April 20, 2017 superadmin

PRAYER ALERT: CELEBRATING THE RESURRECTION FOR FIFTY DAYS!

May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us, Selah that your way may be known on earth, your saving power among all nations.” (Ps 67:1-2)

What a joy it is to celebrate the Feasts of the LORD, especially on location in Jerusalem where it all happened and will happen! This year’s Passover celebration has been no different.

For seven days we have eaten unleavened bread, reminding us of what Messiah did for us when he “abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel”. (2 Ti 1:10) 

The matzo, the unleavened bread, is pierced just as Isaiah prophesied about the Messiah, “he was pierced for our transgressions” (Isa 53:5a) It is also striped. Isaiah also prophesied, “by His stripes we are healed.” (Isa 53:5b NKJV) Thirdly the matzo is unleavened bread – bread without yeast, which is a symbol of sin and our carnal nature, which make us puffed up. It is flat! “He had done no violence, nor was any deceit in His mouth.” (Isa 53:9) Finally, the matzo is called, “the bread of affliction”. It is burnt in the oven. Messiah went through the furnace of affliction for us. “Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted.” (Isa 53:4)

It was this unleavened bread that Yeshua broke and said, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” (Lk 22:19) And this is the bread that is eaten all week in Israel during the Feast of Unleavened Bread. It is like a blessed “communion service,” lasting seven days!

 

Counting the Omer – A Transformation From Weakness to Power

“You shall count seven full weeks from the day after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering. You shall count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath. Then you shall present a grain offering of new grain to the Lord.” (Le 23:15-16)

The counting of the 50 days between Passover and Pentecost begins on the day after the first festival Sabbath during the Feast of Unleavened Bread. It was on this day that Messiah rose as the Firstfruits from the dead, represented by the sheaf of the firstfruits of the harvest called the Omer.

“Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, When you come into the land that I give you and reap its harvest, you shall bring the sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the priest, and he shall wave the sheaf before the LORD, so that you may be accepted. On the day after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it.” (Le 23:10-11)

It says, You shall count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath. Then you shall present a grain offering of new grain to the LORD.” (v. 16) The Omer represents the resurrection of Messiah. As soon as possible after the sunset every evening during the counting of the Omer, the Jewish people count the days before the LORD, saying,

“I am prepared and ready to fulfill the positive commandment of Counting the Omer, as it is written in the Torah, “You shall count seven full weeks from the day after the [Pesach] Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering. You shall count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath. Then you shall present a grain offering of new grain to the Lord.” (Le 23:15-16) “Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands upon us; yes, establish the work of our hands!” (Ps 90:17)

“Blessed are You LORD our God, King of the Universe, who has made us holy through his commandments and has commanded us about counting the Omer. Today is the first day of the Omer.” (Or “Today is the second day of the Omer,” or “the eighth day, making one week and one day of the Omer,” etc.)

After this confession Psalm 67 is recited,

“To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments. A Psalm. A Song.
May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us, Selah that your way may be known on earth, your saving power among all nations.
Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you!
Let the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you judge the peoples with equity and guide the nations upon earth. Selah
Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you!
The earth has yielded its increase; God, our God, shall bless us. God shall bless us; let all the ends of the earth fear him!”

Add the following Messianic prayer,

“We thank you LORD our God for Yeshua the Messiah our Master, who through the Spirit of holiness was appointed the Son of God in power by his resurrection from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. Just as Messiah was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, may we too walk in newness of life through him.”

Counting the Omer during the fifty days correspond to our walk with the Master, when we grow in fellowship with Him until full maturity with the pouring out of the Spirit on the Day of Pentecost. Luke wrote,

“In the first book, O Theophilus, I have dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach, until the day when he was taken up, after he had given commands through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. He presented himself alive to them after his suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God. And while staying with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, ‘you heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.’ …When the day of Pentecost [the fiftieth day] arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind…” (Ac 1:1-5; 2:1-2)

During these fifty days between the resurrection of Messiah and the Day of Pentecost, the disciples matured in their walk with the risen Savior. On “Omer one,” when the resurrection took place they were completely broken, full of fear and unbelief, locked in behind closed doors. A few days earlier they had argued between themselves which one of them was the greatest, only to break their word just a few hours later by abandoning their Master. It was a devastating failure for all of them. The leader among them had publicly denied him three times.

But little by little they were transformed during the fifty days of the Omer to become a united, fearless company, bold as lions ready to appear before all of Israel and give their lives to take the Gospel to the ends of the earth. Yeshua told Peter the evening that he denied him, “Where I am going you cannot follow me now, but you will follow afterward.” (Jn 13:36) In the end Peter did give his life for his Master.

Pentecost, or Shavuot in Hebrew, is the culmination and glorious ending of Passover. You shall count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath. Then you shall present a grain offering of new grain to the LORD.” (Lev 23:16) We encourage everyone to count the Omer this year, believing in a daily transformation, culminating in a spiritual breakthrough on the Day of Pentecost! It is written about the heroes of faith that they “were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight.” (Heb 11:34)

 

Becoming A Light To the Nations

It is not difficult to see the fulfillment of Psalm 67 in what happened in Jerusalem on the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2. From this outpouring of the Holy Spirit, God’s way and his salvation became known in the earth among all nations through the preaching of the Gospel.

God has called Israel to be a light to the nations. According to Jewish tradition,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               God revealed Psalm 67 first to Moses and then to David written on a plate of pure gold in the form of the seven branched menorah in the Temple. The seven verses were written on the seven branches, one verse on each branch.

Psalm 67 also contains 49 words in the Hebrew text, one word for each of the days in the Counting of the Omer up to the fiftieth day, the Day of Pentecost or Shavuot. The introduction also expresses the extra magnitude of praise in this psalm as it contains no less than four different musical commands, “To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments. A Psalm. A Song.”

The lampstand is a picture of the Holy Spirit’s power and presence in our lives. When Zechariah saw the golden lampstand with seven lamps, it says, “Then the angel who talked with me answered and said to me, ‘Do you not know what these are?’ I said, ‘No, my lord.’ Then he said to me, ‘This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the LORD of hosts.’” (Zec 4:5-6)

The seven lamps on the menorah, with its three pairs of branches, can be seen in Isaiah, where it is written about Messiah, “There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit. And the Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD.” (Isa 11:1-2)

The fullness of the Spirit upon Messiah is like the seven lamps of the menorah. “the Spirit of the LORD” is the lamp on the middle stem. “The Spirit of wisdom and understanding” are the two lamps on top of the first pair of branches, “the Spirit of counsel and might” the two lamps on the second pair, and “the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD” the two lamps on top of the third pair of branches.

Many Jews also pray Psalm 67 at the end of every Sabbath, which is the time of the resurrection.  The menorah in the Temple represents the resurrection power of the Holy Spirit. It is the resurrection life described in Romans chapter eight. “If the Spirit of him who raised Yeshua from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Messiah Yeshua from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.” (Ro 8:11)

The number three is repeated four times in the description of the Menorah in Exodus 37:17-19. Three is the number of resurrection. It is also stated that the cups were to be made like almond blossoms. “…three cups made like almond blossoms, each with calyx and flower.” The almond blossoms are also symbolizing resurrection life. Aaron’s staff budded before the LORD with blossoms and ripe almonds. (Nu 17:8) None of the other staffs showed any sign of life.

We need to pray for more of the Spirit’s revelation and resurrection power in our lives during Counting of the Omer, just as Paul prayed!

“I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Messiah when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.” (Eph 1:16-21)

We encourage you to take time every day during the remaining fifty days to count the Omer this year. This is how you can practice it.

  • Gather with your family (or alone) to recite the traditional blessing every evening counting the Omer! (See above!)
  • Thank God for the firstfruits, the Omer, the resurrection of Messiah from the dead and that all who trust in Him share that resurrection with Him!

“Messiah has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.” (1 Co 15:20)

“We know that Messiah, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Messiah Yeshua.” (Ro 6:9-11)

  • Take extra time to fellowship with Messiah during these fifty days to hear from him!

“He presented himself alive to them after his suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God.” (Ac 1:3)

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne.” (Rev 3:20-21)

  • Pray that God will bless you and make his face shine upon you so that God’s way will be known in the earth beginning in Jerusalem!

“May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us, Selah that your way may be known on earth, your saving power among all nations.” (Ps 67:1-2)

“For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.” (Isa 2:3)

  • Cry out to God for a mighty spiritual breakthrough in your life and in the community of Messiah worldwide, specifically in Jerusalem!

“And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.” (Lk 24:49)

“All these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer.” (Ac 1:14)

  • Pray for the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Messiah!

“I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Messiah when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.” (Eph 1:16-21)

  • Thank God in advance by faith for a powerful spiritual transformation and breakthrough to become a light unto the nations!

“The earth has yielded its increase; God, our God, shall bless us. God shall bless us; let all the ends of the earth fear him!” (Ps 67:6-7)

“If the Spirit of him who raised Yeshua from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Messiah Yeshua from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you. So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.” (Ro 8:11-13)

God bless you as watchmen on the walls of Jerusalem!

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