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. 1008 / August 30, 2018

Schedule of Gatherings          

9/1/18      Sabbath(consecutive)                                                             1:30 pm
9/2/18      Sabbath(lunar)                                                       3:00 pm
9/8/18      Sabbath(consecutive)                                                             1:30 pm
9/9/18      Sabbath(lunar)                                                       3:00 pm
9/10/18    Yom Teruah(Day of Shouting/Trumpets) ***                   1:00 pm
9/15/18    Sabbath(consecutive)                                                             1:30 pm
9/17/18   Sabbath(lunar)                                                       1:00 pm
9/19/18    Yom Kippur(Day of Atonement/Fasting) ***                   3:00 pm
9/22/18    Sabbath(consecutive)                                                             1:30 pm
9/24/18    Succoth(Day 1 of Tabernacles) ***                                     1:00 pm
9/25/18    Succoth(Day 2 of Tabernacles)                                            1:00 pm
9/26/18    Succoth(Day 3 of Tabernacles)                                            3:00 pm
9/27/18    Succoth(Day 4 of Tabernacles)                                            1:00 pm
9/28/18    Succoth(Day 5 of Tabernacles)                                            1:00 pm
9/29/18    Succoth(Day 6 of Tabernacles)                                            1:30 pm
9/30/18    Succoth(Day 7 of Tabernacles)                                            3:00 pm
10/1/18    Shemini Atzaret(The Last Great Day of the Feast) ***         1:00 pm

*** High Holy Day (no work)


2018 Schedule for Reading the Bible in One-Year

Nevi’im; Yo’El (Yah is El) Prophecy of Joel         9/3 – Ch. 1 – 3                           
Nevi’im; Amosh (Burden) Prophecy of Amos       9/4 – Ch. 1 – 5      9/5 – Ch. 6 – 9
Nevi’im; Obadyah (Servant of Yah) Prophecy of Obadiah                 9/6 – Ch. 1
Nevi’im; Yonah (Dove) Prophecy of Jonah                                         9/6 – Ch. 1 – 4
Nevi’im; Mikah (Who is like Yah) Prophecy of Micah                        9/7 – Ch. 1 – 7 
Nevi’im; Nachum (Comfort) Prophecy of Nahum9/8 – Ch. 1 – 3
Nevi’im; Habaqquq (Embrace) Prophecy of Habbakuk9/9 – Ch. 1 – 3
Nevi’im; TsephanYah (Treasured of Yah Prophecy of Zephaniah9/10 – Ch. 1 – 3
Nevi’im; Chaggai (Festive) Prohecy of Haggai                                 9/10 – Ch. 1 – 2 Nevi’im; ZekarYah (Remembered of Yah) Prophecy of Zechariah
9/11 - Chapters 1 – 7              9/12 - Chapters 8 – 14
Nevi’im; Mal’aki (My Messenger) Prophecy of Malachi                   9/13 – Ch. 1 – 4
Ketuvim; Tehillim (Songs) Book of Psalms                                                                            
9/14 - Chapters 1 – 8              9/15 - Chapters 9 – 16            9/16 - Chapters 17 – 20
9/17 - Chapters 21 – 25          9/18 - Chapters 26 – 31          9/19 - Chapters 32 – 35

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.

A Day Of Atonement

Bet Yeshurun Assembly (“BYA”) is preparing for Elohim’s second fall feast. For this year's Day of Atonement we will fast (no food or water) starting on 9/18/18 at sunset (7:37 pm EDT) until sunset on the next day. We will also schedule a day off from our work for this High Holy Day in obedience to YAH: (Leviticus 23:26–28) YAHUAH spoke to Moses saying, “Also, on the tenth day of this seventh month (moon), there shall be a Day of Atonement. It shall be a holy convocation to you. You shall afflict your souls and offer an offering made by fire to YAHUAH. You shall do no work in that same day for it is a Day of Atonement, to make atonement for you before YAHUAH your Elohim.”

In Hebrew, this Feast is known as “Yom Kippur.” Translators of the King James (KJ) Bible chose the word “atonement” for “kippur,” which explains why some call it the “Day of Atonement.” Kippur comes from the primitive Hebrew root word “kapar,” whichmeans “to expiate, atone, forgive, purge, cancel, placate, cover, appease, cleanse, pardon, reconcile.” (Strong's Concordance) Each of those words accurately describes what the Day of Atonement means. It also explains why some also refer to Yom Kippur as the Day of Expiation.

The following passage stresses the importance of forever keeping the Feast of Yom Kippur annually: (Leviticus 23:29-32) “For whatsoever soul it be that shall not be afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut off from among his people. And whatsoever soul it be that does any work in that same day, the same soul I will destroy from among his people. You shall do no manner of work. It shall be a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings. It shall be unto you a Sabbath of rest, and you shall afflict your souls. In the ninth day of the moon at evening, from evening unto evening, shall you celebrate your Sabbath.

Make no mistake! YAHUAH Elohim established HIS appointed times for all of Israel, not just for those of the Jewish faith.: (Romans 3:29) “Is He the Elohim of the Jews only? Is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also!” (Romans 10:12) “For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon Him.”

Indeed, YAHUAH invites all of Israel to meet with HIM on HIS Feast: (Leviticus 23:1-2) YAHUAH spoke to Moses saying, “Speak to the children of Israel and say to them, 'Concerning the Feasts of YAHUAH, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are My Feasts.'”

Also notice He is calling for a family reunion of His children named Israel. That's a compound Hebrew word (“iesh-rah-El”) that describes people ('iesh”), in other words, a man who wrestles with evil (“rah”) yet prevails by holding onto Elohim (“El”). So, if you struggle with worldly temptations, but truly desire to live following the righteous Way of Elohim, then His coming Feast Day is meant for you. Indeed, the Day of Atonement is so important to our soul's welfare, He repeats our instructions to keep it: (Numbers 29:7-11) “You shall have on the tenth day of this seventh month a holy convocation. You shall afflict your souls. You shall do no work therein. You shall offer a burnt offering to YAHUAH for a sweet savor; one young bullock, one ram and seven lambs of the first year. They shall be unto you without blemish. Their meat offering shall be of flour mingled with oil, three tenth deals to a bullock and two tenth deals to one ram, a several tenth deal for one lamb, throughout the seven lambs, one kid of the goats for a sin offering; beside the sin offering of atonement, and the continual burnt offering, and the meat offering of it, and their drink offerings.”  

Gathering for praise and worship even while fasting seems reasonable, but what about those animal sacrifices? Scripture says these were important in ancient Israel in asking for a pardon of sins against Yah's commandments: (Leviticus 4:27-28) “If anyone of the common people sin through ignorance, while he does somewhat against any of the commandments of YAHUAH concerning things which ought not to be done and be guilty; or if his sin, which he has sinned, come to his knowledge, then he shall bring his offering, a kid of the goats, a female without blemish for his sin which he has sinned

Since Elohim's standards don't change (Hebrews 13:8), are we expected to obey this command? In other words, are we to beg forgiveness with a blood sacrifice? While some point to the Roman destruction of Jerusalem's Temple as the reason for no longer performing such ceremonies on an altar, our Bible, however, teaches that the Son of YAHUAH fulfilled that command through His sacrificial death as a lamb without blemish (sin): (John 1:29) The next day John sees Yahushuah coming to him and said, “Behold the Lamb of Elohim, who takes away the sin of the world.” (Hebrews 10:10) “By the which will, we are sanctified through the offering of the Body of Yahushuah ha'Masiach once for all.”  (Leviticus 17:11) “For the life of the flesh is in the blood. I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls for it is the blood that makes an atonement for the soul.”

Thus, Elohim's Plan of Salvation for humanity includes a Way to atone for the sins committed in ignorance. Hereby we learn of a spiritual reconciliation through Yahushuah's sacrifice of blood, so perfect, it's impossible to duplicate on our own: (1 Peter 1:18-19) “For as much as you know that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Messiah as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.

Yes! HalleluYAH! In atoning for the sins of the world through His death Elohim’s lamb, a perfect human and Son of Elohim, replaced the blood sacrifices of perfect (unblemished) animals. (1 Peter 2:21-25) “For even here unto were you called because Messiah also suffered for us, leaving us an example that you should follow His steps; who did no sin, nor was guile found in His mouth. Who, when He was reviled, reviled not again. When He suffered, He threatened not, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously. Who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree, so that we, being dead to sins, should live to righteousness by whose stripes you were healed. For you were as sheep going astray; but are now returned to the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.”

Notice that passage instructs us to “follow His steps”, thus while BYA won't be sacrifice animals, we will make an offering of our bodies as we gather on Yom Kippur to focus on spiritual matters rather than our personal pursuits like work, play, shopping, etc. Furthermore, we will afflict our bodies with a fast of no food or water. (1 Peter 2:4-5) “To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of Elohim, and precious. You also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to Elohim by Yahushuah ha'Mashiach.”

In offering ourselves as a living sacrifice, we recall the painful death of our Messiah. We honor and acknowledge His perfect sacrifice in accordance with the Will of YAHUAH Elohim: (Romans 12:1-2) “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of Elohim, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto Elohim, which is your reasonable service. Be not conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind that you may prove what is that good, acceptable and perfect Will of Elohim.”  (1 Corinthians 6:20) “For you are bought with a price. Therefore, glorify Elohim in your body and in your spirit, which are Elohim's.”

Scripture confirms that Yahushuah is Israel's ancient High Priest who annually entered the Holy of Holies on the Day of Atonement. Thus, our Redeemer now serves as the mediator who reconciles us to our Heavenly Father: (Hebrews 4:14-16)Seeing then that we have a great high priest, who is passed into the heavens, Yahushuah, the Son of Elohim. Let us hold fast our profession for we have not a high priest who cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

HalleluYAH! Now that's a good reason to celebrate 2018 Yom Kippur. We don’t need physical animal sacrifices. The perfect spiritual sacrifice is fulfilled! Done! Complete! Finished! (Ephesians 1:7-8) “We have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace; where in He has abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence.”

Nonetheless, BYA still recognizes and keeps the Day of Atonement. In effect, we reject the way of a rebellious world that promotes separating Elohim from people. Instead, we gratefully accept the merciful act that enables us to be reconciled into Elohim's good grace: (Ephesians 2:1–6) “You has He quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past you walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience. Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. But Elohim, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, even when we were dead in sins, has quickened us together with Messiah, by grace you are saved; and raised us up together and made us sit together in heavenly places in Messiah Yahushuah that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Messiah Yahushuah.”

Our celebratory acts on 2018 Yom Kippur help us to remember Elohim's Salvation Plan. In other words, we consider how this Feast foreshadows the events to come as Yahushuah reconciles and reunites us with our Heavenly Father: (Colossians 2:16-17) “Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of a Holy Day, or of the New Moon, or of the Sabbath days, which are a shadow of things to come; but the Body is of Messiah.” 

So, as a set-apart people of Elohim, we obediently gather on the Day of Atonement to pray, to meditate, to repent, to be cleansed and to accept the forgiveness and reconciliation available through Our Redeemer'’s sacrifice. (Galatians 1:3-4) “Grace be to you and peace from Elohim the Father, and from our Adonai Yahushuah Messiah who gave Himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of Elohim and our Father, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.”

Many at BYA will afflict themselves with a fast of no food or water for 24-hours on Atonement Day. That affliction begs a question, “Why fast? In other words, is “afflicting your souls” the same as “fasting”? Does the Bible teach that type of sacrificial offering is pleasing onto Elohim? (2 Timothy 3:16-17) “All scripture is given by inspiration of Elohim, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of Elohim may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”

Let’s begin with an understanding of a few terms. Webster’s New World College Dictionary defines “afflict” as “to cause pain or suffering to, distress very much;” and “affliction” as “an afflicted condition: pain, suffering; anything causing pain or distress; calamity.” In other words, the concept of “affliction implies pain, suffering or distress imposed by illness, loss, misfortune, etc.”

According to Strong’s Concordance, theKJ translates “afflict or afflicted” from a primitive Hebrew word (“anah”) which means: “to literally or figuratively depress, afflict, affliction, afflict self, chasten self, abase self, deal hardly with, defile, exercise, force, humble self, hurt, ravish.”  Most people who go without food or water for 24-hours will testify that affliction causes pain, distress and suffering to their body. Yet, surprisingly, after examining several scriptural meanings of “anah” not once did the word “fast” appear on the lists.

Webster further defines “fast” as “to abstain from all or certain foods, as in observing a holy day; to eat very little, or nothing; the act of fasting; a day or period of fasting.” Also the Hebrew word for “fast” is “tsowm” and the Greek word “nesteuo,”  means “to abstain as a religious exercise from food and drink entirely if a fast lasts a single day, or from customary or choice nourishment, if it continues several days.”

Appearing over 40 times in the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) and the Apostolic Scriptures (New Testament), we have many examples of fasts to consider, such as this one when David chastened his soul: (Psalm 69:10) “When I wept and chastened my soul with fasting, that was to my reproach.”

There's also our Savior's 40-day fast: (Matthew 4:1-2) Then Yahushuah was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the demon. When He fasted forty days and forty nights, He was afterward hungry.

Our Messiah also answers a question about fasts: (Mark 2:16-20) The disciples of John and the Pharisees used to fast. They came and said to Him, “Why do the disciples of John and of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples fast not?” Yahushuah said to them, “Can the children of the bride chamber fast while the bridegroom is with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast. But the days will come when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them. Then, they shall fast in those days.

Thus, BYA fasts. Our Messiah is away, and we await His return to earth. Furthermore, scriptural fasting has a common theme as an intercessory act (e.g. praying for the benefit of others): (Esther 4:15-16) “Go! Gather together all the Yahudim who are present in Shushan. You fast for me (Ester). Neither eat nor drink three days, night or day. I and my maidens will fast likewise. So I will go to the king, who is not according to the law (Torah). If I perish, I perish.”

Indeed, to Yah it’s the purpose of the fast, its intention that matters most. (Isaiah 58:3-5) “Wherefore have we fasted, they say, and you see not?” Wherefore have we afflicted our soul and you take no knowledge?” “Behold, in the day of your fast you find pleasure and exact all your labors. Behold, you fast for strife and debate, to smite with the fist of wickedness. You shall not fast as you do this day to make your voice to be heard on high. Is it such a fast that I have chosen, a day for a man to afflict his soul? Is it to bow down his head as a bulrush and spread sackcloth and ashes under him? Will you call this a fast and an acceptable day to YAHUAH?”

Thus, atoning fasts should lead us to think of others instead of our self. Yet fasting isn't the only way to seek forgiveness for our self or others. Indeed, Yah identifies some pleasing deeds for those physically unable to fast: (Isaiah 58:6-7) “Is not this the fast that I have chosen, to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? Is it not to deal your bread to the hungry and that you bring the poor who are cast out to your house? When you see the naked, that you cover him; and that you hide not yourself from your own flesh?”

If done with a proper heart and for the right reason, such sacrifices are appropriate ways to “anah” (humble our self) before Elohim: (James 4:7-10) “Submit yourselves, therefore, to Elohim. Resist the demon and he will flee from you. Draw near to Elohim and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners! Purify your hearts, you double minded! Be afflicted! Mourn! Weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of Adonai and He shall lift you up.”

Ancient Israel in times of national crises, such as their exile into Babylon, fasted in sorrow and in humbleness: (Ezra 10:6) Then Ezra rose up from before the House of Elohim and went into the chamber of Jochanan the son of Eliashiv. When he came there, he did eat no bread, nor drink water: for he mourned because of the transgression of them who had been carried away.

So for 2108 Yom Kippur BYA can fast for a nation in disarray. America's leaders head us toward financial and moral bankruptcy. Cities are under siege with rampant murders. The United States is stricken with natural catastrophes, such as floods, fires, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, mudslides, etc. American rules, laws and judgments seek to remove trust in the living Elohim, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe.” (1 Tim. 4:10)

Is there not a better time to fast? (Joel 1:10-15) “The field is wasted. The land mourns for the corn is wasted. The new wine is dried up. The oil languishes. Be ashamed! Howl o’ ye husbandmen; o ye vine dressers; for the wheat and the barley; because the harvest of the field is perished. The vine is dried up. The fig tree languishes. The pomegranate tree, the palm tree and the apple tree, even all the trees of the field are withered because joy is withered away from the sons of men. Gird yourselves and lament, you priests! Howl, you ministers of the altar! Come, lie all night in sackcloth, you ministers of my Elohim for the meat offering and the drink offering is withheld from the house of your Elohim. Sanctify a fast! Call a solemn assembly! Gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land into the house of YAHUAH your Elohim. Cry to YAHUAH! Alas for the day, for the day of YAHUAH is at hand!

So, please join us for 2018 Yom Kippur as we humbly praise, glorify, honor, thank and seek forgiveness of YAHUAH. All are invited to accept His Word and Will. (Jeremiah 36:6-7) “Therefore, you go and read in the roll, which you have written from my mouth, the words of YAHUAH in the ears of the people in YAHUAH’s House on the fasting day. Also, you shall read them in the ears of all Judah who come out of their cities. It may be they will present their supplication before YAHUAH and will return every one from his evil way.”

May YAHUAH acknowledge our fast and intercessory prayers. And may the mercy and grace of Yahushuah be with all of us. Shalom, Elder Curt


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

Mark Your Calendar: On 8/5/18 (Sun. noon to 6:00 pm) Bet Yeshurun Assembly will host a picnic at the Surfside Shelter of Lake St. Clair Metro Park (previously known as Metropolitan Beach). Enjoy an afternoon of fellowship with members, family and friends.


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