The Feast Of Pentecost
Excerpts from writings by G. Warnock and P. Woods
The Feast of Pentecost was the second of Israel's three annual feasts. As the Scriptures reveal, this feast is also called the Feast of Harvest, of Firstfruits, or of Weeks. Pentecost is the New Testament name, and is so called because Pentecost means "fiftieth." A close examination of Leviticus 23:15, 16 will reveal why this Feast is called fiftieth. It was because the feast began on the fiftieth day after the Passover Sabbath, or "the morrow after the seventh sabbath." This is speaking of the weekly Sabbath which sometimes is misunderstood as the annual "Passover Day." You cannot count seven Passover Day sabbaths and come to Pentecost; thus it must be the weekly sabbath. This parallels with the New Testament. From the time [Messiah] rose from the dead until Pentecost was fifty days. He then remained here on earth forty days, speaking of the things concerning the kingdom of [Yahweh], and then He left as He said He would. After ten more days prophecy was once again fulfilled - [Yahweh's Spirit] was sent to rest upon those disciples who were waiting for the promise of the Father. (Acts, chapters 1 & 2).
THE AGE OF PENTECOST
Pentecost is a tremendous subject as we begin to think of the many implications it has in the Word. Many books have been written on the power and esteem of this feast, and men who have appropriated in some measure the experience of Pentecost have proved by the Word and by experience its reality, and the Word has been confirmed with signs following (Acts 5:12). We will not begin to exhaust all there is to know about this feast in this article. The Feast of Pentecost is truly an [esteemed] feast, but in time, it will have to give way to a more [esteemed] feast, The Feast of Tabernacles. How strange, it seems, that good men of [Yahweh] who have discerned by the Spirit the fulfillment of Passover and Pentecost in the [Assembly], should now close the door to further revelation, and deny that the last feast has any application to our day and age! At the turn of the twentieth century, when [Yahweh] began to restore Pentecost, and right up to the present time, many evangelical circles have gone to considerable trouble in an attempt to prove by the Word and experience that Pentecost was an event of ancient history, and that its power and esteem are not for present-day experience. But a large group of hungry souls have proven by the Word and experience that Pentecost was and is for our personal appropriation now, just as Passover was. So let us not stop with the Passover experience, but let us go on to enjoy the fullness of the Pentecostal experience as recorded in the Book of Acts. And then, let us not stop at the fullness of Pentecost, but let us go on to appropriate the experience the glories of the Feast of Tabernacles, in which Pentecost has paved the way.
Even among the saints who are hungering and thirsting for more of [Yahweh], there is a tendency to believe that a restoration of early apostolic Pentecost is the hope of the [Assembly], and many will be satisfied with a return of apostolic power and blessing. True, we have a long way to go yet to equal the power and esteem of the early [Assembly]; but that power and [esteem] is by no means the sum and substance of genuine [belief in Yahshua]. That was Pentecost in the early hours of the sun; and then on and up to the Feast of Tabernacles, which will utterly eclipse the [esteem] [ of any people in any past dispensation. Of course, we must enter into this [wonderful] experience one step at a time. And we will certainly have to enter fully into the [esteem] of Pentecost before we can hope to enter the [esteem] of Tabernacles.
[Yahweh] is continuing the great work of restoration which He began at the end of the Dark Ages. "For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept: line upon line, line upon line, here a tittle, and there a little: for with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing; yet they would not hear." (Isaiah 28:10-12)
An examination of the passages concerning the typical Pentecost are most enlightening, especially in view of the real spiritual Pentecost in the New Testament. Having a historical record for the actual fulfillment of the feast, it is comparatively easy for us to look back into the type, and see exactly what it was intended to signify.
PENTECOST, A NEW FEAST
"Ye shall offer a new meat (meal) offering unto [Yahweh]" (Lev. 23:16). The Passover was wonderful, and the experience of it in our lives produces pardon and justification of all our sins. The old is taken away, sins are forgiven, the past life is forgotten, and the sinner is left with a clean record before [Yahweh] and ready to start a new life. But now in your new [esteemed] state of being, the grace of [Yahweh] invites the justified man to receive a new experience in the [set apart] Spirit, whereby he can offer a "new ... offering unto the [Yahweh]." He is invited to drink in [Yahweh's] Spirit, and be baptized with the [spirit of Yahweh]. In justification he is pardoned; in this new experience he is empowered for service (Acts 1:8). The early disciples were cleansed by the Word which [Yahshua] had spoken unto them during His earthly ministry (John 15:3). The original Greek for the word "receive ye" proves that right then and there the Spirit of [Yahweh] entered into the disciples, just as [Yahweh] in the beginning breathed into Adam's nostrils the breath of life and man "became a living soul." So now the last Adam (who had now become, by virtue of His death and resurrection, a 'life-giving Spirit,' 1 Cor. 15:45) breathed into His disciples the breath of spiritual life, and they passed experimentally from death unto life.
This experience, however, was not sufficient by way of equipping them for the great and mighty tasks which lay just ahead of them; and so [Yahweh] "commanded that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the [set apart Spirit] not many days hence" (Acts 1:4, 5). So they tarried in Jerusalem for the promise of the Father," and after ten days the [set apart spirit of Yahweh] came down upon them, and literally revolutionized their whole concept of life and service by transforming weak and humble vessels into mighty apostles of truth and power and authority.
PENTECOST, A HARVEST FEAST
In one instance it is called "the feast of harvest" (Ex. 23:16). It was so called because they had just completed the harvesting of their grain. The sheaf had already been waved before [Yahweh] fifty days before, heralding the coming of the harvest; and now the harvests time had come. And what a tremendous harvest there was! Peter preached his dynamic sermon under the "dunamis" (the power of Yahweh's Spirit), and some 3,000 souls were added to the [Assembly]. A few days later there was another harvest, and we are told "the number of men was about five thousand" (Acts4:4). The revival continued with ever-increasing power from day to day, "and believers were the more added to [Yahweh], multitudes both men and women" (ActsS:14). Great and mighty signs and miracles were wrought amongst the people, until (in very short order) Jerusalem, and then Samaria, and then the uttermost parts of the earth literally rocked under the mighty impact of the [set apart spirit] through His anointed ministers. Truly the Day of Pentecost was a great day!
PENTECOST SIGNIFIED THE FORMATION OF THE BODY
"Ye shall bring out of your habitations two wave loaves of two tenth deals: they shall be of fine flour: they shall be baked with leaven; they are the firstfruits unto [Yahweh]" (Lev. 23:17). The loaves of bread would speak to us of [Yahweh's] people in union with [Messiah]. "For we being many are one bread, and one body; for we are all partakers of that one bread" (1 Cor. 10:17). The number "two" is quite significant in that it refers to [Messiah] in the fullness of His Body. It would be interesting to follow the meaning of the number "two" through the Scriptures. There is Adam and Eve, two and yet one; Eve being the compliment, the likeness, the counterpart of Adam. Then there is the sun and moon; the moon being the [esteem] of the sun, having no light of its own. There were two rows of bread on the table of shewbread in the [set apart] place of the tabernacles; also the two tables of stone in the ark of the covenant - the law written first on the heart and mind of the only begotten son, and finally on the heart and mind of His people. There were the two trumpets that were used for the calling of the assembly and for the journeying of the camps. And so we read concerning [Yahshua] and His Body, that He died and rose again that He might "make in Himself of twain one new man" (Eph. 2:15).
So we find that in the "two" loaves of this new meal-offering we have the completion of this new Body of Believers known as the [Assembly], wherein all the believers were "made... one by the grace and Spirit of [Yahshua]" (Eph. 2:14). The grain had been harvested, and now instead of a sheaf we have two loaves, a body of believers. The loaves were "baked with leaven" because from the time of Pentecost right up until now, the [Assembly] of [Yahshua] has never been really free from division, sectarianism, and carnality. How wonderful it is to know that [Yahweh] knew exactly what the [Assembly] would be like throughout her long history, and made the type fit accordingly!
PENTECOST SIGNIFIES THE GATHERING OF THE FIRSTFRUITS
Pentecost signifies a great harvest, but compared to the coming [esteem], it is really but a harvest of firstfruits. "The feast of harvest, the first-fruits of thy labour...' (Ex. 23:16; Lev. 23:17). And so [Messiah], as the Sheaf that was waved, was the "firstfruits" of a great harvest to follow. Pentecost was that harvest. But even the harvest of Pentecost is the firstfruits of the coming harvest of the Feast of Tabernacles! As wonderful as Pentecost is, it is but the firstfruits of great and mighty things awaiting the [Assembly] of [Yahshua Messiah] in the Feast of Tabernacles.
If there was to be a great ingathering of souls at Pentecost, then it would require the power of the [set apart spirit] to accomplish a great task. Therefore [Yahweh] not only imparted great miracle-working power, but a new language to the people that all men of all nations might hear the wonderful works of [Yahweh] proclaimed in their own tongue, and be won to [Yahshua HaMoshiach]. This was the day when a "new meal offering' was to be presented to [Yahweh]; thus [Yahweh] imparted a new language. See what a great secret was locked up in the counsels of [Yahweh] until the Day of Pentecost was revealed?! If it was [Yahweh's] plan that the nations should at first be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth by means of the confusion of languages, why should it be thought incredible that [Yahweh] should now restore the gift of languages to His disciples, that they might preach the Gospel in the tongues of many nations, and reverse the order (or shall we say the disorder) of Babel? And that is exactly what the all-wise [Elohim] did. In the beginning He confused the languages of the disobedient, to scatter them over the face of the earth and make many nations out of one
Gen. 11:1-9). But now in the time of the harvest, [Yahweh], in grace and wisdom, imparts to His own disciples the gift of languages (languages which came into being because of Babel), that He might gather together a people for His name, and create one [set apart] nation out of the midst of many nations - a nation that would serve Him in obedience and love and unity, even the [set apart] nation and [set apart] priesthood of the [Assembly].
So now the pattern of Pentecost takes on real meaning. "And when the day of Pentecost was fully come (was being fulfilled), they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind (a violent, impetuous blowing), 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 [set apart spirit], 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 2:1-6).
THE DISORDER OF BABEL REVERSED
Notice the contrast between Pentecost and Babel. There [Yahweh] did "confound the language of all the earth," but here at Pentecost harmony is restored by the gift of languages, and the people are "confounded." At Babel the people were "confounded" because they could not understand the language of their own fellow workman and fellow citizens; here at Pentecost the people are "confounded" because they can actually hear and understand the tongue of foreigners!
Thank [Yahweh] for the truth of Pentecost, and for the hope and confidence that [Yahweh] has implanted in the hearts of His people. And for the testimonies we have heard of how [Yahweh] moves among those whom He has "called," that those from many nations might hear the gospel of [Yahshua Messiah] in his own language by the power of [Yahweh's Spirit] given on the Day of Pentecost. An interesting fact is that many of the language translators have been/are missionaries forming a language and translating the Bible into a language the native people can read.
Oh, that we might be overcomers and filled with His Spirit.