שמע ישראל ה 'הוא האלוהים שלנו הוא אחד
Shema Yisrael Adonai Elohaynu Adonai Echad
"Hear Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is One"
Shema Yisrael Adonai Elohaynu Adonai Echad
Welcome and Peace!
In this study we've considered a lot of material in our attempt to identity the Way of Adon Y'shua the Nazarene. Now what?
What are we supposed to do with it all?
We're supposed to serve HaShem in accordance with the Noahide Nazarene principles advanced by Adon Y'shua the Nazarene. This is simple and yet deep. HaShem is alive. He is not a book, He is not a series of laws... and yet we come to know Him through the Holy Scriptures. As Adon Y'shua explained:CJB: Matthew 22:31 And as for whether the dead are resurrected, haven't you read what God said to you,
32`I am the God of Avraham, the God of Yitz'chak and the God of Ya`akov'? He is God not of the dead but of the living!"
33 When the crowds heard how he taught, they were astounded;
34 but when the P'rushim [Pharisees] learned that he had silenced the Tz'dukim [Sadducees], they got together,
35 and one of them who was a Torah expert asked a sh'eilah [a question about halakhah: Jewish law] to trap him:
36 "Rabbi, which of the mitzvot in the Torah is the most important?"
37 He told him, "`You are to love ADONAI your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.'
38 This is the greatest and most important mitzvah.
39 And a second is similar to it, `You are to love your neighbor as yourself.'
40 All of the Torah and the Prophets are dependent on these two mitzvot."
If one wishes to be a Noahide or Jewish Nazarene, a talmidim of Y'shua, this is vital: Develop Love.
Nazarenes usually wish to develop fellowship with like-minded Believers (Hebrews 10:25). This is wonderful! If individuals wish to walk the Way alone, or if they have not found others to associate with for whatever reason, that does not prevent them from Walking the Way because first and foremost our Way is walking with HaShem. We are to show love to all beings, whether they share our faith in HaShem or not.
The important thing is that you Walk the Way according to your understanding. If I can be of any assistance I am ready to offer whatever support I can. You are invited to write me and ask questions and so on. A few people have begun local independent ministries in basic harmony with these teachings. I am always happy to assist as a speaker etc. with such groups as well. If you are in the Chico/Oroville California area you are invited to attend our weekly Bible discussions at my Beth Yachad study house, (contact me for information) or at my rabbi's shul in Magalia, California, Temple Beth HaShem (Rabbi Larry Levine). You are not alone.
The FundamentalsMicah 6:6 Wherewith shall I come before Adonai, and bow myself before the high God? shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old?
6:7 Will Adonai be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?
6:8 He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth Adonai require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?
This is the Noahide Nazarene Way
Ours is a Way of the heart and of the intellect so study is very important but understand too that not everyone has the same gifts and callings.
There is Only One House
Some people teach there are two houses, one for the Jews and one for the Noahides or Gentiles. This is not correct.
Adonai is Echad Elohiym, One God, and His Way is One. It has never changed. Salvation comes from only one source: the Grace and Unmerited Mercy of Adonai.
Adam and Havah (Eve) were given one law to observe. Noach Avinu was given the Seven Laws of the Rainbow Covenant. Moshe was given 613 Laws, with 10 being especially emphasized. Some laws apply only to the sons of Levi. Some laws apply only to those under the Nazarite vow. Some mitzvot apply only to rulers. Some laws apply only to those who serve in the Beit HaMikdash. Some mitzvot apply only to men and some apply only to women. Some apply to hereditary Jews who serve HaShem through the Mosaic Covenant and some apply to those who serve Him through the B'rit Hadashah and the reforms revealed by Adon Y'shua... and yet HaShem is One and His Torah is One.
HaShem is One and His people serve Him in different ways according to His direction.
For us there is no difference between Jews and Noahide Nazarenes (Romans 10:12) and yet we acknowledge that differences exist as discussed in Romans chapter 11.
Torah and the B'rit Hadashah
As discussed before, humanity was given the Sheva Mitzvot or Seven Noachide Laws. These Torah mitzvot were revealed prior to the Mosaic Law and are applicable to everyone, whether Jew or Gentile, Believer or non-Believer.
While the Torah does not provide a concise list of these laws they are found in the Book of Beresheet (Genesis) as well as in the discussions of the Oral Torah and were re-confirmed in the Book of the Acts of the Apostles (see below). The Seven Laws reveal the minimum requirements placed on humanity by Adonai. Those who do not meet these minimal requirements are living their lives outside of the Will of Adonai. We should love these people, pray for them and encourage them to come to Adon Y'shua and our Father HaShem. We should never condemn nor judge them.
As the Elect, the Jews are supposed to live as a nation of priests (Exodus 19:6), as lights unto the Noahide world. We all know this is not currently the case, but Noahides are not living in harmony with HaShem's revealed Will either so don't be too quick to point fingers!
As a nation of priests the Israelites (the physical descendants of Avraham's son Ya'akov or Jacob) were given special requirements and special blessings. Ten of these Houses of Israel are currently "lost" and the Jews (the House of Judah and Benjamin) retain this mantle of priestly authority (Matthew 23:2, John 4:22). As talmidim of Y'shua we honor this divine convocation.
While the Torah does not provide a concise list of these Mosaic laws either, according to Maimonides and others the Jewish mitzvot number 613 commandments (the "Taryag Mitzvot"). Some rabbis debate this (of course). These rules consist of 248 positive ("thou shalt") and 365 negative ("thou shalt not") commandments. Some of these commandments applied only to the L'vi'im (the Levitical priests), some only apply when there is a Beit HaMikdash standing in Yerushalayim and one is there, and so on. While this seems obvious it is the source of debate among the re-emerging Nazarene movement: Not all mitzvot apply to all people.
According to Orthodox Jews, Noahides and most Nicene Christians the Taryag Mitzvot only apply to Jews. Many Nazarenes historically and today disagree with this assessment citing verses like:Exodus 12:48 And when a stranger [a ger: a Noahide] shall sojourn with thee, and will keep the passover to Adonai, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and keep it; and he shall be as one that is born in the land: for no uncircumcised person shall eat thereof.
12:49 One law shall be to him that is home born, and unto the stranger that sojourneth among you.
Other verses seem to say the opposite, for instance:Exodus 29:33 And they shall eat those things wherewith the atonement was made, to consecrate and to sanctify them: but a stranger [zur] shall not eat thereof, because they are holy.
This controversy has been going on for a very long time and I certainly wont solve it here.
I believe Adon Y'shua's Way resolves this controversy however. Consider the next verses:CJB: Acts 25:1 But some men came down from Y'hudah [Judea] to Antioch and began teaching the brothers, "You can't be saved unless you undergo b'rit-milah [circumcision] in the manner prescribed by Moshe."
2 This brought them into no small measure of discord and dispute with Sha'ul and Bar-Nabba. So the congregation assigned Sha'ul, Bar-Nabba and some of themselves to go and put this sh'eilah [doctrinal question] before the emissaries and the elders up in Yerushalayim....
7 After lengthy debate, Kefa [Peter] got up and said to them, "Brothers, you yourselves know that a good while back, God chose me from among you to be the one by whose mouth the Goyim should hear the message of the Good News and come to trust.
8 And God, who knows the heart, bore them witness by giving the Ruach HaKodesh to them, just as he did to us;
9 that is, he made no distinction between us and them, but cleansed their heart by trust [faith].
10 So why are you putting God to the test now by placing a yoke on the neck of the talmidim which neither our fathers nor we have had the strength to bear?
11 No, it is through the love and kindness of the Lord Yeshua that we trust and are delivered-and it's the same with them..."
13 Ya'akov [James] broke the silence to reply.... 19 [Ya'akov continues] "Therefore, my opinion is that we should not put obstacles in the way of the Goyim who are turning to God.
20 Instead, we should write them a letter telling them to abstain from things polluted by idols, from fornication, from what is strangled and from blood.
21 For from the earliest times, Moshe has had in every city those who proclaim him, with his words being read in the synagogues every Shabbat."
Gentiles Have Never Been Required to Keep the Taryag Mitzvot
Note their reasoning: Since "from the earliest times" Noahides have served HaShem without meeting the requirements of the 613 mitzvot that Jews (Israelites) were answerable to, the emissaries determined there was no reason to begin requiring those coming to Y'shua to observe them. In other words, Gentiles who embrace the Way do so as Noahides.
Israelites and Noahides are Different
This speaks to the question raised above as well. Although the Noahides were allowed to worship HaShem and to take part in much of what Am Israel (People Israel) did, Exodus 12:48 (above) makes it clear that distinctions did exist. Noahides were not under the 613 mitzvot according to these verses and they were not allowed to partake in the Pasach meal unless they converted through circumcision.
That this is the understanding of Rabbinic Judaism is clear from the way this verse is translated in the Judaica Press Chumash:JPC: Exodus 12:48 And should a proselyte reside with you, he shall make a Passover sacrifice to the Lord. All his males shall be circumcised, and then he may approach to make it, and he will be like the native of the land, but no uncircumcised male may partake of it.
The Rabbis correctly understand this verse to be referring to proselytes (converts to Judaism) even though the word is ger and translated as "stranger" in the very next verse.
Noahides were accepted by Adonai as Noahides in harmony with their (Rainbow) covenant and the Israelites were accepted by HaShem in accordance with their (Mosaic) covenant. Those Noahides who wished to partake of the Pasach (Passover) meal prior to Y'shua were required to convert to Judaism (as evidenced by the requirement of circumcision).
Noahide Nazarenes Are Grafted Into Israel
While Noahides are under a different covenant than the Jews and maintain separation from them (as shown in their being forbidden to partake of the Pasach lamb), those Noahides who enter into the B'rit Hadashah (New Covenant) instituted through Adon Y'shua as Cohen Gadol have been joined together with Israel and are no longer separate from them according to the Way of Y'shua.
This is the essential difference between us and Noahides. Under the Rainbow Covenant Noahides are responsible for observing only the minimal Seven Mitzvot. Conversion to Judaism (and hence circumcision) is optional for them. Talmidim of Y'shua are not required to be circumcised (although it is an advisable mitzvot) and yet this does not limit our participation.CJB: Romans 2:25 For circumcision is indeed of value if you do what Torah says. But if you are a transgressor of Torah, your circumcision has become uncircumcision!
26 Therefore, if an uncircumcised man keeps the righteous requirements of the Torah, won't his uncircumcision be counted as circumcision?
27 Indeed, the man who is physically uncircumcised but obeys the Torah will stand as a judgment on you who have had a b'rit-milah and have Torah written out but violate it!
28 For the real Jew is not merely Jewish outwardly: true circumcision is not only external and physical.
29 On the contrary, the real Jew is one inwardly; and true circumcision is of the heart, spiritual not literal; so that his praise comes not from other people but from God.
The Elders of Israel however did not accept the Theocratic Kingdom offered through Yochanan the Immerser and Adon Y'shua the Nazarene and so as Noahides sought admittance to the Way sect of Judaism through the ministries of the emissaries the rabbis denied them conversion unless they too rejected Y'shua and were circumcised.
The Book of the Acts of the Apostles cited above (Acts 25) records how the emissaries, headed by Ya'akov (James) dealt with this challenge. They based their decision on existing scriptural requirements: The converts must agree to abide by the Seven Laws of Noach.
As "adopted sons of Israel" the talmidim of Y'shua are in a unique place. We remain under the Seven Mitzvot and are not under the 613 mitzvot, however we are responsible to love HaShem with our full being and to love our neighbors as ourselves (which is the goal of both the Sheva and Taryag Mitzvot).
The Torah then for us is more than a legal code (although it is that well), it is an inspiration, a school master that keeps us on the right course (Galatians 3:24) even now that we are becoming spiritual adults. Our best course of action as Noahide Nazarenes is to harmonize our lives with the Seven Mitzvot and then to gradually incorporate other mitzvot into our practice as gifts to HaShem as the Ruach Hakodesh leads us. In this way we honor the spirit of the law as well as its letter.
This is an important teaching that many people misunderstand. As the talmidim of Adon Y'shua we have been made free and our freedom is found in our harmony with Torah:KJV: John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
James 2:18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
2:19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
2:20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?
And yet:KJV: Ephesian 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
Both are true. Balance is required.
Brother Paul's Detractors
One of the more noteworthy agreements held by many of those seeking the Jewish roots of Nazarene Way is a disdain for Paul. This general uncomfortableness to rejection of Paul and his writings stems from many factors. Chief among these in my opinion is the stress laid on Paul's writings by the Nicene Church. If Y'shua is the one we follow why are so many teachings based on Paul's writings rather than Y'shua's teachings? Since Nicene Christians rely so heavily on Paul, surely we should not.
There is a good reason for this! Adon Y'shua spoke only to the Jews:Matthew 15:22 And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou Son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil.
15:23 But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us.
15:24 But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
As Noahide Nazarenes (Gentile followers of the Jewish adon) we are like this Canaanite woman. After his resurrection Y'shua sent his emissaries throughout the Gentile world (Matthew 28:19,20). Every word uttered by Adon Y'shua is important of course however they were not directed to us.
Of all the emissaries of Y'shua, Paul specifically was sent to the Noahides. What Paul teaches must always be in harmony with the teachings of Y'shua of course (and they are), however our Adon did not spell things out as clearly as Paul (largely because Y'shua's Jewish hearers already had the framework to understand in place). The 12 Apostles understood this and acknowledged the importance of Paul's ministry.
Note that the 12 Apostles accepted the ministry of Emissary Sha'ul (Paul) and that for the most part they worked together with him in accord in service to Adonai Y'shua for the edification of the growing Way Movement. Without Paul's clarifications the nature of our service to HaShem as Noahide Nazarenes would be far less certain. Many examples of this could be shown but consider this:
We know that the Mosaic Covenant requires Jews to obey the 613 mitzvot. Since Adon Y'shua was speaking to them he never said anything otherwise. Then came the Grafted-in Gentiles. Some of the Jewish Nazarenes believed these Noahide Nazarenes also had to obey these commandments even though, as discussed above, Noahides had never been so obligated. How was this issue to be resolved?
Those who claim Nazarenes are required to keep the 613 Mitzvot typically are also among those who are opposed to Paul's influences and question his legitimacy and doctrine. Such folks often charge Paul with replacing Torah observance with his understanding of "Grace." He does not do this however when his writings are carefully studied and understood. Paul, the greatest and most important of all Nazarene theologians, establishes the need for balance and complete dependence on HaShem alone. In this his teachings are identical to those of Adon Y'shua.
As the only known student of Gamaliel (the greatest Jewish theologian of the day) Paul's theology demonstrates the complete doctrinal harmony that exists between the teachings of Adon Y'shua, the Torah and the early Nazarene Movement although, as Peter notes (see below) many of Paul's teachings are not easily understood. He points our that as the Torah says (Deuteronomy 4:29) rote performance of the 613 mitzvot alone will not save us and yet those who truly receive the Adon's Grace will always produce evidences of their liberation if its real.
Y'shua taught the exact same doctrine, stressing to his hearers that HaShem looks at the heart as well as at the actions of obedience. Both are required, neither can be ignored.
The P'rushim erred on one side (rote observance), the Gentiles on the other (Grace only). Like James', Paul's teachings are essential to understanding the reforms implemented by Y'shua for Noahides and they call for balance. Whereas Adon Y'shua only directly taught the Jews, Paul primarily addresses the Noahides and fills in many blanks in our understanding.
In the following passage it is made clear that Peter accepted Paul's theology. Not only does he concur with Paul's teachings he actually equates his writings to the assemblies with Sacred Scripture. Note here what Peter says of those who reject Paul's authority:KJV: II Peter 3:14 Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.
3:15 And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;
3:16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.
Those who reject Paul's writings tend to be quick to accept any number of Gnostic gospels and letters as authoritative. Peter says they do so their own destruction. Paul and his teachings are essential to the Nazarene Way.
B'rit Hadashah Mitzvot
As talmidim of Cohen Gadol Y'shua the Nazarene under the B'rit Hadashah (New Covenant) we are free (John 8:26). Our freedom and love of God moves us to obey the Torah and Adon Y'shua (John 14:15). We crave harmony with the Will of the Father. As discussed above how to do this was determined by an important meeting of the emissaries. They based their determinations on the Seven Noahide Laws as we began discussing above. We now return to that section of Scripture:CJB: Acts 25:24 We have heard that some people went out from among us without our authorization, and that they have upset you with their talk, unsettling your minds.
25 So we have decided unanimously to select men and send them to you with our dear friends Bar-Nabba [Barnabas] and Sha'ul [Paul],
26 who have dedicated their lives to upholding the name of our Lord, Yeshua the Messiah.
27 So we have sent Y'hudah and Sila, and they will confirm in person what we are writing.
28 For it seemed good to the Ruach HaKodesh and to us not to lay any heavier burden on you than the following requirements:
29 to abstain from what has been sacrificed to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from fornication. If you keep yourselves from these, you will be doing the right thing. Shalom!
In verse 29 the Emissaries define the rules the Nazarenes are to obey. As the chart below demonstrates these rules are taken from the rules the Noahides were already under with the Sheva Mitzvot B'nei Noach. The Seven and 613 Law classifications are ways to show us what HaShem wants from us and how we can be pleasing in His sight. No where does the Torah specifically use either of these numbers. The point is to love HaShem fully and to love our neighbors as we ought (Matthew 22:36-40). As the Emissaries established their criteria of necessary principles they were not therefore thinking according to set numbered categories.
They accepted that three points are obvious. As a Nazarene one will obviously honor HaShem and His Holy Name, one will obviously not be a thief and unless one is a ruler one will not establish a court system as required in the Seven Mitzvot. These three are therefore not mentioned.
B'rit Hadashah Mitzvot
1. Abstain from things sacrificed to idols
2. Abstain from blood
3. Abstain from things strangled
4. Abstain from fornication
(5)Honor Adonai and His Name: Obvious
(6)Prohibition on robbery and theft: Obvious
(7)Maintain courts: Not directly applicable.
Sheva Mitzvot B'nei Noach
1 Avodah Zarah: Prohibition on idolatry.
2 Ever Min HaChay: Prohibition on cruelty to animals
2 Shefichat Damim: Prohibition on murder
3 Ever Min HaChay: Prohibition on cruelty to animals
4 Gilui Arayot: Prohibition on immorality
(5) Birchat HaShem: Honor God and do not blaspheme His Name
(6) Gezel: Prohibition on robbery and theft
(7) Dinim: Establish justice systems and courts of law
The stated rules here are clearly taken from the Sheva Mitzvot, as Acts 25:21 says: "For from the earliest times, Moshe has had in every city those who proclaim him, with his words being read in the synagogues every Shabbat."
The Noahides were now embracing Adon Y'shua and as a result they were being adopted or grafted directly into Israel. The rabbinic authorities however were refusing to recognizing these Noahides as converts to Judaism because they were coming through Y'shua. The Emissaries were establishing the way for Noahides to officially convert to the Way sect of Judaism even without rabbinic permission even as one can convert to Reform or Reconstructionist Judaism today with approval of an Orthodox Beit Din (Orthodox court). This was what this counsel was determining since it was not possible for Noahide Nazarenes to convert through a Jewish beit din.
As we read the books of the B'rit Hadashah ("New Testament") we find these rules discussed, repeated and clarified in various ways. Among these discussions is one warning in particular we do well to heed:II Corinthians 3:6 [God] Who also has made us able ministers of the B'rit Hadashah [New Covenant]; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter kills, but the spirit gives life.
How then are we to understand these things? Is Paul condemning the Torah here as his critics claim? Of course not! He is explaining the need for intelligence and reason. Note that even though the specific command to avoid foods sacrificed to idols was repeated by the counsel, we also have this:I Corinthians 8:4 So, as for eating food sacrificed to idols, we "know" that, as you say, "An idol has no real existence in the world, and there is only one God."
5 For even if there are so-called "gods," either in heaven or on earth - as in fact there are "gods" and "lords" galore -
6 yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom all things come and for whom we exist; and one Lord, Yeshua the Messiah, through whom were created all things and through whom we have our being.
7 But not everyone has this knowledge. Moreover, some people are still so accustomed to idols that when they eat food which has been sacrificed to them, they think of it as really affected by the idol; and their consciences, being weak, are thus defiled.
8 Now food will not improve our relationship with God - we will be neither poorer if we abstain nor richer if we eat.
9 However watch out that your mastery of the situation does not become a stumbling block to the weak.
Isn't this true? Is there any god who can be compared to HaShem? Here's the point, its the consciousness, the "spirit", not the "letter of the Law" that Adonai is concerned with. Hence Paul also says:I Corinthians 13:11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
13:12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
13:13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.
Within reason we are free to choose our course in life, however if we are wise we will use our freedom to draw ever closer to the Echad Elohim. As Adon Y'shua said:Mark 2:27 And he [Y'shua] said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:
2:28 Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.
So an idol is nothing. What matters is the purpose behind the commandment. Fulfill that purpose and you will fulfill the commandment. The commandments (even the Holy Shabbat) are given to draw us to HaShem, not to enslave us. This is an essential Nazarene truth. As Nazarenes we don't need to ritualistically stick to the letter of the laws mindlessly. We are spiritual adults not only capable but commanded to question, to seek understanding and develop wisdom.
Its the Spirit not the letter that matters. And what is an idol? Aren't the mega-food corporations idols of sorts? Can we only eat food we grown in our gardens? And yet... if we plant an especially nice garden and grow attached to the results of our efforts isn't that also an idol? This is point. Serve only HaShem with your heart and your mind, your reason. Worship only HaShem and everything will work out for you.
How to Proceed
Having chosen by ones own God-given free will to worship HaShem through the mediation (priesthood) of His Only Begotten Son Adon Y'shua as Cohen Gadol and coming Mashiach, those who are sincere will naturally want to harmonize their lives with his teachings. In this there is no coercion of any kind. Our service to HaShem must be by our own free will and desire. Love can not be mandated and LOVE is the key to spiritual success.
Each Nazarene Ultimately Walks the Way Alone
The Noahide Nazarene Way is a personal matter with outward connections, not the other way around.
HaShem makes covenants and enters into relationships with individuals (the sole exception is His eternal covenant with Am Israel and even there He deals with specific people). It is He whom we serve and none other. Humans make religions, establish denominations and sects but Adonai brings Truth.
Follow Adonai as directed by His Word (Torah, and the rest of the Holy Scriptures), through Adon Y'shua's teachings and the inspiration of the Ruach HaKodesh and Shekhinah in Love. That is the Noahide Nazarene Way.
Love, Love, LoveCJB: I John 4:7 Beloved friends, let us love one another; because love is from God; and everyone who loves has God as his Father and knows God.
8 Those who do not love, do not know God; because God is love.
12 No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God remains united with us, and our love for him has been brought to its goal in us.
13 Here is how we know that we remain united with him and he with us: he has given to us from his own Spirit.
14 Moreover, we have seen and we testify that the Father has sent his Son as Deliverer of the world.
15 If someone acknowledges that Yeshua is the Son of God, God remains united with him, and he with God.
16 Also we have come to know and trust the love that God has for us. God is love; and those who remain in this love remain united with God, and God remains united with them.
17 Here is how love has been brought to maturity with us: as the Messiah is, so are we in the world. This gives us confidence for the Day of Judgment.
18 There is no fear in love. On the contrary, love that has achieved its goal gets rid of fear, because fear has to do with punishment; the person who keeps fearing has not been brought to maturity in regard to love.
19 We ourselves love now because he loved us first.
20 If anyone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar. For if a person does not love his brother, whom he has seen, then he cannot love God, whom he has not seen.
21 Yes, this is the command we have from him: whoever loves God must love his brother too.
Within your heart (i.e. with your full intention motivated by love of God) dedicate (or rededicate) yourself to HaShem according to your present knowledge and understanding. No one knows everything, begin where you are.
Study and get to know His Word as your primary source of information and instruction and realize that those instructions are there to help you develop your Love: Love of God, love of life, love of freedom, love of peace... LOVE.
Learn to Love Torah
Remember that in the beginning was the Torah (the Word)... and the Torah was made flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:1-14)! Those who love Adon Y'shua will naturally love Torah even as one reads the love letters from ones beloved with great joy, cherishing every word, every letter (Matthew 5:18). As the Apostle of Love explained:I John 1:1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;
1:2 (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;)
1:3 That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Y'shua the Anointed.
1:4 And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.
So "rightly divide the Word of Truth" as instructed by Adon Y'shua and his first century CE emissaries (including Paul) as you would a cherished love letter from your beloved, ever yearning for his/her soon return to your embrace.
Question Your Beliefs
As you educate yourself on the one biblical religion question everything you currently believe and contrast it with Scripture. If the belief is harmonious all is well, if not be willing to alter your views and conform them to the Word.
Do not judge others -- but do use discretion. Many "good people" believe many seemingly "wrong things." They Walk their path and you walk yours. Realize that you have come to the place where you now stand gradually, a step at a time, can you say with certainty where HaShem will lead you tomorrow? So how can we judge others? There is nothing wrong with humbly saying: "This is what the Spirit of HaShem has revealed to me thus far and I will continue this way even as you follow the course you believe is best."
Spiritual fellowship is a wonderful thing and even "a little leaven leavens the whole lump" (Galatians 5:9). You are responsible to determine your associations with people and groups. Whether membership or attendance of this or that congregation/denomination/sect etc. is beneficial to your service of HaShem is yours to determine AND there is an old saying, "If you ever find a perfect congregation don't join it! It wont be perfect anymore!"
Nazarenes must be(come) spiritual adults capable of standing alone if necessary. Nothing is more important than Adonai and our loving service to Adonai.
Becoming a Nazarene
Becoming a talmidim of Adon Y'shua (by whatever term one prefers) is a multifaceted thing: It is the placing of ones complete trust in Adon Y'shua as Cohen Gadol -- ones sole Mediator with HaShem -- (I Timothy 2:5), it is the realization that even as the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai began with the sacrifice of the Pesach Lamb (at the first Passover) so too our admission to Am Israel (People Israel) began with the sacrifice of Y'shua and the application of his blood to 'the doorposts of our hearts' (I Corinthians 5:7), it is the determination to stand with Y'shua's people Israel (Genesis 12:1-3, John 4:22), to be grafted in among them (Romans 11) by the unmerited grace/mercy of God -- not of works lest one might boast -- (Ephesians 2:8-10) and being adopted into their House (Romans 8:15), it is the resolve to put away human traditions (John 14:15) and beliefs (Galatians 1:18) and to conform to very image of Y'shua (Romans 8:29) as directed by the Holy Scriptures (Acts 17:11) and the Ruach HaKodesh of HaShem (John 14:26)... Having done this...CJB: 10 ... if we were reconciled with God through his Son's death when we were enemies, how much more will we be delivered by his life, now that we are reconciled!
Having been reconciled...CJB: Acts 19:2 "...Did you receive the Ruach HaKodesh when you came to trust [faith]?" "No," they said to him, "we have never even heard that there is such a thing as the Ruach HaKodesh."
3 "In that case," he said, "into what were you immersed?" "The immersion of Yochanan [i.e. John the Baptist]," they answered.
4 Sha'ul said, "Yochanan practiced an immersion in connection with turning from sin to God; but he told the people to put their trust in the one who would come after him, that is, in Yeshua."
5 On hearing this, they were immersed into the name of the Lord Yeshua.
This is because Adon Y'shua himself directed this:CJB: Matthew 28:18 Yeshua came and talked with them. He said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
19 Therefore, go and make people from all nations into talmidim, immersing them into the reality of the Father, the Son and the Ruach HaKodesh,
20 and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember! I will be with you always, yes, even until the end of the age."
Immersion in the MikvahCJB: Matthew 28:18 Yeshua came and talked with them. He said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
19 Therefore, go and make people from all nations into talmidim, immersing them into the reality of the Father, the Son and the Ruach HaKodesh,
20 and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember! I will be with you always, yes, even until the end of the age."
The Role of the Mikvah
For Jews, Nazarenes and most Nicene Christians of whatever sect the ritual bath is considered an essential aspect of religious life. How it is understood varies however. Christianity adopted the rite from Judaism but as in so many cases they lost its significance as the Nicene Movement divorced itself from its Jewish and biblical roots.
Biblically speaking, immersion in the mikvah (the ritual bath wherever it is performed and whatever it is called) represents the return to ritual purity. The word mikveh as used in the Hebrew Scriptures literally means a "collection" (as in a collection of water). There are several biblical regulations regarding the proper (and required) use of the mikvah and how full water immersion is to be performed.
The communal mikvah continues to hold a central place within Orthodox Judaism (for instance new communities are required to establish the mikvah before even constructing the shul). Many of the requirements maintained in Judaism are based on the teachings of the Oral Torah and do not directly apply to Nazarene practice, however as in most cases we can learn a tremendous amount from the traditions of the rabbis. For instance the rabbis say that the mikvah must hold at least 575 litres of water (or 151.90 US gallons), the water must be flowing and so on.
Based on an overview from Here we find:Historic Uses:
Traditionally, the mikveh was used by both men and women to regain ritual purity after various events, according to regulations laid down in the Torah and in classical rabbinical literature. The Torah requires full immersion in the following cases: (Compare Leviticus chapter 15):
- after Keri — normal emissions of semen, whether from sexual activity, or from nocturnal emission; bathing in a mikveh due to Keri is known as tevilath Ezra (“the immersion of Ezra”)
- after Zav/Zavah — abnormal discharges of bodily fluids
- after Tzaraath — certain skin condition(s). These are termed lepra in the Septuagint, and therefore traditionally translated into English as leprosy; this is probably a translation error, as the Greek term lepra mostly refers to psoriasis, and the Greek term for leprosy was elephas/elephantiasis.
- by anyone who came into contact with someone suffering from Zav/Zavah, or into contact with someone still in Niddah (normal menstruation), or who comes into contact with articles that have been used or sat upon by such persons.
- by Jewish priests when they are being consecrated
- by the Jewish high priest on Yom Kippur, after sending away the goat to Azazel, and by the man who leads away the goat
- by the Jewish priest who performed the Red Heifer ritual
- after contact with a corpse or grave, in addition to having the ashes of the Red Heifer ritual sprinkled upon them
- after eating meat from an animal that died naturally
Classical rabbinical writers conflated the rules for zavah and niddah. It also became customary for priests to fully immerse themselves before Jewish holidays, and the laity of many communities subsequently adopted this practice. Converts to Judaism are required to undergo full immersion in water.
Nothing in these biblical instructions conflicts with the Nazarene Way. The blessings of the mikvah are many.
The immersions of Yochanan the Baptizer were an example of these requirements in practice and the talmidim of Y'shua continued the traditions after his ascension.
As with its use in conversion to Judaism, for Adon Y'shua's talmidim the mikvah is also an outward sign of an inward shift of consciousness and of our being "grafted in" to Am Israel (this is harmonious if not identical with its use in Jewish conversions).
The initial immersion however is only one use of the mikvah. That this understanding is correct is demonstrated in Adon Y'shua who was without sin and yet approached Yochanan for immersion at the beginning of his ministry. He was not converting into anything, he was presenting himself to HaShem seeking His blessings and committing himself to the ministry He had given him.
Despite what some Christian sects maintain, biblically speaking baptism or immersion in the mikvah does not "save." Immersion is a symbol that one has already been redeemed and that one is ready to proceed to the next step in spiritual development and service (whatever that step may be). Immersion in a mikvah is a ritualized prayer for acceptance by HaShem that incorporates ones whole body.
For the Separatist Essenes immersion was an essential rite conducted frequently, several times a day. For the P'rushim it held the same meaning but was generally performed less often, often once a week just prior to Shabbat.
The Noahide Mikvah
For Nazarenes the meaning is the same although added is the rich messianic symbolism described in the New Testament records.
For us, one enters the B'rit Hadashah (New Covenant) by accepting Adon Y'shua as Cohen Gadol, our mediator with HaShem. This act purifies the soul by virtue of his death, burial and resurrection (reminding us of how Moshe led the Israelites our of Egypt with the Passover experiences and how we are now linked with them through spiritual adoption).
As an outward sign of this mutual acceptance one enters the waters of the mikvah. Symbolically one is buried with Adon Y'shua in his death and then raised again with with him to life by HaShem (Romans6:4). That initial immersion is a wonderful symbolic rite filled with meaning and significance.
Nicene Christian Baptisms
Most Nicean Christians believe baptism needs only be done once in life, preferably shortly after one "accepts Jesus as Savior" (or following ones confirmation in certain denominations). Others feel the need to re-baptize if one has "fallen away" and later repents, or when one joins a new congregation. Some Christian denominations do a "christening" or sprinkling with water rather than full immersion. This is sometimes explained as the result of a time when immersion in water was considered physically dangerous due to bacterium etc. however this practice actually stems from Pagan baptismal traditions where sprinkling with water is a common form of blessing (such as during the Indian abhisheka rites). Christian baptisms are typically conducted in the church baptismal pool/font or in a local watering hole in public.
Biblical baptism requires complete immersion in running water (hence many traditional baptismal pools like mikvahs often have a spigot with running water during the rite). There is no biblical support for sprinkling. Biblical baptisms can be perform in pools, rivers etc.
Various Issues related to the Mikvah
Orthodox Jews traditionally observe a strict separation of the genders in their shuls as well as in the mikvah. Nazarenes need not observe this custom. As we read:HNV: Galatians 3:27 For as many of you as were immersed into Messiah have put on Messiah.
28 There is neither Yehudi [Jew] nor Yevanit [Greek], there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Messiah Yeshua.
29 If you are Messiah's, then you are Avraham's seed and heirs according to promise.
Men and women are considered equal in such matters by Nazarenes.
Men are to be completely immersed in the mikvah water however Jewish tradition often grants women extra options (for instance women are not required to fulfill any of the time-sensitive mandates, to wear tallit etc). Women are allowed to sit in the mikvah, the waters coming only to their necks rather than be fully immersed if they prefer however first immersion should be complete. It is evident in this exception that women may also undergo full immersion at any time as they prefer.
The biblical method is full immersion of the body into running waters. If a pool or tub is used having fresh water from a hose or faucet trickling in or a pump that circulates the water (such as a jakuzi) satisfies this requirement. The Orthodox rabbis add other conditions, for instance a certain amount of the water must be collected from rain or other free-flowing water sources (rather than cisterns, tanks, etc) meaning that in most cases tap water alone would not suffice for their requirements. These traditions are not required by Nazarenes according to my understandings although we should seriously consider the wisdom and traditions of the Oral Torah. If one creates a mikvah it might be wise to make it in harmony with halakha (Jewish law) as we know HaShem approves of such designs. THIS site has good instructions on this.
In order to enter the B'rit Hadashah and be grafted onto the Tree of Israel one must be old enough to understand what conversion means and make that free-will decision. As soon after entering the New Covenant as is feasible, one should receive first immersion.
There is no biblical support for infant baptism as infants are not old enough to understand repentance (nor do they have any need to do so anyway).
Following first immersion in the mikvah the Nazarene is free to enter the mikvah at any time he/she feels inclined. Some Nazarenes like to immerse just prior to Shabbat (shortly before the Shabbat candles are lit on Friday evenings). Others immerse on Shabbat as part of sharing in the Lord's rest (although those who observe the rules of no fires must determine how to address this. In my opinion this tradition is not required). Some Nazarenes observe the conditions set out in Leviticus chapter 15 as discussed above.
The mikvah can be utilized as a place of quick immersion (as is usually done in a standard initial baptism) or it can be utilized for times of contemplation, centering, personal repentance and reflection. Entering the waters of the mikvah is likened to entering into the arms of the Ruach HaKodesh. Sometimes a quick hug is nice, sometimes we want to tarry there with our Beloved. For this reason some Nazarenes choose to maintain a mikvah at their homes for regular immersions and reaffirmations as the Essenes did, while others enter only occasionally, using a mikvah when available. Because of the continuing rift between traditional Jews and Nazarene Jews we are not allowed to use the mikvah's at Jewish shuls etc. Nazarene congregations are encouraged to make such facilities available for their congregants and the greater community.
In more organized Nazarene communities upon conversions and especially significant baptisms (for instance prior to holidays or when one seeks forgiveness for some particular sin etc.), after coming up from the waters, instructors may give select instructions from the Holy Scriptures. These instructions may include a recitation of the Seven Noahide Laws, selections from the Torah or from the teachings of Adon Y'shua as the spirit leads them for the well being of the person. The person being baptized, if male, stands before the instructors and listens attentively to their words, females may stand or sit as they prefer (a stool can be placed in the mikvah for this purpose). The person leaves the mikvah after these words are spoken, and is deemed clean from all trespasses and spiritually renewed. In some cases, restitution for sins may also be recommended if one has wronged others etc. Such restitution may be suggested by ones rabbi, pastor, the mikvah instructors or other respected persons, however remember that one is ultimately answerable only to HaShem and our Cohen Gadol Adon Y'shua. There is no compulsion in restitution, even as there is no coercion in other matters of religion for Nazarenes.
Water temperatures may be maintained at a comfortable temperature if desired or they can be unheated. Biblically there is no rule regarding this (the Orthodox allow mikvah's to be heated as well). There is no purpose to making the experience unpleasant by immersing in cold water so heated water is generally considered preferable. Some mikvahs as like saunas.
While in or near the mikvah unnecessary talking is always discouraged. Words of benediction (as when baptizing someone) are of course acceptable and if those in the mikvah wish, spiritual songs, scriptural recitations, prayers and so on are also appropriate. Counselors may speak with people to encourage them as long as this does not disturb others. While in the mikvah the key is to avoid doing anything that is mundane or disruptive. This is the time to be with HaShem.
Proper immersion in the mikvah is done in the nude, as nothing should be allowed to come between the worshiper and the symbolic cleansing waters. Air bubbles etc. can prevent the water from reaching sections of covered skin and clothing alters the purity of the water (even well rinsed washed bathing suits have a residue of soap, fibers etc.). Also, symbolically we are to be completely open before the Ruach HaKodesh and clothing is a "covering" of separation. Adam and Havah (Eve) were nude before the onslaught of sin and the mikvah reflects our returning to that state of purity and innocence.
If a place where nude bathing is allowed can not be found other arrangements can be made (in a river wearing a bathing suit etc being careful to check for air pockets and dry areas of skin) but nudity is preferable and can usually be arranged if planned ahead.
Because many people in our confused world have "modesty" issues immersions may be conducted in a gender segregated environment if preferred. There is really no need for this however when those present understand the reasons for the ritual nudity (Leviticus chapter 15, Galatians 3:27). If its considered an issue even in a gender segregated environment the mikvah can be entered wearing clothing (bathing suits etc). As is so often the case we return to Adon Y'shua's important teaching that Shabbat exists for humanity, not humanity for Shabbat (Mark 2:27). Immersion in the mikvah is more important than the details of dress, percentage of rainwater, etc. Our freedom in Y'shua should never be viewed as an enslavement to tradition.
At first immersion at least two or three witnesses need to be in attendance (Matthew 18:16, II Corinthians 13:1). They can be of either gender. First immersion is a public declaration that one has been adopted into the Family of Adon Y'shua. Therefore it is preferable that this rite be open to all who would like to attend. Again however if "modesty" is an issue this rite can be performed in a gender segregated environment, with only the person, the immerser and the two or three witness present, wearing clothing etc.
We do well to understand that when in the mikvah we are doing t'shuvah (a repentant moving towards Adonai) in which we drop our presumptions, our facades and so on and become like little children (Matthew 18:3). HaShem has given us a most precious and fleeting gift, our bodies. We have nothing to be ashamed of. We emerge from the mikvah as new born babes. Body modesty is best overcome (of course so is its opposite).
Mikvah as Spiritual Liberation
For more information on the early use of the mikvah see Shaye J.D. Cohen's The Beginnings of Jewishness , chapter seven.
Properly utilized the mikvah offers us a powerful spiritual experience of obedience, repentance, humility and communal intimacy that Nazarenes do well to utilize in harmony with the leading of the Ruach HaKodesh.
Another reason the mikvah is traditionally utilized nude is that circumcision is required for male Jews under the Mosaic Covenant and social nudity makes it clear that a male has been circumcised. Since the mikvah held such a central place in Jewish life (and still does in many circles) this point should not be discounted. For Jews circumcision is a very important tradition.
As discussed above there is no command anywhere in the Tanakh nor in the B'rit Hadashah requiring Noahide males (Gentiles) to be circumcised. This applies to Noahide Nazarenes as well. Many Noahide Nazarenes do recommend circumcision as a voluntary mitzvot however (including me).
Since HaShem gave this ordinance to His people as a sign of His favor, even requiring those who wish to partake of the Pesach feast to first become proselytes through circumcision (Exodus 12:43-51), it is clearly an important rite. Since we have been "grafted in" among the Israelites and we desire to do what is pleasing in the sight of HaShem, choosing circumcision only makes sense.
We previously discussed how the Seven Laws of Noach Avinu form the basis of Nazarene regulation. The counsel meeting recorded in Acts 15 was specifically held to discuss Noahide Nazarene circumcision:KJV: Acts 15:1 But some men came down from Y'hudah to Antioch and began teaching the brothers, "You can't be saved unless you undergo b'rit-milah [i.e. circumcision] in the manner prescribed by Moshe."
15:2 This brought them into no small measure of discord and dispute with Sha'ul and Bar-Nabba [Paul and Barnabas}. So the congregation assigned Sha'ul, Bar-Nabba and some of themselves to go and put this sh'eilah [doctrinal question] before the emissaries and the elders up in Yerushalayim....
15:24 We have heard that some people went out from among us without our authorization, and that they have upset you with their talk, unsettling your minds.
15:25 So we have decided unanimously to select men and send them to you with our dear friends Bar-Nabba and Sha'ul...
15:28 For it seemed good to the Ruach HaKodesh and to us not to lay any heavier burden on you than the following requirements:
29 to abstain from what has been sacrificed to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from fornication. If you keep yourselves from these, you will be doing the right thing. Shalom!
As Nazarenes then we are free to determine for ourselves whether or not to be circumcised and whether we will circumcise our male offspring on the 8th day (Leviticus 12:3 etc.). The Sheva and Taryag Mitzvot (the 7 and 613 commandments) are there to guide us, to show us how to please HaShem but as spiritual adults we must determine such matters as the Ruach HaKodesh inspires us. Uncircumcised male Believers and all Way parents of males should scripturally and prayerfully consider this important issue.
Determining Which Mitzvot to Observe
One good method to determine which optional mitzvot to observe is to honestly evaluate ones spiritual state and determine if one really wishes to draw closer to HaShem, and if so which additional mitzvot will facilitate this. Prayerfully consider the various mitzvot and ask the Ruach HaKodesh if embracing one or another is the right thing to do for ones spiritual development. This includes things like adding daily Bible readings, set prayer times, doing volunteer service, praying with a tallit and tzit-tzit, eating meat, being circumcised, honoring the biblical appointments (mo'ed), attending services with others and so on. This is partly what is meant by "working out ones salvation" (Philippians 2:12) -- not that works save but adding righteous acts does enhance ones harmony with Adonai by bringing our lives into closer agreement. By maintaining ones spiritual center and practice and growing consistently in service and love to HaShem one is certain to succeed.
Be Part of the Great Multitude or the 144,000
Here's "where the rubber meets the road."
The Nazarene Way is not a new movement, religion, sect nor cult: It is the Way of Adam, the Way of Noach, the Way of Avraham, the Way of the prophets and the Way of Adon Y'shua and his talmidim. This is the Way of the Echad Elohiym, the One Eternal God, the King of kings and Lord and lords.
There is however something new happening today.
Nicene Christianity -- like all other religions besides Islam -- is faltering, teetering towards an inevitable collapse (from which the Universal religion known as Babylon the Great will arise), and millions of sincere people from all religions, denominations and sects are coming out from among her institutions (II Corinthians 6:17) sensing what is soon to come and they are asking tough questions. Huge numbers of people are now seeking God outside the traditional religious confines. Many of these people are seeking the Way of Y'shua (ultimately everyone is, but not all realize this!). These seekers are using different names, they have different ideas and presumptions, but they are all sincere and sincerely seeking Truth. HaShem is preparing those who would serve Him in spirit and in truth for what is soon coming. His invitation extends to you!
This is the reason for the growing interest in rediscovering the original reform movement of Adon Y'shua rather than embracing the traditions of religious teachers; even the rabbis are being questioned by seeking Jews as never before. This growing desire to rediscover and return to "biblical religion" is a wonderful thing to behold and to be part of! Despite our present differences we are all seeing the Truth contained in both Christian and Jewish settings. This seeking is the inspiration behind my Nazarene Way website. I too am but a seeker sharing what I've found thus far.
The 144,000 Jews and the Great MultitudeRevelation 7:1 After this, I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth, so that no wind would blow on the land, on the sea or on any tree.
2 I saw another angel coming up from the east with a seal from the living God, and he shouted to the four angels who had been given power to harm the land and the sea,
3 "Do not harm the land or the sea or the trees until we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads!"
4 I heard how many were sealed - 144,000 from every tribe of the people of Isra'el:
5 From the tribe of Y'hudah 12,000 were sealed from the tribe of Re'uven 12,000 from the tribe of Gad, 12,000
6 from the tribe of Asher 12,000 from the tribe of Naftali 12,000 from the tribe of M'nasheh 12,000
7 from the tribe of Shim'on 12,000 from the tribe of Levi 12,000 from the tribe of Yissakhar 12,000
8 from the tribe of Z'vulun 12,000 from the tribe of Yosef 12,000 from the tribe of Binyamin 12,000
9 After this, I looked; and there before me was a great multitude, too large for anyone to count, from every nation, tribe, people and language. They were standing in front of the throne and in front of the Lamb, dressed in white robes and holding palm branches in their hands;
10 and they shouted, "Victory to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!"
11 All the angels stood around the throne, the elders and the four living beings; they fell face down before the throne and worshipped God, saying,
12 "Amen! "Praise and glory, wisdom and thanks, honor and power and strength belong to our God forever and ever! "Amen!"
13 One of the elders asked me, "These people dressed in white robes - who are they, and where are they from?"
14 "Sir," I answered, "you know." Then he told me, "These are the people who have come out of the Great Tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white with the blood of the Lamb.
15 That is why they are before God's throne. "Day and night they serve him in his Temple; and the One who sits on the throne will put his Sh'khinah upon them.
16 "They will never again be hungry, they will never again be thirsty, the sun will not beat down on them, nor will any burning heat.
17 "For the Lamb at the center of the throne will shepherd them, will lead them to springs of living water, and God will wipe every tear from their eyes."
Adonai Tzva'ot, our Echad Elohiym, is even now calling forth these people, preparing them to Stand: 144,000 Jewish servants of Adonai and a Great Multitude of the rest of us.
But understand that there are many pitfalls to be avoided!
This rediscovery movement must be willing to abandon all doctrinal alterations made by Pagan Rome if is to be successful in sounding the clarion call of Adon Y'shua the Nazarene. This includes rejecting the Pagan doctrine of the Trinity and deity of Adon Y'shua that seeks to compromise the absolute oneness of HaShem our Adonai and Echad Elohiym. Also to be rejected are the Pagan-wrought holidays, the Nicean rejection and replacement of Shabbat and so on. We need to purify our doctrines with love and respect for the beliefs of our sisters and brothers, always remembering that at the present time we also can see only glimpses of Light as we gaze in the mirror of God's Truth (I Corinthians 3:12).
This rediscovery movement must also be willing to abandon the traditions of the rabbis where they conflict with the Truth of Torah AND to stand with them where they are correct. One way this is manifesting is seen in the anti-Torah movement to determine a lunar Shabbat. This movement is out of harmony with the Torah and the rest of the Scripture but far too few rabbis seem willing to confront this growing heresy head on. As I now reach the conclusion of this introductory study on the Nazarene Way this is the area I plan to focus on next, as HaShem leads. I will be posting studies on this topic soon. Check the index page of my Nazarene Way site for this or follow my blogs, Facebook, Twitter site etc.
Your questions and/or thoughts are always invited.
As talmidim of Adon Y'shua the Nazarene we need to understand that before the coming of the sun we are going to pass through the darkest portion of the night: the seven year Great Tribulation that could begin at any moment.
Promises of a Rapture or "End Time Revival" are deceiving millions of people. We need to be preparing to stand, not to escape what lies ahead in denial. We ARE going into the Tribulation and most of us are not going to survive it physically. That is the fact of matter. AND that's alright! Because greater is He that is within us than He that is in the world (I John 4:4)!
Barring the establishment of the Kingdom and our entering physically into it without tasting death (which the vast majority will not experience), we have ALL been dying from the moment we were conceived in our mother's wombs. Our physical deaths are inevitable and certain, whether tomorrow, next month, next year or in few years down the road (other than this one exception). We are all dying. That's not the question we should be focused on. The important question is, how can I best serve my King NOW and in whatever future I am permitted? As servants of Adonai and emissaries of Adon Y'shua our coming King THAT should be our primary focus.
Do not be deceived by the false claims that by studying the Bible and seeking the Nazarene teachings of Adon Y'shua you are somehow turning your back on him. Y'shua wants us to know the truth and he promises that if we will seek we will find. Seek! Question!
Do not be deceived by neo-Gnosticism and the false belief that just because some scroll or doctrine existed in the early centuries of the Way that means it is true. There were many falsehoods in the days of the Apostles as well.
Do not be deceived by spreading cancer of antisemitism, Israel has been reborn as the prophets foretold by the Sovereign Will of HaShem (not by the will of the UN, the US or any other body) and according to His purposes! The Jews are the Elect of HaShem despite their inconsistencies and frequent lack of faith and practice. Those who bless the Jews (including their Home Israel) will be blessed by HaShem and those who curse them, those who work against them, are cursed (Genesis 12:1-3 etc).
Do not be deceived by the heresy of Replacement theology that claims "the Church" has somehow replaced the Jews! Y'shua never establish a Church! His followers are members of the Way sect of Judaism.
Rather, as a Nazarene seek the knowledge that comes from HaShem mixed with divine inspiration and wisdom.
Be like the Boreans:
And having done all you can to stand....
May HaShem and His dear Son, our Adon, Cohen Gadol and coming Mashiach bless us all with wisdom as we face the days ahead.
Rabbi Yochanan ben Avraham
John of AllFaith
The Way of Adon Y'shua Thus Say the Prophets Jewish Studies Nicene Christian Studies My Main Blog My Facebook AllFaith.com