Thursday, May 27, 2010


An overview of Shavuot / Pentecost / Feast of Weeks
Preached on Friday 21st May 2010
HalleluYah, it is so great for us to be together – praise YHWH – for He alone is worthy of our praise. I am truly excited as we begin this weekend together to celebrate YHWH, and celebrate in the way of celebrating one of His feasts. This Sunday 23rd May 2010 we will be celebrating the Feast of Weeks / Pentecost / Shavuot. Tonight I want to share with you some insight into this feast and why it is an important celebration for us today. My message is called “It’s Harvest time – let us celebrate THE WORD”.
I am almost not sure where to begin, as I have been so immersed in studying and researching this most amazing time in YHWH’s calendar. And I know that the more we learn about the feasts of YHWH the more we understand His Word and His plan and purposes for us. Shavuot or Feast of Weeks is described or spoken of many times in Scripture and is truly a significant time for us to celebrate the very Living Word that dwells within in us by His Spirit. The Torah/Law was given in the form of a Covenant at Mount Sinai on the first Shavuot, and so it is with the Renewed Covenant which was also inaugurated on Shavuot as the Commands of Elohim or the Torah was written on the hearts of the participants in the Renewed Covenant, where they were previously written on tablets of stone. This celebration also celebrates the fulfilling of the prophecy in Jeremiah 31 which speaks of a day when His Law would be written upon the hearts of His children, Israel.
I want to briefly share some parallels between Mount Sinai and Mount Zion in relation to Shavuot/Pentecost:
** Shavuot/Pentecost marks the day when YHWH entered into a covenant relationship with His people. At the first Shavuot he instituted the Mosaic Covenant from Mount Sinai where He spoke and gave the Torah in written form. The people heard the trumpet sound of His voice (known as the ‘first shofar’ which we will discuss on Sunday) and saw the thunder and lightning and the mountain in smoke – in other words they didn’t see YHWH physically but they heard and saw the ‘fire of His voice’ announced with the sound of a shofar/trumpet. Upon hearing and seeing this they trembled and stayed at a distance and after hearing the Ten Words they told Moses to hear the rest and come and speak it to them!
** At Jerusalem on Shavuot/Pentecost, YHWH established the Renewed Covenant from Mount Zion in which He wrote the Torah on the hearts of Yeshua’s disciples as they saw too what seemed to be ‘tongues of fire’ and heard the sound of a violent rushing wind from heaven (the first shofar) – they saw the fire of His voice coming to rest upon them. They didn’t stand at a distance this time – they received the very Spirit of Elohim and spoke in other tongues. This event in Jerusalem in essence reversed the experience at Babel. In Genesis 11:1-9 – you can read the account of the Tower of Babel where YHWH confused the language of the people as a result of their disobedience in using their unity for wicked purposes. The people at Babel were in unity – but in unity of worshipping themselves – the wrong form of unity! At Jerusalem YHWH caused the people, whose languages had separated them, to now understand what was being spoken and they began to praise YHWH – which is the correct use of unity – worship unto YHWH! Through worship unto YHWH, the Spirit causes us to understand His Word and is no longer foreign and confusing. At Babel they were confused, at Jerusalem on Shavuot/Pentecost the confusion was broken and they understood through obedient worship – obey His very commands that now enabled them to receive His very Torah, His marriage contract on their hearts!!!
** At Mount Sinai the Ten Words were written on stone tablets by the finger of Elohim
** At Mount Zion from Jerusalem the Torah was written on the tablets of the hearts of the disciples by the Holy Spirit. We now as believers are ministers of the Renewed Covenant! A covenant that Yahshua Himself restored and repaired through His Blood, writing His very love letter on our hearts!!!
2 Corinthians 3:3 “You show that you are a letter from Messiah, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the Living Elohim, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.
Hebrews 8:10 “This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel, after that time, declares YHWH. I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their Elohim and they will be my people.
Shavuot my friends is a time to celebrate His Covenant with us and writing His Laws on our hearts – the marriage contract He has written on our hearts! Shavuot or Pentecost is our wedding anniversary celebration, or we are betrothed to Him.
** At Mount Sinai Israel was betrothed to YHWH – I spoke on this last month on living the married life.
Jeremiah 2:2 “I remember the devotion of your youth, how as a bride you loved me and followed me through the desert, through a land not sown. Israel was holy to YHWH, the firstfruits of His harvest; all who devoured her were held guilty and disaster overtook them, declares YHWH
Israel was now betrothed – they were legally married and were the firstfruits of His harvest – the first fruit of the fullness of the Bride that was to be make herself ready - they were His and were not to be given over to another and those who devoured her were held guilty and punished by disaster. We are His bride and the symbolic nature of the firstfruit offering is declaring that the Bride is all His. Our whole being belongs to Him and we show that by giving of our first, giving of our best – giving of our all!
Ezekiel 16:8-9 “Later I passed by, and when I looked at you and saw that you were old enough for love, I spread the corner of my garment over you and covered your nakedness. I gave you my solemn oath and entered into a covenant with you and you became Mine, declares the Master YHWH. I washed you in water and I washed off your blood, and I anointed you with oil.

YHWH washed His bride – this, as I have described before, speaks of the ‘mikvah’ or baptism of the Bride before being presented to the groom, presenting her spotless and clean. ‘Mikvah’s’ were very common in Israel – no one could go into the temple without having passed through the ‘mikvah’ and so YHWH after having redeemed her through the Blood of the Lamb on the doorposts of their homes and He saves them by grace through the Blood Covenant of Salvation by Grace made with Abraham and He brings them out of ‘darkness’ into His ‘light’ as then He washed Israel His bride taken her through the Red Sea with the walls of water on both sides (full immersion) and cleansed her and then at Mount Sinai He proposed to Israel in which they responded “we will do” in chapter 19 and then He entered into contract with her, His written Torah given as the marriage contract.
** And at Mount Zion/ Jerusalem He has once again washed His Bride, through the Blood of Messiah, the Passover Lamb and firstfruit offering and has now written His marriage contract – His Torah on our hearts. The reason I am emphasising this is that this truly is a celebration of His Love for His bride – that is us, amen!

One of the major themes of Shavuot is revival! When He poured out His Spirit on the disciples – they were revived!!! We too must daily ask YHWH for the reality of Shavuot to be ever present in our lives, the very presence of the Spirit of Elohim, amen!
Shavuot is also a picture of Jubilee. Jubilee cycle consists of 7 weeks of seven years each. Every seven years is a Sabbatical year where the land is rested and debts are cancelled. And so Jubilee serves to bring freedom to the oppressed – freedom to the captives! The land would lie fallow in order to provide produce for the poor free of charge and so at Shavuot the poor and strangers are to be invited to partake of the festivities – please invite others for Sunday!!!

The feast of weeks was when the firstfruits that had been picked during this harvest time between the barley and wheat harvest would be brought and presented before YHWH and then presented as a wave offering with great joy trusting YHWH for the rest of the harvest to come! And so the sanctification of the firstfruits consecrates the entire harvest as His. The first represents the whole and so it was with those who were resurrected with Yeshua and presented as a firstfruit offering to YHWH representing the whole harvest of souls upon the return of Messiah. Those who rose from the dead and appeared to many in the holy city are a guarantee and assurance to us of what is to come as we wait for the Blessed hope in Messiah’s return for us His Bride. The meaning of Shavuot or Feast of Pentecost is to be lived out everyday in our lives as we are inwardly renewed daily by the Spirit and able to bear the fruit of the Spirit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness, and self control, which we are able to offer back to YHWH as a daily living sacrifice unto Him!
This harvest or festival is a harvest of freewill offerings and rejoicing. As disciples of Messiah, when we come before YHWH, we are to give of ourselves completely to Him, including our time, our talents, our money and resources and present them to Him with a joyful heart. Let us see how joyful were the early believers, those who had now received the infilling of the very Spirit of Elohim – how did they live out this joy daily by the indwelling of the Spirit they had now received?
Acts 2:42-47 “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising Elohim and enjoying the favor of all the people. And YHWH added to their number daily those who were being saved.
Well as we can see – they ‘devoted’ themselves – Spirit filled believers devote themselves – to what? To the Apostles teaching! What did the Apostles teach? TaNaK (O.T) – that is the Torah – the teaching, the Nevi’im – the Prophets and the Kethuvim – the writings (poetry). In other words the Apostles taught what we refer to as the O.T. They Spirit filled believers were also devoted to fellowship and this is so powerful for us here for teaching and fellowship must go together, amen. We see here that being Spirit filled will cause you to being devoted to learn the Word and to fellowship!!! They were devoted to the breaking of Bread and prayer – that is opening up the Word together, gaining knowledge and insight and wisdom in the Word and praying together. Notice that they did this together and so everyone was filled with awe – that is reverence or fear of YHWH! They shared everything – if there was a need they would help each other, not simply look out for themselves.
They met everyday – you know the world tells you that if you see too much of each other you will irritate each other and ruin the friendship – well I want to say that is not Scriptural – for those filled with the Spirit of Elohim can fellowship daily and the relationship never weakens – it only strengthens!!! Can the Spirit of Elohim be seen in your life – does your life represent that of what we have just read – represent that of a Spirit filled Believer?
This festival is not only an historical event of what Israel received in the desert or what the early believers received in Jerusalem, no, it is a feast that has been fulfilled by the work of Yeshua Messiah and shows us how we are to walk and live before YHWH today, amen! This Feast of Shavuot/Pentecost is the completion of the Spring Feasts!
One of the books that is typically read at this Feast of Weeks is Ruth, a book which, on the surface, seems just like a simple story of romance which takes place during the time of the judges. However Ruth, from its inception, was intended as a story of redemption and woven into that story of redemption is a prophecy of the redemption of mankind. We will read Ruth on Sunday, but for now I will give you an overview and look at some pivotal points.
In essence the story starts when Elimelech, which means Elohim is my King, leaves Bethlehem to go and stay in Moab because of a famine that hit the land. He left with his wife, Naomi which means ‘pleasant’ and his two sons, Mahlon and Kilion. Elimelech died and the two sons married women from Moab, named Orpah and Ruth. Naomi’s sons also died and she was then left with two daughters in law who had no sons.
When she heard that YHWH had come to the aid of His people with food in Judah, Naomi and the 2 daughters in law prepared to go back to Naomi’s land. Then Naomi tried to stop them and she succeeded with one – the other - Ruth – said she would not leave Naomi and here Ruth makes probably one of the most profound declarations of faith in Scripture in chapter 1:16-17 “But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your Elohim my Elohim. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May YHWH deal with me, be it ever so severely, if anything but death separates you and me. Ruth was declaring her love to Naomi and then confessed her faith in YHWH the true Living Elohim declaring that she will serve no other!!!
In the days of Isaiah’s ministry Israel was dispersed throughout the world because of the poverty of hearing the very words of YHWH when He declared it time to return – there was a famine for the Word, the very Bread of Life and Shavuot being a wheat harvest or bread festival is significant in giving thanks for YHWH’s provision, and we know that Bread in the Word is associated with the Word of Elohim. So why is this relevant to Ruth’s story? Well it was in this harvest time between firstfruits and weeks, between the barley harvest and the wheat harvest that this story unfolds and Ruth sets out to glean wheat in the field of Boaz, who sees her, inquires of her and is taken aback by her care of the Israelite women.

Because of her association with Naomi, Boaz orders that extra gleanings of wheat are dropped for Ruth to pick up for her use. During this Feast of Weeks in Leviticus 23 it states that when one reaps the harvest they were no to reap to the edges or pick up the gleanings, which are those parts that are left after the reaper goes through – this was for the poor and the alien.
Naomi hears about this and then instructs Ruth what to do in order to be redeemed.
** On the feast of Shavuot Ruth lay herself at Boaz’s feet to ask for his protection, in the same way we come to the feet of the Messiah, the very Bread of Life, and receive His protection.
Boaz gives her enough food for her and Naomi to see them through until he returned from making arrangements to redeem them together. This is very symbolic as through Yeshua we are given His Spirit and Word to see us through while He is away making final arrangements for our complete redemption.

It is at this point where I would like us to pick up from the story of Ruth as we read together from Chapter 4 of Ruth (Read).
In this chapter we see how Boaz became the ‘kinsman redeemer’ for the land of Naomi and Ruth and so married Ruth as part of the redemption price. The law of the kinsman redeemer is given in Leviticus 25 and the law governing levirate Marriage is in Deuteronomy 25 and the purpose of these laws was to preserve the names and property of the families in Israel and ensured that a dead man’s family name did not die with him and that his property was not sold outside of the tribe or clan.
The Word Redemption means “to set free by paying a price”. And in the case of Ruth and Naomi, Elimelech’s property was up for sale or under mortgage and that they couldn’t pay the redemption price and the rights to the property had passed to Ruth’s husband Mahlon who was dead, and she was too poor to redeem the land.
This is an amazing picture for us, as when it comes to our spiritual redemption, for none of us are able to redeem our lives back – all of us have sinned and fallen short and were in bondage to sin, unable to free ourselves, then Yeshua came and gave His life as a redemption price – as a ransom for sinners – and faith in Him sets captives free!
Not everybody could perform the duties of a kinsman redeemer – there were certain criteria, let us look at these:
1 – THE KINSMAN REDEEMER HAD TO BE RELATED – Boaz was related to Ruth, although there was one who was closer. Yeshua Messiah was born in order that He too would become related to us so as to redeem us. He became flesh and Blood – The Very Word – the Very Torah became Flesh and Blood and dwelt amoung us – called us - taught us – showed us the Way and then died for us. When He was born he became our kinsman redeemer – the one who could redeem us from sin and HE remains our kinsman Redeemer for eternity, amen – there is no other!
To qualify the kinsman had to be related and able to pay. Now Ruth and Naomi definitely could not pay the redemption price of the land – they were too poor to redeem themselves, but Boaz had all the resources to set them free! You see when it comes to the redemption of sinners, nobody and I mean nobody but Yeshua Messiah is rich enough to pay the price. It is sad to see that in the early years of church history the Catholic Church devised a money making scheme telling people they could pay for ‘indulgences’. Let me make one thing clear – you can be the richest person alive – none of that money can save you!!! It doesn’t matter how many charities you give to or how many handouts you give – that cannot pay for your sin. No amount of money can set you free – you get people who are slaving away for money thinking it can buy them freedom – money can not buy your freedom – only the shedding of the precious Blood of Yeshua the Messiah has once and for all accomplished redemption for all who will believe and receive it. Freedom has been purchased by His Blood – there is redemption in the Blood of Yeshua, amen!
Not only did the kinsman redeemer have to be related and able to redeem, he had to be willing to redeem. In this story of Ruth we see that there was a nearer kinsman than Boaz who had the money, but was unwilling to redeem in fear of his own estate. This opened up the way for Boaz to redeem the land together with Naomi and Ruth.
Now we know that there is no one other than Yeshua who could pay the redemption price and He was willing. The Father loved us so much – he was so willing – that he sent His only Son to die for us. Yeshua was related in birth, he paid the price – with His death and He willingly came that while we were still sinners He died for us – how awesome is His redemptive love!!
The words ‘redeem’, purchase’ or ‘buy’ is used at least 15 times in chapter 4 and so amplifies the point that there can be no redemption without a price! From our point of view, salvation and redemption is free – a free gift by grace through faith, but from YHWH’s point of view, according to His Torah there had to be a price paid and it was a costly one too – it cost Yeshua His life!
Boaz was related, he was able and willing and paid the redemption price and then married Ruth to whom Obed was born, who became the father of Jesse, the father of David from whom was given the great privilege of being the ancestor of the Messiah!

The marriage of Boaz to Ruth is a picture of Yeshua Messiah and His Bride – He has paid the redemption price and at Shavuot we can celebrate our marriage contract that has been written on our hearts, having been redeemed and renewed through the shed Blood of Messiah Yeshua. His love language – His Torah – His marriage contract is written on the hearts of every believer as they receive Yeshua Messiah as Saviour. We have His Torah on our hearts and when Yeshua said to the woman at the well that a day will come when the true worshippers will worship YHWH in Spirit and in Truth, he was speaking of the day that the very Spirit of Elohim would be poured out into the hearts of His followers, equipping them by His grace to live Torah –to live the married life faithfully unto Him.
This feast is the culmination of the spring feasts – Passover and Unleavened Bread – Firstfruits and now Shavuot or Weeks.
Shavuot is also often regarded as the wedding anniversary – when Israel was betrothed to YHWH and now through Yeshua that covenant has been renewed in His Blood sealed by His Spirit. This feast was 50 days after Firstfruits and 50 is the number of freedom (Jubilee) and we do know that it is for freedom that Yeshua has set us free – we are free to worship Him – to walk in His ways – to walk in His very Torah given to all Believers at Pentecost.
The two loaves of Bread now with yeast; as we know yeast often is symbolic of sin and so during the feast of Passover and Unleavened Bread Yeshua who was sinless was offered first with no yeast – And here at this feast, the Feast of Weeks/Shavuot/Pentecost it depicts the two houses – Judah and Israel who still have leaven in them, but also represents the completion of the kingdom in our lives so that we can come to full maturity as His unified household. So there is also a right kind of leaven – that is the very presence of the Word working in and through us to perfect us:
Matthew 13:33 “…The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into a large amount of flour until; it worked through the dough.”
One loaf represents the house of Judah and the other the lost sheep of the House of Israel – the sheep scattered amoung the nations – that is you and me! That is why Paul tells us to remove the old leaven so that the right kind of leaven could have its full effect! The two loaves also represent the Living Word now in the Body – in the Bride to make herself ready!
As we tonight understand the joy and significance of this His feast – let this be a time to allow your hearts to be open before YHWH – open for His Truth to be rooted in your heart – let this be a time that we too can reflect on our need for His written Torah on our hearts to be alive and active that we may truly worship Him in Spirit and in Truth and that His Truth will permeate His body bringing us to maturity.
On Sunday we will look at the love of a Bridegroom for His Bride as we come together to celebrate Shavuot and feast in Him with great rejoicing offering up our lives as a living sacrifice, amen! On Shavuot the message I will be sharing is called “Shavuot – The First Shofar”. Come and be blessed in celebrating our Marriage with The Bridegroom!

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