119 Ministries is dedicated to seeking, living, and teaching the truth of the word of God. Our goal is to equip the body of Christ to obey God’s word, and in so doing, to bring glory to him. You may be wondering what some of our fundamental beliefs about God and the Bible are; but first, a little background information about what we do before creating our videos.
To learn about God, we study the Scriptures, which are the sixty-six books contained in a standard Christian Bible. The first thirty-nine books are called the TANAKH. They were written mostly in the Hebrew language, with a few sections of them written in Aramaic. The last twenty-seven books are frequently called the “New Testament.” The oldest available manuscripts are written in Greek.. We believe that God inspired the authors of the Scriptures to write them down. We believe that the whole Bible is true, and that it is applicable to our lives today.
Our goal is to interpret the Bible as accurately as possible. We don’t rely on popular doctrines; we try to weed out man-made traditions, compare our assumptions to what the Scriptures actually say, and only hold onto what is good. In pursuit of that goal, we examine the culture that the authors of the Bible lived in, to help us understand what they were trying to communicate. Sometimes we use history, archaeology, and science to help us understand what the people in the Bible were going through, and how they thought about the Bible’s teachings. We use Scripture to interpret itself whenever possible. We welcome criticism that is provided in this same spirit of seeking truth.
Sometimes we will use Hebrew, Aramaic, or Greek terms to refer to concepts in the Bible. This helps eliminate the confusion that can result from different Bible translations using different English terms to mean the same thing. Some of the Hebrew terms that we use are Torah, which means law or instructions; Shalom, which means peace; Yahweh, which is the Hebrew name of God; and Yeshua, which is the Hebrew name of Jesus.
Here are some of the basic truths that we believe the Bible teaches:
- God is the creator of the universe and everything in it (Genesis 1).
- God placed mankind in the garden of Eden, a paradise where man would live forever. Everything was good until man disobeyed God’s instruction, which produced death (Genesis 2-3; Romans 5:12).
- Disobeying God’s instruction is called sin (1 John 3:4; Romans 7:7). Those who sin are under a curse, which is death. The apostle Paul refers to this as “the law of sin and death” (Romans 6-8).
- God has a name, which is spelled with the Hebrew letters Yod-Hey-Vav-Hey (Exodus 3:15). English Bibles usually translate this name as “LORD” in all capital letters. We pronounce this name “Yahweh.” There are other reasonable opinions about how to pronounce this name, but we think “Yahweh” is the most likely ancient pronunciation.
- The prophet Moses wrote down Yahweh’s instructions (Deuteronomy 31:9). These instructions were also called “The Torah (or Law) of Moses” (Joshua 8:32). Those who followed Yahweh’s instructions would live, but those who did not would receive the curse of death (Deuteronomy 30:15-18). Yahweh made a covenant with the nation of Israel (Deuteronomy 5:2), and with all who would sojourn with them (Numbers 15:16). That covenant stated that he would be their God, and they would be his people (Leviticus 26:12) and keep his instructions (Exodus 24:3).
- Israel failed to keep Yahweh’s instructions, and broke his covenant (Jeremiah 31:32). One result of this was the people of Israel ended up scattered among all the nations (Ezekiel 36:19).
- Yahweh sent his Son, Yeshua (born of a virgin – Isaiah 7:14, Matthew 1:18-25 ), to provide a solution to the problem of sin and death (Romans 8:2). Yeshua is the Hebrew name that is transliterated into English as “Jesus.” Yeshua’s name means “Yahweh saves.”
- Yeshua was born of a virgin, died, and was resurrected to live out the Father's plan of salvation for His people.
- Yeshua accomplished many things, including:
- he taught us how to follow Yahweh’s instructions (Ephesians 4:17-24),
- he started the process of regathering Israel from the nations, so that they can enter into a new covenant with Yahweh (Matthew 10:6; James 1:1; Jeremiah 31:31)
- he paid the penalty for our sins (1 John 2:2), so that we are no longer under the law of sin and death, and can have eternal life with God (Romans 6:5-11).
- Yeshua was sentenced to death, crucified and buried, but he came back to life after three days (Acts 10:39-40), as he had foretold (Matthew 27:63). Those who have faith in him will also be resurrected, and they will reign with him on the earth for a thousand years (Revelation 20:4-6).
- After Yeshua’s reign on the earth, all mankind will be resurrected and judged (Revelation 20:11-13). Those who followed his instructions will be rewarded, while those who did not will be punished (Matthew 25:31-46).
Here are some of the finer details concerning these truths:
- We are saved because of Yahweh’s grace (Ephesians 2:1-9). We do not deserve to have our sins forgiven, but Yeshua paid the price for our sins anyway (Romans 5:6-8). We can do nothing to earn such favor.
- All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23), so everyone needs Yahweh’s grace to be saved (Romans 3:9). Nobody can gain salvation because of their ancestry or their moral perfection
- Yahweh is one (Deuteronomy 6:4). Yahweh does not change (Malachi 3:6), and Yahweh’s instructions have not changed (Matthew 5:18). They were never abolished nor made void. Yahweh’s grace removes our sin, but that does not mean that we should continue sinning (Romans 6:1-2). We should still follow Yahweh’s instructions today (Romans 6:12-13).
- When we do sin, Yahweh is gracious to forgive us if we confess our sin and return to righteous living. Yeshua’s blood will cleanse us from all sin (1 John 1:7-9).
- All of Yahweh’s instructions are based on love (Matthew 22:36-40). Yahweh gives us his instructions because he loves us (Psalm 119:124). We respond to his love in two ways: 1) by loving him back, which means keeping his instructions (Deuteronomy 6:5-6; 1 John 5:3), and 2) by loving other people, who are made in Yahweh’s image (Leviticus 19:18; 1 John 4:20-21).
- Yeshua was “the word made flesh” (John 1:14). The fullness of God dwelled in him (Colossians 2:9). He and Yahweh are one (John 10:30, meaning Yeshua’s will was aligned with his Father’s will; he did exactly what his Father wanted him to do (John 17:4). As Christians (which, in Greek, means “followers of Christ”), our ideal is to “walk even as he walked” (1 John 2:6). That is, we should strive to do exactly what the Father wants us to do, just like Yeshua did.
- Yahweh empowers us to follow his instructions by changing our heart, and putting his spirit within us (Ezekiel 36:26-27). His spirit will guide us into all truth (John 16:13).
- We are not saved by works, but by grace through our faith (Ephesians 2:8-9). However, what we believe in our heart—our faith—will manifest itself in our works (James 2:18, 22). A person who has faith in God will also obey him (John 3:36).
Of course, the Bible teaches much more than just what we’ve mentioned here, but these are our descriptions of some of its fundamental ideas. We ask that you test everything. Don’t take what we say at face value, but study the Bible for yourself, pray for God’s wisdom, and listen to his Spirit. Our prayer is that God will sanctify you in his truth, which is his word (John 17:17).
From all of us at 119 Ministries, shalom!