Sid:  My guest is red hot for the Messiah and there’s something when I get together with a Jewish Believer that’s red hot for the Messiah anything can happen.  And I’ve known Jonathan so many years that I can’t remember. Jonathan Bernis how long have we’ve been friends?

Jonathan:  Sid, we met in 1983 so figure out the math, I think twenty-five years.

Sid:  Like it’s our anniversary, ha-ha and Jonathan for those that aren’t that familiar with you he’s currently Executive Director of Jewish Voice Ministries International.  And Jonathan and I were at one of the most historic points in Jewish evangelism in history which we’ll be talking about a little later, but give me the thumbnail sketch of how a nice Jewish drug dealer who wants to make a million dollars before he’s age thirty becomes sold out for Jesus the Messiah.

Jonathan:  You remember all that huh Sid?  Yeah, I had very little interest in religion of any kind. I went through the typical Jewish upbringing bar-mitzvah, and so on. Absolutely lost interest in synagogue life, but I knew that there was something more.  The name of one of your books is “There Must be Something More.” I knew that there was something more to this life but I was searching in all the wrong places.  Drugs, Eastern Mysticism, Hare Krishna the list goes on, every cult and occult experience you can imagine and…

Sid:  It reminds me of the scripture Jonathan that talks about Jewish people and it says “We have a zeal for God but not according to knowledge.”  So this build in zeal has to be satisfied somehow if no one will tell us about Jesus.

Jonathan:  Exactly and God is in the supernatural realm so we’re searching in all the wrong supernatural places.  The problem of course Sid is the one that’s taboo for Jewish people as you, and I know is believing in Jesus, you can believe in anything and still be Jewish but Jesus.  And if you believe in Jesus you’ve converted, you’re a traitor to the Jewish people.

Sid:  And you know what I find interesting Jonathan is, no one told me as a Jew, don’t believe in Jesus, Jewish people don’t believe in Jesus, but I knew it just as if I’d heard a whole lecturer on it.  Yet I don’t believe anyone ever told me that.

Jonathan:  That’s because Judaism in America is defined as much by what we don’t believe as what we do believe.  And it’s just becomes from the time you’re knee high a known truth that Jews don’t believe in Jesus, that we believe in one God and Christians have three God’s.  It’s very much an, us and them mentality.  That’s due to a 2,000 year legacy of anti-semitism and persecution against the Jewish people in the Name of Christ and Christianity.

Sid:  Now, tell me about this crazy friend of your that you just didn’t want her see destroy herself anymore, then had such a dramatic change that it astounded you.

Jonathan:  Well, one of my drug buddies in college for two years, it’s a girl named Suzie, and she got heavier and heavier into drugs to the point where you know we’re blind to our own use. It was clear to me that she was headed down fast and I lost touch with her.  She had dropped out of school and she was on the road to destruction.  I wasn’t able to see my own road to destruction, but hers was very obvious.  So I lost touch with her and she reappeared in my life a number of months I bumped into her on campus.  And she, I immediately noticed a change in her whole countenance Sid.  She was smiling, she looked clean, I just knew something was different about her and I made the mistake of asking what happened to her; and she told me and told me.  She witnessed to me every day, she called me every day, I didn’t notice this at the time but she had her church and Bible study praying for me and this is how my life began to change.

Sid:  But there was one very interesting moment where you went to a Bible study, why in a zillion years would you go to a Bible study?

Jonathan:  Sid, that’s a good question, I have no idea why I went.  I had no intension of going, after a couple of weeks of witnessing to me over the phone she asked me about this study which was a study on the Book of Revelation and the last days.  And I meant to say no and out of my mouth came yes, it had to be the prayer, the power of prayer.  I say this that, “God honors free will, but He stacks the deck.”  And I was obviously being changed by the power of prayer, and ended up going to the study that I had no intention of going to.

Sid:  Well, how’d you like this study?  What did the people look like that were there?

Jonathan:  I hated it, I felt out of place; the people I thought were staring at me, they were squeaky clean born-again Christians, but that was not. That was not of interest to me so I felt really out of place and I couldn’t wait for the thing to end.  The thing that is though is that God had ordained for me to be there.  When the meeting ended I was taken upstairs by the teacher of the study and other man that had come up to me and introduced himself in the beginning of the study kissed me on the cheek and asked me if I knew Jesus?   And I stammered out something, I didn’t know what to say, but they took me through what Christians call the Roman’s road that talks about sin and the wages of sin.  There’s a misconception Sid that Christians have about Jewish people, that we all know the Bible perfectly so there’s an apprehension to share the scriptures with us.  It’s totally false, I had never read my own scriptures let alone the New Testament, never read the Old Testament. When they confronted me with the truth of the separation from God, I had a supernatural experience.

Sid:  Tell me about that.

Jonathan:  Well I didn’t see anything, I didn’t hear any voices or see an angel, but I felt the separation from God, I felt the weight of my own sin.  The presence of God came into that room and I felt conviction all over me and I experienced for the first time in my life a spiritual battle going on inside of me; something told me this is true.  This the way to go and of course the other voice said, no you have your own life, your own goals, your own ambitions, this isn’t for you.  Because I knew intuitively that it meant leaving behind the old life and I was enjoying it a whole lot to be honest, but I just couldn’t leave that room without praying with them.  Really to get this pressure off of me, so I prayed with them, this was now twenty-eight years ago Sid and I went home and I tried to forget it but I couldn’t forget it and that began the very date my life began to change.

Sid:  And today of course you are a Messianic Jewish Rabbi and you’re Executive Director of Jewish Voice Ministries and you travel the nations telling everyone everywhere the good news about the Messiah.  Let’s divert just for a moment we’ll pick up there on tomorrow’s broadcast because Jonathan and I were at one of those historic moments in the history of planet earth in God’s dealing with men. We’ll talk about that on tomorrow’s broadcast.  But I have your new book here, literally just off the press, it’s called “A Rabbi Looks at the Last Days,” and I love the first chapters title “What if everything you’ve been told about the last days is wrong?”  We’ll we’ve been told so many things about the last days Jonathan that something has to be wrong.

Jonathan:  That’s right because these books have to be constantly updated. It’s so dangerous Sid to be dogmatic about things concerning the last days because no one know for sure, we’re not to know the hour, we’re not to know the hour, we’re not to know the time.  We do know the season, the bible says very clearly that we’re to know the season and we’re clearly in the season.  But I think that many of the things that end-time teachers are focused on really are nebulous, they’re hazy, they’re difficult to discern with clarity, but there’s very clear black and white statements of Jesus and the prophets concerning the last days that are being fulfilled before our very eyes today.  And I think that the majority of Christians totally overlook some of the clear black and white statements of the last days, and I’m excited to see these in prophecy and to look around and realize there being fulfilled before our very eyes now and most Christians don’t even realize it.

Sid:  Now, why did you write this book Jonathan?

Jonathan:  Sid, I wrote the book because for twenty-eight years, I have been immersed in end time prophecy teaching and twenty-eight years ago I was told that that the end was around the corner within days.  And I came to believe Sid that most end-time teachers are focused on end-time events that are very nebulous.  And in other words, there apocalyptic, and there hidden, and they’re symbolic so they’re very difficult to interpret with absolute clarity, and you can’t be dogmatic about it.  Yet as I’ve read the prophets and the words of Jesus I’ve found prophecy after prophecy black and white prophecy concerning the last days that’s being fulfilled before our very eyes.  And many of these prophecies are completely overlooked by these end time teachers and most Christians seem to not be even aware of some of them.  And so I wrote the book to inform Christians; it’s a very positive book, the best Sid is yet to come because there are very positive prophecies that are being fulfilled before our very eyes that are clearly revealed that we’re in the last days.

Sid:  Well, I’ll tell you that with the times that we’re living in right now that is a breath of fresh air, but the thing that makes me excited is your book also really reveals.  It’s wonderful that we’re in the end times; it’s wonderful that Jesus is going to come soon. However, are we going to fulfill our call, our individual call for the last days? I believe your book gives a lot of insight into that.

Jonathan:  It’s also why I wrote it Sid, because it’s not only being aware of these Bible prophecies being fulfilled, but the Church is to be – Christians are to be coworkers with the living God with the Spirit of God to bring about the fulfillment of some of these prophecies.  So it’s not about cheering from the sidelines and saying “Oh boy Jesus is about to return and doing nothing”, it’s about every Christian listening to this program fulfilling their destiny.

Sid:  But I love the title for the first chapter, “What if everything you’ve been told about the last days is wrong?”

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