Friday, June 30, 2023

Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel & Issachar


Thank you to Israel Pochtar of Beit Hallel in Ashdod
for this photograph with the Isaiah 40:1

Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel 
& Issachar

by Donna Diorio

There are 3 specific verses that are on my heart after my ‘Israel watching’ the past week.

One is the beautiful verse in Israel Pochtar’s picture of the oasis in the desert.  Isaiah 40:1 is a verse that has found a landing spot in Christian hearts toward Israel for many decades now. Many Christians have dedicated themselves to this command of God and have served Israel in the most profoundly practical ways by pouring resources, expertise and support Israel needed at every step of the way toward establishing and securing the State of Israel. They did as God called them to do in His own timing.

But that is not all Isaiah 40 has to say; it advances specifically, like verse 3: “A voice of one calling: “In the wilderness prepare the way for the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God." It speaks to me that comforting the people of Israel is in itself preparing the way for the LORD – but it is only the first part. Verse 6 through 9 begins to tell us to cry out “all people are like grass …the grass withers and flowers fail.”  The Good News of Zion is for Jerusalem and Judah too – not just for the nations to know: “Here is your God!” this Messiah, Yeshua.  “Salvation exists in no one else” Acts 4:12

Many Christians who have responded to the first part about comforting and supporting Israel have not been able to hear or comprehend that Israel is to hear the Gospel, the Good News of Israel’s Messiah. Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is One God. Jesus said “I and the Father are one.” (John 10:30)

I think it is probably not the lead role that Christians want to play of making Israel “jealous” of our faith. I also believe that Christians are to play a support role in Israel’s Remnant of faith in Yeshua by supporting the Messianic Jews who are the witness to their own people. We already see how jealous that makes the Orthodox and ultraOrthodox. But Israel is more secular than religious and many more secular Israelis are drawn to the Israeli believers, honestly longing for what they see in the Israeli believers – all of the spiritual love, joy, hope, grace, overcoming power that is only found in the people who fully invested in Yeshua for their fulfillment in life.

The second verse that is on my heart is 1 Chronicles 12:32, "From Issachar, men who understood the times and knew what Israel should do: 200 chiefs with all their kinsmen at their command." The men of Issachar were men who not only had practical professional wisdom, but they clearly had prophetic insight. This is the only way to know how a nation should go to be in accord with God’s will in the events of men and nations.

I believe this speaks to spiritual leadership too, not just governmental counselors. After seeing the wonderful response from Christians all over the world to the Isaiah 62 prayer and fasting event for 21 days last month, to me this is an example of spiritual leadership stepping into the modern day mantle of the sons of Issachar. Those who recognized this was something more than we have been seeing and experiencing in pro-Israel Christian circles is clear in the overwhelming response to the call.

Since the May 28th culmination of the prayer call on the Southern Steps of the Temple in Jerusalem I have kept the IHOP Prayer Room running in the background all day as I work on my computer. I can tell you that prayer for Israel’s salvation has not ceased. It continues on. I do believe May 2023 marks a turning point spiritually. I do believe an Issachar awakening throughout the world has begun and will continue to grow. But there are still many in Christian prophetic circles who have not yet shown any understanding of the times we are in. An example of this is the report this week in the Jerusalem about Pastor Paula White’s visit to Israel:  

"Rather than take a traditional Christian tour, however, she opted to travel with Orthodox Rabbi Tuly Weisz of Israel365, an organization that builds bridges between Jews and Christians. She ascended the Temple Mount with former MK Rabbi Yehudah Glick; studied with Religious Zionist Rebbetzin Shani Taragin; walked through the streets of Jewish Hebron with Rabbi Simcha Hochbaum, director of tourism for the Hebron Fund; and visited Arugot Farms in the Judean mountains. She even spent a morning studying Torah at Nishmat – The Jeanie Schottenstein Center for Advanced Torah Study for Women.

     “There is a new movement of Christians and Orthodox Jews coming together,” White told the Post. “We need each other. It is vitally important we continue to build these bridges.”

That is not a prophetic Issachar response to the moment we are in. I have to agree with David Silver of Out of Zion whose comment in Kehila News Israel was, Do They Read Their Bible?

“Last week the Jerusalem Post published an interview with a pastor of a mega-church in the USA. She was here in Israel for her 20th plus visit, but instead of connecting with local Messianic leaders, she is spending her entire time in Israel with an orthodox rabbi who is extremely opposed to Messianic Jews. This is a very dangerous thing for Christians to do as the non Messianic Judaism is strongly influenced by the spirit of Anti-Christ, and there is a growing number of people, both Jewish and Christian, who were once followers of Messiah Yeshua, who have been deceived by the spirit of Anti-Christ to turn their back on Yeshua, and the promise of eternal life in the Kingdom of GOD.
     As far as I know the pastor I mentioned above has not renounced her faith in Yeshua (yet), but she was quoted in the Jerusalem Post as saying the Christians must learn from Jews, and that they should stop trying to convert Jewish people, and that Christians should stop encouraging Jews to make Aliyah to hasten the Rapture.” 

If you need proof of those claims that you can find it in the news reports of the increasing violent protests that targeted the May 28th prayer gathering in Jerusalem, and then last week another targeting a Jerusalem Messianic Worship event.

I don’t say this for anyone to direct hatred toward these lost souls in Israel, but you do need to recognize they are lost. They have not been saved and are as dangerous as Saul was before Yeshua apprehended him on the road to Damascus. Saul was so hell bent against them he went out of the country to pursue Jewish believers in Jesus who fled Israel because of him and others like him hell-bent to throw them in jail and convict them of heresy. Believe it or not, there are organizations that continue that same strategy today! We are to pray for them to be saved, as God saved Paul with a revelation of whom it really was that he was persecuting. Persecute the believers and you are persecuting Yeshua. We are His body in the earth now. That rule is not suspended because the country is Israel.

Finally, I want to bring up the final verses that are from both Jeremiah and Ezekiel, God saying exactly the same thing 4 times – twice in Jeremiah and twice in Ezekiel: "They dress the wound of my people as though it were slight. ‘Peace, peace,’ they say, when there is no peace." To comfort God’s people Israel without bringing the restoration to relationship with God through Yeshua’s salvation is crying “Shalom, shalom” to those who do not have the true shalom. Jesus alone is the Prince of Peace.

When Christians go to Israel encouraging Israel that she does not need the Messiah who is Yeshua-Jesus, it also hardens the religious opposition and persecution of Israeli Messianic Jews. To continue to support all the causes of Israel EXCEPT the body of the LORD in Israel is exactly like if we had gone to Israel to encourage Saul to keep pursuing the believers with wrath. It is one thing to comfort God’s people Israel, but it is another to enable their boldness to persecute Yeshua’s brothers in Israel. Those brothers are Israel’s Messianic Jews. It is time we progressed in this moment to recognize that.

    *In fuller context, read the 4 Jeremiah (6:13-14 / 8:8-11) and Ezekiel (13:1-12, 16) verses that give the reasons God says is why the prophets and priests would say Peace, peace when there was not peace:  #1 greed for gain; #2 lying about what the law of the Lord actually says because they reject the word of the Lord; #3 practicing deceit; #4 prophesying out of their own imagination not the word of the Lord; #5 false visions and divinations; #6 building flimsy spiritual walls covered in whitewash.

Tuesday, June 6, 2023

The Unveiling


A Bride at the Wall

The Unveiling
by Donna Diorio

June 6, 2023 | I am considering some things I've heard from ministry leaders over the past few weeks that I would like to share with subscribers. God's awakening of such an incredible number of Christians in May to the Church's connection to the awakening of Israel is much more than what some are thinking.

It is more than Christians becoming a lifeguard to throw out a life preserver to the Israeli ministries in their season of greatest opposition since Acts 28. It is also more than a life-preserver for Christians when all the nations propelled by demonic hatred of Israel specifically bear down to destroy Israel completely.

There will be a Remnant of the faithful in all the nations, but there will be no fence sitting. Life altering decisions will be put to every single person at that time. Will they put their life on the line to stand with Israel or will they fall in line with the demonized seeking Israel's annihilation? There will be no sidelines to hide on. It will be like the difference between those who joined the Nazis for personal stability versus those who hid Jews at the risk of their own lives. This time it will be on an international scale, not simply a national scale. 

Those are heavy thoughts but I believe the leader who has spoken to this is on point. It doesn't seem to me to be the most persuasive truth, however, to make Christians want to stand with the Jewish Remnant of the faith for Israel.

Certainly we will be dependent upon each other - Christians and Messianic Jews - in the days of the Antichrist/antiMessiah. That's because, in my view, God's ultimate purpose for our becoming one together is far more motivational. It is His kindness that leads us to repentance, and He is bringing us together out of His kindness: only as we become one in Messiah will the full anointing He has planned for us come to mature expression. The world hasn't seen God's glory like this since Yeshua was walking the land of Israel and Jew and Gentile have to be made into one before His glory will begin to shine out.

It took a humbling of preconceived ideas on the part of the Jews in the opening accounts of the book of the Acts of the Apostles to grasp that Yeshua came not only for the Jews, but also now to the nations - the Gentiles. Today it is going to take a humbling of the preconceived ideas in the Church on the part of leaders and congregants, to grasp all that it means for God to make of "twain one new man" in the faith of His Son. This is beyond just reconciling us with each other, it is the revelation of what God has been producing: mankind in a full, mature measure of the likeness of His Son. He was the Word of God, made flesh, and we are to follow in His footsteps. Not just the Jews and not just the Christians, but the one new man in Messiah.

Ephesians 2:15 is the explanation of God's plan that Jew and Gentile believers are destined in Messiah to become one. Really it is about our marriage together. Becoming a survival team is one aspect of our unification, but it is about much more.

Jonathan Cahn's daily word email on June 2nd, "The Apocalyptic Bride" caused sudden bursts of new understanding me. It is more than I can fully take in since I have been looking at it, but we are living in such an incredible time of accelerated revelation.

We Christians and Messianic Jews are being called together because God is going to do an even more astounding work in us than we have seen so far and it will only come about as we come together, like in a marriage. We will help each other survive as Christians and Jewish believers, but that is not the primary benefit of any marriage. Instead it is the coming together to a love in truth with respect and devotion. 

Just like a godly marriage, we are to pour out to each other what our distinct differences contribute to the beauty of the relationship.  In our oneness yet distinctive differences, like a husband and wife, Messianic Jews and Christians both bring an equal measure of blessing to each other. One is not more gifted than the other. Messianic Jews bring the understanding of the Hebrew foundations that God laid in Israel that will enhance the Church with beauty and fulness that has yet to appreciated and enjoyed except by a few in the Church. No: the Church does not have to understand every last jot and tittle of Judaism, but God did lay the foundations of the faith in the Jewish people. That is not an insignificant fact

In Revelation 3 Jesus criticized the Laodicean church for saying, 'I am rich; I have grown wealthy and need nothing.' He went on to tell them, "But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked."

To some degree that sounds to me like the part of Christianity that not only sees Israel as insignificant to the faith, but also who do not value what Christians can learn from the Messianic Jewish part of the body of Christ. It is true that there are a lot of 'rabbi trails' that are not spiritually beneficial to Christians and lead them into pitfalls, but that is not what will be exchanged as Christians and Messianic Jews enter into this marriage made in Heaven for the end of the age.

In Ephesians 5:32 the apostle Paul says, "This is a megas/profound mystery: but I speak concerning Christ/Anointed/the Messiah, the Son of God and the ekkl'sia - the whole body of called out ones both Christian and Jew

There has been a long understanding that the Bride of Christ is "the Church."  I believe I have seen something profoundly deeper in this mystery of the Bride. It is due to Jonathan Cahn explaining the Greek word for "apocalyptic." 

Most of us think of "apocalyptic" as meaning the calamity and doom at the end of the world. Cahn writes there is some truth to that, but the Greek definition of apokalupsis means: an unveiling, uncovering, revealing or revelation. In fact, the word "apokalupsis" is translated as "revelation" 10 times in the KJV and 18 times in the NKJV. The mysteries of God are apokalupsis - a revelation, like the unveiling of a bride.

Cahn explained that in the Hebrew marriage "during the [marriage] supper, the bride and groom would slip away to the marriage chamber where the bride would "unveil" herself to the groom. The word of unveil is the word apokalupsis. 
What if this slipping away to the marriage chamber is not speaking of the Rapture, but rather when the ekklesia (Messianic Jews & Christians in an unprecedented unity) are unveiled to Israel? 

As we come into our oneness with the Messianic Jews, our marriage made in Heaven, we are going to be increasing unveiled to Israel because our oneness with the Messianic Jews is not just to "hasten the return of the LORD" to rapture the church. Instead it is to reveal a marriage made in Heaven by Divine design. We will be fulfilling our purpose at last to make the Jews jealous because we are no longer treating the Messianic Jews as an insignificant blip on Christian history, but our 'love interest' that Yeshua has ignited in our hearts. 

We have been praying "for the veil to be removed" from the eyes of Israel - all Jews worldwide. Paul speaks of the veil over the eyes of the children of Israel dating back to the time of Moses (2 Cor 3:13-18):

"We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to keep the Israelites from gazing at the end of what was fading away. But their minds were blinded (to grow hard, callous, become dull, lose the power of understanding). 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."

For those who have long been involved in Israel intercession, we have realized that the Church has been in great need of God removing the veil from Christian eyes too! That's because Christianity has been blinded from seeing God's long and persistent profession of love for Israel. It is plainly expressed throughout the Scriptures. So we have therefore also been blind to His plan to make Jews and Gentiles one new man in Messiah, just as Ephesians 2:15 says, "for to make in Himself of twain one new man" or out of two He is making one unprecedented "humanity" (anthropos). A people so transformed into the likeness of Jesus that such a people has never been seen before. The glory of the latter House of the LORD will be greater than the former. (Haggai 2:9)

Our marriage made in Heaven of Messianic Jews and Christians in these last days is the same principle as when a man and woman enter into marriage. Their union produces a whole new family unit. From two distinctively different families marriage makes them an unprecedented, new family unit. That is what the profound mystery is all about.

That is what God is doing to us. He is bringing the Jewish believers and the Christians in all the nations together to form an unprecedented family of God never found before in the annals of human history. It's a marriage between Jewish believers and Christians in the nations and only after that 'marriage' will the full expression of what God is bringing forth from humanity in His Son be realized, manifested, operational!

Many Christians believe they are already experiencing the fullness of God's gifts to us, but the fullness only arrives as the marriage made in Heaven becomes reality - for those who have entered into the purpose God has for us together. We will be a blessing to each other far beyond what any of us imagine even now. 

Sunday, June 4, 2023

God is Speaking . . . Even in the Riot

This video was shot by an Israeli Tour Guide who was drawn to the site by the sound of the shofar being blown on the southern steps of the temple, called the Davidson Center. The captions are narrative comments by Zahi Shaked who said he was asked why he uploaded videos like this to his YouTube channel. He answered that he did because it is also a part of Israel. He also comments that he is not for “missionaries” in Israel but sees what is happening here as “extremist.”  The name he gave this video is:
Extremist Jewish Minority tries to prevent
the Pentecost ceremony of the Evangelicals in Jerusalem.

God Is Speaking . . .Even in the Riot
by Donna Diorio

May 30, 2023: The first time I went to Israel in 2003 I traveled with 2 other women. We were all older ladies but we rented a car and drove all over Israel. We wanted most to visit Israel ministries and sites where terror attacks had recently taken place – like the 2001 Sbarro Pizza attack site. We wanted to demonstrate our solidarity with Israel and that we were not afraid either.

[The day after I wrote this, I read a news report that a mother who has been in a coma 22 years since the Sabarro Pizza bombing has just died of her wounds. She is the 16th fatality of this terror attack affecting mostly mothers and their children.]

We there in the midst of the 2nd Intifada, yet we traveled high and low across Israel by ourselves. We did avoid some places as we were warned by Israeli friends to avoid. But we felt perfectly safe.

    Then just days before we were to fly home, we were driving down the old Highway 1 between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv when traffic came to a complete stop. People were very agitated. The other side of the highway also had no thru traffic.
We began to see Israeli military trucks and personnel driving in on the shoulder of the road, then after them, we began to see cars backing up as fast as they could on the right shoulder of the highway. It would be a way to back up on because there were no on and off ramps. They had to back up all the way to the highway we left to merge onto the old highway. To the right of the highway was Palestinian area and to the left was Israeli. I remember smugly thinking at how terribly impatient Israelis were to back up all that way.

     After a long time waiting in a line of cars as far as the eye could see, I saw Israelis in their vehicles looking around anxiously checking out the people in the other cars, or so it seemed to me. Eventually the line of cars slowly started going forward. When we finally drove by the chokepoint that was causing the commotion, we say a car that had broken down or run out of gas and abandoned on left center wall. Military vehicles had surrounded the car creating a barrier and a robotic bomb zapper was on the scene. It had apparently been used to probe the vehicle to see if it was rigged with explosives. It wasn't… but only then did it really begin to sink in to me how much danger Israelis live with on a daily basis. Even a seemingly mundane thing like an abandoned car on the highway triggered an all out security situation where bomb squads rushed to assess what could have been a serious threat to many lives.

     I have thought about that incident many times since then. I know God did not want me to leave Israel feeling spiritually smug, and never having a sense of the threat that grips Israelis in their daily lives. He didn't want me to leave without a heart understanding of the fears. I had a head understanding of the threat but I needed my heart touched to really know what Israelis are dealing with just to exist. The threat can break into their lives at any time. It’s a sword dangling overhead.

     I believe that is also what happened on May 28th when the anti-Messiah riots broke out against the prayers when the Isaiah 62 prayer event merged into the Global Watch prayer for Israel. God did not want all of the Christians praying to go back to their lives without grasping the threats of our brothers and sisters in the Israeli body of Messiah. This violent religious opposition is also a threat that pops up against them spontaneously. It is the cost they all know well for doing what they are doing as Yeshua's witnesses in the Land of Israel.

     Christians come and go as tourists to Israel. We see Israel idyllically. But to pray for Israel's salvation we must see what the opposition to those Jewish believers who live in Israel bearing the witness. We need to know in order to pray for them as we ought. They are key to the harvest.