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Reclaiming the Original Faith - Part 4 - The Netzarim & Torah


Reclaiming the Original Faith - Part 4 - The Netzarim & Torah

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Reclaiming the Original Faith

Part 4- The Netzarim & Torah


Introduction: The entire journey that we have undertaken in this series is to establish the truth of our faith that has always revealed the importance of Torah observance to the faith that was passed down from the Fathers. Rather than time diminishing its importance it was in fact the subtle and frontal attacks upon everything that the Covenants and the Torah suffered that made us observe how vital it was to the lifeblood of Yisrael. It was through this conflict that Yisrael discovered their true purpose of preserving everything that YHWH had imparted through Mosheh to them. 


In our last encounter we looked carefully at the approach that Yahshua had towards Torah and noted how his only opposition was to the added “Takanot” or the rules and regulations that the “Perushim” the Pharisees made which placed great burdens on the people making a life of Torah observance extremely burdensome. Therefore we see Yahshua opposing the Pharisees about healing on the Shabbat, about their regulations concerning washing hands, & plucking grain on the Shabbat remembering they had imposed over 500 commands related to Shabbat let alone any other aspects of the Torah. In this vein we discovered that rather than Yahshua coming to put aside Torah he came to give it its real application or to reveal the spirit of the Torah which was a blessing for any who desired to live by it.  


It is also appropriate to consider that “Halakah” is somewhat like an extension of the “Takanot” or the regulations of the Pharisees and that we can easily become like the Pharisees in applying the complexity of them but when these smother the joy of Torah then they fail to achieve what they were meant for which was to enhance our Torah observance and not hinder it or cause it to become burdensome. 

Notwithstanding it is our desire to simply conclude from our previous teaching that Yahshua clearly demonstrated his love for all the Mitzvot (Commandments) of YHWH always referring to the Torah in his defence or in answering questions so as to affirm for us that in no way has he come to destroy the Torah. We know that due to the failure of many to understand Rabbinic terminology his true teaching, has for too long been hidden under the many misunderstood verses resulting in doctrines contrary to what Yahshua and his Talmidim apparently taught as we saw from our last encounter.  

In the Aftermath of Persecution:

To fully appreciate the understanding of the first Century Kehilot or Assemblies we need to take our journey through the writings of the earliest written texts and that of the “Ma’asehSh’liychiym” or the Acts of the Apostles and we will begin with an introduction to establish some vital information that will help to confirm the teachings that were prevalent with the Netzarim as they were called or what was known as “The Way”. For this to happen we will endeavour today to observe the early Kehilot or the Assemblies and refer to verses and proofs of whether anything in their observance changed, followed by an introduction into the Sepher of Ya’acov or what is better known today as the Book of James.


The years Following Yahshua

What is noticeable as we read through the book of Acts is how the believers responded to the message and how they lived. Firstly we find something quite interesting with regards those who came to the faith who were not just the common people:

Ma’aseh Ha Sh’liychiym (Acts) 21:20 And they said to Sha’ul (Paul), “you see, brother, how many thousands of Yahudim there are who have believed and all are Zealous for the Torah (Law). 

Why this incident is so relevant is that it is quite late in the book of Acts and we find Sha’ul (Paul) coming up to Yerushalayim to meet Ya’acov (James) and the Elders of the “Kehilah” (Assembly). Like many today who think Sha’ul was teaching against Torah these believers had heard stories that he taught against Torah but we now see, that is not the case because he follows the instructions of the Elders according to:

Ma’aseh Ha Sh’liychiym (Acts) 21:23-24 “So do what we say to you: We have four men who have taken a Nazarite vow. 24“Take them and purify yourself with them and pay their expenses so that they shave their heads. And all shall know that what they have been informed about you is not so, but that you yourself also walk orderly, keeping the Torah. 

It is extremely clear that by these verses that Shaul (Paul) was totally Torah observant lest he be a deceiver putting on a show for the new believers which we do not ascribe to. Therefore we can rest assured that he was obedient to all as written in the Torah whether regards Shabbat observation which he kept throughout the Brit Chadashah (New Testament) as many as 86 times plus the feasts and all what was required for the Yahudim (Jews). Sha’ul’s entire defence before King Agrippa is based on his faith in Yahshua as he states, and his absolute Torah obedience cannot be denied:


 Ma’aseh Ha Sh’liychiym (Acts) 26:4-5 Truly, then, all the Yahudim (Jews) know my way of life from my youth, which I led from the beginning among my own nation at Yerushalayim,

5 since they have known me from the first, if they wish to witness, that I lived as a Pharisee according to the strictest sect of our observance.

We also receive a clear message from Kepha (Peter) in Acts that the believers continued to keep Kosher & not eat unclean animals at a time that would have been at least 7 years after the resurrection of Yahshua. In this story he received a rather strange vision which he ponded over and which subsequently has been greatly misunderstood but what is important is what we read about his continuing in Torah observance:


Ma’aseh Ha Sh’liychiym (Acts) 10:14 But Kepha (Peter) said, “Not at all, Master! Because I have never eaten whatever is common or unclean. 

This verse confirms that even 7 years after the Resurrection nothing had changed with the Talmidim (Disciples) concerning their observance of Torah with regards foods.

We therefore are now living in a unique time in History since YHWH by the power of his RUACH (Spirit) is awakening many of us to the truth of his word and causing us to question many of the preconceived views on Scripture and challenging Doctrines that have been rendered immoveable until now since they have been central to Christianity for 2,000 years but are now beginning to reveal cracks.

Why is it that we should now turn to the Book of Ya’acov (James) for our study on the early Netzarim movement?  He was the half-brother of Yahshua but he also had no belief in Yahshua as the Moshiach (Messiah) during Yahshua’s life. These are the challenges we will face and try to answer. 

  1. The Person of Ya’acov Ha Tzadik (James the Just)  

If we know our Greek we find there is no “Y” therefore his name became Iakōbos’ –but then from the Latin it became‘Jacobus’- but over time it became ‘Jacomus’  then finally it became ‘James’ though King Jimmy(James) may have had a great influence on that as well.

We now know that there was not any James in the Scriptures so his true name was Ya’acov (Jacob) known as the Tzadik. Ya’acov was called the Tzadik (the Righteous) because of his ascetic practices which involved taking Nazarite vows.


A quote from “Hegesippus” by Jerome gives us some insight into the person of Ya’acov Ha Tzadik:

This one was Holy from his Mother’s womb. He drank neither wine nor strong drink, ate no flesh, never shaved nor anointed himself with ointment or bathed. He alone had the privilege of entering the Holy of Holies since he did not use woollen vestments but linen and went alone into the Temple and prayed on behalf of the people in so much that his knees were reputed to have acquired the hardness of camels’ knees.   

Heggesippus” portrays Ya’acov as somewhat of a zealot associated with the Ebionites, who regarded Shaul (Paul) with disfavour and praised Yaakov as the true heir to Yahshua’s teaching.

It is most likely that Ya’acov had students of his own but there is no mention of him during Yahshua’s ministry until the book of Acts. Shaul (Paul) records an event that likely had a profound effect on Ya’acov (James) in:


1 Corinthians 15:5-7 And that Yahshua was seen by Kepha (Peter), then by the twelve. 6 After that He was seen by over five hundred brothers at one time, of whom the greater part remain til now, but some have fallen asleep. 7 After that He was seen by Ya’acov (James), then by all the emissaries.

Ya’acov’s position as successor to Yahshua appears in numerous accounts of the early Assembly literature before the Council of Nicaea. 


Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History: Ya’acov (James), who was surnamed the Just by the Forefathers on account of his superlative virtue, was the first to have been elected to the Office of Bishop of the Jerusalem Congregation.’

‘Kepha (Peter) Ya’acov (James) and Yochanan (John) after the Ascension of the Saviour, did not contend for the Glory, even though they had previously been honoured by the Saviour, but elected “James the Just” as Bishop of Jerusalem.’ (Hypo-typo-ses)

Clement then adds that the election was by the Principal Three.


In fact the Nazarenes recognized Ya’acov as the “Nasi” the Pillar or Bishop of their Nazarene Sanhedrin. 

The Downplaying of Ya’acov: 

Often in many circles we find that Ya’acov is downplayed while Shaul (Paul) is raised up because Ya’acov was a Zealot. However we now come to understand that Ya’acov (James) is actually the head of the Yerushalayim Assembly. Therefore according to the 1st Century Saints Ya’acov was superior to both Kepha (Peter) & Shaul (Paul). This is so important because the Catholics have elevated Peter. 

Why then was Ya’acov put down and Peter & Paul elevated?

This was because Ya’acov was Zealous for the Torah! 

We see both Kepha (Peter) & Yochanan (John) defer to Ya’acov’s authority & headship in:


Acts 15:1-2 And certain men came down from Yahuḏah (Judea) and were teaching the brothers, “Unless you are circumcised, according to the practice of Mosheh, you are unable to be saved.” 2 So when Sha’ul and Barnaḇah had no small dissension and dispute with them, they arranged for Sha’ul and Barnaḇah and certain others of them to go up to Yerushalayim, to the emissaries and elders, about this question.

The Favouring of Paul or Shaul has been huge for 2 Millennium with his heavy theology rather than Ya’acov who is extremely primitive. Martin Luther came along and fanned the flames of the Reformation by assigning Ya’acov (James) to an Appendix in his German translation naming it “A Right Story Epistle” since he did not know what to do with the book of Ya’acov as it did not match his theology. 

John Elliot in his commentary says this: The Book of Ya’acov is ranked among the Junk Mail of the New Testament.  


The book was very popular, however with the Eastern Fathers, particularly in Alexandria with the first commentary being written by Didymus the Blind (313-398) in Alexandria.



The Significance of the Sepher of Ya’acov (Letter of James)  

It is now important for us to realize why this letter was written, to whom it was written and when it was written:

Why it was Written:

We know that Ya’acov was in Yerushalayim and in fact this Sepher (letter) was more likely a sermon or “Homily” in Greek” or in Hebrew “D’rashah or Midrash”. It is like an Oration because there is rhyme in the text itself. 

Ya’acov was communicating to Yahudim believers who had scattered and were facing persecution not only from Rome but from their own Brethren the Yahudim as well. The emphasis of the Letter was not on creed but conduct, not on belief but behaviour, not on doctrine but deeds! Ya’acov was encouraging the faithful to endure persecution without denying Yahshua or turning from Torah obedience by demonstrating true Character under persecution. 

To Whom was it Written:

It was written to an audience who lived outside of Yerushalayim in the Diaspora or the dispersion after the Martyrdom of TsephanYah (Stephen) who himself was a Hellenistic Yahudim (Jew):


Ma’aseh Ha Sh’liychiym (Acts) 11:19 Then, indeed, they who were scattered because of the persecution that arose over TsephanYah (Stephen) passed through to Phoenicia and Cyprus and Antioch, speaking the word to no one except the Yahudim (Jews) only. 

From this we see that the message was only delivered to the Yahudim though surely believers from the other tribes of Yisrael are also included who were also coming to the faith in Yahshua. The significance of this letter is that it has no additional Christian theology and that is why Martin Luther added it as an appendix to his German Bible. Also the use of the Torah (Law) shows the familiarity the audience had with the Torah. This book has 40 allusions from the Tanakh & 4 direct quotes. 

Many in the Messianic movement will push for a Hebraic or Aramaic dominance but if Ya’acov’s (James) audience is in the Diaspora following the death of TsephanYah (Stephen) and since the language of the international community was Greek and we read in Acts about Stephen and Philip among others ministering to the Hellenistic Widows it could easily be concluded that it was of Greek origin. It does however have a very Semitic feel to it.

The Messianic teacher Matthew Nolan says that we can tell its Greek origin by its structural rhythm and rhyme and Ya’acov’s (James’s) fondness for alliteration and wordplay. When we become aware of these stylistic devices in the Greek it becomes nearly impossible to imagine this homily or sermon as a translation from Aramaic or Hebrew.

When was it written?

It appears that 1st Yochanan (John) & 1st Kepha (Peter) draws off the information in this Sermon so it must date mid-1st century but we can dig deeper since we know that Ya’acov was Martyred in 62CE but we can even go earlier because it does not include any of the 1st Century developed Doctrines of the Brit Chadashah (the New Testament) like that which developed with Shaul (Paul) found in Christianity so it reveals a totally Raw texture. This is why it focusses on impacting & changing lives which is surely what we all need today and in all other times as well. It is about the heart, stirring up faithfulness to YHWH, love for the fellowship through behaviour & deeds in order to strengthen the faith and hold firm to Torah. 

Therefore this most probably could bring us to a date about 40-50 CE making Ya’acov (James) the oldest book of the Brit Chadashah (New Testament). Matthew Nolan even suggests it could have been written sometime after 34CE leaving one year or so for the events from Acts 1 to Acts 9 since nothing in this sermon goes beyond Acts 9.


The Death of Ya’acov Ha Tzadik (James the Just)

The death of Ya’acov (James) becomes extremely significant since we discover that he had a great reputation even among the Sanhedrin suggesting that he was seen as fully Torah observant and considered righteous and influential among the Yahudim. After his arrest he is presented with an ultimatum. He was to address the 100,000 people in Yerushalayim at the Passover and renounce his faith in Yahshua or he would be killed. Ya’acov (James) agrees to speak to the great gathering and is brought to the Temple Pinnacle only to preach his faith in Yahshua and is then pushed off the Temple and lands on the Temple steps and is then stoned to death. 

The Jewish Historian Josephus attributes the Destruction of the Temple and Yerushalayim to this Historic day being the Martyrdom of Ya’acov. 

What is even more significant and often goes against most history is that Titus laboured earnestly to save the Sanctuary and the city. 



Quote from Josephus:

Josephus & the Destruction of the Temple

Book VI, Chapter II, Section 4 (Entire)

4. Now Titus was deeply affected with this state of things, and reproached John and his party, and said to them, "Have not you, vile wretches that you are, by our permission, put up this partition wall* before your sanctuary? Have not you been allowed to put up the pillars thereto belonging, at due distances, and on it to engrave the Greek, and in your own letters, this prohibition, that no foreigner should go beyond that wall? Have we not given you leave to kill such as go beyond it, though he were a Roman? And what do you do now, you pernicious villains? Why do you trample upon dead bodies in this temple? and why do you pollute this holy house with the blood both of foreigners and Jews themselves? I appeal to the gods of my own country, and to every god that ever had any regard to this place, (for I do not suppose it to be now regarded by any of them ;) I also appeal to my own army, and to those Jews that are now with me, and even to you yourselves, that I do not force you to defile this your sanctuary; and if you will but change the place whereon you will fight, no Roman shall either come near your sanctuary, or offer any affront to it; nay, I will endeavour to preserve you your holy house, whether you will or not." *


We will often read that the Romans burnt and destroyed the Temple but through the words of Josephus we gain more historic truth;

…. it was the corrupt Levitical priesthood under Ananus the Cohen Ha Gadol (High Priest) that set fire to the Temple- an inside job rather than let it fall into the hands of followers of the recently martyred Yaakov which were thought to be numbering about 20,000.

The fall of the temple was directly connected to the killing of Yaakov the Tzadik!

Josephus writes, ‘the Jews were even burning down their own Temple and then jumping

into the flames.’ (War 2.425-9)



Some have disputed the words of Josephus as simply pandering to the Romans but regardless the result of the action at the Beyth Ha Mikdash (the Temple) was its destruction and the complete ransacking of Yerushalayim with according to Josephus 1.1 Million Yahudim dead though this is disputed but this figure has some credibility since it was according to Historians just before Pesach (Passover) which would swell the City with people. 

The Knowledge Gained from this Introduction: 

From this brief introduction into the person of Ya’acov Ha Tzadik (James the Just) we can surmise the tremendous effect that the Message of Yahshua was having in Yerushalayim and from this we can list some often lost truths:


  1. Among the Believers Torah observance did not vary at all from what was observed by all the Yahudim as noted by Shaul (Paul) & Kepha (Peter) and the respect awarded Ya’acov (James) by all the Yahudim (Jews).
  2. It was Ya’acov (James) who was elected by the top three leaders as the “Nasi” or head of the Netzarim movement and not Kepha (Peter).
  3. Ya’acov was zealous for the Torah and so the book of James was not given its correct importance by the Catholic Church or by Martin Luther. 
  4. It can be concluded that the Sepher of Ya’acov (The Book of James) was the first to be written among the Brit Chadashah (New Testament) since it is “Raw” text without the later heavy Doctrines.
  5. This letter has the purpose of strengthening believers among the dispersion of the tribes of Yisrael who were turning to faith in Yahshua. It was in fact meant to develop inner Character reflected in conduct, behaviour and deeds so it is a very a practical work for the believer to enhance Righteous living and Covenant relationship with the Elohim of Yisrael.



In our journey of the faith it has been my desire to establish the permanency of Torah and the establishment of evidence to help us give conclusive proof that Yahshua appearance was in accordance with Torah. It was by his sacrifice to bring Salvation to Yisrael & all who would be grafted into the Covenant and the evidence of scripture is that faithfulness to YHWH is revealed by faith in Yahshua as well as obedience to his Mitzvot (Commands) as confirmed by the Book Hitgalut (Revelations):

Hitgalut (Revelations) 14:12 Here is the steadfast endurance of the set-apart saints; here are they that guard and keep the commandments of Elohim and the faith of Yahshua. 

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Reclaiming the Original Faith - Part 3 - Torah Revival


Reclaiming the Original Faith - Part 3 - Torah Revival

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Reclaiming the Original Faith

Part 3- Torah Revival


We have recently discovered how the journey that the Torah of YHWH had undertaken was an extremely harrowing path. When the people of Yahudah (Judah) were taken into captivity Yisrael suffered by subtle means whereby the people were indoctrinated into a new culture and were reluctant after 70 years to leave Babylon. Thankfully we saw how the young men brought up under intense Torah observance had developed such a love for YHWH and the Torah that they inspired their Nation. One notable truth however is that while Yahudah was in Captivity they developed a real hunger for the things of YHWH and even in much later years Babylon became a centre for Torah learning. During this time it is worthy of noting that the Modern Hebrew Aleph-Bet was developed and the Hebrew Calendar that is still used today was also adopted.

Following the Captivity we saw this small Nation gradually being revived and observant to the Torah until the Greek empire under Antiochus ruled Yisrael and through great evil began the horrific destruction of all Torah observance and Covenant faithfulness with the purpose of purging every aspect of Judaism from the Nation and replacing their Religion with the Greek Religion. We discovered that this period in Israel’s history saw much blood spilt to keep the Nation of Yisrael faithful to YHWH. 

It was during this time that we saw the Great battles of the Maccabean wars which saw great heroes emerging being inspired by a love for YHWH and his Torah with the result that finally the Beyth Ha Mikdash (the Temple) and the National faith in the Torah known today as Judaism restored, with the Feast of Chanukah (Hanukah) being the Feast of the dedication of the Temple observed yearly in remembrance of this difficult but victorious time in Yisrael’s history.   

The Treaty of Friendship with Rome:

A notable truth that emerges in the Book of the Maccabees is found in the following:

1 Maccabees 8: 17- 21 Judas accordingly chose Eupolemus son of John and Jason son of Eleazar and sent them to Rome to conclude a treaty of friendship and alliance so that the Romans might rid them of tyranny for it was clear that the Greek empire was reducing Yisrael to slavery.

What we can conclude from all this is that Rome became an ally of Yisrael and due to the successes against the Seleucid rulers Yisrael finally gained autonomy and at the collapse of the Seleucid (Greek) Kingdom the Yahudim gained independence. 

This however only lasted about 80 years due to corruption within the Hasmonean family that produced infighting which eventually resulted in Roman rule being established.

Rome then appointed Herod King of Yahudah (Judea) who also appointed his own man as the High Priest though often this was achieved through bribes paid to Herod. 

King Herod did however enlarge and beautify the Beyth Ha Mikdash (the Temple) as well as build Fort Antonio on the Temple Mount.


In accordance with the will of YHWH and his promises through the Prophets we come to a time when Yisrael had all the fundamental tenants of the faith of the Fathers, making it ripe for the coming of the Promised Moshiach (Messiah) so it is to this time and the coming of Yahshua that we turn to establish the significance of the Torah. 

Now that Yisrael was ruled by Rome its Religion is once again able to function since Rome was more tolerant and allowed Judaism to flourish with the Beyth Ha Mikdash (the Temple) performing all the functions it was designed for and the Nation as a whole able to be Torah observant. 


In this Religious climate we find King Herod appointing the Cohen Ha Gadol (the High Priest) who was often not even of the line of Aaron or the tribe of Levi. The group known as the Sadducees were Priests but even these were often political appointees. The other Major group was the Perushim (the Pharisees) whose name means separated ones and though they were more favoured by the people because of their religiousness they also burdened the people with their many added rules & regulations called “takanot”: 

Yisrael & the Torah:

Since we are on this journey of reclaiming the Original faith we need to begin firstly to observe the significance of Torah in the life of Yisrael, Yahshua and the Talmidim (Disciples). It is our endeavour to establish what the faith of the earliest Kehilot (Assemblies) was before the rise of compromise that came with Ignatius of Antioch in about (98 CE) and finally the emergence of the Roman Assembly under Pontifex Maximus or Emperor Constantine who solidified all the changes to separate Christianity from the forms of the early Hebraic Nazarene Assemblies.  

It is only by the restoration of the faith of the forefathers that sees Yisrael fulfilling its call to establish YHWH as their Elohim and the restoration of all the Torah that makes sense of the coming of Yahshua for without Torah he would come to a grossly Pagan Nation and be unable to fulfil his divine purpose as this promise reveals:


Yochanan (John) 1:17 For the Torah was given by Mosheh (Moses) prophesying favour (grace) and truth to come to fulfilment through Yahshua the Messiah. (Hidden Truths Hebraic Scrolls N.T.)

However at the time of Yahshua the faith of the Torah had been greatly distorted so we see Yahshua doing many things contrary to the customs of the Elders as it is often called but we know he was making a point to reveal the true Torah which was never as burdensome as the many regulations the Perushim (The Pharisees) implemented. 

e.g. The Perushim (Pharisees) enacted over 500 laws concerning the keeping of the Sabbath including what was work, how far one could walk etc;


Talmud Shabbat 108b:19-25 details the prohibition of putting saliva on one’s eye on the Shabbat.

It was because the Pharisees so misrepresented Torah that Yahshua also warned his followers to be wary of “the Leaven of the Pharisees.” Matt 16:6

This can be often a great challenge for us as well that in our passion we impose many of the “Halachah” which have great merit as though they are Torah much like the Perushim (Pharisees) with their “Takanot.”

One particular example that caused a confrontation Yahshua had with the Scribes & Pharisees was over the washing of hands which he does not address but Yahshua’s rebuke goes far deeper to show how the Pharisees were overruling the true Torah which Yahshua was always in his ministry reviving:


MattithYahu Matthew 15: 3-6 But Yahshua answered & said to them, why do you also transgress the commandment of Elohim by your tradition? 4 For Elohim said respect your father and mother and he that curses father or mother let him be put to death ( Sh’mot 21:17). 5 But you say whosoever shall say to his Father or Mother, it is a gift to Elohim by whatever you might have been helped by me 6 and does not respect his father he shall be free. Thus have you made the word of Elohim of no effect by your tradition.

To those however who disregard the Mitzvot (Commandments) there is a grave reminder to establish the truth of obedience to the Commands since scripture details those who are the Set-apart believers in:


Hitgalut (Revelations) 14:12 Here is the steadfast endurance of the Kedoshim (the set-apart saints); here are they that guard and keep the commandments of Elohim (G_d) and the faith of Yahshua. 

This verse shows that Yochanan (John) clearly reveals that the true set-apart Saints or believers are those who display the evidence of Keeping the Mitzvot (Commandments) of Elohim as well as having the faith of Yahshua but even more thought provoking is this next verse:

Hitgalut (Revelations) 22:14 Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city.  

Yahshua & the Torah:

To fully grasp the significance of Torah we need to look at the life of Yahshua and understand some truths that are clearly revealed in his Ministry that demonstrate his desire to restore the Torah in many ways since the Torah had by then been grossly mishandled.


  1. The Torah as Defence

We read that Yahshua was led by the Ruach Ha Kodesh (the Holy Spirit) into the wilderness to be tempted by Ha Satan and he reveals that he used Scripture to defeat Ha Satan as we should also:

Matthew 4:2- 4 And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry. 3 Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of Elohim, command that these stones become Lekhem (bread).” 4  And Yahshua answered and said, it is written; Man shall not live by Lechem (bread) alone but by every word that proceeds out of the Mouth of YHWH.

It is interesting that Yahshua did not use experience as his defence when Ha Satan questioned his identity since we know that forty days earlier a voice from heaven verified that he was the son of Elohim at his Mikveh (immersion). In this confrontation we see Yahshua quoting directly from Devarim (Deuteronomy) two times and Tehillim (psalms) once showing that the word that proceed out of the Mouth of YHWH to all Yisrael was the Torah and the writings as written by Mosheh and the Neviim (Prophets). This teaches us that we like Yahshua should use the Torah in defence of the onslaught of the enemy.


  1. The Misunderstood Statements of Yahshua:

Now we come to the statements that Yahshua made which have so often been misunderstood in order to impose a meaning that they were not intended to bring. One particular verse that many today fall over is the following:

MattithYahu (Matthew) 5:17 Think not that I have come to destroy the Torah (Law) or the Prophets: I have not come to destroy but to reveal its full intended meaning. (Hidden Truths N.T.)

Many versions use the term Fulfil or complete which has brought much misunderstanding to this verse. This verse needs to be understood as an Idiom. To destroy from a Rabbinical point of view meant to misinterpret or misrepresent the Torah while to fulfil would mean to correctly interpret or represent the Torah. The language of Yahshua indicates that he was well versed with 1st Century Judaism and the Rabbinic ways of saying things. Yahshua in speaking to the Multitudes was saying that nothing would change until all the prophecies of Torah would come to fulfilment meaning until the last day “hoshanna Rabbah” the Great day also called Shemini Atzeret or Simcha Torah (the Joy of Torah).  

To fully appreciate Yahshua’s meaning we read further a word with regards keeping of the Commandments (the Mitzvot):


MattithYahu (Matthew) 5: 19 Whoever therefore shall break one of the least of these commandments and shall teach men to do so, he shall be called the least in the Kingdom of the heavens and whoever shall do and teach them shall be called great in the Kingdom of the heavens.  

We know that the entire ministry of Yahshua was meant to culminate in him taking the sins of the whole World upon himself which was only necessary, in compliance with Torah that mankind could have relationship with YHWH renewed but he also spent much of his ministry correcting and opposing the “Takanot” or added commandments of the Pharisees that would often override and smother the True Torah which was truly quite liberating. In so doing Yahshua was bringing the true understanding of Torah and in no way casting it aside.

What we find of Yahshua is a perfect picture of complete obedience to the Torah through obedience to all aspects of the Feasts, the Shabbat and through his preaching which was in perfect accordance to the Torah so the verses in the Letter of Yochanan (John) truly demonstrates the importance of Torah Keeping for every believer:


Yochanan Aleph (1 John) 2:4-6 He that says I know him and does not guard his commandments is a liar and the truth is not in him. 5. But whoever guards his word, the love of Elohim is made whole in him; this is how we know that we are in him.

6. He that says he abides in him ought also to walk just as he walked.  

The Hebrew word for guard is “shomer”which is like a Soldier guarding his post in time of War.  According to Yochanan (John) the true measure of a person that is saved is whether he guards his Word the Torah to the best of his ability and walks in Torah as Yahshua did. 


Another challenging Scripture that Yahshua spoke is found in:

MattithYahu (Matthew) 7:21-23 “Not everyone who says to me, Lord, Lord will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in the Heavens. Many will say to me on that day, Lord, Lord have we not prophesied in your name and done mighty works in your name? And then I will say to them openly I never knew you; depart from me you who act wickedly [disregarding My Commands].”  (Amplified Bible)

Who then are those that the Master does not know! We find here that the ones the Master rejects are defined by their action of lawlessness or as the Torah would say walking in Torahlessness. What particular people today can be seen doing mighty works in his name without the obedience of Torah?

Many also will tell you that there are only two Commandments that are needed and this understanding comes from the following: 


MattithYahu (Matthew) 22:36- 40 Rebbe (Teacher) which is the great commandment in the Torah (Law)? 37 Yahshua said to him “Shema Yisrael YHWH Eloheinu YHWH echad” And you shall love YHWH your Elohim with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, you shall love your neighbour as yourself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the Torah & the Prophets.  

From this has come much teaching that all that one needs to obey is these two yet Yahshua is simply quoting Torah and not making anything New and then revealing that the love of YHWH and one’s neighbour is the foundations that the Torah & Prophets are built on. Torah without love becomes legalism and love without obedience is disobedience and selfishness. Nothing Yahshua ever said ever negated the Torah so we always come back to these words of Truth:


Yahuchanan (John) 14:15 “If you love me, keep my Commandments (Mitzvot).”

Yahuchanan Aleph (1 John) 5:3 For this is the love of Elohim, that we guard his Mitzvot (Commandments) and his commandments are not burdensome. 


In Summary:

In this Journey that the faith of YHWH has taken we now have discovered that if we view the many miracles and confrontations that Yahshua had, there is a thread that pervades them all. In truth he was often confronting the Takanot (added commandments) of the Pharisees in order to reveal the truth of Torah which had so often been hidden to make the commands of men superior. In so doing he was revealing the heart of the Father which was compassionate thereby establishing Torah as a blessing and not a burden. The Torah was always meant to bring us to understand that we need Yahshua who is the perfect sacrifice for sin as Shaul (Paul) puts it but even this has been grossly misunderstood by making it sound as though the Torah has ended:



Romi’Yah (Romans) 10:4 For Messiah is the goal of the Torah for everyone that believes.


In the Greek it is “telos nomou Chrestus” which has a more accurate meaning of to reach a desired place or goal. When we reach Moshiach (Messiah) we do not stop doing Torah but rather we learn to do it afresh and from a heart filled with gratitude. To the gentiles it was the entry point into the Covenant that would prevent contention over who was better since Shaul (Paul) also says:


Romi’Yah (Romans) 3:9-10 What then? Are we better than they? No in no wise: for we have before proved that both Yahudim and Greeks are under transgression.

10 As it is written “there is none right ruling (Righteous) no not one.


Quoted from Tehillim (Psalms) 14:3 & 53:3


 The aim of this discussion is simply to establish one of the central purposes for Yahshua’s Ministry. We find apart from acknowledging that his Purpose was to give his life for the World he also came for the purpose of revealing the True Kingdom of Elohim:


Luke 4:43 He said to them, “I must preach the kingdom of Elohim to the other cities also, because for this purpose I have been sent.”


What then was he teaching? Was it that he would die so all might live free of the Torah. If this was his teaching why did none of his disciples understand when he was crucified! Was he teaching however the understanding of true Torah that revealed a true love of Elohim and by so doing was he revealing the True heart of the Father whose words were given to Mosheh and the Neviim (Prophets) to bring liberty and cause Mankind to know true freedom!



It was in fact a “New Heart” that Mankind needed and not a watered down law and so by Yahshua’s sacrifice Man through faith in him received a change in heart that his Torah could be written on the heart.  



The Truth of the Matter

  1. The Torah of YHWH has undergone many hard fought challenges to come to us.


  1. With the Revival of the Beyth Ha Mikdash (The Temple) and the faith of Yisrael restored the coming of Yahshua Ha Moshiach (the Messiah) was fully prepared.


  1. Yahshua did not come to destroy the Torah but to see it fully revealed.


  1. To say we know Him we must also walk as he walked. 


  1. The goal of Torah was to bring us to Moshiach (Messiah).


  1. If we believe the Torah is good we need to be uncompromising and zealous to see his truth revealed.


  1. Finally based on all we have seen we can now truthfully investigate what the early Kehilot the Assemblies believed and how they walked out their Faith. 



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Reclaiming the Original Faith - Part 2 Against All Odds


Reclaiming the Original Faith - Part 2 Against All Odds

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Reclaiming the Original Faith

Part 2- Against All Odds


We saw in our last teaching how upon the captivity of the people of Yahudah (Judah) that the Babylonian empire employed some very successful strategies in the hope of totalling changing the faith and thinking of those they had removed from their own Nations. However we experienced the dynamic strength that Daniel and his friends had which can only be attributed to their powerful Torah based upbringing and their love for YHWH which enabled them to withstand all these highly skilled strategies. The rather amazing final result we read in the Book of Daniel is that these young men through their great faith and determination to remain faithful to the Torah changed this mighty King who finally esteemed the Elohim of these young men rather than them in any way being conformed. These epic tales became a great inspiration for many Yisraelites and for us it has revealed how the true Original faith as delivered to the Forefathers was able to be carried by the remanent that survived the onslaught of this Pagan Empire. It was my hope that through these epic stories we gain a greater appreciation for the Torah and the unique path that Yahweh’s truth has taken in order to be fulfilled in the later days. I hope also that from a personal point of view that the stories inspire all of us to renew our dedication to do all that YHWH has spoken to his people. Today however we will continue on this great journey of the faith, to see what further assaults the Torah of YHWH would need to endure & how the love of YHWH and his Torah could endure and by what means it would endure. 

The Unveiling of a Hidden Truth:

The process of being uncompromising as we saw in the life of Daniel, ChananYah, Mishael & AzarYah was truly an inspiration because this Empire utilized a more Passive or subtle approach to compromise the lives of its Captives whom it removed from the lands they dwelt, in order for them to be assimilated into a New culture.



 In the Book of Ezra it is noted that only a small remnant of 42,360 Yisraelites had in fact returned to Yerushalayim indicating how efficiently the Pagan Empire of Babylon had employed its strategies causing many to desire to retain their wealth and prestige that Babylon had afforded them. This is the same challenge that we all face when the World offers us much comfort, wealth & pleasure because the ways of YHWH can be very costly as we noted with Daniel but also so gratifying. Yahweh through the hand of Ezra was once again able to establish the Torah which by then was waning, as well as re-establishing the Beyth Ha Mikdash (the Temple) so that it would once again be central to the life of Yisrael & could be used after being rebuilt to perform the prescribed Feasts and sacrifices under the Cohen Ha Gadol (the High Priest) Ezra. 

There is however in most scriptures a large vacuum covering more than 400 years that is conveniently absence being a period that traces a time of unprecedented affliction for the land of Yisrael and especially the Torah and the faith of the Forefathers. This period becomes our focus today to reveal its importance in maintaining the Original faith which was greatly tested and we will see what it took to see the faith established that was evident in the time of Yahshua as verified throughout the Brit Chadashah (the New Testament). 



Much of the Book of Daniel revolves around prophecy like the following:

Daniel 9:25 Know then and understand; from the going forth of the command to restore and rebuild Yerushalayim until Moshiach (Messiah) the prince is seven weeks and sixty two weeks. 

 Knowing that this prophecy determines the time of the first coming of Moshiach (Messiah) it is in no way strange that the ferocity of the assault upon the faith is intensified through a period preceding his first coming just as we can expect before his second coming. Prophecy always has multiple applications so it is to that which we are drawn since the verses relate to the coming of Antiochus Epiphanes the son of one of the generals following the breakup of Alexandria’s kingdom and also to the coming of the Anti- Messiah in the end times according to Eschatological thinking.   

The Coming of Gross Compromise:

Our Journey to highlight the need for an increase in Zeal for the things of YHWH comes when Eretz Yisrael (the Land of Israel) came under the rule of Antiochus Epiphanes when lawless Yisraelite men came to the King to make a compromising Covenant with the Goyim (the Gentiles). 



The Book of the Maccabees speaks of Antiochus in the year 143 of the Kingdom of the Greeks (169BC) taking Yerushalayim and arrogantly carrying offthe Golden Altar, the Lamp stands, the Table for the bread of the presence, the sacred cups, the golden censors, the curtains & the crowns etc. 



More than this he made a decree that all his subjects were to abandon their own Laws and Religion. Rather than the subtle re-education technique that Babylon employed we find that Antiochus Epiphanes took an extreme direct frontal attack in his desire to ruthlessly establish the Greek Religion in the entire domain under his control.

Today as we see the World employing many subtle ways to entice people away from the faith which also includes that of Christianity and Judaism we must realize that we are still balancing on the tip of the ice berg. There is far more to come before the coming of that great day as we will see happened before the coming of Yahshua. Under Antiochus escalation of the confrontation began with the purpose of destroying everything that was of YHWH and even all memory of him and his Torah which Antiochus wished to totally erase. 

Today we should be aware that the same is awaiting us but we are to not loose heart and that is what this entire story is all about. 


The Strategies that Antiochus employed:

  1. Defilement of the Temple of YHWH:

Sadly upon the Decree of Antiochus Epiphanes threatening the people with violence, many people of Yisrael conformed to all his desires and all looked extremely grim for the Torah.

The first strategy that Antiochus employed was to attack the Kadosh (Holy) place, revered by the people of Yisrael the second Temple built under Zerubbabel and His ultimate insult finally came as we read in the following:



1 Maccabees 1:54 On the 15th day of the month Kislev (Hebrew 9th Month) in the year 145 (167 BC) “the abomination of desolation” was set up on the Altar of burnt offering and they built altars in the surrounding cities of Yahudah (Judah). 

What is most significant, is that this defilement was purposefully planned to coincide with the leading up to the winter solstice or the birth of the Pagan Sun Elohim to further bring insult and make the Temple a place of Pagan worship. It is believed that a statue of Zeus was erected and dedicated which is referred to as the “abomination of desolation” referred to in Dan 11:31 & 12:11. 

In the days of Yahshua we discover that the Beyth Ha Mikdash (the Temple) was so vital to the honouring of Yahweh and we see the response of Yahshua in the following verses to the actions of those in the outer Court of the Beyth Ha Mikdash (the Temple)in: 



Yochanan (John) 2:17 And He found in the temple those who sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers doing business. 15 When He had made a whip of cords, He drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen, and poured out the changers’ money and overturned the tables. 16 And He said to those who sold doves, “Take these things away! Do not make My Father’s house a house of merchandise!” 17 Then His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for Your house has eaten Me up.”[ quoted from Tehillah (Psalm) 69:9]

What we see of Yahshua is how passionately zealous he was for the House of YHWH to the point that his passion so consumed him that he had to release his righteous anger on the Merchants. Is it any wonder that the agent of Ha Satan being Antiochus in the time of the Maccabees would do his utmost to defile the Beyth Ha Mikdash (the Temple) and fill it with an image of Zeus and so desecrate the Temple since the Yahudim prized it and considered the Beyth Ha Mikdash (the Temple) as the most Kadosh (Holy) place and the place of YHWH’s presence! 

Even today we find the same since that most Kadosh place is occupied and houses a Foreign place of worship right on the Temple Mount and we should therefore be like Yahshua & be greatly grieved. However Yahshua also reveals a further truth about the Kadosh place when he answers the Religious leaders:



Yochanan (John) 2:18-20 So the Yahudim (Jews) answered and said to Him, “What sign do You show to us, since You do these things?”

19 Yahshua answered and said to them, “Destroy this Beyth Ha Mikdash (temple), and in three days I will raise it up.”

20 Then the Yahudim (Jews) said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this Beyth Ha Mikdash (temple), and will You raise it up in three days?”

21 But He was speaking of the temple of His body.

Since his body is the true Beyth Ha Mikdash (Temple) then we come to understand that he is our meeting point with Yahweh the Elohim of all Creation and that believers are referred to as the Body of Moshiach (Messiah) which then lends so much more weight to the verses of Shaul (Paul) when he says: 

Qorint’Yah Aleph (1 Corinthians) 6:19 Do you not know that your body is the Beyth Ha Mikdash (Temple) of the Ruach Ha Kodesh (the Holy spirit) which is in you, which you have from Elohim and you are not your own? 20 for you were bought with a price: therefore esteem YHWH in your body. 

By allowing the Worldly thinking & the desires of the flesh over YHWH it is equivalent to putting false Elohim in his Temple which we are. If we have the same Zeal not to defile his Temple then we should do our utmost to keep ourselves from all forms of defilement and remember how passionately Yahshua was and how he wants us to be. This means to honour our personal bodies as well as the fellowship of believers which he calls his body. This in no way removes the importance of the place that Yahweh deemed to honour as his resting place which is the Sanctuary or the Temple Mount in Yerushalayim.

  1. The Total Annihilation of the Covenants of YHWH:

This has to be one of the greatest attacks on the Original Faith in that the next Strategy that Antiochus employed was to deprive the entire land of every aspect of the knowledge of YHWH and all participation in the Covenants which surely the people of Yisrael were not deprived of under Babylon which used much more subtle approach:



1 Maccabees 1:56-60  

All Scrolls of the Torah (The Law) which were found were torn to pieces & burnt with fire. Anyone discovered in possession of a book of the Covenant, or conforming to the Torah (the Law), was put to death by the King’s sentence. 

59 On the 25th day of the month they offered sacrifice on the pagan altar which was on top of the Altar of burnt offering. In accordance to the decree they put to death women who had their children circumcised, their babies, their families and those who had circumcised them they hanged by the neck. Yet many in Yisrael (Israel) found strength to resist taking a determined stand against eating any unclean food. They welcomed death rather than defile themselves and profane the Kadosh(Holy) Covenant and so they died. 

As horrific as all this may seem it is important for us to see how relentless Antiochus Epiphanes was, to totally destroy all the evidence of the Original faith of the Fathers and supplant it with the Greek faith. We also see again the reference of an offering which was a swine offering, about 25th of December or the birth of the sun a High Pagan feast, the winter solstice. 

Though many resisted and paid severely he did gain success because many in the Kingdom did compromise. 

When we look at these stories it should not surprise us that these books have been deemed unacceptable and are not in most translations of Scripture but what they should do, is make us consider the importance of all these aspects of the Covenant of YHWH that these faithful people suffered so much to preserve.

The Turning of the Tide

In this sad tale however comes new hope when finally the King’s representatives came to the town of Modin:



1 Maccabees 2:17-18 The Kings officers spoke to Mattathias: you are a leader here, they said, a man of mark and influence in this town, with your sons and brothers at your back. All the Nations have done so, as well as the leading men of Yahudah (Judea) and the people left in Yerushalayim (Jerusalem). Then you and your sons will be enrolled among the King’s friends; you will all receive high honours, rich rewards of Silver & Gold and many further benefits.   

This is always the way that the World will entice the People of Elohim to be drawn to compromise. What we find in this story is the desire of the enemy or Ha Satan for the Yahudim (Jews) to break the most Kadosh (Holy) Covenants of the Almighty by:

  1. The eating & sacrificing of unclean animals breaking the Adamic/ Noahide Covenant.
  2. The banning on penalty of death the act of circumcising children breaking the Abrahamic Covenant.
  3. The banning of the keeping of the Shabbat, the Torah & the Moedim (Appointed times –the Feasts) of YHWH which again violated the Mosaic Covenant. 

The response however that they received from Mattathias was truly inspired by a love for YHWH and his Torah:



1 Maccabees 2:19-28 To this Mattathias replied in a ringing voice: though all the nations within the King’s dominion obey him and forsake their ancestral worship, though they have chosen to submit to his commands, yet I and my sons and brothers will follow the covenant of our fathers. Heaven forbid we should ever abandon the Torah (Law) and its statutes. We will not obey the command of the King, nor will we deviate one step from our forms of Worship.  

As soon as he had finished a Yahudi (Jew) stepped forward in full view of all to offer sacrifice on the Pagan altar at Modin, in obedience to the Royal Command. The sight stirred Mattathias to indignation; he shook with passion, and in a fury of righteous anger rushed forward and slaughtered the traitor on the very altar. At the same time he killed the officer sent by the King to enforce sacrifice and pulled the altar down. Thus Mattathias showed his fervent zeal for the Torah (Law) just as Phineas had done by killing Zimri son of Salu (during the rebellion in Mosheh’s day). “Follow me” he shouted through the town, every one of you who is zealous for the Torah (Law) and strives to maintain the Covenant. He & his sons took to the hills, leaving all their belongings behind in the town. 

This began the great struggle as further detailed in the Books of the Maccabees that describe supernatural defeats of grossly superior Greek armies that can only be attributed to YHWH. In the following we receive a wonderful example of one of these great victories against insurmountable odds.



1 Maccabees 3:28- 29 The Next year Lysias mustered 60,000 picked infantrymen and 5,000 cavalry to subdue them. 29 They came into Idumea and encamped at Beth-zur and Judas met them with 10,000 men. 

The result of the ongoing war would finally see Yerushalayim (Jerusalem) & the Beyth Ha Mikdash (the Temple) restored & Yisrael (Israel) freed. The day we remember as Chanukah (Hanukah) or the rededication of the Temple commemorates this as the following text reveals:



2 Maccabees 10:5 The sanctuary was purified on the 25th day of Kislev, the same day of the same month as that on which foreigners had profaned it.  

This celebration also reminds us how much blood was shed to restore the Faith of Yahweh and his Kadosh (Holy) Covenants preparing it for the coming of Moshiach (Messiah).   

The question that should come to our minds through all this, is how passionate are we for the ways of Elohim and what would we do or give up to see him Esteemed and to maintain all that he has decreed. Without these heroes of the faith how would the Faith survive and we know that YHWH in every time is always seeking those of a pure heart as he spoke to YeshiYahu (Isaiah) in:

YeshiYahu (Isaiah) 6:8 And I heard the voice of YHWH saying “whom shall I send and who will go for Us.” 

The Kingdom is surely under affliction and the Master is challenging us to take a Pro-active part in seeing his Kingdom prevail as we read in the following:



MatithYahu (Matthew) 11:12 And from the days of Yochanan Ha Matbil (John the Immerser) until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.

Slide N 14 Click again

Luke 16:16 “The Torah (law) and the prophets were until Yochanan (John). Since that time the Reign of Elohim is being announced, and everyone is doing violence upon it.

Since we know this is no easy road we need to understand that to stand for YHWH is not a passive stand but requires a heart Zealous for him and all that he has revealed as Shaul (Paul) writes in:

Slide N 14 click 2nd time

Philippians 3:12 Not that I have already received, or already been perfected, but I press on to lay hold of that for which Messiah Yahshua has also laid hold of me. 



The Unveiled Truth

Through this study we come to some most profound truths:

  1. The journey the Torah has taken to come to us has been filled with extreme violence since the world system is under the sway of the Devil but YHWH is his power and compassion has prevailed.
  2. In every time YHWH has his Zealous people that he has anointed to carry the torch to victory and we now have been given his light and are challenged to become his dedicated torch bearers in a difficult generation. We therefore have a great challenge to be like those men of faith who prevailed against all the odds to bring the Torah of truth to us today.
  3. If the Torah, the Covenant & the love of YHWH has undergone such assaults should we not hold dear all that YHWH has given us and not grieve him by compromising his truth.



P 16.JPG

The Final Most significant Question:

Though the most powerful & violent Empires of the World were not able to destroy or even change any aspects of the Torah like the keeping of the appointed times, the Shabbat, the Dietary requirements etc. this begs the Question:

What force in all of history was able to change all the fundamental foundations of the Faith as delivered to the Forefathers? Surely the manifestation of Compromise became ingrained with Emperor Constantine and we need therefore to take a closer look at the early Assemblies (the Kehilot) and be willing to make the necessary changes that would see us reclaim the Original Faith devoid of the Pagan trappings that we have inherited. 

May this teaching prevail upon us to read some of these often unknown books commonly known as the Apocrypha to enhance our love and commitment to all the wonderful instructions of Yahweh as revealed through the Torah & the Prophets?   


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Thanking you.