Mishnah Ha Mashiakh
2010 Edition

“Mishna HaMashiach”
The Halacahic Rulings of
The International Nazarene Beit Din
Published by
The Worldwide Nazarene Assembly of Elohim
PO Box 471
Hurst, TX 76053
http://www.wnae.org
© Copyright 2010 Worldwide Nazarene Assembly of Elohim

Table of Contents
Prayer for Wisdom 7
Introduction 9
Halachot
Berakhot (Prayer and Fasting) 73
Ma’asorot (Tithes) 74
Shabbat 77
Eruvin (Travel Restrictions on Sabbath) 89
Shekalim (Temple Tax) 90
Yevamot (Vaious Marriage Issues) 92
Nedarin (Vows) 93
Gittin (Divorce) 95
Kiddushin (Sex and Genealogy) 96
Sanhedrin 99
Shavuot (Oaths) 101
Horayot (False Rulings Overturned) 117
Yeshua’s Conviction Overturned 117
Unbanning of the Sacred Name 118
Menahot (Tizitzit, Teffillin etc.) 122
Hulin (Ritual Slaughter) 124
Official Declarations
1 Freedom of Religion 127
2 Canonization of Tanak 132
3 Canonization of the Apocrypha 133
4 Canonization of The Book of Enoch 134
5 Canonization of The Book of Jasher 135
6 Canonization of the Ketuvim Netzarim 136
7 Canonization of the Gospel according to the Hebrews 137
Statement of Faith 138

Prayer for Wisdom
The following is a prayer for wisdom. It is the opening prayer for
meetings of the International Nazarene Beit Din and is placed here as a
reminder to us to seek YHWH’s wisdom. It is taken by a prayer of
Solomon for Wisdom given in the Wisdom of Solomon:
1: O Elohim of my fathers, and YHWH of mercy, who has made all
things with Your Word,
2: And ordained man through Your wisdom, that he should have
dominion over the creatures which You have made,
3: And order the world according to equity and righteousness, and
execute judgment with an upright heart:
4: Give me wisdom, that sits by your throne; and reject me not from
among thy children:
5: For I Your servant and son of Your handmaid am a feeble person,
and of a short time, and too young for the understanding of judgment
and laws.
6: For though a man be never so perfect among the children of men,
yet if Your wisdom be not with him, he shall be nothing regarded.
7: You have chosen me to be … a judge of Your sons and
daughters….
9: And wisdom was with You: which knows Your works, and was
present when You made the world, and knew what was acceptable in
Your sight, and right in Your commandments.
10: O send her out of Your set-apart heavens, and from the throne of
Your glory, that being present she may labor with me, that I may know
what is pleasing unto you.
11: For she knows and understands all things, and she shall lead me
soberly in my doings, and preserve me in her power.
12: So shall my works be acceptable, and then shall I judge Your
people righteously, …
13: For what man is he that can know the counsel of Elohim? or who
can think what the will of YHWH is?
14: For the thoughts of mortal men are miserable, and our devices are
but uncertain.
15: For the corruptible body presses down the soul, and the earthy
tabernacle weighs down the mind that muses upon many things.
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16: And hardly do we guess aright at things that are upon earth, and
with labor do we find the things that are before us: but the things that
are in heaven who has searched out?
17: And Your counsel who has known, except You give wisdom, and
send Your Ruach HaKodesh from above?
18: For so the ways of them which lived on the earth were reformed,
and men were taught the things that are pleasing unto You, and were
saved through wisdom.
(Wisdom 9:1-18)
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Introduction
The Position of Nazarene Judaism
There is a lot of talk these days about getting back to the “New
Testament Church.” But the real truth is, there are two things the
“New Testament Church” did not have: A “New Testament” and a
“Church”. The believers of the “New Testament Church” met in
synagogues (Acts 15:21; James 1:1; 2:2) and had no book known as
the “New Testament” because it had not been written and compiled
yet. Thus when a believer from the “New Testament Church” refered
to “The Scriptures” he was speaking of the Tanak (“Old Testament”)
for they were the only Scriptures he had. Thus when Paul wrote to
Timothy:
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God,
and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof,
for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
That the man of God may be perfect,
throughly furnished to all good works.
(2Tim. 3:16-17)
Paul was refering to the Tanak, the only Scriptures they had.
Moreover when Paul spoke to the Bereans in Acts 17:11 we are told of
them:
These were more noble than those at Thessalonica,
in that they received the word with all readiness of mind,
and searched the Scriptures daily,
whether those things were so.
Paul was saying that the Bereans were noble because they did not
believe what Paul said simply on the authority of Paul. They were
looking to see if what Paul was teaching could be found in the
Scriptures. Remeber, they were looking in the Tanak, the only
Scriptures they had at the time. Paul said that it was noble of them to
only accept his teaching if it lined up with the Tanak. That means that
whenever we study the New Testament we should ask ourselves this
question: “Can you get here from there?” (There being the Tanak). If
you think you understand something in the New Testament in such a
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way that it contradicts the Tanak, then you need to realize that you are
misunderstanding it.
Yeshua (Jesus) came to be the Jewish Messiah of Judaism and not to
create a new religion. Now I know that within many Christian circles
there is a teaching that says that originally Judaism was the true faith
but that it has now been replaced by a new faith “Christianity” which
is now the true faith. This theology is totally counter to the teachings
of the “New Testament”. The “New Testament” is plain in telling us
that there is one true faith (Eph. 4:5) which was given once and for all
time (Jude 1:3). This means that the theology that claims that
Christianity is a true faith which has replaced Judaism which had been
the previous true faith is absolutely false! There is, according to the
“New Testament” itself ONE TRUE FAITH and it was ONLY GIVEN
ONCE. Christianity is to young to be that ONE true faith that was
ONCE given, that ONE true faith that was ONCE given therefore
MUST be Judaism!
The original believers in Yeshua were a Jewish sect known as
“Nazarenes” or in Hebrew “Netzarim” (Acts 24:5). The “church father”
Jerome (4th Cent.) described these Nazarenes as those “…who accept
Messiah in such a way that they do not cease to observe the old Law.”
(Jerome; On. Is. 8:14).
Elsewhere he writes:
Today there still exists among the Jews in all the synagogues of
the East a heresy which is called that of the Minæans,and
which is still condemned by the Pharisees; [its followers] are
ordinarily called ‘Nazarenes’; they believe that Messiah, the son
of God, was born of the Virgin Miriam, and they hold him to
be the one who suffered under Pontius Pilate and ascended to
heaven, and in whom we also believe.”
(Jerome; Letter 75 Jerome to Augustine)
The fourth century “church father” Epiphanius gives a more detailed
description:
But these sectarians… did not call themselves Christians–but
“Nazarenes,” … However they are simply complete Jews. They
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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 Elohim is one,
and that his son is Yeshua 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)
There has been a great deal of confusion over the years over what the
“church” is. Some have taught that the Church is a new entity which
replaces Israel. Others have taught that the Church is a new body
which is totally independent of Israel. Still others have taught that the
Church and Israel are two different but overlapping entities. With all
of the misconceptions about the identity of the “Church” the time has
come to set the story straight and reveal what the “Church” really is.
The English word “Church” comes originally from the Old English
word KIRKE. The Old English word KIRKE was the word the AngloSaxons
used to refer to their pagan places of worship. When they
became Christianized the Anglo-Saxons continued to call their places
of worship KIRKES and as the language evolved “Churches”. You
may have heard that the word “Church” originally referred to the
people and later came to refer to the building. This is not true. The
word “Church” originally referred to the building and later came to
refer to the people. Moreover the word “church” is of pagan origin
Now if you look up the English word “Church” in Webster’s dictionary
you will find the following meanings:
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1. a building set apart or consecrated for public worship, esp.
one for Christian worship.
2. All Christians as a whole.
3. A denomination of Christians.
In short a “church” is either a building or a group of Christians.
Now wherever we see the English word “church” in an English Bible
we would expect the underlying Greek word would be a Greek word
that also means “a group of Christians”. Since the English uses such a
technical theological term one would expect that the Greek has also
used a technical theological term. But the reality is that the Greek
word that appears wherever the English has “church” is not a technical
theological term and DOES NOT mean “a group of Christians” at all.
That’s right, a technical theological term of pagan origin meaning “a
group of Christians” has been inserted in your English Bible despite
the fact that the corresponding Greek word is not a technical
theological term and does not mean the same thing as the word
“Church”.
The Greek word that appears where our English Bible’s have “church”
is EKKLESIA. EKKLESIA is just the Greek word for “assembly”.
Although it comes from a root meaning “to call out” there is no special
theological significance to this word. In fact this is the same Greek
word which was used for “assembly” by the classical Pagan Greek
writers. Inscriptions in ancient Greek auditoriums where pagan ritual
dramas were performed by the Bachus cult have the audience section
inscribed with the sign “EKKLESIA”. This same Greek word
EKKLESIA is used throughout the Greek Septuagint translation of the
Tanak as the word for “assembly”. There are also many places where
the Greek word EKKLESIA appears in the NT but which the KJV and
other translators did NOT translate the word as “church”. This same
Greek word is even used in Acts 19:32-41 to describe an unruly mob,
yet here the translators suddenly translate
the word as “assembly” rather than “church”.
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There is therefore no such thing as the “church” because the Greek
word translated “church” does not mean “church” at all but
“assembly”.
There are some who claim that the “Church” was a new entity born in
Acts 2 at Pentecost of 32 C.E. . However if we examine the events of
Acts 2 we find that at that event persons were “added to” the “church”
(Acts 2:47) which means that the “church” had to have already existed
at that time. If we turn to Acts 7:38 we see that it speaks of Moses as
“he that was in the church in the wilderness”. Certainly this “church”
could not have been a new “New Testament” entity.
While the term “church” is a mistranslation for a word simply meaning
“assembly”, there is an entity which is commonly referred to as “The
Assembly” in the New Testament. Let us examine the Scriptures and
determine what the true identity of this “Assembly” is.
To begin with we must understand that this Assembly is also known as
the “Body of Messiah” as we read:
“And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the
beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he
might have the preeminence.”
(Col. 1:18 – KJV)
“And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the
head over all things to the church,
Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.”
(Eph. 1:22-23 – KJV)
Now one may ask what “Assembly” is the allegorical Messiah? To
find the answer to that question lets look at Matthew 2:14-15:
“When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by
night, and departed into Egypt:
And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be
fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord
by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son. ”
(Matthew 2:14-15 – KJV)
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Now here Matthew is citing a prophecy in Hosea 11:1 and applying it
to Messiah. Now let us go back and look at this prophecy in Hosea
11:1 in context:
“When Israel was a child, then I loved him,
and called my son out of Egypt.”
(Hosea 11:1 – KJV)
Here Hosea is referring to Israel as the son who is called out of Egypt.
This points us back to a passage in the Torah:
“And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh, Thus saith the LORD, Israel
is my son, even my firstborn:
And I say unto thee, Let my son go, that he may serve me: and
if thou refuse to let him go,
behold, I will slay thy son, even thy firstborn.”
(Ex. 4:22-23 – KJV)
From these two passages we learn that Israel is the firstborn son of
Elohim who is called out of Egypt. However in Matthew it is Yeshua
the Messiah who is called up out of Egypt and in Col. 1:18 Messiah is
the “firstborn”. Moreover Hebrews speaks of the “church of the
firstborn” (Heb. 12:23 – KJV).
Thus Israel is allegorically equivalent to the Messiah. There are some
very important reasons for this allegorical relationship:
* Both are the “firstborn Son of Elohim”.
* Both made a major impact on the world.
* Both were born through a biological miracle on their
mother’s womb.
* Both were taken into Egypt to save their lives.
* Both were called up out of Egypt.
* Both were despised and rejected by men.
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* Rome attempted to destroy them both.
* Both are resurrected.
Thus Israel is the allegorical “Body of Messiah”. Moreover in the
Tanak, Israel is commonly called “The Assembly of Israel” and
wherever the phrase “The Assembly of Israel” appears in the Tanak the
Greek LXX has “EKKLESIA of Israel”.
The so-called “church” which is the “Body of Messiah” is in reality
“the Assembly of Israel”. Yeshua did not come to create a new
religion, but to be Messiah of the old one. Wherever your English New
Testament refers to a “church” (i.e. a group of Christians) the Greek
has “EKKLESIA a term which commonly refers to the “Assembly of
Israel”. The “Church” as most Christians have understood it never
existed. All of the passage people have thought were talking about the
“Church” were actually talking about the Assembly of Israel, not
Christianity, but the Nazarene sect of Judaism.
False Doctrines and Universal Apostasy
1 Now the Spirit plainly says that in the last times some men
shall depart from the faith and shall go after deceiving spirits
and after teachings of shadim,
2 those who deceive by false appearance and are speaking a
lie, and are seared in their conscience,
(1Timothy 4:1-2)
What does it mean “depart from the faith”? There is only one true
faith (Eph. 4:5) which was once and for all delivered (Jude 1:3). In
fact that faith is inseparable from Torah:
Remove the false way from me,
and graciously grant me your Torah.
I have chosen the way of faith;
I have placed your ordinances before me.
(Psalm 119:29-30)
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Now when he was on trial before Pilate Yeshua said:
37 Pilate said to him, Then are you a king? Yeshua said to
him, You have said that I am a king. I was born for this, and
for this I came into the world that I might testify concerning the
truth . Every man who is of the truth hears my voice.
38 Pilate said to him, What is truth? And after he had said
this he went out again to the Judeans and said to them, I do not
find even one fault in him.
(John 18:37-38)
To this Pilate asked the all important question:
What is truth?
(John. 18:38)
Let us look back to the Tanak to find the answer to Pilate’s question:
Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness,
and your Torah is truth.
(Psalm 119:142)
You are near, O YHWH,
and all your commandments are truth.
(Psalm 119:151)
This definition explains many phrases in the New Testament:
“Obey the truth” (Gal. 3:1)
“But he that does truth…” (Jn. 3:20)
4 I rejoice greatly that I found some of your sons walking in
truth, as we have received commandment from the Father.
(2Jn. 1:4)
Yeshua came to bear witness of the Torah, those who hear the Torah
hear his voice. This leads us to another important saying from
Yeshua:
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31 And Yeshua said to those Judeans who trusted in him, If
you will remain in my word, you are truly my talmidim.
32 And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you
free.
(John 8:31-32)
Paul, however, speaks of those “who changed the truth of God into a
lie” (Rom. 1:25) Now if Messiah came to bear witness of the truth
then what has HaSatan to bear witness to? The scriptures tell us:
44 You are from your father, the ‘Akel Kartza. And you want
to do the lust of your father, who from the beginning killed
men and did not stand in the truth because the truth was not in
him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from himself because he
is a liar, even its father.
(John 8:44)
…HaSatan, who deceives the whole world…
(Rev. 12:9)
When HaSatan speaks a lie, he is merely speaking his native language.
Now if the Torah is truth, then what is HaSatan’s lie? His lie is that
there is not a Torah, that the Torah has been done away with.
Now that we know what these terms “the faith” as opposed to “a lie”
mean lets look again at 1Tim. 4:1-2:
1 Now the Spirit plainly says that in the last times some men
shall depart from the faith and shall go after deceiving spirits
and after teachings of shadim,
2 those who deceive by false appearance and are speaking a
lie, and are seared in their conscience,
3 and forbid to marry, and require abstinence from foods
which Eloah created for use and for thanksgiving for those who
believe and know the truth;
4 because everything which was created by Eloah is good, and
there is not a thing which should be rejected, if it is received
with thanksgiving,
(1Timothy 4:1-2)
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Now we can see that 1Timothy 4:1-2 refers to a departure from the
Nazaerene faith of Torah to a new faith which is without the Torah.
Now lets look at 2Timothy 3:1-7:
1 But this know, that in the last days, difficult times will come.
2 And sons of men will be lovers of their nefeshot, and lovers
of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, those who are not
obedient to their parents, ungrateful, wicked,
3 slanderers, slaves to lust, cruel, haters of good,
4 betrayers, unrestrained, proud, lovers of lusts more than the
love of Eloah,
5 those who have the form of the awe of Eloah, but are far
removed from his power. Those who are thus thrust them out
from you.
6 For from them are those who creep from house to house and
captivate women who are loaded down with sins and are led
away by various lusts,
7 who always are learning and are not ever able to come to the
knowledge of the truth.
Once again Paul writes to Timothy about a great apostasy, which he
associates with a lack of Torah observance by those “Who always are
learning and are not ever able to come to the knowledge of the truth”.
Remember, the Torah is truth (Ps. 119:142, 151).
A few verses down Paul writes:
3 For the time will come when they will not hear sound
teaching, but according to their lusts, they will multiply
teachers to their nefeshot with the itching of their hearing,
4 And they will turn their ear from the truth, and they will
turn aside to myths.
(2Tim. 4:3-4)
Once again he associates this great apostasy with a rejection of the
Torah.
Kefa also speaks of this last days apostasy as follows:
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1 But there were also false prophets among the people, even as
there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring
in destructive sects, even denying the Adon who redeemed
them, and bring on themselves swift destruction.
2 And many will follow their destructive ways, because of
whom the way of truth will be blasphemed.
(2Kefa 2:1-2)
Then a little further down he writes:
19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves
of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also
he is brought into bondage.
(2Kefa 2:19)
Remember we learned that the Torah is Truth (Ps. 119:142) and that
Yeshua said:
31 And Yeshua said to those Judeans who trusted in him, If
you will remain in my word, you are truly my talmidim.
32 And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you
free.
(John 8:31-32)
Therefore the Torah brings freedom. This is completely contrary to
what most people have been taught. The common wisdom is that the
Torah is bondage and that “freedom in Christ” means freedom from
Torah. However as we shall see the scriptures teach that exactly the
opposite is true.
The central story of Judaism is that of the Exodus from Egypt.
The children of Israel were in bondage in Egypt. Elohim promised to
bring them out of bondage and give them freedom. Upon leading the
children of Israel out of Egypt, YHWH led them to Mt. Sinai where he
delvered the Torah to them. Note that the theme of this central story is
that God promised freedom from bondage and gave the children of
Israel Torah. Now why would YHWH lead the people out of bondage
in Egypt, lead them to Mt. Sinai, and deliver them right back into
bondage again? And why would he at the same time promise them
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freedom. God is no liar. He promised the people freedom and he gave
them Torah because the Torah is freedom from bondage. The Torah is
truth (Ps. 119:142) and the truth will make you free (John 8:31-32).
This truth is proclaimed by the Psalmist:
So shall I keep your Torah continually forever and ever,
And I will walk in freedom: for I seek your precepts.
(Psalm 119:44-45)
As well as by Ya’akov HaTzadik (James the Just) who called the
Torah “the Torah of freedom” (James 1:25; 2:12).
So as we look once again at 2Kefa:
19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves
of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also
he is brought into bondage.
(2Kefa 2:19)
Two entire books of the New Scriptures, 2Peter and Jude, are
dedicated to combating this apostate teaching. These books warn us of
men who will promise “freedom” but turn from the “holy
commandment” (the Law) (2Pt. 2:18-21) turning “the grace of our
God” into a license to sin (Jude 1:4, 14-18).
Now you may be saying to yourself: “Ok, so Christendom teaches
lawlessness, but don’t the lawless teachers of 2Peter & Jude go so far
as to teach sexual immorality? Surely the lawless teachers of
Christendom would never use their “the Law is not for today” teaching
to promote sexual immorality.” Wrong! Some of Christendom’s
teachers have already carried the “the Law is not for today” reasoning
to its fullest and logical conclusion. A sect of Christendom known as
“The Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches” has
published a tract which does just that. The nameless author of the tract
writes:
Another Scripture verse that is used
to show that the Bible condemns the gay lifestyle
is found in the Old Testament Book of Leviticus, 18:22,
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“Thou shalt not lie with a man as thou would with a
woman.” Anyone who is concerned about this prohibition
should read the whole chapter or the whole Book of Leviticus:
No pork, no lobster, no shrimp, no oysters, no intercourse
during the menstrual period, no rare meats, no eating blood,
no inter-breeding of cattle, and a whole host of other laws,
including the law to kill all divorced people who remarry.
As Christians, our law is from Christ. St. Paul
clearly taught that Christians are no longer under the
Old Law (for example in Galatians 3:23-24);
that the Old Law is brought to an end in Christ
(Romans10:4); and its fulfillment is in love
(Romans 13:8-10, Galatians 5:14). The New Law
of Christ is the Law of Love. Neither Jesus, nor Paul,
nor any of the New Testament Scriptures implies that
Christians are held to the cultic or ethical laws
of the Mosaic Law.
(Homosexuality; What the Bible Does and Does not Say;
Universal Fellowship press, 1984, p. 3)
Thus Christendom’s teaching that “the Law is not for today” is already
being used to “turn the grace of our God into perversion.” (Jude 1:4;
see also 2Pt. 2:18-21)
The Scriptures forewarn us about a coming “apostasy”:
3 Do not let anyone deceive you in any way, because [it will
not come] except an apostasy should come first and the son of
man of sin be revealed, the son of destruction,
(2Thes. 2:3)
The scriptures abound with prophecies about this great apostasy.
We read in the Tanak:
11 Behold, the days come, says the Adonai YHWH, that I will
send a famy in the land, not a famy of bread, nor a thirst for
water, but of hearing the words of YHWH.
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12 And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north
even to the east; they shall run to and fro to seek the word of
YHWH, and shall not find it.
(Amos 8:11-12)
Now just what is “The Word of YHWH”? In Isaiah we read:
…For the Torah will go out from Zion;
and the word of YHWH from Jerusalem.
(Isaiah 2:3)
Thus the “Word of YHWH” would seem to be the Torah.
Micah writes:
5 Thus says YHWH concerning the prophets that make my
people to err; that cry: ‘Peace’, when their teeth have any thing
to bite; and whoso puts not into their mouths, they even prepare
war against him:
6 Therefore it shall be night unto you, that you shall have no
vision; and it shall be dark unto you, that you shall not divine;
and the sun shall go down upon the prophets, and the day shall
be black over them.
7 And the seers shall be put to shame, and the diviners
confounded; yes, they shall all cover their upper lips; for there
shall be no answer of Elohim.
11 The heads thereof judge for reward, and the cohanim
thereof teach for hire, and the prophets thereof divine for
money; yet will they lean upon YHWH, and say: ‘Is not
YHWH in the midst of us? No evil shall come upon us’?
(Micah 3:5-7, 11)
And Isaiah says:
1 Behold, YHWH makes the earth empty and makes it waste,
and turns it upside down, and scatters abroad the inhabitants
thereof.
2 And it shall be, as with the people, so with the cohen; as
with the servant, so with his master; as with the maid, so with
her mistress; as with the buyer, so with the seller; as with the
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lender, so with the borrower; as with the creditor, so with the
debtor.
3 The earth shall be utterly emptied, and clean despoiled; for
YHWH has spoken this word.
4 The earth faints and fades away, the world fails and fades
away, the lofty people of the earth do fail.
5 The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof;
because they have transgressed the laws, violated the statute,
broken the everlasting covenant.
6 Therefore has a curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell
therein are found guilty; therefore the inhabitants of the earth
waste away, and men are left few.
(Is. 24:1-6)
The authors of the “New Testament” also refer to this great apostasy:
11 And many false prophets will arise,
and will lead many astray.
12 And because apostasy will abound,
the love of many will wax cold.
(Mt. 24:11-12 DuTillet Hebrew text)
Do not let anyone deceive you in any way,
because [it will not come] except
an apostasy should come first
and the son of man of Torah-less-ness be revealed,
the son of destruction ,
(2Thes. 2:3)
Now the spirit plainly says that in the last times
some men shall depart from the faith
and shall go after deceiving spirits
and after teachings of shadim,
Those who deceive by false appearance
and are speaking a lie,
and are seared in their conscience,
(1Timothy 4:1-2)
Paul also said to the Ephesians on his last visit to them:
24
I know that after I am gone fierce wolves will enter in among
you without mercy upon the flock.
And also from among you there will rise up men speaking
perverse things, so that they might turn away the talmidim
to follow after them.
(Acts 20:29-30)
Paul seems to indicate that after his death leaders would begin to rise
up from the overseers [Bishops] in his stead that would draw people to
follow themselves and draw them away from Torah. In fact Paul died
in 66 C.E. and the first overseer (Bishop) of Antioch to take office
after his death was Ignatius in 98 C.E.. Ignatius fulfilled Paul’s words
precisely. After taking the office of Bishop over Antioch Ignatius sent
out a series of epistles to other assemblies. His letters to the Ephesians,
Magnesians, Trallianns, Romans, Philadelphians and Smyrnaeans as
well as a personal letter to Polycarp overseer of Smyrnaea have
survived to us.
The Ancient Nazarene Historian and commentator Hegesippus (c. 180
CE) writes of the time immediately following the death of Shim’on,
who succeeded Ya’akov HaTzadik as Nasi of the Nazarene Sanhedrin
and who died in 98 CE:
Up to that period (98 CE) the Assembly had remained like a
virgin pure and uncorrupted: for, if there were any persons who
were disposed to tamper with the wholesome rule of the
proclaiming of salvation, they still lurked in some dark place of
concealment or other. But, when the sacred band of Emissaries
had in various ways closed their lives, and that generation of
men to whom it had been vouchsafed to listen to the inspired
Wisdom with their own ears had passed away, then did the
confederacy of godless error take its rise through the treachery
of false teachers, who, seeing that none of the emissaries any
longer survived, at length attempted with bare and uplifted
head to oppose the proclaiming of the truth by proclaiming
“knowledge falsely so called.”
(Hegesippus the Nazarene; c. 185 CE; quoted by Eusebius in
Eccl. Hist. 3:32)
25
Hegisippus indicates the apostasy began the very same year that
Ignatious became bishop of Antioch!
Up until the time of Ignatius, matters of dispute that arose at Antioch
were ultimately referred to the Jerusalem Council (as in Acts 14:26-
15:2). Ignatius usurped the authority of the Jerusalem council,
declaring himself as the local bishop as the ultimate authority over the
assembly of which he was bishop, and likewise declaring the same as
true of all other bishops and their local assemblies. Ignatius writes:
…being subject to your bishop…
…run together according to the will of God.
Jesus… is sent by the will of the Father;
As the bishops… are by the will of Jesus Christ.
(Eph. 1:9, 11)
…your bishop…I think you happy who are so joined to him,
as the church is to Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ is to the
Father… Let us take heed therefore, that we not set ourselves
against the bishop, that we may be subject to God….
We ought to look upon the bishop, even as we would
upon the Lord himself.
(Eph. 2:1-4)
…obey your bishop…
(Mag. 1:7)
Your bishop presiding in the place of God…
…be you united to your bishop…
(Mag. 2:5, 7)
…he… that does anything without the bishop…
is not pure in his conscience…
(Tral. 2:5)
…Do nothing without the bishop. (Phil. 2:14)
See that you all follow your bishop,
As Jesus Christ, the Father…
(Smy. 3:1)
26
By exalting the power of the office of bishop (overseer) and
demanding the absolute authority of the bishop over the assembly,
Ignatius was actually making a power grab by thus taking absolute
authority over the assembly at Antioch and encouraging other Gentile
overseers to follow suite.
Moreover Ignatius drew men away from Torah and declared the Torah
to have been abolished, not only at Antioch but at other Gentile
assemblies to which he wrote:
Be not deceived with strange doctrines;
nor with old fables which are unprofitable.
For if we still continue to live according to the Jewish Law,
we do confess ourselves not to have received grace…
(Mag. 3:1)
But if any one shall preach the Jewish law unto you,
hearken not unto him…
(Phil. 2:6)
It is also Ignatius who first replaces the Seventh Day Sabbath with
Sunday worship, writing:
…no longer observing sabbaths, but keeping the Lord’s day
in which also our life is sprung up by him, and through
his death…
(Magnesians 3:3)
Having seceded from the authority of Jerusalem, declared the Torah
abolished and replacing the Sabbath with Sunday, Ignatius had created
a new religion. Ignatius coins a new term, never before used, for
this new religion which he calls “Christianity” and which he makes
clear is new and distict religion from Judaism. He writes:
let us learn to live according to the rules of Christianity, for
whosoever is called by any other name besides this, he is not of
God….
It is absurd to name Jesus Christ, and to Judaize.
27
For the Christian religion did not embrace the Jewish.
But the Jewish the Christian…
(Mag. 3:8, 11)
By the end of the first century Ignatius of Antioch had fulfilled
Paul’s warning. He seceded from Judaism and founded a new religion
which he called “Christianity”. A religion which rejected the
Torah, and replaced the Seventh Day Sabbath with Sunday Worship.
Now Paul’s prophecy was being fulfilled. Gentile leaders were causing
men to follow after themselves and drawing people away from Torah,
and it was springing forth from the first Gentile assembly. The result
was the birth of a new Gentile religion that had effectively rebelled
against Torah based Judaism, a religion known as “Christianity”.
Thus the Ancient Nazarene Historian and commentator Gish’fa
(Hegesippus) (c. 180 CE) writes of the time immediately following the
death of Shim’on, who succeeded Ya’akov HaTzadik (James the Just)
as Nasi of the Nazarene Sanhedrin and who died in 98 CE:
Up to that period (98 CE) the Assembly had remained like a
virgin pure and uncorrupted: for, if there were any persons who
were disposed to tamper with the wholesome rule of the
preaching of salvation, they still lurked in some dark place of
concealment or other. But, when the sacred band of Emissaries
had in various ways closed their lives, and that generation of
men to whom it had been vouchsafed to listen to the Godlike
Wisdom with their own ears had passed away, then did the
confederacy of godless error take its rise through the treachery
of false teachers, who, seeing that none of the apostles any
longer survived, at length attempted with bare and uplifted
head to oppose the preaching of the truth by preaching
“knowledge falsely so called.”
(Hegesippus the Nazarene; c. 185 CE Eusebius; Eccl.
Hist.3:32)
Gish’fa indicates the apostasy began the very same year that Ignatious
became bishop of Antioch!
28
CHRISTMAS
Following the great flood mankind attempted to centralize on the
plains of Shinar and built a city called Babel (Babylon and Babel are
the same word in Hebrew: Bavel). HaSatan immediately sought to
turn mankind away from the true Messiah by introducing a false
Messiah. HaSatan found the perfect tool, an ambitious woman named
Semeramis. She was the widow of Nimrod, “the mighty hunter before
YHWH” (Gen. 10:9) who had met with a violent death. Nimrod had
been deified as being a deliverer from the menace of wild animals.
Semeramis, seeking to perpetuate his worship and also to retain her
throne, deceived them into joyfully believing that by way of a
miraculous conception she had given birth to a son called Tammuz,
who was claimed to be Nimrod reincarnated. This woman with her
mamzer (illegitimate) child was thenceforth worshipped as “mother of
ELOHIM” (Madonna)– “the queen of heaven.”
This was the birth of the ancient Babylonian-Akkadian religion, the
fountainhead of all idolatry. Every form of paganism, can be traced to
this source.
Alexander Hislop, in his book. THE TWO BABYLONS, has clearly
documented that Christian worship is none other than the worship of
Nimrod and his wife, disguised Concerning the Christmas festival
Hislop writes:
The Christmas was originally a pagan festival is beyond all
doubt. The time of the year, the ceremonies with which it is
celebrated, prove its origin. In Egypt, the son of Isis, the
Egyptian title for the queen of heaven, was born at this
very time, about the time of the winter solstice. The very
name by which Christmas is popularly known among
ourselves– Yule day– proves at once its pagan and
Babylonian origin. “Yule” is the Chaldee name for “infant,” or
“little child”; and as the 25th of December was called by our
pagan Anglo-Saxon ancestors “Yule-day” or “the child’s day”,
and the night that preceded it, “Mother night”, long before
they came in contact with Christianity, that sufficiently
proves its real character. Far and wide in the realms of
29
paganism was this birthday observed
(THE TWO BABYLONS; Alexander Hislop; p. 93)
It may be demonstrated that Yeshua was not born in the winter at all,
but during the Fall Feasts. Since YHWH has not in his Torah
authorized the celebration of Christmas, then where did it come from?
As early as the first century Paul was condemning those from the
Gentiles who were attempting to incorporate their old pagan “days,
and months and seasons and years” into their new faith (Gal. 4:8-11).
About the year 230 the Gentile Christian “Church Father” Tertullian
wrote:
By us [Gentile Christians] who are strangers to (Jewish)
Sabbaths, and new moons, and festivals, …
the Saturnalia, the feasts of January, the Brumalia, and
Matronalia are now frequented, with gifts being carried to
and fro.
Since Tammuz was identified with Ba’al, the sun god, and since the
sun noticeably began to grow stronger at about the 25th of December,
at the winter solstice this season came to be celebrated as the rebirth of
Nimrod. The feast of Saturnalia, lasting about a week, was held at this
time.
Now it was the policy of Roman Catholicism to incorporate pagan
festivals into Christianity so as to bring in more converts.
Pope Gregory wrote to Augustine the first missionary to the British
Isles (C.E. 597):
Do not destroy the temples of the English gods; change them
to Christian churches. Do not forbid the “harmless” customs
which have been associated with the old religions;
consecrate them to Christian use.
Thus Rome retained a pagan form for “Xmas” but could not restrain its
pagan spirit– existing to this day.
Sir James Fraser in “The Golden Bough” writes:
Thus it appears that the Christian Church chose to celebrate
30
the birthday of its founder on the 25th of December in
order to transfer the devotion of the heathen from the sun
to him who was called the Sun of Righteousness. If that was
so, there can be no intrinsic improbability in the conjecture
that motives of the same sort may have led the ecclesiastical
authorities to assimilate the Easter festival of the death and
resurrection of their Lord to the festival of the death and
resurrection of another Asiatic God which fell in the same
season.
The name “Christmas” appeared around 450 C.E. when Pope Julius
decreed that all Christians must observe the birth of Jesus at the same
time that the pagans were observing the Saturnalia, etc. It was then
called “Christe-masse”, or Christ’s mass.
The so-called “Christmas tree” had its origin in Babylonian religion,
The tree was used to represent Tammuz (a name meaning “branch” or
“sprout”) HaSatan’s counterfeit of “The Branch” (Hebrew: NETZER;
branch; shoot; sprout)– Messiah, who was also prophetically called
“The Root out of dry ground” (Is. 11:1; 53:2; Jer. 23:5; Zech. 6:12–
“Behold the man whose name is The Branch”). Ancient coins have
been found picturing a tree stump (representing dead Nimrod) and a
small tree growing nearby (Tammuz).
EASTER
The present variable time was appointed
by early Romanism in amalgamation with the very
ancient pagan spring festival to the goddess
of the spring. It was fixed on the Sunday
immediately following the 14th day of the
paschal moon which happened on or first
after the vernal equinox.
(Schaff-Herzog Ency. Of Religious Knowledge, Vol. 2, p. 682)
Eostre was the Anglo-Saxon name for the Babylonian goddess Ishtar .
The celebration of the Christian holiday “Easter” goes back to the
Pagan Babylonian spring festival also known as the Roman
31
Pagan festival Veneralia held on April 1st in honor of Venus , the
Romasn equivelant of the Greek Aphrodite who was the same as the
Babylonian Ishtar.
So-called “Lent” is of purely Babylonian origin. The word “Lent”
actually came from the Saxon word “Lenct”,meaning “spring.” Lent
began as the forty days of “weeping for Tammuz” (see Ezek. 8:13-14)
leading up to the spring equinox and the festival of Ishtar.
Tammuz was the supposed reincarnation of Ishtar’s (i.e. Semeramis’)
husband (Nimrod). In the spring, his death and reappearance was
celebrated. A season of lamentation was followed by one day of joy at
the rising of the sun at the spring equinox (as in Ezek. 8:15-18 )
with the Isthar sunrise service:
15 Then said He unto me: ‘Have you seen this, O son of man?
you shall again see yet greater abominations than these.’
16 And He brought me into the inner court of YHWH’s house,
and, behold, at the door of the temple of YHWH, between the
porch and the altar, were about five and twenty men, with their
backs toward the temple of YHWH, and their faces toward the
east; and they worshipped the sun toward the east.
17 Then He said unto me: ‘Have you seen this, O son of man?
Is it a light thing to the House of Y’hudah that they commit the
abominations which they commit here in that they fill the land
with violence, and provoke Me still more, and, behold, they
have put the branch to their nose.
18 Therefore will I also deal in fury; My eye shall not spare,
neither will I have pity; and though they cry in My ears with a
loud voice, yet will I not hear them.’
Ishtar (the queen of heaven) was worshipped with nice fluffy cakes
(Jer. 7:18; 44:17-19) today’s hot-cross buns. By contrast Passover
which occurs at about the same time is observed with unleavened
bread. In fact Easter eggs and Easter bunnies are both fertility
symbols associated with the fertility goddess Ishtar.
Notice that Ishtar worship was a big family event for the children:
The children gather wood
32
and the fathers kindle the fire
and the women knead their dough,
to make cakes to the queen of heaven
and to pour out drink offerings to other gods, that
they may provoke me to anger,
(Jer. 7:18; 44:17-19)
The custom of wearing new clothes at Easter also seems to be the
antipathy of Passover during which traveling clothes are to be worn
(Ex. 12:11).
STEEPLES
The steeple originates from the vile phallic worship referred to in Isa.
57:5-8 and Ezek. 16:17. The “groves” connected with “high places”
that Israel so frequently “went whoring with” (Ps. 106:28-39) were the
images and places where these “queen of heaven” festivals were
carried on. The word “groves,” found forty times in the KJV English,
comes from the Hebrew word asherah and is always associated with
the worship of Ashtoreth, alias Ishtar, Eostre, the goddess of spring,
Easter. This phalic worship often involved the use of phalic symbols
(see Ezek. 16:17). Egyptian obelisks are just such phalic symbols.
Today many churches are also topped with these Babylonian phalic
symbols known today as “steeples”.
CROSSES, DOVES AND FISHES
Tammuz (Ezek. 8:14) also called Dumuzi was the Sumerian and
Babylonian Akkadian name for the Phoenician god Ba’al Shamin .
Ba’al Shamin (the Lord of Heaven) originated in Canaanite culture as
Ba’al (Lord) so often mentioned in the Bible. Ba’al also appears in the
Babylonian pantheon as Bel . Which was also a title of the Babylonian
god Marduk called in Hebrew Merodach . One of the Biblical titles of
Ba’al was “Ba’al Gad” (pronounced Ba’al Gawd or Ba’al God) (Josh.
11:17; 12:7; 13:5). Ba’al Gad (the Lord God) is also listed in the
Encyclopedia of Gods as a Western Semetic god.
According to the Encyclopedia of Gods:
33
He is the first “dying-and-rising” god
to be historically recorded by name…
He is commanded by Inana [Ishtar] to
enter the underworld for a period each
year, which accounts for the seasonal
demise of the green world to drought.
… as late as biblical times there are
references to women “weeping for Tammuz”.
Ba’al also is said to have died, descended into the underworld and been
restored
The Greek version of the Babylonian god Tammuz was Adonis.
Adonis was synonymous with the Phonecian diety Adon (lord) .
Regarding Adonis the Encyclopedia of Gods say:
Adonis is modeled on the Mesopotamian dying
vegitarian god Dumuzi (Hebrew: Tammuz)…
Tradition has it that he was killed… and is
condemned to the underworld for six months
of each year, during which the earth’s vegetation
parches and dies under the Summer sun and drought.
He was honored in a spring festival…
The first letter in Tammuz is the Semitic letter TAW which appeared
in Canaanite script as a cross. As a result Tammuz was often
worshiped with the symbol of the cross.
Thus Tammuz was also known as Adon (Lord); Ba’al (Lord); “Ba’al
Shamin” (The Lord of Heaven) and Ba’al Gad (The Lord God). He
died, descended into the underworld and was resurrected. His
resurrection was celebrated with a spring festival and he was
worshipped with the symbol of the cross.
Dagon is mentioned as the god of the Philistines in Judges 16:23;
1Sam. 5:2-7 and 1Chron. 10:10. Dagon (Strong’s # 1712) means “fishgod”
and is taken from DAG (Strong’s # 1709 “fish”). According to
the Encyclopedia of Gods Dagan (Dagon) was a grain and fertility god
and the father of Ba’al. His attributes included a fish tail. Thus the
father of Ba’al was worshiped with the symbol of the fish.
34
Ishtar was the Babylonian equivalent of the Sumarian goddess Inan
who was the consort of Tammuz . She was known to the Greeks as
Aphrodite and to the Romans as Venus and worshipped her with the
symbol of the dove. She was known to the Amorites, Canaanites and
Phonecians as Asherah . The Phonecians also called her Astarte the
consort of Ba’al Shamin . Her festival was the Roman feast of
Veneralia on April 1st . This corresponded to the Babylonian Spring
Equinox festival of Ishtar also called “Easter” still observed today.
Prophecy of Restoration
Despite all of these prophecies of a universal apostasy and their
fulfillment, there are also prophecies of a great restoration in the last
days. An amazing time is at hand! Biblical prophecy is being fulfilled.
A major prophetic event that the Scriptures state will occur before the
return of Messiah, is just about ready to occur, in fact it is happening
right now! We read in the Book of Baruch (in the Apocrypha):
… but in the land of their captivities they shall remember
themselves. And shall know that I am YHWH their Elohim: for
I will give them a heart, and ears to hear: And they shall praise
me in the land of their captivity, and think upon my name, And
return from their stiff neck, and from their wicked deeds: for
they shall remember the way of their fathers, which sinned
before YHWH. And I will bring them again into the land which
I promised with an oath unto their fathers, Avraham,
Yitzchak, and Ya’akov, and they shall be masters of it: and I
will increase them, and they shall not be diminished. And I will
make an everlasting covenant with them to be their Elohim,
and they shall be my people: and I will no more drive my
people of Israel out of the land that I have given them.
(Barukh (Baruch) 2:30-35)
Baruch tells us that while still in the land of our captivity Elohim’s
people will have a great awakening. Notice this happens shortly
before YHWH brings them back into the Land, shortly before they are
gathered together on the four winds and return to the Land (Is. 11:12;
35
Deut. 30:4; Zech. 2:6) at the return of Messiah (Mt. 24:27-31). This
Last Days restoration of truth is also mentioned in the Book of Enoch:
And thereafter, in the Seventh Week, a perverse generation
shall arise. And many shall be its misdeeds and all its doings
shall be apostate. And at its close the elect shall be chosen,
as witnesses to righteousness, from the eternal plant of
righteousness, to whom shall be given seven-fold wisdom and
knowledge. And they will uproot the foundations of
oppression, And the structure of falsehood therein to destroy it
utterly.
(Enoch 93:9-11)
Yes, after the apostasy takes hold, then a restoration will take place.
This restoration will derive from the “plant of righteousness”,
YHWH’s cultivated olive tree (see Romans 11) and have seven-fold
wisdom and knowledge, a profound enlightenment in understanding
the Word of Elohim and tear down the false doctrines and customs of
the apostasy.
Restoration of Semikhah
Semikhah is derived from a Hebrew word which means to is a Hebrew
word referring to the laying on of hands and which is commonly used
to refer to “authority” or “ordination”. This word commonly refers to
the ordination of a rabbi within Judaism. Smikhah is the transmission
of rabbinic authority to give advice or judgment concerning the Torah
and only someone who had semikhah was authorized to give religious
and legal decisions (b.San. 5b). Semikhah is a system of ordination
that according to tradition, traces its line of authority back to Moses
and the seventy elders.
According to the Torah, Moses ordained Joshua through semikhah:
15 And Moshe spoke unto YHWH, saying,
16 Let YHWH, the Elohim of the spirits of all flesh, set a man
over the assembly,
17 Who may go out before them, and who may come in before
them, and who may lead them out, and who may bring them in:
36
that the assembly of YHWH be not as sheep which have no
shepherd.
18 And YHWH said unto Moshe: Take you Yahushua the son
of Nun, a man in whom is spirit, and lay your hand upon him.
19 And set him before El’azar the cohen and before all the
assembly, and give him a charge in their sight.
20 And you shall put of your honor upon him, that all the
assembly of the children of Yisra’el may hearken.
21 And he shall stand before El’azar the cohen, who shall
inquire for him by the judgment of the Urim before YHWH. At
his word shall they go out, and at his word they shall come in:
both he, and all the children of Yisra’el with him, even all the
assembly.
22 And Moshe did as YHWH commanded him. And he took
Yahushua and set him before El’azar the cohen, and before all
the assembly.
23 And he laid his hands upon him, and gave him a charge, as
YHWH spoke by the hand of Moshe.
(Num 27:15-23 HRV)
And Yahushua, the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom,
for Moshe had laid his hands upon him. And the children of
Yisra’el hearkened unto him, and did as YHWH
commanded Moshe.
(Deuteronomy 34:9 HRV)
Moses also ordained the 70 elders (Num 11:16-25) And the elders
later ordained their successors in the same way. Their successors in
turn gave semikhah others. The chain of semikhah thru laying on of
hands continued and at least until the time of Hillel II.
After the Bar Kokhba revolution was put down by Rome in 132–135
CE, and the emperor Hadrian sought to end to the Sanhedrin.
According to the Talmud, Hadrian decreed that anyone giving or
accepting semikhah was to be killed and the city in which the it took
place would be destroyed, and all crops within a mile of the event
were to be destroyed. The line of succession was saved by Rabbi
Yehuda ben Bava’s martyrdom: he took no other rabbis with him, and
five students of the recently martyred Rabbi Akiva, to a mountain pass
37
far from any settlement or farm, and this one Rabbi ordained all five
students.
R. Aha the son of Raba, asked R. Ashi: Is ordination effected
by the literal laying on of hands? — [No,] he answered; it is by
the conferring of the degree: He is designated by the title of
Rabbi and granted the authority to adjudicate cases of kenas.31
Cannot one man alone ordain? Did not Rab Judah say in Rab’s
name: ‘May this man indeed be remembered for blessing — his
name is R. Judah b. Baba; were it not for him, the laws of
kenas would have been forgotten in Israel.’ Forgotten? Then
they could have been learned. But (13b) these laws might have
been abolished; because once the wicked Government
[Hadrian], decreed that whoever performed an ordination
should be put to death, and whoever received ordination should
he put to death, the city in which the ordination took place
demolished, and the boundaries wherein it had been performed,
uprooted. What did R. Judah b. Baba do? He went and sat
between two great mountains, [that lay] between two large
cities; between the Sabbath boundaries of the cities of Usha
and Shefaram and there ordained five elders: viz., R. Meir, R.
Judah, R. Simeon, R. Jose and R. Eliezer b. Shamua’. R. Awia
adds also R. Nehemia in the list. As soon as their enemies
discovered them he [R.J.b.B.] urged them: ‘My children, flee.’
They said to him, ‘What will become of thee, Rabbi?’ ‘I lie
before them like a stone which none [is concerned to]
overturn,’ he replied. It was said that the enemy did not stir
from the spot until they had driven three hundred iron spearheads
into his body, making it like a sieve. — With R. Judah b.
Baba were in fact some others, but in honour to him, they were
not mentioned.
(b.San. 13b)
We do in fact see this doctrine represented among the ancient
Nazarenes. Paul advises Timothy “Do not quickly lay a hand upon a
man” (1Tim. 5:22).
This discussion is not complete without mentioning an incident in
which Yeshua was questioned about His authority. This was his reply:
38
23 And when He had come to the Temple, the Chief Cohenim
and the elders of the people approached Him as He was
teaching, saying, By what authority do you these things? And
who gave you this authority?
24 And Yeshua answered and said to them: I also will ask you
this thing, which if you tell me, I in like wise will tell you, by
what means I do what I am doing.
25 The immersion of Yochanan–of where was it: of Heaven,
or of men? And they reasoned with themselves and said, If we
shall say, Of Heaven, He will say to us, Why did you not
believe him?
26 But if we shall say, Of men, we fear the crowd: for
Yochanan was in the eyes of all as a prophet.
27 And they answered and said to Yeshua, We know not. And
He also said to them: And neither tell I you, by what means I
do these things.
(Matt. 21:23-27 HRV)
The Pharisees challenge Yeshua as to where his semikhah, or
authority comes from. Yeshua responds by asking them about where
Yochanan’s authority came from. Yeshua was not evading their
question. Yeshua was raising this point because Yeshua’s earthly
authority (semikhah) came from Yochanan (Jn. 1:6-8, 15, 26-27, 29-
37) and Yochanan’s authority was from an Esseness rather than a
Pharisaic source. Thus Yeshua’s semikhah traced back through
Yochanan to the Essene line of semikhah. Yeshua was putting the
Pharisses in the position of either acknowledging Essene Halachic
authority or declaring it to be false. It would appear that the Pharisees
were hesitant to question the semikhah of a sect that was known for
being even stricter on observance than they were.
This doctrine parallels the Catholic doctrine of “Apostolic Succession”
which teaches that they have a succession of authority from the first
century to the present day. This Apostolic Authority was the spiritual,
ecclesiastical and sacramental authority, power, and responsibility that
was supposedly passed by succession and conferred upon them
through the Apostles, who in turn received their spiritual authority
from Messiah. The Catholic and Apostolic Churches are the
39
predominant proponents of this doctrine, claiming to have an unbroken
chain of ordinations stemming from the Apostles.
Protestants take a very different approach to the “authority of the
Church”, generally taking the view that their authority is derived not
by succession from Moses of the Apostles, but from the Bible. The
Reformer Calvin expresses this view plainly:
“This, then, is the difference. Our opponents (speaking of the
Roman Catholic Church) locate the authority of the Church
outside God’s Word, that is, outside of Scripture and Scripture
alone. But we insist that it be attached to the Word and to not
allow it to be separated from it. And what wonder if Christ’s
bride and pupil be subject to her spouse and teacher so that she
pays constant and careful attention to His words. For this is the
arrangement of a well-governed house. The wife obeys the
husband’s authority. This is the plan of a well-ordered school,
that there the teaching of the schoolmaster alone should be
heard. For this reason the Church should not be wise of itself,
should not devise anything of itself but should set the limit of
its own wisdom where Christ has made an end of speaking. In
this way the Church will distrust all the devisings of its own
reason. But in those things where it rests upon God’s Word the
Church will not waiver with any distrust or doubting but will
repose in great assurance and firm constancy.”
(Calvin: Institutes of the Christian Religion, Volume 1, Chapter
VIII)
The problem with Protestantism is that they cannot quite point to
where the Bible actually gives them “the authority of the Church”,
they simply point to the Scriptures in general and not to a specific
passage that gave them authority.
Now the original authority of Nazarene Judaism was the Assembly of
Elders and Emissaries (Acts 15) which had received its authority from
Yeshua (Matt. 16:17-19; 18:15-20). However this Assembly
disappeared around the fourth century with the passing of organized
Nazarene Judaism.
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If prophecy is fulfilled and there is to be a restoration from the great
apostasy, there must of necessity be a restoration of semikhah as well.
Elohim’s Assembly cannot be in chaos. YHWH is not an author of
confusion (1Cor. 14:33) that He desires that everything be done on a
decent and orderly manner (1Cor. 14:40). How then, in the
restoration, is the authority to govern the Assembly of Yahweh
restored? How is SEMIKHAH restored to the earth?
The answer is to be found in the Torah itself. As Nazarene Judaism
was reorganized and restored, and non-selective Torah Observance
implemented among the restored Nazarene Community, the
International Nazarene Beit Din was established in obedience to the
Torah:
Judges and officers shall you make you in all your gates, which
YHWH your Elohim gives you, tribe by tribe. And they shall
judge the people with righteous judgment.
(Deut. 16:18)
In 1996 prophecy was fulfilled and SEMIKHAH was restored with the
re-establishment of the International Nazarene Beit Din. It is
important to note that establishing the International Nazarene Beit Din
was not optional, it was in obedience to the Torah. Nazarene Judaism
did not choose to establish an International Nazarene Beit Din,
Nazarene Judaism was required by Torah, in the absence of such a
governing body, to re-establish it to the earth. The Scripture was the
authority, and specifically Deut. 16:18 was the authority and according
to the Mishna and Talmud, SEMIKAH can be given by a Beit Din of a
minimum of three Elders (m.Sanhedrin 1:3; b.San. 13b).
The fact that SEMIKHAH was to be taken from the earth as the
apostasy progressed and that of necessity it would have to be restored
so that the Assembly could be restored can be clearly shown from the
Scriptures.
The authority to administer the Assembly in the Name of Yahweh is
operative today in the International Nazarene Beit Din today and this
authority or SEMIKHAH was confered upon the first officers of the
International Nazarene Beit Din by the Torah itself.
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The restoration of this authority is essential to restoring the Assembly.
As Paul writes:
3 And be diligent to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of
shalom:
4 That you be one body and one spirit, even as you are called
in one hope of your calling…
11 And He gave some: emissaries, and some prophets, and
some proclaimers, and some pastors, and some teachers,
12 For the perfecting of the Set-Apart-Ones: for the work of
the service; for the edification of the body of the Messiah,
13 Until all of us become one and the same, in the Trust and in
the knowledge of the Son of Eloah: and one complete man,
according to the measure of the stature of the fullness of the
Messiah.
14 And we should not be infants, who are shaken and turned
about by every wind of the deceitful teachings of the sons of
men, who by their craftiness are plotting to deceive:
(Eph. 4:3-4, 11-14 HRV)
The world as been “shaken and turned about by every wind of the
deceitful teachings of the sons of men, who by their craftiness are
plotting to deceive” (Eph. 4:14). This was the result of the apostasy.
The officers of YHWH’s Assembly were called by YHWH to maintain
the Unity of the Body so that it should not be “shaken and turned about
by every wind of the deceitful teachings.” (Eph. 4:14). In fact we are
specifically told to disfellowship those who “cause divisions” from the
Assembly:
Now I beseech you, brothers, mark them which cause divisions
and offenses contrary to the doctrine which you have learned;
and avoid them.
(Rom. 16:17 HRV)
But Matthew 18:15-20 makes it clear that disfellowshipment can only
occur after a process which involves bringing witnesses before the Beit
Din. The logic is inescapable. Endeavoring to the unity of the
Assembly sometimes requires the unpleasant task of disfellowshiping
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those who engage in the sin of sectarianism. Disfellowshiping such
persons requires a Matthew 18:15-20 process. And a Matthew 18:15-
20 process requires leadership structure, an Assembly of Elders with
the power to bind and loose.
The Body and its Plan of Organization
Many proclaim that they are uncomfortable with “organized religion”.
Yet Scripturally we all know that YHWH is not an author of confusion
(1Cor. 14:33) that He desires that everything be done on a decent and
orderly manner (1Cor. 14:40).
We know that built into the Torah was a structure of order. Moses “sat
and judged” (Ex. 18:13), established lower Assemblies of Elders on
the tribal levels (Ex. 18:13-27) and a Great Assembly of 70 Elders
(Num. 11:16f). The Torah lays out a whole system for the functioning
of these bodies (Deut. 16:18-17:13; 19:15-21).
The early Nazarenes likewise were structured with an “Assembly” of
“Emissaries and Elders” (Acts 15:4) and a structure of leadership:
Listen to the voice of your teachers and submit your neshomot
like they must give an account to Him for you,
that they may do this with joy and not in grief
for this is not profitable to you.
(Heb. 13:17 HRV)- See also 1Thes. 5:12-13
In fact the Matthew 18:15-20 process which is key to guaranteeing
Nazarenes due process and protecting us from religious Overlords, is
founded on, and requires the existence of this structure with an
Assembly with the power to “bind and loose”.
As much as some are distrustful of organized religion, our Nazarene
forefathers did not live in a sort of religious anarchy. A restoration of
the ancient sect of the Nazarenes ultimately must include a restoration
of the ancient Nazarene governing structures.
There is only one Body of Messiah (1Cor. 12:12-13; Rom. 12:5) and
we are obligated to endeavor to keep the unity of the Body in the bond
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of peace (Eph. 4:4). The unity of the Assembly of Elohim is absolutely
a priority to YHWH (Rom. 12:5; 1Cor. 1:10; 12:12-13; Eph. 4:1-6 &
1Jn. 1:7).
In fact the Scriptures tell us that dividing the Assembly of Elohim into
sects and factions is a “work of the flesh” comparable to murder and
idolatry (Gal. 5:20; 1Cor. 1:10-13; 3:3; 11:7-18 and 2Pt. 2:1)
In fact we are specifically told to disfellowship those who “cause
divisions” from the Assembly:
Now I beseech you, brothers, mark them which cause divisions
and offenses contrary to the doctrine which you have learned;
and avoid them.
(Rom. 16:17)
But Matthew 18:15-20 makes it clear that disfellowshipment can only
occur after a process which involves bringing witnesses before the Beit
Din.
The logic is inescapable. Endeavoring to the unity of the Assembly of
Elohim sometimes requires the unpleasant task of disfellowshiping
those who engage in the sin of sectarianism. Disfellowshiping such
persons requires a Matthew 18:15-20 process. And a Matthew 18:15-
20 process requires leadership structure, an Assembly of Elders with
the power to bind and loose.
Many leadership structures have been proposed by Christian Churches
over the centuries but few if any of them truly reflect the leadership
structure of the ancient sect of the Nazarenes.
After years of research and study I am now ready to lay out the
following reconstruction of the ancient Nazaerene leadership structure.
This reconstruction is based on studying the Scriptures in their original
language and interpreting them in light of what we know of Second
Temple Era Judaism from the Dead Sea Scrolls, Mishna, Talmud etc.
Of course the head of the Body is the Messiah (Col. 1:18; 2:10-19) but
under his headship we have earthly leaders to help maintain the unity
of the Body:
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11 And He gave some: emissaries, and some prophets, and
some proclaimers, and some pastors, and some teachers,
12 For the perfecting of the Set-Apart-Ones: for the work of
the service; for the edification of the body of the Messiah,
13 Until all of us become one and the same, in the trust and in
the knowledge of the Son of Eloah: and one complete man,
according to the measure of the stature of the fullness of the
Messiah.
14 And we should not be infants, who are shaken and turned
about by every wind of the deceitful teachings of the sons of
men, who by their craftiness are plotting to deceive:
15 But we should be steadfast in our love, that [in] everything
we may grow up in the Messiah, who is the head.
16 And from Him the whole body is fit together, and is tied
together in all the joints, according to the gift that is given by
measure to each member, for the growth of the body,
that its edification might be accomplished in love.
(Eph. 4:11-16)
Note that the leadership structure is key to the unity of the Body. How
did this leadership structure work?
The leadership structure under the headship of Messiah was lead by a
pair of men. In the Mishna this pair was called a ZUG (“pair”). In the
Torah the pair were Moses and Aharon. In the Mishna the pair occupy
two offices: NASI and AV BEIT-DIN. The pair give testimony to the
headship of Messiah following the Torah principle of a matter being
established by two or more witnesses (Deut. 19:15).
The Nasi (“president”) occupied the “seat of Moses” (“Moses sat and
judged” (Ex. 18:13), he served as Overseer General or Pastor General
of the Worldwide Nazarene Assembly of Elohim. In fact the ancient
Nazarenes may simply have refered to this office as MEVAKAR
“Overseer”). The Nasi shall guide the community. The Nasi would
feed (teach) and protect the sheep, however he did not have the power
to disfellowship individuals from the community (that power shall rest
solely with the Great Nazaerene Sanhedrin). He was the highestranking
member and president of the Great Nazarene Sanhedrin He
would preside over meetings of the Great Nazarene Sanhedrin and
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have the tie breaking vote in that body. Among the original Nazarenes
Ya’kov HaTzadik seems to have first occupied this office. After the
death of Yeshua, the Nazarenes recognized his brother James the Just
as legal heir to the throne of David. For this reason the Nazarenes
recognized James the Just as the Nasi of their Nazarene Sanhedrin
(Acts 15). This is evident because there is scarecely any mention of
James the Just prior to Yeshua’s death, however very early on he
became leader of the Nazarene movement (Acts12:17; 15:13-29;
21:18-26 & Gal. 1:19; Eusebius Eccl. Hist. 2:23). According to the
Apocryphal Goodnews of Thomas, it was Yeshua himself who named
James the Just as their new leader:
The students said to Yeshua: “We know you will leave us.
Who is going to be our leader then?” Yeshua said to them:”No
matter where you reside, you are to go to James the Just, for
whose sake heaven and earth came into being.”
(Goodnews of Thomas saying 12)
AV BEIT-DIN (Father of the Beit Din) – The Av Beit-Din jointly
guided the Assembly under the Nasi. The Av Beit-Din also fed (teach)
and protected the sheep, he also did not have the power to
disfellowship individuals from the community (that power rests solely
with the Great Nazarene Sanhedrin). He was the second-highest
ranking member of the Great Nazarene. He would preside over the
Sanhedrin in the absence of the Nasi, and was the chief justice of the
Sanhedrin when it sits as a criminal court. He also served as the
Sergeant of Arms of the Great Nazarene Sanhedrin. Since he
controlled who came and went from the meeting chamber, he was said
to hold the “keys”. Because of this, and the major role he plays in the
meeting in Acts 15, it is apparent that Kefa (Peter) was the first Av
Beit-Din of the Nazarene Sanhedrin (Mt. 16:18-19; Acts 15:7). Notice
in Acts 15:7 Kefa brings the room to order “when there had been much
disputing” and presents the case (the traditional role of the Av Beit
Din) while Ya’akov HaTzadik delivers the verdict (Acts 15:13-21).
THE GREAT NAZARENE SANHEDRIN
This was made of a council of seventy elders plus the Nasi. This
council is parallel to that of the seventy elders plus Moses described in
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the Torah (Num. 11:16f). The Pharisaic version of this body is
described in the Talmud as follows:
It has been taught; R. Jose said; Originally there were not many
disputes in Israel, but one Beth din of seventy-one members sat
in the Hall of Hewn Stones, and two courts of twenty-three sat,
one at the entrance of the Temple Mount and one at the door of
the [Temple] Court, and other courts of twenty-three sat in all
Jewish cities. If a matter of inquiry arose, the local Beth din
was consulted. If they had a tradition [thereon] they stated it; if
not, they went to the nearest Beth din. If they had a tradition
thereon, they stated it, if not, they went to the Beth din situated
at the entrance to the Temple Mount; if they had a tradition,
they stated it; if not, they went to the one situated at the
entrance of the Court, and he [who differed from his
colleagues] declared, `Thus have I expounded, and thus have
my colleagues expounded; thus have I taught, and thus have
they taught.’ If they had a tradition thereon, they stated it, and if
not, they all proceeded to the Hall of Hewn Stones, where they
[i.e., the Great Sanhedrin] sat from the morning tamid until the
evening talmid; on Sabbaths and festivals they sat within the
hel. The question was then put before them: if they had a
tradition thereon, they stated it; if not, they took a vote: if the
majority voted `unclean’ they declared it so; if `clean’ they
ruled even so. But when the disciples of Shammai and Hillel,
who [sc. the disciples] had insufficiently studied, increased [in
number], disputes multiplied in Israel, and the Torah became as
two Toroth. From there [the Hall of Hewn Stones] documents
were written and sent to all Israel, appointing men of wisdom
and humility and who were esteemed by their fellowmen as
local judges. From there [sc. the local Beth din] they were
promoted to [the Beth din of] the Temple Mount, thence to the
Court, and thence to the Hall of Hewn Stones.
(b.Sanhedrin 88b)
Now you will note that the so-called “Jerusalem Council” in Acts 15
consisted of a joint meeting of two councils, “the emissaries and the
elders”. So next we will discuss the Assembly of Emissaries.
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THE ASSEMBLY OF EMISSARIES
Twelve Emissaries corresponding intentionally with the twelve tribes
(Rev. 21:12-14) often known simply as “The Twelve” (1Cor. 15:5).
The office of Emissary is in Hebrew SHALIACH, meaning: Envoy,
Legate, Emissary,Deputy, or Agent (it is commonly translated
“Apostle”). The office of SHALIACH is Judaism refers to one who is
empowered to act legally on behalf of the person or body which
dispatched him. A SHALIACH acts with a sort of “power of
attorney” for whom he represents. The Twelve would have been an
administrative body which was empowered to act on behalf of YHWH
and His Assembly in logistical matters. Not only might they deal in
practical matters such as buying and selling property, but they also
acted as traveling representatives of the Assembly acting as prophets,
teachers, proclaimers, and shepherds. As such they also oversee
matters of doctrine in the community, just as the Assembly of
Elders oversees matters of halacha.
The Twelve were a trim streamlined administrative body. They were
appointing Overseers to establish local Assemblies is implied by the
fact that they often traveled and planted new Congregations in various
parts of the world.
This body had a parallel in the Essene community in the body known
as the ETZAT HA-YACHAD (Assembly of the Union/Community):
In the Assembly of the Union there shall be twelve men
and three priests who are blameless in the light of all
that has been revealed from the whole Law, so as to
work truth, righteousness, justice, loving-kindness,
and humility, one with another. They are to preserve faith
in the land with self-control and a broken spirit …
when such men as these come to be in Israel,
then shall the Assembly of the Union truly be established,
an “eternal planting”…
(Manual of Discipline; 1QS 8:1f)
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The process for replacing members of this Assembly is recorded in
Acts chapter one. The remaining Emissaries nominate two candidates
and a final decision is determined by casting lots.
Note that the Essene ETZAT HA-YACHAD was made up of “twelve
men and three priests” and it is unclear whether these were twelve men
plus three priests, or twelve men, three of whom were priests.
This does have an amazing parallel with the Nazarene Assembly of
Emissaries. Three of the Emissaries: Kefa, Ya’akov and Yochanan
were often singled out by Yeshua for special attention, taken aside by
Yeshua for special instruction (for example Mt. 17:1; 26:37; Mk. 5:37
etc.) these three are called by Paul “three pillars” (Gal. 2:9). Thus three
of the Assembly of Twelve served as the “Three Pillars”.
THE THREE PILLARS
Clearly “Kefa, Ya’akov and Yochanan” of old (Mt. 17:1; 26:37; Mk.
5:37; Gal. 2:9) had a special role in leading the community. They were
often singled out by Messiah as a sort of special inner circle (Mt. 17:1;
26:37; Mk. 5:37) and formed “the Pillars”. According toe the Mishna
(m.San. 1:3) and Talmud (b.San. 13b) the laying on of hands to give
S’MIKHA (“authority”) to teach, was given by a court of three judges.
It is no accident that Paul went to these three pillars to receive “the
right hand of fellowship… that we proclaim among the goyim” (Gal.
2:9). These three pillars seemed to have the function of S’MIKHA and
the power to approve appointments made by the Nasi.
LOCAL LEADERSHIP
On the local level there was a similar leadership structure.
MEVAKAR (Overseer) or “Pastor/Shepherd” he would the local
congregation, feed the sheep and protects them from wolves. The
Mevakar did not have the power to disfellowship.
COUNCIL OF ELDERS – The local council ideally had twenty-three
seats including the Overseer who would preside over its meetings. The
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council had to have at least three seats filled in order to function. Any
decision of this council may be appealed to the Great Nazarene
Sanhedrin, however the Av Beit Din would determine which cases
would be heard by that body.
SHAMISH – This office was held by any volunteer appointed by the
Overseer to assist in the logistics of running the local congregation (as
depicted in Acts 6:1-5). Ideally each congregation would have seven.
The Sin of Sectarianism
Now I beseech you, brothers, mark them which cause divisions
and offenses contrary to the doctrine which you have learned;
and avoid them.
(Rom. 16:17)
One of the most under recognized and most serious sins is the sin of
division of the Assembly.
In Galatians 5:19-21 Paul gives a list of the “works of the flesh”:
19 For the works of the flesh are known, which are:
fornication, uncleanness, perversion,
20 worship of idols, magic, animosity, contention, over
zealousness, anger, insolence, FACTIONALISM,
SECTARIANISM,
21 envy, murder, drunkenness and reveling, and all that are
similar to these.
(Gal. 5:19-21)
Notice the last two items in verse 20: “factionalism” and
“sectarianism”. We will discuss exactly what these two words mean in
a moment, but notice that Paul lists them on a par with such sins as
“fornication”, “worship of idols” and “murder”.
In the Greek text these two words are “hairesis” (Strong’s Gk 139) and
“dichostasia” (Strong’s 1370).
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The Greek word “hairesis” means “a party or disunion”. The NAS and
NIV versions translate this word to mean “factions” the RSV has
“party spirit” the NEB has “party intrigues”, Beck has :divisions”. The
TEV has “They Separate into parties and groups.” The Complete
Jewish Bible has “factionalism” while ISR has “dissensions.”
The word that appears in the Original Aramaic here is SEDAKA.
Jastro defines this word as “split, slit, rent” The Syriac Dictionary
(Lewis) has “a rent, tear, division, schism, sect” while the Lexicon to
the Syriac New Testament (Jennings) has “a rent, tear, rupture,
schism” from the root meaning “rived, split asunder, tore”. Murdock
and the Way version have “discords”
The Greek word “dichostasia” means “disunion, dissention, division,
sedition”. The NIV, NAS and RSV translate the word “dissention(s)
the Complete Jewish Bible has “intrigue”. ISR has “factions”.
The word that appears here in the original Aramaic is P’LUGGOTA
(Aramaic cognate of Strong’s Heb. 6392) meaning “divisions” as
Murdock translates the word “divisions”. The Way version has
“divisions”
These last two words in Gal. 5:20 each refer to those who split
congregations and divide them! And Paul counts this as a “work of the
flesh” along with fornication, idol worship and murder!
Paul writes to the Corinthians:
“for you are in the flesh. For there are among you, envy and
contention and FACTIONS, (P’LUGGOTA) are you not carnal
and walking in the flesh? For when each man of you says, I am
of Paul and another says, I am of Apollos, are you not carnal?”
(1Cor. 3:3-4)
Kefa writes:
“But there were also false prophets among the people, even as
there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly
bring in destructive sects (Gk: hairesis = Aramaic sedaka)…”
(2Kefa 2:1)
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This could also be translated “bring in destructive DIVISIONS”.
And Paul warns the Romans to “beware of those who cause
DIVISIONS (P’LUGGOTA)” (Rom. 16:17)
Dividing up the Assembly of Elohim into factions is a very serious sin.
It is Elohim’s desire that his people be at unity. When Yeshua was
speaking to his talmidim over his last earthly Passover sader, he took
the time to specifically pray for the unity of the believers
17 Father, sanctify them by your truth, for your word is truth.
18 As you sent me into the world also I send them into the
world.
19 And for their sakes, I sanctify my nefesh that they also
might be sanctified in truth.
20 And I do not ask for the sake of these alone, but also for the
sake of those who will have faith in me through their word,
21 That ALL MIGHT BE ONE as you are, my Father, in me,
and I am in you that they also might BE ONE in us, that the
world might believe that you sent me.
22 And the glory that you gave me I gave to them, that they
might BE ONE as we are one.
23 I am in them and you are in me, that they be perfected into
one, and that the world might know that you sent me, and that
you have loved them as also you loved me.
24 Father, I want that those whom you gave me might also be
with me wherever I am so that they might see my glory, which
you gave me because you loved me from before the
foundations of the world.
25 My righteous Father, the world has not known you but I
know you and they know that you sent me.
26 And I have made known to them your name and will make
known so that the love with which you loved me might be in
them and I might be in them.:
(John 17:17-26)
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Three times in this short prayer, Yeshua faced with his eminent death,
concerns himself, not with his own welfare, but with our unity as
believers.
Many times the Scriptures emphasize the importance of being unified
as believers:
” and be diligent to keep the UNITY of the Spirit in the bond of
shalom, that you be ONE body and one spirit, even as you are
called in ONE hope of your calling. For YHWH is one and the
faith is one and the immersion is one, And one Eloah is the
Father of all, and above all, and through all, and in us all.”
(Eph. 4:3-6)
“So also we who are many are ONE body in the Messiah and
each of us are MEMBERS OF ONE ANOTHER.”
(Rom. 12:5)
“Now I urge you, my brothers, in the name of our Adon
Yeshua the Messiah, that you have ONE word to all and [that]
there be no FACTIONS (P’LUGGOTA) among you, but [that]
you be whole hearted in ONE purpose and in ONE mind.”
(1Cor. 1:10)
“For as the body is ONE, and there are in it many members,
and all the members of the body, though they are many, are
ONE body, so also the Messiah. For all of us also are immersed
by ONE spirit into ONE body, whether Jew or Aramaean,
whether slave or son of freedom. And all of us drank of ONE
spirit.”
(1Cor. 12:12-13)
“Nevertheless, this that we have attained, let us follow in one
path and with ONE ACCORD.”
(Phil. 3:16)
“But if we walk in the light as he is in the light, we have
FELLOWSHIP ONE WITH ANOTHER…”
(1Jn. 1:7)
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Beware of those who cause divisions in the Assembly. Creating such
divisions is a “work of the flesh” comparable to fornication, idolatry
and murder. Elohim’s will is for believers is that we be in fellowship
with one another, in one accord, and endeavoring for the unity of the
spirit in the bond of Shalom.
Halachic Authority
Halachic authority is the authority to make halachic determinations
interpreting the Torah forbidding and permitting activities based on
these interpretations, and resolving matters between fellow believers.
The word “halacha” means “the way to walk.” Torah observance
requires halachic authority for three reasons. First there are matters
about which the Torah is ambiguous and must be clarified. For
example the matter of what a “bill of divorcement” must actually say is
not clarified. Secondly is the matter of conflicting Torah commands.
For example the Torah requires the priests to circumcise on the eight
day after a birth, but also requires rest from work on the Sabbath.
Which commandment holds priority? Finally the Torah requires us to
establish courts (see Deut. 16:18).
In the Torah the Halachic authority was originally held by Moses
himself (Ex. 18:13) but later a council of Elders were appointed (Ex.
18:13-26; Dt. 1:9-18) These Elders showed men “the way wherein
they must walk” (i.e. Halacha) (Ex. 18:20) Their judgements were
regarded as the judgement of G-d himself (Dt. 1:17) and were even
called “Torah” (Dt. 17:11) At first these men had authority only in
small matters (Ex. 18:22, 26; Dt. 1:17) but later their authority was
expanded (Dt. 17:8). This council was later defined as seventy Elders
whom G-d placed his Spirit upon (Num. 11:16-17; 24-25).
The Torah also allowed for the Halachic authority to be held by a King
(Dt. 17:8-12; 14-20). Eventually the Elders decided to establish such a
monarchy (1Sam. 8:1-7). The throne of these Kings was sees as being
“the throne of G-d” (1Chron. 29:23) Their Halachic authority became
termed “the key of the House of David” (Is. 22:21-22).
Upon the invasion of Jerusalem and the Babylonian captivity the
monarchy was brought to an end. When the captivity ended and exiles
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returned, Ezra reestablished the council of Elders (Ezra 7:25; 10:14,
16) which immediately began making halachic decisions (Ezra 10:10-
19). According to tradition this council was called the Great Assembly
and consisted of 120 Elders.
As time went on Judaism became fragmented into various sects. These
included the Pharisees, Sadducees and Essenes. As time continued the
Sadducees gained more and more control of the Great Assembly. By
the first century the centrality of the Halachic authority had
fragmented. Each of the various sects had their own Halachic councils
with their own Halachic authority.
Now great confusion has been created by the fact that there were at
least two Sanhedrins (Great Assemblies) in the first century. One of
these was a political body which had become an instrument of Rome.
This body is that often mentioned by Josephus and in the New
Testament. It was headed by the High Priest (a Sadducee) (Josephus
Ant. 20:9:1; Mt. 26:57-27:1;Mk. 14:53-15:1; Lk. 22:66-23:1; Jn.
18:12-28; Acts 4:5-23; 5:22-42; 23:6) and was made up of both
Pharisees and Sadducees (Acts 5:22-42; 23:6) . (This may have been
the remnants of the original “Great Assembly”). By contrast the
Pharisee Sanhedrin was made up of Pharisee scholars only. It had
seventy Elders plus the Nasi (m.San. 1:6). This is the body spoken of
in the Mishna, Tosefta and Talmuds in tractate Sanhedrin. It was
headed by Zuggot (pairs) made up of a Nasi and an Av Beit Din
(m.Hag. 2:2). Hillel and his descendants served as Nasi of this
Sanhedrin (m.Hag. 2:2; b.Pes. 66a; b.Shab. 15a; t.San. 2:6; b.San. 11b)
who were descendants of King David (b.Ket. 62b; Gen. Rabba 98).
Whereas Gamliel was Nasi of the Pharisee Sanhedrin (t.San. 2:6;
b.San. 11b) he was only a member of the Political Sanhedrin (Acts
5:22-42).
The Qumran community, who are believed to be Essenes, also held
their own Halachic authority. They saw themselves as the “sons of
light” and all outsiders as “sons of darkness” (Man. of Disc. I,9; II, 24).
The “sons of light” did not go to the “sons of darkness” to tell them
how to walk in true Halacha. Their Halachic rule was headed by the
Mevakker (Overseer) (Dam. Doc. xii, 7-9). The community also had
panels of Judges as described in the Manual of Discipline:
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In the delibrative council of the community there shall be
twelve laymen and three priests schooled to perfection in all
that has been revealed of the entire Law. Their duty shall be to
set the standard for the practice of truth, … and how one can
walk with all men with the quality of truth and in conduct
appropriate to every occasion.
(Man. of Disc. viii 1ff)
Thus the Qumran community had its own Halachic authority apart
from the rest of Judaism.
Now we must address the issue of Halachic authority among the
ancient sect of the Nazarenes. As I have shown in the article “What is
Nazarene Judaism?” the Nazarenes were a coalition of Essenes and
Pharisees.
It is apparent that the Nazarenes also had their own Halachic authority.
Like the Qumran community the Nazarenes also saw themselves as the
“sons of light” (Lk. 16:8; Jn. 12:36; 1Thes. 5:5). Now in 2Cor. 6:11-18
Paul gives us a Midrash (in the form of a poem) on Dt. 22:10 which
ties the passage to Is. 52:11/Ezkl 20:34, 41/Zech. 2:11) The midrash is
as follows:
Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers.
For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness?
And what communion has light with darkness?
And what accord has the Messiah with B’liya’al?
Or what part has he who believes with an unbeliever?
And what agreement has the Temple of G-d with idols?
For you are the Temple of the living G-d.
As Elohim has said:
I will dwell in them
And walk among them.
I will be their G-d,
And they shall be My people.
(Lev. 26:12; Jer. 32:38; Ezkl. 37:27; Ex. 6:7)
Therefore come out from among them
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And be separate, says YHWH.
Do not touch what is unclean,
(Is. 52:11; Zech. 2:11, note 2:7)
And I will receive you.
(Ezkl. 20:41, 34)
I will be a Father to you,
And you shall be My sons and daughters,
Says YHWH Almighty.
(2Sam. 7:14, 8; Is. 43:6)
Paul here tells us that just as the Torah forbids us to yoke different
kinds of animals together (Dt. 22:10) the sons of light should not be
yoked to sons of darkness and believers should not be yoked to
unbelievers. “Halacha” means “the way to walk.” Like different
animals yoked together, believers and unbelievers cannot be halachicly
yoked together. This is because they do not walk the same way. As a
result the Nazarenes had to have their own Halachic authority.
The Nazarene Halachic authority, that is the Nazarene Sanhedrin, is
documented in Acts 15. Here we are shown a Halachic court which
has worldwide authority and which seems to be led by Ya’akov
HaTzadik (James the Just) as Nasi and Kefa (Peter) as Av Beit Din.
But how did this body get the Halachic authority? For the answer we
must turn to the teachings of the Messiah himself.
In Mt. 23:2-3 Yeshua makes a surprising statement, he says:
The Scribes and Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat.
Therefore whatever they tell you to observe,
That observe and keep.
but do not according to their works;
for they say, and do not.
This passage is often used to show that Yeshua endorsed the Pharisaic
halachic authority. However there is serious question as to what this
passage actually say or means. For example the Hebrew of the Shem
Tob Hebrew version of Matthew reads:
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Upon the seat of Moses the Pharisees and sages sit.
Now all which he says to you keep and do;
but their ordinances and deeds do not do
because they say, and do not.
(The “he” in line two reads “they” in Howard’s English translation,
however
the literal Hebrew has “he.”)
At any rate Yeshua cannot be giving a blanket endorsement of
Pharisaic halacha here because in verses 16-22 he specifically differs
with a point of Pharisaic halacha.
Mt. 23:13 is key to understanding Yeshua’s attitude to the Halachic
authority of the Pharisees. Here Yeshua says:
But woe to you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!
For you shut up the Kingdom of Heaven against men;
for you neither go in,
nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.
A parallel passage appears in Lk. 11:52:
Woe to you lawyers!
For you have taken away the key of knowledge.
you did not enter in yourselves,
and those who were entering in you hindered.
Now when we look at these two passages together it becomes clear
that the “key” in Luke 11:52 had the potential to open up or shut up the
Kingdom of Heaven. This “key” is clearly then “the key of the house
of David” in Is. 22:22:
The key of the House of David I will lay on his shoulder;
so he shall open, and no one shall shut;
and he shall shut and no one shall open.
This key is the halachic authority. Yeshua recognized that the
Pharisees held that halachic authority but he also tells us that they had
squandered it by rejecting the Kingdom offer (see article “The
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Kingdom Offer”) and refusing to use the key to help Messiah open up
the Messianic Kingdom.
The Messiah himself also had the Key of David (Rev. 3:7). In Mt.
16:18-19 Yeshua says he would give “the keys of the Kingdom” to
Kefa and his students:
And I also say to you that you are Kefa,
And upon this rock I will build my assembly,
and the gates of Sheol shall not prevail against it.
And I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven,
and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in Heaven
and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.
This passage is best understood when compared to Mt. 18:15-20 This
passage deals with the law of witnesses (Mt. 18:16 = Dt. 19:15) and
refers to an “assembly” (Mt. 18:17) which has the power to “bind” and
“loose” (Mt. 18:18) just as does Mt. 16:18-19. Since Mt. 18:16 quotes
Dt. 19:15 it is clear that the “assembly” in Mt. 18:17 (and also Mt.
16:18) is the “priests and judges who serve in those days” in Dt. 19:17.
This is also clear because this “assembly” has the power to “bind” and
“loose.” These are two Semitic idioms used in Rabbinic literature as
technical terms referring to Halachic authority. To “bind” means to
“forbid” an activity and to “loose” means to permit an activity (as in
j.Ber. 5b; 6c; j.San. 28a; b.Ab. Zar. 37a; b.Ned. 62a; b.Yeb. 106a;
b.Bets. 2b; 22a; b.Ber. 35a; b.Hag. 3b). Thus in Mt. 16:18-19 & 18:18
Yeshua gave his students the Halachic authority which we see them
using in Acts 15.
Today we as restored Nazarenes must also have our own unique
halachic authority apart from that of Rabbinic Judaism. As “sons of
light” we cannot be halachicly yoked with unbelievers. While we
cannot be halachicly yoked with unbelievers (Rabbinic Judaism) we
must “come out from among them and be separate” (2Cor. 6:14-18 &
Is. 52:11) for we must ourselves establish courts (Dt. 16:18) so that we
may “walk by the same rule and be of the same mind” (Phil. 3:16) and
have “no factions among” us “but be perfectly joined together in the
same mind and in the same judgement” (1 Cor. 1:10) so that we might
endeavor “to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Eph.
4:3).
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We cannot turn to the “wisdom” of the “Pharisaic Rabbinical” Rabbis
and sages of the last two thousand years and simply “accept all the
Rabbinical Halakhah, except where Mashiach and His Talmidim
clearly and definitely offer another position of Halakhah” for the
Tenach warns us:

How can you say, “We are wise, and the Torah of YHWH is with us”?
Look, the false pen of the scribe certainly works falsehood.
The wise men are ashamed, they are dismayed and taken.
Behold they have rejected the Word of YHWH;
So what wisdom do they have?
(Jer. 8:8-9)
The unbelieving sages and Rabbis of “Pharisaic Rabbinical” Judaism
claim they “are wise” and that “the Torah of the LORD is with us.” But
they have “rejected the Word of YHWH” (i.e. Yeshua the Messiah; see
Jn. 1:1, 14; Rev. 19:13) “So what wisdom do they have?”
There are preserved for us five fragments from an ancient Nazarene
Commentary on Isaiah in which the fourth century Nazarene writer
makes it clear that Nazarenes of the fourth century were not “following
Pharisaic Rabbinical Halakhah.” The following is taken from the
Nazarene commentary on Isaiah 8:14:
“And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling
and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel. The
Nazarenes explain the two houses as the two houses of
Shammai and Hillel, from whom originated the Scribes and
Pharisees… [they Pharisees] scattered and defiled the precepts
of the Torah by traditions and mishna. And these two houses
did not accept the Savior.
The Nazarene commentary on Isaiah 8:20-21 has:
The Scribes and the Pharisees tell you to listen to them…
answer them like this: “It is not strange if you follow your
traditions since every tribe consults its own idols. We must not,
therefore, consult your dead [sages] about the living ones.
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So it is clear that the original Nazarenes were not “following Pharisaic
Rabbinical Halakhah.”
To those who would teach that Nazareans should “accept all the
Rabbinical Halakhah, except where Mashiach and His Talmidim
clearly and definitely offer another position of Halakhah” and “practice
and behave alike Orthodox Jews, following Pharisaic Rabbinical
Halakhah” I must cite the following from The Dead Sea Scrolls an
New Translation by Wise; Abeg and Cook (p. 34):
For Jews, the Qumran texts say, “Our family was larger than
you knew.” The watchword is diversity. Modern Judaism
comes from Pharisaism, but in the first centuries B.C.E. and
C.E. there were also other kinds of Judaism, and it was not
obvious that the Pharisees would be the ones still standing at
the end of the day. Understanding the world of the first century
C.E. now means understanding the fact of diversity, and the
scrolls have helped cultivate a sense of the historical
complexity of the matrix of Judaism and of early Christianity.
The scrolls teach, indirectly, a message the scroll writers
themselves would have repudiated; that is, that there are
different ways of being authentically Jewish. Any effort to
“reclaim the scrolls for Judaism” must acknowledge that truth.

In reconstructing the ancient sect of Nazarene Judaism we must
recognize that Rabbinic/Pharisaic Halacha is not the only “authentic”
Judaism. We must not Halachicly yoke ourselves with unbelievers. We
must not blindly turn to the “wisdom” of Rabbinic sages that rejected
the Word of YHWH (the Messiah). Although we must examine what
these sages, as well as the Qumran writers, have written. We must
examine their conclusions in light of ancient Jewish methods of
interpreting the Scriptures to determine if their rulings constitute a
valid Nazarene position on any given issue.
A Marvelous Work and a Wonder
The Prophet Isaiah foretells of a marvelous work and a wonder that
YHWH will do in among His people:
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Therefore behold, I will again do
a marvelous work among this people,
even a marvelous work and a wonder.
And the wisdom of their wise men shall perish,
and the prudence of their prudent men shall be hid.
(Is. 29:14 HRV)
But what is this “marvelous work and a wonder”?
Notice that Isaiah says that because of this “marvelous work and a
wonder” “the wisdom of their wise shall perish, and the prudence of
their prudent men shall be hid.” (Is. 22:14)
18 For the word of the gallows is foolishness to the perishing,
but to us who are living, it is the power of Eloah.
19 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
and I will take away the understanding of the intelligent.(Is.
29:14)
20 Where is the wise? Or where is the scribe? Or where is the
commentator of this world? Behold, has not Eloah made
foolish, the wisdom of this world?
21 For in the wisdom of Eloah, because the world by wisdom
knew not Eloah, Eloah decided that by the foolishness of
proclaiming, He would give Life to those who believe:
(1Cor. 1:18-21 HRV)
Note that in 1Cor. 2:7-9 we are told of this same “wisdom of Eloah:
“…in the mystery that was hidden … before separates from before the
ages… which Eloah had prepared for those who love him.” (1Cor. 2:7-
9)
As his first letter to the Corinthians continues Paul also quotes, or
perhaps we should better say paraphrases Is. 64:3(4) as follows:
But as it is written:
The eye has not seen, and the ear has not heard,
and into the heart of a son of man has not entered
that which Eloah had prepared for those who love Him.
(1Cor. 2:9 HRV)
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The Prophet Isaiah writes:
And whereof from of old men have not heard,
nor perceived by the ear, neither has the eye seen
an Elohim beside You, who works for him that
waits for Him.
(Is. 64:3(4))
There is a Baraita on this verse that appears twice in the Talmud once
in the Midrash Rabbah and four times in the Zohar.
The following is the Baraita as it appears in the Talmud:
What is the meaning of “Eye has not seen” (Is. 64:3)
Rabbi Joshua ben Levi said:
This is the wine that has been kept
in its grapes from the six days in the beginning.
(b.Berakot 34b; b.Sanhedrin 99a)
The phrase “wine that has been kept” in the Hebrew is Yayin
HaMeshumar “wine of keeping”. The tradition of the Yayin
HaMeshumar runs deep in traditional Judaism. It is the wine that will
be served at the Messianic Feast when the Messiah re-establishes the
Kingdom of Israel on earth.
Note that Paul’s citation is influenced by the Baraita as the actual text
of Isaiah says that “eye has not seen… an Elohim beside you” but Paul
says “Eye has not seen… that which Eloah has prepared for those who
love Him.” And the Baraita has “Eye has not seen… the wine which
has been kept…”.
Now lets look at Paul’s quote in context:
But we speak the wisdom of Eloah
in a mystery that was hidden
And [that] Eloah had before separated
from before the ages for our glory.
That not one of the authorities of this world knew,
for if they had known it,
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they would not have crucified the Adon of glory.
But as it is written:
The eye has not seen, and the ear has not heard,
and into the heart of a son of man has not entered
that which Eloah had prepared for those who love Him.
(1Cor. 2:7-9 HRV)
When we look at Paul’s context we see an even greater influence from
the Baraita of the Yayin HaMeshumar “…a mystery that was hidden
and that Eloah had before separated from before the ages… eye has
not seen… that which Eloah has prepared for those who love Him.”
It is clear that Paul here must be referring to the Yayin HaMeshumar
as his audience is, no doubt, familiar with this Baraita to Is. 64:3.
It is the Yayin HaMeshumar that Yeshua refers to when we read:
And afterwards he took the cup, and blessed,
and gave to them, saying,
“Drink you all of it,
for this is my blood of the New Covenant,
which is shed for many to atone for sinners,
And I tell you, hereafter I will not drink of the fruit of the vine,
until that day when I drink it new with you in the kingdom
of my Father which is in heaven.”
(Mt. 26:27-29)
The Yayin HaMeshumar is the blood of the New Covenant. At the
Passover Sader the wine represents the blood of the lamb. Note that we
read in Revelation that Messiah is the lamb slain “before the
foundation of the world.” (Rev. 13:8) his blood is the wine kept in its
grapes from the six days in the beginning.
In the Apocryphal Gospel of Thomas Yeshua is quoted as saying:
Yeshua said, “I shall give you what no eye has seen
and what no ear has heard and what no hand has touched
and what has never occurred to the mind of man.
(Gospel of Thomas 17)
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This Yayin HaMeshumar is the wine that will be served at the
“marriage supper of the lamb” (Rev. 19:7) the great Messianic
Banquet and Passover Sader.
In 1Corinthians, Paul has brought up the Yayin HaMeshumar at the
beginning of his letter because he will be addressing this wine
throughout his letter. In 1Cor. 5 he will discuss the recent Passover
Sader at Corinth. In 1Cor. 11:23-34 he addresses the significance of
the Passover and especially being worthy to drink the wine which is
the Yayin Hameshumar.
In 1Cor. 15:54 he cites Isaiah 25:8 a passage of Isaiah which
immediately follows the description of the Messianic Banquet in
Isaiah 25:6-7:
6 And in this mountain shall YHWH of hosts make unto all
people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat
things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined.
7 And he will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering
cast over all people, and the vail that is spread over all nations.
8: He will swallow up death in victory; and the Adonai YHWH
will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his
people shall he take away from off all the earth: for YHWH has
spoken it.
Notice that the Yayin HaMeshumar is something which “from of old
men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither has the eye seen”
(Is. 64:3) elsewhere Isaiah writes:
So shall he sprinkle many nations, kings shall shut their mouths
because of him, for that which had not been told them shall
they see and that which they have not heard shall they perceive.
(Is. 52:15)
Thus the “suffering servant” song of Isaiah 53 is the message that “eye
has not seen”, it is the Yayin HaMeshumar.
The Midrash Rabbah to Num. 13:2 (500) says:
Because hr bared his soul unto death (Is. 53:12)
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and bruised themselves with the Torah which is sweeter than
honey, the Holy One, blessed be He, will hereafter give them to
drink of the wine kept in its grapes since the six days in the
beginning….
(Midrash Rabbah to Numbers 13:2 (500))
Thus Paul writes:
But we speak the wisdom of Eloah
in a mystery that was hidden
And [that] Eloah had before separated
from before the ages for our glory.
That not one of the authorities of this world knew,
for if they had known it,
they would not have crucified the Adon of glory.
But as it is written:
The eye has not seen, and the ear has not heard,
and into the heart of a son of man has not entered
that which Eloah had prepared for those who love Him.
(1Cor. 2:7-9 HRV)
Not only is the Yayin HaMeshumar the blood of the Messiah, but it is
more. It is the “mystery” of which the blood of Messiah is only part:
The Zohar says:
The Tzadik (The Righteous) is the Yesod (foundation) in Yah,
the mystery (SOD) which is the wine which has been kept
in its grapes from the six days in the beginning.
(Zohar; Roeh M’haimna on Pinchas)
There is a clear connection here because SOD (“mystery”) has a
gematria (numerical value) of 70 which is also the gematria of YAYIN
(“wine”). Just as the Zohar identifies the “mystery” with the Yayin
HaMeshumar, so does Paul in 1Corinthians.
For Paul goes on to further identify the Yayin HaMeshumar as
follows:
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10 But Eloah has revealed [it] to us by his spirit, for the spirit
searches into everything, even the deep things of Eloah.
11 For who is the son of man who knows what is in a son of
man except the spirit of the son of man that [is] in him? So
also, that which is in Eloah, no man knows except the Spirit of
Eloah.
12 Now we have not received the spirit of the world, but the
spirit that is from Eloah, so that we might know the gifts that
were given to us from Eloah;
13 Which also we speak, not in the teaching of words of the
wisdom of sons of men, but in the teaching of the spirit, and to
spiritual men we compare spiritual things.
14 For the son of man who is in the nefesh does not receive
spiritual things, for they are foolishness to him, and he is not
able to know that which is judged spiritually.
15 Now the spiritual man judges all things, and is not judged
from man.
16 For who knows the mind of YHWH that he might instruct
him? (Is. 40:13) But we have the mind of the Messiah.
(1Cor. 2:10-16)
Paul identifies the Yayin HaMeshumar with the “words of wisdom”
(2:13) as well as the “mind of YHWH” or the “mind of Messiah”
(1Cor. 2:16) and with the spiritual “gifts” (1Cor. 2:10-16) which he
will elaborate upon later in the letter (1Cor. 12-14).
THE OLIVE TREE
This Marvelous Work and a Wonder, which YHWH mentions in
Isaiah 29:13 is part of a restoration from a great apostasy spoken of in
the previous verses:
10 For YHWH has poured out upon you the spirit of deep
sleep, and has closed your eyes: the prophets and your heads,
the seers, has He covered.
(Is. 29:10 HRV)
This very verse is site by Paul in his Olive Tree Parable in Romans 11:
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7 What therefore? Yisra’el did not find that which it was
seeking, but the chosen found it: and the rest of them were
blinded in their heart.
8 Thus it is written: Eloah gave them a blinding spirit, and eyes
that they might not examine, and ears that they might not hear,
until this very day. (Deut. 29:4; Isaiah 29:10)
9 And David again said, Let their table be a snare before them,
and their reward a stumbling stone.
10 Let their eyes be darkened that they not see, and their back
always be bowed. (Psalm 69:23-24 (22-23))
11 Now I say, Have they stumbled so as to fall? Absolutely
not! But in their stumbling, life has come to the Goyim; for
their jealousy. (Deut. 32:21)
12 And if their stumbling became riches for the world, and
their loss, riches to the Goyim: how much more therefore, their
fullness?
13 But I speak to you Goyim–I, who am the emissary of the
Goyim. I am glorifying my service,
14 That perhaps I might provoke my kinsmen to jealousy,
(Deut. 32:21) and give life [to] some of them.
15 For if their reprobation was reconciliation to the world, how
much more therefore, their return, but life that is from among
the dead?
This apostasy causes the message to go out to Ephraim, but the
restoration of the apostasy will bring something even better!
16 And if the first is Set-Apart, the lump of dough is also: and
if the root is Set-Apart, the branches [are] also.
17 And if some branches were broken off, and you who are a
wild olive [tree], were grafted into their place and became
partakers of the root and of the oil of the olive [tree],
18 Do not boast against the [natural] branches. But if you
boast, you are not bearing the root, but the root bears you!
19 And perhaps you should say of the branches that were
broken off, I will be grafted in their place.
20 These [matters] are beautiful. They were broken off because
they did not have trust, but you stand, by trust. Do not be
exalted in your mind, but fear:
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21 For if Eloah did not spare the natural branches, perhaps He
will also not spare you.
22 See then the gentleness and the harshness of Eloah: upon
those who fell, harshness, but upon you, gentleness, if, you
remain in the gentleness. And if not, you will also be broken
off.
23 And those, if they do not remain in their lack of trust, also
will be grafted in: for Eloah is able to graft them in again.
24 For if you, who are from the olive [tree] that was wild by
your nature, were cut off and were grafted–contrary to your
nature–into the good olive [tree], how much more then, those,
if they be grafted in their natural olive [tree]?
25 For I want you to know this mystery, my brothers, so that
you will not be wise in the thought of your nefesh: that
blindness of the heart, in part, has happened to Yisra’el until the
fullness of the Goyim (or “a multitude of nations” Gen. 48:19)
should come,
26 And then all Yisra’el will have Life. Thus it is written, From
Tziyon a Deliverer will come, and turn iniquity from Ya’akov.
27 And then they will have the covenant that is from Me, when
I forgive them their sins. (Isaiah 59:20-21; 27:9)
(Rom. 11:7-27 HRV)
This restoration will be characterized by “wild branches” being grafted
into the cultivated olive tree (Judah) while being fed by the oil and the
root of that tree and by “natural branches” (Jews) being grafted back
into their natural olive tree. And this will happen at the time of the
“fullness of the goyim” (compare Gen. 48:19).
THE SEALED BOOK REVEALED
Isaiah also tells us this restoration will occur with the revealing of a
sealed book:
11 And the vision of all this is become unto you as the words
of a writing that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is
learned, saying, Read this, I pray you. And he says, I cannot,
for it is sealed.
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12 And the writing is delivered to him that is not learned,
saying, Read this, I pray you. And he says, I am not learned.
(Is. 29:11-12 HRV)
And then in verse 18 we read:
18 And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of a book, and
the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity and out of
darkness.
(Is. 29:18 HRV)
A sealed book is a book, the contents of which, Elohim will not reveal
until the time Elohim appoints for it to be unsealed (see Dan. 12:4, 9 &
Rev. 22:10). This sealed book is also mentioned elsewhere in the
Scriptures, in the Book of Revelation (Rev. 5:1-5; 6; 10:1-11). Due to
various correlations we may also identify the sealed book as the book
in Ezekiel 2:8-3:6 which is, like the sealed book, written on front and
back (See Ezkl. 2:10 & Rev. 5:1) and eaten by the prophet writing
(Ezkl. 3:1-3 & Rev. 10:9-10). Likewise the “flying scroll” in Zechariah
5:1-4, which is also written on both sides, may also be identified as the
sealed book.
Paul quotes Isaiah 29:14 in 1st Corinthians 1:19 referring to the
restoration resulting from the sealed book and describes the book’s
contents as “the words of the gallows” (i.e. an account of the
Crucifixion) (1Cor. 1:18-19). Another important fact is that the sealed
book is written in Hebrew. In Ezekiel 3:4-6 Ezekiel is told to go teach
the words of the book, and that the language of the book is the
language of Israel.
The sealed book opens the eyes of the blind and helps facilitate the
restoration. It is (in part) an account of the crucifixion in Hebrew and
Aramaic. It is the original Hebrew and Aramaic of the so-called “New
Testament”. It is the revelation of the original Hebrew and Aramaic
“New Testament” which leads to the Marvelous Work and a Wonder.
ERRANT HALACHA PASSES AWAY
Isaiah goes on to describe this apostasy further, saying:
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13 And YHWH said: Forasmuch as this people draw near, and
with their mouth and with their lips do honor Me, but have
removed their heart far from Me, and their fear of Me, is a
commandment of men learned by rote, (Mt. 15:8-9)
(Isaiah 29:13 HRV)
Yeshua quoted this verse as speaking of “Decrees of the Elders” in
Rabbinic (Pharisaic) Judaism which violate the precepts of Torah.
Matthew records the exchange as follows:
1 Then came near to Him scribes and P’rushim from
Yerushalayim, saying,
2 Why do your talmidim transgress the decrees of the elders?
For they clean not their hands when they eat bread.
3 But He answered them and said: And why do you transgress
the commandments of Elohim–by means of your decrees?
4 Is it not written in your Torah from the mouth of Elohim,
Honor your father and
your mother? (Ex. 20:12; Deut. 5:16) And moreover written,
And he that curses his father and his mother will surely die?
(Ex. 21:17; Lev. 20:9)
5 But you say, Whoever says to father and mother, It is all an
offering– whatever of mine might profit you,
6 And he honors not his father and his mother. Thus have you
made void the
commandments of Elohim, on account of your judgments.
7 You hypocrites! Yesha’yahu did well indeed to prophesy
concerning you, saying,
8 This people honors Me with their mouth and with their lips,
but have removed
their heart far from Me.
9 And their fear of Me, is a commandment learned of men.
(Isa. 29:13)
(Matt. 15:1-9 HRV)
This means that the Marvelous Work and a Wonder prophesied of in
the very next verse (Isa. 29:14) would cause the bad halachic rulings
of Pharisaic Judaism to perish in favor of halacha inspired by the
Wisdom of YHWH. Thus “the wisdom of their wise men” and the
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“prudence of their prudent men” (Is. 29:14) refers to bad halachic
rulings of the Pharisees like that depicted in Matthew 15:1-9. The
Marvelous Work and a Wonder will cause these false halachot to
perish.
Then in verses 20 and 21 Isaiah goes on to say:
20 For the terrible one is brought to nought, and the scorner
ceases, and all they that watch for iniquity are cut off:
21 That make a man an offender by words, and lay a snare for
him that reproves in the gate, and turn aside the just with a
thing of nought.
(Is. 29:20-21)
The ancient Nazarene Commentator is quoted by Jerome as saying of
this passage:
What we have understood to have been written about the devil
and his angels, the Nazarenes believe to have been said against
the Scribes and the Pharisees, because the deutrotai passed
away, who earlier deceived the people with very vicious
traditions (And they watch day and night to deceive the simple
ones), who made men sin against the Word of Elohim in order
that they should deny that Messiah was the Son of Elohim.
(On Is. 29:20-21)
The word DEUTROTAI is a Greek word which appears in Jerome’s
quote. Deutrotai is a Greek word which refers to something that is
repeated, it is an exact Greek equivalent for the Hebrew word
“Mishna”. The Nazarene Commentator confirms our understanding
and tells us that the Marvelous Work and a Wonder will bring about
the passing away of the Mishna by restoring true Halacha to the
YHWH’s people.
Finally Isaiah concludes:
22 Therefore thus says YHWH, who redeemed Avraham,
concerning the house of
Ya’akov: Ya’akov shall not now be ashamed, neither shall his
face now wax pale.
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23 When he sees his children, the work of My hands, in the
midst of him, that they sanctify My Name–yes, they shall
sanctify HaKadesh of Ya’akov, and shall stand in awe of the
Elohim of Yisra’el.
24 They also that err in spirit shall come to understanding, and
they that murmur shall learn instruction.
(Is. 29:22-24 HRV)
Israel shall be restored to sanctify the Name of YHWH and a
Marvelous Word and a Wonder shall be worked by YHWH among His
people.
The Sealed Book has been opened and the errant Decrees of the Elders
of the Pharisees recorded in the Mishna are being replaced by true
halachot by a restored International Nazarene Beit Din. If you thought
the apostasy of Judah brought a blessing to Israel, wait until you see
what the Restoration of Judah brings!
The Marvelous Work and a Wonder is a restoration work of YHWH.
The words of the Sealed Book (the Original Hebrew and Aramaic
“New Testament”) are being heard (Through the Hebraic Roots
Version Scriptures), and the halachot of the Mishna are passing away
as the International Nazarene Beit Din correct its errant decrees with
true halachot from the Wisdom of YHWH!
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HALACHOT
BERAKHOT (Prayer and Fasting)
A:1 Prayer: With few words or many?
Messiah said: “And you, when you pray, multiply not words like the
Goyim do, who think that in an abundance of words they will be
heard. But you do not be like them: for your Father knows what is
needed for you before you ask Him. (Matt. 6:7-8)
A: 2 Prayer: Which is preferred, public or private?
The Pharisees say: “One who says the Tefillah so that it can be heard
is of the small of faith, he who raises his voice in praying is of the
false prophets.'”
(b.Ber. 24b)
R. Huna said: “This was meant to apply only if he is able to
concentrate his attention when speaking in a whisper, but if he cannot
concentrate his attention when speaking in a whisper, it is allowed.
And this is the case only when he is praying alone, but if he is with the
congregation [he must not do so because] he may disturb the
congregation.” (b.Ber.24b)
Messiah said: “And be not like the hypocrites when you pray, for they
delight to stand in the assemblies and at the corners of the streets to
pray, that men may see them. Truly I tell you, that they already have
received their reward. But you, when you pray, enter into your
chamber, and shut the door, and pray to your Father, which is in secret:
and your Father, which sees in secret, will recompense you publicly.”
(Matt. 6:5-6)
How are we to understand “enter into your chamber and shut the
door?”
It is as we read concerning Chanoch (Enoch) in the Book of Jasher:
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“And the soul of Chanoch was wrapped up in the instruction of
YHWH, in knowledge and in understanding; and he knew the ways of
YHWH, and he wisely retired from the sons of men, and secreted
himself from them for many days. And it was at the end of many days
and years, while he was serving before YHWH, and praying before
YHWH in [his] house and in [his] chamber, that an angel of YHWH
called to him from Heaven saying: Chanoch, Chanoch, and he said,
Here am I.” (Jasher 3:2-3)
By this we understand that when we are in our “chamber” we are
“wrapped up”creating a private “chamber” in our Tallit in which to
pray.
B:1 Fasting: Public or private?
It is said of the Essenes:
“They think oil is defilement; and if one of them is anointed without
his own approbation, it is wiped off his body; for they think to be
sweaty is a good thing.” (Josephus; Wars 2:8:3)
But Messiah said:
“And you, when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites: for they
begrime and disfigure their faces, that they may appear in the sight of
men to fast. Amen, I tell you that they already have their reward. But
you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, That you
appear not to men to fast, but to your Father which is in secret, who
will recompense you publicly. (Matt. 6:16-18)
MA’ASEROT (Tithes)
A:1 The Tithe, is it paid on agricultural produce only, or on all things?
On all things, for the Scriptures teach that EVERYTHING belongs to
YHWH (Ex. 9:29; 2Kn. 19:15; Is. 66:1-2; Jer. 27:5; Job 12:9-10; Ps.
89:11; 95:3-5; Dan. 4:7; Neh. 9:16; 1Chron. 29:13-14). He owns this
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universe, all of its resources, all of its energy. Moreover the Torah says
when Avraham paid the tithe to Melchizadek, “…he gave him a tenth
(tithe) of all.” (Gen. 14:20) and this was specifically in this case the
“spoils of his enemies” (Jasher 16:12; also Hebrews 7:4) not simply
agricultural produce. And what if one shall say “Avrham’s Tithe was
different from the Tithe of the Mosaic Torah.” Absolutely not! For
Avraham’s Tithe was the same later paid to the Aaronic Priests as Paul
argues:
4 Consider and see his greatness, which also Avraham our father, gave
to him a tenth from the spoil.
5 And also the sons of L’vi collect for the priesthood, having received
a commandment to collect the tithe from the people, according to the
decree of the Torah. And this is of their brothers, although having
come from the loins of Avraham.
6 Truly he who is not from their tribe, has received the tithe from
Avraham, and blessed those, who are blessed, to him.
7 And behold, this no one disputes: that the lesser is blessed by the
greater.
8 Behold here, sons of man which die, receive tithes: but sleep
received he of whom it is said that He lives.
9 For so to say, that to he who was accustomed to take the tithe, he
also tithes through Avraham.
10 For He was yet in the loins of the Father, when He met, he who was
called Malki-Tzedek.
(Heb. 7:4-10 HRV)
The main point of Paul’s argument is based in the fact that the tithe
that Avram paid to Melchizadek was EXACTLY the same tithe that
the Levites were later paid from.
A:2 The Tithe, is it paid on the net or the gross?
The Torah tells us concerning the Second Tithe: “You shall truly tithe
all the increase of your seed, that the field brings forth year by year.”
(Deut. 14:22) The “seed” or investment is deductible, and the Tithe is
only in the “increase” or “net”.
The International Nazarene Beit Din Says: In this way the Second
Tithe is like the First.
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A:3 How are we to understand “Increase”?
“Increase” is what we receive (dollars or some other form of payment)
as a result of our productive effort. It may be generally defined as
adjusted gross income after production costs are deducted. And how
are we to understand “productive effort?”
This should be understood in its broadest meaning and may include
capital gains from property, dividends from stock, interest from bank
accounts etc.
A:4 To whom is the Tithe Paid?
The Tithe belongs to YHWH for the Torah says: “And all the tithe of
the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is
YHWH’s: it is Set-Apart unto YHWH.” (Lev. 27:30). The authority to
administer the Assembly in the Name of Yahweh is operative today in
the International Nazarene Beit Din and this authority or SEMIKHAH
was conferred upon the first officers of the International Nazarene Beit
Din by the Torah itself.
A:5 Who may be paid from the Tithe?
It is they who labor in the Word, as Paul writes:
Who is this who labors in the service (ministry) by the expanse of his
nefesh?
Or who is he who plants a vineyard and from its fruit does not eat?
Or who is he who tends the flock and from the milk of his flock does
not eat?
Do I say these [things] as a son of man?
Behold, the Torah also said these [things]. For it is written in the Torah
of Moshe,
`You shall not muzzle the ox that threshes.’ (Deut. 25:4)
It is a concern to Eloah about oxen? But, it is known that because of us
he said [it] and because of us it was written, because it is a need [that]
the plowman plow unto hope and he who threshes, unto the hope of
the harvest. If we have sown spiritual [things] among you, is it a great
[thing] if we reap [things] of the flesh from you? … those who labor
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[in] the Beit Kodesh [the Temple] are sustained from the Beit Kodesh
and those who labor for the alter have a portion with the alter?
So also, our Adon commanded that those who are proclaiming his
goodnews should live from his goodnews.” (1Cor. 9:6-14)
Just as they who labored in the Beit Kodesh and those who labored at
the Alter were paid from YHWH’s tithe, so are they who labor in the
Word. And how do we know this? Because Avraham paid the tithe to
Melchizadek (Gen. 14:18-20) as we also read in the Book of Jasher:
“And Adonizedek [Melchizadek] king of Jerusalem, the same was
Shem, went out with his men to meet Abram and his people, with
bread and wine, and they remained together in the valley of Melech.
And Adonizedek blessed Abram, and Abram gave him a tenth from all
that he had brought from the spoil of his enemies, for Adonizedek was
a priest before Elohim.”
(Jasher 16:11-12)
And why did Avraham pay him the Tithe? Because Shem had been his
Torah instructor, as the Book of Jasher also says:
“And when Avram came out from the cave, he went to Noach and his
son Shem, and he remained with them to learn the instruction of
YHWH and his ways, and no man knew where Avram was, and
Avram served Noach and Shem his son for a long time.
And Avram was in Noach’s house thirty-nine years, and Abram knew
YHWH from three years old, and he went in the ways of YHWH until
the day of his death, as Noach and his son Shem had taught him;”
(Jasher 9:5-6)
A:6 Does one Tithe on the produce of a garden?
Messiah referred to those “who tithe mint, and rue, and cumin” and
said “those things ought you to have done” (Matt. 23:23). So even the
product of a garden is subject to the Tithe.
SHABBAT
A:1
I. Establishment
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A. Sabbath is “Saturday.” – The Sabbath is as old as the creation of the
world. Bereshiyt [Genesis] 2:2 establishes that the Sabbath as ordained
by ELOHIM is on the seventh day of the week, the one which is called
in the Gregorian (Roman) calendar “Saturday.” (Gen. 2:2)
B. Sabbath is Holy.- Bereshiyt 2 Verse 3 Shows ELOHIM’s attitude
about the Sabbath — He blessed it, and made it “holy” – vay’qaddeish —
separated for Him. (Gen. 2:3)
C. Sabbath is one of ELOHIM’s Moedim (appointed times/feats) (Lev.
23:1-3)
II. Requirements & Prohibitions (justice)
A. Sabbath is for rest.
(Lev. 23:3; Ex. 34:21; Ex. 16:21-30)
B. Remember the Sabbath and Keep it Holy
(Ex. 20:8)
1. A Sacred Assembly is Required. A sacred Assembly is defined as a
coming together of people for sacred purposes – i.e., worship of
Elohim. (Lev. 23:3)
a. The Nazarenes fulfilled this mitzvot by meeting in synagogues and
reading the Torah on Shabbat.
(Acts 15:21)
C. No work is to be done on the Sabbath. The word used here which is
translated into English as “work” is the Hebrew word m’lawkhaw

meaning “all and any kind of creative ‘generative’ endeavor, changes to
the environment or any object.” (Lev. 23:3; Ex. 34:21; Ex. 16:21-30).
How do we define “work”? ELOHIM rested from creative activity on
Shabbat (Gen. 2:1-3). In Is. 58:13-14 “work” on the Sabbath seems to
mean “doing your will” or “doing your own ways” or “wording
words.” Thus resting from “work” on the Shabbat means to rest from
creative activities and to rest from inflicting our own will on the
universe. The word m’lawkhaw (work) appears in Ex. 31:3 referring to
the work of the artizans in building the tabernacle. This section is
immediately followed by a reminder of the Shabbat (Ex. 31:12-17). It
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seems then that m’lawkhaw in Ex. 31:12-17 must include the meaning
of m’lawkhaw in Ex. 31:3. Thus the activities involved in making the
Tabernacle are among those not normally permitted on Shabbat. These
iclude:
1. Preparation and cooking of food prohibited.
(Lev. 23:3; Ex. 34:21; Ex. 16:21-30)
2. Kindling a fire on the Sabbath is not permitted.
(Ex. 35:3)
3. Carrying anything out of a “domain” is prohibited. “Domain” means
your home/property, building/campus, etc. A walled city is considered
a single domain.
(Jer. 17:21-22)
D. Do Not Make (or allow) Others Work. Besides your not being
allowed to work, you are prohibited from doing anything that will
make the following people work. You are not to allow any of these to
work:
* Your children
* Any employee or person who would serve you
(this includes any stranger who would serve you)
* Any animal you own.
* Any non-Jewish person in your home.
(Ex. 20:8-10; 23:12; Dt. 5:12-15)
B:1 Is it permitted to heal or perform other acts of CHESED (loving
kindness) on the Sabbath?
The Essenes Say:
“And if any person falls into a place of water or a cistren he shall be
helped by a ladder or a cord or instrument…. No one should carry
medicine on his person, either going out, or coming in, on the
Sabbath.” (Damascus Document 10, 16; 11, 9-10)
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The Pharisees Say:
Rabbi Mattiah ben Harash said, “He who has a pain in his throat, they
drop medicine into his mouth on the Sabbath, because it is a matter of
doubt as to danger to life. Any matter of doubt as to danger to [human]
life overrides the prohibitions of the Sabbath.”
(m.Yoma 8:6)
However the Pharisees also say:
“They anoint and massage the stomach, but they do not have it
kneaded or scraped… They do not induce vomiting. And they do not
straighten [the limb of] a child or set a broken limb. He whose hand or
foot is dislocated should not pour cold water over them. But he washes
in the usual way. And if he is healed, he is healed.
(m.Shabbat 22:6)
The Pharisees elaborate:
BECAUSE IT IS A MATTER OF DOUBT AS TO DANGER TO
[HUMAN] LIFE. Why was it necessary to add `AND WHEREVER
THERE IS DANGER TO [HUMAN] LIFE, THE LAWS OF THE
SABBATH ARE SUSPENDED?-
Rab Judah in the name of Rab said:
Not only in the case of a danger [to human life] on this Sabbath, but
even in the case of a danger on the following Sabbath. How that? If
e.g.. the [diagnosis] estimates an eight-day [crisis] the first day of
which falls on the Sabbath. You might have said, let them wait until
the evening, so that the Sabbaths may not be profaned because of him,
therefore he informs us [that we do not consider that]. Thus also was it
taught: One may warm water for a sick person on the Sabbath, both for
the purpose of giving him a drink or of refreshing him, and not only
for [this] one Sabbath did they rule thus, but also for the
following one. Nor do we say: Let us wait, because perchance he will
get well, but we warm the water for him immediately, because the
possibility of danger to human life renders inoperative the laws of the
Sabbath, not only in case of such possibility on this one Sabbath, but
also in case of such possibility on another Sabbath.
(b.Yoma 84b)
The Pharisaic Rabbis taught: One must remove debris to save a life on
the Sabbath, and the more eager one is, the more praiseworthy is one;
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and one need not obtain permission from the Beit Din. How so? If one
saw a child falling into the sea, he spreads a net and brings it up — the
faster the better, and he need not obtain permission from the Beit Din
though he thereby catches fish [in his net]. If he saw a child fall into a
pit, he breaks loose one segment [of the entrenchment] and pulls it up
— the faster the better; and he need not obtain permission of the Beit
Din, even though he is thereby making a step [stairs]. If
he saw a door closing upon an infant, he may break it, so as to get the
child out — the faster the better; and he need not obtain permission
from the Beit Din, though he thereby consciously makes chips of
wood. One may extinguish and isolate [the fire] in the case
of a conflagration — the sooner the better, and he need not obtain
permission from the Beit Din, even though he subdues the flames.
Now all these cases must be mentioned separately. For if only the case
of the [infant falling into] the sea had been mentioned [one would have
said, it is permitted there] because meantime the child might be swept
away by the water, but that does not apply in the case [of its falling
into] the pit, because since it remains [stays] therein, one might have
thought, one may not [save it before obtaining permission], therefore it
is necessary to refer to that. And if the teaching had
confined itself to the case of the pit, [one would have thought, there no
permission is required] because the child is terrified but in the case of
a door closing upon it, one might sit outside and [amuse the child] by
making a noise with nuts, therefore it was necessary [to include that
too]. (b.Yoma 84b)
R. Ishmael, R. Akiba and R. Eleazar b. Azariah were once on a
journey, with Levi ha-Saddar and R. Ishmael son of R. Eleazar b.
Azariah following them. Then this question was asked of them:
Whence do we know that in the case of danger to human life the laws
of the Sabbath are suspended? — R. Ishmael answered and said: If a
thief be found breaking in. Now if in the case of this one it is doubtful
whether he has come to take money or life; and although the shedding
of blood pollutes the land, so that the Shechinah departs from Israel,
yet it is lawful to save oneself at the cost of his life — how much more
may one suspend the laws of the Sabbath to save human life! (b.Yoma
85a)
R. Akiba answered and said: If a man come presumptuously upon his
neighbor etc. thou shalt take him from My altar, that he may die. I.e.,
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only off the altar, but not down from the altar. And in connection
therewith Rabbah b. Bar Hana said in the name of R. Johanan:
That was taught only when one’s life is to be forfeited,/ but to save life
one may take one down even from the altar. Now if in the case of this
one, where it is doubtful whether there is any substance in his words or
not, yet [he interrupts] the service in the Temple [which is important
enough to] suspend the Sabbath, how much more should the saving of
human life suspend the Sabbath laws! (b. Yoma 85a-85b)
We read of Messiah:
1 At that time, Yeshua went through the grain on the Sabbath: and His
talmidim were hungry, and began to pluck the ears from the stalks, and
to eat.
2 But the P’rushim seeing, said, Behold, your talmidim do that which
is not right to do on the Sabbath.
3 But He said to them: Have you not read what David did, when he
was hungry, both he and they that were with him?
4 For he entered into the House of Elohim, and did eat the showbread:
which was not lawful for him to eat them, neither for them which were
with him, but only for the cohenim.
5 Have you not read in the Torah, that the cohenim profane the
Sabbath; in the Temple, and are blameless?
6 But I tell you, that here, is greater than the Temple.
7 But if you had known what it means, For I desire mercy, and not
sacrifice, you would not have condemned the guiltless.
8 For the Son of Man is Adonai; even of the Sabbath.
9 And when He had passed over from there, He entered into their
synagogue.
10 And behold, a man which had his hand withered. And they asked
Him, saying, Is it lawful on the Sabbath to heal the sick? And all this
was, that they might accuse Him <before the beit din. >
11 And He said to them: What man among you, having one sheep that
shall fall into a pit on the Sabbath, will not lay hold on it, and lift it
out?
12 And is not a man better than a sheep? Therefore it is lawful to do
good on the Sabbath.
13 Then said He to the man: Stretch out your hand. And he stretched it
out, and it was restored to health, like as the other.
(Matt. 12:1-13)
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In the Gospel which the Nazarenes and Ebionites use (The Gospel
according to the Hebrews) we read that this man who has the withered
hand is described as a mason, who prays for help in such words as
these: “I was a mason seeking a livelihood with my hands: I pray you
Yeshua, to restore me my health, that I may not beg meanly for food.”
(Jerome; On. Mt. 12:13)
The Essenes said:
“No man shall help an animal in its delivery on the Sabbath day. And
if it falls into a pit or ditch, he shall not raise it on the Sabbath.”
(Damascus Document 11, 13)
And again we read of Messiah:
1 And it happened, that when He entered the house of one of the rulers
of the P’rushim, to eat bread on the day of the Sabbath, they were
watching Him.
2 And behold, there was one man before Him who had dropsy.
3 And Yeshua spoke out and said to the scribes and P’rushim: Is it
permitted to heal on the Sabbath?
4 And they were quiet. And He took him and healed him and let him
go.
5 And He said to them: Who of you, whose ox or ass falls into a well
on the day of the Sabbath, does not immediately draw up and lift him
out?
6 And they were not able to give to Him an answer about this.
(Luke 14:1-6)
R. Eleazar answered and said: If circumcision, which attaches to one
only of the two hundred and forty-eight members of the human body,
suspends the Sabbath, how much more shall [the saving of] the whole
body suspend the Sabbath! (b.Yoma 85b)
Yeshua said:
21 … I have done one work, and all of you are amazed.
22 Because of this, Moshe gave you circumcision; not because it was
from the fathers: and on the Sabbath, you circumcise a man.
23 If a man is circumcised on the day of the Sabbath, that the Torah of
Moshe be not loosed, do you murmur against Me, because I have
healed the whole man on the day of the Sabbath?
(Jn. 7:21-23)
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R. Jose son of R. Judah said: Only you shall keep My Sabbaths,’ one
might assume under all circumstances, therefore the text reads: `Only’
viz, allowing for exceptions.
(b.Yoma 85b)
R. Jonathan b. Joseph said: For it is holy unto you; I.e., it [the Sabbath]
is committed to your hands, not you to its hands.
(b.Yoma 85b)
Messiah said:
27 …The Sabbath was created for a son of man, <and not a son of man
for the Sabbath.>
28 Thus also, the Son of Man is the Adonai of the Sabbath.
(Mk. 12:27-28)
Again we read of Messiah:
10 And while Yeshua was teaching on the Sabbath in one of the
synagogues,
11 There was there a woman, who had a spirit of infirmity eighteen
years, and she was bent over and not able to straighten herself at all.
12 And Yeshua saw her and called her, and said to her: Woman, you
are free from your infirmity.
13 And He placed his hand upon her, and immediately she
straightened herself, and praised Eloah.
14 And the ruler of the synagogue, being angered because Yeshua had
healed on the Sabbath, answered and said to the crowds, There are six
days in which it is right to labor. Come; be healed in them, and not on
the day of the Sabbath.
15 And Yeshua answered and said to him: Hypocrite. What one of you
on the Sabbath, does not loose his ox or his ass from the stable, and
goes and waters it?
16 And this [woman], because she is a daughter of Avraham, and Akel
Kartza has bound her, lo, eighteen years: is it not right that she be
freed from this bondage, on the day of the Sabbath?
17 And when He said these things, all those who were standing against
Him, were ashamed: and the entire nation rejoiced at all the wonders
that occurred by His hand.
(Luke 13:10-17)
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And elsewhere:
1 And as He passed by, He saw a blind man, who was [blind] from the
womb of his mother.
2 And His talmidim asked Him and said, Rabbi, who sinned: this
[blind man] or his parents, so that he was born blind?
3 Yeshua said to them: Neither did he sin, nor his parents. But that the
works of Eloah might be seen in him,
4 It is necessary for Me to do the works of Him who sent Me while it
is day: the night will come, when man will not be able to labor.
5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.
6 And after He had said these things, He spat on the ground, and
formed clay from His spittle, and anointed the eyes of that blind man.
7 And He said to him: Go wash your face with an immersion of
Shiloach: and he went [and] washed, and came seeing.
8 And his neighbors, and those by whom previously he was seen
begging, were saying, Is this not he, who sat and begged?
9 Some were saying, This is he: but others were saying, No, but he
resembles him a lot. But he said, I am he!
10 They were saying to him, How were your eyes opened?
11 He answered and said to them, A man whose Name is Yeshua,
made clay, and anointed me on my eyes, and said to me, Go, wash
your face with an immersion of Shiloach: and I went, I washed, and I
received sight.
12 They said to him, Where is He? He said to them, I do not know.
13 And they brought that one who previously was blind, to the
P’rushim.
14 And it was the Sabbath, when Yeshua made the clay and opened his
eyes for him.
15 And the P’rushim again asked him, How did you receive sight?
And he said to them, He placed clay upon my eyes: and I washed, and
I received sight.
16 And some of the P’rushim were saying, This man is not from Eloah
because He does not keep the Sabbath, and, He formed clay.1107 But
others were saying, How is a man who is] a sinner, able to do these
signs? And there was division among them.
17 Again they spoke to that blind man, What do you, say about Him
who opened your eyes for you? He said to them, I say, that He is a
prophet.
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18 But the Judeans did not believe that he was blind, and saw, until
they had called the parents of him who saw.
19 And they asked them, Is this your son whom you say was born
blind; how does he now see?
20 And his parents answered and said, We know that he is our son, and
that he was born blind,
21 But how he now sees, or who opened his eyes for him, we do not
know. Indeed, he has come of age, ask him: he can speak for his
nefesh.
22 His parents said these things because they were afraid of the
Judeans: for the Judeans had decided, that if a man would confess
Him; that He is the Messiah, they would cast Him out of the
synagogue.
23 Because of this, his parents said, He has come of age. Ask him.
24 And they called the man who was blind a second time, and said to
him, Give glory to Eloah, for we know that this man is a sinner.
25 He answered and said to them, If he is a sinner I do not know. But
one thing I do know: I was blind, and now behold, I see!
26 Again they said to him, What did He do to you; how did He open
your eyes for you?
27 He said to them, I told you, and you did not hear. Why do you
again want to hear? Do you also want to become talmidim?
28 And they reviled him and said to him, You are a talmid of that
[one], but we are talmidim of Moshe.
29 And we know that Eloah spoke with Moshe, but as for this [one],
we do not know from where He is.
30 That man answered and said to them, In this, there is therefore
[something] to be admired, because you do not know from where He
is. Yet, He opened my eyes!
31 And we know that Eloah does not hear the voice of sinners: but
whoever fears Him and does His will, He hears.
32 From the ages it has not been heard, that a man has opened the eyes
of one who was born blind.
33 If this [one] was not from Eloah, He would not be able to do this.
34 They answered and said to him, You were born entirely in sins, and
you teach us? And they cast him out.
35 And Yeshua heard that they had cast him out. And He found him,
and said to him: Do you have trust in the Son of Eloah?
36 That one who was healed answered and said, Who is He, my Adon,
that I might have trust in Him?
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37 Yeshua said to him: You have seen Him, and He who speaks with
you, is He.
38 And he said, I have trust, my Adon, and he fell down and paid Him
homage.
39 And Yeshua said: I have come for the judgment of this world: that
those who do not see might see, and those who see, might become
blind.
40 And those of the P’rushim who were with Him, heard these things
and said to Him, Are we also blind?
41 Yeshua said to them: If you were blind, you would have no sin: but
now you say, We see. Because of this, your sin is maintained.
(Jn. 9)
Therefore the International Nazarene Beit Din Says:
“The restrictions of the Sabbath are loosed, not only when danger to
human life is in doubt, but for any act of healing, or any act of
CHESED (loving kindness, mercy). CHESED outweighs the
sacrificial offerings (Hosea 6:6; Mt. 12:5-6), and the sacrificial
offerings outweigh the Sabbath (Lev. 23:37-38; Mt. 12:7). Activities
such as making clay (Jn. 9) and reaping (Mt. 12:1-8) are permitted on
Shabbat if a matter of CHESED is involved. One is loosed to perform
“good” on Shabbat (Mt. 12:11-12=Lk. 6:9=Mk. 2:28). One may loose
his ox or his ass from the stall and lead him away to watering. (Lk.
13:15) and if a sheep falls into a pit on Shabbat one is loosed to lay
hold on it, and lift it out. (Mt. 12:11-12; Lk. 14:1-6) On the Shabbat a
man may be circumcised that the Torah not be broken. (Jn. 7:21-24)
And the priests are loosed to sacrifice on Shabbat. (Lev. 23:37-38; Mt.
12:5-6)
B:2 May Sabbath be loosed for matter of making known “the
knowledge or Elohim”?
We read concerning Messiah:
2 And there was there in Yerushalayim, one place for immersions,
which is called in Hebrew, Beit Chesed: and it had in it five porches.
3 And many people were lying at these: who were sick, and blind, and
lame, and withered, <and they were waiting for the movement of the
water.
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4 For an angel, from time to time descended to the [place for] washing,
and moved the water. And whoever descended first after the
movement of the water, was healed of every pain that he had. >
5 And there was there one man, who was in sickness thirty eight years.
6 Yeshua saw this man who was lying, and knew that he had had this
sickness a long time. And He said to him: Do you want to be healed?
7 That sick man answered and said, Yes my Adon, but I have no one
to place me in the immersion when the water is moved. But before I
can come, another descends before me.
8 Yeshua said to him: Arise; take up your pallet and walk.
9 And immediately that man was healed: and he arose, took his pallet,
and walked. And that day, was the Sabbath.
10 And the Judeans were saying to that one who was healed, It is the
Sabbath. It is not permitted for you to carry your pallet.
11 But he answered and said to them, He who made me whole said to
me: Take your pallet and walk.
12 And they asked him, Who is this man who told you to take your
pallet and walk?
13 And he who was healed did not know who He was: for Yeshua had
withdrawn from him, because of the large crowd that was in that place.
14 After a while, Yeshua found him in the Temple, and said to him:
Behold, you are whole. Do not sin again, lest something that is worse
than the first should happen to you.
15 And that man went and told the Judeans, that Yeshua was the one
who had healed him.
16 And because of this, the Judeans were persecuting Yeshua, and
seeking to kill Him; because He had done these things on the Sabbath.
17 But Yeshua said to them: My Father works until now; I also work.
(Jn. 5:1-17)
Why was it permitted to carry the pallet on the Sabbath? One may say
“it is a matter of healing, and healing is permitted on the Sabbath.”
Not so, for this man had already been healed, and carrying his
pallet was not needed to heal him. Why therefore was he instructed to
carry his pallet?
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The International Nazarene Beit Din says:
“Shabbat May be Loosed for matters concerning “the knowledge of
ELOHIM” – “The knowledge of ELOHIM is of greater weight
than burnt offerings (Hosea 6:6) and burnt offerings are of greater
weight than Shabbat (Lev. 23:37-38; Mt. 12:5-6). Therefore “the
knowledge of ELOHIM” is of greater weight than Shabbat. Activities
such as carrying are therefore permitted on Shabbat in matters
pertaining to “the knowledge of ELOHIM” (Jn. 5:1-15). This would
include such activities as driving to Shabbat services.
ERUVIN (Travel Restrictions on Sabbath)
4:3 We read in the Torah “let no man go out of his place [on the
Sabbath]” (Ex. 16:29) How are we to understand “place”?
The Pharisees say:
“He who went forth [on the Sabbath] on a permissible mission, but
they said to him, `The mission has already been completed,’ has two
thousand cubits in every direction [in which to travel].” (m.Eruvin 4:3)
The Essenes say:
“One may not travel outside his city more than 1,000 cubits… A man
may not voluntarily cross Sabbath borders on the Sabbath Day. A man
may walk behind an animal to graze it outside his city up to 2,000
cubits.” (Damascus Document 10, 20; 11, 3)
The International Nazarene Beit Din says:
“The in ancient times the “camp” had a radius of 2000 cubits in all
directions (see m.Rosh HaShanna 2:5) and the “place outside the
camp” where offerings such as the red heifer were made, was located
at the Mount of Olives (m.Middot 1:3). Thus, when we read: `Then
returned they unto Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives, which is from
Jerusalem a sabbath day’s journey.’ (Acts 1:12) we are to understand
that a “Sabbath Day’s Journey” is 2,000 cubits ( .7 miles).
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(Like all Sabbath halachot this is loosed for reasons of “mercy” or
“making known the knowedge of Elohim” as noted in our previous
Sabbath Halacha.)
In which we previously ruled:
The International Nazarene Beit Din says:
“Shabbat May be Loosed for matters concerning “the knowledge of
ELOHIM” – “The knowledge of ELOHIM is of greater weight
than burnt offerings (Hosea 6:6) and burnt offerings are of greater
weight than Shabbat (Lev. 23:37-38; Mt. 12:5-6). Therefore “the
knowledge of ELOHIM” is of greater weight than Shabbat. Activities
such as carrying are therefore permitted on Shabbat in matters
pertaining to “the knowledge of ELOHIM” (Jn. 5:1-15). This would
include such activities as driving to Shabbat services.
SHEKALIM (The Temple Tax)
A:1 The Temple Tax: How often is it paid?
We read in the Torah
11 And YHWH spoke unto Moshe, saying:
12 When you take the sum of the children of Yisra’el, according to
their number, then shall they give every man, a ransom for his soul
unto YHWH, when you number them: that there be no plague among
them when you number them.
13 This they shall give, every one that passes among them that are
numbered, half a shekel after the shekel of the sanctuary: the shekel is
twenty gerahs; half a shekel for an offering to YHWH.
14 Every one that passes among them that are numbered, from twenty
years old and upward, shall give the offering of YHWH.
15 The rich shall not give more, and the poor shall not give less than
the half shekel, when they give the offering of YHWH–to make
atonement for your souls.
16 And you shall take the atonement money from the children of
Yisra’el, and shall appoint it for the service of the tent of meeting, that
it may be a memorial for the children of Yisra’el before YHWH, to
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make atonement for your souls.
(Ex. 30:11-16)
The Pharisees said:
“On the first day of Adar they make a public announcement
concerning the shekel tax… On the fifteenth day of the same month
they set up money changers tables in the provinces. On the twenty fifth
day they set them up in the Temple. When they were set up in the
Temple, they began to collect. Whom did they collect from? Levites
and Israelites, Proselytes and freed slaves, but not women nor slaves or
minors nor on whose behalf his father had begun to pay the Shekel,
may not discontinue it again. But no collection was levied on the
Priests, in order to promote peacefulness.
(m.Shekalim 1:1, 3)
The Essenes said:
…concerning the Ransom: the money of the valuation which a man
gives as ransom for his life shall be half a shekel in accordance with
the shekel of the sanctuary. He shall give it only once in his life.
(4Q159 Frag 1; Col. 2; lines 6-7)
Messiah said:
25 …The kings of the earth: of whom do they receive tribute and
custom? Of their own children, or of strangers?
26 And he said, Of strangers. Then Yeshua said to him: If so, the
children are free.
(Matt. 17:25-26)
The International Nazarene Beit Din says:
One need pay the Temple Tax only once in his life. Once he pays the
Tax he has a redeemed nefesh, and is no longer a stranger but are like
sons of the King therefore is free of the tax.
May one keep a stricter Rabbinic halacha?
The Emissary Matthew records concerning Yeshua:
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24 And when they had come into K’far Nachum, they that received the
drachma came near to Kefa, and said to him, Does your rabbi pay the
drachma?
25 And he said, Certainly. And as he came to the house, Yeshua
prevented him, saying: How seems it to you, Shim’on? The kings of
the earth: of whom do they receive tribute and custom? Of their own
children, or of strangers?
26 And he said, Of strangers. Then Yeshua said to him: If so, the
children are free.
27 But in order that we may not provoke them, go you to the sea, and
cast the baited net, and take the fish that first comes up. And when you
have opened its mouth, you will find a litra: that take, and give to them
for Me and you.
(Matt. 17:24-27)
The International Nazarene Beit Din says:
In order that one may not provoke the Rabbinic Community, it is
permissable that they observe a stricter Rabbinic Halachah.
YEVAMOT (Levarite Marriage and other Marriage issues)
A:1 May a man marry the daughter of his sister?
The Pharisees say:
Concerning him who… marries his sister’s daughter … Scripture says,
Then shall you call, and YHWH will answer; you shall cry and He will
say: `Here I am’.
(b.Yeb. 62b-63a)
The Essenes say:
They [the Pharisees] [permit] each man to marry the daughter of his
brothers and the daughter of his sister, although Moses said, “Unto the
sister of your mother you shall not draw near; she is the flesh of your
mother” (Lev. 18:13). But the law of cansanguinity is written for males
and females alike, so if the brother’s daughter uncovers the nakedness
of the bother of her father, she is the flesh of her father.
(Damascus Document 4, 6b-11a)
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The International Nazarene Beit Din says:
The rules against incest are the same for males and female so that a
man may not marry his sister’s daughter.
NEDARIM (Vows)
1:1 All euphemisms for vows are equivalent to vows…(m.Nedarim
1:1) If he said “[May it be to me] like the lamb [offering], Like the
[Temple] sheds,” “Like the wood,” “Like the fire,” “Like the alter,”
“Like the sanctuary,” “Like Jerusalem.”– If he vowed by the name of
one of any of the utensils used for the alter, Even though he has not
used the word korban– lo, this one has vowed by korban.
Rabbi Judah says, “He who says, “Jerusalem,” has said nothing [that is
a vow].(m.Nedarim 1:3)
16 Woe to you, blind guides, who say, Whoever swears by the
Temple, is not obligated: but he that swears by the gold of the Temple,
is obligated.
17 Fools and blind! Which is greater, the gold, or the Temple that
sanctifies the gold?
18 And Whoever swears by the altar, is not obligated, but he that
swears by the gift that is upon it, is obligated.
19 O blind! Which is greater, the gift: or the altar that sanctifies the
gift?
20 He that swears by the altar, swears by it, and by all things thereon.
21 And he that swears by the Temple, swears by it, and by that which
abides therein.
22 And he that has sworn by heaven, swears by the throne of Elohim,
and by Him that sits thereon.
(Mt. 23:16-22)
The International Nazarene Beit Din says:
He who vows by a euphemism is bound by the euphemism as if by a
vow whether the euphemism is analogous or whether it is by a
euphemism to that with is of greater weight than that which is
analogous.
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9:1 R. Elieazar says: they loose a vow for a man by reference to the
honor of his father or mother. (m.Nedarim 9:1) and the Pharisaic sages
prohibit. (m.Nedarim 9:1) said R. Tzadok: before they loose a vow for
him by reference to his father or mother let them loose his vow by
reference to the honor of HaMakom. If so there will be no vow.
(m.Nedarim 9:1)
But the Pharisaic sages concede to R. Elieazar, that in a matter that is
between him and his mother or father they loose his vow by reference
to his father or mother.” (m.Nedarim 9:1)
There was one in Beit Horon whose father was bound by a vow from
deriving profit from him. And he was marrying off his son, and he said
to his fellow, `The courtyard and the banquet are given over to you as
a gift. But they are before you only so that [my] father may come and
eat with us at the banquet.’ The fellow said, `Now if they are really
mine, then behold, they are consecrated to heaven.’ He said, `I did not
give you what is mine so you could consecrate it to heaven!’ He said to
him, `You did not give me what is yours except so that you and your
father could eat and drink and be friends again, and so the sin [of
violating the vow] could rest on my head!’ (some mss. have `his head’)
Now the case came before sages, They ruled, `Any act of giving that is
not such that, if one sanctified it to heaven, it is sanctified, is no act of
giving.”
(m.Nedarim 5:6)
But Messiah Said:
3…And why do you transgress the commandments of Elohim–by
means of your decrees?
4 Is it not written in your Torah from the mouth of Elohim, Honor
your father and your mother? And moreover written, And he that
curses his father and his mother will surely die?
5 But you say, Whoever says to father and mother, It is all an offering-
– whatever of mine might profit you,
6 And he honors not his father and his mother. Thus have you made
void the commandments of Elohim, on account of your judgments.
(Matt. 15:3b-6)
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The International Nazarene Beit Din says:
A vow is loosed for a man by reference to the honor of his father or his
mother.
GITTIN (Divorce)
A:1 Although polygamy is not forbidden by the Torah, it does violate
the principle of Yesod HaBriah (the principle/foundation of creation)
because he who made man in the beginning, ‘made them male and
female’ (Gen. 1:27) ‘Wherefore shall a man shall leave his father and
his mother, and cleave to his wife, and the two shall become one
flesh’ (Gen. 2:24) And now then, they are no more two but one flesh
only.
Divorce also violates the principle of Yesod HaBriah because the
divorced man has more than one wife in his lifetime. What therefore
Elohim has joined together man cannot separate.
Moshe then commanded to give a bill of divorcement, and to put a
wife away if she was not pleasing in her husbands eyes” (Deut. 24:1,
3) on account of the hardness of our hearts, allowed us to put away our
wives, but from the beginning it was not so. every man that has put
away, or shall put away his wife, except it be for DAVAR Z’NOT, and
takes another, commits adultery. And whoever takes the divorced also
commits adultery.
DAVAR Z’NOT is to be understood as “going astray” and may refer to
the wife who will not be subject to her husband’s headship, as we read
“For, behold, they that go far from You shall perish; You do destroy
all them THAT GO ASTRAY from you. (Ps. 73:27)” and “For just as
you do not let the water go and abound, thus do not let the wicked wife
go and sin. And if she will not follow your direction, cut her off from
your flesh, and divorce her from your house.” (Sira 25:25-26). And as
Paul writes:” Wives be subject to your husbands as to our Adon,
Because the husband is the head of the wife, Even as the Messiah is
head of the Assembly; and he is the life-giver of the body. But even
as the Assembly is subject to the Messiah, So also wives [should be
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subject] to their husbands in everything.” (Eph. 5:22-27 see also Gen.
3:16; Eph. 5:22-27; 1Cor. 11:3; 14:34-35; Col. 3:18; Titus 2:2-5;
1Kefa 3:1-7).
Divorce is always a last resort. Even when there is a matter of
Z’NOT, though a man has the right to divorce, the preferred way is to
forgive and work out the problems. Divorce should be reserved for
situations from which repentance is not forthcoming or where the
Z’NOT is not likely to stop.
KIDDUSHIN (sex and genealogy )
A:1 Abortion: Is it permitted?
The Scriptures are the standard for the lives of Nazarene Jews not only
in its direct commands, but also in its example and overall plan. It is
clear that YHVH has a plan and purpose for each of His creations, and
the destroying of innocent life is rebellion against that plan.
The fact that the word “abortion” does not appear in the Bible does not
mean that YHVH is silent on the subject. He mentions the unborn,
including the embryo and the fetus, and shows that He considers the
unborn, starting with conception, to be a person with a purpose.
It is clear then that the act of “Therapeutic Abortion” is the sinful
termination of innocent human life. It therefore qualifies as murder.
Since murder is sin, being a party to abortion in any way, shape or
form is a sin. Although the question of abortion is often considered
“complex,” we believe that the answer to the question of whether or
not abortion is murder is clear and straightforward.
Murder is simply the taking of an innocent human life. This is to be
differentiated from “killing” when there is a righteous purpose for it.
For example, the Bible sets up special cities to which a person may
flee who has killed a person “by accident.” The person may stay and
be protected in one of these special cities until the family of the
deceased has stopped looking for the person for the purpose of
revenge.
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Also, YHVH Himself commands capital punishment, the death
penalty, for the breaking of certain commands, including defiling the
Sabbath, adultery, etc.
Self defense is clearly a valid reason for “killing” since the life being
terminated is not innocent life.
However, the taking of innocent life is considered a “sin” and
“wickedness.”
Ex. 20:13; 23:7
20:13 Do not murder.
23:7 Keep away from fraud, and do not cause the death of the innocent
and righteous; for I will not justify the wicked.
3. Definition of a Person.
A human being’s person hood begins not at the time that he or she has
completed development in the womb and is transferred out of the
mother into the world. It is clear from Scripture that there is a seamless
continuity in the life of a person from the moment of conception.
YHVH knows each person from the beginning:
Jeremiah I:4-5:
Here is the word of YHVH that came to me:
“Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you; before you were born,
I separated you for myself. I have appointed you to be a prophet to the
nations.”
A person has a YHVH-given purpose in His Kingdom from
conception:
Ps. 139:13-16:
(13) For you fashioned my inmost being, you knit me together in my
mother’s womb.
(14) I thank you because I am awesomely made, wonderfully; your
works are wonders — I know this very well.
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(15) My bones were not hidden from you when I was being made in
secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
(16) Your eyes could see me as an embryo, but in your book all my
days were already written; my days had been shaped before any of
them existed.
The Spirit of Elohim is with a person in his/her mother’s womb:
Luke 1:11-17
(11) when there appeared to him an angel of YHVHstanding to the
right of the incense altar.
(12) Z’khariyah was startled and terrified at the sight.
(13) But the angel said to him, “Don’t be afraid, Z’khariyah; because
your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elisheva will bear you a son,
and you are to name him Yochanan.
(14)He will be a joy and a delight to you, and many people will rejoice
when he is born
(15) for he will be great in the sight of YHVH. He is never to drink
wine or other liquor, and he will be filled with the Ruach HaKodesh
even from his mother ‘s womb.
(16) He will turn many of the people of Isra’el to YHVH their Elohim
(17) He will go out ahead of YHVH in the spirit and power of Eliyahu
to turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the disobedient to the
wisdom of the righteous, to make ready for YHVH a people prepared.”
The International Nazarene Beit Din Says:
Any action or lack of action which intentionally causes the death of an
unborn child, from the moment of conception on, shall be considered
murder, and shall not be allowed or condoned in the Nazarene
Community.
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SANHEDRIN
A:1 Who may bring a matter of sin to the Beit Din?
Only the victim, as Messiah said:
“If your brother sin against you…” (Mt. 18:15)
A:2 When may a victim bring an accusation to the Beit Din?
Only after first seeking reconciliation twice, first alone, and then with
two or more witnesses. As Messiah said: “go and reprove him between
you and him alone: and if he will hear you, you have won your
brother. But if he will not hear you, take to yourself one witness or
two: that at the mouth of two or three witnesses, every word may be
established (Deut. 17:6 & 19:15) And if he will not hear them, speak
to him in the assembly…” (Mt. 18:15-17) And what is the
“assembly” here? It is to be understood in no other way than the
“judges that shall be in those days” (Deut. 17:9)
A:3 For what may a man be accused before the Beit Din?
Only for “sin” as Messiah said “If your brother sin against you…” (Mt.
18:15)
What is “sin”? It is “transgression of the Torah” (1Jn. 3:4).
A man may therefore be accused before the Beit Din only for a
transgression of the Torah.
A:4 What punishment for he who rejects the Beit Din ruling in a
matter concerning sin? (and therefore does not repent).
The Torah says: “And the man that does presumptuously, in not
hearkening… unto the judge, even that man shall die, and you shall
exterminate the evil from Yisra’el. (Deut. 17:12)”
However, in the absence of a Theocracy (which will not be re-instated
until the return of Messiah) the death penalty is replaced with the
penalty of CHEREM (disfellowshipment).
Messiah said “let him be to you as a Goy or a transgressor” (Matt.
18:17)
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Paul said: “Now I entreat you, my brothers, that you beware of those
who cause divisions and scandals, outside of the teaching that you
have learned; that you keep away from them.” (Rom. 16:17)
And again: “… deliver this one to HaSatan for the destruction of his
body: for spiritually he will live, in the day of our Adon Yeshua the
Messiah…. a little leaven, leavens the whole lump. Purge from you the
old leaven: that you might be a new lump as you are unleavened.
(1Cor. 5:5-7)
3:3 And these are they who are invalid to serve as witnesses or
judges]: The Pharisees say: “He who plays dice; he who loans money
for interest; those who race pigeons; and those who do business in the
produce of the Sabbath Year.”
Rabbi Simeon said, “In the beginning they called them `Those who
gather Seventh Year produce,’ When oppressors became many [who
collected taxes on this produce] they reverted to calling them, `Those
who do business in the produce of the Seventh Year.”
Rabbi Judah said: “Under what circumstances? When they have only
that as their profession. But if they have a profession other than that.
They are valid.”
The Essenes said, “No one who has knowingly violated a single word
of the commandment will be considered a reliable witness against his
fellow until he is considered fit to return to full fellowship.”
(Damascus Document 4Q270 frag. 9 col. 10 lines 2-3)
Messiah said, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone” (Jn. 8:7)
and the Torah requires the two witnesses to cast the first stone (Deut.
17:7).
And what is meant by “he who is without without sin”?
Yochanan says “And if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to
forgive us our sins, and [to] cleanse us from all our iniquity. And if we
say that we do not sin, we make Him a liar: and His Word is not with
us. My sons, I write these [things] to you, that you do not sin: and if
someone should sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Yeshua the
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Messiah, the just [One]. For He is the propitiation for our sins, and not
on behalf of ours only, but also on behalf of [the sins of] the whole
world. And in this we perceive that we know Him: if we
keep His commandments. For he who says, I know Him, and does not
keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” (1Jn.
1:10-2:4)
The International Nazarene Beit Din says: “By this we are to
understand that one who does not have Messiah as their advocate with
the Father and does not keep his commandments, but has knowingly
violated a single word of the commandment, may not serve as a
witness against his fellow until he is considered fit to return to full
fellowship.”
SHAVUOT (Oaths)
A:1 Oaths, should they be taken?
It has been said “Do not be false in your oath, but complete to YHWH
your vow.” For the Torah says: “And you shall not swear by My Name
falsely, so that you profane the Name of your Elohim: I am YHWH.”
(Lev. 19:12) And: “When a man vows a vow unto YHWH, or swears
an oath to bind his soul with a bond, he shall not break his word: he
shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth.” (Num. 3
(30:2)). And: “When you shall vow a vow unto YHWH your Elohim,
you shall not be slack to pay it. For YHWH your Elohim, will surely
require it of you, and it will be sin in you. But if you shall forbear to
vow, it shall be no sin in you. That which is gone out of your lips, you
shall observe and do, according as you have vowed freely unto YHWH
your Elohim–even that which you have promised with your mouth.”
(Deut. 22 (23:21)- 24 (23:23))
Yeshua Ben Sira said:
” Hear, O ye children, the discipline of the mouth: he that keepeth it
shall never be taken in his lips. The sinner shall be left in his
foolishness: both the evil speaker and the proud shall fall thereby.
Accustom not thy mouth to swearing; neither use thyself to the naming
of the Holy One. For as a servant that is continually beaten shall not be
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without a blue mark: so he that sweareth and nameth God continually
shall not be faultless. A man that useth much swearing shall be filled
with iniquity, and the plague shall never depart from his house: if he
shall offend, his sin shall be upon him: and if he acknowledge not his
sin, he maketh a double offence: and if he swear in vain, he shall not
be innocent, but his house shall be full of calamities. There is a word
that is clothed about with death: God grant that it be not found in the
heritage of Jacob; for all such things shall be far from the godly, and
they shall not wallow in their sins. Use not thy mouth to intemperate
swearing, for therein is the word of sin. Remember thy father and thy
mother, when thou sittest among great men. Be not forgetful before
them, and so thou by thy custom become a fool, and wish that thou
hadst not been born, and curse they day of thy nativity. The man that is
accustomed to opprobrious words will never be reformed
all the days of his life.” (Sira 23:7-15)
The Essenes taught:
“A man must not swear either by Aleph and Lamedh (Elohim) or by
Aleph and Daleth (Adonai) Swearing is to be avoided. It is worse than
perjury; he who cannot be believed without [swearing by] Elohim, is
already condemned.” (Damascus Document Col. 15, 1 & Josephus;
Wars; 2:8:6)
Yeshua the Messiah taught:
“You shall not swear by a confirming word–not by heaven, for it is
Elohim’s throne, And not by the earth, for it is the footstool of His feet,
and not by Yerushalayim, for it is the city of the great king. And you
shall not swear by your head, in that you have no power to whiten one
hair or turn it black again. But let your words be, Yes, yes; No, no: for
whatever is more than these words, is of evil.”
(Matt. 5:34-37)
Yakov HaTzadik first Nasi of the Nazarene Sanhedrin taught:
“Before every thing [else] my brothers, do not swear: neither by
heaven nor by earth, not even by another oath. On the contrary, let
your word be yes, yes, and no, no, lest you should be condemned
under judgment.” (Ya’akov 5:12)
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AVODAH ZARAH (issues of idolatry)
A:1 MISHNA:
Must the Goyim be circumcised according to the custom of the Torah
to be saved?
Shim’on said: Men, our brothers, you know that from the first days
from my mouth, Eloah chose that the Goyim should hear the Word of
the Good News and Trust. And Eloah, who knows what is in hearts,
gave testimony concerning them, and gave to them the Ruach
HaKodesh as [he did] to us. And he made no distinction between them
and us, because he purified their hearts by trust. And now, why do you
tempt Eloah so that you place a yoke upon the necks of the talmidim,
which neither our fathers, nor we, were able to bear? But by the favor
of our Adon Yeshua the Messiah, we believe to have Life, like them.
Paul and Bar Nabba, recounted everything that Eloah had done by
their hands: signs, and mighty deeds, among the Goyim.
Ya’akov said, Men, our brothers: hear me. Shim’on recounted to you
how Eloah began to choose, from the Goyim, a people for His Name.
And to this the words of the prophets agree, like that which is written:
After these things I will return and set up the tabernacle of David
which has fallen, and I will rebuild that which has fallen of it and I will
raise it up, So that the remnant of men might seek YHWH, and, all the
Goyim, on whom My Name is called, says YHWH who made all
these things. The works of Eloah are known from old. (Amos 9:11-12)
Because of this I say, They should not trouble those, who from the
Goyim, have turned toward Eloah. But let it be sent to them, that they
should separate [themselves] from the uncleanness of that which is
sacrificed [to idols], and from sexual immorality, and from that which
is strangled, from blood. And that what is undesirable to yourself, you
do not do to others.> For Moshe, from the first generations, had
proclaimers in every city; in the synagogues, who read him on every
Sabbath.
And they wrote a letter by their hands [saying] thus:
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The emissaries, and elders, and brothers, to those who are in Antioch,
and in Syria, and in Cilicia; brothers who are from the Goyim: shalom.
It has been heard by us, that men from us, have gone out: and,
disturbed you with words and have upset your nefeshot, while saying
that you must be circumcised and observe the Torah, which we did not
command them. Because of this, all of us while gathered together
purposed, and chose men and sent to you with our beloved Paul and
Bar Nabba, Men who have committed themselves, on behalf of the
Name of our Adon Yeshua the Messiah. And we have sent with them
Y’hudah, and Sila, who will tell you these same [things] by speech.
It is the will of the Ruach HaKodesh and also of us that a greater
burden should not be placed on you, outside of those things that are
necessary. That you should abstain from:
1. That which is sacrificed to idols,
2. And from blood
3. And from that which is strangled
4. And from sexual immorality.
<5. And that what is undesirable to yourself, you do not do to others.>
That as you keep yourself from these, you will do well.
Be steadfast in our Adon.
(Acts 15:1-29) <> portion found only in the Western text type.
GEMARA:
How are we to understand “Goyim” here?
Here the reference is to the Ger Toshav, a repentant Gentile.
And who is a Ger Toshav?
Rabbi Meir says:
“Any [Gentile] who takes upon himself in the presence of three
haberim not to worship idols.” (b.Avodah Zarah 64b)
The Pharisaic Sages declare:
“Any [Gentile] who takes upon himself the seven precepts which the
sons of Noah undertook; and still others maintain: These do not come
within the category of a Ger Toshav; but who is a Ger Toshav? A
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proselyte who eats of animals not ritually slaughtered, i.e., he took
upon himself to observe all the precepts mentioned in the Torah apart
from the prohibition of [eating the flesh of] animals not ritually
slaughtered. We may leave such a man alone with wine, but
we may not deposit wine in his charge even in a city where the
majority of residents are Israelites. We may, however, leave him alone
with wine even in a city where the majority of residents are heathens;
and his oil is like his wine.’ How can it enter your mind to say that his
oil is like his wine; can oil become nesek! [The wording must be
amended to] his wine is like his oil, but in every other respect he is like
a heathen.” (b.Avodah Zarah 64b)
Rabban Simeon says:
“His wine is yen nesek. Another version [of Rabban Simeon’s
statement] is: `It is allowed to be drunk [by Israelites].’ At all events it
teaches that `in every other respect he is like a heathen.’ For what
practical purpose [is this mentioned]? Is it not that he can annul an idol
in the same manner as an idolater?” (b.Avodah Zarah 64b)
R. Nahman b. Isaac said:
“No; it is in connection with his power to transfer or renounce
ownership; as it has been taught: An apostate Israelite who publicly
observes the Sabbath may renounce his ownership, but if he does not
observe the Sabbath publicly he may not renounce his ownership
because [the Rabbis] said: An Israelite may transfer or renounce his
ownership, whereas with a heathen this can only be done by
renting [his property]. In what way? — [One Israelite] can say to
[another Israelite], `My ownership is acquired by you; my ownership
is renounced in your favour,’ and the latter has thereby acquired [the
property] without the necessity of a formal assignment. (b.Avodah
Zarah 64b)
The International Nazarene Beit Din Says:
“Any from the Goyim who takes upon himself the seven precepts of
Noach.”
What is signified by the phrase “a greater burden should not be placed
upon you”? Why not simply “no other burden should be placed upon
you”?
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It is because the pronouncement (of Acts 15) only outlined the greatest
limits of the obligations of a Gentile, but it was not intended as an
exhaustive list. Else why not include that they must abstain from
murder? Was this ruling permitting Gentiles to murder? May it never
be. Instead we are to understand this ruling as an abbreviation of the
obligations Gentiles have under the Noachide Covenant as Sons of
Noah.
The Pharisaic Rabbis taught:
“Seven precepts were the sons of Noah commanded:
justice; to bless the name, idolatry; adultery; bloodshed; robbery; and
eating flesh cut from a living animal.” (b.Sanhedrin 56b)
R. Hanania b. Gamaliel said:
“Also not to partake of the blood drawn from a living animal.
R. Hidka added emasculation.
R. Simeon added sorcery.
R. Jose said:
“The heathens were prohibited everything that is mentioned in the
section on sorcery. viz., There shall not be found among you any one,
that maketh his son or daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth
divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, or a
charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a
necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto
the Lord: and because of these abominations the Lord thy God doth
drive them [sc. the heathens in Canaan] out from before thee. Now,
[the Almighty] does not punish without first prohibiting.
R. Eleazar added the forbidden mixture [in plants and animals]: now,
they are permitted to wear garments of mixed fabrics [of wool and
linen] and sow diverse seeds together; they are forbidden only to
hybridize heterogeneous animals and graft trees of different kinds.”
(b.Sanhedrin 56b)
The International Nazarene Beit Din Says:
These are the Seven Precepts of Noah:
1. Justice – That which is hateful to yourself, do not do to others.
2. Blessing the Name
3. Against Idolatry – This law is clarified so as to even exclude
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partaking of that which is sacrificed [to idols].
4. Against Sexual Immorality
5. Against Shedding Blood (murder)
6. Against Theft
7. Against Eating the Limb of a Living Animal and eating Blood
Whence do we know the seven precepts of Noah? —
R. Johanan answered: The Scripture says: `And the Adonai YHWH
commanded the man saying, of every tree of the garden thou may
freely eat.’ (Gen. 2:16) And [He] commanded, refers to [the
observance of] justice, and thus it is written, `For I know him, that he
will command his children and his household after him, and they shall
keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment.'(Gen. 18:19)
Adonai-is [a prohibition against] blasphemy, and thus it is written, and
he that blasphemeth the name of YHWH, he shall surely be put to
death.(Lev. 24:16) YHWH-is [an injunction against] idolatry, and thus
it is written, Thou shall have no other gods before Me. (Ex. 20:3) The
man-refers to bloodshed [murder], and thus it is written, Whoso sheds
man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed. (Gen. 9:6) `Saying’-refers
to adultery, and thus it is written, They say, If a man put away his
wife, and she go from him, and became another man’s.(Jer. 3:1)
Of every tree of the garden-but not of robbery. You maye freely eatbut
not flesh cut from a living animal.
When R. Isaac came, he taught a reversed interpretation. And He
commanded-refers to idolatry; ELOHIM to social law. Now
`ELOHIM’ may rightly refer to social laws, as it is written, And the
master of the house shall be brought unto elohim [i.e., the judges]. (Ex.
22:7) But how can `and He commanded’ connote a prohibition of
idolatry? —
R. Hisda and R. Isaac b. Abdimi-one cited the verse, They have turned
aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them: they have
made them a molten calf, etc.(Ex. 32:8) And the other cited, Ephraim
is oppressed and broken in judgment, because he willingly walked
after the commandment.(Hosea 5:11) Wherein do they differ? — In
respect of a heathen who made an idol but did not worship it: On the
view [that the prohibition of idolatry is derived from] they have made
them a molten calf, guilt is incurred as soon as the idol is made [even
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before it is worshipped]; but according to the opinion that it is from,
because he willingly walked after the commandment, there is no
liability until the heathen actually follows and worships it.
Raba objected: Does any scholar maintain that a heathen is liable to
punishment for making an idol even if he did not worship it? Surely it
has been taught: With respect to idolatry, such acts for which a Jewish
Court decrees sentence of death [on Jewish delinquents] are forbidden
to the heathen; but those for which a Jewish Court inflicts no capital
penalty on Jewish delinquents are not forbidden to him. Now what
does this exclude? Presumably the case of a heathen who made an idol
without worshipping it? R. Papa answered: No. It excludes the
embracing and kissing of idols. Of which idols do you say this? Is it of
those whose normal worship is in this manner; but in that case he is
surely liable to death? — Hence it excludes the embracing and kissing
of idols which are not usually worshipped thus.
`Justice.’ Were then the children of Noah bidden to observe these?
Surely it has been taught: The Israelites were given ten precepts at
Marah, seven of which had already been accepted by the children of
Noah, to which were added at Marah Justice ,the Sabbath, and
honoring one’s parents; `Justice,’ for it is written, There [sc. at Marah]
he made for them a statute and a MISHPAT (judgment) (Ex. 15:25);
`the Sabbath and honoring one’s parents’. for it is written, As the
YHWH your Elohim commanded you! (Deut. 5:16) —
R. Nahman replied in the name of Rabbah b. Abbuha: The addition at
Marah was only in respect of an assembly, witnesses, and formal
admonition. If so, why say `to which were added Justice’? —
But Raba replied thus: The addition was only in respect of the laws of
fines. (Deut. 22:19,29) But even so, should it not have been said,
`additions were made in Justice’? —
But R. Aha b. Jacob answered thus: The Baraita informs us that they
were commanded to set up law courts in every district and town. But
were not the sons of Noah likewise commanded to do this? Surely it
has been taught: Just as the Israelites were ordered to set up law courts
in every district and town, so were the sons of Noah likewise enjoined
to set up law courts in every district and town! —
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But Raba answered thus: The author of this Baraita [which states that
Justice were added at Marah] is a Tanna of the School of Manasseh,
who omitted Justice and blasphemy [from the list of Noachian
precepts] and substituted emasculation and the forbidden mixture [in
plants, ploughing. etc.]. For a Tanna of the School of Manasseh taught:
The sons of Noah were given seven precepts. viz., [prohibition of]
idolatry, adultery, murder, robbery, flesh cut from a living animal,
emasculation and forbidden mixtures.
R. Judah said: Adam was prohibited idolatry only, for it is written,
And the Adonai YHWH commanded Adam.
R. Judah b. Batyra maintained: He was forbidden blasphemy too.
Some add Justice. With whom does the following statement of Rab
Judah in the name of Rab agree: viz., [Elohim said to Adam,] I am
Elohim, do not curse Me; l am Elohim, do not exchange Me for
another; I am Elohim, let My fear be upon you? — This agrees
with the last mentioned [who adds Justice to the list]. (b.San. 56b)
Now, what is the standpoint of the Tanna of the School of Manasseh?
If he interprets the verse, And Adonai YHWH commanded etc. [as
interpreted above], he should include these two [Justice and
blasphemy] also, and if he does not, whence does he derive the
prohibition of the rest? — In truth, he does not accept the
interpretation of the verse, `And the Adonai YHWH commanded etc.,
but maintains that each of these [which he includes] is separately
stated: Idolatry and adultery for it is written, The earth also was
corrupt before Elohim (Gen. 6:2); and a Tanna of the School of R.
Ishmael taught: Wherever corruption is mentioned, it must refer to
immorality and idolatry.
`Immorality.’ as it is written, for all flesh had corrupted his way upon
the earth. (Prov. 30:19) `Idolatry,’ for it is written, Lest ye corrupt
yourselves and make you a graven image, etc. (Deut. 4:16) And the
other teacher [who deduces this from the verse, and Adonai YHWH
commanded etc.]? He maintains that this verse [sc. the earth also etc.]
merely describes their way of living.
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`Bloodshed’, as it is written, Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, etc.(Gen.
9:6) And the other? — This verse [he will maintain] merely teaches
the manner of execution.
Theft, for it is written, As the wild herbs have I given you all things;
upon which R. Levi commented: as the wild herbs, but not as the
cultivated herbs. And the other? — He will hold that this verse is
written to permit animal flesh, [but not to prohibit robbery].
Flesh cut from the living animal, as it is written, But flesh with the life
thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat. (Gen. 9:4) And the
other? — He may hold that this verse teaches that flesh cut from live
reptiles is permitted.
Emasculation, for it is written, Bring forth abundantly in the earth, and
multiply therein. And the other? — He may regard this merely as a
blessing.
Forbidden mixture, as it is said, Of fowls after their kind. (Gen. 6:20)
And the other? — He will maintain that this was merely for the sake of
mating. (b.San. 56b-57a)
Zakan Ingalls said:
“Noach and his sons knew the difference between clean and unclean
animals. Since only one male and one female of each unclean animal
were in the Ark (Gen. 7:2), if we hold that Genesis 9:2 would have
allowed Noach and his sons to eat unclean meat, then eating one of the
unclean animals destroys that animal type forever and negates
YHWH’s own purpose in preserving that animal type from the flood.
Further, if Adam is made in the image of Elohim (Genesis 1:27, 9:6,
Ya’aqov 3:9), Noach’s offering of only clean animals (Genesis 8:20)
indicates that only clean animals should be on the tables of a
Noachide.”
But the International Nazarene Beit Din said:
“In the days of Noach the clean animals were those suitable for
offering to YHWH, for at the time YHWH referred to these as “clean”
and “unclean” (Gen. 7:2; 8:20) only vegetable matter was kosher (Gen.
1:29) and only after this time did any animals at all become kosher
(Gen. 9:3).
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The International Nazarene Beit Din Says:
“From where do we derive the Seven precepts of Noach”?
Justice – For we read “Whoso sheds man’s blood, by man shall his
blood be shed…” (Gen. 9:6)
Blessing the Name- For the serpent blasphemed YHWH by
questioning his word when he said “has Elohim said…?” (Gen. 3:1)
Also we read “Whoso sheds man’s blood, by man shall his blood be
shed: for in the image of Elohim, made He man.” (Gen. 9:6) murder is
forbidden because it destroys an Image of Elohim.
Idolatry- For we read in the Torah that man sought to make himself
Elohim when the Serpent told him “you shall be as Elohim, knowing
good and evil.” (Gen. 3:5)
Sexual Immorality – For we read that man was to be joined “male and
female” that the woman was told “your desire shall be to your
husband” (Gen. 3:16) and that man’s sexual relations were to be
fruitful and result in reproduction as we read “be fruitful and multiply”
(Gen. 9:1,7). Moreover we read of the fallen angels who came to man,
“the sons of Elohim saw the daughters of men, that they were fair. And
they took them wives, whomsoever they chose…. the sons of Elohim
came in unto the daughters of men, and they bore children to them.
…And YHWH saw that the wickedness of man was great in the
earth,…” (Gen. 6:1-5).
Against Shedding of Blood. – For we read that YHWH judged Cain
for killing Able (Gen. 4) also we read “Whoso sheds man’s blood, by
man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of Elohim, made He
man.” (Gen. 9:6)
Against Theft – For we read in the Torah “But of the tree of the
knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat of it.” (Gen. 2:17) and
again we read “And when the woman saw that the tree was good for
food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be
desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof and did eat. And
she gave also unto her husband with her, and he did eat. (Gen. 3:6)
thus man’s first sin was an act of theft.
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Against Eating the Limb of a Living Animal and eating Blood – For
we read “Every moving thing that lives shall be for food for you; as
the green herb have I given you all. Only flesh with the life thereof–
which is the blood thereof–shall you not eat.” (Gen. 9:3-4)
How are we to understand “you will do well”?
Our sages presupposed that these Gentiles would be going to
synagogue on Sabbath and learning the Torah of Moses (Acts 15:21).
The Ger Toshav, by definition, dwells among us, thus they are
attending Synagogue and learning the Torah on the Sabbath. The issue
before the Beit Din was only whether or not Gentiles need to be
circumcised to be saved, not whether they should eventually be
circumcised. Yeshua commissioned his Talmidim as follows:
Go you therefore, and teach all the Goyim,
and immerse them in the name of the Father,
and the Son, and the Ruach HaKodesh.
and teach them to observe all that I have commanded you,
and here I am with you all the days, to the end of the world.
(Matt. 28:19-20)
Yehsua was instructing his Jewish Talmidim to make converts of the
goyim and to teach the goyim to observe all that Yeshua had
commanded his Jewish talmidim to observe. Our sage Yochanan
writes to us concerning Messiah “He who says, I am in him, out to
conduct himself according to his conduct.” (1Jn. 2:6) that is, as a Jew,
not as a Noachide.
The Noachide covenant is a betrothal to YHWH as the Mosaic
Covenant is a marriage to YHWH. A betrothal by definition is a
prelude to a marriage.
A:2
A Ger who is circumcised and not immersed;
Rabbi Eliezer said: Behold this is a Ger
Thus we find of the fathers, they were circumcised and not immersed.
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Immersed and not circumcised:
Rabbi Joshua said: Behold this is a Ger
Thus we find of the mothers, they were immersed and not circumcised.
And the Pharisaic sages say:
Immersed and not circumcised
Circumcised and not immersed
He is not a Ger until he is circumcised and immersed.
(b.Yev. 46a)
The International Nazarene Beit Din says:
There are three types of Gerim (Proselytes):
The Ger Toshav (Ex. 12:45; Lev. 25:45, 47) The Repentant Ger –
These are any from the Goyim who takes upon himself the seven
precepts of Noach.
The Ger HaShar (Deut. 14:21, 24:14) The Ger at the Gate – These
go beyond the seven precepts of Noach as they begin learning more of
the Torah and incorporating it into their lives.
The Ger Tzadik- These are they who “become Jews” (Esther 8:17)
The Ger Toshav is immersed but not circumcised.
The Ger HaShar is immersed but not circumcised.
The Ger Tzadik is immersed and circumcised, as we read in the Torah
“And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not
circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people.” (Gen. 17:14)
and again “All the Assembly of Israel shall keep it … no
uncircumcised person shall eat thereof.” (Ex. 12:47-48)
What of the proselyte who was already circumcised?
Said R. Simeon b. Eleazar, The House of Shammai and the House of
Hillel did not dispute concerning the one who was born circumcised,
that it is necessary to draw a drop of blood of the covenant of
circumcision from him, for it is a foreskin which is pressed in.
Concerning what did they dispute? Concerning a convert who
converted already circumcised. For the House of Shammai say, It is
necessary to draw from him a drop of blood of the covenant. And the
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House of Hillel say, It is not necessary to draw from him a drop of
blood of the covenant.
(b.Shabbat 135a)
The International Nazarene Beit Din Says:
In conflicts between the House of Hillel and the House of Shammai,
Hillel generally taught the more lenient halachot while Shammai
generally taught the more stringent halachot. The House of Hillel was
based in Chesed (Mercy) and the House of Shammai was based in
Gevurah (Severity) (see Zohar 3:245a). Yeshua’s halachot were
likewise based on the precept of Chesed (see Mt. 12:7; Mk. 12:33) and
most often agreed with the House of Hillel against the House of
Shammai. We have no hesitation therefore in adopting the rule of the
House of Hillel in this case. When a person is already circumcised it is
not necessary to draw a drop of blood of the covenant from them upon
conversion.
When is the commandment of circumcision loosed?
The Pharisees said:
Why were they not circumcised in the wilderness? — If you wish I
might say: Because of the fatigue of the journey; and if you prefer I
might say: Because the North wind1 did not blow upon them. For it
was taught: In all the forty years during which Israel was in the
wilderness the North wind did not blow upon them. What was the
reason?
If you wish I might say: Because they were under divine displeasure.
And if you prefer I might say: In order that the clouds of glory might
not be scattered.
Rabbi Papa said: Hence, no circumcision may be performed on a
cloudy day or on a day when the South wind blows; nor may one be
bled on such a day. At the present time, however, since many people
are in the habit of disregarding these precautions, The Lord preserves
the simple.
The Pharisaic Rabbis taught: In all the forty years during which Israel
was in the wilderness there was not a day on which the North wind did
not
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blow at the midnight hour; for it is said, And it came to pass at
midnight, that the Lord smote all the firstborn etc. How is the
deduction arrived at? — By this we were taught that an acceptable
time is an essential.
(b.Yeb. 71b-72a)
Paul said:
If a man was called while circumcised, he should not return to
uncircumcision. And if he was called in un-circumcision, he should
not be circumcised.
…because of the urgency of the time…
…[because] the time is now shortened…
…[and because] the fashion of this world passes away.
(1Cor. 18-19, 26, 29, 31)
And likewise Paul said:
But I speak to those who do not have wives and to widows,
that it is profitable for them to remain like me…
(1Cor. 7:8)
Likewise this was
…because of the urgency of the time…
…[because] the time is now shortened…
…[and because] the fashion of this world passes away.
(1Cor. 7:26, 29, 31)
As we read also in the Book of Jasher:
“And Noah… refrained from taking a wife in those days,
to beget children, for he said, Surely now Elohim will destroy the
earth, wherefore then shall I beget children.”
(Jasher 5:12)
The International Nazarene Beit Din says:
“An acceptable time for circumcision is essential.”
The Pharisaic Rabbis taught:
If at the present time a man desires to become a proselyte, he is to be
addressed as follows: `What reason have you for desiring to become a
proselyte; do you not know that Israel at the present time are
persecuted and oppressed, despised, harassed and overcome by
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afflictions’? If he replies, `I know and yet am unworthy’, he is accepted
forthwith, and is given instruction in some of the minor and some of
the major commandments. He is informed of the sin [of the
neglect of the commandments of] Gleanings, the Forgotten Sheaf, the
Corner and the Poor Man’s Tithe. He is also told of the punishment for
the transgression of the commandments. Furthermore, he is addressed
thus: `Be it known to you that before you came to this condition, if you
had eaten suet you would not have been punishable with kareth, if you
had profaned the Sabbath you would not have been punishable with
stoning; but now were you to eat suet you would be punished with
kareth; were you to profane the Sabbath you would be punished with
stoning’. And as he is informed of the punishment for the transgression
of the commandments, so is he informed of the reward granted for
their fulfillment. He is told, `Be it known to you that the world to come
was made only for the righteous, and that Israel at the present time are
unable to bear either too much prosperity. or too much suffering’. He is
not, however, to be persuaded or dissuaded too much. If he accepted,
he is circumcised forthwith. Should any shreds which render the
circumcision invalid remain, he is to be circumcised a second time. As
soon as he is healed arrangements are made for his immediate
immersion, when two learned men must stand by his side and acquaint
him with some of the minor commandments and with some of the
major ones. When he comes up after his ablution he is deemed to be an
Israelite in all respects.
In the case of a woman proselyte, women make her sit in the water up
to her neck, while two learned men stand outside and give her
instruction in some of the minor commandments and some of the
major ones.
(b.Yev. 47a-47b)
The International Nazarene Beit Din says:
If at the present time a man desires to become a Ger Tzadik, he is to be
addressed as follows: `What reason have you for desiring to become a
proselyte; do you not know that Israel at the present time are
persecuted and oppressed, despised, harassed and overcome by
afflictions’? If he replies, `I know and yet am unworthy’, he is accepted
forthwith, and is given instruction in all of the minor and all of the
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major commandments. He is informed of the sin [of the neglect of the
commandments of] Gleanings, the Forgotten Sheaf, the Corner and
the first, second and third tithes. He is also told of the punishment for
the transgression of the commandments. Furthermore, he is addressed
thus: `Be it known to you that before you came to this condition, if you
had eaten unkosher food you would not have become unclean, if you
had profaned the Sabbath you would not have been punishable; but
now were you to eat unkosher food you would become unclean; were
you to profane the Sabbath you would face the penalty’. And
as he is informed of the punishment for the transgression of the
commandments, so is he informed of the reward granted for their
fulfillment. He is told, `Be it known to you that the world to come was
made only for the righteous, and that Israel at the present time are
unable to bear either too much prosperity. or too much suffering’. He is
not, however, to be persuaded or dissuaded too much. If he accepted,
he is circumcised after having learned the commandments of the
Torah. Should any shreds which render the circumcision invalid
remain, he is to be circumcised a second time. As soon as he is healed
arrangements are made for his immediate immersion, when two
learned men must stand by his side. Here he shall pledge “Where you
go, I will go, where you lodge, I will lodge, your people will be my
people and your Elohim my Elohim (Ruth 1:16), all the words
which YHWH has said will I do (Ex. 24:3) and I confess with my
mouth that Yeshua is the Messiah whom Elohim raised from the dead
(Rom. 10:9). When he comes up after his immersion he is deemed to
be an Israelite in all respects. In the case of a woman proselyte, women
make her sit in the water up to her neck, while two learned men stand
outside.
HORAYOT (False rulings overturned)
A:1 Yeshua’s Conviction Overturned
We, the International Nazarene Beit Din find the following errors in
the trial of Yeshua (“Jesus”) of Nazareth:
1. Defendant’s trial was held at night. The Mishna clearly states that a
capitol trial may not be held at night (m.San. 4:1)
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2. Defendant was remanded to Rome for sentencing immediately. The
Mishna requires sentencing to be delayed by one day in order for the
judges to properly consider the case. (m.San. 5:5)
3. The trial was overseen by Caiphas. Caiphas was appointed in 18
CE by the Roman procurator who preceded Pilate, Valerius Gratus.
The Torah directs that a High Priest serves for life, however, the
preceding High Priest was still alive when Caiphas took office.
Because Caiphas was improperly installed in the office of High Priest,
his rulings were and are invalid.
Due to these errors in the original trial, the International Nazarene Beit
Din rules that Defendant is entitled posthumously to a new trial.
The charge is that of blasphemy (Matt. 26:65) . Having reviewed the
transcript of the original trial (Matt. 26:57-66) and read the transcribed
testimony of the witnesses, as well as that of the Defendant, we do
hereby reverse Caiaphas’ ruling and exonerate Yeshua (“Jesus”) of the
charge of blasphemy.
We do also find based on Caiaphas’ own statement before the trial
“that it was better that one man should die for the people” (John 18:14)
that Caiaphas engaged in a conspiracy to use his office in order to
intentionally convict Defendant without a fair trial for political gain.
We the International Nazarene Beit Din do therefore posthumously
find Caiaphas guilty of murder.
A:2 The Sacred Name of YHWH, is it to be used?
The Essenes say:
Anyone who speaks aloud the M[ost] Holy Name of Elohim, [whether
in…] or in cursing or as a blurt in time of trial or for any other reason,
or while he is reading a book or praying, is to be expelled, never again
to return to the society of the Yahad.
(1QS Col. 6 line 27b – Col. 7 line 2a)
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The Pharisees say:
…In the Sanctuary one says the name as it is written, but in the
provinces with a Euphemism….
(m.Sotah 7:6; m.Tamid 7:2)
Abba Shaul says:
“…He who pronounces the divine Name as it is spelled out [has no
share in the World to Come” (m.San. 10:1)
R. Nahman b. Isaac said:
Not like this world is the future world. [In] this world [His name] is
written with a yod he and read as alef daleth; but in the future world it
shall all be one: it shall be written with yod he and read as yod he.
(b.Pes. 50a)
Now, Raba thought of lecturing it at the session, [whereupon] a certain
old man said to him, It is written, le’alem (“to be hidden” rather than
“forever”). (Ex. 3:15) (b.Pes. 50a)
R. Abina pointed out a contradiction: It is written, this is my name, to
be hidden; [and it is also written], and this is my memorial unto all
generations? The Holy One, blessed be He, said: Not as I [i.e., My
name] and written am I read: I am written with a yod he, while I am
read as alef daleth. (b.Pes. 50a; b.Kidd. 71a)
However the Zohar teaches:
“Unify the Holy Name, Bind the Knot of Faith, Bring blessings to the
proper place.”
(Zohar 285a,b; Zohar 285a,b.)
The Nazarenes ordained:
An individual should greet his fellow with the Name, in accordance
with what was said, “And behold, Boaz came from Beit-Lechem, and
said unto the reapers, YHWH be with you. And they answered him,
YHWH bless you.” (Ruth 2:4) And it says: “YHWH is with you, you
mighty man of valour.” (Jud. 6:12). (m.Ber. 9:5)
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As we read in the Torah:
“And to Shet, to him also there was born a son, and he called his name
Enosh. Then began men to call upon the name of YHWH….
(Gen. 4:26 HRV)
“And he removed from there unto the mountain on the east of Beit-El,
and pitched his tent: having Beit-El on the west, and Ai on the east.
And he built there an altar unto YHWH, and called upon the Name of
YHWH.”
(Gen. 12:8 HRV)
“And he built an altar there, and called upon the Name of YHWH, and
pitched his tent there: and there, Yitz’chak’s servants dug a well.”
(Gen. 26:25 HRV)
YHWH spoke through Moses saying:
“I will deliver him; I will set him on high, because he has known my
Name”
(Ps. 91:14 a Psalm of Moses)
YHWH says in The Torah
“…My Name shall be declared in all the earth.”
(Ex. 9:16)
Isaiah writes:
“My people shall know My Name”
(Is. 52:6)
10 And Sharon shall be a fold of flocks, and the valley of Achor a
place for herds to lie down in, for My people that have sought Me.
11 But you that forsake YHWH, that forget My Set-Apart mountain;
that prepare a table for Fortune, and that offer mingled wine in full
measure unto Destiny,
12 I will destine you … to the sword, and you shall all bow down to
the slaughter. Because when I called, you did not answer; when I
spoke, you did not hear: but you did that which was evil in My eyes,
and chose that wherein I delighted not.
(Is. 65:10-12 HRV))
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26 How long shall this be? Is it in the heart of the prophets that
prophesy lies, and the prophets of the deceit of their own heart?
27 That think to cause My people to forget My Name, by their dreams
which they tell every man to his neighbor, as their fathers forgot My
Name, for Ba’al.
(Jer. 23:26-27 HRV)
Malachi writes:
“…a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear
YHWH and who meditate on His Name.”
(Mal. 3:16)
We also read in the Psalms:
“And those who know your Name will put their trust in you”
(Ps. 9:10)
“Let them praise Your great and awesome Name- He is holy.”
(Ps. 99:3)
“My mouth shall speak the praise of YHWH,
and all flesh shall bless His set-apart Name forever and ever.”
(Ps. 145:21)
“Let them praise the name of YHWH…”
(Ps. 148:13)
And Messiah said:
“I have made known Your Name, to the men whom You gave Me
from the world.” (Jn. 17:6) And, “And I have made known to them
Your Name, and will make known.” (Jn. 17:26)
The International Nazarene Beit Din Says:
While one must be careful to follow the commandment not to profane
the Name, one should make use of the Name. When reading Scripture
in the original Hebrew or from a Sacred Name edition, one should not
use a euphemism for the name of YHWH. Even the use of the Name
in greetings does not profane the Name. The Name of YHWH shall be
declared in all the earth!
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The Nazarene Beit Din furthermore rules that the exact pronunciation
of the Name should not be a point of contention in the Body of
Messiah, and therefore will not decree a particular pronunciation;
rather, leaving that up to the individual Nazarene’s own prayerful
conviction or understanding.
MENAHOT (Tzitzit, Teffillin etc.)
A:1 Halacha Tzitziyot
Corroboration: Direct Command ordained by YHVH as a way to cause
people to remember His commands:
“Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘Throughout the generations
to come you are to make tassels on the corners of your garments, with
a blue cord on each tassel. You will have these tassels to look at and so
you will remember all the commands of YHVH, that you may obey
them and not prostitute yourselves by going after the lusts of your own
hearts and eyes. Then you will remember to obey all my commands
and will be consecrated to your God. ‘I am YHVH your God, who
brought you out of Egypt to be your God. I am YHVH your God.’”
Requirements & Prohibitions
1. There must be four tzitzit.
Numbers 15:38 “Tell them to make tassels on the corners of their
garments . . .”
They must be worn always when dressed. They need not be worn in
“specialized” clothing, such as swimming suits, exercise clothing, etc.
They must be worn out so that they can be seen.
Numbers 15:39 “And you shall have the tassel that you may look upon
it and remember all the commandments . . .”
The tzitzit may be attached to the four-corners of either an outer or
inner garment. The garment on which the tzitzit are attached must truly
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be a garment – i.e., made of cloth and covering a reasonable percent of
the body.
They must be worn at all times when a person is “dressed.” We reject
the idea that they need not be worn at night, since when one is not in
complete darkness there is enough light to see one’s tzitzit. They do
not need to be worn to bed.
Each strand ptil – must be made of natural fibers (cotton or wool) and
be twisted (ghedeel) .
Each of the four tassels must have at least one chord of blue
(Techelet). No other colors are to be added to the white and blue
strands.
The Tzitziyot should be moderate in size. Yahshua spoke against the
Pharisaical practices of the outward appearance of men, certainly
looking good with their oversized tefillin and Tzitziyot, thus drawing
attention to one’s outward spirituality . . . which in reality exposed his
inward darkness and hypocrisy (Mattityahu 23:5). For men, the size is
standardized according to what is worn in Israel today, and commonly
sold in the market place. The white strands are usually about 8″ to 12″,
and the blue strands are usually about 3 – 4″ longer than the white.
How are they to be tied? The TeNaKh does not specify. The sages say
that there should be at least 2 knots. The Beit Din suggests either the
Ashkenazi or the Sephardim method. Another popular method is
YHVH – Echad. Directions are available for winding.
Women and Tzitziyot
We recognize and understand that women are likewise to observe the
commandments, and are to be reminded of them. However, the Torah
has prescribed methods to accomplish particular goals, in many
instances men are to observe in one way, and women another. Each
sex has its unique gifts and contributions to properly form the Jewish
community. The Beit Din recognizes the differences. The mitzvot
regarding the Tzitziyot is written to men.
As the Beit Din of Nazarene Judaism, we determine that:
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Women are not obligated to wear Tzitziyot
* Numbers 15:38-41
Deuteronomy 22:12 “You shall make tassels on the Four Corners of
the clothing with which you cover yourself.”
Deuteronomy 22:12 ” of the clothing with which you cover yourself.”
“Make tassels on the Four Corners of the cloak you wear.” The word
“corners” in its original form is “kanph” The meaning is: wing (74),
skirt (14), borders (2), corners (2), ends (2), feathered (2), sort (2),
winged (2). We interpret this meaning to be on the outside of your
garment, in four distinct and separate positions.
Deuteronomy 22:12 “You shall make yourself tassels (ghedeel-twisted
strands) on the four corners of your garment with which you cover
yourself.”
Numbers 15:38 ” . . . and to put a blue thread in the tassels of the
corners.”
Women may wear them if they desire to do so, however care must be
taken that she doesn’t wear them “as the garment of a man.”
If worn by a woman, the Tzitzit must be worn in a manner that is not
similar to the garment or manner in which a man wears them. It is
suggested that she wear them on a scarf, sash, head covering, etc. If
she desires to wear a talit gadol (prayer shawl), she should do it in her
private devotions, etc. The size of the tzitzit for women can vary in
order to complement her garment.
HULIN (ritual slaughter)
A: 1 Hunted meat, may it be eaten?
The Torah says: And whatever man… hunts and catches any beast or
fowl that may be eaten; he shall even pour out the blood thereof, and
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cover it with dust… (Lev. 17:13)
The International Nazarene Beit Din Says:
Meat obtained by hunting may be eaten (Lev. 17:13) provided the
following conditions are met:
The animal is a clean animal (Lev. 11)
The animals blood is poured out (Lev. 17:13)
The blood is covered with dust (Lev. 17:13)
The animal is examined to determine if it is TEREFAH (torn)
(Ex 22, Lev 7:24, 17:15 and 22:8)
(the wound inflicted in the hunt is not counted in this examination).
The internal organs and fat are removed.
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OFFICIAL DECLARATIONS
OFFICIAL DECLARATION 1
FREEDOM OF RELIGION
MISHNA:
We as Nazarenes claim the right of worshiping Elohim according to
the dictates of our own conscience. No secular government ought, in
any case whatever, to control or interfere with the rights of conscience
in matters of religion, and no preference should ever be given by
secular law to any religious society or mode of worship. But it should
be the duty of secular governments to pass such laws as may be
necessary to protect the free exercise of religion and should make no
law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free
exercise thereof.
GEMARA:
How are we to understand “the right of worshiping Elohim according
to the dictates of our own conscience?” Perhaps one were to say this
looses Nazarenes to observe Sunday worship or keep Christmas and
Easter? Absolutely not! For the resolution says “We as Nazarenes” and
presupposes those that it speaks of as “we” uphold the teachings
Nazarene Judaism.
How are we to understand “right”? Thomas Jefferson said “Freedom
of religion is the most inalienable and sacred of all human rights.” He
also stated famously in the U.S. Declaration of Independence “We
hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that
they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights.”
The rights we claim here-in are inalienable rights. These rights were
not granted by secular governments nor are they gifts from them, they
were endowed upon us by our Creator and secular Governments may
only respect them, or infringe upon them. And if these rights are in
fact authored by the Creator, then the proper interpreter of them is a
body authorized to interpret and implement that which is authored by
the Creator. In fact any secular government claiming to be the true
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interpreter of these rights which were authored by the Creator will
have immediately violated these rights by setting up its own
establishment of religion. For any interpreter of that which is
authored by the Creator must by definition be an establishment of
religion. Secular Governments should therefore seek to respect these
rights and avoid infringing upon them by simply respecting the widest
possible interpretation of them.
How are we to understand the phrase “according to the dictates of our
own conscience.”? It refers to that which is written in our heart, for
Paul writes:
13 For the hearers of the Torah are not righteous before Eloah, but the
doers of the Torah are justified.
14 For if the Goyim (whom the Torah is not to), from their nature do
[acts] of the Torah, (while the Torah is not to them), to their
nefeshot [there] is a Torah.
15 And they show the work of the Torah, as it is written upon their
heart, and their conscience bears witness concerning them, as their
own reasoning [will] rebuke or defend one another,
16 In the day that Eloah judges the secret things of the sons of men,
according to my Good News, by the hand of Yeshua the Messiah.
17 But if you who are called a Jew, and take rest concerning the Torah,
and boast in Eloah–
18 That you know His will, and you distinguish the proper things that
you learned from the Torah,
(Romans 2:13-18)
The redeemed man has the Torah written in his heart, but the apostates
have their conscience seared with a hot iron (1 Tim. 4: 2).
How are we to understand “make no law respecting an establishment
of religion”?
These words are similar to those above “no preference should ever be
given by secular law to any religious society or mode of worship”. The
U.S. Bill of Rights says “congress shall make no law respecting an
establishment of religion” this is because only Congress was
envisioned as making laws. However since this is an inalienable right
from our Creator, it is equally true that no branch of secular
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government should set forth any policy, ruling or precedence that
violates these inalienable rights. Not only should secular governments
abstain from establishing religions, they must also not indirectly
establish religions by giving any preference to any establishment of
religion. The U.S. Supreme Court has rightly understood this to mean
that property disputes between religious institutions cannot be settled
by secular courts where doing so requires the court to engage in the
forbidden practices of considering doctrine, weighing doctrine,
interpreting doctrine or resolving doctrinal issues. In fact this would
be true of any dispute between establishments of religion, not just
property disputes.
How are we to understand the phrase “make no law”?
The phrase “make no law” means as also stated above “in any case
whatsoever”. It has been argued that laws of “general applicability”
and “neutral principles of law” are not intended by this phrase. The
phrase is clear “no law” meaning “in any case whatsoever”. Laws of
general applicability and laws of neutral principles can violate the
establishment clause and the free exercise clause as easily as any
other laws. It is not the intent of a law that is at issue, but the
result of the law that infringes on rights.
How are we to understand “respecting an establishment of religion”?
Some have interpreted this as a “Separation of Church and State” but
these words are not found in the First U.S. Bill of Rights. The First
Amendment (and in fact the Bill of Rights as a whole) in each clause,
restrains the Government and not the people. The U.S. Bill of Rights
itself states that its purpose is “in order to prevent misconstruction
or abuse of its [the Government’s] powers”. The Establishment and
Free Exercise Clauses restrain the Government as well and not the
people or religion. This means that these clauses in no way restrict
religion. Religions have every right to take a stand on Government
(political) issues, it is simply it is only the Government that is
restricted from taking a stand on religious issues! Religious bodies are
free to speak out against abortion, against homosexuality, against gay
“marriage” and in support of Israel. In fact Religious Groups can even
endorse political parties, candidates or ballot propositions. Some have
tried to use the IRS and 501c3 status to regulate the Church and what it
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can say, in direct conflict with the intent of the founders. The First
Amendment ONLY restrains the Government and does NOT restrain
Religious bodies in any way whatsoever. In fact the First Amendment
prohibits the Government from favoring Religions that do not take
political positions over those who do, or from prohibiting the free
exercise of religion by those whose free exercise thereof results in
taking stands on political issues.
Many Religious bodies in the U.S.A. have been compelled to become
“corporations”. This is a serious problem because Black’s Law
dictionary defines a “Corporation” as “an artificial person or legal
entity created by or under the authority of the laws of a state. An
association of persons created by statute as a legal entity”
The word “Corporation” comes from the Latin “Corpus” (“body”). To
“incorporate” is to “make a body” and a “corporation” is a “body”.
Some have asked if the Worldwide Nazarene Assembly of Elohim is
“incorporated”. In fact the Worldwide Nazarene Assembly of Elohim
is the Body of Messiah and is therefore a “Corporation”. This
“corporation” was incorporated by YHWH at Mount Sinai around
1450 B.C.E.. Neither the State, nor ourselves can “incorporate”
Elohim’s Assembly, because He already incorporated it in a foreign
jurisdiction over 3,000 years ago! We cannot incorporate this Body
with the state, because our “Corporation” is the very Body of Messiah
who is a very REAL person. We cannot accept any attempt by the
State to classify the Messiah as an “artificial person” when our very
faith is rooted in the fact that He is a REAL person. In fact every time
a “church” or religious body incorporates with the State, the State by
definition creates a “church” or religious body in direct violation of the
First Amendment.
A religious group need not incorporate with the state or file 501c3
with the IRS in order for its donations to be tax deductible so long as
the religious group made meets “the statutory requirements for a
beneficiary of deductible contributions” (Morey vs. Riddell, 205,
Federal Supplement 918)
How are we to understand the phrase “the free exercise thereof”?
The U.S. Supreme Court has said that this clause “embraces two
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concepts, — freedom to believe and freedom to act. The first is
absolute, but in the nature of such things, the second cannot be.
Conduct remains subject to regulation for the protection of society.”
(Cantwell v. Connecticut, 310 U.S. 296, 303-04 (1940)) However this
interpretation if is flawed in its very basis. The phrase “remains
subject to regulations” implies that regulations came first and that
rights came later, and that some regulations “remain” after the rights
were given. The problem is that this very reasoning implies that rights
are granted by the secular government in the first place and that the
governments power to regulate came first and may therefore “remain”
after the right is granted. But the right in inalienable and was given
by the Creator (YHWH) and the “regulation” of secular government
came later. A regulation does not “remain” it can either be made or it
cannot, and it either infringes on the right of free exercise or it
does not. Society is not protected by secular “regulation” but by other
“inalienable rights”! Religious freedom that embraces the right to
believe but allows “regulation” to limit the right to act, is no real
religious freedom at all. For example the secular government that says
that one can believe in their own mind whatever religion of doctrine
they want, but the government claims the right to regulate what they
actually do, can effectively infringe on the free exercise of religion.
Exercise by nature is the right to act, not just the right to believe.
We therefore maintain the right not only to believe, but to act, a
right limited not by secular regulations or laws, but only be the
inalienable rights of others.
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OFFICIAL DECLARATION 2
CANONIZATION OF THE TANAK
The International Nazarene Beit Din recognizes the following books as
canon for the Tanak:
THE TORAH THE PROPHETS THE WRITINGS
Genesis
Exodus
Leviticus
Numbers
Deuteronomy
Joshua
Judges
1st Samuel
2nd Samuel
1st Kings
2nd Kings
Isaiah
Jeremiah
Ezekiel
Hosea
Joel
Amos
Obadiah
Jonah
Micah
Nahum
Habakkuk
Zephaniah
Haggai
Zechariah
Malachi
Psalms
Proverbs
Job
Song of Songs
Ruth
Lamentations
Ecclesiastes
Esther
Daniel
Ezra
Nehemiah
1Chronicles
2Chronicles
This canonization is general and does not seek to resolve the issue of
the priority of the long or short versions of Esther and Daniel.
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OFFICIAL DECLARATION 3
CANONIZATION OF THE APOCRYPHA
We the International Nazarene Beit Din do hereby declare the
following books to be part of the Nazarene Canon:
1st Esdras
2nd Esdras (chapters 3-14)
Tobit
Judith
Wisdom of Solomon
Ben Sira
Baruch
Letter of Jeremiah
1st Maccabees
2nd Maccabees
3rd Maccabees
4th Maccabees
We have no hesitation in pronouncing these twelve books it to be
works of Divine inspiration, great antiquity and interest, and books
that are entitled to a great circulation among those who take pleasure
in studying the Word of YHWH. We declare that these twelve books
are profitable for teaching (doctrine) and for reproof and for correction
and for instruction in righteousness. While we pronounce these books
to be part of the official canon of the Assembly, we do allow that a
person who does not accept the canonicity of these books may still
personally be in good standing with the Assembly.
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OFFICIAL DECLARATION 4
CANONIZATION OF THE BOOK OF ENOCH
We the International Nazarene Beit Din do hereby declare Book of
Enoch to be part of the Nazarene Canon.
We have no hesitation in pronouncing this book to be a work of Divine
inspiration, great antiquity and interest, and a book that is entitled to a
great circulation among those who take pleasure in studying the Word
of YHWH. We declare that this book is profitable for teaching
(doctrine) and for reproof and for correction and for instruction in
righteousness. While we pronounce this books to be part of the official
canon of the Assembly, we do allow that a person who does not accept
the canonicity of this books may still personally be in good standing
with the Assembly.
While the Beit Din recognizes the canonical status of the Book of
Enoch in general, there are issues concerning the Calendar Section
which must be addressed. When the Beit Din declares any book
Canon, it means that we recognize that the autograph was inspired. In
the case of the Book of Enoch the autograph was in Hebrew and none
of the original Hebrew have come down to us, and only fragments of
the Aramaic version have survived. The complete text survives only in
an Ethiopic translation. In regards to the Calendar section, enough of
the Aramaic survives to make it clear that it did not closely agree
with the surviving Ethiopic Version, yet not enough of the Aramaic
survives to reconstruct its meaning. Moreover there is question as to
whether the calendar presented in 1st Enoch was intended as an actual
alternative to the traditional Hebrew calendar for the keeping of feasts,
or had some other use, perhaps astronomical. Therefore we do not
advocate this calendar as a matter of halacha.
It should be understood that “Book of Enoch” refers only to 1st Enoch
and not to 2nd or 3rd Enoch.
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OFFICIAL DECLARATION 5
CANONIZATION OF THE BOOK OF JASHER
We the International Nazarene Beit Din do hereby declare Book of
Jasher to be part of the Nazarene Canon.
We have no hesitation in pronouncing this book to be a work of Divine
inspiration, great antiquity and interest, and a book that is entitled to a
great circulation among those who take pleasure in studying the Word
of YHWH.
We declare that this book is profitable for teaching (doctrine) and
for reproof and for correction and for instruction in righteousness.
While we pronounce this book to be part of the official canon of the
Assembly, we do allow that a person who does not accept the
canonicity of this book may still personally be in good standing with
the Assembly.
While the Beit Din recognizes the canonical status of the Book of
Jasher in general, there is currently only one Hebrew witness to the
text and it dates only to 1625 CE. To the extent that the current text
reflects the original book cited in the Tanak (Josh. 10:13 & 2Sam.
1:18) it is to be regarded as canon.
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OFFICIAL DECLARATION 6
CANONIZATION OF THE KETUVIM NETZARIM
This should not be construed to mean that in the past we have not
regarded these books as canonical, but it seemed appropriate that a
Nazarene authority should officially declare these books as canon
Mattitityahu (Matthew)
Mark
Luke
Yochanan (John)
Acts
Ya’akov (James)
1Kefa (1Peter)
2Kefa (2Peter)
1Yochanan (1John)
2Yochanan (2John)
3Yochanan (3John)
Y’hufah (Jude)
Romans
1Corinthians
2Corinthians
Galatians
Ephesians
Philippians
Colossians
1Thessalonians
2Thessalonians
1Timothy
2Timothy
Titus
Philemon
Hebrews
Revelation
It is important to note that the Beit Din considered and dismissed
Monte Judah’s arguments against the authority of the book of
Hebrews.
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OFFICIAL DECLARATION 7
CANONIZATION OF
THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO THE HEBREWS
Obviously a true restoration of the ancient sect of the Nazarenes
should, by definition, include the Gospel according to the Hebrews.
We the International Nazarene Beit Din do hereby declare the Gospel
according to the Hebrews to be part of the Nazarene Canon.
We have no hesitation in pronouncing this book to be a work of Divine
inspiration, great antiquity and interest, and a book that is entitled to a
great circulation among those who take pleasure in studying the Word
of YHWH.
We declare that this book is profitable for teaching (doctrine) and for
reproof and for correction and for instruction in righteousness. While
we pronounce this book to be part of the official canon of the
Assembly, we do allow that a person who does not accept the
canonicity of this book may still personally be in good standing with
the Assembly.
While the Beit Din recognizes the canonical status of the Gospel
according to the Hebrews in general, the book only has survived to us
in the form of about fifty quotations from so-called “Church Fathers”
or as notations on other manuscripts. These and other sources have
served as the basis for a reconstruction of the original Gospel
according to the Hebrews by James Scott Trimm. To the extent that
the reconstructed text reflects the original it is to be regarded as canon.
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Worldwide Nazarene Assembly of Elohim
Statement of Faith
I. YHWH
We believe that YHWH is Echad (one). We believe that YHWH
reveals Himself in the K’numeh or Gaunin of Avi/Abba
(Father/Daddy), the Memra (Word), and the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy
Spirit).
II. BIBLE
We believe that the Bible, which includes both the Tanakh [Old
Testament] and the Ketuvim Netzarim (New Testament) is the
divinely inspired, infallible Word of Elohim in its original texts and
manuscripts.
III. MESSIAH
We believe that Y’shua HaMashiach has come and with great joy we
anticipate his return, and even though he may delay, nevertheless we
endeavor to think about his return every day. We believe that the
Messiah is the Word made flesh. We believe he was born of a virgin,
lived a sinless life in accordance with the Torah, performed miracles,
was crucified for the atonement of his people in accordance with the
Scriptures, was bodily resurrected on the third day. ascended to heaven
and currently sits at the right hand of YHWH. He will return at the end
of this age to usher in the Kingdom of Elohim on earth and will rule
the world from Jerusalem with his people Israel for one thousand
years. We also believe that the Messiah Yeshua is the Torah incarnate.
Just as the Torah is the way, the truth and the light, the Messiah is also
the way, the truth and the light.
IV. SALVATION
We believe that through the death of Messiah, because of his blood
covenant with us, we receive salvation by way of inheritance. This
salvation comes by faith through grace alone and is not earned by
Torah observance.
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V. TORAH
The Torah of Truth the Almighty gave to His people, Israel, through
Moshe. He will not exchange it nor discard it for another until heaven
and earth pass away. We believe that Torah observance is man’s moral
obligation and expression of love to YHWH. The Torah is freedom
and not bondage. The Torah is the way, the truth and the light and is
for all of our generations forever.
VI. THE ONE FAITH
We believe that there is one faith which was once and for all delivered
to the set-apart-ones. We believe that Messiah did not come to create a
new religion but to be the Messiah of Judaism, the one faith that was
once delivered to the set-apart-ones. We believe that Nazarene
Judaism is the only expression of the one true faith. We do not accept
any other religion as a non-Jewish cultural expression of the one true
faith.