Christians call it Pentecost.
Hebrews call it Shavuot.
What’s the difference?
Maybe it’s the one Holy Day, or feast day, proclaimed by God for which Christians and Jews agreed on the date this year, June 5, even though they don’t have a clue about why.
Mysterious? You bet.
Confusing? And how.
It’s also called the Feast of Weeks, if that makes it more complicated.
For many Christians, you’ve been told by your pastors that Pentecost was the day the “church” was born. That is incorrect. They are just plain wrong. There were no Christians involved on the day of the momentous events that took place on the day of Pentecost when 3,000 people were radically changed by the power of God, as told in the book of Acts.
The fact is that Pentecost was just the translation, in Greek, of Shavuot. Pentecost means 50 days, the counting of the omer from the date of Passover, and Shavuot, the original Hebrew, means seven weeks plus one day to determine the same Holy Day of the Bible.
They were all Jews no matter the language. They were gathered at the Temple in Jerusalem for the feast, which had been observed since Moses’ time. But the events occurred a short time after the recently resurrected Jesus-Yeshua had met with hundreds of messianic Jews and the Apostles.
They were about to have an encounter with the Holy Ghost a few days later, the Messiah promised. They knew of the spirit from the Tanach, the Hebrew Scriptures. They had not yet experienced the power. But they recalled David and the prophets had.
In Acts 1:6, the Apostle were still full of questions. The last one they had before Jesus departed the last time from the Mount of Olives was “wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?”
The last thing He told them were these words: “It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” (Acts 1:7-8)
And he was taken up through the air with the Apostles watching, along with two angels.
“Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven,” the angels told them.
They retreated to an upper room – Peter, James, John, Andrew, Philip, Thomas, Bartholomew, Matthew, James, the son of Alphaeus, Simon Zelotes, Judas the brother of James and Mary the mother of Jesus.
Acts 2 begins: “And when the day of Pentecost was 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 all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.” (Acts 2:1-5)
There were men from many nations and disparate languages – Parthians, Medes, Elamites, Mesopotamia, Cappadocia, Pontus, Asia, Phrygia, Pamphylia, Egypt, Libya, Crete, Arabia – even Rome.
They all heard in their own language.
Peter prophesied from the book of Joel the end times. He spoke of David, the great king of Israel who knew the spirit. And he spoke boldly.
“Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.” (Acts 2:22-25)
“Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.” (Acts 2:38-40)
This was not 3,000 Gentiles who had to repent – they were Jews, believing Jews, who had to forsake their sinful, wicked generation for not embracing their life-affirming, sin-forgiving Messiah.
The word “church” was not even known to them until hundreds of years later. History, which is only about 6,000 years old today, has played tricks on us. Most Christians don’t believe in sin today. But that’s what Jesus came to die for. And all of the apostles died forsaking sin – but some of us have forgotten it. Sin is the transgression of the law.
And these days, in these times, are growing more evil than imaginable. These are truly the end times.
You should expect, after one of these future Pentecosts, or Shavuots, or another of His holy days, one more great call of humanity. There may be just one determined, forceful demand – or cry. Jesus is coming back soon. He’s going to expect you know what sin is – at the very least. It may be too late for you to repent. God has been patiently pleading with us to heed Him. He hasn’t changed. He still believes what he always believed. If you’re not sure about it, He says His commandments lead to LIFE – following them all and sincerely repenting when you don’t.
We have the Bible for a reason. Do you give it another thought? You may not have another chance.
If you are not living for God – entirely, know that is what he demands. You may not think so. You may believe you’re being a “good person” – but not if you are sinning and not repenting.
I wish I could say there are many calls to come.
The truth is, we are squandering them.
Do you see the signs all around us? Do you see any that disturb you? Do they remind you of the days of Noah? They will worsen, a little. Be prepared for the truth. How many but a small remnant will be saved from the fire that is coming. I want you to hear this call and respond. It’s a matter of LIFE OR DEATH!
“The Gospel in Every Book of the Old Testament” by Joseph Farah is available in both hardcover and e-book versions.
ALSO: Get Joseph Farah’s book “The Restitution of All Things: Israel, Christians, and the End of the Age,” and learn about the Hebrew roots of the Christian faith and your future in God’s Kingdom. Also available as an e-book.
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