Tree of Life (TLV) Translation of the Bible. Copyright © 2015 by The Messianic Jewish Family Bible Society.
https://youtu.be/3AX28zvbB1U Shavuot/Pentecost, Rabbi Greg Hershberg
May 31, 2017.
http://ffoz.org/discover/shavuot/fire-on-the-mountain.html, “Fire On The Mountain,” First Fruits of Zion, by D. Thomas Lancaster, June 9, 2016.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=OrXhXVNACMw “Glory Come Down,” by Jason Upton.
The biblical festival of Shavuot is the anniversary of the day Yahweh spoke the Law at Mount Sinai. The Christian tradition of Pentecost is the day when the Holy Spirit was released in the Upper Room. Messianic believers understand that Shavuot and Penteco
st unite. The Torah, given to Moses at Sinai, precludes the coming down of the Holy Spirit at Messiah’s return to the Father. Since Messianics know that Yeshua IS THE LIVING TORAH, it is not difficult to connect the two events. In each situation His Holy Presence was released to His people.
Fire has traditionally accompanied any major visitation of Yahweh. Just before making the covenant with Abraham, “When the sun set and it became dark, behold, there was a smoking oven and a fiery torch that passed between these pieces” (Gen.15:17). When Yahweh called Moses to his commission: “Then the angel of Adonai appeared to him in a flame of fire from within a bush. So he looked and saw the bush burning with fire, yet it was not consumed” (Ex.3:2). When the Torah was given at Mount Sinai, “In the morning of the third day, there was thundering and lightning, a thick cloud on the mountain, and the blast of an exceedingly loud shofar. All the people in the camp trembled.Then Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God, and they stood at the lowest part of the mountain. Now the entire Mount Sinai was in smoke, because Adonai had descended upon it in fire. The smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace. The whole mountain quaked greatly” (Ex.19:16-18).
“For thousands of years the Jewish people have been celebrating the biblical festival of Shavu’ot as the Festival of the Giving of the Torah. The remembrance of the Mount Sinai event is treated like the wedding anniversary between God and Israel. On Pentecost in the Synagogue today, a wedding contract between God and Israel is read. The actual Torah scroll is dressed in white like a bride’s gown. The whole congregation recites the Ten Commandments together. The story of Exodus 19 and 20 is read aloud to the congregation. Pentecost is celebrated as a wedding anniversary for God and his bride— the anniversary of the fire on the mountain when God’s voice spoke in all languages of the world and was visible as torches of fire that came to “every Jew individually”” (“Fire on the Mountain,” D. Thomas Lancaster).
The Fire of God in Genesis and Exodus were precursors to the fire of the Spirit after Messiah’s ascension. “When the day of Shavuot had come, they were all together in one place. Suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And tongues like fire spreading out appeared to them and settled on each one of them. They were all filled with the Ruach ha-Kodesh (Holy Spirit) and began to speak in other tongues as the Ruach enabled them to speak out” (Acts 2:1-4). And when Messiah returns for His bride there will also be thunder and fire: “Then I saw heaven opened. . . . ….. . . . . His eyes are like a flame of fire” (Rev.19:11,12). Isaiah prophecies about Messiah’s return, that “You will be visited by Adonai-Tzva’ot (Lord of Hosts) with thunder, earthquake, huge noise, whirlwind and storm-wind, and the flame of a consuming fire” (Isa.29:6).
For forty days Yeshua taught them, after His resurrection, before His ascension, and on the Day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit was released with fire: “He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father promised. . . .. you will be immersed in the Ruach ha-Kodesh (Holy Spirit) not many days from now. . . . . But you will receive power when the Ruach ha-Kodesh has come upon you; and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and throughout all Judah, and Samaria, and to the end of the earth. After saying all this—while they were watching—He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight” (Acts 1:4,5,8,9).
Rabbi Greg Hershberg (https://youtu.be/3AX28zvbB1U ) emphasizes the importance of the receipt of power (dumanus) on the Day of Pentecost. God has given us His Spirit so we are capable of doing what we otherwise would not be capable of. “You can’t discern anything without the Holy Spirit. That is why it was so important for Yeshua to ascend,” Hershberg points out. Whatever God instructs us to do, we are empowered by the Holy Spirit to do; it is not by our thoughts, analyzing, nor our own power that we can do the work assigned by the Father. “If you are under the unction of the Holy Spirit, God will give you the power to declare the greatness of the God of the universe.” He points out that “boldness is NOT arrogance” it is the power of the Holy Spirit empowering us to be bold witnesses. “We are born to be witnesses; and that by the Holy Spirit . .. .” (Hershberg). When the fire of God comes upon us, we become bold, “For God has not given us a spirit of timidity but of power and love and self-discipline” (2 Tim.1:7).
The Holy Spirit came down with fire to His people and we look to such profound visitations today. As many pray for revival, they yearn to experience those same manifestations of Yahweh’s presence. As we celebrate Shavuot/Pentecost today, let us call down God’s Glory once again
(www.youtube.com/watch?v=OrXhXVNACMw , “Glory Come Down,” by Jason Upton).
© 2016, revised 2018 by Verna Crowther. All rights reserved.
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