There are more BLESSINGS than ever in store this year. You NEED the fellowship and spiritual "meat" provided at God's Festival!
"BUT be ye DOERS of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves" (James 1:22). You brethren in GOD'S Church know that He has commanded us to observe His annual Church Festivals, or Holy Days. Jesus Christ told His brothers: "GO ye up unto this FEAST" (John 7:8). He was speaking of the Feast of Tabernacles! (Verse 2). Soon after — setting us an EXAMPLE — He Himself came up to the Feast and took part in it (Verses 10, 14, 37). Are you willing to let the Living Christ live this SAME kind of life in you today?
PURPOSE of Holy Days
This world's churches have their man-devised "camp meetings" at a time and in a way that seems right to man. But we have proved in past articles — and will continue to do so — that the annual sabbaths or feast days God gave His people were commanded and intended to be kept forever (Lev. 23:21, 31, 41). Christ set us a perfect example in keeping them, and the apostles continued keeping them and even commanding Gentile converts to keep these days of God (I Cor. 5:8). The world is busy observing the pagan holidays of Christmas and Easter. Its camp meetings are organized and directed as man reasons — not as God commands. Then it sneers at the days God has made holy — at the festivals the Creator instituted to keep men in remembrance of His true plan. Carnal men scoffingly, sneeringly call these days "Jewish" and they ridicule them as the invention of a harsh, inconsiderate "God of the Old Testament." They seem to forget that Christ and the apostles kept these days in the New Testament. They ignore the fact that God calls these days "MY sabbaths" — holy unto the Lord! These days are never referred to as being "holy to the Jews." But they are holy to the Eternal Creator who gives you every breath of air you breathe. You are defying Him if you refuse to keep them! In so doing, you will lose knowledge of the true God and of His plan which is pictured by these days. In their disobedience, the churches of this world have lost knowledge of God's plan of salvation. They preach many different gospels. They are in confusion — "Babylon" (Rev. 17) — and we are commanded to "come out" of this mixed-up, deceived churchianity (Rev. 18:4). Many of you brethren have come out of this world, and then have found yourselves unable to have fellowship with any of God's people. It is often impossible to meet with other true brethren on the weekly Sabbath. You must simply worship God alone "in Spirit and in truth " BUT God's annual Sabbaths or holy days provide an opportunity to travel even some distance and have that needed fellowship with other members of the true church of God.
This Is God's Way
These festive occasions are commanded to be kept in the place that God should choose. Deuteronomy 16:16 shows particularly that the days of Unleavened Bread (with the Passover, verse 6), the day of Pentecost, and the Feast of Tabernacles were all to be kept where God would choose. In your Bible, in Zechariah 14:16-19, God declares He is going to PUNISH Egypt or any other nation that dares to stay away from the Feast of Tabernacles during the Millennium! It is so important to God that He is going to intervene in the weather patterns and send a terrible drought if they won't come. Then, if they still refuse, God is going to send a horrifying PLAGUE on those who refuse to attend (verse 18). God MEANS BUSINESS! And He says: "For I am the Lord, I change not" (Mal. 3.6). With the end of this age approaching, with prophecies being rapidly fulfilled, you should see more than ever the great NEED to attend the Feast of Tabernacles this year for YOUR GOOD.
More BLESSINGS this Year!
This year there will be more special attractions and blessings for those who attend the Feast of Tabernacles than ever before. Most of you brethren in the United States have heard about the wonderful location God has opened up to His Church for use of the West Coast brethren for observance of the Feast of Tabernacles. Squaw Valley — the site of the 1960 Winter Olympics — is one of the prime tourist attractions in America today. Situated at 6200 feet altitude, only three or four miles from famous Lake Tahoe, it is one of the most beautiful and rewarding spots on earth. I have been there and I KNOW! The opportunities to rejoice before God which He commands us to do at His Feast are almost unlimited in this wonderful location. The facilities for swimming, horseback riding, hiking, fishing and hunting, and just drinking in the natural beauty of God's creation would be hard to beat anywhere else on earth. At Gladewater, Texas, this year additional recreational facilities for swimming, horseback riding and softball games are being arranged. Also, more efficient and enjoyable children's activities are being planned to take care of the children during the afternoons and give parents an opportunity for relaxation. Also, the Ambassador Chorale — plus many other students — will be at Gladewater and present over again their splendid recital of last spring, including a special light opera type of production entitled, Westward Ho." You will really enjoy yourself at God's Festival at Gladewater this year!
Have You the Money?
Except for the comparatively few who have recently been baptized and haven't understood about God's Festivals, every single one of you should have SAVED a second tithe or tenth of your income — as God commands — to enable you to keep and rejoice in the Feast of Tabernacles. We have had many articles explaining this command in the past in the GOOD NEWS magazine. If any of you want further information on this, be sure to write us immediately. But NOW, if any of you have wrongly "borrowed" from your second tithe or simply failed to save a full second tenth to attend God's Festivals — you should if at all possible pay back this tenth part of your income and OBEY God by attending His Feast of Tabernacles. If some of you newer brethren haven't understood about this command long enough or thoroughly enough to save this second tithe, then certainly God would expect you to use money from your regular income to attend IF it is at all possible and is not going to result in calamity for yourself or your family. The point is that Almighty God INTENDS that you be at His Festival! There will be no miserable "excuses" accepted by Christ after He comes to personally lead us in keeping the Feast. We have already seen that revealed in Zechariah 14. And so — since Christ does not change, and. since He is right NOW the living Head of the Church — He will not accept any such excuses at this time either! Unless illness or serious financial adversity would result from your attendance (and God knows what the situation really is), you should MAKE a way to attend the Feast of Tabernacles THIS YEAR! If you have genuine problems, write us about them immediately.
REJOICE at the Feast of Tabernacles!
Obeying these commands of God will bring greater blessings than you have ever experienced! Hundreds of you have written us asking, "How can we have fellowship with other true believers"? God in His infinite wisdom knew that His children should congregate for instruction and fellowship. That is why God blessed us by giving us His annual festivals. Saving your second tithe will make the joyous privilege of attending these festivals possible. Because God has commanded this special tithe, He is bound to help you fulfill this command. If you do YOUR part, you can know that God will enable you to attend His Holy Festivals! Do you realize what this means? It means that God is commanding us, instructing us — and will BLESS us that we may take a vacation in joyous fellowship with His people! This is the time to take your vacation. It is a time when God will make it possible for all His children to rest from their regular duties and to worship and rejoice together in His festivals. So by all means come to the Feast of Tabernacles! When? At the time God has set — at the Feast of Tabernacles, which begins this year on Friday evening, October 12 and ends on Saturday evening October 20. How? By setting aside your second tithe regularly which God has commanded that you use in attending His Holy Days. Why? Because your Creator knows that you need the spiritual fellowship made possible by these festivals. He has commanded you to attend. Honestly, you can't afford NOT to attend God's festivals! So, as we said last year: Come with an often mind and heart. Come with an open Bible and a ready pen and notebook. Come with a warm handshake and a ready smile. But COME — obey your Maker — and REJOICE!