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By

Luke Hilton

Praying in One Accord, Toward The Place – Who’s Our Model?

Amidst a week of great excitement, and some turmoil, the holiday of Shavuot (Pentecost), which will be celebrated on Sunday, May 20th, is approaching. Israel is in the midst of celebrating its 70th anniversary since being reborn in 1948, culminating this week with the dedication of the United States Embassy in Jerusalem on May 14th, the very day that Israel was declared a nation! On top of that, one day prior, Israel celebrated Jerusalem Day, 51 years of Jerusalem being reunited. As a direct counter to the joyous and incredible events happening in Jerusalem and Israel, Arabs have been rioting on the border fence of Hamas-ruled Gaza. Much of the truth remains untold by the mainstream news outlets; these riots have been less than peaceful protests. In many cases, armed Hamas terrorists have tried to break through the fence, and many of the rioters have been armed with guns and knives, and attempting to fly kite firebombs into Israel. The mainstream media would have you believe that innocent Palestinians are being killed in the protests, even circulating a false report that a baby was gassed in the conflict. Israel has gone to such great lengths to protect the innocent people of Gaza that they even dropped thousands of leaflets by airplane, warning civilians to stay away from the protests. Amidst the embassy opening, 70th year celebrations, and turmoil on the Gaza border, we are approaching the biblical feast of Shavuot, known in Christian circles as Pentecost. Here at HaYovel’s Israel campus, we are in our second week of the Recognize Jerusalem Tour, and we are preparing to celebrate Shavuot in Jerusalem. As we ascended the Temple Mount earlier in this trip, I began pondering the modern day conflict that continually goes on there – Jews, Christians, and essentially members of any faith other than Islam are forbidden to pray, sing, or show any outward devotion whilst there. While our tour group of 30 people received the escort of one Israeli policeman, an Orthodox Jewish group of 6 nearby us was surrounded by 10 Israeli policemen. Ironically, one of the main reasons that these policemen were with the group was to make sure that they did not attempt to pray. If they had, they would have been immediately evicted from the area, and most likely arrested. When the Holy Spirit fell on the apostles in Acts 2, contrary to many opinions, the apostles were most likely gathered in the Temple courtyard. In Acts 2:1, we read, “When the day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.” This “place” or “makom,” in Hebrew, most likely refers to the Temple. Also, every Shavuot (even today), after studying all night, all of the different denominations of Judaism gather at the Western Wall (the Temple during biblical times) for the morning prayer. Even though each group will pray according to their own rabbi’s teachings, everyone prays all together. Today, if you go to the Kotel at sunrise, you can witness thousands of Jews praying “in one accord, at the place.” It is a powerful moment. The apostles would probably have been praying in the Temple courtyard, in their own group as followers of their Rabbi, and it makes sense that thousands of people would have noticed when the Holy Spirit fell, and they began speaking in other languages. There could be an entire book written on this experience, but the point I’d like to make is that the Holy Spirit filled the believers as they were with “one accord, in one Place.” Today, there of tens of thousands of Orthodox Jews who are in one accord, focusing on the “Place” where God chose to place His Name, which ironically, the entire world is against. What would happen if, this Shavuot, Christians worldwide chose to come together in one accord, and pray towards the Temple Mount? If you want a biblical model, just take David, Daniel, the prophets, apostles, and the Jewish people, who have been praying towards Jerusalem for thousands of years. This year marks 70 years since Israel’s rebirth. In a courageous step of historic proportions, the United States has decided to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital by moving its embassy there. By the thousands of angry Arabs rioting on the Gaza border, we can see that the enemy is even more fiercely coming against God’s chosen place. No matter your doctrine or belief, will you come together in one accord this Shavuot by recognizing the place where God chose to place His... Read MoreRead More

Tazria/Metzora: The Heartland Connection

 

Thirty one verses of the Bible are dedicated to communicating the account of the creation of the entire universe. One hundred and sixteen are used to discuss the issue of leprosy. What is this all about? Must be important. Let’s dig into... Read MoreRead More

Watch Now – How to Prune a Grape Vine

In this update, the first team of pruners for the 2018 season are hard at work in Psagot, cutting back the vines to prepare them to produce beautiful fruit for this year’s harvest. “Cut out the ones you don’t want, and leave the rest” according to Nate Waller, is how you prune a vine. It is slightly more complicated, as you’ll see from the descriptions that some of the other seasoned pruners give. Can you find any spiritual applications from the pruning season? (hint: John 15) Enjoy this update from Pruning 2018, where you’ll experience men’s lives being changed as they fulfill prophecy in the heartland of... Read MoreRead More
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