Nazarene Israelites Explained
By Jason Jordan
Who are Nazarene Israelites? This is a fair question. The most alarming thing to reconcile is the reality that they are not Christians. This naturally and understandably causes immediate concern for a Christian. This concern will often cause a conditioned churchgoer to switch off at any subsequent explanation. If you haven't switched off please feel free to read on.
A Nazarene Israelite rejects the Greco-Roman interpretation of the Commandment altering Christ and accepts the reality of a Torah loving Hebrew Messiah. He believes that this Messiah is the visible expressed image of the Creator (Colossians 1:15; Hebrews 1:1-3)
who was brought forth from the Father’s bosom before creation (John 1:18, John 16:30, Micah 1:3)
. He believes that his name was and still is Yahshua, which means, “Yah is salvation” and that he is the Living Torah, the Word of Elohim made flesh (John 1:14)
. A Nazarene Israelite believes that ancient Israel looked forward to the coming Messiah as did key biblical figures such as Hava (Eve) (Genesis 3:15)
, Abraham (John 8:56)
and King David (Psalms 16, 22, 31, 41, 41, 65, 68, 98)
. Indeed Orthodox Judaism, particularly Hasidic Judaism, acknowledges profusely that the Torah points to a Messiah.
The Nazarene Israelite also accepts that YHWH and Yahshua are one as opposed to three (John 10:30)
and that this oneness exists in unity (John 17:20-23)
and Yahshua has no authority accept what authority he receives from the Father. This is why he said in John 5:30-32; “I can by My own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and My mishpat (judgment) is righteous; because I seek not my own will, but the will of the Abba who has sent me. If I bear witness of Myself, My witness is not emet (true). There is another that bears witness of Me; and I know that the witness which He witnesses of Me is emet (true).”
And in Mark 10:18,19; "And Yahshua said to him, ‘Why do you call Me tov (good)? There is none tov but One, that is YHWH.’”
The Nazarene Israelite also accepts that none of the Torah (law) has been abolished, but that it has been fulfilled through Messiah's death and resurrection. Matthew 5:17; "Think not that I have come to weaken, or destroy the Torah (law ), or the neviim (prophets): I have not come to weaken, or destroy, but to completely reveal it in its intended fullness.”
And in Matthew 5:18, "For truly I say to you, Until the current Shamayim (heaven) and earth pass away, not one yud (jot), or nekudah (tittle) shall by any means pass from the Torah, until all be fulfilled.”
A “yud” is the name for the smallest letter in the Hebrew language and a “nekudah” is the smallest accent marking that can be drawn.
But doesn’t Romans 10:4
say that Messiah put an end to the law? “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.” (New King James Version)
Not at all. The word “end” was originally translated by a Christian (James Murdock) from the Aramaic word saka, which means “aim.” That’s why the passage continues with, “For Moses writes about the righteousness which is of the law, ‘The man who does these things shall live by them.’” (Romans 10:5, New King James Version)
The prophet Moshe never wrote about an end to the Torah, much less the law (another inaccurate word in the Romans 10:4
passage). All the Torah always pointed to Yahshua.
The Nazarene Israelite does not accept that Rabbi Sha’ul HaShliach advocated that the Torah was done away with. Romans 3:31; “Do we then make void the Torah through personal emunah (faith)? By no means: actually we establish the Torah.”
The Nazarene Israelite understands the importance of being separated from any religious organisation that is yoked together with pagan influence (Revelations 18:4)
. This includes all religious organisations and denominations that retain any ritual whose origin has been passed down from a pagan source. This includes Freemasonry and any other society (secret or otherwise) that practices recital of oaths of allegiance to an order whose full principles are not revealed to new initiates and whose rituals are blatantly drawn from a smorgasbord of pagan traditions.
Though Catholicism is chiefly cited as having pagan practices it is not fair to single it out as it draws attention away from the bigger picture. Rome is the mother of all forms of Christianity, because every other accepted Christian organisation (even non-denominational groups and Sabbath keeping churches) still contain some ingredient of Catholicism and all possess historical evidence of minor or major withdrawals from its religious system at one time or another.
The Nazarene Israelite sees the majority of Jewish feasts, Sabbaths and festivals as shadow pictures of future events and as scriptural object lessons, which are to be upheld throughout all generations (Exodus 31:13)
Are Gentiles Excluded and without Hope?
A Nazarene recognises that they are members of the Commonwealth of Israel, OUTSIDE OF WHICH THERE IS NO SALVATION. Ephesians 2:12; "...at that time you were without Moshiach (Messiah) being excluded, aliens from the Commonwealth of Yisrael, as gerim (strangers) from the covenants of promise, having no tikvah (hope), and without Eloha in the olam hazeh (world).”
because "Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood" (Revelation 22:15)
Clear your mind of the Greco-Roman Gentile spin you've received in church and look closer at the following verse: Ephesians 2:11-12; “Therefore remember, that you being in times past gentiles in the flesh, who are called The Uncircumcision by those called the Brit-Milah (circumcised) in the flesh made by hands; that at THAT TIME you were without Moshiach (Messiah), being EXCLUDED, aliens from the Commonwealth of Yisrael, as gerim (strangers) from the covenants of promise, having no tikvah (hope), and without Eloha (the Mighty One) in the olam hazeh (the world).”
This verse clearly shows that to be identified as a Gentile, at the very least knowingly by one who understands this message, is to remain without hope.
Romans 1:16; “For I am not ashamed of the besorah (positive news) of Moshiach: for it is the power of YHWH for salvation to every one that believes; to the Yahudi (Jew) first, and also the Greek and Aramean.”
The seven congregations of Asia Minor (Modern-day Turkey), addressed in the Book of Revelations, were principally inhabited by descendants who came from massive influxes of Ephraimite migrants (descendants of the ten lost tribes) that pushed North. Interestingly this verse encourages sharing the positive news of Salvation through Messiah to the blinded Jew first and the foreigner second. This order is exhibited in the Book of Acts as thousands of Jews were first added to the ekklesia (“called out and assembled citizens”) in Acts 2:41
Who am I in Messiah?
The title we are to claim is neither Jew (which were just one of twelve tribes) nor Gentile (foreigners). It is Israel! But remember the Jews have the Torah and the teachers of the Torah sit in Moshe's seat. Matthew 23:1-3; "Then spoke Yahshua to the multitude, and to His Talmidim (students), Saying, the sophrim (scribes) and the Prushim (Pharisees) sit in Moshe’s kesay (seat): All therefore that Moshe’s kesay will invite you to observe, that observe and do;”
Yahshua did not have a problem with what the Scribes and the Pharisees were teaching. He had a problem with how they were living. This is made clear in the next verse, "But do not do after their mitzvoth (love deeds): for they say, and do not.”
Notice Yahshua didn’t say, “Those Pharisees and Scribes that reject me ignore and those that embrace me heed.” I have found that it is folly to ever snub my nose at any orthodox Jewish teaching without first investigating it thoroughly.
Making the Jews Jealous, not Angry
Salvation is not of the Gentiles, rather it is available to the Gentiles and is designed to provoke the Jews to jealousy so that they may be saved: (Romans 11:11; "salvation has come to the nations (gentiles) to make Yisrael envious.”
The Jew will never be jealous of a cross emblazoned church of any denomination, whether they keep Sunday or Sabbath. Because they know that the church is the Temple of Circe, a pagan Greco-Romanised amalgamation of Babylonian Mystery school teachings. There is no excuse for ignorance in this current technological age of information distribution and gathering. A rational individual knows it and YHWH knows it.
Worship without Knowledge is Dangerous
The orthodox Jew knows and adheres to the Creator’s unchanging view (Malachi 3:6,7
) on marshalling customs and tools used in pagan worship to honour Him, which can be studied in the Golden Calf incident. Exodus 32:5; “So when Aaron saw it (the Golden Calf), he built an altar before it. And Aaron made a proclamation and said, “Tomorrow is a feast to YHWH.”
The calf was fashioned as a sincere icon to represent YHWH, but instead brought about abominable repercussions. This is why Sha’ul is concerned with the way people worship the Creator when he says, Romans 10:2; “For I bear them record that they have a zeal for YHWH but not according to da’at (knowledge).”
And this is why. Hosea 4:6
says, “My people are destroyed for lack of da’at (knowledge): because you have rejected da’at, I will also reject you, that you shall not be a kohen (priest) to Me: seeing you have forgotten the Torah of your Elohim, I will also forget your children.”
The Advantage of the Jew
The Commonwealth of Israel is defined by three major characteristics. They are:
• Keeping the Sabbaths (Isaiah 56:2; "Blessed is the man who does this, the man who holds it fast, who keeps the Shabbat."
• Loving the Name (Isaiah 56:6; "Also the sons of the ger (stranger), that join themselves to YHWH, to serve Him, and to love the name of YHWH…"
• And holding fast to the covenants (Isaiah 56:6b; "...every person that guards the Shabbat from polluting it and takes hold of My brit [covenant]."
Becoming a member of the Commonwealth of Israel is not defined by moving to Israel and taking up a secular citizenship there.
The above information clearly establishes the context of the following verses that you may have been glossing over for years in Bible study classes.
John 4:22; “You worship you know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is from the Yahudim (Jews).”
(Yahshua's very words) This is not referring to the Orthodox Judaism of today, it is referring to a walk that looks Jewish in almost every way accept it recognises Messiah Yahshua (Jesus) in his full capacity as our High Priest! Samaritans were loathed by the Jews, because they professed to worship the same El (Mighty One / God), but not according to the oracles of YHWH, which were first entrusted to Judah. Romans 3:2; “…because they (the Jews) were the first to be entrusted with the oracles of YHWH and the first to believe in His word.”
There is no excuse for those who have lost friends or relatives to Orthodox Judaism. Yes, they are in error, just as much as a Roman Catholic is in error, but this shouldn't cause one to delay investigating as to whether one should withdraw from the church and move into the Hebraic roots of the Nazarene Israelite faith. I'm not just talking about Rome, but the church in general!
Let’s examine the above verse in greater context: Romans 3:1-2; “What advantage then has the Yahudi (Jew)? Or, what profit is there in brit-milah (circumcision)? Much in every way: because they (the Jews) were the first to be entrusted with the oracles of YHWH and the first to believe in His word.”
This verse clearly states that the Jews have an advantageous position in terms of their relationship with the Creator.
I recognise that some Christians may find this revelation problematic and difficult to reconcile, if for no other reason other than the locality of this statement in the Scriptures and the fact that Yahshua is recorded as saying it. But if Christians are not willing to depart from their canned Scripture and study from a Torah perspective, rather than a New Testament perspective, the Bible will remain largely unfathomable in so many areas. Rabbi Sha’ul warns those who embrace Messiah and boast against the Jews; “Boast not against the cultivated branches (The Jews). But if you boast, you better remember that you do not bear the Root, but the Root bears you.” (Romans 11:18)
Sect is Not a Four Letter Word
The Nazarene Israelite or Messianic movement has often been accused of being a sect. Those who have rejected such accusations, prepare for a shock. This faith is indeed a sect. There, I wrote it. A person’s ignorance of the word’s true definition gives this argument life. On the contrary, no one should make any apology for use of appropriate terminology. If anyone is weathering this accusation, take comfort in the knowledge that Rabbi Sha'ul was also accused as being “a ringleader of this (same) Nazarene sect...” (Acts 24:5)
Consider the choice of language used in the following two verses (as they appear in most Bible translations): Acts 24:14: “But this I admit to you, that according to the Way which they call a heretical sect, I do serve the Elohim of our fathers, believing everything that is written in the Law and the Prophets.” Acts 28:22: “But we desire to hear from you what your views are. For concerning this heretical sect, it’s known to us that it is spoken against everywhere.”
Notice the use of the description “heretical sect” by translators. A sect by definition is not sacrilegious unless it's branded as a “heretical sect.” If this were not true the term “heretical sect” would be a grammatical tautology (i.e. a useless repetition of words that have the same meaning). The definition of sect is, “a separatist group characterized by loyalty to a certain school of thought and practice,” a “sect, party, school.” This is an accurate way of describing those who have followed “the way” for many generations. The Scriptures more affectionately refer to them (that's hopefully you too) as “the Remnant.” There are three locations where the single term “sect” appears (on its own) in The Book of Acts (as it appears in most common English Bible translations). Acts 5:17: “But the High Priest rose up, along with all his associates (that is the sect of the Sadducees), and they were filled with jealousy.” Acts 15:5: “But some of the sect of the Pharisees who had believed stood up, saying, ‘It is necessary to circumcise them and to direct them to observe the Law of Moses.’” Acts 26:5: "since they have known about me for a long time, if they are willing to testify, that I lived as a Pharisee according to the strictest sect of our religion."
A Jew to the Untrained Eye
For the most part, a Nazarene Israelite looks, acts, and thinks Jewish, but recognises Messiah Yahshua as his or her sovereign and saviour. This is because the Jews have been the only tribe to maintain Torah observance throughout their generations, though many Jews today, even in Israel, do not keep the covenants. The Torah observant Jew uses customs that are rooted in tradition (the majority of which are venerable), which teach crucial aspects of the one true faith in daily life.
The following is an extract from the writings of Epiphanius, a prominent early church father that clearly shows a negative view toward the Nazarene Israelite sect, but strangely enough also very accurately describes their practices and principles, of which there is no argument from me. So for this reason I think it only befitting to conclude this chapter with these sentiments (Also note the blatant reference to the Book of Matthew’s original Hebrew written origin.):
But these sectarians... did not call themselves Christians--but "Nazarenes," ...HOWEVER THEY ARE SIMPLY COMPLETE JEWS. THEY USE NOT ONLY THE NEW TESTAMENT BUT THE OLD TESTAMENT AS WELL, AS THE JEWS DO... THEY HAVE NO DIFFERENT IDEAS, BUT CONFESS EVERYTHING EXACTLY AS THE LAW PROCLAIMS IT AND IN THE JEWISH FASHION-- EXCEPT FOR THEIR BELIEF IN MESSIAH, IF YOU PLEASE! For they acknowledge both the resurrection of the dead and the divine creation of all things, and declare that G-d is one, and that his son is Y'shua the Messiah. They are trained to a nicety in Hebrew. For among them the entire Law, the Prophets, and the... Writings... are read in Hebrew, as they surely are by the Jews. They are different from the Jews, and different from Christians, only in the following. They disagree with Jews because they have come to faith in Messiah; but since they are still fettered by the Law--circumcision, the Sabbath, and the rest-- they are not in accord with Christians.... they are nothing but Jews.... They have the Goodnews according to Matthew in its entirety in Hebrew. For it is clear that they still preserve this, in the Hebrew alphabet, as it was originally written.
(Epiphanius; Panarion 29)