30 March 2011 (Revee/Shavu'ot)|
Day #379, 5934 AM
The New Pentecost
Understanding the Point of Shavu'ot
I know this is, in a way, the 'wrong' time of the year to be discussing Shavu'ot or Pentecost as that isn't until the summer and we have barely begun spring, but there is never a wrong time to receive more emet or truth. This morning I randomly opened up my Bible and befroe me was a passage of scripture that I have studied over and over again for decades - the story of how the first believers were filled with the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) on the first Shavu'ot after the Resurrection. This time, I saw something I hadn't seen before and it's that I want to share today.
A whole denomination - the Pentecostal Church - has formed around this passage and related ones, just as a whole denomination has has formed around baptism - the Baptist Church - and a whole denomination has formed around the Saturday sabbath - the Seventh Day Adventists. As far as this specuial Shavu'ot is concerned (or as it is more popularly known, 'Pentecost') what most believers note is two things:
Without going into the right and wrong way to interpret 'tongues', there is, I suggest, a third and very important reason which we can only discern if we ask ourselves the question: Why did Yahweh manifest this particular supernatural ability at this moment? Why not give everyone the spirit of prophecy, or seership, or the gift of love? Why the emphasis on languages?
- 1. It was a time of empowerment that enabled the talmidim (disciples) to witness with unstoppable energy; and
- 2. It witnessed the bestowal of a gift, the 'speaking in tongues'.
The answer is very simple and it will, I suspect, alter the way we view the gift of tongues. Shavu'ot was one of the three festivals that had to be attended in Jerusalem each year by each family or the male head or respresentative of each family. Why? Because that was where the Temple was to be found, the only place on the planet where Yahweh had placed His Name. And it was at the Temple that believers were expected to gather three times a year, with the remaining festivals being celebrated at home or in the local synagogue, or both. And what was the language of instruction in the Temple? Hebrew and Aramaic. That was one of the things the worshippers all had in common - a language.
But at Pentecost Yahweh sent the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) specifically to anoint the talmidim (disciples) with the supernatural ability to speak in foreign languages (not gibberish or so-called 'angel-tongues') for one reason and for one reason only: that each of those present could hear the Gospel preached in his own native tongue! And, yes, while the first purpose of this anointing was to embolden and empower Yah'shua's (Jesus') followers to make them courageous witnesses, the second was not the supernatural gift to speak foreign languages but to show the talmidim (disciples) that instead of the world coming to Jerusalem to hear the Gospel three times a year in only one language (Hebrew or Aramaic), the talmidim (disiples) were to go out into the whole world - beginning at Jerusalem - and preach the Word of Salvation in every language under the sun all the year round!
The goal is no longer to gather to Jerusalem each year at Shavu'ot but, from that moment on, to go out into the world and preach in the languages spoken by all people until the elect have been gathered out of the world system. There is no sense in which they are to be gathered to Jerusalem at some time before the Tribulation, and to emphasise the point, Yahweh ensured that both the Temple and the city would be raised to the ground by the Romans and a pagan habitation, Aelia Capitolina, built in its place. All attempts to rebuild Jerusalem since, and to call the city by its old name, have therefore been meaningless as far as the New Covenant is concerned. 'Jerusalem', so called, is today the City of Hagar, the bond-woman, and belongs to an expired covenant - the Jerusalem of all true believers is 'above', in other words, it is in Heaven, awaiting to be relocated here in the Millennium:
"Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Messiah (Christ) to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And you are witnesses of these things. Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry (wait) in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high" (Luke 24:46-49, NKJV).
"Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit), teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age" (Matt.28:19-20, NKJV).
Messianics and Christian Zionists who seek deliverance and a special spiritual rôle for the earthly 'Jerusalem' are therefore gravely in error, and are in bondage to a lie, just as those Pentecostals and Charismatics are when they idolise a spiritual gift which isn't even the same one that they themselves profess to possess and use. The original endowment at Pentecost/Shavu'ot was for the empowerment of witnessing and to change direction - we are now to go everywhere and speak in all languages - naturally (and supernaturally when required) - to prepare souls for the returning Messiah and the coming Heavenly or New Jerusalem. Let's be about that with the same anointing as the first talmidim!
"For this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and corresponds to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children -- but the Jerusalem above (New Jerusalem) is free, which is the mother of us all" (Gal.4:25-26, NKJV).
 Articles on Israel, past and present
 Series, Jacob's Trouble explaining the true origins of the modern Republic of Israel