Assemblies of Yahweh
The Assemblies of Yahweh is a nonprofit religious organization with its international headquarters in Bethel, Pennsylvania, United States. They are less commonly known as Messianic (or Spiritual) Israelites, possibly based on John 4:23. The organization developed independently out of a radio ministry begun by Jacob O. Meyer in 1966. The Assemblies of Yahweh is the largest sacred name group, but it is not part of the Sacred Name Movement.
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), learned about the name Yahweh while he was taking a Biblical theological course. As a result, he became convinced of the importance of exclusively employing the names Yahweh for God and later, Yahshua for Jesus. Meyer went on to found the Assemblies of Yahweh in 1969. The organization sometimes refers to itself as "Modern Day Elijah", because Hebrew: אֱלִיָּהוּ, Eliyahu, means "My El is Yahweh" ) alluding also to Malachi 4 and Mark 9:12 concerning the return of the worship of Yahweh in the "latter days".
In 1969 the Assemblies of Yahweh received its charter from Berks County, Pennsylvania. The core of this charter reads:
|“||Our purpose is to teach and preach the word and sacred Name of our Heavenly Father and the truth of the inspired scriptures, to promote the interest of religion and the spread of spiritual holiness throughout the world.||”|
We affirm that as obedient children it is necessary to keep all of the commandments, statutes, and judgments (except the ritual and animal sacrifice Laws) which the Heavenly Father gave to Israel to make them a separate people, Leviticus 20:7-8; Deuteronomy 6:6-9, 25; Deuteronomy 7:6-11; Matthew 5:17-20; Romans 7:12. It is now possible through the Holy Spirit to keep these commandments by faith for our salvation, Ephesians 2:8-10; Jacob 2:17-20. We now keep a spiritual sacrifice rather than animal sacrifices, meal, and drink offerings, Hebrews 13:15-16; 1 Peter 2:5; Romans 12:1; Philippians 4:18.— Statement of Doctrine, point 6
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 or Jewish 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 believe it is integral to keep the commandments of Yahweh including the seventh day weekly Sabbath from Friday sundown to Saturday sundown (Exodus 20:8), the holy days as defined in Deuteronomy 16 and a diet of clean foods as defined in Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14.
Leadership consists of:
- A "Directing Elder", responsible for the spiritual direction of the Assembly.
- "Teaching Elders", ordained to serve as instructional leaders.
- "Deacons", ordained to serve in the needs of the assemblies.
- "Senior Missionaries", consecrated to serve Yahweh in local areas; many times used as local leader and (or) a new-inquirer contact point.
- "Missionaries", consecrated to serve Yahweh in local areas to help spread their Faith.
The Assemblies of Yahweh is led by a Directing Elder, originally 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.
Begun in 1973 as Obadiah Assembly, a class concentrating on public speaking, Obadiah School has continued to grow and today has an extensive Biblical curriculum. Centered on the Bible class, each course is Biblical in nature. Today the graduates form the core of the Assemblies of Yahweh with many of the graduates going on to lead local Assemblies.
From its rudimentary beginnings in 1976, Meyer designed the Dalet School in the reflection of a one-room schoolhouse. The students are given the ability to hear the instruction of underclassmen (as a review) and overclassmen (as a preview). The school today teaches over 40 children and contains classes from kindergarten through 12th grade.
The Assemblies of Yahweh uses many tools to spread their message across the world and contact individuals.
- The Sacred Name Broadcaster. (Subscription list contains up to 20,000 names.).
- The Narrow Way Magazine. (Co-Worker Publication).
- The Narrow Way Newsletter (Co-Worker Publication).
- The Sacred Scriptures Bethel Edition Bible LCN-81-69752
- Psalms, Anthems and Spiritual Songs
- The Memorial Name Yahweh LCN-87-072550
- Commentary on Galatians LCN 83-82474
- Commentary on Micah LCN-2006901945
- Commentary on Revelation Vol. 1 LCN-2006901947
- Biblical Ecclesiastical Assembly Administration LCN-2006908256
- The Sacred Name Telecast
- Online Telecasts
- Local Assemblies around the world
- Live Internet Streaming (Audio and Video)
- Cassette Tape lending program
- Periodical Bible Conferences
- Baptism, Marriage, Funeral requests, Prison Visitation, Personal Contact
Local target areas
- Tract Distribution
- Radio and TV Spots
- SNB, 9/14, p.16
- 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".
- Clarke, Peter (2004). Encyclopedia of New Religious Movements.
- Encyclopedia of American Religions, 6th edition, page 553. Melton, J. Gordon. Detroit: Gale Research c1999 ISSN 10661212 ISBN 0-8103-8417-5 LCCN: 00702484
- New Bible Dictionary. 1982 (second edition). Tyndale Press, Wheaton, IL, USA. ISBN 0-8423-4667-8, p. 319
- Wells, John C. (1990). Longman pronunciation dictionary. Harlow, England: Longman. p. 239. ISBN 0-582-05383-8. entry "Elijah"
- "Statement of Doctrine". Assemblies of Yahweh.
- DNB Company Report on Dalet School
- Private Schools Report
- 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