Whole Bible Christianity

It's a God Thing


Pentecost for Whole Bible Christians - The Practice of God's Holidays

Shavuot - The day of Law Giving, the day the Spirit was given.

God Gives

The feast of Pentecost marks two different gifts from God. The first was His gift of the Law from Mt. Sinai. The second was the gift of the Holy Spirit after the resurrection. Some do not see a connection. We think there is a very obvious connection.

The Church Started Much Later

The church didn't start at Pentecost. There was no church then. It was the body of Christ that got a boost from the Holy Spirit for the work the believers were going to do on behalf of Christ and His kingdom. The body of Christ and the Church are two quite different things. The church got going over a several hundred year period culminating in official recognition by the Roman Empire in 325 A. D.

Freedom from Captivity by the World and the Church

After they were saved, Israel received the living oracles as a lifestyle and discipleship method. God was going to live in the midst of Isra'el, and the oracles were to help with that. The Father's Laws are freedom - freedom from death caused by our own self-seeking. The church has refused the terms of the New Covenant, and so we celebrate our freedom from the slavery of the Nicolaitans also.

Printable version


Free booklet on the Spring Feasts for personal use


Another cool video is the one on Christian Faith and Practice through Cycles of the Mo'edim

(This video covers more of the meaning behind the feasts of Jesus, with suggestions for practice and how the feasts are themed.)

Christian Faith and Practice Through...Pentecost

"Then you shall celebrate the Feast of Weeks to the LORD your God with a tribute of a freewill offering of your hand, which you shall give just as the LORD your God blesses you; and you shall rejoice before the LORD your God, you and your son and your daughter and your male and female servants and the Levite who is in your town, and the stranger and the orphan and the widow who are in your midst, in the place where the LORD your God chooses to establish His name." (Deuteronomy 16:10,11 NASB)

Another Appointment with God

This is another in a continuing series of articles geared toward the person who is new to the understanding that submitting to our Father's Word includes accepting and living by His Torah or instructions. For us "rookies" the task of beginning to walk His Ways can be a little confusing, and it may take a little time to work our way through all the new information. So these articles are designed to give you a start.

Pentecost is one of the seven annual "appointments" (literally) that the Father set up for His children, summarized in Leviticus 23 (Sabbath being a weekly appointment). Shavuot (shaw-voo-oat or Pentecost), comes on the day after seven complete Sabbaths are counted from the day of HaBikkurim (feast of First Fruits, the first Sabbath after Pesach (Passover). The timing of First Fruits is in dispute with some people, part of whom think it is always a Sunday from their understanding of Leviticus 23:16, and part of whom think since the first day of Passover is a sabbath then the day after is First Fruits. The Scripture says to count weeks from the time the sickle is first put to the standing grain. However you figure it, at least do something. I'm sure Jesus will straighten it out if He needs to when He returns. In the meantime, do your best to pick what you think is right and do that.


The Feast of Weeks

Shavuot is also known as the Feast of Weeks, and to get there we count the omer every day. An omer is a measure of grain from the spring harvest waived as an offering to the Lord. First Fruits is the beginning of the offering of the barley crop to the Father. As the verses above show, this is a time of rejoicing (Deuteronomy 16:9-12). Oh no, not another party! I have pointed out before (and will gleefully point out as many times as I think I need to), that it seems every time we turn around our Father wants us to celebrate, rejoice, party, and just generally kick back and whoop it up. This is another one of those times. According to the Word, it includes everybody - kids, servants, strangers, orphans, widows, even Levites can get down, get funky, and get loose. All of us are to come together in one place, the "place where He puts His name (Deuteronomy 16:11,16)." This is called a "holy convocation" which in Hebrew is miqra qodesh (mee-kraw ko-desh).

The theological implications of this statement are too involved to delve into here. But this is one of the so-called "pilgrimage feasts," meaning we have to go to a place that He chooses, and perhaps this could be understood as gathering together in a really large group. For a long time the actual place was understood to be Jerusalem because of the Temple, but now in my opinion it just might mean something a teensy bit different. Where is His name now? Has He chosen a different place? If His people are a Temple (1 Corinthians 3:16, 6:19; 2 Corinthians 6:16; Ephesians 2:21; Revelations 3:12), what does this mean for the feast location? I'm not saying that we can do what we want; quite the contrary. I'm saying that perhaps there might be another understanding here that we might be missing.

We are not to be at the party empty handed - we are supposed to give a freewill offering (Deuteronomy 16:10, 17). The sacrifices and offerings are listed in Leviticus 23:17-20, and among these are two loaves of bread made with leaven that are brought from the dwellings of each person (verse 17). I suppose this might be called B.Y.O.B.......for Bring Your Own Bread. When they make bread for Sabbath (called challah), many Jews will take a small portion of the dough and "wave" it before the Father, then burn it up. This, I believe, is related to the wave offering of First Fruits. So, the 50th day is a Sabbath, with a miqra qodesh (gathering), a feast with rejoicing, and a freewill offering along with two loaves of bread.

I want you to notice that the "stranger" is included in this celebration. The word for stranger (ger, pronounced gare) applies to the nations, also known as Gentiles or goyim. This is for those hair-splitting (or even 'heir splitting') goyim who want to try and prove that the Feast is for Jews only. Even if you want to limit the meaning to "in the midst of," I think we can all agree that due to the scattering of Israel we can't be any MORE in the midst of them than we are at the present. This is pretty much an all-inclusive statement from our Father nailing down exactly what He means without leaving any wiggle room at all.


Two important events happened at this Appointed Time, the memory of which is part of the celebration. These two were also somewhat prophetic, but that is more than this short article can accommodate. The first was the giving of the Torah at Mt. Sinai, and the second was the outpouring of the Spirit in a room full of Jesus' disciples at the Temple, after the risen Messiah had ascended to the Father. Each of these by themselves would be a tremendous incentive for joy and celebration because of the freedom they represent. However, it is a mistake to see them as separate events, or mutually exclusive of one another.

When the Torah was given at Mt. Sinai, the Spirit accompanied it (Numbers 11:17-29). And when the Spirit outpoured on the disciples, the Torah was also present (Acts 2:11 - mighty deeds of God is The Word or Torah). Both included flames (Exodus 20:1; Psalm 29:7; Acts 7:30) or lightnings (Exodus 19:16, Job 36:29, 37:2-5; Revelation 4:5, 10:3,4), and both had languages associated (trumpeting, voices Exodus 20:2, Revelation 14:2; thunderings II Samuel 22:14, John 12:28-29; tongues Job 26:14, 40:9, Psalm 18:13). The Word of God cannot be separated from the Spirit of God, any more than Jesus (who is the Word made flesh) could ever be separated from the Father. They are echad (eh-khod), one or unity.

The Body of Christ Has Always Been Around

Many people want to believe that The Church started with the outpouring at the Temple. But according to Scripture, this is simply not true. The 'congregation,' 'assembly' or 'called out ones' (OT Hebrew qahal pronounced kah-hall, edah pronounced eh-daw; NT Greek ekklesia pronounced ek-kles-see-ah), has been in existence ever since the beginning. This group of people is also called the 'remnant.' Membership has always been by Grace through Faith, and there are many members added throughout recorded history, but maybe not as numerous as we could wish for. The point is, there is only one group of people that is God's (Ephesians 4:4-6). Some confusion comes from the fact that these words are also used to describe simple gatherings of people for a particular purpose.



Psalm 74:1 & 2 is perhaps one of the clearer examples of my position. In verse one the psalmist identifies "the sheep of your pasture" which is identical to the word "congregation" used in verse two (see also Scriptures such as Psalm 107:32, 149:1).

O God, why have You rejected us forever? Why does Your anger smoke against the sheep of Your pasture? Remember Your congregation (edah), which You have purchased of old, Which You have redeemed to be the tribe of Your inheritance; And this Mount Zion, where You have dwelt. (NASB, parenthesis added)

Stephen speaks of the "congregation in the wilderness" referring to the gathering of Israel at Mt. Sinai (Acts 7:38,39 ekklesia). Stephen also calls the Torah "living oracles."

"This is the one who was in the congregation (ekklesia) in the wilderness together with the angel who was speaking to him on Mount Sinai, and who was with our fathers; and he received living oracles to pass on to you. Our fathers were unwilling to be obedient to him, but repudiated him and in their hearts turned back to Egypt, (NASB, parenthesis added)

Hebrews 2:11,12 says that Jesus and the "ones set apart for God" are brothers:

For both He who sanctifies and those who are sanctified are all from one Father; for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying, "I WILL PROCLAIM YOUR NAME TO MY BRETHREN, IN THE MIDST OF THE CONGREGATION (EKKLESIA) I WILL SING YOUR PRAISE." (NASB)

This is a quote from Psalm 22:22, and comparing them both together shows that the Greek word for church (ekklesia) is the same as the Hebrew word for assembly or congregation or "church" (qahal).

I will tell of Your name to my brethren; In the midst of the assembly (qahal) I will praise You. You who fear the LORD, praise Him; All you descendants of Jacob, glorify Him, And stand in awe of Him, all you descendants of Israel. (NASB)

Hebrews 4:2 says that the same gathering (assembly, congregation, or church) had the gospel preached to them at Mt. Sinai (Messiah in the Torah).

For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard. (NASB)

The Kingdom of God (or Kingdom of Heaven) is a related term, except that 'body' or 'remnant' indicates those that willingly belong to God, while the Kingdom includes (at the present time) additional elements (people and spirits or angels) that do not want the rule of God in their lives (much like a mustard tree has birds - Matthew 13), although in the end they will be weeded out. Of course, God ultimately rules anyway, but in the present form of the Kingdom some people are not very cooperative. These people may look like they are part of the Kingdom, but they will not continue.

Those who 'persevere' or 'overcome' (the remnant) will be included in the future form of the Kingdom, but those who falter will not. Overcomers produce fruit, pretenders (or tares) do not. This is referred to in parable form by Jesus in Matthew 13. At this time God has not assigned the task of weeding these people out to anyone (Parable of the Tares, also Matthew 13). So we are not called to determine who is 'in' and who is 'out,' but to continue with discipleship using all of our heart, mind or soul, and strength; to exhort and encourage and correct those others who at least profess to be part of this group.

Paul discuses the nature of the olive tree (another name for Kingdom of God) in Romans 11. He says that branches are broken off due to lack of faith, and other branches are grafted in by faith. Why would branches be broken off unless there was no fruit on them? Therefore we should watch ourselves lest we be found to be without fruit, whether Jew or Gentile. John the Immerser says this is fruit in keeping with repentance (Matthew 3:7-12). This goes back to Genesis 1:11,12, where vegetation bears fruit because of the life God puts in it. The Spirit will produce fruit in us because of the nature of His Life.

I conclude that redeemed people known as an assembly, church or body, have existed from the start as part of larger assemblies or congregations of people or nations, some of which are called by the same names. All Isra'el is not Isra'el, as Paul says, and there are hints all through the Word as to the reality and makeup of this assembly. From giants of the faith such as Abraham and Sarah, Noah, and Moses, to the humble of station such as Ruth; from queens like Esther to judges such as Samson, Deborah and Gideon; from Rahab the harlot to mighty kings like David and Solomon; the one Father has been adding to one body through one faith by one Spirit and one baptism (see again, Ephesians 4:4-6).

Shavuot is then, in my opinion, a celebration of freedom (Passover) from captivity (Egypt or the world) and entry into the remnant portion of the Kingdom of God by embracing all of the instructions of the Father. In other words, we left sin and the world system by way of the blood of the Lamb, journeyed into the wilderness where His living oracles (the Torah - Acts 7:38; Romans 3:2; Hebrew 5:12; 1 Peter 4:11) were delivered to us, and by trusting obedience (faith) we will enter into the final form of His Kingdom, also known as His Rest. By refusing to obey His Ways we will fail to enter (Acts 7:39; Hebrews 4:6).

Therefore, since it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly had good news preached to them failed to enter because of disobedience, He again fixes a certain day, "Today," saying through David after so long a time just as has been said before, "TODAY IF YOU HEAR HIS VOICE, DO NOT HARDEN YOUR HEARTS." (Hebrews 4:6,7 NASB, last part quoting Psalm 95:6-11)

May the Father keep our hearts soft and bring us into His rest.
Bruce Scott Bertram