Pentecost pictures God’s Holy Spirit being bestowed on Christians. In the beginning, God’s Spirit was freely offered to Adam and Eve by way of the Tree of Life. When they failed to take full advantage of that opportunity for Life, God’s Spirit was sealed off from the great majority of mankind until Jesus Christ established the Church of God after He had completed His public ministry.
God’s Holy Spirit was poured out on the first-century brethren in abundance, beginning on that first Day of Pentecost after Jesus died. Every person who was observing the Feast Day with one accord received God’s Holy Spirit and became a child of God at that moment. Pentecost is a major part of the Plan of God and its story is intricately woven in the history of God’s relationship with mankind. In fact, Pentecost is the pivotal Day around which the other Feast Days revolve. We know that Pentecost pictures the Holy Spirit being bestowed on the called out saints. But the story begins way back in the Old Testament.
The Wave Sheaf offering of Leviticus 23:10 pictures Jesus Christ. The Wave Sheaf and Pentecost are connected by the counting of weeks. None of the other Feasts of God are counted or connected in this way. After seven complete weeks (seven weeks of seven days) from the Wave Sheaf day we arrive at Pentecost, the fiftieth day (Leviticus 23:15, Deuteronomy 19:9).
As God’s Church has grown in understanding, the details of Pentecost have become clearer to us as Jesus said they would. He said that the Comforter which is the Holy Spirit would teach us all things, and bring all things to our remembrance (John 14:26). That is how we are able to understand that the two wave loaves of fine flour represent the firstfruits of the spiritual harvest (Leviticus 23:17). Those two loaves represented all those who would be in the first resurrection.
We are blessed to have been called now to be the firstfruits of God’s spiritual creation – being made unto His image, and eventually unto His spiritual eternal life. At this time we are only a work in progress – not yet complete – not yet like Him as He is (1John 3:2). This spiritual development in us is shown by Pentecost and the events surrounding Pentecost – up to the final Pentecost at Christ’s return when the very last trumpet will sound.
“In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” (1Corinthians 15:52)
Notice that ‘trumpet’ is singular in this instance – not trumpets (plural), as it is in the Feast of Trumpets. The trumpet spoken of here is the very last trumpet to sound – and that occurs at the resurrection of the saints.
“The Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” (1Thessalonians 4:16-17)
Pentecost is the early spiritual harvest of saints spoken of in Exodus 23:16. There are two harvests mentioned in this verse. The early harvest is completed in late May or early June at the time of Pentecost. The Church of God, including the prophets and the saints of the Old Testament, are a part of the firstfruits, and will be in this better resurrection (Hebrews 11:35).
“You shall observe the Feast of Weeks of the firstfruits of wheat harvest [Pentecost], and the Feast of Ingathering, [Feast of Tabernacles] which is in the end of the year, when thou hast gathered in thy labors out of the field.” (Exodus 23:16)
The second harvest is a much larger harvest and comes at summer’s end – the end of the year – corresponding to the Feast of Tabernacles which pictures the great spiritual harvest of the millennium and from the great white throne judgment period (Revelation 20:11).
The Wave Sheaf pictures the sacrifice of Jesus being accepted by God the Father as the First of the firstfruits of the harvest (John 20:17). Jesus’ sacrifice was accepted as the firstborn from the dead (Colossians 1:18). The resurrection of the saints is inextricably tied to the resurrection of Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:5-6). When God the Father formally accepted Jesus Christ, it became possible for us too, to be accepted and become future sons and daughters of God – Children of God.
The Day of Pentecost at Christ’s return will constitute the completion of our spiritual Creation when we, the Children of God, become full-fledged members of the Spiritual, Eternal Family of God.