Feast of Weeks
The Holy Spirit Sent, a Harvest Imminent
The feast days of Yahweh's annual holy day calendar are the most dynamic and provocative tool every devised by Yahweh. The seven commanded feasts of the Bible encapsulate and reveal Yahweh's eternal plan to mankind. Nothing is more refreshing to Yahweh's people than keeping His holy days. The Bible also emphasizes truth we learn through the proper observance and celebration of these eternal feasts.
All of the annual feasts are anchored to the harvest seasons of Israel. Passover occurs at the spring barley harvest, followed by the early summer wheat harvest known as Feast of Weeks or Pentecost. The fall harvest, Feast of Tabernacles, celebrates the in-gathering of the fruit of the land and is a large harvest. All three seasonal feasts picture a greater spiritual harvest of the souls of mankind interwoven with the plan of redemption.
Leviticus chapter 23 begins, "And Yahweh spake unto Moses, saying, 'Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, concerning the feasts of Yahweh, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations even these are My feasts.'"
Verse 3 starts with the weekly Sabbath. In verse 5 we are given the date for Passover, the 14th day of the first month. After Passover, the Days of Unleavened Bread begin and are the first commanded feasts of Yahweh's calendar. This is noted in Leviticus 23:6.
Pentecost is the second of the three commanded feast seasons of Yahweh. Verse 15 of Leviticus 23 gives us instructions on how to count for the Feast of Weeks or Pentecost. In Exodus 23:16 Pentecost is referred to as the Feast of Harvest and in Numbers 28:26, it is called the Day of Firstfruits. The third feast season is in the fall of the year and includes the Feast of Trumpets, Atonement and the Feast of Tabernacles plus the Last Great Day. This lesson deals with the Feast of Weeks.
At Pentecost the Holy Spirit Was Sent
During the Feast of Unleavened Bread a barley sheaf was offered, known as Firstfruits, the first cutting. After 49 days (a week of weeks, 7x7) came the Feast of Pentecost--when the wheat harvest officially began.
In the very beginning of Leviticus 23 (verse 2) the word convocation was used. Convocation is from the Latin "convoco" ("con" meaning together and "voco" meaning call). From this we can ascertain that Yahweh wants to have a calling together of the people on his holy days. In the Hebrew it is "miqra," meaning someone or something called out, a public meeting or a rehearsal. Also, see Leviticus 23:21.
Pentecost has a very special spiritual meaning for the people of Yahweh. Had not Yahshua's disciples been keeping Pentecost, they would not have received the Holy Spirit. Pentecost, according to Mr. Webster, is the 50th (day), Shabuoth, a festival on the seventh Sunday after Passover, celebrating the descent of the Holy Spirit of Yahweh. John 4:24 states emphatically, "Yahweh is spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth!" We cannot worship Yahweh unless we have His Spirit--the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is also referred to as the "Comforter" in John 14:16 and 26.... "The Comforter Which is the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." The word "Comforter" is translated from the Greek word parakletos, meaning "one who goes alongside to help."
We see that Pentecost in the New Testament has just as great or greater meaning than it did in the Old Testament.
In the last words recorded in Luke, Yahshua commands the disciples to tarry at Jerusalem until they be endued with power from on high, Luke 24:49. The disciples had been with Yahshua for three and one-half years. They knew that the Sabbath and the annual holy days were a part of the worship that Yahweh had ordained.
In Acts 1:4-5 Yahshua told them to "wait for the promise of the Father which you have heard of Me. For John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days hence." In Acts 2 we read that the disciples were all in one place and in one accord in the upper room at Jerusalem. On the day of Pentecost there came "a sound as a rushing mighty wind" and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit.
Spiritual Grain Readies for Harvest
Like Passover, Pentecost has had two fulfillments, It was at the time of Passover that Yahshua was slain on the tree of Calvary. While the Jews in Jerusalem were observing Passover in commemoration of the children of Israel's leaving Egypt, the "Lamb that takes away the sin of the world" was impaled on the tree. Just as the blood of the lamb on the doorposts in Egypt saved those within the house from the destroying angel, the blood of the true Lamb redeems and saves us today. Yahshua was impaled on Passover for our transgressions and He was raised at the end of the weekly Sabbath and ascended to the Father on the first day of the week to become the resurrection Firstfruits for our justification.
The message of Passover is wonderful and meaningful. Subsequent to justification, Yahweh's continued fellowship and purpose with mankind would be contingent upon a person's life of holiness and obedience perfected in the fear and awe of the Almighty. This message of sanctification speaks to us loudly through the seven Days of Unleavened Bread, which commenced immediately after Passover.
We are reminded that our new life in Messiah cannot be lived with malice and wickedness but only with "the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth." We are also reminded that Yahshua will never dwell within anything that is not holy.
Thus, the message between Passover and Pentecost is the message of harvest. The grain must grow. Much maturing must take place between the wave sheaf (firstfruits) in the week of unleavened bread until the greater harvest gets underway at Pentecost. So it is with our lives. We must clean out the old leavening and grow and mature in Yahshua's likeness until the final harvest of the assembly.
The Covenant Becomes More Personalized
The Old Covenant was ratified on Pentecost in Exodus 24:1-3, but the Holy Spirit was not continually with Yahweh's people on an individual basis, but dwelt with the entire nation of Israel. Israel as a nation committed spiritual adultery, following the ways of the pagans around them. Instead of showing others the glory of Yahweh's way of life, Israel followed in the sins of their neighbors around then. Fleshly Israel was not able to comprehend fully Yahweh's plan for them and the world. This being the case, a change was needed.
On Pentecost, as mentioned in Acts, this change took place. The covenant is offered to us on a personal basis. The Holy Spirit was offered permanently to enable the people to keep the precepts and teachings of Yahweh. Before this time, the Spirit was given to individuals only for a specific task and then was removed.
The covenant that Yahweh proposed to Israel is the same promised to believers today, 1 Peter 2:9 and Revelation 5:10. Hebrews 8:9-13 and 10:16 corroborate that it is the same basic agreement built upon obedience to Yahweh's laws.
Now it is established on an individual's repentance and is not limited to the nation of Israel, but is open to all who will accept the Messiah's sacrifice and keep Yahweh's commandments (Acts 2:38; Revelation 12:17, 14:12). Today, the Holy Spirit is available to all who are willing to take hold of the covenant, Acts 5:32.
The Spirit of Yahweh will change the hearts and minds of people to humble obedience. While the carnal minds is enmity against Yahweh and his ways and is not subject to His laws, Yahweh's Spirit brings obedience and gives life. By allowing Yahweh's Spirit to guide and control our lives, we actually put Yahweh's laws into our hearts and minds,. In Hebrews 10:16-17 we read: "For this is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says Yahweh; I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them. Their sins and iniquities will I remember no more."
Count 50 Days - A Week of Weeks
There is not complete agreement among other Bible believers as to the proper way to correctly count Pentecost, or Feast of Weeks. The present Jewish (Hebrew) calendar begins counting from the first Day of Unleavened Bread, know as Abib 15, contending this is the Sabbath" of Leviticus 23:15.
Their count begins with 16 Abib and always ends with the sixth day of the third month of the Biblical year, known as Sivan 6. Thus, their Feast of Weeks falls on any day of the week. This allows them to begin the harvest as early as possible, as they were prohibited from harvesting any wheat until the offering was made.
Some groups follow the Hebrew calendar and observe the same day as do the Jews. Others count 50 days, then add a day and end up on a Monday. While we have studied the various reasons given for observing the day of Pentecost on other days, it is our conclusion that it should always be observed on a Sunday.
The determination for the Feast of Pentecost (Feast of Weeks), which is recorded in Leviticus 23, starts in verse 15, "And you shall count unto you from the morrow after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven sabbaths shall be complete." Note that this is exactly the same day referred to in verse 11. This word "SABBATHS" is Shabbath, the weekly Sabbath.
In other words, seven weekly Sabbaths shall have passed by. Therefore, it is obvious that in order to determine the day of the week on which the next Feast day occurs, we should start counting from the morrow after the weekly Sabbath, including the first day of the week in the count.
We count seven Sabbaths complete (seven complete weeks) starting with the very first day of the first week, which is Sunday. Then verse 16 reads, "Even unto the morrow after the seventh Sabbath shall you number 50 days; and you shall offer a new meat offering unto Yahweh."
This is all quite plain. The morrow after the seventh Sabbath brings us again to a Sunday. On the other hand, if we count 50 days starting with Sunday after the first Sabbath, we also come to a Sunday.
Deuteronomy 16:9 deals with the proper counting of Pentecost and reads, "Seven weeks shall you number unto you; begin to number the seven weeks from such time as you begin to put the sickle to the corn." This verse alone tells us that a period of seven weeks much be allowed, which is a total of 49 days. The word weeks is shabuwa, which means seven or week. A week starts with a Sunday and ends with a Saturday, more precisely the Sabbath.
The very fact that Pentecost has to be counted every year shows that it is anchored to a weekly Sabbath and not to Abib 16 as currently followed by the Jewish calendar. There Pentecost always falls on the 6th of Sivan, which is the 6th day of the third month, and there is no need to count if one always ends up on Sivan 6. But the Bible shows that both the wave sheaf day and Pentecost always occur on the same day of the week, which automatically puts them on a different calendar dates each year.
While Pentecost is but one special holy day, it always follows the weekly Sabbath. It was the Rabbis who changed the counting of Pentecost fron the first day of the week to Abib 16. This was accomplished by interpreting Leviticus 23:11-16 as a High Sabbath instead of the weekly Sabbath.
The purpose behind this change was to allow an early beginning to the barley harvest. As verse 14 reads, "Until that very day, until you have brought the offering of your Elohim, you shall eat no bread or parched grain or fresh ears*; it is a law for all time throughout the ages in all your settlements," (The Torah by the Jewish Publication Society). A footnote on the asterisk following "ears" explains that it is "of the new crop."
Therefore, because the Jews could not harvest their crops until the wavesheaf offering was made during the Days of Unleavened Bread, the Rabbis interpreted the "Sabbath" as meaning a high or annual Sabbath instead of the weekly Sabbath. This allowed reaping of the crops to begin as soon as the offering was made on Abib 16. They would then begin their count to the Feast of Weeks from the day after the High Sabbath (Abib 16), allowing Pentecost to float throughout the week but always ending up on Sivan 6.
- What does Leviticus 23:15 tell us about the counting of weeks--are we to count partial weeks?
NOTE: Some of the translations read, "...from the morrow after the Sabbath, from the day you brought in the wave sheaf seven sabbaths complete shall there be," Rotherham.
- There are two separate Hebrews words used to delineate the High Sabbaths from the weekly Sabbath. These can be noted by observing the differences in the Hebrew characters: Sabbaton is the High Sabbath and Shabbat refers to the weekly Sabbath. Which Sabbath is meant in Leviticus 23:15-16?
NOTE: The photocopy below is from the New International Version Interlinear of Leviticus 23:15-16. Is there any apparent difference between the Hebrew characters translated Sabbath(s) in the two verses?
Speaking of the day of the week, Sabbath is the same in both verses 15 and 16 of Leviticus 23, showing that it is the weekly Sabbath we are to count from to establish Pentecost (from the New International Version Interlinear).
- If Leviticus 23:15 refers to the High Sabbath we are to count from, then we have a problem, as seven of the High Sabbaths are to be complete, and the word "Sabbaths" is spelled exactly alike in each instance! Further, what are we told to do in verse 16?
NOTE: There are no High Sabbaths after the week of Unleavened Bread before we come to Pentecost. This shows the counting of Sabbaths in these verses can refer only to the weekly Sabbath. Therefore, the Sabbaths in verses 15 and 16 of Leviticus 23 refer to the WEEKLY Sabbath, making Pentecost fall on Sunday. The week is not over until the seventh-day Sabbath completes the week and we observe the following day, Sunday, as the day of Pentecost.
Sadly, not only has rabbinic Judaism corrupted both the Passover as well as the Feast of Weeks (Pentecost), but nominal Christianity has also perverted both of these special days given by Yahweh;.
By not keeping the Passover correctly, Judaism has come to reject the Messiah and does not acknowledge Yahshua as the One sent from on high to redeem His people from their sins. Judaism acknowledges that He was a good teacher, but contends that He was but a man. To this day Jews do not accept His statement that He is "the way, the truth and life. No one can come to the Father but by Me," John 14:6.
Unable to worship in the manner of the Levitical priesthood because the Temple is no longer standing, Judaism has continued their worship in synagogues throughout the world. Some look forward to a reconstructed Temple where they can again sacrifice animals and gain favor with the Almighty in our time.
They have merged the Passover with the first day of Unleavened Bread and observe the Passover on the 15th, when Scripture clearly says the 14th is the Passover and the 15th starts the Feast, Leviticus 23:5-6. By not observing Passover correctly in the Messiah's time, they failed to see the significance of the Savior's death on Passover day and to this day keep it a day late.
Christianity has also perverted the Passover into what is often called "The Lord's Supper." It is taken frequently instead of once a year. Typically it is taken every Sunday morning (still called a "supper"), either one particular Sunday a month, every three months, or in a daily ritual known as the mass. Most school boys recognize that a memorial is held once a year. The birth of our nation is celebrated annually on the Fourth of July. The end of May has its "Memorial Day" when the dead are remembered once a year. Paul clearly said the Passover is a memorial to remember the Savior's death, 1 Corinthians 11:26. It happens once a year on the anniversary of His death.
Rabbinic Judaism has perverted the meaning of the Hebrew "Shabbat" of Leviticus 23:15 to mean the High Sabbath of Abib 15 instead of the weekly Sabbath. They make Pentecost or Feast of Weeks fall on the sixth day of the third month every year and on any day of the week. While the Messiah walked this earth, the Sadducees were in control of Temple worship and they rightly counted Sunday as the correct day for Pentecost.
A number of branches of Christianity have given the day of Pentecost another meaning that was never intended by Yahweh. In their search for the sensational aspect of worship, they try to repeat that day upon which Yahweh sent His Holy Spirit to this earth. In trying to emulate the outpouring of His Spirit, these people seek the miraculous, the flamboyant, the attention-getting activities of the world. They want a name for themselves. But they miss the true meaning of this day!
The miracles attached to the sending of the Holy Spirit to this earth were to inform the Jews that this was some supernatural activity from on high. The sound of a rushing wind, tongues of fire, hearing the disciples speak in their native tongue--all of this was to mark the coming of the Holy Spirit to this earth. Now the Spirit is here permanently and is not to be taken from this earth.
Proofs from the Exodus of Israel
The Bible shows which is the proper day to observe Pentecost by comparing Scripture with Scripture. Notice carefully Exodus 19:1-2. Israel left Egypt on a Thursday because in that year Abib 14 fell on a Wednesday and they had to remain in their houses that night until morning, Exodus 12:22-23. During the daylight hours they spoiled the Egyptians and then left Goshen to assemble at Rameses, Exodus 12:37.They then departed that night.
- What additional information do we find in Numbers 33:3?
NOTE: We are told they journeyed on the 15th of Abib, on the day after the Passover. They did not go out on the 14th as some try to teach. Israel had to stay in their houses and could not go out until daylight and then they gathered up their possessions and assembled at Ramses.
- Read carefully Exodus 19. They came to the wilderness of Sinai the SAME DAY, Thursday. In verse 10, Moses is told to sanctify the people, today (Thursday), tomorrow (Friday) and (verse 11) be ready the third day which was the Sabbath, when Yahweh would come down Mt. Sinai in the sight of all the people. What day and time of day did Yahweh appear to the people? Verse 16.
- It is important that we comprehend that ALL that took place from Exodus 19:16 to Exodus 24:3 took place in one day, on the weekly Sabbath. If you study the texts from Exodus 19:16 through 24:3, you will see there is no morning or new day mentioned. What did Moses then do concerning all that Yahweh had told him? Verse 4.
NOTE: All that is contained from Exodus 19:5 through Exodus 24:3 includes the Covenant that Yahweh is proposing to Israel.
- Take special note that the Ten Commandments are included in the Old Covenant that Yahweh proposes in chapter 20. Are the Sabbatical/Jubilee cycles mentioned? Chapter 23:10-11. The weekly Sabbath? Verse 12. Can we mention other deities? Verse 13.
- In addition to the holy times Israel was given in Exodus 23 as a part of the Covenant Yahweh is proposing, does He also mention annual Holy Days throughout the year which are to be observed by Israel? Verses 15-17.
NOTE: Verse 16 mentions the Feast of Harvest, the firstfruits of our labors, also known as Pentecost.
- Read Jeremiah 31:31-33, and compare with Hebrews 8:8-10. Is Yahweh going to change His laws or alter the requirements of His people? Or is the New Covenant made with His people by putting His laws into their mind and writing them on their heart?
NOTE: By sending His Holy Spirit to this earth to remain with the people, Yahweh has given them the ability to keep His unchanging laws which include all His Sabbaths, Pentecost as well.
- In Exodus 19:4-6, Moses is told to say to Israel that they will be a kingdom of priests if they will keep His Covenant. What was Israel's response after Moses had set before them all the words of the Covenant? Verse 8.
NOTE: Israel was so impressed with the spectacular display of Yahweh's power in delivering them from the Egyptians that they willingly approved of whatever Yahweh had in mind for them.
- Moses then wrote down all the words Yahweh spoke to Him, Exodus 24:4. The next day after the Sabbath, the first day of the week, Moses rose up early in the morning and built an altar which represented Yahweh's presence (Exodus 20:24), with the 12 pillars representing the 12 tribes, verse 4. Moses then took half the blood of the oxen and put it in basins, verse 6, and the rest he sprinkled on the altar. What did he then do and what was the response of the people? Verse 7.
NOTE: Moses again reads the terms of the Covenant as he had in verse 3. "And be obedient" implies that Israel would willingly do anything additional.
- What did Moses do next to bind the Covenant according to verse 8?
NOTE: The blood sprinkled upon the altar (verse 6) represented the dedication of the people to Yahweh's way of life. The blood upon the people showed Yahweh's acceptance of them with His favors and blessings. Romans 12:1.
- The Old Covenant is also known as the "Blood Covenant," for no covenant ever made to Yahweh has been made without blood to seal and make it binding, Hebrews 9:22. Even the New Covenant was made with the shed blood of the Messiah. Who is the mediator of the New Covenant? Hebrews 9:154-15.
The Promised Helper: a Powerful Force for Good
As we have already learned in previous lessons, the Holy Spirit is the invisible, supernatural Power that flows from Yahweh and is shared by the Son. It is a force that Yahshua likened to the wind, John 3:8. It is most likely similar to gravity, magnetism or electricity, all of which are invisible forces of our material world.
- Why did we as human beings need the Holy Spirit? Romans 8:7; Galatians 5:16-17.
NOTE: The spirit of man is influenced and controlled by the fleshly pulls of human nature, the world and Satanic influences. Until we have a power stronger than the powers in the world, we fight a losing battle.
- Do carnal, fleshly people have a love for Yahweh and His way of life? Romans 1:28-32.
NOTE: This describes the natural, animal instincts of unconverted man.
- Did the Apostle Paul, a human like we are, recognize the conflict between the Holy Spirit of Yahweh and his own carnal mind? Romans 7:23. Who did Paul know would deliver him? Are we able to deliver ourselves from the grip of human nature, or must we rely upon supernatural Power? Verses 24 and 25. Paul knew better, but lacked the power by himself.
NOTE: Passover pictures repentance from our sinful ways and turning to Yahweh, recognizing we need the Savior's cleansing blood for sin.
- To show that we acknowledge our sinful past, what should we now do? Acts 2:38.
NOTE: We are no better than the people of Yahshua's time. Our sins killed the Prince of Life, Acts 3:15.
- By observing the Passover Memorial once a year, we acknowledge the Savior's death for our sins. Keeping the seven Days of Unleavened Bread shows our willing submission to Yahweh's perfect law. Did our Savior promise His followers special help to walk in the narrow way? Luke 24:49 and Acts 1:4.
Yahshua Is the First of the Spiritual Harvest
The seven annual Holy Days of Leviticus 23 picture the master plan Yahweh has for the human race. Most people reject His Sabbaths and Holy Days and have lost sight of His great plan of redemption. It is only through accepting the sacrifice of Yahshua the Messiah as our Passover and then putting out sin (exemplified in the Days of Unleavened Bread) that we can receive the Holy Spirit.
There are two main grain harvests in Palestine. The earlier barley harvest comes in the spring, after the winter rains and begins on the day of the wave sheaf offering. This is the gathering of the first mature barley stalks brought to the priest to be accepted by Yahweh and is the wave sheaf offering or the "first of the firstfruits."
Then follows the general harvest after Pentecost and continues until the Feast of Tabernacles. Yahshua is pictured as the Wave Sheaf offering of Leviticus 23:10. The saints are pictured as the Feast of Weeks harvest or the "wheat" of Matthew 13:37-43.
- Is Yahshua referred to as the "Firstfruits of them that slept"? 1 Corinthians 15:20-23. Is He also called the Firstborn among many brethren? Romans 8:29.
- Leviticus 23:10-11 shows that the priest had to wave the first cutting or harvest of the barley to be accepted by Yahweh. This was also a petition that the rest of the harvest would be acceptable, that the harvest might be bountiful. After Yahshua was put to death, entombed and then resurrected, was it also necessary that He be offered as a "Wave Sheaf" for acceptance by Yahweh? John 20:17.
NOTE: Yahshua is called the "Firstfruits," as we have seen in 1 Corinthians 15:20-23. As the most holy sacrifice, He had to appear before Yahweh to be accepted by Him, just as the wave sheaf of grain was waved by the priest in ancient Israel before the harvest could begin. His disciples were not permitted to touch Him lest He be contaminated. On the first day of the week (John 20:1), He ascended to the Father and was accepted by Him. After His acceptance the way was opened for the rest of the human harvest to enter into everlasting life.
- Following His acceptance by the Father as the perfect Wave Sheaf, could His disciples then touch Him? Matthew 28:9; John 20:20-28. Was this the same day? John 20:19.
NOTE: There was a teaching abroad that Yahshua did not really return in a glorified body, but was only a spirit, a figment in the minds of the disciples. Note that in the first epistle of John the beloved Apostle states that Yahshua was real, they "handled" Him. 1 John 1:1.
- What day of the week did Mary see Him in the garden and think He was the gardener? John 20:13-19. It was the same day--the wave sheaf day--the beginning of the count to Pentecost.
NOTE: Some think the Savior had a wave sheaf of barley under His arm to better symbolize His role. Nevertheless, it is clear that He ascended to the Father on the very day of the wave sheaf offering, or the first day of the week when the Sabbath was past. The Firstfruit must be holy so the rest are also holy. Romans 11:16.
- Are we also known as a type of the firstborn? James 1:18. How does Hebrews 12:23 refer to the believers? What characteristic is noted of this group in Revelation 14:4-5?
NOTE: This group is redeemed from the earth (verse 3) as well as from among men, showing that they are not celestial beings, but formerly humankind. They are faultless as they stand before the throne of Yahweh.
- Why is it so important to be among the ranks of the firstborn? Revelation 20:5-6.
NOTE: It will be a thousand years before the next group is resurrected, verse 5. Those who are in the first resurrection will not be harmed by the second death, which is the lake of fire, 20:14 and 21:8. Thus, those in the first resurrection will not be human, but will be resurrected immortal spirit and reign with the Messiah for a thousand years before the next resurrection.
The Proper Counting of the Feast of Weeks
The present (but erroneous) Hebrew calendar, which dates back to the time of Hillel II (about the 4th century), shows Pentecost falling on any day of the week. It always falls on the sixth day of the third month known as Sivan. The question arises, "If the Feast of Weeks (Pentecost) always falls on Sivan 6, why bother to count fifty days?" The answer is that the present method of the Hebrew calendar is not the correct counting toward Pentecost as was done by the priestly tribe when the temple stood.
At the destruction of the temple in 70 C.E., the priestly Sadducees relinquished their guidance and control of worship to the Pharisees. The rabbis today are an extension of the Pharisees who, using the majority of the Babylonian Talmud, are the guiding influence of present-day Judaism.
The present Jewish method of determining the time of the Feast of Weeks does not employ the counting of weeks at all. Days are counted instead of weeks. A week is out when the Sabbath or the seventh day ends. The next day (Sunday) should be the day to observe Pentecost.
|Passover (Yahshua's Death)||Feast of Unleavened Bread||Resurrection|
7 complete weeks
Feast of Weeks
|This chart shows the counting of the Feast of Weeks, beginning with the wave sheaf following the weekly Sabbath and ending with the 50th day. Pentecost means fiftieth.|
- What day of the week was the wave sheaf offered? Leviticus 23:11.
NOTE: The Savior's acceptance was the day after the weekly Sabbath on what we know as Sunday. John 20:19-20. Notice it was the "same day," or the first day of the week. The wave sheaf offering must always follow the weekly Sabbath that falls within the Days of Unleavened Bread, thus always falling on the same day of the week.
- How many days were the Levites to count? Leviticus 23:15-16.
NOTE: Seven Sabbaths does not mean to count seven Saturdays, but to count seven weeks. Although the King James does not make this clear, both verses 15 and 16 have the Hebrew suffix "fully" or "wholly," meaning the count of the weeks should begin on the first day of the week and end at the Sabbath. Take special note that verse 15 says we are to begin our count with the day after the weekly Sabbath (Strong's Concordance No. 7676) and end with the day after the weekly Sabbath (No. 7676). There is no way we can start with the High Sabbath of the 15th of Abib and still end with a weekly Sabbath.
- Look at the secular calendar used by the world in business and commerce. Even though there are forces extant conniving to change the calendar, the weeks still begin on Sunday and end on Saturday, or the Sabbath. Does Yahweh tell us to observe Pentecost "after your weeks be out?" Numbers 28:26.
NOTE: We are to count seven weeks (7 x 7), which gives us 49 days or seven complete weeks. The next day (50th day) is Sunday, the proper time to observe Pentecost.
- Did the disciples know how to count Pentecost? Acts 2:1.
NOTE: They were all in one accord and in one place in Jerusalem as Yahshua had told them. Had they not been obedient to assembling there, they would not have been given the Holy Spirit. Obviously, they counted correctly.
- Fifty days after the Father in heaven accepted the Savior's sacrifice for the sins of the world, the Holy Spirit was sent to this earth. What special offering was Israel to present to Yahweh in the Old Testament? Leviticus 23:17.
NOTE: The two wave loaves are brought from the habitations of the people and offered to Yahweh. A number of scholars say these two loaves represent the Old Testament and New Testament believes.
- Is the Assembly (ekklesia) called the firstfruits? James 1:18.
NOTE: The loaves are to be baked with leaven. If leaven represents sin, wickedness and corruption, then leaven would never be commanded to be added to the bread. We understand that leaven can mean the doctrine or teaching that Yahshua is the true Bread from heaven promised in the Old and revealed in the New Testament, permeating both Old and New Testament assemblies, John 6:35-40 and 48:58. Note that Leviticus 7:18 shows that leaven is included in the peace offering. Amos 4:5 also uses leaven in a good sense. However, it was not to be burned on the altar.
The Importance of the Holy Spirit
In addition to the Holy Spirit's being sent to this earth at the time of Pentecost to indwell the followers of the Messiah, another change took place that is little noticed among Bible students. The earth had been corrupted by man's disobedience to Yahweh. As man continued to degenerate, he became like a brute beast. The earth had become contaminated by the shed blood of the innocent, beginning with Abel.
When the atoning blood of the Savior was spilled on the ground, the earth was cleansed so that the Holy Spirit could reside permanently here on this earth. Before the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, men were given the Spirit to perform a task and then the Spirit was taken away.
- What was David's prayer in Psalm 51:11?
NOTE: David had sinned a grievous sin and was thoroughly broken up over his affair with Bathsheba. He prayed that Yahweh would leave him with a spirit of willingness and unenforced obedience. The Holy Spirit in that era was taken away and given by Yahweh.
- In the construction of the tabernacle, Yahweh's Spirit guided Bezaleel with special gifts of art. What were they? Exodus 35:31-33.
NOTE: After Israel came into the land of Palestine, there was none appointed to replace Joshua as the leader of Israel. Instead, judges were raised up when necessary to guide Israel until their death. When needed, another judge was raised up. Notice that it was the judges who were given then temporary indwelling of the Spirit to accomplish Israel's deliverance, Judges 2:18.
- Othniel was one of the first judges. What gave Othniel the wisdom and strength to act on Yahweh's behalf? Judges 3:10-11.
- Note in the following examples the Spirit of Yahweh came upon the servants enabling them to serve in a special way: Judges 11:29 (Jephthah); 1, 14:5-6, 19, 15:14, 19 (Samson). The Book of Judges is an example of mankind's living without the guidance of Yahweh's Holy Spirit when "in those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes," Judges 17:6.
- Notice what happened after the Holy Spirit came to earth following the resurrection of the Messiah. How long did Yahshua say the "Comforter" would abide with His people? John 14:16.
NOTE: Comforter is from the Greek parakletos and means one called to the side of another for help. Yahshua would shortly leave His disciples, but the mighty Spirit Power would be sent to this earth to remain here. We should not pray for Yahweh to send His Spirit to this earth--He did that at Pentecost. Our prayer should be that the Spirit would guide us and bring us closer to Yahweh.
- Ten years after the Spirit came at Pentecost, Cornelius, a Roman soldier, came to visit Peter, Acts 10. (You should read the entire chapter.) A sheet filled with all sorts of unclean animals and birds came to earth in Peter's vision three separate times. What was Peter commanded to do? Acts 10:13.
NOTE: This was ten years after Pentecost and Peter said he had never eaten anything that was common or unclean, verse 14. This chapter is not teaching that we can eat toads, snails, rats, vultures, etc. The gist of the chapter is found in verses 15 and 28.
- Paul follows up on the lesson given Peter in Ephesians 2:11-22. Even though the Gentiles were not generally accepted into a covenant relationship with Yahweh, what do we find in Ephesians 2:12-13? What is broken down by the shed blood of the Messiah? Verses 14-15.
NOTE: The middle wall was a stone palisade dividing the Gentiles from Israel in worship. Symbolically, it kept the Gentile from becoming a partaker of the Covenant and separated Jew and Gentile.
- Paul took Peter to task because Peter had been eating with some Gentiles. But when the Jews came in, he quickly separated from the, Galatians 2:11-14. What had Peter told the Jews that first Pentecost day? Acts 2:38-39. James gives the same message a little clearer in Acts 15:14-17.
NOTE: Now that the Holy Spirit has come to this earth to remain here and to abide in the hearts of Yahweh's people, Yahweh has also called the Gentiles into the New Covenant as well.
- What conclusion did Peter draw when he finally comprehended the message of the sheet of unclean creatures? Acts 10:34-35.
NOTE: It is through the shared acceptance and belief in Yahshua that both Jew and Gentile have access to the Father. Now we can approach Him through the Holy Spirit directly. If we are obedient and have his Spirit abiding in us, we have access to the throne of grace. We no longer need to approach Him through animal sacrifices and the Levitical Priesthood.
The New Covenant: Yahweh's Law Residing in Your Very Heart and Mind Through the Holy Spirit.
- The shed blood of Yahshua paid the penalty for our sins. Are we also given the promise of eternal inheritance? Hebrews 9:15-17.
NOTE: Not only are our sins of the past forgiven, but we are set apart as inheritors of the future Kingdom. We are sealed by His Holy Spirit until the day of redemption, Ephesians 4:30.
- The Bible promises that we are sealed by the Holy Spirit when we believe in the Savior, Ephesians 1:13. Does the Bible also promise that this sealing by means of the Holy Spirit is but a small "down payment" of yet future good things? Ephesians 1:14. See also 2 Corinthians 5:5.
NOTE: We are given a token portion of the Holy Spirit now as a pledge of still greater and better yet to come. Just as a buyer gives earnest money to pledge payment in full at a future time, so Yahweh gives us a small portion of His Spirit to see what we will do with that which He has given us.
- The Savior is referred to as the "Mediator of a New Covenant" in Hebrews 9:15. The Greek "diatheke," translated "testament," means covenant, agreement, testament or will. To whom is the promise of eternal inheritance made? Same verse.
NOTE: The partakers of the "eternal inheritance" will rule and reign with Yahshua the Messiah. To be an inheritor of the Kingdom means to rule and administer Yahweh's laws over flesh and blood human beings.
- Because the people couldn't keep their end of the agreement, Yahweh made a new Covenant with Israel and Judah as prophesied in Jeremiah 31:31-34. This is clarified in Hebrews 8:8-13. Note that Hebrews 8:8 reads, "Finding fault with them," refers to the people. Did Israel have the heart to obey Yahweh when He made the first Covenant with them? Deuteronomy 5:29.
NOTE: Israel did not have Yahweh's Spirit dwelling in them, therefore, they did not have the proper desire to keep His laws from the heart.
- Ezekiel promises Israel that He will give then a totally different heart from the one of stone. What does He promise in Ezekiel 11:19 in spite of their disobedience? Notice in Ezekiel 36:21-27 what action Yahweh will take for the sake of His Holy Name.
NOTE: Yahweh will not change His holy and righteous laws. He promises to change the heart of the people to obey His laws by having His Spirit working within the people to live and obey His laws. See that promise also in Ezekiel 39:29.
- The New Covenant will not be made with carnal Israel and Judah, nor with those who are not converted spiritually to Him. He is seeking those who will worship Him in spirit and in truth, those who willingly obey His laws. Are His people still called Israel in the New Testament? Galatians 6:16 and Romans 11:17-18.
NOTE: Yahweh promises He will forget past sins when we repent and willingly follow His way of life and become the kind of people ancient Israel never measured up to. Hebrews 8:10-12.
- Paul realized the deeper things of Yahweh are revealed only through the Holy Spirit. He said that our mind collapses in trying to fathom the great things in store for those who become obedient followers, 1 Corinthians 2:9. Read the next seven verses, beginning with 10 through 16. What mind do we have when we follow Paul's teaching? Verse 16.
- Can we understand the depth of Yahweh's truth without His Holy Spirit? John 13:16. Can we worship Yahweh as He wants without the Holy Spirit? John 4:24.
NOTE: Ancient Israel worshipped as a body, and all kept the same holy times and followed the prescribed sacrifices and worship. Today, True Believers are scattered and often isolated. Fellowship is not always possible. The Savior promised that where two or three are gathered He would be in their midst, guiding them by His Spirit.
- Is the true Body of Messiah, the Assembly, organized with positions of responsibility? Ephesians 2:18-20. What or Who is the cornerstone upon which the Assembly or body of believers is built? Verse 20.
NOTE: The Assembly is likened to a spiritual building that continues to grow. It is built upon the teachings of the prophets of the Old Testament and the Apostles of the New Testament. Peter said we are living stones, a spiritual house, to offer spiritual sacrifices to Yahweh, 1 Peter 2:5.
- Is the Body of believers, the Assembly, to have Yahweh Himself dwell with them? 2 Corinthians 6:16. How does Yahweh dwell in us now? Ephesians 2:22. Note also Hebrews 12:18-23. What is the Ekklesia or Assembly called in verse 23?
The Spirit on Earth Permanently
The Spirit of Yahweh, the Holy Spirit, has come to the earth to reside here permanently. If we are true to Yahweh's Word, the Spirit will remain with us so long as we do not reject or quench it, 1 Thessalonians 5:19. The Spirit has often been described as an invisible shield Yahweh puts around those who answer the call and are chosen. As you allow His Spirit to permeate and control your life, you begin to think like the Savior, act like Him, and become followers of Him in everything.
The Holy Spirit is not a person, but is the mighty, invisible power of Yahweh that permeates the universe. When we are in harmony with that powerful Spirit, our goal is to qualify to be in the Kingdom with Yahshua the Messiah. We live in the world, but do not become a part of the world. We take from the world only those things necessary to sustain physical life. Our goal is to be in that first resurrection.
Pentecost is a memorial of Israel's ratifying the agreement to obey all the laws of Yahweh. By entering into this covenant and stating they would obey, they were promised to be blessed above all people on earth. The annual holy days are to be kept by his people as a memorial to His great power. Pentecost is kept as a remembrance of the New Covenant relationship through the Messiah, Yahshua, when the Holy Spirit came to earth to indwell believers.
Yahweh rejected Israel's paganized worship and allowed them to go into captivity because they had not kept His laws. He will do the same to us if we substitute Sunday for the Sabbath, and man-made customs and pagan days for His holy days.
Yahshua was the first of the spiritual harvest. Paul tells us that Yahshua is the firstborn among many brethren, Romans 8:29. Pentecost deals with the second seasonal harvest. It is the first resurrection, the great harvest of souls pictured by the wheat harvest, Matthew 13:37-39. James says, "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. Hebrews 12:23 calls the believers the assembly and congregation of the firstborn.
Pentecost recalls the redemption of the first harvest of souls known as the assembly or "called-out ones." Those who take hold of the New Covenant, and allow the Holy Spirit to guide and control their lives in obedience to Yahweh's way of life will become living examples to others now. We are to seek His will by searching the Bible for truth. This preparation will allow us to administer Yahweh's laws and judgments because we will have qualified as kings or priests in the Kingdom, Revelation 1:6, 5:10, 20:6.
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