The Creator of all things has revealed Himself to His creation through His personal Name YHVH, His general title Elohim, as well as other Names and Titles signifying His character. He has revealed that in His divine nature He is an inseparable union (echdut); YHVH is One and there is only one YHVH. ("Hear, O Israel: YHVH [the LORD] is our Elohim [God]. He is One YHVH. He alone is YHVH." The Shema (Deuteronomy 6:4).
YHVH has manifested Himself to mankind in three divine Persons: Abba [the Father], Yeshua [literally "YHVH is Salvation," the Son] and Ruach HaKodesh [the Holy Spirit, literally "Breath"]. Yet all three Persons have but one Name ("… the Name [singular] of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit …" Matthew 28:19). God is Echdut (this One God may be referred to as Hashalush Hakkadosh).
Thus, I believe that the Godhead eternally exists in three persons, HaAv (the Father), HaBen (the Son) and Ruach Hakodesh (the Holy Spirit), (Hashalush Hakadosh) and these three constitute ONE (echad) God being coequal, cosubstantial, coeternal, and have the same attributes, nature, perfections, and is worthy of the same worship, confidence and obedience (Deuteronomy 6:4; Matthew 28:19,20; Mark 12:29; John 1:14; Acts 5:3,4; II Corinthians 13:14; Hebrews 1:13; Revelation 1:35).
Yeshua ["Jesus" is a transliteration of the Greek form of His name] of Natzaret [Nazareth] is the Messiah of Israel, the Savior of the world. He is YHVH who came in the flesh (1 Tim. 3:16). He was born of a virgin (Luke 1:34) and lived a sinless and Torah-observant life. He died an atoning death as the full and complete payment of our sin debt to God (1 John 4:10), was resurrected from the dead (1 Cor. 15:4), ascended to the right hand of Abba, the Father (Mark 16:19), and now is glorified with all power in Heaven and in Earth (John 1:12-14). He will return physically as King of kings and Lord of lords to rule and reign over the earth from the throne of His father David [in Jerusalem]. (Zech. 14; Acts 1:9-11, Rev. 19:11-16)
Thus I believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, Yeshua Ha-Mashiach, the eternal Ben Elohim, became man without ceasing to be YHVH, having been conceived by the Ruach Hakodesh and born of the virgin Mary, that he might reveal God and redeem sinful man (John 1:1; 2:14; Luke 1:35). I believe that the Yeshua accomplished our redemption through His death and the shedding of His blood on the cross as a representative, vicarious, substitutionary sacrifice, and that our justification is made sure by His literal, physical resurrection from the dead (Romans 3:24,25; I Peter 2:24; Ephesians 1:6; I Peter 1:35).
I believe that the Yeshua ascended to heaven and is now at the right hand of God, where, as our Kohen HaGadol (the Great High Priest) after the order of Malki-Tzedek (Melchisedec), He fulfills the ministry of Representative, Intercessor and Advocate. He is the Head of His Body, the Church (Acts 1:9,10; Hebrews 9:24; 7:25; Romans 8:34; I John 2:1, 2).
I believe in the Blessed Hope, Titus 2:13, as the personal and imminent return of the Yeshua Ha-Mashiach Himself. His coming shall be bodily, pretribulationary, premillennial and shall come for His redeemed ones, and in His subsequent return to earth with His redeemed ones shall establish His Millenial Kingdom in Israel (John 14:3; Acts 1:11; I Thessalonians 1:10; I Thessalonians 4:13-18; I Thessalonians 1:79; Revelation 3:10; 19:11-16; Zechariah 14:4-11). I am therefore dispensational in my theology, since this hermeneutic best coheres with traditional Jewish understanding of eschatological readings from the Tanakh.
Yeshua will soon rule in Jerusalem, and finally in New Jerusalem in the New Creation forever. (John 5:28-29; Rev. 19-22, especially 20:11-15)
The Ruach Hakodesh
I believe that the Holy Spirit (Ruach Hakodesh) is a Person convicting the world of sin, righteousness and judgment; that he is the supernatural Person in regeneration, baptizing all believers into the Body of Messiah; that He indwells and seals all believers unto the day of redemption (John 16:8-11; II Corinthians 2:6; I Corinthians 12:12-14; Romans 8:9; Ephesians 1:13-14)
I believe that He is the Divine Teacher who teaches, guides, empowers, and sanctifies the believer, and that it is the privilege and duty of all believers to be filled with the Holy Spirit (John 16:13; I John 2:20, 27; Ephesians 5:18).
The Ruach HaKodesh permanently indwells all true believers to lead, guide, teach, comfort, and empower us to live a righteous life and to minister to the Mikra [the Ekklesia, or "Called-Out Ones"] as a royal priesthood of believers. (John 14:26; 1 Tim. 1:7; 1 Cor. 14:26; Acts 2:4; 1 Cor 12: 1-13, Rom. 12:3-21; Eph 1:13; 1 Pet. 2:5)
The Total Depravity of Man
I believe that man was created in the image and likeness of God (b'tzelem Elohim), but as a result of the transgression of Adam and eve, our first parents, all men are alienated from God, universally sinful in both nature and practice, having no possible means of recovery or salvation and are under the righteous judgment and wrath of God (Ephesians 2:13; Romans 3:22,23; 5:12; Ephesians 4:18; John 8:42-44; Mark 7:21-23).
All have sinned (transgressed the holy Torah [revealed Law] of God or the dictates of the moral imperatives provided by human conscience) and therefore stand condemned before Him, and need the salvation provided by the grace of YHVH through the atoning work of Yeshua as our final and ultimate Passover Lamb. (Ps. 14:1-3; Rom. 3:23)
Salvation (Yeshu'at Adonai)
I believe that salvation is the gift of God brought to man by grace and received by personal faith in the Yeshua as YHVH; that salvation is not merited nor secured in part or in whole by any virtue or work of man; that the remission of our sins was accomplished by the work of Messiah through the shedding of His blood on the cross; that all true believers have salvation as a present possession, sonship in the family of God, deliverance and security from all condemnation, and every spiritual resource for life and godliness (John 3:16; 6:28, 29; Titus 3:5; I Peter 1:18,19; John 1:12).
All who personally believe and trust that Yeshua is the promised Messiah, that is, YHVH come in the flesh, Who died as our Passover Lamb and rose again, are forgiven their sins and come into a renewed covenant with YHVH through Yeshua, and therefore become inheritors of all the unconditional promises that YHVH made with Abraham and Israel. (Romans 10:9-11, 1 Corinthians 5:7). This kind of trust will produce the evidence of an appropriate lifestyle of mitzvot (righteous works). See James 2:14-26.
The Eternal Security and Assurance of true Believers
I believe that all those truly born again by the Ruach Elohim are kept by God's power alone and are thus secure in Messiah forever (John 5:24; 6: 37-40; 10:27-30; Romans 8:1, 35-39; I Peter 1:35).
I believe that it is the privilege of the believer to rejoice in the assurance of his salvation through the testimony of the D'var-Elohim (Word of God) which clearly, however, forbids the use of Christian liberty as an occasion for careless living (Romans 13:13,14; Galatians 5:13; Titus 2:11-15).
The Two Natures of the Believer
I believe that every saved person possesses two natures, the first natural and sinful, the second spiritual and righteous, with provision made for victory of the new nature over the old nature through the power of the indwelling Ruach Hakodesh (Romans 6:13, 8:12,13; Galatians 5:1625; Ephesians 4:22-24; Colossians 3:10; I Peter 1:14-16; I John 3:59).
Separation - the call to holiness
I believe that the saved should live in such a manner as not to bring reproach upon their Savior and Lord; that separation from all religious apostasy, all worldly and sinful pleasures and practices, and all wicked associations is commanded by God (II Timothy 3:15; Romans 12:1,2, 14:13; I John 2:1517; II John 9:11; II Corinthians 8:7-13; Philippians 2:12,13). In the life of a Messianic believer, separation may also take the form of a (qualifiedly) Torah-harmonious lifestyle.
Good Works (Mitzvot)
I believe that it should be the desire of all believers to practice good works in obedience to the revealed D'var Elohim, who will richly reward these good works. These good works have no part in salvation, but are manifested of the redeemer's love for God and a demonstration to the world an evidence of his inward change of heart ( I Corinthians 3:11-16; II Corinthians 5:17; I Corinthians 6:12-20; Colossians 3:17; I Corinthians 12:31; Matthew 5:16; I Corinthians 8:7-13; Philippians 2:12,13).
I believe that God the Ruach Hakodesh is sovereign in the bestowment of all His gifts. He has given talents, abilities, skills and grace to each believer for the building up of the church. He has given gifted men to the church apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers for the edifying of the saints and the work of the ministry. I believe that the offices of the apostle and prophet no longer exist but were limited to the first century church. ( I Corinthians 12:4-11; II Corinthians 12:12; Ephesians 4:7-13; I Corinthians 13:8-10; I Corinthians 14: 21, 22). I believe that God does answer prayers of faith, in accord with His own will, for those who are sick and afflicted (John 15:7; I John 5:14; James 5:13-16).
I believe that the Genesis account of creation is to be taken literally. God spoke into being the heavens and the earth and all that is in them. Man was created perfect in the image of God, by a special act of God, and wholly apart from any process of evolution (Genesis 1 & 2; Exodus 20:11; Psalm 33:6, 9; Mark 10:6; John 1:3; Colossians 1:16; Hebrews 11:3).
The Church (Kehillat Mashiach)
I believe that all those who are born again by the Ruach Hakodesh in this dispensation of grace are members of the Body of the Messiah, and into which all true believers of the present age are baptized immediately by the Ruach Hakodesh (Ephesians 4:4, 5:25-32; Matthew 16:18; Acts 2:47; I Corinthians 12:12,13). I believe that all the various members of this one spiritual Body should assemble themselves together in local kehillot for worship, prayer, fellowship, teaching, united testimony and the observance of the ordinances of the Lord (Hebrews 10:25; Acts 2:41-47).
Gentile Believers in Messiah are grafted into the Jewish olive tree (Romans 11) and are thus partakers in the unconditional covenants that YHVH made to Abraham. They are encouraged to understand and appreciate their roots in Judaism. Though they are under no obligation to live as Jews, they are invited to do so if they felt led by Ruach HaKodesh to do so, and are encouraged to support the interests of world Jewry as adopted members of the family of Jacob (Israel).
The final Divine Plan for Israel is to bring the remnant of Israel, who are the faithful Jewish people, and the remnant of those who were formally Gentiles, but who have been recovered from the world by faith, back together and united into one holy nation of Israel under one Shepherd, namely Yeshua, the Messiah. This is a necessary part of the restoration of all things spoken by the prophets. (Ezek. 37, Hosea 1-2, Rom. 9:26, Acts 3:21)
The entire Torah of YHVH, both "Old" and "New" Covenants, is the instruction of a loving and gracious Father to His children. YHWH's people delight in His Torah (Ps. 1:2), though the Torah itself was not given for salvation. Only Yeshua was a truly Torah-Observant Jew. As followers of Him, we are given new hearts with Torah written upon them (Jer. 31:31-ff) so that we can please God in our daily life.
I believe in two Scriptural ordinances, water baptism (tevillah) by immersion and the Lord's Supper. Baptism shall be administered in the (echdut) Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit upon profession of faith in Yeshua as Savior (Moshiah) and LORD (Adonai) (Matthew 28:19; Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38, 8:12, 36-39; 10:47, 48; 16:32-34; 18:8; 22:16; Romans 6:4; Colossians 2:12; I Peter 3: 20, 21). The Lord's Supper is the partaking of the bread and the cup by which believers symbolically commemorate together the dying love of Messiah, preceded always by solemn self-examination (I Corinthians 11:23-28; Matthew 26:26-29; Mark 14:22-25; Luke 22:14-20).
The Shabbat [Sabbath], the seventh day of the week, is the created holy day of YHVH (not of Israel), which He gave to mankind and covenanted with His people as a sign forever. (Exod. 31:12-16, Gen. 2:2-3, Isa. 58:13-14, Matt. 12:8). Its principle applies even under the terms of the New Covenant, as Yeshua has become our Sabbath Rest.
Missions and Discipleship
I believe that, in view of the doctrines of total depravity and the lost condition of all who are unregenerate, the absolute obligation of the saved is to witness by life, work and sound missionary agencies, the glorious Gospel of Yeshua Ha-Mashiach to the whole world (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8; II Corinthians 5:11a). Modern-day evangelism is not meant to discard the ongoing need to instruct others in the way of life-long discipleship to the Master.
The Eternal State (Olam Habah)
I believe in the bodily resurrection of all men, the saved to eternal life, and the unsaved to judgment and everlasting punishment (Matthew 25:46; John 5:28,29; 11:25,26; Revelation 20: 5-6, 12-15). I believe that the soul of the redeemed are at death, absent from the body and present with the Lord. There, in conscious bliss, they await the first resurrection when spirit, soul and body are reunited to be glorified forever with the Lord (Luke 23:43; Revelation 20:46; II Corinthians 5:8; Philippians 1:23; 3:21; I Thessalonians 5:16-18). I believe that the souls of unbelievers remain after death, in conscious misery until the second resurrection. The penalty awaiting those who reject Yeshua is eternal separation from YHVH into outer darkness and eternal punishment. (Matt. 25:31-46, Rev. 20). Then, with soul and body reunited, they shall appear at the Great White Throne Judgment and shall be cast into the lake of fire to suffer everlasting conscious punishment (Luke 16:19-26; Matthew 25:41-46; II Thess. 1:79; Jude 6, 7; Mark 9:43-48; Revelation 20:14).
Personality of Satan
I believe that Satan is a real personality, created perfect by God, given power but fallen through pride and become the father of sin. He is the archenemy of our souls. I believe that he will be eternally punished in the Lake of Fire (Job 1:6,7;Ezekiel 28:14,15; Isaiah 14:12-14; I Peter 5:8; Revelation 20:10). He is presently at work in the governments of this age as the "Prince of the Power of the air" and will soon appear as the Anti-Christ or "Messiah of Evil" who will promote peace in the Middle East and later betray Israel. His doom is sealed by the Master who overcame him: Yeshua the Messiah, blessed be He!
A Note about Maimonides and the Thirteen Articles of Faith
The Christian church has long had many creedal formulas such as The Apostle's Creed, The Nicene Creed, The Athanasian Creed, and so on. Does traditional Judaism have a creed?
Maimonides (135-1204), the great exponent of an Aristotelian form of Judaism during the Middle Ages, compiles what he refers to as the Shloshah-Asar Ikkarim, the Thirteen Articles of Faith, compiled from Judaism's 613 commandments found in the Torah. They are as follows:
- Belief in the existence of the Creator, be He Blessed, who is perfect in every manner of existence and is the Primary Cause of all that exists.
- The belief in G-d's absolute and unparalleled unity.
- The belief in G-d's noncorporeality, nor that He will be affected by any physical occurrences, such as movement, or rest, or dwelling.
- The belief in G-d's eternity.
- The imperative to worship Him exclusively and no foreign false gods.
- The belief that G-d communicates with man through prophecy.
- The belief that the prophecy of Moses our teacher has priority.
- The belief in the divine origin of the Torah.
- The belief in the immutability of the Torah.
- The belief in divine omniscience and providence.
- The belief in divine reward and retribution.
- The belief in the arrival of the Messiah and the messianic era.
- The belief in the resurrection of the dead.
Many congregations recite the Thirteen Articles beginning with the words Ani Ma'amin - "I believe" - every day after the morning prayers in the synagogue. For more information about these articles, click here.