Sunday, November 25, 2018

Daily Bible Reading - November 25, 2018

Today's Reading:

Galatians 1

Jeremiah 47-48

Psalm 142

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Thoughts and Commentary on Today's Reading   

It's wonderful and amazing how the Bible is always fresh and relevant. Have you noticed how Yahweh always has it arranged so that the very thing you need will be in your devotional that day? That's how it is for me today. I read Psalm 142 today and it so deeply reflects my own situation and heart-cry that I resonated deeply with every verse. Here it is in its entirety:
I cried unto Yahweh with my voice; with my voice unto Yahweh did I make my supplication. I poured out my complaint before Him; I shewed before Him my trouble. When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, then Thou knewest my path. In the way wherein I walked have they privily laid a snare for me.  
I looked on my right hand, and beheld, but there was no man that would know me: refuge failed me; no man cared for my soul. 
I cried unto Thee, O Yahweh: I said, Thou art my refuge and my portion in the land of the living.Attend unto my cry; for I am brought very low: deliver me from my persecutors; for they are stronger than I.Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise Thy Name: the righteous shall compass me about; for Thou shalt deal bountifully with me.
I don't want to go into details, as that would quickly take me into the realm of gossip...  But I will just say that when my husband, daughter, and I were on our ministry trip in Australia and New Zealand, we were on a spiritual high with all the blessings and miracles that we witnessed our Father accomplishing! It was a time of touching Heaven! And the precious people that we met and spent time with are all daily in our prayers and deeply in our hearts. 

It seemed that the joy of the whole experience could not be diminished...  But then we returned home...  to a spiritual firestorm...

It seems that, while we were away, the devil was hard at work on our home-front. 

  • There are personal attacks which have been hitting us upon our return - we recognize the source: spirits of criticism, judgment, and jealousy are hard at work. The enemy has been using some very well-intentioned individuals to destroy and undermine.
  • There are ministry attacks which have been hitting us also: for example, the previously serious offer of a ministry property on which to establish an Elijah-team training center has fallen through. (We are praying about having a ministry site which will allow people to come and stay for an extended time in which we would be prayerfully teaching them spiritual warfare, intercessory prayer, Torah, and other timely things needed to help folks fulfill God's calling in Malachi 4.)
It was like the devil was so mad about all the good that had been happening on the ministry trip, that he laced our home ground with land-mines to hit us when we returned. He had been hard at work and much trouble was brewing, awaiting us. The attacks have been so intense and so multi-sourced that we have been left with no recourse but the best one - falling to our knees. The Psalmist's prayer resonates deeply with our cries:
I cried unto Yahweh with my voice; with my voice unto Yahweh did I make my supplication. I poured out my complaint before Him; I shewed before Him my trouble. When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, then Thou knewest my path. In the way wherein I walked have they privily (secretly, while we were away) laid a snare for me. 
But the worst part the attack - the most devastating - is the part which is based on our own failings! Have you ever noticed that - at least for us failing humans - the devil's attacks also have an underscoring that is based on our own failings? 

  • Maybe we didn't say something to this person or that person... we were just busy or preoccupied, but they took it as an offense... 
  • Maybe we didn't see things the same way someone else saw them...  
  • Maybe someone misunderstood something or became offended by something we said or did when we didn't mean it the way they took it...  
None of us is perfect, like our precious Saviour. So, there's always plenty of fodder for the enemy to use to arm his own arsenal! And when the enemy attacks with his arrows of destruction, the most deadly part is sharp arrow tips, which the devil poisons with justified accusations (even if that is but a small percentage of the overall attack). We may see that we don't deserve most of what is going wrong - but there's always a small part that we do deserve. 

It is this part of the attack that makes it hard to pray. This poison on the tips of the devil's arrows is intended to reduce us to a defenseless puddle of depressed goo. We are tempted to feel too unworthy to even cry out to Yahweh for help. And without Yahweh's help, we truly are utterly defenseless and will quickly be destroyed.

David went through this with his own son, Absalom. David's personal failings had helped to create the rift between himself and his dear son. When David sinned and had an affair with Bathsheba, he repented and was forgiven by Yahweh. But the memory of it made him respond to things differently than he probably would have before. 
David's son Amnon, who was the half-brother of Absalom, raped and defiled Tamar (who was Absalom's full-blood-sister). David rebuked Amnon, but didn't punish him sufficiently - at least not to Absalom's satisfaction. Perhaps David felt inadequate to punish Amnon, because of his own past failure. But this lack of a sufficient response - in Absalom's eyes - was grounds for deep resentment against his father. As time went on, these seeds of resentment sprouted and grew into a full-blown rebellion.

When all-out war threatened to break out in Jerusalem, David and his loyalists retreated to the mountains. This rebellion was not Yahweh's Will! Yahweh had forgiven, cleansed, and even punished David for his sin with Bathsheba. In Heaven's View, David was cleansed and once again made fit to sit on the throne of Israel. 

Isn't that amazing? God had forgiven David - and in Yahweh's Eyes David was still the Heaven-appointed ruler (we can know this because Yahweh called David a man after His own Heart). But there were people who could not forgive David! In the eyes of these people (lead by Absalom and Ahithophel), David was judged no longer fit to be the king. Thus, Yahweh's calling and anointing on David's life were being challenged - by people who felt quite righteous in doing so!

And how did David respond? David had no impetus to fight back... How could he fight against his own son? How could he defend himself against Ahithophel who had been one of his most faithful advisers and friends? By the way, the motivation for his great bitterness against David was that Ahithophel was Bathsheba's grandfather! (We may know this because Eliab was the son of Ahithophel - 2 Samuel 23:34 and Eliab was Bathsheba's father - 2 Samuel 11:3).

So David was up against an ungodly rebellion that humanly appeared to be a "righteous" coupe against him. The devil's arrows were poison-tipped with the reminder of David's own past failures.  

And yet, as David did, and Mark and I are also prayerfully doing, we must cry out to Yahweh for help! We must not allow the devil's poison to penetrate our thinking or enfeeble our prayers! 

And so today, I cry out to Yahweh with the very appropriate prayer of David. I recognize my own deficiencies. And the fact that I do not deserve His help. And yet, I throw myself on the mercy of my Father's Court. For it is He who has forgiven and cleansed me. It is He who has called me into His service. And it is only He who can deliver me - or any of us - from the attacks of the enemy:
I cried unto Thee, O Yahweh: I said, Thou art my refuge and my portion in the land of the living. Attend unto my cry; for I am brought very low: deliver me from my persecutors; for they are stronger than I. Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise Thy Name: the righteous shall compass me about; for Thou shalt deal bountifully with me.
How is it with you today? Have you also been under attack? Remember that you do not wrestle against "flesh and blood" (people are not the source of the problem) - Ephesians 6:12. Don't let the poison of past guilt keep you from crying out to Yahweh. Seek Him! And He will save you, for His mighty Name's Sake. 

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Daily Bible Reading - November 24, 2018

Today's Reading:

2 Peter 3

Jeremiah 45-46

Psalm 141

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Thoughts and Commentary on Today's Reading   

Today, I'd like to focus on the book of Jeremiah. We've been reading in Jeremiah for several days. So, I thought it would be a blessing to take a look a well-presented overview of the Book of Jeremiah, as follows. (It's just a little over seven minutes long). Enjoy!

Daily Bible Reading - November 23, 2018

Today's Reading:

2 Peter 2

Jeremiah 43-44

Psalm 140

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Thoughts and Commentary on Today's Reading   

Yesterday was Thanksgiving Day in the United States of America. My family and I, like most families in this country, gathered together for food and fellowship. But there is much more significance to this day than just food - or even family togetherness. Thanksgiving is about acknowledging and praising Yahweh for His many blessings on our lives. And, it is a rare holiday in that it actually has a clean root system, having sprung from the root of Torah-keeping...  But now I'm getting ahead of my story. 

Let's start at the beginning. Today, as everyday, it is a joy to thank God for His multitudinous blessings, just as we read in the last verse of Psalm 140:

Psalm 140:13 "Surely the righteous shall give thanks unto Thy Name: the upright shall dwell in Thy Presence."

The historical accounts of many of the Torah-keeping people have been altered. This work was done intentionally to make them appear disgusting, and to ultimately cast Feast and Torah-keeping in a bad light.

One such case is the historical record of the pilgrims. Modern history books portray the pilgrims and the early settlers as evil people who persecuted and abused the "Indians" (Native Americans). In vilifying them, we lose the significance of Thanksgiving (for who wants to commemorate a day when the abusers had dinner with the abused?).

But this story of the pilgrims doesn't match the older historical records. Older history shows that the pilgrims and the early settlers of America banned Christmas and Easter in their communities. They also kept the biblical feasts. In fact, the first Thanksgiving was actually the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot), which our pilgrim forefathers kept with the Native Americans. Together, as Scripture instructs, they were giving God thanks for the harvest and for His many blessings.

Scripture refers to this time of year as “The Feast of Ingathering,” when the harvest is brought in at the end of the agricultural year (Exodus 23:16; 34:22).

So, if this is true, why do modern history textbooks vilify the pilgrims and make the origins of Thanksgiving appear to "stink" in people's eyes? The untold reality is that the Jesuit order have been notorious for trying to discredit the Protestant Reformation, and Torah-keepers ever since the 1500’s. They were founded for this purpose.

The Jesuits have re-written our Public School history books to make the Pilgrims (and other Torah/Feast Keepers) appear to be savages. They want to discredit the Protestant Reformation and the early Reformers for their stand against the Roman Catholic Church. The Jesuits want to make it appear that the Pilgrims were not obedient to the Scriptures and that they were wrong to rebel against the authority of the Pope. There is a hidden agenda to discredit the Faith of our Fathers.

The constitution of the Knights of Columbus, who carry out the orders of the Jesuits, calls for them to rewrite the history books of America to give them the slant that Rome wants them to have.

F. Tupper Saussy, in Rulers of Evil, unveils the effect of the Jesuit educational/theatrical enterprise, with the great objective of obscuring Scripture, operating ‘to discourage the formal study of the basics of which the Bible is the cornerstone-literature, science, and history. 
“In 1914, 90% of American’s elite colleges required history; in 1939 and 1964 more than 50% did; by 1996 only one of the 50 best schools offered a required history course.”  -Saussy, Rulers of EvilUseful Knowledge About Governing Bodies. Reno, NV: Ospray Bookmakers, 1999, p. 74.

Not only have the history books been re-written to make Protestants (those who came against Papal Rome and supported Scripture) appear evil, the books have also been changed to make the Papal plans appear righteous (or be hidden from view entirely). Darryl Eberhart of Tackling the Tough Topics newsletter writes: 

Most of our encyclopedias and history textbooks do NOT tell us that the purpose of the attempted invasion of England in 1588 by the Spanish Armada was to land troops in England to be joined by local Roman Catholics in an effort to overthrow the government and bring England, by force, back under the authority of Papal Rome! The Roman Catholic King of Spain (Philip II) wanted financial “compensation” for launching this invasion. And so the Roman pontiff, Pope Sixtus V, promised King Philip II 200,000 crowns as soon as the Spanish Armada had set sail for England, and more cash to follow later. Thus the Papacy was helping to fund the planned invasion of England (all emphasis in original)!
So why do it? Why change history? Actually, throughout history - even going back to the time of the most ancient of civilizations - you find a pattern. The conquerors would not only take over, but soon after would re-write the history of those they had conquered. 

In the conflict which the Jesuit order was created to win, the Protestant Reformation was to be not just neutralized, but reversed. Ultimately, the goal was to destroy Scriptural fundamentalists and bring about a Counter Reformation that would cause everyone (Catholic and Protestant alike) to unite under the "mother church" of papal Rome. 

Bill Hughes, The Secret Terrorists, p 138 wrote:
For over 200 years, the goal [of the Jesuits] has been the complete destruction of the United States Constitution… In the religious arena, the goal of the Jesuits is to wipe out any trace of Protestantism and other religions, and to restore worldwide domination by the pope. 
Darryl Eberhart, "The Papacy's Hatred of Liberty," Tackling the Tough Topics

...the Papacy, despite its “ecumenical rhetoric”, has not changed a bit over the many centuries in the following categories: 

    • Its deep hatred of Jews, all independent Bible-believing Christians, Protestants, and Orthodox Christians (as recently as the 1940s we find Roman Catholic Ustashi military units in Croatia, led and urged on by Franciscan priests, monks, and friars, slaughtering from 600,000 to one million innocent Serb Orthodox Christian men, women, elderly, and children – many of the victims being first brutally tortured);  
    • Its long-held dream to bring all Christians under its monopolistic, totalitarian, ecclesiastical control; 
    • Its long-held dream to head up a totalitarian one-world religious organization; and, 
    • Its long-held dream to bring all world leaders – especially those in “Christian” countries – under the temporal power of the pope.  

So, with that backstory, let's re-examine Thanksgiving... (The following is from Maria Merola's online article, Is Thanksgiving Pagan?

There are some people who want to purport that Thanksgiving Day is another pagan holiday meant to commemorate Nimrod. They say that it is the same day that the witches celebrate on September 21st called “Mabon” but this is not even close to the truth. First of all, we are shown in scripture that there is no “bad time of year” to give thanks to Yahweh for the things He has given us throughout the year. To those who would say “where is the word Thanksgiving found in Scripture?”  There are several places in Scripture where we are commanded to give thanks:

Leviticus 7:12 If he offer it for a thanksgiving, then he shall offer with the sacrifice of thanksgiving unleavened cakes mingled with oil, and unleavened wafers anointed with oil, and cakes mingled with oil, of fine flour, fried.

Leviticus 7:13 Besides the cakes, he shall offer for his offering leavened bread with the sacrifice of thanksgiving of his peace offerings.

Leviticus 7:15 And the flesh of the sacrifice of his peace offerings for thanksgiving shall be eaten the same day that it is offered; he shall not leave any of it until the morning.

Leviticus 22:29 And when ye will offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving unto YHWH, offer it at your own will.

Nehemiah 11:17 And Mattaniah the son of Micha, the son of Zabdi, the son of Asaph, was the principal to begin the thanksgiving in prayer: and Bakbukiah the second among his brethren, and Abda the son of Shammua, the son of Galal, the son of Jeduthun.

Nehemiah 12:8 Moreover the Levites: Jeshua, Binnui, Kadmiel, Sherebiah, Judah, and Mattaniah, which was over the thanksgiving, he and his brethren.

Nehemiah 12:27 And at the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem they sought the Levites out of all their places, to bring them to Jerusalem, to keep the dedication with gladness, both with thanksgivings, and with singing, with cymbals, psalteries, and with harps.

Nehemiah 12:46 For in the days of David and Asaph of old there were chief of the singers, and songs of praise and thanksgiving unto Elohiym (God).

Psalm 26:7 That I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all your wondrous works.

Psalm 50:14 Offer unto Elohiym (God) thanksgiving; and pay your vows unto the most High:

To those who wrongly associate Thanksgiving with Mabon, let’s see what Yahweh says about celebrating The Feast of Tabernacles  or “Ingathering” at the Harvest Time:

Exodus 23:16 And the feast of harvest, the firstfruits of your labours, which you have sown in the field: and the feast of ingathering, which is in the end of the year, when you have gathered in your labours out of the field.

Exodus 34:22 And you shall observe the feast of weeks, of the firstfruits of wheat harvest, and the feast of ingathering at the year’s end.

Now just because Satan is a copycat and a counterfeiter, whose form of Harvest should we celebrate in the Fall? Satan’s Mabon or the Feast of Tabernacles? Just because they happen to fall around the same time of year, are we supposed to no longer celebrate the Feast of Ingathering or Harvest unto Yahweh?

Now, I celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles each year according to the Biblical Calendar, but is it wrong to also celebrate an American Tradition that is meant to honor Yahweh and give thanks to Him? Are all traditions against Torah? Does Thanksgiving violate the word of Yah?

I cannot find one thing pagan about Thanksgiving.

Mabon is celebrated in September not November, so there is no connection here. The first thing I want to do is illustrate that the Pilgrims were very conscientious about not violating Yah’s word, and they would NEVER have celebrated a pagan holiday known as “Mabon” but instead, they were careful to keep all of the Holy Feasts of Yahweh. This is why this argument does not hold water, and it is apparent that our history books have been re-written to discredit the Pilgrims because of their stand for the truth of scripture.

The Origins of Thanksgiving

The “Thanksgiving” we now celebrate (a feast of togetherness between the Native Americans--was not the original gathering). It is true that Squanto and his fellow Native Americans helped the Pilgrims to grow crops and get sap from trees and survive the harsh winters of what would become New England. But the very first harvest feast that these two peoples enjoyed was not called Thanksgiving. Rather it was a celebration of the fall harvest, when vegetables were pulled from the ground and off stalks and made ready for a big meal.

Pilgrims and Native Americans dined together at the same tables, yes, and they played games together and demonstrated their bow-and-arrow and musket-shooting skills to each other. But they didn't call it Thanksgiving until 1624.

That year William Bradford, the governor of the Plymouth Colony, proclaimed a day of thanksgiving that was really a day of fasting and prayer. (Remember, fasting is when you don’t eat. So, Thanksgiving started out as a day of not eating.) And the day the members of the Plymouth Colony celebrated this day of fasting and prayer in thanksgiving was November 29th.

So we have two ideas coming together: a day of thanksgiving for the fall harvest, on which people fasted and prayed, and a great feast to celebrate the bounty of the fall harvest. Since both activities celebrated the same thing--the fall harvest—it’s only natural that they eventually merged (like so many other American holidays).

This merged celebration continued informally through the years, until 1863, when President Abraham Lincoln declared the fourth Thursday of November a national holiday called Thanksgiving.

The Early Settlers and Pilgrims were Torah Observant followers of Messiah

In the 1600’s it was against the law in America to celebrate the pagan holidays instituted by the Papacy (i.e. Christmas, Easter etc.). These were handed down from the Tower of Babel and made to look “Christian” by Constantine in the 3rd Century, but they never were meant to honor the true God of Yisra’el. They were always meant to commemorate the pagan sun gods who were always reincarnated each December 25th. YaHuW’shuwa (Jesus) was then “lumped in” with all of those false Messiah’s, even though he was born on the Feast of Tabernacles in the fall.

It was not until the Papacy began to take on a stronghold in American life, that the “falling away” began in America, and gradually since the 1900’s, Protestant Churches began to adopt the customs of the Papacy (Beast of Revelation 17). Prior to the 1900’s, most Protestant Churches did not keep Christmas or Easter.

Hence, today, we have deviated greatly from what the Protestant Reformers fought so hard against in order to gain freedom from the Papacy and all of it’s Babylonian customs.

Another “Reformation” is in order again today, and I believe it will begin when those who are part of Yah’s Remnant will “come out of her” (Revelation 18:4) pertaining to the Mother of Harlots, and her false Baal worship religion that she has masked to look “Christian.” Let’s give thanks to the Creator of Yisra’el, YaHuWaH, who came in the flesh as YaHuW’shuwa our Messiah!

At this website, evidence is provided about the Early American Settlers who came over from England on the Mayflower. These Pilgrims were Torah Observant and would have nothing to do with the Papacy or the customs of Rome.

Early Settlers Kept the Seventh Day Sabbath

It has been reported that the first Sabbath-keeper in America was Stephen Mumford who came as a missionary from London in 1664, and brought the opinion with him that the whole of the ten commandments, as they were delivered from Mount Sinai, were moral and immutable; and that it was the anti-Christian power which thought to change times and laws, that changed the Sabbath from the seventh to the first day of the week (Andrews, pp. 498-499).

Although it is not commonly taught, some of the Puritans kept the Sabbath.

In a book by Dr. Samuel Kohn, chief Rabbi of Budapest, Hungary, in the late 1800s provided this information:

Already around the year 1530 Sabbatarians emerged in Bohemia Sabbatarians (Subbotniki), or Judaizers also arose soon thereafter in Silesia, Poland and Russia; in the latter, where they were frequently confused with the Jews in the second half of this century, remain until today. We meet similar sects around 1545 among the Quakers in England. Several leaders and preacher of the Puritans, imbued with the Old Testament spirit, likewise raised the issue of reinstating the day of rest from Sunday to Saturday (Kohn S. Translated by T. McElwain and B. Rook. Sabbatarians in Transylvania. Christian Churches of God, Wooden (Australia), 1998, p.10-11).
Here is another report which also reports that once in America, there were Sabbatarians among the Puritans (as well as the position against Christmas, which is also a Church of God position):
Strange as it may seem, in the early history of America there was an attempt at suppression of Christmas spirit. The stern Puritans at Plymouth, imbued with the rigorous fervor of the Old Testament, abhorred the celebration of the orthodox holidays. Their worship was on the Sabbath (Saturday), rather than Sunday, and Christmas in particular they considered a pagan celebration. Later immigrants attempted to observe Christmas as a time of joy, but were suppressed. Governor Bradford, Elder Brewster, Miles Standish and other leaders were firm against the yuletide spirit as we know it today (Sprague H. Letter from the editor. St. Joseph, Mo., Daily Gazette, December 1934 as cited in Dugger AN, Dodd CO. A History of True Religion, 3rd ed. Jerusalem, 1972 (Church of God, 7th Day). 1990 reprint, p. 265).

In addition, those Puritans even had the Native Americans observe the Sabbath as well:

... Adopt the Puritan pace and mode of work, which meant long days of agricultural labor. Insisting upon the gendered division of labor favored by the English, the missionaries urged the Indian men to forsake hunting and fishing in favor of farming. The Indian women were supposed to withdraw ... had to rest and worship on the seventh day, the Sabbath. Praying towns did not appeal to those Indians who belonged to the largest and most autonomous bands, principally the Narragansett (Taylor A. American Colonies : The Settling of North America; The Penguin History of the United States, Volume1, Hist of the USA. (Paperback) Penguin, New York; Reprint edition, July 30, 2002).
That some of the Puritans kept the seventh-day Sabbath should not be a surprised as the Church of God includes in its ancestry (see articles The Churches of Revelation 2 & 3 and The Pergamos Church Era), people who were called the Cathari (from the Greek word, katharoi, meaning pure).

Michael Scheifler provides insight into historic facts about the Early Settlers in America

Christmas Banned by Protestants after the Reformation

On this website we see that the Reformers and the Pilgrims fought to keep these pagan holidays of Christmas and Easter out of the church, yet these pagan customs in our Apostate American Churches have prevailed:

History records that when the Puritans came to power in England, Parliament, in June, 1647, passed legislation abolishing Christmas and other holidays. In this legislation, they wrote the following: 
“For as much as the feast of the nativity of Christ, Easter, and other festivals, commonly called holy days, have been here-to-fore superstitiously used and observed; be it ordained that the said feasts, and all other festivals, commonly called holy days, be no longer observed as festivals.”
The American Puritan movement took an even stronger stand against these pagan holidays. Samuel Miller, a Puritan and professor of history and church government at Princeton Seminary, stated in 1896 in his book, why Presbyterians reject the holy days of Christmas and Easter. He stated that: 
“the Scriptures were the only infallible rule of faith and practice, and that no rite or ceremony ought to have a place in the public worship of Yahweh, which is not warranted in Scripture. Not only does the celebration of non-biblical holidays lack a scriptural foundation, but the scriptures positively discount it.” [Miller, pgs. 65, 74]
Presbyterians were not the only ones who maintained a strong stand against Christmas, as there were many other Christians who held to similar convictions. As a matter of fact, the famous preacher, Charles Spurgeon, stated in a sermon given on Christmas Eve, December 24th 1871, the following:
“We have no superstitious regard for times and seasons. Certainly we do not believe in the present ecclesiastical arrangement called Christmas: first, because we do not believe in the mass at all, but abhor it, whether it be said or sung in Latin or English; and secondly, because we find no scriptural warrant whatever for observing any day as the birthday of the Savior; and, consequently, it’s observance is a superstition, because not of divine authority.” [C. H. Spurgeon, Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, 1971, pg. 697]

Opposition to these church holidays remained in American Presbyterianism through the latter half of the 19th century. Speaking following the Civil War, historian Ernest Trice Thompson wrote the following:
“There was no recognition of either Christmas or Easter in any of the Protestant churches, except the Episcopal and Lutheran. For a full generation after the Civil War, the religious journals of the South mentioned Christmas only to observe that there was no reason to believe that Jesus was actually born on December 25th; it was not recognized as a day of any religious significance in the Presbyterian Church” [Ernest Trice Thompson, Presbyterians In the South, 1973, Vol. 2, pg. 434.] FSCG Note: Alabama was the USA State to recognize Christmas, and did not do so until 1836. [“Tidbits,” Cheyenne, Wy. 82007, Burchett Publishing, Issue #271]
It was not until the turn of the 19th century that various Christmas customs began appearing in Presbyterian churches. There began to be reports of: 1) Frivolities like Saint Nicholas in children’s Sunday schools. 2) Use of Christmas trees and other festivities.

The appearance of Easter and Christmas in the official calendar of the Southern Presbyterian church did not actually occur until the late 1940s and 1950s, as a work of growing apostasy in the church. Even so, as late as 1962, the Synod of the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland stated that they rejected the celebrations of Christmas and Easter [History of the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland, 1893-1970, pg. 383].Christmas has clearly brought an infusion of paganism into the church that was initially prohibited among all of Yah’s people…..”

Below, Adam Bernay shares how the Pilgrims who came over on the Mayflower kept all of Yah’s Holy Feast days (Leviticus 23) to include the Feast of Tabernacles (which later on became Thanksgiving). The Pilgrims kept “the Feast of Ingathering” and proclaimed a “thanksgiving” according to the Calendar of Yahweh on the 15th day of the 7th Hebrew month (generally around September/October depending on the moons).

Later on, Abraham Lincoln changed the date to the last Thursday in November and made it an official American Holiday. More than likely Abraham Lincoln was not even aware that the Pilgrims were celebrating the Feast of Tabernacles in the Hebrew month of Tishri (in Autumn), and so he simply chose a random date whereby we would “give thanks” as a nation to Yahweh.

The Hebraic Origins of Thanksgiving
By Adam J. Bernay

(Today), families and friends all across America will sit down to enjoy Thanksgiving Dinner, with only the faintest idea why they’re doing it. In most schools, the history told is a very simple one: the Pilgrims, having survived their first winter in the New World, held a feast to celebrate their first harvest, and invited the local Natives to join them. Which is true, as far as that story goes. But, as is the case with history, the full story is actually a lot more interesting…

We should begin by asking ourselves, who were the Pilgrims? The standard answer – that they were people who fled England so that they may live and worship as they pleased – is also true, as far as it goes. But what was the problem with living and worshiping as they pleased? What shocking breach of English Christian society did they commit on a regular basis?

The answer – the full answer – is that these Anabaptists were Torah Observant. They kept the “Law of Moses,” as their Anglican cousins said. They worshiped not on the first day of the week but the seventh. They didn’t eat pork, shellfish, blood, or anything else forbidden in the first five books of the Bible. They didn’t keep Christmas or Easter, and they did keep Passover, the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Day of the First Fruits, Pentecost, the Day of Blowing the Trumpets, the Day of Atonement… and, most importantly for today’s discussion, they kept the Feast of Tabernacles, called in Hebrew Sukkot.

How do we know this? Well, there are many historical proofs one may offer. First off, you might not know that America was not their first destination when they left England. No, first they went to Holland, where there was full and complete religious freedom. In Holland were not only Jews – including a large group of Sephardic Jews, Jews from the Spanish-speaking countries, in this case specifically from Spain, from where they’d been forced to leave during the Spanish Inquisition – and beyond Jews, there were other Torah Observant Christians! They stayed in Holland for some years, and then came to the New World, where they set up a government and society based on not English common law, but on the Laws of the Bible. Here is a quote from “THE JOURNAL OF THE PILGRIMS AT PLYMOUTH, IN NEW ENGLAND, IN 1620” as edited by Dr. George B. Cheever, Doctorate of Divinity, a famous Christian pastor during the early 1800s, and prolific Christian author:
Now it is remarkable that in the first great instance of capital legislation in this country, our Pilgrim Fathers went not to the laws of England for their guidance, but to those of Yahweh. On this point Dr. Bacon of New Haven has written admirably. “What system of legislation should the colonists take in founding a New World? They could not instantly frame a new system; it must be the work of time and experience. Should they take the laws of England? Those were the very laws from which they fled. Those laws would subject them at once to the king, to the parliament, and to the prelates, in their several jurisdictions. The adoption of the laws of England would have been fatal to the object of their emigration.”
They could not take the Roman civil law; but they had a code of laws in every man's hand in the Bible, laws given to a community emigrating, like themselves, from their native country, for the great purpose of maintaining in simplicity and purity the worship of the one true Creator Yahweh.

Like the Israelites of old, they were to be a people surrounded by the heathen, and intermingled among them, and needing the influence of laws framed with a special reference to such a corrupting neighborhood and intercourse. Like the Hebrews also they were a free republican people, and needed laws for a community where there was no absolute power, where there were no privileged classes; laws, whose aim should be that equal and exact justice which is the only freedom. …

Dr. Bacon well remarks that: 

“the greatest and boldest improvement which has been made in criminal jurisprudence by any one act since the dark ages, was that which was made by our fathers, when they determined that the judicial laws of Yahweh as they were delivered by Moses, should be accounted of moral equity, and generally bind all offenders, and be a rule to all the courts.”

So, we see, that they lived by “the Laws of Yahweh as they were delivered by Moses,” which would include the keeping of a particular harvest festival known in English as the Feast of Tabernacles – or Feast of Booths, depending on your translation. We know they had three days of actual celebrating, which are the same as the three days during the Feast when all work is stopped and the focus is fully on celebrating Yahweh’s Bounty.

And finally, on last bit of historic proof, one based on a bit of language. You may have had the dish they created, a mixture of harvest vegetables called Succotash. Well, knowing that Succotash is a compound word, and knowing that Englishmen have a tendency to drop the H’s at the beginnings of words, we can see that this fall delicacy began life as the Pilgrims’s “Sukkot Hash.” Cool… huh?