Holy Harvests: Annual Revivals at Whitsuntide Through Pentecost Feasts

"The presence of the Spirit in the Church is therefore an eschatological phenomenon.  The first-fruits are a part of the harvest — as well as a promise of the full harvest….   The center from which this reconciling activity radiates into the World, is the Church.   It is the body of those who, with all their shortcomings, have the gift of the Spirit.   The existence of the Church as body of Christ indwelt by the Spirit…is an ineradicable feature….   At Pentecost, a reconstitution of the Church took place — which changed the Old Testament sacerdotal qaahaal into the witnessing ekkleesia of the New."   Acts 2:1,17f cf. 6:3,5 & 7:38,55 etc. 

Apostolic Commemorations of Pentecost at Later Whitsuntides

The Apostolic Age started on Pentecost Sunday — and finished at the death of the last-dying Apostle.62    In Old Testament times, the annual Harvest Feasts had often been festivals of great fruitfulness — both agriculturally and spiritually.   They all looked forward to, and predicted63 the arrival of, the then-future (and centrally important) ten-day Pentecost Sunday Harvest Feast — of Acts chapters one and two.

That particular 'Pentecost Harvest Feast' fifty days after Calvary, would therefore be a time of superabundant fruitfulness.64   It would also be a time of unique occurrences, such as the once-and-for-all descent of the Holy Spirit to constitute His New Testament Church Visible — like a rushing mighty wind; and with cloven tongues as of fire!65

Even after this, there were indeed yet further unique 'Acts' of the risen-and-ascended Christ — right here on Earth.66    However, those remarkable revelations had all ceased67 — by the time of the completion of the Apostolic Scriptures.   Indeed, it is toward that very target — now reached and finalised for ever — that they were, all, then being aimed.68

Spiritual fruitfulness as such should never cease.  Even after the completion of the Holy Scriptures — and on till the very end of the history of the World — Christians must keep on being filled with the Holy Spirit.69   Only in that way, will new converts ever keep on being attracted toward God's people — at and between the Church's yearly Harvest Feast anniversaries.70

As Rev. Dr. G. Keizer notes: "It was on the [Acts chapter two] Day of Pentecost that our Saviour brought His Father the offering of the firstfruits of the field of the World….   Pentecost was the festival commemorating the Sinaitic legislation….   Henceforth, the New Covenant Israel [alias the Christian Church] would live under renewed legislation….   The Holy Spirit would write the Law of

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God on the fleshly tables of the hearts of God's children — in whose midst He has now come to dwell, and within whom He now resides forever."71

The Mount Sinai Harvest Feast had started with fire.72   So too did the Pentecost Sunday Harvest Feast.73   Between those two events, God's true children always observed this festival annually.74

However, it seems that even since the latter Pentecost Sunday fifty days after Calvary — the Apostolic Church still kept up the annual commemoration of that fulfilment of the Harvest Feast. Each year it was also subsequently remembered — as the 'Birthday Anniversary' of the New Testament Church Visible.75   Of course, this annual commemoration was thenceforth to be observed — only in a non-ceremonial, 'New Testament' way.76

The celebrated Swiss-American Presbyterian writer Rev. Prof. Dr. Philip Schaff remarks in his famous History of the Christian Church: "The 'Feast of Harvest'…[was] called 'the Feast of the Joy of the Law' (Simchath ha-Thorah)….   The Pentecost in the year of the Resurrection, was the last Jewish…and the first Christian Pentecost.   It became the spiritual Harvest Feast of redemption from sin, and the birthday of the visible Kingdom of Christ on earth."

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