Hope of Israel Ministries (Ecclesia of YEHOVAH):
Pentecost and the Almond Tree!
The keeping of the Feast of Shavuot/Pentecost -- from the time of Moses up through the New Testament book of Acts -- shows that the modern keeping of the Babylonian-Greco Talmudic "Pentecost" matches neither the season nor the manner of keeping as commanded by YEHOVAH God. The life-cycle of the almond tree clearly corroborates Ferrar Fenton's correct translation!
by John D. Keyser
The Old Testament Feast of Weeks or Shavuot is more commonly known as "Pentecost" -- a Greek word from the New Testament which means "fiftieth." This term "fiftieth," or Pentecost, refers to the counting of days from a specific point in time to the Feast of Weeks or Pentecost. This counting of days is called, by the Jews, the omer count, and links the day of Pentecost to the Passover season. In fact, Pentecost is considered a continuum of the Passover season.
When the holy spirit came upon the apostles and the other believers on the Day of Pentecost in 31 A.D., those who heard them speaking in foreign languages were perplexed and asked, “What does this mean?” (Acts 2:12). The question still persists today. Many claim that the meaning of Pentecost is that we should have the same experience as the disciples, namely, that we are to seek the baptism of the holy spirit and to speak in different languages. You have probably had other Christians ask you, as I have, “Have you received the baptism of the holy spirit?” If you have not spoken in foreign languages, they are eager to help you have this experience for yourself. We all need to answer biblically, in light of the context, What is the meaning of Pentecost?
Acts 2 must be interpreted in light of Acts 1:4-8, where the risen Messiah instructed the disciples to wait in Jerusalem for the promise of YEHOVAH God -- the holy spirit. The Messiah explained that they would “be baptized with the holy spirit not many days from now” (Acts 1:5) and they would receive POWER to be the Messiah’s “witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth” (Acts 1:8). Just as the ministry of the Messiah depended on the holy spirit descending on him at his baptism (Matthew 3:13-17), so the ministry of the disciples depended on them receiving the same holy spirit and relying on YEHOVAH's power to carry out their mission. While they had experienced a measure of the spirit’s power before (John 20:22), now the holy spirit would come to dwell in them permanently (John 7:37-39; 14:17).
Thus Acts 2 must be interpreted as a special historical event, signifying a new period in YEHOVAH God’s dealings with His people Israel. Pentecost signals the dawning of the age of the holy spirit. And the fullness of the spirit in YEHOVAH’s people is to empower them for witness to all the nations of Israel. Thus, the meaning of Pentecost is YEHOVAH God equipping His ecclesia with the power of His spirit so that He will be glorified among the nations of Israel.
Note three things:
1). YEHOVAH’s plan for being glorified among the nations of Israel was to form the ecclesia.
To understand this event, we must understand the Israelite precursor to the New Testament Feast of Pentecost. It was not by coincidence that YEHOVAH God poured out His spirit on the disciples on that day. There were three great Israelite feasts each year: Passover (in the spring), celebrating Israel’s deliverance from Egypt, followed immediately by the Feast of Unleavened Bread; Pentecost (in the summer), also called the Feast of Weeks, which occurred seven complete weeks and 50 days after Passover; and, Tabernacles (in the fall). Shavuot (as Pentecost was known in the Old Testament) was an harvest feast, where the Israelites were to offer to YEHOVAH God the first fruits of the new summer wheat. Among other rituals, they were to wave before YEHOVAH two loaves of wheat bread, made with leaven (Leviticus 23:15-21).
This picture came to fulfillment in the outpouring of the holy spirit on the Day of Pentecost in 31 A.D. Until this time, YEHOVAH's people in Palestine consisted mainly of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin, along with a few Levites. The rest of the tribes of Israel were scattered abroad amongst pagan nations and were following, in the main, the pagan practices of the people around them. Not all in Israel were believers, but it was through that nation exclusively that YEHOVAH God worked through His covenant promises to form a people for Himself. But now YEHOVAH God formed the body of the Messiah -- the ecclesia -- made up of physical Israelites.
You will recall that the Messiah had told Peter that he would build his ecclesia and the gates of hell would not prevail against it (Matthew 16:18). Thus the ecclesia, founded on the Messiah (the Word of YEHOVAH God) is YEHOVAH’s means of taking the gospel to the nations of Israel, resulting in the salvation of all Israel and His being glorified in Israel and eventually the entire earth.
We need to remember that our purpose as YEHOVAH’s ecclesia is not to focus on ourselves and our own happiness. Our purpose is to spread the knowledge of YEHOVAH God and His way of life to all the nations of Israel beginning in our own “Jerusalem.” If we lose our outward focus, with the overall purpose of YEHOVAH’s glory, we have lost our reason for existence.
2). The scope of YEHOVAH’s plan is all the nations of Israel.
When you study the Book of Acts, you will notice that Luke goes through a long list of nations (2:9-11). He starts east of Judea and ends up encircling the land. While almost all of the men mentioned were Israelites (a few were Gentile proselytes), they are representative of the 12 tribes of Israel in dispersion amongst other nations that the Messiah wants his disciples to reach. The key to the list is in verse 5, that it represents “[Israelite] men from every nation under heaven.” They were devout men, meaning God-fearing, as is obvious from the fact that they had made this pilgrimage to Jerusalem for the Feast of Pentecost. But they did not yet know that their Messiah had come and had been sacrificed. Peter will shortly explain all of that in his sermon.
But the point is, YEHOVAH’s plan is no longer to be bottled up with just the two tribes of Judah and Benjamin. His Good News is for all the tribes of Israel. As John proclaims in Revelation 5:9, the Messiah purchased for YEHOVAH God with his blood “men [of Israel] from every tribe and tongue and people and nation.” We cannot rest until all the nations of Israel have heard the good news about the Messiah. But how can we possibly fulfill YEHOVAH’s plan?
3). The necessary power for fulfilling YEHOVAH God’s plan is His holy spirit.
The holy spirit is YEHOVAH's active force. The Messiah calls it the Paraclete, or Comforter. The word means, “one called alongside to help.” It was by the spirit of YEHOVAH God that YEHOVAH originally created and later re-fashioned our earth -- as shown in the first chapter of Genesis. The holy spirit is the very POWER of YEHOVAH God! It expresses the unified creative will of YEHOVAH God and the Messiah. It transformed spirit energy from YEHOVAH God into the material world we see about us (Hebrews 11:3).
The holy spirit of YEHOVAH God may be compared to a tool or machine. A tool serves man in making things. The holy spirit serves this same purpose for YEHOVAH God. But spirit is capable of infinite work -- never running down because of dissipation or friction. And YEHOVAH's divine spirit fills the universe (Psalm 139:7; Jeremiah 23:24). It is very clear that the holy spirit is NOT a third person of the Godhead as taught by the pagan "trinity" concept!
When we speak of the holy spirit, many cannot understand what it is because spiritual qualities and entities seem so unreal to most people. And no wonder. Spiritual things are invisible -- not discerned by the physical senses. They must be revealed in writing in the Bible. Only the Bible makes clear the nature of the holy spirit. Man is matter. YEHOVAH God is invisible spirit. And spirit, unlike mortal man, is eternal (1 Corinthians 15:53). YEHOVAH God sits at the controls of the entire universe and rules and sustains everything by the power of His holy spirit.
Before the Day of Pentecost in 31 A.D., the holy spirit regenerated some men of Israel and empowered them for serving YEHOVAH God. But He did not permanently indwell all Israelite believers (Psalm 51:11; Luke 11:13). In the Temple precincts, the Messiah had told the disciples that he would send the holy spirit to be with them forever. He added, “You know Him [YEHOVAH God] because He [through His spirit or active power] abides with you and will be in you” (John 14:16-17). Thus on the Day of Pentecost, the disciples were baptized with the holy spirit (Acts 1:5), in fulfillment of the Messiah's promise. In Acts 8, the spirit was poured out on the Samaritan Israelites through the apostles, so that both they and the apostles would realize that they were now members of the same body of the Messiah. The same thing happened with the Israelites in Acts 10 and with the Israelite followers of John’s baptism in Ephesus (Acts 19). These transitional outpourings of the holy spirit follow the pattern of Acts 1:8.
Once the transition was completed, all Israelites that believed in the Messiah received the holy spirit at the moment of their belief and faith in the Messiah (Galatians 3:2-5). Paul states, “You are not in the flesh but in the spirit, if indeed the spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the spirit of Christ, he does not belong to him” (Romans 8:9).
Pentecost in the Temple
There was only one place in the entire city of Jerusalem where devout Judahites, of whatever sect, would have congregated on the morning of Shavuot/Pentecost. And there is only one place where the events recorded in Acts 2 could possibly have transpired. That place is the Temple. A careful study of the Bible reveals positive proof that it was in the Temple that the holy spirit of YEHOVAH God came “suddenly” upon the Messiah’s disciples; and that from the Temple the proclamation of the Good News of the Kingdom of YEHOVAH God began to go forth into all of Israel! It was the outflow of the Gospel (“all the words of this life” -- Acts 5:20) that was prefigured by the vision of “living waters” issuing from the Temple.
It is very appropriate that this was the case. For it is in accordance with all that the Bible reveals to us of YEHOVAH’s methodology, and of the connection between the Old Covenant and the New, that the first outpouring of the holy spirit took place in the Temple. As a result of prophecies and promises, the beginning of the building of the spiritual House of Israel took place on the site of the material House of Israel. Indeed, the same reasons that required that the preaching of forgiveness in the name of the risen Messiah should begin “at Jerusalem” (Luke 24:47), would seem to require also that it should begin at the Temple.
When we consider the fact (which appears from both the Scriptures and from other contemporary records) that the Temple -- with its vast corridors or “porches” -- was the regular gathering place of all the various parties and sects of the Judahites, however antagonistic to each other, it will be easy to realize that the Temple is the place the disciples met in. This is because of its hallowed associations, and also because of its many convenient meeting places where the disciples would naturally congregate.
Edersheim states that the vast Temple area was capable of holding as many as 210,000 people. He also mentions that the colonnades in Solomon’s Porch formed many gathering places for the various sects, schools and congregations of the people. In commenting on John 7 Edersheim says that the gathering places in Solomon’s Porch “had benches in them; and from the liberty of speaking and teaching in Israel, Jesus might here address the people in the very face of His enemies.” It was, moreover, in Solomon’s Porch that the concourse of Israelites gathered which Peter addressed in Acts 3 -- see verse 11. Therefore, there can be little doubt that one of the assembling places to which Edersheim refers was the “house” where the disciples were “sitting” when the holy spirit came upon them.
When the day of Shavuot/Pentecost came, the events of the great Feast-day would furnish an additional reason why the disciples should be found assembled in the Temple. The services of that day -- the offering of the morning sacrifice and incense, with the accompanying prayers (in which they would have undoubtedly taken place) -- began at sunrise. When this service was over, they would naturally be “sitting” in their usual place. It was then that “suddenly,” out of heaven, came that sound “as of a rushing, mighty wind.” The words “they were all with one accord in one place” (compare 1:14) indicate that they were in their customary gathering place in the Temple.
This is emphasized by similar words found at the end of chapter 2 for we find there the statement that, after about 3,000 souls had been “added” to them, they still continued with one accord in the Temple (verse 46). This clearly shows that what they had been doing as a small company or congregation they “continued” to do so (still “with one accord”) as an exceedingly large and growing congregation. It further shows that the place where they were gathered when YEHOVAH’s holy spirit came upon them must have been of sufficient size to accommodate 3,000 more being “added” to them. It need hardly be mentioned that the Temple was the only building in Jerusalem open to the public, where this could have been possible.
What is implied here is that the disciples were, as we should expect, in the Temple for the purpose of taking part in the appointed services of this great feast day. During an intermission in the ceremonies they would naturally be “sitting” together in their customary meeting-place within the Temple area. During the accomplishing of the various ceremonies of the day of Pentecost, the disciples were not dispersed and mingled with the great crowds of worshipers, but kept together, and were with one accord in one place -- not scattered about. Therefore, it cannot be doubted that at the moment YEHOVAH’s spirit descended upon them they were all in one and the same place somewhere within the large area of the Temple -- most likely in Solomon’s Porch.
Regarding this verse, the statement that the day of Pentecost “was being accomplished” means far more than that they were observing its ritual. The meaning of Luke here is that all that was signified by that feast was finding its historic fulfillment.
The arrival of YEHOVAH’s spirit took place some time before nine in the morning (see verse 15), just long enough for it to be “noised abroad” (2:6 -- KJV), and for an enormous crowd to gather. There would be ample time for this between the morning services and nine o’clock.
It is clear that the events of the day of Pentecost in 31 A.D. happened all in one and the same locality -- for there is no change of location. Wherever the disciples were when they began to speak in other (heteros -- different) languages, and where the astonished multitude assembled and listened to the first Gospel address ever preached with the full measure of YEHOVAH's spirit, that was the very same place where the YEHOVAH’s holy spirit came upon them.
Regarding the phrase “now when this was noised abroad,” it should be understood that this is not to be taken as meaning a rumor of this tremendous event was spread abroad because the verb rendered “noised abroad” in the KJV is never used in the sense of a rumor. The truth is that the sound like a mighty wind was heard by the entire city of Jerusalem! All the devout Judahites in the city would, upon hearing this supernatural sound, rush to the Temple. In this connection the force of the words of Acts 2:2 should be specially noted: “And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind (or Breath) and it filled all the house where they were sitting.”
This awe-inspiring event was foretold by the prophet Isaiah, who wrote --
"A voice of noise from the city, a voice from the temple, a voice of the LORD that rendereth recompense to His enemies. Before she travailed, she brought forth; before her pain came she was delivered of a man child. Who hath heard such a thing? Who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? Or shall a nation be born at once? For as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children" (Isaiah 66:6-8).
The subject of this passage is the birth of another nation. Zion is represented as being in travail, and as bringing forth children. It is quite clear, therefore, that the “nation” here mentioned by the prophet is that “holy nation” of which Peter wrote in 1 Peter 2:9 -- a nation composed of all the Israelites who will be “born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God” (1:23-25) at the resurrection.
And beyond all question the “one day” foretold here is that great day of Shavuot/Pentecost, which was the birthday of that marvelous “nation,” the like of which had never been seen in Israel before.
The predicted “noise from the city” is, of course, the “sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind” that we have just discussed. And the predicted “Voice from the temple” was fulfilled when “Peter standing up with the eleven lifted up his voice, and said unto them” -- verse 14. When they all spoke in different languages, under the influence of YEHOVAH’s holy spirit, proclaiming the wonderful truth of the resurrection of the Messiah from the dead, then was a spiritual nation of Israelites “born at once.”
It is important to understand that in the days surrounding Pentecost -- and for a considerable period afterwards -- the disciples were in “favor with all the people” (Acts 2:48). This means that they were therefore permitted to enjoy, in common with all the Judahite sects and parties, the privilege of being able to assemble as a distinct group or sect for all the usual purposes in the Temple. And it should also be noted that no pious Judahite would be anywhere else but in the Temple on that day -- see Acts 20:16.
We must conclude, therefore, that the MATERIAL House of YEHOVAH God (the Temple) served as the womb for the SPIRITUAL House of YEHOVAH God, and from it the Ecclesia was to come forth -- which it soon did on the Day of Pentecost. The two were identified, as the true spiritual “Israel of YEHOVAH God” was, with “Israel after the flesh” -- the spiritual seed of Abraham with his natural seed. And this is, of course, in keeping with the revealed ways of YEHOVAH God.
It is quite evident that what we have seen has a direct relation to certain Biblical prophecies -- such as Ezekiel 47 -- where the prophet describes his vision of the healing and life-giving waters issuing forth from out of the Temple. It was explained to the prophet that the waters which he saw were to go down into the desert (which suggests barren Israel), and to go into the Dead Sea (which symbolizes the ten northern tribes of Israel in dispersion amongst the nations), whose waters should be healed. The description continues:
"And it shall be that every living thing that moves, wherever the rivers go, will live. There will be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters go there; for they will be healed, and everything will live wherever the river goes" (Ezekiel 47:9).
It is easy to see in this passage the familiar scriptural figures of the Gospel -- and its life-giving and healing ministry. So we note with interest that the Temple -- the House of YEHOVAH God -- was to be the source of the stream of living waters to heal all of Israel.
As a result we cannot fail to see, in this prophetic vision, a SPIRITUAL foretelling of the issuing forth of the Gospel for all the nations of Israel from YEHOVAH’s appointed center. This center of YEHOVAH's New Covenant plan was the Jerusalem Temple in the land of Judea. Other portions of Ezekiel’s prophecy clearly have a spiritual fulfillment in this dispensation of the holy spirit.
In this regard we should also call attention to the prophecy of Joel. While the apostle Peter quoted from the second chapter of Joel, showing its fulfillment in the arrival of the holy spirit, and in those miraculous events whereby its presence was made known, it is significant that, in chapter 3 of Joel’s prophecy, there is the promise that “all of the rivers of Judah will flow with waters, and a fountain shall come forth of the House of the LORD” (Joel 3:18). Those Israelites with YEHOVAH’s spirit will be able to see in this verse and its context much that is applicable to this present dispensation -- though the complete fulfillment of this passage, and also that quoted by Peter from chapter 2, must await the return of YEHOVAH God and His Messiah from heaven.
We have the very significant record of Acts 5:17-25, which tells us that when the apostles were released from prison by YEHOVAH’s angel where the Judean religious leaders had cast them, the angel told them to “Go, stand and speak in the Temple, to the people all the words of this life” (verse 20). This makes it clear that it was YEHOVAH’s purpose that the gospel-stream -- “the words of this life” -- should begin their flow in the Temple. In this we can see the continuity of YEHOVAH’s dealings and the orderly working out of His great plan. Everything pertaining to the old dispensation centered in the Temple. Therefore, it was more than fitting that the new dispensation should start at the very same place, and thereby move out into the rest of Israel in dispersion which it was to overspread.
The phrase “words of this life” is very significant. It is an aid to the right understanding of the passage because it clarifies the meaning of the expression “living waters” in the prophecies.
And, finally, the scripture tells us that, notwithstanding the strong opposition of the Judean authorities, the disciples continued to teach and preach the Good News of the Kingdom of YEHOVAH God in the Temple and in every house -- see Acts 5:40-42).
What we have just seen brings into view a great difference between the Temple -- YEHOVAH’s dwelling place in the old dispensation -- and the Ecclesia -- YEHOVAH’s dwelling place in the new. In the case of the Temple, sacrifices were brought to it, blood flowed in it, and incense (worship) ascended from it. But no healing waters flowed from it. Therefore, what Ezekiel saw, and what was revealed also to Joel and to Zechariah -- living waters going out from Jerusalem (Joel 3:18; Zechariah 14:8) -- was something quite new, and to which the Temple and its ritual presented no analogy.
These prophecies concerning the “living waters” were fulfilled by the living waters of the gospel which began, on the day of Pentecost in 31 A.D., to flow out from the Temple in Jerusalem. Yeshua the Messiah uses the expression “rivers of living water" in John 7:38, and the meaning of the expression is given in the next verse: "But this spake he of the spirit, which they that believe on him should receive." It also is revealed that the Millennial Temple -- as pictured by Ezekiel -- will be the ultimate fulfillment of these prophecies as physical AND spiritual waters gush out from beneath the Temple occupied by the Shekinah Glory of YEHOVAH God, and administered by His High Priest Yeshua the Messiah.
As a result, one of the chief lessons to be learned from the Scriptures we have studied is that the "Spiritual House" of this era should be specially marked by being the SOURCE of a freely flowing stream of living waters -- carrying life and health into all the nations of Israel in dispersion. And where this mark is lacking, even when the form of the House is quite correct, the explanation will doubtless be found in the conditions inside the House.
The Temple Menorah
The original Menorah or lamp-stand in the Sanctuary of YEHOVAH God, which was later placed in the Temple of YEHOVAH God at Jerusalem, was not just an ordinary candlestick with seven candles. It was not just an ornate candelabra. It was not just a utilitarian source of light inside the dark interior of the Temple.
We read in the Torah, the original instructions YEHOVAH God gave concerning the design of the menorah for His Sanctuary. YEHOVAH declared to Moses:
"You shall also make a lamp-stand of pure gold; the lamp-stand shall be of hammered work...Its shafts, its branches, its bowls, its ornamental knobs, and flowers shall be of one piece. And six branches shall come out of its sides: three branches of the lamp-stand out of one side, and three branches of the lamp-stand out of the other side. Three bowls shall be made like almond blossoms on one branch, with an ornamental knob and a flower, and three bowls made like almond blossoms on the other branch, with an ornamental knob and a flower -- and so for the six branches that come out of the lamp-stand.
"On the lamp-stand itself four bowls shall be made like almond blossoms, each with its ornamental knob and flower. And there shall be a knob under the first two branches of the same, a knob under the second two branches of the same, and a knob under the third two branches of the same, according to the six branches that extend from the lamp-stand.
"Their knobs and their branches shall be of one piece; all of it shall be of one hammered piece of pure gold.
"You shall make seven lamps for it, and they shall arrange its lamps so that they give light in front of it.
"And its wick-trimmers and their trays shall be of pure gold. It shall be made of a talent of pure gold, with all these utensils. And see to it that you make them according to the pattern which was shown you on the mountain" (Exodus 25:31-40, NKJV)
Notice that the whole lamp-stand was made of a "single hammered piece of pure gold" (verse 36, Tanakh). Notice also that all of the Menorah candles or lamps were to be arranged so as to "give light in front of it." What does this mean? This meant that all the six candles should face inward, toward the center candle. But this arrangement is contrary to the normal method of diffusing the light in as wide an area as possible. What this arrangement does is to concentrate the light, toward the center, thus making the whole shine more as one single large unified light.
What does this arrangement tell us? First of all, it shows us that the Menorah was not designed merely to broadcast the light over as large a space as practical. Its unique structure caused it to concentrate its light, as from a single source, with all the candles or lamps shining forth together as one. This tells us that the Menorah's unique structure was more designed for a spiritual purpose than for a physical or practical purpose.
This is substantiated by Peter A. Michas in his book The Rod of An Almond Tree in God's Master Plan:
"Regarding the crucifixion, certain symbolic meanings and patterns are revealed when viewed from the Hebraic perspective. One such pattern is that of the menorah....the menorah, the golden seven-branched candelabrum kept in the Holy Place of the Temple, represented the Tree of Life....In this symbolic parallel, Yeshua represents the fruit of the Tree of Life. Accepting His sacrifice for atonement of sin provides the only way of salvation and eternal life. Thus, the Tree of Life is seen to be both literally and symbolically connected to the crucifixion and what Yeshua did for us in His sacrifice" (WinePress Publishing, Mukilteo, WA. 1997, p. 234).
Now since it's apparent that the menorah was designed for a spiritual purpose what significance, then, does the oil have that was burned in this menorah -- and what type of oil was used?
Oil and the Spirit of YEHOVAH God
There are many passages in the Bible that convey and support the understanding that oil is used as a symbol for the holy spirit of YEHOVAH God. For instance, we read in Mark 6:13 that the Messiah had his disciples anoint sick people with oil, and they were healed. We know that the Messiah healed the sick with the power of the holy spirit (Luke 8:43-46) -- the Authorized Version has here, "virtue," but the literal meaning is, "power," compare with the New King James Bible. Also, compare Mark 5:30 and Luke 6:19).
The Messiah gave his disciples the same ability to heal sick people by the power of the holy spirit (Mark 16:18), which presence is symbolized by the anointing of the sick person with oil (James 5:14).
Another example of this symbolism is found in the famous parable with the 10 virgins (Matthew 25:4, 8). They all fell asleep, and the oil of the 5 foolish virgins was going out -- that is, they were loosing more and more of the power of the holy spirit within them.
1 John 2:27 speaks of our anointing abiding in us. This is a clear reference to the holy spirit that had been promised by the Messiah (John 14:16; 16:13). In 2 Timothy 1:6, the apostle Paul admonishes Timothy to "stir up" -- or to "re-kindle" -- the gift of YEHOVAH God, referring here to the holy spirit.
We also read that the holy spirit rested upon the Messiah (Isaiah 11:2). At the same time, we read that the Father anointed the Messiah with the "oil of gladness, more than his companions" (Hebrews 1:9) -- as the Messiah had received the holy spirit without measure (John 3:34).
In addition, Samuel anointed Saul with oil (1 Samuel 10:1), and Saul received the holy spirit (verses 6-9). Later, Samuel anointed David with oil, and at that moment, David received the holy spirit (1 Samuel 16:13). In Psalm 89:20, it is emphasized that YEHOVAH God had found His servant David, whom He anointed with His holy oil (compare also Psalm 23:5). As YEHOVAH's servant, David would have obeyed YEHOVAH God before his anointing to a large extent. We are reminded of Acts 5:32, telling us that YEHOVAH God gives His holy spirit only to those who are already obeying Him to a degree.
YEHOVAH God also explains to us in Isaiah 61:3, that those of Israel who will be converted in the Millennium and receive the holy spirit, will receive "the oil of joy" -- since the holy spirit is a spirit of joy (Galatians 5:22; Acts 13:52).
In a more general sense, the Bible uses the word "oil" to symbolize YEHOVAH's presence. (We read in Genesis 28:18-19 that Jacob poured oil on the pillar stone, calling the name of the place "Bethel." Jacob understood that YEHOVAH God was present). "Oil" can also symbolize a consecration, or a special setting apart for a holy purpose. "Oil," then, can refer to the holy spirit abiding in a person, or it can also refer to YEHOVAH's presence, through His spirit, to motivate, guide or lead a person, although the holy spirit might not reside in the person. When Moses was instructed by YEHOVAH God to anoint Aaron and his sons into the office of priest, thereby using the "anointing oil" (Leviticus 8:2, 30; compare regarding the anointing oil, Exodus 30:22-33), they were set apart or consecrated for YEHOVAH's holy purpose. In addition, YEHOVAH required the use of oil to symbolize His involvement in the consecration of the leadership of the nations of ancient Israel and Judah.
Since it is clear that oil is used in the Bible as a symbol for the holy spirit -- what type of oil was used for this purpose?
Can Olive Oil Represent YEHOVAH's Spirit?
Olive oil is often mentioned as representing YEHOVAH's spirit. Notice the following:
"Olive oil can also be seen as a symbol of the Holy Spirit (or possibly of faith) in Jesus' parable of the ten virgins (Matthew 25:1-13)....Not every reference to olive oil in the Bible is symbolic of course. But there are passages in which olive oil can be a picture of the Holy Spirit, the One who sanctifies us, fills us, readies us to see Christ, and brings us light, joy and spiritual health" (www.gotquestions.org/olive-oil-symbol.html).
Then, at www.woosterbaptisttemple.org we read --
"A. Olive oil is a constant type of the Holy Spirit in both the Old and New Testaments."
William F. Dankenbring, in his article Mystery of the Olive Tree, writes,
"The [olive] oil represents holy anointing by the power of the Spirit of God. The apostle John wrote of God’s Spirit as an ‘anointing.' He declared: 'But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him' (I John 2:27).
"Jesus Christ explained, 'And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever -- the Spirit of truth' (John 14:16). He added, 'However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth' (John 16:13). The Spirit will tell us 'things to come' (same verse).
"[Olive] Oil, therefore, is a type of the Holy Spirit -- as are water (John 7:37-39) and the wind (John 3:8; Acts 2:1-4)."
Dankenbring goes on to say --
"Olive oil also symbolized gladness and joy. David wrote of the Messiah, 'You love righteousness and hate wickedness; therefore God,, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness more than your companions' (Psalm 45:7). When the Messiah returns, He will give the people 'the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified (Isaiah 61:3).
"Joy, symbolized by olive oil, is the second fruit of the Holy Spirit listed by the apostle Paul: 'The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness [meekness], self control (Gal.5:22-23).
"God’s Spirit is the Spirit of joy, and joy is associated with the oil of the olive! The olive tree is also associated with the Festival of Joy -- the Feast of Tabernacles."
One more example exhorts the same idea:
"So let's look more closely at this oil, the olive oil. The unwise virgins took no oil with them. How foolish they were! I want to tell you what the [olive] oil does. Then you'll know something of the work of the Holy Spirit. Later on we'll go on to other types of the Holy Spirit, like fire and dew and rain, and wind (the breath of God). But [olive] oil is the most important one" (www.finestofthewheat.org/Percy_Gutteridge/HS-08_The_Holy_Spirit_As_Oil.php).
So, is this true -- does olive oil truly represent the spirit of YEHOVAH God? Let's examine the attributes of the olive tree to determine if it accurately testifies of YEHOVAH's spirit and of the Messiah.
Notice what we find at www.righteousbranch.org (article, Rethinking the Olive Tree):
"Creation testifies that the branches of the olive tree produce bitter fruit…so bitter, in fact, that the fruit is not palatable raw from the tree but only after fermentation or pickling. At the center of this bitter fruit is an inedible seed that is as hard as stone. Its flesh is plump and oily. The olive tree awakens or blossoms in the spring after other fruit trees have already awakened; the small blossoms are hidden by evergreen leaves. These small blossoms are largely wind-pollinated; most olive varieties are self-pollinating. The fruit is harvested in the 'dark' portion of the year, after the intensity of the heat has passed, as the hours of the darkness of the night exceed the hours of the light of the day...Furthermore, did you know that the olive tree is regarded as an invasive 'weed' tree?"
So we have a tree that has (1) Bitter fruit, (2) seed as hard as stone (3) plump and oily flesh and (4) self-pollination by the wind.
Throughout the Word of YEHOVAH God people are compared to trees; and their fruit is what they do and say. The fruit of bitterness is associated with a rebellious, disobedient people (see Strong's H4805, H4784), people who will not hear the Word of YEHOVAH God. Further, from the article, Rethinking the Olive Tree, we read:
יהוה, the children of Israel continuously rebelled against the commands of יהוה and are described as 'a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of יהוה [Isa 30:9]. In regards to the seed of a tree, the seed is found within the fruit. At the core of the bitter olive fruit is an inedible seed that is as hard as stone. Likewise, at the core of stubborn and rebellious people who will not hear the Word of יהוה ' are hearts described as 'hard as stone'. Regarding the fruit of the olive tree, each cell contains a tiny droplet of oil; this olive oil is expelled from the flesh.
"Throughout the Word of
"According to the Word of יהוה, the rebellious people were full of arrogance and pride and are referred to as 'waxen fat, shiny', 'enclosed in fat, 'hearts as fat as grease'. This conveys the imagery of flesh that is full of oil or grease. In creation, trees can be pollinated by the wind or by bees and insects. (Remember the Hebrew word for 'bee' is 'deborah' [H1682] which is associated with 'command' or 'word' [H1696].) Metaphorically speaking, Paul describes someone who is pollinated by the wind as being 'tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes' [Eph 4:14]. These bitter and rebellious people with hearts as hard as stone and waxen fat were carried away by falsehood, lies, traditions and doctrines of men. They would NOT receive the Word of יהוה. In other words, they were pollinated by the winds of doctrine as opposed to the Word or 'debar” of יהוה."
YEHOVAH's spirit does not promote rebellion! Nor does the Messiah --
"In contrast, Messiah was not rebellious. He was not bitter. Rather the Righteous Branch from the stump of Jesse was the faithful, sweet, Seed of the Word of יהוה. He was not proud or arrogant. In fact, He did nothing of His own fleshly desire. His heart yielded to the desires of His Father. He was pollinated by the commands (“debar”) of His Father. He spoke nothing of His own accord but only what His Father commanded Him. There were no falsehood or lies in Him. He guarded or watched over His Father’s Words. Perfectly. As a result, He was stricken, beaten, shaken, crushed. But He wasn’t destroyed. He was the First-fruit of the resurrection, the first to 'awaken' from death or sleep. He was clothed in garments of righteousness and justice; He was called the 'Just One' and the Righteous Branch" (ibid.).
So what tree -- and oil -- testifies of the Messiah?
The True "Spiritual" Oil
Is there a tree that serves as an accurate witness testifying to these things? We need a tree that is (1) watchful (2)first to resurrect or awaken (3) white garments of righteousness (4) pollinated by the Word or “debar” (5) is the first-fruits (6) has flesh withering in the heat (7) is stricken…beaten…shaken…crushed but not destroyed and (8) has a sweet, single, edible seed.
"YES there is such a tree! There is a tree known as the watchful tree. It was created to be the first of the fruit trees to awaken from its winter slumber as the heat and light noticeably increase at the dawn of a new cycle. Upon awakening or “resurrecting” from a state of dormancy or sleep, this tree clothes its naked branches in white blossoms.... Within six to eight weeks of pollination, these first-fruits are harvested, but only a few; these first-fruits are hand-picked before the intensity of the heat arrives. The other fruits remain on the branches to mature in the heat so the inner core may grow firm. The flesh of the fruit splits open and withers in the summer heat so that all that remains is a sweet, single, edible seed. No flesh remains.
"In the seventh month following blossoming -- in the 'light' portion of the year at the intensity of the summer heat -- its branches are ready for harvest…the second and final harvest for this tree. Harvesters strike, beat and shake the seed from the tree. This tree is renowned for its seed, a seed known as one of the world’s healthiest foods. When this seed is crushed, it yields a remarkable, golden oil as well as a choice meal or fine flour.
"What is this tree? This tree serves as the pattern for the lampstand in the holy place -- producing the fruit of light. A branch from this tree serves as a sign to the rebellious and was chosen to represent the High Priest and the house of Levi…the earthly priesthood…the servants of יהוה. Our Heavenly Father showed this tree to Jeremiah in a vision to communicate that He was watching over His Word to perform it. The seed of this tree is shaped like an eye (hint, hint -- the very thing a person uses to be 'watchful'). This tree that testifies of Messiah -- the Righteous Branch -- is the sweet ALMOND TREE!" (Rethinking the Olive Tree).
The Bible testifies that the parable of the olive tree is one of bitterness and rebellion. Figuratively, the olive tree represents a bitter and rebellious people with plump flesh that is full of grease and a heart as hard as stone. The oil of the olive tree does NOT represent the spirit of YEHOVAH God. The olive tree does NOT accurately testify of Messiah, the Righteous Branch, the First-fruit of the resurrection, the faithful Seed of the Word of YEHOVAH God, the Light of the world. The olive tree does NOT accurately testify of the one who guarded or watched over his Father’s commands to protect them from doctrines, traditions and lies of men. Neither do the branches of a tree which produce bitter fruit accurately testify of believers who are producing the fruit of repentance, receiving the Word of YEHOVAH God, producing the fruit of light, first-fruits of the resurrection. Our Heavenly Father created the sweet almond tree to serve as such a witness.
The article concludes by admonishing that "we need to think about what we proclaim in saying that we are grafted into an olive tree: the proclamation of a rebellious people with hearts as hard as stone, not receiving the commands or “debar” of, not walking in His ways, receiving lies, traditions and doctrines of men, a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of יהוה.The attributes of the sweet almond tree bear witness to a faithful people, a faithful Israel, trees of righteousness, a people who are grafted into the Righteous Branch, a people who are walking in the ways of יהוה."
Now that we have determined that the almond tree -- not the olive tree -- is the Tree of Life, and that the tree that the Messiah was crucified on was an almond tree, we can see the tremendous significance and symbolism that the lamp-stand in the Holy Place of the Temple -- fashioned after the almond tree -- brings to mind. YEHOVAH God created a tree with certain attributes that testify of the Messiah and bears witness of the fruit of righteousness. Those of YEHOVAH's Ecclesia are considered to be branches grafted to the almond tree which fruit represents "fruit in keeping with repentance." This tree accurately represents a faithful people -- a people who are called by YEHOVAH's Name, a people referred to as Israel.
Now we come to the question of the oil. In all my years studying the Word of YEHOVAH God I have never heard anyone question the concept of mingling elements from two different trees in a holy and pure place such as the Temple. The oil from the fruit of an olive tree into a lamp that is patterned after an almond tree? An in-depth study of the Bible will reveal that YEHOVAH God does NOT condone mingling.
In 1841, a man named John Kitto questioned by inference the type of oil used in the golden lamp-stand in the Holy Place. He wrote:
"The drupe of the almond has a leathery covering, not pulpy or edible, like that of the peach. Its productive value lies in the well-known and much-valued sweet kernel of the stone, or nut. These kernels yield on expression one-half their weight of oil, the well-known oil of the almonds, which is more agreeable than the common expressed oils. It is remarkable that this oil is not once mentioned in the Scriptures. Indeed even olive oil is not very often mentioned by name; and we think that in many of the cases in which 'oil,' simply, is mentioned without the specification of its quality, it is wrong to suppose that olive-oil is always intended; for it is incredible that the oil of almonds could be unknown to, or unvalued by, a people who sought after and employed vegetable oils so largely as the Hebrews" (Palestine: The Physical Geography and Natural History of the Holy Land. London: Charles Knight & Co., 1841, p. ccxii).
Therefore, we must conclude that the oil used in the menorah or lamp-stand in the Holy Place of the Temple must have been almond oil -- NOT olive oil.
Some have advanced the argument that since Exodus 27:20-21 talks about bringing olive oil to burn in the lamp, then the golden lamp-stand in the Tabernacle/Temple must have been fueled by olive oil, not almond oil! There are, however, some interesting facts to consider regarding these verses in Exodus 27:
1). These two verses are completely MISSING in The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible, compiled from all the texts discovered in the caves at Qumran.
2). The Jewish Tanakh sets these two verses aside as being out of context and renders them as follows:
"You shall further instruct the Israelites to bring you clear oil of beaten olives for lighting, for kindling lamps [plural] regularly. Aaron and his sons shall set them [plural] up in the Tent of Meeting, outside the curtain which is over the Pact, from evening to morning before the LORD."
If this was referring to the golden lamp-stamp in the Holy Place of the Tabernacle, then surely the Hebrew word "menorah" (Strong's #4501) would have been used -- as seen throughout the description of the lamp-stand in Exodus 25. Instead, the Hebrew word "nerah" is used which, according to Strong's #5216, means "a lamp or light -- candle, lamp, light."
There were, in fact, two tents or tabernacles during the Israelites' journey through the wilderness -- one was the Tabernacle housing the Ark in the Holy of Holies and the golden lamp-stand or menorah in the Holy Place outside the veil, and the other was Moses' personal tent where the cloud or presence of YEHOVAH God would descend and remain over the entrance. For more information see our article, How Many Tents?.
Pentecost and the Almond Tree
Now that we have laid the groundwork we come to the premise of this article. Since YEHOVAH God created the almond tree with certain attributes that testify of the Messiah and bears witness of the fruit of righteousness, and which fruit represents "fruit in keeping with repentance," and the oil of which is symbolic of the pouring out of YEHOVAH's spirit on the Day of Pentecost, can the almond tree itself determine the correct season that Pentecost falls on? Notice what the article Rethinking the Olive Tree says:
"This tree is known as the watchful tree. It was created to be the first of the fruit trees to awaken from its winter slumber as the heat and light noticeably increase at the dawn of a new cycle. Upon awakening or “resurrecting” from a state of dormancy or sleep, this tree clothes its naked branches in white blossoms. Bees are critical to pollination. Upon pollination, first-fruits resembling flames of fire begin to emerge from the calyx and hastily or rapidly grow. Within six to eight weeks of pollination, these first-fruits are harvested, but only a few; these first-fruits are hand-picked before the intensity of the heat arrives. The other fruits remain on the branches to mature in the heat so the inner core may grow firm. The flesh of the fruit splits open and withers in the summer heat so that all that remains is a sweet, single, edible seed. No flesh remains" (www.righteousbranch.org).
In late January or early February, many of the terraced hillsides of Israel are dramatically transformed. Awakening from their winter sleep, almond trees burst into bloom. Since it is one of the earliest trees to do so, the almond usually has the stage to itself. Its white and pink blossoms grace the wintry countryside, reminding us of Solomon’s words at Ecclesiastes 12:5. There he compares the white hair of old age to "the almond tree that carries blossoms." In view of the almond’s precocious bloom, the Hebrew word for almond appropriately has the literal meaning “awakening one” -- as awakening in the resurrection.
"In the seventh month following blossoming -- in the “light” portion of the year at the intensity of the summer heat -- its branches are ready for harvest, this being the second and final harvest for this tree. Harvesters strike, beat and shake the seed from the tree. This tree is renowned for its seed, a seed known as one of the world’s healthiest foods. When this seed is crushed, it yields a remarkable, golden oil as well as a choice meal or fine flour" (ibid.).
"The seventh month following blossoming" falls right in the middle of summer -- typically in the months of July/August. Could this be when we should be observing Pentecost?
Most Jews and members of the Churches of God observe Pentecost on Sivan 6, some 50 days after Passover. But, as we shall see, there is a problem with this! When did the Israelites actually arrive at Mt. Sinai? Notice Exodus 19:1 --
"In the third month after the children of Israel had gone out of the land of Egypt, on the same day, they came to the Wilderness of Sinai."
Because of the Jewish tradition that the giving of the Law occurred at Shavuot, rabbinical authorities have to interpret this verse to mean that the Israelites arrived at Sinai on the first day of the third month, since Shavuot could have been on the fifth, sixth or seventh of the same month and there was at least a three day period of ceremonial cleansing in the interval. The text itself, however, does not support this interpretation. It uses the phrase "on (or in) the same day". The same day as what? The Hebrew is as unambiguous as the English translation: it is "in the same day" () that the children of Israel had gone out of the land of Egypt. To what day does this phrase refer?
"So you shall observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread, for on this same day I will have brought your armies out of the land of Egypt" (Exodus 12:17).
Clearly, the reference is to the first day of Unleavened Bread, Nisan 15. Notice in Exodus 12:17 the use of the phrase "same day" () just as Exodus 19:1 uses "in the same day" (). Repeatedly in the account of the exodus, the day (yom) the Israelites went out of Egypt is used with the demonstrative adjective.
"And Moses said to the people: Remember this day () [is just the untranslatable accusative marker] in which you went out of Egypt, out of the house of bondage; for by strength of hand the LORD brought you out of this place. No leavened bread shall be eaten.
"On this day you are going out, in the month Abib" (Exodus 13:3-4).
"And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years -- on that very same day ( literally, "in the bone [i.e. substance] of this day) -- it came to pass that all the armies of the LORD went out from the land of Egypt" (Exodus 12:41).
"And it came to pass, on that very same day (), that the LORD brought the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt according to their armies" (Exodus 12:51).
It should be clear that when all of these passages use the phrase in some form and all clearly refer to the 15th of Nisan, the day of the Israelites' departure from Egypt, then Exodus 19:1 means that the Israelites came to the wilderness of Sinai on the fifteenth day of the third month. Since this is AFTER the traditional Shavuot on Sivan 6, the traditional giving of the Law could not have occurred on that day, nor could the pouring out of YEHOVAH's spirit occur on that day during the New Testament Pentecost! On the THIRD month -- 15th day -- the Israelites arrive at Mount Sinai. The question then becomes -- how long a period of time elapsed between their arrival and that momentous day when the Law was thundered from the top of the mount and the day when YEHOVAH's spirit was poured out as pictured in the Book of Acts?
To bring this discussion into focus, we need to understand the Biblical count from the Wave Sheaf Offering on Nisan 16 to the Feast of Shavuot or Pentecost -- this we find in Leviticus 23:15-17, notice!
"You shall also count for yourselves from the day after the Sabbath that you bring the Wave-sheaf [Nisan 16], SEVEN SABBATHS. They must be complete. Then AFTER the seventh Sabbath, you shall COUNT FIFTY DAYS, when you shall present a new offering to the EVER-LIVING. You shall bring from your dwellings, two wave cakes of two tenths of fine [wheat] flour. They shall be fermented, -- baked in an oven for the EVER-LIVING" (Ferrar Fenton Translation).
Of all the modern translations of these verses, Ferrar Fenton is the only translator to understand the Hebrew meaning incorporated in them. From the Wave Sheaf Offering (Nisan 16), we are instructed to count seven Sabbaths complete. This will always bring us to the 8th day of the third month (Sivan). The Bible plainly tells us that from the day AFTER the seven Sabbaths complete, we are to number 50 days. So on the day AFTER the 8th of Sivan (third month), we are to then count 50 days -- day 1 being the 9th of Sivan. If the month of Sivan has 30 days, then the 50th day will fall on the 28th day of the fourth month (Tammuz). If Sivan has 29 days, then the 50th day will fall on the 29th day of Tammuz (the fourth month). In the Gregorian calendar we keep today this falls either in late July or early August -- right in the middle of summer!
When you consult the original Hebrew of Leviticus 23:15-16, it soon becomes apparent that Ferrar Fenton's translation is the CORRECT one! The Hebrew not only shows the gross error of almost all of the English translations, but also a deliberate hiding of the ACTUAL instructions given by YEHOVAH God to determine the date of His Feast of Shavuot.
The keeping of this feast -- from the time of Moses up through the New Testament book of Acts -- also shows that the modern keeping of the Babylonian-Greco Talmudic "Pentecost" matches neither the SEASON nor the MANNER of keeping as commanded by YEHOVAH God. The life-cycle of the almond tree clearly corroborates Fenton's correct translation!
This new understanding creates a wonderful pattern of YEHOVAH's annual Feasts, being in the SPRING, SUMMER and FALL -- each corresponding to a season of harvest in Israel. As we have just seen, the Feast of Shavuot or Weeks is the ONLY Feast that is not a fixed day on YEHOVAH God's lunisolar calendar, thus making it the ONLY Feast in which we are asked to COUNT in order to find the correct day for the summer Feast.
What is most interesting about this is that the Israelites arrived at Mount Sinai on the following Sabbath AFTER the seventh Sabbath -- they DID NOT arrive by the modern "fifty day" count to "Pentecost." This is because from "the morrow after the seventh Sabbath" the 50-day count had begun, and by their arrival on the 15th, 7 days had already elapsed!
In Exodus 20:18-21, we read that the Israelites were terrified at the presence of YEHOVAH God, so they asked Moses to speak to YEHOVAH for them. Moses then ascends the mountain, where he remains for "forty days and forty nights" (Exodus 24:18). After 40 days, Moses descends Mount Sinai with the Ten Commandments Law of YEHOVAH God (Deuteronomy 9:9-12). From this, we can conclude with certainty that Moses descended Mount Sinai with the Commandments EXACTLY 50 days after the "seventh complete Sabbath" (8th day of Third Month + 7 days + 3 days + 40 days). Amazing! So while YEHOVAH's descent upon Mount Sinai is universally considered to be when He verbally delivered the Law to the Israelites, we most definitely PROCLAIM that the Feast of Weeks is NOT a memorial of this giving of the Law! However, the TRUE day of Shavuot DOES commemorate when Moses brought the written Law down from the mountain.
It is worth noting also that Aaron (the high priest), one day earlier, somehow knew to proclaim a "feast to YEHOVAH" on this very day -- EXACTLY 50 days after the "seventh complete Sabbath."
"And when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made proclamation, and said, Tomorrow is a feast [Strong's H2282] to YEHOVAH" (Exodus 32:5).
Note that the word "feast" in the above verse is Strong's H2282 (khag); Khag is consistently used throughout Scripture to denote a pilgrimage feast (See The New Strong's Expanded Dictionary of Bible Words). The Feast of Weeks is one of three pilgrimage feasts (khags) commanded by YEHOVAH God -- Deuteronomy16:16. Also note that YEHOVAH does not reprimand His high priest (Aaron) for proclaiming a feast on the wrong day; rather YEHOVAH cites idolatry as the reason for His anger (Exodus 32:7-9; Deuteronomy 9:16, 20).
Moses descended the mountain with the Ten Commandments Law of YEHOVAH God on the same day that Aaron (the high priest) somehow knew to proclaim a "feast (khag) to YEHOVAH." This took place 50 DAYS AFTER THE "SEVENTH COMPLETE SABBATH"! It is simply NOT reasonable to dismiss all of these things as coincidence -- as some will try to do!
It seems apparent that the children of Israel had been anticipating a feast on this very day, because on the preceding day we see that it was when they saw that Moses "delayed" that they went to Aaron and began to pressure him in going along with their own idolatrous preparations for a feast the following day. "Now when the people saw that Moses delayed coming down from the mountain, the people gathered together to Aaron, and said to him, 'Come, make us gods that shall go before us; for as for Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him'" (Exodus 32:1, NKJV).
And what did Aaron say on the day BEFORE Moses descended the mountain? "So when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it. And Aaron made a proclamation and said, 'Tomorrow is a FEAST to the LORD.' Then they rose early on the next day, offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play" (Exodus 32:5-6).
The Inevitable Conclusion
At the end of the FOURTH month of Tammuz -- when YEHOVAH's Feast of Shavuot or Weeks had fully come -- Moses returned from the mountain with the tablets of STONE -- and with the intention of teaching the words thereon to the people of Israel (Exodus 24:12, last part). When Moses came close to the camp and saw the people polluting YEHOVAH's Feast Day, he "cast the tablets out of his hands and broke them at the foot of the mountain" (Exodus 32:19).
While here at the mountain of YEHOVAH God His law was written on "tablets of STONE," in Acts 2 we find a fulfillment of the prophecy found in Jeremiah 31:33 -- notice!
"But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their HEARTS; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people."
This is referred to by the apostle Paul in Hebrews 10:16. At Sinai the law was written in stone due to the stiff-necked and rebellious people of Israel; but at the Temple in Jerusalem in 31 A.D. the law was written "on their hearts" due to the 3,000 obedient Israelites who received YEHOVAH's spirit on that day.
The almond tree served as the pattern for the lamp-stand in the holy place -- producing the fruit of light. A branch of the almond tree was one of the articles in the ark of the testimony -- the branch that "was chosen to represent the High Priest and the house of Levi…the earthly priesthood" -- the servants of YEHOVAH God. YEHOVAH showed the almond tree to Jeremiah in a vision to communicate that He was watching over His Word to perform it. The seed of the almond tree is shaped like an eye (the very thing a person uses to be “watchful”). The almond tree testifies of the Messiah -- the Righteous Branch of YEHOVAH God -- and the oil of the almond tree represents the spirit of YEHOVAH God that came upon the disciples on the Day of Pentecost in 31 A.D. to then flow out from the Temple and Jerusalem to the people of Israel in dispersion among the pagan nations of the then-known world.
The almond tree accurately testifies of believers who are producing the fruit of repentance, receiving the Word of YEHOVAH God, producing the fruit of light, first-fruits of the resurrection. And the life-cycle of the almond tree points us to the CORRECT season of the year to observe YEHOVAH God's annual Feast of Shavuot/Pentecost.
Hope of Israel Ministries -- Courage for the Sake of Truth is Far Better Than Silence for the Sake of Unity!
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Be sure to read our companion articles:
The Count to Shavuot and YEHOVAH God's Weekly Cycle
Old Myths Die Hard -- Was the Law Given at Mount Sinai On the Traditional Shavuot?
New Understanding On Observing the Correct Day of PENTECOST!
Philo On Shavuot/Pentecost