4Jesus Outreach

Proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ.


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The Feast of Shavuot (Pentecost)

Shavuot (Pentecost), is a Hebrew word meaning “weeks”. “Pentecost” is the Greek word for “50th”. After the Spring Feast of Passover/Unleavened Bread/Firstfruits you should count exactly fifty days from the last Passover and you will end up on Shavuot seven weeks later  according to the Hebrew calendar.

“From the day after the Sabbath, the day you brought the sheaf of the wave offering, count off seven full weeks. Count off fifty days up to the day after the seventh Sabbath, and then present an offering of new grain to the Lord. From wherever you live, bring two loaves made of two-tenths of an ephah of fine flour, baked with yeast, as a wave offering of firstfruits to the Lord.” – Leviticus 23:15-17

Shavuot, like so many other Jewish holidays began as an ancient agricultural festival, marking the end of the spring barley harvest and the beginning of the summer wheat harvest. All Israelite men were obligated to present themselves at the Temple in Jerusalem. Shavuotwas distinguished in ancient times by bringing firstfruits crop offerings to the Temple, marking the beginning of the summer wheat harvest.

The “Waving Ceremony”.

On the day of Shavuot (usually in May or early June), the priests offered two leavened loaves of wheat bread as firstfruits to the Lord. The waving of these two loaves and sacrifice of two lambs formed a “peace offering.” The priest waved them before the altar and set them aside for the priest’s festive meal eaten in the Temple. Pilgrim worshippers were instructed to offer freewill offerings and to rejoice before the LORD.

Why Two Loaves?

Each loaf contained about four pounds of flour (Lev. 23:17). According to Rabbinic teaching, each loaf was 7 x 4 handbreadths (28″ x 16″) and seven fingers wide (6″). The two loaves offered on Shavuot represents the Church of Jesus Christ which is “built upon the foundation of the apostles (New Testament believers) and the prophets (Old Testament believers). But just as these loaves contain leaven (yeast), so the Christian church isn’t yet perfected (1 John 1:8). Only Jesus Christ was perfect (Hebrews 4:15). The leaven may also illustrate the presence of “Tares” (weeds) (Matt.13:38) – false brethren living among both the Old and New Testament sanctified ones. The number two in the Bible is the number of WITNESS and TESTIMONY. Two witnesses establish a truth (Deut. 19:15; Matt. 18:19-20); The Ten Commandments were written on two stones (Ex. 31:18) and are fulfilled by two commandments of love (Matt. 22:34-40).

Rabbis Divert from the True Focus of Shavuot.

After the Jewish temple was destroyed in 70 A.D. by the iron fist of the Roman Empire, the Jewish people were defeated and dispersed all round the world and their homeland devastated.

Since the land was desolate worth nothing to harvest, the Jewish leaders (Sanhedrin) convened in A.D. 140 and decided to change the focus of Shavuot away from an agricultural festival.  In order to keep the holiday alive, the rabbis invented the false doctrine (still believed to this day) that Shavuot was the day that the Torah (Mosaic law) was given to Moses on Mount Sinai.  As a result, the focus of Shavuot was diverted from an agricultural feast to the commemoration of the Law and the birthday of Judaism.  The Bible never associates the Feast of Shavuot with Sinai! Unfortunately, this false man-made doctrine quickly caught on and has been practiced for centuries, although it has no biblical basis.

Pentecost-Shavuot Harvest

Pentecost – The celebration of the Summer Wheat Harvest and the birth of the Christian Church. Fifty days were carefully counted out and on the appointed day, two loaves of bread baked with leaven were waved aloft as an offering to the Lord. This is symbolic of the church being comprised of both Jews and Gentiles. On the day of Pentecost – directly following Christ’s ascension, the Holy Spirit was poured out on a large group of Jewish believers so that they would have the power to witness “to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)

The New Testament Fulfillment of Shavuot (Day of Pentecost)

As recorded in the Bible (Acts chapter 1 and 2) that the New Testament Church was born. It was on the 50th day after the Feast of Passover/Unleavened Bread/Firstfruits that the apostles were praying together and the Holy Spirit descended on them. They received the “gift of tongues” – the ability to speak in other languages – and immediately began to preach about Jesus Christ the Messiah to Jewish people from all over the world who flocked to Jerusalem for the Feast of Shavuot. Christian Pentecost became not only a commemoration of the Holy Spirit’s visit but also marks the birth of Christianity – the uniting of both Jewish and Gentile believers in Jesus the Messiah.

A Larger Harvest.

The early summer harvest of Shavuot in Israel was a small harvest in comparison to the larger harvest that came in the autumn of each year. This has prophetic significance. Strange as it might seem to mainstream Christianity today, God is not trying to save the whole world right now. He has planned a far larger harvest of souls when Jesus returns. Those of us who are saved today are only part of the smaller harvest. When most people in this present evil age are traveling the broad road to destruction, we have been uniquely called to enter in by the narrow gate that leads to eternal life (Matthew 7:13-14) and make our calling and election sure (2 Peter 1:10).

God Pours Out His Holy Spirit.

As recorded in the Book of Acts chapter 2, that first day of Pentecost was the fulfillment of Jeremiah 31:31. God initiated a new covenant with the house of Israel that also included the Gentile people:

“The time is coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them,” declares the LORD. This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time,” declares the LORD. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. “ (Jeremiah 31:31-33)

On that morning He poured out His Holy Spirit on all flesh, as He had foretold. And that promise is still available for you today; that if you will turn from your transgression and call upon the name of the Lord, you shall be saved.

–         Luis Josephus

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Question: When is the Feast of Pentecost (Shavuot) in 2014?

Answer: June 3

Note: The Jewish calendar date begins at sundown of the night beforehand.

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Click here to order a free copy of our booklet, “The Seven Biblical Feasts.”

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Let us rejoice

Let us rejoice on this last day of Passover, remembering that Jesus the Messiah, the holy Lamb of God, was sacrificed for our sins, was resurrected from the dead, and now sits at the right hand of God interceding for us as our great high priest. One day soon, He will come again to establish His millennial kingdom on this earth where truth and righteousness will dwell.

“Be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain. You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.” – James 5:7

Hava NagilaThere are many Jewish Cubans (nicknamed “Jewbans”) like myself who’s ancestors first settled on the island of Cuba fleeing the Spanish Inquisition in the 15th Century. Here is a new version of Hava Nagila performed by Cuban singers and dancers (possibly descendents of Spanish Jews) within a backdrop of Old Havana, Cuba. In this video, they have incorporated the Cuban “salsa” rhythms. “Hava Nagila” (Hebrew: “Let Us Rejoice”) is a popular Hebrew folk song that is traditionally sung at Jewish weddings, and Bar Mitzvah’s.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=sss1BTQFPYY

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The Rapture of the Church

Spirit-Lifting Thoughts for Today_150 x 150_jpg“For you know perfectly that the day of the Lord comes as a thief in the night.” “For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air. And so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore, comfort one another with these words.” – 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18; 5:2

The events described by the apostle Paul in these verses is the Second Coming of Jesus Christ and the Rapture of the Church.

When Jesus died on the cross, rose again, and ascended into heaven to be with God the Father, He told His disciples that, one day, He would return again. Therefore, we believe His promise and eagerly await His second coming, the rapture of His Bride (the faithful in His church), and the establishment of His millennial kingdom on the earth.

The word RAPTURE comes from the Greek word harpazo, which translates into a “catching away” of believers. The moment Jesus returns everyone will know; every eye will see Him coming in the sky. Some will be glad to see Him, while others will be afraid for their time of judgment has come. His mighty voice will shout from the heavens and the angels will blow their great trumpets.

The dead in Christ will be resurrected from their graves first, and then those of us who are still alive and remain will be instantly be given immortal bodies to fly up to meet the Lord in the air, which is the atmosphere between heaven and earth. Halleluyah!

Because no one knows the day or the hours of Jesus’ return, we need to be ready at all times by watching and living sanctified lives. Those who don’t have a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, or have not prepared their lamps with oil (like the five foolish virgins*) , will be left behind to experience the Great Tribulation, wrath of God He is sending upon the wicked of this earth.

If the Lord Jesus comes back today, will you be ready? If not, repent of your sinful ways and invite Jesus to become your Savior and Lord of your life. Amen.

– Luis Josephus

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* See Matthew 25:1-13

 

 


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Download our new 2013 Calendar

The following Biblical Holiday Calendar is now ready. It will help you keep your appointments with God in 2013 and is yours absolutely free! Simply click on the image below. You can print as many copies as you wish or save it on to your computer.

God bless you for honoring God’s holy days.

– Pastor Luis Yosefus

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http://www.RealJesus.net

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2013_Biblical_Holiday_Calendar_jpg


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The Grace of Giving

“…be strong in the grace of giving…But I want to see if your love for God is really true.”  – 2 CORINTHIANS 8:7-8

Donating to Real Jesus Ministries is "seed sown on good soil."

Donating to Real Jesus Ministries is “seed sown on good soil.”

Have you ever realized that your desire to give to your church or other ministries is a GIFT (Greek: Charis) from God? When you are moved in your heart to give your tithes and offerings, you are responding to a special gift that God has placed in your heart. If God did not place that gift there in the first place, you would continue to live the selfish, self-centered existence that we are all naturally inclined to pursue as a result of our fallen natures.

When God places the desire to give of your finances to a worthy ministry like Real Jesus Ministries, He waits to see how you will respond. Will you ignore the Holy Spirit’s promptings? Will you pretend you never heard Him speak to you and continue to hoard your money and hope some other person will make up the difference? Will you continue to argue that you can’t trust ministries anymore because of the financial abuses of others in the past? Or, will you reflect on how much you love God and how grateful you are for what He has done in your life and are more than willing to show your gratitude – by supporting those who are genuinely doing His work?

“But I want to see if your love for God is really true.”

The decision to give, or not to give, is a matter of having the right attitude. It is also evidence of whether you truly love God.

Many religious people claim they love Jesus, but when it comes time to give, they deny Him by selfishly holding back on their giving, or at best, being miserly in their giving. When the offering plate is passed around at church, instead of being faithful with their complete tithes (that’s 10% of your weekly or monthly gross income), they are the ones who only toss-in a measly dollar or two – just to “keep up appearances.” Jesus described this kind of person as a religious hypocrite, “those who honor me with their lips, but not their hearts. In vain do they worship God.” (Matthew 15:8-9)

Your heart is directly connected to your pocketbook.

If anyone truly loves God, He will have a generous heart and be willing to give sacrificially of their finances. Sacrificial giving was an essential part of Christ’s nature and character (2 Cor. 8:9). God wants us to have the same giving heart that our Lord demonstrated. When we truly love God, we will be especially generous about supporting our local church first in providing for the salaries of our pastors, and the basic expenses of the church or ministry. Secondly, we will also support other ministries outside the local church who are also spiritually feeding us, winning the lost to Christ, and edifying the Body of Christ.

Real Jesus Ministries is a worthy ministry to support.

If you have been blessed by our teaching messages and other biblical resources, why don’t you consider sending us a love offering today? Your donation to Real Jesus Ministries is “seed sown on good ground” because many lives are being helped around the world through our various outreaches. Your faithful partnership with Real Jesus Ministries will surely provide you with great rewards in heaven.

May God richly bless you – spiritually and materially, for donating to Real Jesus Ministries today!

You can mail your check or money order to:

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762 S. US Highway 1, #122
Vero Beach, FL 32962  USA

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Email Us Your Donation Pledge

NOTE: Once we receive your Donation Pledge we will send you a confirmation notice by mail. May God richly bless you for supporting our ministry!


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Missions Update

MissionsThe Missions Department of 4Jesus Outreach was created as an auxiliary outreach of the general evangelistic work of our church and is subject to the overall parent body and its vision. This department exists solely for the purpose of aiding foreign ministers and churches in helping to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ, disciple believers, and provide for the spiritual needs and physical necessities of the sanctified people of God abroad, wherever possible.

If you would like to make a donation to our Missions Department, send your contribution to the address below and designate your love offering to, “Missions Department.” Your generosity will help transform lives in foreign nations and enlarge your rewards account in heaven.

Mail your donation to:

Missions Department
4JESUS OUTREACH
P. O. Box 842
Fort Pierce, FL 34954   USA

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Prayer – A key multiplication tool

Felicity Dale

Accountability can make you do some crazy things.

Two weeks ago, the house church that meets in our home discussed accountability. In order to make it practical, I challenged everyone to try and pray with someone, preferably who doesn’t know the Lord [Jesus] during the week, and said that we would report back the next time we came together.

Big mistake! Having challenged everyone, I now needed to live up to it too. Since I live the life of a writer, most of my time is spent with just me and my computer. There was no obvious situation where I would come across someone new, so I brainstormed.

I put an ad on Craigslist. “Do you need prayer?”: no response. I responded to some tweets that said, “I need prayer” or “I need God”: no response.

Finally, a couple of days before we were due to meet again, I received a sales call from someone at an online pet pharmacy. Our dogs needed some more flea and tick meds, so I placed my order. The lady at the other end was just saying goodbye when I interrupted her. “Before you leave, is there anything I can pray for you. I believe that God answers prayer.”

She broke down. She told me something I could pray about and I prayed for over the phone. It turned out she was a Christian. As we said goodbye, she said, “I’ll never forget you!”

When our group came back together, everyone had a story of how they had deliberately prayed for someone. No one they approached had refused prayer; everyone was very grateful.

Would we have done it without the knowledge that we would be asked to report back? I don’t think I would have done so. Prayer and accountability is a key tool in multiplication.


Practical activity:
Give your group a challenge. Maybe challenge them to pray with someone, or to tell their story to a not-yet-believer. The important thing is that you follow up with it.

 –         Felicity Dale, www.SimplyChurch.com

REAL JESUS MINISTRIES
www.RealJesus.net
RealJesusMinistries@gmail.com