Anticipating Christian Pentecost 2020

The Feast of Pentecost has two fulfillments, symbolized by Israel’s early rain and latter rain. In the early rain God gave us the Holy Spirit as ‘the earnest of our inheritance.’ In the latter rain we’re going to experience ‘the manifestation of the sons of God.’

Early and Latter Rains

People in ancient Israel understood agricultural examples. They knew:

  • The early rain came in the autumn. It softened the hardened earth, enabling farmers to plow and plant their seeds.
  • The latter rain came in the spring. It ripened the grain, just in time before the big harvest.

The Early Rain Pentecost

The apostle James directly connects this symbol of Israel’s early and latter rains to the Lord’s return.

“Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer awaits the precious fruit of the soil—how patient he is for the early and latter rains. You too, be patient and strengthen your hearts, because the Lord’s coming is near.” 

James 5:7-8

The first century Pentecostal outpouring of God’s Spirit was the early rain.

photo by e-watchman.com/jesus/

In the early rain God gave us the Holy Spirit as ‘the earnest of our inheritance.’

The Earnest of Our Inheritance

“ye were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession”

Ephesians 1:14

This raises two questions:

  1. The definition of earnest?
  2. What is our inheritance?

Earnest of Our Inheritance?

An earnest is a pledge or down payment. It proves the buyer’s full intent to complete a transaction. In this case, it is God’s guarantee to us that He has accepted us and He will bring us into our inheritance.

What is Our Inheritance?

If the Spirit’s Pentecostal outpouring 2000 years ago was the earnest (or pledge) of our inheritance, what will our full inheritance look like?

Our Inheritance Includes Redemption

The Spirit of God is now “the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession.”

Redemption is: “The purchase back of something that had been lost, by the payment of a ransom.”

https://biblehub.com/topical/r/redemption.htm
How Were We Redeemed?

What did God pay for our ransom? God redeemed us by the blood of Jesus. At the throne of YHWH in heaven, this is the song the elders sing to the resurrected and glorified Lamb of God:

“Worthy are You to take the scroll and open its seals, because You were slain, and by Your blood You redeemed for God those from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign upon the earth.”

Revelation 5:9
What are we redeemed from?

Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify to himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

Titus 2:14

The Greek word for iniquity literally means ‘without law.’ It means living outside the boundaries of God’s moral will for us. Since the early rain of Pentecost we have the Holy Spirit to guide us out of iniquity and into holiness.

What are we redeemed to?

One of the Holy Spirit’s primary roles today is to fulfill Jeremiah’s prophecy of the New Covenant:

Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their fathers when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt—a covenant they broke, though I was a husband to them,” declares the LORD.

“But this is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD. I will put My law in their minds and inscribe it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they will be My people. No longer will each man teach his neighbor or his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ because they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquities and will remember their sins no more.”

Jeremiah 31:31-34

Therefore, since Pentecost, as we walk according to the Holy Spirit’s leading in our heart God ‘redeems us from all iniquity, purifying to himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.’ (Titus 2:14)

Our Inheritance Includes Sonship

“all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.”

Romans 8:14
Inherit All of Creation
Inherit All of Creation

The sons of God will inherit all of creation:

And the One seated on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” Then He said, “Write this down, for these words are faithful and true.” And He told me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give freely from the spring of the water of life. The one who overcomes will inherit all things, and I will be his God, and he will be My son. But to the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and sexually immoral and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their place will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur. This is the second death.”

Revelation 21:5-8

Jesus’ Younger Brothers

For eternity Jesus will look upon these sons of God, whom the Spirit conforms to Jesus’ image, as His younger brothers.

“be conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brothers.”

Romans 8:29
Summary of Our Inheritance

Therefore, if you walk in the Spirit you will overcome iniquity and God will conform you to His image. Then, you will inherit all things and be recognized throughout creation as a son of Almighty God, a brother of Jesus. This is your inheritance if you choose to become a son of God.

The Hope of Redemption

The early rain Pentecost gave us the earnest of our inheritance, but we earnestly desire the total consummation of our redemption, the redemption of our bodies. As Paul wrote,

“We know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until the present time. Not only that, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.”

Romans 8:22-23

The latter rain Pentecost will soon bring us closer to this goal.

The Latter Rain Pentecost

In the early rain Pentecost God gave us the Holy Spirit as (1) the earnest of our inheritance, and (2) an indwelling guide to conform us into His moral image.

For almost 2000 years Jesus patiently waits for the latter rain Pentecost to bring his bride to spiritual maturity, “to the full measure of the stature of Christ.” (Ephesians 4:13) His wait is almost over.

What to Expect in the Latter Rain Pentecost

  1. The latter rain Pentecost will ripen the Bride of Christ into maturity, “to the full measure of the stature of Christ.”
  2. The latter rain Pentecost will result in the glorious ‘manifestation of the sons of God.’ They are the 144000 ‘firstfruits’ of the global harvest at the end of this age.
photo from heartlight.org

Pentecost is a ‘Firstfruits’ Festival

The Feast of Pentecost is also known by other names, one of which is ‘Firstfruits.’ Here’s a list of names for the Feast of Pentecost:

  • Feast of Weeks (Exodus 34:22, Deuteronomy 16:10, 16)
    • This is because (every year) Pentecost is celebrated 50 days (7 Sabbath weeks plus one day) after the day God resurrected Jesus’ body from death.
    • Feast of Shavuot (Hebrew word for Weeks)
  • Feast of the Harvest of the Firstfruits (Exodus 23:16)
  • Firstfruits of the Wheat Harvest (Exodus 34:22, Numbers 28:26)

Caution: Don’t Confuse the Two Firstfruits Festivals

The reason why Pentecost is also called a Firstfruits festival is that Pentecost is an extension of Jesus’ resurrection. Let me explain…

There are two festivals called Firstfruits, and they’re related via Jesus’ resurrection.

  1. Leviticus 23: 9-14 This Firstfruits festival occurs during the week-long Feast of Unleavened Bread. Jesus fulfilled this barley Firstfruits festival by His resurrection.
  2. Leviticus 23:15-21 Then, 50 days after the resurrection, the Pentecost ‘Firstfruits of the Wheat Harvest’ festival began to be fulfilled in the ‘early rain’ outpouring of the Holy Spirit into the disciples in Jerusalem. I say it ‘began to be fulfilled’ because Pentecost has more fulfillment coming in the latter rain outpouring of God’s glory.

The barley Firstfruits festival celebrates the Messiah’s resurrection. It’s also the event that triggers the 50-day countdown to Pentecost, which is the wheat Firstfruits festival.

Jesus said His resurrection is what enables God to send His Holy Spirit to us. So, Pentecost is dependent on (and triggered by) the resurrection.

“But I tell you the truth, it is for your benefit that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.”

John 16:7

In summary, there are two Firstfruits festivals (50 days apart) and both are related to Jesus’ resurrection.

Pentecost as ‘Firstfruits of the Wheat Harvest’

One Firstfruit versus Many Firstfruits

The Barley Firstfruit Festival is a Single, Unleavened Offering

There is one sheaf of barley in the barley Firstfruits festival. Since this festival occurs during the week-long Feast of Unleavened Bread, we can be absolutely certain this offering is unleavened.

This single sheaf represents the sinless state of our Passover sacrifice, Jesus. YHWH resurrected Jesus’ sinless body, fulfilling this festival.

The Wheat Firstfruit Festival (Pentecost) is a Multiple, Leavened Offering

In contrast to the single sheaf of unleavened barley, two leavened loaves of wheat bread represent multiple wheat Firstfruits with imperfections in their lives.

Two Leavened Loaves

Bring two loaves of bread from your dwellings as a wave offering, each made from two-tenths of an ephah of fine flour, baked with leaven, as the firstfruits to the LORD.”

Leviticus 23:15-17

Jesus was the single, unleavened firstfruit offering in the barley Firstfruits festival.

Since the barley Firstfruit represented a person, I assume these two leavened loaves also represent people. If so, we can learn two things from the two leavened loaves:

  1. It’s a group — not just one person.
  2. They’re not totally perfect and holy. There is leaven in their lives, which represents imperfection.

Who Are the Pentecost ‘Firstfruits of the Wheat Harvest?’

Exodus 34:22 calls Pentecost the ‘Firstfruits of the Wheat Harvest’ . So, who are represented by the two leavened loaves? What group of imperfect people will be the ‘firstfruits of the wheat harvest?’

The Book of Revelation gives us the answer… in the end-time, angels ‘seal’ 144000 disciples of Jesus in chapter 7. They’re called the “firstfruits to God and the Lamb” in Revelation 14:4.

I believe Pentecost’s two leavened loaves represent the 144000 disciples of Jesus in the Book of Revelation. There’s leaven in their lives, so they’re not yet perfect like Jesus. But, like King David, God looks on their pure heart.

Arise, Shine!

“They follow the Lamb wherever He goes. They have been redeemed from among men as firstfruits to God and to the Lamb. And no lie was found in their mouths; they are blameless.”

Revelation 14:4-5

For much more detail about the latter rain Pentecostal blessing of the 144000, sometimes called ‘the manifestation of the sons of God,’ watch the video or read my free book at Arise, Shine!

Christian Pentecost – Conclusion

The Feast of Pentecost has two fulfillments, symbolized by Israel’s early rain and latter rain.

The Early Rain

In the early rain Pentecost, almost 2000 years ago, God gave us the Holy Spirit as ‘the earnest of our inheritance.’

The Latter Rain

  1. The latter rain Pentecost will ripen the Bride of Christ into maturity, “to the full measure of the stature of Christ.”
  2. The latter rain Pentecost will result in the glorious ‘manifestation of the sons of God.’ They are the 144000 ‘firstfruits’ of the global harvest at the end of this age.

What Do You Think?

Did this article answer all your questions on this topic? Please leave a comment below and tell me:

  • Did this article satisfy you?
  • Or, did it leave you wanting more?

Related Questions and Answers

Q: Where can I find more information about Pentecost’s history and Jewish traditions, etc?

A: I recommend Hebrew4Christians.com as an excellent resource for this kind of information.

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