The Holy Community

h¹b
If your life is not in jeopardy for what you believe, you’re probably on the wrong side!
Developing a Systematic Messianic Theology
This day in Jewish History ABOUT THIS WEB SITE - THINGS YOU SHOULD PROBABLY KNOW
You will need to download and install the free Greek &
Hebrew fonts
to properly view and print from this site.
Search our Site
Bookmark and Share

The Holy Community (Summary)
(Click here for more information)

I am convinced that there is only one true and universal “Miqra” [the “Called Out” Holy Community, erroneously translated as “Church” in most English Bibles], which is the Body and Bride of Yeshua HaMashiach, that it is a spiritual organism of which Yeshua is the Head, and that it is made up of all the redeemed [“born-again”] persons of all historical ages or epochs.

The establishment and continuity of local assemblies (also called congregations, synagogues, or “churches”) is clearly taught and defined in the Ketuvei HaShalichim [the Apostolic Writings, Brit Chadasha, or erroneously so-called “New Testament”], 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.

I believe in the autonomy of the local assembly, composed solely of truly “born-again” believers, free from any external authority or control, with the right to be totally free from the interference of any hierarchy of individuals or organizations outside of that local congregation.

Each local assembly, through its Elders [beit din] and their interpretation and application of the Scriptures, should be the sole judge of the measure and method of its cooperation with other congregations, as well 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).

Yeshua said, “… on this rock I will build my miqra, and the gates of She'ol will not prevail against it.” (Matt. 16:18) When his words were translated into Greek, the word ekklesia was substituted for the Hebrew miqra that He actually spoke. A comparison of the two words will show the accuracy of that substitution. (Source: http://bible.crosswalk.com/Lexicons/)

ejkklhsi ekklesia

a gathering of citizens called out from their homes into some public place, an assembly

a. an assembly of the people convened at the public place of the council for the purpose of deliberating

b. the assembly of the Israelites …

arqm miqra

convocation, convoking, reading, a calling together

a. convocation, sacred assembly

b. convoking

c. reading

The inaccuracy of the common interpretation in the modern “church” comes not in the translation from Hebrew miqra into Greek ekklesia, but rather in the later translation of the Greek word ekklesia into English. Although I do not necessarily object to others using the word “church,” it should be clearly understood that the use of the word “church” in the English “New Testament” has absolutely no valid linguistic reason or precedent beyond Gentile (specifically Roman Catholic) tradition, and I personally resist referring to a local Christian assembly as “church.” It is a mistranslation of the Greek word ekklesia, which is a valid translation of the Hebrew word miqra, and which should be translated as either “called out” or “called out ones,” “assembly,” “congregation,” or “community.”

The word arqm (miqra) is repeatedly used in the Tenakh [the Hebrew Bible, or erroneously so-called “Old Testament”] to speak of the holy convocation or holy assembly of the faithful, particularly for the observance of the Feasts of ADONAI. The word is based on the root word arq (qara') which means to call and commission or endow, to be chosen, or to be called out, or to be named. It is specifically used of those who are “called by the name of YHWH” in 2 Chron. 7:14, Isa. 43:7, Daniel 9:19, and Amos 9:12. We must therefore conclude that Yeshua’s Miqra includes the faithful of Israel both before and after the cross, into which holy assembly the believing Gentiles have been grafted or adopted.

But if some of the branches were broken off, and you — a wild olive — were grafted in among them and have become equal sharers in the rich root of the olive tree, then don’t boast as if you were better than the branches! However, if you do boast, remember that you are not supporting the root, the root is supporting you. So you will say, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.” True, but so what? They were broken off because of their lack of trust. However, you keep your place only because of your trust. So don’t be arrogant; on the contrary, be terrified! For if God did not spare the natural branches, he certainly won’t spare you! So take a good look at God’s kindness and his severity: on the one hand, severity toward those who fell off; but, on the other hand, God’s kindness toward you — provided you maintain yourself in that kindness! Otherwise, you too will be cut off! Moreover, the others, if they do not persist in their lack of trust, will be grafted in; because God is able to graft them back in. For if you were cut out of what is by nature a wild olive tree and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these natural branches be grafted back into their own olive tree! For, brothers, I want you to understand this truth which God formerly concealed but has now revealed, so that you won’t imagine you know more than you actually do. It is that stoniness, to a degree, has come upon Isra'el, until the Gentile world enters in its fullness; and that it is in this way that all Isra'el will be saved. As the Tanakh says, “Out of Tziyon will come the Redeemer; he will turn away ungodliness from Ya'akov and this will be my covenant with them, … when I take away their sins.” (Romans 11:17-27 CJB)

Although it cannot be absolutely proven without a shadow of doubt, there is significant evidence to be found that the modern English word “church” is derived from the Middle English word chirche or kirke, which is related to “circle,” which is in turn related to the name of the false goddess Circe, and refers to the practice of worshipping Circe while standing in a “circle.” My personal research of the subject leads me to believe that in its later application during the centuries immediately before and after the birth of Messiah, the term also refers to the “inner circle” of priests of Roman form of the the Babylonian Mystery Religion, which was the “official” Roman state religion. When Emperor Constantine, pontifex maximus (“supreme bridge” or high priest) of the Babylonian Mystery Religion blended early fourth-century Messianic Judaism with the Babylonian Mystery Religion to form what he called “Christianity,” he named this “inner circle” of pagan priests as “bishops” over his unified apostate Roman religion. It is my carefully-considered opinion that this same group of pagan priests is now the College of Cardinals in the Roman Catholic Church. (See “Where Did the Word ‘Church’ Come From?”)

There are many within the Messianic Restoration (myself included) who object to the use of the word “church” for three primary reasons:

(1) there is absolutely no linguistic reason to have ever translated either the Hebrew word miqra or the Greek word ecclesia as “church” except in deference to the pagan Roman Church;

(2) because of the pagan origin of the word and what it originally represented; and

(3) because of the historical persecution of the Jews by the apostate Roman “Church” and its many descendants.

I also strongly object to the anti-Semitic practice of using the word “church” to teach or support any form of “replacement theology” in which the Gentile believers in Yeshua either replace, supersede, or supplant Israel in God’s Plan of Redemption, to teach any form of separation between Jewish and non-Jewish believers in Yeshua, or of artificially elevating Gentile believers to an imagined position that is superior to God’s elect people Israel.

I am firmly convinced that neither Yeshua HaMashiach nor the Shliachim intended to start a “new religion,” but rather only to fulfill, complete, and correct what was missing in the Judaism of their day. I therefore believe that the most valid form of worship is that practiced by Yeshua and His talmidim (disciples). Our ministry has therefore chosen to identify with that group of believers that is known variously as “the Messianic Movement,” “Messianic Judaism,“ or “Messianic Restoration.”

I further believe that much of the conflict that exists between Jewish believers in Mashiach and Gentile believers in Mashiach has been caused by anti-Semitic and anti-Gentile language that has crept into the household of faith. (See “Antisemitism in the Church.”) For example, the word “Jesus” is nothing but a compounding of errors. Nobody who every knew Yeshua in the flesh ever referred to Him by that word. In fact, it is grammatically impossible to say that word in either Hebrew or Aramaic, as neither language has the “jay” sound.

When His name was transliterated from the Hebrew of the original Apostolic Writings into Greek for transmission to the Gentile and Greek-speaking Jewish Messianic Believers in the Diaspora, the name was rendered in Greek as “Iesu.” When the “church” became centered in Rome and the Greek Scriptures were translated into Latin, the Romans added an "s" on the end of His name (because virtually all masculine Latin words end in "s") making it "Iesus." Then the Germans came along during the Reformation and changed the "I" to a "J" making the word "Jesus." And then the men who translated the Latin and German version of the Scriptures into English didn't bother to correct the error. In the meantime, as more and more Gentiles were brought into Nazarene Judaism, Yeshua became thought of less as the Jewish Messiah and more as the “Gentile God.”

As the Gentile “church” became more and more anti-Semitic and the persecutions “in the name of Jesus” became increasingly severe, Jews around the world began to hate that word more and more, and for good reason. But just stop and think how difficult that persecution would have been if the Gentiles had remembered that they were nothing more or less than “adopted” members of a distinctly Jewish sect. And how much more difficult it would have been to persecute Jews “in the name of” Yeshua, the Jewish Messiah.

____________

See also our discussion on the word Jehovah.

See also “Jesus Christ: A False Prophet.”

Page last updated on Saturday, 27 August 2016 04:31 PM
(Updates are generally minor formatting or editorial changes.
Major content changes after May 3, 2015 are identified as "Revisions”)