TABERNACLES PENTECOST, 2008
Note: the following two sections were added after these first seven were published—Yahweh added the eighth and the ninth.
Upon completing what you have just read, I did read the article the woman sent me the link to about Pentecost. The reason I did so was because she said that under the old Passover-first calendar, Pentecost actually falls in the fourth month and not in the third. In other words, with Passover in the first month, it is traditionally fifty days from First Fruits, which always places it in the third month. However, the article noted that Leviticus 23:15-16 places Pentecost, not fifty days out but, ninety-nine days out. Overcoming my aversion to reading anything Christian about Pentecost was this matter of Pentecost being in the fourth month. Why an interest? Because in The Waltz of Life, we saw the incredible truth regarding the 1 – 4 – 7 pattern where, by Yahweh’s mercy, He brings man into priesthood and rivers of living water flow out of his innermost being. As we saw, He does so by stacking the five on the four and the eight on the seven.
The problem with both the four and the seven is that they are failures. The testimony of the four being a failure is that Aaron was supposed to have gone up on the mountain on the fourth trip, but did not go up until the fifth. The testimony of the seven being a failure is that it is supposed to be a sabbath rest, but because of unbelief man fails to enter that rest and Yahshua has to come early and labor and perform miracles on the sabbath.
If indeed Pentecost falls in the fourth month under the Passover-first calendar, then Passover is in the first month, Pentecost is in the fourth month, and Tabernacles is in the seventh month. This is, of course, the highly significant 1 – 4 – 7 pattern. But keep in mind, this is a pattern that demands mercy—Yahshua has to come early, reverse the cursed shortfall and failure of man, and perform the work Himself.
Let us now briefly examine this matter of Pentecost being forty-nine days further out than the way accepted by both Jews and Christians alike today. Why the concern? One, is the interest in the feasts testifying to the 1 – 4 – 7 pattern. But also, and this is what truly provoked me after reading that article: How could this affect the Pentecost that is added to Tabernacles? Is December 26 then not the correct date, and was our intercession on Tabernacles Pentecost in 2005 in error? Obviously, these are very important questions.
Let us begin by quoting Leviticus 23:15-16, which provides instruction on when the feast of Pentecost was to take place:
“You shall also count for yourselves from the day after the sabbath, from the day when you brought in the sheaf of the wave offering; there shall be seven complete sabbaths. You shall count fifty days to the day after the seventh sabbath; then you shall present a new grain offering to Yahweh.”
As you see here, this is
not the way Pentecost is counted today. Here we read that, first, seven
complete sabbaths were to be counted out, and then a count of fifty
days was to follow. If this practice was applied, Pentecost does indeed
fall in the fourth month; in fact, at the very end of the month. We will
examine the sound justification of this count, but let us now read Deuteronomy
“You shall count seven weeks for yourself; you shall begin to count seven weeks from the time you begin to put the sickle to the standing grain. Then you shall celebrate the Feast of Weeks to Yahweh your God with a tribute of a freewill offering of your hand, which you shall give just as Yahweh your God blesses you.”
Did you notice that the
only count here is the seven weeks (lit., seven sevens), with the celebration
of Pentecost (the Feast of Weeks) immediately following? There is not the
addition of another count of fifty days—“count fifty days to the day after
the seventh sabbath.”
So, which one is correct? The fact is, they are both correct. Once again we have a Bible contradiction, just like we find in the Gospel comparisons and in the comparisons between Kings and Chronicles. For the concrete thinker, this is troubling, and has offered theological problems throughout the history of the Scriptures. But for Yahweh, these are riddles, even legal means whereby He can and will accomplish His works. For example, we know that Yahweh’s law is to not labor on the sabbath. Yet, Yahshua came and did so, saying that His Father was still working. For the concrete-thinking Pharisees, this was unacceptable. But from the standpoint that Yahshua was prophesying that He would cut the period of the church short, come early—on the seventh day—and labor, He was attesting to truth. Thereby, Yahweh has to lay out two things—what is right by original law, and what He has to do in grace in order to get man to where he needs to be.
Thus we see these troubling contradictions in the Scriptures, even as we see evidenced here regarding Pentecost. Was it to be celebrated fifty days after seven complete sabbaths, or seven weeks from the time of First Fruits? Clearly, both are stated.
Let us examine history and nature and see what they hold. We cannot go into the depths of these matters, but will see the relevant truths they afford.
First, it is significant that much evidence supports the Leviticus 23 reckoning of Pentecost. To begin with, one clear testimony of Pentecost was when the Law was given on Mount Sinai, Moses came down the mountain with the tablets, and 3,000 were killed. This, of course, looked to the 3,000 that were added on the day of Pentecost, representing the 3,000 years the church was receiving wherein kingdom men would die. So how does that Pentecost event on Mount Sinai fit into the Passover law of Leviticus 23? It is an obvious match.
In Exodus 19:1 we read, “In the third month after the sons of Israel had gone out of the land of Egypt, on that day they came into the wilderness of Sinai.” Though not directly stated, it is assumed that this statement, “on that day,” refers to the day of the month that the sons of Israel came out of Egypt—in other words, it was two months to the day. That day in the first month was the fifteenth, the day after Passover (Numbers 33:3), therefore they came to Sinai on the fifteenth of the third month.
First, we should note that the fifteenth of the third month is already past when Pentecost would fall if counting seven weeks—at the first part of the third month. Verse three of Exodus 19 tells us that Moses then went up on Mount Sinai for the first time. If you then lay out the various trips up the mountain that Moses fulfilled, as well as delays such as the three days in 19:11, along with the extensive forty days and nights that Moses was on the mountain during the sixth trip, this brings the count to where Moses descended with the Law on the day of Pentecost. Of course this reckoning is according to Leviticus 23 which is ninety-nine days from First Fruits.
There are other chronological evidences that this Pentecost count is a correct count. During the plagues that came upon Egypt so as to bring deliverance to the sons of Israel, we read in Exodus 9:31-32 that the plague of hail did not affect the wheat. This is significant, for Pentecost is the celebration of the wheat harvest, and the time of its ripening determines the timing of Pentecost.
(Now the flax and the barley were ruined, for the barley was in the ear and the flax was in bud. But the wheat and the spelt were not ruined, for they are later.)
Clearly, this was spring
wheat that was planted at that time of the year. Though in the ground, it
had not yet germinated and begun to protrude. If so, it too would have been
destroyed with the barley and the flax. (Vis-à-vis, Christianity had not
yet started, and the first Remnant died.) Now, spring wheat takes 110 to
120 days to mature. Therefore, based on those required days, it is quite
obvious that the wheat would not be ready for harvest come fifty days after
First Fruits in Passover. We are talking about sixty or seventy days growing
time is all at that point. But, add the other fifty days ascribed in Leviticus
23, and you have a wheat harvest indeed.
Thus we see that both the first Pentecost held at Sinai, as well as the testimony of the plague of hail and the growing requirements of wheat, point to Leviticus 23 being the accurate accounting of Pentecost.
But, and this is the “but” that drives the literalist and zealous crazy, though it makes no sense naturally, Deuteronomy 16 gives another option. This option is like telling the Pharisee, it’s OK for Yahshua to labor on the sabbath. But at least in this case there is a clearly stated passage that affords an otherwise illogical option, the actual count Yahweh seems to take. Remember, Yahweh repeatedly makes a practice of cutting time short, and evidently He does the same for Pentecost.
Of course when I first saw this evidence for Pentecost being ninety-nine chronological days out, it absolutely necessitated serious and circumspect examination, including how it might affect adding a Pentecost to Tabernacles. Was it then on the ninety-ninth day following Tabernacles? This would place this year’s Pentecost into 2009 on February 13. To be honest, I was not happy with a wait that far out. But there is far more to this than my initial considerations and response. Let us now look at history once again, this time at the Passover Pentecost when the church began.
The question begs to be answered here: So when did the Holy Spirit fall on the first Remnant—after ninety-eight days as in Leviticus 23, or after forty-nine days as in Deuteronomy 16? There are two ways to possibly answer this.
First is the written testimony of those who lived at that time. These would be Josephus and Philo, both contemporaries who recorded the religious practices of that very day. As you will see, the counting of Pentecost at that time is the same way both Christians and Jews alike do so today—the Deuteronomy 16 count of forty-nine days, concluding with the fiftieth Pentecost. Here are three different quotes from Philo:
And the day of pentecost, which is numbered from this day by seven portions of seven days, in which it is the custom to offer up loaves, which are truly called the loaves of the first fruits, since, in fact, they are the first fruits of the productions and crops of eatable grain, which God has given to mankind, as the most tractable of all his creatures [Decalogue 160].
The solemn assembly on the occasion of the festival of the sheaf having such great privileges, is the prelude to another festival of still greater importance; for from this day the fiftieth day is reckoned, making up the sacred number of seven sevens, with the addition of a unit as a seal to the whole; and this festival, being that of the first fruits of the corn, has derived its name of pentecost from the number of fifty, (pentēkostos) [The Special Laws, 2, 176ff].
In the first place, these men assemble at the end of seven weeks, venerating not only the simple week of seven days, but also its multiplied power, for they know it to be pure and always virgin; and it is a prelude and a kind of forefeast of the greatest feast, which is assigned to the number fifty [Suppliants VII(65)].
The conclusion here is
clear. We will now see that his contemporary, Josephus, who actually wrote
about Philo, reported the same practice concerning Pentecost.
When a week of weeks has passed over after this sacrifice, (which weeks contain forty and nine days,) on the fiftieth day, which is Pentecost, but is called by the Hebrews Asartha, which signifies Pentecost, they bring to God a loaf, made of wheat flour, of two tenth deals, with leaven [Antiquities, Book 3, Chap 10, section 6].
Thus, recognized historians
at that time agreed that Pentecost was followed according to the instruction
of Deuteronomy 16:9-10—following a count of forty-nine days, Pentecost was
then celebrated on the fiftieth day. Is there any other evidence? Indeed,
in a most unusual yet affirming way.
In Daniel 12:11-12 we read:
“From the time that the regular sacrifice is abolished and the abomination of desolation is established, there will be 1,290 days. How blessed is he who keeps waiting and attains to the 1,335 days!”
Addressed in the opening
section of The Great Tribulation,
the 1,290 days spoken of here are the days from Yahshua’s baptism by John
on Atonement, 29 A.D., to four days before Pentecost when the eleven apostles
fallaciously cast lots to determine who the replacement would be for Judas.
That act was in fact the abomination of desolation where they stood in the
place of the Holy One, errantly effecting a placement that He alone had the
authority to effect. Read The
Great Tribulation to understand more about this.
As addressed in that writing, four days later, on day 1,294, was Pentecost, counted according to Deuteronomy 16. However, if Pentecost at that time was being followed according to Leviticus 23, it would not be for another forty-nine days, or on day 1,343. This offers a very real problem relative to the prophecy of Daniel 12:11-12. If Daniel 12:12 had read—“How blessed is he who keeps waiting and attains to the 1,343 days”—then the evidence would be that Pentecost was being counted based on Leviticus 23. But, this cannot be the case. The promised blessing on day 1,335 is eight days before a Leviticus 23 Pentecost, so there is no reason to have a blessing on that day.
As noted in The Great Tribulation, the blessing on day 1,335, forty-five days after Pentecost, would undoubtedly have been the events in Acts 3 and 4 when the lame man was healed, Peter preached in the portico of Solomon, he spoke about the Elijah who would restore all things, 5,000 were thereupon numbered, and the place where they were praying was shaken. Prophetically, this 1,335 event speaks to the latter rain. Thus the message of day 1,335 is the hope of the latter rain.
Obviously, unless the Holy Spirit had been poured out on day 1,294, there would not have been the miracle on day 1,335. Therefore, based on the historical accounts and Daniel 12:11-12, we can conclude that Pentecost and the outpouring of the former rain did indeed occur on the fiftieth day according to Deuteronomy 16.
Why would Yahweh work off of the shortened Pentecost waiting period rather than the more natural longer one? One thing clear about Yahweh is that, gratefully, He is constantly coming early and shortening time. Indeed, I hope this is the case for December 26, 2008, in two ways—He cuts Christianity short from three days to two; and, He gives us the fulfillment of Tabernacles Pentecost on December 26. He gave the first Remnant their Passover Pentecost on the shorter count (though attesting to the duration of the church according to the longer—3,000 were numbered), and we trust He will do the same for us on our Tabernacles Pentecost.
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