New Moon 1/6/32/120


Dear Friends,

This message concerns the development of the Feast of Tabernacles for this year.

This is like no other Feast of Tabernacles for CCG and unlike any the Churches of God have seen for centuries. We are expanding so fast in the developing world that we have to reconsider what the Feast is and how it was meant to be kept in the original institutions. For example, in one district of one nation alone we have over 29 churches with over 170 officers and between 9,000 and 10,000 adults if not more. In that same country we have a multitude of churches in over 20 districts and by the Feast it will be more. All but one of the Churches of God do not even have that many people, found in one CCG national district, in the entire world. Moreover, none has as many people in the whole world as CCG has in this one nation.

Last week and this week we are inducting large numbers in the Congo DR, the Central African Republic, the Sudan, Uganda and Kenya. Uganda has donated food aid for the Sudan to assist them over the period. More is needed.  In the last five weeks we have inducted over 30,000 people with a few thousand still to be inducted. In the last two weeks of Ab we inducted over fifty churches. Some of those included their bishops and entire ministries and memberships. At least a dozen of them were Sabbath-keeping churches that renounced their false doctrines. In a number of cases they requested rebaptism. 

There will be many more before Tabernacles. At that rate of growth (1000 per working day and increasing) we simply could not hold a feast in one place for any national church and the states and districts could not cope with it all either.

I would ask you to think of the logistics of this problem. Where do we find a building in one of these countries to house 10,000 people from this one district? Where do we accommodate them? Even if they had been with us for the entire previous year their tithe would not be enough to house them in a hotel for the feast period. In any case their Second Tithe for feasts would have gone into the welfare fund up until 1 Abib this year. The question of placing the entire 21 districts in the nation together would require us to hire the national stadium in the capital, assuming it were available, and book out most if not all of the hotels that would be available. The cost would be astronomical. To do it in every nation is beyond the resources of any of the Churches of God even in the wealthiest of the Western groups.

So how do we solve the issue? What is the real significance of what is happening? Something really important is going on and not just for the Churches of God. Let us examine the issue in depth.

God does not make laws that can’t be kept and so the solution is, as usual, found in the pages of the Bible. 

Let us look at the command regarding the Feast of Tabernacles. In Leviticus 23:34 we commence to deal with the instructions for the Feast of Tabernacles. The instructions continue down to Leviticus 23:39 where it says:
Also in the 15th day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the fruit of the land, you shall keep a feast to the Lord seven days: on the first day shall be a sabbath and on the eighth day shall be a sabbath.40 And you shall take on the first day the boughs of goodly trees, branches of palm trees and the boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook; and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God seven days. 41 And you shall keep it a feast unto the Lord 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 seven days; all that are Israelites born shall dwell in booths.

Some might say this only applies to born Israelites. However, those who have been baptised into the body of Christ are born again into his body and are part of Israel his inheritance.

The law requires all males to attend the three feasts. The women and infants and the aged and infirm are given dispensation.

The Symbolism

So what is happening? Why is God calling so many people at one time and reorganizing them in such profusion?

The answer is astounding.

There has only been two previous occasions where this has happened and the people have lived in booths. The first occasion was when Joshua occupied the Promised Land. The Second occasion was when Judah came back from the captivity to reoccupy Jerusalem. On each previous occasion it was in preparation for the occupation of the Promised Land. The church had indeed kept the feasts in Judea at the time of Christ but it was not the usual practice to dwell in booths. Most people went to Jerusalem to keep the feasts and rented temporary accommodation.

Today the Jews in Israel erect symbolic booths in hotel lobbies and sit in them for short periods but they don’t occupy them. Some build booths on their apartment balconies.

In Nehemiah 8:17 we read:
And all the congregation of them that were come again out of the captivity made booths and sat under the booths; for since the days of Jeshua the son of Nun until that day had not the children of Israel done so. And there was great gladness.

In that year they read the law for seven days and on the Eighth day or the Last Great Day, which is a separate feast, there was a solemn assembly. 

So what is the significance for this year? It is not a Sabbath year and is the Fourth year of the cycle.

The significance was explained in part in a previous message. This great restoration of the Laws of God and the doctrines of the Church of God had to begin with Ephraim and extend into the nations of the Commonwealth that were of Gentile descent. It grew until 15000 were called from those nations and the other nations were called in to the battle as well as the tribes of Israel in other nations. The significance and papers involved were outlined in the Sabbath Message Supplement at It is important that you return and study that message and the papers in detail to understand what is happening to the Nations and to the Body of Christ through this miracle of the Holy Spirit.

When we are baptised each of us is baptised into the Body of Christ. We are taken from our tribe and grafted in to the nation of Israel. We are allocated to a tribe of Israel as part of the 144,000 and the Great Multitude of the First Resurrection. Each of us no longer is a member of the tribe of their forefathers. They are all one nation under Christ. This feast will emphasise the spirit of helping and the spirit of oneness that characterizes the Churches of God as they are spread throughout the world,

It is a blessing that the people involved in most of these nations are in the warmer parts of the globe and also most are subsistence farmers.  It is therefore a relatively small problem to set up booths in your lands and use the boughs and leaves to cover the framework of the booths. Banana leaves also serve this purpose. Simple plastic sheeting also prevents roof leakage in inclement weather.  Every male should purchase a tent half shelter which is a standard army issue sheet with press button clips that can be simply put together with another to form a two man tent tied with nylon cord to the frame when it is placed over the booth. For malaria prevention the mosquito nets should be erected and strung from the frame of the booth.

Where possible all should go into booths for the Feast. Booths are to be erected at all feasts. Cooking can be done out of doors on campfires or B-B-Qs. Indeed such outdoor cooking methods are common outside of the Feast of Tabernacles in many countries. 

It is quite beyond reasonable expectations to expect the tithes of other people to fund your feasts although assistance is granted where the need is greatest. The law provides for people to provide help to others so that they may eat at the feasts and each nation is responsible for that assistance.

Deuteronomy 14:22 demands that you truly tithe the increase of your seeds that the fields bring forth year by year. Verse 23 provides that you are to eat them at the place the Lord your God chooses. Tithing will also be studied at the Feast this year so the new ones can understand it properly.

In the Third year of the cycle this text (vv. 27-29) provides for you to lay up the Second tithe in the stores within your gates so that the Levites, the strangers and the fatherless, and the widows are able to keep the feast also (see the paper Tithing (No. 161)).

The church determines where the feasts are to be held. That is the purpose of this message on the New Moon of the Sixth Month so that you are able to prepare.

Each area and district and church group is to keep its feast in booths in its local areas or on reserves set aside for the purpose.

The church in each nation is to ensure the proper organisation of the feast and the preparation of papers for such a feast. A timetable of papers will be issued and each coordinator is to determine the level that his church group is at and take them through each section step by step over the feast.

The national groups and area coordinators will make decisions as to who is most in need for the feast. Priorities will then be allocated to any assistance available. If you do not get allocated assistance it is because others have been assessed as more in need and the resources we have will be allocated according to perceived needs.

Remember also the large quantities of funds we have expended this year to set whole church areas up with papers and computers and printers and modems and projects and all manner of items.

Some of us are brand new to the faith and need to be fed on milk. Those who are old hands, where they are even available given the growth, can teach in all aspects in all discussions when not in services or study. We have some areas where entire churches up to their bishops have been keeping Sunday up until a few weeks ago. They will need to start with the basics. The many Sabbath-keeping churches are also at various levels of understanding. If you don’t understand something ask questions. Follow the papers and tapes implicitly.

We need to understand God’s Calendar (No. 156) and also the basic papers that deal with the symbolism of Tabernacles and the Last Great Day. The Day of Trumpets, which is the New Moon of the Seventh Month, represents the Advent of the Messiah. Atonement, which is the Tenth Day of the Seventh Month, symbolizes the reconciliation of the world to God. There are two basic papers that deal with that aspect and these are Atonement (No. 138) and Azazel and Atonement (No. 214). The Feast of Tabernacles represents the Millennial Rule of Jesus Christ and the Church of God from Jerusalem. The important papers for understanding that process are The Advent of the Messiah Part 1 (No. 210A)The Seven Seals (No.140) and The Seven Trumpets (No. 141). The Last Great Day represents the Resurrections of the Dead and the Great White Throne Judgment and is best studied in the papers The Resurrection of the Dead (No. 143) and The City of God (No. 180).

The program is attached and the papers are to be translated and issued for the feast.

This year will be a settling in period and a time of great learning. Make the most of it and learn to prepare for next year. Those of you who have resources do not withhold them from the ones who do not have them and remember the widows and orphans among you, for that is religion pure and undefiled.  You will all be amazed at what a good time you can have together worshipping God. This feast points to a better world ahead of us in the very near future.

Attachment: Bible study plan for the Feast of Tabernacles 2009 (.pdf)

Wade Cox
Coordinator General