Interview with Revive Israel. – Podcast Transcript – 4/23/2019
In Episode 10, Jacklyn spoke with Asher Intrater and Jeremiah Smilovici about the work that Revive Israel is doing in Israel and around the world. They discuss the importance of working in Israel and how the work they do will matter in the Second Coming.
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[00:00] JVB: Hello, everybody, and welcome back to another LiveBeyond Podcast. My name is Jacklyn Vanderpool Barnett. And today we have two incredibly special guest joining us all the way from Jerusalem, Israel. Revive Israel is an incredible organization that is dedicated to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ, not only in Israel but to the very ends of the earth. And today we have the CEO and Founder, Asher Intrater, and the CFO Jeremiah Smilovici joining us for our podcast today. Asher and Jeremiah, thank you so much for joining me today all the way from Jerusalem, Israel. So, tell me a little bit about y’all’s organization, Revive Israel.
[00:40] AI: Well, first of all, we want to say that we are a group of Jewish believers, Israelis in, who have faith in Yeshua and live here in the Land. And we serve here. A lot of people don’t even know that there is such a thing – that there are Jewish people that believe in Yeshua and they’re living here. And so, we’re part of the community of faith, the Messianic Jewish community of faith in Israel of which were not the only ones. There’s many different groups. We’re just one of them, and we’re serving here. But we tried to look going back to the Bible and look at the first believers and try to model ourselves after them – the first community of faith. You know, people say about the first million believers in Yeshua were all Jews or all Israelis. And so, we want to follow their pattern. It kind of, a reformation of the Reformation, going all the way back to the Scriptures. And since we don’t know where else to look to, we don’t, we don’t have another denomination. The format of our faith is just to go right back to anything that we’ve seen the Bible and say we that’s what we have to pattern our lives on.
[01:49] JVB: I think that’s incredible and I know that y’all are doing wonderful things. So, how is Revive Israel reaching people who are not quite believers in Jesus and Yeshua in the Land?
[02:01] AI: Well, I would start with our, with our idea, you know, as we, we looked at Scriptures, we started with the book of Acts because we thought, “Well, we want to find out what to do, what kind of action should we do.” And so, we thought to look to the book of Acts, and we started right with chapter 1. And what we saw there was a small group of people, start out with 12 and then 120 and then the 3,000, and it grew. But it started out with a group of people that were kind of a team together and looking to do anything to advance the Kingdom of God. It wasn’t one particular administrator, just had everything. So, we gathered together. It was similar that way, about a group of about 12 of us. And we just said our hearts were to be a team together, a ministry team, what we sometimes call an apostolic team. But we mean that they were, we were just open to do anything that the Lord wanted us to do. We started meeting every day to pray and praise the Lord and study scriptures together and then just say, “How can we serve you? How can we advance the Kingdom of God, starting in Israel and then going to out to around the world but using, using the pattern of the first disciples the first, the first community of faith? How can we follow their examples and, and do what they did?” And so that’s what we said. We were just to be a team together, a ministry team to advance Yeshua’s Kingdom in whatever way He would have us. So that’s how we started. And everything has grown out of that many, many, many, many, many things have grown out of that in many different directions. But it all started from that core, a group of young Jewish believers. I was only one that wasn’t young. I was younger then, but, but we gathered together and just began to pray and praise, say the scripture together and listen to the Holy Spirit direct us and just obey and to do whatever He wanted us to do.
[03:53] JS: Yeah, and the way we’re reaching non-believers today, we actually have an online TV channel, in He- all in Hebrew, called the YeshuaChai.TV, and you can, you can find it online if you like to go to YeshuaChai.TV. And that’s all in Hebrew. Evangelistic channel that shares the Gospel 24-7 online. So, it’s, it’s built up in a way that it’s speaking to the local Israelis because all of the media is produced in Israel by local Israelis. Jewish people will know the Messiah, so it feels very much like the Israeli TV. So, this way, when people go into the Yeshua Chai TV channel, they actually feel like they are watching the Israeli TV, day-to-day life TV and not some foreign Christian. Sometimes, even though we love all the Christians who come here and share the Gospel with the Jewish people, sometimes it feels to them very foreign, and because of that, it’s hard for them to receive it. So, through this channel, people are receiving Yeshua as their Messiah, and we have had 4 people in the last couple of years actually come to know Yeshua and actually link into local congregations in Israel.
[05:09] AI: One of the things we found that was challenging here, you share a faith in Israel was that most of the material was just, things had been written outside the country and translated. And actually, the ideas don’t translate, because the very concepts, the terminology, how Jewish people look at the King is just different. So, when, when we saw translated material and then somebody locally would try to read it, even though it was in Hebrew, it just made no sense. It was like reading gibberish. So, we started out many years ago, even just writing our own tracts, you know, just a little Gospel explanations, but writing it from scratch instead of trying to translate it. And then starting different of evangelistic home groups, and then finding ways that we could do it. We have, there’s some outreach on the streets and Tel Aviv today, and we dif – do different things. But the idea was to try to figure out how to be able to share the Kingdom in our own language, in our own culture. We’ve even had some opportunities to be on public newspaper and public, you know, secular Israeli television and so on. But you have to be able to speak to them in their, like we call eye-to-eye, and, and so, on eye level. So that’s been very important. And so, it took a number of years just even to figure out how to communicate, communicate the Gospel in the right way within, in a way our people could hear it and understand it. So that’s been growing and figuring how to do that and then reaching out to them more and more, and, and, of course, having local congregations that could receive people. And thank God, they’re all, just, being established and growing. It’s very exciting.
[06:58] JVB: That’s incredible. So, you mentioned a little bit of one of the challenges that you faced when you were sharing the Gospel. What are some of the other, other challenges that you have seen, specifically about sharing the Gospel there in Israel?
[07:13] AI: Well, one of the challenges that we’ve always had is, is the ultra-Orthodox community, ultra-Orthodox Jewish religious community. Who, they see us as their enemies. They see us as just horrible. They see us as monsters, and they are aggressively out to stop us. And they try to use leverage, both socially and media wise, and even in the government, to try to stop us. So that’s, and also pursuing believers. Young, young Israeli believers. They will call them up and try and purposely one on one, just try to draw them away. And they have told us. I mean, they’ve looked us directly, and said, “We’re out here to destroy you. We want to pull every single personal play.” So, that’s a little unusual, that perhaps people in other countries might not, might, might not be aware of such a, a pointed challenge. One of the things that’s interesting about that is it’s very similar to what you see in the Gospels. Then was the Pharisees going on purpose to try to stop the movement of faith in Yeshua, having very similar questions having to do with the Jewish context of the faith. All the arguments that you see in the Gospels, that are probably irrelevant to most other people’s cultures, we deal with them really directly almost every day. That’s on the one hand. Another hand you have, the secular Israeli Jewish society is, is pretty, extremely sinful. I don’t know if I can think of another word, but it’s very sinful. A huge amount of sexual immorality and sexual perversion, really. And, a whole number of every different kind of cult and weird philosophy. So, there’s a real split in Israeli society. It’s almost like extreme religious orthodoxy, and then you have this extreme, secular really weird, pushing things passed what would even normally be considered secular. So, those are our two challenges on the, on the two sides.
[09:22] JVB: Now how can non-Jewish believers come alongside our Messianic Jewish brothers and sisters and partner with you?
[09:31] JS: So we have a lot of relationships already with friends all around the world. And if you, if people want to connect with Revive Israel, we have a Facebook page called Revive Israel, pretty easy to remember. And we have a lot of people already connected to us through the page, tens of thousands of people. And that’s a great way to just stay in touch with us and being engaged with what we are doing. We broadcast live from our worship room every Monday, and people join us from all around the world, and there are, people have the opportunity to comment and just write to us and share what they’re, what they’re experiencing through the screens and the Holy Spirit, we have people being sent out to the nations. We have people coming here to visit us, and we’re happy for people to come visit us and join us physically here in our mornings for worship, worship sessions. And if anyone has a heart to volunteer first, we have, we’re always happy to have people come here and volunteer and just help us with so many different things we do. If it’s discipleship, if it’s sharing the Gospel with local Jewish people, just the most simple things helping here in the community. So, there’s endless ways that people could come from the nations and engage with us.
[10:48] AI: I would also say that as Jeremiah was describing, it’s kind of a 2-way street. One is that, what we are sending out, we take it very literally. The great commission of Yeshua in Acts 1 where He said, “You receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. You will be witnesses of me from Jerusalem, from Judea, Samaria to the ends of the earth. So, we send out materials every week, teaching materials, parameters in 15 different languages. We send out our young people to everywhere on the, on the globe, and so, we, we, we want to, we want to pick up, we kind of say this jokingly and with humility, but with boldness of heart that what the first Jewish disciples started, we want to finish it. We want to finish the Great Commission and bring it, bring it back home. And so, we very aggressively do that. So, we see every nation of the world as part of what we’re doing. I mean even though we’re tiny, but you have put a little bit of salt in places it can make a difference. As far as the streak, the way it comes back to us, of course, we need a lot of prayer because the spiritual battle here is very intense. We believe the existence of Messianic Jews in Israel is part of papering the way for the return of Yeshua. And when Yeshua returns, that means the devil gets kicked off the planet. So, we’re very aware of the fact that all of the now fallen and evil angels are out here to stop us. So we feel that every day in a very clear way. So, we need, we need prayer help. That’s one thing. The other thing is, another thing is that to understand who we are and what we do is very important because our very existence is beginning, I would say, another stage of the paradigm of the Kingdom of God. Just as it was a new paradigm when it went from Peter to Paul and went out of the country, and the nation was destroyed. But now that there’s a community of faith reestablished in, in Israel, it’s taking into another step forward in the paradigm of God’s Kingdom, another stage. So, what we’re saying is that the, the sharing of the Kingdom of God with Jewish people really has two different parts to it. One is the love of non-Jewish Christians which touch you, and some say, “Why, why do you love us?” And they feel that. That’s one part of it. And then there’s a second part of dealing with us as people like them, who are Jews who also believe in Yeshua. So, there’s kind of a two stage, and really the sharing of the love of Yeshua, sacrificial, unconditional love as non-Jewish Christians is usually the first step. It’s kind of the beginning of the process, and we’re sort of the end of the process, but we need people to do that. It’s just to, to show Jewish people the true and intimate and sincere and sacrificial and generous love of God. They don’t know that. They have religion, but they don’t have the personal relationship with God, and so just love people and show them that is super important wherever they are. A lot of also Jewish people come to faith when they’re traveling outside the country. Israelis love to travel from South America to India to everywhere in the world. And, and somehow when people travel they’re open to consider new things. So just showing them the love of God. Now other than that, of course, is just as Jeremiah said, is coming to visit us and making personal relationships and being here together. So, we, we see ourselves as partners. One thing I’ll also share which I hope will be an encouragement to listeners, is that as we can understand the plan of God, we, as the Messianic Jewish community of faith in Israel, cannot bring the Kingdom of God and salvation to our people are alone. We have to have the partnership of non-Jewish Christians all around, international Christians from all around the world. God has set it up that way on purpose. It’s when we come into partnership that that is, that is what displays the love of the Kingdom of God. And so, we know we can’t do it, we can’t do it spiritually. We can’t do it in sharing the Gospel. We can’t do it prayer-wise. We can’t do it financially. God has designed it. So, this partnership between Messianic Jews and international Christians to bring an end times revival in Israel that will lead to the second coming of Yeshua that the international Christians can’t do it alone and the Messianic Jews can’t do it alone. We have to come into a partnership. So, we are, with all of our hearts, reaching out to say, “Let’s make a partnership, both to bring the Gospel to the end of the world to all of your nations, but also to bring the Gospel back here to the to the Nation of Israel in our people.”
[15:52] JVB: Amen. Well, one thing. Over the last year and a half or so, we have been teaching our Haitian brothers and sisters more and more about Israel and how, in teaching them really to intently pray for everything that y’all are doing there. So, you know, I even want to ask this almost for their sake, because I want to be able to share this with them, but, the church in Haiti, it’s a, it’s a very, very poor church, but a very rich church in spirit. So how can the believers in Haiti be a blessing to Israel in the body of Messiah there?
[16:31] AI: Well, we’re actually very excited to know that we have brothers and sisters in the Lord there in Haiti because, as you said, they, they’ve gone through different sides of persecution. They’ve certainly gone through their own spiritual warfare battles. And so, they would understand about that. Again, to know us, to pray with us, to pray for one another, and to see themselves as partners with us, we would, we would be honored. You feel that way that we are partners together with our dear brothers and sisters in Haiti, and it’s a two-way street, loving one another and praying for one another and seeing us as one, one family together. One, as we say, one new man together. But what we feel is that we together display a rainbow, and the rainbow needs every different color, and those colors need to be in harmony, and those colors need to be shining. And so, we need, so we need the people in Haiti to be, to, you know, be their color in this rainbow with us, to be shining with the glory of God and be in love and unity with us. So, we just want to encourage that, encourage our dear brothers and sisters there. You are encouragement us, and we want to be an encouragement to you, too.
[17:48] JVB: Amen. Well, I cannot wait to share that with them. Now we do know that Yeshua is coming back, and we’re so, so excited and anticipating the day of his Return. So, what are the steps that you see that we need to be making in preparation for His return?
[18:08] AI: Well, that’s a great question. It’s a big question. It starts with understanding that Yeshua really does come back, that the Second Coming is real, it’s going to happen, it’s physical. And that, and that Yeshua returns back to Jerusalem. Going back to Acts 1, He lifted up off the ground from the Mount of Olives. He’s coming back down and will touch, his feet will touch the Mount of Olives once again, as it says in Zechariah 14. So first of all, understanding that that the that the Second Coming is real, its physical and goes all the way back to a touchdown in, in Jerusalem, which is different from what a lot of people think that Yeshua comes halfway back, and people go back up to heaven and that, and not connecting the second coming of Yeshua with, with a physical arrival here on planet Earth, in, in Jerusalem is the first key to it. I liken that, what I’ve called that before is like a seeing a, an airplane in an airport. Yeshua being the airplane and Jerusalem being the airport. And He has to come down and land. If you don’t believe that the airport has anyplace in Scripture, then what you have, you have an airplane that circles and then leaves. And that’s a lot of how a lot of people see Yeshua’s second coming, comes halfway down circles and leaves again. But no, we believe He’s gonna land. We’re here building that building, the airport for him, so to speak. And we want Him to come all the way back and land on planet Earth. So, once you see, understand, that Yeshua’s second coming Israel and physical, He will come back to planet Earth, and all of the sudden the importance of Israel as a nation, Jerusalem is the city, the community of the Messianic Jewish community of faith in Israel and the Arab Christian community in Israel and the international Christian community in Israel all become, all of the sudden they have, not just a meaning, what we would say ecclesiology, not just a meaning as a church, but also eschatologically. In other words, we have a meaning, of us being here as part of the end times and Him coming back. So, and, that’s just the beginning of it. I would also say this, that recognizing that the devil would like to stop that, and what the devil wants to stop is the second coming of Yeshua, because the devil knows when Yeshua comes back, he gets kicked off the planet, so that, it’s marshaled not only against, it gets marshaled against all Christians around the world. And it gives marshaled against Israel as a nation because we have to be here. And of course, certainly within the Messianic Jewish community, within the nation of Israel. But so, what you see is a movement against Israel around the world, whether it’s in the United Nations, whether it’s in the international media, whether it’s in Islamic jihad, that all that is being, and it seems irrational, out of proportion, hatred for the state of Israel. In, particularly of those 3 things that the media, the United, the United Nations and Islamic Jihad, you say, “Why would that be? Those are three very different things.” The uniting factor behind that spiritually, is a demonic attempt to, to stop the second coming of Yeshua, which will end up in a huge world war. Armageddon coming and, and then coming, attacking Jerusalem as, as Yeshua returns. So, we just, we want the body of Christ around the world to partner with us to prepare in the way for Yeshua to come back.
[21:47] JVB: Absolutely. Well, we’re just excited that He is, He is coming back. And we cannot wait, but absolutely preparations are important, you know, to think that there are going to be people that will be caught off-guard at His coming. Even though they’ve been Christians, their entire lives, maybe have even read Revelation. So, preparation is absolutely key. Now, how can we be partnering with Revive Israel?
[22:16] JS: Gosh, you’ve mentioned prayer, which is a key thing that we need. Because everything in the end is, first of all, it’s spiritual. And we have to connect on a spiritual level together, and, really, we need the prayers beyond everything we need. People praying for us here. There’s a lot of spiritual warfare that we are engaged with. Being, being in Israel, being in Jerusalem, you understand that reality is different for us than it is for a lot of other people who live in different countries, just Jerusalemn being the capital of the heavens that will come down to earth. And if people visited it, visitors and they feel it when they come, they feel that difference in the spiritual realm. So, really, prayer is the most essential thing we need. And everyone can do that. It doesn’t matter, if you have money or don’t have money, we don’t, we don’t, we’re not looking for money. We’re looking for prayer partners beyond everything. And people can help volunteer with many, many things. From helping in simple tests from if it’s maintenance work and things that we do here, but, also so many things today, we do online with media, translations. As Asher said, we have things translated to 15 languages. We always have more need of translators to just get the word out from Revive Israel about different teachings, to understand what, what it is we’re teaching. So, if anyone is interested in translation for us, we would be happy, if you connect with us. And then the last thing really is finances. Yeah, at the end, the end of the day, we, we need money to do what we’re doing, but really, that is the least important thing. Beyond everything, we need prayer and we need volunteers. And really everyone can do that. So, if there’s anyone who has the heart to pray for us or volunteer, please just, just do it and connect with us. And we would be happy to hear from you.
[24:22] AI: Jacklyn, I want to say something else about the money because there is something spiritually significant, we believe. There’s a biblical pattern in donations for the, financially, for the local Messianic community in Israel. It’s beyond and above just normal financial donations, its donations with a, sort of, a spiritual significance. I was thinking about the people in Haiti who probably could understand very quickly the type of spiritual warfare. Of course, it’s different, but in terms of the intensity, from what I’ve heard from your, from your parents about something similar in that way. But even being very poor people, the Bible speaks of even a widow’s mite. In other words, there’s something for them to position themselves that you get, this is where you’re where your money goes, your heart goes. And I believe there’s something about, believers around the world having their heart centered on the faith community in Israel as a way of preparing their hearts for the Second Coming. And the Bible speaks of the wealth of the nations coming in. And I remember asking the Lord, “Well, why should that happen?” We feel that the Lord is telling us, “Believe for large sums of money to come in,” and we think, Well, why and how and what?” but we believe that part of that has to do with what we’re talking about of, of readopting the Great Commission. In other words, we want to finish off what the first apostles started. And, they, they received huge amounts of money. It wasn’t for their own individual needs, it was to launch the Kingdom of God. And what we want to do is, is to finish that race. And that, and that requires a lot of resources, and any resource, of course, you can get with money. And we see that, that, with that from people around the world also would give money when, when, when the Jewish people came back to build a temple in Jerusalem. Well, Judaism doesn’t need a physical temple right now. It needs a temple of living stones of true believers in Yeshua here in the end times. And there’s a, there’s a fulfillment of prophecy, as we see it, as believers around the world partnering with us and coming in. And we, we’re really seeking that right order. We know, we know that God can provide the finances, but for us, you know one, one tenth of one shekel, on tiny- coming from somebody in Haiti, which would mean that we made a covenantal partnership connection with the people in Haiti. And there’s a lot of groups that we do it where we get a little bit in from them and we give a lot more back to them. It doesn’t make a difference. But we’re talking about with this a partnership for the Kingdom of God where you have the international church, the international ecclesia partnering with the Messianic remnant in Israel, us giving out to them, them can be giving back to us, and we, as we partner, even with Arab Christians here, we give to Arab Christians. They go out, we share the – there’s this. We want that spiritual partnership and flow in a covenant away that demands both prayer, but it also demands finances, so that we can keep things moving. And I think that when people understand the, that, the kingdom spiritual significance of it, it’s going to release a huge amount of generosity, and we want to see that flowing in both directions. We understand that means we need to give it out first, and so we’re doing that as aggressively as we can to create this beautiful dynamic of give and it shall be given to you, into Israel, out from Israel going out, forth to see the Kingdom of God really come into a, kind of a, speeding up a whirlwind effect in these end times.
[28:08] JVB: Asher, Jeremiah, thank you so much for joining us today. It was such an honor to get to hear about the incredible things that the Lord is doing through Revive in Israel and around the world. If you’re interested in learning more about Revive Israel or even making a donation, you can go online to ReviveIsrael.org. And please join us in praying for Revive in the incredible work that they’re doing. Also, if you want to see our 2019 and 2020 mission trip dates to Haiti, it please go to LiveBeyond.org. Thank you so much for joining us today, and don’t forget – go out and LiveBeyond.
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