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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Jonathan Bernis » Jonathan Bernis - Bible Prophecy, Israel and the U.N

Jonathan Bernis - Bible Prophecy, Israel and the U.N

Jonathan Bernis - Bible Prophecy, Israel and the U.N
TOPICS: Bible Prophecy, Israel, End times

Jonathan Bernis: Shalom and welcome to Jewish Voice. I'm Jonathan Bernis, and I'm joined once again by my co-host, Ezra Benjamin. One of the questions that I'm asked the most is, "Are we in the last days and what's happening that is fulfilling Bible prophecy"? Well, these are difficult questions to answer. It's a complex scenario but today, we're gonna be looking at some events that may well provide answers to these questions. Ezra, you know, we don't talk much about the last days compared to how much we used to talk about the last days. Because for the last 40 plus years since I've been a believer, it was just around the corner. The return of Jesus was just around the corner. And, of course, there was the speculation on who the antichrist was and...

Ezra Benjamin: It's been a lot of speculation.

Jonathan Bernis: And the near return of the Messiah and the years keep rolling on and these predictions have been wrong repeatedly.

Ezra Benjamin: Sure.

Jonathan Bernis: But one thing is clear, we are in a period that is resembling or I think fits the biblical description now of the last days. Talks about the times of Noah, growing violence. The Bible talks about political, economic, social upheaval. There's so many different things that I'm seeing come into place now.

Ezra Benjamin: Sure.

Jonathan Bernis: And I'm not an expert on Bible prophecy by any means but I'm looking at the signs of the times and well, one thing we know, the fig trees blossomed. Talk about that.

Ezra Benjamin: Exactly. Yeah, the context of what you just said is actually Jesus teaching his disciples about what to look for before his return or we can say before the last days. And the idea is, you know, we have to hold these two ideas in tension. On the one hand, no one knows the day or the hour. The scriptures are very clear. If somebody says to you, you know, "It's gonna be in the year 2037 on, you know, January 12th, at 9:48 A.M." They're...

Jonathan Bernis: They're always wrong.

Ezra Benjamin: They're wrong because we don't the day or the hour. But then Jesus says, as you were referring to, Jonathan, just like when you see the fig tree put forth its leaves you know you're entering the season. That summer is right at the door. You're right there and when you see these things happen, right? The rise of lawlessness and offense, right? That the increased Godlessness in society, the wars and rumors of wars, right? Earthquakes greater than what we've ever seen. When you see these things start to happen in increase, understand that you're right there. "My return is very near," Yeshua is saying. And Jonathan, some of the things that we're so focused on here at Jewish Voice and we wanna talk about a little bit today on this program is specific signs of the last days. The days before the return of Jesus that have specifically to do with Israel and the Jewish people. And when we say Israel, we can talk about the land of Israel or the modern state of Israel, and also the people of Israel, wherever we're scattered in Israel or in the nations.

Jonathan Bernis: Well, I wanna talk about some specific things that maybe aren't so, they're exciting but they're kind of looming, negative things that we're seeing in the news that may very well be fulfillments of the last days or moving us closer to that moment.

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: But let's look at some good things first. We know that God's sovereignly restored Israel as a nation. And we're 75 years,

Ezra Benjamin: That's right. This spring.

Jonathan Bernis: So, we have this spring. So, we have that amazing reality. The restoration of Jerusalem in 1967 was absolutely an end time event. Jesus says very clearly, "You will not see me again weeping over Jerusalem, until you say 'blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord'". It's talking about the Jewish people. They had to be back in not only the land but in Jerusalem, and Jerusalem was once again the capital of Israel. We have massive aliyah movements to Israel, the land of the north, which is very specifically mentioned, beginning in the late 1980's.

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: These are all great events. And then, one that we've talked a bit about. Maybe the clearest sign is that the gospel will be proclaimed to every nation, to every ethnos. And of course, we understand that in the context here at Jewish Voice of Romans 1:16, that, "The gospel is the power of God unto salvation to all he who believe to the Jew first". But we've been talking about the translation of scripture, into every known language and this is really a milestone.

Ezra Benjamin: It is, you know...

Jonathan Bernis: Peace of news and good news. Talk about that.

Ezra Benjamin: Yeah. We're sharing the gospel as you said Romans 1:16, it says, "Power of God to salvation for all who believe, first to the Jew and also to the gentile". Meaning those not from a Jewish heritage or background. And in our work of sharing the good news of Yeshua with Jewish communities and their neighbors around the world, we're partnered, Jonathan, with so many Bible translation organizations, partner ministries reaching all tribes, tongues and nations, and believe it or not there's general agreement, there's not a lot of agreements sometimes in these sort of things. But general agreement that by the year 2033, the Bible, at least the New Testament, the gospel accounts of Yeshua, of Jesus, will be available in written form in every language on the face of the earth. Which means the gospel can be proclaimed and received by every people, tribe, tongue and nation.

Jonathan Bernis: What a milestone. So, those are some of the good things that are real anchors and definitely connected to the time preceding the return of Jesus. The last days refer to the end of the age before the return of Jesus, Yeshua, to this earth and the establishment of his kingdom in Jerusalem.

Ezra Benjamin: That's right.

Jonathan Bernis: Physically. Now, let's talk about some of the things we're seeing in the news front and center that aren't so encouraging, but may very well be connected to the last days.

Ezra Benjamin: Sure.

Jonathan Bernis: The UN.

Ezra Benjamin: Yeah. Let's jump right in.

Jonathan Bernis: A milestone event with the UN.

Ezra Benjamin: As we said this spring, weeks from now Marks the 75th anniversary of the rebirth of the state of Israel. In may of 1948, Israel becomes a nation again, and then immediately, the homeland for the Jewish people to resettle. Jonathan, unfortunately, last December, the UN took a vote and by a ratio of 3:1, the nations of the world voted to declare the rebirth of the state of Israel, in Arabic, the word is "Nakba" and that means "Catastrophe". So, we're celebrating the rebirth of the state but the UN, the United Nations representing the nations of the world, don't believe me, look it up on the internet you'll find all the details there. Declared Israel's rebirth an international catastrophe. This may, 'kay, in a couple weeks that Israel and Jewish people around the world and those who stand with her will be celebrating the nation's rebirth, the UN and two thirds of the nations of the world will be observing a day of mourning, to mourn the catastrophe of the reestablishment in the Jewish state.

Jonathan Bernis: Ezra, I'd like to say that I'm shocked by this but the UN, I think, has consistently been anti-Israel, demonstrated in anti-Israel bias, and the reason that this is so closely linked to Bible prophecy is the declaration, the clear declaration in scripture that all the nations of the world would turn against Israel, that Jerusalem in particular would be a stone of stumbling...

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: For the world. And this is, I just feel like this has been notched up again.

Ezra Benjamin: Yeah. Another phrase used is that Jerusalem becomes "A cup of drunkenness," and the idea is when you're drunk, when you're inebriated, you don't even know what you're doing, and that the issue of Jerusalem, the issue of this hotly contested piece of land in the Middle East will become something where the nations don't even know what they're doing in their rage against the City of Jerusalem and the state of Israel. And Jonathan, maybe our audience is saying, "Yeah, I read all the nations of the world will be gathered together against Israel, against Jerusalem. I can't really trace it out to see how that might happen". The UN declaration that Israel's existence is to be mourned for as an international catastrophe. To me, Jonathan, this is in our day, like, this year, in our time, a major step forward in that prophetic trajectory towards all the nations of the world saying, "You know what? We can't allow Israel to exist".

Jonathan Bernis: I've been watching these events now for, as I said, almost 40 years and it's just this, it's progressive where it's a trajectory. That's the right word. It's a trajectory that's moving towards this crescendo, this buildup, and this is, I think, another notch forward. We've really moved forward. It feels backwards in one way but it's moving quickly towards this outcome of the world becoming more unstable, anti-semitism, rising anti-Israel...

Ezra Benjamin: Right. Which we'll talk more about.

Jonathan Bernis: Views. Yeah, it's just part of this progression, this trajectory.

Ezra Benjamin: I think there's an important principle there for us to focus on for a minute, you know, people, we can see such and such current event, or we read a headline, or we watch something on the news, and we say, "Is this it? Is this the fulfillment of this prophecy"? And sometimes, it's difficult to know, but what I think we can say, like, in this example is it may not be the fulfillment but it's certainly a step in that direction.

Jonathan Bernis: It is.

Ezra Benjamin: It's certainly in the trajectory towards God bringing it to pass.

Jonathan Bernis: It is indeed. People say or ask me, "Are we in the last days"? Well, we're a lot closer than we were 10 years ago. That's for sure.

Ezra Benjamin: We're heading in that direction.

Jonathan Bernis: No one knows the day. No one knows the hour. Anyone that says they do is going to be wrong, but we are in the season of the last of the last days. We're gonna look at more world events when we return, but first, I wanna tell you about how Jewish Voice partners with ministries on the ground in Israel. You can join us. Here's how.

Jonathan Bernis: Welcome back to our discussion on current events and how they play into what we call "The last days". And Ezra, we don't know the time, we don't know the exact time or the hour, but we know the season, and we are in the season. And we were talking about this terrible decision in the UN to actually acknowledge the rebirth, the nakba. Yeah, nakba. That this is a catastrophe.

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: When in fact, this is the fulfillment of Bible prophecy.

Ezra Benjamin: Exactly. And think about the Godlessness, you know? This is case in point of society headed towards shaking our fists at God and saying, "You won't rule over us". That a thing that's prophesied. "Can a nation be born in a day"? The prophet said. And the answer is, "Yes". The modern nation of Israel was born in a day so this prophetic rebirth to be celebrated as a testimony to the faithfulness of God is now being labeled, 3 to 1, by the nations of the world as an international catastrophe, as a day of mourning.

Jonathan Bernis: And it's shaking a fist at God. It really is.

Ezra Benjamin: Yeah.

Jonathan Bernis: Who decreed, "I will bring you back. I will restore your land. The land that has been promised to Abraham as an eternal possession, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. And I will reestablish your capital as Jerusalem".

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: Shaking the fist at God. It's clearly a sign that we're in the last of last days. Let's look at another one. The Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Ukraine war, which has some real ramifications that we're seeing now.

Ezra Benjamin: Yeah, it does. And this one, I mean, not the Russian invasion but what we're about to talk about has a good side and a bad side. What do I mean by that? The good thing is the aliyah or the re-settlement in Israel of Jewish people who have been scattered among the nations for centuries, even millennia. So, the word aliyah, Jonathan, in Hebrew means literally "To go up". And the idea was you're going up to Jerusalem. You're going back up to the land of Israel. Aliyah is biblically promised. You know, we see in Isaiah, "We'll say to the north, south, east and west, give them up, don't hold them back. God will be found faithful to re-gather the outcast and the exiles of Israel". That's good. What's not good is that the way we see that happening so urgently these days. As you said, Russian, even Ukraine, other areas in central and Eastern Europe, is that it's happening under duress. That Jewish people, men, women and children, are immigrating to Israel because they have nowhere else to go. They're now living in war zones or in the case of Russia, they're being threatened by increasing anti-semitism and don't feel safe anymore.

Jonathan Bernis: Yeah, let's back up just a little bit. So, we have a new wave of immigration to Israel from both Ukraine and Russia, the highest numbers we've seen in years.

Ezra Benjamin: Decades. That's in a sense a good thing but we're talking about Ukrainians that are fleeing for their lives. Their homes have been destroyed. They've lost family members and they're now destitute. So, Israel is taking them in in great numbers and doing a great job. But what I think is this looming, frightening reality, the head rabbi of Russia, and he's been there for over 30 years, has now left. I think he moved there in 1988 or in 1989.

Jonathan Bernis: Moved to Russia. Yeah.

Ezra Benjamin: He left Russia and he's warned the Jewish community, "Leave now".

Jonathan Bernis: "While you still can", is what he said. "Leave while you can".

Ezra Benjamin: And so, Russian Jews are fleeing Russia now for their lives because they're in fear for their lives. The Russian government has tried to eradicate the Jewish agency which they did, in fact, in july of last year.

Jonathan Bernis: There's still a court thing going on. It's all but done, really.

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: They have determined that the Jewish agency, the organization that actually is responsible for Jews immigrating to Israel, is no longer welcome in Russia.

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: This signals, this is a demarcation point.

Ezra Benjamin: "Get out while you still can". And maybe you're listening to this and you're thinking, "This sounds like 70 years ago, 75 years ago in Europe". "Get out while you still can". And we say, "Could that sort of thing happen again"? Jonathan, unfortunately, we see in the scriptures about the last days, that there will be widespread persecution of Jewish peoples, both those living in the land of Israel in the City of Jerusalem, but also Jewish people scattered among the nations. That because the enemy knows that when the Jewish people cry out, "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord". From Jerusalem, Satan's trying to do two things. He's trying to do a number of things, but the two we're talking about are, destroy the City of Jerusalem, wipe it off the face of the map, and eradicate the Jewish people. And we see that happening, unfortunately, in some of the major nations of the world.

Jonathan Bernis: It's just, it's beginning to feel like we're approaching a new level of anti-semitism. It's not feeling, it's happening.

Ezra Benjamin: Sure.

Jonathan Bernis: And when you hear, "Get out while you still can". You immediately think of the holocaust and a repeat of what happened, you know, 70, 80 year ago.

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: We're seeing this in Russian, we're seeing it in Ukraine, and this has been brought on by the invasion of Ukraine. So, this may very well play into the last days. I personally believe it does. Jews fleeing for their lives and finding refuge in Israel.

Ezra Benjamin: Yeah.

Jonathan Bernis: And then, Israel under attack. But there's a third one, too, that I think is very troubling for us and that's the rise of anti-semitism here in the United States, and certainly in western Europe as well.

Ezra Benjamin: In the United States, in other prominent nations in South America. You know, during the pandemic, when it started a couple years ago, few years ago, the economic turmoil, the uncertainty, the fear, all of a sudden, the numbers for anti-semitism start skyrocketing. And we see that pattern, Jonathan, not just with the pandemic, not just with the war in Russia but throughout history whenever there is widespread fear, turmoil, hardship, all of a sudden, the Jewish community becomes the focal point. The Jews somehow must be responsible for this.

Jonathan Bernis: And what's particularly troubling is that those that identify as evangelical Christians are also promulgating anti-semitism or certainly anti-semitic views, and it's spreading very, very quickly. So, this is very troubling and should be very troubling to those of you who are watching who love Israel and the Jewish people.

Ezra Benjamin: Jonathan, our audience may be listening saying, "Wait, wait, don't accuse me of anti-semitism. My church doesn't do anything like that". But what we're talking about if we zoom out a little bit is this unfortunate, I mean, even diabolical scenario, and what I mean by that is the enemy's at work here to try to thwart the purposes of God, and he's using people and institutions throughout history who name the name of Jesus, who operate under the banner of Christ, of being Jesus' followers. What we mean by that is there's this unfortunate connection throughout history. The Spanish Inquisition, even the Nazi regime. You know, a kind of mutilated form of a cross on Nazi uniforms saying the Jewish people deserve what's coming to them because they rejected the Messiah and Jesus has rejected them. And it's this unfortunate history of institutional church participation in widespread anti-semitism, and even persecution, violence against the Jewish people.

Jonathan Bernis: Because at the root, this is spiritual and you have a literal enemy of God, Satan, that is absolutely committed to the destruction of God's word and that's through the people of Israel. Go after the Jewish people because God chose them to bring the Messiah. That failed, but they also are involved in his return so destroy the Jewish people, destroy the plan of God. This is the only way to understand it.

Ezra Benjamin: Yeah.

Jonathan Bernis: Here's what's very troubling to me. You could say, "Well, those weren't true Christians. Those that kill Jewish people in the crusades, in the Spanish Inquisition, the holocaust, they weren't true Christians". But that's not entirely true. If you look at some of the theologians that laid the groundwork for Christian anti-semitism, they were devout Christians and they had really solid theology in so many areas. But when it came to the Jewish people, they were used demonically to promulgate this lie that continues to gain momentum over the years. It's kind of gone in cycles but it's back on the rise. The anti-defamation league says that we're at the highest level of anti-semitism since World War II. So, this is very, very troubling and I think plays into current events and how they connect to the last days. We live in a world that's filled with uncertainty and turmoil right now, and the good news is the only answer. The good news is needed now more than ever. We need you, we need you to pray. We need you to get involved with Jewish Voice. Are you willing to pray for not only the peace of Israel but for the salvation of Jewish people to turn to Jesus as their Messiah? Would you prayerfully consider becoming a monthly shalom partner with us to reach all Jewish communities in Israel and around the world? Ezra and I are going to pray for Israel and for you when we return in just a moment.

Jonathan Bernis: I have no doubt that we are truly in the last days. I don't know the day or the hour, but the time is near. Until that moment, though, we're to occupy until he comes and we're to do it in victory. We serve a God who hears and answers prayer. And, Ezra, we're gonna take a moment first to pray for everyone that's watching but also to finish by praying for Israel, for the salvation of Israel, for God to touch the land and the people both in Israel and scattered in the nations.

Ezra Benjamin: Absolutely.

Jonathan Bernis: So, let's agree together. Would you just join with me in prayer and we'll just reach out in faith together? "Where two or three agree on earth is touching anything, it shall be done".

Ezra Benjamin: Amen.

Jonathan Bernis: And so, Lord, thank you that although we live in turbulent times, your grace is greater. Thank you when the enemy comes in like a flood, you raise up a standard against the enemy. We speak to families and we say, "Be restored". We speak to bodies and say, "Be healed". We speak to financial needs, and we say, "They are met in the name of Yeshua. In Jesus' name". And Lord, we pray for the peace of Jerusalem. We pray for the salvation of the Jewish people both in the land of Israel and scattered in the nations of the world. Lord, I pray that you would help us all watching and listening to be a blessing to the Jewish people, and to see your plan of redemption come to Israel and the nations. In Jesus' name. In Yeshua's name. Amen.

Ezra Benjamin: Amen.

Jonathan Bernis: And amen. If you'd like more information about our ministry, you can log on to You can also send us your prayer request right on the website. We have a team here at Jewish Voice that's committed to reading your prayer requests and praying for you by name because we believe in the power of prayer, and we care about you, but more importantly, God cares about you. As we close our program today, I wanna remind you to keep doing what we just did, pray for the peace of Jerusalem. Psalm 122:6 exhorts us, "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem, may they prosper who love thee". Until next time, this is Jonathan Bernis along with Ezra Benjamin saying, "Shalom and God bless you".
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