The Festival of Weeks remembered God’s gift of the Ten Commandments.
In his sermon about the Ten Commandments, Moses marveled at God’s grace. He said, “For what other great nation has a god so near to it as the Lord our God is whenever we call to him?
“And what other great nation has statutes and ordinances as just as this entire law that I am setting before you today?” (Deuteronomy 4.7-8).
The ability to communicate with God in prayer and to receive personal guidance from God are two of the greatest gifts we could ever receive.
The Festival of Weeks was instituted to remember God’s gracious gifts.
Moses gave these instructions to the people in preparation for life in the promised land. He said, “You shall count seven weeks; begin to count the seven weeks from the time the sickle is first put to the standing grain” (Deuteronomy 16.9).
Rudy Ross has an excellent analysis of the seven weeks after Passover in today’s YouTube video. I encourage you to view it on the Bob Spradling channel.
The festival was to be a time when people rejoiced over the goodness of God. Notice, how God always specifically includes the outcasts, the vulnerable of society in this time of joy.
— Deuteronomy 16.11 – Rejoice before the Lord your God — you and your sons and your daughters, your male and female slaves, the Levites resident in your towns, as well as the strangers, the orphans, and the widows who are among you—at the place that the Lord your God will choose as a dwelling for his name.
The Gift of the Holy Spirit
Rudy Ross and I have been talking about the Bible for nearly 20 years. If my memory is correct, Rudy was the first person to point out to me how God arranged the calendar to help us remember the great events of history.
— Passover granted freedom from slavery and the birth of the Hebrew nation.
— The crucifixion of Jesus took place on Passover, grants freedom from sin and entrance into the kingdom of God.
— Fifty days after Passover, God gave humans the Ten Commandments.
— Fifty days after the crucifixion, God gave people who followed Jesus the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Please take a few minutes today to listen to my interview with Rudy on this subject. He has thoroughly researched the Bible and you will be blessed by his insights.
Pentecost comes from the Greek and means “fifty.” The Spirit of God came to a band of Jesus’ followers on that day with such a commotion that a large crowd assembled.
Peter preached about the Holy Spirit. He reminded the assembly that the Holy Spirit was a promised gift from God.
— Acts 2.16-18 – This is what was spoken through the prophet Joel:
‘In the last days it will be, God declares,
that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh,
and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
and your young men shall see visions,
and your old men shall dream dreams.
‘Even upon my slaves, both men and women,
in those days I will pour out my Spirit;
and they shall prophesy.'”
The gift of the Holy Spirit was promised to be poured out on everyone. True to God’s love for everyone, people who were normally disenfranchised were also included in God’s blessing.
John the Baptist recognized that the gift of the Spirit was part of the ministry of the Messiah. His proclamation was:
— Matthew 3.11 – “I baptize you with water for repentance, but one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”
What happened on the Day of Pentecost was that people were baptized (or immersed) in the Spirit. Their relationship with the Holy Spirit was so profound that the Spirit affected their speech and hearing.
Immersed in the Spirit
The Greek word that is translated “baptize” literally means “to immerse.” If we were Greek speakers, we would baptize or immerse our dishes when we washed them.
When we understand baptism as immersion, it gives new meaning to the amazing gift of the Holy Spirit.
For example, when we are immersed in a book or a movie, we are totally focused on what we are viewing. When we are profoundly in love with someone, we become immersed in the relationship.
Baptism in the Holy Spirit is more than a power that “falls” on us. It is a relationship in which we become immersed in the person of the Holy Spirit.
We focus our attention on the Spirit and get caught up in the love that comes from him.
The gift of the Holy Spirit is of such great importance that Jesus included it in his last words to the church.
He said, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28.19).
Unfortunately, we have made these words nothing more than a formula for a baptism ceremony. They are a magnificent gift of God to us.
We can be immersed in a love relationship with the Trinity – the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. God draws us into an immersive relationship with himself. The Holy Spirit is the person of the Trinity, who is the means to this event.
About This Blog
I have interviewed Rudy Ross on the Festival of Weeks. In the YouTube video Rudy will explain God’s use of numbers to give us insights into his great love for us.
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