How Should An Obedient Christian Celebrate The Thanksgiving Holiday?

How Should An Obedient Christian Celebrate The Thanksgiving Holiday?

It was almost exactly twenty years ago when the Mighty One brought a rhema to me (A word from God that comes to a Believer when a portion of Scripture is super anointed) concerning how that I as a Believer was to pay attention to obey the Law. (The Torah) I mean, through the years I have many thousands of times experienced (As should be common to all Believers) the anointing of the Holy Spirit to open to me His word. You might say that the anointing of Yehovah’s word to the Believer is the children’s bread, for without the Lord speaking to us from His word, surely our faith would die. Yeshua Himself, being the Bread of Life, opens His word to His own and feeds the Believer’s soul. How we praise Him for this. And undoubtedly, without this we could never maintain spiritual life. But this word that came to me was not ordinary, but as I have already said, “It was Super Anointed”.

The rhema that came to me that day was Joshua 1:5-9. (KJV) 5--There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. 6--Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them. 7--Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest. 8—This book of the Law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. 9--Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.

The Holy Spirit’s anointing of this set of Scriptures remained very heavy upon me for weeks. Through the years I have received 5 major rhemas, but never did the anointing of one last the length of time that this rhema did. It was a very heavy anointing, and lingered about three weeks, and you might say it left a very distinct mark on my heart.

It is hard for me to describe to another the affect that these words have had on me. You see, my previous Christian experience had conditioned me to perceive the Old Testament as something less than the New Testament. A portion of the Bible not completely invalid, but not possessing the validity of the New Testament. It was in my mind good for examples of faith and for basic prudence, for I have ever loved the ancient stories contained in the Old Testament. Certainly, its expression of wisdom, such as in the book of the Proverbs was to be honored and sought out. I have loved its inspirational and relative poetry, as contained in the book of Psalms. I appreciated the prophets, but admittedly they often spoke over my head. And the Law itself, well, let’s put it this way. Nothing in all my Christian experience had ever suggested to me, or conditioned me to critically listen to ALL of its commandments, thus considering them valid to my life and faith.

Praise to the Lord

The Christianity that had been passed down to me was very much a Gentile based Christianity, and not a Jewish, or Hebrew based Christianity. However, because of the super anointing of these Scriptures by the Holy Spirit I began to open my mind to Yehovah’s law. For the Holy Spirit’s anointing through Joshua 1:5-9 was pointedly communicating to me that I was to obey Moses’ Law, and that without obedience to the Law I could not expect Yehovah’s blessing or approval. I do not purpose in this communication to endeavor to trace for you the line by line, and point by point journey that the Holy One took me down to bring me to an understanding that the Christian faith was never meant to be a Gentile based faith, which is to say a Torah-less faith, which is also to say, a law-less faith. Yes, we who are Gentile by birth, as we believe the Gospel, are welcomed into the Household of Faith. We are, as the Apostle Paul put it, “…and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert grafted in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree.” (Romans 11:17 KJV) We of the nations, when we believe from the heart are grafted into the true olive tree. We are no longer the wild olive, for we are fed and sustained by the life that flows from the true olive tree. In other words, we become Jew’s spiritually speaking. This is what the Apostle Paul pointedly said in Romans 2:28-29. For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.

No, I do not believe for one moment that I, or any other “Gentile” Believer becomes at the point of salvation a natural child of Abraham, and thus in line to inherit the promises due the natural line of Abraham, but I have become convinced that the Almighty only as one household of faith, (Eph. 2:13-15) and it is Jewish in origin. (John 4:22) He does not have any Gentile children. We, who are of the household of faith are all Jews, spiritually speaking. Therefore, we are, just as the children of faith were in the wilderness, subject to obedience to His laws. Now, we realize that we are under a different priesthood than the people in the Old Testament times, for Yeshua has become our High Priest, (Heb. 4:14-16) and there has therefore been changes in the Law. (Hebrews 5:12) But this by no means the Law has become void. Even as the Apostle Paul testifies to in Romans 3:31 ESV, “Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law.”

Therefore, to the faithful Christian it remains our duty to seek to walk out obedience to the commandments of our Lord in all things. In that Yehovah has commanded in the Law that we must never add to, or take away from the Law, (Duet 4:2, 12:32) the consideration of whether the celebration of our national Thanksgiving Holiday is Scripturally proper or not, is a very valid question.

Should a faithful Christian celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday, for is it not an extra-Torah holiday? And if one does celebrate the holiday, how should it be celebrated?

Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you. (Duet. 4:2 KJV)

What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it. (Duet. 12:32 KJV)

Text

Is it contrary to the commandment of God for either Church or civil authority to declare a day to give thanks and praise to God for His benefits, does such an action stand in violation of the two commandments of the law listed above?

Here is my judgment

If it is only a day, or a set of a few days on a one time basis that Church or civil authorities command or suggest to be set aside to give glory to God for some particular event where the mercies and goodness of Yehovah have been seen among the people, then yes, let us all obey the admonition of our Church or civil authorities to take a particular day, or set of days, and stop and give thanks and praise to God for His goodness to us. For the precedence can be clearly seen, both in Scriptural, and in non-Scriptural stories of the faithful setting aside particular days to either thank and praise Yehovah for some particular act of deliverance or kindness to His own, or setting aside days to seek Him in humility, fasting, and prayer. However, Yehovah, the only wise God has already predetermined the set Holy Days, and each of these holy days have contained within them the reflected spiritual truths that the celebration of them is meant of God to express. There remains no need for adding to what He has done, and there abides a strict and repeated admonition within the Torah that states that its commandments must not be added to, or taken from. I do not believe a Believer needs to feel a compulsion to celebrate every year on a set day, a day of thanksgiving. For the repeated exhortation of the Scripture is to give thanks every day, and in all situations. And know this Christian:

The theme of being thankful to God, and of praising God in every situation, and for all things is woven throughout the tapestry of the Scripture. As is exemplified in Psalms 92:1-15.

1-It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto thy name, O Most High:

2- To shew forth thy lovingkindness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every night,

3 -Upon an instrument of ten strings, and upon the psaltery; upon the harp with a solemn sound.

4- For thou, Lord, hast made me glad through thy work: I will triumph in the works of thy hands.

5- O Lord, how great are thy works! and thy thoughts are very deep.

6- A brutish man knoweth not; neither doth a fool understand this.

7- When the wicked spring as the grass, and when all the workers of iniquity do flourish; it is that they shall be destroyed forever:

8- But thou, Lord, art most high for evermore.

9- For, lo, thine enemies, O Lord, for, lo, thine enemies shall perish; all the workers of iniquity shall be scattered.

10-But my horn shalt thou exalt like the horn of an unicorn: I shall be anointed with fresh oil.

11- Mine eye also shall see my desire on mine enemies, and mine ears shall hear my desire of the wicked that rise up against me.

12- The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.

13- Those that be planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God.

14- They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing;

15- To shew that the Lord is upright: he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.

Child

But, if you as a Believer determine to celebrate Thanksgiving Day, then this I pointedly suggest to you:

Firstly: Do not do so at the neglect of the celebration of the Festivals of Yehovah. I repeat what I have already said. Yehovah, the only wise God has already stated in the body of His word what holy days have His approval, and wisdom is being given to His people as to the great spiritual truths embedded in them. In generations past the Almighty has winked at our ignorance, but now calls men to stop walking in neglect of His commandments, and to begin to obey Him in all things. I too, as an American son and citizen, who has since his youth been a Christian, I have had to change my own thought patterns and practices, for I now being nearly 60 years old have celebrated Thanksgiving Day all my life up until recently, yet have discontinued in recent years. In the process of coming to this decision, I was forced to examine my understanding of the Scripture, my values and motivations. Why do I now deny the practice of what has been to me one of the purest American holidays? Again, one I have celebrated, since my youth, up until recent years.

I find there are two abiding reasons:

  • In my heart, I am persuaded that if Yeshua were in my shoes, that He would do the very same thing. For He ever gave Himself to the obedience to the commandments of His Father, which are the Laws contained in the Torah.

  • Two, I have come to believe that obedience before God in all points is essential for the Holy Spirit’s last day visitation. I believe that our God will yet visit this land, and many other lands, by His Spirit, and that this visitation will continue and grow in intensity right up until Messiah Himself returns to rescue His own, and begin to execute His wrath on the ungodly who stand in open rebellion to Him. Family I do believe that without at least a remnant of His own walking in complete obedience to His laws that this visitation is possible. This visitation, what many refer to as the Latter Rain of Promise…is, and has been the great hope of my life for 40 years, ever since I, as a 17 year old youth was baptized in the Holy Spirit, and tasted at that point of the wonderful power and presence of our God.

Secondly: If you do propose to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday, then do not allow this day to turn into a party where gluttony, drunkenness, and rough and foul speech is allowed. Do not allow gossip, inflammatory speech, or contentious arguments. Do not allow what is called Thanksgiving Day to be an occasion to get together for any reason other than to give thanks to, and glorify God. For I say to you, “Yehovah is a jealous God”, and if we, who are called by His name do not put Him first, He will visit our iniquities upon us, and upon our children.

Again I say, we would do better to neglect what is called Thanksgiving Day, and embrace the Festivals that Yehovah has commanded the people of faith to celebrate. I believe, if we will seek to arm ourselves with knowledge and understanding in respect to the great and eternal truths contained in each of the festivals, then the man made holidays that we as American Christians have been brought up with will pale in significance alongside Yehovah’s commanded Holy Days. Amen!

An American Watchman,
Gregory A DeHart

Thanksgiving Day   Giving Thanks