Constitution:
Part 1

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CONSTITUTION OF
Congregation B'nei HaMelech

Adopted February 1, 1997

Preamble

Whereas we hold the Bible, consisting of the sixty-six books of the TaNaKh (the Hebrew Bible or so-called “Old Testament”) and the Ketuvei HaShalichim (Apostolic Writings or Apostolic Scriptures, so-called “B'rit Chadasha,” “Renewed Covenant,” or “New Testament”) of the (so-called) “Protestant Canon,” to be the inerrant written Word of HaShem in their original autographs; and

Whereas we believe the Bible as we have now received it to be without any material deviation from those original autographs in matters of doctrine, faith, and conduct; and

 

Whereas we therefore accept the Bible as our final authority in all things; and

Whereas the Bible requires that all things be done decently and in order; and

Whereas the Bible requires that we submit to the authority of those whom HaShem has appointed to govern us, so long as they do not require us to be disobedient to HaShem’s Own higher authority; and

Whereas those whom HaShem has appointed to govern us require that we adopt a formal governing document which contains certain provisions of man’s law; and

Whereas the Bible requires that we do nothing to offend our brethren of the true and precious Faith; and

Whereas those brethren likewise expect that we adopt a formal governing document in accordance with our accepted tenets;

Therefore we do hereby declare and establish this Constitution to which we voluntarily submit ourselves.


ARTICLE I
Name and Purpose

Section 1 — Name

This local manifestation of the Body of Mashiach[1] meeting together as an independent congregation of believers shall be known for legal and government purposes as Family Bible Church, and shall be duly licensed as such by the state in which the main offices of this ministry may reside. The Ministry of this fellowship shall be Messianic in form and shall be known as B'nei HaMelech (Children of the King) Fellowship.

Section 2 — Purpose

This fellowship exists solely for the glory of HaShem, the God of the Bible, the God of Avraham, Yitz'chak, and Ya'akov Whose Name is too sacred to be pronounced, and for the fulfillment of our divinely-ordained responsibilities (a) toward Him, (b) toward our families, (c) toward others within the universal Body of Mashiach (“the Miqra”)[2] which is the Body and Bride of Adonai Yeshua HaMashiach,[3] (d) toward those who are outside of the Body of Mashiach (“the Lost”), and (e) toward HaShem’s chosen nation of Israel and her people.

A. Our Responsibility

We view those responsibilities to be as follows:

1. Our Responsibility Toward HaShem

We agree with the Westminster Shorter Catechism that “Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy Him forever.” We accomplish this responsibility toward HaShem primarily by loving Him. When we truly love Him above all else, we will give Him our unquestioning obedience in all things. Our love and obedience will then glorify Him.

When one of the Scribes asked Yeshua HaMashiach, “Which mitzvah[4] is the greatest of all?” Mashiach answered, “The greatest is, ‘Hear, Yisra'el, the Lord our God, the Lord is one: you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first mitzvah. The second is like this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other mitzvah greater than these.” (Mark 12:28-31).[5]

Anyone who does not love HaShem as Mashiach commanded is under the divine curse of HaShem. “If anyone does not love the Lord, a curse on him! Marana, ta! [Our Lord, come!]” (1 Cor. 16:22).

The Bible says that Yeshua HaMashiach became obedient to the Law so that the Goyim[6] would glorify HaShem. “For I say that the Messiah became a servant of the Jewish people in order to show God’s truthfulness by making good His promises to the Patriarchs, and in order to show His mercy by causing the Gentiles to glorify God — as it is written in the Tanakh, ‘Because of this I will acknowledge you among the Gentiles and sing praise to your name.’” (Rom. 15:8-9).

The Bible says that because He has bought us out of bondage to sin, we live to glorify Him: “… The fact is, you don't belong to yourselves; for you were bought at a price. So use your bodies to glorify God.” (1 Cor. 6:19-20).

Yeshua said that if we love Him we will obey Him (John 3:36; 14:23,24), and the Apostolic Writings confirm that we are to obey Him (Acts 5:29,32; Rom. 2:8; 6:16; 2 Thess. 1:8; 3:14; Heb. 5:9; 1 Pet. 1:2; 4:17). This glorifies HaShem (Rom. 15:6).

The Bible says that we have become the Bride of Mashiach and that we will reign with Him forever (Rev. 19:6-9; 21:1-22:7).

Yeshua clearly says that we have an obligation to observe all the mitzvot (commandments) of Torah that we possibly can, and that we are to teach others to do likewise (Matt. 5:17-20). We clearly understand that it is not possible for us to observe all the mitzvot because many of them refer only to life within Eretz Yisrael, and some refer only to the Temple, which does not exist in our time. Neither are we responsible for observing those mitzvot which are particular to certain classes of individuals other than ourselves.

2. Our Responsibility Toward Our Family

Because HaShem created the family millennia before He created His Miqra, we believe that our responsibility toward our family comes second only to our responsibility toward HaShem. Yeshua set this model before us in that, as He hung dying on His cross[19] at Calvary, He committed the care of His mother into the hands of the Beloved Talmid.[7] HaShem’s Torah, which our Lord declared is unchangeable, provides for strong family bonds and responsibilities. Our Lord taught that the man who fails to care for his family is worse than an infidel.

Concerning relationships within the Family, our Lord taught that Mashiach is the head of the husband and the husband is to be subject to Mashiach. He also taught that the husband is the head of the wife and the wife is to be subject to her husband (Eph. 5:22-33; Col. 3:18; 1 Pet. 3:1-6; Titus 2:5). The Bible teaches that the husband is to love his wife “just as Mashiach also loved the Miqra and gave Himself up for her,” and to treat her gently, “as a weaker vessel” (Eph. 5:22-33; Col. 3:19; 1 Pet. 3:7). The Bible also teaches that a husband and wife are to “become one flesh” (Eph. 5:31).

The Bible teaches that children are to be obedient to their parents and honor them (Col. 3:20; Eph. 6:1-3). Fathers are not to exasperate their children or provoke them to anger “but [are to] bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Col. 3:21; Eph. 6:4). Parents are to instruct their children in the laws of HaShem “that they should put their confidence in HaShem, and not forget the works of HaShem, but keep His commandments.” Parents are also to teach their children the praises of the Lord, not just His judgments (Ps. 78:1-8; Deut. 4:10; 6:4-9; 11:18-21).

We therefore commit that in all the teachings and functions of this congregation, we will keep the family foremost, that our families will be built on the sure foundation, which is Adonai Yeshua HaMashiach and His Word.

3. Our Responsibility Toward the Body of Mashiach

When speaking about the greatest of all mitzvot (commandments), Yeshua said, “The second is like this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other mitzvah greater than these.” (Mark 12:31). Yeshua also said, “This is my mitzvah, that you love one another, even as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends, if you do whatever I command you. … I command these things to you, that you may love one another.” (John 15:12-17). We are commanded to fervently love each other (1 Pet. 1:22; 4:8-9; 1 John 3:11,23; 4:7-12; 2 John 1:5).

This kind of love means placing others’ well-being before our own (Rom. 12:10; Phil. 2:3,4; 1 Thess. 3:11-13; 5:15).

We are to meet one another’s needs (Rom. 12:13; 2 Cor. 9:12-14). We are to obey our spiritual leaders and submit to their authority over us (Heb. 13:17). We are to be devoted to one another (Rom. 12:10-13). We are to “pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another” (Rom. 14:19-20). We are to “be of the same mind with one another according to Mashiach Yeshua” (Rom. 15:6) and to accept one another (Rom. 15:7). We are to admonish one another (Rom. 15:14; Col. 3:16).

We are to give honor to one another (1 Cor. 12:24-26; 1 Thess. 5:13). We are to “show forbearance to one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of Ruach HaKodesh[8] in the bond of peace” (Eph. 4:1-6). We are to lay aside all falsehood and speak truth to each other (Eph. 4:25; Col. 3:9). We are to be kind and tenderhearted to each other (Eph. 4:32). We are to forgive each other as HaShem in Mashiach forgave us (Eph. 4:32; Col. 3:12-15).

We are to submit to each other (Eph. 5:18-21). We are to comfort one another (1 Thess. 4:17-18). We are to encourage one another (1 Thess. 5:11; Heb. 3:13; 10:25). We are to build each other up (1 Thess. 5:11). We are to live in peace with each other (1 Thess. 5:13). We are to “stimulate one another to love and good deeds” (Heb. 10:24). We are to confess our sins to one another and pray for one another (James 5:16). We are to serve each other (1 Pet. 4:10). We are to act humbly toward each other (1 Pet. 5:5-6). We are to have fellowship with each other (1 John 1:7; Heb. 10:25).

We are not to judge one or to put obstacles or stumbling blocks in each other’s way (Rom. 14:13). There are to be no divisions among us (1 Cor. 12:25). We are not to “bite” one another (Gal 5:13-16). We are not to become boastful, challenge one another, or envy one another (Gal. 5:26). We are not to repay evil with evil (1 Thess. 5:15). We are not to forsake our own assembling together (Heb. 10:25). We are not to complain or speak against each other (James 4:11; 5:9; 1 Pet. 4:8-9).

4. Our Responsibility Toward the Lost

At His ascension, Mashiach gave His Shliachim[9] the following Commission: “Going, therefore, make talmidim of all the goyim, immersing them in the name of Abba,[10] and of HaBen,[11] and of Ruach HaKodesh,[12] teaching them to observe all things that I commanded you …” (Matt. 28:19-20, literal). He also told them, “But you will receive power when Ruach HaKodesh has come upon you. You will be witnesses to me in Yerushalayim,[13] in all Yehudah[14] and Shomron,[15] and to the uttermost parts of the earth.” (Acts 1:8). We believe that commission, in its primary application, was given directly to the Shliachim and that they literally fulfilled that commission prior to their deaths before the end of the first century.

However, we believe that the principles of our Lord’s instructions are clear, and that those principles apply to the local assembly today. They require us, as ambassadors for Mashiach, to carry on the ministry of reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:18-21) by taking every opportunity to present the Gospel (Good News) of Yeshua HaMashiach and His Kingdom to a lost and dying world.

Grammatically, the imperative (the mitzvah or command) is to “make talmidim” (students who follow the teaching they are given and strive to become like their teacher). “Going,” “immersing,” and “teaching” are all participles, which means that they are how we are to make talmidim. The Lord’s command to His Miqra is clear: we are make talmidim wherever we can. And we are to make talmidim by going, immersing, and teaching.

a. We are to Make Talmidim

A talmid (plural, talmidim) is one who sits under the teaching of another, and who strives to become like the teacher. As we lead the lost to Mashiach for salvation, we are to lead them to a local assembly of believers for their growth and nurturing in the Word of HaShem. If we fail in this area, we may possibly have made a convert, but we have failed to make a talmid.

b. We are to Make Talmidim by Going

There is no provision for us to wait for the lost to come to us. We are proactively to seek ways and opportunities to present the Gospel of HaShem’s Grace to the lost. We are to “Go out into the highways and along the hedges, and compel them to come in, that My house may be filled” (Luke 14:23). The “Lord’s house” is not the building in which the local assembly meets, but rather it is the family of HaShem that is in mind (John 14:2).

c. We are to Make Talmidim by Immersing

Those whom we lead to a relationship with Adonai Yeshua HaMashiach, we are to make talmidim. One of the first steps of becoming a talmid is obedience to the Lord’s instruction that talmidim are to be made by being immersed. As the lost are won to Yeshua, it is our responsibility to make talmidim of them by immersing them.

d. We are to Make Talmidim by Teaching

We are then commanded to be teaching them all those things that were taught by our Lord and by His Shliachim. We know this instruction as “the Apostles’ Doctrine” or the “Doctrine of the Shliachim” which has been given “for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Mashiach; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of HaShem, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Mashiach” (Eph. 4:11-13).

5. Our Responsibility Toward Israel

We believe that Israel has been elected by HaShem out of all of the families of man to be His chosen people, to serve as an example to the world of His love, compassion, providence, and righteous judgment. Moreover, HaShem chose Avraham and his descendants to be the human family from which His own Son, Adonai Yeshua HaMashiach (“the LORD Jesus Christ”) would be born after the flesh, to be Israel’s Messiah and our Redeemer.

We believe that, although many individual Israelites immediately received the Good News of Mashiach and became His talmidim, corporate Israel (that is, the political nation of Israel, not the Jewish people - see Acts 21:20l which clearly states that tens of thousands of Israelites had accepted Yeshua as the Messiah) fell from her exalted position among the nations of the world because of her repeated idolatry and the rejection of Mashiach by Israel’s governmental leaders when He first appeared. Therefore, HaShem allowed the destruction of the Temple and the dispersion of political Israel throughout the nations of the world, and allowed Eretz Yisra'el (the Land of Israel) to be overrun by the Gentile nations (the Goyim) for a period of time known as “the time of the Goyim.” This was a temporary exile from which HaShem promised to call forth His people at the end “the time of the Goyim.” We believe that the establishment of the modern State of  Israel in 1948 marked the end “the time of the Goyim,” and that He is now returning His People to their Land, from which they will never again be exiled.

We believe that HaShem has made numerous unilateral, unconditional, and eternally irrevocable covenants with the household of Abraham, many of which have not yet been fulfilled, and that because of His unchangeable nature He is faithful to fulfill all His promises. We therefore accept as self-evident that HaShem is not yet finished with His chosen race. They will again live corporately in fellowship with and obedience to Him, and in peace and safety within the geographical boundaries of their ancestral home, Eretz Yisra'el, under the Kingship of His Messiah Yeshua. We specifically and categorically reject as heretical the dogma known as “Replacement Theology” which teaches that “the Church” has replaced Israel in HaShem’s plan, and that Israel has been “set aside” — even temporarily  —in favor of the Gentiles.

We believe that the Miqra, the Body of Mashiach, properly understood, is thoroughly Jewish. Mashiach and all His Talmidim were Torah-observant Jews who worshipped in the Temple and in the synagogues throughout Eretz Yisrael[16] and the Diaspora.[17] The Bible, including the TaNaKh and the Apostolic Writings, is a thoroughly Jewish book, written by Jews, about Jews, to a Jewish audience. Yeshua told the Samaritan woman that salvation is from the Jews (John 4:22), and Rav Sha'ul wrote that “the Good News of Messiah, … is the power of HaShem for salvation for everyone who believes; for the Yehudi [Jews] first, and also for the Yevanit [Greeks, or Gentiles]” (Romans 1:16).

Further, while there were some non-Jewish believers in the first century, we believe that the clear historical record is that the Miqra was predominately, if not almost exclusively, Jewish for the first hundred years after the Resurrection of Yeshua HaMashiach. It was not until the Bar Kokhba rebellion in approximately 132 that Jewish Believers in Mashiach separated themselves from the synagogue, and then only because the chief Rabbi declared that Bar Kokhba, and not Yeshua, was the Mashiach. Until the time of Emperor Constantine there was never a question of “how does a Jew become a follower of Messiah?” The question was, rather, “how is it possible for a Gentile believer to become a follower of the Jewish Messiah without first becoming a Jew?”

We believe, therefore, that the true nature of the Miqra, HaShem’s “Called-Out Ones,” now known as the Body of Mashiach (erroneously and ignorantly called “the church”), is as it has ever been since the call of the nation out of the land of Egyptian bondage, to be the faithful remnant of Israel, and that for a non-Jew to be a part of that Body he/she must be adopted into the family of Israel. “Thus says ADONI of Hosts: ‘In those days, ten men will take hold — out of all the languages of the nations — they will take hold of the skirt [literally, take hold of the tzitziot (fringes) of the tallit (prayer shawl)] of him who is a Yehudi, saying, “We will go with you, for we have heard that HaShem is with you.”’” (Zechariah 8:23)

We believe that Gentile Believers in Mashiach are heirs to salvation and to the wonderful promises of HaShem only because HaShem has seen fit to adopt them into Abraham’s family, Israel, who alone are the rightful heirs of those covenants (Romans 11). Those who are Gentile Believers in Mashiach therefore own an un-payable debt of gratitude to those who are the sons of Avraham after the flesh, and we owe it to Israel and to our Lord Yeshua to do all within our power to lovingly lead those who do not know their Messiah into faith in, and obedience to, Him, thus to resume their rightful place as the “Light to the Nations.”

Additionally, when Mashiach returns to establish His earthly kingdom, all nations of the earth will be judged by the way they have treated corporate Israel (Matt. 25:31-46). Therefore, even more do we have an obligation to treat Israel righteously, for they are the brethren of our own dear Lord Yeshua, and it is the Gentiles who have been adopted into their family.

B. Our Activities

This congregation shall “continually devote [our]selves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread (table fellowship) and to prayer” (Acts 2:42), both by assembling ourselves together regularly for corporate worship and study of the Sacred Text, and by meeting together in small family groups for devotion and fellowship from time to time and in such places as the Lord may direct.

Under the authority of Ephesians 4:11, Acts 14:23, Acts 20:17, Acts 21:1,18, and Titus 1:5, we shall also license and commission (ordain) spiritually qualified men who have been ordained by HaShem to serve as Elders of His Miqra. These are men who have been specifically called by Him into ministry as Apostles (Traveling Elders, or Missionaries), Prophets (Preaching Elders), Evangelists (“Gospelizing” Elders), and Pastor/Teachers (Shepherding Elders). We shall also commission and support spiritually qualified men and women who have been called by HaShem to any mission field, whether at home or in any foreign nation, to faithfully proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom of Yeshua HaMashiach to the Lost. We shall also educate Believers in Mashiach in any manner consistent with the requirements of Holy Scripture, and maintain missionary activities in the United States and any foreign country. We shall also engage in any other ministry that we may decide to pursue in obedience to the will of HaShem.

C. Mission Statement

It shall therefore be the mission of this ministry to:

a. Faithfully proclaim, to the Jew first and also to the Gentile, that Yeshua of Natzeret is Melech HaMashiach (Israel’s King Messiah) and the Redeemer of Israel and of the world.

b. Encourage and facilitate Jewish Believers in Messiah to retain their traditional ethnic distinctives (their “Jewishness”), and to educate non-Jewish Believers in Messiah about their spiritual heritage in Judaism, encouraging (though not compelling) them to return to their Hebraic roots, so that both Jew and Gentile may know the spiritual reality of being one in the Messiah.

c. Provide a Biblical Jewish context for Messianic faith and life in which Jewish and non-Jewish Believers in Messiah may worship together, as the Shliachim taught the Messianic Believers of the first century, and as we believe worship will take place in the Messianic Kingdom.

d. Teach the Word of HaShem in such a way that all Believers, both Jewish and non-Jewish, might be enlightened, encouraged, and equipped to live and model a Biblically Torah-observant lifestyle.

e. Fully support, in whatever way Ruach HaKodesh may lead, the reunification Jew and Gentile into a unified Body of Messiah, to support and further the return of Israel in fullness to her Covenant Land and to her rightful place as HaShem’s “light to the world,” and the establishment of HaMashiach’s Kingdom on earth.

Section 3. Taxpayer Status

The following statement is required by law to be included in the governing document of any organization that seeks to be granted tax-exempt status on religious grounds.

“In accordance with the laws of the United States of America, this congregation is organized as a ‘church’ and/or synagogue exclusively for charitable, religious, and educational purposes within the meaning of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (or the corresponding provision of any future United States Revenue Law), including, for such purposes, the establishment and maintaining of Jewish and/or Christian worship, the building and maintaining of places of worship and ancillary facilities including, but not limited to, parsonages, schools, chapels, radio and television stations, rescue missions, print shops, day care centers, camps, nursing homes, and cemeteries, and any other ministries that the congregation may be led by HaShem to establish, and for the making of distributions to organizations that qualify as exempt organizations under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or corresponding section of any future federal tax code and whose purposes are in harmony with the herein stated purposes of this congregation.

“No part of the net earnings of this congregation shall inure to the benefit of, or be distributable to its members, trustees, officers, or other private persons, except that the congregation shall be authorized and empowered to pay reasonable compensation for services rendered and to make payments and distributions in furtherance of the purposes set forth in the purpose clauses hereof.

“No substantial part of the activities of the congregation shall be the carrying on of propaganda, or otherwise attempting to influence legislation, and the congregation shall not participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distribution of statements) any political campaign on behalf of any candidate for public office.

“Notwithstanding any other provision of this document, the congregation shall not carry on any other activities not permitted to be carried on (a) by an organization exempt from federal income tax under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, corresponding section of any future federal tax code, or (b) by an organization, contributions to which are deductible under section 170(c)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code, or corresponding section of any future federal tax code.

“Upon the dissolution of the congregation, assets shall be distributed for one or more exempt purposes within the meaning of section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or corresponding section of any future federal tax code, providing such purposes are in harmony with the herein stated purposes of this congregation. Upon dissolution of the congregation by the ‘Translation/Rapture of the Bride of Mashiach,’ its assets shall be distributed to the federal government, or to a state or local government, for a public purpose. Any such assets not disposed of shall be disposed of by the Court of Common Pleas of the county in which the principal office of the congregation is then located, exclusively for such purposes or to such organization or organizations, as said Court shall determine, which are organized and operated exclusively for such purposes.

“In the event that any future change in the law, or in the judicial or legislative interpretation thereof, requires that this congregation forego, curtail, or refrain from any of its stated purposes, or from any other purpose which the Lord may direct, in order to maintain its tax-exempt status, this congregation shall voluntarily relinquish any claim to tax exemption and this Constitution shall be amended in such a manner that our responsibilities to Adonai Yeshua HaMashiach shall not in any way be compromised.”


ARTICLE II
Doctrinal Summary

This fellowship is founded upon the conviction that the Bible, as the literal written Word of HaShem, is sufficient for all matters of faith and practice, and that the answers to all questions of church policy and procedure are to be found therein. The Bible, therefore, as interpreted by the Elders in accordance with a systematic methodology as specified below, shall be the true Constitution of this church. The following Doctrinal Summary is offered as a brief overview of the major points of doctrine to which this congregation subscribes. The Elders of this congregation, as guided by Ruach HaKodesh and in keeping with valid Biblical scholarship, shall create and maintain a separate document to be known as Doctrinal Guidelines for B'nei HaMelech Messianic Fellowship, which is included by reference as a part of this Constitution.

Section 1 — Concerning the Bible

We believe that the complete Bible consists of both the ancient Hebrew TaNaKh (an acronym for Torah [Divine Instruction, usually translated “Law”], Nevi'im [Prophets], K'tuvim [Writings]) and the later writings of the Shliachim (Apostles) — variously known as the Ketuvei HaShalichim (Apostolic Writings or Apostolic Scriptures), “B'rit Hadasha,” “Renewed Covenant,” “New Covenant,” or “New Testament” — and that in its original autographs — those originally hand-written by the Shliachim [Apostles] and Nevi’im [Prophets] — it is the literal written Word of HaShem, absolutely inerrant and infallible in relation to any subject with which it deals, and is the only infallible and authoritative word of HaShem.

We believe in the verbal (all the words of the Bible) and plenary (all the parts of the Bible) inspiration, dual authorship, and protected transmission of all Scripture, so that in the Bible is to be found the full and sufficient source of all divine revelation. Therefore, no other writings, “prophecies,” or other supposed revelations are to be accepted as divinely inspired or authoritative. All teachings and all knowledge, whatever the source, are to be understood and interpreted in the light of the sacred Scriptures.

We believe that the Bible is to be properly interpreted only through the enlightenment of Ruach HaKodesh [the Holy Spirit] and understood in its literal, natural, historical, grammatical, and intended sense; that in order to be correctly understood and interpreted, it must be understood and interpreted from the perspective of its original recipients; that since the original recipients of the Sacred Text were Jews living within Tabernacle/Temple/Synagogue milieu, it can be only correctly interpreted when viewed from the perspective of Tabernacle/Temple/Synagogue Judaism as it existed from the Exodus through the dispersal following the destruction of the Second Temple; and that it is to be accepted as the full and final authority over the Believer's faith and conduct, including all matters of congregational polity, policy, and procedure (Deut. 6:4-9; Prov. 3:1-6; Ps. 119:89, 105; Isa. 48:12-16; Rom. 8:14-17; II Tim. 2:15, 3:16-17)

Furthermore, we believe that to divide the Sacred Text into two “books” or “testaments” is error, and that the writings of the Shliachim should rightfully be included as an integral part of the K'tuvim. We object to the use of the terms “Old” and “New” Testament or Covenant, in that the word “old” suggests that which is obsolete or of less importance that it originally was, and the word “new” suggests that which supplants or has replaced something “old.” We hold that the Creator has one, and only one, standard of righteousness, the Torah, by which the conduct of all humankind will be judged.

A. Torah

The word “Torah” is best translated as “Divine Instruction” rather than “Law,” even though it contains both civil and ecclesiastical laws for the Commonwealth[20] of Israel. Although the term “Torah” technically refers to the Five Books of Moses (Genesis through Deuteronomy), it is commonly used to refer to the entire TaNaKh (Hebrew Scriptures), or the whole Bible (including the Ketuvei HaShalichim), depending on usage. Our use of the word “Torah” never refers to the Talmud (the “Oral Tradition” or “Oral Torah”) but, while we do not consider the Talmud or any other commentary on the Scriptures as the Word of God, we believe that the writings of Oral Tradition, such as the Talmud, the Mishnah, and the Midrash Rabbah, also contain further insight into the character of God and His dealings with His people. In the Diaspora we do not practice those parts of Torah which require residence in the land, a theocratic civil government, and/or a consecrated Temple on Mount Moriah. We disagree with those who teach that obedience to Torah is required only for ethnic Jews, and we believe that HaShem has but one Standard of Righteousness by which every member of the human race will be judged — His Torah. We therefore believe that obedience to Torah is incumbent upon all believers in Messiah, including “the Church.”

Yeshua clearly says that we have an obligation to observe all the mitzvot (commandments) of Torah that we possibly can, and that we are to teach others to do likewise (Matt. 5:17-20). We clearly understand that it is not possible for us to observe all the mitzvot because many of them refer only to life within Eretz Yisrael under a theocratic civil government, and some refer only to the Temple, which does not exist in our time. Neither are we responsible for observing those mitzvot which are particular to certain classes of individuals other than ourselves.

B. The Ketuvei HaShalichim

We believe that the Ketuvei HaShalichim (Apostolic Writings, commonly and erroneously known as the “New Testament”) were inspired by Ruach HaKodesh (see immediately above), written under the direction of Ruach HaKodesh by Torah-observant Jews, in the Jewish language (Hebrew and/or Aramaic), and were directed to an almost-exclusively Jewish audience. We believe that they were then translated into Koine Greek for transmission to the non-Jewish Messianic Believers in the Diaspora, and that much of the error in modern translation and interpretation comes from the attempt to understand the Apostolic Writings with a Greek (or Western) mindset and ignore the clearly Hebraic (Eastern) nature of the original text. In order to correctly understand them, we must therefore interpret them from the perspective of the Jewish audience to whom they were written.

Section 2 — Concerning God

Shema Yisrael, ADONAI Eloheinu, ADONAI echad … Hear, O Israel, ADONAI our God, ADONAI is one.” (Deut. 6:4)

We believe that there is only one living and true HaShem, an infinite and intelligent Spirit Who is the source of all being and meaning; a compound unity Who eternally exists in three Divine “Persons” — HaAbba (the Father), HaBen (the Son), and Ruach HaKodesh (the Holy Spirit) — one in essence and attributes, yet three in distinct Person, work, and purpose, each of Whom possesses all the attributes of absolute Deity and is indivisible, infinite, eternal, unchangeable, omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient, personal, and perfect in wisdom, power, holiness, righteousness, justice, goodness, truth, mercy, and love.

We believe that HaAbba is all the fullness of HaShem invisible (John 1:18); HaBen is all the fullness of HaShem manifested (made visible in any form) (John 1:14-18); Ruach HaKodesh is all the fullness of HaShem acting immediately upon the creature (1 Cor. 2:9-10). [18] [For a fuller discussion of this subject go here.]

Section 3 — Concerning Yeshua HaMashiach

We believe that Yeshua HaMashiach is the second “Person” of HaShem, eternally existing as HaBen, Who always has been and always will be fully God. We believe that He is just as much God as though He had never become man, and just as much man as though He had never been God. We believe that He created, upholds, and sustains the entire universe solely through the power of His sovereign will.

We believe that all manifestations of HaShem to man, whether in the Tanakh or in the Ketuvei HaShalichim, are in the Person of HaBen. We are therefore convinced that is was HaShem the Son (HaBen) Who walked in the Garden with Adam and Eve, Who appeared to and made the covenants with the Patriarchs, Who went ahead of Israel in smoke and fire in the wilderness, Who wrote the Mitzvot in stone with His own finger atop Mount Sinai, and to Whom the prayers and adoration of His Chosen People have been unknowingly directed for the past 4000 years.

We believe that without in any way ceasing to be fully God, He became also fully man, taking upon himself all of the human attributes except the sin nature. We believe that he was conceived of Ruach HaKodesh, born of the virgin Miriam, lived a perfect and sinless life, and accomplished our redemption through his death as a representative, vicarious, substitutionary sacrifice, and that our justification is made sure by His literal, physical resurrection from the dead. We believe in His literal and bodily resurrection and ascension, and that now glorified He sits at the right hand of Abba where He carries out His ministry as Kohen HaGadol (the Eternal High Priest) of Representative, Intercessor, and Advocate on our behalf. We believe in His literal, bodily return to reign physically on the earth for a thousand years, and in His ultimate judgment over the living and the dead.

Section 4 — Concerning Ruach HaKodesh

We believe that Ruach HaKodesh is a divine Person Who convicts the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment. Possessing all of the attributes of Deity, He is fully God, and is therefore coequal to and coeternal with Abba and HaBen. We believe that with both Abba and HaBen, He was an active agent in the creation, and that He is the Supernatural Agent in regeneration and sanctification, immersing all believers into the Body of Mashiach (the Miqra), equally and permanently indwelling every believer, and sealing them unto the day of redemption. We believe that He is the Divine Teacher, Who inspired and superintended the writing of all Scripture, Who illuminates the interpretation of Scripture, and Who guides believers into all truth, assisting Believers to understand and appropriate the Scriptures. We believe that it is the privilege and duty of all true Believers in Mashiach to be filled with and controlled by Ruach HaKodesh.

Section 5 — Concerning Angels

We believe that angels are created beings, not deity, and are not to be worshipped; that they were created by HaShem to serve and worship Him; that they are organized into different ranks and orders; and that there are now both holy and fallen angels.

We believe that holy angels are “ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation“ (Heb. 1:14). They ministered extensively to Yeshua during His earthly life and ministry, and are involved in a general ministry to believers. Toward unbelievers, angels announce impending judgments, and will be actively involved in the judgments of the time of Ya'akov’s Trouble (the “Great Tribulation”).

We believe that HaSatan (the Accuser) is also an angel, a cherub of the highest rank of all angelic creatures, that he sinned through the pride of self-will, and thereby became the author of sin and the cause of the fall of man. He is the open and declared enemy of both HaShem and man, and with his fallen angels (demons) is in a state of present and open warfare against HaShem and His saints. Some of the demons are presently being held captive “in chains” in Sheol. They will all be eternally punished in the Lake of Fire, which was created specifically for HaSatan and his demons. Moreover, it should be clearly understood that HaSatan is not the ruler of the Lake of Fire or of hell; he will be only one of the multitudes of prisoners there.

Section 6 — Concerning Man

We believe that man was originally created in the image of HaShem, by HaShem’s own hand and not by any process of evolution or natural selection, and was given the authority and ability to exercise dominion over the created world. Adam chose to disobey HaShem, and because of his disobedience Adam, all of his descendants, and all of his entire dominion fell under HaShem’s curse. Sin, sickness, and death entered the world; man became alienated from HaShem and inherited a sin nature, is totally depraved, possesses no spark of divine life, and, of himself, is utterly helpless to remedy his lost condition apart from the grace of HaShem.

Section 7 — Concerning Sin

The word “sin” is an archery term that means “to miss the mark.” Since the “target” is the perfect example set by Yeshua—that is, the very nature of HaShem Himself—then we believe that anything that falls short of that goal misses the mark and is, by the broadest sense of its definition, “sin.”

We believe that there are two classifications of sin:

(1) original (imputed) sin, that sin nature which every human inherits from his/her father Adam, and

(2) personal sin, the individual choices each person makes to either willfully or ignorantly disobey HaShem and His Torah.

We believe that all men and women are totally depraved, without personal merit, and completely unable to save themselves.

We believe that the penalty for sin is separation from fellowship, which takes one or more of three forms:

(1) separation from HaShem (spiritual death);

(2) separation from the visible Body of Mashiach through discipline and “excommunication” (which is to be practiced by the Elders [or Beit Din] of the local congregation solely for the sake of maintaining the purity of the Body of Mashiach and for producing the repentance and eventual restoration of the sinning brother or sister), and

(3) separation from this earth and from the physical body through physical death. We believe that the physical illness and death of all earthly creatures is the direct result of Adam’s sin, and that some physical illness and death is the result of personal sin.

Section 8 — Concerning Salvation

We believe that salvation is the free gift of HaShem brought to sinful man by the unconditional grace of HaShem and received solely by personal faith in the completed redemptive work of Adonai Yeshua HaMashiach. We believe that salvation comes by faith in the Person and completed work of Yeshua, plus nothing else!

We believe that because of the fact of the eternal, unconditional, and unilateral promise of HaShem, because of the nature of the Word and promises of HaShem, and because of the immutability of the unchangeable covenants of HaShem, all the redeemed, blood-bought, regenerate, and sanctified children of HaShem have entered into an unbreakable relational covenant with HaShem, are completely and permanently indwelt by Ruach HaKodesh, and are constantly interceded for by Yeshua HaMashiach, our Kohen HaGadol. We believe that they are therefore secure in Mashiach forever.

We believe that before the foundation of the world, for His own purpose and for His own glory, HaShem foreknew, predestined, called, justified, and glorified all those who are to be redeemed; that is, “predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son” (Romans 8:29) and “adopted as sons through Yeshua HaMashiach to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will” (Ephesians 1:5). The Scriptures refer to these individuals as His “elect,” all of whom have had their names written in the Lamb’s Book of Life from before the foundation (creation) of the world (John 17:24; Eph. 1:4; 1Pet. 1:20). Although HaShem sovereignly elects some to salvation and glory, paradoxically the election of the saved in no way demonstrates that HaShem is responsible for the damnation of those who are not elect to salvation. The Scripture makes it quite clear that it is not HaShem’s will than any should perish (2Pet. 3:9). We believe that the Scriptures clearly teach that “whosoever will” (Rev. 22:17) may come to saving faith in Yeshua HaMashiach. We also believe that the Scriptures just as clearly teach that “the elect” were chosen from before the foundation of the world.

We believe that from man’s limited perspective he perceives that he has a measure of “free will,” but that from HaShem’s perspective HaShem is absolutely and completely sovereign, and is thus in total control of every event that occurs in time, space, and eternity. Although HaShem receives all of the glory and honor for all those who are saved, He in no way is to blame for any who are lost. We believe that these facts are in no way paradoxical or contradictory, only that they can only be properly understood from HaShem’s perspective.

We believe that it is the privilege of all Believers in Mashiach to rejoice in the assurance of their salvation and their freedom from “bondage” to the eternal penalties imposed by Torah through the testimony of HaShem’s Word which, however, clearly forbids the use of that liberty as an occasion to sin. Though free from “bondage to legalism,” we believe that every person is yet accountable to the standard of righteousness that HaShem has defined in His Torah. We believe that all mankind, and especially Believers in Mashiach, are obligated to obey all the mitzvot (commandments) of Torah except for those which are specific to life in Eretz Israel under a theocratic government, or those which require the presence of a Holy Temple on Mount Moriah. However, we believe that no man has ever been, or will ever be, saved or counted as righteous through observance of or obedience to Torah, but only through faith in Him who is the Giver of Torah, plus nothing else.

We believe that at the moment of salvation, each person is literally transformed into a “new creation” (Gal. 6:15; 2Cor. 5:17) which the Bible also refers to as a “saint” or “holy person” (Phil. 4:21; Acts 9:13; Rom. 1:7) — that is, a person who has been “set apart” (“sanctified” — Rom. 15:16; 1Cor. 1:2) by HaShem to be His precious possession (Eph. 1:14; 1Pet. 2:9) and to serve His specific purpose (Titus 2:14; 2Tim. 1:9).

We believe that sanctification is a “setting apart” of the believer unto HaShem and that it consists of three steps or stages in the believer’s life: positional sanctification, progressive sanctification, and ultimate sanctification. We believe that all Believers in Mashiach should live in obedience to Torah and in such a manner as not to bring reproach upon their Savior and Lord, and that separation from all religious apostasy and sinful pleasures, practices, and associations is commanded by HaShem. We believe that the Torah is the standard of righteousness by which each “saint” is to conduct his/her life.

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Notes: (These notes are for explanation only, and are not considered part of our “official” Constitution.)

[1] xyXm Mashiach is the Hebrew word for “anointed.” The English form of this word is “Messiah” and the Greek form of the same word is “Christus,” or “Christ.” Israel anointed three classes of people: prophets, priests, and kings. As Messiah serves His people as their Prophet, Priest, and King, He is HaMashiach, The Anointed One. [ Return ]

[2] arqm Miqra is the Hebrew word for “convocation” or “sacred assembly,” suggesting to be called out for that convocation or assembly, hence also “called out.” The Greek word for this assembly is ekklesia ekklesia, which is mistranslated in the English New Testament as “church.” Beyond the human traditions of the Gentile translators, there is absolutely no grammatical support of any kind for translating ekklesia as “church.” [ Return ]

[3] ynda Adonai is Hebrew for “Lord” and is used both as a title for one's master and as a title of respect used in place of the Sacred Name hwhy YHWH — Yeshua is his given, or proper, name, and means “YHWH is salvation” or “YHWH saves” — HaMashiach is Hebrew for “the Messiah.” Nobody who ever knew Him in the flesh ever called Him “Jesus” or “Jesus Christ.” Click here for more information. [ Return ]

[4] hwcm mitzvah is Hebrew for “command,” “commandment,” “precept,” or by inference “good work.” [ Return ]

[5] All Scripture references in this Constitution are quoted from the Complete Jewish Bible or New American Standard Version of the Bible. [Return]

[6] ywg goy (plural, goyim) is Hebrew for “nations,” usually used for anyone who is not an Israelite, therefore “Gentiles.” [Return]

[7] dymlt talmid (plural, talmidim) is Hebrew for “scholar”  or “disciple” — one who learns — specifically one who learns at the feet of another and who strives to become like the teacher.  [Return]

[8] xwr ruach is Hebrew for “wind,” “breath,” “mind,” or “spirit,” and often refers to the Spirit of God. Xdqh xwr  Ruach HaKodesh is Hebrew for “the Holy Spirit.” [Return]

[9] xlXm Shliachim is Hebrew for “those sent forth” or “emissaries,” and signifies a person who is sent forth as a representative with the full authority of the one doing the sending. The Greek equivalent is apostoloß apostolos from which we get the word “Apostles.” in the State of Israel, their foreign ambassadors are called Shliachim. [Return]

[10] abba Abba is Hebrew for “Father.” [Return]

[11] !bh HaBen is Hebrew for “the Son.” [Return]

[12] Xdqh xwr  Ruach HaKodesh is Hebrew for “the Holy Spirit.” [Return]

[13] ~lXwry Yerushalayim is Hebrew for “City of Peace” or “Jerusalem.” [Return]

[14] hdwhy Yehudah is Hebrew for “Judah.” [Return]

[15] !wrmX Shomron is Hebrew for “Samaria.” [Return]

[16] larXy #ra Eretz Yisrael is Hebrew for “the Land of Israel.” [Return]

[17] The Diaspora, or dispersion, refers to all Israelites (descendants of Avraham, Yitzhak, and Ya'akov) living outside of Eretz Yisrael. [Return]

[18] Paraphrased from Boardman, cited in Great Doctrines of the Bible, by William Evans. Chicago: Moody Press, 1912, 1949, p. 28. [Return]

[19] Within Messianic Judaism there is considerable debate as to the form of the instrument upon which Yeshua was executed. We happen to believe that the instrument was in the form of the traditional Roman cross with a cross-beam, but we view this as a matter or opinion rather than of doctrine. We find no fault with those who prefer the term “execution stake” as less offensive to Jewish persons. [Return]

[20] Some have objected to our use of the term “commonwealth” assuming it refers to the current political government or nation of Israel. The Oxford Dictionary defines “commonwealth” as  “independent state or community … a community of shared interests in a non-political field … archaic the general good.” This is the sense in which the use of the term is intended. [Return]

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