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Many people have asked, “How do you keep the feasts?” Well, we often hold conferences during or near the feast days, but this is not actually how to keep a feast. We keep Passover by being justified by faith in the blood of the Lamb. We keep Pentecost by being filled with the Spirit. We keep Tabernacles by receiving the glorified body.
All of the Old Testament methods of keeping feasts are the way in which Old Covenant believers were required to keep them. But we have a better covenant, which changed the law (Hebrews 7:12) and now require better ways to keep the feasts. The basic law principles remain intact, but the forms have changed.
Some have asked, “How do you observe the feasts?” My answer is that we observe what God does during the feasts. If we are alert and aware, we can get some new revelation about the meaning of the feast that we are observing. This means we learn something new each year, some new application that we did not know before.
We have just come through the feast of Pentecost this year (May 28, 2023). What the Lord did this year gave us a new insight that I did not know before. Perhaps others already knew this, but I had not seen the feast in this light in the past.
There are three first fruits offerings each year: unleavened barley on the first Sunday after Passover; leavened wheat on Pentecost Sunday; and grapes during the seven days of the feast of Tabernacles. Each has its own prophetic significance in the divine plan.
Jesus Christ fulfilled the feast of Passover as the Lamb of God when He alone went to the cross. The Perfect Lamb was offered in the time of Unleavened Bread, because He was sinless.
Pentecost, however, was directed toward the church, and so the wheat represents the church. Wheat was leavened, but when it was “baked” in the fire (Leviticus 23:17), the leavening action was stopped, making it an acceptable offering to God. Leviticus 2:11 and 17 command that no leaven was to be in any offering to God. The wheat offering of Pentecost was the exception, but only because it was baked in the fire.
The church, then, was said to be a leavened body of people, but the baptism of fire made them acceptable to God.
The grapes represent the world of unbelievers. To extract the new wine from the flesh, grapes had to be trodden under foot. So we have the statement that all things will be put under the feet of Christ (Psalm 8:6; 1 Corinthians 15:25). While this represents severe judgment, it also shows that the purpose of judgment is to extract wine for His communion table.
In that context, let us look at the present revelation of Pentecost.
The “fiery law” (Deuteronomy 33:2 KJV) brought divine judgment upon Jesus Christ when He was crucified. In this, He fulfilled the sacrifices offered to God on altars of stone. Jesus’ altar was the cross. He did not have to be burned (as with the Old Testament sacrifices), because the fire on those altars represented the “fiery law” itself, which was any judgment of the law.
That same fire applies to the church as well, only in a different way. John the Baptist prophesied in Matthew 3:11 that “He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” Matthew 3:12 says that “He will gather His wheat into the barn, but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” This was a reference to the baptism of the Holy Spirit that was to be initiated on Pentecost when the high priest offered the wheat offering to God.
It is the same fire that accepted Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. Paul tells us in Romans 6:6 that “our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin.” Our own crucifixion is not literal, but we are certainly expected to put to death the “old self” by identifying with Christ’s death on the cross. Further, we are burned by the same “fiery law” at Pentecost that burned Jesus on the cross.
Yet we know that when we put to death the old self, we also rise in newness of life as a new creation (Romans 6:4). In other words, we experience both death and resurrection—just like Jesus did. This is all symbolized by baptism, which uses a water metaphor, rather than fire. Both water and fire are metaphors for the Holy Spirit.
What we saw this past week was that May 28, 2023 was Pentecost, and we observed a final death experience, and three days later the glory came as a resurrection experience. The glory of God came during a prayer meeting of brethren who are part of our team in Zimbabwe. My friend Andrew reported this event to me this morning on an online call.
In that prayer meeting the prophetic revelation then came forth through a prophet named Daniel that we will bring this glory to the world, wherever we go. His glory will be seen by those who have not sought Him and do not know Him.
Of course, I immediately saw the connection to the great light that I saw over South Africa in 1984. I look forward to meeting both Andrew and Daniel in person next week in South Africa. John is buying their plane tickets as well as ours. (This is an all-expense paid trip.)
The Lord also instructed us to bring a birthday gift to the king. It is a Thomas Kinkade Family Bible. Thomas Kinkade is known as the “Painter of Light.”
I believe that the presentation of this Bible will represent the start of the great Light that will soon spread across the Dark Continent.
Of course, keep in mind that in order to spread the Light, we will have to rub shoulders with those who presently remain in darkness. We are not calling the righteous but sinners to repentance (Luke 5:32).
In one sense, Pentecost this year marked the point today that is comparable to that which was seen with the disciples in the days leading up to Pentecost in Acts 2. Jesus said in Luke 24:46-49,
46 and He said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day, 47 and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 And behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”
Just as the disciples had to wait in Jerusalem until the day of Pentecost that empowered them to do their mission, so also have we had to wait till Pentecost of 2023 to really begin our mission. This does not mean we have been idle in the past. Much groundwork has been laid to prepare for this time ahead. In fact, everything we do is preparation for what comes next.
The point is that I had never observed Pentecost in this light before. Not much of this is new revelation, of course, but it is certainly a new application of the feast of Pentecost. The new idea (to me) is to see the relationship between Passover and Pentecost, that both are involved with the fiery law and the death of the flesh, and yet it shows a progressive pattern of death (Passover) and resurrection into glory (Pentecost).
Jesus’ prayer shows that He considered the cross to be His glory, praying in John 17:5,
5 “Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.”
Fulfilling the feast of Passover was Christ’s glory; fulfilling the feast of Pentecost is our glory, which also prepares us for the greater glory of the feast of Tabernacles yet to come. We are yet in an interim stage that leads to a greater glory of the Kingdom. It appears that the Pentecostal glory was largely lost over the centuries, and that once again we are to manifest the glory of Pentecost prior to the second coming of Christ.