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History of the Feast of Tabernacles in the Radio/Worldwide Church of God

Assembled by CM White

Version 2.0

Introductory Comments

In the article Passover and Holy Day Observances since the First Century, I point out that the observance of the Holy Days among Christian Sabbatarians can be tracked each century, for the most part, since the birth of the New Testament Church.

Having virtually died out by the nineteenth century, the interest in all of God’s Law and the Holy Days among various Sabbatarians began to stir sometime around the middle of that century. These seeds were sown and later watered by authors such as Greenberry G Rupert who began to promote them as applicable to Christians. As a result, interest in them began to grow.

Meanwhile, many Protestant scholars wrote about their meaning and typology and continue to do so to this day (they often don’t fully understand their meaning, but at least make a good attempt at this). One of many such authors was the famous Louis Talbot who wrote about The Feasts of the Lord (1943) and there were a number of such authors preceding him and thereafter. I mention him as Dr Herman L Hoeh listened to his radio programmes and was following him about the time of his coming across The World Tomorrow broadcast.

Holy Day Observance Prior to Herbert W Armstrong

In the article Holy Day Observance since the First Century, there are a number of references to various Sabbatarian groups which observed these days, or at least some of them.

In the USA an unattached group in Philadelphia observed Passover including footwashing in 1845

(History of the Church of God (7th Day), p. 661). One early Sabbatarian Adventist was David Arnold who 2

believed in an annual Lord’s Supper/Passover . James and Ellen G White were aware of this practice but evidently did not agree with such a practice.


1 According to John Kiesz’s article “The Continuity of the Gospel,” Bible Advocate, 12 August 1963:
“Most of the brethren observed the Lord’s Supper or Communion and feet-washing at various times, although a group in Philadelphia began practicing the keeping of the Christian Passover in abut 1845, and a brother in Illinois advocated the commemoration of the Lord’s death at the beginning of the 14th of Abib in about 1867. Before the turn of the century, all of our assemblies had come to the conclusion that Communion of the Lord’s Supper should be observed annually on the 14th day of the first month of the Hebrew year.” (p. 25)
2 According to Captains of the Host by W Spalding (an SDA), Sabbath conferences were held 1847/48:
“So the Whites went to New York. It was their first meeting with Hiram Edson. Bates, Gurney, and Chamberlain also attended from New England. The meeting was held in David Arnold's barn, at Volney. About thirty-five were present, all who could be collected from that part of the State. But there were nearly thirty-five different creeds; "there were hardly two agreed." David Arnold evidently had imbibed some of the heterodox views of George Storrs' party ... objecting to the celebration of the Lord's supper except at the time of the Passover, of which he said it was the continuation. Many other errors were brought forward by different ones, and the conference was in discord.” (p. 176)

Read the entire paper here