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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Jonathan Bernis » Jonathan Bernis - Israel's Survival

Jonathan Bernis - Israel's Survival

Jonathan Bernis - Israel's Survival
TOPICS: Israel

Jonathan Bernis: Shalom and welcome to Jewish Voice. Thank you for joining me today. I'm Jonathan Bernis, and I'm joined once again, by my co-host, Ezra Benjamin. Well, Israel, once again, is at war and contrary to what some understand this is not a fight between Jews and Arabs. It's not even a fight between Israelis and Palestinians. It's a war against terror that began with a horrific slaughter of over 1,200 Israelis on October 7th, 2023. Now, conflict in the Middle East has been going on for centuries, and with the latest attacks on Israel, it's back in the spotlight. It can be complicated, and it can be very confusing. It can feel hopeless and frustrating, and we ask the question, "Where is God in all this turmoil"? Well, we're going to discuss that today. Ezra, this is a century's long...

Ezra Benjamin: Millennial long effect.

Jonathan Bernis: Goes back all the way to...

Ezra Benjamin: Isaac and Ishmael, right?

Jonathan Bernis: Right.

Ezra Benjamin: A family feud that's still feuding and fuming millennia later, even 5,000 years later and it continues. And, Jonathan, it's become so complicated in the last few months and the war rages on, the conflict rages on. All these players, and we'll talk about them in a minute, but Hamas and who are they, and Hezbollah and the northern border with Israel, what are they up to. And the muslim brotherhood and the Palestinian authority, and who even are the Palestinians, and...

Jonathan Bernis: It is confusing.

Ezra Benjamin: It is. And unfortunately, what's happening depending on where you subscribe, what news channel you're serve, honed in on, you're getting, perhaps, a narrative and the problem is that all the headlines that are being highlighted or excluded are to support that foregoing conclusion, that predetermined end of what you're supposed to think. And so, what we wanna do here today, it's not an easy task. It's to try to uncomplicate what's going on. How did this start? What's really going on beyond the headlines? And equally as important, how should you as a Christian choose to stand and keep standing with Israel when it's becoming less and less popular to do so.

Jonathan Bernis: Yeah, when you look at the news it's hard to support Israel because almost all the news networks and I'm including CNN, I'm including Fox News, certainly, BBC, Al Jazeera, and so on...

Ezra Benjamin: Sure.

Jonathan Bernis: Are portraying Israel as the Goliath that is slaughtering thousands of innocent Palestinians.

Ezra Benjamin: And beyond the media channels, let's not forget the United Nations making declaration after declaration condemning Israel as an aggressor in the Middle East and are guilty of war crimes murdering, you know, thousands, tens of thousands of innocent civilians. Nations, I'm thinking of turkey. And then, more recently very sadly, the nation of South Africa said we condemn the actions of Israel. We stand with the people in the state of Palestine, which is not a state, its territories, but that's a story for another day. And actually, went so far, Jonathan, as to say that Jewish South Africans who went to Israel to fight for Israel's survival during this war upon reentry to South Africa would be arrested for war crimes.

Jonathan Bernis: Yeah, which is crazy.

Ezra Benjamin: What is going on in the world?

Jonathan Bernis: Yeah, and their equivalent of apartheid. It's just ridiculous.

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: And, of course, the UN has sanctioned Israel more than any other country including Iran, including North Korea.

Ezra Benjamin: Sure.

Jonathan Bernis: It's just ridiculous.

Ezra Benjamin: Sure.

Jonathan Bernis: Actually, more sanctions against Israel than these nations combined.

Ezra Benjamin: Yeah. So, two things. First of all, you know, I'm remembering on October 7th, and my wife is from Israel, and we work up to texts and messages from her family saying, you know, they live in the southern part of Israel on the Negev desert closer to Gaza, not right on the border, saying, "We're locked in our homes. The government said, 'don't open your windows. Don't answer the door because there's terrorist who may be trying to murder you'". And we don't even understand what's going on. We're shocked. And hours later, the international spokesman for the Israel defense force, which we know as the IDF, the key word there is defense. It exists to defend the people in the borders of Israel, not to be an aggressor in the region. The spokesman said this, he said, "In the weeks and months that follow, this is gonna become more confusing and more convoluted. But I want you to remember why it started today".

Jonathan Bernis: Yes. Well, let me highlight something I said at the opening. This is not a war against Arabs, Jews versus Arabs, or Israelis against Palestinians.

Ezra Benjamin: Yeah.

Jonathan Bernis: This is a war against an organization called Hamas.

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: Hamas.

Ezra Benjamin: Right? And their friends are not friends, but their partners in crime, literally, Hezbollah up in the northern border between Israel and Lebanon. And I think, you know, we'll talk in just a moment about what is Hamas and what do the represent in the first place. But, Jonathan, it's so confusing, so many of the media soundbites and clips we're seeing are, you know, streets in London, in Los Angeles, in wherever, you know, anywhere in the world. And on one side of the street, you have the supporters of Israel with their Israeli flags and on the other side of the street, you have the supporters of the Palestinian people with their Palestinian flags and these banners that say, "Free Palestine". And the media has allowed us to think that this is a battle between Jews and Arabs, which it's not, or between Israelis and Palestinians.

Jonathan Bernis: Which is absolutely false. Let me just state that again. That's false.

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: It's a false narrative. We're talking about terrorist organizations...

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: That have one goal. And their one goal is so pervasive...

Ezra Benjamin: Yeah.

Jonathan Bernis: That they're willing to sacrifice their own people as a means to an end.

Ezra Benjamin: That's it and we're gonna talk...

Jonathan Bernis: Which is shocking.

Ezra Benjamin: Yeah, we'll talk more about...

Jonathan Bernis: Terrorist organizations that are committed to destroying the Jewish people ultimately worldwide, but pushing the Jewish people out of Israel into the sea. There is only a one state solution in their mind and it's not Israel.

Ezra Benjamin: Right. The two-state solutions media bait. And we'll talk more about that in a moment.

Jonathan Bernis: There is no...It's a fallacy.

Ezra Benjamin: Here is the...

Jonathan Bernis: It's an absolute fallacy.

Ezra Benjamin: Hamas which, it's interesting in Hebrew Hamas means violence, but that's actually their name in Arabic which is where they came up with the name Hamas. Hamas in Arabic means the resistance. Well, who are they resisting? They're resisting what their world view says is the Jewish oppressive occupiers. And Hamas, let's be very clear, folks, is an Islamic Jihadist terrorist organization. What do we mean by that? They are doing jihad. What's jihad? Jihad is holy war for the glory of Allah which says, "We will not stop until everyone either converts to Islam or is eliminated". And their enemy number one is the Jewish people who, of course, will not convert to their religion.

Jonathan Bernis: And October 7th is a reflection of their, of their goals.

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: Which is to slaughter civilians.

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: They're not dis...

Ezra Benjamin: It's indiscriminate murder.

Jonathan Bernis: They're indiscriminate. They're not discriminating between soldiers and civilians. They're not discriminating between adults and children, male or female. It's just a slaughter feast and that's exactly what we saw on October 7th. This is a war to eradicate Hamas and Israel will not stop. They can't stop.

Ezra Benjamin: Jonathan, there is continual talk in the media, in international negotiations and interesting, some of the parties who actually funded the October 7th attacks are now mediating or trying to mediate a ceasefire. Isn't that interesting?

Jonathan Bernis: Yes.

Ezra Benjamin: But that's a story for another program. But why can't Israel agree to a ceasefire? Right? That's, Israel's being vilified continually in the news. "You should just lay down your weapons". How do you negotiate, I'm appealing to you, reasonable man and women, how do you negotiate with a group who says, "In our charter document, we exist to eradicate the Jewish state and to exterminate Jewish people wherever they exist in the region". There's no negotiating with that.

Jonathan Bernis: And let's talk about ceasefire, okay?

Ezra Benjamin: Yeah.

Jonathan Bernis: Ceasefire ignores the missile attacks that are constantly coming against Israel from gaza.

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: It's almost like they don't exist.

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: We're talking about thousands of missiles against the villain populations, and they're just completely overlooked. You know, what you may not know is that October 7th was in the middle of a negotiated ceasefire between Israel and Hamas. Israel said, "We'll back off militarily and Hamas will lay down their weapons". How did that work? How does the ceasefire work? It doesn't work.

Ezra Benjamin: And in truth, Israel is willing to cease their efforts right now, their military efforts if the hostages are returned.

Jonathan Bernis: Right.

Ezra Benjamin: But it's now being removed as a condition.

Jonathan Bernis: Right.

Ezra Benjamin: So, the UN now is pushing Israel to enter into a ceasefire without the condition of returning hostages.

Jonathan Bernis: Right.

Ezra Benjamin: And we've talked about this before, Jonathan. This idea of moral equivalency, right? That somehow is Israel, the state of Israel, the Israel defense force, the government of Israel and Hamas, this Islamic Jihadist terrorist regime, are on equal moral footing. So, quid pro quo. "You give us back hostages, we'll give you back terrorist". Everything is equal, but it's not. What you need to understand, even as you're praying not just as you're watching the news, is that Israel is, in fact, in a war for her very survival against enemies, not unknown enemies, enemies with names like Hamas, resistance and Hezbollah which means the people of Allah who said, "We exist to destroy you".

Jonathan Bernis: Yeah, there is no moral equivalence whatsoever.

Ezra Benjamin: And there is no negotiating.

Jonathan Bernis: I think it's important to mention...

Ezra Benjamin: Yeah.

Jonathan Bernis: That God doesn't love the Jews or the Israelis more than Arabs or Palestinians.

Ezra Benjamin: Absolutely.

Jonathan Bernis: God loves everyone equality and we're grieving for the loss of innocent life.

Ezra Benjamin: Yeah.

Jonathan Bernis: Israel has no choice. Israel has to destroy Hamas.

Ezra Benjamin: Because they are committed to destroying her.

Jonathan Bernis: Absolutely, and that's not going to change.

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: The only thing that can bring change is the Prince of Peace, Yeshua, Jesus the Messiah. That's it.

Ezra Benjamin: That's it.

Jonathan Bernis: That's the only peace plan that will work. We need to take a short break, but we wanted you to see how you can partner with us to help those in Israel right now. Take a look.

Jonathan Bernis: We'd like to thank you again for everything you do for us here for Israel, for idf. Thank you very much.

Ezra Benjamin: Thank you very much.

Jonathan Bernis: Thank you.

Ezra Benjamin: He's saying, "Thank you," to many of you that have partnered with us to provide things like rain gear, waterproof pants. It's been really cold this year and we've provided gloves, and boots.

Jonathan Bernis: Right. Right. All the gear you would need to brave the Gaza strip in the middle of winter. Some people don't realize Israel and the Middle East gets cold in the winter.

Ezra Benjamin: Yeah, so thank you for those of you that have partnered with us. We're so grateful and they're really grateful, they really are. Ezra, I wanna unravel a little bit of the confusion...

Jonathan Bernis: Sure.

Ezra Benjamin: About all of these different groups. So, in reality, Israel is most likely going to face a three-front war. You have Hezbollah on the north. You have Hamas in the south.

Jonathan Bernis: Right.

Ezra Benjamin: And then, you have the Palestinian authority on the west bank that are imping relatively quiet, but there could be growing uprises overtime.

Jonathan Bernis: Correct and...

Ezra Benjamin: Israel, this little, tiny country is being squeezed. Mediterranean on one side and then on three other sides you have the potential of conflict.

Jonathan Bernis: Correct. And let's not forget the big brother a little bit of distance away, but a key player in this whole thing, Iran, Iran.

Ezra Benjamin: More than a key player but the puppet master...

Jonathan Bernis: Right.

Ezra Benjamin: If you will.

Jonathan Bernis: Whose attempting over and over to enrich nuclear weapons, you know. And their intended stated broadcast purpose of having these weapons is one thing to drive Israel, to drive the Jews, they won't even say the Jews, to drive the enemy, the Jewish people, into the heart of the sea.

Ezra Benjamin: Yep.

Jonathan Bernis: It's incredible.

Ezra Benjamin: And we should believe them.

Jonathan Bernis: Right.

Ezra Benjamin: That as soon as they develop a nuclear weapon with the right, with a guidance system that's effective, they will attack Israel.

Ezra Benjamin: Right. And what's interesting, Jonathan, is these groups represent or are led by leaders who've subscribed to different sects if you of Islam. And given the opportunity some of these men, and some of these leaders would kill each other for their differences over how they see Islam. But here is the one interesting thing that they have in common. The state of Israel cannot exist, and the Jews have to be eliminated.

Jonathan Bernis: Right.

Ezra Benjamin: Isn't that interesting?

Jonathan Bernis: Right. The real war...

Ezra Benjamin: Yeah.

Jonathan Bernis: Is not Israel against Hamas.

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: It's a spiritual war.

Ezra Benjamin: Exactly.

Jonathan Bernis: We're talking about a war fare in the heavenlys. A God who has declared in his word that he will restore the people of Israel...

Ezra Benjamin: Yeah.

Jonathan Bernis: To their God.

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: And they've received the land as an everlasting possession.

Ezra Benjamin: Exactly.

Jonathan Bernis: And you have the enemy of God, hasatan, the devil...

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: Who's committed to the destruction of God's people, the Jewish people, as well as Christians and eradicating God's word.

Ezra Benjamin: Sure.

Jonathan Bernis: That's the real battle.

Ezra Benjamin: It's a spiritual battle. And you may be listening saying, "Don't over spiritualize this". Let's unpack just for a moment. We just have a few moments, what we mean by that. Genesis 12:3, God says to Abraham, "I'll make your seed, literally, your physical descendants, a blessing to all the families of the earth". So, God has a destiny for the Jewish people to continue to exist and to be a blessing. Genesis 17:8, write these things down. Check us on 'em, you're gonna find this to be true. Genesis 17:8, God says again to Abraham later on that, "I will give this land, Canaan, the land of Canaan, to you and your descendants as an everlasting possession". So, the enemy, as you said in Hebrew hasatan means the enemy, satan...

Jonathan Bernis: Right.

Ezra Benjamin: The enemy of God has two things in mind amongst others, but two primary things in mind. The eradication of the Jewish people whom God promised he would preserve and make a blessing to all the families of the earth, and a commitment to making sure that those Jewish people never come back to the land God promised to bring them back to. It's a spiritual battle. And so, these Islamic Jihadist terrorist regimes wherever they are close to Israel, right on the borders on the Gaza strip, thousands of miles away in Iran are operating out of this, if you will, this kind of demonic counterfeit destiny instead of, the land belongs to Israel and God will preserve the Jewish people, wipe out the Jewish people, wipe out the land of Israel and drive 'em into the sea.

Jonathan Bernis: I may be wrong in this statement, but I believe it's true. I would venture to say that the spirit, the demonic spirits at work that are, that are embodied in these terrorist organizations may very well be the same spirits that drove Nazi, Germany to try to eradicate the Jewish people.

Ezra Benjamin: Sure.

Jonathan Bernis: It's the same demonic underpinning.

Ezra Benjamin: Sure, or Haman aiming to try to, you know, successfully for a period of time write an edict to destroy the Jewish people.

Jonathan Bernis: And Pharaoh...

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: And so on. Yeah, all of these efforts to destroy the Jewish people trace back to a spiritual root, hasatan, seeking to destroy God's plan, God's people, God's promises.

Ezra Benjamin: That's right. And that's why prayers for Israel are needed now more than ever. "What do I do? I don't know what to do". Pray for Israel. Pray that the Lord would be victorious, which he will, in the spiritual battle that Israel and the Jewish people are in.

Jonathan Bernis: Ezra, just a prayer point that I wanna mention because we need to be praying specifically.

Ezra Benjamin: Yeah.

Jonathan Bernis: Not just for the peace of Jerusalem, but very specifically for the fulfillment of shalom, which is God's plan of completion for the land and people of Israel. Some very, very real threats. So, many, many soldiers have been killed, as well as many in Hamas, as well as sadly, many civilians.

Ezra Benjamin: Sure.

Jonathan Bernis: But they continue to fire missiles from Gaza.

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: What's more dangerous is the threat of Hezbollah because they have far larger missiles, much better equipped by Iran and they have been relatively restrained.

Ezra Benjamin: Yeah.

Jonathan Bernis: So, Israel may very likely be facing an onslaught from Hezbollah on the north.

Ezra Benjamin: In fact, the week after October 7th, the week of October 8th, the leader of Hezbollah was asked in an international press conference, "Are you going to attack Israel as well? Hamas is in, are you gonna join the fight"? And they said, "Not right now, but our time will come, and we will do it". So, Israel's waiting and it's a very tense time in the land of Israel.

Jonathan Bernis: Yes. And the decider is Iran.

Ezra Benjamin: Yeah.

Jonathan Bernis: Whenever they tell Hezbollah to move forward. There are hundreds of thousands of missiles...

Ezra Benjamin: Sure.

Jonathan Bernis: Capable of reaching every major city in Israel...

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: With accuracy. So, that's a great threat that we need to be praying against. Of course, uprising in the west bank. The Palestinian authority just been relatively quiet. And then, the continued efforts of Hamas.

Ezra Benjamin: Sure.

Jonathan Bernis: Absolutely dedicated to the destruction of Israel.

Ezra Benjamin: Yeah.

Jonathan Bernis: So, this is a very precarious time for Israel. The good news is that he who keeps Israel never slumbers nor sleeps.

Ezra Benjamin: Amen. Amen. And, Jonathan, just one point real quick. And I know so many of our viewers have written in or called us asking this question, "To stand with Israel, does that mean I'm condoning the loss of innocent Gazans lives, innocent Palestinian lives"? Because lives are being lost. The reason is, Hamas is putting their own civilians up as human shields to protect themselves.

Jonathan Bernis: Yeah, and they have missile silos in hospitals.

Ezra Benjamin: Right, but let's be very clear. You can stand with Israel. I wanna just appeal to you. Resist the false choice right now. This is what you can do. You can stand with Israel and defend her right to defend herself. You can condemn the actions of Hamas and Hezbollah and any other Islamic Jihadist terrorist regime and their violence. And you can simultaneously grieve for and pray for comfort in the loss of innocent human lives on either side of the border. We can be grieved for the loss of life in the Gaza strip because of the violence of the terrorist regime.

Jonathan Bernis: We can, we're doing what we can to help them as well.

Ezra Benjamin: Absolutely.

Jonathan Bernis: We need to do that. It's just, it's so sad. It's so sad. We want to show you how you can partner with Jewish Voice as we are on the ground in Israel making an impact right now. Stay tuned because Ezra and I will be back in a moment to pray for you and your family as well as offer the gift of eternal life. Don't go away.

Jonathan Bernis: Two more things we need to do, Ezra, before we close. One, we need to pray for people that have, there are so many needs that have come to us.

Ezra Benjamin: That's right.

Jonathan Bernis: People that are really, really struggling. Even since COVID there's been a lot of turmoil, a lot of challenges, depression. We not only read your prayer requests. We pray for your prayer requests. So, we wanna pray for people. We wanna pray for Israel. And we wanna offer people an opportunity to come into the gift of eternal life, which is offered free.

Ezra Benjamin: Amen.

Jonathan Bernis: All you have to give is your heart and it have to be sincere. My life was changed over 40 years ago, Ezra, it's the greatest gift that anyone can receive.

Ezra Benjamin: Yeah, you know, we're talking about praying for the peace of Jerusalem and peace in the Middle East and maybe you're watching and saying, "You know, I stumbled onto this program. I don't know how I even ended up here, but I don't have peace on the inside, and I don't think I ever have". And, you know, the Prince of Peace, Jesus, Yeshua, can give you that shalom which passes understanding. You just have to invite him in.

Jonathan Bernis: He died for you.

Ezra Benjamin: Yeah.

Jonathan Bernis: He rose again from the dead and is offering you the same resurrection power, not only eternal life but abundant life. And so, if you haven't made that profession of faith, if you haven't called out to God, he's knocking on your heart and saying, "Come in and I'll share a meal with you. I'll live inside of you and transform your life". It happened to me. God will do it for you also. So, just reach out and believe. I'm gonna pray for you right now and I just, I want you to reach out and just trust God by faith. In the name of Jesus, I speak life, eternal life, to those who have not yet come into this truth. I say come into the Kingdom of God, receive forgiveness of sin and the gift of eternal life. Just pray that out. Ask God to come into your life, and to forgive you, and to transform you and he will. And I pray, Lord, for families right now for financial needs, for physical needs of healing in the name of Yeshua, for family restoration. Lord, so many needs but such a big God. We declare them answered, prayer answered in Jesus' name, in Jesus' name. And we pray for the peace of Jerusalem.

Ezra Benjamin: That's right.

Jonathan Bernis: Lord, for Jew and Arab alike, may they find the gift of eternal life...

Ezra Benjamin: Amen.

Jonathan Bernis: And may their lives be transformed through an encounter with you the living God. Amen.

Ezra Benjamin: Amen.

Jonathan Bernis: And amen. Now, if you'd like more information about our ministry, you can log on to our website,, and you can find many helpful resources there. And also, you can send your prayer request directly to us on the website. I want you to know that we care about you and more importantly, God cares about you and love you, and we will pray for your needs. We just won't read them, we will pray for them as well. So, we're here for you. As we close our program, I wanna remind you and encourage you to pray for the Jewish people and the Arab people for Israeli and Palestinian. They need our prayers. "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem may they prosper who love thee". Thank you, Ezra, for joining me today. And until next time, this is Jonathan Bernis saying shalom and God bless you.
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