Pentecost: the Harvest of God’s People

A Plan from the “Beginning”

If the world at large knew that God had a plan in place that He was working out, there is no way that they could see Him as a disinterested God.

The holy days show us that plan!

This is not a plan like a pagan religion would have.

It is a plan that has been in place since before the world began (1 Peter 1:20) – it was not an afterthought when man and the world went awry.

1 Peter 1:19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:
1 Peter 1:20 Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,
1 Peter 1:21 Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.

This was the beginning of the plan of salvation for us

Before he created the physical universe (sun, moon, starts) He knew what was going to be necessary. From the cradle to grave for all mankind – it was all planned out.

Even our calling was planned out:

Ephesians 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,
Ephesians 1:4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love,
Ephesians 1:5 having predestined us to adoption as sons [sonship] by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will,

Many other things were a part of the plan from the very beginning

Matthew 13:34 All these things Jesus spoke to the multitude in parables; and without a parable He did not speak to them,
Matthew 13:35 that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying: “I WILL OPEN MY MOUTH IN PARABLES; I WILL UTTER THINGS KEPT SECRET FROM THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD.”

Much of this plan for the salvation of mankind can be seen in His Holy Days

The Keeping of Pentecost Commanded

Today is the Feast of Pentecost, also known as the Feast of Weeks, the Feast of Firstfruits. It is a day rich and full of meaning for us.   These are not Old Testament rituals for no reason

We will review these commanded days. As we go through notice how the holy days are tied into the harvests

Exodus 23:14 “Three times you shall keep a feast to Me in the year:
Exodus 23:15 You shall keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread (you shall eat unleavened bread seven days, as I commanded you, at the time appointed in the month of Abib, for in it you came out of Egypt; none shall appear before Me empty);
Exodus 23:16 and the Feast of Harvest, the firstfruits of your labors which you have sown in the field; and the Feast of Ingathering at the end of the year, when you have gathered in the fruit of your labors from the field.

Leviticus 23:9 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,
Leviticus 23:10 “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘When you come into the land which I give to you, and reap its harvest, then you shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the priest.
Leviticus 23:11 He shall wave the sheaf before the LORD, to be accepted on your behalf; on the day after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it.
Leviticus 23:12 And you shall offer on that day, when you wave the sheaf, a male lamb of the first year, without blemish, as a burnt offering to the LORD.
Leviticus 23:14 You shall eat neither bread nor parched grain nor fresh grain until the same day that you have brought an offering to your God; it shall be a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.
Leviticus 23:15 ‘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.
Leviticus 23:16 Count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath; then you shall offer a new grain offering to the LORD.
Leviticus 23:17 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.

Leviticus 23:20 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.
Leviticus 23:21 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.
Leviticus 23:22 ‘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.’ ”

Tied into the Harvests

Why?

Physical Points to the Spiritual

Romans 1:20 For the invisible [spiritual] things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

Father-son; Bride and groom;

This ties in with physical harvest. This is the way that God works. He shows us, a physical people, the spiritual. By things that we can understand – like the harvest.

Depicts the Resurrections

Luke 10:1 After these things the Lord appointed seventy others also, and sent them two by two before His face into every city and place where He Himself was about to go.
Luke 10:2 Then He said to them, “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.

John 4:35 Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest!
John 4:36 And he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together.

God did all these things purposefully. He did not tie the feast days into the harvest after the fact. He created and designed meaningfully. Sun, moon and earth for seasons. Different harvests, a larger one in the fall and smaller one before that in the late spring – this time of the year.

1 Corinthians 3:4 For when one says, “I am of Paul,” and another, “I am of Apollos,” are you not carnal?
1 Corinthians 3:5 Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers through whom you believed, as the Lord gave to each one?
1 Corinthians 3:6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase.
1 Corinthians 3:7 So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase.
1 Corinthians 3:8 Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor.
1 Corinthians 3:9 For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building.

Why the two harvests? A smaller one and then a larger one?

God wants all to be saved

2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

1 Timothy 2:3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior,
1 Timothy 2:4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus,
1 Timothy 2:6 who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time,

Order to the resurrections

More than one resurrection to accomplish all being saved

1 Thessalonians 4:14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 4:15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep.
1 Thessalonians 4:16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.
1 Thessalonians 4:17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.

Revelation 20:4 And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.
Revelation 20:5 But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
Revelation 20:6 Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.

Today is not the only day of salvation

The Latter Harvest

Just like in the world today, there are two major harvests: one at this time of the year and one in the fall.

This is what the world will be like in the future:

Isaiah 2:2 Now it shall come to pass in the latter days That the mountain of the LORD’s house Shall be established on the top of the mountains, And shall be exalted above the hills; And all nations shall flow to it.
Isaiah 2:3 Many people shall come and say, “Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, To the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, And we shall walk in His paths.” For out of Zion shall go forth the law, And the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
Isaiah 2:4 He shall judge between the nations, And rebuke many people; They shall beat their swords into plowshares, And their spears into pruning hooks; Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, Neither shall they learn war anymore.

This not the way it is now

Galatians 1:4 who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father,

2 Corinthians 4:4; Revelation 12:9; Ephesians 2:2

An Order

What we are seeing is that there is a step by step plan that God is accomplishing
Decently and in order (1 Corinthians 14:33, 40)

Lets turn to 1 Corinthians 15 to begin to see why the focus on firstfruits

1 Corinthians 15:20 But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.

Jesus Christ became the first to be harvested. He was the first to be resurrected.

Wave sheaf

Because He came and did what He did we now have the opportunities that we have

Luke 24:46 Then He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, [and upon ascending to heaven and being accepted by God the Father he became the first of the firstfruits to have been resurrected and become a fully spirit being] Luke 24:47 and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
Luke 24:48 And you are witnesses of these things.
Luke 24:49 Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.”

Having successfully made it through His time on Earth He was now able make the Holy Spirit available as He mentioned several times before [We read some of this in the chapters of John that we read for Passover]

So now the risen Christ is telling them to wait in Jerusalem for the fulfillment of this. The receiving of the power from on high – the Holy Spirit.

So the apostles remained there and we pick up the story almost 2,000 years ago on this very day

Acts 2:1 When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
Acts 2:2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.
Acts 2:3 Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them.
Acts 2:4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit….

But who were these people that had this opportunity

Let me cite a few scripture

Matthew 15:24 But He answered and said, “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”

Matthew 10:5 These twelve Jesus sent out and commanded them, saying: “Do not go into the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter a city of the Samaritans.
Matthew 10:6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

Now notice what is happening a little later

Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.

Acts 13:46 Then Paul and Barnabas grew bold and said, “It was necessary that the word of God should be spoken to you first; but since you reject it, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, behold, we turn to the Gentiles.
Act 13:47 For so the Lord has commanded us: ‘I HAVE SET YOU AS A LIGHT TO THE GENTILES, THAT YOU SHOULD BE FOR SALVATION TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH.’ ”
Act 13:48 Now when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and glorified the word of the Lord. And as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed.

So what will begin to see here is that the Holy Spirit was going to be made available to more than just the Israelitish nations of which the Jews were just one

Acts 2:3 Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them.
Acts 2:4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues [glossa; glossary; literal tongue; or language; not jibberish], as the Spirit gave them utterance.
Acts 2:5 And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven.
Acts 2:6 And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own language. [dialect] Acts 2:8 And how is it that we hear, each in our own language in which we were born?
Acts 2:9 Parthians and Medes and Elamites, those dwelling in Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia,
Acts 2:10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya adjoining Cyrene, visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes,
Acts 2:11 Cretans and Arabs—we hear them speaking in our own tongues the wonderful works of God.”

Acts 2:16 But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:
Acts 2:17 ‘AND IT SHALL COME TO PASS IN THE LAST DAYS, SAYS GOD, THAT I WILL POUR OUT OF MY SPIRIT ON ALL FLESH; YOUR SONS AND YOUR DAUGHTERS SHALL PROPHESY, YOUR YOUNG MEN SHALL SEE VISIONS, YOUR OLD MEN SHALL DREAM DREAMS.

Not just the Israelites

Acts 2:22 “Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know—
Acts 2:23 Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death;
Acts 2:32 This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses.
Acts 2:33 Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear.
Acts 2:37 Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart

[continuing in :37] and [they] said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?”

Acts 2:38 Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Acts 2:39 For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.”

At this time only the ones that God calls can come to him. It is not always going to be that way though as depicted by the other feasts.

But for now God is calling the first of the harvest: The Firstfruits

The elect

Matthew 24:22 And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.
Matthew 24:23 “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it.
Matthew 24:24 For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.

Matthew 24:31 And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

This is the harvest of the firstfruits

Parable of the Kingdom of God

Matthew 13:35 that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying: “I WILL OPEN MY MOUTH IN PARABLES; I WILL UTTER THINGS KEPT SECRET FROM THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD.”
Matthew 13:36 Then Jesus sent the multitude away and went into the house. And His disciples came to Him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the tares of the field.”
Matthew 13:37 He answered and said to them: “He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man.
Matthew 13:38 The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one.
Matthew 13:39 The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels.

This is Pentecost Harvest. This is the smaller first one. It is the harvest of the firstfruits of salvation of man.

Firstfruits

1 Corinthians 15:20 But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.
1 Corinthians 15:21 For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead.
1 Corinthians 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.
1 Corinthians 15:23 But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming.

This is what this day depicts and how it ties in with the giving of the Holy Spirit. This creative, transformative and sustaining power of God, enables us to understand the truth and live by it.

James 1:18 Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures. [creation]

This is the part of the plan of God that we now have the opportunity to be a part of. It is a wonderful and awesome plan…let’s rejoice in that and make the most of it!

Have to give it time…everyone will get a chance