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The Sons of God: Part 4

Mar 06, 2006

Israel's second feast day is today called Pentecost. It was originally known as the Feast of Weeks or the Feast of Harvest. But in the three centuries prior to Jesus' birth, after Alexander the Great conquered that part of the world, Greek became the primary language of business and culture.

It also became necessary to translate the Hebrew Bible into Greek, so that Judeans living abroad could read the Bible in the language that was familiar to them. This translation is known as the Septuagint. The Greek name for the Feast of Weeks was Pentecost, which means "fiftieth" (day). This feast was held on the 50th day, or seven weeks, from the day the priest waved the sheaf of barley ("Easter").

Even as Passover celebrated the day Israel left Egypt, so also Pentecost celebrated the day that God came down upon Mount Horeb and gave them the Ten Commandments. God's intention was to write the law upon their hearts through the spoken word. But the people drew back and refused to hear the rest of the law (Ex. 20:18-21), and so Moses had to give them the law written on tables of stone.

Seven weeks after Jesus' resurrection, the Holy Spirit was given to the Church as recorded in the second chapter of Acts:

"1 And when the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place,

"2 and suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent, rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.

"3 And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them.

"4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance.

"5 Now there were Jews living in Jerusalem, devout men, from every nation under heaven.

"6 And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together and were bewildered, because they were each one hearing them speak in his own language.

"7 And they were amazed and marveled, saying, 'Why, are not all these who are speaking Galileans? 8 And how is it that we each hear them in our own language to which we were born? 9 Parthians and Medes, and Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the districts of Libya around Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, 11 Cretans and Arabs--we hear them in our own tongues speaking of the mighty deeds of God.'

"12 And they continued in amazement and great perplexity, saying to one another, 'What does this mean'?"

Yes, what does this mean? At the first Pentecost under Moses, there was present a great mixed multitude (Ex. 12:38) from many nations. But when the voice of God was heard from the mount, they all no doubt heard the Ten Commandments in their own language. God came to earth to bring heaven down to us. But in Moses' time, the people refused to hear more. And so the divine law was not written on their hearts, but was given to them in an external form--the tables of stone.

Laws imposed on men from the outside cannot make any man righteous. Laws regulate behavior, because men are made to fear the consequences of violating the law. But the righteousness of man is evident only when there is no external law to fear. If the law is written on a man's heart, he will do what is right because it is part of his nature. If the law is only imposed externally, he will violate the law whenever he disagrees with it or whenever he finds himself too weak to resist the temptation to sin.

The real purpose of Pentecost is to write the law in one's heart. This is possible only by the power of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of God must indwell man. The Spirit of God must come into the spirit of man and BECOME the spirit in man.

This is what begins to write the divine law in the heart of man. The Holy Spirit begins to work within man to write the divine law in his heart so that it becomes part of his nature. Then there is no need for an external law to tell him what to do, for he will know the law and will do it by instinct.

The purpose of Pentecost, then, is to transform a person from DOING righteous deeds to BEING righteous.

Even as the Passover makes a person a Christian, so also Pentecost ought to define the daily life of a Christian. The Christian is "born" at Passover, but he matures through Pentecost as he is led by the Spirit of God.

Thus, it is unfortunate that many Christians today have rejected Pentecost, saying that it was relevant only for the disciples in the first century. The rejection of Pentecost has led to many distortions among those who call themselves Christians. It allowed ambitious but talented orators and fund raisers to become leaders of the Church, even though they were spiritually immature. In fact, as time passed, many of these leaders had not even experienced Passover (that is, justification by faith in the Lamb of God).

As the centuries passed, Christian leaders often persecuted the righteous ones among them, because they dared to speak out against the immoral behavior of the popes.

And then came the Crusades, which were designed to take back the "holy sites" and shrines in the "Holy Land." They did not know that God had already given that land to the children of Hagar after the Jews rejected the New Covenant. I mentioned this in my study on the Debt Note in Prophecy. When the Jews decided to remain under the authority of the Old Covenant (Mount Sinai, or Horeb), they put Jerusalem under the authority of Mount Sinai in Arabia--which is the inheritance of Hagar and Ishmael (Gal. 4:25). Thus, God gave the land and the city to Ishmael, and neither the Jews nor the Christians had any valid claim to it.

Within a few centuries after Christ, it became evident that the Church {represented by the leadership} had rejected Pentecost even as Israel had rejected it in the days of Moses. In other words, they refused to hear His voice and have the law written on their hearts. They had accepted Jesus as the Lamb of God (Passover), but they failed in the area of Pentecost. Instead of submitting to the law of God, they thought that God would submit to their decrees and rubber-stamp all their actions.

In their arrogance, the leaders thought that because they were now the "chosen" ones, they could do as they pleased, and God would always back them regardless of what they did. Their authority to do as they pleased was based upon the idea of "apostolic succession," ignoring the fact that Israel's levitical priests had already tried that argument--and failed to prevent God's judgment.

And so, like Israel, they were unable to enter the Promised Land. Without an understanding of Pentecost, how were they to prepare their hearts for the feast of Tabernacles?

Thus, the Church had to spend 40 Jubilees in the "wilderness" even as Israel had to spend 40 years in the wilderness. The 40 Jubilees (40 x 49) of the Pentecostal Age ended in 1993. At that point, God began to transfer His authority to the overcomers who had caught the vision of the Feast of Tabernacles.

This is the fourth part of a series titled "The Sons of God." To view all parts, click the link below.

The Sons of God

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Category: Teachings
Blog Author: Dr. Stephen Jones