The Feast of Pentecost and The Rapture of the Church Part II
Posted by truthoughts on May 23, 2008
I have found an article that goes into a little more detail in some areas of my previous study, which can be found here.
Instead of going over the entire article that I just found, I am going to refer to the parts pertaining to my previous study.
Hebrews 10:30-31,35-39 “For we know Him that said, vengeance belongeth unto Me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, the Lord shall judge His people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God…Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, My soul shall have no pleasure in him. But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.”
Below is an excerpt from the above article:
…For the enlightenment and benefit of our readers, a literal word for word rendering of Habakkuk 2:2-3 follows exactly as it is worded in the Hebrew text of the Bible,
2: And answered me Jehovah and said, Write the vision, and engrave it on the tablets, so that he may run who is reading it.
3: For still the vision is for the appointed festival, but it pants to the end, and does not lie. Though it hesitates, wait for it; for surely it will come; it will not tarry.
Please compare this literal rendering with the wording recorded in the King James Bible. Notice the words “appointed time” in the KJV. These words are translated from the Hebrew word, “mowadah.” This Hebrew word literally means “appointed festival.” See Gesenius Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon, page 457, Strong’s No. 4150.
For any reader willing to deal honestly with God’s Word, this should settle the question of whether or not the Lord is coming on a Jewish Holy Day. This verse explicitly states that the vision of the Lord’s coming is to be fulfilled on “the appointed festival.” In view of this explicit statement, we need not expect the Lord to come at any other time than on a Jewish Festival, for the Lord never violates His own Word…
The Festival of Unleavened Bread
The instructions for observing this festival are given in Exodus 12:14-20 and Leviticus 23:6-14, with specific instructions being given in Leviticus 23:9-14 for the “firstfruits” offering. This observance is also mentioned in several other related passages. What I especially want our readers to notice in the course of this festival is the observance of the “firstfruits” offering.
The “firstfruits” offering was a “sheaf” [omer] of barley, the first grain ripe in Israel in the Spring of the year. There was always some of this grain ripe by Passover. This first ripe barley was gathered in from the field, and the grain was beaten out of the husks until there was an “omer” of barley. The “omer” full of the first ripe barley was then brought to the priest officiating in the Tabernacle [later in the Temple].
The Scriptures tell us that “on the morrow after the sabbath” following Passover, the priest would take this “omer” of barley into the Tabernacle, and standing before the veil which separated the holy place from the “holiest of all,” would lift up the “omer” of barley towards Heaven as high as he could reach, and would “wave the sheaf” [omer] vigorously back and forth before the veil “to be accepted for you, 23:11. The Lord Himself called it a “wave offering” in Leviticus 23:15. Glory to God!
Please dear readers, in this study I am only presenting those facts about the “wave offering” of the “firstfruits” which are necessary to give our readers an understanding of what the offering foreshadowed. You can study all the details for yourself.
The Fulfillment of Firstfruits
If you are a true Bible believer then you know that just as the Israelites sacrificed a lamb on that first Passover [and each Passover thereafter], so 1,517 years later the Lord Jesus Christ, “the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world,” John 1:29, was sacrificed on Passover in 30 A.D.
Three days and three nights after Christ was crucified, just as the 17th day of Abib ended and the 18th day began, “on the morrow after the sabbath” following the Passover, the Lord Jesus Christ came forth from the tomb, triumphant over death, hell, and the grave, Matthew 28:1; Mark 16:1-6; Luke 24:1-7; John 20. Glory to God! Hallelujah! Praise the Lord!
Now here is where the events really get interesting. For on that same first day of the week, “the morrow after the sabbath,” the Scriptures state, “many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after His resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many,” Matthew 28:52-53. Folks, these were the “firstfruits” [plural] of the resurrection, which included Christ Himself, 1 Corinthians 15:20, all of which were foreshadowed by the “omer” of barley. Glory to God! Praise the Lord! Hallelujah! But let’s put it all together.
According to John 20:1-18, on that glorious “first day of the week” when Christ arose, Mary Magdalene came early to the tomb, “when it was yet dark,” and found the tomb empty. She ran and told Peter and John and they came to the tomb and also found it empty. Peter and John then left the tomb, but Mary remained at the tomb weeping. The Lord then appeared to her, identifying Himself, and saying to her, “Touch Me not; for I am not yet ascended to My Father: but go to My brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto My Father, and your Father; and to My God, and your God.” It is then obvious that at that specific time on that resurrection morning, the Lord had not yet ascended to the Father.
However, according to Matthew 28:1-10, just a few hours [or a few minutes…??] later the Lord met “Mary Magdalene and the other Mary” as they were going to tell the other disciples what the angel had told them, “And they came and held Him by the feet, and worshiped Him.” Folks, in that interval of time the Lord had ascended into Heaven itself [Hebrews 9:24], where He presented His blood to the Father, and also presented to the Father “the firstfruits of them that slept,” all of which were received and accepted by the Father, and then the Lord returned to earth to meet the two Mary’s. Glory to God!
Folks, it certainly appears that Christ and the “firstfruit” saints were standing before the Father’s throne in Heaven that morning at the very same time that the Jewish priest was standing in the Temple waving the “firstfruits” barley offering before a veil that was standing wide open [Mark 15:38], clearly signifying that the way into Heaven itself was now open for all who will believe, Hebrews 10:19-20. Remember that the Scriptures explicitly state that this offering was “to be accepted for you.” Folks, it is the blood of our risen Christ that makes the truly repentant believer “accepted” by the Heavenly Father, Ephesians 1:3-7. Glory! Praise the Lord! Hallelujah! Glory to God! “Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord.” Psalm 150:6.
Folks, there are two things here I want you to notice. First, it is obvious that the “wave offering” of the “firstfruits” of the “omer” of barley on “the morrow after the sabbath” following Passover clearly foreshadowed the resurrection of Christ and those “firstfruits” saints who came out of their graves after His resurrection. Second, this observance marked the beginning of the barley harvest.
Now let’s look at the other Jewish Festival…..
The Festival of Harvest
This Jewish Festival is known today as “Pentecost.” It is referred to in the Scriptures as “the feast of harvest,” Exodus 23:16, and also as “the feast of weeks,” Exodus 34:22; Deuteronomy 16:10; 16:16; 2 Chronicles 8:13. It is the only other Jewish Festival during the course of the Jewish year where a “wave offering” taken from the barley harvest was presented to the Lord. Didn’t we just see that the “wave offering” of the barley foreshadowed the resurrection and rapture of Christ and the “firstfruits” of God’s people? Then what do you think the second “wave offering” of barley foreshadows? Well..??
The instructions for the observance of Pentecost are recorded in Leviticus 23:15-21. The word “Pentecost” simply means “fifty.” This is because the “wave offering” on Pentecost came fifty days after the “firstfruits” wave offering on “the morrow after the sabbath” following Passover. Both “wave offerings” were regarded as “firstfruits” to the Lord, Leviticus 23:17; 23:20. .
On this “appointed festival” two loaves of barley bread were to be brought “out of your habitations” [homes] to the priest, Leviticus 23:17. The priest would take these two loaves of barley bread into the Tabernacle [or Temple], and standing before the veil would “wave” them before the Lord, just as he had “waved” the “omer” of barley 50 days previously. What does this foreshadow? Let’s see…..
The Waving of the Loaves
These two barley loaves had been baked “with leaven,” Leviticus 23:17. This is the only place in all of God’s Word where the Jewish people were explicitly told to use “leaven.” In God’s Word “leaven” is a type of sin. It never typifies anything but sin in God’s Word, Matthew 13:33; 1 Corinthians 5:6-8. Because leaven typifies sin, the Jews were explicitly forbidden from using “leaven” in all of their offerings to the Lord, except this one. Why this exception?
This exception was made because, just as the “omer” of barley typified the Lord and the “firstfruit” saints, these loaves also typify God’s people. In what way? Folks, true believers are now saints who were once sinners. The only people the Lord saves are sinners. The Lord doesn’t save so-called “good people” [Ecclesiastes 7:20; Romans 3:23]. He only saves men and women, boys and girls, who realize and confess that they are “dead in trespasses and sins,” Ephesians 2:1; 2:8-9. Then, having believed His Word and repented, the Holy Spirit comes into the repentant believer’s body and takes up His abode, John 14:16-17. And, just as the fire in the Jewish ovens baked the leaven out of those loaves of barley bread, so the fire of God’s Holy Spirit [which was given on Pentecost] bakes the SIN out of the life of the truly repentant believer. Glory! Glory to God! Praise the Lord!
These two loaves of barley bread then served two purposes.
First, they signified the end of the barley harvest which had been harvested over the past 50 days. Note this well!
Second, just as the “waving” of the “omer” of barley clearly foreshadowed the resurrection and rapture of the Lord Jesus Christ and the saints who came out of their graves after His resurrection, so the “waving” of these two barley loaves foreshadows the resurrection and rapture of God’s people [true believers] saved during this present Dispensation of Grace. Folks, the barley harvest is a type of the Dispensation of Grace. Just as the two barley loaves “waved before the Lord” at Pentecost signified the end of the barley harvest, so they also foreshadowed the end of “the fullness of the Gentiles” [Romans 11:25], and therefore the resurrection and rapture of “the dead in Christ” and “the living in Christ.” There are your two loaves! See John 11:25-26 and 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18.
Now let’s examine some additional proof in God’s Word of what I am presenting, 1 Thessalonians 5:21.
Ruth…..The Gentile Bride
Any serious Bible student knows that Ruth is a type of the Gentile bride of Christ, and that Boaz is a type of Christ. The entire Book of Ruth is filled with Scriptures teaching these truths. Study it for yourself.
When Ruth [the Gentile] returned to the land of Israel with Naomi [the Jewess] “….. they came to Bethlehem in the beginning of the barley harvest,” Ruth 1:22. This gives us the time period involved in this account. The real story of Ruth began on or near Passover and the observance of “firstfruits.”
How and when does the story set forth in the Book of Ruth end? It ends with Ruth’s espousal [and subsequent marriage] to Boaz “in the threshing floor” of Boaz, where Boaz “winnoweth barley,” Ruth 3:2. Folks, that is exactly what the Lord is doing today. He is separating the barley from the chaff [true believers from mere “religionists”] in preparation for the marriage. Glory to God! Hallelujah!
After the espousal had been made on or near the end of the barley harvest [Pentecost], Boaz placed “six measures of barley” on the shoulders of Ruth, and “she went into the city.” Could the six measures of barley be a type of the saved during the 6000 years of human history? 2 Peter 3:8. Could her going “into the city” foreshadow our entering into the New Jerusalem? Folks, Ruth is a type of the Gentile bride of Christ; the Lord’s church, Acts 20:28; 2 Corinthians 11:2. Christ is coming after His bride just as He promised [John 14:1-3], and “they that are Christ’s” shall be “caught up…..to meet the Lord in the air,” 1 Corinthians 15:23; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18. When? On Pentecost!
The Samaritan Woman
In John 4 the Lord met the Samaritan woman at the well of Jacob [the well of living water]. The Samaritan woman was looked down upon by the Jews, for they considered her to be a “goyim;” a Gentile dog. The Lord revealed Himself to this Gentile woman as the promised Messiah of Israel and the great “I AM.” [Check the actual way John 4:26 is worded in the Greek text].
The Samaritan woman then went into the city and proclaimed, “Come, see a Man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?” Folks, this is exactly what the Lord’s church has been doing the past 2,000 years; inviting the lost world to come to Christ. Some readers may object to using this adulterous woman as a type of the Lord’s church. I suggest that before you become too “self-righteous and holy” you ought to read Paul’s inspired statement to the church in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11. When a repentant sinner is “justified,” they become as spiritually pure as if they had never known sin. Sure this woman had previously had five husbands and was living in open sin with a man right then, but has it ever occurred to some of you that Ruth wasn’t a “virgin” either. She also had been previously married. Yet she is a wonderful type of the pure, virtuous Gentile bride of Christ. So is the Samaritan woman. Glory to God! Praise the Lord!
Now notice that the Lord’s disciples came on the scene and urged the Lord to eat. The Lord’s reply in John 4:34-36 is so enlightening.
“…..My meat [food] is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work.
Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh the harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.
And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both He that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together.”
Folks, Christ Himself is the “sower” who began sowing the seed at the beginning of the harvest season. He said so Himself in Matthew 13:37. He is also the “reaper” who brings the harvest to an end. That is exactly what He is stating in John 4:34. He is the One who will “finish the work” that He began. Praise the Lord!
But when is the work to be finished? Folks, it is exactly four months between the Festival of Pentecost and the Festival of Tabernacles. Count it for yourself. So it is obvious that the Lord met the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well on the day of Pentecost. Folks, the Festival of Tabernacles is the celebration of all the completed harvests [barley…wheat…grape] at the end of the year. But there, on the day of Pentecost, the Lord explicitly told His disciples, “DO NOT SAY…..There are yet four months, and then cometh the harvest….” The Lord told His disciples the harvest was ready right then and was being reaped that day. What day? The day of Pentecost!
Folks, the Lord is coming to resurrect and rapture His New Testament saints to glory at the end of the barley harvest on the day of Pentecost. Glory! Praise the Lord! Hallelujah!
But what about…..
“That is the day the trumpets are blown, and the rapture is clearly associated with the blowing of a trumpet, so it must be the day the rapture will occur. Right?”
Wrong! Wrong! Wrong! If God’s people would seriously get into God’s Word, they would find that the trumpets were blown on every Jewish holy day. Read it for yourself. The inspired instructions for making and using the trumpets are given in Numbers 10:1-10. Verse 10 explicitly states, “Also in the day of your gladness, and in your solemn days, and in the beginnings of your months, ye shall blow with the trumpets over your burnt offerings, and over the sacrifices of your peace offerings; that they may be to you for a memorial before your God: I am the Lord your God.”
Folks, the trumpets were blown on every day of significance to the Jewish people throughout their whole year. If all you have to connect Rosh Ha-Shanah with the resurrection and rapture of God’s people is the blowing of trumpets, then you have nothing.
Further, Rosh Ha-Shanah is not one of the three Jewish Festivals. Habakkuk 2:3 explicitly states “For still the vision [of the Lord’s coming for His people] is for the appointed festival…” Folks, the Lord is not going to violate His own Word. The resurrection and rapture of God’s people is going to occur on one of the three Jewish Festival during the course of Israel’s year. Rosh Ha-Shanah is not a festival!
Again, Rosh Ha-Shanah comes in the end of the year just 15 days before the Jewish Festival of Tabernacles. Tabernacles comes four months after Pentecost. The Lord explicitly told His disciples, “DO NOT SAY, there are yet four months…” until the harvest. Are you one of the Lord’s disciples? Are you listening to Him?
The Rosh Ha-Shanah theory just doesn’t stand up to the testing of God’s Word. I might add that it makes no difference who is teaching the theory. That won’t alter the truth of God’s Word one iota. Almighty God is not a respecter of persons.
Folks, the Day of Pentecost this year falls June 8th, however it actually begins at sundown on June 7th in Israel. What are the significance of these dates?
On June 7, 1967 the Holy Temple Mount and the city of Jerusalem were returned to their rightful owners during the Six Day War. That is the “date” when the tender branch of the fig tree put forth leaves, Matthew 24:32. The Lord Himself said, “So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors,” Matthew 24:33. June 7, 1967 is the “date” when the forty year “generation” began, Matthew 24:34. Therefore on June 7, 2007 the fortieth year arrived. However, Israel is still in the 40th year until June 7, 2008. The 41st year will begin on June 8, 2008. What day is that? It is the Day of Pentecost. Is all of this just coincidence? Or is Almighty God trying to tell His people WHEN He is coming?
I am also told that Pentecost marks the 33rd counting of the “omer.” Thirty-three is the Bible number for “promise.” Is this just another coincidence? Some 2,000 years ago the Lord Jesus Christ promised His disciples, “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also,” John 14:3. Folks, the Lord always keeps His Word, and on this coming Pentecost, June 7th – 8th, you will see that for yourself. Glory! Praise the Lord!
“But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief,” 1 Thessalonians 5:4. Do you believe this Scripture? Do you really believe this Scripture? If you do, then you better get with God’s program. Our Lord is coming!
Folks, this truth is so simple that I now realize that the Lord has tried to show me this truth previously, and I was so dense I stumbled right over it.
The “feast of firstfruits” marked the beginning of the barley harvest, and foreshadowed the resurrection and rapture of “Christ [and] the firstfruits…,” 1 Corinthians 15:23.
The “feast of harvest” [Pentecost] marked the end of the barley harvest, and foreshadows the resurrection and rapture of all New Testament believers. Glory!
Isn’t that simple? Such a simple truth that God’s people have been stumbling right over it for centuries…
It truly is an amazing thing if we are that close to our going home to be with the Lord forever, always to be with Him. No matter how it all plays out, we know that He promised to return for His Church, He promised to prepare a place for us [John 14:2-3] there where He is and He has never let us down. He said to watch, look up and love His coming, so I urge you to do just that. Be prepared:
Luke 12:45 “But if that servant say in his hear, My Lord delayeth His coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken;
Luke 12:46 “The Lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for Him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers.”
Luke 12:47 “And that servant, which knew his Lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to His will, shall be beaten with many stripes.
So, prepare yourself to meet your God because whether He comes while you live or not, you will meet Him.