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Shavu’ot – Pentecost – FirstFruits – – Feast of Weeks – Hag Matan Torateinu (the Festival of the Giving of Our Torah)


As Pentecost/Shavuot approaches, there seems to be some misunderstandings in both the Christian and Messianic venues as to exactly what Pentecost represents in the New Covenant. Most of the applications in cyber land come from Judaism’s traditions, with a Messianic twist. Neither of which are found in the Scriptures, but are interpretations from Rabbinical sources [also known as the “ancient sages]. These sources are not all that ancient, coming mostly from the middle ages and through the Talmud, which should not be a believer’s “handbook” for understanding. The Talmud denies Christ, it is not “for” Him, but against Him.

Below are some quotes referring to Shavuot – the first one from Judaism 101 which shows their traditional understanding and also explains the observation calculation.

“Shavu’ot, the Festival of Weeks, is the second of the three major festivals with both historical and agricultural significance (the other two are Passover and Sukkot). Agriculturally, it commemorates the time when the first fruits were harvested and brought to the Temple, and is known as Hag ha-Bikkurim (the Festival of the First Fruits). Historically, it celebrates the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai, and is also known as Hag Matan Torateinu (the Festival of the Giving of Our Torah).

The period from Passover to Shavu’ot is a time of great anticipation. We count each of the days from the second day of Passover to the day before Shavu’ot, 49 days or 7 full weeks, hence the name of the festival. See The Counting of the Omer. The counting reminds us of the important connection between Passover and Shavu’ot: Passover freed us physically from bondage, but the giving of the Torah on Shavu’ot redeemed us spiritually from our bondage to idolatry and immorality. Shavu’ot is also known as Pentecost, because it falls on the 50th day; however, Shavu’ot has no particular similarity to the Christian holiday of Pentecost, which occurs 50 days after their Spring holiday.

It is noteworthy that the holiday is called the time of the giving of the Torah, rather than the time of the receiving of the Torah. The sages point out that we are constantly in the process of receiving the Torah, that we receive it every day, but it was first given at this time. Thus it is the giving, not the receiving, that makes this holiday significant.”

http://www.jewfaq.org/holidayc.htm

From a Messianic website:

“Israel came to Mount Sinai on the third day of the third month (Exodus [Shemot] 19:1). The L-rd visited the people three days later (Exodus [Shemot] 19:10-17). Therefore, the Torah was given by G-d in the third month of the biblical religious calendar, which is the month of Sivan, on the sixth day of this month. This day is exactly 50 days from the crossing of the Red Sea.

Shavuot (Pentecost) is called the season of the giving of the Torah (Z’man Matan Toraseinu) in Hebrew because this is the literal day that G-d revealed Himself to the people of Israel as they stood at the base of Mount Sinai.”

http://www.hebroots.org/chap6.html

Another Messianic site:

Join us as we have an awesome night of praise and worship in a variety of formats. We will celebrate the giving of the Torah and the Spirit all night while praising our Messiah and the God of Israel!

http://www.messianicisrael.com/

After surfing through those Messianic websites, and many others – it occurred to me that all the celebrations of Shavuot [Pentecost] revolve around the giving of Torah and the other Rabbinic traditions: eating cheese and dairy foods and deserts, staying up all night, reading the book of Ruth, decorating with flowers, etc —– but include only a couple of lines about the NT Pentecost > the Holy Spirit empowering the disciples to speak in tongues and preach the Gospel. Then the sites and blogs revert back to the central theme of Torah, delving into studies and comparisons of how the original Shavuot was the giving of Torah. The underlying theme is the emphasis on keeping the Law of Moses [Torah] because of these comparisons and additions.

As I have stated many times in articles and posts, Torah is the primary focus of the Messianic venues, not Jesus Christ. It seems that every feast time abounds in all kinds of “revelations” that tie the believer into practicing the traditions and practices of Judaism, with the teeniest notations, if at all, to Jesus Christ. It’s as if the New Covenant is about Torah, instead of the Gospel.

Some even use Shavuot as the actual betrothal/marriage between Israel and God, comparing it to the Jewish Wedding Tradition [see this article: https://fortheloveoftruth.wordpress.com/j…d-rapture/ ]


The Biblical theme of Pentecost, as directed under the old covenant, is bringing the first fruits of one’s crops. This theme is what the NT interprets in regard to Christ, believers, and Pentecost [stay tuned for more on this Smile] . Other parts of the Feast of Shavuot included 2 loaves of bread; drink offerings; meat offerings of lambs, rams, goats, and bullocks that involved the covenant of salt – all the meat was sprinkled with it. Requirements for some of the crops were sacrificial offerings, and other crops designated for eating. The goat offering was the atonement for sin.

I have included the old testament passages regarding Pentecost here, and as you can see, there are no references to all the traditions and concepts that are attached to this festival:

Exodus 34:22 And you shall observe the feast of weeks, of the first fruits of wheat harvest, and the feast of ingathering at the year’s end.
Exo 34:23 Thrice in the year shall all your male children appear before the LORD God, the God of Israel.
Exo 34:24 For I will cast out the nations before you, and enlarge your borders: neither shall any man desire your land, when you shall go up to appear before the LORD your God thrice in the year.
Exo 34:25 You shall not offer the blood of my sacrifice with leaven; neither shall the sacrifice of the feast of the passover be left to the morning.
Exo 34:26 The first of the first fruits of your land you shall bring to the house of the LORD your God. You shall not seethe a kid in his mother’s milk.

Leviticus 2:12 As for the oblation of the first fruits, you shall offer them to the LORD: but they shall not be burnt on the altar for a sweet smell.
Lev 2:13 And every oblation of your meat offering shall you season with salt; neither shall you suffer the salt of the covenant of your God to be lacking from your meat offering: with all your offerings you shall offer salt.
Lev 2:14 And if you offer a meat offering of your first fruits to the LORD, you shall offer for the meat offering of your first fruits green ears of corn dried by the fire, even corn beaten out of full ears.
Lev 2:15 And you shall put oil on it, and lay frankincense thereon: it is a meat offering.
Lev 2:16 And the priest shall burn the memorial of it, part of the beaten corn thereof, and part of the oil thereof, with all the frankincense thereof: it is an offering made by fire to the LORD.

Leviticus 23:15 And you shall count to you from the morrow after the sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven sabbaths shall be complete:
Lev 23:16 Even to the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall you number fifty days; and you shall offer a new meat offering to the LORD.
Lev 23:17 You shall bring out of your habitations two wave loaves of two tenth deals; they shall be of fine flour; they shall be baked with leaven; they are the first fruits to the LORD.
Lev 23:18 And you shall offer with the bread seven lambs without blemish of the first year, and one young bullock, and two rams: they shall be for a burnt offering to the LORD, with their meat offering, and their drink offerings, even an offering made by fire, of sweet smell to the LORD.
Lev 23:19 Then you shall sacrifice one kid of the goats for a sin offering, and two lambs of the first year for a sacrifice of peace offerings.
Lev 23:20 And the priest shall wave them with the bread of the first fruits for 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 proclaim on the selfsame day, that it may be an holy convocation to you: you shall do no servile work therein: it shall be a statute for ever in all your dwellings throughout your generations.
Lev 23:22 And when you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not make clean riddance of the corners of your field when you reap, neither shall you gather any gleaning of your harvest: you shall leave them to the poor, and to the stranger: I am the LORD your God.

Numbers 28:26 Also in the day of the first fruits, when you bring a new meat offering to the LORD, after your weeks be out, you shall have an holy convocation; you shall do no servile work:
Num 28:27 But you shall offer the burnt offering for a sweet smell to the LORD; two young bullocks, one ram, seven lambs of the first year;
Num 28:28 And their meat offering of flour mingled with oil, three tenth deals to one bullock, two tenth deals to one ram,
Num 28:29 A several tenth deal to one lamb, throughout the seven lambs;
Num 28:30 And one kid of the goats, to make an atonement for you.
Num 28:31 You shall offer them beside the continual burnt offering, and his meat offering, (they shall be to you without blemish) and their drink offerings.

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It’s interesting to note that when Jesus Christ instructed and informed the disciples about what to expect after His ascension, He never gave any reference to the giving of Law. He spoke clearly – the disciples would be baptized with the Holy Spirit and endued with power from on high to preach the Gospel:

Acts 1:4 And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, said he, you have heard of me.
Act 1:5 For John truly baptized with water; but you shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.
Act 1:8 But you shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come on you: and you shall be witnesses to me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and to the uttermost part of the earth.
Act 1:9 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.

The Holy Spirit endued the disciples on Pentecost with tongues like fire and a mighty rushing wind that filled the house where they were. Notice that the text states, Pentecost was FULLY come – fulfilled. It’s interesting that God chose that day – for Jerusalem was filled with Jews from all over come to celebrate the feast!

Acts 2:1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
Act 2:2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
Act 2:3 And there appeared to them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat on each of them.
Act 2:4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
Act 2:5 And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.
Act 2:6 Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.

Looking further into Acts 2 during Peter’s profound preaching under the power of the Holy Spirit, the first thing he mentions is the fulfillment of Joel 2 to explain the tongues praising God, and then immediately begins to preach the Gospel, telling them of Jesus Christ. The hearts of the Jews were pricked when they heard that Jesus was crucified. They repented of their sins and were baptized. Still no mention of some kind of celebration of the giving of Torah, or instructions as to how to keep it from then on. Pentecost involved a sacrifice for sin. I am sure all there understood clearly what the feast required as they had come in obedience to the command. Now they were free from that! The Jews must have been awestruck at the news!

Acts 2:41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added to them about three thousand souls.
Act 2:42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
Act 2:43 And fear came on every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.
Act 2:44 And all that believed were together, and had all things common;
Act 2:45 And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.
Act 2:46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,
Act 2:47 Praising God, and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.


The New Testament shows us that Jesus Christ is the First Fruits:


Romans 11:16 For if the first fruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches

1 Corinthians 15:20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first fruits of them that slept.
1Co 15:21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.
1Co 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
1Co 15:23 But every man in his own order: Christ the first fruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.


What I find amazing are the number of verses in the New Testament that refer to fruit – the fruit that we must manifest through the Holy Spirit, which can be viewed as the first fruit of our sacrifices to God – proving that by His indwelt Spirit, by the fruit of the Spirit that we are His, sealed forever.

Mark 4:20 And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirty times, some sixty, and some an hundred.

Luke 3:8 Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say to you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children to Abraham.

John 15:4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can you, except you abide in me.
Joh 15:5 I am the vine, you are the branches: He that stays in me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit: for without me you can do nothing.
Joh 15:8 Herein is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit; so shall you be my disciples.

Romans 6:22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end everlasting life.

Romans 7:4 Why, my brothers, you also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that you should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit to God.

Romans 8:23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.

2 Corinthians 9:10 Now he that ministers seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;)

Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
Gal 5:23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
Gal 5:24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
Gal 5:25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

Ephesians 5:9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)

Philippians 1:11 Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.

Colossians 1:5 For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof you heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel;
Col 1:6 Which is come to you, as it is in all the world; and brings forth fruit, as it does also in you, since the day you heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth:

Hebrews 12:11 Now no chastening for the present seems to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to them which are exercised thereby.

Hebrews 13:15 By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.

James 1:18 Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures.

James 3:17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.

Revelation 14:4 These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb wherever he goes. These were redeemed from among men, being the first fruits to God and to the Lamb.

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The term “shekinah” is used within the Messianic movement to refer to the presence of God – or His “dwelling” in the Tabernacle.  Shekinah is also used to define the glory of God within His Presence.  Shekinah comes from Rabbinial Judaism and is a term that found it’s origins in kabbalah.   The concept of  shekinah has become so popular that it is used across the board in Christianity as well as Hebrew Roots.  I think if people understood that shekinah is the feminine essence of God interwoven with the feminine Spirit of God, known as the “Mother Spirit”, they would probably run, not walk away from using it Lightning
[alternative transliterations of shekinah:  shechinah, shekina, shechina, schechinah, sh’khinah (this variation is used by David Stern in his Complete Jewish Bible version)].

Please note, in this first definition, it shows that shekinah comes from the Hebrew word “shk’n” [shaw-kan – H7931]. The word shawkan is used 92 times in the OT, but there is no such hebrew word called “shekinah” in the Bible  No

The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. 2001-07.

Shekinah

(shk´n) (KEY) [Heb.,=dwelling, presence], in Judaism, term used in the Targum (Aramaic translation of the Hebrew Bible) and elsewhere to indicate the manifestation of the presence of God among people. Whenever the Hebrew text speaks of the presence of God in a way that implies certain human limitations, the Targum paraphrases by substituting the word Shekinah for the word God (e.g., “And I will cause my Shekinah to dwell,” in the Targum Onkelos). Although the Shekinah is rarely intended by the rabbis in the Talmud and Midrash as an intermediary between God and people, the word is sometimes used in such a manner that it cannot be identical with God, e.g., “God allows his Shekinah to rest.” The medieval Jewish philosophers, however, wishing to avoid the problems of anthropomorphic interpretation of this concept, posited a separate existence for the Shekinah, which played a minor role at best in their systems. In the kabbalah and other mystical works of the later medieval and modern periods, the Shekinah is given far more importance and is often treated as the consort of God who can only be reunited with God through human fulfillment of all the divine commandments, which would likewise signal the messianic age. 1
See S. Schechter, Aspects of Rabbinic Theology (1909, repr. 1961); G. Scholem, Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism (1946, repr. 1961); R. Patai, The Hebrew Goddess (1967).

http://www.bartleby.com/65/sh/Shekinah.html

Please note that “shekinah” is the feminine essence of God in kabbalah as found in this article:

Shekinah-Shakti

Shekinah: The Feminine Element in Divinity

Gershom Scholem: On the Mystical Shape of the Godhead, Schocken, 1991

VII

In conclusion, I would like to respond to a question that has no doubt occurred to a number of readers during the discussion of these notions of the feminine within the divine. Can the Shekhinah be described as a cosmic force in the same sense as we find the feminine in the image of Shakti in Indian Tantric religion? To my mind, I believe that we can discern quite clear differences between the two conceptions — differences no less profound than their affinities.

It is impossible to apply this to the Kabbalist schema without misconstruing the sense of the symbols. None of the Sepheroth appearing as male in these pairs could be identified with the masculine in Indian symbolism, albeit the idea of femininity as producing the motion of time may indeed correspond to an astonishing passage in Sefer ha-Bahir.

This passage describes the Shekhinah as the precious gem that brings forth the years i.e., time, which flows from the primal time gathered therein, but I am by no means certain that this primal time can be identified with eternity

On the other hand, when dealing with these comparisons, we must not forget that the Shekhinah is split in the Kabbalah, so that the active element within the feminine has been primarily absorbed in the symbolism of the upper Shekhinah. The latter is the womb of the Sefiroth, of the aeons and cycles of the worlds (shemitoth), while other aspects of Shakti, such as the eternal feminine and the destructive element, are expressed in the final Sefirah or Malkhuth. On the other hand, the notion of the masculine as purely inactive and passive, an idea that seems intrinsic to the doctrine of Shakti, is totally alien to the Kabbalah, in which the male is perceived as active and flowing.

http://www.psyche.com/psyche/txt/scholem_msog_194.html

Here is a common understanding by Judaism of “shekinah” and how some poor deceived soul is comparing shekinah to the presence of God/Christ in the NT. Also, it should be noted that in the Talmud/kabbalah, the Holy Spirit is considered feminine – there is a link between the “feminine essence” as found in the “shekinah” and the Holy Spirit Shocked6838


THE HOLY SHEKINAH SPIRIT

Among the Hebrews one of the traditional names of God is the Shekinah, and, interestingly, it is a feminine gender noun. Many Hebrews saw her as the mother or feminine aspect of God. The early scribes (later called rabbis) added Shekinah in biblical verses where the verb shakhan is used in relation to God. Shakhan literally means “to dwell” or “to live with”, or even “to pitch one’s tent.” The Shekinah means the God-Who-Dwells-Within, and developed primarily after the destruction of the Temple of Solomon in 587 BCE, especially as it proffered hope to a people lost in bitter exile. To console an Israel in Diaspora, the comforting, forgiving and loyal presence of the Shekinah emerged. In the Talmud it says: “They were exiled to Babylon, the Shekinah with them. They were exiled to Egypt, the Shekinah with them.” And, it says in Lamentations 1, 5, “Her children are gone into captivity,” and immediately after (1,6), “From Zion her splendour is departed.” (Note the use of “her” for God and “splendour” is also one of the ways to describe the Shekinah). Other terms referring to the Shekinah are “the glory” and “radiance”, and she was the cloud by day and pillar of fire by night that led the Israelites through the Sinai wilderness. She is also closely related to the Sophia tradition in the Hebrew Bible (the Old Testament) in Proverbs and other books. Sophia (a Greek feminine noun) is the Wisdom aspect of God. As a Wisdom Teacher Jesus was very closely related to the Sophia Tradition.

The Shekinah eventually became an interchangeable term with the Holy Spirit in both Judaism and Christianity. She is often pictured as a bird or dove. In Christianity the Holy Spirit is seen as the Advocate, Guide and Comforter (John 14:16-26 and Acts 9:31), and we can clearly see the Judaic origins of this tradition. There is even a more direct connection to the Hebrew tradition of the Shekinah, as St. Paul, the former Pharisee, stresses the indwelling nature of the Holy Spirit throughout his famous passage in Romans 8: “But you are not in the flesh; you are in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God dwells in you.” (Romans 8:8) There is even a universalist tradition in some Hebrew Midrash writings: “I call heaven and earth to witness that whether it be Gentile or Israelite, man or woman, slave or handmaid, according to the deeds which he does, so will the Holy Spirit rest upon him.” This is reminiscent of John’s report of Jesus’ statements to Nicodemus, when Jesus said: “The wind [Spirit] blows where it chooses . . . ” (John 3:8), that is, the Holy Spirit will serve all peoples, not just Christians or Jews. Paul also offers a similar notion in Galatians 3:28: “There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave and free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.” And, it is well-established that both Paul and John frequently equated Jesus Christ with the Holy Spirit as seen in the Romans 8 passages and the Paraclete passages of John 14-16.

Call upon her for comfort, for advise, for blessing, and for guidance. She will only respond in love and radiant light.

http://shekinah.elysiumgates.com/

I think you get the idea Swoon These are only the “mild” references. It gets pretty icky the deeper into kabbalah that you study this phenomenon because of the feminine nature of shekinah Gaah

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