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Latin Times Interview with Jerusalem’s Puerto Rican Jew Luden Centeno

LT: Shalom thank you, thank you for joining us today from Jerusalem in Israel. Tell us a bit about your family and your family history, where you come from.

Luden: Well I was born in Philly in 1956, my parents are Puerto Rican, my mother was born in Vega Baja and my father was born in Arecibo Puerto Rico and I was born in Philly at the age of 4 years old, we were taken back to Puerto Rico and I was 6 ½ and returned to New York City. All my family is from Puerto Rico, my grandmother, my great-grandmother and all the descendants that basically came from Spain, you know we talk about History and if you about the history of Puerto Rico, Spain had ruled over PR until the American Civil war with Spain and America and basically we are descendants of those Spaniards who left Spain and came to Puerto Rico

LT: So, tell us about Being a Puerto Rican in Israel and what you are doing in Israel?

Luden: That’s a great question, I can say that looking back at history and what I have discovered about many Puerto Ricans who are basically descendants of Jews forced to convert to Catholicism. So we have to go back to Christopher Columbus who basically was a Jew and they say he was catholic but if you look at history, his records and recordings, it says that when he was navigating throughout the new world, most of his writings were in Hebrew, he practiced Shabbat which we just celebrate from Friday evening to Saturday evening. Sefardic Jews were basically expelled from Spain and in 1492 guess what happened? Christopher Columbus was commissioned to come to the new world and those ships he brought Jews from Spain and they landed in Puerto Rico and throughout the Caribbean.  I discovered that our names are registered in a book called el Libro Verde de Aragon, anybody can check it out, they have Jewish history from Spain because the catholic maintains records of all the family names that were forced to convert to Catholicism and it happens to be that my fathers’ name which is Centeno and my mother’s family name is Perez and this is how I discovered we were Jews forced to convert to Catholicism and mind you I was living in Florida from 2002-2004 and I get this awakening in my soul that I needed to come to Israel. Well I didn’t want to come to Israel because I never spoke in Israeli, and didn’t know anything that had to do with Jewish history or about Israel. I was working with a newspaper in Melbourne Florida, I had just applied for a new position in the marketing department, and I wanted to do television. I was already on palm bay radio, and I got in touch with a super channel in Orlando, they asked for a tape of me speaking and I gave it to them, when low and behold, they gave me a spot for 28 minutes but then I heard a voice from heaven telling me No, to forget that and go to Israel, and I’m thinking I’m not going to Israel! I don’t have anything there, at least I don’t think I do. So, I went on a 40 day liquid fast and decided to pray, seeking direction. I needed to know who I was going to meet and where I needed to go, and I needed to deal with things Like my mortgage, etc… So, I said to Hashem, blessed be his name, “You need to get me out of this contract if you want me to go and apply to Israel.” So, I called who I needed to call and within a few weeks they released me from my contract. So I got in touch with the Israeli military about a program called Sorel where you go and volunteer to the army, and I met them in Orlando, and they said yes well get back to you in a couple of weeks and they said, “Yes, we’d like to have you as a volunteer.”  I then saw a sign on my laptop, then a hand, an angel, and a cross at the hotel when I got to Jerusalem in 2004, When I was in the military in Israel, there was guy from Norway that I didn’t really know, and he said, well I’m going to Jerusalem, and when he said that, that’s all I needed to hear because I needed to go to the wall to see the vision that I saw on my computer to see in fact if that was correct or not. So, he took me to the wall and I said come back in a couple of hours, low and behold after walking back and forth I saw that vision again and realize that that’s why I was called. Interesting enough as I was in Jerusalem after a couple of days , I walked in a store and a gentleman who is now my friend Benjamin, from Holland, he says to me, Let me see if you’re a Jew or a Converso “Murano” from Spain, I did not know the term or terminology of that word.

LT: So, when you went to Israel, what happened when you stepped foot on Israel…?

Luden: Well when I got off the plane, when I walked down the steps, I got down on my knees and kissed the ground because I knew I was Home.

LT: Wow, that’s Beautiful… So how long have you been in Israel?

Luden: On October 30th, it will be 15 years, but in 2004 – 2009 I was traveling back and Forth, but I was always here in Israel. Presently I’ve been here 8 years without leaving Israel, it’s been kind of sort of preparation time, I’ve been prepared to speak on what I currently speak on and that is terror against Israel.

LT: Tell us about the things that are portrayed in the media versus the actual when it comes to terror the things that are going on in Israel

Luden: Well basically if your spiritually minded, and you’re a so-called believer and believes in Hashem, the God of Israel, then you know what the word says. If open the book of psalms 83 and what’s happening currently today in Israel. How do I know this? I was in Haifa back when Saddam Hussein was in power and he was firing his missiles into Haifa when I happened to be there with a friend of mine. I heard a rabbi talk about psalm 83 and that Psalm awaked my soul and I’ve been speaking on that forever. It says in the next verse “Because your enemies are in uproar, and those who hate you have lifted up their heads. They plot together, they consult in one accord, they conspire against those who are sheltered by God blessed by his name, because we are his firstborn, and the next verse: Let us cut them off from being a nation that the name of Israel be in remembrance no more.” So, we see what’s happening as I speak there in the Gaza strip – all those terrorist factions that are operating there in the Gaza strip. They have fired over 1700 rockets into Israel, they have been protesting for the last 3 months or so on the Gaza/Israeli border they have tried to breach the fence to basically destroy it and they are sending incendiary kites and they have burned 7000 acres of our land where we basically do crops that feed Israel and possibly feed them and it’s a continued effect. I was here when Bush sent Rice to speak to Ariel Sharon and said you need to disengage 10,000 families from Gush Atif, right next to the Gaza border and they have taken control.

LT: I’m glad you shared all of that, people need to know the truth of what’s going on over there, the truth of history now so we talked a little bit of how you learned of your heritage being from the Sephardic Jews from Spain. Can you share with us what the future holds for these people and is there going to be a great awakening in the Latino communities of their true heritage?

Luden: Actually, that’s a great question but we have to go back to the book of Obadiah, its only one chapter and it says “He will l bring them from Sefarad. From Spain.’ We understand that we were dispersed so we have to go back into history and we were dispersed to Europe new Americas to Portugal to Mexico and all these places that we were dispersed, Yemen, morocco, Iran, Iraq, in all these countries. even though presently I don’t believe there are that many Jews in Iraq but there are still man in Iran I believe there is about 30 to 40k Jews there that may be directly descendants of those Sephardic Jews because Maimonides, left Spain and he basically went into Egypt, so we had been displaced because of the so-called antisemitism against the Jews but there is an awakening as we speak it says that the Jews from Sefarad those who were, but you have to remember that they were scattered from Sefarad, In Spain if you were a Jew that converted to Catholicism and they found out that you were practicing Judaism in secret, they would take you to the dungeon and persecute and kill you. I was looking at the numbers a couple of day ago before our Shabbat, the day of the destruction of temple, the numbers that I saw about 300,000 Jews were killed in Spain because they practiced Judaism in secret and they were caught. So the Negev right here in Israel, it’s about 2 ½ maybe 3 hours from me, has to be inherited by all those Latino Jews, and they will be awakened. So, the time is now, and when I go speak abroad I always talk about checking your roots and how you need to find out who your ancestors were because there might be a possibility your one of us! If you are, we want to welcome you home. So, the government in Israel is looking what options they can do. But the problem that I see is, with the Israeli government, the orthodox Jews have a lot of control over the Israeli government, and in order for you to come as a Jew under the law of return, you have to do a conversion to Judaism and that mean you have to deny Yeshua as your Messiah, there is ways to doing things that people don’t have to know what you’re doing, or the way you do it, so that window is always open because we are living in prophetic times and then Negev has to be inherited by the Jews forced to Catholicism, dispersed or left Spain in 1492.

LT: So that’s a lot of history that people don’t know about and I truly believe that an awakening is coming in a revival sense to the Latino Hispanic communities as well. Tell us a little about your testimony and about your relationship with the Lord from then up to now.

LC: I was raised in NY then I left to Philly to become a police officer but, unfortunately my step father was a millionaire who was a horse trainer had clubs in PR, so, my mother met him in Puerto Rico and they decided to go to new York, but he was basically dealing with the mafia producing heroin to sell in Manhattan, so as a young child I used to sit at the table with him and he used to prepare the heroin, I used to see the junkies come to the house, and go to the bathroom while my father would shoot him up with the heroin in the veins, and that stood in the back of mind, someday I want to try this. So, when I was 17 I left NY, family was living in Philly, and I said I need to try Heroin, so I had my first taste of heroin at 17 or 18 years old if I remember correctly. It was just a matter of time that the devil wanted to possess my young soul and took a hold of me at 24. I became a police officer in Philly but I still under the influence that I needed to do heroin. So I started dealing with the wrong people in my circle and even though my grandma prayed I became addicted to heroin and at one point or another I was shooting up to 66 bags of heroin a day, mixing with cocaine and drinking methadone, I was selling 90 kilos of cocaine a month dealing with the Dominican mafia, and this is all documented in the Philadelphia federal court where my brothers was, and the so-called friends that we thought were friends. So all of them were indicted but, when Hashem has a plan for you to be a voice in the wilderness he makes a way. So all my friends and my brother’s name were mentioned and indicted, my name was not mentioned in that indictment, so I believe that this was a plan of the holy one in Israel, and blessed be his name. So I kept dealing when they came and arrested all of them, I knew where the money was so I took the money and kept shooting up heroin and to make this short one night I went to my heroin and two men came up to me, put a gun to my head with a woman next to me, and they were going to kill me that night when a man out of nowhere appeared and told those two men and woman “This is not who you’re looking for, let him go” The scales of my eyes opened up and I knew that is was God calling me. I was sick and needed my heroin, I finally made it back to my grandma’s house went to a half-way house and after 3 days of detoxing, I asked the nurse if she could get me a bible and I got on my knees and started to pray. This is when the real awakening of my soul took place, and then from there I spent 28 days and went to New York for 3 months with my brother. I eventually got involved with the Assemblies of God. I spent 2 years in prayer and seeking God. When I got back to Philly, I became an ordained minister and now behold, here I am in Jerusalem.

LT: Wow, that is a tremendous testimony, so did you know Nicki Cruz by chance?

Luden: I didn’t meet him personally but I read who he was and what he did with Wilkerson? When he met him and there’s a famous book called the blade and the cross and that’s an interesting book that’s how David Wilkerson began the 13-challenge program.

LT: So, tell us some of the projects your working on currently and some of the ministries your working as well

Luden: So basically, I’ve dedicated myself to speak on terror against Israel. I’m on top of the news everyday with anything has to do with terrorist related events. I put it on my website, anyone can visit: I have spoken on CNN on Turkish German tv, Dubai tv, I’m telling the world this is the land that was allotted to the Jews by God. We don’t have a problem with the Arabs living here only if they follow the rule of love. Yet we are surrounded by many enemies occupying our land. They need to be cleared, I don’t have a problem with the Arabs, but when it comes to the safety and security of my daughter and my son, who are Jews born right here in Jerusalem, then I’m going to continue to be that voice. We must tell the world the real facts that we are living in prophetic times, if your living a so-called happy-go-lucky message gospel life then I need to tell you that many of that are afflictions and if you don’t know that you need to read the word.

LT: It interesting because there was an urgency, when trump was elected right away to build the third temple and asking the united states assistance for that What is your take on that?

LC: Let me be real here, because I know a little about the temple institute here in Jerusalem, let me tell you the facts, the temple institute has been training the ‘Cohen’ Levites on how to worship in the temple, they have made all the utensils for the third temple they have made the crown for the city Moshe, to sit in the seat of the temple, they have done everything precisely according to the Torah so everything is already fulfilled, we are just waiting for that given time and day for when the false prophet is going to come and bring the false peace, and I just mentioned East Jerusalem, I’m not saying that Donald Trump is, but we rather have Donald Trump than Hillary Clinton or Obama, because they hate Israel.

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