[ April 2008 Newsletter ]
 

This abbreviated issue of the YPTC Newsletter is being sent out so that you will have the enclosed information before Passover

Happy New Year!!

Shalom to All Our Brethren and Friends In Yahshua,

HalleluYah, and Happy New Year to all the brethren scattered around the world. We rejoice that the new moon was seen the evening of April 6, 2008. There were many witnesses who saw and verified the new crescent just as predicted. It is truly a blessing to be able to see a new moon and know that the little crescent of light in the sky sanctifies Yahweh’s sacred calendar and brings us that much closer to the time when Yahshua will return. The blowing of the shofar sends a message to all who hear it reminding us of the time when the last Trumpet will sound and Yahshua will establish the Kingdom on this earth.

Psalms 81:1-4

“Sing for joy to Elohim our strength; Shout joyfully to the Elohim of Jacob. Raise a song, strike the timbrel The sweet sounding lyre with the harp. Blow the trumpet at the new moon, At the full moon, on our feast day. For it is a statute for Israel, An ordinance of the Elohim of Jacob". NASU

Aviv Confirmed

Along with the verification of the new moon we also have confirmation for the Aviv (Abib) from Israel. The following report is from The Karaite Korner Newsletter #326.

Aviv Found!

On Sunday March 23, 2008 Nehemia Gordon and Devorah Gordon found large quantities of Aviv barley at Ein Mabua near Jerusalem and at multiple locations in the central Jordan Valley. This confirms that the new moon expected on April 7, 2008 will begin the Month of the Aviv. Chag HaMatzot (Feast of Unleavened Bread) will commence at sunset April 21, 2008 and continue until sunset April 28, 2008.

Shanah Tovah! Happy New Year!

Nehemia Gordon Jerusalem, Israel

Please take note that the Abib new moon was sighted the evening of April 6, 2008 in numerous locations throughout North America. Passover will be observed by YPTC on the evening of April 19 (making April 20 Passover day) and the Feast of Unleavened Bread will begin after sundown on the evening of April 21 and end at sundown on April 27.

Passover and Unleavened Bread Preparations

Now that we have verified Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread., we must turn our attention to preparing our dwellings and our selves to properly observe Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread. By physically removing all leavening and leavened food from our dwellings we learn a spiritual lesson. The Apostle Paul shows the spiritual significance of removing leaven from within our hearts and minds so that we can present our selves before Yahweh in a purified condition. “Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough? Clean out the old leaven so that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened. For Messiah our Passover also has been sacrificed. Therefore let us celebrate the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. (1 Corinthians 5:6-8; NASU)

Leavening is a corrupting agent that puffs people up through arrogance and manifests itself with malice and wickedness. On the other hand, unleavened bread is uncorrupted and brings fourth sincerity and truth from within the heart and mind. With these thoughts in mind, let us approach the Passover observance as humble repented servants who have turned back to Yahweh and are full of sincerity and truth.

It is up to each one of us to thoroughly examine ourselves within and without and make the necessary changes that bring us into tune with Yahweh, Yahshua and Yahshua’s disciples. Through loving obedience to Yahweh’s Covenant, we are able to be united together spiritually and fulfill the Shema (Deut. 6:4-9) by bring ONE with Yahweh. Through love and obedience, for Yahweh and His Law we are able to declare ourselves as New Covenant believers because His Torah is in our hearts and minds.

It is our personal responsibility to see that we do not partake of the Passover in an unacceptable sinful condition. We must make sure that we have made amends and removed all vestiges of sin from within. Those who fail to do so will receive condemnation and be subject to illnesses for their transgression.

“For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Master’s death until He comes. Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Master in an unworthy manner, shall be guilty of the body and the blood of the Master. But a man must examine himself, and in so doing he is to eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For he who eats and drinks, eats and drinks judgment to himself if he does not judge the body rightly. For this reason many among you are weak and sick, and a number sleep. But if we judged ourselves rightly, we would not be judged”. (1 Corinthians 11:26-31: NASU)

Instead of receiving judgment with illness, let us look to Yahshua as the one who heals us of our physical and emotional infirmities and receive healing from the Lamb of Yahweh who takes away the sin of the world, whose stripes bring us healing from above. “Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by Elohim, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and Yahweh has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:4-6: NKJV)

What is Leavening and What Leavened Products that Must be Thrown Out?

After extensive research and study on the subject of leavening and leaven, we have learned some very important facts which shed new light on this important area of discussion. We mailed and e-mailed this information to all of the members of YPTC for them to study and prove. If you have not received this information please contact us at 1-888-FOR-YPTC.

In a nut shell, we have learned that the Jewish practice of throwing out distilled alcohol and distilled vinegar during the Passover season is based purely on Oral Law and has nothing to do with Torah. We have been commanded to throw out all leaven and leavened products by Passover day and that for the Feast of Unleavened Bread there should be no leavening agents or leavened products in our dwellings. When you look at the Hebrew words used for leavening and unleavened bread it becomes obvious that leavening agents cause a mixture of flour and water to ferment and puff up. If you add distilled vinegar or alcohol to a mixture of flour and water no fermentation will take place. In fact vinegar is used as a preservative. According to the Apostle Paul “… a little leaven leavens the whole lump.” (1 Corinthians 5:6 & Galatians 5:9)

With these statements, Paul shows us the identifying characteristic of leaven. The Passover and Days of Unleavened Bread require us to remove all physical and spiritual leaven. Leaven is looked upon as a corrupting agent that causes things to puff up. When leaven is added to a mixture of flour and water it will cause it to puff up if that does not happen then it is not considered as leaven or leavened. We therefore conclude that there is absolutely no scriptural basis for throwing out distilled alcohol and distilled vinegar at Passover.

Ironically, the Jews find apple cider vinegar to be Kosher for Passover knowing full well that all the major cider vinegar producers ADD YEAST (a leavenings agent) to the apple cider to turn it into vinegar. There are those who teach that any substance which has been acted on by yeast (such as distilled alcohol) must be thrown out for Passover. The scriptures teach that leavening agents like yeast and barm are to be thrown out because they cause fermentation when added to flour and water. Leavened bread and other foods that are puffed up because of a leavening agent must also be thrown out. However, nothing is ever said about things like wine and strong alcoholic drinks that have been acted on by leavening but are not themselves a leavening agent. The only exception that should be made is for beer and effervescent wines and other beverages like soda pop which releases carbon dioxide when opened.

In regard to all of Yahweh’s Feast Days, including the Days of Unleavened Bread, it states in Deuteronomy 14:26 that you can drink wine and strong drink (Hebrew SHEKAR). The BDB Hebrew Lexicon defines “shekar” as “strong drink, intoxicating drink, fermented or intoxicating liquor.” “Shekar” is a strong alcoholic beverage that has yeast added to it to make it strong. If Yahweh had wanted His people to throw out things that had been acted on by leavening but were not themselves a leavening agent then why did He tell them that they could drink “Shekar?” "You may spend the money for whatever your heart desires: for oxen, or sheep, or wine, or strong drink, or whatever your heart desires; and there you shall eat in the presence of Yahweh your Elohim and rejoice, you and your household.” (NASU)

The information presented here is only the “tip of the iceberg.” We plan to publish more on this subject in the future. We have concluded that any leavened bread products acted upon by yeast or by a chemical leavening agent like baking soda fall into the category of being leavened. This would include bread and pastries that are puffed up by yeast, beer which is puffed up by CO2, cakes and biscuits which are puffed up by chemical leavening like baking soda and soda pop because it has CO2 injected into it that many times is excess CO2 produced in the making of beer process.

To help clarify the meaning of leaven and show how it is used and described in the scriptures consider the following excerpts are from an article on “Leaven” that is found in from International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

“Leaven > Any agent added to a flour mixture or liquids to produce a state of fermentation. The ancient Hebrews always kneaded with their bread a piece of fermented dough reserved from a previous baking (cf. Matt 13:33). The leaven may also have been softened in water in the mixing bowl before the flour was added. Other forms of leaven used in the ancient world (cf. Pliny Nat.Hist. xviii.26 [102-104]) were not mentioned in the Bible, whether or not the Hebrews employed them.

The Hebrew sacrificial system prohibited the use of leaven in cereal offerings and sacrifices to [Yahweh] (cf. Ex 23:18; 34:25; Lev 2:11; 6:17; etc.). It was allowed, how-ever, in offerings that humans subsequently consumed (cf. Lev 7:13; 23:17)….

Unleavened bread figured prominently in a specific feast of that designation It commemorated the haste of the Israelites' departure from Egypt at the time of the Exodus, which left them no opportunity to use a rising agent in preparing their bread (Ex 12:34,39). An annual observance of this great deliverance formed part of the Passover celebrations. From the fourteenth day of Abib, the first month, the Hebrews were required to eat the "bread of affliction" (Deut 16:3) for seven days (cf. Ex 12:14-20; 13:3-10; 23:15; 34:18; Num 28:17). Anyone who ate leavened bread or cakes during that period was expelled from the company of the Israelites (cf. Ex 12:15-20; 13:7). Fermented products other than grain were not affected by the ritual prohibitions governing the Passover celebrations.

Leaven lent itself readily to figurative use as a symbol of pervasiveness (cf. 1 Cor 5:6-8; Gal 5:9). [Messiah] mentioned leaven to exemplify the penetrating or transforming power of the kingdom of heaven (Matt 13:33; Luke 13:21). He stigmatized the "leaven," i.e., the hypocritical teaching, of the Pharisees and Sadducees (Matt 16:6,11; Luke 12:1; cf. Mark 8:15). Using the Passover celebrations as an allegory, Paul urged the casting out of the leaven of malice and wickedness and the substitution of sincerity and truth as an appropriate means of keeping the feast (1 Cor 5:6-8).” R. K. H.

As we conclude this newsletter it is our hope that all the brethren will have a glorious Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread. May Yahweh bless you, protect you, and keep you safe from harm. .

We appreciate you all,

Your Brethren in Yahweh’s Truth