Old & New Treasures
by Leon Mazin, Shavei Tzion Messianic Center, Tents of Mercy Network
Shavuot, Pentecost and the Feast of Weeks are different names for the same Biblical holy day. On Shavuot, fifty days after the Exodus, God gave Israel the Torah - the Law - and transformed the twelve tribes into One People. It was a day that changed history as a people was called to shine the light of God through their lifestyle. A few thousand years later, after Yeshua (Jesus) rose from the dead and ascended to heaven, the Lord God revealed Himself in another manner and poured out His Spirit on the Jewish followers of the Messiah - also on Shavuot. Thus, in the midst of Israel was born a far superior New Covenant, a kingdom of priests to which myriads of Gentiles joyfully joined themselves.
When the fields are ripe at Shavuot in early summer, Israel's farmers reap wheat to make bread and satisfy hunger. But it is possible to reap a spiritual harvest as well. The Lord Yeshua told His disciples, "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field" (Matthew 9:37-38). We live in a day when all three of these events are taking place again: the giving of the Torah, the pouring out of the Holy Spirit and the spiritual harvest.
The Torah is as old as the world, but today it is regaining value for many believers. For centuries many Gentile disciples of the Messiah largely ignored the Tanakh (Old Testament) and the Torah of Moses (Genesis through Deuteronomy). Recently, as believers around the world are coming to understand the Torah foundation, they are seeing even brighter and more powerful truths in the New Testament. And those who used to say the words "Believe, believe, believe" are now adding, "He who believes in Him, keeps His Word and His commandments." God's Word is being restored.
"Therefore every teacher of the law who has become a disciple in the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old" (Matthew 13:52). Old treasures are a reference to the Torah - studying and understanding that faith without accompanying deeds is dead (James 2:26). And deeds - this is when you're doing not just what you understand, but what the Word of God determines is important and required.
The New Covenant priesthood and faith in Yeshua are 2,000 years old, but unfortunately have been distant from the Jewish people among whom they started. Now we see something different happening - modern Israelis believing in Yeshua. Many secular Israelis are intrigued. Even among Orthodox Jews we hear fresh debate about the question "Who is this Yeshua?" Up until recently they only cursed Him, but now some rabbis agree, "He is ours, He is Jewish." We see a stirring in the hearts of our people. May we find a balance and receive the wisdom of the Lord in how to bring good news to those who are open to the truth - both to "old timers" and to those who have just arrived in Eretz Israel.
The fields are ripe. Even though Israel is a small country, it grows much wheat. The eyes of many people have turned toward Zion. Israel develops technology and scientific discoveries quite successfully. But now people also come to Israel for revelation. Micah's words literally come true, "In the last days ... many nations will come and say, 'Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us His ways, so that we may walk in His paths.' The law will go out from Zion, the word of the Lord from Jerusalem" (Micah 4:1-2).
We are also seeing a spiritual harvest in our congregation. In celebration, Shavei Tzion arranged a festive Shavuot outing for the whole congregation. There were three big busloads of people, and many came in their cars. We enjoyed fresh air, spent time together and made a mikvah (Hebrew for a purifying immersion, or baptism) in the name of Yeshua for those who joined the priesthood of the New Covenant during the last six months. Thirteen people were immersed in the Jordan River. We believe this trend will continue, and that the fruit will become more and more apparent.
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