The LORD's Feasts and Holy Days

Pentecost: Meaning of the 'Two Loaves of Bread'

twoloavesWhat do the two loaves of bread waved before God at Pentecost symbolize? On the Feast of Firstfruits or Pentecost, the priest performs a unique ceremony of waving two loaves of leavened bread before the Lord God. This particular ceremony was commanded by God for ancient Israel to carry out on the Feast of Pentecost (Shavuot). We can read about it in:

Leviticus 23:17 You shall bring out of your habitations two wave loaves of two tenths of an ephah: they shall be of fine flour; they shall be baked with leaven; they are the firstfruits to the LORD.

20 And the priest shall wave them with the bread of the firstfruits for a wave offering before the LORD, with the two lambs: they shall be holy to the LORD for the priest.

Note that two male lambs accompanying the two loaves of bread are waved by the priest before the Lord God. The lambs which are a year old and without blemish represent the sacrifice of Christ. These lambs (Christ’s sacrifice) make possible the acceptance by God of the two loaves of bread that are offered to Him. The loaves of bread are not waved before God on their own but needed the lambs to go with them.

Since the lambs picture the sacrifice and offering of Christ, therefore for the two loaves of bread or any one of them being attributed to Him would be repetitive and would make no sense. Unleavened bread signifies the body of Christ. The two loaves of bread are leavened and more closely picture the firstfruits to God. So these loaves can only point to the ecclesia (the church) which constitutes the firstfruits harvest to God.

And also take notice of what God says in the first half of this verse:

Exodus 23:16 And the feast of harvest, the firstfruits of your labors, which you have sown in the field…..

The Eternal says that Pentecost pictures the firstfruits of the work and effort of God’s people, coupled with God’s grace of course (refers spiritually to the works of righteousness and godly character developed in a person). Thus, the bread offered that day does not refer to, nor picture Christ.

Why two loaves of bread? The Redeemer (the husband) made two major covenants with His people. The one in the past which was the first (old) and the new covenant at present. The firstfruits were taken out from these two covenants.

Why then are the two loaves of bread leavened?

Does leaven in this case typify sin still present in the body? It is much too easy to assume that leaven pictures sin all the time (even after unleavened bread) because we have been taught that time and again by some religious teachers.

We serve a God who has nothing to do with sin. To say that a body laden with sin is being offered to God does not make sense at all. However, we must know and understand for a fact that there are actually two types of leaven: the good and the bad leaven. It’s a must bakers know very well.

Yeast is a natural leavening agent which abounds in nature and practically mixes with the air around us. There are numerous kinds of these wild yeasts. Once they get into the dough being mixed to make bread, the end product will be ruined and the resulting taste will be bad or even worse.

However, a carefully cultivated baker’s yeast, kept clean and free from these wild strains of yeast, when mixed by the baker with the dough, will produce a good tasting, rightly balanced and quality bread.

Sometimes, a small portion of the leavened dough (“starter dough”) from a previous batch of good tasting and quality bread is kept in a safe, clean and good environment having the right temperature to ensure that it maintains its quality (character) and does not die. When the starter (often referred to as “living bread”) die because of negligence and carelessness on the part of the baker, the resulting bread will be flat and completely ruined.

Yeast is a living organism. Utmost care, cleanliness and right temperature must be ensured to keep the starter from dying, getting spoiled or contaminated. The good starter when mixed with the new batch of bread being made will produce the same good tasting and quality bread as the ones produced before.

The analogy of this to the life of the firstfruits is that numerous wild yeasts (lawlessness) abound and virtually fill the world around. These may get and enter into one’s system, mix and influence one’s being, frame of mind or character. Care, constant awareness and balance must therefore be exercised to keep one from being polluted by the sinfulness of this world.

The good yeast or “starter” (which is the mind of Christ coursed thru the Holy Spirit) should be the one to be mixed with one’s being and transform him to a new creation symbolic of the leavened bread fit to be waved (offered) before the Lord God.

With the knowledge gained from the baker’s experience, we can now see two types of leaven: the good and the bad (spoiled or contaminated) leaven. The two loaves of bread waved by the priest before the Lord God at Pentecost (Feast of Weeks) were baked out of good leaven. It is a picture of a new, washed and cleansed creation that is without blemish.

The flour used to make the two loaves of bread at Pentecost, came from the new harvest of wheat; not anymore from barley which is the prime harvest during Unleavened Bread and from which the wave sheaf was taken from. The Eternal commanded Israel to present a new meat offering at Pentecost!

Leviticus 23:16 Count off fifty days up to the day after the seventh Sabbath, and then present a new grain offering to the LORD.

Numbers 28:26 Also in the day of the firstfruits, when you bring a new grain offering to the LORD, after your weeks be out, you shall have a holy convocation; you shall do no servile work:

Wheat flour is fine in texture and whitish in color, in contrast to barley which is brownish and quite fibrous. The unique characteristic of barley reflects the strength of character, tenacity and endurance required of God’s people as they move along the sanctification and de-leavening process (passing thru the trials and adversities in life) and ending in Pentecost.

On the other hand, wheat bread at Pentecost identifies with the fine, clean and white garment of the saints at the marriage of the Lamb.

Revelation 19:8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.

Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,

27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

An example we can see from the past is Israel’s meeting God at Sinai on the day of Pentecost. God told them to wash their clothes and bathe the two days preceding His coming down on Sinai. It is a symbol and type of the reality of what God requires before one comes face to face with Him in His Kingdom.

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