Questions about the
The following is a collection of questions about the Chavurat Bekorot (CB) for quick and easy reference which people coming to this ministry have commonly asked us.
What is the Chavurat Bekorot? The CB, which in the Hebrew translates, "Assembly of the Firstborn", is an Apostolic Order of New Covenant Melchizedek Cohenim (Priests) which has as its dual function (a) the calling, discipling of the Royal Priesthood of Israel for service in the the New Covenant Assemblies of Yahweh; and (2) the establishment and administration of 12 international Cities of Refuge (each of which is presided over by one of the Twelve Apostles) and their sub-colonies which shall pass unharmed through the Great Tribulation and provide the nucleus of the Millennial Theocratic Government of the Messiah upon His return.
How is the Chavurat Bekorot governed? When fully organised, the CB is governed by a Council of Twelve Apostles known as the Apostolate or Patriarchate, three of whom constitute a the Presiding Patriarchate. This is the nearest equivalent of the Hebrew Beit din.
What is the Presiding Patriarchate? The Presiding Patriatchate (PPa) consists of the three presiding apostles of the CB and consist of the Presiding Patriarch (PP) and his two counsellors. Each of these three presiding patriarchs is responsible for one of the three Priesthood Orders of the CB and is assisted by three of the other apostles.
What are the Three Priesthood Orders of the Chavurat Bekorot? These are known as (1) the Patriarchal Apostolic Order consisting of the Twelve Apostles and Evangelists (sub-Apostles); (2) the Enochian Order (EO) consisting of all the Elders (Bishops, Pastors, Missioners, Elder-Teachers and Elder-Administrators); and (3) the Zadokian Order (ZO) consisting of all the Deacons (Pastoral Assistants, Deacon-Teachers, Sub-Administrators, and Stewards). Each of the remaining nine apostles is assigned a stewardship within the three Priesthood Orders (e.g. Bishops & Pastors, Missioners, etc.). These three Priesthood Orders are divisions of the New Covenant Melchizedek Priesthood, of which Yah'shua (Jesus) is our Cohen Gadol (High Priest).
What are the "Seats" of John, James and Peter? The Seats of Yochanan (John), Ya'akov (James) and Kefa (Peter) are those of the Presiding Patriarchate and correspond, respectively, to the presidential offices of the Patriarchal (Apostolic), Enochian (Eldership) and Zadokian (Deaconate) Orders.
What is the rôle of women within the Chavurat Bekorot? Women are an integral part of the Royal Priesthood like the men and serve as priestesses but have different functions and areas of responsibility. Each male Priesthood Order has a parallel women's Order which has as its chief function the discipling of the sisters. Each of these Orders comes under the direct authority of the equivalent male Orders. The women's Orders consist of (1) the Matriarchal Apostolic Order consisting of up to 144 female Apostles; (2) the Miriyamic Order consisting of all the Eldresses of NCAY; and (3) the Marthaic Order consisting of all the Deaconesses of NCAY.
How are leaders selected? The Bishops and Pastors of metropolitan and local assemblies are appointed by the Apostolate under the direction of the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) according to the New Testament apostolic pattern. Other local officers, such as other Elders and Deacons, are apointed by local Pastorate by inspiration, once they have been properly trained and approved by the CB. Training is done locally in special Priesthood Schools. Every Priesthood officer is weighed annually at Yom haKippurim (the Day of Atonement) to determine his (or her) worthiness to serve for another year.
Do you have female Pastors? Yes. Each local assembly is presided over by a Pastor and a Pastress, who are, respectively, that spiritual family's 'father' and 'mother'. The Pastor in his turn presides over the Pastress. Wherever possible, a Pastress should be the Pastor's wife if she meets the requirements of the calling.
What is the Law of Financial Stewardship in CB? (1) In the local Assemblies of NCAY, the Law of Tithing and the Freewill Offering obtain. Of the 10% tithe, (a) one third is used to support the work of the local ministry (which is itself divided into three parts for the support of the poor, evangelism and the ministry); (b) one third is used to assist the poor; and (c) one third is saved by each family for the autumn/fall and other annual feasts. Any surplass, free-will offerings, etc., is distributed as the Ruach (Spirit) moves the individual. (2) In the 12 Firstborn Colonies, the Law of All Things in Common, as practiced by the first Jerusalem Assembly in the Book of Acts, is observed. All property and wealth is jointly owned by the community. Anyone leaving the community is entitled to take the equivalent in value and kind of what he brought in with him.
Is the CB Torah-observant? Yes, we observe all the Torah save the ceremonial and Levitical aspects and that which Yah'shua (Jesus) and the Apostles have abolished or modified. We are Sabbatarian, observe the Seven Festivals of Israel, and follow the Hebrew dietary laws. We believe that a sign of one who is saved is that he is walking in the commandments of Yahweh.
Is the CB Sacred-Name observant? Yes. We worship our Heavenly Father, Yahweh-Elohim through His Son Yah'shua (Aramaic, Yeshua; Greek, Jesus). We utterly reject the blasphemous corruption "Jehovah". But we are not so dogamtic, fanatical and legalistic as those who believe that the words "God", "Lord", or "Jesus" are 'pagan' or 'demonic' so long it is clear who is being referred to. The use of Yahweh and Yah'shua is strongly encouraged in the local colonies of NCAY and is the general rule in the CB.
Does the CB practice circumcision? No, the outward covenant of circumcision of males has been replaced by water baptism (immersion) and other New Covenant ordinances. Circumcision is permissible but is of no spiritual or religious value. As citizenship in New Covenant Israel is one of conversion and consent, and therefore implies that one be old enough to make an intelligent choice for Messiah, circumcision (which under the Old Covenants was administered to 8 day-old infants by force), would have no meaning and be little better than the false doctrine of infant baptism which is the rule in Catholic and many of the older Protestant churches.
Is the CB Messianic Jewish? No, it is not. It is Messianic Israelite. It does not recognise Talmudic Judaism in any of its forms which it considers antichrist. We do not recognise the Jewish community as being the descendants of Abraham, save for about 8 per cent, principally the Western Sephardic Jews, who are of mixed lineage.
Do you support the Two Houses Movement? We are in broad agreement with this movement, which teaches that Yahweh's people are to be found in two principle houses, namely "Judah" and "Ephraim", and that these two houses are currently being reunited as prophesied. The CB is a member of the Messianic Israel Alliance (MIA), the only organisation to which we belong.
What is Messianic Israelite? A Messianic Israelite is a person who believes in the restoration of the original Hebraic roots of the early Messianic Community or Christian Church. It is neither Messianic Jewish nor Evangelical Protestant though shares elements of both. We are therefore known colloquially as 'Messianic Evangelicals'.
What is the CB's view of Replacement Theology? This doctrine, which originated in Rome and was co-opted by Protestantism, teaches that the "Church" has replaced Israel and received her blessings, her cursings being transferred to the 'Jews', and is regarded by us as a pernicious heresy.
Does the CB support Zionism and the State of Israel? No. We do not support either though we believe the establishment of a Jewish State in 1947 is a part of a process which will eventually unfold into a true Messianic Israelite Theocracy in the Millennium with world headquarters in Jerusalem. We are as opposed to the Khazar-Jewish conspiracy for world dominion as we are to the equivalent fundamentalist Moslem aims of conquest (Jihad) by terrorism. Whilst we do not support the migration of Khazar-Jews to the Republic of Israel we support the return of all true descendants of Abraham which we believe Yahweh is supernaturally orchestrating. We would regard born-again "Palestinian" Arabs who are Torah-observant as equally legitimate inheritors of the land.
Does the CB support the formation of a Palestinian State? The CB is apolitical, believing that the Kingdom of Heaven is not of this world system and will not become visible until the return of Messiah whence an Israelite Theocracy will be restored in the Holy Land, replacing both the present secular Republic of Israel and any Palestinian entity which may then exist. Members of the CB do not participate in worldly politics and therefore are neither nationalistic nor politically biased.
What is the CB's attitude to smoking, alcohol, and related issues? The smoking of tobacco is regarded as a pollution of the body which is the Temple of the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) and is not permitted of any full member of either the CB or NCAY. It is regarded by us in the same light as any narcotic drug which would remove human volition and the ability to discern the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit). The consumption of alcohol is likewise not permitted of CB members or full members of NCAY on the grounds that Cohenim (Priests) ministering in the Temple under the Old Covenant were likewise banned. As all believers are Cohenim (Priests) and as the New Covenant temple is the Body of the flesh, it follows that alcohol consumption does not belong to Yahweh's Assembly.
Does the CB accept the Traditional Creeds? The only 'traditional' creed acknowledged by us is the so-called "Apostles Creed". The Nicean and Athanasian creeds, amongst others, are regarded as extra-biblical speculations of no saving value.
Is the CB Trinitarian? The CB has no final, absolute Godhead dogma or doctrine though it has temporarily co-opted the term "proto-trinitarian" for convenience though we may well drop this designation in the future. We believe that Elohim (God) is echad (one) in the sense expressed by Yah'shua (Jesus) in the High Priestly prayer in the Gospel of Yochanan (John). We believe that Yah'shua (Jesus) is fully Elohim (God) but in eternal subjection to the Father as His Son, and that both are called Yahweh and are thus the Greater and Lesser Yahwehs, respectively. The incarnation and physical resurrection of Messiah is the central tennet of the faith. The CB is not Arian (which regards Yah'shua/Jesus as a lesser "god") or Unitarian (which regards Elohim/God as a single Person alternating rôles).
What is CB's Teaching on the Holy Spirit? We believe, in harmony with every reference in the Hebrew Tanakh (Old Testament) and the Hebrew/Aramaic New Testament that the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) is female and consists of seven Persons which are together echad (one). She is known in the Hebrew as Hochmah and in the Greek as Sophia (Wisdom) and is described as a special creation of Yahweh, paralleled by the creation of Eve from Adam. The CB therefore believes that the Elohimhead (Godhead) is One (God, Elohim), Three (Father, Son, Holy Spirit), and Nine (Father, Son, 7-fold Holy Spirit).
Does the CB believe in the doctrine called Soul-sleeping? In the universal sense, no. We believe that the spirit is fully conscious after death though there may be said to be different degrees of consciousness proportionate to the sanctification of that individual. It is possible that some may be fully asleep. We do not believe that the soul ceases to exist at death to remain only in the 'mind' or memory of Yahweh, to be recreated at the resurrection. We do not believe that the spirit is independently eternal but only as it posesses the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit), to whatever degree, which ultimately determines its resurrection state or glory.
Does the CB believe the Bible to be infallible? The original Hebrew/Aramaic autographs, yes. We do not believe that the several Greek translations of the New Testament are infallible.
Which Bible translation does the CB use? There is no one preferred translation and a combination are used in our Order but one of the currently favoured ones is the Hebraic-Roots Version (HRV). We also approve sound Protestant translations like the ESV and NRSV.
What is your view of the King James Version-Only position? We regard this as a foolish and cultic mentality foisted by those too lazy to probe the original Hebrew texts and often motivated by the wish to perpetuate certain doctrinal errors. The KJV translators never pretended to such claims as those of the KJV-onlyers and counselled, as do we, that a multiplicity of translations is desirable. We do not believe that a 100 per cent perfect, error-free translation is ever possible in English or any other non-receptor tongue.
Does the CB accept other scriptures apart from the Bible? The Protestant canon of the Holy Bible is the primary scripture of the Order to which all other writings, teachings, doctrine and opinons are expected to unconditionally conform. This is the only book of scripture which lay members of NCAY are required to accept as divinely inspired, and is the final authority in both the CB and NCAY. The Priesthood Orders of the CB also use a secondary collection of scriptures for their guidance, in addition to the Bible, which consists of some of the missing books of the Bible (e.g. some of the epistles of the post-apostolic fathers (e.g. Clement, Polycarp), some of the Apocrypha (e.g. Wisdom of Solomon, Ecclesiasticus), and the Olive Branch (a collection of visions, prophecies and revelations received by the Patriarchate and others).
What are the CB's teachings on marriage? That marriage is enjoined upon all, and that a man may marry one or more women, with their free consent, so long as it is not to excess or beyond his means to take care of them. Unless a special dispensation has been received from the Apostolate, all Priesthood officers, from Apostles to Deacons, must be married and faithful to their spouses and show proper order, love and discipline at home. Only sub-Deacons and sub-Deaconesses (in training for the Deaconate) may be unmarried.
What are the CB's views of divorce? Very strict. Within the CB itself, divorce is only permitted (a) in the case of the betrothed wife committing adultery, and (b) if one of the spouses completely denies the faith (by, for example, becoming an atheist, Moslem, Hindu, etc. or who lives it only nominally and is showing his antichristness though violent abuse, etc.).
What does the CB believe about abortion and contraceptives? We consider 'abortion' to be murder of the unborn child. Gratuitous abortions of convenience are therefore forbidden of members. Abortion of a child where the mother's life is in danger is left as a matter of personal conscience and the decision of the husband and wife. Rape is not considered grounds for abortion and children born thus are recommended for adoption if the mother feels unable to take care of the child.
What does the CB think of homosexuality and bisexuality? Practicing homosexuals and lesbians cannot inherit the Kingdom of Elohim (God), their acts being considered an abomination by Yahweh. Homosexuality can be cured and is regarded by us as a spiritual illness often mediated by demons. Transsexual operations are considered wrong by the same token.
What is the CB's view of feminism? Feminism, though often provoked by unrighteous patriarchy, is nevertheless antithetical to Yahweh's Order and demonic in origin and practice.
What are the steps to membership in the CB? The path to membership in the CB includes Water-baptism (full immersion) upon a genuine heart-confession of Yah'shua as the Messiah (often preceeded by a catechumenical period to ensure the Apostles' Creed is understood and accepted), an average of a year's (less if the applicant is mature) discipling leading to Chrism (Confirmation, Bar/Bat Mitzvah), followed by participation in the symbolic Master's Supper (the annual Passover rite as well as a weekly Sabbath communion). Access to the Master's supper is permitted only after the required standards of holiness have been met. Communicants may then apply to be sub-Deacons and sub-Deaconesses (which is the goal of all members) and follow their specific call within the Body. Once ordained a Deacon (or Deaconess), the ordinand is a member of the CB with the rights and privileges pertaining to his or her office. Progression to the Eldership will depend (a) on the person's call (not all are called to be Elders, but all, we contend, are called to be Deacons), and (b) their level of purity and holiness. Admission to the Johannine Communion, which is available only in the CB, is by invitation of the Apostolate after revelation has been received permitting its administration.
How does one join a CB Firstborn Community? By recommendation from the member's local Pastorate in NCAY and/or by special invitation by a particular CB Community. The first stage of admission is into a Proto-Firstborn Community, where NCAY members can learn to live together and prepare themselves for admission to the twelve end-time cities of refuge. Where there are no local NCAY congregations, applicants may on occasion be admitted directly into a proto-firstborn community.
Does the FB build churches or temples? NCAY has almost no church buildings as it is principally a house fellowship. Where house churches are impractical, larger structures may, on occasion, be used. FB proto- and firstborn colonies will, as a rule, have its own meetinghouse though such is not necessary. All have a single temple room or building where sacred convocations are held, ordinances are administered (e.g. Priesthood ordination, marriage), and covenants entered into.
What kind of instructional courses are available in the CB? These are many and varied. Spiritual education is systematic to ensure proper discipling. There are courses at every stage of discipleship in both NCAY and the CB. Once these have been completed (and reviewed on a regular basis) local NCAY and CB firstborn assemblies are free to pursue their own courses of study to meet their local needs.
What does the CB teach about secular music? The CB rejects almost all forms of modern music and every form of rock, whether secular or masquerading as Christian. Though a small amount of modern Christian/Messianic music is used in both NCAY and the CB, most of it is classical hymnody. The standards set by the CB are strict because of the spiritual and often demonising impact of the wrong kinds of music.
Does the CB claim any kind of exclusive authority to represent the Messiah? No, not at all. The CB recognises that Yahweh is working through many different people and Christian/Messianic organisations to differing degrees. The only claim that the CB makes is that is has a special calling to establish twelve international cities of refuge to pass through the tribulation and to form the nucleus of the Millennial Government when Christ returns. It absolutely does not consider itself to be the "one and only true" organisation, church or assembly, nor to be the sole dispensers of salvation, but a part of the wider Body of Messiah.
Does the CB believe in the pre-tribulation rapture? No, nor in any other 'rapture' (which is not a biblical word), but in the qodeshim (saints, set-apart ones) briefly rising into the air to meet the returning messiah, simultaneously returning back to the earth with Him to establish the Millennial Kingdom.
Does the CB believe in an eternal hell? We believe that hell is both an inner condition as well as a literal place located under the earth. Whether it is 'eternal' in the sense of being never-ending, or whether it only lasts for a certain duration of time (Age-long), is not a doctrine that we have made a final pronouncement on and members are free to hold their own views on this matter. The current concensus is that it is aeonian or age-long, not eternal in the classical Roman sense.
What is the CB's view of demons? That thay are real and a very real presence everywhere, even in the lives of believers. The CB and NCAY are strongly committed to deliverance ministry and all new members are expected to go through one or more Pastoral interviews, and deliverance if required. Demons are treated seriously and especially so in the final act of this dispensation.
Must believers entering the CB be rebaptised? If they have been properly immersed into Messiah, having made the proper confession and received the new birth, they are required to be baptised into the Covenant but not rebaptised into Messiah. Baptism for a converted unbeliever coming directly into NCAY is therefore dual.
Does the CB teach salvation by works or by grace? By grace (Yahweh's undeserved favour), with works (actions, deeds) as the natural response to, and evidence of, salvation by grace. Those who are not spontaneously obedient to Torah we would consider to be evidencing an incomplete salvation and in need of more grace. A man cannot be made right with Yahweh by works but by faith in the blood of Messiah which leads to obedience to the mitzvot (commandments).
Does the CB believe that speaking in tongues and the baptism of fire are the same? No. Tongues is one of the several gifts of the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) given to believers as Yahweh chooses. The evidence that a man or woman has been boirn again or baptised in fire is that they are evidencing the Christian graces of love, long-suffering, forgiveness, patience, kindness, gentleness, obedience to the Word, etc..
Does the CB accept the tongue-speaking found in the charismatic churches? No, we regard these as either being worthless, soulish disjointed infantile speech or, in some cases (and increasingly so today), demonic. The only tongue-speaking that we accept is the supernatural ability, conferred as a gift of the Ruach (Spirit), to speak in foreign languages that the recipient is not familiar with for the purpose of communicating the Gospel to unbelievers
Does the CB accpt the gifts of prophecy and seership? Absolutely, though not unconditionally. To be considered bona fide they must be tested against the Word (if they have doctrinal content) and by other believers. Every purported revelation, vision or prophecy must be tested.
Does the CB believe in the gift of healing? Yes, as Yahweh wills healing and according to the faith of those petitioning or receiving prayers and blessings for healing.
We shall be adding to this section in response to your questions. The selection of topics is purely that of the author and in no way claims to be an exhaustive coverage of CB beliefs and practices. For further information, go to the homepage of the Chavurat Bekorot
First created on 24 October 2001
Last updated on 4 March 2017
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