Shavuot 2015 – An appointed time of great significance

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jerusalem (2)Shavuot, the feast of oaths, an appointed time with our Heavenly Father. On this day we seven ourselves, we re-dedicate ourselves to YHVH.

We were in Jerusalem, the place YHVH chose to put His name forever. It was once again a privilege and an unforgettable experience. We also had wonderful weather and fellowship. A stark contrast to Pesach. Pesach taught me that going up to Jerusalem is first and foremost an appointment with our Father. Fellowship is important, but secondary. The same goes for the weather. I was disappointed at Pesach because our friends were unable to come to Israel and the weather was cold, windy and rainy. It made me realize that I had my priorities wrong and I had to turn from my ways. This time, my priority was YHVH and I had such an expectation for the feast. We were not disappointed, the feast was memorable in so many ways and we were blessed with a wonderful gathering, lots of fellowship and excellent weather.

You may wonder why I mention the weather so much. Coming from the Netherlands, weather is probably the most discussed topics due to the changeable nature of it. We could easily have three to four seasons in one day, mostly wet and cold. So, going up to Jerusalem was like going on a summer holiday, lots of sunshine and good weather to be expected. Anyway, as I said, YHVH showed me where my focus should be. He expects us to put Him first and when we do, He may bless us with all the other great things.

Let me get back to the feast. Shavuot is a very significant feast. Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying this to diminish the importance of the other feasts. There just seems to be a different nature to Shavuot, I don’t quite know how to explain it. Our previous experiences with both Pesach and Sukkot were us being more focused on the family, teaching the kids about the exodus at Pesach, the focus primarily on redemption. On this day, YHVH redeemed Israel from slavery. Y’shua fulfilled this feast by Him giving His life for our eternal redemption. Sukkot, on the other hand focusses more on being thankful for YHVH’s provision. It will have a future fulfillment as the wedding feast we will celebrate when Y’shua returns.

We have come to experience Shavuot as focusing on our relationship with YHVH, both individually and nationally. It does make sense because on this day- according to tradition- the Torah was given and later the Holy Spirit. Both the Torah and the Holy Spirit enable us to have a relationship with our Heavenly Father. The Torah teaches how to be set apart and the Holy Spirit enables us to be obedient to these instructions.

We have been privileged to experience Shavuot, like this since 2012. We have written about this in previous articles. Every Shavuot, since 2012, were as if YHVH wanted us to do something specific and He did not only put it on our hearts, but also in the hearts of others. It is almost as if there is a certain theme to every Shavuot, 2012 being the most significant. In 2012, believers from 6 of the seven continents were together (none from Antartica) confessing sins on behalf of themselves and their fathers, making intercession to YHVH on behalf of all twelve tribes. We prayed the prayers Nehemiah (Nehemiah 1)and Daniel (Daniel 9) prayed on behalf of those who were in exile and re-dedicated ourselves to YHVH. You can read more about this here Trip Report – Shavuot – Our proclamation

Then in 2013, Shavuot in Jerusalem 2013 – I will be your Elohim and you shall be My people we re-committed ourselves to YHVH stating that all He has spoken we will do, just like the Israelites did before they were given the Torah at mount Sinai. In 2014, we once again did some introspection to see if we have clean hands and a pure heart, or in other words, if we were indeed living what we proclaimed the previous year. What we did outwardly should be a reflection of what is inside of us.

This time was focused on national repentance, the receiving of the kingdom of Heaven and re-unification of Ephraim with Judah. The gathering in the city of David was truly like it is described in the Apostolic writings in 1 Cor 14:26, one had a hymn, another a word of wisdom and another a prophecy.

Here is an excerpt of a song we sang. It is called “Call to Ephraim” by Lenny and Varda.

The song has such beautiful words:

The Father send His Shepard Son, to find a people on their own
and change their name from Lo Ammi
to the children of the One who set them
free from all their sins and all the bondage of their past,
free to know their heritage and return to Him at last.

Ephraim, beloved son, it’s time for you to turn you face
and come back to your Father’s house.
He waits for you with open arms,
to bring the unity back to the family of God
joining brother Judah we will live His holy Law

We will worship You, worship You, You set us free
You found us in the wilderness and You caused our eyes to see
that You are searching, and drawing, and calling Your own
out where the east wind has blown us, away from our home.

Ephraim beloved son, it’s time for you to come back to your home.

It is also interesting to know that 2012 was the third year of the Sabbatical cycle and this year is the sixth. These years are very significant as they are the year of the tithe to the widow, orphan, stranger and the poor. Could there be even more significance to these years?

Divine appointments

We have found Jerusalem to be the city of divine appointments. This time, many of us have special encounters with Jewish people.

We have told you about the work Shoshana Miriam does in a previous post. She is an eighty-three year old widow who has, with her family, has been helping others in need her whole life. We reached out to them, because this year is the sixth year of the Sabbatical cycle and we wanted to give our third year tithe to the widow, the orphan and the poor. They were so thankful. We went back to visit her again at her apartment. We were welcomed like family, it was the day after Shavuot and she said if they had known we were in Jerusalem, they would have loved to have us celebrate Shavuot with them.

Another encounter was with a dear Jewish man from Canada. He came to Jerusalem to celebrate Shavuot and visit family. He asked us our reason for being there and we told him that we come up to Jerusalem for the pilgrimage feasts. He was stunned to hear that. I asked him how he, being an observant Jew, sees this and he answered that it is the fulfillment of prophecy.

A good friend of ours, Chris, also had an experience that could be seen as a sort of microcosm of this future re-unification of Judah and Israel (the ten lost tribes or Ephraim). Here it is as recalled by our friend John Williams:

Chris was trying to get a parking spot and a taxi was blocking his path. The taxi was waiting for a feeble old man and his assistant. In an effort to speed up the process Chris opened the taxi door for the old man and that is when he saw the number tattooed on his arm. Chris was overwhelmed and simply said may I pray for you? At the end of the prayer, Chris (an Ephraimite) kissed the old man and told him he loved him. The elderly man, whose name happened to be Judah then kissed Chris and also said I love you. As the taxi drove off, Chris fell on his knees, sobbing, that is when an Arab man came up to him and asked if he was okay.

In a small way the reunification of the two houses will be a witness to the world.

I am sure there were many more encounters we were not even aware of. What we are seeing is the beginning of the restoration. We, as believers in Y’shua, are being awakened to the truth. We as believers are a part of Israel, or more accurately Ephraimites who were scattered and lost our identity. YHVH, is opening our eyes and showing us this, and we are returning to Him in obedience. This awakening has become quite prominent since 2006. People from all over the world are re-discovering YHVH’s ways and are turning from their old ways which was rooted in lawlessness.

What we are beginning to see is preparation for the future re-unification of all twelve tribes. It may still take quite a while, but it is happening. This restoration was promised by YHVH if we return to Him.

Promised restoration

Deuteronomy 30:1-8
1 So it shall be when all of these things have come upon you, the blessing and the curse which I have set before you, and you call them to mind in all nations where YHVH your Elohim has banished you, 2 and you return to YHVH your Elohim and obey Him with all your heart and soul according to all that I command you today, you and your sons, 3 then YHVH your Elohim will restore you from captivity, and have compassion on you, and will gather you again from all the peoples where YHVH your Elohim has scattered you. 4 If your outcasts are at the ends of the earth, from there YHVH your Elohim will gather you, and from there He will bring you back. 5YHVH your Elohim will bring you into the land which your fathers possessed, and you shall possess it; and He will prosper you and multiply you more than your fathers. 6 Moreover YHVH your Elohim will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love YHVH your Elohim with all your heart and with all your soul, so that you may live. 7 YHVH your Elohim will inflict all these curses on your enemies and on those who hate you, who persecuted you. 8 And you shall again obey YHVH, and observe all His commandments which I command you today.

We are these people in the nations YHVH is referring to. We are returning to YHVH and are obeying His commandments where we are in the nations. He said if we do this, He would restore us from captivity. What a glorious day that would be.

A warning

There is, however, a warning that goes with this. There is a Jewish legend of a premature exodus from Egypt. The legend states that a large group of Ephraimites left Egypt based on their calculations of when the exile would have been over. They calculated the 400 years from the time the prophecy was given instead of from the birth of Isaac. This caused them to leave Egypt prematurely and they were killed by the Philistines. Here is the source

Many believers who have been awakened to the truth have a strong desire to return to the land. Many of these people will do anything to be able to call Israel their home. The danger in this is that they easily fall prey to anti-missionaries who convince them to convert to Judaism and come live in the land. In order to convert, they have to deny Y’shua. A friend of ours has written about this previously, A love of all things Jewish.

Denying Y’shua as the Messiah will not serve you any purpose. We have salvation through Him and Him alone. Is it worth losing your salvation to live in Israel?

Even if you are able to live in the land without having to convert, there is a danger that you are not in the Father’s will. If we were to go and live in Israel pre-maturely, we might be killed just like the Ephramites in the legend were killed. A time of war is coming and we will have to be where YHVH wants us to be. It certainly is YHVH’s will for some people to return to the land, but we are to prayerfully consider this. The time of return for all is not yet. Wait on YHVH and do His will.

Please consider this before you follow some group or leader’s deception. Focus on your relationship with YHVH and He will tell you what to do. Don’t follow man, it will lead to destruction.

Proverbs 14:12
12 There is a way which seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.

Proverbs 16:25
25 There is a way which seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.

This is repeated twice in Scripture. Take heed of these words.

Proverbs 12:15
15 The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, But a wise man is he who listens to counsel.

We are to follow YHVH’s counsel in all we do. Not our own ideas or other people’s. Follow YHVH and ask Him to reveal His will for your life to you.

We have included some comments about this day written by some of the people who were there.

From some of those who were there with us

This is how Chad & Marilyn Wilhelms experienced the day:

We thoroughly enjoyed spending Shavuot with all of you in the city of David! It was truly a calling from Abba for all of us to be there from all over the world (from every tribe and nation?). It was a blessing to have a Holy Convocation: from the blowing of the Shofars, to the singing (from the heart), the sharing of Yah’s word, the “waving” of the bread (Bney Yehuda and Bney Ephraim), and having a communal meal before Father. It was especially significant that we faced towards where His holy sanctuary once stood singing the Shema- and we know that one day it will stand again…forever. Thank you to all that participated as our hearts and souls united as one before YHWH!

And John Williams:

There were twenty-one of us who walked down to Ir David for the gathering. Quite a few of our group opted to stay up all night to listen to the rabbis. (Tradition, tradition)

We read the various passages about Shavout (Lev 23, Numbers 28, Deut. 16, and Acts 2). The discussion then seems to focus on Nehemiah(chapters 8-9). We discussed individual repentance, repentance for the sins of our fathers, and repentance as a group/nation. We then talked about contracts which are conditional and covenants which are eternal. Verse 9:33-34 really got my attention. Nehemiah 9:21 brought up the discussion of the wilderness and it was pointed out that when you leave Egypt you will either go through the wilderness or you’ll end up in Babylon. We then discussed the difficult times that are coming. To drive the point home Chris Gunther (Germany) has a divine appointment earlier that morning. He was trying to get a parking spot and a taxi was blocking his path. The taxi was waiting for a feeble old man and his assistant. In an effort to speed up the process Chris opened the taxi door for the old man and that is when he was the number tattoo on his arm. Chris was overwhelmed and simply said may I pray for you? At the end of the pray Chris (an Ephraimite) kissed the old man and told him he loved him. The elderly man, whose name happened to be Judah then kissed Chris and also said I love you. As the taxi drove off, Chris fell on his knees, sobbing, that is when an Arab man came up to him and asked if he was okay. In a small way the reunification of the two houses will be a witness to the world.

Tomorrow the B’nei Yosph conference will begin. Its purpose is to move along the process of uniting the two houses. The wheels are turning. However, amid all the discussion, which lasted three hours, it was agreed by all that it will be love for one another that bring us together. One more thought regarding unity. We discuss the prodigal son. Once the wayward son comes home the festivities are on hold until our Father is able to bring the older brother into the house. I don’t know if I had ever thought about that aspect of the parable. The party commences when we are one with the Father.

Here is what Jason wrote:

Shavuot 2014 was our first celebration of a Chag in Yerushalayim, and it was a life-changing experience — Shavuot 2015 was no different. There is absolutely no substitute for celebrating in the commanded place at the commanded time, enjoying truly meaningful fellowship, study, and worship with brethren from all over the world in the city of our great King.

It should go without saying that whenever Yah provides His children with instruction, there is a very good reason for that commandment. He has commanded us to gather in Yerushalayim three times a year to celebrate His Chagim, and it is imperative that we all make every effort to be obedient in this area. Sadly, I see far too many ignoring this commandment, choosing instead to travel and assemble in locations other than what Torah instructs –  this results in many missed blessings and is not helpful when it comes to unifying the body of Messiah. May we all be gathered together with one accord in one place next year (Acts 2:1)!

Shavuot 2015 was a time filled with joyous celebration and heartfelt discussion, new connections with fellow believers, and wonderful opportunities to show love to those living in the Land. It is remarkable to see what is taking place in these last days as so many are zealously returning to the Way our Father commanded us to walk, and I praise Yah for what He is doing in the lives of my brothers and sisters.

Jason –

We hope you too have experienced Shavuot in a meaningful way. Please share your experience with us. May YHVH bless and strengthen each and every person who choose and obey His ways.

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