Jewish tradition hails the Festival of Weeks as the anniversary of the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai. In Exodus 20:18 the Hebrew really says, “They saw the voices and the torches.” What does it mean, “the people saw voices”? How does one see a sound? How does one see a voice?
Most Christians know the story of Pentecost in Acts chapter two: the mighty wind, the tongues of fire, Ruach HaKodesh (the Holy Spirit) and the speaking in every language. Very few, however, are aware of the Torah background behind this event.
Both Rosh Chodesh Sivan and Shavu’ot are continuously paired with a theme of spiritual unity and love. During this month of Sivan, we should not only focus on remembering the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai, but also make an effort to bring our communities to a place of unity and peace.
Many commentators and teachers interpret Paul from a supersessionist viewpoint whereby the Holy Spirit’s role supersedes that of the Torah/Law. In all fairness, Romans 7 is famously complex. However, it does not need to be understood in a supersessionist manner. The text can also be interpreted with an understanding of Paul’s affirmation of the Torah.
Why did Yeshua do what he did? Yeshua was particular in his actions, and there was deep significance behind his miracles. He was unveiling the Messianic Era and urging his generation to join him in its redemption. Explore the parallels of our Master’s work to the prophecies of the coming kingdom.
Many prophecies describe the Spirit being active as a sign for the coming kingdom. HaShem gives the Holy Spirit as a foretaste and promise of his faithfulness. While we wait for our Master’s return, we must strive to live lives in line with being temples of the Holy Spirit.
The apostles saw the Holy Spirit as a measure of prophetic fulfillment and correlated it to the work of Yeshua. Believers have a unique calling to merge these two events and live dedicated lives of Spirit and Torah.
Traditional interpretations typically denigrate the Temple and attempt to disassociate the believers from any association with it. That’s balderdash. The book of Acts shows us that the Temple was the geographical locus of the Yeshua-movement, and it portrays the first-century believers as a Temple-based sect of Jerusalem Judaism.
Ruth is the hero of both the Jew and the Gentile. She redeems both Jew and Gentile as she herself is simultaneously redeemed. The “dividing wall of hostility” is broken down in her flesh and that of Boaz in the birth of the future Redeemer so many generations later.
Each year on Shavu’ot we have the opportunity to relive the experience of the Revelation at Sinai. Judaism encourages us not just to learn about the giving of the Torah, we should be there for it. When we do, we become part of the story.
Young people are becoming conspicuously absent in the Messianic Jewish movement. The Bible instructs us to teach the Torah to the next generation and to recount the works of the LORD from generation to generation. How can we insure that the revelation of Messianic Jewish teaching will survive us? This will be the theme at our 2016 National Shavuot Conference. Join us this year!
This June (God willing), First Fruits of Zion will host a special three-day seminar for Messianic students ages 15-20 titled “Decoding the Parables of Yeshua.” First Fruits of Zion teachers will present a crash-course on ten parables with emphasis on learning how rabbinic parables function, their role in Jewish teaching, and the tools necessary for interpreting them.
In 2016, First Fruits of Zion will be hosting two tours to Israel, and our annual Shavu’ot conference will be held at Beth Immanuel in Hudson, Wisconsin. Now is a good time to make a decision to join us. Get the dates on your calendar.