Pentecost/Feast of Weeks
The Book of Ruth
First Covenant Application:
A presentation offering of two loaves showing what was made holy
New Covenant Application:
the revealing of the people of God made holy by the death and resurrection of Christ and the indwelling Holy Spirit
The pouring out of the Holy Spirit in Acts 2, the purpose of which is to produce holiness in the people of God
Pentecost (the Feast of Weeks)
Mandated appearance before God
Grain (Loaf, Presentation) Offering
I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. Then you will live in the land I gave your ancestors; you will be my people, and I will be your God.
This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time, declares the LORD. I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the LORD. For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.
But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.
All good Christian Bible students know that Shavuot, more commonly known as Pentecost, is the day when the Holy Spirit was poured out on the church and made available to all mankind. This made available to the entire church what many refer to as the ‘gifts of the Holy Spirit’: tools used in the proclamation and demonstration of the kingdom of God, like healing, prophecy, deliverance (the ability to cast out demons), etc. which previously were only available to a select few people like kings, priests, and prophets. But there are two things most people don’t know about Pentecost:
The Law of Moses was also given to Israel on the very first Pentecost. There were both similarities and distinct opposites between the events that occurred on the first Pentecost in Exodus and the day when this feast was fulfilled in Acts 2. Fire and wind appeared in both instances, and men were gathered together in expectation of God’s presence. But at the giving of the Law, there was a rebellion which led to the death of 3000 Israelites, whereas at the giving of the Spirit, there were 3000 who yielded to the Lordship of Christ and were raised to life spiritually. This was no coincidence—God planned for these events to be linked to each other. The priestly Law revealed our death; the Holy Spirit reveals our life in Christ and enables us to obey His moral Law, which leads us to point #2 below.
Most who believe in the gifts of the Holy Spirit do not see past them. What I mean by this is that they tend to make the gifts the goal—they want to see miracles. But the gifts are just tools and signposts to reveal what the Holy Spirit is really doing: transforming lives. The goal of having the actual presence and power of the Holy Spirit is to enable us to experience God, to learn all things from Him, to become a people marked by love (see my earlier note called Paul Misinterpreted?), and to testify to what God is doing in front of other people.
In the Levitical text where Pentecost was commanded in the Law, the people were to count out fifty days from Firstfruits. If you remember from my earlier note on the Feast of Firstfruits, a grain offering was brought the day after the Shabbat falling after Passover during the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which consecrated the field as holy to the Lord. Fifty days later on Pentecost, loaves were baked and presented to the Lord, which showed the evidence of the holiness of the field. Just as Christ made us holy, so the Holy Spirit works this holiness into our lives and presents us as holy to the Father. As we become the people of love; as we exhibit the fruit of the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23); as we obey the moral Law as Jesus summarized it (Matt 22:37-39); we are presented as holy to the Father.
Thank you, Holy Spirit, for indwelling us and making us clean!