What We Believe

"Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Yeshua."
(Revelation 14:12)

First Fruits Ministries is a first century Messianic congregation of Jews and Gentiles returning to the Jewish roots of the faith in the Messiah Yeshua through the Hebraic understanding of the scriptures. We follow the divinely inspired holy scriptures, commonly referred to as the Old and New Testaments, as God’s holy word for us to live by. We seek to understand the scriptures in the purest form possible, studying them from the Hebrew perspective and in the Hebrew and Greek languages in which they were written.

Elohim is the Hebrew word for God. God’s holy name as noted in the original Hebrew language is YHVH, usually translated as LORD or Adonai in most Bibles. His Son’s name is Yeshua, transliterated as Jesus in English. The Ruach HaKodesh is Hebrew for the Holy Spirit, who dwells within all who call on the name of Yeshua and obey His commandments out of love for God.

Our Mission

Our mission is to bring the Gospel to the Jews, the Torah to Christians, and the good news of Yeshua to unite both Jews and Gentiles into one congregation, bringing unbelievers to faith and believers to trust in the Lord with all of their hearts, making disciples from all nations, teaching all to believe, repent and follow Yeshua.

Statement of Faith

The following Statement of Faith does not exhaust the extent of our faith, but identifies interpretations fundamental to this congregation. The Holy Bible itself, as the inspired and infallible Word of God that speaks with final authority concerning Truth, morality, and the proper conduct of mankind, is the sole and final source of all that we believe. We seek to understand and interpret the Holy Bible per the LORD's intent through our faith in Yeshua according to the anointing of the Holy Spirit (More Scripture references coming):
  • We believe the LORD (יהוה) our God (Elohim אֱלהִים), the LORD is One (Echad—אֶחָֽד), and He eternally exists and reveals Himself as the Father (יהוה), the Son (Yeshua), and the Holy Spirit (Ruach HaKodesh). (Deuteronomy 6:4, John 1:1-14)
  • We believe in God the Father, the Creator of Heaven and Earth, of all things seen and unseen, Who dwells in the highest heaven, and Whom no man can see directly, but Whom all can see and know through His Son, and in this way He can be understood by His Creation.
  • We believe in the LORD Messiah Yeshua (Jesus Christ), who is the Eternal Word of the LORD, the unique and only begotten Son of God through Whom all things were made, who became incarnate, being conceived by the Holy Spirit and born in the flesh through the virgin Miriam (Mary), so that He could destroy the works of the Devil. We believe the LORD Messiah Yeshua, though He knew no sin, willingly offered up His own life as a ransom for our sins through the shedding of His blood on the cross. He died in the flesh, was buried, and rose on the third day according to the Scriptures, thereby conquering sin and death and giving us the promise of eternal life. He ascended into heaven and now sits at the right hand of the Father and will return again to judge the living and the dead; separating those who have done good unto the resurrection of life and those who have done evil unto the resurrection of condemnation. Messiah Yeshua is our High Priest according to the order of Melchizedek, our Mediator of a better covenant, and our one-time, eternal Sacrifice for sin.  (John 1:1-3, Matthew 1:18, John 1:14, John 3:13-17, 2 Corinthians 5:21, 1 Corinthians 15:3-4, Luke 22:69, Leviticus 17:11, Hebrews 4:14, Hebrews 7:12, Hebrews 8:1, Hebrews 9:22-26)
  • We believe in the Holy Spirit (Ruach HaKodesh), the LORD, the Giver of life, a Witness, an Intercessor, a Teacher and a Helper, who proceeds from the Father through the Son, Who has spoken through the prophets, Who fills and lives in every believer, and Who testifies that Yeshua is the Son of God. He seals, anoints, convicts, sends, leads, teaches, speaks through, offers spiritual gifts to, intercedes for, sanctifies, empowers, and circumcises the heart of every true follower of Messiah Yeshua so we can become partakers of the promised New Covenant. Through Him, we are adopted as children of God. (Ephesians 1:13, John 16:8, Galatians 5:22-23)
  • We believe humanity was created in the image and likeness of God, but that our forefather Adam brought death into this world by sinning against God, and we have all followed in his path. Since then, we are all born with a sinful nature, we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. However, God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son so that whomever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in our LORD Yeshua the Messiah. We can only be saved from condemnation by grace through faith in our LORD Messiah Yeshua.
  • We believe salvation is through Yeshua alone, that we are justified by grace through faith, and not by works, thereby reconciling us to God and saving us from wrath. And in order to become saved, we must confess that Yeshua is LORD (Κύριον—יהוה) and believe in our hearts that the Father raised Him from the dead. (John 14:6, Acts 4:10-12, Ephesians 2:8-10)
  • We believe that through faith in the death and resurrection of Messiah Yeshua, and by the sealing of the Holy Spirit, we are grafted-in to the Cultivated Olive Tree, thereby becoming citizens of the spiritual Commonwealth of Israel, saints and members of the household of God, and partakers of the covenants of promise. We believe that because of the redemptive work of Messiah Yeshua, both Jews and Gentiles are no longer separate but rather one new man by grace through faith in Messiah Yeshua.
  • We believe after we have accepted Messiah Yeshua into our hearts, we enter a lifelong process of conforming to His image, called sanctification, and we do this by humbly obeying His Word through the power of the Holy Spirit who dwells in every believer.
  • We believe baptism is an urgent, obedient act that we are called to do as part of our sanctification, and through baptism we are buried with Yeshua, and then we are also raised up with Him into a new life through faith.
  • We believe the Law (Torah and Prophets) is still valid and applicable for Christians under the New Covenant, and now it is written on our hearts by the Holy Spirit. The Law is holy, just, and good; it is not burdensome, but rather brings liberty. The LORD Yeshua made it clear that the Law is eternal when He said: “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.” Because we are now the Temple of God and the Spirit of God dwells in us, we ought not defile our souls by willfully violating the Law. When we love God, we will keep His commandments, and all of His commandments are summed up in this: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength; and love your neighbor as yourself.”  (Matthew 22:35-40, John 14:15)
  • We believe if we endure in faithfulness until the end, we will be saved. The dead in Messiah will sleep in the grave until the return of our LORD Messiah Yeshua. At His return, we will be resurrected unto eternal life; our mortality will put on immortality, and we will live with God forever and ever in a glorified state. (Mark 13:26-27)
  • We believe that all Saints who endure in the faith by keeping the commandments of God and faith in Messiah Yeshua ought to fulfill the Great Commission in the midst of their lives here on Earth by becoming disciple-making disciples of Messiah Yeshua, who share the Gospel of Yeshua and His Apostles, who lead new believers to Scriptural baptism by immersion, and who keep and teach the commandments of God. "To live is to live for Messiah, and to die is gain."
  • We believe the Bible, the 66-book canon, is the infallible Word of God; it is inspired by the Holy Spirit; it is our highest rule for our faith; and it is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness, so that the man or woman of God can be prepared and thoroughly equipped for every good work. We believe it is every believer’s responsibility to read and study the Bible for themselves every day and night; to hear His Voice, to learn His Word, to do His Will, and to walk in covenant relationship with Him, growing ever closer to Him. While we may give preference to the NKJV, the NASB (1995), the NRSV, and the ESV versions of the Holy Bible, we do not prohibit the use of any translation accepted among Bible-believing congregations, churches, synagogues or fellowships. For the purpose of sound interpretation, we seek to understand and interpret the Holy Bible in its purest form possible, studying the Scriptures from the Hebrew perspective and in the Hebrew and Greek languages in which they were written. We do not prohibit the study of specific extra-canonical works such as the Apocrypha, the Book of Enoch, or various historical documents, for they can be useful for context, analysis and interpretation of Scripture; however, we do not consider these works to be equivalent to the Holy Bible in their authority and nor can any contradiction to Scripture found within them be used as justification for doctrine or faith.  (Psalm 119:160, 2 Timothy 3:16-17, Deuteronomy 31:12)
  • We believe spiritual elders within the ministry are men called by God’s Holy Spirit and recognized by qualified, already spiritually appointed men. Our community appoints pastors, elders, and deacons, and does not recognize any system of congregational election. We believe this is what we see as the practice of Yeshua, the Apostles, and Moses. Appointment is about choosing righteous and God-fearing men who are full of the Holy Spirit to be leaders.
  • We believe in and practice Biblical marriage and sexuality, wherein one man and one woman are joined together among witnesses and become one flesh. This means that we will only condone and consider conducting a wedding for a monogamous heterosexual couple who are equally yoked in the LORD. The term “marriage” is sanctioned by God, joining one man and one woman together in a single, exclusive union, as delineated in the Holy Bible. Further, we believe that sexual intimacy should only occur between a man and a woman who are married to each other, and that no intimate sexual activity ought to be engaged in by anyone outside of marriage as here defined. We believe that any form of sexual immorality, such as adultery, fornication, homosexuality, bisexual conduct, bestiality, incest, pornography or any attempt to change one’s sex, or disagreement with one’s biological sex, is sinful and offensive to God. We believe that in order to preserve the function and integrity of the ministry as the local Body of Messiah, and to provide a Biblical model to the congregation and the community, it is imperative that all persons employed by the congregation in any capacity, who serve as volunteers for the congregation, or who regularly attend the congregation should abide by and agree to this Statement on Marriage and Sexuality and conduct themselves accordingly. We believe that God offers redemption and restoration to all who confess and forsake their sins, seeking His mercy and forgiveness through Messiah Yeshua. We believe that every person must be afforded compassion, love, kindness, respect and dignity. Hateful and harassing behavior or attitudes directed toward any individual are to be repudiated and are not in accord with Scripture nor the doctrines of the ministry.
  • By God’s grace, we believe that one man and one woman married according to the principles set forth in Article 4.1(N), ought to go forth and multiply as God has commanded according to His grace and mercy, and any children that result from marriage ought to be “raised up in the way they should go” according to Biblical principles articulated in Proverbs 22:6, and all reasonable attempts ought to be made to reject and redirect children away from secular or worldly principles that in any way contradict Scripture, and that all children ought to be disciplined with love to ensure they remain on the narrow path of God.
  • We practice the weekly seventh-day Sabbath as commanded in Scripture. The Sabbath begins at sunset on Friday and ends at sunset on Saturday, and this is the pattern that we find in Creation and in the early church. During this time, we abstain from all work (vocational, avocational, charitable, evangelical, political, culinary, and housekeeping), we avoid activities that cause others to work, and we worship the Creator by coming together in a Holy Convocation as the body of Messiah. The Sabbath is a prophetic memorial that points toward the eternal Sabbath where all believers will have rest with God eternally.
  • We keep God’s Holy Days as He commanded in Scripture, especially as articulated in Leviticus 23. The LORD’s Holy Convocations include the weekly Sabbath (Shabbat), the Passover (Pesach) at twilight on the 14th of Aviv/Nisan, the Feast of Unleavened Bread (Chag HaMatzot) Day One and Seven, Pentecost (Shavuot), the Day of Trumpets (Yom Teruah), the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur), the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot) Day One, and the Eighth Day (Shemini Atzeret). These days are all Sabbaths, during which we are commanded to do no work and to gather as a congregation, and they memorialize God’s deliverance of His people in history and point to their past, present and future spiritual fulfillment through Messiah Yeshua. We fundamentally recognize the Feast of First Fruits (Bikkurim) as a memorial of our salvation through Messiah Yeshua. We also recognize Purim and Hanukkah as memorials to the LORD, but do not celebrate these festivals as Holy Convocations.
  • We observe the Biblical dietary laws found in Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14, and we believe the Bible is clear as to what God defines as food for humans. In addition, we do not eat clean animals that have been sacrificed to an idol, animals that have been strangled, blood from any animal, fat (suet) from any animal, or animals that have died from natural causes. We do not tolerate unclean food in any ministry gathering. We do not tolerate alcohol, drugs, or inebriation of any kind at any public ministry-related event or service, because inebriation strips away our self-control and discernment, and may cause another congregant to stumble. This does not restrict you from drinking in your own homes, although you should avoid drunkenness and maintain sober-mindedness per the Scriptures.
  • We respect the Constitution of the United States of America, the state of New Hampshire, the state of Washington, and the several other states, and we respect the governments of other peaceful nations, and the State of Israel. We desire to bless the people of Israel and the Body of Christian believers in every practical manner, but most importantly with prayer. We will operate with and mutually work with other communities of similar vision and doctrine in the United States, within the Body of Messiah Yeshua, within Israel, and throughout the world.

"If you confess with your mouth the Lord Yeshua and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved."
(Romans 10:9)

"For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Messiah Yeshua for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them."
(Ephesians 2:8-10)

"Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law."
(Romans 3:31)

 Yeshua said: “If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you."
(John 14:15-18)

"If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself,' you are doing well. ... So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. ... You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone."
(James 2:8-26)

"He is a Jew who is one inwardly, and circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit..."
(Romans 2:25-29)

"Oh, how I love Your law!"
(Psalm 119:97)

We Do NOT Believe

"He who practices deceit shall not dwell within my house;
He who speaks falsehood shall not maintain his position before me."
(Psalm 101:7)

  • We do NOT believe in any theology that denies that Messiah Yeshua is truly God and truly Man. This includes all variations of the following ideas:
    • Unitarianism: The belief that Yeshua is merely a human who was deemed worthy to be called God even though He really wasn't. This sometimes includes rejection of the virgin birth;
    • Arianism: The belief that Yeshua is not eternal, but rather was created by the Father as the first creation and is lesser to the Father. This almost always includes a belief that the Holy Spirit is a created being or an impersonal force;
    • Docetism: The belief that the Son's Humanity was only an illusion and that He is only God; 
    • Modelism: The belief that the Father is the Son and the Holy Spirit; that they are not distinct in any way other than in name. Modalists would say the Father died on the cross;
    • Eutychianism: The belief that the humanity of Messiah was essentially obliterated by His Divinity, "dissolved like a drop of honey in the sea;"
    • Nestorianism: The belief that Messiah existed as two persons—the man Yeshua and the Divine Son of God—rather than as one person with a unified human and divine nature;
    • Tritheism: The belief that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are three separate gods;
    • Pneumatomachianism: The belief that the Holy Spirit is not God, but a created being subservient to the Father and Son;
    • Monolatry: The belief that there are many gods, but we only worship one of them;
    • Gnosticism: These beliefs vary when referring to their belief in God, but they commonly believe in one of the following ideas:
      • there are two equal gods, one evil and one good,
      • there are two unequal gods—one strong, good and forgiving and the other who is the creator of the universe who is evil, weak, the god of the Jews, and is focused on judgment,
      • there is one god over all from whom various weaker gods are born;
    • and any other theology that denies that Messiah Yeshua is God incarnate, denying His Humanity or Deity. We boldly reject any theology that denies the Deity or Humanity of Messiah Yeshua. Any theology that denies that YHVH (יהוה) is one God who exists eternally in three persons—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit—is heretical.
    • If you have questions about the Tri-unity of God or are struggling with the above statement of what we believe or what we don't believe, we encourage you to review these teachings: "In the Beginning" (10-part CFM teaching), "The Blessing" (part 1 of the CFM teaching), "Abraham & Kurios" (3-part CFM series), "Is Jesus God?" (12-part CFM teaching), "Why Yeshua" (1-part FFM teaching), "The Study of Scripture" (4-part FFM teaching), "Messiah Son of Joseph" (8-part CFM teaching), "Messiah Son of David" (5-part CFM teaching).
  • We reject Sacred Name Theology, which affirms one cannot use or say the English names of Jesus, God, or Lord, as they are seen as corrupt versions of His Hebrew name YHVH or Yeshua. We believe this theology is a distraction from what true faith is based on; namely, a relationship with and obedience to God.
  • We do NOT believe in "works-based" salvation, which means that we are not justified by our works apart from our faith, but rather we are saved by grace through faith in Messiah Yeshua. (See "God's Mercy & the Devil's Grace" (6-part CFM teaching).
  • We reject Calvinistic Theology, which teaches that God has a select number of people that He chooses to save and the rest are damned to hell. It also teaches that you cannot resist His gift of grace, and that once you are saved you are always saved. The Bible makes it clear that one can lose his or her salvation if he or she turns his or her back on God and does not repent. Faith without works is dead, therefore faith requires an ongoing relationship with Yeshua in obedience to His Word. (See "Once Saved, Always Saved" (3-part CFM teaching).
  • We reject Replacement Theology, which states the Church has replaced Israel. We also reject Dual Covenant Theology, which claims there are different paths of salvation for Jews and Gentiles or even different ways of life. We reject the idea that Jews have to follow God's commandments, but Gentiles don't. Rather, we believe that Gentiles are grafted-in to the Cultivated Olive Tree of Israel and they become citizens of the Spiritual Commonwealth of Israel, being now partakers of the covenants of promise, whose supporting Root is the Root of Jesse, the only begotten Son of the Father, in Whom there is equal status between Jew and Gentile. (See "Discover Your Calling Into Israel" (5-part CFM teaching), "The Ten Commandments" (part 17 of the CFM teaching), "Grafted-In" (a FFM teaching).
  • We reject "Race-based" theology, such as British Israelism or Black Hebrew Israelism, or any other theology that emphasizes DNA, skin color, genetics, ancestry, or the like as a factor guaranteeing a right to salvation. Whether we are Jew or Gentile, we believe that we are saved by grace through faith in Yeshua. (See "Galatians Unearthed, Part 6" (A CFM teaching)
  • We reject "Universalism," which teaches that everyone (often including Satan) will be saved and reconciled to God. We also reject "Inclusivism," which teaches that everyone who has sincere faith in any religion or deity other than the God of Israel are somehow saved, perhaps even unknowingly by the blood of Yeshua. Rather, we do believe that if we confess with our mouths the LORD Yeshua and believe in our hearts that God has raised Him from the dead, we will be saved, but if we do not believe, then we are condemned already because we do not believe in the Name of the unique and only-begotten Son of God. (See the CFM teachings "Risen" or "In the Beginning, Part 1").
  • We reject the so-called "Rapture Theory," which teaches that there will be an event distinct from and before the Second Coming of Yeshua when the living saints will be "caught up" together in the sky to go to Heaven with God. While we do believe that there is a "catching away" of the Saints, we believe that this "catching away" happens at the Second Coming and that many of the passages that are used as support for the "Rapture Theory" are actually referring to the Resurrection of the Righteous that occurs at Yeshua's Second Coming. (See the CFM teaching, "End of the Age, Coming of the Messiah, Rest of God," part 3). 
  • We reject Anti-Pauline Theology, which declares Paul’s teaching is contrary to that of Yeshua and therefore Paul’s doctrines and his Epistles should be rejected. We do believe Paul was an Apostle chosen by Yeshua and his writings are inspired by the Holy Spirit. The Apostles themselves testify to the legitimacy of the apostolic calling of Paul. (Acts 9:1-18, 15:22; 1 Cor 9:1-2; Galatians 2:9, 2 Peter 3:15-16, See also: "Galatians Unearthed" (CFM sermon series, Part 3).
  • We reject KJV-Only Theology, which dictates the superiority of the King James Version of the Bible over all other versions, even over the original Hebrew and Greek texts. We primarily use NKJV, NASB and ESV for reading in English, but acknowledge that most translations convey a majority of Truth. We believe in the importance of studying the Bible in its original languages. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
  • We reject the abuse of the gift of tongues. While we do believe that the gifts of the Holy Spirit are still being given today and that the gift of tongues is one of them, we do not believe having the gift of tongues is an issue of salvation, nor that every believer is gifted with it, and nor do we believe anyone can be taught how to speak in tongues. Rather, we believe that the gift of tongues refers to the Holy Spirit giving people the supernatural ability to speak human languages so that other people who speak those languages can understand them and be edified. (See "The Ten Commandments," part 14, "Tongues of Fire (a 3-part series), "OTCF: Irenaeus Against Heresies," or "Shavuot/Pentecost 2016," all CFM teachings).
  • We do not recognize or celebrate religious holidays not found within Scripture, particularly those tied to pagan traditions, such as Christmas, Easter or Halloween. We purposefully keep and remember God's Holy Days as articulated in our Statement of Faith above. (See FFM teachings, "Give No Place to the Devil," "Why Celebrate God's Biblical Feasts," and "The Feasts of Leviticus 23.")
  • Among the unlawful practices of Torah, we specifically call out and firmly reject the modern concepts of: