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40 Jewish Rabbis Turn to Yeshua [Jesus] in Jerusalem

by Jim Bramlett

Barbara Richmond has kept this amazing incident very private but now feels led to share her miraculous experience in Jerusalem in 1995 involving a group of rabbis.

There is no doubt that Barbara is a totally reliable witness. She is the Director of Women's Ministries at a solid Central Florida church with which I am familiar. I know her pastor. She is a popular Bible teacher, speaker, seminar leader, author and radio host.

In September 1995, Barbara led a group on a tour of Israel, as she frequently does. On their free day, with no scheduled activities, she went with several of her group for shopping into the Old City of Jerusalem. Her friends were in some shops and Barbara was waiting for them outside on one of the narrow old streets. She says, "It was a beautiful afternoon and I was leaning against one of the old stone walls, just kind of praying in the Spirit, and enjoying where I was."

Suddenly, over her left shoulder, she heard a man's voice call, "Barbara." She turned to look, but didn't see anyone she recognized. The only male on that little street was a man she described as "in full black attire, big beard, curls on the side" — an Orthodox rabbi. She thought to herself that he could not have been the one to say her name because they do not even speak to women in public. In fact, she avoided eye contact as she knew this sometimes offended them. She turned back, thinking maybe she had been mistaken.

A few seconds later, she again heard the voice say, "Barbara—isn't that your name?" She looked again, and discovered the rabbi was looking right at her. "Don't be afraid," he said. "Come here." She moved toward him. He told Barbara his first name and said, "I live here in this neighborhood. I wanted to tell you that I am a believer that Yeshua is the Messiah. As a matter of fact, there are 40 of us rabbis in the community to whom, as we have been studying the Torah, the Ruach ha 'kodesh (the Holy Spirit) has shown that Yeshua is the Messiah."

Barbara's heart was so moved by this unusual work of the Holy Spirit that she broke into tears. The rabbi added, "At present we are secret believers, not because we are afraid, but because the Lord, the Holy Spirit, has not told us to speak out our testimony yet. The Lord has told us to pray for our brethren, so we are meeting at midnight, and we are praying."

Barbara asked the obvious question, "But how did you know me? Why are you telling me this?"

The rabbi chuckled, and replied, "I don't know you. But last night we were praying, and one of the other rabbis came over to me. He put his hand on my shoulder, and said to me, 'Tomorrow afternoon at 2 o'clock, you go to (name of street she was on), and you will see there an American woman with black hair. Her name is Barbara. Give her this message.'"

The rabbi then gave Barbara the message. He said, "The Lord wants you to know that what was spoken over you 26 years ago, He is about to bring to pass."

Barbara was stunned, and overwhelmed with emotion. Only her husband knew that exactly 26 years ago, in 1969, as a new believer of only three months, she had gone to a Full Gospel Businessmen's meeting in New York City where Kathryn Kuhlman, the evangelist with a powerful healing ministry, was one of the main speakers. Barbara had only a momentary personal encounter with her, but Kuhlman pointed her long finger directly at Barbara, as she often did with people, and spoke these prophetic words: "The Lord is going to take you to the nations and is going to do miracles at your hands, but you are going to have to wait a few years to see it come to pass." Barbara had never forgotten this.

He added, "The other thing that the Holy Spirit told this brother is that when you get home from this trip, you will have a letter from Africa waiting for you, inviting you to minister there, and you should go. It is the Lord who is opening this door, and it will be a turning point in your life."

Before they departed, the rabbi asked, "What do you do?" Barbara explained that she was a Bible teacher. He replied, "Oh, would you be interested in just some simple notes that I have accumulated since I have come to see Yeshua?" She said yes, of course, and he later had delivered to Barbara's hotel a collection of handwritten notes of Hebrew and cultural insights into the New Testament, unique insights not evident in the English or Greek words themselves. Barbara considers these notes a treasure, and is sharing them (see below *).

Upon leaving, the rabbi told her, "When our testimony becomes public, I am sure we will see each other again."

When Barbara got back home to the U.S., a letter from Africa was waiting for her! It was an invitation to speak, which she obviously accepted. She reports that miracles did, indeed, take place there, and that it was definitely a turning point in her life. Barbara says there are people who know nothing about her Jerusalem experience who have come up to her and said, "Something really changed in Africa. We enjoyed your teaching before, but this is just a totally different plane."

Barbara has been to Israel since, but has not seen the rabbi, nor has she revealed his name, honoring his request.

I was most touched by Barbara's closing thoughts: "My prayer is that (this testimony) will cause people to realize the lateness of the hour. When God moves sovereignly like that among the Jewish people (revealing the Messiah and manifesting gifts of the Holy Spirit described in the New Testament) -- and among the most religious of them -- the coming of Jesus is getting close! I pray that everybody who hears this will be taken up with the urgency of the hour."

(Comment: One wonders to how many more rabbis than the 40 had the Ruach ha'kodesh [the Holy Spirit] revealed the Messiah by 1995, and how many more since then. Only He knows, but He has greatly privileged us to be aware of at least this much about what He is doing.)

** UPDATE on the rabbi. A communication from the rabbi to Barbara in late 1997 revealed the stunning news that several hundred Hasidic Jews in Jerusalem now believe that Yeshua is the Messiah! Praise His name! The rabbi says to please pray for them, as when their numbers reach about 50 percent they plan to go public, which could cause great repercussions.

On a related subject: on July 4, 2000, Barbara Richmond [the author of the above message], sent me an e-mail message that read:

Dear Jim,

A few years ago at a meeting of Christian Zionists, an Israeli guest called to the platform and asked to say a few words. When she took the microphone, she stunned the audience with a powerfully brief message: She said only three words and went back to her seat. "Make me jealous!"

In Romans 11:11 Paul wrote:

I say then, have they [the Jews] stumbled that they should fall? Certainly not! But rather, through their fall salvation has come to the Gentiles, so as to provoke them to jealousy.

The Mighty One of Israel is calling to his church in this hour to: "Make my people jealous."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

About 3 years after the above, Barbara Richmond left the Christian faith and joined a Jewish synagogue. She had to renounce her Christian faith to become a member of the synagogue. She now lives in Israel.

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Jim Meletiou
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