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Pentecost (Duane Gallentine)

Pentecost

“AND when the day of Pentecost was fully come,….”Acts 2:1a.

by Duane Gallentine

(Leviticus 23:1-2 KJV) And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, {2} Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts.

Three times a year were the Israelite males commanded to appear before God in the Holy Temple in Jerusalem (Deut 16:16). The occasions were:

  1. The Passover–celebrating deliverance from Egypt and symbolized by the eating of unleavened bread and the offering of the Passover Lamb;

  2. Pentecost, or the Feast Of Weeks–typified by the offering of two wave loaves made with leaven and the newly harvested wheat; and,

  3. The Feast Of Tabernacles–symbolized by the booths, commemorating Israel’s wandering through the wilderness and final entrance into the Land of Promise.

The word Pentecost is Greek, meaning fifty. It was so designated because it was observed on the fiftieth day after the Passover Sabbath. The words of Scriptures concerning the institution of Pentecost are found in Lev 23:15-17. (See also Ex 34:22) Israel’s sustenance depended upon the produce of the land. They were promised a land flowing with milk and honey (Ex 3:8). Pentecost was a feast of in-gathering the firstfruits of the new wheat and making an offering to the Lord for the harvest. From every part of the country Jews would gather to Jerusalem to appear before God. Jews of the dispersion of Israel, who believed God’s command as found in their Book of The Law, would travel back to the Promised Land from the nations in which they dwelt.

A brief note concerning the subversion of the Truth might be appropriate. Over time, Pentecost lost its primary characteristic as being a harvest feast with thanksgiving, and became known as “The Feast of Giving the Law.” This was accomplished through the oral traditions of ancient rabbis, who by their calculations, concluded that God gave the Law to Moses on the Day of Pentecost. Being the traditional anniversary of the giving of the Law on Mount Sinai, Pentecost was/is considered as the birthday of Judaism.

One would note that Lev 23:2 states that these are “The feasts of the Lord” and yet the Lord, during His earthly ministry evaluates the traditions of the elders/men compared to the direct revelation of God through Moses, and at that time calls the feasts in Israel “the feast of the Jews” (Mark 7:6-13; John 5:1; 6:4; 7:2). The humanistic view point became predominate over the Divine view point. The Law had come to be viewed as the means to accomplish the end. Righteousness by the Law. Israel was tricked by false pastors/priests who scattered the sheep (Jer 23:1,2) in teaching them to follow the law of righteousness through the works of the law. The Law became an end unto itself, whereas in Israel’s New Testament Christ is the end of the Law for righteousness, as Paul writes about Israel in Romans 10:1-5.

The Law became the focal point of Pentecost instead of God, His faithfulness, and then, being thankful for His supply. They failed to recognize His faithfulness to complete His Promises to Israel, His Purpose for Her, and His Plan for Her redemption.

Returning to the Scriptural aspect of Pentecost, we find that according to Lev 23:11, the priest was to bring the sheaf of the wave offering into the Temple on the day after the Passover Sabbath. Here the symbolism of God’s redemptive calendar is outstanding!! Here we have the very “first-fruit” harvested and brought before God. Scripture reveals that the Son of God, Jesus Christ the Lord, is the very “first-fruit” of God. He was the very first One raised from the dead in victory over sin, death, the grave, and hell. (see 1 Cor 15:20-23). This offering of the “first-fruit” would be the beginning of the New Harvest. This sheaf was in type, the first of many to be harvested in thanksgiving, with a national feast 49 days later.

Then on the Day of Pentecost “two wave-loaves” were brought to the Lord by the Priest, loaves made of fine flour ground of the new wheat and baked with leaven (Lev 23:17–these two loaves “are the firstfruits unto the Lord”). Does not this seem strange? Leaven introduced to this one and only cereal (grain) offering unto the Lord when all the other meal offerings were without leaven?

Scripturally, leaven is symbolic of sin. The Passover bread was unleavened because it signified the sinless body of Christ, who being without sin, became sin for the sins of His People, Israel (Matt 1:21). But these two leavened loaves were symbolic of Israel in whom there was sin. Please remember, that Israel had been divided since Solomon’s day; a northern kingdom and southern kingdom. There was the House of Israel composed of 10 tribes living in the northern part of the land of Palestine (the Samaritans-John 4:5-20) and there was the House of Judah composed of 2 tribes living in the southern part of the land of Palestine (the Jews-John 4:22). These “two” were to be brought back into One Nation (Jer 31:31-34; Eze 37:11-22). This newly formed Nation was not a people before this Pentecostal Harvest, but they would become the Priests of God and A Holy Nation, thus fulfilling prophetic Scriptures (Isa 61:6; 1 Peter 2:5-10).

Even James when he pens James 1:18, written to the Twelve Tribes scattered abroad (Acts 8:1; 11:19), clearly states that, “Of His own will begat He us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.” One should be careful to identify the pronoun ‘we’ that James is speaking about in this passage. These would be the redeemed within national Israel that are begat (born-again) with the word of truth….the word of truth committed unto James was not the Bible in a general sense, but the Words of Christ for the Prophetic Program of an earthly Kingdom.

Considering Acts 2, on this day of Pentecost, Peter addressed his countrymen from every part of the world who came to Jerusalem in faith to do the required work so they could get the blessing of God. But this Pentecost was going to be different! In verse one, the Scripture is very clear that Pentecost was fully come. What did happen was that God moved to free from the tradition of men and the perversion of humanistic view point, this rightful FEAST OF THE LORD. The shadow was to deliver the very image!!!

Like it was in Christ’s day with the meaning and purpose of Pentecost being hid by deceitful workers with religious shams, so it is in our day. The traditions of men through the cunning craftiness of The Adversary have tried to make Acts 2 Pentecost something that it is not; the beginning of the Body of Christ. As we obey 2 Timothy 2:15 one knows that the Church, which is His Body, is not in view during the first eight chapters of the Book of Acts…..the Scriptures are clear, so search daily to see if these things be so!

The shadow was GOOD….the very image, BETTER,
….BUT the Body is EXCELLENT–Col 2:17.

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