2 cups flour
¼ teaspoon salt
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup margarine
1 egg yolk, beaten
¾ cup sour cream
½ cup sugar
½ cup finely chopped nuts
¾ teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons hot water
¼ teaspoon vanilla
Measure flour and salt into bowl. Cut in butter and margarine. Stir in egg yolk and sour cream.
Mix well. Shape dough into a ball. Wrap in wax paper and chill overnight. Next day, divide
dough into 3 parts. On a lightly floured board, roll each into a 12-inch circle and then cut each
into 12 wedges. Blend sugar, nuts, and cinnamon. Sprinkle each wedge with sugar mixture
and, starting at the wide end, roll up. Place on greased baking sheet(s) with point tucked
underneath. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes. While baking, blend frosting
ingredients together. Remove from oven. Frost at once. Makes 3 dozen.
A testament refers to a statement affirming the value of something. It is where the term “last will and testament” derives. To label the two divisions of the Bible “Old Testament” and “New Testament” is regrettable. In fact, use of the term “testament” conceals a core truth about the Scriptures that has contributed to 2,000 years of misunderstanding and serious doctrinal error.
The word “testament” comes from the Latin testamentum, translated from the Greek diatheke. The Greek means either testament or covenant. Diatheke is found in Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians in an account of the Last Supper.
Paul recorded Yahshua’s words in 1Corinthians 11:25: “This cup is the new covenant [diatheke] in my blood.” We see how testament would not fit here because “new” is kainos (2537), as in freshness. Vines Expository Dictionary explains: “…not new in time [as if appearing for the first time] but as to form or quality, of a different nature…” The first recorded designation of the collection of the Hebrew books was by Melito of Sardis in the late second century (recorded in Eusebius’ Ecclesiastical History). In his listing of the books of the Hebrew Scriptures (the first such list among the extant Christian writings), he called the group of writings the “Old Covenant” (Greek: palaia diatheke).
The Greek word for “covenant” (diatheke) was translated by Jerome in the fifth century into the Latin Vulgate as testamentum. Because the Latin Vulgate was widely used throughout the Middle Ages, it greatly influenced later translations into vernacular languages. Thus, one of the first English translations of the Bible, made by John Wyclif in the fourteenth century (1382), translated diatheke as “testament,” following the Latin testamentum. William Tyndale’s sixteenth-century English translation followed suit (1524), along with the Geneva Bible (1557) and the 1611 King James Bible.
So now the two divisions of the English Bible are known as the Old and New Testaments, although in the English text diatheke is usually translated “covenant.” The two words are therefore regarded as basically synonymous, but this is misleading. Kainos in Acts 2 is said of Vines, “These languages, however, were ‘new’ and ‘different,’ not in the sense that they had never been heard before, or that they were new to the hearers, for it is plain from v. 8 that this is not the case; they were new languages to the speakers, different from those in which they were accustomed to speak.” If this were glossolalia, it would be totally new.
It’s the same with the “new” covenant. When Jerome translated the Greek to Latin in the fourth century, he used testamentum 30 times. The word for “covenant” (diatheke) is used only about 30 times in the New Testament — mostly in the letter to the Why They Call Them ‘Testaments’ The terms New Covenant and New Testament are often confused. At the core of the biblical covenant lies obedience, the first thing many want to throw out. No wonder “testament” was chosen over “covenant”! “ So now the two divisions of the English Bible are known as the Old and New Testaments, although in the English text diatheke is usually translated “covenant.”
The Scriptures are either absolute or they are obsolete. Your only permanent possession in this world is the record of your life. Hebrews. In the Evangels it is in reference to the institution of the Eucharist: for example, see Matthew 26:28; Mark 14:24 and Luke 22:20 — just like Paul’s account. Contrasted with the Old “Testament” the word “covenant” appears almost 300 times. The Old Testament was written down as a whole unit in Greek (the Septuagint) in the second century BCE. Of course, parts of it had originally been recorded in Hebrew. In Hebrew texts the word for “covenant” is berith, which best translates as “to bind” as in an agreement. While the Latin testamentum and Hebrew berith all roughly translate as “covenant,” there are differences.
Understanding these differences makes the meaning of “Old and New Testament” more powerful. Berith most often meant an agreement, even a treaty, between two parties. Sometimes these were sealed in blood. (Berith can also mean “to cut.”) Yahweh made a covenant promise to make Abraham’s heirs a great nation and, again, to bring the Israelites out of Egypt. Not an Exact Translation While New Testament writers used the Greek diatheke for “covenant,” many scholars note that diatheke is not exactly a translation of berith. Another word that might might have been more appropriate is syntheke, which means “to bind together” as a law or treaty might do. Diatheke instead refers to an agreement more like a “last will and testament.” And diatheke was clearly the word chosen by the New Testament writers.
Why? Syntheke and berith usually refer to an agreement to be fulfilled in the future, like a treaty or the probate of our last wills and testaments. Old Testament covenants can indeed be seen in that light: Yahweh promised Abraham that, in the future, he would father a great nation. Our wills are seen by our heirs as things they will get in the future. We have to die first, though. But a Greek living in the Greek world of the New Testament would have understood diatheke differently.
In Syro-Grecian law of the time, as noted by the early 20th century biblical theologian Geerhardus Vos, a diatheke disposition of property (like a bequest in a will) could be made during one’s lifetime and have an immediate effect. So if you made someone your heir, it was an immediate form of legal adoption. No waiting on the future. So from the Old Testament covenant as a binding agreement between two parties, sealed in blood, with a future benefit, we now find a covenant that immediately makes someone part of the family.
In the Beginning Yahweh’s Restoration Ministry arose from what has been traditionally called the Sacred Name Movement. This movement traces back to Clarence O. Dodd in 1937. Dodd (1899-1955) did not originate the Sacred Name doctrine, however. Its exact origin is unknown, and appeared long before his time. Some have traced the Sacred Name movement back to the Waldenses of the 12th century and even further back to remnants of the early New Testament assembly. A few books have been written on the subject. Dodd crystalized the movement, however, making it a major force among Sabbath (Saturday) keeping organizations. A solidifying influence was The Faith magazine that Dodd began in 1937 and which continues as an organ of the Assembly of Yahweh in Holt Michigan. In the Encyclopedia of American Religions scholar J. Gordon Melton wrote of the magazine, “No single force in spreading the Sacred Name movement was as important as The Faith magazine.”
Dodd became independent mainly over the issue of the Feast Days of Leviticus 23. He believed these days should be kept, while the majority of the Church of God, Seventh Day to which he belonged, disagreed. Dodd later came to believe in the Sacred Name doctrine, which means a belief in the exclusive use of the original Hebrew names for the Supreme Beings (Yahweh and Yahshua the Messiah).
In 1968 Dodd and Andrew Dugger (1886-1975) published the book, A History of The True Religion. This book traced Sabbath keeping and the Faith back through the Waldensians of medieval Europe and various other groups to the 1st century. They recounted that a November 4, 1933, meeting was set to reorganize the Church of God, Seventh Day. Some 10,000 were invited to Salem, West Virginia. Names were drawn by lot for 12 and then for 70 elders. Included among the 70 were Dodd and Herbert W. Armstrong, who later founded what became the Worldwide Church of God.
An October 1939 issue of The Faith included a report of the Feast of Tabernacles in Eugene, Oregon, held by “Elder H.W. Armstrong, a pioneer in this great truth.” Elder Angelo B. Traina restored the Sacred Names to the King James Bible in 1963. Both Elders Dodd and Traina are remembered for their efforts in reestablishing the correct Names and teaching Bible truth. Herbert Armstrong and his Worldwide Church of God chose to keep the generic titles for Yahweh’s Name as well as the Latinized-Greek form for the Savior’s true Hebrew Name Yahshua.
Elder Donald Mansager
It all Began with a Sinking House
Elder Donald Mansager (1924-2012), originally a Lutheran, thought all was well in his life. He had a loving wife, a healthy family, and a great job. Little did he know that Yahweh was about to move him – literally. Elder Donald put everything he had into building his dream house. But the satisfaction he derived from his new house soon evaporated when the house’s foundation, built on fill dirt, began to sink. The whole house threatened to slide down a hill toward a river, with his hopes, dreams, and life savings going with it. After consulting a contractor there was only one solution: the house had to be relocated.
Now it wasn’t just the house that needed to be moved but also his faith. Yahweh used this trial to redirect Elder Donald’s priorities in his life. Rather than give up, he delved more into scripture. An auspicious thing happened next. Once he started poring over the Bible he realized that his church was not teaching what the Bible taught. So he started searching for more truth. For a time he studied with the Worldwide Church of God in the 1960s but never became a member. He proved that the Sabbaths and Feasts were necessary for the Truth seeker. His interest was now in full active mode.
One day he heard a man on the radio with a strong German accent explaining the Sacred Name Yahweh and how it was wrongfully removed from the Bible and history. This radio minister was Jacob Meyer. Elder Donald would became an evangelist in Elder Meyer’s organization, and for eight years traveled thousands of miles throughout North America, the Philippines, and India to bring Yahweh’s Truth to the willing ear.
An issue with the increasing authoritarian way that the group was governed led him to resign and purchase with a couple elders a run-down KOA campground in Rocheport, Missouri. There he founded a new organization, building the Body of Messiah for 10 years. He ultimately left that organization as a result of infidelities among elders. He then started what was to be called Yahweh’s New Covenant Assembly. His son Alan edited and printed in his garage the ministry’s magazine and literature for the new group. YNCA eventually distributed cassette tape recordings of their sermons and Alan’s son Ryan produced videos of the new program, “Back to the Truth.”
Aerial view of the YRM campus in 2019
YRM begins In 1998 Elder Alan (who had worked in the field of publications for several Sacred Name organizations since the 1970’s) believed that the practice of divorce and remarriage disqualified leaders (1Tim. 3, Titus 1). So he left the organization he helped start with his father. As an ordained Minister he was content with just ministry work from his home and spreading the truth online under the name Yahweh’s Restoration Ministry (YRM) www.yrm.org. His son-in-law Randy Folliard also gave messages and wrote articles and was eventually ordained an elder. Ryan designed a website for the new organization as well as created an audio-video outreach. At first they were keeping the festivals with just close friends and family. But the numbers of those wanting to help kept increasing. For 17 years YRM went to group camps for feasts ranging from California to Tennessee, and holding Sabbaths in homes and library meeting rooms. Elder Randy spent countless hours searching the nation for suitable camps for the Feast of Tabernacles. Constant growth created a need for permanent worship facilities and around 2005 YRM purchased a few acres near Holts Summit, Missouri, and built a 3,500 square foot meeting hall. This facility grew to 16,000 square feet, with an additional 11,000 square-foot event/activity center.
What Happened to Elder Don?
Yahweh in his mercy through a series of events brought Elder Donald in his later years to reunite with his son Alan and become a part of Yahweh’s Restoration Ministry where he delivered an occasional message. Elder Donald is now asleep in Yahshua awaiting the resurrection.
Hebrew Roots Before It Was Cool
The modern Hebrew Roots movement which began in the 1990s was no doubt influenced by the teachings of the Sacred Name Movement, which was the only movement in existence teaching the Feasts, Sabbaths and Sacred Names. The Sacred Name movement has always endeavored to return to the Torah and Hebraic worship of the Messiah. The Sabbath, Feast days, biblically clean foods, shofars, menorahs, Hebrew-centered songs and an emphasis on Hebraic New Testament sources has always been a staple in the Sacred Name Movement.
Roots of the Hebrew Roots
The first Messianic/Hebrew Roots organization began in the 1970s as the Jews for Jesus movement. This movement started when Moishe Rosen, who was ethnically Jewish, converted to Christianity and became a Baptist minister. It’s hard to connect this movement specifically with the modern Hebrew roots movement, however, as all seem to loosely fall under the same umbrella. A few teachers recognized today in the Hebrew Roots Movement (HRM) are familiar faces to those who attended some Sacred Name assemblies in the ‘80s and ‘90s. With the advent of the internet and ease of communication, groups started springing up all over the world that had no ties to our movement. New groups are forming all the time, taking the name “Hebrew Roots” with no direct ties to one another or any uniformity in teachings. Adding to the confusion are self proclaimed teachers vying for leadership in a movement that has no organization or leadership. At first many in our movement rejoiced to see people leaving the Church for Torah. But it soon was clear that these HRM groups still held to some doctrines we had disproved decades ago. Many broke away from the church and formed new ministries without fully taking the time to research all the traditions they came out of and still hold. It is interesting that we see many whose former affiliation was the Assembly of God Church. Oneness beliefs, charismatic displays, child baptism, etc., coupled with Feast keeping, Sabbaths and Torah, are muddying the waters for those who desire to get back to the true faith of Abraham. Mixing the common titles with the sacred Names and bringing in Jewish traditions is a recipe for real confusion. Many push unscholarly forms of the sacred Name and sadly we see a mixed bag of not only false doctrines but several variations of the Name that didn’t exist 30 years ago. Because of this confusion a term leveled at the HRM is “messy-antics.” Some of this confusion is a lack of understanding biblical Hebrew, which is ironic when many take on the name “Hebrew Roots.” Dogmatic interpretations without knowing Hebrew grammar and linguistics are far too common in the HRM movement. Bold teachers masquerading as experts who invent their own forms of biblical Hebrew is a recent phenomenon. Popular are those who claim to understand pictographic or Paleo Hebrew. Self proclaimed “ancient Hebrew” experts interpreting Paleo Hebrew letters as pictures and deciphering scripture with their own esoteric meaning is spreading among the movement. This is quite shocking considering that not even scholarship is in agreement with the pictorial meanings and origins. For many, the emotional experience of “being Hebrew” takes precedence over solid, critical analysis. Bizarre forms of the Sacred Name draw the accusation from the misinformed that we (Sacred Name believers) don’t even agree on the sacred Names ourselves. Guilt by association has caused much confusion. The predominant Sacred Name assemblies hold to the sacred Names Yahweh and Yahshua, which has been the case for many decades. So are we Hebrew roots? Yes and no. The Sacred Name Movement was the “original” Hebrew Roots Movement, the precursor to the “modern” Hebrew Roots movement, which has a long way to go before we would consider ourselves in league with it. We pray many of these congregations will remove traditional baggage and come to the real Hebraic roots of the Messiah. If you are coming out of the church for Torah we caution you to “prove all things and all traditions.” Don’t blindly follow your emotions or the charismatic teacher, follow the Word. Just because something appears to be Jewish doesn’t make it correct. We must remove unscriptural traditions in both Christianity and Judaism.
What Denomination Are You and What Do You Call Yourselves?
We are non-denominational and strive to return as closely as possible to the original Faith of the Messiah. You could say we fall somewhere between Judaism and Christianity, removing tradition and pagan influence in both faiths and retaining some truth still found in each. For those who need a label we are the “Faith of Abraham.” We accept the prophesied Messiah as we adhere to Yahweh’s standards and way of life ordained for His people from the beginning. We analyze our doctrines regularly and will (and have) changed doctrines in light of new truths.
Alan and Randy with Discover the Truth TV Program
Where We Are Going As many who follow us know, we are a very outreach-oriented ministry. We have always used media, whether in print form, video, or television to further the work. Starting assemblies is difficult and takes years of work and sacrifice, but we have also let Yahweh lead us as we listened to his direction. He gives the increase not from our own efforts. We decided early on we will not water down his Word for the sake of numbers. He gives and takes away and all of it is His will. We are just servants for Truth.
Through the blessings of our supporters Yahweh has led us on an amazing journey. We were on national network television for a time. The Discover the Truth program was seen by up to 50,000 viewers per telecast, per station airing on several networks, like SkyAngel, Trinity Broadcast Network, The CW, Superstation WGN, and others, multiple times a week. We had the great honor to record programs and videos from the Holy Land that have been seen by millions. He has led us to publish the world’s only Sacred Name Study Bible, purchased by tens of thousands. We try to fulfill what Yahweh leads us to do and at the same time realize that all our accomplishments are His.
We will continue to preach the truth of Yahweh in this declining world until we are unable. We are waiting for Him to give us the next big challenge, whatever that may be. If that opportunity never comes we are content to continue to hold the line for Truth as these humble stones cry out. We will always revere, preach, and defend the great Name of Yahweh and His son Yahshua until His return.
Greetings Brethren and Faithful Supporters in the Name of Yahweh,
We pray this report finds you immersed in Yahweh’s blessings. We thank you from the depths of our hearts for your dedication and help in reaching the masses with the great Truths Yahweh has shown us. Our command and desire is to teach His Word to all who will hear, Mark 16:15.
This has been an exceptional year of progress and growth at Yahweh’s Restoration Ministry. Numerous baptisms before, during, and after each of His Feasts attest to the power of His Word in these trying times. We are seeing new visitors to services each Sabbath, which underscores the urgency for the planned expansion of the meeting hall. Sabbaths have begun to look like Feasts as our facilities fill to capacity most weeks.
Following are brief highlights of this past year’s progress and successes:
• An order to reprint the Restoration Study Bible was placed recently. Our initial supply of 10,000 Bibles of the fourth edition is down to fewer than a third, which will likely be depleted by early summer. With uncertainties in the global supply chain, we needed to get a jump on replenishing our stock while we can. We’ve ordered 10,000 more Bibles. The RSB is printed in Eastern Europe at substantial savings, which we pass along to those who place an order.
• The website yrm.org was given a new look that we believe will make it easier to navigate while increasing its effectiveness. Google recently canceled our advertising account because of policy changes over religious advertising (saving us $2,000 monthly), yet our outreach has not been substantially affected. For example, The Lost Temple Mount video Watch it here has received 1.7 million views on YouTube, which increases daily. The digital media outreach is growing as well.
• Our livestreaming continues growing on various platforms. Over 300 devices tune in live each Sabbath while hundreds more watch later each Sabbath on our website, Youtube, and Facebook.
• Our mobile app to date has seen 31,300 downloads, where users access YRM videos, live services, publications, the Restoration Times magazine, biblical articles, the holy day calendar, new moon network, and much more. If you have not yet done so, we encourage you to download the app and have all of this at your fingertips no matter where you are.
• YRM is a full-service ministry and to that end we have introduced several new programs and activities to aid the local brethren in spiritual growth and strengthening of the bond of fellowship. Because of prior emphasis on outreach, we had not done as much as we could to feed the local Body. These new endeavors include a new youth group to minister to the youth and provide fun activities to engage our youth. Other innovations include: men’s and women’s group outings; senior luncheons; and enrichment of monthly new moon celebrations to include educational and other enjoyable activities.
• We are looking for volunteers to be of service to the community to fulfill the command to do good unto all men, Galatians 6:10. Local YRM volunteers have begun serving at food banks, nursing homes and other venues to aid the disadvantaged.
• For the busy individual who has limited time to watch lengthy studies, we have introduced a new video series with Elder Randy Folliard, called Menorah Minute. This program is available on our Facebook page and YouTube channel and can be watched whenever you have a minute.
A great deal is being done at YRM to take the Truth to the world, but much more remains undone. We pray that you will continue standing with us as we reach out to a world that sorely needs to know Yahweh and His Word. Yahshua is soon returning, and we all must be ready and work hard while we can for His sake. Thank you again for your prayers and help, which make these humble efforts possible.
Host Alan Mansager has been active in the Word since 1978 and an ordained minister for over 25 years. He had a key role in the founding three ministries and was the editor of three Bible-teaching periodicals. He has been a television host for over 20 years. His passion is Bible exegesis. He has been happily married to his wife Margie for over 40 years.
Host Randy Folliard has been active in the ministry since the late 90's. He was one of the founding ministers of Yahweh's Restoration Ministry. His greatest accomplishments include his love for scripture and his wife and two daughters. His approach to the Bible is often literal with an endless desire to gain greater insight and understanding.