We are new members. I realize that our family, should attend the Feast Tabernacles. Please explain how we can afford to make the trip.
The Feast of Tabernacles is not manmade. It is a holy convocation — a COMMANDED ASSEMBLY! (Lev. 23:7, 21). God does not say "if" you want to come. He orders you to attend. Besides being the command of a loving God, attending these festivals is a great joy and privilege. God gave these days for our good — that we might come to know Him better, to know and love the brethren, and that the true Church of God might be bound together. Many of you whom we have met on baptizing tours say that you would give anything to experience the joy and thrill of meeting with more of God's own children — the type of humble, sincere, God-fearing people with whom you can freely discuss God's word in love and harmony. Attending God's annual festivals is His solution — the Bible solution — the right way to solve this problem! You will have to experience the Feast of Tabernacles before you can fully realize the joy, peace, happiness and the spiritual "life" one feels at this festival. For every true Christian, it is both a duty and a priceless blessing and privilege to attend these spiritual "feasts." But how to afford it? God has not only provided, but also Commanded a way to make it financially possible for everyone to keep His Holy Days! That way is through saving a second tithe to cover your personal expenses. First, let us understand the purpose of the second tithe. God, in His Word, commands us to assemble ;it His set feasts. In order to make our attendance possible, God ordained that we set aside each year a second tithe to cover expense t o and from the festival. You will find this explained in Deut. 14:23-26 and 16:11-15. In ancient times, when travel expenses were of little consequence, the tithe was used to cover food expenses primarily. But today, since the purpose of the second tithe is to enable us to attend the festivals, much more of it has to be spent for transportation than for food. Now let us notice where the second tithe was to be spent: "Thou shalt truly tithe all the increase of thy seed, that the field bringeth forth year by year. And thou shalt eat before the Lord thy God, in the place which he shall choose to place his name there... that thou mayest learn to fear the Lord thy God always. And if the way be too long for thee, so that thou art not able to carry it; or if the place be too far from thee, which the Lord thy God shall choose to set his name there, when the Lord thy God hath blessed thee: then shalt thou turn it into money... aid shalt GO unto the place which the Lord thy God shall choose... and thou shalt eat there before the Lord thy Cod, and thou shalt rejoice" (Deut. 14:22-27). The second tithe — the tenth that God wants us to use, which is another and separate tenth from the first tithe that He reserves for Himself for the carrying out of the gospel — the second tithe we are to use to attend the festivals. But let us read further: "Thou mayest NOT eat within thy gates the tithe of thy corn, of thy wine ... but thou MUST eat them before the Lord thy God in the place which the Lord thy God shall choose, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter" (Deut. 12:17-18). Here is a positive command not to use the second tithe at home if you are otherwise unable to attend. You must use it to enable you to attend the festivals at the place which God chooses. If the money is spent for any other purpose, then you are breaking a command of God — you are not learning to fear His authority — and you are cheating yourself of the wonderful blessing of fellowship with others of like faith. If for sudden unforeseen circumstances you are unable to attend the festivals, and if you are prosperous, it would be the right and brotherly duty to enable others to use your tithe. It can be sent to Pasadena, with an explanation that it is to enable others to attend. But if you are like most of the brethren, not having many worldly goods, and a small income or none at all, and if you are unable to come to the festival, you should save it until the next year or for two years, if necessary, when you will then have enough to assemble where God has chosen to place His name. Meantime, you will be observing the festivals at home just as you would at the feast in Gladewater or London In a few cases some aid the poorer brethren through the extra second tithe of those few who have more than enough. But only those who have faithfully saved their insufficient second tithe deserve the extra help. If you have not tried to save your little, God can not deem you worthy of His extra assistance. The Feast begins this year at sunset Oct. 5, 1960 and ends sunset Oct. 13, 1960. The annual sabbaths are Oct. 6, 1960 and Oct. 13, 1960, beginning previous evening.