This coming Sunday is Pentecost Sunday. Pentecost is a Greek word which means “fiftieth day”. Fifty days ago, we celebrated Easter Sunday; the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. According to Jewish law given by God, Pentecost is:
Shavuot – known as the Feast of Weeks in English and as Pentecost (Πεντηκοστή) in Ancient Greek, is a Jewish holiday that occurs on the sixth day of the Hebrew month of Sivan (late May or early June). The holiday is one of the Shalosh Regalim, the three Biblical pilgrimage festivals. It marks the conclusion of the Counting of the Omer, and its date is directly linked to that of Passover. The Torah mandates the seven-week Counting of the Omer, beginning on the second day of Passover, to be immediately followed by Shavuot. The word Shavuot means “weeks” and the festival of Shavuot marks the completion of the seven-week counting period between Passover and Shavuot.
Since the Feast of Weeks was one of the “harvest feasts,” the Jews were commanded to “present an offering of new grain to the Lord” (Leviticus 23:16). This offering was to be “two wave loaves of two-tenths of an ephah” which were made “of fine flour . . . baked with leaven.” The offerings were to be made of the first fruits of that harvest (Leviticus 23:17).
Jesus was crucified as the “Passover Lamb” and rose from the grave at the Feast of Firstfruits. Following His resurrection, Jesus spent the next 40 days teaching His disciples before ascending to heaven (Acts 1). Fifty days after His resurrection and after ascending to heaven to sit at the right hand of God, Jesus sent the Holy Spirit as promised (John 14:16–17). The promised Holy Spirit arrived on this day; Pentecost and the Feast of Weeks.
The spiritual significances of the Feast of Weeks are many. Some see the two loaves of leavened bread that were to be a wave offering as foreshadowing the time when the Messiah would make both Jew and Gentile to be one in Him (Ephesians 2:14–15). This is also the only feast where leavened bread is used. Leaven in Scripture is often used symbolically of sin, and the leavened bread used in the Feast of Weeks is thought to be representative of the fact that there is still sin within the church (body of Christ) and will be until Christ returns again.
On the Day of Pentecost or the Feast of Weeks, the “firstfruits” of the church were gathered by Christ as some 3,000 people heard Peter present the gospel after the Holy Spirit had empowered and indwelt the disciples as promised. With the promised indwelling of the Holy Spirit, the first fruits of God’s spiritual harvest under the New Covenant began. Today that harvest continues as people continue to be saved, but there is also another coming harvest whereby God will again turn His attention back to Israel so that “all of Israel will be saved” (Romans 11:26).
The feasts of the Lord were times when God had an “appointment” to meet with His people. Pentecost is no different. What happened on Pentecost that is so important to us?
- The church lives purposely.
Jesus stated in Acts 1:8: But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me.
Pentecost changes the direction of your life. No longer do you live for earthly pursuits. From the day that the Holy Spirit comes upon you, you are empowered to live a life that witnesses of Jesus.
And He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Matthew 4:19
From the day that the Holy Spirit comes upon you, your interests are secondary to the witness of the Living Christ. First let me bury my father; first let me go say goodbye to those in my house…..NO, first, you will be witnesses of Me!
- The church lives prophetically.
Traditional Judaism says that it was on the Feast of Weeks that Moses received the law of God on Mt. Sinai. While there is no biblical evidence to support this fact, Peter in his speech to the astounded crowds when straight to the word of God to validate what was happening.
You are part of the church and you no longer live for the American dream or grandma’s dream or whatever. Pentecost means you are a “living epistle”; you live the Word and interpret all personal, national, and world events biblically.
But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. John 16:13
- The church lives powerfully.
Jesus stated that the Holy Spirit brings power and the disciples were to release that power. The disciples don’t control it; they don’t command it; they release it! Through the Spirit comes healing; through the Spirit comes revelation; through the Spirit comes conviction; through the Spirit comes deliverance. All things related to the church come through the Spirit. Without the leading of the Spirit, there is no God ordained and recognized move!
For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. Romans 8:14
And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. Romans 8:9
But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Galatians 5:18
And so he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. Romans 8:3-4
‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty. Zechariah 4:6
Everything God does is by the Spirit!
Expect a divine appointment with God this Pentecost and get ready for something fresh and new in your life!