From “Feast of Tabernacles,” Chapter 5- Feast of Pentecost, continued
PENTECOST SIGNIFIES THE GATHERING OF THE FIRSTFRUITS
Pentecost signifies a great harvest, that is true. But compared to the coming glory, it is really but a harvest of firstfruits. “The feast of harvest, the firstfruits of thy labours…” (Ex. 23:16; Lev. 23:17). And so Christ as the Sheaf that was waved, was the “firstfruits” of a great harvest to follow. Pentecost is that harvest. But even the harvest of Pentecost is the firstfruits of the coming harvest of the Feast of Tabernacles! Pentecost is wonderful, as we shall discover–when the real fullness of this experience is restored to the Church. But wonderful as it is, Pentecost is but the firstfruits of great and mighty things awaiting the Church of Jesus Christ in the Feast of Tabernacles.
If there was to be a great ingathering of souls at Pentecost then truly it would require the power of the Holy Ghost to accomplish so great a task. Therefore God imparted not only great miracle-working power, but a new language to the people–that men of all nations might hear the wonderful works of God proclaimed in their own tongue, and be won to Christ. This was a day when a “new meal-offering” was to be presented to the Lord; hence God imparted a new language. See what a great secret remained locked up in the counsels of God until the Day of Pentecost was revealed! For if it was God’s plan that the nations should at first be scattered abroad over the face of the earth by means of the confusion of languages–why should it be thought incredible that God should now restore the gift of languages to His disciples, that they might preach the Gospel in the tongues of many nations, and reverse the order (or shall we say the disorder) of Babel? And that is exactly what the all-wise God did. In the beginning He confused the languages of the disobedient, to scatter them over the face of the earth and make many nations out of one. (Gen. 11:1-9). But now in the time of the harvest, God in grace and wisdom imparts to His own disciples the gift of languages (languages which came into being because of Babel), that He might gather together a people for His name, and create one holy nation out of the midst of many nations–a nation that would serve Him in obedience and love and unity, even the holy nation and the holy priesthood of the Church. (Some would object to the statement that God gave His disciples the gift of languages to preach the Gospel to the nations. They insist that the disciples declared “the wonderful works of God,” and not the Gospel! As if there was a more “wonderful” work of God than the story of redeeming Grace!) GHW
What new tongues were given to the 120 in the upper room on the Day of Pentecost? The tongues of all the foreigners that were gathered in Jerusalem for the feast. Acts 2:1-11 tells us, “1When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. 2 And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance. 5Now there were Jews living in Jerusalem, devout men from every nation under heaven. 6 And when this sound occurred, the crowd came together, and were bewildered because each one of them was hearing them speak in his own language. 7 They were amazed and astonished, saying, “Why, are not all these who are speaking Galileans? 8 “And how is it that we each hear them in our own language to which we were born? 9 “Parthians and Medes and Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the districts of Libya around Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, 11Cretans and Arabs–we hear them in our own tongues speaking of the mighty deeds of God” (NASB).
As I have thought about this for the time we are living, could not we substitute the languages of media, government, education, economy, family, religion, and celebration (arts and entertainment) for the languages of Acts 2? These seven mountains of influence in society need to be spoken into. They need men and women filled with the Holy Spirit to proclaim “the mighty deeds of God” in their midst.
I have experienced and extremely value the Pentecostal experience described in Acts 2. I also believe that as “new languages” arise, the Holy spirit will expand our vocabulary.