Correspondence: Fifty Days; Mark 4:26-29; Passion Play; John 14:12

Mark 4:26-29; John 14:12
Ques. 76. Please explain how you find fifty days between the resurrection of the Lord and the coming of the Holy Spirit? W. H. H.
Ans. The word “Pentecost” means fifty, or the fiftieth; the allusion is to Leviticus 23. In that chapter we get two offerings on the morrow after the sabbath. The wave sheaf is the type of the resurrection of Christ (Lev. 23:10-1410Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye be come into the land which I give unto you, and shall reap the harvest thereof, then ye shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest unto the priest: 11And he shall wave the sheaf before the Lord, to be accepted for you: on the morrow after the sabbath the priest shall wave it. 12And ye shall offer that day when ye wave the sheaf an he lamb without blemish of the first year for a burnt offering unto the Lord. 13And the meat offering thereof shall be two tenth deals of fine flour mingled with oil, an offering made by fire unto the Lord for a sweet savor: and the drink offering thereof shall be of wine, the fourth part of an hin. 14And ye shall eat neither bread, nor parched corn, nor green ears, until the selfsame day that ye have brought an offering unto your God: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings. (Leviticus 23:10‑14)). There is no sin offering attached to that; it is the Lord Himself. Then seven Sabbaths were counted, and on the morrow after the seventh Sabbath, that is, the first day of the week, a new meat offering — “two wave loaves baken with leaven” — is offered. A sin offering accompanies it, for it is typical of the redeemed church, which, though redeemed, has sin in each member (Lev. 23:15-2115And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the sabbath, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven sabbaths shall be complete: 16Even unto the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall ye number fifty days; and ye shall offer a new meat offering unto the Lord. 17Ye shall bring out of your habitations two wave loaves of two tenth deals: they shall be of fine flour; they shall be baken with leaven; they are the firstfruits unto the Lord. 18And ye shall offer with the bread seven lambs without blemish of the first year, and one young bullock, and two rams: they shall be for a burnt offering unto the Lord, with their meat offering, and their drink offerings, even an offering made by fire, of sweet savor unto the Lord. 19Then ye shall sacrifice one kid of the goats for a sin offering, and two lambs of the first year for a sacrifice of peace offerings. 20And 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. 21And ye shall proclaim on the selfsame day, that it may be an holy convocation unto you: ye shall do no servile work therein: it shall be a statute for ever in all your dwellings throughout your generations. (Leviticus 23:15‑21)).
In the New Testament we see that the Lord rose on the first day of the week, and was seen of His disciples forty days (Acts 1:33To whom also he showed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God: (Acts 1:3)); then came His ascension. The disciples continued in prayer and supplication the rest of the period (not many days), till Pentecost, the fiftieth day, was fully come; then the Holy Spirit came down.
Ans. Mark 4:26-2926And he said, So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground; 27And should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how. 28For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear. 29But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come. (Mark 4:26‑29), compares the kingdom of God “unto a man that casts seed into the ground” who rising and sleeping day and night, allows it to increase without taking any notice of it. The earth produces thus fruit of itself, first the blade, then the ear, and then the full grain in the ear. Now when the fruit is ripe, the sickle is put in at once, because the harvest is come. Thus the Lord worked personally, sowing the Word of God upon earth; and at the end, He will return, and work again in person, when the time for the judgment of this world shall have come, but now, in the meantime, He remains seated at the right hand of God, as though He did not occupy Himself with His field, although in secret He does work by His grace, and produces everything. But it is not manifest. Without being seen, He works to make the seed grow in a divine way, by His grace, whilst apparently He allows the gospel to grow, without having anything to do with it, until the harvest. Then He will appear and will Himself work openly.” (J. N. D. Collected Writings)
Ques. 78. What do you think of the Passion Play? W. H. H.
Ans. To make the Lord Jesus and His finished work the subject of an entertainment is sacrilegious. Think how horrible it must be in the eyes of God, the Father, that men should dare to personify His beloved Son in the hour of His deep suffering as an atoning sacrifice!
Ques. 79. John 14:1212Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. (John 14:12). To whom does the Lord refer? Is it before the cross that those who believe shall do these works, or does it take in believers in this present time? What are the works referred to? J. E. K.
Ans. The Lord is speaking of what is true of believers when He would be with the Father. The Holy Spirit would then dwell in them, and what they did would be done in the power of the Spirit. The works would include such as Peter (Acts 5:12; 15:1612And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people; (and they were all with one accord in Solomon's porch. (Acts 5:12)
16After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up: (Acts 15:16)
), and Paul (Acts 19:11-1211And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul: 12So that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them. (Acts 19:11‑12)) did; but also to see Christ — “the life of Jesus” (2 Cor. 4:10-1110Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. 11For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. (2 Corinthians 4:10‑11)) — produced in redeemed men, once under the power of sin, is more wonderful than to see the moral glory in all its perfection in Him who was ever and always altogether perfect. What care we should take to walk in the power of the Spirit ungrieved. (Eph. 4:3030And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. (Ephesians 4:30)).