“Only hold fast to what you have until I come.” Revelation 2:25
Hold fast to what we have? Who is “we” and what do we have that Jesus is talking about here? The Apostle John was given the “Revelation” of Jesus the Christ while in exile on Patmos. We know that John had been in the upper room on the day of Pentecost and had received the Holy Spirit and began speaking in tongues. Theologians call this the “initial” evidence of being baptized in the Holy Spirit.
Jesus was ‘revealing’ to John the things to come for all churches, not just the seven talked about in the first few chapters. In this context, we, as Holy Spirit filled believers, know that Jesus was talking to a tongue-talking follower.
Hold fast to what you have. What did they have? The Holy Spirit in full operation in their lives! What do we today ‘have’ that we need to hold fast today?
I have not written much in the past three years since taking a position with the Texas Department of Criminal justice. However, the Summer 2013 issue of ‘Fellowship’ really woke me up! “Fellowship” reported that less than 20 percent of “born again” Christians in America hold to a biblical world view. How alarming! What has happened?
Then recently I had a nice long discussion with a ‘Pentecostal’ pastor of a large church here in Texas. This pastor shared with me what he called the “disconnect” between the pulpit and the congregation, a congregation he said was “Pentecostal.” When he said that word, I saw in the Spirit a number above his head--we Pentecostals do funky things like that sometimes.
I saw the number 20% first, then 30%. I asked him, “Just how many in your church are truly Pentecostal?” Meaning, how many are baptized in the Holy Spirit with evidence of speaking in tongues? He rolled his eyes and said probably only 20-30 percent. Then he shared that even the ones that get the Holy Spirit don’t do anything with it. They come to church on Sunday morning, have a great time then go home and do nothing with their new power all week and come back the next Sunday for another nice service. It was like they were stuck in the upper room. My heart went out to this pastor as his heart was breaking over this issue.
So what is Pentecost? An online definition is 1) of or relating to Pentecost, 2) of, relating to, or denoting any of a number of Christian sects and individuals emphasizing baptism in the Holy Spirit, evidenced by speaking in tongues, prophecy, healing, and exorcism or deliverance.
Let’s look at the first definition of ‘Relating to Pentecost,’ meaning an event or happening. The English word “Pentecost” is a transliteration of the Greek word pentekostos which means “fifty” or “fiftieth day.” However, Christians did not invent the phrase “fiftieth day.” They borrowed it from Greek-speaking Jews who used the phrase to refer to a Jewish holiday. This holiday was known as the Festival of Weeks, or Shavuot in Hebrew. This name comes from an expression in Leviticus 23:16, which instructs people to count seven weeks plus one or “fifty days” from the end of Passover to the beginning of the next holiday.
Shavuot was the second great feast in Israel’s yearly cycle of holy days. It was originally a harvest festival (Exodus 23:16), but, in time, turned into a day to commemorate the giving of the law on Mt. Sinai. This day became especially significant for Christians because seven weeks after the resurrection of Jesus, during the Jewish celebration of Shavuot/Pentecost, the Holy Spirit was poured out upon his first followers, thus empowering them for their mission and gathering them together as a church. In other words, this day (the day of Pentecost) was on God’s Holy calendar! It was never to be a denomination. Denominations as we know are not from God but an institution of man.
Like all the other Hebrew Holy Feasts and festivals in the Bible, each one is to eventually come to pass. Yes, the believers were with one accord on the day of Pentecost after Jesus ascended but did God say “Oh joy, finally they are in agreement--we can have Pentecost now?”
There were originally 500 followers in the upper room but some gave up or maybe just decided “I need to go home and do some chores, I’ll come back later.” That means that 380 people could have been among the first to receive the Promise of the Father that had so long been prophesied! Thankfully, 120 of them knew the prophecies, knew the scriptures and knew that 50 days after the resurrection of Messiah that Pentecost would be fulfilled!
Just a few decades later, John is told by Our Risen Lord in the book of Revelation to instruct the church to “hold fast to what you have.” Yes, they were already losing the gifts, especially speaking in tongues.
Also in the Summer 2013 issue, Pastor Keith Manley talked about Revival being something of the past. He shared that God was “messing with his theology” by having so many people slain in the Spirit as he laid hands on them. I so loved his honesty here and his willingness to share, but how many ‘Pentecostal” pastors are not following the instructions of the Holy Spirit?
Pastor Dan Marian hit the ball out of the park with one simple statement: “Our message must be clear and unchanging. The Word of God must not be compromised!”
We are back with the early believers from about 70 to 90 AD, losing what we have been given by giving in to man’s desires and man’s understanding of how to grow a church or ministry. Oh, we can’t speak in tongues; you might scare someone away. What? Speaking in tongues is for unbelievers--especially Christians that don’t believe it is for today! Are we giving into the fear of man? Proverbs 29:25 says that the fear of man will be a snare and bring destruction. We are in love with the world more than the things of God. Even worship musicians have an agenda of reaching the people instead of worshiping their Creator God. What? Yes, they are copying the ways of the world again. Call me ‘old school’ but this is sad.
So to say you are “Pentecostal,” what are you trying to convey? Pentecost is not a denomination. It is a way of following Jesus the way we are instructed to from the Holy Scriptures. Nothing is missing, nothing is broken and nothing has died away. The Promise of the Father is for all who choose to believe and that means tongues, too!
Creator Yahweh is still pouring out His Holy Spirit on new believers. But what are we teaching those new believers to do with their new gift? Are we watering it down? Are we saying, “Oh honey, you don’t have to speak in tongues, just don’t forbid those that do?”
Again, I echo Pastor Mariano in saying it is not a matter of denomination any longer. Our loyalty must be to the Full Word of God! Will it be easy to hold fast to what we have? It will if we stand steadfast on the Holy Word of God and remember Pentecost is not a denomination. My brethren, let me encourage you to hold fast to that which you have. Shalom!
Native Sounds of Heaven - First Nations Wind Flutes
Restoring the Paths of Relationships
Lord revealed to this ministry two years ago that we would play a major part in
the rebuilding of broken relationships between the First Nations and the Anglos
In the scripture above we see that to restore the paths we must first repair the breach, much like building a bridge from one side to another. Creator wants us to build a bridge from the First Nations to the Anglos and others as we need each other for the Body of Christ to operate in strength! We need each other as Yeshua (Jesus) is coming back for a glorious Church without spot or wrinkle. The Body must be whole!
Let us look at the
“treasures” that have been preserved on
God Bless, Chief Chari Bouse, Tsalagiyi Nvdagi
Merry Heart Does good Like Medicine
Lessons From the Native Way
When the first settlers came to this land they observed what they thought were demonic ceremonies by the Natives. Thanks to Replacement Theology (Church replaced the Jews): many of these earlier settlers were Old Testament ignorant. This ignorance prevented them from observing the Natives worshiping one Creator God just like the Jews. The Native American perspective is much closer to the ancient Hebrew understanding of all creation. They did not worship the animals – they ate them .
Today’s First Nation Christian leaders are on Jesus side. Euro-Americans may not understand their methods, but the good news is, these methods are working and our First Nations people are gaining hope! Hope for a life free from the bondage, free from hate and free to be the people they are – lovers of Creator God and all of His Creation. And they following the ways of Rabbi Yeshua! We do not use the name Yeshua as a secret "agenda." Jesus came to earth as a tribal man and his tribal name was NOT Jesus. He was called Yeshua and He was very much a Jew, something that the "church" in the USA does not always teach the way it should.
Blessings, Grandmother <><
Meditate on this Truth: If you love someone you will do as they wish because you want too – not because you have too!
White Eagle Outreach supports our troops!
Member: Native American Journalists Association