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Thanksgiving is an American holiday that originated 400 years ago in 1621. The Pilgrims had landed at Plymouth, Massachusetts a year earlier, and they planted crops in the Spring of 1621. A drought, however, threatened their harvest, but they appealed to God according to His promise in Deuteronomy 28:12. God answered them with a long and steady rain that saved them from food shortages that winter.
When they gathered in their crop that autumn, they set aside a day of Thanksgiving to God for His provision. The first Thanksgiving feast included 53 Pilgrims and 90 Native Americans. Thanksgiving was celebrated intermittently thereafter, and George Washington proclaimed a national day of Thanksgiving and prayer in the 1790’s.
In 1863, in the midst of our Civil War, President Lincoln also proclaimed a national day of "Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens," to be celebrated on the last Thursday in November. On June 28, 1870, President Grant signed into law the Holidays Act that made Thanksgiving a yearly appointed federal holiday.
The Feast of Tabernacles
Thanksgiving is the American equivalent of the biblical feast of Tabernacles, which also was a harvest festival and a time a rejoicing for God’s provision. Leviticus 23:39, 40 says,
39 On exactly the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the crops of the land, you shall celebrate the feast of the Lord for seven days… 40 … and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God for seven days.
The feast of Tabernacles and Thanksgiving both recognize that God rules His creation and that we are dependent upon Him to sustain life on earth. Both feasts have to do with rejoicing in God’s provision as we labor in His vineyard to build His Kingdom in earth. From a prophetic standpoint, it represents the Great Harvest that is to come as the result of the rain of the Holy Spirit that is coming.
The Significance of 400 Years
In 2007 and in 2020 we reached big milestones in American history. The year 2007 was 400 years since the first American colony was founded at Jamestown, Virginia in 1607. Then in 2020 we reached the second milestone, where we celebrated the 400th anniversary of the Plymouth colony in Massachusetts.
These are the two foundations of America: religious freedom and economic prosperity. These can be defined also in terms of the American Dream. Broadly speaking, the northern colonies/states were built upon religious freedom, while the southern states were built upon economic prosperity, and these two principles ultimately clashed during the Civil War. The issue of freedom for all (i.e., the elimination of a slave class) was the main driving force of the North, while economic freedom was the main driving force of the South.
The end of America’s first 400-year cycle in 2007 saw the mortgage crisis, which soon brought us the banking crisis of 2008. In 2020 we came to the end of America’s second 400-year cycle—the one originating with the Plymouth colony in 1620—and we are now seeing a greater financial and banking crisis.
On the surface, this may appear to be bad news, but God is setting us free after 400 years, even as He redeemed Israel from Egypt at the end of a 400-year cycle (Genesis 15:13, 14). The lockdowns that began in 2020 were the result of God hardening the hearts of the Babylonians, so that He would obtain lawful cause to strip them of their wealth. We today chafe at the apparent delay, even as the Israelites chafed when Pharaoh refused to let the people go. Yet when we keep our eyes focused upon Christ and when we understand His plan, we can rest while others chafe.
So at Thanksgiving of 2021, the 400th anniversary of Thanksgiving itself, we ought to thank God for His redemption from Babylon. At this point, we see this redemption by the eye of faith, but if we truly believe and agree with the divine plan, we will have cause for rejoicing.
Consider also that 400 is an enhancement of the number 40, the biblical number for trial or probation. My own prophetic story began 40 years ago in 1981, so I have lived through this time of trial and probation. If we count the years from the first Thanksgiving in 1621, it was the 10th cycle of 40 years.
I expect to see major changes occur in the coming months and years. I expect to see the start of a Great Harvest shortly, and this will have a direct effect on God’s Kingdom Ministries. I expect that God will provide the financing for whatever He called us to do. I expect to move to a new location soon to set up a more suitable ministry headquarters for that greater work in the earth.
The Great Harvest takes place in the earth, because this is where God planted the seeds in His vineyard (Isaiah 5:7). The number 4 is the biblical number for the earth, the material creation, and this is the most basic number of both 40 and 400. If God has planted the incorruptible and immortal seed of the Word in our hearts, we are the first fruits of creation (James 1:18).
That alone gives us a reason to be thankful in this season.
Watch dates: November 21-30
Thanksgiving this year falls on November 25, which is the middle of another set of watch dates from November 21-30. I gave some history about this time period in a weblog from 2012.
In 1947 the United Nations began to debate the Palestinian Resolution November 21, and then passed the Resolution on November 29. Forty-six years later, we held our Jubilee Prayer Campaign from November 21-29, 1993, asking God on behalf of the overcomers to be given the responsibility of the birthright.
The Israelis had been given 46 years to build the true Temple of God (John 2:20), but they had no interest in spiritual temples that were built upon the chief Corner Stone, Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:20-22). We, on the other hand, are keenly interested in doing this, and so we believe that we won our case in 1993, receiving the authorization to complete this work.
Seven years later, on November 28-30, 2000, we met at the House on the Rock in Wisconsin, where the group discussed and declared the overthrow of the Old Jerusalem (November 29) and the establishment of the New Jerusalem (November 30) as the capital of the Kingdom.
Over the years, we have seen other precedents and revelations on November 29 and 30, all of which speak into the overall purpose of God. These are watch dates every year, and 2021 is no exception. The difference is that 2021 is also the 400th anniversary of Thanksgiving, which adds significant meaning to this time period.
After this, we must watch December 3-5, but I will probably cover that in a later weblog.