[ September 2008 Newsletter ]
 

INTRODUCTION

A warm greeting to all who love and serve Yahweh, from the Brethren of YPTC.

It is our joy to regularly correspond with those of like precious faith, to you our beloved brethren. We continue to encourage you to remain strong in the faith, always abounding in the work of Yahweh. “And working together with him we entreat you also that you receive not the grace of Yahweh in vain (for he says, ‘At an acceptable time I listened to you And in a day of salvation did I help you: behold now is the acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation).’” (2 Corinthians 6:1,2)

It is evident by the fast pace in which we see current world events changing that the Day of Yahweh draws near. How exciting it is to part of a group of people who eagerly await Yahshua’s return. Our main objective in this life is to work toward that era when His Kingdom will rule. The governments of this world will be removed to make way for Yahweh’s throne sooner than any of us realize. What a relief it will be to see an end of corruption, turmoil, and greed—the finality of man-made domination.

Working together, we assist others to find the pathway to salvation. We are avidly warning the people of this world to repent and turn to Yahweh. We have been given that responsibility, how humbling!

Amid the hustle and bustle which this world lays at our feet, now is the acceptable time to analyze where our personal spirituality is headed. There is no time like the present and no time to waste. Are we preparing for the greatest tribulation of all time? Are we preparing for the New Kingdom of Yahweh? What are we individually doing to prove our lives are in order, to welcome back Yahshua?

The upcoming Feast Days will help us understand the urgency of the times. The Holy Days are sacred appointments which we should prepare for thoroughly. Yahweh will be meeting with us. Our trust should only be in Yahweh and His King Messiah.

How much time do we spend fellowshiping and communicating with our brethren? It doesn’t take much to write a few lines of encouragement, to make a short phone call or pay a visit. We should look to the example of Yahshua’s disciples, how they sacrificed to help others, witnessing the word of life. And further along the line, they paved the way for us also. How often do we witness to others Yahweh’s Truth and the fellowship we have here in YPTC?

You can help Yahweh’s ministry by searching poignant information that we can share with others, through the websites of YPTC. Remember if we work as a team the job will be done quicker. Are you helping? Our efforts make a difference.

We desperately need for Yahshua to return. What will our answer be to Yahshua when he examines how we have traded with His talents? “Now after a long time the Master of those servants came, and made a reckoning with them.” (Matthew 25:19) Let our zeal be stirred up, to be on fire for Yahweh’s service, showing people He lives in us. People will be able to see by our actions, our conversations, our attire and grooming, the love we have for Yahweh.

Despite the many trials, tribulations and pressures we encounter each day, our strength is solely in Yahweh. We are but a mist appearing and disappearing. “Therefore I take pleasure in weaknesses, in injuries, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses, for the Messiah’s sake: for when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:10)

Sixth Month Preparations

For those who are spiritually minded, there is great significance to be found in the observance of Yahweh’s annual holy days. The observance of these days presents us with a series of lessons that are meant to ready us for the future events.

As we look ahead to the new moon of the sixth month, there are a number of things we need to consider. The sixth month, like the sixth day of the week, is a time of preparation. Yahweh commands us to observe His holy convocations (Leviticus 23:2). In the natural sense, we make ourselves ready to observe Yahweh’s seventh month holy days by performing the physical tasks necessary to properly keep these feast days. Most importantly, in the spiritual sense, we follow the principles of Psalm 24:1-6 and Psalm 15 by cleansing ourselves within in preparation for a meeting with Yahweh.

The spiritual aspect of approaching before Yahweh with clean hands and a pure heart must be fulfilled if we are to meet with Yahweh and dwell with Him on His holy hill. The positive changes we make in our lives are part of the conversion process. It is most important for us to access our spiritual condition and make the appropriate changes necessary if we are to successfully draw closer to Yahweh. By way of His holy days, and the changes they effect within the person, Yahweh has provided the means for His people to know Him in a very personal way.

Those who personally know Yahweh do so by observing Yahweh’s holy days in conjunction with keeping Yahweh’s commandments. Having a personal relationship with Yahweh is dependent upon observing Torah from the heart, with love. “We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. The man who says, ‘I know him,’ but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But if anyone obeys his word, Yahweh’s love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Yahshua did.” (1 John 2:3-6; NIV) “This is love for Yahweh: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome.” (1 John 5:3; NIV)

We must begin now to draw closer to Yahweh. That means exhibiting the attitude of a broken spirit and a broken and contrite heart (Psalm 51:17). The final preparations to properly observe Yahweh’s seventh month feast days takes place in the sixth month. It is up to us to be prepared to ascend to the hill of Yahweh and offer pure worship to Him. “Who may ascend the hill of Yahweh? Who may stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to an idol or swear by what is false. He will receive blessing from Yahweh and vindication from El his Savior. Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek your face, O Elohim of Jacob.” (Psalm 24:3-6; NIV)

Along with being a time of preparation, the sixth month is also a time of testing. It points to the great tribulation when all the people of this earth will be subjected to a severe time of testing and distress unlike anything that has ever occurred previously. “For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now — and never to be equaled again.” (Matthew 24:21; NIV)

Ultimately, this shall bring forth the culmination of the age of man, and Yahshua will return at the sound of the last trumpet and establish Yahweh’s Kingdom on this earth. At that time, the elect of Yahweh will joined with Yahshua when he returns. “Immediately after the distress of those days, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken. At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.” (Matthew 24:29-31; NIV)

This passage points toward the prophetic fulfillment of the Feast of Trumpets when Yahshua returns. As we prepare for the seventh month feast days, the difficulties we face are pre-tests for the final testing we must face at the end of the age.

News, Notes & Notables

Feast Days of the Seventh Month. From now until the Feast of Tabernacles we will be reminding all our readers to make preparations to keep Yahweh’s seventh month feast days. The dates to remember are as follows:

Feast of Trumpets—October 1, 2008 Day of Atonement—October 10, 2008 Feast of Tabernacles—October 15, 2008 Last Great Day—October 22, 2008

The Feast of Tabernacles is the one feast during the year when we unite together in a large gathering of our spiritual family. We will once again be meeting together at the Cherokee KOA in Cherokee, NC. It is the responsibility of those attending to make your reservation with the camp management. They can be contacted by phone at: 1-800-825-8352. Camping spots are still available. Anyone needing help with their arrangements can contact YPTC at 1-888-FOR-YPTC.

It is our hope and prayer that all of the brethren will be able to attend this year’s Feast of Tabernacles. With gasoline prices on the way down, some of the financial pressure has been released. Gasoline prices are down from the recent high by an average of fifty cents per gallon. Remember to be faithful in keeping back the feast tithe so that you have the money to attend the feast. As scattered believers, we are part of Yahweh’s spiritual temple that is being built in these end days. Yahweh’s name is upon His people, and we are commanded to gather with our brethren at that place to seek Yahweh.

Fifth Scriptural Month. On the evening of August 2, 2008 the new crescent moon was seen in the western sky making August 3 new moon day. There were numerous sightings ranging from South Africa to the Caribbean, the United States West Coast, and Canada. Remember to look for the new moon each month and report your findings. We can all rejoice as we fulfil this important statute each month.

Psalms 81:1-4 Sing aloud to God our strength; Make a joyful shout to the Elohim of Jacob. Raise a song and strike the timbrel, The pleasant harp with the lute. 3 Blow the trumpet at the time of the New Moon, At the full moon, on our solemn feast day. 4 For this is a statute for Israel, A law of the Elohim of Jacob. NKJV

6th Month New Moon Sighted. The new moon for the sixth scriptural month was visible on the evening of September 1, 2008. There was a slight chance that the new crescent could be seen in South Africa and the Caribbean on the evening of August 31. However, there were no witnesses that we know of. With the sighting of this new crescent, our attention is on the seventh month and the Feast of Trumpets.

Feast of Trumpets New Moon. The Feast of Trumpets new moon is expected to make its appearance on the evening of September 30, 2008, making October 1 Feast of Trumpets day. This new moon will be difficult to see in the middle to upper regions of North America. The best locations to see the new crescent will be Kenya, East Africa, South Africa, the Caribbean Islands, Mexico, and southern and southwestern regions of the United States. In the area of North America this new moon will be almost 50 hours old and will be up for approximately one hour after sundown.

Be sure to look for this important new moon. You can call YPTC to report your sighting and check on other sightings by calling our toll free number, 1-888-FOR-YPTC.

Household Responsibility

"When a young woman still living in her father's house makes a vow to Yahweh or obligates herself by a pledge and her father hears about her vow or pledge but says nothing to her, then all her vows and every pledge by which she obligated herself will stand." (Numbers 30:3-4)

The Torah gives us an interesting perspective on household responsibility. The context of its directives on this issue assumes that husbands and fathers are to take responsibility for their wife and daughters respectively. It should be stated that, contrary to what some may think, the Torah's understanding of the husband's and father's role in the household in no way degrades the worth of women. In fact the equality of males and females is made clear by the statement that vows made by widows and divorcees are binding (Numbers 30:9). If women lacked value before Yahweh and within Israelite society, then their vows would be worthless or easily deemed invalid. The specific issue we are looking at, namely household responsibility, is not about the worth of individuals, but about the roles pertaining to households, in particular the special role given by Yahweh to husbands and fathers.

The Torah teaches that if a wife or daughter makes a vow (a promise to Yahweh), and her husband or father hears about it, he has the right to nullify it. But if he says nothing about it, then the vow stands. This clearly outlines for us the delineation of responsibility within the household. It is important to note that if the husband or father says nothing, then the vow is binding. Allowing the vow to stand indicates that he agrees with the vow. However, If he nullifies it after a period of time, then "he is responsible for her guilt" (Numbers 30:15).

Our passage assumes a certain level of involvement on the part of husbands and fathers. This kind of involvement is not simply about car pooling, family vacations, or other occasions when a man might just be present with his family. This kind of involvement implied by our passage is that when a husband or father is engaged sufficiently to hear and interact with the aspirations and desires of his family.

The most crucial thing for a man to understand is that it is he who bears responsibility before Yahweh for his family. This may be contrary to what many cultures, or what people who adhere to the Bible, believe today, but if this perspective of family responsibility is expressed throughout the entire Bible, then accepting that special role is necessary if we want to build holy households.

Some men today, perhaps out of fear and intimidation, avoid confronting their families with what they know is right. Yahweh calls husbands and fathers (as well as wives and mothers) to create the kind of boundaries in their homes that will protect their families from harm and lead them effectively in Yahweh's ways, to Yahweh’s Truth. This does not mean they run their lives for others or think on their behalf. As the spiritual head of their household, it is up to each father and husband in the Faith to lead his family in the “Way of Life.” Those men who neglect their responsibilities will be culpable to Yahweh.

With Yahweh as our Father, we are responsible with maintaining the love of Yahweh within our families, teaching our families by example and bearing the mark of Yahweh on us as His Spiritual children. Almighty Yahweh commands us in love to keep His Words. That is the very essence of the Shema.

"Hear, O Israel: Yahweh is our Elohim, Yahweh is one! You shall love Yahweh your Elohim with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” (Deuteronomy 6:4-9; NKJV)

It is up to us to have Yahweh’s Law in the forefront of our minds at all times. As His spiritual house, Torah should be written on the doorposts of our hearts and as the regulator of what enters us by way of the gates of our senses (what we look at, listen to, etc.). As families we all have an obligation to work together, through Torah, in harmony, not separated, but in full agreement. This will be to the Glory of our Father in heaven, and His Son Yahshua the Messiah!

The Affliction of Av

The Word of Yahweh dovetails with many ancient historical records, thereby teaching us the significance of times and events. To be aware of historical patterns causes us to remember the past so that we might be prepared for the future. One of the most important times for the Jewish people is remembering important events which have occurred throughout history in relation to the month of Av.

Av is the fifth month of the sacred calendar year. This year the new moon for Av was sighted on the evening of August 2, 2008. The name "Av" is Babylonian, and was acquired by the Jews during their captivity in Babylon. Prior to the captivity, this month was known simply as "the fifth month," as stated in Numbers 33:38, "And Aaron the priest went up Mount Hor at the command of Yahweh and died there...on the first day of the fifth month."

It is interesting to note that Aaron, the high priest, died on the 1st of Av. The Torah says that after that, "all the house of Israel wept for Aaron thirty days" (Numbers 20:29). Sadly, this seems to have been a foreboding sign of things to come. Since those days, the month of Av has been a month of tragedy and affliction for the Jewish people.

The 17th of Tammuz (the 4th scriptural month) begins a period of three weeks of mourning that originated in the days of the post-exilic prophets. When the month of Av begins, the traditional mourning customs are intensified as Jews draw closer to Tzom Tisha b'Av, the Fast of the 9th of Av. Why? Aaron the high priest died on the 1st of Av and both the First and Second Temples were destroyed on Tisha b'Av. Aside from Yom Kippur, these Nine Days are perhaps the most somber and heart-rending days of the biblical calendar.

Tisha b'Av is one of the traditional Jewish fast days wherein a fast from food and liquid is observed from sundown to sundown. The sorrow of Tisha b'Av is so great that men do not even don Tefillin during the morning Shacharit prayers. Special services are also held on Tisha b'Av as well. During these services, congregants sit on the floor and read the book of Lamentations (Eichah). Jeremiah the prophet wrote this solemn book after the destruction of the First Temple, making it a fitting choice for Tisha b'Av.

This day holds intense significance for the Jewish people, but what about those that are followers of Yahshua Messiah? Should we mourn as well? Yes maybe more than anybody else.

The afflictions of Tisha b'Av were not just limited to the days of the Bible. Tisha b'Av has continued to be an ominous day for the Jewish people throughout their history. Sadly, many of these tragedies have been at the hands of rulers, popes, and angry mobs. Whether by crusades, inquisitions, pogroms, or blood libels, so-called followers of a messiah have been tortured, burned, and murdered as Jews. In so doing, these people have maligned the name of the Master and blasphemed His character.

But though some of these tragedies may seem like ancient history, modern day persecution is still fresh in the collective mind of the Jewish people. Given that fact, perhaps Tisha b'Av should always be remembered. We must continue to stand against anti-Semitism in whatever form it takes, whether in thought, speech, or in worship.

The Bible records the Ninth of Av as the date of the destruction of the First Temple. Tradition teaches that the date is so heavily marked by tragedy that the destruction of the Second Temple fell on the same date. Different opinions cite the year as between 68 and 70 in the Common Era (CE).

On the Ninth of Av, Betar, the last fortress to hold out against the Romans during the Bar Kochba revolt, fell in 132 CE and over 100,000 Jews were killed. In 1492, Spain ordered the expulsion of all Jews by the Ninth of Av. In 1914, Germany declared war on Russia on the Ninth of Av (August 1) opening World War I. Although the Roman Empire destroyed the Second Temple, Jewish tradition teaches that the underlying reason for the destruction was the practice of Jews speaking ill of each other (loshon hara) and spreading "senseless hatred" (sinat chinam).

The day of mourning also is being remembered as the period when the modern Israeli government carried out the Disengagement program three summers ago, which involved the forced expulsion of more than 9,000 Jews from their homes in northern Samaria and the Jewish Gaza region. The government, headed at the time by former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and his deputy Ehud Olmert, sent in soldiers and police, many of them dressed in black uniforms and riot gear, followed by bulldozers that destroyed Jewish homes. The demolished sites, including the synagogues that remained standing, were handed over to the Palestinian Authority (PA). Within minutes, the over 20 Jewish houses of worship were in flames. Terrorists immediately took over the grounds and began setting up training bases while the expulsion victims were deported to hotel rooms and other temporary housing.

Tisha B'Av is observed as a day of morning, and Jews sit on low stools until midday (approximately 12:45 p.m.) and refrain from greeting one another. Eicha, the Book of Lamentations, is recited in synagogues around the world in the evening and, according to some traditions, also on the morning of Tisha B'Av. It was written by the prophet Jeremiah, who warned Jews to repent to prevent the fall of Jerusalem, which he prophesied. His advice not only was ignored, but he also was imprisoned for stating views that threatened the king's power.

As we begin to fulfil the end time prophetic message let us be prepared for times of mourning. “Now at that time Michael, the great prince who stands guard over the sons of your people, will arise. And there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time; and at that time your people, everyone who is found written in the book, will be rescued. Many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life, but the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt. Those who have insight will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead the many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever. 4 "But as for you, Daniel, conceal these words and seal up the book until the end of time; many will go back and forth, and knowledge will increase." (Daniel 12:1-4; NASU)

Does your light shine brightly today or has the light grown dim? Only you can decide which it may be. As followers of our Savoir and redeemer Yahshua the Messiah, we must always remember the many significant events which have occurred in conjunction with the month of Av.

News, Notes & Notables

In 2 Timothy 2:14-16 Paul tells Timothy, “Keep reminding them of these things. Warn them before Yahweh against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen. Do your best to present yourself to Yahweh as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. Avoid profane chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more unholy.” (NIV)

There are those who do not handle the Word of Yahweh in a correct and proper way. These are people who love controversies. They love to quarrel about words rather than concentrate on learning and following the Truth. They waste valuable time with their fruitless efforts. Their ongoing disputations pale in comparison with the deep teachings that Yahshua spoke concerning His role in the plan of salvation.

Yahshua taught, “I am the bread of life. Your Fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread, which comes down out of heaven that a man may eat of it, and not die. I am the living bread, which came down out of heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever: yes and the bread which I will give is my flesh, for the life of the world.” (John 6:48, 51)

People sometimes murmur and stumble over the word; even the small things in His Law. But how clear, plain and simple it is if we possess true childlike faith. Those with true faith willingly follow the truth that they have learned without hesitation or questionings.

Consider again the words of Paul to Timothy in 2 Timothy 2:21-26. “Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work. Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on Yahweh out of a pure heart. But avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife. And a servant of Yahweh must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if Yahweh perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.” (NKJV)

Our faith should be strong, without doubts, fears, or .questionings. There is nothing that Yahweh requires of us that is too difficult. His requirements are far deeper than our thoughts or ways. “In that same hour he rejoiced in the Holy Spirit, and said, ‘I thank you. O Father, Sovereign of Heaven and Earth, that you hid these things from the wise and understanding, and did reveal them to the babes: yes, Father; for so it was well pleasing in your sight.’” (Luke 10:21:24)

Like the disciples in Yahshua’s time, we too are blessed for seeing the things we see and the things Yahweh reveals to us. We see His Law more clearly, we see His Spirit active in our lives, and we see signs of His Day drawing near.

Yahweh sends the Comforter to guide us and teach us. Let us rely on Yahweh’s Holy Spirit more each day, and read and absorb Yahshua’s sayings by making them part of our every move and action.

Let us keep pushing ahead, seizing every opportunity to glorify His name and Kingship. Yahweh’s Government will come soon and our hope is to be a citizen in that era. Come, Yahshua, is our prayer.

Once again, we thank Almighty Yahweh for each one of you who are part of this ministry. May our Father in Heaven protect and keep His people in these last days.

Yahweh bless you and keep you through Yahshua,

Your Brethren in Yahweh’s Truth!

(The Sacred Names have been reinserted into the various quoted translations.)