Pentecost, the Feast of Firstfruits, one of God’s seven annual Holy Days, pictures an important step in God’s master plan of salvation! This Holy Day helps explain the different times when salvation will be offered to different segments of mankind.
God’s annual Holy Days are laid out according to the seasons in Palestine. And God uses two harvests of Palestine to symbolize His two separate harvests of all human lives. The earlier, much smaller harvest begins with Pentecost, and the latter, much larger harvest begins with the Feast of Tabernacles and ends with the Last Great Day.
This earlier harvest is being planted now. I’ll use one of Jesus’ parables to help explain: “Another parable He put forth to them, saying: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way’ ” (Matthew 13:24-25).
In this parable Jesus likens God’s plan of salvation to a physical harvest of grain or wheat.
“His disciples came to Him, saying, ‘Explain to us the parable of the tares of the field.’ He answered and said to them: ‘He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one. The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels. Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age’ ” (verses 36-40). God is in the process of planting good seed now by calling those whom He will use in His work.
Who are the wheat and the tares?
It’s critical to determine whether we are wheat or tares. Tares look like wheat. A tare is shaped like a wheat stock and head, but its content is dwarfed at best or nonexistent. When tares sprout with wheat, they look similar. Even after they are both grown, from a short distance it is difficult to distinguish between them. But to the discerning eye, the difference is obvious.
God always knows the difference between his “wheat” and the “tares” of Satan’s world. God’s people are known by their good fruits (Matthew 7:16, 20).
Jesus Christ said that many are called but few are chosen (Matthew 22:14). God’s earlier, smaller harvest will be made up of the relatively few people who are truly submitting to God today.
The vast majority of people who have ever lived will have their chance for salvation during the Millennium and the Great White Throne Judgment, symbolized by the Feast of Tabernacles and the Last Great Day. This will be the great fall harvest.
Notice the fantastic meaning the day of Pentecost has for those called now: “Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they [of the early harvest, symbolized by Pentecost today] shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years” (Revelation 20:6).
Source: Good News, May 1985