Statement of Beliefs
As believers in Y-H-V-H Elohim, the G-d of Isra’el, and His Son, Y’hoshua of Nazareth, there are certain undeniable truths that we must accept and live by. In the generations following the Messiah’s death and resurrection, several things have resulted in erroneous teachings from the Scriptures and the teaching of the Messiah and His disciples. These include mis-translations of Scripture, some of which appear to have been intentional, and a misunderstanding of the Hebraic roots of Isra’el, the Messiah and His followers.
Realizing that I am writing to many who may be unfamiliar with Hebrew names and titles, I have elected to use English titles and names, with two very important exceptions. The first is the use of our Father’s Set-apart Name. In Scripture He is often referred to by His attributes. For instance, in Genesis chapter one, He is referred to in His attribute of judgment; Elohim. Then, beginning in Genesis chapter two, verse four He is referred to as Y-H-V-H Elohim, which is His attribute of judgment mixed with His attribute of mercy. Then, in chapter four, He is referred to as Y-H-V-H. Throughout the rest of Scripture He is referred to by whatever attribute He is operating in at that time.
At times, He is also referred to as Yah, as in Psalm 106.48. In this study, I use, Elohim, Y-H-V-H Elohim, Y-H-V-H, or simply Yah rather than the non-definitive title of “G-d.” I also use the Messiah’s Name, Y’hoshua, rather than Jesus. Properly translated into English, Y’hoshua’s name would be Joshua.
It is my hope that this teaching will accomplish two goals. The first is to present the truth concerning our Father’s commandments and the teachings of Messiah Y’hoshua. The second is to fulfill my responsibility as a teacher and a watchman on the walls for Isra’el. A watchman is required to warn people of their sin or bear their sin himself. (Ez 3.17-21)After carefully considering several possible formats for this teaching, I have opted to simply list certain facts and provide references to support them.
1. Y-H-V-H Elohim only has one people, Isra’el. He has promised that those who diligently obey His voice and guard His covenant, shall be His treasured possession above all the peoples, for all the earth is His, and shall be to Him a reign of priests and a set-apart (holy) nation. (Ex 19.5-6) As Sha’ul of Tarsus (the Apostle Paul) wrote in his letter to Rome, those not born of the natural olive tree (Isra’el) can graft into Isra’el and share in the root and fatness of the olive tree. (Rom 11.17)
2. The Father has only one law, or set of commandments, for both the native-born and the stranger (ger in Hebrew) and His laws apply to all of His people. (Ex 12.49; Num 15.15)
3. Both Father and Son clearly establish that as His people, we are to live by every Word that proceeds from the mouth of the Father. (Deu 8.3; Matt 4.4)
4. We are called to worship and serve Elohim in both Spirit and Truth. (John 4.23-24) Spirit is a reference to His Spirit, often referred to as the Set-apart, or Holy, Spirit. Truth is clearly defined in Scripture as “the sum of His Word.” (Ps 119.160)
5. The Messiah and His disciples defined Scripture as the Tanakh, which is often mistakenly called the “Old Testament.” The writings of the disciples were not collected into a common book, and considered a part of the Bible, until many years after the disciple’s deaths. Therefore, they were not part of the Scriptures the disciples referred to in their writings. This means that when Sha’ul wrote to Timothy that “all Scripture is breathed out by Elohim and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for setting straight, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of Elohim might be fitted, equipped for every good work” (2Tim 3.16-17), he was referring to the Tanakh, and not to what is known today as the “New” Testament.
6. The Sabbath is the seventh day of the week, not Sunday. Y-H-V-H our Elohim set-aside (made holy) the seventh day of the week for us to observe, remember, guard and teach to our children. (Ex 20.8-11; 31.13) Sunday is the first day of the week and the day the Romans set-aside to worship their sun god. In 321 CE, the Roman emperor Constantine issued a decree that encouraged Christians (as the Messiah’s followers had come to be known) to work on the Jewish Sabbath and rest on what the Romans called the “Lord’s Day.” In 363 CE, Constantine convened the Council of Laodicea. Among the rulings of this council was Canon 29, which officially prohibited observance of the Jewish Sabbath (which was the Roman “Saturn’s day,” or “Saturday”), and again encouraged Christians to work on the Sabbath and rest on the Lord's Day (the Roman sun-day). The issuance of this canon in 363 CE indicates that Constantine’s earlier decree in 321 CE had not been universally accepted, even among Christians. It also establishes that both Jews and followers of the Messiah had continued to observe the Sabbath on the seventh day of the week for over three hundred years after the Messiah’s death and resurrection.
There are several other facts a believer should be aware of in regards to the Sabbath. For example, those living in the Millennial Kingdom will observe the Sabbath day, not Sunday. (Is 66.23) The Messiah Himself observed and guarded the Sabbath. Y-H-V-H Himself stated, My Sabbaths you are to guard, by all means, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, to know that I, Y-H-V-H, am setting you apart. (Ex 31.13) The Messiah’s followers, men and women, continued to observe and guard the Sabbath even after His death and resurrection.
7. In Colossians 2.16 Sha’ul, wrote to the Colossians, Let no one therefore judge you in eating or in drinking, or in respect of a festival or a new moon or Sabbaths - which are a shadow of what is to come - but the Body of Messiah. Paul was not advocating abandoning the dietary laws, Y-H-V-H’s feast days or the Sabbath. He cautioned those in Colossi not to allow men to judge them in regards to Y-H-V-H’s dietary laws, His new moons, His feasts and His Sabbath. He was encouraging them to stay within the teachings of the Body of Messiah - which at this time was still very observant of Y-H-V-H’s commandments. According to the Messiah Himself, this includes all of His commandments, even the least of them. (Mat 5.18-19) Sha’ul was warning the believers in Colossi that at the resurrection it will be Y-H-V-H who will judge, not men. He will judge according to His perfect Torah, not men’s traditions. Do not be led astray by the teachings of men. (Ez 33.20)
8. Not having a Hebraic foundation, many Bible teachers misunderstand much of Paul’s writings about the Hebrew Scriptures that contain Y-H-V-H’s laws. They teach that a believer and/or follower of the Messiah is no longer under the “law.” Quite frankly, they teach that we are redeemed from sin through the Messiah’s death and resurrection. What they fail to point out is that one’s need for redemption is the result of sin, which Y-H-V-H’s Word defines as breaking one of His commandments. They also teach that through His Son’s sacrifice man is no longer subject to some of Y-H-V-H’s commandments. Which of these commandments you are no longer subject to depends upon on which teacher, priest, pastor or denomination you consult. Y-H-V-H, however, consistently declares that His laws, ordinances, statutes and appointed times are eternal and that His Word is perfect. Man is forbidden “to add to or take way from His Word.” (Deu 4.2) Y-H-V-H has also clearly established that He “will never change” (Mal 3.6) nor will He ever “break His covenant with us or change what has gone out from His lips”(Ps 89.34). Based on His Word, anyone who adds to or takes away from His commandments is sinning.
A believer and follower of the Messiah should carefully consider all He taught:
• A taught one is not above His teacher, nor a servant about his master. It is enough for the taught one to become like his teacher, and a servant like his master. (Matt 10.24-25)
• For if you believed Mosheh, you would have believed Me, since he wrote about Me, but if you do not believe his writings, how shall you believe My words. (John 5.46-47)
• My teaching is not mine, but His who sent Me. (John 7.16)
• And because I speak the truth, you do not believe Me. Who of you proves Me wrong concerning sin? And if I speak the truth (Ps 119.160), why do you not believe Me? He who is of Elohim hears the Words of Elohim, therefore you do not hear because you are not of Elohim. (John 8.45-47)
• He who rejects Me, and does not receive My Words, has one who judges him: the Word that I have spoken shall judge him in the last day. Because I spoke not from Myself, but the Father Who sent Me has given me a command, what I should say and what I should speak. And I know that His command is everlasting life. Therefore, whatever I speak, as the Father has said to Me, so I speak. (John 12.48-50) Y-H-V-H our Elohim had spoken to Mosheh generations earlier saying, I shall raise up for them (Israel) a Prophet like you out of the midst of their brothers. And I shall put My Words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him. And it shall be, the man who does not listen to My Words which He speaks in My Name, I require it of him. (Deu 18.18-20)
• If anyone loves Me, he shall guard My word. And My Father shall love him, and We shall come to him and make Our stay with him. He who does not love Me does not guard My Words. And the Word which you hear is not Mine, but of the Father Who sent Me. (John 14.23-24)
• I have given them Your Word, and the world hated them because they are not of the world, as I am not of the world. (John 17.14)
Years later, His disciple John (Yochanan in Hebrew) wrote:
• And by this we know that we love Him, if we guard His commands. The one who says, “I know Him,” and does not guard His commands, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever guards His Word, truly the love of Elohim has been perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. The one who says He stays in Him ought himself to walk, even as He walked. (1John 2.3-6)
• By this we know that we love the children of Elohim, when we love Elohim and guard His commands. For this is the love of Elohim, that we guard His commands, and His commands are not heavy, because everyone having been born of Elohim overcomes the world. And this is the overcoming that has overcome the world: our belief. (1John 5.2-4)
• And this is the love, that we walk according to His commands. This is the command, that as you have heard from the beginning, you should walk in it. (2John 1.6)
Our Messiah warned that following Him would bring trials and tribulations in this life, but to be of good cheer, for He has overcome the world. Through Him, we too can overcome the trials and tribulations of this world and in His Revelation to John (Yochanan), He reminds us of how we can be overcomers.
• And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to fight with the remnant of her seed, those guarding the commands of Elohim and possessing the witness of Y'hoshua Messiah. (Rev 12.17)
• Here is the endurance of the set-apart ones (saints), here are those guarding the commands of Elohim and the belief of Y'hoshua. (Rev 14.12)
One should never be afraid to question the teachings and traditions of men. Your Father in heaven has declared,
• There is to be one law and one ordinance for you and for the stranger (ger) who sojourns with you. (Num 15.16)
• You shall have one law for him who does anything unintentionally, for him who is native among the sons of Israel and for the alien (ger) who sojourns among them. (Num 15.29)
• You are to have one right-ruling (law) for the stranger (ger) and for the native, for I am
Y-H-V-H your Elohim. (Lev 24.22)
• And when a stranger (ger) sojourns among you, then he shall perform the Passover of
Y-H-V-H. He shall do so according to its laws. You have one law, both for the stranger (ger) and the native of the land. (Num 9.14)
• One law is for you of the assembly and for the stranger (ger) who sojourns with you - a law forever throughout your generations. As you are, so is the stranger (ger) before Y-H-V-H. One Torah (Law) and one right-ruling is for you and for the stranger (ger) who sojourns with you. (Num 15.15-16)
• For him who does whatever by mistake there is one Torah (Law), both for him who is native among the children of Isra’el and for the stranger (ger) who sojourns in their midst. (Num 15.29)
Several Hebrew words are translated as stranger or alien in English Bibles, but these words have different meanings. For example, Hebrew words such as a zur or a nokri are often translated as strangers or aliens in English Bibles. Using the word stranger to translate these different Hebrew words has resulted in a misunderstanding of Scripture. One who is a geris quite different from a zur or a nokri. A ger is a person from the nations who has joined himself or herself to the Elohim of Isra’el and is grafting into Isra’el by learning to guard all of His commandments. Neither a zur or a nokri has made this commitment. In Romans chapter eleven Sha’ul was referring to one who was a ger that was grafting into Isra’el.
In closing, let me urge you to carefully study Y-H-V-H’s Word and the teachings of His Son. You will find that they are one in the same. Also, let me encourage you to seek out teachers who advocate keeping the Torah—even the least commandments—who are teaching Y-H-V-H’s commands to others, and who have the testimony of Y’hoshua as Messiah.
In His service,
Congregation Beit Lechem
 Set-apart is from the Hebrew word, qadosh, which is frequently translated as holy.
Matthew. 21.42; 22.29; 26.54; Mark 12.10; 12.24; 14.49; 15.28; Luke 4.21; 24.32; John 5.39; 7.38; 10.35; 13.18; 19.24; Acts 8.32; 17.2; 18.28; Romans 1.2; 4.3; 9.17; 11.2; 1Corinthians. 15.3; 15.4; Galatians 3.8; 3.22; 4.30; 1Timothy 5.18; 2Timothy 3.16; James 2.8; 2.23; 1Peter 2.6; 2Peter 3.16 as examples.
 Tanakh - is composed of the Torah - law; the Nevi’im - prophets; the Ketuvim - writings
Mark 6.2; Luke 4.16; 4.31; and 6.6
Matthew. 28.1; Mark 1.21; 16.1; Acts 13.14; 13.42; 13.44; 15.21; 16.13; 17.2; 18.4; Hebrews 4.9.
James 1.25; 2.12; Psalm 19.7