Counting to Pentecost
Greetings to all true and faithful brethren who know what the picture below represents for the true COG!
The true COG keeps the annual festival of Pentecost by counting from the date of the original Wave Sheaf offering, cut and offered in ancient Israel during the days of unleavened bread. However some today have lost that understanding or are becoming confused by teachers of heresy, whom they choose to listen to. The short reminder that was posted on the home page before Pentecost of 2015, has now been converted into this article. It was intended to give some of what the Scriptures actually tell us to do, in counting to Pentecost this year, for the sake of those new to this information. Now it will be a permanent fixture as a yearly reminder for all.
In the modern COG, in its scattered state and with all of its calendars for the Holy Days, (which can vary, depending on which org. or group you attend with) this explanation has become necessary. Members of COG groups tend to get used to just going by what comes out of their particular “HQ” as to when and how they must observe God’s feast Days. Lev. 23:2 “Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, concerning the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are My feasts.” KJV
No man can “set” these festivals, as God already has and we must keep them as He has directed. We in the COG have also grown accustomed to our little pocket calendars, sent out with all calendar dates, so we tend to just rely on that, without putting forth any more effort.
Even though we do have that convenience, should we then forget all about the one time we are commanded to count? How many today even realize Christ is the one who was being pointed to for the fulfilling of the Wave Sheaf? This used to be explained every year, along with why we count but in the COG congregations of today, many may not hear this at all. If Pentecost were to come on a set day every year, as some have gone back to doing, why count at all? Was this explained in your congregation this year? What if your church organization forgets and after a while begins to count a little different than everyone else? Some do that today, using their own devised calendars, so we still need to be mindful of what the Scriptures tell us about counting for Pentecost, in order to be obedient and pleasing God. (See “Wave Sheaf Day” in Bible Studies for more) Christ settled the matter for us as to which “morrow after” the Sabbath to count from, as He is our example; fulfilling the wave sheaf offering that pointed to Him. (He went to the Father on the Sunday during the days of UNLB, but even this is ignored in certain years by some.) So we start our count on the Sunday during the days of UNLB because that is when He fulfilled the wave sheaf offering.
(Some were counting (Mostly Jews) from the day after the first Holy Day in Christ’s time and many still do that today, which makes the day of Pentecost fall on various days of the week for them and is very seldom if ever on a “morrow” after the seventh Sabbath. (Lev 23:16 –“even unto the morrow after the seventh Sabbath shall ye number fifty days; ASV) Some who were once in the COG now advocate this “Jewish” counting method as well—that day being the 6th day of the 3rd month on the Hebrew Calendar.)
All truly converted, as a part of the Spiritual Body Christ is head of, know the Scriptures do not contradict themselves and that God is consistent, so all we need to do is focus on these clear instructions to Israel; Lev 23:14-16; 'You shall eat neither bread nor parched grain nor fresh grain until the same day that you have brought an offering to your God; it shall be a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.” (This “wave offering” pointed to Christ, which He fulfilled, as the very first of humanity to be harvested, first of first fruits; and that was during the days of UNLB on the morrow after the weekly Sabbath, as already stated. See John 20:1-18)
V.15 'And you shall count for yourselves from the day after the Sabbath, (Weekly) from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering: (Wave sheaf day-Christ being accepted) seven Sabbaths shall be completed.” (This clearly shows it is the weekly Sabbath that the count begins after, which is the Sunday during the days of UNLB, even if it is the first High day, which happens once in awhile.) V.16 'Count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath; then you shall offer a new grain offering to the LORD.” (NKJ)
This is pretty simple to do by counting each Sabbath when complete, and it was Commanded for all generations, so even though we have our calendars, we should at least be counting how many Sabbaths have completed, as the weeks go by. We do this according to these simple Scriptural instructions and the pattern set By Christ. This year we will come to a Sunday toward the end of May and keep that High Sabbath of Pentecost on the 24th, beginning at sunset the previous evening. That time is also the time frame of the traditional Memorial day, set aside for this country. That is interesting how this has worked out for this year, as Pentecost is also observed in the COG as a memorial of the pouring out of the Holy Spirit as the beginning of the COG in 31AD. This is also earlier than normal, as this year is the 18th year in a 19 year time cycle and is not a leap year for the Hebrew calendar. (See Parallels-Calendar and the Calendar given at the end of that article for all Holy Days and leap years during a 19 year time cycle.)
Let us look at one more passage about how to count before we conclude; remembering the Wave Sheaf offering was the first cutting of the new grain! Deut. 16:9-10 "You shall count seven weeks for yourself; begin to count the seven weeks from the time you begin to put the sickle to the grain. 10 Then you shall keep the Feast of Weeks (Pentecost in the NT) to the LORD your God with the tribute of a freewill offering from your hand, which you shall give as the LORD your God blesses you.” (NKJ) It is my hope and prayer that you will keep this in mind for years to come and not let any teachers of heresy (false prophets) get you off track enough to alter this Scriptural counting method, as they have done. Pentecost is always kept on a Sunday, the day after the seventh weekly Sabbath from the Sunday during the days of UNLB, when the count is complete!
(Editor for TCOGMSO)
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