Sunday, April 7, 2013

A Rabbi Looks at the Last Days by Jonathan Bernis

       It amazes me that many Christian authors who are focused on the last days do not seem to be aware of what is happening in the Jewish community around the world.

  Just as the Bible predicted, the Jewish people are being restored to their land and to their Messiah. 

   Although Jewish people who accept Yeshua HaMashiach are often ostracized by their families, friends and business associates, Jews all over the world are turning to him and becoming Messianic Jews in numbers not seen since the first century.

    This is how Mr. Bernis opens his book, A Rabbi Looks at the Last Days.  Bernis first describes his own Jewish upbringing and how he came to know the Lord (a girl he used to do heavy drugs with in college became a Christian and was instrumental in leading him to faith.)

      Bernis then goes on to give a brief history of  the Jews and how we can know that the last days prophesied in Revelation are near.

     In his chapter “Why Satan Hates the Jews", he gives a history of their persecution from the Roman destruction of the Temple, the thousands that were massacred during the Crusades, all the countries that expelled them, the Spanish Inquisition, the ghettos of 1826, Russian pogroms, and let’s not forget Hitler. 

     The infamous Adolf Eichmann (1902-1962), sometimes referred to as “the architect of  the Holocaust” and who was hanged for his crimes in 1962, once said, “Throughout history men have dreamed of destroying the children of Abraham.”

     True but the question remains:  Why? (pg. 31)

  Bernis then goes all the way back to the Garden of Eden and explains God’s purpose for the Jews and His plan of salvation for all of mankind through the Jewish nation.  This is why Satan wants to destroy the Jews.  Because he hates God and wants to destroy as many of His creation as he can.

    The second reason we can know that Jesus’ return is imminent is that the scattered Jews are returning to Israel from the four corners of the earth.  He discusses Israel becoming a nation and Jews from all over the world returning there.  He points to Biblical prophecy from the Old Testament that is being fulfilled today.

      The third reason is because many thousands of Jews are turning to Yeshua (chapter 4 "Something is Happening among the Jewish People" pg. 57)   Bernis describes his trips to the former Soviet Union where hundreds of Jews came to Bernis’ preaching venues and surrendered their lives to Christ. 

      In a country beaten down by atheistic values Bernis describes the hunger for the Gospel there.  He found the Jews there very receptive to hearing about Yeshua (as opposed to the U.S. where there is great resistance to belief in Christ and fear of losing one’s “Jewish identity”).

   He also has some interesting comments on the times of the Gentiles nearing fulfillment which ushers in the time for the Jews to receive salvation.

      The second part calls upon Christians and their responsibility to share the gospel among Jewish people.  
      Bernis points out that many well-meaning Christians won't share the Gospel with Jews because they don't want to offend them or even believe there's no need since being God's chosen people saves them.

    Bernis gives a helpful chapter in which he discusses what sort of semantics a Christian should use when sharing the Gospel with a Jewish person.  So much of Christianity has been so "Europeanized" that Jesus Christ is practically unrecognizable to Jews (he said he thought Jesus’ parents were Mr. and Mrs. Christ. Christ is the Greek word for "Messiah").

    He finishes with an interesting chapter on the Tabernacle feasts and especially the Passover and how they foreshadow the sacrifice of Jesus Christ as the Passover lamb “who died once and for all for all our sins, yesterday, today and forever”.

       All in all, I found this an interesting book and a good one for Christians to read to learn about the end times and witnessing to God’s special people from a Messianic Rabbi’s perspective.

1 comment:

  1. While I do not share Bernis's beliefs it does sound interesting to hear someone who believes that the end times are near who is a member of the Jewish faith. Not a perspective that I hear much of these days.


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