Tuesday, July 28, 2015


How Important is Tithing Today?

Is Tithing Binding on New Covenant Believers?

(Scriptures are quoted from the King James Bible, unless otherwise stated.  The names of the Father and Son have been changed to "Yahweh" and "Yahshua" by the author of this article.)

(Word definitions and numbers are taken from the Hebrew and Greek dictionaries in The New Strong’s Expanded Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, by James Strong, LL.D., S.T.D., unless otherwise specified.)

(editor’s note: Underlining and bold are used in this article for emphasis.)

Many churches talk about tithing and offerings.  They ask people to pledge how much they will tithe on a regular basis.  Do you understand what that is all about?  What is tithing?  What does the word mean?  Who is obligated to tithe?  On what?  Why?  To whom does the tithe belong?


From Strong’s Concordance –

·    Hebrew Dictionary, page 167, #4643, “ma’asher or ma’ashrah, a tenth; especially a tithe.”
·    Hebrew Dictionary, page 223, #6237, “ahsar; to accumulate; but used only as a denom.  From #6235, to tithe, i.e. to take or give a tenth.”
·    Greek Dictionary, page 35, #586, “apodekatoo; to tithe (as debtor or creditor).”
·    Greek Dictionary, page 63, #1181, “dekate; a tenth, i.e. as a percentage or (technically) tithe.”
·    Greek Dictionary, page 63, #1183, detatoo; to tithe, i.e. to give or take a tenth.”

Webster’s New World College Dictionary, Fourth Edition, 2000, Michael Agnes, Editor in Chief, page 1502 – “tithe  1-one tenth of the annual produce of one’s land or of one’s annual income, paid as a tax or contribution to support a church or its clergy.  2-a)a tenth part b)any small part. 3-any tax or levy.”


Over a number of years, several kings had been battling.  Abram finally became involved after Lot was taken captive.  Then this event occurred.

Genesis 14:11-20  11-And the kings took all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all their victuals, and went their way.  12-And they took Lot, Abram’s brother’s son, who dwelt in Sodom, and his goods, and departed.    13-And there came one that had escaped, and told Abram the Hebrew; for he dwelt in the plain of Mamre the Amorite, brother of Eschol, and brother of Aner:  and these were confederate with Abram.  14-And when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his trained servants, born in his own house, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued them unto Dan.  15-And he divided himself against them, he and his servants, by night, and smote them, and pursued them unto Hobah, which is on the left hand of Damascus.  16-And he brought back again his brother Lot, and his goods#7399, and the women also, and the people.  17-And the king of Sodom went out to meet him after his return from the slaughter of Chedorlaomer, and of the kings that were with him, at the valley of Shaveh, which is the king’s dale.  18-And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine:  and he was the priest of the most high El.  19-And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high El, possessor of heaven and earth: 20-And blessed be the most high El, which has delivered your enemies into your hand.  And he gave him tithes of all.

Even though there is no record of a discussion beforehand, it seem that Abram already understood the tithing concept and simply did so.  There is no previous command in Scripture for this to be done.  It appears that Abram gave to Melchizedek as a way of expressing his appreciation.

On what did Abram tithe?  Grain?  Livestock?  A paycheck?  Verse 16 says Abram brought back “goods” – and he gave tithes of “all”.  The word “goods” is Hebrew #7399, “rekuwsh”, meaning “property (as gathered).” 


Genesis 28:20-22  20-And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If Elohim will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, 21-So that I come again to my father’s house in peace; then shall Yahweh be my Elohim:  22-And this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be Elohim’s house:  and of all that you shall give me I will surely give the tenth unto you.

Still – no command from Yahweh regarding tithing.  But it is clear that Jacob understood it and made a vow to carry it out.  It was an acknowledgement that the blessings he received came from Yahweh.


Exodus 22:29-30  29-You shall not delay to offer the first of your ripe fruits, and of your liquors:  the firstborn of your sons shall you give unto me.  30-Likewise shall you do with your oxen, and with your sheep:  seven days it shall be with his dam:  on the eighth day you shall give it me.

Exodus 13:12-13  12-that you shall set apart unto Yahweh all that open the matrix, and every firstling that comes of a beast which you have; the males shall be Yahweh’s.  13-And every firstling of an ass you shall redeem with a lamb; and if you will not redeem it, then you shall break his neck:  and all the firstborn of man among your children shall you redeem.

Leviticus 27:26-33  26-Only the firstling of the beasts, which should be Yahweh’s firstling, no man shall sanctify it; whether it be ox, or sheep:  it is Yahweh’s.  27-And if it be of an unclean beast, then he shall redeem it according to your estimation, and shall add a fifth part of it thereto:  or if it be not redeemed, then it shall be sold according to your estimation.  28-Notwithstanding no devoted thing, that a man shall devote unto Yahweh of all that he has, both of man and beast, and of the field of his possession, shall be sold or redeemed:  every devoted thing is most holy unto Yahweh.  29-one devoted, which shall be devoted of men, shall be redeemed:  but shall surely be put to death.  30-and all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is Yahweh’s:  it is holy unto Yahweh.  31-And if a man will at all redeem aught of his tithes, he shall add thereto the fifth part thereof.  32-And concerning the tithe of the herd, or of the flock, even of whatsoever passes under the rod, the tenth shall be holy unto Yahweh.  33-He shall not search whether it be good or bad, neither shall he change it:  and if he change it at all, then both it and the change thereof shall be holy:  it shall not be redeemed.

While some individuals grumble about the idea they “have to” give a set amount – a tenth – we see in these verses, that the tithe is not the end of the matter.

All firstling animals were Yahweh’s.  They came out of the herd first, no matter what.  Then, after that, one category of animals at a time, the ones born that season, were made to pass under a rod.  Every tenth one was Yahweh’s.  For example, if a man had 19 new lambs in a season, Yahweh got only one – the tenth one.  It was not 10% of the animals, which would be 1.9 animals, but only every tenth one.

Notice what else is to be tithedLeviticus 27:30It wasn’t only grain“Seed of the land, of the fruit of the tree” would include vegetables, fruits, nuts, olives, grapes, dates, etc.  It involved whatever was harvested.  And the tithe of those came after they had given the first fruits of each one.


Yahweh gave instructions to Moses.

Exodus 28:1 And take you unto you Aaron your brother, and his sons with him, from among the children of Israel, that he may minister unto me in the priest’s office, even Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar, Aaron’s sons.

Deuteronomy 18:1-5  1-The priests the Levites, and all the tribe of Levi, shall have no part nor inheritance with Israel:  they shall eat the offerings of Yahweh made by fire and his inheritance.  2-Therefore they shall have no inheritance among their brethren; Yahweh is their inheritance, as he has said unto them.  3-And this shall be the priest’s due from the people, from them that offer a sacrifice, whether it be ox or sheep; and they shall give unto the priest the shoulder, and the two cheeks, and the maw.  4-The firstfruit also of your corn, of your wine, and of your oil, and the first of the fleece of your sheep, shall you give him.  5-For Yahweh your Elohim has chosen him out of all your tribes, to stand to minister in the name of Yahweh, him and his sons forever.

Aaron and Moses were descendants of Jacob’s son Levi.  All the male descendants of Levi – called the Levites – were to be servants in the worship of Yahweh.  But only Aaron and his male descendants made up the priesthood.  All priests were Levites, but not all Levites were priests.

Numbers 3:2-4  2-And these are the names of the sons of Aaron; Nadab the firstborn, and Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar.  3-These are the names of the sons of Aaron, the priests which were anointed, whom he consecrated to minister in the priest’s office.  4-And Nadab and Abihu died before Yahweh, when they offered strange fire before Yahweh, in the wilderness of Sinai, and they had no children:  and Eleazar and Ithamar ministered in the priest’s office in the sight of Aaron, their father.

These three men and their descendants would constitute the priesthood.  The other Levites were to assist them.

Numbers 3:5-13  5-And Yahweh spoke unto Moses, saying, 6-Bring the tribe of Levi near, and present them before Aaron the priest, that they may minister unto him.  7-And they shall keep his charge, and the charge of the whole congregation before the tabernacle of the congregation, to do the service of the tabernacle.  8-And they shall keep all the instruments of the tabernacle of the congregations, and the charge of the children of Israel, to do the service of the tabernacle.  9-And you shall give the Levites unto Aaron and to his sons:  they are wholly given unto him out of the children of Israel.  10-And you shall appoint Aaron and his sons, and they shall wait on their priest’s office; and the stranger that comes near shall be put to death.  11-And Yahweh spoke unto Moses, saying, 12-And I, behold, I have taken the Levites from among the children of Israel instead of all the firstborn that opens the matrix among the children of Israel:  therefore the Levites shall be mine:  13-Because all the firstborn are mine; for on the day that I smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt I hallowed unto me all the firstborn in Israel, both man and beast:  mine shall they be; I am Yahweh.


Numbers 18:20 And Yahweh spoke unto Aaron, You shall have no inheritance in their land, neither shall you have any part among them:  I am your part and your inheritance among the children of Israel.

Notice:  the priesthood inherited no land.  They would not be farming and raising crops.  So what about their food?

Numbers 18:8-19  8-And Yahweh spoke unto Aaron, Behold, I also have given you the charge of my heave offerings of all the hallowed things of the children of Israel; unto you have I given them by reason of the anointing, and to your sons, by a ordinance forever.  9-This shall be yours of the most holy things, reserved from the fire:  every oblation of theirs, every meat offering of theirs, and every sin offering of theirs, and every trespass offering of theirs, which they shall render unto me, shall be meat most holy for you and for your sons.  10-In the most holy place shall you eat it; every male shall eat it:  it shall be holy unto you.  11-And this is yours; the heave offering of their gift, with all the wave offerings of the children of Israel:  I have given them unto you, and to your sons and to your daughters with you, by a statute for ever:  everyone that is clean in your house shall eat of it.  12-All the best of the oil, and all the best of the wine, and of the wheat, the firstfruits of them which they shall offer unto Yahweh, them have I given you.  13-And whatsoever is first ripe in the land, which they shall bring unto Yahweh, shall be yours; every one that is clean in your house shall eat of it.  14- Every thing devoted in Israel shall be yours.  15-Every thing that opens the matrix in all flesh, which they bring unto Yahweh, whether it be of men or beasts, shall be yours:  nevertheless the firstborn of man shall you surely redeem, and the firstling of unclean beasts shall you redeem.  16-And those that are to be redeemed from a month old shall you redeem, according to your estimation, for the money of five shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary, which is twenty gerahs.  17-But the firstling of a cow, or the firstling of a sheep, or the firstling of a goat, you shall not redeem; they are holy; you shall sprinkle their blood upon the altar, and shall burn their fat for an offering made by fire, for a sweet savor unto Yahweh.  18-And the flesh of them shall be yours, as the wave breast and as the right shoulder are yours.  19-All the heave offerings of the holy things, which the children of Israel offer unto Yahweh, have I given you, and your sons and your daughters with you, by a statute for ever:  it is a covenant of salt for ever before Yahweh unto you and to your seed with you.


Numbers 18:21-24  21-And, behold, I have given the children of Levi all the tenth in Israel for an inheritance, for their service which they serve, even the service of the tabernacle of the congregation.  22-Neither must the children of Israel henceforth come near the tabernacle of the congregation, lest they bear sin, and die.  23-But the Levites shall do the service of the tabernacle of the congregation, and they shall bear their iniquity:  it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations, that among the children of Israel, they have no inheritance.  24-But the tithes of the children of Israel, which they offer as an heave offering unto Yahweh, I have given to the Levites to inherit:  therefore I have said unto them, Among the children of Israel they shall have no inheritance.

Now, notice what else was said to the Levites:  they were to tithe on the tithes they received!  A tithe of the tithe.

Numbers 18:25-32  25-And Yahweh spoke unto Moses, saying, 26-Thus speak unto the Levites, and say unto them, When you take of the children of Israel the tithes which I have given you from them for your inheritance, then you shall offer up an heave offering of it for Yahweh, even a tenth part of the tithe.  27-And this your heave offering shall be reckoned unto you, as though it were the corn of the threshing floor, and as the fullness of the winepress.  28-Thus you also shall offer an heave offering unto Yahweh of all your tithes, which you receive of the children of Israel:  and you shall give thereof Yahweh’s heave offering to Aaron the priest.  29-Out of all your gifts you shall over every heave offering of Yahweh, of all the best thereof, even the hallowed part thereof out of it.  30-Therefore you shall say unto them, When you have heaved the best thereof from it, then it shall be counted unto the Levites as the increase of the threshing floor, and as the increase of the winepress.  31-And you shall eat it in every place, you and your households:  for it is your reward for your service in the tabernacle of the congregation.  32-And you shall bear no sin by reason of it, when you have heaved from it the best of it:  neither shall you pollute the holy things of the children of Israel, lest you die.

The word “increase” of Numbers 18:30 is the same word used in referring to the tithes of the people.

Deuteronomy 14:22  You shall truly tithe all the increase of your seed, that the field brings forth year by year.
“Increase” is Hebrew #8393, “tebuwah.”  It means “income, i.e. produce.”
Interesting!  In a former organization, all the people were to send their tithe checks to the headquarters office.  They then provided for the ministers from that – ministers who were not required to tithe at all by the organization!
Then the people were to send an amount equal to a tithe of their tithe to headquarters.  That was supposed to cover the costs of the feast sites.

That organization certainly didn’t use Scripture as an outline, did it?  They basically reversed the process to get the most money they could out of the people.


Most people assume all the priests and Levites lived at Jerusalem.  But that is not the way Yahweh set things up.  He said the tithes would go to the Levites.  If they had all been in one location, that would have made it hard for the people.  It would have meant a long trip every time another crop came in.  Or for the women who were to appear before a priest every month (see Leviticus 15:19-30).

Also, if all were located in one city, it would have been a burden on the tribe who had inherited that area.  It would have diminished the size of their inheritance.  So Yahweh had a plan that evened out the situation.

Numbers 35:1-3, 6-8  1-And Yahweh spoke unto Moses in the plains of Moab by Jordan near Jericho, saying, 2-Command the children of Israel, that they give unto the Levites of the inheritance of their possession cities to dwell in; and you shall give also unto the Levites suburbs for the cities round about them.  3-And the cities shall they have to dwell in; and the suburbs of them shall be for their cattle, and for their goods, and for all their beasts.  6-And among the cities which you shall give unto the Levites there shall be six cities for refuge, which you shall appoint for the manslayer, that he may flee there:  and to them you shall add forty and two cities.  7-So all the cities which you shall give to the Levites shall be forty and eight cities:  them shall you give with their suburbs.  8-And the cities which you give shall be of the possession of the children of Israel:  from them that have many you shall give many; but from them that have few you shall give few:  every one shall give of his cities unto the Levites according to his inheritance which he inherits.

There are scholars who claim that this never happened because there is very little information available about it.  But once the Israelites took the land and divided it into areas for each tribe, this is recorded.

Joshua 21:1-3  1-Then came near the heads of the fathers of the Levites unto Eleazar the priest, and unto Joshua the son of Nun, and unto the heads of the fathers of the tribes of the children of Israel; 2-And they spoke unto them at Shiloh in the land of Canaan, saying, Yahweh commanded by the hand of Moses to give us cities to dwell in, with the suburbs thereof for our cattle.  3-And the children of Israel gave unto the Levites out of their inheritance, at the commandment of Yahweh, these cities and their suburbs.

The chapter goes on to list the forty-eight cities and in which tribe’s territory they were located.

So, to get the tithes to the Levites would be much simpler than having to go to Jerusalem or wherever the high priest dwelled.  The Levites in a particular city would receive the tithes from the area surrounding that city and then send a tithe of that to Aaron and his sons.

As a side note – in the beginning of their time in the land, the high priest was not at Jerusalem.  That city, known as Jebus, was not under the control of Israel I\until King David conquered it much later.  (2 Samuel 5:6-9)

But later, once Israel and Judah went into captivity, the Scriptures are silent about these Levitical cities.  Other peoples had been moved into the areas by the conquerors.  But even then, reference does come to mind to show that not all were at Jerusalem, speaking of Zacharias, the father of John the Immerser.

Luke 1:5,9  5-There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia; and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth.  9-Accoring to the custom of the priest’s office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of Yahweh.
Once Mary heard that Elisabeth was pregnant, she went to visit her.

Luke 1:39-40  39-And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Judah; 40-And entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elisabeth.


Yahshua used the word “tithes” only once, recorded by two witnesses.
Matthew 23:23 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!  For you pay tithes of mint and anise and cumin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith:  these ought you have done, and not to leave the other undone.
Luke 22:42 But woe unto you, Pharisees!  For you tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of Yahweh:  these ought you to have done, and not to leave the other undone.
Yahshua acknowledged that it was right for them to pay tithes on even the smallest things they harvested.  Nowhere did He say tithing was no longer necessary.  But even though they did tithe, they were obeying only the letter of the law and ignoring the spirit of the law.

Did Yahshua give any indication what would happen in the future?

At His death, the veil of the temple was torn in half, from top to bottom.  His sacrifice did away with the need for ALL animal sacrifices and the need to turn to the Levitical priesthood for atonement.

Keep that in mind as we work our way forward – after looking at how He instructed the apostles when He sent them out, as well as things stated by Paul. 

Matthew 10:9-10  9-Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses, 10-Nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves:  for the workman is worthy of his meat.

Luke 10:3-8  3-Go your ways:  behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves.  4-Carry neither purse, nor scrip, nor shoes:  and salute no man by the way.  5-And into whatsoever house you enter, first say Peace be to this house.  6-And if the son of peace be there, your peace shall rest upon it:  if not, it shall turn to you again.    7-And in the same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they give:  for the laborer is worthy of his hire.  Go not from house to house.  8-And into whatsoever city you enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you.

The disciples were to out with nothing.  They were working for Yahweh – He would see to it that their needs were met.  They were to receive housing and food for their service.

Paul worked for his “keep” while he stayed with Priscilla and Aquilla, as well as wherever else he went.

Acts 18:3 And because he was of the same craft, he abode with them, and wrought:  for by their occupation they were tentmakers.

Acts 20:33-34  33-I have coveted no man’s silver, or gold, or apparel.  34-Yea, you yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me.

I Corinthians 4:11-12  11-Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwelling-place; 12-And labor, working with our own hands:  being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it.

Paul was actually homeless!  He did not have a large, beautifully furnished mansion paid for by the church, but stayed wherever a place was available.
1 Corinthians 11:7-9 7-Have I committed an offence in abasing myself that you might be exalted, because I have preached to you the gospel of Yahweh freely?  8-I robbed other churches, taking wages of them, to do you service.  9-And when I was present with you, and wanted, I was chargeable to no man:  for that which was lacking to me the brethren which came from Macedonia supplied:  and in all things I have kept myself from being burdensome unto you, and so will I keep myself.

Paul was teaching the people of Corinth, but it appears they made no great effort to take care of him, to see that he had meals and a place to rest.

He said “taking wages.”  It seems he had a right to them.  “Wages” is Greek #3800, “opsonion”, meaning “rations for a soldier, i.e. (by extens.) his stipend or pay.”

2 Corinthians 12:13-15  13-For what is it wherein you were inferior to other churches, except it be that I myself was not burdensome to you?  Forgive me this wrong.  14-Behold, the third time I am ready to come to you; and I will not be burdensome to you:  for I seek not yours, but you:  for the children ought not to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children. 15-But I will most gladly spend and be spent for your souls, even if loving you more and more, I am loved the less.

Is he saying that it was wrong of him to be self-supporting and didn’t insist that they do their part?  If he hadn’t worked and taken care of himself, there probably would have been times he would have gone hungry.  But apparently they were supposed to take care of the laborer who worked so hard to teach them.  It appears he did not demand from the people what was rightfully his.

Galatians 6:6 Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teaches in all good things.

In the King James, the word “communicate” appears rather than “share.”  It is the Greek #2841, “koinonea” meaning “to share with others.”

I Timothy 5:17-18  17-Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially they who labor in the word and doctrine.  18-For the scripture says, You shall not muzzle the ox that treads out the corn.  And, the laborer is worthy of his reward.

The scripture quoted here is found in Deuteronomy 25:4.  It means that the animal doing the work of threshing the grain is to be allowed to eat of it as a recompense for doing the work.  The last part of the above verse is from Matthew 10:10.  Yahshua said that workers are to receive payment.  The pay can be in the form of money food, drink, or a place to rest.

Paul’s clearest statement is a little longer.  Apparently his apostleship and his rights to share the produce of the people were being challenged.

I Corinthians 9:1-18  1-Am I not an apostle?  Am I not free?  Have I not seen Yahshua Messiah our Master?  Are not you my work in the Master?  2-If I be not an apostle unto others, yet doubtless I am to you:  for the seal of my apostleship are you in the Master.  3-My answer to them that do examine me is this.  4-Have we not power to eat and to drink?  5-Have we not power to lead about a sister, a wife, as well as other apostles, and as the brethren of the Master,and Cephas?  6-Or I only and Barnabas, have we not power to forbear working? 
7-Who goes a warfare at any time at his own charges?  Who plants a vineyard, and eats not of the fruit thereof?  Or who feeds a flock, and eats not of the milk of the flock?  8-Say I these things as a man?  Or says not the law the same also?  9-for it is written in the law of Moses, You shall not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treads out the corn.  Does Yahweh take care for oxen?  10-Or says he it altogether for our sakes?  For our sakes, no doubt, this is written:  that he that plows should plow in hope; and that he that threshes in hope should be partaker of his hope.  11-If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things?  12-If others be partakers of this power over you, are not we rather?  Nevertheless we have not used this power:  but suffer all things, lest we should hinder the gospel of Messiah.  13-Do you not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple?  And they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar?  14-Even so has the Master ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.  15-but I have used none of these things:  neither have I written these things, that it should be so done unto me; for it were better for me to die, than that any man should make my glorying void.  16-For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of:  for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!  17-For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward:  but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me.  18-What is my reward then?  Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Messiah without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel.

The word “power”, used six times in this passage, is the Greek #1849, “exousia”.  It means “privilege, i.e. (subj.) force, capacity, competency, freedom, or (obj.) mastery (concr. magistrate, superhuman, potentate, token of control), delegated influence.  As a noun, it denotes authority, permission, or power.”

Paul said they had the right – the authority – to eat and drink and to have a sister or wife travel with them and receive the same benefits.  They were to share in the life-sustaining necessities of the people.

How can that be?  The tithe is Yahweh’s and He gave it to the Levites.  How is it that the apostles – who were not Levites – had the right and authority to take payment for services rendered?  And what about the elders of today?


Remember, Abraham paid tithes to Melchizedek (Genesis 14:18-20), who was not a Levite.  Was he commanded to do so?  We have no idea – Scripture doesn’t say.

Hebrews 7:1-12  1-For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the most high El, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him; 2-To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace; 3-Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of El; abides a priest continually.  4-Now consider how great this man was, unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave a tenth of the spoils.  5-And verily they that are of the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the priesthood, have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law, that is, of their brethren though they came out of the loins of Abraham:  6-But he whose descent is not counted from them received tithes of Abraham, and blessed him that had the promises.  7-And without all contradiction the less is blessed of the better.  8-And here men that die receive tithes, but there he received them, of whom it is witnessed that he lived.  9-And as I may say so, Levi also, who received tithes, paid tithes in Abraham.  10-For he was yet in the loins of his father, when Melchizedek met him.  11-If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law), what further need was there that priest should rise after the order of Melchizedek, and not be called after the order of Aaron?  12-for the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.

Consider:  the tithe went to Melchizedek before the Levites.  So if the priestly office were removed from the Levites, where would it go?  Why not return to Melchizedek?

And who was Melchizedek?  Commentaries have a range of opinions on this.  But there is only one who could fit this description.  Who, besides Yahweh the Father, has no beginning of days or end of life (Heb 7:3)?  It could only be Yahshua!  He existed as a powerful being before He was born as a human.

Some say that isn’t possible, because He did not exist until his human birth.  Are they sure?

Written long before Yahshua’s birth –

Proverbs 30:4 Who has ascended up into heaven, or descended?  Who has gathered the wind in his fists?  Who has bound up the waters in a garment?  Who has established all the ends of the earth?  What is his name, and what is his son’s name, if you can tell?
In Yahshua’s prayer before His death –

John 17:5 And now, O Father, glorify you me with your own self with the glory which I had with you before the world was.
Ephesians 3:9 And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world has been hid in the Father, who created all things by Yahshua Messiah.

Hebrews 1:1-2  1-The Father, who at sundry times and in divers manners spoke in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, 2-Has in these last days spoken unto us by his Son whom he has appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds.

Hebrews 7:22-28  22-By so much was Yahshua made a surety of a better testament.  23-And they truly were many priests, because they were not suffered to continue by reason of death:  24-But this man because he continues forever, has an unchangeable priesthood.  25-Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that came unto Yahweh by him, seeing he ever lives to make intercession for them. 26-For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;        27-who needs not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people’s:  for this he did once, when he offered up himself.  28-for the law makes men high priests which have infirmity; but the word of the oath, which was since the law, makes the Son, who is consecrated for evermore.

Hebrews 3:1 Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Messiah Yahshua.


So what about the tithe?  Does it apply to us today?  What did Yahshua say?

Matthew 5:17-19  17-Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets; I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.  18-For verily, I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.  19-Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven:  but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

The command to tithe remains.  What changed was the priesthood.  Remember, as we quoted earlier (Leviticus 27:30-32), the tithes do not belong to any man.  The tithes belong to Yahweh – and that has not changed.  Could there be a penalty or curse for ignoring this?  And possibly a blessing for following the instructions?  Just look at the verses quoted just above from Matthew.

Malachi 3:8-10  8-Will a man rob Elohim?  Yet you have robbed me.  But you say, Wherein have we robbed you?  In tithes and offerings.  9-You are cursed with a curse:  for you have robbed me, even this whole nation.  10-Bring you all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in my house, and prove me now herewith, says Yahweh of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.


Think back to what we saw earlier.  Deuteronomy 14:22 said the people were to tithe on the increase received in a year’s harvest season.  Not on everything they had, but on what was added that year.

And the Levites in Numbers 18:30, the tithes they received were to be counted as their increase.  And they were to tithe on those products.

Psalms 105:44 And (Yahweh) gave them the lands of the heathen:  and they inherited the labor of the people.

Deuteronomy 6:10-12  10-And it shall be, when Yahweh have brought you into the land which he swore unto your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give you great and goodly cities, which you built not.        11-And houses full of all good things, which you filled not, and wells digged, which you digged not, vineyards and olive trees, which you planted not; when you shall have eaten and be full.  12-Then beware lest you forget Yahweh, which brought you forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.

After Israel took the land and divided the inheritance, Joshua spoke Yahweh’s words to the people.

Joshua 24:13 And I have given you a land for which you did not labor, and cities which you built not, and you dwell in them; of the vineyards and olive yards which you planted not, do you eat.

Israel came into a land that was free.  The homes were free – no mortgage or rent.  Animals, crops and food had been left behind by fleeing inhabitants.  So what did it cost the Israelites to settle their territory?  Thanks and obedience to Yahweh.  Following that, the people were to give firstlings to Yahweh; firstfruits of grains, grapes, olives, fruits, etc. would be offered to Yahweh; and Yahweh’s tithes were to be given to the Levites.


So, today where would tithes go?  Today the tithes are still Yahweh’s – no Scripture gives any hint that we owe nothing.  We can’t put the tithes into Yahweh’s hands, but we can place them where they can be used to glorify Him.  Not into large organizations that build multi-million dollar mansions and properties, that pay huge salaries.  Instead, to a smaller group or assembly that is seeking to follow and obey Yahweh. 

And where would they be using the money?  The idea is not to establish tithing to build an empire or to support those who serve – often in conditions which the average person cannot match.  Like Paul, these work for a living or have a retirement that allows them to serve the Father. Groups may vary in size and needs, but there will be expenses---providing a meeting place for services and fellowship; furnishings; utilities; supplies; a feast site; and possibly an outreach program.  That program would require the equipment to record and duplicate messages and/or to print booklets and articles; and postage, etc.  Those who enjoy the benefit of any of these things should be willing to share what they have so that it can all be made available to others whom Yahweh may call. 

In other words, the participants should use their tithe to facilitate the spread of the teaching of Yahweh and Yahshua, for the growth of His family.  Would that not be offering the tithe to the Father?  Think about it.  If others had not done so, where would you have gotten the knowledge you now have?


Illustrated Encyclopedia of Bible Facts, by J.I. Packer, Merrill C. Tenney, William White, Jr., page 380—

“The giving of a tithe was man’s acknowledgement that he is a steward of God’s creation.  The Old Testament clearly demonstrates that every spiritual relationship of man is expressed in some material way.  Rites of worship gave the Israelites a way to confess the operation of their faith in every sphere – not the least of which was the economic sphere.”

“When the Israelites offered their tithes, they confessed God’s providence to their forefathers, His deliverance in their time of need, His redemption of them from oppression, and His gift of the land of Canaan (Deut. 26:59).  They invited the Levites, the poor, the widows, and the orphans of their local community to join them at the central sanctuary as they made these offerings to the Lord.  No man could appear at a feast empty-handed.  The law required each man to bring an offering proportionate to the way he had been blessed (Deut. 16:10,17).”

“Notice the economic dimension of Israel’s worship.  They offered the Lord a large part of their time; they presented the first fruits of their grain and livestock; they came to the feasts with offerings and tithes; they made freewill offerings of their lives and property; and they gave liberally for the building of the tabernacle and temple.  When they returned with booty taken in battle, they set aside a portion for the Lord and Levites before dividing it among themselves (Num. 31:26-54).  Their devotion to God cost them the best of all they had (cf. 2 Sam. 24:24).  The tithe clearly expressed this costly devotion.”

What about you?  How does Yahweh see your devotion?  Or does He see any at all? 

(2nd & 3rd Tithe will be addressed in another article) 


Copyright ©2015  The Congregation of YHWH, Irving, TX.

(used by permission) 

(this article may be reprinted as long as the wording is not changed
and The Congregation of YHWH, Irving, TX is given credit)

Tuesday, April 8, 2014


The service begins with the Passover memorial meal

 THE MEMORIAL MEAL WE WILL BE EATING IS OF ROASTED LAMB (THE LAMB WAS NOT SACRIFICED, BUT WAS ROASTED AHEAD OF TIME), BITTER HERBS (Leafy vegetables i.e. all types of Lettuce, Spinach, Arugula in other words a salad of mixed greens) and UNLEAVEND BREAD.  it is a time of remembering those who sat in their homes knowing that doing so would save the lives of the firstborn both of man and of their herds and flocks, while the lives of the firstborn both of man and beast in the land of Egypt died, including non-Egyptians.


Tonight we are gathered together to observe two memorials, each having it’s own special meaning.

We will begin first with the oldest memorial: the Observance of the Passover in Egypt, in which we eat a meal that represents the meal eaten in Egypt, a meal that sanctified the firstborn of Israel and dedicated them to Yahweh. Following this meal the death angel passed through the land of Egypt and killed all of the firstborn of man and beast that had not participated in this meal and had placed the blood of the sacrifice on the doorposts. 

(Exodus 12:1-31)  
(Exodus 13:1-16)
(Leviticus 23:4)  These are the appointments of YAHWEH, even holy assemblies, which you shall proclaim in their seasons.
(Leviticus 23:5)  On the fourteenth day of the first month between the sunsets is YAHWEH'S passover.
(Numbers 28:16)  And on the fourteenth day of the first month is the passover of YAHWEH.
(Deuteronomy 16:1)  Observe the month of the Aviv, and keep the passover unto YAHWEH your Elohim: for in the month of the Aviv YAHWEH your Elohim brought you forth out of Egypt by night.
(Joshua 5:10)  And the children of Israel encamped in Gilgal; and they kept the passover on the fourteenth day of the month at dusk/sunset in the plains of Jericho.
(2 Chronicles 35:1)  Moreover Josiah kept a passover unto YAHWEH in Jerusalem: and they slaughter the passover on the fourteenth day of the first month.
(Ezra 6:19)  And the children of the captivity kept the passover on the fourteenth day of the first month.

(Ezra 6:20)  For the priests and the Levites were purified together, all of them were pure, and killed the passover for all the children of the captivity, and for their brethren the priests, and for themselves.
(Ezekiel 45:21)  On the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, you shall have the passover, a feast of seven days; with out leaven shall be eaten.

Ezekiel 45:21 is the last Old Testament reference to Passover until the time of Yahshua.

The meal is now concluded and we will proceed with the Second Memorial.






LUKE 22:7-20

(Luke 22:7)  Then came the day of without leaven, when the Passover must be killed.

(Luke 22:8)  And he sent Peter and John, saying, Go and prepare us the Passover, that we may eat.

(Mark 14:12)  And the first day of without leaven, when they killed the passover, his disciples said unto him, Where will you that we go and prepare that you may eat the passover?

1 COR. 11:17-26



JOHN 13:1-17








JOHN 6:47-58 

1 PETER 2:19-25 

ISAIAH 53:1-9

1 CORINTHIANS 11:23-24, 27-32





1 PETER 1:18-21






JOHN 13:18 THROUGH JOHN  17:26.



Special Note:  Any leftover bread and wine that was blessed and used during the Passover service should be destroyed.  Outside of the Service the leftover BREAD AND WINE should not be eaten, drank or used for any other  purpose.                                        

Tuesday, March 4, 2014


Are people today obligated to observe the yearly fall festival of Yahweh?  If so, how?  What are they to do?  How do they know if they are doing as Yahweh commanded?  Are they learning the lessons He intended?  Or are they enjoying our “vacation”?  Many are living in luxury in a rented condo or up-scale hotel.  But Yahweh said a “booth” or a “hut”.  How does this fit together?  What did the people of Israel do when they went to the feast? 


First, let’s look at some historical background.  The following quotes are from a few commentaries and will give an overview of what the world and Christianity sees regarding this season.

Unger’s Bible Dictionary, by Merrill F. Unger –

Page 360 - “After the Babylonian captivity the Feast of Tabernacles began to be strictly and generally kept, and more minute definitions and more expanded applications of the concise Pentateuchal injunction were imperatively demanded, in order to secure uniformity of practice, as well as to infuse devotion and joy into the celebration.”

Notice that this reference talks about the festival began to be strictly kept - after their captivity.  But how many Scriptures before that time show the keeping of the festival on a regular basis?

The Torah:  A Modern Commentary, by W. Gunther Plaut –

Page 925  “…in the Talmud it is called the Chag, the festival par excellence.  It marked the close of the agricultural year, specifically of the vintage.  And on the second day of the festival, ceremonies were performed – they are not mentioned in the Bible, but they were undoubtedly ancient – to evoke plentiful rains in the new agricultural season about to start.  The Chag was an expression of grateful joy and a plea for continued blessing.”

Notice the mention of ceremonies not mentioned in the Bible?  Where did they come from?

The Life and Times of Jesus Messiah, by Alfred Edersheim, pages 576-577 –

Pages 576-577 - “Early on the fourteenth Tishri (corresponding to our September or early October), all the festive pilgrims had arrived.  Then it was, indeed, a sense of bustle and activity.  Hospitality had to be sought and found; guests to be welcomed and entertained; all things required for the feast to be got ready.  Above all, booths must be erected everywhere – in court yards or on housetops, in street and square, for the lodgment and entertainment of that vast multitude; leafy dwellings everywhere, to remind of the wilderness-journey, and now of the goodly land.”

“Indeed, the whole symbolism of the Feast, beginning with the completed harvest, for which it was a thanksgiving, pointed to the future.  The Rabbis themselves admitted this.  The strange number of sacrificed bullocks – seventy in all – they regarded as referring to ‘the seventy nations’ of heathendom.  The ceremony of the outpouring of water, which was considered of such vital importance as to give the whole festival the name of ‘House of Outpouring’ (Sukk. 5.1), was symbolical of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit (Jer. Sukk. 5.1, pp. 55a).  As the brief night of the great Temple-illumination closed, there was solemn testimony made before Jehovah against heathenism.  It must have been a stirring scene, when from out of the mass of Levites, with their musical instruments, who crowded the fifteen steps that led from the Court of Israel to that of the Women, stepped two priests with their silver trumpets.  As the first cockcrowing intimated the dawn of morn, they blew a three-fold blast; another on the tenth step, and yet another three-fold blast as they entered the Court of the Women.  And still sounding their trumpets, they marched through the Court of the  Women to the Beautiful Gate.  Here, turning round and facing westwards to the Holy Place, they repeated:  ‘Our fathers, who were in this place, they turned their backs on the Sanctuary of Jehovah, and their faces eastward, the sun; but we, our eyes are toward Jehovah.’  ‘We are Jehovah’s – our eyes are towards Jehovah.’  Nay, the whole of this night-and-morning scene was symbolical:  the Temple-illumination, of the light which was to shine from out the Temple into the dark night of heathendom; then, at the first dawn of morning the blast of the priests’ silver trumpets, of the army of God, as it advanced, with festive trumpet-sound and call, to awaken the sleepers, marching on to quite the utmost bounds of the Sanctuary, to the Beautiful Gate, which opened upon the Court of the Gentiles – and, then again, facing round to utter solemn protest against heathenism and make solemn confession of Jehovah!”

Are many of these customs mentioned in Scripture?

Sacred Origins of Profound Things, by Charles Panati 

Page 226 - “A sukkah (singular) had to be precisely constructed.  The hut had to be no lower than five feet, no higher than thirty feet.  The roof had to be of leaves or straw, allowing some exposure to the sky above.  And each sukkah had to be constructed anew each year.  In all likelihood, the ancient Israelites wandering in the desert did not possess the materials to construct sukkot of the kind celebrants later built.  Today, many observant Jews still build Sukkot for the feast day.”

The Jewish Holy Days, by Moshe A Braun –

Page 108 – “The four kinds of plants represent the parts of the body.  The myrtle leaves, or hadas, is the eyes; the willow leaves, or aravah, is the mouth; the citron, or esrog, is the heart; the date palm leaves, or lulav, is the spine.  When we hold these four, we consecrate the energy of our entire body and direct it to God.”

Page 123 – “The eighth day, Shemini Atzeres, is different.  It is beyond the seven natural days, and it is beyond nature.  It is actually the World to Come; the Divine nature is clear and manifest without the slightest concealment.”

Gates of the Seasons, edited by Peter S. Knobel –

Pages 80-81 - “The mood of Sukkot is particularly joyous.  Its beautiful symbolism of the successful harvest provides a welcome change of religious pace from the solemn days of prayer and introspection of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.  While all of the Three Pilgrimage Festivals are times of rejoicing, Sukkot is specifically designated as ‘Zeman sinchatenu,’ the season of our rejoicing.  Even while we rejoice, the Sukkah’s temporary and fragile structure reminds us how precarious life may be.”

 “Atseret/Simchat Torah is the day on which we finish reading the last verses of Deuteronomy and immediately begin again with the first verses of Genesis.  The Torah scrolls are removed from the Ark and carried around the synagogue.  The celebration is one of unbridled joy as we express our happiness at having lived to complete the reading of the Torah yet another time and to begin reading it again.

Page 83 - “The Lulav and Etrog are also called the four species (arba-ah Minim).  They consist of Etrog (citron), Lulav (palm), Hadas (myrtle), and Aravah (willow).  The identification of the four species is based on the Rabbinic interpretation of Leviticus 23:40, ‘On the first day you shall take the product of the Hadar trees, branches of palm trees, boughs of leafy trees, and willows of the brook’.”

“The Etrog has maintained a separate identity.  Two willow branches and three myrtle branches are bound together around one palm branch and are called the Lulav.”
 The following quote is regarding the lulav and why it is used in so many motions and directions.

Judaism For Dummies, published by Hungry Minds,  page 250 –

“While some teachers note that this ritual (of waving the lulav and beating it on the floor -ed.) is a reminder that God is everywhere, it also honors the unique ‘energies’ that each direction symbolizes:

1        East is the land of the rising sun, and it symbolizes new possibilities, beginnings, and awakenings. 
2        North is the direction of clarity, rationality, and the coolness of intellect. 
3        West is the land of the setting sun and journeys completed. 
4        South is the direction of warmth, emotion, verdant growth, and sensual energy. 
5        Up is the land of dreams and visions, the land of spirituality. 
6        Down is the connection to the earth, and recognition of people’s environmental responsibilities.

“There are a number of different interpretations for why these four plants are used in particular, including the following:

6        The palm frond is tall and straight like the human spine, the etrog is like the heart, the willow leaves are like lips, and the myrtle leaves are like eyes.  Therefore, using all four species is like involving your whole body in the ritual. 
7        The etrog has both a pleasant taste and aroma, symbolizing a person who is both learned and who does good deeds.  The palm tree has fruit (dates) that taste good but have no aroma, symbolizing a person who is learned but does no good deeds.  The myrtle has a pleasant aroma but no taste, so it is like someone who does good deeds but is not learned.  Finally, the willow has neither taste nor smell, a symbol of someone who is neither learned nor does good deeds.  Some say that all four types of people are important in a community.”

Jewish Days, by Francine Klagsbrun –

Pages 40-41  “The work of building a sukkah begins immediately after Yom Kippur.  The sukkah may not be higher than twenty cubits (about ten yards) or lower than ten handbreadths (about forty inches), dimensions that make it comfortable to live in but with a sense of impermanence.  Its three sides may be of any material, but its roof must be of the s’khakh, whose materials were grown in the ground and then detached from it, such as branches or cane.  The s’khakh rests on the sukkah in a way that provides more shade than sunlight, a reminder of God’s protection of the Israelites from the burning heat of the desert.  The covering should also allow occupants to see the stars at night so that they may be aware of their vulnerability in the vast universe, and also their closeness to the Divine.”

“Worshippers carry the species to synagogue (except on the Sabbath) and wave them while reciting Hallel, Psalms 113 to 118, praising God.  The rule is to hold the Lulav with the hadasim and aravot in the right hand and the Etrog in the left and with hands together to shake them on certain verses toward the east, south, west, north, above, and below – to show that all corners of the earth belong to God.  Later, congregants walk in procession around the synagogue with the species in hand chanting prayers for deliverance.”

Page 43 - “…one of the most colorful Sukkot practices at the time of the Second Temple.  On the festival mornings, a procession would make its way to the spring of Shiloah, which was probably near present-day Siloam, outside Jerusalem.  There a golden flask was filled with water.  At the Temple, a priest would transfer the water of a silver bowl from which it could be poured on the altar as a libation.”

“From the second night on, a great celebration would take place in the women’s court outside the Temple.  Priests would light four huge golden menorahs, or candelabra, and the people would revel in the holiday with dancing, singing, acrobatics, and feats of torch-throwing that often lasted through the night.”

“Modern critics connect the Temple water libations to magical rites of other ancient peoples, who would pour water on the ground to stir the gods to deliver rain.  Regardless of their origins, however, the water ceremonies became distinctly Jewish events, dominating the Sukkot festival.”

Pages 45 – 46  “Every day of Sukkot, worshippers march in procession around the interior of the synagogue – in a ceremony called hoshanot – chanting hymns that ask for God’s help and salvation.  After each verse they repeat the refrain, ‘Hoshana.’  On the seventh and last day of the festival, the procession makes its circuit seven times, giving the day its name, Hoshana Rabbah, the Great Hosanna.”

“Mysticism, and some magic, mark much of the Hoshana Rabbah ceremonies and customs.  The practice of circling the Temple altar during the hoshanot may have held traces of an early use of circles to create magical space from within which to ward off evil spirits.”

“A custom peculiar to Hoshana Rabbah is ‘the beating of the willows,’ again originating in Temple practices.  In those days, the people would go as a group to cut willow branches with which they decorated the altar.  At the end of the hoshanot processions they would beat a bunch of willow sprigs against the ground, a practice that continues in synagogue services today.  The willow, which grew near water, represented fertility to many early peoples, and beating willows may have been a ritual designed to induce fruitfulness.  In the Hoshana Rabbah service, however, it became one more symbolic way of asking for rain, a request repeated in many forms throughout Sukkot.”

Are any of these customs found in Scripture?  Or are they found in the later writings like the Mishnah and Talmud?

Festivals of the Jewish Year, by Theodor H. Gaster –

Page 82  “This ceremony, known as the Water Libation (Nissuch Ha-mayim) has abundant parallels in other parts of the world, and is based on what is known as ‘sympathetic magic,’ that is, on the primitive notion that things done by men may induce similar actions on the part of nature or ‘the gods.’  Lucian of Samosata, writing in the second century C.E., records an analogous practice performed twice yearly in the pagan temple at Hierapolis (Membij), Syria; while at Ispahan, in Iran, there is (or was) an annual ceremony of rain-making which consisted in pouring water on the ground…”

Page 95   “…there is one ancient ‘functional’ rite which has indeed survived almost unaltered.  This is the custom of ‘beating hosannas’ – that is, of taking extra twigs and beating off their leaves upon the lectern during the recital of the Hosanna litanies on the seventh day.  The conventional explanation of this practice is that it symbolizes the frailty of human lives, which fade and fall ‘ thick as autumnal leaves which strew the brooks in Vallombrosa.’  The truth is, however, that it harks back to a primitive and fairly universal belief that the willow is a symbol of fertility and to the consequent custom of beating people with branches of that tree in order to induce potency and increase….In ancient Greek ritual, at the major seasonal festival, human scapegoats were beaten with squills of willow or agnus castus in order, at one and the same time, to beat out sterility and beat in fecundity.”

Page 99  “The institution of Simhath Torah is not attested earlier than the eleventh century, and appears to have originated in western Europe.  It was inspired by the fact that the annual cycle of Pentateuchal readings in fact begins anew on the following sabbath.”


What???  How much of this tradition fits with the descriptions in the commentaries?  Or the Scriptures?  Don’t you have some questions?  Questions such as ----

  • Where is the "Simchat Torah" in Scripture?
  • Some Jews add an extra (or 9th) day to the festival.  Why?  Is that okay with Yahweh?
  • There is nothing wrong with reading the Torah each year.  But what is the origin of the weekly portions as read in the synagogues?
  • What is meant by “appropriate blessing”?  Where are they in Scripture?
  • “Building a sukkah begins immediately after Yom Kippur.”  Is that what Scripture says?
  • Where in Scripture are the instructions for building the sukkah?  Where does it mention the dimensions, shade vs sunlight, etc?
  • Where in Scripture are the instructions to wave the lulav while reciting Hallel or chanting prayers?
  • The lulav is waved in all directions.  Where are the origins of these symbolisms?
  • Who wrote the prayers in the prayer book?  What authority did they have?
  • Where in Scripture are the instructions to march around the room, carrying the Torah?
  • Where in Scripture are we told about the “beating of the willows”?
  • Where in Scripture are the instructions for the Water Libation?  The sages taught that this was necessary.
  • Where in Scripture is “Hoshana Rabbah”?
  • Where in Scripture are we told to march in procession, chanting hymns that ask for salvation? 
  • Where in Scripture are we told to spend those eight days praying for rain?  Or for that matter, praying for any one specific thing?
  • We see such things as “the sages taught”, “according to prescribed regulations”, “according to Jewish tradition”.  What about “Yahweh your Elohim says”?
  • Mysticism?  Magical rites?  Pagan customs?  What does Yahweh have to say about these things?
If you can’t find many of these things in Scriptures, don’t be surprised.  They aren’t there!  They are simply “Jewish tradition”.

And what did Yahshua say regarding the traditions of the Jews?

Matthew 15: 3,93-But answering He said to them, why do you also transgress the command of Yahweh on account of your tradition?  9-But in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the ordinances of men.


(The Scriptures quoted are from The Interlinear Bible, a literal translation by Jay P. Green, Sr., as general editor and translator, with the transliterated Hebrew names of the Father and Son, Yahweh and Yahshua.)
(Word definitions and numbers are taken from the Hebrew and Greek dictionaries in The New Strong's Expanded Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, James Strong, LL.D., S.T.D.)

Now let’s look at the Scriptures where Yahweh gave instructions for His feasts and see exactly what it says.  And what it does not say.  Watch to see how many - if any - of those traditions are mentioned.    Exactly what are Yahweh’s commands?  What is to be our focus?

Exodus 23:14-1714-Three times in the year you shall make a feast to Me.  15-You shall keep the Feast of Unleavened (Bread).  Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, as I have commanded you, at the set time of the month of Abib, for in it you came out from Egypt, and they shall not appear before me empty.  16-Also the Feast of Harvest, the firstfruits of your labor, of what you sow in the field.  Also the Feast of Ingathering, at the end of the year, at your gathering your work from the field.  17-Three times in the year every one of your males shall appear before the Master Yahweh. (EMPHASIS ADDED)

“Feast”  is #2282, the Hebrew word chag.  It means "a festival, or a victim therefore."  It is sometimes translated as (solemn) feast (day), sacrifice,  or solemnity.  The word “ingathering” is #614 aciyph,  meaning "gathered, i.e. (abstr.), a gathering in of crops."

Theses verses simply mention the fall festival as appearing at the end of the agricultural year, after the crops are gathered in.  That is why it is called the Feast of Ingathering. 

Exodus 34:22-2322-And you shall observe a Feast of Weeks for yourself, the firstfruits of the harvest of wheat; also the Feast of Ingathering at the turn of the year.  23-Three times in the year every male shall appear before the Master Yahweh, the Elohim of Israel.(EMPHASIS ADDED)

Three times a year is not optional.  Many are quick to point out that this says males, so it isn’t necessary for all the family to go.  But in later verses, the difference will be seen.  It simply means that the males must appear, whether the rest of the family is able to or not.

These verses say basically the same thing.

Leviticus 23:33-44   33-And Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying.  34-Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, in the fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be a Feast of Booths seven days to Yahweh.  35-On the first day shall be a holy gathering; you shall do no work of service.  36-Seven days you shall bring a fire offering to Yahweh; on the eighth day you shall have a holy gathering; and you shall burn the fire offering to Yahweh; it is a solemn assembly; you shall do no work of service.  37-These are the set feasts of Yahweh which you shall proclaim holy gatherings, to bring a fire offering to Yahweh, a burnt offering, and a food offering, a sacrifice, and drink offerings, the thing of a day on its own day.  38-Besides the sabbaths of Yahweh, and besides your gifts, and besides all your free-will offerings, which you shall give to Yahweh.  39-Also, in the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you gather in the increase of the land, you shall keep the feast of Yahweh seven days, on the first day a sabbath, and on the eighth day a sabbath.  40-And you shall take to yourselves on the first day the fruit of majestic trees, palm branches, and boughs of oak trees, and willows of the brook, and shall rejoice before Yahweh your Elohim seven days.  41-And you shall keep a feast to Yahweh seven days in a year, a never-ending statute throughout your generations; in the seventh month you shall keep it a feast.  42-You shall live in booths seven days; all who are home-born in Israel shall live in booths.  43-So that your generations shall know that I caused the sons of Israel to live in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt; I am Yahweh your Elohim.  44-And Moses announced the appointed seasons of Yahweh to the sons of Israel.(EMPHASIS ADDED)

Now He gives a more specific time frame.  Before it was simply at the end of the year, after the harvest.  But now he says the festival begins on the 15th day of the 7th month.   Here we also find another name – the Feast of Booths.  #5521 is the word for boothsukkah, meaning "a hut or lair" – often translated as booth, cottage, covert, pavilion, tabernacle, tent.

The word that is translated here as gathering is # 4744, miqra.  It means "something called out, i.e. a public meeting (the act, the persons, or the place); also a rehearsal."  It can be an assembly, a calling, a convocation, or a  reading.

If it is an assembly, or a public meeting, it means you are to be a part of a group.  Not just you by yourself.

In verse 40, instructions were given regarding the taking of tree branches.  But it does not say what to do with them.  This says nothing about binding the branches together, carrying them around or waving them.  Also in this verse, neither of the words “lulav” or “etrog” appear in the Hebrew.

There is one other reference to these branches, outside the book of the Law.  It certainly sounds much more reasonable than making the lulav.

Nehemiah 8:14-1514-And they found written in the Law which Yahweh has commanded by Moses, that the sons of Israel should dwell in booths in the feast of the seventh month.  15-And that they should make heard and cause to pass the call in all their cities, and in Jerusalem, saying, go forth to the mountain and bring olive branches and wild olive branches, and myrtle branches, and branches of palm, and branches of thick trees, to make booths, as it is written.(EMPHASIS ADDED)

Written where?  There is no place in the law that it states what to do with the branches.  Remember, the book of Nehemiah occurred after the return from Babylon.  Could the idea have been added?

It states in verse 41 that this is to be a never-ending statute.  So it is still in effect today – it has not been done away.

Deuteronomy 14:23-29   23-And you shall eat before Yahweh your Elohim in the place that He shall choose to cause to dwell His name there, the tithe of your grain, of your wine, and of your oil, and the firstlings of your herd and of your flock; that you may learn to fear Yahweh your Elohim all your days.  24-And if the way is too long for you, so that you cannot carry it, because the place is too far from you which Yahweh your Elohim shall choose to set His name there, when Yahweh your Elohim shall bless you.  25-Then you shall give it for silver, and bind up the silver in your hand and you shall go to the place which Yahweh your Elohim shall choose.  26-And you shall pay the silver for whatever your soul desires, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for fermented drink, or for whatever your soul desires and you shall eat there before Yahweh your Elohim, and you shall rejoice, you and your household.  27-And you shall not forsake the Levite who is within your gates, for he has no portion nor inheritance with you.  28-At the end of three years, even the same year, you shall bring forth all the tithe of your increase, and shall lay it up within your gates.  29-And the Levite, because he has no portion nor inheritance with you, and the alien, and the fatherless, and the widow who are within your gates shall come and shall eat and be satisfied; so that Yahweh your Elohim may bless you in all the work of your hand which you do.(EMPHASIS ADDED)

Yahweh wanted them to be at a specific place for this specific time.  By having them keep a tithe for themselves for this purpose, they were able to finance the trip and the stay at that place, and have plenty to eat.  They did not have to scrape up the money at the last minute.  They had a year in which to accumulate the things needed for the trip.

In verse 24 Yahweh gave them instructions on what to do if the trip were a long one with the amount of animals and produce they would have.  They were to sell some – exchange the things for money.  He did not say that if it was a long way they could just stay home; that they were excused from the ordinance.

I found it interesting that although the word “desires” appears twice in that verse, it is actually two different Hebrew words.  The first time it is #183, avah, meaning "to wish for".  The translators were the ones who put into our Scriptures the words  “covet”, “desire”, “long for”, or “lust after”.  The second time the word appears, it is #7592 sha’al.  That means "to inquire; by impl. to request, by extens. "demand".

Over the years, there have been people who take verse 26 and interpret it to mean that they can use it to buy things that have absolutely nothing to do with the feast, but simply because they desire or want them.  But is that what Yahweh had in mind?  It was to be used for things they needed during that time.   And what things were listed as examples for them to desire and buy?  The same things they had sold to get the money they needed!  They were simply replacing those items!  These were items involved in meals.  Near the end of that verse it says, “whatever your soul desires and you shall eat there”.  You cannot eat a new computer or a car or toys or such.

These verses also tell us that it is important that we take care of the needy – those who may need help in order to be able to go at all.  We are to share what we have.  Like the tribes in the desert shared the food, shelter, etc.  If we have more money than we actually need, we can help provide a place for someone to stay, the means to travel to the place, or food for their families.  Why?  “So that Yahweh your Elohim may bless you in all the work of your hand which you do.”  There is a purpose behind all of His commands.

Deuteronomy 16:13-17   13-You shall keep the Feast of Tabernacles (Hag HaSukot) seven days, after you have gathered in from your threshing-floor and from your wine press.  14-And you shall rejoice in your feast, you and your son, and your daughter, and your male slave, and your slave-girl, and the Levite, and the alien, and the fatherless, and the widow that are inside your gates.  15-You shall keep a solemn feast seven days to Yahweh your Elohim in the place which Yahweh shall choose; for Yahweh your Elohim shall bless you in all your produce, and in every work of your hands, and you shall be altogether joyful.  16-Three times in a year shall all your males appear before Yahweh your Elohim in the place which He shall choose:  in the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and in the Feast of Weeks, and in the Feast of Tabernacles, and they shall not appear before Yahweh empty.  17-But each with his gift of his hand, according to the blessing of Yahweh your Elohim, which He has given you.”(EMPHASIS ADDED)

We had seen earlier that the males were to appear, but this is clear that the whole family is to be included.

Some have found it interesting the way that verse 14 is worded:  it doesn’t mention the wife.  The “you” in that sentence is a masculine, single word.  So where is the wife?  She’s there, too, of course.  Yahweh said in Genesis 2:24 that at marriage, the man and woman would become one.  Then when Yahweh spoke to the man, He was actually including the two of them.  All the family is to be there – as well as any others who are not exactly family members.

Are there any other instructions regarding what is to be done at Yahweh’s feast?

Deuteronomy 31:9-13   9–And Moses wrote this law, and delivered it to the priests, the sons of Levi, those bearing the ark of the covenant of Yahweh, and to all the elders of Israel.  10–And Moses commanded them, saying, At the end of seven years, in the appointed time, the year of release, in the Feast of Tabernacles,  11–when all Israel comes in to see the face of Yahweh in the place which He chooses, you shall proclaim this law before all Israel, in their ears.  12Assemble the people, men and women, and the little ones, and your alien who is within your gates, so that they may hear, and so that they may learn, and may fear Yahweh your Elohim, and take heed to do all the words of this law,  13–and their sons, who have not known, shall hear, and shall learn to fear Yahweh your Elohim all the days which you live on the land where you are crossing over the Jordan to possess it.(EMPHASIS ADDED)

Those who claim that the law was done away with the death of Yahshua, say that there is no need to keep these days.  But, after the Messiah returns and His feet touch down on the earth (Zech 14:4), the Feast of Tabernacles will be kept by everyone.

Zechariah 14:16-19   16–And it shall be, everyone who is left from all the nations which came up against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, Yahweh of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.  17–And it shall be, whoever will not go up from the families of the earth to Jerusalem to worship the King, Yahweh of hosts, there shall even be no rain on them.  18–And if the family of Egypt does not go up, nor come in, then the rain shall not be on them:  but the plague with which Yahweh shall strike the nations who do not come up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.  19–This shall be Egypt’s offense, and the offense of all nations who do not come up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.(EMPHASIS ADDED)

The quotes that follow may seem out of place at first.  But notice again how much “food” and/or “eating” are mentioned in the feast descriptions.  This man points out just how important these things were in Bible times.


The Frugal Gourmet Keeps The Feast, by Jeff Smith –

Page 3  “The Bible is filled with Food Talk, but the Bible is not talking about food.  It is talking about theology, or God Talk.”

 “Jesus never says, ‘Behold, I stand at the door and knock.  If anyone should open the door, I will enter and discuss existential theology with him.’  No.  Jesus says, ‘I will sup with him’.”

Pages 8-9 --   “Ben Sirach, in the Apocrypha,…tells us that the normal diet of the peoples of ancient Palestine consisted of bread, salt, olive oil, olives, wine, and on a good day some dried fish.  Red meat was eaten only on High Holy Days or special feasts.”

“Bread was so important in the Old World that it was used as the word for ‘life’.  Indeed, the Hebrew word for bread, Lechem, means food in general and thus life itself.  Without bread you were dead.”

“ ‘Do not harvest the whole of the field, but leave the corners for the wandering hungry that will come by’ (Deut. 24:19).  So why is the farmer responsible for the hungry?  Because he has grain, and he must not keep it all for himself.  Bread teaches us that we must feed each other or some of us will die.”

Pages 10-12 --  “In Latin the term for ‘companion’ (companio) refers to bread.  Com (with) and panis (bread) means ‘The person with whom I break my bread.  My companion.’  From this concept we gain insight into the New Testament phrase ‘He was known in the breaking of the Bread’.”

 “The Jews spent many generations in the desert literally starving to death, so fatness became a symbol of joy.”

 “In Biblical times an oily face was a symbol of joy.  It meant that you were well fed and quite pleased with yourself.  When these early peoples went to a party they rubbed olive oil upon their faces so that they might look shiny and happy.  Oil on the face reflects light, and since light has its source in the Creator, by rubbing oil upon your face you would increase your countenance and your ability to reflect light.”

Page 17 – “The Rule of the Desert is simple.  If you are in camp on the desert and a stranger wanders into your camp he must be fed, no matter how little food you have.  But if he is an enemy, he eats by himself in the corner!”

“In short, the Rule of Hospitality means that whenever you were at table there could be no enemies present.  Not one.  So eventually being at table with another person meant that you were saying to that person that you could not and would not ever see him or her as an enemy.  The table became the place for the celebration of all pacts, promises, and real intimacy.  To be at table with someone in Biblical times was to be more intimate than being with them in bed!  Eating together was the fullest and most important symbol of intimate sharing.”

Pages 22-23 – “In the Bible the table is regarded as the most serious place for significant relationships.  Since no enemies could be present at the table, taking one’s place at the table was itself a commitment to peace.”

“The Lord prepares a table in the presence of our enemies and thus we are all obligated to sit with one another, to pass over our difficulties, since we are all the beloved of God….the Holy One demands that we get along with one another.”

Page 58 – “Jesus ate with Zaccheus the tax collector, the Samaritan woman, Mary Magdalene, and he even invited one of the thieves who was crucified with him to feast with him in Paradise.”

“ ‘Someone is going to betray you?  Is it I, Lord, is it I?’ … Judas asks that abominable question.  Lord, you are not to feed the enemy at your table.  But Jesus did.  He always did.”

He ate with all of the wrong people!”
“It is perfectly understandable, then, that all of the Resurrection appearances occurred at meals, all of them except that one at the tomb.  The appearance in the Upper Room at another meal, the Road to Emmaus, the claim that he was the Bread and Wine of Life, and certainly the great fish fry.”


Let’s look at a few verses in the New Testament. Keep in mind the things we have just seen from this book, and compare them with some of Yahshua’s words.

Luke 4:4 – And Yahshua answered to him, saying, it has been written, man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word of Elohim.

Luke 22:19-20, 29-30   19-And taking a loaf, giving thanks, He broke, and gave to them, saying, this is My body being given for you; do this for my remembrance.  20-In the same way the cup also, after having supped, saying, this cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is being poured out for you.  29-And I appoint a kingdom to you, as My Father appointed to Me.  30-That you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom and you will sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

John 6:35, 53-56   35-Yahshua said to them, I am the bread of life; the one coming to Me will not at all hunger, and the one believing into Me will never ever thirst.  53-Then Yahshua said to them, truly, truly, I say to you, except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink His blood, you do not have life in yourselves.  54-The one partaking of My flesh and drinking of My blood has everlasting life, and I will raise him up at the last day.  55-For My flesh is truly food, and My blood is truly drink.  56-The one partaking of My flesh and drinking of My blood abides in Me, and I in him.

Yahshua is definitely referring to more than just physical food.  This is about spiritual food.

 Revelation 19:9 – And he says to me, write:  blessed are the ones having been called to the supper of the marriage of the Lamb; and he says to me, these words of Yahweh are true.

Think about this.  Get out your own Bible and search the four gospels.  Look for how many references that are made to food, eating or feasting. 


In association with past religious organizations, there was an outline of Yahweh's festivals and exactly what each one pictures in the future.  People today still cling to that idea even though those portrayals cannot be found in Scripture.  What did Yahweh's instructions include?  Often the word "remember".  There are things He wants us to remember and look back on.  We do not have all the answers for what the future holds.

At Passover and Unleavens, He tells us to remember that He brought His people out of Egypt.  He saved them from captivity and took them to their own land.  At Trumpets, we are to remember the sounds.  The Hebrew name for Trumpets - Zikron Terurah - means a remembrance of shouting, clapping or a trumpet sound.  It can remind us that there is yet a trumpet blast to be heard, but Scripture does not tell us to think of it on that date or try to say that it is the day of the Last Trump.  Now look back at what He said regarding the Feast of Tabernacles.

Leviticus 23:41-43   41-And you shall keep a feast to Yahweh seven days in a year, a never-ending statute throughout your generations; in the seventh month you shall keep it a feast.  42-You shall live in booths seven days; all who are home-born in Israel shall live in booths.  43-So that your generations shall know that I caused the sons of Israel to live in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt; I am Yahweh your Elohim. (EMPHASIS ADDED)

We are to remember what happened in the past.


These three (3) Harvest Festivals revolve around the harvest seasons that take place each year. 

The Passover and Unleavens are part of the first (1st) of the firstfruits Barley Harvest Festival.  From the Barley harvest the first of the firstfruits was to be brought to the priest and a representative omer of the Barley was to be waved before Yahweh.  That ceremony was to be done during  the Chag Matzot Barley Festival on the first day of the week.

The year that Yahshua died, Yahshua ascended to His Father's throne and appeared before the Father.  Yahshua ascended on the first day of the week during the Chag Matzot Barley Festival at the same time that the Wave Sheaf omer of Barley, the first of the first fruits, was offered at the Temple.  Yahshua became the first of the first-fruits among men.

Shavuot or Pentecost the second (2nd) of the three Harvest Festivals was the time for the firstfruits of the wheat to be taken to the priest.  Two (2) Loaves of Leavened bread were waved before Yahweh, but not offered on the altar.

At Pentecost in Acts 2, the year Yahshua died, the disciples were in Jerusalem.  At that time they received Yahweh's set apart spirit so that they might become first-fruits of Yahshua.  And all of us now who follow Yahshua and receive the Spirit are part of that group of first-fruits.

The Chag Sukkot festival season was the third (3rd) of the Harvest Festivals, celebrated after all the fruits, nuts, olives, grapes, etc., had been harvested and stored at home.  The firstfruits of those were to be taken to the priest as well.

Could this third (3rd) harvest festival  picture the time when all of mankind who are wrttien in the Book of Life will become Yahweh's third (3rd) and final harvest?  It is certainly something to think about and consider. 

These three harvest festivals were to honor Yahweh for what He had done for the people - the crops that had been harvested and stored.  The people were called to appear before him to rejoice and share in the bounty Yahweh had given.


Yahweh does give us some warnings to keep in mind.

We’ve seen that the Jews do the waving of the lulav in various directions.  They attach symbolism to that.

Ezekiel 8:15-16   15-And He said to me, have you seen, son of man?  Yet turn again; you shall see greater abominations than these.  16-And He brought me into the inner court of the house of Yahweh, and, behold, at the opening of the temple of Yahweh, between the porch and the altar were about twenty-five men with their backs to the temple of Yahweh, and their faces eastward; and they bowed themselves eastward to the sun.(EMPHASIS ADDED)

Some of the traditions and practices of the Jews have come from practices of magic or mysticism.  Some of them they copied from the peoples around them.

Deuteronomy 12:30-31   30-Take heed to yourself that you not be snared to follow them after they have been destroyed before you; and that you not inquire after their gods, saying, how did these nations serve their gods?  And I shall do so, even I.  31-You shall not do so to Yahweh your Elohim; for everything hateful to Yahweh, which He detests, they have done to their gods, for they have even burned their sons and their daughters in the fire to their gods.(EMPHASIS ADDED)

Deuteronomy 18:9-12   9-When you come into the land which Yahweh your Elohim is giving to you, you shall not learn to do according to the hateful acts of those nations.  10-There shall not be found in you one who passes his son or his daughter through the fire, one that uses divination, an observer of clouds, or a fortune-teller, or a whisperer of spells.  11-Or a magic-charmer, or one asking of familiar spirits, or a wizard, or one inquiring of the dead.  12-For all doing these things are an abomination to Yahweh, and because of these filthy acts Yahweh your Elohim is expelling these nations before you.

We also need to be careful about any traditions we claim to have regarding the feast.  What “baggage” do we bring with us to this discussion?

Deuteronomy 4:2 – You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take from it, to keep the commandments of Yahweh your Elohim which I command you.


So where does this leave us today at feast time? Does the feast site allow people to live close together or are they scattered at distantly?  Does it allow the people to shae their meals together or must they find a restaurant?  The Israelites would have been shoulder to shoulder in the wilderness or later, in the city of Jerusalem.  Their booths would have been close together and not soundproof.  The people wandered up and down the streets, sharing food and drink and stories.  The children were busily playing, making new friends and watching the example their parents were setting.

The writer's first feast (and 11 other ones) were spent camping with several thousand other people near Big Sandy, Texas.  Laid out on the property were 31 streets of campsites.  Children ran and played safely, making many friends.  Anyone walking and wandering down those streets would be greeted and welcomed to stop and visit, as well as being offered something to eat or drink.  There was an atmosphere of love, sharing, safety and peace that I've never experienced at a feast where everyone is scattered in various lodgings and eating at restaurants.  When the people are separated in that way, the cohesiveness and bond is lost.

What if we made some changes today?  Rather than eating out, what if we, as a group, prepared and enjoyed meals together?  Shared in the preparation, the work, and even the clean-up?  Most people, especially the women, don’t want to think about doing such things on their “vacation”.  But is this really "our" vacation?  No, it is Yahweh's time.  What did the Israelites do?  Restaurants weren’t available to the extent they are today.  Besides, the restaurant owners would also have been in their booths, eating with family and friends and rejoicing before Yahweh; not preparing meals for sale.

When we just talk a few minutes before and after services, or between interruptions by a waiter, we don’t really get to know and understand another person.  There isn’t enough time.  By living and working together for several days and sharing activities (such as preparing or cleaning up a meal, enjoying sing-alongs, discussing Yahweh’s word in impromptu studies, roasting hot dogs over a campfire, having a fish fry, and such) we can see how a person works, how they interact with others, etc.  We come closer to knowing the real person – as Yahweh wants us to do – and be a part of a much larger family.

It is time for the people of Yahweh to “get back to their roots”.  We need to find a way whereby we can experience these days of Yahweh as a group, not as individual families scattered across a large metropolitan area, with all the worldly distractions between us.  We need to spend time together – outside of any services – singing, rejoicing, laughing, eating, talking, working, taking walks, examining Yahweh’s creation and nature, etc.  Not looking for the nearest shopping mall, restaurant, local attraction or amusement park.

We have a year to set aside the second tithe to enjoy Yahweh's feast.  For those who are willing to join us, the cabins truly are primitive and temporary dwellings.  And their use is free, on a first-come, first-served basis.

After several earlier years in motels, condos or homes, some of us will be in less modern and worldly surroundings this year.  Many of the Irving congregation will be in Group Camp #2 at Lake Murray State Park near Ardmore, Oklahoma.  Information is available on our website.  Go to the website www.yahsaves.org and check there for information.  Or call us toll-free at 1-800-687-0150.  We look forward to seeing you there!

Rev 09-22-09

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