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My Testimony of Personal Salvation

By Bruce Neiger

Neiger

I was raised in a Jewish home and never knew anything about Jesus, His teachings or His ministry on earth. To me, He was an interesting historical figure on the same order as Confucius or Buddha. I attended Mt. Zion Temple and completed confirmation classes after 10th grade. My family could best be classified as minimally observant reformed Jews.

At the age of 15, I was severely injured when the car in which I was riding lost control and hit a tree. It was February of 1962, and a blizzard condition made for treacherous roads. I flew head-first through the windshield and landed, hip-first, on the hard-packed ice and snow the plows leave at the roadside. I sustained a fracture and dislocation injury to my right hip. Over the ensuing months I was diagnosed with avascular necrosis, an extremely painful and progressive condition resulting from the loss of blood supply to the ball and socket portion of my hip joint.

After leaving the hospital that same year, I went to synagogue to face people and to seek God's answer as to why this had happened to me. I was in so much physical pain all the time I could hardly bear it. Some very well-meaning people said to me, "God must have known you could handle this." I'm sure they were trying to encourage me. However, the enemy of my soul twisted their message with an evil lie. What I thought I heard them saying was, "God wanted this to happen to you!"

As a result, I turned away from God in emotional hurt, anger and righteous indignation that day. I rebelled against God and my own sense of morality squandering my spiritual inheritance in the process. For the next 19 years I endured not only physical pain, but the emotional pain and spiritual emptiness of living separated from the Lord. I tried everything the world has to offer to kill that pain; drugs, sex, the EST training, even having my tarot cards read; but nothing in the world was sufficient to bring me relief or peace.

Although I enjoyed material rewards, and was deemed successful in the eyes of my friends and family, I found no lasting joy or satisfaction in any of my worldly accomplishments. The natural result of my rebellious, addictive lifestyle was three ruined marriage relationships, and a spiraling vortex of shame and self-degradation which would have ultimately cost me my life. However, God, in His grace and loving-kindness, sought to rescue me from myself. He gently and patiently led me through a series of recovery groups and spiritual awakenings until, finally, on July 27, 1997, He saw I was ready for the final glorious step. I was invited to a Doug Stanton revival meeting at Church of the Resurrection.

Initially, the worship music started ministering to my heart, softening it toward God. Then Doug preached from Ephesians 1, saying I had been "Blessed with every spiritual blessing in heavenly places in Christ." And then He followed with; "He chose us in Him, before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will." God used these passages of scripture to further prepare my heart. At the end of the meeting an altar-call took place and I went forward with everyone else. While standing in line across the front of the sanctuary, I followed along with dozens of other people as Doug led the congregation in reciting the sinner's prayer. I had no clue as to the spiritual significance of the words I had just repeated. Then Doug went down the lines of people laying hands on each one in turn and saying, "Christ in you, the hope of glory." I was telling myself, "When he touches me nothing is going to happen." Was I ever wrong! The instant Doug touched me I was filled with the Holy Spirit and fell to the floor. Thankfully, there was someone there to catch me. I spent the next several minutes crying in repentance and then laughing until my abdominal muscles ached in the manifest joy of the Holy Spirit. Obviously, nothing like that had ever happened to me before. People told me I was "Born again". As we were leaving, a man named Ken Davis asked to speak with me. He said that he had had a vision about four nights prior to that meeting and in his vision, a man came to the church and was "saved". He then told me that when he arrived at the church and saw me, that he recognized me as the man from his vision. God must have known I would be skeptical, at first, so He gave me confirmation concerning the reality of my spiritual rebirth in the form of Ken's vision. Thank You, Lord! Ken noticed I didn't have a bible, so he graciously offered me his. I went home and read the Gospel of John chapters 1-3 and learned what it means to be "born again".

Immediately after that night, the emotional pain caused by my long separation from God, was lifted off of me, and I felt whole again. I received peace from the burden of guilt and shame I had carried for so long. I was gradually delivered from my addictive lifestyle; I couldn't read the same books or listen to the same music anymore. More importantly, I now had a hunger and thirst for the Lord and His word, which seemed unquenchable then, and has lasted to this day. Truly I was changed in the instant when I was "born again".

Prior to being saved and baptized in the Holy Spirit, if I opened the bible, the words were gibberish to me. That very night, however, I found I could read, comprehend, and feel life and revelation coming from the pages of the bible. Every night for months, if not years thereafter, I fell asleep and awoke with worship and praise songs running through my mind. Suddenly I couldn't listen to anything but Christian music on my car radio; I had to throw away my high-tech radar detector; my manner of speaking changed (less crude); I couldn't tell the same old jokes anymore; and I began to minister to patients in my medical practice, as the Holy Spirit showed me their woundedness as it related to their medical symptoms.

If that weren't enough, I was also given occasional words of knowledge and/or wisdom, along with the ability to utter prophetic prayers and recall scriptures which would minister healing and deliverance to people.

On the second night after I became born again, God sent me a wonderful word delivered by a woman I had never met. First she totally "read my mail" and then she proceeded to tell me that God wanted me to know that, even though I was now 50 years old and had just learned the truth of my spiritual identity in Christ, that I "could learn as much in the next 6 months as many older Christians had learned in 20 years." Since God isn't a man that He should lie, that is exactly what happened! He downloaded to me about 20 years of understanding and scriptural foundation in the next 6 months. I can't list all the changes I experienced since the night I was saved, filled with the Holy Spirit, and delivered all in one incredible stroke of my Father's hand.

Then, in 1998, I received the following prophetic words from Doug Stanton: "That which I have planted within you, it's budding; I can see that it's budding. And, my son, I know you feel anxious because of the times in which you live. But your faith has given you a measure of peace. Don't run ahead of your peace; don't race ahead of your peace."

I was so uplifted to know that my Father in heaven knew me, and was interested in my welfare. I had received proof that God was the "author and perfector" of my faith. I didn't have to earn it; He gave me a measure of faith by His grace. I began to understand that faith comes by hearing and trusting in the word of God.

As I studied God's word, and exercised my faith, I could feel it growing and welling up inside me. It seemed as if every time I began to question or doubt, God would give additional confirmation and reassurance. Also in 1998, I visited Israel, and the Lord used that trip to confirm the integrity and authenticity of His word. I began to hear about, and witness, many signs, wonders and miracles as God began to move in the local church community. I attended several prophetic and healing conferences, received anointed teaching from my messianic Rabbi, and my faith continued to mature.

Eventually, I felt God's call and started to look for a way to transition out of my medical career and into ministry. When disaster struck and I had some seemingly horrible complications from hip-replacement surgery in 2002, God turned my negative circumstances to good, thereby answering my prayers, by providing me with a way to attend Bible College at Heart for the Nations. Not only that, but my faith allowed me to have incredible peace and trust in God, despite my physical sufferings. I have learned that faith is having a confident trust in God; that faith as small as a tiny seed can produce huge results; and that faith ushers in the Kingdom of God here on Earth. I have learned I must put my trust in God because, as creator of the universe, He is the only one who can deliver on His promises. It says in Heb 1: 3 that "God upholds the universe by the word of His power". Therefore, my faith is not in my faith, but in God's integrity.

In 2005, I graduated from Heart for the Nations with a degree in Biblical Studies. I had arranged with Rabbi Ed Rothman to do an internship at The Seed of Abraham. At the exact same time that my internship ended and I became a licensed minister, the Associate Pastor at the Seed of Abraham announced that she was leaving for personal reasons. The leaders met and asked me to stay on and serve the congregation as a "Rabbi-in-training". I agreed, and after 15 months, I was ordained as the Associate Messianic Rabbi. That was September, 2006, and I continue as the Associate Messianic Rabbi to this day.

I thank God that His plan for this stage of my life was beyond what I could think or imagine. I have such peace now, believing I am living out my destiny in Yeshua my Messiah, Savior, and friend. Praise God!! Amen.

 
 

 

 
   
   
   
 

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