They Thought For Themselves, Chapter 10
The Amazing Jewish Book and the God-Shaped Hole in My Soul
by Manny Brotman (in the picture below is Manny Brotman and Sandra Sheskin Brotman)
And ye shall seek Me, and find Me, when ye shall search for Me with all your heart (Jeremiah 29:13, emphasis added).
One does not have to live too many years before he discovers that within himself there exists a certain emptiness, a void or vacuum that the things of this world can never fill. Neither money nor sex, travel, fame, drugs, titles, possessions or any other human accomplishment can fill this emptiness.
I call this vacuum, “the God-shaped hole in my soul.” I eventually discovered that this particular void is reserved only for the Creator of the Universe, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, Himself—to live in each of us personally.
Here, then, is the story of my personal search through religion, academics, sports, business, and the media; my discovery of the Bible—the amazing Jewish book; my coming to understand how to have a personal relationship with God; and my experiencing His abundant life.
I tried religion. I had a wonderful religion—Judaism. Both of my parents were Jewish. I attended a Conservative synagogue. I was born a Jew, and I would die a Jew! But, somehow, even in the synagogue, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob seemed to be so far away. I didn’t feel that I could live my whole life for only religion.
I tried academics. I had honors in scholarship both in high school and college. But, I could not live my life only for a string of doctorate degrees after my name.
I excelled in sports. In Philadelphia, I was quarterback of the championship high school football team and pitcher for the winning city baseball team. I had awards in basketball and table tennis. But, I couldn’t live only for athletic accomplishments and the friends they brought.
I tried the business world. I worked my way up from production control, to vice president’s assistant, and, eventually, to corporate president. I had a lovely ranch home in a modern Jewish community. Our company had a twin-engine aircraft and a pilot who flew me and the executives who worked for me wherever we wanted to go. But, still, I couldn’t live my life only for business accomplishments.
And, then, I experienced the media. I was Chairman of the Board of Fourth Television Network. We provided programming to 500 cable franchises. For a number of years, I produced and hosted a nationally syndicated daily radio show aired on 22 stations. I have been interviewed on numerous national television and radio programs across the United States, Canada, and the Middle East, which were broadcast to millions of people. But, even being involved with the media could not be the ultimate purpose of my life. There had to be something more.
During the course of my lifetime, I have been privileged to experience many things that other people would like to experience, and have not been able to. But, the accomplishments described above, and other things that I have experienced and have not written about, could never fill that God-shaped hole within me.
One day at the Fairmount Park Recreation Center in Philadelphia, before I had experienced most of the things I have described above, I met George Gruen, a Jewish Bible believer. George and his wife, Doris, lived their lives on a higher plane than anyone I had ever met. They had true joy, peace, happiness, and a genuine love for me and others. I wondered what made these people so different.
George was a coach of baseball and basketball teams. Since I loved sports so much, I wanted to participate. Along with the competition, George conducted Bible studies from the Jewish Scriptures for all participating team members. For the first time in my life, I seriously considered the credentials and the message of the Jewish Bible.
The Credentials Of The Amazing Jewish Bible
Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to Thy Word …. Thy Word have I hidden in mine heart, that I might not sin against Thee (Psalm 119:9,11).
First of all, I discovered that the Jewish Bible is historically accurate when checked against other existing historical records. And, in some cases, it gives the only sensible account for certain periods of time when no other historical records are available.
Then, the Jewish Scriptures are geographically reliable and have been confirmed many times over by archaeologists who use the Bible as a “road map” to locate buried cities and historical artifacts. Israeli military leaders sometimes use ancient battle routes and follow battle strategies found in the Tanakh (Jewish Scriptures) in modern-day warfare against Israel’s enemies.
Most amazingly, the Jewish Bible specifically foretold the future with 100% accuracy in every instance. The Hebrew Scriptures prophesied of:
1) The re-establishment of the State of Israel
In Isaiah 11:12, God said:
And He shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.
God said that He would make Israel like an “ensign” (in Hebrew, “a miraculous flag or banner”) for the world to see. And the manner in which He would do it would be to regather the Jewish people from the four corners of the earth after almost 2,000 years of worldwide dispersion.
On May 14, 1948, Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion stood in Tel Aviv’s Museum Hall and proclaimed the Statehood of Israel. A nation was born in a single day exactly as the Bible prophesied over 2,700 years ago (Isaiah 66:8)!
2) The restoration of Hebrew, “the pure language”
In Zephaniah 3:9, it is written,
For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the Name of the Lord, to serve Him with one consent.
Israel is a “melting pot” of Jewish people from more than a hundred nations of the world; and, yet, they all learn to speak biblical Hebrew with modern Hebrew words added. One may wonder why Hebrew is called a “pure” language in the Bible. That is because there are no words of vulgarity or profanity in biblical Hebrew!
Never before in the history of mankind have an ancient people been scattered across the face of the earth for almost 2,000 years and later restored to their own land with their own ancient national language. How did the Jewish prophet Zephaniah know that would happen?
3) The miraculous defeat of Israel’s enemies in four major wars
Isaiah 19:16,17 predicts the miraculous victories of modern Israel over her enemies, which occurred in 1948 (War of Independence), 1956 (Sinai War), 1967 (Six Day War), and 1973 (Yom Kippur War):
In that day shall Egypt be like unto women: and it shall be afraid and fear because of the shaking of the hand of the Lord of hosts …. And the land of Judah shall be a terror unto Egypt … because of the counsel of the Lord of hosts, which He hath determined against it.
During the four major wars, Israel’s small population of several million Jews had to defend itself time after time against the growing Arab League of 20 nations (now 21 nations) with a population at that time of approximately 140 million Arabs. Israel was outnumbered 5 to 1 in soldiers, 3 to 1 in enemy aircraft and tanks, 8 to 1 in artillery and 18 to 1 in missiles. Israel’s military budget paled to insignificance when contrasted against the tens of billions of petro-dollars Israel’s enemies spent for Israel’s destruction. And yet, Israel, even though out-manned, out-gunned, and out-financed, has won war after war against insurmountable odds. There is no answer but God Himself, Who foretold in the Bible this would happen.
Here are three brief examples of the exciting miracles God performed on behalf of Israel:
A Jewish tour guide testified: “During the war, my men and I were trapped in a mine field. The mines started blowing up all around us. All of a sudden, a little whirlwind of sand appeared and led me and my men through the mine field to safety!”
An Israeli wrote me: “I was down in the battlefield and saw on the hilltop a man completely dressed in white helping our soldiers from foxhole to foxhole. Whenever the man lifted his arms up towards heaven, the battle always went in the favor of our Israeli troops. I gave my binoculars to my General to get a better look. He, too, saw the man in white, who then disappeared in front of our eyes!”
A reporter told me that his father (also a reporter) was on the Golan Heights after the Israelis captured it. His father asked the Syrian soldiers, “Why did you retreat from the few Jewish soldiers that first came up?” They replied, “You must be mistaken! We did not see a few Jewish soldiers. We saw hundreds of them!”
Whom did these Syrian soldiers see? Did they see the angels of God? Could it be that once again God is sending His angels to fight for His Jewish people, and putting a fear in the hearts of Israel’s enemies according to Isaiah’s prophecy?
4) Agricultural miracles would occur when the Jews returned to Israel
In Isaiah 35:1, it says,
The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose.
When the Jewish people returned to Israel from the four corners of the earth, they found malaria-ridden swamps and parched, barren deserts. The nomads who occupied the land for centuries were not the “children” of the deserts, rather they were the “fathers” of it. They contributed nothing to restore the land; but, rather, through their negligence, it had gotten worse. When the Jews returned to their homeland, an agricultural transformation began to take place as prophesied by Isaiah.
When I lived in Chicago, I was able to buy luscious oranges from Israel. In Miami, I could buy tomato juice from Tel Aviv. And, then, in the Washington, D.C. area where I live, I can purchase beautiful fresh-cut flowers from Israel. One only has to visit the famous Carmel Market in Tel Aviv to see the fantastically huge citrus and produce that Israel grows.
The Scripture says, “the desert shall … blossom as the rose.” The most important cut flowers that are exported from Israel are roses! The tiny nation of Israel is number three in the world for exporting cut flowers—valued at $140 million a year—with the majority going to Europe. How’s that for a dry, parched, barren desert?
Bananas, a warm climate fruit, are grown in the Jordan Valley with excellent results, while just five miles away, apples, a cold climate fruit, also yield a top-quality crop. I have witnessed this marvel with my own eyes.
In the short existence of modern-day Israel, it is already part of a select group of nations that not only produces enough food for its own citizens, but exports 20% of its total agricultural products to other countries of the world! Israel also exports its agricultural technology and “know-how” to third-world countries as well as to highly developed countries in Europe and to the United States.
Israel is the most water-efficient country in the world, regulating and controlling alternative water resources such as recycled water from industry and sewage from the domestic sector! Using integrated computerized control of irrigation and fertilization systems in a substantial percentage of Israeli field crops and horticulture minimizes labor costs and maximizes the best possible conditions for the crops.
In a special station in Israel’s Negev Desert, using desert methods and techniques of irrigation, salty water is pumped from the depths of the Negev with unsurpassed results in producing the best tasting and highest quality tomatoes to be found anywhere! Eggplant, yellow melons, potatoes, pears, and table grapes are also watered with this salty water and harvested in the Negev Desert. Once our Jewish people returned to the land, Isaiah’s prophecies about flowers in the desert and Israel’s agriculture proved to be right on target!
5) Israel’s waste cities would be rebuilt
The Prophet Amos wrote in Amos 9:14,
And I will bring back the captivity of My people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them.
Since 1948, the Jews have built their nation with one hand, and with the other have held their weapons! Despite defending itself in four major wars; caring for the transportation, housing, language-training, employment, and education of millions of immigrants from over a hundred nations; forming a government; and developing an infrastructure, Israel has managed to build and finance a modern nation of which it can be proud!
What once were “waste cities” are now expanding modern cities and ports such as Jerusalem, Tel Aviv-Jaffa, Haifa and many others. Since its independence, Israel has had a non-stop building program and is reclaiming the desert at such a rate that its map-makers have a hard time staying current. Israel has not only excelled in agriculture, but also in its technology, universities, sciences, defense, medicine, resorts, and much more. The State of Israel is exactly what the Bible said it would be!
6) The Jews would return to Israel from the land of the North (Russia)
Jeremiah 16:14,15 (and also 23:7,8) tell about Exodus Two:
Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that it shall no more be said, The Lord liveth, that brought up the Children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; but, the Lord liveth, that brought up the Children of Israel from the land of the north ….
If you were to fly north from Jerusalem, you would eventually come to Moscow. The former Soviet Union (especially Russia) contains the only sizable Jewish population north of Israel that could fit this prophecy. It is estimated that there are from two and one-half million (pure-blooded Jews) to ten million (intermarried and “closet” Jews) in the former USSR.
Whatever the numbers, well over a million Russian Jews have already immigrated to Israel in recent years. The majority of these immigrants are highly trained educators, physicians, engineers, and musicians who are infusing Israel with a windfall of intelligent professionals “from the land of the North,” exactly as the Jewish Scriptures said it would happen over 2,600 years ago!
Is it any wonder why I call it “The Amazing Jewish Bible?” If one ancient prophecy from the Jewish Scriptures came true, we could call it “luck.” If two prophecies came true, one could call it “a lucky coincidence.” If three prophecies came true, we could say “what a remarkable lucky coincidence!” But, when prophecy after prophecy after prophecy comes true as specifically prophesied, by the sheer law of compound probabilities, we have passed from the realms of luck and coincidence; and God has given us a sure word of prophecy that we can live by and upon which we can base our decisions!
I and millions of others have concluded that the Jewish Bible is the most corroborated, authenticated document in the world. Yes, the Bible is confirmed by history, archeology, geography, prophecy, and the Dead Sea Scrolls. And, most of all, it works in the lives of those who sincerely put it to the test. I can verify this by my own experience. This kind of evidence does demand a verdict. What should we do about it?
I thought it was fascinating that God fulfilled Bible prophecy; but, I wanted to know how that related to me. What was God’s plan for me personally?
The Message Of The Jewish Bible
Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool (Isaiah 1:18).
As I searched the Jewish Scriptures, I discovered that God’s plan to have my sins forgiven and to enter into a personal relationship with Him could be summarized in five spiritual principles. I call these “The Five Jewish Laws.” In other words, just as the Creator has well-defined physical laws (such as gravity, centrifugal force, and inertia) that govern the operation of the universe, so He has well-defined spiritual laws that govern our relationship with Him. Here are these laws:
Law 1 tells of God’s PURPOSE …
… God created you and me to have a personal relationship with Himself, and, as a result of that relationship, to enjoy His abundant life!
Nothing gives God greater pleasure than when you and I choose to have a personal relationship with Him out of our own free will!
The Lord hath made every thing for His purpose [His own pleasure] … (Proverbs 16:4).
A personal relationship with God will bring you His abundant life of peace, purpose, meaning, joy, and happiness.
At thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore (Psalms 16:11).
This is a wonderful life to have, isn’t it? But most people don’t seem to be experiencing this abundant life today. Why not? This brings us to Law 2.
Law 2 reveals man’s PROBLEM …
… Sin separates you from a personal relationship with God and His abundant life. Sin also causes spiritual death.
But your iniquities [your sins] have separated between you and your God … (Isaiah 59:2).
The soul that sinneth, it shall die [spiritual death] (Ezekiel 18:4).
Sin also causes guilt, unhappiness, lack of peace, frustration, and a lack of purpose. What is sin? It is the transgression or breaking of God’s law. Part of “The Shema,” (Deuteronomy 6:5) says:
And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
If we do not love God with all of our heart, soul, and might, then we have broken the most important and First Commandment, and have sinned. If we put anything before God such as self, material possessions, sex, money, drugs, or anything else, then we have made idols of those things and have committed idolatry. If we hate somebody in our hearts, then we are murderers. If we lust in our hearts, then we are adulterers. If we steal, kill, lie, covet, work on the Sabbath, or dishonor our parents, then we have broken the Ten Commandments. Actually, our rabbis and scholars tell us that there are 613 Commandments in the Tenach that we should all keep.
Who can keep all of these Commandments? None of us! First Kings 8:46 says,
For there is no man that sinneth not ….
As I studied the Jewish Scriptures, I realized that both knowingly and unknowingly, I had broken countless Commandments of God and that I had to turn from these sins with God’s help. Ezekiel 33:11 quotes the Lord God:
As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked [unforgiven]; but that the wicked [unforgiven] turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil [sinful] ways; for why will ye die, O House of Israel?
I realized that I had sinned and needed God’s help. Are you willing to admit that you too have sinned and need God’s help? That brings us to Law 3.
Law 3 explains God’s PLAN …
… A) You cannot remove sin by your own human efforts.
None of us can get to Heaven by keeping the Ten Commandments (the law). By the law is the knowledge of sin. God’s law is so pure and perfect that it is His ruler or measurement to show us, as human beings, how far short we fall of God’s glory and holiness. Without the law, we would not even know how sinful we are.
Man’s plan is to try to remove his own sins by his own human efforts. These efforts may include religion (man’s attempts to reach God) or just plain being “a do-gooder,” hoping that one’s good deeds outweigh one’s bad deeds to attain self-righteousness. In Proverbs 14:12, it says,
There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death [spiritual separation from God]!
Again, the Creator who has put a hundred billion galaxies in space in perfect mathematical and chronological precision is not sloppy when it comes to His spiritual laws. If one does not obey God’s precise spiritual laws as revealed and confirmed in His Word, one cannot achieve God’s required righteousness (right-standing with God).
… B) Sin can only be removed by faith—believing what God says and acting upon it.
Righteousness comes by faith. Genesis 15:6 says,
And he [Abraham, the Father of the Jewish People] believed [had faith] in the Lord; and He [God] counted it [Abraham’s faith] to him for righteousness.
Righteousness with God does not come by our good works (mitzvot). For by God’s grace—something that we don’t deserve—are you and I forgiven through faith. It is not of ourselves. It is the gift of God, not of our human works, unless any of us should boast and say that we deserve it.
… C) Faith must be placed in God’s provided blood of atonement (“covering” for sin).
If one has spiritual faith in the sense that the Bible describes, then God requires an act of faith acceptable to Him. Leviticus 17:11 says,
For it is the blood that maketh an atonement [covering] for the soul.
When The Temple was in existence and the lamb was sacrificed on the altar providing the blood of atonement, this was an act of faith acceptable to God! But, since The Temple is no longer in existence, and the sacrificial system has ceased, how can we have the blood of atonement today by an act of faith? That brings us to Law 4.
Law 4 shows God’s PROVISION …
… God has provided the blood of atonement today through a Perfect Sacrifice, One whom the Jewish Bible calls “The Messiah.” The word “Messiah” means “The Anointed One.”
Isaiah 53:56 says:
But He was wounded through our transgressions [rebellions], bruised through our iniquities [moral evils]: the chastisement [punishment] of our peace [welfare] was upon Him; and with His wounds [stripes, blood] we are healed [atoned for]. All we like sheep have gone astray [sinned]; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath caused the iniquity of us all to fall upon Him [the Messiah].
In the life of Abel (Adam and Eve’s son), we see how God provided atonement for one person (Genesis 4:4).
On Passover, we see God’s atonement for a family (Exodus 12:13).
On Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, we see God’s provision for a nation (Leviticus 16:30).
And, in the Messiah, we see atonement for all who believe (have faith) in Him as their personal perfect Passover Lamb (Isaiah 53).
But, the critical question is, “How can we know who is the true Jewish Messiah?”
In the Scriptures, God gives over 300 prophecies that clearly identify the Messiah. According to the law of compound probabilities, there is only one chance in 33,554,432 that even 25 of these prophecies could be fulfilled by a single person.
Whoever has fulfilled the following prophecies is the true Messiah of Israel. The Messiah would:
be born in Bethlehem of Judah (Micah 5:1,2).
be born of a virgin as a miracle sign to the Jewish people (Isaiah 7:14). The Hebrew word for virgin used in Isaiah 7:14 is “almah.” This is translated in some versions of the Bible as “maiden” or “young woman.” However, in the Jewish Scriptures, when “almah” is used and read in context, it is almost always clear that it refers to “a virgin.” Furthermore, God promised Israel “a sign.” It would not be a sign for a normal young maiden to bear a child. It would be a sign if a virgin gave birth to a child by the hand of God.
Please note that the Hebrew name of this Child, Immanuel, means, “God with us.” This shows His unusual nature. Some stumble at this prophecy because of their lack of faith. God, who put the universe in place, could have easily had a virgin bear a child. Besides, what is that compared to God’s marvelous creation of a human being!
be despised and rejected of men (Isaiah 53:3).
live a sinless life (Isaiah 53:9).
be betrayed for 30 pieces of silver (Zechariah 11:12,13).
die for the sins of the Jewish people and the whole world (Isaiah 53:5,6,8).
die by crucifixion (Psalm 22:1418; Zechariah 12:10).
have his clothing gambled for at the time of His death (Psalm 22:18,19).
come before the destruction of the Second Temple (A.D. 70) (Daniel 9:2426).
arise from the dead (Psalm 16:10; 110:1).
Only one man in history has fulfilled these prophecies. He has changed the calendar and the course of history; and millions of Jews and Gentiles have trusted Him for their personal atonement. His Hebrew name is Yeshua, which means, “salvation.” To my non-Jewish friends He is known as “Jesus,” which was originally translated from the Greek as Je’sus (hay-SOOS) Christos (CHRIS-tose), and was later anglicized as “Jesus, The Christ,” which means, “Salvation, The Messiah”!
When you meet God’s requirements concerning Messiah Yeshua, you do not lose your wonderful biblical Jewish heritage; rather, you complete your Judaism by gaining the blood of atonement, gaining the Messiah, and gaining an infinitely more personal relationship with the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob!
However, it is not enough for you just to know intellectually that Yeshua is the Messiah. An act of faith is needed to receive the Messiah’s blood of atonement and to enter into God’s abundant life. That brings us to Law 5.
Law 5 gives man’s PREROGATIVE (a free will choice) …
… You need to ask Messiah Yeshua into your heart and life in order to have the blood of atonement and a personal relationship with God, and to enjoy His abundant life. The Messiah will not force His way into your life; He desires to be invited.
Joel 3:5 (2:32 in some versions) states,
Whosoever shall call on the Name of the Lord shall be delivered [saved]!
“Salvation” means “deliverance” from sin’s penalty (separation from God), sin’s power (over you), and, someday, from sin’s presence (eternal life)!
When one asks Messiah Yeshua into his heart and life, that person will receive His atonement and eternal life. As one grows in Him spiritually, he will experience personal peace, joy, happiness, guidance, meaning, purpose, and much more than one could ever imagine.
I Found The Abundant Jewish Life
I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly (Messiah Yeshua in John 10:10, KJV).
As I studied the prophecies which identified the Messiah, I knew in my heart that only one man in all of history fulfilled them; and He was Yeshua of Nazareth.
Yeshua was born of a virgin in Bethlehem. He lived a sinless life. No one ever found even one sin in Him. History testified that He healed the sick by giving sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, speech to the dumb, walking to the lame, and cleansing to the lepers. He even raised people from the dead! He was despised and rejected by jealous leaders. He was betrayed for thirty pieces of silver. He died by crucifixion for the sins of the Jewish people and for the whole world. Those who crucified Him gambled for His garments. And He died before the destruction of the Second Temple.
The Prophet Daniel wrote that after the “Anointed One” (the Messiah) would be “cut off” (murdered), a Prince would come and destroy the city (Jerusalem) and the Sanctuary (The Temple). After Yeshua’s death, Prince Titus and the Roman Legions destroyed the city of Jerusalem and the Second Temple in A.D. 70, exactly as Daniel prophesied. Since the Levitical sacrificial system was no longer available, it meant that God had now provided once and for all time a perfect atonement through the blood of Messiah Yeshua—for all who would believe (Daniel 9:2426)!
Yeshua also arose from the dead as King David prophesied. Flavius Josephus, the primary Jewish and Roman historian of that time, wrote in his Antiquities of the Jews:
Now, there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call Him a man, for He was a doer of wonderful works—a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure …. He was The Messiah; and, when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned Him to the cross, those that loved Him at the first did not forsake Him, for He appeared to them alive again the third day [to over 500 Jewish witnesses], as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning Him! (Antiquities, Section 18, Chapter 3, Paragraphs 1-3, italics added).
Here I was, faced with a dilemma. How could I as a Jew accept Yeshua? Would that make me become a “goy,” a “Gentile?” George Gruen pointed out to me that the hope of the Messiah was not of Gentile origin, but of Jewish origin. It came from the Jewish Bible, and even today observant Jews recite from Moses Maimonides’ Thirteen Principles of the Jewish Faith, “I believe with perfect faith in the coming of the Messiah; and though He tarry, I will wait daily for His coming!” The question was not whether accepting Messiah was a “Jewish thing” to do—it definitely was—but, rather, who is the Jewish Messiah? I had no doubt about who fulfilled all those prophecies!
Besides, accepting a Jewish Messiah out of a Jewish Bible and having the Jewish blood of atonement was a very Jewish thing to do. It did sound very kosher!
Then, one day, in the privacy of my home, I got on my knees and prayed:
Dear Heavenly Father, I know that I have sinned against You and I ask Your forgiveness. Messiah Yeshua, please come into my heart and life, cleanse me with Your precious blood of atonement and make me a child of God. Thank You for doing this according to Your Word. Amen!
When I prayed that prayer, the lights in my room did not flicker. An angel did not knock on my door with a telegram from God. But the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob came closer than my hands or my breath, and I found a peace that passed all understanding and a joy unspeakable and full of glory!
Since that day in Philadelphia, over 40 years ago, the Messiah has not left me. He is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. Everything that God has promised in His Word has come true—love, peace, joy, forgiveness, happiness, guidance, purpose, and so much more! My mother, Ethel, my sisters, Rose and Joyce, and a number of my relatives and friends also invited the Messiah into their lives!
At the age of nineteen, I married Audrey Yvonne Kitchen. When Audrey was only six years old, she contracted Bulbar Polio, the most deadly of the three types of Polio. She was completely paralyzed from her neck down to the soles of her feet. She could not move her arms, hands or legs. She couldn’t even swallow her saliva.
Her parents were not yet believers in Yeshua; but, her grandparents were strong Bible believers, and volumes of prayer ascended to the Throne of God. God reversed the incurable Bulbar Polio and completely healed Audrey! The doctor said it was a miracle! He said there was no way he could explain her recovery medically.
God graciously extended her life another 44 years. Audrey, who hadn’t even been able to swallow her own saliva, was given a lovely singing voice to glorify God. She led a very active life as a wife, a mother of two sons, and an outstanding business administrator. We were married for almost 28 years before Audrey went home to heaven.
In the fullness of God’s time, the Lord brought Sandra Frances Sheskin, a beautiful Jewish woman, into my life. Sandra is a first-generation American, born of Jewish immigrant parents from Poland and was raised in a practicing Orthodox Jewish home. Most of her family members, from both sides, were murdered by the Nazis.
Prior to our marriage, Sandra was the main public spokesperson for the United States government on the History and Heritage of the National Emblem of the U.S.A., The Great Seal of the United States. In that position, Sandra was directly responsible to the Office of the President.
Sandra is a Messianic concert singer and recording artist, having shared her love for Israel and her Messiah from Jerusalem to The White House and around the world and before as many as a million people “live.” Together, we have been very involved in bringing our Jewish people out of Russia back to Israel, combating anti-Semitism worldwide, and teaching the Jewish Scriptures.
Today, there are tens of thousands of Messianic Jews and hundreds of Messianic Jewish synagogues and congregations where Jewish believers worship, with at least 40 such congregations and fellowships in Israel. Each year, thousands of Bible believers attend Messianic Jewish conferences. What a joy to be involved in this end-time Messianic Jewish spiritual awakening that God promised our people in Hosea 3:5,
Afterward shall the Children of Israel return, and seek the Lord their God, and David their king [referring to the Messiah]; and shall fear the Lord and His goodness in the latter days.
There are so many more wonderful things that the Messiah has done in our lives—answers to prayer, miracles of provision, healings of illnesses, supernatural guidance, and much, much more. It would take volumes to write about it.
I cannot encourage you enough to invite Messiah Yeshua into your heart and life.
O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in Him (Psalm 34:9, verse 8 in some versions).
Whosoever shall call on the Name of the Lord shall be delivered [saved] (Joel 3:5).
Here is how to invite Messiah Yeshua into your heart and life as an act of faith to receive His blood of atonement:
1) Pray Prayer is just talking to God in your own words.
2) Confess Acknowledge to God that you have sinned—broken His Commandments—and that you are truly sorry for it.
3) Ask and Receive Ask Messiah Yeshua to come into your heart and life and to cleanse you with His blood of atonement.
4) Believe Thank Him by faith for doing this!
Some people have emotional experiences when they invite the Messiah into their life, and others do not. Just thank Him for coming into your heart, not based on human feelings, but on the authority of the Jewish Bible. This is an act of faith acceptable to God!
Here is a sample prayer:
Dear God, I confess that I have sinned against You and I’m truly sorry for it. Messiah Yeshua, please come into my heart and life and cleanse me with Your precious blood of atonement. Thank You for doing this according to Your Word. I’ll do anything You want me to, with Your help. I really mean it, Lord! In Your Name, Amen!
Does this prayer express the desire of your heart? If it does, pray it right now, and the Messiah will enter your life as He promised to in God’s Word. (You can take a moment right now and pray this prayer out loud.)
Did you invite Messiah Yeshua into your life? Did you really mean it? Then, where is Yeshua according to the Bible? God’s Word says:
Behold, I stand at the door [of your heart and life], and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door [of his heart and life], I will come in to him, and will sup [fellowship] with him, and he with Me (Messiah Yeshua in Revelation 3:20, KJV).
Either God is the world’s greatest liar, or Messiah Yeshua is in your heart right now if you prayed to receive Him!
God is not a man, that He should lie; neither the son of man, that He should repent: hath He said, and shall He not do it? Or hath He spoken, and shall He not make it good? (Numbers 23:19).
The moment that you asked Messiah Yeshua into your heart and life as an act of faith, God began to do many wonderful things for you including the following:
1) Your sins were atoned for (covered, forgiven)!
2) You received righteousness (right-standing with God) by faith!
3) You entered into a personal relationship with God and became a child of God!
4) You received eternal life!
5) God’s Holy Spirit (Ruach ha Kodesh) entered your life to lead you and guide you!
6) You began the abundant life and the exciting adventure for which God created you—to know God and to make Him known!
(If you did not yet ask Messiah Yeshua into your life, ask Him to come in right now and these wonderful blessings will be yours, too!)
Here’s how to grow in God’s abundant life:
1) Confess any future sins to God and ask His help to overcome them.
2) Pray to God in the Name of His Son (Yeshua) and praise (thank) Him much.
3) Read God’s Word (the Bible) once or more every day. Just as you have three square physical meals daily, you need regular spiritual meals. Before you read, pray for God to show you the truth as you read. He is the Author. It is His Book.
4) Memorize as many Bible verses as you can. (Start with the verses in this chapter.)
5) Fellowship at least weekly with other Bible believers.
After trying the best the world has to offer and now walking with the Messiah for more than 40 years, I can honestly say there is nothing that satisfies like knowing God in a personal, intimate way.
Commentary by Sid Roth
Many people say to me, “You have been a Jewish believer in Jesus for more than 30 years. Do you still believe in ‘Him’ as fervently as you did in the beginning? Don’t you doubt the experience you had almost a quarter of a century ago? Don’t you think you imagined it?”
If that were my only experience, I would have probably stopped following the Messiah many years ago. But my faith is based on two things: the Spirit of God and the Word of God.
First, the Spirit of God literally lives inside of me. As I am writing to you, I feel His presence. It’s like rivers of living water flowing through my body. It’s wonderful. I have never been high on drugs or drunk on alcohol, but I can’t imagine any high that could come close to what I am experiencing now. I know God is with me all the time. I have seen sickness leave when I say His Name. I have spoken in a language I had never even heard previously, let alone learned, and led a man to know Jesus. I have what the Bible calls a peace that passes human understanding. So when someone asks me, “Don’t you think you should forget about this Jesus stuff?” I respond, “It’s too late. I’ve already experienced Him. I know Him!”
Second, my faith is based on the prophecies in the Jewish Scriptures. Most of God’s predictions about His Jewish people have already come to pass. We can have full confidence that the remaining prophecies will come true as well.
The Scriptures tell about an event that will cause the prophetic time clock to accelerate. Jeremiah says there will be a large exodus of Jews from the land of the north (north of Israel is the former Soviet Union, Jeremiah 16:15). Once this happens, the Jewish people in all the nations of the world will return. The prophet Ezekiel says not one will be left in the Diaspora (Ezekiel 39:28).
Isaiah says the Jews from China will return to Israel as a sign of the last days (Isaiah 49:12, Sinim is Hebrew for China). Most people have never heard of Chinese Jews. But I have been to Kaifeng, China and met many Chinese Jews who are in the process of returning to Israel.
How will God cause an American Jew to return to Israel? After all, we would not only have to give up our American lifestyle, we would have to face the unique dangers of living in Israel as well.
Jeremiah 16:16 answers this question. First, there will be a season of mercy. “Fishermen” will gently tell the Jewish people that the floods are coming and the only ark of safety will be in the loving arms of Messiah.
But those who do not heed the warning will become victims of the “hunters.” Past generations have seen these hunters: Pharaoh, Haman, Stalin, and Hitler. The only place a Jew will be able to find refuge from the new hunters will be in Israel.
Even so, the Bible says all nations will turn against Israel in the last days (Zechariah 14:2). Two-thirds of the Jewish people will perish (Zechariah 13:8). When no hope is left, the Messiah will fight for Israel (Zechariah 14:3). The nation will repent (Zechariah 12:10) and be cleansed of sin (Zechariah 13:1).
You have two choices: Either come to know the Messiah now and fulfill your destiny by becoming a champion for God, or believe in Him at the last great battle when He rescues us from destruction. The only problem with the latter choice is most of the Jewish people will perish before the great rescue. I believe most of the American Jews will not recognize the American, anti-Semitic deathtrap until it is too late. That was our fate in Hitler’s Germany. And death without forgiveness of sin results in eternal separation from God, with no chance of reversal.
If you are not Jewish, your decision becomes even more critical. As you know, the first followers of Jesus were all Jewish! If you wanted to follow Jesus, the requirement was to convert to traditional Judaism. After Peter had a revelation from God, it was decided a Gentile could believe in Jesus without converting to Judaism. The flood gates were opened and even more Gentiles than Jews followed the Jewish Messiah. But Jesus said in Luke 21:24 that when Jerusalem was in Jewish hands, it would signify the end of the Gentile age.
Jerusalem is in Jewish possession. We are at the end of the Gentile age. Multitudes of Gentiles will still be swept into His kingdom, but those who resist will harden their hearts and their love will grow cold.
Time is running short! Some reading this book will be alive during the apocalyptic disasters predicted in the Bible. Others might die tonight. You don’t know when your end will come. Now is the only moment you have for sure. Make it count.
After you have prayed to make the Messiah your Lord or if you have any questions send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org