The Sound of a Trumpet
By Randy Nettles
Guess what? The feast of Pentecost is right around the corner. This year it occurs on June 9, 2019.
The fourth Feast of the Lord is celebrated 50 days after the feast of Firstfruits in early summer. Pentecost (Feast of Weeks), or Shavuot to the Jews, celebrates the end of the barley harvest and the beginning of the wheat harvest. The name Pentecost comes from the word penta meaning fifty.
“And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven Sabbaths shall be complete. Even unto the morrow after the seventh Sabbath shall you number fifty days; and you shall offer a new meat offering unto the Lord.” – Leviticus 23:15-16
Since the feast of Firstfruits always occurs on a Sunday, so must Pentecost. It is another day-specific feast and can occur on different dates of the Hebrew calendar.
Originally, Pentecost was celebrated because it was the beginning of the summer harvest. However, in A.D. 135, after the final defeat of the Jewish nation under the leadership of Simon ben Kosiba (popularly known as Bar Kokhba) by Roman legions, the Sanhedrin changed the focus of Shavuot from the summer harvest to the giving of the Ten Commandments and the Law of Moses. They did this because Shavuot was one of the three feasts in which all male Jews were required to observe and gather together (the Feast of Unleavened Bread and Tabernacles were the other two according to Exodus 23:14-17); and the defeated and dispersed nation of Israel would no longer have any national harvests to celebrate.
From that time on, the Jewish leaders decided that Pentecost would occur fifty days after the feast of Unleavened Bread (instead of the feast of Firstfruits). So now, in their eyes, Shavuot can come any day of the week and always takes place on the 6th day of the Third Hebrew month of Sivan. This dating method for Pentecost is not biblically correct.
The Ten Commandments couldn’t have been given to Moses on the 6th day of Sivan because of the following verses in Exodus: “In the third month, when the children of Israel were gone forth out of the land of Egypt, the same day came they into the wilderness of Sinai” (Exodus19:1). The children of Israel left Egypt on Nisan 14, 1446 BC and came to Mount Sinai on Sivan 14. “And the Lord said unto Moses, Go unto the people, and sanctify them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their clothes, and be ready against the third day: for the third day the Lord will come down in the sight of all the people upon Mount Sinai.” (Exodus 19:10-11)
The Lord gave Moses the Ten Commandments on Sivan 17, 1446 B.C., approximately 63 days after the Exodus from Egypt. Pentecost had not been declared yet as a Feast of the Lord. If there would have been a feast of Pentecost that year it would have been on Sivan 9.
Pentecost should always fall on Sunday and can come on different dates other than Sivan 6. Pentecost should always come fifty days after the feast of Firstfruits and not the feast of Unleavened Bread. Seven, God’s special number, is in focus, as seven Sabbaths must transpire between these two feasts of the Lord. The starting point is the first Sabbath (Saturday) after Passover. The next day, Sunday, is the first day. The seventh Saturday is the 49th day. The next day, Sunday, is the 50th day…from Sunday to Sunday.
The feast of Pentecost is very significant to Christians as well as to Jews. Pentecost, or Shavuot to the Jews, celebrated the end of the grain harvest, the summer harvest. Nevertheless, what it is most remembered for is the giving of the Holy Spirit to Jesus’ disciples. Precisely fifty days after the feast of Firstfruits (the day the Lord Jesus Christ rose from the dead), during the feast of Pentecost, 120 of His disciples gathered together in one place to await the promise of Christ. He had told them not to depart from Jerusalem for they would be baptized with the Holy Spirit in a few days.
“But you shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and you shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” – (Acts 1:8)
On the 7th day of Sivan on the Hebrew calendar, in AD 33, the Holy Spirit manifested Himself and “they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance” (verse 4).
“Those ordinary people, His disciples, were transformed on that day into men of extraordinary spiritual power who would challenge their world of abject paganism with a dynamic Christian movement that not even the might of Rome could stop. Within a few days, over three thousand Jews became believers. Reliable reports suggest that despite horrible persecutions, tortures, and massive executions, within 70 years over 10 million believers had joined the underground Christian Church throughout the Roman Empire.
Jesus fulfilled his prophecy to his disciples, and God baptized them with his Holy Spirit. The feast of Pentecost began the Dispensation of Grace, and the Church was born. It consisted of Jewish and Gentile believers in Jesus as the Son of God and the Savior of mankind.”
This year, AD 2019, Pentecost is once again on Sivan 7, just as it was in AD 33. The date on our modern Gregorian calendar is June 9, 2019. Did Jesus fulfill the fifth Feast of the Lord by sending the Holy Spirit to his disciples on this day; or is it a future event to occur, such as the Rapture of the Church?
“By tradition Enoch, one of the patriarchs from Genesis 5, was born on the day later to be known as Pentecost. Enoch’s name means “teaching”, a primary function of the Church (Matt. 28:19-20). For this reason, many scholars see him as a “type” of the church as well. Genesis 5:21-23 indicates that Enoch was very close to God and was actually taken live (raptured) into Heaven before the Great Flood. Pre-Trib scholars see this event as one of several Old Testament hints that the Church will disappear from Earth before the Great Tribulation. These same traditions also hold that Enoch was taken on his birthday. So here’s a model in Genesis 5 of a man identified with the church being born and raptured on the day that would become Pentecost, the day the church was also born.”
Sivan 17 (giving of the Law to Moses) is ten days later on June 19, 2019. Some students of prophecy believe the following verses to be a comparison (and contrast) to when God came down Mount Sinai in the past on this day and the future Rapture (when we will see Jesus/God):
“For you are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and storm, and the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard begged that the word should not be spoken to them any more: (for they could not endure that which was commanded, And is so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart: and so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake: but you are come into mount Sion (Zion), and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem), and to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, and to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, to the blood of sprinkling, that speaks better things than that of Abel.” – (Hebrews 12:18-24)
What a contrast between the people’s terrified approach to God at Mount Sinai (Exodus 19:16-22) and their joyful approach to Jesus at Zion (New Jerusalem). After we are raptured into the sky, we will enter into our new home, the New Jerusalem; to an innumerable number of angels, to fellow Christians and believers, to God, to spirits of Old Testament saints, to Jesus and the Holy Spirit, and to sights and senses beyond our current comprehension.
“Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: for our God is a consuming fire.” – Hebrews 12:28-29