The following is a collection of questions about the Chavurat Bekorot (CB), of which HEM is an integral part, for quick and easy reference which people coming to FICP have commonly asked me.
1. What is the Chavurat Bekorot? The CB, which in the Hebrew translates, 'Assembly of the Firstborn', is an Apostolic Order of New Covenant Priests which has as its dual function (a) the calling, discipling of the Royal Priesthood of Israel for service in the local congregations of the New Covenant Assemblies of Yahweh (NCAY); 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. What are the Three Priesthood Orders of the Charurat 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 is our Cohen Gadol (High Priest).
5. 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.
6. What is the rôle of women within the Chavurat Bekorot? Women are a 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.
7. 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 Kippur (the Day of Atonement) to determine his (or her) worthiness to serve for another year.
8. 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.
9. What is the Law of Financial Stewardship in CB?
Any surplass, free-will offerings, etc., is used or distributed as the Spirit moves the individual.
(1) In the local Assemblies of NCAY, the Law of Tithing and the Freewill Offering obtain. Of the 10% tithe:
- (a) One third is paid for the support of the local ministry;
- (b) One third is used to help and bless the poor; and
- (c) One third is saved by each family for the autumn/fall and other annual feasts.
(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.
10. 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 Nine Festivals of Israel, and follow the Hebrew dietary laws. We believe that a sign of one who is saved is that he striving to walk in obedience in the commandments and lifestyle generally of Yahweh.
11. Is the CB Sacred-Name observant? Yes. We worship our Heavenly Father, Yahweh-Elohim through His Son Yah'shua (Aramaic, Yeshua; Greek, Yesous). 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 expected in the local assemblies of NCAY and is the general rule in the CB.
12. Does the CD 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 one old enough to make an intelligent choice for Christ, 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.
13. Is the CB Messianic Jewish? No, it is not. It is Messianic-Evangelical 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 a small minority of about 10 per cent, principally the Western Sephardic Jews, who are themselves of mixed lineage.
14. 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. NCAY is a former member of the Messianic Israel Alliance (MIA).
15. What is Messianic Israelite? A Messianic Israelite is a person who believes in the restoration of the original Hebraic roots of the early Christian Church or Community. It is neither Messianic Jewish nor Evangelical Protestant though shares elements of both. For this reason we also also called Messianic-Evangelical.
16. 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 grave error because it fosters an anti-Torah attitude.
17. 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 may contribute in some small measure to to 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 world conquest (jihad) by terrorism and the sword. We do not support the migration of Khazar-Jews to the Republic of Israel as this is not the time of the Final Gathering of the Twelve Tribes of Israel to the Promised land which Scripture declares will be accompanied by even greater miracles than the First Exodus. We would regard born-again, Torah-obedient 'Palestinian' Arabs who are properly grafted into Messianic Israel as being equally legitimate future inheritors of the land along with born-again, Torah-obedient Jews.
18. 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 in this dispensation until the return of Messiah whence a New Covenant 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 inclined.
19. 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 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 Holy Spirit. The consumption of alcohol is likewise not permitted by members of CB and full members of NCAY on the grounds that Priests ministering in the Temple under the Old Covenant were likewise banned. As all believers are Priests-in-the-making and as the New Covenant temple is the Body of the flesh, it follows that alcohol consumption does not belong to Yahweh's Assembly.
20. 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 that violate the Sola Scripture rules of those who try to impose it on their converts.
21. Is the CB Trinitarian? The CB has no final, absolute Godhead dogma or doctrine though it has a minimum 'proto-trinitarian' doctrine as well as a fuller Echad doctrine that we are still seeking to completely understand. We believe that Elohim (God) is echad (one) in the sense expressed by Yah'shua in the High Priestly prayer in the Gospel of Yochanan (John). We also believe in the Divine Council which interfaces the Elohimhead/Godhead with angels and men. We believe that Yah'shua is fully Elohim (God) but in eternal subjection to the Father as His Son, and that both are called Yahweh (as the Greater and Lesser Yahweh's, respectively). The incarnation and physical resurrection of Christ is the central tennet of the faith. The CB is not Arian (which regards Yah'shua as a lesser 'god') or Unitarian (which regards Elohim/God as a single Person alternating rôles).
22. What is CB's Teaching on the Holy Spirit? We believe, in harmony with every reference in the Hebrew 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' (properly, a 'derivation') of Yahweh, finding a parallel in the creation of Eve from Adam. The CB therefore believes that the Elohimhead/Godhead is One (God, Elohim), Three (Father, Son, Holy Spirit), Nine (Father, Son, 7-fold Holy Spirit), and so on.
23. 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 Holy Spirit, to whatever degree, which ultimately determines its resurrection state.
24. Does the CB believe the Bible to be infallible? The original Hebrew autographs, yes. We do not believe that the several Greek translations of the New Testament are infallible.
25. Which Bible translation does the CB use? There is no one preferred translation and a combination are used in our Order and local assemblies. With new English translations - Protestant, Messianic and Catholic - constantly being made, see our current list of recommendations in the latest edition of the NCAY Constitution.
26. 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.
27. 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 deuterocanonical collection of scriptures for their guidance, in addition to the Bible, which consists of some some of the epistles of the post-apostolic fathers (e.g. Clement, Polycarp), some of the Apocrypha (e.g. Wisdom of Solomon, Ecclesiasticus), parts of some of the Pseudepigrapha (e.g. the Books of Enoch, and the Book of Jasher), the Olive Branch (a collection of visions, prophecies and revelations received by the Patriarchate and others), and in Firstborn Communities, the Twelve Books of Abraham (which govern the marriage laws of such communities), etc..
28. What are the CB's teachings on marriage? That marriage is enjoined upon all, and that a man may marry one or more women, provided it is 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.
29. Does the CB accept polygamy? Yes, though it is only encouraged amongst the leadership, and a man may only take more than one wife if he follows the strict marriage laws and discipling of the Order (see the HEM ministry materials for further information). Deacons are allowed a maximum of four wives, Elders seven (the Millennial average), and Apostles usually no more then twelve, though in this pre-Millennial dispensation the numbers are usually considerably less. Those not holding Priesthood offices are encouraged to be monogamous until they have attained a sufficient level of spiritual maturity to be able to take care of a larger family, unless they are converts who are already polygamously married.
30. What are the CB's views on divorce? Very strict. Within the CB itself, divorce is only permitted (a) in the case of the betrothed wife committing adultery; (b) if, upon conversion, the believing husband or wife is abandoned by his/her unbelieving spouse; and (c) if one of the spouses, previously a believer, completely denies the faith (by, for example, becoming an atheist, Moslem, Hindu, pagan, Talmudic Jew, etc. after lengthy attempts to win him/her back have failed, or who lives it only nominally and is showing his antichristness though violent physical or psychological abuse, etc.).
31. 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, though strongly discouraged, 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. The only kind of contraceptive permitted by the CB is abstinence or coitus interruptus.
32. What does the CB think of homosexuality, bisexuality and trans-genderism? Practicing homosexuals and lesbians cannot inherit the Kingdom of Elohim (God), their acts being considered an abomination by Yahweh. Converts experiencing same-sex attraction are welcome provided they celibate lives and have served with distinction in our ministry. Ministry is available for such as are struggling with such issues. We consider genital mutilation of any kind, including 'female circumcision'/cliterectomy and trans-sexual operations so-called, to be an abomination and believe that the true gender of an individual is defined by what he or she is born with between his or her legs.
33. What is the CB's views on feminism? Feminism, though often provoked by unrighteous patriarchy, is nevertheless antithetical to Yahweh's Order and demonic in origin and practice, along with male-machoism
34. 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), followed by participation in the symbolic Lord's Supper (the annual Passover rite as well as a weekly Sabbath communion). Admission to the Lord'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.
35. How does one join a CB Firstborn Community? By recommendation from the member's local Pastorate in NCAY and by special invitation by a particular CB Community. The first stage of admission is usually 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.
36. Does the FB build churches, meeting houses or temples? NCAY has almost no physical buildings as it is principally a house fellowship. Where house fellowships alone are impractical, because there are too many members, larger structures may, on occasion, be used, though such are discouraged because of the wrong mindframe such tends to create. FB proto- and firstborn colonies will, as a rule, have their own meetinghouse though such are not necessary. All have a single temple room or building where sacred convocations are held, ordinances are administered (e.g. Priesthood ordination, marriage), and Shavu'ot (confirmation, chrism, Bar/Bat-Mitzvah covenants entered into.
37. 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 communities are free to pursue their own courses of study to meet their local needs.
38. 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 certain amount of contemporary Christian 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.
39. 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 and individuals 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 Body of Christ, even if it will play a leading rôle in the Second Exodus
40. Does the CB believe in the pre-tribulation rapture? No, nor in any other 'rapture' (which is not a biblical word), but in the saints rising into the air to meet the returning Christ, simultaneously returning back to the earth with Him to establish the Millennial Kingdom.
41. 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), has been discussed by us for a very long time. It is our current view that it is not eternal but ends at the Cosmic Jubilee.
42. What is the CB's view of demons? That they exist 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.
43. Must believers entering the CB be rebaptised? If they have been properly immersed into Christ, having made the proper confession and received the new birth, they are required to be baptised into the Covenant but not rebaptised into Christ. Baptism for a converted unbeliever coming directly into NCAY is therefore dual.
44. Does the CB teach salvation by works or by grace? By grace (Yahweh's undeserved favour), with works (actions, deeds) as the natural love-response to, and evidence of, salvation by grace. Those who are not spontaneously obedience 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 Christ which leads to obedience to the commandments.
45. Does the CB believe that speaking in tongues and baptism of fire are the same? No. Tongues is one of the several gifts of the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) given to some believers as Yahweh chooses. The evidence that a man or woman has been born again or baptised in fire is that they are alive in the Spirit and showing forth the Christian graces of love, long-suffering, forgiveness, patience, kindness, gentleness, obedience to the Word, etc..
46. 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 Spirit, to speak in foreign languages that the recipient is not familiar with.
47. 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.
48. 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.
49. Does the CB believe in Calvinism and the Once Saved, Always Saved teaching? No, we at CB are Arminian beliving that man has genuine will to accept of refuse Yahweh's love and grace, and that a man may fall from grace and lose his salvation if he persists with his rebellion.
50. Does the CB believe in the restoration of the physical temple, animal sacrifices and Levitical service during the Millennium? No, the Levitical Priesthood and its entire system of sacrifices was fulfilled by Christ at His first coming. We are now under the Melchizedek Priesthood and the Third Temple will not be constructed by human hands. Indeed, the whole new city of Jerusalem will descend ready-made out of heaven. The erroneous belief that a Third human-built Temple derives from the failure to understand that the Book of Ezekial prophecies are not chronological and that revelations pertaining to the construction of a third temple with Mosaic
sacrificial system were conditional upon the Jewish exiles in Babylon repenting, which they never did.
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