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Personal from the Chairman of the Council of Elders: June 2, 2022

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Personal from the Chairman of the Council of Elders

June 2, 2022

In just a few days, we will gather together to observe the Feast of Pentecost. This Holy Day is known by many names and among the Jewish people it is known as the Festival of Weeks (Exodus 34:22 Exodus 34:22And you shall observe the feast of weeks, of the first fruits of wheat harvest, and the feast of ingathering at the year's end.
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; Deuteronomy 16:10 Deuteronomy 16:10And you shall keep the feast of weeks to the LORD your God with a tribute of a freewill offering of your hand, which you shall give to the LORD your God, according as the LORD your God has blessed you:
American King James Version×
), the Feast of Harvest (Exodus 23:16 Exodus 23:16And the feast of harvest, the first fruits of your labors, which you have sown in the field: and the feast of ingathering, which is in the end of the year, when you have gathered in your labors out of the field.
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) and the Day of the Firstfruits (Numbers 28:26 Numbers 28:26Also in the day of the first fruits, when you bring a new meat offering to the LORD, after your weeks be out, you shall have an holy convocation; you shall do no servile work:
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).

When the Jewish people gather to observe this day, they focus on the events that occurred at Mount Sinai when God revealed His laws to them. As magnificent as that event was, it pales in comparison to what would happen several thousand years later, when one of the greatest events in human history occurred, and yet is scarcely appreciated by most of the world today.

On the Day of Pentecost in A.D. 31, the gift of the Holy Spirit would be poured out on 120 believers who had gathered together, just as Jesus promised would happen. After His crucifixion and resurrection, Jesus appeared to His disciples on several occasions prior to the Day of Pentecost and on His final appearance He said to them, “Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high” (Luke 24:49 Luke 24:49And, behold, I send the promise of my Father on you: but tarry you in the city of Jerusalem, until you be endued with power from on high.
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).

The Greek word translated as power is dunamis. It means an intrinsic power or inherent power residing in a thing by virtue of its nature. Intrinsic means “of or relating to the essential nature of a thing.” This power from on high would literally be the divine essence of God, put into mankind. Do we fully grasp the significance of this event? And while it did occur in A.D. 31, it continues to occur in the life of everyone who has repented of their sins, accepted Jesus Christ as their personal savior and had hands laid on them to receive this same gift (Acts 2:38 Acts 2:38Then Peter said to them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
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).

Before ascending to the Father, Jesus told His disciples, “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8 Acts 1:8But you shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come on you: and you shall be witnesses to me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and to the uttermost part of the earth.
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). The Greek word translated witnesses is a noun, not a verb. It describes who we are, not what we do. He was telling His disciples, and all who would follow afterwards, that when we become partakers of the divine nature through receiving of the Holy Spirit, we would become living sacrifices! Our lives, our values, our morality, our standards would be different than the world around us. We would be living examples of God’s laws being obeyed.

The world around us has become morally bankrupt. What was once considered abominable is now no longer considered something to even be ashamed about. The words of the prophet Jeremiah seem as timely today as when he wrote them, “‘Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? No! They were not at all ashamed; nor did they know how to blush. Therefore they shall fall among those who fall; at the time I punish them, they shall be cast down,’ says the LORD” (Jeremiah 6:15 Jeremiah 6:15Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? no, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore they shall fall among them that fall: at the time that I visit them they shall be cast down, said the LORD.
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).

As we approach the Day of Pentecost, let us renew a steadfast conviction to hold fast to what we know are the eternal truths of God. Now is not the time to let our guard down. The Day of Pentecost should remind us that “He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6 Philippians 1:6Being confident of this very thing, that he which has begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:
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). It is the Holy Spirit of God—His divine essence that is in us—that will continue to complete and perfect us.