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Counting to the Day of Pentecost
Written by arkwriter   
Sunday, 25 October 2009 13:14

 

Counting  to  the  Day  of  Pentecost

Shavuot      

There are seven Feasts of the LORD given to the Children of Israel.  Three of the Feasts require all males to “appear before the LORD your God in the place which He chooses:  at the Feast of Unleavened Bread, at the Feast of Weeks, and at the Feast of Tabernacles.”  (Deut. 16:16)  Here are the feasts of the LORD that are counted to the “Feast of Weeks” (Day of Pentecost) 

 

1.Passover    “On the fourteenth day of the first month at twilight is the LORD’s Passover.” (Lev. 23:5)The present day Jews count each of the days from Passover to the day before Shavuot (Pentecost), 49 days or 7 full weeks. 
2.Unleavened Bread    “And on the fifteenth day of the same month, is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the LORD; seven days you must eat unleavened bread.  On the first day you shall have a holy convocation; you shall do no customary work on it.”  (Lev. 23:7)  This is a Sabbath day. 
3.Firstfruits    “And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, ‘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.  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.” (Lev. 23:9
4.Pentecost     In the New Testament the “Feast of Weeks” is known as the Feast of Pentecost which is a Greek word that denotes “Fiftieth”.  There are several references in the Old Testament concerning this feast.   It is also called the “Feast of Harvest” (Ex. 23:16),   Here is the biblical way of counting to the Day of Pentecost. “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.  Count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath; then you shall offer a new grain offering to the LORD.” (Lev. 23:15-16) The word “Sabbath” means rest and it generally refers to the weekly day of rest which is the seventh day of the week – Saturday.   From these verses alone it can be seen that the Day of Pentecost will always fall on a Sunday.  When you count “fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath”  the result will be Sunday.    Some take the word “Sabbath” to mean the Feast of the Passover and Unleavened Bread so they count seven weeks from the day after the Passover.  This method of counting has insurmountable problems.  If the Passover is used as the “Sabbath” and it occurs only once a year, so how does one interpret “seven Sabbaths” and “seventh Sabbath”?  Surely we cannot celebrate Pentecost once in every seven years?  It is inconsistent, incorrect and confusing to interpret the word “Sabbath” as one of the Annual Feasts and also the weekly Saturday in the same sentence.  The “Sabbath” in Leviticus 23:15-16 can only be interpreted as the weekly day of rest – Saturday.

  The  Feasts  prefigure  the  Lord  Jesus  Christ 

The apostle Paul wrote:  “Therefore let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or Sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ..”  (Col. 2:16-17)  The Feasts of the LORD are shadows that prefigure the salvation and important events in the life of our Lord Jesus Christ.

 
1.Passover  -  the crucifixion and shedding of blood of the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ, who takes away the sins of the world (1 Cor. 5:7; Jn. 1:29).  Jesus was crucified on Wednesday afternoon (middle of the week).
2.Unleavened Bread  -   The Lord Jesus Christ is the "Bread of Life" (Jn. 6:48). Leaven represents sin (1 Cor. 5:6-8).   Unleavened Bread represents the sinless body of the Lord Jesus Christ who became sin for us and Who was buried in the earth for our sins. (2 Cor. 5:21; 1 Pet. 2:24).  Jesus was buried in the tomb for three days and three nights.
3.First fruits  -  “But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstftuits of those who have fallen asleep.” (1 Cor. 15:20).  Jesus was resurrected on Saturday evening which is considered the First Day of the Week.
4.Pentecost  -  It is called the “Feast of Harvest” (Ex. 23:16).  Jesus Christ is called “Lord of the harvest(Mt. 9:38).  “Now when the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. . . . And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven.” (Acts 2:1-5)  “Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them.” (Acts 2:41)  The Day of Pentecost is the historic day in which the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ was born into the world.  

The  Apostles  and  the  Early  Christians  observed  Pentecost

The first appearance of the resurrected Christ to His disciples was on a Sunday.   

“Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled , for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.  Now when He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side.  Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.” (Jn. 20:19-210) 

“to whom He also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.  And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, "which," He said, "you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now." (Acts 1:3-5) 

“Now when the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. . . . And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” (Acts 2:1-4) 

It is very easy for the Disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ to count forty days from the day of the Lord’s resurrection and then count another ten days to make fifty days to the Day of Pentecost. 

It can be shown that the apostles and the Early Christians counted to the Day of Pentecost from the day after the weekly Sabbath which is Sunday. 

“When they asked him (Paul) to stay a longer time with them, he did not consent, but took leave of them, saying, ‘I must by all means keep this coming feast in Jerusalem; but I will return again to you, God willing.’  And he sailed from Ephesus.”  (Acts 18:20-21) 

“But we sailed away from Philippi after the Days of Unleavened Bread, and in five days joined them at Troas, where we stayed seven days.  Now on the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul ready to depart the next day, spoke to them and continued his message until midnight.”  (Acts 20:6-7) 

“For Paul had decided to sail past Ephesus, so that he would not have to spend time in Asia; for he was hurrying to be at Jerusalem, if possible, on the Day of Pentecost.” (Acts 20:16)    

St. Luke was the Church historian.  In the whole book of Acts of the Apostles this is the only chapter in which the “Days of Unleavened Bread” and “the first day of the week” are interconnected and written in verses next to each other.  Luke was also counting the number of days on what they were doing like “in five days joined them at Troas, where we stayed seven days.”   One of the reasons why Luke mentioned “the first day of the week” is because it is the Day of Pentecost.   Paul “was hurrying to be at Jerusalem, if possible, on the Day of Pentecost.”   

Counting  Seven  Weeks  to  the  Day  of  Pentecost. 

You shall count seven weeks for yourself; begin to count the seven weeks from the time you begin to put the sickle to the grain.  Then you shall keep the Feast of Weeks to the LORD your God with the tribute of a freewill offering from your hand, which you shall give as the LORD your God blesses you.”  (Deut. 16:9-10) 

Although there is no mention of any Sabbaths in these two verses but there is an implication that the count to Pentecost begins on a Sunday.  The key phrase is “begin to count the seven weeks from the time you begin to put the sickle to the grain.”  This means counting to the Day of Pentecost begins on the day when you start harvesting.  The Children of Israel are forbidden to do any work on any Sabbath regardless of whether it is the weekly or the Annual Feasts such as the Passover or Unleavened Bread.  They will not “put the sickle to the grain” during the “Days of the Unleavened Bread”.   Using this method of counting it will have to be the First Day of the Week – Sunday when they “begin to count the seven weeks from the time you begin to put the sickle to the grain.”  The result is the same as counting “from the day after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering.”  The biblical Day of Pentecost always falls on a Sunday.  

May God bless you

 

 

This Research Article is the response of Paul Wong
to a Discussion in the ARK Forum on April 12, 2007

It was published on this Website on October 25, 2009 

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Paul Wong is a Christian minister and the President of ARK International.
His ministry also serves as an architectural service company in Houston.
The ARK Forum on the Internet is international and non-denominational.

Write to:
ARK International
P.O. Box 19707, Houston,
Texas, 77224-9707, U.S.A.
Tel. No. (713) 467-1462

 

 

 

 

Last Updated on Thursday, 02 August 2012 17:10