How do we interpret the negative direction our culture is taking? Find out with guest Michael Brown on television’s “Christ in Prophecy”!
Air Date: September 5, 2021
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Tim Moore: As our society accelerates its descent into a secular abyss, a Jewish-Christian voice is shining the light of truth into the darkness.
Dr. Michael Brown refers to himself as a former heroin-shooting, LSD-using, rock drummer who became a believer in Jesus. Since 1971, he has been an avid disciple of and advocate for the Messiah, preaching a message of revival, revolution, and redemption throughout America and around the world.
I was delighted to sit down with him at his ministry headquarters near Charlotte, North Carolina.
Interview with Dr. Michael Brown
Tim Moore: Dr. Brown, thank you very much for joining me on this episode of “Christ in Prophecy.”
Dr. Michael Brown: Great to be with you. Thanks for having me.
Tim Moore: Well, thank you for letting us come on the road, so to speak, for this episode of “Christ in Prophecy.” And I am delighted to be here in North Carolina. But I am also fascinated by your own testimony and how the Lord called you as a self-absorbed teenager from New York and stooked a fire of faith in your heart. Tell us a little bit more about that.
Dr. Michael Brown: Yeah, when I was into drugs in my teen years I was radically into drugs. In fact, I’m raised in a Jewish home, born in New York City, raised on Long Island. And when I was bar mitzvah at the age of 13 because we were not a deeply religious family, we were more nominal, it was more of a social event then a spiritual event for me. And then later that year I went to my first rock concert, I saw Jimi Hendrix in concert.
Tim Moore: Oh, my.
Dr. Michael Brown: That’s what appealed to me. The whole crazed rock scene. And so, I started getting high at the age of 14, just wanted to experiment, try things out. Not searching for deeper meaning, just a kid that wanted to party. And then by the time I was 15 I was shooting heroin. I did everything in a crazy radical way. And then at the age of 16 my two best friends started to come to faith. We played in a band together. They started to come to faith, and little by little, they were drawn to Jesus. They started to witness to me. People in church started to pray for me. And the Holy Spirit brought me under deep conviction, revealed my sin to me, showed me the ugliness of my life, revealed Jesus to me. And by the end of 1971 I was radially set free; December 17th of 1971 encountering God’s love. Jesus being real to me, I said, “I will never put a needle in my arm again.” I was free from that moment on.
Tim Moore: Well, praise the Lord! What a wonderful testimony. And indeed, the Lord saves all of us from circumstances, and but for the grace of God all of us would be astray in drugs and all sorts of immorality. So, I’m grateful for your testimony. But one of your specialties is to comment on the current events from a Christian perspective. So, with headlines blaring our moral drift as a society, how do you pick and choose which issues to actual focus on?
Dr. Michael Brown: It’s a real challenge because you are overwhelmed every single day. And what I do my best to do is be moved by God. First Chronicles 12:32 speaks of the sons of Issachar that came to stand with David to turn the kingdom to him. And it says that they understood the times and knew what Israel should do. So, when you just read the headlines every day, I mean you could get frustrated, you could get angry, you can get anxious. And there are things that are just bursting. So, my question is: Father what is on Your heart? What are people dealing with in real life? Where do they need to be equipped? Which way is society heading? Where does the Church need to have a voice? Where is there the most confusion?
So, I’m not really interested in politics, to be honest, I don’t like politics. Others do a much better job of having political insight, being political pundits. But I am concerned about the direction of the culture, and that intersects with politics, that intersects with the Church. So, I will step back and on a daily basis I will says, “Lord, what’s on Your heart?” And then when I get really gripped, really burdened that will turn into a book, or it will turn into, I nearly write five articles a week, it will turn into multiple articles.
And then what I’ll hear always will get, aside from the attack and the hatred and all that comes, will hear people saying, “Thank you for being our voice.” So, somehow it seems that the things that God is laying on my heart are the things that others are really dealing with. And that’s what we want to do, we want to equip God’s people to be ready for this hour.
Tim Moore: Well, I was going to ask, obviously the pace, you said of change and moral outrage can be overwhelming. And so, I was intending to ask how can the average Christian cut through the noise to recognize the common threads of satanic influence pulling our society further and further away from God? But I think you’ve kind of already touched on it, instead of focusing on the satanic influence, you just point people to the Lord, and to His revelation through Scripture, to Jesus Christ, and then the light overwhelms even that darkness of satanic influence.
Dr. Michael Brown: Yeah, and the key thing is, that we are not asleep.
Tim Moore: No.
Dr. Michael Brown: In other words, it’s so easy to get caught up with our own lives and the busyness of raising families and working jobs, and church life and other things like that, that we lose sight of the radical, dramatic, negative destructive changes that are coming. On the other hand, we can so focus on those that we lose hope. So, the first things we have to do is look to the Lord. The first thing we’ve got to do is be vibrant in Him, and full of faith, and full of the Word. And recognizing we have the answer, society is messed up, America is tetter-tottering on destruction, the edge of destruction. But we have the answer in the Gospel. So, rather then being woke with the society, let’s be truly awakened and then let’s be awakeners to others.
Tim Moore: Amen. I love what the psalmist writes in Psalm 46, “Regardless, whether the oceans raise, the mountains crumble away, we will not fear.” And Christians should not be taken to fear, or anxiety, or despair because we know the true and living God. You know I am reminded that after pointing out and assuring us that God will bring justice for those who cry out to Him day and night, and that He will not long delay in providing justice.
Jesus rhetorically asked in Luke, “When the Son of Man comes will He find faith on the earth?” And that passage in Luke 18:7-8 offers us two challenges I believe. One is I would ask how many believers actually do cry out day and night for justice on the earth? Do they cry out to God, or do they just shout into the wind in frustration? So, it really becomes an indictment on us that we should be crying out to the Lord for Him to bring justice, and for Him to prevail. We know He will in the end.
But I also find this question to be posed to all of us as believers: Was Jesus really posing a rhetorical question, or was He giving us a warning? In other words, with nations, churches, and sometimes even families straying where faith was once prevalent, have we drifted so far that His question really seems closer to a warning then we would have thought at one point. What do you think?
Dr. Michael Brown: There is no question that it is a serious question, but there is a warning in it. In fact, Luke 18:1 starts with Jesus giving a parable so people would pray always, and not cave in, not faint, not lose heart. That’s saying along the way you are going to be tempted to lose heart.
We know in Matthew 24 that Jesus speaks of iniquity abounding and the love of many waxing cold. And we’ve watched in America now a sudden, and dramatic decline in those who identify as being Christian. Now we know that many of them weren’t Christian at all, but number going from 80% to 70% in just a number of years. The rise of the religious “nones,” those who say they have no religious faith. And now a recent Gallup poll says for the first time since they have been doing these polls after many decades less then 50% of Americans say they attend church regularly. The number was 70% steady for decades, and decades, and suddenly in the 2000’s it has dropped precipitously. So, that doesn’t mean we throw in the towel and say, “It’s all over.” But it means there is a battle.
So much of the preaching in America is just coddling people, it’s just scratching our itching ears and making us feel good about ourselves. We need prophetic voices that wake up the church, that say we are in a battle, the enemy really is coming to destroy many lives. And what we’ve got to do is change our mentality from spectators to active participants, to soldiers, not taking up arms, but taking on the armor of God, and saying, “Lord if you are looking for someone to use, if you are looking for someone to be a witness Lord, here I am, send me, use me.” It’s going to be costly, but this is what it is about. This is not some vacation; we are called to service.
Tim Moore: Amen. Well, I tell you what, you obviously are calling people to step forward, to show strength, and display action. And yet, I will remind folks that you hail from New York City, and one time New York City stood as a beacon of hope to people around the world. Of course, many immigrants came to New York, and New York was sort of the cultural generator for America. As a matter of fact, through Madison Avenue advertising many people had their perceptions shaped or at least their perceived wants outlined, and advertising campaigns that went all around the world. Now New York has been eclipsed by Hollywood as sort of the primary engine of American culture, but it offers a microcosm of the drift that we’ve seen toward secularism and toward paganism even in America. So, what cautionary tale does New York City offer to America at large?
Dr. Michael Brown: It’s a great question. And as someone born in New York City and spent so many years in and out of New York City, it’s a very serious and grievous one. Look the Stonewall Riots took place in New York City in 1969 and that’s the watershed moment in modern gay activism. In so many ways New York City has been a forerunner, you know lighting up the Empire State Building in lavender colors celebrating gay pride events.
And then if you are a black baby conceived in New York City, you have less than a 50% chance of making it out of the womb. That’s the satanic attack on black America, and on big cities like New York. When New York passed radical pro-abortion laws, New York State again celebration in New York City, and lighting up buildings in praise of this. It’s just a path toward darkness. It’s a path towards death. It’s a path towards destruction.
And God deeply cares about all the people involved. He cares about those who identify as gay and lesbian. He cares for those who are cheering on the abortions. He wants to deliver them from deception and lostness, but New York has been on steady decline for many, many years now. And now with the lockdown, and so much happening, and high prices in New York, and kind of radical leftist liberalism getting further, and further off, the city may not recover. It could well be a tale to America to wake up and look at the direction in which you want to go.
Tim Moore: To wake up. You know it is hard for any of us to realize, or just to even conceive of how far our culture, our society has fallen in just the last 20 years. Dr. Brown what do you see as some of the key spheres where paganism, and secularism is rising, and where do you see the battle shifting if the Lord stays His coming another 20, 30, or 40 years here in America?
Dr. Michael Brown: Yeah, so there are a few things to look at, one is the rise of aggressive atheism. It was probably around 2007 got branded the year of the atheist. When you had authors like Richard Dawkins, and Christopher Hitchens and others who became absolute mega selling authors, and now everybody reading their stuff and talking about it. You say, ah, that was just a little flash in the past. No, the atheistic mindset, the mocking of God.
Apologist Josh McDowell said that objections that he used to encounter with college students who were 19, 20 years old, he is now encountering with 12, and 13 years olds, bashing the Bible, bashing the God of the Bible. And these kids who are just hearing sound bites, and they don’t even have the ability to process things intellectually the same way that a college age student would.
The ongoing results of the sexual revolution. The epidemic of pornography that has just numbed people to God’s intention for sexuality has degraded and perverted so much. That’s pervasive. That is on an epidemic level. LGBTQ activism, back in 2004 God began to burden me about this. And I thought, “That’s odd.” I don’t come out of homosexuality, that’s not my testimony. I don’t have a particular burden to reach the gay and lesbian community. And then my PhD is in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures from New York University, it’s not in family counseling or therapy or anything like that. Why me? Why do you want me on the front lines here? And when I felt the Lord showed me was that nobody gets to sit this one out, it’s all hands on deck. That this will be the principal threat, 2004 I saw, this will be the principal threat to freedom of religion, conscience, and speech in America. We see that now with the Equality Act, and other things unfolding.
And then just the rise of the secular religion, and its own religious ideas, like critical race theory, and the like, and the woke culture that wants to cancel those who differ. So, what it is going to mean is that we have to determine to take stands. That we had to determine that to save our life is to lose it. In other words, if we say, I can’t get involved in the controversy I’m just going to stay quiet. I don’t want to say this I will lose friends. No, now you’ve lost your life. You’ve become a slave to the opinions of people. When you say, “I am going to honor God and do what’s right regardless of cost or consequence, now you may lose your life, but now you find it, you’re free.” We have to cross that line. We have to live as disciples, it’s the only way to push back against the collapse of the culture.
Tim Moore: Definitely so. Dr. Brown in late 2020 you participated in The Return in Washington D.C. along with another of the prophetic voices to America, Jonathan Cahn, and a number of other evangelical leaders. The focus was on calling America, and Americans individually to return to faith in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as manifested in Jesus Christ. And so, do you think there really is any hope for our culture, and for our country, our society, or is the return we advocate as Christians a personal response that individuals must make, and really our culture maybe beyond hope, perse?
Dr. Michael Brown: I believe there is hope, because God continues to work, and God continues to stir. And what blessed me at being at The Return, September 26th in D.C. that it was not a politically based event. In other words, there was not a mention of praying of President Trump, or praying for the elections, other than for God’s will. And the great emphasis was on repentance in the Church.
I believe there is hope because God keeps laying it on our hearts to have gatherings like this, and to get on our faces, and repent of our sins. And there have been some that have been praying for decades for a fresh wave of revival and awakening in America.
And if you go back in American history around 1726 Reverend Joseph Butler in the colonies, this is the colonies, he said, “Religion lay as it were dying in America.” And then you go to 1800 Chief Justice John Marshall said, “The church has fallen too far to ever recover.” This is 1800. So, we’ve been in miserable situations, not exactly like this, but in miserable situations and revival and awakening were the key. But we’ve got to get desperate.
It could be too late for America as a nation. Only God knows that. So, we’ve got to pray with desperation. And then we’ve got to do what we can do with our lives here. We don’t know if this is the last generation on earth. But as our mission’s director says, it’s out last generation.
Tim Moore: There we go.
Dr. Michael Brown: We get one shot at it. And if we pass a world onto our kids or grandkids, what’s it going to look like?
Tim Moore: Well, I say we always have to be working to raise up new fruit bearers. It’s one of the old Jewish proverbs said, “If you think the world is going to end tomorrow, plant a tree today.” And not just a literal tree, although that is not a bad idea, but raise up young generations of Americans and of people around the world who will continue to bear much fruit for the Lord.
Well, Michael I appreciate your insight on American culture, but I would like to turn to your expertise on sharing the Gospel with the Jewish people in particular. Your own testimony demonstrates the power of God because Jesus, the Jewish Messiah came first for the Jews, but then also for the Gentiles. And in Him and only Him we find salvation and fulfillment as the children of God. So, sadly, as you have documented in your writing some Gentile Christians have now adopted a Dual Covenant Theology, which suggest that the Jewish people will come to salvation through adherence to rabbinical Judaism, not recognizing Jesus as the Messiah, and putting their faith wholly in Him. So, this resurging Messianic Judaism negates the importance of evangelizing the Jewish people. And responding to that question of whether a Post-Missionary truly Messianic Judaism is possible you said this, “absolutely, categorically, incontrovertibly, without question or equivocation, NO!” Well, I would have to say that you were less wishy washy about this. But in all honesty what is the danger of this evangelical attitude that we don’t have to share the Gospel with the Jewish people?
Dr. Michael Brown: So, a Messianic Jew would say that Jews need Jesus. And it was a response to a call for a Post-Missionary Messianic Judaism which says let Jews who believe in Jesus they can do that, but other Jews have their own way of salvation.
Look, if that was the case, if Jews could be saved outside of Jesus, and there are Christian Zionists who say, “Hey, we stand with Israel, but we don’t want to share the Gospel because Jews have their own covenant with God.” If that was the case Jesus would not have to come and die. Jesus, Yeshua came for the lost sheep of the house of Israel. He came first and foremost, Matthew 1, to save His people from their sins. If we could be saved outside of the blood of the cross through good works, through Torah obedience, then we wouldn’t need Jesus. We wouldn’t need the Messiah. The whole New Testament is the Gospels to the Jew first and also to the Gentile, and that Israel will be saved through the Messiah. So, you make a mockery of the cross. Paul said that if salvation could come through the Law then we made the grace of God of no effect whatsoever. So, Jesus the Messiah dies for Israel, Israel can only be saved through Him. Under the Law we all fall short.
I have dear friends who are religious Jews, we have interacted for decades now, sometimes very in depth and back and forth, I see the sincerity of their lives. I see the beauty of many of their traditions. But I know as Paul writes in Romans 3 that by the Torah is the knowledge of sin, the Torah brings us to the Messiah. You are doing a disservice to my Jewish people when you withhold the Gospel from them.
Tim Moore: Amen, I will tell you this, Michael one of my friends in Israel, who is a passionate follower of the Lord Jesus Christ said that he came to America after a time serving in the IDF, the military, as a very brash and self-absorbed young man. He ended up getting a job here in the states working for a man who had been praying every day for 20 years, “Lord, send me a Jew who I can share the Gospel with.” Once he met this very smug, and arrogant young Jewish man, an Israeli, he said, “Lord, send me any other Jew but this one. I don’t think he.” And fortunately, he was faithful to the call and to the opportunity to share the Gospel with this young man who became a follower of Jesus Christ. And now is a passionate evangelical preacher if you will in Israel to the Jewish people. What would you say to Gentiles here in the States and elsewhere about how to go about sharing Jesus Christ, sharing the Gospel with your Jewish friends, and to be very intentional about doing so?
Dr. Michael Brown: I would say first and foremost ask God for His heart, for the Jewish people. This is not just a statistic or a notch on your belt, oh, I witnessed to a Jew. Ask God’s heart for the Jewish people. And then share your testimony. Everybody has a testimony and testimonies make a difference.
Also recognize that in America probably 90% of the Jews you meet will not be religious Jews, they will not be Sabbath observant, they will not be that familiar with the Scriptures. They may think of Jesus in an alien foreign way because much of Church history, the Church persecuted, and rejected Jewish people. But build a relationship, share your testimony. And then if they are interested then open up the Scriptures, begin to show them the Messianic prophecies that He is the one. And then talk to them like you would anybody else because Jews sin like anyone else. And Jews need a Savior like anyone else. And your prayers make a difference. It was the prayers of Gentile Christians that God used to bring me into the Kingdom.
Tim Moore: That’s fantastic. Dr. Brown as an expert on the dangerous trends in American culture and Jewish faith, people coming to faith in Jesus Christ. What would you say to the diaspora Jews here in America who are steeped in American culture but who have not yet met Jesus as the Messiah? The Jewish Messiah? What would you say specifically to them?
Dr. Michael Brown: I would say to each Jewish person there is more. There is more than having a good career. There is more than having a nice family. There is more than occasional synagogue attendance. God called the Jewish people to be the light of the world. God called us to be separated. How is that we bring redemption to the world? It is through one of our own, Jesus, Yeshua, the Messiah. Don’t look at Him as some alien, some outsider, but find out why He is the most influential Jew who ever lived. Find out why more than two billion people around the world have connected to the God of Israel through Him. And then talk to those funny evangelical Christian friends you have who believe that God brought the Jewish people back to the land, maybe they see something in the Scripture more than you do. There is more than just living out the American dream.
Tim Moore: Dr. Brown thank you for letting us come here today and joining us on this episode of “Christ in Prophecy.” How can folks get in touch with you, and follow your ministry and some of your podcasts and things?
Dr. Michael Brown: So, we are all over the internet. If you go to askdrbrown.org, a-s-k-d-r-brown.org, sign up for our e-mails. Connect with us on social media. All the links are there and explore the website. Thousands of hours of free resources there. Askdrbrown.org.
How Then Shall We Live
Tim Moore: I really enjoyed my conversation with Dr. Michael Brown. He was gracious and interesting, and we found that we had much in common. And he was the first new prophetic voice we’ve featured that was not contained in Dr. Reagan’s book “God’s Prophetic Voices to America.”
I especially appreciated Dr. Brown’s zeal for our Messiah. Like us, he mourns the decline of America as it abandons its Christian heritage and invokes God’s righteous anger. And also like us, he proclaims that Jesus Christ offers the only hope, for individuals and nations alike.
Some of you will know that Dr. Brown holds a different position on eschatology, or the interpretation of what the Bible calls the Last Days. He does not embrace a Pre-Tribulation Rapture.
And regarding that difference on End Times understanding, I discerned that Michael Brown is not emphatic or off-putting, and that he looks forward to the return of the Messiah as much as I do. And, to cite Dr. Brown himself on this topic: “With all respect to my friends that love the Lord and the Word of God, we can differ on this.”
With that in mind, it’s appropriate that we consider how best to react when someone disagrees with us on a point of Biblical discernment. To do so, we need to recognize that not all doctrines are weighted equally.
There are certain crucial doctrines that are essential to the Christian faith and non-negotiable, including: the Trinity, Jesus’ immaculate conception and Virgin Birth, the full deity and humanity of Christ, as well as His death, burial, and resurrection, our justification by faith alone, and the unwavering authority of Scripture.
A person, or denomination that denies these First-order truths simply is not a follower of Christ.
Second-order doctrines are very important, but sincere Christians may settle into different positions. This category would include issues like the method and meaning of baptism, along with the role of women in the church. Obviously, faithful Christians tend to align with Scripturally-sound denominations based on differences of interpretation in this arena.
Third-order doctrines are those questions where believers often come to different conclusions. Because those disagreements do not turn on First or Second order doctrines, they are actively debated among faithful Christians, often within a local church.
Hear me very carefully: my belief in the soon, imminent, bodily return of Jesus Christ is why I serve with Lamb & Lion Ministries. We believe that He will come for His Bride, the Church, prior to the outpouring of God’s wrath known as the Tribulation. Our reading of Scripture leads us to no other conclusion. But I accept that other sincere Christians may disagree with me on the timing and sequence of Jesus’ return, because we all peer forward as “through a glass dimly.” In other words, as emphatic as I am about my own understanding, I also give grace in this arena, and hope to receive it from others.
Lately, we’ve seen too much division over eternally insignificant matters. In 2020, some Christians divided over whether or not to wear a mask. Later, some began picking sides over whether or not to receive a Covid vaccine. Are these important issues? Of course. But worthy of severing the body of Christ? By no means.
Theologians ranging from Augustine to John Wesley are cited with capturing the proper balance on doctrine, “In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity.” Peter and Paul and the other Apostles and early followers of Christ struck this critical balance, even as they held each other accountable to the truth of the Gospel. We should do no less.
So, here at Lamb & Lion Ministries we will continue to proclaim the soon return of Jesus Christ, in a clear but gracious manner. As a pastor friend, who happened to be a quasi-Post-Tribulation advocate at the time, used to tell me, “Tim, I think you’re wrong, but I hope you’re right.” With great joy I could respond, “I am right, but if I’m wrong I’ll suffer alongside you until Jesus returns.” Our friendship never wavered.
There are too many references to Christian unity for us to casually waver in maintaining it. As far as possible, we will be at peace with all our brothers and sisters in Christ.
On that note, I pray that you know our Prince of Peace.
And I hope that this series on God’s Prophetic Voices has been a blessing to you. If you’d like to receive a copy of the complete series DVD, just go to our online store, or call the number on the screen. For a gift of $25 or more, we’ll send you the DVD set shortly after the last episode airs.
Finally, you won’t want to miss next week. We have a surprise guest whose prophetic voice has been bold and loud for many years.
Until then, this is Tim Moore for Lamb & Lion Ministries saying, “Godspeed!!”
End of Program