What is Adat Moadim

We are a Messianic Assembly or Synagogue which most often behaves as a home fellowship. Our goal is to be like the Messianic Assemblies of the historical first century Sect of the Nazarenes. Peace Bird Star of DavidWe are called "Adat Peace Bird Star of David " (Hebrew for "assembly of" or "church of") because we are an assembly of believers. We are called "Moadim" because we meet on the times of YHVH, His Festivals and kadosh congregation days which He Himself ordained according to Scripture. We sing, break bread and share grape juice. We also spend time in a Hebrew Siddur, reciting the Sh'ma and other blessings. However, the majority of our time in services is spent studying the TaNaK and Brit Chaddashah. We feel study of the Word, Torah is the highest form of worship to our Elohim. We do proclaim Yahshua as Echad with YHVH Elohim, the Messiah of Yisrael and all who attach themselves to Yisrael, by obedience to Torah. We practice and teach the Hebraic Heritage of Meshiach Yahshua and encourage Jews and Gentiles to learn Torah and to lead a Meshiach centered lifestyle, directed to the worship of the Father, through trust and Torah observance. Is "church" Biblical? Read below!

A Nation not a "Religion"

The word "religion" is a Latin word which best can be explained in English as "an organized system of people with similar spiritual beliefs, commandments, rites, and a common institutional system." Today religion is very complex, with integrated hierarchies, leadership, denominational structures, and doctrinal systems. The pages of the Bible give us clear evidence as to when "religion" came into existence. Nimrod, spoken of in Bereshet-Genesis, established Mystery Babylon. Also in the book of Exodus Shemot-Names in Hebrew we see Elohim's people referred to as "Yisrael" a nation which was enslaved under Pharaoh-king. The nation received its liberation when Elohim sent Moses-Moshe in Hebrew and the Biblical Moed known as Pesach-Passover was established. During Yisrael's 400 plus year stay in Egypt and the 40 years in the desert under Moshe, Yisrael was clearly a Nation not a religion. One could not convert and then be considered a member of the 13 tribes. One could however, join the nation by living with them and being a resident alien (Hebrew "ger") in their midst. There are many examples in the Law (in Hebrew called the Torah-Instructions) of resident aliens (foreigners) who lived in the midst of the nation and worshipped the One True Elohim. (For just one example, see Shemot 12:48-49). It is clear that under Moshe, Yisrael was a nation, not a religion. Under Joshua (Hebrew "Yehoshua" or "Yeshua"), the Judges, and the Kings (King Saul through King Zedekiah who was deported to Babylon) Yisrael was not yet a religion but was still a nation. (Technically, Yisrael became two nations after Shlomo's-Solomon's reign, when the nation split into the Northern Kingdom, Yisrael and the Southern Kingdom, Judah.) Yisrael was a nation with one true center for worship, the Temple in Yerusalem-Tabernacle. Yudah and Yisrael did have a High Priesthood and a tribe of priests (Levites) but worship was done collectively by the nation during its "assemblies" (In Greek "ekklesia" translated as "church" in the New Testament-See Leviticus 23:1-3) and appointed times. Their worship was as a collective "assembly" to the ONE and True El. Yisraelite worship was not an institutionalized system with full-blown conversion. A gentile could not become an Yisraelite by converting through a Rabbi (rabbis didn't exist yet, nor did synagogues). One could live in the midst of the nation, attach themselves to one of the tribes of the nation, and worship the ONE True Elohim with the people in the nation. Ruth and Rahab are examples of this. Rahab was a gentile who became a resident alien. Ruth became an Yisraelite in a slightly different way, she married into the nation. This was an easy way to convert into the nation, if you were a woman. Men could not marry into the nation. King Shlomo/Solomon had many foreign wives. Shlomo's son Rehoboam, the King of Yisrael/Judah, was the son of a Moabite concubine. He was considered a full citizen of the nation even though he was half Jewish. Thus intermarriage and becoming a resident alien were the natural means of becoming an Yisraelite. This can go much farther. The Hebrew Bible does not have a word for "conversion". Nor does the Hebrew Bible (Christians,do not you use this word, say "Old Testament") have words for "religion" or "Judaism". Yisrael was a nation at the close of the TaNaK (what Christians wrongly call the "Old Testament") and Judaism was not yet a religion. Historical evidence shows clearly that Judaism became institutionalized during the time between the close of the TaNaK and the start of the Renewed Covenant (New Testament). During the Intertestmental period, sects immerged (Pharisees and Sadducees etc.) and institutions immerged (synagogues, Sanhedrin, etc). Yisrael developed a "Tradition of the Elders" and "Rabbis", terms which are not found in the Hebrew Bible but are found many places in the Renewed Covenant. In the Renewed Covenant we also have Greek words for "convert" and "conversion". We also have other Greek words like "proselyte" which again is not found in the Hebrew Bible (although it is found in the LXX). With all this evidence, it is easy to see that Yisrael as a nation changed drastically at the close of the TaNaK. It became an organized religion with sects, institutions, and adopted a system of conversion. Therefore, a person at this time now could become Jewish without marrying into the nation or living within its national borders. Therefore, while Pharisees, Sadducees, sects, proselytes, synagogues, etc. do exist in the Renewed Covenant, these are man made entities without a Scriptural basis for their being. The TaNaK does not address them or call for their existence. 

It takes a bold individual to say that the word "church" isn't found in the Bible. This would anger most Christians. The fact is, the word "church" is not found in the Bible but the Greek word "ekklesia" is. Every time this Greek word is translated as "church" in the Renewed Covenant it is a mistranslation. Why did the authors of the Renewed Covenant use the Greek word "ekklesia?" The answer is found in another Jewish writing called the Septuagint (abbreviated as "LXX") The LXX is a Greek translation of the TaNaK (Old Testament, which was written in Hebrew). Jews in Egypt translated the LXX in approximately 250 BCE. When translating the Hebrew words for "assembly" ("qahal" and "edah") into Greek they chose the Greek word "ekklesia" as the best Greek equivalent. "Ekklesia" is a noun coming from the Greek word "eklectos" meaning "elect" or "chosen". Hence, in the Bible Elohim chose Yisrael as His Chosen People. The idea of Yisrael as Elohim's chosen nation is prevalent in the writing of the Renewed Covenant as well. In Matthew 18:15-20, there is a blatant mistranslation of the Greek word "ekklesia." The word is translated in English as "church" in the NASB, NRSV, NIV, KJV, NKJV, and the Living Bible. (These versions are translated from a corrupted Greek text, known as the Alexandrian Text.) It is so clear in this passage that Yahshua is referring to the "assembly" of Yisrael in the desert with Moshe (Moses). In Numbers 35:30 and Deuteronomy 17:5-7, 19:15; Moshe explains the teachings on community discipline. Moshe states in these passages that all things are to be proven on the basis of two or three witnesses and the whole "ekklesia" (LXX in the GREEK) was to stone the guilty person(s) with the two or three witnesses casting the first stones. Yahshua in Matt 18:15-20 upholds the Torah of Moshe beautifully. He repeats the Mosaic teachings and concludes by stating "when two or three are gathered together in My Name, there I AM with them." (Matt 18:20) The idea that the word "ekklesia" in this passage refers to the nation of Yisrael and not a Gentile "church" is shown further by another common mistranslation in this passage, Matthew 18:17. Most Bibles (like the NIV, KJV, NKV, NRSV, etc) translate Yahshua stating, "treat him as a pagan/heathen or a tax collector" when Yahshua really said, "treat him like a Gentile or a tax collector." Again, this further shows the whole context of Matthew 18:15-20 is Jewish referring to the assembly of Yisrael in the desert. It is hard for some to handle Yahshua making anti-gentile statements in the Bible. The fact is He made several (see Matthew 15:21,26 and others). This does not mean that Yahshua doesn't love or didn't die for Gentiles, He just came first for the lost sheep of Yisrael (see Matthew 15:21,24,26 and Romans 1:16). I should note here another fact about the Matthew 18:15-20 passage. If Yahshua said "church", one must note that the "church" did not exist yet. If the "church" did not exist, how would the disciples know what Yahshua was referring to when He said "church?" We don't see the disciples asking Yahshua, "What do you mean by church? We haven't heard of that! What is it?" The fact is the Renewed Covenant doesn't define the "church" as a new entity. For that matter, the Renewed Covenant does not define "church" at all. It doesn't need to. It is not a separate entity from Yisra'el and the original readers of the Renewed Covenant knew exactly what the "assembly" was. Here I must make another note. The word "ekklesia" is sometimes translated as "assembly" in the Renewed Covenant. For example, Stephen refers to the assembly in the wilderness with Moses before he was stoned. It is interesting in Acts 7:38, Bible scholars do not translate it as "the church" in the desert with Moses for 40 years. But that is exactly what Stephan said, the "ekklesia/church" with Moses in the desert. There are many other parts of Scripture that show that the "churches/assemblies" in the Bible were Jewish. I will only address one more here. A brief look at Revelation chapters 2-3 discusses 7 assemblies in the Roman Empire. These 7 assemblies have one important thing in common: the symbol of their identity is a 7 branch candlestick (menorah) not a cross. (See Rev 2:1,5 and technically 3:9) We must not read our modern "church" into the Bible. Today's "churches" are very different from the original assemblies in almost every way. Today, Christianity has no ties to its mother faith: Judaism. With all this in mind, we must return to the Greek word, "ekklesia." This word in the Renewed Covenant should be translated into the English word "assembly" or "congregation" and not as "church." It is important for us to understand that the original believers (as seen in the book of Acts) did not consider "Nazarenes" to be a new religion but as the fulfillment of their Jewish faith and a sect within Judaism itself (the sect of the Nazarenes). Thus their understanding of the Greek word "ekklesia" reminded them not of a new religion with buildings, painted glass windows, Christmas, Easter, and tall steeples that met on SUNdays, the ChristMass and Asherah-Ishtar (Easter). This word "ekklesia" reminded the early believers of an assembly that received manna, rested from gathering manna on the Seventh Day, wandered in the desert for forty years receiving covenants from Elohim through Moshe, and held their "church" (assembly-ekklesia) on Shabbat (See Leviticus 23:1-3 in LXX) and the other Moadim given by YHVH (See Lev 23). We must not read the modern "church system" into our Bibles.

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