What God began in 2015 is reaching its tipping point this year. It’s a fullness of time moment!
What God began in 2015 is reaching its tipping point this year. It’s a fullness of time moment!
What God began in 2015 is reaching its tipping point this year. It’s a fullness of time moment!
Welcome to the journey through the wilderness as we
press on to Pentecost and ultimately to enter into our promise.
In this series, we will consider what God wanted to teach the Hebrews at each stop through the wilderness. We know that when God released the plagues against Egypt, which is a picture of the world system, He was judging the idols, the gods that the Egyptians believed in. We, too, live in a world system full of idols that try to usurp God’s place in our lives. As Christians, we are taught not be like the world but to be conformed to His image, yet we live in the world and have adopted many mindsets and habits that are of the world. I’m not talking about gross or blatant sin. I am talking about things we have accepted as normal because we live in the world. In this day though, God wants to refine us, He wants to highlight ways we have become like the world and bought in to ways of thinking that aren’t what He intended for His Kingdom people.
At the end of the age, we are called to be mature sons and daughters. This series of video teachings and blog posts is meant to challenge the status quo and give you an opportunity to examine with God where He might be calling you up to a new level. He wants us all to be equipped and help build up His Body until we all attain to the unity of faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ. (Eph 4:12-13)
No matter how many times I’ve read through this story, God always shows me something new. This time is no different. So I’m inviting you to go along with me, that we may grow in unity of heart and become more like our Head, the Beautiful One, Yeshua!
The Bible reveals God’s history and future plans for His relationship with mankind. There are three transitional generations recorded in His story. The first transitional generation was the Israelites as they came out of Egypt and were headed toward the Promised Land. The disciples were the second transitional generation as they established the church age after Jesus’ resurrection and ascension. The third is our very own end-times generation that is called to begin to establish Jesus’ Kingdom on earth and prepare for His arrival.
As you might guess, the characteristics of these generations are pictured in the Feasts of the Lord. The first set was the three Spring feasts at the beginning of the Hebrew year: Passover, the Feast of Unleavened Bread and Firstfruits. The Father established these feasts so the Israelites would remember their deliverance from Egypt. Once they were in the Promised Land, this feast also included a celebration of the first harvest of barley. Their offering was a sheaf of barley. It was the first crop to come up and it would sustain them until the coveted wheat harvest came in.
The Spring Feasts represent a season of deliverance from slavery. What does this mean to us and why should we care? We are not slaves, or are we? Slaves are subject to whatever has mastery over them. Being delivered involves leaving old mindsets, sin and death (not necessarily physical death, but things that have died in us) and crossing over to move toward the promise. Because we are often quite unaware of how enslaved we are, we need the apostles and prophets to help us to see what we might not see on our own. God wants us to know His heart and He tells us what signs to look for, so we will not miss our turns. We can look at the example of the Israelites coming out of Egypt and see how they could not recognize the goodness of God through His miracles; they missed their signs. Nonetheless, they were called to transition from a group of Hebrew slaves into the nation of Israel, God’s beloved people. Later, when the promised Messiah arrived, another generation had been given signs to look for, but they, too, misread the signs and the prophecies. They were unwilling to change their mind (repent), because they thought they knew better than God. Yet, when you look at all the symbolism of the Spring Feasts, it is so full of details and symbols that it’s hard to believe anyone could miss seeing Jesus. From the time the Israelites left Egypt until the time Jesus walked on the earth, the Spring Feasts were a dress rehearsal of Jesus delivering His people from sin, forgiving them and beginning the process of restoring humanity’s relationship with the Father. Every generation as a whole, and each individual must experience their own deliverance from something that has kept them separated from God. Each year, as we move through this season, we have the opportunity to be delivered and become freer. It is an ongoing process.
The second set was the Feast of Weeks, because it was held seven weeks after Passover. The seven-week period leading up to the feast, also known as the time of Counting the Omer, was just as significant as the final, fiftieth day when the feast was celebrated. This feast commemorates the gifts and provision that God gave the Hebrews at Mount Sinai. He gave them an identity as a nation and established a unique relationship with them that would be called the Mosaic Covenant. This feast took on the agricultural significance of offering the firstfruits of the wheat harvest once they were in the Promised Land. This time their offering was not the wheat itself, but two huge loaves of bread made from the wheat flour.
The Feast of Weeks, also known as Pentecost, is a celebration of God’s provision. In the natural, as they wandered through the wilderness, God provided manna which was called “Bread of Heaven.” When they entered the Promised Land, they celebrated the wheat harvest from which they were enabled to make bread. It remembered God’s giving of the Torah (Law) to His people at Sinai. While Jews were gathered in Jerusalem after Jesus’ death to celebrate this feast, God chose this day to “pour out His Spirit on all flesh.” Just as the Hebrew nation would not have been able to function as a nation without God’s Law, the new Church lead by the disciples of Christ would not be able to function in their higher calling without the operation of the Holy Spirit in them. It is God’s generous giving that enables us to complete the calling we’ve been given by Him. Once we are delivered, we begin anticipating the promised inheritance. This is a season to understand our identity as God’s people, disciples, students of the Lord. It is vital to know who we are and what we’ve been given in order to accomplish our destiny and possess our inheritance. We go through a process of sanctification, ridding ourselves of sinful behaviors and walking in greater levels of righteousness, so that we may possess all that the Lord wants to give to us. The early Church transitioned from the Mosaic & Davidic Covenants to living under the New Covenant written in Jesus’ Blood.
The third set was the Fall feasts which occur in the seventh month: Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and the Feast of Booths (Tabernacles.) At this time, the Israelites were commanded to remember how they had sojourned through the desert and lived in temporary dwellings until they reached their promise. This feast season celebrated the final and most abundant harvest of the year. Harvesting grapes, olives, pomegranates, and figs brought great joy to the community.
Prophetically speaking, this season is for us, the end-time generation! In a broad sense, Generation Z is an appropriate name for this generation. It represents coming to an end of something. It requires awakening to deeper levels of understanding, making ourselves ready to meet our Bridegroom, reaping the harvest of souls and building the Kingdom of God on earth. The Church and the Kingdom are two different things. The end-time generation exists to build the Kingdom in preparation for Jesus’ return. In this season there is much anticipation and rejoicing. One day, we will meet our Bridegroom, but until then we have much preparing to do. We prepare our hearts by becoming more like Jesus, and we contend against the enemy’s schemes as he fights against Jesus and His saints. Just like the Jews in the days after Jesus was born had to know what they were looking for and correctly interpret the signs, so we have to do the same. God gave the Holy Spirit long ago to empower His people, but He knew that our relationship with the Holy Spirit would have to go to a deeper level in the generations leading up to Jesus’ return. We need the power and revelation of His Spirit, so that we can overcome the spirit of the age. In these days, He is pouring out the Holy Spirit stronger than anything we have experienced in all of human history. God is awakening His Bride, and we will reap the last great harvest of the ages. Jesus will come to judge the wicked, and then, the Bridegroom will marry His Bride. He will carry us over the threshold into the Promised Land of Heaven where we will not only see the Father face to face, but we will rule and reign with Him in His Kingdom forever. What a glorious future we have! We are the generation to transition Heaven to Earth.
Each generation and each feast contains keys and patterns that we can learn from so that we don’t miss our signs and we stay in sync with God’s times and seasons. Some things we’ve been taught and believed might not be true. Are you willing to unlearn some things so that He can fill you with Truth? This is so critical. As we enter into the Passover season this year, 2019/5779, let’s commit to knowing Him in new fresh ways. Let’s be quick to surrender to Him, to seek the deliverance He so freely offers and to find out what’s it’s like to truly be free in Christ. Let’s get reacquainted with the Word of God and expect that revelation will flow to us in ways we have never experienced before. As He pours out His Spirit, we can expect signs and wonders to follow us as we believe. We have assignments and a holy call to partner with the Living God and build His Kingdom and our forever home!
And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Acts 2:2
Pentecost is a time to celebrate the provision that God has given. God is a giver, He delights in giving to His children. He gave the Torah to the Israelites as they gathered at Mount Sinai. When they arrived in their Promised Land, He was faithful to give them crops in abundance as He had promised. Then after Jesus was resurrected, He told His disciples to wait in the Upper Room for the promised Holy Spirit. It was on Pentecost that they received the gift of the Holy Spirit.
God says Pentecost 2015 is a Memorial Day. There is something new going on this year. God chooses His special times to pour out in an unusual way according to the needs of that particular generation. He always pours out, but sometimes He pours out more. This is a year of more. We are a special generation, the end-times generation that needs more and more of Him. We have a special and unique call to prepare the earth and its people to receive the return of the Jesus, the Messiah. We are here to gather the multitudes to receive her King. We are here to bring restoration to a hurt, broken and dying world that desperately needs to know the Savior, Redeemer, and Deliverer. We need the Holy Spirit to fill us up so He can pour us out.
All over the earth, the Holy Spirit is pouring out. Doug Addison noted the many earthquakes that were rumbling in California last night. God said He would shake everything that can be shaken. Here in Texas, we received historic rainfall on our parched and dry land accompanied by great winds and threats of tornadoes all around the region. Oklahoma and much of the Midwest experienced great rains and flooding. Other areas are suffering from colder than normal temps. God is speaking through His creation and announcing that He is breaking His people out of captivity and setting us on a new path to do what He’s created us to do. Moves of God aren’t necessarily comfortable or convenient!
Have you been waiting a long time to move into your promise? Don’t be discouraged. You’ll notice that every time God has poured out His gifts in a unique way, it came with waiting period attached. It’s just part of the testing that comes along with a great outpouring. Sadly, the Israelites got anxious in their waiting and created a golden calf. Their impatience demonstrated their lack of faith. The disciples were gathered in fear in the Upper Room but they were faithful. They received their promise and left the place with the Word and the Spirit burning in their hearts. They were compelled to preach to those who were gathered outside and miracles were the result. Three thousand were saved that day.
God has promised the same and more to us. Many have waited faithfully. You’ve been tempted to figure out a way to make God’s promise manifest. You’ve been mocked and judged in the waiting. You’ve almost given up. But you didn’t! That’s the key. If you’re still standing, you qualify. God has seen your struggle and He is pleased with you. Your promise is about to be fulfilled. Miracles are going to occur suddenly, not just for you, but so that you can accomplish your God-given assignment.
The provision you need to carry on is on its way. Here in Austin, TX, Lake Travis has been drained by drought over the last 4 years. Last year it was down by 60 feet! Reports of it filling again were dismal. Recreation on the lake was over. But this spring, God has brought so much rain that it has been steadily filling up. After the torrential Pentecost downpour, the lake filled 7 ft. in just 12 hours. With runoff still adding to it and more rain in the forecast, we will be close to full stage very soon. Boat ramps are open for Memorial Day. Catch the wind, it’s time to sail!
Pentecost is one of three Feasts the Lord required His people to celebrate for all time. That tells us something about the heart of God. He really cares about this celebration! Why? What does it mean to us in this day?
Pentecost really centers on Giving and Provision. If we go back to the beginning we see that right after the Israelites came out of Egypt, the Lord led them to Mount Sinai. It was here that He wanted to communicate with them about their future. This was the place God chose to “make them a nation.” This group of Hebrew people were not yet a nation, but they were going on a journey with God to the place God had chosen where they would become a nation. A nation has to have laws that govern its actions and God was about to give them His Law for His Nation. We know that this was the place Moses received the 10 Commandments, along with a myriad of other statutes and ordinances that would make these people different than any other nation on Earth. The Books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy detail the Law of God’s Kingdom. In Leviticus 23, Yahweh provides instruction for celebrating His Feasts. Verses 15-22 tell us about Pentecost, although God does not call it Pentecost at this point. He is speaking to the Hebrews about the harvests they will have when they get to the Promised Land. At this time, they were in the desert and they were not raising crops. But God had promised that the Land they were about to enter was a good land, filled with milk and honey. It was there that they would be established, raise crops and reap a harvest.
This feast was a feast of Harvest. It signaled the second harvest of the spring season, the wheat harvest. The first harvest was barley. It came at Passover and was known as early Firstfruits. The barley harvest was good and provided sustenance until the wheat harvest was reaped. Barley was used to make the unleavened bread that is eaten at Passover and was known as the “Bread of Affliction.” The wheat however, was the “fine food.” It would be used to make good bread for eating and for sacrificing. God instructed the Israelites to bring a sheaf of barley as a firstfruits offering and roast it with oil and incense. But for the wheat harvest, He instructed them to make two large loaves of bread – He actually told them how much flour to use, enough to make two loaves that were 21” x 12” x 3!” They were to wave these loaves before the Lord along with an offering of two lambs. This was a celebration of the abundant provision the Lord would give them. As they offered their firstfruits to the Lord, they could depend on Him to bless the rest of their harvest.
This feast would be celebrated 50 days after early Firstfruits. There was not a set day, it was completely dependent upon the date of the barley harvest. During the days following the barley harvest, they would “count the omer” in anticipation of the wheat harvest. When 50 days, or seven weeks, were up, they would celebrate the second harvest, thus the feast was known as Feast of Weeks.
We see that first God gave His Word, His Revelation, to Moses on this date. Then He gave the promise of His Harvest that would take place on this date for years to come. All through Old Testament times, the people of God celebrated the Harvest that God gave. They remembered the giving of the Law and celebrated by staying up all night in the synagogue reading the Torah.
After Jesus was crucified, He appeared to His disciples and told them He was about to send the Comforter to them and they should wait in Jerusalem until this occurred. They were in the Upper Room waiting at the time of the Feast of Weeks. By this time, the world had been strongly influenced by the Greeks and that was the predominate language of the day. The Greek root word “pente” means 50, so this holiday came to be known as Pentecost, meaning “50 days.”
Probably following the custom of staying up all night reading the Torah, the disciples were together celebrating and God surprised them by giving them the Holy Spirit. They had no idea what to expect when Jesus said He would send the Comforter, but while they were sitting there the wind of God began to blow and they could see ‘tongues of fire’ on each other. They all began to speak in different languages and they felt the Power of God come on them. They must have felt something very powerful because up to this time there were fearfully sitting in the Upper Room hiding from the Romans, but after this encounter with God’s Spirit, they were bold and went outside to preach and teach. The people recognized that something powerful had happened, too. The people that were gathered outside were from all around the region and spoke many languages. When they heard the disciples speaking, they recognized their own languages! They cried out to know God and 3000 were saved in one day. This was a Power encounter with the Living God, a baptism of the Holy Spirit.
As we consider this Feast through the Ages, we see God GAVE the Law or His Word, God GAVE the Harvest, and God GAVE His Spirit. Pentecost, then, is a celebration of provision and giving. We celebrate our dependence upon God and His giving, then we imitate Him and we give generously to those around us. One other special point was that in Leviticus 23:22, as God was telling them to celebrate the Harvest, He specifically made provision for the poor. This is where He instructed landowners to leave the corners of the harvest fields for the poor to come and glean the edges of the field. God’s provision was for all.
God gave the revelation of His heart through His Word, He gave the sustenance for our lives through the harvest, and He gave His Power to us through the Holy Spirit. Now He asks us to use these gifts of provision to reap the Harvest of Souls, His family, so that His Joy can be complete.
Consider making this celebration an annual event in your family. Gather with friends and family, celebrate God’s provision, pray and ask Him for a harvest strategy. You will be blessed!