Assemblies of Yahweh
The Assemblies of Yahweh is a nonprofit religious organization with its international headquarters in Bethel, Pennsylvania, United States. The organization developed independently out of a radio ministry begun by Elder Jacob O. Meyer in 1966. The headquarters of the Assemblies of Yahweh is based on 51 acres (210,000 m2) outside Bethel and contains a large meeting hall, a motel converted into office space, its two schools, and a converted gas station that serves as its radio station. As of 2006 the group claimed about 3,000 members.
The Assemblies of Yahweh consider themselves to be the reconstituted Apostolic Assembly that went into dormancy in 70 CE. The sect's founder, Jacob O. Meyer (November 11, 1934 - April 9, 2010), came into contact with some Sacred Name groups and became convinced of the importance of exclusively employing the names Yahweh for God and Yahshua for Jesus. Meyer rejected the Sacred Name Movement and went on to found in 1969 the Assemblies of Yahweh, which promotes strict adherence to Biblical principles. The organization sometimes refers to itself as "Modern Day Elijah", alluding to Malachi 4 and Mark 9:12 concerning the return of Yahweh in the "End times".
To be a member of the Assemblies of Yahweh an individual must profess a dedication to Yahweh, be baptized by submersion in water in Yahshua's name, have had the hands of the Elders laid on them to receive the Holy Spirit, maintain a life of total dedication to Yahweh and agree with the group's "Statement of Doctrine" described as a concise summary of what the Bible teaches.
The Assemblies of Yahweh profess to follow the Old and New Testaments as closely as possible. This causes the group to be viewed as an admixture of Judaism and Christianity, although they do not actually mix Christian doctrines with the teachings of the Scriptures. They believe that in order to understand the will of Yahweh, the Bible must be harmonized and adhered to as infallible. Members agree that the Hebrew Scriptures be used to interpret the New Testament. This hermeneutical position toward the dominance of the Old Testament in biblical interpretation (as far as professing the Hebrew and Aramaic originals of the New Testament) is related to the basic Israelite faith and Judaism. The Assemblies of Yahweh professes that the revealed, personal name of Elohim is Yahweh, that the name of the Messiah is properly Yahshua, and that Yahshua came to re-establish the personal name of Yahweh. The group adheres to the dietary guidelines laid out in Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14 and practices tithing. They proclaim the seventh day of the week as the Sabbath, and a period of rest and worship is observed. In addition to the weekly Sabbath, the Assemblies observe a number of annual holy days including Passover, the Feast of Unleavened Bread, Pentecost (Shavuot), the Feast of Trumpets, the Fast of Atonement (Yom Kippur), the Feast of Tabernacles and the Last Great Day. Conclusively, their position can be seen in their Statement of Doctrine, point 6: "It is necessary to keep all the commandments, statutes and judgments (except the ritual and animal sacrifices)." The Assemblies of Yahweh believe in government and "law, order and rule from the top down". The Assemblies of Yahweh reject as unbiblical the Trinity, infant baptism, homosexuality, polygamy, female ministers, the immortality of the soul, and eternal hell.
Organizational structure and outreach
The Assemblies of Yahweh is led by a directing elder, originally Elder Jacob O. Meyer. In accordance with his will and last testament, the Assemblies of Yahweh has since been led by two followers: Teaching Elder Jonathan S. Meyer and Deacon Nathaniel A. Meyer. They are assisted by a group of individuals called "the Work of the Ministry" who assist in practical matters and provide counsel on questions of doctrine. There are also teaching elders, ordained to serve as instructional leaders; deacons, ordained to serve the needs of the assemblies; and missionaries, to help spread the faith. The Assemblies of Yahweh conducts outreach through periodicals, radio and television broadcasts, literature, magazines (The Sacred Name Broadcaster & The Narrow Way) and books. Among several of the self-published books is the Sacred Scriptures Bethel Edition. There is a shortwave radio broadcast via its WMLK radio station and an Internet webcast. WMLK also streams online through the TuneIn website.
The Assemblies of Yahweh has two educational institutions located in Bethel, Pennsylvania:
- History of Bethel and Tulpehocken Townships, pg. 227. Published by Bethel and Tulpehocken Townships, Berks County PA, 1976, Boyer Printing Co., Lebanon PA
- "Reading Eagle Newspaper".
- Encyclopedia of American Religions, 6th edition, page 553. Melton, J. Gordon. Detroit: Gale Research c1999 ISSN 10661212 ISBN 0-8103-8417-5 LCCN: 00702484
- "Statement of Doctrine". Assemblies of Yahweh.
- Sacred Name Broadcaster, 07/2013, p. 15
- SNB, 9/14, p.16
- Religions of the World: A Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Beliefs and Practices, pg. 88. J. Gordon Melton and Martin Baumann. Santa Barbara, CA c2002 ISBN 1-57607-761-6
- Bible Review at Tyndale
- "On-Demand Topics"
- DNB Company Report on Dalet School
- Private Schools Report