And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the sabbath,
from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering;
[firstfruits] seven sabbaths shall be complete: (Lev 23:15)
The word Pentecost (Shavuot) means "fiftieth". .
From the New Testament perspective, it is primarily a day to
celebrate the first "outpouring" of the Holy Spirit
upon the church that Jesus had promised (Luke 24:49). It first
occurred within the Jewish community. (Acts 2:1) Some time later,
it reoccurred at the house of Cornelius, an Italian family,
when the Gentiles experienced a phenomenal "outpouring"
(Acts 10:45). Today we have this continuing promise of God through
the Apostle Peter, "For the promise is unto you, and to
your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as
the Lord our God shall call" (Acts 2:39). This means it
is available to everyone who is a believer.
The word Pentecost is found only in the New Testament (Acts
2:1). It is identified in the Old Testament as the "Feast
of Weeks" (Exodus 34:22) and the "Feast of Harvest"
(Exodus 23:6). Pentecost, a Greek word meaning fiftieth, signifies
that it occurred fifty days after the high priest offered to
God the firstfruits of the barley harvest (Leviticus 23:10,11).
Initially, this feast (as well as the other two great annual
feasts, Passover and Tabernacles) was an agricultural festival.
Pentecost embodied many spiritual and prophetic demonstrations
about the work and ministry of the coming Messiah. In fact,
the entire life of our Lord was foreshadowed by a precisely
timed series of events. The coming of the Holy Spirit is no
exception. After the ascension of Jesus (Yahshua) to the right
hand of God and His becoming our High Priest, the next great
event was the baptism in the Holy Spirit (Luke 24:49; Acts 1:8).
It is not surprising, therefore, that the writer of the book
of Acts informs us that this event occurred "when the day
of Pentecost had fully come...."
The complete saturation of believers with the Holy Spirit bestowed
many supernatural gifts and empowerments for declaring the Good
News with power and effectiveness (Acts 1:8).
It would be a mistake to isolate one manifestation as evidencing
this infilling. Pentecost represents a many-faceted demonstration
of His presence. Some of the spiritual abilities with which
the church was endowed are these: word of wisdom, word of knowledge,
faith, healing, miracles, prophecy, discerning of spirits, and
speaking with tongues, both heavenly language and foreign languages
of men (1 Corinthians 12:1 Corinthians 13:1). You will discover
that gifts to the ministry are included in this equipping (Ephesians
Simply stated, this Holy Spirit baptism was for the equipping
of those who would be used of God with whatever they needed
on any occasion and under any circumstances, to be an anointed
witnesses and carrying out the work of God (John 14:12).
Today, more than ever, we must have these spiritual talents
working in us so that the gospel of the kingdom may be published
into all the world for a witness before the end comes (Matthew
24:14). The fact that Pentecost is also identified as the Feast
of Harvest gives us some spiritual insight concerning the harvest
of souls that God desires to be reaped from the earth. The Bible
teaches that Jesus was the Son of man who came to sow good seed--the
word of God (Luke 8:5-11). The church is the reaper sent forth
for harvesting (John 4:38; Matthew 9:38). Through Spirit-filled
witnessing, the harvest of earth will be reaped. It is for this
reason that Jesus made the declaration "Ye shall receive
power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you and ye shall
be witnesses unto me...unto the uttermost part of the earth"
(Acts 1:8). The people of God can never be effective and productive
in this harvest without an abundant anointing or baptism of
the Holy Spirit. Pentecost symbolizes ANOINTING FOR THE HARVEST.
A yearly observance of this biblical memorial day by the church
serves to remind us of our total dependence upon the Holy Spirit
to give us the guidance and anointing we must have for this
spiritual harvest of earth. The apostle Peter referred to it
as a "time of refreshing."
Pray ye the Lord of the
harvest to send forth laborers!
Our attitude toward this memorial day should be very much kindred
to that of the great apostle Paul who hastened to be at Jerusalem
for the day of Pentecost (Acts 20:16). Surely this yearly celebration
brought to the first century church a remembrance of the glorious
things that had happened at the initial outpouring of the Holy
Spirit a few years earlier when Peter had declared to the nation
of Israel and the world, "This is that which was spoken
by the prophet Joel."
Jewish tradition asserts that YAHWEH God wrote the Ten Commandments
on tables of stone with His own finger and gave them to humanity
on the day of Pentecost. This teaches us that a work of the
Holy Spirit is to write the laws of God upon the tables of our
hearts (2 Corinthians 3:3).
BREAD OF FIRSTFRUITS
shall bring out of your habitation TWO WAVE LOAVES (wheat bread)....they
are the firstfruits unto the Lord." Lev. 23:17
Here is another invaluable truth to be learned from this agricultural
feast. God said, "Ye shall bring out of your habitation
TWO WAVE LOAVES (wheat bread)....they are the firstfruits unto
the Lord." The spiritual and prophetic lesson to be learned
from this demonstration of the Old Testament concerns the Jew
and Gentile people. The spiritual crop that God will harvest
out of these two nations of people is represented in the two
loaves (1 Corinthians 10:17; James 1:18). The first century
church was predominantly Jewish. The last century church will
be predominantly Gentile. A bringing forth of two loaves is
what is implied when the apostle's states that the blessings
of God are - to the Jew first and also the Gentile.
"Of his own will
begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind
of firstfruits of his creatures." (James 1:18).