Welcome to Nazarene Israel. My name is Norman Willis.
Many people have been wrongly taught that once Pentecost (or Shavuot) is over there is really nothing to do on the Hebrew calendar for the next four months. All we need to do is sort of tune back out and then tune back in four months later with the Feasts of the seventh month. But this is a big mistake because as we will see the Feasts are symbolic of major time points on the Hebrew wedding model.
So, if we look at the Hebrew wedding model, we see there are the three main pilgrimage feasts:
The Pesach (Passover) is symbolic of what is called Shiddukhim, and this is the making of the match. We see an example of this in the first exodus where Yahweh chose His bride. And we see another example of this at the last supper where Yeshua chose His bride (meaning the faithful disciples, those who did everything He commanded them).
Then we come to Shavuot (Pentecost). This is symbolic of erusin (or the public engagement ceremony or a public betrothal ceremony that takes place with witnesses). Now it is important to note that the marriage becomes official at this point. Even though consummation does not occur at erusin, the marriage becomes official. It becomes lawfully binding, and one can be stoned to death at this point for disobedience. Very important that we note that even though the consummation has not yet occurred. We see examples of this at Pentecost at Mount Sinai when the Torah was handed down, the Torah being a written witness of the marriage ceremony. We also see this in Acts chapter 2 where the flames of fire appeared on the disciples’ heads. Again, the marriage becomes official at this point even though the consummation of the marriage will not occur until Sukkot (or Tabernacles).
Tabernacles is symbolic of nissuin. The term nissuin means carried aloft. That is when the bride will literally be carried from her Father’s house to her new house with her husband in his Father’s house. And that is when the wedding week occurs and the consummation. We see prophetic shadow pictures of this in the thousand years of Zechariah chapter 14. And also, in the book of Revelation when Yahweh “tabernacles with us” in the new earth.
So, this gives us a big question: what are we supposed to be doing in the meantime? If we are not just taking a break for four months what actually should we be doing in between the engagement at Shavuot and Sukkot? Join us now for this presentation.
We know that the consummation does not take place after erusin because the bride and the groom are normally kept apart in the ancient Hebrew wedding model. But if they are kept apart how do they get to know one another? How does the bride learn what her husband likes? Well, this is normally the role of the groom’s best friend, which in Yeshua’s case is, the Spirit. The Spirit (or the best friend) will communicate between the groom and the bride and this is why Yeshua tells us in Johanan (John) chapter 16:13.
Johanan (John) 16:13:
“However, when she, the Spirit of truth [and in Hebrew and Aramaic the Spirit is a feminine] has come, She will guide you into all truth [she is going to reveal things to us]; for she will not speak on Her own authority, but whatever She hears that is what She will speak; and She will tell you of things to come.”
It is very interesting; in the Hebrew wedding model, a bride has to leave behind her old house and her old family traditions. She has to let go of her old ways and learn the groom’s (her husband’s) new ways. So, in effect, the bride must be renewed. And this is just the same as how Avraham had to leave his home and his Father’s house and go to a new land which Yahweh would show him, symbolic of the bride then going to her new home.
So, if you will pardon the expression, the bride has to undergo perhaps a “Great Reset” and we know that the day of the new moon is a day of renewal on the Hebrew calendar. The moon is renewed, the moon is refreshed, the moon is made new. And there are four months in between Shavuot and the Feast of Sukkot on the Hebrew calendar.
So, after we are publicly engaged to be married at Shavuot (after erusin), now is the time, now we need to be getting renewed. We need to begin putting our relationship in order. We do this by listening to the communications of Yeshua’s Spirit and again there are four months, four being the number of completion. So, we need to be completely renewed, there should be nothing of the old man that should be left, and this is a process.
Well, our conscience is one manifestation of the Spirit and if our conscience speaks something to us, we need to obey the voice of our conscience. We need to be honest and truthful with our conscience and also with the other manifestations of the Spirit. If you do not hear the voice of the Spirit, I would encourage you to do as Yeshua says in the beatitudes: to ask, and seek, and knock. Because if we are faithful to ask, and seek, and knock He will give us this good gift.
So, we do not always recognize it when we have it. Many people have received the gift of the Spirit, but they have quenched it, or some people quench it before they even receive it. We have to be submitted, we have to be open, we have to be literally willing to give up everything that matters to us, everything that belongs to us, everything that pertains to us. Because we no longer want our old things. We put those old things behind us now, we move forward into His new things and come forward into our new life.
We have to be truthful and honest about this and not lie to ourselves as we see done so many times in the Messianic movement, in the Christian world. in Galatians 6:7 we are told:
Galatim (Galatians) 6:7:
“Do not be deceived, for Elohim is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that He will also reap.”
So, if we sin willingly after we have come to the knowledge of the truth, we are going to reap the consequences for sin. We are going to reap death or the punishment, the consequences of sin. We saw this in Acts chapter 5. This is when the disciples were selling their excess possessions to fund the work. When the people had pieces of land and things that they did not need they sold them to fund the work. Because this is Yeshua’s will for us. However, there was a certain man named Ananias with Sapphira his wife. They sold a possession but rather than being honest with the Spirit, Ananias kept back part of the proceeds and his wife was also aware of it. They only brought a certain part of it to lay at the apostles’ feet.
Ma’asei (Acts) 5:1-2:
“But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession.
And He kept back part of the proceeds, his wife also being aware of it, and brought a certain part and laid it at the apostles’ feet.”
Ma’asei (Acts) 5:3-4:
“But Kepha said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Set-apart Spirit and to keep back part of the price of the land for yourself?
…Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? For you have not lied to men but to Elohim.”
And we know from the story of Ananias and Sapphira that because they lied to the Spirit, they fell dead.
We see this pattern happening not just in the renewed covenant. This is a similar kind of a thing in the Tanakh, the old (or the original) covenant. Here Yahweh told Shemuel (or Samuel) to tell King Shaul to destroy the Amalekites completely. They were to put everything under the ban. However, King Shaul did not want to do that, okay. He is holding out, there is part of him, there is part of his things, there is part of his life he does not want to submit to Yahweh.
Now one of the things we need to know about King Shaul is he was a good king in the main things. By and large he did a good job as a king. I do not know, you could say 95 percent, 96, or 97, mostly he did well. But there were a few things he was not willing to submit to Yahweh and these were his downfall. Tehillim (or Psalms) chapter 51:17 tells us:
Tehillim (Psalms) 51:17:
“The sacrifices of Elohim the true sacrifices are a broken Spirit, and a broken and contrite heart. These, O Elohim, you will not despise.”
And the reason He will not despise them is that these are the things that will be obedient to Him, we will not just hear but will hear and obey, we will shema.
Shemuel Aleph (1 Samuel) 15:13:
“Then Shemuel went to King Shaul, and Shaul said to him, “blessed are you of Yahweh! I performed the commandment of Yahweh. [I have done everything, I did the job, I did what you told me to do].”
“But Shemuel said [no you did not!] “What then is this bleating of sheep in my ears, and the lowing of oxen which I hear?”
“And King Shaul said, “[Well], we have brought them from the Amalekites; for the people spared the best of the sheep and the oxen, to sacrifice to Yahweh your Elohim; but, but the rest we have utterly destroyed.”
Okay, so why did they hold back the best of the best? Well, if you sacrifice the things that pertain to the Amalekites, now you do not need to sacrifice any of your own things. Perhaps, that could be one reason, or it could just have been simple disobedience.
So, King Shaul did not hear the Spirit. However, even when Yahweh sent a prophet who did hear the Spirit, to relate the words of the Spirit to him, he did not want to hear and obey. He heard, he obeyed partially, 95 percent, who knows… but not completely. That is a failure in Yahweh’s eyes. Yahweh does not want a bride with a spot and a blemish, He wants a bride without spot or blemish with a broken and contrite heart who submits everything to Yahweh.
Well, the death penalty for adultery begins at erusin (or Shavuot), so this is the time we need to be giving up our own willfulness. We need to say “okay, not my will but Thine be done oh Yahweh.” We need to be not willful anymore, we also should not be committing adultery with any other spirits. We need to be giving up the lusts of our eyes, the lusts of our flesh, and our pride. We have to get cleaned up. This is the big thing we are supposed to be doing in between Shavuot and Sukkot. And the way we do that is we have to submit to Yeshua’s Spirit, we have to make sure we do not quench the Spirit. It is essential first we receive the Spirit, we submit to it, and then we do not quench it.
Now we all know that we are going to stumble and fall at some point, none of us are going to walk perfectly, but the point is we have to have that 100% commitment. Unless we make that absolute commitment Yahweh is not pleased, why would He be pleased with less than 100%?
Can you imagine going to the wedding ceremony and saying to Yeshua: “Dear Husband, I promise to be faithful and true to you oh, say, 98 percent of the time.” How is that going to work? What is Yeshua going to say to that? He is not going to like that; He will not accept that. And Yahweh knows if that is the way we live our lives we need to beware, we cannot lie to the Spirit. It is not possible.
Well, one of the problems I believe is that we have the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and pride. Many people believe that pride is the root of these issues. Pride is the root of the other two problems. And one of the things that people forget all the time is, we tend to think that Yahweh chose us because “we are so very great! Yay, we are fantastic!” But it is not that way. So, Yahweh is very clear, He marries us because we are the “least of the peoples”. And what this shows is that it is His power and His ability and His strength in cleaning up the least of the peoples, (meaning us). So, it shows how it is by His glory that He has chosen us as the least and then helps us to become better. And this is where a lot of people get confused. “They say “well, I am saved so I am good to go, right?” And they forget that salvation only takes a second but what is so critical is that process of sanctification. And that is a cleaning up and a growing process that lasts our whole life.
Now what we do at Pesach (Passover) is to get rid of leaven. Leaven is symbolic of sin; leaven is symbolic of anything that goes contrary to clean doctrine. It also is symbolic of anything that goes contrary to our Father Yahweh’s laws. That is Pesach.
What we do at Shavuot is we begin to learn what our husband Yeshua likes. And the way we do that is to invite in His best friend and commune with His best friend. So, abide in the vine, us in Him and Him and us, and Him in the Father and the Father in Him. And this restores that broken and lost connection that was broken and lost in the Garden of Eden. We communicate and commune with the Spirit. That is how we can learn to become like Him. And that is why we ask for the infilling of the Spirit at Shavuot and then take extra special care not to quench it from that point forward.
Well, part of this whole process is that we have to be willing to confess and forsake our old sinful ways just as Avraham had to leave His home in His Father’s house, just like a bride she has to leave her old house and get ready to learn the new ways. We have to give up our old sins, we have to die to the old man of flesh as Proverbs 28:13 says.
Mishle (Proverbs) 28:13:
“He who covers his sins or attempts to cover his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.”
Because you cannot lie to the Spirit. “Where can I run from your Spirit? There is nowhere”. We go down into the depths; we go into the heights… there is nowhere we can go! That is why it says, “but whoever confesses and forsakes his sins”, on that one Yahweh will have mercy. It says the same thing also in the renewed covenant.
Yochanan Aleph (1 John) 1:9:
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Again, it is this cleansing process that speaks of sanctification. It is not enough just to be saved; we also have to be sanctified. We have to be set-apart, we have to be cleansed. It is a very important thing.
Revelation gives us a picture of what kind of bride we can be. Either we can be:
• The bride who both has and maintains the testimony of Yeshua and keeps all of Yeshua’s commandments. (Because that is who Yeshua chose as the bride at the last supper was the disciples).
• Or we can be the harlot who is pretty much everyone else who falls away.
And this is a conscious decision. It does not happen by accident. We are not going to get saved and then all of a sudden everything is perfect. You cannot keep Torah on accident, you cannot obey Yeshua on accident. It is a long and difficult process, and it takes discipline. But that is what it is to be a disciple, to take discipline in Yeshua. And to submit ourselves to Yeshua’s Spirit when we have that nagging of the conscience when we hear something in our ear, or something is telling us. We get that queasy feeling in our stomach; something is telling us something is just not right. Or Yahweh is sending signs. We need to listen! It is time to listen and to hear and obey.
Well, there is also a role for the brotherhood in all this, this is part of the reason that we are supposed to have proper fellowship. A fellowship is not just people you hang out with and watch the ball game. Fellowship is not just people you enjoy chatting with. Fellowship (or rather a relational fellowship) are people that help keep us accountable. True fellowship is people who help us stay accountable to the Spirit knowing that one day we are all going to stand before that throne. And what a fearful awesome day that is going to be to stand before the great white throne in judgment. He is going to take a look to see: Are we being pure? Are we doing all that His son died for? Or are we only doing part of what His son died for? Maybe 95, 98, or 99.9 percent of what His son died for? But the point is, is it pure, or is it not yet pure? Are we continuing His commandments all the way to the end? Or are we stopping short perhaps? Well, it is something to consider. Our eternal salvation depends on it.
Michle (Proverbs) 27:5:
“Open rebuke is better than love carefully concealed.”
This is something we need to take to heart. You know, the Proverbs tell us that a wise man will thank you if you rebuke him correctly, but a fool just gets enraged. There are not so many wise out there, but we need to be wise. We need to be thankful when people bring questions and matters to us in love and ask us “what are you doing here?” “What is really going on here?” “Is this matching up with Scripture?” We need to thank those people and not be angry with them and not be bitter at them. And not yell at them and not try to cover things up and say “oh, no, no” I would have to give up the lust of my eyes or the lust of my flesh or the things that my pride wants. We need to be thankful for the people who bring those things to our attention.
And now, there are different kinds of feeling sorry. So, only one is true repentance.
• There is a sorry that we got caught that we are not doing the right thing and so we feel sorry we were caught. That is not really the true repentance we are talking about.
• There is also a sorry that our plans did not work out for us because we did not get what we wanted. That is also not true, genuine, heartfelt repentance (or what is called teshuva).
• Then there is a true, genuine, heartfelt repentance- that is called teshuva. And that is when we basically loathe the things that we have done we have this revulsion, this disgust, for the way we have been.
Because why? Because of love for our husband Yeshua. So, we say, “Did I really live that way? How could I have lived that way? How could I do such a thing?” And we feel revulsion. We beg Him to help us change and be true to Him and be true to His Spirit. And be true to His voice and not quench the Spirit. And listen to the voice of conscience, listen to the still small voice, listen when something gives us a queasy feeling in our stomach. That is how we can change.
Also, with the prodigal son in Luke 15:18. The prodigal son said, “that is what I am going to do”.
Luqa (Luke) 15:18-19:
“I will arise [I am going to get up] and go to my father, and l will say to Him: ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you,
and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.”
And this is the true teshuva. That we are talking about, this is the broken and contrite heart that Yahweh wants to see. So, if someone is bringing a rebuke to us, which is part of relational fellowship because we are all trying to help each other and spur each other on toward that day, we need to be thankful for those people. That is one of the reasons why fellowship is so important.
Well, fellowship with the Spirit is even more important. So, we talked about fellowship with people who have the Spirit. But there must also be fellowship directly with the Spirit… the direct relationship with the Spirit. Abiding in the vine, where we abide in Him and He and us, and Him in the Father and the Father in Him, it is so important! It is spoken of in Proverbs 23:26.
Michle (Proverbs) 23:26:
“My son, give me your heart, and let your eyes observe my ways.”
And what this means is that if we will truly give Him our heart then He is going to help us, or she (the Spirit) is going to help us. She will direct our steps; we will go now the way we are supposed to go. So, then we just watch. Because we are going to end up doing things that we never thought that we would do. We are going to be finding ourselves confessing our sin and doing true teshuva with a broken and contrite heart. And that is what He wants to see. That is when He forgives us is when He sees we have got a truly broken and contrite heart that wants to take His ways and that wants to listen to His Spirit.
2 Shemuel 12:13-14:
“So, David said to Nathan, I have sinned against Yahweh.” And Nathan said to David, “Yahweh also has put away your sin; you shall not die.
However, because by this deed you have given great occasion to the enemies of Yahweh to blaspheme, the child also who is born to you shall surely die.”
[Notice what Nathan the prophet says]
Nathan the prophet said to David, because of this, because you are confessing your sin… (even though it had to be pointed out to his face that he was sinning, Nathan has to come to David and show him that he is sinning) … because you have recognized your sin, because you are confessing your sin with your mouth, Yahweh also has put away your sin. You shall not die. But there is still a cost to sin.
So, what we need to do is we need to be broken and humble before Him. We need to stay with Him, we need to fall on the stone and be utterly broken. And if we find there is something we do not want to give up, then we need to really listen in the Spirit. We need to go through four periods of renewal in between Shavuot and Sukkot (in between Pentecost and Tabernacles). And we need to be leaving our old ways behind. Anything that is of ourselves, the lust of our eyes, lust of our flesh, or pride. Things that we feel we are owed or control that we want to have over other people, money and greed, these kinds of things. We need to be leaving that behind.
We need to be asking always, we need to be asking His Spirit. Asking for “Father Yahweh! Please take away anything in me that is not pleasing to you! And please replace it with that which is pleasing to you!”
We would be communicating with our future groom through His best friend, the Spirit. And these are the kinds of things that we need to be doing in the four months in between Shavuot and Sukkot (in between Pentecost and Tabernacles). We need to be asking, seeking, and knocking, and receiving the gift of the Spirit and not quenching the gift of the Spirit. We need to be listening to Yeshua’s Spirit to tell us.
So, we have already got rid of our sin at Passover. We got rid of the leaven (or at least hypothetically). So, now we are listening to Yeshua’s Spirit to teach us His ways, to lead us into all truth, helping us to become more like Him. So, that when we come to Sukkot and the wedding week and the consummation takes place, He will be pleased with us. Because we will already have refined ourselves like the fourth kind of soil. That is what we need to be doing in between Shavuot and Sukkot.
Thank you for joining us for this presentation on what we should be doing After the Engagement at Sukkot