Statement of Beliefs
We have compiled a rather long statement of beliefs for a few reasons. Firstly, it shows the core of our beliefs to anyone interested in joining Talmidei Yeshua Fellowship and corroborates them with Scripture. But we realize that, as fallible human beings, we possess shortcomings, misunderstandings, and misinterpretations in our statements and, ultimately, in our beliefs. Thus secondly, this statement of beliefs opens up study for us to we can compare what we have written out to believe with what Scripture says. Since God’s Glory is our pursuit, we seek in every way to be very approachable, possessing no pride or hypocrisy which defies correction for we know that we err somewhere in our actions and beliefs and do not believe that we are in any way perfect. Thirdly, by compiling Biblical verses, we have a list of verses in the statements that are most pertinent to certain beliefs. Since we believe that Scripture provides the only definitive answer (no human extrapolation, interpretation, rationale, etc), knowing it by heart is very important. Yeshua and His talmidim provide excellent examples of this; their prayers and teachings contained a multitude of Scriptural quotations.
The Scriptures are the true and complete Statement of Beliefs and this page represents a summary and expository on central themes.
STATEMENT OF BELIEF #1
One God – We believe that God is one, indivisible, infinite, eternal, self-sufficient, immutable, omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, transcending all things, good, just, merciful, gracious, loving, holy, and unchallenged Creator of all things. There is none like Him –no one with whom to compare– and thus utterly beyond even our faintest imaginings. In the Scriptures, those who had visions (such as Ezekiel) in which they encountered Him can only liken His Glory (not even He Himself!) to the most glorious things we know*. We believe that relegating him (by making an image, real or virtual) to any non-Divine, finite thing which we can imagine or create is blasphemous as the “Second Saying” (commonly known as the second commandment) ascertains and as the unfortunate worshipers of the golden calf discovered. Despite this, He has shown many things about Himself (His attributes) to us through the Scriptures and has appeared to many believers through the ages as in fire on Mount Sinai, the still, small voice to Eliyahu, the cloud between the K’ruvim, etc.
STATEMENT OF BELIEF #2
Yeshua HaMashiach – – We believe that the Father sent His only Begotten Son, Yeshua, to this earth as our Messiah to die for us. We believe Yeshua is the Way, the Truth, and the Life and no one can go to the Father except through Him. Also, we believe that Yeshua is the Firstborn over all creation
Scriptural references – Isaiah 7:14, 9:6, Daniel 7:9-14, Micah 5:2-4, Zechariah 12:10, Psalm 2:7, 110, Matthew 1:18-25, 26:28,63-64, Luke 1:35, John 1:1-18, 5:18-24,30, 6:40,44, 8:18-19,58, 14:6, Acts 3:15, 4:10-12, Romans 1:4, 3:21-31, 2 Corinthians 5:21, Philippians 2:6-11, Colossians 1:12-20, Titus 2:13, Hebrews 1:1-3,9, I John 1:1-3, 3:5… Yeshua is the Word made flesh: see all of Scripture for more!
** Psalm 16:10
*** I Corinthians 10:4
STATEMENT OF BELIEF #3
The Word of God – We believe that Scriptures (Torah, N’vi’im, K’tuvim, B’rit Chadashah) are the inspired Word of God. The Word was written by the Holy Spirit through the hands of many godly men who, across many epochs, compiled the Holy Scriptures as we have today. We believe that it is perfect, inseparable, immutable, and infinite for the “Word was God” and that to break it up into components and choose which to follow and which to ignore borders on heresy. We believe that in Yeshua is all ‘hidden wisdom’ and God’s mystery but we believe that it has been declared to all those who would listen throughout Scriptures. We need neither mystic knowledge or cultural and historical context or any other ambiguous tool interpreters have used to impose their own opinion on the text! We need no other than the Word, Elohim! We believe that God’s Word has no beginning and was made known to all who would listen even before the giving at Mount Sinai as the lives of believers before Sinai (Noach, the Patriarchs, etc.) clearly shows. The giving of the Torah at Sinai was the defining covenant between God and a nation, Yisrael, composed of all who would follow Him. Everything was given through Moshe there and since then God has continued to elucidate those things and to fulfill the prophecies made in the Torah (such as the coming of the Mashiach) but has neither added nor subtracted from the complete Truth. The Word of God is our perfect guide and is the light to our path of life. We believe that we must devote ourselves joyfully and zealously to testing everything we do and believe according to the Word in order to remove everything unclean from ourselves for purification in order to draw nearer to God.
Scriptural references – Deuteronomy 4:2, 12:32, Psalms 119 (esp. verse 105), Proverbs 30:5-6, Matthew 5:18, Luke 16:17, John 1:1-2,14, Acts 17:10-12, Galatians 1:8, Colossians 2:2-3, 4:3-4, 1 Thessalonians 2:13, 2 Timothy 3:16-17, 1 John 4:1-3, Revelation 22:18-19
Note: 2 Peter 3:16 calls Shaul’s writings Scriptures thereby affirming that Shaul was inspired by G-d contrary to the many heresies that have arisen nowadays which claim they are not
STATEMENT OF BELIEF #4
Sanctification – We believe that, upon salvation, Yeshua gives us a new and godly nature. We believe the Holy Spirit in every believer will cause him or her to strive towards the mark, towards what is good (as delineated in Scripture). Every believer will, undeniably, stumble and fall, as many godly men in the Bible did, but they mustl always get on their feet and keep going, for they are a new creation for God. Nevertheless, we must war against our fleshly desires and continuously seek God’s help and mercy through prayer. We strive hard that all our work may survive the test of fire and that we will bring glory to His Name. For this reward we strive obsessively and overwhelmingly, putting to death the desires and comforts of the flesh, ready to give up everything to follow Him.
Scriptural references – Romans 6:1-17, 8:34, 1 Corinthians 1:30, 2:12-16, 2 Corinthians 5:17, Galatians 2:20, 5:16-17, Ephesians 4:22-24, 6:11,13-18, Philippians 3:12-14, Colossians 3:5-10, 1 Thessalonians 5:23, 1 Timothy 1:18-19, Hebrews 12:14, Revelation 14:12
STATEMENT OF BELIEF #5
Jews and Gentiles – We believe that Jews and Gentiles are one in Mashiach, equal citizens of the Kingdom of Mashiach* and of Yisrael, the Body of Mashiach.
“Truly I see that God shows no partiality but in every nation he who fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him.” Acts 10:34
We believe that both Jew and Gentile are to respect the Torah since it is what God gave to man to help a lawless world understand right and wrong. Gentiles who are newly arriving in the faith must immediately adhere to 4 critical things:
1) Abstain from what is offered to idols,
2) Abstain from eating blood,
3) Abstain from what is strangled, and
4) Abstain from sexual immorality.
Acts 15:19-29, 21:25
It is important to understand that the Torah clearly specifies what is considered food and what is not. We must allow the Spirit who has written the Torah upon our heart to guide us down the road of observance. New believers should learn about the Torah and the rest of scripture as it is the guidepost of life.
Scriptural references – Genesis 12:2, 17:9-14, Deuteronomy 4:5-8, 10:19, I King 8:41-43,60, Isaiah 2:2-3, 11:10, 12:4, 49:6,22, Jeremiah 3:17, 31:36, Ezekiel 37:21-28, Daniel 7:14, Amos 9:11-12, Zephaniah 3:9, Psalms 102:15, Mark 13:10, John 15:1-7, Acts 14:27, 15:9, 17:26-30, 18:6, 28:28, Romans 2:11, 2:28-29, 3:29, 9:1-13, 10:12, 10:34, 11:1-6,11-29, 13:46-47, 14:27, 15:8-19, I Corinthians 1:24, Galatians 3:8,14,28-29, Ephesians 1:10, 2:11-19, 3:6, Revelation 7:9, 14:6, 15:4, 21:24
** Isaiah 54:6
*** John 3:18
STATEMENT OF BELIEF #6
Sanctification – We believe that Yeshua’s command to the disciples to immerse the new believers should be followed as it was then: to be performed once someone becomes saved, without delay. There are numerous examples of those who came to belief and were immersed shortly thereafter. Kefa with the multitudes in Acts 2, Philip and the eunich in Acts 8, Shaul believed and was immersed in Acts 9, Cornelius’ household with Kefa in Acts 10, Jailer and his household in Acts 16, Lydia and her household by Shaul in Acts 16, Crispus and his household in Acts 18, Apollos repented and was immersed by Shaul in Acts 19.
Submersion represents the death of the old nature’s supremacy in a believer. In biblical terminology, we died to ourselves with Yeshua. Such a death happens to everyone, believer and unbeliever. The miraculous part is represented by the emergence out of the water, the birth of a new nature in the believer, the resurrection with Yeshua. Immersion is a required demonstration of one’s belief in the Mashiach and this process of atonement. Like circumcisions, however, it is certainly not a precursor of or mandatory for salvation – such a belief would be heretical*. As with every ritual, it must be meaningful (with children who do not grasp the concept of salvation, immersion is utterly useless). Lastly, this “new command” does not violate Deuteronomy 4:2 because it is a command contingent upon an order by Elohim. Reaching out to the Goyim was a new order (which is not an addition to Torah), which entailed instructions such as immersion.
*Mark 16:16 might be misinterpreted to mean that immersion is necessary for salvation. However, the verse itself makes clear that salvation can be achieved without immersion. For it says that only those who disbelieve are condemned and not those that do not immerse! Instead, those who believe will wish to be immersed as they will also wish to follow the Torah since they will be eager to demonstrate the spiritual process they have just undergone. A believer who has not been immersed, however, when he or she was saved does not disbelieve and thus will not be condemned – they are saved just as those who were immersed when they believed.
STATEMENT OF BELIEF #7
Shabbat – We believe that the Shabbat is a wonderful principle that God gave us on the seventh day of creation (Saturday). God rested it and gave it to man for his benefit. Shabbat is a gift by which we can rest and be refreshed by dedicating ourselves to worshiping our Master. “For there remains a Shabbat for the people of God. For the one having entered into His rest, has himself also rested from his works, as God rested from His own. Let us therefore do our utmost to enter into that rest, lest anyone fall after the same example of disobedience.” Heb. 4:9-11.
It is important to note that Shabbat is a day of rest that a believer should take to refresh their spirit. It is a day filled with the pursuit of studying the Scriptures, worshiping and praising the Holy One, and focusing our mind on God.
Scriptural references – Genesis 2:2-3, Exodus 20:8-11, 31:12-17, 35:2-3, Leviticus 19:3, 19:30, 23:3, Deuteronomy 5:12-15, Isaiah 56:1-7, 58:13-14, Jeremiah 17:21-25, Ezekiel 20:12-21, Matthew 12:1-13, Mark 3:4, Luke 13:10-17
* Isaiah 58:13-14
STATEMENT OF BELIEF #8
Feats – We believe that God created the feasts as part of the Mosaic Covenant and it is wonderful to commemorate them and understand their significance in history and their prophetic foreshadowing of things to come.
Scriptural references – Leviticus 23:2-4, 37-44, Numbers 10:10, 1 Chron 23:31, 2 Chron 2:4, 8:13, 31:3, Ezra 3:5, Nehemiah 10:33, Ezekiel 44:24, 45:17
** Exodus 12:2
STATEMENT OF BELIEF #9
Role of Men – Given the importance of families, men have been entrusted with a paramount responsibility to guide and provide for their families. As heads of the family, they are supposed to care for their families and, as the Bible explicitly says, they are to love their wives as the Mashiach loves Yisrael. As He died for Yisrael (all who would accept Him), husbands are to be selflessly devoted to their wives. Also, they are to discipline and teach their children in the way they should go, always out of love and not resentfulness or irascibility. We believe that discipline is not a “lawful venting of anger” but it is a tool by which a father can help draw his child closer to the Truth. Men, being endowed by God with authority, are to be servants to their families. This responsibility is inexplicably important for Scriptures say the failure to do so is worse than being an unbeliever!
Scriptural references – 1 Corinthians 11:3, Ephesians 5:22, 25-28, 6:4, Colossians 3:19, 21, I Timothy 5:8, I Peter 3:7
STATEMENT OF BELIEF #10
Role of Women – We believe that, while there has been much misunderstanding in the role of women, the Torah and the New Testament make it quite clear. In the assembly, women are to remain silent as it relates to public preaching or teaching to men, as God tells us through Shaul. Unfortunately, society has looked down upon the assiduous and spiritual position a woman has been given and has coveted the more “prestigious” and “autonomous” (which often proves less spiritual and far more prone to the temptations of independence which is itself completely unbiblical) position which a man has been given and they call it “feminism” as some kind of freedom. We do not believe that independence (from God) is freedom at all! We believe that the role of the woman delineated in the Scriptures is truly freeing. Women are an integral part of the community and if the scriptures are followed that God will bring spiritual growth.
Scriptural references – Genesis 2:18, Proverbs 31, 1 Corinthians 11:3, 14:33-35, Ephesians 5:22,28-31, I Timothy 2:11-12, Titus 2:3-5, 1 Pet 3:1-6
* 1 Cor 14:35
STATEMENT OF BELIEF #11
Speaking in Tongues – The word “tongue” in both Greek and Hebrew can be translated just as accurately as “language”. We believe that the ability to speak in tongues or languages is a gift of the Holy Spirit. Sometimes, these languages are human and possess supernatural characteristics such as we see with the talmidim in the Book of Acts where they spoke and people of all different languages understood as though it was their own. At other times, it appears that the languages are not understandable to any person – only to God and those to which it has been revealed. Speaking in tongues or languages, therefore, is only supposed to be done in an organized manner where two or three people come forth, give their message, and have it interpreted if such a person is in their midst. Otherwise, they are explicitly not to speak in tongues or languages for it is useless to the congregation otherwise as the New Testament explicitly states. To commence a purposeless vocalization of tongues without interpretation is strictly forbidden.
Scriptural references – Act 2:1-21, 19:6, 1 Corinthians 12:1-13, 14:2-28, 39