The Scriptural Version Unfolds
You can never truly know the Scriptures unless you are willing to be changed by them. The true perspective of what really happened on that very special Shavuot (the Feast of Weeks/Pentecost) in Jerusalem is one of these lessons that empowers us in the things of Yeshua to advance the Kingdom of Elohim. The picture of Shavuot (day of Pentecost) in most Believers minds, is that Yeshua’s Talmidim were hiding out in an upper room in Jerusalem on the day of Shavuot (Pentecost), tradition has them as persecuted and beaten down, “holed up” and regrouping after Yeshua ascended to His Father. If you’ve followed the tour guides to the location where the traditional Church teaches it to be, you will find a dingy looking place, small windows with a dusty musty smell, pillars throughout the center of the room and high ceilings. The perception of most Believers has the Apostles hiding out from “the Jews” who were trying to exterminate them. This is what false religion would have you believe, it is consistent with the renegade nature of carnal man who lacks understanding of the One True Faith. The carnal man does his deeds in the darkness, away from the public eye. So it is that renegade and pagan Christianity has exposed itself as fraudulent, by revealing it’s own heart and values and teaching a misappropriated religion that finds itself in antipathy with the True Authority of Mashiyach.
We know that FORTY (40) DAYS transpired from the time of Yeshua’s resurrection after Pesach (Passover) to the time He ascended to His Father. This forty days is a very notable period of time in the Kingdom of Elohim, there were 40 days of rain causing the flood, Moshe was up on Mt. Sinai 40 days, for 40 days they spied out the land, Eliyahu fasted for 40 days as he journeyed to Mt. Horev, Yeshua fasted 40 days and 40 nights. And Scripture definitively states that Yeshua tarried 40 days before he ascended to His Father.
Acts 1 ….3 After His death he showed Himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that He was alive. During a period of forty days they saw Him, and He spoke with them about the Malchut Elohim (Kingdom of Elohim).
Before Yeshua’s departure He made a promise to His Shlichim (Sent Ones/Apostles) and Talmidim (Disciples).
49 And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.
50 And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them.
51 And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven.
52 And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy:
53 And were continually in the Temple, praising and blessing Elohim. Amen.
The Disciples return to Jerusalem with “great joy” at a time when everyone in Jerusalem was counting the Omer and preparing for the Feast of Shavuot. Based on the Scripture we know three important facts.
- It was ten days before Shavuot when Yeshua commanded His Disciples “tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem”
- They returned to Jerusalem with great joy
- They were continually in the Temple, praising and blessing Elohim
From these verses and many others we know that Yeshua’s Talmidim were in the Temple on Shavuot, NOT in an upper room out of sight from the rest of the people, there is much more to be said about this.
4 And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which he said, ye have heard of me.
Wait for the promise of the Father, which He said, “ye have heard of me”, we know of hundreds of prophecies of Mashiyach Ben Yoseph foretold of Yeshua, but Peter is very bold and he specifically refers to what was happening on Shavuot with a prophecy from Yoel. Acts 2:16-21
5 For John truly baptized with water; but you shall be baptized with the Ruach HaKodesh (Set Apart Spirit) not many days hence.
The Torah was given by YHWH on Mt. Sinai to Moshe, the Ruach HaKodesh was given by YHWH in Jerusalem on the same Feast Day. As the Torah was given for all of Israel, including the mixed multitude that came out of Egypt so is the Ruach HaKodesh given to all souls by covenant from Jerusalem. On the Day of Shavuot, the Shlichim (Sent Ones) were in the Temple in Jerusalem, in full view of all those who came up to celebrate the Feast.
Acts 2:1 The Festival of Shavuot arrived, and the Believers all gathered together in one place.
2:2 Suddenly there came a sound from above like the roar of a violent wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.
During the time of Yeshua, the Temple was referred to as “the House”, this passage is most certainly not making reference to a private residence because Yeshua’s Talmidim were Torah Observant Jews who were “continually in the Temple, praising and blessing Elohim” the question is, how long is continually? The answer is continually lasted until the Temple was destroyed some 34 years later. It was ONLY TEN DAYS after Yeshua ascended that the Ruach HaKodesh was poured out on His Disciples, they were gathered in THE TEMPLE. The Talmidim knew they were about to be “equipped with power” and they knew that Shavuot was an an extremely important DAY of when the Torah was first given by YHWH to the Children of Israel.
In full view of all those at the Temple celebrating Shavuot the Talmidim received the Ruach HaKodesh, immediately Peter is up on his feet and preaching to those gathered in the Temple.
On hearing the words of Kefa (Peter) the hearts of many were pierced and they cried out, “BROTHERS, WHAT SHALL WE DO!” and according to Acts 2:41 “3,000 people were added to the Kingdom of Elohim that day.”
46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the Temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,47 Praising Elohim, and having favour with all the people. And the Master added to the Kehillath daily such as should be saved.
The Talmidim obeyed the words of Yeshua by the leading of the Ruach HaKodesh, they continued to go to the Temple daily from this time on as we read in the next chapter.
1 Now Peter and John went up together into the Temple at the hour of minchah prayer, being the ninth hour. 2 And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the Temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the Temple;
3 Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the Temple asked for alms.
4 And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us.
5 And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them.
6 Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Yeshua Mashiyach of Nazareth rise up and walk.
7 And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength.
8 And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the Temple, walking, and leaping, and praising Elohim.
9 And all the people saw him walking and praising Elohim:
10 And they knew that it was he which sat for alms at the Beautiful gate of the temple: and they were filled with wonder and amazement at that which had happened unto him.
11 And as the lame man which was healed held Peter and John, all the people ran together unto them in the porch that is called Solomon’s, greatly wondering.
In Acts 4 we see the Temple Police are the ones who arrested Kefa (Peter) because many souls were entering into the Kingdom of Elohim through his testimony and preaching about Yeshua. In Chapter 5 we see that the pattern of going to the Temple just continued.
12 And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people; and they were all with one accord in Solomon’s porch.
13 And of the rest durst no man join himself to them: but the people magnified them.
14 And believers were the more added to the Master, multitudes both of men and women.
15 Insomuch that they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that at the least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them.
16 There came also a multitude out of the cities round about unto Jerusalem, bringing sick folks, and them which were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed every one.
17 Then the high priest rose up, and all they that were with him, which is the sect of the Sadducees, and were filled with indignation,
18 And laid their hands on the apostles, and put them in the common prison.
19 But the angel of YHWH by night opened the prison doors, and brought them forth, and said,
20 Go, stand and speak in the Temple to the people all the words of this life.
21 And when they heard that, they entered into the Temple early in the morning, and taught. But the high priest came, and they that were with him, and called the council together, and all the senate of the children of Israel, and sent to the prison to have them brought.
22 But when the officers came, and found them not in the prison, they returned, and told,
23 Saying, The prison truly found we shut with all safety, and the keepers standing without before the doors: but when we had opened, we found no man within.
24 Now when the high priest and the captain of the temple and the chief priests heard these things, they doubted of them whereunto this would grow.
25 Then came one and told them, saying, Behold, the men whom ye put in prison are standing in the temple, and teaching the people.
So let’s say you’re a Christian or a Messianic Believer visiting Jerusalem and you’re going up to the Kotel (Western Wall of the Temple) to pray. Think about what this means in terms of that great day when the Ruach HaKodesh was poured upon the followers of Yeshua, and those early days that followed. It’s not just a place where the Jews go to pray, it’s a place were all the Mishpocha (family of YHWH) come together at His House of Prayer and to proclaim Mashiyach and the things of the Ruach HaKodesh.
Shavuot should have a very special place in our hearts as we remember our brothers and sisters going to the Temple, and what happened at this very wonderful time. Yeshua’s disciples were a bold witness to the things of the Kingdom, and this should also guide us, we must understand that the Disciples of Yeshua never hid themselves from their brothers, but rather they brought forth the things of Yeshua so others could also participate in life. The reality is that on that special day of Shavuot in the Temple there was a new beginning for all of mankind to participate together, the pouring out of the Ruach HaKodesh was done in a way that must include all souls equally. Our perspective of the Kingdom of Elohim must be transformed in Mashiyach, we must see that Yeshua will always be the rightful and Just King of the Universe. Yeshua was not in any way advocating sectarianism, but He designed that His Talmidim would minister to all souls, and it was Peter who also had the vision of the sheet being lowered down from heaven and the revelation that the Gentiles would also be given Power from on high. From the days of Moshe there had not been such a magnificent Shavuot as when the Ruach HaKodesh brought LIFE to the people of YHWH. We see also how each one understood the Kingdom of Elohim in their own language, and surely all felt both included and accepted by YHWH, welcomed in Mashiyach and in the Beloved, even though being initially ignorant of Yeshua. In many ways exclusivist theology has reduced the Universal Kingdom of Elohim into sectarianism, exclusivism is more about preservation of man’s institutions than advancing the Kingdom of Elohim.
May it be that the Believers in Yeshua will see that the giving of the Ruach HaKodesh was never meant to be exclusive, but rather the basis for every man to be empowered to walk in Yeshua and become His Disciple. I pray that we will return to the values that Shavuot teaches us, and that we bring unity and boldness within the Body of Mashiyach, that each one who confesses the Name of Yeshua for Salvation will also walk in this Faith. We must be transparent before those who do not know Yeshua and encourage a lifestyle of walking in Him and observing His Torah. If we are ashamed of anything that we do in the name of religion, let it be the things of tradition that do not belong to Yeshua and His Torah.
YHWH be with you,
The idea of the Talmidim being in an “upper room” on the Day of Shavuot was introduced by a Greek Christian named Jerome who confused the location of the Pesach Seder (Passover Supper) and the location where Yeshua’s Disciples were lodging, with the location of the Feast of Shavuot. The Greek translator wrote anagaion (upper room) Luke 22:12, which was the location of Pesach dinner, as was huperion (upper room)
Acts 1:13 where the disciples were lodging in Jerusalem. Greek theologians assumed this to be one and the same location as “The House”, but if they would have known the Scriptures they would have realized we are to eat the Passover in our own homes, not at the Temple, and we are to go to the Temple for Shavuot. Entering into the Temple is a place of prayer and refuge 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The Temple was a House of Prayer unto YHWH, a House where the presence of YHWH lives and where He places His Name! Although our bodies are the Temple of the Living Elohim, this does not in any way negate the fact that the Disciples of Yeshua continued to meet in the Temple in Jerusalem. Nowadays many souls are involved in prayer watches and houses of prayer, but there is only One House of Prayer that YHWH chose and ordained by His Word.
In 1949 an archeologist named Pinkerfeld* examined the “upper room” location in Jerusalem after a mortar shell caused damage at the entrance of the Tomb of David, during the War of Independence. Pinkerfeld was to make repairs to the marble floor and the walls that were damaged, in the course of making repairs he concluded that the original building was a first century synagogue since there was a repository for Torah Scrolls in the wall that resembled other first century synagogues. The orientation of the building is also toward the Temple site, not in an easterly direction which was the pattern of later Christian church buildings.