Feasts and festivals
The Function of the Feast
The Feasts of Israel were in-gatherings and played an essential roll in maintaining a free nation. Without these festivals, there was no practical way to bring a free nation together and to create the voluntary bonds in a society which are essential for the functioning of a free and healthy state.
Israel was not a One purse commonwealth where everything belonged to the State. The power of the State remained with the people who stood, worked and occasionally fought together as a nation but remained individuals in a natural state of freedom with their natural God-given rights intact. They were the kind of citizen of a nation who enjoyed rights "not connected with the organization or the administration of government" but because they were the government of, for and by the people they were "free from things public".
There was no civilly enforceable contract to compel performance in that early republic because the status or state of the people was independent according to the nature of a republican form of government in its purest form.
There was no taxation in Israel and the only corporate form of government consisted of the Levites who were called and established by Moses to serve the tents of the congregation of the people and manage the sacrifice of the people through mutual living altars of clay and stone. The tithe was provided to individual Levites of your choice "according to his service".
Since religion was how you cared for others within your community and society these gatherings were essential for the maintenance of a governmental system based on liberty. Each elder of each family was required, by common sense, to participate.
Making this system work was dependent on everyone working and doing their part. There was no central leader forcing everyone to pay their share. What you contributed and how you participated set the path for success or failure of society.
Acceptance of personal responsibilities for yourself and your neighbor or the rejection through sloth and avarice of those religious duties by the people was the foundation of either a brotherhood of caring for one another in free communion or the collective corrupting through covetousness of controlling despotic hearts.
This Kingdom of God like all utopias depended on individual virtue and the nobility of character of every participant. Without the Character of God written on our hearts and minds there would be no salvation in this world nor the next. This Kingdom of God also depended upon a fundamental structure or pattern.
There was local charity provided through a daily ministration by way of the Church in the wilderness but in the case of calamity there could be a need for a national charitable network which could provide an emergency response. Each level of this priestly public service was elected by the group they served in patterns of Tens with sometimes seven men elected by the people but appointed by the called out public servants, the Levites. They had no authority over anything except that which was freely given.
Many of the ministers of this chain of national public service did not see each other on a regular basis. They did not meet every Sabbath because they lived farther and farther apart. As they were designated overseers in a voluntary network of service that covered a wider and wider area they called three festivals a year to keep the national network functioning and viable.
When many people faithfully came to these Feasts and festivals a secondary effect would occur which was equally important. Families would also unite through the union of marriage because of the relationships that would spawn at these festivals. Generations and families would be united in familia networks beyond the pattern of tens.
There were three gatherings often classified as Pilgrimage Festivals, in Hebrew Shalosh Regalim (שלוש רגלים). The Shavuot (Feast of Weeks or Pentecost), and Sukkot (Tabernacles, Tents or Booths). During these festivals, the people would make a pilgrimage to the Tabernacle which moved to different tribal areas. This would keep everyone familiar with all of the territory of Israel and people in different parts of the nation or the world.
Everyone could participate in festivities in conjunction with the services of the kohanim ("priests") at the Tabernacle. The Pesach or Passover did not really call for a pilgrimage except of the heart. It was a congregational festival. Friends and families would gather for an all night meal with enough people to consume an entire lamb before morning. They were not to leave during the night although they were to be prepared to go. It was gathering about sharing and the protection that the "blood of the lamb" offers those who will share.
These gatherings were festivals but allowed young people to develop relationships with people in other areas. There were also serious issues that could be brought up such as when the tribe of Reuben appeared to be setting up a system independent of the other tribes. The bonds of a free nation are not contractual but relational. These Pilgrimage Festivals were essential to building personal relations and connecting all the people of a nation through a charitable network that could provide assistance in the case of misfortune or mishap but also relief and refuge in the event of catastrophes, calamities, and cataclysm.
Pentecost and Shavuot
Israel's harvest festival of Shavuot commemorates God giving the Ten Commandments to Moses and the people at Mount Sinai fifty days after the Exodus. The modern Church often plays down the commandments, equating them to the law that was nailed to the cross. But it was the abuse of statutes of Moses by the government and doctrines of the Pharisees that was done away with by the cross. The same confusion they sowed about the commandments they fostered about the altars and feasts.
If this message of keeping the commandments of God is repeated over and over again in Old and New Testaments we must ask can you have faith in Christ but not strive  to keep His commandments? We should be doing what Jesus said to do in order to inherit eternal life in this life or the next.
Jesus made it clear that we must strive to keep the commandments to inherit eternal life but we do read in John 3:15 “That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.” But John also talks about deeds by which we can gauge the truth of which a man truly believes and which is a liar.
- John 3:17 “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved... And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.”
If a man's “deeds were evil” then we should know that they do not really believe nor do they love the light. How do we know if their deeds are evil? Do they keep the commandments or are they liars?
Most professing Christians today do contrary to what Christ said to do and many ministers seem ignorant of some of the basic commanded instructions given by Christ to those who would be His Church. The modern Church certainly does not do what the early Church did nor do they seem to understand why it is important to follow those directives and precepts of Christ.
The modern Church excuses the coveting of their neighbor's goods as long as they do so through consent with their modern governments. They allow application to those governments to obtain benefits from men who call themselves benefactors but exercise authority one over the other. They have approved of the socialist state despite the words of Old and New Testaments.
The apostles had been appointed a kingdom by Jesus Christ. But they were not to be like the other governments who exercised authority in their service to the people. They still collected funds from the people and provide benefits to the people but this was all done by faith, hope and charity.
This system required free will offerings and a virtuous population that did not covet their neighbors' goods but actually loved their neighbor as they loved themselves. Such true love is rare today and when we find it amongst the people we must nurture it on a local and national level. This was the purpose of the feasts.
The Day of the First Fruits was the last day of the Feast of the Unleaven Bread and first day on which individuals marked the first fruits of their labor to be offered. From that day they counted fifty days to Pentecost, the [Festival of Weeks]. Pentecost was the feast for the Israelite nation called Shavuot. The Festival of Weeks was the completion of the Day of the First Fruits. This day and Festival served several functions in their national government under God. It was their opportunity to offer to God and His servants (Bikkurim) the substance needed to serve the nation. This giving was worship and one who gave was a worshiper in the sense of a servant or one who works and serves.
Originally the temple was a tent set up in different areas because it moved around. The living stones of that temple were the true living servants of liberty under God who were called the Levites. They had been the first to come out when Israel began to create a central bank to bind the people in the camp of the golden calf.
Three times a year the people would meet as a people to deal with matters of the government of Israel. Since they did not gather to rule over each other what was the purpose of their gatherings? These times of giving the Fruits of your labor in a national charitable feast was the gathering of the people under the God of faith and charity.
One purpose was to fund the free government of God with free will offerings. This free will offering given according to the will of God the Father revealed in every heart was worship and those who gave in service to all were the worshipers of God. Three times a year the people gathered to pay their taxes to the government of God but unlike the governments of the world the people taxed themselves. The Levites were the government of the people and the people only chose to tithe to Levites who were men of service to their families and their congregations of families.
It was also a time to organize the network of public servants that was essential in a free government. The local congregations of ten families confirmed their minister before the assembly. That minster got together with other ministers like himself and chose someone to be their minister. This pattern continued until you had all the ministers of the government chosen up to the high priest, who could be called the prime minister of their government. But again these servant ministers were titular and did not exercise authority one over the other.
These were not offices of power to rule over the people. Their government was composed of servants who served the tents of the congregations of the nation. Family was the core of the nation but in order to bind the people as a nation and be faithful to God, they could only bind them with love and honor. There is no other way if they were to remain a free people. These feasts allowed for that liberty under God and therefore it was called the kingdom of God.
This was a feast for everyone and everyone who came was expected to contribute their free will offering to the minister of his choice. They were reminded that the alternative of these free will offerings is that they will end up in the bondage of Egypt again like they were before. If they dd not cultivate the virtue of sharing and supporting the servants of their nations they would be enslaved again.
They did not drop these funds in a central treasury but gave them to the minister of their choice who in turn took a share of what he received to the minister of his choice. Because you are dealing with a whole nation of people networking together through servants of servants of servants some of the servants of that nation come from locations that are farther and farther apart.
This distance creates a greater need for national gatherings in order to make these choices that will link the whole nation in that network of charity and mutual concern. It was also a time for people to meet others from other areas of the national network. Other bonds were created through marriage and friendships. Remember, these ministers of national charity were also the appeals courts manning cities of refuge to insure justice throughout the nations.
The people that were in Jerusalem on the Pentecost 50 days after Christ's resurrection were there to pay their taxes or their tithe. They had two choices, stay with the baptism of Herod and the Pharisees or get the baptism of Christ which would get them kicked out of the system of Herod which had become a snare. The Pharisees were forcing the contributions based on their membership in their system of Corban which Jesus had already stated made the word of God to none effect.
John the Baptist and his cousin Jesus was very clear that His government, like that of Moses, was based on free will offerings. Whatever you could afford to pay by your own choice was considered paid in full. Thousands chose the government appointed by Christ and were cast out of the government of the Pharisees and Herod. Early Christians did not go to any government that forced contributions from the people to obtain any benefit. If you had need you would go to church, not Caesar, nor the Pharisees.
Modern Christians covet their neighbors' goods through legal systems of social welfare not unlike that corban condemned by Christthey create through their government. They then make applications to these governments and the men who call themselves benefactors. Now again they are entangled in the bondage of the world through “covet means”. Had their ministers been serving Christ and tending to His weightier matters the people would not have returned to the bondage of Egypt.Any government that does not rely on free will offerings is not a government of God, Moses, or Jesus Christ/Yeshua the Messiah. Those governments of the world created by men who covet their neighbor's goods and say let us have one purse and desire to eat at the table of rulers may do so at their peril. The states they create are allowed by God to punish the wicked who choose to reject God and create those systems. True Christians who believed in and loved Christ would not want to be a part of such system and they would turn around and seek to create the alternative which was the Church established by Christ.
- "This Bible is for the Government of the People, by the People, and for the People." is attributed to the General Prologue to the John Wycliffe Bible translation of 1384.
- libera res publica
- See Republic vs Democracy.
- Numbers 7:5 Take [it] of them, that they may be to do the service of the tabernacle of the congregation; and thou shalt give them unto the Levites, to every man according to his service.
- Pure Religion.
- Deuteronomy 7:9 , 11:1, 11:13, 11:22 , 19:9, 30:16. Joshua 22:5, Nehemiah 1:5, Psalms 119:127, Daniel 9:4, John 14:15, John 14:21, John 15:10, 1 John 5:-3, 2 John 1:6.
- Luke 13:24
- Matthew 19:16-17 , Mark 10:17-19, Luke 10:25-28, Luke 18:18-20
- Mark 10:30
- 1 John 2:4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
- Sacrificed to Idols, From the book The Higher Liberty, Sec. 50 - To heal our land.
- Luke 22:29 And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me;
- Matthew 20:25; Mark 10:42; Luke 22:25 And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors....
- Exodus 34:22
- 05647 ^דבע^ ‘abad \@aw-bad’\@ a primitive root; v; AV-serve 227, do 15, till 9, servant 5, work 5, worshippers 5, service 4, dress 2, labour 2, ear 2, misc 14; 290
- 1) to work, serve
- 1a) (Qal)
- 1a1) to labour, work, do work
- 1a2) to work for another, serve another by labour
- 1a) (Qal)
- 1a3) to serve as subjects
- 1a4) to serve (God)
- 1a5) to serve (with Levitical service)
- 1b) (Niphal)
- 1b1) to be worked, be tilled (of land)
- 1b2) to make oneself a servant
- 1c) (Pual) to be worked
- 1d) (Hiphil)
- 1d1) to compel to labour or work, cause to labour, cause to serve
- 1d2) to cause to serve as subjects
- 1e) (Hophal) to be led or enticed to serve
- 1) to work, serve
- Money vs Mammon Audio, and Text.
- Deuteronomy 16:10-17, Numbers 7:5
- Numbers 35:6, Numbers 35:25
- Luke 16:8, Matthew 18:31
- John 9:22-35
- 2 Peter 2:3
- The Corban of the Pharisees
- Galatians 4:3, Galatians 5:1, 2 Peter 2:20
- “For we are opposed, around the world, by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy, that relies primarily on covet means for expanding it's fear of influence... instead of armies by day,” John F. Kennedy Speech, April 27, 1961. American Newspaper Publishers Association. Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, New York, NY.
- To Enslave a Nation, and Laws, Loves, and Liberty, and Employ vs Enslave
- Exodus 20:17, Proverbs 1:10, Proverbs 23:1, Psalms 69:22 , 1 Samuel 8:7 , Romans 11:9, Acts 17:7