Friday, 22 October 2021
When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. Acts 2:1
With the selection of Matthias noted at the end of Chapter 1, the account immediately turns to the fulfillment of the Feast of the Lord recorded in Leviticus 23:15-22. This is directly referenced by Luke, saying, “When the Day of Pentecost had fully come.”
The word translated as “fully come” signifies “to be completed.” The name Pentecost means “fiftieth.” It is the fiftieth day of a particular cycle that was celebrated every year during the time of the law. It is a typological anticipation of an event that occurs at a set time after the crucifixion and resurrection of the Lord. Of this time, Vincent’s Word Studies rightly states –
“The day, according to the Hebrew mode, is conceived as a measure to be filled up. So long as the day had not yet arrived, the measure was not full. The words denote in process of fulfilment.”
Arriving at this fiftieth day, one comes to the pilgrim feast known as Shavuoth in Hebrew and Pentecost in Greek. Each of the Leviticus 23 Feasts of the Lord anticipates the work of Jesus Christ during His first advent or the state/conduct of the believer’s lives because of His completed work.
The word “feast” is, unfortunately, often used to translate two different Hebrew words. The first is moed, meaning and appointed time. The second is khagag, signifying a pilgrimage/pilgrim feast. There are eight of the “appointed times” listed in Leviticus 23, three of those are “pilgrim feasts.” Pentecost is the fifth of the recorded “appointed times,” and it is the second “pilgrim feast.”
The difference is important to understand because the “appointed times” point to something directly accomplished by the Lord in the redemptive process. The “pilgrim feasts” point to the life of believers in Christ as a result of the work of the Lord. The important point of these appointed times is that they all pertain to every believer in Christ – Jew and Gentile alike.
Because of what happens at Pentecost in Acts 2 is seemingly directed only to the Jews, the heretics who hold to hyperdispensationalism claim that what occurred only applies to them. This is incorrect. What occurred at Pentecost in the year of Christ’s completed work happened to the Jew first, but it pertains to any person in Christ since then, even to this day. This is true with all of the appointed times seen in Leviticus 23.
The instruction for celebrating Shavuoth/Pentecost states –
“And you shall count for yourselves from the day after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering: seven Sabbaths shall be completed. 16 Count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath; then you shall offer a new grain offering to the Lord. 17 You shall bring from your dwellings two wave loaves of two-tenths of an ephah. They shall be of fine flour; they shall be baked with leaven. They are the firstfruits to the Lord. 18 And you shall offer with the bread seven lambs of the first year, without blemish, one young bull, and two rams. They shall be as a burnt offering to the Lord, with their grain offering and their drink offerings, an offering made by fire for a sweet aroma to the Lord. 19 Then you shall sacrifice one kid of the goats as a sin offering, and two male lambs of the first year as a sacrifice of a peace offering. 20 The priest shall wave them with the bread of the firstfruits as a wave offering before the Lord, with the two lambs. They shall be holy to the Lord for the priest. 21 And you shall proclaim on the same day that it is a holy convocation to you. You shall do no customary work on it. It shall be a statute forever in all your dwellings throughout your generations.
22 ‘When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not wholly reap the corners of your field when you reap, nor shall you gather any gleaning from your harvest. You shall leave them for the poor and for the stranger: I am the Lord your God.” Leviticus 23:15-22
To understand what is being pictured and how it points to both the completed work of the Lord and believer’s lives in Christ, the Feast of the Lord series from Leviticus 23 – as presented by the Superior Word – can be read or viewed online.
Though the New Covenant was established in Christ’s blood almost two months prior to Pentecost, the true beginning of the church occurred at this time. That it pertains to both Jew and Gentile is typologically seen in the two loaves of bread baked with leaven that are presented to the Lord. That it encompasses the entire time of the church age, and even contains provision for those of the tribulation period is seen in not reaping the corners of the field.
The reason the account records only Jews at this time is because this was an annual pilgrim feast of the Jews. Of these pilgrim feasts, it is recorded –
“Three times a year all your males shall appear before the Lord your God in the place which He chooses: at the Feast of Unleavened Bread, at the Feast of Weeks, and at the Feast of Tabernacles; and they shall not appear before the Lord empty-handed. 17 Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the Lord your God which He has given you.” Deuteronomy 16:16, 17
That the males are specifically noted does not mean women were not included. Elsewhere, it notes that all in the household were to attend. This means wives, children, and so on. The typology was given to Israel; the fulfillment of the typology pertains to all believers. To deny this fundamental truth of the “appointed times” is to deny that the process of salvation as accomplished by Jesus Christ pertains to all people – Jew and Gentile, male and female, slave and free.
For the time being, it is noted that the believers are together at Pentecost (Hebrew: Shavuoth) and “they were all with one accord in one place.” The believers were all together in Jerusalem as required by the law of the feast. This would have been at the temple area, in the presence of the Lord. This is stated in Deuteronomy 16:16 (above). It is at this place, amid all of the people of Israel, that the events to be described will take place.
Life application: As noted, there are eight “appointed times” of the Lord recorded in Leviticus 23. Three of them are “pilgrim feasts.” A very brief description of these is listed here –
1) Shabbath (Sabbath). This is fulfilled by the Lord as is recorded in Hebrews 4:3 (and elsewhere) saying, “For we who have believed do enter that rest.”
2) Pesach (Passover). 1 Corinthians 5:7, “Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.”
3) Matsoth (Unleavened Bread; a pilgrim feast). 1 Corinthians 5:8, “Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”
4) Bikurim (Firstfruits).1 Corinthians 15:20, “But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.”
5) Shavuoth (Pentecost/the Feast of Weeks; a pilgrim feast). Ephesians 1:13 (and elsewhere) “In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise.” Weeks, or Pentecost, is shown to be fulfilled in Romans 16:5 and 1 Corinthians 16:15 –
“Greet my beloved Epaenetus, who is the firstfruits of Achaia to Christ.”
“I urge you, brethren—you know the household of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia...”
The presentation of the two loaves is what those verses are speaking of – one a Jew, one a Gentile, and thus one gospel message.
6) Yom Teruah (The Day of Acclamation). 1 Corinthians 15:47, “The first man was of the earth, made of dust; the second Man is the Lord from heaven.”
7) Yom Kippur (The Day of Atonement) Romans 3:24, 25, “...being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood.”
8) Sukkoth (Tabernacles; a pilgrim feast). 2 Corinthians 5:7, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”
All eight appointed times of the Lord are fulfilled by the Lord Jesus and/or are being lived out by His people because of His accomplished work. Each pertains to both Jew and Gentile that is based on the one and only gospel. Note: They are not “Jewish” feasts, nor are they “Feasts of Israel.” They are Feasts of the Lord. They pertain to the one, and only one Church which is the Body of Christ – Jew and Gentile. One gospel.
In understanding the typology from the Old Testament, many heresies found in the church today can be avoided. Seventh Day Adventism (mandatory Sabbath observance); Hebrew Roots Movement (observance of the feasts of the Lord, dietary restrictions, and so on are mandatory); hyperdispensationalism (there are two gospels – one to the Jew and one to the Gentile); and so on. Each of these heresies comes about based on a failure to understand the typology from the Old Testament, its fulfillment in the New, and/or the scope of the fulfillment among the people who have come to Christ.
Another heresy which is constantly put forth within the church is that only the “Spring” feasts have been fulfilled and the “Fall” feasts picture something coming at the end of the church age. This is heresy because if these feasts are not fulfilled, then Christ did not fulfill the law (because these are a part of the Law of Moses). If He did not fulfill the law, then He is not the Messiah.
By understanding the typology and the scope of what occurs, the heresies stated here (and others as well) are clearly identified. Beware of these false teachings and those who espouse them. They will be held accountable for their failure to give God the glory through what Jesus Christ has accomplished for His people. There is one gospel based on the completed work of Jesus Christ our Lord. Hallelujah for JESUS!
Lord God, thank You for the surety we possess because of Christ’s fulfillment of the types and shadows of the Old Covenant which only pointed to His more perfect work. Thank You that we can participate in what those things only anticipated. Thank You for Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.