Month 7:25, Week 4:3 (Shleshi/Bikkurim), Year:Day 5939:202 AM|
Gregorian Calendar: Saturday 18 October 2014
General Conference 2014
Report of the Patriarchate
The first Annual General Conference  of the New Covenant Assemblies of Yahweh (NCAY), reorganised in November 2013 , was held this year at the home of the Presiding Patriarch's family and hosted by Mishpachah Lev-Tsiyon (MLT)  from the 15th to the 22nd of the Seventh Month (8-15 October 2015), with a parallel Conference hosted by Migori Central NCAY in Kenya by Pastor Dackson Agoi serving the East Africa Mission (EAM) that has completed the first year of its three year probation pending full membership.
The Challenges Getting to Conference
It was our prayer that those who were supposed to attend this year be granted free passage and those who were not be restrained and so accordingly half of the delegates did not manage to reach the Conference during Sukkot (Tabernacles). Even so, not everybody who did make it had an easy time, with one delegate missing his flight by half a minute. It is our prayer that those from Kenya, Ghana and elsewhere around the world, who could not get visas or had flight problems, be granted access next year.
Blessings from Nigeria
It was our pleasure to welcome a seasoned Pentecostal Pastor from Nigeria, brother Ola Oluayo, who made helpful contributions to the meetings, sharing his experiences in the ministry in Africa and Italy. This also included his edifying testimony of how his family and village in western Nigeria came to emunah (faith) as the result of supernatural raising of his father from the dead. His witness served to contrast the differences in experience of the qodeshim (saints, set-apart ones), with the weaknesses and strengths of our respective cultural background explaining the successes, challenges and set-backs that we have each experienced. It became clear over the course of the 9-10 days that the delegates who were here just what obstacles had to be overcome to enable a free-flow of the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) in the end-time remnant and what it was we needed to learn from one another as overcomers.
The Delegates and the Conference Itself
We were also very happy to welcome a much-traveled sister from Germany who is currently investigating various groups and is now headed for Australia to experience life in a messianic community and to learn some Aramaic. We very much enjoyed her fellowship, experiences and questions about the work we are doing. And it was, of course, good to see familiar faces once again from Sweden, Norway and Germany and to reminisce on our collective experiences stretching back, in some cases, over 50 years. The spiritual and theological input of the 'old-timers' was much valued and we hope that the young especially enjoyed themselves. There were councelling sessions, along with priesthood interviews, as time permitted in our otherwise very tight schedule. The twenty-one 1½ to 2½ hour-long sessions over an eight-day period was a challenge for some who were more familiar and comfortable with our formerly less structured approach to the festivals. However, this will likely be the order of the day as more visitors come from abroad, and especially ministers, seeking training. It was with regret that our brother from Kenya, Pastor Dackson Agoi, was unable to make his flight connection here and so we must wait for the next opportunity, as he had hoped to spent time learning of our doctrine and practice and getting to know the qodeshim (saints, set-apart ones). The hope is that next year we can get several pastors to Pesach (Passover) and/or Sukkot (Tabernacles) and devote seminar time to priesthood training.
The Conference theme this year was the Creation and consisted of two parallel sets of seminars - by day, the Creation Gospel with Messinanic Jew Dr. Hollisa Alewine sharing her insights on the spiritual meaning of the menorah, and in the evenings an excellent science-based series of twelve lectures hosted by Markus Lloyd entitled, Unlocking the Mysteries of Genesis from the Institute for Creation Research (ICR) based in Texas. The latter was much enjoyed, by young and old alike, and provided the needed balance for the former. Though numerous spiritual keys were learned and much appreciated from the Creation Gospel series (which for lack of time we were unable to complete), it soon became apparent by the tenth lecture (of the seventeen in all) that there was both a Talmudic Jewish agenda as well as a Talmudic spirit whose impact was negatively experienced by most. Though unedifying, it served as a reminder and teaching aid to illustrate the contrast between the true and untrue, and provided a useful discussion point on how to correctly descern between the true Ruach (Spirit) and counterfeit ones, and how best to sift out the pure from the impure in the muddy Messianic and Christian traditions of the synagogues and churches. The 21st century Body of Messiah (Christ) is awash with false spirits, doctrines and practices and learning about these is, in many ways, as important to knowing and descerning the true.
A number of prophetic devarim (words) were shared on the first (Making Ready the Bride), third (Prophecies on NCAY and London), fifth (Reminders and Recapitulations) and last (An Appointment With Reality) days of the Sukkot (Tabernacles) season which can be read separately. The most noteworthy, as far as NCAY as a whole is concerned, was the revelation not to renew or grant new priesthood licences until next Pesach (Passover) at the very earliest. Aside from MLT itself, this means that both East Africa  and Scandinavia remain currently unorganised for the present. The reasons given by Yahweh will be explained presently.
Introduction to the Constitutional Review
Two sessions were devoted to reviewing the new 10th Edition (2013) of the NCAY Constitution. Because the delegates had not adequately studied the material prior to Conference whether online or the printed copies handed out before the business sessions, it was not possible to cover more than the first eight articles and so voting on its acceptance has been postponed to Pesach (Passover) 2015. Aside from some minor details, there was broad agreement on all the articles reviewed with the exception of parts of Article 7. We shall now review those points that were discussed, the provisional consensus as well as areas where agreement was not reached. This review will not cover minor or typographical details.
Items of the Constitution Discussed
1. §3.8.3.e. On a point of theological definition, "eternities" has been changed to "ages";
Matriarchs and Prophetesses
2. §3.8.5. This paragraph has been restructured to include "Matriarchs" after "Patriarchs" and "Prophetesses" has been moved from the end of the paragraph to follow "Prophets";
Horeb and Moab Covenants
3. §4.1.4. A question about the two separate covenants mentioned in Exodus (at Horeb) and in Deuteronomy (in Moab) was raised. It was agreed that this would be studied further and a final ammendation, if required, be made at the next Conference;
4. §6.3. A long discussion took place on which Messianic and Evangelical versions of the Bible should be recommended, and in which order of preference. A case was made for inclusion in §6.3.2. of the newly translated Concordant Literal Old Testament to join the §6.3.2.a. Concordant Literal New Testament already recognised as a valuable asset to Scripture students. It was further agreed that the late Ethelbert Bullinger's The Companion Bible be appended to §6.3.2.f. recommending the King James Version (KJV) because of his unsurpassed work on chiastic structures. The inclusion of §6.3.2.j. recommending the Revised Standard Version (RSV), which is now little used, and §6.3.2.k. recommending the New International Version (NIV), were questioned but no final decision was reached. Though one side held the NIV to be unprofitable because of its many key ommissions and bad translations, another held that because of its widespread use some sort of acquaintance of it was desirable, especially by ministers, for the sake of those joining NCAY from denominations where this version is commonly used. The Ferrar Fenton translation was recommended for inclusion but no consensus reached, nor for others like the Moffat (which alone confirms that Judas Iscariot had the same first name as the Master, Yah'shua/Jesus), the Hebraic Roots Bible (which agrees in some points with the Hebraic-Roots Version (HRV) in respect of some points but disagrees with others - it was felt that it offered nothing new of value) and several others. It was suggested that a distinction be made between Bible versions recommended for lay members and Deaconate, for whom too many versions would be a source of confusion, and the Eldership for whom exposure to many versions was thought desirable. Any decision on the final wording of §6.3. was therefore deferred to the next General Conference;
Pseudepigrapha and Modern Apostolic Epistles
5. §6.4.1. and §6.4.2. dealing with the Pseudepigrapha and Epistles of the Sub-Apostolic Fathers, whose value were openly questioned in any official capacity other than for the private study of maturer Elders, resulted in any decision as to their continued inclusion be deferred until next General Conference pending further investigation. Likewise the need for §6.5.1., the modern-day Epistles of the 12 Apostles, was questioned, and this paragraph has likewise been deferred to the next General Conference;
The 'Dead' in the Apostles' Creed
6. §7.1. Because of alleged ambiguity, it was suggested that "the dead" in the fifth statement of the Apostles' Creed be ammended to "Hades" or "hell", thus retaining the original wording of the Creed, was rejected on the grounds that the current rendition avoided doctrinal controversy best resolved outside the Constitution. A compromise "place of the dead" or "spirit world" was rejected on the grounds that it was felt unnecessary to make more cosmetic changes to the original than were merited;
7. §7.3.11. A question arose over the meaning of the word "tongues" on account of the fact that one prospective Priesthood ordinand practices non-linguistic tongue-speaking (babble) in private but not in public based on a number of interpretation claims from 1 Corinthians 14. It was suggested, therefore, by one side that the word "public" be inserted at "(public speaking and interpreting modern foreign languages supernaturally by the power of the Ruach haQodesh)". This was opposed by those who took the long-standing position of NCAY which is that all tongue-speaking is of known foreign languages and is for use in public to edify and convert unbelievers only. Though the Olive Branch admits to the existence of an Adamic language or tongue (OB 311), or "unknown tongue", the qualification is made that the language spoken by the "heavenly Assembly of the Firstborn" (OB 311:9-10) by the elect one to another, is as two people speaking in English or other modern language might speak to one another in conversation, and not as some mystical 'private language' uttered in private for claimed spiritual edification. Because the concern of the Patriarchate has always been that Satan will seek opportunity to find ways to preserve and promote demonically-inspired tongues as commonly practiced by most in the charismatic and pentecostal movements, and so spiritually corrupt the qodeshim (saints, set-apart ones) by keeping the practice alive in secret, and thus corrupting the Shavu'ot (Weeks) Covenant and the mission of NCAY, it is the decision of the Patriarchate, based on considerable experience and its mandate to preserve purity, that whilst new unconfirmed members may continue in this practice in private, that such must be properly tested in situ before admission to Bar/Bat Mitzvah or Priesthood ordination is permitted. Accordingly the Patriarchate shall expect any confirmed member to present themselves prior to the next Conference for proper spiritual testing.
8. §7.3.16. Though three different positions arose in the discussion on tithing, viz. (1) That it is mandated (⅓ for the local ministry, ⅓ for the poor and ⅓ for the festivals) and that to refuse to comply is robbery against Elohim (God) (Mal.3:8); (2) Tithes have been replaced by free-will offering; and (3) Tithes are only of agricultural produce, the first position has always been that of NCAY and is clearly mandated in the revelations (OB 113:13ff and footnotes 243, 244, 245 & 246 on pp.246-147, respectively) for all local assembly members, with the United Order of Full Consecration and All Things in Common for those in Firstborn Communities, of which MLT is a forerunner. It has always been our understanding that free-will offerings belong to the nine-tenths after the tithing obligation has been met, or charitable gifts (Ac.3:3; 10:2). As the Olive Branch is a part of the Constitution for the government of the assemblies (a priesthood manual) - see §6.5.2. - and as the Constitution requires that all confirmed members be faithful tithe-payers (§8.2.2.f.) and so be elligible to partake of the Master's Supper, it remains the position of this ministry that no member who is not a regular tithe-payer (including paying the mandated ⅓ for the festivals) may either enter Shavu'ot (Weeks) covenants to uphold and live the Torah as confirmed (Bar Mitzvah'ed) communicant members or may be considered worthy for ordination to Priesthood unless they are regular tithe-payers. Accordingly no member of NCAY is elligible to partake of the Master's Supper, wear tzitzit or otherwise regard him- or herself as a full member of NCAY who is not living in obedience to the requirements of §8.2. Though payment in kind is permitted where regular money is not available or practical, a sack of beans will not pay for hosts' electricity and other bills when members are visiting Conference centres. In view of the failure once again of several of the members to contribute their proper share of the ⅓ at Sukkot (for food and accommodation), or to ask before for assistance because of a legitimate lack, it shall be the policy of NCAY Conference centres not to admit any who do not pay their contribution and so defraud faithful tithe-payers and contributors unless there are mitigating circumstances and they take the responsibility to ask for assistance. Certainly no Priesthood member, who is called to set an example as a faithful Torah-obedient talmid (disciple), shall be considered worthy to remain ordained, or seek for ordination - nor any full member who is likewise an example to the world generally of what it is to be a true talmid (disciple), shall be considered worthy to partake of the Master's Supper (Communion) or to constinue wearing tzitzit (tassels).
Subtle False Spirits in Our Time
General Conference highlighted some of the problems that are common to our time which many new members bring with them into the B'rit Chadashah (New Covenant). These include the pernicious spirit of self-entitlement which is rampant in liberal socialist democracies. This takes many forms and is a subtle twist on the New Covenant Torah doctrine that every man is responsible to help others, as moved or commanded by the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit), as opposed to the spirit of socialism which views help as an entitlement and forces robs others to finance government programs. This false spirit manifests itself as an expectation or demand that fellow-believers assist them and is a fruit of the deadly sin of pride. It is the reason that there are so many immature and spiritually undeveloped people in the world as well as in the Body of Messiah (Christ). It is why the vast body of believers in the world has progressed no farther than the spirit of the spring festivals. This was something that our Nigerian brother and visitor was at pains to point out, coming as he does from a poor third world country where self-reliance is a matter of survival. In the matter of financing, as he correctly pointed out to the Conference, tithes are ultimatelly for the people themselves so that they can cooperatively be fed, and feed visitors; they are paid to the host minister not for the minister's self-aggrandisement but so the minister and any committee responsible for the feasts can administer any Festival Tithing Fund set up for the purpose. Festivals are expensive to run, as any host knows, and it is all too common that the false spirit of self-entitlement steers those not walking properly in the Derech (Way) to absolve themselves of their Torah responsibilities and to 'expect' the host to meet all their needs while making only a partial or token contribution or no contribution at all. Finally, if a delegate chooses to invite a non-member on his own initiative, without asking for the approval of the host or committe who is expected to feed and house him, it is the responsibility of the delegate to finance the non-member guest.
The Small Cloud of Glory
This was one of the reasons Yahweh only sent a small cloud of glory to the Conference assembly, forcing those who desired the Sukkot annointing to humble themselves and comply with His mitzvot (commandments). It is one of the reasons why the proposed priesthood ordinations were rejected and is one of the reasons why Shavu'ot (Weeks) covenants will be rejected also next year if there is not a proper repentance by then. This is why I was led, under the spirit of prophecy during Sukkot (Tabernacles), to declare that not only was their no Sukkot anointing for the assembly as a whole but that we were not even currently under the Shavu'ot anointing! As a people here in Europe, at least, and quite possibly elsewhere too, we are no further down the road than many evangelical churches in spite of all our knowledge. We are nobody special. In spirit, we are still a part of the unsifted and unsorted muddy mix until we get such matters resolved.
Pride and Humility
C.S.Lewis wrote that all who are in hell choose it because hell allows you to retain your pride. The floor-level cloud that appeared this Sukkot required that as a collective people, all stoop down and humble themselves. We did not and that is why we are certainly no better than your average Baptist or Pentecostal congregation who may, in many cases, though they be antinomian, be more humble and anointed than us. The consequences of this failure, in view of the imminent collapse and threat or Word War III, Ebola, tsunamis, and any number of calamities you can think of that currently threaten our world, is that as a people we will not be able to stand. Then it will be up to every individual and family to stand on their own spiritual merits and justification. Those who seek shelter with such individuals and people will be prevented from doing so by the Ruach (Spirit) and by malakim (angels), as shown to us in a prophetic dream not so long ago. The tribulation that is spreading will be a great sifter and spur to repentance or to that fateful choice: final, open defiance of the Creator.
If I may give one more illustration of the kind of false spirit that still pervades many of our people that will be bitterly regretted when calamity strikes, one person told me that he did not feel the need to make any sort of effort to make physical preparations because Yahweh would provide for him on account of his emunah (faith, trusting). This, however, is an example not of biblical emunah (biblical faith) but of passive faith - the faith demanded of true talmidim (disciples) of Yahweh is always active faith - emunah.
A Contrary Socialistic Mindset
Think about it logically. Let us say that everyone took this position, made no preparations even though the nevi'im (prophets) have warned them, and then - when calamity strikes - expect to be led to someone who will shelter, feed and protect them. But how is that possible if no one has made any preparations? This is the false spirit of self-entitement that plagues European, American and other Western (for now) First-Worlders. They expect the state to provide for them with welfare. But as we know, if we have learned the lessons of recent examples in the USA, the government will not provide because it cannot. The government will be impotent and every man will be looking after 'No.1'. Many Christians and Messianics are infected by this false spirit believing that it is the obligation of other believers to take care of them. It is not. It is the obligation and responsibility of believers to do what they can, as led by the Ruach (Spirit), but it is not the 'right' of believers to expect other believers to take care of their needs when they refuse to do the same for themselves or for others. Yahweh will not reward such an attitude, quite the contrary. That is, in a word, gambling. What will they do when other believers (let along unbelievers) come to them in the same spirit of self-entitlement expecting to be taken care of? This is what Yah'shua (Jesus) was talking about in the Parable of the Ten Virgins (Mt.25:1ff.). Those who do not prepare as they ought are locked out. And so it will be with those who who refuse to exercise active Torah-emunah (faith). Even many antinomians (those who reject Torah) understand this principle! 
This is not an easy lesson for those who have been cradled and rendered impotent by liberal socialism but it has to be learned. The question is: will you learn the easy way (by being obedient) or the hard way (by being rebellious)? Are you willing to gamble your life and the life of family members? What will you do when you find millions of others who are destitute and without food and home, just like yourself, because you made no preparations? What will you do when believers turn you away because they cannot feed you because their families would otherwise starve? Will you rage at them for being bad or selfish Christians or will you accept personal responsibility for having been a foolish virgin? Many are going to perish, and already are, but for some reason we have fooled ourselves into believing that that even though it is happening 'there' that it cannot possibly happen 'here'. It's already happening here and it's going to get worse.
A Wake-Up Call
This Conference was, I hope, a wake-up call. There is still a very little time left but not very much. This could be my last warning, so consider it soberly. If you think that food is going to appear out of nowhere, or that you can persuade or guilt other believers who have made teshuvah (repented) and have made sacrifices (often big ones) and have worked hard in obedience, when you have not because you expected as your 'right' to be taken care of, then you are living in cloud cuckooland, and your teshuvah (repentance) at the last minute will not be accepted by Elohim (God). How many others like yourself will be expecting manna to rain out of heaven? Unless Yahweh has told you that he will do this, in a very concrete revelation, you are presumptuously foolish to think so. "REPENT OR PERISH!" (Lk.13:5)
Much of use was accomplished at Conference this Sukkot, much fellowship enjoyed and much new scriptural knowledge gained both in the seminars and in informal discussions. We are grateful for the contribution that everyone made, and especially for those who worked so hard, often to the point of complete exhaustion, in providing meals and refreshments many times during each day and getting the guest house ready beforehand. We are also grateful for those who pitched in and lent a hand and especially to the brethren who worked on guest house repairs. We are learning to be Yahweh's messianic community little by little, we have a lot more to learn, and there is much more making teshuvah (repenting) do. But there is a very real tiqveh (hope) that the long awaited day has arrived as our mission starts to unfold slowly but surely. Our love, blessings and prayers go out to those of you who live far away that you may be blessed with much fruitfulness as complete people, in all spheres of life - spiritual, mental, emotional and physical, in Yah'shua's (Jesus') Name. Amen.
 NCAY has three formal annual conferences at the mandatory 'Pilgrim Festivals' of Pesach (Passover), Shavu'ot (Weeks) and Sukkot (Tabernacles) whose primary function is the celebration of the Feasts of Yahweh. Because of the dispersion of the members opportunity is taken to transact assembly business at these times, with Pesach (Passover) being used to conduct baptisms, Shavu'ot (Weeks) Confirmations or Bar/bat Mitzvahs), and Sukkot (Tabernacles) used for Priesthood Weighings (for those unable to be weighed between Yom Teruah (Trumpets) and Yom haBikkurim (Atonements) in areas where NCAY is not organised) and ordinations. The main Annual General Conference is held at Sukkot (Tabernacles) to discuss and make any modifications to the Constitution, discuss theology, worship and for fellowship. Pesach is also used to deal with issues that cannot await Sukkot and is the second major international assembly of NCAY. Shavu'ot, because it is so short, is mostly a time of fellowship only and the hearing of the Davar Elohim (Word of God) from the nevi'im (prophets) for the international assembly as a whole.
 Formerly the New Covenant Church of God (NCCG)-B'rit Chadashah Assembly of Yahweh (NCAY) - the decision was made to combine the English and Hebrew names together to ensure a uniform name throughout the world. Additionally, 'Assembly' was changed to 'Assemblies to emphasise decentralisation and the local autonomy of congregations in accordance with Romans 16:16 ("assemblies of Messiah/churches of Christ") and 1 Corinthians 1:16 ("assemblies of Elohim/churches of God").
 The central assembly of NCAY located in Sweden, seat of the Presiding Patriarchate and Chavurot Bekorot, the earthly equivalent of the "General Assembly and Church of the Firstborn" (Heb.12:23, KJV) who are "the spirits of the just who are perfected" (v.23b, AENT), that is to say, those of the "gathering [of the exiles of Messianic Israel] and congregation of the bachorim [of the first resurrection]" (RSTNE) who are in the process of being perfected according to the mitzvah (commandment) (Mt.5:48). That these are Torah-obedient Israel, and those Torah-obedient Israelites who are trusting in Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) for their salvation, is affirmed in the Tanakh (Old Testament) where it is written, "Israel is My son, even My bachor (firstborn)" (Ex.4:22-23, RSTNE, OJB). It is the Presiding Patriarchate and the Apostolate of the Charurat Bekorot, as it is called and endowed, which issues all [Melchizedek] Priesthood Licences, supervises the proper execution of the moedim (appointments), presides over and guards the Constitution and authorises the official organisation of branches and missions applying to use the NCAY title around the world and therefore that they abide by the Constitition.
 This does not affect the East Africa Mission (EAM) which still has probationary status and, as far as ministerial offices are concerned, continues to function on the local converging structures that were already in place when application was made to be a part of us. Upon an inspection of the EAM after the three year probation period expires in November 2016, and provided the requirements for full membership have been met, the presiding Elder in that region would be required to be rebaptised, enter Shavu'ot covenants and be ordained by one in authority from MLT to the offices of Deacon and Elder, and then be set apart as a Bishop over what would then become the East Africa Apostolic Region, having authority to perform all the necessary ordinances to set apart Melchizedek cohenim (priests and priestesses), in accordance with the statutes of the Constitution, and after proper consulation with any future apostle for the region, to the various offices of the Priesthood and to properly organise missions and branches in his area of stewardship by rebaptising the entire membership and causing such to enter such covenants as are required pertaining to their offices as well as setting Deacons, Deaconess, Elders and Eldresses apart for service in the Kingdom, thus confirming the entire area to the proper Kingdom Order.
 See, for example, Phil Robertson, unPHILtered: The Way I See It (Howard Books, New York: 2014), chapter 8, Entitlements (pp.99-115)