ARTICLES OF FAITH
of Messianic Evangelicals
Around 1987, when the Messianic Evangelical work was very young, I attempted to write an Epitome of Faith for the Assemblies. It was never completed and never used. Since that time NCAY has deliberately avoided the writing of creeds because of their tendency to be too dogmatic and inflexible. In 1998 there was a request from members of NCAY that some sort of Articles of Faith be written so that the members could more clearly state their doctrinal position.
My initial reaction was caution because of the tendency on the part of people to over-simplify emet (truth) and then crystalise it out into a set of dogmatic doctrinal propositions that become impermeable to new light and emet (truth). On the other hand, I saw the real need for a modern, expanded Apostles' Creed to supplement the original one written nearly two thousand years ago so that NCAY's mission and doctrines might be more readily understood. The misunderstandings caused by a schism in 1995 made that even more imperative in 1998.
However, I did not believe we should be rushed. We were already working on an exhaustive Constitution, which in 2017 has reached its 10th edition, and this has already gone a long way in explaining the teachings and practices of NCAY to new and growing members. However, being a legal document, it can make rather heavy reading. Therefore some sort of summary was desirable.
What follows is not an official NCAY 'Articles of Faith'. It was my own summary of some of the distinctive Messianic Evangelical beliefs that I felt were important at that time and which we have had no occasion to change. Moreover, it was not a statement that was carefully planned or thought out but was ex tempore, something that was rushed off in a moment of inspiration while I was eating breakfast one morning. It is therefore bound to be lacking in many areas. It also focuses particularly on those doctrines that distinguish us from other Christians and Messianics or which have been confusing in the minds of people because of the new concepts involved.
So, I repeat, this is not an official statement of NCAY but a 'private Articles of Faith' (even though I use the first person plural) and I am bound to point out that they are still crystalising. With 30 years' experience in the ministry and with NCAY now very much matured, I felt that there was justification in writing it at the time and that it still has merit nearly 20 years later.
SOME ARTICLES OF FAITH
2. The Torah (Law) of Messiah (Christ)
- 1. We believe that salvation is a process that leads, ultimately, to the perfection of the human soul.
- 2. We believe that this salvation consists also of distinct saving acts, of which the most important is the first, in which a soul accepts the risen, resurrected Messiah (Christ) as His personal Saviour, in whom he is learning to trust completely. This is followed by many spiritual baptisms as the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) dwells more deeply and permanently within the soul of a believer.
- 3. We believe that this salvation is by and through the blood of Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) alone, that no man, be he apostle, navi (prophet) or teacher, can save another, but that godly men such as these are called by the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) to be the messengers of this salvation to all who will hear them.
- 4. We believe that salvation is by proactive emunah (faith), meaning an emunah (faith) whose natural fruits are good works, and the living of doctrines and practices which are in harmony with the Torah (Law) of Messiah.
- 5. We believe that emunah (faith) without works, or emunah (faith) which does not lead to obedience to the Torah (Law) of Messiah, is a dead or false emunah (faith), for the process of salvation (which includes sanctification and regeneration) consists of a Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit)-mediated interaction between emunah (faith - trusting in Yahweh our Heavenly Father) and works (acts of righteousness) in every situation where good works are possible and desirable.
3. The Covenants
- 6. We believe that true emunah (faith) in the Messiah is not possible without first having an understanding of the requirements of qadosh (holy, set-apart) Christian/Messianic living which are stated in the Torah (Law) of Messiah.
- 7. We believe that the Torah (Law) of Messiah is the touchstone by which we measure our faithfulness to the Messiah
- 8. We believe that the Torah (Law) enables us to identify sin in our lives, repent of it, and to obtain forgiveness through the redeeming blood of Messiah.
- 9. We believe that the core of this Torah (Law) consists of the Two Great Commandments, viz. that we should love the Yahweh our Elohim (God) with all our souls above all else, and that we should love our fellow man as ourselves.
- 10. We believe that the Ten Words or Commandments (Devarim) are an amplification of these Two and that they are eternally valid to all peoples in all generations.
- 11. We believe that all the other commandments (Mitzvot) given in the Tanakh (Old Testament), which have not been superceeded by new or higher commandments in the Messianic Scriptures (New Testament), and all the new commandments given by Messiah and His apostles in the Messianic Scriptures (New Testament), are but amplifications of the Ten Commandments and are eternally valid to all believers in all generations;
- 12. We therefore believe that all three categories constitute One Eternal Torah (Law) of Messiah and are to be found in both the Tanakh and Messianic Scriptures (Old and New Testaments) of the Bible.
- 13. We believe that Yahweh's apostles are called today, as in the first Messianic Community (Christian Church), to further clarify and amplify the Torah (Law) in order to meet the complex needs of our modern technological and increasingly atheistic and pagan society, and to clarify ambiguities caused by the evolution of language over time. This right to 'bind and loose' or 'permit and forbid' is called, in the Hebrew, halakhah.
4. Spiritual Gifts
- 14. We believe that Yahweh, in His loving mercy, has established covenants whereby a believer is called to enter into agreements with El Elyon (the Most High God), Yahweh-Elohim, to obey the Torah (Law), through emunah (faith), and that by his faithfulness he is declared righteous.
- 15. We do not believe that a man is made righteous through legalistic observance of the Torah (Law) but only through emunah (faith) in Yahweh our Heavenly Father through Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ).
- 16. We believe that a man must be true to his word and that Yahweh will hold him accountable to that word.
- 17. We also believe that all covenants made with Yahweh, both before the world began and in this mortal sphere, are eternally binding if he understands them and if they are sealed by the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) of Promise.
- 18. We believe in binding ourselves to Yahweh through Messiah, and to each other, through sacred covenants, that we may enjoy the blessings of those covenants, viz. shalom (peace), security, tiqveh (hope), ahavah (love), and all the blessings which are predicated by Yahweh by obedience to each specific covenant.
- 19. We believe that inner shalom (peace), security, hopefulness and an increasingly more loving nature, are amongst the most important spiritual fruits of being obedient, in ahavah (love) and emunah (faith), to those covenants.
- 20. We believe that these covenants, which are qadosh (holy, set-apart) and sacred, may only be administered by those servants of Messiah who have been entrusted with them, viz. his apostles, and those of the elders whom the apostles delegate to do the same.
- 21. We believe that these covenants may be administered wherever a qadosh (holy, set-apart) and spiritual atmosphere prevails, whether in the meeting places of the saints, in special parts of nature, or in qadosh (holy, set-apart) temples.
5. The Body of Messiah
- 21. We believe in the same spiritual gifts that have been enjoyed by all true believers in Yahweh in all dispensations of time from the days of Adam to the present.
- 22. We believe that these gifts are given by the will of Yahweh to whom He will and not by choice and not because of any special merit.
- 23. We also believe these gifts have been given not for personal glorification but to bring honour and glory to the Father, Yahweh, who gives them.
- 24. We believe that these gifts are varied and that every member of the Body of Messiah possesses one or more of these gifts with which to bless the Messianic Community (Church) and mankind.
- 25. We believe these gifts include prophecy, visions, miracles, revelations, emunah (faith), speaking supernaturally in modern languages (tongues), interpreting languges, translation, miracles, healing the sick, preaching, teaching, serving, etc..
6. Personal Accountability and Behaviour
- 26. We believe that the New Covenant Assemblies of Yahweh (NCAY) are united to the wider Body of Messiah of all true believers in the Master Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ), and that the difference in teachings and practices that presently divide us will be resolved and disappear when the Master Yah'shua (Jesus) returns.
- 27. We further believe that whilst we share a common calling with all other true Biblical churches and assemblies to bring souls to the Master Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ), that we have also been given unique callings that no other Church or Messianic Community has yet received.
- 28. We believe that Yahweh sends souls to those parts of the Body of Messiah where they can spiritually prosper and grow, and that therefore no single Church or Messianic denomination has received the divine mandate to claim that it is the only true, authoritative representative of Yahweh in this dispensation.
- 29. We believe that the Assembly of Yahweh (Church of God) will be fully united and one during the Millennial Era, and it is towards that ideal that the New Covenant Assemblies of Yahweh (NCAY) are moving under the guidance of a modern Apostolate.
- 30. We believe that every Church or Messianic Assembly is accountable to Yahweh, and not to other denominations, for their own emunah (faith) and works, or lack thereof.
- 31. We believe that men should be free to choose which denomination, church or assembly they want to join and serve in without the threat of divine retribution pronounced by other denominations claiming to be Yahweh's sole representatives.
- 32. We further believe that men should be free to move from one denomination or assembly to another provided they do so of their own free will and according to their own conscience.
- 33. We do not believe that any Church or Messianic Assembly has the right to condemn a person to hell or make judgment concerning an individual in the eternities. We believe this to be the sole province of Yahweh.
- 34. We do believe, however, that every Church or Messianic Assembly has the right to judge its members according to the rules established by their respective organisations to which its members have given their free consent upon becoming members of that denomination or community - to admit, teach, discipline, encourage, disfellowship, or expel such persons.
First edition: 1 June 1998
- 35. We believe that we are personally accountable for all the choices that we make in this life, both good and evil, and that no man has the right to blame another for his personal life decisions.
- 36. We believe that those who blame others for their own personal misfortunes will themselves be punished by the evil thoughts and feelings they have towards those they blame.
- 37. We believe that a Christian/Messianic should always respond to hatred with ahavah (love), for this is the will of His Messiah, but that he must be careful not to confuse the ahavah (love) of Messiah with the sentimentality and superficiality of the love of men.
- 38. We believe that a man who is walking close to Yahweh will live at peace in his soul and possess a deep, inner strength that enables him to surmount and overcome all problems through emunah (faith) in Messiah.
- 39. We believe that it is the tendency of unredeemed and rebellious man to deny the emet (truth) by refusing to admit he is wrong and by compulsively attacking it in order to justify himself.
- 40. We believe that the emet (truth) is independent of the beliefs and actions of men and that it will defend itself, and that those who trust in the emet (truth), and are willing to continually reform their lives so as to conform to that emet (truth), need never fear men or devils.
Second edition: 3 August 2017
This page was created on 1 June 1998
Updated on 3 August 2017
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