The Shofar Newsletter
THE SHOFAR Newsletter of Bet Yeshurun Messianic Assembly
Good News for the Assembly of Bet Yeshurun
No. 1111 / December 27, 2019
Schedule of Gatherings
12/28 Sabbath 1:30 pm
1/4 Sabbath 1:30 pm
1/11 Sabbath 1:30 pm
1/17 Chodesh (11th New Month Feast) 1:00 pm
1/18 Sabbath 1:30 pm
1/25 Sabbath 1:30 pm
2019 Schedule for Reading the Bible in One-Year
Ketuvim; Divrey ha’Yamim 1 (The Annals of Time) First Book of Chronicles
11/24 - Chapters 1 – 2 11/25 - Chapters 3 – 5 11/26 – Chapter 6
11/27 - Chapters 7 – 8 11/28 - Chapters 9 – 11 11/29 - Chapters 12 – 14
11/30 - Chapters 15 – 17 12/1 - Chapters 18 – 21 12/2 - Chapters 22 – 24
12/3 - Chapters 25 – 27 12/4 - Chapters 28 – 29
Ketuvim; Divrey ha’Yamim 2 (The Annals of Time) Second Book of Chronicles
12/5 - Chapter 1 – 3 12/6 - Chapters 4 – 6 12/7 - Chapters 7 – 9
12/8 - Chapters 10 – 12 12/9 - Chapters 13 – 17 12/10 - Chapters 18 – 20
12/11 - Chapters 21 – 24 12/12 - Chapters 25 – 27 12/13 - Chapters 28 – 31
12/14 - Chapters 32 – 34 12/15 - Chapters 35 – 36
Brit Cha’Dasha; MattithYahu (Gift of Yah) Gospel of Matthew
12/16 - Chapters 1 – 4 12/17 - Chapters 5 – 6 12/18 - Chapters 7 – 8
12/19 - Chapters 9 – 10 12/20 - Chapters 11 – 12 12/21 - Chapters 13 – 14
12/22 - Chapters 15 – 17 12/23 - Chapters 18 – 19 12/24 - Chapters 20 – 21
12/25 - Chapters 22 – 23 12/26 - Chapters 24 – 25 12/27 - Chapter 26
12/28 - Chapters 27 – 28
Interested in joining Bet Yeshurun Assembly? Please contact Pastor ObadiYah by email, telephone, mail, or in person at a gathering of Yahushuah’s Body.
Please Pass The Salt
(Mark 9:49-50; NKJV) "For everyone will be seasoned with fire, and every sacrifice will be seasoned with salt. Salt is good, but if the salt loses its flavor, how will you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace with one another."
An early lesson that young children receive from parents is about good table manners. Short-armed, hungry youngsters sitting at the family dinner table can be physically challenged in seasoning their plate of food with salt. Thus, mom and dad often need to remind them that the way of solving their problem is to politely say, “Please pass the salt!” And when that shaker arrives, they’re also encouraged to say, “Thank you!’ Even when they get older, parents may still need to gently remind them, or sternly react, if they knock over a glass of milk, or bonk a sibling’s head while standing and reaching across the table to grab a shaker themselves.
Youngsters quickly learn that a little salt helps make food more flavorful. Even in ancient Israel, young Israelites so to speak, knew how to use salt as a seasoning agent for their food: (Job 6:6) "Can flavorless food be eaten without salt?"
Yet besides being good for flavoring food, salt is an essential mineral for life. Its physical benefits also reflect certain spiritual applications as seen in the opening Scripture passage. While its restorative and preservative characteristics were well known, Yahushuah reveals a spiritual lesson about salt to His apostles. He likens its effect on the apostle’s spiritual lives to what will happen during their coming trials and tribulations. In this article, Bet Yeshurun Assembly (BYA) examines His Salt Simile. By studying the Word's teachings on salt, we can glean some valuable life lessons and better understand the mysteries of Elohim's Kingdom: (Luke 10:23-24) “Blessed are the eyes which see the things that you see; for I tell you that many prophets and kings desired to see what you see and have not seen it, and to hear what you hear and have not heard it.”
An ancient custom in Israel involved salting new born babes. Israelites knew of salt's durability and preservative properties and hence understood that rubbing salt on a baby would dry, tighten and harden its skin. It also spiritually signified that new born was a sign of purity and incorruption: (Ezekiel 16:1-6) Again, the Word of YAHUAH came to me saying, "Son of man, cause Jerusalem to know her abominations and say, 'Thus says Sovereign YAHUAH to Jerusalem: Your birth and your nativity are from the land of Canaan; your father was an Amorite and your mother a Hittite. As for your nativity, on the day you were born your navel cord was not cut, nor were you washed in water to cleanse you; you were not rubbed with salt nor wrapped in swaddling cloths. No eye pitied you, to do any of these things for you, to have compassion on you; but you were thrown out into the open field, when you yourself were loathed on the day you were born."
YAHUAH sought the attention of His rebellious children with a prophetic word that compared them to offspring of wicked nations who neglected to treat their new borns with love and compassion. Meditate on the spiritual aspects of the birth activities He describes: (1) disconnect from mom; (2) wash in water; (3) salt; and (4) wrap in a blanket. Yahushuah expounds on the spiritual aspects of salt for His disciples, who were to be seasoned with salt to preserve their sacrifices. In other words, the Messiah's teachings will act as a salt that toughens and preserves the Body (Church) of Messiah. The rubbing of His Salt upon them strengthens the faith, the love, the power, and the hope which inhabits His Name and the Holy Spirit (Ruach ha'Qodesh). Thus, they could withstand any challenges that life threw at them. Note Israel’s sacrificial offerings always were salted: (Leviticus 2:13) “Every offering of your grain offering you shall season with salt; you shall not allow the salt of the covenant of your Elohim to be lacking from your grain offering. With all your offerings you shall offer salt.”
Two ancient manuscripts (the Codex Vaticanus and the Codex Sinaiticus) omit the phrase “and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt.” In the King James (KJ) translation, however, sacrifices and salt are mentioned together. Both also are in this teaching which likens disciples to being the earth’s salt during their persecutions: (Matthew 5:10-13) “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.”
Besides rubbing on skin, salt serves as a tasty additive to our food. So, in comparing martyrs to “the salt of the earth,” Yahushuah encourages them to be a salt, and a flavorful one at that. Any salt that lost its tang from being exposed to the environment was to be tossed on the ground like dirt. A second Gospel confirms this even more graphically: (Luke 14:34-35) "Salt is good; but if the salt has lost its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is neither fit for the land nor for the dunghill, but men throw it out. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!"
Whoa! If the fate of unsuitably salted disciples is likened to being a pile of manure, we better use both ears and closely listen to His important principle. It follows His instructions that demand total dedication of followers and requires a proper prioritizing for family concerns and for possessions. Those disciples who lack commitment to Elohim as #1 in their life are likened to a salt not serving its intended purpose. The Apostle Paul has another example of how disciples can be suitably salted: (Colossians 4:6) “Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.”
That word “salt” comes from “hal’-as” (G217), which in Greek figuratively describes “prudence, cautious or discreet conduct.” In other words, as “the salt of the earth,” disciples need to carefully manage their words. (Matthew 5:13) Yet many of us are just babes in the faith, who need to be further salted. Thus, all disciples should expect to receive a salting; seasoned with “fire.” (Mark 9:49) All of this salting occurs under a Covenant of Salt under which Elohim promises to protect and preserve His children of Israel, FOREVER: (2 Chronicles 13:5) "Should you not know that YAHUAH Elohim of Israel gave the dominion over Israel to David forever, to him and his sons, by a covenant of salt?”
Indeed, every offering shall forevermore be salted: (Leviticus 2:13) “And every offering of your grain offering you shall season with salt; you shall not allow the salt of the covenant of your Elohim to be lacking from your grain offering. With all your offerings you shall offer salt.” (Numbers 18:19) "All the heave offerings of holy things that the children of Israel offer to YAHUAH, I give to you, your sons, and daughters with you as an ordinance forever; it is a Covenant of Salt forever before YAHUAH with you and your descendants."
Under this covenant, Apostle Peter explains that we can expect earthly trials for our belief in Elohim’s promise, and that we should welcome these in knowing He preserves us through all of them: (1 Peter 1:6-9) “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of the Messiah Yahushuah, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith – the salvation of your souls.”
Thus as trials come, knowing that our Messiah’s disciples suffered likewise, we remain at peace, even joyful: (1 Peter 4:12-14) “Beloved think not it strange concerning a fiery trial which is to try you as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Messiah's sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. If you reproached for the name of Messiah, blessed are you for the Ruach of glory and of Elohim rests on you. On their part He’s blasphemed, but on your part He’s glorified.”
As Elohim's children, we can appreciate having our older brothers passing the salt to us as we sit with Adonai and partake of His Bread of Life. Their writings have preserved our Messiah's teachings. That salt within the Gospels and Apostolic Letters spreads peace around Elohim's table. Thus, the Apostles’ salt in our lives via the New Testament preserves our own sacrifices and seasonings. (Mark 9:49) The accounts of Yahushuah’s sufferings in the ridicule, the lying, the beatings onto death, indeed all the atrocities that He endured in obedience to His Father’s Will serve us as His salt upon the earth to preserve Elohim’s lessons on Life. May we follow His example in coming to know of Elohim’s great love for humanity: (John 15:12-15) "This is My commandment that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this than to lay down one's life for his friends. You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. No longer do I call you servants for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I call you friends for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.”
Without the apostles’ testimonies of perseverance through trials, we have only empty promises of men with nothing to back them up. Knowing what our Messiah and Apostles endured makes whatever befalls us a bit more palatable to endure, easier to swallow so to speak. Indeed, Scripture’s testimonies of sacrifices and great faith are worth more than all earthly treasures. Thus, we are strengthened and remain unmovable: (Acts 3:6) Then Peter said, "Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of the Messiah Yahushuah of Nazareth, rise up and walk.” (1 Corinthians 15:58) “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of Adonai, knowing that your labor is not in vain in Adonai.”.
I’ll close this article with grateful thanks to our Heavenly Father for passing the Salt of Life to us through His Beloved Son. And thank you Yahushuah for sending your disciples to pass along that Salt through their Gospels and Apostolic Letters. May your Word and their testimonies be a flavorful salt that strengthens, preserves and brings peace. And may Elohim’s mercy and grace be upon us all. Shalom, Elder Curt
Bible Study Series: All are invited to a free 8-week Bible Study about "The Creator's Time" on Sundays at 3:00 pm beginning on 1/12/20 . If you have any questions, please call or text Curt at (313) 910-9177. Subjects: A Divine Word, A Divine calendar, weekly appointed times, monthly appointed times, seasonal appointed times, appointed times of First Fruits, annual appointed times, Q&A workshop.
New Month worship service Friday, January 17, 2020 at 1 PM.
Friday evening, January 17, 2020, no Men's Meeting.. Let's discuss Scriptural answers to problems in men'sr lives at our next scheduled date in two weeks.
Thoughts for Meditation
“Be sure you put your feet in the right place, then stand firm.” Abraham Lincoln
“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success until they gave up.” Thomas Edison