Pentecost (Shavuot) and the Law

What comes to mind when you think of Pentecost: the birthday of the church, speaking in tongues, the baptism of the Holy Spirit–or the Law of Moses?  Yesterday was Pentecost, the 50th day after the Passover (although many churches set a different date based on Easter).  Pentecost began at sundown Tuesday. Moses received the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai during the first Pentecost.  So Pentecost is about the Law of Moses as well as the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.  Since 33 A.D. when God poured out His Spirit upon Jews and  proselytes celebrating Pentecost in Jerusalem, multitudes have been saved.  To put Pentecost into perspective, we must begin with “God’s Appointed Times” or the “Feasts of the LORD” outlined in Leviticus 23.

The LORD’s Passover is Nisan 14 on the Hebrew calendar.  The Feast of Unleavened Bread begins on Nisan 15, which is followed by First Fruits (Leviticus 23: 4-11), the day after the Sabbath.  Christ rose from the dead on First Fruits.  (According to Acts 1: 3, Jesus appeared to his disciples forty days between First Fruits and Pentecost.)

Paul makes reference to First Fruits in I Corinthians 15: 20-23: “But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep.  For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.  But each in is own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His Coming.”

Compare the first Pentecost, which took place about 5000 years ago, with the one recorded in the second chapter of Acts.  Look for references to fire, noise, and the number three thousand.

EXODUS 19: 18-20, KJV:  And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the  whole mount quaked greatly.  And when the voice of the trumpet sounded long, and waxed louder and louder, Moses spake, and God answered him by a voice.  And the LORD came down upon mount Sinai, on the top of the mount: and the LORD called Moses up to the top of the mount; and Moses went up.  In Chapter 20: 1-18, God spoke the Ten Commandments and “all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off.”  (Notice that God spoke the Ten Commandments before He wrote them in stone.)

Moses stayed on the mountaintop a long time.  In his absence, the Hebrews made a golden calf, and they were having an orgy worshiping it.  When Moses saw what they were doing, he broke the stone tablets, which God eventually replaced.  But punishment was swift and severe.  Three thousand people died for worshiping the golden calf. (EXODUS 32: 16-19 and 26-28; EXODUS 34: 1-4.)

Fast forward to 33 A.D. and read Acts 2: 1-11.  And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all [Jesus’ disciples, His mother, and his brothers] with one accord in one place.  And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.  And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.  And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.  And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.  Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded because that every man heard them speak in his own language.  And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galileans?  And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?  Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.

Peter addressed the crowd telling them to “repent, and be baptized . . . in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins,” and they would “receive the gift of the Holly Ghost” (Acts 2: 38). Then they that gladly received his [Peter’s] word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls (Acts 2: 41).

On Mount Sinai, the Ten Commandments were written on tablets of stone with the finger of God.  In 33 A.D. the Ten Commandments were engraved on the hearts of all that repented and made Jesus Christ Savior and Lord.

Behold the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I  took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD.  But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people (Jeremiah 31: 31-33, KJV.  See 2 Corinthians 3: 3; Hebrews 8: 8-9 also.)  A covenant requires blood.  At the Last Supper, Jesus took the cup, gave thanks, and gave it to his disciples saying, “Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the New Testament [Covenant], which is shed for many for the remission of sins” (Matthew 26: 27-28).

NOTE:  Jesus fulfilled the Spring Feasts (Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Fruits, and Pentecost) with His First Coming.  He has not fulfilled the Fall Feasts (Trumpets, Yom Kipper, and Tabernacles).  He will fulfill the Fall Feasts when He returns for His Bride.

Cropped screenshot of Charlton Heston from the...

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