It is time for more Sauls to come forth!

As a new believer, I met with an ultra-Orthodox rabbi for four hours, from 10 pm to 2 am, in February of 1984. Rabbi Immanuel Shochet (Shochet means butcher in Hebrew!) worked tirelessly, seeking to “deprogram” young Jewish believers in Yeshua. He had wanted to kidnap me for such purposes, and I will ever be grateful to my parents for denying him the opportunity. Sadly, he passed away a few years ago, never knowing that the Yeshua he persecuted loved him deeply.

Last week, Jerusalem Deputy Mayor, Aryeh King called for protests against believers—Jews and Gentiles— praying at the Southern Steps to the Temple Mount. What followed, as many of you know, was the appearance of a violent mob that attacked different believers.

Two thousand years ago, a Jewish leader named Saul from Tarsus led the Sanhedrin in stoning to death a Jewish disciple named Stephen. Young Saul was just getting started.

But Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way [1], men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. (Acts 9:1-2).

All three of these men have one thing in common—they thought they were doing the work of God by resisting the Messiah. Yeshua predicted as much: “The hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God” (John 16:2).

Rid your heart of hate

This is why I don’t hate Aryeh King or the young men who attacked my wife. They think that God is pleased with their behavior. I see in the life of Saul what God can do. He did something that neither Rabbi Shochet nor Deputy Mayor King ever did—he committed murder! We are not mad at Saul, are we? No…because we know what became of the fanatical rabbi!

Now as he went on his way, he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven shone around him. And falling to the ground, he heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” And he said, “Who are you, Lord?” And he said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. But rise and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do.” (Acts 9:3-6).

The rest is history. The once hater-of-Messianic-Jews—affectionately known here in Israel as “missionaries”—became one of them. And not just anyone, he wrote most of the theology in the New Testament. I have faith that we will see many more Sauls coming to faith in Yeshua.

Put yourself in their place

Now I know that many believers were outraged by the events of last week but guard your heart. I have seen anti-Semitic statements from believers posted on news sites and social media about “the Jews.” While Jesus said, “Forgive them, they know not what they do,” these people harbor hate against God’s chosen nation. No, I don’t have Stockholm Syndrome, but I do understand why some Jews are terrified of Christians. The first generation of Yeshua followers was mostly Jewish, but by the mid-150s, the Church had completely rejected Israel. Put yourself in the place of a Jewish person who knows history. Here are some of the highlights.

In the Middle Ages, bishops demanded Jews wear distinctive, humiliating clothing.

The Fourth Lateran Council (1215) further codified the segregation of Jews, requiring them to wear distinctive dress—a conical hat in the Germanic lands and a “Jew badge” in the Latin countries—that made them simultaneously more visible and vulnerable to attack.” [2]

Jews were constantly accused of kidnapping, torturing, and ultimately, ritually murdering Christian children. There is a portrait (fake, of course) of Jews crucifying the two-year-old Simon of Trent. The most famous one, Weltchronik, portrays the Jews draining the blood from the child.

Altogether, there have been about 150 recorded cases of blood libel (not to mention thousands of rumors) that resulted in the arrest and killing of Jews throughout history, most of them in the Middle Ages. In almost every case, Jews were murdered, sometimes by a mob, sometimes following torture and a trial. [3]

In the 14th century, Jews were murdered by Christians who accused them of starting a pandemic.

The Black Death devastated Europe from 1348 to 1349, wiping out a third of the population. Of course, the blame was placed squarely on the Jewish people, despite the fact that the plague decimated Jewish communities as well. How did the Jewish people manage such far-reaching destruction? They (supposedly) contaminated the wells with a poisonous mixture of lizards, spiders, and hearts of Christians, mixed with the elements of the Lord’s Supper. What’s worse than the lie itself is the fact that hundreds of thousands of Christians believed it! And as a result, angry mobs killed thousands of Jewish people, and “Jewish children under the age of seven were then baptized and reared as Christians after their families were murdered.” [4]

Now put yourself in the place of the 21st-century Jew who has studied this history. How hard is it for my Jewish brothers and sisters to consider that Jesus might actually be the Messiah when his followers (or so-called followers) committed such atrocities against their ancestors in his name? That is why so many Jewish people who have come to faith had supernatural, undeniable experiences with God—I know I did. And that is what Saul needed to convince him.

The Ultimate Prayer Chain

Instead of giving in to fear and hate, let’s take all this momentum from the Isaiah 62 fast and the opposition we received and funnel it into a worldwide prayer effort to pray for the salvation of Aryeh King! If we had 100,000,000 people praying for Israel on May 28th, can we get 1,000,000 to pray every day for this man to have a deep encounter with God?

When Saul was knocked to the ground, he asked the voice that was speaking to him, “Who are you, Lord?” Some might think that is strange—he was calling him “Lord”. Though Paul knew it was a voice of heaven, he did not recognize it as Yahweh. The word Lord, kyrie, is not the Greek equivalent for Yahweh, the God of the Hebrews; that would be giachvé. Kyrie can be Lord or simply sir—like the Hebrew adon (Where we get Adonai).

“I am Yeshua whom you are persecuting,” comes the answer. “That’s who!”

Could we get 1,000,000 believers to pray daily for those who are persecuting believers in Israel to have a Damascus Road experience like Saul? And not just outright haters, but all religious Jews…and secular Jews.

I have faith for more Sauls!

Let me share why I believe that we are going to see more and more of these people, like Deputy Mayor Aryeh King, turn to Yeshua. When Paul speaks about the end-time harvest of Jewish people that will lead to a great awakening in the nations, he uses a unique word: riches. In Romans 11:12, he says that the Jewish rejection of Yeshua resulted in “riches” in the nations. In other words, the apostles spread the message outside of Israel, and God opened eyes. So, Israel’s rejection released “riches.”

But he says that Israel’s acceptance in the end times (which we have started to see) would release “greater riches.” Paul knows that it was not total rejection from Israel. He says in the same chapter that he is a Jew and that there was a remnant of Jewish believers in his day, compared to the 7,000 during the time of Elijah that stayed faithful to Yahweh. So, what he is saying is this: The acceptance of the remnant caused riches for the nations. Thus, the acceptance of most or all of Israel will result in “greater riches.”

In Romans 9: 1-5, Paul is expressing deep anguish over the condition of his people—the Jewish people—and how, for the most part, they were blind to seeing that Yeshua was the Messiah. He had “great sorrow and unceasing anguish in his heart” over their rejection of Yeshua. Keep in mind that these are the same people who will soon try to kill Paul (Acts 22) and send him ultimately to his death in Rome. Can we pray like Paul?! The Jewish people need intercessors like Paul—will you stand in the gap and pray?

An eye-opening awakening is coming to the Jewish people, and if there were just a few Pauls and Nicodemuses in the first century, there is going to be a flood in the final century. But it is going to come on the heels of movements like the Isaiah 62 fast. Now is the time to pray—now is the time to ask God for a harvest in Israel. Will you commit?


[1] The Way was the original name of the body of believers. At this time, it was an exclusively Jewish movement. Soon, the Gentiles would start to hear the good news.

[2] Robert S. Wistrich A Lethal Obsession

[3] Walter Laqueur (2006): The Changing Face of Antisemitism: From Ancient Times to the Present Day, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-530429-2. p. 56

[4] Brown, Michael L.. Christian Antisemitism: Confronting the Lies in Today’s Church (p. 23). Charisma House. Kindle Edition.


By Ron Cantor / It is time for more Sauls to come forth! (

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