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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Jonathan Bernis » Jonathan Bernis - Shavuot, God's Love and Provision

Jonathan Bernis - Shavuot, God's Love and Provision

Jonathan Bernis - Shavuot, God's Love and Provision
TOPICS: Shavuot, God's Love, Provision

Jonathan Bernis: Shalom and welcome to Jewish Voice. I'm Jonathan Bernis. This week we're celebrating Pentecost or Shavuot in Hebrew. My co-host, Ezra Benjamin, and I are believing for an outpouring of God's spirit today in your life. Ezra, what a week.

Ezra Benjamin: What an incredible...

Jonathan Bernis: This is a really important week. This is a really important holiday.

Ezra Benjamin: Such an important time on God's annual, biblical timetable. And yet, Jonathan, for most of our Jewish people around the world we see it come and go on the calendar. We don't really understand what it's about, right? It's maybe the most misunderstood and under celebrated of the Jewish holidays.

Jonathan Bernis: Which is strange because it's such a major feast. This is one of three times during the biblical calendar where the children of Israel, the men, were commanded to leave their homes...

Ezra Benjamin: Okay.

Jonathan Bernis: And on foot or by donkey, if they had resources, the means, they had to travel all the way to Jerusalem to worship God, to meet with God.

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: And that's why there were so many Jewish people in the temple worshipping when the Holy Spirit was poured out because they were following the commandment to return to Jerusalem for the three feast. So, Ezra, Passover is the first. The men were commanded at Passover to make their sacrifice in the temple in Jerusalem. And by the way, you see Jesus following the commands. He was traveling to Jerusalem to fulfil the command to be in Jerusalem for this Pilgrimage feast.

Ezra Benjamin: Okay.

Jonathan Bernis: Paul also, on the Pilgrimage feast, sort of dropped everything. He was in remote parts of the Roman Empire, and he came back to Jerusalem, and that took a long time. That was a big sacrifice...

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: Of time. But they did it because this was of importance. Go to Jerusalem and meet with your God. Passover number one. Number two, is Shavuot.

Ezra Benjamin: Okay.

Jonathan Bernis: It's Pentecost. And this is the one that's overlooked by most American Jews. Israelis go on a picnic. But it's a major event biblically. And the third is Sukkot. It's the final wrap up. It's the feast of tabernacles. It's the great end gathering in which... And that's something that the nations will celebrate in the millennial kingdom...

Ezra Benjamin: Amen.

Jonathan Bernis: In the Messianic age. The gentiles will go to Jerusalem...

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: Physically during the millennium to worship God, the God of Israel.

Ezra Benjamin: Rules and reigns on earth.

Jonathan Bernis: Right.

Ezra Benjamin: The Jewish people and all of you who believe in him are gonna March into Jerusalem to celebrate these feasts.

Jonathan Bernis: Yes. So, these are really important events. These are historic events. They're prophetic events. They're God moments. Mark Biltz calls the cycle of feasts, God's day timer.

Ezra Benjamin: Yeah.

Jonathan Bernis: And I agree with him. This is God's day timer and Shavuot or Pentecost is a huge event. Most Christians, you talk about Jewish people not realizing the significance. Most Christians although they look at acts 2, we're very familiar with Pentecost. This is the... From many teachers they refer to this as the birthday of the church.

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: And I agree with that to some extent. This is the promise that Jesus gave his disciples. Yeshua said, "Wait here, tarry here in Jerusalem," to use the King James. "Until the promise is fulfilled". The promise is the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: And Ezra, you see that the first coming of the Messiah parallels the first three feasts in Leviticus 23.

Ezra Benjamin: Okay.

Jonathan Bernis: They are fulfilled or filled to fullness, so you reverse the syllables, you have filled full with the coming, the first coming.

Ezra Benjamin: Yeah.

Jonathan Bernis: The fall feast connect with his return but the spring feast, Passover, Shavuot, or Pentecost, and of course, in between them, the resurrection, the first fruits are directly fulfilled when Jesus dies as the Passover lamb. He dies at the same time as the lambs are being sacrificed.

Ezra Benjamin: On the eve of Passover.

Jonathan Bernis: On the eve of Passover.

Ezra Benjamin: Yeah.

Jonathan Bernis: He's the Passover lamb that takes away the sins of the world. He's resurrected on the feast of first fruits which is the first harvest of the earth. It's a barley harvest.

Ezra Benjamin: During the season of uneven bread.

Jonathan Bernis: Season of uneven bread. The Passover. And he becomes the first fruits of life from the dead forest.

Ezra Benjamin: Wow.

Jonathan Bernis: Directly fulfils the feast or brings it to fullness. And the third one is Shavuot. What is the fulfillment of Shavuot? It's the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. What is it in the scriptures? It's the first wheat harvest.

Ezra Benjamin: Interesting.

Jonathan Bernis: What's the wheat harvest symbolize? Souls.

Ezra Benjamin: Wow.

Jonathan Bernis: And 3000 are saved that day, and they were all Jews or proselyte to Judaism in the temple there because they were commanded to go to Jerusalem for Shavuot.

Ezra Benjamin: It's incredible. Just at that level, Jonathan, it's incredible, but there's so much more context. And I hope you at home whether you use a pen, or a pencil and paper, or whether you use your tablet, or whatever you need to use, get ready to take some notes because we wanna get into the context.

Jonathan Bernis: Now, let me really blow people's minds, okay? Here's something that many of you did not know. Some of you do, many of you don't. We were talking about this with our group, and many didn't know this. Not only is Shavuot the first wheat harvest which is directly fulfilled with the first intake of souls into the Kingdom of God beyond the disciples, and the 120, in the Book of Acts. This is the first great harvest, in the temple. Three thousand Jews and they didn't convert to Christianity. Some of you might be shocked by that. They didn't convert to Christianity. The Holy Spirit fell on them, and then they discovered that Yeshua, Jesus, was their promised Messiah. They were changed in the blink of an eye.

Ezra Benjamin: Yeah.

Jonathan Bernis: By the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. But here's what's mind blowing. Not only is this the wheat harvest, the first harvest of the year, symbolic of souls but according to the rabbis, Ezra, this is the day that the law was given at mount Sinai. Moses received at mount Sinai the Ten Commandments, the giving of the law which establishes Israel as a nation. They were already a people, the Hebrews. Now, they're the Israelites, they become a nation at mount Sinai that took place on Shavuot, on Pentecost. What am I saying? I'm saying that the same day that the law was given, now the Holy Spirit is poured out. The law, the spirit.

Ezra Benjamin: The same day.

Jonathan Bernis: On the same day of the Jewish calendar. The law, the spirit, in acts 2, they are connected.

Ezra Benjamin: Wow. Jonathan, immediately my mind jumps to Jeremiah 31 ‘cause we're talking about the giving of the law written on tablets of stone, the first Shavuot in the wilderness, and then the giving of God's spirit which is really our ability to have his law, his words written on our heart, Jew and gentile alike.

Jonathan Bernis: Yeah. Now, that's the result of a Messianic theology.

Ezra Benjamin: Sure.

Jonathan Bernis: Because what many Christians are taught and maybe you've been taught this, the laws is over here in the old, it's done away with, it's a thing of the past and now we have the new. Over here you have judgement, and you have law, and you have a punishment, and vengeance. And over here you have grace, and healing, and forgiveness.

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: The law's gone, now it's the spirit.

Ezra Benjamin: Now, it's grace time.

Jonathan Bernis: There's a problem with that. And the problem with that is that God is same yesterday, today and forever. **. Right.

Jonathan Bernis: He doesn't change. He's not a changing God. Now, we're no longer under the law, that's... Paul's and that very clear, we're no longer under the law. So, the question is, Ezra, where is the law?

Ezra Benjamin: Right. And Yeshua said, "I haven't come to abolish it, but to fulfill it". So, where is it being fulfilled?

Jonathan Bernis: Yeah. So, many teach, it's dead, it's done away with, it's a thing of the past. No, Jeremiah 31 is the answer. And that is, that the laws which were on tablets, which were external, which were on our shoulders, so we were under it, are now inside of us. How? Through the deposit of the Holy Spirit, Pentecost, Shavuot, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. We now receive the Holy Spirit and along with that comes the laws of God now written in our heart. I hope you're getting this.

Ezra Benjamin: Yeah.

Jonathan Bernis: This is huge. The law is not dead, it's inside of you. That's so important. It's huge. It's so, so important. You have the laws of God within you. We have to take a quick break, but we'll be right back to look closer at Shavuot, at Pentecost because this is your day for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Don't go anywhere.

Jonathan Bernis: I really wanna encourage you become a Jewish Voice partner. I'm passionate about this because I understand that it takes this partnership, you may not be able to go out in field with us. Maybe you can. We welcome you to come with us to Ethiopia, to Zimbabwe, to Zambia. But maybe you can't, but you can be there in spirit by sending us. Romans 10 says, "They can't hear unless one proclaim and they can't proclaim unless they be sent". So, this is a partnership of sending so that we can proclaim the gospel to Jewish people. And I really wanna get this Ruth scroll out to you. Why Ruth? Because Ruth is the one that said, "Your God will my God, and your people shall be my people". And you have been grafted into the Jewish people, so you are a Ruth who needs to demonstrate that your God is the God of Israel and that your people not only are the world but especially the Jewish people because there's a unique calling to provoke the Jewish people to jealousy. So, become a monthly partner with us. Ezra, Shavuot. It's the outpouring.

Ezra Benjamin: And I just wanna keep getting our audience more and more and more context because the more you understand the context, the more the New Testament is gonna open up to you from acts 2 all the way to the end. Jonathan, one question though that we haven't covered yet. The word "Pentecost" maybe originally Greek/Latin origins and then the word Shavuot...

Jonathan Bernis: Right.

Ezra Benjamin: Hebrew, these sound very different to my ear, and yet we're talking about the same thing. What do these words mean?

Jonathan Bernis: Well, we are talking about the same thing and I wanna Segway just a second and say the same idea with Christ. The word "Christ" for Jewish person means the God of Christianity but it comes from the Greek "Christos" which means anointed one. It comes from the Hebrew word "Mashiach" Messiah. Christ is Messiah.

Ezra Benjamin: Okay.

Jonathan Bernis: And that's what a Jewish person understands. "Oh, okay, I get it now 'cause I understand the Messiah but Christ means something very different". Pentecost and Shavuot are the same thing, Ezra. Penta is 50, so this is the 50th day but based on the Greek.

Ezra Benjamin: Okay. Now, wants the Hebrew mean?

Jonathan Bernis: Hebrew "Shavuot" is week or weeks. So, the number seven in Hebrew is sheva...

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: And that means seven. So, this is seven times seven, it's the 50th day after seven periods of seven.

Ezra Benjamin: Interesting.

Jonathan Bernis: It's exactly the same thing. It's the same day. It's the day where the law was given and the day in acts 2 where the Holy Spirit was poured out. This is no coincidence.

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: That the people that were in the temple were at the right place at the right time. Four ordained by God that on this day of the giving of the law, on this day when the first wheat harvest would be gathered and celebrated.

Ezra Benjamin: Okay.

Jonathan Bernis: Wheat is souls. Prophetically, wheat is souls. This is the first great gathering of souls into the Kingdom of God in acts 2, 3000, and they were all Jews or proselyte to Judaism. They were in the temple worshipping...

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: They're born from above in a single moment and everything changed that day. This is a sequence, Ezra. Penta, 50. Shavuot, weeks. Seven weeks of seven, the 50th day. The giving of the law, the wheat harvest, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and the first great gathering of souls.

Ezra Benjamin: So important for you to understand, as you're I hope, taking notes at home. People weren't just, all these people from Jewish communities throughout the known world weren't just happenstance in Jerusalem. They didn't just get together for any reason. They're there waiting and praying on a biblical appointed time remembering the giving of the law and waiting for a wheat harvest and then the Holy Spirit shows up.

Jonathan Bernis: And they got the reward. They were at the right place at the right time, and I want you to be at the right place at the right time. This is true of every biblical feast, by the way. It connects either to a direct fulfillment in the first coming, the death of Yeshua as the Passover lamb, his resurrection as the first fruits of life from the dead, when? Not on a random day, on first fruits. And the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, not on a random day, on the great harvest of Pentecost, Shavuot. And the same is true of the fall feasts...

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: That will yet to be fulfilled. Something prophetically will happen on Rosh Hashanah...

Ezra Benjamin: Yeah.

Jonathan Bernis: On Yom Kippur, on Sukkot, that's directly tied to the return of the Messiah. This is God's timetable. This is God's calendar.

Ezra Benjamin: Amazing. And I hope the Lord's opening your eyes at home right now, and the reason we share with you all these things is so you have the context, and that God opens your eyes to the Jewish roots of your faith. Easter, related. It can't be disconnected from Passover, and Pentecost, not just can't be disconnected from but is Shavuot, this Jewish feast.

Jonathan Bernis: How about the last supper? This is not some final meal only. This is the final Passover seder meal.

Ezra Benjamin: A Jewish feast.

Jonathan Bernis: A Jewish feast and everything has very specific meaning. The cup that Yeshua blesses and defines as his blood, interprets ads his blood, is the third cup. It's a cup of redemption. No coincidence. The matzah is unleavened bread, it's his body. Why? No sin. There's no leaven. And it wasn't white bread, it was matzah. Everything connects and the more you understand these inner connections, the more appreciation you can have for the God who is never changing, his word which all ties together and really doesn't contradiction itself. It's not the God of the old as a God of judgement, and the God of the new is a God of grace. There's grace and there's judgement in both the old and the new.

Ezra Benjamin: Yeah. So, Jonathan, how does our audience watching at home bring the realities of Shavuot, of Pentecost to bear in their life today?

Jonathan Bernis: Yeah, well, we're no longer under the law but the law hasn't disappeared. It's in our heart and with that comes a revelation of what's pleasing to God and what's displeasing to God, and we have it all here. And today, is an opportunity to really connect with that reality. That the Holy Spirit lives in us...

Ezra Benjamin: Yeah.

Jonathan Bernis: And he wants to explode in us.

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: We may be buried by the things of the world. You may be facing financial challenges. You may be dealing with the separation of a spouse. Whatever you're going through the Holy Spirit is right there ready to be poured out on the situation as you grab a hold him by faith. You're going to release something new, a new Pentecost or Shavuot upon you, upon your household in Jesus' name.

Ezra Benjamin: So important, so important for you at home to understand this concept. It's not tablets of stone given us from the outside in the law, but it's the Holy Spirit poured out first on Jewish people on that first Pentecost, now the inside out. The law written on our hearts, working itself out in lives.

Jonathan Bernis: Yeah. What I think is a problem that needs to be addressed and resolved, is the idea that grace and law somehow oppose each other and are repelling each other. Yeah, legalism repels grace.

Ezra Benjamin: Sure.

Jonathan Bernis: It does.

Ezra Benjamin: Sure.

Jonathan Bernis: When we're legalistic and bound up in the law, it repels grace. But when we correctly understand that law and grace are intermingles together, we have the grace to keep the law, re-interpreted law and all of this has been internalized things start to come together in a way that doesn't make sense otherwise. I don't see a different God in the whole testament, dealing with Israel and a different God in the new. When we focus just on mercy and grace, we miss a God who has standards, who hates sin.

Ezra Benjamin: Sure. Who is holy.

Jonathan Bernis: Yeah, who is holy. And vice versa when we see this God of judgement and retribution, we miss the grace of lay your hands on the scapegoat and send it into the wilderness.

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: Or sacrificial system to cover sin, so God can dwell among us. Al this can come together when we begin to understand Jeremiah 31, the law has been written on our heart.

Ezra Benjamin: Amen. And you have the answer at home, and you can share it with a Jewish friend, family member, or neighbor. You have the answer.

Jonathan Bernis: Yeah. We have to take a short break, but I'm gonna be back with our, "Ask the rabbi" segment where I answer some questions that you sent in. I also wanna take some to pray for you for the needs of your family, because we believe in a God who hears and answers prayer. Stay with us, we'll be right back.

Jonathan Bernis: Welcome back. We've been celebrating Shavuot or Pentecost this week, the outpouring of God's spirit, and believing with you that this is your week of outpouring. God wants to minister to you, to your family, to your children and grandchildren. Whatever you're going through, there is an outpouring of the Holy Spirit within reach. And now, we're gonna take some questions that you, our viewers have emailed in. I love this part. I love answering questions and we always have some great ones.

Ezra Benjamin: Yeah.

Jonathan Bernis: Ezra, let's start.

Ezra Benjamin: We have great ones today, Jonathan. Landon from St. Petersburg, Florida asks...

Jonathan Bernis: Well, Landon, yes. And yes, they are related to the cycle of harvest. Israel was an agricultural society and the feats, for the most part, very often are celebrating the various harvest, the barley harvest, the first wheat harvest, the final harvest at Sukkot and then there's also days that are memorials. Rosh Hashanah has become the new year, but it was the feast of trumpets. The blowing of the shofar, the shofarot preparing the people to worship God. And then, Yom Kippur, the day of atonement, was very significant. So, they're either agricultural or their ceremonial, but they're also prophetic. They're not just metaphors, they're prophetic events on God's calendar. They cycle of feats that point to the redemptive plan of God through the Messiah. Either his first coming or his return. And fulfill, let me talk about fulfill for a minute. Fulfill is best understood, not as bringing to an end, but to fill full, just reverse the syllables, and you understand that this is a glass being filled, Ezra, being fulled to fullness or filled to fullness, rather. And the spring feast and the fall feasts are a matter of timing. They're different events that have a fulfillment or a filling full with either an agricultural harvest or a ceremonial remembrance. Like, Passover commemorates the Exodus out of Egypt and the lamb that was slain to protect the children of Israel from the angel of death. Jesus, Yeshua, becomes our Passover lamb. He celebrates or observes that final Passover and brings new meaning. He literally is resurrected on first fruits and the Holy Spirit's poured on Pentecost or Shavuot as we spoke about today. And then, you have later on, the fall feasts that are, I believe directly connected to Yeshua's return.

Ezra Benjamin: Yeah.

Jonathan Bernis: It's the national repentance of Israel. I believe it's connected to the recognition of Yeshua and mourning for him, and repenting. And then, the final ingathering is the feast of tabernacles of Sukkot. These are rich, Ezra, and they're for every believer. They're, the inheritance, not only of the people of Israel, but those who sojourn with the people of Israel who are ingrate through the Messiah. You're a spiritual son or daughter of Abraham and this is your inheritance. I wanna make that just a... I can't say that enough. This is your inheritance and that's why you have to understand this cycle of feasts and how Yeshua's at the center. Jesus is at the center of all of them.

Ezra Benjamin: Great.

Jonathan Bernis: Yeah, it's so important.

Ezra Benjamin: Greatly important.

Jonathan Bernis: Thank you, Landon.

Ezra Benjamin: John from Prescott, Arizona asks...

Jonathan Bernis: The biblical calendar comes first. The Gregorian calendar, and it was a lunar calendar and it's the biblical calendar. This is God's established timetable and cycle through the year. So, you have a biblical calendar and a later Gregorian calendar that are calendars based on, but obviously, we observe both. They're both important and they both exist one as lunar, one as solar. Sometimes, they connect with each other. Celebrate the biblical feasts. Understand how Yeshua's at the center of all of these feasts and celebrate them in their fullness. If you have prayer needs, if you'd like more information about our ministry or the things we've talked about, you can log on to our website, it's packed with information. Our website is I wanna leave you with this, God loves you and so do we. And as we close our program, I also wanna remind you to pray for the peace of Jerusalem as we're exhorted in Psalm 122:6, "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem, may they prosper who love thee". So, pray this week for Israel and the Jewish people. Until next time, this is Jonathan Bernis, along with, Ezra Benjamin saying, "Shalom and God bless you".
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