See page 8
Vol. 1 No. 5 May-June 2008

Just What IS It?
Pentecost is NOT a “Jewish” feast day! It doesn’t belong to the Jews, but DOES belong to God! Pentecost is a feast day that God COMMANDS Israel to keep forever! And the Biblical nation of Israel is made up of TWELVE tribes, not just the tribe of Judah! ALL the tribes of Israel are COMMANDED to observe Pentecost!
Leviticus tells us that all the special days listed in Leviticus 23 are GOD’S FEAST DAYS!!! Let us look at it now. Lev. 23:1 "And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 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.” Then God's seven feast days (Sabbaths) are listed and instructions are given about HOW to observe them. People CAN'T make up their own minds about how to worship God on these days because He COMMANDS them to worship Him in certain ways. Of course, the way God wants us to keep them also gives us a lot of (Continued on page 4)

Where’s the Power
in the

esus told his first followers, “…you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes to you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8 NIV). As the original apostles went out into the world, the manifested power of God was clearly present. The Book of Acts makes it obvious that Jesus’ witnesses were supernaturally supported. People were healed (Acts 3:1-8), raised from the dead (Acts 10:40-41), delivered of demons (Acts 16:18), visited by angels (Acts 5:19), and otherwise helped by the power of the Holy Spirit and the intervention of God’s angels. Luke wrote, “Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles” (Acts 2:43). Even deacons preached the Gospel and performed miracles (Acts 6:8; 8:26-40). When people were baptized, they often rose out of the baptismal waters speaking in languages they had not learned (Acts 10:44-46; 19:6). People were sometimes healed of diseases and delivered of demons simply by receiving anointed cloths sent out from the person of Paul (Acts 19:11). For a further discussion of the miracles, supernatural happenings, healings and deliverances of the Apostolic Church, read the rest of the Book of Acts. The Church of that day operated in the power of the Holy Spirit. The apostle Paul was fully aware of the power that was at his disposal as one of God’s apostles. He wrote to the Corinthians: “My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on man’s wisdom, but on God’s power” (I Corinthians 2:4-5). (Continued on page 2)

Paul did not view himself as a great orator or “speaker” – but the words that he delivered were empowered by the Spirit of God. When Paul spoke, spiritual things often happened. In his second letter to the same congregation, Paul wrote: “The things that mark an apostle – signs, wonders and miracles – were done among you with great perseverance” (II Corinthians 12:12). Paul was comparing the power of his own ministry with that of the so-called “super-apostles” who were falsely claiming to represent Christ (verse 11). On the human level, Paul viewed himself as “nothing.” But he performed his apostolic duties in the power of God, not merely with human words and arguments. To those who observed him closely, it was evident that God was with him – as He was with the other apostles. At the same time, the performance of miracles brought persecution from those who were threatened by them. The demonic world was stirred up. Those against whose interests the apostolic “traveling salvation show” worked were aroused to anger. According to tradition, all of the original apostles, and Paul, were murdered at the hands of those who opposed them. Despite the clear, miraculous evidence that God was with them, the apostles were abused and hated. Paul needed the supernatural power of God to endure the horrendous persecutions that he suffered throughout his apostolic journeys (II Corinthians 11:22-29). The plight of the apostles is described in Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians: “For it seems to me that God has put us apostles on display at the end of the procession, like men condemned to die in the arena. We have been made a spectacle to the whole universe, to angels as well as to men. We are fools for Christ, but you are so wise in Christ! [A little sarcasm there] We are weak, but you are strong! You are honored, we are dishonored! To this very hour we go hungry and thirsty, we are in rags, we are brutally treated, we are homeless. We work hard with our own hands. When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it; when we are slandered, we answer kindly. Up to this moment we have become the scum of the earth, the refuse of the world” (I Corinthians 4:913). With the power went poverty and persecution. Paul and the other apostles did not sit atop small mountains of tithe monies, for they knew they were not entitled to claim them. Rather, “We work hard with our own hands.” They were cursed, slandered and persecuted. Yet they performed miracles. Their own survival was miraculously sustained until it was God’s time to add them to the long list of his martyrs. Power often comes with a painful price tag. Simon Magus sought the power of God, but for the wrong reasons (Acts 8:18 – 19). He was willing to pay money for it. Peter, with righteous indignation, responded to Simon, “May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money! You have no part or share in this ministry, because your heart is not right before God. Repent of this wickedness and pray to the Lord. Perhaps he will forgive you for having such a thought in your heart. For I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin” (Acts 8:20-23).

Needed: A Right Heart To be empowered by the Spirit of God as were the original apostles, we must first acquire a right heart. If it is in our heart to exalt ourselves, as it was in Simon’s, we will receive nothing. God is not supportive of cults of personality in which the focus of attention is on some humanly charismatic leader who claims to represent God. The purpose of ministry is to glorify God, not man. Peter understood this: “If anyone speaks he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.” (I Peter 4:11). Peter, Paul and the other apostles drew attention to God, not to themselves. They were Christ-centered (I Corinthians 2:2; Philippians 1:21). To be empowered by God, we must demonstrate a selfless attitude of service, a spirit of humility, and a willingness to glorify God rather than ourselves. We must also be willing to live a godly life: “This is how to know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother” (I John 3:10). To “do right,” in this context, is to love one’s brothers and sisters in the Lord. John went on to say, “Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life in him” (I John 3:15). The most fundamental, foundational commandment Jesus gave his people is that they should love one another (John 13:34-35). Our love for each other is a sign to the world that we are truly Jesus’ disciples. Yet how much such love do we see in the Church? Sadly, as the Churches of God Pod continues to fragment, we see more divorces, separations, alienations, markings and disfellowshippings, and related nonsense. We note the continuing development of “Us/Them” scenarios. You can study the whole history of the Church from apostolic times to the present, and you’ll discover it is a story of endless fragmentation, dissension, bickering, political polarization, doctrinal arguments, division, reorganization, and enmity. We find Christians burning other Christians at the stake, torturing them, confiscating their property, defaming them, and driving them from pillar to post. We see bloody Crusades, demonic Inquisitions, imprisonments, burnings and lynchings, not to mention forced conversions. The Churches of God Pod is a minor waterspout on the periphery of this ecclesiastical Perfect Storm. Yet it illustrates in microcosm a lot of what is wrong with the larger Church. The Church is a house divided against itself. It is divided doctrinally, politically, structurally, philosophically, and in leadership. Worst of all, it is divided by a lack of love. Sometimes Christians hate other Christians more than they do the unconverted that persecute them. God gives his Spirit to those who are willing to obey him (Acts 5:32). To obey him is to love – to live rightly in relationship to one’s brethren. On one occasion, Jesus said to his disciples: “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not what I say?” (Luke 6:46).

If we want to be empowered by the Spirit of God as were the original apostles, we are going to have to obey our Lord and learn to love one another as brethren. We will have to follow Paul’s instruction to the Corinthian congregation when he wrote, “Follow the way of love and eagerly desire spiritual gifts, especially the gift of prophecy” (I Corinthians 14:1). Embarking on a journey of love is the beginning of empowerment. Jesus healed out of a motive of compassion and love. He was moved by the plight of the sick, the demonized and the disenfranchised. He responded in love and God empowered his words of healing and deliverance. In every selfless move Jesus made, God was glorified. Jesus was humble, yielded, and pliable putty in the hands of his Father. Because he was empty of self, he could be filled with Spirit. There was plenty of room! We don’t have to have perfect knowledge or understand all doctrine. We may well take to our graves seemingly insolvable doctrinal issues. But because we know imperfectly does not mean that God will deny us his Spirit. Wigglesworth’s Example From 1859 to 1947, there lived in England a most unusual Christian man. His name was Smith Wigglesworth. Wigglesworth was a sturdy, but illiterate, Yorkshireman, without formal education. He was converted to Christ as a boy, yet he was unable to read the Scriptures for himself. His speaking style was almost unintelligible, as was his mother’s. At a young age, Wigglesworth began working 12 hours a day to help out his family. Eventually he became a plumber. In his own awkward way, he tried to win people, including his mother, to Christ. In 1882, at the age of 23, he married Polly Featherstone, a vibrant young woman who loved God and was both a skilled preacher and a gifted evangelist. Polly taught Smith how to read – using the Bible. From that time on, Smith was never without his “Testament” or a full Bible. In fact, he later offered people five pounds if he was ever caught without it. Polly and Smith had great compassion for the sick. Together, they opened a mission on Boland Street in Bradford at which Polly preached and Smith prayed for the sick. Many were miraculously healed when Smith prayed for them. In 1907, Wigglesworth experienced a new infusion of the Spirit of God. He was now age 48. He found that he was suddenly able to preach, clearly and powerfully. His lifelong inarticulateness had miraculously disappeared – except for a few ungrammatical expressions in which he persisted. Even Polly, his lifelong partner, was amazed at Smith’s transformation. Over time, he became an internationally known evangelist preaching in the UK, the US, Australia, South Africa and all over Europe. His campaigns were characteristically accompanied by powerful, and undeniable, healings. On one occasion, it was reported that some 20 people were raised from the dead after Wigglesworth prayed for them. He spoke to the devil and his demonic minions with great authority. Wigglesworth saw the devil as the author of sickness and disease.

One night, Wigglesworth was preaching in Preston, a small town in Lancashire. A group from nearby Blackburn decided to take the train and attend. The group convinced an invalid lady friend that she should accompany them in order to seek healing. The lady’s limbs were hideously swollen and she got around only with great difficulty, using chairs and the kitchen table to aid her. She was stricken with rheumatism, rheumatoid arthritis, neuritis and bronchitis. It had been years since she’d been able to do any housework. Once the train journey was completed, it took the group 45 minutes to get the crippled lady from the Preston station to the place of meeting, about half a mile away. (No one could afford a taxi in those days.) Once there, they had to climb some 45 steps to an “upper room” where the meeting was taking place. They made it just in time for the beginning of Wigglesworth’s sermon. They had booked passage on the 10:45 train back to Blackburn. At ten to ten, Wigglesworth was still preaching. Boldly, pressed for time, the group interrupted Wigglesworth’s sermon and asked for prayer for their friend. Wigglesworth knew his priorities. Moved by her condition, he reached out and laid his hands on her, rebuking all of her afflictions. Instantly, she was healed! In seconds, the released woman was running down the stairs with her friends in hot pursuit. Filled with grateful hearts, the Blackburn group made the train and the next day the lady did all her own housework for the first time in years. Word spread throughout the neighborhood and many people joined the fledgling Blackburn Church with which she was associated. And, as they said in those TV ads for kitchen knives, “that’s not all.” The woman’s husband, a confirmed drunkard who suffered from the DT’s (delirium tremens), came under conviction. In the middle of the night, he awakened and walked the floor crying out to God for mercy. In moments, he was saved, delivered from his alcoholism, and filled with the Holy Spirit. He later became the first treasurer of the newly founded assembly. Flawed Theology Now if I were to judge Wigglesworth entirely on his theology, I would find much with which to disagree. I think he was “wrong” about many things. His understanding of the Bible was, seemingly, minimal. But he was filled with the Spirit of God. He loved as Jesus said we should love. He had compassion on the unsaved, the poor, the sick and the demonized. And because he did, God blessed his ministry. The fruit, the power and the manifestations of the Spirit were all in evidence throughout his long life and ministry. By the time he died at age 88 in 1947, tens of thousands had been healed, delivered and converted to Christ through his unorthodox and unsophisticated ministry. Much of what he said was not “theologically correct.” Yet his heart was beautiful to God and God honored that. Wigglesworth was a man of deep faith. From the time he was able to read, the only book he ever read was the King James Version of the Bible. Like Jesus before him, he had deep compassion on the sick. “Those who heard him minister from time to time will bear witness that as he preached and as he ministered to the sick, the tears would be

trickling down his cheeks. Broken in spirit as he was, the brokenness would often sweep over the whole congregation” (Smith Wigglesworth by W. Hacking, p. 40). Many of Smith Wigglesworth’s sermons and ideas were edited into a book under his byline called Smith Wigglesworth on Healing. I reproduce here the last two paragraphs of that book for your edification: “Ah, brothers and sisters, we have no idea what God has for us if we will only begin! But, oh, the grace we need! We may make a mistake. If you do this work outside of Him, if you do it for yourself, and you want to be someone, it will be a failure. We will be able to succeed only as we do the work in
Just What is PENTECOST? From page 1… information about His plan for the salvation of man-kind. I believe the Feast of Pentecost is the second most important feast day that God commands us to observe. I think the first is Passover, of course. With that in mind ... What does Pentecost mean? Since the observance of Pentecost is commanded in scripture we MUST keep it, but what does it all mean? Pentecost is teaching us about the return of Christ to this earth and the events which will occur at that time. It is a commanded observance which causes us to remember that people will be resurrected at that time, but who are these people, and how are they tied to Pentecost? In Lev. 23 we see two wave loaves which are offered at Pentecost along with some other things that I won't get into right now. Lev. 23: 17 "Ye shall bring out of your habitations two wave loaves of two tenth deals: ... " Most have probably heard many theories about what these two loaves of bread mean. I have heard many ‘sermons’ from Catholic, Protestant, and Church of God preachers trying to explain what these two loaves represent. They have been called “types” of the Old and New Testament, “representations” of the House of Judah and the House of Israel and probably a lot of others I’ve forgotten. A problem I have come to see is that people just won’t accept what the scriptures say about something. They all want to think there is some special

the name of Jesus. Oh, the love that God’s Son can put into us if we are only humble enough, weak enough, and helpless enough to know that unless he does it, it will not be done! ‘Whatsoever things you ask when you pray, believe that you will receive them, and you will have them’ (Mark 11:24). “Live in the Spirit. Walk in the Spirit. Walk in communion with the Spirit. Talk with God. All leadings of the divine order are for you. I pray that if there are any who have turned to their own way and have made God second, they will come to repentance. Let go of what is earthly, and take hold of God’s ideals. God will bring you to an end of yourself. Begin with God this moment” (pp. 206, 207). /Brian Knowles

meaning that only a privileged few can interpret, and most preachers and priests continue to teach that falsehood. Nahhh, let me call that teaching what it is, A LIE!! People dig for little “nuggets” of truth here and there in the Bible not realizing that it is ALL there if we have “eyes to see.” Of course, I’m talking about spiritual eyes here but it is STILL really SIMPLE when one has God’s Holy Spirit and when one hasn’t been deceived into believing that only a few have been given the “special gifts” of understanding! The point I’m trying to make is that people create huge stumbling blocks which they then place in their own way, or let someone else place these blocks in their way, looking to MEN for understanding rather than to Jesus the Christ! The simple fact is these two wave loaves which are offered to God represent, they are symbolic of, those who are dead in Christ and those who are alive in Christ at His return. As the scripture says, they are the FIRSTFRUITS unto the Lord!! Go back and read the last part of verse 17. “ … they shall be of fine flour; they shall be baken with leaven; they are the firstfruits unto the LORD.” How much plainer does God have to say it to get us to believe it? The dead in Christ are those who have been given God’s Holy Spirit and have died while waiting on that first resurrection at the second coming of Jesus the Christ. Of course, they were human beings who still had “leaven” in their character when they died, (there are times in scripture when leaven

represents Sin), but they also had God’s Holy Spirit! Those who are alive in Christ are those human beings who have received God’s Holy Spirit and are still alive while waiting for that first resurrection. We can see that in: 1 Thes. 4:15-17 “For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent (precede) them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” Yes, the dead in Christ ARE STILL DEAD at this time, and they will be resurrected at the coming of Christ to set up His Kingdom on this earth! (Rev. 11:15) This, of course, is the same time that those who are still living, and who are IN Christ, will be CHANGED into a spiritual body that will never die! This resurrection is NOT the “rapture” which so many preach about but it is the First Resurrection, at the return of Christ, of those who will be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air. There will be NO “secret rapture”! It is not shown in scripture, but instead scripture tells us that “every eye shall see Him.” (Rev. 1:7) The book of Zechariah chapter 14 shows us that “in that day” Jesus’ feet will stand on the Mount of Olives and majestic things will begin to happen!! 4

Rev. 14:1-12 shows us some of those who will be WITH Jesus when He stands on that Mount, and verse 12 kind of “nails it down” to those who “keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus! How hard is that to understand? But I think the question is, or should be, how do all those people get to that point? How do people reach that point of being resurrected but still have leavened spirits? Number one, they get there because of God’s GRACE and mercy. And, number two, they get there through Faith in God!! They get there because they totally believe God and that belief has become a very part of their being!! I’m afraid that many don’t truly understand just what that faith really is? I recently listened to a sermon given by a minister who made the statement that God gives everyone faith at their birth. Yes, we receive faith at birth, but that is HUMAN FAITH. It is a product of our HUMAN SPIRIT! The faith necessary to be in that First Resurrection is Godly Faith, Holy Faith, given to us when we receive God’s Holy Spirit. Eph. 2:8 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.” The minister stated the gift, mentioned here, was “grace”, not faith. However, if he had remembered his English classes in high school, he would have realized that the word ‘gift’ was pointing back to the word ‘faith’ in the previous phrase, not the word ‘grace’. Notice, that FAITH is NOT of ourselves. It is NOT human faith! It is GIVEN to us by God through His Spirit! It would have been much plainer if the translator has put it this way. “For by grace are you saved through faith: and that faith is not of your spirit: but because of His Grace, that faith is the gift of God through HIS Spirit.” If we are going to be in that first resurrection, we will get there THROUGH GODLY FAITH!! That FAITH is the product of the Holy Spirit, and it is what keeps us safe

and causes us to ACTIVELY BELIEVE God!! Heb. 11:1 “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Verse 6 “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” That kind of faith has substance! It isn’t wishy-washy human faith but something that has POWER causing us to BELIEVE THAT HE IS, and that HE IS A REWARDER. It is the power to believe (and ACT upon) the PROMISES God has made to us and to all those who have preceded us in the Spirit! That faith is a part of the Spirit which makes us a very PART OF GOD! It is a part of the Spirit that makes us ONE IN HIM AND JESUS CHRIST!!! John 17: 20 “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; 21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. 22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: 23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. 24 Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world. 25 O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me. 26 And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.” Yes, that we might be ONE IN THEM!! And we can only do that THROUGH THE FAITH that God in his Grace and Mercy gives us by His Holy Spirit!! How is YOUR faith? Is it strong? Are you able to weather the stormy trials which God will allow to come on you, trials which God

allows to test you to see “whether you are in the faith?” 2 Co 13:5 “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” Certainly I don’t know who the reprobates are, but God tells us to PROVE TO OUR OWN SELVES whether we are in the faith. He tells us that we KNOW in OUR OWN SELVES that Jesus Christ is IN US!! How can we know in our own selves that Christ is in us? Because we have God’s Holy Spirit! And a major part of that Spirit IS FAITH!!! It causes the hope that is within us to be actual SUBSTANCE!! It IS THERE IN US! If we are in the faith we will be strong, and do Godly exploits!! We won’t be weak, compromising people who waver to and fro. We won’t be like the waves of the sea going in and out with whatever “tide” washes over us!! We won’t be the way Jude describes some. Jude 1:13 “Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever.” How can we have the kind of faith that is so strong that we can weather all the storms that will come to pass? First we MUST examine ourselves whether we are in the faith. If there is any doubt, then we must set ourselves a course of study that will prove to us that we ARE in the faith. Many of us have gotten to the place where we are complacent and when we hear something preached, we either accept it or reject it based upon our memory of biblical facts! Folks, our memories are FAULTY!!! We are HUMAN!!! It BEHOOVES us to be IN God’s Word every day checking to see if what we hear is true or not, and to build up a FOUNDATION of TRUTH upon which we live our lives! It BEHOOVES us to be in God’s Word to STRENGTHEN OUR FAITH!! Rom. 10:17 “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Let me make that a little clearer for you if you don’t quite understand it. 5

“So then Godly Faith cometh by Spiritual hearing, and Spiritual hearing cometh from Jesus, the Word of God!” And of course, you know that the Bible you have is the printed Word of God, don’t you? So what else should we do? 2 Tim 2:15 “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” We MUST study God’s Word in order to rightly UNDERSTAND the Word of Truth, with the very important help of God’s Mind, His Holy Spirit!! Pray, study, meditate and fast! Be in God’s Word so you can be IN HIM! And if you do that you will get back to that “faith once delivered unto the Saints!! What IS that faith once delivered? It was delivered to them by Jesus while He was WITH those saints. That faith is, of course, the entire Bible. However, I can only go over a very few of the things which are the foundation of that faith. I will go over what I think are the most basic building blocks of that faith. Mat. 5:1 “And seeing the multitudes, He went up into a mountain: and when He was set, his disciples came unto him: 2 And He opened his mouth, and taught them, saying, 3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. The word ‘poor’ in verse 3 means humble, needy. We NEED God to supply that Spirit and we are looking for the complete fulfillment of God’s promise to provide that complete fulfillment at the first resurrection. We are humble before Him as we ask for the blessing of that fulfillment. And notice, it is the kingdom OF heaven, NOT IN HEAVEN!!! That kingdom, of course, will come to this earth. (Rev. 11) Mat 5:4 “Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.”

We are in mourning because of the heaviness of sin, and the tests and trials of this world and it’s society. But we are comforted by God’s Spirit and the deep faith and knowledge that He will fulfill His promises to us!! Mat 5:5 “Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.” Yes, the meek shall inherit the earth at that first resurrection, that fulfillment of the Feast of Pentecost! And we’ve all heard the explanation that the word ‘meek’ does not mean ‘weak’. We MUST be STRONG in the Spirit! We must be WORKING the works God has given us to do of spreading His Good News to others! Mat 5:6 “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” You ARE hungering and thirsting after righteousness, aren’t you? God has begun that filling process which will be completed at the first resurrection, that ultimate Pentecost. I’m going to read a few more without comments after each one for the sake of time and article length. 7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. 8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. 9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. 10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. 12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven (that Christ brings with Him when He returns) : for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you. He goes on to say that we are the “salt of the earth,” the “light of the world” and that we should let our “light so shine before men that they may

see our good works, and GLORIFY our Father which is in heaven!!!” I feel I need to mention here that a “light” just “shines”. It doesn’t ‘preach.’ That light mentioned here is “good works.” Everyone should continue to read and study this chapter in the book of Matthew because it contains some tremendous things that most people gloss over, I’m afraid. Pentecost pictures something else that I wanted to mention in closing. It is mentioned in Heb. 11 and verse 35. “Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection:” Yes, Pentecost pictures a BETTER RESURRECTION! Verse 40 tells us why the First Resurrection is a better resurrection. “God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.” God has ordained (it means appointed) those who have His Holy Spirit to be in that First Resurrection with all those wonderful people mentioned here in Hebrews 11. They will be in some FANTASTIC company! God the Father, Jesus the Christ, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Moses, Gideon, Barak, Sampson, Jepthae, David, Samuel and the prophets, and more. What a marvelous gathering that will be when God’s People reach THAT Pentecost resurrection and can fellowship with all those who have gone on before!! And just remember, if there is a First Resurrection, is it not logical that there will be a Second? May God strengthen you through His Holy Spirit to have the faith necessary to be in that BETTER RESURRECTION!! Ken Browder,

Surveys show that as much as 85 percent of church membership growth is made up of people who church-hop. Other surveys show that there has been no real growth in church membership in recent years; increase in some denominations is simply offset by decrease in others.* There are four main bones in every organization. The wish-bones: Wishing somebody would do something about the problem. The jawbones: Doing all the talking but very little else. The knuckle-bones: Those who knock everything. The back-bones: Those who carry the brunt of the load and do most of the work. Bits & Pieces, October 15, 1992, pp. 16-17. 6

What God

impact on anyone," I said hopelessly. "Why do it?" We prayed together about it. I believe God gave us the answer. The Way of Love The answer seems to lie in one phrase of one sentence in Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians: "Follow the way of love…" (I Corinthians 14:1). Love here is agape. It means simply, "love." Love is the number one product of the Spirit of God (Galatians 5:22). It is the firstfruit of the Holy Spirit. In that sense, you could say it is the pump priming for all that follows. When Jesus did His mighty works, he was motivated by love, compassion, empathy and a desire to see people healed, delivered, and made whole. This was the driving force in His life. Jesus’ heart is revealed in Matthew 9:36: "When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd." The sorry state of God’s "sheep" motivated Jesus to tell his disciples to pray that the Lord would send more workers into the harvest (v. 38). Clearly compassion should drive the Lord’s workers as much as it did Jesus himself. On another occasion, "When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick" (Matthew 14:14). It was the Lord’s love - his empathetic compassion -- that produced healing for many. From this, we may learn that love has power. Conversely, we cannot expect God to bless or empower that which is done out of an ignoble motive. If, for example, we teach or preach out of a desire to "have the preeminence" then we cannot expect God to bless our teaching (cf. III John 9). If we teach or write in order to extract money from the people of God, then we have merely commercialized piety. God will not bless it (cf. I Timothy 6:3-5). If we seek the pulpit out of a motive of lording it over God’s heritage, God will not empower it (Matthew 20:24-28). If we teach, preach and counsel merely to actualize our gifts, we could end up casting our pearls before swine (Matthew 7:6). It will be all sending, no receiving. No fruit will be born. If we preach in order to hammer the children of God because we are critical of them, the Lord will not empower it. God does not take kindly to those who abuse His children! (Ezekiel 34:1-3). What kind of preaching, teaching and counseling will the Lord bless? That which is done for a right reason, out of a pure motive: "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they see God" (Matthew 5:8). If we want God to inhabit our words, and to bless them, we must first acquire a pure heart. We must teach, preach and write out of a motive of love and genuine concern for the world and for the people of God -- not criticism, or a need for dominance, nor out of covetousness. If we are moved with compassion, as was Jesus, then God will also bless our prayers for healing, deliverance and wholeness. The power of God is manifested through the love of God. We are only Jesus’ true disciples if we have love one for another (John 13:35). Paul wrote to the churches in Galatia, "…serve one another in love. The entire Torah is 7

If there’s one thing Christian churches and ministers have no lack of its words. We are burying the world in words, or so it seems. Yet how effective are those words in transforming lives? Do our words return to us empty, or do they accomplish something on God’s behalf? Of what practical use is teaching, or counseling? Do they produce any fruit? Do they have a concrete result or impact in people’s lives? Are people being healed and delivered on a daily basis as a result of what we are saying? All too often over the years I and others have had a sense of futility about the worth of preaching, teaching or writing Christian words. Words in our time have become all too common. That which is common is often devalued, and that which is Christian is devalued even more. Besides, our culture is action, not thought, oriented. We want to do something – to act. Our philosophy, as two researchers have noted, is "Ready, fire, aim!" We have little patience with the tedious process of learning. Yet the Biblical pattern, as exemplified by Ezra the Scribe, is to first learn, then to do, and finally to teach (Ezra 7:10). If we don’t first learn, we won’t know what to do. If we haven’t learned, and we haven’t done, and yet we have the temerity to teach, then we can teach only emptiness and futility. You can’t get water out of a dry well. Recently, my wife Lorraine and I were philosophizing with each other about the seeming futility of teaching, preaching and writing. "It doesn’t appear to have any real

summed up in a single command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other. So I say, live by the Spirit…" (Galatians 5:13b – 16a). If those of us who teach, counsel or preach wish to see God bless our words, then we must distribute them under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and out of a motive of loving compassion for the children of God. If we say to one, "Be healed!" and our motive is to aggrandize our own person through the healing, we cannot expect to see healings. If we declare to another, "Be delivered!" we will only see that deliverance if we are moved with compassion and faith, not a desire to wield spiritual power to inflate our own image. Jesus taught his talmidim (disciples): "…do not rejoice that the

spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven" (Luke 10:20). God looks on the heart, not upon outward trappings of self-importance and human status in hierarchical pecking orders (I Samuel 16:7). God blessed David because his heart was like God’s heart (I Samuel 13:14; Acts 13:22). David’s concerns were God’s concerns, and vice versa. That which God loved, David loved. That which God hated, David hated. When David made his son Solomon king in his stead, David told him, "And you my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts" (I Chronicles 28:9). David knew that to serve God’s people, one had to have a right heart and right motives. He sought to impress this lesson on his son. David had loved God’s people. He had fought for them, defended them, protected them, prayed for them, and sacrificed his own well-being for them. He, like the Messiah of whom he is a type, was motivated by love. Consequently, God blessed and empowered that godly heart to make David Israel’s greatest king. God has not changed. He will again empower his people, along with their words and their deeds, to the degree that we get our motives in order and our hearts right before him. Brian Knowles



The festival most Christians know as Pentecost is called Shavu'ot in Hebrew. Because of the narrative of Acts 2, much of the Christian church is still somewhat familiar with Pentecost. Christians recall the story of the mighty wind, the tongues of fire, the coming of the Holy Spirit, and the speaking in different languages. However, most are unaware of the background behind the story. Shavu'ot is actually one of YHVH's designated holy days, filled with a wealth of meaning and symbolism. In the Tanakh, Shavu'ot is known by several names. These include Chag HaQatzir ("Feast of Harvest") in Exodus 23:16, Yom HaBikurim ("Day of the Firstfruits") in Numbers 28:26, and the most common name, Chag Shavu’ot ("Feast of Weeks") in Exodus 34:22; Deuteronomy 16:10, 16; and II Chronicles 8:13. The annual journey to Shavu'ot begins with a countdown. In Leviticus 23, we find the command to count the days to arrive at Shavu'ot:
LEVITICUS 23:9 The LORD spoke to Moses, saying: 10 Speak to the Israelite people and say to them: When you enter the land that I am giving to you and you reap its harvest, you shall bring the first sheaf of your harvest to the priest. 11 He shall elevate the sheaf before the LORD for acceptance in your behalf; the priest shall elevate it on the day after the Sabbath. 12 On the day that you elevate the sheaf, you shall offer as a burnt offering to the LORD a lamb of the first year without blemish. 13 The meal offering with it shall be two-tenths of a measure of choice flour with oil mixed in, an offering by fire of pleasing odor to the LORD; and the libation with it shall be of wine, a quarter of a hin. 14 Until that very day, until you have brought the offering of your God, you shall eat no bread or parched grain or fresh ears; it is a law for all time throughout the ages in all your settlements. 15 And from the day on which you bring the sheaf of elevation offering — the day after the Sabbath — you shall count off seven weeks. They must be complete: 16 you must count until the day after the seventh week — fifty days; then you shall bring an offering of new grain to the LORD. (JPS Tanakh)

The 1st-century Jewish historian Josephus plainly states that the countdown to Shavu'ot began on Nisan 16 (Antiquities of the Jews, 3.10.5), the day after the first high Sabbath of the

year (Lev. 23:6-7). Nisan 16 was the day on which the firstfruits of the barley crop were harvested and offered up in the Temple. To determine the date for Shavu'ot, we are commanded to count 49 days starting on Nisan 16; after 49 days are counted, the 50th day is the appointed time of the Feast of Weeks. Both the English and Hebrew names for the festival reflect the counting. The English name Pentecost is a transliteration of the Greek pentekostes, which literally means "50th." The Hebrew name for the festival, Shavu'ot, means "weeks," and the feast is so named because of the seven complete weeks (49 days) of the counting. The commanded count is a chain that links Pentecost to the Feast of Unleavened Bread. In this sense, Pentecost concludes the festival season begun with Passover. The Jews consider Shavu'ot to be the conclusion of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, just as the Eighth Assembly (Heb. Shemini Atzeret) after the Feast of Tabernacles is considered to be the conclusion of that festival (Lev. 23:34-36). In this view, Shavu'ot is a sort of eighth-day festival, concluding the seven days of Unleavened Bread. Between the First Day of Unleavened Bread (Nisan 15, the first annual Sabbath of the year) and Pentecost (Sivan 6, the third annual Sabbath of the year), there are exactly 49 days (7 x 7 days, or 7 complete weeks). This arrangement shows us a pattern that God has established which relates to the number three. The Scriptures tell us several times that there are three yearly festivals that required the attendance of all males (Exo. 23:14-17; 34:1824; Deu. 16:1-16):
DEUTERONOMY 16:16 "Three times a year all your males shall appear before the LORD your God in the place which He chooses: at the Feast of Unleavened Bread, at the Feast of Weeks, and at the Feast of Tabernacles; and they shall not appear before the LORD empty-handed." (NKJV)

By counting the days revealed in Exodus 19, the Jewish sages have determined that Shavu'ot was the day on which the Law was given to Israel from Mount Sinai. For this reason, the Torah reading for Shavu'ot is Exodus 19-20, which describes the Israelites arrival at Mount Sinai and the subsequent giving of the Law. In conjunction with this passage, the Haftorah reading for Shavu'ot is the first chapter of the book of Ezekiel. Introduced in the final verse of Ezekiel 1 is an entity called "the glory of the LORD":
EZEKIEL 1:26 And above the firmament over their heads was the likeness of a throne, in appearance like a sapphire stone; on the likeness of the throne was a likeness with the appearance of a man high above it. 27 Also from the appearance of His waist and upward I saw, as it were, the color of amber with the appearance of fire all around within it; and from the appearance of His waist and downward I saw, as it were, the appearance of fire with brightness all around. 28 Like the appearance of a rainbow in a cloud on a rainy day, so was the appearance of the brightness all around it. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD [kevod YHVH]. So when I saw it, I fell on my face, and I heard a voice of One speaking. (NKJV)

Here Ezekiel gives us a vivid description of the entity known as "the glory of YHVH. This is the same divine being that gave the Law to Israel from Mount Sinai (Exo. 24:16-17; Acts 7:38). This entity is VERY important to the meaning of Pentecost. In the book of Hebrews, we are told who this divine spirit being is:
HEBREWS 1:3 He [Yeshua] is the reflection of God's glory and the exact imprint of God's very being, and he sustains all things by his powerful word. When he had made purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, (NRSV)

Since Shavu’ot (the Feast of Weeks) is really the conclusion of the Feast of Unleavened Bread (also known as the Feast of Passover-Eze. 45:21), we see that the THREE festival seasons of God are really TWO (Unleavened Bread-Pentecost & Trumpets-Atonement-Tabernacles-Eighth Assembly). This is a pattern for the Godhead also, which most of the world considers to be three (the Father, the Son & the Holy Spirit), but is really two (the Father & the Son). We are told that the Israelites arrived at Mount Sinai on the first day of the third month (Sivan 1):
EXODUS 19:1 In the third month after their departure from the land of Egypt, on its first day, the Israelites came to the desert of Sinai. (NAB)

The author of Hebrews clearly identifies Yeshua as "the reflection of God's glory." John provides a second witness (Deu. 19:15; Matt. 18:16; II Cor. 13:1) to this identity in the prophetic book of Revelation:
REVELATION 21:23 And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God is its light, and its lamp is the Lamb. (NKJV)

John tells us that in the New Jerusalem, the lamp that lights the city will be "the Lamb" also known as "the glory of God." The Lamb of God is symbolic of Yeshua the Messiah numerous places in Revelation, as well as elsewhere in the New Testament (John 1:29, 36; I Pet. 1:19).


In the Scriptures, a wide variety of names are applied to the divine being that interacted with Israel on behalf of God the Father. We first see the preincarnate Messiah identified as "the glory of YHVH" in Exodus 16. He appeared to the people of Israel as they came out of Egypt:
EXODUS 16:7 "And in the morning you shall see the glory of the LORD [kevod YHVH]; for He hears your complaints against the LORD. But what are we, that you complain against us?" 8 Also Moses said, "This shall be seen when the LORD gives you meat to eat in the evening, and in the morning bread to the full; for the LORD hears your complaints which you make against Him. And what are we? Your complaints are not against us but against the LORD." 9 Then Moses spoke to Aaron, "Say to all the congregation of the children of Israel, 'Come near before the LORD, for He has heard your complaints.' " 10 Now it came to pass, as Aaron spoke to the whole congregation of the children of Israel, that they looked toward the wilderness, and behold, the glory of the LORD [kevod YHVH] appeared in the cloud. (NKJV)

the cloud rested above it, and the glory of the LORD [kevod YHVH] filled the tabernacle. (NKJV)

Afterward, whenever God chose to speak to Moses and others, He would do so through the Messiah at the tabernacle of meeting:
NUMBERS 14:10 And all the congregation said to stone them with stones. Now the glory of the LORD [kevod YHVH] appeared in the tabernacle of meeting before all the children of Israel. 11 Then the LORD said to Moses: "How long will these people reject Me? And how long will they not believe Me, with all the signs which I have performed among them?" (NKJV) NUMBERS 16:19 And Korah gathered all the congregation against them at the door of the tabernacle of meeting. Then the glory of the LORD [kevod YHVH] appeared to all the congregation. (NKJV) NUMBERS 16:41 On the next day all the congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron, saying, "You have killed the people of the LORD." 42 Now it happened, when the congregation had gathered against Moses and Aaron, that they turned toward the tabernacle of meeting; and suddenly the cloud covered it, and the glory of the LORD [kevod YHVH] appeared. (NKJV) NUMBERS 20:2 Now there was no water for the congregation; so they gathered together against Moses and Aaron. 3 And the people contended with Moses and spoke, saying: "If only we had died when our brethren died before the LORD! 4 Why have you brought up the assembly of the LORD into this wilderness, that we and our animals should die here? 5 And why have you made us come up out of Egypt, to bring us to this evil place? It is not a place of grain or figs or vines or pomegranates; nor is there any water to drink." 6 So Moses and Aaron went from the presence of the assembly to the door of the tabernacle of meeting, and they fell on their faces. And the glory of the LORD [kevod YHVH] appeared to them. 7 Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 8 "Take the rod; you and your brother Aaron gather the congregation together. Speak to the rock before their eyes, and it will yield its water; thus you shall bring water for them out of the rock, and give drink to the congregation and their animals." (NKJV)

As the Israelites came out of Egypt, they were accompanied by the Messiah. He went before them in a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night (Exo. 13:21-22). However, it seems that he was generally not seen by the entire congregation unless he chose to manifest himself. This manifestation was known as "the glory of YHVH." It was as "the glory of YHVH" that the Messiah visibly rested on top of Mount Sinai in the appearance of a "consuming fire." Afterward, he called Moses up to meet with him for 40 days and 40 nights:
EXODUS 24:16 Now the glory of the LORD [kevod YHVH] rested on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days. And on the seventh day He called to Moses out of the midst of the cloud. 17 The sight of the glory of the LORD [kevod YHVH] was like a consuming fire on the top of the mountain in the eyes of the children of Israel. 18 So Moses went into the midst of the cloud and went up into the mountain. And Moses was on the mountain forty days and forty nights. (NKJV) Through the Messiah, God led the Israelites by a pillar of cloud during the day and a pillar of fire at night. However, once the Israelites set up the tabernacle Moses had been instructed to make (Exo. 25-27), "the glory of YHVH" filled the tabernacle: EXODUS 40:33 And he raised up the court all around the tabernacle and the altar, and hung up the screen of the court gate. So Moses finished the work. 34 Then the cloud covered the tabernacle of meeting, and the glory of the LORD [kevod YHVH] filled the tabernacle. 35 And Moses was not able to enter the tabernacle of meeting, because

Later on, after the tabernacle was replaced by the temple King Solomon built for God in Jerusalem, we see that the Messiah also appeared in Solomon's temple:
I KINGS 8:1 Now Solomon assembled the elders of Israel and all the heads of the tribes, the chief fathers of the children of Israel, to King Solomon in Jerusalem, that they might bring up the ark of the covenant of the LORD from the City of David, which is Zion. 2 Therefore all the men of Israel assembled with King Solomon at the feast in the month of Ethanim, which is the seventh month. 3 So all the elders of Israel came, and the priests took up the ark. 4 Then they brought up the ark of the LORD, the tabernacle of meeting, and all the holy furnishings that were in the tabernacle. The priests and the Levites brought them up. 5 Also King Solomon, and all the congregation of Israel who 10

were assembled with him, were with him before the ark, sacrificing sheep and oxen that could not be counted or numbered for multitude. 6 Then the priests brought in the ark of the covenant of the LORD to its place, into the inner sanctuary of the temple, to the Most Holy Place, under the wings of the cherubim. 7 For the cherubim spread their two wings over the place of the ark, and the cherubim overshadowed the ark and its poles. 8 The poles extended so that the ends of the poles could be seen from the holy place, in front of the inner sanctuary; but they could not be seen from outside. And they are there to this day. 9 Nothing was in the ark except the two tablets of stone which Moses put there at Horeb, when the LORD made a covenant with the children of Israel, when they came out of the land of Egypt. 10 And it came to pass, when the priests came out of the holy place, that the cloud filled the house of the LORD, 11 so that the priests could not continue ministering because of the cloud; for the glory of the LORD [kevod YHVH] filled the house of the LORD. (NKJV) II CHRONICLES 5:11 And it came to pass when the priests came out of the Most Holy Place (for all the priests who were present had sanctified themselves, without keeping to their divisions), 12 and the Levites who were the singers, all those of Asaph and Heman and Jeduthun, with their sons and their brethren, stood at the east end of the altar, clothed in white linen, having cymbals, stringed instruments and harps, and with them one hundred and twenty priests sounding with trumpets — 13 indeed it came to pass, when the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the LORD, and when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of music, and praised the LORD, saying: "For He is good, For His mercy endures forever," that the house, the house of the LORD, was filled with a cloud, 14 so that the priests could not continue ministering because of the cloud; for the glory of the LORD [kevod YHVH] filled the house of God. 6:1 Then Solomon spoke: "The LORD said He would dwell in the dark cloud. 2 I have surely built You an exalted house, and a place for You to dwell in forever." (NKJV) II CHRONICLES 7:1 When Solomon had finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the LORD [kevod YHVH] filled the temple. 2 And the priests could not enter the house of the LORD, because the glory of the LORD [kevod YHVH] had filled the LORD's house. 3 When all the children of Israel saw how the fire came down, and the glory of the LORD [kevod YHVH] on the temple, they bowed their faces to the ground on the pavement, and worshiped and praised the LORD, saying: "For He is good, For His mercy endures forever." (NKJV)

further and further away from God's ways, Solomon's temple became polluted by the sins of the people. As Ezekiel shows us, the transgressions of Israel caused it to become unclean, eventually forcing "the glory of YHVH" to depart:
EZEKIEL 8:1 And it came to pass in the sixth year, in the sixth month, on the fifth day of the month, as I sat in my house with the elders of Judah sitting before me, that the hand of the Lord GOD fell upon me there. 2 Then I looked, and there was a likeness, like the appearance of fire — from the appearance of His waist and downward, fire; and from His waist and upward, like the appearance of brightness, like the color of amber. 3 He stretched out the form of a hand, and took me by a lock of my hair; and the Spirit lifted me up between earth and heaven, and brought me in visions of God to Jerusalem, to the door of the north gate of the inner court, where the seat of the image of jealousy was, which provokes to jealousy. 4 And behold, the glory of the God of Israel [kevod 'elohey Yisra'el] was there, like the vision that I saw in the plain. 5 Then He said to me, "Son of man, lift your eyes now toward the north." So I lifted my eyes toward the north, and there, north of the altar gate, was this image of jealousy in the entrance. 6 Furthermore He said to me, "Son of man, do you see what they are doing, the great abominations that the house of Israel commits here, to make Me go far away from My sanctuary? Now turn again, you will see greater abominations." (NKJV)

The sins of Israel eventually caused judgment to be poured out upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem and Judah. In a vision, Ezekiel sees this judgment being decreed by "the glory of YHVH" (also called "the glory of the God of Israel"):
EZEKIEL 9:1 Then He called out in my hearing with a loud voice, saying, "Let those who have charge over the city draw near, each with a deadly weapon in his hand." 2 And suddenly six men came from the direction of the upper gate, which faces north, each with his battle-ax in his hand. One man among them was clothed with linen and had a writer's inkhorn at his side. They went in and stood beside the bronze altar. 3 Now the glory of the God of Israel [kevod 'elohey Yisra'el] had gone up from the cherub, where it had been, to the threshold of the temple. And He called to the man clothed with linen, who had the writer's inkhorn at his side; 4 and the LORD [YHVH] said to him, "Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and cry over all the abominations that are done within it." 5 To the others He said in my hearing, "Go after him through the city and kill; do not let your eye spare, nor have any pity. 6 Utterly slay old and young men, maidens and little children and women; but do not come near anyone on whom is the mark; and begin at My sanctuary." So they began with the elders who were before the temple. 7 Then He said to them, "Defile the temple, and fill the courts with the slain. Go out!" And they went out and killed in the city. 8 So it was, that while they were killing them, I was left alone; and I fell on my face and cried out, and said, "Ah, Lord GOD! Will You destroy all the remnant of Israel in pouring 11

Like he appeared to the Israelites that left Egypt, we see that the Messiah also appeared to Israel at the dedication of the temple of YHVH. We are told that "the glory of YHVH" filled the temple that God had allowed Solomon to build for Him. Just as the Father sat on His throne in the Holy of Holies in the heavenly Temple, His Son sat on the mercy seat in the earthly temple. The temple became the sanctuary of the Messiah, God's messenger and mediator to Israel. But as Judah drifted

out Your fury on Jerusalem?" 9 Then He said to me, "The iniquity of the house of Israel and Judah is exceedingly great, and the land is full of bloodshed, and the city full of perversity; for they say, 'The LORD has forsaken the land, and the LORD does not see!' 10 And as for Me also, My eye will neither spare, nor will I have pity, but I will recompense their deeds on their own head." 11 Just then, the man clothed with linen, who had the inkhorn at his side, reported back and said, "I have done as You commanded me." (NKJV)

In this vision, Ezekiel sees "the glory of YHVH" depart from between the cherubim on the mercy seat in the Holy of Holies (Exo. 25:17-22) and go to the doorway of the temple. While standing in the doorway, six angelic beings appeared, carrying axes. The Messiah told one of them to mark the foreheads of God's people, and then he told the others to slay those who did not have the mark. After seeing the visionary slaughter of those in Jerusalem, Ezekiel then witnesses a vision of the exodus of the Messiah from the doomed temple:
EZEKIEL 10:1 Then I looked, and behold, in the expanse that was over the heads of the cherubim something like a sapphire stone, in appearance resembling a throne, appeared above them. 2 And He spoke to the man clothed in linen and said, "Enter between the whirling wheels under the cherubim and fill your hands with coals of fire from between the cherubim and scatter them over the city." And he entered in my sight. 3 Now the cherubim were standing on the right side of the temple when the man entered, and the cloud filled the inner court. 4 Then the glory of the LORD [kevod YHVH] went up from the cherub to the threshold of the temple, and the temple was filled with the cloud and the court was filled with the brightness of the glory of the LORD [kevod YHVH]. (NASU) EZEKIEL 10:18 Then the glory of the LORD [kevod YHVH] departed from the threshold of the temple and stood over the cherubim. 19 And the cherubim lifted their wings and mounted up from the earth in my sight. When they went out, the wheels were beside them; and they stood at the door of the east gate of the LORD's house, and the glory of the God of Israel [kevod 'elohey Yisra'el] was above them. (NKJV) EZEKIEL 11:14 Again the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 15 "Son of man, your brethren, your relatives, your countrymen, and all the house of Israel in its entirety, are those about whom the inhabitants of Jerusalem have said, 'Get far away from the LORD; this land has been given to us as a possession.' 16 Therefore say, 'Thus says the Lord GOD: "Although I have cast them far off among the Gentiles, and although I have scattered them among the countries, yet I shall be a little sanctuary for them in the countries where they have gone." ' 17 Therefore say, 'Thus says the Lord GOD: "I will gather you from the peoples, assemble you from the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel." ' 18 And they will go there, and they will take away all its detestable things and all its abominations from there. 19 Then I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within them,

and take the stony heart out of their flesh, and give them a heart of flesh, 20 that they may walk in My statutes and keep My judgments and do them; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God. 21 But as for those whose hearts follow the desire for their detestable things and their abominations, I will recompense their deeds on their own heads," says the Lord GOD. 22 So the cherubim lifted up their wings, with the wheels beside them, and the glory of the God of Israel [kevod 'elohey Yisra'el] was high above them. 23 And the glory of the LORD [kevod YHVH] went up from the midst of the city and stood on the mountain [Olivet], which is on the east side of the city. 24 Then the Spirit took me up and brought me in a vision by the Spirit of God into Chaldea, to those in captivity. And the vision that I had seen went up from me. 25 So I spoke to those in captivity of all the things the LORD had shown me. (NKJV)

Because of the sins of the people, the preincarnate Messiah left the temple and settled on the Mount of Olives, which was to the east of Jerusalem. From there, he ascended back to heaven (cf. Acts 1:4-12). Solomon's temple was soon thereafter destroyed by the Babylonians (in 586 BCE). In 520 BCE, Zerubbabel, governor of Judah, was inspired by the prophets Haggai and Zechariah to rebuild the temple of God (Hag. 1:1-11; Zec. 4:6-9). As the Scriptures show, this second temple did not compare to Solomon's temple (Ezra 3:813; Hag. 2:3). However, Haggai prophesied about the glory of the second temple :
HAGGAI 2:9 "'The glory [kevod] of this latter temple shall be greater than the former,' says the LORD of hosts. 'And in this place I will give peace,' says the LORD of hosts." (NKJV)

"The glory of YHVH" was never seen in the second temple in the same way it appeared in the tabernacle and in Solomon's temple. However, the prophet Haggai prophesied that the second temple's "glory" would be greater than that of Solomon's temple. This glory appeared some 500 years later when the Prince of Peace (Isa. 9:6; Acts 10:36), Yeshua the Messiah, came to this world in human form. During his earthly ministry, Yeshua spent a lot of time during God's festivals (Lev. 23) teaching in the second temple:
JOHN 7:14 Now about the middle of the feast [of Tabernacles] Jesus went up into the temple and taught. 15 And the Jews marveled, saying, "How does this man know letters, having never studied?" 16 Jesus answered them and said, "My doctrine is not mine, but His who sent me. 17 If anyone wants to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on my own authority. 18 He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but he who seeks the glory of the One who sent him is true, and no unrighteousness is in him." (NKJV) 12

MATTHEW 21:23 Now when he came into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people confronted him as he was teaching, and said, "By what authority are you doing these things? And who gave you this authority?" (NKJV) MATTHEW 26:55 In that hour Jesus said to the multitudes, "Have you come out, as against a robber, with swords and clubs to take me? I sat daily with you, teaching in the temple, and you did not seize me." (NKJV) JOHN 18:19 The high priest then asked Jesus about his disciples and his doctrine. 20 Jesus answered him, "I spoke openly to the world. I always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where the Jews always meet, and in secret I have said nothing. (NKJV)

together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit. (NKJV)

Yeshua knew that the temple of God in Jerusalem would be destroyed soon after his ascension to heaven (Matt. 24:1-2; Mark 13:1-2; Luke 21:5-6). But he also knew that God would replace the temple in Jerusalem with another temple composed of the assembly of believers. Within this new house of God would be many dwelling places. The physical bodies of believers would become individual rooms or abodes within the Father's temple. The bodies of these believers would be dwelling places for the Spirit of God, as the apostle Paul revealed to the Corinthians:
I CORINTHIANS 3:16 Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? 17 If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are. (NKJV) I CORINTHIANS 6:19 Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God? You are not your own; (RSV) II CORINTHIANS 6:16 And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: "I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they shall be My people." (NKJV)

Yeshua, who taught in the second temple, was greater in his role as the Messiah than as "the glory of YHVH" that appeared in Solomon's temple. Yeshua taught the words of God to Israel (John 7:16; 8:28, 38; 14:24; 15:15), and gave repentance to them, as well as forgiveness for their sins by his sacrificial death (Acts 5:31). By now you may be saying to yourself, "OK, this is all very interesting, but what does it have to do with Pentecost?" The relationship between "the glory of YHVH" and the Shavu'ot will become more evident as we examine the words of Messiah just before his crucifixion. These words, recorded in the Gospel of John, have long been misunderstood:
JOHN 14:1 "Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. 2 In my Father's house are many rooms [monai]. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. 4 And you know the way to where I am going." (ESV)

As we will see, it is this collective temple of the Father that Yeshua was speaking of in John 14:2. In verse 3, when Yeshua promised to come again to his disciples, he was speaking of coming to dwell within them, just as he had earlier dwelt as the "glory of YHVH" within the tabernacle and Solomon's temple. This will become more clear as we continue.
JOHN 14:5 Thomas said to him, "Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?" (ESV)

Yeshua speaks of his "Father's house" in verse 2. In this verse, the plural monai (translated "rooms" or "mansions") comes from the Greek root word mone. Variations of this word appear only twice in the New Testament. According to Friberg's Analytical Lexicon to the Greek New Testatment (ALGNT), mone means "dwelling place, abode, home." Many have just assumed that Yeshua's reference in verse 2 is to God's heavenly temple, and that he is promising here to bring his disciples to heaven, that they may dwell there forever. However, there is another house of the Father spoken of in the New Testament, and this holy temple is NOT located in heaven:
EPHESIANS 2:19 Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole building, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built

Thomas misunderstood what Yeshua meant. He thought that the disciples would have to follow Yeshua to a physical place. Since they did not know where he was going, how could they know how to get there? But Yeshua was referring to a spiritual path, not a physical one. "The way" that Yeshua spoke of was the same "way" he had shown the disciples throughout his time with them. That "way" was one of complete obedience to God. They would only be able to come to the Father through faith in the Messiah's sacrifice and emulation of his obedient life. Not coincidentally, the teachings of Yeshua, and those who followed them, later came to be called "the Way" (Acts 9:2; 19:9, 23; 24:14, 22).
JOHN 14:6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know Him and have seen Him." 8 Philip said to him, "Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us." 9 Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? 13

Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father'?" (ESV)

him? Even so [houtos kai] the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God. (NASU)

Yeshua's words here have long been confusing to many, yet his meaning is understandable when viewed in light of other related Scriptures. Yeshua is the mediator between God and His chosen people (I Tim. 2:5; Heb. 8:6; 9:15; 12:24). He is the image of the invisible God (Col. 1:15), the exact imprint of His nature (Heb. 1:3). Because he was endowed with the very character of God, the Son of God was (and always had been) the visible representation of the invisible Father. This is why Yeshua was able to truthfully tell Thomas and Philip that those who knew him also knew God the Father.
JOHN 14:10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on my own authority; but the Father who dwells in me does the works. 11 Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father in me, or else believe me for the sake of the works themselves." (NKJV)

In verse 11, Paul draws an analogy between the spirit of man (also known as the "heart" or "mind") and the Spirit of God. The connecting phrase "even so" (houtos kai) shows that he is comparing the human spirit or mind in the first part of this verse with God's Spirit or Mind in the final part. Paul begins by stating that only the spirit ("mind") within a man knows the thoughts of that man. He then goes on to say that, in like manner, only the Spirit ("Mind") of God knows the thoughts of God. Paul explains this concept more fully in the next few verses:
I CORINTHIANS 2:12 Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit that is from God, so that we may understand the gifts bestowed on us by God. 13 And we speak of these things in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual things to those who are spiritual. 14 Those who are unspiritual do not receive the gifts of God's Spirit, for they are foolishness to them, and they are unable to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. 15 Those who are spiritual discern all things, and they are themselves subject to no one else's scrutiny. 16 "For who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?" But we have the mind of Christ. (NRSV)

The two primary questions arising from this passage are: (1) How did the Father dwell in Yeshua? (2) How was Yeshua in the Father? The answer to the first question is that God was in Yeshua the same way He is now in us: through the indwelling of His Spirit (Matt. 3:16; Mark 1:10; Luke 3:22; John 1:32; 3:34). But just what is the Spirit of God? As Paul tells us in I Corinthians 2:9-16, the Spirit of God is actually the Mind of God:
I CORINTHIANS 2:9 But it is as Scripture says: What no eye has seen and no ear has heard, what the mind of man [kardian anthropou] cannot visualise; all that God has prepared for those who love Him; (NJB)

How do we have the mind of Messiah? Through the indwelling of God's mind, the Holy Spirit. Our human minds were created with a critical component missing. That missing piece is God's Spirit. When the Holy Spirit is not present, people search for other things to fill that void. This is why the apostle John warned believers to "test the spirits" to verify the "Spirit of God" (I John 4:1-2). Lying spirits have led many people astray and have caused the proliferation of false religions in the world. Because of this natural mental deficiency, man is susceptible to manipulation by evil spiritual forces. But when the Spirit of God combines with our human spirit, we begin to comprehend the spiritual things of God. The presence of God's Spirit helps us to start understanding His plan for mankind. We are then able to consider things from God's view point, not just our previously limited physical perspective. While Yeshua was here on earth, he overcame his human nature through the power of God's Spirit and remained totally obedient to the Father's will because he had the mind of God.
JOHN 5:30 "I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me. (NKJV) JOHN 6:38 "For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of Him who sent me." (NKJV) LUKE 22:42 Saying, "Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from me; yet not my will, but Yours be done." (NASU) 14

In Greek literature, kardia (generally translated as "heart") frequently refers to the seat of physical, spiritual and mental life. Therefore, the heart (the place where thought and understanding were assumed to take place), is synonymous with the mind. In I Corinthians 2:9, Paul is saying that "mankind" (Gr. anthropou) does not understand what God has planned for the human race.
I CORINTHIANS 2:10 But God has revealed it to us by His Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. (NIV)

Here Paul qualifies his statement in verse 9. There are some people who do comprehend what God has prepared for mankind, because He has revealed it to those who have His Spirit.
I CORINTHIANS 2:11 For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in

In answer to the second question I raised earlier. Yeshua was "in the Father" because he ALWAYS did God's will, not his own. He did not succumb to the temptations common to mankind (Heb. 2:18; 4:15) and therefore remained sinless. Because of this, Yeshua was one with God in purpose (John 10:30).
JOHN 14:12 Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to my Father. 13 And whatever you ask in my name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask anything in my name, I will do it." (NKJV)

John plainly tells us that Yeshua the Messiah is our "Advocate" (parakletos). Yeshua stated that the coming "Helper" could not be received by the world because it didn't see or know him. But he stated that the disciples did know this "Spirit of truth" because he dwelt with them and would be in them. Yeshua had dwelt with them for three and a half years during the time of his earthly ministry. After his resurrection and ascension, he would dwell within them, through the agency of God's Spirit. In John 14:6, Yeshua clearly stated that he was "the truth." He knew that after his resurrection, he would once again be a glorified spirit being, just as he had been before his birth as a human (John 17:5; Phi. 2:6-8). Since his disciples could not then comprehend this revelation, he spoke figuratively of his return to obscure what he was saying (John 16:25). But Yeshua clearly stated that he would come back to them (John 14:3, 18). The return he spoke of wasn't his coming at the end of the age to install the Kingdom of God here on earth, but rather his spiritual appearance in just over 50 days, on Shavu'ot. Yeshua told the disciples that in a little while, the world would not see him any longer, but that they would see him. He said that he was "the life" (John 14:6), and told them that because he was going to live, they would live also (John 14:19). In that day, he proclaimed, they would know that he was "in" them (v. 20).
JOHN 14:21 "He who has my commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him." 22 Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, "Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself to us, and not to the world?" 23 Jesus answered and said 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 [monen] with him. 24 He who does not love me does not keep my words; and the word which you hear is not mine but the Father's who sent me." (NKJV)

Yeshua told the disciples that those who believed in him would do the works that he did. But Yeshua also stated that they would do greater works than he had done because he was returning to the heavenly Father. This statement is one of the keys to understanding Yeshua's words in this chapter. His return to heaven would be pivotal in allowing his disciples to do the prophesied mighty works. We also see that Yeshua promised to do what the disciples asked "in his name." The important thing to note here is that Yeshua himself promised to accomplish their requests so that the Father would be glorified.
JOHN 14:15 "If you love me, keep my commandments. 16 And I will pray the Father, and he will give you another Helper [parakleton], that he may abide with you forever [eis ton aiona, lit. "to the age"] — 17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him; but you know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you. 19 A little while longer and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you will live also. 20 At that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you." (NKJV)

Yeshua's plain words in verse 15 are hard to misinterpret. He did not come to abolish the Law (Matt. 5:17). Those who love him will show that love by keeping his commandments (I John 5:2). These commandments did not originate with Yeshua, but are the heavenly Father's (John 7:16; 14:24). Contrary to what most teach today, these commandments are not burdensome (I John 5:3). In verse 16, we are first introduced to the "Helper" (Gr. parakletos). ALGNT states that parakletos is a "legal technical term . . . one who appears in another's behalf advocate, defender, intercessor." Our "advocate" is clearly identified in John's first epistle:
I JOHN 2:1 My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate [parakleton] with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. (NKJV)

Once again, Yeshua plainly states that he would only manifest himself to those who are obedient and demonstrate their love by observing the Father's commandments (vv. 21, 24). Judas, the son of James (Luke 6:16), asked a very pertinent question at this point: HOW would Yeshua manifest himself to them and NOT to the world? Yeshua's answer is enlightening when understood properly. He stated that those who were obedient would have him and his Father come and make their home with them. Here we see the second usage of the Greek root word mone in the New Testament. This shows concisely that the "rooms" or "mansions" Yeshua spoke of in John 14:2 are indeed the physical bodies of believers. Yeshua was saying that the bodies of obedient servants of God would soon become dwelling places for the risen Son of God, by means of the Holy Spirit of the Father. So both the Father and the Son would spiritually dwell within believers.

JOHN 14:25 "These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. 26 But the Helper [parakletos], the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you." (NKJV)

In verse 26, Yeshua refers to "the Holy Spirit" as the parakletos, which is the same title that John uses for Yeshua in 1 John 2:1. The explanation for this is that BOTH Yeshua and God (though His Holy Spirit) are our "Helpers." Yeshua was to be the "advocate" for believers, and the Holy Spirit would be the means by which Yeshua would dwell within them and perform that function.
JOHN 14:27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. 28 You have heard me say to you, 'I am going away and coming back to you.' If you loved me, you would rejoice because I said, 'I am going to the Father,' for my Father is greater than I. 29 And now I have told you before it comes, that when it does come to pass, you may believe." (NKJV)

Yeshua the Messiah, our Advocate and Mediator, is the conduit through which this "living water" flows to us from the Father. This is why Yeshua told his disciples that it was necessary that he return to heaven for them to do mightier works than he had done (John 14:12). Only after his enthronement at the right hand of the Father would they have the very mind and power of God dwelling in them. Now let's go to the fourth mention of the "Helper" by John:
JOHN 16:4 "But these things I have told you, that when the time comes, you may remember that I told you of them. And these things I did not say to you at the beginning, because I was with you. 5 But now I go away to Him who sent me, and none of you asks me, 'Where are You going?' 6 But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. 7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper [parakletos] will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send him to you." (NKJV)

In verse 28, Yeshua reiterates that the Father would send him back to them after his death, resurrection, and ascension. The means by which Yeshua would come back would be God's Spirit. This is the reason Yeshua told them they should rejoice that he was returning to the Father, and the reason that he proclaimed that "my Father is greater than I." It would only be through the Father's Spirit that Yeshua could return to dwell within them and do greater works through them than those he had performed during his ministry. Now let's go to the next chapter of John's Gospel and examine the third mention of the "Helper":
JOHN 15:26 "When the Advocate [parakletos] comes whom I will send you from the Father, the Spirit of truth that proceeds [ekporeuetai] from the Father, he will testify to me." (NAB)

Here, Yeshua clearly states that he was returning to the Father in heaven (John 16:5). He goes on to tell his disciples that it was for their benefit that he was going back to heaven. If he didn't, the Helper could not come to them. Remember, Yeshua promised to return to his disciples and manifest himself to them (John 14:21). The Messiah understood that he could only return and dwell in them through God's Spirit.
JOHN 16:12 "I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 However, when he, the Spirit of truth, has come, he will guide you into all truth; for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak; and he will tell you things to come. 14 He will glorify me, for he will take of what is mine and declare it to you. 15 All things that the Father has are mine. Therefore I said that he will take of mine and declare it to you. 16 A little while, and you will not see me; and again a little while, and you will see me, because I go to the Father." (NKJV)

It's very interesting to note that the Holy Spirit is said to "proceed from the Father." The Greek word translated "proceed" here comes from the verb ekporeuomai. One meaning of this Greek word refers to water flowing out or streaming forth. Just as water flows down from the mountains eventually to the ocean, God's Spirit would flow through Yeshua in heaven to believers on earth. In fact, the Holy Spirit was compared to water by Yeshua himself:
JOHN 7:37 On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, "If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. 38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water." 39 But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. (NKJV)

Once again, Yeshua speaks of what the Spirit of truth will do for the disciples. In verse 16, Yeshua tells them that in a little while, they would not see him any longer, but that after he went to the Father, they would see him again. While many attribute the fulfillment of this prophecy to the 40-day period Yeshua appeared to his disciples after his resurrection, the more complete fulfillment of it took place in Jerusalem on Shavu'ot:
ACTS 2:1 When the Day of Pentecost had 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 the whole house where they were sitting. 3 Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. 5 And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven. 6 And when this sound occurred, the multitude 16

came together, and were confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own language. 7 Then they were all amazed and marveled, saying to one another, "Look, are not all these who speak Galileans? 8 And how is it that we hear, each in our own language in which we were born? 9 Parthians and Medes and Elamites, those dwelling in Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya adjoining Cyrene, visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, 11 Cretans and Arabs — we hear them speaking in our own tongues the wonderful works of God." 12 So they were all amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, "Whatever could this mean?" (NKJV)

In I Thessalonians 5:19, Paul warns believers not to "quench the Spirit." Remember, Yeshua clearly stated that obedience was a prerequisite for having him and the Father continue to dwell within us after our conversion (John 14:15-16, 21). Those who sin willfully have the same fate awaiting them that the lawless inhabitants of ancient Jerusalem experienced:
HEBREWS 10:26 For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries. 28 Anyone who has rejected Moses' law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know Him who said, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay," says the Lord. And again, "The LORD will judge His people." 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. (NKJV)

Just as the "glory of YHVH" appeared at Mount Sinai on Shavu'ot and then wrote the commandments of God on tablets of stone for the Israelites, the glorified Messiah appeared on Pentecost and wrote God's Law on the hearts of His people (Jer. 31:33; Heb. 8:10). Just as the "glory of YHVH" dwelt within the tabernacle, and later Solomon's temple, the glorified Messiah came to dwell within the many-roomed temple of God, the church. He is able to do this through the Holy Spirit of his Father. Paul had much to say about the indwelling of the Messiah. It was central to his faith and understanding of God's plan:
ROMANS 8:9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. 10 And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. (NKJV) GALATIANS 2:20 "I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me." (NKJV) II CORINTHIANS 13:4 For indeed he was crucified out of weakness, but he lives by the power of God. So also we are weak in him, but toward you we shall live with him by the power of God. 5 Examine yourselves to see whether you are living in faith. Test yourselves. Do you not realize that Jesus Christ is in you? — unless, of course, you fail the test. (NAB)

As the prophets show, a time is soon coming when Yeshua will once again be manifested to the entire world:
ISAIAH 40:1 "Comfort, yes, comfort My people!" says your God. 2 "Speak comfort to Jerusalem, and cry out to her, that her warfare is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned; for she has received from the LORD's hand double for all her sins." 3 The voice of one crying in the wilderness: "Prepare the way of the LORD; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. 4 Every valley shall be exalted and every mountain and hill brought low; the crooked places shall be made straight and the rough places smooth; 5 the glory of the LORD [kevod YHVH] shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together; for the mouth of the LORD has spoken." (NKJV)

Yeshua himself told his disciples that they would live because he lived (John 14:19). Paul confirms the words of the Messiah, stating that believers have Yeshua dwelling within them through the Spirit of God. The same power of God that raised Yeshua to life after his crucifixion also allowed him to live in them (and us). In ancient times, the sins of the Jews drove the "glory of YHVH" from the temple and caused its destruction, as well as the desolation of all of Judah by the Babylonians (Eze. 9-11). In like manner, we also can cause the Messiah to remove himself from within us if we continue to live a life of sin after receiving the Holy Spirit.

While this prophecy was clearly applied to John the Baptist in relation to the Messiah’s first appearance (Matt. 3:3; 11:10; Mark 1:2-3; Luke 3:3-6; 7:27), it ultimately speaks of the return of Yeshua to establish the Kingdom of God here on earth. Isaiah tells us that once again, the "glory of YHVH" will be visible to mortal man. This time, the entire world will see him as he administers mercy and justice from his headquarters in the millennial temple in Jerusalem (Eze. 40-42). The prophet Ezekiel shows us that during the millennium, the Messiah will once again dwell within a physical temple which will be built in Jerusalem:
EZEKIEL 43:1 Afterward he brought me to the gate, the gate that faces toward the east. 2 And behold, the glory of the God of Israel [kevod 'elohey Yisra'el] came from the way of the east. His voice was like the sound of many waters [cf. Rev. 1:15]; and the earth shone with His glory. 3 It was like the appearance of the vision which I saw — like the vision which I saw when I came to destroy the city. The visions were like the vision which I saw by the River 17

Chebar; and I fell on my face. 4 And the glory of the LORD [kevod YHVH] came into the temple by way of the gate which faces toward the east. 5 The Spirit lifted me up and brought me into the inner court; and behold, the glory of the LORD [kevod YHVH] filled the temple. 6 Then I heard Him speaking to me from the temple, while a man stood beside me. 7 And He said to me, "Son of man, this is the place of My throne and the place of the soles of My feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel forever. No more shall the house of Israel defile My holy name, they nor their kings, by their harlotry or with the carcasses of their kings on their high places." (NKJV)

The eastern gate of the millenial temple will be sealed because it is the gate through which the Messiah will enter the temple. The "glory of YHVH" will light up the whole world from Jerusalem.

Just like the three festival seasons specified in the Tanakh are actually two, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are three that are really two. The Holy Spirit is the mind of God the Father. Through His Spirit, the power of the heavenly Father sustains the entire universe. The coming of the Holy Spirit on Shavu'ot (Acts 2) signaled the next phase in the plan of God. God's Spirit became the means by which His Son Yeshua lives within the elect, just as he had centuries earlier dwelt within the Tabernacle and Solomon's Temple as the "glory of the LORD." The Scriptures show that the day will come, after his second coming, when the Messiah shall once again also dwell within the rebuilt physical temple in Jerusalem. In that day, many people will seek the Messiah in the house of the God. He will teach them God's ways, and they will walk in His paths. God's Law will be taught from Zion, and the word of the Eternal Father will go forth from Jerusalem. Yeshua the Messiah will then judge between the nations and reprove many people. They shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. At that time, nations will not make war against each other anymore. The house of Jacob will then walk in the light of YHVH (Isa. 2:3-5). Bryan T. Huie

During the millennium, the glorified Messiah will once again dwell in God’s temple, much as he did in ancient Israel. This time he is there to stay (Eze. 43:7). As King Solomon said, that which has been is what will be once more; that which has been done is what will be done again (Ecc. 1:9).
EZEKIEL 44:1 Then He brought me back to the outer gate of the sanctuary which faces toward the east, but it was shut. 2 And the LORD said to me, "This gate shall be shut; it shall not be opened, and no man shall enter by it, because the LORD God of Israel [YHVH 'elohey Yisra'el] has entered by it; therefore it shall be shut. 3 As for the prince, because he is the prince, he may sit in it to eat bread before the LORD; he shall enter by way of the vestibule of the gateway, and go out the same way." 4 Also He brought me by way of the north gate to the front of the temple; so I looked, and behold, the glory of the LORD [kevod YHVH] filled the house of the LORD; and I fell on my face. (NKJV)


Not Happy With Your Church?
My friend hadn’t been to church for quite some time, so I invited him out for a cup of coffee. “I can get more out of just staying home and studying my Bible than I can from the sermon.” Sadly, I had to agree. The sermons we had back then were models of disorganization and pabulum. What passed for fellowship was an exercise in inanities. Conversation was gossip warmed over, and cliques were formed, dissolved, and reformed almost as if by schedule. Dysfunctional churches are a part of the national landscape, and more often than not such dysfunction can be traced to leadership or, better said, the lack thereof. Reading Paul’s letters to the churches reveals that this is not just a 21st Century phenomenon. The church at Corinth divided themselves by favorite religious guru and by social status. They tolerated egregious sins among themselves, made themselves gluttons and drunkards at the Lord’s Supper, and seemed to go out of their way to offend one another. The Thessalonian church was so certain of Jesus soon return that many quit their jobs and mooched from the rest of the church for economic support. Most of the churches got themselves into various doctrinal errors, and they all had that sad human element we commonly call sin. I could sympathize with my friend, and I could almost agree with him. But in sense he missed the point. Church is not just what you can get out of it. Perhaps it was legitimate to suspend himself from church because it was a poor product, but that is not the only reason to be part of a church congregation. Religion is not a spectator sport. Nor is church a consumer item. It is not just what we get out of it; it is also what we put into it. He could have kept right on attending with the idea of using his gifts and abilities to help solve some of the very problems he was complaining about. It is not just being served. It is also being of service.

A man once told me that he long ago stopped looking for the perfect church, because if he were join it, it wouldn’t be perfect anymore. It was his way of saying that if you are not a part of the solution, then you are part of the problem. Having said all this, there does come a time to find another church. In my friend’s case, the church structure was such that there was little he could do to change the church culture. Only the anointed few had any influence, and even that influence was severely limited. In my opinion, if you are serving and if you are growing, then it makes good sense to stay where you are. If you can no longer serve and no longer grow, it is time to find another place to hang your hat. Eventually, as it turned out, both my friend and I left that church affiliation. I do not want to minimize the doctrinal drift that led to my seeking another fellowship, but after the passage of time I see that the lack of spiritual growth and inability to serve (i.e., using one’s God-given gifts) were at the root of the separation. Don’t expect perfection from your church, and don’t lightly separate yourself from a fellowship. If you feel it is time to separate, do it for the right reasons. Lenny Cacchio

Power to Last
Power can be used in at least two ways: it can be unleashed, or it can be harnessed. The energy in ten gallons of gasoline, for instance, can be released explosively by dropping a lighted match into the can. Or it can be channeled through the engine of a Datsun in a controlled burn and used to transport a person 350 miles. Explosions are spectacular, but controlled burns have lasting effect, staying power. The Holy Spirit works both ways. At Pentecost, he exploded on the scene; His presence was like "tongues of fire" (Acts 2:3). Thousands were affected by one burst of God's power. But He also works through the church--the institution God began to tap the Holy Spirit's power for the long haul. Through worship, fellowship, and service, Christians are provided with staying power. Source


Spiritual Growth and Human Development
Bill Jacobs A good friend and I were talking about the need to make our congregations good, safe places for our children. He observed that it is the tendency for many to think about help in a programmatic way: have a need; fill it by creating a program. Several interesting thoughts came from that observation. First, we noticed that Jesus did not start a single program. He started a movement, but no programs. Second, we noted that Jesus interacted with people directly to help them. If people were sick he healed them. If they were confused he told them a story or asked them illuminating questions. If children appeared before him, He picked them up and blessed them. In His thirty-three years of human life, he helped people primarily through face-to-face interactions. As we talked we also wondered why so many of us, when we want to help others, think about programs instead of a one-to-one approach. Organization and structure are deeply rooted concepts in our culture. We tend to value efficiency and want to maximize our efforts. It’s easy to think that programs are the way to go. We also noticed that in his relationships with His disciples, Jesus suffered all the attendant relational issues. Some of his disciples wanted to misuse their relationship with Jesus to gain an advantage over others. One of them stole from him and betrayed him with a kiss. He seemed to be particularly sensitive to the needs and feelings of women. He talked from the heart to Mary and Martha. Mary Magdalene respected him. Even the woman at the well seems to have experienced a sense of connection in their brief conversation. When he left, it hurt, confused, and discouraged his friends for a time. Could it be that we prefer programs because we are not willing to engage in the problems that come along with all personal relationships? Relationships are complex and often tricky. They take time. Miscommunication is always a part and can be hurtful. Relationships always leave us vulnerable. It takes courage to love others and to express it to them. And yet, all the evidence points to one inescapable conclusion: we were created for relationship—with God and each other. I read a study some time ago in which I learned that single greatest indicator of success among undergraduate college students was a caring relationship with a faculty member. In my private psychotherapeutic practice, I see that my clients are healed in the therapeutic relationship. Over the years I’ve seen many young people 19

blossom spiritually in the light of a caring relationship with someone who is older. When a child feels a sense of closeness with another person in their congregation, they tend to bond to not only to the person but also the congregation. The famous Swiss psychologist, Jean Peaget, noted that eventually the relationship is transferred to God. Those close relationships create a field in which faith and commitment are passed from God through adults to children. Do programs have any place, then, in a congregation? Programs are not bad of themselves. If they promote relationships, then they can be helpful. The Big Brother, Big Sister program serves as an example of a helpful program, because it creates helping relationships. So many programs, however, were not designed with that purpose in mind. To teach children how to waterski, for example, is good, but when the instructor sees his instruction as a vehicle for support and relationship, his efforts suddenly become so much more valuable. The real benefit always comes from those close, caring, face-to-face relationships. If we hope to make our congregations and families the safe places our children need for their spiritual growth, we need to do our work of faith in relationships. That shouldn’t surprise us, for “God is love.” -- Bill Jacobs.

Note: -- LifeResource Ministries offers a series of presentations that explains how children can develop spiritually in conjunction with their God-designed human development. This material helps parents and congregational leaders understand what children can learn easily and naturally about God at during each developmental stage. And yet, all the evidence points to one inescapable conclusion: we were created for relationship—with God and each other. I read a study some time ago in which I learned that the single greatest indicator of success among undergraduate college students was a caring relationship with a faculty member. In my private psychotherapeutic practice, I see that my clients are healed in the therapeutic relationship. Over the years I’ve seen many young people blossom spiritually in the light of a caring relationship with someone who is older.

Post Office Box 66540 Albuquerque, NM 87114 505.890.6806 E-Mail: lrm@liferesource.org

Who Are We?
The Mustard Seed Newsletter is published free by The Mustard Seed Evangelistic Association –an affiliated association committed to the publishing of the Gospel that Jesus Christ preached and as recorded for us in the Holy Scriptures. This goal is to be within the framework of the Commission set forth to His believers and followers to "go and make disciples of all nations ... teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you" (Matthew 28:19-20). It is our hope that the Mustard Seed and its other publications will become a shared-resource and vehicle for our readers to come to know and understand the Gospel of Jesus Christ—the Kingdom of God. You are invited to join us in this exciting and marvelous work!

"The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field, which indeed is the least of all the seeds; but when it is grown it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches."
Matthew 13:31-32

For your question and/or comment, email us at mseedwork@yahoo.com/ peopletowin@gmail.com/ Raul deAsis Hipe/Editor

I will stand my watch And set myself on the rampart, And watch to see what He will say to me, And what I will answer when I am reproved. Then the LORD answered me and said: “Write the vision And make it plain on tablets, That he may run who reads it.” Habakkuk 2:1-2 2:120