We are gathered together today to observe a special biblical observance – Pentecost. And the miracles I just described happened on that day – Pentecost, the first one of the New Testament church, probably in 31 AD. The Holy Spirit was given to the church in a completely new way. God put on a real fireworks demonstration for them. Not only for Israelites, but now God was calling people of every race, every culture, every nation. Now the door was wide open. And that open door was Jesus Christ.
To do this new work, He founded His church by imbuing its members with His own Spirit and the Spirit of His Son, Jesus. To God, this was a momentous occasion! He didn’t want them to ever forget it. And to be sure, those who were in attendance on that first Pentecost never forgot what happened on that day. God did something so spectacular on that day that it has never happened before, and will only be eclipsed by the return of Jesus Christ. We can know that every year after that, the first Christians observed Pentecost.
Why did God start His church on a day that most people today think is a Jewish holiday? Today, Christians don’t make a big deal over Pentecost as they do their holidays that are not even in the Bible. How did that happen? Could you possibly think God is happy about it? After all He did to make the first one memorable, do you think He wants us to forget it or lose the meaning of it even?
In addition, this day – Pentecost – does not stand alone. It’s fifty days from something, you’ll remember, and what would that be? And further yet, there are six other festivals that God has given – and all of them observed by the New Testament church – the church started by God, whose head is Jesus Christ Himself. Pentecost is tied inexorably to all the rest, and all the rest are tied inexorably to Pentecost and to each other.
As we study Pentecost today, and the meaning of all seven of these biblical festivals, we want to be guided by a biblical principle for Bible study set out by the apostle Paul. Let’s look at it. It’s in 1 Corinthians 10, starting in verse 1.
1 Corinthians 10:1-6 – For I do not want you to be unaware, brothers – so we’re a part of that group, right? He doesn’t want us to be unaware – that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, and all ate the same spiritual food – manna – and all drank the same spiritual drink – which was water from a rock. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ. In the Bible text, the word Rock is capitalized, because it refers to Christ. Nevertheless, with most of them God was not pleased, for they were overthrown in the wilderness. Now these things took place as examples for us, that we might not desire evil as they did.
So the point: events that happened in the Old Testament were models for what were to happen later in the New. A curious term – that he would say going through the Red Sea was a baptism. It’s a metaphor. Moses is Christ, leading his people out of sin and to freedom. The things we see in the Old Testament were predictors of Christ and what He was to do. In this example, Paul gives the passage by the slave people of Israel, as they left Egypt. That was a picture of a Christian coming out of slavery to sin, being baptized and following Jesus, who leads the way.
But it’s not just the Old Testament events that are models. I know that’s a lot to take in, and it’s amazing to think about everything in the Old Testament as a picture of something going on now, but there’s way more than that. It’s not just the Old Testament events that are models. Think about the Promised Land, the Kingdom of God, and crossing Jordan, and taking that step crossing over into eternal life.
The tabernacle that they built, and later the temple, represented the Kingdom of God with God’s throne in it also. That’s amazing! It shows us something about God’s brilliance and His love for metaphor. But let’s go deeper. There’s something else Paul tells us. It’s in Hebrews 4:4.
Hebrews 4:4 – For he has somewhere spoken of the seventh day in this way – and now he’s quoting – “And God rested on the seventh day from all his works.” We can read that in Genesis, can’t we? So what’s this talking about? Well, it’s talking about how God created the Sabbath by resting after He created the heavens and the earth.
The Sabbath is considered a biblical festival, as well as Pentecost and the others. We are going to see that when we get done with this current point. Verse 5:
V-5 – And again in this passage he said, “They shall not enter my rest” – the Sabbath is a picture of the Kingdom of God. They are not going to “enter My rest.” Since therefore it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly received the good news failed to enter because of disobedience, again he appoints a certain day, “Today,” saying through David so long afterward, in the words already quoted, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.” For if Joshua had given them rest – when they crossed over Jordan – if that was the goal – to get there – if that’s what the Sabbath pictured – God would not have spoken of another day later on. So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God – the word there for Sabbath rest means a Sabbath observance for the people of God – for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works, as God did from His. Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience. So yeah, this is metaphoric talk. The Sabbath also symbolizes our eternal rest with God once we’re eternal members of His Kingdom. So notice that the Bible is here telling us, in the New Testament, the covenant we made with Jesus when we were converted, that there remains a Sabbath rest for us. …for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works, as God did from His. Do you rest from your works every seventh day? When you do that, you’re picturing the Kingdom of God – when you’re going to be with God forever and resting from all the terrible stuff that goes on in our world today.
That’s somewhat of an aside though. What I want to point out is this: it’s not just the events that hold symbolic meaning for us today, but also the observances that God decreed in the Old Testament – the Sabbath being the first and most obvious one.
Humankind has been given six thousand years to try to rule itself. The seventh thousand years Jesus is going to come and show us how it’s done – done right. So we’re now going to see how all seven of the festivals are part of that picture of what God is doing with us.
Amazingly there are seven steps of God’s salvation plan. And through these seven festivals, we’re going to learn something amazing about how God is working His plan. Let’s go to Leviticus 23, where God enumerated all seven of these festivals for ancient Israel. They’re laid out in order over the course of a year. They are annual festivals. We’re going to read portions of the whole chapter, and then, put it all together. As we learned already, we’re going to be reading about physical festivals that picture something deeply spiritual and personal to all of us, and are very much a part of New Testament worship in the mind of Jesus, the apostles and the early church. So Leviticus 23, verse 1:
Leviticus 23:1-3 – The LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, These are the appointed feasts of the LORD that you shall proclaim as holy convocations – holy meetings. They are my appointed festivals. Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, a holy convocation. You shall do no work. It is a Sabbath to the LORD in all your dwelling places. So right off the bat, He tells us that the first festival – and this isn’t part of the seven – is the weekly Sabbath. Now He’s going to go to the annual festivals.
Let me ask you this again, though. There’s the Sabbath right off the bat – a sacred festival – no work to be done. We learn from Paul that the Sabbath pictures the Kingdom of God – the goal – the end goal – for all of us – the gold ring. Do you think God is interested in us keeping that day? Jesus kept it when He came here to set us an example of how to live, didn’t He? The New Testament church observed it. Some people have tried to say, “Because they had some meetings on Sunday, that that meant it was changed.” But there’s no indication of that anywhere. You think about an uproar! Think about how much uproar it caused the church over the issue of circumcision. What if they had tried to change the Sabbath? It would be all over the New Testament. Not a word. Just a steady observance of that day throughout the entire New Testament.
I know a lot of well-meaning people who profess to follow Jesus, and know the way He lived and did Christianity – was a model for us. They know that. Yet they don’t even observe the day He observed as the Sabbath. It’s really rather shocking when you think about it. But let’s move on and look at the seven other festivals. Verse 4:
V-4-5 – “These are the appointed feasts of the LORD, the holy convocations, which you shall proclaim at the time appointed for them. In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at twilight, is the LORD’s Passover. Okay, so He doesn’t say every week. He says, “In the first month….” So that means it’s an annual festival that you keep in the first month of every year. And this is the Jewish calendar we’re talking about. So their year started in the spring.
The Passover represented the time when Israel was about to leave Egypt. And God told them to kill a young lamb, roast it and eat it, and then paint the blood of this lamb on the lintels and doorposts of their homes. And that night a messenger from God went through the land of Egypt and killed the firstborn of every living thing in that nation. Up to that point, Pharaoh had resisted letting Israel go free. But this horrific event changed his mind. And Israel was free from Egyptian slavery at that point.
It’s interesting, isn’t it, that John the Baptist, upon seeing his cousin, Jesus, said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who frees His people from their sins!” So we can learn from this and many other passages that the Passover was not only picturing the time when ancient Israel was freed from Egypt, but it pictures the time when Jesus saved all of us from our sins. He was the Passover Lamb that was killed. It’s a metaphor – what they did. It’s interesting that John the Baptist knew this, too. So, the people of Jesus’ day, that were following Jesus and believe the truth – not the way traditional religion in their time believed it, but the biblical way – they all knew this.
We should also notice that Jesus died on Passover and observed it with His disciples the night before – the evening of the fourteenth. So it wasn’t just that it pictured Jesus, Jesus actually died on Passover – just like the church was founded on Pentecost. So there is a day with Jesus Christ stamped all over it and Him observing it, as our example – not even that, but He was woven into the fabric of the day, and the day was woven into the very genetic code of Jesus. Jesus and the holy days cannot be separated.
Now notice what happens the very next day.
V-6-8 – And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the Feast of Unleavened Bread…. When was Passover? The fourteenth day of the first month. So this is the next day. …the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the LORD. For seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. On the first day you shall have a holy convocation. You shall not do any ordinary work. But you shall present a food offering to the LORD for seven days. On the seventh day is a holy convocation. You shall not do any ordinary work.”
All right. The Passover is not a holy day. It’s a day God saved Israel from Egypt and the day Jesus died to free us from our sins. But then there was a seven-day festival that began the very next day. In fact, since a day begins at sundown, by God’s reckoning, it began the evening of the day Jesus died. The first and the last days were holy days. No work was to be done on the first and last of this seven-day period. They ate no leavened bread because Israel, when they fled Egypt, did not have time to let the yeast in their bread dough rise, so they cooked it flat – unleavened. Did you know that the apostle Paul talks about this in the New Testament? He does. And do you know what he says about it? He says that Jesus – face-to-face – told him that he used unleavened bread as a symbol for sincerity and truth, while leavened bread represents sin in our lives. We’re the bread. And the leavening pictures the sin in our lives. And unleavened bread pictures sincerity and truth – two of the most important things about us to God, that He wants to see in us.
All right. Now this next one is the heart of this presentation. We’re going to learn something amazing about God here.
V-9-11 – And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, When you come into the land that 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, so that you may be accepted. On the day after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it. “On the day, after the Sabbath, the priest shall wave it.”
So let’s try to make sense of what we’re seeing here. What we learn is, this festival, where the people have no leavened bread is a harvest festival. They’re waving a sheaf of grain. There’s some indication that might have been a loaf of bread, baked out of the first ripened sheaf of grain, but we’re not going to quibble about that. It’s something for another day. But, isn’t this the springtime – the first month? Yes it is. If you don’t understand the Hebrew calendar, just check with some Jewish friend of yours. They’ll tell you. Passover and Unleavened Bread are in the spring. And aren’t most crops harvested in the fall – September, October? They are. But remember, this is in Israel. It’s not cold there. Even in the southern United States, farmers can grow what they call winter wheat. They plant that wheat in the fall, and then, in the spring, it’s ripe. And this is what they do in Israel as well. So farmers there planted an early crop in the winter and harvested it in the spring.
And what are they to do with it? Well, in the celebration, they’re to wave – the word means elevate – the first ripened sheaf of grain in a ceremony. And when are they to do that? Well, a man named Edersheim explains that this Sabbath they’re talking about is the weekly Sabbath that falls during the seven-day period of Unleavened Bread. On the weekly Sabbath, during the seven-day festival – we learn – and Edersheim really bring this out, looking at the Hebrew – that this offering was done at the end of the Sabbath during Unleavened Bread. And it’s interesting if you understand the sequence of events of Christ’s crucifixion. Daniel tells us – this is a quick way to explain it – Daniel tells us that the Messiah was going to be cut off in the middle of the week. That would have been a Wednesday. And we know He died about 3 pm in the afternoon on the fourteenth, which was Passover day. And we know that it took them a while to get Him in the tomb – that Joseph of Arimathea and some of the women that followed Jesus came and took his body, and they put it in a tomb. And they didn’t have time to prepare it for burial, so they had the tomb sealed at sundown, because the Sabbath was coming upon them. And so, we know then that Jesus came out of the grave three days and three nights from that Wednesday night. And, if you count that, you don’t come up to Sunday morning. You come to Saturday night. You say, “But angel said He was resurrected Sunday morning.” No, he didn’t. When they got there Sunday morning, he said, “He’s gone!” So he was more likely resurrected Saturday evening at exactly the time the priest was waving the grain – the first ripened grain. Right?
So Jesus pictures that firstfruit of the firstfruits harvest. He’s the first of the firstfruits, He’s called. And that early harvest was called the Firstfruits of God’s plan. How do we know this? Oh, I already explained that. What we can learn from that – and that’s the point of the sermon today – is that God is busy harvesting people. And He uses agriculture as a metaphor for it.
Jesus tells us something interesting about His Father in John 15:1.
John 15:1 – “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser.”
Now this word Jesus used, according to Louw & Nida, means farmer or gardener. So God is a farmer, who has planted seed, and He’s now growing it, and letting it ripen, and then He’s going to harvest it. And you and I are His first crop. And Jesus is the first One of His first crop – the firstborn of many brethren. That’s a direct quote out of the New Testament. We’re His crop. He’s growing us. So many more to come though.
How interesting that the biblical festivals of God are pictures of His efforts to harvest us! We wouldn’t want to forget that, would we? I mean, these really are not things about the Old Testament, but they were just pictures of what God is doing now. So let’s just jump down to verse 15 of Leviticus 23.
Leviticus 23:15-16 – “You shall count seven full weeks from the day after the Sabbath – that’s the Sabbath where – you brought the sheaf of the wave offering. You shall count fifty days…. Well, seven full weeks is forty-nine days. So you’re going to go fifty – one more – and that takes us to Sunday, doesn’t it? Because it was during the Sabbath. So seven Sabbaths, and then one more is Sunday. Earlier I mentioned that the word Pentecost in Greek means to count fifty. And I asked, “You to count fifty from what?” Well, this is the verse that explains it. Fifty days from the first ripe grain that was offered in the early spring. Then what happens?
Well, God tells them to bake two loaves of bread and prepare animals for sacrifice on Pentecost. Verse 20:
V-20-21 – And the priest shall wave them with the bread of the firstfruits as a wave offering before the LORD, with the two lambs. They shall be holy to the LORD for the priest. And you shall make a proclamation on the same day. You shall hold a holy convocation. You shall not do any ordinary work. It is a statute forever in all your dwelling places throughout your generations.
So this observance is also called a holy day. It can be called the Feast of Weeks, because of counting the weeks, but in the New Testament, it’s called Count Fifty or Pentecost. And it’s about the first smaller harvest of Israel – the harvest that ripens during the winter and then is processed in the spring.
Now, I want to draw your attention to something. If this festival is about the first harvest in Israel, what does it picture? Well, let’s go to Revelation 20, verse 4.
Revelation 20:4 – Then I saw thrones – John said – and seated on them were those to whom the authority to judge – well, that would be Jesus and God the Father, wouldn’t it? Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. So these were people, who under the worst times possible, stayed loyal to God just before Christ’s return. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. So there’s your first harvest – all the people in the world that followed Christ.
Now, if you eliminate all the Muslims, all the Hindus, all the Buddhists, all the Shintoists, all the old-time pagans that worshipped El and Dagon and all those people, and all those that call themselves Christians today, but really aren’t committed – you eliminate those – the vast majority of people are not going to come up in that resurrection. So, it’s a relatively small early harvest. It’s just the people that have had a relationship with God – a committed relationship, where they followed God and obeyed Him. So there’s that, and that is what Pentecost is about. And that is why God founded His church on Pentecost – because that resurrection is about His church. And those people are His church.
Now let’s look at verse 5:
V-5-6 – The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended. This is the first resurrection. So everybody else – the rest of the dead – that would be everybody else that’s ever lived that hasn’t been resurrected, right? – would not come to life until the thousand years were ended. Wow! And then it says – that verse 5 is a parenthetical statement. You can put brackets around it. But he’s talking about what came before – it says, “This is the first resurrection.” Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with Him for a thousand years. So they’re not going to die. They’re immortal. And we know that they fight with Christ at the battle of Armageddon as spirit beings. So there you have it.
Now, if God is a farmer, and He gives Jesus a thousand years to grow crops in paradise, is there a holy day for that? Well, yes, there is. Let’s look at it. Let’s look at first in the fall in Leviticus 23.
Leviticus 23:39 – On the fifteenth day of the seventh month – so this is seven months after the spring, right? – after Passover – you shall celebrate the feast of the LORD seven days. Oh, I’m sorry, I missed the most important part. On the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the produce of your land – so this also is a harvest festival – and this is big one – this is the fall harvest – you shall celebrate the feast of the LORD for seven days. On the first day shall be a solemn rest, and on the eighth day shall be a solemn rest.
But wait! Wasn’t it a seven day festival? And here’s an eighth day. Curious. Very curious. Let’s keep reading.
V-40 – And you shall take on the first day the fruit of splendid trees, branches of palm trees and boughs of leafy trees and willows of the brook, and you shall rejoice before the LORD your God seven days. You shall celebrate it as a feast to the LORD for seven days in the year.
Now we call this the Feast of Tabernacles. A tabernacle was like a tent. So that’s what they were using the palm trees and boughs and all that stuff for. They were making little temporary dwellings – little huts, tents, lean-tos, wind shelters, or sun shelters probably. And they camped out for this festival. So there is a festival for a harvest and it pictures the great fall harvest of God. That is pictured by the Feast of Tabernacles. They brought in their crops. Have you ever noticed that in the fall there is a harvest moon? They harvested their crop, probably late into the night, getting ready to get those crops out of the field, and then ready to pack up and become sojourners – travelers, pilgrims – to go to that festival.
So, to answer the question, “Yes, there is a harvest festival to picture the vast harvest of people for God’s Kingdom under Jesus’ reign on earth.” Notice too, if a person today observes these festivals with understanding, they would be rehearsing God’s salvation, or harvest, plan every year. Do you think God wants us to remember what He’s doing with us?
So what will you do with that? Notice too, that all the people in Jesus’ time traveled to Jerusalem for this festival. So, for these eight days, they lived in these little huts. They were camping. And, you know, if you think about what ancient Israel was doing after they passed through the Red Sea and made it to the Promised Land – or were on their way to it – they were camping too, weren’t they? – for forty years. So that’s all a picture of what’s going on.
So let’s go back to Revelation 20 – Revelation 20, verse 6:
Revelation 20:6-10 – Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years. So all of Christ’s people, up to His return, are going to be resurrected to help Him in the thousand-year-reign on earth. And when the thousand years are ended – this is verse 7 – when is this going to happen? When the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison and will come out to deceive the nations that are at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea. And they marched up over the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, but fire came down from heaven and consumed them, and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
The devil is going to be locked up. You know, fire doesn’t hurt him, but being restrained and not allowed to do what he wants does. It torments him. I don’t have time to cover all this today, but I just read it to you so that you can follow the timeline. Look at verse 11:
V-11 – Then – after that – after that great battle at the end of the thousand years – after the thousand years have ended, there’s that battle. Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. And the sea gave up the dead who were in it – so who would be in the sea? Well, everybody that died, except for those who had been resurrected out of it – the faithful Christians – and Death and the grave gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. Then Death and the grave were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.
Who are these people? We’ll let’s think about it. All the people who were faithful to Jesus in human life of every age have already been resurrected. Right? So it makes sense to say that these people are all those who are left. In fact, we just read that in the Bible – “the rest of the dead lived not until the thousand years were finished.” So those were people from Adam to the return of Christ who did not accept Christ – so everybody else. And they come up and are judged after the thousand years are finished.
Now, let’s think about this for a minute. Some of us have an image of judgment as an endless line of people streaming by the throne of God to be judged – thumbs up, thumbs down, thumbs up, thumbs down, thumbs down, thumbs up. Notice this scripture – 1 Peter 4:17. This is inside the mind of God and how He thinks and how He defines things.
1 Peter 4:17 – For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God. And if it begins with us, what will be the outcome of those who do not obey the gospel of God?
So God is now judging the church. I am a member of God’s church, and I have a lifetime to live to prove whether I’m going to be faithful to God or not. It’s like when you go to buy a new car. You ask the salesman, “Can I take it for a drive?” If he won’t let you, then you think something’s wrong with it, so you don’t…. But they always let you do it. And we check it out. We test it. We try it out. We see if it’s a good car. With God, judgment is not just passing sentence, but also a time period where God examines our heart to see if we can fit in His Kingdom. You say, “Well, all those other people, they had a lifetime.” Yeah, but they never had a chance. They didn’t have a chance to meet Jesus and understand Him. They were blinded by the devil, or time and chance…. There’s the old joke about the missionary in his Land Rover headed into darkest Congo jungle, and he has a blowout on his Land Rover, so he never makes it to the remote village. So all the people there never learn about Jesus. Are they going to go to hell because of that? – because of a flat tire? No. That’s not fair.
So this is how God is going to be fair. All the people that never had a chance are going to get one. And they’re going to have a chance to live a life and prove to God they can be loyal. They’re coming up after a thousand year reign of Christ, where it’s going to be utopia. It’s going to be beautiful and wonderful – no hunger, just fantastic. So they’re going to be able to see which way is the right way.
So I hope you know that, as a Christian, you’re being judged now. So this is how God is going to be fair. So, is there a festival for this harvest? Well, yes, there is, but let me explain something before I answer that.
When we look back in time, the further back we go, the harder it is to understand exactly what has happened. But we can read about Jesus’ life in the Gospels, and yeah, we’re left with a lot of questions, but they can prove historically that Jesus was crucified. There are historical records proving that. So, while we don’t have a total picture, we have detail. But, if we go back to the flood, all we really have of that is the geological record, which has been misinterpreted, and we have the story in the Bible about it. But everything else has been lost. So, the further back you go, the less detail we have. Some of the very basic detail, but not much of the surrounding context.
So God has also set it up so that the further we go forward in time – out into the future – the less detail we get as well – probably because we don’t need to know that yet. A lot of us worry about stuff that’s happening in the future when we really have other stuff much closer in time to us that we need to be concerned about. As an example, there’s quite a lot of detail about Christ’s return, the first resurrection and the thousand year reign of Christ. Most people don’t know it, but a third of the Bible is prophecy, and most of those prophecies are about what the thousand-year-reign is going to be like. It’s amazing what’s there! But, when you go past that, to the second resurrection, and the new heaven and the new earth, we’ve got a couple of paragraphs, and it gets really murky at that point. Nevertheless, there is a festival for all of that, too. It’s in Leviticus 23:33.
Leviticus 23:33 – And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the people of Israel, saying, On the fifteenth day of this seventh month and for seven days is the Feast of Booths to the LORD – or Tabernacles. On the first day shall be a holy convocation. You shall not do any ordinary work. For seven days you shall present food offerings to the LORD. On the eighth day you shall hold a holy convocation and present a food offering to the LORD. It is a solemn assembly. You shall not do any ordinary work. So there’s a seven day holy day that’s named the Feast of Tabernacles, and then it just tucks right on to the end of it another day – it’s a holy day – with no explanation. It’s a mystery.
So what happens if we just keep reading in Revelation, then, past the thousand year period? You know, some people think that the sermon Jesus gave about “Come to Me. If you’re thirsty, I’ve got water – living waters – for you.” They thought He gave that on the Eighth Day, but actually, it’s pretty clear that He gave it on the seventh day. That was the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles. And yet, we find Him and the people in the temple still on the Eighth Day, but it doesn’t say much about what they were doing.
So, if we follow Revelation 21 on, like we’ve been doing, we could easily say that this day is for everything else. If we go to Revelation 21, we see that, after the thousand years, there’s an insurrection – we read about that – a huge resurrection – we read about that – the lake of fire – we read about that – and all of that immediately precedes the new heaven and the new earth. So these events seem to follow each other one after another in John’s chronology that he gives there in Revelation 21 and 22. And this day is observed with the Feast of Tabernacles, indicating its connection in time proximity.
So, there it is. Yes, God is a farmer. Jesus told us this in Leviticus, and then reiterates it when He’s talking about His Dad on earth. God’s harvest plan laid out – the biblical festivals – gives us an overview – a map – of what God is doing. He has two harvests – or resurrections – in which He’s harvesting children for His Kingdom – one at the beginning of the thousand years and one at the end. This day – Pentecost – pictures that first harvest. It’s about the church, isn’t it? Did you know that Paul called ancient Israel the church in the wilderness? And he called the church the Israel of God? They were the same thing in his mind – just different phases of it. And he ties it up at both ends. So think about it. It’s amazing what God is doing! It so – I can only find one word – cool! It’s cool what He’s doing! We could never think of that. Who would ever design a plan like that? Well, God’s not like we are. He’s not conventional the way we think of conventional. He’s total Creator!
So how awesome is it that He reminds us every year about what He’s doing with us and about the great part that we all have to play in His plan through His seven annual festivals, Pentecost being one of them. So happy Pentecost to you! It is a great day!
If you want to learn more about the other holy day that I didn’t get to cover today, be sure to go to liferesource.org. There you can click on the Presentations link at the top, where you can see all the presentations we’ve done in the last fourteen years about the holy days. There you’ll find the New Testament meanings of all of them, unpacked and ready for you.