Nazarene Israel Ordination Basics

v2.2 dated 7/29/2011

A. Historical Witnesses and Scriptural Requirements:

By their nature, men are not orderly. In fact men dislike order intensely, and habitually resist it. However, where there is no order men are unable to rise above the level of mud huts. This is not pleasing to YHWH.

Scripture and history give us many examples of the need to organize and appoint leadership, so that we might be successful in all that we set our hands to do. Time and again we find that organizing and establishing order is the key to accomplishing whatever task lies before us. This can be found in Scripture in the example of Gideon.

Shophetim (Judges) 7:20-22
20 Then the three companies blew the trumpets and broke the pitchers — they held the torches in their left hands and the trumpets in their right hands for blowing — and they cried, “The sword of YHWH and of Gideon!”
21 And every man stood in his place all around the camp; and the whole army ran and cried out and fled.
22 When the three hundred blew the trumpets, YHWH set every man’s sword against his companion throughout the whole camp; and the army fled to Beth Acacia, toward Zererah, as far as the border of Abel Meholah, by Tabbath.

When the people put aside their own fleshly will and joined forces with a man to whom YHWH had given a clear mission and direction, even a small force was able to accomplish great things. This shows us that when we put join forces with those men whom YHWH has given a mission and clear direction, YHWH blesses us, and enables us to do things that cannot be accomplished any other way.

Shemuel Bet (2nd Samuel) 18:1
18 And David numbered the people who were with him, and set captains of thousands and captains of hundreds over them.

In the days of the American Revolution the Boston Tea Party of 1773 was a powerful symbolic act. However, because of their lack of organization the revolutionists only succeeded in making the British Government angry; and this only led to a greater degree of occupation. It was only after the colonists had decided to order themselves as a people that they were able to raise, fund, train and equip an army that was able to defeat their adversary. What we need to see is that an organized fighting force was able to succeed where uncoordinated individual initiatives had failed. Organization was the key to mission success.

At least so long as we are in the Dispersion our nation does not battle against flesh and blood, but only against principalities and powers, and against the rulers of darkness of this age, and against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

Ephesim (Ephesians) 6:12
12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

Nonetheless, we also fight a well-organized and well-trained spiritual Adversary; and if we hope to beat this Adversary then we must do as YHWH commands. We must organize ourselves and become a literal people: and then we must fund, raise and equip a spiritual army, with spiritual leadership and internal discipline. Because this is what YHWH wants, there will be no ultimate success until this is done.

YHWH knows that orderly societies and organizations are vastly more productive than non-orderly ones. That is why YHWH instructs us to appoint leadership in His Body, to make it orderly. For example, the Instructions given through Moses (i.e., the Torah) tell us to appoint judges and officers in all of our gates.

Devarim (Deuteronomy) 16:18
18 “You shall appoint judges and officers in all your gates, which YHWH your Elohim gives you, according to your tribes: and they shall judge the people with just judgment.”

Yeshua wanted the people to be ordered in groups of fifty.

Luqa (Luke) 9:14-15
14 For there were about five thousand men. Then He said to His disciples, “Make them sit down in groups of fifty.”
15 And they did so, and made them all sit down.

The Apostle Shaul (Paul) also left the Apostle Titus in Crete to appoint (literally: ordain) elders in every city, so that all things would be done in an orderly fashion:

Titus 1:5
5 For this reason I left you in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are lacking, and appoint (ordain) elders in every city as I commanded you —

In our flesh, we do not like order. However, time and again throughout history we find that organization and order is the key to mission success.

And what is our mission? Our mission is the Great Commission. This paper will show the way that we can accomplish this goal for our Messiah, and also lead to the Ingathering of the tribes.

B. Vision and Mission:

Yeshua gave us a Great Commission of going and making disciples of all the nations, immersing them in the name (i.e., fame, reputation) of the Father and of the Son and of the Set-apart Spirit, and teaching them to observe all things that He has commanded us. This, then, is what we are to do; and it applies on the national as well as the personal levels.

Mattityahu (Matthew) 28:18-20
18 And Yeshua came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.
19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, immersing them in the name (i.e., fame, reputation) of the Father and of the Son and of the Set-apart Spirit,
20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amein.

To make disciples of all nations and all peoples is not a simple mission, and we cannot expect to accomplish it without organization. Further, that Yeshua commands us to do it means that we cannot just sit around and wait for YHWH to bring it about. Rather, we are told to take an active role. This means proselytization, and evangelism not just of men, but of nations. It will take a well-ordered nation of believers all working together in unison in order to accomplish this task: and this will be well-pleasing to YHWH.

C. Right Spirit:

First and foremost, in order to be ordained as a minister or representative for Nazarene Israel (in any capacity), one must have the right spirit. There must be a commitment to doing the right things for the right reasons. The focus must be not on ‘who is right’, but on ‘what is right.’ Pride, ego, personal ambition and one’s own personal will must be set completely dead and buried with the old man, so that one can serve the King of the Universe and His people with a clean heart. This is the most important qualification of all. If one has this kind of attitude (Spirit) then YHWH will bless, and all things will fall in place. However, if one is lacking this Spirit then YHWH will not ultimately bless (and at that point, nothing else really matters).

We need to know you before we can ethically ordain you as an active representative in any capacity. We need to know that you are someone who places (and continues to place) YHWH and His people before himself. We have an Adversary who targets those in leadership positions and so this must be an active walk. There is never a time when the Adversary and his forces will not be targeting the leadership; and so one must constantly take heed to one’s spirit.

Luqa (Luke) 21:34-37
34 “But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly.
35 For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth.
36 Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.”

Nazarene Israel is His spiritual family, and it needs to have a family feel. Those who have the right spirit will find ways to work together for Him, regardless of the challenges involved: and for this reason there needs to be a feeling of true Shalom (absence of issues), or else any appointment or ordination cannot stand (and should be quietly and peacefully dissolved).

While we want to do all things lovingly and in a brotherly manner we are commanded to avoid partiality; and also to avoid laying hands on any man hastily.

TimaTheus Aleph (1st Timothy) 5:21-22
21 I charge you before Elohim and the Master Yeshua Messiah and the elect messengers that you observe these things without prejudice, doing nothing with partiality.
22 Do not lay hands on anyone hastily, nor share in other people’s sins; keep yourself pure.

Shaul probably worked closely with Timothy and Titus for many years before he laid hands on them. The principle is that he had to be sure that he knew their character, and that he also knew how they would likely behave when faced with stress and/or temptation. He probably had to see them in times of difficult trial before he could know that they would cling to YHWH and make correct choices in times of trial. For these exact same reasons we need to see a history of sacrifice and contribution to YHWH’s kingdom work (through whatever gifts and methods He has given you) before we can feel comfortable in ordaining you. We need to know that it is your nature to give selflessly of your time, money, effort and energies in order to help fulfill the Great Commission, that YHWH is your greatest love, and that the old man of flesh is dead and buried daily. We all make mistakes, but one needs dedication in serving Him.

The focus and emphasis must never be on what we can get: rather, the focus and emphasis must always remain on what we can give. Leadership and eldership must set the example in this regard. We are called to lead by example, just as our Messiah and His apostles led.

D. Doctrine/Halachah.

Amos tells us that two cannot walk together unless they are agreed.

Amos 3:3-4
3 Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?

Before we can walk together with our good heavenly Father YHWH, we must agree with Him. If we do not agree with Him then it only makes sense that we cannot walk together with Him. Similarly, before both houses (Judah and Ephraim) can walk together, they also need to agree with Him (and hence, with each other).

As explained in the Post-Millennial Return study, after the Ingathering there will be a Religious Unification between the Two Houses. At that time, Judah and Ephraim must agree on one clean doctrine, so that they can walk together with their good heavenly Father, and with each other. Nazarene Israel’s understanding of what this one clean doctrine is needs to be can be found on the Nazarene Israel website, on the Doctrinal Statement/Halachah page.

However, Nazarene Israel also recognizes that because people are unique, and because YHWH is working with all of us in different places, people are not likely to agree 100% on everything. Thankfully, this is not absolutely necessary so long as we remain in the Dispersion.

Nazarene Israel also recognizes that YHWH’s Spirit is the only one that has the power to convict. If a minister wants to associate with Nazarene Israel but is not 100% in agreement with Nazarene Israel’s statement of faith, we believe it is important to have patience and tolerance, and to allow the Spirit to bring us all together in YHWH’s way, and in YHWH’s time. There can be some minor differences in teaching with regards to ‘non-salvational’ issues, as defined by the Nazarene Israel Statement of Faith. So long as we are all pointed in the same direction YHWH will eventually lead us all together.

Whenever there are differences of interpretation over ‘non-salvational’ issues, the goal is to bear with each other in patience and in love until we all come together as one new man in Him.

Ephesim (Ephesians) 4:1-6, 11-16
4 I therefore, the prisoner of YHWH, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called,
2 with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love,
3 endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling;
5 one Adon, one faith, one immersion;
6 one Elohim and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

And continuing at Verse 11:

11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers,
12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Messiah,
13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of Elohim, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Messiah;
14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting,
15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head — Messiah —
16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

Many are called, but few are chosen. As YHWH leads, those who may not have uniformity can still grow together in unity, as He leads. What makes this kind of loving growth possible is the active indwelling of His Spirit, and a deep abiding relationship in Yeshua (and He in us).

E. Funding.

The mission Yeshua gave us is to go and make disciples of all nations, immersing them in the name (i.e., fame, reputation) of the Father, the Son and the Spirit, and teaching them to keep all things that Yeshua commanded. When we realize that this pertains to nations as well as to individuals we should be able to see that this must be a national effort on the part of our people; and that it will take proper funding. YHWH knows this; and this is why He has shown us how to fund His kingdom, as explained in the study, “Funding the Kingdom.”

Briefly, when we live in the Land of Israel and a Torah government is in place, the kingdom is to be funded according to the three Levitical tithes and the ten-percent tax of First Samuel Eight. However, as long as we are in the Dispersion a single Melchizedekian tithe model applies. This consists of one single ten-percent tithe, plus whatever gifts and offerings the people feel led to make. (Gifts and offerings for the poor, widows, orphans and missions are of the right Spirit, and so they are highly encouraged. However, they cannot be commanded.)

When we live in the Land of Israel under a Torah government, all tithes and offerings will be brought up to the Temple at the festival times, and will be distributed by the priesthood from there. However, when we live in the Dispersion, local ministers should lead by example, and send a tenth of their increase (including a tenth of the people’s tithes) to headquarters. Monies sent to headquarters will be prayerfully used to further the mission at the global level by paying for things that benefit the nation as a whole, e.g. website, media activities, radio, free publication and distribution of materials, outreach activities, prison ministries, Hebrew schools, missions, and other activities (such as video and television) funding permits.

The 90% of tithes that are retained by local pastors will be used to pay for their assembly space, all festivals and activities, and also to provide an income for the ministers and their ministry teams to live on. Properly done, pastoring and ministering is a very active full-time job. We should be glad to support those whom YHWH is using to serve our spiritual needs.

Qorintim Aleph (1st Corinthians) 9:8-11
8 Do I say these things as a mere man? Or does not the Torah say the same also?
9 For it is written in the law of Moshe, “You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain.” Is it oxen Elohim is concerned about?
10 Or does He say it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written, that he who plows should plow in hope, and he who threshes in hope should be partaker of his hope.
11 If we have sown spiritual things for you, is it a great thing if we reap your material things?

Although ‘Prosperity Gospel’ per se is officially discouraged, it is an ancient privilege and an early duty and responsibility of all Israelites to help further YHWH’s kingdom here on earth. As explained in the study, “Funding the Kingdom,” Scripture tells us that the correct amount to give while in the Dispersion is ten percent of all our increase.

B’reisheet (Genesis) 28:20-22
20 Then Ya’akov made a vow, saying, “If Elohim will be with me, and keep me in this way that I am going, and give me bread to eat and clothing to put on,
21 so that I come back to my father’s house in peace, then YHWH shall be my Elohim.
22 And this stone which I have set as a pillar shall be Elohim’s house, and of all that You give me I will surely give a tenth to You.”

YHWH tells us to handle all matters of money with the utmost of correctness and uprightness. All ministers must have their books maintained by certified professionals (bookkeepers and/or CPA’s), to ensure that all is done completely above board and without reproach. Ideally these bookkeeping professionals should at least be believers in the Messiah. Accounting data will be provided to Nazarene Israel headquarters quarterly, or as needed.

Scripture also encourages giving to the poor and the needy.

Galatim (Galatians) 2:10
10 They desired only that we should remember the poor, the very thing which I also was eager to do.

Giving to the poor is part of righteous living. Regular collections for the poor, missions and the needy should be encouraged at the congregational level. Local congregations have autonomy over how these funds are distributed, but they can also be sent to Nazarene Israel headquarters for distribution to missions and the poor overseas, if desired (as Nazarene Israel is in contact with these types of groups). They can also be used for outreach activities to bring a good name for our Messiah in the community, if desired. Local congregations are encouraged to raise funds by hosting an annual auction event in support of this goal.

As a practical matter, if a congregation collects funds to establish a building in the Dispersion, the Body (i.e., Nazarene Israel) must be named as either the owner or beneficiary of sale for all buildings. If a pastor puts up all his own money then he can retain the building, but no one person or persons should be enriched through the people’s building funds.

F. Principles of Congregational Order:

There are many different ways to look at congregational order. A complete study can be undertaken in another place, but for our purposes here there are a few main principles.

There are three main offices under the Levitical system: those of the kingship, the Levitical priesthood, and the prophet/Nazirite. There is also the (Anointed) Judge, which is a special combination of all three. These roles will resume once we return to the Land of Israel, and we discuss them in some more detail in the Torah Government study.

In the Dispersion we are under the Melchizedekian Order. Since we are not in control of the government and do not have a standing Temple, all three (or four) offices are brought inside of the Melchizedekian order and are basically re-combined. We can undertake a more complete study elsewhere, but technically-speaking the Melchizedekian Order can be divided into two main classes: those who serve the congregation (i.e., at the congregational level) and those who serve the whole of the Body. These are different but equally vital.

The nuclear family is the basic building-block of all society. Without properly functioning nuclear families, society breaks down. Ideally everyone in our nuclear family would be in the faith, but this does not always happen; and Yeshua calls for us to set ourselves apart.

Mattityahu (Matthew) 10:34-37
34 “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword.
35 For I have come to ‘set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’;
36 and ‘a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.’
37 He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.”

It is very difficult to be divided from our nuclear family: it can even be traumatic. The good news is that we can find refuge in the local congregation, for the local congregation is a spiritual nuclear family. Just as physical families form around a father and mother team, spiritual nuclear families also typically form around a spiritual shepherd and his wife (who are one flesh). There can be more than one such congregation in any given location (as YHWH leads) but if they desire ordination with Nazarene Israel then they should all remain in friendly contact with each other, and should all abide by congregational discipline standards (see below).

Yeshua tells us not to call anyone on earth our Father (with a ‘capital F’, e.g., Matthew 23:9, below): yet these shepherds basically serve as the spiritual ‘fathers’ of the local congregation. They should be the most mature in the faith (and ideally the eldest); and it is their job to help edify and ‘raise’ those under their care spiritually, mentally and emotionally, as if the members of the congregation were their own sons and daughters. This is the context in which Yochanan (John) uses these terms ‘fathers’ and ‘young men.’

Yochanan Aleph (1st John) 2:14-15
14 I have written to you, fathers, because you have known Him who is from the beginning. I have written to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of Elohim abides in you, and you have overcome the wicked one.

The Fifth Commandment is to honor our father and mother, and this applies in the congregational setting as well. The patriarchal model is ideal in this kind of spiritual family environment because whenever there are people there will be tensions and the desire for physical division. However, even if there is more than one congregation we are not to have divisions among us. The divisions that mark the Protestant Churches are against Scripture.

Qorintim Aleph (1st Corinthians) 1:10-17
10 Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Adon Yeshua Messiah, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.
11 For it has been declared to me concerning you, my brethren, by those of Chloe’s household, that there are contentions among you.
12 Now I say this, that each of you says, “I am of Shaul,” or “I am of Apollos,” or “I am of Kepha,” or “I am of Messiah.”
13 Is Messiah divided? Was Shaul crucified/impaled for you? Or were you immersed in the name of Shaul?
14 I thank Elohim that I immersed none of you except Crispus and Gaius,
15 lest anyone should say that I had immersed in my own name.
16 Yes, I also immersed the household of Stephanas. Besides, I do not know whether I immersed any other.
17 For Messiah did not send me to immerse, but to preach the Good News, not with wisdom of words, lest the cross/stake of Messiah should be made of no effect.

In verse 10 (above), Shaul pleads that there be no divisions among us, but that we be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. If we think about what it would mean for Yeshua’s earthly body to be torn apart, that is a picture of what it is for us not to be in the unity of His Spirit: our failure to unite behind one clean doctrine in Him literally tears His Body apart.

The solution is that we must submit to spiritual headship. Ideally a congregational leader should love his congregation as he would love his own children: but there comes a point at which discipline must be applied for the good of all. This is what is meant in Hebrews 13:17-18.

Ivrim (Hebrews) 13:17-18
17 Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.

Only by submitting to proper spiritual headship can we come together as one Body in Him, and do our best job as a nation of people committed to fulfilling the Great Commission.

G. Congregational Leadership Roles:

The Renewed Covenant uses many different terms for the roles in the Melchizedekian Order. Thankfully this is not a major stumbling block, as the main thing is not to focus on the titles, but on the job of serving YHWH’s people (however that has to come about). Titles can sometimes be helpful in that newcomers find them useful in order to understand the roles; but it is vital that we not establish the roles first, and then fill them with whoever is available: rather, when a man is already performing a particular function in the right spirit (and everyone knows it), then Nazarene Israel will feel comfortable acknowledging him with that title.

The basic idea is one of an extended spiritual family. Not everyone agrees, but in Nazarene Israel’s understanding, the terms ‘elder’ and bishop (overseer) are all one-in-the-same, as Titus 1:5-10 equates them (see verses 5 and 7, below).

Titus 1:5-9
5 For this reason I left you in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are lacking, and appoint elders in every city as I commanded you —
6 if a man is blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of dissipation or insubordination.
7 For a bishop/overseer must be blameless, as a steward of Elohim, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money,
8 but hospitable, a lover of what is good, sober-minded, just, set-apart, self-controlled,
9 holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict.

Since a bishop is an overseer, and Titus 1:5-9 (above) tells us that an overseer is an elder, then bishops, overseers and congregational elders are really all one-in-the-same. If this is the case, then Scripture speaks of only two main leadership roles at the congregational level. The first role is that of a congregational leader (whether he is called an elder, an overseer or a bishop). Titus 1:5-10 (above) and First Timothy 3:1-7 are the primary texts which help us to understand the requirements for serving as a congregational elder / bishop / overseer.

TimaTheus Aleph (1st Timothy) 3:1-7
1 This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of an elder/overseer/bishop, he desires a good work.
2 An elder/overseer/bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach;
3 not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous;
4 one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence
5 (for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the assembly of Elohim?);
6 not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil.
7 Moreover he must have a good testimony among those who are outside, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.

The Hebrew for an elder is “z’kan” (זקן). The plural of elders is “zikanei” (זִקְנֵי). The term z’kan simply refers to being old, but in context it implies spiritual maturity. Simply being older is not the thing being sought: spiritual maturity and a good track record of raising family are the keys.

Earlier we talked about a congregational leader being the ‘spiritual father’ of the congregation (with a small ‘f’). Each situation and congregation will be different, but basically the call is for a monogamous, committed husband-and-wife team that has successfully raised their children to give an example of selfless service to others. No couple on earth is perfect, but because they love the people and do all that they can to serve them, over time more people will tend to be drawn to them. Because they spend their time helping their spiritual family learn and grow in all ways, the congregation supports them in this work; and they also help to spread the Good News in their local community, furthering the Great Commission in this way.

The other leadership role at the congregational level is that of the congregational servant, often called a ‘deacon.’ A congregational servant must also be the husband of only one wife, and be spiritually mature in the word. He should not only be able to teach, but should also be capable of leading the congregation in the congregational leader’s absence (or in case he needs to step down, for whatever reason).

TimaTheus Aleph (1st Timothy) 3:8-13
8 Likewise (congregational) servants/ deacons must be reverent, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy for money,
9 holding the mystery of the faith with a pure conscience.
10 But let these also first be tested; then let them serve as (congregational) servants/ deacons, being found blameless.
11 Likewise, their wives must be reverent, not slanderers, temperate, faithful in all things.
12 Let (congregational) servants/ deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.
13 For those who have served well as (congregational) servants/ deacons obtain for themselves a good standing and great boldness in the faith which is in Messiah Yeshua.

The Hebrew for a congregational servant is a ‘shammesh’ (שמש). The plural is ‘shammeshim’ (שמשים).

Since the main thing is to serve the needs of the people, there can be some variations on the theme (and it is not a real issue): but since one of the primary roles of congregational leaders and servants is to help those of their congregation bring up their children in the way they should go, those who serve as congregational leaders and servants should ideally have already done so successfully. That is, they should be successfully married in a monogamous lifestyle, and ideally they should have already raised their children successfully in the faith.

While the qualifications are important and should never be ignored, there are exceptions to every rule. Rather than stick with simple checklist behavior, the main thing is to recognize who the Spirit already has doing the job in the right spirit. An important indicator is that those who would be ‘greatest’ among us should be the servants of all.

Mattityahu (Matthew) 23:8-12
8 “But you, do not be called ‘Rabbi’; for One is your Teacher, the Messiah, and you are all brethren.
9 Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven.
10 And do not be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Messiah.
11 But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant.
12 And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

The use of formal titles (e.g., ‘Pastor Phil’ or ‘Elder Edward’) is not encouraged. The use of the term ‘brother’ as a title (e.g., ‘Brother Brad’) is not encouraged, as the apostles never used the term ‘brother’ in that way. The use of the term ‘rabbi’ (or ‘rav’) is also not encouraged, as it takes away from Yeshua’s role as our Rabbi.

Yeshua plainly spoke against the use of titles, which have the tendency to exalt the self (which is contrary to our walk). The apostles never used formal titles in conjunction with their names, but simply set about to serve those entrusted to their care as humbly as they could. Nazarene Israel is a service-oriented family, and the atmosphere needs to be one of service, rather than one of taking of titles and self-exaltation (even as a result of service). This is the main point that needs to be understood: and let every man take heed to his spirit.

H. Corporate (‘Bodily’) Leadership Roles:

Some believe that there is no need to organize because we can have weekly meetings and ‘book sales’ without having to organize. However, isn’t there more to the Great Commission than just gathering and purchasing books? How does gathering and purchasing books fulfill all of the many and various aspects of the Great Commission?

Mattityahu (Matthew) 28:18-20
18 And Yeshua came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.
19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, immersing them in the name (i.e., fame, reputation) of the Father and of the Son and of the Set-apart Spirit,
20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amein.

Earthly nations accomplish more when they are organized, and their people enjoy more success. Likewise, our spiritual nation will also be able to fulfill the Great Commission much better once we are organized. In order to perform the Great Commission we need to establish schools and missions, outreach for the poor and needy, food and clothing banks, orphanages, hospices for our elderly, media projects, radio, video and television, youth camps and other activities. These will spread the Original Faith message, lift up our Messiah, and build our children up.

While some things are best handled at the congregational level, at Ephesians 4:11-12 the Apostle Shaul lists some things that benefit the whole, and are also best supported by the Body as a whole, “for the equipping of the set-apart ones for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the Body of Messiah….”

Ephesim (Ephesians) 4:11-12
11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers,
12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the Body of Messiah….

In addition to congregational leadership, there are some gifts (and some callings) that benefit the Body as a whole. These include apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers. Since those who have these gifts are in a position to benefit the Body as a whole, it makes sense that these things must be supported at the corporate (Bodily) level. In other places we explain how it is inherently corrupting to the work to place a price tag on it; and therefore all of these services should be paid for by the tithes, gifts and offerings that are sent forward from the local congregations. This will make it free to distribute His word, so that it can go forth more readily. (At present a lack of funding makes it necessary for us to make studies available at cost, which is not the same thing.)

The role of the apostle is somewhat misunderstood. The Hebrew for an apostle is ‘shaliach’ (שליח), and the term shaliach means ‘a sent one.’ In essence, a shaliach is someone to whom YHWH has given a particular job. It is a specialized calling, similar to that of an Anointed Judge in Tanach times. In contrast to congregational leadership (which pretty much stays in one place in order to help build the faith in a local area), the shaliach needs to be able to go wherever and whenever YHWH says to go, in order to do whatever YHWH says to do. This same principle can apply to evangelists, pastors and teachers as well.

While marriage is generally beneficial, and while most of the shaliachim of the Renewed Covenant were married, marriage is not necessarily a plus in this capacity. In fact marriage can even be a negative, as it limits the number of hours one can work, and also limits one’s ability to travel at YHWH’s command.

Many scholars agree that there was an established order among the shaliachim (שליחים). For example, Ya’akov (James) is widely considered to have served as the head of the shaliachim in Jerusalem after Yeshua’s death. However, the establishment of order among shaliachim must never be a ‘top down’ sort of thing: but rather it is incumbent upon all parties to recognize the callings that YHWH has placed upon certain individuals’ lives. It is in everyone’s best interests to put aside their own personal egos and ambitions in order to recognize and support what YHWH has ordained.

Whereas congregational elders and congregational servants should ideally have many years of experience in the faith (in that experience in raising children is a primary aspect of their jobs), years of experience is not necessarily a requirement to serve as a shaliach. Rather, the main thing is that one follows the calling from YHWH sincerely, in purity, and with a whole heart.

TimaTheus Aleph (1st Timothy) 4:12
12 Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.

Nazarene Israel Headquarters is run on a truly communal level. Members of Nazarene Israel headquarters pool all resources, and the corporation owns all things, as it was done in the early days of our movement.

Ma’asei (Acts) 4:32-35
32 Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common.
33 And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Adon Yeshua. And great grace was upon them all.
34 Nor was there anyone among them who lacked; for all who were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of the things that were sold,
35 and laid them at the apostles’ feet; and they distributed to each as anyone had need.

The blessings of living in community are greater than what can be put into words. However, the purpose of holding all things in common is not just for fellowship: it is also to make the most of the precious few resources Elohim gives us. There are ‘broad, easy road’ ministries that seem to have more money than they have needs: but this has never yet been our experience (nor do we ever expect it to be). The focus here is on minimizing our individual needs so as to be able to do more with less for Him and His people. If anyone is interested in serving in the headquarters community he should contact Nazarene Israel. Please be prepared to find new ways to meet a mountain of needs, and to die daily to flesh and self in order to further the Great Commission. Our watch-phrase is, “How does it further His kingdom?”

I. Transparency and Accountability:

Transparency and accountability are key essential elements of correct spiritual leadership.

When we are manifesting His Spirit (rather than quenching it) we should be able to witness the healing power of the Spirit in all aspects of our lives. Any question someone else asks can be turned into an opportunity to witness, because we no longer suffer from shame over past actions. Because we have repented fully for all past mistakes we are able to return to partaking of the Tree of Life (rather than the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil). This gives us a spiritual condition known as ‘transparency.’ This dedication to transparency with calmness of spirit is exceedingly useful, in that whatever issues we still have will eventually be brought to the surface, and transparency forces us to reflect, take heed to our spirit, and continue to take the log out of our own eye.

Yochanan (John) 1:47-48
47 Yeshua saw Nathanael coming toward Him, and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no deceit!”

When we have a commitment to transparency we take away the hiding place of secrets. Any shame, embarrassment or anger serves as a ‘heads up’ for us, and serves as an indicator of where we might need some growth and/or improvement. It helps us to stay in continuous refinement, which allows us to follow the leading and guiding of the Ruach HaQodesh (the Set-apart Spirit) without quenching it. It takes away stumbling blocks to sincerity.

A commitment to transparency is essential for leaders, because it takes away the need to pretend that we are perfect. It takes away pride. Most people know that their leaders are only human, but they also feel the need for their leaders to be honest. If a leader can admit that he either made a mistake or has a need to grow, most people can accept that. However, what people cannot abide in a leader is falsehood. People feel the need to respect their leaders not because of the positions that they hold, but because of who they are in Yeshua. When leaders are committed to transparency the people can see their deep abiding relationship in Yeshua grow stronger in times of trial and duress, and this provides an example for them to follow.

Transparency and accountability form the foundation and basis for congregational discipline. All leaders need to surround themselves with good counsel, and remain accountable not just to their counsel, but to all people. Not everyone needs to know all of the gory details of one’s life, but when one is transparent and accountable one should have no ‘dirty little secrets’, or things that one ‘cannot talk about.’ There should be no topics that are off-limits for discussion.

When one is transparent and accountable to all other members of the Body the focus quickly becomes not on ‘who is right’, but on ‘what is right.’ Ego and pride vanish away, because we are not concerned with how our fellow man sees us, but only with how YHWH sees us. In cases like these it becomes easy to confess our sins one to each other, because it provides an opportunity for YHWH to renew His blessings to us.

Ya’akov (James) 5:16
16 Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.

J. Congregational Discipline

As Yeshua’s disciples, we need discipline; and transparency and accountability form the basis for discipline within the Body.

Congregational discipline is difficult, and needs to be handled with prayer, fasting, wisdom and the utmost of love. Poor handling of disciplinary matters is one of the most frequent causes of people leaving a given congregation. Congregational discipline is necessary at times, but as we mentioned earlier, it is imperative that all congregational leaders treat members of their spiritual family as they would treat either themselves, or their own children.

The rules for congregational discipline are spelled out in Matthew Chapter Eighteen. Because life is not simple, the rules must be applied carefully to each situation, with wisdom. However, in simple terms, basically the procedure is for the one who has noticed a transgression to go to his neighbor privately, and try to resolve matters one-on-one. If that fails, then the person who noticed the transgression should take one or two more witnesses with him (ideally leadership or eldership). If a man is not willing to listen to the congregational leaders or elders, then realistically speaking it is not possible for him to continue as part of that congregation…and in this way the matter is ultimately brought before the assembly (as the final unavoidable step).

The Matthew Eighteen Process may be initiated by any person who notices an infraction. It is not limited to those against whom the infraction was committed. Leadership is not immune to the Matthew Eighteen Process by any means, but in such cases one needs to remember to approach leadership humbly (as we should approach anyone).

TimaTheus Aleph (1st Timothy) 5:1-3
5 Do not rebuke an older man, but exhort him as a father, younger men as brothers, 2 older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, with all purity.

All disciplinary actions are subject to appeal and review, but unless disciplinary action proves to be in error then local congregations need to support each other. Exceptions can exist, but in general if a man misbehaves in one congregation he will probably misbehave in another. Discipline, accountability, transparency and sincerity are all part of our faith; and not holding people to standards does not do anyone any favors.

Those who are unwilling to abide by Scripture in one congregation should not be accepted into another. There can be extenuating circumstances in simple cases of personality conflict, but one of the goals of our faith is to die to the ego, and to self. Nonetheless, if another leader feels that he can work with the person in question, then this should be attempted. Our job is not to judge and condemn, but to uplift, edify and instruct.

L. Legal Issues.

Nazarene Israel recognizes that we live in the world, and are not of it. We also recognize that we are commanded to be a light on a hill. Further, we are told that it is a shame even to speak of those things that are done by the enemy in secret. We are not to focus on those things, but are to earnestly seek what is good.

Mishle (Proverbs) 11:27-28
27 He who earnestly seeks good finds favor,
But trouble will come to him who seeks evil.

An important principle of our faith is to focus on that which is positive.

Philippim (Philippians) 4:8-10
8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy — meditate on these things.
9 The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the Elohim of peace will be with you.

The Hebrew word for the Dispersion is ‘galut’, and it refers to being exposed on all sides. Whenever we are thus exposed we must take care not to come into unnecessary conflict. Conflict is considered an absolute last resort (i.e. only in self-defense).

Hitgalut (Revelation) 13:9-11
9 If anyone has an ear, let him hear.
10 He who leads into captivity shall go into captivity; he who kills with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.

Due to budgetary constraints, Nazarene Israel made the decision to take 501C3 tax exemption in 2002, in order to make the funds YHWH gives us go further. It was realized that there is no sense in giving away 30-40% of the people’s tithes to abortion clinics, stem-cell research, secular social programs or anything else that is contrary to YHWH’s will. In all the years that Nazarene Israel has taken 501C3 tax exemption there has never been a time when Nazarene Israel was not able to fulfill its mission of restoring the faith once delivered to the saints by focusing on the positive, and by doing things in a positive way. We believe this is an important principle that needs to be remembered.

Nazarene Israel recognizes that the Scriptures identify the United States as the ‘Daughter of Babylon’, and Nazarene Israel recognizes that there may come a time when Nazarene Israel is not allowed to say what it needs to say and still maintain tax exemption. However, that time is not now, and the decision to knowingly and willfully give 30-40% of the people’s tithes to secular government programs (and thereby fund these programs) is not a decision that Nazarene Israel wants to make. This is especially true when there is always more that can be done to further the Great Commission than there are funds to support. This is just one more reason for all leaders to maintain a positive and loving focus in all communications, both inside and outside of the Body.

As is the saying of our fathers, “You can be sued by anyone, at any time, for any reason.” All leaders are responsible to carry adequate liability and medical coverage as provided for by the people’s tithes, gifts and offerings. YHWH forbid that anyone should trip and fall, or be otherwise injured, but medical incidents do happen (especially with children). All leaders will provide proof of fiscal, financial and medical responsibility for the people under their care on an annual basis. While we do not wish to place our faith in our own right arm, we also need to recognize that our Adversary is very real, and he is determined to sabotage us. It is important for us to do all that we can do, and then trust that YHWH will do what we cannot.

Nazarene Israel recognizes that YHWH’s people are called out of every tribe and nation and tongue and people, and YHWH has blessed us with a multiplicity of talents from diverse backgrounds. For this reason Nazarene Israel’s official policy is one of ignoring race and/or former ethnic backgrounds. Former races, tribes, tongues, etcetera are irrelevant to Nazarene Israel.

In Scripture, one’s belief is one’s nation, and one’s nation is defined by one’s belief: the two are functionally identical. In the past we were gentiles, but now we are grafted in to the Nation of Nazarene Israel.

While it may be somewhat regrettable, for practical reasons there must always be one single point of decision-making. For practical reasons this must remain with the Overseer. The Overseer will take counsel and will remain both transparent and accountable to counsel. While decisions may always be appealed, for all matters of internal discipline the Overseer’s decisions have to stand.

Nazarene Israel seeks to unify YHWH’s people Israel. Separation from Nazarene Israel is very regrettable, but Nazarene Israel does understand that there will be times when two are not agreed, and association must be quietly and prayerfully dissolved. Whenever there is to be a separation or a parting of the ways, all parties agree to do so in as amicable a fashion as possible. All parties agree not to sue Nazarene Israel for any reason whatsoever, and also to hold Nazarene Israel harmless and indemnify Nazarene Israel for any legal actions on their parts.

M. Halachic Issues:

Ritual immersion is a practice which is done on a regular basis (at least monthly for women, following the end of their monthly flow). Nazarene Israel’s opinion is that a shower or a bathtub works fine for this purpose. The purpose is one of becoming physically clean, while asking to be spiritually cleansed as well.

The example of the thief on the tree/stake/cross tells us that we are saved by repentance unto YHWH’s favor (grace). Like physical circumcision, ritual immersion is just a symbolic rite of passage. The symbolism is that of dying to our flesh, being buried, having our sins washed away and becoming a new creature in Messiah Yeshua (and in His Body). It is important to note that it is the immersion into His Spirit that saves us: not the ritual of being immersed in water. Nonetheless, Yeshua tells us that ritual immersion in water is a rite of passage that should be done, “In order to fulfill all righteousness.”

Mattityahu (Matthew) 3:15-16
15 But Yeshua answered and said to him, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he allowed Him.

It is one’s original immersion in the Spirit that counts, with physical water immersion being a ‘type’ or a ‘shadow’ of the spiritual reality. Ritual re-immersion can be performed as many times as one feels led of the Spirit (rather than ‘as dictated by man’), and it is best done using the clean names. If one feels led to be re-immersed after coming to a new level of awareness (or repentance from sin) then that is something one can do; but the Scriptural requirement when we are delivered from some uncleanness is to make an offering.

Mattityahu (Matthew) 8:4-5
4 And Yeshua said to him, “See that you tell no one; but go your way, show yourself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moshe commanded, as a testimony to them.”

It is also important to note that ritual immersion/re-immersion ‘into’ Nazarene Israel is not correct, as it is against Scripture (1st Corinthians 1:10-17).

Qorintim Aleph (1st Corinthians) 1:10-17

10 Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Adon Yeshua Messiah, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.
11 For it has been declared to me concerning you, my brethren, by those of Chloe’s household, that there are contentions among you.
12 Now I say this, that each of you says, “I am of Shaul,” or “I am of Apollos,” or “I am of Kepha,” or “I am of Messiah.”
13 Is Messiah divided? Was Shaul crucified/impaled for you? Or were you immersed in the name of Shaul?
14 I thank Elohim that I immersed none of you except Crispus and Gaius,
15 lest anyone should say that I had immersed in my own name.
16 Yes, I also immersed the household of Stephanas. Besides, I do not know whether I immersed any other.
17 For Messiah did not send me to immerse, but to preach the Good News, not with wisdom of words, lest the stake/cross of Messiah should be made of no effect.

We do not want to establish sectarianism within His Body: rather, we are simply providing a place of clean pasture for those of His people who desire it for themselves and their families. It is extremely important that we not try to divide the Body of Messiah.

Physical circumcision should be performed on the eighth day, as commanded in the Torah. It can take place on the Shabbat or on festival high days. The reason for choosing the eighth day is medical as well as commanded: an infant’s immune system is never stronger than on the eighth day. What is commanded is not the removal of the entire foreskin, but for the infant to be circumcised ‘in’ his foreskin. This is a far less dangerous medical practice that heals much more easily and quickly (and with far less pain). Nazarene Israel recommends that this medical procedure be done by a qualified medical professional whenever one is available.

As explained in the Nazarene Israel study, Acts 15:19-21 tells us that we can come into the synagogues on the Sabbath in order to learn the Torah of Moshe without being physically circumcised. All we must do to be permitted to come into the synagogues is to abstain from idolatry, adultery, strangled (and/or Levitically unclean) meats, and from blood.

Ma’asei (Acts) 15:19-21
19 Therefore I judge that we should not trouble those from among the Gentiles who are turning to Elohim,
20 but that we write to them to abstain from things polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from things strangled, and from blood.
21 For Moshe has had throughout many generations those who preach him in every city, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath.”

As explained in the Nazarene Israel study and in The Torah Calendar, one may also partake of any of the festivals in an uncircumcised state, except for the Passover. However, the Passover requires physical circumcision.

Shemote (Exodus) 12:48-50
48 And when a stranger dwells with you and wants to keep the Passover to YHWH, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and keep it; and he shall be as a native of the land. For no uncircumcised person shall eat it.
49 One Torah shall be for the native-born and for the stranger who dwells among you.”

N. General:

This is a living document, and can be changed as needed. If some discrepancy is found in between this document and the Scriptures then the Scriptures must prevail.

The watch-phrase for Nazarene Israel is, “How does it further His kingdom?” If we will but ask ourselves if something would further (or not further) His kingdom, quite often we will know whether or not we should pursue it.

Please always bear in mind that we do have an Adversary, and that he is not there to ‘pat us on the back as we go by.’ Rather, the Adversary (and/or his minions) are real, and will always attempt to infiltrate and destroy us, and at all levels (material and spiritual, individual, congregational and corporately). Wisdom is meant to be applied.

Nazarene Israel is a body, a family and a nation. If any man believes that he has the Spirit of YHWH Elohim, let him work together with Nazarene Israel for the glorification of our Messiah. Let him work with us at all levels, both as individuals, as families, as congregations, and as a literal called-out nation.

The Ingathering to our brothers and sisters in Judah is coming, and our duty to fulfill the Great Commission is real. Now is the time to organize the Nation of Nazarene Israel, and to prepare for the coming re-unification.

May YHWH please bless us, and be with us.

Amein.

Norman B. Willis
Corporate Servant
Nazarene Israel

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