Pentecost, Shavuot & First Fruits - Printable Version

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Pentecost, Shavuot & First Fruits - DeanZF - 05-02-2009

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This is exciting stuff. I'm writing the copy now. Stay tuned for the explanation and what I think is some info that will bless you!

Pentecost, Shavuot & First Fruits - DeanZF - 05-13-2009

This is still a work in progress, but here's the grist of it.

For whatever reason, it seems as though the Feast of First Fruits is pretty much lost in the mix of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. And some folks see First Fruits as being more connected to another first fruits category of feasts, Shavuot or Pentecost, the Feast of Weeks.

I've been doing a lot of reading and I've not found much in the Hebrew studies that I've found, sadly. Still looking. What I have found is that it seems that the folks in the olden days of Hebraic lore, they started "counting the omers" on First Fruits, counting down the week of weeks until Pentecost. It was a big deal to those folks, but nothing I've found yet tells me WHY! I can guess, but I don't have anything concrete. Pentecost/Shavuot was one of the pilgrim feasts when males over 13 years of age were expected to show up in Jerusalem, in God's favorite city, His capital city. Was the excitement only because of the upcoming trip and fulfilling the Lord's directive to show up in J-town, in the City of Shalom?

There was an anticipation about Pentecost. There are traditions surrounding the day, but not much history. No big events, but some great traditions. The Giving of the Law on Mt. Sinai is celebrated on Pentecost; again, this is a tradition with no full history behind it. Yes, there are some hints in the Exodus account about some of the days spent in the wilderness, but they're only hints, in my opinion.

Did you know that they also celebrate King David's birth and death on Pentecost? That's the tradition. Anything to get excited about over 50 days? I don't think so. We celebrate George Washington's birthday here in the US, but we don't start a countdown for 50 days! I do remember as a kid that we had a little 3" cartoon on the front page of the local newspaper that counted down the shopping days to Christmas. I remember looking forward to them, to looking at what the artist had conjured up to help us little kids get their holiday juices flowing more and more each day. And I remember disliking Sundays during that time of year! Silly, eh? We did not have a Sunday paper!! No cartoon. I had to wait an extra day to see the new fun.

Now, the Hebrews are into this sort of thing. Remember that they still fill Elijah's Passover cup and walk to the door to see if he's shown up this year. That's more than just hype and script to entertain the kiddies. There is something there, the acting out of their hope in Messiah's coming and the one who will herald that event in their eyes. Year after year, decades, centuries, still pouring a cup for Elijah. Why WOULDN'T they count the omers to Weeks?? But what's the deal?

They celebrate the Law's arrival on Pentecost. As Christians, we celebrate the giving of the Holy Spirit to man. They celebrate the tablets, we celebrate the birth of the Church and the writing of the Law on our hearts.

Are you counting down? Are you expecting something on Pentecost? No? Why not??

Pentecost, Shavuot & First Fruits - DeanZF - 05-31-2009

The sun has set, the day is done; the omers have been counted, and the anticipation was well rewarded. Pentecost 2009 has been thoroughly celebrated in our congregation here in the greater Kansas City area, and what a celebration it was!

The pageantry team at Church of the King offered a piece to Paul Wilbur's rendition of "Let Your Fire Fall". It's been one of my favorites from one of my all-time favorite albums by one of my all-time favorite musicians for as long as the album has been around. Powerful stuff. Anointed music can be amplified by anointed visual interpretations, and today was no exception! The theme was, appropriately, FIRE! :fireball: Red in the garments, fire flags, fiery banner, fiery music, all for a God who is a consuming fire Himself! The music set was great, too. Included a song new to our congregation. Jennie Riddle wrote Revelation Song. There is a well-visited version of it on YouTube. The artist there is Kari Jobe. The video is essentially a concert type setting, replete with what could look like a Christian mosh pit crowding the platform. Again, concert style. If you play the video, try closing your eyes and just listen to the song. She sings it powerfully. Throne-focused and expectant. It's a wow. I will NOT go off on a rant about pained expressions on worship leaders' faces, but I will at least mention it for your consideration. What does the face of a leader tell us about the music and the impact of Jesus on their life?

The sermon was stellar, talking mainly about Revelation 5, and interpreting some of the scene there in that chapter. The lament over the sealed scroll and what that scroll was truly about. He sees that scroll as the eighth letter of the Revelation. He also made it very personal, asking if I (and each of those present) did not have a scroll that was my life and that was still in some measure sealed up. When I have my hand on my scroll, that puts me in control and I do not have the authority to break the seals and reveal what is to come and how I can prepare for and cooperate with those things. Similarly, when my scroll is in God's hand and held tightly because I have not yet surrendered to areas where God has asked for my surrender, He cannot/will not/dares not open the seal on the book for that season because I am not ready or able.

He also talked about Chapter 5 being "the" answer to so many of life's thorny questions as offered by scoffers, agnostics, and atheistic folks. Darwin suggested that there could be life without God. Why then would all that was created bow before Him in this chapter. The Creator of all things is ON THE THRONE. Freud suggested that there could be a soul without there being a God. Every created being above, on, and beneath the earth WILL bow the knee. Marx suggested that there could be government without a God. We all know how THAT turned out.

Pastor also reminded us about Pentecost, the apostle Peter, and prayer. They stayed in the upper room for the last 10 days of the 50 days between First Fruits and Pentecost. They PRAYED for that time as Jesus had instructed them to do, tarrying that they might receive power. They tarried for those days, praying long hard hours. Peter preached maybe 15 minutes, and 3000 were added to the church! The point of Pentecost was not the mighty rushing wind (Kansans would better understand a TORNADO!), the tongues of fire, or the tongues of the nations from uneducated men's mouths. The point of Pentecost was salvation and relationship and reconciliation with GOD! Sometimes Charismatics get side-tracked, IMO, even though we know in our knowers that we need to focus on Giver, not gift, on God's face and heart, not the hand that gives.

It was a powerful service with a lot of stuff going on in the prophetic realm. Visually, aurally. Just some very powerful services this day. We expected, and God provided in a marvelous way!

I'll share soon what I taught in adult Sunday school, too, talking about the Feasts of First Fruits and Pentecost and their evangelistic nature.