Biblical Shared Values
What is the meaning behind the name The Regathering?
The regathering, or rapture in most English translations, is the most prophesied event in the Bible where all believers are regathered to the land of Israel to meet their Messiah and be judged by Him. This is our assured hope of salvation—we focus on this future reality and aim to equip all believers to understand and teach in preparation for this great event. (Ezekiel 20:40-41) The olive tree logo pays homage to Romans 11 which describes the House of Israel (wild olive branches) being regathered and grafted back into the tree with the House of Judah (native olive branches).
What is a Whole Bible Fellowship?
A lot like it sounds, we are a fellowship of people who believe the whole Bible—in its original language, culture, and context—is true and applicable to our lives (2 Timothy 3:16-17.) These verses in second Timothy were penned before the New Testament existed, so the only possible “all Scripture” the verse could be referencing is the Tanakh (what most now call the Old Testament.) We use a holistic approach and reading comprehension to understand the Bible and do not exclude any part of Scripture as “old” or “irrelevant” because men have declared it so (Deuteronomy 4:2, Revelation 22:18-19). The Word of God is living and ready to change your life now as much as ever! (Hebrews 4:12)
What makes a Whole Bible Fellowship different from a denominational church or synagogue?
There are approximately 41,000 denominations of Christianity and around 27 sects of Judaism, each following to varying degrees men and their manmade religious interpretations and traditions. While you can learn the Truth from whoever speaks it, the Truth is the Word of God, and we do not require any authority other than Him. Rather than seeking fellowship that most suits our interests or makes us comfortable, we seek rather to make a fellowship that most pleases God.
Do you have a statement of faith or creed?
We are not affiliated with any central authority. However, because of the pragmatism of having a creed to point back to, we choose to use this statement of faith as our Whole Bible Creed:
“There is only one YeHoVaH (God), the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, who is the Creator, the Almighty, and sustainer of all things. Yeshua (Jesus) is the living embodiment of the Word (the Bible). He became a human being of virgin birth (conceived by the Holy Spirit), lived out the Torah perfectly (i.e. led a sinless life), died in our place for our iniquity, and was raised on the third day providing atonement for the sins of the world. It is through Yeshua (Jesus) that we are grafted into God’s Kingdom as citizens in the covenants of the Almighty. Yeshua’s (Jesus') birth, death, resurrection, and second coming are the fulfillment of the Feasts of the LORD. As an intermediate fulfillment of the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot), He was born on the first day and was circumcised on the eighth day. He then fulfilled the Spring Feasts of the LORD as our Passover sacrifice (John 1:29, 26), was raised on the third day and after which presented the First Fruits in heaven (The Day of First Fruits), then poured out His Spirit on the Feast of Pentecost (Shavuot). We believe that his return will fulfill the Fall Feasts of the LORD, namely The Feast of Trumpets (Yom Teruah), the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur), and The Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot). The Bible, in its original language, is infallible. We believe that the truth of Yeshua (Jesus) is divinely interwoven in both the old and new testaments. Thus, the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, is one consistent theme and redemptive message of salvation through Yeshua (Jesus.) There is one God-given law (more properly, “instruction” or Torah) for ALL peoples. There is no difference between believing Gentiles and believing Jews (Leviticus 24:22, Numbers 9:14) as to the instructions for how to live a righteous life. Confessing and turning (repenting) from one’s sin and placing one’s faith in the atoning work of redemption accomplished by Yeshua (Jesus) is the only way to be forgiven of sin and to have the assurance of being “born again” at the resurrection. Salvation is by faith alone and not by works. The believer’s faith should be a motivation to do good works (i.e. “shema” or “hear and obey” the Torah - Deuteronomy 6:4) as the outward expression of one’s inward faith, expressed in a life reflective of the Almighty’s love, grace, and mercy embodied in Yeshua’s (Jesus') earthly ministry.”
Do you have a central authority figure with the title Father, Master, Rabbi, or Reverend for the fellowship?
No, Yeshua (Jesus) said not to use these titles (Matthew 23:8-10). In context, He is referring to people who use these titles to exalt themselves. These titles literally mean great or exalted ones. We do not exalt or revere any man, only the Word of God who became a man—Yeshua (Jesus.) He is the head of every man, and man the head of his wife (1 Corinthians 11:3.) Yeshua (Jesus) says that He hates the practice of the Nicolaitians (Revelation 2:6); “Nico” means overpower, and “Laitian” means laity or people in the congregation. We do not employ the pyramid structure and seek rather to lift every man and woman to be fully equipped to share the Gospel with others. Anyone can volunteer for leadership positions in the fellowship. The roles are designed only to preserve and exalt the Word of God. Those who choose to teach have spent years diligently studying the Word of God and are responsible to offer a teaching before Him for approval, not men.
Do you worship differently than others?
Somewhat. The Bible describes several ways to worship but we focus on songs using Scriptural lyrics and a reverent worship set. Some songs contain Hebrew words or phrases from the Bible. You are encouraged to worship Yehovah however you feel led, expressive or reserved. The focus is on pleasing God rather than the attendees.
Why meet on Saturday rather than Sunday?
God created the world in seven days, and on the seventh day He rested as an example for us to follow. Then He repeated the commandment to remember the Sabbath more than any other commandment in the Bible—repeatedly saying to keep it forever and for all generations. Even saying Gentiles who keep My Sabbath will have a greater name than the native born (Isaiah 56:6.) Using only Scripture, the Sabbath is an unequivocally necessary, valuable, and vital practice in Biblical life. The Sabbath always has referred to the seventh day of the week and High Sabbaths during Biblical Holidays, all set by God Himself. Men cannot give themselves the authority to overrule God. The mandate of the “Sunday Sabbath” by the Roman Pontifex Maximus (Pope) Constantine, in the year 324 AD, is not relevant within the Whole Bible worldview. Constantine believed he had the authority because he claimed to be the “Vicar of Christ” — literally Jesus vicariously living through Constantine—and that he was reigning in the millennial reign. The Catholic Church to this day upholds this position and claims authority over all Christian Sunday Sabbath observers because “Sunday is our mark of authority.. The church is above the Bible, and this transference of Sabbath observance is proof of this fact.” (Catholic Record of London September 1, 1923) “Of course the Catholic Church claims that the change (Saturday Sabbath to Sunday) was her act…and the act is a mark of her ecclesiastical authority in religious things.” — H.F. Thomas, Chancellor of Cardinal Gibbons. So we are presented with the choice of Sunday Sabbath, “a mark of manmade authority,” or Saturday Sabbath, “a sign between (God and His people) so they would know that I, Yehovah, made them holy.” As a Whole Bible Fellowship the decision to worship on Saturday is clear. “Most Christians assume that Sunday is the Biblically approved day of worship.. to try to argue that the change was made in the Bible is both dishonest and a denial of Catholic authority. If Protestantism wants to base its teachings only on the Bible, it should worship on Saturday.” — Rome’s Challenge December 2003.
Why celebrate Biblical Holy Days and not the more common worldly holidays?
At creation, when God created the sun and moon, the English translation says he made them for “seasons.” Seasons makes the modern reader think of winter, spring, summer, and fall; however, this Hebrew word “moedim” means appointed Holy Days. God set these appointments at creation to meet with us, and says to remember them forever. The seven Biblical Holy Days not only remind us of the wonderful acts He has done in the past, but also foreshadow future prophetic events. So we celebrate them for Him in the way He instructed, but also for our own pleasure and edification. We do not celebrate the holidays of the world because doing so would violate the Bible. (Deuteronomy 12:29-32, Leviticus 20:22-23, Exodus 23:24, Jeremiah 10:2-4) These passages all teach us not to learn the ways the world worships their gods and emulate them; God says that worshiping Him in worldly ways is an abomination (the worst form of offense to God.) If one delves into the history of Christmas or Easter, for example, you will find the very same false gods associated with these holidays are the exact same ancient false gods being opposed in the Bible. Jeremiah 10:2-4 describes ancient Christmas idolatry which has eerily changed very little in the modern world. 1 Kings 11:4-11 and Jeremiah 7:18 both describe the worship of Ishtar (Easter) the fertility goddess who turned a bird into an egg-laying rabbit. If God was opposed to these days back then, do we have any reason using the Bible to believe He is in favor of them now? Not at all. We are called to be set apart from the world and to remember that the only Holy Days are set by the Holy One (1 Peter 2:9).
So do you keep all of the commandments in the Bible?
Yes, all instructions that apply to each person and in each situation. For example, some laws apply only to women, or farmers, or priests, etc.; some apply only at certain times of year or at a certain age etc.; and some can only be applied in certain circumstances like in the land of Israel or when the Temple is accessible etc. This comes out to about 100 instructions for the average person in the US. The United States government has made over 2.5 million laws and we call that freedom, so we must agree with God: to keep 100 moral instructions is “not burdensome” (1 John 5:3, Deuteronomy 30:11.) In fact, Psalm 119:45 says keeping the commandments is freedom!
But I’ve heard grace gives us permission to break God’s commandments?
“What then? Should we continue sinning so that grace may abound? God forbid!”(Romans 6:15.) “Think not that I (Yeshua - Jesus) came to abolish the Law or the Prophets: I came not to abolish but to uphold.” (Matthew 5:17) The masses of Christendom think the exact thing Yeshua (Jesus) said to “think not” and do the very things Paul said “God forbid” that they do. We have identified three key reasons why this error is so common: 1) People trust in man-made religion, rather than reading their Bible. 2) When they do read, they often do not use proper reading comprehension. 3) Paul’s letters are confusing without a foundation in Scripture. (2 Peter 3:16) Peter says people twist Paul’s words to their own destruction. The solution is to simply read the whole Bible with reading comprehension to understand the original language, culture, and context from which Paul is referencing. Lawlessness will not stand if one submits themself to the Lordship of the Word. (Matthew 7:21-22)
Do you eat differently than others?
Yes, because we use Scripture alone to determine how we should live, we allow God to define what is and is not food. While all plants are permissible, Leviticus 11 details which animals are clean and unclean for consumption. God concludes this section with the heart of the matter “be set-apart (Holy) as I am set-apart (Holy.) Peter later reminds new believers of this Scripture in 1 Peter 1:14-16. The two common verses used to support the erroneous belief that Yeshua (Jesus) died to make porcupine dinner are Mark 7:19 and Acts 10:9-16. Mark 7:19 in most translations states “Jesus declared all foods clean” however these words are not present in the Greek or Hebrew manuscripts of Mark- they were added by English “translators.” Contextually, the Pharisees are chiding Yeshua (Jesus) and His disciples for not washing their hands with ritual basins and reciting Rabbinic blessings to achieve ritual purity before eating bread; this command is not found in the Bible but in Pharisaic oral law therefore not binding. Even if you take the radical view of adding the “all foods” statement without manuscript evidence, “all foods” described in the Bible are clean animals and plants, so His declaration would still mean the same: there is no ritual purity prerequisite to eat food. The Acts 10:9-16 passage can be confusing when isolated however when reading in context the vision becomes clear. God tells Peter the meaning of the vision is to call no Man unclean (Acts 10:28) while the first Gentiles converts are arriving at his house. Pharisaic man-made law had blinded Peter into thinking he could never meet with Gentiles but God shook him up with a powerful vision to restore him to the proper Biblical understanding of repentance conversion (like Rahab, Ruth, the City of Ninevah, etc.) If God provides the vision and the meaning of the vision to Peter who are we to say that God actually meant to break His own instructions that he previously said would last forever (Exodus 31:16, Exodus 12:14, Exodus 12:17, Exodus 12:24, Exodus 31:17, Leviticus 16:29, Leviticus 16:31, Leviticus 23:21, Leviticus 23:31, 2 Chronicles 2:4, Psalm 119:159-160, Deuteronomy 5:29, Deuteronomy 11:1, Leviticus 10:15, Deuteronomy 4:30-31, Matthew 5:17-19, Deuteronomy 28:15-46, Exodus 27:21, Exodus 28:43, Exodus 29:28, Exodus 30:21, Exodus 31:16, Leviticus 24:8, Malachi 3:6, Hebrews 13:8, etc.)
Do you dress differently than others?
In accordance with Scripture, modesty is a prerequisite for entering the building. We ask that you not wear revealing or tight clothes; we want all attention to be on God. Many in the congregation choose to wear four blue tassels (tzit-tizit) on the outside of their clothes. These operate as a reminder to keep God’s instructions (Numbers 15:38) similar to the iconic WWJD bracelets except actually sanctioned by God and worn by Yeshua (Jesus) (Matthew 9:20).
How do I turn my life to follow Yeshua and do I need to confess my sins?
In studying the Whole Bible, one can observe a simple method for conversion - repentance. The Hebrew word for repentance is “teshuva'' which means to turn around and walk in the opposite direction. In order to turn and walk righteously, one must acknowledge that they are walking in the wrong direction. This confession can be made directly to Yehovah through Yeshua (Jesus) as your representative; you don’t need to go through any man as a mediator besides Yeshua (Jesus.) There are three ways to display a true conversion: Your God is my God, Your People are my people, and Your Law is my law. (Ruth 1:16) Yeshua (Jesus) must be the Lord of your life and you agree to follow His instructions. We don’t obey to obtain salvation but out of love demonstrating your legitimate faith.
Do you baptize new followers of Yeshua?
The Greek word baptizo was created by Greek Bible translators because the concept of ritual immersion existed in the Hebrew Biblical culture but they had nothing remotely similar in the Greek culture. Therefore, we must look back into scripture for the Biblical term “Mikveh” to better understand what was a common practice in Biblical life especially in the first century. The process of the Mikveh is to dunk oneself completely under living water (not stagnant) to correct a state of spiritual uncleanness. A witness would oversee the process to ensure that no part of the body remained above the water. While one dunk is Biblically sufficient, some choose to dunk 3 times; In 2 Kings 5:14, Naaman dunks himself 7 times, so many choose to replicate this number as well. We do recommend that new followers mikveh themselves under the spiritual authority of Yeshua (Jesus.) We will regularly offer to the fellowship the opportunity to go as a group down to the river (we will be each other’s witnesses.) This decision is entirely up to you, we will not forcibly push you under the water in a stagnant pool which sadly has become the standard practice with the loss of original context.
Is this a Jewish group? Can anyone come to visit the fellowship?
We are open to people of all ethnic backgrounds who chose to join the covenants of God. Anyone can attend! The Bible clearly teaches that the table is open to all (Acts 10:28). However, like the first century synagogue, some understanding is required in order to participate (Acts 15:20-21). The four introductory instructions in Acts 15 were related to the topics of food, drink, and sexuality. Once those were cleared up, they could “hear the Law of Moses read every Sabbath” (Acts 15:21) and learn the rest of the Way. Similarly for our guests, we simply ask four things: 1) they not bring food at all—we will provide Biblically clean food; 2) that they dress modestly; 3) that they not be drunk or under the influence of drugs when attending; 4) that they not be intentionally disrespectful or argumentative on the Sabbath day which is for displaying peace and reverence to God.
Are all questions permitted? Can we disagree and still have unity?
Absolutely, all questions are encouraged! We believe that every person should test everything against Scripture (1 Thessalonians 5:21). Yes, we can discuss topics with nuance and be open to more than one point of view, as long as no one’s view openly advocates for sin defined as transgression of God’s law in 1 John 3:4. Unity is more important than consensus. In the first century, believers and non-believers would meet in the same buildings to learn Scripture together; how much more should we who believe in Yeshua display unity? It is most important that each person attempts to harmonize their life in agreement with God’s Word, not to be too concerned with whether others agree with them (Philippians 2:12).