The heart of our desire corresponds to our name. In Proverbs it says:
How blessed is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gains understanding... Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace. She is a Tree of Life to those who take hold of her, and happy are all who hold her fast.
- Proverbs 3:13, 18-20
This leads to a question about the nature of the life offered. Is it eternal life? Yeshua said:
"You search the Scripture because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me; and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life.
- John 5:39-40
If eternal life is not found in obeying the Scripture, then where is eternal life? Yeshua said:
"This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Yeshua haMoshiach whom You have sent."
- John 17:3-4
Then what value, what life is in obeying the instruction of the Scripture? Yeshua said:
"If you love Me, you will keep My commandments."
- John 14:15
True faith implies faithfulness. James tells us that faith without works is dead. We are commanded to be doers of the Word, not hearers only. If we are truly New Creations in Messiah, and He is truly L-RD of our life, then this will be demonstrated by a changed life and a desire to walk in holiness and righteousness. You shall know a tree by its fruit.
The Tree of Life (Eitz Chaim) represents the WORD of G-d. It also represents the Living Word, Yeshua, as well as the Tree upon which He was crucified - the Tree of Death that became the Tree of Life! In Him, and through His death and resurrection on our behalf, we have eternal life.
Scripture We believe that the entirety of the Tanakh and the B'rit Chadeshah (Old and New Testaments) is the inspired, infallible, inerrant (in its original language) and authoritative Word of G-d, and serves as the ultimate authority for congregational life, teaching, conduct, doctrine, principles of faith and perspective. The Holy Scriptures are "valuable for teaching the truth, convicting of sin, correction of faults, and training right living." (II Tim. 3:16).
Nature of G-d We believe in the One and Only Living G-d, the Holy One of Israel, eternally existing in a complex unity revealed in three expressions – Av (Father); Ben (Son); and Ruach haKodesh (Holy Spirit), the G-d of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He is all-knowing, all-powerful, and all-present. He creates and guides all creatures, and made, makes, and will make everything. He knows the hearts and actions of all men, and one day will reward the righteous and judge the unrighteous.
Yeshua HaMashiach We believe that Y'Shua (Jesus) of Nazareth is the one and only promised Messiah and Redeemer of Israel and of the world. He is the only begotten Son of the Father, full of grace and truth. We believe in His virgin birth, sinless life, miracles, atoning death through His shed blood on the tree, His bodily resurrection on the third day, and His physical return as King of Israel and Master of the Universe in power and glory. By His life, death, and resurrection, He fulfilled the Messianic prophesies in the Tanakh related to Messiah's first coming. He bore the reproach of sinners, and was afflicted even unto death on the tree. He was wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities. The chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed. (Is. 53:5) He is the visible image of the invisible G-d, the exact representation of G-d's nature, and the perfect expression of His Glory. He is the Word of G-d, the Living Torah, and the fullest representation of G-d to man. He is the Aleph and Tav, the first and last, the beginning and the end. He was eternally with the Father in the beginning and was not created. All things are created through Him and by Him. He is fully Divine and yet came in the flesh. The fullness of the Deity dwells in Him in bodily form. He and the Father are One (Echad). We believe in the total Deity and total humanity of the L-rd Y'Shua HaMashiach.
Sin and Salvation We believe that man was created in the image of G-d, but because of Adam's disobedience, fell into sin. We believe that unless man repents from his sin and accepts Y'Shua as His Messiah, L-rd, and Savior, and actively submits to and puts his trust in Him and in Him alone, he is condemned to eternal separation from G-d. Thus, for the salvation and redemption of man, regeneration by the Holy Spirit, through trust in the person and work of Y'Shua, is absolutely essential. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No man comes to the Father, but through Him. The only provision G-d made for reconciling man to Himself was through the atoning wok of Y'Shua, who died as the sacrifice for our disobedience and rose again, manifesting His victory over sin and death.
Holy Spirit We believe in the work and presence of the Holy Spirit in the life of the Believer. He is the Comforter, Sealer, Guide, Gift-Giver, and by whose indwelling the Believer is enabled to live a godly life. He brings forth the fruit of righteousness in the lives of all followers of the Messiah. The Holy Spirit also gifts, orders, and leads the local body of Believers, enabling them to become a community of love and service.
The Congregation We believe that those who are of the Holy Spirit become members of the universal people of G-d, or the Body of Messiah. Gentile Believers are grafted into the natural olive tree of Israel and become part of the Commonwealth of Israel. . This one spiritual fellowship thus includes both Jews and non-Jews as equal members of His body. We thus believe in the spiritual unity of all Believers who truly trust in G-d through Y'Shua . The L-rd Y'Shua is the head of this body, and members find their place of service and worship in the local congregation. (Eph. 2:19; Rom. 8:15-17; Gal. 3:28).
Covenants with Israel We believe in the continuity of G-d's eternal covenants with the physical people of Israel. We also believe that the land of Israel is the homeland of the Jews, as promised by G-d to our forefathers, Abraham, Isaac & Jacob, as an eternal inheritance. We believe that Jerusalem is the City of the Great King, Y'Shua HaMashiach, from which He shall rule and reign upon His Return in power and glory. For the Torah shall go forth from Zion, and the Word of the L-rd from Jerusalem. As Jewish followers of Y'Shua, we are called to remain part of our people Israel and to maintain our Jewish biblical heritage and traditions as expressed through the Abrahamic and Mosaic covenants, as properly applied through the lens of the New Covenant Scriptures. We believe that G-d gave the Torah, Prophets and Writings for moral instruction and prophetic pictures which would point forward to the Messiah's work. Through His eternal Word, G-d sets forth a righteous standard for holy living and for preserving a distinct nation of Israel. Y'Shua's fulfillment of Messianic prophesy relating to His First Coming in no way annuls the Torah (Mth. 5:17), but rather He brings out the fullness of its originally intended meaning, and is our ultimate Sacrifice and High Priest, bringing in a better Covenant, better Sacrifice and better Priesthood, built on better Promises. Y'Shua is the Living Word of G-d and culmination of all the Covenants revealed in the Scriptures. The written Word of G-d is the revelation of G-d’s heart. They are a reflection of Y'Shua's heart. The Scriptures guide and train us to become more like Him, because this was how He Himself lived and what was in His heart. He is the fullness of the Word. Our lives should be so full. However, obeying G-d’s Word is not merely a matter of outward observance and external conformity. Righteousness with G-d is, as it has always been, solely by His lovingkindness, grace, and mercy, through the free gift of faith. Only by spiritual rebirth through Y’Shua, entering into a fully surrendered and committed love relationship with him, and being adopted into G-d’s family through the New Covenant, can we receive a new heart and spirit and be empowered to walk in G-d’s ways and obey His perfect will from our hearts. For man looks on the outward appearance, but G-d looks on the heart.”
The Four Pillars of Eitz-Chaim are: Worship (Avodah), Prayer (Tefillah), Discipleship (Talmidut), and Outreach (Kiruv). We are a Yeshua centered, Messianic, Jewish Synagogue, building community as we make disciples of all nations.
a. We are committed to worship in Spirit and truth for G-d’s pleasure. We believe worship is a testimony of our passion for G-d, and an instrument of spiritual warfare. (John 4:23-24, 2 Corinthians 10:3-6)
b. We are committed to a vibrant Spirit-filled environment that expresses our messianic-Jewish heritage. (2 Samuel 6:14, 1 Chronicles 15:16, Psalm 9:1, Psalm 100, Psalm 150)
c. We encourage the exercise of the gifts of the Spirit for mutual edification and producing lasting fruit. (Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12, Galatians 5:22-26)
d. Thus, we seek to lift up the G-d of Israel and His Son Yeshua as our central focus and goal in all we do, from an authentic Biblical and Hebraic perspective. (Ephesians 1:15-23)
a. We are committed to praying for G-d’s leading, enabling and blessing in all our endeavors. We believe that prayer is essential for strengthening our corporate and individual relationship with G-d. (Jeremiah 29:11-13)
b. We are committed to being a house of prayer for all peoples, lifting our voices to G-d with one accord. (Isaiah 56:6-7, Acts 4:24-31)
c. We also encourage the body of Messiah around the world to pray for Israel’s physical and spiritual restoration. (Psalm 122:6)
a.“We are committed to making disciples by teaching “the whole counsel of G-d” (Genesis to Revelation) and by encouraging Believers to live out their faith by walking by the Biblical standard of holiness and righteousness as revealed in the Torah, Tanakh, and Brit Chadeshah.”
b. We honor our Biblical Hebrew roots which nourish our faith and enable us to communicate the truth more effectively.
c. We are accountable to G-d, to others in the congregation and are open to G-dly counsel from the wider Body of Messiah. (Ephesians 5:21, James 5:16, Colossians 3:9)
d. We believe in the blessing of giving tithes and offerings to God for the support of our congregation and Hebraic-friendly causes around the world. (Malachi 3:10-12)
e. We encourage one another to be immersed in the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:5) and to be filled daily with His power. (Ephesians 5:18).
f. We are committed to expressing the heart of the Messiah toward hurting people through deeds of compassion and trust G-d to work through His Spirit for healing and deliverance. (James 1:27, James 5:14, Isaiah 61:1, John 10:10)
g. We are committed to inspiring and equipping people and ministries that identify with our vision and core values.
h. Our goal, through every ministry, is to exalt and lift up Yeshua as the Messiah, the Son of G-d. His Word, as preached and taught from a Jewish perspective, is the foundation of what we believe.
i. Each individual brings unique Spirit-empowered gifts and talents to the local Body. We encourage our members to develop and use these G-d-given talents to edify the congregation and to foster the Kingdom of G-d.
j. We are committed to raising up, empowering and passing on our Messianic identity and Biblical heritage to the next generation of Believers in Y’Shua (L’dor V’dor). (Deut. 6:4-9; Acts 2:42; Eph. 6:4)
a. We are committed to the task of proclaiming with our lips and our lives that Yeshua the Messiah is the only Savior of Israel and the world. “For I am not ashamed of the Gospel, since it is the power of G-d unto Salvation for everyone who believes, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile.” (Romans 1:16-17)
b. Because much of the Church is cut off from her Hebrew roots, Jewish people have often seen a distorted picture of Yeshua. Consequently we strive to reveal His true face in a loving, culturally relevant and sensitive manner. We also believe that our testimony is made real and compelling when Jewish and non-Jewish disciples serve together as “one new man”. (Ephesians 2:15)
c. We believe that G-d is restoring the Jewish people physically to their land and spiritually to Himself. (Isaiah 44:21-28)“And every day, in the Temple and from house to house, they kept right on teaching and preaching Yeshua as the Messiah, and G-d was adding to their numbers daily those who were being saved.” (Acts 2:47)
d. We prayerfully uphold the nation of Israel and its importance to the Believing community and the world. Y’Shua will return to establish His Kingdom and rule the nations from Jerusalem. We are committed to participating in and supporting worthwhile Jewish causes and opposing anti-Semitism according to the provisions of the Abrahamic Covenant. (Gen. 12:1-3)
Community (Kehila) Eitz Chaim is called to be a Messianic Jewish Community:
“Messianic” in that we desire to be truly Messiah-centered, believing that G-d sent Yeshua as Messiah to fulfill the historic hopes and destiny of Israel and that He is the focal point of the Jewish Scriptures. Col. 1:15-20.
“Jewish” in that we seek the good of our people and embrace our common culture, interest and hopes. We seek to grow in a lifestyle of Biblical Judaism; Reveal to Israel and the world the true identity of Yeshua the Messiah; Support Israel and the Jewish people; and call our brothers and sisters in the Body of Messiah to the proper understanding of G-d’s Covenant promises to Israel and their physical and spiritual restoration.
“Community” in that we truly desire to be “mishpochah” (family). We want to grow a faith community where Jews and Gentiles are One in Messiah. - We are committed to love and serve one another, looking to the first Jerusalem congregation as our primary model (Acts 2:42-47).
- We are committed to bear witness to Messiah’s presence in our lives by our love for one another and dwelling in unity, thus demonstrating to the wider community of Jewish and non- Jewish people G-d’s faithfulness in breaking down former walls of alienation and enmity.
- We are committed to be a community defined by the following attitudes/actions: passionately caring for one another, serving each other, helping support one another in times of need, and encouraging each other to grow together in the L-rd. We believe in mutual respect and accountability, with the goal of growing more and more into the image of our Messiah.
- We endeavor to express our community through: Shabbat Worship Services: We delight in the Shabbat, a day of rest, worship and meditation on G-d’s Word; a time to refocus on and follow Yeshua, the L-RD of Shabbat. Jewish Holidays: As a community, we celebrate Jewish holidays and the Biblical feasts of Israel, recognizing both their historical importance and their prophetic significance in pointing to the Messiah and His Kingdom.
Lifecycle Events: In obedience to the Scriptures and in honor of the tradition of our fathers, we observe the various seasons of life, including B’rit Milah (circumcision), Bar and Bat Mitzvah, Weddings under the Chupah, and other Jewish rites. These are gifts from G-d which help us implement His Ways in our everyday lives.
Education: In seeking the continuance of our spiritual heritage, our priority is to train up our children in the way they should go, from nursery through adulthood. We walk out this vision through our Jr. Shabbat program, Bar and Bat Mitzah classes, Hebrew education, Youth group, adult Bible studies, and Yeshivot intensive training.
Family Life: Chavurah Fellowship, home groups, Men’s and Women’s meetings, marriage and financial seminars, retreats, and the like are some of the ways in which we support family life.