God’s Appointed Times

Today, May 29th 2020 is the 1st day of Pentecost. I said the 1st day of  Shavuot/Pentecost because most Jewish holidays are celebrated for 2 days. The reason for celebrating them for 2 days is because when the tribes of Israel were “dispersed” throughout the world, Diaspora (link), they could not always be certain what day the month had actually started on. The observance of the tiniest sliver of the moon’s appearing determined if the previous month was 29 or 30 days long. This again points to the fact that God’s people are to look for “signs in the heavens” to be aware of His “Appointed Times – Moedim.”

The names, Feast of Weeks, Shavuot, Pentecost, all pertain to the same “appointed time” that God said we as Christians and Jewish are to observe. It is a special day for another reason because God said any ordinary work should not be done on this day,

Leviticus 23:15, 21 ‘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. 16 Count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath; then you shall offer a new grain offering to the Lord.
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. It shall be a statute forever in all your dwellings throughout your generations.

Many churches go by the “seven Sabbaths” counting and celebrate Pentecost on the 7th Sunday after Easter. In Europe, many churches and communities celebrate this Christian holiday for 2 days, Sunday and Monday,  even though most don’t even understand the reasoning behind it. They have named it, Whitsuntide (link).

The Feast of “First Fruits” had to do with the offering of the barley harvest. This feast known as Shavuot to Jews and Pentecost to Christians and the rest of the world had to do with the offering of the “first” of the wheat harvest 7 weeks later. God paints us a pictured of what He is doing in the world according to His Sovereign time table through His “Appointed Times.” They are like dressed rehearsals until the Real Event actually happens. Over time, as the dressed rehearsals are practiced, the picture of what they are addressing becomes more clear. As they say, hindsight is 2020. At the turning of this year, 2020, many churches and so called prophets proclaimed it was going to be a year of “Clearer Vision.”

Many, and I might say most, didn’t see the Covid-19 pandemic coming but there were a few, only a few out of thousands of self proclaimed prophets that did. Anyway, these slides show clearly how God has painted this 50 day count into a picture we should grab hold of in our mind, heart and spirit.

AP1

The “4” on top of the pic relates that it is the “Fourth” of God’s 7 major “Moedim/Appointed Times.”

AP2

The Jewish custom is that Moses received and delivered the the Ten Commandments to the people of Israel on this day. That’s the same Ten Commandments many churches and Christians want to divorce themselves from in the claim that we are no longer under law, we are now under God’s Grace. They avoid reading further in that passage of scripture to understand that we as Christians should be under the “Law of the Spirit.” Anyone who is not under the authority of the Lordship of Yeshua Jesus Christ is a rebel, plain and simple. They do what they want, when they want and how they want. They call Jesus “Lord” but don’t do what He says if they don’t feel like it even though Jesus said,

John 14:15-18 “If you love Me, keep My commandments. 16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.

Jesus promised the coming of the Holy Spirit to indwell “true Christians” in this passage of scripture, Today we know it was fulfilled on the day of Shavuot/Pentecost, the picture became clearer, enhancing what had been painted before concerning this day.

AP3

God gave evidence through extraordinary means to demonstrate that something supernatural came upon the “true Christian believers.”

Acts 2:1-4 When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

AP4

Even though the Apostle Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15:6 that Jesus appeared to more than 500 “believers,” we are told that only 120 followed the instructions of Jesus to go and wait for the promise of the Father, the promised Holy Spirit to indwell the obedient ones.

Acts 1:4-5, 9, 12-13, 14-15
And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; 5 for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”
9 Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight.
12 Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey. 13 And when they had entered, they went up into the upper room where they were staying: …
14 These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers. 15 And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples (altogether the number of names was about a hundred and twenty), and said,

While many Christians will remind you that we are “NO Longer” under the Old Covenant, we are under the New Covenant, they also want to exercise being under NO Covenant, NO Law, not even the Law of the Holy Spirit. They won’t come out and say that point blank but what does not being under law mean but being lawless, free to do your own thing. New or Old, a Covenant is still “an agreement, a legal contract.” The parties involved don’t get to do whatever they want to do, whenever they want to do it. Stipulations need to be followed and consultation needs to be taken in the “grey areas.”

We can do whatever we want, whenever we want to and God doesn’t and won’t strike us dead because of it. The more important question is “does doing so please our Heavenly Father who has done such great things for us. Remember the indwelling of the Holy Spirit is a “Gift of God.” We can’t make it or will it to happen. We can do alot of things on our own without God’s blessing, intervention or cooperation and succeed in them.

Scripture gives us directions on how we should and shouldn’t do things pertaining to every aspect of life but there are many “grey areas” that are not addressed and we are free to exercise our discretion in doing them. The book of James kind of fills in the empty blanks on how we should think about those things in a way that is pleasing to our Heavenly Father,

James 4:13-17  Come now, you who say, Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”; 14 whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. 15 Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.” 16 But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.

17 Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.

Don’t get the wrong idea in what I am writing. I too am not totally innocent of this sin. It is so easy to just do things and never consider “is this something that pleases God.” Usually it’s the big things we face that we will ever consider “how should I proceed” in the way God would have me go. Our goal should be to keep God in our thoughts at all times and to seek the direction of the Holy Spirit’s direction. Waiting for the leading of the Holy Spirit in the “small things” may seem trivial to us but try looking at it from our Heavenly Father’s eyes. “They care what I think. They want My advice. They desire My companionship.”

Now put yourself in God’s shoes. Just what if your spouse, your children, your friends valued your thoughts and opinion in even trivial matters to take time to ask you. How would that make you feel? Humbled? Important? Valued? Respected? Loved?

Now think about what those feelings will encourage God or ourselves to feel towards them. Isn’t that what we want God to feel towards us?

Value the Gift of the Holy Spirit enough to enjoin, respect and cherish it. The Holy Spirit is Gentle, Loving and Kind. Only in serious conditions will He raise His Voice in your heart and mind. This things WILL Grieve Him.
Certainly Don’t Grieve Him!!!

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