Sunday, May 21, 2023

Enemies of the Gospel for your sakes

What do these three have in common? Learn more:

by Donna Diorio

* this post has been updated to clarify 3 facts. 

May 20, 2023: I want to first make note of this passage so every Christian knows the tight rope we walk in pursuing God's purposes for the Jewish nation. Romans 11: 26-28 spells it out perfectly and we find ourselves in that emotionally complex path to walk out in God's full pleasure with our choices.
     First the promise of God to Israel is, (v.26) And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: “The deliverer will come from Zion; He will remove godlessness from Jacob."
     Using the name Jacob instead of Israel is purposeful because it represents Jacob before he was transformed into a man of God, Israel. It was more than God simply renaming him, God saved Jacob by turning him into a man of God. That what the difficulties in Jacob’s life and the wrestling with "the Man" all night long. Until “the Man” touched Jacob's thigh, broke his strength and in humbling Jacob, then God was able to change Jacob’s name to Israel. When God takes away the veil from all unsaved Jews today, represented by the name of Jacob, then the Man, Yeshua, will remove godlessness from all Israel.
     Verse 27 says: "And this is My covenant with them when I take away their sins.”
     BUT WE CANNOT FORGET THE CURRENT STATE OF ISRAEL AND ALL UNSAVED JEWS AT THIS POINT: verse 28 "Regarding the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes; but regarding election, they are loved on account of the patriarchs."
     This reality is the one that is so emotionally difficult to navigate and the less we have been transformed into the spiritual likeness of Jesus, the less we are able to navigate the reality of keeping our heart like God's for the Jewish people while at the same time not dismissing the reality that they are often INTENSE enemies of the Gospel.  
    The second part of that is “enemies of the Gospel for your sakes.” Obviously, the setting aside of God’s “Chosen People” in order to make a way for all the nations to be brought into relationship with God by faith in Jesus is a major part of understanding that phrase “for your sakes.” But there is a secondary meaning that kicks in right now in our time, as God is bringing Jew and Gentile into a oneness in the faith of Yeshua/Jesus, that will bring everything God desires from us all to fruition. (Eph 2:15)

     In our day we are moving deeper and deeper into this reality that unsaved Jews are “enemies of the Gospel” and as Christians we are going to face their final challenge of how to keep that in balance with the fact that God loves the Jews, chose the Jews and desires that “all Israel shall be saved.”  As Christians, we have certainly failed that challenge time and time again as history is littered with Christian mistreatment of the Jewish people.
     It is not just the Holocaust because Jews have been chased out of just about every nation they fled to after exile from Israel. In fact, God says through the prophet Zechariah, (1:14-15) ‘I am very jealous for Jerusalem and Zion, 15 but I am fiercely angry with the nations that are at ease. For I was a little angry, but they (the nations) have multiplied their (the Jews) distress/affliction/adversity.’
     Many Christians do not know the facts about Christian mistreatment of Jews over the past 2,000 years, so God, I believe is giving a final challenge to the international body of Christ to finally get it right, meaning finding the balance between God’s heart and the still current reality of Jews being "enemies of the Gospel for your sakes." This is part of the “fullness” (maturing) of the Church before “all Israel” is saved. (Romans 11:25)
      This week I have personally faced that challenge once again because two pieces of information I learned. One is concerning the controversial religious zealot in Netanyahu’s government, Ben Givr, whom I wrote about in my Arrows from Zion last week.
     The second piece of information, which I find quite ironic in light of all the things I just laid out about Christian mistreatment of Jews in the last 2,000 years, is hearing that several days ago Dr. Michael Brown, the Messianic Jew who wrote, “Our Hands Are Stained With Blood” chronicling the distressing Christian mistreatment of Jews in history, was arrested at the Israeli airport accused on entering Israel for "missionary activities."
     It is ironic to me that the Messianic Jew who has probably done more than any other to awaken Christians to our deep, deep failures by just what God said in Zechariah 1:15. Considering Jews to be cast of by God forever, Christians hated the Jewish people in their nations and multiplied their distress/affliction/adversity’ as they purged them from one nation to the next.
     I have written all that as a background to the current events, because the rise of a religious hater like Ben Gvir to such a high place of authority in Benjamin Netanyahu’s government is a grave situation. And the arrest of an internationally acclaimed Messianic Jewish scholar at the Israeli airport shows exactly how Ben Gvir’s status has emboldened religious haters of Jewish believers in Jesus throughout Israel.
     Make no mistake about it, the whole estimated 25,000 Messianic Jews in Israel are in great danger from this point on, and we Christians in the nations have to get an understanding of that, as well as an understanding about how God wants us to proceed. It is not to proceed in hating Jews who aren’t saved, and it sure is not in ignoring the saved Remnant in Israel. They are “the living stones” of the Temple which is not made with hands, but the spiritual Temple that God is raising up in Israel by faith in Messiah Yeshua. (Mark 14:58)
     I have confirmed in Israel that Michael Brown upon arrival with a small tour group he was leading, refused to immediately re-board a plane to return to the United States. Brown reserved his right to be in Israel (I took that to mean Michael Brown has dual US-Israeli citizenship, but have been informed, not necessarily. Brown could also have taken a stand of not being refused entry based on the US-Israel Treaty of Friendship that gives us the right to practice our faith in our respective countries). Brown was still arrested on the accusation that he intended "missionary activities."
     Understand: It is not against Israeli law for Israeli citizens to share the faith in Yeshua with other Israelis, and apparently, US citizens under the Treaty of Friendship agreement DOES cover Christians sharing their faith which is part & parcel of our faith.
Brown was held for 7 hours in jail before making his bond. This is likely a legal battle that could go all the way to the Israeli Supreme Court. It is important to fight this legal battle because it is also a loud statement by religious activists that they coming for Messianic Jews in every way they believe is open to them. That won't be only by legal means, I can assure you. 
     If you missed what I wrote about Ben Gvir in Arrows last week, in a nutshell it was the revelation that Ben Givr, Netanyahu’s powerful cabinet head of National Security – including
statewide law enforcement agency and oversees the Israel Police, the Israel Prison Service and the Israel National Fire and Rescue Services, Israel Border Police, National Headquarters for the Protection of Children on the Internet, National Authority for Community Safety and The Authority for Witness Protection — — was ALSO on the legal team who represented Jack Teitel, the terrorist who bombed the home of a Messianic pastoral family in 2008 almost killing their 15-year old son. It was only by miracles of God that Ami Ortiz survived.  I covered that incident in my weekly prayer letters and then in 2009 wrote an exhaustive article, “ex po sé | The Terror Bombing of Israeli Messianic Teen Ami Ortiz”.
     The new thing I learned last week is that Netanyahu’s National Security head, Ben Givr, on the legal team (Honenu) who represented Jack Teitel in court, and apparently frequently said in court, “We are all Jack Teitel” meaning Ben Givr and his ilk are fine with the attempted murder of a Messianic Jewish family. This, to me, is a bold declaration of what everyone can expect from the religious anti-Messianic fanatics in Israel: nothing is off the table, included attempted murder and false arrests to eradicate Jews who believe in Jesus from their midst.
     How many times have we seen this same type of thing in history? Often it has been Jews who were targeted but that does not make it justified now. What is happening is that Jews have become the very thing they hated. It is a spiritual principle that the thing we harbored hatred for, we often justify becoming ourselves.
     Only God has the path for us to walk these things out, but I know one thing for certain: Christians must arise on behalf of our spiritual family in Israel with no more hesitation and nothing held back from supporting them in every meaningful way. If you want to make Jews jealous, finally LOVE the Israeli Messianic Jews as God has called us to.

Friday, May 19, 2023

A Supernatural Awakening as Christians Fast & Pray for Israel for 21 Days

Emmaus Way Prayer Letter for May 16, 2023 
written by Arni Klein

How thankful we are for what the Lord is doing in these days. Five million brethren have registered to pray for Israel for 21 days. Who can imagine what this could accomplish in the spirit realm? Along with many other brethren in the Land, we personally have waited over 30 years for the Body in the nations to lay hold of the truth concerning Israel.  This is a supernatural awakening even as there had been a supernatural blinding. To everything there is a time and a season.

We truly hope that the thoughts and perspectives following will be helpful in aligning our minds and hearts such that at the end of the appointed 21 days, something new will arise and continue to the full dawning of the glory of God. 

When asking Gentile brethren why they love Israel, the answer most often given is, “Because God loves Israel.”  When asking, “Why does God love Israel?”, the most common answer is “Because He chose them.” To the question of why He chose them, some will say that it all began with Abraham and end there. In our experience, not many seem to realize there is quite a bit more to the story. Though Abraham’s love and obedience was the cornerstone element in God’s choosing, what would then unfold over the three ensuing millennia explains the depth of passion God carries for this people. Seeing the fullness of this picture from God’s perspective produces in us a degree of commitment like the determination Jacob expressed when wrestling with the Lord. Laying hold of this dimension will do much to keep us engaged when our emotions naturally fluctuate. We have distilled the fullness of what we have seen and heard into a 10-session discussion course which can be found at 

A well-known verse central to the moment is Psalm 122:6. It translates to read, “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.” However, the Hebrew word translated as “pray” means “ask” or “inquire.” The common understanding, being rather general, leaves us without clear direction. But following the actual meaning would in fact lead us to something specific, timely and relevant. God directs us to ask about the peace of Jerusalem.  What is the necessary process of events to bring forth the desired end? Where are we in the process? What is next on the list? How right, how logical, that we would know His thoughts and strategies before we begin to pray. His promises and declarations concerning Israel each have their appointed time. They are generally contingent on the nature of Israel’s relationship with God. Everything God has spoken, every word written in Scripture will come to pass. We just need to hear from God as to how we are to engage with what He has spoken. Do we really think He needs to be reminded about what He has spoken? Does He really need for us to ask Him to complete what He has set out to do? Perhaps the purpose of our praying is more to get us in line with Father’s heart and mind, even for the sake of our relationship with Him. The matter of Israel is central in His heart. If we don’t get it, if we don’t see, if we are not moved as He is, how close can we actually be with Him? How intimate can we really be? It will be interesting to see what remains and continues after the designated 21 days are completed. Beloved, God’s promises to Abraham and His descendants are an unconditional eternal covenant. Consider Isaiah 59:16, “He saw that there was no justice. He saw that there was no man and wondered that there was no intercessor; therefore His own arm brought salvation for Him; and His own righteousness, it sustained Him.” 

Romans 11:11 is a striking revelation. It reveals to the Gentile world a primary purpose in making them the stewards of the revelation of salvation for the last 2000 years. Paul writes, “To provoke them to jealously, salvation has come to the Gentiles.” The ramifications of ignoring this fact would seem to be along the same line as not ministering to Yeshua’s brethren (the Jews) as laid out in the end of Matthew 25. The consequences are eternal.

Romans 11:25
adds another important piece to the puzzle,
“…blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. and so all Israel will be saved, as it is written.”  How fervent are the prayers for God to open Israel’s eyes and remove the veil! In so praying, are the Gentiles in effect waiting for God while He is actually waiting for them? Oy. That could be a long wait. According to the original Greek, the reference to fullness here is qualitative, not quantitative. It’s not a number. It’s something of the heart. The dynamics and conditions here hearken back to what God told Abram in Genesis 15:16, “But in the fourth generation they shall return here, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete.” Now, as then, the manifestation of God’s plan for Israel is connected to the state and actions of the Gentiles. 

Most know Psalm 22:3 as “God inhabits the praises of His people.” However it actually says, “You are holy, You who are enthroned on the praises of Israel.” As God has placed His name in Israel alone and chosen Zion as His dwelling place, if there is no praise in Israel, where on earth would God dwell? What if there was a dwelling place for God in Israel? What would do more to open the eyes of Israel than that? And so we come to Romans 11:15 which tells us that what happens to and in Israel affects the whole world. The acceptance of Yeshua by Israel will be life from the dead for the world. In light of this revelation, it follows that that the believers in the nations would do well to see that there was continual praise in Israel. The only people that can offer praise to God by the Spirit are the believers. Let the Aarons and Hurs arise to help “Moses” keep His hands lifted to the Lord. 

The great divisions currently showing up in the streets all over Israel did not just happen overnight. They reflect the true inner state of the nation that is only now being made visible by various critical situations. Beloved, we are not okay. Spiritually, on a national level, we have not changed since the day the elders gathered (1Sam.8:4-7) to tell God they did not want Him as their king. We didn’t care about God then and as a nation we don’t now, or we would not have returned the Temple Mount to our enemies in 1967.

There is much to know about the state of our nation and the Israeli Body of Messiah.
Knowing where we are is helpful only if we also know how we got here and how to go forward.  Beyond quoting God’s eternal promises, the true current reality will mostly be heard only from local Messianic believers. A Gentile saying such things would likely be labeled as anti-Semitic. Thirty years ago, when we saw the essence of the current prayer emphasis, we along with many others gave up our lives and immigrated to Israel. It’s been said and we agree that to live here is 24/7 intercession.

Many brethren in the land are sharing good clear perspectives on how to pray in these days. Donna Diorio puts out a weekly compilation of thoughts, insights, testimonies and needs of believing congregations and ministries from all over the Land. We know of no other such source where so much information can be accessed. You can subscribe at:

One other important point of perspective is Israel’s experience after leaving Egypt. God promised Abraham that He would give the Land to His descendants, and they would be His people. As a people they made it to the Land of Canaan, but not before God caused a whole generation to be lost in the wilderness.

So then, as we declare Rom
ans 11:26 that “All Israel will be saved,” let us not miss the next four words…”as it is written” and consider what else is written. In Romans 9:6 it is written, “For they are not all Israel who are of Israel.” vs.8 “…those who are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God; but the children of the promise are counted as the seed.Romans 2:28-29, For he is not a Jew. who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh; but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart....”

In closing, as we pray, let us take to heart the subtle essence of Romans 11:17, “And you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree.” As the Gentiles have been called to be among them, and with them partake of the blessings and calling of the Israel of God, those being prayed for are no longer them but are now us…one Body…One New Man. 

May we truly live all our days on earth…

For the Glory of His Name, 

Arni and Yonit Klein







Thursday, April 13, 2023

This is a big deal! Isaiah 62 Fast and Pray Event

Listen & Watch here 

Donna Diorio: I am supporting Mike Bickel's effort 100%. For the past 21 years I have put out a couple of e-lists to intercessory groups who pray for Israel, but my focus in not just on Israel. My focus is the body of Messiah in Israel. I gather the prayer letters from about 60 different and diverse Israeli Messianic Jewish and Christian Arab ministries in total. Some send weekly, monthly and even sporadically. On average I do excerpts of a dozen of ministry letters in my Weekly Summary of Prayer Requests from Israeli ministries which runs 15 Word document pages each week. Then I summarize the most important of each of those excerpts down to the average 7-page Arrows from Zion. There is nothing more important to pray about in Israel than what God is doing through the those who are ministering the Gospel to Israelis along with all the other ministries typical for our faith including pro-life, humanitarian aid, resources for every pain in life known to mankind. But Christians send the lion's share of donations to groups that don't minister the Gospel in Israel at all, and many hide it from Christian donors, but are vehemently opposed to Jews believing in Jesus. The Lion's share of Christian donations in Israel should be going to the Lion of the Tribe of Judah's own ministry team in Israel: the Messianic Jews and Christian Arab believers who as "one new man" put forth the Good News about redemption by faith in Yeshua of Nazareth. Wake up, Church. It is high time for you to open your eyes and see what is going on. 

Mike Bickle  Mar 27, 2023  #Jerusalem #PrayForIsrael #Intercessors

Join us for an unprecedented global event as we unite for 21 days from May 7th to May 28th to pray for Israel and Jerusalem. This historic collaboration, the Isaiah 62 Global Solemn Assembly, brings together thousands of ministries, pastors, missionaries, campus leaders, and youth groups from across the globe. We aim to mobilize 1 million intercessors to pray and fast for God's blessing on Jerusalem and the fulfillment of the Great Commission.

In just the first ten days of announcing this initiative, over 300,000 people have pledged to participate in various forms of fasting. Some will fast on water, others on vegetables or juices, and some will even fast from social media. This initiative started with the International House of Prayer in Kansas City but quickly grew into a global collaborative effort.

To get involved and learn more about the Isaiah 62 Global Solemn Assembly, visit our website at The site includes a list of participating ministries, prayer rooms, missionary groups, house churches, and campus groups. It also offers resources and information about the importance of praying for Jerusalem and Israel and its connection to the Great Commission.

By participating in this historic event, you'll be joining a global Esther moment, which we believe will be a significant down payment for the final, ultimate Esther moment: the rescue, deliverance, and salvation of Israel. Don't miss this unique opportunity to stand in prayer for Israel during a time of crisis and divine favor.

Join us now, and be a part of this global movement to intercede for Israel and Jerusalem. Visit to learn more and find a hub near you.

#Isaiah62Fast #PrayForIsrael #Jerusalem #GlobalSolemnAssembly #Intercessors #GreatCommission

Thursday, August 18, 2022

Was Acts 2 44_45 just a misguided experiment in socialism by the early church? I don’t think so but many Christians do.

 Was Acts 2:44-45 just a misguided experiment in socialism by the early church? 

I don’t think so but many Christians do. 

by Donna Diorio

This week I read a short piece by a Christian minister whose Facebook posts have really been blessing me. This one by Garris Elkins, “You'll Own Nothing and Be Happy” was on the money in my view—with the exception of one point.  I do not agree that in Acts 2 the early “church” was experimenting with socialism but soon gave that up.
     I've heard that before, like when I returned to faith and to church in 1983. It is apparently a common Christian way of explaining what was really going on in Acts 2. Like the Word of Faith preacher I was listening to in 1983, many misunderstand the point or what was happening and why it is important to us to get it right today instead of dismissing it as the Apostles leading in a wrong direction.  
     Garris Elkins is an anointed prophetic minister, but it is misinterpreting what the account is when he writes
that "people coming to the temple and giving their money, products, and personal property to the apostles to dispense to those in need. It sounds great until you realize the dispensing of those goods was not by force, but by the exercise of the free will of the donor. While the experience of Acts 2 was a noble experience, it did not last long. Persecution soon came and dispersed the Church across the globe enabling her to fulfill the Great Commission."
     I have been writing about what was really going on there since God first began to show me these things in the first years of the 1990's. I recognize there is a timing to Christians getting the revelation. That is obvious to me seeing so many believers who are entirely devoted to God continuing to miss it. Even when it is explained clearly, still there remains a blindness to the truth of these matters.
     There is no intention to pick on Garris Elkins because many other Christian leaders, prophets included, share the same understanding, but here are the issues I contest:  The first misunderstanding in what Garris wrote is that AFTER THESE THINGS "Persecution soon came and dispersed the Church across the globe."
     The persecution was already there and that's why the "people" - in reality the Jewish believers in Jesus - were bringing their wealth to the Apostles. It was to pool their resources for the care of the whole body of Messiah in existence at the time of Acts 2. It was BECAUSE of persecution that they did this, not some kind of misguided exercise in socialism. It was spiritual family helping spiritual family, not some "noble experience" or socialism experiment. It was the recognition among the Jewish believers that they had to stand together and help each other. If one suffered, in reality all suffered. This was not going to be a faith where only the wealthy or the well to do were going to be able to survive.
     God is going to develop the care of the Israeli Messianic Jews even more so through the ministry of the Apostle Paul, in his writings and his life. It is no coincidence that Paul himself was at first a Jewish persecutor of the Jews who followed Yeshua in faith. In his last trip to Jerusalem, where prophets were coming out of the woodwork to tell Paul he would be arrested and placed in chains if he kept going, he kept going. He was compelled by the Spirit to set an example to all of the gentile churches he had founded. He wrote about this mission to nurture the care of the believers in Israel in his letters to the churches. They were to take up offerings in each of the churches and he would deliver them to the apostles in Jerusalem, It was for the distribution of the persecuted body of Jewish believers in Israel. It was not favoritism of Jews and it wasn’t an experiment in socialism, it was by the command of God on Paul’s life to establish the example that would be needed in the last days. These days we are living in.
     What better man could God have picked for this mission? Before he became the Apostle Paul, he was a fierce persecutor of Jewish believers in Jesus in Jerusalem. Saul held the coats of those who stoned the first Jewish martyr
 of the faith. Then years later as he was pursuing Jewish believers fleeing Jerusalem to Damascus, God intervened by revealed the Messiah to him. Saul had been blinded to the truth that Yeshua was Israel's Messiah, but God showed Saul he was persecuting the body of Israel’s Messiah on the earth. What he had failed to recognize after years of religious training God showed him in a supernatural experience that would change him for life. It is what God is going to do to countless other Jews, and in fact, He has already begun to do so.
     The Collection for the Poor in Jerusalem | In Acts 11, after Barnabas had retrieved Paul from Tarsus, brought him to Antioch to minister the Gospel with him, after one year a Jerusalem prophet came who spoke by the Spirit that a famine would be coming on the whole world. In response to Agabus' prophecy, "Then the disciples, each according to his own ability, determined to send relief to the brethren dwelling in Judea. This they did by the hands of Barnabas and Saul."
     Why did they send donations to Israel? Why didn't they just take up a donation for their own city, or their own region? Because the famine would be more acute to the persecuted followers of the LORD in Israel. They were ostracized from their own people because of faith AND they were the birthplace of the shared faith in Yeshua/Jesus. It was a recognition of the reality that we Jews and Gentiles in Messiah are of one body, and we owe it to each other to help each other. Those who have more minister to the need of those who are persecuted for the faith.
     When Barnabas and Paul arrive in Jerusalem to give famine relief before it happens, it was during the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Herod had just killed James the brother of John, and "because he saw that it pleased the (unbelieving) Jews, he proceeded further to seize Peter also." (Acts 11:26-12:3) The whole ekklesia (congregation, often translated church) in Jerusalem were reeling and in fervent prayer for Peter.
     Paul views this with the understanding of a former persecutor of believing Jews. The Holy Spirit is speaking to him— through the prophetic warning of famine that brought him to Jerusalem in the first place and also through the persecution that brought death to one of the apostles. Peter was released from the threat of death by a supernatural act of God. When it was over, Paul left Jerusalem beginning to understand that God was commissioning him for a specific purpose. Paul was the apostle to the Gentiles, but his purpose toward the Messianic Jews was no less significant! He was to establish among the churches by his own example of sacrificial care toward the body of Jewish believers in Israel. It was going to be a necessity that the Gentile Christians embraced the Israel Messianic Jews family.
     Look carefully at the letters to the churches Paul wrote after that experience in Jerusalem, and you will find him urging the churches to take up an offering that would be delivered “to the poor.” This was not the generic poor, but a direct reference to the poor at Judea. That's also how the council of apostles told them in Acts 15 to tell the churches, to remember the poor. The poor in Israel are the believers in Israel. There is a temptation to chalk up this remembering of "the poor" to a non-specific "poor" rather than "the poor at Judea." It is God’s plan to unite Jew and Gentile in Messiah, and this is going to be a major way He does that.  
     If we look at the context of Paul's use of the phrase "the poor" in scripture, we see that in four out of six uses of the phrase, "the poor," Paul is clearly referencing the poor of Judea, and one is a reference to himself. (Ro 15:26, 1 Cor 16:1, 15; 2 Cor 9:1; and 9:12-13). He is crystal clear in who "the poor" are in Romans 15:26-27. The issue he was addressing of the collection being taken among the churches becomes even sharper in focus: "For it pleased those from Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor among the saints who are in Jerusalem. It pleased them indeed, and they are their debtors. For if the Gentiles have been partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister to them in material things."
In 2 Corinthinians 8, Paul again urges the Church at Corinth to continue in the giving, saying, "It is to your advantage not only to be doing what you began and were desiring to do a year ago; but now you also must complete the doing of it; that as there was a readiness to desire it, so there also may be a completion out of what you have."
In this 8th chapter of 2 Corinthinians, Paul address many issues surrounding the collection. How some gave generously even out of their own poverty. "Brethren, we make know to you the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia: that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded in the riches of their liberality. For I bear witness that according to their ability, yes, beyond their ability, they were freely willing, imploring us with much urgency that we would receive the gift and the fellowship of the ministering to the saints.”
Paul spoke in the same chapter to the Corinthinians, "I speak not by commandment, but by the occasion of the diligence of others, and to prove the sincerity of your love. . .And herein I give my advice: for this is expedient for you. . . .For if there is first a willing mind, it is accepted according to what one has, and not according to what he does not have. For I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened; by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may supply their lack, and that their abundance also may supply your lack--that there may be equality."
Paul was not merely referring to financial abundance in one group supplying for financial lack in another as need fluctuated between the churches. Paul surely must have seen that the need for relief among the Jewish believers in Israel would remain unchanged until the time that "all Israel shall be saved." Was there any other potential? There was not and there is not still to this day. As long as the Messianic Jews in Israel remain a minority in Israeli society, there is a need for the Gentile churches to prove the sincerity of their love through the ministry of financial contributions for relief.
     So the Acts 2 "church" made up entirely of Messianic Jews who received and followed Yeshua as the Messiah were not experimenting with socialism, they were doing what was required for the body of Messiah to survive becoming social outcasts because of their faith. Believe me, if they had not banded together to care for each other, we Christians would not be here today because if they were unable to survive, we would never have come to faith. This is the debt that Paul refers to that we owe - and we still owe that debt! "For if the Gentiles have been partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister to them in material things."

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Confusion in OUR Camp!


Confusion in OUR Camp!

by Donna Diorio, October 26, 2021

Anti-Messianic  “superstar” activist Tuvia Singer must have thought he hit the jackpot when Shannon Nuszem showed up because the former Houston pastor’s daughter has turned into Singer’s most valuable player. Nuszem’s aggressive new non-profit Beyneynu specializes in exposés that seek to provoke new rounds of persecution of Israeli Messianic believer ministries. Several of her latest reports have been to expose Christians who are engaged in false impersonation, deceitfully passing themselves off as traditionally religious Jews. 
     Splashy headlines follow, and not just in Jewish publications, but also in some of the major international newspapers. One reason non-Jewish news publications pick up on the stories is because of the hysterical terminology of anti-Messianic (antimissionary) activists, who say repeatedly that they consider Christians who present the gospel to Jews are “worse than terrorists.” The use of counter-terrorism terminology is standard procedure in the hysterical accusations against Israel’s Messianic Jewish believers in Yeshua/Jesus. Demonizing believers in shrieking accusation helps create an urgency to destroy with all haste.
One UK newspaper picked up on the inflammatory accusation of the most recent incident Beyneynu exposed. The Daily Mail wrote in their headline, “Arizona father and son are accused of being a 'sleeper cell' of fake Orthodox rabbis who are actually Evangelical Christians: Any rituals they performed like weddings and washing the dead could be invalid.”  The article goes on to report, “Some rabbis fear they are Messianic Jews whose ultimate goal is to bring about the second coming to the Holy Land.”
     Did you catch that wild leap from the
bad acts of Christian-wannabe-Jews to the Israeli Messianic believers?  You see, to the anti-Messianic activists, there is no differentiation made between non-Jewish Christians and Jews who believe in Jesus. To them, if a Jew believes in Jesus he has ceased to be a Jew. It is much the same as the long standing but erroneous belief of many Christians that it is not possible for a Jew to believe in Jesus and remain Jewish. 
     There is a difference between the followers of the Messiah/Christ who are Jewish and those who are non-Jewish Christians and it is similar to the difference in God’s calling on male and female. The trouble here is that by not making the differentiation of a non-Jewish Christian passing themselves off as Jewish rabbis, the anti-Messianic activists can whip up more persecution against Israel’s Messianic Jews who are not being deceitful about their faith in the least.
    The latest Beyneynu expose is of an America Christian family who has been passing themselves off for years as Jewish, and not only Jewish, but the father has been passing himself off as a rabbi. The report also circles back to include making a native Israeli Messianic leader ‘guilty by association’ of knowing the American family.  The Israeli Messianic leads a congregation in his birthplace and is from a family of rabbis. Now I have known the leader in question for twenty years or more. He loves his people, fellow Israelis, and has never hidden his faith in Yeshua even from the hometown rabbis or city officials that govern the city. City officials have come and gone, but they have all welcomed the humanitarian aid provided for the needy of their town.
     Beyneynu would like to destroy all relationships Messianic congregations have with Israeli municipalities. They would cut off the aid Messianic congregations give to forgotten Holocaust survivors and poor immigrants without the any hesitancy.  
 Anti-Messianics in Israel first stir up the religious to apply pressure to whatever group is working with Messianic Jews, which are many. The Messianic Jews of Israel are exemplary citizens, but  continual and ongoing hysterics among the anti-Messianics, sometimes intimidates municipalities and organizations into dropping relationship with them.
      That is what makes it all the more urgent to address how we got here and how we defend the falsely accused, provide necessary back up for them and stop just watching Christians morph into a Jewish identity that is not a healthy identity for them take on and is trickery when they present themselves as Jews to unsaved Jews. We have so much confusion in the camp over Jewish identity because we have not taught a scrupulous biblical differentiation in the callings of Jewish and Gentile believers. When Christians became fascinated by all things Jewish, we did not guide them away from spiritually unhealthy attempts to become Jews themselves. It is like the gender confusion we see so much of today as first there is cross-dressing, then the person tries to make themselves into something there are not biologically. It is essentially the same identity confusion at work.
     How that Works | First we have the evangelical Christian pastor’s daughter who became so fascinated by the Jewish roots of the faith that she started sitting at the feet of the renowned Jesus hater, Tuvia Singer, who convinced her to embrace Judaism and reject of Jesus. Singer’s teachings also convinced her pastor father to identify as a Noahide (I assume this means rejecting Jesus, too).
     I don’t think it is a coincidence that Shannon Nuszem’s testimony is in an exact reverse of the apostle Paul’s in Acts 9 where Paul goes from “breathing out threatenings…against the disciples of the Lord” to being knocked off his high horse and asking Yeshua, Who are You, Lord?” Saul asked. “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.”  Shannon says not all Christians are the “enemy” but she most definitely breathes out threatening to the Messianic Jewish believers and any evangelical Christians who know that the Gospel is meant for Jews too.
     Even without Tuvia Singer confusing Christians who become Israel-fascinated, there are many Christians who travel that road. Some go to a Messianic congregation and next thing you know they are imitating the outward appearance of ultra-Orthodox and Orthodox Jews.  It seems to me we are far past the time in American Messianic congregations where the identity issue confusion should put to rest with scriptural teaching: Christians are not to become Jews and Jews are not to be Christians in Messiah. Both identities are valid and necessary – just like male and female. 
     The encouragement of Christians seeking to be supportive of Messianic Jews, to themselves present as “Messianic Gentiles” is really not a kosher idea according to the first Jerusalem Council (Acts 15). Perhaps some of these cases of Christians deceiving Jews into thinking they are Jewish would not be taking place if we started having “the talk” with Christians in the early stages of transforming into appearing to be Jews. It may not create big problems here in the US, but it surely does create major repercussions for the Messianic Jewish community in Israel and we have some accountability for that.
     In the most recent case of a Christian passing himself off as a Jewish rabbi, the man and his family moved from Michigan, to Houston, to Phoenix.  In Houston he was the director of the Kashrut organization that does Kosher oversight and certification!  Beyneynu became suspicious of them in the process of scouring the internet for Messianics…just like counter-terrorism groups do in search of potential terrorists before they go operational. Beyneynu wants to root out any Messianic believer who potentially could try to immigrate to Israel. 
    So in scouring the web they came across an event featuring the (Dawson-Isaacson) family who touted their connection to an Israeli Messianic leader saying they had “the privilege of working with” him involving “humanitarian aid.” They also claimed he was a “close family friend.”
     The Messianic leader named told me that “
my last contact with them was 8-9 years ago.” He also told me that he emphasized to them that “salvation does not come from converting to Judaism” and not to renounce Yeshua to fit in among Jews.
Shannon Nuszem also finds fault with the Messianic Jews providing humanitarian aid to Israeli Holocaust survivors calling it “Deathbed Evangelism.” She see evil in the good works of those seeking to feed Holocaust survivors the 1/4th of Israel’s Holocaust survivors living below the poverty line. Shannon accuses Messianic ministries, who almost all provide humanitarian aid to Holocaust survivors as seeking “to take advantage of the elderly who are vulnerable, fearful of death, and feelings of loneliness in order to convert them to Christianity in their dying days or even last moments.” 
     These are evil accusations and an outright lie in my knowledge of twenty years of associating closely with Israeli Messianic ministries. The Israeli Messianic Jews are not living deceitful lives instead they are open books – “living letters” of Messiah’s love for the Jewish people.
      I know we have all heard the urban legends of the great many Jewish rabbis in Israel who “secretly” believe in Yeshua but just don’t want to reveal themselves lest they get kicked out of their congregations. Personally, I have never believed in this and in fact think it would be an incredibly deceitful way for anyone to live in any honest measure of faith in Yeshua. The Israeli ministries I know of, not one of them live in closeted existence which is a betrayal to God and man of hiding their faith. They are openly believers in Yeshua, and willing to share their faith with any who are seeking to learn of Him.
     Which brings me to another point of Christian confusion in the camp about Jewish identity: In researching to write this article over the past couple of days, I saw a news article about the first Christian Shannon Nuszem blew the whistle on for false impersonation of a Jewish rabbi. The man was sitting on the TV set of an American prophetic figure. I have many questions about how this all unfolded, but one thing that was reported was that the prophet’s ministry had been donating $500 a month to this Christian posing as a Jewish rabbi. 

     Did the prophet think the man was really Jewish, a “secret rabbi” or did he know he was a Christian posing as a Jew? I don’t have the answer to that yet, and whether I ever get a direct answer on that question, this is one thing I do know: far too many Christians assume that they can sort out who to financially support in Israel and it is pretty clear most do not have a clue. If they did, they would be supporting the leaders of the body of Messiah in Israel and consulting with them any time they considered giving regular support to someone in Israel.
     All the statistics show that Christians financially supporting things in Israel are supporting the Israel Messianic Jewish believer ministries the least
—by far.
     Not only would we stop supporting people who are operating deceitfully in Israel (and I can think of other examples over the past years including outright conmen!) but also we would not have Christians aligning themselves with nationalist-religious settlers who indoctrinate Christians to think of any Jew in Israel who believes in Jesus as belonging to “a cult” and/or being “an enemy of the State of Israel.” That is what they did recently when they convinced a high-profile Christian supporter of Israel to condemn the Messianic ShelanuTV network all the way to then Prime Minister Netanyahu’s office. It consequently forced the cable TV network that approached the Messianics in the first place to pull the plug on airing their own channel in Hebrew. Her anti-Messianic campaign stopped the Gospel in Hebrew from airing on Israeli television. An America Christian woman did that and she thinks she did God a favor.
     It is not a crime in Israel to believe Yeshua is the Messiah. These are issues of identity confusion and we need to do better.  This is only the first article I will be writing on this issue. There is a lot of ground to cover and I hope both Christians and Messianics take those issues to heart — especially for the sake of the LORD’s body in Israel.

Saturday, July 3, 2021

Hope Deferred | Pregnant with Zion


Hope Deferred | Pregnant with Zion

by Donna Diorio

Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.  Proverbs 13:12

When we live for a long time with our hopes deferred (postponed, delayed or held to a future pointed date) in time our lives can become conditioned to low or no expectation. Instead we begin to face our days waiting for the other shoe to drop, because that is what "heart sick" means. 

     Before anyone gets on their faith high horse, some of you have not lived in a situation where your hopes were postponed, delayed or held to an appointed future date. You just haven't. We ALL have our trials, but some of you have not endured long standing "deferred hope" that drags on and on with a deferred hope that is big enough even in a person of faith, to establish a "heart sickness" like Proverbs 13:12 is talking about. Be glad you have not, but don't gloat thinking your faith is superior — just stronger and better, because it just hasn’t been equally tested. 

     In Revelation 12 the apostle John sees a dragon, a serpent that releases a “flood” like a “river” to “sweep away "a woman clothed in the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. She was pregnant and crying out in the pain and agony of giving birth."

     Everyone pretty much realizes by now that the flood of water is a flood of words - evil words, words meant to tear down, steal from or destroy the target of the serpent’s words. A flood - a relentless, powerful torrent sweeping away everything in its path, carrying everything off to utter destruction. It sounds like the last 2,000 years of Jewish history to me.
     Some have interpreted the woman in Revelation 12 as being the Church because she is clothed in the sun; others believe the woman represents Israel, the Jewish people because she is wearing a crown of twelve stars representing the 12 tribes.  I believe the woman is both: the One New Man in Messiah made up of a Church that is in one-unity with the body of MESSIANIC BELIEVERS.  The church is the mid-wife interceding for Israel's salvation and actively helping their Israeli MESSIANIC brethren to bring salvation to birth in Israel.
     Israel is pregnant with God's salvation. It is going to take the midwife of the Church helping the pregnant Israeli believers in Israel to bring forth this only awaited salvation of "all Israel," to bring forth Zion.  It is God's end game as the apostle Paul said in Ephesians 2, to make of two (Jewish and Gentiles BELIEVERS) one new man in Him, Messiah, Jesus/Yeshua.  This is Zion in the making.

     But the dragon, the serpent, has been dragging on and on what is hoped for : Zion.  So the Church gets the message to love Israel, but continues to fail to fulfill GOD's DESIRE to fully unite with the Israeli MESSIANIC body, so this pregnancy can come to full term, and all Israel be birthed into the kingdom of Messiah.

     Even many Messianic Jews have such "hope deferred" over the Church failing to see what God wants from us that they have become heart sick. The expectation of change, where the church isn't focused on the wrong things, but on the spiritual pregnancy of Israel, they have almost – not quite — lost hope about their Christian family. God will not let them lose hope entirely because He will revive hope for His desire will be fulfilled at the appointed time. We sure seem to be in the contractions already.

     When the spiritual birth comes in Israel it will be a "tree of life" not only to those whose hopes have been so deferred for so long, or to the newly saved, but it will be a tree of life to peoples in all the nations. When Israel comes at long last to the spiritual birthing that God has held back to these days in front of us - the appointed time – the nations will see it and rejoice that in their own nations too they are seeing so great a salvation.

     I relate these things on a personal level and also on the level of being an advocate for the Israeli Messianic community. I believe God has shown me that He has a certain end game for Israel where Israel comes to faith by Messiah Yeshua, and He has made me understand through the things I have experienced in life, many aspects of what Israel has gone through to get to this very pregnant stage of His plan.

     Over the past couple of years, if there is anything that God has been working on me about, it is to break me from my heart sickness of low to no expectation because of hope deferred.  Repeatedly that has been His message to me as I experienced perils and unexpected rescues. He has used the repetition to speak to my hope-deferred-heart, because trust requires repetition. He has been renewing my hope so I could exercise my faith, that it is indeed as He promised:  "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you." Jeremiah 29:11-12

     I say to the Messianic Jews of Israel who have experienced the heart sickness of hope deferred in seeing the Church truly come alongside you for your labors in God’s harvest field of Israel: Look up for Israel's redemption draws near: "For the vision awaits an APPOINTED time; it testifies of the end and does not lie. Though it lingers, wait for it, since it will surely come and will not delay." Habakkuk 2:3

     We are very close.

Saturday, June 26, 2021

Unveiled Faces, Transformation & God's Purposes in Israel

 One of the things that I learned from Francis Frangipane is that God calls us to a love for others that is greater than what we can rise to without knowing His love in greater and greater measures.

I do believe this is the spiritual principle behind Psalm 84:7 "They go from strength to strength, until each appears before God in Zion." which finds its New Testament parallel in 2 Corinthians 3:17-18 "Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into His image with intensifying glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit."
The reference to "unveiled face" hearkens back to Moses seeing God with an unveiled face, while all the children of Israel that Moses was leading to the Promised Land could not bear seeing the full glory of God, so they had to have a veil over their faces.
It was according to plan, as Deuteronomy 29:4 explains: "You saw with your own eyes the great trials, and those miraculous signs and wonders. Yet to this day the LORD has not given you a mind to understand, eyes to see, or ears to hear." And Romans 11:8 verifies it: " it is written: "God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes that could not see, and ears that could not hear, to this very day." To what end? Romans 11:31-32 "so they (the Chosen People) too have now disobeyed, in order that they too may now receive mercy through the mercy shown to you. For God has bound up everyone to disobedience so that He may have mercy on everyone."
In the story of the "Transfiguration" better understood as "Transformation" Jesus takes Peter, James and John to a high mountain apart for prayer. While praying Jesus was "transformed," "His face did shine as the sun," "and his garments became glistering, exceeding white, so as no fuller on earth can whiten them." Moses and Elijah appeared to talk to Jesus about His coming self-sacrifice.
Now Peter, James and John witnessed these things but they were not instantly transformed themselves as the rest of the books of the New Testament show. They still had imperfect love, they still argued among themselves, they still separated because of conflicts, but they were each on God's journey of transformation of perfecting them in love, as were the other apostles and disciples ever since.

The thing I learned from Francis Frangipane is that is our journey too.
We are not capable of just loving everybody as Yeshua/Jesus loves us, but we are able to commit to that journey to expand our love. Our first circle of love is loving those closest to us, our families. Some have more serious challenges with that than others, but we really cannot love the greater world if we do not find the way to love our own families with the love of the Lord first.
Our journey into loving like God loves is one that expands - strength to strength, glory to glory. It begins close and expands to include more and more. The key, if we go by what took place on the Mount of Transformation with Jesus, is that we go and pray for the ones we find it hard to love. God takes those prayers and transforms us first and grows our capacity to love others even farther away from us.
Yeshua, Jesus, laid down His own life in love for sinners, that we could join Him in being transformed by God from mere humanity, to people touched by God's love and glory, so we could reflect His glory through love to a people with veiled faces.
2 Corinthians 3:14-18 But their minds were closed (up by God). For to this day the same veil remains at the reading of the old covenant. It has not been lifted, because ONLY IN MESSIAH can it be removed. And even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into His image with intensifying glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
Praying for the removing of the veil over Jewish faces, is in perfect timing with God's ultimate purposes now: that "all Israel shall be saved." If that is so, then also it is so that those you have desired to open their eyes of faith in Jesus is also in perfect timing.
P.S. It also needs to be said that too much of Christian time has been focused on these verses in 2 Corinthians about the passing away of the Old Covenant to make way for the New Covenant in seeking to feel superior over "the Chosen People" that it has blinded much of Christianity from seeing all of the passages that say it was GOD who blocked the Jews from seeing so He could extend to the rest of the peoples of the world, the ONLY pathway to God and His eternal life. Only when we take that into account can we truly love Israel as we ought, when we see it we will see also that God PURPOSES to bring the Jews into right standing ONLY through faith in Yeshua. They don't have some other deal, but God has executed His plan for salvation of humanity through distinct phases - and we are in the the phase at long last when "all Israel shall be saved" by faith in the Messiah Yeshua.