Statement of Doctrine
The brethren in the Messiah, who are members of the ASSEMBLIES OF YAHWEH, present this document as their statement of doctrine. Widespread disorganization and confusion have been rampant during the past years in the Sacred Name movement. A statement of doctrine such as this has become necessary in order to define for the interested inquirers after scriptural Truth a framework of the sound doctrines that are contained in the inspired Scriptures, the Word of Almighty Yahweh. We hereby present this document as the basis of faith on which we all can stand and on which we can base a unity of purpose. We believe that this statement of doctrine presents this basic Faith that was once and for all time delivered to the sanctified believers, clearly, concisely, and briefly. We believe that this statement of doctrine will be instrumental in uniting us all under one banner as the Body of the Messiah and will enable us to give a ready testimony of our Faith to all who seek Truth, 1 Peter 3:15.
The Basis of Our Faith
We affirm that, in order to interpret the inspired Scriptures correctly, we must use the Old Testament as a basis for our Faith. We must, therefore, interpret the New Testament through the teachings of the Old, recognizing complete harmony in the Word, thereby achieving sound doctrine, John 10:35. In the New Testament we find that repeated reference is made to the Law, the Psalms, and the prophets: in other words, the Word of Almighty Yahweh, Matthew 4:4; John 5:39; Luke 24:44-46; 2 Timothy 3:14-17; Isaiah 8:16, 20; Acts 17:11. The Old Testament Scriptures saw partial fulfillment in the accounts that are recorded in the New, while they will find complete fulfillment in the years that will follow the Second Coming of our Savior.
We affirm that there is one Almighty Heavenly Father who is above all and to whom we owe our reverence and worship, Deuteronomy 6:4, 13; Matthew 4:10; 1 Corinthians 8:4-6.
We affirm that the Messiah has come in human form as the man recognized as the Savior in the New Testament Scriptures, that He preexisted with the Father, John 16:28-30; Psalm 2; Micah 5:2; John 17:5; Philippians 2:5-8; that He was born of a virgin, Matthew 1:18, 23; Luke 1:26-38; that He lived a sinless life, 1 Peter 2:22; that through His death upon the tree of Calvary we may have atonement for our sins, Isaiah 53; Hebrews 9; and that He rose again the third day, Matthew 12:40; 1 Corinthians 15:1-8; to give us a hope of a resurrection also, Romans 5:6-12; 1 John 5:9-13.
We affirm that it is necessary and most important to our salvation that we accept the revealed, personal Name of our Heavenly Father YAHWEH and the Name of His Son, our Savior YAHSHUA the MESSIAH. We affirm, also, that the most accurate transliteration of these Names from the Hebrew into the English is by the spellings employed above, Exodus 3:14-15; Psalm 68:4; Psalm 83:18; Isaiah 42:8; Isaiah 52:6; Acts 4:12.
We affirm that the Holy Spirit is the mighty power from the Heavenly Father and the Messiah dwelling within us so that we may have the ability and strength to bring our lives into a state of perfection pleasing to our Heavenly Father, John 14:15-27. We find the trinitarian doctrine to be foreign to the inspired Scriptures. The Holy Spirit is imparted to the obedient believers by the laying on of hands of the elders of the Assemblies of Yahweh after baptism, Acts 19:1-6; Acts 8:14-24; 1 Timothy 4:14; Acts 2:38; Acts 5:32.
We affirm that as obedient children it is necessary to keep all of the commandments, statutes, and judgments (except the ritual and animal sacrifice Laws) which the Heavenly Father gave to Israel to make them a separate people, Leviticus 20:7-8; Deuteronomy 6:6-9, 25; Deuteronomy 7:6-11; Matthew 5:17-20; Romans 7:12. It is now possible through the Holy Spirit to keep these commandments by faith for our salvation, Ephesians 2:8-10; Jacob 2:17-20. We now keep a spiritual sacrifice rather than animal sacrifices, meal, and drink offerings, Hebrews 13:15-16; 1 Peter 2:5; Romans 12:1; Philippians 4:18.
We affirm that sin is the transgression of the Law of Yahweh, Leviticus 4:2, 13, 27; 1 John 3:4.
We affirm that in order to be free from sin, a person must accept the shed blood of Yahshua the Messiah as his atonement and live in submission to the Will of our Heavenly Father by keeping His Laws, Micah 6:6-8; 1 John 1:7; 1 John 2:2; Hebrews 10:26-31; Ephesians 1:6-7. Yahweh has extended grace (unmerited kindness or mercy) to all who keep His Law, Romans 3:24. Grace is not license to do as you please, Judah 4.
We affirm that water baptism is a necessary act following repentance, Acts 2:38; Matthew 3:13-17; that this baptism is immersion in water, backward, one time, into the Name of Yahshua the Messiah; Romans 6:3-6; John 5:43; John 14:26; that this baptism symbolically indicates an inner cleansing, Romans 6:7-23; 1 Corinthians 10:1-10. We also affirm that baptism, except in rare instances, is a necessary step in receiving the Holy Spirit, 1 Peter 3:21.
We affirm that obedience to the commandments of Almighty Yahweh includes observing and keeping holy His commanded observances of Leviticus 23 and Numbers 28-29.
We affirm that the weekly seventh-day Sabbath (commonly called Saturday) is upheld in both Old and New Testament Scriptures, Exodus 20:8-11; Mark 2:27-28; Luke 4:16; Hebrews 4:4, 9. The Sabbath is a sign between Yahweh and His people, Exodus 31:12-17.
We affirm that the scriptural months are determined by the visible new moons, Deuteronomy 16:1. The first day of each month is delineated by the appearance of the crescent. We find that the Scriptures indicate further that the Law will go forth from Zion in the Millennium, Isaiah 2:3; the holy days will then be set from Jerusalem, Isaiah 66:23. The scriptural day begins and ends with sunset, Leviticus 23:32; Mark 1:32.
We affirm that the Passover Memorial Supper in this New Testament era is the annual observance of our Savior’s death. The Passover Memorial is to be observed on the evening of the 14th day of the scriptural month of Abib, soon after sundown, at the commencement of the day, Exodus 12:3-14; Numbers 28:16; 1 Corinthians 5:7-8; 1 Corinthians 11:23.
The Passover observance utilizes the emblems that are to be partaken in this New Testament era. The unleavened bread (matzoth) is the symbol of the broken body of our Savior, 1 Corinthians 10:16; Exodus 23:18. The symbol of our Savior’s shed blood is understood to be the fruit of the vine (Hebrew tirosh, ’asis—grape juice), Matthew 26:27-29; Isaiah 65:8-9; Deuteronomy 32:14. We find the Passover day to necessitate the use of unleavened bread, but it is not a Sabbath of rest, Deuteronomy 16:3-4. It is the preparation for the feast, the day before the annual Sabbath, Mark 15:42; Luke 23:54; John 19:31, 42; Exodus 12:18; Exodus 34:25. Foot washing precedes the taking of the emblems, John 13.
We affirm that the Feast of Unleavened Bread is observed from the 15th to the 21st (inclusive) of the month of Abib; during this period we eat unleavened bread with our meals, Leviticus 23:6, while symbolically cleansing ourselves of everything that corrupts, meaning false doctrine (teaching) which leads to sin, 1 Corinthians 5:6-8; Matthew 16:12; Mark 8:14-15; Luke 12:1. The first and last days of this observance are to be kept as holy Sabbaths and convocations for the worship and praise of our Heavenly Father, Exodus 12:15-20; Numbers 28:17-25; Acts 20:6-7.
We affirm that the Feast of Shavuoth (Pentecost) is to be observed seven weeks after Passover, beginning our count with the day following the weekly Sabbath falling on Passover or during the week of Unleavened Bread, Yahshua 5:10-12, NEB. Shavuoth (Feast of Weeks) is always observed on the first day of the week, Leviticus 23:9-21; Acts 2. We find that it was the day of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the New Testament Assembly and was, also, the time when Israel ratified the Covenant Law with Yahweh given to Israel at Mt. Sinai.
We affirm that we shall observe the Feast of Trumpets in anticipation of our Savior’s return from heaven for His bride, the Assembly, Leviticus 23:24-25; Numbers 10:1-10; Numbers 29:1; 1 Thessalonians 4:16.
We affirm that the fast of Atonement (Yom Kippur) is to be observed as a memorial of our Savior’s atonement for us on the tree of Calvary. This day is to be observed as a strict Sabbath and fast day, Leviticus 23:27 32; Acts 27:9.
We affirm that the Feast of Tabernacles is to be observed in this New Testament era as a preview of the Kingdom of Yahweh and the Millennium, Leviticus 23:34-39; John 7:1-39; Zechariah 14:16-21. The Feast of Tabernacles is a feast of seven days, the first day being a holy convocation, while the eighth day, called the Last Great Day, is to be observed as a holy convocation also, John 7:37.
We affirm that our Savior, Yahshua the Messiah, will establish the Kingdom of Yahweh, the Kingdom of the Heavens, on this earth, Psalm 115:16; Proverbs 11:31; Matthew 5:5; Revelation 5:10. This Millennial Kingdom will prevail for 1,000 years and will be set up by Yahshua the Messiah at His Second Coming. At that time, righteousness will be established as the order of the day, and this earth will be rebuilt into an Edenic paradise which man lost originally through sin, Isaiah 11:1-10; Matthew 6:10. After the Millennium, a new heaven and earth will be brought forth, Isaiah 66:22; Revelation 21:1.
We affirm that the Scriptures teach eternal punishment for the wicked, that this punishment is complete destruction in the lake of fire (Gehenna), and we disavow an eternal torment in an ever-burning hell, 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10; Malachi 4:1-3; Psalm 37:20-22; Isaiah 33:12; Matthew 25:46; Judah 7. We affirm that the Bible teaches the existence of a literal devil (Satan), Genesis 3:1-15, Isaiah 14:12-20, Zechariah 3:1-2, Matthew 4:1-11, 1 Peter 5:8, Revelation 12:9. Satan will be destroyed at the end of the Millennium, Ezekiel 28:18-19, Romans 16:20, Revelation 20:7-10.
We affirm that adherence to the law of clean meats in Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14 remains in effect and binding in our era and that it is important to our physical health, 2 Corinthians 6:16-18.
We affirm that the Scriptures teach anointing with oil in the Name of Yahweh and in the Name of Yahshua the Messiah for healing of illness. This anointing service should be done by at least two elders if possible, Jacob 5:13-20; Exodus 15:26.
We affirm that in order to preach this true doctrine of salvation around the world, every member of the Body of the Messiah is obligated by scriptural Law to tithe (10 percent of his increase) to the Assemblies of Yahweh, Proverbs 3:9. These tithes are to be paid to the headquarters treasury so that no duplication of the ministry shall occur, Malachi 3:8-12; Leviticus 27:30-33; Matthew 23:23. The Assemblies of Yahweh teaches, also, the second (feast day) tithe, Deuteronomy 14:22-26, and the third (third year poor fund) tithe, Deuteronomy 14:27-29; Deuteronomy 26:12-17.
Government in the Assemblies of Yahweh
We affirm that the doctrine of the Scriptures, relative to Assembly government in the Assemblies of Yahweh, is one of law, order, and rule from the top down. The Messiah is the Head of the Assemblies of Yahweh. Almighty Yahweh is not the author of confusion; consequently, everything must be done decently and in order, 1 Corinthians 14:33, 40.
The government in the Assemblies of Yahweh shall be constructed as closely as possible to that which was designed by Almighty Yahweh for Old Testament Israel and continued by the New Testament Apostles. We find the references to this government in Exodus 18, Numbers 11, and Ephesians 4:11. The holy Scriptures reveal that the specific prophetic and apostolic offices have been filled, although these functions remain in the offices of evangelist, pastor, and teacher, along with bishop and deacon, 1 Timothy 3; Titus 1:5-9; Numbers 11:25. Also, the Scriptures recognize the title minister relative to the office of Yahweh’s chosen elders, Romans 15:16; Hebrews 10:11; Romans 12:7.
Since it is Almighty Yahweh and Yahshua the Messiah through the Holy Spirit giving leadership positions in the Assemblies of Yahweh (to forestall internal politics), the term of each office shall be for life, 1 Corinthians 12:11, 18, 28. Should any elder not remain faithful, or not continue to qualify according to scriptural requirements and the established standards, he can be removed for cause.
Ministers of the Assemblies of Yahweh shall meet all scriptural qualifications, 1 Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9. It will be the policy of the Assemblies of Yahweh to select able men who are indeed elders in the Body of the Messiah, full of the Holy Spirit of Yahweh, to serve in any official capacity. In accordance with the established standards, these men will then be required to attend Obadiah School of the Bible at headquarters. The Scriptures exclude women from preaching, 1 Timothy 2:11-14; 1 Corinthians 14:34.
Doctrinal matters for all Assemblies shall remain within the confines of the bishop and the ordained ministers. Should a member have any difficulties with doctrine, he is required to write a summary of his belief and present it to the Standing Committee for Doctrinal Review. Doctrinal decisions must be made by the preaching eldership according to Acts 15 and not in the general congregation. All members of the Assemblies of Yahweh shall conform to 1 Corinthians 1:10 and Ephesians 4:1-7 by being in doctrinal unity. The Assemblies of Yahweh must be maintained as a unified Body, following the example of 2 Thessalonians 3:6-16.
The preaching of sound doctrine must be maintained; therefore, only ministers who are ordained, credentialed, or men in training by the Assemblies of Yahweh will be permitted to preach, or to occupy the pulpit for this purpose. The senior ranking minister worshiping in any congregation of the Assemblies of Yahweh shall preach the main message at that particular time. Regular Sabbath services shall have an optional sermonette and a main sermon, since the Scriptures do not recognize a Sabbath school.
The government of the local Assemblies shall conform to the pattern of the Scriptures. Every member shall first be considered as forming a part of the united Body of believers around the world although worshiping locally in various areas. If an Assembly has grown to adequate numbers, it should have a pastor, teaching elder, and deacon as its local governing body. Under the authority of headquarters, the pastor shall be in charge of the activities of the local congregation. To assist him in delivering sermonettes and in visiting shall be a teaching elder. The deacon of the congregation shall be in charge of the temporal needs of the poor of the congregation. The deacons of each local Assembly shall be under the authority of the central government as well. The suggestions of the members of the local congregations will be considered before ordination of deacons (Acts 6). The activities of each individual Assembly (including overseeing the elders) will be scrutinized by the bishop and the ministerial advisory body as the need arises. The decision of the ordained ministers shall be final when they arbitrate matters of dispute between members.
The Assemblies of Yahweh shall be drawn together into a unified effort on a worldwide scale. All assets belonging to, or received by, an incorporated branch of the Assemblies of Yahweh shall belong to that branch and shall be used for the organization’s outreach in that country.
It is recognized that the headquarters treasury may be called upon to subsidize and maintain foreign outreach ministries until they are strong enough to maintain themselves.
All financial activities of all branches of the Assemblies of Yahweh shall be subject to scrutiny by the bishop (President). Any transfer of property by a branch, other than in the ordinary course of its operations, shall require the prior written approval of the bishop (President). Any transfer of property by members no longer in good standing in the Assemblies of Yahweh shall be considered to be outside the ordinary course of operations.
Spiritual Life in the Assemblies of Yahweh
In the inspired Scriptures, we find a definite picture of the spiritual life which is to be lived by each member of the Assemblies of Yahweh. We affirm that the Scriptures teach a life of total obedience to Almighty Yahweh and to His perfect Laws. We affirm that the members of the Assemblies of Yahweh should be bright and shining examples to the outside world of the True Worship which we find in the Scriptures. It should be our aim to live as closely as possible to our Heavenly Father Yahweh each day. It should be our goal to live a simple life, abstaining from activities with which this worldly society around us amuses itself. As ambassadors of a heavenly Kingdom to come, it should be our desire to exclude ourselves from all involvement in the political activities of the nations in which we reside. This abstention includes voting in elections, Deuteronomy 17: 14-15; 1 John 2:15; 2 Corinthians 5:20; Matthew 5:14-16; 2 Timothy 2:4; Leviticus 26; Deuteronomy 28.
We affirm that the Scriptures command modesty in dress for both brethren and sisters, 1 Timothy 2:8-10. We find that the Scriptures teach a doctrine of headship in regard to our positions of authority in the Assembly and in the home, 1 Corinthians 11:1-16; 1 Timothy 2:2-15; 1 Peter 3:1-7. Relative to this teaching of headship, we find that a woman is obligated to have her head covered for worship and while witnessing. Men’s heads shall be uncovered.
The Scriptures teach a doctrine of purity of the body, meaning that we will not take into our bodies any addicting, harmful, or illegal drugs which may cause the body to lose its sanctified nature, possibly causing the Holy Spirit to depart from us, 2 Corinthians 6:14-18. It should be our objective to live as healthfully as we can, in order that we may present a witness of strength to the world and, consequently, be a more effective witness for Yahweh.
We affirm that the Scriptures teach a doctrine of nonviolence toward our fellow men. We are commanded to live at peace with all men and to follow the “golden rule” set forth in Matthew 7:12; Leviticus 19:17-18; Matthew 22:39. The example that our Savior, Yahshua the Messiah, set for us, in which He left His vengeance in the hands of Almighty Yahweh, the Heavenly Father, should be followed by all the brethren of the Assemblies of Yahweh. Our attitude toward all men should be that love will win our enemies, 1 Peter 2:21-23; 1 Corinthians 6:1-11; Matthew 5:33-48.
In accordance with this attitude which exhibits peace toward all men, we insist that all members of the Assemblies of Yahweh refrain from military duty of any kind. In lieu of military service, we recommend that they accept a position in conservation work or in an institution whose objective is humanitarian, in accordance with the government laws regulating alternate service. The ministers of the Assemblies of Yahweh are charged with responsibility in teaching and assisting the brotherhood to further this scriptural principle, Exodus 20:13; Deuteronomy 5:17; Matthew 5:38-48; Luke 6:27-35; Matthew 26:52; John 18:36; Romans 12:9-21.
It should be the goal of each member of the Assemblies of Yahweh to establish a home in which a spirit of love prevails. Each husband and wife in the Messiah should strive to build a life that will last into eternity. The enlightened members of the Assemblies of Yahweh will never find solutions to their marital problems in the divorce courts. The parents will dutifully teach their children the correct way that leads to eternal life, Ephesians 5:20-33; Ephesians 6:1-9; 1 Corinthians 7:1-17. Our everyday lives are the best witness we can present, both to those in the Assemblies of Yahweh and to those outside in the world, that no reproach shall be brought upon the Name of the Messiah.
In the Assemblies of Yahweh the spirit of love should be evident among the brethren. This spirit of love should be an outgoing concern which manifests itself spontaneously for each member of the Body of the Messiah. Any differences between brethren shall be settled according to Matthew 18. The accused has the right to face his accuser. No brother shall take recourse in the worldly courts of law in a disagreement against his brother in the Messiah, 1 Corinthians 6.
The Assemblies of Yahweh teaches that salvation is freely extended to every member of the human race. We affirm that the Scriptures teach that every person is welcome in the family of Yahweh regardless of race. The Assemblies of Yahweh is to be the house of prayer for all people, Isaiah 56:7. In the Apostolic Assembly, Gentiles (ethnic people) were accepted, Acts 8:27-39; Acts 10-11; Galatians 3:28; Colossians 3:11. The love of Yahweh, through the sacrifice of Yahshua the Messiah, is bestowed upon whomsoever will come, Revelation 3:20. He has made of one (Adam) every nation of men who dwell on the whole face of the earth, Acts 17:26. Every member of the Assemblies of Yahweh shall bear the fruits that give evidence of this conviction.
Each member of the Assemblies of Yahweh should find opportunities to witness the Truth of the inspired Scriptures which they hold dear and to seek out others and bring them to the fold. Every member of the Assemblies of Yahweh should work hard to further this organization and to prepare it as the Body of the Messiah that will meet the Savior in the air when He returns. Each member of the Body of the Messiah should endeavor to fulfill the Scriptures in every way so that he will be a fine example of the True Worshiper to those in the outside world, so that others will wish to join the body of the Messiah, 1 Peter 3:15.
Qualifications for Membership in the Assemblies of Yahweh
The qualifications for membership in the Assemblies of Yahweh shall be as follows:
Each member in good standing shall have been baptized into the Name of Yahshua the Messiah. Each member shall be living a life of total submission to our Heavenly Father Yahweh and to His royal Law, a life which indicates repentance and conversion. Each member shall be in agreement with this statement of doctrine and recognize it as a summary of the sound doctrines proclaimed by the inspired Scriptures.