Government of the Holy Order
NCW 17, March 1995
Second (2017) Edition
Q. How is the Holy Order governed, and what influence does it have on the local assemblies?
The Holy Order (Chavurat Bekorot) is essentially a microcosm of the old Israelite Confederacy, which will be the order of government in the Millennium. The Holy Order is patriarchal, meaning that it is governed by family heads. Each husband and wife is a patriarch and matriarch of his and her own family with the husband presiding over the wife.
A new family entering the Holy Order will place itself under the authority of another patriarchal family until the father is sufficienly mature in the Besorah (Gospel) to stand as an independent patriarchal head himself. He becomes, as it were, an 'apprentice patriarch'. This is also true of the women, who become 'apprentice matriarchs'. The patriarch and matriarch over him and his wife become, as it were, spiritual fathers and mothers, with the spiritual father presiding.
Patriarchal/matriarchal apprenticeship usually lasts until candidates have fulfilled various spiritual requirements. As a rule, it does not end before 30 years of age (the age candidates may be ordained to priesthood), and in practice often much later (around 40). Exceptionally stable and spiritually mature men and women may become patriarchs and matriarchs in their own right much earlier. Age is not a guarantor of special privileges in the Order.
The twelve colonies of the Holy Order represent the twelve tribes of Israel and have their own inheritance rights. Intermarriage can, and does, of course, occur between them.
The whole Holy Order is governed by a Patriarchate consisting of twelve patriarchs of the twelve colonies who are the twelve princes of Messianic Israel. Presiding over these Twelve is the Prince of Ephraim-Joseph. Each colony also has its own Patriarchate, consisting of twelve patriarchs too. Each of these, in turn, are presided over by a presiding patriarch, the prince of that particular tribe. There are, additionally, matriarchs in the twelve colonies who serve alongside the patriarchs. Patriarchs and matriarchs have different callings -- some are teachers, spiritual counsellors, administrators, apostles, revelators, judges, etc.. A patriarch or matriarch may have one or many callings. All are regarded as equal in authority, with the Presiding Patriarch having the final word over corporate decisions. The ideal of 100 per cent unanimity is always striven for.
Patriarchs and matriarchs have, in addition to their own unique callings, complimentary or overlapping areas of responsibility. In areas of common responsibility they work together. Matriarchs are always ultimately presided over by their own husbands though the matriarchs as a body are collectively presided over by a Presiding Matriarch for their corporate functions. Matriarchs therefore serve alongside patriarchs in a firstborn colony.
The principle function of the Holy Order is to teach and nurture holiness (set-apartness) to Yahweh through Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ). Its motto is Qadosh laYahweh or Set Apart to Yahweh (Holiness to the Lord). As far as the local assemblies of NCAY are concerned, the Order's function is to train up godly men and women for leadership (priesthood) positions, ensuring that they are mature in the Besorah (Gospel), not recent converts (in the case of pastors), and living blameless lives. The calling of pastors is the responsibility of the patriarch-apostles, who are then presented for the democratic approval of the congregations. Beyond that the Holy Order has no influence on local affairs and individual congregations (Branches and Missions) of NCAY govern themselves in accordance with NCAY's Constitution. The Pastorate serves as the Local Branch (or Mission) Patriarchate and have the special responsibility of presiding over each local assembly and directly respresenting the Holy Order. They are a back-up to the local Patriarch-apostle when needed.
The Holy Order therefore is seen to have two functions as far as the local assemblies are concerned:
In some respects, therefore, it is rather like the Upper House of many parliamentary democracies -- for example, the House of Lords in the British Parliament or the Bundesrat in the German, though organised along theocratic lines.
- (1) To cultivate holiness in the leadership, and
- (2) To maintain order in the congregations.
This page was created on 2 May 1998
Last updated on 4 March 2017
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