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Sunday, May 24 2015
Pentecost: Power From On High
"I send the promise of My Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high ... And it came to pass, while He blessed them, He was parted from them, and carried up into heaven"
Pentecost, which is also recorded in the Holy Scriptures as the "Feast of First Fruits," the "Feast of Weeks" and the "Feast of Harvest," was given to the Israelites, while they were in the wilderness of the Sinai Peninsula after their Exodus from Egypt (see Arrival At Mount Sinai).
"23:16 And the feast of harvest, the firstfruits of thy labours, which thou hast sown in the field" (Exodus 23:16 KJV)
The photograph shows where it all happened. The border of Egypt and the Nile Delta region of "Goshen" (see Jacob's Israel In The Land Of Goshen) is seen in the left-center edge of the photo, the Sinai Peninsula is the triangle-shaped land mass in the center-left area of the photo, the Mount Sinai mountain range is plainly visible in detail in the southern area of the Sinai Peninsula (see Paul's Geography Lesson) and the other area of Arabia is seen in the right-side area of the photo.
Regardless of the various names for it, Pentecost has always been purely Christian because it was Jesus Christ (Who was and is Jesus Christ - see The LORD God Our Saviour) Who created it and commanded for it to be observed.
As plainly stated in the Scriptures below, Jesus Christ was "the LORD God" of the Exodus - and of all other commands and instructions in the Christian "Old" Testament - right from the moment of Creation (see The Christian Universe). Those who chose to defy Him were put to death for their Satanic spirit of rebellion (see Satan's Fall: From Conservative To Liberal and The Boundary Law).
"10:1 Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; 10:2 And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; 10:3 And did all eat the same spiritual meat; 10:4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ [see Christ's Crossing Of The Sea]. 10:5 But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness.
The Messianic relationship between Passover (see The Passover High Day), the Days of Passover/Unleavened Bread (see Unleavened Bread: Why Observe The True Christian Holy Days?) and Pentecost has existed right from their beginning (see the Fact Finder question below).
"34:25 Thou shalt not offer the blood of my sacrifice with leaven; neither shall the sacrifice of the feast of the passover be left unto the morning.
"Unto the morrow after the seventh Sabbath shall ye number fifty days"
"Pentecost" means to count fifty - a term based upon the instructions to actually count fifty days from the day after the weekly Sabbath (not a calendar date) that occurs during the week of the days of Passover/Unleavened Bread. The first of the firstfruits of grain "he shall wave the sheaf before the LORD, to be accepted for you: on the morrow after the sabbath the priest shall wave it."
"23:9 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 23:10 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye be come into the land which I give unto you, and shall reap the harvest thereof, then ye shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest unto the priest: 23:11 And he shall wave the sheaf before the LORD, to be accepted for you: on the morrow after the sabbath the priest shall wave it. 23:12 And ye shall offer that day when ye wave the sheaf an he lamb without blemish of the first year for a burnt offering unto the LORD." (Leviticus 23:9-12 KJV)
Keep that day after the weekly Sabbath in mind when you read The Harvest Prophecies; it's the same day that the risen Messiah fulfilled Passover and, as we will get to, set in motion the process of the fulfillment of the meaning and purpose of Pentecost.
"15:20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept [see What Does The Bible Really Say About Your Soul?]." (1 Corinthians 15:20 KJV)
As stated above, Pentecost's connection to Passover and the Days of Passover/Unleavened Bread is evident in how the date of observing Pentecost is correctly determined i.e. counting 50 days (Pentecost in the original Greek actually means fifty count) from the day after the weekly Sabbath during the Days of Passover/Unleavened Bread - which means, according to the instructions from the LORD, that Pentecost is always observed on the first day of the week i.e. "seven sabbaths shall be complete ... unto the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall ye number fifty days."
A fixed calendar date (i.e. Sivan 6, which can occur on any day of the week, including the first day of the week in some years), or counting fifty days from the annual Sabbath of Passover (rather than the weekly Sabbath), do not meet the commandment to observe Pentecost on the day after the seventh weekly Sabbath (listen to our Sermon Pentecost, A Day Of Reckoning to understand how to correctly count Pentecost).
"23:15 And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the sabbath, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven sabbaths shall be complete: 23:16 Even unto the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall ye number fifty days; and ye shall offer a new meat offering unto the LORD." (Leviticus 23:15-16 KJV)
Why didn't the risen Messiah ascend to heaven immediately? Why did He wait? "I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high" - which would happen on Pentecost (it wouldn't however happen for those who chose to observe "their" Pentecost according to their day of choosing).
"24:44 And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.
The "birthday of the Church" Pentecost (as it has become popularly known), was observed on the fiftieth day after the weekly Sabbath-day resurrection of Jesus Christ. To deny the correct day of Pentecost is to deny the correct day of Christ's resurrection (see Why Observe The True Sabbath?). The Messiah was and is the "first of the first fruits.
"2:1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2:2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 2:3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. 2:4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance [see The Word Of God In The Tongues Of Man].
Peter then explained that what they were witnessing was a partial fulfillment of an end-time prophecy: "I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh" (see The Church In The End Time, The Church In The Kingdom Of God and The Church: Mission Accomplished).
"2:14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: 2:15 For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. 2:16 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;
Even those who had denied Christ were nevertheless witnesses of His coming. With the Holy Spirit, many of them became Christians (e.g. see The Passed Over Pharisees).
"2:22 Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: 2:23 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified [see The Cross Of Christ, Or The Cross Of Men?] and slain: 2:24 Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it. 2:25 For David speaketh concerning him,
The Church at Jerusalem then grew strongly in Truth.
"2:42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. 2:43 And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. 2:44 And all that believed were together, and had all things common; 2:45 And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. 2:46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, 2:47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved." (Acts 2:42-47 KJV)
As stated in the verses above, the Holy Spirit of God is what makes people truly Christian and it's the Holy Spirit of God that "conceives" God's children until the time when they will be truly "born again" (see What Was The Lesson Of John 3:16?).
"8:5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. 8:6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be [see Grace Into Licentiousness]. 8:8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. 8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his." (Romans 8:5-9 KJV)
Pentecost / the Feast of First Fruits celebrated the first harvest of the grain crop as a living Prophecy of the "first harvest" of humanity, the "first fruits of salvation" who will be "harvested" on the day of Christ's return (see When And Where Your Eternal Life Will Begin; also Could Christ Return Tonight?):
"8:23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body." (Romans 8:23 KJV)
Fact Finder: How are Passover and Pentecost directly connected?
This Day In History, May 24
1153: King David I of Scotland died and was succeeded by his grandson Malcolm IV.
1218: The Fifth Crusade set out from Acre (a city on the coast of northern Israel) for Egypt (see Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy).
1261: Alexander IV, antipope 1254-1261, died under suspicious circumstances. Some historians believe that he was poisoned by his successor, antipope John XXIII (see The Struggle For The Papacy; listen also to our Sermon Constantine's Papacy).
1276: Magnus Ladulas was proclaimed King of Sweden.
1543: Nicolaus Copernicus published his theory of a sun-centered solar system, which contradicted the common belief that the sun revolved around the earth (see also No 'Flat Earth' In The Bible).
1607: 100 English pioneers arrived in Jamestown (that they named after King James - the same as the King James Version of the Bible), in what is today Virginia. Although later mythological propaganda (that many have been grossly misled into believing is "history") falsely claimed otherwise, the English pioneers were patriotic citizens of England who volunteered to establish English colonies in the New World e.g. the royal-chartered Jamestown settlers were financed and supplied by the Virginia Company of London. None were treason-committing rebels or self-exiled runaways looking for "freedom" from their beloved country.
1621: The Protestant Union (a coalition of Protestant German states) was formally dissolved.
1689: The English Parliament passed the Act of Toleration, protecting Protestants against persecution by Roman Catholics.
1798: Believing that a (Roman Catholic) French invasion of Ireland was imminent, Irish nationalists rose up against the (Protestant) British occupation.
1819: Princess Alexandrina Victoria was born at Kensington Palace in London, the only daughter of the Duke of Kent. As Queen Victoria, she reigned for 63 years, from 1837 until her death in 1901.
1844: Samuel Morse transmitted his first telegraph message to his associate 40 miles / 65 kilometers away. The message was "What hath God wrought!" (a quote of Numbers 23:23)
1883: The Brooklyn Bridge in New York City was opened to traffic after 14 years of construction.
1940: Russian aviation pioneer Igor Sikorsky made the first successful helicopter flight.
1941: During the Second World War (which began in September 1939 when Germany invaded Poland), the British battlecruiser HMS Hood was sunk by the massive German battleship Bismarck (52,600 tons, eight 15-inch guns) which began firing 15 miles away. Of the 1,400 crew of the Hood, only 3 survived. Prime Minister Winston Churchill ordered an all-out hunt by the Royal Navy for the Bismarck, which was located and sent to the bottom a few days later by 3 British warships - a bombardment firefight with the Bismarck through the night from the British battleships King George V and Rodney and 3 torpedoes from the British cruiser Dorsetshire the next day.
1943: Admiral Donitz withdrew the German U-boat (submarine) fleet from the open Atlantic due to heavy losses (75% of crews lost) inflicted by the United States, British and Canadian navies.
1950: The "Tripartite Declaration" by Britain, U.S., and France sought to prevent further war in the region of Israel.
1961: U.S. civil rights "Freedom Riders" were arrested in Jackson, Mississippi for "disturbing the peace" - for peacefully getting off their bus.
1967: Egypt blockaded the Red Sea coast of Israel.
1986: Margaret Thatcher became the first British Prime Minister to visit the present-day state of Israel.
1991: Israel carried out "Operation Solomon," an evacuation of Ethiopian Jews to Israel.
1994: The four men who were convicted of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing in New York were each sentenced to 240 years in prison. Over 1,330 pounds of explosives were packed into a vehicle in an underground parking area of the north tower, placed in such a way that the north tower would supposedly fall into the south tower, in an attempt to bring both towers down. Although much damage was done, and thousands of people were injured, including 7 killed, the towers remained standing - until September 2001.
2000: Israel military forces withdrew from Lebanon after 22 years.