Saturday, May 30, 2020

Day of Pentecost - 2019

by Michael C. Garrett

Hello, everyone! Welcome to Owensboro, Kentucky. Welcome to a non-weekly church service. This is really quite special – this is, from the Bible’s point of view, called the Feast of Pentecost, or the day of Pentecost, or the Feast of Weeks, or the Feast of the Firstfruits. It can actually be called all of those actual names. But, it’s on a Sunday.

I remember when my parents were alive – they got used to me going to church on Saturday. But then every-so-often – like this weekend – I would get up and go to church on a Sunday. And, my Mom, and Dad, brother, and sister, they never could figure that out. And, I actually feel sorry for them, because – it would be confusing.

We are here on an annual holy day – a special day. It’s good to be with you.

The Feast of Pentecost. “Where did that come from?” you ask.

If you would turn into your Bible to Leviticus 23. And, this is just about what I do every time we have an annual holy day. Because Leviticus 23 is the one chapter in the Bible that lists all of the annual events in order – and gives you a little bit of information. Sort of like a thumb-nail sketch.

Now I want to cover this because there’s a whole lot of people out in the Protestant world, also in the Catholic world, that if you were to mention to them that you’re keeping these holy feasts – they sort of recoil and their initial reaction is, “Well, that’s a Jewish holiday!” Now, there are some feasts mentioned in the Book of Leviticus that the Jewish people don’t keep. And, I don’t know why people are so ignorant. Now, that’s not a pejorative term – ignorant just simply means “not knowing.” It truly astounds me that more people don’t know the truth.

Well, what does the Bible have to say!?

The Holy Bible doesn’t mention the term Christmas. There is one time where it mentions the word ‘Easter’ – but it’s a mistranslation in the Book of Acts. It should read ‘Passover.’ The Holy Bible doesn’t mention Halloween, St. Valentine’s Day, or all the otherworldly holidays. Friends, the church holidays of the world have their origins in pagan antiquity. And somehow they transmuted into the Catholic Church centuries ago. And we have a society that keeps Catholic holidays – and I don’t even know if they know why they do it. One example – Christ-mass. Mass – meaning the Catholic Church service – the Mass of Christ. Jesus Christ wasn’t born on or anywhere near December 25th. And yet, every year people just habitually think – ‘Well, that’s holy time – that’s church time. It’s when we are to sing Christmas carols and go around ringing bells and knocking on doors – caroling.’ But the Holy Bible talks about Passover, the Days of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of Weeks, the Feast of Trumpets, the Day of Atonement, the Feast of Tabernacles and the Last Great Day (PDF). All of those are mentioned in Leviticus 23. Yet, that’s not the only place in the Holy Bible that they’re mentioned.

Leviticus 23:1 – “And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 2) ‘Speak to the children of Israel, … – now, when the Bible uses the term Israel, it’s normally talking about two different groups – which may be the same people, or may not – the genetic descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. And, Jacob had his name changed to Israel. And so his twelve sons – Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Zebulun, Issachar, Dan, Gad, Asher, Naphtali, Joseph, and Benjamin – were the progenitor of many nations. And Joseph had two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, and – biblically speaking – refers to the people of the United States of America, and the United Kingdom and her Commonwealth realms. Now, that’s the physical people of the term Israel – the other being the spiritual people of God. So, you might actually be a descendant of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and also – today – be a spiritual descendant as it were – as a begotten child of God – having the Spirit of God. So, He’s speaking to the people of God when He says this.

“ … and say to them: ‘The feasts of the [Jews], …’” – no, that’s not what it says! “’ The feasts of the LORD, …’” – the Eternal God – “ …’ which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, …’” – which means “commanded assemblies” “ …’ these are My feasts.’” – ‘My festivals, My holy days!’

And then it goes on to talk about the Sabbath, and then verse 5 about the Passover. Verse 6 talks about the Days of Unleavened Bread which continues to verse 8. And then if you would turn to verse 9.

“And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 10) ‘Speak to the children of Israel, …’ – again, the people of God, whether it be physically or spiritually. “ …’ and say to them: ‘When you come into the land which I give to you, and reap its harvest, then you shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the priest.’”

So, we hear this term ‘firstfruits.’

Now, Jesus Christ is the FIRST of the firstfruits. And then those people whose – since the time of Jesus Christ until now, whenever they lived – names are written in the Book of Life because they have been called of God, chosen of God, led to increased knowledge and then eventual repentance and were baptized and granted a little bit of the very mind of God – the Spirit of God. These people – for nearly two millennia – have died in Christ. Now, there are quite a few people who lived back in the Old Testament times. Such as King David, the prophets of God – and other individuals. But, there is coming a time when they are resurrected.

Now, while I say this – this is the whole goal! And this, friends, is one of the main meanings of the Feast of Pentecost. That we are hoping to work towards the goal of being allowed to enter into the kingdom of God. And to be some of God’s ‘firstfruits.’ So, that’s sort of the analogy – here.

It goes on to say, verse 11 – “’ He shall wave the sheaf before the LORD, to be accepted on your behalf; on the day AFTER the Sabbath the priest shall wave it.’” So, the Sabbath is the seventh day of the week. It’s what we call in our culture – Saturday. But this was to be ‘AFTER the Sabbath.’ Which is a Sunday. And this act here of the priest waving the sheaf – actually was fulfilled when Jesus Christ, early Sunday morning, actually returned to His upper heavenly home where God the Father and His angelic beings are, and they had a quick reunion (see Daniel 7:9-14) – and that’s what this waving of the sheaf was all about – also, be sure to read “The Firstfruits of the Earth”. That’s how it was eventually fulfilled in prophecy.

Now, no one knew that He had been resurrected – as in the disciples. And then the following morning – very early the following morning – some of the ladies were bringing spices to freshen His body. A custom which they followed at that time. And when He first sees one of these ladies, she doesn’t know who He is – she thinks He’s a worker. And, she realizes that the Body of Jesus is gone – because the stone had been rolled away. The stone wasn’t rolled away that Jesus could come out of the tomb, the stone was rolled away so that people could look into the tomb and realize He’s not in there anymore. She was very concerned – as well as the other disciples – that maybe His body had been stolen. And also, the Roman authorities cooked up this concoction of an idea – that the disciples had stolen His body and were falsely claiming that He was resurrected. And she said to Him, ‘Sir, if You have carried Him away, tell me where You have laid Him, and I will take Him away.’” At first, she doesn’t recognize who she is talking to. And that happens quite a few times in the Bible – where Jesus had the ability to metamorphosis His appearance, to change His appearance. Finally, Jesus said to her, ‘Mary!’ He allowed her to perceive who He actually was. And she realizes that it is Jesus Christ once again who is alive! And, she probably had a habit to reach out and touch Him – to grab ahold of Him – and Jesus had to say to her, ‘Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father.’

Well, later on, that same day – probably in the afternoon – we read in the “gospel” accounts where Jesus is back on the earth again talking to different individuals. Now, I think the most classic of these stories are – two disciples are walking toward a village called Emmaus, and Jesus comes and joins them. And once again – they had no idea who He was. They just thought He was a stranger. But He was talking about the things they wanted to talk about. And they continued to walk, coming to this small village to have a meal - Emmaus could be, according to Josephus, the town of Motza, Israel today. And they still don’t know to whom they are speaking and listening. And then eventually Jesus removed His – as it were disguise – and they realized that they are talking to the risen Jesus Christ – whom they thought had died. And just like He always said, ‘For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.’ So, from the time that Jesus Christ was resurrected until the time of about 40 days later, He was seen by a lot of people!

Let’s go down a little farther – verse 15 – “’ And you shall count for yourselves from the day AFTER THE SABBATH, …’” – so, you have 7 x 7 = 49 + 1 on a Sunday you get 50. And, that’s what the term Pentecost actually means.

Verse 16 – “’ Count fifty days to the day AFTER THE SEVENTH SABBATH; …’” – Pentecost is from the Greek word pentékosté, meaning fiftieth. Pentecost literally means “count fifty.’

Verse 21 – “’ And you shall proclaim on the same day that it is a holy convocation …’” – a very special holy commanded assembly. Now, if you’re automobile is broke down – it’s hard to get to a church meeting. If you’re sick or unwell, maybe having other health problems – you probably shouldn’t be going to a church service. If a church service isn’t local, but too far away - it’s hard to get to a church meeting. Well, there are reasons why a person might not be able to make that commanded assembly. But if you’re healthy enough, are able, and have the funds – you’re supposed to try and make it to a church service. That’s what the Word of God says. “ …’ You shall do no customary work on it. It shall be a statute FOREVER …’”

Friends, this ‘feast of the LORD’ is staying around FOREVER! “ …’ in all your dwellings throughout your generations.’” It doesn’t say just for ten generations, or a hundred generations, or a thousand generations, or even ten-thousand generations and then you stop. No, it says FOREVER!

So, well into the kingdom of God – with the millennial reign of Jesus Christ – people on the earth will still be celebrating and acknowledging the festival known as Pentecost.

Well, if you would turn back to Exodus 23. We’re going to go through a couple of more places where we see a reference to this event.

Verse 14 – “’ Three times [or THREE SEASONS] you shall keep a feast to Me in the year: …’” – so it’s speaking of the spring holy days – Passover, the Days of Unleavened Bread – and the early summer holy day of Pentecost; and then the fall holy days – Feast of Trumpets, Atonement and the Feast of Tabernacles and the Last Great Day. And this is what this verse is referring to.

Verse 15 – “’ You shall keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread (you shall eat unleavened bread seven days, as I commanded you, …’)” – now, it doesn’t say, ‘rip your house apart looking for year-old bread crumbs.’ And that is sort of like a Jewish custom – if you want to know the truth. With many groups of churches of God, they teach this – that it’s more important to them in finding an old piece of cookie or bread crumb than understanding just what the Days of Unleavened Bread represent. We have a seven-part series entitled “Christ In You (Unleavened Bread) – 2017” which covers this God-revealed understanding in great depth. The unleavened Bread of sincerity and truth. And how for seven days we’re to eat unleavened bread which is commensurate with having the unleavened Bread of Jesus Christ when He said, ‘I AM that bread.’ And for seven days we make a habit out of doing a physical activity that’s meant to teach us a spiritual – or mental – lesson. And that is that for seven days we actively pursue the idea of adding Jesus Christ to us. Now, that is a physical practice – when in total reality every day we should be asking God Almighty and Jesus Christ to share with us an ever-growing amount of the Holy Spirit. And if you’re feeling a little down or a little melancholy or even frustrated – and a lot of people do – it might be impart because the level of God’s Spirit is maybe closer to E than it is to F on your spiritual “tank” – closer to empty than it is to full. And, if that is the case, then I suggest you spend more time with God and Jesus Christ in prayer. I suggest you spend more time studying and trying to understand the Word of God, the Truth of God, and the ultimate Plan of God. Because if you understood – truly; deep in your spirit, in your mind, in your tissues and sinews – the T R U T H of God - you have been called by Jesus Christ and God Almighty to become future and eternal members of the Family of God! Friends, there’s no greater gift – no greater lottery – anywhere in the whole universe. You have a chance to be the winner of the ideal gift – eternal life in the kingdom of God!

So, if you think about that a little more – remember Jesus said Matthew 6:33 – “’ But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.’” And there are times in our lives we seek other things with more vigor, with more enthusiasm. And if we were to learn to put Jesus Christ and God Almighty and the kingdom of God, the Holy Bible, and the New Covenant at the very top level of our aspirations – of our goals – I think that you would find out that you would be a happier person. You might be a healthier person, more alert, and more enthused, and more in love with the concept of life itself. Because you know that your life – even though it might temporarily end – is destined to be eternal life. Think about that! You were born so that you could be an eternal member of the Family of God! Not up in the upper heavenly realms – floating around on a cloud playing the harp hoping that God might look at you or maybe perchance reach out and touch you on the head like you do your puppy dog. No, I mean a full-fledged member of the Family of God doing things constructively, teaching other human beings that came along after you the truth of God, and seeing them graduate into the kingdom of God! There truly isn’t anything better than that concept! Now, this concept is not taught in the churches of this world. It just isn’t. Well, I just told you the truth of the Gospel. This is the good news!

The Feast of the Firstfruits

Verse 16 – “’ and the Feast of Harvest, …’” – so, you could call this the Feast of the early summer harvest. Now, back in that part of the world, I am led to believe – and I hope I am correctly understanding my history – that the farmers at that time could plant their early crop maybe in February – because it was warm enough for the seeds to germinate – and by the time early summer rolled around they had their first early summer crop to harvest. And then they could plant their fields with another type of crop and have another crop in the fall of the year - continuous with the idea of the Feast of Tabernacles. So, there’s the early harvest – which is a smaller harvest – and a latter harvest – which is a bigger and more robust harvest. And then, on the eighth-day – the last great day of the Feast – that represents when everyone who has ever lived, having not rejected the Spirit of God and driven the Spirit of God out of them; having committed the so-called ‘unpardonable sin’ – will have a chance to learn the truth of God and to become an eternal member of the Family of God within the kingdom of God. And that’s news which the churches of this world never dreamed of.

You know, they teach things like ‘well, if you’re uncle who is a bit of a rascal – he drank too much, maybe smoked a joint or two of marijuana on the side, and maybe he liked to go to bars and play pool – and he went to nightclubs (even though King David danced before the LORD and it was greatly appreciated) – then he’s going to hell!’ Isn’t this a strange idea!? Think about it! Some of you who have come from the Protestant background – why do they spend time trying to get your mind all tied up in knots!? Now, listen carefully – so many of the religions of this world have ONE MAIN PURPOSE! And that is to lay a guilt trip on you.

Do you know what I am talking about!? They want you to be guilty about this and guilty about that! And the idea being – the only place you can receive some type of help is if you come and be a member of “our church.” Well, think of that uncle who was a bit of a rascal. And when he died his Right-wing church members and his family they pretty well conclude ‘ol’ Uncle Ralph is going to end up burning in hell!’ Is this what a loving God does to ‘ol’ Uncle Ralph’!? No, your uncle, your aunt, your brother, your sister, your parents, your grandparents – none of them are ‘burning in hell’! Maybe they’re not alive anymore, but – someday they will be! On this earth! And someday they’re going to learn the truth of God. That is a part of this great Gospel Message!

Going back to verse 16 – “ …’ the firstfruits of your labors …’” – the early harvest. Hopefully, people like you, and people like me, can be a part of that harvest of the firstfruits – which will occur very close to the return of Jesus Christ with the blowing of the SEVENTH TRUMP – the last trump! Now, this information is MORE IMPORTANT than anything else on this planet! And it’s information that you need to be made aware of and have refreshed – and have an even greater understanding of what these truths are!

“ …’ which you have sown in the field; and the Feast of Ingathering at the end of the year, …’” – the autumn of the year. This is the one which is in analogous with the Feast of Tabernacles. A much larger harvest. But, we have a chance to be a part of the harvest of the firstfruits.

Exodus 34:21 – “’ Six days you shall work, but on the seventh day you shall rest; … 22) And you shall observe the Feast of Weeks, of the firstfruits of wheat harvest, and the Feast of Ingathering at the year’s end.’” So, once again, it’s distinctly talking about an early summer harvest of the crop which was planted late January/February and it’s talking about a much larger harvest, a more robust harvest of the crop in the fall. Again, we have a chance to be a part of the Feast of Firstfruits.

Now, if you would turn to 1st Corinthians chapter 15. The apostle Paul gives us another little piece of the story – a point of understanding – about the meaning of the Feast of Pentecost. Keep in mind – we can call it Pentecost, or the day of Pentecost, or the Feast of Weeks, or the Feast of the Firstfruits – it has a variety of names in the Bible.

Now, I want to say something here today. I sort of alluded to it earlier – but I’ll say it again – and it may be a concept you have not been exposed to before. And, we often talk about the Feast of Pentecost being that time when God pours out His Spirit on a much larger group of people than He did in the Old Testament – and that’s a truism. We often say, ‘Well, it’s sort of the birthday of the New Testament Church.’ And that’s an accurate statement. But what you don’t normally hear is the Feast of Pentecost is directly linked with the concept of the resurrection of the saints – in the early harvest. In the harvest of the firstfruits. And that’s something I want to drive home today.

1st Corinthians 15:12 – “Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?”

Now, I will bet that there are people right now somewhere in the Western world – individuals or even organized groups – that teach ‘there is no resurrection from the dead.’

According to Henry M. Morris, PH.D.:
“So we have all the different religions, each with its own version of the future life. As noted, many of the religions of Asia such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism, with all their internal cults and external offshoots, believe in transmigration and reincarnation, a process terminating eventually perhaps in nirvana, a state of universal oneness (or perhaps nothingness). Individual resurrection is never considered even a possibility.
The Chinese religion (before Communism, that is) has been a sort of synthesis of Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism, with many hold-over elements of a still earlier animism. Confucianism is primarily an ethical system, though with occasional overtones of belief in a high God back in the beginning. Buddhism in its original form was also mainly ethical and meditational. Taoism was more mystical. Again, however, in none of these religions has there ever been any notion of resurrection.”
(Read More: Retrieved 7 May 2020).
They just simply believe – as they live their 60, 70, 80, 90-year lifespan – that is the whole focus of their existence.

Now, there’s a family member of mine, when my mother died a few years ago and we spoke at the funeral. Now, keep in mind – this person grew up in a home that considered themselves to be Catholic. And sure enough, he only lived about a half-a-block away from the Catholic school in that small town. And he went there until he was about a 6th grader until they kicked him out. I guess he was a bit of an ornery cuss! And, he had a chip on his shoulder about religion. Throughout all the time that I’ve known him – he had a very crusty view of religion. And he seemed to harbor a tremendous amount of ill-will towards his Catholic roots.

Well, my mother died and I was asked to speak at the funeral and I made references to the idea – that there will be someday a time when my mother will be resurrected from the grave and have a chance to live again. And to learn the truth of God. Well, when we were through with that ceremony – or service – and we all got together as a family group, he walked through a room, and he directed a comment at me. Again, he can be quite surly at times. He said something of the effect, ‘Well all I know is that when I die they’re going to put me in the ground and I’m gonna rot!’ And I thought – what a great thing to look forward to!

Now, at the time of my mother's funeral, he still had pretty good health. And I think there have been a few incidents in his life, and now I think he’s a little more amenable to the idea that maybe there’s something after death. Now, he’s never asked me about it – and probably never will. But, someday he’ll learn. And someday – I hope – through God’s grace and blessing that I’m the one that gets to tell him. And talk to him – and in a future age – and share with him this truth of God.

“ … some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?”

Now, remember the temple elite – the Pharisees and the Sadducees and the so-called ‘lawyer’ types “experts” on the law. The Sadducees say there is no resurrection. So, as Paul is speaking about this there were indeed people who were alive in the time of Paul that had as an organized belief – in an organized religious movement – the concept that there was no future resurrection from the dead.

Well, what do atheists believe!? A lot of atheists are very far over to the Left. And, it’s my observation that the people on the far-Left anymore are just angry about everything.

I remember growing up watching Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show, and he was funny. And then there was David Letterman on Late Night with David Letterman – and I thought he had a bit of an edge to him, and I didn’t appreciate his humor. But now the people on the late-night television programs – such as The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon – they’re just always angry. Or, as my buddy Chipper goes around saying all the time, “I’m just pissed off!” And you think – Chipper, how’s your blood pressure doing!? “It’s doing just fine!” he scowls. But he has to take pills. So, the people on the Left are just angry about everything. And I do not know why you would want to live that way. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – in my lifetime there have been some presidents that I did not particularly care for. But friends, I didn’t waste my time thinking about them. I just went out and lived my life the best I could and tried to be happy – tried to be content.

So, what do atheists do when they contemplate their death!? They profess that they have no hope. Well, even in spite of themselves they do have hope. Because someday they too will be brought back to life and taught for the first time the truth of God.

He goes on to say in verse 14 – “And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty.” I guess some of them are going so far as to say, ‘Well, Christ never rose.’ And, among the Jewish population and culture, they never did accept the idea that Jesus Christ walked out of His tomb. And even to this day – they’re waiting for a mystical messiah! And, friends, He came nearly two-thousand years ago. And, He’s coming back again – not too far down the road. And when He does they will not recognize Him – they will not know Him.

Verse 15 – “Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up – if in fact the dead do not rise.” – so, Paul is saying, ‘I have spoken to the resurrected Jesus Christ! Trust me. I know that He walked out of the tomb.’ And, all of His disciples which became apostles, they knew that He was alive at one time, that He’d been arrested, a sham trial, tortured to death, placed into a tomb – and they also experienced Him when He was alive again!

You know, most of these disciples which became apostles had their lives cut short prematurely. Because they would not give in to the pressure of their culture and their society – and they were martyred. And, I don’t think they would have gone through that if they had a doubt about whether or not Jesus Christ truly was alive. They knew He was alive because they had seen Him! They had touched him! They had spoken with Him!

Verse 16 – “For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. 17) And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! 18) Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.” – so, the term “fallen asleep in Christ.” Again, I’ve tried to point out many times – the term “sleep” in the Bible refers to death. And for those people who died in Christ, they died having the Spirit of God, having the truth of God, and having their names written in the Book of Life.

Verse 19 – “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.” And, in one place Paul says, ‘If Christ is not risen from the dead then eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die.’

Verse 20 – “But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21) For since by man came death, …” – meaning Adam. And, the sin which Adam and Eve committed. “ … by Man also came the resurrection of the dead.” – referring to Jesus Christ.

Verse 22 – “For as in Adam all die, …” – if you follow the way of Adam and Eve you will die. And you’ll be in your grave – and that’s it. And, as my family member says, “You will rot!” “ … even so in Christ all shall be made alive.” And notice that phrase “all.” And that “all” I think means about 99.999 percent. The overall, overwhelming, vast majority, of human beings – past, present, and future!

And I get the feeling – in my experiences of life; or even talking to a great many members of the churches of God – that every group sort of believes deep down inside that they are the only group. Now, don’t get mad at me – but I have heard my Catholic friends imply that only people who are members of the Catholic Church have a chance of making it into the “great beyond” – whatever. I’ve heard Baptists say the same thing, and I’ve heard other Protestant groups – actually state that “if you’re not a part of our group, you’re gonna go to hell!” And yet the Bible says from the apostle Paul – who got all of this information directly from Jesus Christ – “even so in Christ all shall be made alive.”

Verse 23 – “But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming.” – WOE! Listen up Catholics and Protestants – how do you handle that verse!? Do you just take a black marker and cross it out!? What did it say!? “Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming.” Now, wait a minute! I’ve heard Catholics and Protestants talk about when you die – if you’re a good person; however that is defined – you go fleeting up to Heaven. And then, from the same people you hear that the bad people, however that is defined, they go down to the depths of hell! To be tortured for all eternity. And yet the Bible doesn’t say anything like that! Here is another proof that says – basically – nothing happens to anyone until Jesus Christ returns. Now, you Sunday keepers – how do you explain this one!? You’ve grown up believing that your minister, your priest – your whatever – was telling you the truth. And yet they have not been telling you the truth! And there is no truth in the churches which are led by false prophets. Yes, there may be a sprinkling here or there – but overall the message is incorrect. It comes from human mythology. Human thoughts.

Verse 24 – “Then comes the end, when He [Jesus Christ] delivers [or, given over] the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. 25) For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. 26) The last enemy that will be destroyed is death.” – that’s a powerful statement! Let it sink in! Death is not the final decider of your fate. Your heart may momentarily stop, your lungs may momentarily stop breathing – but if you are a child of God, a follower of Jesus, if your name is written in the Book of Life – even death will be conquered. That is the great hope! Again, that is the Gospel! And you just don’t hear that being spoken.

What determines if you’re a Christian!?

Let’s turn to Romans, chapter 8, verse 6 – “For to be carnally minded is death, …” – now, that is a shocking statement! What does it mean!? The word carnally in Greek is sarx, meaning “flesh, body, the soft tissue of a creature.” Or, meaty. Without God’s Spirit, you have a “meaty” brain – and you’re facing death. However, notice the continuation of this verse – “ … but to be spiritually minded is life [meaning – eternal life] and peace.” – to be spiritually minded means you are led and directed and guided and inspired by God’s Holy Spirit. Which is the mind of Jesus Christ, the mind of God the Father. It’s the way They extend Their presence far away from where They are. And if you have your name written in the Book of Life you have some of God’s mind within you! That’s what qualifies you to become a member of the kingdom of God. Not you – not the flesh and blood which is you – but the Spirit of God which lives within you. That’s what makes you resurrection quality.

As I have gone through my sixty-nine years of life, one thing has become obvious to me. You can separate people into two groups. People who have peace of mind, peace of spirit, a certain calmness about them, a certain euphoria about them – or, there are people who are tied up in knots, in pain – mental pain, emotional pain, psychological pains, spiritual pain. I don’t think the people who are tormented by pain – speaking of psychological pain – are having a fun time being alive. But to have spiritual peace – every day is a euphoric vacation. Friends, when I go into my backyard, I am one with nature and I am one with God. I love that little scene back there – and I am so thankful that I have that little corner of the world that I can control and do what I want to do. And, nobody else can bother me. “but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.”

Verse 7 – “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; …” – the natural human fleshly brain is not compatible with God. The natural human brain is selfish, and does not want to be told by anyone or anything what they can do and what they cannot do – they will resist it, they will fight it, they will murmur against it. How many times in the Old Testament with the story of the children of Israel did they go into this murmuring process!? It got so bad that Moses didn’t even want to do anything with them at one time. And, it got so bad that on one or two occasions God Himself didn’t want to deal with them anymore! And that’s what rotten attitudes they had. Well, there are a lot of people who have rotten attitudes. “ … for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.”

Verse 8 – “So then, those who are in the flesh [meaning – without God’s Spirit] cannot please God.” – now, there are a lot of people who today – either earlier today or even now – have gone to church meetings, because this is a Sunday. And a whole lot of them – and I’m talking about hundreds of thousands, even millions of those people – don’t know the truth of God, have never repented, never asked to have God’s Spirit granted to them. They are without the Spirit of God – and yet they convince themselves and their own sense of self-righteousness that they have pleased God. Because they went to church today. And what they don’t understand – “So then, those who are in the flesh [void of God’s Spirit] cannot please God.”

Verse 9 – “But you are not in the flesh but in [or – of] the Spirit, …” – now, when I say these terms from the Bible, it’s not talking about some charismatic “speaking in tongues” moment. It’s not talking about some Pentecostal type movement. It’s not talking about that stuff friends! Just getting all emotionally charged and running around waving your hands and babbling in some incoherent and strange noises is not “in the Spirit.” Being in the Spirit, or of the Spirit, or with the Spirit, is when the mind of Jesus Christ and God Almighty is being shared with your mind. “ … if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you.”

A lot of people think – well, if I go to church on Sunday I’m a Christian. Nope. A lot of people think – well if I talk about Jesus Christ all the time that makes me a Christian. Nope. A lot of people think – well if I wear a cross around my neck that will make me a Christian. Nope. The only thing that separates Christians from non-Christians is that true Christians – the true followers of Jesus Christ – have been given a part of the mind of Jesus Christ. That’s the difference. And all of you, friends, need to ask yourself – do I have God’s Spirit!? And if I don’t is there something I can do to receive it!? Indeed there is. I think you can go to God in prayer and ask that He grant you true repentance and much greater understanding, and find a minister of God to baptize you (we have trained ordained ministers available in the east-south-central, and southeastern regions of the United States, ready to counsel with you PERSONALLY - to answer questions - to help you with any spiritual problems - even to baptize any who are ready for it). And, through the process of the laying on of hands, have that gift of God conferred upon you. That would be my suggestion.

Verse 10 – “And if Christ is in you, …” – one of the basic fundamental meanings of the Days of Unleavened Bread! When Jesus said, ‘I AM the Bread of life!’ You know – ‘for seven days you will eat unleavened bread’ we’re signifying that we need Jesus to be in us through His mind, through His Spirit. “ … the body is dead because of sin, …” – now, the body will die, however “ … but the Spirit [will grant you] life because of righteousness.”

Now, there are some people who think they can whip themselves into shape and become righteous. Now, friends, it is true – you can change your diet, you can change your exercise plans, and you can whip yourself into better shape, physically. I’ve known people who think – well if you’re righteous you’ll comb your hair a certain way. And by all means you men won’t have long hair! You know, I really don’t think God gives a hoot! Now, when I was growing up the hippie movement started and I sort of got offended when I saw men with long hair. But you know friends – if somebody can grow long hair, more power to them, because I can’t anymore. I’m not even gonna complain. But it’s not how you comb your hair or how long your hair is or isn’t, it’s not whether you put on makeup or don’t, it’s not the color of shirt you wear, it’s not how big your briefcase or Bible is, it’s not how you speak. None of that is what matters! YOU CANT PUT ON RIGHTEOUSNESS! The only place where you can get righteousness is to beg and to plead with God Almighty and Jesus Christ that THEY pour out THEIR RIGHTEOUSNESS on you. How do you get rid of unrighteousness!? You have so much of God’s Spirit within you that it pushes everything else out. Think of an empty jar. And, the air which is in the jar is unrighteousness. But if you pour olive oil (which represents God’s Spirit) into that jar, when the olive oil gets to the top, all of the unrighteousness is gone. That’s how you become righteous – you don’t work your way into it. You can’t put on righteousness. God is the only One who is righteous, and only by having the mind of God in you can you have some of that righteousness. That’s the part of you that will be resurrected into the kingdom of God! The human part of you won’t! Because we won’t be flesh and blood – whatever was once your flesh and blood body will be gone. But the Spirit of God is eternal. That’s what God uses and will manipulate to make you an eternal spiritual being.

There was a fellow once upon a time, and I thought he was a good guy, and I thought his wife was a good person. And I made an hourglass and gave to him. It was just a decoration to place upon his shelf. And I found out later – he was puffed up with self-righteousness and vanity – from his wife that he would take it into his “prayer closet” and when he began to pray he would place the hourglass next to him. And he wouldn’t stop praying until an hour had gone by. My, he was righteous! Mahatma Gandhi once said, “It is the quality of our work which will please God and not the quantity.” And, of course, that goes for prayers. I think even five-minutes of truly earnest prayer is more important than a whole hour of just sort of mumbling things – just aimlessly bouncing off things in your mind.

Verse 11 – “But if the Spirit of Him [God the Father] who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit [because of His Spirit that] dwells in you.” – Christ in you.

Verse 12 – “Therefore, brethren, we are debtors – not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 13) For if you live according to the flesh you will die; …” – if you live a life devoid of God’s Spirit sooner or later you will die. But however, if “ … by the Spirit [empowered by God’s Spirit] you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.”

Verse 14 – again, another definition of what a true Christian is. “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are [children] of God. 15) For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, …”

O’ I have to tell this story quickly. Several years ago a church gathering out in Missouri – this guy who looked like Ichabod Crane from Pennsylvania (the image portrayed by Walt Disney World) was the speaker of the day. And, as they say down south – “Bless his heart!” He was just a hard man to look upon – with a stare about him. And he got up behind the lectern that day and he kept saying over and over, “You must FEARRRRR GOD!” Friends, I was sitting on an aisle seat, and I literally became nauseated. And I wasn’t nauseated before he began to talk. And I hadn’t eaten any bad food for breakfast. I almost threw up in the middle of the aisle. It was horrible!

Now later on that afternoon – as I minded my own business in my little condominium – when someone knocks on the door and says, “Mike, we’re going to go into Branson and eat at the Golden Corral.” And I didn’t have any dinner plans – I hadn’t thought about it much – so I got into the car with them and lo and behold unbeknownst to me sitting in the backseat of the car was “You must FEARRRRR GOD!” Well, a little way down the road Ichabod says to me, “Mike, I noticed you out in the crowd today. And, you didn’t look like you were very happy.” And I said, “O’ I was just on the verge of throwing up – that’s all.” “What did you think of my sermon?” “Well, I’ll tell you what, as long as I live I will never forget that sermon!” And I haven’t. And I won’t. Because it was probably the worst sermon I’ve ever heard in my life.

Well, what did Paul just say here!? “For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of [sonship] by whom we cry out, ‘Abba, Father.’” – we’re not supposed to fear God! We’re not supposed to fear Jesus Christ! We’re supposed to love Them! And appreciate Them! And feel strengthened by Their presence in our life! But you know – I’ve been around homes where the dog is always shying away from people – and you come to realize that that dog has probably been kicked and mistreated - so many times that when he sees a human being he cowers in fear.

I had an incident about a week ago. My dear beloved kitty cat – who I named Kitty Boy – who you couldn’t ask for a nicer cat. But this one evening Kitty Boy was sort of wound up. Was jumping from place to place. And then jumped from my reclining chair up onto the top of a bookcase – where I don’t want him. Because he and his brother just knock things over – knock everything off the top of that bookcase. And so I was saying to him, “No Kitty Boy – no!” And he just looked at me as if to say, ‘I am not interested in the least!’ So, I got him up and I moved him and placed him on the floor. And a few moments later he got right back up there on that bookcase. So, I said to him, “No! No!” And picked him up and placed him on the floor again. And he did it again! And there happen to be a little water bottle there that has a top which you can pull out – and upon pulling the top out you can make a squirt gun out of it. And so I was frustrated, and I began squirting Kitty Boy with the water in that water bottle yelling, “No! No!” And he looked at me – and I can still see that look – with this face that said, ‘What is wrong with you poppa!?’ I saw fear. And it looked as though he had been betrayed by his good friend. Kitty Boy follows me everywhere. Anywhere I am – there’s Kitty Boy. I love this cat! And I felt like I had damaged him. And ever since then I’ve been apologizing to him.

Remember what God had told Noah!? He would never again destroy the earth through water. Well, I have that same feeling with Kitty Boy. I’ll never do that again. Because he was totally shocked by me – because I’m his friend. And I was raving like a mad man.

Well, we shouldn’t think of God that way either! We shouldn’t walk through life waiting for God to strike us down! Or, to pull the rug out from under us.

You know – most of the troubles we have in our life we created ourselves. And then ever so often we have human beings that go out of their way to create troubles for us. And then sometimes we have demonic spirits or Satan himself to go out of his way to inspire people to cause us troubles. But God never does that! And we should never fear Him! There should never be that barrier – you should be able to go to God and Jesus Christ and just be completely open. Don’t keep secrets from Them! Let Them know everything – because They already know your flaws. And They know that you are flawed. They know that you’re flesh and blood, and They know that we as humans are prone to make mistakes. Aren’t we!? We do stupid things that we shouldn’t do, and we say stupid things that we shouldn’t say, we think stupid things which we shouldn’t think. And the best remedy is to go to God and Jesus Christ in prayer and just be totally and completely open and honest with Them.

Now, I am not saying, ‘go to human beings.’ I wish you could – I wish there were people you could go to. I wish there were people in your life that you could completely and totally trust – with your most intimate and darkest secret. But I’m telling you – there’s a good chance sooner or later you’ll get burned. But God Almighty and Jesus Christ will NEVER betray you! They will never leave you, never forsake you. And They will always hold your life as dear and precious. Take it to God in prayer.

Thank you for being with us today. We appreciate you – wherever you are. Fifty miles away, or, five miles away, or, five-thousand miles away – we hope you read along in your Bible, we hope you learned, and we hope you come back and learn more. Whether you know it or not – we consider you to be a part of all of us. And I want you to feel that way – I want you to feel as though you are a part of what’s happening in Owensboro, Kentucky, USA. The Owensboro Church of Jesus Christ.

So, we ask God’s blessing on all of you, we ask God’s guidance on all of you, we ask God’s protection on all of you. And we say this in the name of Jesus Christ – our Lord, our Master, and our soon-coming King.  

Until next time, goodbye my friends. □

Friday, May 29, 2020

Pentecost - a seven-part series (Part I)

by Michael C. Garrett

Good afternoon friends wherever you might be. Here in the United States, or the United Kingdom, India, Argentina, South Africa, or even Ireland – even the Middle East. We’ve had communications with people from the Middle East – even Syria. We have such empathy for people who are in that area – who want to hear the Word of God, the Truth of God and the Plan of God, and yet their country has been torn asunder. Because of warfare and civil strife. Again, our empathy goes out to you friends, and we just hope that you remain safe and that you are able to continue to listen to what we’re doing and what we’re saying. But, wherever you are – Europe, Russia, China, Puerto Rico, Somalia, and even Cameroon – if you’re reading this, we’re very thankful to have you! And, we hope that you will read the whole article – the second-part of this series will be added next month – an intense study of the Bible. And we go through a lot of material.

And we are meeting here – the weekly Church service of the Owensboro Church of Jesus Christ.

This is what we traditionally and historically refer to as Pentecost weekend. Because today is a weekly Sabbath – a weekly meeting time – prescribed in the Bible. Now, a lot of people think that church day is supposed to be on a Sunday – the normal church day. And yet, that is not what Jesus Christ taught. It is not what the apostle Paul taught. And it was only Roman Emperor Constantine I – centuries after the time of Jesus Christ and Paul – who decided that he was going to change things. And from that the Roman Catholic Church picked up that edict, and then with time all of the so-called Protestant churches, or protesting churches, kept the same edict. And, after hundreds of years the majority of people think it is perfectly normal. Sunday should be church day – you say. But, that’s not what the Bible describes. The Bible describes that – the Church day is the seventh day of the week. Sunday is the first day of the week! So, what we now call Saturday – that is the seventh-day of the week. And no, if you’re wondering – we are not associated in any way with the Seventh-day Adventist. Even though we do have some common biblical theology – because they’ve looked into their Bible’s and seen certain things, and we look into our Bible’s and see certain things. And I commend them for the level of accuracy that they do have over certain things. We do keep the seventh-day Sabbath.

Tomorrow – the only time throughout the calendar year in which we, followers of Jesus Christ, are prescribed (in the Holy Bible) to go to church as a Church day, as an annual holy day, on Sunday. The Day of Pentecost.

Now, we have a seven-part series entitled “Christ In You (Unleavened Bread) – 2017” which explains Passover, and the Days of Unleavened Bread. But here is the unique thing – the Spring holy days: Passover (also called the Lord’s Supper), the Days of Unleavened Bread, and Pentecost are all like a three-legged stool. You might have been in a shop back-in-the-day, and a lot of the stools were made with only three legs. Because with three legs you can always get the stool to settle-in. If there are four legs it could be off-center and wobble. But a three-legged stool is very solid. And, these three holy day times – Passover, the Days of Unleavened Bread, and Pentecost – are all grouped together and they all carry a central message. There is a connection – a progression of ideas – which involves the three Spring holy days. In short these three are a basic outline for individual personal salvation.

A man or a woman who wants to be “right with God” as the humanist ‘easy-to-read’ Bible altered (Romans 5:1; ERV) – who wants to be in proper obedience and direction and admonition of the Word of God. These three Spring holy days describe to you, as you fully understand the meanings, how it is that you ensure – as it were - through the grace of Jesus Christ, that you can be a part of the kingdom of God, and of eternal life.

And, just very quickly.

Passover – describes Jesus Christ as our Savior. Now, if you don’t have Jesus Christ and you don’t have the sacrifice of Jesus Christ you have nothing. You have no in-road into the mind of God and into the Plan of God. Jesus Christ is the central focus of EVERYTHING!

Days of Unleavened Bread – is the idea of Christ being in you. So, during the Days of Unleavened Bread we are told to eat unleavened bread seven days – in that prescribed period. And, that unleavened bread represents the unleavened Bread of sincerity and truth – the unleavened Bread of Jesus Christ – when He said, ‘I AM the living Bread’ in John chapter 6. And by doing that – it’s a teaching point. A lesson that every day we need Jesus Christ to be a part of us. We need His mind, His Words, His thoughts, His emotions – the very Holy Spirit of God – in us, with us, guiding us, teaching us, strengthening us, and changing us – from a mortal human being into a much more divine creature. A being that someday will be allowed to enter into the kingdom of God.

Pentecost continues that theme.

‘Anyone Who Wants To Be Of God’

On the Day of Pentecost the Spirit of God was poured out upon the early Church in great quantity – unrestricted. And, that’s what all of us need – we need Jesus Christ! Again, we need His mind, His Words, His thoughts, His emotions – the very Holy Spirit of God – in us. Indeed, they are all a part of that three-legged stool.

Now, for those of you who have never heard of the idea of unleavened bread – or the annual holy days – let’s quickly go back to Leviticus chapter 23. It’s the one place in the Bible where all of the holy days are mentioned in one chapter – in order – a quick thumb-nail sketch information is given to us about the meaning of these days.

“And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 2) ‘Speak to the children of Israel, …’

Now, He didn’t say, ‘Speak to the Jewish people.’ A lot of people don’t know this – most people today if they hear the word Israel they think it means Jewish. Or, they think Jewish means Israel. And in truth – Jacob (whose name was later changed to Israel) had twelve sons: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Zebulun, Issachar, Dan, Gad, Asher, Naphtali, Joseph, and Benjamin – they were the progenitor of many nations. And, Judah became the progenitor of the Jewish people. Jews, Jewish – Judah. But there were eleven other sons. And all twelve of these sons comprised the people of Israel. And there are within certain concordances - the word Israel, if you break it down means “who is like God.” 1 That is what the ancient Israelites were supposed to be. And, at this point in time He is giving this information to all twelve tribes! Today – the identity of physical Israel is a little sketchy. We do have an idea of who a few of the tribes are. And some people say – ‘Well, maybe it’s this, maybe it’s that.’ It has nothing to do with salvation. But the New Testament plainly gives us the example – that if you want to be a part of the kingdom of God – you want to be a part of spiritual Israel. And that doesn’t matter where you come from – a shade of pigmentation you may or may not have. What race, what ethnicity – makes no difference. The spirit of being a part of spiritual Israel has to do with whether or not the Spirit of God is within your heart and mind. And again – that’s what the Day of Pentecost is all about – the pouring out of God’s Spirit. And once you have the Spirit, you have that identifying “sign.” And if you have the Spirit of God your name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. And you are guaranteed that upon the return of Jesus Christ – at the blowing of the SEVENTH TRUMP – you will be changed. Whether you die between now and then, or still alive. Whether your still alive or have gone into your grave – you will hear Jesus Christ calling you – and instantly changing you into an eternal spiritual being. A son or daughter – forever – of God Almighty and Jesus Christ. This is the pathway to eternal life!

Now, a lot of different churches have a lot of different ideas about what you need to do to have eternal life. And, a lot of them have a lot of strange ceremonies. Well, here is one – and I’m not trying to anger our friends who happen to be members of the Roman Catholic Church. I’ve been to a few Roman Catholic Church services – sometimes they were weddings, sometimes they were funerals. But you have to admit there is a whole lot of ritual involved in those observances. And the people think – well if the altar server is out there waving a thurible which is smoking! And, I went to the funeral of a friend here a few years ago at the Catholic Church over in Rockport, Indiana. I do remember thinking – I was at a cheerleading session. Because every time they would turn around they were standing up, and then they’d sit down. And then on cue – some magical word was said by the priest – they’d all stand back up. Reminded me of the old cheer - "Lean to the Left, Lean to the Right, Stand-Up, Sit Down...Fight, Fight, Fight!" And, they had the ceremonial wafer, a little wine – all ritual. Well, if you like rituals – that’s the place you ought to be. Myself, I like to know the truth of the Holy Bible. I think the understanding of the Holy Bible is a pathway to eternal life – and following the Word of God. And, quite frankly the Holy Bible does not take center stage in most of the religions of this world. But for us here at the Owensboro Church of Jesus Christ we are all about the Word of God, the Truth of God, and attempting to understand the Plan of God. And, we are having this sermon transcribed so that this message can go forth on computers – and people around the world have access to reading this. And, upon posting this on our blog page ( it can be read in over 100 languages via Google Translate. And people truly do view this work of God from around the world – over 58 countries. And, we are wanting – as Jesus said in the Book of John – “’ Feed My sheep!’” So, that’s what we are attempting to do. We are attempting to feed the followers of Jesus Christ or the people who are seriously contemplating becoming followers of Jesus Christ. Not in some ritualistic church – but in truth, in deed, in heart, in Spirit. Knowing and learning about Jesus Christ, His will, His truth, His precepts – and His Plan for all mankind.

So, when the Bible says, “’ Speak to the children of Israel, …’” – it means, ‘anyone who wants to be of God.’ Now, some people don’t want to be of God.
Minister Michael Garrett boldly and unwaveringly proclaims the living TRUTH of Almighty God! In this sermon he speaks of the 'toxic philosophy' of this nation's religion - politics. From the Fake News surrounding today's leading headlines to the continued dividing of our great nation! A FIVE-PART series.

That’s amazing to me – but, more and more I hear people on television who have no respect for God whatsoever.

And there is one thing I don’t understand – and I’m not trying to ruffle any feathers – the national party here in America that leans to the political Left, over the eleven-and-a-half years, has become fixated – seemingly – on protecting the rights of a religion which does not acknowledge Jesus Christ as the Son of God! Jesus Christ is EVERYTHING! And, I think our only hope in the world – as we are alive and after our human life – is Jesus Christ! And so I want nothing to do with a religion that hates Jesus Christ! And yet, we have a political party in this country for about the last decade or so that – seemingly – is fixated on protecting the rights of this religion – which came out of the Middle East. People, many of whom in their fanatic state, want to kill Christians! Want to cut off the heads of Christians! People who have nothing in common with this far-Left political party say they stand for. This party says – ‘Well, we are for equal rights for women.’ And, I agree with that – nothing wrong with that.

And yet, they’re defending a religion where women are treated – almost like animals. 2 They have no say so in their life. They have to be shrouded in a burqa and are not allowed to leave their house without wearing one and a male family member with them. Many of them are horribly brutalized by “genital mutilation”. That’s the religion you guys are supporting!? A religion that treats women like second-class citizens, who at the drop of a hat can divorce a woman, and one in which the men say they have the right to marry as many women as they want!? Now, everything that the far-Left political movement in this country say they are for – this religion is against!

Now, this far-Left political party in America they say – ‘We want to establish a culture in which alternate lifestyles are protected and defended.’ Gays, lesbians, bi-sexuality – and all of that. And yet this religion – which came out of the sands of Arabia – brutally kill anyone they believe is participating in some of those alternative lifestyles. 3 And yet the far-Left is defending that religion!? A religion that blows themselves up killing all “infidels”.

Recall - we had the Manchester Arena bombing in which an Islamist suicide bomber detonated a shrapnel-laden homemade bomb as people were leaving the Manchester Arena following a concert by US singer Ariana Grande – in which 22 people were murdered and over 800 people injured. We had the May 2017 Kabul attack, in which a truck bomb exploded in a crowded intersection in Kabul, Afghanistan, near the German embassy – causing over 150 deaths (many of which were Muslims) and well over 413 injuries! And yet, the political far-Left is sympathetic with them and feels sorry for them. I don’t understand it!

Now, as of January 20th, 2017, we have a new president here in America! Who has spoken out very boldly, proudly, and loudly, that he wants to protect Americans from these Islamic terrorists. And yet, everything he tries to do the people on the far-Left in this country tries to stop him! Again, I don’t understand it. I’ll be very honest – I don’t want a bunch of Islamic terrorists moving to Owensboro, Kentucky. 4 Or, Mortons Gap, Kentucky. Or. Ellettsville, Indiana. I just don’t want them there! Because I don’t want my head cut off, or blown up, or shot, or set on fire and burned – or all the other horrible atrocities. And, every week now we have examples – sometimes two or three examples – of Islamic terrorists murdering people, maiming them – altering their life in a way that they will never be the same again. And I just don’t understand it - how a major political party in this country – seemingly – wants to protect that religion. It just stumps me.

So, that’s as political as I will get today in this part one entitled Pentecost. Now, if anyone can really give me an answer to that, maybe sometime send a message through our Facebook page or even on Owensboro Church of Jesus Christ (Florida) - we have a contact form at the bottom of our home page - and maybe you can educate me on why I’m not seeing this correctly.

So, Israel – some of us are physical descendants from the children of Israel, and hopefully all of us want to be spiritual descendants of what God looks upon as His people Israel.

’ Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘The feasts of the LORD, …’” – the feasts of God Almighty and Jesus Christ. The same feasts were observed and kept by Jesus Christ when He was a human being. And the same feasts which were kept by His followers – the disciples who later became apostles, including the apostle Paul. And, they taught all of us that we should still be keeping these feasts. And that is why we spend so much time speaking about Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread, and now Pentecost, and their meaning. And friends, if you look on our website you’ll find tabs which say, “Holy Day Sermons.” Most of what we talk about here at the Owensboro Church of Jesus Christ is dissecting and attempting to learn and understand the different meanings of the annual holy days. Minister Guy LaMar in our east-south-central region, the other day on the phone asked, ‘Mike, your going to have a whole year of sermons and all of them are going to be on the holy days?’ “That’s right,” I answered. Because understanding the holy days is the key to understanding the Plan of God. And, understanding the Plan of God is the key to understanding how all of us can be a part of the kingdom of God.

It’s like – and I love this song “When The Saints Go Marching In.”
When the saints go marching in.
Oh, Lord, I want to be in that number when the saints go marching in.
Yeah! I wanna be a part of that great resurrection when Jesus Christ returns! And, I want all of you to be a part of it! And I understand the tinkling of bells and wafting of smoke and speaking in foreign languages or an unintelligible “language” doesn’t help anyone. It’s all ritual. But I know that the key is getting into the Bible.
Is the Christian religion a mystery!? Is God’s living WORD a mystery!?

And if you seek God’s truth – truly seek it – God Almighty and Jesus Christ will help you to learn it. And if you read these many articles on the Owensboro Church of Jesus Christ (Florida) – even as far back as the winter of 2019 with “Abraham Believed God.” If you dig this truth out, you too will become some of the most intelligent people – spiritually speaking – on the face of the Earth. And you will have wisdom which very few people have ever had. The wisdom of understanding God’s truth.

’ Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘The feasts of the LORD, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, …’” – holy gatherings.

And so, we have gathered here together on this weekly Sabbath, and tomorrow – God willing – we will gather together on an annual Sabbath.

“ … ‘these are My feasts.’” – they belong to God. And, I don’t think He likes people who make fun of them – or who mislabel them.

Verse 3 - “’ Six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath …’”

Verse 4 – “’ These are the feasts of the LORD, holy convocations which you shall proclaim at their appointed times.’” – and that’s why we’re talking about Pentecost today – because it’s the season of Pentecost.

Verse 5 – “’ On the fourteenth day of the first month [month of Nisan] at twilight is the LORD’s Passover.’” – go on Home - Owensboro Church of Jesus Christ, there’s a whole lot of information about the Passover.

Verse 6 – “’ And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the LORD; seven days you must eat unleavened bread.’” And, during the beginning of that holy day period we talked about all the places where the Bible says, ‘you will eat unleavened bread for seven days, and you will avoid leavened bread for seven days.’

Verse 9 – “And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 10) ‘Speak to the children of Israel, …’ - anyone who wants to be of God is a part of the people of Israel, the people of God. “ … ‘and say to them: ‘When you come into the land which I give to you, and reap its harvest, then you shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the priest. 11) He [the priest] shall wave the sheaf before the LORD, to be accepted on your behalf; on the day after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it.’”

So, He’s talking about the Sabbath which occurs in the middle of Unleavened Bread. And so, this has a lot of meaning.

Now, there are churches of God that only talk about this. A priest, and a wave sheaf – and they go on and on year after year. Yet – do you know when Jesus Christ was actually accepted back to the throne of God!? Have you thought about it!?

The Great Reunion

If you would turn to the Book of John chapter 20 – “Now the first day of the week Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early, while it was still dark, …” – now, you hear the Protestants and the Catholics talking about Sunday Sunrise Service. Well, this was before the sun has come up. These women already see that the stone had been rolled away from the tomb.

Verse 2 – “Then she ran and came to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and said to them, ‘They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.’ 3) Peter therefore went out, and the other disciple [the apostle John], and were going to the tomb. 4) So they both ran together, and the other disciple outran Peter and came to the tomb first. 5) And he, stooping down and looking in, saw the linen cloths lying there; …” – with no body.

Verse 6 – “Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb; and he saw the linen cloths lying there, 7) and the handkerchief that had been around His head, not lying with the linen cloths, but folded together in a place by itself. 8) Then the other disciple [the apostle John], who came to the tomb first, went in also; …” – you get the feeling that Simon Peter was a strong man, a fisherman - a bit on the wild side. He once tried to split a guy's head open with a sword, but the man moved just enough and only the man’s ear was cut off. So, John probably wasn’t as big as Peter, but John must have been a quick runner. Because every time we read about Peter and John trying to get somewhere, John is always the first one there. And, as he says here – “Then the other disciple [John], who came to the tomb first, went in also; and he saw and believed.”

Verse 9 – “For as yet they did not know the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead.”

Now, they had heard Him talk about it – Jesus had talked about it a whole lot. But their spiritual understanding was not keen enough to understand what He was trying to say. And that happens to a lot of people – unless God Almighty and Jesus Christ help you to understand the Bible you won’t really understand it. But since you’re reading this, or you’re watching our sermons, you’re taking a giant step towards the process of learning what the Bible actually says – because we’re going to help lead you down that path and show you.

Verse 10 – “Then the disciples went away again to their own homes. 11) But Mary stood outside by the tomb weeping, and as she wept she stooped down and looked into the tomb.” – because she thinks they’ve stolen His body and they won’t be able to give Him a proper burial.

Verse 12 – “And she saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. 13) Then they said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping?’ She said to them, ‘Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.’”

Verse 14 – “Now when she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus.” – Now, I’ve tried to point this out – Jesus had the ability to change His appearance at will to suit His needs (what one in the modern era would call shapeshifting). And in this particular situation He’s disguised Himself to her.

Verse 15 – “Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?’ – now, He knew what she was doing. But was trying to engage her in conversation. “ … She, supposing Him to be the gardener, said to Him, ‘Sir, if You have carried Him away, tell me where You have laid Him, and I will take Him away.’”

Verse 16 – “Jesus said to her, ‘Mary!’ …” – probably using His normal voice. “ … She turned and said to Him, ‘Rabboni!” (which is to say, Teacher).” – so, when He used His normal voice she immediately knew who it was -even though she knew He had been killed on a cross, and placed in a tomb for over three days. She knows it’s Him!

Now, imagine if you had been Mary – Mary was a human being just as we are – she probably had a horrible three days, grieving. She thinks they’ve stolen His body, she’s trying to find it, and all of a sudden she’s looking at her Master who was once dead! And she knows He’s alive! Isn’t it great about God’s religion – we don’t worship a dead Buddha or a dead Muhammad – we worship a living Jesus Christ! HE’S ALIVE! And, Mary found this out – at that very moment!

Now, this next verse is IMPORTANT – it’s what we’re talking about back in Leviticus.

Verse 17 – “Jesus said to her, ‘Do not cling to Me, …’ – ‘Do not touch Me!’ “ … ‘for I have not yet ascended [back to the third heaven; back to the throne of God the Father] – now, think about this! He’s saying, ‘Don’t touch Me! I have yet to go back to My Father and all of My angelic friends. Who are waiting for the great expectation to see Him again – victorious! “ … ‘but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I Am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.’

Verse 18 – “Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that He had spoken these things to her.”

Now, Revelation chapter 4 gives us a hint of what this reunion must have been like. Remember – Jesus had been a human being on the Earth for a little over 33½ years. It’s not an actual report of His return to the third heaven – but it gives us a feeling. 5

Verse 2 – “Immediately I was in the Spirit; …” – being taught and shown by the Spirit of God. “ … and behold, a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne. 3) And He was sat there was like a jasper and a sardius stone [carnelian; reddish brown] in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald [which is green in color] …”

Verse 4 – “Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and on the thrones I saw twenty-four elders [angelic beings who were advisers to God the Father] 6 clothed in white robes; and they had crowns of gold on their heads.” – very important personalities in the eyes of God.

Verse 5 – “And from the throne proceeded lightnings, thunderings, and voices. Seven lamps of fire were burning before the throne which are the seven Spirits of God.” – seven more very special messenger angelic beings that come into play later in Revelation 8:2.

Verse 6 – “Before the throne there was a sea of glass, like crystal. And in the midst of the throne, and around the throne, were four living creatures full of eyes in front and in back.” – four more super archangels.

Verse 7 – “The first [archangel] was like a lion, …” 7 - I conclude from this God loves cat faces! Because He has them right there at the throne where He can look upon them! “ … the second [archangel] like a calf, the third [archangel] had a face like a man, and the fourth [archangel] was like a flying eagle.” – see Ezekiel 1:10; 6:2, 3.

Now, down in Evansville, Indiana there’s a Hindu temple in which they worship cows. In India cows are sacred. If you’re driving down the road and hit a cow – you’re in big trouble! You’ve killed one of their gods. Now think about it – what type of religion is it that worships a cow!? Now, I love the faces of my cats – but I don’t worship cats! I look upon them as my friends, my buddies – my companions. But, they are worshiping cows! Now, keep in mind, one of the faces of the archangels is that of a calf. Keep in mind – the ‘a flying eagle.’ Think about in Greek mythology how many of the “special” beings can fly!? Even early Americans were so entranced by the beauty of an eagle – that the bald eagle became our national symbol. There’s just something about their face – their look of intensity.

Verse 8 – “The four living creatures, each having six wings, were full of eyes around and within. And they do not rest day or night, saying …” – these majestic and great archangels! And, what are they saying!? “ … ‘Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come!’”

Now, this is not a passage which describes the reunion – but I think it is a passage which helps us to understand how reverently the residence of the third heaven looks upon their Master – Jesus Christ.

So, as we go back to the Book of John where we were – chapter 20.

Verse 17 – Mary Magdalene is there, she knows who Jesus is. And – if you think about it – someone she knows is dead. I mean, she saw Him die. And now He’s alive and full of glory and power. The natural reaction for Mary would be to reach out and give Him a hug. And probably her arms went forward, and Jesus said, ‘No! Don’t touch Me Yet! “’ for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren’ - to tell them what she had said and witnessed.

So, let’s go back to the Book of Leviticus.

“ … ‘on the day AFTER the Sabbath …’” – is what!? Sunday. There was this wave sheaf offering back in the day – a ceremony.

Verse 10 – “’ Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘When you come into the land which I give to you, and reap its harvest, then you shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the priest. 11) He shall wave the sheaf before the LORD, to be accepted on your behalf; on the day AFTER the Sabbath the priest shall wave it.”

This ancient ceremony here in the Book of Leviticus ties in directly with what we just read in the Book of John – Jesus said, “’ for I have not yet ascended to My Father.’

So, Jesus was resurrected on what we call a Saturday afternoon. But it was sometime Sunday before He actually ascended back to the third heaven and to the throne of God. And that is what this wave sheaf is representing.

“ … ‘then you shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest …’” – who was the ‘firstfruits of the harvest’? It was Jesus Christ Himself. And this whole ceremony looked forward to the time when Jesus would actually go back to the third heaven for a short visit.

Does this make sense!? Were you able to follow along!?

Verse 15 – “’ And you shall count for yourselves from the day AFTER the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering: seven Sabbaths shall be completed.’” – so, 7 x 7 = 49 + 1 more day = 50.

Verse 16 – “’ Count fifty days …’” – and that is where the word Pentecost comes from. Pentecost in Greek is pentēkostē, meaning fifty – to count fifty. Which is what we’re told to do here in Leviticus.

Verse 21 – “’ And you shall proclaim on the same day that it is a holy convocation to you. You shall do no customary work on it.’”

And so tomorrow, we are to gather together as an actual holy day.

Now, very quickly – notice Luke 24:13 it talks about two men who were walking away from Jerusalem to a small village called Emmaus, which was seven miles from Jerusalem. And, as they’re talking and commiserating they have an encounter with Jesus Christ. And He even sits down and begins a meal with them. Jesus – that day - had already ascended to the third heaven to have a quick reunion with God the Father and all the angelic beings, and then He came back to the Earth – and He joins in on this conversation.

So, when He ascended to heaven for a short period of time on that Sunday – the first day of the week; they didn’t call it Sunday, they called it the first day of the week – that was a fulfillment of the wave sheaf offering/prophecy.

Betrayal Is A Part of the Passover Season

So, if you would turn to Luke chapter 22.

Now, we spoke on the night of the Passover – or the Lord’s Supper – about exactly what happened that night as they had their meal. But we haven’t spoken about the other things which happened – and I want all of you to understand from the living word of God. Because this is a fascinating story! This - the story of the final hours of the human life of Jesus Christ before Him being tortured and murdered. And there is so much we can learn – from this.

Verse 2 – “And the chief priests and the scribes …” – the temple elite, these are the high-muck-a-mucks! The ones wearing the robes, the beads, and all the fancy stuff – that the world around them looked upon as high leaders. And we have the same thing today! Every church organization has a high leader. And, everyone who is a member of that church organization thinks their high leader is better than any other high leader. And in truth – back in the time of Jesus Christ the high leaders, the temple elite, were the co-workers of Satan the devil. “ … sought how they might kill [Jesus Christ], for they feared the people.” – Now, what were they fearing!? Well, Jesus Christ was performing miracles the like of which no one had ever imagined let alone seen! The blind were healed, the deaf were healed, the crippled were healed, people were raised from the dead. And the people were becoming more and more like – ‘wait a minute, these stuffy temple elite, they don’t do much for me, but this other guy – He’s real!’ He talked to people, He interacted with people, He healed people! He forgave their sins and they truly were forgiven. And what was the religious leaders' great character flaw!? They were greedy for power and control over the people. Money & Power – two of the great flaws in human nature – when people are trying to rule over other people because they want their money and they want power. And I dare say – many of the church leaders in the various reincarnations of the Church of God have the very same flaws (see Revelation 2:5-6).

Verse 3 – “Then Satan entered Judas, surnamed Iscariot, …” – now think about how frightening that is. Now, what was Judas’ sin!? What was a character flaw within Judas!? Why was Judas manipulated by Satan and his co-workers – who were the religious leaders of the day!? The religious leaders of the day – the high echelons – were the co-workers of Satan the devil! Well, one thing – he had too much interest in money. Recall – many times women would bring gifts to Jesus, such as oil to anoint His feet? And it just burned Judas that this oil was being “wasted.” And he said, “Why was this fragrant oil not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” So there was in Judas a bit of greed. Another character flaw – Judas was a control freak. It wasn’t good enough to let Jesus – who was obviously the Leader of the twelve – to make the decisions, he wanted to insert his own ideas. Now, everyone has to have a certain amount of interest in money – just because we have to pay our bills and take care of our financial obligations – but there are some people where money is the only thing they think about. And, I’ve never met a person who was greedy and obsessed with money that I really wanted to be around. Basically they are obnoxious – not very likable.

Verse 4 – “So he went his way and conferred with the chief priests and captains, how he might betray Him to them. 5) And they were glad, and agreed to give him money.” – ‘we will give you thirty pieces of silver if you betray your Leader.’

Now, I haven’t talked about it yet this spring holy day season – but one of the aspects of the Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread is betrayal. And, right here, Jesus Christ was betrayed by one of His most closest associates.

Verse 6 – “So he promised and sought opportunity to betray Him to them in the absence of the multitude.” – they had to get Jesus away from the crowd – because if they went in right then and tried to commandeer Jesus they feared the crowd would attack them. And, they probably would have.

Verse 7 – “Then came the Day of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover must be killed.” – again, this world talks about the Christmas season. And in most people’s minds – Christmas season begins about Thanksgiving (the end of November) and goes through Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and all the way to New Years. And people sort of lump all of that time under one name – Christmas season. And that’s what they were doing here in this verse.

Verse 8 – “And He sent Peter and John, saying, ‘Go and prepare the Passover for us, that we may eat.’ 9) So they said to Him, ‘Where do You want us to prepare?’ 10) And He said to them, ‘Behold, when you have entered the city, a man will meet you carrying a pitcher of water; follow him into the house which he enters. 11) Then you shall say to the master of the house, ‘The Teacher says to you, ‘Where is the guest room where I may eat the Passover with My disciples?’ 12) Then he will show you a large, furnished upper room; there make ready.’
So, verse 15 – they describe the Passover ceremony which goes all the way to verse 20. “… ‘This cup is the New Covenant …’ – not the Old Covenant. And, for all people who are still living in an Old Covenant – Old Testament mentality – you’re missing the point. You do not have your ticket to eternal life – having an Old Covenant mentality. The ticket to eternal life is congruent with the new Covenant.

Verse 21 – “’ But behold, the hand of My betrayer is with Me on the table. 22) And truly the Son of Man goes as it has been determined, but woe to that man by whom He is betrayed!’ – again, betrayal is a part of the Passover season. Jesus was betrayed.

Now, I’ve heard people say, ‘Well, Judas lost out on eternal life.’ I don’t think so. Judas was a patsy. Lee Harvey Oswald – soon after his arrest stated, “I didn't shoot anybody” and, “They've taken me in because of the fact that I lived in the Soviet Union. I'm just a patsy!” 8 Judas Iscariot did something wrong – and he paid a terrible price for it – he became so forlorn and depressed, he hung himself. Which showed how upset he was after Satan the devil was through with him. Judas had a type of repentance. I think Judas will have a chance to live again in the “White Throne Judgment” (see Revelation 20:11). And I think there he will tell the story of how he was manipulated by Satan and how he allowed his character flaw of greed for power & money to overcome him, and he made a terrible mistake. And I hope he does have another chance to live a human life and to finally become a member of the Family of God.

Verse 23 – here begins a most fascinating part of the story. “Then they began to question among themselves, which of them it was who would do this thing.” – Jesus had hinted, but He didn’t name names.

Verse 24 – “Now there was also a dispute among them, as to which of them should be considered the greatest.”

Now friends – I’ve spoken of this before, but think about it – Jesus Christ is only going to be alive for a few more hours. He is facing a horrible night and the following day. He is going to be beaten, scourged, whipped, humiliated, stripped of His clothing, and ultimately attached and affixed to a cross where He’s going to hang naked until He dies! He’s facing a really bad day! And yet, the disciples – who do not yet have God’s Spirit – what are they worried about!? “Which of them should be considered the greatest.” And the same nonsense goes on today in church organizations. There is always someone who is trying to rise up through the ranks and become more important.

Verse 25 – “And He said to them, ‘The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those who exercise authority over them are called ‘benefactors.’ – like ‘great and mighty people.’

Verse 26 – “’ But not so among you; on the contrary, he who is greatest among you, let him be as the younger, and he who governs as he who serves. 27) For who is greater, he who sits at the [dinner] table, or he who serves? Is it not he who sits at the table? Yet I AM among you as the One who serves.’

So, think about it – if you sit down at a table in a restaurant, and nobody serves you, you’re not going to eat – you’re just going to sit there.

Verse 28 – “’ But you are those who have continued with Me in My trials. 29) And I bestow upon you a kingdom, just as My Father bestowed one upon Me, 30) that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.’

Right here – Jesus said that the disciples (soon to be called apostles) would be the kings of the twelve tribes of Israel. Under whose leadership!? King David. And, King David – under whose leadership!? Jesus Christ. This is part of the structure of the World Tomorrow.

Verse 31 – “And the Lord said, ‘Simon, Simon! …’” – another name for Peter. “ … ‘Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat.’

Now friends, Satan the devil would do that with any of us – if he could. Satan would enter into our lives and manipulate us and cause us problems – and sort of get within our heads, and inside our spirit, and spiritually destroy us!

Verse 32 – “’ But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me [when you are converted], strengthen your brethren.’ – at this point in time Simon Peter and the other disciples do not have the Spirit of God. Now, they’ve been around Jesus for 3½ years and they’ve learned a lot, they’ve seen an awful lot, they’ve experienced an awful lot – but they do not actually possess God’s Spirit at this point in time. But Jesus tells him – ‘when you are converted.’ And, when were they officially converted!? On the Day of Pentecost. When God poured out His Spirit upon them – in mass. That’s why Passover, the Days of Unleavened Bread, and Pentecost are indeed a three-legged stool. They all work together. They are all of the same unit in the Plan of God.

Verse 33 – “But he said to Him, ‘Lord, I am ready to go with You, both to prison and to death.’ 34) Then He said, ‘I tell you, Peter, the rooster shall not crow this day before you will deny three times that you know Me.’

Verse 35 – “And He said to them, ‘When I sent you without money bag, knapsack, and sandals, did you lack anything?’ So they said, ‘Nothing.’ 36) Then He said to them, ‘But now, he who has a money bag, let him take it, and likewise a knapsack; and he who has no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one.’

Wait a minute! What did we just read!? Now, for people on the far-Left who wants gun control – what did we just read!? Jesus Christ just told His disciples – ‘some of you need to go out and buy a weapon.’ Have you thought about that before!?

Verse 37 – “’ For I say to you that this which is written must still be accomplished in Me: ‘And He was numbered with the transgressors.’ For the things concerning Me have an end.’ – He is saying, ‘Someday I’m going to be dead – as a human; and beyond that I won’t be human anymore – and you’re going to have to be able to take care of yourself.’ Friends, I contend – that lesson is as real today. And so, if you’re wondering – yeah, I do have a CCP, and I do own several firearms.

Verse 38 – “So they said, ‘Lord, look, here are two swords.’” – so, right among the eleven there were already two swords. We know that Simon Peter carried one – and someone else carried one. “… And He said to them, ‘It is enough.’

Now, I have friends who never miss an opportunity to buy guns or more ammunition. And one of them is always trying to buy ever-more powerful weapons. And I say to him, ‘What are you going to use those for!?’ – a fifty caliber sniper rifle? He replied, “Well if they ever come and try and take my weapons, I’m gonna fight back!’ They’re just going to lob in a tactical style smoke grenade and come in and get you! Truly, if SWAT surrounds your house – and they say. ‘We want your weapons.’ I think you better just give them to ‘em – otherwise, they’re going to kill you! But anyway – he’s got ideas that he’s going to fight off the whole world. And, I have another friend who is going to protect his family from the invading ISIS horde! Well – I’ll tell ya what – I’ll rely upon Jesus Christ to take care of the big things. That’s where my trust is – where my faith is.

Verse 39 – “Coming out, He went to the Mount of Olives, as He was accustomed, and His disciples also followed Him. 40) When He came to the place, He said to them, ‘Pray that you may not enter into temptation.’ – remember how this began – verse 31!? “’ Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat.’ Verse 24 – it spoke of a ‘dispute.’ Jealousy – anger.

Verse 41 – “And He was withdrawn from them about a stone’s throw, …” – about 80 meters (For maximum horizontal distance (Range), angle of projection must be 45°) “ … and He knelt down and prayed, 42) saying, …”

Now, I’ve heard people say, ‘Well, Jesus had a martyr complex. Jesus wanted to die!’ No, that’s not true. Jesus didn’t want to die. He didn’t want to be tortured. It was just that that was the role in which He had to play – that was the mission He had to finish. He knew what was on the horizon – later this night He is arrested and all of the horrible things are going to occur. And right here – verse 42 – Jesus prayed, ’ Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; …’ – ‘take this horrible ordeal I’m going to have to go through away from Me.’ “ … ‘nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.’ - isn’t this a wonderful example – a wonderful attitude!?

Verse 43 – “Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him.” – Now, friends, I’ve never experienced this. An angelic messenger coming to you to just sort of bolster you, strengthen you, comfort you – to remind you, ‘I just came from the third heaven – from the throne of God the Father – and I’m here to help you in any way I can.’

Verse 44 – “And being in agony, …” – He didn’t want to go through this! “ … He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” – He prayed so hard with so much intensity – His blood pressure was so high – that some of the blood in the capillaries of His sweat glands burst, and blood leaked into His sweat glands – and as it were He was ‘sweating drops of blood.’ 9 I’ve never been through that before. He was under a lot of stress.

Verse 45 – “When He rose up from prayer, and had come to His disciples, He found them sleeping from sorrow.” – Here He was about to go through one of the most horrible periods of His life – of His existence ever – and His friends couldn’t just sit up with Him and comfort Him.

Verse 46 – “Then He said to them, ‘Why do you sleep? Rise and pray, lest you enter into temptation.’ – what He is saying is, ‘you fellas better start praying about your own situation. Because you are going to have a tremendous amount of stress coming up in the next few days.’

So, I’ll stop here – and I’ll pick it up next time.

I’m trying to put together the fact that Passover, the Days of Unleavened Bread, and Pentecost, are a continuous event. And they are – as I said – like a three-legged stool. So, you shouldn’t just talk about Passover over here, and the Days of Unleavened Bread over there, and Pentecost only on this day. No, you have to understand it as one continuous event – in the life of Jesus Christ and the disciples. And, therefore what can we learn from this? And this is what we’ve started.

I advise, I recommend, I suggest, you read this part one of Pentecost again – and I also suggest that you read our article Passover Service – 2017 as well as our seven-part series Christ In You (Unleavened Bread) – 2017 because they all are interconnected. They are not separate events – they are interconnected. So, I ask and pray that you’ll come back next month – for part two. Our prayers go out for all of you and we hope and pray that your prayers go to the throne of God on our behalf. We care about you, we think about you, we love you – and we hope that you feel the same way towards all of us. So, until tomorrow – when we will have our annual Sabbath – goodbye my friends. □

Bibliography and Comments:

1)  The text of Genesis etymologizes the name with the root śarah "to rule, contend, have power, prevail over.” שׂ רה śarah "to contend, have power, contend with, persist, exert oneself, persevere" (Strong's Concordance H8323) שׂ רַָר śarar "to be or act as prince, rule, contend, have power, prevail over, reign, govern" (Strong's Concordance 8280). modern suggestions read the el as the subject, for a translation of "El/God rules/judges/struggles", Hamilton 1995, p. 334. "El fights/struggles". Wenham 1994, pp. 296–97. The Jewish Study Bible of Oxford University Press says on page 68 "The scientific etymology of Israel is uncertain, a good guess being '[The God] El rules.'"
2)  Islam teaches “Men have authority over women because [Allah] has made the one superior to the other, and because they spend their wealth to maintain them. Good women are obedient. They guard their unseen parts because [Allah] has guarded them. As for those from whom you fear disobedience, admonish them, forsake them in beds apart, and beat them. …” – Quran (4:34).
3)  As points out, the Quran says, “...For ye practice your lusts on men in preference to women: ye are indeed a people transgressing beyond bounds.... And we rained down on them a shower (of brimstone)" – Quran (7:80-84). Muslim scholars through the centuries have interpreted the "rain of stones" on the town as meaning that homosexuals should be stoned, since no other reason is given for the people's destruction.
4)  In 2001, there were an estimated 4,000 to 10,000 practicing Muslims in Louisville attending six local mosques. Smith, Peter (November 18, 2001). "ISLAM IN AMERICA; Muslims a diverse presence in Kentucky"
5)  Daniel chapter 7 verses 13-14 also gives us a glimpse into what this reunion might have been like.
6)  the Greek word translated here as “elders” is presbyteros. It is never used to refer to angels, only to men, particularly to men of a certain age who are mature and able to rule the Church. Also, the word crown refers to the victor’s crown, never promised to an angel. Only worn by those who have successfully competed and won the victory, as Christ promised. Are these twenty-four elders twenty-four of the saints which are resurrected at the last trump – the seventh trump – who are co-rulers with Christ in all Church matters?
7) Could it be that the creatures on Earth we call lions, calves, and eagles, are a homage to His [God’s] great four living creatures which reside in the third heaven?
8)  Bugliosi, Reclaiming History, pp. 841–42.
9)  See ‘Hematidrosis: Can people sweat blood?’ by Medical News Today; retrieved 21 May 2020.