The Feast of Pentecost and The Rapture of the Church
Posted by truthoughts on May 13, 2008
Could the rapture of the church happen on Pentecost?
This first part (regarding 2009) I have added to my “Rapture Theories” page, located in a tab above:
One point that I would like to point out first that I did not cover in my Pentecost Rapture post originally is that most Christians believe that Christ Jesus will need to fulfill all of the feasts of the Lord. We all know that He has already fulfilled the first 3 and have ideas on how He will fulfill the last ones in the fall… however, many believe that Pentecost has been fulfilled by Him and yet, that is NOT the case. Pentecost for the Church was done by the Holy Spirit, not Jesus. Therefore, Jesus still needs to fulfill it. This is where the Rapture (which is the next event on the prophetic time table) comes in.
Just a note… I have noticed that there is some confusion as to when Pentecost is this year (2009). Some are saying that it is on Friday, May 29, 2009. It is actually on Sunday, May 31, 2009 (though it begins at sundown on May 30th to sunset May 31st). You can see this in Leviticus 23: 15-16 . Pentecost is always the day after the Sabbath. The Sabbath is always on Saturday and the day after that is always a Sunday.
The following quote was added for 2008:
First of all, the true biblical holiday of Pentecost is NOT this weekend (May 17-18). Christians who are celebrating Pentecost on this weekend are basing their judgment on Easter, which they believe represents the Passover… this is not true. Easter was celebrated a month before Passover this year based on the Gregorian calendar not the Hebrew calendar. The true Passover was on April 20th not March 23rd. Therefore, Pentecost is actually June 8th. [*edit by author* Thanks to a wonderful reader, Donna, she pointed out that Pentecost in 2008 is actually June 15th. I went back to research this information and found that she is correct. I began my counting from the Sabbath between Passover and First Fruits, but I was suppose to count from the following Sabbath. This takes us to June 15, 2008, which is a Sunday. I deeply appologize for the inacuracy, but I gratefully thank Donna for the correction.]
Now here is where it may get a little confusing to some… If we base our dates and times according to Jerusalem, since that is how God did it, then this would cause us to begin our celebration on June 7th. According to the Bible, the beginning of a day is at sunset on the previous day. So, June 8th would actually begin at sunset on June 8th and go until sunset on June 8th. Well, if you live in CST in the United States (we are currently 8 hours behind Jerusalem) that would be around 10:00 am ‘ish our time. CLICK HERE to calculate the sunset times for these dates. CLICK HERE to see what time it will be in your area. You also need to keep in mind that the Biblical Sabbath is actually on Saturday not Sunday as the pagans celebrate.
Now that we have that covered, lets take a look at a few things about Pentecost and the rapture, taking place on Pentecost…
A Specific Time vs. A Specific Number of Believers
Regarding Romans 11:25 “For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness inpart is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in.”
Some base their belief that no one knows the day or the hour because you cannot know how many will be included into the church, therefore, you cannot determine when the rapture/resurrection will occur.
Okay, I agree that there is a definite number of those who will be saved by grace before the tribulation, however, I would not limit God to say that He couldn’t calculate this to fit perfectly with a specific date… The Lord God is one of perfect accuracy; the Bible says that God knows the day and the hour in which the rapture/resurrection will occur.
Matthew 24:36 “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, My Father only.”
Now, we must keep the ‘lack of information’ towards man in the proper context here. In this chapter, Jesus is speaking to the Jewish people who will be here during the tribulation, not the Church. The point I am trying to make with this verse is that the Father already knows when it is all going to happen. For more clarification on my previous sentence, please read: Amos 3:7
The Bible also states that the festivals are a shadow of things to come, which means that they each have a prophetic fulfillment.
Colossians 2:16-17 “Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come;…”
Some may say that these holy days are fulfilled “for the Jewish people…” Well, the Church began on Pentecost and it includes the Gentiles… not just the Jewish people. A good way to look at it is that Pentecost could be the parentheses around the Church age between Daniel’s 69th week and the 70th week.
Lets continue to look at God, as a God of specifics (this character trait is what allows us to put our trust in His Word and the accuracy of His Word). If we were to compare the rapture/resurrection of the Church to a nautical picture, as some may, based on Romans 11:25, then we must look at it from more of a military image rather than one of a random traveler. We are soldiers in Christ, which is why we are called to put on the full armor of God:
Ephesians 6:10-18 “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;”
A military ship, though sailors may get drunk on their leaves, will leave at precisely the right time and if you aren’t ready when the time comes… you would get left and charged with an AWOL. Kind of sounds like the parable of the wise and foolish virgins, don’t you think? Matthew 25
Pentecost is celebrated on the 6th of Sivan, which is 50 days after the Passover Sabbath (First Fruits). This holy day is sandwiched between the three holy days in the spring (Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Fruits) and the three holy days in the fall (Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot “Tabernacles”). Its true Hebrew name is Shavuot. We get the name Pentecost from the Greeks, which means 50 because of the 50 days we count from the Passover Sabbath.
Leviticus 23:10 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye be come into the land which I give unto you, and shall reap the harvest thereof, then ye shall bring a sheaf of the first fruits of your harvest unto the priest:
Leviticus 23:15-16 And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the Sabbath, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven Sabbaths shall be complete: And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the Sabbath, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven Sabbaths shall be complete:
Pentecost Reference Names
The Feast of Weeks (because of the counting of weeks between Passover to Pentecost)
First Fruits of the Wheat Harvest (because this is when the wheat harvest is gathered)
Feast of Ingathering (because this is when the harvest is gathered unto the high priest)
1. According to Jewish tradition based in the book of Enoch, Enoch was born and raptured to heaven on the holy day Pentecost. CLICK HERE for the book of Enoch. Genesis 5:21-24 Enoch is viewed as a type of the Church whereas, we too will be spared from the tribulation period as he was from the flood. Many scholars refer back to Jesus stating in Matthew 24:37 that His coming would be as in the days of Noah.
With this assumption, then the world (nations) would be destroyed (judged) by His wrath, a remnant of Israel (Noah) would be spared through His wrath and the Church (Enoch) would be removed before His wrath. I believe that the beginning of God’s wrath starts with the first seal in Revelation 6, but that is a topic to be covered later.
So, if this is the case and Enoch was raptured on his birthday… then the conclusion could be made that the Church might also be raptured on it’s birthday – Pentecost, for we are sealed for the day of redemption Ephesians 4:30.
2. The Torah was given to the Jewish people as a covenant between them and the Lord God on Mount Sinai. Exodus 19
3. The Holy Spirit filled the Church and sealed them for the day of redemption. Acts 2 and Ephesians 4:30
Exodus 23:16 And the Feast of Harvest, the First Fruits of thy labors, which thou hast sown in the field: and the Feast of Ingathering, which is in the end of the year, when thou hast gathered in thy labors out of the field.
Exodus 34:22 And thou shalt observe the Feast of Weeks, of the First Fruits of wheat harvest, and the Feast of Ingathering at year’s end.
Leviticus 23:17 “Ye shall bring out of your habitations two wave loaves of two tenth deals: they shall be of fine flour; they shall be baken with leaven; they are the firstfruits unto the Lord.”
We may assume that these two loaves of leavened bread, which are also called the “first fruits” to the Lord, are the Church (1=Jewish believers, 2=Gentile believers). We are called the First Fruits unto the Lord. The leaven represents sin and giving it in a wave offering is a way of sanctifying it before the Lord as He did with us through Christ the Messiah. A good point to make here as well, is that this is the ONLY feast where leaven is used and so it can be viewed that this is the only feast directly dealing with the Church.
James 1:18 “Of His own will begat He us with the Word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.”
The book of Ruth is read. The book of Ruth, has been compared to, the story of the Church, our relationship to Israel and the Lord by many scholars. I would like to quote Jack Kelly now on his take regarding this:
Naomi in the role of Israel, destitute and alone; Ruth as the Church, the gentile bride; Boaz as the Kinsman Redeemer (Messiah) and the story a prediction of the relationship between the three of them. On His way to redeeming Israel, the Kinsman Redeemer takes a gentile bride, saving both from destitution.
Exodus 19:13 “…when the trumpet soundeth long, they shall come up to the mount.”
Acts 2:1 “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.”
Matthew 13:30 “Let both [wheat and tares] grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into My barn.”
In summation, Pentecost is a very good possibility for the rapture/resurrection of the Church. One more idea I would like to share regarding whether we will be aware of it right before or not… If we use Enoch as an example, then according to the book of Enoch, he was told the day of his rapture that it was time to go. If memory serves me correctly, he was told a year before that he had a year left to get his house in order.
Anyway, Enoch is a “Lost Book of the Bible”, so its infallibility is in some question whether it has been preserved completely or not. The canonized Bible that we use today makes reference to the book (teachings) of Enoch, so researching it with discernment could prove beneficial. Jude 1:14-15
Either way, whether it happens on Pentecost or not, we will keep looking up… watching and preparing while sharing the Word of God with others until we cannot work in the harvest fields any longer because our Beloved has called us home.
Click here for Part II
NEW: Please also see my recent post here: Pentecost 2010 and the Prophetic Beyond