Pentecost is a day that is barely mentioned in most protestant and catholic churches. Unless you go to a pentecostal church you probably have never really celebrated pentecost. Even then the way the pentecostal churches celebrate this holy day is a disgrace. Pentecost and Savu’ot are the same holy day. It is a holy day that all christians should observe. The festival of the weeks is to be celebrated 49 days after the second day of passover. “The Counting of the Omer” 49 day countdown begins on the second day of passover. It is a festival that required pilgrimage to Jerusalem and was considered a high sabbath. This holy day is commanded in Leviticus 23:15-22 but I will just quote a few verses of that passage for time and space.
Leviticus 23:15-16, 21 KJV “15 And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the sabbath, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven sabbaths shall be complete:
16 Even unto the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall ye number fifty days; and ye shall offer a new meat offering unto the Lord.
21 And ye shall proclaim on the selfsame day, that it may be an holy convocation unto you: ye shall do no servile work therein: it shall be a statute for ever in all your dwellings throughout your generations.”
The verses between 16 and 21 gives a lot of the technical aspects of this holy day. That is why I left them out. I do encourage you the reader to do more independent study on this topic. I included verse 21 for a reason even though it contains technical aspects as well. The last part of this verse says it will be a statue “forever” in all your dwellings throughout your generations. Keeping shavu’ot is a charge to be kept for all time. I know a lot of people who would argue that is just for jews but that is not the case. Certainly most professing christians would argue legalism with me to justify their sin but that is the same thing the Pharisees did to justify their unscriptural beliefs. As gentile christians are grafted into the house of Israel through Yeshua (Romans 11:18-20), they are to take part in this holy festival as well and keep it as commanded in the torah. The same way with passover. The hebraic jews referred to this day as shavu’ot but hellenistic jews referred to the day as pentecost. This holy day was celebrated in early church history as the birth of the church. The giving of the holy spirit coincided with shavu’ot the jewish festival of the giving of the torah.
Acts 2 records the giving of the holy spirit. It says the day of pentecost came. Pentecost was just the hellenistic jewish way of saying “shavu’ot”. So it could rightfully read “as shavu’ot was being celebrated they were all with one accord in one place.” That comes from verse one. Then it records in the following verses 2-6 the spirit descending on the multitudes and the gift of speaking in tongues being given through the spirit. This is totally different than a private prayer language. This was when everyone could understand everyone’s speech. There were devout men (jews and believers) from every nation there at the time. There was not a common language among all of these believers as hebraic jews refused to speak greek. Hebraic jews during that time would claim “it is better to feed your young swine than to speak greek”. There was many sects at this event and many other languages. Those people were there for shavo’ut because shavu’ot required a pilgrimage to Jerusalem as commanded in Exodus 23:14-17.
Verses 7-11 of chapter 2 in Acts records that the people were amazed and marveled at the miracle. It also gives a full list of the nations of the people in attendance. Respectfully there was not a true common language among all believers in attendance because language among jews was considered a sacred thing. If there was a common language that would have defeated the purpose of speaking in tongues. If that is the case the idea of a common language would go against YHWH and the holy scriptures. Some had a common language but not all of them. Language was sacred just like time was sacred and still is sacred in judaism. Even the sabbath day is a sacred time because YHWH blessed and made time holy before any other thing. The time of the death of Yeshua was sacred in time and space. That is the importance of the time and place of his death at passover shortly before sunset. The fact that time is holy is why YHWH and Yeshua sent the holy spirit down to the first century believers on shavu’ot. It is because time is holy and these sacred times and events should be observed until the end of time by all jews and those who profess the name of YESHUA HAMASHIACH (JESUS CHRIST)!
This is something that most modern believers cannot wrap their minds around. This is because they do not view time as holy or “kodesh” the word that holy comes from. Kodesh means “set-apart”. (Set-apart meaning of special importance)
Verses 12-15 speaks of people being amazed and some were mocking and making fun of them calling them drunk but that was not the case. Peter stood up with the other 11 apostles and began speaking, it makes it clear they were not drunk for it was only about 9 am when it happened. Verses 16-21 speaks of how this event of the giving of the holy spirit fulfilled what the prophet Joel prophesied about. The rest of the chapter is Peter’s sermon and the number of believers in Yeshua increased by 3000 and after that day numbers were added daily to the believers. That is a day that we should rejoice on, the actual days of Shavu’ot falls this year 2013 between sunset on May 14 to sundown on May 16th.
The modern day pentecost sunday is just a paganized version. Very few churches even give pentecost a special place in their churches. In other words they do not keep it as kodesh or holy. You will hear more about mothers and fathers day than pentecost in most churches. Even fewer celebrate it in a correct fashion. It should be days of remembrance. Days to celebrate and read the scriptures and discuss what the holy spirit is doing in our lives and how it makes our lives so much better! It should be a sacred time when we take off from work, spend time with fellow believers sharing in the joy of what our savior Yeshua has done for us! It should be a time to reflect on how wonderful both YHWH and Yeshua really are! It is okay to decorate the houses in spring time decorations and have a dairy social. This goes back to the tradition of eating dairy on shavu’ot because it is not kosher to mix dairy and meat together. It is a harvest festival after all. During the giving of the torah they were unable to kosher meat so they had manna and dairy. It is a tradition that is fun and wonderful. All christians should keep the hebrew holy days in mind and cast out the pagan holy days. Shalom my friends and have a wonderful Shavu’ot!