This Sunday June 8, the Church celebrates its birthday and the infilling of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost Sunday in 30 AD.
Pentecost was one of the Seven Feasts of Israel which formed the religious calendar of the Torah and served as Prophetic signposts of God’s plan of redemption. The first three, Passover, Unleavened Bread, and First Fruits look back to the Exodus, but foreshadow the death and resurrection of Christ during these feasts in 30 AD. The last three, Trumpets, Atonement, and Tabernacles celebrated the final ingathering of the Harvest (Ex 23:16) and looked forward to the Second Coming of Christ. Pentecost, also known as the Feast of Harvest, celebrated the sowing of the crops in preparation of Harvest. (See Ex 23:16), and represents the beginning of the Harvest of believers by the Church in 30 AD.
Throughout history Christians looking for the return of Christ, as represented by the Feast of Ingathering, have thought that the Age of Pentecost, represented by the Feast of Harvest, was coming to an end. From the generation after Christ to the predictions of 1000 AD, 1844, 1914, 1988, 2000, and numerous others, people who predicted the end of the Age of the Harvest have been proven wrong. Now we have a new batch of Doomsday predictions based on the writings of an Irish monk who listed the future Popes, ending with the current Pope. Some even suggest that he may be the Antichrist.
Just for the record, Pope Francis is a remarkable Christian who has participated in some of God’s most important movements in the Earth. He has supported the Charismatic Catholics, who have brought millions into the Kingdom of God, and promoted the Reconciliation Movement which is responding to Christ’s prayer for unity of believers. (See our Blog of 3/5/14 “Pope’s Unity Message Goes Viral”) We wish Pope Francis a long and blessed life until God takes him home and the election of the next Pope exposes the foolishness of the “Last Pope” prophets.
The real damage done by these false Doomsday prophets extends far beyond their foolishness and slander of a good Christian. The focus on gloom and fear is a distraction from our mission to bring good news and hope to the world. Attacks on fellow Christians are not only a form of rebellion against Christ’s command to love our brothers, but also create divisions which undermine the Gospel.
We must leave foolish controversies behind and get about our business of making disciples throughout the world (See our Special Report “The Age We Live In”).
We still live in the Age of Pentecost. Celebrate it on Sunday. Live it on Monday