Apples of Gold Mar/Apr 2019

Many times I try to speak to my Jewish people about how the Scriptures teach God has chosen Israel to be a light to the nations, bringing the Good News about the one true God to the ends of the earth. But many of the people I speak to do not know the truth about the Lord.

Recently, some Orthodox Jewish men overheard me talking about the Holy Spirit. They began to shout, “You! You! You are speaking about this Man!” (Orthodox Jews refer to Jesus as “this Man.”)

“The Bible talks about the Holy Spirit,” I told them. But they do not read the Bible; they read many commentaries written by men.

“Can you show me where it is written in the Bible about the Holy Spirit?” one asked. This was not the first time I was asked such a question. Because the man who asked was so sure he was righteous, I gave him my Bible and asked him to read Ezekiel 18:31–32: “‘Cast away from you all the transgressions which you have committed, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. For why should you die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies,’ says the Lord GOD. ‘Therefore turn and live!’”

After he read the passage, I told him, “Have a good look. Is this the true Bible?”

“Yes,” he replied.

“Then continue reading,” I told him. I showed him Ezekiel 36:26–29:

I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them. Then you shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; you shall be My people, and I will be your God. I will deliver you from all your uncleannesses. I will call for the grain and multiply it, and bring no famine upon you.

The men had never seen this passage before. When Jewish people do arrive at this passage, they never receive an adequate explanation of its reference to the Holy Spirit, so they do not know the truth about the Lord.

“Why have you come to talk to us about the Holy Spirit?” one asked.

Every time I mentioned another verse from the Bible, they were eager to read it.

“Because you are so far away from the truth,” I said. “Therefore I came to tell you what the Bible says about the Holy Spirit. I did not come to tell you the many fictitious stories you have been hearing for years from your teachers. Ezekiel 33:7–11 says God has given me the obligation to share the truth with you from His Word.”

Every time I mentioned another verse from the Bible, they were eager to read it. They had so many questions about the Holy Spirit. “Do you respect what King David said?” I asked them.

“We respect him a great deal,” one answered.

So I turned to Psalm 51, written by King David, and asked them to read it: “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence, and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me” (vv. 10–11).

Then another one of their Orthodox friends walked over and challenged me. “Do you really think this Man is written about in the Bible?” he asked.

“You must not take my word for it,” I told him. “Read the Bible yourself and find the passages your teachers hide from you.” I then showed him Isaiah 44:3–9. “Why are you so afraid of what is written in the Bible about the Holy Spirit of God?” I asked him.

“You know, many Christians use this passage about the Holy Spirit to tell us about this Man you call Yeshua. You have given me much to think about. Tomorrow I will bring this before our rabbis. Then we can continue our discussion,” he said.

The other Orthodox men were surprised the man they thought would shut down my arguments had nothing more to say to me.

—The Friends of Israel Archives,
June 2004

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