Today’s article is part of Brother Frank Natoli’s guest column on the Seven Feasts of Israel.
The Day of Pentecost is a type and shadow of the Reception of the Holy Ghost
- Leviticus 23:15,16; Exodus 34:22-23; II Chronicles 8:12-13
- Occurs exactly seven weeks (plus one day) after First Fruits
This feast is also referred to as the Feast of Weeks, and its purpose served as the consecration of the harvest season and was viewed primarily as an agricultural festival. Every male Israelite was required to bring the first harvest of grain to the Lord, including two leavened loaves of bread.
Freedom in 50
It was called the Feast of Weeks because it was celebrated seven complete weeks after the Feast of First Fruits, on the 50th day. The number 50 (translated “pentecost” in Greek) is significant in that it is also represented in the scriptures as the number of Jubilee (deliverance).
The Jubilee held special meaning to the Jews, which proclaimed every 50th year a year of celebration or a year of Jubilee (Leviticus 25:8-17). This proclamation provided liberty to all Israelites who were in bondage (slavery) and the return of ancestral belongings to anyone who had been compelled by poverty to sell them. All mortgaged lands except lots or houses inside walled cities were restored to the original owners! The land was also left fallow (unplanted) for one year to regain its fertility.
Freedom in Jesus Christ
Truly, the liberty experienced through the Spirit of God parallels (and exceeds) the liberty of the Jubilee year mentioned above (2 Corinthians 3:17). As followers of Christ, when we enter into a covenant with Him, everything that sin took from us is restored, as we are brought back into the presence of God (Genesis 1:27-28; 2:24; Matthew 27:51; Ephesians 2:14-16). Mankind was spiritually bankrupt, but through Jesus Christ and the enabling power of the Holy Ghost, we have been made rich in His Spirit.
When we consider the operation of the Holy Ghost within our life, the contrast of the New Testament fulfillment of this feast is remarkable. Through faith, repentance, baptism and the reception of the Holy Ghost (Romans 15:16), we are spiritually empowered to take part in the harvest of souls for Jesus Christ (2 Timothy 1:7). It is not coincidence that the souls of mankind are often referred to in agricultural terms, such as branches (John 15:5), clay (Romans 9:20-21), fruit/trees (Matthew 7:17), harvest (Luke 10:2), sheaves (Micah 4:11-12), and wheat/chaff (Matthew 3:12).
Harvest of Souls
Many consider the arrival of the Holy Ghost on the feast day of Pentecost as the birth of the New Testament church. It also helps to establish the day after the Jewish Sabbath as the Lord’s day (Sunday).
Acts 2 provides a beautiful depiction of the outpouring of God’s Spirit, first by consecration and then by harvest. Peter, who just seven weeks earlier denied the Lord three times (Matthew 26:75), preached with power and conviction, quoting the Psalms and the prophecies of Joel. Under the influence of the Holy Ghost, about three-thousand souls were brought to a condition of repentance and obedience to Christ.
This number of converts aligns perfectly with a corresponding incident in the Old Testament. When Moses received the two tablets (the birth of the Law and the Ten Commandments), he returned to find sin and corruption in the camp of Israel. After offering them a choice of serving God or not, all the rebellious individuals who opposed God’s Law and Commandments were put to death (Exodus 32:26-28). The number of men who perished that day — about three thousand men. In this corollary, the stunning difference between the Law and the Spirit becomes evident:
- The Law brought death, written in stone — cold, hard, and inflexible
- The Spirit brought life, written in the heart — loving, merciful, and forgiving
Hebrews 8:7-10 explains it like this:
“For if the first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second. For finding fault with them, he sayeth, behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the House of Israel and with the House of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the House of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people.”
Brumpa-ba-ba-bam! The Feast of Trumpets is coming at you next Friday.
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.