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Welcome to the line of fire. Hi Dr. Brown, can you hear me? Okay. Yeah, I can hear you.
Okay, great. So I have a two-part question. I understand that, you know, no one is justified by the law, but during the days of the Old Covenant, God had gave Israel specific ordinances that they were expected to obey, and any stranger that was sojourning with them that wanted to be a citizen, they were expected to obey them. So during those days, would a Gentile who is on the complete opposite side of the world, on the opposite side of the globe, would they have been expected to keep those ordinances as if it was like the law of the land that God had placed on everyone?
Yeah, absolutely not, except for fundamental moral laws that God gave to the whole world, like don't murder, for example. That was something for which God would judge people universally. You see in Amos 1 and 2 as God pronounces judgment on the nations surrounding Israel and then gets to Judah and Israel themselves, that he rebukes them for violations, humanitarian violations, breaking covenants with one another, ripping up pregnant women, immoral, inhumane acts, acts of cruelty and violence. So God will judge the whole world for those things, but the people of Israel were given specific commandments they were to live by. In rabbinic tradition, this becomes the separation between the so-called seven laws of Noah, which the rabbis read into Genesis 2 and Genesis 9, for example, laws against blasphemy, laws against murder, theft, adultery, those being universal for everyone, and then the so-called 613 commandments of the Torah, which were just for Israel. And it's very clear in scripture that God does not judge the foreign nations based on, for example, dietary laws, or the observance of the seventh-day Sabbath.
Those were things that God gave to Israel, not to the whole world. Okay, and then my kind of follow-up question to that, so on the reverse end, so like dietary laws, for example, that God gave to Israel, where they couldn't eat pork, for example, but now that we're under a new covenant, it's okay to eat pork. So what was the point of the commandment in the first place? Right, the point of the commandment was to keep Israel separate from the nations, and by having dietary laws that restricted their table fellowship with others, and by reminding them that they were separated people, this was something constant for them to say, okay, we're different, we're separate, we belong to God, we are holy, we are distinguished from everyone else, and therefore even in our food, even in our eating, in our table fellowship, we must be separate from others. The other thing is there were probably some parts of the law that were given for health purposes, in other words, many of the animals that you couldn't eat, it's best not to eat for health purposes in general, but that being said, the purpose of the prohibition was not just health, it was more separation, and with the coming of the new covenant that separation is not needed between Jew and Gentile. Now there are many believers that still feel the dietary laws are good, and many Jewish believers that still live by them as part of their solidarity with the Jewish people, but certainly it's not something that was binding or is binding for a New Testament believer the way it was for an Old Testament Jew. Also you'll notice in Matthew 15 and Mark 7 where Jesus explains that what you eat doesn't defile you, but what comes out of your heart defiles you. So whether it's eating with unwashed hands and now the food is technically unclean and now you eat that and you're unclean, no, he said that doesn't actually defile you, it's what comes out of your heart that defiles. Immediately after that Jesus goes into Gentile territory and heals the daughter of a Gentile woman.
It's as if he's now putting in action the principle that he just taught. Hey, thank you for the call. 866-34-TRUTH.
Let's go to Jonathan in Central on Washington, welcome to the line of fire. Hello Dr. Brown, can you hear me okay? Yes, thank you. All right, so I had a question, it's probably a question you've received before, but you know how when you're talking to someone, normally an unbeliever or maybe they are a believer and their walk with God isn't very solid, and you're talking to them about sin and holiness and repentance and they respond with, Jesus said not to judge, and so you're telling them that they need to repent but then they respond with, you need to not judge, right? That's how they respond. Now Frank Turek has this interpretation of the reading of scripture that Jesus never actually said not to judge, he only said that we ought to judge righteously and barely, right? That's Frank Turek's reading of the scripture and I think that makes a lot of sense, but how would you respond to someone who says, you shouldn't be judging me whenever you tell them to repent, and what is your reading of the text?
Do you agree with Frank Turek? Yes, so the first thing is we have to look at everything scripture says about judgment and judging, but what I would do is my initial response I would say to this person, is racism wrong? Is slavery wrong?
In other words, pick something that they're likely going to agree with you is wrong and then ask them, okay, so can I judge this person for being a racist? Can I judge this person for owning slaves or for kidnapping people in Africa? Well yeah, okay, aren't you judging?
Is child trafficking wrong? Should we judge the child trafficker? So you want them to say, yes, we should make certain judgments, you know Frank's answer is always, will you just judge me for judging you? And then the next thing, the soundbite answer is that what Jesus meant when he said, judge not lest you be judged, was don't judge critically, don't judge unfairly, don't judge hypocritically, don't condemn, but make righteous judgments. So you have Matthew 7, 1, I'll also repeat it in Luke 6, don't judge lest you be judged. You also have John 7 24, stop judging by outward appearances, but make righteous judgments. Not only so, when you go through 1 Corinthians in the second chapter Paul says the spiritual man makes judgments about all things. 1 Corinthians 4, he says I don't even judge myself. 1 Corinthians 5, he says judge those within the body. 1 Corinthians 6, he says you'll judge angels.
1 Corinthians 11, we should judge ourselves before we partake of communion. So the word is used with different nuances and from different angles, but again, my response, if someone says well you're judging me, I would say well do we agree that we should judge certain things? If we saw racism we should say it's wrong.
Were we wrong to judge the the killer of George of George Floyd and say what he did was wrong? Do we agree that we should condemn slavery, that we should condemn child trafficking? Okay, so then the thing we want to do is judge fairly, not hypocritically, not condemn, not superficially, but judge fairly.
That's what we want to do. So how does your life, how does my life line up with God's standards? Let God be the judge and that's also the way that I would say things practically, Jonathan. Well how about we let God be the judge and let's look at our lives based on his standards and if you want to get into it further, you say well are all judgments wrong when when someone appears before a court and and evidence is presented? Shouldn't we make a judgment if someone's guilty? Shouldn't we convict them?
Shouldn't Jeffrey Epstein have been convicted of certain crimes for pedophilia? And then you want to get past the superficial where someone will agree yeah I agree that this could be wrong or that could be wrong or we should make certain judgments and we agree okay but we don't want to judge hypocritically, we don't want to judge superficially, and we don't want to condemn. So that's how I would respond in short and in depth, all right? All right, that makes a lot of sense. Thank you very much. Sure thing, glad to help.
866-348-7884. Let's go over to Taylor in State College, Pennsylvania. Welcome to the line of fire. Hey Dr. Brown, thanks for having me on here and answering my question. Let me just say first how much I appreciate your ministry and how much it's blessed me in the last three years that I've been listening. Well thank you, my joy.
Yeah, so I have one question and then maybe another if there's time. Psalm 37 23 in the NKJV, the steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord and he delights in his way. From the Hebrew or anything else, is there a way to know who the indefinite pronouns refer to here? In other words, is the verse saying that a good man delights in the ways of the Lord or that the Lord delights in the ways of the righteous who walk with him? Yes, so syntactically I would think that most all translations are going to read it, well many will read it the same way, but it's one of those things where it's a judgment call.
In other words, you have to say, okay, what's the most likely referent? So, literally, just translating in Hebrew, literally, methanamitsa degever. So, from the Lord are the steps of a man, konanu, so they're from the Lord, the steps of the man are ordered for dar kol yechpatz, and he delights in his way. So, who is the likely he there?
That's the question. So, you have man referenced, right, and the steps are ordered, and then he delights in his way. So, the NKV, for example, the steps of a man are made firm by the Lord, that would that would be a better way established for the Lord, when he delights in his way, capital H, but it could be read either way, theoretically. I'm reading it the same way as the NJV, that it's God who does this when he delights in this person's way, or and God delights in that person's way, then he establishes and orders his steps.
But hang on, we'll get you other question on the other side of the break, but the Hebrew is potentially as ambiguous with he as the English, it's just syntactically the most logical reading is, as we just said, from the NJV. Okay, we'll be right back up. One phone line open, if you want to try to get in. We will be right back.
Stay here. 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. We have a stir of excitement in our ministry offices this week, because the first copies in advance, oh this is over three weeks early, we are really excited, the first copies of the political seduction of the church are now in. My newest book, How Millions of American Christians Confuse Politics with the Gospel.
This will inform you, this will deal with big issues as the church called to take over society. What can we learn from the 2020 elections? How do we make an impact within the world of politics without getting seduced by power and corruption?
How do we do it? What can we learn? How can we grow and move forward? How did so many prophets get things so wrong about Trump?
What happened with QAnon? It is a no holds barred, eye-opening book, but one that will help you, inspire you, stir you, and encourage you. Friends, we can do better. So you can still go to our website, askdrbrown.org, and order right now. And as soon as we get your order, we'll sign the book, send it out.
So this is first edition, so we number the first, whether it's 100, 200, 300, whatever, we number the first orders. I sign each one, put a scripture in. In fact, I haven't thought of the scripture I'm going to put in yet. I try to have a specific verse that ties in specifically with the book. I haven't decided that yet, but we pray over the books, so they're on my desk. God willing, Monday we sign, send out the first copy, so go ahead and order now at askdrbrown.org. Okay, so Taylor, second question, back to you, go ahead.
Yes sir, thank you. So in the Old Testament, like for 1 Samuel 13, 14, I was listening to a podcast with an Old Testament Christian scholar recently who said that when it says David was a man after God's own heart, there's a Hebrew idiom there that actually doesn't speak so much about the character of David as much as it does God's character and sovereign selection of David, and I just wanted to know if that was correct, because it sort of changes the way I had seen the meaning of that. Not in my view, not in my opinion, no. I read it the same as others have read it, and the way that God commands David for being a man after his own heart, I don't see that as having to do with sovereign selection as much as why God was drawn to David and why God continued to work with David despite his flaws, and the way he's described elsewhere in terms of righteous and keeping God's commandments.
So I would imagine that a Christian scholar would have looked at this and had a reason for the position based on a study that he had done, but in my own view, absolutely no reason to depart from the way we've always understood it. Okay great, thank you. All right, you're very welcome. 866-34-TRUTH. Let us go to Eugene in Arkansas, welcome to The Line of Fire. Hello Dr. Brown, thank you for having me, can you hear me okay sir?
Sure can. Yes sir, so my question, I hope to get my master's degree in Christian theology, I want to start that in about a year and a half or so, but I do a lot of extra reading on my own time and having a charismatic background, I obviously notice a lot of the differences between my own theological convictions concerning the activity and the gifts of the Holy Spirit in reference to a lot of the reformers I typically reach from. I appreciate their knowledge and they have a lot to offer myself in the body of Jesus Christ, but some of my mentors who kind of have the same background as me, I talk about the contention that I have with some of their views and their response is pretty abrasive if I may be frank telling me to maybe ditch their resources and listen to people who are more for our movement, but I don't believe I need to divide because my theological convictions are just different from theirs, and so for you who have gone through school and sat under people who have different views and convictions than your own theology, how have you maintained your stance even when your stance is sometimes very, very different on issues of the Holy Spirit? Yes, so Eugene, there are core things that shape who I am in God, there are deep convictions I have based on intensive study of Scripture over the period of many years, there are experiences I've had in my walk with God that shape who I am, and to deny those things would be to fundamentally deny the word of God and the work of God in my own life, so they're non-negotiable, they are foundations, they are like the the roots of the tree that go deep underground and nourish the rest of the tree, so there could be a branch here and there where there could be variation or deviation but not the fundamentals, so the fundamentals of my faith in Jesus being Messiah and Lord that's forged by the way God saved me, and then in the crucible of dialogue and discussion with rabbis and Jewish leaders in my early years in the Lord when all of that was challenged, my firm belief in the authority of Scripture and inspiration of Scripture was forged in the midst of of God's word being real to me, and then the challenges of studying with professors and scholars who didn't believe Scripture the way I did and reading the critical literature and seeing is there something to this, my core beliefs in the gifts and power of the Spirit for today, the way God saved me, then my trying to deny them, yet the word of God being too clear to me on that, then my experience of mighty outpouring of the Spirit have me firmly believe these things, so I don't need to see someone healed to believe that God is the healer, and if I see something flaky or wrong, I'm not going to react against it the way I might have decades ago and been prone to throw out the baby with the bathwater. At the same time, having been a Calvinist for five years and immersing myself in a lot of Calvinist literature and Puritans and Spurgeon and people like that, I learned to love so much of their heart for God, I learned to appreciate their spirituality, I learned to honor the insights they had, so even where I have differences, I can still embrace that and be blessed by it, just like if Pastor MacArthur was doing some great expository preaching on a passage, say, in 1 Peter, and I thought, wow, what a great job, when he was on with Ben Shapiro. I loved the way he opened up Isaiah 53 to him in the Gospel.
I thought it was masterful. Of course, I categorically differ with some of his characterization of the charismatic movement, but that doesn't mean I can't receive from all the goods, so the things that become foundational in your life, Eugene, they're there. They're going to be there through the storms, and those are forged, like I said, by the Word of God and by the work of God in our lives, and that makes us who we are, and over the years, those things deepen in our walk-in experience and in our study.
They just become more and more confirmed as we go on, and the other things are very secondary. You know, it's like, Nancy and I can have an argument, but it's utterly meaningless in terms of our relationship, meaning we've been married over 46 years, and we are committed to each other with our blood and love each other to the core of our being, and an argument is something that we'll fix and get over. It's no big deal because of the core of our relationship, so Eugene, it would be the same with these key things that are foundational in my life in God, as I say, through the Word of God and through the working of God in my life. I hope that helps. Yes sir, thank you for your time.
It's something I've wrestled with for a number of years. I feel like I'm in the crossfire of different camps of Christianity and theology, and it just seems very difficult for me to get settled in what I believe and why, and to really maintain that in a humbling fashion when I face theological opposition, and so thank you for your answer, Dr. Brown, I do appreciate it. Yep, you are very welcome. Sure thing, Eugene. 866-34-TRUTH. Let us go over to Kevin in California. Sorry, welcome to the line of fire. Thank you so much for taking my call. Sure thing. My question is about the book of Exodus, chapter 12, chapter 16, and chapter 19.
Okay. On those three chapters, we can see that the seven-day Sabbath was on the 15th day of the month, and those were three months in a row, so it's a teaching that the seven-day Sabbath has to be funded with the lunar calendar, and why is it that nobody can accept that? Well, Kevin, Judaism follows the lunar calendar, and it has what are called intercalary months because things shift over a period of time, so you have to add in some extra weeks to balance things out because of the difference between the lunar calendar and the Solon calendar. The months are set by a lunar calendar in Judaism, so that means, for example, that you could have Passover one year in mid-March, one year in late March, one year in early April, because it's functioning based on the lunar calendar, and then, like I said, you have to every so often make up for things, otherwise it would keep shifting so that you now have Passover, it could be June or July or November, so you shift things every so often, and that balances out. Look up lunar calendar, lunar calendar in Judaism, or intercalary months, intercalary months, and that will explain how the system works and when things are added in to make up for the difference in time, because ultimately the world runs based on a solar calendar, so if you're going to function based on a lunar calendar, then it's going to need to have periodic adjustment. Yeah, but the new moon is still something that's recognized in Judaism, and that's how each new month begins. Hey, thank you for the call. I do appreciate it. 866-34-TRUTH, and for those that want to follow the seventh-day Sabbath, you just follow the seventh-day Sabbath. It's still solar calendar, the lunar calendar, either way, every seven days is every seven days.
That part does not change. Okay, we will be right back on the other side of the break, eager to take as many calls as possible. By the way, if you get in now, we will get to your call before the show is over. 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. Thanks so much for joining us today on the Line of Fire. We devote this day to your questions. You've got questions, we've got answers.
Any question of any kind that ties in with our broadcast in any way, by all means, go for it. We've got a couple lines open. 866-348-7884. Let's go to Joseph in Durham, North Carolina. Welcome to the Line of Fire. Hi, Dr. Brown. Thank you for taking my call.
You're welcome. So, I've been studying Mark 16 and came across a bunch of studies that say that the long ending shouldn't even be in the Bible. I was wondering what your thoughts are with that. Right, so to give the background for everyone, Mark 16 verse 8 ends quite abruptly.
People are fearful and there's questioning. This is after reports of the resurrection have come from the women. And if you grew up reading King James, you just go on and read verses 9 through 20, which end with the commission to go and preach the gospel to every creature. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, whoever does not believe will be damned, and these signs will follow those that believe.
And that includes speaking in new tongues, laying hands on the sick, picking up serpents and not being hurt, drinking a deadly poison it won't kill, and it goes out. Powerful ending. So the vast majority of scholars, New Testament scholars, agree that verses 9 through 20 were not the original ending of Mark.
Why? The manuscript evidence overwhelmingly says that as we have Mark's gospel, it ends in verse 8 and the syntax changes. There's suddenly there's suddenly a change in subjects talking about somebody in verse 8, somebody else in verse 9, and then there's vocabulary that's used in verses 9 through 20, which is not typical Mark in vocabulary. There's also a shorter ending of Mark.
You'll find it like RSV or something like that, but it's not as commonly known. My view is that we don't have the original ending of Mark, but that we do have authoritative gospel words that were added by perhaps another apostle or apostolic witness, that verses 9 through 20 are gospel truth but are not the original ending of Mark, and that we can learn from them and preach them provided that we explain that this is not the original ending of Mark. So in other words, I believe what's written there is true and can be supported by scripture throughout the rest of the New Testament, with the one question being that drink any deadly thing it won't hurt them, can we support that elsewhere in the New Testament? But everything else, speaking in tongues, laying hands on the sick, driving out demons, even picking up snakes, this happens to Paul and now the Malta in Acts 28.
These things we can support going into all the world, preaching the gospel, baptizing, etc. Professor Craig Keener, who's working on what may become the fullest commentary on Mark that's ever been written, he believes that Mark intentionally ended at verse 8. Now, he knows so much more about Mark than I do, he's been immersed in it now for years, and he's such a great scholar already, that he believes it ends in verse 8 and it's saying, okay, now you go, you go share the message, that it's intentionally abrupt and what? So again, he's got far more scholarly investment in Mark than I do, but that's not been my view. My view has been, we don't have the original ending, but verses 9 through 20 are an early ending from the early church, perhaps even apostolic, just not Mark's original ending. We should have it in our Bible, but in brackets, we should have it, but with a clear note saying this is not the original ending of Mark. Would you say it's inspired or not?
Ah, that's the $64,000 question, isn't it? I personally believe that it is, but I cannot say it dogmatically because of textual evidence and questions. Therefore, I cannot bring it to the whole church and say, based on this, we do this. Based on this, we hold the stock. I must support it elsewhere.
So I personally believe it's inspired, but I cannot make that a dogmatic statement for the whole body as authoritative scripture. Right. Okay. All right, thank you. Yeah, just shooting as straight as I can, Joseph. Thank you so much. All right, 866-34-TRUTH. Let's go to Brian in Richmond, Virginia. Welcome to the line of fire.
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