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The Harvest of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit, and the Rapture

The children of Israel observed the second Passover at Mount Sinai in 1445 BC. They observed the feast of Unleavened Bread for seven days, from Nisan 15 to Nisan 21. The rituals concerning the waving of the first fruits of the harvests of Firstfruits and Shavuot weren’t observed, as they were to commence when the Hebrews entered the Promised Land, according to Leviticus 23:9. They left Sinai on the 20th day of the second month of Iyyar in 1445 BC. Thirty-nine years later, in 1406 BC the children of Israel finally entered the Promised Land on Nisan 10 when they crossed the Jordan River. “Now the people came up from the Jordan on the tenth day of the first month, and they camped in Gilgal on the east border of Jericho” (Joshua 4:19).


After the entrance into the Promised Land, God told Joshua to circumcise the second generation of the sons of Israel, as they had not been circumcised yet. After healing for three days, the Hebrews celebrated the Passover on the 14th day of Nisan. On the 15th of Nisan, they ate from the produce of the land. ”And they ate of the produce of the land on the day after the Passover, unleavened bread and parched grain, on the very same day” (Joshua 5:11). On the 16th day of Nisan the manna from God ceased and they continued eating of the crops of the land.


The next recorded event in the Book of Joshua is the battle of Jericho. There is no mention of the waving of the first fruits of barley on the feast of Firstfruits or of the first fruits of wheat on the feast of Weeks (Shavuot) during this time. Either the Bible doesn’t record these events or they were not to commence until the children of Israel had planted and harvested their own crops and not the crops of the heathens. I prefer the latter view, due to the passage in Exodus 23:16. The Book of the Law is mentioned in Joshua and other books of the Bible, but never in conjunction with the feast of Shavuot. As I mentioned in my previous article, The Harvest of Shavuot and the Ten Commandments, I don’t believe God gave the 10 Commandments to Moses on the exact day of Shavuot.


Now, let’s fast forward 1438 years to 33 AD (some still say 30 AD) and look at Jesus’ last Passover and the giving of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. The first day of Holy Week occurred on Nisan 10, Palm Sunday, when Jesus rode into Jerusalem as king of the Jews but wasn’t accepted as such. Nisan 10 was the day when God had commanded the Jews to select the Passover lamb (Exodus 12:3). Then for three days, they were to carefully inspect it to make sure it had no spot or blemish that would prevent it from being used in the Passover celebration on the 14th (Exodus 12:3,6). Over the next three days (Nisan 11-13), Jesus would be subjected to the most intense scrutiny of his ministry as the Jewish leadership tried to find some imperfection in his word or deed.


Jesus was crucified as our Passover lamb on Thursday, Nisan 14 at 3:00 pm, which was three hours before the date changed to Nisan 15. He was in the grave before Friday, Nisan 15 began, for this was the day of the “special sabbath” where no work was to be done. Thus, he was in the grave Thursday, Friday, and the weekly Sabbath of Saturday, Nisan 16. Jesus was in the grave until He was resurrected on Sunday, Nisan 17, the proper day of the feast of Firstfruits. This was the ultimate fulfillment of the feast of Firstfruits. “But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming” (1 Corinthians 15:20,22). For more information on Holy Week, see Solving the Three Day Three Night Mystery – Grace thru faith.


Jesus Christ is the first fruit of all believers in Christ who will be raised from the dead (with an incorruptible body). He is the fulfillment of the sheaf of the first fruits to be waved before the LORD, as mentioned in Leviticus 23:10-11, and the male lamb without blemish in verse 12. As the Jews were waving the barley sheaf before the LORD at the temple in Jerusalem on Sunday, Nisan 17, God had already waved (presented) His son, Jesus Christ, before the congregation in heaven. During the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the barley bread that was to be consumed was to be made without leaven. In the Torah, leaven represents sin. The bread represents Jesus’ body which was without sin. Barley is the first crop to rise from the earth in early spring.


Acts 3:1 says that Jesus presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by His apostles during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God. Jesus told his apostles to wait in Jerusalem for the Promise of the Father and that they would be baptized with the power of the Holy Spirit. The apostles watched Jesus as He ascended into heaven 40 days after His resurrection. 10 days later, the disciples of Jesus attended the annual feast of Shavuot, now known as Pentecost. Of course, the Father kept His promise and sent the Holy Spirit to Jesus’ disciples.


“When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance” (Acts 2:1-4). On the 7th day of Sivan on the Hebrew calendar, in 33 AD, 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.


“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.” {1}


*Let’s look at the timeline for the counting of the Omer in AD 33. From the feast of Firstfruits, Sunday, Nisan 17, 3793 AM (April 5, 33 AD) to the feast of Shavuot/Pentecost, Sunday, Sivan 7, 3793 AM (May 24, 33 AD) is 50 days and contains a week of weeks (7 weeks of Sunday to Saturday – 49 days). Jesus’ ascension to heaven would have occurred on Iyyar 26, 3793 AM (May 14, 33 AD). According to Astro Pixels (NASA) calculations, there was a full moon on April 3, 33 AD (Julian calendar) of that year. The date on the Jewish calendar would have been Nisan 15, the first day of Unleavened Bread.


THE COUNTING OF THE OMER IN 33 AD


Thur. Fri. Sat. Sun. Mon. Tue. Wed.

Nisan 14 Nisan 15 Nisan 16 Nisan 17 Nisan 18 Nisan 19 Nisan 20

Nisan 21 Nisan 22 Nisan 23 Nisan 24 Nisan 25 Nisan 26 Nisan 27

Nisan 28 Nisan 29 Nisan 30 Iyyar 1 Iyyar 2 Iyyar 3 Iyyar 4

Iyyar 5 Iyyar 6 Iyyar 7 Iyyar 8 Iyyar 9 Iyyar 10 Iyyar 11

Iyyar 12 Iyyar 13 Iyyar 14 Iyyar 15 Iyyar 16 Iyyar 17 Iyyar 18

Iyyar 19 Iyyar 20 Iyyar 21 Iyyar 22 Iyyar 23 Iyyar 24 Iyyar 25

Iyyar 26 Iyyar 27 Iyyar 28 Iyyar 29 Sivan 1 Sivan 2 Sivan 3

Sivan 4 Sivan 5 Sivan 6 Sivan 7


The Church of Jesus Christ was born on the day of Shavuot/Pentecost after the week of weeks had been completed. On this annual Jewish feast day, the Jews were required to bring a new grain (wheat) offering to the LORD, which consisted of two loaves of bread made from fine flour and baked with leaven. “They are the first fruits to the LORD” (Leviticus 23:17). This is quite different from the feast of Firstfruits where it was required to bring a sheaf of barley and the worshipers were to only eat unleavened bread during the feast of Unleavened Bread.


We have seen the typology of the feast of Firstfruits in that Jesus was the first fruits of the dead to be resurrected. Jesus led a sinless life. Leaven, which represents sin, was not allowed in the barley bread to be eaten during that holy week. However, after seven sevens (49 days), on the day of Pentecost, the two wheat loaves that were to be waved before the Lord were baked with leaven. This is the only feast of the Lord where leaven is allowed. Why?


I believe the two leavened loaves of wheat bread are a typology of the Church that was born on that Pentecost day on Sivan 7, 33 AD. Both Jews and Gentiles were baptized on that day and became members of Jesus’ congregation (Church) that started the spiritual kingdom of God on earth. All were sinners. However, the Jews and Gentile believers were filled with the Holy Spirit of God and became a new creation… from grains of wheat to loaves of bread. They became more like Jesus, who is the bread of life. “I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eats of this bread, he shall live forever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world” (John 6:51).


But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept” (1 Corinthians 15:20). Jesus was the first to be resurrected (with an immortal body) from the dead. The next first fruits to be resurrected from the dead will be His Church at the Rapture. “But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:13-17)


All those who have died in Christ since the new covenant was initiated will be resurrected on that glorious day to come in the near future. They will precede the living believers in Christ who will also be transformed and raised to glory at that time. These living believers will not die physically but will die to sin permanently. Will this supernatural spiritual harvest of souls occur on a future feast of Pentecost? I don’t know. Nobody does. But the typology seems to fit. If the Rapture does occur on a future feast of the Lord day, Pentecost seems to be the most obvious candidate. For more typologies and Jewish traditions regarding Pentecost, see The Feast Of Pentecost – Grace thru faith


There are two main resurrections that occur, according to the Bible. The resurrection of the saved (first resurrection) and the resurrection of the unsaved (second resurrection). Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation” (John 5:28-29). “And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust” (Acts 24:15). The first resurrection takes place in various stages: Jesus’ resurrection, the Church’s resurrection, and the resurrection of the martyrs and Old Testament saints at the end of the Tribulation.


“Revelation 20:12-13 identifies those comprising the second resurrection as the wicked judged by God at the great white throne judgment prior to being cast into the lake of fire. The second resurrection, then, is the raising of all unbelievers; the second resurrection is connected to the second death. It corresponds with Jesus’ teaching of the “resurrection of damnation” (John 5:29). The event which divides the first and second resurrections seems to be the millennial kingdom. The last of the righteous are raised to reign “with Christ a thousand years” (Revelation 20:4), but the “rest of the dead [that is, the wicked] lived not again until the 1000 years were finished” (Revelation 20:5).” What is the first resurrection? What is the second resurrection? | GotQuestions.org


We have looked at the timing of the first two stages of the first resurrection. The third stage will occur at the end of the Tribulation. At the end of the Tribulation is when we see the Lord Jesus Christ return to the earth (during the feast of Trumpets) to defeat His enemies, save the remnant of believers, and set up His millennial kingdom. His second advent will fulfill the remaining three fall feasts of the Lord, Trumpets, Atonement, and Tabernacles. The seven feasts of the Lord will now be completely fulfilled spiritually by the Lord Jesus.


The feast of Tabernacles is described in Leviticus 23:39-43. “On the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the fruit of the land, you shall keep the feast of the Lord for seven days; on the first day there shall be a sabbath-rest, and on the eighth day a sabbath-rest” (Leviticus 23:39). This is the third harvest for the children of Israel which takes place in the fall season and includes the harvesting of fruits, olives, nuts, etc. At the end of this feast of the Lord and at the end of the Tribulation is when the third stage of the first resurrection takes place. The martyrs of the Tribulation and Old Testament saints are the third group of the dead in Christ to be resurrected. They are the spiritual harvest of “fruits” that fulfills the feast of Tabernacles.


The Old Testament saints to be resurrected are mentioned in Isaiah 26:19. “Your dead shall live; Together with my dead body, they shall arise. Awake and sing, you who dwell in dust; For your dew is like the dew of herbs, And the earth shall cast out the dead.” The martyred saints’ resurrection is found in Revelation 20:4. “Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.”


The three feasts of the LORD which all the males were required to “gather” is in tandem with the three harvest seasons. “You shall keep the feast of unleavened bread: (you shalt eat unleavened bread seven days, as I commanded you, in the time appointed of the month Abib; for in it you came out from Egypt: and none shall appear before me empty. And the feast of harvest, the first fruits of your labors, which you have sown in the field: and the feast of ingathering, which is in the end of the year, when you have gathered in thy labors out of the field. Three times in the year all your males shall appear before the LORD God” (Exodus 23:14-17).


Regarding the above passage, Jesus was the first fruits of the feast of Unleavened Bread (Firstfruits occurs within this feast), the Church will be the next crop to be harvested at the feast of Harvest (Pentecost), and the martyrs of the Tribulation and Old Testament saints will be the last crop to be harvested at the feast of Ingathering (Tabernacles). The agricultural harvests of the children of Israel in the Promised Land are a typology of the spiritual harvests of the saints (both Jews and Gentiles) to be resurrected by the LORD in their appointed times.


But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming” (1 Corinthians 15:20,22). There will be three comings of Christ: His first advent to the earth, His “in the sky” Rapture, and His second advent to the earth; and each time He comes brings about a resurrection of the dead in Christ.


“Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared. So the servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’ But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest, I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn” (Matthew 13:24-30).


This is what the counting of the Omer in 2023 looks like. Nisan 14, the Biblical Passover, occurs on Wednesday, April 5, 2023. The feast of Firstfruits occurs on Sunday, April 9 (Nisan 18), 2023. Pentecost is on May 28 (Sivan 8), 2023. Of course, the Jews will celebrate Shavuot on Sivan 6, which is on Friday, May 26, 2023.


THE COUNTING OF THE OMER IN 2023


Wed. Thur. Fri. Sat. Sun. Mon. Tue.

Nisan 14 Nisan 15 Nisan 16 Nisan 17 Nisan 18 Nisan 19 Nisan 20

Nisan 21 Nisan 22 Nisan 23 Nisan 24 Nisan 25 Nisan 26 Nisan 27

Nisan 28 Nisan 29 Nisan 30 Iyyar 1 Iyyar 2 Iyyar 3 Iyyar 4

Iyyar 5 Iyyar 6 Iyyar 7 Iyyar 8 Iyyar 9 Iyyar 10 Iyyar 11

Iyyar 12 Iyyar 13 Iyyar 14 Iyyar 15 Iyyar 16 Iyyar 17 Iyyar 18

Iyyar 19 Iyyar 20 Iyyar 21 Iyyar 22 Iyyar 23 Iyyar 24 Iyyar 25

Iyyar 26 Iyyar 27 Iyyar 28 Iyyar 29 Sivan 1 Sivan 2 Sivan 3

Sivan 4 Sivan 5 Sivan 6 Sivan 7 Sivan 8

“Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain” (John 12:24).


Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!


Randy Nettles



Endnotes:

{1} “Appointment with Destiny – Armageddon” by Grant R. Jeffrey, pg. 65

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