2-02. Community Membership:
Second Evidence of Your Salvation
"Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask of think, according to the power of the works within us, to Him be the glory in the
Messianic Community (Church) and in Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) to all generations forever. Amen" (Ephesians 3:20-21).
When you receive Messiah, you are
"born into His body which is the Messianic Community (Church)". This Community, known as the "Body of Messiah", is spiritual and invisible, and is made up of those who are
"enrolled in heaven". It has no name like "Methodist Church", "Baptist Church", "New Covenant Assemblies of Yahweh", "Pentecostal Church", "Presbyterian Church", "United Church of God", "Seventh Day Adventist" "Church of Christ", "First Assemblies of God", etc., because it is a heavenly Community. Those who belong to this heavenly Community are to be found in many different church and messianic denominations here on the earth. Though there are many different kinds of church here on earth, there is only one Community, Fellowship, or Brotherhood of the Saved in heaven. Your belonging to a particular church denomination here on the earth does not determine whether you are saved or not - what is important is that you join the congregation to which you have been called by Elohim (God), not the one you personally want to join.
The world we live on is an imperfect sphere. Perfection is not to be found because the world lies in sin. The Heavely Messianic Community
is perfect because it belongs to a perfect sphere where there is no sin. Membership in the Heavenly Community is the most important thing. Nevertheless while we are here on earth we are required to belong to an earthly congregation or assembly too even as we are born into earthly families. Both earthly "Messianic Community (Church) families" and our "biological families" are imperfect and growing. Some families are more mature than others in the same way that some congregations, assemblies, churches, groups and fellowships are more spiritually close to the heavenly ideal.
We all individually thrive in certain environments. We are comfortable and more open with certain kinds of people than with others. The reasons are usually varied - perhaps we are better able to empathise with those who have come from similar backgrounds to us. Former alcoholics and drug addicts who have been saved and delivered from their addictions by Yahshua (Jesus) frequently join together to work to help those who have had similar problems. Usually, though, Church denominations have different kinds of ministry, some specialising in one area or another (for example, helping people get out of the occult or from dangerous religious groups). Ideally, an Assembly of Yahweh (Church of God) should have a diversity of ministries but this may not always be possible because of limited resources or location.
Many people are often baffled by the many different Christian and Messianic groups and organisations that are around and whilst this is not Elohim's (God's) ideal, it is the way Elohim (God) has ordained it to enable people to grow in different spiritual environments based on their choices to obey or not obey. Like ordinary families, these organisations have wandered from the emet (truth) because of false tradition, a lack of zeal, or unrepented sin. Not only are there differences between denominations but even between local churches within denominations. One of the most important things you must do after you have been saved is to prayerfully ask Yahweh which body He wants you to be in. It may be that you are to move churches at some time, or it may be that you are to remain in one particular one all your life. He will open the door for you to serve somewhere. He may do it quickly or it may take time. Wherever He leads you, be sure to be obedient and give all that you have.
Be aware also that there are many
false Churches that have seriously wandered away from the Bible. The Bible is to be your guide. Make sure you join a Bible-believing assembly or hurch - one that uses the Bible 100 per cent as its guide. This will mean a lot of prayerful Bible study on your part. It is the manual of the Believer.
The Messianic Community or 'Church', though it may have buildings, is not a building
per se. It is a COMMUNITY OF BELIEVERS, a koinonia or fellowship. That is why it is referred to as a "living body" or the "Body of Messiah (Christ)". It may meet in someone's home, in which case it may be known as a "house church". Buildings are not the important thing. Saved people are. In the Bible some members met in the house of Philemon, to which Paul sent greetings
"to the assembly (church) in your house". A better translation of the word "church" would be SPIRITUAL FAMILY.
You give Yahweh
"glory in the Assembly" when you obey Messiah who said,
"Confess Me before men". There is no such-thing as a solo-believer. You may begin your Christian/Messianic life as a solo-believer
but baptism puts you into a family of other believers. A congregational family, like an ordinary family, puts you into a co-operative unit. Working together with other believers in an orderly way is an important part of coming to spiritual maturity. You can only
"confess Me before men (and women)" within such a community. So when you are baptised, you are like
"those who had received His Davar (Word); and there were added that day about three thousand souls". And you thereby give glory to Him.
Like the members of that first century Assemblies of Yahweh, you should meet together with your new found family as often as possible. Fellowshipping with the saved is a precious thing. You should partake of the Master's (Lord's) Supper and thereby
"proclaim the Lord's death until He comes". You are
"to stimulate one another to ahavah (love) and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembly together".
"put aside and save as He may prosper" to provide for the local Assembly (Church). This is called "financial stewardship".
Also prayer is to be made in the local congregation. When
"Peter was kept in the prison" ...
"prayer for him was being made fervently by the Assemblies of Yahweh". Prayer is a mitzvah (command) of Yahweh. We are to pray alone in secret, together with our families, and together with the Family of Elohim (God) - our local Messianic Community (Church).
The Messianic Community (Church) also sends out teachers, missionaries, and evangelists.
"It seemed good to...the whole Community, to choose men from among them to send to Antioch...leading men from among them to instruct and encourage the congregation".
Do you see that your Deliverer (Saviour) and Master (Lord) wants you to be an active member of the local Assembly (Church), supporting it and the work of Messiah? If so, say:
"I will join, attend, support and serve Yah'shua (Jesus) through a local Assembly (Church)".