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Watch 2022 online sermons » Sid Roth » Sid Roth - Why Don't Jewish Rabbis Believe in Jesus As Messiah with Ron Cantor

Sid Roth - Why Don't Jewish Rabbis Believe in Jesus As Messiah with Ron Cantor

Sid Roth - Why Don't Jewish Rabbis Believe in Jesus As Messiah with Ron Cantor
TOPICS: Jesus, Jews

If Jesus is the Jewish Messiah, why don't the Jewish rabbis believe in him? A Jewish agnostic who says he loved sin explains. Next on this edition of “It's Supernatural!”

Sid Roth: Hello. I'm Sid Roth your investigative reporter. I'm here with Ron Cantor, a Jewish man that says Jesus is the Jewish Messiah. And his background, this goes against everything he believed in. You see, he was raised in a very secular Jewish family. As a matter of fact, Ron, were you bar mitzvahed; did you - what did Judaism mean to you?

Ron Cantor: Well it meant a lot to me. It was who we were. I never - even though we were not Orthodox, we were not super religious; we were Jews. We were “culturally Jewish”.

Sid Roth: Jesus Christ.

Ron Cantor: A good man, maybe a prophet, but definitely not the son of God. That's what the Christians believe.

Sid Roth: So your best friend comes into school and almost like overnight he's one of these Jesus freaks. He loves this Jesus. How did this affect you?

Ron Cantor: Well it affected me greatly because as far as I was concerned I lost my best friend. He came into school and he was a different person. It actually happened little by little, but I noticed that he wasn't drinking any more and he wasn't doing drugs. And so I finally said, "Brian, what has happened to you"? And yeah, he became one of them. I said, "Brian," and he began to try and get me to become one of them. And I said, "You know what, Brian, that's good for you, but I'm Jewish. Jews do not believe in Jesus. Stay away from me". As far as I was concerned that was the end of our relationship.

Sid Roth: Did he give up?

Ron Cantor: No he didn't. He broke all the rules of being nice. He was in my face all the time - in a good way, in a sweet way - but he was persistent.

Sid Roth: How did you react to his persistence?

Ron Cantor: Violently.

Sid Roth: Seriously?

Ron Cantor: At one time I threatened him. If he talked to me about Jesus I was going to physically hurt him. Although I probably wouldn't have done it, I just didn't want to hear about it. But he would pray for me, Sid, and he'd actually be praying for his family or other issues and he would literally see my face. In the spirit he would see my face, and for eight months he'd pray for me faithfully.

Sid Roth: Well when he was in your face, did you really get violently angry or are you just using that as a matter of expression?

Ron Cantor: I used it as a little bit of a shield because the truth was I was beginning to consider his claims. In fact, one day I said to him, I said, "Brian, are you trying to tell me that if I don't believe in Jesus as the Messiah that I'm not going to Heaven"? Because I was beginning to see that that's what he believed and I thought, “that's crazy”.

Sid Roth: Wait a second. Did believe in – what did you think happened when you died?

Ron Cantor: I thought - even from a child I was actually tormented with fear of death because I loved life. As a kid I loved life; as a teenager I loved life; I had fun. I liked being in charge of my life; It was great. And I believed that once you died it's all over. You just go into the grave and that's it; history.

Sid Roth: Why did you believe that?

Ron Cantor: I had no other reason to believe differently. Nobody ever introduced me to God as a personal being. Nobody ever, even within Judaism, talked to me about that, that I could actually know God through Judaism or any other way, that there was something called eternal life. I did not believe that we have spirits inside that lived forever.

Sid Roth: So why would you ask your best friend - your former best friend - “If I don't believe in this Jesus, will I go to Heaven?” What difference did it make to you?

Ron Cantor: I wanted to know what he believed; if that's really what he believed. You know what he said to me?

Sid Roth: What?

Ron Cantor: He looked at me and he said, “Yes”. And when he said “Yes”, all I can tell you is it's like having blinders in a room, you know? Instead of a shade or a curtain, you have these blinders; and somebody just opened up the blinders, and I could see. I knew it was all true. I had blinders on my eyes. He said, "Yes, this is true”, and I knew it was true. And I said, "Brian, you can't show me that in the Bible”, because Sid, I knew there was nothing about being born-again in the New Testament.

Sid Roth: How would you know that? Did you ever read the New Testament?

Ron Cantor: Never.

Sid Roth: So how did you know that?

Ron Cantor: Because I knew that they were a fringe movement.

Sid Roth: I see.

Ron Cantor: And he pulls out his little New Testament and he reads for me a scripture. You've seen the guys at the sports stadium with the John 3:3. He reads to me John 3:3, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God". And when he read that to me, it literally was like a sword came out of Heaven and pierced my heart. I did not want to know the truth, Sid. Do you understand that? I liked my life the way it was.

Sid Roth: How was your life?

Ron Cantor: It was fun.

Sid Roth: What were you doing?

Ron Cantor: I was living immorally. I had lots of friends and girlfriends, and I went to parties. I was not a drug addict by any means, but I liked to do drugs. I just had fun, and I was not looking for religion. I wasn't looking for a crutch, a reason to live; I just lived to have fun.

Sid Roth: But I don't understand logically how you could believe what he said based on the perspective you were coming from.

Ron Cantor: Because it wasn't logic. I didn't logically believe it. God opened up my eyes, and I knew it was all true. And I ran from it. I didn't want it to be true. My first reaction was, “You're crazy, Brian.” Even though everything inside of me was saying “This is true”; my first reaction was, “You're crazy. I don't want anything”, and I ran from it. And I ran even more and more into sin in the way I liked to live, drinking and drugs, and other things.

Sid Roth: One day you were talking to your friend about whether he enjoyed his new life.

Ron Cantor: Well you know, the big thing for me, Sid, is there were two issues that really held me back from embracing Jesus. Number one, I'm Jewish. How could I as a Jew believe in Jesus? I didn't know any other Jews who believed in Jesus. Of course, I didn't know it at the time that virtually every follower of Jesus in the New Testament was Jewish. I just thought if you're a follower of Jesus you're no longer Jewish. And I liked being Jewish. It was my identity. But the other reason, Sid, was sin. I liked being in charge of my life. I liked doing what I wanted to do, and it was fun. And I said to him, "Brian, is your life really better, now that you believe in Jesus?”, because I knew it couldn't be. I knew what he'd say; "You know, Ron, my life is boring, but when I die I go to Heaven".

Sid Roth: That's what you expected.

Ron Cantor: That's what I thought he would say. What happened, Sid, is his face lit up. I mean, something came over him. A supernatural thing happened inside of him, and he looked at me with this joy radiating from him, and he said, "I love my life the way it is. It's never been better! My life is awesome!” And then he said these words: "I know God".

Sid Roth: Did you hear what he just said? He said, he expected him to say, “My life is miserable, but I'm going to go Heaven”. He said “My life is wonderful!” There's something about knowing God; that all fun that I used to think was fun, is nothing. We'll be right back after this. Don't go away.

Sid Roth: Oy vey. Can you imagine this guy? He's having so much fun with women, with drugs, with alcohol, and he says to his friend, "Are you having fun with this Jesus"? He expected his friend to say, “No, but I'm going to go to Heaven”. His friend's expression just lit up. And what did he say, Ron Cantor?

Ron Cantor: He said, "I know God". And when he said to me, "I know God", I knew he was telling the truth. I knew that he wasn't lying.

Sid Roth: How did you know?

Ron Cantor: I just knew. Sometimes you just know. And I said, "Brian, I want to go to your congregation with you. You call me up this Sunday. I want to go. I want to check it out".

Sid Roth: Had you ever been to a church before?

Ron Cantor: Never in my life; not that type. So he called me up Sunday morning. And I had been having fun the night before, and I really wasn't in the mood Sunday morning to go with him. So I said, "You know what, Brian, maybe another time". So I went back - I was in college at this point - I went back to school that afternoon. I was home for a break, and I'm thinking about these things, and get to my room; I unlock the door. Nobody had been in my room, Sid, for 5 days. And now I'm thinking about Jesus. Is Jesus the way to Heaven? Is there a heaven? Is there a God? And it wasn't just all about Jesus. It was just is there something beyond death? There are so many people out there. You'd think that when you die, that's it; it's just over. You are like me. I was wondering, is there really life beyond the grave? So I get back to my room. Nobody had been there for 5 days. I open the door, walk in the room, and my album player - now we live in a CD generation; some of the young people don't even know what an album is, but these CDs are a little bit bigger.

Sid Roth: Right.

Ron Cantor: And it begins to play by itself.

Sid Roth: Was it playing when you walked in the room?

Ron Cantor: No. As soon as I opened...

Sid Roth: You hadn't been there in how long?

Ron Cantor: Five days.

Sid Roth: Five days. How could it be playing?

Ron Cantor: I don't know.

Sid Roth: What do you mean you don't know? Is it plugged in? Is it turned on?

Ron Cantor: It was plugged in. It may have been turned on. It's unlikely because I'd been gone for five days. You don't leave your stereo on for five days. Even still, the album player doesn't play by itself.

Sid Roth: What was it playing?

Ron Cantor: "Stairway to Heaven", just the end of it where the singer talks.

Sid Roth: This was a best-selling song.

Ron Cantor: It may be the most famous song of all time in rock-n-roll.

Sid Roth: “Stairway to Heaven”. And you had asked if I don't believe in Jesus, I got it.

Ron Cantor: And I'm saying, “God is there a heaven?”, and that shook me. Two days later, a friend of mine - his name is Dean - he drove me back to Richmond. I was actually at that time in the pharmaceutical business, if you understand what I mean.

Sid Roth: You were selling drugs to doctors and pharmacies.

Ron Cantor: Not exactly. Selling drugs, yes; but not - actually what I would do, Sid, is I would buy caffeine pills.

Sid Roth: Oh that kind of pharmaceutical business.

Ron Cantor: And I would tell friends that these caffeine pills were actually speed. Anyways –

Sid Roth: Making some money on the side.

Ron Cantor: Anyway, I wasn't very honest in my business. So I get back home; I get what I needed. And we're driving back to college, and I mention to Dean something about this whole born-again stuff, and he looks at me, and he says, "Well you know what, I used to be a born-again believer in Jesus". I said, "Dean, what do you mean, ‘You used to be’? How do you ‘used to be’? I thought once you do it, you do it".

Sid Roth: Yeah.

Ron Cantor: And he said, "Well at one time I was really living for God". And I said, "Well Dean, what happened? Why wouldn't you? Friends. Peer pressure". But I said, “Dean, I have one question: Back to the fun issue". Because really, Sid, all I cared about was having fun. And if God could not give me as much fun as I could give myself, frankly I wasn't interested. And I said, "Dean, what was your life like when you were living for God?” And he lit up just like Brian the other day. Now I had never seen this before in my life; now, two in a week. His face lights up with joy and he says, "Ron, it was awesome! I used to wake up every day high on God. The presence of God was in my life". I didn't know what the presence of God was, Sid. I didn't know what it meant to feel God. Eighteen years old, for 18 years, 365 days a year, I had never felt God's presence, and now he's telling me about the presence of God. And an amazing thing happened, Sid. As he's talking to me, I begin to feel the presence of God.

Sid Roth: Some of you right now, you don't realize it, but that's the presence of God you’re feeling. As he's saying this, it's like it's going right in through your television into the room you're in, and it's kind of loving you. That's what he's doing right now. Go ahead.

Ron Cantor: So what happened next is he took me to a movie, which was about Jesus, two days later, on Thursday. At the end of the movie I was crying. I'm emotional; I'll cry. I cried at the end of "E.T"., "Old Yeller”; That's me. And I said, “Well it's just a movie.” We get in the car and we're driving home, and I said, "God, I have got to know the truth. I believe you're real. I didn't believe you were real a year ago. But now I believe that there's a God. But I need to know, is Jesus the Jewish Messiah"? And the next thing that happened is Dean lost control of the car. It began to swerve from side to side, started spinning around and around, and flipped over over a couple times into a ditch. Now there we are, Sid. We are upside down in a ditch.

Sid Roth: What happened to the car?

Ron Cantor: It was totaled. That car has never been driven again.

Sid Roth: What happened to you?

Ron Cantor: Not one scratch on either one of us. We get out of the car - literally, if I remember correctly - we had to climb over the car to get out. We walk up to a house, knock on the door. Now remember, Sid, five minutes ago I'm saying, "God, show me the truth. Is Jesus the Messiah? I need to know. I need a sign". The car is wrecked, turned over, and now I'm knocking on the door. And who answers, but two...

Sid Roth: Now wait. What area were you in?

Ron Cantor: We were in rural North Carolina in the middle of nowhere.

Sid Roth: A lot of houses around?

Ron Cantor: A lot of farms separated by miles. We had - the very fact that there was a house there was a miracle. We knock on the door, and two wonderful, beautiful, born-again believers in Jesus answer the door, and they bring me into their house. And of course, Dean is concerned about his car.

Sid Roth: Of course.

Ron Cantor: I was concerned about eternity, and I saw a Bible and a few other magazines. I just, it clued me in on what they believed. And so I began to ask questions. And sure enough, they were Believers. And I asked them this one important question: "If Jesus is the Messiah, the son of God, why didn't he get off the cross and prove it"?

Sid Roth: Hold that. “If Jesus is the Messiah, the son of God”, that's a fair question; of course he could have gotten off that cross and not died that horrible death. Why didn't he just prove that? Good question. We'll pick up when we come back right after this.

Sid Roth: Hello. I'm Sid Roth your investigative reporter, and during the break, God spoke to me and he said that there is someone watching who had pain in their neck, and if you'll move your head, you'll see the pain is gone. Don't thank me. I'm just a reporter, just you know, it's God that's doing that because he loves you. Now let's find out who our guest is next week. Let's go to the control room. Janie Duvall, who's our guest next week?

Janie: Sid, I have a question to ask you. How would you like to travel supernaturally?

Sid Roth: Well I'll tell you, I'm getting a little tired with airplanes, so supernatural sounds good.

Janie: I know. Airplanes are getting there faster, but not fast enough.

Sid Roth: The air isn't so good in these planes. You get stuck on the runway and, oy vey, I'd like to, I'd rather travel supernaturally myself.

Janie: Well the man that you're going to interview has. He's been translated, which means he's been in one place and then 25 miles he would be, it would take him one second to be in that next place.

Sid Roth: Now that's my kind of travel. I can't wait until next week, Janie. Well I'm here with Ron Cantor. And Ron - nice Jewish agnostic - and all of a sudden he's confronted with Jesus as the Jewish Messiah. And he asks a question - and it's a fair question - and his question was, “Look, if this Jesus is the son of God, why didn't he just come off the cross? He had all this power.” I mean, and he thought this was a question that no one was going to be able to answer. What did they say to you?

Ron Cantor: Well she said to me, Sid, "He didn't come to get off the cross. He came to die on the cross". And I said, "Why? It makes no sense to me". And she said, "Well he came with the purpose of basically paying the price for the sin of mankind on the cross". Again, that was just religious language to me. I had no idea what she was talking about. And I said, "Why would he need to pay for my sins? What have I done? I'm a good guy. I help old ladies across the street. All right, I throw beer bottles out the window and I do a few - you know, but I'm a good guy. What have I done that's so bad"? And she began to talk to me about sin. I had never thought of myself as a sinner. But you know, the Bible tells us what sin is. It basically says that we should “…love… God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength”, and I knew I didn't. It said we should “…honor [our] parents”. I was a horrible child. You should have heard some of the things - well you shouldn't hear - some of the things I said to my parents. And it says that we should not commit adultery or even before marriage be doing those things. And I was guilty of that. No stealing, no lying. I had broken those commandments, I don't know, maybe every day of my life. And I never thought of myself as a sinner. But then she began to show me, and I looked at the Ten Commandments, there was not one commandment that I kept. Most people, if you ask them today, you know, “Have you kept the Ten Commandments?”, they'll say, “Well sure, I've kept most of them, some of them, a few of them”, they don't even know what the Ten Commandments are. I had broken all of them. And you know what, if your listeners are honest, they've broken them, too. And she said, "He came - it's basically this, Ron; you were guilty, and you needed to go to the electric chair because of what you did against a Holy God. But as they were chaining you up in that chair and putting those little electrode things on you, Jesus comes - Yeshua comes - and he takes you out and sits down in your place and says, “Ron I love you so much”. He looks you in the eye and he says, “You know what? You are so sweet; you are so special; I love you so much. I don't want you to perish. I don't want you to go to Hell". And it's not just me; it's you. And Sid, it's everyone. And he says, “I’m taking you out of this place of judgment, and I, as the perfect sacrifice, am going to get in and I'm going to take your punishment.” Now I got to be honest with you, Sid, that makes sense to me today, now that I've studied these things out, and I know what the Bible says. But when she said that to me, I was like, “Lady, you are whacked. I don't know what you're talking about”, except that the power of God came all over. Remember, two days before was the first time I even felt God's presence a little bit. But now this, Sid, it was so powerful; it's as powerful as me hitting my hand. I mean, that's how I felt it. And it was undeniable, and it was awesome.

Sid Roth: But here's my question for you, Ron Cantor. You were not that knowledgeable. Let's be candid. You were a Jew. You loved being Jewish, but you were not that knowledgeable about Judaism and Jewish belief. Now I can see how you can have some sort of an experience and believe that Jesus is the Messiah. But the question that I pose to you right now is rabbis; they know more than you. How come they don't believe Jesus is the Jewish Messiah?

Ron Cantor: Well that's a great question, and that's something - a very natural question to ask if you're Jewish. If Ron Cantor is in front of me saying, “I need to believe in Jesus - or Yeshua - as the Jewish Messiah”, the first thing I'm going to say is, “What about the rabbis?” Why doesn't Rabbi Schwartz believe in this? The reason is very simple. You know, the Bible speaks about a blindness that would come upon our people for a period of many days. But that's in Hosea 3, Verses 4 and 5. The listeners can look it up later, and they can go back and check that out. But it says that the Jewish people would go many days and not understand these things. We wouldn't have a prophet or a priest, or a king; but in the last days, we would come trembling back to our King David, the Messiah. Now it's very interesting, Sid. If you're going to trust in the rabbis, you got to look at their track record. You know, if you're going to have someone be an authority on something, we'll see where they’ve come down on other issues. I was studying years ago on a class that I teach called "The Modern History of Israel”, and as I was studying that, I was looking at the whole issue of the State of Israel. There was a guy named Theodor Herzl. You're familiar with him.

Sid Roth: Of course.

Ron Cantor: And a hundred years ago he said there's going to be a Jewish state. He was a secular Jew; not religious, but he realized the only hope for the Jews was to have a state of their own. And he began to organize a world Jewish congress to garnish support for a new Jewish state in the Middle East. How do you think the rabbis reacted to Herzl? Do you think they...

Sid Roth: They should have been excited; they know the Bible.

Ron Cantor: Yes, of course. Theodor, this is in the Bible. We need a Jewish state. But you know that the rabbis of Germany where he was getting all this together, they met together and they came out with a statement condemning Herzl, and warned every Jewish person of Germany to stay away from Theodor Herzl.

Sid Roth: So they missed this big event.

Ron Cantor: They missed. And for the next 50 years, it was the rabbis. There were rabbis in Jerusalem during the war of independence in Israel that were collaborating with the Arabs against the creation of the Jewish state. Sid, if you go to the Middle East today, there's a city called Jerusalem in a state called Israel. In other words, the rabbis were wrong on Israel. Israel is a nation today. How about the Hebrew language? There was another secular Jew named Eliezer Ben-Yehuda, a Lithuanian Jew, who traveled from Lithuania to Jerusalem. On his way there he says to his wife, he says, "You know what, sweetheart, from now on, no more Russian, no more Lithuanian, no more Yiddish; only Hebrew". Now you say, “Okay, I can deal with that”, except for this, Sid; his wife didn't speak Hebrew yet. This guy was a radical, and his goal was to go back to Israel and make Hebrew the language of the new Jewish state.

Sid Roth: How was he received by the rabbis?

Ron Cantor: Oh you would think the rabbis would say, “Oh, you know, Ben-Yehuda, this is wonderful. We're going to speak Hebrew again. It's a dead language you're resurrecting.” They excommunicated him. They said, “You are taking the holy language and using it in an unholy way.” They kicked him out of Judaism. They went throughout Jerusalem with a shofar and they blew it, and they basically banned him from Judaism.

Sid Roth: Do you understand what he's saying? The two most significant events that have occurred to the Jewish people - Israel becoming a modern day nation, which the Jewish scriptures predicted; and Hebrew being spoken in this country - was resisted fiercely by the rabbis. So what about the third most important event? The Jewish Messiah, Jesus; can we trust what the rabbis say, or can we trust what the scriptures say? The scriptures say “There is no other name given unto men in which we must -“ (use to come to know the Messiah), and that is the name “Jesus”, or his Hebrew name, “Yeshua”. Yeshua, the Jewish Messiah.
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