Friday, June 6, 2014

The Feasts of The Lord

Leviticus 23 – Part 4

by Earlene Davis

The Feast of Pentecost

Vs. 15-16, “And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the sabbath, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven sabbaths shall be complete: Even unto the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall ye number fifty days; and ye shall offer a new meat offering unto the LORD.”

This feast is known as Pentecost in the New Testament, the Greek name for it means ‘fifty.’ God gave very specific directions for counting the proper number of days until this feast. It is exactly fifty days after the wave offering of First Fruits.

It is also called the feast of Weeks. The Jews call it ‘Shavuot’ which means ‘weeks’ in Hebrew, because of the counting of seven sabbaths.

This feast is also known as the feast of Harvest, because it actually marked the summer harvest, the second harvest of the year. Many more crops were available than at the first fruits, but still not as many as would come in the fall harvest. Like the Feast of First Fruits, this feast occurs on a Sunday, “the morrow after the sabbath.” The predominate spirit of this feast was glad praise, Deut. 16:9-12.

At this harvest festival the people thank God for the wheat harvest with a free-will offering. V. 17, “Ye shall bring out of your habitations two wave loaves of two tenth deals: they shall be of fine flour; they shall be baken with leaven; they are the firstfruits unto the LORD.” The priest offered two wave loaves of bread that were of equal weight as a “new meal offering” unto the Lord - V. 16. The word “new” is very significant. The first believers after Pentecost were the first-fruits of the new creation. We see in them a type of God’s people, both Jews and Gentiles. For we find in them the nature of Christ, the fine flour; but we also find leaven which is a type of sin (Mt. 16:6) indicating the presence of sin in God’s people. Rom. 7:18a.

But these loaves have been baked (which speaks of the judgment Christ bore for sinful humanity) making the leaven inactive. God was predicting that the church would be comprised of Jews and Gentiles (two loaves). Sometimes we mistakenly think of the church as entirely Gentile, but it has always been part Jewish. The Lord retains a remnant of the Jews. In fact the Holy Spirit came first upon Israel, those Jews in the upper room of Acts 2. Jesus had declared that the Holy Spirit shall abide forever. Was God at a loss when the nation of Israel would not have Him? NO! God brought to light His purpose that had been “Hid in God.” Eph. 3:1-11.

Both Jews and Gentiles have been made one in Christ at the birth of the church on Pentecost. I Cor. 12:12-14, “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body…”. This baptism took place at Pentecost. It is the “one baptism” of Eph. 4:5. All believers present and future were baptized into one body, the body of Christ, the church. Gal. 3:27-28, “…for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.”

Therefore, it was necessary to wave the loaves with the five offerings which figure Christ (Vs. 18-21). We are not accepted because of our own worth or perfection, but because of His perfection, which we accept. The atonement of Christ has made full provision for the sin which dwells in our flesh.

V. 22, “And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not make clean riddance of the corners of thy field when thou reapest, neither shalt thou gather any gleaning of thy harvest: thou shalt leave them unto the poor, and to the stranger: I am the LORD your God.” Some of the poor who ate from the corners of the fields that were left unharvested were Jesus and His disciples.

Let us consider this feast as it occurred in the New Testament. After Christ resurrection He appeared to His disciples and taught them for 40 days. Acts 1:4-5,8-9,13a,14, “And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me…ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence…ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem…and unto the uttermost part of the earth. And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight…And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room…These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication…”

The Holy Spirit came exactly on the day of the feast of Pentecost. Acts 2:1-6, “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.”

Acts 2:12-18, “And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this? Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine. But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;  And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:”.

Peter tells how it was foreordained of God that Christ should die. That they by wicked hands have crucified Him, but He was delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God - Vs. 22-23. That David prophesied of His resurrection – Vs. 29-33. That day the Holy Spirit gathered a harvest of 3,000 souls – V. 41. Many were added to the church daily – V. 47. And many have been added during this Church Age.

Peter was empowered to stand up and preach Christ to the multitude in Jerusalem, after receiving the Holy Spirit. The same Peter who cowardly denied Jesus three times only seven weeks before this. Do we need this power of God, His Spirit? Oh yes, we do. Don’t refuse this precious gift of God to His people.

Christ was crucified on “Passover.”
He was buried on the feast of “Unleavened Bread.”
He arose on “First Fruits.”
The Holy Spirit was sent on “Pentecost.”
These four feasts are in the spring and summer of the Jewish year and they have been fulfilled. We have not yet seen the fulfillment of the fifth feast, “Trumpets.” It may be soon. The last three feasts were at the end of their year. Today we are cultivating the summer crops. We are workers together with Christ in the field of the world, until the day of the great harvest marked by the next feast, “Trumpets.”
The feast of Trumpets, next issue of the magazine.