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So, what can the Torah teach us about God's Ruach, God's Spirit? It's time for the Line of Fire with your host, biblical scholar and cultural commentator, Dr. Michael Brown. Your voice for moral sanity and spiritual clarity. Call 866-34-TRUTH to get on the Line of Fire. And now, here's your host, Dr. Michael Brown. It is Thoroughly Jewish Thursday. Michael Brown, delighted to be with you. Hey, for all of my Jewish listeners who do not yet believe that Jesus, Yeshua, is our Messiah, I'm so glad you're here, so glad you're listening, watching. If we can be of help to you, please contact us right through the website AskDrBrown.org. You can call in anonymously. You don't have to give location if it's important for you to be secretive about things.
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866-348-7884. A few months ago, I wrote an article for a scholarly journal called NUMA. It is a journal with Pentecostal Charismatic Scholarship in the forefront. And there was a special issue that was being put out that was dealing with the Holy Spirit in the Bible, the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament. And I was asked to write an article on the Holy Spirit in the Torah. Now, it was co-written, so I wrote everything except for Numbers 11.
Then another professor just did Numbers 11. So I looked at everything else. But it's always fascinating to look at one particular word, one particular concept, and to step back and get a broader overview. Now, you may know this, many of you know this, that both the Hebrew and Greek words for spirit can also mean breath or wind.
So it's all depending on the context, right? So ruach in Hebrew, numa in Greek, they both can mean spirit, they both can mean wind, they both can mean breath. And you can see how the concepts are associated, right? For example, human breath, you can blow, like the wind blows.
And they're both invisible, but they have their tangible effect. Or the spirit that animates a human being, that's on the spiritual side, but then the breath animates on the physical side. So when someone breathes their last breath, you can also say their spirit left their bodies. You think in the end of John's Gospel that Jesus breathes on his talmidim, on his disciples, and says, receive the Holy Spirit, right? Which meant either right then they did, and then what happened in Pentecost was an outward manifestation of that, or that this was the deposit for what would happen at Shavuot Pentecost. You think of Acts 2, when the Holy Spirit does come, he comes with the sound of a blowing, violent wind. You think of Ezekiel's Valley of the dry bones vision, there's no breath slash spirit in the people, so he prophesized to the wind, so that there will be breath slash spirit within them. So he prophesized to the Ruach, so there'll be Ruach within them.
So you can see how the concepts overlap. So within the Hebrew Bible, the noun Ruach occurs 378 times, and then an additional 11 times in the Aramaic portions of Daniel. Within the Torah, the Pentateuch, it occurs a total of 38 times, so not that heavily referenced within the Torah, as opposed to other words that occur disproportionately highly in the Torah.
Then, here's how you break it down. It means breath five times, sometimes you've got Yahweh's breath, that means the blowing of the wind, same thing. Then spirit, either meaning the human spirit or the divine spirit, but distinguished from breath, that's 27 times. So these are key passages in which the word occurs in the Torah.
One Genesis, one, two, this is right at the beginning. So after the verse one, then you get into verse two, v'ruach Elohim, or achefet al-penehamayim, and the ruach of God fluttering, hovering over the face of the deep. Now, there are scholars, you'll find it in, say, the new JPS translation, and certain more liberal translations, you'll often find the wind of God. So it's the wind of God kind of blowing, hovering over the deep. The problem with that is that every other time in the Torah that ruach Elohim is found, it always means the spirit of God, not the wind of God. Every time ruach Elohim is found in the rest of the Bible, the rest of the Hebrew Bible, it never means the wind of God, but the spirit of God. So this would seem to point to the spirit's active role in the creation.
There's some later Jewish traditions that say that that represents the spirit of the Messiah, but those are just later traditions. In Genesis, the sixth chapter, God says to Noah that his ruach will not contend with man any longer, or dwell with man any longer. There's a real debate about the Hebrew verb there.
Either way, there's a limitation, there's a stopping point. Man's days will be 120 years. Does that mean how long before the flood, or their lives will be shortened after that debate about those passages and concepts as well? But what's really interesting is you have verses like God's ruach, when God blows on the sea, right, in Exodus 15, and Moses is singing a psalm of thanksgiving to the Lord after the parting of the sea so the Israelites can come through it, that his breath blows on it, that's his wind, and it divides the sea. So you have that demonstration of his power. But elsewhere you have people who are equipped by the ruach, right? Like you have those that were going to build the tabernacle, they were specially gifted by God so that Moses could describe everything, and they had the spiritual insight, it's okay, here's what he's saying, here's how he's depicting it, and we're gonna make it like that.
Takes a special gift. They were equipped by the ruach to do that. And Joseph had the ruach on him, that's how he was able to interpret dreams and give wisdom to Pharaoh. These are some of the references to God's ruach in the Hebrew Bible. So, Ruach Elohim occurs in the Old Testament, tell us 16 times, as I said, every time I said of Genesis 1, 2, it clearly is speaking out of the breath or the wind of God, but of the spirit of God.
Something where he is actively leading, something where he is actively equipping, something where he is actively enabling. And if you look through the rest of the Old Testament with God's ruach, you get a preview for everything in the New Testament. In volume 2 of answering Jewish objections to Jesus, I get into this in some depth, because in Judaism, the ruach is not a person or personality. The ruach is just a manifestation or aspect of God's power and being. But when you go through the verses about the ruach in the Old Testament, the ruach is teaching, the ruach is leading, the ruach is speaking, and you have some hints of that already in the Torah. The New Testament just takes it now to its logical conclusion as the ruach is made known more powerfully, alright? So you have, as we note, elsewhere in the Old Testament, the phrase refers consistently to the divine spirit that empowers and energizes individuals. So God fills Bezalel with the spirit of God, the spirit of God comes on Balaam, that's how he speaks what he speaks.
And then Numbers, the 11th chapter, it's a fascinating passage, and it's the one where ruach occurs the most in the Torah. So Moses is just worn out and burdened. He's been equipped by God, he's been anointed by God, he's been graced by God to do what he's doing, but he's worn out and burdened.
So God says, right, 70 of the elders of Israel, and I'm gonna take from the spirit the ruach on you, I'm gonna put it on them. Now did that diminish the spirit on Moses? The answer to that is does it diminish a candle when you light other, does it diminish the light of the candle when you light other candles, you light the other wicks? No, the candle keeps burning.
You can say, well, it burned down more. That's not the issue, it's that illustration, right, that you can spread the fire without losing the quality of your own fire. So that's because the spirit is infinite. So God takes the spirit that was on Moses, the ruach on Moses, and he puts it on the 70 elders, and what happens? They begin to prophesy. It is the most common thing that happens when the spirit comes on someone, they speak. Isaiah 61, what does the prophet say? Ruach Adonai Elohim, I lie, the spirit of the Lord God is on me, yatmashach Adonai otilevaser anavim, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the meek.
Jesus quotes that, takes it on himself in Luke 4. He's anointed me to speak. The Holy Spirit comes on the 120 in Acts 2, and they speak new languages. The Holy Spirit comes on the believers in Ephesus that Paul lays hands on, and they prophesy and speak in tongues. Personally, I do not believe that the only outward manifestation of the baptism of the spirit, or the empowering of the spirit, is speaking in tongues. So I say this as a Pentecostal Charismatic. I believe it's the most common, and again, it is common when the Holy Spirit comes on someone, they speak, and here they speak this new language, the language you could say of the kingdom, or the language of heaven.
So it's very, very interesting there in Numbers 11. One last point, there are two of the men who were not in the camp like they were supposed to be, and they were prophesying, Eldad and Medad, and Joshua was upset, and he says, Moses, should I shut them up? Because they were all told to be in the camp if they weren't in the camp, and still the spirit fell on them. And Moses said, are you jealous of my behalf? He said, I wish that all the Lord's people were prophets and that the Lord would put his spirit on all of them. That in a sense has been realized through the outpouring of the spirit on all flesh. That in a sense has been realized by the spirit coming within the body, the ecclesia, the church as a whole, that has been realized to some extent where all of God's people, on a certain level, are prophets, not meaning an Old Testament prophet, but meaning the spirit works through us, and we can declare God's word, God's truth to the world.
Alright, just a few insights about Ruach and the Torah. So come back and start taking your calls. 866-348-7884. It's the Line of Fire with your host, Dr. Michael Brown. Get on the Line of Fire by calling 866-344-TRUTH. Here again is Dr. Michael Brown. Welcome, welcome to Thoroughly Jewish Thursday on the Line of Fire.
866-348-7884. As long as your question is Jewish related, we're happy to take it on a Thursday. Let us start with Jonathan in Columbus, Ohio. Welcome to the Line of Fire.
Yes, Dr. Brown, thanks for taking my call. I just was kind of wondering, I saw a couple documentaries on History Channel about, well, my question is, the Hebrew, Israelite migration from the Middle East, did that lead to what they call the Khazar, Khazar and Kaganei slash empires? Is that known or is there a connection?
Well, no, here's the connection. The Khazarian people were a people group like any other, right? Through interaction with Jewish exiles, then according to the story, the king converted and converted his empire with them so that that group of people became Jews and became part of the larger Jewish people. So there origins are like any other origin, in other words, non-Jewish, non-Israelite, just Gentiles, Goyim, people of the nations, through conversion, and it doesn't seem that the numbers were that large, through conversion, they became Jews and became incorporated in the larger Jewish people. The myth is that today's Jews are not really Jews, they're descendants of the Khazar empire, that's a complete myth. This would have been like, let's just say, Jonathan, let's just say you've got a giant cup of milk and you pour a cup of spoonfuls of water in it, it's still a cup of milk, that would be the same, the Jewish population worldwide and the Khazar people that converted became part of the larger Jewish people worldwide. So the Khazar people are basically, are they Asiatic or what have you? Is that what they were? Or they said they might have been Turkic or something, I don't know exactly where they came from.
That's not it. No, not far east, for sure. That would be the land of Turin, G-U-R-A-N, because I believe that I have, I did do internet search and the land of Turin might be that, and apparently it was real because there is some location somewhere near China and far western China and where do you want to call it, the Spanish countries?
I'm just, I've never really heard confusion about this. In other words, if you just type in where were the Khazars, you'll see the Khazars were Turkic one people who originated in central Asia. So I was about to say they weren't Asiatic in terms of far east. Yeah, so central Asia, early Turkic tribes were quite diverse, etc. It was believed that reddish hair was predominant among them prior to the Mongol conquests. Yeah, so in any case, central Asian people that many of them then converted to Judaism and became part of the Jewish people just like many people from around the world, different nations, you know, the fact you have white Jews like me means that many whites converted to Judaism. The fact you have black Jews means that blacks converted because the original Jews weren't black, weren't white. The only reference we have, well, could be early second century in early Jewish literature was a contrast between the Germans who were white, the Ethiopians who were black, and the Jews who were like lighter brown skin.
In any case, the Khazars just became part of the larger Jewish people, but they would have been central Asian Turkic people. Yep. Hey, thank you, sir, for the question. I appreciate it. 866-34-TRUTH. Let's go to Ada in Kentucky. Welcome to the line of fire.
Yes, sir. I have a question about the Noahide religion. I have a niece that practiced Judaism or messianic Judaism for a year, and now she is practicing the Noahide religion and completely denouncing Jesus, following Rabbi Tovia Singer, and I just wanted to know how I can help her.
Yeah, so Ada, it's a real shame she's fallen into serious deception, but we're going to give you some helpful points. Number one, there's no such thing as the Noahide religion, but there is Jewish tradition that says that God gave seven laws to Adam and Noah, so six to Adam and a seventh to Noah, and that these are the laws for the Gentile nations, right? The Jewish people, God requires them to keep the 613 commandments of the Torah as understood by Jewish tradition, but everybody else, to be righteous, they just have to keep the seven laws of Noah, which are laws against blasphemy and cursing God, excuse me, idolatry, blasphemy, theft, murder, adultery, eating the limb of a living animal, and the commandment to establish courts of justice. So this is according to Jewish tradition. You can find a little of that in the Bible, but much of it is Jewish tradition. So theoretically, if a Gentile lives by those things, then they're righteous in God's sight.
They don't have to keep the seventh-day Sabbath or the dietary laws or things like that. So that's all that it teaches. Tovia Singer, unfortunately, is an aggressive counter-missionary who decades ago, when we debated and knew each other, his goal was to pull Jews away from Jesus and to help them become traditional Jews. At a certain point, he shifted. While he still did that, he aggressively began to attack Christians in general and say what you're believing is a lie, and you're guilty of idolatry, and Jesus is not the Messiah. And because most Christians are not exposed to those arguments, I mean, we answered him years ago, he's refused to debate me now for roughly 30 years.
And we have a series of videos come out demolishing his material. I mean, it's full of error. It's often deceptive in his presentation, meaning he doesn't tell you the answer to his objection, even though he knows it. So we've been putting out materials to refute his errors and misinformation for many years now, and my door remains open to debate him anytime.
He's just refused since our last debate almost 30 years now. In any case, what's happened is all the answers have been there, but someone like your sister here, she has heard these things, stopped believing that Jesus could be the Messiah, and now believes, okay, I just followed these seven laws. So she does not have a spiritually rich life of someone walking in intimacy with God and knowing the reality of forgiveness of sins through the cross. That's not part of her life right now, and she is in danger. The good news is if she's a seeker, if she's honest, we can show her how wrong Tovias materials are, all right?
And then it might get her thinking and looking again. So for example, if you go to our Jewish website, right, RealMessiah.com, I'm typing in as we talk just so I can guide you there as we go. So RealMessiah.com, and then as you scroll down, you'll see answering the rabbis, all right? Answering the rabbis, and there specifically, the ones we've been posting, are video after video specifically refuting Tovias Singer, okay? And when she starts to watch these, maybe say, hey, can we watch these together? Hopefully it'll open her eyes.
The other thing, if you scroll right beneath that, full length debates. So she can watch me debate rabbis, or listen to my old debate with Rabbi Singer there, and maybe when she gets another perspective, maybe when she begins to realize, wow, I've been misled by this rabbi, it can get her to reconsider her beliefs about who Jesus Yeshua really is. And then if questions come up, you can always write to us.
We can do our best to help guide you in the midst of this, okay? I appreciate that. I just wanted to say she's my niece, and she actually is a pastor's daughter and was a worship leader for years and went to ministry school. So she used to have a very seriously rich life.
I have no idea what happened in the last three years that's caused this falling away. But I appreciate your information. Dive into them and I'll give them to her father. RealMessiah.com, and I'm sorry, I was paying attention to the subject and not the relation. So your niece, of course, I've been saying your sister.
Okay, last point. Based on what you described on her background, that at a certain point, she got interested in Jewish background, Jewish roots of the faith, something got her over into a messianic community. At that point, she may have started to get confused about her own spiritual identity. She might have tried to take on Jewish roots or Jewish identity, etc. But I've seen this for decades. The whole process when a Gentile Christian, or a Jewish believer says, I've got to be more Jewish, I've got to be more Jewish, and they get pulled into that, and that becomes a primary identity. This is the process.
It will fascinate, stimulate, complicate, suffocate. So what's happened to her has happened to many. It ends up being the path to apostasy as opposed to a healthy appreciation of the Jewish roots of the faith, which then enhance our relationship with Jesus. So RealMessiah.com, and then scroll down to answering the rabbis and see if she will watch these and say, hey, got nothing to hide here. Here's someone who will debate Rabbi Singer any day and has debated them in the past.
Check these out. Let that undermine her confidence in the teaching of this rabbi, which should be undermined. Should be undermined, absolutely. And then from there, hopefully she can find her way back to the Lord. May the Lord have mercy and bring her back, and may the Lord hear your prayers for your niece and her family's prayers as well. 866-344-TRUTH. All right, we're going to Israel next right after the break. RN, you are up next.
Look forward to talking with you. If you've got a Jewish related question, now's the time to call 866-348-7884. It's the line of fire with your host, Dr. Michael Brown. Get on the line of fire by calling 866-344-TRUTH.
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Okay, let us go to Oren in Israel. Thank you so much for calling. Hello. Hello. Thank you very much. It's great to talk to you, Dr. Brown.
Some background before I ask my question. Yes? Oh, yes. So I'm a born-again Jew from Israel, three, five years ago. And let me just say upfront that from the beginning, I've been listening to your materials and got tremendous encouragement and knowledge, which was very helpful for me, especially in Jewish issues and traditions and stuff like that. So thank you very much for your awesome ministry. Thank God for that. My joy.
My joy, sir. So my question is this. You probably know, and maybe the audience could know as well, that in Israel, we have organizations like One for Israel, iGod, that are trying to bring the gospel to as many Jews as possible in Israel.
And they've been doing a wonderful job, and I'm so grateful for them as well, because they helped me a lot. But this one thing somewhat bothers me, and I was wondering, what's your take on that? So they're not only defending the faith, like the faith in Yeshua, they're also doing offense regarding the oral law.
And sometimes it could be very aggressive, if you've seen the clips that they publish. And it creates, naturally, quite an antagonism here in Israel. So people are willing to listen, and the arguments for Christ are compelling, but they're also attacking the validity of the oral law in a way that I think has never been done before in history. So they're really showing the faults and all the, you know, the fallacies and the inconsistencies and the contradictions, and for some people it's really shocking, even for religious people.
And I was wondering if, to your opinion, this is a good strategy that we should employ as believers, also to be on the offense regarding the oral law. I hope my question is clear. Yes, loud and clear, sir. And it's something that I've interacted a lot with Eitan Barr, leading one for Israel. We've worked together on different projects, so we've interacted on this quite a bit, actually.
So a few things. Volume 5 of my series, Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, does this very thing, but with a different approach. In other words, I raise very serious questions as to the validity of the oral law. For our listeners that are not familiar with this, Judaism teaches that on Mount Sinai, God gave Moses the written law as well as the oral law, and the oral law fills in all the blanks. I'm oversimplifying. You know, where it says don't work on the Sabbath or you'll be put to death, the oral law tells you, well, this is how work is defined, et cetera.
Or when you're to build a sukkah, a booth, these are the dimensions, this is how you build it. So to a traditional Jew, they cannot possibly imagine observing the Torah, following God, without the oral law. And to this day, the rabbis are the leaders of the community, the traditional rabbis who are giving the guidelines, like should we be open in our yeshivas during COVID?
So they're looking to them as the current leaders and heirs of the oral tradition. And then the fundamental documents where these are written, things like the Mishnah and the Talmud and the law codes, et cetera. So the oral law is absolutely central to traditional Judaism. Just like you cannot have Christianity without a Christ or messianic Judaism without a Messiah, you can't have rabbinic Judaism without the rabbis.
You can't have traditional Judaism without the tradition. So in volume five, I systematically rebut the idea of an oral law going back to Moses. I show why it's not scripturally accurate. I show where at times it contradicts scripture.
I show where it creates almost a new expression of the faith that would be very different than the biblical faith. And I quote a lot of Jewish scholars along the way. At the same time, I do my best to be respectful, honoring the beauty in our traditions, recognizing how these traditions have helped keep our people together in a certain way, so even though while I reject their authority, I don't attack them. The situation in America is different than the situation in Israel, where messianic Jews, for example, are less than a half of 1% of the population, and the traditional rabbis have as much control as they do. So in that setting, I could understand being more aggressive in trying to expose the fallacies and to get people who are wavering or even to get traditional Jews thinking like, wait a second, there are contradictions here or there are issues here. Where we've had our conversations is they have looked at texts that they would say are misogynistic, in other words, demeaning to women, or they have looked at texts that they would say are racist, demeaning to the goyim, the gentiles. And because of that, those things can be taken out of context and used to create antisemitism. So when you're within Israel, Jew fighting Jew, it's like a family argument. You talk one way within your own family, right? So you can debate the accuracy of the videos, the material, you know, rabbis will debate that. But when you're having an in-house discussion or debate, you talk one way.
When you're talking to the general public, the rest of the world, you talk differently. So in my book, Christian Antisemitism, I have a chapter called The Truth About the Talmud. And while I make absolutely clear, I'm not a traditional Jew, I reject the authority of the rabbis, I reject the idea of an unbroken chain of oral tradition going back to Moses, the Talmud is often misquoted to make it look a certain way.
Things taken out of context are just statements that are made to make it look a certain way. So here in the West, I'm fighting antisemitism, Jew hatred, and the antisemites always love to quote from the Torah. You go to Muslim websites that are attacking Jews and they'll quote from the Talmud, I should say, to try to make Jewish people look bad. Within Israel, it's a very different scene there.
The control, the authority of the traditional rabbis, the corruption and hypocrisy that can be there in sectors of the population, the fact that you're average Israeli is somewhat hostile to the ultra-orthodox because, you know, they're subsidized and they don't fight in the military and so on, and some of their leaders are perceived as corrupt. So within that environment, Eitan has felt it's important to have this polemic. My input is to say, expose what's wrong, do your best, though, to be careful so as not to give fuel to the fire of antisemites and Jew haters. Do your best to be fair to the text and accurate in context so that things are treated rightly.
So that's my answer. I understand it, but if it's translated into English for America, we would leave certain things out and do it differently because it's a different context. Within Israel, you need wisdom fairly and accurately. I'm sure that Eitan and the people that you mentioned, they're doing it from, I think, a very healthy attitude, but the other side receives it as a declaration of war because, you know, now it's not just those messianic Jews, they leave, you know, according to like Christian or, you know, they have all this kind of superstitious attitude, but now it's not only that, they are causing damage to us, I mean, to our faith, and causing, you know, for them, from their own perspective, a Jew that becomes a believer in Jesus is like, you know, it's like you killed his soul, it's worse than actually killing him.
So this context is very, I think, prominent in Israel. Let me say this, though. The declaration of war is not the issue to me because war is declared on us.
Maybe it was an exaggeration, but it's an offense. What I mean is, we're already the Mishum Adim, okay? I know the way, I've been hated and reviled.
Eitan knows the actual threats he gets to his own safety. Just because we're trying to lead Jewish people to Yeshua, that's a declaration of war on the traditional community. I remember speaking at a messianic conference in Israel many years ago, and protesters came outside the hotel, it was gated so they couldn't come in, but they were shouting at us, they were holding, and religious Jews, holding up signs saying, Hitler won on our bodies, you want our souls. So, and what Eitan would say is that a lot of what they're doing is based on modern Israeli scholarship. In other words, they are quoting Jewish scholars who are bringing many of these critiques in the academic world, and all they're doing is translating it for the general public. With anything, I'd say make sure the texts are being quoted and used accurately. Listen to the critiques of the traditional Jews, make sure everything's being quoted, used accurately.
Give the larger picture so as not to give fuel to the fire of the anti-Semites, and then let's put the truth on the table and have healthy discussions both ways. Hey, Aaron, if you haven't checked out the Real Messiah website, we put a lot of material together and just updated it, realmessiah.com. And sir, so glad that we've been a part of your own journey in the Lord. God bless you. It's The Line of Fire with your host, Dr. Michael Brown. Get on The Line of Fire by calling 866-34-TRUTH. Here again is Dr. Michael Brown. Ah, yes. Psalm, words that are sung in the synagogue, the one who creates peace, works peace in the heavens, will do it on the earth.
You know, my problem, I hear some of this music, I just want to sit and rock and listen to it for a few minutes, but on with the show. 866-34-8-7-8-8-4. You've got Jewish-related questions, we'll do our best to give you solid answers. Going back to the phones in one moment, but I want to thank all of you who are faithful contributors, who are church bearers, who help us with a dollar a day or more per month, who support us on Patreon for five or ten dollars a month, who we give periodically, who pray for us, thank you, because you just heard a testimony from Israel, another believer, and was greatly helped and has been over the years by our materials. You're the ones that hold our hands up as I'm working and writing every night, sometimes to the early hours of the morning with great joy, and putting out new projects and working behind the scenes to equip believers in Israel. More and more of our materials are getting out in Hebrew, in Israel, to reach a Jewish audience, some without my name or face, others taking it and getting it out, so thank you for your partnership. If you want to help us reach Jewish people with the good news of the Messiah, say, yeah, I know it's important biblically, I don't know where to give, we're on the front lines. Ask, DrBrown.org, click on donate monthly support, you can designate it for Jewish outreach, or give a one-time gift designated for Jewish outreach.
You can also do it on the Facebook page, just click on that, there's a place to give there, donate button, or the dollar sign at the bottom of the YouTube chat box, so all of those different ways you can give thank you in advance for standing with us. All right, let's go back to the phones with John in Lincoln, Illinois, welcome to the line of fire. Hey, Dr. Brown. Hey. Thank you for taking my call. Sure. This is my first time calling but I really appreciate you and the way you are able to get down to the bottom of difficult issues and, you know, bring clarity to them.
Well, thank you. So, my question is, I'm a student at Lincoln Christian University, and I had to take a couple of Old Testament classes last year, and my question is about the relationship between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant. The textbook that we had to use was by J. Daniel Hayes, The Message of the Prophets, and in chapter 11, on the book of Jeremiah, he essentially says that, in Jeremiah 11, 10, that, you know, Yahweh indicts Israel for breaking the Covenant, and he argues that this doesn't just mean breaking the rules, but essentially annulling or ending the Covenant, like a divorce or something, and that, and then in Jeremiah 14, 21, that Jeremiah's pleading with Yahweh not to break the Covenant, that there's clearly no danger of him breaking the rules, but rather of ending the Covenant. So, I guess, just, my question is, did Israel end the Old Covenant by its idolatry and unfaithfulness, like he's arguing? Is that why there was a need for a New Covenant or some other reason?
You know, I just wanted to get your take on that. So, let's think through a few terms. When we speak about Old Covenant, New Covenant, these are terms that are used differently now in that we think of the Old Testament and the New Testament, right? But what we had within the Hebrew Bible was the Sinai Covenant, or the Law of Moses, and then the New Covenant, and the New Covenant, according to Jeremiah 31, verses 31 to 34, was made with whom? With the house of Israel and with the house of Judah.
So, that's the principle text you want to look at. Jeremiah 31, verses 31 to 34. By Israel violating the terms of the Covenant, by Israel turning to idolatry repeatedly, by Israel refusing to obey the Lord's commandments, they broke his Covenant, so God in turn broke the Covenant with them, but then said, I'm gonna make a new and better Covenant. In other words, he didn't throw Israel out, but because of Israel's continued failure, God made a new and better Covenant with the house of Israel and Judah. That's why when the Messiah comes into the world, he comes into the world as a Jew, that's why the Messiah chooses 12 Jewish disciples in lieu of the 12 tribes of Israel, he takes those from among the 12 tribes of Israel, he takes 12 Jewish disciples, and that's why it's at the Passover that he seals this and says, this is the new Covenant in my blood, which is shed for you. And now, because Israel is called to be a light to the nations, and the Messiah, as the Messiah of Israel is the Savior of the world, now Israel's new Covenant is made available to the whole world to partake of the grace and goodness of the God of Israel. So, it wasn't that God displaced Israel, right, it's the same people that are involved, but it's a new and better Covenant in which God will supernaturally empower his people to obey his teachings. So, everything that happens though happens for purposes, in other words, Jesus says in Matthew 5, beginning in verse 17, don't think I came to abolish the Torah of the prophets, that's the whole of the Old Testament revelation, I didn't come to abolish but to fulfill. And even in the new and better Covenant, God puts his Torah on the hearts of his people. So, what happens is that the new Covenant builds on the old, and everything that it was looking forward to, for example, what the sacrificial system could only do in part, what an earthly priesthood could only do in part, what a physical temple could only do in part, is now realized in full through the coming of the Messiah. So, it's not abolishing but fulfilling. Some through church history have made the statement in terms of the books, the Old Testament books and the New Testament books, that the New Testament is the Old Testament concealed, excuse me, the Old Testament is the New Testament concealed, the New Testament is the Old Testament revealed.
So, it's like a hand in a glove. Paul writing in Romans says, do we therefore abolish the law by our faith? He says, no, we establish it. So, we put it in its right foundational place and everything is built on that and now we enter into the new Covenant God made with Israel and Judah. That's also why when Messiah returns, he returns to Jerusalem, not some other foreign location, but to Jerusalem to fulfill the promises that he gave to Israel. Does that make sense?
I believe so. It's just, there's so much, it's so big, it's hard to wrap my head around all of it. Well, here's the thing, wrap your head around the foundational concepts, right? So, start with Jeremiah 31 verses 31 to 34, then read through Hebrews, right? Wrap your mind around the foundational concepts and then build on that.
Think of like a snowball going down the side of a mountain. It gets bigger and bigger and bigger, but its essential core never changes. So, if you do that, I think that will really help as this is unfolding for you. Take this as the core, God's promises to bless the world through the seed of Abraham, through the people of Israel, that has been a continuing pattern. So, it's not Old Testament, now New Testament in contrast, but in continuum, right? The purposes of God now coming to their full purposes.
So, the Torah does its purpose, it reveals who God is, it reveals his righteousness, it lays out principles of life, it lays out issues of sin, atonement, approach to God, it also reveals the failure of the nation to keep it, our need for a Messiah and Savior, and now that comes to realization through the new and better covenant in which we receive eternal forgiveness of sins. If you have time in the midst of your schedule, maybe a break over the summer, check out my book, The Real Kosher Jesus. You'll find it very relevant in terms of who Jesus is, how he fits in all this.
Hey John, thank you so much for the call, I appreciate it. Alright friends, let me say this to all of you who might wonder why would a Jew reject Jesus? It's so clear he's the Messiah. Remember the great majority of Jews worldwide never really studied the question, who is Jesus? Who is Yeshua? Any more than the great majority of Christians worldwide never studied the subject, who is Muhammad?
Why, it's foreign to them. And if you're raised in a traditional Jewish home, what you know about Yeshua is not good. You have very likely read traditions in the Talmud that you think apply to him, and he looks very bad in that context. Or he's just some Jew that went astray, and the goyim, the nations follow him, but Torah is for us. So many Jews never really consider this, and then when they look at Jesus, he seems very foreign to them, kind of the God of the Catholic Church or the leader of this group that persecuted Jews through the ages. So it's really important to help a Jewish person find out who Yeshua really is. And one of my colleagues reaching Jewish people says, yeah, he brings them into the New Testament to say, hey, look at who he really is.
Find out, read his words, listen to his messages, read what's said about him, look at his life. And often that is the key to helping someone see. And then when we can open things up with Messianic prophecy and the like, all the more wonderful. All right, friends, you got other questions on other subjects, you know what's coming tomorrow. You've got questions, we've got answers. One more reminder, make sure you get our emails at AskDirectorBrown.org. It's been a joy being with you today. Your program powered by the Truth Network.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-07 09:26:41 / 2023-04-07 09:44:20 / 18