The Feast of Pentecost
And you shall count for yourselves from the day after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering: seven Sabbaths shall be completed. Count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath; then you shall offer a new grain offering to the Lord. Click here to download “Celebrate The Feast of The Lord” to learn more.
When the Day of Pentecost had 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 the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
Pentecost – also known as the Feast of Weeks and the Feast of Firstfruits – occurs exactly fifty days after the offering of the firstfruits during the days of Unleavened Bread. Leviticus 23:15-17 says, “And you shall count for yourselves from the day after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering: seven Sabbaths shall be completed. Count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath; then you shall offer a new grain offering to the LORD. You shall bring from your dwellings two wave loaves of two-tenths of an ephah. They shall be of fine flour; they shall be baked with leaven. They are the firstfruits to the LORD. And you shall offer with the bread seven lambs of the first year, without blemish, one young bull, and two rams. They shall be as a burnt offering to the LORD, with their grain offering and their drink offerings, an offering made by fire for a sweet aroma to the LORD.
Then you shall sacrifice one kid of the goats as a sin offering, and two male lambs of the first year as a sacrifice of a peace offering. The priest shall wave them with the bread of the firstfruits as a wave offering before the LORD, with the two lambs. They shall be holy to the LORD for the priest. And you shall proclaim on the same day that it is a holy convocation to you. You shall do no customary work on it. It shall be a statute forever in all your dwellings throughout your generations.” This Feast of Weeks occurs exactly seven weeks after the offering of firstfruits was made. It is also a holy day when no customary work should be done. For the physical Israelites, it marked the time of celebration after the first harvest was gathered. The offering on Pentecost was also an offering of firstfruits to the LORD, although unlike the offering of firstfruits that was offered during the Days of Unleavened Bread, this offering was actually baked with leaven. This holiday proved to be one of the most significant days to Christians who were gathered together on this feast after the time of Jesus’ death and resurrection. Acts 2:1-4 says of Jesus’ disciples, “When the Day of Pentecost had 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 the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”
The Holy Spirit was not only the Comforter that Jesus promised He would send to convict, teach and guide the disciples (John 14-16), but the Holy Spirit was the assurance that they were now Jesus’ own disciples, and God’s own children, having the promise of eternal life. Romans 8:9, 11, 14-16 says, “Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His… But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you… For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, ‘Abba, Father.’ The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.’” When the disciples received the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost, Peter preached the gospel to those who were there and told them that if they would believe and be baptized, they would receive the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38-39). The promised Holy Spirit gives us the assurance of our standing in Jesus Christ and the promise of what is to come… a future time of redemption of the body. Ephesians 1:13-14 says, “In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.”
And again in 2 Corinthians 5:1-5 it says, “For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our Celebrate the Feasts of the Lord 25 habitation which is from heaven, if indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked. For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life. Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.”
So for Christians today, we celebrate Pentecost knowing that we have received the adoption of the Holy Spirit by which we have become children of God. And we further rejoice in the future, knowing that we celebrate a time when we shall receive the redemption of our bodies in Jesus. As God inspired Paul to write in Romans 8:23, “Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.” What a glorious hope we have, and what assurances have been given to you and me. The Holy Spirit is our guide in this life and the assurance of the promise of a new life, free from the corruption and mortality of this world. We have the assurance of the resurrection of the dead and the promise of eternal life. 1 Corinthians 15:20-23 says, “But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming.” As Jesus is the firstfruits, being the first to have fallen asleep [died] and be raised from the dead, so shall all those who are Christ’s be resurrected at His coming. We have a tremendous hope that though we shall die, yet shall we be raised to live forever because of the awesome work that Christ has done on our behalf.
And as Jesus was the beginning of the resurrection, the firstborn from the dead, a type of firstfruits, so are those who are set apart by belief in Him a type of firstfruits in the resurrection. “These are the ones who were not defiled with women, for they are virgins. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever Celebrate the Feasts of the Lord 26 He goes. These were redeemed from among men, being firstfruits to God and to the Lamb” (Revelation 14:4). Leviticus 23:20 identifies these firstfruits, gathered at the end of the first harvest, “as holy to the LORD for the priest”. And so it shall be with all who believe in Jesus. We were set apart by faith in Him to be holy for Jesus, our High Priest. And as we find our lives in Him, so we find eternal life in Him, to be kings and priests unto our God and unto the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ.
“Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” (Revelation 1:4-6). So as we gather to celebrate the feast, the questions to ask are, Do I believe Jesus has set me apart as a firstfruit, holy to Him? Have I received the Holy Spirit? Do I believe that Jesus will come to gather together all His firstfruits at His return? Pentecost is such a wonderful feast and holy day because in it we remember that the church started when the Holy Spirit was poured out upon the disciples. We celebrate because by repenting and believing in Jesus, and by being baptized into His name, we have also received the gift of the Holy Spirit that makes us adopted sons and daughters of God (Acts 2:38-39; Romans 8:14-17). And we celebrate because we know that the Holy Spirit is the down payment and assurance within us that we have a future redemption coming. We will be resurrected from the dead, caught up in the air, and have a body just like Jesus’ body (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 1 John 3:2; 1 Corinthians 15:42-49).