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Gather the People, Break the Bread, Tell the Story

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Gather the People, Break the Bread, Tell the Story

MP3 Audio (11.56 MB)


Gather the People, Break the Bread, Tell the Story

MP3 Audio (11.56 MB)

The Feast of Tabernacles is like a big family reunion. It helps us in the building and bonding of all of us into the spiritual family of God. Discover why the principles to gather the people, break the bread, and tell the story are so important in this bond.



One of the ways to build a strong bonded family is to have family visits and family reunions where the family members gather together to visit, to talk and to share a meal together. That's why the essence of this message today is about and titled, "Gather the People, Break the Bread, Tell the Story."

Some of my early childhood memories are of the Hargrove family reunion meetings and reunions in the 1940's. My grandfather Tom Hargrove hosted several of these meetings on his farm in the northwestern part of the area of Texas. The Hargroves were a big family, that is my grandfather and my father, I broke the thing, we didn't have what they had but we were as Hargroves a big family. Grandpa Tom was of the nine or more children of his father's family. My father was the second of nine children and I'm the eighth of nine children but as I said, I broke the mold after that, we only had two, I couldn't afford nine kids in the back seat of the car traveling in the ministry. So  at these reunions there were many relatives of all ages, single, married, some divorced, children of all ages. It was nice to see aunts and uncles that I hadn't seen in a long time, cousins, relatives that maybe I hadn't even known or seen or talked with in a long long time so it was a wonderful thing to have these family reunions.

Grandpa Tom was the acknowledged patriarch of the clan as we say, he was very quiet and very serious. I was somewhat intimidated by Grandpa Hargrove as a young child, I don't exactly know why because he wasn't an angry man, he was just quiet and serious. On the other hand, his wife Grandma Elizabeth was very small and she was very talkative. I mean, she used to talked, talked, talked and she also loved to cook. I mean she cooked and she cooked, well she had to with all those children, she had to learn how to cook. But she loved to cook and could feed people, not just cook but also to feed people. She would fill your plate and when you couldn't eat anymore, she said, "What's the matter boy, you not hungry?"

These family reunions were times to get acquainted, to get re-acquainted because we hadn't seen each other for a while and also to renew family bonds. We gathered as a family, we ate lots of good food and we talked and talked and talked. And the memories of these family meetings are nearly 70 years old to me now and yet they're still pleasant and really vivid, reminding me that I was and I am part of a large specific and particular family even though most of them are now dead. You may be sitting here, well that's an interesting story but what's this got to do with the Feast of Tabernacles? I thought you were going to talk about the Feast of Tabernacles!

Well my purpose in talking about this subject is to present a different and hopefully a wonderful reason for observing this very very special Feast. Not just to get together, it is a Feast. Most people want to feast, they love to feast, but they think of this as some religious get-together, but it's a feast, it's a festival.

God is building over thousands of years, a family. You all have read the verse early in the Bible it said that God said, "Let us make man in Our image." He is building a family. Presently we're not in the family of God as spirit composed beings but we're merely baptized members of the family of God. At the resurrection, you all know that we'll be actually born as spirit composed beings into the family of God, God's family for all eternity. That is a marvelously wonderful future to think about.

We've all been invited or as we always have said before, I kind of like to use the word "invited"because we had to respond, we've been invited from various backgrounds, we've come from ethnic backgrounds, different cultural backgrounds, backgrounds that are geographic and religious backgrounds and sometimes when we find the particular background of a person, we think, Well how did they get here? But we have come, been called or invited from various backgrounds but we're all parts of the same spiritual family of God, the Church of God and the body of Christ.

You'll find this explained in Ephesians 2:2. He said, Paul talking to those in Ephesus, which was a very religiously paganistic area with Diana the goddess.

Ephesians 2:2In which you...speaking to the Ephesians, but we can apply this to ourselves also...in which you once walked...or lived...according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air. We don't like to admit that but that's our past also to some degree.

Ephesians 2:3 Among whom also we all once conducted ourselves...so Paul included himself as he was a Jew and he was a Pharisee but maybe he wasn't always a good Pharisee, we don't know all that, he certainly wasn't when he tried to destroy the Church of God, but he said...we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of the flesh and fulfilling the desires of the flesh and the mind and we were children of wrath, just as all other people were. Skipping down to verse 10 he said:

Ephesians 2:10We are His workmanship...talking about God building a family, we're not doing this all on our own or by ourselves, it says...we are His workmanship...because He started it by inviting us into His family...created in Christ Jesus for doing good things. Then in verse 11, and I'd like to add a little extra to what Paul is saying here, not heresy, but just another comment.

Ephesians 2:11Therefore remember that you...so here he is talking to those who were not Israelites...remember that you were Gentiles...and a Gentile has come to be almost an epitaph that you spit out, that you're a Gentile. All the word means is "one from another nation."There was Israel that God called and then there was all the other nations and so when you say "Gentile"all you're saying is that you're of some other nationality or some other nation, they were called Gentiles, he reminded them of that and he wasn't saying that to hurt them in any way...remember you were called uncircumcision by those who were circumcised...that is the Jews.

We could say verse 11 today talks about us in that the circumcised were converted to Judaism and the Gentiles were not converted to the laws that the Jews lived by, they weren't converted to God's laws, so as Paul plainly says in verse 12:

Ephesians 2:12At that time you...meaning the Gentiles in the sense it applies to us as unconverted...at that time you were without Christ...I don't remember how far back I came into life, I did not know the truth until I had gotten out of high school, so I don't know exactly when He came into my life but I remember when I finally did begin to understand, he said....at that time you were without Christ...and looking back now I can certainly see that I was without Christ for quite a few years of my young life...being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel...God called Israel, He didn't call other nations, He said about Israel, I called them, you're the only nation I've known, at least at this time, He will know all of them later...aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise...that Israel would be the greatest nation on the face of the earth and of course the Church of God would be the example for all to live by through God's laws, he said...without God in the world. Then he says in verse 13:

Ephesians 2:13But now in Christ...or through Christ because we know who Christ is, He's forgiven us our sins, we followed Him, He is our Savior...you who were once far off...now the Gentiles were far off and he's talking to them, the Gentiles were far off from God...you have been brought near by the blood of Christ. Well we were far off before we were converted but now we are brought near.

Ephesians 2:14 – For He Himself is our peace...Paul added a little here that isn't spoken about that much, but notice he was talking about Gentiles and Jews or circumcision and circumcision and there was a hostility between the two, remember the woman said to Jesus, You're a Jew, you're not supposed to be here talking to me, you don't do that. Well Jesus is different. He is our peace who had made both one...both what – both nations, the Gentiles and the Jews or the Israelites, there has been racial hostility for a long time, there is still racial hostility today, they don't like to talk about it but it is still there and there was racial hostility in the verse, not in the verse but talking about it..and has broken down the middle wall of separation.

Ephesians 2:15Having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law...many people try to use this verse to show that He got rid of the Ten Commandments and the Commandments were the things that was the enmity, what he was talking about, the hostility between those who were circumcised and those who were not, so how can God build a family if a large part of it is hostile to the other, it's pretty hard to do that.

So he's talking about how the hostility has been removed by our accepting of Jesus Christ as our Savior by all accepting Christ as our Savior and we have now become one that is Christians, following Christ, living by God's laws, worshipping Christ.

Ephesians 2:15 - ...having abolished in His flesh the enmity...or the hostility, that we can come together as different nationalities shall we say and that doesn't just mean white and black you know, there's a lot of white nationalities that don't like each other either...abolished in His flesh, the enmity, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so He is creating Himself one new man from two, thus making peace. And reconciling both to God the body through the cross. Then come down to verse 19 he said:

Ephesians 2:19Therefore you now are no longer strangers and foreigners...speaking to the Gentiles and Jews, but applying it now to us, the unconverted who are now converted because we didn't know the laws of God before we were converted...you are not strangers and foreigners but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets.

We are being built into the family of God, all of us, we are to act like God, we are to talk like God, have the mind of God, ultimately we are to be born into the very family of God. God is building a family over a period of thousands of years and in doing so, one of the best places to create families is to have reunions. Reunions, I believe, are necessary and a very big part of the bonding and building of families. Reunions include food and those who talk, but more than talk, communication where we get to know each other and maybe even like each other! This provides a vehicle for communication which we don't always recognize, this reunion, we may not realize how much a part it is of coming together as one.

The Sabbaths, the weekly Sabbaths and annual Sabbaths and holy days – the Sabbath, Saturday Sabbath and the yearly holy days offer a framework for building and bonding God's family, the Church of God because we get together. The holy days present an arena in which we practice many rituals and traditions that distinguish us from other religious organizations and families, they really do. You know the Bible talks about our being saints..."well I don't want to be a saint"well like it or not, if you're baptized, you are a saint, all that means is that you're set apart. The Sabbath sets us apart – you might not want to be set apart but you are because of God's holy days and the Sabbath, they distinguish us from any other organizations and they help in this bonding of us as the family of God.

And guess what? These holy days include gathering the people, at the various holy day times and locations, it includes breaking the bread. We had a lovely evening meal yesterday, eating together, sharing together and then telling the stories. "Well who are you?"Just found a man, we didn't know each other but he and I were born and brought up in one of those small towns in Texas, we didn't know that until we got here and met each other. So we tell our own story and talk about how we grew up and how we came into the Church and we also were telling the story and that we're listening to God's story as He tells it, hopefully through us, the ministers in giving you sermons, to explain God's way of building His family, listening to God's story as told in the sermons and that's why we're asked to come here to listen to what God has to say.

God is a very masterful family builder and He outlined this long ago, you'll find this in Ezekiel 20 where He's talking about Israel, He starts off talking about Israel, not very complimentary because they ultimately gave up on Him but you find in Ezekiel 20:5, He's talking to Ezekiel and tells Ezekiel:

Ezekiel 20:5 – "Say to them...that is to the Israelites..."Thus says the Lord God: ‘On the day when I choose Israel...or brought Israel to Him...and I raised My hand in an oath to the descendants of the house of Jacob...God promised Abraham, Isaac and Jacob a lot of things, they passed it along somewhat, they died and they will be in the family of God but some of their descendants, they didn't like what God said...'I raised My hand in an oath to the descendants of the house of Jacob and made Myself known to them in the land of Egypt.'"

As I said about myself, I don't know how far back in my life God was in my life, I really don't know but I remember when I specifically came to the knowledge of the truth but I don't know how far back he said, I'll take that one and begin to work on him to "get it"shall we say. He said, I have made Myself known. Many have said, Oh, I've known God all my life. No, I don't really believe that in some – you have known about a God all your life, but not the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, who is the only true God.

Ezekiel 20:5 – "I made Myself known to them in the land of Egypt, I raised My hand in an oath, saying ‘I am the Lord, the Eternal, I'm your God.'

He was going to build a family with them, He gave them laws. In verse 11 it says:

Ezekiel 20:11 - "I gave them My statutes and  showed them My judgments...and sometimes in the King James translation, that last sentence is not easily understood...He said, which if a man does, he shall live by them."

I believe the real meaning is if we live by the laws of God, we finally find out what life is all about and we finally find out what is the best way of life,  when we live by God's laws.

Ezekiel 20:12 – "I gave them My Sabbaths to be a sign between them and Me that they might know that I am the Eternal, the Lord who sets them apart, sanctifies them."

Sabbath's and holy days play a very special part in building the family, they set us apart and they identify us as God's people. People find out you keep the Sabbath, the first thing they ask is, "Are you an Adventist?"No. "Well what are you?"Well I'm in God's Church. "Well which one is that?"They set us apart and they identify us as God's people, God's family. By observing the holy days we know who God is, we know He is our Father and ultimately will be the Father of all people. We know who God's people are, His family keeps the holydays and the Church started on Pentecost. We also know what God's plan is, that He deals with the firstfruits first and then He ultimately deals with all people. And by keeping God's holy days we also know what true life is, what it's all about and we also know how to live it. As I said, the holy days give us a sense of identity, but it also gives us something that many people crave and sometimes never find and that is a sense of belonging – we belong to God, we're a part of His Church, we have His spirit, we have His laws.

But the house of Israel didn't want to follow God's ways, they wanted to be like all the other nations, they didn't want to stand out and be different, so they gave up the holy days and ultimately they forgot who God was. Today the descendants of those people think that God is a trinity – three in one, which can't be explained, it makes no sense. They've also lost their identity, they don't even know who they are, that they are the lost ten tribes of Israel. They have become known in history as the lost ten tribes of Israel. God knows where they are, people in the Church of God know who they are, but they don't know who they are. Few people today know who the descendants of Israel really are. They would know if they kept the holy days.

The Jews are looked on as God's people because they at least do have a certain amount of knowledge about the Sabbath and the holy days and they do make some effort to keep it and so they're looked upon as God's people. The fall Feasts and especially because of the food shall we say, the fall feasts deals with the bringing together of God's family. I don't know how many states we are from, but we've gathered together as God's family and it also is used for the bonding of that family and it involves food, lots of good food is involved in the Feast of Tabernacles or temporary booths. You find this in Deuteronomy 16, usually we turn to Deuteronomy 16 to get your money, but we'll jump over that! That was a snide comment and I probably shouldn't have made it, but I did, so it's out!

Deuteronomy 16:13 – "Observe the Feast of Tabernacles when you gathered in your threshing floor and your wine press."

Deuteronomy 16:14 -  - You will rejoice...

Did you ever realize there is a big difference between fun and rejoice? A lot of people want to have fun, fun, fun, fun, fun. But the Bible says rejoice – rejoice means to have joy again and again and again and again. And if you have understood and accomplished joy, you're well on the way to a wonderful life. It says:

Deuteronomy 16:14 – "You shall rejoice in your feast, you and your children...and if you had servants, male or female...the fatherless and widow within your gates...if you can help in any way at all. It's a very happy time with our family, our extended family at the Feast of Tabernacles, having great joy, but it helps in building a family.

It also takes money, we all understand that, sometimes the Feast takes a small amount of money, sometimes it takes a very large amount of money and you'll find this in Deuteronomy 14:22. You will find that building a family takes money and there's a point here that is very important.

Deuteronomy 14:22 – "You shall truly tithe all the increase of your grain that the field produces year by year."And we know that the tithe belonged to God, you'll find in Malachi it said, don't steal the tithe. Then in verse 23 it says:

Deuteronomy 14:23 – "You shall eat before the Lord your God where He chooses to make His name...you're to eat the tithe. Well that looks like we're stealing the tithe that God commands us to keep for Him. Well we call this the second tithe, it doesn't say second tithe but it's talking about a tithe that we eat, not give to God.

How many families do you know that keeps ten percent of their total income to help build the family and making a family happy and joy and good things and do all these things, I don't know, I never knew all that much as a child, maybe you didn't either but God is building a family, said that you need to put money aside to build your family properly. As I grew up I heard a lot of stories about people that had twenty dollars and they got married! It took a long time to have enough money to take care of a family!

This shows that we are to do this in order to respect the wisdom of God in building a family and I think our children should understand that also, that our parents have taken a tenth of their money to help them to have a joyful life and to go places and to do, see things and to do things and to learn how to live and have a really good life. Then in verse 26 it says:

Deuteronomy 14:26 – "And you shall spend that money for whatever your heart desires...

Now that can be dealt with a little bit of different ways, it doesn't mean just anything, not I'd like to go down to the casino and see if I can become a millionaire and use my tithe! No, I don't think so. Your heart's desire for those things concerning the Feast, in order to keep the Feast. Whatever your heart's desire is, you're to eat there before God and you are to have joy again and again and again, you and your household.

And especially during the Feast, this is wonderful because it is a picture of the kingdom of God. The wealthiest and kindest kingdom that ever has been or ever will be. Let's notice the framework of this Feast, you may never have realized this in coming to the Feast, but the framework for the Feast first of all is gather – you all came here, so we all gather together in Ocean City and when I saw it, I said, I want to go there, but I'd never been, it's really nice. We have gathered together. Someone has to plan and coordinate or it won't get done. As I said, I was the planner and coordinator of Regional Track meets in Indiana and I had to do a lot of the planning or it wouldn't have got done. They all came to a certain place because they planned it. And God does the planning for us as far as these Feasts are. He plans to have the Feast every year, year after year. The second part of the framework is break bread, eat food! Food, eating, sharing food is sharing life. You've heard the statement, you can't bite the hand that feeds you, sharing food is sharing life because if you never eat you're not going to have life very long. Sharing food is sharing life and it helps in creating a bond.

Some cultures won't even do business until they have eaten or shared a meal. God came to Abraham to talk about some things, they didn't work on the plan until they had eaten. And so we are breaking bread, it's a part of the plan. And the third part of this framework is telling this story, talking to others as I said. You may have heard of someone, I know I see several here that I've known a long time, but when I first met them I never heard of them, I didn't know what they were, but now we know each other, hopefully we like each other and we're being bonded with each other because we are of the same mindset now. Tell the story, we talk to others and we communicate so that we can know each other better. And I said, we listen to the sermons which tell us the plan of God and we listen to it over and over and over again. Sometimes I have given a sermon and I know someone will say, I've heard that before! And my answer to them, You know what, I've given it before too! So what's wrong with hearing something again? Have you ever heard the word, I'm going to remind you of this? God reminds us over and over and over again of His plan.

So, gather, break bread, tell stories. Keeping the Feast offers us many memories of our extended family who live all over the world. I remember in Sydney, Australia in 1971, I went there for my second son's wedding that year and it was the Day of Atonement when we got there or just before that and coming to the Atonement service that night I met a man and introduced myself to him, I said, My name is Vernon Hargrove. He said, I know, I know who you are, I prayed for you for thirty years! Well in those days we had the booklet that showed where all of the ministers all over the world and we were told to pray for these individuals – someone had been praying for me for thirty years and I had no idea who he was until I met him. After that we were friends, at least I liked him!

Really, what we enjoy in the Church is only a dream for the vast majority of people in the world, just a dream. But the Feast of Tabernacles which pictures the Kingdom of God shows that some day will happen to all. You'll find this in Isaiah 25:6 and this is the wonderful part to look forward to, although it won't be a surprise to us but it will be somewhat to those that are involved in it in Isaiah 25:6, it says:

Isaiah 25:6In this mountain...or this kingdom, this nation, speaking of Jerusalem and Israel...in this mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all people a feast of choice pieces...now how can you do that if they all hate each other? This shows that hostility will by this time, speaking of the millennium, by that time in the millennium, the hostility of nations will be known, worked on and reduced, if not eliminated....the Lord of hosts will make for all people...not just Israel...a Feast of choice pieces, fine wines, fat things, well-refined.

Isaiah 25:7He will also destroy at that time the surface of the covering cast over all people...the blindness. You talk to some people and it's like they're blind, they haven't got a clue as to what we're talking about because they can't see it. The surface of the covering, the deceit, the blindness of people will be removed, the veil that is spread over all our nations

People will be removed over all and will spread over all nations. That's what people do because they swallowed the subliminal voices, well not voices, but the subliminal thoughts that come from Satan and demons that says, you ought to kill innocent people, they're no good, you ought to get rid of them. That will be removed.

Isaiah 25:8 He will swallow up death forever...that's going to happen, and they will learn about the peace also.

God tells the true story of what life should be over and over and over again. My wife DeLee and I have met in quite a few different phases of keeping the Feast, single at Ambassador College, we dated others, we dated each other, then we were married. We attended the Feast with no children, then we attended the Feast with children and then our children got married and had babies and so we were grandparents with grandchildren. But the component parts of all of these, whether married or not, whether single or not, the component parts of the many different Feasts and times has always been the same – though we didn't always recognize that this was the component part of or parts, or that these component parts were helping us to bond as individuals and with others, these component parts were then and always have been and always will be, a gathering of the people, family and extended family, it always included the breaking of bread, sharing food with many other individuals and the telling of the story, ours to others, and listening to many many sermons that we heard before. Those of you many years ago, Mr. Armstrong, Mr. Herbert Armstrong at the Feast in Big Sandy, first night he would say, "Why are you here?"And he gave the same sermon he had given the last five years – you knew what he was going to say before he said it! But it was a good sermon to hear. Listening to God's plan, God's story of how that we are to become like Him

Maybe today you're one of those at the bottom of this rung, you're single and you think I'll never get married and I'll never have children. Don't be too discouraged, that may change. My wife has passed through, as I said, the stages of building a physical family, our children have now married and moved away and to a degree, our family is now memories and pictures. Plus we're the ATM of our grandchildren! You may be in that stage now, also like us, you may be grieving as we have grieved over the mistakes made in trying to build a family. I've made some mistakes I wished I had never made, but I did make it and I'm paying the price. Grieve if you need to but don't be discouraged forever because that can change too if we have God's spirit and we're trying to be like Him too.

What we've learned, good and bad, is all a part of the learning process we call conversion. Conversion means to change from one thing to another thing, to change from an unconverted person which you don't realize often that you are unconverted, not totally converted, over to being a converted individual and in the interim we make mistakes. It's all a part of being prepared and groomed.

Today you see so many sloppy people who don't know what it's like to be groomed. Maybe God looked at us and said, You know that's a sloppy looking fellow but I'm going to open his mind and will groom him. And so we're being groomed, we're being groomed in order to be a part of the Eternal family of God. Stable families share many rituals, many traditions. We had the tradition on Friday night meals and whereas in Texas they had Friday Night Lights with some of the schools playing ball, schools played football on Friday night and they played under the lights. I played a lot of games on Friday nights under the lights, in six man football in Texas, I didn't know God at that time.

But there are many rituals and many traditions, secular and religious for stable members of the families to live by, they will always include gathering, eating, talking of right principles and that's a big big part, talking about right principles. I guess that's the mistake I made and I just assumed if our sons were in the Church and they were getting it. You don't just get it because you are in the building listening.

The shattering of families involves not gathering together as a family, the shattering of families involves not being together as a family. The shattering of families is not talking together as a family about appropriate principles. So as I said, there are many rituals and habits that stable families know, understand and live by.

Well I remember the Hargrove reunions, they helped in forming a family bond. I also remember the many reunions that is the Feasts of God's family and they've helped in forming a bond in my life and in the lives of others. You will find some information and principles in Exodus 23 that help in this bonding process or growing process in becoming a part of the family of God.

Exodus 23:14 – God said: "Three times in the year you're to keep the Feast...

Not just one only but three, God intends that this is a continuing thing year after year. The first part is the Feast of Unleavened Bread, that is we learn to do the right thing, we learn to live by the proper laws, we learn to live a good life at Unleavened Bread time. In verse 16:

Exodus 23:16The Feast of harvest...

The firstfruits, we learn to plant and grow. I grew up as a farmer – we planted cotton. Every time we planted cotton, I never ever and my father never ever ever believed that if you planted cotton seed you'd get wheat – it doesn't happen! You get what you plant. And so we in the Church of God are learning that lesson, to plant and grow, and get a good harvest and by having a good harvest it will lead to in V. 16:

Exodus 23:16 - ...the Feast of Ingathering...

At the end of the year when you gathered in what you labored for. If we have planted and grown things properly then there will be a time of ingathering, we will look forward to a very good harvest and a very good family if we're doing it for family.

You will find that God gives an awful lot of help. In verse 20 He says, Look you're not going to do all this by yourself:

Exodus 23:20 – "I will send an Angel...a very powerful forceful Godly being, spirit being...before you to keep you in the way...we may not remember that.

You're driving along on the interstate, 70 mph and you start to pull over and the next thing, bam, one second you could have killed somebody and for whatever reason, it didn't happen, I didn't see them or they didn't see me.

Exodus 23:20 – "I will send an Angel before you to keep you in the way and to bring you into the place which I've prepared."

I know that's talking about Israel in the land of Promise but he's still talking about the kingdom of God and how God deals with His people. In verse 28 he says:

Exodus 23:28 – "I will send hornets...have you ever been bitten by a wasp? Have you ever been bitten by a hornet? People die sometimes when they're bitten by that. How many wars do you think there would be if all of the bombers had a hornet in the cockpit? It wouldn't cost much to end the war! Wouldn't cost much at all...I will send the hornet before you, it will drive them out...in other words, God will give a strong force to us to help us. Then in verse 29 there is a very important point that is not, I never understood it, I don't think any others do, He said:

Exodus 23:19 – I will not drive them out from before you in one year...now one year is a long time, what God is saying, you're not going to get this done quickly.

I remember talking to a Jewish man many years ago in Arizona, we had just come to the Phoenix area and we were talking about, well, when did you learn the truth and he said, I was sitting in my home, I was sitting outside under a tree and I was reading your booklet about, Why were you born? And I found in that booklet that you're to become god. And I said, well, what did you think? He said, Well after reading, I said to myself, that's not going to take long! I thought, Uh oh, you have a little to learn. It wasn't that long and he left the Church. So we have to realize this will take time, it's a process and it lasts all our lives. When I learned that, that relieved a lot of frustration in my life, that it's a process and it will take your whole life. He said:

Exodus 23:29 – "I will not drive them out before you in one year lest the land become desolate and the beasts of the field take you."

Then he says in verse 30, and this is the point, people want to lose weight, they want to gain weight, they want to do this, do that and they want to do it NOW if not sooner! God said, little by little, little here, little there. It's amazing after a year of this little by little by little how much growth you'll see, and you didn't even realize you were growing or bonded.

Exodus 23:30 – "Little by little I will drive them out until you have increased."

In other words, God says you're not going to do this all by yourself and you won't do it instantly, it will take a while, little by little and here's the important point, it shows the graciousness and the goodness of God, He said, I will do it this way until we grow up and can handle what we have become. That's an important point about being in the family of God.

All of this will take a lot of communication, all of this will take a lot of good food for energy – if you eat junk food all the time, it won't work. It will take communication, a lot of good food for the energy that is needed and it will take a lot of helpful information. Data is doubling so fast it's hard to keep up with it. So it isn't just information, good information, right information, honorable information. Communication, good food and a lot of helpful information in order to know what to do appropriately.

I hope this will be a very wonderful Feast for you, I hope it will help in building a strong, stable, solid, personal family and I hope that this Feast will be a part of the building and bonding of all of us into the spiritual family of God. And always remember the principles that are involved – gather the people, break the bread and tell the story.