This article first appeared in the May 15, 1991 issue of the Standard Bearer and was written by Rev. Jason Kortering when he was pastor of Grandville PRC.
Pentecost Fully Come
“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.”
There was a roaring sound of wind, but not a leaf stirred.
Fire was on the heads of the apostles, but not a hair was singed.
They spoke in foreign languages which they had never learned.
Strange things took place in Jerusalem.
The Holy Spirit had come! This was the real Pentecost.
That is not to say that the church of the Old Testament did not have a Pentecost. They did. The Feast of Weeks, also called the Feast of the First-fruits, was the Pentecost of the old covenant. It was celebrated 50 days after the Passover, after a week of weeks had gone by, that is, 49 days. On the next day, the fiftieth day, the Jews celebrated this feast.
It is interesting to notice that in Acts 25, we read that there were dwelling in Jerusalem, Jews, devout men out of every nation under heaven. According to the law of Moses, we read, “Three times in the year all thy males shall appear before the Lord God” (Exodus 23:17). These three times were connected with the Jewish calendar of Feasts: the Feast of Passover (also called Feast of Unleavened Bread), the Feast of First-fruits (also called Feast of Weeks), and the Feast of Tabernacles (also called Feast of Ingathering). The Feast of Passover was in the spring of the year, the Feast of First-fruits was 50 days later, during the early harvest, and the Feast of Tabernacles was just before winter, when the harvest was completed. It was in connection with the observance of the Feast of Weeks or Firstfruits, called Pentecost in the New Testament times, that these devout Jews had come to Jerusalem, and while they were there the Holy Spirit was given to the church.
We read, when the day of Pentecost was fully come!
We can interpret this expression in two ways. We can say that it refers to the temporal order—that the Old Testament Feast of Pentecost had come and gone, and it was now the day following when the Holy Spirit was given the church. This interpretation is entirely possible and fits the order of events: the dayhad fully come. We could also give it a spiritual interpretation. The Pentecost of the old covenant had now reached its fullness in the new covenant, the fulfillment of its typical significance. These two ideas do not conflict, but complement each other, and can certainly apply to this passage.
Looking at it from the chronological perspective, it is wonderful how Jehovah God built into the schedule of the feasts the prominence oaf the number seven. The number seven is the result of adding four (representing man on the earth, the four directions of the compass) to three (representing the triune God); or by adding six (the work-week, or the number of man) to one (the only true God) which results in seven—God and man are in friendship, enjoying rest with each other. It is the number of covenant friendship with God. Hence the seventh day was the Sabbath rest. In all three of the great feasts, the celebration ended in the Sabbath rest. A feast of weeks separated the Passover from the First-fruits. The seventh month was filled with special feasts: Trumpets, Great Day of Atonement, and Tabernacles. The seventh year was the Sabbatical year.
There was more than the number seven in the old covenant. Circumcision was on the eighth day, not the seventh. First-fruits was on the fiftieth day after Passover, not just forty-nine. Besides, the Sabbatical year was followed by the Year of Jubilee, the fiftieth year. Even these numbers indicated that something was coming that was greater, which would lift them to a higher plane of spiritual reality and joy. Hence, the Passover was immediately followed by the crucifixion, the Sabbath was followed by the resurrection day of the Lord, the Feast of First-fruits was followed by the real Pentecost, the presence of the Holy Spirit.
On God’s calendar, “fully come” brought the old Pentecost into the new, the reality.
The same can be said for the meaning itself. God had a fuller spiritual blessing for His church than that which was given them in the Old Testament Feast of First-fruits. Just as we read that Jesus was born in the fullness of time (Gal. 4:4), so the fullness of the Old Testament Feast was given now, with the presence of the Holy Spirit. The Feast of First-fruits was in the middle of the three great feasts. It was preceded by Passover and followed by Tabernacles. Passover spoke to the people of their deliverance through the covering of blood. The covenant with God was grounded in the coming work of the Messiah, Jesus. His work on the cross would be effective. The Feast of Firstfruits (Pentecost) testified that God was gathering unto Himself His people. Just as the early barley harvest, symbolized by the sheaves of grain waved before the presence of the Lord, assured Israel that the harvest which began was the Lord’s and belonged to Him, so Israel as the people of God was His wonder-work and belonged to Him. This was followed by the Feast of Tabernacles or Ingathering, which was at the conclusion of the harvest and consisted of loaves of bread brought before the Lord. This symbolized the hope of Israel; the entire world would be brought unto Jehovah as a people saved by the blood of the Messiah, under which the people were protected from the angel of death and reserved for Jehovah’s pleasure. The crucial connection between these two feasts was Pentecost. How could the Lamb effectively redeem His people, as promised to Abraham, to be the Father of many nations? How could Israel be the firstborn among the nations, which ultimately would lead to the gathering of the people of God from all the world?
The day of Pentecost was fully come.
The reality had come, the Holy Spirit of the exalted Christ was now given to His church on earth.
His presence guarantees the fulfillment of the Feast of Tabernacles (Ingathering) as well, the great Jubilee in the Coming of Jesus upon the clouds of heaven to take unto Himself His exalted and perfected church to dwell with Him forever.
Look at those signs and believe.
About 120 disciples are gathered in an upper room. A tremendous noise is sounded throughout all Jerusalem, the sound of a mighty, rushing wind which concentrates upon that upper room. As this noise arouses the curiosity of the people and they begin to follow the sound to the source, they behold before them 120 excited people. Some are in the room, some in all likelihood are out in the streets. Some men, others women, they all have this little fire glow on their heads. As if that is not enough, they are speaking in languages which many cannot understand, for they are not of that country, while anyone from any country under heaven can come to this place and hear them speak of the wonderful works of God.
What a testimony of FIRST-FRUITS! Real first-fruits.
Three thousand are added to the church that very day.
The Lord added daily to the church such as should be saved!
The explanation of this wonderful event must be found in the Person of the Holy Spirit.
This is HIS day.
He is the third Person of the Holy Trinity, not by inferiority or rank; but in His Personal distinctive He proceeds from the Father and the Son. Within the Godhead itself, the Father reaches to the Son in the Holy Spirit, and the Son reaches to the Father in the Holy Spirit so that His Holy Breath fuses the Trinity into a covenant of friendship which defies our fondest imagination.
He is the Spirit of Jesus Christ. When Jesus completed His work of atonement as the Messiah, when the Passover Lamb shed His blood on the beams of the cross, God received that work and rewarded His Faithful Son. He assured Him already at the cross that His suffering and death were acceptable in His sight. He confirmed all this with His resurrection and ascension into heaven. When Jesus appeared before the tribunal of God’s justice in heaven, He functioned as our advocate and entered the legal plea that God would give to Him the Holy Spirit through whom He would complete the gathering of His church. The first-fruits were already with Him. He desired the Feast of Tabernacles to be complete as well. The Father gave to the exalted Jesus the Holy Spirit. Yes, He was in the Old Testament church through type and sign just as Jesus was. When Pentecost was fully come, Jesus furnished His beloved church with the fullness, through whom the entire church would surely be brought into the joy of the covenant.
The Holy Spirit of Jesus is able to do this.
Three thousand souls were added in one day.
The sound of the wind tells us of His power to change. Nothing can stand before Him when He works mysteriously in the hearts of His people. The tongues of fire indicate to us that His work of change is to purify the soul and burn away the dross of sin and death. The foreign languages tell us that He does this in an intelligent way, by the communication of words, through the written Word, faithfully expounded by servants whom He calls to speak. The disciples could understand what had happened (the cross and the crown) for the first time, and they were able intelligently to communicate it to others as the same Holy Spirit applied it to the hearts of “such as should be saved.”
With His presence, we have the guarantee that the work of salvation is in good Hands.
All the attendants at the Feast of Tabernacles will be there.
Heaven will be complete. Glory to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit!
Rev Jason Kortering (Wife: Jeannette)
Ordained: September 1960
Pastorates: Hull, IA - 1960; Hope, Walker, MI - 1966; Hull, IA - 1970; Hope, Redlands, CA - 1976; Loveland, CO - 1979; Grandville, MI - 1984; Minister-on-Loan (Hope PRC, Walker, MI), Singapore - 1992
Died and entered glory: Dec.20, 2020Website: www.sermonaudio.com/search.asp?speakeronly=true&currsection=sermonsspeaker&keyword=Rev._Jason_Kortering
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