Doctrines of Tanakhee Judaism
Almost 10 years ago when we started teaching the Bible in Monument, Colorado we had Zero Doctrines. The Bible itself was it, totally loved, totally embraced and totally revered. But with the passing of time, we started to feel the pressure of requests for a list of our Doctrines and seeing that all the groups around us had their own Doctrines we decided to be equal to them. Since the big ones in church history have come up with 5 Doctrines all at one time and taking into consideration that we are not John Calvin or Jacobs Arminius we began to create our list of Doctrines too.
But we created our Doctrines slowly, because we are aware of our limited brain capacity. So we established some guiding principles before we created our 1st Doctrine. The principles are four:
I. There must be a need for a Doctrine to be created.
II. Once the Doctrine is created, it must be final and unquestionably the absolute truth.
III. After the Doctrine is created, we search the scriptures to find a verse to support our Doctrine; once the verse is found, it must be added to the Doctrine immediately, so the Doctrine will become a very Biblical Doctrine.
IV. And finally, we also must provide a definition or explanation of the Doctrine in human verbosity so that anyone will understand our deep reasoning processes. In this way we came down to the level of other human beings. That is not too difficult because we are human too.
Tanakhee Judaism Doctrines
Doctrine #1: The Doctrine of the Road
This Doctrine has within its conceptualization, that all of Gods’ human creations when they come to God enter onto a "Road": The Road of God. This road is full of twists, turns, switchbacks, round-a-bouts, sharp curves, hills and valleys. All of His children are in different places on this Road and the scenery that each child sees is different depending on where they are at any given time on the Road. It is our duty to embrace and accept that brother or sister wherever they are on the Road when we encounter them. As we pursue our own walk on the Road of God, it is very possible that we will find a brother or sister that is walking in a different direction to the way we are going and we may tell them: "Brother/Sister we are walking on the Lord’s Road and the Road goes the direction that I am going. So turn around and walk with me. We can even have fellowship on the way and I can share with you the deep things I know from the Bible." The Brother/Sister is coming toward us; we know that he/she is going the wrong way on God’s Road, because they are going in the opposite way we are going. The Brother/Sister answers us by saying: "Brother this is a very long road, one day I was exactly in this place where we meet today and I was going the exact same direction you are going now. And you may ask why I am going this direction contrary to the way you are going today? "It is because, this is a very long road and it turns around after you have traveled on it for a long time. You are just starting on the Road; stay faithful and persistent in the way you are going…and one day you will be coming back just as I am right now, because there is much for you to learn on the Road ahead of you".
Note: For long time we had this Doctrine without a verse to support for it; but since it is our practice to have the Doctrine 1st and then put the Biblical reference with it when we find it this was not a big concern. So, after over 5 years, we found the verses in Acts 9:1-17, especially 17. "Meanwhile, Paul still breathing murderous threats against the Lord’s talmidim, went to the Cohen Hagadol and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Dammesek, authorizing him to arrest any people he might find, whether men or women, who belonged to "the Way," and bring them back to Yerushalayim. He was on the Road and nearing Dammesek, when suddenly a light from heaven flashed all around him. Falling to the ground, he heard a voice saying to him "Paul! Paul! Why do you keep persecuting me?" "Sir, who are you?" He asked. "I am Yeshua, and you are persecuting me. But get up, and go into the city, and you will be told what you have to do." The men traveling with him stood speechless, hearing the voice but seeing no one. They helped Paul get off the ground; but when he opened his eyes, he could see nothing. So, leading him by the hand, they brought him into Dammesek. For three days he remained unable to see, and he neither ate nor drank. There was a talmid in Dammesek, Hananyah by name; and in a vision the Lord said to him, "Hananyah!" He said, "Here I am, Lord." The Lord said to him, "Get up and go to Straight Street, to Y’hudah’s house; and ask for a man from Tarsus named Paul; for he is praying, and in a vision he has seen a man named Hananyah coming in and placing his hands on him to restore his sight." But Hananyah answered, "Lord, many have told me about this man, how much harm he has done to your people in Yerushalayim; and here he has a warrant from the head Cohanim to arrest everyone who calls on your name." But the Lord said to him, "Go, because this man is my chosen instrument to carry my name to the Goyim, even to their kings, and to the sons of Israel as well. For I myself will show him how much he will have to suffer on account of my name." So Hananyah left and went into the house. Placing his hands on him, he said, "Brother Paul. The Lord Yeshua, the one who appeared to you on the Road as you were coming here has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Ruach HaKodesh." Three times the text speaks of the Road therefore making our Doctrine unquestionably Biblical.
Doctrine #2: The Doctrine of the Canoe
This is a foundational Doctrine of Tanakhee Judaism; this Doctrine takes into consideration the luke-warm, the uncommitted and the secularized human condition sometimes brought to the community of faith. This Doctrine was created because of an awareness of the divided heart of mankind, self love and the enthronization of the "I". It was created to help those who like to "play church" on Shabbat. They are there...but really they are not there; they have a need to fulfill their own reasoning’s. They are not there because they love HaShem with all their heart; to the contrary they love themselves with all their hearts. The Doctrine of the Canoe was made especially for them, to help them understand their pitiful spiritual condition.
Picture a person going down the river of life, with one foot in each of two long canoes, they keep their legs tight together, to maintain their balance and control. Everything is going happy go lucky down the river of life, when all of a sudden there is a big rock in the middle of the narrow river they have been traveling down. The water divides around the large rock, because it is the Rock of Ages, straight ahead. As they start to approach the Rock the realization comes that they are going to be forced to act very soon. In order to keep traveling on the river, one foot must come out of one of the canoes and the journey must be completed with both feet in just one canoe. This Doctrine makes us deal with whatever it is that keeps our heart divided and what impedes us to whole heartedly love the Lord our God with all our strength, with all our soul and with all our understanding. About a year after we made up this Doctrine, we found the verse in Mark 12:30 "and you are to love Adonai your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your understanding and with all your strength."
Doctrine #3: The Doctrine of the Screw
This Doctrine is based on our discovery of God’s eternal purpose for all of His children. Once we understand our purpose, this Doctrine is loved and appreciated by each person who experiences the Screw. But for those individuals who have never grasped the idea of an eternal purpose, they are incapable of understanding how fundamental and important this Doctrine is and they will end up hating the Doctrine of the Screw and continually experiencing frustration and anger as nothing they try quite works out; all the while remaining in spiritual darkness . The only good thing is the more they experience the Doctrine of the Screw the closer they get to the realization of a full understanding and the profundity of their experiences. This Doctrine is a vital part of the existential faith experience for every believer.
Imagine that you are under a screw placed on top of a hard piece of acacia wood and that your loving God has a large screw driver. God wants to get your attention; to teach you, to guide you, or to mature your understanding of His love and eternal purpose for your life. So He tightens the screw a little bit at a time on you through your life’s circumstances. If we accept the lesson or pay attention to what He is trying to teach, then the pressure is removed. However, if we resist or persist on our way, then our loving Father will apply more and more pressure by aggravating our circumstances until we submit to His will or we are turned over to a hardened heart and in darkness with a reprobate heart.
So learn and love the Doctrine of the Screw; we are very close to finding a verse for this profound Biblical Doctrine, at which time it will be added, making the Doctrine of the Screw an unquestionable Biblical Doctrine too.
Doctrine #4: The Doctrine of the 3-Legged Stool
To make a functional stool to sit on, there is a essential requirement that it must have at least 3 legs, you cannot sit on a one or 2 legged stool. Our spiritual life can be likened to the 3-Legged Stool with all legs functioning equally and depending on how we sit on it, one leg may bear more weight than another; the 3 legs of the stool represent 3 aspects of our life. And for this 3-Legged Stool Doctrine we have a lot of Biblical references. This is very good; because you won’t need to wait for the Biblical support… we have it up front! In our analogy, all 3 legs need to function in harmony.
Leg 1: Each one needs to have a way or a means to make a living. Such as employment, self employment, producer, manufacturing, acquiring a profession by study and training, investments, interest on capital and so on (but definitely not by passing the plate and telling people to plant the seed of faith). The Biblical references for leg one which is work, there are many examples. Let’s begin with the Messiah, he had a way to make a living HE WORKED. He worked with his hands as a carpenter. He didn’t go around asking people to support him because he was in full time ministry. Matthew also didn’t beg for money to support his ministry, he worked as a tax collector. Luke supported himself working as a medical doctor. John was self employed working with his father and used his hands to repair the nets of the fishermen. I don’t know if he or his father owned the nets that they repaired, but I know that was how they made a living. It is not a surprise to most that Peter made a living catching fish before he became a fisherman of men. Also, there is no biblical record that he abandoned his profession to go and serve God. Paul, in my view was the best business man of all, because he combined his profession for making a living with his ministry. Christians have been told that Paul made tents for a living. Such information is misguided; he actually made "Tallits" (prayer shawls). He brought the message of reconciliation to Gentiles informing them that through the accomplished work of Messiah they became part of God’s people too. One of the instructions YHWH gave to Moses was for his people to have prayer shawls, something Gentiles didn’t have. So Paul converted them to the God of Israel and informed them that they should have prayer shawls, which he manufactured. He had a complete business plan: publication (advertising), production, distribution and a captive market for his products.
Leg 2: Each one needs to be part of a fellowship or a community of faith of like minded people, for emotional/social/spiritual support; so Leg 2 is called Community. Each of the talmidim identified above, were not floaters (a person who floats from one community to another); they belonged to a community, a group of believers, and a community of faith; for fellowship, study, spiritual and emotional support. Unfortunately, a great number of our brethren in Messianic communities are not committed individuals to their fellowships, they come and go from place to place, they plant no trees and grow no roots. They are here today and gone tomorrow. They look for reasons to be offended or they are self appointed theologians who have not read through their entire Bible even once. They came to faith yesterday, and now that they have arrived, they are ready to teach some of us who have been in the faith for 50 years. The greatest problem fueling this attitude is pride; there is no humility and no commitment in most cases; the 2nd Leg is totally neglected. Yet the talmidim led a life in community serving one another. They were in an environment where self appointed authorities of "truth" were evident because those "authorities" were looking for opportunities to create doctrines to divide God’s people. History repeats itself today, for example in Christianity you can be pre-millennium or post millennium, you can believe in eternal security-you can’t lose your salvation or you can believe in insecurity- where you can lose your salvation. If you are in this 2nd group you can be divided in 2 more ways: one way you may lose your salvation and you may gain it back (like in the Assemblies of God) or you may lose your salvation and never gain it back (like in the Free-Will Baptist). One group of Christians believes in the gifts of the Spirit and another doesn’t. One group believes in the inspiration of God to the writers of the Bible, while another believes the Bible is a just a good book with good moral and ethical examples of people who lived in the past that we can learn from today. In the same way, Messianic leadership is divided into the belief of One House and Two Houses teachings. This has been so inculcated into our minds and hearts that almost the first thing asked of a Messianic Brother is: Are you One House or Two Houses? The answer to this stupid question will determine if that person born of the Spirit , washed in the blood of Messiah, in-dwelled by the Holy Spirit, partaker of the promises of God, sitting with Messiah in heavenly places and so on and so on and so on, qualifies whether to have fellowship with the one asking the question. Where in the Torah can the basis for such divisive interrogation be found? What difference does it makes if a person is of the One or Two House belief? Where does the spirituality and Biblical knowledge of these interrogators come from? It is extremely clear in the scripture that in the beginning there was only One House, the House of Israel. The Kingdom was divided after Solomon’s death into the House of Israel and the House of Judah; that is where we are today. But there are many predictions in the same scriptures that one day in the future; God will unite the two Houses back into the one House of Israel. This will a new House of Israel, filled-up with the love and leadership of Messiah, where foolish divisions and arrogant individuals will have experienced the Doctrine of the Potato (keep reading!)
Leg 3: Each one has gifts and talents given to them by God. Each one needs the opportunity to carry out whatever that gift is in harmony and fellowship with other like minded believers. This is the Leg of Ministry. The servants of YHWH are endowed with gifts and talents from above. The Congregation has to be the place where those Brothers and Sisters are able to function and carry on their ministries, gifts or talents.
Let’s consider the ministries’ of those individuals identified above:
The Messiah: His ministry was to be the savior of the world. Result: He worked for a living, he had a life in the community and he remained in that position until he fulfilled his ministry to the very end. And so he was able to tell his community; to tell to the spirits in prison and the heavenly hosts: "it is finished".
Matthew: His ministry was to write his gospel. He worked for a living as a tax collector and belonged to the community that was in Jerusalem.
Luke: His ministry was to write the Gospel that carries his name and the Book of Acts. He worked for a living as a medical doctor and he was part of the community in Jerusalem.
John: His ministry was to present to the world and all humanity the love of God for all mankind; he wrote 5 Books; the Gospel that carries his name, the Book of Revelation and 3 Epistles. He lived a life in community; he worked with his hands repairing the nets of fishermen.
Peter: His ministry was geared toward the Jewish community, yet Peter never raised money to share the gospel in Israel. Peter was not a "missionary to the Jews" to get them saved. He didn’t convert anyone to embrace Christianity, but to embrace the pure faith given to Israel. He didn’t practice the Rabbinical Judaism of his day to the contrary; he affirmed to the Jews gathered in Jerusalem the message proceeding from the Tanakh. He quoted it many times in Act Chapter 2:22-24. "Men of Israel listen to this; Yeshua from Nazareth was a man who demonstrated to have been from God. By the powerful works, miracles and signs that God performed through him in your presence." You yourselves know this. This man was arrested in accordance with God’s predetermined plan and fore knowledge and through the agency of persons not bound by the Torah you nail him upon a stake and kill him. But God has raised him up and freed him from all the suffering of death. It was impossible that death could keep its hold on Him".
Paul: His ministry was to the Gentiles. He traveled to faraway lands, reaching out to them and telling them that the love of Hashem had come to them and they, the Gentiles had a new way opened to them by the Messiah. Now, they were able to become part of the chosen people of God, the Messiah made it possible, for them to be grafted into the Olive tree (olive tree signifies Israel). Paul converted many Gentiles (not to Christianity with the Trinity) but to the living One of Israel. Paul’s message to the Gentile was the same as Isaiah’s: (Isa. 56:3, 6-8) "A foreigner joining Adonai should not say, Adonai will separate me from his people"; likewise a eunuch should not say, "I am only a dried-up tree." "And the foreigners who join themselves to Adonai to serve him, to love the name of Adonai, and to be his workers, all who keep the Shabbat and do not profane it, and hold fast to my covenant, I will bring them joyful in my house of prayer; and their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be accepted on my alter; for my house will be called a house of prayer for all peoples." Adonai ELOHIM says, he who gathers Israel’s exiles: "There are yet others I will gather, besides those gathered already." Paul gathered the Gentiles to become part of Israel, he brought the message of reconciliation to the Gentiles informing them that through the accomplished work of the Messiah He made it possible for them to be part of God’s people.
Doctrine #5: The Doctrine of the Potato
As mentioned before we make our Doctrines only when there is need for it. The rational of Tanakhee Judaism is: there is a need…make a Doctrine… if there is no need don’t make a Doctrine; let the people enjoy their lives and don’t bother them. So what could have been the need for us to create the Doctrine of the Potato? It came about because we have received into fellowship some brethren of the Messianic movement that other brethren have chosen not to receive. The Messianic movement today is like a pot full of potatoes in boiling water. If you look in the pot, you will see potatoes moving up from the bottom of the pot to the top and potatoes on the top of the pot moving to the bottom of the pot. Potatoes are constantly losing their place in the pot, so the race of individual potatoes goes on in the boiling pot of water. Potatoes on top may not like their positions being changed by the upcoming potatoes, but God is in control of the environment where all the individual potatoes are boiling. He is also in control of the heat that makes the water boil and softens out those hardened individualistic potatoes who just want to stay on top while the other potatoes are under them in the boiling water. Yet, God also opens the space on the top for that softened boiled down potato to stick his head up to be noticed on the surface. And making the ones on top go under for more boiling and more softening (more humility).
The Potato Doctrine sees Gods’ sovereignty and direction affirming his eternal purpose in the lives of all His children and recognizes God holds in His hand "the potato masher". After all the potatoes have been sufficiently softened, He uses the potato masher and breaks them down, dissolving every individualistic potato and mingling one potato into another. After the potatoes are crushed and smashed they integrate smoothly with the other potatoes and when you look into the pot, the heat is gone, the infighting has ceased and all those potatoes are experiencing the answer of Messiah’s prayer request. "That they may all be one just as you Father are united with me and I with you." John 17:1. Now you have the Biblical verse for the Doctrine of the Potato!
Final Note: For now these are all of our Doctrines, but as the need arises we may make new ones. We will let you know if and when we add to our list of Doctrines. We have enjoyed sharing our profound Doctrines with each of you and trust the humor and truth of our Doctrines will enrich your walk, growth and love for the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Thank you for taking the time to read and memorize our Doctrines!
Shalom to you.