Sid: My guest by way of telephone is Pastor Ricky Sinclair; he’s Pastor of Miracle Place Church in Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana. And if you weren’t listening yesterday get the tape. Ricky came from a good middleclass family from the view point of meeting his material needs, but his parents were alcoholics. He fast followed their example not only alcohol but started smoking; then marijuana and drugs; shooting heroin and he became a dealer he got arrested several times. But he’s in that fast lane and he’s decided that he’s going to do a real big deal. He has a Mexican drug smuggler come up and this guy’s got something like 30 pounds of marijuana and the next thing he knew he’s there with his young wife, and he’s young himself he’s only like 22 years old. He’s got a young son he had to you know when you do well you have a lot of money; when you don’t do well you’re struggling. He used the bath towel for the diaper for his son he’s living off a pint of watered down milk per day. They were splitting one turkey-ham sandwich for all three of them. And then all of a sudden bomb the police are there the SWAT Team and they ram into his apartment and they bust the door open. And they put him down on the floor and they say horrible things and his wife is there and his little boy is there and they haul him off to jail. And he thought that he was a real con artist by this time; he came up with a fictitious name; but they figured out who he was. Because as he said on yesterday’s broadcast “There’s no honor among thieves; he was turned in.” And so you figure you’re going to post bail and what happened next Ricky.
Sid: Well, what happened was here I am in the New Orleans Jail; there talking one of the 7 people that were busted with me, of course told them my real name. I told them that my real name was Kent Douglas Smith; and then one of the seven that was busted with me in the house said “No, his name if Ricky Sinclair.” They searched through the computer and found out that I had a warrant that I was actually running from charges from another city. So what they did was they ended up extraditing me back to St. Francisville which was where I was running from charges earlier. Then they started talking about giving me a life sentence because I’m busted with distribution of cocaine, marijuana and Diazepam, which is Valium1982; busted again in 1986 with distribution of marijuana running from those charges. Got busted again in the house they found 14 pounds of marijuana. They found Ecstasy and charged me with possession and the attempt to distribute. Now they’re talking about giving me a life sentence because I’m a habitual offender of 6 felony drug charges against me. And so I’m facing life; I’m scared to death now. What I’ve seen is I’ve seen my whole life pass before my face; 22 years old facing life sentence. Now lights come on; revelation hits me; reality really hits me that life is not about a fantasy life is real; it’s not about partying and drinking and drugging and scheming and scamming and hooking and crooking; while God is looking and booking. Life really has validity, it has purpose; it has vision and I started asking myself “What is the purpose of life? What in the world am I doing in a place called planet Earth? What am I going to do with my life?” I’m facing life now; I’m 22 years old and I’m scared to death. So I got some rabbit in me Sid; I called my grandmother and my grandmother always used to come bail me out and get me out of a lot of trouble and when I called her this time St. Francis was mad at me and they set a million dollar bond on me; cash bond on me. Because I had enough land to actually bond out and so they made it a cash bond.
Sid: Now why would you get life in prison?
Ricky: Six felony charges; drug charges.
Ricky: So when you pass the 3rd fel… the 3rd felony they try you as a habitual offender. That means we slapped you on the hand a couple of times, you don’t want to learn your lesson; we’ve given you an opportunity to change your life; you don’t want to change; you’re a repeat offender; you’re a habitual offender because you’re a habitual offend we’re going to just throw you away. And that’s what they were threatening me with. So here I am facing the life; facing going to prison for the rest of my life. I end up escaping; and so in St. Francisville jail I ran out of the jail. I’ll never forget I got finished finger printing me and booking me in and they took my mug shot. And as a matter of fact my mug shot is on the front of my book; that’s the transformation that took…
Sid: And by the way I’m looking at that Ricky and when you say the word transformation I can see his mug shot of what he looked like and it’s just step by step in what he looks like today and that’s amazing.
Ricky: That’s the light; it’s darkness to light is what it is Sid. You can look in my eyes on the guy on the right side of the book. Because the guy on the left is caught up into drugs and the party scene and doing his own thing under the curse; under the curse of sin. And the guy on the right side of the book is the guy that is living for the Lord and living for God and you can see the light of God in his eyes. And that’s the transformation; so here’s that guy on the left he runs out of the jail after they finish fingerprinting me and taking my mug shot. I knew the lay out of the jail because in 1982 I had done 8 ½ months in that same Parrish jail; I knew the layout of the jail I was a trustee there. And what I did was I asked them if I could wash my hands the bathroom in the front of the jail was right by the door and as soon as I got into that bathroom I’ll never forget; I had a pair of flip-flops on and a black Harley-Davidson t-shirt because I was cool back then. And I took those flip-flops off and put them in my hands and when that jailer turned his head I hit that door as hard as I could and out across that field I went. I had the flip-flops in one hand and police officer had a pair of cowboy boots on. Jumped over the graveyard fence and down into the woods and into the woods I went running. And about 2 hours later here comes the bloodhounds and the helicopters. Now here’s…
Sid: Helicopters for you?
Ricky: Yes sir, I had two major chase teams; I had all the State Police for the state were out there chasing me.
Sid: Now wait a minute this was in the movies; this isn’t supposed to happen in real life Ricky.
Ricky: And that’s what I said and I was the hunted, (laughing –and then making hound dogs sounds). Listen I’m a country boy and when he’s on your sent I’m scared to death; running adrenalin flowing through my body. I wanted to say that when I got into the woods and I was about to die after the first two hills I crossed over. I wanted to say “Everybody turn your head I want to get back into jail; I just teasing,” but it was too late then Sid. You know Sid sometimes you do things and you wish you wouldn’t have done them but it’s too late and you have already done it and now you’re desperate. Now you’re in the situation and you don’t have any choice you just got to keep going forward and that’s what I did.
Sid: Now you’re running through the woods barefoot; what’s going on with your feet; what you running on?”
Ricky: Sid I ran through briers that were that were 5 and 6 and 7 feet tall; the briars literally took the skin out from between the toes. And all my forearms were raw; my feet were like solid stickers. They were like 100′s of stickers in both of my feet and then I ran figure 8′s because I had the bloodhounds on me and what do you do when you got a dog on you? Do you climb a tree absolutely not he smells you he’s on your trail. So I started doing figure 8′s because I deer hunted before and old bucks used to make circles and run their scent right back into itself and trying to get the dogs off of them. And so I started doing some figure 8′s and I went down into the creek and walked up the creek in the water and climbed the vine out of the creek. And ultimately somehow; I don’t know how either the dogs were no good but ultimately I got the dogs off of me and I made it to a place where the blacktop road was down by the Mississippi River where I was going to try to cross the road and then cross the Mississippi River. Before I could get across the road the chase team started setting standards out. So I ended up laying 4 days and 4 nights 25 feet from the chase team guard line and the ants eating the coagulated blood out from between my toes. Every muscle in my body hurt and ached and here I was laying under some briar up on a cliff trying to get across that road and there was no way to across there. And I laid there 4 days and 4 nights and I passed cotton mouth up by 3 days; my tongue was like welded to the side of my mouth. Listen, this is the reality Sid; this is the reality of drugs. It’s not a party; it’s not fun; it starts out to be you think fun; it starts out to be having a good time. But what it ends up to be is bondage. What happens is that you finally grow up one day and you start out as a kid and ultimately one day you graduate high school and then you take on a family. And then you have responsibility and you got to get up and go to work. You got to pay your house note and you got to pay your car note and you got to take on the responsibility to take on your wife and your kid and now you’re not even thinking right. You’re caught up with a stronghold with bondage that’s in your life; it’s called drugs; it’s called alcohol. And by the way alcohol is a drug.
Sid: Ricky hold that thought. You know Mishpochah he spent 56 days out in those woods. What happened to him shouldn’t happen to anyone.
Sid: I want to see you mobilized, I mean it’s great that I’m proclaiming the good news but what is greater is that there are people that are crossing your path that there is no one on the face of this earth that is better equipped to reach with the gospel. Now when it comes to Jewish people most Christians are intimidated. Have misunderstandings, and that’s why I’ve asked my friend Jonathan Bernis from Jewish Voice who if anyone knows the how to reach Jewish people with the gospel it’s my friend Jonathan. Because for the last was it a decade or so Jonathan, how many years.
Jonathan: Well, actually 14 years now.
Sid: Boy, it’s hard to believe, for the last 14 years he has been proclaiming the gospel in festivals. A quarter of a million Jewish people have attended these festivals, half of them have made professions of faith. And Jonathan the thing that is so in this day and age, this day of computers and information flowing like it is there are such misconceptions that real Born Again Christians have about Jewish people. We were talking about that yesterday.
Jonathan: Yes, we were and incredible misconceptions to us as Jewish people who know how wrong these attitudes are. But one misconception I’ve talked about yesterday where we left off is that Christian’s have that Jewish people know the scriptures better than they do; or in particular the Old Testament. And I laugh every time I think about this because we don’t know the scriptures. Ninety percent of American Jews are Bible illiterate, they’re maybe like I prepared for their Bar Mitzvah at age 13 and learned to read Hebrew and maybe one portion of scripture but that’s it. I learned Hebrew Sid and never learned what I was reading. So…
Sid: And in that same with me.
Jonathan: Exactly when you were saying yesterday they don’t know about Isaiah 53; they don’t even know who Isaiah is or Jeremiah. I mean they know what the Torah is but they don’t know what the Torah says. And so this misconception that the Jewish people are the people of the Book which is one of the terms for the Jewish people is just a very serious misconception. And it creates this fear factor Christians. I’m not going to share with them because they’ll embarrass me because they’ll know the scriptures so well. Well, unless they have a black, a long black coat, pe’ot these side locks and a black hat they don’t know the scriptures at all. So go to it.
Sid: And I’ll just add a PS to that, if your just a Christian that attending Sunday school as a child you have a better education of the scriptures than 98% of the Jewish people that God will have cross your path. Go ahead.
Jonathan: Exactly, most do not have any concept of the Messiah, or sin or what the Jewish scriptures clearly teach. So one very important principal is to share with a Jewish person as you would share with anyone else that needs the Lord. They have the same crisis’s in their life; they have to face the same fate that we all face. Which is death and what happens after you die. And taxes of course; we have to pay taxes. But Jewish people are approachable. Another misconception is that all Jewish people have rejected Christ as Messiah, that’s another misconception as a nation. The Rabbis’ have steered us in a different direction but many Jewish people Sid are open to the gospel. And I love being with you and watching you share with every person that comes across your path. One of the best places to reach Jewish people is the deli; the local deli.
Sid: Naugh naugh your wrong the best place is a Chinese restaurant Jonathan.
Jonathan: Chinese restaurant.
Sid: (Laughing) He’s also right on that but go ahead.
Jonathan: Oh, it’s absolutely true but you know why are we intimidated as believers from sharing the gospel with Jewish people that need to hear. We shouldn’t be, so those are misconceptions. So another very serious misconception Sid is Christians Born Again Spirit-filled Christians that have been taught that it’s good will not to share with Jewish people. There’s something called dual covenant theology that simply states that it’s a theological idea that emerged after the Holocaust that says that Jewish people have their own path to God through Judaism. And it’s made it’s way, it’s seeped into evangelical Christianity like a plague and it’s totally false. Paul makes it very clear, the Apostle Paul said “The gospel is the power of God to all who believe first to the Jew and then to the Gentle.” The gospel is to the Jew first, and so to believe the Jewish people have a separate plan…way to God to salvation is really a demonic theology. It’s a doctrine of devils and so we have to be…
Sid: And I might add unfortunately Mishpochah there are many even prominent telly evangelists that have this theology worked into their books to let you off the hook so you don’t have to share with the Jewish person. But scriptures say “There is no other Name given unto men in which we must be saved but the Name of Jesus.
Jonathan: And that’s to the Jew first and this is a terrible misconception and we have to be on guard not to buy into unscriptural doctrine. So we need to; not target the Jewish people as such but we need to see Jewish people that God has placed in our path as Divine appointments. Sid let me tell you a very sad story which of course has a great ending but it’s a sad story. I started to hear the gospel at age 16; I was involved with a group called Young Life.
Sid: I’m familiar with it.
Jonathan: Many of my Gentile friends become born again Christians and I could not deny the change that I was seeing taking place in their life. I heard the gospel numerous times but every time I was confronted with the gospel who do you say that He is Jonathan by two Christian counselors in Young Life and then Christian friends. I responded always just off the cuff, I’m Jewish. The sad story Sid is that they always apologized instead of tell me “Oh, that’s fantastic Jesus was Jewish and His name was Yeshua; all of the disciples were Jewish; the Apostle Paul was Jewish, the writers of the New Testament were Jewish; the covenant; this new covenant was made with your people.” Instead they automatically understood that being Jewish was that I was excluded from the gospel.
Sid: Listen, there’s something even worse than that it’s called “Fear of man.” I have talked to prominent Christians that were so interested in understanding their Biblical roots they befriended Rabbis’ and leaders in the Jewish community and they studies with them. And I said “Did you ever share the gospel?” They said, “No no they know what I believe they could have asked me.” What a tragedy!
Jonathan: That’s tragic and it’s really the result of some very very wrong understanding and it needs to be changed. Sid the good news is that 4 years later in college I was encountered again with the gospel and my life was transformed. But just think Sid, I think back often to those 4 years if someone had just told me the truth, that this was for me as a Jew I might have been spared through from all kinds of garbage that you know about that I got involved in. But nobody did, so this misconception is killing Jewish people eternity. I can’t state strongly enough that this misconception is causing Jewish people to go to Hell. There’s no other way to say it.
Sid: Well, you know there’s a flip side of this and the flip side is from the traditional Jewish community we’re given the rhetoric that you can’t be Jewish and believe in Jesus. The Christians on the other side aren’t witnessing and they have this misguided theology. And on the Jewish side we’re told that we can’t be Jewish and believe in Jesus. What would you say to a Jewish person that said that to you?
Jonathan: I would say, “Tell that to Peter, James, tell that to John.”
Sid: I don’t know who they are Jonathan, my Rabbi says that I can’t be Jewish and believe in Jesus.
Jonathan: I would say “Why don’t you find out for yourself instead of believing what the Rabbi is teaching you and he’s just been taught because that’s what his Rabbi taught him. You know this has been handed down Sid for the last 2000 years from generation to generation to generation. And I found out 24 years ago that I was simply taught a lie. And we need to find out; you need to find out for yourself. Read the Jewish scriptures for yourself; I’m not even talking about the New Testament. Go back and read the Jewish scriptures, read the Tenach, read the Prophet Isaiah, read Jeremiah, read the Torah and you’ll find prophecy after prophecy after prophecy that talk about a literal Messiah that will come and deliver our people. And clearly Yeshua of Nazareth, Jesus the Messiah fulfilled all of these prophecies.
Sid: You know Jonathan I was just getting a sandwich and I started a conversation with a guy behind me he says “He’s Catholic and that he knows the Lord and that his wife is Jewish and now she’s Catholic.” And so I corrected him, I said “No, your wife isn’t going to change being Jewish she’s always been Jewish and she stays Jewish.” Even Paul said that he was a Jew but got, literally got angry with me when I told him that his wife is still Jewish.
Jonathan: I’m not surprised, it’s called tradition Sid, it’s called tradition.
Sid: You mean we Jewish people don’t have a corner on the market “Tradition!” (Laughing)
Jonathan: No, it’s part of human nature to…and you know what it is Sid, it’s really casting God in our image, that’s what it really is when you really…the bottom line is as we say is “You cast God in your own image when you create through tradition your own understanding of what religion should be.” That’s not what it’s about it’s believing what He says about His plan for eternal life and His plan for how we should live.
Sid: Jonathan we’re out of time we’ll pick up here on tomorrow’s broadcast.
Sid: Now you would say “Boy if what happened to Tommy Almonte happened to me I would be red hot for the Messiah.” Well the truth of the matter is my guest Tommy Almonte and I’m speaking to him by way of telephone at his home in Grand Rapids, Michigan who had an encounter with the Holy Spirit. He told me before we started the show that the Holy Spirit said to tell you that it is simple, and to tell you how simple it is to have a relationship with Him. But Tommy after you started having a relationship with the Holy Spirit you started one a week and now you get together with the Holy Spirit at 5:30 am every morning. The Holy Spirit audibly says to you when you come in “Good Morning Tommy.” How important is that to you Tommy?
Tommy: You know it reminds me that He really is God in the sense that He really has not changed. The Bible says “He doesn’t change.” When He created Adam and Eve He wanted intimacy. The Bible says “He will come and walk with them every single day.” He has not changed that desire that He had with Adam and Eve is the same desire that He has with me; the same desire that He has with you Sid. And sometimes we forget it it’s why He created you and I is so that we can have intimacy with Him.
Sid: Now you started seeing a little afterwards angels; tell me the first time you saw an angel.
Tommy: You know the first time I saw anything that was outside of the physical and more in the spiritual I was home and I went to bed and I woke up and it was about maybe 2 or 3 in the morning, and by the door the Holy Spirit was standing there. Now I tapped my wife and I said “Honey, you need to wake up, you need to see this.” And she opened her eyes and she said “Ah, tomorrow” she was really tired but she didn’t wake up. But that was the first time that I just being able to see the Holy Spirit. What He did to me is that He went from just hearing His voice to now seeing Him.
Sid: Now I have a question now for you though; how do you know that it was the Holy Spirit and not an angel?
Tommy: Now there are a lot of characteristics now that the Bible talks about angels, but deep in my spirit I knew that this was the Holy Spirit. I knew that deep in my spirit that this was not an angel.
Sid: So now He’s talking to you and now you literally had a visitation where you could see his presence. What does this mean to you day to day? It’s a wonderful experience but what does this mean when you go suppose you are flying across the United States as you’re going to take a long flight to perhaps do my television show. What might be different in your life then before you had this relationship with the Holy Spirit?
Tommy: You know now I know Sid that… now I do believe that the reason why I was created was to have intimacy with Him. Any moment anytime that I can find to let Him know just like when you’re dating someone that a person is at a distance you find a way to let that person know that “Hey how you doing, or hi I noticed you there.”
Sid: You know most of us segment these things like it’s Sunday morning or Saturday morning in a church or a Messianic Jewish Congregation, but you’re saying that you have a running discussion with Him all day long?
Tommy: Sometimes, I mean I have a job and when I’m at work and doing even my work day sometimes He once said to me “I want you to do this, or I want you to do that.” Sometimes He’s said to me “I need to talk to you when you get home can you set aside an hour to meet with Me.” And I will get home and I’ll spend time with my daughter and then I will go and spend time with Him. Sometime He would just share things with me so I can pray with Him about some things that He’s praying about. The Bible says “He intercedes for.” He’s always interceding. But we have… it’s a normal relationship that’s why I say it’s simple Sid because even though you get to a point where you’re walking in intimacy, but the relationship with the Holy Spirit is no different than my relationship with my relationship with my spouse. Meaning that there was a beginning where I didn’t know my spouse and now we’re driven by knowing everything about that person. Then once I got to know her I needed to accept who she was; not accepting my spouse the way she is and who she is would hinder our relationship. And it’s the same with the Holy Spirit; sometimes we want to know the Holy Spirit and we want to have a relationship with God an intimate relationship with God, but we don’t accept the fact, we don’t accept who He is who the Bible says He is, that He’s a person with feelings and emotions. And not until we really accept that and believe that we cannot move into the next step which is intimacy with the Holy Spirit. And I believe many times we just get… we stop in that area you know; we go through the area where we ask for forgiveness but when we get to the point where we have to acknowledge who He is without having a hidden agenda; coming clean and saying whether you don’t believe in Him saying “I want to believe in You but teach me how. Because it’s not easy going from not knowing the Holy Spirit into wanting to develop a relationship with the Holy Spirit it’s simple in the sense of any other relationship that you might have. The same relationship that you have with your significant other your spouse is the same process that you can use to develop this relationship with the Holy Spirit. There are no differences.
Sid: What advice would you give a listener right now that says “Well, I’m born again, I believe in Jesus, I believe in the Holy Spirit, but I can’t say that I hear the Lord’s voice that much. I can’t say I have a relationship with the Holy Spirit.” You told me, and you actually state in the book, that the Holy Spirit made sure that you did not worship Him; explain that.
Tommy: You know I think because we’re stepping into the spiritual and we’re not familiar with the spiritual and it’s so new to us that one day I wanted to spend time with the Holy Spirit and I started worshiping the Holy Spirit. I literally said “I worship You Holy Spirit. And He said “No, you worship Jesus, you have… I’ll guide you into Jesus and you worship Jesus.” He reminded me that the Father said “I’m going to send a Son” and then the Son Jesus said “I’m going to send the Holy Spirit and through Him you might know Me.” The same and the Holy Spirit will remind you and He’s reminded me that My job is to bring you into Jesus so you might know Him better. Because as you get to know Me you will get to know Him but worship Him don’t worship Me because that was not why I was sent to you. I was sent to you so I could bring you into His presence. You know one of the things that now I’m accustomed to see is anytime that Jesus is going to walk into a room and I see Him walking into different services, I’ve been in different services and I’ve seen Him literally walk into a room so I can see Him. Any time before He walk into a room the Holy Spirit has to come in and walk into that room. Jesus will never, never walk into a room or walk into where you are without the Holy Spirit. It’s just the same as when you see the Secret Services, or you see the FBI you know that someone else is coming meaning the President will be walking into that room. The same way without the Holy Spirit there’s no Jesus.
Sid: Tommy, give me step 1. What’s the first thing that I should do?
Tommy: The first thing is to confess; to come to a place where you confess that you have grieved the Holy Spirit whether by watching someone that was ministering and you said “Huh this is a joke or this is…” or by a fact that this not a person you are just a ghost somewhere out there. Or just by one of these 52% believers that say “You’re not real, you do not exist.” Confess and when I say confess not in your mind but verbally let Him know, verbalize that go into a room close the door and say to Him “I’m sorry Holy Spirit.” And be specific say “I’m sorry for the time that I had done this and this and this; I do want to get to know You and I know that without this I will hinder the ability to walk into a relationship with You.” Once that takes place you can find that something will happen in your spirit He will produce you will drop the weight of even not knowing that you were carrying that. And then the next facet will be acknowledging who He is and coming to a place where you can freely say “You are who the Bible says You are; You are what the Bible says You are a person with feelings and emotions; You are the third person of the trinity and acknowledging who He is.
Sid: And you know Tommy we are out of time today…
SID: My guest David Jones was an eyewitness of what is referred to as the Day of the Lord. You’ll find out in a few minutes about that. David, as I’ve begun to understand your life, frankly, I don’t know how you survived. How did you get through all that? I mean, at age 11, your father gives you your first drink and then later on you become addicted to drugs and alcohol. And your father was a fighter. Tell me about the time he tried to teach you to fight.
DAVID: Well he was a brawler, not just in the ring, but also in the streets, and so he thought he was doing a great thing by toughing me up. And so he would knock me down and tell me to get up and fight him back, but I would never fight him back. But when I went into night clubs I would mess with anyone, but not my dad. I loved my dad and I respected my dad, but I would never fight him. But he wanted me to be just like him. And I believe, Sid, he thought within himself, he thought he was doing the right thing.
SID: Now at age 13, a week before David’s father died, you knew what was going to happen. Tell me.
DAVID: Yes. The Lord allowed me to dream a dream. Many people don’t put weight on dream, but I do. They’ve always been my warnings. I dreamed he was in a Chrysler convertible and he was just going so fast, and he hit this brick bump and he was killed. I remember running to the car and his head was down and blood was running out of his mouth. And I said, “Daddy, don’t die, Daddy, don’t die.” And he looked at me and he said, “Daddy tried.” And he dropped his head and died. And I said, “Daddy is dead.” And I knew, I had a knowing, Sid, that it was over for my father. At the kitchen table I told my mother, I said, “Daddy’s going to die.” She said, “Don’t say that.” And I said, “I seen it in a dream. He got killed in a car accident.” The next week it happened exactly as I had seen it.
SID: Now David was not a believer in the Messiah. David did not know the Bible. But one night when you were 17, you had a vision, and it’s so interesting to me. This was not just one vision. He then had a second one of the same thing after he became a believer in the Messiah. It’s as if God knew David’s purpose before David knew God. Tell me what happened.
DAVID: Well my sister asked me to babysit her children while she wanted to go skating. And I did, and I put the kids to bed. And I had a portable radio, and I was trying to turn it on to get a station. All of a sudden, I heard a woman scream, and it was not like it was behind the house or in front of the house. It was just like in the air. So as I went to go towards the window I stopped and I said, no, no, wait, wait, wait, if I go towards that window I’m going to see something that I don’t want to see. But Sid, I was compelled to go. And so I pulled back the curtains on the second story and I looked down, and I didn’t see anything, and I was like, there’s nothing wrong. And then when my eyes caught the stars in the heavens all of a sudden it was just like a movie screen and blood on the moon appeared. And it’s like someone took an ice pick and poked the moon. Then blood began to ooze out of the moon. And then all the stars in the heaven began to fall all at once. And the sky itself began to roll up as a scroll. And it was happening simultaneously. The moon turned to blood. The stars fell from the heaven. The sky rolled up as a scroll and all of a sudden I see the woman with long black hair. She was beholding what was happening coming upon the earth. And she began to take her fingernails and dig on her face, and scream and holler. Then I seen hundreds of people running, thousands of people running and the horror on their faces, and God allowed me to sense what they were feeling, total helplessness total terror. And all of a sudden the vision disappeared and I fell to the ground, and I was trembling and shaking. I was like, oh my God, what did I see? Sid, I didn’t know anything about visions at the time. And I was like, what should I do. And I said, look at the Bible, get the Bible. And I said, “Please Lord, don’t let me see nothing else, please, please don’t.” I thought something was going to come again. I said, “Please.” And I got the Bible and I just opened it up, and I went to Revelation, the 6th Chapter, beginning at the 12th Verse, and it began to tell about the Day of the Lord and the moon turning to blood. And I said, “Oh God,” and I began to look at that, and I said, “Lord Jesus, look what’s happening. I’ve seen this with my eyes.” All of a sudden, I call my Uncle Ed, he was a preacher, and I said, I told him what happened and he said, “Son, God just showed you a vision.” I said, “You mean to tell me I’m not going crazy?” He said, “No, you’re not going crazy.” He said, “God gave you an open vision. When are you going to say yes to Jesus? When are you going to serve the Lord?” He’s called to be a preacher of the Gospel. And I said, “I don’t know if I can. I don’t know if I can do it.” And from that day I knew within myself there’s something I must do for God.
SID: Hold that thought. I’m going to tell you something. When you hear the second vision that David was part of, it’s what’s called an open vision, your life will never be the same. We’re going to be right back.
Sid: My guest right now is Bonnie Halpern; I’m speaking to her at her home at Wyckoff, New Jersey. Bonnie was raised in a Jewish family; mother and father Jewish, but she had something very unusual at age 8 a large light came into her room. And there was a man face at the end of it. Were you afraid by this experience or how did you react Bonnie?
Bonnie: No, I had complete peace about it and that was what was so unusual and…
Sid: How did your parents react when you told them?
Bonnie: Went into tell them about it they thought I had a nightmare; thought I was fast asleep and I had a nightmare. And I assured them that I wasn’t even asleep and it wasn’t a nightmare because you know happy but it wasn’t a frightening thing for an 8 year old child.
Sid: And then when you were a teenager Christians invited you to a meeting and you went what happened?
Bonnie: There was a man there and a ministry there that talked about Jesus. A friend had invited me to go there but I just left in the sense that I wanted to find God. But they were talking about Jesus. So I felt as a Jewish person that it did not pertain to me; I felt that it was just for the Gentiles. But after I had left that at age 13 I had the same exact visitation from God which is what it exactly it was when I was 8 years old; the same light the same experience; the same feeling in my bed this tiny tiny little person with the same cone shape with the same bright light above me with the exact, exact, exact experience that I had when I was 8 years old.
Sid: But then you did ask God about Jesus; why did you do that?
Bonnie: Because I wanted to know; I think that I was always a child of God my whole life and was always meant to pursue God. I needed to know who God really was because I did not want religion. Everyone in my family was Bar mitzvah’d and Bat mitzvah’d and I was the only one. I even left our temple that had Sunday school classes I was the only one that out of 5 children that stopped going because I just wanted something real and never ever felt no matter what I heard that it was real. The temple always was in Hebrew and I didn’t understand that and something within me wanted to know God. I had to know God and I went on a full search from then on. I have poetry that dates back to when I was a young teenager that even says “I spoke to God last night.” And when I was a teenager my parents were reading it and it was all about speaking to God. So I was on a life pursuit obviously that God was calling me; had put something in me to find out the truth of who my Messiah was.
Sid: When you asked God who Jesus was you actually heard something; what did you hear?
Bonnie: That was around 18 years old when I was actually able to say I wanted to know who Jesus is, if Jesus is the Messiah, I want to know the truth and I need You. Not some man; not some book; I need to know that that is the truth. And what I heard was the scripture in Zachariah 9:9. As you know growing up in the synagogue we don’t often use the Bible. We don’t read out of the Bible.
Sid: So besides that if it was in Hebrew you probably wouldn’t have said.
Bonnie: Exactly. And what Zachariah 9:9 was “Rejoice daughter of Zion and shout daughter of Jerusalem.” So I knew that that meant to a Jewish girl that confirmed that for me; but then it told of how our Messiah our King would come in righteousness having salvation which I didn’t even understand and he would be riding on a donkey. And that scripture never left me to this day; I’ll take it into eternity with me. That was something new because I knew the story of Jesus; I knew that he came to Jerusalem on a donkey. So when I heard that scripture I went to a Bible and read it that was the first sign to me that there may be truth behind this.
Sid: Now you were really open to the things of God; obviously you were really being drawn by God’s Spirit.
Sid: Obviously but when you married Felix and nice Jewish guy in the diamond industry were you as the movies say a Jewish American Princess?
Bonnie: Absolutely, I can tell you something very funny. You know when you’re a Jewish American Princess goes into renewal and really has revival in her life because it made me cut up my Bloomingdale’s charge. (Laughing)
Sid: That’s it; that’s the acid test. (Laughing)
Sid: But let’s go back; so you marry this nice Jewish guy whose making a 6 figures is a Vice President of a diamond firm. All of a sudden he becomes a fanatic for Jesus…
Sid: I mean he’s even baptized in the Holy Spirit speaking in a language he’s never been taught – tongues. Did you think he had lost it or what was going on with you when this was going on with him?
Bonnie: Well, I wasn’t baptized in the Holy Spirit at that time I was just seeking truth and I said… my husband was a very very solid conservative person. If that language is really of God as I’m beginning to hear from people that it is then I want to know it and give me a sign. So the funny thing is one night my husband was in the bathtub and I was walking down the hallway to our bedroom and I heard that same language. He wasn’t speaking quietly by any means he was shouting it out from the bathtub. And I put my ear to the door and I just listened and I said “I know the man I married.” And that convinced me; that was the sign from God that I asked for that something about this Holy Spirit was real.
Sid: Now you and your husband jumped in with both feet in your continued pursuit with God.
Sid: The two of you had a street ministry; you really had a burden for the down and outers; tell me about that.
Bonnie: Well, we knew that we wanted to serve God and we just decided to go into Patterson, New Jersey and begin to feed the homeless and witness on the street corners and before we knew it it was growing and growing and growing. And then we went into an old hotel there and asked for space; the man was a believer in Yeshua and he said “Sure, come on in.” So every week we went in and we brought a couple of people and more people and then a team of people. We had hot food and served…
Sid: Now tell me, how does a Jewish American Princess handle the down and outers?
Bonnie: When God enters your heart and you receive the love from the father like that and His heart for the down and out and for the world there is no other explanation accept that’s the heart of God. It’s not a conscious effort it’s a passion within your heart for people and for the lost to receive salvation and turn their lives around.
Sid: Would you put your husband Felix on because at this point the two of them I mean Bonnie told me some stories about her love for these street people and her love for the ministry. But one day Felix you prayed for God to restore the ability to look through your Grandfathers eyes. What did that mean to you?
Felix: Sid that meant…
Sid: First of all tell us about your grandfather.
Felix: My grandfather was an Orthodox Rabbi in Germany during Nazi occupied Germany. I obviously did not know him at all just a few pictures that my father had and the stories that were told. And that is the extent of it; I even know that he wrote two books in German having to do with the relationship to God. A heart relationship that are somewhere we don’t know where they are but it was only through stories and pictures and things that I have heard. Knowing now what God was doing in our lives and calling us to the Jewish people I realized that being I had been reared in replacement theology…
Sid: Meaning that the church has replaced the Jew in Israel which is a lie but go ahead.
Felix: In fact I knew that it was poisonous. I knew that it was injurious to what God’s plan of redemption were for the lost sheep of Israel and also the plan for the church. I began to pray to the Holy Spirit that Lord, if I’m going to proceed with this calling; if I’m going to be what I need to be for this calling I need you to restore the eyes of my grandfather. In other words I need to see scriptures through Jewish eyes.
Sid: And then God spoke audibly to you; what did he say?
Felix: One morning at 3:00 am I remember it very clearly there was an audible voice as one as you Sid would whisper or speak directly to my ear and it was simply these words. “You are being called to the Jewish people.”
Sid: Hold that thought but I’m going to say the same thing to you whether you’re Jewish or Gentile. According to the word of God you are being called to the Jewish people. Let me repeat that, you are being called to the Jewish people.