Arthur Barlis: A Jewish Doctor Who Met the Great Physician
I was born in 1939 in Providence, Rhode Island. Our neighborhood was almost entirely Jewish, and our home somewhat traditional. As I grew, my goal was to be a doctor and help people. Although I was fearful of God, I also believed He was helping me accomplish my goals. In the mid-1960’s I entered the field of ophthalmology, got married and had three sons.
My family became very active in synagogue life. I was elected president of the congregation. I had hoped the rabbi would help me understand who God was. Each week I would hope for a spiritual breakthrough, but would leave with no clearer understanding of God than when I had arrived.
When my marriage ended in 1984, I needed answers. An acquaintance of mine soon became an important part of my life. Bettye explained that she had given her life to God” when she was eight years old. Soon she was praying for me faithfully.
One day we drove by the building that had once housed the synagogue of which I’d been president. I noticed a sign: Ohr Chadash, Messianic Congregation. Early in January, 1988, I entered the once-familiar door with trepidation and excitement. That night, I had a dream or a vision about Yeshua. I saw Jesus at the foot of my bed. He told me that I needed to read the Gospels.
I wanted to find out more about “messianic Jews,” so Bettye and I attended a convention of messianic congregations in Denver. One of the speakers provided an opportunity for people to confess their faith in Yeshua publicly. I literally leapt out of my seat to do so. Bettye’s prayers for me had been answered.