Zvi Jul/Aug 2013
Editor’s Note: Please pray for Zvi and Naomi Kalisher, two choice servants of God. Due to health issues, Zvi has been unable to send in his column. So we are sharing with you a column he wrote before he became ill. We know he will appreciate you upholding them before the throne of grace.
Many people here know I believe in Christ. So they come to me wanting to know why I changed my faith. I tell them I have not changed my faith. I am still a Jew, but I believe in God according to the Holy Scriptures, not according to rabbinical stories.
“But you believe in This Man,” one insisted. “We believe in God.” We had come quickly to the best part of the conversation. These men were ultra-Orthodox. They wore long black garments and payis (curled sidelocks) behind their ears. They studied much, but they did not know the truth.
“We are following our great rabbis,” one said. “What they say, we do. We are not like you, who follow This Man and make Him your God.” The ultra-Orthodox will not say the name “Jesus.” Instead, they call Him “This Man” or “This One.”
I replied, “We who believe in the Lord do not believe in the many fictitious stories you read. We read the Holy Bible and believe what it says. We do not put our faith in books written by men. We do not follow men but the Word of God.”
“Can you show us where it is written in the Bible about This One in whom you have believed?” one asked. They thought they had asked me a difficult question. They did not know I had been waiting for that question for two hours.
So I asked them, “Have you ever read Isaiah 53 from the Holy Bible?” They said they had not and wanted to know why it is important.
“Because,” I told them, “it is clearly written about This One whom you have asked me about. I had them read the chapter, where it is written,
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 Lᴏʀᴅ has laid on Him the iniquity of us all (vv. 5–6).
“Why is it forbidden for us to read this?” one asked.
“That is a good question,” I replied. “And I am going to give you the answer. Your teachers do not want you to know the truth. They cannot explain it. This was written by the Holy Spirit of God and not by those many rabbis who come to you, spend long hours with you, but do not teach you what you truly need to know.”
Jewish people have great difficulty understanding that God is three Persons in one. They are almost afraid to believe Jesus is God.
“But our rabbis have spent many years studying. They are great men. And what is more, they were taught by great men. We must learn from our great teachers,” one replied.
“It is good to study,” I agreed, “but not to bow down before your teachers. You spend much of your life in those religious schools. But what have you learned there?To pray from your many prayer books. The Holy Bible does not take first place.”
“But we are students,” one said. “We must follow everything our teacher says. What would you advise us? Not to listen to our great rabbis?”
This time I replied, “I am not like your great teachers who learn from rabbinical stories. I read the Bible. That is why I know the truth. You must study the Holy Bible. It will show you whom you must follow.”
“If you know the Bible, show us what is written that is so important for us to know. We want to see what our great rabbis have failed to teach us. Show us, if you can. But do not show us Isaiah 53.”
I replied, “Here is the Holy Bible. You can see with your own eyes what I tell you.” I showed them Deuteronomy 6:13–14, which they pray every morning: “You shall fear the Lᴏʀᴅ your God and serve Him….You shall not go after other gods, the gods of the peoples who are all around you.”
They were surprised. “Whom are you following?” I asked. “God, or your rabbis?”
Please pray these men will read the Bible and follow the Lord only. Then He will open their eyes and lead them to the truth.