The WMSCOG and the Feasts of God
This month, members of the World Mission Society Church of God around the world are jubilant celebrating the third set of God’s annual feasts—the Feast of Tabernacles. As the Bible testifies, God gave His people appointed feasts to celebrate throughout the year. And regardless of the era, God’s people must continue to celebrate the feasts of God year after year.
Interestingly enough, the World Mission Society Church of God is the only Christian church that celebrates all seven feasts in three times in accordance with the Bible. Other mainstream Christian churches celebrate Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, among others—celebrations that are traditional to certain cultures but are not at all biblical. The Bible calls these “man-made festivals.” So as Christians, it is important to understand and celebrate the feasts of God as taught by Christ. After all, it is God’s feasts that contain God’s blessings.
Yet, many people say that the feasts of God do not need to be celebrated. In a series of posts, I will debunk various excuses people have made for not celebrating the feasts. What’s alarming is that many people use verses from the Bible itself to say the feasts don’t need to be kept. In this post, I will discuss one of them in particular.
By reading this verse alone, it’s easy to think that we don’t need to keep the feasts of God. However, we cannot judge the Bible simply by one verse. Otherwise, what is the point of all the other verses where God commands us to keep the feasts generation after generation?
Who is God speaking to in Hosea 2:11?
It’s important to know the answer to this question. Without understanding the context of the verse, it’s easy to mistake God’s commands. If you read the whole chapter, you’ll understand better. But here are a couple of verses before and after Hosea 2:11 that help clarify who it is that God is speaking to.
Hosea 2:8 (NLT) “. . . She doesn’t realize it was I who gave her everything she has—the grain, the new wine, the olive oil; I even gave her silver and gold. But she gave all my gifts to Baal.”
Hosea 2:13 (NLT) “. . . I will punish her for all those times when she burned incense to her images of Baal . . . but forgot all about me,” says the Lord.
God is speaking to those who disobeyed God and worshiped Baal (the sun god).
So why did God take the feasts away from those who worshiped Baal?
Because they disobeyed God and worshiped Baal. Obedience towards God leads to blessings. But disobeying God’s commands and worshiping other gods undoubtedly leads to curse and destruction. This is why God took His feasts away from those who disobeyed Him.
Here’s an example:
In the Garden of Eden, because God loved Adam and Eve so much, He warned them not to eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil because it would cause them to die. Without eating from the Tree, Adam and Eve could enjoy everything and even live forever. However, because of their disobedience, they not only would face death, but God forbade them to eat from the Tree of Life to gain eternal life back. Obedience leads to blessings. Disobedience leads to punishment.
Hosea 2:9-13 (NLT) “But now I will take back the ripened grain and new wine I generously provided each harvest season. I will take away the wool and linen clothing I gave her to cover her nakedness. . . . I will put an end to her annual festivals, her new moon celebrations, and her Sabbath days—all her appointed festivals. . . . I will punish her for all those times when she burned incense to her images of Baal . . .”
Not only the feasts but God took everything away from those who worshiped Baal, including their properties and clothing. This was their punishment for worshiping Baal and disobeying God’s laws and commands.
So should we insist that Hosea 2:11 means the feasts were completely abolished? People who insist the feasts are abolished put themselves in the category of the people who lived in the time of Hosea and worshiped Baal. Can they say they’re true Christians? Clearly not because it means they, too, worship Baal.
God commanded His people to celebrate the feasts generation after generation.
The entire Bible testifies to keeping the seven feasts of God year after year. Like this, we can receive God’s blessing to enter the kingdom of heaven.
Leviticus 23:37 (NLT) “These are the Lord’s appointed festivals. Celebrate them each year as official days for holy assembly . . . These festivals must be observed in addition to the Lord’s regular Sabbath days.
Deuteronomy 16:16 Three times a year all your men must appear before the Lord your God at the place he will choose: at the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the Festival of Weeks and the Festival of Tabernacles.
And in the book of Deuteronomy, God also reminds His people of the blessings in keeping His commands.
Deuteronomy 28:1 If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. All these blessings will come on you and accompany you if you obey the Lord your God.
From the Old to the New Testaments, God commands us to keep all the feasts of God, including the Sabbath day. This is the way that we can recognize God and become the people of God. Even in the New Testament, Jesus and His disciples set the example of celebrating the feasts of God.
Matthew 26:17 On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Where do you want us to make preparations for you to eat the Passover?” . . . So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them and prepared the Passover.
Jesus kept the Passover with His disciples. And the disciples kept the Passover even after Jesus ascended to heaven. The book of John shows Jesus also keeping the Feast of Tabernacles and the book of Acts shows the disciples keeping the Day of Pentecost (Feast of Weeks). So as Christians, we must follow the example of the early Church and keep the feasts of God until we enter the kingdom of heaven.
I invite you to visit your local Church of God and study more about the feasts of God and the blessings God promised to those who keep them.