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CELEBRATING THE FEASTS OF THE LORD: THE FEAST OF PENTECOST

June 27, 2016

Sunday 24th which corresponds to the 6th day of the third month of Sivan in Jewish Calendar, is the feast of Pentecost, when God poured out His Holy Spirit upon all flesh, fulfilling His promise in the book of Joel 2: 28-29

And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.

Before the Lord Jesus Christ was taken up to Heaven, forty days after His resurrection He reminded the disciples of the promise of the Father to endue them with the holy Spirit, so He asked them to tarry in Jerusalem until they be endued with the Holy Spirit: And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high (Luke 24: 49); But the Advocate, 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 (John 14: 26).

The feast of Pentecost is one of the seven feasts the Lord commanded His people to celebrate unto Him, where with we present ourselves unto Him.

And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 2 "Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: 'The feasts of the LORD, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, these are My feasts.3 'Six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, a holy convocation. You shall do no work on it; it is the Sabbath of the LORD in all your dwellings.' These are the feasts of the LORD, holy convocations which you shall proclaim at their appointed times… (Lev. 23:1-3).

FEAST OF WEEKS (SHAVOUT)/ PENTECOST.

And you shall count for yourselves from the day after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering: seven Sabbaths shall be completed. Count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath; then you shall offer a new grain offering to the LORD. You shall bring from your dwellings two wave loaves of two-tenths of an ephah. They shall be of fine flour; they shall be baked with leaven. They are the firstfruits to the LORD…. 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 proclaim on the same day that it is a holy convocation to you. You shall do no customary work on it. It shall be a statute forever in all your dwellings throughout your generations. (Leviticus 23: 15-21).

These feasts include the weekly Sabbath day of rest, the feast of Passover/Unleavened bread and first fruits; the feast of Weeks (Shavuot), also called the feast of Pentecost; the feast of Trumpets, the day of atonement, the feast of Tabernacles. In celebrating each of these feasts, the people were not to come before the presence of God empty. They must bring offerings unto Him and present their males unto him. The people travel from around the globe wherever they are to Jerusalem to celebrate the feasts and to present their males before the Lord as He commanded.

Each of the feasts celebrates a harvest of firstfruits for such season, which they must bring before the Lord in thanksgiving as a wave offering unto the Lord. The day of the feast must also be declared a holiday, and a holy day unto the Lord.

I discussed in details the feast of Passover/Unleavened bread and the first fruits on these two articles: http://nigeriaworld.com/feature/publication/gloria-grace/040415.html

http://nigeriaworld.com/feature/publication/gloria-grace/040915.html

After the feast of first fruits which was celebrated immediately after the feast of Passover and the unleavened Bread (this feast of first fruits fell on the Sunday that the Lord Jesus was raised from the dead), the Lord God asked His people to count seven full Sabbaths from that day, and on the fiftieth day (50), they will offer the Spring first fruits. In the Jewish community on this day, the people celebrate God's blessings through the abundance of new crops. They bring their harvest to God in thanksgiving and as a wave offering unto Him, presenting themselves unto Him as the Lord commanded. He specifically asked them to bake and present unto Him among other crops, two loaves of leavened bread and wave unto Him as a wave offering (we shall see the significance of this later). .

This feast is called the feast of weeks because the Lord God commanded His people to count for yourselves from the day after the Sabbath (the day of the firstfruit offering), from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering: seven Sabbaths shall be completed. Count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath; then you shall offer a new grain offering to the LORD.

From the day we celebrated the feast of first fruits after the feast of Passover and Unleavened bread, the Lord God asked them to count seven full weeks plus one day. That is fifty days (the numbers 7, 7x7, 50 are very important numbers in God's Calendar). It is called Pentecost because the event took place on the fiftieth day from the previous feast. Pentecost means fifty. On this day, something significant in the history of the nation of Israel happened. This fiftieth day from Passover has brought them to this feast of Pentecost, which fell on the sixth or seventh day of the third month of Jewish calendar month of Sivan.

On this 50th day, the Lord God came down on an Earth shaking event on Mount Sinai to enter into an everlasting covenant with the people of Israel. The people were camped at the foot of Mount Sinai (Exodus 19:1-2)

And Moses went up unto God, and the LORD called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel; Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles' wings, and brought you unto myself. Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel (Ex. 19: 3-6).

The people agreed to abide on this covenant the Lord God was about to enter with them to become a holy nation and a kingdom of priests unto the Lord. Moses asked them to sanctify themselves, and prepare for the Lord's visitation on the third day. They were not to come too close to touch the mountain whether man of beast for that would result in death of such a one. Thus Moses set boundaries around Mount Sinai.

On the third day, the Lord descended upon the Mount: And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly (Vs. 18). As the Lord was giving them the Ten Commandments on His own Voice,

… all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off. And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die. And Moses said unto the people, Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not. And the people stood afar off, and Moses drew near unto the thick darkness where God was (Ex. 20: 18-21).

Thus Moses stood between God and the people and received the commandments and all the statutes for living from the Lord, and brought to the people. And Moses came and told the people all the words of the LORD, and all the judgments: and all the people answered with one voice, and said, All the words which the LORD hath said will we do (Exodus 24:3).

Moses wrote all the words of the Lord, the words of the covenant. He also built an altar unto the Lord at the foot of the mountain with twelve pillars representing the twelve tribes of Israel, and with the blood of animals that were sacrificed upon the altar, he sprinkled upon the altar; and as he read the words of the covenant and the people said that they would do, obey and live by the Lord's commandments, Moses sprinkled the blood of the covenant upon them to complete the covenant between the people and God. Thus, the nation of Israel was born and the Lord God was in covenant with them as His people, their Husband. He has been married to them through this covenant. They became His kingdom of priests and a holy nation.

Moses, with Aaron and his sons and seventy elders of Israel went up, And they saw the God of Israel: and there was under his feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in his clearness (Vs. 10). They ate and drank before Him. The Lord God later called Moses up to the mountain to give him the Ten Commandments written by the Lord's hand.

And the glory of the LORD abode upon mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days: and the seventh day he called unto Moses out of the midst of the cloud. And the sight of the glory of the LORD was like devouring fire on the top of the mount in the eyes of the children of Israel. And Moses went into the midst of the cloud, and gat him up into the mount: and Moses was in the mount forty days and forty nights (16-18).

On the fortieth day when Moses came down from the mountain with the two Tablets bearing the Ten Commandments, the people had broken the second commandment by making for themselves a graven image which they began to worship (the golden calf). The law has revealed their weakness. Moses broke the two Tablets containing the law in anger, and with the Levites standing for the Lord's cause, three thousand people that offended were slaughtered that day. Moses had to return for another forty days on the Lord's mountain for another two tablets of the stones containing the Ten Commandments.

Let's fast-forward. Forty days after the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, He ascended to heaven. Before His ascension, He asked His disciples to wait in Jerusalem to receive the Promise of the Father, the Holy Spirit. He had fulfilled the requirement for the fullness of the Holy Spirit to be poured upon all flesh. In the Old Testament, we saw that the Spirit came upon certain people and they did great exploits for the Lord. We read about it upon Samson, Gideon, Joshua, Elisha, Elijah and all the men of God whom the Lord used to do great exploits. But through His death and resurrection, the Lord Jesus did not only open the Tabernacle of the Most High place to grant us access into the Holy of holies; but also unlike the Mount Sinai where people were commanded not to get too close to the mountain lest they die, but the Lord Jesus had brought the Kingdom and the glory of the Lord unto us. Galatians 3: 13-14 states that Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

His death has brought unto us the Promise of the Spirit of the Lord as the Lord spoke through Prophet Joel that He would pour His spirit upon all flesh (Joel 2: 28-29,refer to the earlier quotation). This has been in the heart and in the redemptive plan of the Father before the foundation of the world, that through the Lord Jesus Christ He would pour His Spirit upon all flesh- on both the Jews and the Gentiles. This brings us to the offering of the two loaves of leavened bread. The two leavened loaves of bread referred to both Jews and Gentiles receiving the abundant flow of God's grace, through the promise of His Spirit. Leaven means sin. This means that though still in sin, God's grace will extend to both Jews and Gentiles through the death of Christ, and He would cleanse them and enter into New Covenant with them through Christ Jesus. This covenant will cut through our hearts by the Holy Spirit to transform our hearts into new heart, and He would write His very laws by the Holy Spirit on the tablets of our hearts. Our hearts and bodies will be purified by the Blood of Jesus Christ and we become His very dwelling place through His Holy Spirit. This promise was fulfilled exactly fifty days after the resurrection of Christ from the dead, which corresponded with the feast of the first fruits, the same fiftieth day the Lord gave His people Torah after the Passover festival which was the celebration of their deliverance from Egyptian bondage.

When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord[a]in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them.4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance (Acts 2: 1-4).

The Lord has poured His spirit, baptizing His people with His Spirit and fire as John the Baptist also prophesied and said:

I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather His wheat into the barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire (Mathew 3: 11-12).

On this day of Pentecost (fifty), the Holy Spirit came upon the people as tongues of fire and they all spoke in different tongues as the Holy Spirit gave them utterance.

And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven. 6 And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own language.7 Then they were all amazed and marveled, saying to one another, "Look, are not all these who speak Galileans? 8 And how is it that we hear, each in our own language in which we were born? 9 Parthians and Medes and Elamites, those dwelling in Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya adjoining Cyrene, visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, 11 Cretans and Arabs-we hear them speaking in our own tongues the wonderful works of God." 12 So they were all amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, "Whatever could this mean?" Others mocking said, "They are full of new wine (Acts 2: 5-13).

To this, the once not so bold Peter, responded by referring them to the Old Testament scriptures that were being fulfilled by this Earth shaking event. After his sermon by the power of the Holy Spirit which had just been poured upon them, three thousand were converted to Christ that day, and the church was born. This three thousand contrasted to the three thousand that were slain after the giving of the Torah, when they broke the law of God and worshipped a graven image. The grace of the Lord has been poured upon us through the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, and through the gift of the Holy Spirit of God.by the grace of God, we could now contain the glory of God in our bodies, unlike on Mount Sinai when the people could not. The glory of God was manifested through the Lord Jesus Christ, whose very righteousness became our merit to receive the gift and favor of God.

On Mount Sinai, on the fiftieth day after the Passover and firstfruits, the nation of Israel, a holy nation was born and entered into a marriage covenant with God as His Holy people. They were to be the light bearers of the Lord unto the nations of the world; the people through whom the gospel would reach the world. They were the Lord's priestly nation.

On the Pentecost in Jerusalem, exactly the fiftieth day after Christ's resurrection from the dead for the world, the Holy Spirit was poured upon His disciples and the Church was born. They thus carried the gospel to both the Jews and the Gentiles fulfilling Christ commission to take the gospel of the Kingdom to the ends of the Earth... to the Jews and the Gentiles alike. The Holy Spirit is the same Spirit that raised the Lord Jesus Christ from the dead, the same Spirit that enabled Him in all His Earthly missions, the same Spirit was given to the Church, to the Jews and the Gentiles. In God's agenda, number 50 is very significant. Number seven is completion. It is the day of rest. 7x7 is 49, completion of the natural, plus 1 is fifty. The plus one transcends to the supernatural. Fiftieth year in God's calendar is always the year of Jubilee. Jubilee means liberty, freedom, liberty. It occurs after seven sets of seven yearly intervals (49 total) are finished. So the Lord asked the people to count seven weeks (49days) before the feast of Pentecost. The Holy Spirit was given on this fiftieth day after resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ as our Jubilee. He is the spirit of liberty, that breaks every yoke of sin and bondage in our lives, setting us free to serve God in Spirit and truth; in joy and gladness of heart and be free to enjoy the abundant blessings of Abraham. All these were ours through the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified ( Isaiah 61:1-3).

 

When the Holy Spirit was poured upon the people and the Church was born, with the power and the out workings of the Holy Spirit, the city of Jerusalem was turned upside down. The power of God was greatly manifested to heal the sick, raise the dead, set the captives free, and nothing was impossible. The newness of life was so evident and glorious that the Chief Priests, the Scribes and other religious leaders were greatly threatened and so they launched great persecution against the Church. The gospel continued to expand with great harvest of souls and with power and might, Gid continued to manifest His glorious hand among the people so much so that the shadow of Peter that fell on the sick healed them. The Church thus is living in continuous season of Jubilee, living continously with the Holy Spirit dwelling with us.

Thus we have the Spirit of God, the Spirit of liberty (Jubilee) dwelling in us as our companion, Helper, Counsellor, Might; our wisdom and knowledge: leading and guiding us always. Through the giving of the Spirit, we are betrothed to the Lord as His Bride and we become partakers of His nature and all the Father has prepared for us through Him, Blessed be the name of the Lord! Is this not worth celebrating!. The Lord God is restoring these feasts back to the Church so that we will begin to enjoy the circles of the Lord's blessings in our lives and walk in His seasons with Him. Today, as we celebrate this feast of Pentecost, we shall enjoy the fresh outpour of the Holy Spirit of God as He comes in a whirlwind, bringing to us the treasures of heaven, amen.

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© Archbishop Gloria Grace. All Rights Reserved.

 

Archbishop Gloria Grace is called to raise Apostolic and Prophetic Leaders and Intercessors across the globe, and as a Prophetic Voice for the Releasing of the Prophetic destiny of the IGBO-JEWS. For conferences and summits, send Emails to hispriestlybride@gmail.com; hispriestlybride@yahoo.com.

 

 

 

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 This is the law of the house; Upon the top of the mountain the whole limit thereof round about shall be most holy. Behold, this is the law of the house (Ezekiel 43:12)