Well! This was supposed to be for “Scripture Sunday” which was Pentecost, but this is Wednesday and I still have no Internet, Phone or TV.
Finally, at 8.00pm, I do have Internet and Phone. But the house has to be rewired for the TV.
Why should Christians celebrate the Feast of Pentecost?
“Jesus Christ chose the Feast of Weeks (Shavuot in Hebrew) or Pentecost to begin His Church. What is the meaning of Pentecost for Christians today?
Why should Christians celebrate the Feast of Pentecost?
The third of God’s annual festivals (after the Feast of Unleavened Bread) is the Feast of Weeks, or Pentecost (Leviticus 23:16-21; Acts 2:1). This festival, also called the Feast of Harvest or Firstfruits (Exodus 23:16; Exodus 34:22), was also the day God first granted His Spirit to the New Testament Church of God (Acts 2).
Pentecost portrays God as the Lord of His harvest, choosing and preparing the firstfruits of His coming Kingdom by giving them His Holy Spirit (Matthew 9:38; Luke 10:2; Romans 8:23; James 1:18). The preceding festival of Unleavened Bread pictures our commitment to come out of a sinful life and live our lives by God’s perfect laws. But we can’t do this on our own. Pentecost pictures God’s willingness to give His Holy Spirit to provide the power those He has called need.
God’s Holy Spirit empowers us with the love of God, the motivation to obey Him and a sound mind to discern His truth (2 Timothy 1:7; John 15:26; John 16:13). Only those who are led by God’s Spirit are called the sons of God (Romans 8:9, Romans 8:14). These Christians have a pledge or down payment on eternal life (2 Corinthians 5:5) and can look forward to the first resurrection, which is to eternal life in God’s family.
The Church of God, which began on Pentecost (Acts 2), is given the mission of preaching the good news of the Kingdom of God in preparation for the next step in God’s plan, the return of Jesus Christ. This is pictured by the next festival, the Feast of Trumpets.”
The Feast of Pentecost, The Firstfruits of God's Harvest.
“Pentecost serves as a reminder that God grants His Holy Spirit to the firstfruits of His spiritual harvest.
This festival is known by several names that derive from its meaning and timing. Also known as the Feast of Harvest, it represents the firstfruits gathered as the result of the labor of those who completed the spring grain harvests in ancient Israel.
In the process of revealing His plan of salvation for mankind, God established His annual Holy Days around the harvest seasons in the Middle East (Leviticus 23:9-16; Exodus 23:14-16). Just as His people harvested their crops around these three festival seasons, God’s Holy Days show us how He is harvesting people for eternal life in His Kingdom.
The Holy Days have meanings that build upon each other. Together they progressively reveal how God works with humanity.
Earlier we saw Passover symbolizing Christ’s giving of Himself for us so our sins could be forgiven and we could be redeemed from death. We also learned how the Days of Unleavened Bread teach us that we must remove and avoid sin and instead obey God in actions and attitudes. The next festival and Holy Day, Pentecost, builds on this important foundation.
This festival is known by several names that derive from its meaning and timing. Also known as the Feast of Harvest (Exodus 23:16), it represents the firstfruits (Numbers 28:26) gathered as the result of the labor of those who completed the spring grain harvests in ancient Israel (Exodus 23:16).
It is also called the Feast of Weeks (Exodus 34:22), with this name coming from the seven weeks plus one day (50 days in all) that are counted to determine when to celebrate this festival (Leviticus 23:16). Similarly, in the New Testament, which was written in Greek, this festival is known as Pentecost ( Pentekostos in the original), which means “fiftieth” (W.E. Vine,Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words , 1985, “Pentecost”).
Among Jews the most popular name for this festival is the Feast of Weeks, or Shavuot, in Hebrew. When celebrating this festival, many Jewish people recall one of the greatest events in history, God’s revealing of the law at Mount Sinai.
But Pentecost doesn’t just picture the giving of the law; it also shows—through a great miracle that occurred on the first Pentecost in the early Church—how we can persist in living by the spiritual intent of God’s laws.
The gift of Pentecost: the Holy Spirit
God chose the first Pentecost after Jesus Christ’s resurrection to pour out His Holy Spirit on 120 believers (Acts 1:15). “Now when the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues [languages], as the Spirit gave them utterance” (Acts 2:1-4).
The speaking in various languages occurred as a crowd of people from many nations gathered in Jerusalem, with each visitor hearing the speech of the disciples in his own native tongue (Acts 2:6-11). These astounding events demonstrated the presence of the Holy Spirit.”
God gives us gifts throughout the year, but the Feast of Pentecost (June 4 this year) is a reminder of some of the greatest of them. God poured out the Holy Spirit on repentant people who were willing to be baptized on this day. He thus founded the New Testament Church, giving obedient disciples the fellowship and training He knew we would need. Through the Holy Spirit, He produced the fruit of transformed lives and spiritual growth, writing His beneficial laws on hearts and minds as He had always intended.
This week’s featured article, “Pentecost: God Gives His Holy Spirit,” examines the biblical background and meaning of this third step in God’s plan of salvation. Millions celebrate Pentecost, but how many really comprehend its part in this much-misunderstood plan?
Let’s take time to thank God for His gifts. May He bless you as you seek to understand and follow Him this week.”
An Amazing Fact: “We know thunder as the sonic shockwave created by lightning. Though scientists are still exploring the exact cause of the shockwave, one theory considers as a factor the extreme heat generated by lightning. The average temperature inside a bolt of lightning has been estimated at 36,300 degrees Fahrenheit, though it can spike as high as 54,000 degrees. Worldwide, there are about eight million lightning strikes per day—or 100 times every second.
Thunder is mentioned in the Bible 42 times, and reference to lightning is made 28 times. This should come as no surprise since thunder and lightning are such riveting displays of God’s awesome power.
Although the potentially devastating effects of lightning are well known, people are less aware of its beneficial side. Lightning helps to dissolve the atmosphere’s nitrogen, enabling it to combine with raindrops, which makes a great fertilizer for plants. Lightning also helps to balance Earth’s electrical field, and it contributes to the ozone layer, which helps shield the Earth from the harmful rays of the sun. Lightning storms also clean and revitalize the air.
Our planet is dependent on thunderstorms, and so are we. We couldn’t survive for long without them. Next time you see a flash of lightning and hear the rumble of thunder, why not whisper a prayer of thanks to our almighty God, who gives us blessings through the storms?”
KEY BIBLE TEXTS
The voice of the LORD is upon the waters: the God of glory thundereth: the LORD is upon many waters. The voice of the LORD is powerful; the voice of the LORD is full of majesty. Psalms 29:3-4 The LORD will give strength unto his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace. Psalms 29:11
The thunderstorms sure have wreaked havoc here the last few days. The Internet, Phone and TV are only just now being fixed. The worker is here right now trying to fix it. I feel so sorry for him as he is a portly man and it’s hot up in my attic where the splitters and cables are. He has had to re-do all the TV coax cable outlets as he says that is part of the way I get Internet and the connections were all old. This house was wired for cable back when it was analog, so it’s all outdated. Then there is another crew on it’s way as this man says there is something wrong with the underground cables, too.
I can draft this on Open Live Writer without the internet, but I will have to have it to post this.
We, my helper, Roy and I were very glad that we had put up gutters on the carport so one can get in and out of the car, and walk through that carport to the mini-house without getting soaked. The new gutters on the west side of the mini-house should stop a lot of water from going under that house. Then we made an awning to go over the back door of the mini-house as we couldn’t leave the door open without the rain getting the floor wet. The weather has been nice enough to have the front and back doors open, and not run the AC. I bought some motion-detector light bulbs and we have been putting them in all the outside lights, and even installed two light fixtures at the doors at each end of the green house and put motion detector bulbs in those, too.
We went down to Roni’s place (now mine) and straightened the place up a bit. I still don’t have a mower, so Roy trimmed some of the high parts down with a weedeater. I was straightening up the lumber pile, and Roy found a lot of worms, so he has kept them to go fishing. I felt sorry for the worms, I think they would have had a happier life just living under that woodpile!
Just thinking ahead as I knew that I would be busy on Friday taking my neighbor to his doctor, so on Thursday I cooked and cooked ready for the two Sabbaths coming up. First, the ‘Saturday every week Sabbath’, then Pentecost on Sunday, which is also a Holy Day and Sabbath. I made Sauteed Cabbage with Shredded Carrots, and a Ground Beef Stew for the church pot-luck. Then while I was at it, with the TV and Internet not working, I made Stewed Tomatoes, Steamed Carrots, Steamed Potatoes, and Steamed Squash and baked some cod. Give me some time and I’ll spend a lot of it cooking. Having all that food already prepared helps when I am getting a meal ready. We had a lot of left overs at the church, so several dishes were frozen for another Sabbath. I had made a very big Ground Beef Stew, and was able to freeze some of it, too.
The Bible readings on the Saturday were Lev. 25:1-26:2, Jer. 32:6-32:37, and 1 Cor. 7:17-21. And the Teaching was about the Holy Spirit being right there on Mount Sinai for the first Pentecost.
On Sunday morning, I had an idea that as it was Pentecost that I would go to the little church which started out in the Pavillion in my subdivision, but grew big enough to have it’s own building just adjacent to the subdivision. I was thinking that if Roy, my helper, really wanted to go to church that this is one that he could get to on his bicycle. Like most churches, the folks welcomed me, and I saw Hans, a German gentleman from my subdivision who I hadn’t talked to for years. We sat together during the service and then he wanted to come to my little church for the afternoon service. My church was having their Pentecost service in the afternoon, as the other congregation with whom we share the church meets there on Sunday mornings. So after lunch he picked me up in his car and we went to my church eight miles away. Hans seemed to like the service very much.
The Bible readings were Lev. 23:15-21, Num. 28:26-31 and Acts 2:1-21 and the Teaching was about the Holy Spirit coming down among the people at that Pentecost.
Then we had our usual potluck, which Hans enjoyed along with the fellowship and he was talking to our elders quite a bit. I was busy cleaning up the kitchen and putting food away, so I don’t know what they were talking about. Hans wanted my phone number, but the phone has been out along with the Internet and TV, so I don’t know if he has called. As, in my day, a lady didn’t call a man she doesn’t know well, so I have not called him. If he wants to see me again, he will call again when the phone is fixed or he knows where I live and he’ll stop by one day!