Discovering Common Ground with Keith Johnson (Open Door Series – Part 1)

Open Door Series Part 1 features Keith Johnson speaking on the topic of "Discovering Common Ground." Johnson relates the fascinating beginnings of his prophetic friendship with Nehemia Gordon. A dream led Johnson to Jerusalem in search of a Torah scroll and ultimately to an encounter with Gordon, who taught him to read the sacred text in its original language, history, and context. The duo’s unique partnership illustrates the “mixed multitude” that stands with Israel and the God of Israel as the people fulfill their destiny as a light to the nations.


Discovering Common Ground with Keith Johnson (Open Door Series - Part 1)

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Keith: It is such an honor to be here.

The reason I'm mostly honored is that the Creator of the Universe is once again calling us back to His mountain. And something amazing happened at His mountain. He called a mixed multitude of people out of a place of bondage to a place of freedom. What I love about this meeting here today is that I sense there are people here that know Egypt. There are people here who really understand Egypt. How many of you all would raise your hand and say, “I've been to Egypt”? The good news is this - we are coming out.

But here's the shocking thing about what the Creator of the Universe is choosing to do. He's deciding to use people, places and things, that those that are in the place of what's called "false power" do not know and do not understand. He's choosing to call people in ways that are not normal to the normal folks. He's doing something that I call unique. Now, the reason I know this is because it happened to me. And now, 10 years later, I'm laying in my bed this morning, and He's saying to me again, “Keith, I'm at it again. I'm orchestrating, I'm pulling together, I'm bringing together a beautiful symphony.”

And what He did for me is that He took me to a place called Colorado Springs. And in Colorado Springs, He took me up to a mountain called Pikes Peak. And as I was on the mountain called Pikes Peak, I said a prayer that radically changed my life.

The prayer was simply this: “Father, teach me to love what You love.” And I'd like to tell people that I should have stopped right there. But I added a second half. I said, “And teach me to hate what You hate.” And He raised His hands. And He began to do this. And He began to show me the things that He loved, and then He showed me the things that He hates.

A year later I find myself sleeping, again. And I had a dream, say "dream". And in this dream, there was a scroll flying over my head. And there was a lady's voice that said, “If you can tell me where the scroll will open up, you win a million dollars.” I quickly said, “Ezekiel chapter 1 verse 3.” The scroll came down, it opened up and immediately I woke up and heard this voice: “I have not changed My appointment with you to be in My city for Shavuot.” I don't even think I really understood what Shavuot was.

I woke up, went downstairs, told my wife Andrea. I said, “Andrea, I've been called to Jerusalem for the time of Shavuot in historic times, Pentecost, and I must go.” Now, something happened to me very deep. It was a deep passion that I had for that last year while I was trying to relearn Hebrew, because in seminary I had learned Greek and I'd learned Hebrew, but I was trying to relearn Hebrew, and as I was trying to relearn Hebrew, I had come across Psalm 119, and I said that's where I'm going to try to learn it in Hebrew. And I'm in Psalm 119 for a year. But there was something deeper. I had a passion to own my own Torah scroll. You all, I would go so far as to say this - I had been given vision to receive my own Torah scroll. Now, I've learned something, and I like to say it everywhere I go. Whenever… say “whenever”.

Crowd: Whenever.

Keith: Come on y'all, it's Shabbat. Say “whenever”.

Crowd: Whenever.

Keith: “The Creator.”

Crowd: The Creator.

Keith: Sing it. Say “whenever”.

Crowd: Whenever.

Keith: “The Creator.”

Crowd: The Creator.

Keith: “Gives vision.”

Crowd: Gives vision.

Keith: “He always.”

Crowd: He always.

Keith: “He always.”

Crowd: He always.

Keith: “Gives provision.”

Crowd: Gives provision.

Keith: So I have a vision to own a Torah scroll. The problem was, I didn't win the million dollars. I called all sorts of people and I told them, “Hey, I've been called, I want to own a Torah scroll. Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy.” And people told me over and over and over again, “You cannot have one. You are a gentile, even if you had won the money, no Jew is going to sell you a Torah scroll.” And so, basically, they convinced me, I thought, that I couldn't. But they didn't convince me to the point where I decided I was going to bring an empty suitcase with me to Jerusalem.

The problem I had was, I didn't know anyone in Jerusalem. All I knew is that the Father was calling me to be there, but somebody say “whenever”.

Crowd: Whenever.

Keith: With the vision came provision. I called my friend Hardy Nickerson. Hardy Nickerson used to play for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He knew some friends in Florida who knew some other people who knew some other people who knew Michael Rood. Now, Hardy said this to me, “Keith, if you're going to go to Jerusalem, do not go on a tour. Find someone that lives there that you can spend time with.” I said, “Okay.” Now, I said, “Hardy, would you like to come with me?” He said, “Well, I haven't been called to that.” [laughter]

It happened to be in around 2002, I believe it was, just after 2001. You guys know what happened in 2001, and everything that was happening in Israel. The State Department said, “Do not go to Israel, it's not good for you to go to Israel, it's not a good time for you to go to Israel.” The time that I'd had the dream was right around the time of Passover, there were major problems going on in Israel. They had the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, who had the hostages, and the list goes on and on and on.

But he did say to me, “Keith, I bless you as you go. Find someone that lives there.” He knew friends who knew my friend Reggie White. Reggie White and I have been very, very close friends. Reggie knew Michael Rood. And through the grapevine someone said, “I know what we’ve got to do. Keith’s kind of nuts, let's call Michael Rood. [laughter] Michael won't be afraid of what's happening here.” They called Michael over the phone and said, “Michael, there's a man that needs to come and visit you in your house.” Michael said, “No problem.”

And that was just about it. He invites me to come to his house. So I come with my empty suitcase. Michael doesn't ask me for anything. I come in, I meet him, I talk. He has food there, we're eating, we're fellowshipping, we're doing what we're doing. He says, “Whatever you feel like you need to do, you do.” So every day I would walk in the Old City of Jerusalem. One day I come across this man named Zaki. Say “Zaki”.

Crowd: Zaki.

Keith: Zaki called himself an Arab Christian. And I said, “Zaki, listen, I have a phone number of a man who supposedly owns Torah scrolls. The problem is, if I call the number, which I can't even figure out how to call it in Israel, the people don't speak English.” He says, “No problem.” I said, “Are you willing to work with me on this and go where I need to go to look at these Torah scrolls?” He says, “No problem, I will go with you where you need to go if you will go with me where I want you to go.”

Now you all, Michael, I've never told this story. It's taken 10 years to get his permission. Michael said this to me when I was in his house, “You have the freedom of Jerusalem, just don't go to the West Bank.” Makes sense to me. Right, Michael? He said, “Just don't go to the West Bank.” Where did the Arab want to take me, you all?

Crowd: The West Bank.

Keith: And I had to make a decision - either Michael or the vision. I decided I would go with the vision, and then eventually Michael would catch up. Can I get an amen on that?

Crowd: Amen.

Keith: See, some of you guys have vision and there are people in your life that just ain't quite with your vision right now. But if you - come on, somebody - will keep doing what He calls you to do, I might take 10 years, but Michael's right there with the vision that God gave me. Amen? It might take 10 years, but God will not be unfaithful.

I went with the man to the West Bank. He took me to Beit Lechem. You know Beit Lechem? Bethlehem. And I was there, and there was nobody on the street, no tourists on the street. I could tell you stories. I mean, I'll tell you some stuff that is sensational, but I want to move on. But if you want to eat lunch with me later, I’ve got some stories. Don't just think Nehemia's got all the stories, okay? I’ve got some stories!

The guy takes me to the West Bank. We're there, we're spending time, we're walking in the streets. There are no tourists there. The church had just been released from this hostage situation. We're walking around. Finally, we get done, we get in the car, I hand him the phone number. He calls the phone number, on the other end of the phone there's a young man speaking perfect Hebrew. Now, he also could speak Hebrew. He spoke at least three languages. Do you guys know if you speak three, you're trilingual? If two, you're bilingual. And if you're one, you're a Methodist American. [laughter] I couldn't speak anything other than English. I couldn't have communicated with the young man, but God, say “God”.

Crowd: God.

Keith: …grabbed an Arab man. Is that possible?

Crowd: Yes.

Keith: To help me fulfill His vision. The Arab man drives me in silence. He talks to the boy on the phone. The boy tells him where he lives. He gets off the phone, the Arab man's face changes. He says, “It is not safe for me to take you where we need to go. This place is called Ma'ale Adumim. It is a Jewish settlement,” is what he called it. And I'm thinking to myself, “Now, you just took me to the West Bank. Get in the car, because we're going to Ma'ale Adumim.”

We get in the car, we go to Ma'ale Adumim. The man who owns the Torah scrolls is Jewish. He happens to be out of town in Greece. He has a friend from South Africa staying at his house watching his family. The Arab man and the Methodist pull up into Ma'ale Adumim, and the white South African meets us. We pull into the place, we look at each other, I’m thinking, “Uh oh, something's happening here.” He takes us into the apartment.

When we get into the apartment, there are one, two, three Torah scrolls. When I see the Torah scrolls, my heart begins to leap. I'm thinking, “You’ve got to be kidding me, I'm so close.” The phone rings. It happens to be the man who lives in Greece - the Jewish man. He calls on the phone. The friend from South Africa tells him, “I have two people here,” an Arab and a Methodist, “they're here to look at the Torah scrolls,” and the Jewish man says, “Let me speak to the man on the phone.” I talk to the Jewish man on the phone. He says, “Do you see the three Torah scrolls?” “Yes.” He says, “Do you know which one you want?” I'm thinking, “Yeah, the one that fits in my empty suitcase.” He says these words: “Take the scroll home, we'll talk about the price later.”

[Crowd cheering]

Keith: The Arab man says to me, “It is a holy book; we must take it home immediately.”

I had never heard anyone call a Torah scroll a holy book. You all, I had been to the seminary, the cemetery, whatever you want to call it. I'm an ordained United Methodist pastor. I've been in ministry for 20 years, I've read and I have preached and I have taught. I have never heard any of my colleagues call a Torah scroll a holy book, but an Arab man says it's holy.


We put it in the back of the car. We drive to Michael's house. Michael has set up a meeting with me to meet this man named Nehemia Gordon from the Hebrew University. Now, at this point, I'm thinking one thing. “Do I really have time to meet Nehemia Gordon from the Hebrew University? I just got a Torah scroll!” Then I'm thinking to myself, “Wait a minute, what happens if this guy, Nehemia Gordon from the Hebrew University, could help me with my Torah scroll?”

So we go to dinner, Michael sets up the dinner. And the same thing that happened last night happened at dinner; Michael and Nehemia talked the whole time. [laughter] That's alright. But at the end, they let me speak. And so, at the end, I tell Nehemia Gordon the story. I said, “Nehemia, I've been called here, I had a dream. Here’s a situation, I got a Torah scroll, it's at Michael's house, would you come and see it?” And he kind of hemmed and hawed and he said later to me he thought I simply was nuts. Another good old-fashioned Christian who's been duped, nuts. He's got a fake Torah scroll and he wants me to come and let him… Okay, I'm going to show him something.

So Nehemia Gordon comes with Michael Rood to Michael's house, and he walks up the stairs and he sees the Torah scroll. Now, you all, I think we have here... let's see. No, it is not there. We have there, and that's okay, it doesn't need to be there. We have even better than that, we actually have an actual Torah scroll. But what was interesting about this particular Torah scroll that I selected is that the words on the outside of the Torah scroll, beautiful red velvet, were words from Isaiah, which were a prophetic statement that said people like me will come and get the Torah and bring it to the world.


So we walk into Michael's house. Nehemia comes up, we see the Torah scroll, he says, “Do you know what these words are?” And he begins to tell us what the words are in Hebrew. After that, we take the cover of the Torah scroll off, we unroll the Torah scroll in Michael's house, and I say, “Nehemia, would you be willing to read the Torah scroll?” He said, “No problem.” As Nehemia begins to read the Torah scroll in perfect Hebrew, I listen in perfect English. No clue what he's saying, he's reading in Hebrew. Michael's there, I'm there, a few other people are there. I said, “Nehemia, what is it you're reading? He says, “I'm reading here in Leviticus chapter 23 about the holiday of Shavuot.”

Okay, you didn't get it. A black man and an Arab man went to a Jewish man's house. [laughter] Well, a white South African man let us into his house. There were one, two, three Torah scrolls. Let me back up a little further. I had a dream, and in the dream, there was a Torah scroll flying over my head, and at the end of the dream, the Creator said, “Meet Me in My city for Shavuot”!

[crowd cheering]

Now, what I love about Maestro, what I love about Maestro... I have told this story. But you know, as I'm telling this story in the presence of my friend, Michael, there is something that is happening inside me, because Michael was there. And as Nehemia is reading Leviticus chapter 23, I start doing my shout and I start doing my dance, because I'm thinking, “Maestro is working it out again. He's brought a Jewish man to help a Methodist man understand the Torah scroll in Michael Rood's house!”

I say to Nehemia, “Nehemia, you and I are going to be friends.” He said, “No, we're not.” [laughter] I said, “Nehemia, you're going to teach me to read the Torah scroll.” He said, “No, I will not.” He's watching me singing and dancing and shouting. Now you all know where Nehemia got that from. [applause] I'm singing and I'm dancing and I'm shouting, and Michael's over there looking at the moon - what is going on?

The next day, Michael had worked it out for me to be with Nehemia in the Old City for a tour. And over and over again I'd walk with this Jewish man. And as I would walk with him, something happened that was radical. I'd ask him a question, he would answer. However, he would never answer the way that we used to answer in the church. “Well, I think the Bible says blah, blah, blah.” He would sit down and open up his Bible and read the verse. Now, this happened two or three times, and finally I peeked over his shoulder, come to find out that what he was reading was all in Hebrew. This caused me great angst. I'm the Methodist pastor. I'm the one from seminary. I'm the one who's got his eyes open. Why, God, would you have the Jew being able to read something that I can't read?

And I'm going to tell you what happened. After a full day with Nehemia, it is the only argument I have ever won with him. I decided, “Nehemia, you are a part of God's vision, you will fulfill God's vision in my life, you will teach me to read my Torah scroll,” and somebody say, “it happened”.

Crowd: It happened.

Keith: Ten years later, Nehemia and I are traveling around the world speaking, preaching and teaching. And something really interesting happened. As we were going through our studies together, we actually came up with an entire curriculum, where I would learn Hebrew first in the Tanakh. Then Nehemia did something really interesting, you all. And you know, Nehemia doesn't talk now like he used to talk. Ten years ago, Nehemia was a very, very astute, very strong, not of many words. And so, he calls me on the phone, he says, “I've heard from some people that you as a Christian, all you want is my soul. So therefore, we're going to have two rules. The first rule is - I don't try to convert you, and you don't try to convert me.” I said, guess what? “No problem.” Then he says to me, “The second rule is this - no Jesus stuff, no New Testament stuff, only the Tanakh.” And I'm thinking to myself - sounds good to me. Now, why would I say it sounds good to me? Because the Bible that Yeshua read is the same Bible that Nehemia was reading.

Thank you, man of God. You all didn't get excited about that? Let me say that again. The Bible that Yeshua read when he went into the Temple were the Hebrew scriptures, looked just like that. And they have bound that Bible into a book called the Hebrew Bible. Now, I'm going to tell you a secret. I hope the people online don't get offended, but since you're a part of the orchestration of the Creator of the Universe, I'm going to tell you a secret. Yeshua did not read the King James Version.

Crowd: Amen.

Keith: I didn't get enough amens on that.

Crowd: Amen.

Keith: Can I tell you another secret? He didn't even speak English. [laughter] I'm going to tell you something really radical. He didn't even have the Nearly Inspired Version, the NIV. He read the Hebrew text, he read the Ketuvim, he read the Torah, he read the Nevi'im, he read the Tanakh. That is what the word of God was that he had. And Nehemia said to me, “None of that New Testament stuff,” and I said to him, “No problem.”

Then something happened. Nehemia calls me on the phone, about four years later, and he's got this real quiet voice. “Keith?” “Yes, Nehemia?” “I would like to suspend one of the rules.” Did you hear me? The Jewish man called the Methodist and said, “I'm going to suspend one of the rules.” Which rule do you think I thought he wanted to suspend? I'm remembering again - the four spiritual laws, I'm ready, I'm going to get him…

He says, “I would like to study with you the New Testament.” Now, you all, I'm going to tell you something. I was more excited about that rule being suspended than the other one. And let me tell you why. If Nehemia doesn't suspend that rule, you don't get changed. If he doesn't suspend that rule, people around the world aren't being changed. If he doesn't suspend that rule, we stay in the Tanakh and maybe we never get to talk to you. Because when he suspended the rule, he said, “Keith, I have access,” Michael talked about it last night, “to the Hebrew Matthew in Hebrew, and I would like to approach Hebrew Matthew the same way that we approached the Tanakh.”

So for the next few years, all we did was study Tanakh and the Hebrew New Testament Matthew. Then it happened - we come across a section in Hebrew Matthew that changed our lives. It's called the Lord's Prayer. Say “Lord's Prayer”.

Crowd: Lord’s prayer.

Keith: In Hebrew, the Avinu. And as we're reading this particular part of Matthew, and we're studying it, we realize it is unfair for us to keep it to ourselves. We have to share this information with the world. And then the second thing happened. We had some folks who like the King James Bible, and if you open up to Amos chapter 3 verse 3 you will see this verse. We had Jews call Nehemia and Methodists call me and say these simple words, “According to the Bible, you two should not be walking together.” Amos 3:3 says this, “Can two walk together, lest they be agreed?”

And you know what? They were right. If we're reading the King James Bible, there are some things that Nehemia and I do not agree on. For example, he wants to wear a pink tie. I say it's a bad mistake. [laughter] He and I have traveled together, we've been in the same hotel room together, there are some things that he and I just don't agree on. So according to this verse, we shouldn't be walking together. That's what they told us. So we did a really, really radical thing. We opened up the Bible that Yeshua read, together. We turned to Amos 3:3 in his translation, and here's what we see: Amos 3:3 in Hebrew says this, “Can two walk together without having met one another?” Do you see the difference? Now, I could go into depth on the Hebrew word. You know, it's the same word for mo’ed, you know, “meeting”. Come on, say “meeting”. Meeting together, and what we decided is that we would meet together on the common ground of the same Bible that Yeshua read. That was our meeting place.

So this became the place for common ground. You all, it absolutely changed our life. There's a verse I want you to go to in Matthew 22:37. And here's what it says. Now, I'm going to go back to the days when I used to be a good old fashioned Methodist preacher every Sunday morning preaching, and there'd always be a small percentage of people in your church that actually read the Bible. Can I get an amen?

Crowd: Amen.

Keith: And many of you here today are those people. Because as you read the Bible, you started saying, “Now, wait a minute, I've got a question about this and a question about that.” And if you're a good Methodist pastor, what you usually say is, “Well, you need to pray about it,” or “we'll talk about it another time.” But when people begin to ask the kinds of questions that you ask, it can become a problem, especially if you as a pastor have not prepared yourself in the text that you're trying to teach.

Now, let me stop with a little commercial. I will probably get in trouble with this. For two years I have been traveling with Nehemia to messianic congregations around the country, and even different parts of the world. I thought that the Messianics would take the approach of adding a little bit of the Christianity and adding a little bit of the Jewish side of things, and that they would at least from the Jewish side study the word in depth in its original language, history and context. Do you know what I have found? I have yet to find very many messianic preachers, or teachers, who study the very book that Yeshua read. And yet, they say, “I am rabbi, I'm in charge and I'm large, and I've got this, and I've got that.” And I'm saying, “How can you teach the people if you're not interacting with the text?”

Now, this is why you guys are probably not going to let me back this afternoon, because let me say something. If somebody is trying to give you information, and they're trying to give you inspiration, and they can't show you where they got it and show you how they got it, and you can't read it for yourself, tell them, “Sorry, not interested.”

This is what's happening right now in the religious movement. There are too many people that are focusing on the “tions”, you know - the denominations, and the “isms”, you know - the isms. All these sort of things that have nothing to do with this.

Turn to Matthew 22:37. And I'm just going to give it to you from the English, and it says here, “Jesus said after asking the question, what is the most important commandment, Jesus said this, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” M-I-N-D, Matthew 22:37. Now, if I do something radical - and this is what I did love about Michael when I met him. He would take his Bible and he would have different versions of his Bible, and he would ask, “Why does this verse not match with this verse?” And he would go in depth asking these questions. So I did the same thing with Matthew 22:37. I looked in Mark, and I looked in Luke, because supposedly Mark and Luke are looking at the same thing that Matthew is looking at, and they should actually quote it exactly the way that Matthew quotes it. But something happens that is what I call “an uh oh moment.” Say “uh oh”.

Crowd: Uh oh.

Keith: Mark 12:30 says this, “You shall love him with all your mind and with all of your strength.” Luke 10:27 says, “You should love him with all your strength and with all of your mind.” Luke switches it, Mark switches it, they both add words to supposedly what Yeshua spoke. That's a problem.

So what happens? The Creator of the Universe, He's called Maestro, He tells the Litvak Jew, Nehemia Gordon: “Nehemia?” “Yes?” “I'm going to need you to study Hebrew Matthew. There are some issues that can be answered, that cannot be answered by those in the movement, because many of those in the movement have not taken the time or had the access to the information that could answer these questions.”

So what do we do? We study the entire book of Matthew, we come across this verse, and something very powerful happens. We go to Hebrew Matthew, and we see this. That in Hebrew Matthew, what Yeshua was doing, he was quoting exactly what verse? Somebody tell me.

Crowd: Deuteronomy 6:5.

Keith: Excellent. He was quoting exactly Deuteronomy 6:5. So what is Mark doing and what is Luke doing? What Mark and Luke are doing is looking at the Hebrew Matthew and saying, “there's a word there that we're not sure what to do with.” And so what both Mark and Luke have done is they have added their interpretation to a Hebrew word that is very difficult to translate. And you already know what this word is. Go to Deuteronomy 6:5 and it says, if he's quoting exactly from the Hebrew Bible, he would say... and this is in English, you all, we’ll get later into the Hebrew. It says, “You should love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your me'od.” Say “me'od”.

Crowd: Me'od.

Keith: Come on again, say “me'od”.

Crowd: Me'od.

Keith: Now, everybody in here knows me'od. You know these verses, you know in Genesis chapter 1 it says, “And God created in the day one,” and He says, “and in the end, it was good.” What is the word for "good" in Hebrew? Say, “tov”.

Crowd: Tov.

Keith: And day two, He didn't say anything. And day three, He says it twice, say, “tov tov”.

Crowd: Tov tov.

Keith: In other words, He looks at it, He says, “It is good.” Day four, He looks at it and it is... Come on, you guys, work with me now! Day five comes and He looks at it and it is...

Crowd: Tov.

Keith: And day six He was so excited after making the animals, He made you and me and He said, “It is tov me'od.” “It is very good.” So what was Yeshua quoting? Simply what was given to Moses. “You shall love the Lord your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and all of your very...” Say “very”.

Crowd: Very.

Keith: All of your... say “very”!

Crowd: Very.

Keith: “All of your everything you have.” This is why Mark said it should be mind and strength, and this is why Luke said it should be strength and mind, and then Nehemia does a radical thing. He says, “Keith, these manuscripts we have, there's one that's very interesting.” Now, the actual discovery was done by a man named George Howard in 1980 of the Hebrew Matthew. He had six manuscripts. He said, prophetically almost, “Somebody will find more than the six manuscripts.” Who is it? Nehemia Gordon. Nehemia ends up going in and finding over 20 manuscripts of Hebrew Matthew. He takes me, when I go to Jerusalem, down into the basement, I was the only Methodist there. I had gotten to the place now where I was able to read some of the information, and it just blew us away.

We get to this particular manuscript called the Breslau Manuscript. Say “Breslau”.

Crowd: Breslau.

Keith: Here's what the Breslau Manuscript is, and you guys can see this. Right here, you see that? That's the Breslau Manuscript that actually quotes exactly from Hebrew, Deuteronomy 6:5. “And you shall love,” and this right here is Yud-Hey-Vav-Hey, “your Elohim with all your heart with all your soul, and all of your…” right there is me'od. Say “me'od”.

Crowd: Me'od.

Keith: What is very powerful about this particular manuscript? It is a manuscript that has a very interesting history. Let me stop again. The Hebrew says, word for word, what it says in Deuteronomy. Mark and Luke are simply saying, “We don't know what to do exactly with the word me'od,” so they add an extra word. All of a sudden, we have an answer for a textual difficult situation. But when we look at the manuscript, we find out that this manuscript, the Breslau Manuscript, comes from this place called Breslau. And this manuscript ended up being in a particular library during the time of Hitler.

Now, what Hitler decided on the Night of the Broken Glass is to go in and break shops up and take antiques and take all these things. One of the things that they took when they went in to destroy Breslau was the Breslau Manuscript. It was being kept amongst the Jewish community in Breslau. Did you hear what I said? Hebrew Matthew was being maintained in a Jewish community in Breslau.

Hitler says, “Go in there and get everything you can.” And one of the things they got was the Breslau Manuscript. He said, “Take it to a place called Prague,” which is going to be the place that he's going to make what's called the Museum of the Extinct Race. Now, let me tell you something, you all. Hitler had a plan. His plan was this: “I want the goods from the Jews, but I don't want the Jews.” Can I say it again? “I want the goods from the Jews, so I can put them in a museum and say, ‘Look, it is the Museum of the Extinct Race,’ but I want to extinguish the Jews.”

Now, you all, I've got to stop for a minute, because I am disturbed by what I consider to be anti-Semitism even amongst those who say they love the Jews. Nehemia won't say it, but I've got a man in the room, Michael Rood, who's got enough guts to invite me and Nehemia here and let you know that right now there is anti-Semitism everywhere you look, including, but not limited to, the Messianic movement. “Oh, we want the goods from the Jews, but we don't want the Jews. Of course, unless we can convert them.” Which is exactly what Martin Luther said. Martin Luther said, “I love the language of the Jews. I love the Jews, and I love everything about their doing.” And he went through a transition till all of a sudden, he went with the four spiritual laws. And the Jews said, “Uh-uh, we're not going to take it.” And then guess what Martin Luther said, “I hate the Jews. I hate everything about the Jews. I want the Jews to be wiped out.”

I'm going to tell you something, I've become like Michael. Do you know a Lutheran Church let me come and preach, and I told them the story about their Martin Luther, that Martin Luther became at one point one who loved the Jews, but once he could not convert them he became anti-Semitic and he hated the Jews. And guess who was used for validation for what he did? Hitler used Martin Luther! Now, y'all are getting real quiet, and I don't blame you, because I'm telling you what's real. Anti-Semitism exists. So what happens is Hitler says, “Okay, it's going to be at the Museum of the Extinct Race. I want to extinguish the Jews.”

I will tell you where I'm at. I am so blessed. I am so excited. I am so moved. I am so joyful that Hitler is extinct, and Nehemia is still here. [applause] I'm never going to be popular with the religious institutions. You know, you all, I fly under the flag of United Methodist Church because it works for me. It works for me. But the Methodists don't know what to do with me. “What are we going to do with a guy who keeps hanging out with this Jewish guy preaching about a prayer that Jesus...” And they don't realize, Methodists don't know - Jesus was a Jew. Shhh.

“The word is good. The message is good. It's all good. If he would just leave the Jew out, we'll let him in.” And so, I've had some movements that have said, “We'll invite him, but we won't invite you.” Others say, “We'll invite you, but we won't invite him.” But somebody say, “Michael's got guts!” [applause] We're not popular right now. We're not on the front of the Messianic magazine. We're not being talking about by all the Messianic leaders. They're saying, “Ah, something's wrong with these two. Nehemia might be dealing with people getting away from Yeshua. What about this other guy? He's a Methodist, he's a pagan Christmas-celebrating, we don't know what he is.” They got me making all kinds of, say “assumptions”.

Crowd: Assumptions.

Keith: They're making assumptions about us, and what we've decided to do is this - wherever we are invited, we will go, up until this weekend. I haven't told Nehemia this. Nehemia, I'm about to make a huge declaration today. And I’m going to take my time. Can I take my time? Michael, can I?

Michael: Yeah, we took yours last night. [laughter]

Keith: Amen. I'm going to take my time. For two years Nehemia said we would go everywhere we were invited. We said wherever we are invited, we will go. And he has been in charge of, many times, the itinerary. And he's not a very good logistics guy with itineraries. He has put me in places that I know I should not be. We have been in situations that I know we shouldn't have been. We were just two weeks in Smithfield, North Carolina. I'm going to tell the story right now. The only reason Nehemia invited me to Smithfield, North Carolina, is because he was preaching for nine hours, and he thought, “I can only speak for eight. I need at least Keith to give me an hour.” So he says, “Keith, will you come with me to Smithfield, North Carolina?” “I don't know where Smithfield is. I don't know anything about Smithfield. I don't understand Smithfield.” So what Nehemia said is, “Yeah, we'll be speaking in Raleigh on Friday night and Saturday, then Sunday morning, we're going to go to Smithfield, North Carolina. And then in the afternoon, we're going to hang out with the people, at the pastors, at their house. And then in the evening we're going to speak again.” And I'm thinking, “Man, this Jew, he doesn't understand, he's an Israelite. He doesn't realize, he doesn't even understand the logistics of this thing.” And sometimes, you all, I just have to tell you, sometimes I get mad at Nehemia. He puts me in situations that aren't comfortable!

So we go to Smithfield, North Carolina, to the International Christ Outreach, I think it was called Christ International Outreach. And we're at this church Sunday morning, and what happens is, Nehemia lets me get up first, and then he speaks. And then in the afternoon, we're sitting with the pastor in his house. And as we're sitting there, and his lovely wife, Sheila, has made us food, and now I'm feeling okay. Okay, Nehemia, it wasn't bad. Nehemia is upstairs sleeping. I'm talking to the pastors, and the pastor reaches over, and he says, “Hey, I want to tell you something. Do you know right now where you are?” He says, “Right behind the church is the former house of the grand dragon of the Ku Klux Klan.” [laughter] He says, “Let me tell you something else. They used to have a sign that when you came into Smithfield, it said ‘Welcome to Smithfield, Home of the Ku Klux Klan.’”

And I'm thinking, “Oh my god.” Because even though he said it was the former house of the former grand dragon, I'm assuming the grand dragon had kids. You can't tell me just because he's dead there ain't no spirit of Ku Klux Klan in Smithfield, North Carolina. I'm thinking, “Oh, my goodness, and we’ve got to go back tonight!” Now, I hope that y'all know the story. I'm going to tell you the story. When we pulled up to the church, there are five men waiting for us. One man comes around, he opens up and shows us his badge. He says, “I just wanna let y'all know I got your back, I'm packing.” [laughter] I'm thinking, “For what?” Now, after he tells me the story, I'm looking for him! I went in the church that night saying, “Where is he?” You all, we get there. And as we're there, God begins to do something. He begins to do something. I stood up in Smithfield, North Carolina and prophetically said these words. “What is happening this day in Smithfield, North Carolina will span the globe.”


Now, let me tell you something. I'm about to end this thing. I speak these words. I say, “You all, there's something happening. Here's a Jewish man who is not a Christian, who is not a Messianic, who is standing up in a Sunday morning church, preaching from the Bible that Yeshua read. Then they let the Methodist who gets up and preaches from the Bible that Yeshua read.” And then the Ru'akh HaKodesh came into the church! [applause] And after I had said the words about revival, Nehemia says to me in the car, “Keith, this is the Smithfield revival.” You know why? Because he and I were changed.

I walked out of dinner last night, I come outside, and Nehemia says, “Somebody’s here.” I look and see - here are the pastors from the Sunday morning church from Smithfield who've come to this event. And all I want Gene and Sheila to do is stand up for a second. Where are you? Excellent. Would you all give them a hand? Stand up, stay there. Gene and Sheila, God is calling you. You are a part of His great symphony. He has ignited even as He did what He did in Smithfield, North Carolina, He has ignited your heart, man of God, He has ignited your heart, woman of God, and together you're about to see things that you've never seen before in your ministry.


You see, I'm going to say something more radical, and Nehemia thinks he's going to speak, I'm not going to let him speak the whole day. I'm going to say something more radical. Some of you that are sitting here have decided that God can't work with pastors in the Sunday morning church. Some of you that are sitting here, because of your own experience, you have discounted the possibility that the Creator of the Universe can do what He is doing through them. I want you to look at them and say this: “I'm sorry.” God can do what He wants to do, when He wants to do it, and how He wants to do it. And He's decided to be the orchestrator for an event in Dallas, Texas, where we're going to prepare ourselves - I'm about to let you sit down - we're going to prepare ourselves, you all, for a meeting. But in order to do that, we've got to sanctify our hearts, our minds and our spirits.

Now you may be seated. Let me close with this. For 10 years, you all, I've been dealing with this issue of the story of this verse. And it wasn't until after meeting with Michael that I finally had the courage to do what I knew I was afraid to do. Let me tell you what I was afraid to do. I finally decided to study the verse that the woman told me the scroll was going to open up to.

Now, let me tell you why I didn't want to study the verse. Because Ezekiel is a tough book. I'd rather just be with Nehemia and tell the stories and do all this wonderful stuff. Well, as a result of meeting with Michael, I opened up my Bible and I found something radical, you guys. Ezekiel chapter 1 verse 3. And if we read it in the English, it simply says, “The word of the Lord came expressly to Ezekiel son of Buzi in the land of the Chaldeans by the river Chebar and there the hand of the Lord came upon him.” Why did I not want to study that verse? Because I was afraid. I said, “Father, this is a good thing, and You've done what You've done in my life, and I appreciate that.” But whenever I'd look at the verse in English, I said, “I don't think I want to look at that verse in Hebrew. There might be something there that's going to cause me to even be pushed a little bit further.”

But after meeting with Michael, after the beginning of the Smithfield revival, the Creator of the Universe called me to look at Ezekiel chapter 1 verse 3 in the language, history and context of which it was preached.

So here's what I saw. If you look at this particular verse, and you open up this book, that is what you would see. The first thing I did when I was looking at this verse was the first two words. The first two words are very unique. It's the only time in the entire Tanakh where these two words are used exactly like this, in the entire Tanakh. And then after those two words, there's another word, which I understand, and then there are those four letters. Now, I might as well tell you guys right now… look at your neighbor and say “controversy”.

Crowd: Controversy.

Keith: When I see those four letters, if I look at the English and I say, “Lord,” I move quickly. When I look in the Hebrew Bible and I see Yud-Hey-Vav-Hey, I have to slow down. 6,828 times, it's twice in this verse. His name, His personal name, which He proclaimed to the people prophetically, which will be proclaimed in the last day, and He's waiting for people now to begin to proclaim His name. But when I read these first four words, something really radical happens. It says in Hebrew this, “Hayo haya.” Say “hayo haya”.

Crowd: Hayo haya.

Keith: Let me back up for a second. Is Karen here? Where’s Karen Taylor? Would you do me a favor, just stand to your feet real quick. I want you to do something, Karen, if you would. I want you to imagine that you're singing the first two words in Ezekiel 1:3, and the words are this: hayo haya. Just sing those two words.

Karen: [singing] Hayo haya.

Keith: Hallelujah, have a seat. The next two words are connected. The next two words are devar, and then immediately it goes into Yud-Hey-Vav-Hey. Now, here comes the controversy. If I read it in the Hebrew, it sounds like a song. If I read it without tradition, if I read it about what the popular pronunciation is, if I read it without all of the controversy, and I read it according to my Hebrew Bible, it goes something like this: hayo haya devar Yehovah. Did you hear that? Karen, help me. Stand to your feet. Hayo haya devar Yehovah.

Karen: [singing] Hayo haya devar Yehovah.

Keith: One more time. Hayo haya devar Yehovah.

Karen: [singing] Hayo haya devar Yehovah.

Keith: Amen. You're getting close, sister. By the end of the weekend, you'll be ready for that verse. There is a rhythmic, there is a melodic thing that's happening even in Ezekiel 1:3. [singing] Hayo haya devar Yehovah. And then it goes on and He says to Yekhezkel, which means God strengthens. Say “God strengthens”. This is his name. So then it says he's a Kohen, and it goes on to the last part. I'm going to end with this, it says, “And upon him there was the yad of Yehovah,” the hand of the Creator of the Universe.

You all, I have been struggling, I've been battling. I told Nehemia - publicly I'm telling him this - no more “everywhere we're invited”. The only place I'm going is where I'm sent. Hear me, man of God. Two years I went with you wherever you wanted me to go. But from now on, I will only go where He sends me, and I will only go with the yad, the hand of Yehovah upon my head. And I am convinced, you all, that there's something happening right now. He wants to strengthen His people. He wants to lead them. He wants to guide them. He wants to move them. He wants to shake them. He wants to call Jew, he wants to call Methodist, he wants to call Messianic. He wants to call you, He wants to call me, He wants to call whoever is willing to hear His call, because He's putting together a beautiful symphony!

Is there somebody in the house that'll say, “I can be used, I'm willing to be used. Make me a French horn, make me an oboe. Make me a timpani.” Is there anybody that would say, “I'm willing, I'm willing, I'm willing?” Hallelujah! So hear the word of Yehovah. He's looking for a people that are willing to be strengthened by Him.

Now, I would like to do something. Everyone stand to your feet. This was just the warmup for the real show. Nehemia is going to speak, then we're going to break, then Nehemia is going to speak, and then I get to really finish what I really wanted to say. But what I want to do in all honor, I want to have you do something for me. This man, Nehemia Gordon, is being persecuted by his own for being here with you. I've been on the phone with Nehemia, talking to people that are leaders in his movement, saying, “You’ve got to explain to us what he is going to do there.” And here's what we have decided. We are going to do His will His way.

You have been listening to the Open Door Series with Nehemia Gordon. Thank you for supporting Nehemia Gordon’s Makor Hebrew Foundation. Learn more at

We hope the above transcript has proven to be a helpful resource in your study. While much effort has been taken to provide you with this transcript, it should be noted that the text has not been reviewed by the speakers and its accuracy cannot be guaranteed. If you would like to support our efforts to transcribe the teachings on, please visit our support page. All donations are tax-deductible (501c3) and help us empower people around the world with the Hebrew sources of their faith!

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  • Catherine Fassino Ozment says:

    Thank you so much for this series. Cannot wait to get to the rest of the teachings.

  • Anita Burke says:

    i’m going back for seconds, this was great.

  • Stephanie Shiflet says:

    Such revelations, for such a time as this… WOW! I’m so very excited for The Kingdom of YeHoVah! Baruch Haba B’Shem YeHoVah!

    Three Men with different and very distinct experiences have been brought together to raise up, the Remnant of Israel from not one denomination but from them ALL. Mr. Rood, Mr Johnson, and Mr. Gordon, Thank you for all you are doing to spread the truth through the entire world.

    I sincerely want to encourage everyone to earnestly pray for YeHoVah to teach them to love what he loves and hate what he hates. To Open their eyes, ears, and hearts to YeHoVah’s spiritual things and to receive HIS understanding of His spiritual things. We no longer can sit back silently, it is time to sound the shofar of the name of The Most High God, El Elyon, YeHoVah!

    Next I want you to consider giving and contributing to all three of these men’s ministry’s. Even if you can not give money you can further The Kingdom of YeHoVah by speaking HIS Truths through referencing scripture and using these Men’s Ministries as a reference. I myself am not a great speaker, but I can always find a teaching by either of these men and encourage those I talk to about watching.

    May YeHoVah, our Father and Yeshua Ha’Mashiach give you all His Blessings and great Shalom of Heart and Mind.

    • betty peterson says:

      I have been waiting all my life to hear the truth,thank you nehemia.Please pray for my family

  • Forest and Andrea Acker says:

    Living in Belize, Central America we felt radically alone in our new grasp of the importance of Torah, despite the fact that we were raised Pauline Christians. We havr shed so much doctrine and it is incredible confirmation to hear and see the testimonies of others in this growing movement of restoration of truth. Yeshua is calling the nations into His Fathers covenant, despite how the Catholic church has long twisted abd supressed His true teachings!!!!!

  • Pearline Moore says:

    Such a refreshing, tireless search for the “TRUTH” and the deeper meaning of God’s written WORD and not what man makes it out to be. The two different perspectives represented in your research is wonderful. I would love to receive your teaching in my in-box on a regular basis, perhaps weekly. Any plans for such an offering?

  • A Jones says:

    I would love to get a copy of the music to teach my children. Please tell me where to find it.

  • jackrabb1t says:

    Can you please post a transcript of this video?

  • Hey Keith! How do I get you and Nehemia back to Phoenix? Really enjoyed out time together, even if you couldn’t get a word in edgewise. Blessings.

  • Mimi says:

    Thank you very much. I like this very much. So where do we sign up for the Hebrew lessons?
    God bless you both. May you live for ever!

  • george says:

    this is some awesome stuff !

  • Keith Johnson relates the fascinating beginnings of the prophetic friendship between himself and Nehemia Gordon. A dream that led Johnson to Jerusalem in search of a Torah scroll ultimately led him to Gordon who taught him not only to read the sacred text, but to mine its beauty and perfection. The duo’s unique partnership illustrates the “mixed multitude” that stands with Israel and the God of Israel as the people fulfill their destiny as a light to the nations.

    Keywords: Torah scroll, Breslau manuscript, Hebrew Matthew, Lord ’s Prayer, antisemitism, Smithfield revival