Since returning to England and sensing what's going on in at least two churches locally, I have been reminded by Yahweh that what is important to Him is the interr-relatedness of believers and not 'churches' or 'ministries'. In spite of our differences, which were never voiced (since they are not fully aware of what I believe in), there was no doubt in my mind that there was a spiritual bond. They love Yah'shua (Jesus), their hearts yearn for Him...and that is quite a big chunk of commonality. Moreover, as Protestant Evangelicals, they are not 'church'-conscious. There are walls to be sure but there was no need to spotlight them on the level we were interacting on, viz. the two Great Commandments. Thus we can have fellowship, something not possible with Mormons, Catholics or Jehovah's Witnesses (for example) who have idolised an organisation. Like evangelicals, we believe that 'organism' is the prime thing (see Eph.4:16).
Our goal, then, is not to create an organisation, build a ministry, or construct a church, but to nurture and foster the growth of the Body of Christ wherever it may be. That we have our organisation as a 'model' assembly is good, but it is not our prime task. Building congregations in such a way that they become conscious of the need to become an echad (oneness) bride is the primary thing. My job here, if I am given the opportunity, would be to help the existing local churches achieve that aim, and not to convert everyone to our organisation. Using the marriage model, it is plain that you cannot go around and expect everyone to have an identical marriage - but you can point people and get them to establish goals.
There must first of all be a hunger to build and deepen relationships, and before you start preaching doctrines like the festivals, Sabbath, etc., you must cultivate that hunger by getting people to desire purity and obedience as a lover's response to the Belovèd.
I think many, if not most, Messianics miss this. They're still starting at the wrong end. For them it is the mitzvot > Decalogue (10 Commandments) > The Two Commandments. But that's not how living people grow. You start with simple, unconditional love and go from there. How you do that is the art of the Ruach.
When you ask someone to appreciate a painting you don't begin with a technical and historical lecture. You look at the picture. Biographies of authors are much more interesting only after you have read their books. Our interest in people starts with eye-contact, not a computer profile. The latter may be useful later but not in the beginning. Someone who falls in love with Torah before meeting Yahweh through Yah'shua (Jesus) is starting at the wrong end. A baby loves its mother because mother loves baby, not because baby understands the mechanics of the psyche. Christianity begins with a love relationship, just as marriage does. It may proceed carefully and not preciptously by careful weighing but the catalyst is always divine love. And that is the only way you can build the Body or Messianic Community.
The commandments only become spiritually visible through the demonstration of love. Love does not harm - it may hurt occasionally, but it does no harm, causes no trauma, demands nothing unnatural. Love is self-revealing.
As you look around any large congregation of a denomination and ask yourself the question: how many people in this group have grown to really trust one another as in an intimate family situation, the number is probably very small. And if it is, it is not a true New Testament 'Church'. The Messianic Community is defined not by its numbers but by its inter-connectedness, because that is what the Bride is. Thus a congregation may have 300 members whilst only a handful are a part of the Bride. When trial and tribulation come, only the handful - the core - endures. It is the relationship that equips them to meet and overcome adversity. And to build that requires real time and effort.
No marriage - literal or allegorical - is ever built through passivity. The effort must be directed towards the bond, and the bond or link which connects people may either begin spontaneously or grow gradually. Either way, a covenant immeasurably strengthens it, giving it durability because it makes demands on the will. And that always demands effort.
When there is an absence of relationship the bonds are weak. They are strengthened by the accountability required of a covenant, on the one hand, and the promise of mutual support - also required by the covenant - on the other. Without these, difficulties may become impossible to surmount, and relationships irretrievably break down. Sin will always be around, but it is nigh impossible to overcome it without relationship.
Our connectedness is to be like the grape vine, with Yah'shua (Jesus) the whole vine - otherwise our Christianity is in vain (Jn.15:5). Our functionability is dependent on Yah'shua (Jesus) completely. So long as we are disconnected from Him we cannot integrate. So long as we are separated from Yahweh we must always be separated from one another - in marriage or in our messianic communities - and whither away. We are not to be cut flowers parading our individual glory, but organically a part of a plant where together we can radiate glory. Cut flowers in any case die quicker and cannot multiply. We can only multiply the Light of Christ together.
Torah develops the quality of the pre-existing love-bond. It shapes it in the correct way - the durable way, the most beautiful way. When those in the relationship know that all parties are irrevocably committed to the Decalogue (Ten Commandments), they do not need to worry about adulterous, covetous, blasphemous or dishonest intent. Everyone in the group holds the others accountable to a commonly, divinely integrative standard.
The penalties are strict to reinforce the standard and to ensure that the love is not corrupted or diluted. The Decalogue (10 Commandments) is the program of behaviour that determines the strength and quality of the relationship. Its fences are natural to man's creative purpose, not outmoded obstacles to greater happiness.
There will always be [protective] fences. Even the Creator (Yahweh) is bound to them by covenant. So why not us, then? He unilaterally entered into them of His own free choice by an act of will. We too must voluntarily enter into them or depart from the relationship. The more obedient we are, the deeper the relaionship becomes, because it is sanctified by the glory and presence of the Creator which is attracted by the human mirror.
When people are repelled by Torah is is either because they have chosen to rebel or because they don't believe that through obedience they can taste of this relationshipal delight. The carnal man opposes through fear and persecution.
(From the Diary of Lev-Tsiyon, 15 October 2003, England)