Thursday, June 2, 2022

Continuation of Omer's 40th Day

 They all looked at one another, expecting someone to ask the inevitable question, “Where are you going and when will you return?” 

 Yet no one spoke. But the silence which surrounded them did not still their minds. They remained preoccupied with thoughts on the previous days’ teachings about the Kingdom of Elohim.  Their expectations were aroused once again by Yeshua’s words about the coming Kingdom. Was He now going to lead them into Jerusalem in a triumphant march of victory, and set up His Kingdom over Israel?   They had such hopes before His death! And oh how terribly disappointed and devastated they were when He hung on the execution tree!  But now, after His reappearance, their hopes had been rekindled with the passion to see the Kingdom restored to Israel.  

 The impetuous students could no longer resist, and turning to Yeshua asked Him point blank: “Is it at this time that You are going to restore the Kingdom to Israel?”  All eyes remained fixed upon His gentle face, as He answered them candidly in a matter of fact tone: “It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority; but you will receive power when the Holy Sprit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth” (Acts 1: 7-8).  Before those standing around could gather their thoughts, a mist began to appear over and around the Messiah. To their amazement He began to rise along with the cloud and soon evaporated out of sight.

 Standing there on top of that mountain gazing in wonderment at the blue sky, nothing seemed to be real to the bewildered band. No more questions and no more answers. A feeling of disbelief descended upon them. But the dramatic scene was not over yet. Two men dressed in white appeared from nowhere and stood in front of them. Where had they come from? No one knew. These mysterious characters, however, seemed to recognize them and even knew where they were from. “Men of Galilee! “, they announced, “Why do you stand looking into the sky?  Yeshua who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven” (Acts 1: 11).

 Total silence enveloped them as they trekked back down the mountain. Crossing the bridge in front of the Temple they hurriedly made their way back to the upper room, where they had been staying while they counted the Omer with their Master. Now the Messiah was no longer with them. All that lingered were His departing words, calling for them to remain in Jerusalem.  Fishing in the Sea of Galilee seemed now like a faraway dream, yet the Teacher’s words to them, of becoming fishers of men still held them captive. Together with one mind and in prayer they finished the Counting of the 49 Days. 

When the Feast Day arrived, they were still together in that same room. Suddenly a sound of a violent rushing wind cut through the place, and then appeared what looked like "tongues of fire". Right then they were filled with that which was promised by the Father.  Stunned by the overwhelming presence of the Spirit, they reeled back and forth like drunkards and spoke in strange languages. Although eying each other, as if they were strangers, they now felt that they had knowledge of, and an intimacy with their Elohim and Messiah which they had never thought possible.  Bathing in the Father’s love, they went into the streets and with little effort spoke in the languages of those present, convicting them of sin, righteousness and judgment.  They expounded the truth of Torah in a new and living way, healing the sick, lame and blind, casting out demons as if the authority of heaven was in their very mouths.  There was no doubt in anyone’s mind that this was Yeshua’s answer to their question about the Kingdom being restored to Israel. They were now the witnesses to that Kingdom, which came into them via the Spirit of Holiness.  Later, one of the apostles would put this experience, of the indwelling Spirit, into perspective by saying that the “Kingdom of Elohim is righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Romans 14:17). 

 As we approach the 49th day of the counting of the Omer, let us continue to pray with one heart as our Messiah has taught us: “Our Father, Who art in Heaven, Holy be your Name, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven…”

His Kingdom has come into our hearts by the Holy Spirit’s presence, but now are we prepared to do His will?

 Hag Sa’me’ach, 

 Ephraim, Rimona, and family


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