How to Become a Mshikhani
Regardless of your race, caste, gender, sexual orientation, or social class, you may become a member of the Assembly of the Mshikhanim. You only need to understand the principles of the Mshikhani Faith and believe in those principles and desire to live as a disciple of Messiah and to help others to do the same.
If you sincerely seek this, having purified yourself through baptism*, you then read the following vow aloud. Ideally, this is made in the presence of a representative of the Assembly. Provision is made, however, for making a profession of faith by performing the rite known as Baptism of Entry in your home and submitting a signed copy of your Profession of Faith to the Mebeqqar or Paqid.
Integrity in Upholding the Three Pillars
All Mshikhanim must recognize, obey and live all Three Pillars of the Holy Faith: Scripture, Tradition, and Revelation; their practice and obedience to the Truth of the heavenly Father must be visible before all who observe such persons in both public and private environments.
The Assembly considers the Profession of Faith of the Rite of Admission as a sacred document that should not be tampered with. Any submission of the Rite that is altered in any manner, due to words or sentences being added or omitted, will not be recognized as a serious request for formal entry into this Holy Faith and the request for entry will not be witnessed and approved.
If any person, who, having contacted the Assembly with the intention of entering the Assembly, at the same time, makes it clear that he or she has no serious intention to declare and defend the beliefs of our Faith, removes any opportunity of becoming a member.
Once a person contacts the Assembly but displays contempt for our Faith in any manner, in thought, word or deed, or blatant violation of its tenets, that person is considered a stranger to our Faith and no longer viewed as a member.
Transferring Clergy Credentials
Question: I received my ordination through a seminary and now I’m a minister with a church. Can I transfer my ordination to the Assembly of the Mshikhanim?
Answer: Transferring one’s ministerial credentials from one religious body to another is sometimes referred to as “incardination.” This term refers to religious groups who practice the induction of previously ordained ministers from other denominations into that of their own.
The Assembly of Mshikhanim, as a covenanting faith of the Holy Religion of Light, does not accept clerical credentials from outside the Religion of Light. Its clerics or monastics have all served for a very long time in religious communities and have proven themselves to be loyal, knowledgeable and competent servants of the Father. Those who have served, either as a cleric or a monastic in another faith outside of this network of covenanting faiths, would need to enter the Assembly as a lay-person. There is no seminary program that is offered by the Assembly at this time. If that Mshikhani seeks to serve others, they may seek to be part of the diaconate. The individual serves as a celebrant, and does not have priestly, pastoral or rabbinical authority. They can only offer the rites on behalf of the Tzaddik and the Rabban/Mebaqqer if approved and if remaining in good standing with the local congregation.
Those who have true pastoral conviction will find avenues to serve in the local congregations and in evangelism of the Mshikhani Faith in the world. Outside of this, the primary focus for the individual should be in preparing themselves for entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven by being the best Mshikhani they can be.
It is, therefore, our official policy that we shall not recognize the religious orders or ministerial credentials of those who enter into the Assembly of the Mshikhanim from other religions, regardless of where their ordination or religious degrees derive.
Two Forms of Baptism in Mshikhanuth
1. Baptism performed by a member of the Faith
When a sincere individual seeks to enter the Didache covenant and the religious community of the Mshikhanim, and they have requested to be baptized, either a local Shamash (Deacon) or Zakan (locally appointed Elder of the Eda or Congregation), will arrange the baptism.
They should instruct the individual to fast at least one day before the baptismal rite. This fast is from sunrise to sunset. Only solid foods are prohibited during this time, not liquids.) These instructions do not apply to pregnant women, the elderly or those who are ill. They may omit the observance of fasting before baptism. Infants and children under the age of reasoning, are not actually baptized, but they may undergo a dedication rite. In a similar way that Maran Yeshua Mshikha was dedicated by his earthly parents when they presented Him to Yahweh in the Temple (read Luke 2:22-40).
Regarding this form of baptism, we read about this in the Limudah:
“And concerning baptism, you shall baptize in this manner: Having first taught all of these things, baptize in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, in water blessed by the Living Spirit.
But if you have no water blessed by the Spirit, baptize in other water preferably cold; and if you cannot do so in cold water, do so in warm. However, if you do not have enough water, pour a little water three times on the head in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”
The water blessed by the Living Spirit is holy water blessed by a Mshikhani cleric. If this is not available to you, locate a body of water near you (ocean, lake, river, stream, pool, tub, etc.) If you don’t have access to any of these, water may be poured over the individual’s head three times.
The process of baptism is very simple. If there is enough water the individual is fully immersed three times. The celebrant says:
“I baptize you in the name of the Father, (first immersion)
of the Son, (second immersion)
and the Holy Spirit.” (third and final immersion)
The baptism is then complete. They are then required to make their official Profession of Faith at this point.
2. Self Baptism
The Assembly of the Mshikhanim authorizes a form of self-baptism, when there is no other Mshikhani cleric, elder or lay person, to perform a baptism. The instructions regarding fasting at least a day before the baptism still apply (with the noted exceptions).
New converts to the Assembly of the Mshikhanim bathe in flowing water as a part of the ritual of becoming a member of the Mshikhani Faith.*
If possible, the water should be that of a stream, river, lake or ocean/sea. A swimming pool may also be used if one is unable to use flowing water from a natural body of water.
If the baptism can not be performed outside, one may take water indoors and fill a bathtub or one may use a shower or other running water source. A tub may also be filled with one’s normal indoor source of water.
If the baptism takes place outdoors, the convert should try to submerge one’s self completely, or at least up to the shoulders. Full submersion may not always be possible in an indoor environment.
Before entering the water, the convert should meditate quietly for about two or three minutes, then say: “May my baptism of entrance be witnessed by the celestial beings as a sign of my commitment to the Religion of Light. May I be baptized in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” The self baptism is then complete.
This is followed by making the Profession of Faith (find below). Recite the Lord’s Prayer immediately following the Profession.
The baptism and the making of the Profession of Faith should be made known to the Central Temple so that the new member can be put in contact with other Mshikhanim for spiritual support.
*Not all baptisms are the same. Not all baptisms are considered valid. If a person is baptized from someone who is part of a cult, then those baptisms are considered invalid. Unless you have been part of a covenanting faith within the Religion of Light, you would need to be re-baptized. For those who have already entered a Religion of Light community in the past, your previous baptism is valid. You are not required to be re-baptized. For those who did not belong to a Religion of Light community, baptism is required for entry.)
Profession of Faith of the Rite of Admission
Having purified yourself through baptism, you assert (either physically in the presence of a representative of the faith, or through correspondence with the Central Temple):
“I take refuge and complete shelter in the arms of Yahweh,
I take refuge and complete shelter in the Miltha, the Word from heaven,
I take refuge and complete shelter within the Melekh ha’Tzaddik.
I take refuge and complete shelter with Maran Yeshua Mshikha.
I take refuge and complete shelter with Mar Melchizedek, who has come into the world to restore the Didache Covenant and return the disciples of Messiah to the Narrow Path that leads to the Kingdom of Heaven.
I take refuge and complete shelter with His Holiness the Teacher of Righteousness Mar Chayim bar Ya’aqub ha’Tzaddik, Mar Melchizedek.
I take refuge and complete shelter in the Gospel Message.
I take refuge and complete shelter in the Mshikhani Faith.
Until the day I have reached the Kingdom of Heaven, being perfected in the Presence of the Father, I vow to remain in the shelter of Maran Yeshua Messiah the Son of God and Mar Melchizedek the Teacher of Righteousness, trusting fully in the Gospel as taught by Yeshua Mshikha.
I vow to be faithful to the teachings of the Mshikhani Faith in all things.
I vow to uplift and defend the blessed Mshikhani Religion.
Additionally, I vow to continually strive, while in the flesh, to seek the Truth of Yahweh and to take all the necessary steps in separating from the world of illusion and suffering, to refrain from all forms of magic, and to assist those around me in doing the same, by the Will of the heavenly Father.
These vows I truthfully speak and keep before my eyes, in the Name of Yahweh, in the name of Yeshua Messiah and of Melchizedek.”
Name and Date:
Once this is completed, send a copy of the signed and dated profession of faith to:
Once the profession of faith is witnessed, you will receive an official response notifying you that you have been welcomed into the Assembly of the Mshikhanim.
At this point, in the eyes of the Assembly of the Mshikhanim, you are considered a brother or sister among Mshikhanim.
If the Profession of Faith is offered in person, the new Mshikhani submits a copy of his or her profession to the witnessing Cleric, Monastic, Deacon or Elder who then submits a copy to the Central Temple. If the individual offers this profession privately, he or she submits a copy of the Profession, signed and dated to the Central Temple directly.
All Professions may be submitted online. For more information about membership, please contact the Temple.