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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

"If Anyone Has An Ear, Let Him Hear # 4

"And When the Day of Pentecost Was Fully Come"

In the Old Testament, the Day of Pentecost is called the Feast of Weeks or the Feast of Harvest or the Feast of Firstfruits, and it was to be celebrated and observed yearly by God's people (Exodus 23:14-17; Leviticus 23:15-22). In Leviticus 23, the Lord declared there were to be certain days and periods of time dedicated unto Him, and verse four states that these Feasts are the Feasts of the Lord:

"there are the Feasts of the Lord , which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are My Feasts, these are the Feasts of the Lord ... which ye shall proclaim in their seasons."

The Lord is saying, "These Feasts, these appointed seasons, are My Feasts; they are the Divinely appointed times and seasons which are sanctified unto Me." The three great Feasts are: 1. The Passover; 2. The Feast of Pentecost; and 3. The Feast of Tabernacles. All the other yearly feasts were celebrated in connection with these three great Feasts of the Lord.

So the Word of God tells us that these Feasts were called "the Feasts of Jehovah" because the time and seasons were appointed and fixed by the Lord Himself. These feasts were not appointed because the feasts were to become a calendar event, or that they belonged to times regulated by the course of the moon, or by growing seasons, etc.; but these Feasts were called "the Feasts of Jehovah" because the Lord had appointed them as days, or times, which were to be sanctified to Him. Thus, they were called "My Feasts" because the Lord Jehovah, the Eternal One - He Who Was, and Is, and Ever Shall Be - appointed them as days, and times, which were to be sanctified unto Him. And each "Feast" pointed to the "appointed time" in His Eternal Plan when they would be perfectly and completely fulfilled by Christ, and in Christ.

Now just as the Cross, the Resurrection, and the Ascension of the Lord Jesus took place in time, exactly at God's appointed time, so did "the Day of Pentecost" actually take place in time, exactly at God's appointed time. However, when the Word says, "And when the Day of Pentecost was completed," it was not only speaking of a day in man's way of marking time, but it was speaking of a Day in the Lord. It was speaking of a divinely appointed "Day" in God's eternal purpose, a "Day" that was appointed before time began. And on this Eternal Day, "the Day of Pentecost," the Lord completed one of the most important portions of His Plan: the Church was baptized in the Spirit" ... When the Day of Pentecost was fully come" the Church, the whole Church, was empowered to become the fullness of Christ.

Now the next thing we need to see is that "the Day of Pentecost" is not just a "Day" unto itself, an appointed time unto itself; for "the Day of Pentecost" is the fulfillment and the consummation of that which began with "the Feast of the Passover." "The Day of Pentecost" is the consummate result of The Passover - the "Day of Pentecost" is the consummate result of the Cross, the Resurrection, and the Ascension of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

The very name "Pentecost" verifies this, for the word "Pentecost" was so called because it was celebrated on the fiftieth day. The Day of Pentecost was calculated from the second day of unleavened bread, from the day of the offering of the sheaf, the wave offering, which prefigured the Resurrection of Christ. "The Day of Pentecost" gives the number fifty its fullest and greatest meaning in the Bible,for in its connection with "the Day of Pentecost" the fiftieth day means: the result of the perfect consummation of time.

We know that God's approval is upon calling this Feast, "the Day of Pentecost," because in Acts 2:1, the Holy Spirit calls this Feast of the Lord, "the Day of Pentecost," instead of its original name, "the Feast of Harvest" (Exodus 23:16). And by doing so, the Holy Spirit is placing special emphasis upon the fiftieth day and its meaning; therefore, this tells us that "the Day of Pentecost" was the result of the perfect consummation of the  time that began with the Feast of the Passover. Leviticus 23 makes it clear that the feast of the Passover, the unleavened bread, and the firstfruits (the wave offering) were observed in the same period of time: the Passover the 14th day of Abib, the unleavened bread the 15th day, the firstfruits the 16th day. Thus, "the Day of Pentecost" was the result of the offering of the True Passover Lamb, Jesus Christ our Lord: "For even Christ our Passover is [was] sacrificed for us ..."(1 Corinthians 5;7). The "Day of Pentecost" was the result of the True, Incorruptible Unleavened Bread, Jesus Christ our Lord, laying down His life that we might have Life Eternal, for Jesus said: "I AM the Bread of Life ... and the Bread, moreover which I will give is My flesh - for the world's life' (John 6:48-51). The "Day of Pentecost" was the result of Jesus Christ our Lord being Resurrected from the dead. It was the result of the One Who is the True Wave Offering, the One who is the Firstfruits of God's Resurrection Harvest being Raised from the dead: "And Jesus said ... "I AM the Resurrection, and the Life" (John 11:25). Oh, beloved, "the Day of Pentecost" is the consummation of God's perfect timing, for the Day of Pentecost IS THE DIVINE RESULT OF THE CROSS, THE RESURRECTION, AND THE ASCENSION OF OUR LORD AND SAVIOUR JESUS CHRIST."

If we look closely at the above Scriptures in 1 Corinthians 5:7, John 6:35, and John 11:25, we shall find that something different has taken place. The "Feasts of the Lord" no longer point to Christ or prefigure Christ; for no longer will the blood of lambs and goats, and other offerings suffice. No! These Feasts of the Lord have become what God always intended them to be, they have become a PERSON, they have become a true and genuine reality in the Person of Jesus Christ.

In John 1:29, we find that the very first mention of the Lamb of God, the very first mention of the True Passover Lamb, far surpasses everything written of the Lamb in the Old Testament.

"The next day John (the Baptist) seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, 'Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin (all of sin) of the world."

Beloved, with these Words, the Holy Spirit through John the Baptist sums up and fulfills all the types and shadows which the Passover lambs, and there were thousands, represented in the Old Testament; and He proclaimed The One Who is the Lamb of God Himself. He heralds the only Lamb which God hath provided! He heralds The One Who taketh away each and every sin of the whole world, sin past, present, sin future!. For we are not redeemed with corruptible things, "But with the Precious Blood of Christ .." (1 Peter 1:19).

Thus, in the Old Testament, the feasts of the Lord only point to Christ and prefigure Christ; but throughout the Gospel of John, the Holy Spirit makes it clear that the feasts of the Lord are all fulfilled, summed up and completed in the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ. May we please prayerfully read John, chapter six, seven, and eleven before we go further; for in these chapters, most of the feasts of the Lord are spoken of, or are indirectly referred to, as our Lord Jesus presses toward "the hour" that He completes the work His Father sent Him to do: His Cross, His Resurrection, His Ascension.

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 5 - "And the Passover, a Feast of the Jews, was Nigh")

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