Other Pentecostal Stories
We have attempted in this study to present the main players in the field of Old Testament Pentecostals, in order to impart a greater understanding of the strengths and limitations of the feast of Pentecost. We have also presented the two main symbols of Pentecost in the Bible: wheat and donkeys. Armed with this knowledge, anyone can do their own word studies to delve into this subject further. In this concluding chapter we will try to direct attention to certain other passages that a reader may now study in a new light.
David Numbers the People
In 2 Samuel 24 and 1 Chronicles 21 we find the story of how David numbered the people, bringing a plague upon Israel that killed 70,000 people. This incident took place at the time of Pentecost, for we read that David bought the threshing floor from Ornan the Jebusite while he was threshing wheat (1 Chr. 21:20). While we cannot deal with the details of this incident in David’s life, we can make the point that God was threshing Israel while Ornan was threshing wheat. There is a parallel here that most have missed, not realizing that this was the time of Pentecost.
But in this incident, David bought the site for Solomon’s Temple, which was later to be dedicated at the feast of Tabernacles some years later. Thus, the events of this Pentecost were a prelude to Tabernacles that was yet to come. During that interim we see the establishment of David’s Tabernacle with an altar of burnt offering (1 Chron. 21:26).
David’s Tabernacle was thus the bridge between Pentecost and Tabernacles. When David built the altar there, God sent His divine Fire to accept and consume the offering laid upon those stones. There is no record that God had done this for many years at the other locations where the ark of the covenant stood. This is a type and shadow – and indeed a prophecy – that the divine presence would shift from the ordained place, where one would expect to find God, to another place that seemed to be “out of order.”
In the same manner we find a basic conflict today between the Church and the overcomers. The Church criticizes many overcomers for leaving the Church to set up their own home Bible studies, for it is their opinion that God must be found in an “established” Church denomination or at least in a Church that possesses a building apart from one’s home. They do not see that this very pattern was established by David’s Tabernacle. David feared to go to Gibeon, where the ark was, “because he was terrified by the sword of the angel of the Lord” (1 Chr. 21:30). In the same way many “fear” to go to a Church, fearing the sword that threshes the wheat company.
David bought the threshing floor of Ornan by giving him an immediate downpayment of 50 shekels of silver (2 Sam. 24:24). However, the full price of this land came to 600 shekels of gold, and this is recorded in 1 Chron. 21:25. There is no inherent contradiction in these two passages when we see that the lesser amount was an immediate downpayment. In fact, the 50 shekels of silver represent the feast of Pentecost, wherein the disciples received the downpayment of the Spirit on the 50th day. The 600 shekels of gold speaks of the divine nature imparted through the feast of Tabernacles.
Gideon Threshes Wheat
In the story of Gideon we find the angel appearing to him while he was threshing wheat in a winepress (Judges 6:11). Gideon himself is compared to a barley cake (or loaf), identifying him as a type of overcomer (Judges 7:13). Yet he was threshing wheat when called of God. This tells us the mind of God in this story, for we later find Gideon cutting down some thorns and briers in the wilderness and giving the elders a threshing (Judges 8:16). The story gives us another example of the distinction God makes between the barley and wheat, as well as an example of how the wheat company must be threshed in order to remove its chaff and save the germ (life).
The Ark Returned at Pentecost
Another very important example of Pentecost is found in 1 Samuel 6:13. The ark of God had been captured by the Philistines, who held it for seven months before returning it to Israel. They returned it at the time of wheat harvest, giving this story a pentecostal theme. The people were glad to see the ark, but they made the mistake of opening up the ark to see if it still contained the stone tablets, Aaron’s rod, and the pot of manna. Many died that day as a result. The anointing of Pentecost is not sufficient to survive opening the ark.
Tares in the Wheat
In the New Testament, Jesus told a parable of the tares in the wheat (Matt. 13:24-30). This is not unlike the Pentecostal offering, which was mixed with leaven. In the parable we are told that the tares would be allowed to grow in the wheat field until the harvest. Then the tares would be separated and burned. While there are certainly other levels of interpretation, we can see here the symbolism of the pentecostal offering, wheat baked with leaven. The leaven had to be baked, or killed, in order to make the offering acceptable to God. This, we believe, is what Paul meant when he said in 1 Cor. 3:15, “he himself shall be saved; yet so as through fire.”
The most famous of all biblical donkeys is the one owned by Balaam. The full story is found in Numbers 22-24. Balaam is the classic “false prophet” of the Bible – not that he ever prophesied things that did not come to pass, but rather that he was not in agreement with God. He did all he could to find a loophole in order to be able to curse Israel, rather than prophesy good about them. His motive was a love of money, the root of all evil (1 Tim. 6:10).
At any rate, we find that Balaam, the false prophet, rides a pentecostal donkey, who is one of the first to speak in tongues. While the Hebrew “tongue” was not unknown to Balaam, it was certainly an unknown tongue to the donkey.
I find it particularly fascinating (and a bit disgusting) to observe modern preachers and prophets today, especially when I see how much time they spend asking for money and how little time they spend teaching the Word. It seems that there is only about a billion dollars a year out there in America, and so many find they must compete to get their fair share. In the past many of us were appalled that some well-known televangelists actually made people pay to stand in a prayer line for healing, whether they were actually able to be prayed for or not. But in recent months some have begun to strongly suggest that if they are really sincere in seeking God, they will give at least $100 when the offering plate is passed.
While I will resist the carnal temptation to name some of these modern Balaams, I will not hesitate to point out their connection to the story in the book of Numbers. My only advice to you, if you are being ridden by such men, is to get off the path of judgment, as Balaam’s donkey did. Yes, this might crush the foot of Balaam and make him quite angry with you (Num. 22:25). If he beats you or kicks you out from under his authority, rather than repenting before God, consider yourself blessed.
If you are led to speak the Word of God to such a man, as Balaam’s donkey did, do not be surprised if he refuses to hear you. If he could have heard you, he would have heard the voice of God directly in the matter. Remember: Balaam argued with his donkey. These Balaams will always try to make you feel guilty so that they may continue to hold you in bondage to themselves; but if your allegiance is to Jesus Christ, rather than to men, you cannot go wrong.
The Siege of Samaria
We live in a time of a famine of hearing the Word (Amos 8:11). God has given us a number of illustrations of this in the Old Testament. One of the most prominent is found in 2 Kings 6:25, during a siege of Samaria.
25 And there was a great famine in Samaria; and, behold, they besieged it, until a donkey’s head was sold for eighty shekels of silver, and a fourth of a kab [approx. 1 quart] of dove’s dung for five shekels of silver.
The people were reduced to eating donkey’s heads and dove’s dung. In eating donkey’s heads, they were feeding on a pentecostal anointing that was dead and could not speak the Words of God in any language. In eating dove’s dung, they were feeding on the evidence of a past movement of the Spirit (dove).
What David lamented at the eulogy of king Saul can be said of the Church today: “How are the mighty fallen in the midst of the battle!” (2 Sam. 1:25). Like all movements that begin with a genuine Word from God, Pentecost has finally become fully leavened. It does not mean that the wheat is ruined. It simply means that the time of Pentecost has ended as prophesied throughout the Scriptures. God will bake the pentecostal offering in His time. This is the purpose of tribulation that is coming. Much of the Church thinks it will escape tribulation, not knowing the purpose of the fire of God and how pentecostal bread must be baked in order to be presentable to God.
But meanwhile, God is doing a new thing in the earth, as He anoints His barley company for divine service. They will rule in the age to come, for they will receive the full promised inheritance of the feast of Tabernacles. For a full study of God’s plan for this final feast, see our book, The Laws of the Second Coming.