• Eddie Rogers, Minister

Shavuot — 05/22-23/2021



Shavuot this year (2021) is from sunset on May 22, 2021 until sunset May 23, 2021. The Scripture readings for Shavuot are as follows:


Exodus 19:1—20:26; (Chumash: Exodus 19:1—20:23); Leviticus 23:10-21; Numbers 28:26-31; Deuteronomy 15:19—16:17; Ezekiel 1:1-28, 3:12; Habakkuk 3:1-19; Ruth (All); Acts 1:1—2:47, 20:16


This is a High Holy Day and no work is to be performed on this High Holy Day according to Leviticus Chapter 23:


"On this same day you shall make a proclamation, you are to have a holy convocation (calling together); you shall not do any laborious work [on that day]. It is to be a permanent statute throughout your generations wherever you may be."

(Leviticus 23:21, Amplified Bible (AMP), emphasis and comments added)


Shavuot and Its Hidden Meaning

by Batya Wootten


The following article is based on the book, Israel’s Feasts and Their Fullness by Batya Ruth Wootten.

We will soon celebrate the Feast of Weeks, the first fruits of the wheat harvest. This feast is also called the Feast of the Ingathering, Shavu’ot, and Pentecost (Exodus 34:22; Numbers 28:26; Deuteronomy 16:10, 16; Leviticus 23:15-20). However, we suggest that an important, enlightening and encouraging Scriptural truth is missing from most Shavuot celebrations...


For Believers, the forty nine days between Pesach/Passover and Shavuot mark the time between the Festival of our Physical Redemption (Passover) and the Festival of our Spiritual Empowerment (Shavuot). In Jewish tradition, the countdown from the Wave Sheaf to Shavuot is called Sefirat HaOmer, the counting of the omer. Most Jews associate Shavuot with the giving of the Book of the Torah. However, in her book, In the Jewish Tradition, Judith Fellner explains that the rabbis developed this idea after the Diaspora, because the Omer count was being forgotten. So, they attached one of Israel’s great historical events to Shavuot. By the third century, it became known as “The time of the giving of the Torah,” and it depicted the idea of the marriage covenant between Israel and the Almighty. It came to signify the idea of Israel entering into “Covenant” and saying “I do” to the Holy One, even as she said “I do” at Mt. Sinai. And yet, among the Jewish people, Shavuot continues to be the least observed of the major feasts.


Ancient writings tell us this feast was celebrated by bringing first fruits of the seven species (wheat, barley, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives, and dates) to the Temple. This vivid ceremony, described in elaborate detail in the Mishnah, marked the beginning of a new agricultural season (See, In the Jewish Tradition, A Year of Food and Festivities, Judith Fellner, “Shavuot,” Jonathan David Publishers, Middle Village, NY, 1995, pages 101-108).


Thus, some believe that Shavuot began with the giving of the Law/Torah and was further fulfilled with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.


Some 2,000 years ago, Israelites gathered in Jerusalem on a Shavuot day and they were empowered by the Ruach. As promised, fifty days after His Resurrection, Yeshua sent the Comforter, and His followers experienced the first New Covenant Shavuot. Yeshua began to reap a harvest in His New Covenant ekklesia [Called Out Ones]. Today, we too, can receive the Holy Spirit - Who will write His Torah wisdom on our hearts and empower us to walk in His Truths if we will ask Him (John 14:16, 26; 15:26; 16:7; Jeremiah 31:31-33; 1 Corinthians 14:2). We need this empowerment so that we can clearly hear the Father’s voice as He whispers in our ear, This is the way, walk ye in it (Isaiah 30:21).


Shavuot and Jubilee


In Israel every fiftieth year is a Jubilee year. Because Shavuot comes on the “fiftieth” day, it is thought to be a mini-Jubilee. In Hebrew, fifty represents liberty, freedom, and deliverance. Jubilee is a time when slaves were set free and debts were cancelled at the sound of the shofar (Leviticus 25:8-17). We too, need to be liberated from the sins that enslave us.


When the Law was given to ancient Israel, it testified against the immorality of their flesh, and “about three thousand men fell that day” (Exodus 32:28; 1 Corinthians 10:8). When the Holy Spirit was given, an empowered Apostle Peter began to preach, and “and that day there were added about three thousand souls” (Acts 1:8; 2:38, 41; 3:12-26; 4:33). Even so, the wheat sheaves of Shavuot foretell the promised resurrection of those who put their faith in Messiah Yeshua (Matthew 13:39; Mark 4:26; Luke 10:2; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17; Revelation 14:14-16).


Embracing the wisdom of Torah is essential to our well-being. Being empowered by the Ruach [Holy Spirit] to be able to walk in those truths is likewise essential to our well-being. However, there is another important aspect to Shavuot that we need to embrace in this hour. Restoration of the Kingdom to Israel is likewise essential to our well-being, and enlarging our understanding of Shavuot will help us to better arrive at that glorious end-time goal (Isaiah 49:8; Acts 1:6).


Shavuot in Scripture


Scripture reveals that Shavuot was established as an agricultural feast that was related to the wheat harvest. On this day a unique sacrifice was offered: The priests waved two leavened loaves of bread made from the finest of the newly harvested wheat flours. These loaves were then presented to the Holy One, but, they could not be placed on the altar, because YHVH declared that, “No grain offering, which you bring to the LORD, shall be made with leaven, for you shall not offer up in smoke any leaven or any honey as an offering by fire to the LORD” (Leviticus 2:11).


These two leavened loaves could be “waved” before YHVH, but they could not be “offered up in smoke” on His altar: “As an offering of first fruits you shall bring them to the LORD, but they shall not ascend for a soothing aroma on the altar” (Leviticus 2:12). Moreover, Israel could not eat bread from the new wheat harvest until after this wave ceremony was completed. Two lambs were also offered at this time, and the feast was traditionally concluded with communal meals to which the poor, and the stranger were invited.


We suggest that understanding of this feast has largely been lost, and that the two leavened loaves depict “both the houses of Israel” (Isaiah 8:14). Of all the bread offerings, only the two wave loaves of Shavuot were baked with leaven. Leaven symbolizes sin, and there are two houses of Israel - both of which have stumbled over the One who would be a “Sanctuary” to them.


Both houses have fallen short, and will continue to fall short as long as they are divided and antagonistic toward each other (Isaiah 8:14; John 2:22; Romans 11:25). Both Ephraim and Judah are plagued by leaven, meaning, they are puffed up with error. As they stand, neither house is fit to be “offered” on YHVH’s altar. Singularly, neither house can be a “soothing aroma” to the Holy One. Something is missing. And, something is present that keeps them from being fully acceptable to Him. To be an acceptable offering, bread must be unleavened. So it is that both houses fall short of the glory of GOD. The sins found in their houses are like a stench in His nostrils and it prevents them from being fully acceptable to Him (Isaiah 65:5). Both are missing the quality of sinlessness. That quality is found only in Messiah. He is the Unleavened Bread of Pesach [Passover], and in Him, both houses can be made whole, sinless.


And yet, we note that even in their leavened state, both loaves are nourishing “bread,” which depicts the ability to “feed people.” Both houses of Israel offer some sustaining words of life to the children of Israel. Neither house is perfect, so we should partake of that which is nourishing from each house, and ask the Father to help us move on, to the Fall Feasts, and to that perfect place of sinlessness, wherein we will be able to Tabernacle with Him forever.


Again, both loaves were acceptable to the Almighty in that they could be “waved” before Him, but in themselves, they were not fit to be a sacrifice. This shows us that, if our GOD can look upon these leavened houses with mercy, and ever seek to draw both of them to Himself, we should seek to do no less. We should have proper regard for both the houses of Israel. We also see that both loaves could be in Yah’s Holy Presence, and yet not be consumed. So it is that Judah and Ephraim are imperfect, and yet they are not utterly consumed by the Holy One. He sees their defects, yet He loves them and longs for them.


Shavuot featured a “new grain offering” (Leviticus 23:15-16, 21), but Israel could not partake of their new wheat harvest until after the leavened wave offering of Shavuot was fulfilled. Similarly, we will not be able to fully partake of the Bread of Life until, like Him, we desire the full restoration of both houses. Yeshua preached the “Gospel of the Kingdom,” which included the restoration of King David’s divided kingdom/house/tent. Yeshua declared that a house or kingdom divided against itself cannot stand. We therefore, need to work toward Israel’s reunion. Then, and only then, will her kingdom be fully restored. Then and only then, will we see and partake of the fullness of Israel’s coming harvest. We will experience this only when we begin to properly honor both of Israel’s houses. Then, we will fully taste of the loaves of Shavuot and be prepared to move forward.


Two lambs were offered at Shavuot, and the feast was traditionally concluded with communal meals to which the stranger was invited. This tells us that Israel’s Kingdom restoration will include all who belong to Messiah’s “one flock,” all who sojourn with either house, be it with Judah or Joseph/Ephraim (Ezekiel 37:16-22; John 10:16).


Finally, we read that, “On this same day you shall make a proclamation as well...It is to be a perpetual statute in all your dwelling places throughout your generations” (Leviticus 23:21). Making a proclamation, a qara [Strong's #H7121], is a perpetual command for Shavuot. We are to proclaim, mention, publish, and preach the truth about this appointed time.


But exactly what do we need to proclaim in this hour?


Just as the twelve unleavened loaves of “show bread” found in the Tabernacle represented the twelve tribes of Israel, so the two leavened loaves of Shavuot represent both houses of Israel - Ephraim and Judah. The Father told Moses, “You shall set the bread of the Presence on the table before Me at all times.” We need to declare the truth that, the twelve unleavened loaves of the Bread of the Presence spoke of the unity of the twelve tribes of Israel, and two leavened loaves speak of the current division in the two houses of Israel.


Our division is the stench that keeps us from being acceptable in the sight of our GOD, and it keeps us from our much desired end-time harvest. We need to cry out about this matter. We need to repent if we are guilty, and we need to remind our brethren to repent and to forgive one another.


How can we be cleansed of this condition?


In Romans 11:16, we read: “If the first piece of dough is holy, the lump is also; and if the root is holy, the branches are too.” With the Spring feasts, the first piece of dough mentioned is that of Unleavened Bread, which represents Messiah Yeshua. He is the “holy” dough. The second lump of dough mentioned is, the two leavened loaves of Shavuot. We are part of that latter “lump.” We are made holy only when we abide in our Messiah. He is the Bread of Life that came down from heaven. He is the Living Word of Life. He said, “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4; John 1:14; 6:48-51; 1 John 1:1; 1 Peter 1:23). He can transform us by His Spirit.


His Word, from Genesis to Revelation, is like bread to us. The two loaves of Shavuot represent the two-covenant people who have charge over “Two Books of the Covenant.” Judah has had charge of the Old (First) Covenant, Torah, and they tend to eat only of that covenant loaf. Ephraim, or Israel, has had charge of the New Covenant, the covenant of the heart (Jeremiah 31:31-33), and they tend to eat only of that covenant loaf. The Father has used these two houses to maintain these Books of the Covenant. However, what He really wants is to have “one loaf,” He wants to have “One Book of Covenants.”


Although the overseers of these two Covenants have made mistakes in the way they have presented His truths, nonetheless, the two leavened loaves continue to be YHVH’s prescribed wave offering and neither should be unfairly disrespected.


Each feast of Israel is called a Kodesh Miqrah, a Holy Rehearsal. The feasts are anointed rehearsals for a Divine Play that tells of our salvation. Each feast reminds us of coming stages in our salvation walk, and Shavuot is one of our stops along the way. However, we want to make it all the way, we want to make it to the end of the play, to the Eighth and Great Day of Tabernacles. And, to get there, we need to help fulfill the feast of Shavuot.


Shavuot is a day that tells of our Father’s patient endurance, love, and high hopes for both the houses of Israel. Let us therefore do as we are told and make a Shavuot Proclamation about this truth. Let us wave two leavened loaves before Him and declare to the world the truth about Israel’s coming full restoration!


HalleluYAH! Let us celebrate Shavuot!

Batya


I pray this study / teaching has been a blessing to you and pray that our Loving Heavenly Father, Yahweh, will direct your paths and further study into His Word. After all, His Word is Absolute!

Continue to test all things and may Almighty YHWH bless all who study His Absolute Written Word.

Shalom,

I am One Crying In The Wilderness!

Eddie Rogers, Minister, D.D.

www.truenews4u.com

If you have enjoyed this teaching and you would like to download it, click HERE to download the PDF file.

Do We Really Understand Shavuot and

Why YHVH Gives Us the Ruach?

A Letter from Batya



Those who know me know that I do not often declare prophetic words, but I have something that I keep hearing in my heart and I think it is a word for us from the Holy One:


“Many of my children think they fully understand the feast of Shavuot, but they do not. They think they fully understand My Spring feasts and are now ready for the events foreshadowed in My Fall feasts, but they are not ready. They have not yet grasped some important points about Shavuot as it is related to My giving of My Ruach (Spirit). I especially want this generation to understand these things because they have to do with empowerment to walk in My plan for them in the latter days. I want them to see and understand the foreshadowing of the two leavened loaves that were to be waved before Me on Shavuot, and to reexamine the reason why I poured out My Spirit on this day.”

To see Shavuot in context, we need to see that it is inextricably linked to the Day of the Wave Sheaf, which speaks of Messiah Yeshua’s Resurrection. On that day, we begin a 50 day count that is to end on Shavuot. We read about these two feast days in Leviticus 23:5-21.


In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at twilight is the LORD’S Passover. Then on the fifteenth day of the same month is the Feast of Unleavened Bread...for seven days....On the first day [and] ...the seventh day is a holy convocation....When you enter the land which I am going to give to you and reap its harvest, then you shall bring in the sheaf of the first fruits of your harvest to the priest. He shall wave the sheaf before the LORD for you to be accepted; on the day after the sabbath the priest shall wave it....You shall also count for yourselves from the day after the sabbath, from the day when you brought in the sheaf of the wave offering; there shall be seven complete sabbaths. You shall count fifty days to the day after the seventh sabbath; then you shall present a new grain offering to the LORD. You shall bring in from your dwelling places two loaves of bread for a wave offering, made of two-tenths of an ephah; they shall be of a fine flour, baked with leaven as first fruits...they are to be holy to the LORD....On this same day you shall make a proclamation [and]...have a holy convocation....It is to be a perpetual statute in all your dwelling places throughout your generations.


Yeshua is our Passover Lamb and High Priest. When we believe that He paid the price for our sins, then presented Himself to the Father as the “First of Firstfruits,” we become “acceptable” in YHVH’s sight and we are given the incomparable gift of eternal life (1 Corinthians 5:7; 15:23; 1 John 5:11; 1 Peter 2:5; James 1:18). But, Yah wants to give us even more...

On the First of Firstfruits, we are to begin an expectant 50 day count. Scripture says it begins on the “morrow after the [weekly] Sabbath.” Judaism interprets this to mean the “High Sabbath” that is the First Day of Unleavened Bread, so Shavuot always falls on the 6th of Sivan [May/June] on the Jewish Calendar. But their counting system does not work because their 49th day will seldom be a Sabbath, and Shavuot is supposed to fall of the “day after the Sabbath” (Leviticus 23:11-16). Starting the count on the day after the weekly Sabbath is the only way to meet the above four prescribed rules of Scripture.


Shavuot must:


* Be preceded by 7 Sabbaths (not more or less)

* Be the next day after a Sabbath

* Be a 50th day

* Be the end of a count begun the day after a Sabbath.


(For more info, See the book, Israel’s Feasts and their Fullness at http://www.redeemedisrael.com/)


We also see that on Shavuot, two leavened loaves of bread made of fine flour were to be presented as a first fruits wave offering to YHVH. We suggest that even as the “two sticks” of Ezekiel represent the two houses, so do these two “imperfect leavened loaves.” Leaven was not fit for the altar, yet the two loaves were acceptable as a “wave offering.” Similarly, the two houses of Israel, Ephraim/Israel and Judah, have stumbled over the Sanctuary that is Messiah Yeshua - in different ways - but Yah nonetheless calls them unto Himself so He can make their two sticks “one stick” in His hand (Exodus 23:18; 34:25; Leviticus 2:11; Isaiah 8:14; John 2:19-22; Romans 11:25; Genesis 48:19; Ezekiel 37:15-28).


Both houses have fallen short of the Almighty’s high call (Romans 3:23). Yet, “fine flour,” or “good bread” (which is the source of life), can be found in both houses. Both bring forth leaven that now needs to be left behind, and both bring forth good truths that need to be carried forth in our restoration.

The Father wants to restore the fallen, divided house of David - He wants to restore the Kingdom to Israel (Amos 9:11; Luke 11:17; Acts 15:16). His salvation plan is outlined in Romans 11: The wild olive branches are to be grafted into Israel’s Olive Tree and be greatly changed by its Life-giving Root: Messiah Yeshua. Their change is to be so great that Judah will become jealous and want to be “grafted in again” (Romans 11:23; Revelation 22:16).


The problem is that Israel’s two houses, or two congregations of people, have been two imperfect witnesses for Yah. We see that lamp stands are congregations, and Yeshua said His “two witnesses...are the two olive trees and two lamp stands that stand before the Lord of the earth” (Revelatioon 1:20; 2:5; 11:3-4). (See Israel’s Olive Tree stages in the graphic to the right).


We are an imperfect people, yet the Father has great plans for us. In this hour, He especially wants to empower us to be able to walk in His Way.


Shavuot and Jubilee


In Israel, every fiftieth year is a Jubilee year. Shavuot comes on a fiftieth day and represents a type of Jubilee. In Hebrew, fifty represents liberty, freedom, and deliverance. Jubilee was a time when slaves were set free (Leviticus 25:8-17). So too, Shavuot is about us being set free from the sins that enslave us; it is about us being liberated, having spiritual yokes broken, and being empowered to walk in Abba’s Way.


Shavuot, the giving of the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit), is not supposed to be about crazy antics, but about Believers being empowered to walk in the Father’s Commandments, to have them written on their hearts. That is the promise of the New Covenant. If we want people to learn to truly honor Torah, we should want them to be empowered by the Spirit - because that is how Believers are destined to learn it: “This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel...I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts.” Moreover, it will be done, “Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the LORD of hosts” (Jeremiah 33:33; Zechariah 4:6; 2 Corinthians 3:6; Hebrews 8:8; 10:16).


In Luke 24:49, Yeshua said to His disciples, “Behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high” (see “The Promise of the Father” by Jim Brown).


The Father’s Promise is one of “Power.” Messiah Yeshua worked many powerful signs and wonders that testified to His anointing, or Messiahship. The Disciples walked in the same power (John 12:37; Acts 2:43; 5:12; Romans 15:19). Unfortunately, false messiahs and prophets seek to perform signs and wonders (Matthew 24:24; Mark 13:22). In our day, because we have seen their false signs, we tend to reject the gifts of the Spirit. Such unbelief can cause us to miss the mark. We are told of a time when Messiah Yeshua did not do many miracles because of “unbelief” (Matthew 13:58). We want to instead please the Father by our faith (Hebrews 11:6; James 2:18).


Some seem to think the signs of the Spirit are a place to “camp out.” But signs instead give direction; that is the purpose of some of the spiritual gifts, such as words of wisdom and knowledge. Signs also affirm that we are “on the right path.” When we see deliverance and healings taking place, we know that we are on the Road to Zion; we are on the Kingdom Glory Path. For, Messiah Yeshua went “throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness among the people.” He told us that His “gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come” (Matthew 4:23; 24:14; Mark 1:39). If we want to see the Kingdom come, we need to reflect the image of our Messiah and teach and preach about the hallmarks of His Kingdom: Casting out demons, healing the sick, raising the dead.


Friends, we have been missing the mark here. We have not fully understood Shavuot and the Giving of the Ruach. We therefore need to come together and support one another as we seek to walk both circumspectly, and in the same sort of Kingdom power that our Messiah walked in.


Shavuot is coming. Let us therefore cry out to the Father for a powerful infilling of the Ruach HaKodesh of Israel! Let us ask Him to help us to properly honor both the houses of Israel, and to point both of them in the direction of the Torah-honoring-power of the Ruach!


Amen and Amen!


I pray this study / teaching has been a blessing to you and pray that our Loving Heavenly Father, Yahweh, will direct your paths and further study into His Word. After all, His Word is Absolute!

Continue to test all things and may Almighty YHWH bless all who study His Absolute Written Word.

Shalom,

I am One Crying In The Wilderness!

Eddie Rogers, Minister, D.D.

www.truenews4u.com

If you have enjoyed this teaching and you would like to download it, click HERE to download the PDF file.

Shavuot

(Pentecost)

(Note: This is a teaching I presented several years ago on Shavuot in Texas)


15 And from the morrow [the day] after the [weekly] Sabbath [Saturday], from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering, you shall count for yourselves: seven completed [weekly] Sabbaths. 16 Until the morrow [the day] after the seventh [weekly] Sabbath you count fifty days, then you shall bring a new grain offering to YHWH. 17 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 YHWH. 18 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 YHWH, with their grain offering and their drink offerings, an offering made by fire for a sweet fragrance to YHWH. 19 And you shall offer one male goat as a sin offering, and two male lambs a year old, as a peace offering. 20 And the priest shall wave them, besides the bread of the first-fruits, as a wave offering before YHWH, besides the two lambs. They are set-apart [Holy] to YHWH for the priest. 21 And on this same day you shall proclaim a set-apart [Holy] gathering for yourselves, you do no servile work on ita law forever in all your dwellings throughout your generations. 22 And when you reap the harvest of your land [the Land of Israel] 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 YHWH your Elohim.

(Leviticus 23:15-22, The Scriptures Translation)


What Do We Know About Shavuot?


The name of this special time of celebration, Shavuot, comes from Exodus 34:22; Leviticus 23:15-16 and Deuteronomy 16:9-10. Within these Scriptures, we learn that Shavuot is determined by counting seven weeks starting after the Sabbath. There are two schools of understanding on “What” Sabbath is understood to be and used. This will be addressed later. Shavuot/Pentecost has three names in Scripture, two of which underscore its agricultural nature:

The Torah also says, “You shall count for yourselves” (Leviticus 23:16). In the Brit Chadashah (Renewed Covenant Scriptures) the Greek name for this Holy Day is pente ‘koste’s (Strong’s #G4005), which means “fifty” and it’s usually transliterated into English as “Pentecost.”


In Israel every 50th year is a Jubilee year. Because Shavuot comes on the "fiftieth" day, it is thought to be a mini-Jubilee.


Shavuot was primarily an agricultural Holy Day connected with the peak of the new wheat and barley crop. After the crop was harvested, the firstfruits of the wheat harvest were presented to YHWH in the Tabernacle in the Wilderness and later in the Temple in Jerusalem. The offering consisted of two loaves of bread baked with leavened flour (Leviticus 23:17). Thus, the children of Israel celebrated YHWH’s provision at the start of the wheat season. In Deuteronomy 16:12, it gives us the reason for the observance of Shavuot, YHWH spoke and said, “You shall remember that you were a slave in Egypt, and you shall guard and do these decrees.”


Shavuot is the last of the Spring Feasts of YHWH which is celebrated as one of the three pilgrim festivals when every Israelite male went up to Jerusalem. The other pilgrimages are Pesach/Passover and Sukkot/Tabernacles.


The festival of Shavuot also encourages us to share what we have, both physically and spiritually, in keeping with the Torah Instructions to feed the stranger, the orphan, the widow and other poor and unfortunate people within the redeemed community.


It’s customary to read the book of Ruth which took place in the spring and at harvest time. One of the central messages of Shavuot is voluntarily taking upon oneself the Torah Instructions of YHWH by sharing in the story of Ruth who expressed her loyalty to YHWH’s Torah and to YHWH’s people by freely embracing both. Ruth also gives us a remez (hint) about an aspect of YHWH’s work on earth, the joining of the goyim (nations) to the nation of Israel, YHWH’s people, through Yeshua.


Is Shavuot Associated with the Giving of The Torah?


Most Jews associate Shavuot with the giving of the Book of the Torah. However, in the book, In the Jewish Tradition, Judith Fellner explains that the rabbis developed this idea after the Diaspora, because the Omer count was being forgotten. So, they attached one of Israel’s great historical events to Shavuot. By the third century, it became known as “The time of the giving of the Torah,” and it depicted the idea of the marriage covenant between Israel and the Almighty. It came to signify the idea of Israel entering into “Covenant” and saying “I do” to YHWH, even as she said “I do” at Mt. Sinai. And yet, among the Jewish people, Shavuot continues to be the least observed of the major feasts.


Is Shavuot Connected to Jubilees?


In Israel every fiftieth year is a Jubilee year. Because Shavuot comes on the “fiftieth” day, it is thought to be a “mini-Jubilee.” In Hebrew, fifty represents liberty, freedom, and deliverance. Jubilee is a time when slaves were set free and debts were cancelled at the sound of the shofar (Leviticus 25:8-17). We too, need to be liberated from the sins that enslave us. The connection is in the number “50.”


All Believers in Yeshua/Jesus need to be liberated from the sins that enslave us.


The Omer


We read in Exodus 34:22 where YHWH says “You shall make the Chag Shavuot (Festival of Weeks) with the first offering [first fruits] of the wheat harvest...


In Deuteronomy 16:9 it says “You shall count seven weeks for yourselves; from when the sickle is first put to the standing crop [barley] shall you begin counting seven weeks.”


The Omer became the name of the period between Pesach/Passsoved and Shavuot.


You shall bring an omer from your first harvest to the Kohen [priest]. He shall wave the omer before YHWH to gain favor for you; on the morrow [the day after] of the rest day [Weekly Sabbath] the Kohen shall wave it.” (Leviticus 23:10-11)


Before any grain produce of the new crop of barley could be eaten, a measure of ground barley was harvested by the kohanim (priest) and it was brought to the Temple on the day after the first day of rest of Chag HaMatzot (the first day of Unleavened Bread) as a mincha korban (meal offering). This korban was known as the omer, or first fruits (also known as HaBikkurim). It was a national korban symbolized by a sheaf of barley. It was not a korban brought by every farmer in the land.


Counting the Omer to Determine Shavuot


The Torah instructs us that seven weeks are to be counted from the time of the offering of the omer until Shavuot was to be celebrated, as it is written in Leviticus 23:15-17, 21:


15 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. 16 Until the morrow after the seventh Sabbath you count fifty days, then you shall bring a new grain offering to YHWH. 17 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 YHWH…21 And on this same day you shall proclaim a set-apart gathering for yourselves, you do no servile work on it – a statute [decree] forever in all your dwellings throughout your generations.


The Counting Controversy


Not long after the middle of the first century C.E., the Pharisees gained control of all Jewish observations of the Feasts from the Sadducees who were led by the high priests of the family of Boethus.


The phrase “on the morrow of the rest day” or “from the day after the Shabbat” became one of the major points of controversy between the Pharisees and the Sadducees.


The idea that Yeshua was resurrected on Sunday was not propagated by the church until approximately 400 years after His resurrection, after they had already rejected Pesach in favor of Easter.


Many err in reckoning the Day of Shavuot because they fail to follow Almighty YHWH’s Instructions to us in His Torah. (Leviticus 23:14-16)


What Happened?


While the Sadducees had been correctly counting the days to Shavuot from First Fruits, the Pharisees incorrectly began their own count starting the day after the first day of Unleavened Bread. Many still adhere to this teaching to this very day.


If we use what I call “Backward Mathematics,” we can determine “when” the counting of the Omer begins when we look at Leviticus 23:15-16.


Leviticus 23:15-1615 And from the morrow after the Sabbath [This is talking about the weekly Sabbath and NOT the High Sabbath of the first day of Unleavened Bread.], from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering, you shall count for yourselves: seven completed Sabbaths. 16 Until the morrow [the day] after the seventh [weekly] Sabbath you count fifty days, then you shall bring a new grain [wheat] offering to YHWH.


This is clearly talking about the weekly Sabbath.


Shavuot always falls on the first day of the week-Sunday.


Seven completed weekly Sabbaths = 49 days.


So, IF we follow YHWH’s Instructions, we should see that the Feast of Bikkurim falls on the first day of the week—Sunday.


By not counting correctly from Bikkurim to Shavuot, we are “missing the mark.”


From reading out of Scripture (Exegeses) we can see that the start of the Omer Count always begins on the first day of the week after Passover.


The Pharisees have read into (Eisegesis) Scripture what “they” want it to say. For they want “authority” rather than yielding to YHWH’s Absolute Written Word.


Embracing the wisdom of Torah is essential to our well-being. Being Empowered by the Ruach (Spirit) to be able to walk in His Truths is likewise Essential to our well-being.


There is another important aspect to Shavuot that we as Believers in Yeshua need to Embrace and that is the Restoration of the Kingdom to Israel.


The Restoration of the Kingdom to Israel is likewise essential to our well-being. By increasing our understanding of Shavuot, this enables us to better arrive at that glorious end-time goal (Isaiah 49:8; Acts 1:6).


Pesach/Passover Completed at Shavuot


Pesach/Passover is our promise of freedom. The time between Pesach/Passover and Shavuot is known in some groups as the “Passover Season.” Some say that Shavuot is the close of Passover.


Har Tzion -- Acts Chapter 2


YHWH promised through Jeremiah 31:33, “I will write my Torah on their hearts.” This He does as He gives His Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit).


Voices and Torches


In Exodus 20:18 it is written, literally translated from the Hebrew, “And the whole of the people, seeing the voices and the torches and the sound of the shofar and the mountain smoking, quivered, wavered, trembled with fear.” When the Greek translation of the Torah, the Septuagint, was completed in the 3rd century B.C.E., “voices” was translated “thunders” because voices are normally heard rather than seen. “Torches” was translated “lightning’s” probably because lightning seems more dramatic.


We should note also that in Hebrew, the word “voices” is plural. So then, “How can YHWH have more than one voice?” “They (the voices) were heard by each man according to his capacity, as it is said, ‘The voice of YHWH was heard according to strength.’ ” (Psalm 29:4) What the people heard was one Elohim, but many voices. This means that everyone heard the Torah in a way and in a language that they could understand it, even though they were a mixed multitude Exodus 12:38.


Prophecies Fulfilled Completing the Circle


What did Joel prophesy about?


Among other things, Joel said that YHWH was going to do something very special in one location Har Tzion (Mount Zion). “And everyone who calls on the name of YHWH will be saved; for on Har Tzion and in Jerusalem there will be deliverance...” (Joel 2:32). So the declaration and outpouring of the Ruach HaKodesh is related to Har Tzion.


The Upper Room and the Temple Mount


A common misconception exits that the location of the events of Acts Chapter 2 was the same “upper room” as reported in Acts 1:13.


The word “house” is used to describe the place where they were sitting. The Greek word is not oikia (Strong's #G3414) meaning house or home, or a place of dwelling, but oikon, from oikos (Strong's #G3624) which is predominately used to mean “the Sanctuary or House of YHWH, (Matthew 12:4, 21:13).


Acts 2:1 says, “And when the day of Pentecost [50 days to Shavuot] had come they were all together in one place.”


The “one place” is none other than the Har HaBayit (Temple Mount) and specifically in the courtyard of the Mikdash (Holy Place).


Verse 2 says “And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent, rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.”


Everyone had assembled in the Temple in obedience to celebrating Shavuot. There is no way they could have assembled as many people as are talked about in someone’s home.


Did First Century Believers keep Shavuot?


In Act 20:16, it says “For Sha’ul [Paul] had decided to sail past Ephesos, … for he was hurrying to be at Jerusalem, if possible, on the Day of the Festival of Weeks [Shavuot].”


Clearly Paul was still keeping Shavuot after coming to know Yeshua as his Savior. (See Leviticus 23:10-21.)


In 1 Corinthians 16:8, we read “And I [Paul] shall remain in Ephesos until the Festival of Weeks [Shavuot].”


Why would Paul tell several Gentile congregations about the importance of keeping Shavuot with them IF they were not also keeping it?


Yahweh has given His people, Israel, and those who are called “strangers” His Instructions to keep His Mo’edim-Appointed Times (Feasts).


It is up to us, His children, to carry forth His Word of Truth to all who have ears to hear and eyes to see.


When the Law was given to ancient Israel, it testified against the immorality of their flesh, and “about three thousand men fell that day” (Exodus 32:28; 1 Corinthians 10:8). When the Holy Spirit was given, an empowered Apostle Peter began to preach, and “that day there were added about three thousand souls” (Acts 1:8, 2:38, 41, 3:12-26, 4:33). Even so, the wheat sheaves of Shavuot foretell the promised resurrection of those who put their faith in Messiah Yeshua (Matthew 13:39; Mark 4:26; Luke 10:2; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17; Revelation 14:14-16).


Rabbinic Judaism must cross over and receive Yeshua as their Messiah.



Christianity must cross over and embrace Torah.

When the two come together they will be Echad (One) in Yeshua and Yahweh.


Yeshua the Firstfruits


As we saw above, Yeshua himself was the “first fruits” as noted in 1 Corinthians 15:23 (compare Romans 8:29). He spoke of a “harvest” of people with prepared hearts in Matthew 9:37-38 and John 4:35. Later (Acts 2:4) three thousand persons become the “firstfruits” of the Ruach (Spirit) Empowered activity of Yeshua’s talmidim (disciples). In Romans 8:23 what believers have of the Ruach HaKodesh (Set-Apart [Holy] Spirit) was said to be only the “firstfruits” in comparison with what is to come. I have also heard it taught that what we have in the way of the Holy Spirit is only a down payment and when we receive our glorified bodies; we will be fully Empowered by His Set-Apart Spirit.


For Believers in Yeshua the 49 days between Pesach/Passover and Shavuot marks the time between the Festival of our Physical Redemption (Passover) and the Festival of our Spiritual Empowerment (Shavuot).


We as Believers in Yeshua/Jesus need this Spiritual Empowerment so that we can clearly “hear” our Heavenly Father’s voice as He “whispers” in our ears “This is the Way, walk in it.” (Isaiah 30:21)


For those who have and are redeemed by the shed blood of Yeshua, He has given us His Set-Apart (Holy) Spirit to live within us. This is part of His Way of empowering His children.


As we read His Word, the Holy Spirit is writing our loving Heavenly Father’s Word on our hearts so that we may walk (keep/do/obey) His Word IF and that is a BIG word, we ask Him to do this for us. (John 14:16, 26, 15:26, 16:7; Jeremiah 31:31-33; 1 Corinthians 14:2)


Two Schools of Understanding


There are two schools of understanding on the meaning of the two loaves of leavened bread brought before Almighty Yahweh.


Example #1:

We notice that the Shavuot bread offering was made with leaven, symbolizing YHWH’s people as having sin before Yeshua’s atoning death. Later Paul writes to the Messianic Community in Corinth that “in reality you are unleavened. For our Pesach lamb, HaMashiach (The Messiah), has been sacrificed” (1 Corinthians 5:6-8). Now the two loaves of the Shavuot offering can be understood as representing YHWH’s expanded people, inclusive of both the Israelites of all tribes and the non-Israelites, the Goyim, who were redeemed and reconciled with YHWH by Yeshua. (See Romans 11:17-26; Galatians 3:28; Ephesians 2:14).


Example #2:

Another meaning of these two leavened loaves is depicted as being “both the houses of Israel” (Isaiah 8:14). Of all the bread offerings, only the two wave loaves of Shavuot were baked with leaven. Leaven symbolizes sin, and there are two houses of Israel - both of which have stumbled over the One who would be a “Sanctuary” to them.

Both houses have fallen short, and will continue to fall short as long as they are divided and antagonistic toward each other (Isaiah 8:14; John 2:22; Romans 11:25). Both Ephraim and Judah are plagued by leaven, meaning, they are puffed up with error. As they stand, neither house is fit to be “offered” on YHWH’s altar. Looking at each house separately, we can say neither house can be a “soothing aroma” to YHWH. Something is missing. And, something is present that keeps them from being fully acceptable to Him. To be an acceptable offering, bread must be unleavened. Both houses fall short of the glory of YHWH. The sins found in their respective houses are a stench in His nostrils and it prevents them from being fully acceptable to Him (Isaiah 65:5). Both are missing the quality of being sinless. That quality is found only in Yeshua. He is the Unleavened Bread of Pesach/Passover, and in Him, both houses can be made whole, sinless.


With the two houses of Israel in their leavened state, both loaves are nourishing “bread,” which depicts YHWH’s ability to “feed people” from both houses. Both houses of Israel offer some sustaining words of life to the children of Israel and to the non-Israelite. Neither house is perfect, so we should partake of that which is nourishing from each house, and ask our Heavenly Father to help us move on to that perfect place of sinlessness, wherein we will be able to Tabernacle with Him forever.


Again, both loaves were acceptable to YHWH in that they could be “waved” before Him, but in themselves, they were not fit to be a sacrifice. This shows us that, if YHWH can look upon these leavened houses with His Mercy, and draw both of them to Himself, we should seek to do no less. We should have proper regard for both the houses of Israel. We also see that both loaves could be in YHWH’s Holy Presence, and yet not be consumed. So it is that Judah and Ephraim are imperfect, and yet they are not utterly consumed by YHWH. He sees their defects, yet He loves them and longs for them.


Just as the twelve unleavened loaves of “show bread” found in the Tabernacle represented the twelve tribes of Israel, so the two leavened loaves of Shavuot represent both houses of Israel – Judah and Ephraim. The Father told Moses, “You shall set the bread of the Presence on the table before Me at all times.” We need to declare the truth that, the twelve unleavened loaves of the Bread of the Presence spoke of the unity of the twelve tribes of Israel, and the two leavened loaves speak of the current division in the two houses of Israel.


The division of the house of Judah and Ephraim is the stench that keeps us from being acceptable in the sight of our loving Heavenly Father, and it keeps us from our much-desired end-time harvest. We are to take the “Good News” to a dying and lost world. We need to cry out to our loving Heavenly Father about this matter. We need to “repent” if we are guilty, and we need to remind our brethren to “repent” and to forgive one another.


Shackled


Abba (Father) Yah has shown me that if we hold on to those who have hurt us through words, deeds or in other ways, this is slowing us down. He gave me a picture to relate this truth. In the early 20th Century in America there used to be what was called “Chain Gangs.” These were prison criminals who worked on the road to either build roads and/or repair roads. They had a steel ball shackled to their ankle so they could not escape as it would slow them down greatly. This is the example/picture He gave me to show that as long as we “hang-on” to our hurt feelings of things people have done to us, it is slowing us down. Thus, it is hindering us from serving Him effectively. He wants His people to be free so they can move quickly as He calls each one. So, if we are holding on to all our hurts, we need to sever that steel ball shackled to our ankle that is slowing us down from serving Him in the capacity He has called each of us to do for Him. The sooner we sever that steel ball the sooner He can use us more effectively.


Now we need to stop and ask ourselves “How can we be cleansed of this condition the two houses of Israel are in?”


In Romans 11:16, we read: “If the first piece of dough is holy, the lump is also; and if the root is holy, the branches are too.” With the Spring Feasts, the first piece of dough mentioned is that of Unleavened Bread, which represents Yeshua. He represents the “Holy” dough. The second lump of dough mentioned is, the two leavened loaves of Shavuot. We are part of that latter “lump.” We are made holy only when we abide in Yeshua; when we are obedient to His Absolute Written Word. He is the Bread of Life that came down from heaven. He is the Living Word of Life. He said, “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of YHWH” (Matthew 4:4; John 1:14; 6:48-51; 1 John 1:1; 1 Peter 1:23). He can transform us by His Set-Apart (Holy) Spirit.


His Word, from Genesis to Revelation, is like bread to us. The two loaves of Shavuot represent the two-covenant people who have charge over “Two Books of the Covenant.” Judah has had charge of the Old (First) Covenant, the Torah, and they tend to eat only of that covenant loaf. Ephraim, or Israel, has had charge of the Renewed Covenant, the covenant of the heart (Jeremiah 31:31-33), and they tend to eat only of that covenant loaf. YHWH has used these two houses to maintain these Books of the Covenant. However, what He really wants is to have “one loaf,” He wants to have “One Book of Covenants.” The first covenant, the Torah, teaches us “how” to approach YHWH based on His criteria. The Renewed Covenant teaches us “how” to tap into His Power. Thus, the Renewed Covenant Empowers us and takes us to an all new level using His Power to heal the sick, raise the dead, etc.


Although the overseers of these two Covenants have made mistakes in the way they have presented His Truths, nonetheless, the two leavened loaves continue to be YHWH’s prescribed wave offering and neither should be unfairly disrespectful to one another.


Shavuot is a day that tells of our Father’s patient endurance, love, and high hopes for both houses of Israel. Let us therefore do as we are told and make a Shavuot Proclamation about this truth. Let us wave two leavened loaves before Him and declare to the world the truth about Israel’s coming full restoration! We are talking about proclaiming the Restoration of ALL Israel.


Torah Is For All


The Torah does not teach that YHWH’s Instructions are the sole possession of the Jewish people, nor of the greater Bnei Yisrael (Children of Israel). They were not given exclusively to them nor for them. On the contrary, they were given to all people in all nations who seek the “how to’s” when faced with the central theme of the Torah, which is to “love YHWH your Elohim (Mighty One) with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself.”


I share with people something Abba (Father) Yah has shown me over the past few years. I call it “Hebrew Math.” It goes like this:


We remember in Matthew 22:35-40 where it is written:


35 …one learned in the Torah, did question, trying Him, and saying, 36 “Teacher, which is the great command in the Torah?” 37 And Yeshua said to him, “ ‘You shall love YHWH your Elohim with all your heart, and with all your being, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great command. 39 And the second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’ 40 On these two commands hang all the Torah and the Prophets.


So, we see in the above Scriptures where Yeshua talks about the Two Commandments. When we take those same Two Commandments and go back to the Ten Words (Commandments) we can see that the first Four Commandments represent the First Command Yeshua spoke about on “How to love Yahweh” and the remaining Six Commands represent the Second Commandment Yeshua stated on “How to love your Neighbor as yourself.” One can also see the first Five Commandments as being “How to love Yahweh” and the last five Commandments on “How to love your Neighbor as yourself.” Either way works.


So, at this point our equation looks like this: 2 = 10.


Now let’s take it one more step. If we look at each of the Ten Commandments and go back to the Torah, we can find in there 613 Commandments/Instructions on “How to love Yahweh” and “How to love our Neighbor as ourselves.” Now our equation is expanded to 2 = 10 = 613. This is what Yeshua was pointing us to when He answered the Pharisees and Sadducees (Matthew 22:34) who asked Him the question in Matthew 22:36 above.


So, when we study the Torah which is Yahweh’s Teachings and Instructions to His people, true believers in Yeshua, we learn what He expects of us as His people on “How” we approach Him and “How” He expects us to love Him as well as “How” He expects us to love our Neighbor as ourselves.


One of the problems that the worldwide Body of Yeshua faces today is a lack of definition of what it means to be part of the redeemed community, the Kingdom of YHWH. So many believers are running from YHWH’s Torah which is His Teachings and Instructions to us in fear of “legalism” and in search of “freedom in Christ” without Torah. They have been taught and erroneously believe that the “Law” is dead; it is no longer useful or required for the true believer; and that it was only given to the Jews, and then only for a limited time, until Yeshua showed up. But nothing could be further from the truth.


Some “say” that keeping the “Law” puts one in “bondage.” If this is true, then when Yeshua comes to Rule and Reign from Jerusalem for 1,000 years and “requires” people to obey His Teachings and Instructions (Torah) on keeping the weekly Sabbath and the Appointed Times (Feasts) will be in bondage for 1,000 years.

Those who do not come to Jerusalem once a year for Sukkot (Tabernacles) will suffer no rain for their crops to grow (Zechariah 14:17). We also get a glimpse of what will take place during the 1,000-year Rule and Reign of Yeshua from Jerusalem when we read Jeremiah Chapters 40 through 49 because all these chapters are describing what will take place during that 1,000 years. So, all those who believe and teach that keeping the “Law” which contains being obedient to keeping His weekly Sabbath and the other Appointed Times (Feasts) as being in bondage will suffer 1,000 years in bondage to Him and His Absolute Written Ways—His Teachings and Instructions to His people-Israel.


In Isaiah 2:3 it says “And many peoples shall come and say, “Come, and let us go up to the mountain of YHWH, to the House of the Elohim [God] of Jacob, and let Him Teach us His Ways, and let us walk in His Paths, for out of Tsiyon [Zion] comes forth the Torah, and the Word of YHWH from Yerushalayim [Jerusalem].” The words “Teach, Ways, Paths, Torah and Word” teach us that His Ways, His Paths, the Teaching and the Word of Y