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Call 866-34-TRUTH to get on The Line of Fire. And now here's your host, Dr. Michael Brown. Hey friends, this is Michael Brown, as always delighted to be with you. So glad we could have this time together where I can answer as many of your questions as possible. Today I'm responding to your social media questions. I know you're ready. You had the phone in hand.
You were dialing. But we'll be responding to your social media questions today that have been posted on Facebook and Twitter. Some really interesting questions posted already. So I'm going to be answering those.
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First question is from Stuart on Facebook. Does religion, regardless of identity, for example Christianity, Islam, etc., seem to be becoming less important to people's daily lives? And if so, does it still have a place in modern society? Not being religious myself, I would be interested to hear your point of view. I think it still has a place.
Okay. The broad answer is that on the one hand, you do have a growing secularizing of society. We see it in America where the number of those professing Christianity dropped from 85% to 75% in about a decade. You see it in Europe where countries that were heavily Christian in the past are very nominal today, where you could speak of America or Europe being post-Christian. At the same time, there has been a massive spread of Christianity worldwide, which continues to grow, of Islam worldwide, which continues to grow.
There is a revival of Hinduism or Hindu fervor in India. So it seems that at the same time that you have secularization rising in certain parts of the world, that you have religious fervor rising in other parts of the world. If you think of the Jewish community, the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community was almost obliterated by the Holocaust, Hasidic Judaism almost obliterated by the Holocaust, but now growing more rapidly than any other part of Judaism. And as secular Jews become less and less Jewish with each generation and kind of fade into the larger population, religious Jews are growing in numbers by leaps and bounds, especially by having large families. The same thing with the Muslim world, large families and conservative Christian parts of the world, large families. So in that respect, religion as a whole continues to grow rapidly side by side with the secularization of society. And what happens ultimately is that there is a void, that people realize there must be more than just this life.
We have so many deaths with COVID and so much fear and so much uncertainty and people are looking for answers. Now more specifically, the Gospel is the answer. More specifically, God's love expressed through Jesus is the answer. More specifically, when people call out to God through Jesus, they will be transformed, they will receive new birth, and there will be a hope and purpose put within their lives. So religion in general will still have a place because people realize there is more than just this life, more than just this world.
Otherwise it's utterly senseless. On the other hand, it's not just a matter of finding any religion, but the truth. And the truth is found in a person, Jesus. Thank you for the question and may God bring you into a real beautiful relationship with him.
A Rudin. Are the Samaritans considered as Jewish? What is their place? They consider themselves to be the true and pure Israelites. They're down to just a handful, maybe 50 plus people not that long ago because they would not allow people to marry in to convert to their form of religious expression and marry in.
They've changed that some so that their numbers have grown. But Samaritans consider themselves the pure and true Israelites. They believe that their version of the Torah is the authoritative one. They still will do sacrifices at the time of Passover. And they believe that they can trace themselves back to the original tribes of Israel as the pure breeds.
The Jewish community 2,000 years ago looked at them as half-breeds. 2 Kings, the 17th chapter, describes how when the Assyrians exiled the 10 northern tribes of Israel. So they didn't exile every last one of them, but they exiled large numbers of the 10 northern tribes. From whence is the myth of the 10 lost tribes that they're just somewhere over this mythical river waiting to be discovered or regathered or something like that. But many of the tribes were lost or much of their population, I should say, was lost through exile and not returning.
This happened 722, 721 BC. But then you had Israelites still living in the land that weren't exiled. But what the Assyrians would do, they would take people from other countries and then exile them to a different country. So think of it like this, that you have Mexicans living in Canada and Canadians living in Mexico.
And it kind of breaks your patriotic spirit and you're in a foreign land. So 2 Kings 17 says that when the exiles came that they didn't know how to worship the God of Israel and lions were sent in judgment against them. So priests were sent in to show them how to worship. So the Jewish community said, well, that's who you are. Those are your origins. You're just half-breeds. You're a mixture of other tribes, of other peoples and the tribes of Israel.
You're half-breeds. So that's how they were treated in the first century. That's why you see some of the conflicts that the Gospels lay out or even recorded in Acts as things would happen, that the Samaritans are treated as kind of a different class. My own view is that there's obviously Israelite blood that has been preserved and other groups have intermarried over the centuries.
They may have intermarried less. But are they part of the people of Israel? Yes, I understand that they are. Would they consider themselves true Israelites to this day? Yes. Does the larger Jewish community look at them as fellow Jews?
Some do, some don't. All right, thank you for the question. All right, Timothy, and this is a question based on John 5. According to John 5, 28 and 29, do the wicked also get a resurrected body at Judgment Day? Absolutely, yes.
No question about it. That there is a final resurrection of the righteous and the unrighteous. Now, if you look at things in Revelation 20, you would see separate resurrections for the righteous and then for the unrighteous. If you look at a passage like Daniel 12, 2, it would look like it all happens at the same time, in which case you're just compressing two events together.
You have events having to do with the first coming of Jesus and the second coming that are sometimes compressed together. Like I say, a 52, 13 through 53, 12 is both about his humiliation and death and his final exaltation. But for sure, Daniel 12, 2, many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground, meaning those who are raised are many, many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will arise, some to everlasting life and some to shame and everlasting contempt. So there is definitely a final resurrection. And even in Revelation 20, you read about that, that the dead will all appear before God. So the final judgment will be on people in resurrected bodies. They will be thrown into hell in resurrected bodies. Does that mean eternal conscious torment? Does that mean suffering and then destruction and annihilation?
Those things can be debated, but the fact that there will be a resurrection of the righteous and the wicked seems undebatable based on scripture. All right, Freeman, when does the old covenant end and the new covenant begin? So technically, technically it is with the death of Jesus that the new covenant is fully inaugurated.
And I'll explain what I mean, what I say technically in a moment. The new covenant is fully inaugurated with the sacrificial death of Jesus. His blood is shed and the covenant is based on the shedding of blood. And he says, this is the Last Supper. This is the new covenant in my blood.
Right. So when we partake of communion, we remember this new covenant. So it's not about the books, Old Testament, New Testament.
Those concepts come much later. The covenant is the question. Now, the reason I say technically that's when it begins is because when Yeshua begins his public ministry, he is proclaiming the Besorah, the euangelion, the good news, the gospel.
And he says you had, for example, in John 16, the law and the prophets. So the Torah and the prophets were until John, till John the Immerser, now the kingdom is being preached. So when Jesus begins his ministry, he is now announcing the new covenant.
So in that sense, it's being inaugurated. You could say it's inaugurated through his ministry and sealed with his death and resurrection. So when he preaches in Luke four, quoting from Isaiah 61, one that the spirit of the Lord is on him because the Lord has anointed him to preach good news to the poor. So he's he's bringing the good news of the new covenant. He's now proclaiming forgiveness of sins.
He's saying in Mark 10 that the Son of Man gives his life as a ransom. So the new covenant is inaugurated with the preaching and proclamation of Jesus. The kingdom of God breaks in to this world in a distinct and new way. When Jesus begins his public ministry, the new covenant is officially sealed with his death and then confirmed, ratified by his resurrection. So there is a sense, an overlap during those years of the new covenant now breaking in and overlapping with the old. And now with his death, this death on the cross, the sacrifices of the old covenant are no longer needed because he has taken our place. He has willingly laid his life down on our behalf.
So that is how I see the scriptures speaking to that question. By the way, every question, like all your questions, week in, week out, every question has been excellent. So I'm going to be digging into more of your questions on the other side of the break. Remember, if you don't currently follow me on Facebook, ask Dr. Brown, A.S.K. D.R.
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Here again is Dr. Michael Brown. Thanks for joining us, friends, on today's line of fire broadcast where I am responding to your social media questions that have been posted on Facebook and Twitter. I solicited them earlier in the week. So don't post now because I won't be seeing those. We've got a bunch to respond to already. And they are really, really interesting. All right. I'm going to go with some more on Facebook now. This is from Ann. Hey, Dr. Brown. I observe a lot of people in my church plead the blood of Jesus while praying and blessing people.
I don't see anything about this addressed in the Bible. What are your thoughts on this practice? Thanks so much for your ministry. It has really blessed my life. God bless you, sir. Hey, thank you, Ann.
I'm so glad that we have been a blessing to you. All right. So is it scriptural, formally scriptural? In other words, I can show you the verses. I can give you explicit Bible for this, that we are to, quote, plead the blood of Jesus.
No. There's nothing in the Bible that tells us to use those words. There's nothing in the Bible where someone prays using those words. Or we have some type of formula that we can take from the Old Testament and move it over and apply it to the New. So in that sense, it is not found in the Bible.
Is it dangerous? Is it unscriptural, unbiblical? Oh, no, I certainly wouldn't say that. In other words, what people are saying is, God, bring the blood of Jesus to this situation. Lord, have mercy through the blood of Jesus. Lord, the blood of the cross, may it work its power.
May it be efficacious in this situation. Lord, we know there has been sin and people have cried out to you in repentance. So, Lord, I plead the blood of Jesus over them.
In other words, fulfill your promises based on this. You know, 1 John 1, that if we walk in the light as God is in the light, that we have fellowship one with another. And the blood of Jesus, God's son, cleanses us from all sin. So what's happening here is there are prayers being prayed or words being spoken invoking the power of the blood of Jesus, invoking the finished work of the cross. So even though you can't find chapter and verse for it, unless you're trying to do something magical and undo everything just by saying certain magical words, unless that's your intent, all you're saying is, God, bring to bear in this situation the power of the blood of Jesus. If that's what you mean by it, well, amen, God understands it, right? If you think it's a magical formula that has special power by just invoking words, then that would be an error. Matthew, what's your opinion on the argument that Luke wrote the letter to the Hebrews based on a sermon preached by Paul, the idea being that the letters themes are very Paul while the writing style itself is very Luke.
Thank you always, Dr. Brown. Well, you're very welcome, Matthew. Number one, I am not a Greek scholar, so I am relying on the opinions of others when it comes to the style of Hebrews. Certainly Hebrews is recognized as having an elegant style of Greek. For example, you contrast that with Revelation, which is written in almost a formalized Semitic style of Greek. In other words, writing Greek as if it were Hebrew in certain ways, whereas Hebrews is very different than that, and the degree even that Hebrews relies on the Septuagint. It's definitely a book written in Greek by a well-writing Greek author. That seems clear enough from the opinions of others. As to it being Pauline in thought, there are some, you know, historically that have thought Paul wrote it, a smaller minority have suggested Luke wrote it, some have said Apollos wrote it.
The famous quote from Origen in the second century, God knows, is still the prevailing view among scholars today. So I would say that what we can all do is read Romans through, read it over and again, read 1 Corinthians through, read it over and again, read Philippians through, read it over and again, and then go from there, letters that everyone recognizes were written by Paul, and read Hebrews. Does it sound like the same person? To me, it doesn't really ring in that sense as, wow, you know this is Pauline. I mean, obviously, it's not Johannine, right? You read, you know, first, second, third John, okay? Obviously, it's not in that literary genre or theological genre. But the problem is when there is such ignorance as to who wrote it, whereas if it had been associated with Luke or Paul, to me, there would have been much stronger traditions supporting that, whereas it seems so early on, there was not clear apostolic authority associated with it to the point you'd say, we know Paul wrote it.
It's definitely Paul. Or Luke acts and Hebrews, absolutely. So I remain agnostic about it. I have never really given myself to intensive study of the authorship of Hebrews. It's never struck me as something important that I need to give myself to. But I'm not overly impressed by the theory from what I have read and studied.
I'm not saying it's impossible, but I question it. Robert, been reading Josephus' book titled The Jewish War. A name Yeshua is mentioned as being a priest with Annoness. Is this the Messiah? They seem to be military generals, though. Any thoughts?
No, no. There were many Yeshua's at that time. It's a very, very common name. So how many Michaels are there today? Tell you what, how many Michael Browns are there?
Right? I mean, trust me, growing up with this name, we're everywhere. And in the news and different stories and, I mean, on and on it goes. There are a lot of Michael L. Browns out there.
There are a lot of Dr. Michael L. Browns out there. They always say you have common names. How many Joe Smiths are there, etc. Yeshua was a very common name in the first century. And therefore, it's totally expected that there'll be different people with that name. In the Hebrew Bible, there are probably five different people with the name Yeshua. One being the high priest along with Zerubbabel, who is the governor. And that Yeshua is a prototype of Jesus the Messiah in Zechariah 3 and specifically Zechariah 6, where he sits on a throne wearing crowns or a crown. So he is a prototype of a priestly king or of a royal priest and those two figures merging in one.
But Yeshua is a very common name and certainly not the same one. There is a disputed passage where Josephus speaks about the Jesus that we love and follow. The question is what did he actually say and how much is later edition. And there certainly is later edition. And that coming obviously from believing circles, I think God added in Josephus' words. But scholars debate exactly what his original text was there. Alright, this is a long one but we'll read it.
Lucas. So recently one of my brothers has developed an interest in the Eastern Orthodox Church and he's been attending one. We've been talking about their beliefs. What I've been wrestling with is the issue of the authority of the seven ecumenical councils. They claim that these councils, which were before the East was split, are binding upon all churches. They would say how Jesus said that the Holy Spirit would lead them, the church, into all truth.
And therefore when united would not fall into error. Another surprising supporting passage would be Matthew 18, 18-20 which is in its Jewish context would mean having halacha in its Jewish context. Like the Council of Jerusalem in Acts. So how should we understand the ongoing leadership of the Holy Spirit in the church? Is it right to say that when the church leaders come together that the decisions it makes have God's stamp of approval or are from the Holy Spirit? What about the anti-Jewish sentiment evident in the Council of Nicaea's outlawing of the court of discipline observance of Passover which seems to nullify what the New Testament teaches about not making observances of days, reasons to judge one another. And it doesn't seem that any identifiable Jewish believers were invited to any of these councils. But do you think there's any merit to say that the Holy Spirit was working in the councils at least perhaps in dealing with Christological heresies?
I'd love to hear your view on the issue. Yeah, great questions and well phrased. Number one, when people in the Eastern Orthodox Church make this claim of being the true church, then there are others standing by saying, no, the Roman Catholic Church is the true church. Even if you say, okay, before the east was split, before anything happened, you have these various ecumenical councils and they're binding. Still, your Eastern Orthodox friend or brother is saying, hey, this is the right church. This is the true church with the original roots and apostolic succession. And the Catholic Church is saying the same thing, that obviously they both can't be right, that both of them are the true church to the exclusion of the other, right? Some would say it like that.
Others wouldn't say it so flat out. But the reason I'm not a traditional Jew, even though traditional Jews say that they have an unbroken chain of tradition going back to Moses on Mount Sinai, I ultimately have to examine it by Scripture. And where I see that Scripture contradicts the traditions, I have to reject the traditions.
So it's the exact same thing here. I see two competing groups and others claiming to have the real roots. I've met some other groups that say, no, we're small, but we go back, we have the apostolic succession, we can trace it all the way back.
So how do you examine it? Well, what do we have in common? What we all have in common is the 66 books of the Bible. Therefore, I test the traditions by the Bible. And where I see that the Bible is contradicted by the traditions, or, as you say, some of the traditions are overtly anti-Semitic or anti-Jewish, then I have to reject the authority of that tradition. So I don't reject the creeds in their entirety, obviously.
I find value in the expression. I find that you had church leaders wrestling together to understand certain truths, and that there is light within them. But ultimately, I do not say I am an Athanasian follower of Jesus, and I base my life on the Athanasian Creed and the Nicene Creed, because to me those are philosophical expressions seeking to understand God's mystical triunity, God's infinitude.
So putting them in the philosophical terms of the day, doing their best to understand them. But my confession of faith goes back to scripture. And I do believe that God leads us into all truth, which is why there have been corrections, like the Protestant Reformation, that God continues to do it. And around the world, there are hundreds and hundreds of millions of true believers who find in common the fundamentals of the faith and can be found in all these different groups.
Jesus, in fact, continues to build his church, but it's outside of any of the boundaries that we ourselves have put up. All right, we'll be right back with more of your questions here on the Line of Fire. Thanks for joining us today.
This is how we rise up. It's the Line of Fire with your host, Dr. Michael Brown. Get on the Line of Fire by calling 866-34TRUTH. Here again is Dr. Michael Brown. Welcome, welcome to the Line of Fire broadcast today, responding again to your social media questions, Facebook, Twitter. So we'll be taking calls today, but we've got a bunch of great questions already lined up.
I'm going to go over to Twitter. Kendra, one objection I heard to the authenticity of the book of John is that palm branches are used right before Passover when Jesus comes into Jerusalem. The objection that palm branches are used for Sukkot, not Passover, and this shows that John did not understand Jewish customs.
Oh, oh, no, not at all. A confusion to think that a first century Jew would be that confused and write something that amiss and that it would then not be universally corrected by other Jewish believers who were there. That's, I mean, that very thought is utterly outlandish, just on its very surface, okay, on its very surface, that should get you saying, okay, something's amiss there. That he could be that off, that, oh yeah, everybody knows that. Everybody knows that he got it wrong, and I'm just pulling up a work for a year. Everybody knows that he got it that wrong, but again, it's kind of unsinkable that somebody would get it that wrong. It would be like someone, an American, in the 21st century talking about how Donald Trump was never president or how Barack Obama was never president.
No one's going to make an error like that. What I want to do is go over to the Bible background commentary of Craig Keener, all right, and let's just see what he writes about. In fact, let me see if I can even search for the word palm. All right, so commenting on Mark 11, the spreading of garments represents royal homage. Branches were also waived in homage to rulers.
First Maccabees 13, Second Maccabees 10. The larger palm branches used for the Feast of Tabernacles in the fall would not be available to pass over time in the spring unless brought from Jericho. The branches described here are small enough for the cult to walk on. Carrying branches was also part of the worship of the feast at the feast depicted in Psalm 118 27, which says, Yahweh is God and he has given us light by the festal sacrifice with cords to the horns of the altar. Yeah, let's just see.
Blessed to see. Yeah, so with cords or with others would translate that, translate that differently and translate it as branches. Yeah, that's what Dr. Keener was referring to. So in any case, the objection itself completely disqualifies itself from being taken seriously that a first century Jew would get something that wrong. And there were palm branches that were used, again, celebrating, doing homage to leaders or even associated with the feast in general.
Just not the same ones, the larger ones used at Sukkot. All right, let me go back over to your questions. Come on, here we go. All right, Sims. Can you do a brief walkthrough of Genesis 18 and 19 and demonstrate that the angel of the Lord was the pre-incarnate son?
Yeah, I've actually done it many times and even at length on the air. But in short, it says that Yahweh appears to Abraham, Genesis 18, he looks up and sees three men. He then dialogues with those three men, one of whom engages in a conversation with him and his wife Sarah. And that one is identified as Yahweh. Then, when the men get up to leave, it says that Abraham stood before Yahweh. They have a lengthy, extended discussion where Abraham pleads for Sodom because God tells him what he's going to do. Finally saying, look, if there are ten righteous people there, would you destroy the city?
No, all spirit for the sake of ten, right? And then it says that Yahweh left. They're done talking, Yahweh left, and then Genesis 19, 1, and the two angels came to Sodom. So Yahweh and two angels appeared to Abraham and were there in the flesh. So that would clearly later, interestingly, later in Genesis, that it says that Yahweh rained down fire and brimstone from Yahweh in heaven.
Some Jewish interpreters say it's just grammatical structure, don't read too much into it, but you could read a lot into it and say it seems like Yahweh's on earth and Yahweh's in heaven at the same time. So I've gotten into it in great depth many times, and then in volume two of my series, Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, I get into it as well. Hey friends, did you get my emails? Just remind me.
One thing triggered another thing in my mind. We've got a great mini-book, an e-book, How to Pray for America. I lay out just simple principles and prayers for America in a short, readable, edifying mini-book and e-book. I want to give it to you for free. If you don't get my emails, go to AskDrBrown, AskDrBrown.org, where you can get our latest updates and special resource offers and announcements. And if I'm coming to you and speaking, it's a great way to stay in touch with us.
AskDrBrown, AskDrBrown.org, click on emails. When you do, automatically I want to send you that free mini-book, How to Pray for America. Alright, Joshua, do you believe that the miraculous sign gifts were meant to be normative in the church?
If so, how do you explain the absence of it for 1900 years? Aren't charismatics burdening people when they tell them this is how God normally works? Thank you and God bless. And he adds, I've been raised in the classical Pentecostal church 27 years, so I'm not criticizing it from without, although I'm now Lutheran.
I am 100% sure based on scripture that the sign gifts were to remain normative, that these are part of an expression of God's love, part of a manifestation of his character, part of the demonstration of the resurrection of Jesus to an unsafe world, and of great importance in ministry, part of the empowering of the Spirit. To me, the Word of God is absolutely clear on it. I've debated it publicly, I don't see any way to get away from it scripturally, and I tried. The late 70s and the early 80s when I was a Calvinist and I tried to become a cessationist, I tried to get away from the gifts and power of the Spirit for today. I thought I'd rather that they're not for today, it's kind of embarrassing to, you know, you speak in tongues and engage in this kind of thing, and I preferred that they were not for today, and bought books against that and studied against it, but the word was just too clear. I could not get away from it. I mean, look, Paul says it, eagerly pursue the gifts, especially prophecy, don't forbid tongues, he never changes that.
I'm a word person, right? Sola Scriptura, that's my authority, that's what I based my doctrine on. Never changed. Everything in the New Testament, Acts 2, the Holy Spirit poured out, your sons and daughters were prophesied, that's for the last days, the time in which we live, until Jesus returns. So I find scripture categorical on that. If you want to study it more deeply, get my book, Authentic Fire, which is a gracious response to John MacArthur's, Pastor John MacArthur's Strange Fire, get my book, Authentic Fire, and I have a whole chapter in that Sola Scriptura and therefore Charismatic, it's a good length chapter where I really lay it out. Or go online and watch my debates with Sam Waldron or Theodore Zacharias on the gifts of the Spirit for today.
That's first. Second, they haven't been absent for 1900 years. You could read accounts of church leaders in the second and third century, they talk about healings, they talk about exorcisms. You can get into the fourth century with Augustine, where he's writing City of God and has to change his theology in the midst of it because they documented over 70 healings in about two years.
So he couldn't deny it and change his theology about it. And they're attestations of miracles through church history. And then you have really tongues and some of these gifts that were more unusual through the centuries, never totally gone, but more unusual. You have them, the late 1800s and now continuing to this day and the church far and away for decades now that has been the fastest growing around the world. The fastest growing is Charismatic Pentecostal around the world for years.
Yeah, because it's so new, there needs to be more, a lot of good teaching and discipling and things like that. But far and away, for decades, fastest growing church movements around the world have been Charismatic Pentecostal, God himself breathing on it. So you have this ongoing for centuries. You do not have a teaching that when the Canada Scriptures closed, the gifts ceased. There was not a major church teaching for centuries and centuries and centuries. And look, if you're a Lutheran, then you believe that the Protestant Reformation fixed some things where the Roman Catholic Church and Eastern Orthodox Church had gone amiss, gone astray, right?
So if you hold to those things, then why can't it be that the Spirit's making ongoing correction where we've missed certain things, never totally lost them, but missed them? That should be part and parcel of your faith. Now, is it a burden to say it should be normative? It's an invitation.
It can be a burden if it puts stress on me. Oh, something's wrong with me because I'm not healed. Oh, I did something wrong because I'm not speaking in tongues. No, that's negative. But take it as an invitation.
Take it as an invitation. And again, I challenge you, what does the word say? What does the word say? I'll show you clearly where the word presents these things as normative. Jacob James, the fifth chapter, we should be praying for the sick and seeing them healed.
It should be something that happens regularly, right? Where does it, who changed it? Who changed it? So I challenge you. Look at, look at scripture and show me where the Bible categorically clearly says these things were to cease. I'll show you where it categorically clearly says they'll continue until Jesus returns. All right.
Lusiko. Well, Lusiko 37, 38 happened during the Great Tribulation or prior. I don't know that there is a specific time period of X number of years called the Great Tribulation.
I take that language in a more general sense. But if we are talking about final war, Gog Magog, the Gog Magog chapters and the final war in conflict. To me, that is in the culmination of the ages. So during the final tribulation period, the final attack and God's final deliverance.
That's when I would see that happening. Pablovme, in your conversations with other Jews or rabbis, what explanations did they give for being in exile almost 2,000 years? Consider they had a functioning temple at the time of the destruction.
So I would agree with you that that points to something very extreme. Some sin that was very grave, the rejecting of the Messiah himself. They would say that they failed as a people to observe the Torah, that they were guilty of sinat chinam, baseless hatred. And because of that, God exiled them. And because the nation has not turned back to Torah and tradition as a whole, that therefore they have remained in exile. And that's why it's so important to get Jews back to Torah and tradition, which in the Jewish mind are merged together as given by God. But I agree, I believe it's a very strong argument that something grave must have happened, something extreme.
It was sinat chinam, it was baseless hatred, but directed against the Messiah himself. My friends, we've got time for some more questions. We'll come back right after the break. And I've got a little slogan for you that might be something of importance to you and to our ministry in the days ahead.
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So question on Twitter, ask this. Does Exodus 20-22 teach abortion or that God cares less about the unborn than the born? I've heard this claim, would love your response. You mean Exodus 21-22. And if you read it, say, in the new Jewish publication, Society When Men Fight and One of Them Pushes a Pregnant Woman and Miscarriage Results, but no other damage ensues, the one responsible shall be fined according to the woman's husband. As the woman's husband may exact for him the payment to be based on reckoning, but if other damage ensues, the penalty shall be life for life, et cetera.
So this is one view. She miscarries, there's a fine, but something happens to her, then it's life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, et cetera. Most translations, and I agree with these other translations, is that if she gives birth prematurely, but nothing else happens, right? There's a fine, but, but if the baby dies, if something happens to the baby, then it's life for life. So it's quite the opposite, I believe, that this verse can be used to support our pro-life position. Alright, another on Twitter, then I'm going to go back to Facebook. Tony, I've heard you're an annihilationist, is that true?
No. I've said that we should carefully study the scripture, that a good case can be made for annihilation, that there are other strong reasons to argue for eternal punishment, that it's a grave, grave matter, that whatever you conclude, we must recognize that the judgment on sin will be terrible, irreversible, and of eternal consequence. So the rest of your question would be the best verses, in your opinion, for supporting that view. The first verse is to talk about, if you don't believe, you perish, you'll be destroyed, 2 Thessalonians 1, punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, Matthew 10, 28, God can destroy both body and soul and hell, everything about being cut off, perishing, etc. And then verses that would point in the way of eternal punishment would be, for example, Matthew 25, 46, which speaks directly of eternal punishment, and then Daniel 12, 2 could be argued in either direction. And then church history, largely viewing things in terms of eternal punishment. But the matter should be really studied and debated.
Alright, let's go over to Facebook. Jeff, a Messianic prophecy, one that I don't hear brought up often but I find intriguing is Haggai 2.9, which says that the glory of the second temple would exceed the glory of the first. Messianic Jews would see that fulfilled in Yeshua's first coming.
Yes, so, in short, rather than reading the rest of the question, it's a verse I use. I use three verses to say Messiah had to come before the second temple was destroyed. I use Haggai 2.9, that the glory of the second temple would be greater than the glory of the first temple. And it's not just the silver and the gold and the adorning that Herod does ultimately, because the second temple before Herod was the shadow of Solomon's temple in terms of glory and splendor physically.
It can't just be that it'll be beautified. There's got to be more because God says, I'll fill this temple with glory. And elsewhere when we see the temple being filled with glory, Exodus 40, 2 Chronicles 5, it's the presence of God, the Shekhinah. And the Talmudic rabbis recognized that the second temple didn't have it, didn't have the fire falling to consume the sacrifices, didn't have a number of key things that the first temple had.
That's one. Malachi 3, the Lord himself will visit that temple and bring purifying judgment. And then Daniel 9, 24 to 27, that atonement will be made for Israel and everlasting righteousness brought in before the second temple is destroyed. I put those verses together and see them as a strong proof of the Messiah had to come before the second temple was destroyed.
And he reveals his glory with his presence at the temple, healing the sick, working miracles, revealing who God is, and then sending his spirit to that very temple upon his disciples to preach after his resurrection to preach and heal. So I agree with you on that. I'm going to switch back over to Twitter. And let's see here. All right, tell you what. Let me see if I can find, just update my Facebook questions here because I did tell people I'd get to as many as I could there, so I'm sure some have come in during the show. All right, so thank you for your patience.
Let me get the newest ones that came in here. Bruce, what do you make of the claim that Paul never authored Ephesians, Colossians, 2 Thessalonians, 1 Timothy and Titus? Hypothetically, if he didn't author them, do you believe this really changes anything? Is this a matter of God's guidance of his word superseding the need for Paul to have been the author of those epistles? If they were written as frauds and forgeries, claiming to be from Paul when they were not, and they were accepted in the canon because they were believed to be Pauline, that's a big problem. There are really good answers to the objections that Paul didn't write these. When I read Ephesians, Colossians, just as examples, they drip. Every theological thought of it just drips with Pauline understanding to me, just to use those as an example.
Where you do have different vocabulary, it can also be different scribe involved. Those things are possible as well, but conservative scholars, in my view, have given good answers to those. Now, if someone wrote later, in the spirit of Paul, as if they were Paul, and people understood it wasn't really Paul, but was written as if it was Paul, that's different.
But these were received as being Pauline, and I believe scholars can make good cases for all of these being Pauline. Merily, about the spiritual father, is the pastor a spiritual father? Is it unbiblical to pray and worship and unite with other churches once in a while?
Thanks. A pastor should function as a spiritual father. Not that we would call him father, but he should have a fatherly concern for the flock. But many others can be spiritual fathers. You can say, hey, this is the man who discipled me, or this is my spiritual mom.
She's kind of nurtured me as a new believer from day one, and that's fine. I've been a spiritual father to many, even though I'm not a pastor. But in terms of having a fatherly concern, in terms of nurturing, developing, growing the flock, yes, that's something that elder shepherds should do. So the church needs lots of spiritual moms and spiritual dads. Not in the formal sense, but in an informal way of recognizing their role.
When I say not in the formal sense, meaning you don't call that person father or mother in a formal way. When I went to the Philippines the first time and met the students in the Bible school that was planted by our students, they said to me, hello, grandfather, with a big smile. They said, we are the children of your spiritual children, with a big smile.
So, understood in that way, amen. As for worshiping, uniting with other churches, if they're of like faith, why would it be unbiblical? If they are fellow believers in Jesus, if we're going to be together with them forever in heaven, why shouldn't we periodically gather and worship? In God's sight, are there many different churches, or is there one church? So if it's truly his people, we should work together where we can, unite together, and believers come together. Now, if false doctrine is going to be put forward, or dangerous practices endorsed, no, no, then you don't join together with that.
But if they're fellow believers who hold to the fundamentals of the faith, and you join together on those to worship the Lord in a common way, beautiful, glorious, amen. Alright friends, we are out of time. Got to as many questions as I could. We'll do our best to open up the phone lines a little extra next week to give you some time to call in, because we didn't take calls today. Remember to make sure that you get my emails.
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