Merv and Merla Watson - Feast of Shavuot Album ( Feast of Pentecost )

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  1. 1 Shira Simcha 01:44
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  2. 2 The Lord Is My Shepherd 03:05
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  3. 3 O, That You Would Rend the Heavens 02:46
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  4. 4 Send Us the Latter Rain 02:12
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  5. 5 This Is My Call to the Nations 03:36
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  6. 6 David's Song (Feast of Pentecost) 00:35
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  7. 7 The Gentle Rain 03:51
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  8. 8 Softly 05:20
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  9. 9 Then Shall the Virgin Rejoice 00:40
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  10. 10 Open Wide My Mouth 03:19
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  11. 11 Whither Thou Goest 06:38
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  12. 12 New Day 04:56
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FEAST OF PENTECOST(“Shavu’ot”) 09

pronounced "shah - voo - OAT" (accent on last syllable)

[also called the Feast of Weeks]

THIS YEAR IN 2009 - FRI. MAY 09, AND SAT. MAY 10 !!

MERV:- welcome

1) - brief intro. as to why Biblical Feasts have been erased from Christian celebration

2) - The Biblical date of Pentecost is NOT the date that the mainline churches choose each year.

3) - The real Biblical dates for Pentecost this year (based on the lunar calendar) are the Fri. May 9th, and Sat. May 10th. Biblical Feasts start on the eve of the events, so we are right on time! (These dates will be fifferent every year, but will be approximately the same time.)

MERLA:- Let me share with you why we believe that we as Christians SHOULD celebrate the Biblical Feasts - ALL of them, - whether Trumpets, Tabernacles, Passover, and Pentecost - on a yearly basis, as part of our normal worship.

Yeshua, our Lord and Saviour, was an observant Orthodox Jew; therefore He celebrated all the Biblical feasts. Are we not to do as He did? All Yeshua's disciples also celebrated ALL the feasts, as did Rabbi Paul. ALL the early Christians - whether Jew OR Gentile - celebrated every one of the Biblical Feasts every year until the 4th century.

The yearly cycle of Biblical Feasts afford the Christian a thoroughly Biblical framework and pattern to bring him into the commonwealth of Israel, with its opportunity for expressing the HIGH praises of God!

Every major move of God DID occur and WILL occur on Biblical Feast days.

There is not one shred of Biblical evidence that Christians should be celebrating Christmas or Easter, as they have all had pagan origins. Sadly, and ignorantly, we in the body of Christ, tightly hang on to these man-made traditions, even when we KNOW their pagan basis, in preference to the Biblical Feasts which God clearly outlines for us that we SHOULD celebrate. In fact, it says in Isaiah 56 that if we who are non-Jews celebrate the Sabbath on the seventh day, and all His Biblical Feasts, that He will give us a name above His own sons and daughters – NOT because we HAVE to, not because it guarantees our salvation, but just as a matter of choosing to do what pleases Him!

Thousands of our Christian brothers and sisters all over the world are beginning to celebrate ALL the Biblical feasts. In Acts 3:21, it says that there will be a "restitution of ALL things that God has spoken by the mouths of the holy prophets since the world began."

If our modern day worship is to be acceptable unto God, we MUST reinstate the Biblical Feasts. To ignore them, or to substitute them with other religious celebrations of man's traditions, is a total rebellion to the pattern outlined in scripture.

We will remain highly limited in our effectiveness toward Israel and the Jewish people until there is a restoration of Judaic principles within the Body of Christ. This does not mean you embrace legalism, but that you respect and celebrate the Jewish foundation of your faith - your own rich heritage as a believer!


MERV:- Please don't compare what you are going to experience tonight with anything you have heard or seen before. A Biblical Feast is NOT a typical church service, NOT a gospel music concert, NOT a church drama, NOT an evangelistic outreach, NOT a rally, NOT a praise jamboree, or anything like those. It DOES have celebration, but it also has instruction as to the festival itself - its history, its definition, its purpose, its glory. Much of the celebration tonight is full of symbolism and ritual, solemnity yet joy - because it IS special. One of the dangers we have in the body of Christ is to throw out ALL ritual, thinking that it's old wine skins. Well, get ready folks, the promise in scripture is that the glory of the LATTER house shall be even GREATER than the former!! If you know anything at all about that former glory, you will see that it is FULL of plan, order, detail, ritual, solemnity, and pageantry. Reliance ONLY upon spontaneity, will soon be a thing of the past. SPONTANEITY itself will be the "old wine skins!" Spontaneity will be there, but complemented by a Godly heartfelt ritual and pageantry - but THIS time, with the freshness and free creativity of the Holy Spirit!!

MERLA:- Throughout the teaching of this Feast of Pentecost, we will be singing some songs which will probably be unfamiliar to you. They will be on the screen, and we invite you to join in whenever applicable. Some songs we have written especially for the Feast, simply because songs about the Biblical feasts do not exist in our worship songbooks. Some songs we will use are traditional Hebrew ones, or even Messianic songs sung in Hebrew. At the climax of the feast, we will lead in some praise and worship songs pertaining to the Pentecost theme - songs which you will already know. Also there will be congregational scriptures interspersed throughout the teachings. These will be on the screen. We invite you to join in saying them out loud together with us. Throughout the celebration, we will be using the Lord's rightful Hebrew name - YESHUA - rather than the English "Jesus" which is based on the Greek "Yesous".

MERV:- Traditionally, every Feast is declared by the blowing of the ancient ram's horn, called a "shofar". It is a holy instrument, played usually by men, and not an instrument for our casual experimentation. Besides declaring the opening of a Biblical Feast, the "shofar" is used to make an announcement, to summon to battle, to call to worship, to order attention, and to open the Sabbath on the seventh day - the Biblical day. Let us stand in reverence.

MERV:- Playing of the "Shofars" (ram's horns)

CONGREGATION:- "Sh'ma Yisrael"

Sh'ma yisrael adonai eloheynu,

Adonai echad!

Baruch shem kavod malchuto

le'olam va'ed!

SAY TOGETHER: Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God, the Lord is one! Praised be His Name, whose glorious Kingdom is forever and ever! (Hebrew Liturgy)

MERV:- (please be seated) In ancient days, no Biblical feast was complete without a procession. Tonight is no exception. Take particular note of each symbol being brought in - try to see which symbols represent a particular part of the story of the Feast of Pentecost. "He that hath eyes to see - let him see!"

PROCESSION OF FEAST OF PENTECOST SYMBOLS:-

Congregational Songs:- "Thou Dist Give the Law” and “In Thy Pentecostal Splendour"

THOU DIST GIVE THE LAW

1) Thou didst give the law to Moses,

Treasured words on stony page!

Written by the Lord's own finger,

They endure from age to age!

Nothing thought of, nothing dreamed of,

Can exceed their purity!

Passed from mouth to mouth for centuries!

Bastion of truth, our surety!


2) Our Yeshua haMashiach

Did not come to kill the law!

Rather, He has come to fulfill it!

He contains what Moses saw!

Perimetres for our protection!

See the design of Father-care!

More than words, they're life and freedom!

In Israel's guidance we will share!


3) Ten commandments, our foundation

For the house God wants to build!

If we are to join His people,

We must love what He has willed!

Cast aside our heritage? Never!

Our forefathers' sin was thus!

Under the law we'll never profit!

But the law is under us!!

(Tune: Ebenezer / MUSIC: Samuel Francis

New Words: Merla Watson (copyright Catacombs Productions Ltd. Abbotsford, BC – Canada)


IN THY PENTECOSTAL SPLENDOUR

1) In Thy Pentecostal splendour

Rise, O living God, arise!

Smoke of battle blurs and blinds us.

Blow Thy wind and clear our eyes!

Thou of old dist lead Thy People

Through the desert as they went!

Thou upon the mount of Moses

Didst Thy tenfold rule present!





2) Him Who stooped to die for sinners

Thou hast glorified again!

He captivity led captive,

Now obtaineth gifts for men!

Thou at Pentecost didst shower

Gracious rain from Heav'n above!

On all flesh didst pour Thy Spirit,

Silver winged descending dove!





3) Let the fire of Thy near Presence

Melt our fears like wax away!

Touch our lips with songs of courage!

Fruits of Thy Spirit may we display!

“Alleluia! Alleluia!

Thou, God, leads't us all the way!

Now for Canada rekindle

Fires of revival here today!

(TUNE: Ebenezer / MUSIC: Samuel Francis / WORDS: J.E. Speers

Added Words: Merla Watson – copyright Catacombs Productions Ltd. - Abbotsford, BC - Canada)





LIGHTING OF “M'NORRAH” (7-branched candlestick) [Merla Watson]





MERLA:- (please remain standing) Because tonight is the eve of the Feast of Pentecost, I am going to light the "m'norrah" (7 sticked candelabra) to commemorate that fact. "Baruch ata Adonai Eloheynu, Melech HaOlam, asherr kidshanu b'mitzvatav vitzivanu lehadlik ner shel yom tov - Chag Shavu'ot". Blessèd art Thou, O Lord our God, King of the universe, Who set us apart by His Word, and in Whose Name we light the Feast of Pentecost lights."




MERV:- "Let us rejoice with one another with all of our hearts!"




CONGREGATIONAL SONG: “Rejoice in the Lord Alway!”




Rejoice in the Lord alway, and again I say rejoice!

Rejoice in the Lord alway, and again I say rejoice!

Rejoice! Rejoice! And again I say rejoice!

Rejoice! Rejoice! And again I say rejoice!

(Phil:4:4)




MERLA:- We who have been grafted in to the commonwealth of Israel through the shed blood of our Redeemer, the Messiah of Israel, let us praise the Holy One of Israel.




CONGREGATIONAL PROCLAMATION:- "That we may see the good of Thy chosen, that we may rejoice in the gladness of Thy nation, that we may glory in Thine inheritance!!"




CONGREGATIONAL SONG:- “Come Ye and Let Us Walk”




[ O house of Jacob! Come ye and let us walk! ] (2X)

In the light of the Lord!

The light, the light of the Lord!

O come ye! Come ye!

Walk in the light of the Lord!

TEXT: Isa.2:5 MUSIC: Merla Watson – copyright Catacombs Productions Ltd. - Abbotsford BC - Canada




MERV:- Most Christians think of Pentecost as a only a New Testament occasion when the Holy Spirit was given, and when the church was born. But did you know that Israel had celebrated the Feast of Pentecost for 1400 years ANNUALLY BEFORE the explosion of the baptism of the Holy Spirit with tongues of fire in Acts 2:1-4?! When was the FIRST Feast of Pentecost ?? At Mt. Sinai!! Yes, in the OLD Testament!! God spoke so loudly to the Israelites when He gave the 10 commandments, that the whole earth heard Him. The "shofar" (ram's horn) that you just heard, blasted across the mountain. There were thunderings and lightnings - the mountain was smoking! In fact, ancient rabbis recorded that the whole mountain lifted with God's power that day, and there appeared on the mountain 70 flames of fire!!




SONG: “O That You Would Rend the Heavens” [Merv & Merla]




O that You would rend the Heavens!

O that You would come down!

Bow Your Heavens, O Lord, come down

Touch the mountains and they shall smoke!

My soul longeth, yea fainteth

For the courts of the living God!

To see Your Power and Your glory,

O Lord, come down!

(TEXTS: Isa. 64:1; Psa. 144:5; 84:2; 63:2a / MUSIC: Merla Watson - copyright Catacombs Productions Ltd. - Abbotsford BC - Canada)




MERLA: On that day, the first day of the Feast of Pentecost, the whole world had a chance to obey God's Word. The children of Israel had escaped the cruel hand of Pharaoh by the miraculous intervention of God when the Red Sea parted - a foretaste of our OWN deliverance from the torment of Satan and his world of darkness. The children of Israel listened in awe while Moses read them the law of God. Let us as Christians stand together now and proclaim with renewed vigour the foundation of our faith - the Ten Commandments.




CONGREGATIONAL RECITATION OF THE TEN COMMANDMENTS

Thou shalt have no other Gods before me.

Thou shalt make unto thee no graven image.

Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.

Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.

Honour thy father and thy mother.

Thou shalt not kill.

Thou shalt not commit adultery.

Thou shalt not steal.

Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.

Thou shalt not covet.




MERLA:- The Israelites had said to the Lord - "we will do everything You say!" The Israelites were special to God, as they were the only ones on earth who heard and obeyed God. They were called in the book of Exodus - the tabernacle or CHURCH in the wilderness!! But when they realized God expected them to obey ALL of the law, that was a different story!! So they pushed Moses ahead to speak to God on their behalf. Instead of a direct relationship with God, they opted up for a passive association, which led to their outright rebellion in designing a golden calf as a worship substitute to the living God!! The wrath of God came down with a terrible stroke of judgment!! In that first day of Pentecost, 3000 Israelites were killed!!




CONGREGATIONAL SONG: “Lord, I Don’t Want to Offer Strange Fire”




1) Lord, I don't want to offer strange fire!

Please ignite the fire of my heart!

Let it glow in purity and holiness!

I don't want to smolder, but to spark!




(chorus)

Holy fire, scorch away my sin!

Holy fire, kindle life again!

Holy fire, shrivel not away!

Holy, holy fire!

Burn in me today!




2) Lord, just take the embers of my self-will,

Cause the flicker of my love to blaze!

Lord, just put Your iron in Your furnace!

Brand me Yours, consume me all my days!

(WORDS & MUSIC: Merla Watson - copyright Catacombs Productions Ltd. - Abbotsford BC - Canada)




MERV:- The pattern of the dealings of God in scripture has always been measure for measure. Notice that in the New Testament, when the Holy Spirit showed up at the Feast of Pentecost - 3000 souls got born again - again, measure for measure!! That was because THIS time, the Jews decided to OBEY God. Something NEW was happening!! God was writing the law on their HEARTS!!




CONGREGATIONAL PROCLAMATION:- "... this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put My law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be My people." (Jer.31:33)




MERV:- The law given by God to Moses - that is the first five books in the Old Testament, called the TORAH, has been copied down through the centuries onto scrolls which you will see in every synagogue. In Israel today, you will see the Jewish men raise the Torah (the law scroll) onto their shoulders while they dance in front of the wailing wall in Jerusalem. Why do they do this? Because it refers to their custom at a Jewish wedding when all the men raise the bridegroom on their shoulders and dance with him. The TORAH is their bridegroom. Who is OUR bridegroom?? Yeshua HaMashiach - the personification of God's law!! Now you'll know the true meaning of the verse, "And I, if I be LIFTED UP from the earth, will draw all men unto Me". (John 12:32 The Torah scroll is held close to the man's heart.




SONG:- "O, How I Love Thy Law"




[ O how I love, how I love, how I love

How I love, How I love Thy law! ] (2X)

We raise it on our shoulders,

And honour above all,

Our Bridegroom, King Yeshua

Who's broken down the wall!

We draw Him to our bosoms!

We kiss the Morning Star!

And in our very beings

We've hidden His sweet law!

(WORDS & MUSIC: Merla Watson - copyright Catacombs Productions Ltd. - Abbotsford BC - Canada)




MERLA:- Few Christians associate at all the Pentecost in the book of Acts with the original Biblical Feast of Firstfruits. In Acts 2, it was a PERFECT time for the church to be raised up and for the Holy Spirit to be made manifest! The Lord has done some of His most profound work during the Biblical feasts. First, let's look at the inner meaning of the original Hebrew for the Feast of Pentecost - the word in Hebrew for Pentecost is "SHAVU'OT". Let's say “SHAVU'OT” together on the overhead screen.




MERV:- In Hebrew, we read and write the language from right to left. In its entirety, the word "SHAVU'OT" means "WEEKS", standing for the seven weeks which span from Passover to Pentecost. The first letter is a "sheen". By itself, this literally means "teeth". The symbolic meaning is "to consume or destroy" or “fire”. You will remember that when the Feast of Pentecost was celebrated in Jerusalem by 120 Jewish believers, that the evidence of the Holy Spirit was meted out upon all of those gathered, by everyone speaking in tongues of fire. The Holy Spirit CONSUMED the people and DESTROYED the stain of sin in their lives.




CONGREGATIONAL PROCLAMATION:- "For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest, and the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; ....but ye are come unto mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, and to Yeshua, the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of the sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.....Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and Godly fear: For our God is a CONSUMING FIRE!!" (Heb.12:18,19,22-24, 28,29)




CONGREGATIONAL SONG:- "Burn, Holy Spirit, Burn!"




Burn, Holy Spirit, burn!

Burn Your consuming fire!

Burn Your hottest flame

On the dross that remains

'Till just gold and silver shine!

Holy fire, my life refine!

(WORDS & MUSIC: Merla Watson - copyright Catacombs Productions Ltd. - Abbotsford BC - Canada)




MERLA:- The letter "sheen" also means "FULL cycle" - remember the first verse in Acts 2:- "When the day of Pentecost was FULLY come..." The "sheen" also means "El Shaddai" - God, the All-Sufficient One. Once the believer is filled with the Holy Spirit, he desires nothing else but the Giver of life - He ALONE suffices!!




MERV:- The second letter of "Shavu'ot" is a "bet" (even though in this case it is pronounced "vet", as the "b" sound and the "v" sound are interchangeable in Hebrew.) Its literal meaning is "tent" or "house" and the symbolic meaning is "household", or "in" or into". The believers were all together in an upper room in a HOUSE. The Holy Spirit was given to the "HOUSEhold of Faith".




MERLA:- The third letter is a "vav" whose literal meaning is "nail", and the symbolic meaning is "to add to, or to secure". The baptism of the Holy Spirit was given to ADD to and SECURE our experience of salvation through the sacrifice of Yeshua as He was "NAILED" to the cross. The "vav" also means "pillars" - that which holds up a building. The Holy Spirit holds up our spiritual tabernacle, and keeps it from falling.




MERV:- The fourth letter is an "aiyn" which stands literally for an "eye". The symbolic meaning is "to see, or to know, or to experience". Certainly our encounter with the Holy Spirit is an "EXPERIENCE" which totally transforms us. We now "KNOW" in whom we have believed, as He has become so real to us. The "aiyn" also means "colour" - what a kaleidoscope of creativity God imparts to us at the time of our baptism in the Holy Spirit!! It also means "fountain" - the Holy Spirit IS that fountain of abundant life within us, overflowing and reaching out to everyone with whom we come in contact. John in his gospel describes it as "out of his belly shall flow RIVERS of living water." (John 7:38)




MERLA:- This letter is followed by another "VAV", the fifth letter, accentuating that it is only through the atonement that this experience is possible.




MERV:- Then we have the sixth letter, "TAV", which literally means "a sign, or a cross". Its symbolic meaning is "a covenant, or a seal". The Holy Spirit is surely a "SIGN" to us, and to others who know us, that Yeshua reigns within us! We are SEALED by his Holy Spirit! It is interesting that the promise that Sarah would have a son, in spite of her old age, came at Pentecost. Isaac was born 12 months later at Pentecost!! What a foretaste of the baptism of the Holy Spirit of which Isaac was a prophetic forerunner. Why? Because he was a son of PROMISE. How does that tie in? In Acts 2:39, we read "For the promise (of the Holy Spirit) is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. The "tav" also means "more". More, MORE of Yeshua!!




CONGREGATIONAL PROCLAMATION:- Thank you, Lord that we are beginning to understand the wealth of Your Word and the rich covenant of which we are now a part through the shed blood of Yeshua. Our hearts are overflowing with praise for Your deep Love and plan. How can we ever express our praise!?




CONGREGATIONAL SONG:- "O For A Thousand Tongues" (new tune)




1) O for a thousand tongues to sing

My great Redeemer's praise!

The glories of my God and King!

The triumphs of His grace!




(chorus) [ Alleluia! ] (8x)




2) Jesus, the Name that charms our fears,

That bids our sorrows cease!

'Tis music in the sinner's ears,

'Tis life, and health, and peace!




(chorus) [ Alleluia! ] (8x)




3) He breaks the pow'r of cancelled sin,

He sets the pris'ner free!

His blood can make the vilest clean!

His blood availed for me!




(chorus) [ Alleluia! ] (8x)




4) See all your sins on Jesus laid,

The Lamb of God was slain!

His soul was once an off'ring made

For ev'ry soul of man!




(chorus) [ Alleluia! ] (8x)




5) He speaks, and list'ning to His Voice

New life the dead receive!

The mournful, broken hearts rejoice!

The humble, poor believe!




(chorus) [ Alleluia! ] (8x)




6) Hear Him, ye deaf, His praise, ye dumb!

Your loosened tongues employ!

Ye blind, behold your Saviour come!

And leap, ye lame for joy!




(chorus) [ Alleluia! ] (8x)




7) My gracious Master, and my God,

Assist me to proclaim!

To spread thru all the earth abroad!

The honours of Thy Name!




(chorus) [ Alleluia! ] (8x)

(repeat last chorus)

(WORDS: Charles Wesley / NEW MUSIC: Merla Watson - copyright Catacombs Productions Ltd. - Abbotsford BC – Canada)




MERLA:- Let us read together the passage from scripture in the OLD Testament which outlines the ORIGINAL observance of the Feast of Pentecost.




CONGREGATIONAL PROCLAMATION:- "And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the sabbath, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven sabbaths shall ye complete: Even unto the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall ye number fifty days; and ye shall offer a new meat offering unto the Lord. Ye shall bring out of your habitations two wave loaves of two tenth deals: they shall be of fine flour; they shall be baked with leaven; they are the firstfruits of the Lord. And ye shall offer with the bread seven lambs without blemish of the first year, and one young bullock, and two rams: they shall be for a burnt offering unto the Lord, with their meat offering, and their drink offerings, even an offering made by fire, of sweet savour unto the lord. Then shall ye sacrifice one kid of the goats for a sin offering, and two lambs of the first year for a sacrifice of peace offerings. And the priest shall wave them with the bread of the firstfruits for a wave offering before the Lord, with the two lambs: they shall be holy unto the Lord for the priest. And ye shall proclaim on the selfsame day, that it may be an holy convocation unto you: ye shall do no servile work therein: it shall be a statute for ever in all your dwellings throughout all your generations." (Lev.23:15-21)




MERLA:- It is important to have it explained to you that BARLEY is a symbol of the Jews and WHEAT is a symbol of the Gentiles. Keep this in mind as we explain further the revelation of God's plan to save both Jew and Gentile - the natural and the spiritual seed!!




CONGREGATIONAL SONG: “The Ancient of Days”




I will walk with the Ancient of Days!

I will talk with the Ancient of Days!

I will hide not myself from the truth of God's Word,

For the Lord loves a heart that obeys!

In a brand new way I am seeking His face,

And I'm finding the link between law and grace!

Restoration is here!

And the hidden is clear,

And I seek my roots deeper in Him, Yeshua!

And I sink my roots deeper in Him!

(WORDS & MUSIC: Merla Watson - copyright Catacombs Productions Ltd. - Abbotsford BC - Canada)




CONGREGATIONAL PROCLAMATION:- "...at that time you were without the Messiah, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in this world: but now in Yeshua you who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Yeshua." (Eph.2:12,13)




MERV:- The day before Passover (the 13th day of the first spring month called Aviv), the high priest cut down a sheaf of barley. (Remember that Yeshua - who was a BARLEY - a JEW - was crucified on that same day!) Some folk even brought the first ripened barley grain all the way from Galilee where it was much warmer. Yeshua, you will recall, CAME from Galilee to be the ultimate sacrifice in Jerusalem!! The high priest placed the sheaf of barley in the Holiest Place during Passover (14th day of 1st month). Yeshua was buried during this day. The High priest WAVED the sheaf of barley the day after Passover (15th day of 1st month) - like this (show them) before all the people so that they could begin to count off 50 days till Pentecost. This was the Feast of Firstfruits - the beginning of the harvesting of the barley. This was the day Yeshua rose from the dead!!




CONGREGATIONAL PROCLAMATION:- "But now is Yeshua risen from the dead, and become the FIRSTFRUITS of them that slept". (1Cor.15:20)




MERLA:- On the very day of Shavu'ot, (the 6th day of the 3rd month) the waving of 2 loaves from the finest of wheat announced the beginning of the wheat harvest. (It was called in Hebrew "Shtey haLechem" - 2 loaves of bread.) Fifty days later - remembering that 50 stands for "jubilee", - all the barley was harvested at Shavu'ot. On that "Jubilee", the Holy Spirit came, 50 days after Yeshua rose from the grave!!




MERV:- The fifty days were counted off by a measuring device called the "OMER". Shavu'ot marked the end of the barley harvest (Jewish harvest) and the beginning of the wheat harvest (Gentile harvest). On OUR calendar, ruled by the sun, Pentecost occurs somewhere between the middle of May to the middle of June, and lasts for 2 days. And of course, there is ALWAYS a full moon on every Biblical Feast, and as we noted before, the Feasts start always on the eve of the event.




MERLA:- During Shavu'ot, many OTHER fruits are harvested. Notice the parallel in the New Testament regarding the 9 fruit of the Holy Spirit. A profound lesson to learn in the Bible is that God always performs the natural thing FIRST, then the spiritual follows.




CONGREGATIONAL PROCLAMATION:- "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance, against such there is no law." (Gal.5:22,23)




MERLA:- Listen to this lovely touch - the farmers brought all their harvest produce to the temple to the accompaniment of flutes!! - Remember that the spiritual fruit we produce in our lives is not for the tree itself, nor for the bearer - but for those who pass by. It is strategic that if we are to produce more fruit, we must submit our branches to God's pruning, even if it feels uncomfortable!




CONGREGATIONAL PROCLAMATION:- "Now no chastening for the present seems joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby." (Heb.12:11)




MERV:- Since there is no temple any more in modern Israel, the Feast itself has been watered down considerably - becoming what the Israelis refer to as their agricultural feast. Small girls dressed in white carry large baskets filled with fruit, and they dance or march in a circle. Their offerings - financial - not agricultural - usually go to the aid of the Jewish National Fund. We are wearing white tonight for not only this traditional reason, but also as an open declaration that we believe the "fields are WHITE unto harvest!"




MERLA:- The New Testament has a partial fulfillment of 2 of these Biblical Feasts. The Passover Lamb became Yeshua's sacrifice. We still await the Marriage Supper of the Lamb in Heaven. The Feast of Pentecost was partially fulfilled in the giving of the Holy Spirit and the church. We are witnessing the further fulfillment now of the law coming into its understanding and respect in the church. But the Feast of Trumpets and the Feast of Tabernacles have not been fulfilled at all yet - nor will they be until the Lord's return. There was again a partial fulfillment when Yeshua was born on Tabernacles (in the fall) and not December 25!! Now let us read about the Feast of Pentecost from the NEW Testament.




CONGREGATIONAL PROCLAMATION:- "And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all of 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. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men out of every nation under heaven, Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, 'Behold, are not all these which speak Galileans? And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? ....We do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.' And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, 'What meaneth this?' " (Acts 2:1-12)




CONGREGATIONAL SONG:- "And Ye Shall Have Power"




When Jesus met with his disciples

When they all came together,

They asked Him when He would restore

The Kingdom of Israel.

He told them that the time was not for them to know!

The times and the seasons were His Father's -

Only He would know!




(chorus)

But ye shall have Pow'r

When the Spirit comes on you!

You shall be my witnesses

To the ends of the earth!

To all Jerusalem,

To all Judea,

And to Samaria,

To the ends of the earth!

TEXT: Acts 1:6-8 MUSIC: anonymous – from New Zealand




MERLA:- The only other time that Pentecost is mentioned in the New Testament, is the portion of scripture in which we read that Paul was hurrying back in time for the celebration. (Acts 20:16) "For Paul had determined to sail by Ephesus, because he would not spend the time in Asia: for he hasted, if it were possible for him, to be in Jerusalem the day of Pentecost."




CONGREGATIONAL PROCLAMATION:- For us, as the firstfruits here today are waved, we proclaim the beginning of the latter day of harvest of souls for the Kingdom of God before Yeshua returns.




MERV:- When we see both the BARLEY and the WHEAT sheaves waved together in the offering up to the Lord, we are reminded that this represents both the Jewish and non-Jewish houses of those that love the Lord. The natural seed, and us as Christians who have been grafted in.




MERLA:- Because the Lord always gives more abundantly than we could ever imagine, not only does He give us the nine FRUITS of the Holy Spirit, but also the nine GIFTS - apostles, prophets, teachers, miracles, healing, helps, governments, diversities of tongues, and interpretation of tongues.




MERV:- Let us compare the FRUIT of the Holy Spirit with the GIFTS of the Holy Spirit. The GIFTS are received from the Holy Spirit, but the FRUIT is cultivated by the believer himself. The GIFTS come with a single act, whereas the FRUIT takes a whole lifetime of trial and error to produce. The GIFTS stand for the ability and power of the believer, but the FRUIT stands for his character. The GIFTS are temporary while one is living on the earth, but the FRUIT of our lives lasts for eternity!




MERLA:- What happens if we have ONLY the gifts of the Holy Spirit, withOUT the fruit?? This leads to danger. What happens if we have the fruit withOUT the gifts?? We are ineffective. The only way to make BOTH the fruit and the gifts of the Holy Spirit work in our lives is by diligent study of the Word of God, a zealous prayer life, regular fellowship, and both self-discipline, and accountability to church leadership.




MERV:- The Book of Ruth is always read at Pentecost. What a suitable story, as we see Ruth, the Moabitess, gleaning the leftover sheaves of harvest, which happened to be exactly at Shavu'ot - the Feast of Pentecost. This wonderful woman, Godly in every respect, humbled herself to follow her mother-in-law and her God. Millions of people over the last 2000 years have been brought into the covenant God made with the House of Israel through the shed blood of the Jewish Messiah for all of mankind. Ruth was Yeshua's predecessor. Thousands of Christians, in the last decade, just like Ruth, are starting to perform large and small acts of comfort and support for the Jewish people. We wonder if Ruth ever could foresee how her act of solidarity with Israel could compound in this modern day and age! God has never forgotten his covenant with His chosen race.




CONGREGATIONAL SONG: “Let There Be a Highway”




(chorus)

Let there be a highway for our God!

Move over, world, He's comin' thru!

For we are preparing His straight way!

Together Gentile and Jew!




1) Remove those stumbling blocks!

Undo those frozen locks!

Let nothing stand in His way!

We seek the City of Truth,

Join His People, just like Ruth!

This is the Appointed Day!

(chorus)

Let there be a highway for our God!

Move over, world, He's comin' thru!

For we are preparing His straight way!

Together Gentile and Jew!


2) We are that remnant band!

We call out to the Land

Arise, shine forth that bright light!”

His blessèd coming draws nigh,

So we lift our heads up high!

We march in God's Pow'r and Might




(chorus)

Let there be a highway for our God!

Move over, world, He's comin' thru!

For we are preparing His straight way!

Together Gentile and Jew!

(WORDS & MUSIC: Merla Watson - copyright Catacombs Productions Ltd. - Abbotsford BC - Canada)




CONGREGATIONAL PROCLAMATION:- "Hath God cast away His people? God forbid!... For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead? If the FIRSTFRUIT be holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root be holy, so are the branches." (Rom.11:1,15,16)




MERLA:- Further still, many Christians are exploring and returning to the Jewish roots of their faith, aligning with the God of Jacob more fully than ever! Ruth herself is a forerunner of the ultimate Gentile latter day harvest, and also of those who align with the House of Israel. Her virtues were ones which we would do well to imitate - holiness, gentleness, kindness, obedience, humility, discretion, love - all reminders of, or are other ways of saying .... the FRUIT of the Holy Spirit.




SONG:- "Whither Thou Goest" (composed and sung by Merla Watson - copyright Catacombs Productions Ltd. - Abbotsford BC - Canada)




MERV:- Even though Pentecost has HARVEST as its main theme, Pentecost is not to be considered the MAIN harvest feast, as that comes in the early fall with the Feasts of Trumpets and Tabernacles. Pentecost acts as a promise of what is to come. At the Feast of Tabernacles in the fall, we have the gentle FORMER rains - a mild foretaste of the LATTER rain, which when it comes sometime between Passover and Pentecost, it is as if someone cut an enormous plastic bag in the heavens - such a sudden deluge it is!! This occurs when the produce is fully ripe and mature, after a dormant winter. Spiritually, sometimes we get discouraged when we do not see revival and change. Why does God not answer?? He will - in the fullness of time!!




CONGREGATIONAL PROCLAMATION:- Lord, we have seen many people find You as Saviour and Lord, and while we rejoice at THIS harvest, still in our hearts we realize there is MORE to come. We eagerly await that final move of God which will also herald the re-entry of Yeshua as the Prince of Peace. "For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the FIRST FRUITS of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the redemption of our body." (Rom.8:23)




CONGREGATIONAL SONG:- "Harvest Song"




1) The fields are white unto harvest!

The sheaves stand up in a heap!

The time of waiting is over!

Pick up your sickle and reap!




(chorus)

The nations are churning,

To truth they are turning,

God's covenant to keep!

The Lord is returning,

Our hearts are a'burning!

The Shepherd comes for His sheep!




2) The nations flock unto Jesus!

The lame have started to leap!

The signs are stretched 'cross the heavens!

It's time to shake off our sleep!




(chorus)

The nations are churning,

To truth they are turning,

God's covenant to keep!

The Lord is returning,

Our hearts are a'burning!

The Shepherd comes for His sheep!




3) O harden not your cold hearts!

O hasten, while yet you may!

Refreshing dew rains upon us!

The dawn of Latter Day!




(chorus)

The nations are churning,

To truth they are turning,

God's covenant to keep!

The Lord is returning,

Our hearts are a'burning!

The Shepherd comes for His sheep!




4) He calls the tribes to be willing!

This is the day of His Pow'r!

So yield to the wind of His Spirit!

This is the harvest hour!




(chorus)

The nations are churning,

To truth they are turning,

God's covenant to keep!

The Lord is returning,

Our hearts are a'burning!

The Shepherd comes for His sheep!

(WORDS & MUSIC: Merla Watson - copyright Catacombs Productions Ltd. - Abbotsford, BC - Canada)




MERLA:- There seems to be an indication through the observance of Pentecost that God has a huge harvest of souls planned for the final history of the world. Celebrating Pentecost helps the Christian to understand God's plan for the end times - the final season of indisputable and lasting miracles!




SONG:- "Latter Rain" [composed and sung by Merv & Merla] - copyright Catacombs Productions Ltd. - Abbotsford, BC - Canada)




MERV:- The observance of the giving of the law to Moses on Mt. Sinai firmly established the Jews as God's chosen people. Had God not chosen the Jews, WE never would have had our Jewish Messiah, Yeshua. As Christians, we often glibly say, "WE are not under the law". Yet if we did not have it, we would be barbarians indeed!! The law is under US!! Yeshua said that He had not come to destroy the law, but to fulfill it - or the real Hebrew is to ESTABLISH it, or RESTORE it!" It is a shock to the Christian to discover that the New Testament has many, many more commandments than the Old Testament! In a very real sense, we who are born again are the only ones who have the potential of obeying ALL of God's laws - through His grace alone, and through the overwhelming love He pours into us when we are baptized in the Holy Spirit, enabling us keep the greatest commandment of all - that we should "love the Lord our God with all our heart, all our soul, all our strength, all our mind - and our neighbour as ourselves." (Luke 10:27) We have somehow been taught improperly, that the meaning of the word "LAW" stands for a militant police enforcement. Unfortunately, the English language has no adequate word for the Hebrew TORAH - meaning "life's principles". It simply means to take your young child on your knee and explain to him or her the living ways of God.




CONGREGATIONAL SONG:- “The Secret of the Lord”




1) The secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him,

And He will show them His covenant!

I will search out the deepest truths,

I'm on a treasure hunt!

O – Open my eyes that I may behold

The wondrous things out of Thy law!

O - Lord, let me see Divine mystery

That makes me weep in awe!




2) The honey of your Word always tastes to me

Like nothing else I've ever found!

We fellowship in sweet exchange,

My heart to Your heart is bound!

O – Open my mind, I want so to know,

To soak in heavenly things!

O – Under Your “tallit” I want to stay,

And clutching tightly Your wings!




3) Anoint my eyes with Your holy salve,

So heart and soul can comprehend!

Sins of church fathers, broken paths,

O God, I ask you to mend!

O – Open my ears, so dulled by the world

To Your astounding symphony!

O – Open my mouth, so I can explain

Your revelation to me!




4) Almighty God, Your way is perfect

And brimming with Your holy care!

You haven't missed a single detail,

So much You're longing to share!

O – Open my heart, I want it to beat

For my profound heritage!

O – Open my lips, a new song to sing

In the house of my pilgrimage!

(WORDS & MUSIC: Merla Watson - copyright Catacombs Productions Ltd. - Abbotsford, BC - Canada)




MERLA:- Again, let us look at the hidden meaning from the ancient pictographs of the Hebrew word for LAW which is TORAH. The first letter is a "TAV". Literally, this means "a sign, or a cross". God's law is a sign to the world that there ARE Godly principles which He wants men to live by, in order to have fellowship with Him, in order to live healthy, normal lives, in order to protect us, in order to get along with people, and in order to insure our place in Heaven. This cannot be accomplished through our own struggles to keep the Torah, as that always fails. None of us can measure up. Only through the personal appropriation of God's plan of salvation through the blood of Yeshua on the CROSS, and through the empowering of the Holy Spirit is this possible. The "tav" symbolically stands for "covenant". We have been grafted into that covenant. The next letter "VAV" means again "nail", or "add to", or "secure." God never has intended that His law would take away from a person, but to ADD to a person's life and experience. When we know God's law, this causes us to know our perimeters, therefore we are SECURE. Our sins, (those deeds which have not measured up to God's law,) are NAILED to the cross. Next is the "resh". Literally it stands for "head". Symbolically it stands for "person, the head, the highest". The law of the Lord is from God Himself - He is the HEAD of it. His laws represent the HIGHEST ideals in the universe. Next comes the "heh". It literally means "window, fence". A window to see “revelation” (its symbolic meaning), and a fence to prevent us from spiritual harm! Yeshua was the embodiment of that "torah" - that Word of God made flesh.




CONGREGATIONAL PROCLAMATION:- "For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for our sin, condemned sin in the flesh; That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled IN US, who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit." (Rom.8:3,4)




CONGREGATIONAL SONG:- "The Law of the Lord"




1) The law of the Lord is perfect

Converting the soul!

The testimony of the Lord is sure,

Making wise the simple!




(chorus)

More to be desired are they than gold,

Yes, than much fine gold!

Sweeter than the honey in the honeycomb!




2) The statutes of the Lord are right,

Rejoicing the heart!

The commandments of the Lord are pure,

Enlight'ning the eyes!




(chorus)

More to be desired are they than gold,

Yes, than much fine gold!

Sweeter than the honey in the honeycomb!




3) The fear of the Lord is clean,

Enduring for ever!

The judgments of the Lord are true,

And righteous altogether!




(chorus)

More to be desired are they than gold,

Yes, than much fine gold!

Sweeter than the honey in the honeycomb!

(TEXT: from the Psalms / MUSIC: anonymous)




CONGREGATIONAL PROCLAMATION:- "He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till He has set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for His LAW." (Isa.42:4) "He will MAGNIFY His LAW and make it honourable." (Isa.42:21B) "Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we ESTABLISH the law." (Rom.3:31)




MERLA:- Did you know that King David, who penned the words to that last song we sang, was both born and buried during Pentecost? What a fitting time, prophetic in every detail. For surely David experienced such fullness in his life. He was an extremely Charismatic personality - multi-gifted and at every turn creative - having all aspects of the working of the Ruach HaKodesh - (the Spirit of God) - in his life. Here is a psalm in which the Lord changed his mourning into gladness!




MERV:- Surely David pointed to the day when the dam would be opened for the Body of Christ to express their own worship. David did not know Messiah Yeshua, although it was through his blood-line that he knew the Messiah would come one day. How David loved His God!! From his pen flowed the gamut of all human emotion AND devotion. It was he who said "O, how I love Thy law!" If keeping it were that miserable, we cannot imagine David's flamboyant personality putting up with it. Here is another song he composed expressing his devotion to the Lover of his soul!




CONGREGATIONAL SONG:- "Ke Ayal"




[ Ke ayal ta'arog

Al afikei mayim,

Al afikei mayim! ] (2X)




[ Ken nafshi ta'arog

Aleicha adonai

Aleicha adonai! ]




[ As a deer longs and thirsts

For running water,

For streams of living water. ] (2X)

[ So my soul longs and thirsts

For You, Adonai!

For You, Adonai! ] (2X)

(TEXT: Psa. 42:1 / MUSIC: Elisheva Shomron)




MERV:- The final theme in Shavu'ot is NATIONS. When the Holy Spirit was given, He was not just there to selfishly enjoy - not just to be used to help US in an introverted way - not just to bless US - but to RELEASE Yeshua to the WORLD!!




TRANSPARENCY #22:- Yeshua said that "you are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house." Help us, Lord, to "let our light so shine before men, that they may see our good works, and glorify our Father Who is in Heaven." (Matt.5:14-16)

MERLA:- We as Christians are under a mandate to share the Good News. The gospel is to the Jew first, then also to the Greek. There is not a nation or individual on this planet that does not need Yeshua's atoning sacrifice. We ALL do. Great exploits have been done for centuries to win souls to a saving knowledge of Yeshua. And presently, with the acceleration of modern technology, there are amazing devices used to get the gospel out to every tribe in the world. We are surely living in the most exciting time imaginable!

CONGREGATIONAL SONG:- "This is My Call"

This is My call to the nations

This is My final call!

Seek me while I yet may be found!

Cry out My holy Name!

[ Yahweh! Yahweh!

And you shall be saved! ] (2X)

(WORDS & MUSIC: Merla Watson - copyright Catacombs Productions Ltd. - Abbotsford, BC - Canada)

MERV:- There is a Day of days coming - sooner than most of us think - when all the nations and their governors will bow before Yeshua, the King of all kings. Every kindred and every tribe will be present.

CONGREGATIONAL PROCLAMATION:- "And we will sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, 'Great and marvellous are Thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are Thy ways, Thou King of saints. Who shall not fear Thee, O Lord, and glorify Thy Name? For all nations shall come and worship before Thee; for Thy judgments are made manifest.' " (Rev.15:3,4)

CONGREGATIONAL SONG:- “And They Sing the Song of Moses”

And they sing the Song of Moses,

The servant of God,

And the Song of the Lamb!

Saying: Great and marvellous

Are Thy works, Lord God Almighty!

Just and true are all Thy ways, O :Lord,

Thou King of saints,

Who shall not fear Thee?

O Lord, and glorify Thy Name,

For Thou only art holy!

For all nations shall come,

And worship before Thee!

For Thy judgments are made manifest!

The Song of Moses and the Lamb!

(TEXT: Rev. 15:3 / MUSIC: Merla Watson - copyright Catacombs Productions Ltd. - Abbotsford, BC - Canada)

MERLA:- Yes, both Jew and Gentile will sing the Song of Moses AND of the Lamb - together!! It would be easy for the Jew to sing the song of Moses - THAT would be familiar to him. But on that day he will ALSO sing the Song of the Lamb, for the veil of unbelief placed upon him for centuries, is then fallen. It would be natural for the Gentile Christian to sing the Song of the Lamb, but our veil of ignorance regarding our Jewish roots will also fall from us, and we will be able to genuinely sing WITH the Jew the Song of Moses. In a sense, the Jews will COME OUT of their refusal of Yeshua, and the Gentiles will GO IN to the acknowledgment of our Jewish roots!! Both the natural Jewish seed and the grafted in non-Jewish seed will be singing a theme that will be at once our mutual FULL heritage!

CONGREGATIONAL SONG: - "Song of Zion”

1) We see one hope, one faith, one household,

Bonded together, sealed for ever!

We see one flock, one Plan,

One Shepherd,

Joining together, not put asunder!

A new thing our God will do -

Make one root from the two!




2) We stand on the threshold

Of God's final move,

When all He has promised,

He'll surely prove!

We'll see the new Jerusalem!

Now we're preparing the way of the Lord!

A new song we will sing!

Our eyes shall see the King!




3) The throne room will hear

The “Song of Moses!”

The twelve tribes will sing it -

The sons of Abraham!

We grafted in

Will join with their anthem,

From all tribes and kindreds -

The “Song of the Lamb!”

Our hands will clasp with joy!

Together we will sing!

The wall has broken down!

This is that great new thing!

(WORDS & MUSIC: Merla Watson - copyright Catacombs Productions Ltd. - Abbotsford, BC - Canada)

OFFERTORY:- “Kanon” (Pachelbel) – played by worship musicians

CONGREGATIONAL SONG: “The Spirit of the Lord”

The Spirit of the Lord is now upon me,

To heal the broken heart,

And set the captive free!

To open prison doors,

And make the blind to see!

The Spirit of the Lord is now on me!

TEXT: Isa61:1 MUSIC: Scripture in Song)

CONGREGATIONAL SONG:- “Spirit of the Living God”

[ Spirit of the living God

Fall afresh on me! ]

Break me! Melt me!

Mold me! Fill me!

Spirit of the livign God,

Fall afresh on me!

(WORDS & MUSIC: anonymous)

MERV:- "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations... teaching them to observe all that I commanded you (ALL the Torah, ALL of God's laws), - and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the age." (Matt.2 8;19,20)

RECESSIONAL FINAL CONGREGATIONAL SONG:- "Go Forth"

Go forth, go forth into the ripened fields,

For they are ripe unto harvest!

The time, the time of reaping is at hand,

For the souls of men to be gathered in!

What was sown in tears shall now be reaped in joy!

The word of the Lord shall not return void!

Cast out your nets all ye fishers of men!

In the pow'r of the Spirit revival begins!

(WORDS & MUSIC: anonymous)

MERV:- Aaronic Benediction (actual Hebrew words and ancient music that the High Priest Aaron sang over the twelve tribes of Israel)

“The Lord bless thee, and keep thee. The Lord make His face to shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: the Lord lift up His countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.”

POSTLUDE:- Recorded Israeli music

Thoughts on Pentecost (Shavu'ot) - by Merv Watson - May 2009

The Lord is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow! How often we have heard that assertion and take a certain amount of comfort in knowing its truth. The only question that arises immediately is “What was He like yesterday??" From what has He maintained his “sameness”? With everything around us going through extremely rapid changes, what is the relevancy of knowing that the God we worship never changes?

This question is profoundly important as we arrive again at the fixed time of the year when the most revolutionary event occured - i.e. the time when the third member of the Godhead made Himself known with such clarity, that men who lived in Jerusalem from every country in the world, were staggered into belief. Even as the curse on the citizens of Babel caused the confusing and scrambling of all languages, the blessing on the citizens of all varieties of languages and cultures staying in Jerusalem, heard the Word of God clearly. Clearly enough to rush to become part of what God was doing in that city. What was going on in the city was called - Pentecost!


Three times a year, the Hebrew people were to appear before the Lord, prepared to worship during an appointed time and at an appointed place. Pentecost (Feast of Weeks) was one of those times. It was to be an holy convocation, dedicated totally to the rituals that the Lord had requested to be done. Out of each house, two loaves of bread were to be brought to be waved before the Lord as First Fruits. Not only leavened bread, but also two lambs were to be waved before the Lord. The lamb`s blood caused the event to be holy.

It was on the completion of this holy day, that the early disciples, who had been waiting in Jerusalem for the power from on high to come, burst forth with unimaginable conviction! This conviction was the birth pangs of what became the church. It had irresistable power that swept the crowd into its vortex of commitment and into a richer awareness of God`s presence following the event of the cross.


Although the fervour of that day in Jerusalem has cooled, the renewal it brought with it has gained a new interest among those who have become aware of it. All over the world, as this spring festival is remembered, there is the awareness of ancient connections that provide hope and joy. Even as the cycle of spring issues forth from every tree, God`s promises issue forth from this event to challenge us all to a renewal of our souls.

As we hear of revival and renewals internationally, we are quickened to celebrate and expect renewal in ourselves. The witness that was promised to go to the ends of the earth has gone there, and is now returning with a multiple harvest of souls in its wake. Even as this is a harvest of first fruits physically, it is also a harvest of souls spiritually. Even as this feast remembers the first fruits from the Dead (Yeshua), we anticipate the winter of our own souls melting before the action of the Holy Spirit as He brings His tongues of fire to bear on us!!


As we commemorate the fact that God thundered forth His commandments from Mt. Sinai many years ago, let us also rejoice that it is indeed possible now to obey them, not through our human grit, but through the power of His indwelling Spirit which appeared on the exact day of Pentecost in the upper room to 120 disciples.