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The Christian Pentecost
by Wayne Blank
Feast of First Fruits, Feast of Weeks, Feast of Harvest, Pentecost
The event in the above verses describes what has commonly become known as the "birthday of the church" - the coming of the Holy Spirit, after the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, on a much more widely available basis than it had been in the Old Testament era.
Pentecost originated after the Exodus when it was variously called the Feast of First Fruits, the Feast of Weeks, or the Feast of Harvest (Leviticus 23:15-21, Deuteronomy 16:9-12). It was observed 50 days after the ceremonial cutting of the first grain offering after the Passover - hence the origin of the Greek word Pentecost, which means "fiftieth." By no coincidence, the New Testament Pentecost, as we read in the opening verses, occurred 50 days after the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the "first of the first fruits."
The Dual Meaning Of The God-Commanded Biblical Holy Days
The spring Holy Days symbolize the events related to the First Coming of Jesus Christ:
The autumn Holy Days symbolize the events related to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ:
The "First Harvest" Of Salvation
The Old Testament festival of First Fruits celebrated the first harvest of the grain crop, while it actually symbolized the New Testament "first harvest" of humanity, the "first fruits of salvation":
"And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption [see Spiritual Adoption], to wit, the redemption of our body." (Romans 8:23 KJV)
The first fruits were chosen for a purpose, not as any sort of favoritism. They will serve and teach, not just the unconverted physical people who will be alive at the Return of Christ, but those of the great resurrection (which will be vastly larger than the first) that will occur after the 1,000 years:
"Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years." (Revelation 20:6 KJV)
The Holy Bible, from the beginning of Genesis to the end of Revelation, speaks of God's Plan of Salvation - a plan with a definite element of timing. The simple reality, as expressed so often through your Bible, is that not everyone is called to repentance, is able to repent even when they hear the words of the Gospel, at the same time. There is a definite order of calling, which is the reason that Jesus Christ often used the term "He that hath ears to hear, let him hear" (Matthew 11:15 KJV).
Fact Finder: Did James refer to the "first wave" of Christians as the "first fruits of creation"?