Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Pentecost and Appointed Feasts of YHVH

12 Sivan 32/40

It has been said on many occassions and in various places that "we, the followers of the Christ, do not live in the Old Testament." While this statement is true, it still appears to me that majority of people saying this do not have a clue as to what they mean by it. What is the Old Testament? Is it the demarcation that has been provided in their Bibles or something less? Could it be something more than all that? Let me give an example for the illustration of such a statement. People say "we do not have to keep any Sabbath" and that "the Christian Sabbath is Sunday. " In these statements there is an appalling antagonism, so say the least. How would another day become a Sabbath while we even do not have to keep any Sabbath?

Such is the error of our modern-day, or should we call it contemporary Christianity. It tries to avoid a truth by introducing an error to be explained away and justified. This is the case with Pentecost or the Feast of Weeks. How many proclaimed Christians understand the source of what they repeatedly celebrate every year? In the first instance, what is Pentecost? Many would readily give an answer that relates to the outpouring of the holy Spirit on disciples as recorded in Acts chapter 2. And rightly so. But is this all about it? This simple answer is very wanting and does not get to the root of the matter. My question rather is if the Spirit was poured on the first disciples, why celebrate it? Is there any injunction in the New Testament to celebrate it yearly?

Some would even say that Paul the apostle on two documented occassions was respectively hurrying to Jerusalem and tarrying at Ephesus for the day of Pentecost (Acts 20:16; 1Cor.16:8). Good! If Paul attitude sanctions the keeping of Pentecost we should then be able to say the same for some other aspects of life modern Christianity has abandoned and discarded. In Acts 16:13 Paul and his companions were seeking a place of prayer on that day of the Sabbath. In Acts 27:8 they even kept the Fast of the seventh month (alas, 7th month is not July). This fast is YHVH's prescription for the Sabbath of Sabbaths called the Day of Atonement (Lev.23:26-32) or Yom Kippur. If actions of Paul and the first disciples justified Pentecost and, as we have seen, Sabbath od Sabbaths, where should we place the celebration of the resurrection of the Christ? Is there any injunction to do it, if I may ask, from the New Testament?

I have asked and I am sking these questions because of the useless and nonsensical utterances encountered in discussions with certain people who have been lured into the religion called philosophy. I wish they would sit right and see that what is called New Testament writings cannot be removed far away from the Old one. Both are intertwinned. The main difference is the covenant as portrayed in sacrifices. The laws of YHVH are intact. His commandments are still a sign that we love Him and the brotherhood. Hence His feasts are still in place. "So then, there remains a sabbatismos for the people of God." There is the injunction which says "keep my sabbaths." Major feasts are Passover (and Unleavened Bread) within which lies the Wave Sheaf, which is actually the resurrection, with the Lord's Supper now preceding the Passover. It is actually from the Wave Sheaf that 50 days are counted to Pentecost, the feast of Weeks. Finally we have Tabernacles in the 7th month, not of this age, but as instituted naturally and biblically. Hence the three main feasts are Passover, Weeks and Tabernacles, besides which we have the weekly Sabbaths and the New Moons. What point defines these feasts? How do we get to knowing their actual dates? "Thou hast made the moon appointed for times, The sun that knows its setting" (Ps.104:19) is like saying the moon is the determinant factor for appointed feasts, the festivals. Note that the Sacred calendar is not the same as Gregorian of the common era. The importance of the New Moon by conjunction in the biblical calendar cannot be overstated. This is even not identical with the first crescent moon, wrongly called the new moon, and postponement used in modern-day Judaism. Paul makes allusions to these in his letter to the Colossians (2:16-17). "Therefore do not let any man judge you in questions of eating and drinking or with regard to a festival (feast) or a new moon or a sabbath, which are a shadow of things to come, of which the substance is the Christ" is not a condemnation of the fact that Colossians were celebrating, but that they should not allow themselves to be talked out of it by Gnostic teachers. The connection seems to be between substance and shadow. Without a substance there cannot be a shadow. Hence these celebrations are a reflection of the Christ himself. It is said somewhere that "...Christ our Passover has been sacrificed for us, therefore let us keep the feast..." Keeping the feast is an injuction to something. It is not therefore we kept the feast. It is continuous tense. Despite that we have this as the backgound of our faith, we still keep this feast at the appointed time, every year. It is also recorded in Acts 20:6 "And we sailed away from Philippi after the days of unleavened bread, and came unto them to Troas in five days; where we abode seven days." Could this be that the early disciples kept the days of unleavened bread? In Hebrew Scriptures it is easy to see how the Passover and Unleavened bread are knit together. They form a part of what YHVH calls "...My appointed seasons" (Lev.23:2).

It would be great if believers in Christ would ask the calculation point of all their festivities. Could we behave there is no common ground between us and historically established churches only to grant them the authority to decide the calcualtion of our festivities, such as Pentecost or Resurrection (Wave Sheaf)? How would we know if we are led into the forest? Is there any excuse? Should we become "blind followers of the blind"?

Let the records be straight. We cannot have any Wave Sheaf or Pentecost without an understanding of the holy calendar as it relates to the plan of salvation which is in total agreement with natural harvest periods of the Northern hemisphere. To keep the feasts, new moons and sabbaths is keeping the word (commandments) of God and the testimony (faith) of Jesus, which deem us saints, as mentioned in the book of Revelations (1:2, 9; 12:17; 14:12, 19:10; 20:4). Faith in God manifests itself in obedience to Jesus Christ our Lord.

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