Sid:  We want everyone everywhere to be explosively red hot for the Messiah, if not now when?  I mean this is the moment of God pouring out His Spirit on all flesh like I haven’t seen I was a brand new believer.  My guest Dr. Michael Brown, President of Fire School of Ministry, PhD in near Eastern languages and literatures from a secular university, New York University; reads, rights or understands at least twelve Semitic languages; considered one of the top Messianic Jewish scholars in the world.  And tell me some new things that are going on right now at Fire School of Ministry Dr. Brown.

Michael:  Well, we have just developed a one year program “Fire Immersion School” for everyone hungry for more of God.  Maybe you’re not sure where you’re going next in life or just getting out of high school or needing a life change; an intensive one year immersion in the word, in the Spirit and in the things of God.  It’s going to be extraordinary program starting this coming fall, this very year.  Then we’re instituting for the next level, Fire Leadership Institute which is also going to have within it a School of Jewish Ministry.  We’ve never had before a full focus, we’re bringing other top leaders and teachers to help train; that’s going to be part of our Fire Leader Institute.   So some real neat things happening, if folks go to your website they’ll get a link to my website, go to Fire. Find out what’s happening.  It’s an extraordinary time, and God’s moving in our midst.

Sid:  Okay, I am troubled over something you take on head on in your new book that we’re featuring this week, “What do Jewish People Think about Jesus” and other questions Christians ask about Jewish beliefs, practices and histories and mostly questions you’ve never even thought of asking.  But you will find fascinating, it’s going to open up the New Testament like you’ve never had it opened up before.  But I am troubles over all of these titles Dr. Brown, prophet this, apostle that, Rabbi this, what about the term Rabbi?  I read a commentary recently and it said, “Rabbi has the connotation of someone exalted, this would be the last thing Jesus would want his disciples to be called, exalted.

Michael:  Of course I deal with the question in my book and lay out both sides of the issue. I want to try and summarize that and then give you my heartfelt reaction.  First I think all the title stuff is wrong, be it apostle, or prophet this or teacher this, or pastor this. You know people call me Dr. Brown, it’s a certain point of reference like a medical doctor, PhD doctor or whatever, but in terms of a spiritual title you know I’m Mike Brown, Scott Fold who leads Fire Congregation is Scott.  Our guys in our midst that are apostolic or prophetic they’re just Bob or Josh or whoever, they are just people and I don’t see the need.  Listen I understand certain cultures people like to have it, I have friends of mine, black brothers who are pastors, and have churches under them and they’re called bishop.  And the New Testament in the King James makes reference to that office of bishop, I understand why people do it.  I certainly don’t judge the motivation of hearts.  But come on to hand me a business card with the name Apostle so and so it you know I…

Sid:   Let’s get closer to home, the title Rabbi.

Michael:  I respect my Messianic friends that use the title and the reasons they have for using it.  Personally I’m not at home with it, I chose in my book to give the evidence both ways and to give the discussion, and then to raise the point that within Israel Messianic Jewish leaders do not use the Rabbi title. I decided because of the nature of the book…

Sid:  Listen, Mike I find guys that have ten people they call it a congregation, they’ve had no training, they call themselves Rabbi, and they get instant respect in the Christian community.  I have a problem there.

Michael:  Listen, here’s my personal opinion, I have a problem there also, I think it actually hurts our witness to the Jewish community.  I’ll tell you why, a lot of our, we have Messianic “Rabbi’s who are Gentiles.”  We have rabbis’ who can’t even read Hebrew, we have Messianic Rabbis’ who are you know more Holy Ghost Christians than anything else, is that wrong to be a Holy Ghost Christian?  No, but when you’re just going to put a yarmulke on, put on a prayer shawl, use a couple of Hebrew prayers in a service, it discredits Jesus, it makes it look as if He’s also superficial, it makes it look as if…

Sid:  All right you go into detail in the book. Tell me something about Hasidic Jews, what are Hasidic Jews?

Michael:  Okay Hasidic Jews are groups of Jews that grew out of the 18 century, a man named Baal Shem Tov reacted against the rigid formalism of the Orthodox in his day, a rigid formalism with massive emphasis on study and a certain legalism to it.  He broke away from it and emphasized instead a mystical connection with God, and that a shepherd in a field could cry out and have a mystical connection with God.  The controversy was so great in the early days that the Orthodox Jews excommunicated the Hasidic Jews; they have persevered to the point that they are one of the larger groups of ultra-Orthodox Jews in the world today.  They are characterized by this emphasis on great devotion, mystical connection to God and then in particular they put emphasis on their spiritual leader that they call the Rebbi.

Sid:  Okay well speaking of spiritual leaders, in New York City, and Israel you see billboards of a Rabbi that died by the name of Rabbi Shearson. Who is he and why do they have billboards?

Michael:  Rabbi Shearson died in ’94 at the age of 92; he was the Grand Rabbi, or the Rebbi, of the Lubavitch sect of Hasidic Jews.  I lay out all the stuff in my book, names, terms, backgrounds etcetera.  They began to believe that he was the Messiah, they had mystical reasons for it, he helped spread Judaism around the world.  They said that he must be the Messiah and then he had a stroke, he couldn’t speak, they said, “Ah hah, Isaiah 53 said he’d be like a lamb going to the slaughter couldn’t speak,” etcetera, and then he died, which shocked them all.  Listen these guys were wearing beepers around the world in the early nineties waiting for the beeper to go off that the Rebbi had revealed himself as the Messiah.  Instead the word came out that he died, you said that was the end of it. They said, “No, he spiritually rose,” they said that, “His death was just a test of our faith.”  Some said that, “He would return,” some say “He would return,”  and they to this day many of them believe that he is king messiah, and they go around proclaiming him as messiah and calling Jews to return to traditional Judaism etcetera.

Sid:  But after all of these years they still believe many of them that he’s messiah?

Michael:  Oh, listen this movement has actually grown, it’s quite amazing the movement has grown.

Sid:  Well listen if they believe a messiah is going to die and come back from the dead that’s not a big stretch then to Jesus.

Michael:  Oh, this is tremendously exploited; I began to write on it immediately, others have said, “Hang on guys, you said the Messiah couldn’t die before he completed his mission, that he couldn’t rise from the dead, return etcetera, etcetera.  Check this out now, some of them even believe that he carries within himself the essence of God, some of them even teach that’s it’s acceptable to pray towards him.

Sid:  Oh, what a people group to reach. Tell me a bit about the cause and then this is a loaded question because of the shortness of time; the cause of so much anti-Semitism historically and even today.

Michael:  There’s no question that the Jewish people have been the most hated people, hated for the longest period of time, the most vicious ongoing widespread irrational hatred.  There are various reasons, people say that it’s economic, people say it’s because Jews are different, people say because you have to find a scape goat, people say it’s because of Christianity.  None of the reasons fully check out, there is universal anti-Semitism because God chose the Jews through whom to reveal Himself and to send His Messiah.  And the reason for anti-Semitism is because satan hates God, therefore satan hates the Jews, and wants to wipe them out and destroy them.  It is the ultimate reason for it.  And Sid I’ve given lectures at Yale and Columbia and laid those things out and nobody was able to come up with a better answer.

Sid:  Why should someone read your new book “What do Jewish People think about Jesus and Much, Much More?”

Michael:  Well, Jesus Himself is Jewish, the New Testament was written against a Jewish background, there’s daily controversy over the nation of Israel today.  There are Christians swing on all sides of the board, there are all kinds of Messianic Jewish beliefs, there are Messiah Jews that start well and then end up with weird fringed beliefs.

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