Common Misconceptions of Pentecost–Part 1–The Lost Art of Discipleship–It’s Not As You Perceive-72

This past weekend, my family and I were blessed to have celebrated and observed the often erroneously thought of and referenced Day of Pentecost. Most Christians, be they Catholic or Protestants, or for that matter, Jew, have no idea what Pentecost is truly about. Most of the world went on about its business June 12th, having no idea that Pentecost actually came and went this week.

Oh, I remember growing up in the Baptist Church of my youth reading and hearing sermons about the Day of Pentecost as recorded in Acts chapter two. And also coming from a more charismatic Baptist background, the story marked an important period of time in the church’s history as it told of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the founding fathers of the Church. Beyond that–beyond the topic of the Holy Spirit being poured out on man and the resulting speaking in tongues (which we of course, in hindsight, entirely misunderstood) by the 12-disciples of Jesus Christ–the “Acts Chapter Two” story had no significance whatsoever. And we are learning today that most of the world has either ignored, forgotten, or possesses absolutely no knowledge of this critical day. Yes, I said critical day, and I’ll expound on this in just a few.

The Outpouring of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost

The Outpouring of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost

The truth of the matter is that Pentecost–and for that matter, the six other special, holy days of the Creator–has tremendous significance to every single human being that has and will ever live on this planet. But I am under no illusions that my statement here will be given much credibility or attention by the Christian, Catholic and even Jewish communities of the world. The mindset and perceptions of the entire world today are that Pentecost and the other Feasts of the Creator are Jewish holidays that do no apply to anyone other than Jews and the Jews in turn have relegated this and many of the other feasts to insignificant religious holidays that even today are seldom if ever given any attention by the Jews of the world. And the sad part of this matter is that Christian and Jew alike will someday have to give an account as to why they’ve blown off these specially commanded holy days of the Father. But my castigation of Christians and Jews regarding their failure to observe or celebrate Pentecost is not the point of this article nor podcast posting.

A true student of the Bible who is filled with the Holy Spirit and who is not distracted by denominational influences, should, in their respective journeys through the Scriptures, see that Pentecost and the other holy days of the Father have and still remain vitally relevant to every true believer. You see, the religions and their respective Christian denominations of this world have determined for themselves and their adherents what is important and what is irrelevant; what is orthodox and what is heretical; what is true and what is false. And nothing better describes Christians and Jews better than the applied analogy of sheep blindly following the leader down a path of disobedience, ignorance, destruction and even death.

Try this on for size: “I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek out your servant, for I have not forgotten your decrees.” (Psalm 119:176, QBE)

And this: “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned each of us to his own way and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:6, QBE)

Or this: “My people have become lost sheep; their shepherds have led them astray; they have turned back from on the mountains. They have gone from mountain to hill and have forgotten their own resting place.” (Jeremiah 50:6, QBE)

And why are we referred to as lost, scattered and disobedient sheep? Is it because we are being led by evil and inept shepherds (or leaders)? In many cases yes. But there are bigger issues at play here than just having bad church leaders. To begin with, the Christian religious system is set up to control and to church its adherents. The system is not at all designed to foster independent thinking; independent accountability; independent Bible study; independent living the way our Savior and our Master taught us about. Furthermore, the Christian religious system has failed to realize or understand and then execute its given purpose and mission in the earth and that is to make disciples for the Master and in effect, connect the inhabitants of this world to the renewed covenant formulated and put forth by our Creator.

Master instructed us: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I commanded you…” (Matthew 28:19, 20; ESV)

I just referenced the English Standard Version of the Bible. However, the King James Version fails to instruct us to make disciples for the Master. Instead, it instructs us to “teach” and baptize the nations. The crucial missing element when one references just the KJV is the true meaning of the Greek term “matheteuo.” Given that most of us have no interest in study of the Bible, we lack the essential tools and skills to dissect verses and passages so that we are able to receive true understanding. The term “matheteuo,” unbeknownst to most, in English actually means “to be a disciple” or “to make a disciple.” (Reference Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance) Unfortunately Churchianity has taken this passage to mean that it is supposed to “church” the world, or in politically  corrected parlance, “teach” the world. But one can clearly see that this is not what the Master instructed us to do–He instructed us to “disciple the nations.” Unfortunately, again, the Body’s biblical illiteracy prevents it from grasping what it means to disciple the nations. As a result, the Church dictates to us what it means to teach or disciple the nations: that is, to “church the nations.” And what does it mean to “church the nations?” It really means to indoctrinate the nations–to teach the nations to adhere to the tenets of whatever denomination is doing the teaching at the time. The teachings and instructions given to us by the Father and His Son–as recorded and contained in the Bible–have very little if anything to do with Christianity’s understanding, teachings and practices of the Great Commission. Instead, it’s about how to make you into a good or acceptable Baptist or whatever denomination doing the so-called teaching at the time.

But discipleship is not the practice of churching the nations of this world. Far from it. The true definition as understood by our Master is given in verse 20 of that same chapter–discipling means to “teach the nations to observe all the things that He, the Master, has taught us.”

John records the following: “Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father and I will love him and manifest myself to him…If anyone loves me, he will keep my word and my Father will love him and we will come to him and make our home with him. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me. These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. But the helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, He will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.” (John 14:21-26; ESV)

Discipling then is really not attending church, getting one’s name on the church roll, hearing a sermon and giving an offering. Discipling in its truest sense–or shall I say, in the Master’s sense–is to follow the Master by adopting a lifestyle that tightly fits that of the Master when He walked this earth. It’s about stripping away the former life that we once held as members of the human race. It’s about learning what the Master came to teach us about the Creator’s intentions and requirements for all of mankind. It’s about seeing all that the Master did while He was here working on this earth. It’s about being baptized and receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit that will help us adapt to the new life that we’ve chosen to take on. Ultimately, it is then about living that unique, amazing, unshakable life that is pleasing, holy and acceptable to the Father; that shows our love for both Master and Father; and then returning the favor and repeating this process with others–that is, disciple others.

Until churchianity is able to grasp this simple but crucial truth, Christianity is doomed to eventual failure and destruction–as  we see actually happening today. Christianity is profusely bleeding adherents. People are leaving the Christian Faith in record numbers and there’s very little that can or likely will be done about it. Why are people leaving? They are leaving because of the hollowness of Christianity. Christianity has based its workings on a false premise: to “church its adherents.” (See The Barna Group for the study on people leaving the Christian Church)

When Master came to us, He did not come with the stated intentions of establishing 30,000-plus Christian Denominations as we see today throughout the world. Is it no wonder why Christianity is quickly becoming irrelevant in the world today?

The true message of the Master is to do what He taught and showed us to do, and then to turn around and do the same for others and to be obedient to the Words and instructions of His Father who sent Him.

Now part of that obedience that I’m writing and speaking about has to do with the keeping or observing or celebrating of Pentecost and the other mandated Feasts of the Creator. These Feasts–these holy days–are called in the Hebrew, “moedim”: appointed times and meetings that Father in His infinite wisdom, set into existence and play before the foundation of the earth was laid. Unfortunately, churchianity has failed to recognize this crucial element of the true Faith once delivered.

Consider Genesis 1:14 where it reads: “”And God said: “Let there be lights in the firmament of heaven to separate the day from the night; and they were for signs, and for seasons and for days and for years…”

The KJV uses the term “seasons,” which when read by the average western reader, denotes spring, summer, fall and winter. So of course, the casual reader of Scripture will simply read right past this passage giving it little credence or significance. Thus, a plain read of this passage clearly suggests that the Creator simply hung lights in the firmament (i.e., the sun and the moon) for purposes of facilitating the day and night and for the fours seasons of this world. Consequently, it becomes virtually impossible to change that ingrained mindset. But again, Biblical illiteracy would stand as the essential cause for Christianity as a whole not understanding the true meaning of this and other similar passages. The Church and its leaders are so bought into not understanding God’s Word for fear of not maintaining control over people’s lives, that they are willing to sell their souls to the devil and take with them millions of souls.

The Hebrew term “moedim” means in English: appointed place, time and meeting. Thus, when we apply contextual criticism to the study of God’s Word, we will find that the English term “season” and the Hebrew term “moedim” refer to the Father’s feasts–His festivals–His holy days. Bear in mind, however, the time frame in which this was all set up by the Father: at the creation of the earth and before the creation of Israel or even the Jewish nation. So it would then stand to reason that Father in His infinite wisdom intended these so-called seasons–these moedim–for all of mankind to observe and keep.

I will get more into this whole thing about “moedim” and “seasons” in the next part of this multi-episode series entitled “Common Misconceptions of Pentecost.”

Faithfully Submitted

Rod Thomas

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