The Clarion, May 2021
May is a beautiful month. The spring flowers and trees are all in bloom. The birds are chirping and the sounds of life are upon us. This May 16th at sunset begins the feast known as Shavuot or better known to us as Pentecost. Pentecost was the day that the tongues of fire fell upon the disciples and 120 people, all received the Holy Spirit. But the original Pentecost or Shavuot in Hebrew was also the day that fire and clouds of smoke appeared at the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai. We know that the Word of God and the Holy Spirit go together because the Bible tells us this in Ephesians 6:17, which mentions the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God. So as believers how important it is for us to celebrate this feast day, because Yeshua kept His promise to His disciples when He told them this, as recorded in John 15:26-27, “I will send you the Helper from the Father. The Helper is the Spirit of truth who comes from the Father. When He comes, He will tell about Me. And you will tell people about Me too, because you have been with Me from the beginning.”
Today let us be as fresh in our faith as the blooms that are in our gardens and on
Let’s Go For A Walk
When Yeshua heard that His friend Lazarus had taken ill, He told His disciples that He was going to stay for two more days before going to him. When the two days were over Yeshua told His disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.” Upon hearing this His disciples told Him, “ Rabbi, the Jews were just now seeking to stone You, and yet You are going there again?” Yeshua, who often spoke cripticly to His disciples replies by saying this in John 11:9-10, “Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks during the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. But if anyone walks during the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.” What is He talking about? Let’s take a walk ourselves and see if we may unravel what Yeshua is saying. First we see in John 8:12 this, “Then Yeshua again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; the one who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.” So Yeshua Himself is the Light and that Light is life, not just any old light but the Light that gives us life. Right from the beginning of time we see this Light. Genesis 1:5 tells us that there is a difference between light and darkness and day and night.
“God called the light day, and the darkness He called night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day.”
If we walk by the Light, then we are children of light and as children of light then we must live a certain way or else we are not of the light.
1 Thessalonians 5:4-8 speaks about us being children of the light. “But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet.”
So we begin to see that as children of light we must walk in that light. There is no time to sleep, (figuratively) but we must at all times stay awake and alert and we must be sober, also putting on the armor of God with faith and love which is our righteousness and salvation. It sounds like Yeshua was speaking about a battle. So let us first remember that Yeshua is not only the Light but He is the Word.
Psalm 119:105 tells us, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” So God’s Word keeps us from stumbling. Yeshua tells His disciples that He was sending the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth. John 16:13, “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.” The Holy Spirit will guide you, and lead you. For this to happen we have to walk with the Holy Spirit. We know that by the armor of God that the Sword of the Spirit is the Word of God. They are one in the same. So let’s look again at our beginning Scripture.
John 11:9, “If anyone walks during the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world.” We just saw that the Holy Spirit was sent to guide us and we know that the Spirit and the Word are one. Now let’s look at what Paul tells us in Galatians 5:16-17, “ But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the desire of the flesh is against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, in order to keep you from doing whatever you want.” John 11 told us that if we are of the day, we will not stumble, because we will see the light of this world. This means if we do not walk by the day we will stumble because we will not have the light to see
what the desires of the flesh are. 1 John 2:16 tells us, “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” Galaltians 5: 20-21 goes on to tell us what the lust and the pride of this world are. “Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: sexual immorality, impurity, indecent behavior, idolatry, witchcraft, hostilities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” Yeshua knew that His people would need to see the danger that lies ahead of them and He did not want His sheep to get caught in the trap of the evil one. The Holy Spirit forewarns us and convicts us of our sin, so that we can turn around and walk in the right direction.What is the right direction? Paul continues on in Galatians 5: 22-25, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Messiah Yeshua crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let’s follow the Spirit as well.”
The Holy Spirit gives us gifts so that we can serve the Lord. He lets us bear fruit as John 15:7-8 tells us, “If you remain in Me, and My words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples”.
As we celebrate the giving of the Holy Spirit shouldn’t we ask for the gifts and the fruit He has to offer us? Like a friend, shouldn’t we walk with Him as He sheds light on our path? So was Yeshua speaking about a battle? “Yes” and to fight the battle let us pick up the Sword of the Spirit and speak the Word of the Lord as we follow the Light into the darkness. We will not stumble, we will not fail, for the Light will lead us and give us the victory over the enemy of our souls
NOTE: We would like to draw your attention to our brochure….
“Strolling down the Path of Godliness”. And you may also want to read all our brochures on Godliness and Holiness.
We would also like for you to listen to our podcast Bible study on Holiness.
We think that you will find all our Bible studies to be very informative and enjoyable. Study at your own pace with the transcript that you can print, download or read along. Our website has something for everyone.
Excerpts from the Book The Seven Festivals of the Messiah by Edward Chumney
The Historical Understanding of Pentecost (Shavuot)
In the third month after the Jews left Egypt, they arrived in the Sinai desert and camped opposite Mount Sinai. Moses was then told by G_d to gather the Israelites together to receive the Torah (Exodus 19:1-8) The Israelites answered, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do!” In Hebrew, it is Na’aseh V’Nishmah, which means, “We agree to do even before we have listened.” Moses then gave the Jews two days to cleanse themselves, wash their clothes, and prepare to receive the Torah on the third day. At the same time, Moses told them not to come near Mount Sinai. From early morning, dense clouds covered the peak of the mountain. Thunder and lightning were frequently seen and heard. The sound of the shofar (ram’s horn) came very strong, and the top of the mountain was enveloped in fire and smoke. The Israelites at the foot of Mount Sinai stood in great awe (Exodus 19:9-19). Moses then went up alone on the mountain, and as he neared the top, a mighty voice announced the Ten commandments
Spiritual Application (Halacha)
Shavuot (Pentecost) culminates with the counting of the omer for 50 days (which should be done the day following the weekly sabbath during Passover , Shavuot (Pentecost) is called the Atzeret or conclusion to Passover. Spiritually speaking, the believers in the Messiah Yeshua are on a journey out of Egypt ( a type of world’s system and it’s evil ways) in the wilderness (of life), awaiting out the time to meet G_d face to face on Mount Sinai (Exodus 3:12). There at Mount Sinai (spiritually), G-d will forever reveal Himself to us in a new and greater way. For all believers in the Messiah Yeshua, the Torah that was given at Mount Sinai represents the Word of G-d, the entire Bible. The believer in Yeshua spiritually experiences Shavuot (Pentecost) when the Holy Spirit of G_d reveals the Word of G_d to him in a deeper and more powerful way, and his understanding and desire for the Bible increases accordingly.
The Pouring out of G-d’s Holy Spirit (Ruach HaKodesh)
In the Midrash, which is a rabbinical commentary on the Scriptures, in Exodus Rabbah 5:9, it says: When G-d gave the Torah on Mount Sinai He displayed untold marvels to Israel with his voice. What happened? G-d spoke and the voice reverberated throughout the whole world… It says, And all the people witnessed the thunderings(Exodus 20:18). Note that it does not say “the thunder” but “the thunderings”, wherefore, R.Johanan said that G-d’s voice, as it was uttered, split up into seventy voices, in seventy languages, so that all the nations should understand.
This same experience we just discussed that happened at Mount Sinai also occurred 50 days after the resurrection of Yeshua on the day of Shavuot (Pentecost) almost 2,000 years ago. This experience is also described in Acts 2:1-11 and Hebrews 12:18-19.In describing what happened in Exodus 20:18, Hebrews 12:18-19 it says, “And the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words…” The word, words in Hebrews 12:19 is the Greek word rhema, which means “an individual word.” In this passage in Hebrews, we can see the same thing that Rabbi Moshe Weissman understood happened at Mount Sinai in the first Shavuot (Pentecost) in his commentary, is exactly what happened as seen in Hebrews 12:19. It is also what happened during the first Shavuot (Pentecost) following the resurrection of Yeshua. At this Shavuot (Pentecost), the people also were as one (Acts 2:1-2, Exodus 19:2). When G-d poured out His Holy Spirit at this time, once again people began to speak in the different languages of the world (Acts 2:1-11). Therefore, we can see that the Shavuot (Pentecost) at Mount Sinai was a rehearsal of the Shavuot (Pentecost) that would occur immediately after the resurrection of Yeshua.
Pentecost Fruit Salad
There is nothing better to celebrate a May Pentecost than with a fruit salad to remind us of the Fruit of the Spirit. Galatians 5:22-23a, “But the fruit of the Spirit [the result of His presence within us] is love [unselfish concern for others], joy, [inner] peace, patience [not the ability to wait, but how we act while waiting], kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.”
TAKE: 1 pound (500 g) strawberries washed, hulled and sliced
- 3 kiwi fruits peeled and sliced into half moons
- 2 mangoes peeled and diced
- 10 ounces (300 g) blueberries washed
- 1 cup green grapes halved
- 9 ounce (250 g) can pineapple chunks or pieces (or 1/2 of a fresh pineapple, peeled and diced)
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lime juice
- 1 tablespoon pineapple juice (from the canned pineapple, if using)
Place prepared, washed and sliced or diced fruits in a large salad bowl. Combine the honey, lime juice and pineapple juice in a separate bowl and pour the syrup through the fruit and mix well. Stir before serving.
This month’s letter is ל lamed
The letter lamed is the twelfth letter of the Hebrew alphabet with the numeric value of 30. It has the sound of a L. Lamed looks like a shepherd’s staff. Lamed is the tallest letter in the Hebrew alphabet and as the 12th letter it is considered the central or heart of the alphabet. Being the tallest and central of all the letters, it is considered to represent melekh, hamelakhim , “The King of Kings”. The previous letter stands for kisei hakavod, “The Throne of Glory” and the following letter stands for malkhut, “The Kingdom.” Because lamed is raised above all the other letters it represents YHVH. The number value being 30 is the same value as Judah as in Genesis 49:10, “The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until he to whom it belongs shall come and the obedience of the nations shall be his.”
The original meaning of lamed was to prick, sting, incite, goad, as a shepherd might prod cattle. The staff represents authority. The root of lamad (lamed) means to teach. So lamed is at the heart of knowledge. As Yeshua Himself said, “You search the Scriptures (Torah) because you think that in them you have eternal life; but it is they that bear witness of Me,” John 5:39. Reading God’s Word is a revelation of the Messiah Yeshua.
Sandigram/Holy Spirit copyright 2010
Come, Holy Spirit, fill my heart with Your love. Let Your Spirit flow through me so that I may show love and compassion to all people. Let me be Your guiding light to bring my brothers and sisters to kneel before You. Let me be Your shepherd in search of lost sheep. Let me bring peace into troubled hearts. Holy Spirit, let me be Your finger to point to the road to Your eternal glory. Let me be Your hands to embrace the sick and the dying so that they can come to You without fear. Holy Spirit, let me be Your instrument to help the poor of spirit find nourishment in the Bread of Life. Holy Spirit, let those who are lost find the path once again to You. Let Your love shine upon us all.