Why I Believe in a Monday Pentecost
I was baptized into the Church of God in 1969. When I was employed in the Church Administration Department at Pasadena in 1973 as Raymond Coleís assistant, I became aware of the undercover plan of several ministers to change the date of the Churchís observance of Pentecost. There were a few Pentecost papers being secretly circulated at that time, which advocated switching from a Monday, to a Sunday, Pentecost. I had the opportunity to carefully study the issue for a number of months before the doctrinal change occurred in early 1974.
It appeared few in the church questioned the change in Pentecost. Mr. Cole and I were excommunicated in 1975, largely because of our objections to the change in Pentecost. Over the years, very few in the Church of God have asked me why I continue to observe a Monday Pentecost. It is a "day of difference," yet most members seemingly have never really studied the issue thoroughly. This article is a brief explanation of why I believe in a Monday Pentecost.
I have written extensively on the subject of Pentecost. Here are very brief reasons why I believe in a Monday Pentecost. A more complete explanation is available in my book, Biblical Holy Days.
Scripture is Simple: COUNT 50 DAYS
Leviticus 23:10-21 is the central point for instructions about the date of Pentecost. The key words are in verse 16, "shall ye number fifty days." The word for "number" is caphar, Strongís #5608. It means, "to score with a mark, tally or record, to inscribe, to enumerate, to count, declare." The Englishmanís Hebrew and Chaldee Concordance gives all the Biblical uses of the Hebrew word caphar. Leviticus 15:13-28 gives detailed counting instructions relative to uncleanness of men and women and their cleansing. Verses 13-14 state, "And when he that hath an issue is cleansed of his issue; then he shall number [caphar] to himself seven days for his cleansing, and wash his clothes, and bathe his flesh in running water, and shall be clean. And on the eighth day he shall take to him two turtledoves, or two young pigeons, and come before the Lord . . . ." Notice the instructions: count seven days, then come before the Lord. Similar instructions for women are repeated in verses 28-29. So, we are to count a specified number of days, then come before the Lord.
In Leviticus 23, we are told to count from the morrow after the Sabbath (the weekly Sabbath during the Feast of Unleavened Bread), even unto the morrow after the seventh Sabbath, we are to "number [caphar] fifty days; and ye shall offer a new meat offering unto the Lord." Count fifty days, then come before the Lord. The New International Version, while deficient in some areas, captures the Hebrew precisely: "Count off fifty days . . . ."
The question is, do you count a day before it starts, or when it is completed? In baseball, do you score a run when the base runner starts to run the bases, or when he touches home plate? Our family sometimes plays board games, tallying (counting) the points by four marks with a fifth mark crossed over the four. This is an example of counting, caphar-ing. When you earn a point, you make a tally. God counts days the same way. In Genesis 1, time after time, days are counted as follows: "And the evening and the morning were the first day . . . ," etc. Days are counted at the end of the day, when they are completed.
Likewise, in the Pentecost count in Leviticus 23, each of the fifty days are counted at the end of the day. Then, after the completion of a fifty-day count, we come before the Lord. It is simple, and scripturally correct, to count fifty days, then keep Pentecost.
But Arenít You Keeping the Fifty-First Day?
Pentecost is the day when fifty days have been fully counted. Likewise, on the Sunday after the resurrection, when two disciples were walking with Jesus on the road to Emmaus, one of them remarked, "to day is the third day since these things were done," Luke 24:21. Sunday is the third day since very late Wednesday, when He was put into the tomb. These disciples were counting the same way God did in Genesis, and the way He instructed Israel in Leviticus. The third day was the day after three full days were counted. It was the fourth day in progress, but not yet counted.
Jesus was not mathematically illiterate. He said repeatedly that he would rise "the third day," i.e., "after three days," Matthew 16:21, 17:23, 20:19, 27:63; Mark 9:31, 10:34; Luke 9:22, 13:32, 18:33, 24:7, 46. See also Acts 10:40, I Corinthians 15:4. The Church of God has contended that this means after 72 hours, after three full days. Those who keep a Sunday Pentecost have a tough hurdle to cross with these statements. For them, "the fiftieth day" is the day when seven weeks (49 days) have been counted. If this is so, then "the third day" is the day when two days have been counted. So then Jesus couldnít have been in the grave for a full three days and three nights, as He said He would, in Matthew 12:40.
Paul said he was "circumcised the eighth day," Philippians 3:5. Now we know what he meant. The instructions in Genesis 17:12 tell us that "he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you . . . ." A boy baby is eight days old when he has lived for eight days, which is the ninth day of his life in progress. I am 50 years old, in the fifty-first year of my life in progress. Pentecost is like these examples. It is the day after fifty days have been counted. Thatís what "Pentecost" means, "count fifty."
What About Sivan 6?
William Dankenbring has popularized observance of a Sivan 6 Pentecost. He agrees with most Jews, who say that "the Sabbath" of Leviticus 23:15 is the annual Holy Day Sabbath of the Feast (Nisan 15). They have a fixed day on the calendar for Pentecost (Sivan 6 and 7) and do not have to count Pentecost each year. Jews are honest in admitting that they count only 49 days. Just to be "safe," however, they keep both Sivan 6 (after 49 days) and also Sivan 7 (after 50 days).
The Hebrew word for "sabbath" and "sabbaths" in Leviticus 23:15, "from the morrow after the Sabbath," and "seven Sabbaths shall be complete," is shabbat, or shabbaton, Strongís #7676 and #7677. Englishmanís Hebrew and Chaldee Concordance shows all usages of these words, and not once do they ever mean "week," or "weeks." The Hebrew word for "week" is shavuoth, or shebuah, Strongís #7620, and this word never means "shabbat," in all Biblical usages. Therefore, Leviticus 23:15 must indicate that the shabbat is the weekly Sabbath, and not the annual Sabbath. This destroys the Sivan 6 theory. For more information, see my article, "Pentecost is NOT on Sivan 6."
Didnít Herbert Armstrong Originally Keep a Sunday Pentecost?
Some have said that Herbert Armstrong originally kept a Sunday Pentecost. This is not true. The diary of Mrs. Lorinda (Stoneberg) Le Bleu, who was baptized in 1936 by Mr. Armstrong, shows that she kept a Monday Pentecost in the years 1937-1941, and following. Mr. Armstrong was ordained to the ministry in 1931, and began keeping the Holy Days in 1934. He originally kept Pentecost according to the majority of the Jews, i.e., Sivan 6-7. Sivan 6 can fall on a Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, or Friday. Sivan 6 was on a Sunday in the years 1934, 1937, 1938, and 1941. Armstrong published in advance a calendar for 1937, showing Pentecost corresponding to the Sivan 6 (Sunday) date. This may have been the very year he changed from a Sivan 6 Pentecost to a Monday Pentecost, because Mrs. Le Bleuís diary records a Pentecost meeting on Monday, May 17, 1937, at the Connís house. She also records a Pentecost meeting on Monday, June 6, 1938, at the Whiteís.
The historical record is clear. Mr. Armstrong grew in understanding. As early as 1937, he was observing a Monday Pentecost.
No Historical Record of Other Monday Pentecost-Keepers?
Some ask, "Why is there no historical record of Monday Pentecost-keepers prior to Herbert Armstrong?" First, there doesnít have to be. Tracing the history of Holy Day-keepers, for that matter, is very difficult and spotty. I base my practices upon what I understand is in the Bible, not sketchy history.
Second, there is historical record of Monday Pentecost-keepers. The official Jewish leaders, who maintained the calendar, were aware of Monday Pentecost. The Hebrew calendar year is 6 minutes, 39.371 seconds longer than the astronomical value. Thus, the Holy Days slowly advance later and later in the year. Every couple of millennia, a calendar adjustment is required to put the Holy Days back in synchronization with the solar year. If this were not done, then the Holy Days would eventually be out of season. The Second Century calendar adjustment was necessitated by the requirement that Pentecost fall in the spring, not the summer. If Pentecost were observed on a Sunday, then the calendar adjustment would not have occurred until the fourth century, rather than A.D. 161. The time of the actual change demonstrates a Monday Pentecost! For more information, see Herman Hoehís article, "Pentecost and the Second Century Calendar Adjustment," in Biblical Holy Days.
Deuteronomy 16 and Pentecost
In Deuteronomy 16:10 (as well as Exodus 34:22 and II Chronicles 8:13) Pentecost is called "the feast of weeks." Some have stumbled over the statement in Deuteronomy that we are to number seven weeks, while in Leviticus 23:15-16 we are told to number fifty days. In order to reconcile these seemingly diverse instructions, some have given preference to Deuteronomy 16 and only count seven weeks (seven times seven equals 49 days), and observe Sivan 6, or Sunday.
Deuteronomy 16 doesnít give me any problem with Pentecost on Monday. Examining it carefully, keeping in mind that it was written after Leviticus 23, is the key to avoid the seeming confusion over the instruction to count 49 or 50 days.
(1) Notice all of Deuteronomy 16, the whole chapter. It doesnít tell when Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread are specifically to be kept, other than in the month Abib, verses 1-8. Neither does Deuteronomy 16 state when the seven day Feast of Tabernacles is kept, verses 13-15. Deuteronomy 16 is not specific about when to observe the three pilgrimage feasts. Leviticus 23, on the other hand, is very specific about when to observe them. Deuteronomy 16 is, however, quite specific about where to keep these feasts: "in the place which the LORD shall choose to place His name there," verse 2, also verses 5-7, 11, 15-16. Deuteronomy means "the second law," and it was written forty years after Israel had left Egypt, to prepare them for finally entering the Promised Land, Deuteronomy 1:1-3.
So, Deuteronomy 16 is not intended to be the sole authority in telling us how to keep Pentecost. It generalizes the more detailed instructions given in Leviticus 23:15, without stating the complete counting instructions of Leviticus 23:16. Godís Word is often like this, here a little, there a little, Isaiah 28:9-11. Deuteronomy 16 is inspired scripture, but it doesnít tell the whens that Leviticus 23 does. It emphasizes the wheres, and also the family aspect of the pilgrimage feasts, verses 11, 14, and the offerings required, verse 16-17. Leviticus 23 is silent on these topics. Put the whole Bible together and it makes sense.
(2) The Hebrew word for weeks in Deuteronomy 16 is shavuoth (Strongís #7620), which is different from the word for Sabbaths in Leviticus 23:15, shabbath (Strongís #7676). Shavuoth can mean any period of seven days, and not necessarily a Sunday-Saturday week, Genesis 29:27-28; Leviticus 12:5; Jeremiah 5:24; Daniel 10:2-3.
(3) Deuteronomy 16:9 refers to the day of putting the sickle to the corn. This phrase indicates harvesting for oneself (see Deuteronomy 23:24-25), not offering a wavesheaf to the Eternal. One could not harvest for oneself without first offering the wavesheaf, Leviticus 23:10-14. So there is a day devoted to the offering of the wavesheaf, "wavesheaf Sunday" as we refer to it. The next day is the day when the harvest is for oneself, and this could be what is referred to in Deuteronomy 16:9.
(4) Jews admit they donít count fifty days, as Leviticus 23 commands. They count only 49 days, then keep the next day as Pentecost. Encyclopedia Judaica, article "Commandments, The 613," page 767, says "Starting from the day of the first sheaf (16th of Nisan) you shall count 49 days. You must rest on Savuot." The scriptural reference is Leviticus 23:15. At least they know how to count. Thy count "x" number of days, then keep the next day as Pentecost. But, they have forgotten how many days to count. Leviticus 23:15-16 says to count or number (same Hebrew word caphar, Strongís #5608) fifty days, not 49 days.
Although the United Church of God officially observes a Sunday Pentecost, one of their statements actually supports a Monday Pentecost. Jerald Aust, in the May, 1996, The Good News, page 15, says, "Starting with the day of the wave-sheaf offering, Godís people are to count 50 days, then observe Pentecost as a day holy to God (Leviticus 23:15, 16)." Thatís exactly the way to count, and it results in a Monday Pentecost!
Deuteronomy 16 and Leviticus 23 do not contradict. Deuteronomy 16 apparently was not intended to give specific counting instructions about Pentecost. If it does, items (2) and (3) above, explain how the two passages can be reconciled.
One thing is clear: if you are going to finish counting on the same day, and are going to count fifty days according to one instruction, and supposedly seven times seven = forty-nine days according to a second instruction, you cannot start counting on the same day!
How many people have tried to count differently with fifty days and forty-nine days, starting and ending on the same days in both cases! I wonder if they failed in mathematics! It canít be done, unless in one case you use a different rule of counting. We understand that Deuteronomy 16 does not give specific counting instructions, but that Leviticus 23 does.
Pentecost and Jubilee -- Pentecost and Jubilee
Some commentators state that Pentecost is a type of the Jubilee Year. They say since we are to count 49 years, then keep Jubilee, that Pentecost is counted in the same way.
Leviticus 25:8-11 shows we are to number seven times seven years (49 years), then keep the fiftieth year as Jubilee. Leviticus 23:15-16 shows to number fifty days, then keep Pentecost. The same word for "number," the Hebrew caphar, Strongís #5608, is used in both passages. We are to caphar forty-nine years toward Jubilee, and caphar fifty days toward Pentecost. Pentecost and Jubilee are counted exactly the same, but there are different numbers to count! Counting Jubilee is a major proof that Pentecost is on Monday.
Is Pentecost a type, or related to, the Jubilee? Peterís Pentecost sermon in Acts 2 does not compare Pentecost to Jubilee. Peter links Pentecost with Joel 2 and the Day of Trumpets and Day of Atonement.
Some have concluded that the Greek word sabbaton, "Sabbaths," Strongís #4521, means "Pentecost." In Luke 4:16-21, the Savior gave a sermon in Nazareth on the Sabbath day (sabbaton), proclaiming that He was "to set at liberty [Jubilee means liberty] them that are bruised." He said he was fulfilling Isaiah 61:1-2, "to proclaim liberty to the captives."
The "sabbaton theory" advocates say this was the Day of Pentecost, but provide no proof of this assertion. Actually, Luke 4:31 disproves the sabbaton theory. This verse says that Jesus went on to Capernaum, and taught them on the Sabbath days (sabbaton). The Greek word sabbaton does not mean Pentecost. The Greek word pentecoste means Pentecost.
True Pentecost Dispels Sunday "Proof"
Sunday-keepers keep Sunday rather than the Sabbath because they believe that (1) Christ rose from the dead on Sunday, AND (2) that the Holy Spirit descended on the disciples on Sunday. These two concepts were instrumental in the change from Sabbath
to Sunday. Many Bible students have ignored the role of a Sunday Pentecost in the change from Sabbath to Sunday, but the historical documentation is substantial.
Peter Geirmann in the Convertís Catechism of Catholic Doctrine, page 50, speaks decisively on the dual role of the resurrection and Pentecost in supporting Sunday observance, when he says:
Q. Which is the Sabbath day
A. Saturday is the Sabbath day.
Q. Why do we observe Sunday instead of Saturday?
A. We observe Sunday instead of Saturday because the Catholic Church transferred the solemnity from Saturday to Sunday.
Q. Why did the Catholic Church substitute Sunday for Saturday?
A. The Church substituted Sunday for Saturday because Christ rose from the dead on a Sunday, and the Holy Spirit descended upon the Apostles on a Sunday.
Q. By what authority did the Church substitute Sunday for Saturday?
A. The Church substituted Sunday for Saturday by the plentitude of that divine power which Jesus Christ bestowed upon her.
Daniel 7:25 describes the "little horn" which thinks to change times and laws. We must obey the Eternal and not man.
Both Easter Sunday and Pentecost (Whit) Sunday are false pagan holidays, counterfeits of the true Holy Days. The Catholic Church twisted the truth. Both Easter and Whitsunday are non-scriptural. Both major pillars of Sunday worship are FALSE!
Sunday Pentecost Linked to Trinity
Celebrated by the Catholic Church and some Protestants, Trinity Sunday is the Sunday after Pentecost. It is a celebration in honor of the Trinity, and was declared part of the church calendar by Pope John XXII in 1334. Previously, it had been celebrated locally at various dates for hundreds of years. Corpus Christi, once the principal (main) Catholic feast, is the Thursday following Trinity Sunday. It celebrates the presence of the body (corpus) of Christ in the Eucharist.
Is there a connection between the Trinity and Sunday? In Catholic thought, the answer is yes, definitely. Eusebius of Alexandria (ca. A.D. 500) said,
The holy day of Sunday is the commemoration of the Lord. It is called the Lordís because it is the Lord of all days . . . . It was on this day that the Lord established the foundation of the creation of the world and on the same day He gave to the world the first-fruits of the resurrection . . . . This day is therefore for us the source of all benefits; the beginning of the creation of the world, the beginning of the resurrection, the beginning of the week. Since this day contains three beginnings, it prefigures the principle of the Trinity (De die Dominico, 86, 416).
Easter, a Counterfeit Passover, Linked to Pentecost
Passover and the Sabbath symbolized to Old Testament believers the future Messianic deliverance. When Jesus associated himself as "Lord of the Sabbath," He was emphasizing His messiahship. As Bacchiocchi states, "as the Sabbath became for the Israelites the weekly extension of the annual Passover, so Sunday later became for many Christians the weekly commemoration of the annual Easter-Sunday" (From Sabbath to Sunday, pages 23-25). Eusebius states, "While the Jews faithful to Moses, sacrificed the Passover lamb once a year . . . we men of the New Covenant celebrate every Sunday our Passover" (De solemnitate paschali 7, 12). Even today, Italians still refer to Sunday as pasquetta, which means "little Easter."
Now why did professing Christians substitute Easter for Passover? They wanted to break away from Judaism. As J.B. Lightfoot records, Rome and Alexandria adopted Easter-Sunday to avoid "even the semblance of Judaism" (The Apostolic Fathers, 1885, page 88). Catholics even repudiated the Jewish calendar, making their own time calculations. Emperor Constantine, in the Nicene councilor letter, wanted to establish a religion completely free of any Jewish influence:
It appeared an unworthy thing that in the celebration of this most holy feast [Easter] we should follow the practice of the Jews, who have impiously defiled their hands with enormous sin, and are, therefore, deservedly afflicted with blindness . . . . Let us then have nothing in common with the detestable Jewish crowd . . . . (Eusebius, Life of Constantine, 3, 18-19).
Easter and Pentecost are inextricably tied together. Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyon (from about A.D. 176), said that Catholics did not kneel from Easter to Pentecost, because both feasts are "a symbol of the resurrection" and that Pentecost "is of equal significance with the Lordís day" (Fragments from the Lost Writings of Irenaeus, 7).
Since Constantine, and others who changed sacred times, wanted to avoid Jewish reckoning of Holy Days, it would be entirely out of line for them to reject Passover for Easter, yet accept a Sunday Pentecost, if a Sunday Pentecost was a traditional Jewish holiday. Can you imagine the Council of Nicea rejecting a "Jewish" Passover, yet accepting a Jewish Sadduccean Pentecost? It does not make sense. Here is a strong indication that a Sunday Pentecost was NEVER a major component of Jewish belief. If it had been, then Catholics would never have accepted a Sunday Pentecost.
To Catholic believers from the time of the "fathers," Easter-Sunday, Pentecost-Sunday, and the weekly Sunday, were regarded as one basic festival commemorating at different times the same event of the resurrection. Bacchiocchi concludes that Irenaeus was correct in designating Sixtus, Bishop of Rome (A.D. 115-125) as the first non-observer of the Quartodeciman Passover (From Sabbath to Sunday, pages 203, 273). Easter, the counterfeit Passover, and Sunday Pentecost, are branded with the mark of Rome, with its anti-Semitic tendencies. Easter and Sunday Pentecost are inextricably tied together.
Sunday "Events," if Sunday Pentecost is Correct
Do you realize that if Sunday Pentecost is correct, then you have a very significant list of important Sundays in the plan of God? Indeed, those who support a Sunday Pentecost believe in one or more of the following:
∑ The Ten Commandments were given at Sinai on a Sunday.
∑ Jesus began His public ministry and preached His inaugural sermon on a Sunday, Luke 4:16-21.
∑ Jesus was resurrected on a Sunday.
∑ The Holy Spirit was given to the disciples on a Sunday.
The Worldwide Church of God now believes in all four of the above! Do you believe the above events occurred on Sunday? The Lord of the Sabbath would hardly have placed His presence so strongly on Sunday, if He wanted us to always remember the Sabbath. Bacchiocchi says that since the Sabbath of the Old Testament pointed to the Messiah, "In light of this fact the claim that Christ made in His inaugural address to be the fulfillment of the redemptive function of the Sabbath, acquires added significance. By identifying Himself with the Sabbath [Luke 4:18-19], Christ was affirming His Messiahship" (From Sabbath to Sunday, page 25).
For the Worldwide Church of God, Jesus did not affirm His Messiahship in this way. They believe He began preaching on a Sunday Pentecost, that the Ten Commandments were given on a Sunday, that the resurrection was on Sunday, and that the Holy Spirit was given on a Sunday. Yet they still, for the time being, traditionally meet on the weekly Sabbath, in spite of the fact that these beliefs are major components of Sunday worship.
The Fruits of Sunday Pentecost
From the late 1930s to 1973, the Worldwide Church of God kept Pentecost on Monday. During this time, the church grew at an amazing rate of 30% in many years. In 1974, the Worldwide Church of God changed to a Sunday Pentecost. Its growth and spreading of the gospel took a dive from which it never recovered. Letís look at some of the other fruits of the change from a Monday to a Sunday Pentecost.
Did the change to a Sunday Pentecost spawn even more significant doctrinal changes?
Few in the Worldwide Church of God seriously questioned this 1974 doctrinal change. Fewer still questioned a subsequent change a couple of months later when the Worldwide Church deviated from its teaching on Divorce and Remarriage. This latter change should have been a jolt to the entire membership, when the sanctity and permanence of marriage as it was once taught, was reduced to Church-sanctioned adultery and fornication. The Divorce and Remarriage change is another great proof that Pentecost is on Monday, because it shows what happens when truth is discarded. Spiritually, as one minister stated, it was as if the lights were turned out.
What happened to those who pushed for the 1974 Worldwide Church of God doctrinal changes in Pentecost and Divorce and Remarriage?
The most vociferous Sunday Pentecost supporter was Dr. Ernest L. Martin, a respected pastor and scholar. In 1961, Martin wrote a pro-Sunday Pentecost paper which finally led to the doctrinal change in 1974. Martin and other supporters had privately kept a Sunday Pentecost for years before 1974. Martinís many doctrinal questions and disagreements precipitated a mass exodus from the church of thousands of members and scores of ministers. Dr. Martinís teachings devolved into liberal Protestantism, as he rejected the Sabbath, Holy Days, Tithing, and trusting God for healing. Instead of growing in grace and knowledge, Dr. Martinís Sunday Pentecost teaching led to gross apostasy. The great rebellion led by Martin strongly influenced the Church to change Pentecost and its teachings on marriage, in order to stem the tide of membership loss.
Raymond F. McNair, who brought the Sunday Pentecost issue to Herbert W. Armstrongís attention, later faced great personal tragedy and public embarrassment. When McNairís wife followed Martin in leaving the church, McNair claimed she had deserted him, and divorced her, later remarrying. Roderick Meredith publicly castigated Mrs. McNair. A jury unanimously decided against McNair, Meredith, and the Worldwide Church, agreeing that she had been libeled and falsely slandered. After an appeal, an out-of-court settlement gave Mrs. McNair $750,000 of Church funds as compensation.
It may be just a coincidence that the instigators of the Pentecost change met such unsavory fates. One day we may know for sure.
Were the overwhelming majority of the Worldwide Church of God doctrinal changes of the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s good or bad? The true faith is "once delivered." After an initial revelation of the Truth, humans tend to water down, pollute, and degenerate. See the article, "90 Doctrinal Changes of the Worldwide Church of God," by Lloyd Cary, included in our book, Biblical Doctrine. You decide for yourself whether the majority of these changes were scriptural or not.
Were the 1974 Pentecost and Divorce & Remarriage changes the result of incontrovertible scriptural proof, or were they instead planned changes, whose timing was politically motivated to stem the loss of membership? The evidence clearly points to political motivation being the dominant factor in the change.
Does It Make a Difference Which Day We Keep?
Some say that Pentecost doesnít make any difference, that it doesnít matter which day one keeps, as long as he "keeps" (??) Pentecost. Somehow, it does make a difference regarding which day is the Sabbath, but it doesnít make any difference which day we keep Pentecost. The logic of this argument escapes me.
Suppose the disciples held this view. Would they have been "all with one accord in one place" on the day of Pentecost, Acts 2:1, and all have received the Holy Spirit? No, only the ones keeping the right day would have received the Eternalís Spirit. Our Maker is a particular God. It does make a difference with Him how, where, when and why we worship Him, John 4:9-24.
How Should You Change Your Doctrinal Beliefs?
Some people change doctrinal beliefs like they change an old pair of socks. When their minister preaches something different, they accept this "new truth," and that is the end of discussion. In 1974, when some 90,000 people changed from observing Pentecost on Monday to Pentecost on Sunday, there was no emotional crying out to God in repentance. The "scholars" gave their findings, the church leaders made the pronouncement of the change, and the membership (except for a tiny few) followed in line.
How should you change a doctrinal belief that you have formerly proved, believed, and practiced? You should make no changes unless there is absolute, overwhelming, incontrovertible Biblical proof. Proof, not politics, should be the basis for any change.
One of the main proofs given by the Worldwide Church of God in 1974 for their change from a Monday to a Sunday Pentecost, was their new belief that the resurrection of Christ occurred on the first day of the week. (See WCG "Pentecost Study Paper," pp. 42-43, 75.) Unfortunately, most members never even noticed this additional major doctrinal change, since they were fast asleep. In the late 1970s, they never batted an eyelash at the new "Primacy of Peter" doctrine.
But in the mid 1990s, many Church members became aroused at the massive doctrinal changes introduced by Joseph Tkach. They never realized that the theological foundation for the trinity, and rejection of the Sabbath and Holy Days had already been laid in 1974 by the change in Pentecost. Moving from a Sunday Pentecost to the trinity, and Sunday-keeping, was a natural evolution. It has happened before.
The Biblical indications of a Monday Pentecost are substantial. The historical linkage of a Sunday Pentecost with Sunday-keeping and the trinity doctrine is disturbing. I hope that this article stirs many to restudy this issue. We will not all see eye to eye on every issue, until the return of Christ. I respectfully disagree with those who hold to a Sunday or Sivan 6 Pentecost. However, I believe the evidence strongly indicates that a Monday Pentecost is correct.
Pentecost: Its Message for Christians Today
Pentecost, the Day of Difference
24 Reasons Why I Believe in a Monday Pentecost
Pentecost and the Second Century Calendar Adjustment
Let us "Tarry" for Pentecost
Pentecost is NOT on Sivan 6
When Does the Pentecost Count Begin?
Joshua Chapter Five and the Wavesheaf Day
Main Holy Day Menu
Written by: Richard C. Nickels
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