Most of the almost 250 offshoots of the Worldwide Church of God, say they are doing "the work". The various branches of the Sacred Name groups also claim that they are doing "the work". Messianic Israel as well as Messianic Judaism and the Nazarene Jews are also doing "the work". Some of these groups believe that they are the only ones doing "the work". Most of these groups believe in keeping the Sabbath and Holy days as recorded in Leviticus 23 and the kosher laws in Leviticus 11. However, none of these groups see eye-to-eye, and few will admit that the others are also doing "the work."
What is "the work", that all these groups claim to do - and in fact by definition are doing? Let me say here that the gospel of the Almighty is and will always be what Yahshua preached in Mark 1:14 - 15. "And after John had been taken into custody, Yahshua came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of Elohim/Yahweh, and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of Elohim/Yahweh is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel." From this we see that the gospel is not the message about the person of Yahshua presented in John 3:16, which so many Christians say it is, but that it is the message about the coming Kingdom of Elohim/Yahweh.
It is our duty to proclaim the good news about the coming Kingdom of Elohim/Yahweh as a witness to all nations and the return of Yahshua the Messiah, to come and rule His people from Jerusalem, for a thousand years. All of us believe that those who keep the Commandments of our Father and hold to the testimony of Yahshua will rule with Him for a thousand years (Rev. 12:17, 14:12).
Some of the groups mentioned before believe in the Oneness of Elohim and some others believe in two YHWH's or persons in the Deity. Some believe that by using the Set-apart names they are keeping the 3rd Commandment. Others insist that this is not necessary.
Some believe in observing the new moons to assist them in identifying the Set-apart days of YHWH, others believe that the Jews have the Oracles of Yahweh and that we should follow them in keeping the Set-apart days. What keeps these very similar groups with similar beliefs apart? Is it their particular Doctrine that keeps them separate? All will agree that correct doctrine is very important. Keeping Holy days on the correct days is very important.
We all know that the first three Holy Days are already fulfilled. Yahshua the Messiah was impaled on the 14th day of the first month, as our Passover Lamb. He was also offered up as the wave sheaf offering on the morrow after the Sabbath following His burial and resurrection. Fifty days after the Sunday upon which the wave sheaf was offered, the Set-apart Spirit came upon the congregation or assembly gathered on the day of Pentecost. What if these people gathered a week later - would they still have received the Set-apart Spirit? I do not think so. It is equally important that we keep the Feast of Trumpets on the correct day, as most of us believe that Yahshua will probably return to earth on this day. And who of us wants to miss that great event by a day or two?
So we can see that doctrine is very important. Knowing the correct Name of our Mighty One could also make a major difference to our lives in the future. According to Joel 2:31 - 32, our very survival will depend on the correct name. "The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood before the great and terrible day of Yahweh come. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the Name of Yahweh shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as Yahweh hath said, and in the remnant whom Yahweh shall call."
It is therefore very important for us to know the Almighty's Name. This again confirms the importance of doctrine. If it is doctrine that keeps us apart, should our leaders not get together and study together to see if there is a way to confirm the correct doctrines? Let us all with open minds get together and consider each one of our differences and the reasons for these differences in turn, to see if there is the possibility that we could unite. After all that is what Yahshua wanted and asked His Father in the latter part of John 17:11 "Holy Father, keep through Thine own name those whom Thou has given Me, that they may be one, as We are."
Does this prayer of our Rabbi/Master in John 17 mean anything to us? He wanted us all to unite in the Father's name. Do we want to be one in the Almighty's Name? What is his name? This is the exact question asked in Proverbs 30: 4
"Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended? Who hath gathered the wind in his fists? Who hath bound the waters in a garment? Who hath established all the ends of the earth? What is his name, and what is his son's name, if thou canst tell?" Is our Father's name "YHWH" (Yahweh), or is it "the LORD?" We better make sure about it, especially if our very salvation depends on it.
I have recently heard about a young deacon in one of the groups mentioned above, using the following argument against the use of the Set-apart Names in a short sermon, during the Feast of Tabernacles. The young man alleged that since there are no vowels in the Hebrew alphabet, we could not know how to pronounce the Name. I thought wow! If there are no vowels in the Hebrew Scriptures from Genesis to Malachi, how did the translators manage to translate these scriptures into the Greek Septuagint or any other language, for that matter? (Ed. note: the Jews had no problem with this, and they attest to the fact that His Name is Yahweh, but they refuse to pronounce it, saying it is 'too holy.')
Yahshua, being aware of the various groups that make-up His called out ones today, said: "And I have other sheep which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they shall hear My voice; and they shall become one flock with one shepherd." John 10: 16
Could the problems that keep us from becoming one have anything to do with our Leaders? According to Romans 8:14 we are all sons of Yahweh if we are being led by the Set-apart Spirit/Holy Spirit. If we are all sons of Yahweh, then we must be brothers and sisters. Are we as brethren having the same quarrels that the Corinthians had as recorded in 1Corinthians 1:12 "Now I mean this that each one is saying, 'I am of Paul' and 'I of Apollos' and 'I of Cephas' and 'I of the Messiah.' " And in verse 13 "Has the Messiah been divided? Paul was not crucified for you, was he? Or were you immersed in the name of Paul? This should not be a problem at all, as we all claim that Rabbi Yahshua is our leader.
Could it be that our human leaders have a hidden agenda in keeping us apart? Are some making the house of the Almighty a business? Yahshua reacted fervently against the moneychangers in His Fathers house in his day. He said to those who were buying and selling in the temple, as recorded for us in Matthew 21: 13 " It is written 'My House Shall Be Called A House Of Prayer'; but you are making it a ROBBERS DEN."
In the World tomorrow we see in the latter part of Zechariah 14:21 "…and there will no longer be a merchant in the house of Yahweh of Hosts in that day".
Money is important to do "the work", but need our leaders be kept in the highest of living standards through the tithes and offerings of the members? Are we as groups looking after the widows and orphans? Or are we only concerned with publishing glossy magazines? If Yahshua asks us at His return, what we did for the widows and orphans in our lifetime, what will be our answer? Yes, publishing the good news or gospel is important. We have to do "the work", but how much bigger a work could all these groups do as a combined force?
I do not believe I am asking any one to compromise his/her religious ideas at all here. But if your brand of doctrine is to not use the correct names of the Almighty and His Son, because it could lose your group a number of brethren together with their tithes, then I would like to challenge you who say you are obeying the Almighty's Commandments. Are you deceiving your people in order to retain their tithes? You who deny the Names of the Almighty in order to perhaps gain the approval of the Rabbinical Rabbis, why not rather be worried about the approval of the Eternal?
There is a warning against this very thing in Malachi 2:1 "And now, this commandment is for you, O Priests." And verse 2 "If you do not listen, and if you do not take it to heart to give honor to MY name," says YHWH of hosts, "then I will send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings; and indeed, I have cursed them already, because you are not taking it to heart."
Do we want YHWH to curse us, or are we prepared to change and join hands with fellow believers in the Eternal One and really start doing His end time work? I am not asking that we join hands with Catholics or Protestants, I am asking people of like mind and belief to get together and resolve our differences. Not for the money, but for the sake of "the work". Since Yahshua died for our sins there should be no religion between the Almighty and us. We should all follow the way of Yahweh, which is not Rabbinical Judaism, Protestantism, Catholicism, or any other "ism," but the Truth revealed in the pages of your Bible by Yahweh Himself, and as amplified by His Son, Yahshua.
By joining hands we could assist in bringing about what is written in Romans 11:25 - 27. "For I do not want you brethren to be uninformed of this mystery, lest you be wise in your own estimation, that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in: and thus all Israel will be saved; just as it is written, The Deliverer will come from Zion, He will remove unrighteousness from Jacob. And this is my covenant with them, when I take away their sins."
I, a Nazarene Israelite who also formerly associated with some of the Churches of God would like to challenge our leaders to start a debate or forum where you could discuss your differences, with a view to becoming one in the Hand of our Father. Let us all together become like the faithful ones in the congregation of Philadelphia described as follows in Revelation 3:8. "I know your works: behold I have set before you an open door, and no man can shut it: for you have a little strength, and have kept my word, and have not denied My Name."
I am certain that we all believe that our group will become part of the 144,000 faithful in Revelation 14. "And I looked, and, lo a Lamb stood on the mount Zion and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Name and His Father's name written in their foreheads." How much more our chance if we become one as Yahshua prayed for in John 17 and work toward fulfilling Jeremiah 31:9? "With weeping they shall come, And by supplication I will lead them; I will make them walk by streams of waters, On a straight path in which they shall not stumble; For I am a father to Israel, And Ephraim is My first-born."
We all agree that our Creator is Great by all standards. The question is, are our human leaders big enough to accept this challenge to unity. After all, in Galatians 3:4 we read: "For you are all sons of Yahweh through faith in Messiah Yahshua." We have been given a ministry of reconciliation as we read in 2 Corinthians 5:18 "Now all these things are from Yahweh, who reconciled us to Himself through the Messiah, and gave us the ministry of reconciliation."
When we are united in truth we are empowered by the Set-apart Spirit flowing through us and into the world and the people we are trying to reach with the good news. After all our Husband the Messiah Yahshua will only be satisfied with one 'woman', the bride chosen by His Father. In closing I would like to repeat Paul's words in 1 Corinthians 1:10 " Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Master Yahshua Messiah, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment."
Ed: Jim Coetzee may be contacted at the following address:
PO Box 15935 Emerald Hill
Port Elizabeth 6011, South Africa
His Web Page is: