There are two major events in the history of Atlanta that I was unaware of until recently. I believe there are some relevant insights we can learn from both.
On June 3rd 1962, Air France flight 007 crashes on take off killing over 100 passengers. Most of these passengers were from the Atlanta arts community on a tour of European art museums. At the time of the crash, it was the worst commercial air disaster in aviation history. As the city of Atlanta mourns the tragedy, Malcolm X makes the following statement… “The white race is collectively guilty… and therefore they would suffer collective disaster...When that plane crashed…it was a blessing from God, and I pray for similar blessings from Him to repeat themselves as often as He can spare them.”
Are not these words from Malcolm X the same battle cry heard today from the BLM organization, Black Hebrew Israelites and many other groups? Is this how God sees it? Are people with the same skin color collectively guilty for the sins of other people with the same skin color? Are people that are in right standing with God punished for the sins of their ancestors? If punishment for ancestral sin exists, then how far back does it go? 400 years? 1,000 years? 2,000 years? If you go back far enough, we are all related through Adam. Acts 17:26 states ‘And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings’, according to God, we are all related.
As for collective guilt, the scriptures of the new covenant make it clear that we are judged by God for our individual deeds.
The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not bear the guilt of the father, nor the father bear the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself. Ezekiel 18:20
But every one shall die for his own iniquity; every man who eats the sour grapes, his teeth shall be set on edge. Jeremiah 31:30
There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. Romans 8:1
On June 30th 1974, Marcus Wayne Chenault, a student of Black Hebrew Israelite theology, opens fire during the morning service at Ebenezer’s Baptist Church killing Martin Luther King Jr’s mother. Alberta King was assassinated while playing the church organ. Chenault was quoted saying “all Christians are my enemies.”
How about these words and actions from Marcus Wayne Chenault, who was inspired by Black Hebrew Israelite teachings? Does God want us to murder our enemies?
-And when His disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did?” But He turned and rebuked them, and said, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.” And they went to another village. Luke 9:54-55
-But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, Matthew 5:44
-Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. Therefore “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head. ”Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:17-21
Not only is murder forbidden but hatred is as well. God sees hatred the same as murder.
Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. 1John 3:15
So, what is the connection of Malcolm X, Marcus Wayne Chenault and the affairs of today? Your worldview and actions must be derived and directed from the Scriptures. When people use the political climate of a country, that is just a speck on the map of eternity, to influence their interpretation of the Scriptures, the consequences can be devastating as seen with Malcolm X and Marcus Wayne Chenault. The Bible is for all nations and must be understood in that context. When America is put in the center of scriptural interpretation it can be extremely dangerous, as seen with many cults. God’s word is for all and thankfully, Jesus came for the people of all nations. He died and rose from the dead on the third day to pay the price for the sins of mankind, giving everlasting life to whoever believes in Him.
During these times of uncertainty there are many places in the Scriptures that we can find encouragement. I hope you find the following examples of God’s protection useful for such a time as this.
The Bronze Serpent: Numbers - Chapter 21
As the children of Israel journeyed through the wilderness they became discouraged and spoke against God and Moses. They complained about their condition since leaving Egypt. The Lord sent poisonous snakes among them and many people died. After they repented for their attitudes, the Lord told Moses to make a bronze serpent on a pole. If anyone looked upon the bronze serpent, as Moses held it up, they would not be harmed. In His conversation with Nicodemus, Jesus refers to this event and applies it to Himself . . . ‘And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.’ - John 3:14-15
Imagery of the bronze serpent on a pole is very prevalent in our society today. Most hospitals, firetrucks and ambulances have it displayed. In the same way that the Israelites were instructed to keep their eyes on the bronze serpent, we are to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus and what He did on the cross. He died for us, rose from the dead and grants everlasting life to all who believe - opening the door to Heaven and providing a way to escape the torment of a place prepared for those who have rejected Him.
Passover: Exodus - Chapter 12
The children of Israel were being held captive by the Egyptians. In their suffering and cries for help, God sent Moses. After multiple plagues were brought against the Egyptians, Pharaoh remained determined to hold the Hebrews captive, which set the stage for Passover. The Lord gave instructions for every man to take for his household a lamb without blemish. At a set time, they were to kill their lamb and sprinkle blood on the two doorpost and the lintel of their houses. That night, the Lord passed through the land of Egypt and struck down all the firstborn of the Egyptians. Houses marked with blood from the lamb were passed over by the Lord, with no harm coming to those who remained inside.
The apostle Paul, in 1Corintians 5:7, identifies Christ as our Passover who was sacrificed for us. Just as the children of Israel were held in bondage and needed to be set free, all of mankind is bound by the chains of sin and is in need of deliverance. Jesus came as the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. Being perfect and without blemish He shed His blood for us. Rising from the dead, on the third day, so that whoever believes in Him will be seen and accepted as righteous by God.
From the Passover we also get a very interesting visual. Notice how the blood is applied to the top of the door frame and then to the far right and the far left as well. This is a picture of the coming Messiah, Jesus, who bled from His head and His outstretched hands, one to the left and the other to the right. The blood of the lamb was applied to the doorpost as a sign marking those to be protected. The blood of Jesus brings freedom and protection for those who remain in Him.
Psalm 91 is a great prayer to pray over your family. Here’s a version that’s been personalized.
Psalm 91 (Personalized)
We shall dwell in the secret place of the Most High and abide under the shadow of the Almighty. We will say of the Lord, “He is our refuge and our fortress; Our God, in Him we will trust.” Surely He shall deliver us from the snare of the fowler and from the perilous pestilence. He shall cover us with His feathers, and under His wings we shall take refuge;
His truth shall be our shield and buckler. We shall not be afraid of the terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day, nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday. A thousand may fall at our side, And ten thousand at our right hand; But it shall not come near us. Only with our eyes shall we look, and see the reward of the wicked. Because we have made the Lord, who is our refuge, Even the Most High, our dwelling place, No evil shall befall us, Nor shall any plague come near our dwelling; For He shall give His angels charge over us, To keep us in all our ways. In their hands they shall bear us up, Lest we dash our foot against a stone. We shall tread upon the lion and the cobra, The young lion and the serpent we shall trample underfoot. “Because we have set our love upon Him, therefore He will deliver us; He will set us on high, because we have known His name. We shall call upon Him, and He will answer us; He will be with us in trouble; He will deliver us and honor us. With long life He will satisfy us, And show us His salvation.”
Let us call on the Lord for He is our Help!
I hope everyone had a blessed 2019. As I was reflecting on my evangelism encounters from this past year, my first thought was that I had not done as much as in previous years. However, after looking through my journal where I note witnessing encounters, I was greatly encouraged to see the diverse experiences the Lord allowed me to be a part of.
Welcome to Adventures in Witnessing. If you love talking to people about God
then chances are you will come across an anti-Semite, someone who is against the Jewish people.
There are 2 lies that you will commonly hear about the Jewish people.
1. Jews control the world and are the instigators of most of the world’s problems.
2. Most of the Jews today are not real Jews but imposters and these imposters are
responsible for most of the world’s problems.
Before I address these, let’s look at what God’s Word says about Israel and the Jewish people.
In Genesis 12:1-3 God says to Abram “I will make you a great nation… I will bless those who bless you,
and I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
For You have made Israel Your very own people forever. (Ref. 2 Samuel 7:24)
To Israel as an everlasting covenant,… I will give the land of Canaan… (Ref. Psalm 105:10-11)
The Lord will scatter Israel. (Ref. Jeremiah 31:10)
The Lord will bring them back to their land which He gave to their fathers. (Ref. Jeremiah 16:15)
Jerusalem will be a city of controversy. (Ref. Zechariah 12:2)
The Jewish messiah who is the savior of the world will return and stand on the Mount of Olives which
faces Jerusalem. (Ref. Zechariah 14: 3-4)
So, God has chosen a unique people to be His very own people forever. He gave them their own land to
be theirs forever and He decided to reveal Himself to the world as a Jew, Jesus the Messiah.
But now that Jesus has come, is God finished with the Jewish people?
Again, let’s look at what the Scriptures say…
Has God cast away His people? Certainly not! (Ref. Romans 11:1)
To the Israelites pertain the service of God and the promises. (Ref. Romans 9:4)
Concerning the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but concerning the election they are beloved for
the sake of the fathers. For the gifts and calling of God are irrevocable. (Ref. Romans 11:28-29)
Do not be ignorant of this mystery… that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved… (Ref. Romans 11:25-26)
When the Messiah returns they will look on Him whom they pierced and mourn for Him and all Israel
will believe in Jesus. (Ref. Zechariah 12:10-11)
So, clearly God is not finished with His people. He has chosen them, made promises to them and has a
special purpose for them.
Now what about the lies?
Let’s start with the one that says, ‘most of the Jews today are not real Jews but imposters and especially
those with European descent.’ They claim that these Jews are false converts whose blood does not go back
to Abraham. Here’s my issue with this claim; Abraham’s blood line has changed many times. Joseph married
an Egyptian, Moses married an Ethiopian, Israel took in 32,000 Midianite virgins, and don’t forget about
Rahab the harlot and Ruth the Moabite who are in the genealogy of Jesus. God has never had a problem
with gentiles becoming Israelites, which means the blood line has changed many times.
Another question that must be asked… Would God allow imposters to fulfill Biblical prophecy?
As in the case with the 1948 rebirth of the nation of Israel.
Now, do the Jews control the world? Are they responsible for most of the world's problems? Let’s look at
the facts; Jewish people have suffered more persecution throughout the ages than any other people
group. Look at the way the UN treats Israel to this day. Even though being small in numbers, Jews have consistently risen to the top of society in awards, accolades, and achievements. God’s favor on the Jewish
people has preserved them and His Biblical principles have helped them succeed in almost ever country
where they have lived. This is one of the reasons why people lie about the Jews and the other reason
belongs to the devil. Satan tries to influence people against God’s chosen people.
Now please heed this warning from the Scriptures,
’Do not boast against the branches (The Jewish people)… for you do not support the root, but the root
supports you…Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity,
but toward you goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off.
(Ref. Romans 11:18-22)
And to Abram He said, “I will make you a great nation… I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse
him who curses you.” (Ref. Genesis 12:1-3)
Now for the bottom line! God chose a people to be His very own people forever and we are not to
boast against them, but we are to love and support them.
So, will you help me stand with Israel?
Let me tell you a story about two very unique individuals, Keith Green and Randy Rhoads. Now there is a good chance that you have probably heard of at least one of these men but I’m guessing a smaller chance that you have heard of both. Even though these two musicians had some incredible connections to each other their lives took them into completely different social circles that were miles apart.
With only a three-year difference, both Keith and Randy were born in the 1950’s and as children became skilled musicians. By the age of 12, Keith was such an advanced singer, songwriter, and piano player that he signed a recording contract with ‘DECA Records.’ Randy was so talented on the guitar that by the age of 16 he was playing in rock bands and was a guitar teacher for a music school.
By the mid 1970’s, Keith Green and Randy Rhoads were both residing and playing music venues in the Los Angeles area and on their way to becoming celebrities.
Now if you were a fan of heavy metal music, you probably know about Randy Rhoads journey to fame. In 1979 the famous singer Ozzy Osbourne was looking to start a new band. At that time Randy had been with Quiet Riot, a band that was successful in L.A. but had not been able to get national attention. Randy auditioned for Ozzy and was hired on the spot. They went on to record ‘Crazy Trian’ and ‘Flying High Again’ as well as many other hit songs.
Now unless you grew up in certain Christian circles, you probably don’t know that much about Keith Green’s story. As a young man playing in the night clubs of L.A., Keith was on a spiritual quest. Both Keith and his wife were Jewish and after a short time of searching they both accepted Jesus as their Messiah. Keith’s life was radically changed as he now wrote songs for Jesus and devoted his life to following the teachings of the bible. In 1976 Keith signed a record contract with ‘Sparrow Records’ and quickly became a popular Christian artist.
Which brings us to 1982, by 1982 Keith and Randy are both well known artists in their respective fields. As I mentioned, Keith and Randy had some incredible connections to each other but this final connection is almost beyond words. On March 19th, 1982 Randy Rhoads went up in a small airplane for a joy ride and lost his life. The airplane’s wing clipped Ozzy’s tour bus and crashed into a nearby house. Four months later, on July 28th,1982 Keith Green also loses his life from a joy ride in a small airplane that crashes just after takeoff.
To this very day, both Keith and Randy influence and inspire people from around the world. So, what can we learn from these two unique men? Whether we are famous or not, we are all influencing others. Whether we are known by many or not, only God knows how much time we have on this earth.
Psalm 90:12 says ‘So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.'
So, what is the message we are leaving?
Leonard Ravenhill said “Are the things you are living for worth Christ dying for?”
The inscription on the top of Keith Green’s tombstone reads “Gone to be with Jesus.” The death, burial and resurrection of Jesus has made a way for all who believe in Him to have a life full of purpose with the promise of everlasting life. A life devoted to Jesus will have an influence on others that echoes into eternity.
Now is the time to get right with God. We have all broken His commandments but thankfully, God in His mercy provided a way for us to be forgiven. Admit you have sinned against Him and turn away from sin. Believe that God sent His Son Jesus to die as a sacrifice for your sin and raised Him from the dead. Commit your life to following Jesus and have eternal life with God.
The Trinity Revealed
There are many people who reject the idea of a trinitarian God. Here's some more tips from the scriptures on how to explain this to others.
The trinity, also called God’s complex unity, is best understood by looking at how God has revealed Himself to us throughout the entire Bible. What are the divine attributes of the Almighty and who do we see operating with them in the scriptures?
In Genesis 1:26 God says, “Let Us make man in Our image…” Who are the only ones in the Bible with the ability to create human life? Colossians 1:16 tells us that by Jesus ‘all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth.’ In Job 33:4 we read that ‘The Spirit of the Almighty has made me.’ There are only three with the ability to create human life, God the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
The Deity of Jesus
Who can offer eternal life except God alone?
Who can forgive sins except God alone?
Who can answer prayers except God alone? Who can offer rest for the soul except God alone?
Jesus offers eternal life. John 10:28 Jesus has the power to forgive sins. Luke 5:24 Jesus answers prayers. John 14:14 Jesus gives rest to the soul. Matthew 11:28-29
The Deity of the Holy Spirit
Peter calls the Holy Spirit God. Acts 5:3-4
The Holy Spirit can create life. Job 33:4
The Holy Spirit makes intercessions. Romans 8:26
The Holy Spirit speaks. Revelation 2:11
The Holy Spirit is eternal. Hebrews 9:14
The Holy Spirit is omnipresent. 1 Corinthians 3:16
Old Testament Revelation
God, who dwells in the heavens, can fill the earth with His glory and have His Spirit move all over the earth has revealed Himself to us in many ways. (Ref. Psalm 123:1, Numbers 14:21, Genesis 1:2 & Psalm 51:11)
God has a conversation with Abraham while in human form. Genesis Ch.18
God communicates to Moses from the burning bush. Exodus 3:4 God goes before the Israelites by day in a pillar of cloud and a pillar of fire by night.
God’s glory appears in the cloud. Exodus 16:10 They saw the God of Israel & under His feet as it were a paved work of sapphire stone. Exodus 24:10-11
Isaiah sees the Lord sitting on a throne. Isaiah 6:1
The Witness from Creation
There is one God with one nature revealing Himself to us in 3 persons. They are distinct from each other with different roles but of the same nature. We even see examples of this in our created world. Time is only made complete with the Past, the Present & the Future. The Sun has a Core that cannot be gazed upon with the naked eye, Rays that can be seen and Heat that is felt. From the same source we get Water, Ice & Steam. Here are three creations that give insight to the trinitarian concept of three in one.
Three Major Events with all Three Persons of the Trinity Present
The Creation of Man:
Genesis 1:26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image…
There are only 3 persons listed in the Bible with the ability to create human life.
The Father. Genesis Ch.1
The Son. Colossians 1:16
The Holy Spirit. Job 33:4
The Baptism of Jesus:
Jesus gets baptized, Holy Spirit descends and the Father speaks from heaven. Matthew 3:16-17
The Resurrection of Jesus:
Jesus says that He will raise Himself from the dead. John 2:19
The Holy Spirit raised Jesus from the dead. Romans 8:11
God raised Jesus from the dead. Acts 3:15
Insights from Isaiah Chapter 42, 43, 44 & 45
Isaiah 42:8 & Revelation 5:11-14
God says in Isaiah 42:8 that He will not give His glory to another yet we read in Revelation chapter 5 where multitudes are worshipping Him who sits on the throne and the Lamb. They are worshipping God the Father and Jesus.
Isaiah 43:11 & Titus 2:13
In Isaiah 43:11 God says there is no Savior but Him. In Titus 2:13 Paul calls Jesus our great God and Savior.
Isaiah 44:6 & Revelation 1:17
The Father and Jesus are both called the First and the Last.
Isaiah 45:23 & Philippians 2:10-11
Every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess to the Father and to Jesus.
Answering the Critics
Critics of the trinity will highlight the scriptures that show the differences between The Father, Son & Holy Spirit but ignore the testimony of the scriptures that shows us their similarities. As mentioned before, there are certain abilities that only God Almighty can perform such as; the creation of life, the forgiveness of sins and the answering of prayers. The Father, Son & Holy Spirit are the only ones we see with these abilities.
Highlighting the verses that show the human nature of Jesus is a common criticism of the trinity and the deity of Jesus. Here’s a list of the most common objections.
“Why did Jesus have limited knowledge?”
While Jesus walked the earth, He was operating in a state of self-imposed restrictions.
“If Jesus is God, how can God die?”
His human flesh died but was raised up on the third day. His spirit never died. "Why did He pray to Himself?”
Jesus taught us how to have a relationship with God by praying to and worshiping the Father.
“Why did He say, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me?””
While on the cross Jesus cries out “My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me?” because He was pointing people to the messianic prophecy of Psalm 22 which describes His crucifixion experience.
The Father, Son & Holy Spirit all have the same nature yet operate with different roles. For in Christ dwells all the fullness of the Godhead. (ref. Colossians 2:9) Yet, being in the form of God, He humbled Himself and took on the form of a man. (ref. Philippians 2: 6-8) He demonstrated His love for us by paying the price for our sins.
There is a messianic prophecy that speaks of a child being born unto us whose name will be Mighty God. (Ref. Isaiah 9:6)
While working at a Christian conference I asked a venue employee what he thought about the conference. He enthusiastically replied "You guys have changed the atmosphere of this place." Not only did we change the inside of the civic center but I also noticed many attendees reaching out to the homeless people outside.
Former Beatle, John Lennon wrote a popular song called Imagine. I wonder if he really imagined a world without Christianity.
The next time you hear someone blame religion for being the main source of the world’s problems or criticize Christians for being hypocrites, just take a moment and think about a world without Christianity. Imagine our world with no Christian hospitals, orphanages, or relief charities. Think about how many universities, colleges or educational institutions from around the world would not exist. Could you comprehend our world today without the humanitarian work of William Wilberforce or Martin Luther King Jr.? Imagine the great void if the world had never experienced Christian inspired art, music and literature. Again, pause and think about… no Salvation Army, Y.M.C.A, Emory Hospital, Presbyterian Hospital NYC, Yale University, Duke University, music from Bach, writings from C.S. Lewis and art from the renaissance era. As unthinkable as it may be to imagine a world without these influences the most horrific thought imaginable is a world without Jesus. Thankfully, Jesus did step down from heaven to enter our world. He took on the form of a human to experience life as we do and teach us His truth. His influence upon this world is like no other.
What about all the Christian atrocities and Christian hypocrites? For something to be false or counterfeit you must have the genuine article to make that comparison. Jesus actually warned us of wolves in sheep’s clothing, those who would be Christian in name only. Anyone acting out murderous or unjust ways is in contradiction to the teachings of Christ. A real born again Christian has a new nature that is continually conforming to the image of Jesus.
The teachings of Jesus and His followers has brought forth monumental benefits to this world.
However, Christianity is not here just to make the world a better place. It's here to show the love of Christ and to tell the world how to receive eternal life through the redemptive work of Jesus. He died on a cross to pay the price for our sins and rose from the dead on the third day. Whoever believes in Him will be accepted by God and granted eternal life.
Our time on earth is temporary. Choosing where you spend eternity is of the greatest importance.
Note: Some of the organizations mentioned above have not held to Christian orthodoxy but were originally established by Christians.
While sharing our faith with others, we all have moments of fear or times of doubt. These are great reminders that we need to rely on God’s power through prayer.
The fear of being mocked, rejected or persecuted is common but take comfort in knowing that God rewards those who are reviled and persecuted.
If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of God and of glory rests on you. Truly according to them, He is blasphemed, but according to you He is glorified. 1Peter 4:14
Blessed are you when men shall revile you and persecute you, and shall say all kinds of evil against you falsely, for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for your reward in Heaven is great. For so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. Matthew 5:11-12
No matter what happens while witnessing, know that something good will take place; the person could get saved or they could have a seed of truth planted or watered within them. Even if they insult or persecute you, rejoice because of the heavenly reward you will receive.
It’s very rare that I have negative encounters while witnessing to strangers, but when it happens just keep in mind that their issue is with God and not with you. I’ve even had someone, within 20 minutes, go from cussing me out to thanking me for taking the time to speak with them. Don’t give up to quickly if the conversation gets off to a bad start.
Another obstacle to overcome in evangelism is the fear of not being able to answer a difficult question. These situations are easily handled by being honest. Just say, “That’s a good question, I don’t have an answer for that, can I get back in touch with you, what’s your email?" No one really expects you to know everything so relax and see it as a chance to grow in your faith as you look for the answer.
You will hear people proclaim many false ideas about God, Jesus and the Bible. Here are some great questions to put the burden of proof on them.
What do you mean by that?
How do you know that to be true?
Where did you get your information from?
What if you’re wrong?
While witnessing to a man who was strongly criticizing me for believing in the Bible, which he claimed was just a book written by men, I asked him “what city are we in?” He answered and I said “How do you know that to be true?” to which I answered for him, “because you have seen it written down by men on signs and maps” to which he quickly realized that his argument was not as strong as he thought.
Frequently you will hear the assertion that "there are many paths to God" or that "there are so many different beliefs, how can only one be right?" I will ask them "How many right answers are there for 2+2? How many wrong answers for 2+2? Just because there is a multitude of wrong beliefs about God doesn't mean that there can't be one absolute right answer.
Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." John 14:6
No matter what outlandish or ridiculous assertion someone throws your way, remember that you are on the side of Truth.
Praying For The Lost...
After you have reached out to someone with the greatest news they will ever hear (The Gospel), start praying for them.
Pray that God will give them a dream. Many people, including myself, have come to faith as a result of a dream or vision.
Job 33:15-18 In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls on men, while they slumber on their beds, then he opens the ears of men and terrifies them with warnings, that he may turn man aside from his deed and conceal pride from a man; he keeps back his soul from the pit, his life from perishing by the sword.
Pray that God would bring them under conviction regarding sin, righteousness and the judgment to come.
Acts 24:25 Now as he reasoned about righteousness, self-control, and the judgment to come, Felix was afraid and answered, "Go away for now; when I have a convenient time I will call for you."
Pray for those divine appointments where God brings someone else into their path to encourage them in the ways of the Lord.
Acts 10:22 And they said, "Cornelius, a centurion, an upright and God-fearing man, who is well spoken of by the whole Jewish nation, was directed by a holy angel to send for you to come to his house and to hear what you have to say."
Also, pray that God would open their heart to the message of His love.
Acts 16:14 One who heard us was a woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple goods, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul.
Pray for dreams, conviction, divine appointments and a move of God in the lives of others.
When reaching out to Jewish people with the Gospel you will get a variety of responses from people with diverse Jewish backgrounds. First, let me bring some clarity on a point of confusion for some. Just like the very first followers of Jesus in the New Testament, there are Jewish believers in Jesus today called Messianic Jews. Although Messianic Jews represent a small percentage of Jews worldwide they are growing in number. It’s wonderful to worship and fellowship with Jewish believers.
I have encounter non-believing Jews with secular, mildly religious and very religious backgrounds. Many American Jews seem to have a negative view of Jesus so I try to put them at ease by saying “I’m a Christian that loves the Jewish people and I try to support Israel.”
While doing outreaches with my shofar, Jewish people will approach me with excitement. I share with them how the Rosh Hashanah celebration and the shofar relates to Jesus. Many Jews find joy in the sound of the shofar and ask me to sound it repeatedly.
Most Jews are familiar with the ‘Passover’ and the ‘Binding of Isaac’ passages from the Bible. These are great scriptures to share and show how they point to Jesus the Messiah. Isaiah 53 is one of the most powerful messianic prophecies that has helped many Jewish people come to faith in Jesus.
But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. Isaiah 53:5-6
Whether it’s a secular or religious Jew you can always ask them my favorite spiritual question, “If you died tonight and God asked you, “Why should I let you into My kingdom?” What would your answer be?” Most people will tell you about their good deeds and then you can take them through the ‘good person test’ which we covered in ‘Adventures in Witnessing Volume Three.'
The following evidence was put together with help from the teachings of Dr. Michael Brown, showing from the Jewish scriptures and the Talmud that Jesus is the Messiah.
What every Jewish person should know about Yeshua
He is the most influential Jew in the history of the world. More people have come to know the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob because of Him than any other Jew. He is a light to the nations. (Ref. Isaiah 49:6)
Because of Him former atheists, agnostics, Muslims, Hindus, and all types of God haters from around the world have come to love the God of Israel and the Jewish people. Through Him Gentiles from around the world cherish the Hebrew Scriptures and are able to keep the ethical requirements of the Law. The reason we have a “Common Era- CE” and a “Before Common Era- BCE” is because of Him. (Ref. Isaiah 42:6)
What did the prophets say?
He was born where the prophets said...
Out of Bethlehem shall come the One to be Ruler in Israel. (Ref. Micah 5:2)
He suffered, died and rose from the dead just as the prophets said...
His hands and feet where pierced. They divided His garments among them. He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed. He was cut off from the land of the living but His soul was not left in Sheol nor was He allowed to see corruption. (Ref. Psalm 22:1-18, Isaiah 53:1-12, & Psalm 16:10)
He lived the way the prophets said...
He preached good tidings to the poor, healed the brokenhearted and proclaimed liberty to the captives. (Ref. Isaiah 61:1-2)
He had to come before the destruction of the 2nd Temple
The Lord, suddenly came to the 2nd Temple to make an end of sins, to make reconciliation for iniquity and bring in everlasting righteousness before its destruction. Haggai states that the glory of the 2nd Temple would be greater than the glory of the 1st Temple. The scriptures reveal that the Messiah had to come before the demise of 2nd Temple. ( Ref. Malachi 3:1, Daniel 9:24-26 & Haggai 2:7-9)
The Talmud states that during the Yom Kippur service in the Temple, a red thread would be tied to the doorway of the sanctuary. If the sacrifice was acceptable and Israel’s sins forgiven, then the thread would turn white. The Talmud shows that during the last 40 years of the 2nd Temple, this miracle ceased to occur and the thread would remain red.
Yeshua died and rose from the dead 40 years before the destruction of the 2nd Temple; this signifies that the sacrificial system was no longer effective and that another system for atonement had been established.
The Forever Commandments
The priest shall make atonement for the children of Israel, for all their sins, once a year. It's an everlasting statute. (Ref. Leviticus 16:32-34)
If Yeshua is not the Messiah then God gave Israel commandments and left them without a way to keep them since there’s no standing temple. Yeshua is the Messiah and the Torah commandments are fulfilled in Him. Yeshua said: "Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. (Ref.Matthew 5:17)
Yeshua is Jesus
Yeshua took care of the sin problem by going to the cross and dying as the perfect sacrifice, paying the price for our disobedience. He rose from the dead so that whoever follows and confesses Him will have his name written in the Book of Life. He will return again to fulfill the remaining messianic prophecies, establish His kingdom and then be recognized by all the world as the Messiah. Jesus came the first time lowly and riding on a donkey. Died on Passover as the Lamb of God. Rose from the dead on the feast of firstfruits. He sits at the right hand of the Father and will return with the clouds of heaven as the trumpet sounds. (Ref. Zechariah 9:9, John 1:29, Luke 24:46,Psalm 110:1, Daniel 7:13 & Zechariah 9:14)
Yeshua the Messiah said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." (Ref. John 14:6)
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