Fred R. Coulter—May 15, 2010

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Greetings brethren! We are going to cover a little segment first on how to count Pentecost. The reason being is that I've got an article from the newspaper on the Feast of Weeks that the Jews keep.

Of all people who ought to know which day is the right day, they don't. Once in a while they keep it on the correct day, a first day of the week. Most of the time, they do not. So, let's understand how it is that they get off.

Let's come to Lev. 23 and that's where we count for Pentecost. Even Michael Heiss, when he was attending the University of Judaica and had the class where they covered Lev. 23, he asked them a question that had to do with where to start counting for Pentecost. It has to be what is called the Wave Sheaf Offering Day.

Leviticus 23:9: "And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 'Speak to the children of Israel and say to them, "When you have come into the land which I give to you, and shall reap the harvest of it, then you shall bring the premier sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the priest. And he shall wave the sheaf before the LORD to be accepted for you. On the next day after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it"'" (vs 9-11).

This is a type of Christ being the first of the firstfruits ascending to the Father and being accepted.

The Jews count Pentecost this way: They say this Sabbath is a Holy Day rather than the weekly Sabbath. Even the Hebrew belies that, because if you count from the Holy Day, if the Holy Day is on a Monday, then the next day after the Holy Day would be a Tuesday; so, your count is off. They end up with partial weeks.

Michael Heiss asked, 'Professor, isn't it true that the Hebrew word for the Sabbath is 'ha Shabbat?' He said, Yes, that's true. The Sabbath, that means the weekly Sabbath. Michael said, 'Here in v 11 in the Hebrew does it not say 'ha Shabbat?' Yes it does. 'Does it not refer to the Holy Days as 'Shabbat,' a Sabbath, no definite article?' Yes, it does. 'How come the rabbis start counting to Shavuot on the day after the Holy Day, when a Holy Day is just 'Shabbat' rather than 'ha Shabbat'?

Do you know what his answer was? 'Tradition!' It's very interesting that the Jews who do not accepted Christ and have rejected Him as the Messiah:

  • do not keep the Passover on the day that they should
  • do not understand about Unleavened Bread the way that they should
  • keep Pentecost, except on rare occasions, on the wrong day.

Here's how to count, v 15: "And you shall count to you beginning with the next day after the Sabbath…"—'ha Shabbat.' What day is that? Sunday! The next day after the Sabbath is Sunday, the first day of the week.

"…beginning with the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven Sabbaths shall be complete" (v 15). Beginning with that day, the day after the Sabbath, is one, two, three, four, five, six, seven (Sabbaths). The week ends in a weekly Sabbath—complete weeks.

Verse 16: "Even unto the day after the seventh Sabbath you shall number fifty days…." We have a booklet on that and how to count it []. What is the day after the seventh Sabbath? It has to be the first day of the week!

If you know anything about bookkeeping, you have double entry bookkeeping. You have money that comes in and the income goes to pay an expense. You do double entry bookkeeping so you can balance the books, same way here. You have seven weeks plus a day—fifty days. The day after the seventh Sabbath must be on a Sunday. That's the correct way to do it. It's on Sunday, that's when it should be. Then it shows what they were to do on that day.

Let's look at what He says concerning the other Holy Days, v 23: "And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 'Speak to the children of Israel saying, "In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, you shall have a Sabbath…"'" (vs 23-24)—not the Sabbath. A Holy Day is a Sabbath. There are times when a Holy Day may fall likewise on the weekly Sabbath and on many occasions it does.

Concerning the Day of Atonement, v 32: "It shall be to you a Sabbath of rest…" It is not 'ha Shabbat.' The same thing, when you come to the Feast of Unleavened Bread. It's a Holy convocation, which is the same as the Sabbath.

Verse 7: "On the first day you shall have a Holy convocation…In the seventh day is a Holy convocation…." (vs 7-8).

Let me read you part of this article from the San Jose Mercury News:

The traditional way to celebrate the Jewish Holy Day, remembering when God handed down the Ten Commandments, is studying ancient script all night in a room with a rabbi. The new way ain't your 'bubbe's' holiday. Several young 'hip' Jewish groups are trying to reclaim Shavuot… [Pentecost] …by spicing things up. Next week, Hillel of Silicone Valley is hosting a 'Death by Cheesecake' party.

In other words, have cheesecake that you die to get, you want it so bad.

It is a custom to eat dairy on this holiday.

I never knew that, we never read that!

Outdoorsy wilderness Torah types are camping under the stars.

They are camping under the stars Tuesday night because they started counting from the Holy Day instead of the weekly Sabbath. This year the Holy Day was on a Tuesday. So you count 50 days from there and you come out again on a Tuesday. That's why they have it. They don't have it right. They keep it on the fixed day of the week, 6th of Sivan. They're not keeping it on a Sunday.

It's Tuesday night for a night of revelation not on top Mt. Sinai, but on top the closest, sacred, high point they can find, Marin County's Mt. Tamalpais. Perhaps the most avant-garde of them is Reboot, a self proclaimed group of culturally Jewish thought-leaders and taste-masters, is renting out California Academy of Sciences tonight to host a star-studded evening called, Dawn 2010. The 'until midnight affair' offers everything…

We have to go to page 5 for the rest of it. My wife showed me the paper this morning and said, 'Oh, there's something here about Pentecost.' I said, 'Yeah, I glanced at it.' She said, 'You ought to read it.' I said, 'I know they're not keeping it on the right day, because I saw the Tuesday when I glanced at it.' She said, 'You ought to read it!' Important clue: When all else fails, read!

…and spiritual discussions with comedian Sandra Bernhardt to mixed drinks, served with author Daniel Handler, better know as Lemony Snicket. There will also be panels on pork…

Should we eat pork in the modern age or not? It's refrigerated, you know; that makes it better.

…world music, premier film screening and a workshop on fertility.

Wow! What does that have to do with Pentecost and the giving of the Ten Commandments? Oh, I know; God said, 'Be fruitful and multiply.'

That's not to mention the original show entitled, 'Everything's Coming Up Moses.'

"This holiday features staying up late, which is something the current generation seems to embrace through burning man and rave," said David Katsnelson, creator of Dawn and record producer in San Francisco, by sitting around all night and studying Torah.

You need to understand that when the Jews say Torah, that's all of their traditions. Most people think it's, 'Oh, they're reading Moses.' No! They're with a rabbi who is held on a higher plane than Moses. {note book: Judaism: Revelation of Moses, or Religion of Men by Philip Neal [].

Not so much perplexed at the way this holiday hasn't been a household word in many Jewish homes, Katsnelson and some fellow 'Rebooters' decided to throw a shindig featuring what they were interested in. That happened to be multimedia and arts of what Katsnelson said is the focus on intellectual preparation…

For what? Yes, intellectual preparation. Wind it up everybody, that's good.

…which is at the core of this holiday, timed to fall seven weeks after Passover. This year the holiday begins sundown Tuesday. 'Shavuot,' which means weeks in Hebrew, is among the three central festivals of Judaism.

No! They're the three central festivals of God, which they have claimed, traditionally to be theirs, and none of you Gentiles should keep them. That's only for us.

But in public awareness and even in practice locally, it is a blip compared to Hanukkah…

Well, Hanukkah! Have you ever read The Macabees? Never happened the way they said of Hanukkah! We've got a message on that, Should a Christian Observe Hanukkah?

…which gets a lot of attention in the United States, but religiously is a minor observance.

Some who know and care about Judaism want to change the perception and practice of a holiday that involves the 'biggest biggies': God, Moses, Mt. Sinai and the Ten Commandments. You know, the stuff Charlton Heston movies are made of. At the Hillel of Silicon Valley which serves students of San Jose State and Santa Clara Universities, as well as two other community colleges, members will participate in the organization's first ever Shavuot event next week. The 'Bubbe' or Grandma, a 'Yiddish,' aka Jeanette Goldstein, is bringing some of her 'to die for' cheesecake and teaching students how to make 'blintzes.'

I don't know what blintzes are. Oh, like pancakes or crepes. We always have to have a different, strange name for them.

There will also be a Torah scavenger hunt with clues and secret messages to be uncovered in the ancient text. "The students are so busy studying and working," said Sue Molteal, Hillel's executive director. "If we said we are holding Torah study program tonight, that would be the last thing they would want to come to. We want to offer them something fun and that builds community."

Lovely! How about a relationship with God? It's interesting. Those who should know better, do not. It's the same way with Sunday and Sabbath, as we'll see with the Sunday-keepers. Every Sunday keeping minister knows that the Bible teaches Sabbath, but do they do it? No! We'll see they want to do it like this: Have fast-track fun and games and things like that.

Scriptural Reference:            
            Leviticus 23:9-11, 15-16, 23-24, 32, 7-8

Also referenced:

Booklet: How to Count Pentecost by Fred R. Coulter


  • Judaism: A Revelation of Moses, or Religion of Men by Philip Neal
  • The Books of the Macabees (Apocrypha)

Sermon: Should a Christian Observe Hanukkah?

Transcribed: 10-29-16
Proofed: 11/7/16