imagesShalom Chaver (Hebrew for friend) of Greg Savitt, Missionary to the Jewish People South Florida,

Todah Rabba (that is Hebrew for thank You very much) for standing with the evangelistic work I do, reaching Jewish people for the Gospel. This month I wanted to take time to reflect on a Christian holiday called Pentecost. This email is a little longer because there was so much “good stuff” to tell you so I apologize if it is longer than usual.

I bet you did not know it was a Jewish holiday first! This holiday is called Shavuot, and it is found in Lev. 23:15-22. This holiday is still celebrated by Orthodox Jews worldwide. This year of 5774, Shavuot ,starts on the evening of Tuesday, June 3rd last to Thursday evening June 5th.

Shavuot – the Day of Pentecost is one of the three main festivals of Israel.

The festivals of Israel were designed by God to focus the hearts and minds of the Jewish people on various elements of God’s person and plan. In addition, the festivals, as much as any other portion of the Hebrew scriptures, also point to the coming of the Messiah. This is especially true of the seven great festivals outlined in Leviticus chapter 23. I believe the four Spring festivals were fulfilled in the first coming of Jesus, and the three Fall festivals will be fulfilled in His second coming.

In Leviticus 23 ,the fourth feast is called Shavuot. This is the final Spring festival. Shavuot, which means weeks is a holiday of seven weeks. These are counted by the Jewish people from beginning on Passover, and then Shavuot is to be observed on the 50th day. This is where we get the Christian holiday Pentecost because the Holy Spirit in Acts Chapter 2 came 50 days after the Passover when Jesus was crucified. The day the Holy Spirit came upon believers in power was on Shavuot.

Did you know that Shavuot was one of the Shalosh Ha Regillim? This means on these three required holidays Passover, Shavout, and Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles) that 20 year old males needed to travel to Jerusalem to celebrate the holiday. (Deut 16:16)

Why is this significant? Because when the Ruach Ha Kodesh, the Holy Spirit, came upon the people, a miracle happened which all the Jewish believers started speaking in languages that were foreign to them. This is significant because the temple was full because so many people were required to be at the temple in Jerusalem.

They call the holiday also Zman Matan Torah, which means the season of the giving of the Law. Jewish tradition holds that Moses received the entire Torah on Mt. Sinai on Shavuot. Jewish people also use a special holiday bread that is two loaves signifying that God’s Law is for Jews and Gentiles. Also, the two loaves signify the two tablets that Moses brought down from Mt. Sinai. My people do this because in Lev. 23:17,30 The Jewish people offered two leavened loaves of bread concluding the grain harvest.

Jewish people also eat dairy food because when they received the law they did not have kosher food, so they supposedly ate dairy products. Since the Jewish people were unprepared for the law, there is a Jewish tradition that invented the term “all nighters” that we all have pulled in our lifetime. Since they were not prepared when Moses brought down the law, Orthodox Jews study the law all night long to be ready now for God’s word.

There is another tradition that the Book of Ruth was read in the Temple and read today because this is a harvest story. King David who was a descendant of Ruth, was born and died during the Feast of Shavuot according to Jewish tradition. So doesn’t it make more sense now when you look back at Peter’s sermon in Acts 2 when he is quoting messianic prophecies from King David! King David’s birth and death on Shavuot is something every Jewish person knew that day at the Temple.

So by quoting from David’s words on Shavuot, it was very effectual in getting Jewish people saved (3,000).

Peter says this in Acts 2:25, David said about him (Jesus): “‘I saw the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest in hope, because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, you will not let your holy one see decay. You have made known to me the paths of life you will fill me with joy in your presence. This is from Psalm 16:8-11 written by King David

Peter also said in Acts 2:34-35, “For David did not ascent to heaven, and yet he said, “The Lord said to my Lord: Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.” King David wrote this in Psalm 110:1
God always points to his son Yeshua with each Jewish holiday. For Passover, this was redemption seen with the death of Christ. First Fruits was the resurrection of Jesus (1 Corinthians 15:23), and Pentecost was the birth of the church (Acts 2)

The first Shavuot after the death of Christ, The 120 Disciples (Acts 1:15), were in one place, in one mind, praying and focusing on God’s work. They were waiting in obedience to the command of Jesus (Acts 1:4-5). This is where Jesus commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”

After waiting 50 days, the presence and power of the Holy Spirit fell upon the disciples on the 50th day after Passover. It was a new revelation given on a new Pentecost! The initial giving of the Torah by Moses at Mt. Sinai had come with signs and wonders in the heaven as seen in Exodus 19. On Mount Sinai there were thundering, lightening, fire, and loud trumpet blasts. It actually was so powerful that the Jewish people were afraid of God.

So God descended on Mt Sinai with fire on the day of Shavuot. Also, on the day of Pentecost (which is Shavuot) in Acts 2 :4 fire is present as well. The disciples saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them So there was Fire in Acts 2 and Mt Sinai! Now with the birth of the Church, fire is shaped like tongues resting on each new Jewish believer. God seemed to have fire when he was orchestrating a new work of his revelation on us.

I hope you enjoy the Jewish roots of our Christian faith. Thank you for your support, your prayers, and your financial contributions. Have a Hag Sameach, Hebrew for Happy Holidays. And this year just know that Christianity is the greatest Jewish movement of all time. Let me know how you are doing, and let me know how I can pray for you.