Apples of Gold Nov/Dec 2018

I have lived in Jerusalem for 57 years, and I have seen many advertisements for special synagogue meetings where distant rabbis come to speak. Recently, I saw a poster advertising a rabbi who was coming to talk about the world, afterlife, soul transmigration, and hypnosis.

As I read the poster, I thought to myself, That would be the best place to go to tell them about what they do not know—how to know the Lord according to His Word and how to be a light to the Gentiles.

So I went to the meeting. After the rabbi finished talking, he asked if anyone had questions. I had been waiting for this opportunity, and I quickly raised my hand. “Rabbi, you spoke for a few hours and told us many stories—none of which have to do with faith. Are we not the Chosen People of God? When we bring people the Good News, should we not bring it with the Bible instead of with hypnosis and rabbinical tradition? The Bible has no value in our faith anymore,” I said.

“Who sent you here?” the rabbi asked.

“No one,” I replied. “I saw one of the posters. It said, ‘All are welcome,’ so I came. And since I believe in the Lord according to the Holy Bible (not according to rabbinical stories), it is my duty to come here to try to point you in the right direction. I believe in God, and the Bible was written not by people like you, but by the Holy Spirit of God.”

The rabbi and those around me started to get angry as soon as I mentioned the Holy Spirit.

The rabbi and those around me started to get angry as soon as I mentioned the Holy Spirit. Most people in Israel assume you are a Christian if you talk about the Holy Spirit. When speaking with such people, you cannot begin a conversation by talking about Christ—you must be patient. As it is written in 2 Timothy 2:24, “A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient.” Sometimes it takes hours before you can mention Jesus.

“Enough! We know who you are; you want to make us Christians!” one shouted.

“Why do you think that?” I asked.

“Because you speak about the Holy Spirit!” he responded. Then they asked me where the Bible mentions the Holy Spirit, and they did not want to see anything from the New Testament. So I opened my Bible and read the lament of King David in Psalm 51:11: “Do not cast me away from Your presence, and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.”

Then I asked one of them to read Ezekiel 37:14: “I will put My Spirit in you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I, the LORD, have spoken it and performed it.”

I asked another to read Ezekiel 36:26–27: “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.”

“When speaking with such people, you cannot begin a conversation by talking about Christ—you must be patient.”

I asked them to read the verses so they would see they are from the Holy Bible. They saw for themselves—in black and white—that I did not come to them with a new faith. “Do you believe what you have read?” I asked.

One answered, “Yes, because it is written in the Bible. How could we not believe?”

Then I asked one of them to read from the “Forbidden Chapter,” Isaiah 53: “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” (vv. 5–6).

They agreed this passage was from the Word of God. We had a good, long conversation.

—The Friends of Israel Archives,
August 2004

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