Beth Shalom Community & Learning Center is a Jewish/Hebraic Congregation; that is part of a world-wide organization of Seventh Day Adventists with more than 15 million members in countries around the world.
Our primary purpose is to educate both Christians and Jews about each other. Through educating both Jews and Christians we can effectively deal with antisemitism and other forms of discrimination. We are also able to help individuals who are Jewish but did not grow up practicing Judaism to receive an education in culturally appropriate manner.
In studying the Jewish perspective, the plan of Redemption is completely revealed in the Torah. The Christian Church owes it's existence to the Hebrew Messiah, Yeshua(Jesus). It's roots are in the promise that G-d gave Avraham Avinu (Father Abraham), "And by you all families of the earth shall be blessed" (Genesis 12:3).
The Tanakh (Old Testament) was given by G-d to the Jews to guard G-d's truth and share it with every kindred, tongue, and tribe. Yeshua (Jesus) stated "Don't think that I have come to abolish Torah (Law/Teachings) or the prophets. I have not come to abolish, but to complete (establish). Yes, indeed! I tell you that until heaven and earth pass away, not so much of a Yud or a stroke will pass from the Torah - not until everything that must happen has happened." (Matthew 5:17-19).
According to Romans 11, G-d's "olive tree" is made up of both natural and wild branches (Jews and Gentiles). In Ephesians 2:11-14, we find Messiah Himself as our Shalom - he has broken down the m'chitzah (middle wall) which divides us. Therefore we believe the Kehilot (congregation) consists of Jews and non-Jews/Gentiles worshipping in unity.
What Do We Teach?
We use both the Tanakh and the B'rit Chadashah (RE-New Covenant) as the foundation for our faith and the inspiration for our daily lives.
What Are Our Core Values?
"Love the LORD your G-d with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:30-31
Our mission is not just to love one another, but to restore the love of G-d to others everywhere.
We would be happy to have you join us in worship or at one of the events listed on our calendar.
Our Beliefs at a Glance
We accept the Bible as our only creed and hold certain fundamental beliefs to be the teaching of the Holy Scriptures. We share some of our beliefs to show their similarities to those of the Jewish people. Since Maimonides * has written the most commonly accepted doctrines or principles, we have chosen to write our beliefs in parallel with the "Ani Ma'amin" "I Believe" of Maimonides.
It is to be understood that this is not an exhaustive exposition of our beliefs.
|Maimonides' Principles||Our beliefs|
|1. I believe that God creates and guides all creatures, and that God alone made, makes and will make everything.||1. God is the Creator of all things, and has revealed in Scripture the authentic account of His creative activity. In six days God made "the heaven and the earth" and all living things upon the earth and rested on the seventh day of that first week. Thus He established the Sabbath as a perpetual memorial of His completed creative work.|
|2. I believe that God is one and that there is no unity that is in any way like God's. He alone is our God, Who is, Who was and Who always will be.||2. There is one God: ... God is immortal, all-powerful, all knowing, above all, and ever-present. He is infinite and beyond human comprehension, yet known through His self-revelation. He is forever worthy of worship, adoration, and service by the whole creation.|
|3. I believe that God is not physical and is not affected by physical phenomenon, and that there is no comparison to God whatsoever.||3. God the Eternal Father is the Creator, Source, Sustainer, and Sovereign of all creation.|
|4. I believe that God is the very first and the very last.||4. God is self-existent, for He has "life in Himself". He is independent in will and in power. He is omniscient, knowing everything; because He is the first and the last, He knows the end from the beginning.|
|5. I believe that to God alone is it proper to pray and it is not proper to pray to any other.||5. We are called to grow. Therefore, we commune with God daily in prayer, feeding on His Word, meditating on it and on His providence, singing His praises, gathering together for worship. As we give ourselves in loving service to those around us and in witnessing to His salvation, His constant presence with us sanctifies every moment and every task.|
|6. I believe that all the words of the prophets are true.||6. Sent by God to be with His people always, the Ruach Hakodesh extends spiritual gifts to his people, empowers them to bear witness to Mashiach, and in harmony with the Scriptures, leads them into all truth. One of the gifts of the Ruach Hakodesh is prophecy.|
|7. I believe that the prophecy of Moses was true, and that he was the chief of all prophets, both those before him and those after him.||7. The Holy Scriptures, ... are the written Word of God, given by divine inspiration through holy men of God who spoke and wrote as they were moved by the Ruach Hakodesh. In His Word, God has committed to mankind the knowledge necessary for salvation.|
|8. I believe that the entire Torah now in our hands is the same one that was given to Moses our teacher.||8. The Holy Scriptures are the infallible revelation of God's will. They are the standard of character, the test of experience, the authoritative revealers of doctrines, and the trustworthy record of God's acts in history.|
|9. I believe that the Torah will not be changed nor will there be another Torah from God.||9. God, in the person of the Ruach Hakodesh, has revealed Himself through the Scriptures. He wrote them, not with His hands but with other hands, about forty pairs, over a period of more than 1500 years. Since God inspired the writers, God then is the author.|
|10. I believe that God knows all the deeds of human beings and their thoughts||10. Because God is the Creator, He knows the thoughts and motives of every person. Those whom God knows to be truly repentant, He grants eternal life with Him.|
|11. I believe that God rewards with good those who observe his commandments, and punishes those who violate His commandments.||11. The unrighteous dead will then be resurrected, ... but fire from God will consume them and cleanse the earth. The universe will thus be freed of sin and sinners forever.|
|12. I believe in the coming of the Messiah and even though he may delay, nevertheless I anticipate every day that he will come.||12. The second coming of the Messiah is our blessed hope, the grand climax of the "good news".|
|13. I believe that there will be a resurrection of the dead whenever the wish emanates from God.||13. When the Messiah who is our life appears, the resurrected righteous and the living righteous will be glorified and caught up to meet their Lord.|
* Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon, (March 30, 1135-December 13, 1204), commonly known by his Greek name Maimonides, was a Jewish rabbi, physician, and philosopher. Many Jewish works refer to him by the acronym of his title and name, RaMBaM. As such, he is occasionally referred to as Rambam.
What We Believe
1. Our only Creed:
WE BELIEVE that the Holy Scriptures, both the Tanakh and B'rit Chadashah (Old and New Testaments) are our only Creed. They are the infallible revelation of G-d’s will. They are the standard of character, the test of experience, the authoritative revealer of doctrines, and the trustworthy record of G-d’s acts in history.
WE BELIEVE G-d is One. He alone is our G-d, Who is, Who was and Who always will be." and as stated in the Shema; "Hear O Israel, Adonai Elohainu , Adonai Echad ." G-d is immortal, all-powerful, all-knowing, above all, and ever present. He is infinite and beyond human comprehension, yet He has made Himself known through His self-revelations as Father, Son, and Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit).
WE BELIEVE that G-d as the eternal Abba (Father) is the Creator, Source, Sustainer, and Sovereign of all creation. He is just and holy, merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.
4. Ben Elohim:
WE BELIEVE that G-d as the eternal Ben Elohim (Son of G-d), is the Word which became flesh and dwelt among us. Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of our faith: He was manifested in the flesh, vindicated by the Spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world and taken up in glory. By His miracles He manifested G-d’s power and was attested as G-d’s promised Messiah. He suffered and died voluntarily on a stake for our sins and in our place, was raised from the dead, and ascended to minister in the heavenly Mishkan (sanctuary) in our behalf.
5. Ruach HaKodesh:
WE BELIEVE that the spirit of Elohim inspired the writers of Scripture. He filled Messiah's life with power. draws and convicts human beings. He extends spiritual gifts to His People, empowers them to bear witness to Mashiach, and in harmony with the Scriptures leads them into all truth.
WE BELIEVE as Scripture states: Bereshith bara Elohim (In the beginning G-d created). G-d is Creator of all things, and has revealed in Scripture the authentic account of His creative activity. In six days Adonai made “the heavens and the earth” and all living things upon the earth, and rested on the seventh day of that first week.
7. Nature of Man:
WE BELIEVE as quoted from the Artscroll Tehillim series, Volume I (Psalms 1 – 30), where the Rabbis describe the fall of Adam by stating: "Not only did Adam fall; he dragged the entire universe down with him". Man and and woman were made in the Zelem (image) of G-d with individuality, the power and freedom to think and to do. When our first parents disobeyed G-d, they denied their dependence upon Him and fell from their high position under G-d. The image of G-d in them was marred and they became subject to death. Their descendants share this fallen nature and its consequences.
8. Life, Death, and Resurrection of Mashiach:
WE BELIEVE that the death of Mashiach is redeeming and provides kaparah (covering of sin); it is reconciling and transforming. The resurrection of Mashiach proclaims G-d’s triumph over the yetzer hara (evil inclination, forces of evil), and for those who accept the atonement through Mashiach assures their final victory over sin and death.
9. Experience of Redemption:
WE BELIEVE that in infinite love and mercy G-d made Mashiach, who knew no chatat (sin), to be sin for us, so that in Him we might be made the righteousness of G-d. Led by Ruach HaKodesh we sense our need, acknowledge our sinfulness, repent of our Pesha (transgressions), and exercise faith in Yeshua as Adonai and Mashiach, as Substitute and Example. Only through Mashiach are we justified; adopted as G-d’s benei and banot (sons and daughters), and delivered from the lordship of avon (iniquity). Abiding in Him we become partakers of the divine nature and have the assurance of salvation now and in the time of judgment.
10. Growing in Mashiach:
WE BELIEVE Yeshua is The Way. By His death on the stake, Yeshua triumphed over the yetzer hara (evil inclination, forces of evil,). We also Believe that the Ruach HaKodesh dwells within us and empowers us, to be continually committed to Yeshua as our Saviour and Adonai, we are set free from the burden of our past deeds. No longer do we live in the darkness, fear of evil powers, ignorance, and meaninglessness of our former way of life. We are called to grow into the likeness of His character, communing with Him daily in prayer, feeding on His Word, meditating on it and on His providence, singing His praises, and gathering together for worship.
WE BELIEVE that the Kehilah (congregation) is the community of believers who confess Yeshua HaMashiach as Adonai and Saviour. We believe in Kehilah organization as we are called out from the world and join together for worship, for fellowship, for instruction in the Word, for service to all mankind, and for the worldwide proclamation of the gospel of Yeshua our Messiah.
12. Kehilah’s Mission:
WE BELIEVE that our Mission is to be one in Messiah, sharing His life, love and message of salvation to a lost world and to strive to be a congregation that keeps the commandments of G-d and our faith in Yeshua.
13. Unity in the Body of Mashiach:
WE BELIEVE that the Kehillah is one body with many members, called from every nation, kindred, tongue, and people. In Mashiach we are a new creation; distinctions of race, culture, learning, and nationality, and differences between high and low, rich and poor, male and female, must not be divisive among us. We are all equal in Mashiach.
WE BELIEVE in the practice of immersion in living waters as a public expression of faith in Yeshua .
WE BELIEVE in celebrating the Moedim (Appointed Times); non-salvific celebrations , such as the Passover (also known as the L-rd’s supper) which is not only a participation in the rememberance of our freedom from slavery in Egypt, but also of the emblems of the body and blood of Yeshua as an expression of faith in Him. Due to our Hebraic ministry, we as a Kehilah can appreciate that Biblical Feasts such as Passover, Shavuot, Yom Truah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot, all act as G-d’s prophetic appointed times which point to the work of Redemption, Sanctification, Atonement and a New Jerusalem; all which are only fulfilled through Yeshua HaMashiach. Preparation for the celebrations includes self-examination, repentance, and confession.
16. Gifts from the Ruach:
WE BELIEVE that Ruach HaKodesh, apportions to each member as He wills, the gifts that provide all abilities and ministries needed by the Kehilah to fulfil its divinely ordained functions.
WE BELIEVE that the great principles of G-d’s Torah are embodied in the Ten Commandments and exemplified in the life of Mashiach. They express G-d’s love, will, and purposes concerning human conduct and relationships and are binding upon all people in every age. These precepts are the basis of G-d’s covenant with His people and the standard in G-d’s judgment.
WE BELIEVE that the beneficent Creator, after the six days of Creation, rested on the seventh day and instituted the Shabbat for all people as a memorial of Creation. The Shabbat is G-d’s perpetual sign of His eternal covenant between Him and His people. Joyful observance of this holy time from evening to evening, sunset to sunset, is a celebration of G-d’s creative and redemptive acts.
WE BELIEVE that we are G-d’s stewards, and believe it is our purpose to worship G-d and support the world body through our tithes and offerings and by our personal efforts and influence.
20. Messiah-like Behaviour:
WE BELIEVE we are called to be a Holy People. According to Rabbi Maimonides the term “a Holy People” means a promise of eternal life with G-d. We are called to be a holy people who think, feel, and act in harmony with the principles of heaven. For the Spirit to recreate in us the character of our Adonai we involve ourselves only in those things which will produce Messiah-like purity, health, and joy in our lives. We consider our bodies as the temple of the Ruach Elohim and we honour G-d by caring for it with a healthy lifestyle and Biblical dietary choices.
21. Heavenly Mishkan:
WE BELIEVE there is a Mishkan (Sanctuary) in heaven, the true tabernacle which Adonai set up and not man. In it, Mashiach ministers on our behalf, making available to believers the benefits of His atoning sacrifice offered once for all on the stake. He was inaugurated as our great Cohen Hagadol (High Priest) and began His intercessory ministry at the time of His ascension.
22. Return of Mashiach:
WE BELIEVE in the soon coming of Yeshua and the blessed hope when “this mortal shall… put on immortality.” We agree with Rabbi Maimonides when he says: “I believe in the coming of the Mashiach and even though he may delay, nevertheless I anticipate every day that he will come.” As we prepare to meet Mashiach, we will witness to His loving salvation by using our talents in a personal soul-winning endeavour to help others to be ready for His glorious appearing.
23. Death and Resurrection:
WE BELIEVE as quoted by Rabbi Maimonides: “that there will be a resurrection of the dead whenever the wish emanates from G-d.” G-d, who alone is immortal, will grant eternal life to His redeemed. When Mashiach who is our life appears, the resurrected righteous and the living righteous will be glorified and caught up to meet their Adonai.
24. A Millennium and the End of Sin:
WE BELIEVE as The Talmud (Sanhedrin 97a) states: “The world is to exist six thousand years. In the first two thousand there was desolation; two thousand years the Torah flourished; and the next two thousand years is the Messianic era”. It has been about 2000 years that we have already been in the Messianic era. There will also be a millennium, which is a thousand-year reign of Mashiach with His people in heaven. During this time the wicked dead will be judged; the earth will be utterly desolate, without living human inhabitants, but occupied by HaSatan and his fallen angels. At its close Mashiach with His People and the Holy City will descend from heaven to earth.
25. Olam Habaa:
WE BELIEVE in Olam Habaa (New Earth). On the Olam Habaa, in which righteousness dwells, G-d will provide an eternal home for the redeemed and a perfect environment for everlasting life, love, joy, and learning in His presence. For here G-d Himself will pitch His Mishkan (dwell) with His people, and suffering and death will have passed away.