Lessons of Shavuot

. Posted in Teachings.

We have recently concluded counting the fifty days from Unleavened Bread to Shavuot. The anticipation built as Shavuot drew near. It is simply awesome to understand that His people have been counting these days for thousands of years with great zeal. Now that the “spring feasts” are past, we can take some time to reflect on what Abba wanted to teach us during this cycle of the early moedim.

Shavuot is one of the three “ascension feasts” and the feast that both Christians and Jews recognize today. Perhaps it is the feast where we will celebrate together again, as Abba re-gathers all of His people. Largely forgotten in the Christian world and relegated to a lesser standing in most Jewish (and even Messianic Jewish) circles, Shavuot is key in the restoration of all things. It is all about the Covenant and the Spirit. It is where truth and spirit kiss. Like the ancient betrothal at Mount Sinai that awaits the Bridegrooms return for His Bride, Shavuot is still waiting for its ultimate fulfillment, when His people walk in the fullness of the Torah and the Ruach haKodesh.

Unfortunately, many today, even some who embrace the Hebraic Roots of the Messianic faith, seem to separate the Spirit from the Torah. It is as if they want to treat these two vital parts of Elohim as they formerly did the trinity, as distinctly different entities. In doing so, they are denying the true power of the Father and limiting their worship.

But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. "God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth (John 4:23-24).

Please notice here that true worshippers MUST worship the Father in Spirit and Truth. The promise given is that the hour has come. There most certainly has been a remnant of people throughout time who understood and embraced the relationship between Spirit and Truth. In our westernized mindset, we often have difficulty putting two seemingly different concepts into one. Therefore, our natural tendency is to leave the Spirit on one side of the isle and the Truth on another. However, it is the spirit of Shavuot that brings them together. We can see this in Exodus 19 and Acts 2 when there were thunderings, lightening, fire, and mighty rushing wind amongst His people. The same spirit that moved upon the deep of the waters in Genesis wants to move upon the water of our souls today. The key is embracing both the Spirit and the Truth.

Of course, any Believer is familiar with John 17:17, “Thy word is truth.” The word referred to was the Torah, so when we speak of Spirit and Truth, we are speaking of Spirit and His Torah. For many coming into this walk, they have been so programmed to view the Torah as legalism and the Spirit as freedom, that even when they are studying the Torah their old paradigms secretly reign.

Separating the Spirit and the Torah is like attempting to separate Yeshua and the Word. Simply put, it cannot be done. It seems as though it is almost impossible for some to break free of their old understanding in this vital matter. The apostle John knew the truth and referred to the Ruach haKodesh often as, “the Spirit of truth.”

I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come (John 16:12-14).

Not only did John grasp the relationship between Spirit and truth, but he knew the primary purpose of the Spirit – to guide His people into “all truth.” Could this be why he is referred to as one of the, “Sons of Thunder?” Yes, the same thunder that was heard at Mount Sinai and in that gathering of Acts 2. John got it. He did not see the Spirit and the Torah as opposites, but as one. John was a, “true worshipper.”

Today in our assemblies, there are those who would be perfectly content to participate in a four hour Torah midrash every week. Then there are those who want to dance and shout for hours. Over time, and with great patience with each other, these two types of Believers will meet in the middle and become true worshippers. Of course, the outward manifestations are not the only measurement for only YHWH knows what is in their hearts. However, out of the abundance of the heart our mouth sings and our feet dance.

If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not behold Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you, and will be in you (John 14:15-17).

The spirit of truth resides within all true Believers. Once again, many have things backwards as they seek for the Spirit to fall, when what really needs happen is for the Ruach haKodesh to rise up within the very soul of His people. This is absolutely vital for the generation who will see the restoration of all things and the return of Messiah Yeshua.

But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you (John 14:26).

Once again, the Son of Thunder states that the Holy Spirit will teach us all things and cause us to remember the words of Yeshua (the Word that became flesh). To attempt to separate the Word from the Spirit is dangerous business that will result in the death of the Body.

The purpose of the Spirit is not to give us goose bumps or emotional highs, although both of those manifestations may occur, but rather to sanctify His people with the Truth of His Word. The Apostle Peter knew this and agreed with John.

Peter, an apostle of Yeshua Messiah, to those who reside as aliens, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, who are chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, that you may obey Yeshua and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be yours in fullest measure (1 Peter 1:1-2).

Peter, in this salutation to the scattered chosen ones of Israel, who were now strangers in a foreign land, clearly states that the Spirit’s work is to sanctify, so that we might obey. How profoundly magnificent is this statement. This is a “now word” for today. The blood of Messiah, obedience to His instruction, and the sanctification of the Holy Spirit are all intertwined, not separate and apart. John knew this and so did Peter. We have moved so far from this simply profound faith. It is time to return to a right understanding, so that we can see the power that the original Apostles brought forth.

Shavuot represents a huge opportunity for His people. It is the feast that holds the central place in His calendar. Understanding and walking in a great love of His Torah is impossible without the Spirit. The Spirit, without the boundaries of the Torah, can be like a wild brush fire. When we put them together, we find the peace and grace that Peter wrote about, in its, “fullest measure.”

For the commandment is a lamp, and the law (Torah) is light (Proverbs 6:23).

The oil in the lamps of the 5 wise virgins is the Torah illuminated. Commandments, or lamps for that matter, do not contain light if they remain unlit. It is the fire of the Ruach haKodesh that ignites Torah in our lives. Fire is only safe if it is contained within a vessel. The commandments are the vessel which contain the oil. When ignited by the Ruach haKodesh, the light of the Torah will illuminate the world.

Many set up a chuppah as a symbol for Shavuot, representing the betrothal of Israel to their God at Mount Sinai. However, the chuppah also represents the central focus of a marriage. Therefore, it is a perfect symbol for Shavuot on many levels. Under the shadow of His wings, in the chuppah, is where the Spirit and the Truth become one. While we look back at Sinai during Shavuot, may we also look forward towards Zion. The chuppah represents the future for empowered, truth loving, true worshippers, of the God of Israel. One day, we will ascend to Mount Zion and marry our Brigdegroom.

Scripture makes it clear, and we currently see it all around us; there is a counterfeit kingdom. Its fruit are, “immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these…” (Galatians 5:18-21) It is the rejection of the truth that propels people down this path.

… the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved. And for this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they might believe what is false (2 Thessalonians 2:9-11)

It is our love of the truth that saves us from deception. Yahweh will test us, to see if we love the truth, or if we will believe a lie. Abba allows Satan to perform powerful signs and false wonders as part of our test. We must counteract those enticing things with a “love of the truth.” There are those who draw conclusions, and make life changing judgments, without ever researching to find the truth. Often these decisions are based on emotions and feelings, rather than facts. They hear a story, or read something from one witness, and run off spreading tales that will lead others astray. Isn’t that how the church got off track in the first place? Their love of the truth grew cold. When that happens, it can lead to generations unwittingly embracing deception. Instead, we are called to love truth and promised that it will set us free.

Two other facets that keep us grounded and stable in our walk with Elohim is family and community. Many people today, who are desirous of seeing mighty works of the Holy Spirit, are looking in all the wrong places. They are focused on an emotional encounter, rather than a tangible outpouring. The strong desire for stupendous miracles, as an affirmation of their walk, has caused them to look past the miracles that are surrounding them each day. The dead are being raised at this hour, but instead of a departed loved one, it is the dormant spirit within His people that is arising and affirming their new found beliefs related to Israel and all things Hebraic.

I get to witness miracles every week, as I see three and four generations of families coming together to worship the God of Israel with a renewed understanding of His Torah. When I speak with Believers who after 30 years with our Messiah are grasping the significance of the moedim in their walk, I hear of miracles. Miraculously, lives are being transformed around the globe by a mighty move of the Holy Spirit – the Spirit of Truth. On Friday nights when my children and grandchildren are gathered around my Shabbat table and are eager to enter into His set apart time together, I know that my God is moving in a mighty way. Hearts, homes, and communities are being transformed by the Spirit of Truth in miraculous ways at this hour. Could these be part of the “greater works” spoken by Yeshua in John

Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater worksthan these shall he do; because I go to the Father (John 14:12).

Yeshua came to restore the people of Israel to the covenants of Israel. This is now happening throughout the world in hearts, homes, and communities of faith. These are the days of Elijah and hearts are being turned back to the ways of our Heavenly Father. We are now seeing the work of Yeshua multiplied beyond Judea and Samaria, into the far corners of the earth. This is indeed miraculous, but still a bit hidden. Slowly, the transformed lives are emerging, gathering, and celebrating His faithfulness as the miraculous restoration is well underway.

This is a critical time. May our discernment be keen and our love of the truth be fortified, not diminished. Let us learn the lessons of Shavuot well. May His people, the true worshippers, walk in the power of the Spirit of Truth, rather than bending a knee to the spirit of deception. May the Spirit of Shavuot be upon us all leading us to His holy mountain.

We are from God; he who knows God listens to us; he who is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error (1 John 4:6).

Fill your people at this hour Abba with the peace and grace that Peter desired for his scattered brothers and sisters. We are still aliens in the land we reside in and weak from the journey. Put an unbridled love of the Word within us. Give us a strong desire to obey, without compromise, but with grace. Let us not stifle, but rather embrace the Ruach haKodesh, realizing it is a set-apart Spirit, a Spirit that sanctifies and separates, so that the Spirit can then unify and empower. Grant us the discernment of John and Peter to see beyond our own limitations and move out like the Sons of Thunder, expecting miracles and proclaiming the One who turns our prayers into reality.

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