Sunday, November 17, 2013

The White Dove



The White Dove


            This past Sabbath, we had an old friend from out of town come and spend the day with us.  Last May she, a former practicing pagan, converted to “christianity” and has credited our years of loving kindness towards her and her family, while they were geographical neighbors and friends, as one of her biggest influences towards seeking the true creator.  Now, we are not ourselves christian but are instead Messianic Hebrews.  We follow the faith and teachings of Yeshua the Messiah just as He instructed his apostles 2,000 years ago.  We observe the Sabbath, eat only clean foods, celebrate the appointed times and feasts and observe all of the instructions given by the Creator to Moses in the Torah.
            Now our friend had come to us to learn more about our Creator, the Messiah and His true message- things she is not taught in her Baptist bible study.  We started early at our breakfast table and went through the Sabbath day instructing her and exposing her to the Hebrew meanings and translations of both the Tanakh and the New Writings (misinformed as the old and new testaments), the Apocrypha, Targums and the Pseudapigrapha.  
            By the end of the day, her head was full and so we took a break and went into the backyard of our property to sit and enjoy the late afternoon fall weather.  While sitting in the evening sun, I observed something I had never seen in the 7 years living in our Texas farmhouse- a single white dove.  I pointed it out to my wife and our friend and we were awestruck.  This single white dove circled over our heads for about 10 minutes before disappearing off to the west.   Truly- the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) had been with us this day and gave us a sign of His presence- the white dove.


Mark 1:10
Mathew 3:16
Luke 3:22
John 1:32

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Believers of the Way of Yeshua Passover memorial


And the Day of Unleavened Bread was coming when the Passover had to be slaughtered.  And He sent Kĕpha and Yoḥanan, saying, “Go and prepare the Passover for us to eat.” 

     They said to Him, “Where do You wish us to prepare?” 

     He said to them, “See, as you enter into the city, a man shall meet you carrying a jar of water. Follow him into the house he enters, And you shall say to the master of the house, ‘The Teacher says to you, “Where is the guest room where I might eat the Passover with My taught ones?” And he shall show you a large, furnished upper room. Prepare it there". And going they found it as He had said to them, and they prepared the Passover.





    

And when the hour had come, He sat down, and the twelve emissaries with Him. He said to them, “With desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before My suffering, for I say to you, I shall certainly not eat of it again until it is filled in the reign of Elohim.”

     And taking the cup, giving thanks, He said, “Take this and divide it among yourselves, for I say to you, I shall certainly not drink of the fruit of the vine until the reign of Elohim comes.” 

     And taking bread, giving thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you, do this in remembrance of Me.” 


Kahal of Believers of the Way Passover Table
With great delight and much pleasure, the Kahal (congregation) of Believers of the Way of Yeshua HaMashiach celebrated their first Passover as an Edah (assembly) on the eve of 14 Nisan, at the Milk'n Honey Farm near New Braunfels, Texas.  My wife and I, along with three of our children were the only believers in attendance this night.  We had invited other believers and their children, but they weren't able to attend due to previous obligations as well as our late meet-up announcement.  It was kind of a blessing, considering this was our fist hosted Seder at our little farm.  The service turned out to be more of a full dress rehearsal and we were able to work out the glitches (there were a few, like not having the lighter for the candles when it was time). 

It was very important to us that we keep our Passover memorial and meal as close to as possible to the Passover meal that would have been kept by Yeshua and his talmidim (students/taught ones) nearly 2,000 years ago.  Since there is no complete record in existence, that was not an easy task.

In order to keep it (guard it), we first searched the Tanakh for YHWH's instruction, then read the record in the book of Jubilees, then also referenced the Gospels and their accounts of the Passover meal Yeshua and his talmidim ate.  We also read the earliest recorded instructions of a passover seder, which came directly from the Mishnah which was written within 200 years of Yeshuas death.  After even more time searching the internet and comparing published messianic Seder Haggadah's, we settled on a Messianic Haggadah (with a few minor alterations) from the website Mashiyach.com ( http://www.mashiyach.com/chagim/haggadah.htm)  as well as additional input gained from Monte Judah's article on the Order of the Seder, in  the March 2011 edition of Yavoh, the Lion and Lamb Ministry's monthly Magazine (http://lionlamb.net/v3/YAVOH-HeisComing/2011/03).  Monte Judah clarified what each section was about where it fell in the old and new scriptures, as well as relating it to the prophecy of the Messiah.  The Haggadah from Mashiyach.com was fun, it had different readers by number, and one particular part that I found so symbolic, is when they added a step to the order of the Seder of symbolically "crushing" the Asherem from our past lives and traditions;
     
     LEADER:  Y'shua said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.  Matthew 16:6  Some of you have noticed a boiled egg on your tables, a boiled egg is part of a “traditional” Seder of the Pharisees.  The ishtar egg did a bunny hop into Pharisaical Judaism, it has not place in our seder this exemplifies the leaven of false tradition.


       ALL READ:  But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.  Matthew 15:9

 

      WOMAN:  1) place napkin on floor  2) place egg on napkin  3)  place napkin over egg  4) step on the egg with foot then place in garbage

 

      ALL READ: "Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication."  Revelation 14:8

For the meal, we served lamb Kabob roasted over the fire, couscous, and matza .  We of course had our lamb's leg, bitter herbs, and charoset for the Seder plate and service.  We had our salt water in separate small bowls for dipping.  My wife is an awesome cook, and making matza quickly so it doesn't start to rise is not easy.  So, I helped her make the Matza by placing it in the oven quickly after being mixed and rolled.  We made mostly square matza which is modern  matza style, but for the actual matza used during the Seder, we baked 3 very traditional round matzas, about the size of a small pizza or dinner plate.  These we had separated by the linen on the plate near the leader's place at the table.  When we ate from the maror or the charoset, we would break from these larger traditional bread while passing it around the table.
 This is where we modified two small items in the service:

     1.  We left a chair at the head of the table open, with a cup and a plate, asking for Yeshua to come into our home and share this passover meal with us.  When it came time for the third cup to be poured, we opened the door to our house  and filled His cup and prayed that we would soon drink it with Him in the Kingdom of Heaven. 

     2.  For the Afikoman; In our dinning room is a small cabinet with a door, about the size of a nightstand or end table.  We used the top of the cabinet for our symbolic hand washing bowl and jug, but inside the cabinet was empty.  When we broke the bread, the Afikomen was wrapped in linen, thenmy wife placed the wrapped "body" inside the cabinet and closed the door.  This is symbolic to the tomb Yeshua was buried in, with the door being the "stone".  Later, when it was time for the actual meal, we all stood to go wash our hands at the sink with soap and water.  I secretly took the Afikomen out, placed an empty linen cloth, re-closed the door, and hid it on the seat of the empty "guest" chair.   Afterwards, when the time came to eat the Afikoman, I asked our "maiden" (our unmarried 21 y/o daughter) to get the Afikomen out for us, but all she found in the "cave" was the empty linen!  Then, we asked the children to find the Afikomen will get a prize.  While they were out of the room, I quickly placed the unwrapped Afikomen on the plate of the guest and sat down.  After a few minutes of searching, we recalled them to the table.  Behold, they found the Afikomen, or it seemed to appear at the table!  The children received a prize, but we told them that the real prize for searching and finding the Mashiyach is life!

We finished the reading and closed with the Aaronic blessing.  It was an awesome experience.  The next day my 13 y/o expressed how "cool" he thought it turned out.  He said during the ceremony he thought it was "a little boring", but afterwards really liked it.  And, most importantly, our 21 y/o expressed how she is going to keep the 7 days of unleavened bread with us.  She is not a complete believer, but I pray everyday that with Yah's help, shill begin Walking in th Way completely!

Have a Blessed week of Unleavened Bread and First Fruits!  Beware of the Leavening of the Christians (Ishtar Sunday)!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Whose Beit do you Follow? Yeshua, Shammai, or Hillel?

Interpreting as Shammai or Hillel?
So, are you of the house of Hillel or the house of Shammai?  I'm joking, or trying to lighten the situation which is just part of my personality, but I do mean to ask is something similar to this nearly 2,000 year old question, to today's Messianic believers.  Who is your influence on your belief's?  Norman Willis, Eddie Chumney, Carmen Welker, Monte Judah, Dr. Daniel Merrick or one of the many other messianic leader's or groups out there?  Sometimes, just the mention of one of these leaders will immediately "turn off" another believer to you and your beliefs.  Are you a "two house" believer?  A goyim in the Messianic Jewish community?  Jews for Jesus?  A Christian who follows Torah?  What Scripture's do you read?  What do you feel about non-Canonical writings, such as the Didache, the Book of Jubilees, Enoch, the Epistle of Barnabas, Maccabees, etc? Do you or your spouse wear Tzitzit, a tallit, kippa, how do you feel about women's modesty and dress?  Head coverings?  What is your definition of "work" for the sabbath?  What is your feelings on "the Name"?  Do you say it and if so, how do you pronounce it? Your opinion on what is or isn't leavening?  What do you remove from your house prior to the start of passover?  Do you burn it, give it away?  Or move it to your garage/shed for the passover/ULB observance?  So many questions, I know, but this is my motivation for the desire to "meet-up" with other believers in the Hill Country of Texas.  Let's discuss amongst ourselves and see if our studies and beliefs agree or not, and does it really matter?  Some things we simply just cannot know for sure. I should probably update my questions on the meet-up with some of these topics, huh?!

http://www.meetup.com/Nazarene-Israelite-Believers/


We, in our home Kahal, believe in the Torah calendar and NOT the Rabbinical calendar.  To determine the beginning of this year by the instructions in the Torah, we have been following the posting's of the Karaite Nehemia Gordon, who lives in Israel and has posted a real-time picture from the Mount of Olives of the New Moon at 5:57 p.m. Jerusalem time.  Now, with that said, there are those who dispute that the Moon wasn't high enough on the horizon, or was too high, or the sliver of light was or wasn't thick enough, the barley in the land was/wasn't ripened enough, yadda yadda yadda.  Without a Temple, and without the priests, who's to know for sure?  Not the self-appointed Phariseeical "Rabbi's" and definitely not the pagan influenced Papal in Rome.

We chose to follow the 13th of March on the secular Gregorian calendar as 1 Nisan, which would put sundown on Monday as the end of the 13th of Nisan and the "evening" of the 14th, (since there was evening, then there morning, the first day). We are trying to walk as Yeshua walked and follow what He and His taught-ones did as close as we can determine.  We decided to follow the recommendation of one great leader named Monte Judah, (whose Livestream sabbath sermons we enjoy as part of our sabbath day observance)  and chose for this year, Monday evening as our memorial of the Passover for two reasons:
   
     1.  Scripture seems to indicate that Yeshua ate the Passover on the evening of the 14th, then he was sacrificed the following period of day, on the afternoon of the 14th, when the Pharisees slaughtered their Passover Lamb at the Temple.

     2.  That the Pharisees celebrate the Passover on the evening of the 15th Nisan, while the Sadducees ate the passover early on the evening of the 14th Nisan, the same as Yeshua.

We believe there is no simple or absolute "right" answer.  It is recorded that doing the best we can is what our Creator asks us today. 2d Chronicles Chapter 30 seems to approve that as long as we hold the passover, even if it's contrary to what is written, but it is done with a prepared heart, that He will "listen to our prayers, and heal the people".

We are still not certain of what Haggadah or Order we want to do for the memorial.  I am looking at several other "seders", including the one recorded in the Mishnah nearly 200 years after the Messiah's death, and trying to come up with what is most right.  This is our first home Seder.  I want to edit out any Rabbinical additions to the oldest Seder.  Some may say that following any Seder is following Rabbinical, but research and scholars seem to confirm that during the 2d Temple period, most Hebrew believers, including the Essenes in Quamran, followed a similar seder service as to what is in the Mishnah, including the events recorded in the Gospels and hinted at by the Epistles in the New Covenant.

That's just Passover/Unleavened Bread.  I honestly don't know much about the remaining commanded feasts and how they are observed.  But this is a start, and we are planning to observe the remaining feasts this year, as best we can.

It is my prayer that we believers in Yeshua as Messiah, who observe Torah to the best of our ability, can create an Edah or formal congregation, free of Rabbinical influence in the San Marcos/New Braunfels area of Texas, beginning in our homes as it was in the early days in the Way of the Nazarenes, then to a permanent home with a Humble Shepherd.

Have a blessed Passover, and Next year, in Jerusalem! at the restored Temple!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

The challenge of walking in "The Way" of Yeshua HaMashiayach


 So, you've decided to take the challenge and read the scripture looking for the evidence in order to prove all of us "Messianic's" wrong.  So how's it working for you so far?  Most likely, you've taken the first step's in discovering our Creator's path to the truth.

 I'm here to witness to you, it's not an easy path.  It never has been, though.  In the word's of the Messiah himself to his taught one's in Mathew:

"Enter in through the narrow gate! Because the gate is wide – and the way is broad – that leads to destruction (death), and there are many who enter in through it. Because the gate is narrow and the way is difficult which leads to life, and there are few who find it." (emphasis mine)

YHWH, our creator, tells us himself that this challenge is a choice between two paths; a path to Life, and a path to death:
 (Deuteronomy 30:15-16)
“See, I have set before you today life and good, and death and evil, in that I am commanding you today to love יהוה your Elohim, to walk in His ways, and to guard His commands, and His laws, and His right-rulings.
(Deuteronomy 30:19-20)
"I have called the heavens and the earth as witnesses today against you: I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. Therefore you shall choose life, so that you live, both you and your seed, to love יהוה your Elohim, to obey His voice, and to cling to Him – for He is your life and the length of your days"

So what is YHWH saying?  He has given us a choice.  He has given us freewill.  But he has also laid out which one to choose and the consequences if we don't.  It's more than just a strong suggestion.  He plainly sets it out for us:
I (YHWH, your Creator) set before you two ways:
    1. Life and a blessing. or
    2. Death and a curse
 He then commands us, COMMANDS us-
  1. to Love YHWH our Mighty One
  2. to walk in His ways
  3. to guard His commands
  4. to guard His laws
  5. to guard His right-rulings
and as a witness to all of this, He has the entire Heavens and all of the Earth as witnesses so that there is no doubt what He has given us as a choice- a choice between Eternal Life (with Him) or Death.  He then tells us to make a choice; that we SHALL:
    1. Choose Life 
    2. Choose to love YHWH our Mighty One
    3. Choose to obey His voice
    4. Choose to cling to Him
Cling to Him- He is your life and the length of your days.




Monday, July 23, 2012

Statement of Faith for Believers of The Way of Yeshua

Statement of our faith or belief in The Way of the Nazarenes (Yeshua HaMashiayach):
"Yeshua" by B.R Burton, brburton@messianicart.com


Statement of faith or belief of our kahal of The Way of the Nazarenes (Nazarene Israel) believers:
(updated 12 Nisan 5773/March 24, 2013)

The purpose of this Statement of Faith is to simply state what we believe at the present time, as a
result of our own, personal, Scriptural study and research, and allow others coming to The Way to learn and grow with us as Yahweh’s Spirit leads them, by regular weekly study of Scripture and worship.

The Scriptures consist of the twenty four books of the Hebrew Tanach (“Old Testament”)
and the forty-two books of the New Covenant writings (aka “New” Testament). We also believe there are other writings that we can use to learn from, as the Rav Sha'ul told Timothy, "All Scripture is breathed by Elohim and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for setting straight, for instruction in righteousness, so that the man of Elohim might be fitted, and equipped for every good work". However, we do not subscribe to the doctrine that all of the words of Scripture are equally inspired. Rather, that the actual words of Elohim (Yahweh, Yeshua and the words of the prophets when they were prophesying from Yahweh) recorded in the scriptures are inspired. All of the other words are important, but no words of man can ever take precedence over the actual words of Yahweh and Yahshuah. The words of the apostles, nor the Oral Law of the Rabbi's, are ever to be thought of as “equal” to, or above the words of Yahweh, and they are never to be used to “explain away” the words of Yahweh, Yahshua, or the words of the prophets when they are speaking Yahweh’s words. The Scripture is intended to be read in it's complete context, and words, and the verses should not be taken out of context to support some false ideology of man.

YHWH is the Creator of heaven and earth, the sea and all that is within it. He is eternally pre-existent and is "Echad" (one) as declared in the Shema (Deuteronomy 6:4). It is our duty to praise Him, serve Him, and obey His Instructions. He commands that we worship Him and Him alone (exodus 20:1-
2). He also tells us not to worship him in the manner that any of the other false elohim (‘g-ds’) are worshipped.

We believe that Yeshua is the manifestation of Elohim. Yeshua is the "arm" of YHWH (Exodus 6:6, Isaiah 53:1) whose qnoma (nature) was fully divine even though His body was human flesh, sent to Earth to re-teach men about YHWH, how to worship Him, how to live according to YHWH's Torah, and then to martyr Himself as our Final SIN Sacrifice, a "perfect lamb without blemish". He is neither a demi-God nor part of a "trinity", or any other entity separate and distinct from the one El, "God", of Israel. Of all the ways YHWH has revealed Himself, Yahshua was the only manifestation to receive a name. Translated, Yeshua means "YHWH is Salvation/Deliverance." He is the "seed of a woman" to "crush the head of the evil one" as promised in Genesis 3:15; and His birth to a young maiden was a sign to all of Israel of His Messiahship. Yeshua did not come to replace His Father or His Father's Torah (Matthew 5:17-20).

We believe we can best understand the New Covenant writings when we view them in the language and context of the Aramaic speaking, Hebrew reading/writing decedents of Israel as it existed in the first century, when they were written. In becoming a new member to the Way of the Nazarenes, many must first "deprogram" themselves from what they were taught growing up in either a christian, Jewish or secular society. It takes a while to learn to walk in the Way, which is why it is necessary to have both fellowship and study.

Yaakov, or James the Just, Brother of Yeshua and the leader of The Way of the Nazarenes after Yeshua's ascension, taught us in Acts 15, that the conversion process of the Pharisees was excessive. YHWH had already shown that these converts were His people, because He had already poured out His Spirit on them and had circumcised their heart. Therefore, Yaakov decreed that those wishing to walk in the Way of YHWH and His Torah, through the redemption of Yeshua, could enter the Synagogues uncircumcised in flesh, in order to hear all of the Torah. However, they had demonstrate their sincerity by agreeing to abstain from four things Hebraic thought considers ‘abominations’ (and then they could enter in to the assemblies to hear and study the Torah). Once the new converts agreed to abstain from these four things, then they could be allowed to enter into the assemblies on Shabbat, as they would not be defiling that set-apart space. There they would learn to keep the rest of the Torah over time. The idea is that the disciples were not just supposed to “hear the Torah being read aloud” in the traditional western sense, but they were to hear it with the idea of taking it to heart, and do it. The four things they had to immediately abstain from, that were widespread throughout the Grecko-Roman secular society at the time, as well as in today's world, were:

a. Idolatry (i.e., spiritual adultery)
b. Sexual immorality (e.g., adultery)
c. Strangled meats (i.e. unclean foods)
d. Blood (self-explanatory)


A. Idolatry. In its simplest explanation, idolatry is when we take our life energies or attentions away from focusing on the invisible, living Elohim, and placing them on any other spirit, person, place, or thing. The idea of “worship” or “service” is defined as giving or devoting any time, effort, energy or attention to any object, symbol, thought, concept or thing that Yahweh has not commanded. Idolatry includes any deviation from the worship commanded in Scripture by YHWH.

B. Sexual Immorality. Yeshua tells us that one of YHWH’s ideals is that one man and one woman get married, and then remain married for life (e.g., Matthew 19:8-12). Scripture also tells us that if we want to remain part of the Nation of Israel, the only legitimate avenue for sexual expression is that of a loving, dedicated marital relationship. With only a very few exceptions marital unions should be monogamous, and last for the life of both partners.

C. Strangled Meats. The prohibition against strangled meats is just exactly that: a prohibition against eating meat from animals that were strangled. This means that the clean and unclean meat laws of Leviticus 11 would also apply, because those are also in Yahweh’s Torah. Other prohibited meats would be things that cause natural revulsion, such as animals that have died of natural causes, animals that have died due to illness, animals that have been torn by beasts (e.g., Exodus 22:31), road-kill, and
German Bloodwurst (blood sausage). We do not believe that the ‘kosher’ designation accurately describes the Scriptural standard. Meats that are clean for human consumption are listed in Leviticus
11.

D. Blood. This is a simple prohibition against eating or drinking blood, and/or products made with blood (such as German Bloodwurst (blood sausage). During the time of the first century, many of the popular dishes imported into Judea from pagan places such as Rome, were made with blood products.

That's not so hard, and neither is obeying the Torah and Yahweh's guidance for moral and set-apart or Holy living (Deuteronomy 30:11). If you are new to the Torah and desiring to Walk in His Way, it is best to start with abstaining from these four abominations, then begin your study of the Torah and obeying His commandments and living by walking in "His Way". We believe no one is justified through keeping the Law of Moses. Rather, the Torah was given as a guide for Godly living. Without Torah, man would have NO blueprint for moral, holy living! The definition of sin is the transgression of the Torah (1 John 3:4.) In Numbers 15:13-16, YHWH tells mankind that ALL who believe in Him must be Torah observant.

Historically, many gentiles have joined themselves to the Nation of Israel. All that is required to join the Nation of Israel is to accept Yeshua, to surrender to the Spirit, to repent of Torah (Law) breaking, to put away all false worship and false ways, and to worship as the Scriptures say. There is one Torah for
the foreigner, and for the native born (Exodus 12:49, Numbers 15:6, etcetera.) Notable persons who have no Israelite descent, but who have joined themselves to the Nation of Israel include Rahab, Ruth, Bathsheba, and King Solomon's son's wife Na’amah. That the last four of these notable women were a part of the royal lineage shows us that gentiles have always been able to graft fully into the Nation of Israel.

We believe in and follow the Torah Calendar (i.e., the Aviv Barley and Crescent-New-Moon Calendar) to recognize and celebrate YHWH's appointed times and feasts. The Torah or Sacred Calendar as it was originally commanded by our Creator in Scripture with The month of Aviv being the First month of the year starting at the visual sighting of the first sliver of the new moon after the barley is Aviv (Ripe) (March/April in the gregorian calendar).

Matthew 23:8, Yeshua tells us not to be called either ‘rabbi’ or ‘father.’ It is possible to quibble with Yeshua’s words, and justify the use of these titles, but the Way of Nazarene Israel finds this prospect repulsive. If the Son of the Living Elohim tells us not to call ourselves either ‘rabbi’ or ‘father’ then why should we, when perfectly acceptable alternate titles exist? It should also be noted that none of the apostles ever referred to himself as “Rabbi” or “Rav.” Nazarene Israel prefers the Hebrew terms given in 1st Timothy 3: Ro’eh (pastor), Rosh Kehillah (bishop/overseer), and Shammesh (deacon). Nazarene Israel does not use these terms as titles, but only as positions. In Scripture, with the exception of the High Priest, Israelite brethren were always addressed by their first names, and without titles. Thus one should not address an 'edah leader in Nazarene Israel as “Ro’eh Yochanan” (pastor John), but rather, as “Yochanan, who is our ro’eh (pastor, or more correctly "Shepherd").”

It is the duty of all Believers in The Way to read for themselves, to study and especially to HEAR Yahweh’s word, not to just sit idly in the pews, believing every word coming from a man's mouth; but instead to search the Scriptures daily, to see if these words are so (Acts 17:11) and to prove all things, and to hold fast what is good. (1 Thessalonians 5:21)

Thanks to  Norman B. Willis, Corporate Servant of Nazarene Israel, from which most of this statement is taken from-
http://www.nazareneisrael.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=HWnn_2LqIt0%3D&tabid=664&mid=3125

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

“Brood of Adders, Serpents, Children of your father Shatan, Hypocrites, Liars!!


Matthew (Mattithyahu)23:33  “Serpents, brood of adders! How would you escape the judgment of Gehenna?

Matthew (Mattithyahu) 3:7 (Johannan the immerser) And seeing many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his immersion, he said to them, “Brood of adders! Who has warned you to flee from the coming wrath?”
 
All of us have read that Yeshua, and even John the Baptist (Yohannan the Immerser), referred to their neighbors, meaning fellow Hebrews, with these less than “christian” terms.  Why would He say such things?  Didn't He love his neighbors?   

Research shows that this tone was common form of rebuke between different sects of the Jewish society in the Second Temple era, especially between the Sedducees and Pharisees, and even between the two sections of Pharisees; the followers of Shimmel and Hillel.  It was as common then as the current day “rebuking” between religious leaders of all faiths, including Messianic leaders who say and blog very unrighteous things about their neighbors.  Neighbors who are fellow believers of Yeshua and His Way, and who are also teachers in the Way of Yeshua HaMashiach.  This is sad and unproductive because we, just as the different sects of the Pharisees of 2,000 years ago, are all different members of the same body.  Does it really matter that one instructs the “two-house inheritance” and another instructs of the “Jewish Roots” following, when both are saying the same thing? 
Yeshuah rebuking the Scribes, Pharisees and Sedducees

What is important is for all of us to come together to help spread the REAL good news of Yeshuah HaMashiach.  The Good News that he didn’t come to start a new religion (i.e., xtianity), but instead to get all of the Tribes, including the scattered descendants of those tribes, as well as all of the believing gentiles, to be grafted in to one tree - in to one stick.  Didn’t Yeshua instruct us all to return to the written Torah; to guard all of YHWH’s commands and His Word: and to walk as He walked?  

 Well Nazarenes, Messianic Jews, Messianic Hebrews, whichever; how are we doing with that?

2d Corinthians (Qorintiyim Bet) 13:11  For the rest, brothers, rejoice. Be made perfect, be encouraged, be of one mind, live in peace. And the Elohim of love and peace shall be with you.

Yeshuah with the Sedducees and Pharisees
Let us focus on both our common ground that leads to Life, as well as fighting our common adversary who is HaShatan, and spend less time and energy attacking each other on the minute differences as to which theological viewpoint is right.  None of us will know exactly what is right until the Tribulation, the thing for us to do is to live within the Torah, pray for guidance, and be as perfect (as righteous) as we can.

Deuteronomy (Debarim) 29:29  “The secret matters belong to Yahweh, our Elohim, but what is revealed belongs to us and to our children forever, to do all the Words of this Torah.,…

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Resources on Yeshua and "The Way" of the Nazarenes, Part 2


Timotiyos Bět (2 Timothy) 3:15-17  “All Scripture is breathed by Elohim and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for setting straight, for instruction in righteousness,
that the man of Elohim might be fitted, equipped for every good work.”

Tas’loniqim Aleph (1 Thessalonians 5:20-21)  “Do not despise prophecies, prove them all. Hold fast what is good.”
1,900 year-old lead/metal books found in a Jordanian cave.  Believed to be earliest illustration of Yeshua













































I spent many Sundays in the pews of my Grandparent’s church and often heard that “the Apostles did this- the Apostle said that” and I have to admit I never really knew who or what those “Apostles” were.  I often found myself wondering, what does “Apostle” actually mean?  It wasn’t until I began my personal search for the truth, did I discover what the difference was between an “Apostle” and a “Disciple” or what each term actually meant.  For years, I had always thought that Rav Shaul, known by the “Church” as Paul of Tarsus, was a disciple, or at least as best as I understood the title! So I began my search for the true definitions of so many biblical terms were, and what where their origins.  I needed to know if these terms were the correct definitions and meanings as the original speaker had intended, or were they mistranslated and misused.  I had to know in order to help me to understand the message and “The Way" of Elohim, as was originally taught to the "Apostles" by the Messiah (HaMashiayach), Yeshua.

As I've learned, an Apostle is “A messenger or envoy”, as defined by American Tract Society Bible Dictionary, or "as one sent forth”, by both the Smith’s Bible Dictionary and the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.  To be clear, an Apostle is a messenger, an envoy or one sent forth. In our case, the Apostles were as messengers, sent out by Yeshua, to spread The Word of the Renewed Covenant of our Creator and to make "taught ones" of all the tribes of Israel, and to teach the way of Elohim to those not of the ancestry of the tribe Israel (gentiles).

 Now a Disciple, according to the way its used by the Greek translators and scribes of the New Writings (called “The Gospels”, including the second part of Luke, which the English translation is called “Acts of the Apostles”), is defined as “(noun) a scholar {someone, especially a child, who learns (as from a teacher) or takes up knowledge or beliefs}; particularly, a follower who has learned to believe in the truth of the doctrine of his teacher”(from Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary).  The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia further defines Scholar as; (almost) always meaning the pupil of someone who accepts the views of the teacher in both the practice of and adherence to those teachings. 
     Disciple can also be used in the verb form, meaning “(Verb) To teach or to train; to punish or discipline and; to make disciples of or convert to doctrines or principle of a certain way or belief (Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary).  Disciple is a total GREEK word.  It is found only in the writings of the Gospels/Acts and nowhere else, either in the Tanakh (Old Testament) or the remaining writings of Rav Shaul and the other Apostles.  Most commonly, as it’s found in the Hebrew Matthew and the Aramaic Peshitta, in place of Disciple is “Taught one” or “Taught ones”.  The Tanakh uses similar words such as “taught” or “Teacher”, as in Isaiah 50:4 “The Lord Yahweh has given me the tongue of those who are taught, that I may know how to sustain with words, him who is weary: he wakens morning by morning, he wakens my ear to hear as those who are taught (taught ones) (WEB).

From Abraham to Shaul, from beginning to end, they ALL kept the Torah
I know many of you are saying something like, “Duh.  Every person who’s ever attended Sunday school knows that”, but as I can attest, that simply isn’t true.  Many of us think we know what certain expressions and verses from the scriptures mean, but, that arrogant assumption can lead to confusion, misinterpretation, hypocrisy and misapplication of Yeshua’s teachings and our Creator’s “Way to Life”.

To help to understand and better comprehend the Messiah Yeshua and his mission, there are many modern day Apostles whose teachings help us fulfill this.  I know that some of their teachings and belief’s don’t agree, and in fact, some of these Apostles can be very nasty in refernce to one another about it.  It was no different with our Apostles 2,000 years ago.  If that isn’t true, then why do we see in the Gospels conflicts between which years Yeshua was born in?  Was it Bethlehem or Nazareth?   Was it a census or tax?  Who was the very first to see the resurrected Messiah?  Was the sermon conducted on the mount or the plains? We can also see in Galatians, a very misinterpreted letter, the conflicts between Shaul and the Apostles from Jerusalem.  However, we don’t throw out the New Writings because of these conflicts of ideas, we instead take the message as a whole.  This is the approach, I believe, we need to take with our modern day Apostles.

“Explore everything and hold what is excellent.”

At the top of my list of today’s Apostles of Elohim, Yeshua the messiah, and “The Way” of the Nazarenes is Norman B. Willis.  He is the author of some of the best instructional books such as, Nazarene Israel: The original Faith of the Apostles, The Torah Calendar and Covenant Relationships.  He also hosts an information filled website at http://www.nazareneisrael.org/   If this seems like an endorsement, well, it is!!  One of my favorite traits I find most appealing is his down-to-earth humbleness, regarding himself and his teachings.  He will even tell you in his book and on his website, that if you read or hear anything wrong from him, tell him and show him where to find it, and if he sees that you are right, then he’ll correct it;

"...the longer I am in this faith, the more aware I am of my shortcomings. I ask you please not to believe what is written in this book just because you read it. Rather, place your trust only in YHWH, and in His word, and study these matters out for yourself as the noble Bereans did. And if you find any error, please let me knowI have corrected and refined this book for more than seven years, but I ask you please to test everything written in this book, and hold fast only to that which you find to be good. Let His Spirit alone be your guide.” (Norman B. Willis, preface of his books and on his website).
Another of his traits is that he doesn’t claim to be a “Rabbi”, or does he claim that he knows it all and has all of the answers!  That is impossible for anyone except the One who was, and is and is to come!  And he will tell you he doesn’t have the answer to specificities, but instead to study, test everything, pray and “Let His Spirit alone be your guide.”

Do I cover my head? I believe I can. But should I do so in a synagogue environment? I just simply do not know. I believe Scripture is clear that when the Temple is rebuilt and the Levitical and Melchizedekian orders are merged (as the Prophet Isaiah foretold in Isaiah 66:21) then it will be the thing to do.  Would I cover my head as an on-duty priest in a renewed Temple? Absolutely: I would cover my head twice, because that is what YHWH says to do. Would I think women should cover their heads in a Temple environment (or in any set-apart house of prayer)? Yes, I believe that would be the right thing for them to do, but in the Dispersion I am loathe to do anything more than encourage it as the teaching of Scripture. (From Head Coverings in Scripture, Norman B. Willis, http://www.nazareneisrael.org/Study/NazareneScriptureStudies1Book/HeadCoveringsinScripture.aspx)
Also, Mr. Willis doesn’t make a profit from the sale of his books, newsletters or the sharing of informational studies.  The charge from Amazon is only what it cost to print and deliver each book.  All of his publications are accessible in their entirety to read through his website, free of charge.

In a few days, we’ll discuss and review some more of the modern day Apostles, along with their books and websites and how they can affect our lives in a positive way.  Until then-
"Yeshua" by B.R. Burton, contact brburton@messianicart.com 

Shalom Aleikham (Peace to you)

John (Yohanan) 20:19  When therefore it was evening on that day, the first day of the week (which is after the Sabbath has ended, or our Saturday after sundown), and when the doors were shut where the taught ones met, for fear of the Yehuḏim, Yeshua came and stood in the midst, and said to them, “Peace to you (Shalom Aleikham).”