Sid Roth - Yeshua is Appearing to Many Jews NOW!
Sid Roth: You know, it's like 40 years ago was like yesterday. I remember a young, just out of the teens, Jewish believer that stopped at my door, knocked, introduced himself, and he was on his way to Bible college. And so then I said, "Have I got something to say to you"? Anyway so we go back a long time. But Jonathan, for those that aren't that familiar with you, he has a wonderful ministry called, "Jewish Voice," for many years. But those that are not familiar with you, what type of Jewish upbringing did you have?
Jonathan Bernis: Well a very typical Jewish upbringing. It was a reform home, but with the same message that I think Jews our age universally had, which is we don't believe in Jesus. We can believe in anything or nothing.
Sid Roth: Do you know what?
Jonathan Bernis: But Jews don't believe in Jesus.
Sid Roth: I do not believe being told that. I don't remember being told that, but I knew it. It's kind of almost inbred into us.
Jonathan Bernis: It was.
Sid Roth: So what happened?
Jonathan Bernis: Well, I really had two questions from the time that I was very young. My grandfather died suddenly, and we were all kept from the funeral, protected from the funeral. And I remember thinking to myself, "I want to know what happens after you die". I think I was seven years old, Sid. And the other question that I started to ask at a very young age is, why I'm I here? I had a sense of destiny as a child, and I wanted to know what's my purpose. And then what happens after you die? Those were the two questions that just burned in me.
Sid Roth: You know even if people don't have that question burning in them, whether you're Jewish or Gentile, this is inside of you.
Jonathan Bernis: Absolutely.
Sid Roth: What happens when I die? And what's my purpose for this life? There must be something more. Go on.
Jonathan Bernis: I think they're the two dominant questions of life. And we certainly have to answer those before we die. Hopefully, the sooner the better, because I want my life to count. And I know you feel the same way.
Sid Roth: So, I have a...
Jonathan Bernis: And then you do too. You want your life to count.
Sid Roth: How did you transition between being a typical Jew that knows one thing, knows Jews don't believe in Jesus?
Jonathan Bernis: Well, I'll just be totally honest. I was on a search and I heard the gospel in high school through a group called "Young Life". But my immediate response, and it wasn't because Judaism was so important to me, but because I didn't want to be bothered with what I knew were a bunch of legal things I had to follow if I was going to accept Jesus. You know, it's kind of bar room theology. You don't accept Jesus because it means you have to obey all these things that you really, you want to do something different. You know, you don't want to be a, you want to have fun. And I was searching for my purpose and it took me into the cults, the occult. It took me into drugs. And I had a lot of strange experiences.
Sid Roth: Even drug dealing.
Jonathan Bernis: Yes. Well.
Sid Roth: I remember that story.
Jonathan Bernis: True, true, I wasn't going to say that, thanks so much. But yes, a good Jewish boy, and I was searching for truth, got involved in Hare Krishna, and I didn't want to lose the rest of my hair. So I denied full Hare Krishna.
Sid Roth: You had, he had Krishna back then.
Jonathan Bernis: Little bit. But these were all okay for Jewish people. And then a girlfriend that I had done drugs with had an accountant with the Lord. And I saw her on campus and she began to share her testimony. And she got her church praying for me, she got her Bible study praying for me, and would call me every day to talk about, "Why are you here, what's going to happen after you die"? And I really did, I knew what she was doing, and I really wasn't interested in Jesus, anything but. But to appease her, I went to a Bible study. Now looking back, I like to say it this way, "God won't intervene with your free will". You have free will, but God stacks the deck when people are praying. And people were praying for me. And I ended up going to that Bible study. And I don't even remember what was taught in the Bible study, but afterwards I was taken into the living room, and handed a Bible, which I had never read, to be honest. I was Jewish, and we're supposed to—everybody. Christians think we know the Bible. We don't. I had my bar mitzvah, I learned my portion, but I didn't read the Bible. But he began to show me scriptures about separation from God. Typical Romans road, as they call it. All of sin comes short of the glory of God. And then the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus. And I thought, there's the Christian thing. It's not for me, but I did pray a prayer with him, really to appease him. And then I went home to forget it. But I woke up different. Something had changed. I didn't know what it was. I didn't consciously decide, I'm going to follow this way.
Sid Roth: Saying prayer to just appease him. You got the attention of all of heaven.
Jonathan Bernis: There's no question I had. I had actually asked God years before, maybe four or five years earlier in a field in Colorado. "Lord, I'm hearing about Jesus. I, I've been taught He's not our Messiah, but I want to know the truth, show me". And that's all I prayed. I didn't, I didn't know how to pray, but I asked God and He showed me. It took a few years, but He took me back to that experience, and He revealed Himself to me.
Sid Roth: Look, you're a bright person. It's been, what, 45 years?
Jonathan Bernis: 44 years.
Sid Roth: 44 years you're describing. Between you and me, was there ever a time that you thought, "Oh, I made a horrible mistake, Jesus is not our Messiah".
Jonathan Bernis: When I told my parents, their reaction was so negative. First anger, then crying, and how could we have let you go to this group, this "Young Life" group? I felt a lot of guilt when I saw, when I met with the Rabbi, and he told me I was like a Nazi. I really reconsidered my decision.
Sid Roth: So why did you go on?
Jonathan Bernis: I went on a fast. And I talked to the leader of the Bible study that had prayed with me. I told him what was happening. He said fast and read the Word. And God had mercy on me. I fasted one day and I heard a scripture in my head. Just a Bible verse...
Sid Roth: What'd you hear?
Jonathan Bernis: It wasn't the scripture, it was the reference to the scripture, Galatians 5:7. And when I opened it, it said, "You were running well, don't listen to the one hindering you. You believe the truth".
Sid Roth: Hey, you couldn't get better than that.
Jonathan Bernis: I mean, come on. That was a Word from the Lord.
Sid Roth: I went with Rabbi Jonathan to the former Soviet Union, just when the doors opened for religious freedom. It was amazing back then. But we got the surprise of our life. Little did we know that God would make history. Be right back.
Sid Roth: I'm here with Rabbi Jonathan Bernis, and some 30 years ago we were crazy. And Jonathan came, I mean crazy in a good way. We were pretty, we wanted to conquer the world. And he came to me one day and he said, "Sid, I know that I'm supposed to go to Russia". And we talked a little bit and then the two of us decided to go together. But how did you know you were supposed to go to Russia? I mean, that's not something that you wake up one day and you say, "I've always wanted to go to Russia".
Jonathan Bernis: No. It was something that grew over time, beginning with a movie that I saw about Refuseniks. And then every time I heard Russian, I would get emotional. And I really felt I was supposed to visit, but I didn't have any sense that it was to be an ongoing ministry. I just felt I'm supposed to go visit Russia and meet Jews. And I went for six days. And Sid, I led more Jewish people to the Lord in six days than in eight years of full-time ministry. And I knew that God was up to something. And then I began to return. And on the way home, on the flight home, He spoke to me very clearly, "Go to St. Petersburg and reach My people". I was reading Matthew 24:14, where it says, "The gospel must go to every nation, and then the end will come". Of course, we know the gospels to the Jew first. And I heard the Lord say to me distinctly, "Go to St. Petersburg and reach my people," that clearly. And I didn't know what to do. But I went to St. Petersburg and when I got to St. Petersburg, the plan unfolded.
Sid Roth: What was the plan?
Jonathan Bernis: To rent a small hall, about 300 seater hall, and invite musicians and do a music festival and share my testimony. And I didn't know if there'd be, if anyone would come. I drove by this beautiful hall... And I had fantastic...
Sid Roth: Did you know 300 people?
Jonathan Bernis: Well, no. And I got carried away by the time I left St. Petersburg. I had rented a hall but it sat 4,000 people. And then I got home Sid, and to be honest, I had already signed a contract and I thought, what have I done?
Sid Roth: Well, It wasn't very expensive.
Jonathan Bernis: I could say—
Sid Roth: It wasn't very expensive, was it?
Jonathan Bernis: It was about $850 a night for a 4,000 seater hall.
Sid Roth: You didn't have that kind of money.
Jonathan Bernis: I didn't have that money. And Sid, I'd like to say, I really moved out in faith. I was obedient to go to St. Petersburg. But when I came home, and I had already committed myself, I really had the doubts. And I thought, what have I done?
Sid Roth: Is that why you invited me to go?
Jonathan Bernis: Of course! Blame it on Sid was my thinking, you know, if it doesn't work out, Sid's fault. And Sid, honestly, we were together not knowing if anybody would come.
Sid Roth: No.
Jonathan Bernis: Then I was really uncomfortable. I was going through a lot of doubt. And the enemy was working me over saying, Sid will be angry, all the musicians will be angry. All this is a waste of time. Believers were telling me no one's going to come. And really, I didn't know if anyone would come. Two hours before the concert, the hall was completely full. They had to shut the doors, and there was a crowd outside waiting to get almost this large.
Sid Roth: I have to tell you, I found it unbelievable. He doesn't know anyone. He runs a few ads. He rents something way beyond his ability to pay. And it's too big to fill, but it was filled to over capacity.
Jonathan Bernis: It was just a... it shocked me. And I'll just say one other thing. I didn't have the money to do it. And out of the clear blue in prayer, I got a phone call from somebody I had never met saying, "I just started a foundation, I want to help you. Send me a budget". Which I didn't have. I had to create one on the spot.
Sid Roth: I know about that.
Jonathan Bernis: But it's just, it's God's faithfulness. If you step out in faith when God shows you, look how he responds.
Sid Roth: But you know how you spell faith, don't you? R-I-S-K, risk. And Jonathan was a risk taker. So it fills up, we rotated, you spoke the night. I spoke the next night, but I saw something that I'd never seen with my eyes. I don't believe anyone in any generation ever saw this happen with their eyes. Even, I don't read this in the New Testament, this ever happened. When you gave an invitation, what was the reaction of the people?
Jonathan Bernis: Well, let me just say the reaction while I was speaking even though it was dark, was very, there was no reaction, really. People were very stoic and stone faced.
Sid Roth: They were never taught how you react at a meeting like that you know, they had no paradigm.
Jonathan Bernis: But I gave an altar call and just, this was part of history. It really was. It was just totally supernatural. I'd say almost the entire hall, probably 90% of the people stood up. I mean, just came rushing forward.
Sid Roth: Excuse me. I don't want you to miss that. Have you ever seen an altar call where people don't just casually walk in, walk up shyly, but run to the front? I mean, I saw this with my very eyes.
Jonathan Bernis: I remember the aisles being packed. People were actually pushing to get forward. And then I noticed people like were crying. People had their hands raised. They were really receptive. About 4,000 people in the hall, and about 3,000 of them were standing in front of the stage. How could that happen?
Sid Roth: And then the next night Jonathan, packed again, and I spoke. The same thing happened. These were the hungriest people for the Messiah on earth, it looked like to me. I'd never heard of this, never.
Jonathan Bernis: And then we did something else. We actually collected follow up cards to follow up.
Sid Roth: I remember.
Jonathan Bernis: And here's people that are terrified of giving their names. And we ended up with 3,600 people to follow up, Jews, 3,600 Jews that said, "I want to know more. I want to be part of a congregation". It was totally unexpected.
Sid Roth: Long story short, he looks for someone to take over a congregation that is packed with Jewish people that know nothing about the Messiah. And then God shows him, "You are the one". He actually relocates, moves there, spends a number of years there. These were in tough days. These were in days when you had to stand in line to get food. They were very tough days. How many congregations were started?
Jonathan Bernis: Well, you don't need me to tell the story.
Sid Roth: I know it.
Jonathan Bernis: You know it better than I do. Well, that led to a move to Russia, which was really an act of faith because it was very unexpected. I was praying for someone to come and do the follow-up and lead the congregation. And in the mirror, I was shaving and the Lord said, "I've called you". After I cleaned the blood off, but I ended up going, and it was a remarkable time. We started the congregation with over 400 people, Jewish people, and that led to future festivals in all the major cities of the former Soviet Union.
Sid Roth: Well, what is the biggest number of Jewish people that came to the Lord in that entire season when you did festivals?
Jonathan Bernis: 30,000 in one outreach in Odessa.
Sid Roth: Did you hear that?
Jonathan Bernis: We filled a football stadium.
Sid Roth: 30,000 Jewish people came to the Lord. Now get this, Rabbi Jonathan has the same feeling about Los Angeles, California as he had about Russia. And Messiah is now appearing to Jewish nonbelievers in Los Angeles.
Sid Roth: Jonathan, I remember just a short while ago, you started talking to me all of a sudden about California and Los Angeles. What help, fast forward today.
Jonathan Bernis: Right.
Sid Roth: What are you doing in Los Angeles?
Jonathan Bernis: Well, this has been a vision for 25 years. And right before Covid, the Lord said, "It's time".
Sid Roth: Oh, I didn't that know that.
Jonathan Bernis: Now why right before Covid? Because we are really at a critical time in history. We're going to see the greatest outpouring the world's ever seen. In L.A Sid, is the third largest Jewish community in the world. Over a million Jewish people, lots of Israelis, many undocumented. L.A. is a center of influence. And started the congregation, and it's been very difficult, it's tough ground. But one of the most encouraging things I've seen is two young women in their twenties have had an experience with the Lord that isn't the result of anyone sharing with them. Jesus appeared to them in human form. I'm talking about divine visitations. I've never seen it in 45 years.
Sid Roth: I have heard of this happening in the Muslim community, of which I'm very grateful. However, I haven't heard of this sort of thing happening in the Jewish community. It might have, but both of us conferred, we haven't heard of it till now. But they say others are having this same, other Jews...
Jonathan Bernis: Their friends are having experiences also. Now just understand, these are girls that sought us out in their twenties, Jewish who found us. We didn't go after them, they found us. And in one case, during Covid, and she persevered till she made contact with us, because, and she wasn't searching. She had given up on everything. And Jesus comes into her room, not a dream, not a vision, a divine encounter with Jesus, with Yeshua. And she knew that it was Him right away, and she's on fire for the Lord. They both are. And when I said, "Who shared with you"? They looked at me like, "What do you mean"? I said, "Well, did you read the Bible"? "No". "Who shared with you"? "Nobody". I heard Jesus came to you and I said, that's very unusual.
Sid Roth: It is? But the thing that struck me is, you told me that they know other people it's happening to that are Jews.
Jonathan Bernis: Yes. Their friends are experiencing supernatural encounters with the Lord. I didn't go into the details, but they just said, "I've been sharing with other friends and they're having similar experiences".
Sid Roth: This is...
Jonathan Bernis: Jewish young people.
Sid Roth: This is the set time to favor Zion. This is the set time for Jewish people to come to know our Messiah. The body is incomplete without Gentiles knowing the Messiah and being this new species of being with God living inside of you. And then it's incomplete without Jews knowing the Messiah and having the Creator of the universe live inside of you. Whether you're Jewish or Gentile, now is your set time to know the Messiah. Simple prayer. I prayed a two word prayer. Jesus help. And I opened the door to know the truth and the truth set me free. The truth set Jonathan free, and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free. First step, Jesus I want You to be real to me. Your own words. I want You to live inside of me. I believe in Judaism without the shedding of blood, this is Torah. There's no forgiveness of sin. None. This is in the New Testament too. There's none righteous. No, not one. In Psalms King David said, not one righteous on earth. The only righteousness is when someone is perfect, sinless, that will die in your place. And because He pays the price for your mistakes, God says, I'll remember your sins no more. And then He lives inside of you. And then you don't have to say, I hope I believe, I want to believe. He's living inside of you. Say this quick prayer out loud, very important, repeat after me. Dear God, I've made many mistakes. I believe Messiah Jesus died for my mistakes. And by His blood, my sins are removed and I'm clean. And now that I'm clean, as Torah says, the Word will come and live inside of me. The Word is Messiah. Messiah, live inside of me. Thank You for paying the price for my sins. Thank You for being my Lord. I've run my life myself, now I want to go Your way. I've done it my way, now I want to do it Your way. If you said that prayer and meant it, then you start reading the Bible, especially the New Covenant right now. And you'll know the truth. You will!