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The Wheat and Asses of Pentecost

The third part of the series, The Wheat and Asses of Pentecost deals mainly with Old Testament pentecostal types and shadows. Whenever wheat or asses are mentioned in the Bible, we know that it is a story dealing in some way with the anointing of Pentecost. By these examples, the Scriptures exhort us to move beyond Pentecost in our experience and knowledge of God, and move into the realm of Tabernacles and Sonship.

Category - Short Book

Chapter 2

King Saul, the Pentecostal

Saul was crowned king of Israel on the day of Pentecost. This is why we call him a pentecostal. Saul is probably the most important illustration in the Old Testament that manifests the nature of Pentecost. In his reign of 40 years we see the “reign” of the Church during the 40 Jubilees (1960 years) from 33 AD to 1993.

Just as King Saul was crowned on Pentecost and called by God to rule the House of Israel, so also was the Church crowned on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2. The Church, too, was called to rule as Saul. It was to be the beginning of the monarchy in a New Testament sense, and the disciples were sent out into all the world to convert and baptize all nations. They were sent to bring all things under His feet, putting all of creation under His jurisdiction.

Unfortunately, this has not happened. What started out so powerfully in the early chapters of Acts soon faded, as the leaven of Pentecost spread throughout the whole lump of dough. Thus, the Church in the past 40 Jubilees has been the fulfillment of the Old Testament story of King Saul, the pentecostal. Saul’s household was destined to rule Israel only temporarily, for he was a Benjamite, and the kings of Israel had to come from Judah (Gen. 49:10). Even so, the New Testament Pentecostal Church was destined to rule for only 40 Jubilees, until the time the overcomers would rule by the anointing of the Feast of Tabernacles.

The People Rejected God’s Rule

The story of Saul begins with the people of Israel demanding a king in 1 Samuel 8. The people had become impatient and did not want God to rule them directly any more. 1 Samuel 8:7 says,

7 And the Lord said to Samuel, Listen to the voice of the people in regard to all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me from being king over them.

The Israelites felt they had good reason to be quite dissatisfied with the reign of God over them. They had just come through six major captivities in their short 396-year history since the Jordan crossing. They had been in captivity for 111 of those years. In fact, just three years before Saul’s coronation, God had finally delivered them from a long 58-year captivity to the Ammonites and Philistines. The Ammonites had oppressed them 18 years, and then the Philistines for another 40 years. Most of the people did not even remember being a free people.

They were dissatisfied with the rule of God, because He was too strict with them. He demanded more of them than their flesh could handle. Why, every time they indulged in a little idolatry, God would bring them into another captivity! Finally, human wisdom dictated that they should have a king who was more human, one who understood their weaknesses and would indulge their idolatry and rebellion.

It was in this context of history that the people came to Samuel and demanded a king. God granted them their request, but warned them that their king would indeed be just like them. He would be a manifestation of their own hearts. He would be corrupted by power and would use the people for his own benefit (See 1 Sam. 8:11-18).

How Saul was Crowned King at Pentecost

In 1 Samuel 9, the prophet begins to tell us how Saul came to be king. Saul’s father had lost some donkeys and sent his son to find them. He could not find them, so he decided to go to Samuel, hoping he could pray to God to find out what had happened to them.

Meanwhile, God had told Samuel that He would send the man that was to be Israel’s king. Saul arrived at the right time, and thus he was crowned king of Israel.

As for the timing of his coronation, we are told that Saul had searched for his father’s donkeys for three days before coming to Samuel (9:20). Samuel then spent the rest of the day talking with Saul about his reign over Israel. I find it interesting that “Samuel spoke with Saul on the roof” (9:25). This was customary, of course, particularly in the cool of the evening. Yet it foreshadows the “upper room” of Acts 1:13, where the disciples met after Jesus’ ascension.

The next day Samuel anointed Saul (10:1) and gave him three signs by which he would know that he was truly called to be king over Israel. He also told Saul to go to Gilgal and tarry seven days while Samuel offered burnt offerings and peace offerings to God. Finally, the day of coronation came. It had been a full ten days since Saul’s father had sent him to search for his father’s donkeys. He had searched for three days and had tarried for another seven days. It was now the day of Pentecost.

In Samuel’s coronation speech (chapter 12), he said in verses 17 and 18,

17 It is not the wheat harvest today? I will call to the Lord, that He may send thunder and rain. Then you will know and see that your wickedness is great which you have done in the sight of the Lord by asking for yourselves a king. 18 So Samuel called to the Lord; and the Lord sent thunder and rain that day; and all the people greatly feared the Lord and Samuel.

The day of wheat harvest is the day of Pentecost. How do we know? Because it is written in the law. No man was allowed to harvest or eat of a new crop of grain until they had first presented to God the first fruits of the harvest. Lev. 23:14 says,

14 Until this same day, until you have brought in the offering of your God, you shall eat neither bread nor roasted grain nor new growth. It is to be a perpetual statute throughout our generations in all your dwelling places.

Hebrew terminology developed from this law. The day of barley harvest, mentioned in 2 Samuel 21:9, was the day of the wave-sheaf offering occurring a few days after the feast of Passover. The day of wheat harvest was the day of Pentecost. These were the days that the high priest offered up to God the first fruits of these newly-ripened crops. Only then could the men return home and begin to harvest those crops for themselves. Hence, the day of barley harvest was the day of the wave-sheaf offering; and the day of wheat harvest was the feast of weeks (Shavuot), known later as Pentecost.

Thus, we see that Saul was crowned king on the day of Pentecost, the day of wheat harvest. He had to tarry a full ten days (3 + 7) before his coronation. Many years later, the disciples in the upper room also had to tarry ten days to Pentecost. Acts 1:3 tells us that Jesus had ascended on the 40th day after teaching his disciples for the 40 days following his resurrection (the day of barley harvest). Before his ascension, He told them to tarry in Jerusalem until they were given the empowerment to carry out the Great Commission (Luke 24:49). The Spirit was poured out ten days later on the day of Pentecost, the day of wheat harvest (Acts 2:1).

I suggest that the story of Saul also reveals to us that those ten days were broken up into 3 + 7 days. Just as Saul searched for his father’s donkeys the first three days, it probably took the disciples three days to gather themselves together in the upper room. This is made plain by the fact that Saul met with Samuel on the roof of the house after three days had already passed.

The final seven days, then, were spent coming into harmony, or “one accord” (Acts 2:1). That is, they offered spiritual peace offerings to the Lord, even as Samuel did for seven days prior to the Coronation of Saul.

Pentecost was a Day of Judgment

In Saul’s coronation, Samuel prayed that God would send thunder and rain on the day of Pentecost, so that the people would understand that they had done wrong in asking for a king. How strange! In Palestine, rain is very rare at the time of Pentecost. In fact, any farmer knows that one cannot harvest grain if it is wet. So rain at this time would have been perceived as a judgment from God. But God did send thunder and rain, as we read in 1 Sam. 12:18, 19,

18 So Samuel called to the Lord, and the Lord sent thunder and rain that day; and all the people greatly feared the Lord and Samuel. 19 Then all the people said to Samuel, Pray for your servants to the Lord your God, so that we may not die, for we have added to all our sins this evil by asking for ourselves a king.

Proverbs 26:1 tells us how unusual rain was at the time of Pentecost:

1 Like snow in summer and like rain in [wheat] harvest, so honor is not fitting for a fool.

In other words, some things were quite rare, not only in biblical days, but also in today’s world:

1. snow in summer

2. rain at Pentecost

3. honor in a fool

So God brought forth rain out of season at the time of Pentecost in order to give us a down payment of the rains in due season. It was a partial rain of the Holy Spirit, called the baptism of the Spirit, and yet it was not really the rainy season. Consequently, a rain out of season can be bad, and an outpouring of the Spirit at Pentecost comes with judgment for asking for an earthy king.

Thus, Samuel said that the rain at Saul’s coronation was to show them that they had done wickedly. Even so, the purpose of the baptism of the Holy Spirit (Pentecost) is to begin a cleansing process of the wickedness within us. This is why it is also called a “baptism of fire.” Fire is a purifying and cleansing agent as well. This outpouring of the Spirit is not the good news of perfection, but the rather ominous news of purification by fire.

In this context, we see that the primary issue is that men want man to rule them instead of God. Saul was called to be king only because the people had rejected God from ruling over them. Even so, the Pentecostal Age has been dominated by the rule of men in the Church who were in rebellion against God—even as King Saul foreshadowed in his rule over Israel. It is not that Saul made any decrees against the worship of God in Israel, but rather that he usurped divine authority that was not his. This is made very clear in 1 Sam. 13, when Saul offered the burnt offering himself, instead of waiting for Samuel. Because of this particular sin, God said in 1 Sam. 13:13, 14,

13 And Samuel said to Saul, You have acted foolishly; you have not kept the commandment of the Lord your God, which He commanded you, for now the Lord would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. 14 But now your kingdom shall not endure. The Lord has sought out for Himself a man after his own heart, and the Lord has appointed him as ruler over His people, because you have not kept what the Lord commanded you.

God said through the prophet that God was looking for a man after His own heart to rule Israel. He is still looking for such people. These are the ones who will ultimately rule and judge all the people of the earth, for “they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years” (Rev. 20:6). These are the people who come into the fullness of the Spirit by fulfilling the Feast of Tabernacles. They are represented by King David, who replaced Saul and was a man after God’s own heart.

Saul’s Temporary Call to Rule

Saul truly was called of God, but this was not God’s “perfect will.” The people had rejected God’s perfect will in having a Theocracy, where God ruled the people directly. Once the people rejected God’s direct rulership, then a secondary “will of God” came into operation. That secondary will was that Saul was called of God to be king over Israel.

In other words, Saul truly was called to rule, but not on the same level as David was later called. Saul was called, one might say, temporarily, for God knew that he would fail. God knew that He would eventually reject Saul from having an enduring dynasty. In this, Saul is a picture of the pentecostal Church.

The implication of this is clear: the pentecostal Church has also been disqualified for rulership in the Kingdom of God. That honor has been reserved for the overcomers, the barley company, who are pictured in the life of David. (See our book, The Barley Overcomers.)

The pentecostal Church was given 40 Jubilees in which to exercise authority in the earth, even as Saul was given 40 years. Their time was completed in 1993. At that point, God began to move in a different manner to bring the house of David, the overcomers, into its place of full rulership. Yet even as there was a transition of seven years and six months from Saul to David (2 Sam. 5:5), so also there has been a transition of authority from Pentecost to the authority of the Feast of Tabernacles.

The Three Signs Given to Saul

Samuel gave Saul three signs by which he would know that he was truly called to rule Israel. We read of them in 1 Samuel 10:2-7. The first sign is this:

2 When you go from me today, then you will find two men close to Rachel’s tomb in the territory of Benjamin at Zelzah; and they will say to you, The donkeys which you went to look for have been found. Now behold, your father has ceased to be concerned about the donkeys, and is anxious for you, saying, What shall I do about my son?

All signs have meaning. They are not given merely for the purpose of confirmation; there is always a deeper meaning to them. When we see that these signs are all Pentecostal signs, we then have the key to knowing their meaning.

This first sign took place at Rachel’s tomb, and it calls to mind a very interesting prophecy. Matt. 2:16-18 quotes Jer. 31:15, saying:

16 Then when Herod saw that he had been tricked by the Magi, he became very enraged, and sent and slew all the male children who were in Bethlehem, and in all its environs, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had ascertained from the Magi. 17 Then that which was spoken through Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled, saying, 18 A voice was heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children; and she refused to be comforted, because they were no more.

The book of Jasher gives us the background to this prophecy. (This ancient book was rediscovered in a rabbi’s office in Venice, Italy in 1613.) When Joseph was sold into slavery and was on his way to Egypt, the caravan passed Rachel’s tomb. Rachel was Joseph’s mother, of course, and so he threw himself upon her grave and wept. We read then in Jasher 42:37-40,

37And Joseph heard a voice speaking to him from beneath the ground, which answered him with bitterness of heart, and with a voice of weeping and praying in these words:38 My son, my son Joseph, I have heard the voice of thy lamentation; I have seen thy tears; I know thy troubles, my son, and it grieves me for thy sake, and abundant grief is added to my grief.39Now therefore my son, Joseph my son, hope to the Lord, and wait for him and do not fear, for the Lord is with thee; he will deliver thee from all trouble.40Rise, my son, go down unto Egypt with thy masters, and do not fear, for the Lord is with thee, my son. And she continued to speak like unto these words unto Joseph, and she was still.

This is the story of Joseph as he was on his way to Egypt. God was bringing him there to train him for rulership by teaching him to be a faithful slave and as a rejoicing convict. It is the voice of weeping, but it is also the voice of Hope.

And so, for Saul to receive his first sign at the tomb of Rachel is highly significant. The two men told him that his father was now sorrowing for Saul. In other words, Saul himself was the first one after Joseph to hear the voice of weeping for the children. Rachel’s tomb was near Ramah, as Matthew tells us. Ramah was Samuel’s home town also. It was there that Samuel wept for Saul (1 Sam. 15:34, 35), for he loved Saul like a son.

Matthew tells us that King Herod likewise fulfilled this prophecy when he killed the children of Bethlehem at the time Jesus was taken to Egypt. The voice of weeping began with Herod’s murder of the children; it was extended with the Jewish persecution of the early Church; it was further extended with Rome’s persecution; and finally, it extended through the Dark Ages, when the Church persecuted and killed its overcomers.

The Pentecostal Age has truly been an age of much weeping. At no time during the 40 Jubilees from 33 AD to 1993 AD can we say that the saints were reigning and ruling with Christ. Instead, the true Pentecostals have been put into the fire in order that the leaven might be baked out of them. The false Pentecostals, who flourished during this past Age, remained unbaked and full of leaven. It has been an age of Saul’s rulership and the persecution of David. We are now near the end of this time of weeping, when God turns it into rejoicing.

If we put this all together, we see that the age of Pentecost was an age of training. It was not meant to be a glorious age of victory, but a training ground and a proving ground. It was to be an era of oppression, but it was necessary in the overall Plan of God to teach His David company how not to be tyrants. All Christians are in training for rulership, but only a few will reach that prize of the high calling of God. The rest will be embittered by the weeping, without allowing the Jubilee principle of forgiveness to consume them. In their bitterness, their hearts are hardened as Saul’s, and they become oppressors of God’s people themselves.

Saul and David represent two distinct types of Christians in that era. Saul represents those who would oppress; and David represents those who are oppressed, but who overcome. Even as Rachel wept for her son, Joseph, as he began his Egyptian bondage, so also did God bring Saul to her tomb at the start of Israel’s bondage. It was an ominous sign, but prophetic of the Pentecostal Age to come.

The second sign is given in I Sam. 10:3, 4,

3 Then you will go on further from there, and you will come as far as the oak of Tabor, and there three men going up to God at Bethel will meet you, one carrying three kids, another carrying three loaves of bread, and another carrying a jug of wine; 4 and they will greet you and give you two loaves of bread, which you will accept from their hand.

These three men were apparently on their way to Bethel to observe the feast of Pentecost, which was just one week away. Remember, David had not yet been born, and he is the one who conquered the city of Jerusalem. So these men would not be going to Jerusalem to keep the feast. Neither could they go to Shiloh, which had been the original place where the ark had been placed. Shiloh had been destroyed when the ark was taken by the Philistines three and a half years earlier.

Apparently, a priestly center had been set up in Bethel, at least temporarily. This was the place where Jacob had had his dream/vision of the angels ascending and descending, and where he had anointed the stone (See Gen. 28). In Jacob’s journey to Haran and back, his major stops set the early patterns of Israel’s feast days. While that is too long to explain here, we can say that Jacob’s stop at Bethel signified the feast of Pentecost. For a more complete study of Jacob’s wilderness journey and its feast-day manifestation, see chapter 4 of our book, The Laws of the Second Coming.

The three men on their way to Bethel were carrying wine for the pentecostal drink offering (Lev. 23:18) and a kid of the goats for each of them, probably for the pentecostal sacrifice (Lev. 23:19). It is also significant that they were carrying three loaves of bread and gave Saul two of them. Remember that at Pentecost the high priest was to offer up to God two loaves of bread baked with leaven. The men were probably going to Bethel with first fruits of the wheat, baked with leaven. Two of the loaves they prophetically gave to Saul to identify him as a pentecostal.

The third sign is by far the most obvious:

5 Afterward you will come to the hill of God where the Philistine garrison is; and it shall be as soon as you have come there to the city, that you will meet a group of prophets coming down from the high place with a harp, tambourine, flute, and a lyre before them, and they will be prophesying. 6 Then the Spirit of the Lord will come upon you mightily, and you shall prophesy with them and be changed into another man. 7 And it shall be when these signs come to you, do for yourself what the occasion requires, for God is with you.

Sure enough, these three signs did occur while Saul was on his way from Samuel’s house in Ramah to Gilgal.

9 Then it happened when he turned his back to leave Samuel, God changed his heart; and all those signs came about on that day. 10 When they came to the hill there, behold, a group of prophets met him; and the Spirit of God came upon him mightily, so that he prophesied among them. 11 And it came about, when all who knew him previously saw that he prophesied now with the prophets, that the people said to one another, What has happened to the son of Kish? Is Saul also among the prophets?

This passage does not define “prophesy” for us, so we will not attempt to do so either. We do not know how these prophets prophesied. Is this a reference to their singing in the Spirit, or singing spiritual songs? The text does not clearly tell us. But one thing is very clear: this is truly a pentecostal sign. The fact that Saul was crowned king a week later on the day of Pentecost makes it abundantly clear that this is how God intended us to interpret these signs.

Is Saul Also Among the Prophets?

This became a proverb in Israel (1 Sam. 10:12). Why? What did it mean? As time progressed and it became evident that Saul was both a prophet and an oppressor of those under him, men began to use that saying as a proverb.

This seeming incongruity is the whole point of the proverb. How could a man like Saul prophesy? How could the Spirit of God come upon such an imperfect vessel? Would not the Spirit of God come only upon a righteous man? But no, the Spirit was poured out upon Saul, an unrighteous man. The people wanted to be ruled by men before the time came for the rule of David the overcomer. So they got Saul, who was NOT an overcomer, but was merely a pentecostal.

So when an Israelite came across a contradiction he did not understand, some incongruity of life, he would quote the proverb, “Is Saul also among the prophets?”

This has meaning for us today, for those in the realm of Pentecost are imperfect also. In this past century in particular, with the rise of the Pentecostal movement in the early 1900’s, we can all point to those who are imperfect, yet who claim to have received the baptism of the Holy Spirit. In more recent years the news media has exposed many televangelists who seem to have a prophetic anointing and yet their character falls far short of the overcoming life. The incongruity of the situation is merely an extension of Saul’s experience.

This whole situation tells us in no uncertain terms that the realm of Pentecost is very much “leavened.” It is NOT a realm of perfection. It is a realm in which sinners are baptized in the Holy Spirit. And just because they have had a tremendous experience with the Holy Spirit does not mean they are now sinless.

Pentecostals need to understand this, so that they may see the limitations of their pentecostal anointing. So often we feel we are obligated to put on a show of perfection in order to evangelize others into the same experience. But once we see that God never intended to perfect us by means of Pentecost, we can have the grace to admit imperfection and submit to the fire of God. We can lose the fear of acknowledging our leavened condition in front of others. Most importantly, we can lower our expectations to a more realistic level.

This helps us to be less judgmental of those in the realm of Pentecost that we deem to be less than perfect, those who perhaps did receive a genuine infilling of the Holy Spirit, but who later leaked. Our motive is not to judge pentecostals, but to give them a fresh vision of another outpouring of the Spirit that will shortly come to pass. This time it will be the fulfillment of Tabernacles, the fullness of His Spirit. We need to prepare our vessels for that day.

Others see our imperfection with 20/20 vision, whether we see it or not. If we are blind to our own imperfections, or just plain refuse to admit them, we will seldom convince anyone else that our experience is valid. They will see us as blind at best, or liars at the worst. Those who rise to positions of leadership and honor will have to separate themselves from the laity in order to maintain the illusion of perfection, because anyone who really gets to know them will find that they are, after all, still human.

Men like Saul, who rise to positions of power even by a legitimate call of God, find that they must instill “the fear of God” in their subjects in order to maintain their position. They must rule by fear, force, and a certain level of deception, lest they be ousted by other ambitious men who desire their position. The focus of their calling thus begins to shift away from training the people into spiritual maturity. Their prime directive becomes one of survival and self-perpetuation. The organization becomes the master, rather than the servant.

This is largely what the various denominations of Christendom have done, as they follow the lead of King Saul. In order to maintain political control, they have passed Church laws consigning people to hell if they get out of line or if they leave the denomination. To be expelled or excommunicated from the organization is supposedly to fall from grace. Many people are so bound by fear that they refuse even to read any book not specifically sanctified by their bishop, priest, or pastor. They are afraid that someone outside their church or denomination might actually have some truth not known by their own leaders. They are afraid that they might be convinced of that truth, and that their leaders may excommunicate them and damn them to hell for it.

To prevent such a situation, it is easier and safer simply to do what is minimally required by their church. And thus, the Sauls in the Church oppress the people and prevent them from growing into the fullness of the stature of Christ. They keep the people in the realm of Pentecost and never allow them to pursue the realm of the third feast of Israel—the feast of Tabernacles.

Saul’s Impatience Disqualifies Him

Saul gathered together a small army of 3,000 men when he had reigned just two years in Israel (1 Sam. 13:2). He had other volunteers, but he sent the rest home in order to identify this as a pentecostal army. Recall that on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2, there were 3,000 who were added to the Church (Acts 2:41). This number often repeats in the Scriptures whenever it is referring to a story about Pentecost.

Saul’s army gathered at Gilgal, the same place where Saul had been crowned king just two years earlier. Once again, Samuel said to tarry seven days (1 Sam. 13:8). This was a virtual repeat of Saul’s coronation day, except that I believe this took place in the week of Tabernacles. It was his opportunity to show he was an overcomer who is able to fulfill the feast of Tabernacles. But he failed.

It is my opinion that if Saul had waited for Samuel to make the offering, God would have accepted the offering by fire from heaven, as often occurred in those days. However, Saul did it himself, and he lit the fire with “strange fire” – that is, natural fire kindled by man. This is what had killed Nadab and Abihu many years earlier (Lev. 10). This is, I believe, what disqualified Saul. This is also what has disqualified the Church, for in their impatience to see the Holy Spirit’s “fire” fall upon them in revival, they have too often worked it up by the flesh. I Sam. 13:8–10 reads:

8 Now he waited seven days, according to the appointed time set by Samuel, but Samuel did not come to Gilgal; and the people were scattering from him. 9 So Saul said, Bring to me the burnt offering and the peace offerings. And he offered the burnt offering. 10 And it came about as soon as he finished offering the burnt offering, that behold, Samuel came.

In the natural, one could hardly blame Saul here. The army was fearful and starting to leave him. So Saul did the natural, fleshly thing. He offered the burnt offering himself.

This story was written that we might know specifically what has disqualified the pentecostal Church from ruling in His Kingdom. It is the sin of impatience. This manifests in a number of ways. First, as we have already mentioned, we become impatient in our tarrying. We finally conclude that if we do not do it, no one will. So we run for the matches and schedule revivals, so the Holy Spirit will know when to come. We set up our own appointed times.

Samuel said to wait seven days to an appointed time; Saul was ruled by fear of the Philistines, thinking that if he waited any longer, the Philistines would overcome him. Likewise, pentecostals are too often driven by a hidden fear that if they do not see the fires of revival fall upon the church soon, the Philistines (the flesh) will overcome them. They are afraid the people will be scattered (leave the Church), if they do not prime the pump themselves. Yet in offering up the sacrifice themselves, the flesh does prevail, and the very thing they fear comes upon them anyway.

Secondly, because of Saul’s fear and impatience, he usurped authority reserved for Samuel.

Thirdly, Saul offered strange fire, an imitation revival.

The feast days of Israel are God’s appointed times when He divides the ages by the level of the Spirit that He has given. His Spirit was given to Israel externally in the Passover Age. The pledge, or earnest, of His Spirit was given internally in the Pentecost Age, beginning in Acts 2. We are now at the end of that age and are in the transition into the Tabernacles Age, wherein He is soon going to pour out His Spirit upon us in its fullness.

These are the overall appointed times. Within each of these, however, are smaller outpourings called “revivals”. They are governed by the age in which they occur and are limited to it. Yet one must know the specific will of God and the appointed times of those smaller revivals as well. One cannot schedule a revival; one must seek His face to know His appointed time, lest we offer strange fire upon the altars of our hearts and come under judgment.

So let us not be as Saul, who was impatient and offered strange fire upon the pentecostal altar. Let us rather be as David, who also built an altar to God at the appointed time of Pentecost, but refused to kindle the fire himself. 1 Chron. 21:26 says,

26 Then David built an altar to the Lord there, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. And he called to the Lord, and He answered him with fire from heaven on the altar of burnt offering.

This offering came at the time of wheat harvest, for we read that Ornan was threshing his newly-harvested wheat when David bought the site (21:20). He gave Ornan a down payment of 50 shekels of silver (2 Sam. 24:24), and later gave him the full payment of 600 shekels of gold (1 Chron. 21:25). The 50 shekels of silver speaks of Pentecost and the earnest of the Spirit.

David’s offering differed from Saul’s. David called upon God to pour out His Spirit upon his altar (heart). He refused to kindle Pentecost with strange fire. This is one of the major differences between the Saul company and the David company today. We would do well to take heed to the lessons God has given us in the Old Testament.

Pentecost will always be characterized by leaven, for that is the divine decree established in His Law. Our only hope is to go beyond Pentecost to Tabernacles. But this is another appointed time, and we must patiently run the race that is set before us.