The Earth belongs to HaShem
"The Earth belongs to HaShem and the Fullness Thereof."

The Noahide Nazarene Way

By Jagannatha Prakash © 2003

Welcome to Page Four of An Introduction to the Noahide Nazarene Way. In this study, you will gain a basic understanding of the Noahide Movement in general and the Noahide Nazarene Way in particular. Page Four is an overview of how the Noahide Nazarene Way was co-opted by the unification of Rome's diverse religious systems into a single Universal Roman Religion. May HaShem and our Master bless your desire to learn more and empower you to walk the Noahide Nazarene Way.!

The Noahide Nazarene Way
An Overview:

The Noahide Nazarene Way
Part Four

The Rise of the Universal Church

Throughout the centuries, Jewish scribes have meticulously guarded the Tanakh's (the Hebrew Scriptures) integrity. There were a few inadvertent errors, however for the most part we can be confident that the Torah we have today in the Hebrew Bible is the original Torah. The same is essentially true of the remainder of the Tanakh.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about the New Testament. While carefully hand copied editions of the Torah were kept in every Jewish synagogue the world over and regularly studied by the Jewish community, for many years the New Testament was in the hands of Papal priests, monks and professional theologians who stressed loyalty to the Catholic hierarchy and its doctrines over textual preservation. For such people, church doctrine took priority over the Bible. Most Christians were illiterate until the last few hundred years, and for those who could read, Bibles were very scarce. On those occasions when a literate Christian gained access to a copy of the Bible, reading it was illegal, or at the least strongly discouraged, by the Papacy and reading the Bible could result in prison or even death. To Rome, only those specifically approved by the Church were deemed worthy to read the scriptures. What became of the biblical texts during these dark centuries is largely a matter of conjecture at this point. We do know that several contradictory versions of the New Testament were created during this period, and that the modern paraphrases are largely based on these minority fragments. There is also the greater share of manuscript evidence known as the Textus Receptus , the source material of the Authorized King James Version that is now widely being by Christendom.

It is most likely that the New Testament was first written in Hebrew. Of course, we have no original Hebrew editions or even copies of these original manuscripts, so we don't know for sure what was originally in the books that made it into New Testament Cannon. All we have today are Greek, Latin, and Aramaic translations of copies of copies...

The history of the early Roman Universal Church is replete with stories of priests and theologians bitterly debating every conceivable point of doctrine. Between the second and fourth centuries CE, everything was open for debate among the conflicting parties of the now politically motivated Papal Church. Following the alleged conversion of Constantine, the Church gained more and more political power to enforce its dogmas on the remaining Believers and the New Religion's converts.

During his battle for Rome against Maxentius in 312 CE Constantine claimed to have had a vision of Christ. He reported that Master Y'shua had ordered him to "fight and conquer" under the sign of the cross (the Chi-Rho). This presumably being the same Master Y'shua who ordered his followers to turn the other cheek when struck, the same Y'shua who ordered Peter to put away his sword, 'because those who live by the sword will die by it', who declined repeated requests to take up the sword and lead Israel as a Warrior Messiah, and who said 'My kingdom is not of this world'. This same Master Y'shua now ordered a Pagan Roman warlord to fight in his name? Despite the obvious absurdity of this claim and the fact that Constantine was worshipper of the Roman sun god until his death, many Church leaders accept his account as a sign that God wanted to raise the Church to political power and end the periodic persecutions it faced.

Doubtless the Nazarenes who remained in the Church at this point were terrified and aghast as the Pagans gained more and more control over the Church and the Master's teachings fell by the wayside. They stood firm in the face of overt persecution, but gave in to the seductive covert attacks on the heart of the faith.

Under the rulership of this new governmental and ecclesiastical hierarchy known as the Papacy, the Nazarenes were largely silenced as Papal authorities codified and mandated heretical doctrines in the various official councils, such as those held at Nicaea in May of 325. These counsels and closed-door sessions created new heresies as official Church and political doctrine. It must have seemed to the Nazarene believers as though a wild beast had been set free in the congregations of the faithful. And this beast had the claws to enforce its edicts! From this point on dissent was not only heretical, it was illegal and dangerous!

It's clear from the documents that Constantine, who claimed he had converted to Christianity, was more concerned about political unity and expediency than doctrinal purity. It's said that on one occasion he bowed to an idol of the sun god (Sol Invictus) presumably thinking it was Master Y'shua, the Son of God. When his error was pointed out he replied, "What's the difference?" and continued worshipping the idol. The truth was that Constantine's conversion was a matter of political expediency, as we will see below. Sol Invictus was the god he worshipped.

During these years of papal development, debates raged between Rome and Constantinople as well. As the Empire itself had been divided, so too these disagreements eventually led to the division of the one "Holy and Apostolic Roman Catholic Church," into the Eastern Orthodox and the Roman or Western Catholic Churches. Unfortunately, these were largely debates of political expediency rather than of returning to first things or rediscovering doctrinal purity. Neither the Western nor the Eastern Church rejected the Pagan influences that had so thoroughly taken hold of the Church, nor did they give any serious thought to returning to the teachings of Master Y'shua of Nazareth. It was politics as usual, plain and simple.

Power struggles and doctrinal debates of all kinds shook the Church to its foundations. These included those between the so-called Judaizers and Paganizers as well as between the Eastern and Western New Church theologians, there were Judaizers and Paganizers on both sides of the East-West struggles. These debates included several topics, some as essential as the divine or fully human nature of Master Y'shua and his role within the Church. Many of the Judaizers tried to preserve the original Jewish-based teachings of Master Y'shua while the Paganizers were determined to redefine his teachings in order to establish a Pagan-Christian synthesis with which to rule the empire.

It should be noted for clarity sake, that the term "Judaizer" has traditionally been used to refer to Noahides who were "God-venerators" or "God-Fearers" and predates our Common Era and the rise of Christianity. Acknowledging that the God of the Jews is the only true God, Judaizers attach themselves to the Jewish people and to HaShem:

Leviticus 17:8:

"And thou shalt say unto them, Whatsoever man there be of the house of Israel, or of the strangers which sojourn among you, that offereth a burnt offering or sacrifice."

And again, Leviticus 17:13

"And whatsoever man there be of the children of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn among you, which hunteth and catcheth any beast or fowl that may be eaten; he shall even pour out the blood thereof, and cover it with dust."

Such people were called Ger in Hebrew, or Strangers who lived among the Jews. We call such people Ger Noahides or simply Noahides or, if applicable, Noahide Nazarenes. It's really a question of semantics but such people had clearly defined roles within Israel.

Some Noahides eventually convert to Judaism while others remain Noahide. The original Nazarenes, the first disciples of Master Y'shua of Nazareth were Judean Jews. These people can be referred to as Nazarene Jews or Jewish Nazarenes. They were simply Jews who accepted the teachings of Master Y'shua. Such people remain Jews. Gentiles who embrace the Noahide Covenant are known as Noahides, and those Noahides who come to Master Y'shua are known as Noahide Nazarenes or just Nazarenes. As Noahide Nazarenes don't believe that Master Y'shua was or claimed to be the Shiloh as discussed above, they are not rightly referred to as "Christians" as that term is generally used.

By the period we're speaking of now, the majority of Nazarenes were Noahides. Their attempts to restore the Jewish-based teachings of Master Y'shua were condemned as Judaizing by the Papacy. The true Nazarene Way was viewed as a threat to Catholic authority and dogma. Those who opposed the doctrine of the Trinity, the deity of Master Y'shua, the absence of eternal torment in a hellfire, conditional salvation, and so on were persecuted by the Church of Rome as heretics. Anti-Semitism became official Church doctrine and Passion Plays condemning Jews as Christ killers become popular forms of entertainment and indoctrination. Such portrayals are still popular as was seen recently in Mel Gibson's scripturally inaccurate anti-Semitic snuff film, the Passion of the Christ.

The term "Paganizer" is not one I have seen elsewhere, however when using the term "Judaizer" as I do here to refer to those who sought to return the Church to its Jewish roots, the term "Paganizer" seems appropriate to describe those who sought to do the opposite. This faction won most of these second to fourth century debates and established the essential doctrines still accepted by most branches of Christendom. This group brought countless Pagan holidays, beliefs and traditions into the Church. These include holidays such as Christmas and Easter, the dress worn by Catholic clergy persons, the near deification of Catholic saints and Mary as the Theotokos, hellfire, purgatory, heaven for humans, the common belief that some humans become angels upon death, the deification of Master Y'shua, the Trinity doctrine, the doctrine of original sin, the rosary, the church mandated disregard of Shabbat (an observance clearly defined in the Ten Commandments and elsewhere), the embrace of Sunday as a holy day, and so much more.

During these debates many people of the Nazarene Way sought to officially preserve the teachings of Master Y'shua. One of the fiercest battlegrounds concerned the nature of Master Y'shua. The Nazarenes believed that the Master, while truly a great tzaddik or holy man, was in all ways human. They held that only HaShem is God and that He is eternally one and absolute unique, as taught in the Shema:

Deuteronomy 6:4:

Sh'ma Yisrael Adonai Elohaynu Adonai Echad:
"Hear, Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is One."

This central Jewish, Noahide and Nazarene truth came to be known as Arianism in the Church, after Arius, one of its principle proponents during the Pagan usurpation of the Christian religion. Arius' admirable attempts to preserve portions of the Nazarene faith were not successful however, and the Paganizers managed to deify Master Y'shua after the matter of the Roman sun god Sol Invictus. Emperor Constantine, who was mentioned above and who was largely responsible for the creation of modern Christianity, remained a loyal worshipper of Sol Invictus all of his life, despite claims that he had converted to the Nazarene Way.

Sol Invictus was worshipped on the day of the sun god, unlike the Jews, Noahides and Noahide Nazarenes who honored Shabbat and maintained a lunar calendar as used in the Torah. Pagan Constantine however issued the following order replacing Shabbat with the day of his god, and for the most part Christians still worship on that day.

We learn the following from wikipedia.com:

"On the venerable day of the Sun let the magistrates and people residing in cities rest, and let all workshops be closed...."

Shabbat rejecting Christians can debate Paul's teachings that one day is as good as another, and so on, yet here is the origin of Sunday as the Lord's Day and the rejection of Shabbat.

As for Constantine's alleged conversion to Christianity:
"Before his baptism on his deathbed, Emperor Constantine portrayed Sol Invictus on his official coinage, with the legend SOLI INVICTO COMITI, thus claiming the Unconquered Sun as a companion to the Emperor. Constantine decreed (March 7, 321) dies Solis day of the sun, from which "sunday" as the Roman day of rest [CJ3.12.2]..."

"Christianity adopted some of the attributes of the Sol Invictus religion, as apparent in the first examples of Christian iconography, depicting Christ with solar attributes such as the radiated crown or, in a few instances, a solar chariot."

"Sol Invictus had been adopted by the Church of Rome as evidenced by Christ as Apollo-Helios in a mausoleum discovered under St. Peter's Basilica and dated to 250, and, from the beginning of the third century, "Sun of Justice" was used as a title of Christ."

"The date for Christmas may also bear a relation to the sun worship. According to the Syriac bishop Jacob Bar-Salibi, writing in the twelth century:

"It was a custom of the Pagans to celebrate on the same 25 December the birthday of the Sun, at which they kindled lights in token of festivity. In these solemnities and revelries the Christians also took part. Accordingly when the doctors of the Church perceived that the Christians had a leaning to this festival, they took counsel and resolved that the true Nativity should be solemnised on that day." (cited in "Christianity and Paganism in the Fourth to Eighth Centuries", Ramsay MacMullen. Yale:1997, p155)."

"Christianity designated Sunday as the "Lord's Day" and the day of rest, rather than Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath." (sic)

    (Taken from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sol_Invictus)

Thus was set the final nail in the coffin of the Nazarene Way. Neo-Christianity had ceased to be a Jewish heterodoxy based on the Noahide Way, and had become a new conglomerate religious entity. From this point onward, the Way established by Master Y'shua of Nazareth was transformed into something fundamentally different.

As the debates raged, the Judaizers were branded heretics and relentlessly persecuted by the Papal Church. The clear implication of these attacks being that the Roman Catholic Church had no place within it for anyone who held to the Jewish origins or teachings of Master Y'shua of Nazareth. In effect, the Roman theologians declared Master Y'shua himself a heretic and created a new religion in which neither he nor his teachings would be tolerated.

The Church declared the Master's people, the Jews, to be "Christ killers" and anti-Semitism became a desirable quality of the faithful Catholic. That this sentiment was carried into the Protestant Movement is evident from even a cursory reading of Martin Luther, a personal hero of Adolph Hitler due to Luther's extreme hatred of all things Jewish. Martin Luther of course was one of the main founders of the Protestant Reformation.

The Papal elite favored the more inclusive and eclectic Roman Pagan beliefs to the esoteric and exclusionary Jewish ones, and they believed that Master Y'shua's Jewish reform movement, coupled with Rome's Pagan beliefs, was just what they needed to establish a universal faith favorable to Rome. In the name of the cross, as Constantine had declared, Rome would be victorious.

The emerging Papacy based its teachings more on Plato and Aristotle than upon the revealed Word of God, the Tanakh. They acknowledged the many weaknesses of Pagan Rome and their philosophies, but sought to maintain the strengths and basic mythos of the Pagans. Paganism was a dieing faith throughout the Empire and Rome itself was crumbling. They needed some way of uniting the rebellious and disillusioned populace around a central patriotic pillar, and in Rome that meant religion. With this as their primary impetus, Roman scholars undertook the Herculean task of merging Roman Paganism with the fast growing sect of the Nazarenes.

The Papacy still faced problems however. In many cases, neither the Tanakh nor the generally accepted writings of the early Nazarenes could be made to agree with the new Roman religion. Thus began serious Roman Catholic biblical scholarship. If the doctrines didn't fit the Bible, the Bible would be made to fit the doctrines.

For the Torah, the Papal Church relied on the Greek Septuagint, translated into Greek by Jewish scholars. The Nevi'im and Kethuvim, the remainder of the Septuagint, had been translated into Greek by Gentile scholars and included a few discrepancies from the Hebrew originals, but were nonetheless reasonably solid. These books were well established by Jewish scholars and the Roman theologians couldn't do much to alter their teachings.

The New Testament however did not present the same limitations. Although many people had read the main Nazarene New Testament books by the early third century, none of them had yet attained the status of cannon. Citing poor translations, older or more reliable manuscripts, and so on, it was easy for the theologians to reject or edit these books so that they supported the teachings of the New Pagan/Christian Church (we saw a similar process when the more Humanist NIV paraphrase replaced the King James Version of the Bible throughout the English-speaking world. Few people objected as the ancient Western standard, the Textus Receptus, was replaced by less established manuscript sources). A few of the generally accepted books, like the Gospel of Enoch and so on were rejected outright while other writings were reworked and made part of the official Papal cannon in order to establish the orthodoxy of the New Religion's teachings.

Among the most important 'proofs' the Papal theologians needed to establish was that Master Y'shua had a unique and specific role to play in the working out of God's plans for the Holy Apostolic Roman Catholic Church. The new and improved Papal Jesus had to be the Jewish Messiah, yet not be "too Jewish." With this in mind, the theologians meticulously searched the Tanakh for proof texts: verses that could be cited to uphold the Papacy's new teachings. Since it is an undeniable fact that Master Y'shua did not fulfill the main messianic requirement, the ushering in of the Kingdom as discussed above, new "prophecies" were "discovered" that he could fulfill. Elsewhere I discuss various texts employed to this end.

Building the foundations of the new religion stone upon stone with proof texts, in time the Papal theologians established the body of orthodox Christian dogma, identified the only acceptable sources of spiritual knowledge (i.e. the Roman Catholic biblical cannon and the Catholic Oral Traditions), and announced their political and spiritual authority over the entire Christian world. Declaring the Roman Popes to be the successors to Saint Peter (by misinterpreting a saying of Master Y'shua at Matt. 16:18), the Papacy proclaimed itself the sole and divinely appointed emissaries of God with authority over the whole world.

The Papacy declared that the Holy Apostolic Roman Catholic Church on earth was the prophesied Kingdom of God and that Master Y'shua had in fact ushered in the Kingdom! Only Roman Catholics were accepted as citizens of the Kingdom of God. As 'salvation' could only be found within the Church, the Papacy's authority on all points of doctrine was unquestionable. This belief could hardly be more out of touch with Master Y'shua's teachings!

In accordance with their new authority, Catholic missionaries traveled far and wide, planting missions wherever they went and spreading the influence of the "Mother Church," the Kingdom of God. Soon the doctrine was developed that as the Apostolic Roman Catholic Church itself was the kingdom of God on earth, it was obviously destined to rule all things, including sovereign countries and the hearts and minds of everyone on the planet. The Papal Church had the power to give life and to take it away, both physically and spiritually. She could forgive sins or retain them. She was all-powerful, all knowing, and there was no aspect of human activity that she did not rightly have authority over. Her leader, the "Holy Pope," held the "Keys to the Kingdom" as the rightful heir to Saint Peter, the heir of Master Y'shua, and so nothing could stand the Church's way! As the title pope, (literally "Papa,") implies, the Roman Pontiff had actually usurped the position of the "Abba" or Father, he had for all intent and purposes assumed the position of God Himself! As the Roman emperors were deified, so too were the Roman popes. Rome seemed unstoppable! Once the people of the earth had been converted to Catholicism, one way or another, the Papacy would rule the world and destroy anyone standing in their way!

To further its goal of world conquest, the Papacy established Militias of Saint Peter and the Holy Inquisition to extend their political and religious power bases and to enforce Roman Catholic Orthodoxy around the globe. Her power is still such that Vatican City is a sovereign nation and the Pope its theocratic head. Had it not been for the rise of Islam, the Papal intent to rule the planet might well have succeeded! Thank God the Vatican was stopped!

Those who remained loyal to the teachings of Master Y'shua (as well as other "heretics" like Gnostics, etc.) were regularly tortured and brutally murdered or driven into hiding. The Tanakh clearly teaches that the Messiah will establish his kingdom over the earth, and yet Master Y'shua didn't accomplish that mission, for the reasons cited above. With the might of the Roman Church State the Catholic Hierarchy answered this objection with brutal conquests, countless tortures and murders by the hands of Jesuit ("Society of Jesus") Inquisitors, deceptive conversion tactics, unjust laws, propaganda, the adoption of ever more Pagan traditions, genocide and political espionage. If the messiah would not fulfill his destiny, then by all the gods of Rome the Papal Church would do it for him! And so the Holy Apostolic Roman Catholic Church plunged Europe into the Dark Ages and truly insane horrors filled the lands all in the name of the Prince of Peace.

It is horribly, sadly ironic yet true that more damage has been done to the Jewish people by those who claim to follow the Jewish Messiah than by any other single group in history. Still HaShem plainly declares, "I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you!"

The tragedy of this period of Church history is what brought on the Dark Ages. What brought the world out of that bleak period were the invention of the printing press and the release of the Gutenberg Bible in the 1450's, the Protestant Reformation circa 1517, and the Authorized King James Version of 1611. Once people were able to read and understand the Bible for themselves, everything changed.

Throughout this dark and dreadful period, Nazarenes secretly studied the Scriptures, trying to separate the wheat from the chaff. Most remained within the Roman Church, it was too dangerous not to, but their faith was in God alone. As the years went by and the Papal Church's power and teachings became ever more entrenched in the various societies and within the Church itself, the teachings of Master Y'shua were largely forgotten. Some Noahides and Noahide Nazarenes converted to Judaism, but most seem to have gradually submerged into the Papal structure.

When the Great Church Split happened between Eastern and Western Catholicism, those in the West stayed with the Vatican, those in the East followed the lead of their local bishops. It didn't really matter which branch one followed, neither was the Way of Master Y'shua.

Fortunately however, HaShem is most compassionate and there is truth to be found at Micah 6:6-8. HaShem is ever merciful and oft forgiving! He looks at the heart of a person and not at the externals. Since the very beginning, those who place their trust in HaShem according to their abilities and knowledge have never been abandoned nor rejected. It's not so important what one calls HaShem but that one worships Him according to their time and circumstances. HaShem is the God of the whole world. He accepts worship on Shabbat; He accepts it on Sunday or any other day. What HaShem wants is our love and devotion to the path He sets before us.

In its unrelenting expansion, the Papal Church continued to encounter other religions. Religious beliefs can be very powerful and in those days, they were even more so. One does not simply yield one's religious beliefs just because an enemy has defeated you militarily, and the New Rome wanted victory over souls as well as nations. The Roman Empire had learned this lesson early on and had developed an effective solution. The Papal Church, using the eminently eclectic wisdom of Pagan Rome, followed the same course.

Rather than debating local belief systems, explaining the biblical truths of a matter and thereby converting the hearts and minds of the people to the God of Israel, they convinced people that Papal Rome held to their same basic beliefs, whatever those beliefs might be. If only they would adopt the New Religion and submit to Papal authority, the conquered peoples could do and believe as they always had. They just needed to change the external appearances a bit and plug into to an existing category. Instead of worshipping Sol Invictus and honoring Yule, worship Jesus and honor Christmas and you'll be just fine. Using deceitful methods, the Roman Church's missionaries managed to incorporate many of the diverse Gentile religions into the Roman Hierarchy. Of course, once the people were converted they had to tow the established Papal line or face charges of spiritual treason and heresy.

As the Middle Ages progressed; the charge of WitchCrafte was more frequently used against Pagans who refused to modify their beliefs. The penalties for the crime of WitchCrafte were harsh and carried out ruthlessly across most of Europe, releasing the hellish fury known as the Burning Times.

There were several common Pagan beliefs that the Church had to regularly contended with that were quite worrisome. One very deeply held belief of many Pagans was the idea that the highest deity was feminine, not masculine. Sol Invictus could easily be exchanged for the risen Son of God, but the goddess was a different mater. The Papacy had no alternatives to offer her dedicated devotees.

The 'Triple Goddess' reigned supreme over much of the ancient world and so the Papal Church faced stiff opposition from her worshippers. The Church put its best theologians to work on the problem and came up with a solution that redefined the Catholic Church and brought millions more under its control.

Not only did Rome need to incorporate the diverse beliefs of other religions in order to bring rebellious groups into the Papal community, it also had to maintain the loyalty of its current members. In this example, Rome could not change so radically as to say that the God of the Bible was actually a goddess. The belief in "God the Father" was too well established and many Christians would have been outraged by such a major doctrinal change. So what to do?

There is some evidence that Rome considered re-working the Trinity doctrine. Having been victorious in their struggles with the "Arian heresy," the Papacy had determined that the One God was eternally existent in three Holy Persons, as Father, Son and Holy Ghost. "God the Father" was a given, He was the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Even Rome dared not tamper with this standard. Likewise, there was no question of changing the gender of Jesus; he had to remain the "God the Son." While his persona would still require some tweaking, the basic teachings about the Christian Jesus were set and sacrosanct. The dogmas concerning the Holy Spirit however were not yet established.

Many Catholics were unclear on whether the Holy Spirit was a "Person" or "Energy," God's Power personified perhaps. It had been generally agreed that the Holy Ghost was the "Third Person" of the Triune Godhead and that he was male, however some of the Papists clearly toyed with the idea of transforming the Spirit into a goddess to encourage Pagan conversions and make the Roman Church appear more inclusive. I say "appear" because the truth was, the Holy Apostolic Roman Catholic Church was a very exclusive system ruled by a powerful priesthood.

This change made perfect sense from a Pagan utilitarian worldview, and the imagery of a divine Father, Mother and Child existed throughout the Pagan world. This was too overtly Pagan however, and the "test balloons" were shot down by those who retained a more Nazarene sensibility.

No, while this considered heresy was tempting, it proved too controversial, and the Papacy scrapped the idea. The personality and nature of the Holy Ghost was never completely developed. Even today among the Holy Spirit lacks any real personality and substance. Many Christians today admit that while they can accept that "Jesus is God Incarnate," they don't really understand the Holy Spirit's role at all.

The Papacy still needed to satisfy Pagan demands for a goddess figure however, and they hit upon a very successful solution.
"Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost."
(Matthew 1:18)

By this point, the Vatican had codified the dogma that Jesus was God Incarnate. Being such, they still needed to explain how his entry into the world could have taken place. They needed something miraculous because it clearly didn't occur in the normal manner. How would God take on human form?

First they considered the traditional stories in which many Pagan deities had taken on human form. Inspired by the ancient myths, the Church developed a new variation on a very old story.

Mary, as has been noted elsewhere, was apparently not yet married to Joseph when Y'shua was conceived. This was out of the ordinary, but not in a good way! In order to make the situation seem more acceptable and holy, Mary was declared a virgin at the time of Y'shua's conception. This explained why the people suspected that something was askew. Of course, Mary, as the holy mother of God, was pure and would never have had sexual relations out of marriage.

For a proof text of her virginity, they took Isaiah 7:14 (which they linked to Matt 1:23, a verse that was doubtless inserted into the biblical text) and hoped that no one would check the context too closely (7:1-16)! I discuss this prophecy in detail elsewhere and so will not repeat it here. The plan worked great! Mary's child was not from any human source, like Hercules and other heroes, he was half-divine! He was the Son of God the Father! This made the Papal Jesus look better and elevated Mary as "the Mother of God," the Theotokos!

"OK, so she's not a goddess, but she is the mother of God!" That would sell!

But how would God impregnate the teenager?

During the rewrite to elevate Mary as the Theotokos, it was determined that the Holy Spirit should "overshadow" or "come upon" her so that Mary would thus conceive.

At first she even argues with the angel, "How can these things be, seeing that I have never lain with a man?" In this way the nature of the Holy Spirit was solidified somewhat in that henceforth, "He" was undeniably male and an individual rather than "simply" the power or influence exerted by God. Likewise, Mary was shown to be a righteous virginal servant of God and the mystery of Jesus' conception was solved; it was a win-win dogma! And of course, those who refused to accept it could always be tortured until they did! Some people get angry when I tell them what the Gospel of Luke says about the method of Mary's supposedly impregnated. They feel this is too graphic. That this is the official Church teaching can be easily confirmed by looking in the Catechism of the Roman Catholic Church. There you will find quite clearly that Jesus was "begotten, not made." Adam was "made" ex-nihilo or from nothing, whereas Jesus, according to the Church's official catechism, was "begotten not made." The details are completely obvious from Dr. Luke's reworked account (Luke 1:34-38) and the clear meaning of the word "begotten" at places like John 3:16.

The debate over the nature of Papal Jesus continued, and in time, it was soon decided that Papal Jesus could be both divine and human. The worshippers could worship either aspect of their Lord. Clearly, they said. this was what was meant by the Papal declaration that he was half-divine. But how was this possible? Either Master Y'shua was God or he not! After lots of debate, the theologians developed, and the Counsel of Nicea approved, the official dogma: Papal Jesus was both fully human and fully divine simultaneously. When it was pointed out that this made no sense, objectors were told, "It's a divine Mystery." The perfect out!

But it still doesn't wash. According to the Trinity doctrine, the One God is eternally manifested in three distinct and co-eternal Persons, however according to Dr. Luke, Master Y'shua is both the Son of God the Father and the Son of the Holy Ghost. This problem seems to have been solved by ignoring it! Although Luke 1:34-37 clearly says that the Holy Ghost, "came upon her," "overshadowed her," and thus Mary conceived her son, and even though John 3:16 (and many other verses), clearly refers to Master Y'shua as "the only begotten Son of God," it appears that most Christians choose overlook the obvious implications and theological contradictions the teaching has created.

Now, let's return to Mary for a moment. The conception of Master Y'shua, God the Son, by God Himself, through Mary, by the Holy Ghost, satisfied several doctrinal needs; what about Mary? Did the new dogma give her what she needed to attract the potential Pagan converts? Common sense would say that any woman chosen to bear the Son of God was very special indeed. She must have been very holy and righteous. Who could doubt this? However, a righteous woman, no matter how holy she might be, would not be enough to replace a goddess! Therefore, the following was added to the Bible:

Luke 1:46-48:

And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord,
And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior.
For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.

Now the Papacy had New Testament support that Mary was "blessed," and that everyone would acknowledge her blessedness throughout the generations. They also had a proof text from Isaiah twisted to refer to her as the virgin Theotokos or Mother of God, which makes her unique and at least semi-divine!

Then, out of whole cloth, the Papacy invented the doctrine that Mary also was born of a virgin! Nothing in the Bible even suggests such a thing of course. The reasoning however was that God's mother could not possibly have sin herself or it might have been transmitted to the child (why Mary's mother was not also virgin-born one dares not ask!). This is also why the Catholic Church teaches that Master Y'shua was an only child, despite clear New Testament statements to the contrary:

Galatians 1:19:

"But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord's brother."

And Matthew 12:46:

"While he [Master Y'shua] yet talked to the people, behold, his mother and his brethren stood without, desiring to speak with him.

Mary virgin birth even gets a cooler name than Jesus' does, the "Immaculate Conception." Yet this still wasn't enough!

The Papal Church was on a roll! Next, they proclaimed that in order to pray to God one had to go through Jesus, and that to pray to Jesus, one had to go through Mother Mary! Jesus is a busy God, just like the Pope, and besides, Mary is so much more compassionate than he is! She'll put in a good word for you, no worries!

Next, the "Mother of God" was elevated, at least within the Roman Church, to the position of "Divine Co-Redemptrix!" In other words, when 'God the Father' wants to save a soul, the task is now delegated to Mary and her Son! There is no longer "one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus," as the New Testament teaches now there are two co-mediators! (1Tim 2:5)... not counting the myriad official Saints!

This new and improved Virgin Mother of God and Co-Remptrix Mary should satisfy the spiritual needs any Pagan who is looking for a new religion! One wonders if the Messiah tarries whether or not the Catholic Church will eventually become a primarily goddess based religion! It seems to be heading in that direction.

On other fronts, as the Roman Papacy continued to develop its official dogmas, it elevated certain dead people to the status of demigods. These people are known as "Saints," a term used in the New Testament to describe all of the believers in Master Y'shua's Way. In the Roman Papal system however, Saints exist within a well-defined vast hierarchy, each having specific offices, powers, and tasks to perform. The good Catholic knows which "Patron Saint" is most inclined to answer specific types of requests and so prays accordingly, often to an idol or icon of the saint just as a good Pagan should! Of course, if the request is beyond the ability or sphere of influence of the besought saint, he or she can always take the matter up with a higher saint! This saint, in turn can go to Mother Mary, who may decide to approach Jesus with the matter and, if one is a good church member and regularly pays one's tithes, Jesus just may agree to take the matter on up the chain of command to God the Father who, perhaps, will deign to grant the request! There is nothing Jewish in this pantheon and Master Y'shua's teachings nowhere implemented such a thing.

Needless to say, this entire affair smacks of blatant polytheism and is clearly out of sync with the strictly monotheistic teachings of the Tanakh and our Master. With the advent of this new heresy, Roman Catholics were granted a host of intercessors they could pray to that rivaled the Vedic pantheon of the Indian Sanatana Dharma!

Other concerns that the Papal theologians addressed were holidays. The Tanakh has a number of holidays for Jews; however, the Vatican had already made it clear that they wanted a complete break with Judaism and the teachings of Master Y'shua. They adopted Pagan holidays instead.

Most Pagan religions are nature based and hold special rites at the equinox, solstice, etc. The Papal Church decided to join with other Pagans in celebrating Yule. They re-named the ancient holiday the Christ Mass or Christmas in order to justify their observance of it. Apparently, the Papal theologians either didn't know or hid the date of Master Y'shua's actual birth and so to attract more Pagans they adopted the least likely date possible for it, Yule, the Winter Solstice when any shepherds 'tending their sheep by night' would surely have frozen their flocks off (comp. Luke 2:8)! It was a huge success and Christians joyfully adopted the ancient Pagan customs of Yule, such as decorating Christmas trees, even though such practices are directly condemned in the Tanakh (compare Jer. 10:1-11). In time Christians embraced Sunday, and most other Pagan holidays and customs. All Saints Day (Halloween or Samhain), Easter (a favorite of goddess Eostar with her rabbits and eggs), St. Michaelmas (goddess Brigid's Day), etc. as they abandoned the commands of HaShem.

In time, the Paganization of the Church became so odorous that various Catholic priests defiantly rose and tried to reform the Church. These people did not intend to leave the "One Holy and Apostolic Roman Catholic Church." They were however intent on seriously reforming it! They protested the clearly Pagan role of Mother Mary, the selling of indulgences (by which the wealthy paid the Church to overlook their sins!) and other clear violations of the Scriptures still available to them.

The hierarchy was too powerful and entrenched however and their efforts were thwarted. These men hoped to restore the original Nazarene Way of Master Y'shua, but by this point, they had no way of determining what those pristine teachings even were! Likewise, the people of the Church had always believed in the teachings of the Papacy, even if they acknowledged some of the Church's abuses of power, and the reformers had to maintain consistency with what people believed if they hoped to garner support for the cause.

These reformers, these "Protestants" or "Protestors" had been trained in the Papal seminaries. Their idea of restoring true teachings was a return to the biblical faith. The problem was, the Papacy had already re-written the New Testament and replaced it with their altered version.

The Papacy was generally viewed as God's representatives on earth and there was no way a group of priests would be allowed to threaten their power bases! The Roman See fought back and the Protestants were forced out of "Mother Church" as a warning to others who might be contemplating similar actions. As it was generally conceded that there is no salvation outside Church of Rome, the Papacy doubtless assumed this would be the end of the troublemakers.

The Protestant leaders were unprepared for excommunication and the reformers scattered, each Protestant developing his own take on what the received Bible really taught. The result was the creation of myriad conflicting, though loosely connected, denominations and sects known generally as Protestantism. This category includes denominations like the Lutherans, the Baptists, the Presbyterians, and the Methodists etc. From such Protestant denominations, there later arose sects such as the Seventh Day Adventists, Jehovah's Witnesses, and The Church of Latter Day Saints and so on. There are thousands of Protestant denominations, sects and cults.

The Papacy survived the Reformation of course and remains the largest body of Christendom. Under pressures from within and without, the Catholic Church has undergone serious reforms itself. Although the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches remain largely Pagan institutions espousing many unbiblical heresies, among these institutions are many sincere Christians who are doubtless accepted by HaShem and Master Y'shua dues to their faith and sincerity. The same is true for Protestant Christians and others who seek to know and follow HaShem with the knowledge they have been given.

The Christian Church today is segmented: the Roman, Eastern, Anglican, Protestants, as well as the various heterodoxies within the Church, are all divided and wracked by internal and external conflicts, dissent and conflicting teachings. This situation was foretold by John the Revelator in his overview of Church history:

Revelation 3:

14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;
15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

For John's entire summary of Church history see, Revelations 2:1-3:22.

Most people today have the ability to freely consider the facts for themselves, and to decide what is true and what is religious fiction. I encourage you to ask the question: What did Master Y'shua actually teach and believe? The time has come for the Noahide Nazarene Way of Master Y'shua to resurface and restore his original teachings. In the end, each of us will stand before the Throne of HaShem and give an accounting of what we have done with the gifts we've been given.

So, what's a person to do? First, learn the truth. Most everything we know about Master Y'shua comes from the clearly corrupted New Testament. So, where are we to get our teachings? What authorities are we to accept when it comes to doctrine?

For Noahide Nazarenes there is a single truly dependable source. In the absence of better information, we accept the following as our measures of the One Truth:

The Tanakh: The Written Word of HaShem: While it is preferable to study the Tanakh in Hebrew, this is not required. There are several good translations available in most languages. We acknowledge that there appears to have been a few minor errors in the transmission of the Torah, Nevi'im and Kethuvim, however these do not affect the authenticity or overall teachings of the texts. The Tanakh is our primary source of written information about HaShem and His Will.

The New Testament: Despite its tampering, this is still an ancient source of information about our Master, his work, teachings and early followers. It must be carefully studied and sifted for its authentic content.

Prayer and Meditation: HaShem will lead those who sincerely ask for guidance. As Master Y'shua taught us, "Ask and you will receive, seek and you will find." Each person stands or falls before HaShem individually. Rest assured however, that no one who seeks the grace of HaShem is ever rejected. Melchizedek, our eternal Noahide High Priest, continually makes intercession for everyone who cries out to HaShem for understanding and mercy. HaShem is most compassionate and kind. He will not ignore the cries of His children. HaShem alone judges souls; He will guide and keep those who place their faith in Him.

The original Faith propagated by our Master was a reformed Judaism, and it was intended for the Jewish people, not for the Noahides. He was rejected however and his mercy then extended to the Noahides.

The Master's followers, lead by the Holy Spirit then opened the door of their Jewish Movement to Noahides. The Noahide Nazarene Way is neither a Jewish Movement nor a Christian denomination. It is a branch of the Noahide Way or religion begun by Father Noah and updated by Master Y'shua. Here then is the beginning of the Noahide Nazarene Movement:

Acts 10:

1 There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band,
2 A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway.
3 He saw in a vision evidently about the ninth hour of the day an angel of God coming in to him, and saying unto him, Cornelius.
4 And when he looked on him, he was afraid, and said, What is it, Lord? And he said unto him, Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God.
5 And now send men to Joppa, and call for one Simon, whose surname is Peter:
6 He lodgeth with one Simon a tanner, whose house is by the sea side: he shall tell thee what thou oughtest to do.
7 And when the angel which spake unto Cornelius was departed, he called two of his household servants, and a devout soldier of them that waited on him continually;
8 And when he had declared all these things unto them, he sent them to Joppa.
9 On the morrow, as they went on their journey, and drew nigh unto the city, Peter went up upon the housetop to pray about the sixth hour:
10 And he became very hungry, and would have eaten: but while they made ready, he fell into a trance,
11 And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending unto him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth:
12 Wherein were all manner of fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air.
13 And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat.
14 But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean.
15 And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.
16 This was done thrice: and the vessel was received up again into heaven.
17 Now while Peter doubted in himself what this vision which he had seen should mean, behold, the men which were sent from Cornelius had made inquiry for Simon's house, and stood before the gate,
18 And called, and asked whether Simon, which was surnamed Peter, were lodged there.
19 While Peter thought on the vision, the Spirit said unto him, Behold, three men seek thee.
20 Arise therefore, and get thee down, and go with them, doubting nothing: for I have sent them.
21 Then Peter went down to the men which were sent unto him from Cornelius; and said, Behold, I am he whom ye seek: what is the cause wherefore ye are come?
22 And they said, Cornelius the centurion, a just man, and one that feareth God, and of good report among all the nation of the Jews, was warned from God by an holy angel to send for thee into his house, and to hear words of thee.
23 Then called he them in, and lodged them. And on the morrow Peter went away with them, and certain brethren from Joppa accompanied him.
24 And the morrow after they entered into Caesarea. And Cornelius waited for them, and had called together his kinsmen and near friends.
25 And as Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshipped him.
26 But Peter took him up, saying, Stand up; I myself also am a man.
27 And as he talked with him, he went in, and found many that were come together.
28 And he said unto them, Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath showed me that I should not call any man common or unclean.
29 Therefore came I unto you without gainsaying, as soon as I was sent for: I ask therefore for what intent ye have sent for me?
30 And Cornelius said, Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and, behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing,
31 And said, Cornelius, thy prayer is heard, and thine alms are had in remembrance in the sight of God.
32 Send therefore to Joppa, and call hither Simon, whose surname is Peter; he is lodged in the house of one Simon a tanner by the sea side: who, when he cometh, shall speak unto thee.
33 Immediately therefore I sent to thee; and thou hast well done that thou art come. Now therefore are we all here present before God, to hear all things that are commanded thee of God.
34 Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:
35 But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.
36 The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:)
37 That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached;
38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.
39 And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree:
40 Him God raised up the third day, and showed him openly;
41 Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead.
42 And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead.
43 To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.
44 While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.
45 And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.
46 For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter,
47 Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?
48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.
For the origins of the holy Noahide Nazarene Way, we must return to the days of Noah. Our Covenant begins there.

Other than Noah and his family, the people of the earth had all left the Ways of HaShem and were washed away in the deluge. After the Flood HaShem spoke to our common Father and made known His heart. We are all God's children and HaShem loves us all more than we can possibly imagine.

We simply must put aside our differences, cling to HaShem alone and learn to respect and honor one another. The greatest commandment of HaShem is that we love the HaShem our God with our complete beings and love our neighbors as we love ourselves.

Considering how different we all are this may seem impossible, and yet we must do our best, knowing that the Messiah will come if we prepare ourselves to receive him.
Micah 6:6-8
6. With what shall I come before HaShem,
And bow myself before the High God?
Shall I come before Him with burnt offerings,
With calves a year old?

7. Will HaShem be pleased with thousands of rams,
Ten thousand rivers of oil?
Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression,
The fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?
8. He has shown you, O man, what is good;
And what HaShem requires of you
Only to do justly,
To love mercy,
And to walk humbly with your God?

This has been a basic summary of our Noahide Nazarene beliefs. More information is available in the other articles on this web site and this article will be updated from time to time so do check back.

Do be aware no official body speaks for Noahide Nazarenes (nor for Noahides in general) and that each of us must prayerfully study to show ourselves approved unto HaShem.
    Peace,
    Jagannatha Prakash
    (11.24.2002)