Apples of Gold Jul/Aug 2021
Israel is filled with many false teachers. They grow like mushrooms after the rain. They are extremely active, and every few days we see a new “holy one.” Many people here believe fictitious rabbinical stories.
Some rabbis go house to house trying to convert people to their ways. They have great influence, thinking no one will stand against them. And if one of these rabbis hears about us bringing the Good News to people, they fight against us.
But who can stop us from speaking the truth? It is written in Ezekiel 33:7, “Son of man: I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel.” It is our obligation to tell people about His salvation. Things do not always go the way we want. But as we say here, “If the mountain will not come to Muhammad, then Muhammad must go to the mountain.”
One evening some of these rabbis came to our home with bulletins designed to teach people how to worship following old rabbinical traditions. This was the first time they came to us. We began a friendly conversation, and they were sure they would catch us in their trap. They spoke to us for an hour as I listened quietly.
But near the end I said, “I have listened to you tell me all these old superstitious stories. Will you now listen to what I have to say?”
“Of course,” one said.
“Do you believe what is written in Deuteronomy 6?” I asked.
“This is the most important chapter in the Bible,” another said.
“Here it is clearly written, ‘The LORD our God, the LORD is One!’” I told them (v. 4). “Now tell me, in whom have you believed? It is also written, ‘You shall not tempt the LORD your God’ [v. 16]. Because you worship other gods, there is no love in you for others who are not like you. You have hatred; and what you are doing here is against God’s commands, bearing false testimony. This is clearly described in Exodus 20:16 as sin.”
The time had come for them to know about whom I spoke. I read to them Isaiah 53:6: “And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.”
“Do you believe in This Man, Jesus?” one asked.
“I believe in the living God,” I said, “And I have never boycotted what is written in the Bible by the Holy Spirit. But what are you doing? Take a good look at yourselves and see whom you are worshiping and determine if this is according to the Bible.”
“Now this is a very interesting conversation,” one of them said. They wanted to know why I discussed Isaiah 53.
“Because I have believed not in those false teachers but in what is written here,” I answered. “It is clearly written in Leviticus 26, ‘If you walk in My statutes and keep My commandments, and perform them, then I will give you rain in its season’ [vv. 3–4]. But if you do not obey? Read what is written here.” I had them read to the end of the chapter, which tells all the troubles God would bring on Israel for disobedience.
It was important for them to know I came to believe in Christ because I saw the truth in the Holy Bible. I did not teach them about Christ from Christian books—only from the Bible. They were interested in speaking with me because it was the first time someone had told them about “This Man” from the Word of God.
“We come to know the Lord only from the Holy Bible, not from old rabbinical traditions,” I said. “You are confused and have lost your direction and worship other gods, like the people of Israel who left God and worshiped the golden calf. And now you want to convince me to be your partner in sin.
“I can give you the best way to find the truth,” I told them. “Read Ezekiel 33:11–20 and Jeremiah 31:31–34.”
One asked me, “Can you give us a Bible?” I gave them one gladly. Now only the Lord can help them. Please pray for them.