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Netzari History Introduction

If I were to write out, in book form, everthing that is referenced in this history, it would require two thousand pages or more. After the introduction, however, this history transitions to an outline format. Call me old fashioned, but I believe you should work for what you get - in the same way as, "Blessed are they who HUNGER (work) and THIRST (work) after (pursuit) righteousness, for they shall be filled".

In all of the demarcations you will find information that, if you wish, will take you on a course of more in depth research and study. You can read through all of this and gain a very good general knowledge of the religio-political deceit and treachery that serves up microwave religion that is now called, "Christianity". But, as you study the early history, you will discover that what we call "Christianity" today is nothing of the sort. Did you ever watch the movie, "Matrix"? If so, you will understand this. Will you take the "Blue Pill" or the "Red Pill"?

Be forewarned, the following is not for the casual indoctrinated religious practitioner.

The history of the Netzarim (Nazarenes) dates to the days of Mashiyach Y'shua's (Christians refer to Him as Jesus) ministry on earth. Y'shua was Himself called a Nasraya. Yochanan (John) 18:5, "They said to him, "Y'shua the Nasraya. Y'shua said to them, 'I am he'." Andrew Roth's footnote says, "Y'shua is Mashiyach; the 'Netzer' of Yesha'yahu/Isaiah 11..." On page 905 in the appendixes of the AENT Roth goes on to say, "The Netzarim designation clearly implies the 'Tree of Life" which serves as a reminder of the Eternal Kingdom that was offered to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. The term netzer (sprout or branch) is also the root word for the City of the Branch, Netzeret (Nazareth)... The designation of 'Nasraya' serves as a reminder for all his followers, not that he dwelled in Netzeret but that his 'dwelling' (the Spirit of Mashiyach) is within his people." (see also Matt. 2:23; 26:71; Mark 1:24; 10:47; 14:67; Luke 4:34; Romans 11:16).In Acts 9:5 we read "And he answered and said, 'Who are you my Master?' And our Master said, 'I am Yeshua the Nasraya, He whom you persecute'." Later in Acts 23:5 Rav Shaul (Paul) was referred to as a "... ringleader of the sect of the Netzarim."


In Acts 11:26 we read, "...From that time on the disciples in Antiochi were first called Kristianay." Roth correctly cites in the footnote that, "The Shlichim/Apostles do not call themselves 'Kristianay' (Christians). The Sclichim are members of the Way (not to be confused with The Way International), referred to as Netzarim. Gentiles in Antioch coined the word 'Kristyane', a Greek term for 'Messianics'." In the appendixes Roth notes, "The Netzarim Faith is considered as a sect of Judaism in the First Century because it was originally sponsored by Jews. The popularity of Mashiyach Y'shua was the impetus for the original faith to be morphed into pseudo-Christian pagan religions... Although the values of the Netzari Faith are clearly preserved in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek texts, concepts like having Torah written upon the heart (observance of Torah) is almost non-existent within the Gentile based Christian religion which evolved in Antioch, Rome and Alexandria Egypt."

Yeshua was born a Jew. He observed the seventh day Shabbat (Sabbath) and the Moedim (Appointments) Feasts of YHWH. Y'shua wore a tallit (prayer shawl) and tzit-zit on the four corners of His garments. Y'shua lived a kosher lifestyle. Y'shua was Torah observant in all respects.

Y'shua's Shlichim/Talmidim were also completely Torah observant - they walked as Y'shua walked. In most of Christianity it is taught that "Jesus" nailed Torah to the "cross" and that we are now under grace and no longer following the Torah. This theology of course negates what Y'shua said in Matt. 5:17-19. Read it carefully. We have to ask ourselves, if the Torah was done away with, why did Y'shua's Shlichim/Talmidim continue to observe Torah? If the Torah was done away with, the "Ten Commandments" being a part thereof would have been done away with as well. What standard remains to judge sin?

Rav Shaul, whom Christians continuously mis-quote as their justification for ignoring Yahweh's Torah, is a prime example. In Acts 18:18 Rav Shaul shaves his head in accordance with a Nazarite vow. Remember, this was long after Y'shua had been executed/resurrected and Rav Shaul had been converted. What does a Nazarite vow entail?

A Nazarite vow inolves three things:

1. abstinence from wine and strong drink,
2. refraining from cutting the hair off the head during the whole period of the continuance of the vow, and...
3. the avoidance of contact with the dead.

When the period of continuance of the vow comes to an end, the Nazarite had to present himself at the door of the sanctuary with:

1. a he lamb of the first year for a burnt-offering
2. a ewe lamb of the first year for a sin-offering
3. a ram for a peace-offering

Thirty years after the death of Y'shua, Rav Shaul makes another Nazarite vow in Acts 21:23-26 at the feast of Shavuot (Pentecost). Rav Shaul said, "I find therefore a Torah coinciding with my conscience which agrees to my doing good, whereas evil is always near me. For I rejoice in the Torah of Elohim, in the inner man." Romans 7:21-22

The Shlichim/Talmidim were observing Yahweh's Feast of Shavuot (Pentecost), Acts 2:1-4..., when they were filled with the Ruach haKodesh (Set Apart Ancient Spirit).

In 1 Cor. 5:7-8 we read "...For our Passover is the Mashiyach, who was slain for us. Therefore let us celebrate the festival..." Again, Rav Shaul upholds Torah in Romans 3:31, "Do we then nullify Torah by faith? May it never be! On the contrary, we establish Torah."

And so we are also called to walk as Y'shua walked if we are in Mashiyach. To use the contemporary Christian cliche, "What would Jesus do?"

First Yochanan (1 John) 2:3-7 "And by this we will be sensible that we know him, if we keep his Commandments. For he that says I know him, and does not keep his Commandments, is a liar and the truth is not in him. But he that keeps his Word, in him is the Love of Elohim truly completed: for by this we know that we are in him. He that says, 'I am in him' is bound to walk according to his halakha (walking). My beloved, I write no new Commandment to you, but the old Commandment which you had from the beginning; and the old Commandment is the Word which you have heard." Couple this with Revelation 12:17 "And the dragon was enraged against the woman; and he went to make war upon the remnant of her seed who keep the Commandments of Elohim and have the testimony of Y'shua."

There are numerous examples throughout the Ketuviim Netzarim (Writings of the Nazarenes) to demonstrate that the Shlichim (Apostles) and Set Apart believers continued to observe the Torah long after the execution and resurrection of Y'shua. I limit myself to these few examples as the history of the Netzarim (Nazarenes) is rather lengthy. The point of this introduction is to establish the halakha (walk) of the Netzarim - what set them apart. The short answer is, they are Torah observant followers of Y'shua haMashiyach. They do not change YHWH's Moedim and Torah (Times and Laws - Instructions in Righteousness).

Exodus 31:12-14 "And Yahweh spake unto Moshe, saying, 13 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my Shabbats you shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that you may know that I am Yahweh that sanctifies (sets apart) you. 14 You shall keep the Shabbat therefore; for it is kadosh (sanctified) unto you: every one that defiles it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever does any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people." These signs of the law, the Sabbath, and the Passover are specifically designed to defend against idolatry (Deut. 11:6). These two signs are the seal on the hand and the forehead of the Set-Apart believers. With the Ruach haKodesh they form the basis of the sealing in Revelation 7:3 of the last days. The sign of the Set-Apart believers is centered on the first commandment.

It is critical for you to note the difference between this and the world religious system in Daniel 7:25, "He will speak against the Most High and oppress his saints and try to change the set times and the laws. The saints will be handed over to him for a time, times and half a time. (NIV 1984)" One of the most fundamental "marks" of the Netzarim is YHWH's seventh day Shabbat as opposed to paganism's "venerable day of the sun, "Sun"-day. There is not one single scripture that changes Yahweh's seventh day Shabbat to "Sun"-day worship. There is only a twisting and manipulating of scripture (man made doctrine) that changed Yahweh's Moedim seventh day Shabbat to the first day of the week.

Andrew Roth adds footnote 141 in Acts 15, "A very clear fulfillment of Isaiah 56:1-9. Gentile converts are observing Shabbat and learning Torah as one body along with Jews. Shortly thereafter, Marcion, whom Polycarp referred to as "the firstborn of the devil" built the first all-Gentile church to promote Christo-Paganism. Marcion held his services on Sunday which blended with Zeus (the sun god) culture and projected a hybrid Je-zeus identity in opposition to the Jewish Mashiyach. The modern theologies of Je-zeus Christos are based more on Hellenism than on original fundamental Hebraic values. Marcion coined the words "Old - New Testament" and did his very best to warn Gentiles away from Torah and "the God of the Old Testament." Marcion created theologies known as replacement, dispensational, supercessionism, etc., which are very popular among Christianity today."

As a prelude to our historical journey let's read what several of the early Christian Church Fathers had to say about the Netzarim.

"We shall now especially consider heretics who... call themselves Nazarenes; they are mainly Jews and nothing else. They make use not only of the New Testament, but they also use in a way the Old Testament of the Jews; for they do not forbid the books of the Law, the Prophets, and the Writings... so that they are approved of by the Jews, from whom the Nazarenes do not differ in anything, and they profess all the dogmas pertaining to the prescriptions of the Law and to the customs of the Jews, except they believe in [Messiah]... They preach that there is but one [Elohim], and his son [Yahshua the Messiah]. But they are very learned in the Hebrew language; for they, like the Jews, read the whole Law, then the Prophets...They differ from the Jews because they believe in Messiah, and from the Christians in that they are to this day bound to the Jewish rites, such as circumcision, the Sabbath, and other ceremonies." (Epiphanius; Panarion 29; translated from the Greek). Although it's hard for some to accept, the fact is that those being described here were the direct disciples and followers of Yeshua. Obviously, this is what He taught.

Jerome (Epistle 79, to Augustine) "...Today there still exists among the Jews in all the synagogues of the East a heresy which is called that of the Minæans, and which is still condemned by the Pharisees; [its followers] are ordinarily called 'Nazarenes'; they believe that Christ, the son of God, was born of the Virgin Mary, and they hold him to be the one who suffered under Pontius Pilate and ascended to heaven, and in whom we also believe. But while they pretend to be both Jews and Christians, they are neither."

For a long time the Netzari were regarded as irreproachable Christians, Epiphanius ("Hæres." xxix.), who did not know much about them, being the first to class them among heretics. Why they are so classed is not clear, for they are reproached on the whole with nothing more than with Judaizing. As there were many Judaizing Christians at that time, the Nazarenes can not be clearly distinguished from the other sects. The well-known Bible translator Symmachus, for example, is described variously as a Judaizing Christian and as an Ebionite; while his followers, the Symmachians, are called also "Nazarenes" (Ambrosian, "Proem in Ep. ad Gal.," quoted in Hilgenfeld, "Ketzergesch." p. 441).

It is especially difficult to distinguish the Nazarenes from the Ebionites. Jerome obtained the Gospel according to the Hebrews (which, at one time regarded as canonical, was later classed among the Apocrypha) directly from the Nazarenes, yet he ascribed it not only to them but also to the Ebionites ("Comm. in Matt." xii. 13). This gospel was written in Aramaic, not in Hebrew, but it was read exclusively by those born as Jews. Jerome quotes also fragments from the Nazarenic exposition of the Prophets (e.g., of Isa. viii. 23 [in the LXX. ix. 1]).

As you read through this history, keep in mind that the Netzarim have been called by many different names throughout history. They have been called, Netzarim, Nazarene, Judaisers, Jews, Christians, heretics to name a few. They have also been given names that identify where they lived, or of a particular leader in their community. The Netzarim learned to adapt over the centuries by changing how they named themselves due to the persecutions. So we include those, whose names might be different but whose halacha most closely resemble the original Netzarim halacha ( way to walk).

From the very outset, the world religio-political system has tried to destroy the original teachings and Talmidim of Y'shua haMashiyach through a counterfeit religion. What you are about to discover is that the tribulation does not pertain to just the final seven years of human history as we have been taught in the past  but, rather, it has been on-going for nearly two thousand years. This is a very lengthy history so I am breaking it into a total of ten sections that will allow you to take breaks and digest what you have read.

Remember that Netzari is the singular and Netzarim is the plural.

Click here to continue to Netzari History Part 2 

Mark
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Tuesday, 22 July 2014 17:00
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