Through our many and varied faith traditions, we believers in Yeshua have each had implanted within us an idea of what “church” is supposed to look like. Whether we come from the congregation of Christianity or the synagogue of Messianic Judaism, we typically view “church” as a sacred, physical place set apart for the purpose of hosting people in group ritual, rites and worship. Yet, as revealed in our exploration of this topic throughout previous teachings, today’s typical view of “church” actually bears little resemblance to the “church” concept of Scripture. And this reality is especially true in regard to how the Bible depicts the corporate gathering of the believers.
What is the purpose of the Church? Most people think of church as buildings and worship services, in which case the goal of church is obvious: to praise and worship God, and to hear the teaching of His word. But while there is unquestionably a time and place for these very important things, that is not the primary pattern and purpose that we see in Scripture for gatherings of the Church—the Called-Forth. On the contrary, the believers’ gathering has another, more fundamental collective purpose—one that tells us how we’re meant to function together as the Body of Messiah.
How often are we supposed to gather together as the Church—as the Called-Forth of God? For most active Christians and Messianics, the standard practice is to attend at least one weekend worship service. But should that weekly meeting really be our goal? Does participating in a once-a-week worship event truly reflect the Bible’s example for when we should gather ourselves together? Read more
Most of us have an already well-established picture in our minds of “church”—what it is, who goes there, and where it takes place. But what if that building you visit once or twice a week not only isn’t “church,” but isn’t prescribed anywhere in the Bible? What if the biblical concept of “church”—or, more literally, “the Called-Forth”—is far more simple and natural than that? Read more
The Church—Yeshua’s Called-Forth—is not a building or an event, but a living organism. Messiah is our head, and we are members of His Body, each of us set in place to perform various and unique functions. Whereas most congregations have rigid roles and hierarchies, with leaders segregated from the laity, the structure of Scripture’s Called-Forth is far more amorphous, decentralized and simple. Here is a brief overview of the three main parts of the collective organism that is the true Called-Forth.
In most people’s minds, “church” is a building or other physical location where believers go to attend group worship services. Whether that place is referred to as a church, assembly, fellowship, congregation, or Messianic synagogue, the basic idea is still the same. But when we look to the Scriptures, we find that what we think of as “church” doesn’t actually resemble this concept at all. Read more
In most people’s minds, “church” is a physical structure, and “going to church” means travelling to that special building, at a special time, in order to attend and participate in congregational worship services. But is this really how the Scriptures define the true nature of “church”?
Our generation of Messiah-followers is in crisis. Plagued by division, bizarre beliefs, and the overall watering-down of the Bible, we simply cannot afford to take the fundamentals of our faith for granted. So in order to determine if we can walk together as brothers and sisters in Messiah, here are six areas of non-negotiable belief that identify whether we share an essential, biblical faith.
Messianic believers in Yeshua rely on the Scriptures for guidance on things such as Torah-keeping, celebrating the Feasts, and so forth. Yet some say that in addition to the instructions of God’s word, we should also be keeping the traditions of Judaism—that this is a clear teaching of Paul. But is this what Paul really teaches? What should our attitude be toward Jewish tradition? Read more
As those created in God’s very own image, it is our duty and pleasure to serve and obey our Master—to voluntarily enslave our minds (see Ro. 7:25) and bend our wills to His Word. To be true, no amount of the sincerest admiration, respect, veneration, passion or even self-denial is acceptable to God unless it proceeds from our unconditional conformity and unrivaled obedience. In the words of Samuel, “to obey is better than sacrifice.” Indeed, our commitment to the Creator must far exceed all adoration and devotion we have for Him. Instead, as the Master Yeshua demonstrated by laying down His life in place of ours, the only adequate expression of love and submission must be displayed through action. Whatever the price—no matter the cost—we must heed the admonition of obedience: “When God speaks, man must bow.” Read more