Shavuot (Pentecost), also known as Feast of Weeks, has not been removed from the Lord’s yearly observance. Most church people think of it as being “Jewish” with needless rituals not relevant to Gentile believers and that the Day of Pentecost ended the Jewish calendar since the “church” was born. That teaching is incorrect. God keeps His calendar to this day.
Ancient prophecy pointed to a designated day when the Ruach HaKodesh would be sent to abide in and not just visit God’s people. We can avoid taking the Holy Spirit for granted by connecting our foundation to God’s covenant with Israel.
Israel accepted God’s covenant 50 days after leaving Egypt. Every Shavuot, Jewish people renew their acceptance of God’s gift, the Torah. Many traditional Jews will stay up all night on the first night to study Torah; many read Ezekiel, chapter one.
One interpretation of Ezekiel’s wheel is that God’s Word (the static center wheel) is carried forward worldwide through His people moving in unity by the Spirit of God.
“Wherever the spirit would go, they would go, without turning as they went.”Ezekiel 1:12 NIV
On the second day, they read the book of Ruth about a Gentile that was brought into covenant with God’s people. Now, you know two ways to connect the outpouring of the Holy Spirit to your Hebrew roots.
Third, give an offering to the Lord: “Don’t come before the Lord empty-handed” ever (Deut. 16:16). Along with a spiritual offering of worship, trust God with the resources He has already provided.
Fourth, renew your commitment to the Ten commandments; teach them to your children. The ten commandments were written on two tablets, which the two loaves represent (Lev. 23:17).
Fifth, bless the poor. “You shall not reap your field right up to its edge, nor shall you gather the gleaning after your harvest. You shall leave them for the poor and the sojourner” (Lev. 23:22). Ruth, a stranger, gleaned the field of Boaz who instructed his workers to leave extra for Ruth because of her kindness to Naomi, her Jewish mother-in-law.
Sixth, renew your marriage vows. God pledged Himself to Israel and they to him on the 50th day of leaving Egypt. That pledge was continued by the Holy Spirit when He “sealed” believers in Yeshua with the promise that we belong to Him (Ephesians 1:13-14, 4:30 NIV).
Seventh, have a community baptism to commemorate the first harvest of (3000) souls on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:41). Ask the Lord for an abundant harvest in your community.
The eighth way to better connect to Shavuot is to rejoice and rest (Deut. 16:11). This day is a special sabbath to be observed forever.
In Greek, Pentecost means “the fiftieth day.” Why count 50 days from the second day of Passover? In Judaism, it’s called “counting the Omer (sheaf),” a watching for the ripened first wheat harvest (Leviticus 23:15-16). When it arrives, the 50th day—a Holy Day—we offer thanksgiving unto the Lord for His provision that increases our faith for a bountiful harvest to come.
After the resurrection, Jesus gave many proofs for 40 days that He was alive and told His followers to tarry in Jerusalem after His ascension (Acts 1). Ten days later, the mighty rushing wind filled the room. Cloven tongues of fire sat upon each of them and proclamations in languages they had not spoken before attracted a Jewish audience from many countries. Jerusalem was filled with Jews from all over the world (Ex. 23:14-16). Peter proclaimed,
“This is what was predicted long ago by the prophet Joel…I will pour out my Spirit upon all people.”Acts 2:16-17 NLT
The Helper (parakletos, John 16:7) was sent to abide within the believer that set the course to change the world. Now, the Ruach HaKodesh, resides within our heart to keep us not only sealed for redemption but empowers us to be witnesses of His Glory. He prays through us and gives us strength, wisdom, instruction, and comfort. “Have you received the Holy Spirit since you believed? …And when Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began speaking in tongues and prophesying” (Acts 19 2; 6 ESV). That’s the best way to keep God’s appointed times.