Thanksgiving is Biblical

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Historians and Jewish sources know that the first Thanksgiving in the United States has strong similarities to the biblical Feast of Tabernacles. Leviticus 23:34 tells us this is a holy convocation (Sabbath which Jesus, HIS disciples worshipped). The Church of God established on Pentecost also kept this Sabbath Feast called Sukkot or Feast of Ingathering.  Verse 41 of Leviticus commands, “…It shall be a statue forever in your generations…”  Thanksgiving and Sukkot both share the last autumn harvest feast giving glory and thanksgiving to Father God.

Few people realize how respectful and sincere the Mayflower Pilgrims honored the Bible and refused to honor the fall celebrations in effect in England (Harvest Home Festival). The English celebration followed pagan traditions such as idol worship, lack of sexual restraints and lack of other moral restraints of the Ten Commandments. As the Puritans pressured the government to establish the English laws on biblical principles, King James the first, vowed to make the Puritans conform to the Church of England or he would harass them out of the land or else (Martin Marty, Pilgrims in Their Own Land, page 59).  The Pilgrims first fled to Holland and soon after sailed to Cape Cod, dropping anchor in November 1620. On December 11, they disembarked at Plymouth Rock.

The Native American Indians provided food and other assistance until the bountiful harvest of 1621. The feast, the first Thanksgiving was celebrated for three days. The first winter was devastating and nearly half the Mayflower Pilgrims died.  Historians believe none would have survived the first year without the helping hand and food provided by the Native Americans.

The early settlers called their Plymouth Colony “Little Israel.”  Just as Moses led the Children of Israel from the oppression of Egypt and settled in the Holy Land, so did the Puritans flee oppression and found a new home. They even referred to the new home as the Promised Land. The American Indians were believed to be part of the ‘lost ten tribes of Israel’. However, the Puritans also were likely descendants of the ‘lost ten tribes of Israel’.  Yet, the ten tribes of Jacob (Israel) were not lost at all but simply dispersed by the Assyrians 136 years before the fall of Jerusalem in 586 BC. They were dispersed (Diaspora) and mingled throughout the world and never returned or accepted back into Judah because of their blood mixture. The Messiah repeatedly reached out to those few remaining and rejected people within Israel called Samaritans (Good Samaritan, Luke 10:33 ** Jesus accused of being a demon and a Samaritan, John 8:48). 

Genesis 12:3 ** “…In you (Abram) all families of the earth shall be blessed.” ** Our God prophesied this great truth with these words to Abram to begin the salvation plan of mankind. This salvation plan started following the fall of man in Eden. This plan now draws to a close in bringing people of all nations to become obedient members of HIS family. The Messiah, Y’shua Jesus Christ stated these words in Mark 3:35, saying, “For whoever does the will of God is MY brother and MY sister and mother.” 

A truly obedient and religious president was Abraham Lincoln. In 1863, he stated these words, “The Year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God….No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remember mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People”….

In an earlier Proclamation, President Lincoln related the wickedness of a sinful nation with Nineveh in Jonah 3:7-8, proclaiming a national day of humiliation, fasting, and prayer. In this address, he stated, “……It is the duty of nations as well as of men, to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God, to confess their sins and transgressions, in humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon; and to recognize the sublime truth, announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord…………We have grown in numbers, wealth and power as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God”……..

The Pilgrims remembered our Creator and reverently brought God into the new world they called ‘Little Israel’. However, within 200 years the greed of mankind overwhelmed and nearly annihilated the Native Americans that gave aid to the Pilgrims. The Pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts. No Americans have been so impoverished than those, nevertheless, who set aside a day for Thanksgiving (HU Westermayer). ** We must give honor to our Most High God who has poured out the Biblical blessing of Abraham but has turned quickly back to follow the temporary God of this world (Satan). Turn back to God today for the Lord will no longer bless and keep you. The Lord will no longer shine HIS face upon you and give you His peace in HIS soon coming Kingdom!