The Spring and Fall holy days were what really kept the members feeling they were “close to God” and being rejuvenated.
The Passover service was emphasized so much that the members felt this was second in importance only to the Feast of Tabernacles. There was a build up before both times. Before Passover we spent weeks examining ourselves, confessing every sin we discovered, reading everything we could from the group’s literature, and studying the Bible to “get ourselves properly prepared for it.” Passover was a very solemn occasion with hardly a handshake or smile allowed. But we always felt so much closer to God that evening as the ministers would read all the verses pertaining to Christ’s sacrifice and last words to His disciples. We even prayed concerning the forgiveness of our sins while we took the bread and wine so we would be sure we were “worthy.” When we left the service, we were now “clean” and all our past sins forgiven.
Then before the Feast of Tabernacles, there was a buildup of excitement weeks before. Everyone was always extremely busy getting ready to leave for their chosen feast site. There was great anticipation, but it would seem so hectic getting there that by the time everyone arrived, many were tired, a little cranky, and some were sick, or getting sick. But we put on our best smiles as we went to the evening service and tried to feel that love for our “wonderful worldwide family of God’s elect.” After all, no one else had the “truth” of the holy days and God’s plan of salvation but us.
I think what helped to make us so happy at the Feast was all the togetherness–getting together for meals at each other’s condo or motel, going out to expensive restaurants together and running into each other on our walks or other activities. Just sharing with each other, and hearing the sermons, drew everyone together. And of course, with all that money we had to spend, who wouldn’t be happy? Then, of course, the leaders made sure there were the best of speakers there to give us the “meat” of God’s Word that we needed, so as to make sure we came back rejuvenated for awhile.
But what was missing and the reason it didn’t last all winter was the lack of emphasis on what Christ had done for us; His grace and love and the freedom we now have from the bondage of the Law. This would have stayed with us much longer than the sermons on the Millennium and ruling in the Kingdom someday.
Every time there was some trouble, or trial, that came into our lives, it was always due to “Satan attacking us because he hated God’s true Church,” or just another opportunity to “build character.” We never realized how many times our lives were miserable because our fellowship and “truths” deceived us into keeping us “happy.”
By T. H.
Exit & Support Network™
Comment: The O.T. holy days were types (shadows) of Christ, but now the reality has come and the type and symbol are no longer essential. Christ has replaced them with His presence. “But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster [paidagogos] to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster” (Galatians 3:23-25).