By Pastor John Mateos Ong and Pastora Monique Lopez Ong
There are three major feasts in Israel. The first is the Passover, which is celebrated at the same time as Holy Week when checked in the Jewish calendar. There are sub-events under the Passover which are the Feasts of the Unleavened Bread and First Fruits. Pentecost is the celebration of the 50th day after the Passover. Leviticus 23:16 says, “Count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath; then you shall offer a new grain offering to the LORD.” The Holy Spirit came exactly on the 50th day when you see that in the New Testament.The Feast of Weeks is also celebrated on the 7th month. The Feast of the Tabernacle, which is yet to come, has 3 sub-events under it: the Feast of Trumpets, the Atonement, which is the only day where the High Priest can enter the Holy of Holies, and the Feast of Booths, which reminds the Israelites what God did when they were in the wilderness.
What is Pentecost? Pentecost marks the first coming of the Holy Spirit into the body of Christ. But not all Christian churches teach about the Pentecost because they think that it was only a one time event and that the Holy Spirit has probably stopped woking in the body of Christ.
But no. And these are why.
V. 1 “When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.” Even before the Pentecost, they were already celebrating the Shavuot, the 7 Sabbaths after the Passover, the time when Moses was given the 10 Commandments. Something divine happened that is revealed from the Old Testament to the New Testament.
V. 2-3 “And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them.” Imagine yourself in the Upper Room, and upon seeing all the people with their fires upon them, you wonder, “Do I have a fire too?” The first ever mirror was invented in 1835, so you know this was not a magic trick. When people say that you have a fire in your head, you needed to step in faith and believe that you truly had one. It has been said that there were about 120 people in the Upper Room, all locked down and hiding. All of them had the fire The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is for everybody, not just for the Apostles. The very first verse that we highlighted says that there was a sound like the wind. Pentecost was a time for church empowerment and God was doing something different for this small body of believers. Before celebrating the coming of the Holy Spirit, the Israelites were already celebrating Shavuot, the time the law was given to them. It was a divine appointment that the Holy Spirit would come at this time. These 2 events are parallel with each other. Both had a loud noise and a fire, as mentioned in Exodus 32, that is why the people did not want to go near Mt. Sinai. In Acts 2, there was fire on top of their heads. The clouds descended on the mountain when God wrote the law on stone. In Acts 2, God writes the law on the hearts of the people. And because of that, 3000 people got saved whereas in the Old Testament, 3000 people died. When God gave the law in the Old Testament, they could not keep it, so the Holy Spirit came to empower them to righteous living. You cannot do it without the Holy Spirit, that is why Pentecost is very important.