The following suggested or possible grouping of Scripture passages are offered to aid beginning fellowships. The readings and limited commentary are, hopefully, obviously thematically related. And the concept behind this High Sabbath’s selection is the nature of the Holy Spirit…it is suggested that fellowships have morning and afternoon services on the High Days; thus, readings for two services are grouped together.
Readings for Pentecost
June 19, 2005
The person conducting Pentecost services should open services with two or three hymns, or psalms, followed by an opening prayer acknowledging that two or three (or more) are gathered together in Christ Jesus’ name, and inviting the Lord to be with them.
The first passage read should be Leviticus, chapter 23, verses 1 and 2, then verses 9 through 22, followed by Deuteronomy, chapter 16, verses 9 through 12, and 16 and 17, then Exodus, chapter 23, verses 14 through 17.
Commentary: The three seasons or times a year when
Nevertheless, at this time those who are able are asked to give of their physical blessings, not reluctantly, but cheerfully. The person who gives of necessity might as well keep the offering--no treasure will be laid up in heaven for a reluctant offering, which includes presenting oneself before God.
The person conducting Pentecost services should, at this time, pass a plate or basket as would be appropriate for the size of the gathering. In larger gatherings, the person conducting the services would appoint others to take up the collection.
During the taking up of the offering, special music can be performed. Then following the offering should be a prayer of thanks, followed by a hymn.
The person doing the reading should now read Exodus, chapters 16 through 20.
Commentary: Notice first that
Pharisees and Rabbinical Judaism begin their counting of weeks from the 15th of the first month, which results in the Feast of Weeks being celebrated on the 6th of the third month. Sadducees and the Churches of God have traditionally started counting from the Wave Sheaf Offering, the Sunday following the weekly Sabbath that occurs within the seven days of Unleavened Bread. This count will result in Pentecost always occurring on a Sunday in the third month, not on a fixed calendar date.
Although the Churches of God have
traditionally taught that the Law was given on Pentecost--the logic for the Law
being given and for the filling of the disciples with the Holy Spirit on the
same day makes a seemingly persuasive argument--Scripture doesn’t make such a
persuasive claim. If the three days journey marks what will become the Wave
Sheaf Offering (the model of Jesus being sacrificed as the Passover Lamb of
God between the evenings on the 14th, lying in the grave three days
and three nights, then being resurrected and appearing before the Father the
morning of the first day of the week), then the count for Pentecost will begin
on the 18th of the first month, with the weekly Sabbath being on the
17th. The second week will then begin on the 25th of the
first month. Each month will have 29 or 30 days. If the first month has 29 days,
then the third week will begin on the 3rd of the second month; the
fourth week will begin on the 10th, the fifth week will begin on the
17th, the day when manna is first given and the same day as when
Noah entered the
The person reading should now read chapter 24 of Exodus.
Commentary: After Moses, Aaron, Nadab and
Abihu, and the seventy elders saw the Lord (Exod
24:9-10) the day the Law was spoken and the covenant was given--that same day,
(v. 15) Moses went up on the mountain
halfway (from Exod 24:13 & 32:15, 17), and the cloud covered the mountain.
The glory of the Lord dwelt on
The person reading should now read Exodus, chapter 34, verses 29 through 35, followed by 2 Corinthians chapter 3.
Commentary: Moses entering the cloud to acquire a glory reflecting
that of the Lord as the moon reflects the glory of the sun becomes the
significant event, not the actual speaking of the Law, which has behind it
death, not life. Under the new covenant, the law of God is written on hearts
and minds (Jer 31:33 & Heb ).
The two tablets of stone that were given to Moses in the cloud foreshadow the
writing of the law by God on tablets of flesh--the writing of the law of God on
the hearts and minds of called disciples is a euphemistic expression for
receiving the Spirit of God. Thus, it isn’t hearing the Law that imparts life
(what happens when the Law is spoken from atop
Therefore, Moses entering the cloud on or about the 10th of the third month becomes the event that foreshadows the glorified Jesus baptizing the world in Spirit. This event happens figuratively mid-week; i.e., halfway through those seven, endtime years of tribulation. Thus, counting weeks in the manner traditionally used by the Churches of God, Pentecost foreshadows when the greater Church is empowered by the Holy Spirit three and a half years before the kingdom of the world becomes the kingdom of the Most High and of His Christ. It is right that the Law was given midweek, as Christ Jesus was slain midweek, and as the Holy Spirit will be poured out upon all flesh in the middle of a spiritual week.
Sin entered the world through
Adam, but no sin was reckoned against human beings although all died until the
Law was given (Rom -14 -- read).
The Law kills, or rather transgression of the Law kills. But the Spirit gives
life. Thus, physically circumcised
The person conducting Pentecost services should, at this time, adjourn services, with a hymn, a prayer, and a blessing on the food (if appropriate). The person should also announce when afternoon services are to commence.
At the appropriate time, the person conducting services should resume services with two or three hymns, and a prayer.
The reader should begin afternoon services by reading Acts chapters 1 and 2.
Commentary: Although Peter says what has happened is what was uttered through the prophet Joel, the context isn’t the same.
The reader should read from the prophet Joel, chapter 2, verses 28 through 32.
Commentary: On that Pentecost following
The reader should read Isaiah, chapter 11, followed by Isaiah, chapter 65, verse 25.
Commentary: When the Holy Spirit is poured out upon all flesh at
the time of, or just prior to the recovery of
The reader should read Matthew chapter 3, followed by John, chapter 1, verses 29 through 34.
Commentary: Baptism means literal immersion, or submersion. John baptized with water for the repentance of sin; the Lord baptized with water in the days of Noah. The disciples gathered together on that day of Pentecost were immersed in the visible manifestation of the Holy Spirit in a manner similar to how John baptized with water. The Lord Jesus will baptize the world in Spirit in the same way that He baptized the world in water. Likewise, at the end of the age, when the new heavens and the new earth arrive, He will baptize the world in fire in the same way that He will, then, previously have baptized the world in water and Spirit.
The Greek expression that is translated as the Holy Spirit is Pneuma ’Agion, meaning, literally, Breath Holy. The Holy Spirit is, in actuality, the Breath of God; hence, it sounds like wind (Acts 2:2).
The reader should read John, chapter 3, verses 1 through 8, followed by chapter 20, verses 19 through 23.
Commentary: Jesus said the Holy Spirit/Breath was like wind, going where it will. Plus, when Jesus returned after being accepted by the Father, He “breathed” on ten of His disciples and said, Receive the Holy Breath (translated as Spirit). If another person breathed on you, you would receive that person’s breath. If Jesus as a man breathed on you, you would receive His breath. If Jesus as a life-giving spirit breathes on you, you would receive His spiritual breath; hence, the Holy Spirit, which imparts spiritual life in the same way that physical life was imparted into Adam when Elohim breathed into his nostrils.
on this day of Pentecost following
The reader should read chapter 1 of Luke, noting verses 15, 41, and 67.
Commentary: John the Baptist, Elizabeth his mother, and Zechariah his father--all were filled or empowered by the Holy Spirit.
It is also usually taught that no one had the Holy Spirit “in” them until Pentecost, that the patriarchs and mighty men of old only had the Spirit “with” them. Moses had the Spirit “on” him (Num ). King David had the Holy Spirit (Ps 51:11). But it is, in linguistic reality, trying to attach too much preciseness to English prepositions, which are by custom used sloppily, to argue for in or with. The physically circumcised Israelite with or without the Holy Spirit dwelling in Judea in a fabric tent formed the visible shadow of the spiritually circumcised son of God, born from above, now dwelling in the tabernacle of flesh of the old man or self. Today, circumcision would be of the tabernacle or tent in which the born-of-Spirit son of God resides, and as such is of no value to this son of God. The physical precedes the spiritual (1 Cor ), and the visible reveals the invisible (Rom ). Physical circumcision preceded spiritual circumcision, which is of the heart and mind, and not of the flesh. Physical circumcision was a usually undetectable marker that separated an Israelite male from all other peoples (except descendants of cousins Ishmael and Esau) until closely examined. Likewise, spiritual circumcision is, unfortunately, a too-often undetectable marker that separates disciples from the world. The physically circumcised Israelite with the Holy Spirit was as visible as are spiritually circumcised disciples who actually live by the word of God.
Too often it is taught that the
Holy Spirit was not offered to ancient
The reader should read Deuteronomy, chapters 29 through 31.
Commentary: A second covenant between God and
What occurred on that Pentecost
Christ will return in the spring
of the year…in the fall of the year [in the northern hemisphere] Satan will be
cast from heaven and will come claiming to be the returned Christ 1260 days
before the Messiah comes in power. During these last forty-two months, the Holy
Spirit will have been poured out upon all flesh. Every human being will have
been empowered by God to resist Satan. All who endure to the end shall be
saved, the message that must be proclaimed to the world as a witness to all
nations before these last 1260 days begin. Death, the fourth horseman of the
Apocalypse, will be dealt a mortal wound when
The person conducting Pentecost services should, at this time, adjourn services, with one or two hymns, and a closing prayer.
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"Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved."