Pentecost and the Renewed Covenant; pentecost; new covenant; annual feast days; holy convocation

Pentecost and the Renewed Covenant

The giving of the law at Sinai and the giving of the Holy Spirit at Jerusalem both represent an important aspect of each Covenant Yahweh made with those uniquely His. Learn what the Feast of Firstfruits or Pentecost means for us under the New Covenant.

Yahweh has made a covenant with His people through the Annual Feast Days He or­dained throughout the year. There are seven special times we are to meet in convocation, and Pentecost espe­cially emphasizes a renewal of this covenant relationship.

Also known as the “Feast of Weeks,” Pentecost was the time when the Covenant between Yahweh and Is­rael was ratified at Sinai. In spite of having Yahweh guiding them with a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night, Israel rebelled again and again. As a result, only the new generation crossed the Jordan River into the Promised Land.

Change to Obedience

It was in Acts 2:1-4 that the New Covenant was made with the “called ­out ones” of the New Testament. The sacrificial system and ceremonies were set aside by Yahshua’s death and resurrection and the Holy Spirit was sent to this earth.

With the Holy Spirit’s having been placed within us through bap­tism into Yahshua the Messiah, we no longer reject His laws, but obey them from the heart. Notice the promise to saints: “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says Yahweh, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more,” Hebrews 10: 16-17.

How to Count Pentecost

Pentecost, which means fiftieth in Greek, is counted from the Days of Unleavened Bread that follow the Passover, as we see from Leviticus 23:4. “And he shall wave the sheaf before Yahweh, to be accepted for you: on the morrow after the sabbath the priest shall wave it, “ Leviticus 23: 11.

The count toward Pentecost is from the “morrow after the Sabbath” which falls within the days of Unleavened Bread. We know this count is from the day after the weekly Saturday Sabbath (Sunday) because the Hebrew word for “Sabbath” is Shabbath (Strong’s Concordance No. 7676 “intensive from No. 7673; in­termission, i.e. {spec. THE Sab­bath}).”

Verses 15 and 16 include “Shabbath” three times, meaning the weekly Sabbath. Thus, it is clear that our count begins with the first day of the week, and we are to count until we reach 49 days, which is a Sabbath “when the week is out.” The next day is Sunday, the proper day for Pente­cost.

However, in verse 24 the Sabbath referring to the Feast of Trumpets is Shabbathown, which is not the weekly Sabbath but a High Sabbath. As we move to verse 39 we again find the Hebrew Shabbathown, which refers to the High Sabbaths of the Feast of Tabernacles, which according to Strong’s No. 7677 means a “sabbatism or special holiday.”

Leviticus 23:32 refers to the day of Atonement, which is to many the holiest day of the year. This verse uses the term “Sabbath of Sabbaths” to describe this special day of fasting.

What all this means is that the morrow after the Sabbath cannot be the day after Abib 15, the first day of Unleavened Bread (not the 16th). The 15th is Strong’s No. 7677, which is Shabbatown. Nor could it be the twenty-first day of Abib which is also Shabbatown,No. 7677.

The day to begin our count toward Pentecost according to the Hebrew text has to be the day after the weekly Sabbath, Saturday,Strong’s, No. 7676. Thus the count toward Pentecost begins on the first day of the week making our present Sunday as day one, and then ends on a Sunday, the proper day for Pentecost.

The proper day to begin the count toward Pentecost (Feast of Weeks) is the day the wavesheaf is offered. Harvesting of grain could not commence prior to the waving of the sheaf of firstfruits before Yah­weh.

John 20:17 shows that Yahshua had not yet ascended to the Father, for He told Mary not to cling to Him. Verse 19 tells us it is evening on the first day of the week and in Luke 24:39 He invites them to touch Him.

It is obvious that the Savior as­cended to the Father in the dark part of the first day of the week (Sunday), which is the first day of His accep­tance. Beginning our count here, and counting 50 days, we again end on a Sunday, which is the day for Pente­cost.

He was put to death on a Wednesday (the middle of the week), and arose late Sabbath afternoon. After sunset, the first day of the week having begun, He as­cended to the heavens to be accepted of the Father. Thus, the first day of the week following the weekly Sabbath Yah­shua was accepted by our Heavenly Father as the Firstfruits.

Rabbinical Jews Miss Mark

The Rabbinical Jews erroneously always begin their count from Abib 16 when Yahshua was still in the tomb and therefore could not have been the wavesheaf offering. Because their first and third months in the spring always have 30 days, and the second 29 days, they always observe Sivan 6 as Shavuoth (pentecost). Counting 50 days is unnecessary under that regimen, which negates the Bible’s command to count.

In keeping the Passover and Pen­tecost on the wrong days, they miss the significance of Yahshua’s death and resurrection.

Pentecost is to be observed as one would a weekly Sabbath, by gather­ing with others of like faith, and having the Bible expounded. Two loaves of bread present at the gathering signify the body of Mes­siah composed of Israelites and those gentiles called and chosen to be grafted into the Abrahamic promise, Leviticus 23:15-17.

Old and New Covenants

Ancient Israel listened to the Cov­enant Yahweh proposed, Exodus 19:3-6: “You have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto Myself. Now therefore, if you will obey My voice indeed, and keep My covenant, then you shall be Mine own possession from among all peoples: for all the earth is Mine; and you shall be unto Me a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation. These are the words which you shall speak unto the children of Israel.”

Yahweh proposed an agreement or Covenant. If Israel would sin­cerely obey His voice, then they would become a possession for Him, different and distinct from all peoples on earth. The blessing for obedience would result in their becoming a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.

The Spokesman Who delivered these words at Sinai was the Dabar, the Word, the same One Who told the disciples to stay in Jerusalem until they had been endued with power from on high—the Logos, the resur­rected Yahshua Messiah!

Then follows in chapter 20 the delivery of the Ten Commandments, which are the basis of all Yahweh’s law. He spoke these to the children of Israel in the presence of all the people, identifying Himself as Yahweh, Who had brought them out of Egypt.

Yahweh’s Ten Commandments have not been rescinded, but are still in effect today. His Commandments reveal His very nature, how He wishes to be worshiped, and the principles upon which our lives are to be built. He wrote the Ten Commandments with His own finger. The first five deal with our relationship to Him, and the last five our relationship with our fellow man. The Fifth Com­mandment is an axial commandment, combining obedience to our spiritual Father as well as our fleshly parents.

Blood Seals the Covenant

Yahweh offered the Covenant on the Sabbath, and the next morning, Sunday, Moses arose early (Ex. 24:4- 8) and built an altar. Moses took half the blood of the offerings and sprinkled it upon the altar. He then read the book of the Covenant to the assembled Israelites, and they said, “All that Yahweh has spoken will we do, and be obedient.”

Then Moses took the other half of the blood and sprinkled it upon the people. This occurred on Sunday, the ninth day of the third month of that year when the nation of Israel ac­cepted Yahweh’s Covenant.

Moses had sprinkled the blood upon the book of the Covenant and upon the people. They agreed to keep His laws and be obedient.

Covenant Ratified on Pentecost

On the first Pentecost day Yah­weh entered into a Covenant with the children of Israel at Sinai. He ap­peared to them, spoke to them, gave them His laws, and offered to be their Elohim if they would hear and obey His voice, Exodus 19 and 20. The sprinkling of the sacrificial blood ratified the Covenant that Sunday morning.

In the New Testament, at the Pentecost following Yahshua’s res­urrection, the ekklesia or “called-out ones” entered into the New Cov­enant. This time the Holy Spirit, not animal blood, was poured out and the same laws which were given at Sinai were put into the hearts of the First­fruits of the Assembly. They entered into the New Covenant based upon better promises than offered in the Old Cov­enant.

The first Pentecost was the giving of the law to Israel. But they did not have the heart to obey, as we read in Deuteronomy 5:29: “O that there were such an heart in them that they would fear Me and keep all My Com­mandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their chil­dren forever.”

Now His laws are put within the hearts of His people by the Holy Spirit.

Interestingly, Moses in Deuteronomy 4:13 referred to the Ten Commandments as being the Covenant, “And He declared unto you His Covenant which He commanded you to per­form, even Ten Commandments; and He wrote them upon two tables of stone.”  Other verses referring to the Ten Commandments as the “Cov­enant” include Exodus 34:28, Deuteronomy 9:9 and 11.

Laws Basic to the New Covenant

It does seem rather strange that churchianity in general teaches that the Ten Commandments are done away at the cross, and yet Moses wrote that they were the building blocks of the Covenant made with Israel. It is the same Covenant Yah­weh has established with His true followers today.

The New Covenant is summa­rized in Hebrews 10:9-18, where we learn that Yahweh had no pleasure in burnt offerings or sacrifices for sin. David said the same thing in Psalm 51:16-17. But Yahshua came and through His obe­dience took away the first Covenant and established the New Covenant.

Those who are set apart by accept­ing the sacrifice of the Savior are perfected in the Savior, verse 14. They have entered into the New Cov­enant as described in Hebrews 10:16-17: “This is the Covenant that I will make with them after those days, says Yahweh, I will put My laws into their hearts and in their minds will I write them; and their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.”

This Covenant is the very same one found in Hebrews 8:8-13 and in Jeremiah 31:31-34.

Now the Ten Commandments are put in the hearts and minds of those who are set apart. We obey because the Holy Spirit has been given to us and we no longer rebel at Yahweh’s laws as we did before our conversion. Now we seek Him in full compliance to His will.

Holy Spirit Miracle

The coming of the Holy Spirit to earth at Pentecost is one of the miracles of Yahweh. Before Yahshua’s death, the Holy Spirit was given for a special task and then typically taken away.

Note that King David prayed, “Take not Your Holy Spirit from me,” Psalm 51:11. Now our prayer is that we “quench not the Spirit,”1Thessalonians 5:19. Or that in some way we stifle the Spirit’s urging and pay no attention to Yahweh’s urging us to walk on the higher ground of dedicated obedience.

Ability Now to Keep Law

Since Yahshua’s shedding of blood upon this earth, the Holy Spirit is here. Upon baptism into Yahshua’s name, the Holy Spirit is given to those of a broken and contrite heart, and their sins are washed away. Now they walk in newness of life, follow­ing the promptings of Yahweh’s Spirit.

Pentecost is to remember the giv­ing of the law at Sinai, and the coming of the Holy Spirit to mankind so that we can keep the law and be obedient to the One we worship. The Ten Com­mandments are not done away. These laws are eternal and through obedi­ence to them, Yahweh is molding and making a people who will conform to the image of His pattern Son.

The Feast of Weeks is a holy convocation of His people when brethren gather and rejoice in the new creation we have in Yahshua the Messiah.

Today His laws are in our hearts and minds and we can hear and obey His voice. We are drawn closer to Him Who has given His life for us. We don’t have to speak in tongues to observe and keep Pentecost, for Yah­weh speaks to His people in a still, small voice.

Is He calling you today to repent and be baptized into Yahshua’s Name so that you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, Acts 2:38?

by Donald R. Mansager

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Posted in Biblical Feast Days.
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