Ordination Requirements

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Nazarene Israel Ordination Requirements
V4.0, revised 06/12/2020

If you are interested in ordination with Nazarene Israel, this document is for you.

Situation and Mission

As explained in our literature, Yeshua commands us to go into all nations, and immerse disciples in His name, teaching them to do everything that He has commanded.

Mattityahu (Matthew) 28:19-20
19 “Go therefore and make disciples in all the nations, immersing them My name*,
20 teaching them to observe [do] all things that I have commanded you; and behold, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amein.

(*For an explanation as to why we immerse in Yeshua’s name alone, see, “Immersion in Yeshua’s Name Only”, in Nazarene Scripture Studies, Volume 3.)

A Unified Global House

Yeshua wants His disciples form a unified global temple. Ephesians 2:19-22 refers to “the foundation of apostles and prophets, Yeshua Messiah Himself being the chief cornerstone.” The passage goes on to tell us that the whole building is being fitted (or built) together, to grow into a set-apart temple in Yahweh. The idea here is that the living stones are fitted together to form a space for worship inside (where the Spirit may dwell). This requires real unity, and real accountability.

Ephesim (Ephesians) 2:19-22
19 Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of Elohim,
20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Yeshua Messiah Himself being the chief cornerstone,
21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a set-apart temple in Yahweh,
22 in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of Elohim in the Spirit.

Yeshua’s living temple is made of living (i.e., uncut) stones. It is not a “cookie-cutter” environment. We do not follow the Babylonian church model in which ministers get a diploma, and then try out for job positions. (That does not work here.) Instead, each stone (i.e., each brother) is thought to be unique. The master builders (i.e., the apostles and prophets) must get to know each stone well, to “hand fit” each stone into the place where it can serve the temple best. This means we cannot “lay hands on any man suddenly” (1 Timothy 5:22). Rather, we need to get to know you well before we know how and where to place you in the living temple. Because of this, the normal time for ordination as a deacon is a minimum of three years of faithful service, and the normal time for ordination as a congregational elder is a minimum of five years of faithful service. The minimum time for ordination into the priesthood is also (a minimum of) five years.

To be clear, in ordination, the main thing is not the amount of time, the main thing is the leading of the Spirit. If the Spirit does not say to ordain, then no matter how much time has passed, no ordination can be made. Conversely, if the Spirit does say to ordain, then no matter how much time has passed, we will ordain. Everything depends on the Spirit. (It is also worth mentioning that there is no such thing as tenure in Nazarene Israel. Because we are here to serve, we must all earn our positions each day.)

If you a minister with an existing congregation or ministry and you agree with Nazarene Israel’s doctrine and are willing to help us further the mission, you can apply for “friend congregation” or “friend minister” status, even if you have less time with Nazarene Israel. Then, as we certify your level of knowledge, and as you continue to show faithfulness in support, you can apply for certified Nazarene Israel congregational status. We will come back to this in a moment, but first we need to finish talking about structure.

Foundation of Apostles and Prophets = Council = Beit Din Gadol

As explained in our studies, the beit din is the classic Jewish leadership structure. It is also called a “council”, a “court”, and (infamously) a “Sanhedrin”. In Judaism, such councils or courts can meet regularly, or any time there is a need to do so.

In the Melchizedekian order, there should ideally be a minimum of 3 elders in each congregation, and they form a type of council or court. This can be called a “city court”, but it is usually called “the (city) council of elders.” Classically, there is also a regional court known as a beit din katan (small court), which rules on regional issues (and in Nazarene Israel the division is made by language rather than region). Then there is also a large court for the nation, called the beit din gadol (big court). In Judaism, each sect has its own beit din (or council) system, including the sect of the Nazarenes.

The most famous meeting of the Nazarene council was the so-called Jerusalem Council of Acts 15. As explained in our studies, this is where the Nazarene Beit Din Gadol ruled that the returning gentile Ephraimites could (re)join the nation of (Nazarene) Israel if they would begin to support the leadership, and enter into relational fellowship, where they would learn the rest of the Torah of Moshe over time. (In Judaism, the standard is typically one year, i.e. one complete Torah cycle). However, the important thing here is not only that they began to learn the Torah, but that they were entered into relational fellowship, so they could do their part in raising the tabernacle of David back up.

Ma’asei (Acts) 15:16-21
16 ‘After this I will return And will rebuild the tabernacle of David, which has fallen down; I will rebuild its ruins, And I will set it up;
17 So that the rest of mankind may seek Yahweh, Even all the Gentiles [i.e., Ephraimites] who are called by My name, Says Yahweh who does all these things.’
18 “Known to Elohim from eternity are all His works.
19 Therefore I judge that we should not trouble those from among the Gentiles who are (re)turning to Elohim,
20 but that we write to them to abstain from things polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from things strangled, and from blood.
21 For Moshe has had throughout many generations those who preach him in every city, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath.”

Because we seek to imitate our Jewish Teacher, if you seek ordination, you should want to learn the classic Jewish synagogue service (also known as the Torah Service, or the “Reading of the Law”). We will publish resource materials for this as Yahweh gives us time. However, the point is to notice that the style of worship is fundamentally Jewish and Israelite (not Christian). Notice in Romans 9:4 that Shaul tells us the style of worship service was given to Judah.

Romim (Romans) 9:3-5
3 For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Messiah for my brethren, my countrymen according to the flesh,
4 who are Israelites, to whom pertain the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the [worship] service of Elohim, and the promises;
5 of whom are the fathers and from whom, according to the flesh, Messiah came, who is over all, the eternally blessed Elohim. Amein.

The Fivefold Ministry

Another thing Yeshua commanded His disciples to obey is a protocol for unifying and edifying the body. This is often called the fivefold ministry. Its operating principle is that of selfless service. Everyone gives as he can, and seeks to serve as he can. Those who serve more are given greater honor in the assembly. Each one is also to speak the truth in love, and receive correction as a disciple. When done diligently, this unifies the body.

Ephesim (Ephesians) 4:11-16
11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers,
12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Messiah,
13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of Elohim, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Messiah;
14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting,
15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head — Messiah —
16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

If you seek to serve, prepare to set the example of selfless service in love. As you do this, others with the same Spirit will be gathered to you in love.

Gifts, Callings, and Positions

We all have at least one spiritual gift. Some have the gift of an apostle, or a prophet, an evangelist, a pastor, or a teacher. Others have other gifts (administrations, helps, etc.). Others may have gifts, but may not yet know what they are, because they have not yet developed them. However, no matter who we are, Yahweh has given us some gifts with which we can further the body. He wants each of us to use our gifts to establish His kingdom here on this earth. He also wants us to be eager to do all that we can for Him.

Since leadership in Nazarene Israel is through service, leaders must set the example in service. The more we do for the body, the more foundational of a position we can hold in the body. The key to this is to have a servant’s heart.

There is a saying, “Yahweh does not call those who are already qualified—rather, He qualifies those whom He calls.” The way He does this is through calling His servant leaders to set the example in giving and service, and to set the example in accepting accountability. Even if your gifts are not yet developed, if you will accept accountability, Elohim will help you to develop your gifts, so you can serve Him much better. (He is faithful to help us serve Him better—all we must do is ask.)

The Living Tree

In addition to the example of a living temple, we can also use the analogy of an olive tree. In this model, Yeshua is faithful to send us moisture and nutrients. The trunk of the tree is like unto the separated (apostolic) priesthood, which bears the weight of the nation (so to speak), by bearing the weight of the congregational elders. The elders in turn bear the weight of the deacons, and the deacons bear the weight of the people. Moisture, nourishment, and nutrients are pushed up to the leaves of the tree, and in return, the leaves conduct photosynthesis and respiration for the tree. As in Ephesians 4:16 (above), each part of the organism contributes to the body in a real, active way, so that the organism can be healthy, and grow. However, the example must be set by the leadership.

If you seek ordination with Nazarene Israel, be prepared to set the example in giving of yourself and your time, money, effort, and life energy. Be prepared to serve as Yeshua served. Be prepared to love those who do not yet understand, and to give of yourself, asking nothing in return except Elohim’s favor. Also be prepared to be accountable to the rest of the body.

Elohim’s Government vs. Babylon’s Government

In (Greco-Roman)-Babylonian governments, the strong rule over the weak. The rulers mass privileges and riches for themselves at the expense of the people. As we explain in Revelation and the End Times, this system will fall at Trumpet 7, and our job is to have Yeshua’s replacement system ready.

After Babylon falls at Trumpet 7, the reign will be given to us (Daniel 7:27). After that time, the strong will use their giftings to take care of the weak (as shepherds tend sheep). Yeshua’s example will take hold.

If you want ordination with Nazarene Israel, please show us how you would help establish Yeshua’s global spiritual government, which is based on selfless service. Use words if necessary.

Melchizedekian (Not Levitical or Rabbinic) Order

In Nazarene Scripture Studies, Volume 4, in the chapter, “About the Change in Priesthoods”, we explain that we are not presently under either the Levitical or the Rabbinical order. Rather, we are under Yeshua’s Melchizedekian order.

Yeshua’s Melchizedekian order follows the same principles and Torah precepts as the Levitical order. However, because our mission is not to unify the nation around a physical altar but to go into all nations and immerse disciples who do all that He said to do, we need a different set of operating instructions (Torah) until such time as we are called home. (For details, see “About the Change in Priesthoods”, in Nazarene Scripture Studies, Volume 4.)

The Congregational and Separated Priesthoods

The congregational (or lay) priesthood includes the congregational deacons and elders. Congregational leaders (deacons and elders) are not required to take a vow of poverty. They may own houses, lands, and businesses, and they may pass an inheritance to their children. They collect the tithe and the offering, and use it to fund the Great Commission (including their salaries). They also send a tithe of the tithe to the separated priesthood. And because leadership is by example, deacons and elders are to set the example for their congregation.

In contrast, the separated priesthood may not own any worldly possessions. They must be content with room, board, equipment, expenses, and an opportunity to do all they can for Yeshua.

Luqa (Luke) 14:33
33 “So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.”

Yeshua requires His priests to own nothing in order to screen against those who would abuse the power of the position, and to select for those who want nothing more than to please Yeshua through dedicated service.

Together, the congregational and separated priesthoods make up a nation of kings and priests (e.g., 1 Kepha [Peter] 2:9).

STANDARDS AND DEFINITIONS:

Disciples and Chaverim

A disciple is one who seeks to be conformed to Yeshua’s perfect example, and who seeks to conform to Nazarene Israel doctrine. He also gives at least a first tithe, or makes serious work and time contributions in lieu of a tithe (which represent a sacrifice).

A chaver (friend) is someone who helps Nazarene Israel to grow, but who does not necessarily agree with, or seek to conform to Nazarene Israel doctrine. A chaver is considered a type of disciple (just not a full disciple).

A disciple understands the need of the body to operate as a unified whole, and accepts the authority of the Beit Din Gadol as binding (e.g., Acts 15, Acts 21).

Congregational Deacons

Congregational deacons (servants, shammeshim) are normally appointed by their congregational elders. They serve the needs of the congregation. Their role is literally to serve the congregational elders in anything that needs done for the congregation.

Congregational deacons are effectively leadership and authority figures. (Sometimes they are thought of as congregational elders in training.) Because they set an example for the flock, and also represent the flock, they need to understand sound doctrine, and give a good witness in the Spirit. They should ideally know how to lead their own families.

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

Because all meetings must have recognized leaders, if a disciple brother wants to serve his community, but his family is not yet in order, he may apply for “friend deacon” status. This is to indicate that he knows he does not yet meet the standards for a certified deacon, but this allows him to conduct evangelism, and do good works in his area. (When his family comes into the faith, he can apply for certified deacon status then.)

A minimum of three years of faithful tithing and service is normally required, to be ordained as a certified deacon. If a disciple does not yet have this much history, he may apply for “friend deacon” status. Also, it sometimes happens that a faithful brother wants to serve, but there are no qualified elders locally. He can also apply for “friend deacon” status. However, we will not grant deacon or “friend deacon” status without at least some history of contribution and the witness of the Spirit, because verse 10 tells us that deacon’s hearts must first be tested.

Sometimes brothers ask us to ordain them in a leadership position, promising that once they are ordained they will start to collect the tithe and the offering, and send us a tenth of it. We are unable to process requests like these because they do not come from a place of service, or leadership by example.

We consider deacons to be a husband-wife team role. While we may ordain a single or celibate male deacon, we do not ordain deaconesses apart from a successful husband-wife team. A faithful sister who wants to serve, but who is single or celibate, or whose husband is not yet in the faith may apply for “friend deaconess” status, but we will not typically grant such a position within the leadership channel (but only within the administration and support channel). (For details, see “Gender Roles in the Kingdom”, in Covenant Relationships.)

Congregational Elders

Because congregational elders serve as role models for the assembly, the standards for congregational elders are very high. Elders should be selected because they already have the respect of the people, and the people already look to them for leadership and guidance. They should be examples in their set-apart lifestyle, knowledge, and wisdom. They may be paid up to double honor (i.e., twice the average wage in the city where they live), especially if they also preach, or establish doctrine as part of the beit din gadol.

TimaTheus Aleph (1 Timothy) 5:17
17 Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and doctrine.

Like deacons, congregational elders can hypothetically be successful businessmen. They can hypothetically own lands, and houses, and pass a hypothetical inheritance to their children. They can also hypothetically be poor—but without respect to their financial status, congregational elders may draw up to twice the average wage in the city where they live. The purpose of this is to take away earthly time pressures and cares, so they can focus more effectively on serving the needs of the flock.

A congregational elder is also called a bishop, or an overseer. In Hebrew, the term is zakan (literally, a bearded one, meaning someone who is older, and therefore at least hypothetically wiser and more knowledgeable). Elders are selected for their excellent witness in the assembly, and their ability to guide (or shepherd) the flock in the way of Yeshua.

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

As explained in Torah Government and Acts 15 Order, according to the classical Hebraic beit din (court) model, each congregation should ideally have at least three elders. These three elders form the council of elders for that city. It can also be called a “city court.”

Titus 1:5 tells us that elders are appointed by the separated priesthood.

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

Before we can appoint or ordain you, first we need to verify that you agree with Nazarene Israel’s doctrine. There is also typically a five-year waiting period, although this may be waived at the direction of the Spirit, or “friend elder” status may be given during the interim.

It can sometimes happen that there is only one elder in a city. While this is not ideal, it is better to have a single elder in town, than no elders. He may apply to serve as a lone elder (or a “friend elder”) until such time as there are at least three.

It should be mentioned that since leadership is based on service, that there is no such thing as tenure in Nazarene Israel. All positions must be earned anew each day. If an elder fails to serve faithfully, or if he ceases to meet the qualifications, he should gracefully step down of his own accord, so we do not need to remove him.

We do not ordain rabbis. Our only Rabbi is Yeshua (e.g., Matthew 23:8).

We consider congregational elders as a husband-wife team. While women can serve in the kingship (government), and while female prophetesses are not uncommon, elders and other ecclesiastical leaders are ordinarily male (with his wife playing a major support role). We consider that women elders are contrary to Scripture. (For details, see “The Ahab and Jezebel Spirits”, in Nazarene Scripture Studies, Volume 5.)

Separated Priests. Separated priests are called to a different level of service. Unlike congregational (or lay) priests, separated priests must take a vow of poverty. While they may marry, they may not pass an inheritance to their children. Rather, they are to give all their worldly possessions to the work, and should be happy with room, board, and expenses, in exchange for the privilege of serving Yeshua, and expanding His kingdom.

Luqa (Luke) 14:33
33 “So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.”

Separated priests may have any of the ministry gifts (apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, or teachers). However, ordinarily speaking they will typically have the apostolic gift (which includes all the other gifts).

While there is no problem with women serving in the kingship (government), and while female prophetesses are not uncommon, the priesthood is always exclusively male. As explained in “Junia: Woman Apostle or Courier?” (in Nazarene Scripture Studies, Volume 3), there have never been any female priests or apostles. Further, for a woman to seek the priesthood is considered evidence of a wrong spirit, because women are created as helpers (not leaders), and it is wrong to want something other than what Elohim gives us. (For details, see “The Ahab and Jezebel Spirits”, in Nazarene Scripture Studies, Volume 5.)

The ideal is that separated priests demonstrate at least five years of joyful faithfulness toward the body before they apply for separated priesthood status. They should also show that they embrace sound doctrine, and give a good testimony in the Spirit. We are unlikely to grant “friend priest” status.

None of the twelve immediately began service as apostles, but trained for a time first, under supervision. Shaul also did not begin to serve as an apostle immediately after he was called in Acts 9, but at first he was merely called to service. It was only in Acts 13 that he and Bar Naba were selected by the Spirit to be sent out, thereby becoming “sent ones” (apostles, or shaliachim in Hebrew).

Ma’asei (Acts) 13:1-3
1 Now in the assembly that was at Antioch there were certain prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Shaul.
2 As they ministered to Yahweh and fasted, the Set-apart Spirit said, “Now separate to Me Bar Naba and Shaul for the work to which I have called them.”
3 Then, having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them away.

This shows us that not all who are separated are apostles. There can also be prophets, and perhaps those of the other gifts as well.

It is important to note that the pre-ascension apostles (i.e., the twelve) were separated at Yeshua-Yahweh’s direction, and Shaul and Bar Naba also were separated at the express direction of Yeshua’s Spirit. No one should ever be separated or appointed without the express direction of the Spirit.

Because Nazarene Israel is a service-led organization, there is no such thing as tenure in Nazarene Israel. All positions must be earned anew each day. If an apostle (or any other servant) no longer serves faithfully, or if he ceases to meet the standards or qualifications, he should gracefully step down of his own accord (so that we do not need to publicly remove him).

IF YOU WOULD SERVE:

If you want to help us further Yeshua’s kingdom by serving as a deacon, as an elder, or as a separated priest, you seek a good work. If you are not yet tithing or otherwise giving to the work, now would be a good time to start.

Because we are not supposed to lay hands on anyone suddenly, and because leadership in the body is by example, we can only ordain those who already have a history of helping us further the Great Commission. You should begin by setting the example you want those under your care to follow.

The best thing to do is to begin a discipleship relationship with us, by starting to tithe, and by asking us how you can help the body to grow. Then as we work with you, we will get to know you well (as a living stone), and over time we will see where you can best support the Great Commission. This will also give us time to get you certified.

In Scripture, different doctrines represent different religions (i.e., different nations). If we have different doctrines, there is no practical way to walk together.

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

What we need is to agree with Yeshua, so we can all walk together with Him.

Disciples are encouraged to ask their doctrinal questions during the yeshiva process. Disciples should ask all their questions, so that all doubts are settled in their minds. There is a venue in the yeshiva program for this.

If you believe the doctrine is wrong, please convince us, so that we can change, and believe what is right. But if you cannot show that the doctrine is wrong, then we need you to agree with it, so that we can all agree with Yeshua together.

Sometimes people suggest we can “agree to disagree” about the details of our faith. Such arguments are not supported by Scripture (but are Babylonian in nature).

Galatim (Galatians) 1:6-9
6 I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the favor of Messiah, to a different Good News,
7 which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the Good News of Messiah.
8 But even if we, or a messenger from heaven, preach any other Good News to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed.
9 As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other Good News to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.

Those who wish to apply as deacons should read all Nazarene Israel’s studies at least once. Those who wish to apply as elders should read all of Nazarene Israel’s studies at least twice (and ideally you should know everything contained in the studies).

If you desire to apply for service, email contact@nazareneisrael.org.