As stated in a previously published article, as a united Community the Orthodox Netzarim believe, with perfect faith, "that the Tzadik is the true successor of the blessed chair/throne of Mar Ya’aqub ha’Tzadik." This is taught to us through all three pillars of our faith: Scripture, Tradition and Revelation.
Historically Ya’aqub (James) the brother of Rabbeinu Yehoshua, has been referred to as the Tzadik.
Here are a historical few quotes concerning Ya’aqub ha’Tzadik:
The Brother of Rabbeinu Yehoshua
Eusebius of Caesarea (260-340 CE), in his Ecclesiastical History, tells us that Mar Ya’aqub (James) was "the Lord’s brother, who had been elected by the Apostles to the episcopal throne at Jerusalem." (2.23). Ya’aqub was the brother of Adoneinu Yehoshua. The Syriac Apostolic Constitutions 8.35 (2nd Century) tell us that Ya’aqub was "the brother of Messiah according to the flesh…and one appointed Bishop of Jerusalem by the Lord himself."
Miracles Concerning Mar Ya’aqub
Miracles attributed to Mar Ya’aqub are recorded by Epiphanius, Bishop of Salamis (315-404 CE), stated that during a time of drought, Ya’aqub "lifted his hands to heaven and prayed and at once heaven sent rain…Thus they no longer called him by his name, but his name was, rather, the Righteous One … to Ya’aqub alone, it was allowed to enter once a year into the Holy of Holies, because he was a Nazirite and connected to the priesthood. Hence Miriam [Mary] was related in two ways to Elizabeth and Ya’aqub was a distinguished member of the priesthood, because the two tribes alone were linked to one another, the royal tribe to the priestly." (Panarion 30). We are told again that Ya’aqub was "the first to whom the Lord entrusted his throne upon earth."
Work at the Holy Temple
Jerome (342-420 CE), says that Mar Ya’aqub "alone enjoyed the privilege of entering the Holy of Holies, since, indeed, he did not wear woolen, but only linen clothes, and went into the Temple alone and prayed on behalf of the people, so that his knees were reputed to have acquired the callousness of a camel’s knees". Jerome also tells us that after the death of Rabbeinu Yehoshua, Ya’aqub "was immediately appointed bishop of Jerusalem by the Apostles." (Lives of Illustrious Men, chapter 2).
Called "The Righteous" (Ha’Tzadik)
Hegesippus (100-180 CE) tells us that "there were many James’, but this one…the Lord’s brother…was holy from his birth. Everyone from the Lord’s time till our own has called him the Righteous", and that "because of his unsurpassable righteousness he was called ‘the Righteous.’" (As recorded in Eusebius’ Ecclesiastical History).
Ya’aqub, Yokhanan and Keipha – the Pillars of The House of Assembly
We are also told by Clement of Alexandria (150-215 CE) that Yehoshua imparted the gift of knowledge to "James the Righteous, to John, and to Peter," and that these three in the form of a sort of "synod", in turn "delivered it to the rest of the Apostles, and they to the Seventy, of whom Barnabas was one." (Eusebius’ Ecclesiastical History 2.1; see also Galatians 2:9 where Ya’aqub, Yochanan (John) and Keipha (Peter) are mentioned by Paul to be the pillars of the assembly at Jerusalem).
In the "Clementine Homilies", Clement of Rome (30-97 CE) addresses his letter to "Ya’aqub…the Bishop of Bishops, who rules Jerusalem, the Holy Assembly of the Hebrews and the Assemblies everywhere."
Eusebius tells us that "So remarkable a person must Ya’aqub have been, so universally esteemed for Righteousness, that even the most intelligent of Jews felt this was why his martyrdom was immediately followed by the siege of Jerusalem." Hegesippus said that Ya’aqub "proved a true witness to Jews and Gentiles alike that Yehoshua is Messiah." (Ecclesiastical History 2.23).
All Teachings Must Compare with that of Ya’aqub
"Our lord and prophet, who has sent us, declared to us that the evil one, having disputed with him for forty days, but failing to prevail against him, promised that he would send apostles from among his subjects to deceive them. Therefore, above all, remember to shun any apostle, teacher or prophet who does not accurately compare his teaching with Ya’aqub…the brother of our Lord…and this, even if he comes to you with recommendations." (Homilies of Clement, 11.35).
More important to us than historical quotes is what our Scriptures say about the Tzadik. Let’s take a quick look at a few references in the Scriptures of the Netzarim concerning the office of the Tzadik:
Chief Among Apostles
A quote from our own historical Scriptures, the Apostles asked Rabbeinu Yehoshua before his ascension where they should go after he leaves his earthly ministry. Yehoshua stated: "In whatever place you are, go to Ya’aqub the Righteous, for whose sake the heavens and the earth came into existence." (B’sura al-pi Toma / "Gospel of Thomas").
The Divine Authority of the Throne of Ya’aqub
"The Throne of Ya’aqub and the Presence of the Archangel Michael through the continuation of the Twelve Holy Apostles who are always with us" (Derech d’Kehillah)
The Community is Obedient to the Teacher of Righteousness
The enemy "can do no harm to you should you obey the words of the teacher of righteousness (the Tzadik), the righteous one chosen by Elohim to sit upon the Throne of Ya’aqub." (Igeret Yoseph)
"Be mindful that it is necessary to preserve the integrity of the Faith by righteous rule, and to faithfully practice obedience to the commands of the one who sits on the Throne of Ya’aqub" (ibid.)
"…every work that the talmidim (disciples) perform, the work shall be performed by the authority of the one who sits on the Throne of Ya’aqub. For those talmidim who are faithful in their obedience to the Throne of Ya’aqub are obedient to the mitzvoth" (ibid.)
"…who chooses the man to sit upon the Throne of Ya’aqub and to rule over the people of Elohim in righteousness, to serve as the high priest on earth for the people of Elohim, under our great High Priest Yehoshua, who is our Mashiach." (ibid.)
Divine Teachings Given from the Throne of Ya’aqub and Chair of Moses
"You are warned not to follow after the teachings of the evil priestly one, for he and his servants bring error and confusion at the door of the House of Israel, and he must be repelled by the pure and holy teaching of Adoneinu Yehoshua, which is given forth from the Throne of Ya’aqub and from the Chair of Mosha." (ibid.)
"But as for each of you, you shall be faithful in hearing the words of the teacher of righteousness (the Tzadik), he who sits upon the Throne of Ya’aqub, for he teaches us the Word of Elohim, as revealed in the Scriptures [the first pillar], and in the way of our people [the second pillar, tradition], and in the revelation from heaven [the third pillar], for this is the Fire of the Word of Elohim. Always be faithful in these three [pillars]." (ibid.)
At any period of time when there is no visible Tzadik for The Community, the senior elders of the house of assembly serve in the capacity of instructing and guiding the entire community of Netzarim. There is also a "steward of the Throne of Ya’aqub" who serves temporarily until the Tzadik is made known to The Community. Those who have served in the office of steward have not been named in any official manner as a "Tzadik." Rather, they have served as temporary stewards of the Throne of Ya’aqub until a new Tzadik is provided by Rabbeinu Yehoshua.
Since 2008 The Community has been awaiting the re-installation of the Tzadik and is now preparing for his imminent arrival. [Editor’s note: Since this article was published, the Teacher of Righteousness was made manifest within The Religious Community of Orthodox Netzarim]
The same revelations have stated that when the Tzadik (the Teacher of Righteousness) arrives, he will further help us to become more perfect in our faith and expression of the same. He has received council from the Master Tzadik, Rabbeinu Yehoshua himself, and through Mashiach’s guidance of our Tzadik, we will benefit greatly by receiving additional and necessary clarification in the Light of the Word of Elohim. Praise Yah for His ever guiding hand!
Our Teacher of Righteousness (Moreh Ha’Tzedek, מורה הצדק) is going to be appointed to us again and will teach us all that we need to know, according to the Will of Elohim, who sends him into the world for His sheep. Let us prepare ourselves now for his blessed coming – the one who is our beloved teacher appointed by Mashiach to organize The Community and to teach it the truths of Elohim from His Word.