[ October 2007 Newsletter ]
 

Shalom Brothers and Sisters in Messiah:

As we write this newsletter, all of our brethren have returned home safely from the 2007 Feast of Tabernacles convocation. The camp where we observed the feast was unsurpassed in beauty. Breath-taking mountain scenes, vast wilderness areas, and the ever-present sounds of a flowing mountain stream helped to create an environment conducive to spirituality, and Yahweh did not disappoint. We were greatly encouraged this year due to the fact that the area around the camp experienced terrible forest fires this past spring, yet Almighty Yahweh protected this valley and fire damage was barely noticeable. Most didn’t even know that the camp had been used as the staging effort for firefighters from as far away as Texas for over two weeks! Each year when we return from this mountain-top type of gathering, we feel that it was more inspiring and encouraging than the previous Feast and that Yahweh provides for His people. However, something was quite different about this year’s observance.

This year’s theme was “Equipping the Saints for the Building up of the Body of Messiah.” With this thought driving each of the messages, the members were given specific tools intended to make us all stronger, individually as well as collectively. We left with a sense of specific direction, which will help to maintain our dedication and zeal throughout the coming winter. We are in an action mode with an eye on developing the gifts each one has been blessed to receive from Almighty Yahweh.

In order to properly fulfill 1 Corinthians 12, we will actively seek out and encourage more direct involvement from the members in the day-to-day activities of this ministry. All our brethren will have the opportunity to use their Yahweh-given talents to benefit the Body of Messiah in ways that had not been made available in the past.

The brothers and sisters of YPTC all departed the camp with a sense of excitement, and were eager to begin implementing some of the ideas that had been discussed. In fact, several programs are already functioning and bearing fruit. We thank our Father Yahweh for the great blessings He bestowed on us during this annual gathering and for guiding and directing His people.

SABBATICAL YEAR SUMMARY

The Sabbatical Year started with blowing the shofar on the Day of Atonement. It will last until the Day of Atonement, 2008. We have decided to stop purchasing all annually planted and harvested fresh fruits and vegetables for one year beginning with October 19, 2007. The date was selected as a benchmark to use for those items to be brought to market. We will begin repurchasing on October 19, 2008. We will continue to purchase frozen fruits and vegetables until December 19, and refrain from purchasing them until December 19, 2008.

Fresh vegetables include items such as green beans, broccoli, corn, spinach, peppers (all varieties), tomatoes and all other annually planted and harvested items. Fresh fruit includes cantaloupes and other melons. However, since much of the fruit we eat, including apples, oranges, grapefruit, peaches, etc., are tree fruit, we have many choices in that category.

Again, due to the current food supply chain that exists, we will continue to purchase all processed foods. This includes all canned goods (catsup, alcohol, beer, etc. because they are processed).

Rice has a long ‘shelf life’ making it difficult to determine whether it is ‘fresh’ or old store. We have therefore decided not to restrict rice. Dried beans fall into this same category. Dried beans are stored in the same way as dried grains and therefore we will not restrict their purchase and use.

Fresh, green, raw peanuts are restricted. Most people do not use these peanuts and will not be affected. All processed peanuts and peanut products are okay. All baked goods, including breads, are also okay. The reason for allowing baked goods is that they are made from ingredients that are processed.

All meats that we normally consume are also permissible. This means that we may also continue to purchase items such as milk, eggs, cheese, butter, yogurt, and ice cream.

Finally, we will refrain from planting gardens. This will include planting seeds in buckets and using other portable devices. We have in the past allowed purchasing and ‘planting’ hydroponic vegetables and will continue to permit such use. Also, turning over the land for the purpose of fertilization is permitted, as is planting flowers.

Again, the basic rule of thumb is that if something is processed, it is permitted. If not and it is annually planted, we will refrain from using it for one year, beginning with October 19. We realize that this approach is not perfect, but we feel it is the most prudent one based on the confused and mixed up food supply chain that exists in the world today.

NEWS, NOTES AND NOTABLES

  • 8th month New Moon. On the evening of October 12, the new moon for the 8th scriptural month was observed in a number of locations here in the U.S., which made October 13 new moon day. There were five confirmed witnesses in Texas, two in Georgia and three in Arizona. Yahweh will bless us with its sighting.
  • 9th month New Moon. The New Moon marking the beginning of the ninth month should be visible on the evening of November 12, just after sundown. Providing there are clear skies, this new moon should be plainly visible for brethren in Kenya and throughout Africa, the West Indies, and North America. As always, we encourage each one to watch for the crescent and report your findings to us either by phone, email or letter. Additional new moon info is available on the website.
  • 2008 Holy Days. We plan on including the projected dates for the 2008 Holy Days in the next newsletter. Remember that these will be anticipated dates and are subject to the Abib search results next spring and new moon confirmations. Look for details next month and please keep us all in prayer as we make spiritual preparations for this all-important time of worship and study.
  • Monthly Reading/Study Program. Early in 2007, we started including an article or study in each issue, and we anticipate resuming it in next month’s newsletter. They are intended to provide some regular spiritual food on various subjects, and it is our prayer that we all will become stronger as a result. We hope you take the time to read and study the articles.

EYES ON ISRAEL

Temple Rebuilding Preparations Continue

For those who are watching world events, you must have heard by now of the heated debate in Israel over the dividing of Jerusalem for the purpose of trying to appease the Arabs. As this situation continues to escalate, it is worth reporting that the preparations are moving forward in anticipation of rebuilding the Temple in Jerusalem. Could it be possible that out of all these negotiations one part of the deal will be for a space to be allotted on the Temple Mount for the rebuilding of the Temple? We can only watch and see. We also know that the Temple does not have to be rebuilt for the morning and evening offerings to resume. There only needs to be an altar for the sacrifice.

In light of this, it is worth mentioning that, as has been reported in the Arutz Sheva newspaper, a large amount of gold (1 Kilogram or 2.2 pounds) was donated for the future Temple.

West Papua Delegation Donates Gold For Holy Temple

“On Wednesday, the last day of the Sukkot festival, a 34-person delegation from West Papua presented a large amount of gold to be used in the building of the Holy Temple.

“The delegation, including representatives of the nation’s government, explained that they study the Bible regularly and recently came upon a verse in Zecharia (6:16) reading “And the distant ones will come and build the Temple of G-d.” They discussed the passage among themselves and decided that their faith obligates them to fulfill the verse.

“West Papua, located in the southwestern Pacific Ocean, is rich in gold mines, so the delegation thought it natural to donate gold for the Holy Temple. The Holy Temple will be built in the place where the First and Second Temples once stood – on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount.

“The group presented a kilogram of gold and a large sum of money. They requested that the gold be used to construct vessels for the Temple and that the funds be used by the institute for any purpose it sees fit. The institute has a fund set aside for exclusive use for the actual construction of the temple, as well as funds for building the vessels and engaging in educational projects....

“Delegation members said that although this is their first contribution for the Temple, it will certainly not be their last. “They said that in Papua there are fine trees that they hope to one day bring aboard a ship to Israel in order to be used in the building of the Holy Temple," the rabbi said….

“Just two weeks ago, the institute completed a large “King David’s Lyre.” Its craftsmen are working now on the golden headpiece worn by the high priest.”

Since we do not believe in coincidences, it is also worth noting that just before the Feast of Tabernacles it was reported the quarry where the stones for the second Temple were cut was located. This was reported on September 24, with the report on the gold donation coming in on the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles.

Quarry for Temple Mount's Giant Rocks - Found
by Hillel Fendel

The Antiquities Authority announced today that it has found the quarry that supplied the giant stones for the building of the Temple Mount. The quarry is located in what is now one of Jerusalem's newest neighborhoods, Ramat Shlomo (also known as Reches Shuafat), between Ramot and French Hill. The quarry was found in the course of an archaeological rescue dig prior to the construction of a neighborhood school.

The ancient quarry is spread out over at least five dunams (1.25 acres), with rocks between three and eight meters long - the size of those that can still be seen today at the foundations of the Temple Mount and in the Western Wall - hewn out of the ground.

The Shuafat mountain is some 80 meters higher than the Temple Mount. That, and its proximity to the main road to Jerusalem from the north, made this quarry a prime candidate to provide the rocks to be used in the city's important buildings. Teams of oxen pulled the giant stones down the moderate incline towards the city. The rocks were then placed upon the bedrock, forming the foundation of the Temple Mount, and keeping it stable and firm without the use of concrete even up until today.

We are truly living in exciting times. While we know that this nation is cursed with a curse because of it’s sin, we can also be sure that according to Yahweh’s word we as individuals can receive a blessing as is expressed in Ps 122:6: “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: May they prosper who love you.” (NASU)

We long for the day when peace is truly the norm for Jerusalem and all Israel. We know that will be in Yahweh’s Kingdom, and may we all be blessed as we continue to watch the signs of the times and keep our “Eyes on Israel”

CONCLUSION

Yahweh is good to His people, (Ps. 73:1). He is faithful even when we are not. It is our personal responsibility to seek ways to please Him each day. This was the daily attitude of our Savior, whose example we are to follow, (John 8:29).

Brothers and sisters, Yahweh has called us to serve Him. He seeks laborers in His vineyard. Let’s use the mountain-top experience from the 2007 Feast of Tabernacles to spur YPTC on to great accomplishments in the days, weeks, months, and years ahead. He will continue to bless us as long as we continue to follow the Lamb.

May Yahweh bless each one as you serve Him in spirit and truth.

Your Brethren at YPTC