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Assemblies of Yahweh Ministries Newsletter

Issue No. 09                                               India                                                           Dec. 2003


Festival of Tabernacles Report, Eluru, W.G. Dt., A.P. 2003

The Festival of Tabernacles was successfully celebrated in Eluru, W.G. Dt. A.P.  Oct. 11-19.  During the eight days, messages were brought by Brothers G.B. Benoni, Matithyah, David Raju, M. Hariem, G. Samson, D. Devasahym, and G. Dixon Rupert.  Approximately 175 people attended throughout the eight days, with about 80 on any given day.  All the attendees were from Andhra, except one brother from Tamil Nadu who came and stayed all eight days.  There were special meetings for the children and literature distribution in the surrounding area.

Festival of Unleavened Bread 2004

The Festival of Unleavened Bread will be April 5-12 next year.  Bro. S. Matithyah hopes to travel from Andhra to Aizawl, Mizoram and keep it with bro. J.H. Thangliana and congregation.  Mizoram is a beautiful state in northeast India that is 90% Christian.  If any others from S. India would also like to go to Aizawl for Unleavened Bread, do contact bro. Matithyah.

Christmas celebrations, Scriptural or Pagan?

This month many people will be celebrating the birth of the Messiah with a grand festival called Christmas, on Dec. 25.  But, it must be noted that all Bible Scholars know that Dec. 25 is not the time of the birth of the Messiah, as the shepherds were in the fields at night taking care of their flocks,Lk.2:8.  In Ysrael the weather during December is cold and wet and no shepherds would be taking care of their flocks out in the open at night.  Dec. 25 is the date of the winter solstice in the Julian calendar and on this day the idol worshiping people would celebrate the return of the Sun.  Over time, this Pagan festival was amalgamated by the Christians to being the date of the birth of the Son of Yahweh.  The addition of "Christmas trees" being decked with silver and gold is another old custom practiced by those that knew not Yahweh.  Jere. 10:2-5 says, "Thus saith Yahweh, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. 3For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe.  4They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not. 5They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good."  So we see that Yahweh forbids us from taking part in the these pagan practices. 

The festivals of Unleavened Bread, Pentecost, and Tabernacles are annual celebrations that Yahweh has commanded us to partake of;  we should not neglect the commandment of Yahweh and partake of a Pagan tradition that has been given a righteous garb.  Yahshua Messiah told the religious leaders of His day, "Thus have ye made the commandment of Elohim of none effect by your tradition....    8This people draws nigh unto me with their mouth, and honours me with their lips.... 9But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men." Matt. 15:6-9

Financing Yahweh's Work

Yahweh knew that in order for His servants to carry forward His truth, it would require financial funding.  So Yahweh devised a simple plan to care for the financial needs of His work.  This plan has been in operation from the earliest times as we can see that Abraham paid tithes to Melchizedek, the priest of the Most High El,Gen. 14:18-20.  Later Yahweh commanded in the Law that the priests were to be supported by the tithes of the people, Num.18:21-24.  Yahweh says that He blesses those that give their tithes and that curses come to those who do not, Mal. 3:8-12.  Yahshua Messiah also upheld the principle of tithing, Mt. 23:23,24.  The Hebrew word for tithe is "maser" and it means, "the tenth part".  By man giving one tenth of all his increase to the service of Yahweh, mankind acknowledges Yahweh as the Creator and Owner of all, and that man is simply a steward of Yahweh's property.

In addition to people supporting the local priests, Yahweh commanded that the priests themselves were to pay a tenth of their tithes to the High Priest, Num. 18:25-29.  So we see that Yahweh ordained that there should be an organizing higher power that all the local priests of Ysrael were to support and be accountable to.  In view of this command the Assemblies of Yahweh in Andhra Pradesh have formed a body of believers in the name of, "The Assemblies of Yahweh Ministries" and opened a savings account to receive the "tithe of tithes" from the various assemblies across the state.  We are in the early stages of this new body but we hope to expand it and let it be representative of the various pastors and workers from across the state.  The current President is G. Raja Prasad, from Vishakhapatnam, in addition there are about 25 other members from across the state of Andhra Pradesh who are also on the board.  The duties of the office of the High Priest in Ysrael's day included leading out in the organization of the annual festivals, overseeing the worship, praise, and work of the general body of believers.  The High Priests office was to help bring harmony, strength, and unity to the various believers.

The work of Yahweh needs to be carried forward in an organized way that Yahweh has ordained, so we are encouraging all pastors and workers in Andhra Pradesh to join this body and help to unitedly carry forward the work in a solid way. 

Any worker for Yahweh who wishes to join and support this body should contact G. Raja Prasad at the address listed at the end of this newsletter.  Be sure to give the names of the places that you represent.  An annual general body meeting will be held

once a year in the month of October in which the activities of the ministry will be discussed.  All members will be notified in advance of the particulars of the meeting.   

Hebrew Language School in Machilipatnam, A.P., S. India

The Sarah Ephrati Hebrew language Research Academy in Machilipatnam is operating weekly Hebrew classes that teach the basics of the Hebrew language.  The three day course costs 430Rs. which covers meals, lodging, and about 70 pages of materials.  Those attending the course will be given intensive instruction for three days and lessons to do on their own.  After one month they would need to return, if possible, and be tested.  Those passing the exam would then be presented with the Sarah Ephrati Hebrew School Diploma.  Instruction will be in Telugu and English.  Those wishing to attend should contact Samuel Yacobi at:  08672-254408 or 9849328683.

Doctrinal Belief No. 8 Temperance, Abstinence from harmful desires

Yahweh has given man a physical body to bring honor to Him,Isa.43:6,7; 1Cor.6:19,20.  If a man willingly defiles his physical body he shows that he does not appreciate the gift of life that Yahweh has given him.  Yahweh says He will destroy those who willingly defile their body, which is the temple of Yahweh's Spirit, 1Cor.3:16,17.  In the Torah, Yahweh has enumerated certain items that defile a persons body.  The blood of an animal and unclean meats are forbidden by Yahweh to be eaten, see Gen.7:2; Lev.3:17; 11; 17:10-14.  This principle is upheld in certain other Scriptures, see Dan.1:8; Isa.66:16,17; Acts15:19,20.  Animals such as pigs, prawns(shrimp), catfish, ravens, crows, owls, storks, hawks, etc... are all forbidden of Yahweh to be eaten. 

Did Yahshua do away with the law of clean and unclean foods, in Mt. 15:11, where He said, "Not that which goeth into the mouth, defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man."?  If this situation is read in context it will be seen that Yahshua was only speaking about eating with unwashed hands, vs. 2, 20.  It is generally a good idea to wash your hands before you eat, but, it is not a sin not to.  The main point that Yahshua was making was that we should not neglect the commandments of Yahweh in order to keep the commandments and traditions of men, vss.3-9.

Tobacco usage

The sixth commandment is, "thou shall not murder".  The definition of murder is, "the unjust taking of human life".  This would apply to homicide, but it would also be a violation of the sixth commandment to take one's own life.  Our bodies are the temple of Yahweh's Spirit, and thus we should be careful to keep our bodies in good condition so that we can do acceptable service to Yahweh.  Rom. 12:1 says, "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of Eloah, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto Eloah, which is your reasonable service."

The use of tobacco in smoking cigars, cigarettes, chewing, dipping etcetera, are harmful desires which destroy the soul and must be put away by the followers of Yahweh's commandments.  The warning labels on the packages of cigarettes openly state that smoking causes lung cancer, high blood pressure, emphysema, etc...  Every year, around the world, hundreds of thousands of people suffer and die from problems that arise from the use of tobacco.  If a man wishes for Yahweh to hear his prayers, man must seek to know and do the commandments of Yahweh, Prov. 28:9.  But, if a man is slowly killing himself thru the use of tobacco, he inhibits Yahweh from answering his prayers. 

There is hope for those caught in addiction to tobacco, in Phil.4:13 the apostle Paul said, "I can do all things thru Messiah which strengthens me."  Yacob 4:7 says, "Submit yourselves therefore to Eloah. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."

If a man will submit himself to Yahweh and do his best to resist the temptations of Satan, he will eventually be an overcomer in the battle for freedom from tobacco or any narcotic substance.

The excessive use of alcohol is prohibited in the Scriptures;  no drunkard will enter the kingdom of heaven, 1Cor.6:9-11; Eph. 5:18;  1Pet.4:3.

Sacred Name Telugu Bible Project

The Sacred Name Telugu Bible Project is steadily going forward in Eluru, W.G. Dt. A.P.  As of now the books of Gen. thru 1 Chron. have been translated, also the books of Daniel and Matthew are finished.  We currently have need of another translator on the project.  We need someone with the following qualifications:  1.  They must have a desire to see a Telugu Sacred Name Bible published, 2.  They must be able to communicate in English and Telugu.  3.  They must be willing to come to Eluru and do the translation work, (we will pay for transportation, food, lodging, and provide 100Rs per day salary).  4.  They must have some Bible knowledge.  5.  They must be able to provide personal references that testify of a good character.  

Contact Information for Assemblies of Yahweh Ministries:

G. Prasad                                                             bro. Matithyah  08812-250404   

9-9-43 Mangapuram Colony                     

Vishakhapatnam, A.P. 530017      >>        

0891-2575569 or 9849147243

"Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on Me through their word; That they all may be one; as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in Us:"  John 17:20,21