The Torah Portion for Sunday 23rd January 2021 called “Yitro” meaning “Jethro” and is from Exodus 18:1-20:23
The First Pentecost – the birth of a nation and the giving of the 10 Commandments: Exodus 18:1-20:23
The Second Pentecost -the birth of the Church and the gift of Holy Spirit Acts 2:2-16
The Prophetic Third Pentecost – “Today’s Great Awakening” and the gift of Reformation/Revival and the outpouring of Holy Spirit. Joel 2:17-32
THIS WEEK’S TORAH PORTION IN A NUTSHELL. EXODUS 18:1–20:23
Moses’ father-in-law, Jethro, hears of the great miracles which God performed for the people of Israel, and comes from Midian to the Israelite camp, bringing with him Moses’ wife and two sons. Jethro advises Moses to appoint a hierarchy of magistrates and judges to assist him in the task of governing and administering justice to the people.
The children of Israel camp opposite Mount Sinai, where they are told that God has chosen them to be His “kingdom of priests” and “holy nation.” The people respond by proclaiming, “All that God has spoken, we shall do.”
On the sixth day of the third month (Sivan), seven weeks after the Exodus, the entire nation of Israel assembles at the foot of Mount Sinai for the Giving of the Torah . God descends on the mountain amidst thunder, lightning, billows of smoke and the blast of the shofar, and summons Moses to ascend.
God proclaims the Ten Commandments, or the Ten Words commanding the people of Israel to believe in God, not to worship idols or take God’s name in vain, to keep the Shabbat, honor their parents, not to murder, not to commit adultery, not to steal, and not to bear false witness or covet another’s property. The people cry out to Moses that the revelation is too intense for them to bear, begging him to receive the Torah from God and convey it to them.
The First Pentecost
In the 19th Chapter of Exodus, we arrive at Mount Sinai; here I bring a little known fact that Pentecost in Old Testament when Moses receives the Ten Commandments is exactly the same day as Pentecost in the New Testament when the Holy Spirit fell on the disciples in the Upper Room.
The birth of Israel as a nation and the birth of the Church share the same date on the Hebrew calendar. Is this likely to be just a coincidence? Unlikely.
50 days after Passover, God used his servant Moses to bring the law or Torah down from Mount Sinai – The 10 Words.
On the first Pentecost, God writes his laws on two tablets of stone. He gives them to a nation; a nation he has called; a nation whom he has delivered out of Egyptian bondage. He comes down to his covenant people in power and great glory – with fire, thunder and lightning, billows of smoke and the sound of the shofar.
This is a covenant moment when God brings a proposal of marriage to Israel and takes her for His bride. The nation of Israel is challenged. The question is asked? Will you as a nation commit to YHVH, the God of Israel?
And what was their Response?
The people were in one accord.
They answered in unison and in one voice.
They said, “We will!”
On that day the Nation of Israel was born.
So it was, the Most High God established the Nation of Israel as his covenant people, manifesting the righteousness of YHVH/ God. They would become a “royal priesthood and a holy nation” 50 days after the Passover when the angel of death passed over Egypt and all Israel was saved by the blood of the Lamb on the doorposts.
The Second Pentecost
Both the giving of the Law on Mount Sinai and the giving of the Holy Spirit in Jerusalem centuries later overflowing into the gentile nations, came at Pentecost.
That epic day was also 50 days after Jesus’ crucifixion and would mark the time, I quote “when the day of Pentecost had fully come”. The birthday of the Nation of Israel and the birth of the church came on the same day on the Hebrew calendar. Israel becomes the Bride of God and the Church becomes the Bride of Christ – an unbreakable marriage covenant with God and man at Pentecost. When Jesus returns, He's only coming for one Bride – The Messianic Jew and the Church that is grafted into Israel is the one true Bride. It is not all Jews and it is not all churches.
Listen to this account from Acts 2 and see the similarities of the record of the sound of the wind, the fire. “When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues[a] as the Spirit enabled them.
5 Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. 6 When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. 7 Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? 8 Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language?...... 11 (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!” 12 Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?”
13 Some, however, made fun of them and said, “They have had too much wine.” (That’s a mocking spirit and is the Church and the world today).
14 Then Peter stood up with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. 15 These people are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning! 16 No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:
Peter begins to quote from the Book of Joel and you will again see the similarities of the words “Fire and billows of smoke” from the giving of the Commandments on Mount Sinai and the giving of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost in the Upper Room. I quote, Acts 2:17 - 21
17 “‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.
18 Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy.
19 I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billows of smoke.
20 The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord.
21 And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’[c]
For the 120 waiting on God in the upper room, the Holy Spirit came and filled them as a mighty rushing wind with tongues of fire. In that pivotal year of 32 A.D. the God of Israel sent forth the good news of salvation in the gospel from Jerusalem to the gentile nations. And so God established his church, as an international body, “The Body of Christ”.
At Pentecost The Holy Spirit came down in waves of glory. He rested upon the heads of His disciples who had waited for him in Jerusalem. But the Holy Spirit did not end his work in Jerusalem. The Spirit of the God of Israel would overflow beyond the holy city of Jerusalem in spectacular fashion. This was the promised “light to the gentiles” Isaiah had spoken about. Right there we saw the very beginning and the birthing of the church.
The congregation of Israel would spread out beyond Jerusalem and Judea to enter Samaria and then onwards towards the ends of the earth. God's covenant people were greatly blessed that year after they celebrated Passover, they saw the shedding of the blood of the promised sacrificial Passover lamb. YHVH (Behold the hands behold the nails), Jesus the manifestation of God, crucified for the sins of the world.
“The Word – (The Torah) became flesh, (The Lord Jesus Christ, Yeshua HaMashiach), and dwelt among us full of grace and truth. Jesus is the Torah He has not done away with it. He has fulfilled it. The Law of the Lord is perfect. It is written “Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path”. That "Word" is the Torah the lamp, and the “light” is the revelation of the Holy Spirit in the New Testament.
In the story of The 10 virgins and their lamps, only 5 have oil in their lamps – the revelation of Holy Spirit and the Bridegroom is coming for His bride. We may know our Bible but without Holy Spirit’s enlightenment, there is no revelation to understand it. There is no light in our lamps.
The Holy Spirit would overflow from the Nation of Israel to the ends of the earth. And he was sending them forth as his ambassadors. They would not be left desolate, struggling to fulfill God's law in their own power. He would provide them with power from above. They were anointed and commissioned to “Go” and He would come inside them to write his laws upon their hearts.
Many in Jerusalem, both Jew and Greek would come into covenant with God after this wonderful day. They would come to know and embrace the Savior of Israel as the Saviour of the world. And He would come to be known as Yeshua HaMashiach or Jesus the Messiah who brought His great salvation to all who would receive him.
The Third Prophetic Pentecost
I believe we are going to experience in this next generation a great move of God called “The Great Awakening” – The Third Prophetic Pentecost for us today. I believe it is coming so don’t be frightened when we see it happening in the earth in our lifetime. It’s coming.
As we enter 2022, the ministry of the Holy Spirit is now ramping up. He continues to save, to sanctify, to deliver and to heal. His magnificent Pentecostal power continues to work inside the hearts of men. He fills us by his spirit just as fast as we are prepared to surrender up our lives to Him. His wonderful and mysterious work goes on. We see him guiding, teaching, and inspiring His covenant people in ever more wonderful ways. He loves and cherishes His people, and He loves and cherishes us, too, and in the days to come he will lead us on to glory.
What can we say about the Holy Spirit in the last days? The prophet Joel spoke of a massive revival that would power up in the end time. He saw it climax in a blaze of glory on the very last days of this age. (Joel 2; 28- 32)
Joel saw the Holy Spirit outpouring as one would view it from a mountaintop experience. He saw the Pentecostal outpouring at its peak. He saw it in the context of the days of the breaking of the “6th seal in Revelation” of a darkened sun, a blood moon, and stars falling. I believe this new “Great Awakening” of the Holy Spirit which is about to break out will be accompanied by a rushing mighty wind, with thunder, and lightning, with fire and billows of smoke and with the voice of God in the sound of the shofar. Shabbat Shalom.
O God of burning cleansing flame Send the fire Your blood-bought gift today we claim Send the fire today Look down and see this waiting host And send the promised Holy Ghost We need another Pentecost Send the fire today
(i) Ray Stedman on Exodus
(ii) El Shaddai Ministries on Yitro
(iii) End Time Pilgrim/Pentecost
(v) Yitro in a Nutshell Chabad Ministries
(vi) Song Lyrics: Maranatha music “Send the Fire”