newspaper_folded02 
 COMMENTARY ON TODAY’S NEWS      
From a Biblical Perspective          

By Mr. Don Billingsley,
Pastor of the Church of God Faithful Flock

 

thanksgiving-table02

Thursday was a national holiday in this country that is suppose to be a day in which people pause and focus on the blessings that have been given to us from God and Jesus Christ.

It is called Thanksgiving Day and was proclaimed to be a national holiday and be observed on this particular day and month of the year in this country by past presidents of the United States.

Please note the following two proclamations of presidents who both spoke and wrote of our national blessings and the Author of them. Men who believed in God and acknowledged Him. One president in the time of war and the other president in a time of peace (Excerpts of the Proclamations of both presidents are from ASCENT TO GREATNESS, by Mr. Raymond McNair). .

President Abraham Lincoln

abraham-lincoln02It was in 1863 that President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a Day of Thanksgiving in the midst of a civil war that was tearing this country apart. In his address to this nation, he made the effort to try and refocus the minds and hearts of the people on the things that were really important, on God, and His bountiful blessings.

Writing to the American people of the bountiful blessings that were given to this country by God, he wrote, “No human counsel hath devised, nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the most high God; who while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.

It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American people. I do, therefore, invite my fellow-citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in heaven.”
 

President Teddy Roosevelt

teddy-roosevelt02During a time of peace and prosperity in 1904, president Teddy Roosevelt, was mindful of the blessings given to this country by God, and issued several thanksgiving proclamations – requesting that the American people “thank Him who holds all nations in the hollow of His hand.” He told the American people that they owed humble and heartfelt thanks to the Author of all blessings, and confessed that “our strength is as nothing unless we are helped from above.”

 

Taking a couple of excerpts from his Thanksgiving Proclamation of November 1, 1904, he wrote: “It has pleased the Almighty God to bring the American people in safety and honor through another year, and, in accordance with the long unbroken custom handed down to us by our forefathers, the time has come when a special day shall be set apart in which to thank Him who holds all nations in the hollow of His hand for the mercies this vouchsafed to us. ... Now, therefore, I, THEODORE ROOSEVELT, President of the United States, do hereby appoint and set apart Thursday, the twenty-fourth of this November, to be observed as a day of festival and thanksgiving by all of the people of the United States at home and abroad, and do recommend that on that day they cease from their ordinary occupations and gather in their several places of worship or in their homes, devoutly to give thanks unto Almighty God for the benefits He has conferred upon us as individuals and as a nation, and to beseech Him that in the future His Divine favor may be continued to us.”
 

Proclamations Yet Being Made?

When was the last proclamation made in an address or writing by any president in the manner and wording that we find from those two presidents?
Sadly it has come to be just TURKEY DAY without the mention of God who is the giver of all good blessings. Soon this country will pay a horrible price for trying to forget God and His holy laws by removing the name of God and His laws from virtually all the Federal and State buildings.

Some Do Remember

Yet at the same time there are the people in this country who do remember what this Day is suppose to mean with their limited understanding.
And they express their sincere thanks in various ways without really understanding how and through whom God chose to give them to us. This is also true with the other nations of Israel.

To illustrate, two of my cousins, in one or the other of the Protestant Churches, wrote me with their expression of thanks for this Day:


"May you be Blessed on this day. May your Thanksgiving be one of good Health, Safety and Merriment......... Be Thankful for all God has done. Buck and Barbara [Buck has cancer in a very bad way]

"This is one of my favorite holidays. Among my greatest blessings are all of you wonderful cousins. Some of you are my "old" cousins that I have known a lifetime and others are the "new" ones. Each of you are a blessing. May you have a blessed Thanksgiving. God bless you all. Love, Rosemary

God’s Marvelous Master Plan

For all of your families and relatives, as well as mine, who have not yet been blessed with a real understanding of God's Master Plan, the time is coming when they will truly understand and for that wonderful blessing we should all give heartfelt thanks.

Very recently, I was meditating in prayer about the meaning of each Holy Day that reveals God's Master Plan and marveled how each one dovetails into a wonderful pattern that makes known God's infinite wisdom and wonderful love that He has for the future of all of mankind.

They begin with the Passover! Without it all of the Holy days would be meaningless! It pictures the total voluntary sacrifice of Jesus Christ who first gave His back to the horrible beating by a Roman soldier that made possible the forgiveness of our physical sins that results in our physical healing.

Then He permitted them to crucify Him in a most horrible manner that led to His death, In so doing He paid the supreme penalty of the second death for all of mankind (John 3:16; Isaiah 52:13-15; 53:1-12; Psalm 103:1-4).

This is immediately followed by our leaving Spiritual Egypt {The Days of Unleavened Bread}-- departing from the life of sin we had been living. Then follows the new way of life we are to live -- living our lives within God's holy and righteous laws.

Next is the Feast of Firstfruits – the Day of Pentecost. A Day that pictures who God's true people really are in the midst of all of humanity and the future promised to each one.

This is to be followed by the Feast of Trumpets, A soon-coming Day in time in which Jesus Christ will return to this earth and establish His Government and rule on this earth over all nations. It also pictures the harvest of the Firstfruits, the resurrection and change of all of the elect people of God and Jesus Christ.

Ten days later will be the Day of Atonement that pictures the removal of Satan and his demons. It also pictures mankind beginning to come to be AT ONE with one another and with God.

Five days later is the beginning of the Feast of Tabernacles that pictures the millennial reign of Jesus Christ and His glorified saints.

Through that thousand year period of time, preparation and planning will take place for the second resurrection that will include all who have ever lived and died without ever really being given the opportunity of being called and chosen in this human life – this side of the coming of Jesus Christ back to this earth (Revelation 20:5).

Immediately following the Feast of Tabernacles, there is yet another Day commanded to be observed with great purpose!

This special Day {The Last Great Day}pictures the 100-year period of time that is referred to in Scripture as the Great White Throne Judgment.

This is also the time period in which our relatives will be resurrected back to human life. They will then come to know of that part of God's plan for them; and as such come to know they have not been forgotten by God and Jesus Christ (Ezekiel 37:11-14).

Upon reflecting on this most wonderful Master Plan for the salvation of all of mankind, I cannot help but marvel at the infinite wisdom and love of our Creator God for His desire to add to His Family all of humanity.

Israel the Center-Piece of God's Plan

As all of us should know God’s Master Plan began with one man, Abraham. A man who was tried and proven and yet continued to believe and love God. His life reflects this in every way (Genesis 26:5).

As the result of continuing to believe, trust, and obey the LORD God, in perhaps his most severe test, he was given a far-reaching promise that would reach down through the millennia and, when understood, through all time (Genesis 22:1-19).

“In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice” (Genesis 22:18).

Abraham’s promised seed was Isaac and the blessings promised to Abraham was passed onto Isaac.. From the laying on of hands by Isaac the blessings promised to Abraham by God was then passed on to Jacob,. whose name was changed by God to Israel (Genesis 32:8; 35:9-12).

Jacob then passed on his new name along with the blessings promised to Abraham to the sons of Joseph, Manasseh and Ephraim (Genesis 48:1-20).

Before he died, Jacob called his sons together to make known what would befall them in the last days. Of Joseph, whose sons, Manasseh and Ephraim, would represent him in the last days, Israel (Jacob) spoke of the blessings that would be given to them (Genesis 49:22-26).

Though those blessings would largely be of material wealth, God would also use Israel as the center-piece of His Master Plan that would make possible the ultimate salvation of all of mankind. The apostle Paul makes this very clear in Romans, chapters 9 through 11.

(Rather than write more about this in length, I make reference to the writing of the book by Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong, The United States and Britain in Prophecy).

Remembering Our Blessings

We would do well to remember the words of the proclamations of Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt in which they made the effort to focus the people of their time and reign on the Giver of our national blessing.

Hopefully all of us will remember and truly express our heartfelt thanks and appreciation to our Father and Jesus Christ for not only human life, but also for the blessing of having been born in this once great country and/or the British Commonwealth of nations? Nations whose real identity is that of Manasseh and Ephraim.

Blessings that have come down to all of us from the fulfilled promises of God that He gave to Abraham millennia ago.

Our continued prayers and love for all of you,

Don Billingsley

 

shepherd0403

For additional study material see: Are We in the Last Days?
Brought to you as a study resource by the Church of God Faithful Flock