In order to be a light for Yeshua in the Jewish community, we endeavor to create a contextually Messianic Jewish atmosphere where Jewish believers can follow Yeshua as Jews, and Christians may reconnect with the Jewish roots of their faith.
Rabbi David Vazquez
Congregation Beth Emanuel is a Messiah-centered community born out of the Messianic Jewish revival. In order to be a light for Yeshua in the Jewish community, we endeavor to create a contextually Messianic Jewish atmosphere where Jewish believers can follow Yeshua as Jews, and Christians may reconnect with the Jewish roots of their faith. Together, this reconciled Messianic community can witness to G-d’s faithfulness toward the people of Israel and toward the nations.
To reach the poor, lost, needy and unaware with the Gospel of salvation through the redemptive work of Yeshua’s immaculate birth, death and resurrection (Matt 28:18-20). To help believers (Jews and non-Jews) understand and walk out the Hebraic Roots of the whole Scriptures (Old and New Testament) so that we can become the “One new man” as mentioned in Ephesians 2:14-15, 22. To worship the L-rd in spirit and in truth, and to motivate, teach and equip the Saints to operate in the fivefold ministry that HaShem has gifted them with.
Who We Are
Congregation Beth Emanuel is a growing Messianic community which meets in Northeast Philadelphia. In Hebrew “Beth Emanuel” means “House of Emanuel” and signifies that Y’shua the Messiah is literally G-d Himself in our midst whom we love, worship, and obey. As a congregation, CBE is dedicated to the Great Commission of Yeshua (Jesus) as expressed in the Good News of Mattityahu 28:18-20, as well as Romans 1:16, which states: “For I am not ashamed of the Good News, since it is G-d’s powerful means of bringing salvation to everyone who keeps on trusting, to the Jew especially, but equally to the Gentile.” (CJB)
Consequently, CBE membership includes many Jewish believers and also people from a wide range of other cultural and religious backgrounds. Nevertheless, the Congregation is echad (one) in the L-RD, and remains united by the power of the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) and by the simple belief that Yeshua is the Messiah of Israel and thus King over all the nations. He is the center and focal point of our faith.
The Jewishness of Biblical faith in Messiah Yeshua is expressed at Congregation Beth Emanuel through Torah reading, observance of the Biblical feast and fast days, teaching of Scripture both Tenach (Old Testament) and Brit Chadashah (New Testament), from a Messianic Jewish perspective, Messianic praise music and Davidic dance. We seek to explore the Jewish roots of our faith and to foster a loving sensitivity to the Jewish people. Our desire is to daily seek first the kingdom of G-d and His righteousness, and to share our faith with all people in a culturally sensitive way.
CBE provides an environment where believers can be edified and encouraged in Messianic belief as well as equipped to do the work to which we have been called: first, to bring the good news to Jews and to be a light to a lost world, and secondly, to bring a message of reconciliation to the Church so that both Jew and Gentile may know the spiritual reality of being one in the Messiah.
Philosophy of Ministry
Our community belongs to G-d: He formed us, He sustains us and we exist for His glory.
Our community is Messiah-centered: “And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they kept right on teaching and preaching Yeshua as the Messiah.”
Our goal through every ministry of this congregation is to exalt and lift up Yeshua as the Messiah, the Son of G-d. His Word, as preached and taught from a Messianic Jewish perspective, is the foundation of what we believe.
Our community is family oriented: We believe that the family was instituted by G-d as the basis for passing His heritage and values to the next generation (Deut. 6:7). Together, we form a larger Mishpocha (family) devoted to expressing the love of G-d.
Congregation Beth Emanuel is a fruit of the Messianic revival in the Jewish community. G-d promised that He would revive the house of Israel in Ezekiel 36:24-27. He did so in the days of the Shlichim (Apostles) of the first century as we read in Acts 21:20. Today, He is once more fulfilling His word by bringing revival to the Jewish people as foreseen in Romans 11:25-32.
Our community is contextually Jewish and we encourage our membership to live a Jewish lifestyle because:
- We are called to be a light for Yeshua first to the Jewish community (Matt. 5:14; Rom. 1:16; Rom. 9:3,4; Rom. 10:1; Matt. 10:6; Rom. 1:10, 1 Cor. 8:20).
- G-d has a prophetic destiny for the household of Israel that will be fulfilled in maintaining its G-d given identity (Acts 21:20; Rom. 7:4,5; Acts 25:8; Rom. 3:2).
Our community is called to reflect the one new man reality of Ephesians 2:11-22. Through the redemption of our G-d given ethnic and national identities, we are set free to mutually bless one another and serve G-d in unity through the realization of “Messiah in you, the hope of glory”. (John 10:16; John 17:22,23, Eph. 1:18, Col. 1:27).
Our congregation undergirds and supports the Towards Jerusalem Council II initiative to repair and heal the breach between Jewish and Gentile believers in Yeshua dating from the first centuries of the Church, doing so primarily through humility, prayer and repentance. (Acts 15, Acts 21:17-26, Rom. 11:29, Rom. 11:11-24, 2 Cor. 5:18-21, Eph. 2:11-16) We have been given the ministry of reconciliation. (2 Cor. 5:18)
Congregation Beth Emanuel stands as a witness to G-d’s loyal love to Israel by raising up a Jewish remnant. This demonstration of G-d’s covenant-keeping faithfulness is central to His plan to redeem and bless the nations (Ezek. 36:23; Luk 2:32; Rom. 11:12,15). We are called to be a house of prayer for all the nations. (Isa. 56:7, Matt. 21:13)
Statement of Faith
Consisting of the Tenach (Holy Scriptures) and the later writings commonly known as the B’rit Hadasha (New Covenant), is the only infallible and authoritative word of G-d. We recognize its divine inspiration, and accept its teachings as our final authority in all matters of faith and practice (Deut. 6:4-9; Prov. 3:1-6; Ps. 119:89, 105; Isa. 48:12-16; Rom. 8:14-17; II Tim. 2:15, 3:16-17
We believe that the Shema, “Hear O Israel, the L-rd our G-d, the L-rd is one” (Deut. 6:4), teaches that G-d is Echad, as so declared: a united one, a composite unity, eternally existent in plural oneness [Gen. 1:1 (Elohim: G-d); Gen. 1:26 “Let us make man in our image”; Gen. 2:24 Adam & Eve were created to be as one flesh (basar echad)], that He is a personal G-d who created us (Gen. 1 & 2), and that He exists forever in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, as mentioned in Romans 8:14-17 (Father, Spirit, and Messiah – Son) and Matt. 28:19 Mikvah Baptism (immersing in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit).
A. G-D THE FATHER (Abba)
John 6:27b; I Cor 1:3; Gal. 1:1; Rev. 3:5, 21; Jer. 3:4, 19; 31:9; Mal. 1:6; Matt 6:9, 32; Luke 10:21-22; John 1:14; 4:23; 5:17-26; 6:28-46; Rom. 8:14-15.
B. G-D THE SON (HaBen).
- G-d does have a Son [Ps. 2; Prov. 30:4-6 (cf. Heb. 1); Luke 12:35-37; John 1:29-34, 49; 3:14-18].
- The Son, called Yeshua (Jesus), meaning salvation, came to this world born of a virgin [Isa. 7:14 (cf. Luke 1:30-35)].
- The Son is G-d (Deity), and is worshipped as G-d, having existed eternally [Ps. 110:1 (cf. Heb. 1:13); Isa. 9:6-7; Matt. 28:18-20; Phil. 2:5-11; Col. 1:15-19; Rev. 3:21 (Heb. 1 – worshipped by angels); Rev. 4:8, 5:5-14].
- This One is the promised Mashiach (Messiah) of Israel [ Is. 9:6-7;11:1; Dan. 9 (esp. verses 20-26); Isa. 53; John 1:17, 40-41, 45, 49; Mark 8:29].
- He is the root and offspring of David, the bright and morning star (Num. 24:17; Rev. 22:16).
- He is our Passover, the Lamb of G-d ( I Cor. 5:7; Rev. 5; John1:29)
C. G-D THE HOLY SPIRIT (Ruach HaKodesh)
- Introduced in Gen. 1:2b.
- In the Tenach, the Spirit of G-d came upon individuals during the times of our forefathers, like Moses, David (see II Sam. 23:1-3), and the Prophets, for the specific purposes.
- In the New Covenant, the Messiah, Yeshua, promised His disciples that “the Comforter” would come to them after He was gone, described as the Spirit of Truth (John 14:17, 26), who was with them and would be in them. Yeshua further declared that the Spirit of Truth, would guide us into all truth and would glorify Him – the Messiah – not Himself (John 16:13-15). He empowers us (Acts 1:8). He seals us [Eph. 1:13; 4:30 (see Complete Jewish Bible version)]. If we have not the Spirit, we are not His (Rom. 8:9). He leads us and teaches us (Rom. 8:14-17). His indwelling enables us to live a G-dly life. Acts 2:38 says, “Repent, be immersed, and receive the Holy Spirit.”
- Created in the image of G-d (Gen. 1:26-27), but:
- Through disobedience, man fell from his first state and became separated from G-d (Gen. 2:17; 3:22-24). Therefore, according to the Scriptures, all men are born with a sinful nature (Ps. 14:1-3; 49:7; 53:3; Isa. 64:6; Rom. 3:9-12, 23; 5:12).
- Man’s only hope for redemption (salvation) is through the atonement made by the Messiah (Lev. 17:11; Isa. 53; Dan. 9:24-26; I Cor. 15:22; Heb.9:11-14, 28; John 1:12, 3:36), resulting in regeneration by the Holy Spirit (Tit. 3:5), which is the new birth (John 3:3-8). For by grace we are saved through faith, it is a gift of G-d (Eph. 2:8-9).
IV. RESURRECTION AND JUDGMENT
We believe in the resurrection of both the redeemed and the lost: the former to everlasting life and the latter to eternal separation from G-d, a state of everlasting punishment (Job 14:14; 19:25-27; Dan. 12:2-3; John 3:36; 11:25-26; Rev. 20:5-6, 10-15; 21:7-8).
V. THE MESSIAH – The Redeemer.
The Scriptures promised two “comings” of the Messiah:
A. First coming
- MaShiach promised to come. (2 Sam. 7:12-16; Dan. 9:24-26; Isa. 7:14; Isa 9:6; Isa 28:16; Micha 5:2;)
- Its purpose was to make an atonement for sin. (Dan. 9:24-26; Isa 53; Rom. 3:21-31; Heb. 9:26-28; John 3:16-17).
B. The Resurrection
1.Promised coming in the air to receive the believers to Himself (I Thess. 4:13-18; John 14:1-6; I Cor. 15:51-57)
C. Second coming Messiah’s return to the earth.
- The Redeemer shall come to Zion (Isa 59:20-21; Zech. 14:1-4).
- Israel’s spiritual redemption (Zech. 12:8-13:1; Rom. 11:25-27; Heb. 9:28; Jer. 31:31-40; the New Covenant).
D. Restoration of Israel
Israel’s national restoration is to recover the remnant of His people Israel from the four corners of the earth, and restore the Davidic Kingdom (Isa. 11 – to re-establish the throne and kingdom of David, which will last forever) [Isa. 9:6-7 (Luke 1:30-33); Jer. 23:3-8].
VI. ISRAEL IN PROPHECY
We believe in G-d’s end-time plan for the nation of Israel and for the world. A central part of Messianic Judaism is the belief in the physical and spiritual restoration of Israel, as taught in the Scriptures. The greatest miracle of our day has been the re-establishment or rebirth of the State of Israel according to prophecy (Ezek. 34:11-31; 36-39; Hos. 3; Amos 9:11-15; Zech. 12-14; Isa. 11; 43;54; 60-62; 66; Rom. 11:1-34) (see also Scriptures under V. THE MESSIAH).
VII. MESSIANIC JUDAISM
- We recognize that Jewish people (physical descendants of Abraham through Isaac and Jacob, whether through the mother’s or the father’s blood-line) who place their faith in Israel’s Messiah, Yeshua, continue to be Jewish according to the Scriptures (Rom. 2:28-29). Gentiles who place their faith in Yeshua, are “grafted into” the Jewish olive tree of faith (Rom. 11:17-25) becoming spiritual sons and daughters of Abraham (Gal.3:28-29).
- We observe and celebrate the Jewish Holy Days given by G-d to Israel, with their fulfillment in and through the Messiah Yeshua. We believe that true “Biblical Judaism,” the faith of first century believers, which we seek to practice, acknowledges the continuity of faith in the one true G-d, revealed throughout the Scriptures, and ultimately manifested in G-d’s Son, Yeshua the Messiah. We believe that salvation has always been “by faith,” and that works of law, or righteous acts, have never saved anyone (Gen. 15:6; Rom. 2-6; Eph. 2:8-9; Heb. 11:6, 39).
- We acknowledge that the New Covenant body of believers is composed of both Jews and Gentiles who have received Yeshua the Messiah as the Promised Redeemer. The “middle wall of partition” has been broken down and now we worship the G-d of Israel together (I Cor. 12:13; Eph. 2:13-14).