Jonathan Bernis

Sid: I have my good friend Jonathan Bernis on the telephone; Jonathan is the head of Jewish Voice Ministries. And he has had a ministry that has had greater impact than all of the churches in America put together over the last 25 years.  Maybe over the last 100 years and he’s not saying it I’m saying it.  Because he’s gone out to the former Soviet Union. Over a quarter million Jewish people have heard a clear presentation of the gospel.  Half of them at least have made professions of faith to the point where they’ve filled out a card where they filled out a card with their name and address.  And Jonathan if there is anyone that I would like to share the misconceptions that unfortunately most Christians have about Jewish people it would be you.  Let’s continue where we left off yesterday.

Jonathan:  Well, Sid let me just recap for those that are tuning in today and were not with us yesterday. There’s a number of misconceptions that really hinder the gospel going forth to Jewish people. And I want to reiterate that Christians Gentile Christians have a Divine Biblical responsibility to bring the gospel to the Jewish people.  If you will to return the favor that Paul speaks about in Roman’s chapter 9 where he says it’s because of the Jewish people that you have the Patriarch’s that you have the glory of God; that you have the scriptures themselves and ultimately the Messiah who came through the Jewish people. And he says that “There’s a debt of gratitude that’s to be repaid by provoking the Jewish people to jealousy.” And unfortunately there’s a 2000 year legacy of simple provoking the Jewish people in the Name of Christ and Christianity and we have to over come that 2000 year history of misconception and hate in the Name of Christ.  Now there are hindrances  that are keeping Born Again Spirit-filled Christian’s from sharing their faith with Jewish people. The first one is a fear to share with a Jewish person out of a misconception that they will know the scriptures better than they will. And so who am I as a Christian to share with the Jewish people who brought us the scriptures who have this deep knowledge and revelation of God. And it’s absolutely false, nothing could be further from the truth (Laughing). And I laugh every time I hear this because very few Jewish people less than 10% of the Jewish community in the United States read the scriptures.  I didn’t have the slightest clue about who God was or salvation, or the Messiah when I became a believer. And Sid I have people lining up, Christians lining up to ask me questions as the Jewish scholar and you know I was too prideful to say I didn’t know so I made up answers.

Sid: (Laughing)

Jonathan:  They would come back to me and say “I found something different here than you told me.” And I mean it was embarrassing. So that’s one very very important point to mention. I want you Christian listener to realized that 90% chance or better that the Jewish person that God has put across your path does not know the scriptures. They don’t know Isaiah 53, they don’t even know who Isaiah is.  So you need to understand that is a misconception and you need to share with the Jewish person as you would share with anyone else that needs God and does not understand His path of salvation through Messiah Jesus.  The second misconception is that Jewish people have their own path to God.  That they do not need Jesus as Savior; that Judaism itself as a religion is complete and has a path of salvation.  That is a doctrine of devils, it is absolutely false, the Bible’s clear that “There’s one Name given under heaven by which we must be saved.” And it’s the person of Jesus or Yeshua or whatever you want to call Him. He is God’s only plan for the Jew and Gentile. In fact Paul wrote as Apostle to the Gentiles in Roman’s  1:18 that the gospel is “The power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes to the Jew first and then to the Gentile.” So that is a very very serious misconception. Jewish people need Jesus, need Yeshua, need Christ the Messiah for salvation the same as anyone else.  What’s another misconception Sid that I talked about let’s see theres…

Sid: Well, you didn’t talk about this but I can tell you something that is really the worst, the pits is what’s known as Replacement Theology. Somehow the Christian has replaced the Jew.

Jonathan:  Many Christians believe and this is taught Sid and this is shocking to me, this is taught in Evangelical Charismatic or Pentecostal Christianity by well meaning teachers.  I believe that they’re well meaning but they’re really are  deceived. And this is a teaching that’s been passed down through the church for 2000 years now; almost 2000 years.  That because the Jewish people rebelled against the prophets and God, because of their rejection of Jesus 2000 years ago that God has finished with them, He has rejected them and now He has replaced them with a new people the church, or Christians or Gentiles or whatever.  Paul states unequivocally God is not finished with the Jewish people. Has God rejected His people he says in Roman’s 11:1 “God forbid.” And then he points to himself he says, “I myself is an Israelite, a Jew and God has not forsaken me.” And then he repeats the second time  “God has not rejected his people.”  Jeremiah 31 verses 35 – 37 couldn’t be any clearer “As long as the sun shines by day and the moon and stars shine by night they declare as a testimony, as a visible testimony that I have not rejected my people Israel sayeth the Lord; and only if these cease to be will Israel cease to be a nation.” Could not be any clearer.  Now there’s various forms of replacement theology as simple or as naive as Christians believing that Jewish people have all rejected the gospel so there’s no reason to share with them. False, again it’s a deception from Satan, and my friend God has put that Jewish person in your path for a reason, am I right Sid?

Sid: For sure, but there’s another question, have you ever heard the misconceptions the Jews killed Christ?

Jonathan:   All, the time as a matter of fact many many friends have as part of their testimony that they went through their childhood being spit upon, being hit or ostracized, beat up because they were blamed for killing Christ.  Again, a misconception and a lie. The Bible is very very clear that Jesus laid down His life for us.  Who killed Jesus? We all did.

Sid: You know the greatest summary that I’ve found Jonathan on that is Acts…jot this down Mishpochah Acts chapter 4 verse 27 tells you who killed Jesus. This is what it says “For truly, against your holy servant Jesus whom you anointed both Herod…awe he’s the guilty party and Pontius Pilate with the Gentiles, oh it’s the Gentiles  that did it and the people of Israel. Well, if you get the Gentiles and the people of Israel together you got the whole world!

Jonathan:  Yeah, we’re all responsible. And also 1st Corinthians 15 is very clear.  Paul says “That which I receive I pass on to you how Jesus died for our sins according to scripture.” What scripture Sid, Isaiah 53 He laid down His life, He was pierced through for our inquiries and by His wounds, or by His stripes we are healed.

Sid: Jonathan let’s move to another area for a moment, you had said to me that you were witnessed to as a young man; you went to a camp called Young Life but people were afraid to ask you to receive the Lord. Then you went into you know into college, you got involved in drugs and dealing and you had a friend a druggy friend by the name of Susie and one day you walked into some place and you bumped into Susie and what happened.

Jonathan:  My goodness Sid I’m going to invite you to some churches I’m supposed to speak at to give my testimony.

Sid: That’s my thing.

Jonathan:  Yep.

Sid: I know your testimony, I think better than you do but go ahead.

Jonathan:  I’ll take a vacation.  Susie, when I bumped into Susie it was undeniable that there was a radical change in her life. She had been a drug abuser, she was a…had dropped out of college, she was emaciated when I left seeing her on her way to an early grave.  But when I saw her months later on the street she was glowing; she looked healthy, she looked clean and I could not help but ask the question “Susie what happened to you?”  And she told me and she told me, and she told me. I mean I regretted ever having asked her because every night she’d call me and tell me how Jesus had changed  her life, delivered her completely from drugs. And I’m talking about a drug abuser; a drug addict completely delivered from drugs cleaned up and all she talked about was Jesus Sid and I was…I became her number one target. And she did not stop until I finally went to a Bible study with her where I almost without realizing accepted Jesus into my heart.

Sid: You know Mishpochah has hit on the nerve, the best way to reach Jewish people with the gospel are changed lives, signs and wonders. That’s what grabbed his attention.  Good stories Jewish people will read.



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