Good News for the Assembly of Bet Yeshurun No. 315 / February 11, 2012
Schedule of Gatherings
02/14/12 Lunar Sabbath Celebration 1:00 pm
02/17/12 Hebrew Class 6:30 pm
02/18/12 Traditional Sat. Sabbath Services 1:30 pm
02/21/12 Lunar Sabbath Celebration 3:00 pm
02/22/12 New Moon Feast Day Celebration 1:00 pm
02/24/12 Hebrew Class 6:30 pm
02/25/12 Traditional Sat. Sabbath Services 1:30 pm
02/29/12 Lunar Sabbath Celebration 3:00 pm
03/02/12 Hebrew Class 6:30 pm
03/03/12 Traditional Sat. Sabbath Services 1:30 pm
03/07/12 Lunar Sabbath Celebration 1:00 pm
03/09/12 Hebrew Class 6:30 pm
03/10/12 Traditional Sat. Sabbath Services 1:30 pm
Scripture Readings for the next 14 Days
Etz Chayeem Hoo (He Is a Tree of Life)
Exodus 10:1 to 17:16
Judges 4:4 to 5:31
1 Corinthians 11:20-34
Luke 2:22–24 on the dedication of the firstborn
John 6:25–58; Revelation 2:17 on the spiritual manna
Acts 13:16–17 Paul on the Exodus
Romans 9:15–23 on the mercy of Elohim
1 Corinthians 10:1–13 on Yahshuah leading ancient Israel
Colossians 2:16–17 on the feasts
Hebrews 11:29 on Israel’s faith
Must We Keep TORAH?
To help answer this question let us consider Matthew’s account of Yahshuah’s “Sermon on the Mount”. Where and to whom was this delivered? These questions are in the following verse “And seeing the multitudes, He went up into a mountain and when He was set, His disciples came unto Him.” (Matthew 5:1)
We read His disciples came to Him on a mountain. This speaks volumes. For if we know He is no respecter of persons, and if He is the same yesterday, today and forever, and if we consider ourselves His disciples, and if we are seeking to go unto Yahshuah our Adonai and Savior, then this sermon is speaking even to us today!
But what’s the purpose of this sermon upon the mount? In other words, why was/is Yahshuah speaking to His disciples from this mount i.e. this high place? If we open our spiritual eyes, we can see a parallel to when Elohim’s famous talmid/disciple, Moses, went with Yahshuah went up into Mount Sinai to receive the commands of Elohim… That he might teach them. (Exodus 24:12-13) Selah.
“And, He opened His mouth and taught them, saying,” (Matthew 5:2) Hereby we learn Yahshuah’s purpose of this sermon is to teach His disciples! Are you a disciple of Yahshuah? Do you wish to be one of Yahshuah's talmidim i.e. disciples? Do you seek to go unto Him? If so, our Rabbi recorded this sermon for you and all other would be talmidim/disciples!
Yahshuah gave this sermon to His disciples early on during His ministry. It is actually His first recorded teaching, but what was He teaching them in this Sermon on the Mount? He begins by teaching His disciples how to be blessed of Elohim. (Matthew 5:3-12).
Take note of those who will be blessed: the humble/poor in spirit, they who mourn, the meek, they who hunger and thirst after righteousness, the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemakers, and those who are persecuted for righteousness sake will receive a great reward! But, why on earth would anyone be persecuted for trying to be right?
The answer is in what He says next as His disciples are taught to be the 'salt' and 'light" of the earth (Matt. 5:13-16). The salt speaks to it being His disciple’s responsibility to 'preserve' as salt
does! But what do they 'salt/preserve'? They are to 'salt/reserve' the 'light'. He continues teaching they aren’t to 'salt/preserve' it in secrecy. On the contrary, they are to do it so everyone can see.
Light typifies righteousness and understanding the deep things of Elohim: “But unto you who fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in His wings; and you shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall. (Malachi 4:2) “The entrance of your words gives light. It gives understanding unto the simple. (Psalm 119:130)
Yahshuah was/is teaching His past, present and future disciples that it is their responsibility to 'salt/preserve' the light of the world i.e. righteousness and the understanding of the deep things of Elohim! (Matt. 5:13-16) Hence His next subject dealt with 'righteousness', which many Yahudim believe, and still believe, is adhering to the teachings of the Torah/Law and the prophets.
“Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets. I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.” (This is not a statement, but a directive, i.e. command. Please consider that fulfill, playroo, H4137 means to make replete, that is, literally to cram a net, to level up a hollow). “For verily I say unto you, until heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, until all be fulfilled.” (The word fulfilled, ginomai, H1096 means to be made finished). “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.” Matthew 5:17-19) Take note the subject at hand is His directive i.e. to think not that He came to destroy the law, or the prophets (Matthew 5:17).
Before proceeding further I ask this question, “Do you LOVE Yahshuah in accordance to His definition of LOVE? Or, do you love Him in accordance to your own definition of love?
What is His definition of LOVE you might ask? “He, who has my commandments and keeps them, is he who loves me, and he who loves me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.” (John 14:21)
Where are the commands that Yahshuah taught His disciples found in scripture?
The answer is that they begin right here in Matthew 5:17! For this is the 1st directive recorded in the Brit Chadashaw (Renewed Testament that Yahshuah taught unto His disciples after they began to follow Him in all of Scripture!
To put it another way, the first thing Yahshuah tells the would-be talmidim/disciples that come to Him is "Think not that I came to destroy the Torah and the prophets". Why is it that so many teach contrariwise! Regardless of the reason, I am, as was Paul, jealous over you and do not want to see you beguiled: “Would to Elohim you could bear with me a little in my folly. Indeed bear with me for I am jealous over you with Elohim type jealousy. For I have espoused you to one husband that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Messiah. But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Messiah.” (2 Cor. 11:1-3)
Particularly note that Yahshuah says that He came not to destroy but "playroo", which is translated "fulfill" meaning to level up a hollow. In other words, Yahshuah came to make 'perfect' i.e. complete the Torah and the Prophets! In verse 19 Yahshuah also is teaching that Torah and Prophets are the 'least commandments' i.e. the 'smaller commandments': “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.” (Matt. 5:19)
Yahshuah also hereby teaches that these 'least/smaller commandments' are not essential to salvation! For He goes on to say that if men break them and teach men so, “he shall be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven!" Hereby we can conclude that we don't have to necessarily keep Torah to receive salvation i.e. enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but if we don't and teach others not to keep them too, we will be the very least in His Kingdom!
But what if we don't want to be the least in the Kingdom of Elohim? How can we become great? To become the opposite of least in the Kingdom we must adhere to Torah and the Prophets, plus teach others to do so! Torah observance has always been viewed as righteousness throughout Israel! But hereby we learn that Yahshuah refers to these as the "least commandments" of Elohim and even goes on to say, “For I say to you, If your righteousness shall not exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall not enter into the kingdom of YAHUAH, never!” (Matthew 5:20)
Oh, wow these are some really strong words! But first what was the righteousness of the scribes and pharisees? It is those 'least commands' that Yahshuah speaks of in the previous verses, even those exemplified and taught Israel by Moses and the other Prophets of old. Now, how can our righteousness possibly exceed that?
The answer is only by us following the 'Greater commandments' of Yahshuah, that is, only by adhering to the 'playroo/hollow filled' i.e. the fully filled/completed commandments of Elohim. Additionally it is imperative to note that if one does not adhere to these 'Greater Commandments of Yahshuah, then one will NEVER enter into the Kingdom of Elohim! But where are these 'Greater Commandments' of Elohim i.e. Yahshua's commands?
The answer is that they begin with Matthew 5:21 and continue through the end of Matthew Chap. 7. Also note that this list is not exhaustive. There are others found scattered throughout the Brit Chadashaw. This list, however, is by far the greatest enumeration in Scripture. That said, let’s consider the first one:
“You have heard that it was said by them of old time, ‘You shall not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment.’ But I say unto you that whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment and whosoever shall say to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whosoever shall say, ‘You fool!’, shall be in danger of hell fire. Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar and there remember that your brother has ought against you; leave there your gift before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, then come and offer your gift. Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver you to the judge, and the judge deliver you to the officer, and you be cast into prison. Verily I say unto you, you shall by no means come out thence until you have paid the uttermost farthing.” (Matthew 5:21-26) It is imperative to understand that verse 21 is Torah and that verses 22-26 is its ‘playroo’ i.e. fulfilling/the filling up of the hollow.
With this in mind consider an essential reason that past disciples as well as we do follow Yahshuah in the first place, which is to obtain eternal life. “Because of this saying, many of His disciples turned their backs and did not walk with Him. Therefore, Yahshuah said to the Twelve, Do you also wish to go? Then Simon Peter answered Him, Master, to whom shall we go? You have the Words of everlasting life. And we have believed and have known that You are the Messiah, the Son of the living Elohim.” (John 6:66-69)
This is definitely one of the essential reasons Yahshuah's disciples were following Him. But how did Yahshua teach that we were to obtain this wonderful prize? “And, behold, coming near, one said to Him, Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?” (Matthew 19:16)
First note that this talmid/disciple refers to Yahshuah as a ‘Teacher’. Undoubtedly this talmid heard that Yahshua was teaching something different than the scribes and Pharisees i.e. that Yahshua knew The Way to eternal life, which he believed cause of the works… hence his question.
Now let us consider Yahshuah's answer: “And He said to him, ‘Why do you call Me good? No one is good except One, YAHUAH! But if you desire to enter into life, keep the commandments.’” (Matthew 19:17) Yahshuah’s response tells the man the man to keep the commandments if he want to enter into life, but which commandments His, that is, Yahshuah's or Moses' does one need adhere to enter into life? Selah .
“He said to Him, Which? And Yahshuah said, ‘You shall not commit murder, nor commit adultery, nor steal, nor give false witness, honor your father and your mother, and you shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” (Matthew 19:18-19) It’s important to note that this man represents someone who has accepted Yahshua as their ‘Good Teacher’. Hence Yahshuah expounds on what the word "good’ represents i.e. Elohim. Yahshuah's answer essentially tells the would-be talmid/disciple to keep 'Torah' so that he might to enter into life!
“The young man said to Him, All these things I have kept from my youth. What do I still lack?” (Matthew 19:20) We read here that the man is dissatisfied with Yahushua's answer for this was taught since the time of Moses. He likely had heard as was known throughout the land that Yahshuah was teaching something additional! This became evident via his next question; “What do I still lack?”
Yahshuah replies, “If you desire to be perfect, go sell your property and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in Heaven; and come, follow Me.” (Matthew 19:21) This word 'perfect', telios, H5046, literally means to be complete. It can also mean to be full grown or mature. It is the same word used in Yahshuahs command: “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48)
That is accomplished by LOVING Yahshuah above all else. That includes LOVING Him above personal finances, which in this case, the man could not do! This is why it’s harder for a camel to go through the eye of a needle... In addition to this, a person must then follow Yahshuah. This word 'follow', 'akoloutheo', G190, properly means 'to be in the way with'
What does it mean to be in The Way with someone? If you were in The Way with someone and they were in The Way of Torah for instance, where would that put you? Would that put you in The Way of Torah as well? The answer is of course yes it would.
Please consider that Yahshuah our Adonai was/is in The Way of Torah in every aspect, for He was without sin and sin is transgression of Torah (1John 3:4). And therefore if someone is teaching another not to keep Torah they are likewise teaching them to sin. Selah.
Don't think that because someone is “saved” that sin will go unpunished, for it will not: “But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.” (Luke 12:48)
Not only did Yahshuah satisfy the commandments of Torah, but He also 'playroo/filled the hollows of it' and taught His disciples to do likewise.
Must I keep Torah? The answer will depend on the reason someone asks that question! If the person asks “Must we keep Torah to be saved? The answer is No. “Even when we were dead in sins, has quickened us together with Messiah, (by grace you are saved;) (Ephesians 2:5)
If a person asks, “Must I keep Torah to be righteous?” The answer is likewise No. “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in His sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of Elohim without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; even the righteousness of Elohim which is by faith of Yahshuah Messiah unto all and upon all them that believe for there is no difference.” (Romans 3:20-22)
But if someone asks, “Must I keep Torah to be great in the Kingdom of Elohim?” The answer is, Yes! “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.” (Matthew 5:19)
If someone asks, “Must I keep Torah to be ‘perfect/complete i.e. mature, a spiritual adult’ as commanded by Yahshuah?” The answer would likewise be, “Yes!” For a person cannot follow Yahshuah without traveling through Torah. “Yahshuah said to him, If you desire to be perfect, go sell your property and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in Heaven; and come, follow Me. (Matthew 19:21)
Also if someone asks, “Would it be counted as sin for one to not keep Torah?” The answer is, “Yes!” “Whosoever commits sin transgresses also the law, for sin is the transgression of the law (1 John 3:4)
Shalom Ailechem, Pastor ObadiYAH.
New Moon Feast Day Celebration Thus says Sovereign YHVH; The gate of the inner court that looks toward the east shall be shut the six working days; but on Sabbath it shall be opened and in the day of the new moon it shall be opened (Ezekiel 46:1). On 02/21/12 at 3:00 pm our sanctuary will open for a new moon feast day gathering. Please join our fellowship to praise, worship, pray, read scripture and blow shofars in Yahshuah’s name. “In the day of your gladness, and in your solemn days, and in the beginnings of your moons (months), you shall blow with the trumpets over your burnt offerings, and over the sacrifices of your peace offerings; that they may be to you for a memorial before your Elohim.” (Numbers 10:10) This sets the pattern for observing lunar Sabbaths of the 12th Moon. Thus, the sanctuary will open at 3:00 pm on the four following Wednesdays. All are invited to praise and worship Yahshuah.
Ecclesial Board Members Pastor ObadiYah has called an Ecclesial Board meeting for Bet Yeshurun Assembly tomorrow afternoon (Sun. 4:00 pm). Board members, please speak with our pastor if you are unable to attend or need directions to the meeting site.
Movie Night The Assembly will present a film following today’s Fellowship meal. The movie is family-oriented. Refreshments and popcorn will be served.
Give Thanks for Growing Things
“And He said, So is the Kingdom of Elohim, as if a man should cast seed into the ground; and should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knows not how.” (Mk. 4:26-27)
Yahshuah spoke often about growing things. He noted the power of seeds, which grow without human intervention. He described the mystery of plant growth that happens quietly and with little fanfare.
Physical plant growth describes the spiritual growth of Yah’s church (ecclesia). While I often take my food for granted, I’m paying more attention to my food supply. I’m also starting to better appreciate the growth of Yahshuah’s Body. Please join me in praying for Yahshuah, the producer of our food supply and builder of our Assembly.
Thoughts for Meditation
“That which is bitter to endure may be sweet to remember.” Thomas Fuller
“Let them do their worst, and we shall do our best.” Winston Churchill
“Delay is the deadliest form of denial.” C. Northcote Parkinson
“If you keep doing what you’ve done, you’re going to get what you’ve got.” Author Unknown
“The ultimate aim of the human mind, in all its efforts, is to become reacquainted with the truth.” Eliza Farnham
“Each day: may your eyes open to beauty, your mind open to change and your heart open to love.” Author Unknown