Did Jesus Really Mean That?

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We’ve all read the words of Jesus, and some of them seem quite radical. Did Jesus really mean what He said? Is it possible to take His teachings literally? Shed some light on these things today with Dr. Brown!

Hour 1:

Dr. Brown’s Bottom Line: Jesus, the perfect Son of God, the royal King bearing the royalty of heaven, came down to our filthy world and not only served, but died a criminal’s death so we could be free. He had mercy on us, so let us have mercy on others.

Hour 2:

Dr. Brown’s Bottom Line: Jesus the Lord is worthy of our complete adoration and service. He is the pearl of great price, and when we find Him, we joyfully leave everything, and His radical sayings become for us the path of life and salvation.

Featured Resources:

Jewish Roots: This 10 lecture class will open your eyes to God’s eternal purposes for Israel; give you a deeper burden for the salvation of the Jewish people; open up the Jewish background to the NT and show the prophetic importance of the biblical calendar.

Principles of Holiness: In this life-changing, practical class, Dr. Brown explores: The Beauty of Holiness; Grace-Empowered Holiness; Twenty Reasons Not to Sin; God’s Cure for Dirty Feet — and much more.

Principles of Revival: This 10 lecture class give will you an understanding of the concept of revival; ground you in biblical and historical examples of revival; create within you a fresh hunger for revival and give you an understanding of why revival is so desperately needed.

Other Resources:

Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus Vol. 4: Dr. Brown counters the arguments that the New Testament mistranslates, misuses, and misunderstands the Hebrew Scriptures, also addressing the objections that Jesus or Paul abolished the Law.

How Saved Are We? by Dr. Brown: This unsettling book challenges us to ask ourselves what kind of born-again experience we have had if it calls for almost no personal sacrifice, produces virtually no separation from the world, and breeds practically no hatred of sin.


Understanding the Difficult Words of Jesus: Free article by Dr. Brown

  1. Dr. Brown,

    There is a very prominent theology that makes the Gospel mostly applicable to Jews, and Acts is made out to be “formative” – so it is the from Romans to Revelations that has any proper significance for the believer today. The Gospels and Acts have the “moral” force but is not binding on NT Believers.

    I am writing this comment before your show airs today hoping you might address this also, if possible. Of course I am referring to Darby Dispensationalism very crudely to the point that I may be even misrepresenting it, but this is in my very humble understanding of it in a nut shell. I am not referring to hyper dispensationalism either.

    Any way, I grew up in this theology, and I have a very hard time explaining to people – “But the Lord Jesus Himself said this” – and they would respond – “Does Paul or any of the apostles say anything about it?” or “You don’t understand the Jewish context in which Jesus said this”.

    My people are missing out a LOT because of it. I thank God for MUCH good that has come out of the Plymouth Brethren (at least the early Plymouth before all the nasty divisions) I highly respect men like George Muller, John Nelson Darby, C H Mackintosh, and especially A. N. Groves, J G Bellet….but I find my people have this question “Did Jesus really mean this?” I pray for my people and my heart moves for them – I hope you address this.

    One last point – Dr. Brown, with utmost humility in my heart I must say you are sometimes misrepresenting the Once Saved Always Saved (which was popularized by the Plymouth Brethren) position by referring it to as a Gospel which means you can sin all you want and still get to heaven. That is a misunderstanding – The Father severely chastens every son HE receives (Heb 12:6) and the Holy Righteous God’s attributes are stressed in our circles – It is indeed a FEARFUL thing to fall into the hands of the LIVING God. (Heb 10:31) To say nothing about the Judgement Seat of Christ (Heb 9:27). This idea of OSAS promotes license to sin is perhaps a sincere misunderstanding coming from the Lordship camp, but I grant you that that is another topic altogether. Love your show and pray for you and your ministry daily.

    Yours in Christ,

  2. Correcting a typo in my first paragraph: pls. read

    “…that makes the synoptic Gospels (ie,Mathew, Mark and Luke) mostly applicable to Jews…”

    The way it currently reads would lead to a wrong implication that the Gospel (Good News) was for Jews – which is not what I meant. Sorry for the typo.

  3. James, thanks for your comments and question. I might be able to address your concerns during the show today. As for my issue with OSAS, unfortunately, it is often presented (on the street, so to say), in the very form to which you object so strongly, as in the case of the mass murderer (at LA Fitness in Pittsburgh a few years back) who comforted himself with the assurance of OSAS before going out and killing several innocent people and then himself. That’s why I warn against any doctrine that gives you a licence to sin but commend any doctrine that encourages you to rest in God’s goodness and keeping power. It’s up to proponents of OSAS to do the latter without allowing for the former in any form.

  4. Dr. Brown, I am much honored by your response to me. I am not aware of the mass murderer you talk about but you will agree that ultimately it is only God who truly knows who are HIS. I honestly do not feel that we as humans can ever come to grasp with what I call the “scandal” of Grace – that God would send His Son (Jn 1:18) who is ever in the bosom of the Father – this one, to die for man’s sins. And that would include even a monsters like Hitler, PolPot and Stalin and Vlad the Impaler etc. The value and efficacy of the Savior’s blood is so “potent” (for a lack of a better word) to be able to FULLY pay for such evil men’s sins and still be efficacious enough for garden verity sinners like me.

    So my case is that when the Philippian Jailor asked Paul and Silas (Acts 16) at the verge of suicide – “Sirs, what must I do that I may be saved?”, the answer was not repent and live a holy life before you believe on the Lord Jesus but rather – “Believe on the Lord Jesus and thou shalt be saved, thou and thy household”.

    I believe assurance is of the essence of Salvation. The much commented verse in John 6:39 says, “And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day.” (NIV). The earnest or the down-payment of the Holy Spirit by Whom we have been sealed with at the point of salvation is given not to be taken away the next time we sin.

    This is where repentance is so crucial in a believer’s life. I just want to end with a verse that instills a lot of Godly fear as a believer in my heart – with a hope that it is a blessing to others as well:

    Regarding the Judgement Seat of Christ: 1Co 3:13-17

    “Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.”

    (The KJV use of the word destroy throws many people off – I understand it has a Millenial Kingdom context and is in line with 2Co 5:10,11 “For we must all be manifested before the judgment-seat of the Christ, that each may receive the things done in the body, according to those he has done, whether it be good or evil. Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord we persuade men, but have been manifested to God, and I hope also that we have been manifested in your consciences.”)

    I highly esteem you Dr. Brown, and I listen to you every day via podcast. I pray that you will continue to be used of the Lord mightily. Our people have pretty much given over the work of the Holy Spirit to other groups – and may I say only pay lip service to the working of the Holy Spirit. (Not to over look the negative things done in the name of the Holy Spirit in the other groups either)

  5. @James

    Hopefully, I assume you understand that you can discern who are true followers by examining the fruit.

  6. @ BenKC,

    Thanks. I am assuming you are referring to Mat 7:15 – but the context shows that the Lord was talking about false Prophets not whether one is saved or not – “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?”

    Also, how do I know if the person who is behaving badly is actually a back-slider at this time, who at another point of time, will come to repentance? I personally find the idea of constantly looking internally to check if I am saved (if I am a child or not) a rather self-defeating job, when we are called to look to “…Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith…”

    Some people may interject with 2 Cor 13:5 – but again, context clearly shows that the proving is to determine that they are in faith – meaning that they were showing that they were living out their Christian faith, epistle being written to the believers in Corinth.

    Also, one of OSAS’ favorite verse is 2 Tim 1:12 “for which cause also these things I suffer, but I am not ashamed, for I have known in whom I have believed, and have been persuaded that he is able that which I have committed to him to guard — to that day.”

    God Bless

  7. Yisroel,

    She’Koach. I read your writings “Council of the Nation”. I thought you did a good job representing your view. I thought you used good logic. That is really all I ask anyone.

    The Brit Chadashah and the Talmud can not both be from Moshe HaNavi. My Rabbi Y’shua and the Talmud rabbis can not both be speaking for Hashem. This is my evidence against the Talmud being from Hashem at least not the parts that condemn my Rabbi. Point blank, quite simple. The Talmud can not be from Hashem because it renounces the Brit Chadashah writings and my Rabbi Y’shua. I will choose my Rabbi Y’shua any day, any time, any place, my loyalty is with Y’shua HaMoshiach.

    But you did a great job in your writings, seriously. Mazal Tov. Chatzlacha v Shalom.

  8. @James,

    I am not just referring to the passage just about false prophets. There are many passages commanding followers of Christ to continue to produce fruit in keeping with repentance.

  9. @min 9:32+
    “Dr. Brown said, “Isn’t that salvation by works?”

    Doesn’t Yaakov say that a man CANNOT be saved by faith, but by works WORKING TOGETHER with faith?

  10. @ 35:00+-
    Forgiveness is not “transacted” on her end??

    Are you saying that the Father did not forgive the soldiers, in answer to Jesus’s prayer, because the soldier had not asked for forgiveness, nor repented?

    This is a very interesting idea. Does God’s forgiveness (in answer to Jesus’s prayer) become ineffective when one does not ask for it?

  11. @Dan1el

    If so, how would you explain the Lord’s very emphatic statement to the thief on the cross – “I tell you in solemn truth,” replied Jesus, “that this very day you shall be with me in Paradise.” (Luke 23:43). Wasn’t this the Lord’s response to the man’s acknowledgement (faith) of the Lord as the Messiah? Is the Lord in conflict with James (Yaakov)?

    Question remains – could there be another explanation for James’ quote?

  12. A young Muslim man who has a Dad who has 4 wifes. He sees his Dad only a couple of times per year. This young man lives with his Mom and Sister. So, he is the man of the house. He has no second thoughts if he needs to whack his Mom or Sister around.
    Last year this young man went out of his country. While he was sleeping one night Jesus the Christ revealed himself to this young Muslim man in his dreams. He came back to his country. Now this young man is on fire for Jesus. He has to hide his faith in Jesus from his family and friends and community.
    This young man no longer hits his Mom or Sister. He is full of love, grace and mercy. His sister claims she now has a brother.

    This true story is an example of faith and works.

    When you give Jesus Christ your life. You become a new person. If one calls themselves a Christian and your life has not changed since you started following Jesus, then you have to question are you truly saved or born again.

    Faith without works is dead.

    Questions to ponder over. Did or How did Jesus change your life? What is different about you? What has changed? What did you let go of?

  13. Brothers and sisters – I believe there is a great deal of confusion that exists in the truths relating to JUSTIFICATION and SANCTIFICATION. These two are 2 different thing but not mutually exclusive. Our Salvation is based on FAITH ALONE. Day by day Sanctification is what produces the golden words from the Lord after assessment of our lives – ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

    The confusion exists where folks are looking for the works of Sanctification when they are looking for Justification. “Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.” (Rom 3:20)

  14. We who are parents know the joy when our children are born. And yet, no parent is happy to see their precious child remain in a crib being bottle fed for the rest of their lives. This may be a crude analogy, but God is looking for GROWTH in every child of HIS. Growth is what the Sanctification process is all about. “until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” (Eph 4:13)

    This is the goal for each and every Child of God. But Sanctification is not Justification, but you cannot have Sanctification without Justification first. The thief on the cross did not have any time for the process of sanctification but he was Justified.

  15. James,
    That is only recorded in Luke, whereas the other two Gospels record the exact opposite (the “Bible” – a body of literature codified by men – is not infallible – HOWEVER, Dr. Brown has already warned me not to talk about this subject); however, even if it were true, the thief had works with his faith. He reached out to Jesus.

    A 7-year old who can do addition and subtraction is doing fine; but if you get to be 21 and can only add and subtract (but not divide, multiply, etc.,) then you are considered to have a learning impediment.
    In the same way, there are differing levels of responsibility at different levels of faith, so “with the heart, man believes, unto justification, and the mouth speaks unto salvation” — the “work” of confessing with the mouth results in salvation, not even the faith – that is addition and subtraction; but by the time you get to be “21”, you’d better have a lot more than that, or you’ll not be “cutting the muster”.
    (“To him who knows to do right and doesn’t do it – FOR HIM it is sin”; “To whom much is given, much will be required”)

  16. @Dan1el,
    I am sorry, but if you do not believe in the infallibility of the Holy Scripture as God’s Divine Writ, we have nothing in common as a basis to talk about. I pray that God will reveal into your spirit that ,”All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:…”

  17. @James – My comment was not in any meanspirited way at all. Just that if we do not hold on to the infallibility of the Word of God, then our discussion gets reduced to a lot of “he said, she said”. Hope you understand and I apologize if I sounded mean spirited.

  18. I believe God’s Word is infallible; but you and I do not agree on WHAT PRECISELY “God’s Word” IS. I see errors in Luke and in his other writing, Acts; so, I do not call it “infallible”. I am a “Christian”, a “believer”; but “stupid”, I am not.

  19. @Dan1el,

    I know that if Martin Luther had his way the Epistle of Straw…sorry, I mean the Epistle of James would not be in our Bibles. (I owe a lot to the reformers, I do not mean to put them down by this, but using this as an illustation)

    If we all begin to pick and choose which portion of Scripture we are going to call “infallible” we will have as many canons as there are believers.

    Just saying.

  20. The ones that are infallible are the ones that are “woven of one piece” – like Jesus’s garments, which were symbolic of his inner integrity, and the Words which He lived by (OT Scripture) – everything else may put forth true IDEAS; but it just isn’t the same caliber as OT writings, where EVERY WORD is BURSTING with meaning and Truth. Anyways, Dr. Brown doesn’t want me talking about this; so, please don’t bring it up. If you do, I simply will not respond to it.

  21. Can someone tell me what the significance of the Cross is?

    I was headed toward the bathroom, and I heard the song (from “Creed”),
    “…I see a thunder in the distance; see a vision of a CROSS (and, at this exact moment, AS I LOOKED INTO THE TOILET, THERE WAS A LIGHT-REFLECTION _OF A CROSS_ being cast inside the toilet)”

    Is God trying to tell me something about the Cross? MANY times I have been shown a “Cross” at “exact” times… I really want to understand…

  22. Hello James!
    What is your interpretation of this scripture.

    Matthew 7:21 – 23
    “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

  23. Daniel,
    The cross is a sign of the Lord’s mercy and grace for man kind.
    The “sign” you saw was a reminder to you from the Lord. He loves you and cares about you that He gave up His life for you. Also, maybe this is a reminder to you, that the Lord is watching over you.

    Interesting place to see this sign of the cross. LOL Actually pretty amazing.

  24. Well, it was before I went in there; the water was still clean. LOL Besides, its porcelain, isn’t it? It is elegant. LOL

  25. The cross means so much doesn’t it? The story of it tells us everything we need to know, if we could fathom it’s depths.

    How many questions could we ask about it?

    1. Why did they kill Jesus?
    2. Why did men crucify anyone, that is why that method?
    3. What do the events which happened at the cross of Jesus tell us about the nature of man?
    4. What does the cross tell us about Jesus?
    5. Why did Jesus have to die on the cross?
    6. What might have happened if he chose not to?
    (God forbid!)
    7. What would have happened to us if Jesus would not have kept himself pure?
    8. What does his example tell us?
    9. Does it please God when we go the way of the cross?
    10. What does our suffering look like to men?
    11. What does it look like to God?
    12. Does a father have joy when he hears and sees his children walk in the truth?
    13. Is God grieved if/when we miss the way of suffering by the virtue of the cross? (if we miss the way of the cross, will our suffering come later, and if so, how so?)
    14. How many times should we come back to the cross?
    15. Will we be perfected as we take up our cross?
    16. Does embracing the cross do the work of santification?
    17. Are we changed by virtue of the cross of Christ?
    18. Will we go from one level of glory to another
    because of the cross?
    19. Will anyone get to heaven without it?
    20. Was Jesus empowered by God when he said “yes” to the cross?

    21. When we look into a real mess, or a situation where there is likely to be one, should we remember the cross?

  26. @Debbie Fraser
    Sure, thanks for asking. I understand that the Lord is talking to the “Do-gooders” who feel that they can win their Salvation outside of Faith in Christ Jesus. There are many people in Christendom who are like that, in fact I know a bunch of them (without naming names or denominations) who were baptized as little children – who live very upright lives and do a lot of social activity but have never professed faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. (Now I grant you that only the Lord knows for sure who are HIS – individual believers can know “The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.” Rom 8:16). If you ask them, do you believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, they will ask you – “Who else do you think I believe in, Buddha?” Yet, they attend church for Easter, Christmas, someone’s christening etc.

    What is the will of God? The number One will of God, bar none, is given in 1Jn 3:23 “And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.”

    Remember in my earlier post I said that God expects every one to be growing in their relationship with God in complete dependence on HIM (the path of Sanctification). The moment a person is born again, he/she is set on a path of discipleship/sanctification – it is the disciple who is to take up his cross and follow the Lord.

    So New Birth can be compared to a child being born in our earthly families – lots of joy, and just as we expect the child to mature, God does the same through the process of Sanctification – and goal is for us to be a reflection of Jesus Christ. Our positions in the Kingdom of God will be incumbent on our growth – some are given 5 cities to rule over, some are given none.

    Lordship theology will lead people to believe that only those who are being sanctified are the true believers…but therein lies the problem – how much of a disciple must you become before you can be called “saved”. It becomes very arbitrary and subjective.

    The Bible is clear from the most famous passage of all – John 3:16 – where there is no hint of the word “repentance” by the way, for those of us who are technical about it….but it plainly says – “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

    All Glory and Honor to HIS name alone for ever! Amen!

  27. James,
    What I’m getting from your post is this. Basically Salvation is quite easy, it is people who make it complicating by saying you need to do this, this and that.

    Plus, we are a work in progress changing into Jesus our Lord.

    TY James. Blessings.

  28. @ Debbie Fraser – yes. Salvation is a FREE GIFT – just as Ephesians reminds us – “…not by WORKS, lest any man boast…” Folks who don’t like this call our position one of “easy believism” – their quarrel is not with me, but God.

    The Samaritan woman at the well was told, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.” – Ask and you get – that’s as SIMPLE as that!

    In Revelations the Lord says, “…I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.”


    The New life in Christ is FREE of COST to us because CHRIST paid for it all! Now does that mean that a believer can now go on an like like the devil and face no consequence? NOT AT ALL. Apostle Paul said in Romans – “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?” God gives us His Holy Spirit within us so that we now have the power to live a life pleasing to God. Day in day out, as we live out our lives to God and please Him, He gives us more grace – until we all arrive at that final point where we could say with the Apostle Paul – “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us…” Our moral feature is so aligned with Christ, that we have the moral authority to say just as the Apostle said, “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.”

    What about the one who is a believer but is a backslider or carnal? This is the verse I like to quote – “For we must all be manifested before the judgment-seat of the Christ, that each may receive the things done in the body, according to those he has done, whether it be good or evil. Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord we persuade men, but have been manifested to God, and I hope also that we have been manifested in your consciences.”

    Our Salvation was not dependent on our works and is not maintained by our works, but because the BLOOD OF THE CHRIST HAS SPOKEN on my behalf before and at the Throne of a HOLY GOD. I put my trust in HIS finished work – that is my guarantee that I am HIS. No good deeds, no matter however sincere and good, can give me that guarantee. His Blood Avails for me.

    Again – Justification – then Sanctification – then Glory. Justification is free, another paid for it. Sanctification is costly – this is where you pluck your eye out if it offends you – Glory is our future hope when we live lives pleasing to God.

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