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Watch 2022 online sermons » Jonathan Bernis » Jonathan Bernis - Finding Hope In The End Times

Jonathan Bernis - Finding Hope In The End Times

Jonathan Bernis - Finding Hope In The End Times
TOPICS: Hope, End times, Second Coming

What if you've been told about the last days is wrong? And what if what you think you know about the return of the Messiah is completely different from what's actually going to happen? On today's program, we're gonna set the record straight about the end times, and we're gonna share with you truth that you need to know to be prepared.

Jonathan Bernis: Shalom and welcome to "Jewish Voice," and thank you for joining me today. I'm Jonathan Bernis. Today, my co-host, Ezra Benjamin, and I are going to share a perspective of the last days that you may have never even heard before or considered. Ezra, there is so much speculation about the end times. It's easy to get lost in all of the noise, and particularly now, with what we've been through - an international pandemic. We've been through the rise of social, political, economic unrest. All of these things I think have hit us really, really hard.

Ezra Benjamin: That's right.

Jonathan Bernis: And we don't know when the end is in sight.

Ezra Benjamin: Sure. Wars and rumors of wars to name something else. You know, we're dealing with hostile terrorist cell takeovers of entire nations. And in a way, Jonathan, to put it in perspective, almost every generation in history has thought maybe this is the end, maybe Jesus is coming back in our days, but yet, I think there's some telltale things we can point to, according to the scriptures, that tell us we're certainly approaching the last days if we're not in them right now.

Jonathan Bernis: Indeed, and let me just set the stage for this and talk about some "Nots," some not necessarily last days events. One is the pandemic. There's a lot of people that have written to us and asked, "Has this pandemic been a sign of the end"? Well, a sign, a growing in turmoil, yes, but keep in mind that throughout history there's been terrible plagues that have devastated a much greater percentage of the world. You have the bubonic plague. Even the Spanish influenza was an upheaval worldwide. More people died in the Spanish influenza, beginning in 1918, than the entire war, World War I. The entire world war. So, is it a specific sign of the last days? No, but there's what the Bible calls "Birth pangs" that are happening. The intensity of upheaval, and disrest, and division, and just outright anger and hostility is growing, and that's important to point out.

Ezra Benjamin: Sure. Another example I'm thinking of, Jonathan, is, you know, we see - it seems almost every season in the news we hear about rockets from Gaza flying into Israel, and every time we say, "Could this be the end"? Well, unfortunately, because of the lack of peace in the Middle East until Jesus, the Prince of Peace, returns, you know, it won't be... it's not the first time rockets have flown from Gaza and it won't be the last time. So, we can say, you know, every time a war breaks out between the Palestinian territories and the main land area of Israel, is it the end? No, but it certainly is steps in a certain direction, and I think that's what we really want to unpack today is last days events, end time prophecy specifically related to Israel and the Jewish people, and even more specifically, the City of Jerusalem - prophecies you may have skimmed over and said, "Ah, that's for the Jewish people, that's for another time," but we're seeing those birth pangs right now, Jonathan.

Jonathan Bernis: We are. I just want to be clear that every generation, almost every generation, has seen upheaval and turmoil.

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: World War II was a horrific event, the holocaust. Can you imagine? The six million Jews who died certainly thought it was the end of the world.

Ezra Benjamin: That's right. And Jonathan, you know, we've talked about this before, but it really - it strikes me to mention again. Many people say, "Well, because of the holocaust, the modern state of Israel was born," almost like a consolation prize, right? To the Jewish people awarded by the U.N. Because of the death of millions of Jews. I think it's actually the other way around. I think in the fullness of the right time, according to God's plan for a nation to be reborn in a day according to the scriptures, the enemy knew the state of Israel was about to be reborn. And so, again, he tried to jump in and annihilate the Jewish people.

Jonathan Bernis: Well, I couldn't agree more. You see this pattern, by the way, in scripture. So, let's look at some of the major events that took place in the history of the children of Israel.

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: So, they're slaves in Egypt. God is getting ready to raise up a redeemer, and what does Pharaoh do? A type of antichrist, he kills all of the males.

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: That is demonic.

Ezra Benjamin: Sure.

Jonathan Bernis: There's no other explanation for it. It is spiritual. Pharaoh may be the figurehead, but it's a demonic effort to keep the redeemer from coming. You see the same thing happening again when there's a sense that the Messiah is ready to come. There's this prophetic expectation in the air. What happens? Herod finds out where the Messiah is to be born. According to Bible prophecy, he learns from the sages of Israel it's Bethlehem and sends his armies to kill all males under two years old.

Ezra Benjamin: Another decree. Something great's about to happen for Israel. Let's destroy the Jewish people.

Jonathan Bernis: Exactly.

Ezra Benjamin: And we see it again throughout history, and I think with the rebirth of the modern state of Israel and even looking ahead to what we understand of the last days, Jonathan - from Zechariah, from Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, from John's own account of the last days in the Book of Revelation. We understand from the end - and Paul, to add to the number. Paul, in Romans 11, is very clear that there is coming a day when all Israel will be saved. And so, the enemy knows this. He knows God's truth and he knows the scriptures. He's gonna do whatever he can to try to annihilate the Jewish people and wipe Israel off the map before God brings back deliverance and salvation.

Jonathan Bernis: Yeah, and he knows that Israel has to be restored as a nation because the people of Israel, in the land of Israel, need to cry out, "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord". And so, the enemy's effort to stop that from happening is the holocaust, is the effort to destroy the Jewish people from the face of the earth.

Ezra Benjamin: That's right.

Jonathan Bernis: The good news - he fails.

Ezra Benjamin: Yeah.

Jonathan Bernis: Because God said, "As long as the sun shines by day, and the moon and stars shine by night, I will preserve the Jewish people as a people before me". Imagine this, Ezra. Scattered to the nations, no homeland, no common language because Hebrew was a prayer language.

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: It wasn't the common language, and they're just migrating. They're wandering from nation to nation as they're kicked out, but they survive this 2.000-year period of exile and finally are brought back.

Ezra Benjamin: Jonathan, one of the most exciting things we get the honor or the privilege of being involved in here at Jewish Voice is actually, I believe, being a physical manifestation of the outstretched arm of the Lord. According to Isaiah 11:11, it says, "God will stretch out his hand in that day," and I believe that day is this day. We're seeing it, Jonathan.

Jonathan Bernis: Stretched before our very eyes.

Ezra Benjamin: Right, to regather the exiles or the outcasts of Israel who are left, and then it names places in central asia, places in present-day Iran, the islands of the Mediterranean, into Ethiopia and down the Eastern seaboard of Africa. And in all these places, place after place, in modern history we've seen these scattered Jewish communities come to light. They've never been lost to themselves, they've just been lost in world history.

Jonathan Bernis: Right, and you may be wondering, "Why focus... okay, great, your mission's organization, you're reaching into other countries".

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: But I think it's important to help everyone to understand that we're not just reaching an isolated group of people. Jewish Voice is not just about going to the Jew, Jewish people. It's to the Jew first, but it's part of a redemptive plan of God for the whole world. He begins with Abraham. And he chooses Abraham to be the father of a nation that will declare the goodness of God, the reality of the one true God of creation, but he also says to Abraham, "Not only will I bless you, but I will bless every family on earth through you".

Ezra Benjamin: Amen.

Jonathan Bernis: That's the heart of God. He begins with the people and then he adds to that through the ingrafting in Messiah - you.

Ezra Benjamin: That's right.

Jonathan Bernis: The Christian. You're part of a destiny and you're part of a people, you're part of a heritage that expresses God's concern to reach the world, but it's through the Jewish people, and there has to be a return of the Jewish people because the return ultimately brings life from the dead. Romans 11:15.

Ezra Benjamin: Jonathan, our audience may be listening and saying, "Wait a minute. I thought we were talking about the last days. You're talking about scattered Jewish people groups". Yes and yes, because that day that Isaiah saw, that we believe is this day, precedes what we understand as the day of the Lord, or the return of Yeshua, to rule, and to reign, and to crush his enemies, the scriptures say, under his feet. And so, Jonathan, the regathering of the outcasts of Israel to the Lord and to the land of Israel in greater measure than we've ever seen before has to happen before the return of the king, before the return of Jesus.

Jonathan Bernis: It's a direct fulfillment of what happens in the last days that we should be paying attention to. Who is "We"? You and I that are following after the Lord and want to see his plan fulfilled, not only in our lives, but for the world.

Ezra Benjamin: That's right.

Jonathan Bernis: This is really an important focus. Yes, there's a lot of things that are going on that tie into the last days. I'm absolutely certain that we are in the last days. I have no doubt about it. Do I believe that all of the conflict that's swirling around us, and the divisions, and what I believe is an onslaught against God and the people of God, is part of the last days? Yes, but we also need to focus on Israel, both the land and the people of Israel. Ezra, we have to take a quick break. When we return, we're gonna share some important instructions and practical ideas about what you can do right now to get your family prepared, both spiritually and physically, for the return of the Lord, because he is coming back soon. So, make sure you have paper and pen, or a laptop, or a notebook ready when we come back.

Jonathan Bernis: Thank you for making our medical outreaches possible through your giving. Eye care, dental care, prescription medication that they couldn't obtain otherwise, is being received by grateful Jewish people and their neighbors because of you. So, thank you, and thank you especially to our shalom partners, our monthly partners. Your ongoing support to this ministry is vital and it's transforming lives. Ultimately, people don't care what you know until they know that you care, and when they find out through our medical clinics, then they hear the gospel and respond. It works, Ezra.

Ezra Benjamin: It does.

Jonathan Bernis: Hundreds of congregations now, almost 200.

Ezra Benjamin: Almost 200 congregations - Ethiopia, Zimbabwe and beyond, of scattered Jewish communities being regathered to the Lord before one day he regathers them to the land of Israel itself. Jonathan, we're talking about the last days, and specifically, signs of the end times or the last days preceding the return of Jesus that relate specifically to Israel and the Jewish people. You know, Zechariah, I think of this verse more and more often these days. Zechariah says that in the last days, in the end times, all the nations of the world will be gathered together against Jerusalem, and that's physically the City of Jerusalem, but it's also conceptually the Jewish people in Jerusalem and the surrounding area. Jonathan, I think one of the signs of the last days is a dramatic increase in anti-semitism and attacks against Jewish people worldwide.

Jonathan Bernis: Well, how about this one? The United Nations has actually issued more sanctions against Israel than all of the other nations combined. The U.N. is constantly putting pressure on Israel. Israel is constantly being pressured to give away land that makes it untenable to defend themselves. Now, yes, God is preserving the Jewish people, but the rise of anti-semitism, the rise of hatred against Israel and against the Jewish people in the nations of the world, is unprecedented. It's higher than any time since the holocaust.

Ezra Benjamin: That's right. And those of you who stand with Israel and the Jewish people may be watching the news and watching the escalated intensity of attacks against Israel from all over the Middle East - from Iran, who's pledged to drive the enemy, they call it, the Jewish state, into the heart of the Mediterranean Sea, and you may be saying, "How on earth could this happen? Why would God let this happen"? And yet, we see in the scriptures, Jonathan, it has to happen.

Jonathan Bernis: Yeah.

Ezra Benjamin: Because before there can be deliverance of the Jewish people...

Jonathan Bernis: And we'd better take their claims seriously. They say, "When we develop a nuclear weapon, we will launch it against Israel". Why would we doubt that?

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: It's absolutely true. And sadly, our policy in America is playing right into that and letting them continue at a rapid pace to develop a nuclear weapon. Israel can't let that happen, and we can't let that happen.

Ezra Benjamin: Amen. And so, as we head toward the return of Yeshua, we should expect, according to the scriptures, to see Satan ramp up and do everything he can to stop, to discourage, to persecute, and ultimately to try to annihilate the Jewish people, but it's not gonna happen. We know Israel will cry out, "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord".

Jonathan Bernis: They will, but also, we're watchmen on the walls.

Ezra Benjamin: That's right.

Jonathan Bernis: We're the ones that are crying out and giving God no rest until he makes Jerusalem a praise in all the earth.

Ezra Benjamin: Amen.

Jonathan Bernis: So, we have a responsibility here. You have a responsibility.

Ezra Benjamin: Amen. And Jonathan, let's talk about some good news. Believe it or not, maybe you haven't heard it taught, there is good news ahead as well as difficult news, as we head toward the last days, and one of those pieces of good news is that Paul makes it very clear - in an increasing way, we're gonna see Jewish people in numbers that haven't been seen in history coming to faith, responding to the proclamation of the good news of Yeshua.

Jonathan Bernis: Yeah, it's happening already. This preconceived idea that Jewish people will reject the gospel, so why share with them, it might have been true for times past. Forty years ago, that was true when I became a believer. It's not the same now. I'm meeting Jewish people all over the country, all over America, and in Israel, that have had supernatural encounters with the Lord or they're wide open to hearing more. They are searching and we have the answer.

Ezra Benjamin: That's right. And Jonathan, we should just challenge really quickly. If you've heard it taught that the Jewish people have their own way to God, or that one day, God will work it all out for the Jewish people and we don't have to worry about that, it's not scriptural.

Jonathan Bernis: Yeah.

Ezra Benjamin: It's wrong teaching.

Jonathan Bernis: Right.

Ezra Benjamin: The day of salvation...

Jonathan Bernis: It is wrong teaching.

Ezra Benjamin: Paul makes it very clear. Everywhere he went to proclaim the gospel, he went to the synagogue first. Why? Romans 1:16, "Cause, the gospel is the power of God unto salvation for all who believe, first for the Jew, and also to the nations".

Jonathan Bernis: Yeah, and the salvation of the Jewish people in greater numbers ultimately is the catalyst that brings life from the dead.

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: That's in Romans 11:15. Read it for yourself. Life from the dead. So, what happens to the Jewish people, talking about the Jewish people inside of Israel and outside of Israel, including America, actually has a direct effect on your family, on your neighborhood, on your state, on your country, on your nation, and on the world.

Ezra Benjamin: Amen. And speaking of countries and nations, more end times good news. Last point we want to make sure to cover today, Jonathan, is this idea from Matthew 24:14, where Yeshua makes it clear that, "The gospel will be preached to all nations," and the word there is, "Ethnos," all people groups on the face of the earth, "And then the end will come". And we're seeing that happen today.

Jonathan Bernis: Yeah, we're on track for that just with the translations of the Bible into almost every known language.

Ezra Benjamin: That's right.

Jonathan Bernis: That's underway and that's a good thing, and it's a very specific sign of the end... And Jesus says in Matthew 24:14 that, "The gospel must be preached to every ethnos," as you quoted. "And then the end will come". You want to talk about the end times, the last days, you have to talk about the proclamation of the gospel. Ezra, here's, at its essence, the question. Does the world get darker and darker or brighter and brighter before the Messiah returns? And the answer is both simultaneously happen. The world gets darker. God's people get brighter, more empowered.

Ezra Benjamin: That's right.

Jonathan Bernis: We just have to be pressing on. Which is what we do about this. How do we deal with the escalation of violence, and wars and rumors of wars, and natural disasters, that all play into a scenario that I believe is what the last days will look like or is looking like? We pray, we get close to the heart of God. We intercede. We read the Word of God, which is a lamp to our feet, and we understand that as the Jewish people respond to the gospel, God releases his power, his light, his life - life from the dead.

Ezra Benjamin: Life from the dead indeed, Jonathan, for every ethnos, every people group on the face of the earth. You know, missiologists say and generally agree, give or take a year, that by 2033, as you said, there will be at least a portion of the scriptures, including the gospels, including the proclamation of Jesus, in every tongue, every language on the face of the earth. And that's coming right up!

Jonathan Bernis: That's something to celebrate and it is an end time event. It's a last days event.

Ezra Benjamin: That's right. And you know, Jonathan, I'm just... I could get choked up saying it. Maybe you will at home, too. The mercy of God to make sure that every ethnos on the face of the earth has an opportunity to encounter the love and the salvation of Jesus - think about that - every people group on the face of the earth.

Jonathan Bernis: I think we have to stay focused on this because with all the turmoil swirling around us, it's very easy to get pulled into those issues. Very easy. I'm guilty of that also, I want you to know. But our citizenship is a higher citizenship. Yes, you're a citizen of the United States. Maybe you're a citizen of Canada that's watching, a citizen of the United Kingdom or some other country. If you're watching from India, you have Indian citizenship. But more importantly, we all have citizenship in the kingdom of heaven and we have a message that supersedes politics. That supersedes divisions of race, that supersedes any other worldly agenda. It's the message of the kingdom.

Ezra Benjamin: That's right.

Jonathan Bernis: The Kingdom of God. It's the good news of the Messiah and it's the only transformational message that exists. We have the answer.

Ezra Benjamin: That's right. And Jonathan, you know, as every ethnos, people, a remnant if you will from every ethnos on the face of the earth, is being brought into what Paul says is, "The fatness of the root of the olive tree". We can't forget, as we're running out of time here, God's heart to graft in again those natural branches who have been broken off, the remnant of Israel. God's heart is for the nations, and at the same time, he's passionate about Jewish people having the opportunity to hear about Yeshua, to receive him as their Messiah, and to be grafted right back in.

Jonathan Bernis: I feel the burden as we're speaking that God's heart is that none should perish.

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: He doesn't want your grandchildren to perish. He doesn't want your friends and your neighbors to perish. God's heart is that they might find eternal life, but the big dilemma still remains the same as it did 2.000 years ago - how can they call out to the one who may have not believed, and how can they believe unless they hear, and how can they hear unless one is sent? He's sending you. Hey, it's a terrible time to do this, but we need to take a break so we can share some information about resources that we're making available to you this week. The message will continue if you respond. I want to ask you to prayerfully consider joining us as a shalom partner. Here at Jewish Voice, we're committed to helping those who are most in need in some of the most difficult places on earth. Your continued monthly support will make a huge difference for those who need our help the most. So, after this short message, Ezra and I are gonna come back to join in agreement with you for your needs and the needs of your family, most importantly that they might be saved, and you might be a sent one to proclaim the good news. Don't go away, we'll be right back.

Jonathan Bernis: My favorite time of the program is praying for you, because God answers prayer. I believe that. Ezra, I know you believe that.

Ezra Benjamin: We sure do.

Jonathan Bernis: Where two or three agree on earth as touching anything, it shall be done. We are here for you. I want you to know that. And we believe in a God who answers prayer, so let's join together right now. I know that you've sent us your needs, and in the name of Yeshua, in Jesus' name, through faith in his name, we speak life to those who are ill. The doctor's report has been it's terminal. The report of the Lord is by his stripes, you are healed. We speak to family members. We speak to those with cancer. We speak to those with uncurable diseases, incurable diseases, and we say be healed in the name of Yeshua. Father, thank you for bringing hope where there's been none. Thank you for bringing faith where there's been discouragement and despair. Thank you, Lord, for a new spirit of victory. Thank you for reuniting families. Thank you for that spirit of isolation disappearing and being replaced with a sense of peace and God's love. In Jesus' name, in the name of Yeshua.

Ezra Benjamin: Amen.

Jonathan Bernis: Hey, if you'd like more information about our ministry, I want to encourage you to go to our website. It's JewishVoice.TV, and you can actually submit your prayer requests right to us on the website. We have a dedicated group of prayer warriors here at Jewish Voice that will read your prayers and pray for you by name in faith, because we believe in the power of prayer. We care about you, but most importantly, we know that God cares about you. So, log on to our website. And as we close the program, I want to remind you with Ezra, as we do every week, Psalm 122:6. That's how we finish our program, to remind you to pray for the peace of Jerusalem, and there's even a promise, "May they prosper who love thee". So, pray for Israel, pray for the Jewish people in your life this week, and until next time, this is Jonathan Bernis and Ezra Benjamin, saying shalom and God bless you.
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