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Posts tagged ‘Shavuot’

What Pentecost Means to Both Christians and Jews.

Steve Strang on Mount Sinai in 1979
Steve Strang on Mount Sinai in 1979

Today, May 14, marks the 65th anniversary on the Gregorian calendar of Israel’s Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel. It is also the beginning of Shavuot, also called Pentecost, in which Jews around the world celebrate as if they are standing at Sinai together. As one of my Jewish friends said, this is about “not just receiving the Torah, but accepting and embracing it.”

In many ways, there is no holiday we celebrate that is more evocative of the binding connection between Jews and Christians than this. At Shavuot (Pentecost), the Jews celebrate receiving the Torah at Mount Sinai, which was literally the beginning of Judaism. For Christians, Pentecost, which we celebrate next Sunday, was literally the beginning of the church, when the Holy Spirit was outpoured and 3,000 were saved as Peter preached about the risen Christ.

My same Jewish friend pointed out that many of Israel’s neighbors and other detractors “mourn Israel’s rebirth as a catastrophe.” However, “this intolerance is all the more reason to celebrate this joyous occasion,” and this is why it is imperative that Christians and Jews stand together.

Thirty-four years ago today, I was in Jerusalem with Jamie Buckingham when Israel celebrated its independence. I remember it was difficult to sleep due to the Israelis celebrating all night long in the streets.

We went from Jerusalem on a pilgrimage to the Sinai Peninsula, controlled in 1979 by Israel (it is now part of Egypt). There we climbed Jebel Musa, which means the Mountain of Moses. There are actually three mountains that people think might have been the original Mount Sinai, but this is the one accepted by most Protestants.

It was a moving experience to be able to climb that mountain and spend time at the top with my friends, contemplating what happened on that spot and how God revealed himself to Moses in a way that has affected all of mankind to this day.

While in Jerusalem, we also visited “the Upper Room,” where the book of Acts says the Holy Spirit was outpoured. Our group of nine American pilgrims had a wonderful time of worship. I remember being overwhelmed with emotion as I prayed that day in my prayer language. It was from that experience on the Day of Pentecost that those of us who believe in the baptism of the Holy Spirit call ourselves Pentecostals.

Cover-Holy-Spirit-Issue-SmallI am encouraging those who call themselves Pentecostals to celebrate Pentecost Sunday next week. Billy Wilson’s ministry, called Empowered21, is taking the lead and providing materials for your church. We are also posting information about the Holy Spirit online.

As you may know, we devoted our May issue of Charismato the work of the Holy Spirit. We have gotten a wonderful response, and now the printed issues are gone. So we are making that digital issue available free of charge during the month of May. You can get it by clicking here. It’s a wonderful way to experience the beauty of the digital issue. You can also share it with friends on social media.

Please leave your thoughts about Jewish independence, about the Jewish festival Shavuot (pronouncedShuhvote) and Pentecost Sunday. And let me know how you like our digital issue.



Steve Strang is the founder and publisher of Charisma. Follow him on Twitter at @sstrang or on Facebook (stephenestrang).

Shavuot: Celebrating the Torah and the Holy Spirit.

Ron Cantor
Ron Cantor

From Tuesday evening until sundown on Wednesday, Israelis will celebrate the feast of Shavuot. Most Christians know this feast as Pentecost and some are not even aware that it is a Jewish Feast.

In this video, Israeli/American pastor Ron Cantor breaks down this holiday for us, sharing the biblical significance from both the Old and New Covenants. What do you think of these revelations? Please comment below.




From the Passion to Pentecost.

Acts 2, Acts 1, John 14

Happy Pentecost Sunday!
Did you get your Pentecost Card from Hallmark?
One of the great days in the life of the Church worldwide.

The 3 significant Christian celebrations…
The Advent of Christ
The Crucifixion and Resurrection of Christ
The Coming of the Holy Spirit

A lot of confusion on the meaning of Pentecost.
Many fear talking about Pentecost or have erroneous assumptions

Why is this day so significant in the life of the Church?
The Spirit of God came to indwell all believers on this day.

Pentecost Past…
– Pentecost was already celebrated by Jews worldwide.
– The word Pentecost from Greek for “fifty”
– 50th day after the Sabbath of Passover
– Also: Feast of Weeks, Firstfruits of Wheat, Day of Firstfruits.
– For centuries, the Early Harvest Celebration.
– Jews brought to God the firstfruits of their harvest.
– Thanksgiving and expectation that God would bring full harvest.
– This Pentecost was the Firstfruits of the Harvest of souls – first day of the Church
-The Holy Spirit came to indwell believers on Pentecost, to be witnesses to the world.

Between The Passion and Pentecost
Promise of the Coming of the Spirit
Luke 24:45-49 – Jesus declared that:
– The message of gospel will travel the world
– His Father in heaven promised to send indwelling Spirit
– His disciples should wait in Jerusalem for the Spirit
– Christ then ascended into heaven.

By Doug Tegner.

Where Did Pentecost Come From?.

If you go back and read the Old Testament, you will discover that Pentecost was one of the Jewish feast days. Only they didn’t call it Pentecost.

That’s the Greek name. The Jews called it the Feast of Harvest or the Feast of Weeks. It is mentioned five places in the first five books—in Exodus 23, Exodus 24, Leviticus 16, Numbers 28, and Deuteronomy 16. It was the celebration of the beginning of the early weeks of harvest. In Palestine there were two harvests each year.

The early harvest came during the months of May and June; the final harvest came in the Fall. Pentecost was the celebration of the beginning of the early wheat harvest, which meant that Pentecost always fell sometime during the middle of the month of May or sometimes in early June.

There were several festivals, celebrations, or observances that took place before Pentecost. There was Passover, there was Unleavened Bread, and there was the Feast of Firstfruits.

The Feast of Firstfruits was the celebration of the beginning of the barley harvest. Here’s the way you figured out the date of Pentecost. According to the Old Testament, you would go to the day of the celebration of Firstfruits, and beginning with that day, you would count off 50 days.

The fiftieth day would be the Day of Pentecost. So Firstfruits is the beginning of the barley harvest and Pentecost the celebration of the beginning of the wheat harvest. Since it was always 50 days after Firstfruits, and since 50 days equals seven weeks, it always came a “week of weeks” later. Therefore, they either called it the Feast of Harvest or the Feast of Weeks.

There are three things you need to know about Pentecost that will help you understand Acts 2. First, Pentecost was a pilgrim festival. That meant that according to Jewish Law, all the adult Jewish men would come from wherever they were living to Jerusalem and personally be in attendance during this celebration. Secondly, Pentecost was a holiday. No servile work was to be done. School was out. The shops were closed. It was party time.

Finally, there were certain celebrations and sacrifices and offerings which were prescribed in the Law for the day of Pentecost. On Pentecost, the High Priest was to take two loaves of freshly baked wheat bread and offer them before the Lord. The wheat bread was made from the newly harvested wheat.

In short, Pentecost in the time of the Apostles was a great and grand harvest celebration. The streets of Jerusalem were clogged with thousands of pilgrims who had come from every point of the compass to celebrate the goodness of God and the bringing in of the wheat harvest.

Excerpted from “The P.U.I.H.” from Keep Believing Ministries (used by permission).

By Dr. Ray Pritchard

March Madness: Marching to Jerusalem (Worship).

Three times a year all your males shall appear before the LORD your God in the place which He chooses.
Deuteronomy 16:16a

Recommended Reading
Hebrews 10:24-25 ( )

Watch This Week’s TV Broadcast ( )

Three times each year the men of Israel left their fields and flocks and traveled to Jerusalem to worship the Lord with offerings: the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of Weeks, and the Feast of Tabernacles.

If one lived in Judea, worship at the temple in Jerusalem was a regular possibility.

But for those who lived elsewhere, at least three times each year they worshipped corporately in Jerusalem.

The worship began even before they arrived at the temple. A section of Hebrew psalms found in Psalms 120-134 in our Bibles is known as the Songs of Ascents.

Most biblical scholars believe these songs were sung as the pilgrims marched from the plains of Israel to the heights of Jerusalem, ascending to the “Mountain of the LORD of Hosts, the Holy Mountain” (Zechariah 8:3).

It may have seemed like madness to march from Israel’s farthest borders to Jerusalem, but worship was at the heart of their spiritual life.

Don’t let the busyness of your life keep you from the blessing that is found when the body of Christ gathers to worship the Lord together.

The admonition in Scripture not to forsake “the assembling of ourselves together” (Hebrews 10:25) is for our good.

Nobody can call himself a Christian who does not worship Jesus.
John R. W. Stott

1 Samuel 16:1-20:42.

By David Jeremiah.

The Pilgrim’s Route Now Opened at the City of David.

On the slope of the City of David hill, where the Kidron and Ben Hinnom valleys meet, the Ancient Shiloah Pool was discovered just a few years ago.
This magnificent pool was constructed 2,000 years ago during the days of King Herod, in Jerusalem’s glorious building tradition.
This grand pool served as an important meeting point for Jerusalem’s pilgrims, who would arrive in the city to visit the Temple Mount on the three major Jewish holidays: Passover, the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkoth) and the Festival of Weeks (Shavuot).

The pool is mentioned in the New Testament as the place where Jesus has performed a miracle, as he healed a blind man (John 9 7).

An impressive road once connected the Shiloah Pool to the Temple Mount and served as the central axis for all of Jerusalem’s pilgrims and visitors.

Shops and businesses once lined the length of the Herodian Road and enjoyed the road’s centrality and the wide exposure that they had to the many pilgrims who filled Jerusalem on the holidays.

The way that leads from the Shiloah Pool in the direction of the Temple Mount reached 600 meters into the valley whose Greek name once was the “Tyropoeon,” which means the valley of the cheese mongers.

During the Hellenistic Period the road was lined with the shops and factories of dairy product manufacturers, such that when the winter rains would come, the valley would be washed clean of the refuse and smells that were a by-product of the dairy industry.

During Jerusalem’s Herodian period the road was paved, and at its foot the Shiloah pool was formed in order to store water for drinking and for the bathing purposes of the visiting pilgrims.

The road became more central and important because of the increasing pilgrimage phenomenon and because of the importance of the Shiloah Pool in the culture of the pilgrims.

Specifically, the Shiloah played a critical role in the Libation Ritual ceremony — during which the waters of the Shiloah Pool were brought as an offering at the Temple Mount itself.

In the drainage channels situated beneath the road, impressive artifacts were discovered from the time of the Great Revolt against Rome.

The channels themselves and the rare artifacts discovered bear a striking resemblance to the description of Josephus in his book Wars of the Jews, Volume 6, which tells the story of the Jews who hid “in the tunnels beneath the Shiloah.”

Thus, this new excavation was able to authenticate Josephus’ moving historical description of the aftermath of the Revolt in Jerusalem. City of David is now offering a new tour to showcase this new “Pilgrim’s Route.”

The short version of the tour begins from the pool of Siloam and continues to the Givaty parking lot next to the City of David visitors’ center.

The tour length is about one hour.

City of David is open as follows:

Winter schedule (beginning on October 3, 2011):

  • City of David Tours (English): 10 a.m., 2 p.m., Friday: 10 a.m.
  • City of David Tours (Hebrew): 10 a.m., 2 p.m., Friday: 10 a.m.
  • Hasmonean Aqueduct Tour (Hebrew only): Friday only: 10 a.m.
  • Segway Tour (English): 1 p.m.
  • Segway Tour (Hebrew): 10 a.m., Friday: 9 a.m., 11:30 a.m.

Summer schedule (until Rosh Hashanah, September 28):

  • City of David Tours (Hebrew): 10 a.m., 12 p.m., 4 p.m., Friday: 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 12 p.m.
  • City of David Tours (English): 10 a.m., 4 p.m., Friday: 10 a.m.
  • Hasmonean Aqueduct Tour (Hebrew): Friday only: 10 a.m.
  • Segway Tour (Hebrew): 10 a.m., 4 p.m., Friday: 9 a.m., 11:30 a.m.
  • Segway Tour (English): 1 p.m.

Entrance to Warren’s Shaft and Hezekiah’s Tunnel is permitted until one hour prior to site closing time. Tickets can be purchased up to two hours prior to site closing time.

A person who has bought a ticket for the last entrance time to Warren’s Shaft cannot continue his tour through Hezekiah’s tunnel.

Paid parking is available at the Givati parking lot.

Tours in English are available on site for visitors. For an up-to-date schedule please visit Group tours are available by reservation in advance. For information and reservations call 02-626-8700 or email For groups email

General admission pricing is 27 shekel for adults (about $8) and 14 shekel for children ($4). For those prefering a guided tour (highly recommended) the price is 60 shekel per adult and 45 shekel per child. Independent travelers that are members ofTravelujah can receive a 15 percent discount in advance by contacting Travelujah.

Travelujah is the leading Christian social network focused on connecting Christians tothe Holy Land. People can learn, plan and share their Holy Land tour and travel experiences on Travelujah.

Publication date: September 20, 2011

By Travelujah.

Chuck Pierce Dedicates Israel Prayer Garden During Pentecost Celebration.

chuck_pierce_prayergarden_croppedThe Pentecost Celebration, sponsored by Chuck Pierce‘s Glory of Zion International, not only focused on the Jewish feast of first fruits and the Day of Pentecost that launched the church, but it celebrated a new 215,000-square-foot ministry facility, a prayer tower and Israel Prayer Garden.

The facility just outside Denton, Texas was once a Boeing aircraft plant. Now 100,000 square feet will house Pierce’s growing ministry and separate local church, Glory of Zion Outreach.

The rest is being rented to businesses which fits into Glory of Zion’s vision for marketplace ministry.

With an emphasis on “restoration” the crowd of 1,500 cheered as Pierce told about the miracles that happened in the acquisition and demolition of the factory to become a ministry center.

The city gave the certificate of occupancy only 90 minutes before the first service, which was web-streamed around the world.

In the process of recycling $170,000 worth of debris, they found a metal tube that when blown sounds just like the blowing of a shofar.

Pierce sees significance in the “first fruits” aspect of of the Jewish feast of Pentecost or Shavu’ot, says Brian Kooiman, the ministry vice president, so the conference was a “first fruits” by the ministry for the new facility to those who attended.

The ministry charged no registration fee for the conference or webcast and even gave away music CDs.

The emphasis on Israel was shown in blowing a real shofar and in many ways from music and artwork to lighting a Shabbat candle on Friday.

But none was more beautiful than a five-acre Israel Prayer Garden designed by Pierce’s wife, Pam, who introduced plants native to Israel or native to Texas, similar to Israeli plants. Different areas in the garden are named after the 12 tribes of Israel with water sculptures, a threshing floor and a large “Lion of the Tribe of Judah” sculpture.

The garden was dedicated during the conference, as was a “prayer tower” in another part of the facility.

There were dancers, intercessors and many symbolic acts with prophetic significance. One of the most interesting was a processional by a ministry team from Hawaii explaining the regalia indicating the royalty believers are in Christ.

Then in a grand display they took off the traditional costumes showing that only Christ is King of Kings.

Speakers included Pierce, Sergio Scataglini, Barbara Yoder, Peter and Doris Wagner,
Sharon Stone and Kent Mattox.

A further report on the conference and videos about many of ministries who attended and a tour of the prayer garden will be posted soon.

By Steve Strang.

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