And here’s the rub. Most of the people who exhibit cognitive dissonance are either not uncomfortable about it at all, or they ignore whatever momentary discomforts might pop up and just breeze on by them.
~ Concretized Christianity, “An Example of Cognitive Dissonance in the Church“
I’ve written about cognitive dissonance before, and I think it is high time I either reprint an old one or rewrite one. Meanwhile, I invite you to read my colleague’s article quoted above.
There are critics of all of the COG organizations that engage in cognitive dissonance on a massive scale. I sometimes sit in wonder at how far they will go to break all logic and common sense to come up with something different (something “new”, cf Ac 17:21) that they can use as an attack vector against one or more COG group. Then, I have to remind myself that they are separated from the other groups because of their arrogance and narcissism that requires they come up with something that makes them “special” in order to draw away others after themselves.
Frankly, I’m not all that into that, and neither should you be. God has already created us as unique individuals with our own particulars, both good and bad, and that is part of the struggle. Instead of reaching towards being more individualistic, we should be endeavoring to be more like Christ! We should be seeking conformity, but not with each other but with Christ!
10 Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.
~ 1Co 1:10
16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? but we have the mind of Christ.
~ 1Co 2:16
Seriously, how many of us truly “have the mind of Christ”? I daresay we all have a lot of work to do. I’m certainly no exception to this state of affairs.
On the other hand, we all should have enough discernment to easily cut through the waste material that some spew out. It not so much shocks me that people seek a following for themselves as much as it shocks me that anyone in their right mind follows them. The contradictions stand out in stark contrast to the clear and biblical teachings of the majority COG groups.
For example, the teaching that Christ will return on Pentecost. Most who profess this also hold on to an alternative calendar. It seems that most hold to a so-called “biblical calendar” position that is based upon observation.
NOTE: Anyone who claims that their calendar is based upon calculations but are backed up by observation is lying. All real calendars, after all, are corrected from time to time because of observation. You can tell when they are lying because let one cloudy day postpone the beginning of the month, and it is no longer calculated.
The really sad part of it all is that anyone who follows an observed calendar should know for a certainty that Christ’s return is symbolized by the Feast of Trumpets. However, first let’s reiterate some important points about firstfruits, trumpets and Christ’s return.
Who Are the Firstfruits?
20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.
~ 1Co 15:20
We often think of ourselves as the firstfruits, and in general that is not wrong. However, Christ is the firstfruits, as He was the first to be resurrected!
This should show us something about God’s holy days, in fact. They give a general outline of the sequence of events, but they are, after all, only symbols. We must be careful how much we try to squeeze out of the meaning of a symbol.
23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.
~ 1Co 15:23
Again, Christ is the ultimate firstfruit. He is sometimes called “the first of the firstfruits”.
18 Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.
~ Jas 1:18
Notice James does not outright call us firstfruits! No, he calls us “a kind of firstfruits”! Why? We were not, are not nor will be first! Christ was first!
29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
~ Ro 8:29
It is important to realize that Christ was first, was always first, and He will always be first. Some COGs may have forgotten that, and critics of the COGs who say Christ will return at Pentecost have surely forgotten that.
Notice, however, we are “predestinate”! We were all called before the foundation of the world!
23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.
~ Ro 8:23
It is God’s Spirit within us that makes us firstfruits! Therein lies the tie-in to Pentecost.
4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
~ Ep 1:4
34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
~ Mt 25:34
We must learn to look at time the way God looks at time. He has called us right now. He sees us as being in His Kingdom right now. We must behave as though we are part of His family right now.
In fact, He sees us as being a part of His plan as laid down from the very beginning. God is harvesting right now. The resurrection is not the harvest! The resurrection is when the harvest ends!
Pentecost symbolizes the harvest of the Church! Pentecost does not symbolize the return of Christ!
It seems incredible beyond belief that anyone cannot make the connection between the Feast of Trumpets and the trumpets of Revelation.
Ancient Israel was not given the meaning of any of the fall holy days in any real detail. They were given specific symbols to symbolize coming out of Egypt for all of the spring holy days, but once you get beyond that, the only real symbol is that of tents to symbolize the wandering around they did prior to entering the Promised Land.
23 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,
24 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation.
25 Ye shall do no servile work therein: but ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord.
~ Lev 23:23-25
That’s it! They were given no other instructions or meaning!
“Well,” some will undoubtedly say, “trumpets were not just for the Feast of Trumpets. They were used at other times, so saying the Feast of Trumpets symbolizes Christ’s return is speculation at best.”
Utter nonsense, of course. The only symbol used for that day is trumpets. There was no given explanation. More importantly, that reasoning contradicts Scripture.
52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
~ 1Co 15:52
This is the foundational verse from which the tie-in to the Feast of Trumpets and the return of Christ is derived. It is important to read what it says and believe it. Proponents of Pentecost picturing Christ’s return simply do not believe it!
Part of the blame, perhaps, can be laid at the feet of the Church. Perhaps it should do more to examine such key verses and expound upon them rather than rote regurgitation of past teachings.
Traditionally, and it is not without merit, “the last trump” was attributed to the last of the seven trumpets of Revelation.
11 And after three days and an half the spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them.
12 And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them.
13 And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven.
14 The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly.
15 And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.
~ Rev 11:11-15
Notice the Two Witnesses come back to life! We are told this just before the seventh and last trumpet sounds. This is followed by a couple of inset chapters, but Revelation 14 picks back up with the 144,000 who come out of the Great Tribulation and tells us of the events leading up to the resurrection of the saints.
This is the last of a series of seven trumpets, granted.
But, there’s more!
Think about it logically. Critics of this point to trumpets that sound over sacrifices and such, but how can a trumpet at Pentecost really be the “last trump”? It cannot! We know that the very first of the fall holy days is the Feast of Trumpets. Why would Paul have called the resurrection’s accompanying sign the “last trump” knowing full well that the one bearing the very name of “Feast of Trumpets” follows?
How logical would that be?
But, there’s more!
When Did Christ Say He Would Return?
Not only do the holders of the belief that Pentecost pictures the return of Christ not believe Paul, John and the rest of the Bible, but they ignore the very words of Christ!
Think about it! If you hold to observation as the only biblical method to ascertain the holy days, then which one could you never, ever, know in advance? I mean, if you truly want to postpone the beginning of the month because of clouds (even though it should be obvious in most cases that the month really began), then what day can shift around? The first day of the month, correct?
So, what is the only holy day that falls on the first of the month?
That’s right! The Feast of Trumpets!
Many in ancient Israel would actually set aside two days for this reason, because they never really knew what would be called, the calculated day or the observational day. When observation reigned supreme, the entire month of holy days could shift for that month.
There is actually a symbolic meaning here. However, first let me state that this is why the calculated Hebrew calendar begins with fixing the first of Tishri, which is the “Jewish New Year”, aka Rosh Hashanah. If it slips one way or another, then the entire year is thrown off.
Back to observation, however. If you truly believe that observation is to be used, regardless of circumstance or resources (what did they do in the Middle Ages, one has to wonder), then you believe the Feast of Trumpets symbolizes the return of Jesus Christ.
Or, you are engaged in cognitive dissonance and following a hypocrite.
By observation, no one can know exactly when the Day of Trumpets begins. By observation, the hour and day is totally unknown.
36 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.
37 But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
~ Mt 24:36-37
This has a symbolic as well as literal meaning.
No One Knows the Day or the Hour?
Christians over the centuries have separated themselves from their Hebraic roots causing the misunderstanding of key Jewish biblical idioms. An idiom is also a figure of speech. When Y’shua (Jesus) uttered His famous words
concerning the Messianic Era in Mattityahu (Matthew) 24:26, “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in Heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father”, He used a common Jewish figure of speech referring to a
specific Jewish Festival. In essence He was saying, “I am coming for My Bride on such and such a day! Be watching!” What day could the Jewish idiom be referring to? Keep reading!
Again, once the Sanhedrin set Rosh Chodesh, or the beginning of the new month by sighting the new moon, the rest of the festivals were calculated. However, the seventh month, Tishri, was particularly important because it was the only month that had a holy convocation or appointed time on the first day of the month. This posed a unique problem. The first day of Tishri was the appointed time called Rosh HaShanah, the Feast of Trumpets (Vayikrah-Leviticus 23:24). Yet no one could begin observing the festival until they heard those famous words from the President of the Sanhedrin, “Sanctified!”
~ Hebraic Heritage Ministries Int’l, “No One Knows The Day Or Hour?“
It’s one thing if you’ve always followed a calculated calendar and did not know of the difficulty in assessing when 1 Tishri occurred, but it is another totally to be ignorant of knowing when the Feast of Trumpets occurs when following an observed calendar!
In addition, to set yourself up as some sort of teacher and be so hypocritical in your approach is just plain asking for God’s condemnation.