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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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What is an apostle?

Pastor Luis Yosefus

It is important for every believer to understand the sobering fact that many false prophets and apostles abound in the church today. They masquerade as Christian preachers and ministers. They even have large churches and ministries. And some go as far as to proclaim themselves to be “apostle so-and-so.”

“For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.” – 1 Corinthians 11:13-15

“But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts.” – Jude 1:17-18

Other pastors and ministers are misusing the title of “apostle” in order to exalt themselves above their peers and taking positions of leadership in the church which God has not ordained for them. Like Diotrephes, they have very large egos and are determined to be perceived as “lords” of their denomination or religious sect.

“I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not.” – 3 John 1:9

A true apostle of Christ

Since the title of apostle or prophet carries great authority and responsibility, it should never be used irresponsibly or for the purpose of enhancing or exaggerating one’s own importance, power, or reputation (self-aggrandizement). God’s Word warns us that “whoever exalts himself will be humbled…” – Matthew 23:12.

Although certain aspects of apostolic leadership were intended to continue throughout the history of the Christian church (see Ephesians 4:11-13), the title itself retains the unique connotation of the honor given to those twelve simple men and disciples who Jesus personally called and commissioned to plant His church. In fact, the Book of Revelation says that the fisherman Peter and the other 11 disciples will actually have their names inscribed on the 12 foundation stones of the future New Jerusalem when Christ returns (Revelation 21:14). The original apostles were personally mentored by Jesus, eyewitnesses of His death, burial and resurrection, and even authorized to write the last 27 books of our Bible. Therefore, this high level of apostolic authority must be carefully distinguished from the many Christian pastors and ministers who are using the title of “apostle” today.

The word “apostle” itself comes from the Greek apostello, which simply means “to send.” So in a general sense, anyone who is a traveling missionary or evangelist sent to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ is an apostle who has been “sent” for that purpose. But on a higher level, the apostle is also used to convey spiritual authority within the church. The apostle Peter, the apostle John and other original disciples had this level of apostolic authority. So did the apostle Paul, who wrote many of the New Testament books, as well as Barnabas and James (the half-brother of Jesus) (see Galatians 1:1, 2:7-8; Acts 14:4,14; Galatians 1:19; 2:9).

Jesus himself is also referred to as “the Apostle and High Priest of our profession…” – Hebrews 3:1-4. Jesus was compared to Moses in the Old Testament. Moses was also an apostle of God (i.e. one sent by Yahovah with His authority) and Aaron was the High Priest of God’s people. Under the New Testament, these two offices are now combined in the person of Jesus Christ who is worthy of more glory than even Moses and Aaron.

“Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, the apostle and high priest whom we confess. He was faithful to the one who appointed him, just as Moses was faithful in all God’s house. Jesus has been found worthy of greater honor than Moses, just as the builder of a house has greater honor than the house itself.” – Hebrews 3:1-3

Before you accept the teachings or leadership of anyone who calls themselves a “prophet” or “apostle” today, be careful to test his or her ministry. Make sure they have the qualifications of a genuine apostle of Christ, and are truly bearing the fruits of righteousness. Also ask yourself, “Is this professing apostle genuinely walking in humility and teaching the way of Christ? Or, are they prideful and deceptively exalting themselves in order to get people to follow them?”

Remember the warnings of Jesus: “Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves…” – Matthew 7:15-16, 20.

–         Pastor Luis Yosefus

REAL JESUS MINISTRIES
www.RealJesus.net

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Ask Rabbi Jesus – Free Book Offer

With your donation – large or small – in support of Real Jesus Ministries, we will send you a free copy of Pastor Luis Yosefus’ book, “Ask Rabbi Jesus.”

The roots of Christianity run deep into Jewish soil. Regrettably, most Christians are uninformed about our rich Hebraic heritage and how the principles of Hebrew thought influenced the teachings of the apostles and the early Church. This book will offer you fresh insights into the teachings of Rabbi Jesus and deepen your own understanding of the Holy Bible.

To order your free copy, click here to make your donation.

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The Exodus Revealed

www.RealJesus.netI thoroughly enjoyed this documentary of the children of Israel’s exodus from Egypt more than 3,000 years ago. At last, archeologists have found tangible evidence of the biblical account in the Book of Exodus, including:

  • The remains of a 3800 year-old settlement in the land of Goshen (Egypt’s Nile Delta).
  • Authenticated Egyptian records of the Israelite’s slavery under Pharaoh.
  • The precise route they took to freedom, the beachhead where they were trapped between the sea and land – prior to God’s parting of the waters, and where they crossed the Red Sea.
  • Coral-covered chariot wheels and other chariot parts from Pharaoh’s army on the floor of the Red Sea.
  • The actual location of the real Mount Sinai in the land of Midian – not in the Sinai peninsula as previously believed.

“The Exodus Revealed is one of the finest documentaries ever produced on the miraculous journey of Moses and the Hebrew people. This is a must-see every Bible student.”

–         Luis Josephus, 4JesusOutreach.com

With your donation of $25 or more to our ministry, we’ll send you the gift of this book.

Mail your checks to:

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

May the LORD richly bless you for supporting God’s work through 4JESUS OUTREACH!