We celebrated the Feast of Unleavened bread for seven days, punctuated by Firstfruits, which we celebrated on the 1st day of the week, following the weekly Sabbath during Unleavened Bread.
I know this is a highly debatable issue these days, just as it was back when the Pharisees and Sadducees argued about it. But I believe it comes after the weekly Shabbat, which will always be on a Sunday; therefore, Shavuot or Pentecost will always be on a Sunday.
We know that these appointed times, or “Moedim” in Hebrew, represent the death the burial and the resurrection of Messiah. So what does First fruits and the resurrection have to do with Shavuot?
We know that Peter quoted Psalm 16 in the book of acts.
We know that Psalm 16 speaks of the Messiah who would come to this earth and die but be raised up again unto life.
In this Psalm, King David expressed relief that he would not be sent to what we today would think of as hell, while in the same breath affirming that Messiah not seeing corruption, or decay, by rotting in the grave, in verse 10.
We know that this was fulfilled “to a tee,” as they say… perfectly, as Peter explains to us in Acts as he speaks about the resurrection of Yeshua, a descendent of King David:
Act 2:25 “For David says of Him, ‘I SAW THE LORD ALWAYS IN MY PRESENCE; FOR HE IS AT MY RIGHT HAND, SO THAT I WILL NOT BE SHAKEN.
Act 2:26 ‘THEREFORE MY HEART WAS GLAD AND MY TONGUE EXULTED; MOREOVER MY FLESH ALSO WILL LIVE IN HOPE;
Act 2:27 BECAUSE YOU WILL NOT ABANDON MY
(David’s) SOUL TO HADES, NOR ALLOW
YOUR HOLY ONE (Yeshua/Jesus) TO UNDERGO DECAY.
28 ‘YOU HAVE MADE KNOWN TO ME THE WAYS OF LIFE; YOU WILL MAKE ME FULL OF GLADNESS WITH YOUR PRESENCE.’ NASB
Psa 16:11 Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence
is fulness of joy; at thy right hand (Yeshua) there are
pleasures for evermore. KJV
Most people today think that those who walked with Yeshua in the first century had no concept of a resurrection at the end of days. But this simply is not true. In fact, this was one of the major rifts between the Pharisees and the Sadducees. The Pharisees believed in the resurrection; in fact, the apostle Paul believed in the resurrection and addressed this on multiple occasions.
The Sadducees, they did not believe in the resurrection. They did not believe in the spiritual world, angels or demons. They did not believe in miracles. So when this Yeshua guy shows up on the scene, doing many miracles, casting out demons, and even raising the dead, proving the resurrection… you can imagine the Sadducees probably had way more issues with Yeshua than the Pharisees did. Even so, Yeshua took issue plenty of times with the Pharisees when their ways, doctrines and deeds, did not line up with the word of God.
When Peter read the book of Daniel, he saw the resurrection.
Dan 12:2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth
shall awake, (resurrect) some to
everlasting life, and some to
shame and everlasting contempt. KJV
Personally, I want that everlasting life stuff! I don’t want the shame or the contempt. What about you? We also know that Jewish tradition through the Talmud, it also spoke about the resurrection, in Yeshua’s day. It was just a given among the Pharisaic Jews that there would be a resurrection at the end of days.
So, we know that select group of believers gathered together on the Shavuot/Pentecost that followed Yeshua’s resurrection , and were gathered there for one of Yahweh’s Moedim. And the whole purpose of that day was not about a bunch of guys suddenly speaking in tongues, but rather that the Word of God would go forth into all the nations that were represented there. That was the reason for all the different tongues or languages being spoken in that place; they were proclaiming the Word of God.
But most modern believers today, do not really understand that this event following Yeshua’s resurrection was NOT the first Pentacost. But, neither did I until I started studying Yahweh’s Moedim…
This feast called “Shavuot” in Hebrew, or “Pentacost” in Greek, was first observed by the children of Israel at Mount Sinai, at the giving of the Torah. I really wish I were closer to my old Pentecostal church buddies that I grew up with in my youth, so that I could share this all with them today. But who knows, maybe one day Yahweh willing, maybe I will get the chance.
Shavuot/Pentacost was when the Word of Yahweh came down from heaven to earth, when His presence and glory shook the whole earth.
Heb 12:26 And His voice shook the earth then, but now He has promised, saying, “YET ONCE MORE I WILL SHAKE NOT ONLY THE EARTH, BUT ALSO THE HEAVEN.” NASB
Now according to our Jewish brethren today, this feast day of Shavuot, has been given the status of a kind of lesser celebrated holiday on their current Jewish calendar. But that should not be so, because this festival teaches us that Yahweh will take care of us, not only in the physical realm, but also in the spiritual realm as well, through the giving of His Word at Mount Sinai.
Unfortunately today though, most believers relegate the Old Testament to their bookshelf. They don’t really believe that it is relevant to their lives today. They believe it contains a bunch of good stories that they can read to their kids about Noah and the ark, Sampson, David and Goliath, but it really has no application to the modern day believer’s life. This is a very sad reality.
The festival of Shavuot is also a type of first fruits feast day, which ends the counting of the Omer for 49 days plus one, Shavuot on the 50th day. This day is the feast of the ingathering of the harvest, the wheat harvest, 50 days earlier was the barley harvest.
So at this harvest festival God is trying to teach us to be grateful for the sustenance that He gives us, each and every day. We are to bring to Him a sacrifice, not talking about an animal here, but rather a sacrifice of your finances, an offering of the first fruits of our harvest as well, to show our gratitude.
A couple of years ago, besides given financially, I also gave some of my first fruits of my blueberry harvest, and Yahweh willing will do the same this year. The only difference this year is that we are observing the Shemita year, where you let the land rest every 7th year.
So when people come out to pick berries we will not charge them for them this year. It’s all about us not building our kingdoms during that year, it’s about building His Kingdom.
Just as Shavuot celebrates God’s provision for physical needs, it also teaches us a higher spiritual principle, which is that the Word of God also takes care of our spiritual nourishment and needs.
So whether we consider ourselves Hebrew Roots, mainstream Christians, believing Gentiles, or Messianic Jews, Shavuot is all about the giving of His Word, the Torah, and also the giving of the “Good News,” the Gospel Message.
And what is this message? What is the mystery of the gospel? Remember when Hosea prophesied against the House of Isreal, saying:
Hos 1:9 And the LORD said, “Name him Lo-ammi, for you are not My people and I am not your God.” NASB
But the good news is this! Hallelujah!
Hos 2:23 “I will sow her for Myself in the land. I will also have compassion on her who had not obtained compassion, And I will say to those who were not My people, ‘You are My people!’ And they will say, ‘You are my God!'” NASB
What could possibly be any better news than this, my friend? You might be asking what does this have to do with us? After all, that’s Old Testament times talk, for Old Testament people, isn’t it?
Well, let’s see if Paul had anything to say on the subject. If he did, maybe it has something to do with “New Testament” people, and us, what do you think?
Rom 9:24 even us, whom He also called, not from among Jews only, but also from among Gentiles.
Rom 9:25 As He says also in Hosea, “I WILL CALL THOSE WHO WERE NOT MY PEOPLE, ‘MY PEOPLE,’ AND HER WHO WAS NOT BELOVED, ‘BELOVED.
Rom 9:26 “AND IT SHALL BE THAT IN THE PLACE WHERE IT WAS SAID TO THEM, ‘YOU ARE NOT MY PEOPLE,’ THERE THEY SHALL BE CALLED
SONS OF THE LIVING GOD.
Countless Hebrews were gathered in Jerusalem on that particular day, the 50 th day after Firstfruits and the resurrection of Yeshua, for the Appointed Time of Shavuot.
Among them were some of those who had been scattered in the Assyrian captivity from the northern kingdom of the House of Israel.
Remember that this northern kingdom of Israel had been divorced from Yahweh for their rebellion and because of the sin of Jeroboam. Yeshua’s death and resurrection is what allowed these people to come back into covenant relationship with their God.
This was the whole purpose for Him dying, He died to bring those that were lost, back to Himself, our Great Shepherd, just as a lost sheep would be searched for and be brought back by his earthly shepherd. This is why Yeshua said:
Mat 15:24 But He answered and said,
“I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”
This is why this day should be most important to all believers all over the world. It’s time for the harvest, the ingathering. It’s almost time for Yeshua to come back and gather His people. We are in a dress rehearsal with His feast days; let’s don’t neglect to keep them.
Remember that the apostle Paul admonishes all the new covenant believers to keep the feast of Passover and the feast of unleavened bread, that’s leading up to Shavuot:
1Co 5:7 Clean out the old leaven so that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened. For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed.
1Co 5:8 Therefore let us celebrate the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
One thing I want you to keep in mind, something very important when reading this passage. He’s not speaking to a bunch of Jews. He is speaking to a bunch of former Gentiles, in the Corinthian church.
Remember Paul was the apostle sent to the Gentiles? So these feast days are not just for the Jews, they are for all of God’s chosen believers.
May I encourage you right now, to keep the Feast of the Lord!
It’s never to late to learn how. Come join us and let’s keep the Feast together!
May Yahweh bless you and keep you, and Happy Feast Days….
Hag Sameah (Happy holiday)