SID: Hello, Sid Roth here. Welcome to my world where it’s naturally supernatural. My guest, I’ve known for some 28 years and we’ve gone through a lot together. Jonathan Bernis. We went to China together, we went to St. Petersburg together and as a matter of fact, we’re friends and we joke a lot. But we saw history being made in St. Petersburg, Russia. Both of us have been sharing the Good News with Jewish people for many years. And Jonathan heard a word from God to go to St. Petersburg, Russia. I went with him and we had evangelistic meetings, and I want you to describe what that first meeting was like. Describe that.
JONATHAN: Oh my goodness. Sid, you’re bringing back such great memories. Well we, as you know, rented the largest concert hall in the city of St. Petersburg, almost 4000 seats, the Oktyabrsky Concert Hall. We had Coulsen Cothern [name]. We had other Messianic artists. Really, we had no idea what to expect. We didn’t know if five people would show up or what. We did some advertising.
SID: This had never been done before. I mean, wide scale advertising for Jewish people to attend a concert, and how many showed?
JONATHAN: Well we had to close the doors about a half hour before the concert started because every seat was filled and we turned away hundreds each night. This went on night after night. And people told me there’s a lot of anti-Semitism and feared Jewish people won’t come. But Sid, they came. And what’s amazing is they came knowing they were going to hear about Jesus. That’s what’s so supernatural about this whole thing.
SID: What’s even more amazing to me was they didn’t just come forward. They didn’t just raise their hands. When the invitation was given they ran. Jonathan, I mean, I’ve never see that before.
JONATHAN: Now I know why they call them Russians, because the majority of the 4000 in that concert hall were Jewish and the majority came down front, many with tears in their eyes. And Sid, I saw this repeated for almost 10 years in the former Soviet Union until the revival waned. And it’s no coincidence. The Bible very specifically talks about the Jews in the land of the north being the first to be restored back. “I’ll bring you back from the north country.” It’s no
North Carolina. Sorry for those in Charlotte. It’s not North America. It’s north of Israel and that’s the former Soviet Union. And so with this great Aliyah, almost a million, or over a million Russian-speaking Jews fulfilling Bible prophecy, going back to Israel, there was a parallel spiritual revival as well, spiritual awakening. And Sid, this is one of the clearest signs that we’re in the last days and the near return of Jesus to this earth.
SID: You know, Rabbi Jonathan Bernis, just like myself, is Jewish. Both of his parents were Jewish. The only problem was he was raised in a reformed Jewish home. My orthodox Jewish father said, Reformed, that’s not even Jewish. Then after I became a believer in Jesus, he said, you know, Reformed looks pretty good. Jonathan, as a young boy, you were invited to a Young Life meeting, and they had pretty girls, so you went. But I’m still surprised you went to a Christian meeting. Why did you?
JONATHAN: Well my parents were surprised, looking back also. And by the way when I became a believer, my mother went from Reformed to Conservative. Instead of coming to know the Lord she moved more into Judaism. Sid, I was brought up in a Jewish home, like you. And even though I was raised Reform, Jewish identity was important. I was born a Jew. I was taught I would die a Jew. And really, Jews can believe in just about everything or nothing. They can be atheist and still be Jewish. But there’s one taboo that you and I both experienced growing up in Jewish homes, and that is you can’t believe in Jesus. And so Jesus to me was their God. He was the God of the Christians. But through befriending an assistant wrestling coach who really did have something different that I recognized about him. He was always peaceful. He had joy, and I was just intrigued by his kindness to me. And when he invited me to this group, Young Life, I didn’t connect it with the Gospel at all. I connected it with good looking girls that were going to this Tuesday night group where they got around and talked, and it just happened to be about the Bible. So I went. And really I wasn’t that drawn into what was going on. I have to say this though, Sid, and I believe that the Word of God never returns void. I was intrigued by the person of Jesus. I was intrigued by the stories of this man who could walk on water, heal the sick, raise the dead. I thought, wow, this Christian God is a really good guy. He’s really powerful.
SID: But Jonathan decides he wants to make a million dollars. He goes off to college. He gets involved in the fast life, in the drugs, dealing drugs and going to parties. The seed might have been planted, but that’s about it. He’s doing his own thing. And one of his druggie buddies all of a sudden gets in touch with him. And this girl looked like she wasn’t going to make it. What happened, Jonathan?
JONATHAN: Well Sid, keep in mind now, I have the seed planted. But when anybody tried to share the Gospel with me my immediate response was, “I’m Jewish.” And they always apologized, which I think is very sad, because many people, even people watching today that love the Lord have this misconception that it’s good not share with Jewish people. Well fast forward now as you said to college, and this friend Susie is searching, as I am, but she gets really hooked on drugs. I watch her life spiral down. She drops out of school and she disappears from my life. And I felt bad for her, but I didn’t want to watch her destroy her life. And she reappears in my life right at the end of my second year of school, and she looks changed. There is something different about her. She looked different. Her face was glowing. And Sid, this was supernatural. This program is about the supernatural. And when I saw her I knew something was different about her, and I asked her what happened, and she told me, and she told me how she was on the verge of suicide. That’s how bad it had become. And on the verge suicide she had walked into a pool hall. And the owner of the pool hall had just become a born again Christian, and led her to the Lord, and she was completely delivered of drugs. She was on fire for the Lord. And that’s supernatural. A girl who was on the verge of committing suicide, completely delivered of drugs and was found. She was lost, but she was found. And I found that incredibly intriguing. The problem is, I said, that’s great for you, but it’s not for me. And she made me her homework assignment. She called me everyday asking me about why I’m here.
SID ROTH: I’ll tell you what. Hold that thought. We’ll be right back. And you’re going to find out, you think that’s supernatural. Wait until you hear what happened to Jonathan. Don’t go away. We’ll be right back.© Copyright 2012 sidroth, All rights Reserved. Written For: Sid Roth "It's Supernatural"