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. 1112 / January 25, 2020


Schedule of Gatherings

1/25        Sabbath                                                                                1:30 pm
2/1          Sabbath                                                                                1:30 pm
2/8          Sabbath                                                                                1:30 pm
2/15        Sabbath                                                                                1:30 pm
2/16        Chodesh (12th New Month Feast)                                    3:00 pm
2/22        Sabbath                                                                                1:30 pm



2020 Schedule for Reading the Bible in One-Year                         
Brit Cha’Dasha; Yochanan (Yah has Favoured) Gospel of John                                           
1/25 - Chapters 16 – 18          1/26 - Chapters 19 – 21          
Brit Cha’Dasha; Ma’Asheh (Actions) Acts of Apostles                                                          
1/27 - Chapters 1 – 3              1/28 - Chapters 4 – 6              1/29 - Chapters 7 – 8
1/30 - Chapters 9 – 10            1/31 - Chapters 11 – 13          2/1 - Chapters 14 – 15
2/2 - Chapters 16 – 17            2/3 - Chapters 18 – 20            2/4 - Chapters 21 – 23
2/5 - Chapters 24 – 26            2/6 - Chapters 27 – 28
Brit Cha’Dasha; Galatiyim (Of the Gauls) Paul’s Letter to Galatians
2/7 - Chapters 1 – 3                 2/8 - Chapters 4 – 6                                                               
Brit Cha’Dasha; Tas’Loniqim 1 (Victory of Falsity) Paul’s First Letter to Thessalonians
2/9 - Chapters 1 – 5                                
Brit Cha’Dasha; Tas’Loniqim 2 (Victory of Falsity) Paul’s 2nd Letter to Thessalonians
2/10 - Chapters 1 – 3                              
Brit Cha’Dasha; Qorin’tiyim 1 (Satiated) Paul’s First Letter to Corinthians                        
2/11 - Chapters 1 – 4               2/12 - Chapters 5 – 8              2/13 - Chapters 9 – 11
2/14 - Chapters 12 – 14          2/15 - Chapters 15 – 16
Brit Cha’Dasha; Qorin’tiyim 2 (Satiated) Paul’s Second Letter to Corinthians            
2/16 - Chapters 1 – 4              2/17 - Chapters 5 – 9              2/18 - Chapters 10 – 13          
Brit Cha’Dasha; Romiyim (Strength) Paul’s Letter to  Romans                                             
2/19 - Chapters 1 – 3               2/20 - Chapters 4 – 7              2/21 - Chapters 8 – 10
2/22 - Chapters 11 – 13           2/23 - Chapters 14 – 16

 

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.

 

The Highway of Holiness

(A Bible Study)

(Editor’s Note) Reading prophetic books challenges even the most diligent of Bible students. In this article for Bet Yehsurun Assembly (BYA), Jory Brooks helps us with understanding that Isaiah's Messianic prophecies weren't totally fulfilled in ancient times. Indeed, the prophet's message from long ago remains relevant to modern society particularly as we watch the unfolding events in the Middle East. As these wars continue to escalate and intensify, the profound impact upon America is difficult to ignore. Thus, Isaiah's prophecies deserve our full attention and the scholarly comments within this article warrant our reflection regarding the redemptive promise of Elohim to regather His people from the many nations into which they were scattered throughout the world many ages ago.

(Isaiah 35:8-10) “A highway shall be there and a road, and it shall be called the Highway of Holiness. The unclean shall not pass over it, but it shall be for others. Whoever walks the road, although a fool, shall not go astray. No lion shall be there, nor shall any ravenous beast go up on it; It shall not be found there. But the redeemed shall walk there, and the ransomed of YAHUAH shall return and come to Zion with singing, with everlasting joy on their heads. They shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

Much has been written about the above prophecy and its relationship to the return of the Jews and establishment of a Jewish state. Until 1948, it was commonly taught in Christian churches that this return would not take place until the end of the age upon our Lord’s return. The reason is that a number of Old Testament prophecies indicated that Israel would return in belief, not in ignorance, regarding the Messiah as Isaiah prophecies in the opening Scripture passage of this article.

An ‘Israel “redeemed and ransomed of YAHUAH, that returns to Zion with everlasting joy and gladness, with all sorrow forever removed” is a totally different picture fromwhat has transpired in the Middle East region since 1948. Nor was this prophecy fulfilled centuries earlier in the Old Testament accounts of a small number of Judean exiles who returned from Babylon in 537 BCE: (Ezra 2:64) The whole assembly together was forty-two thousand three hundred and sixty, besides their male and female servants, of whom there were seven thousand three hundred and thirty-seven; and they had two hundred men and women singers.

Isaiah’s Highway of Holiness clearly points to a Millennial picture of Eden-like perfection. The Whedon Bible Commentary supports this Millennial fulfillment: “In the foregoing portions of prophecy the people of God were seen to be in danger respectively from Syrians, Egyptians, Assyrians, Moabites, Edomites, and Babylonians; and from each and all, their deliverance was achieved, and their enemies destroyed as predicted. Now the conclusion is, that all God’s foes shall ultimately and forever be put to naught. The rule of Messiah shall be universal and eternal; and security and joy shall come upon God’s ransomed ones; a conclusion most fitting to this prophetic series.”

Lang’s Commentary adds, “As exile is the sum of all terrors for the Israelite, so exile’s end, return to Zion to everlasting, blessed residence there is the acme and sum of all felicity.” Not even the most ardent advocate of John Darby’s 19th century Dispensational Futurism would insist today’s Palestine is the sum of all felicity! Yet, John Trapp’s Commentary says concerning Isaiah 35, “there is no sufficient reason for departing from the strict sense of the future.”

The establishment of a Jewish state in 1948 therefore created a dilemma, if Bible prophecies of Israel’s return were to be taken literally. The usual response of many modern commentators is to spiritualize these prophecies of Israel’s return as in by referring to the Christian Church. Pulpit Commentary, for example, titles the prophecy in Isaiah 35 as “The glory of the last times.” They state, “On the punishment of God’s enemies will follow the peace, prosperity, and glory of his Church. Previously, the Church is in affliction, waste, and desolate. Its enemies once removed, destroyed, swept out of the way, it rises instantly in all its beauty to a condition which words are poor to paint. The highest resources of the poetic art are called in to give some idea of the glory and happiness of the final Church of the redeemed.”

Another issue is that Chapters 34 and 35 of the Book of Isaiah are linked together prophetically. Consider what the Biblical Illustrator says, “The thirty-fourth and the thirty-fifth chapters of Isaiah are by the best scholars supposed to constitute one entire and complete prophecy.” Lang’s Commentary also notes, “Thus here [in chapter 35] the prospect of joyful return home is presented to Israel in contrast with the frightful judgments that in chapter 34 are to come upon the heathen.” In Isaiah 34, YAHUAH visits Israel’s enemies, chiefly Edom, in judgment as a prelude to Israel’s joyful return in chapter 35. John Trapp’s Commentary says, “The Jewish doctors understand these two chapters as a prophecy of their return into the Holy Land, when once Idumea shall be destroyed.” Thus, prophetic destruction of Edom is an essential precursor to Israel’s return.

For this reason, up until 1917, Christians were commonly taught that the Turks were prophetic Edom (Greek, Idumea) because they controlled the Holy Land. As World War One burst upon the scene, many Christians believed that this event was a sure sign of the imminent end of the age. Ezekiel’s end-time prophecy was often quoted as referring to Turkey, and false claims were even made that the Turks were physical descendants of Edom. Obviously, the prophecy didn’t apply to the first or to  second World War, which erupted a few decades later. Could this prophecy of Ezekiel apply to a looming third World War about to erupt in the Middle East? Consider this prophecy: (Ezekiel 36:2-5) 'Thus says Sovereign YAHUAH: "Because the enemy has said of you, “Aha! The ancient heights have become our possession," therefore prophesy, and say, “Thus says Sovereign YAHUAH: "Because they made you desolate and swallowed you up on every side, so that you became the possession of the rest of the nations, and you are taken up by the lips of talkers and slandered by the people’-- 'therefore, O mountains of Israel, hear the Word of Sovereign YAHUAH! Thus says Sovereign YAHUAH to the mountains, the hills, the rivers, the valleys, the desolate wastes, and the cities that have been forsaken, which became plunder and mockery to the rest of the nations all around-- 'therefore thus says Sovereign YAHUAH: "Surely I have spoken in My burning jealousy against the rest of the nations and against all Edom (Idumea), who gave My land to themselves as a possession, with wholehearted joy and spiteful minds, in order to plunder its open country."

Lang’s Commentary, on the other hand, seems to think that the Isaiah 35 prophecy is “hyperbole or a mirage” as the verses 8 to 10 “denotes the illusive appearance often witnessed both at sea and land, called in English “looming,” in Italian “fata morgana,” and in French “mirage.” In the deserts of Arabia and Africa, the appearance presented is precisely that of an extended sheet of water, tending not only to mislead the traveler, but to aggravate his thirst by disappointment. ‘More deceitful than mirage’ (or serab) is an Arabian proverb.” Yet, in any event, no amount of hyperbole can make Isaiah 35 fit either the Christian Church spiritually, or a literal return of unbelieving Jews. Only an age-end return of the Messiah setting up His Holy Kingdom for a redeemed Israel will fit the facts of Israel’s prophetic return.

The Bible Knowledge Commentary on Isaiah 35 reveals, “Changes will occur in the people and the land. Because of God’s healing power (cf. Isaiah 33:24) those who are blind will see, those who are deaf will hear (cf. Isaiah 32:3; Isaiah 42:7) those who are lame will leap (cf. Isaiah 33:23), and those who cannot talk will shout. The Messiah will bring this about.”

In conclusion, the Keil & Delitzsch Commentary says, “The whole chapter [35] is, in every part, both in thought and language, a prelude of that book of consolation for the exiles in their captivity. Not only in its spiritual New Testament thoughts, but also in its ethereal language, soaring high as it does in majestic softness and light, the prophecy has now reached the highest point of its development.”

May BYA fervently look forward to Yahushuah’s return and the fulfillment of these wonderful Messianic prophecies!

 

 

Announcement

Moedim (YAHUAH's Appointed Times)A schedule of 2015 and 2016 gatherings at Bet Yeshurun Assembly is available on the table at the back of the room. Please pick-up a copy and mark the upcoming Holy Days on your planning calendar.

 

Thoughts for Meditation

“What you would avoid suffering yourself, seek not to impose on others.” Epictetus (about 100 CE)

“May I do to others as I would that they should do unto me.”  Plato (Greece, about 4th century BCE)

“Do not do to others that which would anger you if others did it to you.” Socrates (Greece, about 5th century BCE)

“Treat your inferiors as you would be treated by your superiors.” - Seneca (Rome, 1st century CE)



Thoughts for Meditation

“What you would avoid suffering yourself, seek not to impose on others.” Epictetus (about 100 CE)

“May I do to others as I would that they should do unto me.”  Plato (Greece, about 4th century BCE)

“Do not do to others that which would anger you if others did it to you.” Socrates (Greece, about 5th century BCE)

“Treat your inferiors as you would be treated by your superiors.” - Seneca (Rome, 1st century CE)