Lake Texhoma, Oklahoma
This was the sixth feast at Lake Texhoma, OK. and continues to be more uplifting every year.
The annual fish fry and “Dallas Knights” barbershop show were big hits. The decorations were beautiful, the special music praiseworthy and the Sabbath school classes second to none. A new activity “Getting to know you” proved entertaining and profitable for all and will become regular feast fare.
The concern and care shown for each other and anointings were two notable aspects of this Feast.
Along that line, I was thinking about the F.O.T. 2003 already and it came to mind that it represents the Kingdom of God. And, that that kingdom will usher in a time of healing; of our land and nation, our minds and bodies and our families and marriages. We hope to promote seminars along these lines.
— Steve Kieler, 2193 Sheker Dr., Fort Dodge, IA, 50501
San Antonio, Texas
The Churches of God Outreach Ministries sponsored a Feast of Tabernacles in San Antonio, Texas; hosted by the Church of God, San Antonio.
In Leviticus 23, verse 34, God states: “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.’” Then He elaborates further in Leviticus 23, verses 40–41: “‘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. 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.’”
So, throughout the ages, the Feast of Tabernacles has been celebrated! Our Father and His Son had to be so pleased with His Feast of Tabernacles held at San Antonio, Texas this year of 2002. “God’s Family Reunion” as it could be called, was celebrated with love, rejoicing, and family caring. Attendees were always being directed, from the pulpit, to rejoice at “God’s Holy Party”, that this is a Family Affair, to believe that “what makes God happy, should make us happy, and that the Feast is only eight days, but memories (made here) last forever”.
The amount of love and caring shown to each other this year was just fantastic! Not just from those who were the speakers and volunteers, but from the general run of attendees. There was a continuous fellowshipping attained both at the planned activities, but the outside lunches, dinners, and activities were always blessed by others offering rides, meals—everyone seemed to be so attuned to others wishes and needs.
We were also blessed by many excellent sermons, beautiful special music, and activities that were unsurpassed. The attendance was up this year, hovering close to 200 each day and 310 were shown as being registered. The speakers who brought the messages each day all seemed to be God-inspired, since most of their sermons were working close to the same theme. Those who blessed us with the messages and words of God were: Julian Cruz, Lawrence Gregory, Tom Williams, Steve Andrews, David Hope, Dan Johnson, Fred Porter, Matthew Steel, and Tim Hall.
Each day began with a Scripture reading from the youngsters. There was one baptism this year, Rick Ory, who joined us in the family of God. The special music this year was just that—special! The music provided was both varied and performed by a myriad of different persons. The Fun Show was about the same, very diversified and multi-talented. It’s always amazing to me how many of God’s family are blessed with special talents.
Our thanks to all the speakers, teachers, musicians, volunteers, and photographers who gave of their Feast time to make the time better for everyone. A special thanks to Julian and Ofie Cruz and their congregation there in San Antonio, for all their hard work and effort.
The Feast in San Antonio this year was as expected: Tremendous!!! What else could we expect God’s Holy Party to be?
You may listen to Feast online sermons by going to www.churchofgodsa.com.
— Rosy Halley
During September 20–28, 2002, another delightful, spiritually rewarding Feast of Tabernacles and Great Last Day in Clearwater, Florida occurred with brethren of God’s Church, known more by its publishing name—the Church Outreach Program (COP) with an address of P.O. Box 6111, Elgin, IL 60121.
The commanded holy convocations, or public meetings, for the First and Eighth Day both took place in Clearwater Beach at the Harborview Center and the Belleview Biltmore Resort, respectively. On the Feast of Tabernacles General Pastor Robert Roenspies, COP’s featured speaker, gave some introductory comments explaining why our Father the Great God commands His people to rejoice and to love one another before Him for all seven days of God’s Feast of Tabernacles.
This Feast pictures the loving, joyful, anniversary celebration, in advance, of the marriage of God’s prepared/readied Bride, Firstfruits, Church to the Groom, Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God. The Lamb’s marriage to His Bride will occur exactly as God had planned and had so inspired it to be written within His Word; it will be a marvelous witness to all. Additionally, it was explained specifically who (Zech 14:16–19) during the Great Last Day will not, and cannot, come up to keep God’s Feast of Tabernacles.
On the Eighth Day, picturing the Great Last Day, Robert Roenspies explained how God’s entire true plan of salvation for mankind could be depicted as the “greatest love story ever told”. God loves His children and is looking forward to dwelling with them forever. He explained how God really knew what He was doing all along with His true Plan of Salvation—that God really does have it all taken care of—that every human being will be in the Kingdom of God forever. God will receive all of the glory for working out His entire perfect loving Plan of Salvation. The Great Day is coming when the tabernacle of God will be with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God (Rev 21:3).
This means that all would indeed in that Great Last Day rejoice with our Father the Great God, Jesus Christ, and His Bride along with all of the good angels. However, additional clarification was also provided explaining how the Great Last Day also included God’s destruction of those who cannot, and will not, come up to keep God’s commanded Feast of Tabernacles. This is no game!
Despite minimal impact from Hurricane/Tropical Storm Isidore, the brethren were still able to enjoy unique dining on the 107-foot Starlite Princess, a three-deck Paddle Wheel Riverboat, on relatively smooth inland waters, as well as an outdoor Church-sponsored picnic, a trip to Honeymoon Island and lots of family-style get-togethers. Throughout God’s entire eight-day Festival period, excited brethren from around the country, learning and growing together in unity, were found fellowshipping, rejoicing, loving one another and talking about God’s wonderful true loving plan of salvation, which included the new understanding of Zechariah 14:16–19. It was a peaceful time of rejoicing by all!
— John Gordon (603-889-1958)
28 Gilman Street, Nashua, NH 03060-3716
The Feast of Tabernacles at Rocheport was just wonderful! Yahweh provided perfect weather, fine messages and hundreds of joyous brethren.
We enjoyed special activities such as a walk in the woods focusing on edible wild plants, Wiener roast, Hay ride, Auction of religious and fun items, Children’s activity day, Ladies Meeting, Bicycle ride in the Katy Trail State Park, Special Music service and Baptism.
Of course we also had services and Bible studies every day.
One of our dear brothers, Ron Kehl, died during the feast and I just got word that a new baby boy was born to one of the sisters on 10-3-02. Isaiah is the new son of John and Adriana Dupus of Rocheport, MO. May Yahweh bless him. May Yahweh also comfort sister Opal Kehl.
The theme of the Feast was “Create in Me a Clean Heart”.
We started out with a message exhorting us to be joyous at the feast as commanded by Yahweh:
Yahweh tells us what attitude to have at the Feast of Tabernacles.
Deuteronomy 16:13–15: “You shall observe the Feast of Tabernacles seven days, when you have gathered from your threshing floor and from your winepress. And you shall rejoice in your feast, you and your son and your daughter, your male servant and your female servant and the Levite, the stranger and the fatherless and the widow, who are within your gates. Seven days you shall keep a sacred feast to Yahweh your Elohim in the place which Yahweh chooses, because Yahweh your Elohim will bless you in all your produce and in all the work of your hands, so that you surely rejoice.”
At the Feast of Tabernacles our Master Yahshua said, John 7:38: “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, from within him will flow rivers of living water.”
He may have been alluding to the joy of Yahweh’s Feast of Tabernacles.
Or he may have been talking about the last Great Day which the Jews call Simchat Torah—the rejoicing in the Torah. Old, dignified Rabbis get up and dance for joy with the Torah scroll.This is when the annual cycle of reading Torah begins again. (Torah is the books of Moses—Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy).
So, when Yahweh says, Isaiah 65:14: “Behold, My servants shall sing for joy of heart…” and, Zechariah 10:7 “Those of Ephraim shall be like a mighty man, and their heart shall rejoice as if with wine. Yes, their children shall see it and be glad; their heart shall rejoice in Yahweh,” we can understand that joy is part of being a child of Yahweh.
Our attitude plays a big part in our Feast and in our life. Solomon wrote, Proverbs 23:7, “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he…” We might translate that scripture “Our attitude is really what we are.”
The wonderful thing about this truth is that we can control our attitude. Psalms 33:21: “For our heart shall rejoice in Him, because we have trusted in His holy name. With Yahweh’s spirit we can have joy at any time. This important decision is ours to make. Proverbs 4:23 “Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.”
Cathy and I have been keeping Yahweh’s feasts for 40 years and they keep getting better and better! One of the reasons they get better is because we have learned that our attitude is the biggest factor in what kind of a Feast we have.
We pray that Yahweh grant you the wisdom to Have an attitude of joy at Yahweh's Feasts and in your life. This is indeed a blessing. It can make all the difference.
— Tom and Cathy Schattke
Salt Spring, Britsh Columbia
Just a short report from our Feast site on Salt Spring Island, BC. 30 feast goers enjoyed beautiful sunny weather all 8 days at the Cusheon Lake Resort. We actually met in a Succoth, a three-sided tent facing the lake. We had CD music of praise and worship that was inspiring.
The messages fitted the occasion followed by interactive participation. On Tuesday, we took a ferry from Vesuvius to Vancouver Island to the small community of Ladysmith, where the group participated in a work project of removing large rocks to create a 25-foot sand and gravel path to low tide for kyackers. We also painted the front of the local food bank building. It’s too bad the church has not been doing things like this for the past 40 or more years. This would have been a great way for us to leave a legacy for this world. It was fun and it was great to work together as a team. It did rain as we left the site for home. It was a feast to remember.
— Ed and Nancy Oettel
Between 35–50 persons attended with beautiful weather. The meeting room was within the hotel where pretty much everybody stayed. Besides live sermonettes we had a daily video teaching from Fred Coulter. Most people were there for the whole Feast, although some were splitting it between several sites and groups. It was profound to hear people’s stories, how they had suffered abuse at the hands of the hirelings, and the different range of the human experience in sharing the sufferings of Christ.
The Christian Biblical Church of God has given itself a nickname, “the no-hassle, recycled, last resort Church of God”. Due recognition was given to the fact that there are many different teachers and fellowships that God is working through (given without hypocrisy). The Love of God and the gracious presence of His Spirit was overwhelming, almost beyond comprehension. The hope and vision given by Fred’s teaching was “mind blowing”. What a God of Love we have. As I had not observed the Feast in over 10 years I had forgotten about what it is like to come down from the Feast, especially the exposure to so much of God’s Loving Spirit. I felt a little empty at first, but after seeing some brethren today, the third day after arriving home, I feel great. I wish the Love of God on all His Children.
Both myself and my friend Tony intended to go to Hastings, Michigan, but ended up coming to this site because we were not allowed into the U.S. due to increased “security”. It has been 11 years since I observed a Feast and this was wonderful. It was so different than WCG. The emphasis was on learning to love God and the brethren, instead of consuming physical stuff. The meetings consisted of the most mature spiritual teachings I have ever encountered in my Christian life. I have never been in a more honest, authentic loving Christian environment in my life.
I read with disappointment the letters you published about Fred Coulter in your most recent issue. The writer’s representation of the teachings was not accurate (rapture, sea of glass, etc.). And it is far from a one-man work as I assume would also be true about your Church Bible Teaching Ministry, although you are the one and only elder at this time.
— James Meister, Canada
[See the letter and response of this issue apologizing for mistakes about Fred Coulter’s teachings. My reference to Mr. Coulter’s work being a “one-man work” comes from facts such as you stated, that the main message of each day of the Feast consisted of a video tape by Mr. Coulter. I think he has a lot of good teaching, but it is also important for others to develop their teaching ability.
Our site had three men who gave main messages in services, and several others who have given main messages in prior years, but did not this year. Nearly everyone in the congregation spoke to the group at some time during the interactive parts of the Feast services. Nevertheless, I think much of Mr. Coulter’s teaching is very valuable and many teachers in the non-aligned congregations have learned from him—and elsewhere. — NSE]