What is the
meaning of Pentecost?

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Pentecost is the third of God's annual Feast days (periods) celebrated each year. It is also known as the Feast of Weeks, Feast of Harvest or the Day of Firstfruits.

16 Celebrate the Harvest Festival when you begin to harvest your crops. (Exodus 23:16)

"And you shall observe the Feast of Weeks, of the firstfruits of wheat harvest, and the Feast of Ingathering at the year’s end." (Exodus 34:22)

God commanded that on this Feast day that no work is to be done.

"'‘Also on the day of the firstfruits, when you bring a new grain offering to the Lord at your Feast of Weeks, you shall have a holy convocation. You shall do no customary work.'" (Numbers 28:26)

Pentecost represents the consummation of the first harvest, after seven weeks of labor, and also the arrival of the Israelites at Mount Sinai after seven weeks of weary wandering. Tradition states that God gave Israel the Ten Commandments on Pentecost.

The apostle Paul wanted to be at Jerusalem for Pentecost.

"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)

Christians have the firstfruits of God's spirit within them, allowing them to be the first of many who will ultimately receive salvation. Believers follow in the path of Jesus, the first of the firstfruits in God's great plan.

16. The Spirit itself bears witness conjointly with our own spirit, testifying that we are the children of God. 17. Now if we are children, we are also heirs - truly, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ - if indeed we suffer together with Him, so that we may also be glorified together with Him.

When do God's annual Holy Days occur each year?
Picture of interior design of Jerusalem's temple
What did the second (Herod's) temple look like?
Timeline of the Old Testament
Map of Old Testament Events

19. For the earnest expectation of the creation itself is awaiting the manifestation of the sons of God; 22. For we know that all the creation is groaning together . . . 23. And not only that, but even we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, also groan within ourselves . . . (Romans 8)

20. But now Christ has been raised from the dead; He has become the first-fruit of those who have fallen asleep. (1Corinthians 15:20)

The 144,000 people of the tribes of Israel, converted during the great tribulation, will also be firstfruits unto God.

"Then I looked, and behold, a Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His Father’s name written on their foreheads . . . These are the ones who were not defiled with women, for they are virgins. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These were redeemed from among men, being firstfruits to God and to the Lamb. " (Revelation 14:1, 4)

Why wait?

Just before Jesus ascended into heaven after his resurrection he gave a very important command to his disciples.

Then He said to them, 'Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day . . . Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.' (Luke 24:46, 49)

The disciples were told to 'tarry' in Jerusalem. The Greek word translated as tarry is kathizo, Strong's Concordance #G2523, which means to sit down. Jesus was telling his restless disciples to relax a bit and wait in Jerusalem until they received the power of God. It is then they could go out and preach the gospel to the world!

When the day of Pentecost arrived 120 of Jesus' disciples, which included the twelve apostles, received the promised power of God. Peter spoke to the crowd gathered on the holy day about what they miracles they saw symbolized.

14. Then Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice and spoke out to them . . . 16. But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel: 17. ' "And it shall come to pass in the last days," says God, "that I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; 18. And even upon My servants and upon My handmaids will I pour out My Spirit in those days" (Acts 2)

One of the many lessons of Pentecost is that sometimes we must WAIT for God to act, in his wisdom, BEFORE rushing off to do his will.

Additional Study Materials
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Can God be worshipped in different ways?
What does the number fifty symbolize in the Bible?
God's Annual Feast Days

Description of all articles

Overview of the
Holy Days
Did Jesus have a
Passover or supper?
Day of

What is the
sacred calendar?

The New Testament
Passover ceremony

Day of

Passover and Feast
of unleavened bread
The Day
of Pentecost
Feast of Tabernacles
Last Great Day

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