Bible Study Project is not a ministry of The Association of Messianic Congregations. However, over the thirteen-year period that I was editor of The Shofar, their web-based magazine, I systematically exegeted their Statement, placing one study in almost all of the fifty-two editions I edited. What developed is the systematic theology that appears on this site, a close approximation of the original.
Please don't be scared away by some terminology that is appropriate for people from a Jewish background. (Yeshua might be scared in you called Him Jesus!) All is cool and kosher! I think what you'll find here is a solid grammatical, literal, conservative, evangelical series of systematic studies that lays a firm foundation for true biblical faith and Christian living and will, perhaps, challenge and inform in areas of study not at all addressed in most churches.
I had no hand in the formation of the Statement, which appears below. What is contained in these studies is an expression of my own convictions and emphases expressed, for the most part, according to the systematic theological sequence outlined on our Blueprint page.
We believe that the Scriptures, both the Tenach (Hebrew Scriptures) and the Brit Hadasha (New Covenant), are fully inspired and are God's complete and final revelation to man until the Messiah returns. The 66 books of the Bible are inerrant in the original autographs. They are true and authoritative in every category of knowledge to which they speak. (Proverbs 30:5,6; Isaiah 40:7,8; Jeremiah 31:31; Matthew 5:18; John 10:35; 2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Pet.1:19-21)
We believe that God is one but has manifested Himself in three separate and distinct Persons. Hence, we believe that God is a Tri-unity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. God is the creator of all things. He is infinite and perfect, eternally existing in three equal persons, each possessing the nature of deity, as well as the characteristics of personality. He is Omnipresent, Omnipotent and Omniscient. (Deuteronomy 6:4; Isaiah 48:16; Matthew 28:19; John 6:27; Acts 5:3,4; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Hebrews 1:8)
Part 1: God the Father
We believe He is Father over all creation, and thus its sovereign ruler; Father of Israel, whom He has chosen as His unique people; Father of Messiah Yeshua (Jesus), whom He sent into the world to redeem mankind and creation; and Father of all who trust in His gracious provision. (Exodus 4:22; Matthew 3:17; John 1:12, 3:16; Acts 17:29; Galatians 3:26)
Part 2: God the Son
We believe that God the Son became flesh in the person of Yeshua of Nazareth, the promised Messiah of Israel, who was conceived of the Spirit of God and born of the Jewish virgin, Miriam (Mary). We believe in His full deity and full humanity, His sinless life, and His miracles. We believe that Messiah Yeshua arose from the dead bodily, ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father, making intercession for believers. He will come again in glory establishing His literal Millennial kingdom on earth. (Isaiah 7:14; 9:6,7; Jeremiah 23:5,6; Micah 5:2; Luke 1:26-79; John 1:1,2,14-18)
Part 3: God the Holy Spirit
We believe the Ruach HaKodesh (The Holy Spirit) is a Person. He possesses all the distinct attributes of deity and personality. He does not call attention to Himself and is ever present to glorify and testify of Messiah Yeshua. We believe the Spirit of God is active today, convicting the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment. He regenerates, seals, and sets the believer apart to a holy life. At the moment of salvation, each believer is baptized with the Spirit into the body of Messiah and at the same moment is permanently indwelt by the Spirit. All believers are complete in Messiah and possess every spiritual blessing. We believe that at salvation the Holy Spirit sovereignly imparts at least one spiritual gift to every believer for the purpose of edifying and equipping the body of Messiah. (Nehemiah 9:20; Psalm 139:7; John 15:26, 16:13-15; Acts 5:4; 1 Corinthians 2:10,11; 12:11; 2 Cor. 13:14)
Satan and Demons
We believe in the reality and personality of Satan, the Adversary of God. Satan is the originator of moral evil and the god of this world. He and his agents are active in blinding mankind to spiritual truth, inciting anti-Semitism and attempting to defeat believers. Believers can and should resist him by applying Scriptural truth. (Isaiah 14:12-17; Ezekiel 28:11-19; 2 Corinthians 4:3,4; 10:3-5; Ephesians 2:1,2, 6:10-18; 1 Timothy 3:6; 2 Peter 2:4)
We believe a great company of angels are before the throne of God, praising, worshiping, adoring, and glorifying Him. They are sent forth to bring about God's intended plans and purposes, and to minister to all believers. (Isaiah 6:1-7; Daniel 10:10-21; Luke 15:10; Hebrews 1:13,14; Revelation 7:11-12)
We believe that man was created in the image of God. Adam sinned and consequently experienced not only physical death but also spiritual death, which is separation from God. All human beings are born with a sinful, corrupted nature, and sin in thought, word, and deed. Man's state of sin has so infected his will that he is unable to choose God's provision of redemption in Messiah Yeshua without the work of the Holy Spirit in his understanding. (Genesis 1:26,27, 2:16,17, 3:6, 6:5; 8:21; Exodus 33:19; Psalm 14:1-3; Isaiah 53:6, 64:6; Jeremiah 17:9, 31:33; Mark 7:20-23; John 2:24,25, 3:3-5, 6:44; Romans 3:23, 5:12-19, 9:1-18; Ephesians 2:1-10)
We believe that anyone who by faith trusts Messiah Yeshua as Savior and Redeemer is immediately forgiven of sin and becomes a child of God. This salvation is not the result of any human effort or merit, it is the undeserved favor of God. Further, there is no other way of salvation apart from faith in Messiah Yeshua for any person, whether Jewish or Gentile. We believe that Messiah Yeshua died as the sacrifice for man's sin and that all who believe in Him are declared righteous on the basis of His shed blood alone. We believe that all believers are kept eternally secure by the power of God through the new birth and the indwelling and sealing of the Holy Spirit. (Genesis 15:6; Leviticus 17:11; Deuteronomy 9:4-6; Habakkuk 2:4; John 1:12,13; Acts 2:37-39; Romans 1:16,17, 3:28, 8:9,15-17; Ephesians 1:7, 2:8,9,19; Titus 3:5)
The Body of Messiah
We believe that all believers in Yeshua are members of the universal body (community) and bride of the Messiah. The body of Messiah began at Shavuot (Pentecost) with the baptism of the Holy Spirit after the ascension of Yeshua. Membership in the body is based solely on faith in Messiah. This body is distinct from Israel and is composed of both Jews and Gentiles made one in Messiah. These members are under the solemn duty to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of love. We believe that the ordinances of the local congregation are water immersion and the Lord's Supper. We believe that the purpose of the local congregation is to glorify God through worship, instruction, accountability, discipline, fellowship and outreach. Its eldership is open to men who fulfill the qualifications for elder as set forth in the New Covenant. The Scriptures encourage the active participation and regular assembly of believers in the local body. (Matthew 16:15-18 Luke 22:24-27; Acts 1:5, 2:14-36; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Galatians 6:1; Ephesians 2:11-18, 5:23-27; Colossians 1:18, 3:14,15)
The Gifts and Present Day Ministry of the Holy Spirit
We believe that at salvation the Holy Spirit imparts at least one spiritual gift to every believer for the purpose of edifying and equipping the body of Messiah. We believe that God sovereignly distributes Spiritual Gifts to believers and so giving undue emphasis to any one particular gift can be divisive. We believe that God heals in accordance with His will. This may occur miraculously, medically, or naturally. Supernatural healing may occur in response to prayer and in accordance with God's sovereign will. However, physical healing cannot be claimed solely on the basis of the atonement. We believe that the filling of the Holy Spirit is the ongoing process of God to which we yield whereby He sanctifies us (sets apart) and brings forth the fruit of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 8:13-14; 1 Corinthians 12:28-31; 13:1-3,13; 1 Corinthians 14:12, 19, 23, 27-28; Galatians 5:22-23)
We believe Israel is God's special people, distinct from the body of Messiah, chosen by Him to be a holy nation and a kingdom of priests. The election of Israel is irrevocable. Jewish believers in Yeshua have a unique twofold identity. They are the spiritual remnant of physical Israel and at the same time are part of the body of Messiah. We believe the Abrahamic Covenant is an irrevocable, unconditional covenant God made with Jewish people. This covenant provides title to the land of Israel for the Jewish people and promises a descendant (the Messiah) who would come to redeem Israel and bless the entire world. The spiritual blessings of the Abrahamic Covenant overflow to all the nations. God will ultimately fulfill every aspect of the covenant in the Messianic Kingdom, both physical and spiritual. We believe that Israel's eternal covenant relationship with God does not grant atonement to individual Jewish people. Therefore, it is the believer's privilege and duty to tell the Good News of Messiah Yeshua to the Jewish people. (Genesis 12:1-3, 15:1-21, 17:1-21; Romans 11:1-29; Galatians 3:14-17)
The Believer and the Law of Moses
We believe the Law of Moses as a rule of life has been fulfilled in the Messiah and therefore believers are no longer under its' obligation or condemnation. While the Law of Moses is no longer obligatory for believers, the Law has much to teach us regarding a joyfully Jewish way of life. Both Jewish and non-Jewish believers have the freedom in Messiah to maintain any aspects of the Law of Moses which do not violate the entirety of the rest of scripture. (Acts 21:24-26; Romans 6:14;8:2;10:4;14:1-23; 1 Corinthians 9:20; 2 Corinthians 3:1- 11; Galatians 3:3,3:10-13;6:2; Ephesians 2:14 )
We believe that upon physical death believers enter into the joyous presence of God, whereas non-believers enter into conscious suffering apart from God. We believe in the personal, bodily, visible, and pre-millennial return of the Lord Yeshua. At that time He will lift the corruption which now rests upon the whole of creation, totally restore Israel to her own land, give her the realization of God's covenanted promises and bring the whole world to the knowledge of God. We believe in the bodily resurrection of all men. Believers shall be resurrected to enjoy eternal life with God. Non-believers shall be resurrected to experience judgment and then eternal suffering/separation apart from God. (Jeremiah 30:7 Daniel 9:24-27; Ezekiel 20:33-40; Matthew 24:30; Acts 1:11; Romans 8:19-23; 11:25-27; 1 Corinthians 15:51-53; 1 Thessalonians 1:10; 4:13-18; 5:1-11; Titus 2:13; Revelation 3:10 )
Revised and Approved by the AMC Board of Directors - August 28, 2003
One More Item: Two House/Ephraimite Doctrine
We have been asked our position regarding the new/old Two House/Ephraimite doctrine and the related speculation
about the 10 Northern Tribes of Israel supposedly getting 'lost' and then showing up in the USA. At both recent AMC Conferences our President Steve Shermett presented seminars on these new twists on old false doctrines. Here is our Editor's [not Norman Manzon's] quick summary of what was presented:
1. The Ten Northern Tribes were taken captive by Assyria. After a hundred years Babylon defeated Judah with its 2 Tribes and defeated Assyria and took all their captives, including the Hebrews of the Ten Tribes. So there was a reunion of sorts, albeit in captivity, of all the 12 Tribes. After more years, Persia defeated Babylon and guess what they did? They let everyone go home, including the members of all 12 Tribes, together. The New Testament records members of several of the Northern Tribes back in Israel in the First Century. So, they weren't "lost", they were reunited with the rest of the Hebrew people, and the myth of "10 Lost Tribes" is the product of poor Bible exegesis or an intentional effort to invent a scenario that names some group or church as descendants of a tribe.
2. Scripture uses the terms Jewish and Israel interchangeably, trying to invent some difference between the terms is really "reading back" into the Scriptures a recent false teaching. A good example of the interchangeability is Romans 11:1, where Rabbi Sh'aul (known generally as Paul) calls himself an "Israelite" of "the Tribe of Benjamin". Of course, Benjamin was part of Judah.
3. Gentile Believers in Messiah Yeshua are beloved of God and do not need to invent, imagine or make up a false Jewish/Hebrew/Israel lineage to be top-ranked
"players" in the family of God. God loves Gentiles who love the Messiah.
"The Association of Messianic Congregations exists to strengthen Messianic Congregations by providing resources, teaching and fellowship that promote Biblical values, proclaims personal faith in Yeshua as the one Atonement for all humanity, and encourages worship through the diversity of Jewish expressions of faith."