This pouring out of the Spirit took place on the Day of Pentecost, which is the Feast of Weeks, or Shavuot, or the feast of the wheat harvest. There are seven festivals to the Lord in the biblical year (Lev 23), and three of them are harvest festivals. The first harvest festival is Firstfruits, the barley harvest. On this day Jesus Christ was raised from the dead, the firstfruits of all who have fallen asleep (1 Cor 15:20). Jesus’ resurrection is the first spiritual harvest of life from the dead.
The second is Weeks, or Pentecost, the wheat harvest. On this day the Holy Spirit was poured out on the church. We learned that the Holy Spirit was given to give us power to be witnesses. So the first thing Peter does, is stand up and witness, LOL. His Spirit- inspired sermon adds 3000 souls to the church that day. The church is, I believe, the second spiritual harvest of life from the dead. We, us, those the disciples witness to who accept Jesus as Savior and Lord – we are the second harvest of wheat. Our bodies may die, but we ourselves pass from death to life (Joh 5:24), and when Jesus returns, our bodies won’t even die but be transformed (1 Cor 15:51-52).
The third is Tabernacles, the fruit harvest. The messianic and spiritual fulfillment of this feast day has not come yet, but it is the greatest and most joyful harvest of all. Tabernacles is tied to the Lord’s second coming, it is the foreshadow of His marriage supper with the Bride. I see one of three things transpiring. Either there will be an enormous end time revival in which massive numbers of people come to the Lord right before the Lord’s return – I mean, new- agers, and Muslims, and Jews, and former atheists because God has shown forth His glory and power, and an entire generation of young people. Or, at the return of Jesus, millions and hundreds of millions will repent and be saved. Or, both, and the end time harvest that corresponds to Tabernacles will put all previous harvests of souls to great shame!
Before this feast of Pentecost recorded in Acts 2, the Hebrew scholars place the giving of the Ten Commandments on Mt Sinai on the date of Pentecost. They say that when Moses came down the mountain with the second set of tablets, the 70 elders of Israel had tongues of fire appear over their heads and they spoke in the tongues of the 70 nations which rebelled against God at Babel (Gen 10, if you count the grandchildren and great grandchildren of Noah who became heads of nations, there are 70, and Babel is in Gen 11). Nothing that happens in the New Testament is really New, it is just God working His plan that He had from the beginning and which was prophesied by various means from the beginning.
This is so interesting, that God ties the giving of His Written Word, His Ten Commandments, and the giving of His Spirit, so closely together.
“Therefore say to the house of Israel, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “I do not do this for your sake, O house of Israel, but for My holy name’s sake, which you have profaned among the nations wherever you went. And I will sanctify My great name, which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst; and the nations shall know that I am the LORD,” says the Lord GOD, “when I am hallowed in you before their eyes. For I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land. Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.” Eze 36:22-27
The Law, the Word, and the Spirit, are only opposed to each other in our minds, but they never have been in God’s. Notice the emphasis in Ezekiel yet again on the nations – the 70 nations that rebelled against God, that God drove Israel to, and that Israel is being brought back from. Because of what God has done, He will no longer be profaned in the eyes of those 70 nations, but HALLOWED, and this is the work of His HOLY Spirit. He is hallowed in their eyes when He puts His Spirit within us, who then causes us to walk in His statutes – in other words, to live holy and sanctified lives. 🙂
In verses 38-39, we get the Altar Call according to Peter:
“Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.” Act 2:38-39
He does not say, Ask Jesus to come live in your heart. Instead, he says:
- Repent; — this step was an integral part of the preparing of the way that John the Baptist preached, and also Jesus, when He charged His disciples to go out to every town, and preach, Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. We need to TURN from our sins if we are to be truly converted.
- Be baptized in water in the name of Jesus Christ (go through the mikvah), which is symbolic for His blood purifying us from sin and death.
- Be baptized in the Holy Spirit and with fire. Peter taught that the baptism of the Spirit was an integral part of the salvation experience.
Peter debunked the Spirit- went- away- with- the- apostles argument right here, when he says that the Promise (of the Father, Act 1:4) is not only for his generation, but for his children’s generation, and ALL who are afar off, AS MANY as the Lord our God WILL call. “Will” is a future tense word. Anyone who has heard the call of Jesus to come to Him, to receive His substitutionary death on the cross, and to become an adopted child of the Living God, has been CALLED, and the baptism of the Holy Spirit is necessary for him to be empowered to witness to the glory and grace of Jesus Christ.
<– 1 acts 3 –>
acts index ::: ::: ::: one year reading schedule
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