Category: Shavuot (Pentecost)

Shavu’ot – what is it, anyway?

Shavu’ot

Shavu’ot – what’s it all about? And what are we supposed to do?

Leviticus/V’Yikra 15 ‘And you shall count for yourselves from the day after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering: seven Sabbaths shall be completed.
16 Count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath;

then you shall offer a new grain offering to the LORD.

17 You shall bring from your dwellings two wave loaves

of two-tenths of an ephah. (4 quarts of flour) They shall be of fine flour; they shall be baked with leaven. They are the firstfruits to the LORD. 18……19……..

20 The priest shall wave them with the bread of the firstfruits as a wave offering before the LORD,

They shall be holy to the LORD for the priest. 21 And you shall proclaim on the same day that it is a holy convocation to you.

You shall do no customary work on it. It shall be a statute forever in all your dwellings throughout your generations.

So from this we learn that 50 days from the crucifixion (from the morrow after the Sabbath – and I chose the Sadducean count – the WEEKLY Sabbath). Each day is an opportunity to meditate on what we can do to improve ourselves and to be more kind and loving to others. There are many sources available to find suggestions on how to accomplish this.
We are to bring two loaves of leavened bread made from 4 qts. of “fine” flour to wave before the Lord. We can only wave toward the East as there is no Temple in Jerusalem. He said we (Believers) are ALL priests now. So we are all responsible to do this. Rabbis made up a series of things to do. But it is not commanded by G-d to follow these instructions. I chose not to…..

We also learn that day (always a Sunday) is to be a holy Sabbath with its customary cessation of regular work and a holy convocation is required. A convocation is a meeting of Believers to worship and honor Yah. This is done by meeting together, worshiping Him with song and dance, sharing a Feast together and rejoicing in His love for us.

It is a lovely tradition to dress well, eat sweet dairy foods, (Israel is a Land of milk and honey) decorate with flowers and greenery, read the Book of Ruth, which took place at the time of the wheat harvest, and stay up all night studying Torah.

In the Book of Ruth, it says “barley” harvest, but actually barley was harvested earlier – about the time of Pesach. There is some confusion concerning grains.

No matter – at least we know it wasn’t corn! There was no corn in Israel at that time.

“Another misnomer is the word corn. In the Bible, corn generally means wheat or barley or some other cereal grain. Corn, as we know it today, did not exist in Bible lands. Corn, was discovered in Cuba by Columbus, and was taken back to Europe on his first or second return trip. When the Europeans came to what is now called the United States, the Native American Indians were growing a crop called maize. It was a primitive form of the corn as we know it today.” http://www.newfoundationspubl.org/cornwine.htm

After the first Pesach, the Israelites left Egypt and went to Mt. Sinai. It was an eleven day journey from Egypt to Canaan. How long to Mt. Sinai? Scripture says it took 45 days. That’s understandable – with 2 million + people and livestock. Moshe was on the mountain 40 days. He came down with the tablets of stone, written by the finger of Yah. The Torah was given there. It was a marriage proposal from Yah to His people. They accepted. It was our betrothal and we were “called out” and became the kehilot – the beginning of “the church”. The church was “born” at Shavu’ot. It is said the “church” was born at “Pentecost” in the New Testament. Not so. But it was the same day.

Acts 2:1 When the Day of Pentecost (Shavu’ot – both mean fifty) had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Acts 2:40 And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation.” 41 Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them.

3,000 people died at Mt. Sinai after the incident of the Golden Calf.

Exodus 32: 27 And he said to them, “Thus says the LORD God of Israel: ‘Let every man put his sword on his side, and go in and out from entrance to entrance throughout the camp, and let every man kill his brother, every man his companion, and every man his neighbor.’” 28 So the sons of Levi did according to the word of Moses. And about three thousand men of the people fell that day.

Old Covenant = 3,000 souls lost
New Covenant = 3,000 souls gained Interesting?

Summary:
• Count each day from the “morrow after the Sabbath” for 50 days. It will bring you to Shavu’ot. The connection is – Pesach freed us from the bondage of Egypt (original sin) and Shavu’ot frees us from immorality (daily sins) by showing us what to do and not to do.

• We bring our challot, (first fruits) made with 4 qts. of fine flour to wave before the Lord at a holy convocation (meeting).

• This is a Sabbath and no regular work is to be done.

• Our meeting place is to be decorated with baskets of spring flowers, fruits and greens.

• We worship in song and dance, study Torah and give praise and honor to Yah.

• We dress well, eat sweet dairy foods and stay up all night studying Torah.

• Shavu’ot is the second of the three Pilgrimage Festivals when all males were required to go to Jerusalem to worship the Lord and bring offerings

• These days are called mo’adim or appointed times or rehearsals for what is to come. We are practicing! If you didn’t do all that you should have done for Shavu’ot this year – you can strive to do better next year! May Abba bless our efforts to please Him and do all that we can do
to worship Him in Spirit and Truth.

Shalom!

fjc – 6/9/11

Shavuot ~ Pentecost

“Today is 49 days, which are seven weeks, of the Omer.”

the following is from Carl Smith, Messianic Pastor
Tomorrow is the 50th day….Shavuot (Weeks, Pentecost) This remembers and celebrates the day the Torah was given at Mt Sinai (Horeb); the day Israel became a congregation; the day of the marriage to YHVH. This remembers and celebrates the special empowering of the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) upon the Believers in Yeshua in Jerusalem 10 days after He ascended into heaven. This remembers and celebrates that YHVH has made Yeshua both Lord and Messiah (Acts 2:36), and that He has paid for our sins if we follow Him. “Turn from sin, return to God, and each of you be immersed on the authority of Yeshua the Messiah into forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Ruach HaKodesh!” (Complete Jewish Bible, David Stern)

This remembers and celebrates the Appointed Time (Mo’ed – H4150) established by YHVH around 3,500 years ago (Lev 23:15-21; Deu 16:9-12); one that millions upon millions of His people have enjoyed over the centuries.

HalleluJah! COME, LET US CELEBRATE!

[Note: If you are a Believer in Yeshua then you are automatically a child of Abraham, grafted into the tree of Israel. Importantly, these are YHVH's "Feasts" (Appointed Times, Mo'adim--cf Leviticus 23). These are His Appointed Times, His "Feasts," not "Jewish Feasts." These are for all of His people. (cf Rom 4:9-16; 11:17-24; Gal 3:6-7; James 2:21) That includes all of us. :-)

It is sobering to consider that if we do not remember and celebrate these mo'adim we are dishonoring, even denying that we trust in, YHVH, our Heavenly Father and Yeshua His Son! (1 John 2:3-6) ]”

See you next time!

Shalom, Sharaka

Shavuot – Celebrating a Double Blessing

“Then celebrate the Feast of Weeks to the Lord your G-d by giving a freewill offering in proportion to the blessings the Lord your G-d has given you…” Deut. 16:10

Have you ever really considered this Scripture before? We are to come with an offering – not our tithe, this would be over and above our tithe. I finally got a handle on this and I keep a little tzadaka box in my kitchen window sill. Every quarter I come across goes into the box. I’ve been known to ask for quarters from family and friends from time to time…. Do you realize how many quarters you can come up with in a year? It really works – try it or come up with some plan of your own. Never again will I come to celebrate Shavuot without an offering.

I have a Stone’s Chumash and I see some valuable reading there. It’s NOT Scripture, but greater minds than mine have put a lot of prayer and thought into it and there is much to learn. As long as it conforms to Scripture, I am happy to read and accept it. I found an interesting piece (under V’Yikra (Leviticus) 23 concerning holy convocations: [page 683] BTW = a “holy convocation” is a gathering together of His people to worship Him. You can’t fulfill this mitzvah by staying home – so best you find a place to go and go prepared with an offering!

“The Festivals are days on which the people are “invited” (commanded, actually!) to assemble in prayer and thanksgiving and to celebrate with fine clothing and festive meals……….The purpose of the festivals is spiritual elevation and the special foods and festive clothing are to help people achieve that goal. By giving honor and distinctiveness to the day, we focus our minds on it and thereby foster a realization of the opportunities it offers us, if we but utilize them properly.”

Did you notice that “fine clothing”? How can we come to meet our Master, the King of the universe in less than our best? Let’s dress up and look like we really care about what we are doing! Let’s have a festive meal! We can use our best dishes and serving pieces and go all out with preparation of some extra special recipes for this very special occasion! It does matter.

“Remember that you were slaves in Egypt, and follow carefully these decrees.” Egypt is a symbol of sin. When we were in sin, we were lost and undone. We that have accepted His salvation have escaped the Egypt of sin in our lives and we need to be ever so grateful for our deliverance. So let’s keep His decrees and do our best to follow all that He has to say regarding this very special holy day.

Since the giving of the Torah on Mt Sinai is equivalent to a betrothal, it is “wedding time”! What a wonderful time to dress up, bring an offering, a festive dish and enjoy a wedding atmosphere! We can celebrate two major events – G-d’s special personal Word to us and His gift of the Ruach HaKodesh!

Oh, and do you have any extra quarters?

See you next time!
Shalom, Sharaka
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Shavuot – a Double Blessing

D’varim (Deuteronomy) 16:10-12 = “Then celebrate the Feast of Weeks to the Lord your G-d by giving a freewill offering in proportion to the blessings the Lord your G-d has given you. And rejoice before the Lord your G-d at the place He will choose as a dwelling place for His name – you, your sons and daughters, your menservants and your maidservants, the Levites in your towns, and the aliens, the fatherless and the widows living among you. Remember that you were slaves in Egypt, and follow carefully these decrees.” (Leaving Egypt is the same as leaving the sin of this world)

Next Shabbat (May 14th, 2005) will be the celebration for the early Feasters and June 13th for the traditional calendar observers. Shavu’ot (shaw-vu-OAT, as pronounced by the Sephardic Jews and is the national language of Israel) is one of the three pilgrim festivals that were to be celebrated in Jerusalem – the place where G-d has chosen to put His name. All men were to travel to the City to wave their two loaves of leavened bread before the Lord. This was a public testimony of the Lord’s provision for His people. It is a celebration of the abundant spring harvest. Since the destruction of the Temple in 70 AD, the emphasis has changed from animal sacrifices and agricultural aspects to celebrating the gift of Torah at Mt. Sinai. This day became the legal birth of Israel as a Nation.

Messianic Believers can also celebrate the gift of the out-pouring of the Holy Spirit which occurred on the same day. Christianity calls this day Pentecost, which means “50”, because it occurs 50 days after Passover, and considers this day to be the birthday of the “church“. We know that the “church”, actually the “called out ones” or ecclesia/congregation/kehelot were called out at Mt Sinai where G-d betrothed Himself to His people. That was the true birthday of the “church”.

“The festival of Shavuot arrived, and the Believers all gathered together in one place. Suddenly there came a sound from the sky like the roaring of a violent wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then they saw what looked like tongues of fire which separated and came to rest on each one of them. They were all filled with the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) and began to talk in different languages, as the Spirit enabled them.” Acts 2:1-4 Complete Jewish Bible

Y’shua gave His disciples the Holy Spirit on the day of His resurrection (First Fruits) but He told them not to leave Jerusalem until they received the gift of the Father. (Acts 1:4-5) Throughout the Bible, fire has been a symbol of G-d’s presence and His covenant. The burning bush in the desert, the pillar of fire in the wilderness, etc. Fire is considered a symbol of the presence of the Ruach. Fire came down on the day of Pentecost (Greek word for 50)

As Believers, we can celebrate Shavuot as the giving of G-d’s instructions for daily living (the Torah) and as the giving of the Ruach HaKodesh (the Holy Spirit) the power and enablement to be bold witnesses in the world we live in. We are to take the gospel to the world with miracles of healing. We are to make disciples of all nations and teach obedience to G-d’s commandments. Somebody once said, “Without the work of missions and evangelism, Pentecost (Shavuot) is just so many goose bumps!”

To quote “Special appointments With God”, a book prepared by Cedar Park Assembly of God:
“Pentecost (or Shavuot) represents the work of God in a new dimension in our life. It stands in contrast to the work of God in salvation. In Salvation, Jesus is our Saviour but at Pentecost He is our baptizer. In salvation, the Holy Spirit comes into our life while at Pentecost the Spirit is released in power. Salvation comes from the resurrected Christ, while Spirit Baptism comes from the glorified Christ. Regeneration is the in-breathed Spirit while baptism is the out-poured Spirit. Salvation brings us into relationship with God while (Spirit) baptism is meant to bring us into a new relationship with the world. Salvation is God in you, whereas Pentecost is God released through you. Salvation and Spirit Baptism are as different as Passover is from Pentecost.”

Let’s begin to prepare our hearts to receive all G-d has for us while we do our best to keep His Torah.

See you next time!
Shalom, Sharaka
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