In the last 23 weeks, we’ve focused on many of Yeshua’s attributes and names . Since we are nearing Pentecost, let’s take a look at how Yeshua multiplied His influence in our world when He ascended back to the Father.
Jews proclaim that the Feast of Weeks, Shavuot, Pentecost, is “The day that changed the world.” When they say this, they aren’t referring to the upper room experience but rather the day when God declared His Law–His instructions to Israel for Kingdom living–on Mt. Sinai, fifty days after leaving Egypt.
Until that day, no nation or people group had a moral code for holy living.
Israel stood out as peculiar. They served one God instead of the multitude of gods worshipped by others. They didn’t have idols. They worshipped an unseen God. They only worked six days a week, not seven, and many other differences.
At first, the Feast of Weeks/Pentecost was solely an agricultural festival–A time to gather at the Temple in Jerusalem and thank God for a plentiful harvest of barley, wheat and other early fruits. Later it became a festival commemorating the Mt. Sinai experience.
God gave Moses specific instructions for the people. They were to sanctify themselves, wash their clothes and then on the third day, “When the trumpet sounds long, they shall come near the mountain.”
Then it came to pass on the third day, in the morning, that there were thunderings and lightnings, and a thick cloud on the mountain; and the sound of the trumpet was very loud, so that all the people who were in the camp trembled. 17 And Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. 18 Now Mount Sinai was completely in smoke, because the Lord descended upon it in fire. Its smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace, and he whole mountain quaked greatly. 19 And when the blast of the trumpet sounded long and became louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God answered him by voice. 20 Then the Lord came down upon Mount Sinai, on the top of the mountain. And the Lord called Moses to the top of the mountain…Exodus 19:13b, 16-20,
Later in Deuteronomy, we hear the rest of the story. Before God wrote on the stone tablets, He overshadowed the mountain and spoke the ten commandments for all of Israel to hear and this was their response:
We have seen this day that God speaks with man; yet he still lives. 25 Now therefore, why should we die? For this great fire will consume us; if we hear the voice of the Lord our God anymore, then we shall die. 26 For who is there of all flesh who has heard the voice of the living God speaking from the midst of the fire, as we have, and lived? 27 You go near and hear all that the Lord our God may say, and tell us all that the Lord our God says to you, and we will hear and do it.’ Deuteronomy 5:24b-27
This last sentence is the reason Israel also says of Pentecost, “It is the anniversary of the marriage between God and Israel.” The Presence of God that overshadowed the mountain mirrors the chuppah or canopy held over the bride and groom in any Jewish wedding. And the ten commandments resemble the ‘ketubah.’ ( A ketubah is a document of the marriage covenant, or family mission statement between the bride and groom of how they will honor one another in their marriage. It is read and signed by the couple before the marriage.) The fact that Israel said, “we will hear and do it,” replicates the signing of a ketubah.
Take a look at these vows for marriage:
I am the LORD your God
Thou shall have no other gods before Me
Thou shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain
Remember to keep the Sabbath day, to keep it holy
Honor thy father and thy mother
Thou shall not kill
Thou shall not commit adultery
Thou shall not steal
Thou shall not bear false witness against thy neighbor
Thou shall not covet. Exodus 20
Now let’s look at Pentecost in Yeshua’s day.
Before returning to heaven, Yeshua spent some time with the disciples and told them, “…do not depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, which,” He said, “you have heard from Me…” Acts 1:4
He also told them, “…you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:8
But what was the Promise of the Father? And how long would they have to wait? They didn’t know the Feast of Weeks/Pentecost would be the date for this fulfillment.
Here are the scriptures that speak of that promise:
Joel 2:28-29 “And it shall come to pass afterward
That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh;
Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
Your old men shall dream dreams,
Your young men shall see visions.
29 And also on My menservants and on My maidservants
I will pour out My Spirit in those days.”
John 14:15-18 “If you love Me, keep My commandments. 16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever — the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.
John 15:26 “But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me.
John 16:7, 12-15 (The disciples were sad to hear Yeshua was leaving them.) It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. 8 And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9 of sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10 of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; 11 of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.
12 “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. 14 He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. 15 All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you.
The Promise of the Father came ten days after Yeshua ascended.
Acts 2:1-7 When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
5 And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven. 6 And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own language. 7 Then they were all amazed and marveled, saying to one another, “Look, are not all these who speak Galileans? 8 And how is it that we hear, each in our own language in which we were born?
Unlike the Law, written on stone tablets and later written on scrolls to be read and obeyed, when Holy Spirit came, God’s Word was written on their hearts. His Word came alive and with it the power to do God’s will. Holy Spirit took up residence in the believer instead of the Holy Spirit coming on the believer. God became one with man—united. Dunamis power was released to do the works of Yeshua, not just in Jerusalem, but to all the nations of the earth.
The same Spirit that rose Yeshua from the dead now lived in the believer–you and I. We are now empowered to fulfill the call of a disciple, “Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.” Matthew 10:8. We are fully equipped because Yeshua now lives in us in the person of Holy Spirit.
Truly, after the Cross, Pentecost is the day that changed the world. It multiplied the influence of Yeshua on the earth and birthed the church. Where 3,000 died when Moses came down the mountain with God’s word, 3,000 were saved as a result of Pentecost.
One last FYI–Yeshua said, “you shall be witnesses TO Me… ” To be a witness meant to be willing give your life–be killed–rather than dishonor the one who sent you. The disciples went, preached and did the works of Yeshua under constant threat of death. Their lives were witnesses TO Him of their full. Many of our brothers and sisters are being crucified, burned to death, and experiencing many other atrocities for their commitment to be witnesses. We too must be of the same mind for the mission.
As we prepare for Pentecost that begins at sundown this Saturday, let’s focus on Holy Spirit. Let’s ask Him to reveal Himself to us and let’s respond to His leading. The harvest fields are white. It’s time to step out with His holy love and power. We are God’s children, His Kingdom ambassadors on the earth.