This transcript is taken from a Stand in the Gap Today program originally aired on 9/27/23. To listen to this program, please click HERE.
Jamie Mitchell: Well, good afternoon everyone, and welcome to the Wednesday edition of Stand in the Gap Today. I’m your host, Jamie Mitchell, director of Church Culture with the American Pastors Network, and my co-host today is Pastor Steve Harrelson. And today is our monthly program dedicated to Israel and understanding the Jewish people. One of the things that is so very crucial for any born again Christian to embrace and appreciate is the importance of Israel in God’s redemptive history both past, in the future, and present. And for anyone who is a Christ follower, there should be an innate love and affection for anything to do with the Holy man and the Hebrew people. And even though many in the house of Jacob do not acknowledge Jesus as the Messiah, we need to pray and believe and do all we can to reach and encourage them to know Jesus as the Christ.
We should not study Israel and Judaism just as a historical or prophetical or political subject, but also as a personal issue. And what I mean is that we should have a burden on our hearts to reach those in the Jewish faith. And today I am thrilled to have Pastor Carl Broggi, our regular guest on our Israel Focus episode, and today we want to talk about Israel in this way. How do we reach the Jew today? It is one thing to look back at the rich history and biblical significance of Israel and also to look forward to the role Israel will play when Christ returns, but what about today? What is happening with the Jewish people today and how do we reach them? Carl, it’s wonderful to have you again on Stand in the Gap Today.
Carl Broggi: Thank you, Jamie. It’s a pleasure to be here as always, and I’m looking forward to our time as we address this subject.
Jamie Mitchell: Carl, I’m really interested in this program today. I can’t wait to interact with you on this subject. I had the privilege of growing up in New York City. And my upbringing, I must have attended a dozen bar mitzvahs. And I had these wonderful friends who were Jewish. They loved me, I loved them, we loved our families. We had this mutual respect and understanding of our faiths. And over the years I’ve come to realize that many, if not most, evangelical Christians know very little about Judaism and they really don’t understand modern Jewish faith or even their own disposition towards Judaism. Is that what you have found as a pastor? Are evangelicals, for the most part, somewhat ignorant about today’s Jews? And why do you think that is?
Carl Broggi: Absolutely. I think you’re correct in your assessment of that. I think there’s probably two reasons. One is we don’t understand our roots. Most people don’t realize that when the church began, it was all Jewish. They had a Jewish Messiah, God the son, who lived in a Jewish land, who spoke a Jewish language. And on the day of Pentecost, the church had not existed before. It’s a new entity, and God forms the church and it’s all Jewish. And of course, as Jesus prophetically spoke in Acts 1:8. They were to go out from Jerusalem to Judea Samaria, then to the remotest parts of the world. And before long the church became less and less Jewish. It became more and more Gentile. And God always had his remnant, but there reached a point where it went from all Jewish to less Jewish to almost no Jews, to anti-Jewish. Because around the time of origin, to preach about a Jewish Messiah who would literally rule and reign on the earth, that was antithetical to the kings of the day. And so he began to allegorize scripture.
Augustine, who was discipled under him, bought into that mindset. And in the course of time, there was a growing anti-Semitic movement. Of course, Constantine comes on the show and he outlaws Jewishness, so to speak. To become a Christian. You have to renounce your Jewishness. And so it became very, very anti-Jewish. And that fed ultimately the Roman Catholic popes. It’s embarrassing to see when you go into Yad Vashem, the anti-Semitic displays of Augustine, the popes, and even the reformers like Luther and Calvin who said some really heinous things about the Jewish people. So I think that there’s that aspect of it. There’s just ignorance of our roots. We think, “Well, Jesus came on the scene, everybody’s a Christian.” And actually it’s just another form of Judaism. And of course when the temple’s destroyed, a lot of people are out of business like the Sadducees. And so now there’s two streams of Judaism, rabbinical which comes out of Phariseeism, and these Messianic Jews. One is ultimately taken over by the Gentiles and it becomes very hateful to the Jewish people themselves.
The second reason would be what Augustine planted the seeds for. It’s what we call replacement theology. And so the Roman church argued, “Hey, look, the Jewish people, they’re out of their land. They have no temple. God has obviously cursed them. We’re the new Israel.” Calvin and Luther who are of course converted out of that. They basically adopt the same view, just put a different spin on it and embrace the same kind of mindset. And sadly today, replacement theology in the last 30 years has become somewhat king in the American church. And a lot of people think, “Oh, there’s no significance for Jews.” Voddie Baucham, who I love, I would’ve had him in my church a few years ago, but the schedules didn’t match. But he just came out and did a sermon saying there’s no significance for Israel being in the land. John Piper, another replacement theologian said, “Israel is no more significant than Uganda.” And when this mindset is fed, people I think miss the rich significance of our Jewish heritage and the plans God has in the future for the nation.
Jamie Mitchell: You just came back from Israel. What is happening in the nation today? What’s the political climate and has many things changed since you were there last time?
Carl Broggi: Well, certainly Netanyahu is back in office, which was a huge, huge step. And that largely took place through these coalitions coming together. But it was the Orthodox Jewish people who put him into office and with it came an agenda. So I think that’s of super significance. And of course, there’s still growing antisemitism towards the nation. Just yesterday, all these incendiary devices were sent out of the Gaza Strip into southern Jerusalem burning their crops. The Israeli government responded by bombing some of the Genesis sites there in the Gaza Strip. Iran continues to say they want to blow Israel off the map and into the sea. And yesterday as well, that was a Monday, the Israeli government bombed a major rocket site in western Iran.
I’m not against the Iranians. In fact, one of the greatest revivals in the world has taken place among Iranians who are turning to Jesus. But we do know prophetically in the end that nation with Russia and a few others will turn against Israel and that great war of Gog and Magog. But the nation is, interestingly, people keep coming. So from the last time 18 months I was there, what do I do? I meet more and more Jews from America, from other nations, especially Ukraine. God has used the conflict there to bring the Jewish people back in the land. And it’s again, a prophetic picture that God wrote about centuries before.
Jamie Mitchell: Listen, I’ve taken a couple of trips to Israel. I would encourage you to do it as a believer. It will open your eyes to the scriptures, but it’ll also help you understand the spiritual condition of the people in the land today. And that’s what we’re talking about. When we get back, we’re going to talk about the spiritual condition of the Jewish people today and how do we, knowing Jesus the Messiah, reach them. Join us back for the next segment of Stand in the Gap Today.
Jamie Mitchell: Well welcome back to Stand in the Gap and our monthly focus on Israel. Our guest is Pastor Carl Broggi from Community Bible Church in Beaufort, South Carolina. And today we’re discussing how to understand today’s Jew and thus become more effective in opening their eyes and their heart to the reality of Jesus as their Messiah. Carl, I think many of our listeners would be surprised to learn that a place so abundant with biblical history like Israel, that many of those who live in the country today are not practicing Jews or at best maybe hold to a strict belief or conviction about their faith. Can you share with us what is the overall spiritual condition of the Jew today in Israel?
Carl Broggi: It’s a phenomenal question, Jamie. Most would divide the religious makeup of Israel, the three or four groups, about 10% are what we would call ultra orthodox you always see them garbed with the black hats and the teraphim and all the rest. About 20% would be Orthodox Jews, not ultra orthodox. That doesn’t mean they might not wear a black hat, but their observance is a little keyed down from the ultra Orthodox. So about 30%, generally speaking, are practicing observant Jews or kosher. They’re going to respect the Sabbath and so forth. About 50% are what we would call traditional Jews. Basically, they will modify some of their practices. They’ll drive their car probably on the Sabbath. They’re not concerned about the use of electricity and things like that. Most of them will have a Shabbat meal. But for the most part, it’s just somewhat of a modern expression of their heritage, but they’re really not committed to it. They may or may not even go to the synagogue on Saturday.
And then there’s what you call the secular Jews and they make up the balance. And of course, they’re heavily in places like Tel Aviv. They’ll have the pro LGBTQIA marches and everything else. They’re super critical, yet some of them will even have a Shabbat meal, but not for the same religious reasons but more just a nice thing to do, get some friends together. So that’s the complexion in terms of the Jewish population. And yet you’ve got 92% of Jews still get circumcised. I think I read recently 98 people still have a mezuzah on their door, and that would include even the secularists. With that said, there’s a great movement of what God is doing amongst Messianic Jews. It was said that in 1948 when Israel became a nation, there are three known following Messianic Jews, Jewish Christians we might call them or completed Jews. Today there’s over 30,000 plus according to One For Israel, which is a really credible group. They identify 77 congregations of Jewish believers across the country.
So God is doing a work, he’s gathering them into the land. Before they’re going to be regenerated in a broad way, he has to bring them first back into the land. So there’s much that’s happening.
Jamie Mitchell: Obviously as evangelicals, we would measure our effectiveness by how we do with training people for ministry. What is the current situation regard to rabbinical training and the growth of Jewish spiritual leaders in the land?
Carl Broggi: Oh, wow. This organization, One For Israel, which I think is a premier evangelical Jewish organization, it actually represents the only Jewish evangelical seminary in all of Israel. It’s 98% Jewish men. The balance are converted Muslims and Arabs who’ve come to know Jesus’s Lord and they want to go to seminary. So they study there with their Jewish brothers. But they are a great equipping organization. And what they do so well on a scholarly level is they help the Jewish brothers to think through the typical arguments that Jewish people are going to throw at them, that Jesus was not really divine, that the Trinity, well, that’s a manmade doctrine. The Bible doesn’t even teach it, some will say. Tertullian invented it. And so they’ll deal in a scholarly way with some of the objections and really equipping these Jewish pastors, which are what they’re becoming, an evangelists, to reach the Jewish people there in Israel.
Steve Harrelson: Fascinating. Pastor Carl, this is Pastor Steve here. It’s great to be on with you today. I found myself on a flight the other day to Amsterdam. And I was sitting next to a very sweet elderly lady, a PhD, Israeli citizen scholar, and yet she identified as being a secular Jew. But in talking to her, she was very proud of her Jewishness, and it seemed that she still held to a lot of the Jewish traditions. Do you find that to be annoying?
Carl Broggi: Well, it is interesting because amongst the secular Jewish people, like I say, most of them will still have a Shabbat meal. They’ll circumcise their young men, they’ll have a mezuzah on the door. And so there’s a certain appreciation for their Jewishness. But some of the secular Jews would even call themselves atheists. That number has diminished greatly since the birth of the nation. When you had all these people who came out of the Holocaust and they saw the brutality against their people, they said, “There mustn’t be a God and some ascribed to that.”
But these people, very often, they’re open just like any Gentile. There’s an emptiness on the inside, they don’t know how to fill it. I sat next to a gentleman flying home from Israel for 10 hours. He just was hitting me with question after question after question. And he initiated the conversation. He was searching. And there are many people like that today in Israel. And again, I think God is prepping the nation for the greatest revival that will actually be led by Jewish people after the church is removed during the time of Jacob’s trouble, and it’s going to lead to a huge number of Jewish people being converted and confessing Jesus is Lord.
Jamie Mitchell: Carl, let me ask you a question. In regards to your interaction with Jews in Israel, obviously they know you’re an evangelical pastor, that’s probably the reason why you’re there, and so on and so forth. But as you interact with the people of Jewish faith in Israel, what do they feel about Christians? What is their attitude towards Christians? We’re talking about our attitude towards a Jew. What is their attitude towards us?
Carl Broggi: Well, the average Jew, when they see so-called Christians in Israel, they see largely Roman Catholics, they see Armenian Orthodox, Eastern Orthodox, and they see actions that are literally covered over in what we would consider even as evangelical Christians to be idolatry. They’ve all gone to Yad Vashem and the first little alcove highlights Christians like Augustine of Hippo who said evil things against the Jewish people. They’re familiar with Calvin’s words. He said the Jews are rotten and unbending people that deserve to be oppressed without measure and to live in misery. Luther said their synagogue should be set on fire. Their homes should be destroyed. The rabbi should be forbidden to teach and so on and so forth. Their passports should be taken away. And of course, Hitler quoted Luther in the churches during the Second World War to get the German people on board. And add that to the mix of popes that have been some of the most anti-Semitic people in the name of Christianity.
A lot of them, that’s their perception, but some are realizing that there’s a difference between these nominal Christians and these evangelicals. Because the evangelicals they are realizing are their best friends, that they are pro-Israel, that they want a president who’s going to be pro-Israel because they understand that the blessing of God even on our own nation will be taken off because God will bless those who bless Israel. He’ll curse those who don’t. And so they appreciate that aspect of evangelicalism. Not all of them realize that. And so you get into conversation and you help them to understand that everything that’s been done in the name of Christianity has been done by real Christians. And you have to kind of disarm them because they carry that, and rightly so. That’s their perception of Christianity for many of them.
Jamie Mitchell: You listen to Benjamin Netanyahu, especially when he interacts with evangelical Christians. He understands how much we appreciate the Jew and how important the nation of Israel is in our theology. That’s what I’ve picked up. Is that what you’ve picked up over the time?
Carl Broggi: No question. No question. I was getting ready to bring a group down into Hezekiah’s Tunnel and I was reading a portion of scripture. I just reminded the people that God waited until the fulfillment of Amorites’ sin, until the fullness of their sin would come in. And then God said he’d released the Jewish people out of Egypt and bring them into the land of promise. I said, “People describe the Jews here as oppressors and hateful against Muslims and this and that, when in reality God gave them the land and he told them to go back to the land, into this land that was basically sacrificing babies to Moloch. They were doing evil beyond evil.”
And after I’d just given that brief talk, the man who’s over that whole site stopped me and he said, “Who are you? Where are you from? This is like refreshing. I just want to thank you that you care about the Jewish people and you don’t view us as oppressors.” And I said, “Well, I’m what we would call an evangelical Christian.” But again, sadly in evangelicalism today, you have all these people who are embracing replacement theology that there’s no future for the Jewish people, and that’s not helping. And so the Evangelical that says no, we will call them dispensationalist, dispensationalism, bottom line is there’s a distinction between Israel and the church. And they recognize though that there is a different group that sees things differently and we need to help them because they’re going to listen to us more than they will to other people.
Jamie Mitchell: Well, it’s really important to understand the disposition of the Jewish people and their view of spirituality. When we come back, we’re going to cross the ocean. We’re going to come here to the United States. What is Judaism like here and how can we reach the Jew today? Join us back for the third segment of Stand in the Gap.
Jamie Mitchell: Well, we’re talking with Pastor Carl Broggi, our monthly guest in regards to everything to do with Israel. And Carl, we normally address prophetic elements of Israel and the role that they’ll play in the future, but our focus today is concerning present day Jews and most importantly how to reach them. Let’s talk about Judaism here in the United States and what we may encounter on any given day when we interact or run into a person of the Jewish faith. Carl, what should we understand about Jews here to the United States? Is there a difference to a Jew who lives here and one that lives in Israel?
Carl Broggi: Yes. Well, I would say overall, Orthodox Jews here in the United States would mimic Orthodox Jews in Israel. And of course in Israel, the Orthodox community has now come from over a hundred nations of the world that God has brought them back into the land. But apart from that, you have reformed Jews and conservative Jews in the US. They’re much more liberal in their perspective. They would be many of them pro gay rights, just a lot of evil things, abortion and things like that. And so their perspective is very, very different. They’re more like, sadly, the average American. But with that said, there is sometimes an open door with those two groups of Jewish people that you might not find with the Orthodox, largely because they’re ignorant of what their own scriptures teach and they’re very open to anything spiritual, and of course because they’re just going to claim their Jewishness in terms of their ethnicity, but not necessarily in terms of their religion.
And so there’s an open door of opportunity that you might not get with the Orthodox. But with the Orthodox, again, the big stumbling block for them is, A, this concept of the Trinity, that the Christians believe in three gods and we don’t. And so what’s helpful is to show them really from the Torah, from the Old Testament scriptures, that the Triunity of God is something that is affirmed and taught from their own Bible, that this is not some inventive doctrine that Christians made up. And some of them say even the New Testament doesn’t teach the doctrine of the Trinity, that Constantine invented it, or maybe Tertullian when he coined the term Trinitarian. And so you have to meet them on their own ground with their own scripture. It’s not difficult, but it does take a little bit of study so you know what you’re going to say and you understand where they’re coming from because every Sabbath, they cite the Shammai here on Israel, the Lord, that God is one God. And they would say that we deny that and therefore we’re really idolatrous.
Steve Harrelson: Fascinating. Pastor Carl, coming back to what I was telling you a while ago about my conversation with this Jewish PhD on my flight, I went above and beyond to explain to her that I was a dispensational Christian and that I had a great love and appreciation for the Jewish people because they gave us the scriptures, because they gave me my Messiah, and I was just trying to explain that to her and kind of bridge the gap with her a little bit to create an opportunity to witness. When it comes to Jews in America, how did they view how Christians feel about them? In other words, whenever people like us show a love and interest in Israel, do you think that most Jews get that?
Carl Broggi: Some of them are surprised, but they can sense if it’s real and if it’s genuine, versus all these nominal Christians that we have across the US that are just Christian in name only and there’s no appreciation for the Jewish people. But when they meet these born again people, especially born again who have an appreciation for the Jewish people because we’re not replacement theologians, they sense that and we have their ear. In that kind of a setting, like anyone else, I remind them the question you’ve got to ask and answer is, “Is the Tanakh, are the Old Testament scriptures true? Did God actually inspire that book?” And many of them don’t know. And so you start there and what are the internal proofs that show for the uniqueness of scripture and even the preservation of scripture? Because they’re given the same arguments, a lot of secular Jews in the US, that Gentiles will throw at you, the Bible’s been translated so many times and it’s filled with error and it’s not what it originally said.
And so you start with, “On what basis do we know that the Tanakh, the Old Testament, is authoritative?” And if it is authoritative, then the question that you have to ask and answer is, “Did Jesus fulfill the prophecies concerning the coming Messiah?” If he did, it’s critically important. And I’ll often tell them, I’ll say, “Look, if you are right and I’m wrong, if you’re right in that Jesus is not the Messiah and I’m wrong, it really doesn’t matter. But if I’m right and you’re wrong, nothing else matters because Jesus doesn’t claim to be a good way to God or the best way to God, but the only way to God.” And He Himself said that he won’t even return until the Jewish people say of Him blessed as He who comes in the name of the Lord, which they’re going to do as a result of the tribulation period where there’s a mass turning of the Jewish people to faith.
So again, we’re starting on the same basis that we do with many Gentiles. “Hey, is the Bible true? And if it is true, are the claims that Jesus made about himself relevant and should I believe them?” So that’s where I like to take them down that course if I can.
Jamie Mitchell: Carl, we’re trying to help our audience today understand maybe some of the attitudes or the mindset of the American Jewish person. Growing up in New York, being around a fairly large Jewish community, I was always interested in the political leanings of the Jewish people because I used to think to myself, “You really should be conservative. You should be much more conservative.” But I found that the Jewish person leaned liberally a lot. And then I had a friend of mine explain it to me. He said, “You know, all I know is my grandfather forever loved Harry Truman because he helped us get our country back. And so I’m always going to be a Democrat because of what Harry Truman did.” As you look at the landscape of the Jews in America, do you see a lining up in some political way? And should we be sensitive or understand that if we’re trying to dialogue with the Jewish person today?
Carl Broggi: Well, with the Orthodox Jews in America, they are almost always anti Democrat to start because they find it repulsive of the morality that that party is trying to wave its flag in their pro-abortion rights. So they’re against the Democratic Party, but they make a much smaller percentage of all the Jewish people in America. But what’s beginning to change, and it’s interesting, is that many of these reformed and conservative secular Jews in America are beginning to think twice about the Democrat Party and they realize, “Hey, look, Harry Truman was a Baptist. He had some kind of a fear for the living God.” Whether or not he’s born again, I’m not his judge, but what he did was remarkable for the Jewish people, but he did it, I remind them, on the basis of a biblical conviction. In fact, he called himself the Cyrus of the 20th century. And so he understood that he was acting on scripture.
And I remind them, I said, “The modern day Democrat is not a Harry Truman. They don’t think the way Harry Truman thought. Harry Truman would never have stood for the things that this party stands for today.” And so especially with Trump and wanting to move, acknowledge Jerusalem, is there a capital and move our embassy there, it’s beginning to change, which is positive. But sometimes we look at the Jewish people and we think, “Oh, they just won’t be interested.” Depending whose numbers you read, there’s somewhere between 150,00 to 300,000 Messianic Jews now in the nation. When I became a born again Christian in 1975, there was approximately 10,000. So it’s exploding in terms of the reception, in terms of what is happening with Jewish people here in the culture. And we need to be praying for opportunity like Paul asked for prayer in Colossians 4 for an open door because God has commanded us not to ignore the Jewish people. And when he brings people our way, we should walk through that door and speak to them.
The problem is more and more Christians today don’t even share their faith with Gentiles, much less Jews. They have just stopped because they’re too consumed with social media and worldliness. And that’s probably why I think we’re approaching the time when God is going to switch gears and he’s going to remove the Gentile church and he’s going to let the Jewish people take over as predicted in the Old Testament in the Book of Revelation, chapter 7 and 14.
Jamie Mitchell: When I was growing up, across the street from me was the Ross family. Their son was a good friend of mine. We talked all the time. And he revealed to me one day that his dad’s real name was Rosenberg, not Ross. And I asked him why he changed it. He said, “Well, when he came to this country, he was afraid, especially because many of his family went through the Holocaust.” How much does the Holocaust play in the attitude of the Jew here in America? And we have about a minute left.
Carl Broggi: Well, they know that they’re the most hated people on the face of the Earth. They always have been, whether it’s the Hamans or the Hitlers. There’s no other explanation except the evil one who is behind it all. And after the Holocaust, people thought, “Well, this will never happen again.” And now we have this growing anti-Semitism. It’s creeping in the United States. It’s exploding in Western Europe, which is why many Jews are leaving and going to Israel. And someday, as the Revelation teaches, all the nations of the world are going to go against Israel.
Jamie Mitchell: Well, we said at the start of this program, most of the American Evangelical church is really not dialed in into Judaism. And it might be one of the reasons that we don’t see many of our Jewish friends trusting Jesus as the Christ. In our last segment, we want to get practical and lay out some things that we can do to share the gospel with those in the House of Israel. Stay with us return for our last segment here at Stand in the Gap Today.
Jamie Mitchell: Well, welcome back. The Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 1, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” Paul was a devout Jew who literally killed those who followed Christ. He had determined that Christians were heretics, but then he was radically saved. He was no longer Saul the murderer, but Paul the missionary, and he set out to give the gospel to everybody, Jew and Gentile. However, he never lost sight that the good news of Jesus came first to the Jew and then later to the Gentile. And God has always had a special place in his heart for the family of Abraham. And today, we as Christ followers should share that same burden and love for the people of Jewish faith. That’s what we’re talking today.
And Carl, I want to be practical here. I want you to put your Equipper pastor hat on for a moment as we consider how to share our faith with Jewish people. Are there a few key things… We’ve talked a lot about how to shape the message through this radio program, but are there some practical things as you approach or you dialogue with the Jew about the gospel that you would share with even those in your congregation?
Carl Broggi: There is. First and foremost, Jamie, I’d say to people, “You need to pray.” This is true for all of our evangelism, that God would, as Paul says in Colossians 4, “He asked them for prayer that God would give them an open door for the word. And then when the door is open, that they might make it clear.” And sadly, most Christians are not praying that. They don’t wake up and say, “Lord, there’s someone maybe today you want me to share Jesus with? Maybe they’re Jewish, maybe they’re Gentile. Help me to see it and make it clear.” And when Christians begin to do that, because there are so few, you become like a magnet and God begins to bring people your way.
I spent five years as a campus pastor at Duke University from 80 to 85, and the campus at the time was 28% Jewish. And so we did a lot of Jewish evangelism. And with many of them, you couldn’t pull out the New Testament. They weren’t interested. You had to share the gospel from the Old Testament. And of course, that’s what Jesus did with the Emmaus Road disciples. We ought to least know every believer, at least one text of scripture, where we could take someone through the plan of salvation. And I would say the premier text would be Isaiah 53, number one, because Jesus in John 12 said it spoke of him, the apostles John and Peter quoted as speaking of Jesus. Philip, when he encounters the Ethiopian eunuch says it’s about him. And so to be able to walk through that passage of scripture and to show that it is fulfilled in the Lord Jesus and that he can provide forgiveness.
People are the same wherever you go. They’re looking for meaning in life. Many are empty on the inside. They don’t have answers. They need to know that their sins can be forgiven. And when we’re praying for those opportunities, there are certainly people who love the darkness and they’re not interested in the light, Jew and Gentile alike, but when we’re praying for those opportunities, God is going to bring people our way. Like Benjamin, who’s sat next to me like a rabbi friend Hanock Taylor that I sat next to for 10 hours on an aircraft going over to Israel. There are people that God is preparing and helping them to see who Jesus is. So we should learn a passage of scripture like Isaiah 53. Most Jews don’t read the scriptures. Even those who are in so-called seminaries. They read the Talmud, they read what people said about the scriptures, but they don’t read the scriptures.
Isaiah 53 is a forbidden passage. Rashi, a great Jewish rabbi, didn’t want people to read that because I think he feared they might be converted. I’ve read that portion of scripture before to someone not knowing where it’s from, a Jewish person one day, and I said, “Where do you think this is from?”
“Well, that’s from your New Testament, right? That’s about Jesus.” I said, “Actually, this is from your Bible. And it’s from the prophet Isaiah.” And so it’s not about Israel. Liberal Judaism would say, “Well, that’s about Israel. They’re the servant.” It can’t be because of the use of the pronouns, the description of the person that they are cut off. Israel has never been cut off. They’ve gone through great hardship and tragedy, but they’ve never been obliterated, cut off as a nation. He’s raised back to life. I mean, miracle after miracle, he’s viewed as sinless. You couldn’t say that even from the prophet Isaiah because he repeatedly highlights the sin of the nation. And so, it’s an important passage for us to understand and to have at least one that we can use in Jewish evangelism. Thank God for the Holy Spirit because he goes behind us and in front of us, he opens blind’s eyes to the truth of the gospel. He can help people to see things that I could never help them to see and bring people into the kingdom.
Steve Harrelson: Amen. Brother Carl, you just made reference to Isaiah 53. There was even a claim by many that that chapter was actually added in later to the text by Christians. And that became popular for a while until the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered, and they found that what we would call Isaiah 53 has always been in there. But when it comes to Christians, you made the point that a lot of times we don’t evangelize. For those who do, who feel a strong love for the Jews and a great zeal, we know that to be zealous is good, but we also don’t want to be like a bull in a China shop. We need to have knowledge when it comes to our witness. We need to have sensitivity. So what should we not do whenever we are evangelizing and dialoguing with Jews about the Lord Jesus Christ?
Carl Broggi: Well, certainly we shouldn’t compromise the truth and make them think that just because they’re Jewish and God chose them as a nation, that they’re automatically going to heaven. And sadly, there are some people who have taught that in the modern day church. But two, we should be sensitive to their Jewishness and affirm it, that we’re not asking them to deny their Jewishness anymore than I’m being asked to deny the fact that I have Italian and Irish blood flowing through my veins, that your ethnicity does not change, and that they are becoming really a completed Jew, a Messianic Jew. And that can be very helpful for them because again, even the term Christian, Christianity, the term is found nowhere in the Bible. The term Christian is found only three places in the New Testament, and it has Jewish roots. It’s the Greek word obviously for the Hebrew term Mashiach or Messiah.
And you’re not trying to make them a Christian. You’re trying to help them to see Jesus is their Messiah, God in human flesh who can forgive their sin. And that he can not only forgive their sin, but fulfill a need in their life to know the Lord. And so Jeremiah 31, Ezekiel 36, the promises of the new covenant can be a real eyeopener to them, that God can walk in them, that they can know the Lord from the greatest to the least, that they don’t need just a rabbi to be able to approach the living God, that they personally can have a relationship with the Lord through forgiveness of sins that only the Messiah can provide.
And so I would remind them, too, of a couple of big things, why good deeds can’t save them. Good deeds can’t save them because it can’t remove the stain of sin, and it’s our iniquity that has created a separation between us and our God. And number two, it can’t satisfy the penalty of sin, which is death. The Prophet Ezekiel said, “The soul that sins must die.” If you commit a heinous crime worthy of death, you can’t say, “Well, I’ll do community service.” And that’s basically the Jewish religion. We’ll do things to make up for it. No death must satisfy a righteous God. But the God who said it promised that he would fulfill it in the Messiah, and he did in Jesus Christ.
Jamie Mitchell: Carl, this is so informative and so helpful. Thank you so much. I just know and believe that what our listening audience hears, and maybe those who will listen to it later on, they will have a renewed interest and begin to strategically reach out to those who come from the Jewish faith.
We hope that this happened to you today. Look around, pray for opportunities. Consider those who are of the household of Jacob, and ask God to open those doors of ministry so that you can give them the good news that Jesus is the Messiah. Well, for Carl, for Steve, for myself, for Sam Rohrer and the rest of us here at Stand in the Gap, God bless you. Until tomorrow, live and lead with courage.