Saturday, June 11, 2016

Shavuot - A Gift

Hebrew letters read Shavuot

Tomorrow, June 12, 2016, will mark my second year of observing Shavuot, the Feast of Weeks, that is written about in the Torah.

And from the morrow after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering, you shall count for yourselves: seven completed Sabbaths.
‘Until the morrow after the seventh Sabbath you count fifty days, then you shall bring a new grain offering to יהוה.
‘Bring from your dwellings for a wave offering two loaves of bread, of two-tenths of an ĕphah of fine flour they are, baked with leaven, first-fruits to יהוה.
‘And besides the bread, you shall bring seven lambs a year old, perfect ones, and one young bull and two rams. They are a burnt offering to יהוה, with their grain offering and their drink offerings, an offering made by fire for a sweet fragrance to יהוה.
‘And you shall offer one male goat as a sin offering, and two male lambs a year old, as a peace offering.
‘And the priest shall wave them, besides the bread of the first-fruits, as a wave offering before יהוה, besides the two lambs. They are set-apart to יהוה for the priest.
‘And on this same day you shall proclaim a set-apart gathering for yourselves, you do no servile work on it – a law forever in all your dwellings throughout your generations.
‘And when you reap the harvest of your land do not completely reap the corners of your field when you reap, and do not gather any gleaning from your harvest. Leave them for the poor and for the stranger. I am יהוה your Elohim.’ ”

  Count seven weeks for yourself. Begin to count seven weeks from the time you begin to put the sickle to the grain.
“And you shall perform the Festival of Weeks to יהוה your Elohim, according to the voluntary offering from your hand, which you give as יהוה your Elohim blesses you.

“And you shall rejoice before יהוה your Elohim, you and your son and your daughter, and your male servant and your female servant, and the Lĕwite who is within your gates, and the stranger and the fatherless and the widow who are in your midst, at the place where יהוה your Elohim chooses to make His Name dwell.

“And you shall remember that you were a slave in Mitsrayim [Egypt], and you shall guard and do these laws.

Shavuot, better known as Pentecost by mainstream Christianity, is the anniversary of when Yeshua sent the Promise of the Father - the Holy Spirit- to His Followers.  It is apparent that Yeshua desired His Followers to continue keeping Shavuot even after His death, burial, resurrection and ascension, and we can read about that in the New Testament writings: 

 But the Helper, the Set-apart Spirit, whom the Father shall send in My Name, He shall teach you all, and remind you of all that I said to you.

 And He said to them, “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all have to be filled that were written in the Torah of Mosheh and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.”
Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures,

and said to them, “Thus it has been written, and so it was necessary for the Messiah to suffer and to rise again from the dead the third day,

and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in His Name to all nations, beginning at Yerushalayim.

“And you are witnesses of these matters.

And see, I am sending the Promise of My Father upon you, but you are to remain in the city of Yerushalayim until you are clothed with power from on high.”

And He led them out as far as Bĕyth Anyah, and lifting up His hands He blessed them.

And it came to be, while He was blessing them, that He was parted from them and was taken up into the heaven.

And they, having bowed down to Him, returned to Yerushalayim with great joy,

and were continually in the Set-apart Place praising and blessing Elohim. Amĕn.
[bold mine] 

 And meeting with them, He commanded them not to leave Yerushalayim, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which you have heard from Me –because Yoḥanan truly immersed in water, but you shall be immersed in the Set-apart Spirit not many days from now.”So when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, “Master, would You at this time restore the reign to Yisra’ĕl?”And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. But you shall receive power when the Set-apart Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be My witnesses in Yerushalayim, and in all Yehuḏah and Shomeron, and to the end of the earth.”
 Acts 1:4-8 (ISR)
[bold mine]

 And when the Day of the Festival of Weeks had come, they were all with one mind in one place.
And suddenly there came a sound from the heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
And there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and settled on each one of them.
And they were all filled with the Set-apart Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them to speak.
Now in Yerushalayim there were dwelling Yehuḏim, dedicated men from every nation under the heaven.
And when this sound came to be, the crowd came together, and were confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own language.
 [bold mine]

On my 1st Shavuot, I awoke to a great wind blowing through the trees of the camp!

 We see that the Followers of Messiah received the Promised One, the Holy Spirit, because they were obedient to the command of Yeshua.  Yeshua made it clear that He only said and did what the Father commanded: 

 And if anyone hears My Words but does not watch over them, I do not judge him. For I did not come to judge the world but to save the world.
“He who rejects Me, and does not receive My Words, has one who judges him: the Word that I have spoken shall judge him in the last day.
Because I spoke not from Myself, but the Father who sent Me has given Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak.
“And I know that His command is everlasting life. Therefore, whatever I speak, as the Father has said to Me, so I speak.”
[bold mine]

Of Myself I am unable to do any matter. As I hear, I judge, and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own desire, but the desire of the Father who sent Me.

 יהושע [Yeshua] said these words, and lifted up His eyes to the heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come. Esteem Your Son, so that Your Son also might esteem You,
as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give everlasting life to all whom You have given Him.And this is everlasting life, that they should know You, the only true Elohim, and יהושע Messiah whom You have sent. I have esteemed You on the earth, having accomplished the work You have given Me that I should do. And now, esteem Me with Yourself, Father, with the esteem which I had with You before the world was. I have revealed Your Name to the men whom You gave Me out of the world. They were Yours, and You gave them to Me, and they have guarded Your Word. Now they have come to know that all You gave to Me, is from You. Because the Words which You gave to Me, I have given to them. And they have received them, and have truly known that I came forth from You, and they believed that You sent Me."
John 17:1-8 (ISR)
[bold mine]
This was prophesied by YHVH in Deuteronomy: 

 I shall raise up for them a Prophet like you out of the midst of their brothers. And I shall put My Words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him.
And it shall be, the man who does not listen to My Words which He speaks in My Name, I require it of him.
[bold mine]

 So, when Yeshua commanded His Followers to wait in Jerusalem for the Holy Spirit, He was essentially reminding them to keep Shavuot!  

Another fascinating aspect of Shavuot is that it is traditionally thought to also be the anniversary of when YHVH gave the Torah to Moses and all the Israelites!  So when we observe Shavuot today, we are celebrating the giving of the Word (Torah) of YHVH, which in Psalm 119:142 is defined as TRUTH: "Your righteousness is righteousness forever, And Your Torah is truth." AND we are celebrating the giving of the Holy Spirit (see Acts 1-2 again)! 

Yeshua said this about true worshipers: 

But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father also does seek such to worship Him. Elohim is Spirit, and those who worship Him need to worship in spirit and truth.

There are so many fascinating aspects of Shavuot, but I don't feel that I can adequately communicate them myself just yet.  I highly encourage you to examine the Scriptures for yourself to see what is written about Shavuot and the other Feasts of YHVH.  All I can say is that since I have started trying to live my life more Biblically,  

I have had more joy, more peace, more contentment, and have been more certain of my relationship with the Father than ever before! 

Do I have everything figured out? No. But the joy of learning and implementing what I do understand has been more exhilarating than anything else I've ever experienced.  The only thing that comes close in comparison is when I gave birth to my children.  I had no clue how to be a parent, but I knew that what I held in my arms was more precious than my own life!  I knew that I wanted to guard them with everything in my being.  And that is how I feel about the Gift of Life YHVH has given to me through Yeshua - His Living Torah!  

I love Him and I want to guard His Torah! 

   Teach me, O יהוה, the way of Your laws, And I observe it to the end.Make me understand, that I might observe Your Torah, And guard it with all my heart.
Psalm 119:33-34 (ISR)

For some great teachings on Shavuot I recommend the following: 

and these: 

I just wanted to add a little disclaimer of sorts.  I use as a spring board for learning the above teachings on Shavuot, and with any other posts/subjects that I share here.  I don't necessarily agree with everything that any one teacher has to say.  

Be a Berean! Shalom!

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