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Dr. Brown Answers Your Practical Life and Ministry Questions

Line of Fire / Dr. Michael Brown
The Truth Network Radio
May 12, 2023 4:40 pm

Dr. Brown Answers Your Practical Life and Ministry Questions

Line of Fire / Dr. Michael Brown

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May 12, 2023 4:40 pm

The Line of Fire Radio Broadcast for 05/12/23.

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Dr. Michael Brown

The following program is recorded content created by the Truth Network. We're going to tackle some of your best practical life questions today.

I think your eyes will be open and you will be blessed. 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. Hey friends, this is Michael Brown. Welcome to the broadcast. We're not taking calls today.

Oh, I know the disappointment. I have solicited questions on Facebook on our Ask Dr. Brown Facebook page, Practical Life and Ministry Questions. Often when I'm out with pastors, leaders, wherever I'm speaking, folks will want to spend time with me and I try to prioritize that just so they can ask me questions, practical life questions, ministry questions.

Many times as we're sitting having a meal and I'm eating my healthy salad, they're asking me about lifestyle, diet, things like that. But I want to tackle some questions that I think will be really helpful for so many of you that are listening. You'll find them to be really, really relevant.

So, I want to get into these with you. Also, if you could remember over the next few days, if I come to mind, just pray. God willing, on Monday I will be leaving for our Israel trip, leading a group of probably about 85 folks. We're going to have an amazing time there.

On the way back, I stopped in Wales to speak at Rhys House Bible School, which is now owned by a dear pastor from Singapore. So, some great days ahead. We plan to be broadcasting live from Israel on different days, so it's going to be a special season. But do pray. There's a lot going on, a lot of travel, a lot of things that we have to get in good order. So, thanks for praying and standing with us.

And perhaps in the future, you can join us in Israel one time as well. All right, let's go straight to the questions. We'll start with Oscar. God bless you, Dr. Brown. I have a question. How do you know God is calling you to ministry? That it is really Him and not my own feelings, dream, or desire to do certain things? How do you know it's God and not someone else that tells you there's this need and you should do something good about it? I just want to know how to discern that God is the one sending me, not man or even myself.

God bless. So, Paul writes in 1 Timothy 3 that if someone desires the office of an overseer, they desire a good thing. If you have it in your heart to do the work of ministry, that's positive. In other words, that's an admirable thing to say, boy, I would love to give myself full-time to vocational service. We're all in ministry in one sense or another, but you're talking about full-time vocational ministry.

That's a good thing, not a bad thing, right? At the same time, if God's not calling you to do it, it's the last thing you want to do, and you will not be blessed or successful in it, nor will you be fulfilled. So, how do you know? You do not want to enter into ministry, give yourself for the work of ministry because someone tells you that they perceive a calling on you or someone says, look, here's a need, you should do something about it.

There are lots of needs that we can help meet and good things we can do without being called into vocational ministry. This is a God thing. It's not something that people can tell you. They may sense something, but God has to speak it to you.

So, how do you know for sure? Well, number one, as you walk with the Lord, the burden increases, the desire increases, the sense of calling increases. It becomes more and more difficult to not give yourself to that aspect of ministry. So, you have to trust your own walk with the Lord. Many times, others will then confirm it or what they've been sensing you now sense, all right?

That's number one. And number two, as you give yourself to do that work, you'll see God's grace and hand on you. The line that we often quote from Chariots of Fire with Eric Liddell, who was an Olympic gold medal winner and then gave his life on the mission field, telling his sister that God made me fast and when I run, I feel his pleasure. So, when you give yourself to the work of ministry and he's calling you to do that in a vocational way, you see grace on you, you see favor on you, and then God begins to open doors and it gets to the point where you know I cannot give myself to secular work 40 or 50 hours a week when there's this calling on me. It could manifest in you having to make a major decision and you quit your job, you start preaching on a street corner. It could manifest in that you're asked to serve more and more in your local church in a certain capacity and then the doors open for more and more service.

The principle is walk in the direction of the light that you have and if it is really God, it will get brighter and brighter and brighter. All right, Randy, what time do you normally get up to greet the day and the Lord? Actually, I'd love to hear what the whole quote normal daily routine is for you. So grateful for you, Dr. Brown.

Okay, so this is where I'm actually praying about and trying to make some life adjustments. For most of my life, I have been a late night person. When I had to teach at a Bible school in the 80s and be there at 8 a.m. for chapel and then for my class right after that, I would take a nap in the afternoon. When I was in school, in high school before that, I would get up in the morning but then take a nap in the afternoon and stay up later. As the years went on, it ended up being later and later and later and then especially in the days before email when the main way people would contact you was by phone. At a certain point of the day, you weren't going to be contacted by anybody. So as it got into the evening and then the daughters would be asleep and then maybe Nancy would be turning in, it was just hours that I was free. And especially if I was writing and really gripped, I could write till three, four in the morning easily. You know, I'd start really getting gripped at midnight.

It's almost like the later it got, the more I got charged. And I remember talking to David Wilkerson once in the streets of New York City before or after preaching at Times Square Church and he said to me, hey listen, he said if you're a late night person, don't even bother trying to change. He said it's rare I go to sleep before 2.30 in the morning and or get up before 9.30 in the morning and that was lifestyle for him.

So it's been lifestyle for me for many, many years. You say, well what do you do when you have to get up early in the morning to minister or so I try to go to sleep a little earlier and then same deal, I'll take a nap later in the day. But Nancy has been encouraging me to try to make an adjustment and to get my sleep schedule more with circadian rhythm. So going to sleep earlier, getting up earlier, so you're kind of with the cycle of darkness and light more if possible. And even just practically speaking, even though most days I don't have to start ministering or teaching or getting active until later in the morning, in principle it's better to get up early and to seek the Lord first than to have most of your prayer time later in the day.

That's been my history for years. Get up in the day, just give the day to the Lord, say a few words to start the day and then get on with things, answering emails or doing what I have to do or doing an interview on radio or tv or whatever it is and then each day is going to be a little different and then as the night goes on later in the evening that's when I'd be spending more and more time with the Lord. So I'm praying about making an adjustment there and also I do have days where I will pray much more one day and much less the next and then of course do these monthly prayer retreats where I just get alone to pray Friday night, all day Saturday, Saturday night, Sunday morning, Sunday night. I spend the great bulk of that time just praying and seeking God's face but I am praying about making a shift so that I get up earlier, seek the Lord first, so we shall see.

I tried it a little, maybe adjusted by an hour or two and then kind of fell back so we shall see where that goes. Pete, healing pastors, how many do you think are legit and how many do you think role play for show? Is there a limit as to what can be healed? It's really, is it really as simple as them putting their hand on you and you're just healed?

How do you know who's legit and who's not? There's no question that there are people with gifts of healing that God uses. There's no question to me whatsoever. If you will read Craig Keener's book, Miracles Today, so that's the shorter version, he's got a two-volume study called Miracles Then a Shorter Version, Miracles Today, which is, they're not identical. He's got a chapter recounting healings that took place into the ministry of Catherine Coleman. Documented, undeniable.

My friend Randy Clark clearly has a healing gift that operates through him. You say, how do you know who's legit or not? Well, number one, you do the tests like you do for anybody else. You do the moral test and the creedal test. Are they living godly moral lives and do their fundamental beliefs line up with the fundamentals of scripture, right? We're going to disagree on lots of things, but we do the moral test and the creedal test in that regard.

So that's number one. Number two, they may have a legitimate gift, but they may be abusing things. In other words, they may be using a gift that God's given them for carnal purposes, for becoming famous, for generating funds.

So it doesn't mean the gift's not legitimate, it means that there's sin in their lives and therefore you stay away from their ministries because of those things. But those that have healing gifts at work in them will see a greater proportion of people healed. Sometimes they'll see, especially in one area, deaf being healed, blind being healed, cancer being healed, things like that. There is no one gift for healing that is 100% automatic for every condition all the time that does not exist. A lot of our cessationist friends said, no, that's what the New Testament gift is and it operates at will. We would say, no, it operates at God's will, but it is something that works in our lives in a supernatural way and therefore will bear supernatural fruit.

There's still no guarantee. It says in James Jacob V chapter that just the elders of the local congregation should be able to pray over you, the prayer of faith, and the prayer of faith will make the sick person well. That would sound like a guarantee there, but even so, do we always have faith?

Are we always praying in harmony with God, et cetera? I believe healing is his revealed will. In other words, that his revealed best for his obedient children is healing and health. That sickness in and of itself is a negative thing. But as to your specific question, and to reiterate, you can love Jesus and be sick. You can be wicked and be healthy.

All right? Healing is not a proof that you're under the favor of God. Sickness is certainly not a proof you're under his disfavor. I'm just saying broadly speaking in Scripture, healing and health are good things. Sickness is a bad thing, and that's our own life experience, right? When the newly-wed couples are getting married, you just wish them health and long life and find out the bride is, you know, a few months later, she's pregnant and you just pray for a healthy pregnancy. Why? Because that's good.

That's what we, that's normal. But back to the specific question, you know who's legit by their overall life, their overall doctrine, and the fruit of the ministry. And when you see there is a documented chain or strong testimony chain of people being miraculously healed, praise God.

Rejoice in it, and the Lord may use that person to minister to someone really sick. Is there a limit to what could be healed? Theoretically, no. Theoretically, no. In another, okay, if someone's dead for a month, they're dead.

We understand that. But born blind, why not? Raised from the dead in certain cases, why not?

That's rare, but in certain cases, why not? Healing of all kinds of conditions, why not? And there are lots of amazing medically-documented miracles. Read Craig Keener's Miracles Today or Randy Clark's Eyewitness to Miracles.

I think you'll be encouraged. This is Michael Ellison, founder and CEO of TriVita Wellness. I'm thrilled to join with you as listeners and donors in supporting Dr. Brown and the Line of Fire broadcast, truly a voice of moral sanity and spiritual clarity. I believe this voice must be heard across America.

We need the bold and the courageous voice of the Line of Fire broadcast. I founded TriVita to help people like you experience greater wellness. Wellness is to have the vitality and the energy to support the things that you love to do and God's purpose for your life. To each day, experience positive emotions of love and forgiveness, gratitude and acceptance, and to develop a relationship with God and know His purpose for your life. This is a life worth living.

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That number again is 1-800-771-5584. May you live with greater wellness. The Truth Network presents Life 101, the basic rules for getting by and moving ahead in life. We've all these times in life where we are completely overwhelmed with just too much to do. This is usually due to our own false beliefs that we actually have to do all the things that we're doing. In reality, some of the things we're doing or committed to are simply due to careless overcommitment. So how do you reverse it and find spare time?

Start with only one thing. Jesus said there's plenty of time in one day to worry about the things for that day. And since that's true, there must be something that you can cut out. Whatever it is, quit talking yourself into holding onto it. It may take a bold step to humble yourself and tell others that you're overcommitted. Then as soon as you can, drop out of that one thing that you really don't have to be doing. Afterwards, you will find more peace of mind and life will become less of a burden and more of a joy.

Do it today. Pray for wisdom to find that one thing in life that you can drop to achieve more balance in your schedule and more peace of mind in life. You're listening to The Truth Network. 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 for joining us on this special edition of The Line of Fire where I'm taking practical life and ministry questions that have already been posted on Facebook. So sit back, enjoy the broadcast.

I won't be taking calls. I was with some pastors, some dear Iranian brothers and an American pastor, all part of the same church in Ohio a couple weeks ago. And over lunch, one of the pastors said to me, over all the years in life and ministry, if you could do anything differently, what would it be?

And I said immediately I would do less for God and be with God more. Now look, I travel all the time. I speak all the time.

I write all the time. Along with the daily broadcast, I do other interviews, ministering to people one-on-one, and then teaching at different ministry schools and pouring into leaders. So like everybody else, my life is busy.

Whatever you're doing in life, you're probably pretty busy too. And I'd hate to think, well, I wouldn't have done that interview. I wouldn't have gone to preach at this church.

I wouldn't have accepted this overseas invitation. But for sure, if I was walking in full harmony with the Lord and just directly in His perfect will, I believe I would have done less over the years. I would have cut back on certain things and would have spent more time with the Lord so that the things that I did do would be even more effective, that my character would be even more Christ-like, that the Holy Spirit's power would be more demonstrably seen in me so that God alone would be glorified. I heard Billy Graham on an interview. Towards the end of his life, well, let's just say he was on the tail end of his ministry career. So I don't remember exactly how old, where he was in his 90s or late 80s, but it was on the backside of his ministry life. And he was asked a similar question, and he said that he would have accepted less invitations. He said, I don't mean the big crusades.

He would have done those, but he would have accepted less speaking invitations and spent more time in prayer and study. It's like, yeah, yeah. My problem has never been laziness, generally speaking. I mean, we all have to deal with that. But generally speaking, it hasn't been laziness. It's been overwork. It's been going too hard. I've actually had to slow myself down from writing articles, slow myself down from writing books, from writing books, and make determined efforts to just be with the Lord more, knowing also that the ministry of prayer is more effective than anything else we can ever do. And everything starts there. As I believe it was S.D. Gordon said, prayer is striking the winning blow.

Service is gathering up the results. All right. Now, here's a question. I'm going to get kind of the other side of this.

What daily habits do you have that are the most beneficial for your life and walk? All right. So, now this is the other side of the coin. Again, as we're answering practical questions that are being asked here, practical life and ministry questions. So, being very disciplined to redeem the time has been a positive.

So, sometimes being too busy, taking too many engagements, trying to help and serve too many people, especially these days when everybody's got a podcast, we just have to say no more and more and more and more. However, by God's grace, I've been very diligent about redeeming the time. I could redeem the time even better. There is still time that I waste.

I don't mean hanging out with family or just spending a quiet day of rest. I don't mean that that's wasteful. But, you know, surfing the net, getting caught up with other secondary things or just time is wasted. But by God's grace, I am really disciplined to stay with things. First, I have a holy drive in me. I'm burdened to write. I'm burdened to speak. I can't wait to do the radio show every day. These are things that I'm excited about and that I feel grace in calling and anointing to do.

However, at the same time, there is a discipline required. It's a little into the evening. It's like, why not just chill?

It's like, why not just chill? Because I haven't done anything today. I spent a few hours in the studio doing radio, doing some other recording. I maybe counseled someone over the phone, but it's like, hey, I've got plenty of hours more to give to the service of the Lord, especially knowing that I start my day mid to late morning and then stay up late at night.

So, the nighttime is when I get so much done. You know, working on a commentary. You've got to just stay with it day in, day out, doing academic writing, academic work. You've just got to stay with it day in, day out, or writing daily articles as much as I feel to do that. There's a certain discipline required when you're editing and proofreading books and so on. There's a massive project. I can't talk about it yet.

Some months down the line before we can announce it, but the most important project I've ever been involved with and it's massive and I'm overseeing the whole thing. So, there's discipline. There's just stay with it, stay with it, stay with it, redeem the time, redeem the time.

You only got one shot. Life goes flying by. Come on, tonight there's a big commencement at Liberty University where we'll all be with family. For the graduating class, our granddaughter Eliana, you celebrate her birth one day, right?

And now she's graduating from college the next day, 22 years old. Wow. So, redeem the time, redeem the time.

That's major, major key thing. All right, let's see here. Yeah, I answered the question.

Okay, let me come back to this. Kristin wants to know, how can someone determine his or her desire in the ministry? For example, music ministry is a calling from God or merely a passion. So, I answered earlier how you can know if something is, if you're really called to vocational ministry, that the more you're with the Lord, the more the burden grows, that the more you give yourself to it, the more grace you feel to do it.

Others will also recognize and confirm it. But within that, how do you know the specific area of calling? Well, it's the thing that you do better than others. It's the thing that you can specialize in. It's the thing that you are made to do.

I love people. God's made me a spiritual father in terms of raising up another generation and having a fatherly concern for their well-being, but I'm not a pastor. And I'm not a, I've counseled people, but I'm not a gifted counselor. And when someone sits with a gifted counselor and they just have that divine ability and by calling and by experience and by wisdom to probe, wow, you know, the gifts that Nancy has are so different than the gifts that I have.

If we compare ourselves to each other, I'm a massive success, she's a massive failure, she's a massive success, I'm a massive failure, right? So, each one so gifted in certain areas and not in other areas, that's how it often is with us. But here's the deal, often in ministry you have to just serve and serve and serve before you can really specialize in other areas. In other words, as you are growing, as you're being apprenticed, as you are in that sense just new and younger and therefore serving your elders and learning from them, that many times the thing that you're really gifted to do will not have its full outlet. Maybe in order for a church to bring you on in the ministry position, you are working in the children's church, you are working in administration, and you're helping with the worship team, but you're really called to be a worship leader. Well, little by little by little that will manifest itself and as you grow in maturity, those things will come up. But what you'll find is the things that you're passionate about, the more you spend time with God, the more you're in his presence, the more you're walking with the Lord, the closer you are to... Hey friends, this is Dr. Michael Brown.

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Click on donate monthly support. 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. Welcome back to The Line of Fire.

Hey friends, I just want to mention our special resource offer this month. One of the books I was most stirred to write in my life was Jezebel's War with America. As I'm answering a lot of questions today, practical life and ministry questions, I write in a disciplined way. Every day I'm working on something, I'm writing. It's hard for me to remember a day when I'm not doing quality writing. The other day I was flying to Ohio, flying to Cleveland, and flight was delayed. We were on the plane, but then they had to drain some of the hydraulic fluid and then restart some things.

So sitting on the plane, I just got burdens like, well, I've got this on my mind. Let's write. Let me write now.

So I wrote a whole article before we took off, Can a Christian Have a Demon? Wrote it, sent it out to be posted and published while sitting on the plane. That is very common for me, writing on the plane, writing at airports, writing at airport lounges, writing at home, writing in a hotel, constantly writing. But then there are times when I get gripped, moved on, stirred, and it feels like I can't stop. It's just this flow. And I finish one chapter, boom, I'm hit with another. It was like 70-80% of Jezebel's War with America. The core of it was written in like six days. I remember, normally if I'm writing a book, when the book when the book's done, I'll send it to the editor and the editor will then begin editing, proofing, et cetera, with the editorial team.

But in this case, I was so supercharged. I'd finish a chapter and it's like two in the morning says, I got to send this out. I mean, it was rough draft, right? I've got to send this out. I think this editor would be really blessed to read this and I'd send it out. And it's like, okay, Nancy's ready to sleep. Time to go to sleep. No, I got to write some more.

I mean, actually laying down in bed said, no, I got to write some more. Back to the computer and write until 4.30 in the morning, boom, pouring out of me, gripped. And what's interesting, what's interesting, and you'll see it sometime on me, but now applying your own life, you will see that to the degree you are gripped, normally others are gripped. When God really gets hold of you with something and you share it with others, it has that holy contagious spreading force to it. It's really wonderful and amazing to see.

Oh yeah. And to the degree you're convicted, others are convicted. To the degree you're a burden, others are burdened. It's just like in prayer. You're leading out in prayer at a prayer group and you're really burdened and gripped.

And next thing, others share in that burden because the Spirit on you is now moving on them and the passion in your heart spreads to their hearts. So that's what's happened with readers of Jezebel's War with America. They felt that exact boom, they were gripped. Many, many said they couldn't put the book down. It's like, yeah, when I moved on to write like that, we regularly hear that. I can't tell you how much like clockwork. When I moved on in this supernatural way to write in what would be like a month or two or three work in a week, when that happens, readers, they feel it.

They feel that same holy momentum as well. So when Jezebel's War with America, it just began to open up to me. All of the different ways that Satan worked through Queen Jezebel in the Old Testament and what we refer to as Jezebelic spirit, in other words, the same demonic powers at work today.

You just look in the societies, one thing after another, after another. And it wasn't a matter of we're going to mystically connect the dots that no one else could connect as much as there it is, staring you, staring at you in the face. So Jezebel's War with America is our resource offer this month. But when you order it, we've got a teaching series, 12 hours, eight sessions on spiritual warfare, an in-depth audio series that you'd normally pay what, $20 for something like that. It's our gift to you when you order Jezebel's War with America.

So call 800-538-5275 and you can order Jezebel's War with America and the free audio download Spiritual Warfare, which you will find in depth in the Word and super practical. 800-538-5275 is the number to call. That's also the number to call to join our support team. A dollar a day makes you a torchbearer and we will pour back into you many, many, many ways every single day, giving you access to special resources. So you'll be blessed as you help us bless others. 800-538-5275 is the number to call.

If you go online,, just click on shop or store and you'll see the special offer and to donate, click on donate monthly support. Let's see. All right. Another question. Here's Michael Brown, but it's not me.

It's another Michael Brown. What recommendations do you have to make it financially when serving in full-time ministry, for example, providing for family with children, healthcare, etc.? On the one hand, over the decades, I have simply trusted God, meaning I work hard. I honor the Lord. We are frugal.

We are good stewards. Nancy is a great money manager and honor the Lord. When he told me to quit my job and go teach at a ministry school in 1983, I had no assurance from anyone except God. When I gave notice to my boss and told him it was the summer at that time, I said sometime in the fall I'll be leaving to teach at a Bible school.

I hadn't even talked to anyone at the school yet. I just knew it was a divine calling. And then when I was hired, so the months were somewhat lean. I was in commission sales up to then. When I was hired, the full-time salary for me, this is 1983 going to 1984, married with two children living on Long Island, full-time salary was $1,450 a month, which we could not possibly live on. And one of the philosophies of the ministry school was that you have to be called to teach here, so we're not going to pay you that much to make sure you're not just coming for the money.

They did that well. So every month there was a shortfall. Every month we had to trust God for additional income. And as I went out and spoke, God would bring in extra income. As that amount of money started to increase, I don't mean hundreds of thousands of dollars, but a few thousand extra here or there, we formed a non-profit ministry so the money could go through that, and then I could just take salaries. So in other words, if all the money didn't go to me, it went to ministry, and then take salary, and then ultimately hire staff and do everything we had to do.

But on the one hand, it's been by faith. And if God is not providing, if you are honoring the Lord, doing the best you know how to do, working hard, and being obedient so you're not lazy, you didn't just manufacture a calling to be in ministry and now you just sit home and pray. No, if God's really called you, then He will supply.

He will back things. You may need to be really, really frugal. You may need to say, okay, we're not spending an extra dime here. You always want to give first and honor the Lord and be in a position of faith in that regard as well. But beyond that, if God is not providing, then perhaps the step into full-time vocational ministry was premature.

And it's not the end of the world to be bivocational, right? Plenty of pastors, plenty of people in ministry, I know some that are by choice. In other words, they don't want to receive their full salary for ministry income. So if you're honoring the Lord, walking obedience to His will is as best as you understand, and the money is not there, there is a responsibility. Paul says in 1 Timothy 5 that the one that doesn't provide for their own is worse than an unbeliever, right? So, a slightly different context, but same philosophy. So you want to be responsible to your wife, to your kids.

You may have to, again, agree, all right, we're going to sacrifice in certain ways or we're not going to have certain things. I know kids that were raised in church where it was kind of church philosophy in the old days to pay the pastor as little as possible, to make sure that he was really holy and devoted to the Lord. They said, yeah, so holy, they had holes in their shoes.

I mean, that was the joke. But they would say Christmas time, their dad would tell them, hey, you got to pray in the money because he didn't have any extra. And then God would give him extra money to get him Christmas presents. So sometimes we have to live like that. But again, if the funds are not there, if you're managing well and things are working well in terms of the ministry work is in order and the funds don't come in, then you need to make choices to provide instead for your family. As far as healthcare, that's been different.

It's been spotty over the years. I could have been more systematic about it in terms of making sure that there was proper healthcare, et cetera. Now, you know, it could be mandated by law, but be responsible.

You may have to sacrifice, but be responsible. Keith, are the steps of a man established by the Lord? And if these steps meant that some of his children will end up laying down their life and die a martyr, does it mean that these steps were planned by God or God doesn't plan but only knows that we're going to get persecuted? Thanks, Dr. Brown.

Okay. Yes, in the one sense, our steps are ordered by the Lord in that as we are his children, walking in obedience to him, giving our lives to him, he will order things beyond our knowledge. In other words, he'll set things up for us to meet the right person at the right time, be in the right place at the right moment. It was by a number of steps being ordered, my steps, a friend in church in the early years of the Lord, Nancy as an atheist, non-believer, at the age of 19, God ordered the steps of several of us at the same time. So for me to be part of this local church, for this other friend, Danny, to be part of this local church, for him to get a job at a particular place, for Nancy to get a job at the same place, and there's stories, sub-stories to them getting those jobs there at the same place where they shouldn't have, him inviting her to church, meeting her, talking to her, him having to go away on vacation to Ireland with his family when he didn't want to, leaving it to me to drive Nancy to the services, et cetera, and the rest is history. That was 49 years ago.

We've been married at 47. So God orders our steps in that way. However, I do not believe that it is just fate or it's automatically going to happen because many people die outside of the will of God. Many people reject the will of God, and even for all of us as believers, we will stand and give account to the Lord one day, right? We will give account for what we've done, Romans 14, 2 Corinthians 5, meaning that we have choices to make. So God's plan for your life ultimately may be for you to be a Stephen and preach and be martyred, but that doesn't guarantee that you'll walk in obedience and faith and it will happen, all right? So God has an ideal plan for our lives. To the extent we submit ourselves to him, that ideal plan will come about, but it's not guaranteed, it's not automatic, and that's why we will give account to God on that day, and he will evaluate, all right, this was my plan. I'm talking about as believers, not as whether we're saved or not, as saved, forgiven, bloodwashed believers with eternal life, justified in God's sight. We won't have to give account for our sins in terms of, well, Lord, I messed up here and I fell short here, and him saying, all right, let's get this dealt with with the blood. No, that's been dealt with, now it is accountability for our lives.

What kind of stewards have we been? Here's the assignment God gave us, what did we do with it, and there are rewards accordingly, or the work being tested by fire in 1 Corinthians 3. So our steps are ordered in a way of him guiding and leading and sometimes going way beyond our understanding to work things out as we walk in obedience to him, or as people are praying for us and God's pouring out his grace on us. But no, it's not just a fixed thing, that it's automatic.

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Here again, it's Dr. Michael Brown. Thanks for joining us on the line of fire. Did you get my emails? A shout out to our new listeners on KWRD in Dallas Fort Worth area 100.7 FM.

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So, sign up today. If you have our app, that's Ask Dr. Brown Ministries, A-S-K-D-R-Brown Ministries, everything available on the app as well with all of our other sites, Jewish Outreach website, all the other sites listed right there on the app, and you can sign up to get our emails there as well. All right, I'm answering, I may get to one or two non-ministry, non-practical life questions today, but I'm answering questions about practical life or ministry that have been posted on Facebook, so don't post now, I solicited these already. Jesse, question regarding ministry, sorry I have to unpack it, no problem. I started a Bible study at my apartment complex. Most of the people there know very little about the Bible, although they all hold faith in Christ in some regard. Also, I think only one or two people from the Bible study, among the seven that have come and more have expressed interest, go to church regularly.

Also, most people don't drive. My question is, what exactly is my role for these people since they are more or less the believing unchurched? What should I be doing for them? Any tips for getting them to church?

Great questions. Jesse, first, it's great you've taken the initiative to do that. What I'd encourage you to do is to have an older brother leader that you're working with on some level.

Now, that may be the case already, but let's just say it's not, right? So, whether it's an elder pastor in your local church, whether it's someone that you have a history with in the Lord that's older in the Lord, where there can be some oversight, some accountability, some covering given to you, so that you're not just there isolated, that's really good and important. So, one way or another, you want to be connected to a local body somewhere, or to a network of house churches, or to a spiritual father in some way, that you can have some input in that regard. And again, it doesn't mean that everything that's done in an area has to be specifically initiated by a large church. God could call someone to start a Bible study in their home. Many churches come out of that, right?

Maybe your church in one state sends you out to another state. You move into an apartment complex, start a Bible study there. Bible study grows into a church, right? It could continue meeting in apartments throughout the complex. That could be the nature of the church, or it could meet in a building in an organized way on a weekly basis.

So, the nature of where the church meets house functions, that's going to be a separate issue, of course. But beyond that, assuming that you're not called to plant a church in this regard, so what you want to do is continue to help them meet the Lord, help them grow in the Lord, help them know the Lord, and then say, hey, here's where I attend on Sundays. You want to come with me? Or, hey, here's where I go on Wednesday nights.

Would you like to come with me? And then you invite them. You invite them. You get transportation together. If you need transportation, whoever's driving you say, hey, can you bring another one or two with us? And then little by little, they get plugged in with other people in the church. If they don't drive, then as they get friends with others in the church, they can be picked up and things like that. So, you do your best to get them plugged in. First plugged into the Lord, second plugged into a church, or the other order, get them going to church regularly, then they'll get to know the Lord.

And you keep planting the seeds that you're planting. All right, I'm just going to see if I have any more new questions that are practical life and ministry questions. And, okay, tell you what, I'm going to scroll down to some non-ministry questions. Patrick, Dr. Bana, I often hear that some of the ancient rabbis held to a two messiah hypothesis, but I've often wondered how old such a belief is. It seems to me if we can trace it back only to the first century, then it loses its explanatory support. All right, so, there is a traditional Jewish belief going back clearly to the Talmud, which could be several hundred years after the time of Jesus, or could reflect traditions before his day. There is a Talmudic tradition of two messiahs, Mashiach ben Yosef and Mashiach ben David, Messiah son of Joseph and Messiah son of David. Now, Messiah son of David would be the Messiah, the central messianic figure. So, when traditional Jews pray daily for the coming of the Messiah, Ani Mamin Beviat HaMashiach, I believe in the coming of the Messiah, right, something that's confessed and prayed daily. They mean the Messiah son of David, the one who will set up his kingdom in Jerusalem and rule and reign over the earth. We say, obviously, that is fulfilled when Yeshua, the greater son of David, comes and sets up his kingdom in Jerusalem when he returns. But the traditions of Messiah son of Joseph are clearly attested in the Talmud, right, but not before. David Mitchell has done the most in-depth research that I know of this in his book Messiah ben Joseph, and he would posit that it goes back centuries before that and well into biblical times, that there was already a notion of a suffering Messiah because Messiah son of Joseph is a suffering Messiah. Messiah son of Joseph, according to rabbinic tradition, will fight in the wars of the Lord but then die and then be raised from the dead by Messiah son of David. So, that's the rabbinic view on that, and there's even one text from about 500 plus years ago, Rabbi Moshe Alshech, who says, commenting on Zechariah 12 10, that the Messiah son of Joseph, his death will be a perfect atonement for Israel, in keeping with the idea of the atoning power of the death of the righteous, which is found in traditional Judaism.

Can we date this earlier? 1 Chronicles 5 references how the firstborn is Joseph, and so Joseph has a special role genealogically as the first, you know, he gets the blessing of the firstborn, even though he's not the firstborn, he's the 11th born, he gets the blessing of the firstborn. Does that have significance? David Mitchell would say that it does.

He goes back to earlier texts which are more questionable. We also know, though, that in the Dead Sea Scrolls, there were two messiahs, right? Mishiche, Aharon v David, the messiahs of Aaron and David, or of David and Aaron. We know that in the Testament of Levi, which is dated to first century BC or AD, somewhere in there, that there was a messiah son of Joseph and there was a messiah son of Levi. So, the two messiahs of the Dead Sea Scrolls are a priestly messiah and a royal messiah. The two messiahs of rabbinic literature are the Davidic messiah and the messiah son of Joseph.

But here's why it is significant, even if we can't posit this going back even further in Israel. Number one, the priestly and royal messiah, which certainly date to at least the first century BC, that indicates that there was an important priestly role that was tied in with the messiah, along with the royal role. And that we find in Psalm 110, you're a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek. And we find it in Zechariah 6, where Yehoshua, also known as Yeshua, the high priest, has crowns, plural, put on his head and he sits on a throne and he represents Tzemach, which is the branch, which is the messiah. So, the idea of a priestly messianic figure or of David being a priestly king, this goes back to ancient biblical times. And that's why it's so important. We can say, yes, the messiah had to suffer and die first.

Why? Because he was not just a king, he was also a priest. Because his whole function was to deal with sin. Yes, he was king, but he came to function as a priest to make intercession for us, for his blood to cleanse us. Then he dies and rises from the dead and then returns with the emphasis on his royal role. So, that's why it's really big in sharing the good news with Jewish people to say, well, what about the priestly messiah?

Well, that's just Dead Sea Scrolls. What about the priestly role of the messiah in the scripture? What about David slash messiah being a priestly king? What about that? Now it becomes much, much more major.

Okay, more to the story still. What about the suffering messiah that develops in Judaism? The question would be, if there is such a Jewish reaction against Christian teaching, against the cross, against all of that, if there's such strong Christian teaching, a Jewish teaching that would separate Judaism from Christian beliefs, why have a whole suffering messiah unless there's a need for it? Unless there's a sense that the messiah doesn't just rule and reign, but he's one of us and he suffers with us. Why all these texts in Judaism about a suffering messiah?

Ah! So, to me, that also is an open door to witness and share the gospel. And then the comments of Moshe Alshech, who is a darshan, who is an expositor. Why him talking about the death of the messiah son of Joseph serving as a perfect atonement for Israel? To me, these are bridges. It's not to say that the rabbis believed in Jesus.

No, but these are bridges of understanding through which or across which we can walk over to a traditional Jewish friend and say, hey, look over here. Hey, friends, just a reminder, thank you, a shout out to our co-sponsor TriVita. If you haven't checked out their wellness products, you'll really be blessed and 100% of your first order will be given as a donation to the line of fire. So, you're blessed with wellness products.

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Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-12 19:04:06 / 2023-05-12 19:25:47 / 22

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