13 “Pay close attention to all My instructions.
You must not call on the name of any other gods.
Do not even speak their names”.
The Old Tradition of Thanksgiving
Did you know that Thanksgiving is not all turkey and gravy ??
Did you know that Thanksgiving had brutal and bloody beginning ??
What we know today as Thanksgiving was known to the ancients as a fall harvest festival.
The harvest festival, with its attendant rites, seems to have spread out from Egypt and Syria and Mesopotamia.
The first or the last sheaf of wheat was offered to the great mother Astarte (equivalent to Ishtar and Eastre) and was the earth mother of the ancient Semites and to the Phrygians she was Semele.
Since the reign of ancient Egypt, each culture of people celebrated a fall harvest festival where the community would gather together and eat the last harvest of their crops.
And each of these festivals were dedicated to the worship of the god of that particular nation; honoring him/ her for a great harvest.
The Egyptian’s fall festival was centered around the worship of Min.
The Babylonian’s fall festival was centered around the worship of Marduk.
The Persian’s fall festival was centered around the worship of Mithras.
The Chinese’s fall festival was centered around the worship of Chung Ch’ui.
The Celtic Pagans and Anglo Saxons had huge celebrations Lughnasadh and Mabon which were 2 of the 3 harvest festivals of the ancient world.
In England, the autumnal feast was called Harvest Home and was derived from the ancient druidical harvest feast.
The ancient Greeks honored Demeter, goddess of the harvest and agriculture and corn.
The Romans celebrated Cerelia in early October.
And the Roman’s fall festival was centered around the worship of Ceres-
the equivalent of the Greek goddess Demeter.
In the passing of time, the Christian churches adopted Roman`s Cerelia and basically repackaged it with another name Thanksgiving to their parishioners without telling of its pagan roots- and the Christians took over the Roman holiday easily.
The English word “cereal” comes from Latin cerealis, from Ceres.
Only the biblical fall festival Sukkot/ the Feast of Tabernacles, was of course centered around the worship of Yahweh, the Creator of the universe.
The Feast of Tabernacles
33 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying,
34 “Speak to the children of Israel, saying: ‘The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the Feast of Tabernacles for seven days to the Lord.
35 On the first day there shall be a holy convocation. You shall do no customary work on it.
36 For seven days you shall offer an offering made by fire to the Lord. On the eighth day you shall have a holy convocation, and you shall offer an offering made by fire to the Lord. It is a sacred assembly, and you shall do no customary work on it.
37 ‘These are the feasts of the Lord which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, to offer an offering made by fire to the Lord, a burnt offering and a grain offering, a sacrifice and drink offerings, everything on its day—
38 besides the Sabbaths of the Lord, besides your gifts, besides all your vows, and besides all your freewill offerings which you give to the Lord.
39 ‘Also on the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the fruit of the land, you shall keep the feast of the Lord for seven days; on the first day there shall be a sabbath-rest, and on the eighth day a sabbath-rest.
40 And you shall take for yourselves on the first day the fruit of beautiful trees, branches of palm trees, the boughs of leafy trees, and willows of the brook; and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God for seven days.
41 You shall keep it as a feast to the Lord for seven days in the year. It shall be a statute forever in your generations. You shall celebrate it in the seventh month.
42 You shall dwell in booths for seven days. All who are native Israelites shall dwell in booths,
43 that your generations may know that I made the children of Israel dwell in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.’ ”
Nazarenes & Romans
The Nazarenes were the followers of Yeshua (Jesus) who kept the torah.
In the 3rd century, after the Romans infiltrated the faith of the the followers of Yeshua (Jesus) and turned it into the religion of Christianity, they incorporated their customs into it:
including their fall harvest festival called, Cerelia, which was rooted in the worship of Ceres, the goddess of harvest.
The festival was held each year on October 4th and offerings of the first fruits of the harvest and pigs were sacrificed and offered up to Ceres.
Their celebration included music, parades, games and sports and a thanksgiving feast.
Since Rome was ruling world power, they spread their pagan religion and pagan customs to each of the nations they conquered.
The Church of England (or the Anglican Church since 16th century)
The Church of England’s earliest origins date back to the early Roman Catholic Church’s influence in Europe during the 1st and 2nd century, during which time southern Britain became part of the Roman Empire.
With the Romans came also the new Roman religion Christianity and the first bishops were Romano-British.
The Church of England is also the mother church of the international Anglican Communion.
In 1517 the Church of England openly came under the authority of the Roman Catholic pope.
It traces its history to the Christian church recorded as existing in the Roman province of Britain by the 3rd century and to the 6th century Gregorian mission to Kent led by Augustine of Canterbury.
By the 6th century when the rulership of Rome had spread to England, the old Roman festival of Cerelia became known as the Harvest Home Festival and later Harvest Festival of Thanksgiving.
The Church of England adopted this festival as a religious gathering but the festival was celebrated by both Christians and non-Christians; just like it is today.
Over the next 1000 years, the Church of England went through many political battles with Rome over political and religious issues; causing certain groups within the church to split and travel to the America in search of gaining power, wealth and religious freedom there.
As the British Empire expanded, British colonists and colonial administrators took the established church doctrines and practices together with ordained ministry and formed overseas branches of the Church of England through the Anglican Communion.
Many of the early American colonists were Anglican Puritans.
During the colonial period, the Anglican Church set up establishments in Virginia, New York, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia.
Thanksgiving & America
In the early 1600’s, the English Pilgrims began traveling to the new world for trading metal, glass and cloth for local beaver pelts with the native people Indians.
The success of trades went so well, that King James I of England issued out a royal charter (a decree) for England to claim land in America for England to conduct trade and make a profit.
In September of 1620, a ship by the name of the Mayflower departed Plymouth, England.
It was carrying a group of 102 Pilgrims- religious separatists in search of religious freedom, drawn to promises of land ownership in the new world.
When they arrived, they founded Plymouth colony (or New Plymouth).
These Pilgrims settled in Massachusetts in Indian territory and signed a treaty with the Wampanoag tribe to assure that they would protect them in their land.
A year later, in 1621, the Pilgrims had their first corn harvest in America and celebrated their harvest thanksgiving feast to celebrate their good fortune.
This was the first thanksgiving celebrated in America and it had nothing to do with the native Indians at all.
Meanwhile, when word got out in England about the paradise to be found in the new world, religious zealots from the Catholic Church of England called Puritans, began arriving to America by the boat load.
The Puritans mostly settled in the northeastern region of America, which was previously named New England by English Explorer John Smith in 1616.
In 1620, these Puritans established an English colony in present-day Massachusetts, and later formed the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1629, which consisted of Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, and Connecticut.
Although there were already native Indians from the Pequot tribe living in these areas, when the Puritans arrived and saw no fences around the land, they considered it to be public domain.
Therefore, they with other British settlers among them had to seize the land from the natives in order to make it their own; which resulted in war.
The war between the Puritans and their allies from the Wampanoag tribe and the Indians became known as the Pequot War (1636-1637).
However, the European armies prevailed and many Indians lost their lives in horrific battles.
In 1637 near present-day Groton, Connecticut, the Puritan colonist raided the Indian villages and burned over 700 men, women and children of the Pequot Tribe alive.
The next day, the governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, declared “A Day Of Thanksgiving” to be celebrated in honor of killing the native Indians of the land.
In his own words, Governor John Winthrop’s proclaimed:
“This day forth shall be a day of celebration and thanksgiving for subduing the Pequots.”
After their victory over the Indians, the colonist began to attack other villages seizing their land, capturing strong young natives for slaves and killing the rest.
Women and children over 14 were sold into slavery while the rest were murdered.
Boats loaded with as many as 500 slaves regularly left the ports of New England to other places.
Following a very successful raid against the Pequot tribe in Stamford, Connecticut, the white churches announced a second day of “Thanksgiving” to give thanks to their god and celebrated victory over whom they called, the heathen savages.
During the feasting, they played soccer with the chopped off heads of the natives and kicked them through the streets like soccer balls.
As other English and European colonizers migrated to the USA and settled in other Indian tribal territories, they also raided and murdered various indian tribes that were living their regions.
These tribes included the:
Lenape, Esopus, Tuscarora, Yamasee, Muscogee, Cherokee, Catawba, Apalachee, Apalachicola, Coyaha, Shawnee, Congaree, Waxhaw, Pedee, Cape Fear, Cheraw, Pays d’en haut, Mingo and many other tribes.
Each of the tribes went to war against their colonizers and many of their members were murdered and presumably followed by a thanksgiving feast in honor of the Europeans victory over the natives.
These Indian killing sprees became more and more spontaneous, with days of thanksgiving feasts being held after each successful massacre.
For more than 2 centuries, days of thanksgiving were celebrated by individual colonies and states; mainly in New England and other Northern states.
When George Washington became the 1st president of America, he suggested that only 1 day of Thanksgiving per year be set aside instead of celebrating each and every massacre.
Then in 1863, in the midst of the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving Day to be a legal national holiday- while on the same day ordering troops to march against the starving Sioux Indians in Minnesota.
President Franklin Roosevelt made 1 of the only changes to the holiday’s celebration.
He changed the date to the next to last Thursday in November.
And this is how our modern day Thanksgiving Day was born.
The true story doesn’t have quite the same fuzzy feelings associated with it as the one where the Indians and Pilgrims are all sitting down together at the big feast…
Even today people are still celebrating this pagan holiday and taking great pleasure in doing so.
Every year, millions of families look forward to non- biblical Thanksgiving so they can get together with family and give thanks to God for all their blessings.
Regretfully just like the pagans of Ancient Rome.
And since birth, many people have been socialized to partake in this holiday every year without having any idea where this celebration stemmed from or how it became so popularized.
Yet, today Thanksgiving is one of the most esteemed holidays to both believers and non-believers and they don’t even know or care where it came from.
Thanksgiving is a very very good example of religious manmade traditions with no even shaky connection(s) to the Bible.
A Cornucopia is a horn shaped basket, usually filled to the point of overflowing with the bounty of the recent harvest.
Items such as fresh fruits, dried grains and other root vegetables were piled around the opening of the cornucopia to demonstrate plenty.
So much that the cornucopia has been referred to as the horn of plenty.
The cornucopia dates back to ancient Greece.
In an old tale, Amathea the goat broke off his horn and offered it to Zeus as a sign of reverence.
In return for his loyalty, Zeus interred the image of the goat in the night sky; an image we now known as Capricorn.
One of the easiest symbols of Thanksgiving to recognize is corn.
The native Americans would know it as maize or maiz.
Maize played an important mythological role in many tribes and in some, corn was a respected deity, while in others, corn was a special gift to the people from the Creator.
In addition to its importance as a food source, corn also played a ceremonial role in many tribes with sacred corn pollen or cornmeal being used as ritual adornment and spiritual offering.
The native Americans had been growing corn a long time before the pilgrims arrived in the new world.
The turkey was associated with abundance and being thankful among the native Americans.
Some tribes viewed the bird as a sacred symbol of abundance and fertility; one which would serve as the sacrificial guest of honor in various ceremonies.
Turkey feathers are a prized possession and are an integral part of ritualistic smudging ceremonies.
Animal symbolism is considered powerful medicine among natives and should not be treated disrespectfully.
Turkey medicine is strongest in the fall and a visit from a turkey meant we should be mindful of the blessings bestowed upon us.
8 And Yeshua answered and said to him,
“Get behind Me, Satan!
For it is written,
‘You shall worship Yahweh your God, and Him only you shall serve.’ ”
What’s Wrong with Giving Thanks ??
You may think and ask:
What’s wrong with giving thanks to our God Yahweh ??
Nothing, we should do it daily !!
Thank our God Yahweh especially for His Salvation in Yeshua Messiah (Jesus Christ).
Thank our God Yahweh especially for His Salvation in Yeshua Messiah (Jesus Christ).
Giving thanks is a response to the goodness and mercy of our God Yahweh.
Giving thanks is a mark of obedience because we are commanded in the Bible to give thanks.
Giving thanks to our God Yahweh also helps us guard against covetousness, bitterness, selfishness, anger and other harmful attitudes.
Giving thanks for us is not a once a year celebration but a daily reality that changes our life and make us calm and joyful in every situation.
Think of it and then try it:
Always give thanks for everything- no matter the circumstances !!
Nothing turns us into bitter, selfish, dissatisfied people more quickly than an ungrateful heart.
Thanksgiving (Day) is NOT in the Bible !!
NOT in the Feasts of the Yahweh (Leviticus 23).
NOT in the Old Testament or the New Testament !!
And Thanksgiving (Day) is absolutely NON- BIBLICAL !!
Thanksgiving had brutal and bloody beginning !!
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
16 Rejoice always,
17 pray constantly,
18 in everything give thanks;
for this is Yahweh’s will for you in Messiah Yeshua.
Give thanks to Yahweh because he is good,
because his mercy endures forever.
2 Who can speak about all the mighty things Yahweh has done?
Who can announce all the things for which he is worthy of praise?
4 Rejoice in Yahweh יהוה always, again I say, rejoice!
5 Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Master is near.
6 Do not worry at all, but in every matter, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to Elohim.
7 And the peace of Elohim, which surpasses all understanding, shall guard your hearts and minds through Messiah Yeshua יושע.
8 For the rest, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is righteous, whatever is clean, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good report, if there is any uprightness and if there is any praise – think on these.
9 And what you have learned and received and heard and saw in me, practise these, and the Elohim of peace shall be with you.
Be blessed in Yeshua`s/ Jesus` name !!
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