PENTECOST

 

The feast of Pentecost was to be on the fiftieth day after the first festal sabbath of unleavened bread. “And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the sabbath, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven sabbaths shall be complete: Even unto the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall ye number fifty days; and ye shall offer a new meat offering unto the LORD.” (Leviticus 23:15-16) From the time of firstfruits, seven sets of seven were to be numbered, and the fiftieth day was to “offer a new meat offering”. On this day was the wheat harvest. The firstfruits of the wheat harvest were to be waved similarly to the sheaf of barley, however, after they were ground to a fine flour they were baked into two loaves with leaven to be waved by the priest before God.

Pentecost always fell upon the third month of the year. “In the third month, when the children of Israel were gone forth out of the land of Egypt, the same day came they into the wilderness of Sinai.” (Exodus 19:1) For ancient Israel, this means the Pentecost season fell upon the time when God descended in fire upon the mountains of Sinai, where He covenanted in their obedience to make them “a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation”. This was the season after which God would instruct Moses for forty days regarding things pertaining to the Kingdom of God, giving him His laws, and instructing him regarding his priesthood and sanctuary that His presence might dwell among the people.

Moreover, the children of Israel “gathered themselves together at Jerusalem in the third month, in the fifteenth year of the reign of Asa…And they entered into a covenant to seek the LORD God of their fathers with all their heart and with all their soul…And all Judah rejoiced at the oath: for they had sworn with all their heart, and sought him with their whole desire; and he was found of them: and the LORD gave them rest round about.”

(2 Chronicles 15:10) We are further told at the time of the wheat harvest that a great covenant was made, assuring the people of the favor, blessing, and presence of God. At this time, idolatry was removed from the kingdom of Judah, and Maachah, queen mother of Asa, was removed from her throne for her wicked idolatry.

But the prophetic importance of Pentecost , while drawing parallels to these events, far outweighs either of them. Today, many believe that the significance of Pentecost was the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the apostolic church. This is true, yet there is a greatly important event that Pentecost commemorates which has received little attention, and has been almost wholly forgotten.

THE PROPHETIC PENTECOST

We are given a definite timeline of the Messiah in the fifty day count from the day of firstfruits that we may follow. We are told to the disciples, Jesus “shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God: And, being assembled together with them, commanded them 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 Holy Ghost not many days hence.” (Acts 1:3-5)
Christ had promised that they would be baptized with the Holy Ghost “not many days hence”. It was the evening of the day of Firstfruits that Christ appeared to His disciples, and forty days he remained with them. And from this time forward, we are told, “
So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following.” (Mark 16:19-20) But Christ, when He ascended, was not immediately set on the right hand of God, neither did the apostles immediately go forth to preach everywhere, being confirmed with signs.
When Christ ascended into heaven, there was a great event that was first to take place before the disciples would “be baptized with the Holy Ghost” nine days later on the day of Pentecost.
To understand what event took place, we must study carefully the Pentecost event where the disciples were “endued with power from on high.” (Luke 24:49)
We are told “when the day of Pentecost was 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 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 filled with the Holy Ghost” (Acts 2:1-3) This was the baptism which Christ had promised was poured out on the disciples when they were of one accord. This baptism, as foretold by John the baptist, who said the Messiah would “baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire” (Matt. 3:11), was given by Christ as a earthly signal of a heavenly event.
These were of one accord, not only with one another, but with Christ in heavenly places. It was Christ’s prayer that we might be one, even as the Father and the Son are one. “I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one…” (John 17:23) The unity that prevailed was prophesied to happen upon Pentecost; in fact, every year as the Israelites sojourned from their lands to gather to Jerusalem, it was prophesied in one of the ancient Psalms of David.
King David wrote a number of Psalms called “The Songs of Ascent”. These songs were prophetic in nature, but also symbolized the sacred joy and union that was to exist amongst the various tribes coming together to celebrate the feast. One of the Psalms sung as the tribes journeyed forward to Jerusalem is found in Psalm 133. It reads:

A Song of Ascent.
“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments; As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the LORD commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.” (Psalms 133:1-3)

It is indeed good and pleasant for brethren to dwell together in unity; in one accord. And notice what this unity is likened to. “It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard…”. What event was being drawn upon by David’s Psalm to describe this unity? It was the inaugeration of the priesthood, with the sanctuary and it’s services.

“Take Aaron and his sons with him, and the gar­ments, and the anointing oil, and a bullock for the sin offering; … and gather thou all the congregation together unto the door of the tabernacle of the con­gregation…. And Moses said unto the congregation, This is the thing which the Lord commanded to be done.” (Lev. 8:2-5)

The God of heaven had specifically instructed that Moses should hold this inaugeral ceremony, by anointing Aaron as high priest, and his sons with him to officiate in the priestly office. Moreover,

“Moses took the anointing oil, and anointed the tabernacle and all that was therein, and sanctified them. And he sprinkled thereof upon the altar seven times, and anointed the altar and all his vessels, . . . to sanctify them. And he poured of the anointing oil upon Aaron’s head, and anointed him, to sanctify him.” (Lev. 8:10-12)

How was this event to relate to what happened upon Pentecost? Moses was representing God the Father, and Aaron was representing the Voice of the Father, who would officiate as High Priest.

“And the LORD said unto Moses, See, I have made thee as God to Pharaoh: and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet.” (Exodus 7:1)

Moses was to represent in a shadow form of God the Father exalting Christ as a man to His right hand, to officiate in the High Priestly office in the garb of humanity. While Aaron and Moses were brothers, being one in unity, they were to display also that higher unity which exists between the Father and the Son. And as it was not to Aaron alone, but also his sons who were anointed to officiate with him, it was not to Christ alone, but also to the firstfruits of His resurrection would the priestly robes of white linen be given.

“Thou shalt put upon Aaron the holy garments, and anoint him, and sanctify him ; that he may minister unto Me in the priest’s office. And thou shalt bring his sons, and clothe them with coats : and thou shalt anoint them, as thou didst anoint their father, that they may minister unto Me in the priest’s office: for their anointing shall surely be an everlasting priesthood throughout their generations.” Ex. 40: 13-15

Let the scene come before your mind. The Father arraying Christ His Son as a man, bearing the marks of the crucifixion, with His High Priestly garments of divine righteousness. Then setting the firstfruits with Him with the fine linen coats of the priests of the sanctuary and anointing the Son with His Holy Spirit, and the Son anointing the priests of the Father for service In the earthly picture, the anointing ceremony took a total of seven days in the tabernacle: “And ye shall not go out of the door of the tabernacle of the congregation in seven days, until the days of your consecration be at an end: for seven days shall he consecrate you. …Therefore shall ye abide at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation day and night seven days, and keep the charge of the LORD…: for so I am commanded.” (Leviticus 8:33-35)

And on the eighth day, the fire of the presence of God came into the midst of the congregation:
“And it came to pass on the eighth day, that Moses called Aaron and his sons, and the elders of Israel; And he said unto Aaron…to day the LORD will appear unto you…And they brought that which Moses commanded before the tabernacle of the congregation: and all the congregation drew near and stood before the LORD. And Moses said, This is the thing which the LORD commanded that ye should do: and the glory of the LORD shall appear unto you…And Moses and Aaron went into the tabernacle of the congregation, and came out, and blessed the people: and the glory of the LORD appeared unto all the people. And there came a fire out from before the LORD, and consumed upon the altar the burnt offering and the fat: which when all the people saw, they shouted, and fell on their faces.”  (Leviticus 9:1-2)

Miraculously, this reveals the exact timeline of the Pentecost feast. Christ revealed Himself to the the disciples at the end of the first day of the 50 day count to Pentecost, which was where the second day of the fifty begins. He taught the disciples forty days, bringing us to forty-two days. He ascended into heaven for the consecration ceremony, taking seven more days, and on the eighth day, the Spirit of God, like fire, came out from heaven and was poured out upon the waiting saints.

THE RIGHT HAND OF POWER

Does this speak true to the Biblical record of events regarding Pentecost? Unquestionably yes! As soon as this heavenly ceremony was completed, the Holy Spirit descended upon the disciples in rich currents, and Christ was indeed glorified, even with the glory which He had with the Father from before the world was. The Pentecostal outpouring was Heaven’s communication that the Redeemer’s inauguration was accomplished. According to His promise He had sent the Holy Spirit from heaven to His followers as a token that He had, as priest and king, received all authority in heaven and on earth, and was the Anointed One over His people.
Christ declared to the council of the chief priests before His crucifixion, “Hereafter shall the Son of man sit on the right hand of the power of God.” (Luke 22:69) In the testimony of the apostles, they confirm this event with their words. Testifying that Christ is now set at the “right hand of the power of God”, signifying His reception of the power of God given Him from the Father (Matt. 28:18).
“Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear. For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, Until I make thy foes thy footstool. Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.” (Acts 2:33-36)
According to this testimony, the pouring out of the Holy Spirit on the disciples was the earthly sign that Christ, after His resurrection as the Son of man, had been inaugurated as our Royal High Priest in the heavenly sanctuary! We are told, like as Aaron was anointed with the oil representing the Spirit of God, that Christ was “anointed with the oil of gladness above His companions” (Ps. 45:7, Heb. 1:9). It was further stated that His exaltation to the right hand of the power of God was intimately connected to His priestly ministration.
“The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool… Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth. The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.” (Psalms 110:1-4)
That the right hand of God is specifically a reference to Christ’s high priestly ministry cannot be overlooked by those who carefully study the Scriptures. Paul the apostle equates it to this several times. First, with the priestly intercession of Christ: “It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.” (Romans 8:34) Then in Hebrews, it continues this theme in connection with His perfect priestly offering of laying down His own life for sin, rather than mere sacrifices of bulls and goats which can never take away sin. “And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;” (Hebrews 10:11-12)
And again, “Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man.” (Hebrews 8:1-2) Do you see that the right hand of power was the day when Christ received His priestly designation from the Father on the Day of Pentecost?
We are told when He sat on the right hand of God, after His ascension that we should know “what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places…And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.” (Ephesians 1:19-23)
Thus Christ’s power and life were to fill the body of Christ, of whom He is the head over His church.
“Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.” (Ephesians 4:8) We looked at Ephesians 4:8 earlier. It said He took a band of captivies into heavenly places with Him, but then it tells us He “gave gifts unto men”. What gifts were given? The gifts of the Spirit for the edifying of the body of Christ! This manifestation of the gifts was given on the Day of Pentecost as Christ had promised to them, that we might successfully do the work He has called us to do on this earth. More than this, Ephesians 4 speaks about the unity of the body that is to exist in the first six verses, that we might know the prerequisite to receiving a large measure of His Spirit and power dwelling in the church. The unity that existed between Moses and Aaron, and that exist between the Father and His beloved Son is to prevail amongst the brethren in the church. “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” This is what is commemorated on Pentecost, and it is for this unity that we are to strive towards.

ENTERING THE HOLY PLACE

Where did Christ go on this day of Pentecost? After the four thousand years of the courtyard experience, preparing His people to understand the truth regarding His death as the Passover Lamb, He entered into beyond the veil of the Holy place of the Sanctuary. We are told that our hope is “within the veil; where the forerunner has for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedek.”
This apartment was entered into by the priests, after they had slain the lambs, that they might do the special service in preparing the congregation to receive the finishing work of the atonement at the end of the year. While the sanctuary on earth was made with man hands, the Lord pitched the heavenly tabernacle Himself of which the earthly was but a model.
We are told “
Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the representations of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us… (Hebrews 9:24)
Although entering beyond the veil, and hidden from the sight of the congregation, nevertheless, the people were to, by faith, be represented with the priest who was interceding on their behalf. Especially was the high priest commanded to do a special work in the holy place throughout the entire year. He was to pour forth the pure olive oil for the seven-branched candlestick to keep the candlesticks burning continually, that there might be unceasing light. “Command the children of Israel, that they bring unto thee pure oil olive beaten for the light, to cause the lamps to burn continually. Without the vail of the testimony, in the tabernacle of the congregation, shall Aaron order it from the evening unto the morning before the LORD continually…” (Leviticus 24:2-3)
In the book of Revelation, Christ is introduced to us as having ascended into the heavenly sanctuary. When you enter into the holy place, on the south side of the Sanctuary, there was seen the seven-branch candlestick. We are told that “the seven candlesticks…are the seven churches.” (Rev. 1:20) Thus, Christ is continually giving to His church the reproofs necessary that they might receive access to the precious anointing oil of His Holy Spirit.

ANOTHER WITNESS TO CONFIRM THE TESTIMONY

Not only the priests, but the entire tabernacle was anointed for service when Aaron and his sons were anointed. In a perfectly laid out time prophecy in Daniel 9, we are introduced to this reality again. In the great 70 week prophecy, where 490 years are determined upon Jerusalem and the people of Judah. This prophecy went from 457 BC at the decree of king Artexerxes to restore and build Jerusalem, establishing it’s governmental authority, and continuing until 34 AD, after Messiah the Prince was rejected by the tribe of Judah. In this prophecy, a certain experience was to take place within this alloted period of years. One of the points that were to be fulfilled in this time was to “anoint the Most Holy” (Dan. 9:24).
The tabernacle God instructed Moses to build and anoint was an earthly model representing a heavenly tabernacle. “Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man.” (Hebrews 8:1-2)

Two Loaves of Leaven

Not all leaven is bad. Leaven is a raising agent. On Pentecost, the priest was commanded to wave two loaves of the firstfruits of the wheat harvest. These two loaves of bread were filled with leaven. Many however, in interpretting the prophetic symbolism, are suggesting that this means there is corruption in something the priest offers to God.
On the day of Pentecost, did Christ offer something full of corruption to God? The wheat harvest symbolizes the salvation of souls. The firstfruits are offered in a loaf of leaven to signify the Kingdom of God in the church.
Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.” (Matthew 13:33)

Christ had on the Day of Pentecost two groups who were newly filled with the Kingdom of God. For forty days, He had taught His disciples the things of the Kingdom of God. Like the wheat loaf filled with leaven, these were filled with the knowledge of God and were presented, filled with the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. Said James, “Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.” (James 1:18)
When ascending into heaven, He had carried the captive firstfruits of the harvest to the Kingdom, to minister as a royal priesthood there. These also were symbolic of the firstfruits of the harvest, and filled with the Kingdom of God, being anointed for ministry with our heavenly High Priest, who was “anointed…with the oil of gladness above his companions.” (Heb. 1:9)

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