SHAVUOT, FEAST OF WEEKS, PENTECOST
Is the Feast of YHVH that is celebrated on the fiftieth day after the Feast of First Fruits.
The word Shavuot means weeks, and the festival of Shavuot marks the completion of the seven-week counting period between First Fruits and Shavuot.
Pentecost comes from a word in Greek that means fifty.
The Feast of First Fruits was fulfilled through Yeshua’s resurrection from the dead on “the day after the Sabbath.” “But Messiah has indeed been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.” (1 Co 15:20)
Exactly fifty days later in Jerusalem, on the Feast of Shavuot or Pentecost (from the Greek), the disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit/Ruach HaKodesh (in Hebrew).
“When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” (Ac 2:1-4)
This was a clear parallel of what took place on the first Shavuot in the wilderness, when God came down on Mount Sinai and the Torah was given.
As we read the Scriptural Text in Exodus 19, we see that this event took place on Sivan, the third month.
When Israel came to Sinai, it is the first time in the Torah that she is referred to in the singular, as one person. After fifty days of wandering in the wilderness they had finally become one people.
“In the third month after the children of Israel had gone out of the land of Egypt, on the same day, they came to the Wilderness of Sinai. For they had departed from Rephidim, had come to the Wilderness of Sinai, and camped in the wilderness. So Israel camped there before the mountain.” (Ex 19:1-2 NKJV)
In the last sentence the verb in the Hebrew is in the singular. They had become ONE UNIT.
Likewise it says in Acts 2:1, “When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.”
We also read in the Book of Acts about FIRE and a STRONG SOUND FROM HEAVEN that was heard all over Jerusalem, very much like it was on Mount Sinai when the Torah was given.
“On the morning of the third day there was thunder and lightning, with a thick cloud over the mountain, and a very loud trumpet blast. Everyone in the camp trembled. Then Moses led the people out of the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. Mount Sinai was covered with smoke, because the LORD descended on it in fire. The smoke billowed up from it like smoke from a furnace, the whole mountain trembled violently.” (Ex 19:16-18)
On the day of Pentecost, the SPIRIT OF GOD WROTE the TORAH on the HEARTS of the disciples, according to the promise of the Father in Ezekiel 36:27, “And I WILL PUT MY SPIRIT IN YOU and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.” In the same way the TORAH was written by the FINGER OF GOD on TABLETS OF STONE on Mount Sinai.
The FINGER OF GOD is an expression for the SPIRIT OF GOD, see Mt 12:28 and Lk 11:20.
“When the LORD finished speaking to Moses on Mount Sinai, He gave him the TWO TABLETS of the Testimony, the tablets of stone INSCRIBED by the FINGER OF GOD.” (Ex 31:18)
Shavuot is also a Harvest Feast, celebrating the ingathering of the wheat harvest.
As a result of the infilling of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, three thousand people were born again that same day.
It was the first harvest unto the Lord.
“Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.” (Ac 2:41)
WHY SHOULD THE BRIDE OF MESSIAH CELEBRATE SHAVUOT / PENTECOST?
Pentecost is directly related to Passover.
Israel is told to count fifty days from the Feast of First Fruits, which takes place during Passover.
PENTECOST is like the CROWNING of PASSOVER, bringing all the SPRING FEASTS to a full end.
It is the final Feast connected with YESHUA'S FIRST COMING, bringing it to a full completion.
“Exalted to the right hand of God, He has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear. —Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus/Yeshua, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ/Messiah.” (Ac 2:33,36)
The remaining three Feasts of the LORD all occur together four months later, and are linked to Yeshua’s Second Coming. These have not been fulfilled yet.
There are three Hebrew words used in the Scriptures about The Feasts of YHVH.
The first word is “MOED", which means APPOINTMENT, SET TIME, CYCLE or ASSEMBLY.
The second is “MIQRA", which means CONVOCATION or REHEARSAL.
The third word is “CHAG", which means FEAST, TO MOVE IN A CIRCLE, DANCE, CELEBRATION and REJOICING.
Just like Pentecost is directly linked to Passover and First Fruits, but is a separate Feast, so also the infilling and baptism in the Holy Spirit is directly linked to our salvation and yet it is a separate experience.
The Law with its teaching and instructions about the Feasts has been given to help us establish sound doctrine.
“All Scripture [the Law, the Prophets and the Writings] is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine.” (2 Tim 3:16 NKJV)
“We also know that law is made —for law breakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful —and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine.” (1 Tim 1:9-10)
WHY SHOULD WE CELEBRATE SHAVUOT, OR PENTECOST?
We first of all remember and rehearse God’s mighty acts, how He came down both on Mount Sinai and on Mount Zion with His Holy, Righteous Words writing them by Fire, the first time on Tablets of Stone and the second time on hearts of flesh.
This awesome act transformed a group of ordinary men and women from being frightened fugitives, to becoming bold witnesses of the gospel who changed the world in their generation.
The outpouring of The Holy Spirit accomplished a tremendous miracle in their hearts, empowering them with a passion for God and His Holy Law and a supernatural boldness to preach the gospel, teach The Word of Elohim and perform signs and wonders, miracles and healing as Yeshua had commanded them to do.
During Shavuot we are encouraged to believe that God wants to do the same mighty work in us.
Shavuot is a very important part of our walk as believers. It teaches us that our salvation experience is not complete until the Spirit of God has filled us.
One of the purposes of this infilling is to establish His righteousness in us by writing his laws on our hearts.“ Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah" ... “I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. (Hebrews 8: 8,10)
The other is to Empower us to be His witnesses ... "But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:8
The background of the Azusa Street revival and the worldwide Pentecostal movement that followed was the heart cry for holiness. The foundation of this powerful movement was not a longing after miracles and spiritual experiences, or even a changed society, but a hunger for purity and sanctified lives.
After 100 years, the vast majority of the people in Pentecostal and Charismatic circles, including its leaders, have left this foundation. People want the power of the Spirit for their own pleasure and gain, but they have no desire to change their ways and obey God’s Word and his laws. No wonder that there is no revival today. We need the real fire of Pentecost again. This fire will inscribe His holy laws and ways on our hearts so that we can walk in righteousness.
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ (Mt 7:21-23 NKJV)
Most people today are more interested in prophesying, casting out demons and doing miracles than in obeying God’s laws. So they get involved in the supernatural in order for others to follow them, practicing lawlessness and refusing to submit to God’s laws. “They are godless men, WHO CHANGE THE GRACE OF OUR GOD INTO LICENSE TO IMMORALITY —shepherds who feed only themselves. They are clouds without rain, blown along by the wind; autumn trees, without fruit and uprooted —twice dead.” (Jude vv. 4,12)
THEY WERE COUNTING THE OMER
When Yeshua told his disciples in Acts 1:4-5, “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard Me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit”, it was an application of the command in Lev 23:16 about the Feast of Shavuot to “Count off fifty days up to the day after the seventh Sabbath.” The Jewish people call this “The Counting of the Omer.”
It says about the disciples, “When they arrived, they went upstairs to the room where they were staying. —They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.” (Ac 1:13-14)
They were “counting the Omer” before Adonai in the Upper Room the last ten decisive days, waiting for the Feast of Pentecost.
It is customary among religious Jews today to be up all night from Shavuot evening until the next morning on the day of Shavuot, watching in prayer and study of the Word.
How much more reason do not we have to watch in prayer to be endued with power from on high?
THE TWO TRUMPETS
The rabbis call the shofar that is blown on Pentecost / Shavuot the “FIRST SHOFAR.”
The “LAST SHOFAR” is blown on Yom Teruah, the Feast of Trumpets and this Feast is a dressed rehearsal of the Lord catching His Bride away.
“Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.” (1 Cor 15:51-52)
SHAVUOT and the FIRST SHOFAR are connected with the MARRIAGE UNION between YHWH and HIS
This happened at the bottom of Mount Sinai when YHVH gave Israel The Ketubah (Marriage Contract) and made her His Wife. This Ketubah was His Torah/Law, which was Inscribed by His Finger on The Two Tablets of The Testimony.
Exodus 19:5"Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine. 6 And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel.”
7 So Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before them all these words which the Lord commanded him. 8 Then all the people answered together and said, “ALL THAT THE LORD HAS SPOKEN WE WILL DO".
And again when Yeshua went to The Father with the promise (Ketubah) that He would go and prepare a mansion for us in His Father's House. He promised He would come to take us to Himself and we would live with Him forever.
John 14: 1 “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.
When He sent His Holy Spirit He sealed His Law/Torah in our Minds and Hearts by the Fire of His Ruach/Spirit. He Empowered us to wait for Him as a Holy Bride not up to harlotry in worldly ways but Set Apart to our Bridegroom, without spot or wrinkle and to gather the harvest - the rest of the Bride gathering together until the last one is engrafted.
He has endowed us with His Gifts, The Gifts of the Spirit so we can work with The Holy Spirit, ministering to one another, beautifying and adorning Yeshua's Bride.
A Jewish marriage is performed in two stages as we can see in for instance at Deuteronomy 20:7, “Has anyone become pledged to a woman and not married her? Let him go home, or he may die in battle and someone else marry her.”
The pledging part or betrothal called the “KIDDUSHIN“, when the Bride says, “YES” to the marriage contract, the "KETUBAH“, and binds herself to her husband IS ANNOUNCED WITH A SHOFAR.
The rabbis call the Feast of Trumpets, when the last shofar is blown, the “Wedding of the Messiah.” (many just don't know He is Yeshua). This is when the marriage is consummated.
In ancient times there could be up to 12 months between the pledging ceremony and the marriage. Today both are usually performed the same day. Dr. Ketriel Blad writes about the ancient, Biblical custom:
“After the first step, "KIDDUSHIN", the bride goes home to her father's home and prepares her wedding gown. The bridegroom goes to his father's home and prepares a dwelling for them. When the bridegroom's father sees that both are ready he gives, with a shofar blast, his son the permission to go and fetch his bride. The son then goes to the home of the bride’s parents and lifts her up in the air and takes her to his father's house where the second step in the marriage covenant is going to be taken. It is called "LAKACH", "TO TAKE", see Genesis 24:3, and "NISSUIN", from "NASAH", "TO LIFT UP".
The great Feast of Trumpets’ text in the “New Testament” describing the “LAKACH” and “NISSUIN” when the marriage is consummated, is of course 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18,
“For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the TRUMPET CALL OF GOD, and the dead in Messiah will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be CAUGHT UP [the "lakach" and "nissuim"] together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever [the marriage is consummated in the marriage supper of the Lamb]. Therefore encourage each other with these words.”
We are now living in the season BETWEEN THE FIRST & LAST SHOFAR at the Coming of Yeshua. We have been pledged to one husband, waiting for his return from the Father’s house in heaven, when the Father sees that the Bride is ready and the time has come. “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” (Mt 24:36)