Constitution:
Part 2

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Constitution
(Continued)

Section 9 — Concerning the Miqra

We believe that there is only one true and universal Miqra, which is the Body and Bride of Yeshua HaMashiach, that it is a spiritual organism, of which Yeshua HaMashiach is the Head, and that it is made up of all the redeemed [“born-again”] persons of all ages and eras.[19]

The Hebrew word arqm (miqra) means “the called out ones” and is translated in the TaNaKh as “assembly” or “convocation.” It first appears in Exodus 12:16 and is used eleven times in Leviticus, where it is translated as “holy convocation” and refers to the entire nation of Israel gathered to worship HaShem. It appears an additional seven time in Leviticus, where it again unfailingly refers to the nation of Israel. In the Septuagint (the Greek translation of the TaNaKh) it is translated as ekklesia (ekklesia), an accurate translation which means “the called out ones.” The word is carried over into the Ketuvei HaShalichim, where it again is used to refer to the assembly of Messianic Jews worshipping HaShem. When the Ketuvei HaShalichim were translated into English in 1611, the translators of the King James Version arbitrarily, and with absolutely no etymological basis, changed the word from “convocation” or “assembly” to a totally unrelated word, “church.” Thus we believe that the word ekklesia as used by the Apostolic writers rightfully refers to the holy convocation of Israel, and not to something new that allegedly began at Pentecost.

We believe that the Miqra is now, and has always been, a uniquely Jewish “organism” into which Gentiles who come to faith in Israel’s King Messiah are grafted, and are thereby adopted as children of Avraham, Yitzchak, and Ya'akov. As such, they become joint heirs of, and joint participants in, the Covenants, the Torah, the People, and the Land of Israel. That is, they are adopted as “citizens” of the Commonwealth of Israel[20], with all the rights and obligations pertaining thereto.

We categorically reject as heresy the traditional “Christian” notions that Yeshua HaMashiach or the Shliachim ever intended to “start a new religion” and that Ruach HaKodesh instituted something “new” on the day of Pentecost. To those present, the Pentecost experience was clearly a reenactment of the events at Sinai when HaShem first gave the Torah to Israel, and served as a visible sign that Ruach HaKodesh was “writing Torah on the hearts” (Jer 31:33) of the Talmidim in fulfillment of Joel 2:28-32, exactly as it was interpreted to the assembly that day by Kefa (Acts 2:16-22).

We believe that the establishment and continuity of local convocations (also called assemblies, congregations, synagogues, or [erroneously] “churches”) is clearly taught and defined in the Ketuvei HaShalichim, that the members of this one spiritual Body are directed by Adonai Yeshua to associate themselves together in local assemblies, which are to be true communities of Believers, not just organizations, and that those local assemblies should willingly cooperate with each other for the presentation and propagation of the true Faith, once for all delivered to the Saints (Jude 1:3).

We believe in the autonomy of the local congregation, composed solely of true Believers in Mashiach, free from any external authority or control, with the right to be totally free from the interference of any hierarchy of individuals, organizations, or governments outside of that local congregation.

We believe that each local congregation, through its Elders [or Beit Din] and their interpretation and application of the Scriptures, is the sole judge of the measure and method of its cooperation with other congregations, as well as being the sole judge of all matters of membership, policy, discipline, benevolence, and government (remembering that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation without the illumination of Ruach HaKodesh). [Please see the Appendix for additional discussion of this topic.]

Section 10 — Concerning Authority in the Miqra

We believe that the one and only supreme authority for the Miqra is Adonai Yeshua HaMashiach, and that the order, discipline, and worship are appointed through His sovereignty. As we believe the Bible to be the literal written Word of God and the only true and reliable source of His revelation for His Body, we hold the Bible, and the Bible only, to be the ultimate and final source of authority for all matters of faith, practice, and polity.

We believe that the Biblically-designated shepherds serving immediately under Yeshua and directly over the congregation are called Elders, Overseers, or Pastors. We understand that the term “Elder” refers to the man’s spiritual maturity and position within the family of God, “Overseer” refers to his responsibility and God-ordained authority to rule benevolently over the family of God, and “Pastor” refers to his shepherding responsibility to lead, guide, feed, protect, and care for the well-being of the children of God, to whom Yeshua HaMashiach referred as His “sheep.” We believe that Elders are called, ordained, and specially equipped by God for His ministry, and that they are spiritual gifts given by God to the Miqra. We accept the ancient tradition of referring to Elders of Jewish ancestry as “Rabbi” and attribute no greater distinction to that title than to the title Elder or Pastor.

Section 11 — Concerning Leadership in the Miqra

We specifically reject any idea of apostolic or prophetic succession through which the offices of Apostle and Prophet are present in the Miqra today in the technical sense of those titles. We do, however believe in the continuance of all four functions fulfilled by the Elders as recorded in Ephesians 4:11, namely:

  • Apostles (in the generic sense), or Emissaries, which we understand to refer to Traveling Elders, those elders whom God has called to travel from place to place as messengers or missionaries;

  • Prophets (also in the generic sense), or Preaching Elders, whom God has called to specialize in preaching the Word of God;

  • Evangelists, or “Gospelizing” Elders, those Elders who have been called to specialize in presenting the Gospel (the death, burial, resurrection, ascension, and bodily return of Yeshua HaMashiach) to the unsaved; and

  • Pastor/Teachers, also called Shepherding Elders or Ruling Elders, those Elders whom God has called to fulfill a shepherding ministry over a local assembly of believers.

We believe that the pattern clearly established in the Bible is that there are to be multiple Elders in every local congregation, whenever possible. The number of Elders in not specified in Scripture, but we believe that there should be a sufficient number of Elders to effectively meet the spiritual needs of the congregation, to efficiently conduct the ministry of the Miqra, and to serve as the Beit Din for the assembly. We believe that the duties of the Elders include, but are not limited to, the following activities defined in Scripture.

  • Their primary duty is to give themselves fully to study, prayer, and the ministry of God’s word.

  • They are to lead God’s people by their example in word, conduct, love, spirit, faith, and purity.

  • They are to benevolently rule over the local congregation of Believers and, when necessary, they are to rebuke and exhort with all authority.

  • They are not to be dictatorial in their leadership, but are to be to the congregation as a loving father is to his family.

  • They are to equip the saints to do the work of ministry.

  • They are to pray for the sick and visit those in their time of need.

  • They are to oversee the entire ministry, willingly and eagerly, knowing that when Yeshua, the Chief Shepherd, appears they shall receive a “crown of glory that does not fade away.”

We believe that all Elders must initially meet and then maintain rigid spiritual qualifications, and that God will hold them strictly accountable for both their actions and their attitudes as leaders over His Miqra.

Elders are called and specifically gifted by God (Eph. 4:11-13) for a lifetime of service to Him and to His people (Rom. 11:29).

They are to be appointed for the congregation by the other Elders (Titus 1:5), not elected by the congregation.

If a spiritually qualified man, believing that He has been called by God, expresses his desire (1 Tim. 3:1) to commit himself to a lifetime of service as an Elder (Rom. 11:29), his abilities, qualifications, and knowledge of the Apostles’ doctrine (1 Tim. 3:2-7; Titus 1:5-9), as well as the fact of his calling, must be carefully examined by the Elders. After careful examination of the candidate, extensive prayer, and thorough deliberation by the Elders (1 Tim. 5:22), having determined the candidate’s call, willingness, and ability to enter a lifetime of service, the Elders may appoint and ordain the candidate as an Elder, thus providing confirmation to both the local congregation and to the Miqra at large of the LORD’s ordination of the new Elder.

Section 12 — Concerning Activities of the Miqra

We believe that the four essential continual activities of the community of faith are to be (a) devotion to the teaching of the Shliachim, (b) constant fellowship both at and away from the meeting place, (c) the breaking of bread (frequent communal meals and participation in the Passover Seder), and (d) prayer without ceasing (Acts 2:42), and that personal evangelism and spiritual and numerical growth of the assembly will be the inescapable result of these activities.

We believe that Yeshua has established two memorials which are to be faithfully and frequently observed by the Miqra until His bodily return: immersion of Believers (mikvah) and Passover as a memorial to Yeshua.

A. Water Baptism (Mikvah)

We believe that the act of baptism or mikvah (immersion in water) is in no way a condition of salvation, nor any part of the salvation process (see Section 8—Salvation). We believe that immersion in water is an outward demonstration of the inner change that has already taken place in the life and heart of the new Believer in Messiah. It is a demonstration of Ruach HaKodesh’s immersion of the believer into the Body of Mashiach, which results in salvation and positional justification. In its form, it is a graphic picture of Yeshua’s death, burial, and resurrection, and expresses the Believer’s identification with Mashiach. We believe that a desire for immersion in water should be the immediate response of all those who have been truly “saved” (Acts 2:37-41; 8:12; 8:35-38; 9:11-18; 22:16; 10:47-48; 16:14-15; 16:25-34; 18:8; 19:1-5). For this reason, it is also called “Believer’s Baptism.”

As to form, we prefer the traditional Jewish method of self-immersion as it was practiced in the first century, with the participant immersing him/herself and the Elder merely observing and lightly assisting if the self-immersion is not total.

Just as the Scriptures clearly teach that it was (and still is) faith and not circumcision which brings salvation to the sons of Israel, so it is faith and neither the water itself or the act of immersion which brings salvation to the Believer in Mashiach. However, just as circumcision is the sign of Israel’s participation in the Original Covenant, so water baptism (tevilah) is the sign that the Believer in Mashiach participates in the “Renewed Covenant.” The “traditional” Jewish community had (and has) the right to assume that all male Jews would submit to the rite of circumcision as a sign of identification with that community. In the same way, we believe that the community of Messianic Believers has the same right to assume that all Believers will submit to the rite of tevilah as a sign of identification with our community.

We therefore require obedience to the ordinance of tevilah (immersion in water) after the salvation experience, as a condition of formal membership in and identification with this congregation.

We recognize the right of each Believer under grace to disagree with us on any doctrine that is not essential to salvation. Having defined tevilah as something to be highly desired but not absolutely essential to salvation, we defend the right and responsibility of each Believer to decide for him/herself whether to be obedient to that ordinance. Therefore, any blood-bought child of God who disagrees on this point is certainly welcome to fellowship with this congregation. However, we urge in the strongest possible terms that all Believers in Mashiach who have not previously done so, observe this tevilah in obedience to the Lord.

Click here for a complete 4-lesson Bible study on the subject of baptism.

B. The “Lord’s Supper”

We believe that the so-called “Lord’s Supper” is a memorial activity in which the Miqra shares symbolically in the body and blood of Mashiach, and that it is an integral part of the annual Passover Seder, as instructed by Yeshua HaMashiach, and not appropriate at any time other than Passover.

In ancient Jewish tradition, it is the date of a person’s death that is memorialized rather than the birthday. We believe that the so-called “Lord’s Supper” as practiced in the Church only pays homage to the Roman Catholic mass and is probably inappropriate for Messianic believers.

As the Master was sharing his final Seder with his Talmidim, He instructed that they were to “Do this [the Passover seder] as a memorial to me” (1Cor. 11:24-25).

When he said, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me,” He was not just referring to any cup of wine taken with a meal. He was specifically referring to the third cup of wine in the Passover seder, which is taken after the meal. It is the Cup of Redemption, which reminds us of the shed blood of the innocent Lamb which brought our redemption from Egypt. We see that Yeshua took the third cup in Luke 22:20 and 1Corinthians 11:25, “In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, ‘This cup [the Cup or Redemption] is the new covenant in My blood; do this, whenever you drink it [the Cup or Redemption], in remembrance of Me.'"

We believe that when he said, “Do this in remembrance of Me” (1Cor. 11:24), He was referring to the entire Seder, not just the loaf and cup alone, and when referring to the cup He was referring specifically to the Cup of Redemption which is only consumed during the Passover Seder. We therefore believe that all Messianic Believers, both Jewish and non-Jewish, have an obligation to observe Passover in its Messianic context.

We believe it is appropriate to observe the Jewish tradition of partaking of wine and bread each Shabbat, both at home and in the assembly, and that it should be accompanied by the appropriate Hebrew b'rakhot [blessings] over the wine and bread. It would, however, be indeed quite difficult for a believer in Messiah to not be cognizant of the parallel of this practice to the Passover memorial of Yeshua.

C. Stewardship

We believe that the rule for giving by Messianic Believers is twofold: (1) that the work of the ministry be adequately supported; and (2) that the needy (within the Body of Mashiach) be provided for. We reject the “social gospel” which teaches that the primary function of the Body of Mashiach is to be a “social welfare institution.” We believe that giving is therefore to be done: (a) cheerfully; (b) in proportion to God’s prospering; (c) into a private fund (“put aside”) at home from which fund the Believer makes distributions according to the direct leading of Ruach HaKodesh; and (d) presented to the Elders regularly when the congregation meets for corporate worship.

Every believer should be a faithful steward of all his resources (time, talent, Spiritual gifts, finances, and other material possessions) for the furtherance of the Gospel at home and abroad. We believe that the example in the Ketuvei HaShalichim that we are to follow is that the congregation is to deliver their gifts to the Elders for distribution according to the direction of the Lord. We further believe that a Believer relinquishes all rights to direct the use of the tithe or offering once the gift has been made.

Since the primary responsibility of the Elders is to give themselves fully to study, prayer, and the ministry of God’s word, we believe that it is God’s plan for them to earn their living from that activity (1 Cor. 9:14; 1 Tim. 5:17-18) to the fullest extent the congregation is able to provide.

D. The Miqra and Civil Government

We believe that God has ordained all authority consisting of three basic institutions: (1) the home; (2) the Miqra; and (3) the state. Every person is subject to these authorities, but all (including the authorities themselves) are answerable to God and governed by his Word. God has given each institution specific Biblical responsibilities and balanced those responsibilities with the understanding that no institution has the right to infringe upon the other. The home, the Miqra, and the state are equal and sovereign in their respective Biblical spheres of responsibility under God.

We categorically reject as totally unbiblical, as well as patently unconstitutional, the false and arbitrary concept commonly referred to as “the separation of Church and state,” and believe that the only true form of government acceptable to God is a Theocracy. [By this we do not mean a government that functions either as or subordinate to an ecclesiastical body, but a Government that recognizes that all freedoms and power come from God, and a populace that recognizes that their first allegiance is to their Creator.] We embrace the literal and historical interpretation of the founding documents and the intention of the founders of the United States that the only valid government is that government whose God is ADONAI (Psalm 33:12). Further, we reject as false and Satan-inspired the interpretation of the Constitution’s First Amendment by the United States Supreme Court that there is to be a “wall of separation between the Church and the State,” and support the obvious intention of the literal wording of the Amendment which provides protection of the Body of Yeshua HaMashiach from the interference of secular government.

We therefore believe that the Body of Mashiach owes allegiance to the civil government in all areas except those which infringe upon our allegiance to our Savior and only Sovereign Lord ADONAI HaMelech Yeshua HaMashiach and to our obedience to His clear commands, precepts, and principles.

E. Discipline in the Local Congregation

We believe that the Bible requires the Elders of the local congregation to lovingly discipline the children of God for the purpose of their instruction and restoration to full fellowship. We also believe that the Scriptures clearly teach that the Elders are to stand firm against all forms of false doctrine and to firmly rebuke those who would lead the Elect astray. These are the Beit Din functions of the Elders.

F. Missions and the Miqra

We believe that God has given the Miqra a Great Commission to proclaim the Gospel to all nations so that there might be a great multitude from every nation, tribe, ethnic group, and language group who trust in ADONAI Yeshua HaMashiach. As ambassadors of Mashiach, we must use all available means to go both to this nation and to the foreign nations with the Good News of the Kingdom of Yeshua HaMashiach.

G. Denominationalism Within the Miqra

We believe that there is only one true and universal Body of Yeshua HaMashiach. We believe that within the Body of Mashiach there is room for differences of opinion concerning nonessential doctrines and polity, and that Believers of similar preferences in the nonessential areas should fellowship together. However, we are firmly convinced that any form of strife, jealousy, or spirit of unhealthy competition, or any form of divisiveness either within or between any congregations of the Lord’s Elect is an abomination before the Lord.

Section 13 — Concerning the Future

A. Mashiach’s Earthly Kingdom

We believe that the world will experience the seven years of strife and tribulation known as “Ya'akov’s Trouble” or “Daniel’s seventieth week,” and that the return of Yeshua HaMashiach will be directly related to that strife. However, we are not convinced that Scripture clearly indicates whether His return will be before, during, or after that period. Recent extensive studies have led us to believe that the Church’s infatuation with “the Rapture” may only be denial and wishful thinking, a form of “Replacement Theology” in which “the Church” considers itself aloof from or “better than” the Jewish members of the Family of God, and therefore exempt from their chastisement for 2000 years of willful ignorance, defiance, and rejection of God’s Torah. We believe the Scriptures do not provide sufficient information for us to make a clear interpretation of 1Cor. 15:51-52:

“Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.”

… but we believe the phrase “at the last trumpetprobably refers to the seventh and final trumpet of Revelation 11:15-19:

“Then the seventh angel sounded; and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, ‘The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever.’”

However, as the events of the Book of the Revelation clearly do not occur in strict chronological order, it is not possible to determine with any degree of certainty at what part of the Tribulation the “last trumpet” sounds.

We believe in the return of Adonai Yeshua HaMashiach to the earth just as He went, in Person and in the body in which He was crucified, now glorified, coming on the clouds of heaven, with all His Saints, and with power and great glory to establish the Millennial Kingdom, to bind HaSatan and place him in the abyss, to lift the curse which now rests on the whole of creation, to restore a united Israel to her own land and to give her the realization of God’s covenant promises, to bring the whole world to the knowledge of God, and to personally and bodily reign over the whole earth for a thousand years from His throne in Jerusalem.

We believe that King David, resurrected and glorified, will literally rule as co-regent with Mashiach, and that Father Avraham, also resurrected and glorified, will be governor over the entire Promised Land (Eretz Yisrael) from the Nile River in the west to the Euphrates River in the east. We believe that Jerusalem, the eternal capital of Israel, will be recognized as the center of earth’s government, and that all the peoples of all the nations will come “up to Jerusalem” to observe all the Feasts of Adonai.

Planning and Building the Third Temple
The Restored Temple in Jerusalem in Year 1
of Melech Yeshua HaMashiach’s Reign
We believe that the Temple will be rebuilt in Jerusalem, and that it will be from the Temple that HaMashiach will reign over a restored Israel and over the entire earth. We believe that the Aaronic Priesthood will be restored, and that the sacrifices will be practiced as a memorial reminder that our redemption has come only through the shed Blood of the Lamb. However, we believe that the offerings will include only the voluntary, or free-will offerings.

  • The Burnt Offering (Lev 1; 6:8-13; 8:18-21; 16:24) during the original Temple Periods provided for atonement for unintentional sin in general. However it is primarily a voluntary act of worship, an expression of devotion, commitment, and complete surrender to God.
  • The Grain Offering (Lev 2; 6:14-23) is likewise a voluntary act of worship, a recognition of God’s goodness and provisions, and an act of devotion to God.
  • The Peace Offering (Lev 3; 7:11-34) is also a voluntary act of worship, thanksgiving, and fellowship, and included a communal meal. It included vow offerings, thanksgiving offerings, and freewill offerings.
  • We believe that the Sin Offering (Lev 4; 5:1-13; 6:24-30; 8:14-17; 16:3-22) and the Trespass Offering (Lev 5:14-19; 6:1-7; 7:1-6) were completely and forever satisfied by Messiah’s own sacrifice.

We believe that all the nations of the world will come to the Temple in Jerusalem to observe the Feasts of the Lord under the tutelage of their teacher Israel (Zech. 8:23), and that there will be a special emphasis on Sukkot (Zech. 14:16-21), since that is Messiah’s birthday.

B. The Final Rebellion and Judgment

We believe that following the release of HaSatan at the end of the Millennium, he will deceive the nations of the earth and gather them to battle against the Saints and against Jerusalem, and they will be destroyed by fire from heaven. HaSatan will then be cast into the Lake of Fire, where the Beast and the False Prophet live in eternal torment. All of the remaining dead will then be resurrected to stand before the Great White Throne, where the books of their lives will be opened and they will be judged according to their deeds. However, regardless of their deeds, “since not one was found ever having been written in the Book of Life, he was cast into the Lake of Fire” (Revelation 20:15, literal).

The elements of the earth will then be dissolved with a great rushing sound and God will create a completely new heaven and earth. The new Jerusalem will come down out of heaven and will be the eternal dwelling place for all (and only) those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, where they will enjoy eternal fellowship with God and with one another. Having fulfilled His redemptive mission, Adonai Yeshua HaMashiach will then deliver up the kingdom to God the Father.

C. The Eternal State

We believe in the bodily resurrection of all men, the saved to eternal life, and the unsaved to judgment and everlasting punishment. We believe that the souls of the redeemed are at death absent from the body and present with the LORD, where in conscious bliss they await the first resurrection, when spirit and body are reunited to be glorified forever with the LORD. We believe that the souls of unbelievers remain after death in conscious punishment and torment until the second resurrection when, with soul and body reunited, they shall appear at the Great White Throne Judgment, and shall be cast into the Lake of Fire, not to be annihilated, but to suffer everlasting conscious punishment and torment.

Section 14 — Miscellaneous Other Doctrines

A. Creation

We believe that the creation account as described in the first two chapters of the book of Genesis is to be accepted as factual, historical, and perspicuous; that all things in the universe were spoken into existence from nothing by God in the six days[20] of special creation; and that this knowledge is foundational in the understanding of every fact and phenomenon in the created universe. We reject the theory of random spontaneous evolution or the transition from one species to another as not only unbiblical but also intellectually untenable.

B. Human Sexuality

We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity should be engaged in outside of a marriage between one man and one woman. We believe that any form of homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, bestiality, incest, fornication, adultery, or pornography are sinful perversions of God’s gift of sex.

C. The Sanctity of Life

We believe that human life begins at the moment of conception (Jer. 1:5; Psalm 139:13; Isa. 44:2,24; Isa. 49:1,5; Hosea 12:3) and that the unborn child is a living human being (Psalm 22:10; Psalm 58:3; Luke 1:15,41,44; Gal. 1:15). Abortion for any reason, therefore, constitutes the unjustifiable, inexcusable termination of unborn human life.

Simply stated, abortion is the murder of an infant.

We reject any teaching that abortions of pregnancies due to rape, incest, birth defects, gender selection, birth or population control, or the mental well being of the mother are acceptable.

While we believe that all human life is sacred, given by God and to be revoked only at His pleasure, we believe that capital punishment is clearly taught in the Scriptures, so that evil may be put away from among God’s people. (Deut. 13:5; 17:7,12; 19:19; 21:21; 22:18-24; 24:7)

Section 15 — Authority of this Article

Neither this Article nor the Doctrinal Guidelines for B'nei HaMelech Messianic Fellowship, which is included by reference as part of this Article, exhausts the extent of our faith. The Bible itself is the sole and final source of all that we believe. We do believe, however, that both this Article and the Doctrinal Guidelines accurately represent the teaching of the Bible, and are therefore binding upon all members as the rule of faith and practice. Those who find themselves in disagreement with these beliefs should peacefully and quietly seek an assembly with which they are more compatible.


ARTICLE III
Membership

Section 1 — Qualifications of Membership

Any blood-bought, born-again child of God of any age who wishes to regularly participate in the activities and responsibilities of this assembly may become a member of this fellowship and a participant in the responsibilities and privileges of such membership by:

  a. Providing a public confession of faith in Yeshua HaMashiach as Lord and Savior as a new Believer, or by providing a public testimony of a previous salvation experience and evidence of a present sanctified and Torah-observant lifestyle; and

  b. Publicly immersing themselves in water in the Name of Abba, HaBen, and Ruach HaKodesh, or by providing evidence or testimony of such immersion subsequent to a salvation experience; and

  c. Having the content and intent of this Constitution and the congregation’s doctrinal position clearly explained by an Elder of this congregation; and

  d. Agreeing to participate in, and be bound by, the responsibilities of membership as described herein.

Section 2 — Responsibilities of Membership

Members of this fellowship mutually agree to fulfill our purpose, responsibilities, and activities as defined herein, and to be bound by the definitions and requirements of this Constitution. Members are not required to totally agree with every tenet or statement of doctrine, but must be in general agreement with the fellowship’s doctrinal position. Members must understand that our doctrinal position, which guides our every procedure, is established by the Elders’ interpretation of Scripture, and is a matter of neither private nor majority opinion. Any member who performs any ministry within the fellowship that involves either teaching or leadership agrees to do so only within the established boundaries of our stated doctrinal position.

Upon becoming a member of this fellowship, each one further covenants to love, honor, and esteem the Elders; to pray for them, and to recognize their authority in all affairs of the fellowship; to exhibit a brotherly love for all members of the fellowship; to support the fellowship through regular prayer and financial offerings as the Lord enables; and, in accordance with Biblical commands, to support through their lifestyle an affirmation of the beliefs and practices of the fellowship.

Further, we believe that every Believer in Mashiach, at the moment of salvation and regeneration, is endowed by Ruach HaKodesh with one or more spiritual gifts through which to minister to the Body of Mashiach. Therefore, every member of every age is expected to actively minister to this fellowship in the area of his or her gift(s). The Elders will provide the guidance and instruction necessary for each member to discover his or her gift(s), and will provide each member with opportunity for ministry. However, only those persons who have formally become members of this fellowship may serve in any ministry that involves leadership or teaching.

Section 3 — Privileges of Membership

We believe that, according to Scripture, Yeshua HaMashiach intends His Miqra to be not a democracy, but a Theocracy under His Personal Headship through the Elders that He has commissioned to lead His people. Membership in this congregation, therefore, does not provide for participation in any form of democratic process, nor does it afford members with any property, contract, or civil rights based on any principles of democratic government. All internal affairs of this congregation are ecclesiastical matters and shall be determined exclusively by the congregation’s own rules and procedures as established and interpreted by the Elders.

We also believe that wise leadership needs and listens to wise counsel (Prov. 11:14; 15:22; 24:6). We understand, however, that wise counsel is to be found only in the Scriptures. Any person who regularly participates in the ministries and activities of this congregation is encouraged to regularly share his/her insights from Scripture with the Elders of this congregation.

Section 4 — Termination of Membership

Any member may voluntarily terminate his/her membership at any time by simply ceasing regular participation in the activities of this fellowship or by obtaining membership in some other congregation. Members who thus terminate their membership are requested to notify the Elders of their decision to do so. Any person who is voluntarily absent from the assembly of this congregation for a period of six consecutive weeks without notifying the Elders, in advance, of the reason for such absence, shall be assumed to have voluntarily withdrawn from fellowship and membership.

Any person who finds him/herself holding an irreconcilable difference of opinion with either the doctrinal position, the practices and procedures, or the Elders of the congregation is to quietly separate him/herself from association with this congregation and affiliate with a congregation with which he/she can identify and which he/she can wholeheartedly support.

Any person who is placed under the discipline of the Elders as required by Scripture, shall be excluded both from membership in this congregation and from participation in its activities until full restitution has been accomplished according to the Scriptures.

Section 5 — Discipline/Reconciliation

Discipline within the Body of Mashiach is a very serious matter and one not to be taken lightly or entered into without extensive and agonizing prayer. However, inasmuch as the Miqra is required by her Lord to remain an example of purity and integrity before the world, He has commanded that there be no sin found within His Bride. Disciplinary action is to be undertaken only as a last resort, and must only and always be conducted with the goal of restoring an erring member to full fellowship.

A. Disciplinary Procedure

The procedure to be followed shall be in accordance with the Lord’s teaching as found in Matthew 18:15-17.

  1. All members of this fellowship are expected to demonstrate special loyalty and due concern for one another. When a member becomes aware of an offense of such magnitude that it hinders the spiritual growth and testimony of another member of the congregation or of the congregation as a whole, he/she is to go alone directly to the offending party and seek to restore his/her brother/sister. Before he/she goes, he/she should first examine him/herself, then go with a spirit of humility and have the goal of restoration. The matter is to be handled with absolute privacy and confidentiality, with due regard for the reputation, feelings, and well-being of the offending party.

  2. If reconciliation is not reached, a second attempt should be made to resolve the matter in the presence of two or three witnesses. This second step should also be preceded by self-examination and exercised in a spirit of humility with the goal of restoration, again with absolute privacy and confidentiality, and with due regard for the reputation, feelings and well-being of the offending party.

  3. If the matter is still unresolved after steps 1 and 2 have been taken, the matter is to be brought directly to the attention of the Elders by all persons involved in steps 1 and 2, without involving or informing any other person.

  4. At the sole discretion of the Elders, the offending party may be required to appear before the Elders sitting as  Beit Din to answer the accusation. If such action is deemed necessary by the  Beit Din, all the accusers shall also be present at such appearance.

5. If the matter remains unresolved after steps 1 through 4 have been completed, the member who refuses to repent and be restored is to be expelled from the congregation upon the unanimous decision of the  Beit Din, and their decision is to be announced to the congregation. In any event, the decision of the Beit Din must be unanimous and shall be final.

  6. If an unrepentant offending party is expelled from the congregation, all contact with him/her from that point forward by the members of this congregation (except for that of family members) must be for the sake of restoration.

B. Reconciliation Procedure

Every effort shall be made at every point in the disciplinary procedure to effect total restoration. If at any point either during or following the procedure, the offending party confesses and repents of his/her wrongdoing and makes an appropriate attempt at restitution with the offended party or parties, the matter shall immediately considered closed and the offending party immediately restored to full fellowship.

In the event that it becomes necessary for any person to be expelled from membership, the Elders shall see that every reasonable effort is made toward total restitution and reconciliation.


ARTICLE IV
Officers

The Elders of this congregation shall serve such offices and perform such official responsibilities as may be required by law, including, but not limited to, the offices of President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, Trustee, and Director. Elders may serve concurrently in more than one office when permitted by law. When the number of Elders is not sufficient to fill all required offices, the Elders shall appoint additional officers as may be required by law. Any officer so appointed shall meet the minimum requirements as required for a Deacon (1Tim. 3:8-13). Selection of all officers shall be by unanimous consent of all Elders, and the term of office shall be for one calendar year. The Elder selected to fill the office of President shall be the Presiding Elder (Senior Pastor) for that calendar year.


ARTICLE V
Amendments

This Constitution may be revised or amended only by the unanimous decision of all Elders currently serving the congregation.

Adopted February 1, 1997

(Rev.) Dr. Rickard L. Sawyer,
Th.M., Th.D., D.Min., M.B.A.
Founding Elder


Amendment 1
(September 19, 1997)

Article II, Section 12A (Baptism) and Article III, Section 1 (Qualifications of Membership) were reworded to reduce confusion about the importance of water baptism. Minor grammatical errors were corrected in a few other sections, which resulted in no change in either content or intent.

Amendment 2
(July 1, 2001)

In keeping with our desire to adopt the Hebraic form of worship and fellowship known as “Messianic Judaism,” global changes were made as follows:

  a. The term “church” was replaced by the terms “fellowship,” “congregation,” or “Miqra,” depending on the context; reference to “baptism” was replaced by “immersion” or “mikvah;” the word “Christian” was replaced with “Believer,” “Messianic Believer,” or “Believer in Mashiach” as best fit the context; and a few other terms were replaced by their equivalent Hebraic terms.

  b. References to the Bible and to Deity were replaced by their original Hebraic terms.

  c. Scripture quotations were changed to the Complete Jewish Bible or New American Standard Version, whichever translation more clearly represented the specific intent of the Elders.

  d. A better definition of “Israel” was added to Article I, Section 2(a)(5) for clarification.

  e. The name B'nei HaMelech was added as an expressly Messianic Jewish ministry.

The above changes were only grammatical or “cosmetic” in nature. None of them in any way affected either the doctrinal position of this congregation or the procedures specified in this Constitution.

“Article I, Section 2, Subsection C, Taxpayer Status” was renumbered to “Article I, Section 3, Taxpayer Status.”

“Article I, Section 2, Subsection C, Our Mission Statement” was added.

Amendment 2
(August 31, 2009)

“Article II, Section 1A, Torah,” and “Article II, Section 1B, The Ketuvei HaShalichim,” were added to clarify our position on the Sacred Text. The “congregation” was reclassified as a “fellowship” resulting in appropriate grammatical changes. Minor grammatical corrections and editorial changes were performed which had no effect on the original meaning or intent of the Constitution.


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

[19] I fully understand that “conventional” Christian theology teaches that the “Church” came into existence at Pentecost and will cease to function in its present capacity at “the Rapture,” and that the “Church” therefore consists of all the saints of only the present age, and I faithfully taught that doctrine for over thirty years. My recent studies of the Scripture have left that teaching in some doubt in my mind for the reasons outlined in our article on the word “church.” See also the Appendix. [Return]

[20] We do not pretend to know, nor do we believe that it is important for us to know, whether the period of time included in the “six days of creation” was equal to six periods of 24 hours each, according to man’s current calculation of time. Since the Scripture specifically refers to “the evening and morning” of each day, we assume that literal days are intended. Current understanding of Einstein’s Theory of Relativity holds that time as we know it is relative to the position and circumstances of the observer. God, Who is the Creator and Author of Scripture, exists outside the dimensions of time and space, and mankind has no way of knowing what “six days” means from God’s perspective. What is important is that God said it, and we therefore accept it as Truth without having to fully understand it. [Return] 

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