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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Jonathan Bernis » Jonathan Bernis - How to Bless Israel

Jonathan Bernis - How to Bless Israel

Jonathan Bernis - How to Bless Israel
TOPICS: Israel

Jonathan Bernis: Shalom and welcome to Jewish Voice and thank you for joining us today. I'm Jonathan Bernis, and I'm joined once again by my co-host, Ezra Benjamin. We talk a lot on this program about standing with Israel and it has become an important topic in the church, which I am so glad for. Why is this topic so important and how do we practically stand with Israel? Is it through political support? Is it financial support? Or is it something much deeper? Ezra, the ABC, it's C, it's deeper than that. Financial support is important. Political support of the state of Israel is important, but it goes much deeper than that.

Ezra Benjamin: That's right, Jonathan. And we talk a lot on this program about this Genesis 12 mandate, right? God's calling out Abraham, the father of the Jewish people, and he's saying, "I will bless you and make you a blessing, and I will bless the one who blesses you or bless those who bless you, and I'll curse him who curses you". And that promise is true. It's scriptural. It's here in black and white. The idea that standing with and blessing the children of the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob commands a blessing from heaven. But that alone, Jonathan, is really a transactional relationship. And we're not talking about transactional relationship with Israel here, we're actually asking our audience to consider that there's an unfulfilled desire, if you will, in the heart of God for Israel and the Jewish people. And there's one group of people on earth more than any other, who have a mandate to help bring that to pass. And its believers in his son Jesus, from around the world. It's you.

Jonathan Bernis: Ezra, interestingly, the answer to the question is in Genesis 12, but you have to go further than, "I'll bless those that bless you and curse the one that curses you".

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: It then says, "All the families of the earth will be blessed through you".

Ezra Benjamin: That's right.

Jonathan Bernis: Speaking about Abraham and his offspring.

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: And that message is the central message to Abraham concerning his calling and the calling of his ancestors.

Ezra Benjamin: Exactly. It's the idea of chosen people, right? And maybe you're listening at home going, you know, "I hear it. My pastor talks about this. I've read books about blessing Israel. I'm not sold on that. Why are they the chosen people? What's so special about the Jewish people"? We're actually chosen to be a servant to everybody else, to bless the nations of the world by contending with God for the blessing of the nations of earth.

Jonathan Bernis: The blessing is to bless others.

Ezra Benjamin: Exactly.

Jonathan Bernis: So, the idea here is that through Abraham's offspring, all the nations or all the families of the earth will be blessed. And it's fulfilled in two ways. First, the contribution of the children of Israel, the children of Abraham to the world.

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: So, I like to talk about Nobel prizes and the disproportionate number of Jews that have been recipients in medicine, Nobel prizes in economics, in literature.

Ezra Benjamin: Sure.

Jonathan Bernis: If you look at the Nobel prizes, over 27% of all Nobel prizes, its actually just increased with some more Jewish recipients. One quarter of 1% of the world's population, 27 plus percent of all Nobel prizes.

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: And it's the contribution of the Jewish people in all of those fields.

Ezra Benjamin: Sure. But that's really, it's a first fruit, but it's not the fullness of what God intended for us in being a blessing to all the families of the earth is it?

Jonathan Bernis: No, the greater blessing is the spiritual blessing that comes through the seed of Abraham, and that's Yeshua.

Ezra Benjamin: Exactly.

Jonathan Bernis: And our called to be priesthoods and bring the people to the God of Israel, and the God of Israel to the nations.

Ezra Benjamin: That's right.

Jonathan Bernis: Now here's the secret that's caught up in this. That's the destiny, that's the calling of Israel. A royal priesthood, a holy generation. And of course, that should sound familiar because it's repeated in the new covenant as the call of followers of the Messiah.

Ezra Benjamin: Exactly.

Jonathan Bernis: Of Christians, of followers of the Christ, the Messiah. You are now a royal priesthood, a holy generation that doesn't replace Israel but has come into that same call as a people called to bring the Revelation of God to the world.

Ezra Benjamin: That's it.

Jonathan Bernis: And there's a process that God has laid out, an order that God has laid out, and that's to bring the gospel back to the Jew first.

Ezra Benjamin: That's right.

Jonathan Bernis: To bring them back into their destiny, and then to the Greek, to the nations.

Ezra Benjamin: Right. You know, Romans 11, Jonathan, and we will probably camp there most of this program, but Paul's making it very clear to a predominantly non-Jewish audience, the church in Rome. He's saying, through the rejection of Israel, not God's rejection of Israel, God's never rejected Israel, but through Israel's rejection of the Messiahship of Jesus in large part because of that callousness, those blinders over our eyes, reconciliation and salvation has come to the gentiles, to the nations.

Jonathan Bernis: Yeah, we're putting this up because this is a scripture that we want to encourage you to study. Really go back and read Romans 11, beginning in verse 11 through the 15th verse. Romans 11:11-15. And we, Ezra, we proclaim this message over and over and over again, that there is this connection...

Ezra Benjamin: That's right.

Jonathan Bernis: Between Israel and the church...

Ezra Benjamin: Absolutely.

Jonathan Bernis: That continues on throughout God's plan of redemption for the world. Their rejection brought you salvation with a responsibility to provoke them to jealousy.

Ezra Benjamin: That's right.

Jonathan Bernis: I say this kind of tongue in cheek, but sadly, we have a 2,000 year history, almost 2,000 years of stopping short of provoking to jealousy and finishing with provoke.

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: It's s a cute thing, but it's sad. It's a sad truth.

Ezra Benjamin: It's actually, it's diabolical, isn't it?

Jonathan Bernis: It is.

Ezra Benjamin: Because how would the enemy thwart the plans and purposes of God? I know, I'll use the people who are supposed to join themself to the destiny of Israel to actually keep Israel from its destiny. But the Lord wants to turn that around. He wants to use you to turn it around. And Jonathan, that brings us really to our first distinctive of what it really means. I'm sorry to say, you may not hear this from many other ministries. What does it really mean to bless Israel? You can never divorce blessing Israel from blessing the Jewish people with the good news of Jesus.

Jonathan Bernis: The greatest blessing that you can give the Jewish people is the gospel.

Ezra Benjamin: The imperative for the gentile church, if you will, for non-Jewish believers in Jesus is to provoke Israel to jealously. In essence, the good news, actually, the book itself belonged first to Israel, and the church's job is to bring that book back to Israel and to follow it in a way that provokes our people to jealousy. And yet, as you said, the church has spent couple millennia just provoking.

Jonathan Bernis: Yeah, sadly. When you think of Christ and Christianity, you think of hatred of Jewish people, persecution of Jewish people...

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: And then, with the nazis, with the holocaust, the atrocity of mass genocide of Jewish people. Now, they weren't Christians. Okay, I get that. But they did what they did in the name of Christ and Christianity, and they had, all be it twisted, a cross on the uniform. So, for Jews, this was in the name of Christ and Christianity. So, you have to understand why there's all this animosity, but the calling is to provoke the Jewish people to jealousy. It's been perverted, it's been sidetracked, but I believe Ezra, it's a debt of responsibility back to the people that this began with. And go back to Romans 9, Paul has given us eight reasons why the Jewish people are important and why Paul was willing to lay down his eternal life for his brethren after the flesh, the people of Israel. And he talks about giving of the covenants, the glory of God, the scriptures.

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: All of these, there's eight of them that he specifically mentions that are foundational for Christian faith, for faith as believers in Jesus. All laid the foundation, including the New Testament, by the way, with the exception of maybe Luke and the Book of Acts, this is the contribution of Jews to the world. And the inheritors of that have been Christians, have been you, so you have the responsibility, a debt back to the Jewish people to provoke them to jealousy.

Ezra Benjamin: That's right. And in the manifold wisdom of God, as we see at the end of Romans 11, right? "Who has known the mind of the Lord"? Paul is, in essence, overwhelmed by how, we can say God is playing chess on 22 chessboards and he's winning every game, because he's working all things together for good. But Paul's making it very clear here to the church in Rome, there's still an unfulfilled desire in the heart of God here. He didn't reject Israel to bring the gentiles in, he used Israel's rejection of Jesus to bring the gentiles in so that he could use gentiles to provoke our people back to a relationship with God.

Jonathan Bernis: See the connection. Ezra, exactly. Look at the connection. Their rejection brought you salvation to bring the gospel back to them first, to bring the gospel to the whole world, God so loved the whole world, but it's to the Jew first, Romans 1:16. It's a debt of responsibility to provoke them to jealousy, to bring them back to demonstrate the sense of purpose, the relationship with God, the blessings of God through a relationship with him that they were destined to have. They need to see it in you. They need to experience it in you. We have so much more to talk about, but we have to take a short break. Before we do, I need to let you know that we need your help right now. We need you to get involved with this ministry. I know you're presented with a lot of different opportunities to give, but I want you to know that your support of Jewish Voice is truly blessing the Jewish people because we're proclaiming the gospel to people, that in many cases, haven't heard the gospel before. So, please take a moment to listen to our announcer and consider joining us as a monthly shalom partner. That's how you bless the Jewish people, with the gospel. We'll be right back.

Jonathan Bernis: Welcome back to the program. Before we get into our conversation again, I wanna take a moment to say thank you. We honestly could not do the work that we do without you. You send us, and your generous giving makes it possible for us to reach so many people in need. So, I wanna say thank you. Thank you for your monthly shalom partnership. Thank you for your ongoing support of this ministry. It is so valued. We appreciate it so much. We appreciate you. So, thank you. Ezra, people can't go to Africa with us necessarily, but they can send us.

Ezra Benjamin: They can send us to proclaim good news, and to Israel as well.

Jonathan Bernis: It's just, one person...

Ezra Benjamin: That's right.

Jonathan Bernis: That gets saved or gets eyeglasses, it's worth it all.

Ezra Benjamin: It is.

Jonathan Bernis: It's amazing.

Ezra Benjamin: It is.

Jonathan Bernis: Well, we're jumping back into to blessing the Jewish people. And it's option c. It's not just about political support, it's not just about financial support, and you'll be blessed, it's about providing the Jewish people with the greatest blessing that you can give them. And that, of course, is the gospel, evangelism.

Ezra Benjamin: That's right, Jonathan. And I really feel just a stirring. You know, the Lord hasn't given us this platform, this audience with you for no reason. And one of the things we are never gonna apologize for saying, and we'll say it again and again, is that you can't bless Israel without blessing them with the good news of their Messiah, your Messiah, Jesus. It's impossible. And if you doubt me, check the book, check the scriptures. I'm looking at acts 4:12, Jonathan. It says, it's very clear, "There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved"! And you know, I'm just gonna, I want to call something out here. There's this dangerous, very politically correct kind of wind blowing through the church right now, maybe you've heard it. That the Jews have their own way to God. The Jewish people have their own path to salvation. Even, I'm sorry to say, the pope has said it in the last five years. And the Christians have their way, the Jews have their way. So, you bless Israel by just saying nice things, doing good, providing humanitarian aid. It's a farce, Jonathan.

Jonathan Bernis: Well, as Jewish believers, Ezra, it's a deep burden. It's very sad.

Ezra Benjamin: Yeah.

Jonathan Bernis: I see the love for Jewish people, but you can love Jewish people to eternal death.

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: If you don't share the gospel. So that has to be first and foremost. If we are truly Bible believers, then we believe there's one name given under heaven by which we must be saved. And that message is not just to the Jew as well, but to the Jew first.

Ezra Benjamin: Right. Romans...

Jonathan Bernis: It's to the Jew first. So, this is the greatest blessing that you can give a Jewish person. Don't deny them of that just because you love them and don't want to offend them. Don't just speak out politically or give to Jewish organizations or whatever. The gospel, tactfully demonstrated in love, provoking them to jealousy, as we were talking about Romans 11:11, is absolutely the top priority for blessing the Jewish people.

Ezra Benjamin: Amen. And Jonathan, there's another spiritual principle here. A promise actually in Romans 11, when the Jewish people come back, are reconciled to God through Jesus, something incredible happens.

Jonathan Bernis: Well, this again, why is evangelism so important for us as believers, for you as a gentile Christian? And the answer is this connection between the church and Israel that their rejection brought the gospel to you, yeah, 2,000 years ago, but it brought the gospel out to the nations. And that's because of their rejection. So, Paul then asks, "If their rejection brought you, as a gentile salvation, what's going to happen when they come back"?

Ezra Benjamin: That's right.

Jonathan Bernis: What does it mean come back? It means to respond to the gospel. How can they believe unless they hear? And how can they hear unless one proclaim? And how can one proclaim unless they be sent?

Ezra Benjamin: That's right.

Jonathan Bernis: That's really, really important, Romans 10. Paul's just set that all up and said their proclamation will bring faith and it's as easy as them hearing so they can believe and in their heart, confess with their mouth unto salvation.

Ezra Benjamin: That's right.

Jonathan Bernis: And then he says, when they come back, it will bring life from the dead. Their rejection, salvation to the gentiles, their return, life from the dead.

Ezra Benjamin: Romans 11:15 is what you're quoting right now.

Jonathan Bernis: Study it. You may not believe me. It's in there. Ask God to show you.

Ezra Benjamin: That's right. And what does it mean here? Life from the dead? Literally, we know, you know that when Jesus returns to rule and reign the dead in Messiah will be resurrected, right? People will rise up out of graves to meet him. And we know because of Jesus own words, "Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kills the prophets and stones those who were sent to her, you won't see me again until you, Israel, cry out, 'blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord'".

Jonathan Bernis: I had a Revelation. We could take a whole program on this. But I just want to say, life from the dead. I meditated it on, I studied it. "Lord, help me to understand what this means". And I believe he gave me the Revelation that life from the dead, both spiritual and physical, is the restoration back to the pre-Adamic state. Now, that means that only can happen when Jesus returns, the second Adam, and Jesus can only return when the Jewish people come back. And the way Jewish people come back to God is through the proclamation of those who know him.

Ezra Benjamin: That's right.

Jonathan Bernis: It's just so clear to me. I hope it becomes clear to you.

Ezra Benjamin: Yeah.

Jonathan Bernis: Love the Jewish people first and foremost, by sharing your faith.

Ezra Benjamin: Amen. And Jonathan, one more distinctive here in the couple minutes we have remaining, there's an imperative here to stand with Israel, the land of Israel, the state of Israel, and also the people of Israel, wherever we are. There's medinat Israel, the state of Israel, and there's eretz Israel, the land of Israel, but there's also am Israel, the people of Israel. Standing with the Jewish people means standing with us, standing with the Jewish people, wherever they are in the world.

Jonathan Bernis: Another misconception, blessing the Jewish, blessing Israel, loving Israel is about loving the land of Israel, which is a little sliver of land in the Middle East about the size of New Jersey. Love the land and the people within the land. That's good. Yeah, that's right. We believe in the state, but it's not all it is. The Jewish people are scattered to the remote parts of the world. And there's Jews in Ethiopia in need. There's Jews in Zimbabwe that are clearly Jewish. We've done the DNA testing. We've heard their oral traditions. They are Jews and they need our help, and they need the gospel.

Ezra Benjamin: That's right.

Jonathan Bernis: So, it's about the people of Israel scattered. Even your next-door neighbor may be Jewish. They're part of that promise, and they need to bless them with the gospel.

Ezra Benjamin: Jonathan, you know, maybe people are hearing us and they're going, "Yeah, I see it in the scriptures, I understand where you're going. But you know what, it's just not a priority issue for me right now". I wanna challenge you today that it's never going to be easier to stand with Israel and the Jewish people than it is today. "Ezra, why are you saying that"? Well, lets look at the scriptures. There's a day coming, I'm in Zechariah 12:3 here, actually it's verse 2, excuse me. Zechariah 12:2 talking about a day to come. And Jonathan, I believe this is the last days here that Zechariah's seeing. And it says, "Behold, I will the Lord will make Jerusalem a cup of reeling," or a cup of stumbling, "To all the surrounding peoples when they besiege Jerusalem as well as Judah". And then in chapter 14, jumping across the margin here, it says, verse 2 again, "I will gather all the nations," all the nations of the world, "Against Jerusalem to wage war". There's gonna be a drunkenness in a way. The nations aren't even going to realize what they're doing, but they'll participate with the enemy in attempting to destroy Israel, Jerusalem, and the Jewish people from the face of the earth. Because the enemy knows, when Israel cries out, "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord," he's cooked, Jesus is coming back.

Jonathan Bernis: Yeah, if you wanna know what's important to God, look at what the enemy attacks.

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: Anti-semitism is the highest its been since World War II according to the anti-defamation league. Its at the highest rate that it's been. Desecration of cemeteries, attacks against Jewish people. It's latent in America, but it's coming to the surface more and more. And history repeats itself. So, anti-semitism is growing. Are you ready to lay down your life like Corrie Ten Boom?

Ezra Benjamin: That's right.

Jonathan Bernis: Are you willing to do that? I'm just asking. And I'll step on some toes here. If you think that this is not your issue because this happens after the rapture of the church, you are missing the call to occupy till he comes. I'm not going to get into a discussion on pre, mid, or post tribulation rapture, but I'll tell you this, as long as we're here on this earth, we're called to be light set on a hill, we're called to aggressively do the work of him who called us while it is yet day. For night will come when no man can work. And that's what Ezra's referencing. Hey, we need to take another break so that you can find out how to receive the resources that we're making available today. And also, how you can get involved with Jewish Voice. Would you please pray about joining us as a shalom partner today? Your continued monthly support will quite literally change lives and give us the opportunity to share the gospel with Jewish people living in very difficult conditions, and in many cases, they've never heard the gospel before. Stay with us. After this short message, Ezra and I will be back to pray for you and to come into agreement with you for your needs. Don't go away.

Jonathan Bernis: We take time in every program before we close to pray with those that are watching the program, because we know you have needs. We hear every week through emails and letters about those needs. The good news is that God does care.

Ezra Benjamin: That's right.

Jonathan Bernis: And God loves you, and he wants to walk through this with you. We're called to believe, to trust him and to fight the good fight of faith. It's a good fight, Ezra, because in the end, we win.

Ezra Benjamin: Amen.

Jonathan Bernis: But it takes faith. So, would you disagree with me? Lord, thank you, where two or three agree on earth as touching anything, it shall be done. And we speak the provision for every need to those that are listening, for family restoration, for financial provision, for healing and wholeness. We speak it forth according to the Word of God, and I declare over you, over your family member, by the wounds of Messiah, the wounds of Jesus, you are healed. In his name we pray, in the name of Yeshua, in Jesus' name. Receive it, receive it. Amen.

Ezra Benjamin: Amen. If you'd like more information about our ministry, you can log onto our website. It's You can also send us your prayer request right on the website, and our team here at Jewish Voice is dedicated to prayer, we'll pray for your request specifically. And we believe that God will answer our prayers.

Jonathan Bernis: Amen.

Ezra Benjamin: Amen.

Jonathan Bernis: We believe in the power of prayer, and we care about you. As we close the program, I wanna remind you, and that's what this plaque says in Hebrew, "Shaalu shalom Yerushalayim", "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem". I wanna remind you to do that. Psalm 122:6, "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem". Says, "May they prosper who love thee". So, please pray for the Jewish people, especially for the salvation of the Jewish person that God has put into your life. Until next time, this is Jonathan Bernis along with Ezra Benjamin saying, shalom, and God bless you.
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