The Jerusalem Prayer List – Thursday, May 28, 2009

In just a few hours, right at sun-set the Feast of Shavuot, or Weeks, or Greek Pentecost, is going to enter. The Feast of Shavuot is one of the three pilgrimage feasts in the Torah. There are three pilgrimage feasts in the Torah, Passover, Shavuot, and Succoth which is Tabernacles. On these feasts Jews and non-Jews from all around the world would gather in Jerusalem to worship the Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The Feast of Shavuot was very special because it ended fifty days of harvest and gathering of God’s wealth in the provisions of the Land. One of the main aspects of this Feast of Shavuot was the bringing of the First Fruits to the Lord’s House in Jerusalem and presenting them to the Priests and Levites in a very colorful ceremony. The giving of the Torah on Mt. Sinai is also associated with this Feast and of course this is the reason why the Good Lord chose this very day to manifest His Holy Spirit on

the Apostles and on the people of Israel and the inhabitants of Jerusalem.

In our congregation tonight we have an all night study, food and worship, and if there is going to be time we will watch the Hollywood film “The Ten Commandments” with Charleston Heston as Moses. This is a very ancient custom of spending all night in the study of God’s Word and in eating milk products and reading the book of Ruth. Shavuot is also the Holiday of the Proselytes and God fearers. Although the Apostle Paul was very much against Judaizing the Gentiles and forcing them to circumcise and convert to Judaism, He was also very much for the Gentiles to accept and receive the God of Israel as their God and to abandon their idols and the demons that they worshipped. In other word Paul did not preach a “Lawless Gospel” and he did not allow the Gentiles to continue in their ways and worship their old gods that were idols, but he wanted to them to leave the idols behind and to turn to the God of Israel. Essentially what Paul wanted is for the Gentiles to be converted from idolatry to the faith in One God, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and His Son Yeshua the King of the Jews. The idea is that we are together but different, the Jew remains a Jew and the Gentile does not convert to Judaism but he does abandon the idols and turns to the God of Abraham, the God of Israel. This is really what it means to be grafted into the natural olive tree. (Romans chapter 11)

So, in a way every non-Jew who gave his life to God and to Yeshua the Messiah is a semi-proselyte. He left the idols of his fathers and turned to the God of Abraham, he left the many gods of Greece and Rome and associated with the God of Jerusalem and the Land of Israel. I realize that I am putting thing in a different light than many of my readers are used to, but if you think about it in biblical terms you will see that this is really what Paul was preaching. This is why Paul came back to Jerusalem with the seven non-Jewish young men and with the contribution that the churches in Asia Minor and Greece gave for the Saints in Jerusalem. Truly what Paul was doing was fulfilling the promises that God gave to Israel in the prophets that non-Jews will come and join Israel in the worship of God: “And many peoples will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, To the house of the God of Jacob; That He may teach us concerning His ways and that we may walk in His paths.” For the law will go forth from Zion and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.”(Isaiah 2:3) Shavuot is, I believe, the holiday of both Jews and non-Jews who are disciples of Yeshua and that is why it is on this very day that the Holy Spirit filled the Apostles of Yeshua who were gathered in Mt. Zion in an upper room. You might be interested to know that when the Pope was here ten days ago he asked the State of Israel to give the Catholic Church the place that is now being shown to tourists as the “upper room” on Mt. Zion. I don’t think that the State of Israel has yet given an answer to the Pope about this issue, but at any rate the so called “upper room” could not have been the upper room in which Yeshua and His disciples took the Passover. The building, the whole building, was built during the Crusader period and if one looks more carefully on the walls he will see the “fleur-de-lis” and also Crusader crests are painted on the wall near 1000 years ago and they are still there. But, what could we say, if the Pope wants the “upper room” may be the State of Israel will consider giving it to him. Politics is often an exercise in ignoring the facts.

We need your prayers for Yuda and Lydia as they are going to travel to Hong Kong to present the work of the Lord in Israel in a very big international conference called “A Call2All.” We have printed a nice big poster and we have shipped books and also copies of the “Teaching from Zion” magazine, and Yuda and Lydia will represent us there. If you are in Hong Kong and you are going to this “Call2All” conference please look up the Netivyah table and find Yuda and Lydia and bless them.

We have several people who are in need of prayer for healing and physical strength. In fact in the last few days I have also not felt good. I ask you to pray for me for healing and strength.

I ask you to pray for Tim Tucker in Finland, and for Paulo in Brazil, and for Liz and her sister, and Ruby, Lonnie and Barbara, in the United States.

In Jerusalem we have the older set, Ahuva, Liora, Lea, Zvi and Sara, Sarit, and also pray for Marcia my wife and Miriam, and David S who has been released from the hospital and is recovering well.

At Netivyah we need your prayers for our building in Jerusalem. We had to fix the floors a few weeks ago and it cost us very near 20,000 dollars. The building is old and it is sinking and now a balcony is in danger and will need repair and strengthening. This too will be a big expense and we need your help and your special prayers for the court in Israel to come to a good verdict and give us the building permit. If this happens we will do all the building and remodeling at once.

Blessings and happy Holidays,

Joseph Shulam

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