Hebrew priest blowing the Shofar hornThe Shofar Newsletter

THE SHOFAR Newsletter of Bet Yeshurun Messianic Assembly


Good News for the Assembly of Bet Yeshurun

No. 1010 / October 20, 2018

Schedule of Gatherings          

Schedule of Gatherings                                              

10/23/18  Sabbath (lunar)                                          1:00 pm
10/27/18    Sabbath (consecutive)                            1:30 pm
10/30/18  Sabbath (lunar)                                          1:00 pm
11/3/18     Sabbath (consecutive)                            1:30 pm
11/6/18     Sabbath (lunar)                                        1:00 pm
11/8/18     Chodesh (9th New Moon Celebration of the Year)               1:00 pm
11/10/18    Sabbath (consecutive)                            1:30 pm
11/15/18  Sabbath (lunar)                                          1:00 pm
11/17/18    Sabbath (consecutive)                            1:30 pm

 

2018 Schedule for Reading the Bible in One-Year

Ketuvim; Mishley (Proverbs) Book of Proverbs         
10/21 - Chapters 24 – 26      10/22 - Chapters 27 – 29     
10/23 - Chapters 30 – 31
Ketuvim; Iyov (Hated) Teachings of Job                           
10/24 - Chapters 1 – 4        10/25 - Chapters 5 – 7  10/26 - Chapters 8 – 10
10/27 - Chapters 11 – 13      10/28 - Chapters 14 – 16      10/29 - Chapters 17 – 20
10/30 - Chapters 21 – 23      10/31 - Chapters 24 – 28      11/1 - Chapters 29 – 31
11/2 - Chapters 32 – 34       11/3 - Chapters 35 – 37 11/4 - Chapters 38 – 39
11/5 - Chapters 40 – 42
Ketuvim; Shir ha’Shirim (The Song of Songs) Songs of Solomon     
11/6 - Chapters 1 – 8
Ketuvim; Ruth (Friend) Teachings of Ruth
11/7 - Chapters 1 – 4  
Ketuvim; Eykah (How) Lamentations                           
11/8 - Chapters 1 – 2   11/9 - Chapters 3 – 5
Ketuvim; Qoheleth (Convener) Ecclesiastes                                                
11/10 - Chapters 1 – 4 11/11 - Chapters 5 – 8  11/12 - Chapters 9 – 12
Ketuvim; Hadassah (Myrtle Tree) Teachings of Esther
11/13 - Chapters 1 – 5        11/14 - Chapters 6 – 10
Ketuvim; Ezra (Help) Writings of Ezra                      
11/15 - Chapters 1 – 3        11/16 - Chapters 4 – 7  11/17 - Chapters 8 – 10
Ketuvim; Nechemiah (Consolation of Yah) Writings of Nehemiah           
11/18 - Chapters 1 – 3        11/19 - Chapters 4 – 6  11/20 - Chapter 7


Tabernacle Invitation

Interested in joining Bet Yeshurun Assembly? Please contact Pastor ObadiYah by email, telephone, mail, or in person at a gathering of Yahushuah’s Body.


One More Day with YAH

 (Leviticus 23:33-36) “The fifteenth day of this One More Day with YAHseventh month shall be the Feast of Tabernacles for seven days unto YAHUAH. On the first day, shall be a holy convocation. You shall do no servile work therein. Seven days you shall offer an offering made by fire unto YAHUAH. On the eighth day, shall be a holy convocation unto you. You shall offer an offering made by fire unto YAHUAH. It is a solemn assembly. You shall do no servile work therein.”

     Our last 3 Shofars discussed the fall Feasts of Yom Teruah, Yom Kippur, and Sukkoth, which is also called Tabernacles in the passage above. This article will focus on the gathering YAHUAH taught His children to attend after that 7-day Festival ended. His solemn assembly is separate and distinct from Sukkoth. It's called “Shemini Atzarah in Hebrew, a special Sabbath of rest that is so important YAHUAH repeats the instructions for Bet Yeshurun Assembly (BYA) to assemble for it: (Leviticus 23:39) “Also in the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the fruit of the land, you shall keep a Feast unto YAHUAH seven days. On the first day shall be a Sabbath and on the eighth day shall be a Sabbath. (Numbers 29:35) “On the eighth day, you shall have a solemn assembly. You shall do no servile work there in.”

To some this Feast is known as “The Last Great Day,” or “The Eighth Solemn Assembly.” The “eighth” is translated from “shemiyniy” in the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament). The “solemn assembly” comes from “atzarah.” Its Hebrew root word is “atzar,” which means “to hold back, in close, to maintain, rule, assemble, keep close, up close.” (Strong's Concordance)

As defined in Webster’s Dictionary the English adjective “solemn” is a good choice for describing an annual festival: “observed or done according to ritual or tradition (said especially of religious holidays, rites, etc.); sacred in character; formal (a solemn ceremony); deeply earnest; very sincere (a solemn oath); very impressive or arousing feelings of awe because of its great importance or seriousness (a solemn occasion).” Indeed, that word aptly fits this Feast which is a spiritual picture of the coming, new creation of Elohim: (Revelations 21:1) “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth. For, the first heaven and the first earth had passed away and the sea was no more.

In other words, the Last Great Day of the fall festival season spiritually depicts the completion of a 1000-year reign of Yahushuah (also known as the Messianic Age). During that era, He dwells among humanity as King of kings, Lord of lords. His Divine rule on earth in that Millennium period frees the world from Satan’s 6000-year influence. It culminates with a solemn assembling of humanity for Judgment Day: (Matthew 25:31-34) “When the Son of man shall come in His glory and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit upon the throne of His glory. All nations shall gather before Him. He will separate them one from another as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then will the King say to them on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.’” 

At that time, eternal spiritual life begins for the righteous dead as a New Jerusalem descends from heaven. Scripture offers just enough of a glimpse of that eternity to inspire great hope for those who desire to be among the saints that overcame the worldly trials and tribulations. Imagine living with Elohim in perfect harmony, peace and love. (Revelation 21:2-4) “I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from Elohim, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling of Elohim is with men. He will dwell with them. They shall be his people. Elohim Himself will be with them. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death shall be no more. Neither, shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain any more, for the former things have passed away.”

Another way to view the Last Great Day of YAHUAH's fall Festival is as a special time that pictures our arrival into Messiah's promised rest. In ancient times, for example, it was customary to celebrate weddings for 7-days. This 8th day pictures the Groom Yahushuah asking the Bride, His Church, to linger one more day with Him (in eternity). That's His additional wedding gift, a bonus, to His Bride for her faithful obedience to Elohim's teachings (Torah): (Hebrews 3:14) “For, we are made partakers of Messiah, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end.”

Those judged worthy to spend eternity in Elohim's new creation will truly be joyful; privileged to “atzar” (hold back) with Yahushuah. That thought seems like an impossible dream, and the concept of eternal life is incomprehensible. Waiting expectantly for YAHUAH’s unimaginable riches, leads us to trust and love (obey) Him faithfully to the end of our physical life: (1 Corinthians 2:9) “But as it is written “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither has entered into the heart of man, the things which Elohim prepared for those who love Him.”

Won’t it be totally awesome to receive Yah’s invitation to “atzar” (keep up close) with Him? What prevents us from being close to Yahushuah now? Is it selfishness, fear, or anger that hinders us from following Him completely? Do we completely offer our mind, heart, and soul to Him? Or are we too busy with worldly distractions to “atzar” with Yahushuah? Is a desire for material wealth on earth stopping us from accepting His spiritual invite? (Mark 10:17-30)

The solemn (serious, somber) aspect of The Last Great Day reflects the consequences of choosing a material life over a spiritual one. Those rejecting, ignoring or neglecting to heed Yah's call to repent (change their human ways) to obey Elohim’s Way of Life (as found in the Heavenly Father's Torah and His Son's teachings and instructions) will lose their opportunity to “atzar” into Yah’s rest. Those accepting His invite and choosing to follow His Path of Life will realize the wonderful opportunity afforded through YAHUAH Elohim’s Plan of Salvation. Hence, the bittersweet solemnity! (Matthew 22:11-14) “When the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man who had not a wedding-garment. He said to him, ‘Friend, how came you in here, not having a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. Then said the king to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, take him away and cast him into utter darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ For, many are called, but few are chosen.”

The fall Feasts of Sukkoth and Shemini Atzarah total 8 days. Let's study that spiritually significant number and some of the historical events which transpired during that festival period. For example, the pattern of 7-days plus 1-day or 8 days) also occurs in the spring Feasts of Passover and Unleavened Bread. E. M. Bullinger (Appendix-10 of the Companion Bible; “The Spiritual Significance of Numbers) explains Biblical numbers convey certain spiritual messages. Regarding the numbers 1, 7, and 8 he writes, “One denotes unity and commencement; seven denotes spiritual perfection; and eight denotes resurrection, regeneration, a new beginning or commencement.” 

Further consider that when Israel's King Solomon finished constructing the Temple in Jerusalem, Israel consecrated it during Sukkoth and dedicated it with a closing celebration held on Shemini Atzarah: (2 Chronicles 7:9-10) “In the eighth day they made a solemn assembly for they kept the dedication of the altar seven days, and the feast seven days. On the three and twentieth day of the seventh month, he sent the people away to their tents, glad and merry in heart for the goodness that YAHUAH had shown to David, to Solomon and to Israel, His people.(also read 1 Kings 8)

That Biblical pattern repeats after Babylon (spiritual symbol of a state of confusion) destroyed the Temple. When Israelite exiles returned from their captivity, they reconstructed the Temple and celebrated its new beginning also during a Sukkoth festival: (Nehemiah 8:14-18) “They found written in Torah, which YAHUAH had commanded by Moses, that the children of Israel should dwell in booths in the feast of the seventh month and that they should publish and proclaim in all their cities, and in Jerusalem, saying, ‘Go forth to the Mount, fetch olive branches, and pine branches, and myrtle branches, and palm branches, and branches of thick trees, to make booths, as it is written.’ So the people went forth, brought them and made booths, every one upon the roof of his house, in their courts, in the courts of the House of Elohim, in the street of the water gate, and in the street of the gate of Ephraim. All the congregation of those who once again came out of the captivity made booths and sat under the booths. For since the days of Yahoshuah, the son of Nun, until that day the children of Israel had not done so. There was very great gladness. Also day by day, from the first day until the last day, he read in the book of Torah of Elohim. They kept the feast seven days. On the eighth day was a solemn assembly according unto the manner.”

Consider one more prophetic picture when Moses initiated Aaron and His sons as Israel’s priests during a festival of 7 + 1 days at the wilderness tabernacle: (Leviticus 8:35 – 9:6) “Therefore, you shall abide at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation day and night seven days. Keep the charge of YAHUAH that you not die, for so I am commanded. So, Aaron and his sons did all things that YAHUAH commanded by the hand of Moses. It came to pass on the eighth day that Moses called Aaron and his sons, and the elders of Israel. He said to Aaron, ‘Take a young calf for a sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering, without blemish, and offer them before YAHUAH.’ To the children of Israel you shall speak, saying, ‘Take a kid of the goats for a sin offering; a calf and a lamb, both of the first years, without blemish, for a burnt offering. Also a bullock and a ram for peace offerings, to sacrifice before YAHUAH; and a meat offering mingled with oil: for to day YAHUAH will appear to you. They brought that which Moses commanded before the tabernacle of the congregation. The entire congregation drew near, stood before YAHUAH, and Moses said, ‘This is the thing which YAHUAH commanded that you should do and the glory of YAHUAH shall appear unto you.’

This pattern of 7 + 1 days is very important to YAHUAH: (Ezekiel 43:26-27) “Seven days shall they purge the altar and purify it. They shall consecrate themselves. When these days are expired, it shall be that upon the eighth day and so forward, the priests shall make your burnt offerings upon the altar and your peace offerings. ‘And, I will accept you,’ says Sovereign YAHUAH.”

The Eighth Solemn Assembly also pictures a time frame in which Elohim deals with Satan (and sin) once, and for all. (Revelation 20:7-10) “When the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison and shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. They went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city. Fire came down from Elohim out of heaven and devoured them. The demon that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.”

Scripture reveals this time is when the resurrection of the dead occurs and all of humanity appears for judgment before the Great White Throne. Those judged unworthy of eternal life are sentenced into a lake of fire (i. e. spiritual death). (Revelations 20:11-15) “I saw a great white throne and He who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. There was no place found for them. I saw the dead, small and great, stand before Elohim. The books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged out of those things according to their works which were written in the books. The sea gave up the dead who were in it. Death and hell delivered up the dead who were in them. They were judged every man according to their works. Death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. Whoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”

After conducting this final business and dealing permanently with the last vestige of evil, Yah’s glorious spiritual kingdom begins for eternity. (consider Revelation 21 and 22)

This promised coming into eternal rest and living in heaven’s spiritual city forever was part of YAHUAH’s Salvation Plan from the very beginning. Each of Yah’s Feasts teach us in a physical way about His spiritual plan of redemption (salvation). Shemini Atzarah is about Yah literally asking us to remain with Him forever. He will dwell among us as we celebrate the Eighth Solemn Assembly that pictures a transition into the realm of eternity. (Zechariah 14:16) It shall come to pass, that every one who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, YAHUAH Tzavuot (of hosts), and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.

While writing this article on The Last Great Feast Day of 2018, memories of BYA's other gatherings last month kept coming to mind. For example, I was absolutely floored as our Day of Trumpets opened fall festivities with 15 shofars being blown in unison. In keeping with this Feast's other name (Day of Shouting), those unable to play that horn, like myself, shouted “HalleluYAH!” in thanks and celebration of Messiah's soon coming return as our King.

Ten days later on Yom Kippur, BYA individually and collectively prayed for forgiveness of sins in seeking reconciliation with Elohim. Our praise and worship offerings helped take my mind off a 24-hour fast from food and water. I was so happy when over 60 of us closed our Day of Atonement by meeting at a local restaurant to break our fast after sunset. I was even further blessed when an overwhelmed waitstaff fed me a dose of humility and patience as I endured a 90-minute wait for dinner amid the aroma of chicken swarma.

Five days later, I gathered with BYA for the 2018 Festival of Tabernacles, While sitting and praying in the sukka (booth) built on the lawn of the church lot, its branch roof let just enough sunlight to filter-in and keep me warm. It also permitted raindrops to seep-in and soak my seat. Yet this fall season's plentiful rains never dampened my spirit or enthusiasm. YAH even blessed me by holding back a torrential rainfall until after we spent Day 6 of Tabernacles at a local ranch. Our songs during the hayride (straw) and while around the bonfire brought many a smile. And, oh that second helping at fellowship meal!

The Last Great Day of YAHUAH's Festival reminded me of a grand, old-fashioned wedding party. Young and old were dancing in lines and forming circles during BYA services. People were waving banners and singing arm-in-arm while swaying joyfully to spiritually moving music. And, oh that banquet! Food fit for royalty! That's just a few of my memories. I pray you take some time to reflect on your own happy times and those spiritual messages Elohim sent during His Feasts. If perhaps you missed some of those celebrations, be encouraged. Yah's next set of Festivals return again in the spring of 2019.

So what can BYA do to prepare for these upcoming Feasts? For one, we can pray for Elohim's Wisdom and an understanding on how He's directing our path in life: (Proverbs 3:6) “In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths.”  (Psalm 17:5-6) “Hold up my goings in your paths that my footsteps slip not. I call upon you, for you will hear me, O Elohim. Incline your ear to me and hear my speech. (Psalm 25:10-11) “All the paths of YAHUAH are mercy and truth unto such as keep His covenant and His testimonies.” (Jeremiah 18:15) “For your name's sake, O YAHUAH, pardon my iniquity for it is great. Because my people forgot me, they burned incense to vanity, and they caused them to stumble in their ways from the ancient paths, to walk in paths, in a way not cast up.”

Plus, we can always remember our struggles come about from unseen agents, not from humans. (Ephesians 6:12) “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

Furthermore, BYA can strive diligently to preserve unity. (Psalm 133:1-3) “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious ointment upon the head that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard that went down to the skirts of his garments. As the dew of Hermon and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there YAHUAH commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.” 

Then, we can thank Elohim and give all glory to Yahushuah: (Ephesians 5:18-21) “Be not drunk with wine wherein is excess. But be filled with the Spirit. Speak to yourselves in psalms, hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to Adonai. Give thanks always for all things to Elohim and the Father in the name of our Lord, Adonai Yahushuah Messiah. Submit yourselves one to another in the fear of Elohim.” (1 Corinthians 10:31) “Whether therefore you eat, drink, or what so ever you do, do all to the glory of Elohim.”  (1 Peter 4:11) “If any man speaks, let him speak as the oracles of Elohim. If any man ministers, let him do it as of the ability which Elohim gives that Elohim in all things may be glorified through Yahushuah Messiach, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.”

I pray BYA always encourages and uplifts one another: (Romans 14:17-19) “For the kingdom of Elohim is not meat and drink; but righteousness, peace and joy in Ruach ha'Qodesh for he who in these things serves Messiah is acceptable to Elohim and approved of men. Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.”

HalleluYAH! And May we always dwell in Elohim's peace. Shalom, Elder Curt


Announcements

Saturday Sabbath worship is highlighted by an important new series on the Book of Genesis. Join us!

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Thoughts for Meditation

"Those who take refuge in TRUTH will be tossed about in a tempest of ignorance, but will one day find themselves shipwrecked upon an island of SALVATION for all eternity." ObadiYah Elohim

“It may be that when we no longer know what to do, we have come to our real work; and when we no longer know which way to go, we have begun our real journey.” Wendell Berry

“There will be a time when you believe everything is finished. That will be the beginning.” Louis L’Amour