13th July 2015

Shavuot, Pentecost and the Feast of Weeks are holidays that we all know and have heard about many times.

Everyone remembers that on Shavuot, fifty days after the Exodus, God gave Israel the Torah - the Law - and transformed the twelve tribes into his One People. It was a moment that changed events of the past. Israel (not Babylon and the delusion that had ruled people and the world) became the light of God's harmony through their lifestyle. Everyone remembers that a few thousand years following these events, after Yeshua (Jesus) rose from the dead and ascended to heaven, the Lord God revealed himself in another perspective and poured out His Spirit on the Jewish followers of the Messiah.

Thus, in the midst of Israel was born a new priesthood far superior to that of the Levites - the priesthood of the New Covenant. This event marked the beginning of that process, as myriads of Gentiles have been joining and are joining this kingdom of priests.

At harvest time, when the fields are ripe, you can reap the harvest, physically and spiritually. During these hot days, you can collect the bread, reap the harvest and be satisfied. But it is possible to reap another harvest: the one the Lord Yeshua told his disciples about.

Then he said to 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

In a sense, we live in a day when a combination of all three of these events (the giving of the Torah, receiving of the Holy Spirit, and the harvest) takes place again.

The Torah is as old as the world, but today it is regaining value for many believers. Around the world, the Church, the disciples of the Messiah, who for years ignored the Tanakh (Old Testament), including the Torah of Moses (Genesis through Deuteronomy), suddenly have begun to realize that the New Testament says even brighter and more powerful things as they come to understand the whole basis on which the Torah was built. And those who used to say the words "Believe, believe, believe" suddenly began to add, "He who believes in Him, will keeps His Word and His commandments." This is obviously a return to a basic foundation, a restoration of God's Word, which announces:

He said to them, "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

When Yeshua spoke of old treasures, He was referring to a teaching in the Torah - that faith without deeds is dead. Speaking about deeds, He was saying that they should be based not just on what we understand, but on what the Word of God determines is important and required.

Faith in Yeshua, as well as the New Covenant priesthood, are 2,000 years old, but unfortunately they have been far removed for all these years from the sons of Israel, with whom they started. Unfortunately, the Israelis continue to consider Yeshua as a stranger, largely due to the influence of evil people, dishonest believers, and those who worked hard to distort the facts. But now we see something different happening.

The adoption of Yeshua the Savior and the restoration of the New Testament priesthood in Israel (started 100 years ago) are obviously significant. It is not only the secular people who write about this. Among Orthodox Judaism we hear refreshed debate about the question "Who is this Yeshua?" In earlier times, they always spoke only curses at him, but the statement "He is ours, He is Jewish" sounds now not only in the mouths of Messianic Jews and orthodox rabbis. A process has started, and it will surely continue to develop. May we (Messianic Jews) find a right balance and receive the wisdom of the Lord about how to bring the good news, not only to those who have just arrived in Eretz Israel, and are open to the truth, but also to those who are "closed" to the truth; may they be able to see Him through revelation, as Saul (Paul) saw Him on the road to Damascus.

The harvest fields are ripe. Israel collects a lot of harvest, even though we are a small country, but we are not alone. The eyes of many people have turned toward Zion. In Israel we are searching for technology and scientific discoveries, even for oil and gas, and quite successfully. But now people also go to Israel searching for revelation. Micah's words literally come true:

In the last days the mountain of the Lord's temple will be established as the highest of the mountains; it will be exalted above the hills, and peoples will stream to it. Many nations will come and say, "Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the temple 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 also see a harvest in our congregation. At this Shavuot, Shavei Tzion arranged a festive trip for the whole assembly. There were three big busloads of people, and many came in their cars. We enjoyed the fresh air, spent time together and made a mikvah (Hebrew for a bath in which certain Jewish ritual purifications are performed in the name of Yeshua) for those who joined the priesthood of the New Testament during the last six months. Thirteen people were baptized in the mikvah. And after several years of not having had people ready to be baptized, it was great to be in the Jordan River and immerse people in its water.

We sincerely believe that this trend will continue and the fruit of the ministry of Return to Zion, and of all other congregations, will become more and more apparent.

We thank you for your kind support and prayers for the ministry of Return to Zion. May the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob bless you and your family!

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