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. 1011 / November 15, 2018

Schedule of Gatherings          

Schedule of Gatherings                                              

11/15/18 Sabbath(lunar)                                                                         1:00 pm
11/17/18 Sabbath(consecutive)                                                            1:30 pm
11/22/18  Sabbath(lunar)                                                                       1:00 pm
11/24/18 Sabbath(consecutive)                                                           1:30 pm
11/29/18 Sabbath(lunar)                                                                        1:00 pm
12/1/18    Sabbath(consecutive)                                                          1:30 pm
12/6/18    Sabbath(lunar)                                                                      1:00 pm
12/8/18    Chodesh (10th New Moon celebration of the year)        1:30 pm
12/15/18 Sabbath                                                                                  1:30 pm

 

2018 Schedule for Reading the Bible in One-Year

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
11/21 - Chapters 8 – 9             11/22 - Chapters 10 – 11        11/23 - Chapters 12 – 13

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                        


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.


Wanted: Sentinels Of Elohim

(Ezekiel 3:16-19) “It came to pass at the end of seven days that the Word of YAHUAH came to me saying, 'Son of man, I made you a watchman to the House of Israel. Therefore, hear the Word at my mouth and give them warning from me. When I say to the wicked, you shall surely die; and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand. Yet if you warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you delivered your soul.'”

That warning from YAHUAH tells Ezekiel, a watchman of ancient times, to do  his job speaking out about the consequences of wicked behavior in Israel. Modern-day watchmen are likewise warned to speak up regarding the immoral behavior of people. Yah's guardians of society are also responsible for warning the good, if they should stray off Elohim's Path of Life: (Ezekiel 3:20-21) '”Again, when a righteous man turns from his righteousness, and commit iniquity, and I lay a stumbling block before him, he shall die. Because you have not given him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he has done shall not be remembered; but his blood I will require at your hand. Nevertheless if you warn the righteous man, that the righteous sin not, and he does not sin, he shall surely live, because he is warned; also you delivered your soul.'”

The thought of helping deliver souls, including your own, certainly is appealing, yet the consequences for doing a lousy job as a watchman may lead to some reluctance and questions about the job of serving Elohim like that. To overcome my own negativity, I decided to do a Bible study on watchmen. One bit of good news to share with Bet Yeshurun Assembly (BYA) includes learning that Elohim's watchmen can be young or old; men or women; of all nationalities, provided they heartily love Yah and mightily seek to do His Will: (Acts 10:34-35) “Of a truth, I (apostle Peter) perceive that Elohim is no respecter of persons. But in every nation he who fears Him and works righteousness, is accepted with Him.”

I also learned that “watchman” is translated from “tsaphah,” a primitive Hebrew verb that means “to lean forward, peer into the distance, to observe, await, behold, look up, watch.” (Strong's Concordance) Although KJV translators chose a noun, “watch-man”, they could have used words of action as in, “I made you to watch the House of Israel”. Consider also that the Greekverb grēgoreōmeans “to watch” (Strong's) and was so translated here as Yahushuah instructs all His followers, including those at BYA, to be a “watchman!” (Luke 12:37-40) “Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he comes shall find watching (grēgoreō). Verily I say to you, he shall gird himself, make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them. If he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants. And this know, that if the good man of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through. Be therefore ready also for the Son of Man comes at an hour when you think not.”

Since all men and women (“persons”) are capable of watching, I checked the definition of a “watchman: (1) archaic - a person whose duty was to guard or police the streets at night and (2) a person hired to guard a building or property against thieves or trespassers at night.” (Webster's Dictionary)

Did you notice our last Scripture passage spoke of servants watching in the night? The 2nd and 3rd watches in ancient times covered the hours from 9:00 pm until 3:00 am as measured on modern-day clocks. Spiritually speaking, that happens to be the darkest hours, a time when evil can lurk, like thieves, to rob our families and homes. That's when Yah's people are to be especially alert and watching like a dutiful wife and mother serving her family at night: (Proverb 31:15) “She (a virtuous woman) rises also while it is yet night, gives meat to her household and a portion to her maidens.” (Proverb 31:27-28) “She looks well (tsaphah) to the ways of her household, and eats not the bread of idleness. Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her.”

Thus, all the men and women of BYA can learn from the ever watchful love of a Proverbs 31 women. The masculine 'watchman” seemed too restrictive, so I searched foragender-neutral term: “sentinel - a person set to guard or watch over a group.(Webster's) Notice sentinels may work night or day as duly found in this verse: (Daniel 4:17; New English Translation) “This announcement is by the decree of the sentinels; this decision is by the pronouncement of the holy ones, so that those who are alive may understand that the Most High has authority over human kingdoms, and he bestows them on whomever he wishes. He establishes over them even the lowliest of human beings.”

So, let us pray for good sentinels to watch over families 24-hour/day. May our protectors of society never grow weary or complacent. May they always be on-guard in the spiritual darkness for an adversary prowls among us: (1 Peter 5:8-11) “Be sober! Grēgoreō because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. But the Elohim of all grace, who called us unto his eternal glory by Messiah Yahushuah, after you suffered a while, make you perfect, establish, strengthen, settle you. To him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.”

Now feeling better that my BYA brothers and sisters can serve along with me as a sentinel, I searched for other watchmen in the Bible. Lo and behold, YAHUAH Elohim! The first time “tsaphah” appears in the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) is in the story of Jacob and Laban agreeing to peacefully separate. Notice how Laban petitions YAHUAH to be on “watch” between them: (Genesis 31:48-50) Laban said, “This heap is a witness between me and you this day.” Therefore, was the name of it called Galeed; and Mizpah; for he said, “YAHUAH watch (tsaphah) between me and you, when we are absent one from another. If you shall afflict my daughters, or if you shall take other wives beside my daughters, no man is with us. See, Elohim is witness betwixt me and you.”

Even the shifty Laban recognized there's no better watchman to call upon than the Most High, omniscient, omnipresent Elohim. He knew Jacob wouldn't dare do anything wrong toward him or his daughters, not with the El of Abraham and Isaac watching. Indeed, YAHUAH is always on-watch; 24-hours/day, 365-days/year. That may come as a shock to the lawless ones of society when His Day of Reckoning arrives? (Proverb 15:3) “The eyes of YAHUAH are in every place, beholding (tsaphah) the evil and the good.” (Psalm 37:28-34) “For YAHUAH loves judgment, and forsakes not His Saints. They are preserved forever, but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off. The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therein forever. The mouth of the righteous speaks wisdom, and his tongue talks of judgment. The law of his Elohim is in his heart. None of his steps shall slide. The wicked watches (tsaphah) the righteous, and seeks to slay him. YAHUAH will not leave him in his hand, nor condemn him when he is judged. Wait on YAHUAH! Keep His Way, and He shall exalt you to inherit the land. When the wicked are cut off, you shall see it.”

With the understanding that Elohim calls for sentinels, also consider evil men do likewise. Yet notice the unsavory character traits of those, who report to wicked  leaders as exemplified in king Saul. Those sentinels silently watched a beat-down: (1 Samuel 14:16) The watchmen of Saul in Gibeah of Benjamin looked. And behold, the multitude melted away, and they went on beating down one another.

So, good sentinels noticeably differ from bad ones. For example, this good one reported to a righteous king. David (his name means the beloved of Elohim and he serves as a foreshadow of Yahushuah, the Beloved of YAHUAH) learned of what was happening in his kingdom from a watchman: (2 Samuel 18:24-27) David sat between the two gates: and the watchman went up to the roof over the gate unto the wall, and lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold a man running alone. The watchman cried and told the king. The king said, “If he be alone, there is tidings in his mouth.” He came apace and drew near. The watchman saw another man running. The watchman called to the porter and said, “Behold another man running alone.” The king said, “He also brings tidings.” The watchman said, “I think the running of the foremost is like the running of Ahimaaz the son of Zadok.” The king said, “He is a good man and comes with good tidings.

Some may say they're too old to be Elohim's sentinel. Notice Yahushuah does not mention any retirement age for disciples: (Matthew 24:42-44) Watch therefore! Grēgoreō for you know not what hour your Adonai comes. But know this, that if the good man of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would grēgoreō, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. Therefore be  also ready: for in such an hour as you think not, the Son of Man comes.”

Indeed, there's no age discriminationupon sentinels. Elohim accepts young applicants: (2 Samuel 13:34) The young man that kept the watch tsaphah) lifted up his eyes, looked, and beheld, many came by the way of the hill side behind him.

Elohim's sentinels are forewarned there can be times of discouragement when people choose to disregard the Word of Yah that's shared with them. Nonetheless, sentinels are to be persistent and consistent. It's Yah they reject: (Jeremiah 6:16-17) Thus says YAHUAH, “Stand in the ways and see. Ask for the old paths, where is the good Way and walk therein, and you shall find rest for your souls.” But they said, “We will not walk therein!” “I also set watchmen over you, saying, 'Hearken to the sound of the trumpet!'” But they said, “We will not hearken!

So, let's summarize why being a sentinel for Elohim is an awesome calling. When my family or friends ask if they should pursue a new job, I usually ask them, “Will the boss, the work, and the pay be better than the one you have?” If they're now satisfied with 2 out of 3, I'll reply, “Then why look? You might end up worse off.”

For example, based upon my business experience, any of those 3 important job criteria can change quickly. While 3 of 3 is certainly worthy of seeking, even if initially achieved, I learned that: (1) bosses received promotions, retired, or left the company; (2) jobs were changed during company reorganizations; or (3) wages  froze, or worse, were reduced due to company financial duress. On the other hand, if a job seeker says, “I'm happy with just 1 of 3 now.” My reply is, “Keep looking, but make sure your new job decision is based on a simple analysis of those 3 criteria.”

So, with that sort of logic, let's examine the position of a sentinel. First, the boss? Elohim! Can't do better than that. Unlike many of my previous jobs that had me on-call at all times, Yah provides sabbath rests for sentinels. Plus, as king David shows the Watchman of watchmen is available for consultation any time through a prayer call: (Psalm 5:1-4) “Give ear to my words, O YAHUAH, consider my meditation. Hearken to the voice of my cry, my King and Elohim, for to You I will I pray. My voice shall you hear in the morning, O YAHUAH; in the morning I will direct my prayer to you, and will look up. For you are not an Elohim who has pleasure in wickedness: nor shall evil dwell with you.”

Second, the job? After working in the business world for nearly 4 decades, I never saw a better job description and results. Imagine, Elohim's sentinel who will see YAHUAH's Salvation: (Isaiah 52:7-8) “How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of him who brings good tidings, who publishes peace; who brings good tidings of good, who publishes salvation; who says to Zion, “Your Elohim reigns!” Your watchmen shall lift up the voice. With the voice together shall they sing. For they shall see eye to eye, when YAHUAH shall bring again Zion.”

Three, the pay? Let's get this right out in the open, the material reward is minuscule. Also understand this is a high-risk position as sentinels are usually the first one an enemy exterminates. Yet, I always counsel others to consider the total compensation package besides the base salary. For example, there's a great performance bonus for a sentinel, the deliverance of their soul into Eternal Life: (Ezekiel 33:2-9) “Son of man, speak to the children of thy people, and say to them, 'When I bring the sword upon a land, if the people of the land take a man of their coasts and set him for their watchman: If when he sees the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people; Then whosoever hears the sound of the trumpet, and takes not warning; if the sword come and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. He heard the sound of the trumpet and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him. But he that takes warning shall deliver his soul. But if the watchman see the sword come and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at the watchman's hand. So you, O son of man, I set you a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore you shall hear the Word at my mouth, and warn them from me. When I say to the wicked, 'O wicked man, you shall surely die!' If you do not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at your hand. Nevertheless, if you warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you delivered your soul.”

Oh, to hear Yahushuah say, “Well done! Good and faithful sentinel! Enter into the rest of my Heavenly Father's Kingdom!” (Psalm 66:5-7) “Come and see the works of Elohim: terrible doing toward the children of men. He turned the sea into dry: they went through the flood on foot: there did we rejoice in Him. He rules by His power forever; His eyes behold (tsaphah) the nations: let not the rebellious exalt themselves. Selah.(Isaiah 21:5-12) “Prepare the table, watch (tsaphah) in the watchtower. Eat, drink! Arise, princes, anoint the shield. For thus YAHUAH said to me, “Go, set a watchman, let him declare what he sees.' And he saw a chariot with a couple of horsemen, a chariot of asses and a chariot of camels; and he hearkened diligently with much heed. And he cried, 'A lion! My adonai!' I stand continually upon the watchtower in the daytime and I am set in my ward whole nights. And, behold, here comes a chariot of men, with a couple of horsemen. And he answered and said, 'Babylon is fallen, is fallen; and all the graven images of her gods He has broken unto the ground.' O my threshing and the corn of my floor that which I heard of YAHUAH of Hosts (Tzavuot), the Elohim of Israel, I declared unto you. The burden of Dumah. He calls to me out of Seir, 'Watchman, what of the night? Watchman, what of the night?' The watchman said, 'The morning comes and also the night.'”

So, do you aspire to be a sentinel, like one of these role models? Ezekiel (one Elohim strengthens), David (Elohim's beloved), Micah (who is like Elohim), or Habakkuk (embraced of Elohim)? [Habakkuk 2:1-4) “I will stand upon my watch, sit upon the tower, will watch (tsaphah) to see what He will say to me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved. YAHUAH answered me and said, “Write the vision. Make it plain upon tables, that he may run who reads it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak and not lie. Though it tarry, wait for it. Because it will surely come, it will not tarry. Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him. But the just shall live by his faith.”

Do you wish to be a strong, spiritual disciple like Paul, Peter, James, or John? In other words, sentinels drawn near to Yahushuah? (Matthew 26:38-41) Then says He to them, “My soul is exceeding sorrowful even unto death. Tarry here! Watch (grēgoreō) with me.” He went a little further, fell on His face and prayed saying, “O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou will.” He came unto the disciples, found them asleep and said to Peter, “What? Can you not grēgoreō with me one hour? Watch and pray that you enter not into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak!

Will you serve as a sentinel to those living in Corinth (a place of satisfaction, complacency)? (1 Corinthians 16:13-14) “Watch! Grēgoreō! Stand fast in the faith! Like men, be strong! Let all your things be done with charity (agape love)!”

Or, as a sentinel to Thessalonica (those who falsely claim victory in Messiah)? (1 Thessalonians 5: 6-10) “Therefore let us not sleep, as do others. But let us watch (grēgoreō) and be sober. For they who sleep, sleep in the night; and they who are drunk, are drunk in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. For Elohim has not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Adonai Yahushuah ha'Mashiach, who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him.

Hallelu YAH! Do you wish to serve as a sentinel of Elohim? Will you warn spiritual Israel (those wrestling with good and evil in the world who will live holding onto the Way of Elohim)? Yah's looking for a few strong, brave sentinels to share a spiritual Word of Life. Will you say, “Yes, Yah! Here I am! “Talented sentinels, Selah! (Matthew 25:13-15) “Watch (grēgoreō) therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of Man comes. For the Kingdom of Heaven is as a man traveling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.”

May BYA always strive to be good sentinels based on our knowledge of the Gospel; the good news about Elohim's Kingdom: (Revelation 3:2-3) Grēgoreō! Strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found your works perfect before Elohim. Remember therefore how you received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore you shall not grēgoreō, I will come on you as a thief, and you shall not know what hour I will come upon you.” (Revelation 16:15) “Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that grēgoreō and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.”

Heavenly Father, YAHUAH Elohim, please call more of your sentinels to serve our world. And may Yahushuah's mercy and grace be upon us all.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