For the past month, our pastor has been speaking on PENTECOST from the book of THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES; the introduction to the Holy Spirit and the POWER introduced to the believers in Christ Jesus–the NEW CHURCH.
“AND WHEN the day of Pentecost had fully come,
they were all assembled together in one place”
THE JEWISH FEASTS – A TWO PART Series in Leviticus 23 [PART I–The Springtime Feasts]:
A thought came to mind, and a question– “Should Christians be celebrating the Jewish religious festivals?” Although it certainly NOT REQUIRED for Christians to CELEBRATE the Jewish Feast days, I find that it is beneficial to go beyond what’s said on Sundays, and investigate God’s Word on the topic of conversation even deeper.
The JEWISH FEASTS is a fascinating study. God provides picture after picture of His entire plan for mankind and… one of the most startling prophetic pictures outlined within the Jewish feasts of Leviticus 23.
“These are the set feasts (or appointed seasons) of the Lord, holy convocations you shall proclaim at their stated times” (Leviticus 23:4 AMP).
The Hebrew word for “feasts” (mow’ed), meaning “appointed times”; and the words “holy convocations” means “rehearsal”.
In other words, the FEASTS of the Lord were appointed times of worship for Israel, which then serves as a “dress rehearsal” in God’s prophetic calendar. You will see all this come into play as you follow along in this series [There are TWO PARTS to this study].
The SEVEN ANNUAL FEASTS of Israel:
To give you some perspective of the 7 Feasts, I thought I would list the months of the Hebrew Lunar Calendar (12 months of 29 or 30 days), with the corresponding months (English):
HEBREW MONTH Corresponds
1. Nisan March/April
2. Ivar April/May
3. Sivan May/June [Shavuot]
4. Tammuz June/July
5. Ab July/August
6. Elud August/September
7. Tishri September/October
8. Marcheshvan October/November
9. Kislev November/December
10. Tebeth December/January
11. Shebat January/February
12. Adar February/March
The MAIN PRINCIPLE…of the Jewish Festivals
All of these rituals laid down by God in Leviticus have at their core, the teaching of the coming Messiah, Jesus Christ, and His sacrifice on the cross.
In the BOOK OF AMOS, the “secrets” of God’s plans in the future times is made plain:
“Surely the Lord God will do nothing without revealing His secret to His servants and prophets” (Amos 3:7).
God has always warned the world of coming judgements in order that it may not bring them upon itself. Christ’s coming was foretold throughout the Old Testament, from Genesis to Malachi. Equally plain and a certainty of fulfillment are the warnings of JESUS and the prophets concerning the future that each day comes nearer to every nation on earth.
#1. ISRAEL’S UNIQUE ROLE IN GOD’S PLAN:
That role is far from being over, and it will again come to the forefront as the TRIBULATION time begins (Matt. 19:28; Luke 2:36; 22:36; Acts 13:21; Rom. 11:1; Phil. 3:5; Heb. 7:13; Rev. 5:5; 7:14; 21:12), coming to full fruition in the Millennium and Eternal State beyond.
That said, it is a mistake to think that we, the present day Church, pretend that we are something we are not, and we are not the divinely appointed nation Israel charged by God with observing Mosaic Law.
As Christians, if we choose to celebrate these special days, we should put Christ Jesus in the center of the celebration as the One who came to fulfill the prophetic significance of each one. That’s my take, and I’m sticking to it!
THE INTRODUCTION TO THE SEVEN FEASTS:
“On the fourteenth day of the first month at twilight is the Lord’s Passover” (Leviticus 23:5).
THE FEAST OF PASSOVER, it’s Origin–
The FIRST MONTH of the Jewish Calendar is NISAN – 14th evening, the Passover (Seder meals).
The PASSOVER (Hebrew Pesach), means “to pass over”, “to skip”.
“The Moses called for all the elders of Israel, and said to them, Go forth, select and take a lamb according to your families and kill the Passover [lamb]. And you shall take a bunch of hyssop, dip it in the blood in the basin, and touch the lintel above the door and the two side post with the blood; and none of you shall go out of his house until morning. For the LORD will pass through to slay the Egyptians; and when He sees the blood upon the lintel and the two side posts, the Lord will pass over the door and will not allow the destroyer to come into your houses to slay you” (Exodus 12:21-23).
“You shall observe this rite for an ordinance to you and to your sons forever” (Exodus 12:24).
“In one house shall it be eaten; you shall not carry any of the flesh outside the house; neither shall you break a bone of it” (Exodus 12:46).
FULFILLMENT IN JESUS–The Passover Lamb:
Through the BLOOD of JESUS, we have eternal life.
“I tell you the truth, whoever hears My word and believes Him who sent Me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has CROSSED OVER from death to life” (John 5:24–capitalized for emphasis).
JESUS was without fault–sinless, the perfect sacrifice.
“For our sake He made Christ [virtually] to be sin Who knew no sin, so that in and through Him we might become [endued with, viewed as being in, and examples of] the righteousness of God [what we ought to be approved and acceptable and in right relationship with Him, by His goodness]” (II Corinthians 5:21 AMP).
No bone of Jesus was broken on the Cross of Calvary (John 19:31-36).
THE FEAST OF UNLEAVENED BREAD–
“On the fifteenth day of the same month is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the Lord; for seven days you shall eat unleavened bread” (verse 6).
“For seven days you are to eat bread made without yeast. On the first day remove the yeast from your houses, for whoever eats anything with yeast in it from the first day through the seventh must be cut off from Israel” (Exodus 12:15 NIV).
“Therefore, let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with leaven of vice and malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened [bread] of purity (nobility, honor) and sincerity and [unadulterated] truth” (1 Corinthians 12:15 AMP).
“Do you not know that [just] a little leaven will ferment the whole lump [of dough]?” (1 Corinthians 5:6).
Metaphorically, “yeast”, “leaven” is a symbol for sin. In the Jewish feast, yeast couldn’t even be kept in the house for seven days!
The 15th Day of Nisan…
UNLEAVENED BREAD is to be eaten exclusively for seven days.
JESUS’ FULFILLMENT OF THE FEAST:
“I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains [just one grain; it never becomes more but lives] by itself alone. But if it dies, it produces many others and yields a rich harvest” (John 12:24).
“JESUS replied, I am the BREAD OF LIFE. He who comes to Me will never be hungry…” (John 6:35).
JESUS was without SIN!
FIRST, the unleavened bread is a picture of His holiness, purity and sinlessness. His life and sacrifice was “unleavened”–without identifying with the curse of death–a Lamb without spot or blemish for the ultimate Passover sacrifice (1 Peter 1:19).
JESUS died for us on the Cross; His body was buried (put into a grave) and after three days, the tomb was found empty! He is alive! Still producing a “rich harvest” of lost souls.
THE FEAST OF FIRSTFRUITS:“Tell the Israelites, When you have come into the land I give you and reap its harvest, you shall bring the sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the priest. And he shall wave the sheaf before the Lord, that you may be accepted; on the next day after the sabbath the priest shall wave it [before the Lord]” (Lev. 23:10-11).
In biblical times and again today, the first day after the Passover Holiday (Sabbath), the Feast of Firstfruits is celebrated. The festival acknowledged the fertility of the land that God promised His children. They were to bring the early crops of their spring planting and “wave it before the Lord”.
THE FULFILLMENT in Jesus’ Resurrection…
“But the fact is that Christ (the Messiah) has been raised from the dead, and He became the FIRSTFRUITS of those who have fallen asleep [in death]” (1 Corinthians 15:20 AMP).
The FEAST OF FIRSTFRUITS in Leviticus 23, pointed to the Messiah’s resurrection as the first fruits of the righteous. Jesus was resurrected on this very day, which is one of the reasons that Paul refers to him in 1 Corinthians 15:20 as the “first fruits of the dead.”
THE FEAST OF WEEKS–PENTECOST (SHAVUOT):
The Origin–The Month of SIVAN:
In Exodus 19, we see for the first time, Moses received the Ten Commandments on stone tablets and the whole Law about seven weeks after the death of the Passover lambs in Egypt.
The Torah is put into place by God, through Moses and given to the Israelites; it’s a commemoration of the giving of the Law.
Leviticus 23:15-16, we read, “You shall also count for yourselves from the day after the sabbath, from the day you when you brought in the sheaf of the wave offering; there shall be seven complete sabbaths. You shall county fifty days to the day after the seventh sabbath; then you shall present a new grain offering to the Lord” (NASB).
The fourth FEAST is often called the FEAST OF WEEKS, because God specifically told the sons of Jacob to count seven weeks from FIRST FRUITS and then the day after, this feast was observed.
This also marks on the Jewish Lunar Calendar, the Summer Harvest [First Fruits began the Spring Harvest].
SHAVUOT (Hebrew) means “weeks”. The Feast of Weeks, Pentecost, goes back to the Greek word, “penteconta, fifty”.
SEVEN WEEKS are forty-nine days–add one day (“the day after”), brings the total to fifty days. ISRAEL has been born as a nation through the Gift of the Law.
THE CHURCH of Jesus Christ has been born, not from the Law written on stone tablets, but the followers of Jesus the Holy Spirit; the law of life written on your heart.
“AND WHEN the day of Pentecost [Feast of Weeks] had fully come, they were all assembled together in one place. When suddenly there came a sound from heaven like the rushing of a violent tempest blast, and it filled the whole house in which they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues resembling fire, which were separated and distributed and which settled on each one of them. And they were all filled (diffused throughout their souls) with the Holy Spirit…” (Acts 2:1-4 a.).
As the Jews see the Feast of Weeks as the birthday of God’s covenant relationship with the nation of Israel, the fulfillment is found in the Book of Acts, the New Covenant.
When you hear the word “Pentecost”, what do you first think of? Acts 2? Tongues? Charismatics? What should come to our minds is the beginning of the New Covenant.
THE BIRTH OF THE CHURCH.
JESUS was resurrected on the Feast of Firstfruits; fifty days after the resurrection of Jesus, and the promised New Covenant begins!
(“Events Have Transpired–The Shadow of Things to Come” PART 2; The Fall Feasts are coming!)
Bible Translations used: Amplified Bible; New International Version (NIV) translation; New American Standard (NASB).
1. got Questions?org [www.GotQuestions.org].
2. firstname.lastname@example.org John Parsons.
3. Expository Dictionary of Bible Words.
4. The NIV Complete Concordance.
Photo Calendar by Gavin Finley MD endtimepilgrim.org
photobucket – www.photobucket.com/images/pentecost
Photo Pin – Miscellaneous.
JEWISH CALENDAR Luzrius Schneider Feb. 03, 2000.