“We can forgive the Arabs for killing our children. But we cannot forgive them for obligating us to kill theirs. Peace will come when the Arabs love their children more then they hate us”.
– Golda Meir
Former Prime Minister of Israel
By The International Christian Embassy Jerusalem
The call of Abraham is the story where biblical prophecy starts, not only for the Jewish people, the nation of Israel, but also for us as Christians. It’s the calling of God on a man who would shape human history. Four thousand years later, we can stand in Jerusalem and see the fulfillment of the great blessings promised to Abraham and his true descendants, the children of Israel. And if you have faith in Jesus Christ, you are a son of Abraham and are also blessed.
Comments: As followers of Jesus the Messiah, we need to support Israel and hold them up in prayer. The Jewish people are the true descendants of Abraham through Isaac and Jacob. They have a God-given right to their land. Those who fight against Israel are fighting with God, and bring God’s curse against themselves. Please pray for the peace of Jerusalem (Psalm 122:6). Evangelist Luis Josephus. http://www.RealJesusLife.com
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.
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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Please continue to pray for the peace of Jerusalem (Psalm 122:6) and the State of Israel as another war seems to be imminent with Palestinian terrorists. Since last week more than 120 lethal rockets have been fired from HAMAS terrorists in Gaza into southern Israel, indiscriminately targeting innocent Israeli citizens who generally have less than a minute to find the nearest bomb shelter (Click here to see video).
Israel has a right to protect itself.
Although we must pray for Israel’s leaders to use caution and strategic restraint in retaliating against these attacks on its citizens, any self-respecting nation would be justified with the use of force. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has previously warned these terrorists that Israel will not give any immunity for those firing upon Israel.
”We will not allow anyone to arm themselves and fire rockets on us, and think they can do this with impunity,” Netanyahu remarked. “They are not going to get away with it. This is our policy.”
In a recent article, The Australian newspaper has come to the defense of Israel, asserting that Israel cannot reasonably be expected to do anything other than protect its citizens against the daily aggression launched from Gaza terrorists under HAMAS control:
”HAMAS has only itself to blame for the latest Israeli military strikes in Gaza and the sooner the international community accepts this – rather than indulging in another round of knee-jerk condemnation of the Jewish state as an aggressor – the sooner an element of reality will return to Middle East peace efforts.”
However, an escalation of this conflict is likely to continue for the present time. We encourage all believers in Jesus Christ [Messiah] to pray for peace to resume in Israel, as well as the salvation and safety of the Jewish people.
– Pastor Luis Yosefus
REAL JESUS MINISTRIES
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“The LORD [Yahovah] is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid? When evil men advance against me to devour my flesh,when my enemies and my foes attack me, they will stumble and fall. Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then will I be confident. “ – Psalm 27:1-3
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From Yael Eckstein: “Over 75,000 Israeli reserve soldiers have been called up for duty. I have a friend with a newborn son that kissed her husband goodbye yesterday. Fathers are missing their children’s birth, birthdays, and weddings. Mothers are alone with the kids, trying to explain why daddy’s gone. In response to all of the hardship, war, fear, and sadness, we have nowhere to run. For us – the Jewish people – Israel is home, and it is the only home we have.”
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From Adam Gouroutidis: “My beloved Israel, firstborn of my God, look up, you are not alone. Am Yisrael chai! Give glory to your God and He will glorify you again. Your enemies will be humbled again before you and your God, the sons of Hagar will know that you are God’s people and there is no other God than the God of Israel. Rejoice, rejoice in your God my beloved people and know that He alone is God! Amen!”
Bible prophecy also tells us that Yahovah God will support Israel in their defense. Israel’s enemies may spew their relentless hate rhetoric and threats, but God, Himself, will destroy anyone who tries to harm His covenant people. Throughout history, God has demonstrated that He will protect the Jewish people and give them ultimate victory. Time and time again, the LORD has put Israel’s enemies to shame and He will do the same for Iran and any other nation that aligns itself with her. The Psalmist once wrote about this:
“Keep not you silence, O God: hold not your peace, and be not still, O God. For, see, your enemies make a tumult: and they that hate you have lifted up the head. They have taken crafty counsel against your people, and consulted against your hidden ones. They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance. Do to them as to the Midianites; as to Sisera, as to Jabin, at the brook of Kison…Which perished at Endor: they became as dung for the earth. O my God, make them like a wheel; as the stubble before the wind. As the fire burns a wood, and as the flame sets the mountains on fire; So persecute them with your tempest, and make them afraid with your storm. Fill their faces with shame; that they may seek your name, O LORD. Let them be confounded and troubled for ever; yes, let them be put to shame, and perish: That men may know that you, whose name alone is YAHOVAH, are the most high over all the earth.” – Psalm 83:1-4; 9-10; 13-18
The prophet Ezekiel also predicted God’s judgment upon Israel’s enemies:
“You will advance against my people Israel like a cloud that covers the land. In days to come, O Gog, I will bring you against my land, so that the nations may know me when I show myself holy through you before their eyes. I will summon a sword against Gog on all my mountains, declares the Sovereign Lord. Every man’s sword will be against his brother. I will execute judgment upon him with plague and bloodshed; I will pour down torrents of rain, hailstones and burning sulfur on him and on his troops and on the many nations with him. And so I will show my greatness and my holiness, and I will make myself known in the sight of many nations. Then they will know that I am the Lord.’ “ – Ezekiel 38:16; 22-23
Standing with Israel brings blessing
The LORD God has also promised to bless all those who stand by the Jewish people. He made a covenant with Abraham and his Hebrew descendents long ago:
“The LORD [Yahovah] had said to Abram, ‘Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.’” – Genesis 12:1-3
Please continue to stand with Israel and pray for the peace and prosperity of Jerusalem.
– Pastor Luis Yosefus
Recommended Study Resources:
Prayer Affirmations for Israel
The Coming War Between Iran & Israel by Grant Jeffrey – Part 1
The Coming War Between Iran & Israel by Grant Jeffrey – Part 2 http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&feature=endscreen&v=ED5ObtVgwkc
Israel Will Stand Against Any Threat
“In this reality we are witnessing the attempts of our enemies near and far to hit all we have built. The State of Israel since its establishment has not accepted and will not accept a threat to its citizens. Along with the longing for peace, the IDF stands firmly against these threats; a strong, trained and prudent army; a determined army advanced army, ready for any battle and every task.” – Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz , IDF Chief of Staff
“Israel was born out of a big dream and it has built a reality that has exceeded the size of the dream, but still we must build and defend Israel. I dream of being able to just be a man of good news, I wish I could come here and tell you that the hatred towards our country has ceased. That our enemies have been defeated, that we will live only in peace, now and forever. But, unfortunately, we haven’t yet reached this.” – Israel President, Shimon Peres.
“In the 20th century, the Jewish people have transformed from being defenseless and stateless into a strong and proud nation, fully capable of protecting itself. The Jewish state will never allow those who seek its destruction to hold means necessary to achieve such destruction. As the Prime Minister of the Israeli government, I will never have my people live in the shadow of annihilation.”
If we read between the lines, it appears that a preemptive strike by Israel against Iran to destroy their nuclear weapons is suggested by Netayahu’s statement, “…I will never have my people live in the shadow of annihilation.”
Previously, Iran has openly declared its intention to “destroy Israel off the map”, therefore, it would not be unreasonable to conclude that it will use its new nuclear weapons to do so. If that is the case, I don’t believe it would be wrong for Israel to protect itself before it is eventually attacked by Iran. Please pray that this war can be averted at all costs. But if it cannot, pray that Yahovah God, the Lord of hosts, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, will protect Israel and the Jewish people from all its enemies. They are still His chosen people and no weapon against them shall prosper (Isaiah 54:17).
– Pastor Luis Yosefus
Comment from Brenda Groendyk Schmid: “Did anyone else listen to Netanyahu’s speech last night? Sobering, indeed! Praying for peace in the Middle East and the safety and protection of the nation of Israel!”
Comment from Christians United for Israel: “We believe that when it comes to defending Israel and the Jewish people, Prime Minister Netanyahu cannot defer to anyone else’s judgements, red lines or timetables. The Prime Minister must resist pressure from any and all outside forces.”
Comment from AIPAC Executive Director Howard Kohr: “For twenty years, Israel has sounded the alarm about the dangers of Iran becoming a nuclear power in an attempt to avoid military confrontation by anyone. Israel has never treated force as the first resort. It has always been – and still is – the last resort. But Israel does not control the path Iran is on. If at some point, Israel – or anyone – must act – only Iran will be to blame.”