Saturday, August 26, 2023

God has been sending you wake up calls


What do the Red Heifers arrival in Israel have to do with recent uptick in anti-Jesus riots against Messianic believers and government actions to deny the ICEJ Christian Staff with renewed work visas? A lot actually – at least I think so. The religious coalition parties in Israel now have power over Christian work visas and citizenship/immigration issues. They are in the strongest position of power they have ever been in. From their perspective, this is the moment to establish all in their hearts to remake the state of Israel. The move against ICEJ just might specific targeting because Jurgen Buhler, President of ICEJ, took part in the the Global Isaiah 62 Prayer event for Israel. Good for him! He did the right thing.

God has been sending you Wake Up calls
but Christians are still turning a blind eye to our spiritual family in Israel.
by Donna Diorio

Many high level Christian leaders have been granted an "ALL ACCESS" backstage pass by Israeli political and traditional Judaism leaders. It is going to be very difficult for them to openly recognize the Israeli Body of Messiah and likewise to begin to transfer even some of their abundant resources to the God-ordained mandate of Israeli Messianic ministries preaching Yeshua the Messiah and the Kingdom of God in Israel.
     The IHOP Isaiah 62 Fast & Prayer for the salvation of Israel in the month of May was powerful. It united Christians all over the world behind God’s redemptive plan for Israel. The prayer event even ended in Jerusalem with an alarming real life incident much like the one the apostle Paul witnessed in Acts 12:1-2, 25. The Apostle Paul understood what God was showing him and it immediately changed his priority going forward in ministering to the Gentiles in the nations.
     After the events of Acts 12, Paul began urging an ongoing collection be made in each church that was earmarked for the Israeli Messianic leadership in Jerusalem to meet the needs of the body of Messiah in Israel. Why? Because of the persecution: Same as today. Paul was setting the example that Christians were to follow going forward, but this practice fell by the wayside probably within one generation of Christian leadership but certainly it was cut off officially at the Nicean Council.
     Fast Forward to 2023 events in Jerusalem because God is INTENT on restoring the provision for the Israeli believers in the restored state of Israel. It is HIS PLAN that the Israeli believers be Yeshua’s witnesses in Israel to bring forth in the spiritual harvest there.
     At the very end of the Isaiah 62 month of prayer, Christian Prayer representatives from the nations met with the Israeli Messianic ministry leaders to hold an international prayer event on the southern steps of the Temple Mount on May 28th. Many who participated in the IHOP event attended too. Most of the Christians gathered at this event do not have a clue about the significance of Israel, much less the Messianic body of Messiah in Israel.
     Imagine their shock as Christians and Messianic Jews prayed above on the southern steps, as a mob of extremist ultra-Orthodox Jews gathered on the street below around the entrance and the tour buses that brought the Christians to the event. There was pushing, shoving and in-your-face yelling as participants entered and exiting the prayer event.  Police had to called in to keep the rioters from harming the participants, although some of the Israeli believers were roughed up and hurt by the tumultuous mob. Later, after Christians went home to their nations, it seems all was forgotten, but Israeli Messianic believers continued to be attacked.
     Another mob action was called when came together for a worship concert in Jerusalem on June 22nd and another riot ensured. Individual acts of targeting Messianic Jews has increased over the summer and Israel’s Messianic believers are feeling it strongly. At the same time there is a disheartening decrease in donations to these ministries, forcing them into hard decisions of what must be cut from their budgets.
     Inside Israel persecution of the faith in Jesus is being advanced by the religious radicals in another way: directly targeting the Christian organizations in Israel to refuse the visas of their workers.  This approach is not new to the Israeli citizen-believers who are often targeted attempting to revoke their citizenship because of the faith. The common belief of Jews all over the world is that when a Jew comes to faith in Jesus, he has ceased to be a Jew. That, of course, is false, but it is mainstreamed belief among Jews.  The religious bureaucrats in charge of immigration and citizenship don’t often pursue revoking citizenship of Jews who believe in Jesus because of the Christian uproar, but they do often attempt to target non-Jewish spouses with revoking citizenship or citizens services. This sword over the head of many couples is a stressful threat on Messianic families with or without children born in Israel. The bureaucrats hope to discourage the families so much that they leave Israel to escape the stress of persecution.
     With the latest effort to create stress on all believers in Israel, the religious bureaucrats are now
targeting Christians with the threat of not renewing their ability to stay in Israel on 6-month work visas. Frankly, the bureaucrats are striking at the weakest link in the chain which is the lack of Christian allegiance to Israel’s Messianic Jews. 
     Christians fold all too easily when threatened with less access to come and go freely to Israel. For example, in 1998 Israel-based Christian organizations entered into an agreement with the Israeli government. It was called “The Understanding” and the wording of it was seen by many of the Israeli Messianic Jews as abrogating the cause of evangelism of the Jew. The pay off was that the strong efforts in the Knesset of the late 1990’s coalition government under Netanyahu was the bill to pass an “anti-missionary” bill would be withdrawn.  It is said the agreement was developed by Christians in Israel and verbally agreed upon by the parties rather than signed.
     The exact wording of a key portion of the 3-paragraph “Understanding” reads:  "We believe that the covenant which God concluded with the people of Israel was never revoked. We deeply respect the Jewish people in their identity and integrity and will therefore not engage in activities, which have as their intention to alienate them from their tradition and community. Nor will we exploit, for the benefit of our denominational interests, such economic, social or psychological needs as may emerge. Recalling the grim events preceding Israel's rebirth, we are sensitive to their memories, hurts and feelings, even as we pursue our religious callings. We also recognize the potential for healing between our faith communities as we live in the midst of a Jewish majority, sharing its challenges while living together in a land sacred in both our traditions.”
     In essence this agreement was not only to not evangelize Jews, and by extension distancing themselves and their resources from those in the Israeli Messianic community that did. It is a black mark on the Christian community for lack of support of the believers in Israel, and frankly departs from the plan of God to spiritually redeem Israel by faith in Yeshua, Jesus. The Messianic community in Israel has been tight-lipped about The Understanding. They didn’t like it but they didn’t speak against those who entered into it either.  They have continued to bear the consequences of this ill-conceived agreement.
     Is this agreement honored by God, that is the real question.  The only honest answer is that God did not sign on to an agreement that puts His Chosen People outside of their ONLY way of re-entering spiritual relationship with Him: by faith in His Son and Israel’s Messiah, Yeshua. This will come, but it will come by the uncompromising witness of the Messianic Jews in Israel, and international Christians who put their support and prayers behind these servants of Yeshua in Israel.
     I began this article by saying that “Many high level Christian leaders have been granted an "ALL ACCESS" backstage pass by Israeli political and traditional Judaism leaders. It is going to be very difficult for them to openly recognize the Israeli Body of Messiah and begin to transfer their alliances to support their spiritual brothers who are in the faith of Messiah Yeshua, or Christ Jesus.
     Can that be done “in love” to all Israel, the believers and the unbelievers? Yes it can, but there will be backlash and attack for especially those Christian ministries who have high profile status with the unbeliever Israelis, and zero contact with the believer ministries. As soon as any of them begins to acknowledge our Divinely-ordained relationship with fellow believers in Jesus in Israel, they are going experience the pressure to get back in line with the non-saved Jewish projects in Israel – or else!  It is going to be really hard on especially the highest level of Christian leaders to withstand the level of pressure for them to denounce the Israeli Messianic body or at the very least completely withdraw from ever mentioning them or supporting them.
     One Jewish ministry head of a Christian humanitarian group had to leave their own ministry several years back when they began to steer donations to flow through some Messianic Jewish humanitarian operations instead of only through those unbeliever-operations in Israel. One member of the board opposed the Jewish leader’s direction of funds so strenuously they campaigned relentlessly against the leader of the aid group. It became unbearable to the leader who stepped down from their own organization. Starting afresh and now going to even more Israeli Messianic organizations to distribute the humanitarian aid, the Christian back at the original group has initiated false accusations against the Jewish leader in their new humanitarian outreach.  I related this story so you understand the nature of the backlash from Christians!  [*Report today that after being falsely accused of wrongdoing and reported to the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability, “after an informal audit, where they dug deeply into our records, they said that we were compliant and appreciated all the work that we’ve done” This from my friend at Sar Shalom Israel who didn’t let efforts to aid the Israeli believer ministries be hindered by an uninformed and a badly indoctrinated Christian aggressive attempts to block.]
Another form of Christian backlash we have witnessed is how when an Israeli TV network contacted an Israeli Messianic Jew to operate a channel that was a witness of Yeshua in Hebrew featuring all programming produced by Israeli believer ministries, it was radically opposed by Christians. One high level Christian Zionist in the United States came out against Shelanu TV hammer and tongs. She even petitioned the Israeli Prime Minister to pull it off the air! Shelanu means “Ours” conveying the message that Yeshua is a Jew, therefore one of ours. Inside Israel there was a former Christian who was from an evangelistic family who grew up in Messianic congregations in Texas, but was turned into a radical “anti-missionary” by her obsession with an infamous anti-Messiah rabbi. The woman converted to Judaism to follow the rabbi to Israel and is now a relentless bloodhound on the trail of any Messianic Jew she can take down inside Israel or the United States.
     I am telling you these things so you can pray with understanding for the plight of the Messianic body of Messiah. I know many, many Messianic Jewish leaders in Israel and not one that is not hurting due to decreased donations from international Christians.
     The apostle Paul – the Apostle to the Gentiles – knew this would be an issue to the end.
     I’m also telling you these things so you can pray that God will strengthen the faith of Christians to take uncompromised stands based on His will rather than the pressures of unsaved Israelis.  If we do not arise now, like Queen Esther did long ago, then the assault on our brothers and sister in Yeshua will be unbearable. Do not think you will escape consequences if you fail to stand with them. Or how was it that Mordechai put it? "When Esther’s words were relayed to Mordecai, he sent back to her this reply: ‘Do not think that because you are in the king’s palace you alone will escape the fate of all the ~Messianic~ Jews. For if you remain silent at this time, RELIEF and DELIVERANCE  for the ~Messianic~ Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows if perhaps you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”  Esther 4:12-14
     You might well deflect my application of this verse to the current reality saying, 'It does not say "Messianic" Jews in that verse! I am for protecting ALL Jews.'  By all means we do speak up for ALL Jews, but when some Jews are persecuting the Messianic Jews we are spiritually related to by the BLOOD of Jesus, if we do not rise to THEIR defense and remain silent, failing to provide them relief and deliverance from those who are target them for their faith in Yeshua, then we are not obeying GOD in the least. Make the hard decision to do the God thing, not the easy way out thing.
     It is going to be too hard for some of the highest profile Christian Israel supporters. They are going to fail God by continuing to turn a blind eye to our brothers in the faith of Yeshua in Israel. As the popular saying goes, they are going to be on the wrong side of history. HIStory.
      Do not follow their lead if they are not leading you to take an Esther stand for the body of the LORD in Israel. "Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers." Galatians 6:10  

Sunday, August 20, 2023

Recognizing the Two Anointings


Recognizing the Two Anointings of Galatians 2:6-8 
Apostles to the Jews and the Apostle to the Gentiles
by Donna Diorio

I have a specific article rumbling in my spirit right now. It is in a little different vein than the others I have been writing, and will continue to write. It involves Galatians 2:6-8, which I believe is still a God-thing in the current season. 

     6 But as for the highly esteemed — whatever they were makes no difference to me; God does not show favoritism — those leaders added nothing to me. 7 On the contrary, they saw that I had been entrusted to preach the gospel to the uncircumcised, just as Peter had been to the circumcised. 8 For the One who was at work in Peter’s apostleship to the circumcised was also at work in my apostleship to the Gentiles.

In light of the moves the empowered religious right parties in Israel have made to cease granting the work visas of those working in Christian organizations in Israel, we may need to consider that God wants us to shift our assumptions about how “all Israel” will be saved.

This is actually a development I expected to see from having been laser-focused the last 22 years of doing my Israel Prayer Weekly Summary of Prayer Requests from Israeli Ministries and Arrows from Zion. My deepest conviction is that the people of Israel will come to faith in Yeshua through the labors of the Messianic Jews of Israel - just like in the Book of Acts.

The apostolic team in Israel, 11 chosen by Yeshua and 1 chosen by them after Judas committed suicide, were tasked by God for the salvation in Israel during the period. Then another Jew, who frightened the Jews in Israel because he was different: First because he persecuted the believers, but Shaul became a post-Resurrection Apostle chosen by Yeshua Himself. And he was really different, because the parameter of his calling was as "the apostle to the Gentiles."

Acts 9:15-16 shows us a frightened Damascus Messianic Jew, Ananias, and the LORD speaking to him to get over his fear because, “This man is My chosen instrument to carry My name before the Gentiles and their kings, and before the people of Israel. I will show him how much he must suffer for My name.”

Why a separate Jewish apostle to address the Gentiles and their kings? because it takes different anointing to be effective among the Gentiles, as it is also true for effectiveness among the Jews. The Gospel is the same, but there is an anointing for effectiveness among the Jews that is different from that which is effective among the gentiles.

Just because there are crossovers of effectiveness is not the point. The point is that when the LORD gives us an effective anointing among a certain people group, we are going to be wildly, not mildly effective among them. Understanding also that the Jewish people group are more resistant to the “Christian god” preaching than any other people group!  This is not ONLY because of horrible Christian history of persecuting the Jews. If we are honest about this, there was resistance to Yeshua before a single Gentile got involved and that is because it was God’s plan from the beginning to cause a blinding of their eyes, which He in His sovereignty would remove in His own timing. Many Christians have missed that point, like Martin Luther for instance. It turned him from advocate to anti-Semite because the Jews did not respond to his goodness toward them. It has done the same to many through the ages because we have completely missed that their blindness to Jesus is due in great part to God’s own plan.

Read Deuteronomy 29:2-4  2 Moses summoned all Israel and proclaimed to them, “You have seen with your own eyes everything the LORD did in Egypt to Pharaoh, to all his officials, and to all his land. 3 You saw with your own eyes the great trials, and those miraculous signs and wonders. 4 Yet to this day the LORD has not given you a mind to understand, eyes to see, or ears to hear.

Isaiah 6:9-10 9 And He replied: “Go and speak over this people, ‘Be ever hearing, but never understanding; be ever seeing, but never perceiving.’ 10 Make the hearts of this people calloused; deafen their ears and close their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed.”

Why would the Father instruct the prophet Isaiah to prophesy over Israel so they might not “see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed.” Because it was not according to the plan that God had for bringing all the nations of the world into the opportunity of spiritual life through the “by their transgressions salvation is come to the Gentiles.” Romans 11:11  I cannot explain God’s reasoning – it is far above mine! But I can tell you this is what His Word says about what He is doing among us.

 Yeshua Himself quoted in the Isaiah 6:9-10 prophecy in Matthew 13:13-17 13 This is why I speak to them in parables: ‘Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand.’ 14 In them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled: ‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving. 15 For this people’s heart has grown callous; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts, and turn, and I would heal them.’ 16 But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. 17 For truly I tell you, many prophets and righteous men longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.

Jesus wasn’t talking to Gentiles, He was talking to Jews who saw and believed.  He knew there would come a time in the Father’s plan when His people, the Jews, would have this blindness removed, so they could be healed.

Why? Paul explains it to us in Romans 11:11 and 11:28

 Romans 11:11-12  I ask then, did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Certainly not! However, because of their trespass, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel jealous. 12 But if their trespass means riches for the world, and their failure means riches for the Gentiles, how much greater riches will their fullness bring!

Romans 11:25-29  25 I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you will not be conceited: A hardening in part has come to Israel, until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. 26 And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: “The Deliverer will come from Zion; He will remove godlessness from Jacob. 27 And this is My covenant with them when I take away their sins.” 28 Regarding the gospel, they are enemies on your account; but regarding election, they are loved on account of the patriarchs. 29 For God’s gifts and His call are irrevocable.

Reading these things, why do so many Christians think it will never happen until God allows the Christians to all fly away leaving the horrors part of the end times exclusively to the Jews to find their way to God? Who will be here to tell them? Paul explains it in Romans 10:12-15, although many Christians have focused on the wrong thing. It is not that there is no difference in Jews and Gentiles, but that in coming to faith both have to hear the Gospel and respond in order to be saved:

Romans 10:12-15  12 For there is no difference between Jew and Greek: The same Lord is Lord of all, and gives richly to all who call on Him, 13 for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” 14 How then can they call on the One in whom they have not believed? And how can they believe in the One of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone to preach? 15 And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”

There is much about God’s plan that we are like the proverbial ‘calf at a new gate” including the idea that even though Christians have been preaching the Gospel up a storm in the nations for almost 2,000 years, including winning some Jews to the reality of the Messiah, God has already set His own plan in motion regarding bringing “all Israel” to faith and it is not like many suppose. I believe this is a last days truth that many are going to be resistant to, but God is going to have His way anyway.

For one thing, none of us can come to the Jesus unless the Father draws them. We don’t choose Him, God chooses us to reveal Him to us. God opens the blind eyes, not us. Our part is to share the Gospel and those God has chosen will come to Yeshua. That is where God’s timing is such a dominant factor of “all Israel” coming to faith in the Messiah.

Now in God’s timing and in fulfillment of Ezekiel’s Vision of the Valley of Dry Bones (EZ 37), God set to restore the Jewish people scattered in the nations back to Israel. Only there would He do the main miraculous restoration of “all Israel” to spiritual restoration. Some Christians think that the takeover of the current religious right parties in the Israeli government and the plans for the raising up of the third Temple in Israel is the proof of God’s spiritual restoration occurring before our eyes. That is NOT the spiritual restoration God is doing in Israel because the ONLY ones blessed with spiritual restoration in Israel are the Israeli Messianic body of the LORD – the targets of much persecution from religious Jewish zealots.

Christians who either have no idea they exist in Israel, or who have been propagandized by unsaved traditional Jews to regard Jews who believe in Jesus to be a hateful cult just don’t get it. God plans to use those believers in Israel to bring spiritual restoration to “all Israel.” How deceived must we be as Christians to accept the premise that Jews who believe in Jesus are CULTS! Seriously?

Over the past two decades I have watched as major Christian ministry heads and Christians in politics who have ignored the believers of Israel. Some have even been sucked into becoming their enemies because instead they court the favor of Israelis who reject Yeshua is Israel’s Messiah. Just like Martin Luther did not understand what God is up to, so these high profile Christian leaders do not have a handle on it either. Some have been more harmful than others, but Christians ignoring the reality of up to estimates of 15,000 to 20,000 Messianic Jews in Israel is a sad thing to behold.

In the current political environment where the Israeli religious right government coalition is empowering religious zealots in anti-Messianic activist groups to be even bolder in targeting those believers for persecution of all sorts, isn’t it time yet for international Christians to awaken and arise to their aid in every way possible?

For 22 years I have been so focused on the Israeli Ministries, and I mean exclusively focused on them that I have not followed at all what is going on in the Church in the US, or even in the Messianic congregations in the U.S. The reason is that it is easy to lose the track you are on when you don't set boundaries of what you are going to concentrate on.

Spiritually speaking my eyes have only been for the Israeli ministries, because I KNOW how significant the body of Messiah in Israel is to "all Israel" being saved. I know their uphill ministry challenges. I know their obscurity with so many blind to their existence and then others aware but frankly not comprehending the magnificent role God has chosen for them to play in days of all Israel being saved.

There has been a shift in the Spirit since the Isaiah 62 fast and prayer for Israel. Many people who participated may not have a real clue about the body of Messiah in Israel, nevertheless the prayers that went up over the month of May have accelerated us into a new season of our contending for the faith. Things have been set in motion to begin to reveal the truth about the believer ministries in Israel.

Even as right now, the Israeli believer ministries are sitting in extremely uncomfortable seats with everything from lack of decent ministry funding to the rise of the exact segment in Israel that incites and enables persecution against them. But in this season change, God is going to pour out new levels of understanding by revealing His plan for Holy Spirit unification of Christians and Messianic Jews in the Messiah.

I know I certainly feel my own ability to write about these things has entered a new faster-forward momentum. Some doors are opening to me that I did not expect. There is confidence in my innermost being in how I am serving the LORD's purpose, in how I relate to Him, and in His love for me. The fact that He chose me, not that I chose Him or this path He set me on.

My belief is that in the weeks and months ahead we are going to marvel at what God is doing and those He chooses to do it through. I'm pretty excited about all that I think that is going to do for Yeshua's brothers and sisters in Israel, the Remnant who did not persist in their unbelief, but have entered into the faith of Israel's Messiah. Yes, there are still going to be persecutions. All you have to do is look at prophetic scripture and see that is going to go on all the way to the end but despite that, "all Israel" is getting saved - right now and all the way to the end!

I am going to have a part in that. I set my stake in the ground 22 years ago at this time in August of 2001. "Whoever tends the fig tree will eat of its fruit." Proverbs 27:18 I have been tending the fig tree for 22 years in my elists. It has been a lonely mission, mostly underfunded and overlooked, but I was not doing it for money or for to be famous. I am "tending" the fig tree because God showed me why I need to.

The word tend is translated from the Hebrew word nāṣar. The scope of its meaning is: The KJV translates Strong's H5341 in the following manner: keep (38x), preserve (13x), watchmen (3x), besieged (2x), keeper (1x), monuments (1x), observe (with H7521) (1x), preserver (1x), subtil (1x), hidden things (1x), watchers (1x).

The fig tree represents Israel's fruitfulness, or through being leafy only with no fruit, of its religious pretense.

For most of these 22 years, people looking at the body of Messiah in Israel have dismissed them as "ineffective" for bringing "all Israel" to the saving knowledge of Jesus. I have had people say that outright to me!

The season has changed. Watch for unexpected breakouts of grace, provision and anointing for the work of God related to Israel.

Friday, August 18, 2023

Spiritual Maturity Required for Loving Israel

An ad from the Israeli anti-Messianic activist group Yad L'Achim

 It requires a level of spiritual maturity to stick it out with a group of people who treat you poorly, even mistreat you. It takes rising up to a level of commitment first to God that says, I see how much was sacrificed for me when I was yet a sinner, and how much faith and patience You have shown me as I stumbled and fell short in my life. I see also that Your desire is to see those who have isolated me, who have made me the butt of their ill will, that those are ones you desire to come to the saving knowledge of Your Son who laid down His life that any who did not persist in unbelief, but welcomed Him could enter eternal life with You.

Some things that does not mean: Yeshua/Jesus did not let anyone kill him, He laid down His own life at the time God showed Him was the time. There were attempts to murder Him before that, but He did not just lay down and let them do as they pleased with Him. We are not to do that either. 

It is a false Gospel to suggest that we - to show our love - must be passive in life-threatening environments. Yeshua removed Himself from life threatening environments because the day of His sacrifice was to be at a certain, God-ordained time, the Passover. We are the same: we cannot prove our love of our enemies by just allowing them to "kill" us or cause us great bodily harm.

No wife is called to God to remain under the same roof as a physically abusive husband. Likewise, the passivity of believers in Israel will NEVER convict the activist religious groups who have been threatening the believers in Israel for decades. Since I have been doing the Weekly Summary and Arrows from Zion, I have known of about 5 fire bombs targeting Messianic Jewish congregational facilities and believers. This is only the fiery attempts to harm the Jewish believers in Israel, there are so many other forms the persecution has taken place.

Now Christian organizations in Israel are in the crosshairs of religious activists, and it is not just the yeshiva boys riled up by their religious-political elders, it is the religious far right in Netanyahu's coalition government who are in positions of government power over things like clergy visas. Now the Christian organizations are getting a taste of the persecution Messianic Jewish believers have experienced for many years: the Interior Ministry trying to kick out husbands or wives of Israeli Messianic Jews because the spouse is not Jewish even if all the children were born in Israel. Some have been kicked out or forced to leave because of government refusal to extend benefits to spouses of Messianic Jews.

I DON'T TELL YOU ALL THIS TO RILE YOU UP AGAINST ISRAEL. Even though I could see this level of persecution rolling down the track for a long time - it was inevitable according to prophetic scripture - my point is not that you turn on Israel as an enemy. My point is that you wake up to reality. 

What do Christians owe the Israeli Messianic community who have been placed there by GOD Himself to be the laborers in the LORD's vineyard. They are going to bring the spiritual harvest of Israel in regardless of the harassment and persecution of the religious activists - and God is going to be with them to the END of it all when Yeshua returns.

What do we owe them? Exactly what scripture tells us we owe them:  "For if the Gentiles have shared in the Jews’ spiritual blessings, they owe it to the Jews to share with them their material blessings." We STILL owe this debt to the Israeli Messianic believers - much more than Messianic Jewish believers in ANY other nation in the world. Israel is the last battleground. They are in the center of the spiritual storm on earth and we have been STARVING them out, with not even funding to do the ministry work God has laid on their shoulders.

It is past time the Christian organizations who donate so generously in Israel, began to wake up and realize that by all those donations not being channeled through the ministries of Israeli Messianic Jews, this has tied the hands of those who are actually ministering Jesus to the people of Israel. 

We cannot let these things turn to hatred for Israelis, not can we ignore the reality that how Christians give to Israel is so out of bounds. This money must go into the hands of Messianic Jews pouring out their lives to minister the Gospel.

If what I am writing means that I never get to set foot in Israel again, so be it. I settled that reality in myself years ago. I don't need to go to Israel, but my money and my support for Israeli Messianic Jews does.

Weekly Summary 22nd Anniversary & Bad Developments in the Land


     This is the 22nd Anniversary issue of the Weekly Summary. For all of these years I have encouraged Christian Israel lovers to realize it is the Israeli Jewish believers, the body of Messiah in Israel, who are now and ultimately the laborers in the spiritual harvest in Israel. There have been many Christians who hardened their heart against believing they would not be those laborers working the spiritual fields of harvest in Israel. Years ago I tried to tell some Christians who frankly dismissed the Messianic believers in Israel as ineffective and not up to the job of bringing salvation to the people of Israel, that at some point Christians were not even going to be allowed to get in Israel. But I was scoffed at. Now there are headlines out of Israel that show this is exactly where this religious right coalition in Israel is headed toward. I don’t say that in and I told you so mode. I am unhappy to see this is where we are and Christians still don’t know to be a part of the spiritual harvest of Israel, they are going to have to become ‘help-mates’ to the Israeli ministries. Christians are going to have to come alongside them not only in prayers, but also in funding. Please wake up Church. It is getting rough over there on all the ministries.

New Visa Policy Threatens to Shut Down Evangelical Organizations Operating in Israel | The International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem was notified that its requests for clergy visas have been rejected on the grounds that the organization no longer qualifies as a religious institution. Group's attorney: 'We will bring our case to court'
  August 17th this headline appeared in HaAretz – it is a terrible source to get most news from Israel, but when it comes to religious news, I have found them to be the most likely to tell both sides of the story.
      I found that out after the
religious zealot planted a bomb in a Purim basket for a Messianic pastor-family in Ariel in 2008. If not for the miracles of God performed on Ami Ortiz, he would have been the first Messianic  martyr of modern Israel at the tender age of 15.

Quit funding those determined to shut down the body of Yeshua in Israel!
They are Israel’s HOPE!
  — Pouring out heart & soul for God's purposes in Israel, Donna

What are you being grafted into?


What are you being grafted into?
by Donna Diorio

Some of us have it backwards: we Christians have been grafted into Israel’s olive tree and now the only Jews who have been re-grafted in by God are those who have come to faith in Yeshua. So why are so many Christians trying to graft themselves into the Israel that persists in unbelief?

     I am certain that if we knew the actual number of how much Christian financial donations are being given to the unsaved rabbis of Israel who are also partakers, if not instigators, of the persecution of Israeli Messianic Jews who love and follow Jesus - Yeshua the Messiah of Israel - that we would find it staggering.

     It is distressing to me to consider, and I cannot tell you how many times over the years I have had Christians ask me about this one or that one who support Israel. It doesn't take very long to scan the ministry to see they absolutely are not connecting with the Israeli body of Messiah, but are only connecting to the unsaved rabbis raising money among Christian "friends" for their projects.

     It is quite competitive to get Christians on-board of their projects, some of which are nice, but none of which will ever lead to their awakening to know Israel's Messiah. Recently during the Isaiah 62 Fast & Prayer for 21-days, one such rabbi showed up trying to make himself a prayer hub during the event. That made my hair stand on end! Because this rabbi would sure not be praying for "all Israel" to be saved, quite the opposite! He would be focused on siphoning off all the Christian support for Israel that he possibly could. He was there for the donations he might be able to land from Christians.

     He had already been on my radar although I had mostly just ignored him. When I saw his organization name as a "prayer hub" on IHOP's social media for Isaiah 62, I immediately did a thorough search to make sure I had the right idea about the rabbi in question and the first thing I found was him talking about the "Eureka!" moment when he realized how much income there was to be in tapping Christian supporters of Israel. I was incensed by it. But that was not the first time Rabbi Weisz has insinuated himself into large Christian gatherings.

     It has always been greatly disheartening to me to see such high level Christians become so fascinated with the unsaved rabbis who desire to establish relationships with them. The reason this is troubling to me is that while the unsaved rabbis are forging relationships with high level Christians, they are also subtly (and sometimes not so subtly) training Christian leaders to ignore the God given spiritual connection we have with the body of Messiah in Israel.

     Recently a high profile Christian pastor was quoted in a Jerusalem Post with a headline that read: "Trump’s faith advisor: Christians must learn from Jews, not convert them." They drew this from the fact that Paula White-Cain came to Israel to travel with Orthodox Rabbi Tuly Weisz, visit the Temple Mount with former MK Rabbi Yehudah Glick, study with Religious Zionist Rebbetzin Shani Taragin, walk in Hebron with Rabbi Simcha Hochbaum, visiting the Arugot Farms in the Judean mountains and studying Torah at Nishmat – The Jeanie Schottenstein Center for Advanced Torah Study for Women.

     What a waste! Great for Paula's ego, zero step forward for God's plans in Israel to bring Israel to faith by the Jewish disciples of Yeshua among them. Paula did not visit one Israeli Jewish believer in Jesus on Paula's tour, nor do most of the most high level Christian political leaders and pastors. What an ego trip to have the red carpet laid out for you while you tell everyone: "I do not want to convert Jews or send them to [live in] Israel for the rapture. The plan for salvation for the Jews is God's." and “You can be Jewish without being Christian, but you cannot be Christian without understanding Judaism.”

     Paula White is right in part: It is NOT the place of Christians to bring Israelis to faith and without understanding the Hebrew scriptures, a Christian does not have a solid foundation beneath their faith in the Jewish sacrificial Lamb who made salvation possible for them. But Paula White-Cain has not come to the correct conclusions about God's intentions to bring Israel to faith THROUGH faith in this Yeshua preached by the Messianic Jewish believers in Israel. It is their place to be witnesses of salvation of Yeshua, and it is the international Christians' place to support the Israeli body of Messiah in every way.

     Many Christian leaders who support Israel do not have this understanding of the plan of God which the Apostle Paul laid out so well. There is blindness, and no matter how much I respect these leaders in other areas of ministry and devotion to God's love for the Jewish people, it is heartbreaking to see them continually gathered in to support unsaved Israel while turning their backs on the saved Remnant in Israel.

     Whether it is inviting rabbi Tuly Weisz to speak at the Jerusalem Prayer Breakfast on the National Religious Broadcasters annual meeting, these invitations should ONLY be extended to the Israeli Messianic leadership, NOT to unsaved rabbis that will even more Christians AWAY from God's plan for Israeli, not TOWARD it!  I don't care how many high profile Christian leaders think otherwise, they are being led by the spiritually blind! They are like MOST Christians who know they are to love Israel, but they are trying to be "grafted in" to unsaved Israel rather than the only people in Israel who are "re-grafted back into their own tree" by their faith in Yeshua as Messiah.

     I would be remiss not to mention that many Diaspora Messianic Jews also still do not get the full magnitude of significance of the Israeli body of Messiah. God's plan to restore Israel spiritually are wrapped up in that Israeli remnant. Connecting Christians to the unsaved in Israel may seem like a good idea, but it is not God's idea.

     God drew Christians to begin a love relationship with Israel over the last 75 years, but now it time to for our love to mature and recognize who the HOLY SPIRIT is working through in Israel, instead of focusing all Christian attention on 'dating' unsaved Israelis. God is leading us to a marriage of Jew and Gentile made one in Messiah.

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Persecution of the Israeli Body of Messiah

    Gil Afriat & the Tiferet Yeshua worship team  

In the first ministry letter shared this week, news of the theft of thousands of dollars' worth of media equipment and musical instruments at the congregation. In a separate incident the week before one of congregational leaders home was also broken into. There is no way to know if either were related to persecution for the faith, or simple crimes. God knows. The thing we can know is that both are spiritual attacks. Please pray for Tiferet Yeshua and for God’s protection over all the congregations.

Persecution of the Israeli Body of Messiah
by Donna Diorio

After the stoning murder of Stephen when persecution became so acute that many believers fled to other nations, what happened next is what puts Christians in debt to the Israeli Messianic Jews:  As they facilitated the preaching of the Good News to the gentiles, we are in debt to facilitate the preaching of the Good News to Israelis.

     After the murder of Stephen most of Jews who scattered to the nations continued to only preach Yeshua and the Gospel to Jews — BUT NOT ALL OF THEM. Those who went to Cyprus and Cyrene traveled to Antioch and began to speak also to Greeks about the good news of the Lord Yeshua. (Acts 11:19-20). The news of the great number of gentiles who believed and turned to the Lord made its way back to Jerusalem.

     Right before all this Peter explained the vision of non-kosher animals to the Apostolic team in Jerusalem, and how he had been accused of eating with Gentiles. That was a big no no according to the kosher commandments. But God was doing a new thing, raising spiritual understanding to a higher level in Yeshua. [Notice from reading Acts 10, 11 & 12 how many times the number 3 come up which seems to me to point to the Father, the Son & the Holy Spirit being involved in these events]

     God gave Peter the vision three times, along with an audible explanation of the vision meaning: “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.” That’s why when the Italian Cornelius was given a vision to send for Peter to come to Caesarea, God prepared the way by also giving Peter the vision of the non-kosher animals. While Peter was still wondering what the vision meant, suddenly the 3 men Cornelius sent to ask Peter to come to him arrived where Peter was. The Spirit told Peter, “Simon, three men are looking for you.  So get up and go downstairs. Do not hesitate to go with them, for I have sent them.”  Through all these things Peter then understood that the Good News was not only for the Jews, but it was also for the ‘non-kosher’ Gentiles.  Peter went with them and began to speak to the large gathering of people at Cornelius’ house who had been gathered to hear from Peter.

     Read the exact message Peter brought them in Acts 10:34-43. It is our message today: Yeshua is for all of us who will hear and respond in faith. In those days it was a revolutionary idea that God was offering salvation to anyone outside of His Chosen People, the Jews. That is how it had been for a couple of thousand years: the faith of YHVH was for a specific people, singled out by God Himself.

     It was Peter who first got the message that this limitation had been lifted. Then as he saw the Holy Spirit poured out on Cornelius’ household, he knew everything had changed. Peter said, “Surely no one can stand in the way of their being baptized with water. They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.” So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Messiah Yeshua.”

     After leaving Cornelius’ house Peter went to Jerusalem to lay out the case before the rest of the Apostles in Jerusalem. He told them all that had happened and the Apostolic team agreed that it was accepted by them to preach the Gospel to the Gentiles. So when word came from Antioch that gentiles were being saved there, they sent Barnabas to Antioch. And when he saw what was going on in Antioch, Barnabas went looking for Saul in his hometown of Tarsus to bring him back to Antioch.

     Saul would later tell the Galatians that he spent three years in the desert in Arabia being taught by the Holy Spirit before returning to Jerusalem where the believers were terrified by his past of persecuting believers. But there he saw Peter and James, the Lord’s brother. At this point he was sent to Tarsus because unbelievers in Jerusalem wanted him dead. This is point that Barnabas retrieves Saul from Tarsus and brings him back to help evangelize in Antioch and organize them in congregations.

That was the launch into Shaul’s appointment by God to become “the Apostle to the Gentiles” as he tells the Galatians he ministered there for 14 years before going back to Jerusalem and being confirmed in his apostolic administration (2:1,8). It was still not safe for Paul in Jerusalem. There were believer Jews who were jealous of him, and unbeliever Jews who did not want the former prize student of Gamaliel preaching Yeshua to the locals. By this time, even though Paul expressed great desire for Jews to be saved, he knew he was a marked man in Israel and had accepted the God-given assignment to take the message of salvation to the nations.

      We could assume now, “And the rest is history,” But it’s not  because of what happened in Antioch (Acts 11) and Paul’s next trip to Jerusalem (Acts 12): Acts 11:27-30  “During this time some prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. One of them, named Agabus, stood up and through the Spirit predicted that a severe famine would spread over the entire Roman world. (This happened during the reign of Claudius.) The disciples, as each one was able, decided to provide help for the brothers and sisters living in Judea. This they did, sending their gift to the elders by Barnabas and Saul.”

     There are several things to notice: #1 The famine was going to be worldwide, so #2 why was special consideration given to the believers in Israel when all believers in the entire Roman world would be afflicted by “severe famine”? One word: Persecution. The believers were already being persecuted in Israel on many levels including economic. Like it is again today, religious persecution of Jewish believers in Yeshua is often brought to bear in various economic ways. It was not a show of favoritism; it was a show of solidarity with those bearing a heavier burden. Notice: the relief effort began BEFORE the famine struck! Like Joseph in Egypt stored up reserves in the fat years, the time to give to the relief effort of Israeli believers is BEFORE the famine in the nations begins.

     Which brings us to the issue of why Christians, after almost 2,000 years, would be expected to think that what the Apostle to the Gentiles said In Romans 15:27 to Christians in that time could still be true today? What did he say? “
It pleased them (Christians in Macedonia & Achaia) 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.” Whether we recognize it or not after 2,000 years, that is still the case that we are partakes of the spiritual things of the Jews who belong to Jesus, and our DUTY to minister to them in material things still remains as true today as it did when Paul wrote Romans.
    Would Paul have laid down his life in order to take the donation collection from all the churches in Acts 21 if the collection was only a temporary duty of Christians? Anyone could have delivered the financial help to them in Jerusalem if this was some one-off with no meaning intended for Christians down through the ages when God would put forth His hand to restore the nation of Israel and redeem His people within the restored Promise Land.

How long will we fail to see what is obvious? We must facilitate the Gospel going forth
in Israel. Not trying to take over the preaching, or trying to influence the unsaved Israeli with our financial generosity, but be generous to those Jewish ministries in Israel who are laying down their lives to be Yeshua’s feet in Israel.

Tuesday, August 1, 2023

The Word of God is Quickening


I have a growing sense of something that began with a 'knowing' that Yeshua was not born knowing who He was, but He saw who He was, recognizing Himself in scripture. 

     We are told to read scripture and insert our name into prophecies to make it more personal and real to us, but I believe that we can go even farther than that because it must have been exactly how Yeshua learned who He was, and what He was sent to do. He learned by reading the scriptures and recognizing Himself in prophecies. He saw Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son at the instruction of God. He saw the lamb of God, the Passover sacrifice and God quickened the passages to Him - who He was and what He was sent to do. Even though tested by satan many times, Yeshua believed what He saw and accepted it from His Father.

     As we earnestly pour over the scriptures, I think most of us know the experience of having God "quicken" or make a verse come alive to us in a greater, deeper, more personal way than we have ever read it before. This is God speaking to us in His Word. We seek Him and He reveals not only Himself to us, but He also reveals who we were made to be. It is more than an exercise in putting our names into scriptures, it is the interaction of the Holy Spirit guiding our path into fully serving the LORD. Not everyone is called to lay down their life physically, but some are and we are all called to lay down our lives in a way that we do God's will and not our own.

     There have been all sorts of people who get deceived and think they are John the Baptist, Jesus, the prophet Jeremiah or take your pick. These are devilish delusions meant to scare believers off from seeing who they are and what they are called to from the Holy Spirit's making alive key passages to us. The world cannot understand these things and think anyone who believes these things are like the delusional psychos who murder their own children or other heinous ungodly acts claiming to be God's "chosen" apostle or prophet. But is is exactly as the apostle Paul wrote to the church at Corinth: 

     1 Corinthians 2:13-14 And this is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom, but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words. 14 The natural man does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God. For they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned."

     The first time we ever see God speak audibly over Yeshua was at His baptism. It very well could have been the first time The Father had EVER spoken audibly to Yeshua. I say this because of the Hebrews 2:14-17 

     14 He too shared in their humanity, so that by His death He might destroy him who holds the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death....17 For this reason He had to be made like His brothers in every way, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, in order to make atonement for the sins of the people. 

     This audible voice of God spoken over Yeshua at baptism were in fulfillment of Psalm 2:7 and Isaiah 42:1. The first time it was for the benefit of John the Baptist. The God speaks audibly again on the Mount of Transformation for the benefit of Peter, James and John the brother of James. There Yeshua was transformed in glory before their eyes. James, the brother of John would be executed years later when Herod arrested Peter and James to the delight of unbelieving Jewish in Israel. Paul who had been a vicious persecutor of believers in Jerusalem before seeing Yeshua in His glory and coming to faith, "just happened" to be witness of the events that unfolded in Acts 21. 

     Even though he had formerly been a Jewish persecutor of Jewish followers of Yeshua, the events he witnessed in Jerusalem - the loss of James to enemies of Yeshua - would reveal to Paul a new, critical facet of his mission to the Gentiles. He would see how he too would be required to lay down his life at the Father's bidding, which Paul did when he returned to Jerusalem several years later carrying the collection of financial aid to the apostles in Israel from the Gentile churches he was responsible for overseeing.

     All these things are connected to where we are all being led, into a deeper following in the footsteps of Messiah, and laying down our lives to God's purposes. In John 21 Peter questions Yeshua: John 21:20-22 

     20 Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them. He was the one who had leaned back against Jesus at the supper to ask, “Lord, who is going to betray You?” 21 When Peter saw him, he asked, “Lord, what about him?” 22 Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain until I return, what is that to you? You follow Me!”