The Significance of Penticost

Since today is Pentecost Sunday as traditionally celebrated by the church, I’ve been considering its significance.  Initially a Jewish feast established under Moses, Shavuot, the Feast of Weeks, or Pentecost is reckoned by counting 50 days from the Feast of Firstfruits (7 weeks and a day).  According to Leviticus 23: 15, Pentecost (meaning fiftieth in Greek) occurs 50 days after Firstfruits on the day after the 7th Sabbath following.  That means Firstfruits always occurs on a Sabbath and Pentecost always falls on a Sunday. (When I google the Jewish feast dates, they vary each year and do not fall on Sunday. I haven’t figured that out yet because Leviticus seems pretty clear. “Count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath…”)

God’s fingerprints are all over this in the numbers of days related to this event.  This strengthens the testimony of His satisfaction with the Firstfruits offering which was declared openly on Pentecost when He released the supply of fullness of the Spirit to the church.

Notice:

  • Pentecost is seven weeks plus one day from Firstfruits:
    • Seven times seven (7 x 7 = 49), seven being the biblical number of completion or perfection, indicates God’s full satisfaction with the sacrifice that brought forth the initial harvest and the end of the Law as a means of establishing righteousness.  The resurrection of Jesus, who could not be held by the grave because death had no claim on him since he died not for his own sins but for the sins of others, occurred on the first day of the week, the day after the weekly Sabbath of Passover week.
    • Adding an additional day to the completion of the 7th week adds an 8thday.  Eight is the biblical number of new beginnings. For example:
      • Noah and his family were 8, saved by the flood from the corruption of the world, which gave the world a new beginning.
      • Jesus was raised on the first day of the week (the 8th day) which gives all who believe a new beginning.
  • The reckoning begins under the Law (Sabbath) and is fulfilled on the first day of the week, the 8th day/Sunday, under Grace.

According to Acts 2, in pouring out the Spirit on Pentecost, God declared the full satisfaction of the Law in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus.  He declared the establishment of His Kingdom and, by the release of the Spirit, established Christ-followers as true and effective witnesses of all He has done in redeeming us through the sacrifice, resurrection, and glorification of His Son.

Now let us fulfill Christ’s promise and calling in the power of the Spirit: “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8).

(Leviticus 23:9-22, esp 15; Acts 1:8, Acts 2:8, 22-25,30-33, 1 Corinthians 15:20-23)

LH

The Coming Flood

 

For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.  (Habakkuk 2:14)

 

When will these days come?  Perhaps when the church is ready to steward the outpouring.  Just as the waters of Noah’s flood of devastation did not come until his boat was ready, this flood of renewal may not come until the church has prepared herself and the Kingdom of God to be ready to receive it.  Since the day of Pentecost, there have been many subsequent outpourings.  Some of them have had long and lasting influence and others have been gone almost as quickly as they came.  In part this seems to have depended upon the readiness of those on whom the Spirit fell.  In order to prepare for “the big one” we should earnestly seek to become that church of which the apostle spoke, the one that stands in “the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ…” (Eph 4:13) and who makes known to the heavenly powers “the manifold wisdom of God.” (Eph 3:10).

Almost certainly we will need many lesser outpourings to prepare us for the greater one.  We will also need to change the way we see ourselves, the world around us, and of course, the one who made us and redeemed us.  Our current thought processes, our current level of devotion, our present approach to a life of faith, our approach to the world around us will not take us there.  We need a new way of thinking.  We must come to see Christ as Lord of All, not merely the religious realm.  We must see how His life and principles impact every aspect of life and we must learn to implement them in daily life.  We must learn to convey that truth to the world around us, not in a coercive way as rulers, but as servants.  We must both demonstrate and “teach all nations” the full breadth and scope of what it means to live in “all that he has taught us.” (Mat 28:18-20).

“ Repent (translated from the Greek metanoia: literally, to change the mind) therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out,  that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus,  whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all the things…” (Acts 3:19-21)

LH