I have started to write on the Second Coming, and pointing out how my views differ from the views of the Holdeman church. This is a daunting task, as there is so much error woven into the teaching and disputing it bit by bit is very difficult. I will continue to make my way through this and it may very well not be as smooth and easy to understand as I would like it to be. I have studied this for a long time but I have never undertaken to write about it.
Once again I want to point out, as we make our way through this, that the Old Testament Feasts are the prophetic pattern for all of the events of the Bible. The spring feasts foretold the birth death and resurrection of Christ. Pentecost was the prophetic pattern for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. All of these events took place exactly, to the letter, to the exact hour in the way they had been portrayed in the feasts. Is it surprising then to say that we can expect the events of the endtimes and the second coming to unfold in the same way? I have been quoting from an author by the name of Dr. Stephen Jones, who is a scholar and writer. Following is his article regarding Pentecost. If you are interested in doing a study of the Second Coming, it is essential that you understand the significance of the feasts. This has been completely overlooked in most of the modern day teaching of the end times.
The Feast of Pentecost (“Weeks”)
The day of Pentecost in Acts 2:1 occurred on a Sunday, the day on which the people were normally observing the feast during that time of history. We know from the biblical accounts that the Sadducees were in power in the Temple up to the time of its destruction in 70 A.D. (See also Acts 4:1.) Paul Jewett’s book, The Lord’s Day, includes a footnote on page 128, which says,
“. . . the reckoning of the Sadducees, whereby Pentecost fell on a Sunday, regulated the Jewish observance as long as the temple stood. Hence the commemorating of Pentecost as a Sunday (Whitsunday) in the Christian Year cannot be challenged. After A.D. 70, the reckoning of the Pharisees became normative in Jerusalem, whereby Pentecost falls on various days of the week.”
Even as the Feast of Passover marked the historic time of Israel’s exodus from Egypt, so also the Feast of Pentecost marked the historic time that God spoke the Ten Commandments to the people from Mount Sinai. According to Edersheim in The Temple, page 260,
“According to unanimous Jewish tradition, which was universally received at the time of Christ, the day of Pentecost was the anniversary of the giving of the Law on Mount Sinai, which the Feast of Weeks was intended to commemorate.”
It was a time when all the people heard the voice of God speaking in their own language out of the midst of fire (Deut. 4:12). However, the people of Israel were too fearful of God’s voice to hear the rest of the law. We read in Exodus 20:19-21,
19 Then they said to Moses, “Speak to us yourself and we will listen; but let not God speak to us, lest we die.” 20 And Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid; for God has come in order to test you, and in order that the fear of Him may remain with you, so that you may not sin.” 21 So the people stood at a distance, while Moses approached the thick cloud where God was.
All the Israelites had enough faith to leave Egypt and thereby keep the Feast of Passover, but very few of them had the faith to experience Pentecost at Mount Sinai. Their fear prevented them from hearing more than just the Ten Commandments, and so they sent Moses up the mount to hear the rest of the law. Moses received it on stone tablets, whereas if the people had been willing to hear the voice of God, He would have written it on their hearts instead.
In Acts 2:1 we are told that the Holy Spirit was given to the Church on the day of Pentecost. It is described as a time when the Spirit came down as tongues of FIRE upon their heads. Even as God came down as fire upon the mount in the days of Moses, so now He came as fire upon the disciples. The main difference is that the fiery presence of God was no longer external upon a mountain, but now internalized in men. Furthermore, God did not accept the Pentecostal offering by fire in the temple. Instead, He accepted the disciples themselves and the offering on the altar of their hearts. This shows a change of temple that God would inhabit. He no longer inhabits temples of wood and stone, for we are now the temples of God (1 Cor. 3:16). Corporately speaking, God is building a new temple with Jesus Christ as the Chief Cornerstone, and the apostles and prophets as the foundation stones, and others as living stones (Ephesians 2:20-22).
The disciples on the day of Pentecost were filled with the Spirit and were doing and saying some strange things. A few bystanders thought that the disciples must be drunk. Peter answered them in Acts 2:15, “these men are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only the third hour of the day.” The third hour of the day was when the priest in the temple offered to God the Pentecostal offering of two loaves of wheat bread that had been baked with leaven (Lev. 23:17). The disciples no doubt would have wanted to receive the Holy Spirit earlier, but God made them wait to the appointed time–not just the right day, but even the precise hour of the day. This shows how important timing is to God Himself. It is another example of how the feast days were prophetic of events to come–not only WHAT was to come, but also WHEN.
The Importance of Timing and Historic Fulfillment
If timing was so important in the fulfillment of the spring feasts, then we believe that timing is equally important in the fulfillment of the autumn feasts. There are many who do not fully appreciate God’s timing. They see things on an experiential level only. But the Word shows us that there is BOTH an experiential application on an individual, personal level as well as an appointed time on the historic, corporate level.
Men are to experience Passover within their hearts in order to receive justification by faith in the blood of the Lamb. This was true in both the Old Testament and the New. But this did not mean there was no need for Jesus Christ to be crucified historically at the appointed time. In fact, there would be no justification personally, if it were not for the historic fulfillment of this feast.
Men are also to experience Pentecost within their hearts in order to be sanctified by the Spirit. This, too, was true in both the Old Testament and the New. Yet this personal application did not negate the need for the historic occasion recorded in Acts 2. In fact, there would be no indwelling of the Spirit, if it were not for the historic fulfillment of Pentecost in Acts 2.
It is our contention that the same holds true with the Autumn feast days. Some people see only the personal application of these feasts, while others cannot seem to see beyond the external rituals to be held each year at the appointed times. We believe that each feast day has an intensely personal application within the heart–but we also believe that the historic events surrounding the second coming of Christ are manifested in the autumn feasts.
There is, of course, much more that could be written about these spring feast days, but our purpose is merely to give some background that will prove helpful in understanding the autumn feasts and their prophetic message relating to the second coming of Christ.