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“Prove All Things”

Christ Will Not Return on Pentecost

by Kenneth E. Rock

In ancient Israel, families brought two loaves baked with leaven to the Levites. A priest would take the two loaves of bread and “wave” them before God (Lev. 23:20).

Some have become confused regarding the symbolism of the two loaves of leavened bread offered as a wave offering on Pentecost, believing that the waving of the two loaves represents the resurrection of the firstfruits because it occurred during the spring harvest of firstfruits. They tie this erroneous teaching to the idea of the resurrection of the firstfruits at Christ’s Return. They promote as doctrine that Pentecost symbolizes the First Resurrection and the Return of Christ. This is erroneous and is not what God says!

Leviticus 23:17 states that the offering of the two wave loaves of bread be made with leavening. These two leavened loaves of bread represent the firstfruits in God’s Plan. One loaf represents the Old Testament patriarchs, servants and prophets who constituted the Old Testament Church. The other represents the New Testament Church. Both were baked with leavening, symbolizing that these human servants were not free of sin, although they were in the process of overcoming it.

The word “wave” relates to the action of the priests while offering two loaves. In Hebrew, the term means “to vibrate up and down,” “rock to and fro,” and “to lift up, to move, sift, strike or wave.” The Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance definition clearly supports the understanding that “wave” can simply mean to “wave.”

“Christ will return on Pentecost” theorists tie the idea of the wave loaves being “elevated” with the faulty assumption that the saints are elevated to heaven at the Resurrection. The ideas that modern advocates draw from this wave offering ceremony are based on translations of terms that are, at best, unclear.

Advocates of these theories do not emphasize the Law of God being given at Mount Sinai during Pentecost, or the Holy Spirit being given on this day to the New Testament Church. Rather, they stress their idea that the harvest of the firstfruits—which they equate with the First Resurrection—along with the marriage of the Lamb and the wedding supper (which they assert will be in heaven), must all occur during Pentecost. This represents an entirely new twist to the meaning of the Holy Days—one never taught in God’s Church when it was on track during the Philadelphian era. Not only do they reinterpret the timing of prophetic fulfillments, but they also relegate all these events to just one day—the wrong day!

The Feast of Firstfruits, Pentecost, has historic significance that adds to our understanding of God’s great Master Plan. God gave the Ten Commandments from Mount Sinai on the Feast of Pentecost. Then on Pentecost in AD 31, God gave His Holy Spirit and established His Church. The disciples who had been trained by Christ for three and a half years had received the Holy Spirit and began to fulfill their responsibilities as apostles.

The sending forth of God’s Spirit is the central meaning of Pentecost. This feast also depicts the small early spring harvest, which typifies the tiny minority called into God’s Church in this age as firstfruits—those who have been and are now being led by His Holy Spirit. They seek to live by every word that comes from the mouth of God (Matt. 4:4; Luke 4:4). The vast majority of humanity will be called only during the Millennium and at the Second Resurrection, after the close of Christ’s 1,000-year reign.

Pentecost has a clear meaning: God’s gift of the Holy Spirit is essential to salvation. It does not represent the resurrection of the firstfruits, nor does it symbolize Christ’s Return on Pentecost.

It has also long been understood that, unlike the spring Holy Days (including Pentecost), the fall Holy Days represent prophetic events that are yet to occur. The Feast of Trumpets (Lev. 23:24) is a celebration of triumph in the future event that it pictures—the Return of Christ at the sound of the seventh trumpet, coinciding with the First Resurrection.

Since the fall Holy Days represent future events, the Feast of Trumpets is directly related to the sounding of the seven trumpets (Rev. 8:1-2). Also, because the Day of the Lord is understood to start at the first trumpet and lasts one full year (Isa. 34:8), naturally, not all seven of the trumpet plagues would occur on Trumpets. The first and the seventh trumpet will occur on that Holy Day, one year apart—as measured by the day-for-a-year principle (Ezek. 4:6; Num. 14:34).

It is vital we fully comprehend the symbolism and the meaning God gives to each of His feasts and Holy Days. Pentecost represents the giving of His Law and His Holy Spirit, and the Feast of Trumpets represents Christ’s triumphant Return.