The Good News begins with the Bad News! The foundation of the Gospel is an understanding of the Nature of the God of Israel in the Bible (Acts 17:23). The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is not only the God of the Jewish people He is the Creator and Sovereign Ruler of the Universe (Psa 96; Rom 3:29; Rev 4:11)! God created mankind placing them in a perfect garden asking only love shown by obedience in return. God’s moral standards were revealed again in the two sermons on the mountains (Exod 20:1-17; Matt 5:17-48). God’s rules for behavior do not change just as God Himself does not change (Num 23:19; Mal 3:6). Adam as the representative or federal head of humanity deliberately disobeyed, did not love supremely, the Creator (Gen 3). Adam plunged humanity into death, spiritual and physical (Rom 5:12, 6:23). Sin is rebellion against the Creator choosing to live selfishly and pleasing mankind’s depraved nature (Rom 1:18-32, 3:20; John 4:4-30). The Good News is the Creator God loves mankind, so He came to earth in the Person of Jesus as the Second Adam to redeem fallen humanity (John 3:16; Rom 5:8)! Where the first head of our race failed, and so we have also, the Second Adam obeyed God perfectly (Deut 6:4-5; Matt 22:36-40). Sin caused an immense gulf and separation between God and humanity. Jesus died in man’s place taking the curse of God’s Laws upon Himself as our Redeemer. Jesus can bring us to God and wash away our sin and make us as pure as He Himself lived on earth before God (1 John 1:7-9; Rom 10:9-13; 1 Cor 15:1-3).
Core Beliefs and Principles
The Bible is the Word of God. It does not merely contain the Word of the Lord but is the verbally and plenarily inspired (‘God-breathed”) Holy Scripture (2 Tim 3:16-17). The Holy Scripture is inerrant and infallible in all areas not only of doctrine but also history and science (Psa 138:2c; Matt 5:18; John 10:35, 17:17).
God not only inspired the autographs or originals He also preserved His Holy Word throughout history based on His Promise (Psa 12:6-7). The manuscript authority of Holy Scripture demonstrates the Divine origin of the Bible and proves the reliability and trustworthiness of the Bible. While we adhere to the preservation of Holy Scripture, we recognize only the originals which we do not possess were inspired. A translation is authoritative inasmuch as it is accurately rendered according to the manuscripts. No one translation is the inspired Word of God. We reject the King James Only position as a grievous error though we respect the KJV as a historic and valuable Bible translation. Every translation is reflective of the theological perspectives and positions of the translators. While we readily use traditional English versions of the Bible such as the KJV, ESV, ASV, etc. we prefer more recent versions that reflect a non-supersessionist (see below for explanation) view of God’s Word. The Tree of Life version and the Complete Jewish Bible reflect such a perspective. We affirm the Jewish historical context of Holy Scripture. We also express our debt of gratitude to the Jewish people for sharing the gift of Scripture with the world, both the Tanakh (Torah, Prophets and Writings) as well as the New Covenant Scriptures which we call the Apostolic Writings (Rom 3:1-2, 9:4-5, 15:25-27).
- i. The Mystery of the Essential Oneness and Unity of God as well as His Plurality revealed as Persons Father, Son and Spirit (Gen 1:5, 2:24; Deut 6:4-5; Isa 63:9-10: Matt 28:19; 1 Cor 8:6; 2 Cor 13:13)
- ii. The Deity of Yeshua (Jesus) the Messiah (Dan 7:13-14 with Matt 26:63-65; John 8:58 with Exod 3:14). Messiah’s Virgin Birth (Isa 7:14 with Matt 1:18-25) and Sinless Life (John 8:46; 2 Cor 5:21; Heb 7:26; 1 Pet 1:18-19).
- iii. The Humanity of Yeshua (Jesus) the Messiah born a Jew a son of Abraham and David (Matt 1:1; John 1:14, 4:9; Luke 2:21; 1 John 1:1-2, 4:2; Rom 1:3).
- iv. The Voluntary Death and Sacrificial Blood Atonement of the Savior (Lev 17:11; John 10:18; 1 John 1:9; Heb 9:22, 10:10).
- v. The Physical Bodily Resurrection of Messiah from Death and the Tomb ( 1 Cor 15:1-8).
- vi. His Physical Bodily Ascension to Heaven and Session at the Right Hand of The Father (Psa 110:1 with Acts 2:32-36 and Heb 10:12-13; Acts 1:9; Heb 4:14).
- vii. His Personal Bodily Second Coming to Israel first and the whole world ( Zech 14:1-4; Acts 1:11; Heb 9:28; Rev 19:11-16).
- viii. Salvation as a Gift of Grace to those who Repent Toward God and Trust in Messiah as Savior (Acts 26:18; Rom 4:4-5; Eph 2:8-9). We recognize the content of what is necessary to believe has changed with revelation but the essential nature of saving faith (faithfulness) has always been the same.
- i. We affirm the historic Jewish context of faith in Yeshua (Jesus) as the Messiah of Israel and the Nations. This is the correct lens through which the Holy Scriptures must be read and understood.
- ii. We affirm a non-supersessionist theological understanding of the Bible. Supersessionism or as it is more commonly known, Replacement or Fulfillment Theology, teaches that ethnic Israel has been superseded in the plans and purposes of God by the Church. Supersessionism is based on several erroneous and unscriptural teachings. One is the false idea that the Jewish people rejected the Messiah. Since they rejected the Divine Messiah God rejected Israel as a nation and replaced them with the Church. The Bible refutes the idea of the Jewish rejection of the Messiah (Matt 8:19, 9:18, 21:9, 26:5; Mark 12:37; Luke 1:1, 23:27, 48; John 1:11 (his own is the world He Created not his people v. 10), John 3:1, 10, 6:15, 7:31, 12:19 (Jewish world), 42; Acts 2:41 (3K men plus families), 47; 4:4 (5K men plus families), 5:14; 6:1,7 (# disciples in Jerusalem greatly multiplied), 9:31, 42; 12:24; 13:43; 14:1; 17:10-12; 19:20; 21:20 (myriads- tens of thousands). One false idea is usually built on top of another. Since the Jewish people rejected the Divine Messiah God cancelled the promises to ethnic Israel in the Bible. Scripture teaches the Covenantal promises to ethnic Israel concerning the Land, the Jewish People, the Kingdom, etc. remain in force today and in fact are eternal promises ( Matt 19:28; Luke 1:31-33; Acts 1:6-7; Rom 1:16, 3;1-2, 9:4-5 (present tense), 11:1, 28-29, 15:8 ( to confirm promises). It is an egregious act of ingratitude and arrogance to assert the Jewish Messiah is the means of annulling the promises to His Own People Israel. We acknowledge that not all Replacement Theologians are Anti-Semitic, however, we denounce the ideology itself as rooted in a Satanic deception. There is no question that historic Christian Anti-Semitism especially in Europe was a major contributor to the persecution of the Jewish people which culminated in the Holocaust. Bad theology and bad ideas have consequences. Nowhere is this truer than in the treatment and posture of the Church toward the seed of Abraham.
- iii. We affirm the importance of the unique identity and calling of both Jewish and non-Jewish followers of Messiah. It is the rule Paul gave to the communities of the Messiah (1 Cor 7:17-23). Paul’s teaching in 1 Cor 9:19-23 must be seen in the context of witness not identity and calling. The context of Paul’s witness to Messiah inside and outside the synagogue varied accordingly. This also clarifies the identity of the weak and strong in 1 Cor and Rom 14. The controversial and sometimes divisive difference in the Messiah communities in the first century was the essential equality of the non-Jewish believer from the nations in the Lord Jesus (1 Cor 12:13; Gal 2:11-21, 3:28; Eph 2:11-15). The Acts 10-11 passage is key to understanding this teaching. Peter’s vision was not an abrogation of Torah for the Jew (cp. Mark 7:19 and Acts 10:14; Matt 5:17-18; Rom 10:4), rather it was a Messianic teaching on the equality and gracious admission of non-Jews to the Spirit Baptism and Salvation without becoming Jews (Acts 11:15-18). Notice if anyone converted, in terms of “religion” not ethnicity (Acts 15; Rom 11) it was the non-Jew not the Jew!
- iv. We affirm the importance of studying Holy Scripture in the geographic context of the Land of Israel and the regions of the Apostolic missions. We support and encourage trips to Israel and other Apostolic regions of mission to taste the tangible and historical connection of Scripture.
- v. We identify with and support the Christian Zionist movement which contributed greatly in the early years of the modern Zionist movement. We believe the Jewish people have a Divinely granted right to their historic homeland. We reject the idea that the Jewish people must share ownership or control of their historic homeland with non-Jews. The Jewish people are a remarkable nation and have contributed immensely to the welfare of mankind.
- vi. We affirm the love of the God of Israel for all the nations of the world. We affirm the essential unity of all mankind and reject attempts to divide human beings into race groups based on skin-shade or tone. We recognize only one race, humanity! We believe the communities of the Messiah today should be a prolepsis of the Kingdom of Heaven which is full of creative variety and difference (Rev 7:9-10). The body of Messiah needs to be a balm of healing in a broken and divided world.