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Lesson: Pentecost - the Feast of Weeks

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Scripture Reading: Leviticus 23:15-22.

Golden Text: Acts 2:1-4

1. The Lord spoke to Moses and proclaimed certain holy convocations. Whose festivals are these? (Leviticus 23:1-2)

2. Were the Israelites told to observe festivals three times each year and what were the names of these three festivals? (Exodus 23:14-16, 34:18, 22-23, Deuteronomy 16:16, 2 Chronicles 8:13).

Note: These three festivals were centered around the three harvests in Israel, the early spring harvest, the latter spring harvest and the fall harvest.

In this Bible Study lesson we want to focus in on the Feast of Weeks.

3. Did God proclaim the Feast of Weeks a holy convocation where no customary work was to be done on it? Was it to be a statute forever? (Leviticus 23:21)

Note: The festival name of "Feast of Weeks" has some variations in itís name: the "feast of harvest, the firstfruits" (Exodus 23:16), "the feast of weeks, of the firstfruits of the wheat harvest" (Exodus 34:22), "the day of the firstfruits" (Numbers 28:26), and "the feast of weeks" (2 Chronicles 8:13, Deuteronomy 16:10, 16 ).

4. Was a calendar date given for this festival? (Leviticus 23:15-16)

Note: This festival is not to fall on a calendar date, on the same date each year, but on a day of the week. Notice: Leviticus 23:15-16: "'And you shall count for yourselves from the day after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering: seven Sabbaths shall be completed. {16} 'Count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath; then you shall offer a new grain offering to the LORD."

5. What did the New Testament writers call this "Feast of Weeks" festival? (Acts 2:1, 20:16)

6. Did the New Testament Church observe the festival of Pentecost? (Acts 2:1-4)

Note: The word Pentecost is a Greek word which means fiftieth (50th).

The Feast of Weeks or Pentecost, which means "fiftieth", is always to be observed on a Sunday, which is the fiftieth day after the cutting of the wave sheaf during the Days of Unleavened Bread.

In Palestine the first ripe barley harvest began during the Days of Unleavened Bread and harvesting continued during this seven week period and then finished with the wheat harvest before Pentecost. 7. Were two leavened loaves of bread offered to God as firstfruits during this festival? (Leviticus 23:17)

Note: The two leavened loaves offered on Pentecost correspond to two major groups of Godís people - Old Testament Israel and the New Testament Church.

These harvest festivals correspond to Godís spiritual harvests. Pentecost corresponds to the firstfruits, those who are called and converted before the return of Jesus Christ at His second coming.

8. Does the New Testament connect this festival with the coming of the Holy Spirit and the beginning of the Church? (Acts 2:1-4). Is this the time that God began to call a new people as His own? (1 Peter 2:9-10). Are Christians called the firstfruits of Godís spiritual creation? (James 1:18). Are Christians the "Church of the firstborn"? (Hebrews 12:23).

9. Did Jesus promise spiritual help to His disciples? (John 14:16) What was the "Comforter" that Jesus promised? (John 14:26) What else is the Holy Spirit called besides "Comforter"? (John 14:17) Was the Holy Spirit dwelling within the disciples yet? (John 14:17)

Note: Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit to be within them as it had been in Him.

The following is a quotation from the Ryrie Study Bible: "Vs. 14:16 another Helper. The Holy Spirit is called the Helper (Gk.: paraclete, as also in 14:26; 15:26; 16:7). In the root of this word are the ideas of advising, exhorting, comforting, strengthening, interceding, and encouraging. The only other occurrence of the word outside this discourse in the New Testament is in 1 John 2:1; it is applied to Christ and translated "Advocate." Here and in the other passages in John cited above, Christ teaches that the Holy Spirit (1) will indwell Christians (vv. 16-17); (2) will help the disciples recall the events of His life (v. 26); (3) will convince the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment (16:7-11); (4) will teach believers the truth (15:26; 16:13-15)."

10. Did Jesus repeat His promise to send the Holy Spirit after He had been crucified and resurrected from the dead? (Acts 1:8-9).

11. Did Jesus tell His disciples to wait in Jerusalem until they had received Godís Holy Spirit? (Luke 24:49)

12. When did the disciples actually receive the gift of Godís Holy Spirit? (Acts 2:1-4).

Note: If Christís disciples had not obeyed Him - if they had not been KEEPING the day of Pentecost, or Firstfruits - they would not have received Godís Holy Spirit!

13. Will God only give His Holy Spirit to those who obey Him? (Acts 5:32)

14. Was there a major "harvest" for the Church on that day of Pentecost? Were 3,000 added to the Church? (Acts 2:41).

15. Did the Apostles continue to keep Pentecost after the crucifixion? (Acts 20:16, 1 Corinthians 16:8).

In Conclusion: Pentecost pictures the outpouring of God Holy Spirit upon His people, the Church. It also pictures the first spiritual harvest in which the Church will be the "firstfruits", those who are called and converted before Christís return.

Lesson - Scriptures

Scripture Reading:

The Feast of Weeks

(Lev 23:15-22 NKJV) "'And you shall count for yourselves from the day after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering: seven Sabbaths shall be completed. {16} 'Count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath; then you shall offer a new grain offering to the LORD. {17} 'You shall bring from your dwellings two wave loaves of two-tenths of an ephah. They shall be of fine flour; they shall be baked with leaven. They are the firstfruits to the LORD. {18} 'And you shall offer with the bread seven lambs of the first year, without blemish, one young bull, and two rams. They shall be as a burnt offering to the LORD, with their grain offering and their drink offerings, an offering made by fire for a sweet aroma to the LORD. {19} 'Then you shall sacrifice one kid of the goats as a sin offering, and two male lambs of the first year as a sacrifice of a peace offering. {20} 'The priest shall wave them with the bread of the firstfruits as a wave offering before the LORD, with the two lambs. They shall be holy to the LORD for the priest. {21} 'And you shall proclaim on the same day that it is a holy convocation to you. You shall do no customary work on it. It shall be a statute forever in all your dwellings throughout your generations. {22} 'When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not wholly reap the corners of your field when you reap, nor shall you gather any gleaning from your harvest. You shall leave them for the poor and for the stranger: I am the LORD your God.'""

Golden Text:

(Acts 2:1-4 NKJV) "When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. {2} And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. {3} Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. {4} And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance."

Feasts of the LORD

(Lev 23:1-2 NKJV) "And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, {2} "Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: 'The feasts of the LORD, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, these are My feasts."

Three Annual Feasts

(Exo 23:14-16 NKJV) ""Three times you shall keep a feast to Me in the year: {15} "You shall keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread (you shall eat unleavened bread seven days, as I commanded you, at the time appointed in the month of Abib, for in it you came out of Egypt; none shall appear before Me empty); {16} "and the Feast of Harvest, the firstfruits of your labors which you have sown in the field; and the Feast of Ingathering at the end of the year, when you have gathered in the fruit of your labors from the field."

(Exo 34:18 NKJV) ""The Feast of Unleavened Bread you shall keep. Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, as I commanded you, in the appointed time of the month of Abib; for in the month of Abib you came out from Egypt."

(Exo 34:22-23 NKJV) ""And you shall observe the Feast of Weeks, of the firstfruits of wheat harvest, and the Feast of Ingathering at the year's end. {23} "Three times in the year all your men shall appear before the Lord, the LORD God of Israel."

(Deu 16:16 NKJV) ""Three times a year all your males shall appear before the LORD your God in the place which He chooses: at the Feast of Unleavened Bread, at the Feast of Weeks, and at the Feast of Tabernacles; and they shall not appear before the LORD empty-handed."

(2 Chr 8:13 NKJV) "according to the daily rate, offering according to the commandment of Moses, for the Sabbaths, the New Moons, and the three appointed yearly feasts; the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of Weeks, and the Feast of Tabernacles."

(Num 28:26 NKJV) "'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."

(Deu 16:10 NKJV) ""Then you shall keep the Feast of Weeks to the LORD your God with the tribute of a freewill offering from your hand, which you shall give as the LORD your God blesses you."

(Acts 20:16 NKJV) "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."

(1 Pet 2:9-10 NKJV) "But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; {10} who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy."

(James 1:18 NKJV) "Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures."

(Heb 12:23 NKJV) "to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect,"

(John 14:16 NKJV) ""And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever;"

(John 14:26 NKJV) ""But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you."

(John 14:17 NKJV) ""the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you."

(Acts 1:8-9 NKJV) ""But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth."{9} Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight."

(Luke 24:49 NKJV) ""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.""

(Acts 5:32 NKJV) ""And we are His witnesses to these things, and so also is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him.""

(Acts 2:41 NKJV) "Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them."

(Acts 20:16 NKJV) "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."

(1 Cor 16:8 NKJV) "But I will tarry in Ephesus until Pentecost."