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MoreiYah » Main, Torah Teaching » The Way of The Nazarene

The Way of The Nazarene

The purpose of this study is to understand the name applied to the people of the new testament who followed Yahshua and practiced new covenant theology. We will look at what theology and doctrines they studied and practiced, and how they compared to the Christians. Were they the same group or an entirely different group of people with a different set of practices? Our objective will be to answer the following questions.

  • Does the term Christian appear anywhere in scripture?
  • When did Christianity come on the scene?
  • What did Christians say about the Nazarenes?
  • What was the theology of the early followers of the New Covenant?
  • Who if anyone will go to heaven?
  • How do we know the teachers that are speaking truth?
  • Did the New Covenant believers keep the law and appointed times of Elohim?
  • Where did the name Jesus come from?
  • Where did New Covenant doctrine come from?
  • What did Yahshua's death and resurrection fulfill?
  • What teachings were gentile followers expected to follow?
  • What are gentile believers engrafted into?

We will also see what happened to the Nazarenes and look at what the early church fathers of Christianity thought of this group.

    But Sha'ul, still breathing threats and slaughter against the disciples of YAH, went to the High Priest, and asked for letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, that if he found any WHO WERE OF THE WAY, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Yerushalayim. (Acts 9:1-2 RNEB)

One of our objectives is to present a clear understanding of what the practitioners of the new covenant were called, the ones that were of the way, whether it be Christians, Nazarenes, or something else.

    He entered into the synagogue, and spoke boldly for a period of three months, reasoning and persuading about the things concerning the Kingdom of Elohim. But when some were hardened and disobedient, SPEAKING EVIL OF THE WAY before the multitude, he departed from them, and separated the disciples, reasoning daily in the school of Tyrannus. (Acts 19:8-9 RNEB)
    Now after these things had ended, Sha'ul determined in the spirit, when he had passed through Macedonia and Achaia, to go to Yerushalayim, saying, "After I have been there, I must also see Rome." Having sent into Macedonia two of those who served him, Timothy and Erastus, he himself stayed in Asia for a while. About that time THERE AROSE NO SMALL STIR CONCERNING THE WAY. (Acts 19:21-23 RNEB)
    "Brothers and fathers, listen to the defense which I now make to you." When they heard that he spoke to them in the Hebrew language, they were even more quiet. He said, "I AM INDEED A JEW, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city at the feet of Gamli'el, INSTRUCTED ACCORDING TO THE STRICT MANNER OF THE TORAH OF OUR FATHERS, being zealous for Elohim, even as you all are this day. I persecuted THIS WAY to the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women. (Acts 22:1-4 RNEB)

Shaul was a professing Jew, not a Christian.

    After five days, the High Priest, Chananyah, came down with certain elders and an orator, one Tertullus. They informed the governor against Sha'ul. When he was called, Tertullus began to accuse him, saying, "Seeing that by you we enjoy much peace, and that excellent measures are coming to this nation, we accept it in all ways and in all places, most excellent Felix, with all thankfulness. But, that I don't delay you, I entreat you to bear with us and hear a few words. For we have found this man to be a plague, an instigator of insurrections among all the Jews throughout the world, and A RINGLEADER OF THE SECT OF THE NAZARENE. (Acts 24:1-5 RNEB)

Shaul was the ringleader of the Hebrew (Jewish) sect of the Nazarene, which is also called the Way. He was brought to Felix to be judged for charges brought by other Hebrews.

    But Felix, having more exact knowledge concerning THE WAY, deferred them, saying, "When Lysias, the commanding officer, comes down, I will decide your case." (Acts 24:22 RNEB)

Felix referred to Shaul as part of the Way, the Way of the Nazarenes, he did not call him a Christian because this term never appeared in the bible until after the redactors translated the bible from the Hebrew language to the Greek language. They inserted Christian in the book under the guidance of Ignatius, who was one of the first ones to use the term.

Lets look at who these Nazarenes were and who are the true heirs to the kingdom. First lets review some secular references to provide a better understanding of some of the common terms we will be using.

Christianity

The word Christianity does not occur in the bible, it was first used by Ignatius in Antioch. He was also called Theophorus (ho Theophoros); born in Syria, around the year 50; died at Rome between 98 and 117, he was also known as the Bishop of Antioch. The term Christian or Christianity were never used before this, any use of these words in scripture were added much later by the Greeks when translating the scripture from Hebrew to Greek and later to Latin. Terms such as follower of the way, sect of the Nazarene, and this Sect are terms you will find in the scriptures.

Nazarene

A native or inhabitant of Nazareth; a member of an early sect or faction of Jewish origin who retained many of the prescribed Jewish observances.

Nazarenes (religion), in the New Testament they were followers of Yahshua the Anointed (see Acts 24:5). The earliest Christians were sometimes referred to as Nazarenes, particularly by their Jewish contemporaries. In later church history the term was applied to a sect of Jewish Christians of the 4th century who observed Jewish ritual, including circumcision, the Sabbath, and the dietary laws. They also believed in the divinity of Christ and the apostleship of St. Paul. (Annex 3 Glossary nullens.org)

By the end of this study, it should become clear that there is no such thing as a Jewish Christian.

Thus a new Jewish sect arose known as the Nazarenes under the leadership of....James, based on the belief in [J's] continued Messiahship. The Pharisees did not regard this sect as heretical. Indeed, the Nazarenes were regarded as being within the Pharisee party until about 90 [C.E.]. - (Revolution in Judea, p168)

Actually the name Nazarene only occurs about a dozen times in Talmudic litature, in all but two of these instances it refers to Jesus the Nazarene, half of these passages were censored in the middle ages either by Christian censors or Jewish editors for fear of them. The censored passages were restored to the Talmidic literture by RNN.

From references of the early Nazarenes from various sources we have learned a number of important things about them, for example we have discovered that they used both old and new testaments, believed in the resurrection of the dead, had a knowledge of Hebrew, they read the old testament, had at least one gospel in the Hebrew language, believed Elohim is the creator of all things, and believed in one Elohim and his son Yahshua the Anointed. Nazarenes never believed Yahshua was the almighty Elohim, they believed Yahshua was the son of Elohim, which is verified throughout the epistles, observed the law of Moshe, and had a high respect for the writings of the apostle Shaul.

What Christians wrote about the Nazarenes

Epiphanius, an early "church father" and writer, wrote of these "Nazarenes," whom he viewed as Judaizing heretics. Nevertheless, he said about them:

"These heresies . . . passing over the name of Jesus, did not call themselves Iessaians and did not keep the name Jews; they did not call themselves Christians, but Nazarenes, taking this name from the place Nazareth. They use not only the New Testament but the Old Testament as well, as the Jews do... They have no different ideas, but confess everything exactly as the Law proclaims it and in the Jewish fashion-- except for their belief in Messiah, if you please! For they acknowledge both the resurrection of the dead and the divine creation of all things, and declare that Elohim is one, and that his son is Yahshua 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)

These Jewish believers in Messiah were called Pasaginians, who were “so named by the Italians from the Latin word ‘passagium,’ meaning ‘passage,’ because of the ‘wandering, unsettled life of these people.”

Gregorius of Bergamo wrote about the Nazarenes (Pasagini) in 1250 CE stating, “there still remains the sect of the Pasagini. They teach…that the Old Testament festivals are to be observed, circumcision, distinction of foods, and in nearly all other matters, save the sacrifices. The Old Testament is to be observed as literally as the New; circumcision is to be kept according to the letter.”

Justin Martyr in a letter to Diognetus, concerning jewish practices: As for their scrupoulness about meats, and their superstitions about the sabbath, and their much vaunted circumcision, and their pretentious festivals and new moon observances - all of them too nonsensical to be worth discussing...

The only difference between a Nazarene and old testament Hebrew is that they believe Yahshua the Anointed is the son of Elohim, that we have to be purified in his name, and he fulfilled the ordinances concerning animal sacrifice.

The Epistle of Ignatius to the Magnesians 10 (110 CE), To profess Jesus Christ while continuing to follow Jewish customs is an absurdity. The Christian faith does not look to Judaism, but Judaism looks to Christianity...

This suggests that Ignatius was trying to stop people from practicing Jewish rights or Jewish rituals, while professing the anointed. Consequently, he's removing people from Nazarene theology and this was all occurring within just 15 years of the death of the last of the original apostles, Yochanan. Somehow the early church fathers came to the opinion that Judaism was supposed to look to Christianity, however this is a great error because Christianity is an entity to itself and forsakes the original teachings of Yahshua and the Apostles.

Tertullian concerning the sabbath and circumcision (200 CE), It follows, accordingly, that, in so far as the abolition of carnal circumcision and of the old law is demonstrated as having been consummated at its specific times, so also the observance of the Sabbath is demonstrated to have been temporary.

St. Augustine wrote (415 CE) "The true image of the Hebrew is Judas Iscariot, who sells the Lord for silver. The Jew can never understand the Scriptures and forever will bear the guilt for the death of Yahshua."

Jerome, about 404 A.D., in a letter to Augustine, said, "They believe in Christ, the Son of God, born of Mary the Virgin, and they say about him that he suffered under Pontius Pilate and rose again." and they have mixed faith in the Anointed with keeping the law.

Jerome brought this up as he was expounding on Isaiah 8:14, Nazarenes have a perfect understanding of the will of YAH, which is to be obedient to his code of ethics, to have the testimony of his son Yahshua, to accept him as a propitiation for their iniquity, and the mediator, intercessor, and High Priest of the faith.

    Wrap up the testimony. Seal the law among my disciples. (Isaiah 8:16 RNEB)
    Turn to the law and to the testimony! If they don't speak according to this word, surely there is no morning for them. (Isaiah 8:20 RNEB)

If anyone teaches or witnesses and does not speak to the law and the testimony it's because there is no truth in them.

    Not everyone who says to me, 'Master, Master,' will enter into the Kingdom of Heaven; but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will tell me in that day, 'Master, Master, didn't we prophesy in your name, in your name cast out demons, and in your name do many mighty works?' (Matthew 7:21-22 RNEB)

This verse cannot be talking about Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Shintoism, or any other isms, because none of them would be calling on Yahshua or the Father, YAH. There are only two groups that qualify, Nazarenes and Christians. All secular information points to the fact that Nazarenes practiced the Sinaitic covenant with the exception of the sacrifices. In other words, they kept the law and ordinances of YAH, and held the testimony of Yahshua the Anointed to replace the sacrificial system. The Christians go out of their way to nullify the law through Christ and avoid it's observance. This event is taking place during the time of refreshing which occurs during judgment.

    Then I will tell them, 'I never knew you. Depart from me, you who work lawlessness.' (Matthew 7:23 RNEB)

As we have already stated, there is only one of the two groups mentioned that could be properly described as those who work lawlessness, which means walking without law as a matter of practice, this would be the Christians. They don't even acknowledge the law, it does not exist to them. Yahshua's final statement to them will be, leave me you who have not observed the law.

    The Son of Man will send out his angels, and THEY WILL GATHER OUT OF HIS KINGDOM ALL THINGS THAT CAUSE STUMBLING, AND THEM WHICH DO LAW-LESS-NESS, (Matthew 13:41 RNEB)

Remember were researching the scriptures to see what the characteristics of a Nazarene Hebrew is, as demonstrated by Yahshua the Anointed and his disciples.

    "Now there was a certain rich man, and he was clothed in purple and fine linen, living in luxury every day. A certain beggar, named El'azar, was laid at his gate, full of sores, and desiring to be fed with the crumbs that fell from the rich man's table. Yes, even the dogs came and licked his sores. It happened that the beggar died, and that he was carried away by the angels to Abraham's bosom. The rich man also died, and was buried. In the grave, he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and saw Abraham far off, and El'azar at his bosom. (Luke 16:19-23 RNEB)

This is one of the verses used by many religious leaders to support their heaven and hell theology, however this isn't correct since this is just a parable, a story or analogy being used to teach a specific lesson. Lets quickly look at scripture to prove this is not a description of what really happens at death and show this is not Nazarene theology.

    No one has ascended into heaven, but he who descended out of heaven, the Son of Man, who is in heaven. (John 3:13 RNEB)

It says no one has ascended up to heaven accept Yahshua, so it should be clear the poor man could not have gone to heaven, or anyone else. How about hell?

    The beast was taken, and with him the false prophet who worked the signs in his sight, with which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. THESE TWO WERE THROWN ALIVE INTO THE LAKE OF FIRE that burns with sulfur. (Revelation 19:20 RNEB)

Two more were thrown in the fire with the rich man.

    The devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet are also. They will be tormented day and night forever and ever. (Revelation 20:10 RNEB)

The devil is thrown into the lake of fire where the beast and false prophet are, but there is no mention that any of the wicked ones who died are there, let alone the rich man from the parable.

    It happened that the beggar died, and that he was carried away by the angels to Abraham's bosom. The rich man also died, and was buried. In the grave, he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and saw Abraham far off, and El'azar at his bosom. He cried and said, 'Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send El'azar, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue! For I am in anguish in this flame.' "But Abraham said, 'Son, remember that you, in your lifetime, received your good things, and El'azar, in like manner, bad things. But now here he is comforted and you are in anguish. Besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, that those who want to pass from here to you are not able, and that none may cross over from there to us.' "He said, 'I ask you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father's house; for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, so they won't also come into this place of torment.' "But Abraham said to him, 'THEY HAVE MOSHE AND THE PROPHETS. LET THEM LISTEN TO THEM.' (Luke 16:22-29 RNEB)

Remember scripture says that if they don't speak according to the law and the prophets, there is no truth in them. Yahshua's ministry entailed bringing everyone back to the basic foundations of truth, which are found in the first five books of the bible.

    "He said, 'No, father Abraham, but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.' "He said to him, 'IF THEY DON'T LISTEN TO MOSHE AND THE PROPHETS, NEITHER WILL THEY BE PERSUADED IF ONE RISES FROM THE DEAD.'" (Luke 16:30-31 RNEB)

The moral of the story is that we must keep the law, our spiritual foundation needs to be rooted in the law and the prophets. There is nothing new in the new testament, the idea there is something new is Christian rhetoric.

    "DON'T THINK THAT I CAME TO DESTROY THE TORAH OR THE PROPHETS. I didn't come to destroy, but to fulfill. (Matthew 5:17 RNEB)

Yahshua came to fulfill, and the prophecies speak of two advents, his first and second coming, Yahshua came to fulfill his first coming, and he accomplished this, however we are left with the prophetic fulfillment of his second coming which is yet to be fulfilled.

    For most certainly, I TELL YOU, UNTIL HEAVEN AND EARTH PASS AWAY, NOT EVEN ONE SMALLEST LETTER OR ONE TINY PEN STROKE SHALL IN ANY WAY PASS AWAY FROM THE TORAH, UNTIL ALL THINGS ARE ACCOMPLISHED [FULFILLED]. (Matthew 5:18 RNEB)

This prophecy speaks of a theocratic kingdom with Yahshua reigning on his fathers thrown David, these have not been fulfilled yet, they are not done.

    Whoever, therefore, shall break one of these least commandments, and teach others to do so, shall be called least in the Kingdom of Heaven; but whoever shall do and teach them shall be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven. (Matthew 5:19 RNEB)
    Now when the day of Pentecost had come, they were all with one accord in one place. (Acts 2:1 RNEB)

The 120 people were all in one place to assemble for the day of Pentecost. These Hebrews had all been purified in the name of Yahshua the Anointed, who had ascended into heaven just ten days prior.

    Suddenly there came from the sky a sound like the rushing of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. Tongues like fire appeared and were distributed to them, and one sat on each of them. (Acts 2:2-3 RNEB)

The first thing that we see is those associated with the Nazarenes observing Pentecost, a Hebrew festival that most of Christendom believes no longer needs to be remembered.

    be it known to you all, and to all the people of Yisra'el, that in the name of Yahshua the Anointed of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom Elohim raised from the dead, in him does this man stand here before you whole. He is 'the stone which was regarded as worthless by you, the builders, which has become the head of the corner.' There is salvation in none other, for neither is there any other name under heaven, that is given among men, by which we must be saved!" (Acts 4:10-12 RNEB)

If we look back at the prophecies in the book of Zechariah, the Hebrews are coming out of Babylonian captivity and one called Yahshua, who became the symbol of the promised Anointed one, that was called the branch. This was the prophetic statement that was made as it relates to the Anointed's name, which is the reason the angel Gabriel told Mariam that they had to name the child Yahshua, which means YAH our salvation.

This name is important because it was commanded by the divine order and specific instruction were given as to what must be done in this name. If YAH wanted the name Jesus, Leroy, Bubba, Fred or any other, he would have said so. YAH can only receive glory if his son is named after him.

    "Whereupon as I traveled to Damascus with the authority and commission from the chief priests, at noon, O King, I saw on the way a light from the sky, brighter than the sun, shining around me and those who traveled with me. When we had all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice SAYING TO ME IN THE HEBREW LANGUAGE, 'Sha'ul, Sha'ul, why are you persecuting me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.' "I said, 'Who are you, Master?' "He said, 'I am Yahshua, whom you are persecuting. (Acts 26:12-15 RNEB)

Shaul was spoken to in the Hebrew tongue, there is no way that he heard the name Jesus, which is a Greek Latin hybrid. The Nazarenes were disciples that were raised in the Hebraic culture or adopted the culture after they turned to righteousness.

    On the next day they entered into Caesarea. Cornelius was waiting for them, having called together his relatives and his near friends. When it happened that Peter entered, Cornelius met him, fell down at his feet, and worshiped him. But Peter raised him up, saying, "Stand up! I myself am also a man." As he talked with him, he went in and found many gathered together. He said to them, "YOU YOURSELVES KNOW HOW IT IS AN UNLAWFUL THING FOR A MAN WHO IS A HEBREW TO JOIN HIMSELF OR COME TO ONE OF ANOTHER NATION, but Elohim has shown me that I shouldn't call any man unholy or unclean. (Acts 10:24-28 RNEB)

Peter would have never gone into a gentiles home without the vision that told him it was OK. This would have made him unclean, and Peter was diligent to adhere to all the ordinances of the law. The reason it was ok now is because the gospel was now available to the gentiles if they would receive it. During the 3 1/2 year ministry of Yahshua he never told the disciples that the laws, precepts, and ordinances of Elohim no longer needed to be followed, except for the sacrificial laws. The example we have in scripture is the Apostles never stopped following the Law.

    Now the apostles and the brothers who were in Judah heard that the Gentiles had also received the word of Elohim. When Peter had come up to Yerushalayim, those who were of the circumcision contended with him, saying, "You went in to uncircumcised men, and ate with them!" (Acts 11:1-3 RNEB)

Apparently, the other Nazarenes had a big issue with Peter going into the home of a gentile. If the laws were done away with why was this a problem, why did it merit such concern? It's because the laws were still in place and going into the home of uncircumcised people was not allowed. It was only after Peter shared his vision and told them what happened that they accepted it.

    Now about that time, Herod the king stretched out his hands to oppress some of the assembly. He killed Jacob, the brother of Yochanan, with the sword. When he saw that it pleased the Hebrews, he proceeded to seize Peter also. This was during THE DAYS OF UNLEAVENED BREAD. (Acts 12:1-3 RNEB)

Luke is writing to Theophilus and he told him this took place during the days of unleavened bread. Theophilus was a Greek gentile convert, if the appointed times were done away with why would Luke be using it as a point of reference when writing to a gentile convert? It seems apparent that the appointed times of Elohim were not done away with, and the true disciples of Yahshua kept all the feast days as required by law.

    When he had arrested him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four squads of four soldiers each to guard him, intending to BRING HIM OUT TO THE PEOPLE AFTER THE PASSOVER. (Acts 12:4 RNEB)

Theophilus also observed and understood Passover.

    So when the Hebrews went out of the synagogue, the Gentiles begged that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath. Now when the synagogue broke up, many of the Hebrews and of the devout proselytes followed Sha'ul and Barnabas; who, speaking to them, urged them to continue in the grace of Elohim. THE NEXT SABBATH ALMOST THE WHOLE CITY WAS GATHERED TOGETHER TO HEAR THE WORD OF ELOHIM. (Acts 13:42-44 RNEB)

They were meeting on the Sabbath, which means seventh day, not Sunday the first day.

    All his works are known to Elohim from the beginning of the age.' "Therefore my judgment is that we don't trouble those from among the Gentiles who turn to Elohim, but that we write to them that they ABSTAIN FROM THE POLLUTION OF IDOLS, FROM SEXUAL IMMORALITY, FROM WHAT IS STRANGLED, AND FROM BLOOD. (Acts 15:18-20 RNEB)

These four things are written in the law, the dissertation is talking about how to handle new gentile converts coming into the assembly, they had not been taught in the law yet, however there still needed to be a base code of ethics they applied to their lives while they learned. Many of the Hebrews felt they should be circumcised, but they decided that abstaining from idols, whoring, things strangled, and blood would be a good starting point that would not over burden a new believer.

    FOR MOSHE FROM GENERATIONS OF OLD HAS IN EVERY CITY THOSE WHO PREACH HIM, BEING READ IN THE SYNAGOGUES EVERY SABBATH." Then it seemed good to the apostles and the elders, with the whole assembly, to choose men out of their company, and send them to Antioch with Sha'ul and Barnabas: Judah called Bar-Sabba, and Sila, chief men among the brothers. (Acts 15:21-22 RNEB)

After new believers were given that basic guidelines they were expected to attend the synagogue on every Sabbath, which were overseen by teachers of law, to continue their education in the law. The reference to Moshe specifically is talking about the teachers that taught the law handed down through Moshe at mount Sinai.

    Setting sail therefore from Troas, we made a straight course to Samothrace, and the day following to Neapolis; and from there to Philippi, which is a city of Macedonia, the foremost of the district, a Roman colony. We were staying some days in this city. ON THE DAY OF SABBATH WE WENT FORTH OUTSIDE OF THE CITY BY A RIVERSIDE, WHERE WE SUPPOSED THERE WAS A PLACE OF PRAYER, AND WE SAT DOWN, AND SPOKE TO THE WOMEN WHO HAD COME TOGETHER. (Acts 16:11-13 RNEB)

If there was no funding available to maintain a synagogue in a town they would often meet by a river and other areas on the Sabbath instead.

    After these things Sha'ul departed from Athens, and came to Korint. He found a certain Jew named Aquila, a man of Pontus by race, who had recently come from Italy, with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to depart from Rome. He came to them, and because he practiced the same trade, he lived with them and worked, for by trade they were tent makers. HE REASONED IN THE SYNAGOGUE EVERY SABBATH, and persuaded Jews and Greeks. (Acts 18:1-4 RNEB)

The Hebrews and the Greeks [converts to Judaism] were meeting in the synagogue, they were practicing the old covenant. Shaul was trying to persuade them to come under the new covenant, this is what the Nazarenes did.

    Sha'ul, having stayed after this many more days, took his leave of the brothers, and sailed from there for Syria, together with Priscilla and Aquila. He shaved his head in Cenchreae, for he had a vow. (Acts 18:18 RNEB)

Shaul shaved his head because he took a vow. This type of vow is found in the law book in Numbers chapter six, and it's called a Nazarite vow, which is a way of separating ones self to Elohim for a time. This occurred in 54 CE, 21 years after the Anointed's resurrection, Shaul is still keeping the law.

    He came to Ephesus, and he left them there; but he himself entered into the synagogue, and reasoned with the Hebrews. When they asked him to stay with them a longer time, he declined; but taking his leave of them, and saying, "I MUST BY ALL MEANS KEEP THIS COMING FEAST IN YERUSHALAYIM, but I will return again to you if Elohim wills," he set sail from Ephesus. (Acts 18:19-21 RNEB)

Shaul has no intention of missing the appointed feast, he's practicing the law. Remember Shaul was the ring leader of the Jewish sect of the Nazarenes.

    We sailed away from Philippi AFTER THE DAYS OF UNLEAVENED BREAD, and came to them at Troas in five days, where we stayed seven days. (Acts 20:6 RNEB)

They didn't sail until after the days of unleavened bread because they were keeping the feast. Since they were no longer under the sacrificial laws of animal sacrifice, they could keep this appointed time outside of Yerushalayim. The Nazarenes knew only the propitiation laws were fulfilled by Yahshua, and they practiced the rest of the law during their entire lives, the time of this event was 58 CE, 25 years after the Anointed's resurrection.

    But we who went ahead to the ship set sail for Assos, intending to take Sha'ul aboard there, for he had so arranged, intending himself to go by land. When he met us at Assos, we took him aboard, and came to Mitylene. Sailing from there, we came the following day opposite Chios. The next day we touched at Samos and stayed at Trogyllium, and the day after we came to Miletus. FOR SHA'UL HAD DETERMINED TO SAIL PAST EPHESUS, THAT HE MIGHT NOT HAVE TO SPEND TIME IN ASIA; FOR HE WAS HASTENING, IF IT WERE POSSIBLE FOR HIM, TO BE IN YERUSHALAYIM ON THE DAY OF PENTECOST. (Acts 20:13-16 RNEB)

Shaul was in a hurry to get to Yerushalayim to keep the day of Pentecost, this event occurred in 58 CE, 25 years after the Anointed's resurrection.

In the first half of this study, we wanted to lay down the foundation for what the people of the new covenant were called in the days of antiquity. We will now look more closely at what their practices were, so we can get a better understanding of what ours should be.

    When we had come to Yerushalayim, the brothers received us gladly. The day following, Sha'ul went in with us to Jacob; and all the elders were present. When he had greeted them, he reported one by one the things which Elohim had worked among the Gentiles through his ministry. They, when they heard it, glorified Elohim. They said to him, "You see, brother, HOW MANY THOUSANDS THERE ARE AMONG THE HEBREWS OF THOSE WHO HAVE BELIEVED, AND THEY ARE ALL ZEALOUS FOR THE TORAH. (Acts 21:17-20 RNEB)

Thousands believed and were zealous for the law. The law defines who we are, if we are lawful or lawless, the law is the standard which we must abide by.

    They have been informed about you, that you teach all the Jews who are among the Gentiles to forsake Moshe, telling them not to circumcise their children neither to walk after the customs. (Acts 21:21 RNEB)

This is not what Shaul was teaching through these mixed assemblies in Asia minor, what he was actually saying is that gentile converts did not need to have circumcision imposed on them. Due to this misunderstanding we had Apostles and disciples with concerns about statements that Shaul allegedly made, and we know this concern stemmed from one of the letters he wrote to the Galatians, which was a mixed Hebrew assembly. When he spoke about the gentiles he said that circumcision profits nothing. When this got back to the assembly at Yerushalayim there was a big issue because it was communicated to the leaders in the assembly that Shaul was teaching the Hebrews that they didn't need to be circumcised.

    But this I confess to you, that after the Way, which they call a sect, so I serve the Elohim of our fathers, BELIEVING ALL THINGS WHICH ARE ACCORDING TO THE TORAH, AND WHICH ARE WRITTEN IN THE PROPHETS; having hope toward Elohim, which these also themselves look for, that there will be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust. (Acts 24:14-15 RNEB)

Shaul clarified that he in no way offended the culture but believed and followed everything that was written in the law and the profits.

    With difficulty sailing along it we came to a certain place called Fair Havens, near the city of Lasea. When much time had passed and the voyage was now dangerous, BECAUSE THE FAST HAD NOW ALREADY GONE by, Sha'ul admonished them, (Acts 27:8-9 RNEB)

Luke is communicating to Theophilus about the fast day, Yom Kippur the holiest day of the year. On this day we can do nothing, no work, no cooking, and no pleasure. It seems apparent that Shaul and the others kept the fast day and that's why it was being referenced to distinguish when the ship left.

    When we entered into Rome, the centurion delivered the prisoners to the captain of the guard, but Sha'ul was allowed to stay by himself with the soldier who guarded him. It happened that after three days Sha'ul called together those who were the Jewish leaders. When they had come together, he said to them, "I, brothers, though I HAD DONE NOTHING AGAINST THE PEOPLE, OR THE CUSTOMS OF OUR FATHERS, still was delivered prisoner from Yerushalayim into the hands of the Romans, who, when they had examined me, desired to set me free, because there was no cause of death in me. But when the Hebrews spoke against it, I was constrained to appeal to Caesar, not that I had anything about which to accuse my nation. For this cause therefore I asked to see you and to speak with you. For because of the hope of Yisra'el I am bound with this chain." They said to him, "We neither received letters from Judah concerning you, nor did any of the brothers come here and report or speak any evil of you. BUT WE DESIRE TO HEAR FROM YOU WHAT YOU THINK. FOR, AS CONCERNING THIS SECT, IT IS KNOWN TO US THAT EVERYWHERE IT IS SPOKEN AGAINST." When they had appointed him a day, many people came to him at his lodging. HE EXPLAINED TO THEM, TESTIFYING ABOUT THE KINGDOM OF ELOHIM, AND PERSUADING THEM CONCERNING YAHSHUA, BOTH FROM THE TORAH OF MOSHE AND FROM THE PROPHETS, FROM MORNING UNTIL EVENING. (Acts 28:16-23 RNEB)

He persuaded them from the law of Moshe and the prophets. Just as Shaul taught from the law and the prophets this should be a standard practice today. All the arguments and disagreements that occur between the religious bodies that claim to be ecclesiastical in nature is because they don't defer to the law and the profits as an end to the matter, the only standard that can be used to validate and substantiate doctrine.

    being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil habits, secret slanderers, backbiters, hateful to Elohim, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the ordinance of Elohim, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but also approve of those who practice them. (Romans 1:29-32 RNEB)

Everything listed here are transgressions of the law, how can we have a theological body that tells us were not under law, however then tell us we can't do these things? Wouldn't they be submitting to a law? One of the things listed is covenant breakers, this can only refer to YAH's covenant with Yisrael which is found in the first five books of the bible. The new testament was not available until the fourth century, over three hundred years after the original apostles ministry.

    But glory and honor and peace to every man who works good, to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For there is no partiality with Elohim. For as many as have sinned without law will also perish without the law. As many as have sinned under the law will be judged by the law. (Romans 2:10-12 RNEB)

Those who sinned without the law and perished without law never acknowledge the law so their end was predetermined death. Those who sinned under the law, having followed the law, will be judged by the law, which also includes mercy and grace for those who commit lawlessness in ignorance.

    For it isn't the hearers of the law who are righteous before Elohim, but the doers of the law will be justified (Romans 2:13 RNEB)

It's only those who practice the law that can be righteous before Elohim.

    (for when Gentiles who don't have the law do by nature the things of the law, these, not having the law, are a law to themselves, in that they show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience testifying with them, and their thoughts among themselves accusing or else excusing them) (Romans 2:14-15 RNEB)

The law is segmented into three categories:

  1. Holiness laws - These provide instructions on how to serve YAH.
  2. Moral laws - These dictate how we should treat one another, human relations.
  3. Ceremonial laws - These are the laws dealing with animal sacrifices.

When it speaks in this verse of "doing by nature the law", it's referring to the core principals of the laws of morality, the Holiness laws have to be learned, we don't just know the Sabbath day, the name of the creator, or what is right to eat by nature.

    Indeed you bear the name of a Hebrew, and rest on the law, and glory in Elohim, and know his will, and approve the things that are excellent, BEING INSTRUCTED OUT OF THE TORAH, and are confident that you yourself are a guide of the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, a corrector of the foolish, a teacher of babies, HAVING IN THE LAW THE FORM OF KNOWLEDGE AND OF THE TRUTH. (Romans 2:17-20 RNEB)

This is describing the Nazarenes theology.

    If therefore the uncircumcised keep the ordinances of the law, won't his uncircumcision be accounted as circumcision? Indeed, the man who is physically uncircumcised, but obeys the law, judge you, who with the Torah and circumcision are a transgressor of the law? For he is not a Hebrew who is one outwardly, neither is that circumcision which is outward in the flesh; but he is a Hebrew who is one inwardly, and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit not in the letter; whose praise is not from men, but from Elohim. (Romans 2:26-29 RNEB)
    Then what advantage does the Hebrew have? Or what is the profit of circumcision? Much in every way! Because first of all, they were entrusted with the oracles of Elohim. (Romans 3:1-2 RNEB)

It should be becoming clear that the Nazarenes didn't deviate from the covenant, however they did deviate from the animal sacrificial ordinances which were fulfilled by Yahshua.

    Or don't you know, brothers (for I speak to men who know the law), that THE LAW HAS DOMINION OVER A MAN FOR AS LONG AS HE LIVES? (Romans 7:1 RNEB)

Shaul wrote to those who knew the law and said the law governs over us while we live. Shaul was writing with the assumption that the readers knew and understood the law because he was writing to assemblies that had Hebrew teachers expounding the law on each Sabbath. Consequently, reading his writing without having an understanding of the law would certainly lead to some confusion on the part of the reader.

    For the woman that has a husband is bound by law to the husband while he lives, but if the husband dies, she is discharged from the law of the husband. So then if, while the husband lives, she is joined to another man, she would be called an adulteress. But if the husband dies, she is free from the law, so that she is no adulteress, though she is joined to another man. Therefore, my brothers, YOU ALSO WERE MADE DEAD TO THE LAW THROUGH THE BODY OF THE ANOINTED, that you would be joined to another, to him who was raised from the dead, that we might bring forth fruit to Elohim. (Romans 7:2-4 RNEB)

The death to the law being expounded on is referring to the ceremonial law or sacrificial ordinances. That's why it goes on to refer to the body of the Anointed which was the better sacrifice that fulfilled the sacrificial system. At Yahshua's death the veil in the temple was torn as a sign that the sacrifice of animals would no longer be accepted.

    Did then that which is good become death to me? May it never be! But sin, that it might be shown to be sin, by working death to me through that which is good; that through the commandment sin might become exceeding sinful. For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am fleshly, sold under sin. For I don't know what I am doing. For I don't practice what I desire to do; but what I hate, that I do. But if what I don't desire, that I do, I consent to the law that it is good. So now it is no more I that do it, but sin which dwells in me. For I know that in me, that is, in my flesh, dwells no good thing. For desire is present with me, but I don't find it doing that which is good. For the good which I desire, I don't do; but the evil which I don't desire, that I practice. But if what I don't desire, that I do, it is no more I that do it, but sin which dwells in me. I find then the law, that, to me, while I desire to do good, evil is present. For I delight in Elohim's law after the inward man, but I see a different law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity under the law of sin which is in my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will deliver me out of the body of this death? I thank Elohim through Yahshua the Anointed, our Master! SO THEN WITH THE MIND, I MYSELF SERVE ELOHIM'S LAW, BUT WITH THE FLESH, I AM A SLAVE OF SIN'S LAW. (Romans 7:13-25 RNEB)
    For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. FOR THE MIND OF THE FLESH IS DEATH, BUT THE MIND OF THE SPIRIT IS LIFE AND PEACE; because the mind of the flesh is hostile towards Elohim; for it is not subject to Elohim's law, neither indeed can it be. THOSE WHO ARE IN THE FLESH CAN'T PLEASE ELOHIM. But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if it is so that the Spirit of Elohim dwells in you. But if any man doesn't have the Spirit of the Anointed, he is not his. (Romans 8:5-9 RNEB)

The Spirit of Elohim is his word, the laws, precepts, and ordinances. This is why Shaul said, let this mind be in you that was also in the anointed Yahshua.

Shaul said, "for he is not a Hebrew who is one outwardly, neither is that circumcision which is outward in the flesh; but he is a Hebrew who is one inwardly, and circumcision is that of the heart" [mind and emotions].

    I tell the truth in the Anointed. I am not lying, my conscience testifying with me in the Holy Spirit, that I have great sorrow and unceasing pain in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed from the Anointed for my brothers' sake, my relatives according to the flesh, who are Yisra'eli's; whose is the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the service, and the promises; of whom are the fathers, and from whom is the Anointed as concerning the flesh, who is over all, Elohim, blessed forever. Amein. But it is not as though the word of Elohim has come to nothing. For they are not all Yisra'el, that are of Yisra'el. (Romans 9:1-6 RNEB)

The objective is to become the Yisrael of Elohim, and there has been a process given for doing this, scripture says there is one law for all, "as you do so shall the stranger that sojourns", and it's found in the first five books of the bible.

    For I speak to you who are Gentiles. Since then as I am an emissary to Gentiles, I glorify my ministry; if by any means I may provoke to jealousy those who are my flesh, and may save some of them. For if the rejection of them is the reconciling of the world, what would their acceptance be, but life from the dead? IF THE FIRST FRUIT IS HOLY, SO IS THE LUMP. IF THE ROOT IS HOLY, SO ARE THE BRANCHES. (Romans 11:13-16 RNEB)

First-fruit - This is Yahshua.
Lump - This is the assembly.
Root - Those of the father.
Branch - The sons of Yisrael.

    But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive, were grafted in among them, and became partaker with them of the root and of the richness of the olive tree; don't boast over the branches. But if you boast, it is not you who support the root, but the root supports you. (Romans 11:17-18 RNEB)

The gentiles were grafted into Yisrael as the wild olive branch, it was not the other way around. As engrafted members we should not boast against the root, because we don't bear the covenant of the father, but the covenant bears us!

    You will say then, "Branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in." True; by their unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by your faith. Don't be conceited, but fear; for if Elohim didn't spare the natural branches, neither will he spare you. (Romans 11:19-21 RNEB)

This was a message to the gentile assembly in Rome.

    OR DON'T YOU KNOW THAT THE UNRIGHTEOUS WILL NOT INHERIT THE KINGDOM OF ELOHIM? Don't be deceived. Neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor male prostitutes, nor homosexuals, (1 Corinthians 6:9 RNEB)

There is only one place, we can go to define unrighteousness, and that's to the first five books of the bible which contain the law. The new testament is only a confirmation of the sound doctrine written in the old testament.

    nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor slanderers, nor extortioners, will inherit the Kingdom of Elohim. (1 Corinthians 6:10 RNEB)

Everything listed is considered unrighteous under the law, and it's against the will of Elohim, being considered unholy and profane. Shaul was extracting ordinances from the law that he felt directly applied to the assembly at Corinth. However, this does not mean the rest of the ordinances of the law no longer apply.

    Don't deprive one another, unless it is by consent for a season, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer, and may be together again, that Satan doesn't tempt you because of your lack of self-control. But this I say by way of concession, not of commandment. (1 Corinthians 7:5-6 RNEB)

When Shaul said, "I say by way of concession, not of commandment," he's clarifying this is not an ordinance of the law. In other words, he is giving advice that will not be found in any of the law books.

    Yet I wish that all men were like me. However each man has his own gift from Elohim, one of this kind, and another of that kind. But I say to the unmarried and to widows, it is good for them if they remain even as I am. But if they don't have self-control, let them marry. For it's better to marry than to burn. But to the married I command--not I, but the Master--that the wife not leave her husband (1 Corinthians 7:7-10 RNEB)

Shaul is telling us this is coming from the law book and not from him. This is how a Nazarene walks, he responds directly from the book of the law, and when it's not from the law it is clarified as such.

    (but if she departs, let her remain unmarried, or else be reconciled to her husband), and that the husband not leave his wife. But to the rest I--not the Master--say, if any brother has an unbelieving wife, and she is content to live with him, let him not leave her. The woman who has an unbelieving husband, and he is content to live with her, let her not leave her husband. For the unbelieving husband is sanctified in the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified in the husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but now they are holy. Yet if the unbeliever departs, let there be separation. The brother or the sister is not under bondage in such cases, but Elohim has called us in peace. (1 Corinthians 7:11-15 RNEB)

Shaul is communicating this to establish peace, this is why he has stepped outside the law to address situations that the law didn't.

    For how do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife? Only, as Elohim has distributed to each man, as the Master has called each, so let him walk. So I command in all the assemblies. Was anyone called having been circumcised? Let him not become uncircumcised. Has anyone been called in uncircumcision? Let him not be circumcised. Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, BUT THE KEEPING OF THE COMMANDMENTS OF ELOHIM. (1 Corinthians 7:16-19 RNEB)

The keeping of the commandments of Elohim is important. The Nazarenes consider the laws and precepts of Elohim as an integral part of walking in righteousness where Christianity has taught the very opposite for the last two thousand years.

    A wife is bound by law for as long as her husband lives; but if the husband is dead, she is free to be married to whoever she desires, only in the Master. (1 Corinthians 7:39 RNEB)
    let your wives keep silent in the assemblies, for it has not been permitted for them to speak; but let them be in subjection, as the law also says. (1 Corinthians 14:34 RNEB)

The law doesn't say that a woman cannot speak in the assembly, however the law does say they are to be under obedience or subjection which Shaul is referencing as to why they should remain silent.

    But I will stay at Ephesus until Pentecost, (1 Corinthians 16:8 RNEB)

They are keeping the day of Pentecost, the feast of weeks.

    desiring to be teachers of the Torah, though they understand neither what they say, nor about what they strongly affirm. But we know that the Torah is good, if a man uses it lawfully, as knowing this, that Torah is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and insubordinate, for the unreverent and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, (1 Timothy 1:7-9 RNEB)

The moral law is not for a righteous man, because he keeps it by nature. The law was given to the unrighteous and disobedient to show their transgressions and give them a guideline for righteousness.

    for the sexually immoral, for homosexuals, for slave-traders, for liars, for perjurers, and for any other thing contrary to the sound doctrine; (1 Timothy 1:10 RNEB)
    But you remain in the things which you have learned and have been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them. FROM INFANCY, YOU HAVE KNOWN THE SACRED SCRIPTURES which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith, which is in the Anointed Yahshua. (2 Timothy 3:14-15 RNEB)

The New Testament was canonized in the year 367 CE by Athanasius and his administration, this letter was written in 66 CE, so when it's referring to the holy scriptures it can only mean the old testament scripture, Genesis through Malachi. It's only the Holy Scripture of the old testament that is able to make men wise for deliverance through belief in Yahshua the Anointed, this was never said about the new testament which for the most part is just a compilation of letters teaching from the old covenant and the prophets.

    Every writing inspired by Elohim is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction which is in righteousness, (2 Timothy 3:16 RNEB)

Writings inspired by Elohim are found in the law books and testimonies of the profits.

    I charge you therefore before Elohim and Master Yahshua the Anointed, who will judge the living and the dead at his appearing and his Kingdom: preach the word; be urgent in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with all patience and teaching. FOR THE TIME WILL COME WHEN THEY WILL NOT LISTEN TO THE SOUND DOCTRINE, BUT, HAVING ITCHING EARS, WILL HEAP UP FOR THEMSELVES TEACHERS AFTER THEIR OWN LUSTS; AND WILL TURN AWAY THEIR EARS FROM THE TRUTH, AND TURN ASIDE TO FABLES. (2 Timothy 4:1-4 RNEB)

Sound doctrine only comes from the law and the profits, so if someone was to turn away from this, they would be teaching against the law and the profits, which means they would be promoting lawlessness. For example, lawlessness is teaching that there is no dietary code, the law is not for today, and the Sabbath is on Sunday rather than the seventh day.

    Your promises have been thoroughly tested, and your servant loves them. I am small and despised. I don't forget your precepts. YOUR RIGHTEOUSNESS IS AN EVERLASTING RIGHTEOUSNESS. YOUR LAW IS TRUTH. (Psalms 119:140-142 RNEB)
    You are near, YAH. ALL YOUR COMMANDMENTS ARE TRUTH. (Psalms 119:151 RNEB)
    "Every word of Elohim is flawless. He is a shield to those who take refuge in him. DON'T YOU ADD TO HIS WORDS, LEST HE REPROVE YOU, AND YOU BE FOUND A LIAR. (Proverbs 30:5-6 RNEB)

We can't add to his word, though we can elaborate on his word by using other relevant scriptures. This is Nazarene theology that were reading about.

    They are not of the world even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in your truth. YOUR WORD IS TRUTH. (John 17:16-17 RNEB)

Every time Elohim spoke, he gave law.

    Where do wars and fightings among you come from? Don't they come from your pleasures that war in your members? You lust, and don't have. You kill, covet, and can't obtain. You fight and make war. You don't have, because you don't ask. You ask, and don't receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it for your pleasures. You adulterers and adulteresses, don't you know that friendship with the world is enmity with Elohim? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of Elohim. (James 4:1-4 RNEB)

The adultery being spoken about here is spiritual adultery, and friendship with the world is a form of this adultery. We're either part of the world system or YAH's ecclesiastical system, that's why Yahshua said, "you cannot serve two masters, for you will hate the one and loved the other, or hold to one and despise the other." James said, "You desire, and do not have. You murder, and are jealous, and are unable to obtain. You strive and fight, and you do not possess, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask evilly, to spend it on your pleasures."

    Brothers, IF ANY AMONG YOU WANDERS FROM THE TRUTH, and someone turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death, and will cover a multitude of sins. (James 5:19-20 RNEB)

We know the law is truth, lets see what sin is.

    Everyone who sins also commits lawlessness. Sin is lawlessness. (1 John 3:4 RNEB)
    Whoever believes that Yahshua is the Anointed is born of Elohim. Whoever loves the father also loves the child who is born of him. By this we know that we love the children of Elohim, when we love Elohim and keep his commandments. FOR THIS IS THE LOVE OF ELOHIM, THAT WE KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS. HIS COMMANDMENTS ARE NOT GRIEVOUS. (1 John 5:1-3 RNEB)
    The dragon grew angry with the woman, and went away to make war with the rest of her seed, WHO KEEP ELOHIM'S COMMANDMENTS AND HOLD YAHSHUA'S TESTIMONY. (Revelation 12:17 RNEB)

The remnant or seed are those keeping the commands of Elohim, which are his laws, precepts, and ordinances, and those who have the witness of Yahshua the Anointed. This is Nazarene theology, they take the word literally and don't invent excuses for not adhering to YAH's word.

    Here is the patience of the holy ones, THOSE WHO KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS OF ELOHIM, AND THE FAITH OF YAHSHUA." (Revelation 14:12 RNEB)

We have gone through all the epistles [letters] and there all talking about keeping and being purified by the commandments and the law.

    I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and THEY OPENED BOOKS. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. THE DEAD WERE JUDGED OUT OF THE THINGS WHICH WERE WRITTEN IN THE BOOKS, ACCORDING TO THEIR WORKS. (Revelation 20:12 RNEB)

The books being referred to are the law books, will all be judged out of the things which were written in these books, according to our works.

    The sea gave up the dead who were in it. Death and grave gave up the dead who were in them. They were judged, each one according to his works. Death and grave were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. If anyone was not found written in the book of life, he was cast into the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:13-15 RNEB)
    He said to me, "See you don't do it! I am a fellow bondservant with you and with your brothers, the prophets, and with those who keep the words of this book. Worship Elohim." (Revelation 22:9 RNEB)
    Blessed are those who do his commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter in by the gates into the city. (Revelation 22:14 RNEB)

This study is showing we need to keep the commandments, practice the law, and have faith in Yahshua, which is exactly what the Nazarenes taught and did. There is now a religion on the earth that says just have faith in Jesus and don't worry about the law, what took place, what happened?

After the death of the Apostles the early Christians removed the Jews influence from there midst and began the practice of sunday worship.

The early church fathers removed the Jews influence, which was the law, and then changed the Sabbath to Sunday.

For if we are still practicing Judaism, we admit that we have not received God’s favor…it is wrong to talk about Jesus Christ and live like Jews. For Christianity did not believe in Judaism, but Judaism in Christianity. (Ignatius Bishop of Antioch (98-117A.D.) – Epistle to the Magnesians)

Early in the second century the Nazarene Jews became subjected to a number of religious and political events, in 117 CE the Roman Emperor Hadrian built a temple to Jupiter in Jerusalem and renamed the city Aelia Capitolina turning Jerusalem into a Roman city, Nazarene synagogues were destroyed and schools of pagan thought and Christian occults were erected in there places.

After the Romans defeated the Jews around 132 C.E. Y'hudah, the last recorded Nazarene Nasi [head of the Beit Din] was exiled with the rest of the Jews from Yerushalayim. A Gentile Christian named Markus was made Bishop of Yerushalayim in his place.

The Jews were removed and the gentiles took their place, and they were now teaching lawlessness.

In the year 200 CE many of the early church fathers began to make statements which further separated gentiles from everything Jewish, non Jewish doctrines began to be developed which became the foundational beliefs of Christianity, although gentile Christians were not particularly opposed to the Jews and many still converted to Nazarene Judaism.

The formal position of the Church was decisively set against the synagogue. The Church sought to conquer the synagogue which in there view continued to cling stubbornly to its ancestral faith, frustrated and embittered the Church fathers set out to prove that Judaism was legalistic, dead and superceded religion.

By reversing the biblical positions of the Jews the Church claimed to be the new Yisrael, the Jacob, and the Jews were the Esau and Cain, the murderers of their brothers. Yisrael was portrayed as blind and divorced from Elohim. This theology of replacement which evolved into a theology of displacement stated that the Jews had forfeited what elohim had given them and now Christianity was the new heir to the promises and the blessing of Elohim, the Jews however could keep the curses.

In the epistle of Barnabas written around 135 CE this replacement theology is clearly stated referring to the Mosaic covenant Barnabas writes indeed it is ours for Moshe had hardly received it when they forfeited forever (3rd epistle of Barnabas)

Dialogue 10 - States Christians should live like all the gentiles, not observing the festivals, Sabbath, new moon, or the right of circumcision. (Justin Martyr 110 - 165 AD Dialogue 11)

Dialogue 11 - States Christ did away with the entire law of Moses and circumcision. (Justin Martyr 110 - 165 AD Dialogue 11)

Dialogue 15 - States true fasting is giving your food to the hungry. (Justin Martyr 110 - 165 AD Dialogue 15)

In 325 C.E. A Pagan Gentile named Constantine conquered Rome and made himself emperor. Constantine, although a Pagan himself, declared his brand of "Christianity" to be the Catholic (universal) religion, thus making Christianity the enforced state religion of the Roman Empire. Constantine, who was an anti-Semite, called the council of Nicea in 325 C.E. to standardize Christianity.

Netzarim were excluded from the meeting. Jewish practices were banned. The "Day of the Sun" was substituted for the Biblical Sabbath. For the first time Gentile Christianity officially labeled the Nazarenes as apostates. From this time forward Nazarenes begin to be listed in the catalogs of apostate movements (the first of these to include the Nazarenes was Epiphanius's "Panarion" around 370 C.E.).

The early Christian Church was not a highly organized body with an established creed; therefore, it encompassed a wide variety of beliefs. The most famous heresy of the early church centered around a widespread and diverse group known as Gnostics. They believed the spirit was good and that flesh was evil. Consequently, they denied that Christ could have been truly human. Jesus was not really born of the flesh and there was no resurrection of the flesh. The Gnostics also regarded Jehovah as an inferior being and rejected the Old Testament. Gnosticism was a syncretistic movement which incorporated beliefs of many Middle East religions and philosophies.

Marcionism was a closely related heresy. Marcion, the son of the Bishop of Pontus, declared that the God of the Old Testament was a cruelly legalistic and merciless deity and that Christians should discard the Old Testament and follow Paul in asceticism, celibacy, and scorn the physical world. (Dr Meredith Sprunger; Christianity)

According to Waters Austin a minister from Princeton New Jersey, Marcion tried to get rid of the Hebrew scriptures altogether. Being convinced that the church was making a mistake [ignorance] in aligning itself with the religion and literture of the Jews.

Dr. John Garr a messianic Jew writes the following, "In the middle of the second century, the Hebrew foundations of Christian faith were attacked by the first great heresy that challenged the church.” You also note that “some of the ideas of this heresy so permeated the church’s corporate psyche that it has not yet fully recovered its spiritual and scriptural equilibrium."

"Marcion, son of a bishop of Sinope in Pontus [there is some question about this], joined the Syrian Gnostic Cerdo in Rome in developing a dualistic view of sacred history which postulated the existence of two gods, the good and gracious God (Christ) and the Demiurge (Jehovah of the Jews). Marcion taught an irreconcilable dualism between gospel and law, between Christianity and Judaism. The Demiurge and his religion were seen as harsh, severe, and unmerciful, and they were cast into Hades by Christ, the good God. Marcion invented a new canon of Holy Scripture which included only an abridged Gospel of Luke and ten of Paul's epistles, some of which he edited. He wrested the words of Jesus in Matthew 5:17 to declare, ‘I am not come to fulfil the law and the prophets, but to destroy them.’

Dialogue of Justin Chapter 11 - The law abrigated reads, but we do not trust through Moses or through the law; for then we would do the same as yourselves. But now-- for I have read that there shall be a final law, and a covenant, the chiefest of all, which it is now incumbent on all men to observe, as many as are seeking after the inheritance of God. For the law promulgated on Horeb is now old, and belongs to yourselves alone; but this is for all universally. Now, law placed against law has abrogated that which is before it, and a covenant which comes after in like manner has put an end to the previous one; and an eternal and final law--namely, Christ--has been given to us, and the covenant is trustworthy, after which there shall be no law, no commandment, no ordinance.

Let those who are not yet acquainted with them, please note how perverse their belief and doctrine are. First, they teach that we should obey the Law of Moses according to the letter - the Sabbath, and circumcision, and the legal precepts still being in force. Furthermore, to increase their error, they condemn and reject all the Church Fathers, and the whole Roman Church. (Epiphanius)

John Chrysostom, possibly the early Church's most powerful and influential orator stated: The Jews have assassinated the Son of God! How dare you associate with this nation of assassins and hangmen! The Jews are the most worthless of all men. They are lecherous, greedy, rapacious. They are perfidious murderers of Christ... The Jews are the odious assassins of Christ and for killing God there is no expiation possible, no indulgence or pardon. Christian may never cease vengeance, and the Jews must live in servitude forever. God always hated the Jews. It is incumbent upon all Christians to hate the Jews. (Prager, D. & Telushkin, J.Why the Jews, New York, Simon & Schuster, 1985, p94)

Godfrey of Bouillon was a leader of the First Crusade in 1076 CE swore to avenge the blood of Christ in Yisrael and to leave no single member of the Jewish race alive. When the crusader arrived in Yisrael then called Palistinia they rounded up the Jews in Jerusalem herded them into the synagogue and burned the building to the ground. Marching triumphantly around the inferno they sang the hymn, "Christ we adore you." Inside the burning synagogue, no doubt the Jews heard these words of Christian worship as they perished.

1215 C.E., Rome, Lateran Council of Rome decrees that Jews must wear the "badge of shame" in all Christian countries. Jews are denied all public sector employment, and are burdened with extra taxes.

By the eleventh century the Church had converted virtually all the inhabitants of Europe to Christianity.

Persecution of Jews by Christians:

Initial persecution of Jews was along religious lines and would cease if the person converted to Christianity.

  • 306 CE: The church Synod of Elvira banned marriages, sexual intercourse and community contacts between Christians and Jews. 3,4
  • 315 CE: Constantine published the Edict of Milan which extended religious tolerance to Christians. Jews lost many rights with this edict. They were no longer permitted to live in Jerusalem, or to proselytize.
  • 325 CE: The Council of Nicea decided to separate the celebration of Easter from the Jewish Passover. They stated: "For it is unbecoming beyond measure that on this holiest of festivals we should follow the customs of the Jews. Henceforth let us have nothing in common with this odious people...We ought not, therefore, to have anything in common with the Jews...our worship follows a...more convenient course...we desire dearest brethren, to separate ourselves from the detestable company of the Jews...How, then, could we follow these Jews, who are almost certainly blinded."
  • 337 CE: Christian Emperor Constantius created a law which made the marriage of a Jewish man to a Christian punishable by death.
  • 339 CE: Converting to Judaism became a criminal offense.
  • 343-381 CE: The Laodicean Synod approved Cannon XXXVIII: "It is not lawful [for Christians] to receive unleavened bread from the Jews, nor to be partakers of their impiety." 5
  • 367-376 CE: St. Hilary of Poitiers referred to Jews as a perverse people who God has cursed forever. St. Ephroem refers to synagogues as brothels.
  • 379-395 CE: Emperor Theodosius the Great permitted the destruction of synagogues if it served a religious purpose. Christianity became the state religion of the Roman Empire at this time.
  • 380 CE: The bishop of Milan was responsible for the burning of a synagogue; he referred to it as "an act pleasing to God."
  • 415 CE: The Bishop of Alexandria, St. Cyril, expelled the Jews from that Egyptian city.
  • 415 CE: St. Augustine wrote "The true image of the Hebrew is Judas Iscariot, who sells the Lord for silver. The Jew can never understand the Scriptures and forever will bear the guilt for the death of Jesus."
  • 418 CE: St. Jerome, who created the Vulgate translation of the Bible wrote of a synagogue: "If you call it a brothel, a den of vice, the Devil's refuge, Satan's fortress, a place to deprave the soul, an abyss of every conceivable disaster or whatever you will, you are still saying less than it deserves."
  • 489-519 CE: Christian mobs destroyed the synagogues in Antioch, Daphne (near Antioch) and Ravenna.
  • 528: Emperor Justinian (527-564) passed the Justinian Code. It prohibited Jews from building synagogues, reading the Bible in Hebrew, assemble in public, celebrate Passover before Easter, and testify against Christians in court. 3
  • 535 CE: The "Synod of Claremont decreed that Jews could not hold public office or have authority over Christians." 3
  • 538 CE: The 3rd and 4th Councils of Orleans prohibited Jews from appearing in public during the Easter season. Canon XXX decreed that "From the Thursday before Easter for four days, Jews may not appear in the company of Christians." 5 Marriages between Christians and Jews were prohibited. Christians were prohibited from converting to Judaism. 4
  • 561 CE: The bishop of Uzes expelled Jews from his diocese in France.
  • 612 CE: Jews were not allowed to own land, to be farmers or enter certain trades.
  • 613 CE: Very serious persecution began in Spain. Jews were given the options of either leaving Spain or converting to Christianity. Jewish children over 6 years of age were taken from their parents and given a Christian education
  • 692 CE: Cannnon II of the Quinisext Council stated: "Let no one in the priestly order nor any layman eat the unleavened bread of the Jews, nor have any familiar intercourse with them, nor summon them in illness, nor receive medicines from them, nor bathe with them; but if anyone shall take in hand to do so, if he is a cleric, let him be deposed, but if a layman, let him be cut off." 5
  • 694 CE: The 17th Church Council of Toledo, Spain defined Jews as the serfs of the prince. This was based, in part, on the beliefs by Chrysostom, Origen, Jerome, and other Church Fathers that God punished the Jews with perpetual slavery because of their responsibility for the execution of Jesus. 5
  • 722 CE: Leo III outlawed Judaism. Jews were baptized against their will.
  • 855 CE: Jews were exiled from Italy
  • 1050 CE: The Synod of Narbonne prohibited Christians from living in the homes of Jews.
  • 1078 CE: "Pope Gregory VII decreed that Jews could not hold office or be superiors to Christians." 6
  • 1078 CE: The Synod of Gerona forced Jews to pay church taxes
  • 1096 CE: The First Crusade was launched in this year. Although the prime goal of the crusades was to liberate Jerusalem from the Muslims, Jews were a second target. As the soldiers passed through Europe on the way to the Holy Land, large numbers of Jews were challenged: "Christ-killers, embrace the Cross or die!" 12,000 Jews in the Rhine Valley alone were killed in the first Crusade. This behavior continued for 8 additional crusades until the 9th in 1272.
  • 1099 CE: The Crusaders forced all of the Jews of Jerusalem into a central synagogue and set it on fire. Those who tried to escape were forced back into the burning building.
  • 1121 CE: Jews were exiled from Flanders (now part of present-day Belgium)
  • 1130 CE: Some Jews in London allegedly killed a sick man. The Jewish people in the city were required to pay 1 million marks as compensation.
  • 1146 CE: The Second Crusade began. A French Monk, Rudolf, called for the destruction of the Jews.
  • 1179 CE: Canon 24 of the Third Lateran Council stated: "Jews should be slaves to Christians and at the same time treated kindly due of humanitarian considerations." Canon 26 stated that "the testimony of Christians against Jews is to be preferred in all causes where they use their own witnesses against Christians." 7
  • 1180 CE: The French King of France, Philip Augustus, arbitrarily seized all Jewish property and expelled the Jews from the country. There was no legal justification for this action. They were allowed to sell all movable possessions, but their land and houses were stolen by the king.
  • 1189 CE: Jews were persecuted in England. The Crown claimed all Jewish possessions. Most of their houses were burned.

References:

  1. "A Calendar of Jewish Persecution," at "HearNow," a Messianic Judaism web site. See:
    http://www.hearnow.org/caljp.htm
  2. Randy Felton, "Anti-Semitism and the Church," at:
    http://www.haydid.org/antsemr.htm
  3. Fritz B. Voll, "A Short Review of a Troubled History," at:
    http://www.jcrelations.com/res/incidents.htm#protokols1
  4. "Classical and Christian Anti-Semitism," at:
    http://www.virtualjerusalem.co.il/education/education/holocaust/
  5. Max Solbrekken, "The Jews & Jesus: Mistreatment of Jews: Christian shame," at:
    http://www.mswm.org/jews.htm
  6. Fritz B. Voll, "A Short Review of a Troubled History," at:
    http://www.jcrelations.com/res/incidents.htm#protokols
  7. Bob Michael, "Jews as Serfs," at: http://www.uni-heidelberg.de/subject/hd/fak7/hist/e3/gen/
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