Shalom! B’rukhim HaBa’im!
The Fellowship is emerging out of need. The modern Messianic community is growing rapidly, and so are the number of doctrines and behaviors through which a believer and/or a group of believers [Kahal/Congregation] must sift.
We hope to create a worldwide akhavah, a fellowship with others who have found similar ground doctrinally, on the most critical doctrinal issues, and who actually behave according to His Word and His Compassion. We also hope to provide resources and support, both educational and spiritual, to that growing community.
Why “Fellowship” ?
The “Messianic Peshitta Fellowship” is NOT an umbrella organization, as most other religious associations are. We are simply a fellowship, meaning:
We recognize each other as brothers in Messiah, individuals and families who see each other collectively as trusting in the same Messiah, and walking His path, and as having our feet planted in the same doctrinal soil, no matter where we live.
Messiah is the head of the congregation. Each local manifestation of His congregation answers to Him directly. It is the duty of the local extension of His Body to establish doctrine, and to protect it, and the leaders of the local assembly will answer directly to Messiah on these matters. The assemblies established by the Shlikhim [Apostles] operated this way for about 300 years, until man interfered and married the congregation to earthly government[s] and manmade doctrine.
We recognize a need, however, to provide to our congregants the awareness of other brothers and sisters around the world who hold to sound doctrine. This Fellowship will make congregants aware of other small assemblies around the world, when we travel, or when we want to build friendships and other relationships with those of like mind and walk. The Fellowship will be able to assist new local assemblies in working out their doctrines, but will not impose lesser doctrines on any assembly, but will hold them to those tenets that bind us all together foundationally.
Why “Messianic” ?
The term Messianic has been misappropriated by many. We cling to the term, however, because it is rooted in “Messiah”, the Anointed One. True local “Messianic” assemblies follow ONE Messiah, Yeshua HaNatzri. “Messianic” means ‘of Messiah’ or ‘like Messiah’. In the Messianic “Peshitta” community, we see Rabbi Yeshua the Messiah as our ONE Rabbi [Matti 23:8], and we follow His “halakha” and that of NO other Rabbi, ancient or modern. [Sha’ul, a Rabbi, never called himself “Rabbi”] If our halakha overlaps with another Rabbi’s halakha, that is simply because of the common heritage we have in our Jewish people. Our Rabbi Yeshua operated in the framework of our Jewish culture 2,000 years ago, and some of what other Rabbis teach derives from that same culture. We, however, do not go beyond what Yeshua did and taught. “But you, do not be called, ‘Rabbi;’ for ONE is your Rabbi, and all of you are brethren.” “He who says, “I am in Him” ought himself also to walk His halakha.” [Yokh Alef/1 Jo 2:6]
Why “Peshitta” ?
The original “Peshitta” community was that of the Aramaic community of the near east, which rejected Constantine’s new ‘catholic church’, because the plain meaning of the scriptures did not support his council’s new doctrines. They were dubbed “Peshitta”, from the word “pashat”, meaning they accepted only the “plain meaning” of the text concerning very critical issues.
The ancient Peshitta community retained its Aramaic scriptures, when the rest of the world went to the Greek as source texts. We believe there is strong support for the primacy of the Hebrew and Aramaic scriptures over the Greek. [no original or early Hebrew texts of the Brit Khadashah remain] We do not require belief of that viewpoint on primacy for fellowship with us in this Fellowship, but we do recommend that all congregations look also to the Peshitta texts for doctrinal studies, as many confusing passages are cleared up by the Semitic scriptures. The original Greek scriptures are sound, but also a mite problematic in a few places. But, this does NOT preclude their use for study.
More importantly, we believe, like the ancient Peshitta community, that ALL doctrine derived from any scriptural sources must adhere first to the “peshat”, or ‘plain’ reading of the texts of ALL scriptures: Torah, Nevi’im, K’tuvim, and Brit Khadahsah. Plain interpretation of the Torah is foundational and paramount to sound doctrine. It is a symptom of the last days that there are so many doctrines that divide us. The scriptures have been twisted by many well-intentioned people, but we believe in plain interpretation, and that plain interpretation guided by His Ru’akh [Breath/Spirit] is the only thing that will unite true believers in Messiah Yeshua. Messiah told us He is coming back for a spotless bride. That purity is her aligning with His Word and doing what He says.
As stated earlier, we believe there is ONE true Congregation, ONE BODY of Messiah, around the world, that is seen in the independent assemblies that are ‘little sanctuaries’ around the globe; each assembly is governed directly by Messiah Yeshua, if the assembly is structured biblically, and self-disciplined, and answers directly to Messiah by seeking His guidance, and understanding that it is His Word, and nothing else, that instructs us in the ways of Tzedaka [righteousness]. The Body of Messiah is worldwide by nature, and because of that nature it is unified. It is up to individuals and local assemblies to make certain each individual and assembly is participating in His Body/Congregation, and not merely functioning on its own. It is the imposition of a ‘world council’ and global ‘rule’ over the various assemblies, which married the Congregation to the state, that brought about the first official, ‘church sanctioned’ murder of believers by mere professed believers, and that eventually led to the overload of denominations and doctrines we have today. Marrying the congregations to the state [which is adultery] is an egregious error, and limits the “Kingship” of Messiah in His assemblies. We believe that most all religious organizations, especially those that are tied to the state in any way, are therefore the “Harlot” and her “Daughters” [Hitgalut/Rev 18], and that Yeshua is calling His children out of this error, desiring that His Bride makes herself spotless, according to His Word, the “Ketubah” of His Bride [Written Bridal Contract]. Assemblies that are attached to the state end up either dead due to bad doctrine, in order to comply to the state’s world view, or fighting for life and breath because of the adulterous relationship with the state, unbeknownst to the assembly. This relationship brings about other spiritual behaviors that besmirch the Name of Yeshua.
Again, there is indeed “ONE” true Congregation in the Ru’akh, and it is His. But, just as there were multiple assemblies in the flesh in one geographic region in the Hitgalut [Revelation 1-3], so are there multiple assemblies in flesh around the world today. But we often lose sight of the fact that we are part of a greater whole. And, just as those seven assemblies were corrected by Messiah Himself, and responsible not to one another, but directly to Him, so is each assembly responsible only to Him, and He will correct us as individual assemblies, even removing His Menorah, the powers of His Ru’akh [the Menorah is the symbol of Messianic Faith by the Ru’akh HaKodesh] from their assembly if needed. But, a wider fellowship of like-minded believing assemblies can serve as useful and beneficial to all those local assemblies. Just like some of the issues between the seven assemblies of the Hitgalut were dissimilar, so also did they have some exact same or similar issues to one another. So, the experience of the similar issues we have today can provide support and encouragement across assemblies, and prayerful help in the Ru’akh, so that assemblies are not alone in times of strife or peril.
We do not believe that our member assemblies are the only ‘true’ assemblies in the world. We simply assert that our foundational doctrines are necessary and true, and that we have found others of like mind with whom to fellowship. There are indeed other true assemblies, and we hope to fellowship with them, too. We trust the True Judge, Yeshua the Messiah, to guide all His righteous ones into truth.