Scripture reveals to us the various ways that Satan attacks the Holy Word of God. In the Garden of Eden, we find Satan tempting Eve by attacking the integrity of God’s Word when he said to Eve, “…Yea, hath God said…” (Genesis 3:1), implying that God was hiding something from her and Adam. Later, when the Devil tempted Jesus after His 40-day fast in the Wilderness, he tried to get Jesus to abandon His mission of redeeming man through means that were against His Father’s will, by “turning the stones into bread” (Matthew 4:3).
In that we know that the Devil is a thief (John 10:10), we know he also seeks to steal away the Word of God. Evidence of this can be readily seen by the fact that many of our Modern Bible Translations contain tens of thousands of fewer words than the King James Bible Version, which is based on the historically reliable Textus Receptus manuscripts, and not on the debunked manuscripts that had been altered by Origen and others.
One of the more insidious ways that the Devil seeks to destroy proper Christian Theology is by obscuring the important dates and times of God’s Perfect Plan for man’s redemption. Good examples of this can be seen by the Roman Catholic Church’s linking of important dates such as the birth of Jesus and of His Crucifixion to dates derived from paganistic Babylonian Religious System beliefs. The Book of Daniel describes the actions of Satan’s right-hand man, the Anti-Christ, as being one who, “changes times and laws” (Daniel 7:25). This tactic of Satan obscuring the importance of certain Biblical dates by changing or obscuring them is perhaps best evidenced in the case of the date of the initiation of the Church, the “Day of Pentecost”. Throughout the history of the Church, Pentecost has always been associated with having occurred on the same day of the 4th major Jewish Feast, the Feast of Shavuot. This feast occurs 50 days after the Feast of Passover and is one of the 3 major Jewish Feasts in which all Jewish males were required to appear before the LORD at the Temple in Jerusalem. The Jewish Feast of Shavuot itself represents the timing of the first fruits of the wheat harvest, which occurs in the spring of the year. This harvest continues for a full 50 days until it is finally completed in the summer, at the time of the Feast of New Wine.
We shall see in this study that Scripture clearly indicates that the Day of Pentecost actually occurred on the Hebrew calendar’s 9th of Av, at the summer-time Feast of New Wine, and not at the time of the spring Feast of Shavuot.
God’s Word is precise concerning the timing of important events in World History. For example, it is not an accident that the Crucifixion occurred on the same day as the Feast of Passover. For the Feast of Passover not only memorialized the important historical event of the Hebrew people being delivered from their bondage in Egypt, but it also foretold an even more important future historical event, that being the Crucifixion of our Lord Jesus Christ. Thus, in the Plan of God for human history, both events occur on the exact same calendar day.
In like manner it was not a coincidence that Jesus was buried on the same day as the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and that He arose from the dead on the same day as the Feast of First-fruits, as He was the first person to be eternally resurrected from the dead.
After this, the timing of the historical events of the Church Age begins to get muddled. For the next significant historical event in the Church’s history is the Day of Ascension. While the Day of Ascension is commonly considered within Christendom to have occurred 40 days after Passover, this was not the actual date of Jesus’ Ascension into Heaven.
In the Book of Acts we are told that Jesus, after His Passion, showed Himself to the Apostles for a period of 40 days (Acts 1:3). However, this does not mean that the Day of Ascension occurred 40 days after the Crucifixion. For Jesus was in the grave for 2 days after the Crucifixion and was not technically fully seen by the 11 Apostles until 8 days after His resurrection, for Thomas was not with the other 10 Apostles on their first encounter with the Lord on Resurrection Day (John 20:19-26, Mark 16:14). This would make the actual date of the Day of Ascension to be exactly 50 days after the Crucifixion, quite appropriately at the time of the celebration of the “first fruits” of the wheat harvest, the Feast of Shavuot. In that the Church is symbolized as being wheat in Scripture (Matthew 13:24-30), it would therefore be perfect typology for the Head of the Church, Jesus Christ, to be the first fruits of the wheat harvest, going to Heaven at the Feast of Shavuot, to later be followed by the full harvest of the Church at the time of the Rapture.
It is commonly assumed that the initiation of the Church at the outpouring of the Holy Spirit happened during the Feast of Shavuot, for the Book of Acts states that there were numerous Jews “dwelling” there from various nations of the world. This would seem to indicate that they were there on pilgrimage to mandatorily attend the Feast of Shavuot. This however is not the case, for the Greek word for “dwelling” incorporated in the text, “Katoikeo”, specifically denotes a permanent and not a temporary dwelling such as a tent or an inn commonly used by travelers. These Jews mentioned on the Day of Pentecost were therefore actually people who had migrated to Jerusalem long ago from various nations of the world and were not temporary visitors who had made the pilgrimage to Jerusalem for the Feast of Shavuot.
In addition to this, the disciples who were “speaking in tongues” were accused of having been drinking “new wine” (Acts 2:13). This would have been an impossibility if the Day of Pentecost had indeed occurred on the Feast of Shavuot, for the grape harvest would not occur until summer, and the “new wine” could not have been imbibed until the High Priest had blessed it by pouring it on the Temple’s altar at the time of the Feast of New Wine on the 9th of Av.
We therefore must conclude that the Day of Pentecost and the initiation of the Church did not occur until 50 days after Shavuot, a full 100 days after the Crucifixion, on the 9th of Av at the time of the Feast of New Wine.
This timetable of the Day of Ascension occurring on the Feast of Shavuot, and the Day of Pentecost coinciding with the feast of new Wine, is further buttressed by the fact that God’s Word declares, “God will do nothing until he first reveals his secret unto his servants the prophets” (Amos 3:7).
In the Old Testament record there is no linking of the Ascension of Jesus, or of any significant occurrence, to the 40 days after Passover. On the other hand, we shall see in later studies that there are indeed numerous instances in the Old Testament that link the Day of Pentecost to the Feast of New Wine.