Last week we took a closer
look at the early spring biblical feasts of the Lord (Lev.
23:4-12), the Feast of Passover, Unleavened Bread and
Firstfruits, and how they pointed toward the crucifixion
and resurrection of Yeshua Ha Mashiach, Jesus the Messiah.
Today we will begin to take
a closer look at the Feast of Weeks (Shavuot) which is
celebrated in the late spring and how it too points toward
Yeshua and towards the unity of all believers (Jew or
Gentile) in the Messiah.
In Lev. 23:17 God
instructed the Israelites to present to Him a wave
offering of two loaves of bread made with “leaven”. The
two loaves were symbolic of Israel and the nations, or in
other words, Jew and Gentile, who are all one in the
Messiah. Leaven, of course, represents sin in the Bible,
and “all have sinned (whether Jew or Gentile) and come
short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23 ).
It is very interesting that
during the early spring festivals of Passover, Unleavened
Bread, and Firstfruits, only “unleavened” bread could be
used, because those three feasts pointed directly to
Yeshua, who was sinless.
Again, the Feast of Weeks
(Shavuot) is a picture of unity between Jew and Gentile in
the Messiah. This picture of unity is beautifully
illustrated for us in the story of Ruth and Boaz. The book
of Ruth traditionally is read on Shavuot because the
setting of the story takes place during the Feast of Weeks
itself in the late spring harvest.
Ruth faithfully followed
her Jewish mother-in-law, Naomi, to Bethlehem saying,
“Wherever you go, I will go. Your God shall be my God, and
your people my people”.
Soon after arriving in
Bethlehem Ruth began to glean in the fields of Boaz, a
biblical right that she had, even as a Gentile, according
to God's Torah in Lev. 23:22. As the story continues, Ruth
and Boaz fall in love and Boaz takes Ruth to be his wife.
Eventually they had a son whom they named Obed. Obed
became the father of Jesse, and Jesse became the father of
King David. David was form the tribe of Judah , and
through his lineage came Yeshua (Jesus) who is the Lion of
the tribe of Judah . What a beautiful story of unity
between Boaz, a Jewish man, and Ruth, a Gentile woman, and
how through their lineage came the Messiah, and in Him we
are all one.
God richly blessed Ruth
because she had a heart for the God of Israel, and for the
Jewish people. Many Christians today have this heart of
Ruth and God is blessing them as well. Indeed, the
scripture rings true from Gen 12:3 when God said to
Abraham “I will bless those who bless you and curse those
who curse you”. God wants to bless you today as you
embrace the biblical Jewish roots of your faith in Yeshua,
the Jewish Messiah and Savior of the world.
looked at the Feast of weeks (Shavuot) celebrated in the
“late spring”, and how the feast pointed towards unity of
Jew and Gentile in the Messiah, illustrated by the waving
of two loaves of bread baked with “leaven” (Lev 23:17).
This theme of unity is further illustrated in the Book of
Ruth, which also takes place during the Feast of Shavuot.
In the Book of Ruth, Boaz - a Jewish man, marries Ruth - a
Gentile woman; and from their offspring came King David.
From David's lineage came the Messiah, Yeshua (Jesus) and
in Him we are all one!
So the Feast
of Weeks is definitely an agricultural festival pointing
toward unity in the Messiah – but the feast has a second
major theme to it as it also commemorates the giving of
the Law (God's Torah) to Moses and the children of Israel
at Mt. Sinai.
Fifty days after the
Israelites came out of Egypt , which took place during
Passover; they came to Mt. Sinai and received the Law.
When the Law was given (according to Ex. 19) there were
supernatural manifestations of fire, smoke and peals of
thunder and lightning at Mt. Sinai , and the whole place
shook violently. Fifty days after Yeshua became our
Passover Lamb, came the outpouring of the Holy Spirit
(Acts 2,) fulfilling the words of the prophet Jeremiah in
chapter 31, when God said, “Behold the days are coming
when I will make a new covenant with the House of Israel
and Judah. I will put my laws in their minds and write
them on their hearts and they will all know me from the
least to the greatest. (Jeremiah 31:31-34)
This, too, took place on
Shavuot, when God-fearing Jews from all the nations came
up to Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast, and when the Holy
Spirit was given, there were also supernatural
manifestations, such as the sound of rushing winds,
tongues of fire, and the whole place shook violently.
Here are some further
comparisons between the Jewish Feast of Shavuot and the
Day of Pentecost.:
1) On Shavuot, 3,000 Jews
who worshiped a golden calf were put to death (Ex. 32:28)
*On the day of Pentecost,
Peter, empowered by the Holy Spirit, preached a great
sermon and 3,000 Jews were
2) On Shavuot, Israel was
“born as a nation” after entering into a covenant
relationship with God at Mt. Sinai .
*On Pentecost came the
“birth of the church” through the outpouring of the Holy
3) On Shavuot, the
commandments of God were written on stone tablets by the
finger of God.
*On Pentecost, they were
written on human hearts by the Spirit of God.
As you can see, the
churches celebration of the Day of Pentecost is rooted in
the biblical Jewish Feast of Shavuot (The Feast of Weeks).
For those of
you who have been listening in every weekday morning at
9:30 , you will know that we have been talking bout the
biblical Jewish feasts of the Lord in Lev. 23, and how
they point toward and are fulfilled in the Messiah Yeshua
(Hebrew for Jesus).
So far, we
have taken a closer look at the first four of these
festivals, Passover, Unleavened Bread, Firstfruits and the
Feast of Weeks, which are celebrated in the early and late
spring. They clearly point toward the crucifixion and
resurrection of the Messiah, and the outpouring of the
Ruach Ha Kodesh (the Holy Spirit). Therefore, these four
festivals have been fulfilled completely in the first
coming of the Messiah Jesus.
Today, I would like to
begin to speak to you about the fall festivals, which have
partially been completed in Yeshua's first coming, but
will totally be completed in the second coming of the
The three fall festivals
are the Feast of Trumpets (Yom Teruah in Hebrew), the Day
of Atonement (Yom Kippur), and the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot
in Hebrew). All three of these feasts are observed during
the month of Tishrei, the seventh month of the Hebrew
The Feast of Trumpets,
observed on the 1 st day of the 7 th month (Lev. 23:24 )
again is called Yom Teurah in Hebrew, which means “the Day
of the Awakening Blast .”
For this reason it is
associated with the second appearance of the Messiah and
the rapture of the body of believers, conforming to the
words of Paul in I Tim. 4:16, 17. “For the Lord Himself
will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of
an arch-angel, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead
in Messiah will rise first. Then we, who are alive and
remain, shall be caught up together with them in the
clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will be with
the Lord forever”.
You can imagine the
awakening of that blast, the blast of the shofar
announcing the second coming of the Messiah!
The Feast of Trumpets is
also associated with a Day of Judgment (“Yom Ha Din” in
A day when books are opened
and final judgment takes place. According to Dan. 7:9, 10,
“The Ancient of Days was seated, ten thousand times ten
thousand stood before Him, the court was seated and the
books were opened”. Daniel goes on to say in Vs. 13 & 14,
in connection with verses 9 & 10: “And behold, One like
the Son of Man, coming with the clouds of heaven…and to
Him was given dominion and glory and a Kingdom, that all
peoples, nations and languages should serve Him, and His
dominion will never pass away.”
Further connections are
made by the words of the Messiah, Himself, in Matt. 24:30,
31. Jesus said, “Then the sign of the Son of Man will
appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth
will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the
clouds of heaven with power and great glory, and He will
send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they
will gather together His elect from the four winds, from
one end of heaven to the other.”
began to take a closer look at the fall festivals, in
particular the Feast of Trumpets (Yom Teruah in Heb.) –
“The Day of the Awakening Blast”. We saw connections with
this feast and the second coming of the Messiah as we
looked into I Thes. 4:16 -17, Dan 7:9-14 and Matt.
24:30-31, which give pictures of judgment, books being
opened, the blast of the shofar from heaven, and the
coming of the Son of Man on the clouds of glory. These are
all themes of the biblical Jewish Feast of Trumpets, which
God commanded the Israelites to keep in Lev. 23:24.
Another theme connected
with the Feast of Trumpets is Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish
New Year, which, according to rabbinic Judaism, marks the
creation of the world. On Rosh Hashanah God is recognized
as the Divine creator and as King of the universe.
Therefore, we have another sub-title to the Feast of
Trumpets called “Ha Melech” which means “the King”. One of
the reasons we sound the shofar (the rams horn) on Rosh
Hashanah is to “hail the King” with the blast of the horn.
Yeshua is King in every
sense of the word. He has a throne (Heb. “keesay), He has
a scepter (Heb. “sharvet), and He has a kingdom (Heb. “malchoot”).
He has subjects in His
kingdom including angels, archangels, and other heavenly
beings, believers, who have graduated from earth to
heaven; and the rest of us, His people in the earth
(meaning you and me), who are also believers in the
The King also gives us His
“decrees”, his commandments in the Bible (“mitzvot” in
Other kings and kingdoms
will come and go – but Yeshua's kingdom endures forever!
On top of all this,
He is a good
King! He feeds the hungry, clothes the naked,
provides shelter for the poor and the homeless, heals the
sick and visits those who are lonely and in prison. This
King even lays down His own life for His people and when
His people die, He raises them to life again! How could
anyone ask for another King? (You have to be crazy!)
Yet so many people would
rather serve another king. However, this is not a nice
king. He is the king of “darkness”. This king is a thief
who comes to steal, kill and destroy. This king has been a
liar since the beginning. This “king of darkness” can even
appear as an “angel of light” and fool many. This king
knows he will be thrown into a lake of fire, and he wants
you there with him.
*Isn't it better to serve
Yeshua (Jesus) “our good King”?
For the past
few days I have been speaking to you about the biblical
“Feast of Trumpets” which God commanded the Israelites to
keep in Lev. 23:24. In Hebrew, this feast is called “Yom
Teruah” which means “The Day of the Awakening Blast”
We have seen that this
feast, according to the scriptures, has connections with
the second coming of the Messiah, with judgment, and with
Rosh Hashanah, when God is “hailed” as the Creator of the
world and the King of the Universe; this all points toward
Yeshua (Jesus), our “good King” who is coming back soon.
Connected with judgment is
the theme of “repentance” – another vital aspect of the
Feast of Trumpets, a,k.a., Rosh Hashanah.
In Judaism, there is a
designated “season of repentance” called in Hebrew, the
season of T'shuva, which basically means “repenting of all
sin, and coming back to God with your whole heart.
This season of T'shuva
begins 30 days before Rosh Hashanah on the first day of
the Hebrew month of Elul. During the month of Elul the
shofar is sounded every morning to remind the Jewish
people to “search their soul” and “repent of all sins”
before the high holy days of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur
arrive. These are observed on the first and the tenth day
of the month of Tishrei, the Hebrew month that follows the
month of Elul.
In reality the entire 40
day period, is the season of T'shuva (the season of
repentance) beginning with the first of Elul and
culminating on the 10th of Tishrei, the Day of Atonement
During the 40-day period,
the story of Abraham and Isaac on Mt. Moriah (Gen. 22) is
read in Jewish synagogues and in Jewish houses. In Hebrew,
it is called “the Akidah” which means “the binding of
Isaac”. The story itself is a reminder to our Jewish
people that God provided a sacrifice in place of Isaac, a
ram caught by its “horns” in the bushes. Here we see
another connection with the ram's horn (the shofar), and
the biblical Jewish feasts of Rosh Hashanah and Yom
Kippur. But the greater significance is that God provided
a “lamb” in place of Isaac, as Abraham prophesied that He
would in Gen. 22:8.
What most people do not
realize is that Mt. Moriah became the very place where
King Solomon built the temple 1,000 years later, and the
very place where Yeshua (Jesus) was sacrificed for our
sins 2,000 years later as "the precious Lamb of God ."
This was the real
fulfillment of Abraham's prophecy.
Yes, it is true that there
is a designated “season of repentance” in Judaism, in
connection with the biblical feast of Rosh Hashanah and
Yom Kippur, but as we all know, a person can repent of
their sins any day of the year and come back to God with
their whole heart.
In the Brit Hadasha (the
New Covenant) I John 1:7 & 9 says, “If we confess our
sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us all our sins
and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness, through the
blood of His Son, Jesus the Messiah”.