By Pastor F. M. Riley
Colossians 2:16-17… “Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of a holy day, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:
Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.”
Introduction to Pentecost… a Prophetic Picture of the Rapture
A year ago I wrote a Bible study entitled “So Simple!” In that study I emphasized how the Lord had shown me that only two of the Jewish Holy Days given to Israel in Leviticus 23 typify the resurrection and rapture of New Testament believers. Those two Jewish Holy Days are “firstfruits” and Pentecost. Proof of this truth is easily available to any reader willing to deal honestly with the Scriptures.
It was only on “firstfruits” that a “sheaf” [omer] of barley was lifted up and “waved” before the Lord, which subsequent history proved was a type of the resurrection and ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ and the “firstfruit” saints [Leviticus 23:9-14; Matthew 27:52-53; 1 Corinthians 15:20-23].
The only other Jewish Holy Day where a “wave offering” was “waved before the Lord” was on Pentecost. The instructions given for the observance of this Jewish Holy Day are found in Leviticus 23:15-21:
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.
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.
In this study I want to “revisit” the Scriptures dealing with the observance of Pentecost. I invite our readers to join us and see what the Lord has yet to reveal to us in His wonderful inspired Word.
Last Year versus This Year
I have already stated a number of times to my readers that when the Lord revealed to me last year, shortly before Pentecost, that only the two Jewish Holy Days mentioned above have anything to do with the resurrection and rapture of New Testament believers, I immediately went to my calendar to see what “date” Pentecost would fall on last year. That was my own sad mistake for the Lord did not give me a “date” last year, and I have freely admitted that and have apologized for picking a “date” off my calendar several times. What the Lord graciously showed me last year is exactly what I have set before my readers, and am repeating again in this study; “firstfruits” and Pentecost.
Yes, I do understand why the Lord did not come last Spring on either of the two Jewish Holy Days. After Pentecost had passed last Spring, I went to the Lord in earnest prayer asking for more GRACE and insight into His Word. I was impressed to go over all of my studies and notes. In restudying the Book of Ruth, I noticed one little statement which I had previously read but which had not registered on my feeble brain the first time I read it. That one little statement made it very clear to me that the Lord was not coming last year.
I also restudied Psalm 108 which correlates with 2008. Verse 6 of that Psalm very clearly speaks of the rapture of God’s people. It is clear enough in the English translation, but it is even more clear when studied in the Hebrew text.
As I restudied it again, this time I noticed that the rapture of God’s people in that Scripture is clearly set forth in the future tense. That made me realize again that the rapture would not take place in 2008 as I had hoped, and as so many of God’s people were also hoping.
I have written these two paragraphs of explanation, not only for my readers, but also for my critics. Folks, I am not and have never claimed to be “infallible.” I am just another child of God and servant of the Lord who seriously studies the Word seeking to learn the truth. Until my critics can find “infallibility” in themselves, then I would suggest that they quit demanding it of others. Romans 2:1 is still in the Bible! But so is Titus 2:11-15, and I am going to keep right on searching the Scriptures and “watching” for my Lord without apology to anyone. Clear enough?
But now we living today are well into a new year. The Jewish Holy Day of “firstfruits,” which was this past Sunday, has now come and gone. It is now obvious that the Lord did not come on “firstfruits” this year. Therefore, if the resurrection and rapture of New Testament believers is going to occur this year on or in connection with one of these two Jewish Holy Days, then I have to believe that it will be “Pentecost.”
The Significance of 2009
If our readers will carefully study Psalm 109, which correlates with 2009, it is obvious that the entire Psalm is speaking about the arrival of the Antichrist on the world scene, and his dealings with Israel and with the Lord. This is highly significant of the very year in which we are living, for many of God’s people [true obedient/repentant believers] are convinced that the Antichrist is now on the world scene. According to 2 Thessalonians 2:3 he was predicted to be “revealed” [2:3] before “the day of Christ” [2:2], and many of God’s people today are convinced that he has been.
I want to emphasize to our readers that there is no contradiction between 2:3 and 2:8. The Antichrist is first revealed to God’s people, who have been given spiritual discernment [1 Corinthians 2:12-16], before the Tribulation begins. He is then revealed to the whole world during the Tribulation after the “Restrainer” has been “taken out of the way,” 2 Thessalonians 2:6-8. This isn’t hard to understand if more of God’s people would get serious about studying the Scriptures.
I don’t think any serious Bible believer would deny that the “signs” that are predicted to accompany the coming of the Antichrist [2 Thessalonians 2:9-12] are all about us today, just as are the “signs” that the Lord told His people to be “watching” for. I believe we are on very safe ground in believing that our Lord is coming to resurrect and rapture His people to glory this year, and it certainly could occur on or near Pentecost.
The Fulfillment of Pentecost…Shavuot??
I do not believe that the coming down of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost as recorded in Acts 2 was the complete and total fulfillment of Pentecost. The types set forth in the Law given to Israel in Leviticus 23:15-21 about Pentecost were not fulfilled on the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2. It is now obvious to every true Bible believer [or should be] that the “wave offering” on the day of “firstfruits” clearly typified the resurrection of Christ and the saints which came out of their graves after His resurrection.
So then why was there no resurrection on the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2? It appears to me that since the “wave offering” on “firstfruits” portrayed a resurrection, then the “wave loaves” on Pentecost ought to also portray a resurrection. This is just being consistent in our understanding of the Scriptures. But no resurrection took place on Pentecost in Acts 2. Has Pentecost then been completely fulfilled? I personally think not!
It is an undeniable truth that even all the events predicted by Peter in Acts 2, as he transliterated from Joel’s prophecy, were not fulfilled at that time. Some of those predicted events have not been fulfilled to this very day. I am primarily referring to Acts 2:19-20.
19 I will show wonders in heaven above And signs in the earth beneath: Blood and fire and vapor of smoke.
20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, And the moon into blood, Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the LORD.
However, in observing the world situation today and studying the prophecies of the end-time, I also think it is highly possible that these predicted events could take place in the next 46 days (May 30-Jun 7). If they do, no true believer will any longer have any doubts about where we stand in God’s great Plan of the Ages. May God have mercy on His people!
The Wave Loaves
Folks, the two “wave loaves” lifted up on Pentecost and “waved before the Lord” clearly appear to be a type of the completed resurrection harvest of New Testament believers. The grain had been gathered, ground in the mills into fine flour, prepared with “leaven,” then baked in the ovens into “loaves.” Two of these “loaves” were then brought to the priest to be lifted up and “waved before the Lord.” What a vivid portrayal of the resurrection of New Testament believers! Glory!
Barley is the first ripe grain in Israel in the Spring of the year. As such it is a perfect type of the Lord’s Gentile bride and people, who according to the prophetic Scriptures will be resurrected and raptured to glory before the Tribulation, and before the nation and people of Israel are resurrected. The Lord Himself clearly stated that the grain which represents Israel is not barley, but rather is “wheat,”
The Parable of the Wheat and the Tares
24 Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; 25 but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way.
26 But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared. 27 So the servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’
28 He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’ 29 But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them.
30 Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.”’”
The Parable of the Tares Explained
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.” 37 He answered and said to them: “He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man.
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. 39 The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels.
40 Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age. 41 The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness,
42 and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!
Just as the barley was cut down in the fields and ground in the mills into “fine flour,” even so New Testament believers throughout this dispensation have been cut down and ground in the mills of persecution and suffering at the hands of the wicked of this world. Many of God’s people today are so Biblically illiterate that they still do not realize that the day each of us chose to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior, we also were choosing to become “a partaker of His sufferings.”
Suffering for God’s Glory
12 Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; 13 but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. 14 If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified.
…And many other similar Scriptures.
Folks, the entire history of the Lord’s true church has been written in the blood of those of our Christian forefathers who suffered and bled and died to give us living today the gospel of “salvation in Christ.” Glory! Glory to God! Thanks be unto God for His marvelous GRACE!
It is also true that just as the “fine flour” was mixed with “leaven,” even so God’s people [true obedient/repentant believers] (added by Randall… NOT back sliding believers who intentionally sin without repentance) today still have a “sin nature” to contend with in these bodies of “sin and death” in which we presently reside. Read Romans 7:14-25 and take it to heart.
But just as the fire in those Jewish ovens baked the “leaven” out of those loaves, even so “the fire” of God’s Holy Spirit bakes the sin out of the lives of true obedient/repentant believers who will submit themselves to His will and leadership. Glory! Glory to God! Hallelujah!
Through this process we who are true obedient/repentant believers then become “a new lump,” 1 Corinthians 5:6-8:
6 Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven (sin) leavens the whole lump? 7 Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. 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.
Glory to God!
The “Lifting up” of the Loaves
It ought to be obvious to any reader that there came a time in Israel when the harvest was completed, the grain had been ground into fine flour, baked into loaves, removed from the oven and was then lifted up by the priest and “waved before the Lord,” a vivid type of the resurrection and rapture “harvest” of New Testament believers.
Even so, there is fast approaching a time when “the fullness of the Gentiles” [Romans 11:25] will be complete. This is a spiritual term which refers to the total number of Gentiles whom the Lord foreknew will be saved during this present dispensation. When that last precious soul is saved, the resurrection and rapture “harvest” of the believing Gentiles will immediately occur, Mark 4:26-29.
It is now so close that it could occur within days. Since the lifting up of the loaves are a definite type of the resurrection and rapture of New Testament believers, and since the loaves were to be lifted up and “waved before the Lord” on Pentecost, I highly suspect that the last precious soul to be included in “the fullness of the Gentiles” will be saved on or before Pentecost. However, since the Lord is as precise as He is shown to be throughout the Scriptures [as He was at “firstfruits”], the resurrection and rapture of “the dead in Christ” and “the living in Christ” [the two loaves] will very likely occur on Pentecost at the precise time appointed by Almighty God in Leviticus 23:15-21. Glory to God!
I might add that just as “the priest” lifted up the loaves and waved them “before the Lord,” even so it will be the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, our great “High Priest,” who will lift up His people from out of the graves and off the face of this earth, and take them “home” to glory, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18. Hallelujah! Glory to God!
The Comfort of Christ’s Coming
13 But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.
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. 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.
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. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.
In view of what I have set forth in this study, is it then just “coincidence” that in John 4 the Lord met the Gentile woman at Jacob’s well precisely on Pentecost? Since Pentecost is not mentioned in that chapter, how do we know it was Pentecost? We know this to be so because in “a year of perfect order” it is exactly “four months” from Pentecost to Rosh HaShanah. Now look at the statement of the Lord Jesus in John 4:35:
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!
Did I mention that 2009 is “a year of perfect order”?
For those of our readers who are not familiar with this term, “year of perfect order,” it means that every day on the Jewish calendar in a given year falls on exactly the same day that it fell on during the personal ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is then more than “coincidence” that it is exactly four months to the day from Pentecost to Rosh Hashanah this year. Count the days for yourself, and as the Lord said, “be not faithless, but believing,” John 20:27.
Keep in mind that the Lord met the Gentile woman at Jacob’s well. Was this also a “coincidence”? She was drawing water out of that well, even as we Gentile believers today still draw “living water” from the inspired Scriptures handed down to us from God through the Jewish people. Praise the Lord! But both the meeting place and the date they met seem significant. Is it possible that the Lord’s meeting with the Gentile woman on Pentecost at Jacob’s well typifies the transition of the “gospel” from the Gentile “church” back into the hands of the Jewish people during the coming Tribulation period? Is that possible? I don’t know! I’m just studying the Scriptures and seeking to learn, like other true believers should also be doing.
I am also well aware that the Jewish Rabbis today expect the resurrection to take place at Rosh HaShanah. In fact, they insist that it cannot happen at any other time based on the traditional teaching that has been passed down to them by their Jewish sages. But the Lord Himself said in John 4:35-36 that the “harvest” was taking place right then. On Pentecost! Now who are we to believe? The Lord Himself? …..or, the Jewish Rabbis? I made my choice many years ago. I will take the Word of the Lord over that of any man.
I could continue this study by setting forth a number of Scriptural reasons why this year, more than any previous year, appears to be the year the Lord is coming to resurrect and rapture His New Testament believers to glory. But it is in particular the Day of Pentecost that the Lord laid on my heart for this study, and I have now set it again before our readers for your consideration. So here is where I will bring this study to a conclusion. I urge every reader to study these things for yourself, pray about them, and draw your own conclusions.
May the Lord use this study to encourage the hearts of minds of His people [true obedient/repentant believers], and to impress upon those still lost in sin the shortness of time and their own personal need to seek the Lord as their Savior NOW.
If I can help any reader to find salvation in Christ, or any reader who is beset with doubts about their salvation to find assurance in the Lord, please feel free to contact me. I will count it a joy and a blessing to render spiritual help to anyone who will grant me that blessing. I want to meet every reader in glory. Please don’t disappoint me!
NOTICE: I urge and encourage every true believer or Christian ministry to reproduce copies of this study to share with others. Feel free to reproduce or forward this study, or to quote from it in context as written.
This ministry is supported only by the freewill offerings of those readers who feel led of the Lord to help us send forth the wonderful truths of God’s Word. Please address all comments, questions, or other correspondence to:
Pastor F. M. Riley, Last Call Gospel Ministry, 3900 Clark Lane C-10, Columbia, Missouri 65202.
Our email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank You F.M. Riley for this wonderful insight in this possible connection between Pentecost and the Escape… I’ve believed for about a year and a half now that Pentecost would be the First Fruits (Barley) harvest; Mid-Trib (no idea of the timing) would be the Main (Wheat) Harvest or Jewish Resurrection; and Armageddon would be the (Grape) Four Corners Harvest!
See my next post entitled: The Future: Palsms 109-119. This is truly a fascinating study in which we all have been deceived from the main stream pulpits!
In His Mighty Grip!