The Holy Spirit

editor - 26 May 2023

The Jewish people are currently celebrating the feast of Shavuot, and in the coming days Christians will celebrate Pentecost.

As the word ‘Pentecost’ suggests (Pentecost is Greek for ‘fiftieth’), the Jewish festival of Shavuot is celebrated on the fiftieth day after Passover. Shavuot is also known as the ‘Feast of Weeks’ and the ‘Feast of 50 days’ in rabbinic tradition.

In the time of the Temple, it was the festival during which the wheat harvest started, and the first fruits of that harvest were taken to the Temple. The reception of the Torah (Law) by Moses on the mountain after the Exodus from Egypt was commemorated too.

It was on that day of Shavuot (= Pentecost) that the Holy Spirit descended on the Apostles and other disciples of Jesus in Jerusalem, as they were celebrating the Jewish Festival of Weeks, as recorded in Acts 2. That first ‘Day of Pentecost’ was therefore a purely Jewish affair. The Holy Spirit descended on the Jews who were gathered on a Jewish Festival, in the Jewish city of Jerusalem, surrounding a Jewish Temple.

The Spirit of G-d was poured out on the Jewish people – and it will AGAIN be poured out on the people of Israel when they are regathered in the land, as promised in Zechariah 12. The restoration of the Jewish people to the land is thus sure proof that God is faithful to His declared purposes and promises. He will never abandon His people, whom He foreknew and whom He loves with an everlasting love. We, Gentiles, may therefore “rejoice with His people” (Deuteronomy 32:43 and Romans 15:10).

In the coming days, may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

At this time, it is important to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. Even as Israel celebrates its 75th birthday, the Jewish people remain under siege. Iran is close to producing the nuclear weapons it has sworn to use to destroy Israel. Iran is fighting a proxy war against Israel, through its Islamist jihad proxies like Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in the Gaza Strip and West Bank. Israel is especially concerned about Hezbollah at the moment, and it is possible that Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) will take pre-emptive action in Lebanon, which may trigger further aggression from the Iranian proxies. And all the while, the so-called ‘moderate’ Palestinian leadership under Mahmoud Abbas remains committed to Israel’s destruction, as shown by his recent antisemitic tirade in the United Nations.

The Editorial Team Israel & Christians Today

‘US, Israel stepping up deterrence campaign against Iran’ 
Recent threats of a joint U.S.-Israel strike against Tehran’s nuclear program are part of a “complex” American messaging campaign, experts tell JNS.
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Abbas to UN: Israel Has No Right to Exist
Nave Dromi writes at Middle East Forum: Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas delegitimized Israel and Jewish history during his hour-long tirade at the special session of the UN Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, marking the 75th anniversary of ‘Nakba Day’.
Read more..

Why Israel Is Judged Differently
Shale Horowitz writes at ME Forum: As Israel celebrates its seventy-fifth anniversary, it remains the only state in the world that is constantly threatened with extinction by immediate and more remote neighbors. Yet, with a disturbing regularity that has become all-too-familiar over recent decades, whenever the Jewish state responds in strength to acts of aggression, it is most often chastised for its “disproportionate use of force.”
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Zechariah 12:10-14

“And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on Me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for Him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for Him as one grieves for a firstborn son. On that day the weeping in Jerusalem will be as great as the weeping of Hadad Rimmon in the plain of Megiddo. The land will mourn, each clan by itself, with their wives by themselves: the clan of the house of David and their wives, the clan of the house of Nathan and their wives, the clan of the house of Levi and their wives, the clan of Shimei and their wives, and all the rest of the clans and their wives.”

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