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In order to understand Shavuot, or what most modern day Christians call “Pentecost”.. it's important to understand that Shavuot and Pentecost fall on the same day. In fact Pentecost was known as Shavuot long before it was ever known as Pentecost. Although the two Feast Days are commemorated for different reasons.. I think you will agree with me by the end of this study that the different reasons really aren't so different at all. The truth of the matter is that Shavuot was established about thirteen hundred years before Pentecost. If we turn back to Acts chapter two we can get a better idea of what actually happened on the original Pentecost... so to begin our journey into exactly what Shavuot and Pentecost are..  lets turn to Acts chapter 2 verse 1: Act 2:1  When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. Now.. if we turn to the Complete Jewish Bible, and we read that same text we see something a little different in Acts 2:1:  Act 2:1  The festival of Shavu`ot arrived, and the believers all gathered together in one place. The Complete Jewish Bible as well as the Orthodox Jews Bible, and the Hebrew Bibles all translate the Greek word “Pentecost” as “Shavuot”, because it was always well known that this day was celebrated by the Jewish people as the day that God gave his Torah to Moses on Mount Sinai. You see there was already a gathering in Jerusalem long before there was a Pentecost. The Israelite's had always gathered for what was known as Shavuot. And people would travel for miles and miles and even days to get to Jerusalem for Shavuot. And this was why there were so many people in Jerusalem on the day that the Ruach Hakodesh (the Holy Spirit) was given to the Apostles. And this is why so many people who spoke different languages were all gathered together in Jerusalem It wasn't because they were all waiting for the Holy Spirit... it was because they were there in Jerusalem to celebrate Shavuot. What most modern day Christians do not realize is that there was a huge Jewish festival going on on the day of Pentecost when the Apostles were gathered together in the upper room. And this is why when the Apostles began to speak in different languages there were people that spoke these different languages there in Jerusalem to hear them. This had nothing to do with a Christian “Pentecost” as we know it today. The reasons that the Jewish people celebrated Shavuot is another whole story. Shavuot had a duel meaning for the Jewish people. It was a commanded agricultural festival as well as the day that they believed that God had given his Torah to Moses on mount Sinai. and we'll get into that as we progress in our study. The word “Pentecost” is a Greek word that means “The Fiftieth Day”. Thayers Greek Definitions defines Pentecost this way: In English it's called “The Feast Of Weeks”, and of course in Hebrew it's called “Shavuot”.. so it's important to understand the fundamental (although somewhat confusing) day of what we know as “Pentecost”. So as we read through Acts chapter two it's important to know that there was a festival already going on in Jerusalem the day that the Apostles were gathered together in the upper room. At this point I'd like to take us over to the book of Leviticus so that we can start from the beginning and see where this particular Feast Day is commanded.. so lets go to Leviticus 23:15-21: Lev 23:15  "You shall count seven full weeks from the day after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering. Lev 23:16  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. Lev 23:17  You shall bring from your dwelling places two loaves of bread to be waved, made of two tenths of an ephah. They shall be of fine flour, and they shall be baked with leaven, as firstfruits to the LORD. Lev 23:18  And you shall present with the bread seven lambs a year old without blemish, and one bull from the herd and two rams. They shall be a burnt offering to the LORD, with their grain offering and their drink offerings, a food offering with a pleasing aroma to the LORD. Lev 23:19  And you shall offer one male goat for a sin offering, and two male lambs a year old as a sacrifice of peace offerings. Lev 23:20  And the priest shall wave them with the bread of the firstfruits as a wave offering before the LORD, with the two lambs. They shall be holy to the LORD for the priest. Lev 23:21  And you shall make a proclamation on the same day. You shall hold a holy convocation. You shall not do any ordinary work. It is a statute forever in all your dwelling places throughout your generations. So the first thing that we need to do is to learn how to calculate Pentecost according to the scripture. And once again as you may have already noticed.. most of Christianity does not celebrate the Feast of Pentecost on the same day that the scripture tells us to celebrate it.. so we want to pay close attention to what the scripture says.. and not some man made tradition, or some denominational charter of men.. and we can find out how to calculate when Pentecost is.. in verses 15 and 16: Lev 23:15  "You shall count seven full weeks from the day after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering. Lev 23:16  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. In verse 15 God is talking about “First Fruits”.. this was the day that they brought the sheaf of the wave offering. This falls on the day after the 1st Sabbath.. that comes after Passover. We need to remember that Yahshua Jesus was not raised on Easter Sunday according to the scriptures. Yahshua Jesus was resurrected on “First Fruits”. This is one of the reasons why he's called the “First Fruits of the new harvest” in 1st Corinthians 15:22-23: 1Co 15:22  For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. 1Co 15:23  But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ.  The term “First Fruits” is used to describe our Messiah not only because he was resurrected on “Firstfruits”... but also because he was the first true human Son of God. The first “Only Begotten” Son of God. And for those of us who have picked up our crosses and have decided to follow after him..  we too will be sons of the one true God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob.. lets read Romans 8:13 through 17: Rom 8:13  For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. Rom 8:14  For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. Rom 8:15  For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, "Abba! Father!" Rom 8:16  The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, Rom 8:17  and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. So Yahshua was the “First Fruit” of the New Harvest just as we're told in 1st Corinthians 15:20: 1Co 15:20  But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. We have the “First Fruits” of the spirit with in us that the Father has sent in the name of the Son, and it is because we have this Spirit.. that we wait eagerly for the adoption as sons and the redemption of our bodies.. lets read Romans 8:22-25: Rom 8:22  For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. Rom 8:23  And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. Rom 8:24  For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? Rom 8:25  But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. For more information on exactly when a Christian receives their adoption as sons.. you can visit us at HolyImpactMinistries.com navigate to our “Teachings” page and select “False Doctrines” from our menu bar and then click on our teaching entitled “When Are We Saved Exactly?”, and once again that study is free and costs nothing to view... we do not sell the word of God at Holy Impact Ministries. So getting back to how we calculate Pentecost also known as Shavuot.. or the Feast of Weeks.. which ever you prefer.. In Leviticus 23:15 once again we're told that "You shall count seven full weeks from the day after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering.”.. so we know that we need to count seven full weeks from “First Fruits”. so in order to properly calculate Pentecost.. also known as “Shavuot”.. we need to know when “First Fruits” was... because that's the day we need to start counting from.. but lets make sure that we understand this commandment well before we move forward. Lets turn to Leviticus 23:1-11: Lev 23:1  The LORD spoke to Moses, saying, Lev 23:2  "Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, These are the appointed feasts of the LORD that you shall proclaim as holy convocations; they are my appointed feasts. Lev 23:3  "Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, a holy convocation. You shall do no work. It is a Sabbath to the LORD in all your dwelling places. Lev 23:4  "These are the appointed feasts of the LORD, the holy convocations, which you shall proclaim at the time appointed for them. Lev 23:5  In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at twilight, is the LORD's Passover. Lev 23:6  And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the LORD; for seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. Lev 23:7  On the first day you shall have a holy convocation; you shall not do any ordinary work. Lev 23:8  But you shall present a food offering to the LORD for seven days. On the seventh day is a holy convocation; you shall not do any ordinary work." Lev 23:9  And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, Lev 23:10  "Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, When you come into the land that I give you and reap its harvest, you shall bring the sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the priest, Lev 23:11  and he shall wave the sheaf before the LORD, so that you may be accepted. On the day after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it.  This waving of the sheaf represented the first of the barley harvest, and was known as “First Fruits”. Once again.. after the Passover... “First Fruits” falls the day after the first Sabbath. So it's clear from the scriptures.. that the High Priest is to wave the sheaf of the firstfruits of the harvest before the Father (and I quote).. “On the day after the Sabbath”. So we have Passover, then Unleavened Bread.. then First Fruits... and on “First Fruits” we begin to count 50 days.. until we finally land on the day of Pentecost (aka Shavuot). This year in 2017.. we know that Passover fell on April 10th.. so lets go look at this years calendar so that we can properly calculate when Pentecost is this year: Passover this year fell on April 10th. The 1st Shabbat.. or the Sabbath after Passover fell on the 15th... which was Gods 7th Day Sabbath.. that by the way... has never been changed by any prophet, priest, Apostle, Holy Spirit, and certainly was not changed by Yahshua Jesus or his Father Yahovah anywhere in the scriptures... so once again... Passover fell on April 10th... the true 7th day Sabbath of God fell on April 15th. So the day after April 15th would have been “First Fruits”.. because according to Leviticus 23:11.. we need to wait until after the Sabbath. “First Fruits”.. then would have fallen on April 16th... (once again.. the day “after” the Sabbath) so from April 16th which was “First Fruits” this year... we need to count 7 weeks just as we're told in Leviticus 23:15 and 16: Lev 23:15  "You shall count seven full weeks from the day after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering. Lev 23:16  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. So if we count 7 weeks from April 16th.. we find that Pentecost falls on June 4th... and we need to remember that Gods days do not run from midnight to midnight... Gods days run from sundown to sundown... so this means... that Saturday... June 3rd... at sundown... Pentecost begins... and it will run until Sunday June 4th sundown. And this is how we properly calculate when Pentecost also known as Shavuot is according to the scripture. It's important to understand that “First Fruits” will always begin on the first day of the week, because it is commanded to be after the first Sabbath after the Passover. And so we know for a biblical fact... that Shavuot Pentecost begins June 3rd at sundown and runs until June 4th at sundown this year in 2017 (of course the actual calendar dates change from year to year). So lets now move into what Pentecost is verses Shavuot and lets find out if these two celebrations are really all that different from one another... or not. First Fruits represents the first harvest of the barley crop. Pentecost or Shavuot represents the first of the wheat harvest. When we look at Pentecost it's important to understand it's agricultural significance as the first of the wheat harvest.. but it also took on a dual meaning for the Jewish people commemorating the day that God himself came down to give his 10 commandments to his people. Because Exodus 19:1 tells us that the giving of the Torah occurred in the 3rd month after Israel left Egypt, it is entirely possible.. if not probable..  that Mosses was indeed given the Torah on the day of Shavuot just as the Jewish people have believed for centuries before the death burial and resurrection of our Messiah. If we search our Bibles for the passage that says that God gave his Torah to Moses on Mount Sinai on Shavuot.. we won't find it. The Bible is vegue at best about when this event actually took place... however we do know that the event did take place because it's given to us in the book of Exodus. But even though the actual day is not given in the scriptures.. we do have the ancient writings of the Jewish sages and Rabbi's that clearly tell us that this was the day it happened. It's important for us to understand that the earliest known direct reference to the Jewish people celebrating Shavuot as the day that the Torah was given on Mount Sinai. is found in the 2nd and 3rd centuries A.D. After our Messiah's death burial and resurrection, and it was found in the Talmud tractates Shabbat and Pesachim. However.. we also find evidence of this in the book of Jubilees as well. And the book of Jubilees was created back in the 2nd or 3rd century B.C... before the birth of our Messiah. So my point here is that the Jews believed that the Torah had been given on Mount Sinai on Shavuot well before the birth of Yahshua Jesus. And this means that the Jews in Jesus time would have believed it, and so did the Apostles of Yahshua's time. So when we read Acts chapter two we know that the Apostles believed that this day called Pentecost in many of our Bibles.. was the day that the Jews believed.. that God gave us his Torah on Mount Sinai, and the book of Acts is written with this understanding as it's context. Luke, Paul, Peter and all of the rest of the Apostles were well aware of this understanding and it shines through in Acts chapter two if we know what to look for. The word “Midrash” is a Hebrew term that means to discuss and interpret Scripture. But there is also a body of ancient Jewish literature called “The Midrash”, and in this literature ancient Sages and Rabbis have given their interpretations of certain Bible passages, and with in these Jewish texts we find that they did indeed did believe that God came down to thunder his 10 commandments to the Israelite's on Shavuot. And this is a whole study in itself that we won't get into here for times sake. Most Christians have no idea that God came down in person to give us his 10 commandments, on Mount Sinai because that's not what they teach us in Sunday School is it? We're taught that Moses went up the mountain to get the 10 commandments... and he did do that... but not until after.. God had already come down and spoken them in person to his people. According to the scriptures.. God himself did indeed come down to speak to the people himself and you can imagine what that must have been like. Here's what the people said to Moses after God came down and thundered his 10 commandments to them... we can find that in Exodus 20:18-22: Exo 20:18  Now when all the people saw the thunder and the flashes of lightning and the sound of the trumpet and the mountain smoking, the people were afraid and trembled, and they stood far off Exo 20:19  and said to Moses, "You speak to us, and we will listen; but do not let God speak to us, lest we die." Exo 20:20  Moses said to the people, "Do not fear, for God has come to test you, that the fear of him may be before you, that you may not sin." Exo 20:21  The people stood far off, while Moses drew near to the thick darkness where God was. Exo 20:22  And the LORD said to Moses, "Thus you shall say to the people of Israel: 'You have seen for yourselves that I have talked with you from heaven. Now... clearly in our Bibles we see that the giving of the Torah came with thunder, flashes of lightning, the sound of a trumpet and a smoking mountain. When God speaks.. the voice of Yahovah our Father flashes forth flames of fire. Lets read Psalms 29:7-8: Psa 29:7  The voice of the LORD flashes forth flames of fire. Psa 29:8  The voice of the LORD shakes the wilderness; the LORD shakes the wilderness of Kadesh. And so when we see the giving of his Ruach Hakodesh... his Holy Spirit to the Apostles on Pentecost... what do we see happening? Lets read Acts 2:2-4: Act 2:2  And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Act 2:3  And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. Act 2:4  And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. The similarities between the giving of the law on Mount Sinai through Moses... and the giving of the law through the Spirit in Jerusalem are clear. On Mount Sinai people saw wind, and fire, and smoke. In Jerusalem people saw wind, and fire and languages that could be seen dividing themselves among them. No matter whether you believe that Shavuot was just a simple agricultural festival, or whether you believe that it was indeed the day that God gave his Torah to his people.. the point is that God did write his Torah in stone at Mount Sinai. and God did indeed write his Torah in the hearts and in the minds of his People in Jerusalem and around the world today.. and this can not be disputed according to the scriptures that we have in our hands today. Our Messiah told us that his blood was the New Covenant that his Father had promised in Luke 22:19-20:   Luk 22:19  And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me." Luk 22:20  And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, "This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood. Through the blood of our Messiah... we have been given the New Covenant... and his Holy Spirit has been sent to each one of us to remind us of what that New Covenant was all about, and to remind us what the New Covenant was for... and so today I'd like to take us back to the book of Jeremiah so that we can once again see... hear... and know... what the “New Covenant” is all about. Lets turn to Jeremiah 31:31-33: Jer 31:31  "Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, Jer 31:32  not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the LORD. Jer 31:33  For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. The New Covenant was all about our Father writing his laws in our hearts and in our minds. The promised New Covenant of our Father never had anything to do with nailing his laws to some tree somewhere as so many of today's modern day... mislead professing Christians claim. We must remember what the Holy Spirit was sent to do my friends... and we can find that in John 14:26: Joh 14:26  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 have said to you. And those of us who have the Holy Spirit are reminded of what our Father in Heaven said the New Covenant was all about... and once again we can find that in the book of Hebrews 10:15-17: Heb 10:15  And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us; for after saying, Heb 10:16  "This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws on their hearts, and write them on their minds," Heb 10:17  then he adds, "I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more." It's important to understand that we as believing Christians... who understand the obedience of faith..and the biblical definition of the love of God found in 1st John 3:4.. have been grafted into the House of Israel. And for those of you who do not understand this most important biblical fact... I would encourage you to go read Romans chapter 11... or even Galatians 3:26-29: Gal 3:26  for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. Gal 3:27  For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. Gal 3:28  There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. Gal 3:29  And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise. The New Covenant that our Messiah's blood brought to us was never about nailing his Fathers laws to a tree my friends. It was about writing his laws in our hearts and on our minds. The very idea that men would teach such things enrages my spirit... and once again I hear those words of the Apostle Paul ringing in my ears.. the very same words that Paul spoke to the church at Corinth.. in 1st Corinthians 11:4: 2Co 11:4  For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough. And if we simply scroll down to verses 13 through 15 we can know who these men are: 2Co 11:13  For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. 2Co 11:14  And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. 2Co 11:15  So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds. I will fight to my last breath against those who stand behind today's pulpits and preach another Jesus.. another spirit... and another gospel.. and I will not hold hands with them and sing “Kumbaya” as so many other so called men of God do. The words of the Apostle Paul.. and what he continues to say about those who preach another Jesus, and another spirit and another gospel can be found in his famous speech to the church at Galatia in Galatians 1:6-9: Gal 1:6  I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— Gal 1:7  not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. Gal 1:8  But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. Gal 1:9  As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed. Pentecost should remind us of the truth of Gods word through his Holy Spirit that was given to us on that most important day in Jerusalem through his Ruach Hakodesh (Holy Spirit). And it should remind us of the wolves in sheep's clothing that our Messiah and his Apostles warned us about. It should remind us of the office that we hold as sons of God, and it should remind the world that the day is fast approaching when his New Covenant will be completed.. and therefore I will leave you with this promise from our Father in heaven found in Jeremiah 31:33-40: Jer 31:33  For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Jer 31:34  And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,' for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more." Jer 31:35  Thus says the LORD, who gives the sun for light by day and the fixed order of the moon and the stars for light by night, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar— the LORD of hosts is his name: Jer 31:36  "If this fixed order departs from before me, declares the LORD, then shall the offspring of Israel cease from being a nation before me forever." Jer 31:37  Thus says the LORD: "If the heavens above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth below can be explored, then I will cast off all the offspring of Israel for all that they have done, declares the LORD." Jer 31:38  "Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when the city shall be rebuilt for the LORD from the Tower of Hananel to the Corner Gate. Jer 31:39  And the measuring line shall go out farther, straight to the hill Gareb, and shall then turn to Goah. Jer 31:40  The whole valley of the dead bodies and the ashes, and all the fields as far as the brook Kidron, to the corner of the Horse Gate toward the east, shall be sacred to the LORD. It shall not be plucked up or overthrown anymore forever." The coming of our Messiah Yahshua Hamashiach Jesus the Messiah is fast approaching.. and his Father will indeed make his enemies his footstool beneath the feet of his Son. So then the question becomes... where do you stand as a Christian today? Do you understand the truth of Gods word as it was given.. or are you still following after the wisdom of men and their denominational charters who continue to hide the truth of Gods word from his people? Do you understand the obedience of faith?... or are you still bound by the chains of the “Once Saved Always Saved... Do As Thou Wilt Is The Whole Of The Law” doctrine of demons? I urge you to take this time on the day of Pentecost to audit your faith.. and to turn back to the scriptures and the scriptures alone... and to take the things that you have heard here today to your prayer closet... and to bow your head and bend your knees and ask in the name of Yahshua Hamashiach Jesus our Messiah.. if these things that you have heard here today.. be true... or not.                                                                                                                                        Grace & Peace                                                                                                                                     Pastor Scott Velain
Shavuot or Pentecost?
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