Keith Hunt - Thanksgiving Day Restitution of All

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Thanksgiving Day

Do you really Love the Truth?


Bradley D, Richardson

FORWORD by Keith Hunt

Jesus taught us, "Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after
righteousness, for they shall be filled." (Mat.5:6).   Peter was
inspired to admonish us to "grow in grace and knowledge."
(2 Pet.3:18).  Paul said to "prove all things - hold fast to that
which is good." (1 Thes.5:21).

How many in the Christian community really practice the above
Scriptures? Not many!  What about those of us in the Sabbath
keeping churches? Do we earnestly apply those teachings of Jesus,
Peter, Paul?

Do we have our hearts always wanting to LEARN, to be CORRECTED,
to DESIRE to know the TRUTH of the matter?
Jesus said once, "you do not know the DEPTHS of Satan." The
apostle Paul was inspired to tell us that Satan and his co-
workers do not always come bold-face in your face, like they do
with Halloween celebrations, but they come sometimes as angels of
LIGHT! (2 Corinthians 11:13-15). Until we have the MIND of Christ
in us (Phil.2:5) we just do not see things as God sees them.
Jesus said that in the last time of this age, DECEPTION would be
so HUGE, that IF it was possible even the VERY ELECT would be
deceived (Mat.24:24). The elect will not be deceived because they
will have a mind that is willing to prove all things, and to hold
fast to that which is correct. They will have a heart that is
willing to be TAUGHT, willing to be CORRECTED, willing to grow in
grace and KNOWLEDGE!

So for many of you out there in this world, especially in some
countries like the United States of America, this study we are
about to embark upon, will be somewhat of a test for you. Many
who were in the old Worldwide Church of God, and are now in many
of its off-shoot (who are correctly taught the truths about
January 1st; Easter; Halloween; Christ-mass) - well you were not
taught the truth of the matter about "Thanksgiving Day" - so you
might want to check your mind's attitude towards the plain truth
as we start this study.

I am, as a servant of the Most High, commissioned to "spare not,
cry aloud, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and show my people
their transgressions, and the house of Israel their sins"

Back in the 1960s and 1970s I for one had not given much thought
to the world's THANKSGIVING DAY - I had never done any research
on it's origin. I had seen  (for many years) that God's commanded
"thanksgiving time" was His Feast of TABERNACLES, but I had not
quite put "Thanksgiving Day" into the same basket as Christmas
Day or Easter Day. I personally have never taken much notice of
Thanksgiving Day when it came along in the Roman calendar, but I
had also never taught others not to do so if they desired.

That has all changed in the middle 1980s, thanks to Mr.Bradley
Richardson who so kindly sent me a copy of his article on
THANKSGIVING DAY. His research on this festival is profound. The
Biblical truths presented, are in my judgment, correct and
unanswerable. Truth is truth, and Jesus said that the Holy Spirit
would lead us into ALL truth, maybe not all at once, but little
by little, some now, some later, as long as we loved truth, and
as long as we hungered for righteousness.

Those who know me will agree that I am not easily or quickly
moved to a given persuasion unless all major objections are
answered by the presentation. I find Mr.Richardson does answer
all serious arguments in his presenting us with the historical
and Biblical facts concerning this popular feast day.

I thank our Lord for many wonderful truths He has shown me over
the years - truths that have been a warm pleasure to find. I must
now add one more to that list - the truth about THANKSGIVING DAY.

So we start Mr.Richardson's study:


     Many individuals within the various congregations of the
Church of God are fully aware of the TRUTH about Christmas,
Easter, Halloween, Valentines Day, etc., etc. Pagan through and
through, unauthorized by God. Nothing need be said further
concerning these days.
     But what about Thanksgiving Day, occurring during the latter
part of each November? Could this be a day acceptable to God, to
thank Him for our many blessings, or could it be just as pagan
and unauthorized as "man's" other days? That is the purpose of
this study. All we ask is keep an open mind, and consult God in
prayer on this and all subjects. If we ALL remember that we were
wrong before, and wrong on some very 'major' points concerning
God's word, just maybe we could be wrong again. Or, we could go
in with the attitude of one individual we are acquainted with
who, on one Sabbath, held up his Bible and said, "I have my
diploma. For over twenty years I've been studying this book. I
don't know all the minor points, BUT ON EVERY MAJOR POINT I KNOW
GOD'S WORD." This gentleman truly does know a lot of God's
truths, but does he have the 'open mind' that will allow him to
accept that even though he thought he was no longer keeping pagan
holidays, but was keeping God's Holydays, he may be wrong?

     Before getting into the actual history of Thanksgiving,
which will shock and surprise many people, let's look at some
arguments this writer has heard.

1. "I do not keep Thanksgiving holy. It is a national day of
thanksgiving for what God has provided. It is not a Holy day." 

     Is this not virtually the same response others use for their
justification for keeping Christmas, Easter, etc.? Many do not
keep those days as Holy Days. Is it therefore alright, before
God's eyes, to keep those days? We do not think so! Many are
aware of the Catholic Church's stand on Christmas, Easter, and so
forth. The Catholic Church expects a 'good Catholic' to be in
church those days. The Catholic Church considers those days
'Holy' days. How many of you are aware this same Babylonish group
feels much the same way concerning Thanksgiving Day? There are
also Protestant groups that keep Thanksgiving Day as a Holy Day.
Should not this tell us something???

2. "The Feast of Dedication in the Bible was not ordained by God,
yet it is still kept by the Jews. Where does God say it is

This line of thinking seems to be lacking the obvious. WHERE DOES
GOD SAY IT IS RIGHT? Just because the Jews keep a feast, and God
doesn't specifically say it is wrong, does that make it right?
There are many many instances in the Bible where someone, or some
group of people did things that were obviously wrong, yet God
never said specifically it was wrong. Remember, it's not just
what the Bible says, it's what it doesn't say also!!!

(Then, national "historic" days - to remember certain events in a
nations history is NOT "theological" per se. It is just an
historical event. But creating "holy days" and "festivals" is an
altogether different matter. As we proceed we shall see that
"Thanksgiving Day" was established as a "religious holy day" when
introduced, and brought into being - Keith Hunt)

     What we do have is God saying in Leviticus 23:2, "These are
my feasts." He doesn't say we can add to His feasts, He doesn't
say we can subtract from them, He plainly says, "These" are the
ones. He doesn't make us follow His wishes. That is up to us. We
of course all know that God says repeatedly in His WORD to not
add to it, or subtract from it. He tells us which days are to be
permanently kept as days of thanks to God. Why does man think he
can add to that? Follow Christ's example and you cannot go wrong!

3. "In 2 Chronicles 30:23-27, we are told the people kept an
extra seven days, making the Feast of Unleavened Bread 14 days
long. We are told that God approved of it, by citing verse 27."

     Now, this line of thinking does not seem to make much sense.
Just because God approved of a one-time extension, brought on by
the festivities and great joy, then we have the right to add a
permanent day of thanks to God, i.e.: Thanksgiving Day? How does
this follow? Do we have the right to permanently increase God's
Feasts? I for one love the Feast of the Tabernacles. An extra
week or two all the time would suit me just fine. Do I have the
right to change God's word? NO! He did not say keep the feast at
least seven days, He said to keep it seven days. That's it! If
occasionally, throughout our lifetimes, a feast of particular joy
is extended, God's word possibly authorizes that in 2 Chronicles
30:27, but we are stretching God's word too far to use that verse
to say, "Thus we can set up a permanent day to give God thanks,
Thanksgiving Day." We should tremble at the thought of doing
this, for God's word will judge us.
     Finally, without going into detail, I would like to point
something out that many may have missed in 2 Chronicles 30:27,
"Then, the priests and Levites arose and blessed the people: and
their voice was heard, and their prayer came up to His Holy
dwelling place, even unto Heaven." Did you notice the first word
in that sentence? "Then," after the 14-day feast, after it was
over, then the prayers were heard by God. It does not
say their prayers were heard by God during the second seven days.
It does not even say God approved of the extra seven days, as
many would like us to believe. All it says is after it was all
over, "Then" God heard their voices. Let us be careful not to
read something into God's word that isn't there.

(As we can see in 2 Chronicles 30 and the context. This was an
INDIVIDUAL SPECIAL historic context of events in Israel. And the
extra 7 days was still concerning the Feast of Passover, NOT some
other man-made feast to replace God's feast - Keith Hunt)

4. "Thanksgiving is not from pagan times, hence we are at liberty
to keep it, and God will appreciate it." 

     It is true, God's word commands us to not be like the pagans
and heathens, to not worship Him like they do. People seem to
have forgotten another attribute to the pagan people; they set up
their own holidays (holydays). Since they worship gods who are
not gods, these gods cannot give them the days of gathering, etc.
Only God can do this, by definition. Hence, since their gods do
not talk, the heathens invent their own days. This is a practice
of heathens, of pagans. Are we to follow their example, or do we
listen to God, follow His days, and add not to them? Does it have
to be old to be pagan? NO!!!

     However, concerning whether or not Thanksgiving itself comes
from ancient days, read on.

     We have tried to show so far the excuses people use for
justifying the keeping of Thanksgiving. Many of these same
excuses are used by other people to justify Christmas, Easter,
etc. If they are not justification enough for those days (which
they are not), then they are not enough to justify Thanksgiving
Day. That should be plain, yet many will still keep Thanksgiving,
because to change is to admit error, one thing we humans do not
like to do. Are we willing to "Grow in grace and knowledge"?
It is hard to understand one's stand concerning the right to keep
Thanksgiving. Even if it doesn't go back to pagan times (which we
will show it does), have pagan times ended, really? If not, pagan
times are now also. At some point, the pagan holidays were only a
few years old,'not thousands.' But did that make them right then,
and wrong now? That line of reasoning seems to be lacking

     Thanksgiving is not a day ordained by God to be kept. Yet it
is, and is considered by many to be a Christian holiday. A lady
this last November '85, upon finding out I didn't keep
Thanksgiving said, "Why, isn't it a Christian holiday?" This lady
is not even a practicing churchianity believer. Yet this is her
understanding of the holiday. What a witness to God we proclaim
by keeping such days.
     It is not a Christian holiday. To keep it as such is adding
to the word of God. Where does God give man the right to set up a
holiday to honor and give thanks to God? Show me the verse! God
does that, not man, at least the God I try to follow does. How
about yours?
     Do you realize how silly and stupid we sound when we try and
tell someone, "Don't keep Christmas, Easter, Valentine's Day,
etc., because they're pagan, and God didn't authorize them. But
do keep Thanksgiving, a day to God. Sure, He didn't say to do it,
but He's sure to appreciate it."
     For us Christians who keep God's Holy days, like Jesus did,
have  you ever thought of this? 

     Just what is Thanksgiving? It is a proclaimed holiday for
the purpose of giving thanks to God for the many blessings we
received, especially agriculturally. (Let me quote my
six-year-old daughter's response just now, after asking me what I
just wrote, "That's what we do everyday, not just one day, except
on the days God says to do it." Out of the mouth of babes...) Why
do we need ANOTHER fall harvest festival? We have the Feast of
Tabernacles! It seems apparent Christians who keep the Feast of
Tabernacles, and then keep, only 30 or so days later, another
harvest day of thanks to God, must think that God's ORDAINED
feast is not good enough. Perhaps they think God didn't hear them
the first time. God's days are good enough!


     The day of Thanksgiving is at the very least, an outright
copy of the Feast of Tabernacles. It is a day when people thank
God for His blessings. Does God hear people on this copied day? I
don't know, only He does. But what do you think? Who is the great
copier? Do we need another harvest festival? Do we need Satan's
copy? Isn't God's good enough? Do the majority of people keep any
day important to God??? The majority are deceived by Satan. The
majority keep Thanksgiving. That in itself ought to tell the
Christian something. However, there is more, much more. We don't
have to 'think,' we can KNOW.


     Let's go on to what we have found concerning the actual
history of Thanksgiving. This is not a complete study, but it was
more than enough to convince us. If there's even a slim chance
Thanksgiving is wrong, and pagan on top of that, we should drop
it like a HOT POTATO. My wife and I did just that. Until shown
where this study is wrong, we will continue to keep the only fall
festival God authorized.

     Most history books would like to convince us that
Thanksgiving goes back to Plymouth Rock, in the 1600's, or
thereabouts. Even though we were personally convinced prior to
looking into the history of the day (based on the above and
proceeding paragraphs), we were surprised just how right we were
concerning the non-appropriateness of Thanksgiving. Plymouth Rock
was not the first Thanksgiving, although history books would like
us to believe that. You can bank on the fact that Satan would
like us to believe that, too. This non-authorized feast day to
God goes back thousands of years, in one form or another; that is

     The following quotes will not be attempted to be placed in
perfect order. We will basically quote from one source
completely, then go on to the next. This may not be the ideal
presentation method, but the seeker of God's truth will be able
in his or her own mind to put the information in whatever order
will help him or her in coming to a conclusion. We do ask you to
prayerfully consider the following. God will provide the answer,
if we let Him, if we keep our minds open, and if we are willing
to admit that even "Christians" may still be keeping pagan

From the WORLD BOOK ENCYCLOPEDIA, 1992 Edition, Article entitled
'Thanksgiving Day.' 

"Thanksgiving Day, in the United States and Canada, a day set
apart for the giving of thanks to God for the blessings of the
year. Originally, it was a harvest thanksgiving, and while the
purpose has become less specific, the festival still takes place
late in autumn, after the crops have been gathered." (Doesn't
this sound like God's Feast?) "Indeed, it is probably an
outgrowth of the Harvest-Home celebrations in England. Such
celebrations are of very ancient origin, being nearly universal
among primitive peoples." (Do you really want to be a part of
this, after receiving so much of God's truth?)
     Continuing on in the same reference, until otherwise noted,
let's see just how much Thanksgiving is a copy of God's Feast. I
bet you thought Thanksgiving was just one day, right? Even the
supposed original one in the 1600's?

"The first Thanksgiving in the new world...," (Notice the
wordings, not the first, but just the first in the new world),
"...however, was not merely a feast - there were prayers and
sermons and songs of praise; and three days had gone by before
the Indians returned to their forest and the colonists to their
"In 1789 ... the Protestant Episcopal Church in America announced
the first Thursday in November as a regular annual day for giving
"It was not until 1888, however, that the Roman Catholic Church
formally recognized the day."
"Throughout the country, but especially in New England, where the
custom originated, the day is looked upon with great reverence."
(This sounds like more than just a holiday, rapidly approaching
Holy Day status.)
"Thanksgiving Day in Canada. The Dominion, too, has an annual
Thanksgiving day, which is celebrated in much the same way, with
family reunions and religious services." (Did you note that -
religious services!!!) "It is proclaimed by the Governor-General
as a harvest festival, but although it is a public statutory
holiday, it is not traditional in date. Usually, it falls on the
last  Monday in October, but if harvest is especially early, an
earlier date may be appointed." (Sounds like God's Feast, not on
the same day each year. Satan is a great copier!)
"When the corn crop was gathered, in the fall of 1621, Governor
Bradford decreed a day of Thanksgiving." (Please notice the type
of crop, CORN. This will be important later in this study.)

From the book, SPECIAL DAYS;  History Folklore and What Not, by
Sharon Cade - 1984. 

"Fourth Thursday in November (observed the second Monday in
October in Canada)."
"Thanksgiving is a day to give thanks for the harvest and for
other blessings of the past year."
"Governor Bradford of Plymouth Colony ordered the day for
feasting and thanks."
(Follow this carefully.) "Although we have nationalized
Thanksgiving, celebrations were held in ancient times to give
thanks for bountiful harvests. The Greeks honored Demeter, the
goddess of agriculture, with a nine-day celebration" (sounds like
Christ's eight-day feast of Tabernacles copied); "the Romans
honored Ceres, Anglo-Saxons rejoiced with a feast to celebrate
the reaping of the harvest; and the Jews have given thanks for
bountiful harvests with their eight-day Feast of Tabernacles."
"Thanksgiving is a sports holiday.... It is a religious holiday
(welcomes the Christmas season), as well as a civil holiday (most
offices and shops are closed)." Notice this writer called
Thanksgiving a religious holiday. Why are Christ's people keeping
this day? Let us pull away and ask His forgiveness.

From the book, WE GATHER TOGETHER - The Story of Thanksgiving, by
Ralph and Adelin Linton, 1949.     

"Thanksgiving is ... a giving of thanks for divine bounty coupled
with a practical demonstration of that bounty. Churches of all
denominations are open for services on this particular Thursday
every year .... Quite as important as worship on this day is the
renewal of family ties." (Why are churches open for services on a
non-religious day? Do they consider it a religious day? They
"Pilgrims and Indians, turkey and pumpkin pie are so much a part
of the American tradition that it is hard for us to realize that
the beginnings of Thanksgiving go back not only to the old world
but to the early world." (READ THAT AGAIN!) "The Pilgrims frowned
on all the holidays of merrie England and refused to celebrate
even Christmas because they knew of its pagan origins." (Yet
Satan still got them.) "In proclaiming a day of Thanksgiving
after the crops were gathered and before winter set in, they may
have taken a hint from the Old Testament, but they certainly did
not know that they were acting in a tradition which went back to
the time when men first began to sow and reap. Long before the
dwellers by the Nile learned to measure the year, or dreamed of
building pyramids, all people who grew grain gave thanks at
harvest time to the beings who had given them their daily bread
for the hard winter months. Moreover, these ancient farmers
sensed in the changing seasons and in the cycle of
seed-to-plant-to-seed again the miracle of death and resurrection
and turned their wonder of it into legends."
"The Old Testament includes many references to harvest
festivals... It is recorded that Moses gave instructions to the
Hebrews for the celebration of their harvest festival, which was
called the Feast of the Tabernacles." (The same feast our Lord
and Savior kept. Can you find where He kept Thanksgiving?)
"Even before Biblical times the ancient people of the
Mediterranean Basin held festivals at harvest time in honor of
the Earth Mother. The goddess of the corn ('corn' is the European
term for any grain; Indian corn - our American 'corn' - is called
maize), was always one of the most important deities in the
hierarchy of the gods, and her child was the young god of
"The ancient Semites called the earth mother Astarte.... The
Phrygians called her Semele.... The Minoans had an earth mother
for each district. All these local deities were absorbed by the
Greeks into the one great goddess, Demeter."
"Besides eating, feasting, etc., the married women practiced in
special rites, under the cover of night. The matrons spent the
next day bathing nude in the sea and dancing and playing games on
the shore. Then they fasted, sang songs, then feasted, sang, and
had general gaiety. All this lasted over a period of several
days." (Where were the men, I ask the reader? The writer of this
book did not say. But it does somewhat remind us of even today,
when on Thanksgiving, the men get together and watch football,
leaving the women to get together! Sure, the women may not
practice their gatherings the same way as the pagans, but the
gatherings are there.)
"The Roman harvest festival ... was called the Cerelia, after
Ceres, the Roman goddess of the corn."
"With the acceptance of Christianity as the official religion of
Rome and the conversion of the barbarians who had invaded the
crumbling empire, these pagan rituals were frowned upon and even
forbidden by law. However, the peasants clung to them with a
tenacity which has made the word 'pagan' (originally meaning
simply 'villager') a synonym for 'heathen.' As late as the sixth
century,... St.Benedict.... found the local peasantry worshipping
Apollo in a sacred grove. Even after conversion, old habits and
beliefs died hard, and the church was too busy trying to keep the
flame of civilization alive to trouble with minor heresies."
"The benevolent earth mother ... blended with the equally
benevolent mother of Christ. Folk memory of local deities fused
with the Christian tales of saints to provide patrons for
villages, and the white robed goddess of grain lived on in
various guises. To those who live close to the soil, the harvest
has an emotional and religious significance...their gratitude
finds expression in rites in honor of the being who they feel is
most closely related to fruitfulness: a being of warm earth
rather than cold Heaven."
"Even today a half-pagan belief in the corn mother still survives
among the peasants in many parts of Europe."
(Everyone should pay close attention to the following paragraph.)
"The Pilgrims undoubtedly brought memories of such English
harvest-home celebrations with them when they came to the new
world. They had also witnessed 'thanksgiving' ceremonies during
their sojourn in Holland .... The  Pilgrims themselves would have
denied that the Thanksgiving feast in honor of their first
harvest in 1621 was evoked by memories of the profane practices
of the old world; however, all revolutionaries, political or
religious, once their goal is accomplished, turn back to the
patterns of the society in which they have been reared, and the
Pilgrims, at the time of the first Thanksgiving, were no

(When will we learn, if God doesn't say it, don't do it. Keep
Satan and his lies and copies out of our lives.)

"Quote from LINCOLN's ADDRESS on October 3, 1863, when
Thanksgiving was declared a national holiday, after he discussed
the many gifts we received from God in mines of iron and coal,
industry, defense, population increase, etc.).

"They are the gracious gifts of the most high God, who, while
dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath never the less
remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they
should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged as
with one heart and one voice by the whole American people. I do,
therefore, invite my fellow-citizens in every part of the United
States, and also those who are at sea and those who are
sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last
Thursday of November next as a day of Thanksgiving and praise to
our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens."

     With the Lincoln proclamation, Thanksgiving became a legal
holiday on which the whole nation closes its shops, offices,
schools, and banks, and offers its thanks to the Deity for the
blessings of this free and bountiful land.

     Who gave him the right? Did you notice the words? It seemed
to him (Lincoln) fit and proper to set up a RELIGIOUS HOLYDAY!

     Was Lincoln even a member of God's Church? Only God knows.
However, he believed in ghosts, his wife had seances in the White
House. By all rights the man, no matter how great he was as a
President, was apparently a pagan. And it is he, a heathen, who
officially set up the day everyone just keeps like sheep to the
slaughter, even members of God's Church. Truly Satan has deceived
the whole world, not most, all, even the Church of God. Can we
ever come completely out? Maybe, maybe not, but we sure should

(While Lincoln may have been a sincere Christian, the fact is he
was like MOST "Christians" of his time and of today - sincere
maybe, but sincerely wrong - sincerely deceived. He had NOT been
led by the Holy Spirit to see the truths contained in the Word of
God, hence he could not see and teach and proclaim to the
American people, the FEAST of God and the feast that is the REAL
"thanksgiving" feast to God - the Feast of Tabernacles - Keith
     Notice the following, taken from a most unusual source, but
even this writer knew the truth! From ORGANIC GARDENING and
FARMING, November 1975, page 132 article entitled 'Thanksgiving

"The day is fixed by proclamation of the president. It is "an
annual festival of thanks for the mercies of the closing year,
celebrated by prayers and feasting."
"The earliest harvest Thanksgiving in this country was held by
the Pilgrim fathers at Plymouth Colony in 1621."
"But long before the Pilgrims held their first Thanksgiving
dinner, harvest festivals were observed in this country. Among
the North Dakota tribes, the corn spirit was known as the 'old
woman who never dies.'"
"In Peru, the ancient Indians worshipped the "Mother of Maize,'
and tried every year to persuade her to bring in another good
"In Europe, the Austrians also had a 'Corn mother' doll fashioned
from the last sheaf of grain cut in the field and then brought
home to the village in the last wagon." (Notice Satan's poor
attempts at copies, so obvious; the last sheaf instead of the
first sheaf, done at the Fall festival instead of the Spring
"In Upper Burma, the friends of the household are invited to the
barn for a feast when the rice has been piled in its husks on the
threshing floor. After a prayer, to the 'father and mother,' for
a good harvest next year, then, much as we do, the entire party
celebrates this year's harvest with a feast." (End of quotes from
this book.)

(There are indications in history books that the Indians of our
early country, when invited to that 'Thanksgiving' in 1621,
thought they were coming to the pagan feast they were used to
keeping at that time. That's why they came!)

(This is not just an indication. I was present in Florida at a
lecture given by a literal descendant of those Indians of 1621.
He told the factual story of it all. Those Indians back then, DID
think they were coming to celebrate with those pilgrims, their
"thanksgiving feast" or put it another way. Those Indians thought
the pilgrims HAD ACCEPTED the Indian's "thanksgiving day" - Keith

     There are also indications that the Pilgrims, out of shame,
invited the Indians to that feast, for the corn they harvested
was stolen from the Indians earlier that year (the seeds for


     A substantial portion of our ancestors in 1621 came from
England. Let's look into English history to see if we can
determine what festivals they were used to, etc.

From the book, A YEAR OF FESTIVALS - A Guide to British Calendar
Customs, by Geoffrey Palmer and Noel Lloyd, 1972. 

"Thanksgiving for the harvest is one of the oldest and the most
joyous festivals that man has created."
"Most of the pagan customs that gathered round the harvest season
have either disappeared or have sunk under the weight of
Christian disapproval and have radically changed. Today, the
climax of the season is the picturesque but genteel harvest
festival celebrated in churches."
"However innocuous harvest rites are today, they are a relic of
the great drama of the season when the fruits of the earth were
collected and the means of life ensured for another year, and the
thankfulness had a hidden stratum of cruelty."    
"The leading role in the drama was taken by Ceres, the Roman
Corn-Goddess. In Britain she was later known by several names;
the Maiden, the Harvest Queen, the Kern or Corn Baby, the Kern
Doll, the Ivy Girl, the Neck and the Mare. Sometimes she was
simply the stalks of corn; sometimes she was represented by a
sheaf dressed in many-coloured clothes which were decorated with
flowing ribbons and the finest lace. Whatever her form, she
dominated the banquets, harvest suppers, and merry-making of
early times." (Even though we may not have the exact physical
items in our homes, how many homes around Thanksgiving have at
least pictures of wicker 'horn' baskets holding vegetables,
fruits, etc., stalks of corn, etc.? Where did these come from? We
just read part of it. Also, it is a custom for the ladies to
dress the table up with a lacy tablecloth. Could this be related
to 'the finest lace' on the corn doll?)
"The Kern Baby," (an image!), "was made either from the last of
the corn left standing .... or from the biggest and ripest ears
to be found in the field .... The spirit herself dwelt in the
corn, and mere mortals shirked the responsibility of cutting her
down. So, often the act was left to chance. All those present
threw their sickles at the lone sheaf from a respectable
distance, thus no one could be said to have deliberately
performed the act. In the depths of folk memory there was still
the awareness of the death and resurrection cycle. The vegetation
deity of the remote past needed to be propitiated by a human
"When the feast was over, the Kern Baby was taken to the farm
house and kept there until the next harvest supper. The symbol of
the previous year's harvest was ceremoniously burned in the
"The Kern Baby is by no means extinct, and can be seen in some
churches as part of the harvest festival decorations, though she
has been divested of her divine powers. At Little Walthem in
Essex and Whalton in North Umberland, for example, Kern Babies
are attached to one of the pews, 'the custom of crying the neck,'
once prevalent in the west of England, is still observed here and
there, though now it is incorporated in the harvest festival held
in the church. The origin of the word 'Neck,' or 'Nack,' is
obscure. It may come from an old Norse word for sheaf of corn, or
it may have a connection with 'Nix,' a water spirit that is
supposed to be from where we get Old Nick, one of the Devil's
"Crying the neck - "While the labourers were reaping the last
field of wheat, one of them went to each group of sheaves and
selected the best of the ears, which he then tied up neatly,
'plaiting and arranging the straws most tastefully.' When the
labourer's work was done, and the last of the wheat cut, the
entire company of reapers, binders and gleaners would form a
circle round the man with the neck. He then stooped down, grasped
the neck with both hands, and held it near to the earth. The
people surrounding him removed their hats and held them
downwards, too, a gesture of homage to the soil which had
nurtured the crops.
"Most countries had their own special way of celebrating the
'ingathering,' but they all sprang from the same pre-Christian
impulse," (pre-Christian is earlier than 1611), "the act of
sacrifice which had to be performed at the end of the harvest....
The cries when the neck was held up were originally the wails of
death, and the shouting and dancing which followed captured the
joy of resurrection." (End of quotations.)

     Now, we are aware most Americans do not follow the above
described rituals. Yet, does that make it alright? Is it
acceptable for me to celebrate Christmas, as long as I don't have
a tree, a yule log, etc., etc.? We would all say a resounding NO!
So, why would Thanksgiving be acceptable?

     We who have come out of so much, out of Babylon, do we cling
to this Thanksgiving Day? At best a copy of God's fall festival,
at worst, pagan through and through, should we be keeping
something like this? We are to be like Christ. Did He keep this

You have obviously noted that this study has not quoted extensive
scriptures from the Bible, concerning wrongful practices, etc. We
all have studies on Christmas, Easter, etc., etc. The references
from God's Holy Scriptures concerning those pagan practices, not
adding to His word, not following the ways of the world, etc.,
are just as applicable here. It is assumed the reader knows of
these scriptures.

     However, there is a most important part of the Bible that
must be considered when one is searching for God's will
concerning the appropriateness of Thanksgiving. Since these
verses are not quoted in most pagan holiday studies, it seems
appropriate to make the special effort to list them here.

     The question at hand is, can MAN SET UP DAYS ON HIS OWN, or
is that up to God only? Even if Thanksgiving isn't thousands of
years old (which it is), it is at best a COPY of God's fall
festival of thanks, the one He DID COMMAND to be kept, the Feast
of TABERNACLES, the 15th to the 21st day of the 7th month of
God's sacred calendar.

     Read 1 Kings 12:26 to 13:5. Here we have Jeroboam, the King,
setting up golden calves as gods. He institutes a substitute
feast in the 8th month, on the 15th day, and offers sacrifices on
the altar. Obviously, God was displeased, and sent His signs
signifying this displeasure.
     The standard teaching is the punishment was solely for
setting up calves as gods, and sacrificing to and worshipping
them. And indeed, this is so, but not the only reason!
     What about other reasons? Notice 12:33, God specifically
chose these words. God does nothing in vain, therefore, these
words have a meaning, also. So, what was another reason God was
not pleased? 

From the King James version, Jeroboam set up a feast in "the
month which he had devised of his own heart."

From the NIV."a month of his own choosing." 

Lamsa says, "in the month which he had devised of his own heart."

     Notice Jeroboam instituted a feast "like the festival held
in Judah" (12:32 NIV).

     Why would God specifically use the words "own choosing,"
unless it was to show us WE DO NOT HAVE THE RIGHT to set up

     Continuing with 12:33, from the New English Bible, "In a
month of his own choosing." 

The N.A.S., "In the month which he had devised in his own heart."

The Amplified, "A date which he chose individually."

     The picture seems clear. We should not, cannot, ignore the
additional words God chose to be written concerning this
SUBSTITUTE Fall festival (just like Thanksgiving is); the words
are there. 

     Do we dictate to God? NO! He tells us what His will is, and
we either follow or not. The choice is ours. But the Scriptures
sited above seem pretty clear, MAN cannot set up substitute days.

     There are only the times God ordained, all else are days of
tradition, which Jesus Himself said was worship in VAIN.

     The question demands repeating. Do God's servants need a
substitute, SECOND Fall festival, that at the very best is a copy
(who is the great copier?), and most likely pagan in addition?

     The choice is ours. May God guide us, and lead us all to the

     Do not change God's days, do not add to them, do not keep
duplicate days. Notice Jeroboam's day was the 15th day of the 8th
month, around mid-October to early November, which is when
Thanksgiving was originally kept in the U.S., and possibly the
very beginnings of Thanksgiving, and pagan, (GOING BACK THOUSANDS
OF YEARS - Keith Hunt)

     It is Satan who copies, who seeks to change times and days.
God is the same today, yesterday, and forever. If we keep
Thanksgiving, and claim it is acceptable to God, we therefore say
that God changes. After all, His word does not indicate
Thanksgiving ever was, or ever will be acceptable in His eyes. He
is all that matters, along with His Son, our glorious Savior. If
it wasn't an acceptable day to God 1,000 years ago (due either to
non-existence or pagan beginnings), if it won't be acceptable to
Him in the world tomorrow (after all, it's not mentioned
anywheres in the Bible), then by what twisted logic do we say it
is pleasing to God now?

     My God ... does not let man set up, or dictate to Him, which
days are acceptable days of permanent thanks or worship.

What about your God???

Bradley D.Richardson 
Permission is granted to reproduce and distribute this study.


There are TWO serious sides to this topic. 






Keith Hunt

In 1996 when on a "religious forum" the topic of "Thanksgiving
Day" came up for debate. 

A lady by the name of Renetta posted the below (plus a lot more
I'm not uploading) - a list of "books" showing the origin of
Thanksgiving Day from thousands of years ago - Keith Hunt

Dear Kevin,
You sound a lot like me, SHOW ME, don't tell me! So, the
following reference list will show you if you are willing to
research it. You will be able to find a link with the ancient
harvest pagan/heathen festivals and Thanksgiving, guaranteed!
IMO, this will be a much better way than if someone else wrote up
a paper and sent it to you. This way you can see for your self,
no color added, a research method we've all learned to use over
the years. If you live in an area of a good library, they should
be able to help you with some of these references. I own some of
them, but not all.

1. THANKSGIVING, Robert Haven Schauffler, Dodd-Mead, 1957.

2. THE BOOK OF HOLIDAYS, J.Walker McSpadden, Thomas Y. Crowell,
Co., NY, 1958.

3. ALL ABOUT AMERICAN HOLIDAYS, Maymie R. Krythe, Harper &
Brothers, NY, 1962.

THE BOOK OF FESTIVAL HOLIDAYS, Marguerite Tckis, Dodd Mead & Co.,

Frazer, Random House, 1981. (Full of Information)

6. THE BOOK OF FESTIVALS, Dorothy Gladys Spicer, 1937.


8. OUR WONDERFUL WORLD, by Grolier Incorporated, NY, Vo.,17, p.


Darter Applebaum, 1984.

Robert J. Myers, 1972.

12. THE AMERICAN BOOK OF DAYS, Jane M. Hatch, 1978.


Entered on this Website October 2007

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