. Actually seeking the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness is not only ignored but rejected by the believe only philosophy of Modern Christians.
While the Feasts of old, like Feast of Tabernacles, were a time and place that generated lots of interaction, good times and fond memories among the people who came, both Jew and Gentile alike, to actually Celebrate the Feasts went much deeper and meant a lot more to the faithful individual and his society as a whole.
Early Church Festivals
- "And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place." Acts 2:1
The last supper was the Passover meal where Christ states, "This do in remembrance of me." Fifty days later, on Pentecost, the Apostles and the 120 receive the Holy Spirit. Later we see Paul in Acts 20:16 "determined... if it were possible for him, to be at Jerusalem the day of Pentecost." And later in 1 Corinthians 16:8 he expresses his desire to "tarry at Ephesus until Pentecost."
There was a purpose for these gatherings. The purpose for such gatherings was religious — “for the worship of Jehovah” — but Pure Religion was the caring of the needy of society. The festivals allowed the ministers of God to gather and establish the connections and network according to the tens which would facilitate the "union an discipline" of a free society.
To worship God was to bow to His will and ways of charity and hope in faith in the righteousness of God instead of the unrighteous ways of the world of force. To faithfully strive and persevere in The Way of God's kingdom the connecting bonds and fellowship of the ministers, bishops and elders seeking the kingdom of God needed to be affirmed and clarified annually at these pilgrimage festivals. That is the primary purpose and function of the festivals.
The Bible and other historical records of the apostolic era confirm that the original Christian Church continued to observe the same festivals Jesus observed. The practice of observing these festivals continued into the fourth century. With the new Christianity of Constantine we see, in 325, a debate over the Passover known as the Quartodeciman controversy. The Anti-Semitic sentiment of these new Constantinian Christians found a minority among real Christians agree to abandon the observance of the Passover at the Council of Nicea. That choice was met with fierce opposition from the people in congregations and early Church leaders vigorously resisted rejecting the example and practice of Jesus and the apostles.
- “But the bishops in Asia were led by Polycrates in persisting that it was necessary to keep the custom which had been handed down to them of old. Polycrates himself in a document which he addressed to Victor and the church of Rome expounds the tradition which had come to him as follows. ‘Therefore we keep the day undeviatingly, neither adding nor taking away, for in Asia great luminaries sleep, and they will rise on the day of the coming of the Lord, when he shall come with glory from heaven and seek out all the saints. Such were Philip of the twelve apostles … There is also John, who lay on the Lord’s breast … , and there is also Polycarp Smyrna, both bishop and martyr, and Thraseas, both bishop and martyr, from Eumenaea... [Also] Sagaris... Papirius... and Melito... All these kept the fourteenth day of the Passover according to the gospel, never swerving, but following according to the rule of faith. And I also, Polycrates, the least of you all, love according to the tradition of my kinsmen, and some of them have I followed. For seven of my family were bishops and I am the eighth, and my kinsmen ever kept the day when the people put away the leaven. Therefore, brethren, I who have lived sixty-five years in the Lord and conversed with brethren from every country, and have studied all holy Scripture, am not afraid of threats, for they have said, who were greater than I, 'It is better to obey God rather than men.' ”
Polycrates would not observe Easter or teach its observance. He had been a contemporary of the disciple John and knew the disciple Philip. But more significantly, he knew the importance and purpose of the practices of the early assembly of the people. The free assemblies of the early Church were unswerving in their observance of the feasts of Passover and Unleavened Bread because without them the daily ministration to the people could not be internationally effective.
- "Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened [bread] of sincerity and truth." 1 Corinthians 5:8
Paul was talking about our "delivery from Satan" who was the adversary. The adversary of the Church was seen in the Christian conflict with Rome as the welfare system of the temples where men who called themselves Benefactors forced the contributions of the people to provide their free bread.
Those who ate at the tables of the pagan temples of the Roman government were the "fornicators of this world" whose practices were those of the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world.
He tells them "not to keep company" with those people he saw as 'fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat." 1 Corinthians 5:11
The leavened bread was not about the yeast but that which comes with bread provided by those men who called themselves Benefactors but exercise authority one over the other.
Many groups try and keep the feasts but have unmoored their purpose from the practice. They often focus on the metaphor of the ritual and miss the vital nature of the practice of Pure religion through charity, foolishly continuing to depend on the very men who called themselves Benefactors but exercise authority one over the other to provide their welfare, which Paul warns us is a snare.
No one is truly keeping the feasts and festivals if they are not keeping their purpose which is to establish private welfare through a network of fervent charity alone. This, of course, is why Christ commanded that his disciples "make" the people sit down in the pattern of Tens.
We should not forsake the gathering together in congregations which provide the daily ministration through Faith in The Way. It is through the charity within that Living network that we should wisely and freely give for the welfare of all.
Love Feasts of a Nation
Israel was a nation of Peculiar people who had no taxation other than a half shekel once a year. Everything else was supported through a network of Levites by way of freewill offerings of, for and by the people. Levites of your choice were given tithes "according to their service" to support all government services.
The idea of a government supported by "charity only" is so foreign to our thinking that few people today even have the faith to seek such a government or imagine it to be possible. Yet that is what the Kingdom of God is and that is the only way to pursue the righteousness of God.
The election of leaders who can exercise authority one over the other by the voice of the people brought in forms of governments that foolishly "take and take and take" and are by their nature a rejection of God, that He should not rule in their hearts and minds.
Eventually, the people cry out because of the burdens placed on them by the civil gods they have chosen for themselves through their covetous practices. This makes them merchandise and brings despotism. The people will complain but God will not hear them nor can they see the nature of God's way until they repent.
Both the Church in the wilderness and the Church that was appointed by Christ were one form of government that required a "servant bureaucracy", sometimes called priests, and a peculiar people who were willing to repent of their covetousness and sloth. Together they established a voluntary system where all learned to actively love their neighbor as themselves.
The people of all nations gather for protection against natural and menacing catastrophes. How that protection is provided is dependent upon the hearts of the people. If they have the heart of Cain and Nimrod they will give according to the commands of Nimrod, or Pharaoh or Caesar. These rulers will call themselves Benefactors and are the Fathers of the earth. Yet they can only provide what they have taken from others by the power of their exercising authority.
But if the the people have the heart of Christ and John the Baptist they will share out of love and charity in hope according to the Perfect law of liberty. This is what they did in Israel. There was no king to force their contributions until they rejected God and elected to have a ruler as related in 1 Samuel 8.
How many people will come together and support those minsters of a kingdom that provide a daily ministration through charity which keeps the people from having to apply for the public welfare of men who call themselves Benefactors but who exercises authority one over the other?
How many men, Elders of families, will gather in Congregations? Can they choose ministers to serve groups of tens within a broad network? Will they practice the common sense of Deuteronomy 16:16 where it says "Three times in a year shall all thy males appear before the LORD thy God in the place which he shall choose; in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles: and they shall not appear before the LORD empty:"?
Will they come together in the name of Christ who came to serve and sacrifice? Many will come empty handed except for the meals they will eat at the feasts. Will they follow the wisdom of Deuteronomy 16:17 "Every man [shall give] as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD thy God which he hath given thee."?
And who will give so that the ministers can form an emergency system to serve in war or peace to help the people near and far?
We know that if you only love those in your family and your local group there is no Grace.
These ancient festivals are gaining popularity amongst many people. Some try to imitate early Israel. Most of the people who go to feasts like Tabernacles are not doing what early Israel and the Levites were doing, nor anything different than those who celebrate the 4th of July.
Many US Citizens today are the most dependent people that ever lived on the American Continent. They are celebrating their independence day as if they are still free but the truth of their bondage seems to go right over their heads.
That is not what the word Celebrate means when you see it mentioned in Leviticus:
- "And ye shall keep it a feast unto the LORD seven days in the year. It shall be a statute for ever in your generations: ye shall celebrate it in the seventh month." Leviticus 23:41
Who can say they abide by Ezra 3:4 "They kept also the feast of tabernacles, as [it is] written, and [offered] the daily burnt offerings by number, according to the custom, as the duty of every day required;"?
In a free nation the head of every house would freely give to the minister. To remain free as a nation they need to choose to give to their public servants to provide for the common Welfare. These two Welfare types, one of force and the other of freedom, define the nature of the nation and the destiny of the people. One is free and the other foolish and will lose its freedom.
We see in Leviticus 23:34:
- "Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, The fifteenth day of this seventh month [shall be] the feast of tabernacles [for] seven days unto the LORD. : 35 On the first day shall be an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein. 36 Seven days ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD: on the eighth day shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD: it is a solemn assembly; and ye shall do no servile work therein. 37 These are the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, to offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD, a burnt offering, and a meat offering, a sacrifice, and drink offerings, every thing upon his day: 38 Beside the sabbaths of the LORD, and beside your gifts, and beside all your vows, and beside all your freewill offerings, which ye give unto the LORD."
It took lots of work and substance to train up a servant government and lots of love for one another to motivate that funding without force. Only those who have true faith in the ways of God and His righteousness shall be free souls under God. Those who are slothful in these sacrifices will end up under tribute. Their Corban will make them merchandise.
Historically people determined the time of the Feasts in a uniform manner based on the lunar calendar not because there was some magical formula but for practical reasons. They made use of the light of the full moon to see in the darkness where there were no flashlights or street lights or LED solar lights by the latrine.
Since there were no cell phones or radio or internet, using the lunar calendar was also a practical way to let all the people know when to meet because everyone could see the moon. These Peculiar people also used other calendars for planting and navigation. People like the Pharisees were constantly unmooring the purpose and the precept from the ritual and focusing on the letter to avoid the true sacrifice and love of God. The feastsserved a national purpose in organizing the people and funding a voluntary government of free people. It was not just a party.
The Kings and Fathers of the earth created international connections via marriage alliances. In Israel, before they rejected God in 1 Samuel 8 and elected a central king to rule over them and be their benefactor, there were No Kings because every man was king in his own house.
If you want your rights back you have to take your responsibilities back. You have to think a different way which is called repentance.
Everything about the Festivals has a purpose which is to facilitate the bonds of society based on charity and love. If the people who think they are "celebrating" or "keeping" the Feast are not donating to a body of servant ministers providing services for the nation of God and at the same time using the feasts to firm up their voluntary connections of the tens hundred and thousands, then what are they doing at the Festivals?
There was another connective purpose found in these festivals of charity and hope. Boys and girls met, fell in love and got married. This prevented the inbreeding of small village life but also bound remote areas of the Kingdom of God by natural family bonds.
That connection of the families of the Kingdom of God from "generation to generation" was essential to bind the people and prepare them for times of disaster or catastrophe. The bonds were those of love, not Contracts, Covenants and Constitutions with men.
If people are not going to the festivals for these purposes then they are not really keeping the feasts.
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- "Bishops, presbyters(Elder) and deacons occupy in the church the same positions as those which were occupied by Aaron, his sons, and the Levites in the temple." Jerome, Ep. 146.
- The Way to the Kingdom' audio. Constantine's Council at Nicea, Baptism without Repentance, Death in the name of Christ, Denominations, Conforming to Christ, Appearance of being godly, What ritual?, What doctrine?, What is the Church? Freedom without control, Altars of clay and stone, Living by the sword, True giving, Why are you afraid?, Congregations of Congregations, Episkopos, The Lowerarchy of the Church, World government, Burnt offerings, Unhewn stones, Sacred purpose trust, What the Church should look like, Anti-Pharisee or Anti-Christ?, Ekklesia, Guidelines of His Holy Church, Conversion, Bound by virtue, Choosing ministers, Empowering without losing power, Unincorporated Association - stay away, Who's the beneficiary?, Feed my sheep, Who else is teaching this?, Christ IS King!
- Eusebius, The Ecclesiastical History, English translation from the original Greek by Kirsopp Lake, Vol. II, G.P. Putnam’s Sons, New York, 1926, pp. 505, 507.
- 1st person plural exhortations
- Daniel B. Wallace, Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics, p. 464.
- Judges 10:14 Go and cry unto the gods which ye have chosen; let them deliver you in the time of your tribulation.
- 1 Samuel 8:18 And ye shall cry out in that day because of your king which ye shall have chosen you; and the LORD will not hear you in that day.
- 2 Kings 18:12 Because they obeyed not the voice of the LORD their God, but transgressed his covenant, and all that Moses the servant of the LORD commanded, and would not hear them, nor do them.
- Jeremiah 11:14 Therefore pray not thou for this people, neither lift up a cry or prayer for them: for I will not hear them in the time that they cry unto me for their trouble.
- : Micah 3:4 Then shall they cry unto the LORD, but he will not hear them: he will even hide his face from them at that time, as they have behaved themselves ill in their doings.
- John 10:8 All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them unless they repent and seek to go another way.
- : Why do you Celebrate the 4th of July?
- Is there cause to celebrate?
- 4th of July - High Quality Mp3 Audio
- Part 1 Fourth of July Message
- Part 2 Fourth of July Message
- Luke 8:3 And Joanna the wife of Chuza Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others, which ministered unto him of their substance.
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Brother Gregory in the wilderness.