Pentecost: 2000 Years Ago or 2016?
The Day of Pentecost – we remember the supernatural flames appearing in the room where Yeshua’s followers were gathered. Inside the room, there was the sound of a “mighty rushing wind” and the speaking of other languages they’d never learned. It’s the pouring out of God’s very spirit into mere humans (Acts 2). That’s plenty to celebrate and remember right there. But what’s the purpose in our noting it every year?
Pentecost (Shavuot in Hebrew) was commanded to the Israelites in Exodus 23, while they were still in the wilderness (and further explained in Leviticus 23). What were the Israelites remembering for 1400 years before the Holy Spirit was poured out? And why are we to continue remembering it annually 2000 years after the events of Acts 2?
This year, Pentecost begins at sunset on June 11, 2016 and is the fourth in God’s seven holy Feasts – all of which have historic, current and future significance. Most of us understand the current reality of Pentecost – Yeshua’s righteous sacrifice allowed Him to be accepted at the right hand of God in heaven, releasing God’s Spirit to dwell in man on earth. But what comes before and after Pentecost makes it even more exciting today.
Just before Pentecost is The Feast of Firstfruits. Historically on that day an offering was given to God from the very first of the new crop, before any could be consumed. Currently, living after Yeshua’s time, we can see that His resurrection was in accordance with the Feast of Firstfruits when He offered Himself to God as the “first fruits of those who are asleep” (I Cor. 15:20-23) — the first to be resurrected.
The Day of Pentecost occurs 50 days later (thus the name Pentecost) which is originally called the Feast of the Harvest in the Bible. Historically on this Feast, food would be prepared from the crops and offered to God as thanksgiving for the harvest.
After Yeshua’s death and resurrection, we now understand that the harvest the Feast of the Harvest celebrates refers to those who come after Yeshua, from the same crop. Just as the Firstfruit represented Yeshua, the full harvest represents US! This Feast celebrates our salvation. We are the followers of Yeshua, resurrected with Him to new life, even receiving the same Spirit of God that Yeshua had while He was on earth.
The next holy Feast after Pentecost is the Feast of Trumpets, celebrated in the fall. This is a Sabbath day of rest in which trumpets are blown. Historically Israelite trumpets were used to announce both gladness and war. The next major event in God’s timetable is Yeshua’s return, when a trumpet will sound announcing both gladness to His followers and war upon His enemies (I Thessalonians 4:16).
Our Celebration Today
In the timeline of God’s seven holy Feasts, we are still in the period of Pentecost (or the Feast of Harvest) gathering in the harvest of believers before Yeshua’s return on the Feast of Trumpets. So during Pentecost today, not only can we remember the visible pouring out of the Holy Spirit 2000 years ago, but with every passing year, the Spirit is strengthened in us, the harvest of believers grows and God’s next Feast draws closer, when he shall return with a Feast of Trumpets.
This is why we are to remember it every year. This is why it matters now, more than ever before in history and grows in importance as the days and years pass.
Mark your calendar with dates of the this year’s Feasts.