How to Understand the New Testament-Part 11

We have arrived at Shavuot, seven complete Sabbaths. Notice the pattern (Col 2.16-17) of the Spring festivals. Yeshua is fulfilling (giving meaning to, confirming) aspects of the redemption exactly on the dates of the festivals. That is because they are “moedim” or appointments he is keeping. Shavuot is called “Matan Torah” or the “giving of the Torah” in the Hebraic way of thinking (Exo 19.1-25). God will give the Torah on Shavuot. In the Hertz Siddur, p 790-791 it says that another name for the festival is called the “Festival of Revelation” and it is the concluding festival (atzeret) of the Passover season, so they are linked. When the Lord gave the Ten Commandments, there are only 120 words in all, and 120 has meaning. After the flood, God said that man’s life span would not be greater than 120 and Moses died at 120. 120 priests were with Solomon as he brought in the Ark to Jerusalem. Cornelius lived in Caesarea which is 120 miles north of Jerusalem. Petra is 120 miles south. 120 believers were gathered to put forth a replacement for Judas. In Hebrew thought, 120 symbolizes a full lifetime, the passing from the flesh to the spirit. The Torah was given in the desert, which belongs to no one nation, meaning the Torah was for all mankind. It is also believed that the Lord spoke in 70 “tongues” then spoken on the earth, so that all the world could understand the commandments. Yeshua will resurrect and ascend to heaven 40 days later from the Mount of Olives. Ten days later it was Shavuot. Now, Jerusalem is in the shape of the letter “shin” and that letter symbolizes the name of God (Deut 12.11; 2 Chr 6.6). Ezekiel chapters 8,9,10 and 11 speak about the Shekinah departing the Temple and it went to the Mount of Olives, just like Yeshua. At the top of the mount there is a Jewish site called “the resting place of the Shekinah” and it is said it remained there for three years. Yeshua departed this world at the same place as the Shekinah in Ezekiel. In Acts 2.1-2 we read that “they were all together in one place” just like in Exo 19.2 when the Torah was given. Some have taught that they were in an “upper room” but they were in the Temple at Shavuot because that is where they were commanded to be. They were probably in the Court of the Women or Solomon’s Portico. The word “house” in verse 2 is an idiom for the Temple (Ezek 43.4; 2 Chr 5.14; 1 Kings 8.11). It says they were sitting so we know they were not in the inner courts where you could not sit. The day of Pentecost (Shavuot) did not begin in Acts 2, but in Exodus. The manifestations in Acts 2 were also seen and experienced at Mount Sinai. Heb 12.18-19 says that there was wind, fire and the “sound of words” or literally “voice of voices” or “tongues” (Deut 4.11-12). The shofar of God waxed “louder and louder (Exo 19.19) and there is name for this shofar, it is called “the First Trump.” There is another festival coming, called Rosh Ha Shannah, and that is known as the “Last Trump” which is the term Paul uses to describe the day of the Gathering, the Natzal or the Rapture (1 Cor 15.52). Where did this name come from? The first trump comes from the Akeida, the binding of Isaac in Gen 22. It is the left horn of the ram caught in the thicket. The right horn is called the “last trump” or shofar and it is an idiom for Rosh Ha Shannah. The first trump (Shavuot) relates to the betrothal of the bride (Jer 2.2) to God at the giving of the Torah. The last trump relates to the full marriage at Rosh Ha Shannah, year 6001 from creation. Now, remember Biblical Eschatology and the 7000 year plan of God? The first 2000 years from creation were called “Tohu” meaning destruction. The second 2000 years was called “Torah” meaning instruction. Shavuot in Acts 2 marks the beginning of the third 2000 year period called “Yom’ot Mashiach” or the days of the Messiah. The reading from the Prophets (Haftorah) for Shavuot is Ezekiel 43.1-5 which talks about the return of the Shekinah to the Temple. In Acts 2.2 we read about a “rushing wind” and the Shekinah is the divine presence. The Ruach Ha Kodesh is the Holy Spirit. Ruach can mean “wind” or “holy wind.” It does not mean “ghost.” It is the power of God. There is a misunderstanding in these terms. The Shekinah is the presence of God within a believer. The Ruach Ha Kodesh is the power of God upon a believer. These terms are “mixed” together in the Greek and causes a confusion, and here is why. The Jewish community in Babylon spoke Aramaic. The second largest Jewish population was in Alexandria, Egypt, and they spoke Greek. The Septuagint was translated from Hebrew to Greek. In the first century, the Shekinah and the Ruach were translated into Greek with the word “pneuma” and it means “wind.” They used the same Greek word for two different manifestations of God. Here is where the confusion set in. In John 20.22-23 it says that Yeshua “breathed on” (or “in”) the talmidim and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” But it is not the Holy Spirit (the Ruach Ha Kodesh) they were receiving, but the Shekinah “within” them. In Acts 1.4-5 he tells them to wait for the Holy Spirit. But how can that be? It is because in John 20 they received the Shekinah within them and in Acts 1 they were going to receive the Ruach in power upon them. These are two different manifestations of God but both were translated as “pneuma” in Greek, and that is how it was translated in into English. The concept was lost. Knowing this, you will be able to interpret the New Testament more accurately. When you see Holy Spirit, ask yourself if the passage is talking about it being within the believer. If it is, it is the Shekinah. If the manifestation of power upon a believer, it is the Ruach Ha Kodesh.
In John 4.1-42, Yeshua goes to the Samaritans around Shavuot because he talks about the harvest being “four months” away (v 34), which is referring to the first fruits of the fall harvest. We have a bridge from Passover to Shavuot, and there will be a bridge from Shavuot to Sukkot. They are linked by the first tithe, given at Shavuot, and the second tithe given at Sukkot. The Basar (gospel) will be going forth to all the world, starting at Shavuot and the harvest will be at Sukkot, four months later (John 4.34). In other words, it is not a literal four months but eschatologically speaking it will be complete when Yeshua fulfills the fall festivals of Rosh Ha Shannah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot. Shavuot was called the “Day of the Assembly” (Yom Kahal) in Deut 9.10; 10.4; 18.16. Why was Shavuot called this? Israel changed from 12 tribes to a nation at Shavuot. Their “constitution” was the Torah. They became a “congregation” or “kahal” of the Lord. The book of Ecclesiastes (the Greek name) is called “Kohelet” in Hebrew. You can see the root “kahal” in the name. Kahal means a large congregation, kehilat is a small congregation and is the biblical word for a “church.” The Prophets prophesied that when the Messiah came, he would perform the redemption and an “eschatological congregation” would be formed within the context of the faith of Israel. Num 11.25-29 was seen as a picture of this eschatological congregation that was to come, an “empowered” by the Ruach Ha Kodesh congregation. In Greek the word is “ecclesia” (you can see this word in “Ecclesiastes) and that was translated into English as “church.” Dispensationalism says that the prophets never saw “the church age” but they did. What they didn’t see was what the “church” is today, with replacement theology as their foundation. Dispensationalism, the “age of law, then grace” is totally wrong. Grace started in the Garden of Eden, the “church age” was known and understood to be as the “Kahal” and it started at Shavuot. Torah was not be replaced by grace, they go together, given by God at Sinai. The pattern, the “shadow”, the copy for all this Jewish, not Gentile. What festivals did they keep in Acts in the first century? It wasn’t Christmas, Easter, St. Valentines day and so on. What day was the day of worship? Everyday. What day was the Sabbath, the Lord’s Day? It was the seventh day Sabbath. What festivals did they keep? They kept Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Fruits, Shavuot, Rosh Ha Shannah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot. What did they follow? The Torah, given at Shavuot. Replacement Theology (what is done in the “church” today) was never intended by God, but it happened. Yom Kahal (Shavuot) is a very important term and not to be thought of in a Greek, Gentile mindset. The believers in Acts 2 at the festival of Shavuot should be thought of as a Torah based congregation. The redemption process began with the Spring festivals in 30 A.D. But, it is “here now, but not yet” (Num 24.17) because there is so much more coming. The message for all this is the Moedim (the festivals in Lev 23) are being kept after the ascension of Yeshua. Once you see this, the New Testament will come alive for you and you will see that it is not being taught today. The people coming into the faith changed it from “The Kahal” to the “Ecclesia” (the “church”) and deliberately took out what the Lord had instructed us to know to show us what was happening. Now, as Shavuot ends, we enter the hot summer growing period and are moving towards the fall festivals which will teach us about the second coming of Yeshua the Messiah. We will pick here in Part 12.

Posted in Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Understanding the New Testament

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