The Jewish roots of Christianity

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Series: “Esther (2017)”
For Such A Time As This
The Book of Esther is one of the Jewish people’s favorites. In this eight-program television series, Dr. Jeffrey Seif explains its details, and points out that, like Esther herself, we Believers may be alive for such a time as this.
Episode: “Called to be Courageous”
Faced with a plot to destroy the Jews, Esther wavers but decides her sacrifice is worth it, and says, “If I perish, I perish!” Would that we all had such resolve!

Caption transcript for Esther (2017): “Called to be Courageous” (3/8)

  • 00:05 Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel
  • 00:09 is that they might be saved
  • 00:12 for there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek
  • 00:14 for the same Lord over all
  • 00:17 is rich unto all that call upon him.
  • 00:40 Hi, I'm David Hart.
  • 00:41 Welcome to Zola Levitt Presents
  • 00:43 And I'm Kirsten Hart.
  • 00:44 We're in our series "Esther, for Such a Time as This"
  • 00:49 And today we will be talking about the fact that
  • 00:51 we are all called to be courageous
  • 00:55 just as Esther and Mordecai were courageous.
  • 00:58 Our Guest Teacher who we love,
  • 00:59 we know that you love him too,
  • 01:01 Dr. Jeffrey Seif is with us.
  • 01:03 And we have another Hebrew Lesson.
  • 01:05 We love learning our Hebrew.
  • 01:06 Every week we have this in our series.
  • 01:09 Esther is Queen
  • 01:10 but Haman's rage grows.
  • 01:13 Now let's go to our dramatic reenactment.
  • 01:21 Haman, Chief of all the princes in the Persian Empire
  • 01:24 has just issued a decree.
  • 01:27 All Jews, every man woman and child
  • 01:31 shall die and their possessions taken.
  • 01:35 Grief stricken and in mourning, Mordecai sits at the King's Gate
  • 01:39 employing an trusted servant to inform Esther of Haman's wicked plan.
  • 02:01 Mordecai was mortified.
  • 02:04 And why is that?
  • 02:05 Because he knew annihilation would be soon coming
  • 02:10 and didn't know what to do.
  • 02:13 The people who dug this trench had the very same feeling some years ago
  • 02:18 when Israel was engaged in a battle royal for her very survival.
  • 02:24 She was but an infant in 1948 just coming into her own
  • 02:28 when the Syrians were bent on
  • 02:32 wiping out the fledgling Jewish state.
  • 02:34 Here at the Deganya Kibbutz in the Galilee
  • 02:40 known as "mother of all kibbutz'"
  • 02:44 where Israel pioneers labor together
  • 02:47 to turn land from desert into a garden
  • 02:51 to make that which had been neglected productive.
  • 02:55 One hand fought to cultivate the earth.
  • 02:58 The other hand fought to maintain their station on the earth
  • 03:01 as forces are bent on their utter destruction.
  • 03:05 Here at the Degania they got word that the Syrians were coming.
  • 03:09 It was incumbent on them to mount a spirited defense.
  • 03:14 But what do we do?
  • 03:16 What do they have?
  • 03:18 Next to nothing.
  • 03:20 But some had small hand weapons.
  • 03:22 More importantly they had a dint of determination.
  • 03:24 More importantly they had God.
  • 03:28 They built a trench.
  • 03:30 The trench stopped the advance of a tank column.
  • 03:33 Helped by molotov cocktails,
  • 03:35 sowed fear into the camp and they retreated.
  • 03:39 Speaking of fear in the camp
  • 03:44 when we look in the book of Esther Chapter 4
  • 03:48 there was fear in the camp alright.
  • 03:51 Mordecai was perplexed.
  • 03:54 We're told in verse 1,
  • 04:13 A symbol of grief and mourning
  • 04:16 because he's gotten word of a decree
  • 04:19 from that wicked Haman to annihilate the Jews.
  • 04:23 We're told,
  • 04:33 He was in the mourning mood because he knew that death was eminent
  • 04:38 not just for himself but for his people.
  • 04:42 And we're told,
  • 04:51 He cries, he mourns.
  • 04:53 He was working with the question.
  • 04:56 Well, first of all he's just permeated by shock and misery.
  • 05:01 There's that moment after - what are we going to do?
  • 05:05 You've heard the bad news.
  • 05:07 And the question is,
  • 05:09 after reeling with despair and misery...
  • 05:13 People seek the Lord, they come to their wits to a certain extent
  • 05:18 and they decide how to rebuild from there.
  • 05:21 Well, right here years ago similarly a bad report was dispatched
  • 05:28 and individuals were called upon
  • 05:31 to stand up and mount as spirited a defense as they could.
  • 05:35 The good news apparently is that God was with
  • 05:38 and the net result is that this land is securely in Israeli hands right now.
  • 05:43 And people are thriving and living and loving all around.
  • 05:46 Why is that? - because they stood their ground.
  • 05:50 We're going to consider how Mordecai did that as our story continues.
  • 06:01 We here at Zola Levitt Ministries
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  • 06:31 Hello, my name is Andrea Davis
  • 06:33 and I've been working with Zola Levitt Ministries for over 20 years.
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  • 06:40 it's a calling.
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  • 07:40 Now, as we return to our dramatic reenactment
  • 07:43 Mordecai gets a message to Queen Esther.
  • 07:46 Let's go to our drama now.
  • 07:50 Mordecai's message of Haman's wicked plan
  • 07:52 is conveyed to Queen Esther.
  • 07:55 She's left in a quandary.
  • 08:25 "Don't just stand there, do something".
  • 08:29 You ever heard that expression before?
  • 08:31 I mention that because sometimes
  • 08:33 when you're overwhelmed by circumstance
  • 08:36 you can feel so little and the problems can be so big you wonder
  • 08:40 what on God's earth am I going to do?
  • 08:44 I mention that because to be sure Esther felt that.
  • 08:48 We know in Esther 4:10-12 in response to the troubles of the day she says
  • 08:55 Who am I?
  • 08:56 What am I?
  • 08:57 I have no access to the king.
  • 09:00 I can't get to Xerxes.
  • 09:01 I can't fix this.
  • 09:03 I'm real little, the problem's real big.
  • 09:06 Her immediate response is to cower in the face of the obstacle.
  • 09:11 Happily however she was able to get her equilibrium.
  • 09:14 Mordecai is going to come back and encourage her
  • 09:17 and off she is going to go and find her future.
  • 09:20 The people here felt the same to be sure.
  • 09:24 A fledgling little nation state,
  • 09:26 people that are ill equipped
  • 09:28 and we're at a time when the Syrians have big guns
  • 09:32 and they had very little guns.
  • 09:34 But sometimes you got to jump into the fray and do something.
  • 09:39 And that's the story of the day.
  • 09:41 That's the story here
  • 09:43 and that's the story here
  • 09:45 And I think that's the story for people like me and like you.
  • 09:50 We live in a world today where evil is having its day.
  • 09:56 And we do well to prayerfully seek the Lord,
  • 09:59 Lord what would you have me to do?
  • 10:02 Where do I have influence?
  • 10:04 What do I have that I can throw into the war effort?"
  • 10:08 It can mean influence in a certain capacity.
  • 10:11 It can mean revenue,
  • 10:12 taking a stand different ways on different days
  • 10:15 for the things God has put on your heart
  • 10:18 that you know to be true.
  • 10:21 My encouragement to you speaking about this from here is to prayerfully,
  • 10:27 carefully seek the Lord how he would have you advocate in this world
  • 10:33 where there is plenty of Hamans around.
  • 10:35 The big Haman, of course, is the devil himself
  • 10:38 who incarnates in different people
  • 10:40 and works through different circumstance
  • 10:43 to provide trouble for God's people,
  • 10:46 for his plan, his will and His ways.
  • 10:49 I hope you would join me in standing up.
  • 10:52 Here particularly I'm minded of the need to advocate
  • 10:56 for Christians to stand behind the Jewish people
  • 10:59 as Jewish people today as yesterday
  • 11:02 as we find ourselves in a battle royal in a world where
  • 11:07 forces marshaled in Persia of antiquity, Iran in modernity
  • 11:12 are bent on coming
  • 11:14 and doing what the people who drove this tank tried to do.
  • 11:18 They wanted to destroy Israel - they failed.
  • 11:21 May God give good success today for
  • 11:23 those who want to stand up and hold back the prevailing anarchy.
  • 11:42 We here at Zola Levitt Ministries
  • 11:44 depend 100% on gifts of funds from viewers like you
  • 11:49 and we could use your help.
  • 11:51 With your donation of $20 or more
  • 11:53 please accept our gift of 2 koozies
  • 11:55 to keep your canned drinks cool
  • 11:57 and show that you're not lukewarm
  • 11:59 to the Jewish roots of your Christian faith.
  • 12:01 Call us or donate online.
  • 12:03 But remember to ask for your 2 free koozies
  • 12:06 with your donation of $20 or more.
  • 12:09 We thank you for your support.
  • 12:12 We'll return to our program in just a moment
  • 12:14 but first I wanted to ask,
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  • 13:28 Is the fact that we have wonderful Messianic Teachers
  • 13:32 that will hop on your bus every day
  • 13:34 and teach you about their land and their people.
  • 13:39 And now let's go to Deanna in Israel
  • 13:41 for our Hebrew lesson today.
  • 13:46 Shalom Haverim from the Galilee.
  • 13:49 The book of Esther is read from
  • 13:51 an ancient manuscript
  • 13:52 called the Megillah
  • 13:54 which means "Scroll".
  • 13:56 There are ancient Megillah
  • 13:57 and modern ones
  • 13:59 that tell the amazing story of Esther.
  • 14:01 Megillah is also a popular slang word here in Israel
  • 14:05 where you can use for example
  • 14:07 if someone tells you their whole life story
  • 14:09 you could say, "WOW, that was a whole Megillah !
  • 14:14 Thank you Deanna.
  • 14:16 We hope that you are learning
  • 14:18 some great new Hebrew words.
  • 14:19 I know that we are every week.
  • 14:21 So let's say this word together.
  • 14:23 Say it with us.
  • 14:23 You ready?
  • 14:24 Megillah
  • 14:26 Which means?
  • 14:27 It's the Hebrew Scroll.
  • 14:28 So they would open this big scroll,
  • 14:31 and they still do now,
  • 14:32 and they read the story of Esther from the Megillah .
  • 14:36 Love it!
  • 14:37 It's beautiful.
  • 14:38 If you've ever wondered where the phrase for
  • 14:41 "For such a time as this" came from
  • 14:44 stay with us right now
  • 14:45 you're about to find out.
  • 15:51 "If I perish, I perish"
  • 15:53 It's more than just a line in literature.
  • 15:56 Some do perish in the course of making a
  • 16:00 spirited defense for the ancestral homeland for the people.
  • 16:04 This fellow's name was Avraham Shmuel.
  • 16:08 He died here aged 17.
  • 16:12 This fellow here Yehuda Leiv
  • 16:16 was 19 years of age, a soldier.
  • 16:21 This fellow here Michael age 24.
  • 16:25 Michael was a warring angel in the book of Daniel.
  • 16:29 died here at Degania.
  • 16:34 Raphael, in Jewish perception, the name of another angel,
  • 16:39 he died here at age 20.
  • 16:43 And not far from here,
  • 16:45 to bring our story home a little bit,
  • 16:47 there's a fella,
  • 16:48 his name was Mordecai.
  • 16:51 Age 31 gave up his life
  • 16:54 in defense of his country.
  • 16:57 I mention this because the hour was desperate.
  • 17:01 And Mordecai, not this Mordecai,
  • 17:04 but the one for who he's named
  • 17:08 was at a place
  • 17:10 where he was leaning on Esther and he said,
  • 17:12 who knows whether you have not come into your kingdom
  • 17:20 for such a time as this.
  • 17:24 In Hebrew....
  • 17:39 Esther, I need to lean on you to take a stand.
  • 17:44 She considered the matter and knew in her heart of hearts
  • 17:48 she needed herself to throw the dice of
  • 17:51 her own life against an uncertain future.
  • 17:55 She had reckoned that providence,
  • 17:56 God had guided her affairs to give her place of influence, resource,
  • 18:03 utility she could throw against the troubles of day.
  • 18:09 She processes it all finally
  • 18:11 even realizing the danger associated with her unannounced,
  • 18:17 uninvited petition to the king.
  • 18:19 She realizes there's danger but what does she say?
  • 18:26 Listen, if I perish, I perish.
  • 18:32 Some do perish - some don't.
  • 18:36 But all of us with biblical virtue in our hearts are called upon.
  • 18:42 The Ruach Hokodesh , the " Holy Spirit"
  • 18:45 beckons us to take stands for biblical principles.
  • 18:50 Friends the hour is late.
  • 18:55 The darkness prevails.
  • 18:58 And my prayer is that some of you
  • 18:59 will be moved to stand up for God's people,
  • 19:03 moved to invest energies, resources, influences.
  • 19:09 If it costs - it costs.
  • 19:12 but remember Esther,
  • 19:14 the example of what it means to be virtuous
  • 19:18 who says, Listen, if I perish, I perish.
  • 19:21 but I'm going to use my influence at a time like this."
  • 19:28 Thank you Dr. Seif
  • 19:29 for that great teaching today.
  • 19:31 We are honored to have our guest analyst
  • 19:35 and worship leader...
  • 19:37 Is that a new title for you?
  • 19:38 Guest Analyst?
  • 19:40 Yeah, I've never...
  • 19:41 It's really funny analyzing Jeff Seif.
  • 19:44 That's a lot to take on.
  • 19:45 It's quite a bit to chew.
  • 19:47 Really glad to have you with us today.
  • 19:48 Well thank you.
  • 19:49 It's good to be back.
  • 19:50 We just saw Dr. Seif teaching at
  • 19:51 an Israeli graveyard.
  • 19:54 Those that gave it all.
  • 19:55 Esther gave it all.
  • 19:57 The soldiers for Israel gave it all.
  • 20:00 We want to be part of what God is doing today.
  • 20:04 How can we give it all
  • 20:05 for what He has planned for us in this time?
  • 20:09 That's a big question.
  • 20:10 Well actually it's a very simple question.
  • 20:12 I think the Apostle Paul answers it
  • 20:15 very well in the book of Romans
  • 20:17 in Chapter 11, verses 12 thru 15.
  • 20:19 Where he sort of sums it up by saying
  • 20:20 If riches have come to you Gentiles
  • 20:24 because some of Israel has fallen away
  • 20:27 than how much more will their reconciliation be
  • 20:30 than life from the dead?
  • 20:32 So I think what he's saying pretty clearly here is
  • 20:35 when there is finally a revival among the Jewish people
  • 20:37 it'll be life from the dead for the whole world.
  • 20:39 And I think even the book of Revelation
  • 20:42 talks about how it being this great revival at
  • 20:44 the end days when the Jewish people go out evangelizing.
  • 20:46 So I think that the way we can be a part of God's eternal plan
  • 20:51 is it's always local.
  • 20:54 It's always built on relationships.
  • 20:56 If you have a Jewish neighbor
  • 20:57 just be their friend.
  • 20:59 Go and serve.
  • 21:02 It works the same no matter who it is
  • 21:04 whether it is a Jew or a Gentile.
  • 21:06 But if you're really trying to help Jewish people see the Lord
  • 21:09 they have a lot more obstacles than your average Gentile
  • 21:11 so you sort of need to educate yourself
  • 21:14 on how to present it to them.
  • 21:16 But...
  • 21:18 What have you done to reach out?
  • 21:21 Cause I know you're in a Messianic Congregation.
  • 21:23 You have a lot of Jewish friends.
  • 21:25 How do you bring your life...
  • 21:27 Well, there's no one certain way.
  • 21:28 You got to treat people as people.
  • 21:30 They're not really targets, you know?
  • 21:31 Oh, there's a Jewish person,
  • 21:33 I got to target them.
  • 21:34 It's like, this is a person who needs to know the Lord
  • 21:36 and it's just a different approach for this person
  • 21:39 The Apostle Paul says the Greek requires wisdom and the Jew requires a sign.
  • 21:43 Your average Gentile, they want to know how does this work.
  • 21:46 Whereas the Jew, they just want to see it done.
  • 21:49 So if you can show them righteousness in your life
  • 21:51 or even just kindness or mercy
  • 21:54 this is a very attractive thing
  • 21:56 because they're not used to
  • 21:57 Gentiles being kind to them necessarily.
  • 22:00 I think some of us even watching today
  • 22:01 may think we have to go to Israel to make a difference
  • 22:05 but to do things right here in America.
  • 22:08 Yeah, the Diaspora, the dispersion of Jews is worldwide.
  • 22:12 So you've got neighbors, and in fact I think
  • 22:15 it might be harder in the United States than it is in Israel
  • 22:18 to talk to a Jewish person about matters of religion and faith.
  • 22:22 But really again, I believe that all burden starts with a prayer.
  • 22:29 And if God gives you a burden for somebody
  • 22:32 and you begin praying for them
  • 22:33 you'll see openings will come.
  • 22:36 And I call it the ministry of availability.
  • 22:39 Just make yourself available.
  • 22:40 Don't go over with your Bible and saying
  • 22:42 God says you need to do this!
  • 22:44 90 pound Scofield.
  • 22:46 You can just tell them,
  • 22:47 Hey, I believe in the God of the Bible.
  • 22:49 And they know what that means.
  • 22:50 And then you just show them kindness.
  • 22:52 Bring some cookies.
  • 22:54 Show them the love of Yeshua.
  • 22:55 The Light.
  • 22:56 Right, just normal everyday.
  • 22:58 Right, don't be weird about it.
  • 23:00 Just treat them like somebody that you just really like
  • 23:01 and you want to be friends with.
  • 23:03 And then they will ask you...
  • 23:05 Like I said, the ministry of availability.
  • 23:07 They'll ask you when they're ready to receive it
  • 23:09 and not a minute before.
  • 23:10 So you can go and beat them up with this all day long.
  • 23:12 It just shuts down the avenue.
  • 23:14 The Spirit is the One who's going to soften their hearts.
  • 23:17 Now, if the Holy Spirit has told you to say something
  • 23:20 I'm not saying hold back.
  • 23:21 Jewish people have ideas already.
  • 23:26 Like they think Jesus was born to Mr. and Mrs. Christ.
  • 23:30 Sid Roth was in his 30's before somebody
  • 23:33 told him that Jesus was Jewish.
  • 23:34 And he got angry.
  • 23:36 He didn't believe that.
  • 23:36 He thought he was Catholic.
  • 23:38 WOW
  • 23:39 So there's a lot of misunderstandings
  • 23:41 that we just need to be able to
  • 23:43 speak to them like normal people
  • 23:45 and don't weird them out.
  • 23:46 That's good
  • 23:48 That's true.
  • 23:49 I think we'll have more
  • 23:50 conversation on this.
  • 23:52 But right now
  • 23:53 let's go to song with Ted Pearce.
  • 24:03 ♪ Our Father who art in heaven ♪
  • 24:15 ♪ Hallowed be thy Name ♪
  • 24:21 ♪ Thy Kingdom come Thy will be done ♪
  • 24:28 ♪ In earth as it is in heaven. ♪
  • 24:34 ♪ Give us this day our daily bread ♪
  • 24:40 ♪ and forgive us our sins as we ♪
  • 24:44 ♪ forgive those who wrong against us. ♪
  • 24:52 ♪ Lead us not into temptation ♪
  • 25:01 ♪ but deliver us from evil. ♪
  • 25:11 ♪ Instrument interlude ♪
  • 25:23 ♪ Our Father who art in heaven ♪
  • 25:35 ♪ Hallowed be thy Name ♪
  • 25:41 ♪ Thy Kingdom come Thy will be done ♪
  • 25:47 ♪ In earth as it is in heaven. ♪
  • 25:54 ♪ Give us this day our daily bread ♪
  • 26:00 ♪ and forgive us our sins as we ♪
  • 26:04 ♪ forgive those who wrong against us. ♪
  • 26:12 ♪ Lead us not into temptation ♪
  • 26:21 ♪ but deliver us from evil. ♪
  • 26:30 ♪ For Thine is the Kingdom ♪
  • 26:33 ♪ And the power and the Glory forever. ♪
  • 26:43 ♪ For Thine is the Kingdom ♪
  • 26:46 ♪ And the power and the Glory forever. ♪
  • 26:52 ♪ And ever. ♪
  • 26:57 ♪ Hallelujah ♪♪
  • 27:00 Thank you Ted Pearce.
  • 27:01 He will be singing through
  • 27:02 this whole series.
  • 27:04 But we always love to end this program with this prayer.
  • 27:05 Sha'alu Shalom Yerushalayim
  • 27:07 Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem
  • 27:12 Our monthly newsletter the Levitt Letter is free
  • 27:15 and full of insightful articles and news commentary from a Messianic perspective.
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  • 27:22 along with current and past programs,
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  • 27:28 Don't forget tor order this week's resource
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  • 27:39 help these organizations bless Israel.

Episodes in this series

  1. Beautiful Inside and Out
  2. Chosen for a Purpose
  3. Called to be Courageous
  4. Undone by a Woman
  5. God Rewards the Righteous
  6. Justice at Last!
  7. Fight We Must!
  8. The Triumph of God in Human History

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