At MFF the focus isn’t on “who is right” and “who is wrong” but rather coming to the truth with humility and balance by the ministry of the Holy Spirit. Without the work of the Holy Spirit the “letter” can bring death (2 Corinth. 3:6). But the ministry of the Holy Spirit is to lead and guide us into all truth:
[Jhn 16:13 ESV]13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.
Now the trap comes when someone claims to be led by the Holy Spirit but blatantly denies the plain “letter” that the Word of God has established. The Holy Spirit will NEVER lead you to break God’s commandments. It is the carnal, fleshly mind that is not subject to the Law/Torah of God according to Paul:
[Rom 8:7 ESV]7 For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot.
It is our goal and desire at MFF to walk in Spirit and in Truth. We want to walk in newness of the Spirit without rejecting the treasures in God’s commandments for blessing and maturity. This is a constant challenge and one that takes a lifetime commitment and not a passing religious fad. If you are truly honest with yourself when we ask the question of what revival is in the Church today we would all say something like this; “WE HAVE TO GET BACK TO THE BOOK OF ACTS!” After all isn’t that when the Holy Spirit was poured out and the Church was added to daily (Acts 2:47) those being saved and all kinds of miracles, signs, and wonders were recorded. We have to also recognize the often overlooked fact that the First Century Apostles were Jewish and they all kept the Torah and in fact, taught this to the Gentile believers coming into the faith (Acts 15- the whole chapter Emphasis on Moses being read/taught in Synagogues every Sabbath day). We believe Revival is coming and in fact has already begun with a restoration of the Hebrew Roots of the Christian faith and the pouring out of God’s Holy Spirit on His people that have the testimony of Jesus (Yeshua) and keep the commandments of God.
[Rev 14:12 ESV]12 Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God AND their faith in Jesus. [emphasis added][Rev 12:17 ESV]17 Then the dragon became furious with the woman and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring, on those who keep the commandments of God AND hold to the testimony of Jesus…[emphasis added]
Some Frequently Asked Questions
What should I expect at one of your Shabbat services?
We begin each Shabbat (Sabbath) service at 10am with dynamic Spirit-Filled praise and worship. What do we mean, “Spirit-Filled?” We believe in the power and indwelling of the Holy Spirit as described and recorded throughout all of Holy Scripture but in particular in the book of Acts. We believe that through worship we can have an encounter with the God of the Universe through His Holy Spirit. The Apostle Paul describes many “Gifts” of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinth. 12, Eph. 4, Rom. 12, etc.) and we believe that the Holy Spirit dynamically through His administration causes these Gifts to manifest at certain times in a Biblical and orderly manner.
We then profess Traditional Jewish blessings aloud as a congregation and then engage in the Sidra Aliyot or the public reading of the weekly Torah portion into seven readings just as Jesus (Yeshua) was accustomed to doing in the First Century AD (Luke 4:16-22).
Once the reading is complete the children gather under a large Tallit (Jewish Prayer Shawl) and four Dads of the Congregation grab a corner of each side and a Cantor speaks/sings aloud the Aaronic Benediction/blessing over the children and then they are dismissed for class.
The teens and adults remain in the sanctuary for a brief 10 minute Midrash or group discussion on the Torah portion that was just publicly read aloud. Once that is complete a Messianic teaching and explanation of the Torah portion commences that is recorded for the weekly Podcast. At the end of each teaching the Altar is open for prayer and the “laying on of hands” for the pouring out of God’s Spirit, the stirring up of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, and for healing.
Every week we have a time of communal food and fellowship known as Oneg. Oneg is the Hebrew word for “delight.” Everyone brings a Biblical Kosher (Lev. 11) dish to pass. MFF provides paper and plastic plates and utensils.
What is the Torah Parsha & why do you read it?
What is the Torah?
Torah is Hebrew for “Instructions” or “teachings” but has been erroneously translated as “LAW” in English bibles. Although the Torah does contain certain laws, statutes and ordinances the essence of Torah is not a set of “do’s and dont’s” but a way of life that is pleasing to our Father in Heaven. It is also called the Pentateuch or the books of Moses and include the first 5 books of the bible; Genesis through Deuteronomy. The Torah was always an oral instruction until Moses penned it down sometime between 1280 -1441BCE.
What is the Parsha?
-Parsha is Hebrew for “Portion.”
-It is a systematic breakdown of the Torah scriptures into weekly readings or portions.
-It is read in Jewish Synagogues and homes every Sabbath.
The regular public Parsha reading is said to have begun with the scribe Ezra in 537 BCE and can be read about in Nehemiah 8. Prior to Ezra the reading of the Torah publicly was a commandment from Deut. 31:10-13. Since the days of King David Synagogues were a gathering place (Psa. 74:8) where the Torah Parshas would be read and taught until modern days, some 3,000 to 4,000 years later. In the days of Yeshua (Jesus) the parsha reading and regular reading and teaching of the Torah was still in effect (Matt. 13:24, 4:23, Mar. 1:39, Luke 4:16-21, Acts 15:21).
Yeshua read and taught from the Torah- Luke 4:16-18 “And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Isaiah…”
Line Upon Line, Precept Upon Precept
Acts 15:21 “For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every sabbath day.”
For a full article on what the Torah is CLICK HERE
I thought the Torah or Law of God was done away with Jesus?
This is a common consensus among many New Covenant Brethren whether it is directly voiced or implied in actions or by not acknowledging certain Scriptural truths. A cursory jaunt through the New Testament would bring one to some scriptural basis for:
- The Sabbath being kept by New Testament believers (Matt. 12:12, 28:1, Mark 1:21, 2:23, 6:2, 16:1, Luke 4:16, 31, 13:14-15, John 5:9 and over 85x in Acts alone)
- Dietary restrictions still in force (Acts 10, 15)
- The Feasts of the Lord being kept (Lev. 23, Mark 14:1, John 7:2-3, 10:22, 1 Corinth 5:6-8)
Even Jesus (Yeshua) Himself made it very clear that the Torah/Law will not be done away with by anything that He came to do:
[Mat 5:17-19 NIV]17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. 19 Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
Why do you meet on Saturday and not Sunday?
Messianic Family Fellowship meets on Saturday and not on Sunday. We believe that the Sabbath as described in the Bible is from Friday sundown to Saturday sundown. We do not believe that the Bible instructs us to rest one in seven but specifically the seventh day. Otherwise, His command would be to remember the Sabbath “rest” and keep it holy but it doesn’t. It states to remember the Sabbath “DAY” and keep it holy (Exod. 20:8). In fact the early Church did not meet on Sunday but on Saturday according to the Bible and Historical records up until the Council of Laodicea 363–364 AD:
“The primitive Christians did keep the Sabbath of the Jews;.therefore the Christians for a long time together, did keep their conventions on the Sabbath, in which some portion of the Law were read: and this continued till the time of the Laodicean council.” The Whole Works of Jeremey Taylor, Vol. IX, p416 (R. Heber’s Edition, Vol.XII, p.416)
“The ancient Christians were very careful in the observation of Saturday, or the seventh day..It is plain that all the Oriental churches, and the greatest part of the world, observed the Sabbath as a festival…Athanasius likewise tells us that they held religious assemblies on the Sabbath, not because they were infected with Judaism, but to worship [Yahushua], the [Master] of the Sabbath, Epiphanius says the same.” Antiquities of the Christian Church, Vol. II, Book XX, chap. 3, Sec. 1, 66.1137, 1138
“Ambrose, the celebrated bishop of Milan, said that when he was in Milan he observed Saturday, but when in Rome observed Sunday. This gave rise to the proverb ‘When you are in Rome, do as Rome does,’ ” Heylyn, The History of the Sabbath, 1613
Constantine later enforced keeping a Sabbath on the first day of the week, which he calls “the venerable day of the sun.” Venerable means ‘commanding respect’.
*MFF does not condemn meeting on Sundays but observing Sunday as the Biblical Sabbath is Scripturally inaccurate. Just as it is appropriate to render every day of the week as a day to worship God it is only one day a week as sanctified as the Sabbath of the Lord (Gen. 2:3).
I thought the Sabbath and Torah Laws were just for the Jews?
There are many Messianic Congregations that teach a doctrine that says this; “The Torah is still very valid and in effect today BUT only for the Jewish people. Gentiles or non-Jewish people are not obligated to keep the Torah or Law of God.” This doctrine causes a lot of confusion because new believers see the Law being kept by New Testament believers in the Bible but then start to get a picture that God has a Plan A and a Plan B. Is it true? Is God the same yesterday, today and forever as the Bible describes? Does God have two Brides or one? Is there one Body of Messiah or two?
We have a full article about this subject- Click Here to read more
Do you believe in the Gifts of the Holy Spirit?
The short answer is YES we believe in the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. I guess the real question should be, do you believe that the Gifts of the Holy Spirit are still in effect today? Most people agree that the Gifts were very evident in the life of Jesus (Yeshua) and the Disciples and early “Church.” Some fail to see the fact that the Gifts of the Holy Spirit existed before Yeshua came in the flesh and before the pouring out of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost (Feast of Shavuot). Once you begin to see that God used these Gifts in the Old Testament and then throughout the ministry of Yeshua and the Apostles it is easier to see that they continue to be used as the Holy Spirit wills (1 Corinth. 12:11).
We at MFF believe as with the Torah of God, that the Gifts of the Holy Spirit are still in effect and very valid today in the lives of believers. We believe that it is through the misunderstanding and ignorant practice of these Gifts that has caused certain denominations to build doctrine against it and not what the Bible actually teaches. God is the same yesterday, today and forever (Heb. 13:8) and He does not change (Mal. 3:6, Num. 23:19). In fact, the Apostle Paul admonishes the assembly at Corinth to not be ignorant or fail to learn about the Gifts of the Holy Spirit:
[1Co 12:1 KJV]1 Now concerning spiritual [gifts], brethren, I would not have you ignorant.
NIV- Now about the gifts of the Spirit, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed.
Do you believe in speaking in tongues?
Speaking in Tongues is one of those subjects that has caused great controversy in the Body of Messiah over the past 2,000 years. We, at MFF, believe in the Gift and operation of Tongues or Languages. Again, we believe that it is through the abuses and over-amplification of this Gift that certain sects and denominations have built doctrine against it’s use today instead of what the Bible plainly teaches. As believers we need to move toward maturity in the faith and walk in sound doctrine as to not blemish the Word of God and the Power of the Holy Spirit through using the Gifts of the Holy Spirit in a way not intended by God.
Please read our full article on this subject. READ MORE
Do you believe that you are saved by keeping the Law?
In short, NO, we do not believe that the Law of God saves us.
Having said that, we believe as Paul the Apostle that we are saved by Grace through Faith (Eph. 2:8-9). Salvation is a gift of God and not something that can be earned by any works of righteousness, whether of the Torah or of “Church Dogma.” In other words, keeping the Sabbath day is no more a door to salvation as going to Church on Sunday. Unfortunately, some people see works as a means of being saved, whether they acknowledge that the Torah is valid or not.
What is the purpose of the Law then? Put simply the Torah makes us guilty before God and points to the solution or that we need a savior. The problem with a lot of people today is that they don’t feel guilty and therefore they have no need of a savior. If you take away the Law/Torah then nobody is in sin and therefore Jesus (Yeshua) didn’t have to die on the cross because sin is defined as breaking the Law of God (1 John. 3:4). Paul also teaches about this in Romans:
[Rom 7:7 KJV]7 What shall we say then? [Is] the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.
So the Law of God is not sin but rather defines what sin is according to Paul. If there was any question as to what Paul really meant we continue to read in Romans 7:
[Rom 7:12 KJV]12 Wherefore the law [is] holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.
What is Biblical Kosher?
Biblical Kosher is different than Rabbinic Kosher. In Judaism some things can be deemed Kosher or acceptable as food through the inspection and blessing of a Kosher Rabbi. There is also an understanding in Judaism that meat cannot be mixed with dairy of any kind. This is from a passage of Scripture that has to do with commandments regarding the Tithe (Deut. 14:21) and not the commands about clean and unclean food (Lev. 11).
We do not follow the Rabbinic understanding of Kosher but a Biblical understanding in our opinion. Please read our full article on this subject- READ MORE
Do we keep Jewish Tradition as commandment?
No we do not keep Jewish Tradition as commandment. Although we do see significance in a lot of Jewish tradition such as the traditional blessings, how feasts are celebrated, and the reading of the Torah Parsha every week we condemn teaching such practices as the commandments of God; Tradition is tradition and commandment is commandment. This is one of the big issues that Yeshua challenged the Pharisees about many times throughout the Gospels.
[Mar 7:9 KJV] 9 And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.