Good News for the Assembly of Bet Yeshurun
No. 401/ March 31, 2012
Calendar of Events
Schedule of Gatherings:
04/04/12 Last Supper Memorial 7:00 pm
04/05/12 Passover Memorial 7:00 pm
04/06/12 Unleavened Bread Day 1 Celebration 1:30 pm
04/07/12 Unleavened Bread Day 2 Celebration 1:30 pm
04/08/12 Unleavened Bread Day 3 Celebration 4:00 pm
04/09/12 Unleavened Bread Day 4 Celebration 1:00 pm
04/10/12 Unleavened Bread Day 5 Celebration 1:00 pm
04/11/12 Unleavened Bread Day 6 Celebration 7:00 pm
04/12/12 Unleavened Bread Day 7 Celebration 1:30 pm
04/13/12 Lunar Sabbath Celebration 1:00 pm
04/13/12 Hebrew Class 6:30 pm
04/14/12 Traditional Sat. Sabbath Services 1:30 pm
04/20/12 Lunar Sabbath Celebration 1:00 pm
04/20/12 Hebrew Class 6:30 pm
04/21/12 Traditional Sat. Sabbath Services 1:30 pm
04/22/12 New Moon (Month #2) Feast Day 3:00 pm
04/27/12 Hebrew Class 6:30 pm
04/28/12 Traditional Sat. Sabbath Services 1:30 pm
04/29/12 Lunar Sabbath Celebration 3:00 pm
Bible One-Year Reading Schedule
(Scripture to read during the next two weeks)
Genesis Chapters 1 - 10
Joshua Chapters 1 - 16
Psalms 1 - 22
Matthew Chapters 1 - 7
James Chapters 1 - 5
YHVH’s Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread
Bet Yeshurun Assembly (BYA) is celebrating YHVH’s Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread in a few days. To help prepare Yah’s set-apart people to obediently and joyfully celebrate these festivals, this article will review the Scriptural answers to questions BYA received about these upcoming Feast Days.
What are the names of YHVH’s upcoming Feasts?
Passover (Pesah, H6453) “These are the feasts of YHVH, even holy convocations, which you shall proclaim in their seasons. In the fourteenth day of the first month (moon) at even is YHVH’s Passover.” (Lev. 23:4-5)
Feast of Unleavened Bread (Chag, H2282; ha Matzot, H4682) “On the fifteenth day of the same month (moon) is the feast of unleavened bread unto YHVH. Seven days you must eat unleavened bread. In the first day you shall have a holy convocation. You shall do no servile work therein. But you shall offer an offering made by fire unto YHVH seven days. In the seventh day is a holy convocation. You shall do no servile work therein.” (Lev. 23:6-8)
Why does BYA recognize these Feasts of YHVH?
1. Because of whom He is and what He did. “Therefore, you shall keep my commandments and do them. I am YHVH. Neither shall you profane my holy name. But I will be hallowed among the children of Israel. I am YHVH who hallows you.” (Lev. 22:31-32)
2. Because Yah says so. “YHVH spoke unto Moses, saying, “Speak unto the children of Israel and say to them concerning the Feasts of YHVH, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my Feasts.” (Lev. 23:1-2)
3. Because we love Yahshuah. (John 14:21) “He who has my commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves me. He who loves me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.”
4. Because we are to be holy, set-apart. “For I am YHVH your Elohim. You shall therefore sanctify yourselves. You shall be holy for I am holy. Neither shall you defile yourselves with any manner of creeping thing that creeps upon the earth. For I am YHVH, who brings you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your Elohim. You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.” (Lev. 11:44-45)
5. Because we do so out of obedience. “As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance, but as He who has called you is holy, so be you holy in all manner of conversation. Because it is written, ‘Be you holy; for I am holy’.” (1 Peter 1:14-16)
6. Because we desire to spend time with Yah in a relationship. “O Elohim, you are my Elohim. I will seek you early. My soul thirsts for you. My flesh longs for you in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is. To see your power and your glory as I have seen you in the sanctuary, because your loving kindness is better than life, my lips shall praise you. Thus I will bless you while I live. I will lift up my hands in your name.” (Ps. 63:1-4)
When will BYA meet for YHVH’s festival appointments?
Scripture tells us when to gather for celebrating the Feasts. The dates (appointed times) are revealed by Yah’s physical creation, specifically in visible signs from the sun, moon and stars. “Elohim said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years. Let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth.” And it was so. Elohim made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also. And Elohim set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth. (Gen. 1:14-17)
Yah commands His people to gather for Feasts on His schedule and not on the dates as dictated by man’s calendars or traditions. Yah created the moon, a physical orb in the heavens which men cannot alter, to confirm the dates of His Feasts. “He made the moon also to serve in her season for a declaration of times, and a sign of the world. From the moon is the sign of feasts, a light that decreases in her perfection. The month is called after her name, increasing wonderfully in her changing, being an instrument of the armies above, shining in the firmament of heaven; (Sirach 43:6-8, also known as the Book of Ecclesiasticus)
Scripture teaches the Israelites were delivered from Egypt in the first moon of Yah’s calendar year. “This moon shall be unto you the beginning of moons. It shall be the first moon of the year to you. You speak unto all the congregation of Israel saying, In the tenth day of this moon they shall take to them every man a lamb according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for a house. If the household is too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbor next to his house take it according to the number of the souls. Every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb. Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year. You shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats. You shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same moon and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening.” (Exodus 12:2-6)
The first month (moon) of Yah’s year occurs after the spring equinox. This year the equinox was on 03/16/12 when the minutes of daylight (sunrise to sunset) equaled the minutes of darkness (sunset to sunrise).This date occurs in the season when crops like barley and flax are ripe for harvesting around Jerusalem.
The Israelites also entered the Promised Land in the first month (moon) of the year after wandering 40 years in the wilderness after Yah delivered them from Egypt. “Joshua said unto the people, “Sanctify yourselves: for tomorrow YHVH will do wonders among you.” And Joshua spoke unto the priests saying, ‘Take up the Ark of the Covenant and pass over before the people.’ They took up the Ark of the Covenant, and went before the people. And YHVH said unto Joshua, ‘This day will I begin to magnify you in the sight of all Israel that they may know that, as I was with Moses, so I will be with you.’” (Joshua 3:5-7)
The Israelites gathered and prepared to celebrate the Feasts by the tenth day of the first moon in the Promised Land. (Joshua 4:19-20) The people came up out of Jordan on the tenth day of the first month and encamped in Gilgal in the east border of Jericho. Those twelve stones, which they took out of Jordan, did Joshua pitch in Gilgal.
The Israelites celebrated Passover as YHVH commanded. (Joshua 5:10-12) The children of Israel encamped in Gilgal and kept the Passover on the fourteenth day of the month at even in the plains of Jericho. They did eat of the old corn of the land on the morrow after the Passover, unleavened cakes and parched corn in the selfsame day. The manna ceased on the morrow after they had eaten of the old corn of the land; neither had the children of Israel manna any more; but they did eat of the fruit of the land of Canaan that year.
Like the ancient Israelites who celebrated the Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread as YHVH commanded during the first moon of the year, BYA as a modern day Israelites will also celebrate these appointed times. Our spring festival will begin at sunset on Wed. Apr. 4, 2012 and end at sunset on Thu. Apr. 12, 2012. “You shall observe the feast of unleavened bread for in this selfsame day have I brought your armies out of the land of Egypt. Therefore you shall observe this day in your generations by an ordinance for ever. In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at even, you shall eat unleavened bread, until the one and twentieth day of the month at even. Seven days shall there be no leaven found in your houses: for whosoever eats that which is leavened, even that soul shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he is a stranger or born in the land. (Exo. 12:17-19)
Who has YHVH invited to His spring Feasts?
1. Israelites “Speak unto the children of Israel and say to them concerning the Feasts of YHVH, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my Feasts.” (Lev. 23:2)
2. Certain non-Israelites (but not everyone) “YHVH said unto Moses and Aaron, ‘This is the ordinance of the Passover. There no stranger shall eat thereof. But every man's servant who is bought for money, when you have circumcised him, then shall he eat thereof. A foreigner and a hired servant shall not eat thereof. In one house it shall be eaten. You shall not carry forth ought of the flesh abroad out of the house. Neither shall you break a bone thereof. All the congregation of Israel shall keep it. When a stranger shall sojourn with you, and will keep the Passover to YHVH, let all his males be circumcised. Then let him come near and keep it. He shall be as one who is born in the land, for no uncircumcised person shall eat thereof. One law shall be to him who is home born and unto the stranger who sojourns among you. (Exod. 12:43-49)
Those excluded from Passover:
(a) “stranger” (H1121+H5236, “ben-nekar”, son of a foreigner, or G3941, “paroikos” alien, of a heathen inclination, the opposite of a fellow citizen of the saints or family of Elohim (e.g. Eph. 2:19) or a holy, set-apart child of Israel (e.g. Gen. 17:12-13 & 27);
(b) “foreigner” (H8453, “tosab”, a dweller as opposed to a native citizen, temporary inmate, mere lodger; or G3581, “xenos”, a resident alien, non-committed individual within a land, a spectator;
(c) “hired servant” (H7016 “sakir”, a man of wages for a day or year, from H7936 or H7937, a temporary worker, a tipsy individual or drunkard, someone with no loyalty (e.g. Lev. 19:13; 22:10; 25:6; Deut. 15:18; 24:14), or G3407, “misthios” wage earner (e.g. Luke 15:17-19); and
(d) “uncircumcised” that is one who is not whole heartedly committed to obeying YHVH’s will (e.g. the uncircumcised of heart, Romans 2:25-29).
3. Invited guests, H1616 “ger”, a person invited into a family or home (e.g. Gen. 15:13; 23:4; Ex. 2:22; 12:19) and the whole of Israel “YHVH spoke unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, ‘This moon (month) shall be unto you the beginning of moons. It shall be the first moon of the year to you. Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying, ‘In the tenth day of this moon they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house. If the household is too little for a lamb, let him and his neighbor next unto his house take it according to the number of the souls. Every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb. Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year. You shall take it out from the sheep or from the goats. You shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month.’ The whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening.” (Exodus 12:1-6)
4. A multitude of men, women and children including different cultures “The children of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand on foot that were men, beside children. A mixed multitude went up also with them; and flocks, and herds, even very much cattle.” (Exod. 12:37-38)
5. Those who struggle with their human nature yet strive to hold onto Yah (Gen. 32:27-28) “He said unto him, ‘What is your name?’ And he said, ‘Jacob!’ And He said, ‘Your name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel. For as a prince you have power with Elohim and with men, and have prevailed.”
Where will we meet with YHVH on His Feast Days?
1. Where we live (in our homes) “You shall eat neither bread, nor parched corn, nor green ears, until the selfsame day that you have brought an offering unto your God: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.” (Lev. 23:14) “You shall proclaim on the selfsame day, that it may be a holy convocation unto you. You shall do no servile work therein. It shall be a statute for ever in all your dwellings throughout your generations. (Lev. 23:21)
2. Where BYA gathers (at the Restoration Bible Church in Berkley) “But when you go over Jordan, and dwell in the land which YHVH your Elohim gives you to inherit, and when he gives you rest from all your enemies round about, so that ye dwell in safety; Then there shall be a place which YHVH your God shall choose to cause his name to dwell there. There you shall bring all that I command you; your burnt offerings, and your sacrifices, your tithes, and the heave offering of your hand, and all your choice vows which you vow unto YHVH.” (Deut. 12:10-11)
3. Inside each of us (inside the temple not made of hands, the Messiah’s Body as opposed to Jerusalem’s temple) “For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come. By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.” (Hebrews 13:14-15)
How will BYA celebrate YHVH’s Feasts?
BYA has proclaimed holy convocations and will gather as Yah commands for the upcoming feasts (moedim, H4150). Our Holy Days will include a memorial of Yahshuah’s last supper with His disciples. On Wed. evening (Apr. 4, 2012) we begin at 7:00 pm with a reading of Yahshuah’s passion story from the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Then as Yahshuah commands, “Do this in memory of me.” (Luke 22:19) BYA will bless and break bread, bless and share wine, and wash the feet of a fellow saint as Yahshuah commands and as He did for His disciples (John 13:14).
The next evening will start at 7:00 pm (Apr. 5, 2012) with a reading of the Exodus story that memorializes Israel’s deliverance
from the land of Egypt. After hearing about Yah’s mighty acts from Scripture (Exod. 10 - 13), we will enjoy a potluck fellowship meal, including roasted lamb, unleavened bread and bitter herbs as Yah commands (Exod. 12:8).
Passover is a one-day festival that YHVH set apart to sacrifice the lambs used in the Passover offering. This Holy Day starts an annual Israelite gathering called Chag HaMatzot, the Feast of Unleavened Bread. It is a seven-day festival of YHVH with the first day (Passover) and the last day being holy convocations, which are treated like Sabbaths, days in which no work is done.
At BYA, the days of Unleavened Bread will include praise and worship, prayer, scripture reading and teachings. Remembering the Passover sacrifices and Israel’s deliverance from Egypt symbolizes Yahshuah’s death and our spiritual redemption from this world (spiritual Babylon). Removing leaven from our homes symbolizes our spiritual willingness to remove sin from our lives. As we continue our spiritual journey of coming to the Father, these Holy Days are opportunities for us to reciprocate His love by recognizing and imitating the actions of Yahshuah ha Messiach.
Yah’s great love for His people caused Him to hear Israel’s anguished cries of slavery under Pharaoh’s deadly grip, He told them through Moses to sacrifice a lamb and smear the blood on the doors of their homes. They faithfully obeyed. YHWH extending grace and mercy upon them passed over their homes. They were delivered from sin’s wages, which is death, while the Egyptians received judgment unto death because they weren’t under the lamb’s blood. Israel became free to leave Egypt.
Spiritually, BYA celebrates leaving the world behind (spiritual Egypt, a place of oppression, slavery, darkness, false religion, Satan’s realm). We don’t leave the kingdom of darkness on our own strength. We don’t free ourselves from the world’s slavery (strong tyrants). A greater power delivers us from the masters who hold humans in a deadly grip. Only the Lamb of YHWH’s blood smeared on our doorposts and lintels (our actions and thoughts) of our houses (our lives) will assure the death angel passes over us.
Yahshuah, the Lamb of YHWH, defeated our enemy at the cross. He defeated the death sentence (sin’s deadly grip) by resurrecting from the grave (Col. 1, 12 - 14). “Give thanks to the Father, who made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light, who delivered us from the power of darkness and translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son in whom we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins.” Israelites faithfully trusted in the Lamb’s blood. Through YHWH’s grace, their sins weren’t credited to their account. They were forgiven and death passed over them. Then they physically began to leave Egypt. BYA celebrates that message and does likewise.
Remove Your Leaven: “Seven days shall you eat unleavened bread; even the first day you shall put away leaven out of your houses. For whosoever eats leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Israel.” (Exodus 12:15) In obedience we remove leaven from our homes at this time of the year. Breads made with yeast, yogurt and buttermilk are examples of foods to consume before the Feast of Unleavened Bread begins (sunset on 4/5/12). Here’s another type of leaven. Then Yahshuah said to them, “Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.” (Matthew 16:6) Obediently remove that type of leaven from your house, too. Then they understood that he did not caution them against the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees. (Matthew 16:12) So don’t forget to remove any spiritual leaven that may have crept into your home. Purge the sinful practices and traditions of men while you clean your house of physical leaven for the spring festival. Meditate and ask the Holy Spirit to expose what truly needs to be removed from your life. Pray to discard that leaven, not just for one week, but forever. Hallelu Yah!
Read Your Bible:
Did you ever read the entire Bible? Few have read Elohim’s Word from start to finish (Genesis through Revelation). To be among a set-apart group of Yahshuah’s disciples see the Shofar’s back page for a reading cycle that will help you complete the Bible in one year. If you wish to do that by next year’s spring feast, dedicate 15 or 20 minutes and begin reading three or four chapters daily from the suggested reading plan. The chapters are spread across the whole counsel of our Father's Holy Word (Torah, Neviim, Kethuvim and Brit Chadasha). Ask a prayer partner to join in your quest to read the Bible diligently. Call others to share encouraging words or inspiring nuggets of truth motivate as you to stay on Yah’s path.
Give Your Thanks Thank you Yah for everything you gave me and thank you more for everything you took.
Thoughts for Meditation
“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn." Benjamin Franklin
“Can anything be sadder than work undone? Yes; work never begun.” Christina Georgina Rossetti
“Lord, grant that I may always desire more than I can accomplish.” Michelangelo
“The only real aging process is the erosion of our ideals.” Albert Schwietzer
“It’s never too late to be what you might have been.” George Eliot