Feast of Pentecost

By Frank Brown

Yahweh’s Holy Days depict the various steps in His plan of salvation, as seen in the three harvest seasons in the land of Israel . First is Passover, at which time Yahshua gave Himself to redeem sinners to Yahweh. This had been acted out annually for centuries after the first Passover, when a lamb was sacrificed that led to the release of Israel from Egyptian slavery. This looked forward to the time when Yahshua would give Himself as the True Passover Lamb, and release Believers from the bondage of sin.

Next comes the seven days of Unleavened Bread, when Israel began their departure from Egypt and traveled to the Red Sea . A week later they crossed over out of Egypt and into the wilderness. In like manner, Believers begin to put sin out of their lives, “sin” being depicted as leaven. But we are still in the “wilderness” of the world and its glitter, and will be until Yahshua’s return.

These two annual events are now past, and we are looking forward to the next step in the picture, the Feast of Weeks, also known by its Greek name, Pentecost. This means “fiftieth,” or “count fifty,” and that is exactly what we do. We are told to count seven Sabbaths, beginning with the day of the wave sheaf offering, which comes during the week of Unleavened Bread. “Seven Sabbaths shall be complete,” then the day after the seventh Sabbath, the fiftieth day, is the Feast of Weeks (Lev. 23:15-16).

There are two major events associated with this festival. First, Yahweh led the Israelites to Mount Sinai in the third month, where He gave them the Covenant, the centerpiece of which was the “Ten Words,” or Ten Commandments. They were not the entire covenant, however. It begins in Exodus 19:1, and ends at Exodus 24:8, where the Israelites accepted and confirmed the covenant, and Moses sprinkled the altar and the people with blood (Ex.24:6-8).

But it did not take long for Yahweh to see that the people were not capable of being obedient. After 215 years in Egypt , they had thoroughly immersed themselves in the sins of their overlords. At that time Egypt was the “sin” capital of the world, and the Israelites were not immune to its attractions, just as we are not immune to the trash we see all around us. Even while Moses was gone back up the mount to receive the Commandments on tablets of stone, plus the rest of the Torah, the people convinced Aaron to make an idol to remind them of Yahweh, and they then had a big orgiastic feast. Even Aaron was swept along in this idolatrous worship, for he said, ‘these be the gods that brought you out of Egypt – tomorrow we will have a feast to Yahweh’ (Ex. 32:1-5).

This was a grief to Yahweh, for He said, “O that there were such an heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children for ever!” (Deut 5:29). But it was not to be, so He revealed some more of His plan, so that we can now “have the heart” to obey Him. In Jeremiah 31:31-14, He said He would write His Laws in our hearts. He did this by making a way for us to receive the Holy Spirit into our hearts and minds, to dwell there. This is confirmed in Hebrews 8:10 and 10:16. This is the only way we can be pleasing to Him, according to Romans 8:1-9 and other Scriptures.

This brings us to the second great event associated with the Feast of Weeks, and this one is found in Acts 2, the giving of the Holy Spirit, first to the Apostles, then to those who were baptized into Yahshua’s Name and had hands laid on them for receiving of the Holy Spirit to come “dwell with them,” leading and guiding. Now, those whom He is calling out of “ Egypt ”(sin), have a helper so that we now can obey in a spiritual sense. This was the fulfillment of the promise Yahshua made in John 16 to send the Holy Spirit after His ascension to the Father. He reiterated this in Acts, just before He ascended.

(Acts 1:1-9 NRSV)  "In the first book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Yahshua did and taught from the beginning {2} until the day when he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. {3} After his suffering he presented himself alive to them by many convincing proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of Yahweh. {4} While staying with them, he ordered them not to leave Jerusalem , but to wait there for the promise of the Father. "This," he said, "is what you have heard from me; {5} for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now." {6} So when they had come together, they asked him, "Master, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel ?" {7} He replied, "It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. {8} But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem , in all Judea and Samaria , and to the ends of the earth." {9} When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight."

He had been resurrected late on Sabbath afternoon, Abib 17, and became our Wave Sheaf offering the next day, on what we call Sunday, by apparently appearing before Yahweh to be accepted that very day. Several things point to this being true.

First, He was and is our “All-In-All.” He is our elder brother, our High Priest, our Advocate before the Father, our Passover sacrifice, our Wave Sheaf offering, our Redeemer, our soon-coming King.

Second, Miriam mistook Him for the gardener. Could it be that he was holding a sheaf of barley in His arms? (John 20:15).

Third, He would not allow Miriam to touch Him until He had ascended to His Father (John 20:17). But later that same day, He did allow Himself to be “touched” (Mt. 28:1-9). Apparently this occurred just a few minutes after He had ascended to heaven, and then descended back to earth.

He had spent 40 days with them since His resurrection, and had told them to wait in Jerusalem until they received “power from on high.” This occurred 10 days later (a total of 50 days from Wave Sheaf), on the Feast of Weeks, as Jews from all over the Middle East came to Jerusalem and gathered at the Temple. Of course, this is all recounted in the second chapter of Acts.

The Apostle Peter (Kepa), who had been a craven coward only a few weeks before, by denying that he knew Yahshua, much less that he was a disciple, now arose and gave a powerful, inspired sermon to those who had witnessed these miracles and heard the apostles speak “the wonderful words of Yahweh” in their own tongues. The “speaking in tongues” simply meant that they were speaking in languages that they had not learned. Truth is, the real miracle here was in the hearing, not the speaking. Notice what some of them said. Read Acts 2:1-12. In verse 1, “and when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.” They were sitting in the Temple . The term, “fully come,” means that it was time for the religious ceremonies to begin. [An aside: They were not late to services, as the manner of some is. I wonder if, for example, James and John had arrived an hour late, would they have received the Holy Spirit that day? Food for thought.]

The instructions for this High Holy Sabbath was for the priests to present two loaves, both leavened, before Yahweh.

(Lev 23:15-22 KJV)  "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: {16} Even unto the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall ye number fifty days; and ye shall offer a new meat offering unto Yahweh. {17} Ye shall bring out of your habitations two wave loaves of two tenth deals: they shall be of fine flour; they shall be baken with leaven; they are the firstfruits unto Yahweh. {18} And ye shall offer with the bread seven lambs without blemish of the first year, and one young bullock, and two rams: they shall be for a burnt offering unto Yahweh, with their meat offering, and their drink offerings, even an offering made by fire, of sweet savour unto Yahweh. {19} Then ye shall sacrifice one kid of the goats for a sin offering, and two lambs of the first year for a sacrifice of peace offerings. {20} And the priest shall wave them with the bread of the firstfruits for a wave offering before Yahweh with the two lambs: they shall be holy to Yahweh for the priest. {21} And ye shall proclaim on the selfsame day, that it may be an holy convocation unto you: ye shall do no servile work therein: it shall be a statute for ever in all your dwellings throughout your generations. {22} And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not make clean riddance of the corners of thy field when thou reapest, neither shalt thou gather any gleaning of thy harvest: thou shalt leave them unto the poor, and to the stranger: I am Yahweh your Elohim."

Yahshua was the First of the Firstfruits. Those of us called since that time are the Firstfruits. We have received the Holy Spirit if we have repented and been immersed in His Name. That is what the leavened loaves represent. We are being purified to become Yahshua’s Bride upon His return. We must put sin out of our lives and become “fit” to be His bride. He is the Kinsman Redeemer. In the Book of Ruth, Boaz was the kinsman redeemer. You should study this book, as well as the relevant Torah Scriptures, which are Exodus 34:22, Leviticus23:15-22, Numbers 28:26, Deuteronomy 16:9-17, and of course, Acts 2.

A quick summary: Passover, when Yahshua gave His life to redeem us to Yahweh. Days of Unleavened Bread, picturing us putting sin out of our lives. Pentecost, when Yahweh gave the Ten Commandments at Sinai, and His Holy Spirit at the Temple in Acts 2. That completes the early and late Spring Festivals, the Barley and Wheat harvests. The others are in the Fall: Feast of Trumpets when we believe that Yahshua will return to resurrect the Firstfruits; Day of Atonement when the Bride will have made herself ready; Tabernacles picturing life in the Kingdom of Yahweh during the 1,000 year reign; Last Great Day, depicting when the “rest of the dead” will come up to be finally judged (Revelation 20:1-6). That will complete Yahweh’s plan of salvation. ~

(Write for “Yahweh’s Holy Days vs. Man’s Holidays” and “Truth About Judgment” for more details).