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.

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