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Sunday, October 7 2012

Thanksgiving In History and Prophecy

Christopher Columbus is one of the most famous explorers in history. While Columbus is generally known as "the discoverer of America," all four of his actual voyages, as shown on the map below, were limited to the islands of the Caribbean Sea and the mainland area of what is today southern Mexico. An excerpt from the "Christopher Columbus" article in Wikipedia, October 6 2012:

Voyages of Christopher Columbus

"Christopher Columbus (Italian: Cristoforo Colombo; Spanish: Cristóbal Colón; before 31 October 1451 - 20 May 1506) was an explorer, navigator, and colonizer, born in the Republic of Genoa, in what is today northwestern Italy. Under the auspices of the Catholic Monarchs of Spain, he completed four voyages across the Atlantic Ocean that led to general European awareness of the American continents. Those voyages, and his efforts to establish permanent settlements on the island of Hispaniola, initiated the process of genocide and Spanish colonization, which foreshadowed the general European colonization of what became known as the "New World.""

While many regard Columbus to have some connection to the Thanksgiving observance in the New World, the origin of Thanksgiving is actually much more ancient and complex. As we will plainly prove from historical reality, secular and Biblical, it is an error to claim that the beginning of Thanksgiving observance in any particular country was the origin of Thanksgiving itself.

For example, Thanksgiving Day is generally regarded as an official holiday observed in North America. Canada observes Thanksgiving on the second Monday of October (as it happens, Thanksgiving in Canada occurs on the Eighth Day of the Feast of Tabernacles in 2012), while the U.S. observes Thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday of November. Canada and the U.S. observe Thanksgiving in practically the same way. People from either country can and do observe Thanksgiving in the other country and feel right at home as they do so (as many do while visiting family and friends during the holiday), but from different origins, that nevertheless grew from a single genesis. The historical reality is that the actual origin of Thanksgiving is much more profound and ancient than the political existence of, or any mere mythological or propagandistic event that occurred in, any country.

"Thanksgiving in North America had originated from a mix of European and Native traditions. Typically in Europe, festivals were held before and after the harvest cycles to give thanks for a good harvest, and to rejoice together after much hard work with the rest of the community. At the time, Native Americans had also celebrated the end of a harvest season. When Europeans first arrived to the Americas, they brought with them their own harvest festival traditions from Europe, celebrating their safe voyage, peace and good harvest. Though the origins of the holiday in both Canada and the United States are similar, Americans do not typically celebrate the contributions made in Newfoundland, while Canadians do not celebrate the contributions made in Plymouth, Massachusetts." (From the "Thanksgiving" article in Wikipedia, October 9 2011)

Note the specific differences in the origins of the same Thanksgiving observance. In Canada:

Order Of Good Cheer

"The origins of the first Thanksgiving in Canada goes back to an explorer, Martin Frobisher, who had been trying to find a northern passage to the Pacific Ocean. Frobisher's Thanksgiving celebration was not for harvest, but for homecoming. He had safely returned from an unsuccessful search for the Northwest Passage, avoiding the later fate of Henry Hudson and Sir John Franklin. In the year 1578, Frobisher held a formal ceremony in Newfoundland to give thanks for surviving the long journey. Years later, the tradition of a feast would continue as more settlers began to arrive to the Canadian colonies.

The origins of Canadian Thanksgiving can also be traced to the French settlers who came to New France with explorer Samuel de Champlain in the early 17th century, who also took to celebrating their successful harvests. The French settlers in the area typically had feasts at the end of the harvest season and continued throughout the winter season, even sharing their food with the indigenous peoples of the area. Champlain had also proposed for the creation of the Order of Good Cheer in 1606.

As many more settlers arrived in Canada, more celebrations of good harvest became common. New immigrants into the country, such as the Irish, Scottish and Germans, would also add their own traditions to the harvest celebrations. Most of the U.S. aspects of Thanksgiving, such as the turkey, were incorporated when United Empire Loyalists began to flee from the United States during the American Revolution and settled in Canada." (From the "Thanksgiving" article in Wikipedia, October 9 2011)

While the U.S. observance of Thanksgiving focuses on the English colonists at Plymouth, those "Pilgrims" observed it because they were already familiar with the principle and the observance of Thanksgiving from long before, in time and place.

"In the United States, the modern Thanksgiving holiday tradition traces its origins to a 1621 celebration at Plymouth in present-day Massachusetts. There is also evidence for an earlier harvest celebration on the continent by Spanish explorers in Florida during 1565, as well as thanksgiving feasts in the Virginia Colony. The initial thanksgiving observance at Virginia in 1619 was prompted by the colonists' leaders on the anniversary of the settlement. The 1621 Plymouth feast and thanksgiving was prompted by a good harvest. In later years, the tradition was continued by civil leaders such as Governor Bradford who planned a thanksgiving celebration and fast in 1623. While initially, the Plymouth colony did not have enough food to feed half of the 102 colonists, the Wampanoag Native Americans helped the Pilgrims by providing seeds and teaching them to fish. The practice of holding an annual harvest festival like this however, did not become a regular affair in New England until the late 1660s.

According to historian Jeremy Bangs, director of the Leiden American Pilgrim Museum, the Pilgrims may have been influenced by watching the annual services of Thanksgiving for the relief of the siege of Leiden in 1574, while they were staying in Leiden." (From the "Thanksgiving" article in Wikipedia, October 9 2011)

Thanksgiving In The Bible: "Let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before His presence with Thanksgiving"

The English word "thank" originated from an Anglo-Saxon word, thanc, which meant to think (in origin, "thank" and "think" are merely different pronunciations of the same word), as in an expression of gratitude. The English term "thanksgiving" was known long before the European colonization of North America began. The King James Version of the Bible, published in 1611, used the already-then well-known term "thanksgiving" for giving thanks to God, as in giving "thinks" to God - acknowledging God's existence and blessings. It's for that reason that the KJV use of "thanksgiving" to translate the original Hebrew word of the Holy Scriptures, pronounced to-daw, is highly appropriate because it means exactly the same - to think, or acknowledge, gratitude to God.

The Camp Of Abraham "Thanksgiving" to the LORD (see Who Is The LORD?) was observed by the Israelites after the Exodus (see Israel In History and Prophecy: The Exodus):

"7:11 And this is the law of the sacrifice of peace offerings, which he shall offer unto the LORD. 7:12 If he offer it for a thanksgiving, then he shall offer with the sacrifice of thanksgiving unleavened cakes mingled with oil, and unleavened wafers anointed with oil, and cakes mingled with oil, of fine flour, fried." (Leviticus 7:11-12 KJV)

When the Israelites returned to Jerusalem from their 70-years exile in Babylon (see Israel In History and Prophecy: The Return Of Judah), they observed "thanksgiving":

"11:17 And Mattaniah the son of Micha, the son of Zabdi, the son of Asaph, was the principal to begin the thanksgiving in prayer: and Bakbukiah the second among his brethren, and Abda the son of Shammua, the son of Galal, the son of Jeduthun. 11:18 All the Levites in the holy city were two hundred fourscore and four." (Nehemiah 11:17-18 KJV)

King David (see Israel In History and Prophecy: King David) observed "thanksgiving":

"26:6 I will wash mine hands in innocency: so will I compass thine altar, O LORD: 26:7 That I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all thy wondrous works. 26:8 LORD, I have loved the habitation of thy house, and the place where thine honour dwelleth." (Psalm 26:6-8 KJV)

"95:1 O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. 95:2 Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms." (Psalm 95:1-2 KJV)

"Thanksgiving" is also found in the prophecy of the coming Kingdom of God (people who use the term "Gospel" alone aren't uttering the whole term; see The Gospel of The Kingdom of God) in which all the world will observe the salvation harvest of "thanksgiving":


"51:3 For the LORD shall comfort Zion: he will comfort all her waste places; and he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the LORD; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody. 51:4 Hearken unto me, my people; and give ear unto me, O my nation: for a law shall proceed from me, and I will make my judgment to rest for a light of the people. 51:5 My righteousness is near; my salvation is gone forth, and mine arms shall judge the people; the isles shall wait upon me, and on mine arm shall they trust." (Isaiah 51:3-5 KJV)

The Feast of Tabernacles, an autumn harvest festival of thanksgiving to the LORD is one of the true Christian Holy Days (see Calendar of Christ's Holy Days) and another prophecy of what is described in the verses quoted above from Isaiah:

"23:33 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 23:34 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the feast of tabernacles for seven days unto the LORD. 23:35 On the first day shall be an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein. 23:36 Seven days ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD: on the eighth day shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD: it is a solemn assembly; and ye shall do no servile work therein.

23:37 These are the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, to offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD, a burnt offering, and a meat offering, a sacrifice, and drink offerings, every thing upon his day: 23:38 Beside the sabbaths of the LORD, and beside your gifts, and beside all your vows, and beside all your freewill offerings, which ye give unto the LORD.

23:39 Also in the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when ye have gathered in the fruit of the land, ye shall keep a feast unto the LORD seven days: on the first day shall be a sabbath, and on the eighth day shall be a sabbath. 23:40 And ye shall take you 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 ye shall rejoice before the LORD your God seven days. 23:41 And ye shall keep it a feast unto the LORD seven days in the year. It shall be a statute for ever in your generations: ye shall celebrate it in the seventh month. 23:42 Ye shall dwell in booths seven days; all that are Israelites born shall dwell in booths: 23:43 That your generations may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God." (Leviticus 23:33-43 KJV)

Fact Finder: When will all of humanity celebrate "Thanksgiving" unto the LORD?
See The Harvest Prophecies and The Church: Mission Accomplished

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This Day In History, October 7

1571: The Battle of Lepanto, fought off Lepanto, Greece, between the fleet of the "Holy League" (see The Holy Roman Empire) commanded by Don John of Austria with his 316 ships, and the Turkish fleet (listen to our Sermon The Ottoman Empire), commanded by Ochiali Pasha with 250 galleys. The allies (mostly Spanish, Venetian and papal ships) defeated the Turkish fleet, killing at least 25,000 Turks, destroyed 80 ships, and liberated about 10,000 "Christian" (i.e. Church of Rome) galley slaves. It was the last great confrontation between oared ships.

1737: Waves up to 15 meters (about 50 feet) sank 15,000 small craft off the coast of India with a loss of life estimated over 250,000 people.

1763: The Proclamation of 1763 was issued by King George III, closing lands north and west of the Alleghenies to white settlement, and providing boundaries and terms of government for the territories Britain acquired from France under the Treaty of Paris. "New France" ceased to exist and was replaced by the much smaller province of Quebec. As a result of the treaty, the region's borders were changed to make it rectangular, centered on the St. Lawrence River; the borders no longer ran south to the Mississippi and east to Newfoundland (if they continued to so do, the border today between Canada and the U.S. would run north to south, rather than east to west).

1806: Carbon paper was patented in London by inventor Ralph Wedgewood.

1826: The Convention of Akkerman, an agreement signed in Akkerman, Romania, between the Ottoman Empire and Russia in which the Ottomans accepted, under threat of war, Russian demands concerning Serbia and the Danube principalities of Moldavia and Walachia (again, listen to our Sermon The Ottoman Empire to understand how it led to the outbreak of the First World War - listen to our Sermon The European World Wars).

1840: Willem II became King of the Netherlands.

1879: Otto von Bismarck concluded a military pact with Austria-Hungary, allying the Habsburgs with the Prussian-dominated Germany; the alliance was intended to render France powerless against the Reich (Reich is the German word for empire; Adolf Hitler later called his regime "the Third Reich" (see Ein Volk! Ein Reich! Ein Euro!; also Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion).

1919: KLM, the national airline of the Netherlands, was established. It is the oldest existing airline.

1944: The Jewish revolt in Auschwitz; Jews working in a Krupp plant smuggled in explosives, which were turned into grenades and bombs by skilled Soviet POWs. They blew up Crematorium III and killed 3 SS men. 250 Jews were massacred by the guards, but 27 escaped.

1949: The German Democratic Republic (communist East Germany) was proclaimed in the Soviet sector of occupied Germany; Wilhelm Pieck was appointed President, Otto Grotewohl was appointed Prime Minister.

1959: The far side of the moon was photographed for the first time, by the Soviet Luna-3 spacecraft.

1981: Hosni Mubarak became acting president of Egypt after the assassination of Anwar Sadat the day before.

1985: Palestinian terrorists seized control of the Achille Lauro, an Italian passenger ship carrying 440 people. They threatened to blow it up if Israel did not release 50 Palestinian prisoners. During the incident, the hijackers murdered Leon Klinghoffer, an elderly Jewish-U.S. man in a wheelchair.

2001: The U.S. invasion of Afghanistan began with bombing and special forces on the ground.


Copyright © Wayne Blank