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Arguments for and Against a Two State Solution

The Line of Fire / Dr. Michael Brown
The Truth Network Radio
February 1, 2024 4:30 pm

Arguments for and Against a Two State Solution

The Line of Fire / Dr. Michael Brown

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February 1, 2024 4:30 pm

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Today, we're going to give you powerful arguments for and against a two-state solution in the Middle East. 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. Welcome, friends, to our thoroughly Jewish Thursday on the Line of Fire.

Michael Brown, so delighted to be with you today. If you've got a Jewish-related question of any kind, by all means, give us a call. 866-34-TRUTH, 866-348-7884.

If you differ with me as a Jewish person about who Jesus is, I'd love to chat with you as well. Maybe you're a black Hebrew Israelite listener, you've got some bones to pick with me, hey, give me a call. Phone lines are open, 866-34-TRUTH. We'll get your calls a little later in the show. Last week, I talked about the complexity of the situation in Israel. And every day we're on the air, it's never just to give you information, it's to equip you, it's to empower you. Our goal is to infuse you with faith and truth and courage because we're all in the Line of Fire today. We're all on the front lines. That reminds me, we are preparing now our February Frontline newsletter. You'll look forward to it every month, from the Hebrew Word of the Month, to book excerpts, to the lead powerful inspirational article, to amazing testimonies. So be sure you subscribe, go to thelineoffire.org. If you're not getting my email, sign up right now, thelineoffire.org, and we'll put you in line for the Frontline newsletter.

And of course, it's absolutely free. Last week, on Thoroughly Jewish Thursday, we talked about the complexities of the situation in the land. And I said, I do not have a clear solution moving forward.

Obviously, if it was that simple, many would have come up with this already. But the complexities, the realities are so deep and so intertwined and so difficult, that what I did is lay out the problem, some of the issues, but what can I say? It is complex, and that's where we pray, God, your kingdom come, your will be done.

And that's why we do what we know how to do. We stand up against Jew hatred, against anti-Semitism. We reach out with the good news of the Messiah to Jew and Muslim, Palestinian, Arab, Israeli alike. And we stand for justice for all and have compassion on all.

But what I want to do today is kind of let you hear from the advocates themselves. And I'm going to read an op-ed in Haaretz, which is a strongly left-leaning, historic Israeli publication. And it's from Mohammad Shahada. There's only one way to end Hamas's grip on power, which is a two-state solution. And then from my friend Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, who said two-state solution is the final solution. It means the end of Israel. So I just want you to hear both of these different positions out of the horse's mouth, so that you can understand what the arguments are on each side. So the article begins reports of progress towards a hostage release deal, including an immediate ceasefire as a paramount first step. But as a temporary measure, it is critically insufficient.

Neither Israelis nor Gazans can accept a return to an untenable and traumatic status quo. So you can't go back to the way things were before October 7th. So, hang on, it logged me out of this article, not realized. Oh, come on, I got to write out all my subscription information again here? Come on, what happened?

I'm a subscriber. All right, here we go. Back in. Back in here on Haaretz.

I thought I had pulled that properly. Here we go. Despite reports that negotiations may be making progress towards a possible hostage release between Israel and Hamas, a significant gap remains. The duration of the war, that's the problem. Israel's reported proposal would merely stop the war in Gaza for about two months and return for over a hundred of its hostages being held there. Hamas' position is to condition the hostages release on a ceasefire that ends the war with international guarantees. But what if there is a way forward that would satisfy everyone's needs?

That'd be great, wouldn't it? If that was the case, my comments. Now back to the article. Shahada says there are many voices in Israel arguing a ceasefire only strengthens Hamas and renders Israel critically vulnerable to another attack. But this is premised on the disingenuous proposition that Israel is incapable of defending its borders and learning anything from October 7th, the most calamitous intelligence and political failure in Israel's history. As veteran Israeli journalist Nir Gontartz noted, October 7th was more about quote, the stupidity, arrogance, and negligence of the Israeli army and government than about sophistication and danger on the part of Hamas. Surprise, arguably the strongest element of success in Hamas' attack, is not completely lost. Israel, with more soldiers and aircraft along its borders and a sober government and army and intelligence community, could easily block a repeat of the Hamas invasion of Israel in which 1,200 people were killed and over 250 taken hostage. Moreover, as we have seen, almost four months of relentless Israeli indiscriminate bombing of Gaza alongside a ground invasion, forced mass displacement, and pushing of the population to the brink of famine all failed to achieve Israel's purported goals of dismantling Hamas and freeing the hostages.

So obviously, Mr. Shahad is very critical of how Israel is engaged in the war and how Aretz is going to print Apes like this because it reflects their left-leaning viewpoint. According to the Wall Street Journal, 80% of Hamas' tunnels remain intact and at best only 20% of its militants killed. Israel can't defeat Hamas militarily is the conclusion many Israeli experts are slowly realizing. Hamas rejects another humanitarian pause in return for the hostage release on the ground that the last pause in November did more damage than good.

Although it brought 105 hostages and 240 Palestinian detainees home, most of them women and children, it didn't improve life on the ground for Gazans in any sustained way and left the displaced masses barred from returning to their homes in the north. Hamas now believes there is nothing more to lose in Gaza after Israel destroyed virtually everything above ground so they feel they can keep waiting things out. A permanent ceasefire, Hudna as it is called in Arabic, the scope of which has never been signed by Israel and Hamas, is the only way to free the hostages alive and restore stability. If the war were to end today, Hamas' internal position is to not seek another major escalation for the next 10 to 20 years, while Gaza is being rebuilt, according to people with sources close to Hamas.

This leaves time to solve the conflict, most of all because momentum and international pressure exist on an entirely new level in the wake of October 7th in the war. It is highly likely that as part of a Hudna ceasefire, Hamas could be persuaded to concede the government and control over Gaza's borders to a technocratic government or the Palestinian Authority, aware that level of rage against it by the people of Gaza makes its continued rule nearly impossible. In other words, Shahad is saying the people of Gaza are fed up with Hamas, they blame the destruction they're suffering now on Hamas, and they're not going to tolerate Hamas' ongoing leadership. He continues, even before October 7th, people were fed up with Hamas' governing. However, there is more support for its military wing, which some Gazans regard as an army, preventing Israel from reoccupying Gaza and reestablishing settlements there. Hamas leader in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar, whom Israel has been keen to portray as the all-powerful mastermind of October 7th, is unlikely to remain in power.

Internal elections are scheduled for later this year, and he's already at the end of two terms. Yes, Hamas has term limits, and officially he's not able to run again. Also, competition for the top leadership, Ismail Haniyeh's position, is fierce, and Sinwar was resented by multiple Hamas leaders even before the war. There is flexibility around what the day after in Gaza could look like. Hamas could be persuaded of a peacekeeping mission or a joint Arab, EU, or Turkish presence on the ground, as long as the key words of transitional and time frame are ensured. That is, this is only temporary and part of a process leading to something more meaningful regarding Israel's blockade and occupation.

An immediate ceasefire is a paramount first step, but it would be critically insufficient if it's not paired with the larger political process to end Gaza's blockade and Israel's occupation, because it would otherwise return us to the status quo ante, meaning before. For Gazans, that pre-war status quo was also untenable and traumatic. They felt suffocated by Israel's blockade that kept them in a permanent state of non-life and obliterated their economy, not to mention the non-stop buzzing of Israeli surveillance drones, daily electricity outages, soaring unemployment, and periodic military assaults.

So he's blaming this all on Israel. I blame it all on Hamas, but turn that around. Now, add to that the living in a place where 70% of all buildings, some of them home schools, kindergartens, mosques, factories, and government offices have been damaged or destroyed based on data on the dead, wounded, and missing.

About one out of every 25 Gazans was killed or wounded by Israel in this war. Reconstruction, especially if Israel's blockade continues, could take light years. For Israelis, particularly those in the southern part of the country, there is no peace of mind if Hamas survives in Gaza in any form.

They, and arguably the country as a whole, would remain in a state of fear and trauma, fearing another October 7th. The Israeli right will in turn capitalize on this to remain in power through continued fear-mongering, sowing hate, and promising even stronger repression against Palestinians to break their spirit. Gaza will be put under even heavier restrictions, more dystopian surveillance, intimidation, and collective punishment, and a potential buffer zone swallowing nearly 20% of the enclave's already tiny and overcrowded territory. And will international donors without a roadmap towards a political deal continue to rebuild in Gaza if there is a high risk Israel could destroy it again? Such an environment will be inherently destabilizing and a recruitment poster for Hamas and smaller, even more radical groups only increasing tensions.

The only thing I agree with Israeli, far-right Israeli lawmaker Almohad Kohane on is that Iron Dome was the greatest curse on Israel. That's because it prolongs the conflict and its trauma. Humanitarian aid, although crucial and indispensable, has already, has also been a curse when used to pacify Palestinians and keep them quiet.

I also think EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen is right that this might be the last chance to reach a solution to the conflict using the great momentum of this moment that could otherwise forever disappear. There are three ways to make a Hudna ceasefire more appealing. First, a two-state, one-state, or Confederate solution to the conflict can be coupled with guarantees to dismantle Hamas's militant arm and all other groups or integrate them into a Palestinian army as an outcome of any of the occupation within a clear time frame. Northern Ireland's Good Friday Agreement is a helpful example as it included paramilitary disarmament.

Second, enlarging the pie. Some Israelis don't see much benefit in any of the occupation, but a post-war process can include normalization with the Saudis and other regional states in return for irreversible major steps toward ending the occupation which could boost Israel's standing and economy. Finally, create consequences for the continuation of the status quo so that occupation doesn't remain a cost-free convention illusion of normalcy. Granting Palestinians a free, dignified life is the only way both peoples can finally live without fear of one another in peace as neighbors. My response is, that would be amazing if everyone could live in peace and harmony side by side. That would be amazing. That would be wonderful. I just don't see it as a possibility. I believe that too many of the Palestinians are radicalized, that too many of them share the values of radical Islam, that too many of them hate Israel, hate the Jewish people, and do not want to live side by side peacefully and put their weapons down and say, hey, let's prosper and grow together.

That would be amazing. Israel normalizing relations with the Saudis and others. I think it happened. When Israel gets its full inheritance of the land when Jesus returns, fine. This seems like wishful thinking leading to more Jewish bloodshed and then more retaliation and more Palestinian bloodshed. I don't see the possibility. Let's see what Rabbi Shmuley says on the other side of the break.

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This is how we rise up. It's the Line of Fire with your host, Dr. Michael Brown. Get on the Line of Fire by calling 866-34-TRUTH. Here again is Dr. Michael Brown. Welcome back to Thirdly Jewish Thursday. Michael Brown here. 866-34-TRUTH for your Jewish-related calls.

I'll get to them a little bit after I read Rabbi Shmueli's views on a two-state solution. I'm about to turn 69 next month, God willing. I want to get in better shape. I want to be healthier, better shape, not just in every way physically but athletically as well. Turning 70, then 60.

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They'll be happy to give you some recommendations. So Rabbi Shmuley has an op-ed in the Times of Israel, a two-state solution is a final solution. Final solution being the words of the Nazis for the Jews, the final solution, so it's a negative term in Jewish context. He said, if Israel, God forbid, ever falls, history will record it was not because it was defeated by a superpower like ancient Rome, less so will history record that it fell due to some incurable illness, Corona. No, history will record that it was self-inflicted, that Israel fell from the inside due to its people and its leaders being unable to resist external pressures brought to bear to concede more and more land and empower more and more of their enemies. Joe Biden deserves immense credit for having Israel's back since October 7th, but lately his and Tony Blinken's increasing pressure on Israel for a two-state solution will irreversibly damage the state. He says, never in history has one country experienced more self-inflicted wounds on itself than the modern-day state of Israel. Remember, it was not Czechoslovakia that gave itself away to Hitler at Munich in 1938.

Indeed, its leaders weren't even invited by France and Britain to parlay with the German Fuhrer. But Israel now has three times given up giant tracts of lands to its enemies and the world is pressuring it to give more. It's time to say once and for all no, no more land concessions, not one millimeter, not one inch. Palestinian state? The original League of Nations-Palestine mandate was 80% trans-Jordan given by Winston Churchill to the Hashemites as a reward for their support during World War I. That is the actual Palestinian state that has more than three and a half million Palestinian citizens, meaning Jordan. If there's any occupation in the Middle East, it is King Abdullah II's autocratic rule over millions of Palestinians. And notice, his wife Queen Rania herself, a Palestinian who hates Israel, has not taken in a single Palestinian refugee from Gaza.

Not one baby, not one little girl, not one family, not one senior citizen. My father taught me to revere Menachem Begin and indeed my father of blessed memory is buried just yards from Begin on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. Begin would otherwise be revered as one of the great heroes of modern Jewish history except for one thing. He gave away all of Sinai territory three times the size of Israel with its enormous oil reserves without knowing if Sadat and his regime, which guaranteed security, would even last. Sadat was assassinated three years later. Ah, you say, but the peace was held.

Has it? Nearly all Egyptians loathed Israel to their core. No Israelis in their right mind would ever visit the pyramids open as Israelis in the certainty that it would be a one-way trip. If not for the fact that Egypt has a strongman dictator in Sisi who maintains the freezing cold peace, Israel might be at war with Egypt right now. And since October 7th, what has Egypt done for Israel after the Jewish state gave them back all of Sinai? Egypt too has taken in no refugees save for a few with medical conditions or foreign passports.

Sinai is largely empty except for the ISIS terrorists who maraud throughout the desert. Why isn't Egypt taking Palestinian refugees from Hamas? Then there is the Oslo Catastrophe of 1993, arguably the single dumbest and destructive idea ever practiced by a nation to demolish its own security. Oslo proves why it's not always wise for generals to become presidents and prime ministers since they have a vested interest in proving that they can make not just war but peace. But what was the thoroughly execrable Yasser Arafat, but was the thoroughly execrable, so cursed, Yasser Arafat ever a partner in peace?

Sure, why not bring your single greatest enemy and the father of modern terrorism, Yasser Arafat, arm his 40,000 fighters and expect peace? Is anyone really surprised that some 2,000 Israelis, the equivalent of 60,000 Americans, were blown to smithereens in the years following Oslo as Arafat funded the Intifadas and suicide bombers with actual checks linking him to the explosions? Then came Israel's greatest war hero, Ariel Sharon, proving that he could improve even his predecessor, Rabin, by withdrawing unilaterally from Gaza without getting anything in return from the Palestinians.

I remember the 2000, 2004 and 2005 debates on the Hitnakhdoot withdrawal so well. I was at the center of them, visiting the beautiful settlements of Gush Katif over and over again in their terminal months and even taking my kids to be among the very last Jews to plant trees in the beautiful enclave on Tu B'Shevat of 2005. All those sentiments, homes, businesses and advanced hydroponics, we were amazed to see cucumbers and tomatoes growing out of the sand, which could have served as a model to Gazans of the economic potential of the territory, which was destroyed by Sharon and the IDF.

And what replaced them? As the New York Times reported this week, 350 miles of tunnels, all in an enclave that's only 27 miles long. So here we are, four wars and thousands of Israelis dead nearly 25 years later, and the United States and the Biden Administration is now pushing Israel to create a Palestinian state. Netanyahu is fiercely resistant and he deserves immense credit for pushing back against Israel's foremost ally. As much as Bibi will be called upon to address the awful security failures of October 7th, and he will, he should also receive praise for standing up to unprecedented international pressure to destroy Hamas completely and utterly. As an American Jew, I will for the rest of my life be grateful to Joe Biden for all he has done to support and arm Israel over the last three months. He's been exemplary, but the very same president has, in addition to funding Iran, the source of all the mayhem. Iran now controls Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen. Most of the terrorism comes from the murderous mullahs. I completely understand why Biden doesn't want a war with Iran. Both parts of the United States are profoundly isolationist, and everyone is tired of its endless wars. But what does that have to do with funding the main funder of terrorism?

We'll leave that question for another time. For now, let's be absolutely clear. For Israel, the two-state solution is the final solution. There is no possibility of Israel's continuity with a Palestinian state alongside it. Gaza is in nearly every sense a Palestinian state. They have their own army, foreign policy, economy, police force, and it was all born out of free elections in 2006 and brought Hamas to power. Why would we believe that any Palestinian state will turn out any differently?

So, he has the exact complete opposite perspective to Mohammad Shaddaa, whose op-ed we read earlier. So, my question to Rabbi Shmueli is, I share your pessimism. And Rabbi Shmueli and I have talked about doing an event together in New York, together standing against anti-Semitism.

Hopefully, we'll be able to do that in the near future. But, so my question, not directly to Rabbi Shmueli who is not here, but my generic question is, okay, I share your pessimism. I would love to see peaceful coexistence, but I share your pessimism. The question is, what's the answer then? What's the solution? The goal is not to destroy all the Palestinians. The goal is not to exterminate the Palestinians, God forbid.

The goal is not to drive them all out, God forbid. So, what's the solution then for the millions and millions who identify as Palestinians living in Judea Samaria, called the West Bank, living in Gaza? What's the solution?

Yeah, when they fled from the war and were expelled because of war in 1947, 1948, yeah, it would have been ideal if the surrounding Arab and Muslim nations had welcomed them in, just as Israel welcomed in all its refugees that were expelled from surrounding nations. Didn't happen. Now we have this open sore wound. What's the solution? I don't have one, but for those saying there can be no two-state solution, my question is, okay, then what is the solution?

How do you move forward? So, I just want you to hear both sides. Read these lengthy articles so you can hear both sides. Now we go to your calls. 866-342. There's a target on your back. There's a target on my back. If you simply seek to live by biblical values or just conservative moral values, you could be canceled. You could be cast out. You could be put down.

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This is how we rise up. It's the Line of Fire with your host, Dr. Michael Brown. Get on the Line of Fire by calling 866-34-TRUTH. Here again is Dr. Michael Brown. Call me a fanatic. Thanks for joining us on the Line of Fire on Through the Jewish Thursday.

Michael Brown delighted to be with you. 866-348-7884 for any Jewish-related calls you have. Do you know why at a Jewish wedding there is a custom where a glass, actual glass, you know, that you drink from, a glass is wrapped up in a napkin and then the groom right before the celebration will stamp on it with his foot. And then everyone shouts and celebrates. Do you know why?

Well, it's it's it's done with celebration and joy, but it's a reminder that even in a time of a wedding, which is one of the greatest times of celebration and joy, even in that time you remember Jewish suffering in history. And that's the smashing of the glass. Yeah. Did you know that? Well, now you know. We go to the phones. Let's go to Chris in Swanton, Ohio. Welcome to the Line of Fire. Hey, Dr. Brown, thank you for having me on once again. All right. So my question is related to the Sabbath.

I made the mistake of getting back on social media, particularly Twitter recently. And just, you know, conversable believers and whatnot. And I've run into Sabbath observers and a lot of black Hebrew Israelites, and they basically state that either I'm hellbound. I don't love and obey Jesus's commandments because I choose not to celebrate the weekly Shabbat. They usually reference 1 John 2-3 and then Revelation 14-12 about those that keep his commandments, love him, you know, and whatnot.

So how how would you combat that or respond to that? Yeah. So number one, I would say, OK, let's go through the Gospel of John that mentions the commandments of Jesus. Every time it says until a commandment, because Jesus says, if you love me, keep my commandments.

Right. John 14. OK, so what are his commandments? Look in the Gospel of John. And every time until a commandment is used in the Gospel of John, it's used speaking of the commands of Jesus, in other words, things that he taught, love one another, et cetera. Read through 1 John that references his commands.

Read through it. And what are the commands to love one another, to not hate your brother, to not live in darkness, et cetera. So that's what's laid out there in terms of his commands. Now, other times, the New Testament can talk about the commandments, you know, keeping the commandments meeting the Ten Commandments or other aspects of the Torah. But when it says, if you obey me, my commands, Jesus is talking about the things that he taught. So read the Gospels and see what he taught. And you better obey those as a disciple.

That's number one. Number two, the New Testament is quite explicit in the Book of Acts. That seventh-day Sabbath observance was not made mandatory for Gentile believers. And it was not a matter of all, they'll catch up with that later. There's a misinterpretation of Acts 15 where Jacob, James speaking there, says that Moses has read the synagogues every Sabbath, right?

What does that mean? Oh, well, the Gentiles that are going to the synagogue, they'll hear these things, so they'll get the rest of the message, and they'll learn to keep the Sabbath. No, the rest of the text is the quite opposite of that, because when the word gets out to the Gentile world, they're really pleased. Oh, okay, so we don't have to keep all the rest of these laws. We don't have to keep the dietary laws. That was for the Jewish people.

That's not for all of us. So, and then when you get to Acts 21, and Jacob is reiterating this to Paul, he said, yeah, the Gentiles don't have to do these things, but we want to make sure you as a Jew are not teaching Jews to depart from them. Oh, no, yeah, great. Paul's happy to demonstrate that, because he continued to live as a Jew himself. So, number one, Jesus says, would you let me keep my commandments? Well, read the Gospels and see what his commandments are.

That's number one. Number two, recognize that the New Testament explicitly says that Gentiles are not required to obey all of the Torah, but rather the fundamental teachings of the apostles laid out. And then read through every single letter written to believers, the rest of the New Testament, and that a single one of them tells Gentile believers they're required to keep the seventh-day Sabbath. Now they're talking about sexual immorality. They're talking about interpersonal relationships. They're talking about children obeying parents, husbands loving wives.

They're talking about all kinds of issues, but never that. To the contrary, in Colossians 2, Paul warns the believers there not to let anyone put them under pressure regarding this. So, if you're not spiritual enough, if you're not keeping it, there's an actual warning. And he says that the Sabbath is just the shadow, the substance, the reality is found in the Messiah.

And that's what we're to focus on and measure on. It's perfectly fine if God lays it on someone's heart to observe the seventh-day Sabbath. It was never officially changed to Sunday.

The Sabbath was never officially changed to Sunday. That's a later church innovation. But Paul's also very clear in Romans 14, these are disputable matters. These are not binding doctrinal matters because the church in Rome had both Jewish and Gentile believers. And they had different views of dietary laws and they had different views of holy days. And Paul said everybody work it out on their own before the Lord according to their own conviction. And he's very explicit, don't judge another man's servant to his own master.

He stands. So, you stand and fall to the Lord. And let me ask you this, if the word of God said clearly that all followers of Jesus were to observe the seventh-day Sabbath, would you do it? Absolutely. Of course.

Why wouldn't you? It's a gift. It's not a burden. It's a gift. It's simply not there.

It's not written. In fact, it was a sign to keep Israel separate from the nations and to distinguish them. That was a gift God gave the day of rest. But also a sign of the covenant between God and Israel, as Exodus tells us, as Ezekiel tells us.

So, that sign remains. Jewish people are still marked as those who observe the Sabbath. Jewish believers many times will meet for Shabbat service and observe the Sabbath, not in a legalistic way, but by the Spirit as unto the Lord. But around the world, you know, you have many situations where work days or work cycles are ten days and not seven days.

In the ancient Roman world, you didn't have a seven-day work cycle. So, you had plenty of people that was not their option to be off on the Sabbath. And as the Gospels go into every different culture, it works in every different culture for these very reasons.

So, just cast this stuff off. It's based on gross misinterpretation of Scripture. Not only so, the people who put it forth in a binding way that if you don't do it, there's something wrong with you. They're hypocrites because they're commandments they don't keep or they're double standards that they follow.

That's why Paul, when rebuking Jew and Gentile in Romans, says to the Jewish people, you know, you tell others not to do it, you sin yourselves. You don't keep it yourselves. So, every time I remember sat down with someone and going through, okay, what about this law, what about this law, what about this law, what about this law? Well, what about that?

They got all their answers. It's like, you don't keep them all either. And when you do, you become legalistic and dry and dead and add up all kinds of other traditions to it and end up coming away from the life of the Spirit. So, don't even think twice about it.

Go back to the show archive it, listen to the references again, and move forward in freedom, alright? So, can I ask you one more quick question? Why do you think God puts it on some believer's hearts to follow Sabbath? Because I actually have a friend who celebrates it and I respect him and he respects me for not doing it, but I run into these folks online and it's just like they have so much vitriol and venom and whatnot towards people that don't. It's just kind of confusing to me like why he would want some to obey it but not others.

Right, well, okay, several answers. The fact that you see all the vitriol and venom, that's a great sign too. It's not fruit of the Spirit and they're not walking in the Spirit. So, the quicker you ignore that, the better, the healthier for yourself, right? You know, if someone comes to share the love of God screaming, cursing, and threatening you with a knife, you don't listen to them.

Alright, exaggerated terms, that's number one. Number two, God lays it on different hearts sometimes to identify more with the Jewish people. Sometimes it's a matter of just saying this is a way that you can better identify with Jewish people or pray for Jewish people. Or, some just say, well, it's part of the Ten Commandments, we're going to take one day as the Sabbath, why not take the Sabbath?

It's fine. In other words, it could be someone's own conviction, their own feeling, or God laying it on their heart. But, God's so much bigger than this.

He's so much bigger than a particular day of the week and we're to walk with him, of course, 24-7. So, because it's not an issue for a Gentile believer, then you're free to do it or not. In other words, I know great men of faith from the past and they wouldn't eat pork. They were thoroughly Gentile, they went to church on Sunday, they celebrated the Christian holidays, not the Jewish holidays, but they said, if God told Israel not to eat pork, we're not going to eat pork.

That was their own conviction. Great, fine, because it's not a salvation issue, it's not an essential issue, there's liberty. So, you just be at peace with it. Just like one person goes to this kind of church, another person goes to that kind of church, one person's led to witness this way, another person that way. Hey, this is areas of freedom.

Not that we attack each other and bind each other. The key thing to watch out for when someone begins to go in the direction of God laid it on my heart to keep Seventh-day Sabbath and their Gentiles, is to just make sure that they don't now keep going further and next thing they can't say Jesus, because that's his Gentile name and they have to say one thing, and now they can't even worship with Christians on a Sunday because it's pagan, and now they start to want to dress like Jews, like okay, now you're in danger, you're going in the wrong direction for a Gentile to do that. And for many Jewish believers, I grew up not attending synagogue and Sabbath, Saturday was no different than any other day. I was born in Mitzvah, of course, in a Shabbat, we'd go to the High Holy Days, but we were nominal Jews otherwise.

So it's not like I had a special place in my life, and it was now the natural thing for me to continue to do it. You know, Seventh-day Sabbath is, and many times I'm ministering on a Friday night or a Saturday day, just like the priests were in the temple. Otherwise, my time of slowing down and pulling back would be on the Seventh-day Sabbath, just in solidarity with my people.

There are other Jewish believers, but this has been a lifestyle for them, that they always celebrated the Sabbath. Now they come to know the Messiah, it takes on more meaning, it becomes even more rich and beautiful and powerful. So, wonderful. You know, enjoy it and show the Jewish community, hey, I'm following Jesus, the Jewish Messiah, and it's only deep in my Jewishness, but be free, my brother, be free. Don't let anyone entangle you, Paul's words to the Galatians, in a yoke of bondage.

And the way these people are doing it, it's not free, it's not liberty, it's not beautiful, it's binding, it's destructive. Many Gentile Christians love worshipping with Messianic Jews, they love the worship style, they love the teaching style, and they become part of a Messianic congregation. Wonderful. Jew and Gentile together, celebrating on the Seventh-day, wonderful, glorious, but don't let anyone put you in bondage. All right, blessing to you. Greg will get your call and some more on the other side of the break, here to equip you, here to empower you. If you're not getting our Frontline newsletter, sign up today, we're preparing the next one to go out.

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This is how we rise up. It's the line of fire with your host, Dr. Michael Brown. Get on the line of fire by calling 866-34-TRUTH. Here again is Dr. Michael Brown. Call 866-34-TRUTH. Call 866-34-TRUTH. We'll go over to Gary. Welcome to the line of fire. Hey, thank you.

Dr. Brown. I didn't question about a buck hook to chapter 2 verses 2 and 3. I'm just curious what if there's any way we could tell what the vision was as he was the guy was given to him and also what made him run or what made was it out of safety or was it that of is it like a near-far vision of as far as for for that time and for maybe our time or something to just curious about if you could elaborate on chapter 2 verses 2 and 3 of Habakkuk.

So first I'm going to read them in a couple of different translations for you. Okay, I'm going to start Habakkuk chapter 2 verse 1, but let me give you context first or all of our listeners and viewers context. So Habakkuk is a contemporary of Jeremiah, which means he sees the sin of Judah and the impending judgment coming on Judah. He cries out to God in chapter 1 about the wickedness of his people and God shows him I'm going to answer that. I'm going to deal with it and I'm going to send judgment through the Chaldeans, through the Babylonians and they're going to bring destruction on Jerusalem and Judah.

And when Habakkuk sees that it's like oh no the cure is worse than the disease. The sin was bad but the destruction is even worse and that leads now to chapter 2. So I'll read first from the new JPS translation. I will stand on my watch, take up my station at the post and wait to see what he will say to me.

What he will reply to my complaint. The Lord answered me and said write the prophecy, the chazon, the vision down, prophetic vision. Write the prophetic vision down, my translation. And scribe it clearly on tablets so that it can be read easily for there is yet a prophecy for a set term, a truthful witness for a time that will come. Even if it tarries wait for it still for it will surely come without delay. Now I'm going to read verse 4, lo his spirit within him is puffed up not upright but the righteous man is rewarded with life for his fidelity.

Now I will read it from the, I said NIV actually it's the ESV that I have right here so I'll read that. I will take my stand at my watch post and station myself on the tower and look out to see what he will say to me and what I will answer concerning my complaint. And the Lord answered me, write the vision, make it plain on tablets so that he may run who reads it. For still the vision awaits an appointed time. It hastens to the end. It will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it. It will surely come.

It will not delay. Behold his soul is puffed up. It is not upright within him but the righteous shall live by his faith. So there, it's a somewhat obscure, some of the Hebrews is a little difficult and can be translated in different ways as indicated which is why I read those two different translations. But the overall sense is clear and it confirms what you said that there is some prophetic vision that God gave to Habakkuk and told him to wait for it. So the rest of the text is not entirely explicit in terms of what that is.

And then the third chapter is the psalm of Habakkuk where he looks back to God's intervention in Israel and then prays for God to intervene again. So there are really two possible ways of reading it. One is the revelation that the righteous will live by his faith or by his faithfulness which Paul quotes in Galatians and Romans that the great vision, the great revelation is that you're going to have to hang on and believe and continue in faith because it's going to look shaky and difficult and dark but ultimately the purposes of God come to pass. That's one way to read it. The other way to read it is that the vision is that ultimately God will restore Israel, ultimately God will have mercy on Israel but you're going to have to wait for that to happen.

I don't see it as a specific thing like this is going to happen in history at this point in this time. This one will be the king and this prophecy will be fulfilled. I don't see it to be specific like that but more a larger general statement. Either the revelation, the vision of the just living by his faith slash faithfulness, in other words his faith in God producing faithfulness in his walk with God. That's the vision. That's the revelation. That's how the just will give or the revelation of the future restoration of Israel and Judah but you're going to have to hold on and wait for it. One of those two is the most likely understanding of the passage in my view. Thank you so much.

Dr. Brown. You are very welcome. Study it, read it through again and see what you come up with.

Thanks for the call. So it is interesting that the New Testament quotes Habakkuk 2.4. Paul does it in Romans and Galatians and it's a major text for him. In other words, it's an Old Testament text saying that the just will live by faith.

And so in Hebrew it's sadeek be-emanato yechiyeh. So it is the righteous by his faith or faithfulness will live. Now some take be-emanato by his faithfulness meaning by God's faithfulness the righteous one will live. Others, and this is the very natural interpretation of it, very logical interpretation the way Paul quotes it is that the righteous lives, he survives, he lives, he endures by his faith in God, faith less faithfulness. That emelanah in Hebrew is not just abstract belief or faith but a steady life in God.

So the just, the righteous will live by his faith. So here's what's really interesting now. I want to read you something and this is a passage from the Talmud and this is typical Talmudic type of compilation where one rabbi says this and another rabbi says this and another rabbi says this and they bring in different interpretations of the same verse or the same concept or one brings in this verse, one brings in that verse. So I want to read to you it's from Makkot which has to do with damages due to strikes, blows, Makkot. And it's the end of Makkot. So what I'm going to do is just pull it up here.

It's just going to take me a split second to grab it because I wasn't planning on it. There we go. Yeah.

All right. So the technical Makkot court administered lashing. So laws having to do not with damages, excuse me, but the lashing itself, false witnesses, city of refuge for inadvertent murderers. So let me go to the passage here. So it's talking about 613 commandments. That God gave Israel 613 commandments. And then different ones came and kind of simplified all that, right? Kind of simplified the discussion. So let's just see here.

Let me back this up. So 613 commandments. Now here's someone who says, okay, let's reduce it to six. Let's summarize the 613 commandments in six.

So this is Rabbi Simlai. Isaiah came and established the 613 commandments on six. As it is written, Isaiah 33 15, he who walks righteously speaks uprightly, despises the gain of oppressions, shakes his hands from the holding of bribes, stops his ear from hearing blood and sheds his eyes from looking upon evil. So instead of 613, he summarizes them in six. It's not saying Isaiah got rid of the others.

It's like he summarizes them in six. Okay. And then the Talmud commentates on each of these, kind of breaks them down further.

All right. Then next we go on. Micah came and reduced them to three. As it is written, it has been told to a man, Micah 6 8, told to a man what is good and what the Lord does require of you, only to do justly, love mercy and walk humbly with your God. So let's take the 613 commandments and reduce them to three. Remember Paul does this in Romans 13, that love fulfills the law, that all the commandments can be summed up in one. Love fulfills the law.

Love your neighbors yourself. So here the rabbis say, Rabbi Simlai, that Micah reduces them to three. Again, it's not saying you don't keep all the 613. It's saying they are summarized reduced to three. And now the Gomorrah breaks that down. The Talmud breaks down what each of those three things works out. Then Isaiah comes and reduces them to two. Isaiah 51 6. So says the Lord, observe justice and perform righteousness. Amos comes and reduces them to one. So says the Lord to the house of Israel.

Seek me and live. Amos 5 4. Then Rabbi R. Nachman Bar Yitzchak objects to this. He says there's no proof that the verse in Amos is establishing all the commandments upon one. Amos is just saying seek me throughout the entire Torah.

That's the argument. Rather, R. Nachman Bar Yitzchak says, Habakkuk came and reduced the 613 commandments to one. As it is stated, but the righteous person shall live by his faith. Isn't this fascinating that the Talmud, so it's the end of tractate Makkot, right? It's fascinating that at the end of this tractate, it says that Habakkuk reduces the 613 commandments to one, the righteous lives by his faith. Shades, shades of New Testament.

Two totally different perspectives, but isn't that fascinating? And with the caller mentioning that, I thought we'd take you on that little journey. Make sure you're getting our front-line newsletter. Go to thelineoffire.org. Sign up today. We want to pour into you, tell you about all the great resources we have waiting for you as we're here to serve you. Keep us strong on the front line. Back to you. This is how we rise up.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-10 06:02:27 / 2024-02-10 06:24:25 / 22

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