Pentecost May 31: Can’t Wait!

Back in A.D. 31 Jesus told His 120 disciples to wait in Jerusalem for it. It’s hard to wait because Pentecost is one of God’s Holy Days and is so special to the Father, to Jesus, and to His people striving to live “the Way.” And with the whole world going chaotic and prophecy obviously speeding up, Pentecost this Sunday could be one for the ages! We need the Holy Spirit to power us through what God is bringing.

Here’s one more opportunity to read in one post just about everything there is to know about this amazing Holy Day:

“Connections Between Pentecost & the Book of Ruth”

And help yourself to this FREE booklet by double clicking on the booklet graphic to the right. You can download it right away or you can request a FREE hard copy in the mail. This booklet will show you what the Bible says about Pentecost and all of the other Holy Days of God and how together they reveal His plan of salvation.

Then we must act on what we know

When God opened my eyes to the truth about His Holy Days, I couldn’t wait to meet with other brethren to worship God on His days. Fifty years later, I’m still excited and committed to do it!

You are welcome to participate in United Church of God’s

Two services online this Pentecost, May 31

Just go to http://www.ucg.org, choose “Webcast,” and the time is 9:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. eastern time. On this website you can find more articles and sermons about Pentecost than you can possibly absorb by Sunday!

Pentecost May 31: Power for a New Normal

Everybody’s talking about alas, we’re not going to get back to the old normal.

Spiritually, the Bible says we dare not go back. Continually, we must repent. Change. Overcome. Grow.

Maybe it’s fitting for the message of this post that WordPress just changed the whole process of creating a blog so that I am wondering if I’ll figure out how to get this published. Obviously I made it! For now I’m just trying to make the new editor function like the old one. But in time, it looks like it might offer some new exciting features that I will be able to take advantage of.

In A.D. 31 on Pentecost

God started His Church and provided His Holy Spirit to power His collective body and His individual sons and daughters.

Peter gave the inspired sermon, and today he speaks to us in his two books, 1 and 2 Peter.

“Therefore gird up the loins of your mind … as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance” (1 Peter 1:13-14.

“For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles—when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries. In regard to these, they think it strange that you do not run with them in the same flood of dissipation …” (4:3-4).

We “have been given … exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust” (2 Peter 1:4).

“For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are gain entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning … ‘A dog returns to his own vomit'” (2:20, 22).

The Holy Spirit provides

not only the power of God but also the nature, essence, attitudes and Fruits of God.

Years ago I was afraid to ask for even one Fruit, reasoning that to ask for love would result in a severe trial because you were lacking in it and it would force you to rapidly develop it. It would seem like spiritual masochism—even suicide—to ask for all nine! Back then I figured I had enough trials without asking for it!

But now I know that God never hits us with more than we can handle (1 Corinthians 10:13), and I make it a point to ask for all nine Fruits of the Holy Spirit daily. The Heavenly Father is eager to give the Holy Spirit to His children who ask Him! (Luke 11:13), but He’s never overwhelmed me.

During this coronavirus affair, it’s obvious that prophecy is speeding up toward the return of Jesus Christ, which Peter, the apostle of hope, always pointed to (1 Peter 1:7, 13; 2:12; 2 Peter 1:11).

A crucial message of Pentecost is that God is not working with most of the world now but, rather, with firstfruits who will become servant leaders in His Millennium as kings, priests, teachers, judges and mayors.

So here’s what you get for reading this post … you are being called! Jesus Christ’s parable about the sower in Matthew 13 gives four main ways you can respond. The way to go: bear much Fruit!

If you choose to follow this blog, and respond to God’s teaching of His way of life which is here, then you are being “even more diligent to make your call and election sure” (2 Peter 1:10).

When it comes to prophecy, Peter says, it should always make us prod ourselves:

“What manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness,

looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God …” (3:11). A new man or woman in Christ! Growing “in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (3:18).

There is no greater power in existence than the Holy Spirit of God the Father and Jesus Christ our Older Brother. Why wait for some inferior panacea?

If you haven’t already received the Holy Spirit, Peter gives the process in Acts 2:38: repent, believe, be baptized (immersion), and have a true minister of God lay hands on you and ask for God to grant you His Spirit.

As Pentecost fast approaches this Sunday, May 31, let’s power up for our new normal!

We Hope

The word I kept hearing all this week has been:  hope.

Hopefully you saw a video being shared  called “4 candles.”  It’s short so why not treat yourself to it now!   I doubt if any of us are immune to this worldwide lockdown taking a toll on peace, faith and love.   But even if those three crucial Fruits of the Holy Spirit flicker or even fizzle out, there is one candle that can reignite them.  We hope.

It’s important how we say that.  Not wishful thinking.  Not with a “Yeah” in front.  Relaxed trust in our loving God!  I believed, therefore I spoke!

Several times this week I heard that the Bible is a message of hope.  Paul noted the specialness of “faith, hope, love” (1 Corinthians 13:13).  These three mighty virtues match up with the Bible books of James (faith), Peter (hope) and John (love).   All of these are powerful books to read, study and make a part of the way we think and live.

But with Pentecost coming fast on May 31, this would be a great time to read 1 and 2 Peter.

Peter is called the apostle of hope

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Peter 1:3).

“Therefore … rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (verse 13).  Peter knew that the Kingdom of God was not of this world (John 18:36).   We look for it at the return of Jesus Christ!  We hope!

“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you” (1 Peter 3:15).

As we look to Pentecost coming quickly on May 31

We still need the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) that were made available back in A.D. 31 on this special Holy Day.   God is eager to give them to His sons and daughters (Luke 11:13).  Hope isn’t one of the official nine, but it fires up the others!

Book of Life AdPentecost  was the event where Peter who had denied Christ three times in shame rose to powerful leadership and gave the inspired sermon that God blessed into conversion of 5,000 individuals.   These are unusual times, so will there be an unusual Pentecost to match?

Pentecost is a powerful day special in the eyes of our powerful God.  God promises us peace beyond all understanding.  Faith we can walk by and move mountains with.  Love as Jesus did.

If any of those are flickering, this would be a good time to read and meditate on 1 and 2 Peter.  As the fourth candle says, “We need not fear.  As long as I am alive, those three candles can be reignited!”

“Therefore I remind you to stir up [fan into flame] the gift of God which is in  you … For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:6-7).

Why given to us?  Just so we can feel hopeful?  Or so we can be the light of the world!

We hope.

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“My Kingdom is not of this world”

Jesus said that in John 18:36, so we had better not only say that too, but live it.

Conservative God-fearing people touted the Drudge Report.  The few times I read something Matt Drudge wrote or watched a video by him, I always cheered!  But now I can’t stand to read the Drudge Report, it’s become so perverted and depressing in its news and analysis of “this world.”  Multiply that by tenfold for CNN and the mainstream media which on every front, and more and more blatantly, promote non-godly values.

Facebook has become so one-sided censorship that many are starting to voice what I’ve been thinking for a while.  I’m very close to stop using it.  I think I saw mention of a new platform the other day, and it would probably get new business fairly quickly!  Of course, then Facebook would have an easier time with its critics out of its hair.

But I must remind myself that “My kingdom is not of this world.”  Next Jesus said,

“If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight …”

Jesus did not fight the Roman Empire or try to overthrow it.  He healed everybody who came to Him but He didn’t run around in an ambulance looking for them.  He said “The poor you will always have with you” and the only miracle money He produced was a coin from a fish to render unto Caesar.   He knew that even trillions can’t change the kingdom of man into the Kingdom of God.

And today this coronavirus looks like the greatest hoax anybody has ever devised to play on the world.   All of a sudden, whereas the Bible promotes quarantining  the sick away from the camp, world leaders and power-mad governors decree that everyone must stay locked down at home.  At first Dr. Fauci and the Surgeon General state that wearing cloth masks does no good, but later command and enforce wearing them.  Now so many health professionals are decrying the lockdowns and face masks with all their might even as the national media not only ignores their professional insight but bans and blocks them from being heard.

It can make you want to fight!  Counter the foolishness on Facebook!   Protest!

Building the Family of God adJesus says no.  Faith in Him, which is relaxed trust.  He’s got it all in control.  He didn’t fight, and His people shouldn’t either.  We “seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness” (Matthew 6:33).   It’s obvious that this coronavirus has speeded up prophecy, and God the Father has a “set time” planned.

The ruler of this world (John 12:31) is satan the devil and he deceives the whole world (Revelation 12:9).   No wonder there are so many conspiracies afloat!  And God totally allows him until a soon-coming Day of Atonement—in the soon-coming Kingdom of God when he will be banished for 1,000 years! (Revelation 20:1-4).

The Apostles didn’t fight the Roman Empire.  Paul penned the hard-to-take instruction in Romans 13:1-5 even while wicked Nero was the Emperor!   Christians must obey the governing authorities, as obedience to God who allows them to rule so foolishly for now.  Only if they command something contrary to God’s laws:  “We ought to obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29).

Pentecost, coming soon May 31

What will God do on behalf of His Church on this special Holy Day when He began His Church in A.D. 31?  On this day where He gave His Holy Spirit of power.  The Holy Spirit is the GREATEST POWER in the universe.  But we don’t get to tell God how to wield it!

We’re hoping for a miraculous change so that we can assemble in person for worship again.  We’re praying for powerful new doors to preach the gospel which Jesus (Mark 1:15) and the Apostles (Acts 28:23, 31) said is the Gospel of the Kingdom of God.   Oh.

“My kingdom is not of this world.”  Jesus said it is “at hand.”  Let’s remember that while we’re washing ours more often.

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“I Will Increase the Power of the Godly”

Talk about the perfect promise of God to claim for this time leading up to Pentecost on May 31!  The first half of the verse in Psalm 75:10 is comforting also:  “I will break the strength of the wicked.”  The Master Timer has it all under control!

Pentecost is one of God’s annual Holy Days and therefore a very special event to God.  The 10 Commandments were written by the finger of God on Pentecost in about 1447 B.C.  In A.D. 31 the Holy Spirit was given and God started His New Testament Church.  Josephus, the first century Jewish historian, writes that on Pentecost in A.D. 69 the Temple priests “heard a great noise  and after that they heard a sound as of a great multitude saying, ‘Let us remove hence’.”  They obediently fled to Pella, about an hour north of Jerusalem,  and escaped the Roman invasion in A.D. 70.

Will May 31 bring some kind of epoch event? 

Whirlwinds, thundering, trumpets and fire like in 1447 B.C. and A.D. 31?  That would be thrilling!  But our Great God can accomplish miraculous motivation with just a still small voice!  For those who are listening.

The Church of God individually and collectively needs an infusion of the Holy Spirit of power, love and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7) so we can complete the Great Commission given us while this virus has people a little more tuned into what God has to say.

Fasting eBook ADOne Church of God fellowship other than my own has called a fast for Sunday.  It feels like a time when a fast is definitely needed.   We must walk by faith, which in the Bible means relaxed trust in God.

We need open doors and boldness to enter them.

Individually and collectively, the Church of God must look to what Jesus promised in John 15:1-2.  “I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener.  He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more.”

Help yourself

to this fairly new FREE 19-page eBook on what the Bible teaches about how to fast more effectively.   God knows that it’s not easy for a human to willingly go without food and water.  This vital information shows how to elevate it above just going hungry and thirsty.

What a privilege that God is willing to share His power with us!  And that we can keep His Holy Day May 31 and find out what He has in store for His Church at this pivotal time!

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May 31, Maybe a Pentecost for the Ages!

On Pentecost in about 1447 B.C.

in the morning “thunder roared and lightning flashed, and a dense cloud came down on the mountain [Mt. Sinai].  There was a long, loud blast from a ram’s horn, and all the people trembled.  Moses led them out from the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain” (Exodus 19:16-18, New Living Translation throughout).

There was no meeting hall for about three million Israelites to squeeze into, much less have six feet of space.  But nobody cared because this was God’s Church in the wilderness (Acts 7:38).

God’s Church has never been a building.  God’s Church is His people and the spiritual body of Christ.  On that epoch Pentecost, God entered into an Old Covenant marriage and gave His eternal 10 Commandments.

On Pentecost in A.D. 31

“all the believers were meeting together in one place”—more than even 50, apparently 120 (Acts 1:15).  Way before the craze of seeing how many people could stuff into a VW, they were all in one Accord!

“Suddenly, there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm, and it filled the house where they were sitting.  Then, what looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of them.  And everyone present was filled with the holy Spirit” (2:1-2).

God began His New Testament Church, and His Holy Spirit was now in them to work powerfully rather than just working with them (John 14:17).  Now they were ready to fulfill their commission:  “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”  We continue the Great Commission today (Matthew 24:14, 28:18-20).

But the Jewish council warned them “never again to speak or teach in the name of Jesus” (Acts 4:18).   The inspired Peter boldly defied them:  “We ought to obey God not men” (verse 19, New Kings James Version).  The apostles discerned that this was not a time to “submit to governing authorities” as Paul would later explain would be appropriate in most situations.

Pentecost May 31, 2020

What should God’s Church be doing right now today?

“My heart is breaking as I remember how it used to be:  I walked among the crowds of worshipers, leading a great procession to the house of God, singing for joy and giving thanks amid the sound of a great celebration!” (Psalm 42:4)

“I will thank the Lord with all my heart as I meet with his godly people” (Psalm 111:1).

Zoom is really an amazing program

and for several Sabbaths we’ve used it to fellowship with Colorado Front Range brethren.  It reminds me of the old Hollywood Squares TV game show, each of us able to see the others in their squares and listen to them talk.  It’s a plus to see brethren from all over and not just the 30 from our group in Colorado Springs.  But the negative is that it’s all group chat, and you can’t talk in depth privately to one person.   Okay, it is still such a joy to see and talk to each other!

How long does this persist?   One governor said it would be months before churches could meet, but they were just “entertainment” anyway.  That’s not how God sees it!

What counts is that God calls His weekly Sabbaths and His annual Sabbaths (of which Pentecost is one) moedim—commanded, consecrated assemblies.  He expects us to show up!  And Paul states in Hebrews 10:25:  “And let us not neglect our meeting together, and some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.”

Recently it was reported that 500 church pastors in California have notified the Governor that they will meet on Pentecost Sunday with or without his permission.  In some states, the governors have been sued for shutting down the churches, but some state supreme courts have upheld the governors.

Repeat:  the Church of God has never been a building.  We have been meeting together via webcasts and Zoom on God’s commanded Sabbaths and Holy Days.

Prayer eBook adWe pray for our national leaders (1 Tim. 2:2) and especially fervently for our Church leaders to have wisdom to know what God would have His people do.  Surely we must look to God to show His mighty undefiable will in this important matter.

With Pentecost so close, on May 31, and especially in light of its history and import,

Let’s notice what the Apostles did in A.D. 31:

“Peter and John returned to the other believers and told them what the leading priests and elders had said.  When they heard the report, all the believers lifted their voice together in prayer to God … After this prayer, the meeting place shook, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit.  Then they preached the word of God with boldness” (Acts 4:23-31).

Jesus promised that the gates of hell will never prevail against His Church (Matthew 16:18).  Church leaders are looking to God for direction in how to do His Work more powerfully and boldly in this shaky time where people are more receptive to His message.   We may feel bewildered like sheep, but Our Shepherd isn’t!

This seems like it just might be an auspicious time in the Church of God!  Maybe another Pentecost for the ages!

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They’re Counting on Us to Be God’s “Essential” Workers

Thanks to the coronavirus, 30 million people have become unemployed because their job is not deemed “essential.”  As the quarantine and lockdowns drag on, we start to ask ourselves:  Do I matter?  I’ve been holed up in here so long, am I doing any real good?

This is especially so for us elderly.  Back in the 1980s when I took a Christian Leadership class, the instructor said the elderly’s #1 need is to feel validated—to feel that they led a worthwhile life.  No wonder God’s 5th Commandment is to “Honor your father and mother.”

On Facebook people have commented that actors and sports stars no longer seem to matter as much as medical personnel and truckers.

What about us who know

God has called us to fulfill His Great Commission

—called “the Work” by the spiritual Church of God (Matthew 24:14, 28:18-20).  Jesus said “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His Work” (John 4:34).  We need to know and live those verses because if that’s not our Work, we are really not His Church.  We are really not Christians.

God’s Apostle of the Philadelphia era of the Church of God (Revelation 3:7-13) shockingly taught:  You’re not in this just for your own salvation; you will be judged and rewarded for how much your heart is in the Work!  That’s what separates Philadelphia from Sardis (verses 1-6) and Laodicea (verses 14-19).  All three Churches exist at the end when Christ returns.  Jesus says only good things about Philadelphia, but charges serious complaints about the others.

How essential are we whom God the Father has called and selected to complete that mission as His elect?

Actually more essential that any blockbuster action movie where the fate of the world rests on the hero’s shoulders!   Because that’s only thrilling fiction, but the imminent future literally rests on ours!

Jesus said unless the great tribulation coming “were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened” (Matthew 24:22).

“No flesh would be saved!”

Talk about essential Workers!

Building the Family of God adJesus is building His Church (Matthew 16:18)—His Family, His Kingdom—and we are privileged to be called now, and hopefully we have believed, repented, been baptized, had one of God’s ministers lay hands on us and received the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38).  If not yet, that’s what our most essential priority #1 job should be!

Baptism and receiving the Holy Spirit puts us into His Church and Work!

“God has set the members,

each one of them, in the body just as He pleased” (1 Corinthians 12:18).  How are we doing the job He’s giving us?  Or are we too busy eyeing somebody else’s!

“You are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light … [that] they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation” (1 Peter 2:9, 12).

God’s Holy Day of Pentecost coming up May 31

teaches that God is not working with most people today.   The fall Holy Days show that most will receive salvation during the Millennium and Great White Throne Judgment.

But those doing the Work don’t know who is in what group, so we must passionately preach the Gospel of the Kingdom of God and leave conversion up to God.  We blow the trumpet loud and clearly with a message that warns (Isaiah 58:1) but also provides help for today and hope for tomorrow.

We can be greatly encouraged that as a result of the Work done by those who will be found “so doing” (Matthew 24:46), God promises a great innumerable multitude will come out of the Great Tribulation (Revelation 7:14).  “Oh yeah, I remember hearing that back then, but I didn’t get it.  I thought it was crazy!”

It’s obvious that the coronavirus is a wake-up call and a speeding up of end-time prophecy.   However zealous we have been, it’s time to “be even more diligent to make your call and election sure” (2 Peter 1:10).

Though it doesn’t know it, the world is counting on us to be one of God’s essential workers!

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