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The day of Pentecost, celebrated throughout most Christian Congregations, is thought to have started with the giving of the Holy Spirit to the disciples gathered at the Upper Room. But what if Pentecost started almost 1500 years before? As Christians who were brought up being taught that Pentecost started in the upper Room, this may come as a shock. But the truth is that Pentecost had been celebrated for almost 1500 years before Christ, being instituted by YHVH at the Mount of Sinai.
As Christians, we need to become more like the noble Bereans who searched the Scriptures to check what was told to them were true or not. So let us dig into the Scriptures for the evidence of a Pre-Christ Pentecost.
What does the word Pentecost mean?The English word Pentecost is a direct transliteration of the Greek word Pentekoste and means fiftieth or more specifically the fiftieth day in Greek. Even though the meaning has been lost in our English translations of the Bible, a quick look at a dictionary/lexicon reveals the real meaning.
Thayers Greek LexiconG4005 pentekoste Pentecost = the fiftieth day1) the second of the three great Jewish feasts, celebrated at Jerusalem yearly, the seventh week after the Passover, in grateful recognition of the completed harvest.
A. The Fiftieth Day is instituted at SinaiTo understand what Pentecost/the fiftieth day really means, we must look at its origins, in the Old Testament.
This Isn’t God’s World Or God’s Time
Have you ever wondered why the Christian religion has not resolved the world’s problems? Why hasn’t it prevailed over other great world religions and false philosophies?
One would expect the work of Jesus Christ, coming from God, would bring in an era where the great movement of Christianity would prevail and usher in a time of peace. After all, it is a teaching of the Christian Church that the Kingdom of God would expand from that small beginning and that the power of God would be manifest to the world in His disciples that followed.
So why hasn’t that happened?
There is a simple answer in the concept of “firstfruits.” You see, God’s intention was never to convert the world to Him during “this present evil age,” as the apostle Paul refers to our time . Have you ever considered that if that’s what God had intended, He would certainly have succeeded in doing so?
The fact is, God intends to convert the world at large at a later time. That time, foretold by the prophets, is when Jesus Christ will return to the earth and establish His Kingdom. Notice how different it will be: “Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills and all nations shall flow to it.
Israel And The Nations
During the Festival of Booths, the Jewish people also pray for other nations, inviting them to come to Jerusalem to celebrate together, since God already commanded Moses and the Hebrews to include the foreigner in their feasts.
Feast of Tabernacles is a time to evaluate our past and refocus our minds on the right path. God wants each generation to remember their journey after they left Egypt:
You may say to yourself, My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me. But remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms His covenant, which He swore to your ancestors, as it is today.Deuteronomy 8:17-18
The Feast of Tabernacles is a time of spiritual purification for a man and a woman, to reconcile with God. Its a season of overwhelming joy. The abundant crops are a reminder of Gods goodness. Israel rejoices in the miraculous protection of God who accompanied them in the desert. It is also a manifestation of total dependence on God.
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Summary Of The Eight Holy Convocation Feast Days
Here is an overview of all eight feasts. Notice that they are found in three groups, with the first group summarized as the first feast, Passover. Since it is because of the Passover that the Feast of Unleavened Bread, fleeing Egypt is possible.
The last group is summarized as Tabernacles. Its another name for houses, tents, or booths, which is where we live and who we are . This eighth feast signifies both a people dwelling in God and God dwelling in them, a people finally fully in the Divine Realm of His Life .
In other words, a people mature in Christ, of full stature, perfect, and in the express image of the last Adam, the beloved Son, who is in the express image of the Father. The fourth feast in this group is the conclusion. Its the goal of not only that group but of all eight feasts.
This diagram shows that once the blood of the Lamb is applied to the door of your home, Jesus Christ is then your Savior. You have seven further steps before you are fully one with Him . This is why Philippians 2:12 says to work out your salvation and Hebrews 12:1-2 says to run your particular race.
This is why Paul was pressing on to something more than a life in the Word and in the Spirit , but to be found in Christ, which he called the high calling. See the verse below:
Thrice in the year shall all your MEN CHILDREN appear before the Lord GOD, the God of Israel. Exodus 34:23
Eric and Mary Ellis
What Is A Sukkah
Tabernacles and booths are attempts to translate sukkot into English. The singular form is sukkah.
A sukkah is a makeshift shade from the sun made from readily available materials. For example, during the harvest season of late summer, a laborer might rise early and work throughout the morning. Then as the oppressive midday sun bears down, he takes a break. Using leftover plant stalks, leaves, and branches, he constructs a simple shelter to provide him with shade.
One traveling through Israels countryside during the harvest season in biblical times would no doubt have seen many of these little shelters in fields, vineyards, and orchards. But they are not just for harvest. Jonah also built such a sukkah to sit in as he waited to see what would come of Nineveh . Jacob built sukkot for his cattle in his journeys, and actually named the place after them .
When the ancient Israelites emerged from Egypt, they left their houses behind. At first, they would not even have had tents to pitch to protect themselves. They would have gathered whatever brush they could find to keep the sun off their heads. God himself also sheltered them from the suns rays his presence was the sukkah they needed!
Because of its uses, the sukkah is a symbol for both harvest and sojourning.
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Shavuot In The Future: The Harvest Festival To Come
Just as there was an outpouring of the Holy Spirit so that Jewish people heard and accepted Jesus in a supernatural way on Pentecost, so an even greater outpouring is predicted by the prophet Zechariah: “And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn” .
Yes, there will be mourning when all of Israel finally realizes who Jesus is, but after the mourning and the repentance there will be great joy. Yeshua said this regarding the end-time harvest of souls:
“The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest”
Origins Of The Festival Of Firstfruits
Shortly after giving the Ten Commandments, God gave Israel another command: “Three times you shall keep a feast to Me in the year: You shall keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread . . . and the Feast of Harvest, the firstfruits of your labours which you have sown in the field and the Feast of Ingathering at the end of the year . . .” And the feast of harvest, the first fruits of your labors, which you have sown in the field: and the feast of ingathering, which is in the end of the year, when you have gathered in your labors out of the field.American King James Version×).
At this Feast of Harvest, also called the Feast of Firstfruits or Weeks, the Israelites were to offer the firstfruits of the late spring wheat harvest in the Holy Land . Months later they celebrated another festival, called the Feast of Ingathering or the Feast of Tabernacles. This came at “the end of the year”the end of the agricultural cycle of the year at summer’s end in the Holy Landwhen the people gathered in all the harvest.
These festivals were commanded. And because of what God intends for us to learn from His festivals, they are still to be celebrated by God’s people today. We should also understand that when a person observes the festivals of God today, he is not just commemorating God’s blessings in the agricultural harvests of the Holy Land. He is celebrating and learning about something far more importantGod’s very purpose and plan for the salvation of mankind!
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Date And Public Holiday
The earliest possible date is May 10 . The latest possible date is June 13 . The day of Pentecost is seven weeks after Easter Sunday: that is to say, the fiftieth day after Easter inclusive of Easter Sunday. Pentecost may also refer to the 50 days from Easter to Pentecost Sunday inclusive of both. Because Easter itself has no fixed date, this makes Pentecost a moveable feast.
While Eastern Christianity treats Pentecost as the last day of Easter in its liturgies, in the Roman liturgy it is usually a separate feast. The fifty days from Easter Sunday to Pentecost Sunday may also be called Eastertide.
Since Pentecost itself is on a Sunday, it is automatically considered to be a public holiday in countries with large Christian denominations.
Pentecost Monday is a public holiday in many countries including Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Benin, Cyprus, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Romania , Senegal, Switzerland, Togo and Ukraine.
Resurrection Wave Offering And 4th Holy Convocation Feast Day
Before laying out the next holy convocation feast day, it is very important to look at the WAVE OFFERING of the first grain of the first harvest. This is NOT a holy convocation day. This Wave Offering is barley, .
Since it is only a few days since the barley harvest was destroyed in Egypt. It is the very first harvest to be thankful for. Before we take a closer look at the Wave Offering, we will look at the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Why? Because the Wave Offering is prophetic of the resurrection, as the scriptures below start to reveal.
Do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a RELIGIOUS FESTIVAL, a New Moon celebration, or a sabbath day. THESE ARE A SHADOW of the things that were to come THE REALITY, HOWEVER, IS FOUND IN CHRIST. 1 Corinthians 15:16-17
But NOW IS CHRIST RISEN FROM THE DEAD, AND BECOME THE FIRSTFRUITS of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order. CHRIST THE FIRSTFRUITS, afterward they that are Christs at his coming. Colossians 2:20-23
John 19:14 and 42 in Youngs Literal Translation makes it plain that Jesus was crucified on the preparation of the Passover meal. In other words, on the 14th, when the lambs were killed. Supper was being prepared for after sunset, the beginning of the 15th.
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How Is Shavuot Celebrated In Israel
Shavuot in Israel is usually celebrated with an abundance of events: music festivals, exhibitions, and family-friendly activities. The holiday falls in May or early June each year, as the weather warms up and inspires outdoor activities. In 2021, Shavuot will fall from sundown on May 16 to sundown on May 17.
Significance Of Sukkot In The Bible
The observance of the Feast of Tabernacles is recorded in Exodus 23:16, 34:22 Leviticus 23:34-43 Numbers 29:12-40 Deuteronomy 16:13-15 Ezra 3:4 and Nehemiah 8:13-18.
The Bible reveals dual significance in the Feast of Tabernacles. Agriculturally, Sukkot is Israel’s “Thanksgiving.” It is a joyous harvest festival celebrating the completion of the agricultural year.
As a historical feast, its main characteristic is the requirement of Israel’s people to leave their homes and to dwell in temporary shelters or booths. The Jews built these booths to commemorate their deliverance from Egypt and their protection, provision, and care by the hand of God during their 40 years in the wilderness.
As a feast instituted by God, Sukkot was never forgotten. It was celebrated in the time of Solomon:
He offered the sacrifices for the Sabbaths, the new moon festivals, and the three annual festivalsâthe Passover celebration, the Festival of Harvest, and the Festival of Sheltersâas Moses had commanded.
In fact, it was during Sukkot that Solomonâs temple was dedicated:
So all the men of Israel assembled before King Solomon at the annual Festival of Shelters, which is held in early autumn in the month of Ethanim.
The Bible records the Feast of Tabernacle being observed during Hezekiah‘s time , and also after the return from exile .
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The Spring Feast Days
The Passover Jesus died on the cross on this day. He was the sacrificial Lamb whose blood covered the wooden posts on the cross, that our sins would be atoned for and the wages for sin, which is death, would pass over us. 1 Corinthians 5:7Romans 6:23
The Feast of Unleavened Bread This begins the first night of Passover and continues for seven days. Gods people do not eat anything with leaven, remembering their delivery from the bondage of slavery in Egypt and quick exodus that did not allow for bread to rise. Additionally, leaven is often a Biblical symbol for sin. We remember that likewise, Jesus, our sinless Savior, delivered us from the bondage of slavery to sin. We symbolically eat of His body when we celebrate communion, as He commanded at the Last Supper. 1 Corinthians 11:23-25
The Feast of First Fruits Jewish believers celebrate The Feast of First Fruits the Sunday after Passover, commemorating the day Jesus arose from the grave, His resurrected body, the first fruit of the kingdom of God. 1 Corinthians 15:20
The Feast of Weeks or Pentecost This is held fifty days after Passover and pointed ahead to the great harvest of souls. The Holy Spirit was poured out on the believers and the church was initiated on this day. Acts 2
The Feast Of Tabernacles
The Feast of Tabernacles is the most joyous of all the fall feasts. It is one of three Biblical pilgrim feasts, when Jewish males were directed to appear before the Lord. This meant the people traveled to Jerusalem to build and dwell in their booths. In addition, they brought tithes and offerings from their fall harvest to present to the Lord at the Temple.
God established The Feast of Tabernacles in: Exodus 23:14-17, Exodus 34:21-23, Leviticus 23:33-44, Numbers 29:12-40, Deuteronomy 16:13-17.
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From Feast Of Tabernacles To Simchat Torah
The last remaining holiday of the fall feasts which simultaneously starts a new season is Simchat Torah . The yearly cycle of reading through Scriptures for the Jewish people begins and ends on this joyous day. After reading the last passages in the Torah, the scrolls are rolled back to the beginning, to read the first verses of Genesis.
You may remember that in the spring Jewish people observe Festival of Weeks, commonly known by its Hebrew name Shavuot. It is a celebration of receiving the Torah on Mount Sinai. Shavuot focuses on receiving the commandments which confirmed Gods covenant with Israel. Meanwhile Simchat Torah celebrates living it out and having our lives changed by the Word of God.
Since the days of Judges and Prophets, the people of Israel have been following laws and obeying commandments that set a very high standard for their lives. In fact, with centuries gone by, they have not been able to fulfill the entirety of the Law. That is because all Scripture is fulfilled only in the Messiah. He is the embodiment of the Torah.
Although the Bible doesnt instruct us to observe Simchat Torah, we know that the joy of the Lord is our strength . So, we rejoice in Gods Word and glorify His name.
The Festival Of Ingathering
The Feast of Ingathering is observed after the barley, wheat, and fall harvest seasons of Palestine .
“Three times you shall keep a feast to me in the year. You shall keep the feast of unleavened bread . . . and the feast of the harvest of first-fruits of your labors which you have sown in the field: and the feast of ingathering, which is in the end of the year, when you have gathered in your labors out of the field”.
“And you shall observe the feast of weeks, of the first-fruits of wheat harvest, and the feast of ingathering at the year’s end”.
“Also in the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the fruit of the land, you shall keep a feast to the Lord seven days: on the first day shall be a Sabbath, and on the eighth day shall be a Sabbath”. For an explanation of the eighth day, see the chapters about the Festival of the Eighth Day.
“You shall observe the feast of tabernacles seven days, after that you have gathered in your corn and your wine: And you shall rejoice in your feast, you, and your son, and your daughter, and your manservant, and your maidservant, and the Levite, the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, that are within your gates. Seven days shall you keep a solemn feast to the Lord your God in the place which the Lord shall choose: because the Lord your God shall bless you in all your increase, and in all the works of your hands, therefore you shall surely rejoice”.
The Harvest and the Celebration
THE THREE SPIRITUAL HARVESTS
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