WORSHIP WITH US

We welcome you to worship and learn with us at Bet Shalom Messianic Congregation.

We gather together weekly for Hebraic worship, Biblical teaching from the Hebrew perspective, Messianic Dance and caring fellowship.

We look forward to seeing you!
Rabbi Amnon & Rebbetzin Lynette Shor

SATURDAY SHABBAT SERVICES

Messianic Lifestyle Class - 2 PM
In the Oneg Hall
Shabbat Service - 4 PM
In the Sanctuary
Oneg after Shabbat Service
In the Oneg Hall

WE MEET AT

MT OLIVE CHURCH
101 W Clinton Avenue
Fresno CA 93705

between Palm and Fruit Avenues
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CONTACT US

MAIL:
Bet Shalom Messianic Congregation
5132 N Palm Avenue PMB 101
Fresno, CA 93704

PHONE:
559-288-0330
EMAIL:
betshalom@betshalomfresno.org

SHAVUOT

Shavuot is an agricultural holiday set during the wheat harvest. It marks the day a new year’s wheat harvest may be eaten (Vayikra [Leviticus] 23:14, 16). Prior to that day, only the previous year’s crop may be consumed. The entire crop must be consecrated to Elohim first. The Firstfruits offering fulfill this requirement.

THE TEMPLE CEREMONY

According to Vayikra (Leviticus) 23:17, the children of Israel were to wave two loaves of bread baked from the flour produced by the new crop of wheat. This is in addition to the animal sacrifices of verses 18-20, and the sacrifices listed in B’midbar (Numbers) 28:26-31. The commandment to wave the two loaves required that they be made with leaven.

These loaves were made of wheat, whereas the sheaf waved before YHVH at the Firstfruits of the barley harvest, during the week of Unleavened Bread, was made from barley. Like the barley, the wheat had to sift through sieves to make the flour fine enough before being used to bake the two loaves. The flour was said to be so fine that a man could shove his arm into a barrel of it and none would stick to his skin.

Fine flour is made from crushed wheat. This process alludes to the refinement our faith endures as we are conformed to Messiah’s image. We can also see the Messiah in that, as wheat is planted in the  ground, so Messiah Yeshua was planted in the womb of the young virgin Miriam. And as wheat, when it grows and is ready for harvest, then beaten and refined, so was Yeshua beaten and refined for our sins. We might also consider the fine flour an indication of Messiah’s purity, or the refinement of his followers.

WHAT IS THE SIGNIFICANCE OF LEAVEN IN THE LOAVES?

AND WHY TWO OF THEM?

The loaves appear to represent two groups: Jews and non-Jews brought together as one in Messiah Yeshua. The leaven indicates neither group is without sin, even though they are new creations in Messiah. In Vayikra (Leviticus) 23:19, and B’midbar (Numbers) 28:30, a sin offering accompanied both loaves. The sin offering demonstrates that both groups are imperfect and sinful; hence, both loaves are leavened.

Ruth and Boaz represent this grafting of Jew and Gentile as one people. The spring harvest was the setting of the latter half of book of Rut (Ruth 3:2). Boaz represents Israel, while Ruth represents the Gentile nations, who would later be grafted into the true olive tree of Israel (Romans 11:16-24).

The Book of Rut (Ruth) is traditionally read at Shavuot. In Rut (Ruth), we learn a valuable lesson: if Gentiles want to join themselves to the Elohim of the Jews, they must also embrace the Jewish people as their own (Rut [Ruth] 1:16).

GIVING THE TORAH ON MOUNT SINAI

According to the account in Sh’mot (Exodus) 19, the children of Israel came to Mt. Sinai on the third day of the third month, or Sivan 3. That same day, Moses met with Elohim on top of the mountain. Elohim instructed Moses to have the people ready three days later, on Sivan 6. Sh’mot (Exodus) 19 reads as follows:

“In the third month after the children of Israel had gone out of the land of Egypt, on the same day, they came to the Wilderness of Sinai. For they had departed from Rephidim, had come to the Desert of Sinai, and camped in the wilderness. So Israel camped there before the mountain. And Moses (Moshe) went up to Elohim, and YHVH called to him from the mountain . . . And YHVH said to Moses (Moshe), ‘Behold, I come to you in the thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with you, and believe you forever.’ So Moses (Moshe) told the words of the people to YHVH. Then YHVH said to Moses (Moshe), ‘Go to the people and sanctify them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their clothes. And let them be ready for the third day. For on the third day YHVH will come down upon Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people.’”

Sh’mot (Exodus) 20 records the events of that day. This chapter contains the Ten Commandments.

What happened on this day on Mount Sinai? The rabbis said Elohim spoke the Ten Commandments in the seventy languages (of that time) in the world. They derive this position from Sh’mot (Exodus) 20:18 which says, “the people witnessed the thunderings” (Hebrew “kolot”). Notice the word is pluralized. Scripture tells us Elohim’s voice sounds very much like thunder (Yochanan [John] 12:29). In fact, the Hebrew word “kolot” can also mean voices. To state the obvious conclusion, “the people witnessed the voices [of Elohim].”

In recounting the events on Mount Sinai, Moses (Moshe) stated in D’varim (Deuteronomy) 4:12, “YHVH spoke to you out of the midst of the fire. You heard the sound of the words, but saw no form; only a voice.”  Commenting on this verse, the rabbis said the people actually saw Elohim’s voice in the form of a fiery substance.

THE OUTPOURING OF THE RUACH HAKODESH IN JERUSALEM

An event similar to the Mount Sinai occasion occurred on Shavuot 1500 years later in Jerusalem. The book of Acts records that 120 of Yeshua’s disciples were gathered in the Temple on this festival day when tongues of fire rested on each of them, and they spoke in other languages as a result of being filled with the Ruach HaKodesh  (Acts 2:1-4).

Just as the Torah was given as a covenant on Mount Sinai on Shavuot, so the New Covenant was also inaugurated on Shavuot. One major difference is that the Torah is written on the hearts of the New Covenant participants. Previously, it had been written on tablets of stone.

PARALLELS BETWEEN SHAVUOT ON SINAI AND ZION

Shavuot marks the day Elohim entered into a covenant relationship with His people. At the first Shavuot, He instituted the Mosaic covenant from Mount Sinai wherein He gave the Torah in written form. At the Shavuot in Jerusalem, He established the New Covenant from Mount Zion in which He wrote the Torah on the hearts of Yeshua’s followers.

A WEDDING BETROTHAL

In Judaism, a Biblical wedding consists of two stages: betrothal, Hebrew “erusin,” and consummation, Hebrew “nesu’in.” This comes from D’varim (Deuteronomy) 24:1; “when a man takes a wife and marries her.” the betrothal is initiated with the Ketubah, the marriage contract. The Ketubah is so legally binding that one cannot escape from it without a divorce. Seen in this light, the Torah is given at Sinai is the Ketubah.

In Sh’mot (Exodus) 19:5-7, Elohim made a marriage proposal to Israel:

“‘Now, therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people, for all the earth is Mine. And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel. So Moses (Moshe) came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before them all these words which YHVH commanded him.”

Scripture records Israel’s response in verse eight: “All that YHVH has spoken, we will do.” Their reply proved the nation accepted Elohim’s marriage proposal.

The betrothal at Sinai foreshadowed the coming betrothal of New Covenant participants with Messiah. Those who follow Him have entered into the betrothal stage of marriage to Him. In Hebrews 8:6, we find that the New Covenant, like the covenant at Sinai, was established as Torah. In this New Covenant, Elohim writes His Ketubah on our hearts, and gives us His Ruach HaKodesh as a guarantee of His coming (2 Corinthians 5:5; Ephesians 1:14), and of His taking us to Himself to be His special treasure. Revelation 19:7-9 provides a picture of the eventual consummation of the marriage between Messiah and His bride, the kahal. There, we find the great “marriage supper of the lamb,” and everyone who follows Yeshua is invited to participate.