The objective of the saints is to fulfill the grand plan by being part of that harvest. Their command and desire is to be “holy to Yahweh,” the same message emblazoned across the miter of the high priest. A kingdom position of serving Yahweh as a kingdom of priests is what the righteous are promised.
Pentecost and what was done on this moed is the avenue accessing Yahweh’s salvation. Pentecost is also known as the Feast of Weeks or Feast of Firstfruits, anticipating a time when the saints as firstfruits are gathered from the earth into the Kingdom.
In Exodus 34:22 we read of the Feast of Firstfruits. “And you shall observe the feast of weeks, of the firstfruits of wheat harvest, and the feast of ingathering at the year’s end.” If you seek greater understanding of the Kingdom the answer is found in the Feasts of Levicitus 23. It’s all there. The coming rulership of Yahshua is also revealed in Yahweh’s seven annual Feast Days.
Elect on the Cutting Edge
The key to understanding the Kingdom is the selection of the elect who will receive favored positions. They are known as firstfruits. A firstfruit is a first comer and the first taken. On the cutting edge of truth, he blazes the trail directly behind Yahshua and navigates the way for an entourage who follow later. But it is a challenging way of briars, obstacles, sharp turns, potential dangers and temptations and is not for the weak or faint of heart. Unlike the popular message, it’s not a free ride.
Who naturally seeks the difficult way? Isaiah wrote that most individuals prefer the downhill, comfort ride requiring little to no exertion or commitment: “Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits,” Isaiah 30:10.
No better example exists of Yahweh’s Truth in operation than the personal sacrifice of Yahshua, who was our example through His obedience to Yahweh. He was the first of the firstfruits harvest, symbolized by the barley wave sheaf’s initial offering during the Feast of Unleavened Bread.
The Apostle Paul writes of this in 1Corinthians 15:22-23: “For as in Adam all die, even so in Messiah shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Messiah the firstfruits [wavesheaf]; afterward they that are Messiah’s at His Coming.”
Fifty days later at Pentecost the second firstfruits offering is presented, represented by the first of the wheat harvest. This harvest symbolizes the saints who are specially chosen now for an extraordinary position in His priesthood. Finally, the general harvest occurs in the autumn, at the Feast of Tabernacles—also called Feast of Ingathering.
Pentecost is the only festival of Yahweh for which no specific date is given in the Scriptures. It must be counted out seven weeks from the day the wave sheaf was offered during Unleavened Bread. (See accompanying article, “A Feast that Counts.”)
In Force in New Covenant
Here is a key fact most of churchianity fails to grasp because of traditional blinders: Yahweh presents His plan of salvation through the Feasts in both testaments.
In the Old we see the Feasts as central to the covenant of Israel that established His chosen ones. We see the Feasts again in the New Testament as foundational to the New Covenant for those grafted into Israel.
Obedience to Yahweh’s commands is central to each. Paul in Acts 24:14 wrote, “But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the Elohim of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets.” Law and prophets is another way of saying the Old Testament.
Most worshipers have been told that the Feast days are just dead, Old Testament ritual, which were abolished along with the animal sacrifices performed on them. They are never told that the Feasts are central to New Testament worship as well, with Yahshua’s one-time substitute sacrifice (on Passover, not Easter) in force now.
References to Yahweh’s annual observances are all over the New Testament. They were diligently celebrated by Yahshua and His followers before and after His resurrection. They answer the big questions of salvation. And they are key to prophecy.
New Testament ‘Spirit’ Feast
Other than the Passover, the observance given the most details in the New Testament is Pentecost in Acts 2. Here we find the New Testament assembly gathering as they always did in obedience to keeping a Feast. Clearly this and all Feasts are still in force. Yahshua told His disciples that once He was gone they were to tarry at Pentecost to wait for the giving of the Spirit.
Pentecost in the New Testament book of Acts 2 was 10 days after Yahshua’s ascension to heaven and 50 days following His resurrection. Had the followers gone home from Jerusalem or had they not come for the Feast of Firstfruits or Shavuot, they would have missed the opportunity to receive the Spirit.
The same lesson is for us. If we are not assembled with the brethren on Yahweh’s Feasts we will miss out on key blessings—even the blessings of the Kingdom when Yahshua returns.
All indications are that Yahshua will return at a Feast, a “time appointed” or moed, as Daniel 8:19 indicates. When the woman (Assembly) is carried on eagle’s wings into the wilderness, it is for her protection.
The first time such an occurrence happened ancient Israel was taken into the wilderness to keep a Feast to Yahweh, even as Moses had implored Pharaoh for permission to do. Yahweh protected Israel from Pharaoh’s pursuing army. Israel had the flame by night (Spirit) and cloud of protection by day. Because so much of what happened of old will happen again, all evidence points to a similar scenario of protection for those gathered at a Feast in the last days.
Compare Exodus 19:4 with Revelation 12:6.
Exodus 19:4: “You have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself.”
Revelation 12:14: “And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.”
Fire, cloud, and bird wings are symbolic of spirit.
In the Revelation account we learn that spiritual Israel is: taken to the wilderness (just as Israel was); to a place prepared of Yahweh (we are to keep a Feast where Yahweh places His Name; just as Israel did—not in our own backyard); and the Assembly there is fed of Yahweh for a period of time, three-and-a-half years.
Similarly, we feed on Yahweh’s Word at His Feasts just as Israel fed on manna. Some believe that manna will be provided again at this time to Yahweh’s obedient.
Let’s suppose you are gathered with the brethren at a Feast, either Trumpets or Unleavened Bread or Pentecost—the three mainmoedim that have been cited as possible times of Yahshua’s return. There you will find protection while others who are disobedient are left to suffer wrath unleashed on the earth.
Yahweh works in parallels, in analogies, in type and antitype, in duality—especially in prophecy’s ancient and modern fulfillment.
The Bible is so complex a collection of books that most everything significant in it has a parallel or connection to something else or to another place or time. If we didn’t “see through a glass darkly” we would be able to discern the many prophetic parallels far better and more accurately.
Yahshua’s Pentecost Teachings
In chapter 1 of Acts, Luke picks up where His Book of Luke leaves off—discussing the life of Yahshua the Messiah and His last activity on earth, known as the transfiguration. Following is that account:
“For John truly baptized with water; but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days hence. When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Master, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Spirit is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth,” Acts 1:6, 7, 8.
In verse 5 Yahshua showed that there would be an advancement between John’s baptism and New Testament immersion, and the giving of the Holy Spirit which would begin with Pentecost,.
They were looking for Yahshua to establish the Kingdom with Israel. They knew that Israel is the firstfruits, with others to be added through obedience and faith in Yahshua. Notice in verse 7 He doesn’t say, you have it all wrong, the Kingdom will be set up with the newly established New Testament church.
“Power” is Greek dunamis — from dunamis we get our word dynamite. This Power was for effective witnessing of Yahshua throughout all the earth.
At Sinai, when the Israelites heard the thunder and saw the lightning, and saw the mountain in smoke, they trembled with fear.
In Hebrew “thunder and lightning” literally is “voices and flashing” or “torches.” But when the Greek Septuagint was completed in the 3rd century B.C.E., “voices” was translated “thunders,” while “torches” was translated “lightnings.” So in Acts 2, when we see the tongues like fire on the heads of the people and the instant translating of the Apostles’ words going on through the Spirit, we see a parallel to Sinai and Yahweh’s communicating to those gathered.
The events in Acts 2 Pentecost were not just some isolated miracles without purpose. When you pull it all together, you come to an exciting conclusion, and it’s the very same conclusion that Peter arrived at in Acts 2:15: “This is what was spoken by the prophet Joel.”
What did Joel prophesy?
Among other things, he said that Yahweh was going to do something very special at one special mountain: Joel 2:32: “And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of Yahweh shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as Yahweh has said, and in the remnant whom Yahweh shall call.”
Connecting Mt. Zion to Mt. Sinai we come full circle. Isaiah2:2-3 holds the answer: “And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of Yahweh’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of Yahweh, to the house of the Elohim of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of Yahweh from Jerusalem.”
Yahweh interacted with Israel both at Mt. Sinai and in Mt. Zion (Jerusalem).
In John 1:7 we see where John came to bear witness, meaning a bearing witness, the Greek word is marturia. An active witness, not just a showcase.
Too often the idea is that I must get baptized and receive the Holy Spirit for the sake of my salvation, while a whole other aspect of the personal giving of the Holy Spirit is overlooked. The Holy Spirit is given for a reason—to accomplish a purpose, just as we are saved for a purpose not just to do nothing but proclaim, “I’m saved.”
Yahweh doesn’t function that way. Yahweh is a Mighty One of work, of activity and creativity and power and function. He expects nothing less of His people. To get out there and get a job done of teaching the truth to the world.
When you save earnings in a bank you save it from being lost or wasted. The same goes for Yahweh’s people. Salvation is to keep our talents and gifts from being wasted. To employ us in His service. Both now and in the Kingdom.
The power of the Holy Spirit is not for pizzazz — something impressive to watch, something to dazzle the eyes and excite the imagination or to draw attention to oneself in charismatic displays. The Spirit is imparted to accomplish a work, it’s the dynamic power of Yahweh (dunamis is used in Acts 1:8, meaning strength, ability, power).
Greatest Power in the Universe
When you look at the whole plan of Yahweh’s Feast days you see something dynamic operating on a very personal level:
In the Passover we find Yahweh separating a people out from the Egypt of sin. This follows with the eating of unleavened bread, rooting out the falsity from our lives and hearts and arming us with truth. Then comes the Feast of Weeks, where we are empowered with the Holy Spirit to tell others the truth of Yahweh.
Now Yahshua prepares the disciples, telling them not to go anywhere, but to be at Jerusalem where they must wait for the promise of Yahweh. That promise was the power of dunamis—active force—to be used to actively bring a forceful witness to the world through powerful communication and miracles.
We are a witness of the greatest power in the universe. The danger is in allowing this gift to be a show of our own greatness! That’s what the heretic Simon wanted.
“For as yet he [Holy Spirit] was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Master Yahshua. Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit. And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money, Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Spirit. But Peter said unto him, Your money perish with you, because you have thought that the gift of Elohim may be purchased with money,” Act 8:16.
Access Through Obedience
How does one receive this Spirit power? Acts 5:32 explains that it is given to those who obey Yahweh.
∙ Some say you get the Holy Spirit when someone hits you on the forehead and knocks you backward. But what about Acts 5:32?
∙ Others teach that you get the Holy Spirit the moment you believe. I would refer them to Acts 5:32.
∙ Others teach that you get the Holy Spirit the moment you are saved. They need to read Acts 5:32.
Here is what one denomination teaches in getting the Spirit:
“Tell the candidate to open his mouth and to breathe in as deeply as possible. At the same time he should tell G-d in his heart, ‘I am receiving the Holy Spirit right now by Faith.’ I like to insist absolutely that they not speak one word of their natural language. Then when the Spirit begins to move upon them, I tell them to lift their voice and speak out whatever sounds seem easy to make, regardless of how they sound. I tell them to begin to speak the words and language the Spirit gives them, praising G-d with those supernatural words until a clear, free language comes. When that person can hear himself speak in tongues, he will have assurance and confidence that the has received the Holy Ghost.”
Nowhere is this procedure supported anywhere in the Word. Here is what we find in 1John 3:24: “And he that keeps His commandments dwells in Him. And hereby we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit which He has given us.”
True baptism for the obedient is in Yahshua’s Name. That is how the Spirit is given. The Holy Spirit force is manifest by the many number of gifts it bestows, detailed in 1Corinthians 12, like wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, prophecy, and even just stamina for living the truth.
At immersion each individual is given one or more of the Holy Spirit gifts. In Acts 2 Peter and the rest had been waiting in an upper room as Yahshua had told them to do. They were of one mind as the Spirit descended like flames on their heads. As the dunamis was imparted they were able to speak different languages (heteros, different kinds of tongues or languages). This power translated into the ability to communicate to the 15 different languages and dialects represented in the gathered crowd.
That Feast in the New Testament was unique and never have those phenomena been duplicated since.
Many Worshiping Own Way
One person wrote us, “You aren’t going to tell me what name I can pray in.” No, but Yahweh, whom you’re assuming to pray to, definitely is. You have no more authority to decide what you will call Him than Israel had to make their own image of Him through their idols. There is no difference. Whether you make your own image of Him or call Him by whatever name you please, it’s the same thing, idolatry.
Yahweh says in Deut. 29 that if you don’t honor me with my Name, but serve me under common names of idolatry, then I will blot your own name out of the book of life.
When we seek the Holy Spirit we do it Yahweh’s way, on His terms, not our own. True Worship is about obeying Him, not church traditions or private notions.
Does Yahweh allow us to decide which Feast days we choose to keep and which to ignore? How about just keep the weekly Sabbath and ignore the annual ones, as one large denomination does?
If we accept one commanded observance then Scripturally we must accept them all, 2Timothy 3:16. All of Yahweh’s Holy Days are presented as an entire package to us to observe, with the admonition that they are all sanctified by Yahweh (and are not just Feasts of Jews). “These are the feasts of Yahweh, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons,” Leviticus 23:4.
To argue that these annual Feast days are Jewish or “Mosaic Law” and therefore are done away is to be uninformed on multiple levels.
Many statements in Scripture tell us that these are Yahweh’s observances, not Mosaic ones.
John taught old truths in the New Testament, writing, 1John 2:7: “Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which you had from the beginning. The old commandment is the Word which you have heard from the beginning.” The only Word they had from the beginning was the Old Testament. Verse 24 continues, “Let that therefore abide in you, which you have heard from the beginning. If that which you have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, you also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father.”
Yahshua kept every one of the annual observances, from Passover through Tabernacles. He is our example. He said He had kept His Father’s commandments and we are to follow Him, John 15:10. He did so perfectly, without fail, otherwise He would have sinned,1Peter 2:21-22.
The Spirit and the Law
A command for the Feast of Weeks is found in Deuteronomy 16:9-11: “Seven weeks shall you number unto you: begin to number the seven weeks from such time as you begin to put the sickle to the corn. And you shall keep the feast of weeks unto Yahweh your Elohim with a tribute of a freewill offering of your hand, which you shall give unto the Yahweh your Elohim, according as Yahweh your Elohim has blessed you: And you shall rejoice before Yahweh your Elohim, you, and your son, and your daughter, and your manservant, and your maidservant, and the Levite that is within your gates, and the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, that are among you, in the place which the Yahweh your Elohim has chosen to place His name there.”
This Feast is marked by offerings and rejoicing. It was probably at the time of the Feast of Firstfruits that Israel received the law at Sinai, which can be determined by paralleling the timing of their journey in the wilderness with the timing of the Feast.
The Biblical Feasts are a type of the spiritual trek we make as we come out of the world and follow the ways of Yahweh. Seeking Truth is also is a wilderness adventure at times as we travel a path not well-traveled.
The significance of the Feast of Firstfruits centers on teaching of the Truth with the Spirit given to keep it. In Acts 2, after the 120 received the power of the Holy Spirit, they began to teach the truth boldly and powerfully. Peter gave such a stirring message that 3,000 people sought and received baptism in the Name of Yahshua.
Peter and John spoke with uncommon power and boldness, Acts 4:13. Miracles began happening, and these disciples had powers and maturity they never had before in their ministry.
The Feast of Firstfruits shows us that Yahweh’s laws exist more than in the physical sphere. Now the spiritual intent of obedience must be emphasized. The real purpose for obedience becomes clear and a righteous attitude is made manifest.
Hebrews 8:10 says that Yahweh’s laws would be put into our minds and written on our hearts. Some may say that this means we obey only spiritually and not actually participating in Sabbath or Feast observance.
However, in Biblical terms, writing something on a heart means to obey even more closely. Read Ezekiel 11:19-20: 19: “And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh: That they may walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances, and do them: and they shall be my people, and I will be their Elohim.”
We “take to heart” Yahweh’s laws when those laws are in our hearts.
May this key observance in Yahweh’s scriptural calendar become one of the seven you keep annually.