Church of God, Carmichael, CA

Shadows of Good Things

Or the Gospel in Type

Russell R. Byrum, 1922

[Original Page Numbers]


CHAPTER VI

THE SACRED SEASONS

(Leviticus 23; Numbers 28, 29)

Feasts of First Fruits and Pentecost
(Lev. 23 :9 21)

  These two feasts may properly be considered together because they were similar in their nature, and also because they are connected in the Bible. The time of the second was determined by measuring from the first. A close study of their description in Leviticus 23 shows that God regarded them as being closely connected. Though the Feast of First fruits was observed during the Feast of Unleavened Bread, being a feast within a feast, yet it is introduced in Lev. 3:9 with the words, "And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying," which is commonly used to introduce a new institution. Therefore it should not be regarded as a part of the Passover or of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. But it is worthy of notice that when the inspired writer introduces the Feast of Pentecost the usual formula is omitted. This, as the Bible Commentary observes, is because of its close connection with the Feast of First fruits.

  The Feast of First fruits was observed on the sixteenth day of Nisan, which was the second day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, "the morrow after the Sabbath," which "morrow" was the special sabbath of holy convocation. It was kept by the waving of a sheaf of barley before the Lord as a special sort of meat offering, and the sacrificing of a lamb for a burnt offering with [110] a common meat offering of flour. This sheaf of the firstfruits of the harvest was to be offered before any of the new grain was eaten.

  Pentecost, usually called in the Old Testament the Feast of Weeks or of Harvest, was kept fifty days after the waving of the barley sheaf. Therefore after the translation of the Old Testament into the Greek language, it was called "Pentecost," from the Greek word for fifty. It was kept about the last of May or first of June. It was observed by the bringing of two loaves of leavened bread made of the new wheat of the harvest, which was then supposed to be all gathered. These were waved before the Lord as was the sheaf of the first fruits, and with it they represented the consecration of the entire harvest to God. This was also a special kind of meat offering and was accompanied with seven lambs, one bullock, and two rams for a burnt offering with their accompanying meat offerings and a sin offering.

  Pentecost was one of the three great feasts when all male Israelites were to appear before the Lord. It was originally a one day feast, but among the later Jews it came to be an eight day feast. It was to this feast that every Israelite was commanded to bring with him "a tribute of a free will offering of shine hand, which thou shalt give unto the Lord thy God, according as the Lord thy God hath blessed thee." (Deut. 16:10). Some of the Jews regarded the Feast of Pentecost as being commemorative of the giving of the law, but such a view has no ground in Scripture nor reason.

  Antitype of the Feasts of First fruits and Pentecost.— A variety of opinions have been set forth concerning the meaning of the Feasts of First fruits and Pentecost. Some interpreters see nothing in them but thanksgiving and an acknowledgment of God's providence. We believe these ideas were comprehended in them, but also that they had much deeper significance.

  They combined the idea of feast and offering. The various feasts set forth practically the same great truths of religion as were contained in the offerings. These two [111] feasts with their wave sheaf and wave loaves typified the same thing—the consecration or dedication by the believer of himself to God. The two feasts with the intervening seven weeks were necessary to include the entire harvest— the beginning and the end. It has already been pointed out that these were a special class of meat offerings. Also in our consideration of the meat offering we found it was typical of this dedication of ourselves to God.

  But more direct evidence that this is the typical meaning of these feasts is evident from the nature of them. The offering of the first fruits of the harvest in the sheaf and in the loaves was representative of the entire harvest being given to God. This harvest was their food, which in turn was a fitting symbol of themselves. In eating their food it became themselves, so in offering it to God in its entirety as they did it was an entire giving of themselves to God. This food was analogous to themselves. The Passover typified salvation through the blood of Christ, the unleavened bread holiness of life, and these feasts consecration. These truths are almost parallel with those typified by the general class of offerings.

  God certainly considers this self dedication important or he would not have repeated it so often in these types and made it as prominent as salvation itself. Doubtless it should serve as an admonition to us that we, in stressing our being saved from the penalty of sin by Christ, do not forget that it is equally important that we give ourselves to him. God wants us to be so devoted to his service that we will be willing to work or to wait, to go where he wants us to go or to stay where he wants us to stay, to fight in the front of the battle or to "stay by the stuff." Perfect submission to the divine will is the secret of soul satisfaction and the peace that passeth understanding.

"Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all." [112]

  Observe also that as Christ, the true Passover, died on the same date that the Passover lamb was eaten, so on the "morrow after the Sabbath," the first day of the week, when the sheaf of the first fruits was waved, he arose from the dead, "the first fruits of them that slept." (1 Cor. 15:20). And as the wave loaves, the completion of the harvest, were offered at the Feast of Pentecost fifty days after the waving of the first fruits, so on that great day of Pentecost which was fifty days after Jesus arose from the dead, the Holy Ghost came, and a new order of things began.[113]

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The Church of God!
Justification, Sanctification, Unity
Carmichael, California USA

5334 Whitney Ave. Carmichael, CA. 95608
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