Shavuot - Pentecost

Shavuot (Feast of Weeks) – Shadow of Pentecost

17 May 2021

6 MINS

Living in the days of the ‘unexpected’.

As I sit at my computer today, preparing this article, rockets are being fired into Israel from Gaza. This past week has been exceedingly difficult for Israel.

The other day the Lord said to me “expect the unexpected”. The level of this attack is, I believe, unexpected. Many times, there have been attacks from Gaza into Israel — however, the volume of rockets has greatly increased. We pray and continue to pray for His shalom over His people in the Holy Land.

Today, the 17th of May, is Shavuot in Israel, and we believers will celebrate Pentecost on the 23rd of May.

Let us reflect on this special season in which we find ourselves. We, the Body of Christ are not separate from Israel — in fact, we are grafted into the Olive Tree.

Imagine some branches are cut off of the cultivated olive tree and other branches of a wild olive (which represents all of you outsiders) are grafted in their place. You are nourished by the root of the cultivated olive tree.
~ Romans 11:17 (The Voice)

The revelation of Monotheism to Abraham and Israel, and that which we see manifested through Israel, is our foundation. Father God formed a Holy Nation to bring forth the Messiah. The prophecies were given, and we have seen the fulfilment of them in Yeshua Ha Mashiach (Jesus the Messiah, Anointed One, Christ).

The New Testament tells us that what happened in the Old Testament was given to teach us.

Look at what happened to them as an example; it’s right there in the Scriptures so that we won’t make the same mistakes and hunger after evil as they did… All these things happened for a reason: to sound a warning. They were written down and passed down to us to teach us. They were meant especially for us because the beginning of the end is happening in our time.
~ I Corinthians 10:6,11 (The Voice)

Colossians also highlights to us that the festivals are a shadow of the reality to come through Yeshua.

So don’t let anyone stand in judgment over you and dictate what you should eat or drink, what festivals you should celebrate, or how you should observe a new moon or Sabbath days — all these are only a shadow of what shall come. The reality, the core, the import, is found in the Anointed One.
~ Colossians 2:16-17 (The Voice)

The Holy Spirit highlighted to me that our modern Pentecost is a shadow of Shavuot. Since the time of Pentecost in the book of Acts, we are experiencing the harvest, the increase that the risen Yeshua has provided for mankind.

In Ancient Israel, there were three main occasions each year when the men of Israel were commanded to appear before the Lord in the Temple in Jerusalem.

Three times a year all your men are to appear before the LORD your God in the place He will choose: at the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of Weeks, and the Feast of Tabernacles. No one should appear before the LORD empty-handed.
~ Deuteronomy 16:16

These special appointed times are called Moed מֹעֵד – Strong’s 4150 — appointed time, place, or meeting, or Pilgrim Festivals — Pesach (Passover), Shavuot (Feast of Weeks) and Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles).

 

Although the dates are close, this year Shavuot and Pentecost do not coincide.

Shavuot dates: 16th – 18th May 2021
Pentecost date: Sunday 23rd May 2021

At Shavuot (Feast of Weeks) the Lord asked for two wave loaves — two loaves of bread of the newly harvested wheat waved before the Lord as an offering.

Bring two loaves of bread from wherever you live as a wave offering. The loaves are to be made with yeast from four quarts of the finest flour as the firstfruits to Me.
~ Leviticus 23:17

The Firstfruits wave offering at the time of the Feast of Unleavened Bread earlier in the year consisted of a sheaf of barley, the first crop of the spring growing season. This was fulfilled when Yeshua rose from the dead: He was the real firstfruits offering.

This early growing season ended seven weeks later with the cutting of the wheat harvest, and for that crop, a different kind of offering was decreed — two wave loaves.

For Israel it meant the Upper Kingdom (Israel) and Lower Kingdom (Judah), but today we believe it is a symbol of the One New man where Jew and Gentile come together in their faith in the Messiah.

More recently, rabbis calculated that Shavuot was the time when God gave the Law to Moses on Mount Sinai, and the holiday has become a commemoration of the giving of the Law. They read the Ten Commandments in the synagogue on the first day of the week-long festival. To honour the original harvest aspect of the holiday, the liturgy also includes the Book of Ruth, because of its setting of summer harvest time in Israel.

Pentecost, however, is the Greek word meaning fifty, where the Church, the Ekklesia, the Bride of Christ was birthed through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost.

 

Coming of the Holy Spirit

Yeshua remained with His disciples for forty days after His resurrection and then ascended. The following ten days, they were to remain together in prayer, waiting for the Promise of the Father.

… prohibiting them from leaving Jerusalem, but rather requiring them to wait there until they received what He called “the promise of the Father”…
~ Acts 1:4

At the end of this waiting time, we read —

When the holy day of Pentecost came 50 days after Passover,
they were gathered together in one place.
Picture yourself among the disciples:
A sound roars from the sky without warning, the roar of a violent wind,
and the whole house where you are gathered reverberates with the sound.
Then a flame appears, dividing into smaller flames
and spreading from one person to the next.
All the people present are filled with the Holy Spirit
and begin speaking in languages they’ve never spoken,
as the Spirit empowers them.
~ Acts 2:1-4 (The Voice)

Yeshua’s followers were amazed as they could speak languages they never knew before and others could understand them in their own individual languages. As a result of Peter’s preaching, 3,000 people were added to ‘The Way’.

They truly experienced “expect the unexpected” and so must we today. Something is coming that will amaze us also.

What meaning can we draw from Shavuot and Pentecost?

The Jewish people today are thankful for the Commandments that were given at Mt Sinai, and in part they rejoice in the harvest and God’s provision.

Shavuot is also known as “The Season of the Giving of the Law” and is a time of rejoicing among the Jews. They consider it the “Marriage Contract”.

Some Jewish writers have compared the exchange to a marriage or other sacred covenant, and call it the birthday of Judaism.

The New Testament reveals that Shavuot/Pentecost is the climax of God’s plan of deliverance through Yeshua Ha Mashiach. Through the giving of the Holy Spirit, the Body of the Messiah, the Bride of Yeshua was birthed.

The New Covenant makes the Torah a matter of the heart, walking in the spirit through the grace and truth of Yeshua.

Fifteen hundred years passed from the time Moses shared about the Feast of Weeks to Pentecost, the birthday of the Church.

On the day of Pentecost, Peter addressed his countrymen from every part of the world who came to Jerusalem. The result was that 3,000 believed and were baptised.

Thus, the Body of Yeshua, made up of 3,000 Jews and some Gentile proselytes, was born.
Now we are beginning to see the meaning of the two wave loaves.

The Canberra Declaration through prayer is supporting the GO Movement 2021, where evangelism is the focus for the month of May and beyond.

If each believer shares the love of God with five people this month, the Gospel will go to 2 billion people.

The Lord has given me several visions lately, and it is in line with “expect the unexpected”. He showed me a map, where the borders were changing. It seems that this is something He is planning to do in this season.

In another vision, He highlighted to me multiplication, increase, agriculture, and statistics, and so instead of the economy going down, I feel that He is saying to me there will be increase.

As we pray for Israel and the nations of the world, may this be the time when Israel sees Yeshua as her Messiah and comes into the New Covenant.

The test of Pentecost is not what happened in the Upper Room, but what happened on the streets afterwards when individuals came to believe in Yeshua as the Messiah.

The new disciples praised God, and they enjoyed the goodwill of all the people of the city.
Day after day the Lord added to their number everyone who was experiencing liberation.
~ Acts 2:47b (The Voice)

Prayer:

Father God, through the intercession of Yeshua Ha Mashiach and the empowering of the Holy Spirit, may each one of us find Your grace to share Your love with others in this special season, so that they too will come to know your love and be transformed.
BaShem Yeshua, In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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