The Shofar Newsletter
THE SHOFAR Newsletter of Bet Yeshurun Messianic Assembly
Good News for the Assembly of Bet Yeshurun
No. 1006 / July 27, 2018
Schedule of Gatherings
7/12/18 Sabbath(lunar) 1:00 pm
7/13/18 Chodesh (5th New Moon celebration of the year) 1:00 pm
7/14/18 Sabbath(consecutive) 1:30 pm
7/20/18 Sabbath(lunar) 1:00 pm
7/21/18 Sabbath(consecutive) 1:30 pm
7/27/18 Sabbath(lunar) 1:00 pm
7/28/18 Sabbath(consecutive) 1:30 pm
8/3/18 Sabbath(lunar) 1:00 pm
8/4/18 Sabbath(consecutive) 1:30 pm
8/10/18 Sabbath(lunar) 1:00 pm
8/11/18 Sabbath(consecutive) 1:30 pm
8/12/18 Chodesh (6th New Moon celebration of the year) 3:00 pm
2018 Schedule for Reading the Bible in One-Year
Nevi’im; Melakim 1 (Sovereigns) First Book of Kings
Nevi’im; Yeshayahu (Salvation of Yah) Prophecy of Isaiah
7/12 - Chapters 1 – 4 7/13 - Chapters 5 – 8 7/14 - Chapters 9 – 12
7/15 - Chapters 13 – 17 7/16 - Chapters 18 – 22 7/17 - Chapters 23 – 27
7/18 - Chapters 28 – 30 7/19 - Chapters 31 – 36 7/20 - Chapters 37 – 40
7/21 - Chapters 41 – 44 722 - Chapters 45 – 48 7/23 - Chapters 49 – 53
7/24 - Chapters 54 – 58 7/25 - Chapters 59 – 63 7/26 - Chapters 64 – 66
Nevi’im; Yirmeyahu (Exultation of Yah) Prophecy of Jeremiah
7/27 - Chapters 1 – 3 7/28 - Chapters 4 – 6 7/29 - Chapters 7 – 9
7/30 - Chapters 10 – 13 7/31 - Chapters 14 – 17 8/1 - Chapters 18 – 22
8/2 - Chapters 23 – 25 8/3 - Chapters 26 – 29 8/4 - Chapters 30 – 31
8/5 - Chapters 32 – 34 8/6 - Chapters 35 – 37 8/7 - Chapters 38 – 41
8/8 - Chapters 42 – 45 8/9 - Chapters 46 – 48 8/10 - Chapters 49 – 50
8/11 - Chapters 51 – 52
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 Fig Tree Parable
(Matthew 24:32-35) “Now, learn a parable of the fig tree. When his branch is yet tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer nears. So likewise, when you shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Verily I say to you, this generation shall not pass until all these things be fulfilled. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.”
Within the Mount of Olives Prophecy (Matthew 24:1-58) Yahushuah reveals several signs that His disciples will see before He comes to earth as King of kings. Recent Shofar articles for Bet Yeshurun Assembly (BYA) described tribulations like world wars, famines, diseases, and natural disasters as the forewarned signals of His return. He also instructs us to be alert for another sign: religious hucksters who trick people into disobeying the teachings and instructions of His Heavenly Father (Torah). His prophetic signs on the day He returns include a sun that won't shine,a moon that won't glow, and stars that won't sparkle. This article studies another sign that He gives in "a parable of the fig tree." Two other Gospel witnesses also testify of an important teaching for modern-day Believers: (Mark 13:28-31; Luke 21:29-33)
Some tend to discount the earth's environmental troubles as the correctable effects of humans causing climate changes. Others downplay the reports of human conflicts as fake news designed to stir unrest and sell magazines. Nonetheless, the great cosmic signs seen upon Yahushuah's return are unmistakably Divine. These will cause great fear and trepidation among the wicked as His punishing judgment comes: (Isaiah 13:9-11) "Behold, the Day of YAHUAH comes, cruel with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate. He shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it. For the stars of heaven and constellations thereof shall not give their light. The sun shall be darkened in his going forth and the moon shall not cause her light to shine. And I will punish the world for their evil and the wicked for their iniquity. I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible."
Let's not forget, prophetic warnings are intended to encourage preparations for Messiah's return. Sadly, those wondrous heavenly signs will arrive too late for most people to repent and to accept Elohim's Way of Life. Thus, disciples of Yahushuah are warned to seek Him now: (Hosea 6:1) "Come, and let us return unto YAHUAH. For He has torn, and He will heal us. He has smitten, and He will bind us up."
That prophetic verse begins a chapter (Hosea 6) dedicated to alerting people of Yahushuah's return. While Hosea's message is ancient, it's relevant today. Thus, BYA turns away from human traditions and doctrines (repents) and strives to follow Elohim's Way (obeys). In keeping our marriage covenant with Yahushuah, we hope to celebrate at His wedding feast with Yah's resurrected saints when He comes for us: (1 Chronicles 16:31-36) "Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice. Let men say among the nations, 'YAHUAH reigns!' Let the sea roar and the fullness thereof. Let the fields rejoice and all that is therein. Then shall the trees of the wood sing out at the presence of YAHUAH because He comes to judge the earth. O' give thanks unto YAHUAH. For He is good! For His mercy endures forever! And say, 'Save us, O' Elohim of our salvation! Gather us together. Deliver us from the heathen that we may give thanks to your Holy Name and glory in your praise. Blessed be YAHUAH Elohim of Israel forever and ever.'"
Although many can see the signs of our Messiah's return to earth, few are privileged to understand His sign within that fig tree parable. Indeed, the KJV translates "learn" from the Greek "manthanō," which means "understand." The word "parable" is from the Greek "parabolē," which Thayer's Greek Lexicon explains as a "similitude, in other words, symbolic narrative of common life that conveys a moral, apothegm, adage, comparison, figure, or proverb." In this article, we will obey Yahushuah's command about understanding His parable: (Mark 13:28) "Now learn a parable of the fig tree. When her branch is yet tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near."
Let's also recall, that Yahushuah’s parables are all to be interpreted with an understanding of the sower and seed: (Mark 4:11-14) He said to them, “Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the Kingdom of Elohim. But unto them who are without, all these things are done in parables. That seeing they may see and not perceive; and hearing they may hear and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them." He said to them, "Know you not this parable? How then will you know all parables? The Sower sows the Word!”
So, let's seek to properly understand His Parable by reading another one: (Luke 13:6-9) He spoke also this parable: "A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard. He came and sought fruit thereon and found none. Then he said to the dresser of his vineyard, 'Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree and find none. Cut it down! Why cumbers it the ground?' He answered him, 'Lord, let it alone this year also, until I shall dig about it and dung it. If it bear fruit, well. And if not, then after that you shall cut it down.'"
That teaches us the fig tree is to bear fruit. Here, we read how YAHUAH nurtures plants in a vineyard: (Isaiah 5:1-7) “Now will I sing to my well beloved a song of my beloved touching His vineyard. My well beloved has a vineyard in a very fruitful hill. He fenced it, gathered out the stones thereof, planted it with the choicest vine, built a tower in the midst of it and made a wine press therein. He looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes. Now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem and men of Judah judge, I pray you, between me and my vineyard. What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it? Wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes? Now go! I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard. I will take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be eaten up; and break down the wall thereof, and it shall be trodden down. I will lay it waste. It shall not be pruned nor dug. But there shall come up briers and thorns. I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it for the vineyard of YAHUAH of hosts is the House of Israel, and the men of Judah his pleasant plant.”
Thus spiritually speaking, the vineyard is the House Of Israel. The pleasant plant (think of a fig tree) represents the House of Judah and Yah's Priesthood. Apostolic Scripture (New Testament) affirms Yahushuah is the vineyard's true planting: (John 15:1-2) “I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that bears not fruit He takes away. Every branch that bears fruit, He purges it, that it may bring forth more fruit.”
Hebrew Scripture (Old Testament) affirms a fig tree pictures Yah's House of Judah with its priests: (Jeremiah 24:1-7) "YAHUAH showed me, and behold, two baskets of figs were set before the Temple of YAHUAH. After that the king of Babylon, Nebuchadrezzar, carried away captive Jeconiah, the son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, and the princes of Judah, with the carpenters and smiths, from Jerusalem, and brought them to Babylon. One basket had very good figs, even like the figs that are first ripe. The other basket had very naughty figs, which could not be eaten, they were so bad. Then said YAHUAH, 'What see you, Jeremiah?' I said, 'Figs; the good figs, very good; and the evil, very evil that cannot be eaten, they are so evil.' Again the Word of YAHUAH came saying, 'Thus says YAHUAH, Elohim of Israel; Like these good figs, so I will acknowledge them who are carried away captive of Judah, whom I sent out of this place into the land of the Chaldeans for their good. For I will set my eyes on them for good. I will bring them again to this land. I will build them, not pull them down. I will plant them, not pluck them up. I will give them a heart to know me, that I am YAHUAH. They shall be my people, and I will be their Elohim. For they shall return unto me with their whole heart.'"
Now understanding a fig tree with good and bad fruit represents the House of Judah, consider this spiritual message about its roots and branches: (Isaiah 11:1-5) "There shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots. The Spirit of YAHUAH shall rest on Him, the Spirit of Wisdom and Understanding, the Spirit of Counsel and Might, the Spirit of Knowledge and Fear of YAHUAH, and shall make Him of quick understanding in the fear of YAHUAH. He shall not judge after the sight of His eyes, nor reprove after the hearing of His ears. But with righteousness shall He judge the poor and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth. He shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth and with the breath of His lips shall he slay the wicked. Righteousness shall be the girdle of His loins and faithfulness the girdle of his reins."
Now understanding the Branch is Yahushuah, consider this spiritual message about its leaves: (Isaiah 64:4-6) "For since the beginning of the world, men have not heard, nor perceived by ear, nor has the eye seen, O Elohim, besides you, what He has prepared for him who waits for Him. You meet him who rejoices and works righteousness, those who remember you in your ways. Behold, you are wroth for we have sinned. In those is continuance, and we shall be saved. But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away."
Thus within the fig tree parable, we understand that YAHUAH's fig tree with its leaves of His disciples is capable of producing only good figs (fruits of Yah's Holy Spirit). Thus, when the Branch begins to sprout new leaves in the spring, people from the House of Judah are being added to Yahushuah's many membered Body. Later that summer, the fig tree will produce much good fruit. So, BYA watch for that sure sign our Messiah is coming soon, poised even at the door! (Jeremiah 23:5-6) "Behold, the days come says YAHUAH, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved and Israel shall dwell safely. This is His Name whereby He shall be called, YAHUAH OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS."
The apostle John also spoke of the day the Lamb of Elohim returns as being a time of judgment upon the good and bad fig trees: (Revelation 6:12-17) “I beheld when he opened the sixth seal, and lo, there was a great earthquake; the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, the moon became as blood; and the stars of heaven fell to the earth, even as a fig tree casts her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. The heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. The kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the chief captains, the mighty men, every bondman, and every free man, hid in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; and said to the mountains and rocks, 'Fall on us! Hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb for the Great Day of His wrath is come. Who shall be able to stand?'”
Thus, the Fig Tree Parable is a spiritual teaching for Yahushuah's disciples. If the House of Yahudah (Judah) won't repent, then they cannot bear good fruit. And if they cannot bear good fruit, then they will wither away, be plucked, or cut down in the vineyard of Elohim and scorched: (Mark 4:1-9) He began again to teach by the sea side. There was gathered unto Him a great multitude, so that He entered into a ship, and sat in the sea; and the whole multitude was by the sea on the land. And He taught them many things by parables and said to them in His doctrine, “Hearken! Behold, there went out a sower to sow and it came to pass, as He sowed, some fell by the way side, and the fowls of the air came and devoured it up. Some fell on stony ground where it had not much earth. Immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth. But when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away. Some fell among thorns. The thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no fruit. And other fell on good ground and did yield fruit that sprang up and increased; and brought forth, some thirty, and some sixty, and some a hundred.” He said to them, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.'”
Thus, the parable pictures a fig tree (Judah) planted in a vineyard, which represents the whole House of Israel that is scattered throughout the world: (Isaiah 5:7) “For the vineyard of YAHUAH of Hosts is the House of Israel, and the men of Judah his pleasant plant: and He looked for judgment, but behold oppression; for righteousness, but behold a cry.”
Other trees are found in this vineyard, such as the dispersed and lost tribes of Israel. Some will prove to bear fruit, and some will not. Even now, we see armies of many nations surrounding Jerusalem. So, let us be watchful and seek to be among the supporters of Judah that come forward to defend her. Then, we shall know that the desolation nears: (Luke 21:20-21) “When you shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. Then let those who are in Judah flee to the mountains; and let them who are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them who are in the countries enter thereinto.”
In conclusion: regardless of this battle's outcome, of a certainty know that an accursed fig tree cannot flourish or yield good fruit: (Matthew 21:18-20) Now in the morning as He returned into the city, He hungered. And when He saw a fig tree in the way, He came to it and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, 'Let no fruit grow on you henceforward forever. And presently the fig tree withered away. When the disciples saw it, they marveled saying, “How soon is the fig tree withered away!”
If perchance an accursed tree should seem to bear fruit, surely know that nothing but bad fruit can possibly come from such a tree, as scripture must be fulfilled: (Revelation 6:12-13) “I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal and lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; and the stars of heaven fell to earth, even as a fig tree casts her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.”
As BYA continues to understand how people can be seduced into straying from Yah's Way of Life, may we continue learning how to better walk along Elohim's righteous Path of Truth. He warns us to be watchful for His signs of the times. He also instructs us to be a preservative (think of a salt) for Elohim's Way of Life. He also asks us to be an example to the world (think of a light) as His Disciples: (Matthew 5:13-18) "You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. You are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it gives light unto all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. Think not that I am come to destroy the law (Torah), or the prophets (Nevi'im). I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say to you, until heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from Torah, until all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven. For I say to you, that except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven."
Thus as the latter days approach (think of the fall festivals), let us be prepared to receive our Redeemer and King Yahushuah. Indeed, the signs of His coming as the Son of Man are certainly appearing to those who have eyes to see and who have ears to hear: (Daniel 7:13-14) “I saw in the night visions, and behold, one like the Son of Man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought Him near before Him. And there was given Him dominion, and glory, and a Kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.” (Revelation 1:7) “Behold, He comes with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also who pierced him. And all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.”
Let us be different from those who scorn and reject the Word of Elohim. Let us be an assembly who serves the widows, orphans and strangers in our midst as these words implore us to be ever diligent in serving as an ambassador of our Messiah: (Jeremiah 22:1-9) "Go down to the House of the king of Judah and speak there this word, 'Hear the word of YAHUAH, O king of Judah, who sits upon the throne of David, you, your servants and your people who enter in by these gates.' Thus says YAHUAH; 'Execute judgment and righteousness. Deliver the spoiled out of the hand of the oppressor. Do no wrong. Do no violence to the stranger, the fatherless or the widow, nor shed innocent blood in this place. For if you do this thing indeed, then shall there enter in by the gates of this house kings sitting upon the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, he, his servants and his people. But if you will not hear these words, I swear by myself,' says YAHUAH, that this house shall become a desolation!' For thus says YAHUAH to the king's house of Judah; 'You are Gilead to me, the head of Lebanon. [yet] surely I will make thee a wilderness, [and] cities [which] are not inhabited. I will prepare destroyers against you, every one with his weapons. They shall cut down your choice cedars and cast them into the fire.' Many nations shall pass by this city, and they shall say every man to his neighbor, 'Wherefore has YAHUAH done thus unto this great city?' Then they shall answer, 'Because they have forsaken the covenant of YAHUAH their Elohim, and worshipped other gods, and served them.'"
YAHUAH, Heavenly Father, we are grateful for the revelation of your Will and awesome Way. Bless your children at BYA abundantly as we seek to live in the manner of Your Beloved Son, Yahushuah. And may your mercy and grace be upon all humanity in these latter days. 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
“The fact that a great many people believe something is no guarantee of its truth.” W. Somerset Maugham
"Even if you are a minority of one, the truth is still the truth." Gandhi
“Person to person, moment to moment, as we love, we change the world.” Samahria Lyte Kaufman