David’s Comment: Shavuot – The Feast of Weeks – Pentecost
Acts 2: 1- 4 When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.
The Jewish people will celebrate Shavuot or the Feast of Weeks on this Saturday evening and Sunday, and the Christian world celebrates Pentecost this Sunday. The word Pentecost is Greek for 50 days, and we know that it was on that day that the Ruach ha Kodesh or the Holy Spirit came down to Jerusalem in a very dramatic and powerful way. This day was the same date that Moses received the Torah on Mt Sinai, 50 days after the Israelites crossed through the Red Sea and began their 40 year desert journey to the Promised Land of Israel. The Hebrew name of this festival Shavuot is the plural from the word shavua = week = 7 days (sheva). If we multiply shavua x shavua we get 49, which are very interesting timings. As I have shared before, the major New Testament events occur precisely as a fulfillment of the Feasts of YHVH that He commanded His people to keep.
The correlation between the original Shavuot – the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai in Exodus 19, and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in Acts 2, are amazing. In both case the event takes place 50 days after Passover. The Torah was given 50 days after the lambs were sacrificed at the original Passover, and the Holy Spirit came down on the 50th day after the Passover when the Lamb of God was sacrificed. At both events the people were gathered to appear before God. At the original Shavuot the Israelites were camped at the bottom of the mountain. (Exodus 19:2).
At Shavuot after the resurrection of Yeshua, we read When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. (Acts 2:1) Both events were accompanied by a loud noise and fire that came down from Heaven. ?On the morning of the third day there were thunders and lightnings and a thick cloud on the mountain and a very loud trumpet blast. (Exodus 19:16) ….. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind.? (Acts 2:2) ?And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. (Acts 2:3) At both events God wrote His Torah by His Spirit. At Mt.Sinai God wrote the Torah on tablets of stone. And he gave to Moses, when he had finished speaking with him on Mount Sinai, the two tablets of the testimony, tablets of stone, written with the finger of God. (Exodus 31:18) At Pentecost God wrote the same Torah on the hearts of the 12 apostles. It was a fulfillment of the new covenant. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD: I will put my Torah within them, and I will write it on their hearts. (Jeremiah 31:33)
There is one more amazing similarity between both events. At Mt.Sinai 3000 people died. Exodus 32:28 On that day 3000 people fell. On the day of Pentecost, 3000 people were born again. It was the first harvest unto the Lord. All of the Feasts of the LORD are connected to the harvest cycle. Shavuot is a harvest Feast, celebrating the first harvest. You shall count seven full weeks from the day after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering. You shall count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath. Then you shall present a grain offering of new grain to the LORD.? (Leviticus 23:15-16) The New Covenant fulfillment of Shavuot is also about the harvest. At the end of his Gospel message on the Day of Pentecost, Peter said Save yourselves from this crooked generation. So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls. (Ac 2:40-41)
Please pray with us that YHVH will continue to bring in the harvest of His Jewish people. Pray the same words that the Apostle Paul that one day ALL Israel will be saved. And please pray that YHVH will pour out a fresh and greater anointing of His Holy Spirit on the Messianic Jews in Israel and around the world. Lets also pray for a fresh outpouring of the Ruach ha Kodesh (the Holy Spirit) on the entire Body of Messiah in the nations.
The LORD bless you as you bless Israel by standing in defense of her right to exist on all of the land given to the Jewish people by the GOD of Israel. Please pray that all Israel will turn back to their GOD. Do not be silent, but share this with your fellow Christians, share it with your pastors, and with anyone you have a chance to speak to. Lets also pray for a breakthrough to the Muslims, and please remember to pray Divine protection for all of the soldiers in the IDF.
Shabbat Shalom & Hag Shavuot Sameach ….. David & Josie
This Week’s News Items
1. Large Riots on Temple Mount on Jerusalem Day Times of Israel News June 2nd
Clashes erupted between Palestinian rioters and police on Sunday morning at the Temple Mount compound in Jerusalem?s Old City, as hundreds of Jews were allowed into the holy site to celebrate Jerusalem Day ? the 52nd anniversary of the unification of the capital in the Six Day War. Later in the morning, hundreds of Palestinians rioters threw rocks and chairs at Israeli security personnel. There were no immediate reports of injuries. By mid-afternoon, police reported that the situation was again calm. It was the first time in three decades that non-Muslims were let into the site during the final days of the month of Ramadan, which coincided this year with Jerusalem Day. Police had earlier announced the contested compound would be closed to Jews and Christian tourists, with the High Court of Justice rejecting a petition against the closure and leaving the final decision up to police. Pray that full control over the Temple Mount is returned to Israel
2. Israel Attacks After 2 Rockets Fired From Syria Times of Israel News June 2nd
Seven ?foreign fighters? were among the 10 killed in Israel Defense Forces airstrikes on several military targets in Syria in the predawn hours of Sunday morning in response to two rockets that were fired from the country at the Golan Heights on Saturday night, a war monitor said. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights did not specify the nationalities of the foreigners, but in an earlier statement said that Iranian and Hezbollah targets were hit in the strikes. Beginning at 4:10 a.m., Israel Defense Forces helicopters and planes attacked several targets connected to the Syrian army, including two artillery batteries, several observation and intelligence outposts, and an SA-2 type air defense unit, the IDF said in a statement. Pray that Syria does not make a big mistake and provoke a war with Israel
3. Israel Destroys Iranian Weapons in Syria Jerusalem Post June 4th
An alleged Israeli airstrike on Syria?s T4 airbase on Sunday night likely took out an advanced weapons system which had been transported from Iran a day earlier, an assessment by ImageSat International (ISI) found on Tuesday. According to the assessment by ISI, the strike on June 2nd destroyed ?an element of a few? elements, and not an infrastructure, near an aircraft apron which had earlier hosted an Iranian aircraft. ?Since the attack targeted specific components, reasonably portable, it is assessed that they were of high importance,? ISI said adding that it could have been ?an advanced weapon system element, probably related to UAVs and possibly including a transportable ground control structure.? Iran has been moving its assets from areas repeatedly struck by Israel to locations closer to the border with Iraq, specifically the T4 Airbase strategically located between Homs and Palmyra and a day before the strike a Qeshm Fars Air jumbo jet returned to Iran from a possible arms delivery flight at T4. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, five Syrian soldiers were killed in the alleged Israeli strike on Sunday night against an Iraninan Revolutionay Guard Corps warehouse at the base in the eastern Homs province on Sunday night, though Syria?s SANA state news agency said only one soldier was killed. An unnamed military source was quoted by SANA as saying that regime air defences ?responded to an Israeli aggression on the T4 airport in Homs eastern countryside, destroying two of the missiles that targeted the airport,? adding that the other Israeli rockets caused the death of one soldier and injured two others. An ammunition depot was destroyed in the strike and there was material damage to other buildings and equipment, SANA said. The strike came just hours after Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel would not tolerate missile attacks on its territory and would “respond forcefully to any aggression against it.” ?Yesterday, two missiles were fired toward Israel from Syrian territory,? Netanyahu said. ?One struck inside Syria and the other hit our territory on the Golan Heights. I held security consultations following the attack, and I ordered the IDF to take strong action, which it did, striking several targets.? Pray that Israel is successfull in destroying all Iranian military equipment in Syria
4. Stabbing Attack in Central Israel World Israel News June 6th A 46-year-old Israel man was injured in a stabbing attack while walking down the street in a central Israeli city on Wednesday morning. The police are still searching for the suspect, who fled the scene. A witness said that ?the stabber had an Arabic accent,? Ynet reported. First responder Guy Gutlenski of Magen David Adom said: ?When we got there, we saw a man, fully conscious, lying in the street with stab wounds in his upper body. We provided him with life-saving medical treatment in the field, including stopping the bleeding and bandaging the wounds, then we evacuated him to the hospital. His condition is moderate and stable.? ?I was nearby the location of the stabbing when it occurred,? said United Hatzalah first responder Irit Levinsky, Arutz7 reports. ?I immediately rushed over and began treating the injured man. I bandaged his wound and applied pressure to stop the bleeding.? The victim was transported to Beilinson Hospital in Petach Tikva. Pray that the attacker is apprehended and dealt with accordingly.
5. New Mosque Opens on Temple Mount
Although PM Netanyahu announced that he had instructed the authorities to prevent the opening of a new mosque at the Temple Mount?s Mercy Gate, the Moslem Religious Trust (Wakf) has continued construction work at a feverish pace, causing irreparable damage to the ancient structure. ?Israel has not given its consent to opening the mosque on the Temple Mount,? PM Netanyahu said at the end of February. A statement released by the Prime Minister?s Office at the time declared that PM Netanyahu had given instructions ?to enforce the court order without compromise and to ensure that the site remains closed,? but in practice it appears that the work that is turning the site into a mosque has passed the point of no return. Regavim, an Israeli NGO which deals with illegal Arab building and land issues, petitioned Israel?s High Court of Justice this week on the eve of Jerusalem Day which celebrates the re-unification of the city at the end of the 6 Day War in 1967, renewing an earlier call to prevent the opening of the mosque. The group submitted an urgent request to the High Court of Justice for a temporary injunction that would close the structure at the Temple Mount?s Mercy Gate, in an attempt to restore the status quo at the site. The petition, based on documentation of the Wakf?s recent activities at the site, proved that the Wakf has taken steps to permanently turn a historic structure at the Temple Mount?s Mercy Gate into a mosque, carrying out construction work that has irreparably damaged the ancient building, in flagrant violation of PM Netanyahu?s instructions to enforce the closure of the building. Pray that the authority over the entire Temple Mount area be given back to Israel, preparing the way for the rebuilding of the Temple.
6. Sea of Galilee Continues to Rise United With Israel News June 6th
Following six years of drought, Israel?s Water Authority announced that the Sea of Galilee rose an additional 11 centimeters in May. This is great news, as the sea is Israel?s largest source of natural water and has receded significantly during the past few years. Recently, the water level came dangerously close to reaching the ?black line,? which is the demarcation point below which water cannot be pumped without damaging infrastructure and the water supply. Thankfully, the Sea of Galilee has risen since Israel?s winter rainy season began. Nonetheless, the sea remains below its optimal level by about 2.4 meters. Before this winter?s blessed rains, Israel?s lakes, riverbeds and aquifers were at an unprecedented 100-year-low. Had the level reached the black line, irreversible ecological problems might have occurred. These would have included an increase in water salinity and overgrowth of algae that can permanently damage the quality of the water, flora and fauna. Recognizing the urgent need to compensate for a lack of fresh water, Israel has constructed five massive desalination plants on the Mediterranean coast and is working on two more. These provide about 70 percent of the country?s drinking water. Israel also recycles nearly 86 percent of its waste water for agricultural use. Unfortunately, the Dead Sea, which is fed by the Sea of Galilee, continues to shrink, sometimes causing sudden sink holes on the roads in the area. Additionally, special prayers for rain are part of Jewish liturgy. With the land relying so heavily on God?s blessings, the prayer for rain is said several times a day, from the last day of the autumn holiday of Sukkot through the beginning of Passover in the spring. Let us give thanks to YHVH for the winter rains and even pray for unseasonal rain over the summer to reduce the risk of fires.
7. The Wife of Israel’s President Passed Away World Israel News June 5th
Nehama Rivlin, wife of President Reuven Rivlin, and first lady of Israel, died today at the age of 73, a day before her birthday. She suffered from lung disease in recent years. She passed away at Beilinson Hospital in Petach Tikva, near Tel Aviv. President Rivlin thanked the hospital for its ?dedicated, sensitive and professional treatment,? ?Unfortunately, all the doctors? efforts to stabilize her during the complex rehabilitation process that followed her transplant failed,? hospital officials said. ?The medical teams of the chest, lung, cardiology and intensive care units did not leave Mrs. Rivlin?s bed the whole time? This is a sad day for all of us at the medical center. The hospital staff is mourning,? the staff said. Mrs. Rivlin underwent a lung transplant in March, which was only partially successful in that cardiac complications left her with a shortness of breath. She was popular with the Israeli public. ?People loved me a great deal. I don?t know why,? she said in a radio interview last year, inadvertently revealing part of her charm. Please pray that the LORD will minister His peace and love to President Rivlin and the family in this time of loss and mourning