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Christian Focus of Ancient Biblical Festivals to be Emphasized: United Church of God Follows Example of First Century Church

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Christian Focus of Ancient Biblical Festivals to be Emphasized

United Church of God Follows Example of First Century Church

CINCINNATI—Heralding a future time of global peace, the United Church of God will follow the historic example of Jesus Christ and the first century Church in celebrating the biblically prophesied Kingdom of God, beginning on the evening of October 4. About 13,000 members will gather and observe the annual eight-day biblical Festival of Tabernacles from October 5-12, according to Victor Kubik, Church president. Church members will assemble at more than 60 sites worldwide to take part in a contemporary Christian application of the biblical ancient Hebrew Holy Days.

The season outlines a powerful arc of salvation history whose theme is found throughout the entire Bible, Kubik explained. Members will review the biblical teachings about this during daily worship services.

In the United States, members with gather at 15 sites at Bend, Oregon; Branson, Missouri; Cincinnati, Ohio; Glacier Country, Montana; Jeykll Island, Georgia; Lake Junaluska, North Carolina; Lake Texoma, Texas; Oceanside, California; Panama City Beach, Florida; Phoenix, Arizona; Steamboat Springs, Colorado; White Haven, Pennsylvania; and Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin. The Church will conduct the festival at four Canadian sites (Cochrane, Alberta; Midland, Ontario; Prince Edward Island; and Victoria, B.C.) as well as sites in the Caribbean, Latin America, Europe and the British Isles, Africa, Australia, New Zealand and Asia.

“Many scholars confirm that the early Christian church, whose members originally were mostly of a Jewish background, continued to observe the ancient Holy Days in a new spirit and with a new understanding of their meaning,” said Kubik. “Today we have the marvelous understanding of how these ancient Holy Days outline God’s incredible plan for all humanity, including a future time of unparalleled peace and prosperity.”

Noting how these ancient festivals were observed in New Testament times, the Church president continued: “Writing to a group of gentile Christians in ancient Corinth, the apostle Paul described Jesus as our Passover lamb, calling on members there to respect and understand what constitutes the first event of the annual Holy Days, the Passover observance and the Days of Unleavened Bread.”

Going on, Kubik said: “The Holy Day seasons which follow the Passover chronicle the establishment of the Church and the giving of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost.” Referencing the current season, the Church president explained: “We understand from many biblical references that the fall Holy Day seasons—basically outlined in the 23rd chapter of the book of Leviticus—actually prophetically picture forthcoming global events that will completely transform the world as we know it today.”

How do New Testament disciples observe these days? Church members typically save about a 10th of their income for use at the festival (also called the Feast of Tabernacles or the Feast of Booths in various English translations). These personal funds allow members to fully celebrate the eight-day biblical event, as the Bible specifically directs members to “rejoice before the Lord your God” during this season (see Leviticus 23:40 Leviticus 23:40And you 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 you shall rejoice before the LORD your God seven days.
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for details). This helps foreshadow the coming abundance of the future Kingdom of God.

Church members attend the festival with their families, and the Church provides many opportunities for family time together. The worldwide nature of the festival also gives rise to global fellowship, and many friendships are made or renewed each season.

Visitors who would like to observe these days are welcome to attend. “We are striving to become disciples of Jesus Christ, and we welcome the opportunity to share our understanding and experiences with others,” Kubik noted.

About the United Church of God, an International Association — More information about the United Church of God is available at . The Church publishes a Bible study guide titled “God’s Holy Day Plan – The Promise of Hope for All Mankind,” which describes the biblical foundation for the ancient Hebrew Holy Days in detail. It is also available online at .  The Church publishes the Beyond Today magazine and sponsors the weekly television program of the same name: Beyond Today.