“A Rabbi looks at the last days by Jonathan Bernis is a 233page book that discusses eschatology or as the title simply and clearly says “the last days”.
The first half of the book deals with 6 reasons “we can know the last days are upon us”. The second half deals with “your role in ushering in God’s kingdom”.
Chapter 1 is mainly the authors account of his upbringing and his conversion story and at the end of this chapter he tells of a time when he heard someone speak about “the end times” and what that person said was false. He then goes on to show numerous false predictions by people throughout history who tried to predict “the end time” and the “rapture”. He says that “erroneous predictions have caused many to become disillusioned… In other words they have stopped looking for any signs of the Messiah’s return. And yet, He is coming, and I believe it will be very soon. In the pages ahead, I will tell you how I know.” Pg26
It seems that the author is about to do the very thing he just got done showing was wrong, that is saying the end is coming “very soon”. He may not set a date but this is still the same thing that Harold Camping and others have done. They say the end is near and then try to use the bible and modern events to prove this.
Chapter two starts the first of the six reasons “the last days are near”. The first reason is that “Satan is increasing his attacks on Jews”. The author discusses the Jewish people throughout history and says that the promise given to Abraham that whoever blesses Abraham will be blessed and whoever curses Abraham will be cursed applies today to the Jewish people. Page 35 he says “History shows that God has blessed those who have blessed the Jewish people, and he has cursed those who have cursed the Jewish people”.
The author even makes a starting claim that he even knows the thoughts of Satan on Page 36. Satan, the author tells us, thinks that by destroying the descendants of the seed promise (the Jewish people); the descendants of Abraham, he can keep Genesis 3:15 from coming true. The problem I have with that is Genesis 3:15 is already been fulfilled, Satan was crushed defeated when Christ was crucified and on the third day rose again. So, why would Satan, who is already defeated, be thinking that destroying the Jews today would stop Genesis 3:15 from being fulfilled? The author eventually goes on to tell us that Genesis 3:15 has a second part to it or a dual fulfillment.
The author goes on to say that “it is not possible therefore, to understand that last days without understanding Israel’s role in all this. Israel is central to the return of the Messiah, through both their promised return to their land and their recognition of Him as their promised Messiah. Yeshua will not return until his Jewish brothers cry out, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord’ (Matthew23:39).”
On page 75 the author asks a question. He says “I agree, we are no longer under law. But what does this mean? Does it mean the law has been eradicated? Has the law been done away with, simply erased? Not at all. God has removed the law from our shoulders, from the external, and placed it in our hearts, we now have the power to keep God’s laws through the indwelling of His Holy Spirit.”
It seems as if he wants to say that the Old Covenant laws are still binding on us today but we are empowered to fulfill them by the Spirit. It doesn’t appear that he see a different Covenant with a different law. That fact is that the Old Laws and covenant are fulfilled in Christ and now a new covenant and a new law with a new high priest is in affect today.
He does make a point, which I have never denied, on page 79. He says “Jews do not have to leave there ethnic heritage when they accept Yeshua.” That’s true just like an Irishman doesn’t have to leave their ethnic heritage when they become Christians or any other ethnic background.
It’s not about being Jewish or Greek, or Hispanic, or Irish it’s about following Jesus who transcends all of that, yes he was Jewish and born under the law but in Christ we found the reversal of the tower of Babel where the human family was first split into what we now see and know as ethnic and language groups. We see this reversal in the book of ACTS at Pentecost where the Spirit was poured out on the disciples and everyone heard them in their own language.
At the end of the day, this is nothing more than Left Behind style bible study. Nothing really worth reading.
Do yourself a favor and just skip this book.
Disclosure of Material: I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers/Chosen books book review program, which requires an honest, though not necessarily positive, review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s CFR Title 16, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
James wrote this review Monday, April 15, 2013.