For “Scripture Sunday”:
The Feast of Pentecost and Its Meaning For All Mankind
This year, the Feast of Harvest is this weekend.
“Pentecost has three different names. Those names point to different aspect of what the day means.
The Feast of Harvest
The Feast of Weeks
The Feast of Pentecost
All three names above apply to the same Holy Day or Feast! Why is that?
There is always good reason behind what God does. With a short review of the meaning behind the names mentioned above, we will get a deeper understanding of God’s intention’s about that day and its implications for all humanity.
It might sound simple, but God has a plan. It was determined from the very beginning of time. The book of Revelation states as much when it says, “the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Revelation 13:8 See All...).
The Passover begins this plan with the shedding of an innocent lamb’s blood. Ancient Israel daubed this blood on the door posts and lintel. This was a sign of protection that spared the life of the firstborn child (Exodus 12:29-30  And it came to pass, that at midnight the LORD smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his throne unto the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon; and all the firstborn of cattle.  And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he, and all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt; for there was not a house where there was not one dead. See All...).
Following this comes the seven Days of Unleavened Bread. During these seven days, there was a very special event that has a great deal to do with the resurrection of Jesus and the giving of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. It’s a day when a special offering was made called “the wave sheaf offering” (Leviticus 23:9-12  And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
 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:
 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.
 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. See All...).
Three things stand out about this offering. First, it was a sheaf made from the firstfruits of the early barley harvest (v.10). Second, a sheaf of this harvest was to be waved before the LORD to be acceptable to him (v.11). Third, it was to be accompanied with a sacrifice of a lamb without blemish. This was the early barley harvest. The first ripe barley was harvested and waved before the LORD to be acceptable to him.
How do these three things apply to observing this festival today?
God’s plan of salvation for humanity begins with the forgiveness of sin. First is the Passover Lamb. Jesus fulfilled this sacrifice—He is the Lamb of God, slain from the foundation of the world (Revelation 13:8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. See All...).
Second, the ripe barley represented the first of the harvest presented to God by the priest. Jesus was the embodiment of this sheaf—which was the very first ripe grain of the firstfruits of the harvest—when He was resurrected and ascended to God the Father (1 Corinthians 15: 20-23). When Mary saw Jesus after His resurrection, John 17:20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; See All... records that Jesus said, “Do not touch Me for I have not yet ascended to My Father.”
Third, it has to be acceptable. Jesus, being sinless and perfect His entire life, was an acceptable offering to God.
Fifty Days Later—The Feast of Weeks or Harvest
“The Feast of Weeks of the firstfruits of the wheat harvest” (Exodus 34: 22) is represented in the later harvest after the early barley harvest. Today, we recognize this day as Pentecost, which is the Greek name for it. It is a Holy Day and is described in Leviticus 23:15-22 See All.... This time the first ripe grain of the later wheat crop was cut and waved before God by the priest. This was also a firstfruit offering, which was holy to the LORD. God’s people are called firstfruits (James 1:18 See All..., Revelation 14:4 See All...). It’s fitting then that God gave His Holy Spirit—which is His guarantee of resurrection to eternal life (2 Corinthians 5:5 See All...)—to His Church on this Feast of Harvest.
Notably, in Leviticus 23:22 See All..., God ends the description of this Feast of Weeks with the instructions to Israel to leave the corners of their fields un-harvested for the poor to eat. Everyone is included in the meaning of this day.
This year, the Feast of Harvest is this weekend.”
“One of the most important things I’ve learned in my three years of marriage is that everyone has grown up learning different ways to do daily tasks: washing the dishes, doing the laundry, folding clothes, etc. I had to learn that my husband’s way of folding a t-shirt is just as effective as mine. In fact, his way actually saved some time. So I put my pride aside and quickly learned a more effective way to get laundry done. This is a simple example of how learning something new can actually be good, even though it’s not the way I was raised.
When it’s simply a difference in how our t-shirts are folded, changes don’t seem that big of a deal. However, there are things we might have been taught growing up that could potentially keep us from personal growth. This concept occurred to me as viewers have been calling in to the front desk here at UCG after seeing the recent Beyond Today episode “Has Religion Lied to You?”, which challenges the doctrine of the Trinity. Are we afraid to look at the hard questions that come up when they question our long-held beliefs?
The book Is God a Trinity? states, “Most people assume that everything that bears the label ‘Christian’ must have originated with Jesus Christ and His early followers. But this is definitely not the case. All we have to do is look at the words of Jesus Christ and His apostles to see that this is clearly not true” (page 11) . It’s difficult to realize that what we have learned from our parents, society, or mainstream Christian churches might not be what the Bible actually teaches. Are we willing to start proving what we believe from the Bible?
I’ve learned over the past couple of weeks that the answer is sometimes no. When some start to see that the Bible does not support ideas that they’ve grown up with, such as the celebration of Easter, or the belief in the Trinity, I’ve been confronted with statements like, “I’m not comfortable going against what I’ve always been taught” or “I don’t want to become more confused by adding in a different idea that goes against what I think.” I realize this isn’t easy. I realize it takes a lot of faith and perseverance to find the truth.
2 Timothy 3:16 says, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” This says scripture is profitable for correction when what we’ve always been taught goes against what the Bible teaches. When we read a verse that points out a flaw in our behavior, attitude or something we’ve learned, do we read over it or take time to look into how we might need to change?
Personal growth can only come from realizing the flaws in ourselves or our beliefs and making a commitment to becoming more like Jesus Christ. Philippians 2:5 says, “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ.” In order to have the same mind of Christ, we need to allow God’s Spirit to work in us to make the changes in our lives and overcome the fear of personal evaluation.” From: http://www.ucg.org/blog/inherent-beliefs/ by Whitney Creech
Blessed Are the Poor
“An Amazing Fact: The richest man in the world is Mexican-born Carlos Slim Helú. At age 71, he is worth an estimated $74 billion, surpassing Bill Gates at $53 billion.
Born to Lebanese parents in Mexico, Helú made his fortunes in telecommunications. He is chairman of Telmex, a Mexican phone company that controls 80 percent of the landlines in the country. Helú is so wealthy that his net worth is equivalent to over seven percent of Mexico’s GDP.
Perhaps what is most remarkable about him, however, is his frugality. Though he is the richest man in the world, he still lives in the same modest six-bedroom house that he has resided in for more 30 years. Not only this, even though kidnapping is prevalent in Mexico, he still drives himself to work.
Of course, most of us probably have the inclination to envy this man. Think of all the things we could do with only a fraction of his wealth! We have our wish lists that contain all the toys we’d like to buy. We have our dream homes and our fantasy vacations.
Yet Jesus gave a stern warning to those who are wealthy and for those who covet wealth. After a young man came to Jesus, asking Him what he had to do to inherit eternal life, Jesus told him to sell everything he had and give his money to the poor. The young man turned away sorrowful, however, because he was too attached to his toys.
It was then that Jesus declared that it “is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God” (Mark 10:25). Key Text: Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. - Matthew 5:3
The program on WGN TV this morning:
Pentecost: The Power of God in Your Life
“Are you stuck in the rut of this world? Christ offers you spiritual power that can transform your life.”
On This Day:
The early years of species protection, May 19, 1715:
“The colony of New York passes a law making it illegal to "gather, rake, take up, or bring to the market, any oysters whatsoever" between the months of May and September. This regulation was only one of many that were passed in the early days of America to help preserve certain species. In recent years, endangered species laws have been enacted in order to criminalize poaching for the protection of animals. However, earlier versions of these laws were more concerned with insuring that hunters would have a steady supply of game.
In 1699, Virginia passed a law to prevent people from shooting deer during half the year and Massachusetts made criminals out of those who exported raccoon furs or skins from the state in 1675.
Fish and game laws were not restricted to the East, though. After the near extinction of the buffalo (it is estimated that many millions of these animals were killed during the western expansion of the mid-to-late 1800s), it became a felony to kill buffalo anywhere across the country.”
Smart launches U.S. road show to introduce its microcar, May 19, 2007:
“Los Angeles, California, is the first stop on a cross-country road show launched on this day in 2007 by Smart USA to promote the attractions of its "ForTwo" microcar, which it had scheduled for release in the United States in 2008.
The cross-country road show that began in May 2007 allowed consumers in 50 cities nationwide to test-drive the ForTwo. On each stop on the tour, a large truck served as a mobile exhibit dedicated to the microcar, complete with interactive displays and virtual demonstrations. As Dave Schembri, president of Smart USA, put it: "The Smart ForTwo is all about urban independence and freeing people from the constraints of city driving." Under normal driving conditions, the ForTwo was designed to achieve 40 plus miles per gallon. The show was presumably a success: By September 2007, according to an article in MarketWatch, Smart USA said it had already received more than 30,000 registrations from potential buyers. The FortTwo went on sale in the United States in January 2008, at prices ranging from around $12,000 to around $21,000.”
My daughter and I had our Saturday morning phone call, and she is overjoyed that a German Shepherd dog that they have loved for over 2 years, is now theirs. His previous owner, who is away a lot of the time, realized just how much “Shep” loved my daughter and her family, and gave him to them. He is 114lb, but he is heartworm positive, so they have to get him treated for that.
My two foster cats, Simba and Nila, are both settled down now, and eating well.
For some reason, I have been getting out of breath the last couple of days. It started the day I groomed that big Collie, when I wore myself out. Yesterday morning, it was as much as I could do, just to tend to these three animals. This is the time of year when it is humid, so everywhere I go the AC is turned so cold that it makes me shiver. I probably got bronchitis from going in and out of the stores. I still have the breathing machine that was loaned me for my wonderful late Terry-cat, so I took the homemade cat mask off it, and put the people one on it. My neighbor, Shay brought me some liquid to put in it, and showed me how to use it. That helped quite a lot.
Then I felt well enough to drive to church, so Misty and I went to get Jay, and had a short walk down there. Jay and I went all the way down the wiggle-waggle road that goes across country to the Conroe church’s morning service. We didn’t get there early enough for Bible Study. The sermon was about “This Is My Bible”, and there was no potluck there this week, so we were home fairly early.
By the time I had some lunch, it was definitely a nap day.