After Passover comes Pentecost, the appointed Feast of Weeks. In Hebrew, it is Shavuot. It is called The Feast of Weeks because in Leviticus 23:15-16 God tells us to count seven weekly Sabbaths from the Sabbath at Passover and on the 50th day of counting it is the appointed day of Shavuot (Pentecost). Some people that honor this day in tradition count from the 16th of Nisan and Shavuot ends up on Sivan day 6.
But if that is the way to count up then it seems God would have said that Shavuot is on the 6th day of the 8th month just as he did the other Feast days which are stated on the specific month and day. Instead, He said count from the Sabbath, so it seems that must be the weekly Sabbath.
Shavuot (Pentecost) represents a Jubilee and it is the counting of seven weeks, then on the 50th day of counting, the day after the 7th weekly Sabbath, the special Holy Day is celebrated as the day of the giving of the Spirit, the Torah of fire from Mount Sinai and the gifting of the Spirit in Jerusalem 50 days after Messiah's resurrection. That First Fruits resurrection day is key to the count.
We ought to count because we "get to" count up to 50 just as the Disciples did. After all, there is a reason they were instructed to stay in Jerusalem (Luke 24:49; Acts 1:4) and there is a reason they knew so easily that our Savior ascended on the 40th day after His First Fruits day resurrection... I do not think it was just because they were counting down the days since the resurrection, it had to be that they were counting up just as God had instructed at Sinai 1,500 years earlier. They were counting -- counting the (Sefirat HaOmer) days up to Shavuot!!!
To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God: And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. Acts 1:3-4You get do the same thing and count up to the great celebration of the Spirit of God.
It is the holy day count from the death of the Passover lamb and the first born sons of Egypt to the giving of the Ten Commandments near the mountain of Sinai in the wilderness. It is the count from the Passover crucifixion day to the giving of the anointing of God's Holy Spirit to the Disciples at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
On the count up to Shavuot (Pentecost) God shows us that He gives all of us a second chance at salvation through Messiah's resurrection which is represented by the great wheat harvest of mankind.
This great promise is seen in the message of the wheat and the tares. The second chance at life is also seen in the Pesach Sheni (the Second Passover found in Exodus 9) instruction and teaching from God as recorded in Numbers 9:1-14. This count of 50 days also marks the time between the barley harvest and the wheat harvest in ancient Israel.
After the first and second Passover, the next Biblical Holiday following the summer's Pentecost (Shavuot) is in the fall, it is Rosh HaShanah, the Day of Trumpets. Because of Messiah's resurrection and His connection to Pentecost, the counting of the Omer is an important participation for all believers as you count your blessings.
This commentary is a study about the importance of counting today because a key part of our celebration in the first resurrection is "to participate" in God's instruction to count to Shavuot, the Feast of Weeks. After all, this Feast represents the Biblical counting to the great Jubilee (Yovel) year. The Bible tells us a Jubilee is the appointed time of release and return. It represents the revival of Eden - the fallen garden and the dominion of God with mankind. It represents the promise of restoration and the coming resurrection of the dead. It is the Jubilee of the King of the Universe.
We need to know the Counting of the Omer covers the Jubilee of counting of time until Shavuot (Pentecost) which is the 50th day.
Counting of the Omer is called Sefirat Ha’omer in Hebrew. It is the acknowledged counting of seven Sabbaths and each of the forty-nine days after the first Sabbath of the set apart appointed Feast of Passover. It is the 49 days leading up to Shavuot. Shavuot or Pentecost as it is called by so many today is known as the Feast of Weeks. It is the Feast of the seven weekly Sabbaths of counting. Leviticus 23 tells us how to count but there has been confusion for thousands of years through tradition. Believe it or not, the omer count confusion started with an ancient conflict between the Pharisees and the Sadducees during the Maccabean era. More of their conflict is seen in the New Testament in Matthew 22:23-28 as we see the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection.
The key to understanding the lesson in Matthew is that Yeshua quotes from the Torah, which the Sadducees accepted as the basis for their theology. Jesus did not get caught up in the controversy between the Pharisees and the Sadducees, instead He focused on the words of the Torah and that's what we need to do.
Leviticus tells us that the day after Passover is a “Holy Convocation” or “mikra” in which, like the weekly Sabbath no labor, no work is to be done. Think about this, if vocation or work was done, some would miss the convocation, but no one is to miss a convocation. Because of the instruction from God to not work, many Jewish people call this day a Sabbath. In a way that is adding to Scripture, yet we are instructed in Deuteronomy 12:32 to not do that. Just look for yourself in Leviticus 23:15-16, the word “Sabbath” does not appear until the counting instruction is given. The word being used in the verses telling us to count is just that the Sabbath.
During the “Counting of the Omer”, we all “get to” count up to the Feast of Shavuot and with each day we are actually participating in the growing expectation and anticipation of what THE BIG DAY many call Pentecost actually represents.
That is why the Bible tells us the Omer counting is an unchanging, eternal instruction. It is an appointment and teaching direct from Almighty God. In our so called modern day we need to take a step back and re-read the Bible with the Omer Count in mind. When we do we realize that it was early the 1st day of the Omer count that Jesus appeared in the garden to Mary.
That day He also taught the meaning of the Torah at the end of the road to Emmaus. Then on the next day of counting, Jesus appeared in the upper room to the witnesses on the 2nd day of the Omer count when He appeared to the remaining Disciples.
On the 40th day of the Omer count, He ascended only after His stern command to wait ten more days for the promise of the Father:
To whom also he showed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God: And, being assembled together with [them], commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, [saith he], ye have heard of me. Acts 1:3-4Pentecost (Shavuot) is one of the big three of the appointed calendar days in God's word that point toward the restoration and salvation of mankind.
The ultimate appointed place to appear on these three pilgrim festival days of holy convocation described in Leviticus 23 is in Jerusalem as God chose that city as the place to put His name at the Temple (Mount Moriah) on Zion, "my holy hill." Jerusalem will be the capital city of King Messiah who will rule the nations according to Zechariah 9:9-10 and Zechariah 14:16-17. Jerusalem, and the Jewish people are the focus of God’s prophetic clock that are a part of the Feast Days according to Daniel’s 70 Weeks (see Daniel 9:24-27).
Shavuot is the day that is appointed between the spring Passover salvation and the coming autumn days of Tabernacling with God during the ingathering harvest feast, the wedding feast of the bride. Shavuot is a special day that God instructs us to not work for ourselves in our occupations so that we can al gather before Him. It is a day of celebration of His Spirit (Ruach), the wind and life breath of our Creator. The word Ruach means wind, breath, mind and Spirit.
In the beginning, Elohim God breathed life into Adam, 2,000 years ago He gave the gifts of the Spirit. Perhaps this happened on Shavuot.
One gift of God's Spirit given to the disciples was instantaneous foreign speech. A gift of language was given to the disciples so that they could spread the Gospel to all nations on earth. God is all knowing. When He gave the instruction of counting the Omer, Elohim God knew many thousands would obey His instruction and congregate in Jerusalem. Jewish people and proselytes from around the Roman Empire at the time of Yeshua did just that and went to Jerusalem in obedience.
Because they honored the word of God, they received a great blessing and returned home after Shavuot spreading the gospel of the Kingdom. This was all a part of the restoration plan of God fund in His instruction manual we call the Bible.
Imagine if they had not done this the world would not know of the deliverance of King Messiah. Acts 2:1-4 tells us:
"When the day of Pentecost [Shavuot] arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance."Each person gathered there in Jerusalem became "like" the burning bush, filled by the fire of the Spirit that Moses saw. Acts 2:8-11 records:
"And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language? Parthians and Medes and Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians--we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God."
Shavuot was a reversal (if you will) of the event of the Tower of Babel recorded in Genesis 11:1–9 when God confounded their speech so that they could no longer understand each other. The result of the confusion in Babylon is that people groups soon scattered around the world depending on their speech and ability to communicate with each other.
The purpose of the gift of tongues was so the message of Messiah could begin to re-unite the world in faith by the power of the Spirit of God so that: "it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’ Acts 2:21
In the end, Shavuot is a witness tool and God's power and Spirit will restore our life as it once was in Eden with the ultimate gift of eternal life. His Spirit will empower you as it did for people like Joseph, Caleb, Joshua, Bezalel, Micah, Haggai and Samson.
John Piper, Chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary in Minneapolis, Minnesota explains:
"Before Pentecost the river of God's Spirit blessed the people of Israel and was their very life. But after Pentecost the power of the Spirit spread out to light the whole world. None of the benefits enjoyed in the pre-Pentecostal days were taken away. But ten billion kilowatts were added to enable the church to take the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ to every tongue and tribe and nation."He provides great insight in a sermon on How Believers Experienced the Spirit Before Pentecost.
Shavuot is the only appointed day that God asks His people to actually count "up" to. It is a big day. The 50 day count proves it. No other Feast requires such attention to detail and get this, it's not a countdown but a counting up from 1 to 50. That is important. The key to understand this is to know that God gives us His teaching and instruction for living because He loves us. Nothing is by chance or happenstance in the Bible. God's timing for His appointments is sovereign and everlasting.
Because of His unfailing love - God never changes His mind, after all He has a plan and He teaches us some simple guidelines about how we are to live near and worship Him. The concept of change is you and I need to change so that we can return to "the faith which was once delivered".
It's the original message of the deceiver to fall for the idea that God does not mean what He says or that He changes His mind. Don't listen to that message any longer. After all, Shavuot may mark the future day that those in Jerusalem like Ruth call out for Messiah and cry out:
"Blessed be the LORD, who has not left you this day without a redeemer, and may his name be renowned in Israel!"Instead, be a part of the plan and participate in the plan of God. Don't just read the Bible, do it and be blessed.
God tells us that He has set forth the timing of His "big three" of His unchanging, eternal holy days. They are Passover (Pesach), Pentecost (Shavuot) and Tabernacles (Sukkot). They are the appointed days God instructs Israel to appear before Him. Thankfully today, many people are coming to realize His appointed festivals are critically important to honor as they point to the harvest, the final ingathering.
The truth is they help us demonstrate our love for God in the celebration of worship He asks of all of us because all Scripture is written about the mystery of the revealing of the Messiah, in His word - - from Genesis to Revelation.
Perhaps like me, you are now learning that drawing nearer to the presence of God is indeed done by walking in the step and rhythm of our Creator. He instructed us to walk with Him in the annual appointed "cycle" of His eternal rehearsal days. They are His Feast Days, He set them forth as our instruction so that we can "be near" to Him at the appointed time in God's plan of salvation and restoration.
Can you just imagine for a moment what would have happened if the disciples ignored the ancient instruction verified by the words of Jesus to stay in Jerusalem?
They would have missed out on the blessing and gifting of the Holy Spirit!!
Jesus the Messiah, the one whose Hebrew name is Yeshua (it means "Savior") is the fulfillment of the Passover (crucifixion), Unleavened Bread (grave) and the FirstFruits (resurrection). He is the reason for counting the omer.
As Genesis 1:14 says, the sun and moon were created for signs, appointed times, days and years. They are always in sync with His creation of greater and lesser light by His timepiece, the moon, in the 1st Biblical lunar month called Abib. Passover is always on the 14th day after the new moon so the moon is nearly full, unleavened bread is the 15th day count and first fruits the 16th and the 7th day of the Passover week is a “mikra”, a holy convocation and it is always on the 20th day of the Hebrew month.
It’s amazing that the Messiah's appointed covenant week matches the cycle of the creation story. Day one light.. the light of the world was there hung on the tree for all to see, day two He separated the firmament, His body was put behind the stone separated from others and on day three the seeds and fruit burst forth just like the first fruits of Messiah as He rose victorious over death into new life through is resurrection.
Yeshua-Jesus is the "firstborn" through the power of resurrection. We are first taught about the firstborn by the symbols seen in Exodus 22:29: "Thou shalt not delay [to offer] the first of thy ripe fruits, and of thy liquors: the firstborn of thy sons shalt thou give unto me."
According to Random House Dictionary (2010) the definition of a "cycle" is:
1. any complete round or series of occurrences that repeats or is repeated.Like the laws of physics God's word does not change. Physics defines a "cycle" as:
2. a round of years or a recurring period of time, esp. one in which certain events or phenomena repeat themselves in the same order and at the same intervals.
a.) a sequence of changing states that, upon completion, produces a final state identical to the original one.Understanding this is important because FirstFruits is very special in the significance and "eternal" meaning of the cycle of the Passover season of The Lord's appointed feasts held "every" spring at the beginning of the grain harvest season. FirstFruits is representative of the eternal cycle of the appointed time of thanksgiving for God’s provision and salvation. It is and will be THE fulfillment of the reality of the promise of our restoration to the original relationship that God intended for us. It is well beyond our comprehension, but He will accomplish our restoration to live set apart and near to Him through resurrection.
b.) one of a succession of periodically recurring events.
c.) a complete alteration in which a phenomenon attains a maximum and minimum value, returning to a final value equal to the original one.
Our joy is to seek understanding and truth in God's word. We may not be able to catch a plane to Jerusalem today, but we can in Spirit!! Like John said: God's commandments are not grievous. There's no burden in showing God you love Him! (1John 5:1-3)
The Scriptures constantly give us visible and physical symbols of our Creator's invisible spiritual truth that we can relate to from God's creation.
The offering of the first fruits of the spring barley harvest represents the promise of God for eternal life and it leads to the Day of Shavuot or Pentecost and the first wheat harvest. Messiah Yeshua's resurrection is represented by the barley harvest of grain of First Fruits. We read in His word about the coming harvest, it is the harvest of wheat. His followers and believers are represented by the fall wheat harvest of grain. Regretfully, there are unbelievers, those that reject God and judgment will occur because sin can not survive in God's presence. This is represented in Scripture by the pulling out of the "tares" - the weeds.
The picture of the harvest in the Bible is amazing. Incredibly, both barley and wheat contain the eight essential amino acids that are regarded as essential for human life! They are: phenylalanine, valine, threonine, tryptophan, isoleucine, methionine, leucine, and lysine.
In all of Scripture the number eight (8) signifies a new beginning and eternity. According to BibleStudy.org "It is 7 plus 1. Hence it is the number specially associated with Resurrection and Regeneration, and the beginning of a new era or order."
Numbers are important in Scripture, so are the pure metals. In Scripture fifty (50) equates with "deliverance" and silver represents "redemption". Have you ever noticed this?
And if a man shall sanctify unto the LORD [some part] of a field of his possession, then thy estimation shall be according to the seed thereof: an homer of barley seed [shall be valued] at fifty shekels of silver. Leviticus 27:16Even the most obscure verses of the Bible alludes to Messiah! Truly, God's word is amazing - every word has a meaning and purpose!!
For example, the three symbols of the First Fruit offerings are: 1) a burnt offering = the crucifixion death, 2) a meal/grain offering = Messiah's body given as the unleavened bread of life, and 3) a drink offering = Messiah's life blood given as a covering and atonement for sin. But unlike the burnt sacrifice of a lamb or heifer, The Messiah lives as the First Fruits of eternal life. He has victory over death through his resurrection. By His own words we know:
I [am] he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death. Revelation 1:18Here's another interesting example. Just after His resurrection on the third day following Passover which is called First Fruits, we see some unusual instruction that is tied to Leviticus 23.
"Yeshua saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and [to] my God, and your God." John 20:17Many have read the story of the road to Emmaus and it's worth repeating. Following Passover, after walking a few miles outside of Jerusalem, two disciples who had not yet heard of the resurrection met Yeshua whom they did not recognize in the physical glory and form of His resurrected body until He interpreted the ancient Scriptures for them. They only recognized Him after He related how He is hidden within the stories, words and symbols of the Torah. The five scrolls penned by Moses that so many today call the Old Testament... the very Word and Bible Yeshua always read and taught from. This "Word", the Scriptures are the bread of life. It is not "old" - and there's no mold!!
It just so happens that the two disciples understood the "Word"when they entered a home to have a meal, and with the giving of "the bread" and "meat", they understood who He was as their eyes were "opened" to the "truth" which is in the stories and symbols of the Scriptures.
"All" Scripture is full from the front cover to the back of God's eternal spiritual truths. Truth from God that He does not change. The Creator describes Himself as the One that was, is and will be.
Think about it, if either the law of physics, which were spoken into existence by God at creation were to change or if the instruction of God were to change, then the heavens, the earth and life itself would cease to exist. That is why Yeshua (Jesus) told all of us plainly about the truth of the Scriptures He taught from. The perfect One said:
"For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the Torah till all is fulfilled." Matthew 5:18The "Jot" is representative of the letter "Yod", which is the smallest letter of the Hebrew alephbet. The "tittle" is the small decorative spur or point on the upper edge of the yod.
The meaning of this passage is very clear and straightforward: Not even the smallest Hebrew letter or even its decorative corner will ever disappear from God's own "spoken" Word until all is fulfilled. The point is: Nothing changes with God... so we need to keep counting!
Only when heaven and earth are restored by a renewed heaven and earth will the words of the Lord be accomplished and only then will His Word be fulfilled in every detail even to the very letter of every word. We can see this "revelation" described in Revelation 21:1-7:
"Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, (the Aleph and Tav) the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. 7 He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son.""Here we see God's words are trustworthy and true. So, we can understand and "see" the story of the road to Emmaus is tied to Shavout.
Walking a few miles outside of Jerusalem, two disciples met the Master whom they did not recognize until He interpreted the Scriptures (the bread of life = Torah) for them in relation to the true understanding of Who He really is (meat = truth) hidden within the words and writings of the so-called "Old" Testament... the Bible Scriptures that He read and taught from. The same hour, the two disciples walked back in obedience and returned to Jerusalem announcing the resurrection to the others. Then Yeshua (Jesus) appeared again and commissioned them to preach repentance and forgiveness to all. He told them to stay in Jerusalem "until you are clothed with power from on high". Just think about it, the disciples knew to count the days to Shavout.
His instruction to stay in Jerusalem matched the instruction of the seven Sabbath day counting of the omer.
Have you ever wondered how the the disciples knew to gather together on Pentecost Day?
It was the 50th day, the day following the 7 weeks, the 49 days of counting the omer, the day called Shavuot, the day that had been celebrated for nearly fifteen hundred years by the people of Israel that were faithfully following God's eternal teaching and instruction, His Torah.
That's why there were thousands from around the world gathered there in Jerusalem at that moment listening to Peter (Kepha) talk to the great assembly filled by the Spirit. Kepha comes from "keph" כְּף and it means rock, hollow of a rock but Kepha was no longer hollow, he was filled with the Spirit.
In fact, just as 3,000 of Israel died at the scene of the golden calf (see Exodus 32:28); 3,000 were redeemed that great day (see Acts 2:41-42) as they listened to the witnesses speaking to them in their native languages, their tongues. In the same manner, the 12 "nations" of Israel and the sojourners with them gathered together to hear the voice of God declare the Ten Commandments from the fiery cloud above them on Mount Sinai 3,500 years ago.
So too, people gathered 2,000 years ago at the Temple Mount to hear with one voice - the word of God declared by the disciples, each in the native speech of the people that were gathered in from nations. The King James called this "tongues". It was a miracle from the cloven tongues of fire. This is what the story of speaking in "tongues" was all about. Mark 16:17 gives us the last promise given by the voice of Messiah. This was the sign, the gift given by the fire and Spirit of God so that all men could hear the truth in that day that began when Peter preached:
But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all [ye] that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is [but] the third hour of the day. But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come: And it shall come to pass, [that] whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.Before this great 50th day, our Savior Yeshua (Jesus) told His disciples something worth repeating in this study once again:
Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Yeshua of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.
For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved: Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope: Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance.
Men [and] brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day. Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.
This Yeshua hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear. For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, Until I make thy foes thy footstool.
Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Yeshua, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Messiah. Acts 2:14-36
"And he said unto them, these [are] the words which I spoke to you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the Torah of Moses, and [in] the prophets, and [in] the psalms, concerning me. Then he opened their understanding, that they might understand the Scriptures, And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Messiah to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And you are witnesses of these things. And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high." Luke 24:44-49This comes from the unchanging instruction given regarding determining the exact day of Pentecost which was first given some 1,500 years before His disciples would participate in its fulfillment of reality at Pentecost. Can you imagine what would have happened on this day which is known in Hebrew as Shavuot if the disciples had not counted the 49 days? No wonder God instructed that seven Sabbaths are to be counted day by day.
They would have all missed the giving of the fire of His Spirit on the day God spoke the covenant of the Ten Commandments. Why? His word is unchanging, God means what He says when He says it!
The are great parallels to the account of the book of Acts and Exodus:
· God came down to Mount Sinai and the Holy Spirit came down on the Disciples.When God speaks we need to listen and do what He asks or we will miss His blessing. God instructs us to count the days up to Shavuot.
· God came down in fire at Sinai and the Spirit came down as fire on the Disciples.
· God came down in fire at Sinai and there was sound of lightning and thunder on Sinai and there was a sound of rushing wind on the Disciples.
· God spoke the Ten Commandments and the Disciples spoke in languages or tongues as the Spirit enabled them.
"And you shall count for yourselves from the day after the Sabbath... Count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath; then you shall offer a new grain offering to the Lord." Leviticus 23: 15-16God told Moses that He will make His people a set apart (holy) people called out to be a priest to all nations, He keeps His eternal promises:
"Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice, and keep my covenant, then you shall be my own possession from among all peoples; 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." Exodus 19:5-6If we just look, we can see that the book of Leviticus gives the prophecy and the story of the Acts of the Apostles records the promise in the faithful counting by the disciples up to the day of Pentecost "when it was fully come":
"But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Spirit is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth." Acts 1:8
"And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them." Acts 2:1-3You need to know the counting is like the jubilee of counting of time until Shavuot (Pentecost) which is the 50th day.
Counting of the Omer is called Sefirat Ha'omer in Hebrew. It is the acknowledged time counting of seven Sabbaths and each of the forty-nine days between the set apart appointed days of Passover and Shavuot. Shavuot or Pentecost as it is called by so many today is known as the Feast of Weeks. It is the Feast of the seven weeks of counting. It got its name from Leviticus:
"And you shall count for yourselves from the morrow of the Sabbath, from the day on which you bring the Omer offering, seven complete weeks they shall be; until the morrow of the seventh week, you shall count fifty days... And you shall proclaim that very day a holy festival" Leviticus 23:15-21
During the counting, we all privileged to "count" to the Feast of Shavuot and with each day we are actually participating in "adding to" the growing expectation and anticipation of what THE DAY of Pentecost actually represents. At the Exodus, it was His voice from the fire on the mountain giving His Torah, His wisdom as seen with the fire of Mount Sinai and at Messiah's time it was the giving of His blessings and gifts by His Spirit like a mighty wind as seen through the cloven tongues of fire.
“So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.” Psalm 90:12During the daily Counting of the Omer in years past, many have started their days by reading a verse from King David's Psalm 119.
Just imagine the previous 49 days in the life of the Israelites as they stood below Mount Sinai. They had come from from Egypt (which means confusion), they had seen the plagues and they made the sea crossing. Everyone had to be anticipating the moment of their meeting at Sinai, the mountain of God. Can you just imagine that perhaps you too may be privileged to see the plagues (tribulation) and take the journey across the sea to Israel, to the Mount of Olives to meet with The Lord at His return to the place of His name - Jerusalem?
Each day of counting has a special meaning. Just consider day five of the counting to Pentecost/Shavuot because in the Hebrew language, letters are also used to not only spell but to count. The Hebrew alef-bet starts with 1) Aleph, 2) Bet 3) Gimel, 4) Dalet and 5) Hey. The letter Hey = five.
The ה HEY, or the 5th day's verses are: Psalms 119: 33-40. So give it a try reading the Psalm of David in a manner that allows you to review and reflect on your life and path of separation from the ways of confusion, the ways of the world to be near to God:
HEY הEvery year, at every Passover we are reminded of the greatest gift ever given to mankind--the gift of Salvation. In Hebrew, that would be translated "the gift of Yeshua", the Hebrew name of Jesus.
Teach me, O LORD, the way of Your statutes,
And I shall keep it to the end.
Give me understanding, and I shall keep Your law;
Indeed, I shall observe it with my whole heart.
Make me walk in the path of Your commandments,
For I delight in it.
Incline my heart to Your testimonies,
And not to covetousness.
Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things,
And revive me in Your way.
Establish Your word to Your servant,
Who is devoted to fearing You.
Turn away my reproach which I dread,
For Your judgments are good.
Behold, I long for Your precepts;
Revive me in Your righteousness.
We are asked by The Almighty to count the 49 days-and then present ourselves ready for His Spirit of fire on the 50th day, enabling us to proclaim His gospel of the Kingdom to the ends of the earth!!
"And you shall count for yourselves from the morrow of the Sabbath, from the day on which you bring the Omer offering, seven complete weeks they shall be; until the morrow of the seventh week, you shall count fifty days... And you shall proclaim that very day a holy festival" Leviticus 23:15-21
So teach [us] to number our days, that we may apply [our] hearts unto wisdom. Psalms 90:12Read God's Word, listen to His voice and you will find the destination He is leading you toward. The Omer Count as a pointer to the Jubilee Year of release.
So, if you do not yet feel God calling you to His appointed Sabbaths, today may be the beginning. A beginning in which God is calling you out to return the Torah and be set free. That is why you are reading this. The appointed time is now:
Therefore say thou unto them, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Turn ye unto me, saith the LORD of hosts, and I will turn unto you, saith the LORD of hosts. Zechariah 1:3Since the beginning, His words ARE unchanging AND true so... come out of Egypt, out of the confusion and chaos, come out of the slavery to sin, circumcise your heart, obey His voice, walk in His ways... But never simply take my word or anyone else's, get a second witness from the Scriptures. Open and study God's word and let it be your witness for truth as you consider His appointed Feast Days.
Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept [them]. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the LORD of hosts. But ye said, Wherein shall we return? Malachi 3:7
And I will give them an heart to know me, that I [am] the LORD: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God: for they shall return unto me with their whole heart. Jeremiah 24:7
The Feasts of YHVH have their prophetic fulfillment in Messiah Yeshua. They are His rehearsals for His promised appointments with mankind.
I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 8:11 NIVWhat does it mean to become a Disciple?
Repent and return to God's covenant, return to hear and do His word and walk in the faith of His Kingdom path so that you can ready your lamp for your coming assignment. God is a sovereign God. He is a loving God and He has provided a way to offer you His salvation. You can accept His gift of life. Consider carefully what your life consists of, look at it and repent of your sin, ask His forgiveness and accept His gift of love through Messiah Yeshua. Then follow Him.
Do it now! Then do as the Disciples Did - Count the Omer !!!