Truth of love: Choices
Looking forward to Shavuot/Pentecost, be it we celebrate it by following the 2017 Hebrew customs and calendar of May 31 (starts sunset May 30) or by the Roman calendar of Sunday, June 4, it is that which marks the beginning of a great movement of faith, allowing believers to rejoice still today. It is the time of remembrance of Moses receiving the Torah/Teachings on Mt. Sinai and for those of us who know Yeshua/Jesus as Messiah, it is also the celebration of the fullness of the presence of Ruach HaKodesh/Holy Spirit.
Besides the historical account of Shavuot/Pentecost we today can embrace the opportunity to receive the subsequent fullness of Ruach HaKodesh/Holy Spirit any time. Think of it, he who is the same yesterday, today and forever gives us the Ruach HaKodesh/Holy Spirit, the comforter, so that we are assured of never being alone and can share the good news.
Still, I think of those believers in Jerusalem that first Shavuot/Pentecost after the Messiah’s ascension. The unification of Jew and Gentile, one new body of believers, to the one true living God, the Father, through Yeshua/Jesus by the powerful presence of Ruach HaKodesh/Holy Spirit changing the history of the world forever. Under the power of the Ruach HaKodesh/Holy Spirit (to the point of appearing drunk) the disciples shared God’s truth causing 3,000 to accept the true Messiah embracing the way of the one true living God.
The Apostle Paul was not among these followers of Yeshua/Jesus at the time instead he would become their persecutor. Later when he came to the fullness of the faith receiving the Ruach HaKodesh/Holy Spirit he would have the greatest influence on spreading of the faith to the gentiles. In fact, the believers at the first Shavuot/Pentecost when Peter preached were not called Messianics or Christians at the time.
Intriguing to me is that 3,000 came to believe on the Messiah that Shavuot/Pentecost. Why 3,000? There is a correlation between Acts 2 and Exodus 32. Three thousand were killed in Exodus whereas 3,000 live for eternity in Acts 2.
The spiritual lesson is that in Exodus rejection of the Lord originated in rebellion and worldliness. Originally the Hebrew children waited in expectation for the giving of the Torah/Teaching, but the discord among them, while Moses was on Mt. Sinai, caused the disgruntled to desire a false God. Hence the idolatrous calf was worshiped and credited for delivering them out of Egypt.
Imagine after witnessing the Egyptian plagues, experiencing the Red Sea crossing, seeing the Lord in the cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night, they turned away from the true God, our Lord. How could they, why? They simply had to much of Egypt in them having experienced and witnessing the dark side of the spiritual, the false Gods, immorality and deceptions of Egypt. They had not surrendered to the true living God who is above all other Gods. Ungrateful, they not only cared to much for the world they left behind but they discovered it still within themselves.
Our Lord God would have eliminated the whole nation if it had not been for Moses intervention. The 3,000 killed in Exodus 32:28 by the order of Moses, died by the sword of the Levites, the designated priests. Moses invited everyone that wanted to stand with the Lord to come to him. They were given the opportunity to stand with the righteous but chose not to. The choice was theirs alone.
The definition of religion as defined in James 1:27 (Jacob 1:27 Brit Chadashah/ New Covenant) is “Religion, pure and undefiled, before our God and Father is this to care for orphans and widows in their affliction, to keep oneself spotless from the world.”
The correlation is revealing because we also are given a choice, we can’t leave a spiritual Egypt that may inundate our culture but we don’t have to participate in it. We are to be in the world but not of it.
We can celebrate the historical event of Shavuot/Pentecost while simultaneously entering into a deeper spiritual walk with the Ruach HaKodesh/Holy Spirit. Our creator, the true living God loves us so much that he gave his only begotten son for the sins of all humanity. That son is the high priest of our confession (Hebrews 3:1), Yeshua HaMashiach/Jesus the Anointed One who shed his blood for us and sent us the Ruach HaKodesh/Holy Spirit.
I believe our Lord wants us to continue to grow in relationship with him. Remember, there is no graduation point of arrival but ongoing growth to mature in age, wisdom and grace, seeking all his gifts, producing good fruit to honor him and bringing others to salvation. The result is our entering into the promised land of eternal life upon the death of our physical bodies and hearing “well done good and faithful servant”. Yet while in our present life, we can experience the intimacy of walking in the power/presence of the Ruach HaKodesh/Holy Spirit resisting the errors of the world and the sins of our culture.
We serve an awesome God. May we continue daily living the experience of Shavuot/Pentecost embracing the presence of Ruach HaKodesh/Holy Spirit as we walk in gratitude, love and joy making the right life choices and keeping ourselves spotless from the world.
Blessings and Shalom