The Jewish roots of Christianity

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Episode: “Galatians and Thessalonians”
In Ephesus, Jeff looks at the first New Testament book written by Paul — to the Galatians in defense of including non-Jewish believers. Paul writes a loving letter from Athens to the suffering church in Thessalonica.
Series: “In The Footsteps of The Rabbi From Tarsus (2020)”
This series sheds light on the Apostle Paul, his movements, and his message. Dr. Jeffrey Seif follows in Paul’s footsteps all around the ancient Roman Empire and analyzes his divinely inspired letters to early Church congregations, preserved in the New Testament.

Caption transcript for In The Footsteps of The Rabbi From Tarsus (2020): “Galatians and Thessalonians” (5/8)

  • 00:03 male announcer: Welcome to "Our Jewish Roots" with
  • 00:06 insightful Bible teaching by Dr. Jeffrey Seif.
  • 00:09 This week Paul writes his first three letters to the early
  • 00:12 churches as we follow "In the Footsteps of the Rabbi
  • 00:15 from Tarsus."
  • 00:18 ♪♪♪
  • 01:17 David Hart: Thank you for joining us today.
  • 01:18 I'm David Hart.
  • 01:20 Kirsten Hart: I'm Kirsten Hart.
  • 01:21 Jeffrey Seif: Jeffrey Seif here, glad you're out there.
  • 01:23 We are climbing into Paul's head and heart through his letters.
  • 01:26 He wrote, and we get a window into divine truths, don't we?
  • 01:29 David: We do, it's fascinating, his story.
  • 01:31 Kirsten: Well, we're halfway through in our series, and this
  • 01:34 kind of hits me.
  • 01:36 I've written letters before, but I would never think that any of
  • 01:38 my letters would end up in the Bible.
  • 01:40 I mean, I might write 'em a little bit more carefully if I
  • 01:43 knew that.
  • 01:45 Jeffrey: I don't think Paul knew it either, but let's see what
  • 01:48 he knows.
  • 01:50 David: That's right, let's go right now to Ephesus with
  • 01:52 Dr. Seif's teaching on location.
  • 01:54 ♪♪♪
  • 02:09 Jeffrey: Paul argued forcefully when working in
  • 02:13 Ephesus, and he argued forcefully when writing
  • 02:18 from Ephesus.
  • 02:20 Paul had a vision, a mystery that was revealed to him.
  • 02:24 In fact, the word that's used for the revealing is
  • 02:26 "apocalypse," where we get the word "revelation."
  • 02:29 Well, it wasn't so much a vision for the end of time as much as a
  • 02:32 vision for the present time.
  • 02:34 Paul believed that through Abraham, all the nations of the
  • 02:39 world will be blessed, and that's just not the physical
  • 02:42 descendants of Abraham but those who spiritually enjoin
  • 02:46 themselves to Abraham through faith.
  • 02:49 Paul wasn't happy when he learned that his egalitarian
  • 02:53 vision of all people being the people of God was interrupted.
  • 02:58 Paul had come to Asia to minister on his first missionary
  • 03:02 journey and establish a number of churches in and around the
  • 03:04 area of Galatia, and when he learned that in the wake of his
  • 03:08 departure that some had come in and preached another Gospel,
  • 03:11 Paul was not a happy camper.
  • 03:14 And so from here in Ephesus, he made his understanding known in
  • 03:21 what is arguably the first document written in the
  • 03:25 New Testament.
  • 03:27 The New Testament, as we have it, begins with Matthew and ends
  • 03:30 in Revelation, but Matisyahu wasn't the first author to put
  • 03:34 pen to paper.
  • 03:35 Paul wrote first, and he was not the least bit happy, and you can
  • 03:41 really feel the tone and tenure of the man in Galatians
  • 03:45 chapter 1.
  • 03:48 And on, he starts off, you know, professionally so: "Paul, an
  • 03:51 apostle, not from men nor through man, but through
  • 03:55 Jesus Christ."
  • 03:58 You know, there were people that advocated they have
  • 04:00 better pedigree than Paul because they studied
  • 04:01 in Jerusalem.
  • 04:03 Paul didn't.
  • 04:05 Paul said, "No man made me an apostle, but God himself called
  • 04:07 me," and then in verse 6, you can feel the tension as he
  • 04:11 argued, "I marvel that you are turning away so soon from him
  • 04:17 who called you."
  • 04:19 He goes, "My God, what's up with you people?
  • 04:21 You're like a bunch of backsliders."
  • 04:24 In fact, he says as much.
  • 04:25 It seems at one level so very uncharacteristic.
  • 04:28 In chapter 3, verse 1, Paul will say, "O you foolish Galatians.
  • 04:35 Who has bewitched you?"
  • 04:36 Now, isn't that an interesting way to write a letter to a
  • 04:39 church to say, "Listen, what devil put a spell on you?"
  • 04:44 Paul is ramping up.
  • 04:46 He's intense, in part, because Paul's authorization
  • 04:50 is undermined.
  • 04:52 There were people that came to the region of Galatia, came to
  • 04:54 the people that he preached to, and they knocked the legs out
  • 04:57 from underneath him, saying that "That Paul didn't know what he
  • 05:00 was talking about."
  • 05:02 They argued they had a better telling of the nature and the
  • 05:05 structure of Christian life, and so it is they advocated that
  • 05:08 these non-Jewish people who have come to faith, that they now
  • 05:11 come to be more Jewish in their practice.
  • 05:14 Paul was not of that particular understanding.
  • 05:18 Paul believed that individuals who came to the Messiah of
  • 05:22 Israel didn't need to conform to all the conventions of Israel.
  • 05:27 And so it is that individuals of non-Jewish extract could come
  • 05:31 and participate in this body life without picking up all the
  • 05:34 accoutrements of Jewish culture and the requirements in biblical
  • 05:39 literature for Jews.
  • 05:40 In fact, in chapter 3, verse 26, he makes a point that he's going
  • 05:44 to make over and again in his writings, and it's his own way
  • 05:48 of giving an accounting for core value.
  • 05:50 He says, "For you are all sons of God through faith in
  • 05:53 Christ Jesus.
  • 05:55 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put
  • 05:58 on Christ."
  • 05:59 And then, in verse 28, he says what he's famous for:
  • 06:02 "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free,
  • 06:05 there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in
  • 06:09 Messiah Yeshua, in Christ Jesus.
  • 06:12 And if you were Christ's, then you are Abraham's seeds, and
  • 06:15 heirs according to the promise."
  • 06:18 See, Paul had a vision.
  • 06:20 Paul himself, as we know, was the apostle to the Gentiles, but
  • 06:24 if we think for a minute, the Gentiles that he spoke to
  • 06:27 weren't your garden variety of everyday people on the street.
  • 06:29 Paul went into synagogues, and in synagogues, he met
  • 06:33 individuals of non-Jewish extract who were impressed by
  • 06:36 his teachings, who followed him as the Jewish people leave the
  • 06:39 synagogue with these Gentiles, and together they form the
  • 06:42 nucleus of new congregations.
  • 06:44 Paul's gentiles were themselves half-baked Jews, individuals who
  • 06:50 love Jewish people, they love Jewish Scripture, and now Paul
  • 06:53 helped them understand that the Messiah of the Jews have come,
  • 06:57 and they can participate in what it means to be with the people
  • 07:00 of Israel without conforming to all the conventions of Israel.
  • 07:04 Again, that was radical in his day and time.
  • 07:07 Paul had a vision for a world without borders.
  • 07:09 You know, behind me here, different people would argue
  • 07:12 different perspectives, they'd kind of hack it out.
  • 07:15 They'd work through issues, they'd debate the prevailing
  • 07:18 problems of the day here in the parliament in Ephesus.
  • 07:22 Well, here from Ephesus and from this ancient world, Paul, who
  • 07:26 himself was a citizen of the world, who himself appreciated
  • 07:30 diversity and wasn't himself given to imposing some monolith
  • 07:34 on the church, some one way of being and one way of being only,
  • 07:38 this Paul envisioned a broader world, a church without borders,
  • 07:41 that made room for all people and its environs.
  • 07:45 And if you look at the Galatians epistle, therein he's on record
  • 07:49 contending boldly for broader horizons.
  • 07:53 What a message, radical in its day in time, from the heart and
  • 07:58 the mind and the inspiration of Paul, and we'll be learning more
  • 08:01 about him as we continue to look at his movements and his
  • 08:04 parchments as we follow in the footsteps of the rabbi
  • 08:08 from Tarsus.
  • 08:11 ♪♪♪
  • 08:17 Jeffrey: He was known as Hephaestus to the Greeks,
  • 08:19 Vulcan to the Romans.
  • 08:23 He was the patron god of metalworking.
  • 08:27 Seems at one level to be a very interesting patron to have, but
  • 08:30 the Greeks and the Romans, as well, were very indebted to the
  • 08:34 development of metalworking skills, as were the
  • 08:37 ancients generally.
  • 08:39 It's something that we take for granted in modernity, I think.
  • 08:41 And why is that?
  • 08:44 Well, metal implements were employed in the manufacture of
  • 08:48 farming with a net result that it contributed toward wealth and
  • 08:52 prosperity and an empire.
  • 08:55 In like manner, metalworking was used to forge instruments of
  • 08:59 war, and then that result is that they were able to fortify
  • 09:03 and expand empire.
  • 09:05 Beyond that, of course, metalworking was instrumental in
  • 09:08 the manufacture of temples like this, this one sitting prominent
  • 09:13 here in the ancient city of Athens, this one dedicated to
  • 09:18 the patron god of metalworkers, silversmiths, and the like, and
  • 09:23 here, this reflects the developments of technologies
  • 09:26 with people being able to come to terms with pulling ore from
  • 09:29 the earth and smelting it and putting it in the furnace and
  • 09:33 manufacturing new things that can be used.
  • 09:36 Well, speaking of putting things in a furnace, Paul thought that
  • 09:41 something that came from a furnace brought something new as
  • 09:43 well that could be used.
  • 09:46 I might say in that regard that the very spikes that were put in
  • 09:50 Jesus' hands and feet represent the kind of technology here,
  • 09:54 that is to say, working with iron implements, fashioning
  • 09:57 them, and using them.
  • 09:59 Well, I don't wanna be morose here by underscoring crucifixion
  • 10:02 too much, but I do wanna say that Paul's churches emerged out
  • 10:08 of the furnace of affliction, that they were manufactured
  • 10:12 amidst the turbulence of trying times.
  • 10:15 In fact, Paul left Asia Minor because of difficulties there,
  • 10:19 and he comes here to Greece, starting first at Philippi,
  • 10:23 hugging the coast, making his way through Amphipolis,
  • 10:27 Apollonia, Thessalonica, and then, finally, after
  • 10:30 Thessalonica, coming to this great city of Athens.
  • 10:36 In Acts chapter 17:1-3, we're informed that, when he was in
  • 10:40 Thessalonica, that many were persuaded as he visits the
  • 10:43 synagogues, as he reasons from the Scripture that this Yeshua
  • 10:47 is the Mashiach that, as he did all this, there were Jews and
  • 10:51 non-Jews alike that were persuaded to his way
  • 10:53 of thinking.
  • 10:55 Not all were, however, a riot ensued, and Paul had to be
  • 10:58 escorted out of the city, and then he made his way here
  • 11:01 to Athens.
  • 11:03 Well, he got to Athens, but a good part of his heart still
  • 11:06 belonged in Thessalonica because he knew that brethren were
  • 11:10 suffering there, and so what does he do?
  • 11:12 He puts pen to paper to write the Thessalonican
  • 11:15 correspondences 1st and 2nd, and with Galatians, then, we have
  • 11:18 the very beginnings of New Testament writ.
  • 11:22 If you look at it chronologically, this is the
  • 11:24 first and you can feel his affection for
  • 11:26 the Thessalonicans.
  • 11:27 He says in chapter 3, verse 1, of 1 Thessalonians, "We could no
  • 11:31 longer endure it, we thought it good to be left alone in Athens,
  • 11:35 but then we sent Timothy."
  • 11:37 Timothy was sent to them, and Timothy came back with a word
  • 11:39 from them.
  • 11:41 "But now," in verse 6, "that Timothy has come to us from you,
  • 11:44 and brought us good news--"
  • 11:46 Timothy shared how they were bearing up under their
  • 11:48 afflictions graciously, but Paul was still concerned.
  • 11:52 ♪♪♪
  • 12:03 Jeffrey: Luke said that a riot ensued in Thessalonica.
  • 12:07 Paul haply got away, but not all were so fortunate.
  • 12:10 Jason, whose only crime was that he gave him quarter,
  • 12:14 he housed them, he said that they went and got Jason by the
  • 12:17 throat and drug him before the magistrates, complaining that
  • 12:21 "This fellow gave housing to this man who's turned the
  • 12:24 world upside down."
  • 12:26 They were so disconcerted.
  • 12:28 They were so angry, so upset because Jews and non-Jews alike
  • 12:34 were coming to faith in Yeshua.
  • 12:36 Paul was spirited away, and he made his way here to Athens.
  • 12:41 He was here, all right, but his heart belonged elsewhere.
  • 12:43 He was thinkin' about the ones that he loved, and he was
  • 12:46 concerned because, though he got out of the furnace of
  • 12:48 affliction, he knew they were still there, so what does he do?
  • 12:52 He writes 'em.
  • 12:54 You ever write a letter to someone you love?
  • 12:55 That's what Paul did.
  • 12:56 Paul never thought he was writing the Bible.
  • 12:58 Paul was just loving.
  • 13:00 Simple as that.
  • 13:02 In fact, I doubt, when Paul picked up pen to write, he ever
  • 13:05 thought he was gonna be writing stuff that would make its way in
  • 13:08 a book that would be given the same level of authorization as
  • 13:13 the writings of Moses and the prophets and the like.
  • 13:15 Paul is just responding to stuff, and here, from Athens,
  • 13:20 he's responding to the fact that people he loved were suffering,
  • 13:25 and they were suffering in part because of something he
  • 13:27 instigated, and what he instigated, in part, was
  • 13:31 stimulated by someone else's suffering, Jesus.
  • 13:35 Suffering seems to me to be part and parcel of
  • 13:37 Christian experience.
  • 13:40 Paul here seems to say as much in 1 Thessalonians chapter 2, he
  • 13:45 says, "For you yourselves know, brethren, that our coming to you
  • 13:50 was not in vain," difficulties notwithstanding.
  • 13:53 "But even after we suffered before and were spitefully
  • 13:57 treated at Philippi, as you know, we were bold in our God to
  • 14:02 speak to you the gospel in much conflict."
  • 14:08 If I understand Paul correctly, the way he is oriented toward
  • 14:12 these folk, he says, "Listen, guys, you know--"
  • 14:15 When he says a few times, "you know," "you know," what they
  • 14:18 know is something that we don't wanna hear.
  • 14:20 We don't wanna know.
  • 14:22 He says, "Guys, look, wake up and smell the coffee.
  • 14:23 Remember that, when I was in Philippi before I got to you,
  • 14:26 things got rather unraveled.
  • 14:28 When I came to Thessalonica, things got unraveled."
  • 14:31 And you know what?
  • 14:33 Unraveling happens.
  • 14:35 Bad things happen to good people.
  • 14:38 Today, there's many a preacher that advocates, "Oh, no, you
  • 14:41 accept Jesus, baby, it's all good, and what it is, is you're
  • 14:44 just going to prosper and have boundless success in life."
  • 14:47 Listen, I believe that the Lord does lead us onward toward
  • 14:50 success in life, but I think the point is grossly overstated in
  • 14:55 the interest of tickling people's ears and making
  • 14:58 promises that the Christian life just means all things good.
  • 15:02 I believe there are things good, but I believe too that there's
  • 15:04 trouble in River City.
  • 15:06 I believe that, if God has a call on our life, that Satan
  • 15:08 will have an assignment against us, and we must--needs then bear
  • 15:14 up, develop an aptitude to resist, to stand, to not be
  • 15:19 bested by despair, depressions, and exigent circumstances,
  • 15:24 trials that beset us and try and overwhelm us.
  • 15:28 We must need stand up, speak up, and rise up for biblical truth.
  • 15:32 It seems to me that people are too depressed, pushed down, but
  • 15:36 there's a triumphant God who leaves us in triumph
  • 15:39 through difficulties.
  • 15:42 That was the rabbi from Tarsus' message to the Thessalonians.
  • 15:47 Sure, he said things beyond that, but principally it was
  • 15:50 driven by a love for them.
  • 15:53 It was driven by wanting to encourage them to bear up and
  • 15:57 let them know that help is coming from heaven to deal with
  • 16:00 vexing troubles on earth because of days, and we have a
  • 16:06 winning God.
  • 16:09 ♪♪♪
  • 16:10 announcer: Our resource this week, the "Grafted-In
  • 16:12 Package," which includes the series "Called Together" on two
  • 16:16 DVDs, a "Grafted-In" necklace, two "Stand with Israel" koozies,
  • 16:22 a "Grafted-In" decal, a "Grafted-In" pin, our "Things to
  • 16:27 Come" bookmark, and "The Prophesied Messiah" bookmark.
  • 16:32 Contact us and ask for the "Grafted-In" package, and thank
  • 16:37 you for your support.
  • 16:42 announcer: If you're thinking about visiting the Holy
  • 16:44 Land, come on a Zola tour, where the Scriptures come to life as
  • 16:48 you get teaching from a Messianic perspective.
  • 16:51 Our spring tour goes to Israel and Petra.
  • 16:54 In the fall, you can add a cruise of Greece and Ephesus.
  • 16:58 Come to Israel.
  • 17:00 See the Jewish roots of your faith.
  • 17:02 Call us at 1-800-WONDERS, or click on the
  • 17:06 levitt.com/tourinfo.
  • 17:13 David: We would love to take you on a tour with us to
  • 17:15 some of the beautiful country that Dr. Seif has been
  • 17:17 teaching from.
  • 17:19 We love going to Athens, Greece is amazing.
  • 17:22 We go to Patmos, Mykonos--
  • 17:25 Kirsten: We do a whole Greek cruise.
  • 17:27 David: Santorini, Ephesus, it's beautiful, join us.
  • 17:30 Kirsten: An incredible trip.
  • 17:32 We would love for you to go along with us.
  • 17:34 Levitt.com is the website for our tours, and if you've enjoyed
  • 17:38 watching Dr. Seif teach from those locations, you can go
  • 17:42 there yourself.
  • 17:44 And we'd also like to say a quick thank you to you for
  • 17:46 making all of this possible.
  • 17:48 It's not cheap to send our whole crew over to another country to
  • 17:52 film, but we're bringin' the good news through the eyes of
  • 17:55 the Jews to the world because of all of you, so thank you.
  • 17:59 Now let's go to Dr. Seif in Athens.
  • 18:05 Jeffrey: Paul the apostle had citizenship in two worlds.
  • 18:11 We know that he has roots in biblical Israelite culture on
  • 18:15 the one hand.
  • 18:17 On the other hand, he belonged to Rome, and he was proud of it,
  • 18:22 and Rome was the grandchild of Greece.
  • 18:29 And here we are in Athens.
  • 18:32 Athens was a city in its glory when Paul walked atop these
  • 18:37 rocks some 2,000 years ago during which time his heart was
  • 18:42 stirred within him.
  • 18:44 In fact, his heart was stirred before he got here because of
  • 18:46 the fact that he was, in effect, kicked out of Thessalonica.
  • 18:50 He left in haste, and there was unfinished business.
  • 18:54 His heart remained there, and so when he heard word there about
  • 18:57 difficulties, he wrote back.
  • 19:00 He wrote 1 Thessalonians to encourage the church, in part,
  • 19:04 because they were suffering, and not just suffering in general,
  • 19:07 but there's an argument that some even died in persecution.
  • 19:12 In fact, Paul addressed that issue when he wrote them the
  • 19:15 first letter in 1 Thessalonians, which he arguably wrote from
  • 19:19 here, from Athens.
  • 19:22 Paul wrote them and encouraged them in their faith, and he
  • 19:24 noted those who had fallen asleep in Christ, those who
  • 19:28 had died.
  • 19:30 He says in verse 13 of the 4th chapter, "I don't want you to be
  • 19:33 ignorant concerning those who have fallen asleep."
  • 19:37 He goes on to say that the dead in Christ will rise and that
  • 19:40 those who are alive will be caught up together with them in
  • 19:43 the air.
  • 19:45 It seems, however, that after writing the first letter, that
  • 19:48 there was some unfinished business.
  • 19:51 There seemed to have been some confusion as well, prompting
  • 19:54 Paul to write back a second letter from here, and if not
  • 19:59 from here in Athens, specifically, he at least wrote
  • 20:02 from proximity to here in order to clear up some confusion that
  • 20:07 was left over from his first letter.
  • 20:09 It seemed to me that the Thessalonians were concerned.
  • 20:14 Paul spoke about death.
  • 20:15 Paul spoke about the coming of the Lord, and there was
  • 20:18 confusion about what it all meant, prompting him to write in
  • 20:22 the 2nd chapter, in the 1st verse, he says, "Now, brethren,
  • 20:27 concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus and our gathering
  • 20:30 together, that we ask you, not to be soon shaken in mind or
  • 20:34 troubled, either by spirit or word or by letter from us to the
  • 20:38 effect of the day the Lord had come."
  • 20:40 It's striking at one level that, as Paul is in and around Athens
  • 20:44 and he's thinking about the church in Thessalonica, he's
  • 20:47 concerned because they're concerned why there's confusion
  • 20:51 about how history is gonna play itself out, prompting Paul to
  • 20:55 spell it out the more so.
  • 20:57 And here he talks to them about issues germane to Christ's
  • 20:59 second coming.
  • 21:01 And it's interesting, even as much as there's confusion today,
  • 21:03 it seems that yesterday, in fact, at the very beginning of
  • 21:06 the church, there was confusion about how the end game was gonna
  • 21:09 play itself out, prompting Paul to spell it out for them, which
  • 21:13 he does here when he writes to the Thessalonians here
  • 21:15 in 2 Thessalonians.
  • 21:18 ♪♪♪
  • 21:25 Jeffrey: It's called the Erechtheion.
  • 21:27 It's arguably the place, well, according to mythology, where
  • 21:30 Athena fought Poseidon for Athens, and there's a temple
  • 21:36 built over the spot to commemorate that victory.
  • 21:41 Paul writes from Athens to the Thessalonians, and in his second
  • 21:46 correspondence to the Thessalonians, he writes them
  • 21:50 about another temple--not this one.
  • 21:54 He writes them about a desecration of a temple.
  • 21:56 Why?
  • 21:58 Because the Thessalonians are concerned about life on the
  • 22:01 other side of the grave and what will be transacted at the end of
  • 22:05 time as Christians are transported away to their
  • 22:08 eternal home, right at the edge of history.
  • 22:12 He is talking about evil things at days end in 2 Thessalonians.
  • 22:19 He exhorts them in chapter 2, verse 3, "Let no one deceive you
  • 22:23 by any means, for that day will not come unless the falling away
  • 22:28 comes first."
  • 22:30 Paul envisions a world where things go bad.
  • 22:34 He sees defilement in the world.
  • 22:36 This may, to a certain extent, have been stimulated the more so
  • 22:39 by virtue of his recent experiences in Athens where he's
  • 22:43 seen all kinds of pagan worship.
  • 22:47 Luke already tells us that he's troubled in spirit because of
  • 22:49 it all.
  • 22:51 Does he see that biblical worship's gonna be overrun by
  • 22:54 pagan and evil things?
  • 22:57 It seems that he does.
  • 22:59 He says there's a falling away, and then he says that there's
  • 23:01 this personality who emerges, who, according to Paul, "opposes
  • 23:06 and exalts himself above all that is called God or worships,
  • 23:12 that he sits as God in the temple of God, and he proclaims
  • 23:15 himself that he is God."
  • 23:18 For me, it's striking, in part, that Paul would be speaking this
  • 23:20 way, in part, because the landscape around Athens is
  • 23:24 dotted by temples that are seats to various deities, and for him,
  • 23:28 this epitomizes what the anti-Messiah
  • 23:31 will do at days' end,
  • 23:33 come and claim that he's God, but here he has in mind, not so
  • 23:37 much the worship facilities behind me--and by the way,
  • 23:41 I'm coming to you from the Acropolis, and the Parthenon is
  • 23:45 close to me.
  • 23:47 This is the major site of Greek influence and philosophy
  • 23:51 in the world.
  • 23:53 When Paul talks about a temple going bad, he's not speaking
  • 23:55 about sites here.
  • 23:57 His sights are set in the Jewish world where the temple stands,
  • 24:00 and he sees a great defilement at day's end, and he warns the
  • 24:04 Thessalonians to be ever in the ready to be walking with the
  • 24:09 Lord such that, as history unfolds, they might not
  • 24:13 conceivably get swept away in delusion and deception.
  • 24:16 It seems to me it's a good word for today as well.
  • 24:20 Paul said this and other things as well, and, of course, we're
  • 24:22 well served to pay attention to the teachings of this man as we
  • 24:25 walk in his footsteps, the footsteps of the rabbi
  • 24:30 from Tarsus.
  • 24:31 ♪♪♪
  • 24:41 Kirsten: Paul wrote with gusto in his letter,
  • 24:45 2 Thessalonians.
  • 24:47 I mean, we're talking end-time prophecies.
  • 24:50 He was, kind of, tryin' to help figure out and write to them,
  • 24:54 saying, "Here's what's really happening," right?
  • 24:56 Jeffrey: To your point about his nature, he was a man with gusto.
  • 25:01 It takes a little bit of that "umph" to press forward 'cause
  • 25:04 you're going against the grain.
  • 25:06 And certainly, he's writing here about this wicked person who's
  • 25:10 going against the grain with a lot of gusto himself.
  • 25:13 David: And a lot of those people didn't like Paul at all because
  • 25:16 they were losing business.
  • 25:18 Jeffrey: There were occasions where people were disconcerted
  • 25:20 by Paul, more times than not.
  • 25:23 This guy was beaten to a pulp on more than one occasion.
  • 25:26 Kirsten: I gotta hand it to him.
  • 25:27 He had the guts to be beaten down and then continue writing
  • 25:33 and telling the truth.
  • 25:34 He was a truth teller.
  • 25:35 Jeffrey: He didn't stop, but he was driven by something more
  • 25:37 than just Energizer batteries.
  • 25:41 You know, he was a man on a mission, with a call.
  • 25:44 It took a lot of guts for Paul to be Paul, and it takes a lot
  • 25:47 of guts for you to be you, and for me to be me, and for us to
  • 25:52 be us.
  • 25:53 At the end of the day, not everybody approves.
  • 25:56 I have family members that don't approve that I accepted Jesus.
  • 25:59 There are Christian people that don't approve that I'm Jewish
  • 26:02 and still retain some of that, but what are you gonna do?
  • 26:04 We have to be authentic to who we are, correct?
  • 26:06 Kirsten: True.
  • 26:08 Jeffrey: And to the point in chapter 2, verse 7, Paul gives
  • 26:13 voice to this spirit that's at work against the advancement of
  • 26:18 the kingdom of "the mystery of lawlessness that's operating."
  • 26:23 And that's what we give voice to when we come against opposition.
  • 26:26 That's the bad news.
  • 26:28 The good news is not only is lawlessness operating, but the
  • 26:32 grace of God is operating too through people like us and
  • 26:36 like you.
  • 26:38 Thank you for joining the army and getting behind us and
  • 26:40 helping us displace the darkness.
  • 26:43 Being Christian is counterintuitive.
  • 26:46 We're teaching and preaching the Bible.
  • 26:49 We're looking at the good news through the eyes of the Jews.
  • 26:52 It's a little different.
  • 26:54 Thank you for supporting us.
  • 26:56 Continue to do so, so we can stave off the darkness and bring
  • 26:59 light to a darkened world.
  • 27:01 David: Amen, Dr. Seif, fantastic teaching today.
  • 27:04 Kirsten: Yes, thank you.
  • 27:06 David: So much more next week.
  • 27:08 We would love for you to join us.
  • 27:09 Jeffrey: Join us in the Mediterranean world, and as you
  • 27:11 go now, shaalu shalom Yerushalayim.
  • 27:13 Kirsten: Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.
  • 27:16 ♪♪♪
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Episodes in this series

  1. Persecutor to Advocate
  2. A Message for All Peoples
  3. Turbulent Journeys
  4. Road to Rome
  5. Galatians and Thessalonians
  6. Corinthians and Romans
  7. Colossians, Ephesians, Philippians
  8. Timothy and Titus

Guest organizations and links

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