The Wheat Festival
by Lorraine Day, M.D.
Passover, when the Israelites left Egypt in the Exodus, was on the 14th day of the First month (Abib) “in the evening.” (Exodus 13:4, Lev 23:5,6) Pentecost was fifty days later. (See texts below)
One month after the Israelites departed from Egypt and crossed the Red Sea, they went into the wilderness of Sin,
“. . .which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the SECOND month after their departing out of the land of Egypt.” Exodus 16:1
In the THIRD month, after departing from Egypt, they came into the wilderness of Sinai.
“In the THIRD month, when the children of Israel were gone forth out of the land of Egypt, the same day came they into the wilderness of Sinai.” Exodus 19:1
The beginning of the “Third month” since departing from Egypt would be about
6 1/2 weeks after “the 14th day of the First month.’ Then God told Moses to tell the people to get ready and come to the foot of Mt. Sinai “in three days” for God to talk to them (where God would speak the Ten Commandments to them). This would be SEVEN weeks AFTER the Israelites left Egypt at the time of the Passover.
And the Lord said unto Moses, Go unto the people and sanctify (consecrate) them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their clothes, and be ready against the third day; for the third day the Lord will come down in the sight of all the people upon mount Sinai.” Exodus 19:10,11
Therefore, the Ten Commandments (found in Exodus 20:1-17) were spoken by God at Mt. Sinai on the day that would later be commemorated as Pentecost fifty days after Passover - the day that God put His Spirit into the disciples who were the true believers in Jesus Christ!
At that time, God wanted to put His law into the hearts of the Israelites in the wilderness, so they would do right because it IS right, rather than just obeying because they might get “punished” if they did not obey!
But the Israelites were afraid of God and wanted to have a human intermediary, Moses, between them (man) and God. They did not want to be ruled directly by God. They wanted to have a human go-between.
“And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they trembled, and stood afar off.
And they said unto Moses, ‘YOU speak with us, and we will hear: but do not let God speak with us, lest we die.” Exodus 20: 18,19
The people had chosen to rule over themselves man ruling over man rather than being ruled by God directly. God knew that if His law was NOT in their heart they would be unruly, out of control and in many cases, very wicked.
Therefore, since they would not let God rule over them directly, God had to give them an extensive set of civil and criminal laws, (beginning in Exodus, Chapter 21 immediately after God spoke the Ten Commandments) some of them very harsh, so there would not be complete chaos!
“He that smiteth his father, or his mother, shall be surely put to death.” Ex 21:15
“He that kidnaps a man and selleth him, or if he be found in his hand, he shall surely be put to death.” Ex 21:16
He that curseth his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death.” Ex 20:17
“An eye for an eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.” Ex 21:24,25
Without God’s law in their heart, the Israelites would have to have strict laws to restrain them from injuring and killing one another. The penalties had to be harsh.
But if they had allowed God to put His law and His Spirit (His disposition) into their hearts directly, they eventually would have no inclination to harm or cheat others.
But they were rebellious against God and wanted to rule over themselves.
Fifteen hundred years later, when Jesus was on earth teaching the gospel, He said to the people,
“You have heard that it has been said, ‘And eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth. But I say unto you, That you resist NOT an evil person; but whosoever shall strike you on your right cheek, turn to him the other also.
“Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them that spitefully use you and persecute you.” Matthew 5:38,39,44.
Interestingly, Jesus began by saying, ”You have heard that it has been said. . .” Well, of course they had heard it, God, Himself, had said it at Mt. Sinai. And since Jesus is God Jesus, Himself, had given these rules!
Why would He now change these rules? The answer is clear.
Once Jesus had come to earth to show mankind HOW to live, HOW to exhibit the character of Christ, HOW Jesus would put the law into their heart so they would DO RIGHT because it IS right, not for fear of punishment, THEN they would no longer need these harsh laws given in Exodus 21. Their dispositions would be changed, they would have the “mind of Christ” and the Spirit of Christ the Spirit of Holiness instilled in them. By His life, death and resurrection, Jesus would do for His followers what the Israelites in the wilderness refused to allow God to do in their own hearts, fifteen centuries before.
The Three Feasts
Of the three main feasts that God ordered the Israelite men to attend in Jerusalem, the first was Passover, the second was Pentecost, and the third was Tabernacles.
In Leviticus, Chapter 23, God tells Moses about these feasts. God calls the feasts “sabbaths.” These were feast-day “Sabbaths” which were different from the Seventh-day weekly Sabbath. Verses 1-12, 15-17.
And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, ‘Concerning the feasts of the Lord, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are My feasts.
Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is a Sabbath of rest, an holy convocation: ye shall do no work therein: it is a Sabbath of the Lord in all your dwellings.
These are the feasts of the Lord, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons. In the fourteenth day of the first month (Abib) at evening is the Lord’s Passover.
And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the Lord: seven days ye must eat unleavened bread.
In the first day ye shall have an holy convocation: ye shall do not servile work therein. But ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord seven days: in the seventh day is an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein.
And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying: Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye be come into the land which I give unto you, and shall reap the harvest thereof, then ye shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest unto the priest.
And he shall wave the sheaf before the Lord, to be accepted for you; on the morrow OF the sabbath the priest shall wave it.
And ye shall offer that day when ye wave the sheaf an he lamb without blemish of the first year for a burnt (ascent) offering unto the Lord.
Verse 15 And he shall count unto you from the morrow OF the Sabbath, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering: seven Sabbaths shall be complete:
Even unto the morrow of the seventh Sabbath shall ye number fifty days; and he shall offer a new meat (meal) offering unto the Lord
Ye shall bring out of your habitations two wave loaves of two tenth deals; they shall be of fine flour; they shall be baked with leaven: they are the firstfruits unto the Lord.
Passover had been kept as the first day of “unleavened bread,” (leaven represented sin) wherein all Israelites took the leaven out of their houses for a week. The barley wave-sheaf offering was offered to God without leaven. The sacrifice of the Passover lamb was symbolic of Christ, Who had no sin.
But at Pentecost, the leaven was to be put into the Pentecostal offering. This was commanded by God. This symbolized that those involved in Pentecost were not immediately sinless. They would only be given an “earnest” of the Spirit of God (Holy Spirit) which would grow in the individual over time, as Jesus led and taught them directly.
When the day of Pentecost arrived in Acts 2, God’s Spirit (the disposition of Christ) was given to the 120 disciples in the upper room. But Paul later said that they had only received “the earnest,” or down payment of the Spirit, according to Ephesians 1:13,14.
. . . in Whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Spirit of holiness of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession unto the praise of His glory.”
In other words, Pentecost has given us only the Down Payment of our inheritance promised to us UNTIL the full “redemption of the purchased possession.”
“Who hath also sealed us and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.” 2 Cor 1:22
“Now He that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also has given us the earnest of the Spirit.” 2 Cor. 5:5
By these plain statements it should be clear that Pentecost did not give the Fullness of God’s Spirit, but only a downpayment. The Fullness of the Spirit would come subsequently, with the feast of Tabernacles. Paul wrote to the Ephesian believers:
“. . . that ye might be filled with all the Fullness of God.” Eph 3:19
As mentioned above, leaven is a biblical symbol of sin. That is why the Passover was to be observed without leaven. It pictured Jesus, the perfect Sacrifice, the Lamb of God without spot or blemish, who was to die for the sin of the world.
God told the high priest to use leaven at Pentecost precisely so that we would know that we cannot be perfected at Pentecost. Perfection occurs through trials and tribulations during the process of sanctification. We cannot do it. Jesus must do it in us.
Passover was held on the 14th day of the first month (Abib) in the Spring (Lev. 23:5). In mid-afternoon the people killed a lamb and prepared it for the evening meal. This commemorated that first Passover, when Israel prepared to leave Egypt the next day. It was also the day Jesus was crucified.
Pentecost, as the word implies (“pente” means five), occurs fifty days after Passover. In Leviticus, Chapter 23, we are told that:
Verse 11 “. . . then he (the priest) shall wave the sheaf (the wave-sheaf offering) before Jehovah for your acceptance; on the morrow OF (NOT “After”) the Sabbath, the priest shall wave it.
Verses 15-16 “And you shall count unto you from the morrow OF the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven Sabbaths shall be complete: Even unto the morrow OF the seventh Sabbath shall you number fifty days; and you shall offer a new meal offering unto the Lord.
Verse 17 “You shall bring out of your habitations two wave loaves of two tenth deals: they shall be of fine flour; they shall be baked with leaven. They are the firstfruits unto the Lord.
King Saul was the Pentecostal king because he was crowned at Pentecost, as you will see from Scripture. The Israelites “were dissatisfied with the rule of God because He was too strict with them. He demanded more of them than their flesh could handle. Why, every time they indulged in a little idolatry, God would bring them into another captivity! Finally, human wisdom dictated that they should have a king who was more human, one who understood their weaknesses and was not so strict in disciplining them.
“It was in this context of history that the people came to Samuel and demanded a king. God granted them their request but warned them that their king would indeed be just like them. He would be a manifestation of their own hearts. He would be corrupted by power and would use the people for his own benefit (See 1 Sam 8:11-18)” The Wheat and Asses of Pentecost by Stephen Jones, page 8.
In Samuel’s coronation speech for the new King Saul, he said in 1 Samuel 12: 17,18:
Is it not wheat harvest today? I will call unto the Lord, and He shall send thunder and rain; that ye may perceive and see that your wickedness is great, which ye have done in the sight of the Lord, in asking for you a king.
So Samuel called unto the Lord; and the Lord sent thunder and rain that day; and all the people greatly feared the Lord and Samuel.
“In Saul’s coronation, Samuel prayed that God would send thunder and rain on the day of Pentecost, so that the people would understand that they had done wrong in asking for a king. How strange! In Palestine, rain is very rare at the time of Pentecost. In fact, any farmer knows that one cannot harvest grain if it is wet. So rain at this time would have been perceived as a judgment from God.
Thus, Samuel said that the rain at Saul’s coronation was to show them that they had done wickedly. Even so, the purpose of the baptism of the Spirit of Holiness from God (Pentecost) is to begin a cleansing process of the wickedness within us. This is why it is also called a “baptism of fire.” Fire is a purifying and cleansing agent as well. This outpouring of the Spirit is not the good news of perfection, but the rather ominous news of purification by fire.” ibid pg 11
Saul was called, one might say, temporarily, for God knew that Saul would fail. God knew that He would eventually reject Saul from having an enduring dynasty. God had demonstrated His “wrath” by giving Israel what they wanted a king rather than Israel following what God wanted them to do allow God to be their King!
Here again, the people refused to have God lead them directly. They preferred to be led by “man.”
“Men like Saul, who rise to positions of power even by a legitimate call of God, find that they must instill ‘the fear of God’ in their subjects in order to maintain their position. They must rule by fear, force, and a certain level of deception, lest they be ousted by others who desire their position. The focus of their calling thus begins to shift away from training the people into spiritual maturity; instead, their prime directive becomes one of survival and self-perpetuation. The organization becomes the people’s master, rather than their servant.
“This is largely what the various denominations of Christendom have done, as they follow the lead of King Saul. In order to maintain political control, they have passed Church laws, consigning people to hell if they get out of line or if they leave the denomination. Many people are so bound by fear that they refuse even to read any book not specifically sanctified by their bishop, priest, or pastor. These people are afraid that someone outside their church or denomination might actually have some truth not known by their own leaders. They are afraid that they might be convinced of that truth, and that their leaders may excommunicate them and damn them to hell for it.” Ibid. pg 20
Pentecost in the New Testament
Pentecost was to be a Feast using Leavened bread, as opposed to Passover when the Israelites were to use Unleavened bread! Leaven represents sin. The Passover was about Jesus Christ as the sacrifice for the whole world. He is/was without sin, so the Feast was to be with Unleavened bread.
Pentecost, on the other hand, was the time when God would put the “earnest” of His Spirit in His followers, the “earnest” meaning a beginning of Jesus’ Spirit of Holiness, a disposition that would grow from “glory to glory” as the follower, through extensive trials and tribulations, learns to obey the Word of God. Eventually this process leads to the development of the mind and disposition of Christ in the true believer.
We cannot do this on our own. Jesus does it ALL by leading us through whatever trials and tribulations are necessary for us to realize our need for Him. The eventual outcome of this process is a follower of Christ who exhibits the same character, disposition and mind of Christ.
“You shall be perfect (literal translation), even as your Father in heaven is perfect.” Matt 5:48
“Be ye holy; as I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:16
Finally, fifteen hundred years AFTER God’s first attempt at putting His Spirit into the Israelites, God finally accomplishes His work in the disciples in the Upper Room on the Day of Pentecost, fifty days after Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection.
The Day of Pentecost in Acts, Chapter 2:
The Book of Acts, Chapter 2, gives us an account of what happened at Pentecost. Unfortunately, the Bible translators have mistranslated major portions of this passage, but we will sort it out from the original Greek Scriptures.
This is the passage in Acts 2:1-6 as it appears in the King James Translation and many other Bible versions:
“And when the day of Pentecost was 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 all the house where they were sitting.
And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.
And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.
Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.”
However, the translators have taken liberal license with the translation of this passage. There are many serious mistranslations. The following are some of the most offensive.
Incorrect Translation Correct Translation
Spirit and Ghost Breath
cloven Being distributed
utterance To enunciate plainly
violent Vital, life-giving
“Spirit” (as in Holy Spirit):
The English word “Spirit” is a mistranslation of the Greek word pneuma (the Greek root word from which we get the English word “pneumonia!”). It means BREATH! Physical BREATH is what God breathed into Adam’s nostrils in Genesis 2:7. (God did NOT breathe a Ghost up Adam’s nose God breathed BREATH into Adam’s nostrils) that allowed Adam’s body (that God made from the earth dirt) to come alive. Here is the equation: a body of dirt + God’s breath = a living soul (a living person who has the five senses: taste, touch, hearing, sight, and sense of smell).
“And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the BREATH of life: and man BECAME a living soul.” Genesis 2:7
The term Holy “Ghost” is a TOTAL mistranslation of the word pneuma as well as a mistranslation of the word “Spirit.” It is translated as “Ghost” to support the false doctrine that when a person dies, he or she becomes a “Ghost” a “Spirit” and wafts off to heaven - - - or hell, as the case may be!
This is the BREATH (NOT “Spirit”) that returns to God when a person dies. The body returns to the earth, from whence it came, and the BREATH returns to God who gave it.
“Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit (BREATH #7307 in Strong’s Concordance) returns unto God who gave it.” Ecclesiastes 12:7
This is also the spiritual BREATH of Holiness (Holy BREATH NOT Holy Spirit) that God “breathes” into us to give us His “life,” His disposition.
And Jesus “breathed” on them and said “Receive the Holy (Spirit) Breath (God’s “breath” of holiness).”
(“breathed” = #1720 in Strong’s Concordance emphusao from which we get the word “emphysema” of the lungs. It means “to blow at” or “breathe on.”)
(“Breath” (mistranslated “Spirit” = #4151 in Strong’s Concordance) is pneuma which means “a current of air” or “breath.”
From this we learn that God breathes PHYSICAL breath into us so we then have PHYSICAL life. That breath must invade and keep alive every cell in our body for us to be physically alive and healthy.
God also breathes SPIRITUAL breath into us to give us SPIRITUAL “life” this is Eonian life consistently mistranslated “Eternal” life. The translators have confused “Eternal life” with Immortality. As shown in the study “Does “Forever” Really mean Forever?” (see www.goodnewsaboutgod.com) the words eternal, eternity, and forever NEVER appear in the Bible. These words are a mistranslation of the word “eon” or “eonian.”
This “Holy Breath” (mistranslated “Holy Spirit”) is the spiritual counterpart of Physical Breath, the breath that keeps us alive physically. The same was true of Manna the Physical bread from heaven that was the physical counterpart of Jesus who was the Spiritual Bread from heaven!
The apostle Paul often speaks of Eonian (Not “Eternal”) Life.
Eonian Life is the Life of Jesus that He puts into His true followers by giving them His “Holy Breath (NOT Holy “Spirit”). It is the Spiritual Life in us that must be maintained by the “nutrition” of both daily prayer and the reading of God’s Word, just as the Physical Life must be maintained by eating the physical food God has given us.
Without physical food, the physical life dies. Without spiritual food, the spiritual life dies.
Eonian Life, the Life that Jesus puts in us so we can manifest His character, is a mandatory prerequisite for obtaining Immortality. One CANNOT live forever UNTIL he has the character of Jesus manifested in his life!
“Neither is their salvation in any other: for there is none other Name (Character) under heaven, given among men, whereby we MUST be saved.” (Acts 4:14)
The word “name” in the Bible always refers to the character. God reveals His character by the names He gives Himself: El Shaddai, (Almighty All Sufficient), Jehovah (Self-Existent), Jesus (Saviour), Emmanuel (God with us), etc.
God changed Jacob’s name (meaning deceiver) to “Israel” when Jacob recognized his sins and confessed. “Israel” became Jacob’s new Spiritual name which meant “for you have struggled with God and with men, and have prevailed.”
Names in the Bible, including the names God has given Himself, were meant to represent and define character.
Returning to Acts 4:14 (above), the reason there is salvation in “no other Name” other than Jesus Christ, is that no one is safe to save until he or she has developed the character of Jesus Christ. And the only way that can be done is to study God’s word daily and pray daily, and keep looking at Christ continuously. Then, by “beholding” Christ, we become changed into His image. We can’t do it. Jesus does it all!
Everyone will be saved - - - but only AFTER each person has been made a New Creature in Christ (by being taken through trials and tribulations to learn obedience). No one is ready for Immortality living forever until he exhibits the character of Christ.
The word “Ghost” as translated “Holy Ghost” does not appear in the Bible. The translators translate the Greek word pneuma (BREATH) as “Ghost” whenever they choose to imply a wafting being, to promote the idea that when a person dies, he becomes a “ghost” or “spirit” and goes wafting off to heaven or hell!
What is the REAL Greek word for “Ghost”?
When the disciples were in the boat on the Sea of Galilee and saw a figure walking on water (Jesus) approaching them, they were terrified. They thought they were seeing a “Ghost (phantasma in Greek).”
“And straightway Jesus compelled His disciples to get into a ship, and to go before Him unto the other side, while He sent the multitudes away.
And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up into a mountain by Himself to pray, and when the evening was come, He was there alone.
“But the ship was now in the middle of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary.
“And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea.
“And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a ghost (phantasma in Greek NOT pneuma): and they cried out for fear.
“But straightway Jesus spoke unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.” Matthew 14:22-27
The word used in this text (and in a repeat of the story in Mark 6:49) is the word phantasma, #5326 in Strong’s Concordance. This word really does mean “Ghost” or phantom! The word pneuma, #4151 in Strong’s Concordance is the word BREATH consistently mistranslated “Spirit,” as in the incorrect rendering: “Holy Spirit”).
Supposed “Cloven” Tongues of Fire!
The Greek word diamerizo #1266 in Strong’s Concordance means “being distributed.” It does NOT mean “cloven!” Even the Interlinear Bible translates it properly in the literal text translation. (See below.) Diamerizo does NOT mean cloven” as it is mistranslated in this passage. The languages (“fiery” languages God refers to His law as a “fiery” law (Deut. 33:2)) were “being distributed” to each disciple in the Upper Room.
These were NOT “cloven tongues of fire” sitting on the tops of the heads of all the disciples! This is an inaccurate and patently ridiculous translation of this passage. And this silly rendering is often memorialized by artists in their paintings of this event, to imply miraculous visible signs and wonders.
The present-day Organized Church wants to perpetuate these visible (but deceptive) miracles in the minds of the members, signs and wonders that will no doubt be repeated to amaze and titillate the “believers” of today. But these signs and wonders will not be from God. They will be from Satan and the whole Organized Church will be completely deceived!
The Greek word mistranslated as “utterance” is #669 in Strong’s Concordance: apophtheggomai which means “to enunciate plainly!” The word “utterance” suggests unclear speaking which is the exact opposite of the true meaning of this Greek word. But by using the word “utterance” instead of the accurate translation “to enunciate plainly”, the translators have muddied the waters and given support to the false doctrine that the disciples were muttering an unknown and unintelligent “language” or “tongue.”
The word “tongues” means languages. We know that by the context the rest of the passage. In Acts 2:6 we read that “everyone (in the crowd of listeners) heard them speak in his own dialect!” This makes it very clear that the people listening to the disciples speaking in “tongues” were really speaking in KNOWN languages of the day.
The Greek word biaios #972 in Strong’s Concordance (from the word #970), is mistranslated “violent” when it really means a “vital, life-giving force.”
Now, after studying the correct meaning of these Greek words, we are ready to look at the correct translation of this passage!
The Proper Translation of Acts 2:1-6 The Day of Pentecost!
And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all unanimous among themselves. And suddenly there came an echo from heaven as a vital, life-giving breath and it filled the whole of the house where they were dwelling.
And they observed fiery languages being distributed, settling on each of them.
And they were all filled with the breath of (God’s) holiness and began to talk in other languages, even as the breath gave to them the ability to enunciate plainly.
And there were Judeans dwelling in Jerusalem, devout men, from every nation under heaven.
Now when this happening was manifested, the multitudes came together and were confounded, for every man heard them speak in his own dialect.
And they were all amazed and marveled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak, Galileans? (People from Galilee were usually considered to be not very educated.)
And how hear we every man in our own dialect, wherein we were born?
Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judea and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia. Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, Jews and proselytes.
Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our languages, the wonderful works of God. And they were all amazed . . .” Acts 2:1-12
Obviously, the disciples were NOT speaking “unknown” tongues. They were speaking KNOWN languages of the time because ALL these people from all these named countries “heard in their OWN language!”
Conclusion: The Meaning of Pentecost
Passover signifies “Justification” coming to Christ and being converted.
Pentecost symbolizes the beginning of the “Life of Christ” Eonian Life, being put in the converted heart by Jesus Christ. As this “Life” of Christ grows in the Christian, by diligent daily Bible study and prayer, Jesus will abide more and more in one’s life, and ultimately, we will fully exhibit His character.
***** On the next page is the passage in Acts 2:1-6 as found in the
Interlinear Greek and English New Testament.
© Lorraine Day, M.D. 2006. All Rights Reserved.
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