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Old Testament Feasts and the Christian

Posted by Matt Postiff June 2, 2016 on Matt Postiff's Blog under Dispensationalism  Bible Texts 

I was asked recently about the Feast of Pentecost and its significance for the Christian. Here are some thoughts on that subject.

I am skeptical of doing a deep search for meaning in the feasts of Israel. I am convinced that the Biblical text will tell us plainly what we need to know. We need not hunt for hidden significance, or worry that we will miss something if we don't do such a search. Furthermore, I have seen a lot of 'stretching' of the feasts to find significance in them for us today.

In general, all the feasts of Israel present us an opportunity to teach what God expected ancient Israel to do in terms of religious observances. They also provide an open door to show that there are dispensational distinctions between the Jews of old, Gentiles, and the church. In the church, we don't do some of the things Israel did.

In particular, Pentecost reminds us of the following:

1. To be thankful for the agricultural harvest, because our food depends on God. This is indicated in the word "firstfruits" in Lev. 23:17. Firstfruits is a word that is tied to harvest and agriculture.

2. The giving of the Ten Commandments, in Jewish thought, is tied to the giving of the Law. That connection is not explicit in the Bible. The timing is a bit off if you compare the "three months" from Exodus 12:2 to Exodus 19:1 just before the Law was given, since that would be about 28*3 = 84 days after Passover and the departure from Egypt, instead of 50 days after Passover.

3. Acts 2 and the birth of the church along with the coming of the Holy Spirit. This is just a reminder, however, because that information was hidden from, not revealed to, Israel, until Acts 2. Pentecost does not teach church truth. It just happens to be the time at which God decided to send the Spirit and complete the steps required to start the church.

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