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A Rabbi Offers a Fresh Look at the End Times
Few topics capture the imagination of believers like the last days. Yet fear and incorrect teachings continue to surround this topic. Rabbi Jonathan Bernis, by contrast, offers with warmth and clarity a unique and surprising perspective on the end times.
Many see explosive turmoil in the Middle East and the mark of the beast as signs of the return of the Messiah. Bernis points out an even clearer and more immediate sign: the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies regarding the restoration of the land of Israel and the regathering of the Lost Tribes of Israelwhich is happening in record numbers right now. This book unpacks surprising and life-changing insights on Israel, the last days, and the Messianic hope of every believer.
|Publisher:||Baker Publishing Group|
|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.80(d)|
About the Author
Jonathan Bernis, president and CEO of Jewish Voice Ministries International, is the author of a number of popular books. He has been a leader in the Messianic Jewish Movement for over 30 years, serving as founding rabbi of congregations in Rochester, New York, and St. Petersburg, Russia. His weekly television show, Jewish Voice with Jonathan Bernis, is seen throughout the United States, Canada, Israel, the United Kingdom, Europe, and Asia. Jonathan has been interviewed on numerous media outlets, including Moody's In the Market with Janet Parshall and Chris Fabry Live! He and his family live in Phoenix, Arizona.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
While most books about the last days focus on the Rapture of the church and the Tribulation period, Rabbi Jonathan Bernis focuses his attention on signs we can see now that point to the last days, as well as things that need to happen for Jesus to return. Bernis suggests that Israel lay at the heart of the last days and end times prophecies. He provides several Scriptures, from both the Old and New Testaments, in support of this. The point he focuses on most is the salvation of Israel, as a people. He believes that Jesus will not return until the people of Israel call on Jesus as Messiah. Because of this, he spends a large portion of the book discussing the history of the Jewish people, especially in regard to why they reject Jesus as the Jewish Messiah. He also discusses how to evangelize to a Jewish person, and bring to light several misconceptions that Christians have about Jews, and vice versa. There were things in this book that I knew already, including the fact that Israel will play a large part in the last days, but I also learned a few things. Scriptures that I didn’t realize were directed to the people of Israel were brought into focus. Some of the misconceptions Christians and Jews have about each other… I never would have guessed some of those. Overall, this is a very interesting read, but the title is a bit vague. If you are looking for discussion of the Rapture or Tribulation, you won’t find that here.
Now remember that I have no theology/seminary training. So I am sharing some Scriptures as well for those that would like to study further. But first I want to share a few Scriptures on "last days" for Israel and The Church. I researched these Scriptures in a book for those that might want to study further on this matter. Israel ... Isaiah 2:2; Jeremiah 23:20; 49:39; Ezekiel 38:16; Hosea 3:5; Micah 4:1; Acts 2:17 The Church ... II Timothy 3:1; Hebrews 1:2; James 5:3; II Peter 3:3 Scriptures that teach on Israel in Prophecy .. Daniel 9:24-27; Isaiah 28:14-22; Ezekiel 38-39; Zephaniah 2:1-2; Ezekiel 22:17-22 Scriptures that teach on Jerusalem in Prophecy ... Luke 13:33; Matthew 24:21-31; Zechariah 12:2-3; 14:2; Zechariah 12-14; Revelation 20:7-9; II Kings 19:34; Psalm/Tehillim 122:6 Whether the Lord returns again tomorrow, next year, or two hundred years from now should not make any difference in the way we live. The Lord wants His people to recognize the signs of the times and know that His return is at hand. We must be ready. You must be ready! Rabbi Bernis states in his book as Christians we are not unequivocally obligated to support every action taken by the State of Israel. He also shares the restoration of the Jewish people to the land is a divine fulfillment of biblical prophecy, and we must support this divine venture. This does not mean that God loves the Jew more than the Arab - the Israeli more than the Palestinian. God loves everyone equally and desires that none should perish, but that all should find everlasting life (John 3:16). God is not a respector of persons. In Daniel 12, the prophet Daniel wrote a number of astounding statements under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. The Lord tells Daniel to "seal the words of the scroll the time of the end." He then shares with us an amazing revelation that in the last days, "many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased." Running "to and fro" indicates an increase in knowledge is clearly related to the technological boom. Information is available at our fingertips in a matter of seconds. To imagine that Daniel saw all this more than 2,500 years ago is nothing short of mind-boggling! Jesus was very clear when He told us, "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor Son, but only the Father" (Matthew 24:36). He also said, "Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come" (Matthew 24:42). He is coming, and it could be very soon. The Gospel must first be preached throughout the world, and then, only after this happens, the end will come. In nearly every country of the world a wide variety of people groups can be found - including the Jews. Jews are a migrant people who have been scattered throughout the world. The Jews have had to make their homes in foreign lands throughout the world. The United States is a melting pot for a myriad of nations (ethnic groups) that have settled here to find freedom. Italian and Greek communities thrive here, as well as Irish, Chinese, Puerto Rican, Indian, Persian, Arab, Cuban - the list goes on and on. In Romans 11:15, we agree that Israel's rejection of Jesus as their Messiah has caused the Gospel to go to the nations (ethnos). Romans 11:11-15 and other verses reveal that there is a linked destiny between Israel and the Church and between Israel and the nations. Believers are reaching out to the nations, including the Jews, in countries around the world. Thousands of Jewish people are coming to faith. The Jewish Voice Ministries International is also equipping the Church to effectively share their faith with their Jewish friends. God has raised up other ministries similar to The Jewish Voice Ministries International that is also reaching out to the Jewish people. My October 28, 2012 Sunday School Lesson taught on Spirit - directed ... Acts 8:26-39. Philip was directed by the operation of God's Spirit. The Holy Spirit guides (John 16:13), tells His servants what to preach (I Corinthians 2:13), directs missionaries where to go (Acts 13:2), and tells believers where they are not to go (Acts 16:6, 7). The Bible makes it clear that there is only one plan of salvation for all people. Yeshua - Jesus Himself said, "I am the Way and the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6). Either we believe God's Word or we do not. There is no-in between. And there is no second Gospel for the Jewish people apart from a relationship with Yeshua. At Jewish Voice Ministries International, they take Paul's model seriously. Their minis\try is taking medical, dental and eye clinics to remote parts of the world such as Ethiopia and India. In those clinics they help thousands of non-Jews and share the Gospel with them. In fact they reach more Gentiles than Jews, but their motivation in going to the remote places is to reach out first to the Jewish communities. God is calling us to reach out to the Jewish people with the one message of salvation through His Messiah, Yeshua. God does not love Jews more than anyone else. God loves us all equally (John 3:16). Just as their rejection brought the Gospel to the other nations of the world, their restoration will bring about worldwide revival for the nations. Rabbi Bernis could read Hebrew, but he could not translate it. Although they were called the people of the Book, the only real study he had of the Scriptures was in preparing for his bar-mitzvah - a Jewish ritual rite of passage to signify a thirteen - year old boy's traditional entry into adulthood. In reality, Jewish people overall have not rejected the Gospel - they have simply not heard the Gospel in a way that they can understand it. How do they believe? They believe by hearing the Word of God! That Word must come to them from someone, and that someone is you! Traveling to Israel and collecting Judaica, sending support to Israel or seeking to be Torah observant are no replacements for the mandate to provoke the Jewish people to jealously and share your faith with that Jewish person whom God has placed in your life. God loves the Jewish people. It is the heart of the Father to see every son and daughter of Abraham living happily in His Kingdom. He desires for all Abraham's children to come into their ultimate destiny, and that destiny is a relationship with Him. Jews are coming to faith in Yeshua in greater numbers than at any time since the first century. The Messiah (Jesus)is actually waiting in heaven. He is waiting for God's appointed people to intersect with God's appointed time and fulfill the restoration prophesied in the Word of God (Acts 3:19-21) And we are witnessing an incredible hunger and interest among Christians to truly understand the Jewish roots of their faith, as well as an increased love and support for Israel and the Jewish people. Overwhelmingly today Christians want to bless Israel and the Jewish people. What Should We Then Do? Live like there is no tomorrow. Be vigilant ... Watch and Pray. Remain active in all realms of society. Let you light shine. Do not worry about what is to come. God's desire is that christians be an effective co-worker with Him in bringing to pass His promised last days revival and restoration, not only for Israel and the Jewish people but for the world. Pray for your Jewish friends by name because I am convinced as well as Rabbi Bernis that God answers prayer. As a believer, you have something no one else has: n a direct pipeline to the Lord. And He urges christians to call upon Him in prayer. Pray that Jewish people - the physical descendants of Abraham, Issac and Jacob - around the world will come to know Yeshua as their Messiah and King. Although Jewish people who accept Yeshua HaMashiach (Jesus the Messiah) 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. A Messianic Jew is a Jew by birth who has come to believe that Jesus - Messianic Jews call Him by His Hebrew name, Yeshua - is the promised Messiah of Israel. Failing to kill the Messiah as an infant and not realizing that God had planned all along to offer Him as a sacrifice for our sins, Satan then convinced the Jewish and Roman leaders to condemn Yeshua to death. With the atonement and resurrection of the Messiah at Calvary, the Bible is clear that Yeshua defeated Satan and brought captivity, captive, making an open show of this victory (Colossians 2:14-15). I received this book from Chosen Books to review. Rabbi Jonathan Bernis is the president and CEO of Jewish Ministries International. His weekly television show, Jewish Voice is broadcast throughout the world. He has authored a number of books and is a frequent speaker at conferences throughout the USA and abroad. A leader in the Messianic Jewish movement for more than thirty years, He and his wife, Elisangela, live in Phoenix with their two daughters, Liel and Hannah.
This book got my attention right away. While I would have read a book by any Jew, I was pleasantly surprised when I realized this author was a Messianic Jew. That is, he believes in Yeshua as the Messiah. What this book focuses on is how a key sign of the end times will be Jews coming to accept Yeshua as Messiah. Bernis goes over the Scripture explaining this and puts in some excellent bits of history to back up his points. What I like is how there is a small section of Messianic prophecies from the Tanach (Old Testament) and how the Jewish Feasts (from Leviticus 23) all relate to / point to Yeshua. While this book mentioned "making Jews jealous" as per Romans 11, it doesn't really encourage readers to try and be more Torah-observant. One part of the book even seems to suggest that believers don't need to follow the Torah, but then another part says we will naturally follow it through the Holy Spirit. There was some confusion there. But, either way, I could see a love for the Jewish people in this book. One criticism I have is a part that talks about where to donate money for supporting Jews. In one part of the book, I got the impression that readers were told not to donate to Israeli orphanages where leaders did not want to preach the Gospel but to rather give money to outreach groups that seek to evangelize in Israel. While I agree evangelism is great, evangelists do not need money. Orphans--of all faiths--need money. The truly poor and destitute are to whom money should be going to--in my opinion--and not just evangelists in Israel. That aside, this book does have a lot of good information. It gets a bit redundant and repetitive at times, but it's an interesting read. This is just a side note, but why is the word "rabbi" on this book? Matthew 23:8 anyone?
This book is an education in scriptural prophecies regarding end times. Most Christians are not well informed regarding the beliefs and the traditions of the nation of Israel. Jews are equally baffled by misconceptions about Christianity. Written simply and clearly, this book teaches readers Scriptural prophecies from the Jewish view. Bernis explains the parallels between Old and New Testament and how the New Covenant includes large numbers of Jews to be counted among the faithful when the Messiah comes again in the last days. In Part One of the book, Rabbi Bernis explains why the last times are drawing near with six signs. First, Jews are under increasing attacks throughout the world. Second, Jews are returning to Israel from all parts of the earth, as prophesied. Third, Many thousands of Jews are accepting Jesus (Yeshua), as Lord and Savior. Fourth, the Gospel is being preached to the nations. Fifth, the rise of Messianic expectation in Isreal. Sixth, the times of the Gentiles are being fulfilled. Part Two, entitled “Your Role in Ushering in God’s Kingdom” explains ways for Christians to help bring Jewish people to accept Jesus as Messiah and savior. Bernis states that Jews have not rejected the teachings of the New Testament. Rather, these have never been taught in a way they can understand. The relationship between Old and New Testament is discussed and summed up nicely with the quotation “The New Testament has been concealed in the Old, while the Old Testament has been revealed in the New.” The title suggests information about the events of end times, but that is not described. The book’s focus is on getting the peoples of the world ready for the Second Coming. There is no drama, dire warnings or spectacular descriptions, only simple discussion. I was given a copy of this book by Chosen, a division of Baker Publishing Group, for the purpose of review. I recommend this book for its introduction to the Messianic movement and explanation of Jewish principles. Jonathan Bernis is a Messianic Jew who became a believer in Jesus Christ over thirty years ago. He is president and CEO of an organization called Jewish Voice Ministries International, and his program can be seen on television every week. The Messianic movement is growing rapidly as Jews come to accept Jesus (Yeshua) as the true Messiah.