We are on the brink of a spiritual breakthrough in the nation of Israel. Today, the number of Israeli Messianic Jewish believers is estimated at 12,000, with about 140 different congregations and home fellowships. God is birthing a new end-time movement of Jewish lovers in Yeshua that is becoming a prophetic voice to Israel as well as to other nations. This is truly a time to rejoice.
Nevertheless, many Jewish believers in Israel regularly experience not only rejection by the traditional Jewish religious establishment but also growing antagonism and hostility from extremist ultra-orthodox elements. What is happening to the Messianic Jews is to be expected considering we are in the end times. Similar persecution is being experienced by believers all over the world.
What is disturbing, though, is the trend among many Christians and some Christian Zionists to sever their relationships with or withhold support from the Messianic Jewish community in Israel for the sake of maintaining ties to political figures or religious leaders. This trend is counterproductive for those of us who desire to see the natural and spiritual redemption of Israel. It is imperative that we stand in prayer and support for our Jewish brothers and sisters in Yeshua.
God isn't pleased with lovers of Zion who turn their backs on their own—the Jewish body of Messiah. In fact, some Christian funding is being funneled into organizations, both Christian and Jewish, that are fighting the local believers in Israel. This is a time to use discernment in your giving.
There is no doubt that the Holy Spirit is being poured out on God's chosen people once again. The prophet Jeremiah foretold this season when he wrote, " ‘Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah' " (Jer.31:31, NKJV). The Lord confirmed it when He spoke through Ezekiel: " ‘ " ‘I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you' " ' " (Ezek. 36:26-27).
We, Israeli Jewish believers in Yeshua the Messiah, are dedicated to the land and people of Israel. We know that God watches over His people; nevertheless, we must speak out when adjustment or correction is needed. Now is the time to bring the good news and the hope of Israel to our people.
In the days of the early church, even a very orthodox Jew stood up among the elders when they were accusing Peter and the other apostles. "Then one in the council stood up, a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law held in respect by all the people, and ... said to them: ‘Men of Israel, take heed to yourselves what you intend to do regarding these men. For some time ago Theudas rose up, claiming to be somebody. A number of men, about four hundred, joined him. He was slain, and all who obeyed him were scattered and came to nothing.
"After this man, Judas of Galilee rose up in the days of the census, and drew many people after him. He also perished, and all who obeyed him were dispersed. And now I say to you, keep away from these men and let them alone; for if this plan or this work is of men, it will come to nothing; but if it is of God, you cannot overthrow it-lest you even be found to fight against God'" (Acts 5:34-39).
When the apostle Paul went on his journeys, he raised money for Jerusalem. He always did it for and through the community of Jewish believers in Yeshua. Today Christians are showing their love for Israel through many wonderful acts of compassion. Our nation appreciates your love.
Barry Segal is the president of Vision for Israel (visionforisrael.com), a humanitarian aid work located in the Judean hills of Jerusalem. A Jewish believer, Segal also produces the TV show Roots & Reflections, which helps people in other nations learn about Israel.