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5 Points of Pentecost


1. The Prophetic Prelude

Celebration of the OT Birth of Israel as the People of God by the giving of the Ten Commandments at Mt. Sinai, commemorated as SHAVUOT or Feast of Weeks, 7 complete weeks + 1 day after the Feast of the First Fruits.

Called by the Jews “The Feast of the Giving of the Torah”. It took 49 days for Israel to reach Mt. Sinai after leaving Egypt. The rabbis connected the significance of the Giving of the Torah at Mt. Sinai with their arrival there and commemorated the event on the 50th day after the Feast of the Firstfruits.
Leviticus 23:15-21
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.
17 Ye shall bring out of your habitations two wave loaves of two tenth deals: they shall be of fine flour; they shall be baken with leaven;they are the firstfruits unto the Lord.
18 And ye shall offer with the bread seven lambs without blemish of the first year, and one young bullock, and two rams: they shall be for a burnt offering unto the Lord, with their meat offering, and their drink offerings, even an offering made by fire, of sweet savour unto the Lord.
19 Then ye shall sacrifice one kid of the goats for a sin offering, and two lambs of the first year for a sacrifice of peace offerings.
20 And the priest shall wave them with the bread of the firstfruits for a wave offering before the Lord, with the two lambs: they shall be holy to the Lord for the priest.
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.

2. The Phenomenon

NT Birth of the Church in Acts 2:1-4, the fulfillment of the OT prophetic Jewish feast, when about 120 disciples of Jesus Christ were filled with the Holy Ghost in the Upper Room 50 days after the Resurrection of Jesus from the dead.

SHAVUOT or PENTECOST was 1 of 3 pilgrimage festivals in Israel.
Josephus estimates there were over 2.7 million Jews in Jerusalem at the Passover during the days of Nero.
Typically, Pentecost would have had far fewer people, but the year Jesus was crucified it is highly probable that most of that number would still have been in Jerusalem, or would have returned for the feast of Pentecost.
Acts 2:1-5
1 And when the day of Pentecost was 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 all the house where they were sitting.
3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.
4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
5 And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.

3. The Promise

Acts 1:4 … this outpouring of the Holy Ghost fulfilled Joel’s prophecy that in the last days the Lord would pour out His Spirit on all flesh (Joel 2:28-32, Acts 2:16-21), referred to by Jesus as the Promise of the Father.

Acts 1:4-5
4 and, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me.
5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.

4. The Power

Acts 1:8 Jesus said you would receive POWER after the Holy Ghost is come upon you.

Acts 1:8
But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judæa, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

And with GREAT POWER gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of Jesus throughout the book of Acts (Acts 4:33).

John 1:10-13
10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.
11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.
12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
13 which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

5. The Paradigm

Acts 2:38 Peter used the Keys of the Kingdom to establish the NT pattern or template for the Gospel Message Salvation Experience of the New Birth.

John 3:1-8
1 There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:
2 the same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.
3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?
5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

Death=Repentance

Burial=Water Baptism in the name of Jesus Christ

Resurrection=Gift of the Holy Ghost

What Happened To The Blood?

The Communion service is one of the sacraments of the New Testament church. In it we fulfil Christ’s command to eat his flesh and drink his blood by partaking of the symbolic elements of unleavened bread (which represents the sinless body of Christ) and the fruit of the vine (which represents the sinless blood of Christ). Among Apostolics, there is virtually universal agreement that the element used to represent the body of Christ must be unleavened bread. But there is much debate and division over the element used to represent the blood of Christ—wine or grape juice, even though it is universally agreed that the element used must be unleavened (because that which is leavened is generally recognized to represent that which is sinful in nature).

Since the process by which an element is leavened is known in the scientific community as “fermentation” (be it bread or wine), it seems to make the most sense to use grape juice as the element to represent the blood as opposed to wine, since wine is grape juice that has been leavened or fermented. However, there are some very good and noble men—some that are recognized to be spiritual giants—who use wine for Communion. (Of course, the opposite is also true: some of the greatest men in our movement use grape juice for Communion.) Therefore, it is very unwise to suggest that those who happen to disagree with my beliefs on this subject are not saved (because “they aren’t taking Communion if they aren’t using what I use”). I believe that if a preacher sincerely believes that wine is unleavened and uses it in the Communion because he believes that, then he is taking Communion and will be saved just as much as those who are taking grape juice for Communion.

My problem with using wine for Communion is this: the natural state of the fruit of the vine is unfermented. To argue otherwise is logically irresponsible. When flour and water are mixed with other ingredients of bread, this mixture is unleavened, because it has not had time to ferment. Left alone for a few days, the dough sours (or spoils) due to the very natural process of fermentation; when it is baked after it has fermented, it is leavened bread. The same set of events transpires in grape juice to produce wine, which, I maintain, is leavened, because it has undergone the process of fermentation—the same process which produced leavened bread from the unleavened lump of dough. Hence, unleavened bread is bread baked from unfermented dough, and unleavened fruit of the vine is unfermented grape juice.

However, for the sake of my precious brethren who do not agree with me, but who vigorously maintain that alchoholic wine must be used as the symbol of the blood in the Communion service, I have spent many hours laboring in and studying the Word of God to discover any possible way that my reasoning could be flawed, or my logic fallacious. And for the sake of this discussion, I will ignore the inconsistency between insisting upon unleavened bread while using what I consider to be leavened wine for the Communion. I have come to realize that those who use wine for Communion do not deny that it is fermented; but they deny that fermentation is the process of leavening.

With this in mind, and remembering that the fruit of the vine represents the shed blood of Jesus Christ, my question is this: What happened to the blood of Jesus after it was shed that produced in it the effect that fermentation produces in grape juice? It is a matter of scientific fact that unfermented grape juice contains no alcohol; but those who use wine for the Communion make much of the fact of the power of wine (implying the intoxicating effects of the alcohol in it) and how it best represents the power of the blood of Jesus. Was the blood somehow different a few days after it was shed than it was immediately when it was shed? Was it not efficacious immediately? Or did it “see corruption”? We are told by the Scripture that his flesh saw no corruption (another word for leavening). Does this only apply to his body, or does it not also apply to his blood?

If unfermented grape juice is unfit to represent the blood of Jesus, then something in the spiritual realm had to have happened to the blood of Jesus after it was shed to correspond to the process of fermentation, by which unfermented grape juice is transformed into wine. This “event” is foreign to Scripture, and has no place in Apostolic theology; nor does it have a typical counterpart in the tabernacle ritual of the Old Testament. There is nothing in the Word to suggest that the blood of Jesus was not “precious” the instant it was shed—or even before it was shed, while it still flowed in our Savior’s veins. Indeed, the sinless life our Savior lived is what gave to his blood power to cleanse us from our sins. And though corruption and evil were all around him, yet he knew no sin; in the same manner, the elements of corruption may be all around the grape, but as long as it remains inviolate and the corruption does not penetrate the skin, the juice remains pure—uncontaminated and unleavened—and fit to be squeezed for use as the fruit of the vine, symbolic of the blood of Jesus.

To assert that freshly squeezed grape juice has no power (as a symbol of the blood) is the equivalent of asserting that the blood of Jesus had no power when it was shed. This is totally bizarre to my way of thinking. What power was in the water that was used to mix with the ashes of a red heifer? Or should the question not be, what made the water efficacious? You see, efficacy is a result of complicity with the commandments of God, not merely what something is made of. God’s ordinance, when administered by the high priest, empowered the water and ashes of the heifer to sanctify to the cleansing of the flesh. The same power is vested in grape juice when it is taken as the symbol of the blood of Jesus in the Communion. We don’t need to find the most potent alcoholic wine when administering the sacrament of communion in order to “force” the power to be in the blood any more than we need to find the cleanest, purest water in which to administer the sacrament of baptism in order to ensure the most effective cleansing from sin!

Rev Tim D. Cormier
02/25/1999

(C) Copyright held by Tim D. Cormier. This document may not be reproduced in whole or in part, except for personal use, without the express written permission of the author.

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