Chapter 1:

Why Nazarene Israel?

[Study adapted from the video “Why Nazarene Israel?“, from the series Why Nazarene Israel?]

Welcome to Nazarene Israel. My name is Norman Willis. Our good, heavenly Father Yahweh (or Jehovah, but Yahweh) called me to His service in a miracle on June the 6th 1999. And He has blessed me to be able to study the Scriptures full-time ever since.

Since that time in 1999, my emphasis of study has always been on how to reestablish the original, first-century faith once delivered to the saints in the modern-day. And the Father Yahweh has been very faithful to show me many things. So, I want to share those things with you.

Galatim (Galatians) 1:10
10 For do I now persuade men, or Elohim? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Messiah.

Now, before my dad began to sleep, he used to say that when it was time to present the results of my research, I should simply say that ‘these are the results of my full-time research’ and then let them study and decide for themselves. And if they decide that this is what the Bible says to do, then they should do it. So, I want to share with you the results of my 23 years of full-time research into what the Scriptures really say, from 1999 to today. So that you can then be like noble Bereans and verify these things for yourselves.

Ma’asei (Acts) 17:11
11 These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.

But it also seems fair to say that if you love Yeshua your Messiah and if you want to please Him, then this may be the most important series you will ever read. Because as this series progresses, we are going to see mysteries in the prophecies that have been sealed up for over 2,000 years being revealed today for a purpose. And we will see why these mysteries are starting to be revealed now in these end-times and how our Messiah and King expects us to fulfill the prophecies that are unfolding today. There is something for us all to do and we need to do it together as one man.

In this series, you will see how our good heavenly Father Yahweh is using Nazarene Israel to restore the original first-century Christian-Jewish faith that was once for all given to the saints and that this is the Faith that the Messiah taught His apostles to keep. We will also see that this is the exact same faith the Messiah expects us all to be keeping upon His return. So, if you love your Messiah and King, we invite you to come on a journey with us as we show that mainstream Christian history and mainstream Christian understanding are not correct and are not supported in Scripture. Whereas the true original faith once delivered to the saints was Nazarene Israel, the original faith of the apostles.

I was raised in the Methodist church, but I fell away from the faith as a child. 26 years later, I found myself called to repentance in a miracle on June the 6th. And the way it came about, it was very clear to me that I needed to give Him the rest of my life in service. Whatever it was He wanted, that is what I wanted to do. So I quit everything I was doing at the time and began studying the Bible full-time to see for myself what it really said.

Timotheus Bet (2 Timothy) 2:15
15 Be diligent [study] to present yourself approved to Elohim, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Yochanan (John) 5:39
39 You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me.

But I had questions. Not about who had called me, but questions about what He wanted. And I did not want to take anything for granted. I did not want to just assume that the faith I was taught as a child was correct, but rather I had to study so I could know what the truth was. So that I could be sure. It seemed clear that there is nothing more important than being in good standing with our good, heavenly Father and our Messiah and King. When we die, that relationship already needs to be right, so we have to get that relationship right, right now. Because none of us know when we are going to die. So, the time to get that relationship right is right now.

Qorintim Bet (2 Corinthians) 6:1-2
1 We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of Elohim in vain.
2 (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)

The very first thing I had to prove to myself, from the Old Testament alone, was whether or not the Messiah had already come. And I was prepared to become an Orthodox Jew if I could not do that. However, I was able to prove from the Old Testament alone that the Messiah had already come. In fact, it turns out there are many proofs. And we will show you some of them in this series and others in later series.

Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 53:9
9 And they made His grave with the wicked, and with the rich at His death; because He had done no violence, neither was any deceit in His mouth.

After I had shown myself from the Old Testament alone that, yes, the Messiah had already come, my next question was, “Okay, if the Messiah has already come, then what faith did the Messiah come to teach?” Meaning, what faith does He want us to practice today? I was not sure.

Did the Messiah come to teach Catholicism? Or perhaps Orthodox Christianity? Did the Messiah perhaps come to teach Protestantism? Did He come to teach independent worship? I did not know. I just knew it was important to know exactly what the Messiah taught His disciples to do so that I could worship in exactly the same way. And later on, we will see why that is so critically important.

Yochanan Aleph (1 John) 2:6
6 He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.

Yochanan (John) 8:32
32 “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

What I discovered in my research caused me to completely rethink and completely reframe everything I had ever been taught about Scripture. And one of the things that surprised me the most was when I was reading the Catholic church’s own documentation (their own ancient literature) and realized that the Christians and the Nazarenes used to be two separate groups.

The Nazarenes do not differ in any essential thing from them [the Orthodox Jews], since they practice the customs and doctrines prescribed by Jewish Law; except that they believe in Christ…
Therefore, they differ… from the true Christians because they fulfill until now [such] Jewish rites as the circumcision, Sabbath and others.”
Epiphanius of Salamis, “Against Heresies”, Panarion 29, 7, pp. 41, 402.

Well, that was a difficult thing for me to understand. Because as a child, I was always taught that the terms Christian and Nazarene were synonyms and that they meant exactly the same thing. I was taught that a Nazarene is a Christian and a Christian is a Nazarene and that there is no difference at all between the two. Those are just two different names for the exact same thing.

But what I found during my research of the Catholic church is that this is not true. And as we will see in the next several segments, it makes all the difference in the world as to how we interpret, understand, and apply Scripture to ourselves. So, we will be covering this evidence for a while. But in the very chapter, we will see that even the Catholic church’s own founders, their own professors and scholars, admit that the Christians and the Nazarenes were originally two separate groups. And that the original faith of the first century was not Catholicism, but rather the Israelite sect of the Nazarenes (or Nazarene Israel).

One of the reasons this truth was sealed up into a mystery until now is that, although the Christians and the Nazarenes were actually two different faiths, they also were related. They had a lot of things in common. That is, they could potentially be called sister faiths in that they both professed belief in the same Jewish Messiah. We will also see evidence that these two groups met together. We will talk a lot more about that as this presentation continues. But since the Christians and the Nazarenes shared so many things in common, they also met together. And because of that, the distinction between the two groups began to be blurred over time. We will give the details of that later in this series.

But the point of this is to show that there is after all a fundamental difference between the Christians and the Nazarenes that we cannot erase without accidentally erasing one of the fundamental foundational messages of Scripture. And that is something that none of us can afford to do.

In this series, we will also see that it is no accident that these mysteries are being revealed today. Because our good heavenly Father always works with perfect timing.

Hoshea (Hosea) 6:1-2
1 Come, and let us return to Yahweh; For He has torn, but He will heal us; He has stricken, but He will bind us up.
2 After two days He will revive us; On the third day He will raise us up, That we may live in His sight.

We will see prophecies that are thousands of years old which tell us that these mysteries were always intended to be revealed in today’s times and as part of a grand overall plan.

Yirmeyahu (Jeremiah) 3:14-15
14 “Return, O backsliding children,” says Yahweh; “for I am married to you. I will take you, one from a city and two from a family, and I will bring you to Tsion.
15 And I will give you shepherds according to My heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding.”

Daniel 9:25
25 “Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the command to restore and build Jerusalem, Until Messiah the Prince, there shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublesome times.”

We will begin to reveal all these things to you starting in our very next chapter.

Now, time is precious, and we need to know where we spend it. But these are some extremely large claims. Some people may be wondering if it is even possible that the Messiah Yeshua could really have come to preach a Jewish and Israelite faith, and not a Sunday, Christmas, Easter Replacement Theology faith. Some may also wonder if the Catholic church could even be wrong since they have been around for some 1700 years or more.

So, before we dive deep into the prophecies starting in the very next chapter, first let us take a step back for the moment. And let us just take a look at the Catholic church’s position from a reality-check perspective before we dive into the details. If there is nothing to hide, we should not be afraid of people taking a critical look at who we are and what we do.

The Scriptures tell us that the Messiah Yeshua, who was from Nazareth, started the Jewish or Israelite sect of the Nazarenes to which all of His disciples belonged and consisted of those Jews who followed the Nazarene Yeshua.

Mattityahu (Matthew) 2:23
23 And He came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, “He shall be called a Nazarene”.

Ma’asei (Acts) 24:5
5 “For we have found this man a plague, a creator of dissension among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes.”

And although it was ultimately not just for the Jews, what we will see is that this was not a Catholic or Sunday-Christian religion as we think of Catholicism or Sunday-Christian worship today. But rather, it was a 100 percent Jewish and Israelite sect, just as the Messiah Himself was 100 percent Jewish and Israelite, and also kept the Torah (or the Law) perfectly. So, what we need to know is that the sect of the Nazarenes represents that section (or sect) of the Jewish and Israelite nation which follows the Nazarene Yeshua (or Jesus, but Yeshua).

Well, if we will step back and take a look at it, the sect of the Nazarenes was every bit as much of a Jewish and Israelite sect as the Jewish sect of the Pharisees. And it was every bit as much of a Jewish sect as the Jewish sect of the Sadducees. Both the Pharisees and the Sadducees are sects of Judaism, just like the Orthodox Jews and the Karaites are sects of Judaism today. So, if the sect of the Pharisees and the sect of the Sadducees are sects of Judaism or Israelite worship, then why would the sect of the Nazarenes be any different? It is not different. They are all sects (sections or parts) of the nation of Israel.

Now, let us not get the Israelite sect of the Nazarenes confused with the church of the Nazarene. Because the two groups are very different. The original first-century sect of the Nazarenes was a Jewish and an Israelite group. And by definition, they obeyed and taught what is called the Torah, or the laws of Moshe (Moses). In contrast, the church of the Nazarene is very much a part of what is called the Replacement Theology Sunday-Christian church which believes that part of its mission is to replace Israel and the Jewish people, including the Nazarenes. While the church of the Nazarene may have a pretty cool name, the fact is that they do not teach the same doctrine as the original first-century Jewish and Israelite sect of the Nazarenes.

The Catholic church does not teach the same doctrine either. In fact, church doctrines are very different than the original Nazarene Jewish, or Nazarene Israelite, doctrines. In other words, we will see that neither Catholicism nor Sunday Christianity is what the Messiah practiced. It is not what He taught His disciples to keep. And although the Catholics and the Sunday Christians might mean very well and want to worship Him in their hearts, the fact is that Catholicism and the Sunday Christianity flat misses (or even ignores) several key critical concepts and principles that the Messiah Yeshua Himself taught.

For example, both Catholicism and Sunday Christianity may admit that:

• Yes, the Messiah was Jewish.
• Yes, He kept the Torah (the law of Moshe) perfectly.
• Yes, He is our example, and we are supposed to imitate Him in all things.
• Yes, Scripture does also tell us to walk even as He walked, meaning that we are supposed to worship just as He worshipped.

Yochanan Aleph (1 John) 2:6
6 He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.

But despite all those things, the Catholic and Christian churches end up:

• Not imitating Him.
• Not worshiping on the same days that He worshipped on or in the same style.
• Not worshiping the Father as Jews, even though the Messiah did.

And even though the Messiah was an Israelite and a Jew, the church teaches us that that should not be. And that He came to do away with Israel and the Jewish people and to start something new.

But let us just take a step back at this and let us ask ourselves what sense does all that make. Let us just take a step back and let us look at the church’s version of things from a reality-check kind of perspective.

In the church’s version of events, the Father Yahweh sends His Son Yeshua to tell His people Israel to ignore all of His:

• Commandments.
• Statutes
• Laws
• Judgments
• The eternal signs of the Covenant (the Passover, the Sabbath, the physical circumcision, and all the traditions of the fathers).

Even though the prophet said that kind of thing would never happen, and we know that Yahweh does not do anything unless He first reveals His secret through His servants the prophets.

Mattityahu (Matthew) 24:35
35 “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.”

Amos 3:7
7 “Surely Yahweh Elohim does nothing, unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets.”

If Yahweh’s prophets never said anything about Elohim (or God) doing away with His Torah (His instructions), and if Yahweh Himself says that these laws will never pass away, and if the Messiah Yeshua Himself clearly said not to think He had been sent to do away with the Torah or with any of the prophecies because they all speak of His return and His ultimate ruling and reigning over the earth and Him taking Israel as a bride unto Himself forever, why would the church teach against those things? Why would the church teach the opposite of the Father’s word? Is not it only an enemy who would want to twist the truth into that kind of a corrupted message?

Mattityahu (Matthew) 5:17-18
17 “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.
18 For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.”

Hoshea (Hosea) 2:19-20
19 “I will betroth you to Me forever; yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and justice, in lovingkindness and mercy;
20 I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness, and you shall know Yahweh.”

So, let us ask ourselves, what sense does the church’s position make? And if you were a king, or a prime minister, or even just a business owner, ask yourself. Would you send your own son to tell your own people to ignore you, to disobey your rules, and to not pay attention to you? If you were a father, would you send your son to tell your family to ignore and disobey you? Why would you do that? That is crazy! But that is what the Catholics teach. Is that the god of the Catholic Christian church? A kind of a twisted, warped, deranged kind of a god?

As we will see in these chapters a great many of the Christian churches’ teaching surrounding the first century just do not work. They are not truly supported in Scripture. And further, when you take a step back and look at things, some things just do not even make sense. We will see in that the Messiah never rebuked the Pharisees or the Sadducees for keeping His Father’s Torah. Rather, what the Messiah Yeshua rebuked the Pharisees and the Sadducees for was for replacing His Father’s Torah with their own traditions and teachings of men.

Marqaus (Mark) 7:6-7
6 He answered and said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: ‘This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me.
7 And in vain do they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men’.”

Yeshua was upset effectively because the rabbis were placing their own teachings above His Father’s teachings, which was to make themselves more important than His Father.

Well, if we are willing to accept it, we will see in this series that the church system is every bit as guilty as the sect of the Pharisees and the Sadducees in terms of teaching their own commandments instead of the Father’s laws. All that being the case, we will begin to see later in this series that, although the distinction between Christians and Nazarenes began to be blurred in Acts (Ma’asei), chapter 11 (because the Nazarenes often served the Christians and because they would meet together in the same synagogues), the Christians and the Nazarenes were never the same group of people in the first century. It is only that this distinction has become blurred over time because of misunderstandings of Ma’asei chapter 11, verse 26.

Ma’asei (Acts) 11:26
26 And when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. So it was that for a whole year they assembled with the church and taught a great many people. And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.

We will also see evidence in the Catholic church’s writings that the terms Christian and Nazarene not only referred to two distinct groups of people in the first century, but that they still referred to two distinct groups of people by the time of the 4th century. And that it continued to be that way until the Catholic church ultimately persecuted and drove the sect of the Nazarenes underground, ultimately unto extinction, starting in the 4th century. We have all that evidence and more coming up in the next few chapters.

“They [Nazarenes] are characterized essentially by their tenacious attachment to Jewish observances… They well represent… the very direct descendants of that primitive community,… by the same name, of ‘Nazarenes’.”
First Century expert Marcel Simon, Judeo-christianisme, pp.47-48.

So, what we are going to see is that, because the Nazarenes continued to be Jewish and Israelites in nature, they continued to believe in the need to keep the Father’s commandments and to worship in the same way the Messiah had worshipped as a Jew and as an Israelite while ignoring the traditions and teachings of men. And in contrast, the Christians also professed belief in a Jewish messiah, but just as today, it is not the same messiah. They do not believe it was necessary for the Messiah to obey His Father’s commandments. They also do not believe it was necessary to worship in the same way the Messiah had worshipped. because they believed the Messiah had come to bring something new. Even though we are supposed to imitate the Messiah in all things and walk even as He walked, that is not what the Catholic church teaches.

So, in summation, the Nazarenes believed in obeying the specifics of the Messiah’s words and in keeping His Father’s commandments, whereas the Christians believe those things are all done away with and that they have been replaced by a spiritual Israel.

Well, when people start to learn about this kind of thing, they talk about how hard it is to get their bearings. Because everything that they have learned before kind of fits, but not really. So they have to figure out how to make things work. Sometimes people say it is like trying to take a sip of water from a fire hose. And that is because what we really need is what might be called a sea change of understanding. We need to let all the old tidewaters go out so the fresh new waters can come in. We need to let go of the old church doctrines and ideas such as the falsehood that the Father would send His own Son to rebuke Him, to start a new religion, and to tell everyone to ignore His Father, His laws, His commandments, His statutes, and His ways.

What we need to do is to learn to read the Scriptures for what they actually say, testing our understanding against the Word. And to do this, we need to learn to understand the Scripture with first-century Jewish eyes, being careful not to misinterpret or misunderstand things by accidentally reading through what we might call pagan gentile lenses, so to speak.

And it is a big change, it is a lot. But if you will study along with this series and verify everything that we are saying in your own Scriptures, then you will end up knowing more about your Bible than literally 99.9 percent of all Christians worldwide. And that is not an exaggeration.

Ma’asei (Acts) 17:11
11 These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.

So, please continue with us for this series, unearthing the true meanings of the prophecies and showing us the original first-century Christian Jewish faith that the Messiah expects all of His true disciples to keep. Starting in the very next section, we will see how even the Catholic church’s own scholars admit that Catholic-Christianity was never the original faith. But that the faith once delivered to the saints was the Israelite sect of the Nazarenes. Join us for the next chapter as we begin to show in detail just exactly what the Messiah came to teach His disciples and how it looks more like a believing version of Christian-Judaism than it does Sunday-Christianity.

Ma’asei (Acts) 3:20-21
20 And that He may send Yeshua Messiah, who was preached to you before,
21 Whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which Elohim has spoken by the mouth of all His set-apart prophets since the world began.

And if along the way, you should notice that the harvest is great but that the workers are few, then please pray with us just as the Messiah said to do. That the Master of the harvest will send out workers into His harvest to gather the end-time harvest of souls. And if along the way, you decide that you want to be one of those who are blessed to be sent out in service, and you should decide that you want to do everything the Messiah Yeshua asks to please Him and hopefully to become part of His bride, then welcome home to Nazarene Israel, the Original Faith of the Apostles.

If these works have been a help to you in your walk with Messiah Yeshua, please pray about partnering with His kingdom work. Thank you. Give