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Responding to Jewish Objections to Jesus

The Line of Fire / Dr. Michael Brown
The Truth Network Radio
November 19, 2020 4:20 pm

Responding to Jewish Objections to Jesus

The Line of Fire / Dr. Michael Brown

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November 19, 2020 4:20 pm

The Line of Fire Radio Broadcast for 11/19/20.

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The Line of Fire
Dr. Michael Brown

So, why is it that Jews, generally speaking, don't believe that Jesus is their Messiah? It's time for The Line of Fire with your host, activist, author, international speaker, and theologian, Dr. Michael Brown, your voice of moral, cultural, and spiritual revolution. Michael Brown is the Director of the Coalition of Conscience and President of Fire School of Ministry. Get into The Line of Fire now by calling 866-34-TRUTH. That's 866-34-TRUTH.

Here again is Dr. Michael Brown. I just finished recording a video on Psalm 37. I've been going through the Psalms for a number of weeks and doing videos on them that'll be part of a class and that are available to some of our supporters. And it's apropos because at this moment, as we're focusing on our Thoroughly Jewish Thursday broadcast and our normal focus changes from other things happening in the world or broader theological questions to Israel Jewish focused issues. Right before the broadcast, the President's legal team presented their evidence that they says demonstrates massive voter fraud and that they can prove this. So, I just finished a video on Psalm 37, which is saying, hey, don't get all exercised and worked up about wicked people prospering because God's going to turn the tide and the righteous will be blessed. Now, let God be the judge.

He knows every detail. Let every secret thing be brought to light. If there has been fraud, dishonesty, let it be brought to light.

If people believe in conspiracy theories, let it be brought to light. I am not going to focus on that or comment on that today because it's outside of a Thoroughly Jewish Thursday broadcast, but I do commend to you Psalm 37 in terms of attitude in general and specifically now. Welcome to the broadcast.

This is Michael Brown. Delighted to be with you. Here's the number to call with any Jewish related question you have of any kind.

866-34-TRUTH, 866-348-7884 is the number to call. You can be a Christian with a Jewish related question. You can be a Jewish friend that differs with our views.

We'd love to hear from you. And I will go to the phones fairly quickly today, but just want to alert you to this fact that we have now put out the first of our video series, Answering the Rabbis, where specifically we're playing clips from counter missionary rabbis, starting with many from Rabbi Tovias Singer, who changed his tactics at some point from focusing on trying to pull Jews away from Jesus and began to just attack Christians and their faith and say what you believe is wrong. And he's been very aggressive and because of the misinformation he puts out has been somewhat effective in confusing people. So I just felt, you know, we've we've refuted his material in other ways over the years, but just that burden to do it in video, one video at a time. He's probably got hundreds out there, but God willing, we'll do dozens and dozens of rebuttals. So our first one, we deal with his allegation that Paul quotes a phantom scripture in First Corinthians 15.

I mean, very, very easily refute it. But if you haven't watched the video yet, just go to my YouTube channel, Ask Dr. Brown, Ask Dr. Brown. We post it on Facebook as well. Ask Dr. Brown on Facebook or on our website, AskDrBrown.org.

Just type in the word Singer and you'll find it. And you'll see we're just looking at scripture, looking at Jewish tradition, we're checking the accuracy of what's being said. And you see, my my position for decades has been, God, I'm committed to following you and the truth, wherever it leads. That's why I often end up in uncomfortable positions and controversial positions. That's why I know many of you love and respect me because you feel I'm going to do my best to sift things out and come up with the truth as opposed to just being partisan.

Now, obviously, we all have blind spots, we all have biases. But I remember something very major that happened in my own life. So I came to faith, dramatically born again late 1971. Very little Jewish background, you know, bar mitzvah to 13.

But in a fairly nominal Jewish home, the little Hebrew I knew, I'd forgotten. And heavy drug user, get radically born again in a church in Queens, New York. Immediately, my dad says, Michael, it's great you're off drugs, but we're Jews, we don't believe in this. Brings me to meet the local rabbi. He and I become friends. He's freshly graduated from Jewish Theological Seminary about 11 years older than me.

In fact, we were in touch again this year. I sent him my Job commentary because we're all friends and he's been a lifelong student of the Book of Job. So he immediately gave me a book on anti-Semitism in church history. He would bring me to meet other rabbis.

And I remember in August of 73, meeting with some Chabad rabbis in Brooklyn, ultra-orthodox Jewish rabbis. And they seemed very devoted spiritually. They were very kind men. They seemed to have a heart to please God the way I did. They studied and prayed for hours every day as I did.

And they spent even more time studying and praying. And, you know, who was I to challenge them? I couldn't even read Hebrew and so on. And they really challenged me. I knew that the Lord had changed my life. I knew Jesus was real.

But they raised valid questions, really challenged me. I started studying Hebrew in college. And because the program only had modern Hebrew, I got Thomas Landon's grammar of biblical Hebrew and taught myself biblical Hebrew and went through that.

And that's how I learned that, went through all those exercises on my own. And that was the foundation for what came after. And kept studying, learning more languages, meeting with rabbis as often as I could, interacting, debating, discussing. And it was a couple years after this.

I'm in college now. And I spent a few more hours with ultra-orthodox rabbis, Chabad rabbis in Brooklyn. And again, they're challenging me. And you have to understand there are reasons that Jews don't believe in Jesus. It's not just church history where there's often been anti-Semitism and Gentile arrogance and even outright persecution of Jews that's brought reproach to the name of Jesus. That's been bad enough.

That's been terrible enough. It's not just that. It's when a Jewish person reads the scriptures, they don't see it the way we do. You say, well, they've been brainwashed. They're just seeing it through the eyes of tradition. Well, they would say, no, no, you're the ones seeing it through the eyes of tradition. And you've been brainwashed or whatever.

Your views are biased. So we go back and forth and we challenge each other. But when you're talking to a rabbi, you're a Jewish person yourself, you know that there's a purpose in you being a Jew. There's some sense of calling or destiny that you have that being a Jew matters. Not better than someone else, but you have some kind of mission from God as a Jew. And you don't want to be completely cast out and rejected by your own people.

Human beings feel like that. And you've got these men very devout saying, look, I learned this from my father, who learned from his father and his father all the way back to Moses and Mount Sinai. Who are you to challenge us? This is one of those moments where it really challenged my heart.

And I remember it was 1975 that I came home from spending hours with these rabbis. And it could have been the next day, day after was right around that time. And I just was was troubled by the questions they had raised. And and I wanted to be sure that my answers had real substance because we could all argue or a point. You know, sometimes you're arguing your point was because it's a weak point or this doesn't really answer me.

Maybe it pushed the other person away. But in my heart, I know it wasn't a really good answer. I can't live like that. I don't know about you, but I can't live like that because I've got to know the truth in the sight of God and follow the truth in the sight of God. And what happened was I I got on my face before the Lord.

I literally laid on my face before the Lord and I poured my heart out to him from the depths of my being. And I would dare say that most of us never have an experience like this because we believe a certain way and we get confirmation of what we believe. And maybe it's challenged a little, but we never question the depths of it, that it could be something else.

Now, some do. Some live with years of agonizing doubt and pain and not knowing if they're following the truth or not. That's that's a very difficult way to live and have tremendous sympathy for those who've gone through that. I've never lived through that over a period of time, but I've had a few seasons of intense, intense challenge to my faith. I mean, very, very intense challenge.

But they've been they've been few and they've been short, for which I'm grateful. But this particular day I got on my face in my bedroom in the home where I grew up. I got on my face and I said, God, I just want to follow you as a loyal Jew. That's all I want. I just want to follow you as a loyal Jew. If Jesus is not the Messiah, if my beliefs are wrong, if it means everything I have planned in life has to be abandoned, if it means all my friends and the whole direction I'm going, that it's all wrong.

And I've been terribly wrong these years. All right. At this point, Nancy and I together, so what's going to happen to us? Right.

You know, we're going to be married the next year. What's going to happen to us? If if I am wrong about my beliefs, I don't care about the consequences. However, agonizing and painful, I have to follow you as a loyal Jew.

On the other hand, if everything I believe about Jesus is true, that I don't care if the whole Jewish community rejects me and hates me, and I have to bear their approach to that the rest of my life, I have to honor you as a Jew, as as your son, as your servant. Whatever the truth is, I have to be faithful to it, God. And overwhelmingly through the word, as I prayed, overwhelmingly, he reinforced to me what I know to be absolute truth.

Jesus, Yeshua is our Messiah. Overwhelmingly, I mean, it was if words were jumping off the page. And to be perfectly honest, I was laying there with my Bible and English was was still the way I was reading it because I read that fluently and I had the Bible there and I just flipped it open.

It was a complete random flip. I just flipped it open and boom there it opens to Isaiah 53. Now, of course, I knew the passage and of course I knew the rabbinic arguments against it. But it was if as if the words were literally leaping off the page, there was a divine power behind those words. And I literally felt that God knew God knew in eternity past that that moment would come that I would be in that honest mode of absolute seeking, raw, honest, whatever the cost, whatever the consequence seeking. He knew that and he and he knew that my Bible would flip open to that passage.

And it's not like I had it dog-eared or marked or certain way. It flipped open there and tried a hundred other times going to flip to ninety-nine other or a hundred other passages, all right. And I really felt I remember feeling God you would actively be deceiving me.

These words are so strong and so overwhelming. And remember I knew the rabbinic arguments against it. We've been around and around and around with it. That they were jumping off the page that I felt God you would actively be deceiving me by putting this here at this very moment. And the trial ended. And yeah, I've been engaging with the rabbinic community ever since, an ongoing way. I mean thousands of pages of interaction correspondence took all of our hours and transcribed them, probably thousands of pages. And as the years went on, the more I studied, the more I learned the languages and the background, my faith became actually stronger not weaker.

My spiritual faith was always strong, but my intellectual faith became even stronger. Yes, Jesus Yeshua is the Messiah of Israel. Okay, we'll be right back and go straight to the phones. It's the line of fire with your host, Dr. Michael Brown. Get into the line of fire now by calling 866-34-TRUTH.

Here again is Dr. Michael Brown. We didn't have our Jewish music. What happened to our Thoroughly Jewish Thursday music? Hmm. All right.

Well, it is Thoroughly Jewish Thursday music or not? 866-34-TRUTH is the number to call. Let's go to the phones, starting with our friend Manny in Brooklyn.

Thanks for calling again. What's up? Hi, Dr. Brown.

Hey. You told me I should call after reading your book, The Real Kosher Jesus. Well, wonderful. So you got it and you read it. Yeah, I don't know if your audience knows, but this was the second copy sent to me because the first one got mailed to the wrong address, so I'd like to say a special thank you for the... Oh, I wasn't aware of that either. That's okay.

Anyway, you got it. I wonder who got the other one. I wonder why you're not aware of it because you autographed the book. Didn't you autograph it the first time too?

Well, I must have, but in all candor, I'll be given a stack of books with names to autograph and sometimes I know what they are because I remember who they're for and what the occasion was, but yeah, they might have told me, hey, just do it again and I didn't even know why. So that's probably what happened. Anyway, I'm so glad you got it. Sorry it took two times, but glad you got it.

Yeah. So I guess you read it pretty quickly then. I read it basically in one day. To be honest, what I didn't really read fully was the footnotes. I hope I didn't really miss anything.

I read some of them. So tell me your thoughts as an Orthodox Jew. Tell me your thoughts. Well, the main interesting thing I saw in your book was the chapter, The Secret of the Invisible God Who Can Be Seen, and correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems like you're making the argument that just like there's nothing idolatrous than believing in a concept of a shkuna, a divine presence or in a temple, or in how many, many Hasidic Jews believe in the idea of ele kus, that everything is made out of divine essence. There's nothing wrong about believing Jesus is a shkuna, a proto-shkuna, or a greater shkuna, so to speak.

Is that the argument? Yeah, I mean, that would be an analogous thing, that just as the shkuna was the manifest presence of God on the earth, and yet did not exhaust the fullness of God as God remained enthroned in heaven and filling the universe, that as one rabbi said to me decades ago that Jesus was like a walking shkuna, that the presence of God was indwelling a human being and that God was manifest in the life of a human being. The word became flesh. So yeah, it's not meant to be exact and precise, but rather to take a Jewish concept and to say, hey, maybe from that concept you can understand how we believe in God's complex unity. He sits enthroned in heaven, he fills the universe, he works among us by his Spirit, and he can manifest himself for a season in the human body. I just don't see how it solves the problem, though, because nobody worships the shkuna, nobody really worships the tabernacle or the spiros, I mean, you know, like, or the member of the God, or, I mean, correct me if I'm wrong, did Philo worship the Logos? I mean...

Right, so Philo's understanding of Logos is similar to what John says, but not exactly. Let me ask this. How many gods do you worship? One. One, okay. Is the shkuna God?

No. Not God, okay. So it's the manifest presence of God, so when Hasidic Jews pray for the reunification of the Holy One, because the shkuna is in exile with its people, so if it's the manifest presence of God, what is it? It's an expression. Everything is an expression. Everything that's not God's God, God, the infinite God, is just an expression of him. So like when the cloud of glory came down by the times of Moses, right, or the pillar of fire, that's just an expression of God, of God's being, of God's existence. It's not something that should be worshiped, it's just something to be expressed.

Okay, so to understand this then, let's just try to work through some examples. So in Genesis 18, where the most plain reading of the text is that the Lord himself appears to Abraham along with two angels, one of the three men clearly seems to be the Lord himself, and Abraham has an extended conversation with him, and when they're done, he walks away. Was that God in the flesh or not? I don't know, what do you mean by God in the flesh? To give a parallel example, you have Numbers chapter 12, where it talks about God coming down in a pillar of a cloud. Was that God in the pillar of cloud?

Well, it does say about the pillar of cloud that the Lord spoke to him face-to-face, like in Exodus 33, as a man speaks to his friend, but it's just that you have three people that says that Adonai appeared to him, right, you're thinking of him, appeared to him, and that it's clear that you have, once you get to the end of the chapter beginning 19th, that one of the three men that came was the Lord himself, the other two were angels, and that Abraham's talking, the Lord's talking directly, shall I withhold from Abraham what I want to do? So was that one that the Scriptures identify as YHVH, the Lord himself, who has a conversation with Abraham and Sarah, and then an extended conversation with Abraham, and he's called the judge of all the earth, et cetera, Abraham's talking to him, was that God in human form? I don't know exactly what you mean by God in human form. I mean, if you mean it with an expression of God in human form, then yes. What's an expression of God? Do you talk to an expression of God? Does an expression of God give promises?

Well, why not? I mean, again, when you have the pillar of cloud coming down in Numbers chapter 12, and the pillar of cloud sends messages and stuff like that for God, and for the first person. But the cloud is not called the Lord, whereas this man in Genesis 18 is called the Lord. Well, yeah, but it does say God came down in a pillar of cloud, so what big of a difference is it? And then it just calls him by his name from then on, doesn't it? Okay, so the fact that you're saying that it's an expression of God in human form.

The basic reading of the text would read that way, yeah. Okay, an expression of God in human form. All right, so you worship God, you don't worship the expression. Yeah.

Well, okay, fine. So this expression of God in human form is Yeshua. We don't worship the physical body, but we worship the God who expressed himself through Yeshua.

Well, I hope that's the case, but then it kind of, the whole pump of the Trinity then kind of, it seems like it's gone, you know? Like, it seems you could also reconcile the opinions of the early church fathers who said, you know, well, Jesus was he created, or was he coeternal? You could say, well, his essence was coeternal, but his body was created, and it kind of, it kind of just fades away.

Well, no, it doesn't, because we're saying God is complex in his unity, and he reveals himself through his Son. So, for example, in Exodus 24, on Mount Sinai, where it says, they saw the God of Israel, and they ate and drank, and he didn't put forth his hand to hurt them. So, in other words, they should have died, because they saw God, and no one can see God and live.

But he didn't strike them. It doesn't say a vision. They saw the God of Israel, and they ate and they drank. Did they see God or not? Well, I would take Maimonides' approach, which in the Maran of Uthumb where he says that the word seeing in Hebrew could also mean understanding, or envisioning. The same way when you have in, like, Genesis, I think it's chapter three, maybe chapter two, I think chapter three, where it talks about Adam and Eve, that their eyes were open, and they realized that they were naked. I mean, they knew they were naked beforehand. The only difference was they understood that they're doing something wrong. Why would God say, come up on the mountain, and then it says they saw him, they ate and they drank, he didn't strike them.

Why would he just strike them if they had a spiritual understanding? I mean, can you see how the theology is now dictating and changing the plain meaning of the text, which is one of my issues with traditional Judaism? Well, I think we all agree that there's anthropomorphism in the text, but regarding coming closer higher to the mountain, I mean, there are also concepts of not just envisioning and sitting back and being a philosopher, but actually doing something in Judaism.

So we do have to have a temple, we do have to offer sacrifice, we do have to do mitzvot, we have to do commandments. So it's not just that it has to just be, you know, sitting in your bedroom and just having visions of God, you actually have to do something. Regarding the eating and drinking, Maimonides understands that as meaning that they were not actually taking it seriously. When you're understanding a vision of God, you shouldn't be just doing regular mundane things, you should be totally focused on it.

Kind of like eating in a classroom. So you really think that they could go on Mount Sinai, have this revelation of God, and they're just kind of chilling? Does that even make sense, his reading of the text? Isn't it more saying that they had a communal meal in his presence and weren't killed? No, I don't think it's a communal meal, I think that they were kind of chilling, and that's what God was upset about them for.

So does the text anywhere say he was upset? It says he didn't strike them. Right, well why would he strike them? Because you're not allowed to see God, and he gave them the privilege of seeing God. Well then it's kind of a nod to me, I think it's more like that they angered him, and despite that he didn't strike them. Alright, so just to be clear, it says they saw God but they didn't really see him, correct? No, the word seeing in the Hebrew Bible many times means understanding, gaining wisdom.

But how could they express, if God wanted to express that they literally saw him, how else would he have said it? He would take away certain concepts that he talks about, saying that he has no form. But he has a form. We know he has a form.

Right, but he doesn't have a form. No, no, no, it doesn't say he doesn't have a form, it says he didn't see the form. Deuteronomy 4 says he didn't see the form. Alright, stay right here, we've got to continue this, but you can have a break, grab your Tanakh if you have it, and look at Numbers 12, okay? And see what it says about Moses and the Tanakh of the Lord, alright?

See what it says about Moses seeing the form of the Lord, alright? Stay right here, we'll be right back. And friends, you can get in on the conversation, 866-34-TRUTH. It's the Line of Fire with your host, Dr. Michael Brown. Your voice of moral, cultural, and spiritual revolution.

Here again is Dr. Michael Brown. An old classic from Lamb, sacrificed Lamb. Alright, back to Manny in Brooklyn, so Numbers 12, it says that Moses saw the Tanakh of the Lord. So the Bible doesn't say that God doesn't have a form, but that the Israelites as a whole at Mount Sinai didn't see it. But what do you do with that, that it says Moses saw the form of the Lord? Well, I don't think, first of all, Numbers 12 is necessarily the place I'd go to talk about that God didn't not have a form.

I'd probably look at somewhere, probably in Isaiah chapter 40, somewhere in that source, where it says, what type of damus would you give to God, or something of that sort. But about Numbers 12, I would assume that it's talking about him, it's talking about Moses seeing God's back in Exodus 33. That I believe. I believe that it's anthropomorphous. That you can't see the face, which is a much more clear indication of what a person's feelings are or emotions are, but you can only see their back. You can only see a general outline, and that's the basic concept. You can't see God in his fullness. A finite cannot understand someone who's infinite, but he could understand aspects of him. So let me ask you this. If I'm just reading the text itself, do you think I'd come to the conclusions of the Moses Maimonides?

You might. I mean, Moses Maimonides really actually said that the reason he doesn't believe God has a form is just because, from a philosophical argument, that just the infinite cannot become finite. Yes, he was a rationalist applying rationalistic arguments, and as you know, some of his books were burned as heretical by other Jews of his generation. Yeah, and until today, people tell me not to read it.

Right, right. And of course, he's, you know, the Mishneh Torah and Sefer Mitzvot and all these are standard works, and the God for the Perplexed. But the fact is, all I'm saying is, I'm just going by what the text says, reiterated over and over, like Isaiah 6, where he sees the Lord, he thinks he's going to die because he sees the Lord has been the presence of the holy God. And we know that no human being can see him in his fullness, and that's the whole thing, that the Son makes him known.

So how do we put these together? That we say that God is complex in his unity, there's one God and one God only. The Father, the source of all things, remains hidden in glory. New Testament plainly says no one has seen God or can see God, John 1, 1 Timothy 6, and other passages. He dwells in unapproachable light, which no one can see, but we see plainly he is seen many times. He's seen in bodily form in Genesis 18, he's seen on Mount Sinai in Exodus 24, he's seen in Isaiah 6 by the prophet, and these are the passages. And then you mention Exodus 33, you only see my back, and it says the Lord, literally says the Lord passes by, the Lord passes by and declares who he is, you know, his very essence in nature, which seems more than his back to be honest, you know, in terms of if you want to make it philosophical. And now we just see through the person of Yeshua that the expression of God, the logos, the memra, the word of the Lord, takes on human form. So God does not cease being God, he remains God enthroned in heaven, but he takes on human form through his Son and walks among us. I mean, Chuck ran an expression of God, I mean, that is part of what John 1 says, that the word, the memra, the logos, became flesh and walked among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory is the one and only of the Father. Okay, so then why stop there?

Keep going. I mean, you have many passages in the Old Testament that, you know, indicate that God can be many other things. Deuteronomy 4, verse 24 says, for the Lord your God is a consuming fire. So why not just say that God is a fire? After all, that's what came down on Mount Sinai. You know, I mean, we could say, ein tzur kilo kenu, there is no rock like our God, you know, so God is a rock, and then we could pull out some pomodic passages that talk about the eben shefia, the rock that, you know, is in the center of the world that all creation came from, and we could just keep building and building that, you know, more complexity in God's unity.

I mean, why do you stop at three? Well, it's not, okay, number one, you're talking about the many different ways in which God could reveal himself or what he could speak through. He could speak through a storm, he could speak through an earthquake, right? He could speak in many different ways.

He could speak through a voice. So there are many different ways in which God can speak and reveal himself, but who he is in terms of his very essence, it doesn't say if you saw the fire that you saw God in terms of a communal relational way, like Genesis 18, where God communes with Abraham. But we get Father, Son, and Spirit from other passages. I mean, we see that God is unseen, yet we see he is seen, and then we see the activity of the Spirit, the Ruach, which is clearly not just power, because the Spirit teaches, the Spirit guides, the Spirit speaks, the Spirit can be grieved.

So based on the evidence of Scripture, we see God has made himself known to us as Father, Son, and Spirit, one God made known as Father, Son, and Spirit. So what is it fundamentally that you object to? In other words, why couldn't that be true? Well, what do you mean why it can't be true? I mean... As is true, why must you reject that as a Jew? Well, because that's making...that is a big problem in saying that God is not fully one. I mean, if you're saying that there are parts to something, it cannot be infinite.

That's just a classic proof. So there's something just nonsensical, actually, just while we were talking about Maimonides, if you look at Maimonides' 13 Principles of Faith, there's no commandment there to believe in a God. There's only a commandment, you know, one of the principles to believe what God does, that he controls the whole universe, that he's one, that he has no body, or whatever it is. The concept is that belief in God is just a very pure, rationalistic thing to me, that the way that I know there's a prime cause, unmoved, mover, is just so basic that I just can't see and accept the doctrine that, you know, fuzzes stuff up.

Why is it fuzzy? I mean, you have no problem with Shekhinah, Memrah, Shirot... Shekhinah is not God. Shekhinah is an expression of God like I am. I'm an expression of God. I mean, in Kabbalah, they say that I'm also a member of God, that all the physical creation is a member of God. But did you create the universe, because according to the Targums, the Memrah created the universe?

Can I worship you as God? No, the Memrah is the Word. Because according to Genesis 28, Jacob says that the Memrah of the Lord will be my God. Yeah, but again, the idea of the Memrah of the God in Kabbalistic ideas is that the Memrah creates different things, and those words still are in it.

I mean, the essence of the thing are the Word. But there's only one Creator. See, the funny thing is, you're willing to have all these idolatrous views where you become somewhat God-like, whereas I'm trying to emphasize there's one God and one God only, and you're finding God in all these pieces and places. No, I don't want to be worshiped. I don't want anyone worshiping the Shekhinah. I don't want anyone worshiping the rabbis. I don't want anyone worshiping the temple. I want people to just worship the God of Israel. That's all the infinite being, the unmoved mover, that's all. Oh, okay, so that's the only one I worship, and as he's revealed himself, that's the only one I worship.

I die before I worship anyone other than him. So in Exodus 25, where God gives instructions to Moses, and Moses tells the people of us, Suleimik dash Reshachanti v'tocham, and let them make for me a sanctuary, Reshachanti, and I will dwell in their midst, didn't God himself actually dwell in the midst of his people? I mean, again, your whole concept of dwelling in God-filled heavens on the earth, we know that from Jeremiah 23, everything is the resurrection of God.

But what does it specifically mean? The concept of Shekhinah, of Shekhinah or Shekhinah, is that God will rest his presence. Of course, if you had been working, I will dwell here, you know, I mean, that's constantly used, I mean, in anthropomorphic order. But it was holy ground, though. You could mess with it, or you would die, because the very presence of God. If you mess with something that's expressing God more than something else, then you're trying to distort the expression, and that's dangerous.

So if I walk into my house and I'm pure, that's not a problem, but if I did it in the temple it's a problem, because I'm trying to defile and make something that's supposed to be expressing holiness and just express it as mundane. But the presence of God is not God. No, I mean, no, the same way the heavens and the earth is not God.

Even the... But the heavens and the earth are not God's presence. He reveals his glory to them, but they're not his presence. No, but he still has the heavens and the earth, but the same concept applies to anything else, angels as well. I mean, anything that's not the infinite, that has a form, that has a limit, cannot be God. It could be an expression of God, but it can't be God. I mean, to be honest, I guess I shouldn't condemn you as an idolater, I think I should condemn you as someone who has mathematical paradoxes. How could the infinite be divided? That's the problem. He's not divided.

He's one God. Why...? So, Manny, don't you think it's problematic that you're trying to squeeze God into your little brain or my little brain, that we're trying to wrap the eternal God, the one Isaiah 57, 15, Shekhinad, inhabits eternity, the one who's from alarm to alarm, so eternal, so beginning and no end, that you're trying to squeeze him into little human mathematical philosophical formulations that fallen people have come up with? I mean, does that trouble you?

Is that...? No, not at all, because mathematics is, to me, a science that there's no argument about. But I put it this way, I could argue with you about Isaiah 53, and we could argue about interpretations, and you could probably, like we did with Alma and Bathula last time, and you could agree that I have a point here, and I could agree you have a point there. But with mathematics, we can't argue 2 plus 2 equals 5, and I say, you know, well, you have a point here, you have a point there. It doesn't work that way.

It's absolutely... So, are you... All right, so the spherotes, so ten spherotes, and you know how far they can get in Kabbalistic language and all of that. It's just not one God. It's just not one God. Well, actually... And when the Kabbalah talks about God being three and yet one, you don't have a problem with that? No, I don't have a problem with the Talmud thing, Yisrael V'Eretz, the Kuchibirichu Chadhu, you know, Yisrael and the Torah, and God is all one. When you talk about the spirit, actually, it would be good if someone would look at the tikkun ez-zohar, that usually people stay in prayer before the mincha service before Sabbath, Shabbos, that it says there that all these ten spheroes cannot be separated, one from another.

It's just not possible. Right, so Father, Son, and Spirit, one God, and God has made himself known to us as Father, Son, and Spirit, one God, and it explains these many texts, so I worship one God and one God only. I don't worship a physical expression or a physical building, but I worship the one God. Hey, listen, we'll have to continue the conversation, and I'm happy to do it in the future, and gladly call in again, or if you're genuinely interested in interacting more, you know, we could talk off the air, you know, how to contact us. But bottom line, you know, I just, when the text says they saw God, or God spoke, or that, I take it literally, and the response of the people also would indicate that it was literally God.

But hey, if you understand Yeshua's expression of God in human form, the Word made flesh, we're at least on a track that we can continue to talk about. Hey, thank you for calling. It's The Line of Fire with your host, Dr. Michael Brown. Get into The Line of Fire now by calling 866-34-TRUTH.

Here again is Dr. Michael Brown. Thanks for joining us, friends, on Thoroughly Jewish Thursday. Boy, I could talk to people like Manny all day and all night. What an excellent call. Manny, if you're still out there listening, so glad you called. And it took a lot longer on the phone than I normally do with a call because of the importance of the subject, and number one, it gives us an opportunity to dialogue, the two of us right now, in the midst of busy schedules, but number two, it's educational for those listening and those watching because Manny represents a thoughtful Jewish perspective and someone that's read the scriptural text and that's wrestled with the meaning and has read the commentaries and the various approaches to things and has thought issues through.

So I appreciate that. But let's just think about this for one moment. The idea that God himself, transcendent, formless, and everything that we encounter on the earth is at best an expression of God instead of God himself.

So that would be Manny's position. So Genesis 18, when it says the Lord appeared, Yahweh appeared to Abraham. And then you read the account, it's clearly Yahweh and two angels. And the two angels go on to Sodom, beginning of Genesis 19, while Abraham has an extended discussion with Yahweh at the end of the 18th chapter.

And then Yahweh leaves, goes his way. And I say that's obviously the son in human form. And Manny's position would be, well, that was an expression of God in human form and so on through all the other things that we would look at. But let's just hang on to that concept for a moment, that it's not God coming down in human form in Jesus, but an expression of God. Manny even said the presence of God itself is only expression of God, the Shekhinah.

The manifest presence of God is not actually God, but just an expression of God. Well, so let's think through John 1. In the beginning was the word, which is the Aramaic memoir, because that's often used in the Targums, the Aramaic translation slash paraphrases of the Hebrew Bible that were used in the synagogues where Hebrew was not spoken or fully understood and now the Aramaic translation was used. We've constantly referred to the memoir, like in Genesis 28, I referenced where Jacob says to the Lord, if you go with me on my journey and take care of me, then the memoir of the Lord will be my God. It's almost as if God being so transcendent when you're interacting in this personal way or God in a manifest way in this world, it's through his memoir, through his word, an expression of him, right? In the beginning was the memoir and the memoir was with God and the memoir was God, so he's with God and yet God.

And everything was created through him by him and this would very much be like Phallos Logos and the Targumic memoir. And then, and then you get down to verse 14, and the memoir was made flesh. It doesn't say God was made flesh because that would be as if he ceased being God in heaven.

That's why I said that we're not that far apart, Manny and I, as much as we're very far apart, another level where we're not that far apart. The memoir of the Lord is made flesh. The word of the Lord is made flesh and we beheld his glory, the glory is the one and only of the Father.

It was the same verse 18. No one has seen God at any time, right? But the only God or the only Son who's in the bosom of the Father, he has made him known. So it's, that's what's said. No one's seen God, but the word has made him known. That's ultimately what's being said.

So it's, we're not that far apart. And those of you that have a heart to see Jewish people come to faith in Yeshua, pray for Manny. He's taken time to read the book and call in, so I take it there's genuine interest.

In other words, he may be 100% sure he's right and feels deeply I'm wrong and wants to expose my views, but either way, I take him to be a serious seeker of truth. So let's pray that God would fully reveal his truth to our friend Manny. All right, let's go to Richmond, Virginia. And Joseph, thanks for holding. Welcome to the line of fire.

Hey, Dr. Brown. I'm speaking tomorrow at a funeral for a very good friend of mine, brother-in-law, mentor, just a man that's meant very much to me in my life. He has passed suddenly from a massive stroke and he's done things, he's Jewish. His son was raised Christian. I've spoke at his Jewish father's funeral. I spoke at a lot of funerals in his family. I've spoken several times about Christian faith and there's things he's done in his life. He's kind of been like Oscar Schindler in reverse, the things he's done for the people in his life. How old was he when he passed away?

67, 68. Oh, what a shame. Just suddenly. Yeah. He just retired not too long ago and I'm hoping there's a word to express that kind of generosity that he's had for, I mean, he would work nights and weeks in advance for Christmas bonuses for his employees when a small company didn't do things like this. I'm talking like 60 employees getting a Christmas bonus of $1,000.

Mmm. It's a sacrifice. Yeah, there's not, to my knowledge, just a Hebrew word that would encapsulate the selfless giving generosity, but Psalm 112 would be a great text to use. That's a picture of a righteous person and the lending and the giving and the helping and the heart for others. So take a look, Joseph, at Psalm 112 and see if that fits in terms of, yeah, that's who this man really was and how he lived, and see if that is a good text for you. Psalm 112, okay? I appreciate that.

I'll be looking at that in just a very few moments. Thank you, God bless you, and I listen to you regularly and I really appreciate you taking the time to talk to me. That makes me feel awful. And Joseph, may the Lord comfort your heart in the midst of the grief and the shock, and may He use your words to comfort and help many. May many have their hearts turned to the Lord and His goodness through this.

So God bless you, and thanks for allowing us to be part of this sacred moment. You know, I think it's so important, friends, that we get past the stereotypes that we often have about each other. And often it's very challenging when our stereotypes get threatened, that maybe you have a certain caricature that all Muslims are like Osama bin Laden, and that's just who you think they are, that they're all ISIS terrorists, or Taliban, or Al Qaeda, and any Muslim that tells you they're not, they're lying. And then you have some neighbors move in, and their Muslim family, they are tremendously devoted to one another as a family. And as you get to talk to them about their faith, they're very devout, and you find out they absolutely abhor terrorism, and they can shake your little.

Well, yeah, there are plenty of Muslims like that. For me, growing up in a nominal Jewish home, my knowledge of Judaism was very superficial. You go to synagogue on a Saturday morning, and building could seat maybe 200 people, and sometimes you didn't even have 10 men for the official service, the minion, as it's called, the number of 10. And my dad would get an emergency call, hey, Abe, can you get over?

And he'd show up for the service, so they'd have 10. And then the high holy days, we had to build an annex next door that seated, I don't know, 400 people or more, 500 people, because the high holy days, it would be packed, just like your local church, your nominal church, and Christmas, Easter, it's packed out, and there's nobody there the rest of the year. That's the kind of Judaism I grew up with.

So I got saved. Now, if it's the real faith, and these people are so devoted, and church night after night, and praying for hours, and in the Word, sharing their faith with everybody, this is the real thing. And then I met religious Jews who absolutely did not believe what I believed, but seemed to be like me in terms of their orientation to God.

I mean, they're talking spiritual things with me, and we're going back and forth, and so on. And there was sincerity, and there seemed to be a desire to honor God and please Him, and it really threw me, because I had not met religious Jews that I really got to interact with like that. And maybe if I did meet a religious Jew, we immediately got into an argument about Jesus, so I never really got to know who they were. And you know, maybe you have characters about atheists, or others, well, you know, because if there is no God, then there's no absolute good, so there's no good or evil, so atheism breaks down. There's a philosophical argument, and then we meet an atheist who, well, I don't know about the philosophical argument, but they really care about poor, and the needy, and the hurting, and very genuine people, and they seem to have a better ethic than some of the church people. We've got to get past our stereotypes, and try to see the best. One rabbi once said, it's not right for us to compare the best of our faith with the worst of someone else's. Yeah, there's hypocrisy, there's junk, and there are reasons that I'm not a Muslim, there are reasons I'm not an atheist, there are reasons I'm not a traditional Jew, obviously. And yet, and yet, I recognize that the caricatures and the stereotypes are often just that, caricatures and stereotypes. Get to know people in the real world, get to understand where they're coming from, have God's heart of love for them, and then present the truth, because nothing and no one can come against the truth. All right, tomorrow, we've got questions, we've got answers, don't miss it.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-01-26 10:36:30 / 2024-01-26 10:56:23 / 20

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