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PENTECOST

 

The Feast of Harvest, Feast of Weeks, Feast of Firstfruits, and Feast of Pentecost all describe the same “appointed time”. 

 

For the past 2000 years, the Catholic Church still recognizes Pentecost as the birth of the church and celebrates it on the proper Hebrew day.  This is the only feast of God which many Christians celebrate on a yearly basis.

 

Strangely enough, most Protestant churches which often celebrate “speaking in tongues” or carry the namesake “Pentecostal” do not know the day nor celebrate the birth of the Church.

 

So, what is the Feast of Pentecost and why should it be important to us today?

 

Feast of Weeks

All of the feasts of God are determined by a specific day of the month.  One can look at the moon and know feast is near.  This can not be accomplished with the Feast of Pentecost.  This feast must be counted 50 days, starting with the Feast of Firstfruits which is the start.  Once counted, you will always end up on the 1st day of the week.

 

The word Pentecost is Greek and means “the fiftieth day”.

Leviticus 23:15 " 'From the day after the Sabbath, the day you brought the sheaf of the wave offering, count off seven full weeks. 16 Count off fifty days up to the day after the seventh Sabbath, and then present an offering of new grain to the LORD.

Fifty represents: liberty, freedom, and jubilee and is seen in other areas of the bible.  Other than the common numerical relationship, is there a connection to the Year of Jubilee and Pentecost?

Leviticus 25:8 " 'Count off seven sabbaths of years—seven times seven years—so that the seven sabbaths of years amount to a period of forty-nine years. 9 Then have the trumpet sounded everywhere on the tenth day of the seventh month; on the Day of Atonement sound the trumpet throughout your land. 10 Consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you; each one of you is to return to his family property and each to his own clan. 11 The fiftieth year shall be a jubilee for you; do not sow and do not reap what grows of itself or harvest the untended vines. 12 For it is a jubilee and is to be holy for you; eat only what is taken directly from the fields. 13 " 'In this Year of Jubilee everyone is to return to his own property.

Through the salvation of Christ, the symbol of Pentecost, are we “liberated” from Satan’s oppression and bondage to sin?

 

The calendar below illustrates the method to determine the feast of Pentecost.

 

Week Day

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

5th

6th

7th

Nisan 11

Nisan 12

Nisan 13

Nisan 14

Passover

Nisan 15

ULB 1st Day

Nisan 16

ULB 2nd Day

Nisan 17

ULB 3rd Day

Nisan 18

ULB 4th Day

Firstfruits

Day 1

Nisan 19

ULB 5th Day

 

Nisan 20

ULB 6th Day

 

Nisan 21

ULB 7th Day

 

Nisan 22

Nisan 23

Nisan 24

Sabbath 1

Nisan 25

Day 8

Nisan 26

Nisan 27

Nisan 28

Nisan 29

Nisan 30

Iyar 1

Sabbath 2

Iyar 2

Day 15

Iyar 3

Iyar 4

Iyar 5

Iyar 6

Iyar 7

Iyar 8

Sabbath 3

Iyar 9

Day 22

Iyar 10

Iyar 11

Iyar 12

Iyar 13

Iyar 14

Iyar 15

Sabbath 4

Iyar 16

Day 29

Iyar 17

Iyar 18

Iyar 19

Iyar 20

Iyar 21

Iyar 22

Sabbath 5

Iyar 23

Day 36

Iyar 24

Iyar 25

Iyar 26

Iyar 27

Iyar 28

Iyar 29

Sabbath 6

Sivan 1

Day 43

Sivan 2

Sivan 3

Sivan 4

Sivan 5

Sivan 6

Sivan 7

Sabbath 7

Sivan 8

Pentecost

Day 50

Sivan 9

Sivan 10

Sivan 11

Sivan 12

Sivan 13

Sivan 14

 


 

Counting the Omer

In Hebrew tradition, this time period from the Feast of Firstfruits (Spring Harvest) is counted Pentecost (Summer Harvest).  This is called “counting the omer”.

 

Here is an excerpt from Wikipedia which describes the 50 days [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Counting_of_The_Omer]:

 

As soon as it is definitely night (approximately 30 minutes after sundown), the one who is counting the Omer recites this blessing:

"Baruch atah Adonai Eloheinu Melech HaOlam asher kidishanu b'mitzvotav v'tzivanu al Sefirat Ha'omer"


("Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the Universe, Who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us to count the Omer.")

Then he or she states the Omer-count in terms of both total days and weeks and days. For example, on the 23rd day the count would be stated thus: "Today is twenty-three days, which is three weeks and two days of (or "in"[2]) the Omer." The count is said in Hebrew.

According to the Halakha, a person may only recite the blessing while it is still night. If he or she remembers the count the next morning or afternoon, the count may still be made, but without a blessing. If one forgets to count a day altogether, he or she may continue to count succeeding days, but without a blessing.

"Omer-counters" are typically offered for sale during this time, and are displayed in synagogues for the benefit of worshippers who count the Omer with the congregation at the conclusion of evening services. Omer-counters range from decorative boxes with an interior scroll that shows each day's count through a small opening; to posters and magnets in which each day's count is recorded on a tear-off piece of paper; to calendars depicting all seven weeks and 49 days of the Omer (a small pointer is advanced from day to day); to pegboards that keep track of both the day and the week of the Omer. Reminders to count the Omer are also produced for hand-held computers and via SMS services for cell phones.”

 


 

Feast of Firstfruits [Summer Harvest]

Remember in the study of the Feast of Unleavened Bread and that there was a Feast of Firstfruits?  Yes, there are two different Feast of Firstfruits! The 1st occurrence represented the spring harvest, the resurrection of Christ and the “firstfruits” to receive the Holy Spirit.

Leviticus 23:11 He is to wave the sheaf before the LORD so it will be accepted on your behalf; the priest is to wave it on the day after the Sabbath. 12 On the day you wave the sheaf, you must sacrifice as a burnt offering to the LORD a lamb a year old without defect, 13 together with its grain offering of two-tenths of an ephah [a] of fine flour mixed with oil—an offering made to the LORD by fire, a pleasing aroma—and its drink offering of a quarter of a hin [b] of wine. 14 You must not eat any bread, or roasted or new grain, until the very day you bring this offering to your God.

John 20:16Jesus said to her, "Mary." She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, "Rabboni!" (which means Teacher). 17Jesus said, "Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, 'I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.' "

Romans 8:29
For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.

And here are the firstfruits of the church:

John 20:19On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you!" 20After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. 21Again Jesus said, "Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you." 22And with that he breathed on them and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit. 23If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven."

However, the 2nd occurrence happens during the Feast of Pentecost, representing a larger harvest, the summer harvest.

Acts 1:4On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: "Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. 5For John baptized with[a] water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit."

Acts 1:8But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.

Acts 2:1When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues[a] as the Spirit enabled them.

The Feast of Firstfruits illustrates a spiritual harvest from His church.

Matthew 16:18And I tell you that you are Peter,[c] and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades[d] will not overcome it.[e]

 


 

Two Loaves

Notice that it is required to present two “leavened loaves” as an offering on Pentecost.

Leviticus 23:15 " 'From the day after the Sabbath, the day you brought the sheaf of the wave offering, count off seven full weeks. 16 Count off fifty days up to the day after the seventh Sabbath, and then present an offering of new grain to the LORD. 17 From wherever you live, bring two loaves made of two-tenths of an ephah of fine flour, baked with yeast, as a wave offering of firstfruits to the LORD.

Consider some characteristics of the wave offering:

 

 

Firstfruit Wave Offering

Feast

Unleavened Bread

Pentecost

Offering

A sheaf of grain.

Two loaves.

Characteristic

1st grain of harvest.

Leavened bread.

Symbolism

Christ resurrected.

The Church comprised of 2 parts: Jew and Gentile.

Romans 1:16I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.

Romans 11:25I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. 26And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: "The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob. 27And this is[f] my covenant with them when I take away their sins."[g]

Notice the comment that “all Israel will be saved”.  Are the Jews, “all of Israel”? No.  As indicated in Genesis 35, here are the tribes of Israel:

Son’s of Jacob (Tribes of Israel)

Number

Son (Tribe)

Mother

Rev 7 (Sealed)

1

Reuben

Leah

12,000

2

Simeon

Leah

12,000

3

Levi

Leah

12,000

4

Judah

Leah

12,000

5

Issachar

Leah

12,000

6

Zebulun

Leah

12,000

7

Joseph

Rachel

12,000

 

Manasseh

Son of Joseph

12,000

8

Benjamin

Rachel

12,000

9

Dan

Bilhah (Rachel's maidservant)

 

10

Naphtali

Bilhah (Rachel's maidservant)

12,000

11

Gad

Zilpah (Leah's maidservant)

12,000

12

Asher

Zilpah (Leah's maidservant)

12,000

 

 

 

144,000

 

Notice the tribe of Judah; this is the family which is termed Jewish.  It is interesting to note that the promise of the 144,000 Israelites in the book of Revelation are different.  Also, does the 144,000 represent “all of Israel”?

 

The Pentecost wave offering symbolizes the future resurrection of the Church, waved as Christ was presented before the Father. 

 

The leavening represents the sin within the Church.  And the loaves are waved in the air, symbolic of the Christians leaving the earth, resurrected and meeting their Savior in the air. 

1 Corinthians 15:20But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.

1 Corinthians 15:23But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him.

 


 

The Church Age

The Feast of Pentecost represents the church age, the time of the church.  After 2,000 years, we are privileged to be a part of this ongoing, amazing time.  We have been invited, called out and are now part of God’s much bigger plan.

 

The Holy Nation

From the very beginning, God wanted a Holy priesthood that would represent Him.  A Holy Nation that would live His lifestyle, and be blessed.  God wanted Israel to be this Holy Nation.

Exodus 19:5 Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, 6 you [a] will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.' These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites."

However, Israel did not fulfill this.  They would not obey.  Why?  They did not have God’s Holy Spirit.  They were rebellious and worshipped other gods.

Isaiah 1:2 Hear, O heavens! Listen, O earth! For the LORD has spoken: "I reared children and brought them up, but they have rebelled against me. 3 The ox knows his master, the donkey his owner's manger, but Israel does not know, my people do not understand." 4 Ah, sinful nation, a people loaded with guilt, a brood of evildoers, children given to corruption! They have forsaken the LORD; they have spurned the Holy One of Israel and turned their backs on him.

Isaiah 2:6 You have abandoned your people, the house of Jacob. They are full of superstitions from the East; they practice divination like the Philistines and clasp hands with pagans. 7 Their land is full of silver and gold; there is no end to their treasures. Their land is full of horses; there is no end to their chariots. 8 Their land is full of idols; they bow down to the work of their hands, to what their fingers have made.

Jeremiah 3:6 During the reign of King Josiah, the LORD said to me, "Have you seen what faithless Israel has done? She has gone up on every high hill and under every spreading tree and has committed adultery there. 7 I thought that after she had done all this she would return to me but she did not, and her unfaithful sister Judah saw it. 8 I gave faithless Israel her certificate of divorce and sent her away because of all her adulteries. Yet I saw that her unfaithful sister Judah had no fear; she also went out and committed adultery. 9 Because Israel's immorality mattered so little to her, she defiled the land and committed adultery with stone and wood.

Hosea 2:2 "Rebuke your mother, rebuke her, for she is not my wife, and I am not her husband. Let her remove the adulterous look from her face and the unfaithfulness from between her breasts.

Isaiah 50:1 This is what the LORD says: "Where is your mother's certificate of divorce with which I sent her away? Or to which of my creditors did I sell you? Because of your sins you were sold; because of your transgressions your mother was sent away.

Isaiah 48:1 I foretold the former things long ago, my mouth announced them and I made them known; then suddenly I acted, and they came to pass. 4 For I knew how stubborn you were; the sinews of your neck were iron, your forehead was bronze. 5 Therefore I told you these things long ago; before they happened I announced them to you so that you could not say, 'My idols did them; my wooden image and metal god ordained them.'

Genesis 6:3
Then the LORD said, "My Spirit will not contend with [a] man forever, for he is mortal [b] ; his days will be a hundred and twenty years."

There is a spiritual blindness that keeps them from seeing and living the truth.

Matthew 23:26Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean. 27"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men's bones and everything unclean. 28In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.

Matthew 23:37"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing.

Romans 11:25I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. 26And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: "The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob. 27And this is[f] my covenant with them when I take away their sins."[g]

As we have seen before God had other plans. From the foundation of the world God desires His sanctified group, His “called out ones” to live a life that reflects His Spirit:

Galatians 5:22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. 25Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.

2 Timothy 1:7For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.

 

The Called Out Ones

The word church comes from the Greek ecclesia meaning “called out ones”.  When we felt that stirring, that irresistible urge to come to Christ, or that calling, we answered the Lord with our response.  We invited Him into our lives and we began our new life in Him.  This is what God desires!

 

Here Peter restates God’s original desire:

1 Peter 2:9But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

And here we see God’s plan to “call” or “choose” His called out ones:

Acts 15:13When they finished, James spoke up: "Brothers, listen to me. 14Simon[a] has described to us how God at first showed his concern by taking from the Gentiles a people for himself. 15The words of the prophets are in agreement with this, as it is written: 16" 'After this I will return and rebuild David's fallen tent. Its ruins I will rebuild, and I will restore it, 17that the remnant of men may seek the Lord, and all the Gentiles who bear my name, says the Lord, who does these things'[b] 18that have been known for ages.[c]

Ephesians 1:3
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, 4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, 5 having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, [NKJV]

Revelation 3:20Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. 21To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne.

Ephesians 1:11In him we were also chosen,[e] having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory.

2 Timothy 1:8
So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God, 9who has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time,

James 1:18He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.

God has examined you and as the called out ones of God, we have been specially hand picked by Him!  Here are other examples of how God selected various priests and prophets:

1 Samuel 16:1 The LORD said to Samuel, "How long will you mourn for Saul, since I have rejected him as king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and be on your way; I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem. I have chosen one of his sons to be king."

1 Samuel 16:7 But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." 8 Then Jesse called Abinadab and had him pass in front of Samuel. But Samuel said, "The LORD has not chosen this one either." 9 Jesse then had Shammah pass by, but Samuel said, "Nor has the LORD chosen this one." 10 Jesse had seven of his sons pass before Samuel, but Samuel said to him, "The LORD has not chosen these." 11 So he asked Jesse, "Are these all the sons you have?" "There is still the youngest," Jesse answered, "but he is tending the sheep." Samuel said, "Send for him; we will not sit down [a] until he arrives." 12 So he sent and had him brought in. He was ruddy, with a fine appearance and handsome features. Then the LORD said, "Rise and anoint him; he is the one." 13 So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the LORD came upon David in power. Samuel then went to Ramah.

Here is another fascinating story of the “calling” of Samuel.  God calls Samuel three times:

1 Samuel 3:1 The boy Samuel ministered before the LORD under Eli. In those days the word of the LORD was rare; there were not many visions. 2 One night Eli, whose eyes were becoming so weak that he could barely see, was lying down in his usual place. 3 The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the temple [a] of the LORD, where the ark of God was. 4 Then the LORD called Samuel. Samuel answered, "Here I am." 5 And he ran to Eli and said, "Here I am; you called me." But Eli said, "I did not call; go back and lie down." So he went and lay down. 6 Again the LORD called, "Samuel!" And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, "Here I am; you called me." "My son," Eli said, "I did not call; go back and lie down." 7 Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD : The word of the LORD had not yet been revealed to him. 8 The LORD called Samuel a third time, and Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, "Here I am; you called me." Then Eli realized that the LORD was calling the boy. 9 So Eli told Samuel, "Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, 'Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.' " So Samuel went and lay down in his place. 10 The LORD came and stood there, calling as at the other times, "Samuel! Samuel!" Then Samuel said, "Speak, for your servant is listening." 11 And the LORD said to Samuel: "See, I am about to do something in Israel that will make the ears of everyone who hears of it tingle. 12 At that time I will carry out against Eli everything I spoke against his family—from beginning to end. 13 For I told him that I would judge his family forever because of the sin he knew about; his sons made themselves contemptible, [b] and he failed to restrain them. 14 Therefore, I swore to the house of Eli, 'The guilt of Eli's house will never be atoned for by sacrifice or offering.' " 15 Samuel lay down until morning and then opened the doors of the house of the LORD. He was afraid to tell Eli the vision, 16 but Eli called him and said, "Samuel, my son." Samuel answered, "Here I am." 17 "What was it he said to you?" Eli asked. "Do not hide it from me. May God deal with you, be it ever so severely, if you hide from me anything he told you." 18 So Samuel told him everything, hiding nothing from him. Then Eli said, "He is the LORD; let him do what is good in his eyes." 19 The LORD was with Samuel as he grew up, and he let none of his words fall to the ground. 20 And all Israel from Dan to Beersheba recognized that Samuel was attested as a prophet of the LORD. 21 The LORD continued to appear at Shiloh, and there he revealed himself to Samuel through his word.

Likewise, the church is hand selected by God!  You were hand selected by God for a very high purpose!

 

Holy Spirit 

Without God’s Holy Spirit, it is impossible to please Him!  Holy Spirit is the helper we need to please God and be a part of His Kingdom.  We received the Holy Spirit when we give our lives to the Lord and this is symbolized at baptism. The Feast of Pentecost physically and spiritually reflects baptism.

 

The Spirit of the Lord was with Jesus.  Here are the characteristics of the Spirit and the verse in Isaiah 11 on how the Holy Spirit helped Him:

 

·   Wisdom

·   Understanding

·   Counsel

·   Power

·   Knowledge

·   Fear of the Lord

Isaiah 11:2 The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him— the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD - 3 and he will delight in the fear of the LORD. He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears;

Ephesians 1:13And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession—to the praise of his glory.

John 4:13Jesus answered, "Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life." 15The woman said to him, "Sir, give me this water so that I won't get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water."

John 4:23Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth."

2 Corinthians 5:20We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God.

 

 

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