The Jewish roots of Christianity

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Bible teaching with an emphasis on Israel, prophecy and the Jewish roots of Christianity

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Series: “In The Footsteps of The Rabbi From Tarsus”
In this twelve-part TV series, Dr. Jeffrey Seif sheds light on the Apostle Paul, his movements, and his message. After examining Paul’s travels throughout the Roman Empire, Jeff analyzes Paul’s divinely inspired letters to early Church congregations, preserved in the New Testament.
Episode: “First Steps Toward Christ”
Paul’s conversion and subsequent ministry in Damascus/Arabia.

Caption transcript for In The Footsteps of The Rabbi From Tarsus: “First Steps Toward Christ” (1/12)

  • 00:04 WITH DR. JEFFREY SEIF AND SANDRA LEVITT
  • 01:01 A HEARTY SHALOM TO ALL OF YOU.
  • 01:03 JEFFREY SEIF HERE,
  • 01:04 WITH MY FRIEND SANDRA LEVITT.
  • 01:05 SHALOM AND WELCOME TO
  • 01:08 "IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF THE RABBI FROM TARSUS"
  • 01:10 WHO ARE WE TALKING ABOUT?
  • 01:12 WE'RE TALKING ABOUT RABBI SAUL, RABBI PAUL.
  • 01:16 THIS IS A YOUNG MAN THAT WAS TRAINED RABBINICALLY, JEFF.
  • 01:20 HE WAS TRAINED TO GO INTO THE MISSION FIELDS.
  • 01:23 HERE HE IS AND HE DOES.
  • 01:25 HE IS A MISSIONARY BOTH TO THE JEWS AND TO THE GENTILES.
  • 01:28 WONDERFUL STORY.
  • 01:29 I'VE HEARD PEOPLE SAY THAT JEWS DON'T BELIEVE IN JESUS.
  • 01:31 I GUESS PAUL NEVER GOT THE MEMO.
  • 01:33 PAUL NEVER GOT THE MEMO. >>(JEFF LAUGHING)
  • 01:34 WHAT A WONDERFUL... HARDSHIP HE WENT THROUGH AND YET
  • 01:38 IT REALLY IS ENCOURAGING TO US
  • 01:40 TO BE FAITHFUL IN OUR WALK WITH THE LORD.
  • 01:42 SO WHAT HAPPENS WITH THIS MAN?
  • 01:44 HE ACCEPTS JESUS. >>HE DOES.
  • 01:45 HE THEN GETS SAVED AND BECOMES A SOUTHERN BAPTIST,
  • 01:47 A LUTHERAN METHODIST, WHAT BECAME OF HIM?
  • 01:49 ALL OF THOSE THINGS.
  • 01:50 NO, HE'S A JEW.
  • 01:51 HE REMAINS A JEW AND THAT'S THE WHOLE POINT.
  • 01:53 HE IS A JEW TO THE JEW.
  • 01:55 HE IS A GREEK TO THE GREEK.
  • 01:57 HE IS A GENTILE TO GENTILES.
  • 01:58 HE HAS IT ALL.
  • 02:00 HE'S A ROMAN.
  • 02:01 HE'S JEWISH.
  • 02:03 HE'S A PHARISEE.
  • 02:04 HE HAS ALL OF THOSE QUALITIES.
  • 02:05 YES, HE SEEMS RATHER COMPLICATED AT ONE LEVEL
  • 02:09 BUT IT'S OUR JOB TO SORT IT OUT.
  • 02:11 AND THIS SERIES WE'RE GOING TO BE "WALKING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF THE RABBI FROM TARSUS."
  • 02:17 WE WANT TO EXPLORE PAUL IN HIS JEWISH CONTEXT AND SEE HIM FOR WHAT HE REALLY IS,
  • 02:23 A JEWISH WHO CAME TO FAITH.
  • 02:26 HE LIVED AS A JEW.
  • 02:27 HE DIED AS A JEW.
  • 02:29 AND AS A JEW HE TOOK THE GOOD NEWS TO YOU.
  • 02:32 HERE'S HIS STORY.
  • 02:36 HE COULD BE DESCRIBED AS SOMETHING OF AN ANGRY MAN TO PUT IT MILDLY ACTUALLY.
  • 02:41 LUKE TELLS US THAT HE WAS BREATHING THREATS
  • 02:44 AND NOT JUST IDLE THREATS, MURDER ON TOP.
  • 02:47 DIDN'T WANT TO JUST HURT THEM, HE WANTED TO DESTROY THEM.
  • 02:50 WHO'S THE HE AND WHO'S THE THEM?
  • 02:52 THE "HE" IS A FELLOW NAMED "SHAUL" A MEMBER OF THE PERUSHIM.
  • 02:56 "PERUSHIM" COMES FROM "PAROSH" IN HEBREW VERB MEANING TO BE SEPARATE.
  • 03:02 IT WAS A PARTY, SIX THOUSAND OR SO INDIVIDUALS IN JESUS' DAY.
  • 03:05 ONE OF WHOM WAS THIS FELLOW NAMED SHAUL OR PAUL.
  • 03:08 AND THERE WAS THIS MOVEMENT, IT WAS GETTING UP AND GOING IN YERUSHALAYIM, IN JERUSALEM,
  • 03:12 AND HE WAS NOT A HAPPY CAMPER.
  • 03:15 IN FACT, HIS BIOGRAPHER LUKE TELLS US IN THIS BOOK CALLED ACTS OF THE APOSTLES
  • 03:19 THAT WHEN STEPHEN, A GREEK SPEAKING JEW, WAS MARTYRED
  • 03:25 THAT SAUL WAS PARTICULARLY PRO-ACTIVE IN FACILITATING HIS DEMISE.
  • 03:30 SO PAUL'S NOT JUST A DISGRUNTLED TEACHER WHO'S VERBALLY GIVING VOICE TO HIS ANGST
  • 03:35 BUT RATHER HE'S THE KIND OF FELLOW THAT'S GIVEN TO ACTION NOT JUST SPEECH.
  • 03:40 LUKE TELLS US AS WELL IN THE 9TH CHAPTER THAT THIS FELLOW SHAUL
  • 03:44 WAS WALKING ON A ROAD LIKE THIS HERE IN THE MIDDLE EAST.
  • 03:49 HE WASN'T JUST OUT FOR A CASUAL STROLL.
  • 03:51 ACTUALLY HE TELLS THAT HE HAS SECURED BENCH WARRANTS.
  • 03:54 LUKE TELLS US THAT CHAGRINED AS HE WAS BY THE MOVEMENT
  • 03:57 THAT THIS FELLOW SHAUL WENT TO THE ZEKENIM, THE LEADERS OF THE SYNAGOGUE
  • 04:03 AND SECURED ARREST WARRANTS TO BRING THESE PEOPLE TO JUSTICE
  • 04:08 AND WHAT WAS JUST FOR THESE BELIEVERS IN JESUS WAS DEATH.
  • 04:11 IT'S THE WAY PAUL SAW IT.
  • 04:13 PAUL WAS A BLACK AND WHITE KIND OF GUY
  • 04:14 AND HE LOOKED AT THIS MOVEMENT OF JEWISH PEOPLE WHO BELIEVED IN YESHUA,
  • 04:19 HE LOOKED AT THIS AS ACNE ON THE FACE OF FIRST CENTURY JUDAISM.
  • 04:22 BETTER TO BE WITHOUT IT AND HE WAS GOING TO TAKE CARE OF THE JOB.
  • 04:24 WELL, IN ACTS CHAPTER 9 WE'RE TOLD IN VERSE 1 THAT HE'S STILL
  • 04:29 BREATHING THREATS AND MURDER
  • 04:31 AGAINST THE DISCIPLES OF THE LORD.
  • 04:33 IN VERSE 2 WE'RE TOLD OF COURSE AS I'D SAID
  • 04:35 THAT HE HAS SECURED WARRANTS.
  • 04:38 BUT THEN IN VERSE 3 SOMETHING STRANGE HAPPENED TO HIM
  • 04:41 AND THAT STRANGE THING HAPPENS TO A LOT OF OTHERS.
  • 04:44 THAT IS WE'RE GOING DOWN LIFE'S HIGHWAY AND WE GET KNOCKED OFF OF OUR HORSE.
  • 04:48 LUKE TELLS THE STORY ABOUT HIM ONCE IN ACTS.
  • 04:50 PAUL TELLS THE STORY ABOUT IT TWICE, THREE TIMES IN THIS TEXT, ACTS OF THE APOSTLES.
  • 04:56 THREE TIMES PAUL HARKS BACK TO THAT MOMENT WHEN HIS LIFE WAS RADICALLY TRANSFORMED.
  • 05:02 HE GETS KNOCKED OFF HIS HORSE,
  • 05:03 HE FALLS TO THE GROUND IN VERSE 4,
  • 05:05 HE HEARS A VOICE, "SAUL, SAUL WHY DO PERSECUTE ME?"
  • 05:10 WELL, PAUL IS GOING TO BE SPELLBOUND BY ALL OF THIS.
  • 05:13 HE'S KNOCKED OFF FROM HORSE,
  • 05:15 THERE'S A FLASH OF LIGHT,
  • 05:17 HE'S LEFT BLINDED FOR 3 DAYS.
  • 05:19 THEN HE'S GOING TO GO TO A HOME LIKE IMMEDIATELY AFTER THIS.
  • 05:23 HE'S GOING TO GO TO A HOME AND SPEND SOME TIME THERE
  • 05:26 AND THEN IN VERSE 17 THE LORD DIRECTS SOMEONE TO GO TO THE HOME, TO LAY HANDS ON THIS GUY
  • 05:33 AND ITS AND INTERESTING STORY HERE.
  • 05:35 PEOPLE ARE SO NERVOUS ABOUT PAUL BECAUSE HIS REPUTATION PRECEDED HIM.
  • 05:39 THEY KNEW, THEY'RE EARLY FOLLOWERS OF YESHUA, OF JESUS,
  • 05:42 KNEW THAT THIS WAS A GUY BENT ON THEIR DEMISE.
  • 05:45 WHAT HAPPENS ALL OF SUDDEN ONE OF THEM GETS A VISION, IS TOLD,
  • 05:48 "LISTEN YOU NEED TO GO AND LAY HANDS ON THIS FELLOW".
  • 05:51 AND HE'S NERVOUS ABOUT DOING IT
  • 05:53 BUT FINALLY IN VERSE 17 WE'RE TOLD,
  • 06:11 FASCINATING STORY, PAUL WALKS AWAY FROM THIS A NEW MAN, A CONVERTED INDIVIDUAL.
  • 06:16 MIND YOU, HOWEVER, HE WAS A CONVERTED PERSON.
  • 06:20 PEOPLE COME UP TO ME AND THEY SAY, "WELL, YOU KNOW MR. SEIF, HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A CONVERTED JEW?"
  • 06:24 AND I'M VERY FOND OF SAYING IT.
  • 06:25 PERSONALLY, I'M NOT A CONVERTED JEW, I'M A CONVERTED SINNER.
  • 06:28 IT'S NOT A SIN TO BE A JEW.
  • 06:30 PAUL DIDN'T UNDERSTAND THAT HE USED TO BE JEWISH BUT NOW HE'S BECOME SOMETHING ELSE,
  • 06:34 NO, PAUL HAS COME TO APPRECIATE WHAT IT MEANS TO BE FULLY JEWISH
  • 06:38 IN THE WAKE OF HIS ENCOUNTER WITH THE MESSIAH WHO EPITOMIZES JEWISH FAITH, VIRTUE, HOPES AND ASPIRATIONS.
  • 06:56 HE'S LEAD TO DAMASCUS BY THE HAND.
  • 06:57 HE'S BLIND.
  • 06:58 CAN'T SEE.
  • 06:59 CAN'T SEE ANYTHING.
  • 07:01 HIS BLINDNESS ASIDE, THERE'S A DISCIPLE THAT HAS VISION FROM THE LORD,
  • 07:05 "GO SEE THIS FELLOW NAMED SHAUL".
  • 07:08 OF COURSE HE HAS AN AVERSION TO DOING SO.
  • 07:10 PAUL'S REPUTATION PRECEDES HIM.
  • 07:11 PEOPLE KNEW THAT PAUL WAS PRINCIPALLY ENGAGED IN ERADICATING THE MOVEMENT.
  • 07:18 HE WAS INVOLVED IN THE PERSECUTION
  • 07:19 SO ASKING ANANIAS TO GO SEE PAUL WAS LIKE ASKING A MOUSE TO GO VISIT A CAT.
  • 07:24 HE WASN'T INTERESTED IN IT QUITE FRANKLY.
  • 07:26 BUT HE WENT ANYWAY AND WE'RE TOLD THAT HE CAME
  • 07:30 IN VERSE 17 OF THE 9TH CHAPTER
  • 07:34 AND THAT HE ENTERED THE HOUSE WHERE SHAUL WAS
  • 07:35 AND HE LAID HIS HANDS ON HIM
  • 07:37 AND SAID, "BROTHER SAUL,
  • 07:39 THE LORD JESUS TOLD ME TO COME TO YOU."
  • 07:42 AND WHAT HAPPENS, HE PRAYS FOR HIM
  • 07:44 AND THEN WE'RE TOLD IN THE TEXT THAT SAUL RECOVERS HIS VISION.
  • 07:48 AND THEN INTERESTINGLY WE'RE TOLD THAT IMMEDIATELY PAUL MAKES HASTE TO GO TO THE SYNAGOGUE.
  • 07:54 SYNAGOGUES CAME IN VARIOUS SHAPES, SIZES AND COLORS.
  • 07:58 PAUL WENT INTO THE SYNAGOGUE AND HE WAS GIVEN THEREIN TO ADVOCATING FOR THIS YESHUA,
  • 08:05 FOR THIS JESUS BEING THE HOPE OF ISRAEL.
  • 08:07 IT'S A FASCINATING STORY.
  • 08:09 I WANT YOU TO LOOK AT A TEXT PLEASE IN THE 9TH CHAPTER OF THE BOOK OF ACTS
  • 08:13 CAUSE THERE'S SOMETHING I WANT TO UNDERSCORE THAT TO ME IS JUST SO IMPORTANT
  • 08:19 AND ITS SO UNDERDEVELOPED.
  • 08:21 AND IT'S SO DESCRIPTIVE OF PAUL.
  • 08:23 IN VERSE 20 AS I'D SAID
  • 08:24 WE'RE TOLD THAT IMMEDIATELY
  • 08:26 HE PREACHED THE CHRIST.
  • 08:28 YOU KNOW, "IMMEDIATELY" IS USED...THE GREEK TERM IS USED 42 TIMES IN MARK'S GOSPEL.
  • 08:34 JESUS IMMEDIATELY....SOMETIMES PEOPLE THINK AND FEEL TOO MUCH.
  • 08:38 YOU GOTTA JUST GO AFTER IT.
  • 08:40 WE'RE TOLD HERE THAT PAUL IMMEDIATELY WENT INTO THE SYNAGOGUE.
  • 08:43 OF COURSE PAUL COULD GET IN THERE.
  • 08:45 HE COULD MAKE HIS WAY INTO A SYNAGOGUE AND GET A SPEAKING ENGAGEMENT.
  • 08:48 HE WAS A MEMBER OF THE PERUSHIM, HE WAS A SCHOLAR, TRAINED, STUDIED IN JERUSALEM
  • 08:54 AND SYNAGOGUES WOULD GIVE HIM A HEARING.
  • 08:57 BUT THEN OF COURSE WHEN HE STARTED TALKING THEY REALIZED,
  • 09:00 "WELL, THIS REALLY ISN'T QUITE WHAT WE EXPECTED", PARTICULARLY OF THESE PEOPLE.
  • 09:03 BECAUSE INASMUCH AS THE JEWISH FOLLOWERS OF YESHUA KNEW THAT PAUL HAD COME TO FAITH
  • 09:08 THE SYNAGOGUE ITSELF HASN'T YET DISCOVERED IT.
  • 09:12 BUT HERE PAUL'S COMING OUT OF THE CLOSET IF YOU WILL AND MAKING HIS VISION KNOWN.
  • 09:16 AND WE'RE TOLD IN VERSE 20
  • 09:17 THAT HE PREACHES THE MASHIACH
  • 09:19 IN THE SYNAGOGUE
  • 09:21 THAT HE IN FACT
  • 09:22 IS THE SON OF GOD.
  • 09:23 I WANT YOU TO NOTE IN VERSE 21 THERE'S SOME DISCONSTERNATION ALONG WITH THAT.
  • 09:28 IT WAS A ROCKY ROAD, IT WASN'T WHAT PEOPLE WERE EXPECTED
  • 09:32 AND THEY WEREN'T EXPECTING THAT FROM PAUL BUT HE IS WHAT HE IS.
  • 09:36 HE'S NOT TRYING TO WIN A POPULARITY CONTEST, HE'S TRYING TO TELL THE TRUTH.
  • 09:39 WE'RE TOLD IN VERSE 22 THEN THAT DIFFICULTIES NOTWITHSTANDING,
  • 09:42 AND I REALLY WANT YOU TO HEAR ME ON THIS.
  • 09:44 WE'RE TOLD,
  • 09:57 NOW TO DESCRIBE THIS MAN AS A MAN OF STRENGTH, UMPH, HE'S GOT SOME MOXIE.
  • 10:02 A LOT OF TIMES PEOPLE LIKE THEIR RELIGIOUS LEADERS SWEET AND DOCILE AND FOREVER SHEEPISH AND COMPLIANT.
  • 10:10 THAT'S NOT PAUL.
  • 10:11 THOSE PEOPLE DON'T CHANGE THE WORLD.
  • 10:14 PAUL HERE IS PROACTIVE, HE'S ENGAGED AND HE'S STRONG.
  • 10:19 WHEN WE READ PAUL IN THE NEW TESTAMENT THIS ISN'T SOME RELIGIOUS PHILOSOPHER,
  • 10:24 THIS IS A MAN WHO'S HAD A RADICAL ENCOUNTER WITH YESHUA
  • 10:28 AND HE'S BENT ON ADVOCATING FOR HIM
  • 10:30 MUCH AS HE WAS BENT ON DESTROYING HIM PREVIOUSLY IN HIS LIFE.
  • 10:35 PAUL WAS A MAN ON A MISSION.
  • 10:36 PAUL WAS AN INTENSE MAN.
  • 10:38 HE WAS A FOCUSED MAN.
  • 10:40 HE WAS A MAN WITH VISION.
  • 10:41 NOT EVERYBODY LOVED HIM BUT THEY CAME TO RESPECT HIM.
  • 10:44 THIS IS A MAN THAT SAID WHAT HE THOUGHT.
  • 10:46 AND THESE APPARENTLY WEREN'T JUST HIS THOUGHTS BUT RATHER,
  • 10:48 UNDER THE INSPIRATION OF THE HOLY SPIRIT HE WENT FORTH AND CHANGED THE WORLD
  • 10:53 AND OFF INTO THE WORLD WE GO AS WE WALK IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF THIS RABBI FROM TARSUS.
  • 11:01 THE GREEKS HAVE A SAYING,
  • 11:02 "FIVE SENSES TO ADORE,
  • 11:04 ONE COUNTRY TO EXPLORE".
  • 11:07 JEFF, WE'RE EXPLORING GREECE,
  • 11:08 WE'RE STANDING HERE IN CORINTH,
  • 11:09 IT'S JUST BEAUTIFUL.
  • 11:10 I WANT EVERYONE TO COME SEE IT.
  • 11:12 WELL, YOU HEARD WHAT THE LADY SAID.
  • 11:14 COME TO CORINTH AND WALK IN PAUL'S FOOTSTEPS.
  • 11:16 IT'S A GOOD EXPERIENCE ISN'T IT?
  • 11:18 IT WOULD BE OUR PLEASURE TO SHOW YOU GREECE.
  • 11:20 ALL THE BIBLE SITES COME ALIVE WHEN YOU SEE THEM IN PERSON.
  • 11:25 JEFF, THEY COME ALIVE.
  • 11:26 I'M SO EXCITED TO SHOW PEOPLE GREECE AND ISRAEL.
  • 11:28 I'M SO EXCITED.
  • 11:29 YES, YOU'LL LOVE IT.
  • 11:31 IT'LL BE INFORMATIONAL,
  • 11:32 INSPIRATIONAL.
  • 11:34 BE TRANSFORMED WITH THE TRANSATLANTIC TRIP HERE
  • 11:37 AND WALK IN THE BIBLE LANDS.
  • 11:41 USUALLY YOU HEAR ME SAY, "THAT'S ISRAEL".
  • 11:44 BUT NOW "THAT'S GREECE".
  • 11:45 JEFF WE GET TO GO TO GREECE,
  • 11:46 WE GET TO SEE ALL THE SITES THAT PAUL SAW.
  • 11:48 WE REALLY WALKED IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF PAUL.
  • 11:51 IT WAS EXCITING TO SEE ALL THAT.
  • 11:52 AND FOLK CAN COME WITH US TOO.
  • 11:54 WHY HAVE ALL THE FUN?
  • 11:55 SEE THE BIBLE LANDS.
  • 11:57 ACTUALLY GREECE IS MY SECOND FAVORITE PLACE TO GO.
  • 12:00 I LIKE SEEING MARS HILL.
  • 12:02 I LIKE SEEING ATHENS.
  • 12:03 I LIKE SEEING THE CULTURE OF THE DAY.
  • 12:05 IT'S UN-SIMILAR TO WHAT IT WAS WHEN PAUL WAS THERE.
  • 12:08 IT BRINGS THE BIBLE ALIVE.
  • 12:09 IT REALLY DOES.
  • 12:11 AS A BIBLE COLLEGE PROF I'LL BRING SLIDES OF ATHENS, WHEREVER
  • 12:13 AND PEOPLE LOVE TO SEE IT.
  • 12:15 THERE HEAR ABOUT, THEY READ ABOUT IT.
  • 12:16 GO VISIT IT.
  • 12:17 IT ADDS A DIMENSION THAT WOULDN'T OTHERWISE BE THERE.
  • 12:19 WELL, IT IS.
  • 12:21 AND I,M THAT PERSON I LIKE TO KNOW WHERE EVERYTHING IS.
  • 12:22 I'M FROM TEXAS.
  • 12:23 EVERYTHING IS BIG HERE.
  • 12:25 I LIKE TO KNOW HOW FAR THINGS ARE.
  • 12:26 FOR EXAMPLE, DAMASCUS FROM TARSUS, NOT FAR, 300 MILES.
  • 12:30 DAMASCUS FROM JERUSALEM 140 MILES.
  • 12:33 THOSE ARE NOT VERY FAR, EVERYTHING'S KIND OF COMPACT.
  • 12:36 RIGHT AND THE STORY THAT WAS PLAYED OUT
  • 12:38 IN THAT LITTLE ARENA IS FANTASTIC.
  • 12:40 ISN'T IT? >>OH, RIGHT.
  • 12:41 AND WE GET TO SEE THAT.
  • 12:43 JEFF HERE TEACHES ON THE ROAD TO DAMASCUS.
  • 12:47 SOMETHING STRANGE HAPPENED TO HIM ON THAT ROAD TO DAMASCUS MANY YEARS AGO.
  • 12:51 THE RABBI FROM TARSUS TRAVERSED THE PATH
  • 12:55 AND THERE HE WAS KNOCKED OFF HIS HORSE, FLOORED,
  • 12:58 HE WAS AS GOOD AS BLIND
  • 13:01 AND SO MUCH SO THAT HE HAD TO GET LEAD INTO DAMASCUS BY THE HAND.
  • 13:06 AND THERE ONE OF THE BRETHREN LAID HANDS ON HIM AND PAUL BEGAN TO SEE.
  • 13:12 OH, BUT THIS MAN DIDN'T JUST SEE THINGS MATERIALLY,
  • 13:16 HE WAS GIVEN A KIND OF SPIRITUAL VISION AS WELL.
  • 13:20 AND WHAT HE ENVISIONED WOULD CHANGE THE WORLD.
  • 13:24 IN HIS OWN WORLD PAUL HAD A VISION.
  • 13:27 OH YES, LIKE OTHERS HE WAS INDELIBLY MARKED, IMPRESSED BY HIS EXPERIENCE WITH JESUS.
  • 13:34 BUT HIS EXPERIENCE WAS DIFFERENT THAN THE EARLIER DISCIPLES
  • 13:37 FOR PAUL HIMSELF NEVER DRANK ANY WATER TURNED TO WINE,
  • 13:41 NEVER ATE ANY FISH ON ANY MOUNTAIN SIDE THAT HAD BEEN MULTIPLIED MIRACULOUSLY.
  • 13:45 HE NEVER HEARD A SINGLE PARABLE ROLL OFF OF JESUS' LIPS.
  • 13:50 PAUL HAD NO FIRST HAND EXPERIENCE
  • 13:53 AND HE WAS BENT INITIALLY ON DESTROYING THOSE WHO DID.
  • 13:57 INTERESTINGLY WHEN HE HAS A RADICAL ENCOUNTER WITH JESUS
  • 14:00 HE DOESN'T RUN TO THE SCHOOL TO LEARN TO SIT AT THE FEET OF THE ORIGINALS.
  • 14:06 NO, HE RETREATS.
  • 14:08 HE'S IN DAMASCUS.
  • 14:09 HE TELLS US IN HIS OWN AUTOBIOGRAPHY THAT WE'LL GET TO
  • 14:12 THAT FROM DAMASCUS HE THEN GOES TO ARABIA.
  • 14:16 THIS IS NOT THE ARABIA OF THE SAUDI PENINSULA OF TODAY;
  • 14:21 RATHER THIS IS THE NABATIAN COMMUNITY IN WHAT WOULD BE JORDAN
  • 14:25 JUST EAST OF THE HOLY LAND IN MODERN JORDAN, TRANSJORDANIA.
  • 14:30 AND THERE HE LEARNED, THERE HE DEVELOPED, THERE GREW
  • 14:34 AND HE EMERGED FROM IT AS THIS STRIKING APOSTLE THAT WE KNOW
  • 14:39 WHO THEN WENT ON TO LEAVE AN INDELIBLE MARK ON THE PAGES OF THE HOLY WRIT.
  • 14:44 AND SPEAKING OF HOLY WRIT, WHEN WE LOOK AT THE GALATIANA CORRESPONDENCE,
  • 14:48 AND THIS WAS ARGUABLY THE FIRST NEW TESTAMENT TEXT WRITTEN,
  • 14:53 HERE PAUL WAXES ELOQUENT AS HE GIVES SOME AUTOBIOGRAPHY TO MAKE A POINT.
  • 14:58 HE NOTES IN VERSE 15 AND HE SAYS,
  • 15:08 NOW HEAR ME ON THIS.
  • 15:09 IF YOU HAVE THE KIND OF INTENSITY THAT PAUL HAD
  • 15:11 YOU NEED TO FEEL CALLED, SOME SENSE OF THE LORD BECKONING YOU INTO THIS.
  • 15:16 THERE ARE INDIVIDUALS TODAY THAT HAVE A CALL OF GOD ON THEIR LIFE.
  • 15:20 ITS FROM THE LATIN "VOCATIO"
  • 15:23 CALLING,
  • 15:24 THE WORD "VOCATION"
  • 15:26 COMES FROM THAT.
  • 15:27 THE WORD "VOICE"
  • 15:28 COMES FROM THAT AS WELL,
  • 15:30 THAT IS THE INDIVIDUAL HEARS THAT VOICE INTERNALLY BECKONING THEM A DIRECTION.
  • 15:33 HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH EDUCATION.
  • 15:35 HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH INDOCTRINATION.
  • 15:38 IT'S ORIENTATION.
  • 15:39 THERE SOMETHING INSIDE OF YOU,
  • 15:41 THE RUACH ELOHIM, THE SPIRIT OF GOD COMES IN TO SOMEONE AND THEN MOVES THEM.
  • 15:47 AND THE LORD MOVED PAUL.
  • 15:50 BUT HE DIDN'T MOVE PAUL TO SIT AT THE FEET OF THOSE WHO WERE IN THE KNOW.
  • 15:55 HE MOVED PAUL AWAY TO A SEASON OF SOLACE WHERE HE COULD SPEAK TO HIM PERSONALLY.
  • 16:02 IN PAUL'S MIND HE WAS ALREADY FILLED UP WITH THEOLOGICAL EDUCATION AS A MEMBER OF THE PARUSHEIM.
  • 16:07 HE NEEDED THE SCHOOL OF THE SPIRIT AND THE LORD TOOK HIM AWAY.
  • 16:10 HE SAYS THAT THE LORD PLEASED,
  • 16:13 IN VERSE 16, TO REVEAL HIS SON.
  • 16:16 HE SEPARATED ME FROM MOTHER'S WOMB, IN VERSE 15, 16
  • 16:19 AND THEN HE REVEALED HIS SON TO ME
  • 16:22 THAT I MIGHT PREACH HIM AMONG THE GOYIM,
  • 16:25 AMONG THE PEOPLE OF NON-JEWISH EXTRACT.
  • 16:27 PAUL HAD A VISION.
  • 16:29 THE RABBI FROM TARSUS HAD A BROADER VISION THAN JUST JUDEA PROPER.
  • 16:34 HE BELIEVED THAT GOD WAS FOR ..., FOR ALL OF THE PEOPLES, "KOL HAYOM"
  • 16:39 AND HE WAS MINDED TO CARRY THE BURDEN AND CARRY IT HE DID.
  • 16:44 WE'RE TOLD IN VERSE 16,
  • 16:52 PAUL DIDN'T RUN OFF TO JERUSALEM TO GET A MASTER OF DIVINITY DEGREE FROM THOSE WHO ARE IN THE KNOW.
  • 16:56 NO, HE RAN OFF TO A BARREN PLACE, TO A DESOLATE PLACE.
  • 17:01 BUT HE DIDN'T JUST GO INTO A CAVE AND STUDY,
  • 17:03 THOUGH THERE'S PLENTY...THERE'S MANY PLACES FOR PRIVACY TO GO
  • 17:07 IF YOU WANT AN ARID, DRY ENVIRONMENT
  • 17:09 YOU CAN FIND IT AROUND THE ARABIAN DESERT THERE WHERE PAUL WAS.
  • 17:15 THE REASON WHY WE KNOW HE DIDN'T JUST GO AWAY AND MEDITATE
  • 17:18 IS LATER ON WHEN HE WRITES II CORINTHIANS 11:32
  • 17:22 HE'S GOING TO GIVE VOICE TO THE FACT
  • 17:24 THAT WHEN HE RETURNS TO DAMASCUS AFTER SOME YEARS IN THE AREA OF THE NABATIANS,
  • 17:30 WHAT'S REFERRED TO HERE AS ARABIA,
  • 17:32 WHEN HE GOES BACK, HE MENTIONS HOW KING ARETAS OF THE DAMASCANS,
  • 17:36 HOW HE'S HELL BENT ON DESTROYING HIM WITH A NET RESULT
  • 17:40 THAT PAUL HAS TO SNEAK OUT OF THE CITY, TO GET LOWERED IN A BASKET.
  • 17:44 ARGUABLY, SOMEHOW WHEN HE'S OUT AND ABOUT IN THE REGION HE'S NOT JUST MEDITATING PRIVATELY
  • 17:50 BUT HE'S CONFUTING, RATHER HE'S DEBATING,
  • 17:53 HE'S WEIGHING IN ON ISSUES, DISCUSSING, GROWING, GOING TO SYNAGOGUES
  • 17:56 AND HE'S KNOWN AS SOMETHING OF A TROUBLE MAKER
  • 17:59 AND ALREADY THE KING OF THE AREA HAS WARRANTS OUT FOR HIM.
  • 18:03 REMINDS ME OF JOHN WESLEY WHO COMES TO THE STATE INITIALLY AS A MISSIONARY
  • 18:07 BUT THEN HAS TO FLEE BACK TO EUROPE BECAUSE THE CONSTABLES ARE AFTER HIM
  • 18:10 BECAUSE HE STIRRED IT UP OVER HERE.
  • 18:12 YOU KNOW SOME PEOPLE ARE TROUBLE MAKERS WHEN THEY ADVOCATE FOR THE KINGDOM.
  • 18:15 THEY'RE NOT JUST SHEEPISH, RELIGIOUS PHILOSOPHERS
  • 18:18 AND PAUL WAS OF THAT YOKE WERE HE WANTED TO CONFRONT THE WORLD WITH THE TRUTH OF JESUS.
  • 18:23 AND THERE WAS SOME BACKLASH TO THAT.
  • 18:25 INASMUCH AS HE PUSHED FOR JESUS, PEOPLE TRIED TO PUSH HIM BACK.
  • 18:29 DIFFICULTIES NOT WITHSTANDING, WHEN WE FOLLOW IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF THE RABBI FROM TARSUS
  • 18:35 WE ENCOUNTER SOMEONE WHO IS NOT GOING TO BE BESTED BY HIS TROUBLES OR HIS DESPAIR.
  • 18:40 HE DIDN'T CARE.
  • 18:42 HE WENT EVERYWHERE TO ADVANCE THE MESSIAH'S KINGDOM AND THAT'S WHAT HE WAS ALL ABOUT.
  • 18:45 AND THAT'S WHAT WE'RE GOING TO BE ALL ABOUT
  • 18:47 AS WE CONTINUE TO EXPLORE PAUL AS WE WALK IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF THE RABBI FROM TARSUS.
  • 19:04 WHEN I CONSIDER PAUL'S MINISTRY INITIALLY I'M REMINDED OF HOW PRECARIOUS LIFE CAN BE.
  • 19:10 EVEN LIFE WITH THE LORD.
  • 19:12 IT SEEMS THAT WHEN YOU WALK WITH GOD
  • 19:14 HELL HAS AN ASSIGNMENT AGAINST YA
  • 19:15 AND THAT'S MANIFEST IN PAUL'S EXPERIENCE.
  • 19:17 AND THAT IS PAUL.
  • 19:18 HE'S EXCITED.
  • 19:19 HE'S COME TO KNOW MESSIAH.
  • 19:20 HE'S OUT THERE TEACHING.
  • 19:22 HE IS THRILLED TO BE SPREADING THE NEWS.
  • 19:24 HE KNOWS THIS IS THE MESSIAH.
  • 19:26 AND WHAT HAPPENS TO HIM?
  • 19:27 HE HAS TO LEAVE IN A BASKET.
  • 19:29 HOW HUMILIATING FOR HIM?
  • 19:31 HOW HUMILIATING FOR US WHEN WE WITNESS?
  • 19:33 SOMETIMES WE DON'T QUITE THE WORD OUT
  • 19:35 EXACTLY THE WAY WE WANT
  • 19:36 AND WE HAVE TO RETREAT AND GO BACK.
  • 19:38 RIGHT, AND HIS AGONY IS OUR ECSTASY.
  • 19:41 WE'VE LEARNED LIFE BECAUSE OF THE WAY HE SUFFERED IN LIFE.
  • 19:44 THERE'S A...WHAT DO I SAY?, MODERN DAY PAUL? YES AND NO.
  • 19:48 DR. JOHN FISCHER, LIKE PAUL, IS A JEWISH FELLOW, THOROUGHLY EDUCATED IN THINGS JEWISH.
  • 19:53 HE CAME TO KNOW THE LORD THOROUGHLY EDUCATED.
  • 19:57 HE'S NOW A PROFESSOR OF JEWISH STUDIES, BIBLE, HE IS RICH.
  • 20:02 AND NOW YOU'RE GONNA BE THE WEALTHIER FOR YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH RABBI DR. JOHN FISCHER.
  • 20:13 DR. FISCHER IT IS MY PLEASURE
  • 20:15 TO WELCOME YOU TO ZOLA LEVITT PRESENTS.
  • 20:17 I KNOW THAT YOU ARE THIS EMINENT THEOLOGIAN,
  • 20:21 YOU'RE A RABBI.
  • 20:22 I REALLY WANT TO KNOW HOW YOU CAME TO KNOW THE MESSIAH.
  • 20:25 YOUR PARENTS...YOU WERE RAISED IN A MESSIANIC HOME
  • 20:28 BY PARENTS WHO CAME OUT OF THE HOLOCAUST.
  • 20:30 YES, QUITE A STORY. >>QUITE A STORY.
  • 20:33 FIRST OF ALL, THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME ON
  • 20:35 AND YOU FLATTER ME.
  • 20:36 BUT, YEAH, IT'S A VERY INTERESTING STORY.
  • 20:39 IT'S A STORY THAT IN SHORT FORM
  • 20:41 MY MOTHER RELATES IN 45 MINUTES. >>(SANDRA LAUGHING)
  • 20:44 IT'S IN BOOKLET FORM
  • 20:46 YOU CAN GET IT,
  • 20:47 IT'S AN INTERESTING STORY CALLED "TIME OF STORM"
  • 20:48 AND IT LITERALLY IS OUR JOURNEY THROUGH TIME AND TIMES OF STORM.
  • 20:52 AS A FAMILY WE SURVIVED THE HOLOCAUST IN BUDAPEST, HUNGARY.
  • 20:55 SO THE STORY WINDS THROUGH THE BACK ALLIES AND THE GHETTOS OF BUDAPEST,
  • 20:58 WINDS THROUGH THE OFFICES OF COMMUNIST IMMIGRATION IN POST WAR HUNGARY
  • 21:05 AND HOW WE WERE ABLE TO ESCAPE FROM THE IRON CURTAIN SO TO SPEAK.
  • 21:10 IT TRAVELS THE CEILINGS OF THE OCEAN LINERS
  • 21:13 ON THE WAY TO ACTUALLY PARAGUAY WITH A STOP OVER IN AMERICA.
  • 21:17 UNFORTUNATELY WHILE WE WERE IN ROUTE PARAGUAY HAD A REVOLUTION,
  • 21:23 WE GOT STUCK IN THE UNITED STATES,
  • 21:24 NO PLACE TO GO, READY TO BE DEPORTED,
  • 21:27 GO THROUGH THE HALLS OF CONGRESS
  • 21:29 WHERE SPECIAL LEGISLATION ENABLED US TO REMAIN HERE IN THE UNITED STATES.
  • 21:33 SO QUITE A STORY, MIRACLE ON TOP OF MIRACLE.
  • 21:36 BUT, YES, AND IT ALSO INVOLVES A STORY
  • 21:38 OF A VERY FAITHFUL MESSIANIC JEWISH HUNGARY GAL
  • 21:41 BY THE NAME OF MARY HAJOS
  • 21:43 WHO ALSO SURVIVED THE HOLOCAUST
  • 21:44 WHO KEPT FOCUSING US IN ON ISAIAH 53.
  • 21:48 AND WHO DID THIS CHAPTER DESCRIBE?
  • 21:52 WHO IS THIS TALKING ABOUT?
  • 21:53 WHO IS THIS TALKING ABOUT?
  • 21:54 AND WE FINALLY GOT THE PICTURE.
  • 21:56 SO, YES, RAISED IN A MESSIANIC HOME,
  • 21:58 INTERESTINGLY ENOUGH SANDRA,
  • 21:59 WHILE I AM TECHNICALLY SECOND GENERATION MESSIANIC JEW,
  • 22:04 I AM HISTORICALLY THIRD GENERATION MESSIANIC JEW. >>WOW
  • 22:08 MY GRANDPARENTS LATER BECAME MESSIANIC JEWS AFTER US
  • 22:11 AND WE NOW HAVE CHILDREN
  • 22:15 AND WE'LL HAVE A GRANDCHILD SHORTLY
  • 22:18 SO WE'RE A FAMILY OF AT LEAST FOUR GENERATIONS OF MESSIANIC JEWS
  • 22:22 WITH THE FIFTH ONE ABOUT TO SHOW UP.
  • 22:24 SO, IT IS A VERY INTERESTING STORY
  • 22:26 BUT IT'S A STORY OF HOW GOD MOVES IN PEOPLES LIVES IN DIFFERENT WAYS.
  • 22:28 THE STORY SOUNDS DRAMATIC AND TO SOME DECREE IT IS.
  • 22:31 BUT MY PERSONAL END OF THE STORY IS NOT OVERLY DRAMATIC
  • 22:35 ITS JUST A KID WHO CAME TO FAITH IN A JEWISH MESSIAH BY THE NAME OF YESHUA,
  • 22:40 AND WHO GREW UP IN A JEWISH FAMILY THAT WAS ALSO A MESSIANIC JEWISH FAMILY,
  • 22:46 THAT ACKNOWLEDGED THE MESSIAH
  • 22:47 BUT YET REMAINED FIRMLY CONNECTED TO OUR JEWISH HISTORY,
  • 22:51 OUR JEWISH HERITAGE, OUR TRADITIONS.
  • 22:53 IT'S A LOVELY STORY.
  • 22:55 I CANNOT IMAGINE THE MOVING AROUND
  • 22:58 AND THE MIRACLES THAT YOU MUST HAVE SEEN IN YOUR LIFE
  • 23:01 AND YET STILL HOLD ON TO THAT HOPE
  • 23:03 THAT HERE YESHUA IS THE MESSIAH.
  • 23:05 IT'S A WONDERFUL STORY.
  • 23:07 ABSOLUTELY AND IT'S BEEN CENTRAL TO OUR LIVES SINCE THEN
  • 23:10 AND IT INVOLVED US MOVING ON INTO MINISTRY.
  • 23:12 INTERESTINGLY ENOUGH THE GAL WHO GOT THE WHOLE STORY STARTED
  • 23:15 IS THE ONE WHO GOT MY WIFE AND I INVOLVED IN MESSIANIC MINISTRY.
  • 23:20 MARY HAJOS WAS VISITING THE UNITED STATES,
  • 23:23 MENTIONED THAT THERE WAS THIS OUTFIT IN CHICAGO
  • 23:26 THAT NEEDED SOMEONE TO WORK ON THE COLLEGE CAMPUS WITH JEWISH STUDENTS
  • 23:29 AND SAID, "YOU GUYS SHOULD BE IT".
  • 23:30 AND HERE WE ARE.
  • 23:31 AND HERE WE ARE. >>HERE WE ARE.
  • 23:33 WELL, WE'RE GONNA TALK SOME MORE.
  • 23:34 WE'VE GOT YOU IN SEVERAL MORE PROGRAMS, SO THANK YOU.
  • 23:36 I'M LOOKING FORWARD TO IT AND THANK YOU.
  • 23:37 ABSOLUTELY.
  • 23:46 ♪(ORCHESTRA PLAYING)♪
  • 24:41 DR. FISCHER WAS SO INTERESTING AND SO INSPIRATIONAL.
  • 24:45 HIS FAMILY CAME OUT OF THE HOLOCAUST
  • 24:49 AND YET THEY WERE BELIEVERS, MESSIANIC JEWISH BELIEVERS.
  • 24:53 IT WAS JUST REALLY ENCOURAGING TO TALK TO HIM JEFF.
  • 24:56 WHEN I WAS CONSIDERING WHO TO BRING HERE TO TALK ON THE SERIES
  • 24:59 I THOUGHT "LET'S GET DR. FISCHER TO TALK ABOUT PAUL".
  • 25:02 JOHN IS ONE OF THE BEST OF THE BEST, LIKE PAUL. >>YEAH
  • 25:06 PAUL WAS THOROUGHLY EDUCATED AND A REAL STRONG BELIEVER IN YESHUA AND DR. FISCHER IS MUCH THE SAME.
  • 25:12 WE'LL BE HEARING HIM THROUGHOUT THE SERIES.
  • 25:14 I KNOW AND IT WAS ALMOST A LITTLE INTIMIDATING.
  • 25:16 I HAVE THREE PAGES OF NOTES ON HIM.
  • 25:18 IT'S LIKE ALL THESE ARTICLES HE'S WRITTEN,
  • 25:19 ALL THESE DEGREES HE HAS, ALL THIS THAT HE HAS DONE.
  • 25:23 I THOUGHT, "OH, MY GOODNESS.
  • 25:24 I WILL NEVER EVER BE ABLE TO TALK TO THIS MAN."
  • 25:26 AND YET SUCH A SWEET SPIRIT
  • 25:28 AND WE TALKED ABOUT MANY, MANY THINGS.
  • 25:31 I WAS A VERY, VERY IMPRESSED WITH IT.
  • 25:33 OUR VIEWERS ARE IN FOR SOMETHING GOOD. WITH JOHN FISCHER >>YEAH, HE WAS GOOD.
  • 25:36 NOW TALK ABOUT NAMES, NEVER MIND JOHN, LET'S TALK ABOUT PAUL.
  • 25:39 PAUL, I FOUND THIS VERY FASCINATING TO ME.
  • 25:42 PAUL WAS SAUL AT THE VERY BEGINNING.
  • 25:45 HIS HEBREW NAME MEANS "REQUESTED" OR "ASKED FOR".
  • 25:48 HEBREW NAMES ALWAYS HAVE A SPECIAL MEANING.
  • 25:51 BUT THEN HE CHANGES HIS NAME TO PAUL.
  • 25:54 BUT IT'S 15 YEARS AFTER HIS CONVERSION.
  • 25:56 ITS NOT THAT HE'S CONVERTED
  • 25:58 AND THEN ALL OF A SUDDEN HE HAS A NEW NAME,
  • 26:00 HE DOESN'T.
  • 26:01 IT TAKES A WHILE FOR HIM TO BECOME PAUL.
  • 26:03 AND WHO IS HIS FIRST CONVERT?
  • 26:05 A FELLOW NAMED PAUL. >>A FELLOW NAMED PAUL.
  • 26:08 IS THERE SOMETHING IN THE NAME CHANGE?
  • 26:09 AND FROM A WOMAN'S PERSPECTIVE,
  • 26:11 A WOMAN MARRIES AND TAKES ON THE NAME OF SOMEONE ELSE,
  • 26:13 SOME KIND OF IDENTITY BY ASSOCIATION.
  • 26:16 DOES THAT HAVE AN EFFECT INTERNALLY?
  • 26:18 DON'T YOU THINK IT'S A SIGN OF RESPECT?
  • 26:21 YES, BUT I THINK IN THE BIBLE THAT
  • 26:23 ALL BELIEVERS WE'RE TOLD IN REVELATION
  • 26:25 ARE GIVEN A NEW NAME ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE GRAVE.
  • 26:27 THINK WHERE PAUL IS.
  • 26:28 HE WAS ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE GRAVE.
  • 26:29 BUT HE GOT A NEW NAME BEFORE HE GOT THERE THOUGH.
  • 26:31 RIGHT, WE NEED PEOPLE TO STAY TUNED
  • 26:33 BECAUSE WE ARE GOING TO GO MANY PLACES IN THE UPCOMING SERIES.
  • 26:36 WE'RE GOING TO ITALY.
  • 26:38 WE'RE GOING TO GREECE, EPHESUS.
  • 26:42 WE'VE GONE ALL OVER THE COUNTRY IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF THE RABBI FROM TARSUS.
  • 26:45 ITS GONNA BE TERRIFIC.
  • 26:47 AND AS YOU GO "SHA' ALU SHALOM YERUSHALAYIM"
  • 26:49 PRAY FOR THE PEACE OF JERUSALEM.
  • 26:53 OUR OFFER ON THIS PROGRAM:

Bonus Material

Episodes in this series

  1. First Steps Toward Christ
  2. First “Official” Ministry
  3. Apostolic Ordination and First Missionary Journey
  4. Second and Third Missionary Journeys
  5. Arrest and Appeal to Rome for Trial
  6. Roman Imprisonment, Release, Travels and Death
  7. Paul's Earliest Writings: to the Galatians and Thessalonians
  8. Letter to the Corinthians, and Follow-up to the Thessalonians
  9. Reconciliation with the Corinthians, and Roman Correspondence
  10. Letters to Philemon, and the Colossians and Ephesians
  11. Letters to the Philippians and Timothy
  12. Final Steps and Farewell Letters to Titus and Timothy

Related Episodes

Zola Levitt Presents
Levitt Letter
Tours
Podcasts