The following is the vision that YHVH has set on our hearts to walk through as we learn to become as the first disciples, a "Liquid Church", guided my His Holy Spirit, grounded in His Holy Torah and grafted into His kingdom by Yahshua, we are passionate about BEING what God has called us to be. In the midst we pray that we may encourage others in a true sense of community. The following is the Scriptural definition of what that means to us. It is "thick", I pray it blesses those who meditate on it with us. It makes a great Bible study...Shalom, ~p
We have been called to "home fellowship". This gathering does not have a single Pastor/Priest except for the High Priest - Yahshua (Jesus Christ) the Messiah. 1 Peter 2: 1-12 God has given us this vision to be stewards of it. We in no way want to persuade people to think/be like us (for obvious reasons!). Instead, we simply asked the Lord to send people our way whom He is priming to be His disciples and to serve Him whole-heartily, with all we are. We don’t have all the answers, but we know the One who does. We are coming to the realization that this is precisely where God wants us - dependant on His Holy Spirit and His Holy Scriptures like missionaries in a foreign land. We must weigh everything we do in our spirits through discernment, prayer and wisdom of The Scriptures. We are not looking for a rigid model to plug people into – rather we desire to seek Him through His Word and the Holy Spirit. Here are a few things that the Lord HAS given us as a foundation to our gathering:
• That we meet together with other believers to encourage, edify and exhort one another as we walk in God’s ways; Holding each other accountable and holding a true sense of community as outlined in the Bible. Eph 5:1-21, Romans 13:8-14, Col 3: 1-17, 1Thes 5: 1-22, Titus 2, Heb 10:19-39
• Learning to conduct ourselves as if each of us were regarded as Elders (leaders) in the church - not bench warmers in a spectator sport. 1 Tim 3:1-13, Titus 1:7-9, The book of James
• We strive to accept and love one another regardless of our differences, gifts, spiritual maturity and struggles, as we seek truth together. We learn to walk under the humble authority of our King. Mathew 18:2-4, Ephesians 4, Phil 2:1-18, Romans 5:1-11, Phil 1:9-11, Romans 14
• That we look to the Scriptures for our answers as our Divine Ruler, measuring everything against it and learning to know it well (know The Book for yourself– there will be tests). That we study the scriptures and look at topics in the context it was written. That we measure all teachings and prophecies against The Scriptures for accuracy, lest we be deceived. That we are willing to allow our hearts and minds to be transformed by The Holy Spirit – instead of trying to make scripture fit us or our preconceptions. That we seek God for who He is – not simply what we want Him to be. Romans 12:2, Eph 6:10-19, 2 Tim 3:16-17, Heb 4:12, John 1:1-5
• Take a stand for the King. Luke 16:8-13, 1 Cor 16:13,14, Gal 2:20 , Gal 5:1, Rev 3:15,16
• That we govern ourselves according to the Scriptures, not tradition or preconceived understanding. That we come together in prayer until we are of one accord in the spirit, especially when we are at an impasse of disunity. Gal 6:1-10, Luke 6: 37-42, Romans 15:2-9, Matt 18:15-17, 1 Cor 5
• That we come to understand, accept and freely operate in the gifts and fruits of The Spirit as The Word says. Learning to recognize and operate in our heritage as believers, grafted into God’s family by faith. Gal 5:16-25, Romans 8: 1-17, Gal 3:21-29, 1 Cor 12
• That we walk in unity with The Church universal regardless of our differences as we leave the Judging to HIM and be humble as we pursuit Him and share His revelation. 2 Cor 5:11-21, Gal 5:13-18
• That we come to understand, accept and embrace God’s design for our family and accept the responsibility to be an example in our household. Eph 5:22-33, Eph 6:1-4, Col 3:18-21, Prov19:5,13,14,18,19,26,27
• That we stretch our arms out in service for The Lord, as a lifestyle of sacrifice. Matt 28:16-20, Romans 12
• We pray that our gathering be a safe place of refuge and refreshing, like the upper room was to the original disciples. However, understanding it is only that way so that we may become better equipped to reach out into the world as Ambassadors for The Most High King, not simply for our own pleasures. Eph 3:1-13, Col 4:2-6, Matt 5:13-20, 1 Tim 4
(The samples of Scripture given for each topic are just that SAMPLES – the Bible has a lot more to say on these topics!)In a nut shell – Trust and obey YHVH and learn to love one another as He shows us!
Our family are Biblical Sabbath keepers (which is sunset Fri. to sunset Sat) We understand this choice may need a little explaining – as it is not common to modern “church culture” as most of us know it. Our church is built around YHVH (God), with The Scriptures and the Holy Spirit as our High Counselors. Personally we honor this day, because YHVH has specifically set it apart as Holy for this purpose in the Scriptures. We want to put our will in line with His. We do not profess to understand it completely, because we are still discovering the mysteries of YHVH. Our only desire is to obey and serve Him, as a result we have committed our lives to God’s Word over church history. Scripture tells us that He has given the Sabbath to us as a sign between He and His people for all generations. Exodus 31:13,16; Isiaah 56:3, 66:22. It is no small thing, it was established at the begining of Creation! Gen 2:2 We have been called out of the docterines of man and choosing to take responsibility for our walk by becoming Yahshua's Talmadine (Deciples); Doing this does not come without cost. 1 Peter 2:9 We are set free from the law and governed by the truth as it continually unfolds in The Scriptures in our quest for YHVH. We do not judge other believers according to when or how they choose to worship. Col 2, Romans 14, Exodus 16:22-30, 20:1-20, 31:12-18; Mark 2:27-28; Matt 5:13-20
We also keep the Biblical Feasts commanded by YHVH with MUCH gladness! In doing so He has revealed things to us that we never knew before. His ways are so much higher than ours!! Here is a "random" link that very briefly gives some highlights about the feasts, with Biblical references and breakdown. http://www.luziusschneider.com/Papers/JewishFeasts.htm Many people call them the "Jewish Feasts", but make no mistake, they were given directly from YHVH/God for His people. The Scriptures call them HIS feast - Man calls them "the feasts of the Jews". At the time, those people were only the Hebrew Nation; that definition has been expanded to all those who except Yahshua as Lord - this has grafted us into His family tree. His people are to be ONE, as He is ONE. These feasts are for His people. Yes, it is very clear, when instructions where given that they were to be observed "permanantly". If you are "His", search this out in Scripture and prayer and see what He reveals to you. Leviticus 23 (There are many more!)
Yahshua/Jesus, all His disciples and the apostles of the early church kept the Sabbath and they also kept YHVH's Appointed Times/Feasts. Yahshua railed against the perversion of YHVH's Torah, not the teachings of the Torah. He proclaimed that He did not come to abolish it, but to fulfill it. (He did this on so many levels!) We use the cliche' "WWJD?". Think about it...He obeyed the Torah and took a stand against the "organized religion of His day" which perverted the Torah into legalism.
This document is not the place to go into a long (and it is long) teaching about the feasts, but we want to say that we understand how this is confusing. It is written about sacrifices in relation to the feasts and it is hard to see how that applies to the NT church. Sacrifices have in fact, stopped because of Yeshua's ultimate sacrifice and the destruction of the temple. (This was the only ordained place for sacrifices to take place.) But we don't throw the baby out with the bath water. We need to understand the big picture. The Appionted Times (including Sabbath) are part of YHVH's method of teaching us that. The feasts reveal YHVH's plans in so many layers, but they are just that - layers which we must desire to discover. These layers are revealed as we obey His commands to do it and we seek Him in it - We seek after His wisdom as gold and He reveals His BIG PLAN bit by bit. We are realizing these appointed times keep His people's eye, hearts and mind focused on Him and his many mysteries. We stand in awe and thirst for more of Him. He is glorfied, proven soverign and magnified by His own desiganted Appointed Times. It is one of the ways HE has chosen for us to worship Him.
For those whom are considering meeting with us, do not let this be a stumbling block for you if it is foreign. We have not forgotten (and pray we never do) where we came from (and are still coming). This was foreign to us too, we wrestled with it and had every argument one could have against it (we were indoctrinated well!). We are happy to openly discuss ALL THINGS THROUGH SCRIPTURE. Not everyone is in the same place at the same time, but if we keep our eyes on Him - we can walk together as HIS TRUTH unfolds before us - no matter where we are at that moment.
We break bread and raise our glass in remembrance of Yahshua together 1 Cor 11:23-33, Matt 26:20-30
Sharing resources, testimonies, trials, prayer, worship, hymns and praises, Bible study, gifts of the Spirit, eating together and fellowship as the Lord leads and the Bible outlines. 1 Cor 14, Col 3:16-17, Lev 23:3
We do not collect tithe. Like Paul, we choose not to be in debt to others, so that we may be free to speak the truth. (2 Thes 3:6-15) However, we do encourage everyone to sow finances generously into the work of The Kingdom, to bring glory to YHVH - we do. (2 Cor 9:4-15, Psalm 37:25-26, Prov 22:8-9, 1 Tim 6:17-19, Prov 11:24-26, Duet 15:10-11, Acts 10:2)
We encourage families to remain together during our assembly as the discipline and maturity of the children allows. YHVH has given parents this authority and we encourage parents to disciple their children in the ways of our Lord. This happens first and foremost in the home. Children are also part of the community, so we encourage whole families and all ages to participate and be involved in our gathering. Joel 1:2-3, Psalm 112:1-2, 1 Tim 3:4, Mark 10:13-14, Luke 7:35, Psalm 34:9-11, 2 John 1, 3 John 1:4, 3 John 1:4, Prov 20:7, Deut 4:5-13, Deut 6:1-9, Deut 11:13-28
You may question many of these things – That’s OK! We encourage you to explore The Scriptures and we can discuss them openly. The Scriptures tell us that we must give an account for our ways. (1 Peter 4, Matt 12:36-37) Unlike most "church settings" we welcome those sorts of conversations! We strive to seek after wisdom as gold, remaining teachable and humble all the while! (Proverbs 16) 1 John 3
For those of you who are local - if you would like to come, please call or email me for meeting times, as it may change in different seasons. We would love to have you!
When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from His glorious, unlimited resources He will empower you with inner strength through His Spirit. Then Messiah/Christ will make His home in your hearts as you trust in Him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love is. May you experience the love of Messiah/Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from YHVH/God. Now all glory to YHVH/God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to Him in the church and in Messiah Yeshua/Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 3:14-21
In YHVH/God We Trust, in the precious name of Messiah Yeshua.
Here is a comment that was posted on the old blog and I didn't want to loose it. So I am posting it in the text.
Beloved, I am sitting here amazed at the Biblical freshness of your blog and fully agree with your desire for a "back to the Bible Church, a Pentecostal New Testament Church," so much has been lost in our obedience and worship mostly due to man's own [for whatever reason]changes. The celebration of Pagan Holidays etc. Your Home Fellowship Vision is truly a new fresh start to get back to the Scriptural precepts God instructed us to keep. Hopefully many will be given this vision by our Adonai and when Jesus comes back again He will see a purer Church without mans presumption of convenience or whatever that he did to change it.
I do have one thought about meeting to worship on the Sabbath, and their is no question on when that is and it is the day God told us to worship and rest from our work. In God's new covenant , when Jesus became our sacrifice, doesn't that do away with the old law? I know the ten commandments was not done away with, although we are not able in ourselves to keep them, and if we keep the Sabbath doesn't that mean we are to keep the full of it, that we do nothing and all the rest that goes with it? Just a few thoughts on how we can keep part of the Sabbath but not all of it as was God's command in the old testament.
Thank you, and God Bless. betty
March 13, 2008 9:59 PM
It is so clear that you honestly seek the truth and love the Lord. We all want to come before Him and hear Him say those blessed words, “this is my servant with whom I am well pleased.” I am confident that Yahshua/Jesus knows your heart well! The question you pose is a very good one! One which we all must weigh and answer as NT believers for ourselves. We are going to try to answer it as simply as we can, as far as we understand things and in humbleness.
If we take a look at Scripture that I am sure we are all familiar with, as Jesus give His Sermon on the Mount: Matthew 5:17 “Don’t misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to accomplish their purpose. 18 I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not even the smallest detail of God’s law will disappear until its purpose is achieved. 19 So if you ignore the least commandment and teach others to do the same, you will be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But anyone who obeys God’s laws and teaches them will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven.
We need to pray about this and take an honest look at the big picture. These words are very mighty. We can’t just dismiss the Torah’s instructions as if they are null and void. Some things have been completed, for example: all the laws in relation to atonement and sacrifices for sins have been replaced by Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice. But what about the rest…there is so much more, civil and moral laws. But in those civil laws came the "Oral traditions", aka Rabbi's thinking they needed to give God a hand and add to what God gave Moses. These are the things which Jesus railed against - not the laws His Father gave!! We now exist in the in-between time, until He returns to settle things one and for all. Heaven and earth have not passed away, and Jesus goes so far to say not even the smallest detail will disappear from the Torah.
We must ask; What does that mean? Matt 5:20 “But I warn you—unless your righteousness is better than the righteousness of the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven!" Where does our righteousness come from? It comes from Yahshua/Jesus as the ultimate sacrifice and atonement, not from the Law. We must not lose sight of that.
For centuries, Church leaders have been teaching that it is “either or”--"us or them" - "Old and New" As if we have replaced the the clunker with the shinier more sleek model. Reaching back to the OT for things that are convenient like tithe and the 10 commandments, Creation and stories of Noah for the kids. However, The Holy Spirit seems to be revealing, that it is rather somehow…BOTH the "new" and the "old". It is a complete package. Our inability to see that - doesn't change what it is.
Jesus spends the next chapter giving examples of how we should live humble lives of service without seeking the accolades of man. Then warns us about judging others, false profits, seeking after truth, and what a genuine disciple looks like. (I LOVE THE FRUIT METAPHOR!) Then we get another very important warning from Jesus: Matthew 7: 21 “Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. 22 On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ 23 But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.’
(Beloved, if that doesn’t put the Fear of the Lord, nothing will! The law seem to really be important to Jesus and He seems to be making that every clear to us.) He goes on...
24 “Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. 25 Though the rain comes in torrents and the flood waters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock. 26 But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. 27 When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.” 28 When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, 29 for he taught with real authority—quite unlike their teachers of religious law.
What "God's law” was Jesus “teaching”? There was no New Testament. There was Torah, the Prophets and the Writings (the Old Testament). There are over 200 scriptures quoted from the OT in the NT. I can’t help but see that He is teaching (and living) the Old Testament, correcting the doctrines of man and then ultimately being the lamb that open the door to the rest of the world to come into His kingdom. Every kingdom has a laws or rule that define it doesn't it? He certainly isn't an "anything goes God". IF we are ignorant to the OT connection and relevance of it in the NT church, we have handicapped our understanding of the Messiah and The Father and His plan. Couple that with a lack of understanding of Hebrew Culture, translation issues, and the idea that we go by a different set of standards than Jesus/Yahshua and all His disciples and early apostles did (ignorance and PRIDE) and we’ve ended up with a messy church doctrine that is not from God. This is EXACTLY what He railed against with the Religious teachers of His day. We have repeated it and are too proud to admit that. Things are pulled out of context from His Word and misunderstood.
You may ask about what Paul says in Galatians: The Lord Himself seems to contradict much of the entire book of Galatians which seems to say that the Law is a curse, which Gentiles should avoid at their peril! The reason for the seeming contradiction is that Paul’s letter to the Galatians was written to address the issue of Legalists(Judaizers), a specific group of Jews that insisted that every letter of the Torah must be kept by newly converted Gentile believers. In other words, Paul was trying to warn the legalists - saying… if you put your faith into the law, you will have an impossible burden to bear. Putting emphasis on the "THINGS we do
i.e. "works" that qualify us to God. If we follow and TRUST Jesus/Yeshua however, the law is no longer a burden or a threat… it becomes the blessing God had always intended it to be. A hedge of protection, a sort of code to live by that sets us a part from the rest of the world’s crazy ways. In otherwords, we keep our eye on the Creator not the Creation. As a result we love to observe the Biblical Sabbath (not because we HAVE TO) just like we love to honor our parents and refrain from murder as a lifestyle (insert other commandments here)…not as a yoke of burden (“My yoke is easy and my burden is light”- Matt 11:30 ), or to save ourselves from judgement, but more as a simple act of worship: Trusting in God’s plan for us and wanting to learn and live by His ways. We have become Sabbath Keepers. Not in a legalistic way but in a way of great thanksgiving and blessing. It brings us great joy, refreshing, body mind and spirit. As we learn to rest and reflect on the Lord's goodness and set aside our own agenda. We are not a slave to the Day, but rejoice in it. If the Holy Spirit sent us a duty for that day we would jump to it. If a brother was in need, we would help them. If we were in a pinch of some kind and had to"work"or had to travel on that day, we would. Although we plan not too as a rule to keep it seperate for His purposes. Does that belittle the day's holiness? If one's faith or salvation hinges on exactly what is to be done in how it is to be done with legalistic enforcement, yes it does belittle the holiness of the day and the Spirit of the whole purpose it lost. Thankfully that is not our understanding or reality of the Sabbath in it's fullness or His laws and the keeping the feasts for that matter. I hope that helps clarify some things.
March 29, 2008 8:59 PM