Enjoying Christ as the Pentecost
Christ as the Seven Feasts
So far we have seen Jesus Christ portrayed in Leviticus 23 as the Passover, the Unleavened Bread, and the First Fruits, signifying our realization and enjoyment of Christ as the Crucified, Resurrected, and Ascended One. He can be experienced by us today as a real, living, loving, powerful, indwelling Person, the embodiment of all that God is, to transform our lives. Now we can see the fourth of the seven feasts in Leviticus 23: Pentecost.
15 ‘You shall also count for yourselves from the day after the sabbath, from the day when you brought in the sheaf of the wave offering; there shall be seven complete sabbaths. 16 You shall count fifty days to the day after the seventh sabbath; then you shall present a new grain offering to the Lord. 17 You shall bring in from your dwelling places two loaves of bread for a wave offering, made of two-tenths of an ephah; they shall be of a fine flour, baked with leaven as first fruits to the Lord. (Lev 23)
Exactly fifty days after Christ was resurrected as the First Fruits to God, a new grain offering was presented to the Lord. It was the continuation of Christ---His living Body—the continuation of the very same Jesus Christ, now embodied on earth in His believers:
When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place.2 And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance….—we hear them in our own tongues speaking of the mighty deeds of God. (Acts 2)
God’s desire was to duplicate and propagate the wonderful resurrected Christ on this earth, and He continues this unto today. What happened on Pentecost 2000 years ago is still as fresh and vital today as it was that first day. Indeed, the Pentecost experience continued unto Acts 10 at the home of Cornelius, where God baptized the Gentiles into His Body. Notice Leviticus 23 states that “two loaves of bread” were offered, signifying Christ’s Body is composed of both Jews and Gentiles: all mankind.
44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who were listening to the message. 45 All the circumcised believers who came with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. 46 For they were hearing them speaking with tongues and exalting God. (Acts 10)
Two Aspects of the One Spirit
How do we experience this Christ today? Every time we gather with other believers in Christ, the experience of Pentecost is available again. To experience Christ as the Pentecost Feast is to experience the pouring out of Christ as the Spirit upon the church, His assembly.
There are two experiences of the Spirit of Christ. The word Spirit in Greek is pneuma, which can be translated as "air" or "wind". Both air and wind are the same, yet they are experienced in different ways. So it is with the Spirit of God.
One experience of the Spirit of Christ entails experiencing Him as the life-giving Spirit in our human spirit. This brings us the reality of Christ into our heart, including the fruit of the Spirit such as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control (Gal 5). This is like experiencing the air that we breathe. Every moment and every day we can breathe Jesus into us more, which gives us inner strength, and causes Christ to make home in our hearts, as He permeates our inner being with Himself, transmitting His rich virtues and divine traits into us. This first experience of Christ began on the resurrection day, when Jesus breathed Himself as the Spirit into His believers:
22 And when He had said this, He breathed on them and *said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, their sins have been forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they have been retained.” (John 20)
This was the Christ who died as the Passover Lamb, now in resurrection breathing Himself into us, so that we can partake of Him daily as our Unleavened bread.
But fifty days later, after Christ was ascended and enthroned as the Lord of the entire universe, Christ poured out another experience of the Holy Pneuma upon His believers. This time the pneuma was likened to wind, and the wind filled the place they were in: "there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind...and it filled the whole house where they were sitting....And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance" (Acts 2). This was the power of the Spirit for propagating Christ into others. This experience of the Spirit always leads to people speaking forth the wonderful words of Christ.
Air and wind are at once the same and they are different. Air makes us alive. But wind moves things. In the first century, wind was what sailed people across the sea to explore new worlds. Thus God chose the mighty wind to signify this second aspect of the Spirit. The Spirit of life is inward for our spiritual life with the inward riches of Christ. The Spirit of Power is for boldness to speak forth the Christ we experience within. They are the same wonderful Spirit of Christ manifested in two ways.
Here are more verses on the experience of the Spirit of Power, which is the Feast of Pentecost:
Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers and elders of the people..
(Acts 4:8—Peter speaks to the Jewish rulers with boldness)
And when they had prayed, the place where they had gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness (Acts 4:31)
But being full of the Holy Spirit, he gazed intently into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God; (Acts 7:55 – Steven, the first martyr of the church, was filled with the Spirit of Power as he spoke with boldness to his opposers)
“Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road by which you were coming, has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18 And immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he regained his sight, and he got up and was baptized; 19 and he took food and was strengthened. Now for several days he was with the disciples who were at Damascus, 20 and immediately he began to proclaim Jesus in the synagogues. (Acts 9 – Paul was filled with the Spirit of power, and immediately began speaking Christ with boldness)
Every case of people being filled with the Spirit of power led them to speak with boldness concerning Christ. It is the same today.
The Spirit of life is inward for our spiritual life with the inward riches of Christ. The Spirit of Power is for boldness to speak forth the Christ we experience within. They are the same wonderful Spirit of Christ manifested in two ways.
Three Principles to Experience Christ
To experience the Feast of Pentecost, there are some basic principles, but there is the need for clarification: tongue speaking IS NOT the only manifestation of this Spirit of Pentecost. As you can see from the book of Acts, many spoke Christ without the miracle of tongue speaking. There are some today who teach that a person is not even saved if they have not spoken in tongues. This is a false teaching. The main thing is that being filled with the Spirit of Power is for speaking Christ to others. I can faithfully testify that I have experienced the Spirit of Power many times, but I have never spoken in tongues.
To experience Christ as the Pentecost feast requires three fundamental things: first, we must be willing to speak Christ to others. Our motivation is the Christ who lives within us, who stirs in us with compassion and love to speak to others for their salvation, comfort, edification, and encouragement (1 Cor 14:3). Also, we must be willing to endure persecution for the sake of speaking His word (Matt 5:10-11). The Old and New Testament speakers of God always were persecuted for speaking the truth. Steven was willing to be stoned to death, speaking boldly the unvarnished truth to the opposers. Are you willing to suffer with Christ for speaking the truth?
Second, to be able to speak the word, we must be filled with the word. Jesus and the apostles were daily feeding on the word as their Unleavened Bread (Matt 4:4: Acts 6:4). Thus when they stood up to speak, something flowed out of them that was part of the fibers of their being. They did not just convey information, bible facts, or entertaining stories. They flowed out God’s very heart. Without such a saturation and enjoyment of God speaking to us in our hearts, there is no way for Christ to speak through us with boldness.
Third, we need to be properly connected to the Body of Christ. The propagation of Christ is not by individual effort, but through His corporate expression, which is the Body of Christ. This is what the laying on of hands signifies. It is the Body of Christ identifying with a believer. The Body claims the believer for the Body, and the believer claims the Body for himself. They become one. Hence we read:
14 Now when the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent them Peter and John, 15 who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit. 16 For He had not yet fallen upon any of them; they had simply been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 17 Then they began laying their hands on them, and they were receiving the Holy Spirit. (Acts 8)
If we have the three basic principles, the Spirit of Power is always available for us to enjoy so that we can speak to others with boldness. We do not have to wait for this experience. I have been in congregations where people were praying and singing for the Spirt to fall upon them. This is not necessary. What would you think if people were praying to send Christ to the earth to be born of the virgin Mary? He already was born! What would you think if the church was praying and waiting for Christ to die on the cross for our sins? He already did! And what if the church was waiting for the Spirit to fall upon them? It was poured out 2,000 years ago, and is here right now, waiting for you to experience it.
Next: Enjoying Christ as the Feast of Trumpets
- Enjoying Christ as the Feast of Trumpets
The Seven Feasts of the Jews all portray our current experience of Christ. This 5th feast shows the hope of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. This living hope is not going to heaven when we die, but being glorified in Him, and He in us, for His King