Torah: Exodus 19:1-20:26, Deuteronomy 15:19-16:17
Maftir: Numbers 28:26-31
Prophets: Ezekiel 1:1-28, 3:12; Habakkuk 2:20-3:19
Apostles: Acts 2:1-21, 38-47
Blessing for Counting the Omer
Hebrew: Baruch attah Adonai Eloheinu melech ha’olam, asher kidesheinu b’mitzvotav, v’tzivanu al sefirat ha’omer.
English: Blessed are You, YHWH our Elohim, King of the Universe, who sanctifies us with His commandments, and commanded us to count the omer.
Yeshua, in His first coming, fulfilled the Spring feasts of YHWH; and in His return, He will fulfill the Fall feasts of YHWH. And, like the rest of God’s Feasts, Shavuot, i.e. the Feast of Weeks, has a very special prophetic significance to us today.
Historically speaking, two epic events have occurred on Shavuot: first, the giving of the Torah at Mt. Sinai; (Exodus 19:1-25) and second, the descending of the Holy Spirit after Yeshua’s ascension. (Acts 2) But beyond the history of these events, Shavuot represents something of extreme spiritual importance: the harvest of souls. Just as Shavuot is positioned between the Spring Feasts and the Fall Feasts, the harvest of souls is positioned between Yeshua’s first coming and His return; and this is exactly where we have been for the last two thousand years.
The Great Commission and the Harvest of Souls
When Yeshua departed, He declared to His disciples the Great Commission to the nations in Matthew 28:19, “Go, and teach them to carry out all the things which I have commanded you forever.” This was to expound on His earlier teaching in Matthew 9:37-38, that “The harvest indeed is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Pray therefore that the Lord of the harvest will send out laborers into His harvest.” The laborers have been sent out to teach the Good News to the nations, until the time of His return.
The importance of the harvest at the end of time is found in the parable of the wheat and tares. When Yeshua was asked if the tares should be plucked up, He responded in Matthew 13:29-30, “No, lest perhaps while you gather up the tares, you root up the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest, and in the harvest time I will tell the reapers, ‘First, gather up the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them; but gather the wheat into my barn.’” This parable is particularly fascinating when examined from an agricultural point of view. The similarity between these two plants is striking; the tares, called “false wheat” in some regions, resemble the wheat nearly identically throughout its growth cycle, and is only discernible from it at the end, when the wheat bears fruit, but the tares do not. The wheat are the righteous who, bearing fruit, will be gathered to God in the end; and the tares, those who do not produce fruit, are those who have hardened their hearts toward YHWH, His Word, and the light of His Messiah.
That having been said, this brings up another of Yeshua’s teachings in Matthew 7:16-23; “By their fruits you will know them. Do you gather grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree produces good fruit; but the corrupt tree produces evil fruit. A good tree cannot produce evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree produce good fruit. Every tree that does not grow good fruit is cut down, and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them. Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the Kingdom of Heaven; but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven. Many will tell Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name do many mighty works?’ Then
I will tell them, ‘If you are in My bosom, and you do not do the will of My father in heaven, I will cast you away from My bosom. I never knew you. Depart from Me, you who are without the Torah.’”
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