Zvi May/Jun 2008

Not long ago I was out walking, and four ultra-Orthodox men stopped me on the street. “Do you recognize us?” one asked.

“I am not sure,” I replied.

“We had a long conversation with you more than a year ago. You promised to continue our conversation. So, are you ready?”

“I am always ready,” I replied. “What were we speaking about?”

“We spoke about This Man,” one said. By “This Man” they meant Jesus. The Orthodox will not say His name.

“My job is not to speak to you about a mere man,” I said. “But I will be happy to continue our conversation about the need to have faith in the Lord, as it is written in the Bible. You put your faith in fictional stories and in your rabbis.”

“We have heard enough of what you have to say about our rabbis, our holy ones,” one told me.

“Only God is holy,” I replied. “About Him it is written in the Bible. And in Him alone are we to trust, not in your rabbis.”

Then one asked me “which God” I believe in. They do not understand that we believe in a single God composed of three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. They think we believe in three gods. This teaching of the triunity of God is a deep mystery to Jewish people and a great stumbling block.

So I showed them Deuteronomy 6:4. It is the Shema, which is most important to Judaism. They chant it three times a day in their synagogues: “Hear, O Israel: The Lᴏʀᴅ our God, the Lᴏʀᴅ is one!”

One man asked me in an especially unhappy voice, “In how many gods have you believed? We know whom you worship. How did you find Him?”

“This is a good question,” I replied. “And I am happy to give you the right answer. I want you to read from the Bible, not from the big stack of rabbinical books you have. If you read from God’s Word alone, you will learn how to know the Lord personally.”

“Show us where this is written,” one said.

As I began to open my Bible, one of the men said, “Again you show us this chapter 53 from Isaiah!”

“It, too, is in the Bible,” I replied. But instead, I opened my Bible to Zechariah 9, where it is written,

Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, lowly and riding on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey. Then the Lᴏʀᴅ will be seen over them [the Jewish people]….The Lᴏʀᴅ of hosts will defend them…The Lᴏʀᴅ their God will save them in that day, as the flock of His people. For they shall be like the jewels of a crown, lifted like a banner over His land (vv. 9, 14–16).

“Now take a good look,” I said. “Is this from the Holy Bible or from the many fictional stories you have grown up with?”

They all agreed they were reading the Bible.

“What is written here was written by the Holy Spirit of God,” I told them. “I believe in and bow down before the living and mighty God. I do not revere men who try to convince others they are holy because of their long beards and the way they dress. You are so sure you follow the truth. But you are in deep darkness. If you will worship God alone, then you will see the Great Light.”

“What Great Light?” one asked. “Where did such a story come from?”

So I showed them Isaiah 9, where it is written,

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, upon them a light has shined. For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace (vv. 2, 6).

They examined it closely to make sure it was truly the Bible. When they finished reading, they wanted to know which rabbi taught me all this. I told them I do not learn from rabbis; I learn from the Bible. The Lord has filled me with the Holy Spirit and enables me to understand His Word.

“You know,” one said, “most Christians speak about this Holy Spirit. But faith in such a one is against our religion.”

So I asked them if they considered King David a Christian.

“No!” they all declared. “He was a good Jew!”

So I asked if they believed what is written in the psalms.

“Of course!” they all replied. “We read them every day.”

“Please open the book of Psalms and read chapter 51,” I said. “Pay close attention to verse 11, since you say only Christians believe in the Holy Spirit. So now, read!”

They read, “Do not cast me away from Your presence, and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.”

They were shocked. “I do not believe my eyes!” one declared. “I cannot believe what I have read!”

Again they asked me how I came to know so much. And again I told them I read the Bible. “True faith is in the Lord, in the living God,” I said. “So now you can see for yourselves that there is a big difference between those of us who put faith in the living God and His Word and those of you who trust in stories and the words of men.”

Please pray that these men will study the Bible on their own and let the Holy Spirit speak to them through it.

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