Month 6:21, Week 3:6 (Sheshi/Kippur), Year:Day 5940:168 AM|
2Exodus 3/40, Yovel - Year 50/50 - Teshuvah 21/39
Gregorian Calendar: Thursday 22 September 2016
Who We Are and What We Do
A Potted History
The other day I was asked if we, in this ministry, have ever changed direction or have since decided that we got our original mission wrong. It is true that we have changed our name a number of times. We have also changed a number of doctrines over the years (in part a reason why our name has changed) as Yahweh has showed us more light and emet (truth). Though we were always commandment-keeping and totally Messiah-centred, we did not always know what all the mitzvot (commandments) were or even what they were called individually and collectively (the Torah). We were once Sunday-observant (like good Protestants), then Saturday-observant (like good Messianics) and finally submitted to the Creation Calendar and became Bible-compliant (making us neither Protestant nor Messianic, yet also both). But aside from being in error over the identity of the Sabbath Day, we never observed Romish pagan customs. You will never find that we observed Christmas, Easter, Lent or Halloween. Yes, when we became Messianic, we unwisely trusted the Jews for a short while and observed Hanukkah and Purim but it did not take us long to discover the origin of these unauthorised and semi-pagan customs and we discarded them equally quickly, along with Zionism and a number of other false teachings in Judaism and its messianic offshoot. And finally we got out of the Romish and Jewish calendar systems altogether and embraced the biblical one, requiring a major lifestyle change, a reason so few who know the emet (truth) don't act on it.
An Unchanged Mission in the Five Commissions
Our mission, however, has never changed. From the very beginning of this work, in the 1980's, Yahweh gave us our five commissions - (1) to teach, preach and live the simple Besorah (Gospel) of Salvation in Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ), (2) to gather those called to this work into congregations, (3) to plant the keys of every kind (spiritual, scientific, political) of emet (truth) anywhere and everywhere where doors opened for us to do so, (4) to lift up a warning prophetic voice, and lastly (5) to gather the 10 Lost Tribes of Israel. At different times in our history we have done four of these consistently, particularly the first, third and fourth. We have also done the second on and off, planting congregations where we could. The fifth has not yet happened as we believe this assembly of the Tribes will largely be the work of the last generation. Congregations we have raised or inherited over the years during the different phases of our journey - from 50 to 100 of them - and these have all now become independent. We have also helped and raised orphanages in India and Africa, both our own and in cooperation with another denomination (the Church of Christ in India).
Where We are Different and the Same
It has been suggested to me that we are no different from other Christians or Messianics. In terms of being 'better' or 'worse', that is not for us to judge, for only Yahweh can do that. And obviously some of the five commissions we have been given we share with other groups of believers. To share the simple Besorah (Gospel) of Yah'shua (Jesus) crucified and resurrected we have shared, share, and will continue to share with millions of other regenerated Christians and Messianics. To plant the keys of emet (truth) is more complex - many if not most of these are shared between millions of believers again, but others are entirely fresh revelations given to no others, though others have passed these on from us as is right. We brought forth the controversial yet necessary Holy Echad Marriage revelation, some sacred truths about the Elohimhead (Godhead) including the identity of the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit), essential truths about divine tavnith or pattern, and much else. And others have brought forth truths given to them and not to us (such as the Sacred calendar). We have lifted up a prophetic voice, again in common with many others, and sometimes about things which the bulk of Christendom have got wrong (such as end-times chronology), bringing fresh revelation on the Final Gathering of the Tribes. We have brought forth truths in the Olive Branch and in other writings, together with an enormous website for online witness. And we have taught the importance of the gathering of the twelve tribes, which almost no one was doing when we were first called, though increasingly more and more are doing so now, even if they are still misindentifying Israel. So there are things we share in common with others and things we do not.
Our Calling and Covenant
We have never claimed to be the 'one and only true church' even though some have falsely accused us of making that claim. What we have claimed, and still do claim, is that Yahweh has entered into a unique covenant with this small body of committed talmidim (disciples) which, whilst it does not mean He has not entered into unique covenants with other groups (for He most certainly has), does mean that in our corner of the Vineyard we have been given a work no one else has been given that we know of. That is not because we believe we are 'special' or 'favoured' but simply because we have been called. At any time we could have failed - and could still fail - in that calling and have the covenant annulled and given to someone else. We believe we have been given a unique rôle in the Final Gathering of the end-time Remnant which will become more and more apparent as the times change and as spiritual endowments are given and received. There is a calling we have been given and an authority - we have never denied it and never will. Others have theirs, we have ours, and it is our belief that the several bodies or elements of the Remnant will come together and be one in the next and last generation.
From the Same Dirt
I share this with you not because we have anything to boast about - indeed, we don't usually talk about it in the way 'one-and-onlyers' flushed with pride and vanity are wont to do - but simply for clarification. Our calling and anointing is not the same as others, not because we are 'special' but because this is what Yahweh has sovereignly done, as all those who have come up against us with a view to destroying us have discovered to their cost. Again, that is because of Yahweh's mighty Hand, not because we are 'mighty', because we're not. He, and He alone, is mighty. We struggle with the flesh like the next man, we are saved and sanctified in exactly the same way as every true believer whoever they may be, wherever they may be, and from whatever period in time they have come from. We have arisen out of the same dirt (soil) and we are all bound for the same heaven, even if we have no clue what our individual rewards may be, and won't in any case know until they are handed out. We don't even think about these things, we don't seek to be 'different'. We are what we are because Yahweh has taken our hand and taken us to the place where we are, based on both the successes and failures caused by our own right and wrong choice-making. There is no 'teacher's pet syndrome' here. We treat others as equals but the moment they try to lord it over us, we part company and let Yahweh shake them up a little more to bring them down to earth to their true humble station.
Names We are Known By
Though we know some things about the future that have been shown us we know no more about all the rest than the next man. We live by emunah (faith). We're known principally as 'Messianic Evangelicals', sometimes by our older name of 'New Covenant Christians' (and the NCCG or 'New Covenant Christian Gathering or Gatherers...hence our website, www.nccg.org) and 'Messianic Israelites' (as opposed to Messianic Jews). When we organise congregations they are known as 'New Covenant Assemblies of Yahweh' or NCAY for short. At this point of time there aren't many of those but there are lots of people who are responding to, and identifying with, our message who are calling themselves 'Messianic Evangelicals'.
If You're Called...
We don't think a whole lot about names and titles and almost never use them even if different priesthood offices are in operation in our midst. Labels aren't important to us. We are simply what we are in our spiritual walk. We're not out to recruit you to an organisation, we don't solicit for money and we don't want anyone's accolades. But if Yahweh has called you to enter into a covenant of discipleship and service together with us based on our Five Commissions, we'll welcome you with open arms! You just need to have a passionate love for Yah'shua (Jesus), His Torah, Emet (Truth) and Evangelism.
Caring About the Connection
So, no, our mission has never changed (and never will) and it's still going strong. We're both exactly the same as other born-again, commandment-keeping and holiness-pursuing believers as well as very different. Sometimes we have had thousands walking with us in covenant relationship, sometimes just a handful. It has varied enormously. Numbers are irrelvent to us. We're not a 'church' in the classical sense but a living body. What we care about is connection to Yahweh and with one another in emet (truth) and ahavah (love). We've certainly matured a lot over the years, things have never stood still, and we expect things to keep on changing as Yahweh purifies us and sharpens our message so that we can reach more and more people.
Spirits of the Three Witnesses
We have had ups and downs, small and large, but we always keep on going. We have been loved and hated, embraced and persecuted. We have known incredible loyalty that has inspired us and excruciatingly painful betrayals that has brought us low, but we never give up and we have always got up again, shaken off the dust, and carried on witnessing. We know what it is like to walk in fire. People have tried to get us imprisoned and kill us. We know how to fight with heavenly weapons and we know how to make shalom (peace). Above all we desire shalom (peace) but we will not hesitate to engage in spiritual warfare. We operate in the spirits of the Three Witnesses: Yah'shua (Jesus) the Messiah (in His salvation), Moses (teaching and living Torah/Law) and Elijah (the spirit, power and gifts of the Nevi'im/Prophets). We know where we're going in the bigger picture. We live life on a daily basis most of the time. We're here to stay until Yahweh takes us home and others will always be around to take up the baton until this work is really finished upon the Master's return.
Prepared for What's Coming
In the meantime, we are about as ready as we possibly can be for the enormous world changes that are but a stone's throw away now. Yahweh has prepared us well in advance for many years which is why you have been hearing so many prophetic warnings from us for so long. A lot, if not most, of the message we have been given is not popular with other believers, but it is our calling to awaken those who dare to listen. We have grown accustomed to ostracisation, ridicule and hostility for so long now that we have reached the the point where we no longer care what people think or say about us. We have had our names dragged through the dirt, our reputations shredded, so we know that element well and have made our peace with it. It's amazingly useful stuff for character development!
We're here for those who want to hear, learn, fellowship and grow together with us. If that sounds good to you, if your heart and spirit resonate with that and all we have been teaching and saying, please contact us and join in the labour. Come and be proactive with us.