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Rev. Ronald C. Purkey, a Baptist minister, claims no originality for this Bible study outline.
However, every Bible study posted on this website has been taught by Rev. Purkey.
To see more Bible study outlines go to: More Bible Study Outlines.
February 14, 2016
SCRIPTURE: Leviticus 23:15-22
KEY VERSE: Even unto the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall ye number fifty days; and ye shall offer a new meat offering unto the Lord. (Leviticus 23:16)
INSIGHT: What is the Feast of Weeks? Established in Leviticus 23, The Feast of Weeks is the second of the three “solemn feasts” (the Passover, the Feast of Weeks, and the Feast of Tabernacles) that all Jewish males were required to travel to Jerusalem to attend. This important feast gets its name from the fact that it starts seven full weeks, or exactly 50 days, after the Feast of Firstfruits. Since it takes place exactly 50 days after the previous feast, this feast is also known as “Pentecost” (Acts 2:1), which means “fifty.”
INTRODUCTION: The seven feasts of the Lord are full of rich spiritual food and bear careful study. It is important to note the order of these seven feasts, for they give us a “prophetic calendar” for both Israel and the church.
(1) The religious year opened with the Passover, which pictures the death of Christ. (Leviticus 23:4-5)
(2) The week following Passover was devoted to the Feast of Unleavened Bread, when all the leaven was put out of the houses. This illustrates the sanctification of believers as they put sin out of their lives. All of this took place in the first month of the year. (Leviticus 23:6-8)
(3) On the day following the Passover Sabbath (a Sunday), the Israelites celebrated the Feast of Firstfruits, picturing our Lord’s resurrection from the dead. (Leviticus 23:9-14)
(4) Fifty days after Firstfruits is the Feast of Weeks or Pentecost; the NT Pentecost was the coming of the Holy Spirit on the church. (Leviticus 23:15-22)
(5) In the seventh month, three feasts were celebrated. The Feast of Trumpets opened the month, reminding us of the gathering of God’s people when the Lord returns. (Leviticus 23:23-25)
(6) On the tenth day was the Day of Atonement, illustrating the cleansing of God’s people. (Leviticus 23:26-32)
(7) Next, from the fifteenth to the twenty-first days, the Jews joyfully celebrated the Feast of Tabernacles, picturing the blessings of the future kingdom. God’s people are a scattered people who must be gathered, a sinful people who must be cleansed, and a suffering people who must be given joy. (Leviticus 23:33-43)
INSIGHT: The long period (about three months) between Pentecost and the Feast of Trumpets speaks of this present age of the church, when Israel is set aside because she rejected her Messiah.
I. THE PEOPLE WERE THANKFUL. (Leviticus 23:15-18)
A. Facts about the Feast of Pentecost. (Leviticus 23:15-16)
(Leviticus 23:15-16) And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the sabbath, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven sabbaths shall be complete: Even unto the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall ye number fifty days; and ye shall offer a new meat offering unto the Lord.
INSIGHT: There are several things we need to note about Pentecost because there is so much being made of it today that is absolutely unscriptural. The Feast of Pentecost always fell on the first day of the week. They counted seven Sabbaths, which would be seven weeks or forty-nine days, then the fiftieth day, the day after the seventh Sabbath, the first day of the week, was Pentecost. This was fifty days after the offering of the wave sheaf of firstfruits.
1. The church was born on the first day of the week.
It was on the first day of the week that our Lord arose. Doesn’t that tell us something? Wouldn’t it be rather odd for the church to go back and observe the old Sabbath which belonged to the old creation when the church is a new creation? When the church meets on the first day of the week, we are celebrating our Lord’s resurrection and the birthday of the church. This festival is also called the feast of Weeks.
2. The typical meaning of Pentecost is not left to man’s speculation.
(Acts 2:1, 4) “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place …. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance”.
“When the day of Pentecost was fully come” doesn’t mean at twelve noon or at six in the evening. “The day of Pentecost was fully come” means the fulfillment of that for which it was given in Leviticus. It denotes the coming of the Holy Spirit to baptize believers into the body of Christ and to begin the calling out of the church. Pentecost is the birthday of the church.
Pentecost was fifty days after the resurrection of Christ that the Holy Spirit came. God was running according to His calendar and on time.
3. They were to offer a new meal offering.
That is a type of the church. The church is something new. Christ didn’t say that he would give us an old garment and patch it up. He came to bring a brand new robe of righteousness. To be in Christ is to be clothed with His righteousness. That is how God sees believers in Christ today.
4. We need to note the time sequence.
After the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, He showed Himself alive for forty days. Then, just before He ascended into heaven, He said to His own that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father.
Jesus told them they should be endued with power from on high (Luke 24:49). In Acts 1:5 it states: “… but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.” Ten days later, on the day of Pentecost, the Spirit of God came upon them.
B. Facts about this meal offering. (Leviticus 23:17-18)
(Leviticus 23:17-18) Ye shall bring out of your habitations two wave loaves of two tenth deals: they shall be of fine flour; they shall be baken with leaven; they are the firstfruits unto the Lord. And ye shall offer with the bread seven lambs without blemish of the first year, and one young bullock, and two rams: they shall be for a burnt offering unto the Lord, with their meat offering, and their drink offerings, even an offering made by fire, of sweet savour unto the Lord.
Do you notice anything startling about this verse? We know that leaven represents evil and that it was not to be in the offerings. Here is the exception. This is typifying the church, and it is a new offering in that it is a meal offering with leaven included. What does it mean? It means that there is evil in the church. This is obvious to the most casual observer.
INSIGHT: I have been preaching for over 55 years and was a pastor for 45 years. I have served nine churches in six states. I have been in some wonderful churches, and I look back on those years with a real joy. I’ve had wonderful fellowship with the members of some of those churches. They have loved me and I loved them. However, I happen to be able to testify that there is evil in the church. That is why leaven is included in this offering. This speaks of the visible church down on earth, the church as you and I see it and know it. There is evil in it. The Lord knew that long before the church even existed! – Ron Purkey
II. THE LEADERS WERE THANKFUL. (Leviticus 23:19-20)
(Leviticus 23:19-20) Then ye shall sacrifice one kid of the goats for a sin offering, and two lambs of the first year for a sacrifice of peace offerings. And the priest shall wave them with the bread of the firstfruits for a wave offering before the Lord, with the two lambs: they shall be holy to the Lord for the priest.
A. God meets our greatest needs.
All the offerings are to be made at this time. All that Christ is and all that He has done have been made over to the church. Believers can draw upon Him for everything. (1) You can come to Him for salvation, first of all. (2) You can come to Him for help and for mercy, for sympathy and for comfort. (3) You can come to Him in all the situations of life. All the offerings were made at this time.
B. God teaches us the greatest truths.
Isn’t it interesting how the Lord, in these pictures, is giving to you and me some of the greatest truths? Our God uses pictures rather than cold, theological terms.
III. THE POOR WERE REMEMBERED. (Leviticus 23:21-22)
A. They were to rest on that day and cease from their own works. (Leviticus 23:21)
(Leviticus 23:21) And ye shall proclaim on the selfsame day, that it may be an holy convocation unto you: ye shall do no servile work therein: it shall be a statute for ever in all your dwellings throughout your generations.
That is what you and I are to do when we come to Christ. “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost” (Titus 3:5).
B. They were to remember the poor and the stranger. (Leviticus 23:22)
(Leviticus 23:22) And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not make clean riddance of the corners of thy field when thou reapest, neither shall thou gather any gleaning of thy harvest: thou shalt leave them unto the poor, and to the stranger: I am the Lord your God.
1. The holy day was adapted to the land; in the midst of their celebration they were to remember the poor and the stranger.
2. That is the practical side of the work of the church and of all believers today.
We have been saved by grace, and we should attempt to get the Word of God out to people and be helpful to them. I do not believe the church has any right to engage in any social service in which they do not present the Gospel.
We are to feed people and reach out to them in their need, but along with this we must present the Gospel to them. We should remember that a man with an empty stomach is not going to be very eager to listen to the Gospel. James has some things to say about that (James 2:14–20).
3. This also looks forward to the great harvest at the end of the age (after the Rapture of the church) when God will remember the Gentiles.
a. James 1:18 says:
“Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.” The early church was Jewish and was firstfruits, but it was to be followed by a great company of Gentiles.
b. Our Lord tells about the end of the age:
“The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels” (Matthew 13:38–39).
c. This is the judgment at the end of the age.
This is not the Rapture. Angels are not connected in any way to the Rapture. This is the judgment that is coming that is in mind here. “Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles” (Isaiah 42:1).
I was visiting a friend in a Midwest farming community during harvest season. Huge combines churned through his fields, depositing soybeans into waiting wagons. My friend leaped onto one of the wagons to check out his “firstfruits.” What he saw was encouraging. Despite the worst corn crop in 40 years, the soybeans gave him reason to thank God for a good harvest.
Pentecost … has its roots in an agricultural setting. Fifty days after Passover, Jewish farmers celebrated the Feast of Weeks (Leviticus 23:15-22), in which they recognized the hand of God who gave the crops.
Centuries later, the Lord chose the Day of Pentecost to celebrate a new harvest. Fifty days from Passover, the Holy Spirit came on a small group of believers and moved through Jerusalem, bringing in a different kind of crop. These firstfruits were men, women, and children added to the church (Acts 2:38-46).
Pentecost’s historical farming connection reminds us that a world of lost souls is ready for harvest (John 4:35). As believers in Christ, we are God’s fruit, but we are commanded to be His farmers as well.
Are we helping to bring in the new harvest? -- Mart DeHaan, Our Daily Bread, May 22, 1994
There’s surely somewhere a lowly place
In earth’s harvest fields so wide,
Where I may labor through life’s short day
For Jesus, the crucified. -- Gabriel
CONCLUSION: At harvesttime it’s natural to thank God for the bounty of His blessings. The Feast of Weeks in ancient Israel, established in Leviticus 23, was a week of joyous celebration and feasting in gratitude for the harvest. Even today as farmers gather their crops, many give thanks to the Lord for the abundance of their harvest.
The apostle Paul wrote, “In everything give thanks” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). That may sound unrealistic. But think about it. The Jews were instructed to celebrate the Feast of Weeks whether the crops came in or not. Likewise, we are to give thanks to the Lord “in everything.” After all, our praise is to God, not to a barn full of hay or a crib full of corn.
THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: “Without the Holy Spirit there would be no harvest.”
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REFERENCES: References used in the Bible study are the King James Bible (KJV), Dr. J. Vernon McGee © Thru the Bible Radio Network ( www.ttb.org ), the Scofield Study Bible, the Believer’s Bible Commentary, Dr. Charles J. Woodbridge Bible Outlines, Dr. Lee Roberson’s Sermons, Dr. Charles Stanley: ( http://www.intouch.org/ ), Don Robinson’s Bible Outlines, Women’s Study Bible, The Bible Reader’s Companion Ed. 3, The Nelson Study Bible: New King James Version, KJV Bible Commentary, Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines of the New Testament ed. 4, Dr. David Jeremiah: ( http://www.davidjeremiah.org/site/ ), Dr. Cliff Robinson’s Bible Outlines, Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines of the Old Testament, With the Word Bible Commentary, Wiersbe’s “Be” Series: Old & New Testaments, RBC Ministries ( http://rbc.org/ ), selected illustrations, and other references.
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