Pentecost by El Greco


In the Scriptures, God uses the word “moadim” (“appointed times”) to describe the special prophetic festivals that He created. There are seven of them, which makes sense since God does so many things in sevens. For example, God created the world in seven days, there are seven days in each week, and God rested on the seventh day (Sabbath). Pentecost (or Shavuot in Hebrew) is one of the least understood of these appointed times.

Every festival always involves remembering something. In the case of Pentecost, God’s people remember the giving of the Torah. But every festival also always involves looking forward to something as well.

And just as with the other pilgrimage festivals, Pentecost prophetically looked forward to an event that would happen someday on that precise day in or around the city of Jerusalem.

But we’ll get to that in a moment.

In Leviticus 23, we read that the countdown to Pentecost always begins on the day of Firstfruits. As I described in a previous article, Firstfruits was the day when Jesus rose from the dead. We remember the resurrection of Jesus on that day, and it is also day one of “the counting of the Omer”. This counting goes on for 50 days until we get to the day after the seventh Sabbath. We find instructions for this in Leviticus 23:15–16…

“From the day after the Sabbath, the day you brought the sheaf of the wave offering, count off seven full weeks. Count off fifty days up to the day after the seventh Sabbath, and then present an offering of new grain to the Lord.”

So in our terminology, it always falls on a Sunday.

Today, Jewish tradition mandates that the people of Israel count the Omer differently, so their celebration of Pentecost can end up falling on any day of the week. But as you can see above, according to the Scriptures Pentecost must always fall on a day after a Sabbath.

And as with all of the other Biblical festivals, Pentecost has a very special meaning.

As I detailed in another article, the appointed times that precede Pentecost during the year are all about Jesus.

Jesus died on Passover, the Festival of Unleavened Bread reminds us that He took away our sin, and He rose from the dead on First Fruits.

So what about Pentecost?

After Jesus rose from the dead, He appeared to his followers and taught them for a period of 40 days. He instructed them that they were to remain in Jerusalem and wait for something after He ascended into heaven.

But what would they be waiting for?

It turns out that what they were waiting for was the Holy Spirit.

On Pentecost, the power of the Holy Spirit was poured out upon the first believers and they went on to literally change the world.

And the fact that God did this on one of His “moadim” (“appointed times”) showed that those days still mattered to Him even after Jesus rose from the dead.

On that day in the 1st century, the city of Jerusalem would have literally been packed with pilgrims from all over the globe. People from all over the planet would have been there to honor and worship the one true God that created all things. In fact, some experts believe that there may have been up to 2 million in Jerusalem on that Pentecost.

And it was at that moment that God did something extraordinary. The following is how Acts chapter 2 describes what happened…

And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.

2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.

3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.

4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

5 And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.

6 Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.

7 And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans?

8 And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?

9 Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia,

10 Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes,

11 Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.

12 And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this?

13 Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine.

14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:

15 For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.

16 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;

17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:

18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:

19 And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke:

20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and notable day of the Lord come:

21 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

22 Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:

23 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:

24 Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.

25 For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved:

26 Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope:

27 Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.

28 Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance.

29 Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day.

30 Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne;

31 He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.

32 This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.

33 Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.

34 For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand,

35 Until I make thy foes thy footstool.

36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made the same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.

37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?

38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.

40 And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.

41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.

42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

43 And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.

44 And all that believed were together, and had all things common;

45 And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.

46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,

47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.

And the power of the Holy Spirit is still available for believers today.

But the first step, as the apostle Peter mentioned in his sermon above, is to repent of your sins and believe in Jesus Christ as your savior and Lord.

For much more on all of this, please see my previous article entitled “The Most Important Thing“.

There is only one true God, and He can give your life more meaning and purpose than you ever dreamed possible.

But you have got to be willing to reach out to Him.

And if you are already a believer, now is the time to get right with God.

Personally, I have no idea how anyone is going to make it through the difficult years ahead without Him.

But not all is doom and gloom. Even in the midst of all the darkness there will be great light.

A great move of God is coming, and it is going to shock the world.

Are you ready or are you still asleep?