Saturday, May 30, 2020

What Does Pentecost Mean? (Shavuot) Importance of Pentecost. Update.

Tomorrow, Sunday, 31st May, is Pentecost

What Does Pentecost Mean?

“Pentecost has special meaning for people of all nationalities and backgrounds. It marks the beginning of the Church, the gift of the Holy Spirit and more.

What Does Pentecost Mean?

Pentecost is a festival observed by Catholics, Protestants, Jews and the Church of God. Many people don’t know the background of this holy day or why these groups often celebrate it on different days.

Within mainstream Christianity (Catholics and Protestants alike), many congregations recognize the biblical teaching that Pentecost was the day the Holy Spirit was first given to Christians. They consider it, in effect, to be the birthday of the New Testament Church.

Some congregations, however, give no special attention to this festival. The reasons some within mainstream Christianity choose not to observe Pentecost vary.

Some suggest that there are so many events in church history and on church calendars that it is hard to know which ones to observe. Others don’t celebrate Pentecost because of an uneasy feeling about anything connected with charismatics, who mistakenly believe it is necessary to recreate the supernatural events of the first Pentecost today.

In this article, let’s consider what the Bible teaches us about this day and some of the questions surrounding it.

What was Pentecost in the Old Testament?

Pentecost is one of the annual holy days God revealed to the ancient Israelites.

The seven feasts of the Lord are found in Leviticus 23. They are Passover, the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of Weeks (called Pentecost in the New Testament), the Feast of Trumpets, the Day of Atonement, the Feast of Tabernacles and the Eighth Day.

Some people refer to these observances as the feasts of the Jews. But, while God did indeed give these to Israel, including the Jewish people, it is important to note that God says, “These are My feasts” (Leviticus 23:2), and that Moses referred to them as “the feasts of the LORD (verse 44).

What we note from these passages is that Pentecost is a feast of God. These festivals do not belong solely to the Jews. They are God’s feasts and are to be observed by His people, no matter what their nationality or ethnic background might be.

What does Pentecost mean in Greek?

Pentecost holds an interesting distinction among God’s commanded holy days. Of all the annual observances given by God to the ancient Israelites, this is the only one that has been commonly known to Christians since the first century by its Greek name—Pentecost, meaning “the fiftieth day” (Thayer’s Greek Definitions).

“The fiftieth day” is related to the name of the festival in the Old Testament—the Feast of Weeks (Exodus 34:22; Numbers 28:26; Deuteronomy 16:10)—and the way the date of its observance was determined. God’s instructions were to “count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath” and that day was to be proclaimed “a holy convocation” (Leviticus 23:16, 21).

The Feast of Weeks was also called “the Feast of Harvest” in Exodus 23:16, because it was associated with firstfruits—the early part of a harvest and the first harvest of the year in Canaan.

As Numbers 28:26 says, “Also on the day of the firstfruits, when you bring a new grain offering to the LORD at your Feast of Weeks, you shall have a holy convocation. You shall do no customary work.”

Pentecost: what happened?

Consider the events that led up to the momentous Pentecost of Acts 2.

Three days and three nights after His crucifixion, Jesus rose from the dead, and during the next 40 days He appeared multiple times to His disciples (Acts 1:3).

In addition to talking to them about the Kingdom of God, Jesus Christ told them to wait in Jerusalem because “you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now” (Acts 1:4-5).

Just a few days later, as His disciples assembled in Jerusalem to observe Pentecost, Christ’s promise that they would receive “power from on high” came true (Luke 24:49). As the Holy Spirit descended upon His faithful followers, it appeared as tongues of fire, and His disciples began to miraculously speak in foreign languages (Acts 2:3-4).

These awesome events on the Day of Pentecost in A.D. 31 launched the New Testament Church. That same day an additional 3,000 people responded to a moving message by the apostle Peter. They repented of their sins, were baptized and then received the Holy Spirit.  From this amazing beginning, the Church of God began to rapidly expand throughout the Roman Empire.

What Pentecost means today

Pentecost is an annual festival commemorating the beginning of the New Testament Church of God. Even more important, it is a reminder for each of us that God’s Holy Spirit is now available to all who repent of their sins, are baptized, and continue to follow and obey Him (Acts 5:32).

As Peter explained almost 2,000 years ago, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38).

There is still another meaning to Pentecost that is overlooked by many because they don’t understand that God’s plan of salvation for mankind has several stages.

The concept of firstfruits—the first part of a harvest—was an integral part of the Old Testament observance of this festival, and it continues to have meaning for us today. God must first call people before they can repent of their sins and receive the Holy Spirit, which identifies them as Christians who will receive eternal life.

Jesus emphasized this point, saying, “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him” (John 6:44).

Those who are called by God during this present age and who respond to God’s call are the “firstfruits” of His plan of salvation for mankind. They have a part in preparing for an even greater harvest of people to follow.

Our merciful God, who wants all to be saved, has planned more than one time or age for humans to be called and have their opportunity for salvation. God determines when each person will be given the opportunity for salvation.

How is Pentecost calculated?

Although many religions observe Pentecost, albeit with different names and meanings, they celebrate it on different dates.

  • Judaism observes Shavuot on Sivan 6, according to the Hebrew calendar.
  • Mainstream Christianity observes Pentecost on the 50th day after Easter, inclusive of both days.
  • The Church of God observes this holy day on the 50th day starting with the Sunday during the Days of Unleavened Bread.

Why are there so many variations in calculating this festival?

How most churches calculate Pentecost

The reason for mainstream Christianity’s date for Pentecost is pretty obvious to students of history. It’s connected with the change from the biblical Passover to Easter.

The misguided, breakaway version of Christianity, which separated itself from the original Christianity founded by Jesus and His disciples, changed Passover to Easter (the name of a pagan goddess of spring and fertility). At the same time, they also changed its date and meaning.

Those who celebrate all seven feasts of the Lord and rehearse their meanings each year continually find deeper meaning in them. Although there is no biblical directive to observe Easter, the leaders of this church decided that they would observe it to honor the resurrection of Jesus—rather than observe the biblical Passover to commemorate the death of Christ.

This version of Christianity set the method for calculating Easter so it could not fall on Passover.

Although this may not have been the direct intent of the calculation, other decrees by the Catholic Church clearly show that anti-Semitism was a driving force behind their reasons for abandoning worship on Saturday and the traditional, annual observance of Passover on the 14th day of the first month of the Hebrew calendar (Leviticus 23:5). Their founders despised the Jews and didn’t want their religion to look similar to that of the Jews.

How most Jews calculate Pentecost (Shavuot)

In the first century, when Jesus’ followers observed Pentecost and received the Holy Spirit, there is no mention in the Bible of any concern or disagreement over the date. Yet there were multiple Jewish sects—including the Sadducees and Pharisees—who had differing beliefs and practices.

The Sadducees, who were members of the priestly sect, were in charge of the temple and the worship that occurred there. But, as the Encyclopaedia Britannica explains, “The Sadducees and Pharisees were in constant conflict with each other, not only over numerous details of ritual and the Law but most importantly over the content and extent of God’s revelation to the Jewish people” (“Sadducee”).

In addition to their disagreements over whether there could be a resurrection, angels and spirit (Acts 23:8), these competing sects differed in how they understood the instructions for calculating Pentecost found in Leviticus 23.

The Encyclopaedia Judaica says, “The Sadducees (and later the Karaites) understood the term ‘Sabbath’ in these verses [Leviticus 23:11, 15, 16] literally, hence, for them Shavuot always falls on a Sunday” (1971, Vol. 14, p. 1319, “Shavuot”).

But after the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem in A.D. 70, the Pharisaic beliefs became the predominant teaching of Judaism. The way most Jews now calculate Shavuot is to count 50 days from the annual Sabbath of Passover (as the Jews call the first day of Unleavened Bread). This leads to a fixed calendrical date of Sivan 6 each year.

How the Church of God calculates Pentecost

The Church of God carefully follows the biblical instruction in Leviticus 23:16 to “count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath.”

Since the word Sabbath in this verse clearly refers to the weekly Sabbath rather than an annual Sabbath, we understand that the Sabbath that comes before the count to 50 must also be a weekly Sabbath—not an annual Sabbath.

The Church also notes that if God intended the Feast of Weeks, or Pentecost, as it is known today, to be observed on a fixed date (Sivan 6), He could have inspired that date to be recorded in Scripture. All the other holy days have fixed dates, and Pentecost could have been designated on a fixed date as well—if that were God’s intent.

Instead, the scriptural account emphasizes that Pentecost has to be counted each year. The reason is that the day of the week when the Days of Unleavened Bread begin varies from year to year. By counting 50 days beginning with the Sunday during the Days of Unleavened Bread (as designated by Scripture), we always come to Sunday.

What does Pentecost mean for you?

Those who celebrate all seven feasts of the Lord and rehearse their meanings each year continually find deeper meaning in them. You can find the dates for Pentecost and other festivals according to the biblical calculation on our “Festival Calendar.”

What Is Pentecost to the Jews?

In Judaism the festival is called by its Hebrew name, Shavuot. This means weeks or sevens, which alludes to the instruction to count 50 days. This feast occurred during the first harvest of the land, and Jewish tradition says that this day commemorates God giving the ancient Israelites the 10 Commandments on Mount Sinai.

Jews often read the book of Ruth at this time of year. Their reasons for doing so “are that the book takes place at the time of the barley harvest, that Ruth’s assumption of Naomi’s religion reflects the Israelites’ acceptance of the Torah at Sinai, and that King David, who is alleged to have died at this time of year according to rabbinic tradition, is mentioned at the end of Ruth” (“Shavuot 101,”

What Is Pentecost Sunday?

Pentecost Sunday is the Sunday that many Catholic and Protestant congregations observe as the beginning of the New Testament Church and as the day the Holy Spirit was given. Unfortunately, they do not always do so on the biblically authorized date.

As previously noted, the Feast of Weeks, or Pentecost, was to be determined by counting—beginning with the day after the Sabbath—“fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath” (Leviticus 23:15-16).

Since the biblical Sabbath has always been and continues to be on Saturday, the 50th day after counting seven Sabbaths will always be a Sunday.

Although mainstream Christianity gets Pentecost Sunday on the right day of the week, it does not follow the biblical instruction to begin the 50-day count to Pentecost with the Sunday that falls during the Days of Unleavened Bread. Instead, mainstream Christianity begins its count from Easter. Some years (such as 2020) these dates coincide, but many years they do not.” From:

What will Pentecost mean for you this year? Study more in our article “The Miracle and Meaning of Pentecost.”


Importance of Pentecost

Acts 2:1 

“When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.

What would have happened if the disciples hadn’t all gathered together to celebrate God’s Feast of Pentecost? The fact that God used this annual festival as the date to start His New Testament Church is no accident. Neither was the fact that Christ was crucified on Passover.

Each of the “festivals of the LORD” has great meaning to Christians today.

Learn more about these festivals and their meanings in our free booklet From Holidays to Holy Days: God’s Plan for You.    From:


More from a different church: The Feast of Weeks - Pentecost / Shavuot



Not much happened this week. My youngest granddaughter, Michelle, had another birthday, I think she is 27 now. 

Found out that my insurance company will provide the transportation to the hospital on the 11th., there and back. That is a relief.

Took a neighbor to the doctor, but I had to wait for her outside on a porch park bench because they don’t let non-patients inside.  Just like they wouldn’t let her stay in the waiting room when I went to the doctor, she had to come in the room with me. Things are going to be different for a long time.

Drove another neighbor to pay their car insurance in Bryan because they couldn’t do it online as it was a day overdue.  That meant another welcome visit to an HEB grocery store.  I can always find some good organic food there, so I bought Swiss Chard, Bok Choy, and some other things that I can’t get in this little 4-traffic-light town.

A couple of trips to the local thrift shop netted a few things. Like a long under-bed box on wheels with a lid for $1, and a couple of really cute blue and white small oven mitts. These are different, like clamshells, they are just big enough to put your fingers and thumb in each side.

My neighbor and I went to the Bible study at church today.  It is still on Zoom, but even when the church opens back up next week they are going to do the Bible study on Zoom each week, for those who can’t get there.  The sermon was about Ruth and Naomi, and it wasn’t until I got home I realized that this is often the subject at Pentecost because they both take place at barley harvest time.

Of course, the main reason the Jews assigned Ruth to Pentecost is because the time setting of the story is set right after the Wavesheaf Offering had been made down to the day of PentecostRuth 1:22 So Naomi returned, and Ruth the Moabitess her daughter-in-law with her, who returned from the country of Moab. Now they came to Bethlehem at the beginning of the barley harvest.

For the first time in many weeks,  I will be thinking about what dish to take to the church potluck for the Sabbath day.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

A Forgotten Memorial Day: The Feast of Pentecost. Counting Pentecost. Update.

Today is the 42nd. day of the counting of 50 days to Pentecost.

A Forgotten Memorial Day: The Feast of Pentecost

“Monday is Memorial Day in the U.S. But there is another memorial day in a few days that commemorates one of the most momentous days in all of history.

A Forgotten Memorial Day: The Feast of PentecostOn Monday, May 25, most schools, federal offices and some businesses in the United States will be closed to observe Memorial Day. Memorial Day is a U.S. holiday remembering the Americans who died in all the wars fought throughout American history.

But there is another Memorial Day approaching next week. On Sunday, May 31, is a day even more important than Memorial Day—it is the biblical Feast of Pentecost (or Feast of Weeks).

The unique feast of counting

In Leviticus 23 God gave Israel a list of special observances that He declared “the feasts of the LORD” (verse 2). These festivals were to be observed by God’s people as “holy convocations” (verse 2). Israel was to assemble together on these days to worship and learn.

The third festival in this list was unique. Instead of having a fixed date, the date of its observance was based on counting: “You shall count for yourselves from the day after the Sabbath [during the Days of Unleavened Bread], from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering: seven Sabbaths shall be completed. Count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath” (verses 15-16). In fact, the name Pentecost is simply the Greek term for “fiftieth.”

Every year when Christians gather to celebrate this day, they remember the events of the Pentecost that began the New Testament Church. A New Testament observance

Many, unfortunately, make the mistake of thinking that this day was just an Old Testament Jewish observance.

But the Bible paints a very different picture!

This special day is featured prominently in the New Testament. In fact, one of the most important events in the history of Christianity took place on this day. And that is no coincidence. Acts 2 tells the story of the beginning of the New Testament Church. You may have heard about some of the events of that day—tongues of fire, speaking in different languages, Peter’s powerful sermon, baptisms, etc. But have you paid close attention to why all these people were together in the first place?

Notice Acts 2:1: “When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.”

Yes, the first Christians were assembled to observe Pentecost! What happened on this day would change history forever. On that day, God began the Church of God—a group of people called out of the world and together to be “His own special people” (1 Peter 2:9). No longer would God work only with the nation of Israel. Through the Church, He would now begin calling people of all ethnicities, races and nationalities into a relationship with Him (Romans 9:24; 11:11; Galatians 3:14).

The Bible shows that the Church continued to observe the Feast of Pentecost after this day (Acts 20:16; 1 Corinthians 16:8).

The “memorial day” of Pentecost

In a way, it is interesting that Pentecost and Memorial Day fall around the same time. The word memorial means “serving to preserve remembrance.”

The Feast of Pentecost is also a memorial day.

Every year when Christians gather to celebrate this day, they remember the events of the Pentecost that began the New Testament Church (recorded in Acts 2). But it is a different kind of remembering. Instead of just remembering the past, the events of that Pentecost continue to live as a reality today. This Pentecost, Christians will memorialize:

  • The giving of the Holy Spirit. One of the most significant “firsts” of that Pentecost was when those assembled “were all filled with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:4). Before this, the Holy Spirit was “with” Christ’s disciples; but now they were filled with itit was now in them (John 14:17).

It is not a coincidence that the Holy Spirit was given on the same day the Church began. In one sense, it couldn’t have been any other way. The giving of the Holy Spirit—the very power of God—to a human being is what makes the person a member of the Church (Romans 8:14; 1 Corinthians 12:13).

To learn more about the Holy Spirit, read “What Is the Holy Spirit?

  • Peter’s powerful sermon. In one way, Peter’s powerful preaching recorded in Acts 2 could be considered the inaugural address for the Church of God. It not only identified the incredible prophetic significance of that day, but it declared who Jesus Christ was, where He now was, what He was doing—and how those truths tied together to affect the life of every individual hearing the message.

Peter proclaimed the ultimate call to action: “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (verse 38).

This isn’t just a memorial message, though, because the message and work that Peter’s sermon described is still being proclaimed today.

To learn more about the vital essence of this sermon, read “The Sermon That Launched the Church.”

  • The growth of the true Church. Acts 2 records that 3,000 people were baptized and added to the Church on that miraculous day. The early Church was described as continuing “steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers” (verse 42).

The rest of the New Testament records the progression of that Church—how it went forward and grew beyond the confines of Jerusalem through the work of men like Peter, Stephen, James, John, Paul, Timothy and many others. But when we come to the later books of the New Testament, we find a Church regressing—being attacked on many fronts, with many losing the doctrinal purity and spirit of the Pentecost of Acts 2 (Galatians 1:6; 2 Peter 2:1; Jude 1:3-4).

The Feast of Pentecost is a memorial that Jesus Christ did build a Church—which can only be identified if we understand the identifying factor of “the apostles’ doctrine” (Acts 2:42). That Church exists today; and it will gather, just as it did exactly 1,985 years ago, to celebrate the Feast of Pentecost.

To learn more about how to find the true Church today, read articles on “The Church.” From:


Counting Pentecost 


"Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread are seven weeks past and we are almost finished in the counting toward Pentecost. God’s Holy Days are rich in meaning and anticipation as we rehearse them once again – each of them unique in what they picture and adding to what has gone before.  The upcoming Feast of Pentecost is no different in these regards.  

One unique aspect of Pentecost is that it is not a fixed date on the Calendar unlike the other Holy Days – so while it is always on the same day of the week, it can “move” in terms of which week in May or June it ends up being on.

God charged the Jews with preserving the Old Testament, but the interpretation has not always been handed down accurately.  During the first century A.D., the Pharisees gained complete control of the Jewish religious observances.  They figured Pentecost beginning with the day after the first annual Sabbath - the first Day of Unleavened Bread.  Is this what God instructed?  Preserved in a book called the Mishna is recorded how Pentecost had been counted from generation to generation before the Pharisees took control. 

How the Jews count Pentecost now is not always how it had been done, or should be done.  The Jews count from the first High Sabbath of the Days of Unleavened Bread - rather than from the Sabbath in the Days of Unleavened Bread.  If Pentecost was to be counted from the High Sabbath of the Days of Unleavened Bread, what would be the point in saying to count the days?  Why not simply say keep Pentecost on Sivan 6?  Instead, the weekly Sabbath can fall on 7 different days within the Days of Unleavened Bread - hence the need to count to know when to keep Pentecost.  We must pay attention to know the right time, or day, to keep.

God instructed Israel to count 50 days from the Days of Unleavened Bread to determine when to keep Pentecost.  We are to count “from the day after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the…wave offering” (Leviticus 23:15, NKJV).  The Hebrew word there for Sabbath is the word used for the weekly Sabbath - the same word used in verse 3 when God reminds Israel to keep the weekly Sabbath.  God instructs us to count 50 days from the weekly Sabbath which also means that Pentecost will always fall on a Sunday (first day of the week).  Pentecost this year is on May 31st.  Have you ever thought why God did that with this Holy Day?  Every other Holy Day is set on a given day in a given month in His calendar – but not Pentecost.

Part of the reason for counting is to be reminded of the distance that we should be gaining in coming out of sin during the Days of Unleavened Bread, and part of the reason is to count with anticipation of the giving of God’s Holy Spirit.  In Acts 1:4 Christ told those assembled in Jerusalem not to leave that city (before the Day of Pentecost), but “…to wait for the Promise of the Father…” that is, the giving of the Holy Spirit.  Although we have been called and given access to God through His Holy Spirit, do we also count toward the day when all of mankind (1 Timothy 2:4) will have access to the knowledge of the truth?

As we finish the count toward Pentecost, let’s remember why we count Pentecost and what God wants to us to see and anticipate in that counting.  It indeed will be a wonderful time when “…the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Eternal as the waters cover the sea” (Isaiah 11:9).” From:



Stores are opening up and life is starting become normal, but with muzzles. Most people are still wearing masks, and it is required to wear one even walking around these apartments or to the laundry or mailbox.  

I took a neighbor and her dog to a vet almost into the town of Anderson to be groomed and vaccinated.  It was only 8 miles away, so we came back to the apartments until it was time to get him again. He was happy to be home. She wanted to repay me by taking me out to eat at the Mexican restaurant owned by one of our church members, so we took my church neighbor too.  With good distancing etiquette we were placed in a corner of the restaurant, and we all had a very good meal.

I pride myself on my good health for my age of nearly 85, but I had to break down and see the physician’s assistant. She examined me and made an appointment for me to see an internist in College Station.  He examined me and it is set up for me to go to the hospital on the 11th. June.  I hate going to College Station.  I have lived half my life in the Houston/Conroe area, and the layout of College Station just baffles my poor old brain.  My church friend went with me, and we went to HEB afterwards as there are so many items that we can’t get in our local small town grocery store.  We ate at The Cotton Patch, it was good food and service, but again we were distanced in an obscure corner.

Because I will probably have to go to the hospital, I was worried about who would take care of the cat, Casper, that I had rescued.  He has fattened up and has become a really loving and gentle pet.  My SPCA boss said that she would take care of him, have him checked for FIV and FeLV, neutered and vaccinated, so my wonderful friend Chris came from Willis and transported him.  Casper might even be up for adoption if his health checks out. I always feel that once I have them healthy and happy that I am too old to take up an animal’s time when he could have a younger person and permanent “furever” home. At my age this home might not be too permanent.  If he has FIV or FeLV the normal procedure is to have them PTS because he would be unadoptable, but he and I bonded so closely that I don’t think I could let that happen.  People who adopt animals don’t realize how much love and care the foster gives that pet, and the foster parents do want to hear how they are once in a while. 

My young, (in her early 70’s), church neighbor was worn out from going to College Station yesterday, and so she didn’t go to church with me this morning.  We did the Bible study on Zoom again.  There were only about 8 people at the church and the rest were shown on Zoom on the TV that I took over there as the laptop they were using is so small. The pastor streamed the sermon on Facebook.  The subject was the first 4 verses of  Tim. 2.  “Character of a Soldier of Christ”.  He said that the church is going to open up and be normal in two weeks on the Sabbath, 6th. June, won’t that be a great day!

Sunday, May 17, 2020

The Biblical Feast of Firstfruits. Pentecost's Meaning for You! Update

This is Day 36 of the counting of 50 days to Pentecost.


The Biblical Feast of Firstfruits

“How It Explains a Great Mystery

A little-understood festival commanded in the Bible helps us understand a key aspect of God's plan and why most of the world doesn't know or understand Him.

Wheat basking in the

Pentecost has a meaning that transcends anything you might have ever thought about.

God has a plan. But when skeptics look at the sorry state of world conditions, many of them doubt the existence of God. After all, they reason, how can you have a God who created the heavens and earth, put man on the earth and then left the human race to fend for itself?

Is there any truth in this?

Surely if Almighty God had intended to convert the world to Him during this age, He would have succeeded in doing so. That hasn’t happened, so what is going on?

God is doing more than what people suppose. As we’ll see, He has an ordered, step-by-step plan to bring peace to the world and at the same time offer salvation to mankind in the most extraordinary way—a way that will give each person who has ever lived the best opportunity to fulfill that purpose.

It may not look like that now, but the Feast of Firstfruits, or Pentecost as it’s called in the New Testament, has a meaning that transcends anything you might have ever thought about.

Contrary to a popular belief, God is involved in human affairs—and a lot more than you might think. This ancient festival God gave Israel helps us to understand just what it is that He’s doing—and why it seems to many that He is doing little or nothing to save humanity right now.

Origins of the Festival of Firstfruits

Shortly after giving the Ten Commandments, God gave Israel another command: “Three times you shall keep a feast to Me in the year: You shall keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread … and the Feast of Harvest, the firstfruits of your labours which you have sown in the field; and the Feast of Ingathering at the end of the year …” (Exodus 23:14-16).

At this Feast of Harvest, also called the Feast of Firstfruits or Weeks, the Israelites were to offer the firstfruits of the late spring wheat harvest in the Holy Land (Numbers 28:26; Exodus 34:22). Months later they celebrated another festival, called the Feast of Ingathering or the Feast of Tabernacles. This came at “the end of the year”—the end of the agricultural cycle of the year at summer’s end in the Holy Land—when the people gathered in all the harvest.

These festivals were commanded. And because of what God intends for us to learn from His festivals, they are still to be celebrated by God’s people today. We should also understand that when a person observes the festivals of God today, he is not just commemorating God’s blessings in the agricultural harvests of the Holy Land. He is celebrating and learning about something far more important—God’s very purpose and plan for the salvation of mankind!

A spiritual harvest and spiritual firstfruits

God’s Word speaks of two kinds of harvests. One is the agricultural harvest mentioned above. But that represents another harvest—the far more important spiritual harvest.

Notice Jesus Christ’s words in Luke 10:1-2: “After these things the Lord appointed seventy others also, and sent them two by two before His face into every city and place where He Himself was about to go. Then He said to them, ‘The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.’”

Jesus is likening the spiritual harvest to an actual grain harvest. In John 4:35-36 He said to His disciples: “Lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest! And he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life …”

The harvests surrounding the biblical feasts of God were in fact designed to teach us about the spiritual harvest that Jesus came to earth to sow the seeds of and that He and His disciples began to reap. As there was an earlier and later harvest in the Middle East, so too are there two phases of the spiritual harvest.

The apostle James says that God’s people are “a kind of firstfruits of all he created” (James 1:18, New International Version, emphasis added throughout). This helps us see that those with whom God is working now are understood to be “firstfruits.” Firstfruits are the first of what is being produced. This implies there are other fruits to be harvested later.

This isn’t God’s world or God’s time

Have you ever wondered why the Christian religion has not resolved the world’s problems? Why hasn’t it prevailed over other great world religions and false philosophies?

One would expect the work of Jesus Christ, coming from God, would bring in an era where the great movement of Christianity would prevail and usher in a time of peace. After all, it is a teaching of the Christian Church that the Kingdom of God would expand from that small beginning and that the power of God would be manifest to the world in His disciples that followed.

So why hasn’t that happened?” Continued at:


Pentecost's Meaning for You!

“Pentecost, an annual Holy Day within God’s calendar, brings an inspiring lesson for our lives.

Transcript of YouTube:

[Steve Myers] All right. We’re right between the time of Unleavened Bread and Pentecost, God’s festival season. And this is a time that the Bible tells us there’s something very special in order to come to the time of the Passover. And in Leviticus 23:15, it gives us this unique aspect of Pentecost, and how we find what day that we’re to meet on as we worship and honor God. And it says, “You shall count for yourselves from the day after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering, seven Sabbath shall be completed.” And then it says, “Count 50 days to the day after the seventh Sabbath, then you shall offer a new grain offering to the Lord.”

So it’s telling us how we get to the day of Pentecost, this special feast that God’s design. And in order to celebrate on the proper day, you have to count. In fact, the word Pentecost means 50th. And so you count to the 50th day and that’s the day you celebrate the Feast of Pentecost. And I think there’s an important lesson there, because we know that these festival days, especially in Old Testament times, were arranged around the harvest seasons. And so this wave sheaf began the harvest season, that spring season. And that lasted all the way through Pentecost with the barley and then the wheat harvest. And so harvest is intricately connected to Pentecost. And so as you look here, we’re counting the days, counting our days to the harvest as this harvest is collected. And so we find this idea of maturing crops so that they’re prepared to be harvest.

And there’s a spiritual connection there that I think is so critical for us. Are you counting? We need to count the days of our life, as we consider our life. Are we growing spiritually? Are we dedicated to serving God? No matter rain, sunshine, snow, whatever it is that’s occurring in our life, are we continuing to grow spiritually as our harvest time continues? Because we know harvest only lasts for a certain amount of time.

And so I think we can connect this to a beautiful Psalm. In Psalms 90:12, it tells us something that I think is related to this idea of counting, and Pentecost. It says, “Teach us to number our days, so that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” You see, all of us are only given a certain amount of time for life. And as God has called you and opened his mind…your mind to his truth we’ve got to choose to follow him. We have a limited amount of time, the harvest only lasted so long. We have to recognize that fact in our life. And don’t let down. Don’t let the discouragement, don’t let the bad weather of your life take you out of the picture so that you’re not ready for harvest. So be ready, count the days of your life and be ready not only for Pentecost but ultimately that great spiritual harvest.” From:



Things are still quiet here at these senior apartments.  The office is now open every weekday, well mostly.  But still no entry to the Community Room, so no Bingo, Fitness or Health programs for the residents and only one person at a time in the laundry. Things might be back to normal one day. 

The stores are livening up though, but most folks are wearing masks.  I have been to Brookshire Bros, Dollar General, Dollar Tree, Walmart and Tractor Supply. Those are about all the stores we have in this little city of Navasota, TX.  Oh, there are a couple of auto parts stores, amongst all the antique stores.  The local thrift shop opened back up, so I bought some shorts ready for summer.  The beauty shop opened ‘with distancing’, so my neighbor and I got our hair cut, finally.  I was beginning to look like an Old English Sheepdog.

The Bible study at church is still done on Zoom, but my neighbor and I prefer to go over there, but this time we stayed while the pastor recorded the sermon on Facebook.  We were still under the 10 people limit in the church, but it was a great fellowshipping day.

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Suddenly Rich. What Have We Learned? Tell It to God. Update.

Suddenly Rich

“It has been said that a person is never tested or tried more than at the moment they receive an excessive fortune.

A man standing on walk way between buildings.Joshua Ness/Unsplash

Can we remain humble, generous, genuine, sincere and God-fearing when all of our wants are met?

One of the known troubles that crop up in the lives of children is when their inheritance is meted out, especially if it is large. The giver’s motive may have been fairness, but in the minds of recipients, the definition of fairness may be different. When a will is read, trouble often springs up among the children. Some have kept track of the lives of people who win large amounts of money in a lottery, and in a large number of those cases, trouble enters their lives along with the wealth.

There are good reasons that Jesus told people that it was very difficult for a wealthy person to enter into God’s Kingdom (Matthew 19:22-24). It seems even more difficult if that wealth has come suddenly and unexpectedly. That is where the great test of character takes place. Temptations of all sorts present themselves and attitudes of those we once thought of as friends also can change. Can we remain humble, generous, genuine, sincere and God-fearing when all of our wants are met? Will we succumb to the pleasures that life offers or seems to offer? Have we developed the good character and self-control that will allow us to handle the fortune wisely? That is the test that comes to all who experience sudden gain. Better to build righteous character before tests come your way.” From:


What Have We Learned?

“Millions of Americans are going through financial difficulties. What changes can we make to our money habits?      

Transcript of YouTube:

[Darris McNeely] “Have you received your check yet? I have. Talking about the check that the government has been sending out, the United States government, during this pandemic crisis, this massive government bailout where virtually all Americans are getting some form of check to help them through this time as they’ve lost their jobs. I looked at my bank account a few days ago and there it was. So I know a lot of people will be benefited by that. They’ve lost jobs, they’ve been furloughed short hours and expenses keep mounting up and it’ll be a bit of a help for a lot of people, but I think that it brings us to a question and that is a larger question that we’re all asking, what have we learned during this time of pandemic, the quarantine, and all that we have been through?

Financially, I think there’s a big lesson for us all to learn in terms of preparation. I read an article in “The Wall Street Journal” this week that said that up to a half of all Americans do not have adequate savings to get them through even a short time without work for whatever reason and that is being highlighted during this massive economic shutdown has taken place. So the government has done its part and it will help, but it will, in the long run, not be quite what a paycheck will be for a number of reasons.

But here’s the lesson. What have we learned? Many lessons, but financially we need to prepare. We need to plan ahead. Most financial experts will say that a person should have anywhere from four to six months of living expenses in cash saved back for a time like this. Now, that may be difficult for a lot of people to have, I recognize, but the only way to even begin to get there is to start putting money back and to prepare. I hope that all of us will examine our habits coming out of this.

There’s a proverb in Proverbs 21:17 that may help us to kind of point in this direction. It says, “He who loves pleasure will be a poor man. He who loves wine and oil will not be rich.” Now, there’s a lot packed into that particular verse. We all like to have a movie out, go to a concert, spend on a nice trip or whatever it might be, but if we do that without laying aside money, in a sense paying ourselves first, then poverty is going to be there, especially when something unexpected happens. To love wine and oil by itself is not wrong, but if we spend on luxuries, on pleasures without first taking care of ourselves, paying ourselves, laying some money back and planning for the future like this, then it says that we will not be rich and it does speak to being prepared for a time like this.

So what have we learned? Well, I hope that we learn financially to prepare for tough times and to begin to defer certain ratifications, certain other needs that we might think are needs and may not be and begin to prepare financially for the next crisis that might come once we get through this one.” From:


Tell It to God

“Life buffets us in various ways and it seems to help when we tell others about our troubles.

A man with his head leaning against a wall.road trip with raj/Unsplash

It is good to take our sorrows to God in prayer.

Others may comfort us and sit with us as we sorrow, but in the end we must find our own way out of the sorrow we may carry. Everyone else has their own share of difficulty in their lives. James said to confess our troubles to one another because the effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man helps a lot (James 5:16). There is much truth in that statement. However, it is also true that if we are always first to blurt out our needs, our woes and our sorrows, then people will grow uncomfortable and no longer want to talk with us.

The better way is hidden in the words of James. Since the effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much, we can become that man for ourselves. It is good to go to our friends and ask for prayers when we need them, but we also need to give others hope and sunshine in their lives. There are enough clouds for everyone. It is good to hold back our clouds of sorrow, let the sun shine for the benefit of others, and take our sorrows to God in prayer.” From:



Maybe you have seen it too, that people are starting to venture out to the stores and church a lot more?  The stores have gone to great lengths to keep their customers separated, making some aisles one way, and marking 6’ spaces all over the place.  But that does seem to be increasing the rate of infections from this corona virus. The first day at Dollar General no one was wearing a mask, but by the second day people had realized that they had better be careful and more were seen wearing them.  I am going to wear my mask when I am around a lot of people. After all, I wouldn’t drive without my seatbelt !!

My rescue cat, Casper, a cloud-point Siamese, is doing better now that he has been on antibiotics for a week.  His fur is starting to look better and the red spots by his ears are clearing up. He actually likes to play for a while after his meals, tossing and chasing little play mice, running after tennis balls, and then he stretches out on the couch for a long (stretched out) nap.

We did the Zoom thing again for the Bible study, and for the second week, my neighbor and I drove over there and participated right there in the church, watching the others on Zoom. Some live quite a distance away, so Zoom was easier for them, but we live less than a mile away. There were more actually in attendance this week. It was easier to see and hear this week because we added my former kitchen TV and HDMI cables to the little laptop that they were using.  It was great to get out and be with those folks on the Sabbath day.

Saturday, May 2, 2020

Compassion. Keep His Commandments and Walk as He Walked. Update


“We are all on this journey together and God has a way of pointing out our flaws and making us see our errors, and we all make them.

A young woman sitting at table looking at her phone.Ant Rozetsky/Unsplash

Extend the same compassion and understanding to others that you want to have extended to you.

I am seeing an alarming trend on social media where people are using it to chastise others.

I will be watching myself closely in the future to try to be sure no one takes anything I say in that light.

“Do not speak evil of one another, brethren. He who speaks evil of a brother and judges his brother, speaks evil of the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. There is one Lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy. Who are you to judge another?” (James 4:11-12).

We are all on this journey together and God has a way of pointing out our flaws and making us see our errors, and we all make them.

Don’t make it a matter to be seen by hundreds or even thousands. And a difference in nuances of opinion is not an offense, so please don’t take it as such.

Embrace empathy, commit random acts of kindness, pray for those you feel might be in error that God will show them the error of their ways. And while you are at it, ask God to make you aware of where you could be in error.

Our brain’s response to social media falls into the fight or flight responses needed when we are in danger. You are no longer thinking, just acting. Don’t let the Ventral Tegmental Area (VTA) control how you handle others.

“But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another!” (Galatians 5:15).

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone” (Matthew 23:23).

Please extend the same compassion and understanding to others that you want to have extended to you.”  From:


Daily Bible Verse Blog

Keep His Commandments and Walk as He Walked

1 John 2:4-6

He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.

The apostle John also recorded in his Gospel these words of Jesus Christ: “If you love Me, keep My commandments” (John 14:15).

As we saw in passages like Mark 1:21, Mark 6:2 and Luke 4:31, Jesus Christ set the example of keeping the Sabbath, one of God’s 10 Commandments. The Bible tells us to follow His example and “walk just as He walked.” This includes remembering the Sabbath day, as the New Testament Church and the apostles, including the apostle Paul, did.” From:

For more about the consistent teaching of the Bible about the 10 Commandments, see “Are the 10 Commandments Upheld in the New Testament?



This thing about “compassion” was brought home to me, coming and going, this week.  I was chastised on social media for over-correcting (nagging) one of my kids.  The kid didn’t realize that, like most parents, I was only doing it because I loved them and cared how they acted.  If I hadn’t cared, then, well ….  I wouldn’t have cared.  I, too, hadn’t realized how my correcting them had seemed like I was nagging them, when really I was just overwrought and worried how I was going to feed us and still make a living while I was sick. I should have shown more compassion. 

Another situation had arisen about compassion. The cat that I rescued, peed on my bed so that I had to buy new bedding, and I was ready to have him PTS.  Then found out that it is sometimes a sign of love from a cat.   He was so thankful for the good food and love that I was giving him, and that was his way of showing it, not knowing that it would not be appreciated.   I looked at his scarred legs and tail, and realized that this cat had really been through it. Who was I, whom he dearly loved, not to give him a wonderful life, even if it meant keeping him out of my bedroom, or putting a disposable plastic table cloth on my bed when the bedroom door was open.  So now I have a loving, happy cat and a clean bed.  I am doing my best for him, so he is on antibiotics for his wounds, probiotics for his system, and has been dewormed.  We still like to have our cuddle times on the couch, I just don’t let him near my bed!  Though I think the feel of the plastic table cloth didn’t feel good to him when he checked it out and he hasn’t jumped up there since.

Then one more scenario came to light.  There is an elderly gentleman who has Alzheimer’s which is getting worse. He used to drive himself to dialysis three times a week, but now he can’t remember, so he has to take a bus and rely on the bus driver to get him where he needs to go.  He is in constant confusion, and is very stressed.  I wish I lived closer so I could drive him there, wait for him, and take him home.  I am sure they have WiFi there so I could occupy my time, in fact one doesn’t even need a connection to work on Open Live Writer, just post it later.   Surely someone near there could have enough compassion to do that for him?

This morning my neighbor and I went to the church and participated in the Bible study. Others, who were "distancing" we watched on Zoom, and we were glad for the fellowship of our church friends, it was so great to be around the few sweet people that were there, though all 6’ apart!  The service was being taped on FB from another location so we didn’t see that. We usually hug, but not these days.