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    An Introduction to the
    Chavurat Bekorot

    This is a short introduction to the Chavurat Bekorot for members of the New Covenant Assemblies of Yahweh (NCAY) who are seeking the fullness of the everlasting Besorah (Gospel). The term 'Chavurat Bekorot' is Hebrew and literally means the 'Fellowship of the Firstborn'. It is the name given to the Assembly of the Firstborn in this dispensation.

    The Chavurat Bekorot and the local Branches of the New Covenant Assemblies of Yahweh (NCAY) are two separate though interconnected organisations and come under the governments of the Patriarchal and Enochian Orders, respectively [1]. They are connected together through the Temple Schools which are operated by the Holy Order in the local Assemblies.

    Membership in the Chavurat Bekorot is not automatically open to members of NCAY [2] but is conditional upon the faithfulness of those serving in it.

    The Chavurat Bekorot has two functions relative to the local Assemblies:

    • 1. It is responsible for the selection and training of officers (male and female) in the Priesthood which it accomplishes through the Temple Schools located in the local Assemblies themselves;
    • 2. It is responsible for the selection, training and gathering of families to Firstborn Communities which are administered by the Holy Order separately from the local Assemblies.

    All Priesthood officers (Deacons, Elders and Patriarchs) are members of the invisible (spiritual) Chavurat Bekorot. The Chavurat Bekorot is the Priesthood organisation and, as such, is therefore the goal of all the members who are called to be a Royal Priesthood in Messiah (1 Pet.2:9). Only those who are actually members of Firstborn Communities are members of the visible Chavurat Bekorot. The essense of the Holy Order is spiritual.

    There are (when fully organised) a total of 12 Firstborn Colonies located around the world which form twelve geographic centres for the local Assemblies. One apostle presides over each Firstborn Colony and is the local apostle for all the local Assemblies in the area. In adition to evangelism, he also coordinates the training and weighing of all local Branch priesthood officers through the Metropolitan Pastorates (local Bishoprics) and other officers.

    How am I called?

    The visible gate into the NCAY (local Branches) is water-baptism. Those to whom the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) bears witness that Yah'shua (Jesus) is the Messiah (Christ), the Son of Elohim (God), having repented of their sins and are born again, are called into His Covenant Community (Church). Entrance as a full member of NCAY takes place in three steps through three ordinances:

    The last two normally take place at around the same time with a Catechumenical ('Investigator') Membership period preceeding baptism during which a through acquaintance is made with the fundamental doctrines of the emunah (faith).

    Every year in the autumn just before Yom haKippurim of the Day of Atonements, each Priesthood member of NCAY (Deacons/Deaconesses, Elders/Eldresses and Patriarchs/Matriarchs) is weighed by his (or her) [4] Council President, Pastor, Bishop, or local Apostle in an interview as to his/her stewardship, faithfulness, worthiness and understanding of the Besorah (Gospel) in Messiah.

    It is the responsibility of the local apostle to call new pastors or renew/terminate the annual licences of serving ones, and the responsibility of Pastorates to call new Elders/Eldresses and Deacon/Deaconesses, or to renew/terminate the licences of existing ones.

    Brief written annual reports are made by the apostles concerning pastors to the Patriarchate and by Pastorates concerning Elders/Eldresses and Deacons/Deaconesses which are then forwarded to the Patriarchate of the Holy Order. The local Apostle has the responsibility to then go to Yahweh for revelation so that he may know who may be called into the Chavurat Bekorot (for either Priesthood service in the local Branches or for membership in a Firstborn Community). If revelation is received, the Presiding Patriarch will send him a letter calling him to a temple session in a Firstborn Colony (if he is seeking membership therein) or he will be called by his Bishop or local Apostle to a Branch Temple session for a priesthood session.

    When will I be Called?

    No member of NCAY is called into the Chavurat Bekorot until he has been a fully participating and faithful member for a miniumum of one year. (It may take many years before admission is granted). He must show evidence that he has been born-again and is:

    • 1. Totally committed to the Master Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) by his behaviour, service and deeds; and
    • 2. Totally committed to the work of this ministry by the same token.

    Must I be a full Member of NCAY?

    Yes, you must be baptised, confirmed, and be a regular communicant before you can enter into the Chavurat Bekorot. This means in practice that you must be at least 12 years old, which is the youngest age that a member of NCAY can be confirmed and partake of the sacrament of the Master's (Lord's) Supper. Only in exceptional cases, and by revelation received through those in authority, may a child be called before the age of 12.

    Where is the Chavurat Bekorot?

    On the visible plane, the Chavurat Bekorot is physically a collection of twelve firstborn communities on the earth where those who have been true and faithful to Messiah are gathered and live together. The heart of the Chavurat Bekorot is the Temple and is governed by the Patriarchal Order. There is a Temple in the centre of each community. Each community is the centre of up to twelve Central Bishoprics known as Metropoles or Mother Colonies and is located away from urban areas in the countryside to which all faithful and committed NCAY members will gather during the last seven years of this dispensation known as the Great Tribulation. Here they will be protected until called to relocate to the Holy Land (the Second/Last Exodus) when the Messiah physically returns.

    But the Chavurat Bekorot is may also be physically found where members of NCAY live. Special rooms in the houses of the qadoshim (saints, set-apart ones) may be temporarily consecrated as temple meeting places unless the local Assembly has its own building and temple room. Each Mission, local Assembly and Metropole (depending on their size) will have Temple Presidents who are usually the Pastors or Bishops (though other Elders may be appointed by the Presiding Patriarch if the Pastorate are overburdened) whose responsibility it is to teach and administer temple covenants. These officers are called, or have their callings renewed, each year, just before Yom haKippurim.

    The purpose of this is to maintain a qadosh (holy, set-apart) and consecrated Priesthood before Yahweh our God.

    What Happens in the Temple?

    The Temple is used for: (1) Worship (prayer, song and dance), (2) Spiritual education/instruction, (3) Administering Priesthood Covenants, (4) Fellowship, and (5) Administering sacred Ordinances (e.g. marriage, priesthood ordination). Unlike NCAY which is a public organisation, the Chavurat Bekorot is not, and a condition of membership is that the temple is not discussed openly with outsiders either in the world or in NCAY. This is required of the Priesthood in order to teach them the discipline that is required of their ministry. The lectures and covenants are not secret, however, and are being made available in printed format and on the internet for anyone who cares to read them.

    Temple worshippers are dressed in long white robes throughout the sessions. Most of the sessions are occupied with spiritual education which consist of lectures on theology. Covenants are also administered for the several Priesthood Degrees in which a candidate faithfully promises to fulfil his calling in a particular priesthood grade in NCAY. Thus, for example, a Deacon will covenant to teach the law of temporalities and take care of the physical needs of the qodeshim (saints, set-apart ones) in local Assembly as well as at home.

    The Temple also administers sacred ordinances. These include foot-washing, special blessings for the sick, and what are called zebedim or spiritual endowments (gifts). The zebedim (endowments), of which there is one for every degree, is a ritual or a spiritual exercise in which sacred keys are hidden. These are usually very simple such as the raising of the right hand when covenants are made.

    What is the Purpose of the Chavurat Bekorot?

    The purpose of the Chavurat Bekorot is to teach the qadoshim (saints, set-apart ones) to be good talmidim (disciples) of the Master Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ), to become better fathers and mothers, better husbands and wives, better brothers and sisters, and better servants to the community in general. Through ahavah (love), emunah (faith), sacrifice, obedience and self-discipline, the Chavurat Bekorot enables members of NCAY to draw closer to Elohim (God) and to each other. It is, essentially, just NCAY on a deeper level of committment. It is therefore reserved for those who are dedicated to Yah'shua (Jesus) 100 per cent and are willing to follow Him in all things.

    How Should I Prepare for the Chavurat Bekorot?

    Talmidim (disciples) know that they should be ready for the Master's return as though it were going to happen tomorrow. This is especially true of the Chavurat Bekorot which may call someone from NCAY without prior warning in much the same way the Bridegroom unexpectedly collects his brtrothed Bride for their wedding. If you are called to a Temple session and choose not to come (which you may do so freely and without any kind of recrimination), you will not be called again for another year.

    If you have been born-again in Messiah and are walking in His salvation, you will be bringing forth the fruits of salvation, which includes striving to be obedient to all the mitzvot (commandments) in Torah. This is the most that you can do. It is the responsibility of local Assembly and Mission officers in NCAY to watch over the flock who they will constantly be in touch to help you and guide you in your discipleship. Through active participation in your local Branch and being a good Ruach/Spirit-led witness in the world you will be doing all you can to prepare for the Chavurat Bekorot.

    What are the Degrees of the Chavurat Bekorot?

    There are many degrees in the Chavurat Bekorot corresponding to each priesthood office with associated covenants. There are three basic degrees called Tabal, Qum and Dabar which contain all the rest:

      1. Tabal (4 degrees of the Zadokian Order)

        a. Stewards
        b. Sub-Administrators

          i. Council Clerks
          ii. Council Treasurers
          iii. Council Secretaries

        c. Teacher-Deacons

          i. Taphim (Children) Teachers
          ii. Alumim (Youth) Teachers

        d. Pastoral Assistants

      2. Qum (7 degrees of the Enochian Order)

        a. Administrators

          i. Branch & Metropolitan Clerks
          ii. Branch & Metropolitan Treasurers
          iii. Branch & Metropolitan Secretaries

        b. Teacher-Zaqqenim/Elders

          i. School of Catechumens Teacher-Elders
          ii. School of Israel Teacher-Elders
          iii. Priesthood Order School of Teacher-Elders

        c. Missioners

          i. Local Branch Missioners
          ii. Metropolitan Missioners
          iii. International Missioners

        d. Local Pastors & Pastresses
        e. Bishops (Metropolitan Pastors)
        f. Evangelists (Sub-Apostles)
        g. Apostles

      3. Dabar (12 degrees of the Patriarchal Order)

        a. Taleh
        b. Abbir
        c. Thaumim
        d. Chazaq
        e. Ari
        f. Bethulah
        g. Harel
        h. Nesher
        i. Channun
        j. Gedi
        k. Dali
        l. Dagim

    At What Degree Does One Start?

    That will in part depend on your age and spiritual maturity. The temple is only open to Priesthood. But in addition to the three main categories or degrees described above there is also a degree for keen spiritually-minded children (with parental permission) in which they are taught the 10 Commandments and an orientation degree for adults called Pethach which all aspirant members of the Holy Order pass through. There is also a degree for the Sub-Deacons (trainee Deacons and Deaconesses).

    The Chavurat Bekorot is a great leveller, meaning that everyone passes through the same basic degrees even though they may have different callings (and therefore covenants) within those degrees.

    Each degree of the Chavurat Bekorot corresponds to a different degree of sanctification in Messiah. Each Neophyte/Catechumen (convert) begins at the first degree of Tabal which corresponds to the ordinance of baptism in NCAY. Here he will covenant to seek after Messiah with all his heart and to always be in a repentant spirit.

    Are The Covenants Revealed Beforehand?

    Originally, in the early days (1988-96), no, because the mission of that body was to gather in the foundational leadership of the present Chavurat Bekorot. Today the covenants are available for everyone to read beforehand so that candidates can have the chance to pray and weigh their options before making a committment.

    The neophyte (new temple candidate) must, in any case, come in an attitude of emunah (faith), tiqveh (hope), and ahavahlove, for even though he may be aware of the covenants beforehand (and what is expected of him), the reality of those committments are not always easy to apprehend before the event, as is true of discipleship generally. He does, however, have several opportunities during a temple session to leave if he feels he is unprepared or does not want to enter into specific covenants. There is never any compulsion.

    What Happens If the Covenants are Broken?

    This depends on the nature of the Covenants. In principle we may say that if a covenant is broken without immediate repentance (which is the covenant of Tabal) that the candidate is disqualified from returning to the Temple again until the proper repentance is made. Since each zebed (endowment) is usually only performed a very few times a year it means that he will have to wait until the following year, assuming he has repented.

    One cardinal rule of the Temple is that each candidate be totally honest. If you deliberately tell a lie in the Temple you are expelled from it and may possibly never enter the Chavurat Bekorot again.

    How Many Times does one go through a Degree?

    Again, this depends on the degree. The part of the degree of Qum entails a communal covenant as a foreshadowing of the covenants of the Holy Order. If one member breaks his covenant and does not repent then the whole communal covenant is rent asunder, unless that person is expelled and the covenant renewed. (The story of Achan is an illustration of how this works), This means that the whole congregation must take the covenants again. They can either wait until the next session of that degree or receive a special dispensation from the Presiding Patriarchate to enter them again. Also if a new member is called into that degree it is necessary for the whole congregation to go through that communal covenant again. Otherwise it is not necessary to repeat the covenant and any testing of the peoples' faithfulness to, say, the Qum covenant, will be carried out in the next degree, which is Dabar. By this we understand how seriously NCAY views Priesthood ministry and in this particular case, that of the Eldership.

    Communal covenants for the whole Messianic Evangelical Community are also taken and this is typically a feature during the annual General Conference at Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles).

    Which are the Most Important Temple Degrees?

    Whatever degree you happen to be labouring in at any one time. No one degree is more 'important' than another though the deeper the covenant, the more serious the consequences for a breach thereof, as in any position of responsibility requiring accountability whether in NCAY or in secular leadership.

    Are There any other Temple Degrees?

    No, only the ones listed here, though within the Patriarchal Order there are subdivisions of the 12 listed. But the Temple is also used for purposes other than for the main zebedim (endowments). There are (at present) three principal ones:

    • (1) The House of Oracles
    • (2) Marriage Covenants (of which there are 15 different degrees)
    • (3) Special Convocations

    The House of Oracles

    The House of Oracles is an informal worship and discussion meeting and is open to any Priesthood officer, male or female, seeking to draw closer to Elohim (God) in a temple environment. Any worthy priesthood member of NCAY may request this of the Temple Presidents if they feel there is a special need. These sessions are either conducted in small groups or on a one-to-one basis with a Temple President. There are no ordinances or covenants of any kind in these though candidates are tested before they enter to ensure they are pure and will not defile the Temple.

    Marriage Covenants

    There are 15 different Marriage Covenants that married, or unmarried, couples can enter in, each covenant being deeper and more binding than the one preceding it. Thus people in NCAY are often married several times (to the same partner, of course!), each mariage covenant building upon the previous one. There may be said to be five types of marriage covenant:

    • 1. Marriage of the World (not performed by NCAY -- for unbelievers)
    • 2. Lechenah or Non-Priesthood Degree (not performed by the Chavurat Bekorot but by NCAY) (1 degree)
    • 3. Pilegesh or Zadokian Order Degree (2 degrees)
    • 4. Ishshah or Enochian Order Degree (3 degrees)
    • 5. Shegal or Patriarchal Order Degree (8 degrees)

    The marriage covenant a couple are entitled to enter into is determined by the degree they have entered into in the zebedim (endowments). The nature of the degree entered into determines if they are eternal marriages or just 'marriages for life' ('until death do us part').

    Special Convocations

    Special Convocations are held if important announcements need to be made concerning life in the Chavurat Bekorot. For example, if a new community is going to be organised, so as to make the necessary organisational arrangements. Temple Presidents for each biblical New Year (beginning on Aviv 1) are often ordained at these times. This is also the time NCAY celebrates the Birth of Messiah.

    Other Uses

    Finally, temples may be used in which to translate sacred scriptures, commune with the heavenly Assembly of the Firstborn or for whatever other purpose Yahweh should see fit to use them for. Temples are places that malakim (angels) visit and, from time-to-time, the Master Himself. They are sacred places where heaven and earth meet.

    The Chavurat Bekorot Calendar

    The Chavurat Bekorot calendar runs in four cycles:

    • (1) The Pre-Priesthood
    • (2) The Zadokian
    • (3) The Enochian
    • (4) The Patriarchal

    The cycles vary depending on which temple is being used. If it is a temple meeting room in a local Assembly then only the first three cycles operate. If it is a firstborn temple all four function but with the emphasis on the fourth.

    Every degree in each Cycle is carried out in the Temple at least once a year, usually in specific months, depending on the need and numbers. Thus each candidate should check to see which month his degree is currently being carried out and prepare himself should a call be received from the Chavurat Bekorot. The call will give the name of the candidate, the degree he is being called to attend, and the date, time, and venue of the temple session. If he requires further clarification he should speak to his local Temple Presidents.


    [1] Or, in other words, the Apostles and Elders, respectively
    [2] The local Assemblies throughout the world
    [3] Your Pastors will explain what these mean to you if you have not already been instructed.
    [4] "His" shall be used here to represent both male and female.

    Historical Endnotes
    A. 18 October 2007

    This system was first simplified and then discontinued in 1997 once the lectures became available online and could be accessed without the need for travelling long distances to special meeting places.

    B. 3 March 2017

    For the past 10 years, the Chavurat Bekorot has devoted nearly all of its efforts towards instruction with local Branches or congregations of NCAY in Africa, Asia and elsewhere essentially managing their own priesthood affairs, with the exception of the annual appointment or confirmation of Pastors which remains under the purview of the Patriarchate. Most Chavurat Bekorot activity has therefore been confined to the central NCAY congregation of MLT in Sweden where it will remain pending the expansion of CB activity as the final gathering gets underway.

    First created on 8 July 1998
    Last updated on 3 March 2017

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