Pentecost Is This Sunday What The Heck Is Pentecost
From a historical perspective, Christianity didnt start with Jesus birth, his death or even his storied ascension to heaven. It started with Pentecost the day the Holy Spirit entered a room holding Jesus apostles and entered each of them, an event which as my minister uncle tells me makes the church the church.
Although Pentecost is chock full of religious significance, it is a holiday not widely celebrated. Sort of the opposite of Hanukkah, which is widely celebrated but not religiously important. Pentecost is a bigger deal in liturgical churches, which follow a formal, standardized order of events . Non-liturgical refers to churches whose services are unscripted .
Date And Public Holiday
The earliest possible date is May 10 . The latest possible date is June 13 . The day of Pentecost is seven weeks after Easter Sunday: that is to say, the fiftieth day after Easter inclusive of Easter Sunday. Pentecost may also refer to the 50 days from Easter to Pentecost Sunday inclusive of both. Because Easter itself has no fixed date, this makes Pentecost a moveable feast.
While Eastern Christianity treats Pentecost as the last day of Easter in its liturgies, in the Roman liturgy it is usually a separate feast. The fifty days from Easter Sunday to Pentecost Sunday may also be called Eastertide.
Since Pentecost itself is on a Sunday, it is automatically considered to be a public holiday in countries with large Christian denominations.
Pentecost Monday is a public holiday in many countries including Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Benin, Cyprus, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Romania , Senegal, Switzerland, Togo and Ukraine.
Pentecost: A Fulfillment Of The Jewish Feast
The Orthodox Study Bible contains an article on Pentecost that we thought would be fitting to share on the blog. So, below you will find the excerpt and a link to the study Bible. Also, there is a question to promote conversation in the comments.
And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you foreverthe Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. John 14:16-17 NKJV
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Pentecost Serves As A Reminder That God Grants His Holy Spirit To The Firstfruits Of His Spiritual Harvest
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 23:9-16Leviticus 23:9-16 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them, When you be come into the land which I give to you, and shall reap the harvest thereof, then you shall bring a sheaf of the first fruits of your harvest to 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 you shall offer that day when you wave the sheaf an he lamb without blemish of the first year for a burnt offering to the LORD. And the meat offering thereof shall be two tenth deals of fine flour mingled with oil, an offering made by fire to the LORD for a sweet smell: and the drink offering thereof shall be of wine, the fourth part of an hin. And you shall eat neither bread, nor parched corn, nor green ears, until the selfsame day that you have brought an offering to your God: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings. And you shall count to you from the morrow after the sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering seven sabbaths shall be complete: Even to the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall you number fifty days and you shall offer a new meat offering to the LORD.
Pentecost In The Bible: Foreshadowed By Joel
Joel was a prophet in the ninth century BC during Joashs reign. In Joel 2:2829, he tells of a future day when Gods Spirit would once again be with his people:
And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions. Even on the male and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit.
On that first Pentecost after Jesus resurrection, as thousands upon thousands of Jews packed Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of Weeks as God had commanded centuries earlier, Joels prophecy came to pass.
Filled with the Holy Spirit, the disciples began speaking in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance , attracting the attention of curious onlookers who wondered what was happening. When doubters said they were drunk with wine , Peter responded by saying, This is what was spoken of by the prophet Joeland proceeded to give the gospel message with a call to repentance for all who had ears to hear.
Those who believed were baptized, and Acts 2:41 says about three thousand souls were added that daythe firstfruits of the harvest of believers.14
Historical Insights Into Pentecost
There are three things you need to know about Pentecost that will help you understand Acts 2.
1. Pentecost was a pilgrim festival. That meant that according to Jewish Law, all the adult Jewish men would come from wherever they were living to Jerusalem and personally be in attendance during this celebration.
2. Pentecost was a holiday. No servile work was to be done. School was out. The shops were closed. It was party time.
3. There were certain celebrations and sacrifices and offerings which were prescribed in the Law for the day of Pentecost. On Pentecost, the High Priest was to take two loaves of freshly baked wheat bread and offer them before the Lord. The wheat bread was made from the newly harvested wheat.
In short, Pentecost in the time of the Apostles was a great and grand harvest celebration. The streets of Jerusalem were clogged with thousands of pilgrims who had come from every point of the compass to celebrate the goodness of God and the bringing in of the wheat harvest.
Excerpted from “The P.U.I.H.” from Keep Believing Ministries .
Pentecost In The Old Testament
This unique feast occurred 7 weeks after Passover , culminating with the actual feast on day 50 . Its the fourth of the spring feasts that marked the end of the barley harvest and the start of the wheat harvest . Its also called the Day of the Firstfruits, the Feast of Harvest, or in Hebrew , Shavuot .
Of the seven feasts, the Feast of Weeks is one of three that God commanded Israel to celebrate at the temple after it was established in Jerusalem and so was a pilgrimage feast.5
In Jesus day, Jews who didnt live in or near Jerusalem often had to travel long distances to keep the festival according to Gods instruction.6
The details about the Feast of Weeks are found in Leviticus 23:1521:7
You shall count seven full weeks from the day after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering. You shall count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath. Then you shall present a grain offering of new grain to the Lord. You shall bring from your dwelling places two loaves of bread to be waved, made of two tenths of an ephah. They shall be of fine flour, and they shall be baked with leaven, as firstfruits to the Lord.
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Pentecost From The Law Of Moses
In fact, Pentecost was a regular Old Testament festival. In the time of Moses, several annual festivals were prescribed and celebrated throughout the year. The festival of Passover was the first to be celebrated in the Jewish year. In Session Five I showed how Jesus was crucified on that very Jewish festival. And so Jesus, the Lamb of God, was sacrificed on the same day that all Jewish people were sacrificing their lambs in memory of their first Passover. Given that there are 365 days in a year it is striking that Jesus dies on that very day. It is like Moses, 1500 years before the event, establishes the festival of Passover as an allusion to the eventual crucifixion of Jesus.
But it did not end there. Exactly 50 days after Passover Sunday the Jews celebrated the Feast of Pentecost. And they had been doing so yearly for 1500 years by the time the events of Acts 2 happened. In fact, the reason that there were people from all languages who were in Jerusalem that day to hear Peters message was precisely because they were there to celebrate the Old Testament Pentecost.
We read in the Law how Pentecost was to be celebrated
The Criteria With Which God Defines The Time Calculation And His Calendar
As has already been shown, the biblical calendar of God mentioned in Leviticus 23 is a purely astronomical luni-solar calendar. This means that the sun, moon and stars are not only lights, but also determine the time, the calendar and the feast days. The calendar of God is ingenious because it combines nature and time into a harmonious unity. It is defined by 7 points:
1. Each day begins and ends after sunset. Thus, the sunrise in the morning is in the middle of a whole calendar day and ends the darkness.
2. A week consists of 7 days and the 7th day is called “Sabbath” .
3. Each month begins with the first visible crescent moon over Jerusalem, which is called “new light“. In the middle of each month there is a full moon. In addition to the weekly Sabbaths, there are also 7 annual Sabbaths that fall on different days of the week from year to year, depending on which day of the week the first crescent moon can be seen first in the 1st and 7th months.
4. Each month has 29 or 30 days.
5. A year normally has 12 months. However, since the lunar year is about 10 days shorter than the solar year, there is a leap year about every third year with an additional month to bring the calendar in line with nature .
7. The specific star constellations in the night sky in the respective months indicate apart from the season also the exact geographical position thus each humans can orient themselves on earth on the basis of sun, moon and stars exactly in time and space.
The Time Of The Rapture And The 7000
No Christian can determine the exact time for the Rapture of the Church. Every Christian must always be ready and alert. But it is possible that this could take place on one of the 7 biblical feasts . The feast days of the Bible are closely related to God’s 7,000-year plan with mankind. It begins with the Passover and the blood of Jesus and the foundation of the church after 49 days with the 7 Sabbaths on Pentecost and the era of grace. The Rapture is the end of the Age of Grace. These were the first two harvests of the first fruits , but in the fall the spiritual harvests of the late fruits continue: Jesus’ return follows after 2,000 years on Yom Teruah , then comes the Day of Atonement with our atonement and the capture of Satan . After that comes the Millennium , where we will reign together with Jesus and finally the the final judgment and the Last Great Assembly Day . After that comes eternity in agape love and without suffering and tears, in a spiritual world together with God, our Papa. In God’s plan, the meaning of life is revealed. Life here on earth was only a training for eternity so that we can learn the agape love and God can separate the righteous from the unrighteous. Those who have made themselves the most small and served others in agape love will be the greatest in the Kingdom of God. At the latest then everyone will realize that it was worthwhile to follow Jesus and to be different from the world:
Pentecost: A Sign Of Firstfruits
This is significant on several counts. First of all, one of the reasons that the Gospel is good news is that not only is it about a conquering of death, but it is also about living life differently. Life is now a union between God and people. And this union takes place through the indwelling of the Spirit of God which began on the Pentecost Sunday of Acts 2. The Good News is that life can now be lived on a different level, in a relationship with God through His Spirit. Paul puts it like this:
Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies.
The indwelling Spirit of God is a firstfruits of the gospel, intimately tied in with the resurrection because the Spirit is a firstfruits a deposit so to speak of our coming personal resurrection.
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The 3rd High Sabbath Of The Year: Shavuot = Pentecost
From the day after the first yearly Sabbath there is a series of 7 weekly Sabbaths counted until the summer feast day . Therefore, this third annual Sabbath is also called “Feast of Weeks” . Literally translated it is the “Feast of the Sevens” . The English name “Pentecost” was derived from the Greek “pentekoste hemera”, which means “50th day”. In Israel lies Pentecost at the time of the wheat and early fig harvest and was a festival of thanksgiving for the harvesting of summer grain . It was therefore also called “the feast of harvest, the firstfruits of thy labours, which thou hast sown in the field” or “Feast of Weeks, the firstfruits of wheat harvest” or “the day of the firstfruits” . Every 7 weekly Sabbaths to Pentecost had a name. After the first feast Sabbath of the year followed 7 weekly Sabbaths, thus the “1st Sabbath”, then the “2nd Sabbath”, then the “3rd Sabbath” etc., and after the “7th Sabbath” there was the Pentecost on the 50th day. So when someone said, “We meet on the first Sabbath,” everyone knew it was the first of the 7 weekly Sabbaths until Pentecost. The “first Sabbath” was the day on which Jesus rose from the dead .
“He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. 12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. .
The Feasts Of The Lord Bible Study Series:
Jesus in the 7 Feasts of the Lord: An Introduction and Overview
This is the introduction to the introduction to the Seven Feasts of the Lord… if that makes sense! So let me ask you a question as we begin: When is the last time you did a study on the Feasts of the Lord? When is the last time you heard a sermon on them or read a book about them? For the majority of Christians I think it is fair to say that some common answers could well include the words ‘long time’, ‘never’ or ‘what feasts?’ If you are a student of Bible prophecy then the answer could, or should, be different. I think all Christians will have heard something about the feasts for, at the very least, all Christians should be familiar with the terms Passover and Pentecost .
Questions, questions, questions…
Let’s start with some general questions and then I’ll give the answers. For the sake of not crushing your confidence too early, we’ll start off pretty easy and leave some tougher ones for later : )
That will be enough questions for now. Have you given it some thought?1 Now for the answers!
Some answers to questions you may not have been asking…
In giving these answers, I will also try to add a few related thoughts where appropriate.
So what exactly is a ‘feast’ then?
Leviticus 23:2 Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘These are my appointed feasts, the appointed feasts of the LORD, which you are to proclaim as sacred assemblies.
Overview of the feasts
|Feast / Date|
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Ideas To Celebrate Pentecost In Your Congregation
SingVeni, Creator Spiritus or We Are One in the Spirit, We Are One in the Lord or In Christ There Is No East or West.
Feast. If your church celebrates Easter with food such as a buffet of Easter treats hold the same meal on Pentecost. Invite strangers or neighbors to join the feast.
Invite children, youth and adults to bring wind toys to worship to be rung before, during or after the service.
Encourage everyone to wear red to church on this Sunday. Serve red foods, such as strawberries, cranberry juice, or bread served with raspberry jam.
ReadAfrica Dream, a short story book by Eloise Greenfield, to discover the richness of Gods gift of memory and imagination. Prepare to discuss ways in which the lives of our ancestors can affect who we are today.
Speak. During worship, have the reading from Acts 2:1-4 read in a variety of languages. Dont forget to tap into students who are learning a new language.
Make paper candles: Take a cardboard tube and cut construction paper to fit around it. Write on the paper: The flame of the Spirit. Glue the construction paper around the tube. Cut flame shapes from tissue paper and paste them to the inside of one end of the cardboard tube.
Make wind socks: Obtain white paper lunch bags and decorate them with felt markers or crayons. Use glue or staples to attach a tail or crepe paper streamers to the bag at the corners. Punch a hole in the other end of the bag and tie a 6-foot length of string or yarn to the bag.