Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Feast of the Lord #4 – Pentecost Before the book of Acts

When Christians hear the word "Pentecost," what springs to our minds is what is described in the book of Acts 2. After Jesus was crucified and then amazingly resurrected, he spoke to his disciples and told them to stay in Jerusalem until they received the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Once when he was eating with them, he commanded them, "Do not leave Jerusalem until the Father sends you the gift he promised, as I told you before. John baptized with water, but in just a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit" (Acts 1:4-5, NLT).

But did you know the Jewish people had been keeping the Feast of Pentecost for 1,500 years before this Pentecost in Acts? (Tweet that!

Yes, Pentecost was one of the seven Feasts of the LORD given to Moses. (Tweet that!) We discussed all seven of the Feasts of the LORD in the blog post on April 11, 2014.

According to the teaching of Mark Biltz at El Shaddai Ministries, on Pentecost the Jewish people celebrate the giving of the Torah (the Law) on Mount Sinai. (Tweet that!

This is when God wrote His law in stone on the tablets of the Ten Commandments. And they have observed Pentecost fifty days after the Feast of Firstfruits ever since.  (Tweet that!) Christians only came on board with Pentecost after Jesus was resurrected, meaning the story in Acts 2. (Tweet that!

Interestingly, in the Old Testament (after Moses but before Jesus), God said through the prophet Ezekiel:

And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules (Ezekiel 36:26-27, ESV).
See also Ezekiel 11:19.

On Pentecost, the Jewish people remember, observe, and celebrate the giving of the Law, written on their hearts and in stone on the tablets of the Ten Commandments. (Tweet that!)  Today, Christians remember, observe, and celebrate the giving of the Holy Spirit, poured out on followers of Jesus, transforming our hearts of stone to hearts of pliable, teachable flesh. (Tweet that!

On the first Pentecost after Jesus' death and resurrection, God fulfilled His prophecy in Ezekiel 36:26-17 and 11:19. He transformed the Law written on stone in the hearts of His people to new human hearts of flesh led by the Spirit. This is the historical as well as the prophetic meaning of the Feast of Weeks, known as Pentecost. (Tweet that!

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