|Frequently Asked Questions|
Some Core Beliefs to Start
Most of these have been reported by hostile ("church father") sources. Keep in mind that some descriptions from them are slander and unsubstantiated. One example is that Epiphanius (who also believed that water would eventually turn into wine if left alone) claims the 'Evyonim rejected many of the prophets including Yesha`yahu and Yirmeyahu. This obvious slander was because the 'Evyonim did not interpret these prophets to support the Paulistic understanding of the re-newed covenant and other points. It could also reflect a later shift to gnostic tendencies of some once Ebionites (eventually called "Elchasites"). We are not gnostic.
Absolute Monotheism to YHWH (Yahweh); i.e., Yahwism Universal Yahwism He has communicated to the Hebrew people only and through the Torah and Nevi'im (Law and Prophets). All other theological validity must fit within that framework. Rejection of Paul of Tarsus the Apostate Liar and his writings and writings reflecting his teachings. Require constant repentence and circumcision signifying covenant attachment to Yahweh Observe the Shabbat (and all biblical Holy Days) Torah Observant Torah with Loving-Kindness, and internalized (re-newed covenant) Yahshua ben Yosef a man and not divine Miryam the mother of Yahshua, and other sons and daughters, by Yosef their natural father Yahshua a "Son of 'Elohim" by virtue of his observance of Torah
Yahshua prophesied end of sacrificial system (as did others)
- What do 'Evyonim believe about Yahshua ("Jesus")?
- Is Yahshua "God"?
- Must one accept Christianity to be "saved"?
- Was Yahshua "born of a virgin"?
- Did Yahshua rise from the dead?
- Was Yahshua a human sacrifice?
Paul of Tarsus
- Why do you use "Sacred Names"?
- Aren't these names used by racist groups?
- Who is a "Jew"?
- What about Europeans as lost "Israelites"?
- Are we vegetarians?
What do 'Evyonim believe about Yahshua?
Yahwism concerns the covenant relationship we have with Yahweh, and the status and condition of it. This is described throughout the Torah and the Prophets that define also the parameters of the relationship. Like the prophets, Yahshua is a messenger of the covenant and thus of Yahweh. The Yahwistic Faith has waited for a mÁþÏªÝ, a man chosen by Yahweh to the agent of Yahwistic Reign over the earth. He will restore the Faith, gather Yahweh's Chosen People and deliver all from the worldly gentile governments and religions. How many "messiahs" or the number of stages of deliverance, is not certain. Qumran documents may mention several messiahs.
But Yahshua did not fulfill all the prophecies concerning the messiah, neither are we living in the Messianic Age. Many of the references made between Yahshua and prophecy by later gospel editors are taken out of context. This does not honor Yahshua, but makes claims of his messiahship look contrived.
But all teachings are to be tested by the Torah and Prophets, whether from Yahshua or any teacher. Many of the words attributed to Yahshua are good and righteous, and worthy of application. We find his interpretations superior to those found most elsewhere. If ever there were a true son of Yisra'el and Yahweh, Yahshua ben Yosef was.
Is Yahshua "God"?
No. The Trinitarian doctrine was necessary to create a new god who justified a new mystery cult (in opposition to Yahweh), but at the same time drawing needed legitimization from the reality of Yahweh, the well established Yahwistic religion and culture, and unexplainable miracles associated with Yahshua. Trinitarianism is the heir of ancient polytheistic paganism and philosophy, not monotheism. I must admit it is flattering that gentiles would choose a Jewish man to be their god, and if you had to choose a man....
Must one accept Christianity to be "saved"?
Christianity claims it represents the single path to salvation through "Christ." But it is neither "christlike" or grounded and founded upon Yahshua. This is all we can say about Christianity with surety---what it is not. From that point Christianity is undefinable because it becomes whatever the Christian wants it to be depending on the era or even the moment. It accommodates everything and anything. And therein lies its success, and the downfall of truth. The perfect humanist new age mystery cult.
Over the past several millennia, the most heartfelt cries for salvation have come from those whom Christians have persecuted, tortured, and murdered by the millions. Being saved in the Tanak (Bible) means being saved from enemies (the nations, or even personal enemies), and from the Pit (from ÿÇÙÕl=place of the dead=death). Yahweh is Life. Death is the cessation of Yahweh's breath (nefesh) in our earthen bodies. (This is not meant to sound mystical, but more along the lines of the reality that the human corpse returns to "dust".) The hope of salvation is resurrection.
Christianity manipulates the hope of salvation from eternal cessation with mystery cult style mind control. Being "born-again" is not a bad thing when it signifies rededication to Yahweh and his Way through His Torah tempered with His rûªÝ.
But to some, born-again does not necessarily mean this. Often, it denotes a psychological episode, and often, group "dynamics" is the instrument used to bring on the experience. Not that this in itself is bad, but the experience becomes more of an initiation, rather than (re)dedication. Yahweh's commandments and covenant might be replaced by the "Holy Spirit" and local practice. Should each person, locality, and denomination "receive" this "Spirit" in so many forms and as a justifying agent of whatever practice they choose to involve themselves in? Is this little different from many religions that use mediating spirits (of heavenly beings, saints, or ancestors) to effect personal or group empowerment? If the "Holy Spirit" is (supposedly) a Person within the Trinity, are these experiences dissimilar from "saint possession" experienced by "Voo doo" and like faiths? Even opposing groups or individuals claim to be under the same "Spirit" influence simultaneously. And without the parameters of Torah, this "Spirit" may be the justifier of sin, the driving force behind denominational war, or the voice that tells the insane to kill others or themselves.
The rûªÝ jaqqÓdeþ is a power that draws people to Yahweh in repentance and self-correction, and to strengthen attachment to Yahweh through His directives found in the Tanak. The rûªÝ keeps us on a narrow Way through a foreign society yet steadfast in the hope of the restoration of good. It helps us to see the good there is around us now. It calms us during persecution, sometimes like a lamb is quiet before the butcher's knife, like a man who drags his beam to the place of execution, like children who hold their mothers' hands into the gas chamber. But it also puts a witness into our mouths to speak the truth and publish other's secrets.
Your "spirit" is important. We have emphasized Torah, perhaps too much, giving a wrong impression to people raised in a "Law vs. Grace" religious environment. Yahwism is not a point system with high scores receiving heavenly first prizes or conciliation prizes. There has always been "grace" and mercy from Yahweh. His Torah is freedom from worldly schemes and devices, and offers benefits and protection, just as the rules of loving parents do. In the same way, a responsible, obedient, introspective and repentant child is embraced joyfully by a loving parent. Some children hate their parents, reject their every word, or worse, use their parents as dupes, as a shield or "hideout" from which to do their evil. Yahweh wants his creation to benefit and acknowledge the Creator. The Torah is just outlines the ideal relationship between man and Yahweh. He wants the restoration of the relationship between the first man and woman in Gan Eden. That restoration will be our salvation. The spirit will compel you to that relationship and hope.
Yahweh gives life and salvation; obey the One who can carry through with promises. Bypass unauthorized middlemen.
Was Yahshua "born of a virgin"?
Is virgin birth impossible? In the realm of spontaneous creation, and impregnation by space visitors who abduct humans, not at all. Who knows...? The idea is based on NT accounts, but...
1) The Messiah was to be of the lineage of Dawid (<Ët DÁwid), not a god's offspring. Yosef was the descendant of Dawid, not Miryam. Some ancient NT manuscripts read that Yahshua was the son of Yosef.
2) To gentile Christians coming from paganism, half-god children were featured in myths fairly regularly and were objects of worship in their own right. Such a divine coitus could provide Christianity with the new god it needed.
3) Oft heard, but true, the prooftext used by Christianity in the prophet Yesha`yahu speaks of a young girl, not necessarily (yet possibly) virgin, and certainly not virginal conception.
4) Points 2 & 3 have given rise to derogatory things claimed about the virgin birth situation. If among the pagans a bastard child was born it could be attributed to a god (perhaps with tongue in cheek). Less savory types in Judaism in the polemic, Toledot Yeshu`, seized on this to claim "Yeshu`" was the bastard child of a Roman soldier. Because of the insistence in holding on to pagan god-children ideas, Christianity finds it necessary to bring mockery of Yahshua and the holiness of Yahweh's natural order found in creation from such hateful authors.
5) It is sad that Christians will fight to uphold such mythology, but give little service to Yahshua's teachings of righteousness (Torah-observance), justice, peace, love, and forgiveness. These far outweigh any importance of magical births.
6) Virgin birth and perpetual virginity ideas are based in Gnostic dualism. In such schemes the physical world is evil, and defiled. The physical body is held to be weak, corrupted, filthy thing the Gnostic longs to shed in order to free his incorruptible soul, the divine spark, or the god part of humanity. Sex as the natural process of the physical world is seen as a reminder of the failure of man to exist in a spiritual state. Sex is the process of entry into a fallen world, perpetuating physical evils. Virgin birth allows the appearance of a god in the flesh while eliminating the evil, physical, requirement of sexual intercourse. Perpetual virginity (of Miryam) frames the mother of Yahshua as a sacred portal between the worlds, while rejecting the act that makes a mother. Such gnostic thinking is unacceptable to us.
7) Brothers (and sisters) of Yahshua must be rejected by the "Church" as competitors to its tradition and "authority". For example, the primacy of Ya`aqov the brother of Yahshua and his continuing adherence to Yahwism had to be undermined. If the very family, and brother of Yahshua, Ya`aqov leader of the Poor who followed Yahshua, observed the Torah, then how does anti-nomian Christianity have a leg to stand on? Therefore, it was necessary to "destroy" physical family ties to Yahshua. Instead, replacements were supplied from outside, who reinforced the pagan interpretation of events and effectively erased from history the successors of Yahshua. Few people realize that relatives of Yahshua did oversee his movement until intervention from the Christian Romans.
Did Yahshua rise from the dead?
Yes, I believe he was physically resurrected. Jews were familiar with men who never tasted death. One for example was ÜÃnÕk, and ÙÈlÏyÁj who went up to Yahweh. Yahshua was different. These men did not die; Yahshua did.
Salvation as offered in the Messianic Age would involve resurrection of the dead, along with salvation from gentile control. The resurrection of Yahshua, as messenger of return to Yahwism and ultimate arrival of the Messianic Age, illustrated Yahweh's power to re-animate the dead. Remember that Yahshua was not the only one resurrected according to NT accounts.
I admit there is a bias due to my own hope of resurrection. But even medical science may extend the period of time that a "dead" corpse can be revived. Many claim to have died only to be sent back to the living. This is not an exclusively Christian phenomenon in any way, nor are the people divine or even special. I believe that this resurrection of Yahshua was the driving force behind the many sects who used the event to carry their own agendas.
Was Yahshua a human sacrifice?
The Bible features a system of sacrifice to "cover" sins involving blood of innocent animal victims in lieu of the blood (death) of the transgressor. Christianity maintains that "Jesus" is a sacrifice par excellence in the terms of the biblical sacrifice system. Yahshua is offered as a sacrifice victim. As Christianity and we are in agreement that Yahshua was fully human, then Christianity is based on a human sacrifice for atonement of sin.
Compound this with the belief of some branches of Christianity, and once the whole church, that pieces of bread or wafers and wine became the actual flesh and blood of Yahshua. Compound that with the consumption of that "blood and flesh" by the faithful. Is it any wonder that early Christians were accused of cannibalism? While there may be fault to be found with the sacrificial system found in ancient Yisra'el, it cannot be as bizarre and horrific as ritual cannibalism and human sacrifice, however symbolic. To see such as a natural and cumulative development in biblical theology is insulting to civilized people.
Was Yahshua a victim of others' sins? Did he pay a price of death wrongfully, while many who deserve death go unpunished? Yes. It is a model, an example and hopefully, a motivator for those who appreciate Yahshua to end injustice and sin. Would it help to bathe in the blood of a sacrificial victim to remove active transgression from a person's life? This is what devotees of Mithra perhaps thought as they were "baptized" in the blood of a bull.
Was Paul an apostle or apostate?
Apostate. We are in the process of preparing a fuller expose of Paul of Tarsus, founder of Christianity. For the time being some thoughts will summarize. Tarsu/o (wvrt TRSW) in Gematria equals 666. This below shows the usual manner, descending values. The taw is the last letter of the Hebrew alef-bet, having the value of 400.
Hebrew = Value = Letter t = 400 = T r = 200 = R v = 60 = S w = 6 = W (u or o)
Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament states that Tarsus was later known as Tarso [TRSW], and some languages know Tarsus by Tarso (including Spanish, calling Paul, Paul de Tarso). While I have not studied this information fully, it would certainly answer many questions. I have long felt that the book of "Revelations" was written by Ebionites at least in large part (before later editing), that persecutions described reflect those of the time most likely by the emperor Domitian, and that Paul and Paulists were pro-Roman. Both Paulism and Rome would fit well as enemies of Yahweh-worshippers who held to the "testimony of Yahshua, and the commandments of Yahweh" and whose communities could be symbolized by menorot (seven-branched lampstands). The Revelations make reference to those who claimed to be apostles, but were not (2.2). Paul stands out in this regard because of the apocalypse's emphasis on the twelve tribes being represented corresponding to twelve apostles of Yahshua.
Now the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. -Rev. 21:14
The twelve apostles never included Paul; Paul elected and proclaimed himself! The same can be said for the passage speaking of those who claim to be Jews who are not, relating to Paul's "New Israel" Christian Replacement scheme. The foundations of the Lamb's community does not include Pauline teachings!
Christianity founded by Paul of Tarsus, is a Hellenistic religion, foreign in many ways to Yahwism. To Yahwistic Ebionites, Paul's religion and other religions could be seen collectively as anti-Yahweh and therefore anti-Messiah. While this is speculation, the ancient Ebionites rejected Paul as an apostate, and more and more evidence will appear to confirm this apostasy. Paul:
- Claimed to be a thirteenth apostle strictly by his own election.
- Was proud of his Roman collaboration and had privy connections to Herodian and Roman authorities.
- Instituted a new anti-nomian religion.
- Taught a version of Yahshua that not even Yahshua himself, or the real apostles were aware of.
- Began a religion that has been at war with Yahweh and his people for two thousand years, bringing about their literal torture and murder.
- Among the first victims of Pauline "orthodoxy" were the legitimate followers of Yahshua, including blood kin of Yahshua representing Yahshua's community, including the 'Evyonim.
- Began a religion that is a syncretistic accommodation with many pagan ideas Yahweh condemned in the Torah and Prophets. In doing so, it has totally reversed the biblical ideas of good and evil as understood by typical Christians and non-Christians. As a result millions of well-meaning people have little useful knowledge of the biblical life and the alternative it offers to people caught in a continuation of Graeco-Roman, and other pagan religious heritages.
Does this not make Tarsu a candidate for the Beast 666? It should be remembered that for centuries the Protestant church has condemned the Roman Catholic church as the whore, Babylon, the pope as the "Anti-Christ," and sundry accusations. This position is still held by many, many Protestants. The Protestants are yet slightly removed from Catholicism, so the natural progression is to look at Christianity itself, Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox, and its founder, Paul of Tarsus.
If one looks carefully at the chaotic history of Christian religion and the turmoil within it, the source is almost always due to conflicting interpretations of Paul's works. Yahweh is not the author of confusion.
We do not hold to ritual, but one suggestion and practice has been adopted: the removal of Paulistic writings from Bibles which include Christian New Testament sections.
Was Paul a Jew?
The ancient Ebionites claimed that Paul was a gentile who fell in love with the "high priest's" daughter, and converted to obtain her. He was still rejected, and in retaliation taught anti-Yahwistic doctrines. Paul may in his dejection have looked to a more tolerant Hellenistic religious view (as a Hellenist) to break down ethnic barriers. We hold to some recent scholarship and our forbears claim that in fact Paul was not a "Jew" either by origin or by his works.
But to be an apostate from a Yahwistic Faith, one would first need be a Yahwist (or Jewish variation). To clarify, Paul as apostate refers to his own claim of being a follower of Yahshua, yet misrepresenting Yahshua and using him to start a new anti-Yahwistic religion.
Was Paul known at Qumran?
Admitting my bias, Robert Eisenman convincingly argues that Paul of Tarsus is the Liar, Spouter, etc. and the enemy of the community and Teacher of Righteousness at Qumran. The Dead Sea Scrolls and the First Christians: Essays and Translations. Rockport: Element, 1996.
Why we use Sacred Names.
There are many people who talk about "God" or a "Lord." We must seriously ask, according to all the peoples, practices, theologies, and ideologies, which "God," which "Lord?" We worship a Hebrew god, that is a deity revealed to the Hebrew people, and no other. When we use his Name, Yahweh, there is no confusion with abstractions used in other religions. Yahweh is a universal deity, but He is not universally known in other religions. And by non-Yahwistic practices and rites borrowed from paganism, the generic term "God" could refer to the gods of various pagan religious systems. Our use of the Name is a conscious act of separation from those non-Yahwistic religions and ideas. Yahweh is Yahweh, not the most popular version of Mithra, Ba`al (which means Lord), or Zeus, or composite religious ideas. Our religion is Hebrew, no other substitute name is good enough to use in praise and worship.
Some have taken the position not to use the Name at all, and while part of their reasoning involves superstitious influence, and possible misuse of the Name in the superstitions of others, we feel we must remain true and consistent.
You must not bear the Name of YHWH your 'Elohim without purpose; YHWH will not let the man who misuses His Name go unpunished. -Shemot 20.7
Before the Captivities, the Name, in its affixed short form, appeared in many common names, and has been found on a good number of artifacts. It is told (in the Rabbinical polemic, Toledot Yeshu`) that Yahshua worked his miracles due to his discovery of the Name and there may be clues to his use of the Name in the NT gospels. Similar claims are made for Ya`aqov (James). It is not a requirement to use the Name, but the use of foreign names and words and their attached meanings and histories in paganism is offensive. And most offensive and false, is the view that all religions worship the same deity just under different names and practices. At the same time, we do not to see the Name used by outsiders, or prostituted in other religions, so care should be taken, and the rûªÝ must be kept strong within us to avoid allowance of its misuse.
This is a deeper subject, and many organizations offer literature. We may also offer more in-depth information. If you are drawn to explore the "Sacred Name" beliefs, we encourage you to seek this information out, in a way you found this site. You can e-mail us with specific questions or try the Forum.
Aren't these names used by racist groups?
At one time, I thought that there were very few who knew or even used the Name(s including Yahshua), and people laughed out loud hearing them. One night I saw a "white Aryan" using the Name on TV. I was shocked out of my mind.
Yahwism is not racist nor is there a Yahwistic/ Jewish race. (To say that there is so is racist, whether the comment comes from a rabbi or a neo-nazi.) The man who bears the Name of Yahweh for evil won't go unpunished. Just as Tarsu came right behind Yahshua to misrepresent and pervert his teachings, so have others come to pervert the restoration of the Name. We must pray for these misguided men.
Who is a Jew?
The term "Jew" is generically used these days for overlapping concepts. Consider the following points:
- Jew refers technically to one of the tribes of Yisra'el, YÇjûdÁj, which is taken to mean, "he praises Yah."
- Today stereotypically, Jew refers to a culture that sprang up around the "Pharisees" (PÇrûþÏm) and the codified "Oral Law" in the Talmud. Rabbinic Judaism is the structure many Jews associate with their religion.
- Rabbinic Judaism does follow bloodlines as a method of determining Jewishness, and to negative effect.
- "Jew," according with ancestry from ancient Hebrews (which was not genetic, but cultural), includes more than adherents of Rabbinic Judaism. Examples: Karaites, Falashas, secular and even atheist Jews.
- In spite of stereotyping, Ku Klux Klan caricatures, and even the feeding of these stereotypes by Jewish communities originating from particular "hearth" areas, there is no single "Jewish" look or physical type.
- The term is Jew is an oversimplification (that I personally am guilty of resorting to) of the history of a people. But through history may be one way of describing the development and differences of terms used to designate the same people.
Names /Descriptions Eras Yahwism H
Yisra'el Yehudah Split of
This explains why we would rather be known as Yahwists and Ebionites, but how sometimes we abbreviate by saying Jew. Some conversations are quick and hardly fruitful, and it seems useless to explain what a Yahwist or Ebionite is when some do not have a clear picture concerning these matters.
Are there European "Israelites?"
What happened to the so-called "lost" tribes of Yisra'el who did not return from the captivity? Assuming that they did not return, many apocalyptic and "identity" meanings have been developed (by mostly Christians). Some groups believe that modern Europeans, and especially English-speaking peoples are the lost descendants of these Israelites, which, by the way, makes them "true" heirs of biblical promises, et cetera. And this also explains why they are so concerned about racial matters.
But these peoples are no longer Yahwists, if they ever were. Yahwism is a religion, not a race. If their descendants were lost Israelites, then they remain truly lost and outside, because they are outside of the covenant and the faith of Yahweh until they convert.
How can someone be a Yahwist (Jew) when they have rejected Yahwism? Yahwism instructs us not to "learn the way of the nations (gentiles)" or to worship Yahweh in the ways they worship (or worshipped) their gods. Yahwism is a covenant entered into. Can one be within that covenant when they are ignorant of or at emnity with the parameters of that covenant? There is no such thing as a "spiritual" Israelite, or a genetic Yahwist. Yahwism is an active, participatory life-devotion.
Are we vegetarians?
Some ancient 'Evyonim were vegetarian, very likely including the Paqid Ya`aqov. He was also said to have been a life-long virgin. The Torah does not require vegetarian diet (or virginity as such), and neither do we. It is a matter of choice, though there are benefits to vegetarianism (especially for animals!). Vegetarianism is a feature of attitudes of asceticism in ancient times related to the unclean state of the second Beyt Hammiqdash under the Herodian Tsadduqim during Rome's occupation, and a laxness of Torah observance felt more acutely by some. We will commend vegetarian diet as long as it is not made a point of argument or superiority, and we would personally like to include Middle Eastern recipes including vegetarian items and alternative ingredients.
Copyright © 1997/5757 Shemayah ben-Avraham
Monday, March 17, 2003