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Phone lines are wide open. 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. Thanks for joining us, friends, on the Line of Fire.
Michael Brown, delighted to be with you. Phone lines are wide open. You've got questions. We've got answers. Any question of any kind that relates in any way to anything we ever discuss here on the Line of Fire, anything I've written in a book, anything you've heard me say in a debate, anything I've written in an article, anything a guest has talked about, phone lines wide open. 866-348-7884.
We will go straight to the phones over to Paul in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Welcome to the Line of Fire. Yeah, hello, sir. I've watched YouTube videos. I haven't seen your TV show because you're on the radio, obviously.
But the Tobia Singer debate from a while ago was interesting. And I've heard of you in times past and listened a little bit, not necessarily on the radio because like I say, I'm in Michigan. But my question that I wanted to ask both him and you is if either one of you had heard of the Aramaic English New Testament by Andrew Gabriel Roth and what you thought of it. And then, of course, I guess it's based on the Caburus text, which is, I don't know if it's from sometime in the 1900s, it's an Eastern text. And so that's my question. Yeah, sure.
Yeah, I'm quite familiar with it. And he's he works well. The gentleman that you mentioned is serious in terms of Aramaic studies and scholarship. The issue is Aramaic primacy. The debate with Tobia Singer is 30 years old. He's refused to debate me or interact with me in any way, shape, size or form ever since. And unfortunately, because it would be an important debate. He's been tremendously aggressive trying to attack our beliefs for four decades and over these years. So my door remains open to have another debate.
He's he's refused. But in any case, as as for the the question of Aramaic primacy, it's true that we know that Jesus spoke Aramaic, it would seem Hebrew as well. There may have been certain contexts where Hebrew is used more than Aramaic. Otherwise, most scholars would agree that Aramaic would have been the the home language of Yeshua, and the disciples growing up in Galilee.
So we know that. But we also know that we don't have anything preserved, no ancient manuscript, going back in time to say the early Greek manuscripts of an Aramaic Gospel, or the sayings of Jesus in Aramaic. There is a tradition from the church fire Papias, which is preserved by Eusebius, saying that Matthew compiled the sayings of Jesus in Hebrew. Some say that means in the language of the Hebrews, which is Aramaic, but otherwise just taking it straight, it would say that he compiled the sayings of Jesus in Hebrew, and everyone interpreted it as they would. But it doesn't mean that Matthew's Gospels we have, it was originally written in Hebrew, even if it meant that we don't have a Hebrew original. We know that Jerome and other church leaders reference the Hebrew Gospel that the Jewish believers had, so the Messianic Jews of their day.
We don't have it. In the same way, what we do have is the Peshitta, which is an early Aramaic translation of the Greek. So it's the Greek into Aramaic.
The question is, does that in any way reflect the original sayings of Jesus? In other words, let's say I'm speaking in English, right? Now you get all of my talks translated into German. You're a German speaker, you get them translated into German.
Now someone in Germany takes them and translates them back into English, how much will they reflect what I originally said in English? That's where it gets very touchy because for the most part, it's almost impossible to go from one language to another and back to the original and have it exactly as the original was. So the Aramaic is an excellent early witness. It is a translation, as I say, it's the whole Bible, so the Hebrew Bible translated into Aramaic, the Greek New Testament translated into Aramaic. Scholars like those who believe in Aramaic primacy will say, no, no, no, the Peshitta is actually the earlier form and we should use that, but the vast majority of textual scholars say no, the Aramaic is secondary, the Greek is primary, the Aramaic is secondary.
That's my view as well. So it's very interesting to read, to study. Here and there, there may be something that reflects what would have been an original Aramaic saying, but again, it's a translation from the Greek, so it is secondary. The primary is the Greek New Testament. So the Taboris codex that he mentioned here, is that another way to say Peshitta?
Is that the same thing? Yeah, it's the name of a particular manuscript of the Peshitta. And that was from Aramaic into Greek or... No, no, no, from Greek into Aramaic.
The Peshitta is the Greek into Aramaic, the Septuagint is the Hebrew into Greek, the Vulgate is the whole Bible into Latin, the Peshitta is the whole Bible into Aramaic, specifically the Syriac branch of Aramaic. All right? And that's from the Greek? Yes, from the Greek. Yes, sir.
Okay. So then there's people saying that there's copies or text of anything that's Aramaic before the Greek then? Nothing exists. There is no such Aramaic original or Hebrew original. You'll hear people say, we're going back to the Hebrew original of the Gospels. We do not have a Hebrew original of the Gospels. We do not have an Aramaic original of the Gospels.
These are all translations and the earliest manuscripts of the Peshitta are far after the earliest manuscripts of the Greek New Testament. Okay. All right. Hope that helps, sir. You're very welcome.
You're very welcome. 866-348-7884. By the way, sometimes on Friday, when I come on the air, all of our lines are lit up and full. And then as soon as the line drops out, someone is able to call in. Today we've got a bunch of open lines for whatever reason, so great day to call in. If you call in now, I'm sure to get your call before the broadcast is over. 866-348-7884. Let's go to Chandler in Ada, Oklahoma. Welcome to the line of fire.
Hi, Dr. Brown. Some friends and I are in a Bible study and we're discussing the afterlife, where we go after we die. Some would refer to, like, the interim period. And so we studied where it talks about how there are instances where it says clearly the soul departs from the body, but some believe that the soul sleeps in the body. So I just wanted to ask you, where does the soul go before Christ returns and all of the dead in Christ are resurrected? Before that time, if we die before that, where does the soul go after we die?
Alright, so let me cover a couple of preliminary things and then specifically answer that. When the Hebrew Bible will talk about someone's soul departing, it's not necessarily saying it in the way that we might think. In other words, it could just be saying their life departed, their breath departed, without talking about the inner being of a human being. The Hebrew nefesh or nishama can be used in that way, just for the breath and the life departing.
That's number one. Number two, there are different ways to describe our inner being. We can just talk about our soul. Some would say soul, spirit, or interchangeable. Or based on 1 Thessalonians 5 23, we can talk about a human being having three parts to them. Spirit, soul, body, right? So when you say soul, you're talking about the inner being, who we are on the inside, living in this body. So some would say that the spirit is who we are on the inside. The soul is our consciousness.
Alright, not sure what happened. But, well, that was the connection leaving, not the soul leaving. Alright, so just to finish this, some look at human beings in a dichotomous way. There are two parts to us, the inner being, the outer being, the soul, the body.
Others say, no, it is trichotomous. It is spirit, soul, body. So the spirit is our, that's who you are.
You're a spirit. The soul, that's the consciousness, the mental awareness, the emotions, and the body is what we live in. So let's just say the inner being and the outer being. What happens to the inner being upon death? My own understanding is that the inner being, so our soul slash spirit, who we really are, living in this body, that we go to be with the Lord if we're saved and we go to a place of holding and judgment if we're not.
What do I base it on? The same passages that everyone's talked about through the years. The thief on the cross, Jesus says to him, today you'll be with me in paradise, in Luke 23. Or, in Philippians 1, Paul desires to depart and be with Jesus. Or Revelation 6, the souls of the righteous at the throne of God that have been martyred, asking God how long before we're vindicated and vengeance comes. And then in 2 Corinthians 5, Paul's saying if we're absent from the body, we're present with the Lord, but what we're longing for is the resurrection so we can be fully clothed.
That's how I understand it. And the terms of the they fell asleep is a euphemism. It's just the Christian way of referring to death, they fell asleep. Others, including Martin Luther, said that no, it's actually soul sleep. That everyone at death goes to sleep so to say. So there's no consciousness. It's just like if you've ever had surgery and you're put under general anesthesia.
Doctors talking to you, next thing you wake up after the surgery. You're not conscious of that time in between. So the same way, many believe, not me, but many do believe that you do sleep until the resurrection, so you close your eyes and when you wake up, you're with Jesus. In other words, the same thing ultimately, you close your eyes and next thing if you're saved, you're with the Lord. But the difference would be to say, hey, right now I know my loved one is in the presence of God. They died, they're in the presence of God.
There's that reality. So that's what I understand scriptures hold to, but there is debate about it. There is debate among the, among other believers. Okay, let's go to Isaac in Rockdale, Texas. Welcome to the line of fire. Hello. So you're going to like my question. Sorry, it doesn't echo, but you're going to like my question. My question's about the fire of God, so there's no echo on your end, right? Go ahead, go ahead.
Okay, you can hear me, okay. So many people, including me, have had supernatural experiences where the Holy Spirit fills us with fire, and my question is how can we defend the Holy Spirit when talking to cessationists, mostly cessationists anyway, who say that it isn't biblical to experience God in this way? Yes, so I would just take them through the Bible. I wrote a chapter in my book, Authentic Fire, which is called sola scriptura, and therefore charismatic.
So I'm charismatic because the Bible's explicit and we do experience the Spirit. So I'll show you that in scripture on the other side of the break. We'll be right back. 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, friends, for joining us on the line of fire. So, Isaac, back to you. How do we talk to someone, and many of you listening to me now watching, do not believe in speaking in tongues for today, do not believe in prophecy for today, do not believe in divine healing for today. I would respectfully and humbly ask you, did you come to that conclusion based on the study of scripture or based on experience?
You saw flaky stuff happen. False prophecies were spoken. You prayed for someone expecting them to be healed, and they weren't.
I've had many cessationists tell me, yes, we saw flaky things, and that caused us to wonder, and now we don't believe it's for today. I urge you to not base your theology primarily on experience but primarily on scripture. My experience can confirm scripture.
That's wonderful. But if my experience contradicts scripture, then I question my experience, not the scripture. So, when you go through scripture, you see very clearly that the gifts of the Spirit are to continue until Jesus returns. You've seen the commending of the Corinthians in the midst of all the mess in that church in 1 Corinthians 1, saying to them that they didn't lack any spiritual gift as they were eagerly awaiting the return of Jesus. And in 1 Corinthians 13, he's quite explicit that prophecy, that knowledge, that faith, that these things will continue until we see Jesus face to face. That's not something about the closing of the New Testament canon.
That's ridiculous interpretation, almost unknown through church history. He's talking about when we see Jesus face to face, when we know him even as we are known, then we won't need these things. Until then, Paul says, earnestly pursue the gifts, especially prophecy. And just like we experience salvation, we experience the gifts of the Spirit, the work in the Spirit. Doesn't the Bible say that the Spirit bears witness with our spirit? Romans 8 16, that's something we experience. Doesn't the Bible say that we have communion with the Holy Spirit? 2 Corinthians 13 14. Doesn't the Bible say in John 10, Jesus says that my sheep hear my voice? And Romans 8 14 says that we are led by the Spirit of God. So for sure, we should experience, even without tongues prophecy, we should experience the Spirit in our lives. And then the New Testament is very explicit. Don't forbid it, don't quench it, don't put out the Spirit's fire. Don't despise prophecy. Hold fast to that which is good.
Test everything, hold fast to that which is good. I would also say, read through the book of Acts. Note, just underline, reference every single time the Holy Spirit and its activities mentions about 60 times, 6-0 in the book of Acts, and ask, did they experience the Spirit? The New Testament believers, when they were filled with the Spirit in Acts 2 and they spoke with new tongues, did they experience the Spirit there? Did they experience the Spirit in Acts 4 31 when they prayed together and the place was shaken when they prayed? So where does it say that we stop experiencing the Spirit?
This should be the norm. We should see the gifts of the Holy Spirit operating on a regular basis to the glory of God, to point to the resurrection of Jesus, and to edify the body, and to display the goodness of God. I'll say this one last thing. I had a tremendous renewal experience in my own life in 82-83. I'd been saved at that point 11-12 years.
I was a serious believer. I'd been preaching since 73. I was teaching adult Sunday school in the church I was part of then. We were active in all kinds of good works. We were pro-life.
We were caring for the poor. But I had left my first love. And then God wonderfully worked in my life, brought me to repentance of my spiritual and intellectual pride, sent the fire of the Spirit in my life, changed me, changed many in the church. Ultimately the pastor and leaders rejected what God was doing. The pastor told me over a dozen years later with tears that next time the Spirit moves he doesn't want to miss it. But God got hold of me in a radical way. Yes, I experienced God dramatically, powerfully. And people I prayed for came to deeper penance and wept before God and dramatically filled with the Spirit, speaking in tongues.
Amazing stuff. But in the months that followed, I saw the operation of God and prophetic gifts through others that I didn't know. And one with a prophetic word over me. And I remember a pastor and I had driven out to a Bible school just to take in what was happening there.
And the leader that was there that day had a prophetic word for me that was just so accurate and tied in with what God had called me to do, leave my job and teach at that school. And we got in the car and we just started laughing for joy. And he said, he's alive. He's alive. We were just laughing. There was this joy of Jesus being alive and speaking.
And it wasn't, oh, the excitement of getting a prophecy. It was that God in his love was saying, I'm here. I'm here. One other illustration, and I shared this with students as I'm here in Fort Worth, Monday through Wednesday in Dallas, teaching at Christ for the Nations and broadcasting from there once a month. And then Thursday, Friday here at Fort Worth at Mercy Culture at the Spiritual Leadership School, teaching and then broadcasting from their studio Thursday, Friday.
So I just shared this, actually not with the students, with one of the students who's driving me around while I'm here and taking care of me. I was a new believer. And every time I'd be in a church service, I experienced exquisite joy, exquisite, extraordinary joy as we'd worship and sing and pray. And then often just during my private prayer time, I'd experienced a beautiful fellowship with God. And it had been like a day and a half where I was like, I think it was a prayer meeting one night. I think it was the Monday night prayer meeting and just felt nothing.
And during the day felt nothing and get to the service that night and feeling nothing. And I said, Lord, I would love to feel your presence. And just then this joy comes and I thought, what am I, a baby? I can't live a few days without God's presence, but I have to feel your presence.
What am I, a baby? And I'm kind of rebuking myself as I feel that presence again. And just then the pastor speaks in tongues and interprets, which he almost never did. Normally someone in the congregation would speak in tongues and then he would give an interpretation. But he speaks in tongues and he interprets. And it's first a quotation from the end of Matthew 28. And Jesus says, lo, I'm with you always, even to the end of the world.
Right? And then immediately after that, whether you feel me or not. I mean, I just talking to the Lord about this and seconds later in a church where there was not a lot of prophecy, this word comes and it was just, okay, Lord, I got it. I got it.
I got it. It's beautiful. It's beautiful to see God at work. If I feel nothing, I walk by faith. If I hear nothing, Hey, I have all the directions I need in scripture to obey God. But yet when he works in these ways that are so wonderful, it's just him saying, I'm here, I'm alive.
How much more would he heal someone dramatically? All right. 866-348-7884 is the number to call. Let's go over to Christian in Toledo, Ohio. Welcome to the line of fire. How are you doing brother? I'm doing great.
Thank you. Um, okay. So I have a question. I have, you know, searched this thing up for countless times and I want to know how do you study the Bible?
I've been a Christian for over seven years. I say that and I think I can kind of, I didn't even know how to study. I didn't know exactly how to study. If I want to go study the book of Acts, I want to go study the book of Isaiah. How do I study? How do I study symbolism?
How do I do this? Got it. Yes.
A wonderful question. First, there's, there's a famous book. It's a serious read, but, but you sound like a serious reader. It's called how to study the Bible for all it's worth. So you might want to invest in that one book, how to study the Bible for all it's worth.
It had two, two authors, Gordon Fee, who just passed away, did the New Testament specialist, but Douglas Stewart and Gordon Fee, how to study the Bible for all it's worth. So that's if, if you could make that investment, it's not an expensive book and it's a serious read, but it'll take you through different literary styles. It'll take you through, like you say, symbolism, things like that. It'll take you through how, how to read, understand study. But what I do, if I'm really going to study something in depth, Christian, okay, on the one hand, I want to be reading through the Bible regularly so that whether it's once a year or more frequently, just reading through the whole Bible, getting the bird's eye view, right?
So that's easy. You just, you read. I do that a lot listening with, with audio as I'm driving to my radio broadcast. I listen to the Bible, so I'm just kind of hearing it. But you're talking about the worm's eye view, in-depth study. So first thing I would do is I would just keep reading through the book. I'd read it through it, read through it again. So I'm going to get really, I'm going to get my nose deep into the text. Then I want to get, I want to get the background.
Okay. Do I know who wrote it? Do I know when it was written?
Do I know why it was written? A lot of times if you just get a study Bible, they'll have an introduction to the book. You know, any good study Bible, there's so many of them. And I'll have an intro to the book and it'll say, written by this person for this purpose, et cetera.
You know, those kinds of things. So then, then I want to see, okay, Father, give me insight as I'm reading. I'm reading through, I want to compare it to other things that the Bible says. I want to see what can I get out? What, what are the lessons I'm supposed to get out of this? Or if there's history, so I'm reading the book of Acts. Okay. What happened?
What's this background here historically? What, what can I understand from that? Again, a good study Bible. We'll get you into that.
Commentaries will get you into that further. Maybe a word comes up. You're like, Hmm, what does that word mean? When it talks about righteousness in Romans, what does Paul mean? So now I'm going to try to see, okay, what's that word in the original Greek and a lot of Bible software easily to, to work with that accordance is what I have on my screen on a regular basis when, when I'm looking at multiple languages, but even just online, you know, blue letter Bible, different things like that.
Okay. Here's the word. What does it mean? So now I'm going to click on that word and see, okay, dikai sunae in Greek.
What is, so I'm going to look for all the times Paul uses that within Romans, the same word, but what does he mean by it? These are all different things, you know, word studies themes, but I'm going to keep reading it, getting familiar with it, reading it again, praying for insight. And then the question is, what am I looking for as I'm studying? And that will then determine the types of study that you do, but just things like blue letter, Bibles free online, how to study the Bible for all it's worth a good resource, or you get just the basic program of the cordless Bible software.
You can do word studies in the original languages. Those are all things really helpful. And then pray, pray God, give me insight. Speak by your spirit.
May the text be relevant to me. Thank you, sir, for the question. 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. Hi, two important announcements and we go back to the phones 866-348-7884. First, yet another reminder to download the Ask Dr. Brown Ministries app.
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Ask Dr. Brown, ASKDR Brown on YouTube. And we'll do our weekly exclusive Q and A chat. First time doing it from Fort Worth in our studio here, so that'll be fun to see how we do that.
So that'll be at 4.15 Eastern Time. So 15 minutes after we're done here, we'll be back on for our YouTube chat at ASKDR Brown, ASKDR Brown. All right, let us go over to Susan in Southern California. Welcome to the line of fire. Hi Dr. Brown.
Hey. So I have a question having, well it's a twofold question. I thought about a film on Netflix and it came out on 2017. I'm not sure if you saw it. It's called One of Us and it talks about three Hasidic Jews leaving their ultra Orthodox community. And there was one lady that was trying to divorce her husband because he was abusive. And the Jewish community actually supported the husband and, and, and, um, got a lot of money to help him get a really good lawyer and she ended up losing custody of her children. And then there was another young man who had doubts about why God would allow children to be sexually abused because he was someone that experienced that and he tried to tell his, um, the school about what happened to him, but no one believes him.
So this caused him to have doubts and for him to want to leave that community. And so my, my question is, do you have any thoughts about how like different Jewish communities deal with like physical and sexual abuse in marriage as well as how they deal with apologetic questions about God? Sure. Thank you.
Great questions. Yes, I did see the documentary. Let me, let me say two things first with everything. There are always two sides to a story, right? So if you've ever done marital counseling, you'll sit down with the wife and she explains why it's all the husband's fault. And you're like, wow, I see it. Then you get the husband in talk to the husband.
He explains what it's all the wife's fault. It's like, wow, I see that. And you sit them down together and sort it out. I mean, that's happened to me more than once over the decades. So there's always another side to the story. You were getting one side there.
That's first. Second thing is you're also hearing some of the worst things that do go on. So you can't just paint a complete picture from that. The vast majority of those who live in the ultra-orthodox community are happy to live there and feel that it's a much better way of life and feel that their kids are in a much better environment than being in the world and polluted the way worldly kids are and that they're devoted Jews and seeking to honor God as best they understand. That being said, without question, in these ultra-ultra-orthodox communities that are very, very insulated, there are casualties. Because here's the thing. You do not want to go to the secular courts with your issue.
That's the mindset. So you've got kids, boys that are getting sexually abused by a teacher. You want to try to fix that in-house because you don't want to get that out to the secular courts and now they've got another attack on the Jewish community and they're going to tell the community how to handle their disputes.
So they have their own courts within their own system, their own community, very, very much ingrown and insulated. And because of that, you do have abuses that get covered up. It's a problem that is coming to light more and more in recent years but it's a genuine problem. Is there more sexual abuse in those settings than outside?
I don't think so. You've got large families, you've got communities living very closely with each other, you've got people that may need help and don't have a way to get it. So yes, it's a real problem.
It's absolutely real. Not just there in New York but it's in other parts of the world where you have these ultra-orthodox, very insulated communities. But to my knowledge, it's not like an epidemic there but you go out in the world and it's not happening. It just seems to be sinful human beings are found everywhere.
But because they're so insular, it gets kept in and many times covered up and that's terrible and destructive. As far as the situation with the woman and losing custody to the kids, again, we only know one side of it. But Judaism does strongly emphasize the importance of a husband's care for his wife. There is no justification in Judaism for physical or sexual abuse. A Jewish husband is called to a very high ethic of loving his wife and caring for his wife.
And on the Sabbath, at the Sabbath table, he'll recite to her from Proverbs 31 about a virtuous woman and things like that. And I know a good number of ultra-orthodox families and there is great devotion of the husband to the wife, the wife to the husband, and the parents to the kids. So they have very tight-knit families.
But when you leave the community, you're now the outsider. And in the traditional Jewish view, if you're going to be raising your kids in a non-Torah environment, that's the worst environment for them. And if they trust the man, he's still in the community, he's still trying to live a God-fearing, traditional Jewish life, you want the kids with the father.
It'd be the same if the father had left and he was now partying or just in the world and not keeping the Sabbath, not keeping daroteluos, not going to synagogue, and the mother was God-fearing, you'd want the kids with the mother. And that would become kind of the overwhelming issue, not the marital counseling issues, but who's living a Torah life, who's going to raise the kids the right way. As for apologetic questions, Judaism deals with the problem of suffering like every other religion. It has different approaches to it, different discussions, some of them mystical, some of them philosophical. But what I can say is that Judaism allows for all kinds of questions to be raised within the faith, even the idea of challenging God and having it out with God and this is not right and I have an issue with the way you run your world, like the book of Job. That is part of Jewish piety and religion and faith, but the system itself is not to be questioned. So if you grow up in a traditional Jewish home and you really question, why do we do this, why do we do that, why do the rabbis have authority, those kind of questions do not normally get the best answers, at least from people that I've talked to who were raised in ultra-orthodox homes and left. Those were the ones that left because they couldn't get their questions answered.
In other words, you couldn't question the system itself. That was their experience. And lastly, there are ministries I know that really try to help people that have left these communities because they are so ingrown, Susan, that you don't get normal vocational training, you get minimal basic education because you want to spend all your time studying the sacred texts and things like that. So you learn to function within your community, you go outside of it, and in many cases, it's really bad.
People end up strung out on drugs, they end up in jail, they end up dead, and they'll often say to them when you leave the community, this is what people have told them, you're either going to be on drugs, in jail, you're going to be dead, or you're going to be back with us. So you have these support groups of former ultra-orthodox that exist. It's called Off the Derech. Derech is the way, so the people have gone off the Derech.
O-T-D, they call it, it's the abbreviation. That you have these support groups of people who all came out, they were all ultra-orthodox, and they came out of that, and now they have support groups like, okay, here's how you get a job, here's how you learn these basic skills. And some of them have done well and made it, but many others don't. And we've been able to reach out, friends in Israel Activeness, they've been able to lead some of these people to the Lord, which is wonderful to see them find wholeness in Yeshua.
So long answer to your question, but it's an important question. Thank you so much. You are very, very welcome. 866-348-7884. Ah, okay. We had our phone lines go completely last Friday, which we discovered during the show, so we ended up taking online questions. Things can happen with equipment, it happens. We just discovered that we are only able to get a couple of calls up at the same time. Don't know why this happened, I've never actually had this in 13 years where we had this problem. Every so often, something's happened with a phone line system where you'll have like a power outage and something doesn't get back up on the system. But I've been wondering, we know they have all the phone lines lit. It's like, that's odd. We've only had a couple lit. Well, that's an odd thing.
We've never had this happen. So it's good. We are uncovering problems and we'll keep solving them. Our studio is doing a, so when I say our studio, the radio studio is in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and it's from there that things go out by satellite and phone lines are answered. Our main studio is near Charlotte, North Carolina, and I'm broadcasting from Fort Worth this week, next week from Pennsylvania, God willing. But it's in the studio that sends things out in Winston-Salem. They're replacing some equipment, so hopefully we'll get things better than they've ever been.
But that explains things, so we are learning on the fly here. Okay, let us go to Barry in southern Florida. Welcome to the line of fire. How are you, Dr. Brown? Hey, man, doing good. Good. I'm having a problem with just the question of the return of Jesus.
When I go to church, everybody thinks he's coming back right away. Hey, hang on. Hang on right there. I did it again.
Brush on right before the break. I'll be right back, and we'll get this sorted out for Barry and for you too. Stay right 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. All right, friends, remember, 30 minutes from now, we'll be back on YouTube. So if you're unable to get through calling today, this is a great opportunity for you to post your questions.
That'll be starting at 4.15 Eastern Time, and we'll go 45 minutes to an hour, answer as many questions as we can in the YouTube chat. All right, so Barry, you were saying that when you go to church, everyone's talking about Jesus coming any minute. Go ahead. Yeah. And isn't it in the Scripture that Jesus says to the Jewish people, you will not see me until you say, Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
And then when I talk to the people about it, they won't discuss it with me. You don't know what you're talking about, you know, he could come any minute, so there seems to be a lot of talk about that. So can you like straighten this out for me, please? Oh, you bet I can.
Sure thing. So first, I would go over with them to 1 Thessalonians, the fourth chapter, okay? And I would show them a verse that they all agree pertains to the second coming. And there it says that we'll be gathered together to the Lord, we'll be caught up to meet him in the air, right? So when he returns, the dead in Christ rise first will be brought up to meet him in the air, and we'll be with him forever.
So they interpret that to be a rapture, that Jesus will just secretly take us out, we'll be caught up to meet him, we'll be there with him seven years, and then return at the end of the age with him, right? So I just go from there, so that's, we all agree that's the second coming, you'd say it's the rapture, we all agree there, okay. Now I go over to 2 Thessalonians chapter 2.
So 1 Thessalonians 4, now we'll go over to 2 Thessalonians 2. And when you get there, Paul says, now concerning the coming of our Lord and our being gathered to him. It's the exact same language he's just used, same Greek word for the coming of the Lord.
So now, this is what he writes. Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we ask you, brothers, not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by a spirit or by a spoken word or a letter seeming to come from us, to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. Let no one deceive you in any way, for that day will not come unless the rebellion comes first and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, he goes on. So he's saying, that can't happen until there's a mass apostasy, a rebellion, and the Antichrist is revealed.
So the very coming that he's spoken of, this just won't happen until these things come to pass. If you study the Greeks, you'll see that word rebellion actually means the taking out, it's talking about the rapture. Nonsense.
Nonsense. There's not a reputable Greek lexicon or top Greek commentary that would agree with that. So this is saying, before we're gathered together with him, these things will happen first. I'd also say, what about Matthew 24 that speaks of certain things happening, and this will happen first. Now when you mention Matthew 23, 39, you will not see me again until you say, blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Of course, I agree with your interpretation, that a Jewish Jerusalem must welcome him back. Matthew 23, 37 to 39, speaking of a Jewish Jerusalem, that must welcome him back. Others would say, no, that's the second coming, the rapture happens first, but it says in Revelation 1, 7, when he comes, every eye will see him. So if Jerusalem will not see him until it welcomes him, no one will see him until Jerusalem welcomes him.
You know, I'd ask one other question. You say Jesus could come back at any time. You say, did the Jewish people have to be restored to the land of Israel, is that one of the signs that he's coming soon? Yes. Well then what happened before then?
What happened when the Jewish people were not restored to the land of Israel? Did that mean that he couldn't come? Or what about Matthew 24, 14, this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all nations, and then the end will come. So, you know, 10 years after Jesus died and rose from the dead, and the gospel's just barely getting out to the world, could he have come then? Obviously not.
The message has to go to the whole world. So we do not ever want to say the Lord is delaying his coming, right? He'd just sit back, eat, drink, and be merry. But it's clear that he cannot come at any second because things have not come into place yet. We have not yet seen the fullness of the Gentiles come in, and then with that... That's right.
Right, so, say, listen, here's for sure. Every generation that came that said Jesus is coming at any minute, they're all dead, correct? Yeah.
Right. I got saved in 1971. We were told Jesus is coming any minute.
That was 51 years ago. And the older people in the church, they've gone to be with the Lord now, right? So the one guaranteed thing for every generation that's ever lived until now is that we all die. And we don't know when we're going to die. It could be any second. So we live in readiness of his return, right?
People sitting in their home and a plane crashes on their home, or a sinkhole opens up, or someone perfectly healthy, it seems, dies of a heart attack. We don't know the moment we'll be with God, so say, hey, let's live in readiness because we could die at any minute, and let's work to make the world ready for the return of Jesus. Wow. So I'm with you.
Thank you. Hey, listen, tell them to get my book, Not Afraid of the Antichrist. Not Afraid of the Antichrist. Craig Keener and I wrote it together, great New Testament scholar and dear friend. Not Afraid of the Antichrist.
That should help if folks really want to study it through. Thanks for the call, man. And love the Lord together, honor the Lord together, run your race together. I've got friends that believe the same way, but we love Jesus and go for it together. All right, thank you.
Let's go to Alberto in Atlanta. Welcome to the line of fire. Well, good evening, afternoon, Dr. Brown. My question is, it's about the Jews. How come when people say something about the Jewish community or the Jews, they get penalized? Well, the Bible says that God has no such as a person, so if other people talk about other people, nobody gets penalized, nobody makes a big bluff about it, but when they say something about the Jewish community or the Jews, it's not that you get punished, you consider anti-Semitic, or from a sports player, I get punished. Why is the Jewish people so special? Number one, they're not so special. I guarantee you, if you were a major celebrity, athlete, big deals with companies and you used the N-word, you spoke in racist ways about blacks, you'd get it, you'd get it badly, you'd suffer the penalty, and for good reason, because black Americans have suffered a lot and been abused a lot and have suffered through segregation and slavery and inequality in many ways, and you say something like that, you're going to pay the penalty.
Rightly so. Well, Jews have suffered a lot through history. Jews have been lied about through history. Jews have been kicked out of one country after another, and when you point it out, people are like, well, they must have been there doing something wrong, those bad Jews. It's not that long ago that Hitler tried to wipe out every Jew on the planet and successfully slaughtered two out of every three Jews in Europe, six million out of nine million, including a million and a half children and babies. To this day, much of the world wants to wipe out Israel and the Jewish people. At this moment, Israel has probably hundreds of thousands of rockets pointed at it from hostile neighbors, and there are some, their motto is still, from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free. In other words, all Jews must be destroyed and kicked out of the land. Right now, violent crimes against Jewish people are the highest of any group in America, by far, specifically targeting people as Jews, as blacks, as Hispanics, as Asians, whatever it is, crimes against Jews are the highest of any group in America. There should be a backlash. There should be a backlash when you spread misinformation, when it is anti-Semitic. It's like I say, Alberto, hey, you Hispanic?
Ah, Hispanics are this, Hispanics are that. No, that's sinful, that's wrong, these generalizations, these false statements and concepts. Now, when you say God's not a respecter of persons or God shows no favoritism, that means that he doesn't treat anyone differently than anyone else. In other words, he's not going to be fair with me and unfair with you. He's not going to show righteousness to one person and not to another person.
He's going to treat everyone the same. But God's standards are also very high. And throughout the word, we're told not to speak evil. We're told not to bear false witness.
These are very, very high standards. So, for good reason, there is backlash, because we've had it with seeing Jewish people suffer because of lies. I was warning people, Catholic theologian I had on my show and others, I said, the rhetoric you're using is dangerous and it's going to lead unstable people to commit violence. They're responsible for their acts, but you're using dangerous language.
And not long after that, synagogue shootings. Did that person cause it? Whoever did the shooting, they alone are responsible. They are morally responsible. They're responsible for the law. However, the rhetoric that we spout is dangerous and irresponsible and can lead to violence.
So, yeah, again, just ask yourself what would happen. Take a leading Jewish celebrity, a famous, famous artist of some kind, and they start speaking disparagingly about black Americans and they use the N-word and they're going to suffer the consequences. Just like Kyrie Irving suffering the consequences for spreading some anti-Semitic material, recommending it. Now, is he an anti-Semite? People close to him say no.
It could just be ignorance on his part. And we cannot underestimate the role of the black Hebrew movement, which has gone through lots of communities, inner cities in America, saying that today's Jews are not really Jews. That real Jews are all black and today's Jews are not really Jews and they're a synagogue of Satan. That has spurred more anti-Semitism and Kyrie Irving has unfortunately played into that. But, yeah, it's the way it works.
Groups that have suffered a lot, there's going to be more sensitivity and that can be a healthy thing. Thank you for the call, sir. All right. AskDrBrown.org. You get my emails. You don't want to miss a single announcement. If I'm coming to your area to speak, you'll know about it.
That's one thing too. AskDrBrown.org. Fifteen minutes from now, back on the Ask Dr. Brown YouTube channel for a weekly chat.
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