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The Coming of the Spirit
The disciples were overjoyed and had not been disappointed. For almost three days they had worried – the One they had accepted as the Messiah had been put to death and their dreams and hopes were shattered. They had hoped that this Yahshua whom they had believed in so strongly would again restore to Israel the splendor of the Kingdom as it was under the days of Solomon.
How joyful they were that first day of the week when they learned that the report of the women was indeed true – this same Yahshua of Nazareth had arisen from the dead! He was alive! They had seen Him and touched Him. He had been with them and eaten a meal with them, Acts 1:4. He told them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to await the Father’s promise.
The disciples understood that they were to be immersed in the Holy Spirit, and that they would receive power. Power to reign and rule. Perhaps sitting at His left or right hand, for He said they would be His witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and around the world, Acts 1:8.
Now they were together in Jerusalem awaiting the Feast of Firstfruits (Feast of Weeks or Pentecost). The harvest of the barley was now almost ended, and the ripening wheat was ready for threshing. It was in early June (our time) and they were joyfully waiting the second of the annual special holy times all the saints had observed since the law was given by Moses.
Apparently they thought this power to be given them from on high meant that they were to be given rulership positions either in Jerusalem or perhaps in Judea. Maybe even some place like Rome. Why, they could get rid of those detestable Roman soldiers…!
Although the disciples were a bit presumptuous in thinking the Kingdom of Yahweh would immediately appear where they might be sitting as rulers, the promise of Yahshua is Kingdom rulership, Matt. 19:28.
They Came to Observe Pentecost
Acts chapter 2 records the Holy Spirit coming to this earth and the big change it made upon the disciples and those who followed the teachings of the Messiah.
And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place, Acts 2:1.
They obviously had gathered to celebrate the Feast of Weeks.
The disciples were obeying the command found in Leviticus 23:21:
And you shall proclaim on the selfsame day that it may be a holy convocation unto you: you shall do no servile work therein: it shall be a statute forever in all your dwellings throughout your generations.
This holy day was in effect even after the Savior’s death, as are all of Yahweh’s holy times.
The Holy Spirit came upon the 120 and empowered them to speak in other languages on this day of Pentecost. They came to observe the Feast, not because they were seeking the Holy Spirit.
The Bible calls to our attention that there were devout Jews from around the world who were also in Jerusalem observing the Feast of Weeks as well, Acts 2:5.
The Jews were astounded that the ignorant Galileans were speaking in languages native to the countries in which they were born – some 16 nations in all, acts 2:9-11. They understood what the disciples were saying as they heard in their own tongue the great things of Elohim. Apparently even Peter and John were considered ignorant and unlearned men, Acts 4:13.
Acts 2:16-21 reveals that this was a partial fulfillment of Joel 2:28-31. The disciples were given supernatural power when the Holy Spirit came to earth to stay on this Pentecost day in 32 C.E.
This power was needed to get the early Assembly off the ground. The miracles the disciples were able to perform caused a sensation not only among the assembled Jews, but later among other residents of Jerusalem.
Before the Holy Spirit came to this earth at Pentecost, the Spirit was given to men for a special task and then removed from the earth. When Yahshua’s innocent blood was spilled on this earth, atonement was made and Yahweh’s Spirit could then remain here on earth, indwelling the hearts of His people.
The Spirit is Here Now
Now His Spirit is around about the believer, protecting and guiding those who seek to walk in the footsteps of Yahshua. We no longer pray for Yahweh to send us His Spirit. It is already here with those who obey Him, Acts 5:32.
It should be noted here that had the Jews at that time accepted the message of the disciples, the Millennial Kingdom could have been set up immediately. However, the religionists of that day rejected both them and later Paul, just as they had in general rejected the Messiahship of the Savior Yahshua. And many religionists even reject the simple message of the coming Kingdom of Yahweh as is shown us in His Feast Days.
This is important because Joel said, “in the last days” Yahweh would pour out His Spirit upon all flesh (“a portion of His Spirit on all mankind,” NEB), Joel, 2:38. He has not done that yet.
The Pentecostal movement tries to emulate this occasion, but forgets that it took place at Pentecost, a very special day that Yahweh has ordained that we should remember and observe! We cannot “call down another Pentecost” for Holy Spirit power whenever we want to, for it comes at a special time of each year, Acts 2:1.
Pentecost is observed on the morrow “after your weeks be out,” Num 28:26. The Feast of Weeks is counted “from the morrow after the Sabbath (weekly), from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven Sabbaths shall be complete: even unto the morrow after the seventh Sabbath shall you number fifty days,” Lev. 23:15-16 (see also Deut 16:9).
More Miracles on the Way!
What happened during the time of the Apostles on the day of Pentecost could take place again with even greater significance. It is obvious that not all the prophecies of Joel were completed then.
A little reflection on Joel 2:28-32 shows that there will yet come another pouring out of Yahweh’s Spirit before the Savior returns.
We are told that sons and daughters shall prophesy. There will also be marvels in the sky above and the earth below, blood, and fire, mist of smoke, and the sun will change into darkness and the moon to blood. All of this before the great and resplendent day of Yahweh arrives.
There will be a people who will also perform miracles again, much as the early disciples in Acts 2. They will be given the same supernatural power as was given to the early disciples to get the Assembly off to a flying start.
Many shall learn of Yahweh’s Name. We read in Joel 2:32, “Whoever makes his prayer to the name Of [Yahweh] will be kept safe,” Basic English Bible. Or as the New English Bible renders this verse, “then everyone who invokes [Yahweh] by name shall be saved.”
It must be understood that when the Bible speaks of “calling upon the name of Yahweh,” it means to call upon Him in all His power and splendor, exemplified by His Name “Yahweh.”
His Name means that He will be whatever His people need of Him at that time. He will be their Protector, Deliverer, Provider, Strengthener, Healer, Guide – whatever His people require of Him is what He will be to them. “Yah” means “I will become,” or “I will be,” for it is the Hebrew verb of existence.
We simply cannot expect the same promise and results by calling on “G-d,” as it has no such meaning or power. It was Paul who said there be “Gods many, and Lords many,” 1 Cor 8:5.
We cannot prove that the future fulfillment of Joel 2:28-32 will take place at Pentecost as before. However, His promise is sure and we must be prepared for that time so that we will not be caught unawares. Acts 3:19-21 certainly shows that the Savior has to remain in the heavens until there is a universal restoration (Greek apokatastasis – re-establishment from a state of ruin) of Yahweh’s truth on this earth.
A Harvest Feast of Rest
Not only was the Assembly started at Pentecost in the year 31 C. E., but the Apostle Paul also continued to keep the day long afterwards. Acts 20:16 says he wanted to be in Jerusalem by Pentecost. In 1 Corinthians 16:8 we learn that he would stay at Ephesus until Pentecost, for a great door was opened to him, verse 9.
Pentecost or the Feast of Weeks is one of two harvest feasts. In Exodus 23:16 and 34:22 we learn that it is the firstfruits of the wheat harvest; Tabernacles is the ingathering at the year’s end (margin: revolution of the year). It was the time to bring the offering of firstfruits to the house of Yahweh, Ex 23:19 and 34:26.
The Feast of Weeks is a time when no work is to be done.
Also, in the day of firstfruits, when you bring a new meal offering unto Yahweh, after your weeks be out, you shall have an holy convocation; you shall do no servile work, Num 28:26.
Note that Pentecost is observed when the “weeks are out.” A week is over on the Sabbath, the seventh day. Because it falls on the “morrow after the [weekly] Sabbath,” it is always on Sunday.
Some say this holy day could never fall on the “venerable day of the sun” (Sunday). But there is little difference between the day of the sun and the day of the moon (Monday). Or “Woden’s day” Wednesday. We cannot be bothered by what pagan titles man calls the days of the week, for even the Sabbath is called “Saturn’s day,” but we do not worship the Roman deity Saturn on that day.
Firstfruits of a Special Harvest
The Feast of Weeks is a special time for offering up the firstfruits, as we have seen. Ezekiel 48:14 reveals that they are holy to Yahweh. Firstfruits will again be offered in the Kingdom. Ezekiel 20:40,
“… there shall all the house of Israel, all of them in the land, serve me: there will I accept them, and there will I require your offerings, and the firstfruits of your oblations, with all your holy things.”
Jeremiah 2:3 refers to Israel as Yahweh’s firstfruits. They did not, however, measure up to His high calling. New converts to the body of Messiah, the assembly, are referred to as firstfruits, Romans 16:5, 1 Corinthians 16:15.
James said believers “should be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures,” James 1:8. Yahshua is referred to as the Firstfruits from the dead, 1 Corinthians 15:20. Note especially verses 22-23:
In Messiah shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order. Messiah the firstfruits: afterward they that are the Messiah’s at His coming.
It should be noted that the Jews do not keep Passover at the proper time. They continue to keep Passover a day late by observing it on the end of the 14th of Abib instead of at the beginning of the 14th as the 13th ends, just as they did at the time of the Messiah, John 18:28.
Thus, they do not grasp the significance of Yahshua and do not understand that He is the Lamb that takes away the sins of the world.
Neither do they observe Pentecost on the correct day, but allow it to float through the week instead of observing it “on the morrow after the Sabbath,” which is Sunday. It is also the time when “the weeks are out.”
It is important that we understand that the Holy Spirit monitors the believer today. Now it is possible to obey Yahweh in fullness as His Spirit power is with us day by day to guide and keep us in the narrow way. Through observing His Feast Days we obtain a fuller understanding of His plan of redemption for mankind.
Many significant events took place on the feast days. Yahshua died on Passover. Yahweh’s law was given on Pentecost and the Holy Spirit came on Pentecost so we could keep His law.
But a greater fulfillment awaits mankind. The last four Feast days in the seventh month have not yet been fulfilled. Trumpets, Atonement, Feast of Tabernacles and the Last Great Day are ahead of us. The last Feast is a special time when we shall “see His face” and Yahshua who was the Immanuel (El with us) will be joined by the Father Yahweh Himself, as we see in Revelation 21-22.
Are you missing out in your spiritual growth by not observing these days kept by Yahshua and the early Assembly under the direction of the Apostles? Will you be able to teach others how to keep these times in the kingdom? (see Zechariah 14:16-18 and Ezekiel 45:21 to the end of the chapter)
Now is the accepted time. Now is the day of salvation. Forsake the holidays of the world and show your love to your Creator by keeping the days He commanded!
-Elder Donald R. Mansager
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