Sunday, April 28, 2019

The Name of Yeshua Part 2

Continuing on the theme of the name of Yeshua. This morning I had an email from Yonit Klein of Emmaus Way in the Galilee. She was commenting on my cover story last week in Arrows From Zion. Yonit wrote:
"I have never heard anyone else say this, but to me it is so obvious: how can we possibly understand Matthew 1:21 if we don’t know His Hebrew name and what it means??? It was always a mystery to me what in the world that verse meant!"
This is what the angel told Joseph in Matthew 1:21 and the way most Bible translations relate His name: "She will give birth to a Son, and you shall give Him the name Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins.”

But that is not what the angel actually said. How do I know that? because the name "Jesus" does not mean anything whatsoever. It is merely the Greek way of saying the Hebrew name Yeshua, which means Salvation.

Do you see this? We have stripped the meaning of His name by so clinging to the Greek form of the Lord's name and rejecting His real name as if it is some kind of bid to bring us into legalism. It's not that! It's about being so disconnected from our own root of faith and defending our disconnection. That's crazy.

After I got Yonit's email I looked up "the meaning of the name Jesus" on google. 

There is NO MEANING apart from the name Yeshua. Wikipedia notes it is "the Greek form of the Hebrew name Yeshua. As its roots lie in the name Yeshua, it is etymologically related to another biblical name, Joshua."

So who was Joshua? He was the one to lead the children of Israel into the Promised Land conquering the pagan tribes that God had not already cleared out before their arrival. I know that upsets the social justice sensitivities of our day, but God was setting apart a people for Himself — to be a people untainted by pagan beliefs and practices, influenced wholly by His own goodness, justice and righteousness.

Any study of the tribes of Canaan (Israel pre-Chosen People) reveals pagan tribes who committed "wickedness" and "detestable practices" — “Even the land was defiled; so I punished it for its sin, and the land vomited out its inhabitants” (Leviticus 18:24-25, also see Deuteronomy 9:4-6 and 18:12.

So, in order to create a nation of set apart people for Himself, God made it clear that the people who were defiling the land with their sins, had to be conquered and removed. God even removed some of the inhabitants Himself prior to their entry, Sodom and Gomorrah are noteworthy examples.

So, having started with being disconnected from the name of Yeshua, how did we get here? 

It is because the name Yeshua, or Salvation, in Hebrew is related to the name of Joshua, or Yehoshua. Joshua, who conquered the wickedness of the Canaanites clearing the land as God instructed him, was a type and shadow pointing to what Yeshua/Jesus would do spiritually in our lives: Yeshua would come into our lives to drive out the wickedness and detestable practices that defile our individual lives, so He can make us a people set apart for God Himself.

Many people including the social justice warriors today, think the God of the Old Testament is just a grumpy old God and that their own sense of justice, love and righteousness is far superior. It is only because they do not understand God, or the context of the Bible. They (we) are cut off at so many points from the root of even their own Christian faith and we don't even realize it because it has been going on so long.

Even something as simple as understanding and embracing the real name of Yeshua has the potential to right the ship of understanding that God has not changed, we have just become un-tethered from anchoring truths of our faith.

I'm not pushing for anyone to drop calling Yeshua by the name of "Jesus" — but it would be helpful if every Christian were familiar with His real name and not treat the name of Yeshua as if it is some cultic way to refer to Israel's Messiah and the Salvation - by name - of the world.

If any Christian believes that God has had any intention in replacing Israel with us, let this New Testament verse settle that for you: "He will rule over the house of Jacob forever and His kingdom will never end." Luke 1:33 

Also remember what Paul said in his letter to the Romans 11:18 " not boast over those (natural) branches. If you do, remember this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you."

All of history is pointing us in one direction, and that direction is the RE-CONNECTION to the ROOT. That is why the whole world is fighting against the people of God from recognizing that direction.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

In the Name of Yeshua

To many Christians, the name Yeshua is alien to them. They think it is weird for someone to call Jesus Yeshua. Really it isn't weird at all, because it is exactly the name His Jewish mother Miriam gave Him.

The name Jesus came about as the New Testament was written in Aramaic & translated to Greek where Yeshua became Iesous, or Jesus. But believe me, no one called Him Jesus when He was walking around in Israel because the point of His birth is captured in the name He was given, Yeshua means salvation.

I was reminded of this as we gathered with Tony's mostly Catholic family on "Easter" Sunday and a boyfriend of one of the granddaughters (new to our family holidays) got a quick giggling explanation after Tony ended the food blessing with, "In Yeshua's name."

Years ago, it was probably 1992 or so, when Tony and I associated ourselves with a local Messianic Jewish congregation. That was when we began to transition from calling Him Jesus, to calling Him Yeshua. It was for a very simple reason: because as weird as it sounds to Christian ears to hear Him called Yeshua, it is even weirder for Jews to hear Him called Jesus. That is because the history of anti-Semitic persecution that distances Jews from realizing He is one of them.

In their mind, Jesus is the god of the Gentiles, not a Jewish man born in Bethlehem, traversing Israel healing the sick, casting out demons and speaking of how to enter the kingdom of God.

Tony and I made the transition from calling Him Jesus to calling Him Yeshua, and it has become natural to us. It isn't anything we put on.  Sometimes when I'm talking to a Christian who has no understanding of Messianic Jews in the plan of God, I will use the name Jesus, but I have to consciously choose to call Him "Jesus" instead of His real name, Yeshua.

For years at the family gatherings, Tony has always been the one who prayed over the food, and he does it in the name of Yeshua just like he does over our evening meals. It is as natural to him to say Yeshua instead of Jesus as it is for me, even though I am the one who carries the vision for the salvation of the Jewish people which the LORD gave me long, long ago.

We use the name that His parents gave Him — Yeshua. Not to be "accurate" but because we desire for the Jewish people to be able to see that He really is one of them. It is out of sensitivity, not out of some legalistic reason. 

Also, I want readers to know that I do not share this to pressure anyone to change from using the name of Jesus. It is only an explanation why my husband and I use the name Yeshua.  Donna Diorio

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Breaking Free from Abusive Prayers

by Donna Diorio

A while back I wrote about a book, Breaking Christian Curses | Finding Freedom From Destructive Prayers and yesterday I heard from a local friend who has followed up, ordered the book and thought it was a fascinating subject. The person told me that they have "Christians" who claim to "hate" them and my friend is trying to understand how it is possible that a person who belongs to Yeshua could "hate" others so viciously. It is a conundrum.

Luke 9:54-55 says, "When the disciples James and John saw this, they asked, “Lord, do You want us to call down fire from heaven to consume them?” But Jesus turned and rebuked them, and said, "You do not know what kind of spirit you are of"

The Bible tells us that words have power to create, that angels are sent to do the bidding of words prayed in agreement with God. So it makes sense to me that demons do the bidding of prayers that are in agreement with the Accuser of the brethren. 

If a believer, not knowing what spirit they are of prays according to the desire of the enemy rather than the desire of God over a person, then they are dispatching demons to plague the target of their wrong-spirited prayers. Those believers who are operating from the wrong spirit in their prayer circles are sending out curses to the one they are preying on not praying for.

Do they realize it? Some do and some don't; some have convinced themselves that this is just the greater power and authority that God has granted them as leaders. Little do they know they are just agreeing with satan and it is he who is granting them a power of destruction. That's all the Accuser has to give them, destruction and cursing.

Pulling a memory from my own life let me tell you to beware of any spiritual authority figure who nourishes the belief among their followers that "bad things happen to people who don't submit to my authority." In the repetition of this self-serving narrative over time, the enslaved followers say, "People have DIED after going against her! (or him)."

Get away from that person. Separate yourself that that wrong spirited prayer circle. 
That's exactly what Elijah did when Jezebel sent a flurry of demons out after him. He fled.

"Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, “So may the gods do to me and more also, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by this time tomorrow.” 1 Kings 19:1-2

Elijah fled because the "messenger" Jezebel sent was not just a human messenger, but it was with a flurry of demons attacking Elijah's mind with threats and fear. That's also what happens with Christians pray wrong things over you, they sic demons on you to attack your mind and your well being. They may pray invoking God's judgment against a person to force a spiritual turnaround calling for destruction on the person until they properly submit to the leader's authority. God doesn't respond to that kind of prayer but demons do.

Another example of the psychic distress that demons on such a mission can inflict is the example in the garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus Himself experienced the power of cursing as He prayed over what was coming next - His execution by those cursing Him, the spiritual leaders at that time.

I don't believe Yeshua was sweating drops of blood because He was resisting laying down His life, but because demons of accusation, fear and cursing were swarming His mind. Luke says that as He prayed an angel from Heaven came to strengthen Him and what Jesus was praying about was not to "not fall into temptation." Do you know that it is a temptation to fall into fear, doubt and confusion when others are spiritually cursing against you?

Jesus was not just telling the disciples to pray from falling into this temptation, but was spiritually resisting that for Himself too. Think about this: If Yeshua could not have been tempted, then the devil would not have bothered coming to Him in the beginning of His ministry to try to tempt Him 3 times. At the end of that period of temptation, Luke 4:13 tells us, "When the devil had finished every temptation, he left Him until an opportune time." What more opportune time is there than when Jesus knew he was about to lay down His life?

When demons swarm us, they are pushing us to take actions - tempting us - to sin. Jesus "being in anguish (mental/psychic distress), prayed more earnestly, and His sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground."

Jesus laid down His life, He did not break from God's will and therefore for His obedience, we have an inheritance. One portion of our inheritance it is the power to break free from the curses others speak over us:

No weapon formed against you shall prosper,

And every tongue which rises against you in judgment
You shall condemn.

This is the inheritance of the servants of the Lord,
And their righteousness is from Me,”
Says the Lord.
Isaiah 54:17


It is also open to those who have been praying such prayers over others
a time to repent from wrong-spirited, vengeance prayers.
Anyone who advises you differently is in opposition to the Word of the LORD.

Bless those who persecute you. 
Bless and do not curse. 
Romans 12:14

But to those of you who will listen, I say: Love your enemies, 
do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, 
pray for those who mistreat you. 
Luke 6:27-28