"...upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." Matthew 16:18
"...that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth." 1 Timothy 3:15
There can be little argument as to the importance of the Church of Jesus Christ in the outworking of Gods plan for his people throughout the ages of time. As we see from the scriptures referenced above, the Church is that institution against which "the gates of hell shall not prevail", and it is "the pillar and ground of truth." In the absence of a worthy and viable manifestation of the church, the lives of the people of God are sorely and adversely impacted. Indeed, a key component of Satans tactical strategy throughout the centuries of time has been to undermine and corrupt the church.
The modern denominational church world has become subverted and compromised to the point where it is now a shameful disgrace. Truth is routinely rejected and suppressed on a massive scale by those calling themselves Christian. Matthew 5:13 reads: "...but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men." This verse truly describes the current state of the organized church world. The salt has most assuredly "lost his savour" and as a result of this reality, evil has been allowed to run amuck throughout the land!
The Reformed Church Of Israel is dedicated to the task of rekindling an undiluted Biblical standard for all the world to see. The challenge we face in pursuit of such a vision is truly enormous. In spite of this fact, however, we are driven and motivated by the acute urgency of the hour, as well as the fact that scripture assures us that "...with God all things are possible." (Matthew 19:26) If there is to be meaningful progress made in the battle against the global Satanic forces, it will only result from the power and inspiration derived from a reformed and revived manifestation of the Church!
The institution of the church is comprised of elect believers in Jesus Christ who have been called into a redemptive and saving relationship with the Lord, Messiah, and King of Israel. It is crucial and imperative for individuals who are called by the sovereign hand of God into an awareness of their elect status, to have imparted to them the necessary and timely instruction relative to how they should go about the task of following through in their Christian walk. One of the debilitating problems in the denominational church world is that those who become converted to the faith never have the opportunity to be properly schooled, informed or directed in the manner of how they should grow into mature, knowledgeable and effective soldiers of the cross. This problematic situation has been extant for generations, and we now suffer from multiple layers of ignorance and confusion at all levels within the body of Christ. In Matthew 15:14 we read, "Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch." Sadly, this description is completely appropriate for modern Christianity. The blind parishioners are being guided by equally blind leaders and teachers, and as the Bible informs us, the inevitable result of such folly is that both parties wind up stumbling into the ditch of even greater error and confusion.
Our specific objective in this handbook will be to provide vital information and instruction to the individual who desires to experience relevant and effective status, as defined by Biblical prerequisites, within the Church of Jesus Christ. The denominational churches are incapable of extending such an overture because they live and walk in willful and determined rejection of profound and urgent truth. The person who is genuinely sold out to Christ and his glorious truth will not even want to waste precious time spinning his wheels in the institutionalized church world. Luke warm, watered down, sold out "churchianity" is for the individual who is comfortable with those pathetic qualities and characteristics. The Reformed Church Of Israel is not the place for those who are fearful of dealing with full blown truth. If you aspire to become ultra hard core in the practical application of your beliefs and convictions, we will certainly go to great lengths in an effort to help you attain such a goal. For those who meet such a description please read on!
FACTS ABOUT CHURCH MEMBERSHIP
Membership in the Reformed Church Of Israel is not something that is formally or ceremoniously established in the counsels of men. If God has called you to be a member of this church body it will be born out in your heart felt convictions. Your ensuing actions will confirm to all concerned parties that such a calling is, in fact, upon your life. Formal church membership tends to be a tool used by men for manipulative and other questionable purposes. Our belief is that there is no Biblical basis for the requirement of formal church membership.
AVID PURSUIT OF THE TRUTH
The Reformed Church Of Israel assumes a stance that can be summarized by the phrase "the truth at any cost." Yes, it is truth which matters most in this world, for without the knowledge of the truth, we really have nothing! The underlying implication of Hosea 4:6 is that only truth can prevent destruction. That verse reads, "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge..." and from it we learn that it isnt the lack of prayer, holiness, fellowship, fasting, witnessing, helping the poor, etc...that is pivotally linked to the destruction of a people, but rather, the lack of knowledge, or in other words, the truth! As a member of the Reformed Church Of Israel you will want to cultivate an insatiable thirst for truth...leaving no stone unturned as you quest after the greater knowledge that God is making available to you. Remember, in John 8:32 Jesus said: "And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." Additionally, we read in 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12, "(10)...because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. (11) And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: (12) That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness." These verses of scripture should provide ample incentive for becoming an avid seeker of the truth!
RENOUNCING AND LIVING IN VICTORY
OVER THE FEAR OF MAN
Proverbs 29:25 tells us that "The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the Lord shall be safe." Proverbs 1:7 states, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction." Ecclesiastes 12:13 says, "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man." These and other related passages of the Bible make it quite clear that we are to fear God alone, and are not to allow ourselves to become bogged down in or rendered ineffective by the sin of fearing what man can do to us.
The modern denominational church world is plagued and paralyzed with fear! The Casper milk toast leaders of contemporary Christianity are cowards at best, and outright traitors at worst! In 2 Timothy 1:7 we read, "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." Hebrews 11:6 states, "But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." Indeed...fear is the utter antithesis of faith! Those who quake with fear today in the face of hostile opposition from the forces of evil, are guilty of shunning and forsaking the very faith that is essential for pleasing God. As the aforementioned passage makes clear, it is not from God that a spirit of fear emanates, but instead, from the devil himself! Revelation 21:8 even goes so far as to state that "...the fearful...shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death." Yes, sinful fear is a major stumbling block in the modern church. Those involved with the Reformed Church Of Israel are encouraged to derive motivation and inspiration from such great Biblical personages as David, Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego, Joshua, Caleb, and others who refused to succumb to fear. These celebrated characters stood unwaveringly in the midst of potentially lethal circumstances and prevailed over evil to the honor and glory of God! Simply stated, we must follow their example as we face and confront the wicked and life threatening dangers that are unique to our moment in history.
AN HONEST EXAMINATION OF YOUR OWN HEART AND LIFE
In Philippians 2:12 we read, "Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling." It is very important that we maintain an attitude of humility in the outworking of our individual relationship with Almighty God. In Isaiah 64:6 Gods word informs us that "...we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags..." In Romans 7:24 Paul says, "O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" Without question, even at our highest level of performance, we remain grossly tainted by the sin nature into which we were born. Apart from the all sufficient blood of Christ, we would be on an inevitable collision course with eternal damnation. It remains essential, therefore, that we make proper application in our individual lives of that perfect blood sacrifice that was made at Calvarys cross. In John 3:3 Jesus said to Nicodemus, "...Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." Jesus goes on to explain that what he is referring to is the phenomenon of being "born of the spirit." Such a born again experience marks the process whereby we become quickened by the Spirit of God into the life of a new creature in Jesus Christ. (See Ephesians 2:1,5 John 6:63 and 2 Corinthians 5:17) What is significant to note is that it is all too common for men to be very religious, like the Pharisees, but actually remain unconverted to the true, life giving, regenerating faith in Jesus Christ and his finished work on the cross! The Reformed Church Of Israel places the highest possible premium on the matter and issue of ones individual spiritual status in relation to the New Covenant gospel of Jesus Christ. We admonish all to examine their own heart and life in an effort to determine that they have become truly converted to the Christian faith that is set forth in the Scriptures. It isnt enough to simply go through outward motions of a religious nature. You must recognize your utter and total unworthiness to stand in the presence of a holy God...save for the mediating power of the precious blood of the spotless sacrificial lamb. And then, you must make application of that shed blood to your own sin stained life and existence. If you have never sought to undergo such a transformation in your own heart and life, then by all means, cry out to God right now for the gift of redemption and eternal life!
A PROPER ATTITUDE TOWARD THE LAW OF GOD
1 John 3:4 tells us, "Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law." This verse of scripture actually gives us a succinct definition of what sin is! Sin equals the violation of Gods law. It is amazing to consider how the modern church is so quick to put forth the notion that Christians are not "under the law" and that the law has been "nailed to the cross." While it is certainly true that salvation is not wrought via the keeping of the law (nor has it ever been so), to suggest that we are no longer bound by Gods law is tantamount to saying that it is permissible to sin! Yet, those same professing Christians who assert that the law has been nullified by the sacrificial death of Christ, will turn right around and affirm that it is wrong to sin. James 1:8 tells us that "A double minded man is unstable in all his ways." There is no more vivid an illustration of doublemindedness in the modern church than what we witness in observing the prevalent teaching concerning sin and the law of God.
In Matthew 5:17-18 Jesus states, "(17) Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. (18) For verily I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled." Of course, the scripture could scarcely be any clearer as to the relationship of Jesus to the law. He is the fulfiller and not the destroyer of the law, and for as long as heaven and earth exist not a jot or tittle will pass from that same law! Those involved with the Reformed Church Of Israel should understand that the antinomian spirit which dominates the modern church is most deserving of condemnation. Sanctification (the setting apart of Gods people from the world system through the process whereby they become more Christ-like) has everything to do with the observance of Gods law. It is no over-statement to contend that apart from a solemn commitment to the keeping of the law of God, it is impossible for anyone to attain the status of a truly effective Christian soldier.
THE SABBATH AND THE HOLY DAYS
In Exodus 20:8-11 the Scripture instructs us to, "(8) Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. (9) Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: (10) But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, not thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant , nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: (11) For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it." It is interesting to note the fact that the professing Christian world is so quick to dismiss the fourth commandment. Afterall, this is one of the revered ten commandments that even the denominational world pays lip service to and claims to consider to still be binding and in effect in our modern era. The church world, as a whole, takes a very loose and flexible position on the sabbath commandment. They tend to opt for the position that what God is saying, in essence, is that on one day of the week...preferably on Sunday...that we should take time to attend a church service. The fact of the matter, however, is that the change from the seventh day to the first has been implemented by man. The Word of God never sanctions an alteration in this institution which dates all the way back to the very creation of the universe! A principle that is revealed clearly throughout Scripture is that God does not look charitably upon mans efforts to improve upon his plan. Sincere though he may be...when man tries to alter the course or prescription that has been set forth in the Bible, God becomes very displeased. Those who comply in simple obedience to Gods sabbath commandment are quick to discover that this is truly one of the foundational tenets upon which a stable and effective Christian life must be constructed. Isaiah 58:13-14 goes on to state, "(13) If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: (14) Then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it." Yes...it is really quite clear. God expects his people to conform to his sabbath instructions and promises great blessings for those who are found in such a state of obedience.
Another matter of great importance in the lives of those who would seek to serve the God of Scripture is the question of the keeping of the Holy Feast days of the divine calendar. In Leviticus 23 we read about the holy days that God has commanded his Israelite people to observe in a perpetual and everlasting manner. Leviticus 23:2 reads, "Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of the Lord, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts." As this Biblical chapter proceeds we find detailed commands and information regarding the ordained feasts of God. Additionally, on four separate occasions in this same chapter God states that, "...it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings." The Biblical holy days stand in stark contrast to the pagan holidays of the evil world system. Sadly, but not surprisingly, the modern church world has embraced the godless, pagan institutions such as Christmas and Easter. They claim at Christmas to be celebrating the birth of Jesus but, in reality, December 25th is the winter solstice and is actually the birthday of the sun god Baal! How could God possibly be glorified through the assumption of such a posture of blindness toward an error of this degree and magnitude? The legitimate time to commemorate the incarnation of God in the person of Jesus Christ is the Feast of Tabernacles...the moment in time when God came to live, or Tabernacle, among his people! Likewise, the observance of Easter is also a blatant manifestation of pagan ritual being passed off as the real thing. The name Easter is derived from the name of the pagan Goddess Ishtar. The reason that bunnies and eggs are so prominent a part of Easter is owing to the fact that Ishtar is the Goddess of fertility. As Romans Chapter one instructs us, pagan religion is all about fertility worship...namely the exaltation of the creation over the creator! Passover is the true Holy day during which we are to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ and all that this stupendous truth represents.
There are many who will simply refuse to hear the truth about these very important subjects. The all pervasive attitude within the religious world is that tradition cannot be supplanted...even by the divine revelation and truth of God! Unfortunately, those legions of lukewarm professing Christians who believe that they can get away with altering Gods word and will, are going to be in for a rude awakening. The Almighty has commanded that his sabbath and holy days be adhered to and hallowed in perpetuity. Members of the Reformed Church of Israel are strongly encouraged to act upon these vital institutions in the structuring and ordering of their lives.
THE DIETARY LAWS AND A GENERAL ATTITUDE
In 3 John verse 2 we read, "Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth." The Scripture goes on to state in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, "(19) What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? (20) For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are Gods." From these and other related verses of the Bible we can plainly see that God is very concerned about the matter of physical health and well being in the midst of his people. If the saints of God are sick and feeble in the physical sense, they can hardly be effective in the service of the Lord! This happens to be an area of gross negligence in the modern professing church, and as a result, what might otherwise be notable resistance to Satans agenda is very much negated and neutralized. Contemporary Christians are in many ways oblivious to basic truth and information concerning the overall question of bodily health. They have fallen for the lies of Satan that are promulgated through the establishment medical community which is illicitly dominated and monopolized by the practice of German allopathic medicine. This brand of medical practice tends overwhelmingly to treat the symptom rather than the cause. It is all about seeking to alter the chemistry of the body through the introduction of foreign toxic substances that are known as drugs or pharmaceuticals. Interestingly, the Greek word from which sorcery is translated is pharmacia...the very word from which our english word pharmacy comes! Superior by far to the allopathic practice are such healing art forms as herbology, naturapathy, osteopathy, homeopathy, and chiropractic treatment. These modes of practice are constantly under attack by the current world system. God forbid that people should actually be healed of their maladies! Satan much prefers that they be saddled with all manner of sickness and disease, thus rendering them ineffective in the quest for truth and service to God.
Another topic of critical concern is the matter of the Biblical dietary laws. God has set forth certain guidelines as to what should be eaten and that which is to be avoided. Swines flesh, for example, is very much unfit for human consumption, and contrary to the popular false teaching in the modern church, God was in no way changing his rule and protocol regarding this issue when Peter had his celebrated vision in the tenth chapter of Acts. If one reads the Scripture carefully, it will be seen that God was not rendering a commentary on the matter of clean and unclean meats in this greatly misunderstood passage. Instead...what he was clearly doing was admonishing Peter to stop viewing certain men as he would the forbidden and unclean meats. God never instructed Peter to begin eating unclean animals and he certainly did nothing to alter the molecular structure of these creatures. They are every bit as unfit and incompatible to our bodily systems today as they were in the time of our ancestors. In Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14 we find Biblical instruction regarding the laws of the clean and the unclean. Members of the Reformed Church of Israel are encouraged to practice these laws in their dietary regimen, and are also advised to seek knowledge and information relative to a variety of alternative health practices, both preventative and therapeutic. In so doing, the believer in Jesus Christ will vastly increase his chances of becoming a direct recipient of the blessings of good health, physical well being, and material prosperity. These blessings will, in turn, enable such individuals to become far more effective soldiers in the service and the church of Jesus Christ!
TITHING AND DOMINION: THE PROPER ATTITUDE REGARDING TIME, TALENT, AND TREASURE
In Romans 12:1-2 we read, "(1) I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. (2) And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." In Malachi 3:8-12 Scripture states, "(8) Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. (9) Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. (10) Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. (11) And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the Lord of hosts. (12) And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the Lord of hosts."
We can easily see from the Scriptures referenced above that God requires a noteworthy level of commitment from those who would be called his people. It is not enough to merely utter words to the effect that one is committed...but instead...those words must be backed up by action! We have all been given the precious gifts of time, talent, and treasure, or in other words material substance, in our lives. God expects us to be of a sacrificial and selfless spirit as we render back to him an acceptable portion in each of these important areas of our existence. The principle of the tithe is set forth in the book of Malachi, and certainly, we should be more than willing to gladly place this sum in the hands of those who are carrying out the work of God in our midst. Romans 12:1-2 even goes beyond the ten percent principle and challenges us to rise to an immensely dedicated level of service and commitment to the cause of our God in the earth! We are told that such is nothing more than "our reasonable service." Those who are involved with the ministry of the Reformed Church of Israel are encouraged to give liberally of the resources that God has blessed you with. The promises of Scripture are clear and unmistakable. You will be blessed greatly to the extent that you support the uncompromised work of Israels God! Even more important, however, is the fact that God has commanded you to do such, and to fail in this is tantamount to robbing God!
THE ISRAEL QUESTION
This handbook is not intended to be comprehensive in nature. What we are seeking to set forth is a litany of basic truths, principles and Scriptural commands that as responsible Christians and members of the Church, you should want to be in observance of. In addition to all that has been covered thus far...we would be remiss to not focus upon the vital importance of possessing and making application of an effective understanding of crucial Biblical and historical truth concerning Israel. In Revelation 2:9 and Revelation 3:9 we read of those who would make a false claim to being Gods chosen people. It is an easily proven fact that modern Jewry represents the fulfillment of this counterfeit manifestation of Israel in our current era. Satan has long been in the business of seeking to counterfeit that which God has legitimately established in the earth. Gods word is completely dominated by the story of Israel. From Genesis to the Revelation, the Bible tells the story of a specific and chosen people. Amos 3:2 states in reference to Israel, "You only have I known of all the families of the earth; therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities." Yes...God was highly discriminatory in his selection of Israel as his peculiar treasure (Exodus 19:5), and the apple of his eye (Zechariah 2:8 and Deuteronomy 32:10). In Genesis 12, 13, 15 and 17 God made covenantal promises to Abraham regarding the status that he and his progeny would occupy in the unfolding of history. In Genesis 21:12 God states to Abraham that, "... in Isaac shall thy seed be called." In Genesis 22 God goes on to speak of how he would vastly multiply the seedline of what would become Israel, and how through them all the nations of the earth would be blessed. In Genesis 24:60 the Bible informs us that Rebekah, Isaacs wife, would be the mother of thousands of millions! Israel ultimately became a great nation...and then a divided kingdom. Both northern and southern kingdoms were eventually allowed to be vanquished by oppressive heathen forces. The Assyrians took the Israelites from the north into captivity, and the Babylonians later carried off the Israelites from the southern kingdom into bondage in a foreign land. Hosea 8:8 and Amos 9:9 tell us that God would keep meticulous track of his Israel people as they endured this long period of chastisement and sifting throughout the nations of the earth. Jeremiah 3 speaks of how God gave a bill of divorcement to the northern kingdom of Israel, and how her treacherous sister Judah played the harlot also with the pagan nations that surrounded her. Jeremiah 31:31 and Hebrews 8:8 proclaim the great truth that the day would come when God would make a New Covenant with the house of Judah and the house of Israel...both the northern and southern kingdoms! Genesis 48:19 foretells that one tribe of Israel alone...Ephraim...would eventually become a "multitude of nations." Genesis 49 prophesies of the fate of all the tribes of Israel, specifically and individually, as they would be manifested in the latter days. In James 1:1, Acts 2, Matthew 15:24, Luke 1, the book of Hebrews, and many other New Testament verses and references...we see that Israel was, in fact, the focal point of the Gospel outreach of Jesus Christ...and in Revelation 21:12...lo and behold...there we continue to find the twelve tribes of Israel in the eternal kingdom!
The crash course that you have just been taken on is merely an introduction to what is probably the most suppressed and feared truth of our time. Amazingly...Satan has long enjoyed success in keeping people of European heritage from discovering that they are the true descendants of Biblical Israel! No other people match the specific identification that God set forth for purposes of marking his own peculiar people. World Jewry is flagrantly in absence of the Biblical hallmarks that would distinguish true Israel. It is only through subterfuge, intimidation, smoke and mirrors, and outright obfuscation that they have been able to sell the lie to so many that they are the chosen of God. For those who possess any doubt as to the veracity of our claims concerning this vital subject, we encourage you to request additional documentation and evidence. As the scales are peeled from your eyes you will wonder how you could have ever been duped into believing such incredible lies. The Word of God tells us in Romans 11:25 that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles is come. The Greek word ethnos is that which "Gentiles" is translated from, and it means the nations of the earth.
An accurate understanding of the Israel question of scripture and history is crucial to gaining a proper handle on the Bible in its entirety. Members of the Reformed Church of Israel are strongly encouraged to embark upon this study with the utmost of energy and enthusiasm. We guarantee you that this pivotal knowledge will unlock truth and mysteries that you will never hear addressed, much less explained, in the modern church world! In closing, we point you again to the words of Christ in John 8:32 wherein he stated, "And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."