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The Pentecost Harvest and the Rapture of the Bride

A Master in Education graduate. A former volunteer teacher for Values Instruction Class and a devotional insight writer.

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Introduction


Is there a way to know the season of the Harpazo or the Rapture of the church, the bride of Christ? Though we cannot tell exactly the day nor the hour, it is interesting to know that the Bible gives some revelation regarding the season of Harpazo.


The Major Feasts of Israel

The annual feasts being celebrated in Israel reveal some great truths pertaining to eschatology, the science of the last things. Israel celebrates three major feasts, the "Feast of Passover (Pesach)," the "Feast of Pentecost ( Shavouth)," and the "Feast of Tabernacles ( Succoth). The Feast of Passover is celebrated in early spring, March-April. The Feast of Pentecost is celebrated in late spring, May-June. The Feast of Tabernacles is celebrated in Autumn or Fall season, September-October.


The Feast of Passover (Pesach)

The Lord's Passover commences at sundown on the fourteenth day of the month of Nisan ( the first month of the Jewish calendar). On the fifteenth day of the month, the Feast of the Unleavened Bread begins. For seven days, Jews are instructed not to eat bread made with yeast as it is written in Leviticus 23: 5-6. The first Passover took place on the twilight of the fourteenth day of Nisan. On this night, the "Angel of death" passed by every house in Egypt and passed over all the houses with doorframes stained with blood of a lamb. This is the foreshadow of the atoning work of Christ. It is recorded in the twelfth chapter of the Book of Exodus.


Barley Harvest

In Israel, barley harvest takes place during Passover season. Harvesting barley involves cutting the first sheeves of barley before Passover. It also involves threshing and winnowing. Barley harvest represents the first group of people who were resurrected. Christ was the very first one who resurrected from death. Matthew 27:51-53 records the resurrection of many holy people who had died. They were raised to life after Christ was resurrected during Passover season.

"At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of tombs after Jesus resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people."

Matthew 27:51- 53 NIV

A certain group of these holy people could be certain Old Testament saints. The "Unleavened Bread" of the Passover represents Christ first, then these Old Testament saints. This depicts Christ purity and holiness. He is the spotless lamb of God.These Old Testament saints are pure Hebrew or Jewish people. The word "unleavened" means unadulterated or pure. The cutting of the first sheaves of Barley, is an implication of their martyrdom. Threshing of the harvest involves crushing. Christ was bruised for our iniquities. Among this group could be the Old Testament prophets who were killed for standing on the truth firmly. This is the first harvest, the barley harvest that took place during the Passover season when Christ was resurrected.


The Feast of Pentecost (Shavouth)

Counting seven full weeks from Resurrection Sunday (known to many as Easter Sunday) or counting off fifty days from Easter Sunday, the fiftieth day is celebrated as the Pentecost. It usually falls on the last week of May. It is also known to the Jews as the Feast of Harvest based on Exodus 23:16 and Feast of Weeks based on Exodus 34:22. The New Testament Pentecost is derived from the Greek word "Pentekostos" which means "50th." It was also during the time of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit descended upon the first century disciples in the form of "tonques of fire." This event marks the birth of the New Testament church. Furthermore, when celebrating this festival, many Jewish people recall one of the greatest event in history, God's revealing of the Law at Mount Sinai.

During the celebration of this feast, the Jews are instructed to bring two loaves made of two-tenths of an ephah of the finest flour, baked with yeast, as a wave offering of firstfruits to the Lord as it is written in Leviticus 23:17.


The Wheat Harvest

In Israel, wheat harvest takes place during Pentecost season, the late spring. Wheat harvest takes place fifty days after barley has become ripe. Wheat harvest involves reaping or cutting of grain with the use of sickle or reaper or scythe, crushing or breaking of the outer shell, threshing to separate the grains or seeds.

The wheat harvest represents the harvest of the church, the body consisting of all true believers in Christ. In Matthew 13:24-29, Jesus speaks about the Parable of the Wheat and the Tares. The wheat according to Jesus are the people of the kingdom (Matthew 13:38). The church represents the Kingdom of God. To become true believers in Christ, or to become authentic Christians, a person just like the wheat must undergo cutting, the cutting of the sinful nature or the circumcision of the heart. This is part of Spirit work of regeneration. A person must experience deep and powerful conviction of his sinfulness or brokenness upon realization of the depth of his depravity in order to be truly born of the Spirit. This Spirit work of regeneration may take a lifelong process. The circumcision of the Jews represents the circumcision of the heart that must happen in every believer in Christ.

Cutting of the sinful nature or circumcision of the heart can also be done through the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit. Based on an article written by Brianna Lambert, the root word of "to sanctify" is "to cut." Every believer justified by Christ's blood must undergo sanctification process by the Spirit while we wait for the appearing of our Savior and our glorification. Harvesting wheat also involves crushing or breaking of the outer shell. To mature in faith a Christian must undergo breaking process or must experience brokenness. This breaking process is done when God breaks us from our own selfish agenda, our selfish ambitions, our goals, our comfort zone, our sin, to unite us to our Lord. Breaking of the outer shell is done through threshing which involves separation of the grain. The true believer in Christ has separated himself from the world.

Moreover, the two leavened loaves, a special sacrifice to be brought before God at Pentecost as it is written in Leviticus 23:17 represents the church which consists of two kinds of people which make up the New Testament church, the Jews and the Gentiles. It is very clear that the Pentecost harvest represents the harvest of the church which will take place at the end of the dispensation of grace on the day of "Harpazo" or the Rapture of the Bride of Christ before the seven-year Tribulation Period. I believe there is a probability that this event, the Rapture may also take place during Pentecost season since the barley harvest, the resurrection of Christ and of certain old testament saints took place during Passover season. Since the church was born during Pentecost season, it may also be resurrected at the time of Pentecost season.Though I cannot specify certainly the actual year it will take place. It could be this coming Pentecost season, or next year, henceforth.


The Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot)


The Feast of Tabernacles is celebrated by the Jews beginning on the fifteenth day of the seventh month of the Jewish calendar ( the month of Tishrei)and it lasts for seven days. The manner of its celebration is recorded in the Book of Leviticus 23:33-43. The Feast of Tabernacles is also called as "Sukkot," the Hebrew word for "booths" or "tents." This is the seventh and final appointed festival given to ancient Israel. During its celebration, God instructed the Jews to live in tents for seven days( Leviticus 23:42). This feast serves as a reminder of when God led the Israelites by His presence in the Sinai desert as they lived in tents and that the Lord gave provision for all they need.. This feast also directed the Jews to some future time when God would tabernacle with his people in the Millenium and eternity.


Grapes Harvest

Harvest of grapes in Israel takes place during Autumn or Fall season of September-October about the time of the Feast of Tabernacles. This is the last of the harvest for the year. Harvesting grapes involves crushing and pressing with the aid of a winepress. A winepress is a device used to extract juice from crushed grapes during winemaking. The grapes harvest represent the harvest of the Tribulation saints during the end of the seven-year Tribulation period. After the Tribulation Period, the Feast of Tabernacles will finally materialize when Christ comes back to tabernacle again with men. This is the millenial kingdom of Christ. The Tribulation saints will be resurrected at the end of the Tribulation period after the antichrist and the false prophet are thrown in the lake of burning sulfur. It is written in Revelation 20:4, "I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshipped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

It is very evident from this passage that the Tribulation saints died as martyrs for their faith in Christ. I cannot tell exactly the manner by which they died, but "winepress" reveals that they suffered severely in the hand of the beast, the antichrist. They could have undergone some form of torture involving excruciating pain before they died of being beheaded.

A certain group of Tribulation saints could be once among lukewarm professing christians who experienced awakening after the Rapture has taken place. They have awakened after they realized that they are among the "left behind." They could also be the new converts which belong to the harvest of the 144,000 Jewish evangelists and the two witnesses who are tasked to preach the Gospel throughout the world during the Tribulation Period.

As believers, we should no longer wait till the Tribulation Period to surrender ourselves fully to Christ's Lordship. Now is the time to give our lives to Christ for the Rapture may happen this coming Pentecost season. We cannot be certain if we can resist the fierceness of the beast. While we are in this dispensation of grace, let us yield our lives fully to God. Christ must be the Lord of all aspects of our lives. If He is not the Lord of all areas of our life, He is not Lord at all of our life.


How Can Become a Part of the Wheat Harvest

To become part of the wheat harvest, it is of prime importance that we become first a part of the body of Christ, the Church. The church is made up of all people redeemed by the blood of Christ. We must first experience redemption through the blood of Christ. To experience redemption of Christ's blood, we must understand fully the depth of our depravity or we must fully realize our sinfulness in the eyes of the Holy God. The natural man is born with a sinful nature. Galatians 5:19-21 reveals this sinful nature in a man.

"The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity, and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies and the like. I warn you as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God."

With sinfure nature, man is bound to live a sinful lifestyle apart from the will of God. It is written in Romans 6:23,

"The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."

This death refers to the second death found in Revelation 21:8, being thrown into the Lake of Fire.

Christ gave His life as a sacrifice on the cross, that we sinners will not be judged based on our sin, but to receive forgiveness and the gift of eternal life. With our sinful lifestyle, we will be condemned for our sin. Apart from Christ work on Calvary, it is impossible for a man to be saved. To receive God's forgiveness and the gift of eternal life, we must put our faith on Christ finished work on the cross as the only acceptable sacrifice to receive forgiveness. Chris sacrifice on the cross is perfect, complete and sufficient. As part of believing in Him, we must turn away from our sinful, worldly and self-centered life and live for Him as it is written in 2 Corinthians 5:15, one of epistles,

"And He died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died for them and was raised again."


Sources:


1) The Harvest Cycle and the Holidays of Pesach, Shavuoth, and Succoth. Url: https://ahbjewishcenter.org.

2) United Church of God. (May 31, 2013). "Feast of Pentecost, the Firsfruits of God's Harvest."

3) Lambert, Brianna. (March 11, 2019). "These Cuts are Leading Us to Christ." url: https://gcdiscipleship.com

4) Premier Christianity.(September 27, 2018). "3 Thing Every Christian Should Know About the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles."

5) Abbott, Shari. (May 25, 2020). "Will the Rapture Occur at Pentecost(Shavouth)?" Reasons for Hope.

6) The Holy Bible (New International Version).