August 30 2020
Shalom dear friend,
This is a letter I didn’t want to write. Composing this letter over the last few weeks has been difficult.
Yet I am compelled to tell you what I sense, writing as carefully as I can.
For many years of our marriage and ministry Avner has been the one who has written the pertinent newsletters. I have written the more personal Boskey ministry and family updates.
This time I’m the one who has written a newsletter. I’ve poured my anguished heart into this.
Anybody who knows me knows that I desire to think, speak and live positively. My default setting is wearing rose-colored glasses every day. Most of the time I choose positivity as my temporal reality. But joy is different. True joy is from God and can be experienced in the most difficult, painful and even horrific times. True joy can walk hand in hand with sorrow.
So this letter that I didn’t want to write is not a “happy” letter. But it is a true letter as God is my witness and my helper. I hope that this letter will encourage you to dive deeper to reach the ultimate source of unfailing joy. What I desire for myself I desire for you.
Some years ago I felt that 2020 would be different than previous years. I sensed that the movement of time itself, in a sense, would seem to accelerate. On January 27 2020 I wrote these words to our whole mailing list: “For the last few years I’ve sensed that the year 2020 would be a time of a quickening pace in the events leading to the Lord’s return. Already I feel this is happening and it points to our increasing need for spiritual sobriety and prayerful vigilance. We ask the Lord to keep our eyes focused on Him and on His call in our lives to see ‘all Israel saved’ and ‘Israel the exceedingly great army’ of Ezekiel 37:10.”
Trouble is coming and is here
Avner and I have traveled to over 35 countries in 41 years of marriage. For the last several decades and especially for the last five years, we have been writing and speaking about unprecedented trouble coming on the earth. We have spoken about steadily increasing persecution of the Jewish people, especially in the West. We have consistently warned believers in Yeshua to be ready to help Jewish people when their lives are threatened. We’ve constantly encouraged people to watch, pray and prepare.
North America is one of the primary countries where our voices have been heard. In the USA, every time I’ve spoken about coming persecution of the Jewish people there, I’ve felt disbelief at the words coming out of my own mouth. I’ve usually said “I believe trouble is coming, but I honestly don’t see how it will come. I can’t imagine what it will look like. I can hardly believe it will happen.” The last time we were in the USA was November 2019. I warned then to prepare for coming trouble, especially for Jewish people, still hardly believing myself as I spoke.
Yet I proclaimed the need to be alert and watching, based on my convictions about what I know of history, Bible prophecy, God’s covenants, character and commitment to His own Word and to His own people Israel. At the same time I’ve struggled to accept how the prophetic scriptures detailing the end time events could touch the USA, especially juxtaposed with the goodness that has prevailed over the USA by the grace of God.
I just didn’t see how this trouble, which I knew would surely be coming to the USA, would happen.
My own history
I was born in 1957, a mere 12 years after the end of the Shoah. Awareness of WWII and the Holocaust are of huge significance in my life. I’m the oldest of seven children and grew up in a Bible-believing home. I was born in Minneapolis Minnesota, formerly the headquarters of Billy Graham’s ministry and once a bastion of evangelicalism. I grew up listening to Christian radio, going to church every Sunday, singing hymns, listening to recordings of Handel’s Messiah and hearing the Bible read every night by my father. My parents also read other books to us. We had no TV in our home. One of the books my parents read was “The Hiding Place” by Corrie ten Boom. Corrie’s story captured my heart. These foundational elements marked and shaped me.
My parents, today ages 94 and 88, love and pray for Israel and the Jewish people. Both Christian and Jewish periodicals, music, art, literature and people were present in our home. I was always in love with Israel. I committed my life to the Lord at age 16 and knew unmistakably that Israel would be my destiny, my calling and my home. I’ve been watching, studying, living beside and learning from Jewish people my entire life. Jewish people of all kinds have shaped me. I am beyond privileged to share in the destiny of the Jewish people, physically and spiritually.
My father often said that he desired for all of his children to have a sense of history, to grasp the importance of historical events, to live in light of the grand sweep of time’s movement and to have heaven’s view of what is to come. I believe his desire has come true in my life. Now, from my vantage point of living most of the last four decades in Israel, I am watching a massive paradigm shift take place in the USA.
In 1981 I remember reading “Our Dance has Turned to Death,” a book popular among some evangelicals at that time (referenced in the linked article). The author identifies and explains the common pattern of family decline in civilizations which have crumbled, like the fall of the Roman Empire. I thought to myself then — yes, all of this will happen in the USA. I didn’t want to think too much about this decay, but I saw it coming almost 40 years ago. Since then, of course, this decline and much worse have already happened. Many faithful believers (including our respected friend and Messianic Jewish scholar, speaker and writer Dr. Michael Brown have correctly identified the downward spiral of the West and have offered the only solution to stop the decline: repentance and return to the moral code given by the God of Israel.
Yet, even with some measure of repentance, I believe the die has been irreversibly cast for the USA. I grieve deeply even to write these words.
“If the foundations are destroyed what can the righteous do?” (Psalm 11:3)
I love the land of my birth. I love the freedom for Gospel preaching there and from there to the world. I love the commitment to the welfare of the Jewish people and Israel. I love so much about America. But there has been a significant degrading of the biblical and moral foundations of the USA. In my innermost being I sense that the damage to the foundations is beyond repair in either the near or the distant future.
Here’s how I see it. Picture the USA as a table with four legs. Two of those legs are already broken.
One broken leg: since 1973 over 61,000,000 babies have been killed in their mothers’ wombs in the USA. There is a lot of blood crying from the ground.
The second broken leg of the table is the degradation, distortion and attempt to mutilate beyond recognition the foundational building block of humanity — God’s order for human sexuality — “male and female” He created them. The broken parts and pieces of this foundation would include rampant pornography, human trafficking and the homosexual agenda being forced upon society in America. A date I will never forget is June 26 2015 when homosexual marriage became legal in the USA. I wept. For some days I remember driving around in the Negev in my car, tears running down my face, grieving about the precipitous moral downward shift in the USA. At that point I sensed that there was no going back, no retrieval of what had been, no way to reverse the trend picking up the speed of a tsunami-birthed tidal wave.
The forces that maintain domestic law and order may be a third leg of the table which is disintegrating. The protection of law-abiding citizens in the USA is being eaten by termites. Lawlessness (Matthew 24:12) will damage any nation from within.
Dare I say that a weakened fourth pillar may be the spiritual status of Christians in the USA? The moral compromise, watered-down message of the Gospel, lack of widespread true repentance and shortage of preaching on sin, righteousness and judgment is causing the partially broken structure of my illustration to lurch and reel.
Writings from various sources about the current state of affairs in the USA
Here are some articles and quotes which have squeezed my heart.
1) “Yes, This Is a Revolution” written by Abe Greenwald, executive editor of Commentary Magazine. Here are some quotes from Abe Greenwald’s article:
- If it wasn’t clear in late May and early June, it should be well understood by now that we are in the throes of a genuine revolution of the most extravagant sort. Like messianic revolutionaries of the past, the revolutionary mob of the 21st century is out to “remake the world.” Their compass is “no longer pointed at one thing.” It’s aimed in all directions at once. As Thomas Paine said approvingly of France in 1791, “it is the age of revolutions, in which everything may be looked for.” A mission so grandiose demands the most radical assault on the current order, and changing the world begins with changing one’s country. So it was in France in 1789, Russia in 1917, and China in 1949. And this is especially so if one’s country is seen as the seat of the present evil and is also the most powerful nation on the planet. This is, then, most fundamentally a revolution against the United States of America and all it stands for.
- But more important than all this, a revolution should not be understood as synonymous with an armed insurgency. It is the transformation of popular ideas and beliefs and, most important, of a country’s national character that marks the advent of revolution. The French Revolution was inaugurated by the non-violent creation of the National Assembly, years before the Terror. The Russian Revolution was preceded by 12 days of protests kicked off by a Women’s Day March. By clinging to the colorful notions of revolution in our shared imagination, we dangerously underestimate the significance of what has transpired in the U.S. this summer.
- [referring to WWI) . . . And that war was triggered, literally, by a high-school teenager named Gavrilo Princip, who shot and killed Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo in 1914. We have our own Gavrilo Princip in the person of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who might prove over time to have been the most consequential figure of the 21st century thus far. Chauvin became one of history’s epochal nobodies when he was captured by video leaning on the neck of, and likely killing, George Floyd during an arrest for suspicion of passing a counterfeit $20 bill.
2) “NYC is Dead Forever” article and video, both worth your time
3) Another highly respected source is Mike Bickle. Here are two quotes from Mike’s July 31 2020 and August 20 2020 letters.
- When I talk about a new normal and “not going back,” I am speaking from a historical, big-picture point of view of where we are. I believe we have crossed over a line in terms of the Lord’s biblical end-time story line accelerating in a new way across the nations. We are not going back to where we were before (and not just in the way we do technology and spend money or in how we relate). History is moving on a faster track. The pace is picking up. We have crossed a line of demarcation. In that sense, we are not going back, ever, to how things were before. We are entering into a very significant prophetic hour of history that will be characterized by both escalating darkness and escalating light — even the greatest revival in history, that will far surpass what happened in the book of Acts.
- Currently, many in the Body of Christ are disinterested in understanding the biblical view of God’s judgments. Some are simply embarrassed by them. Some preach against them. Worse than that, some born-again believers actually despise the judgments of God. Isaiah prophesied that when God’s judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the earth will learn righteousness (Isaiah 26:9). To learn righteousness includes much more than being taught to make virtuous righteous choices in life. Those who learn righteousness learn to interpret God’s judgments through the lens of love by understanding the Father’s heart and Jesus’ excellent leadership — both of which are significant expressions of His righteousness.
“When the earth experiences Your judgments the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness” (Isaiah 26:9)
I believe there are now two main objectives of the Lord regarding two groups of people in the USA.
1) One purpose is to purify His bride, to prepare His own redeemed people dwelling in the USA for His coming and to work through them to bring revival wherever possible. The USA, as a nation, is not the Lord’s priority in the same measure as Him preparing His people.
- “Behold the nations are like a drop from a bucket and are regarded as a speck of dust on the scales. All the nations are as nothing before Him. They are regarded by Him as less than nothing and meaningless” (Isaiah 40:15-17) As much as I love the USA, I have found nothing specifically written in prophetic scripture about it. However there is much scripture written to the believers in Yeshua who dwell in every nation of the earth.
2) The other purpose is what the Lord said He will do regarding the Jewish people including those now living in the USA. This is the primary focus of my letter.
There is a ton of scripture written about and to the Jewish people in nearly every book of the Bible. Since the time of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, God has consistently dealt with the people of Israel as His major focus. He has prioritized the Jewish people throughout their history. Their past, present and future judgments, their past, present and future successes and blessings are recorded in the Word. God will always go after His people Israel, He will always remember them, He is always jealous for them and He will always have His way with them. His faithfulness to His covenants and His uncompromising and particular love for them are unwavering.
Throughout their history the Lord has more than once scattered Jewish people from their land and regathered them back to their home. We are now living in the unprecedented season of Jewish people returning to the land of Israel from every nation and land on the face of the earth. Over the last 150 years Jewish people have returned to Israel in successive waves of Aliyah. There are now 6.8 million Jewish people living in Israel. More Jews are returning every day to escape increasingly anti-Semitic countries.
One of God’s purposes in shaking nations is to reach, move and ultimately save Jewish people who live in the midst of them, who hear and obey the voice of the Lord
- “For behold, I am commanding, and I will shake the house of Israel among all nations as grain is shaken in a sieve, but not a kernel will fall to the ground. All the sinners of My people will die by the sword, those who say, ‘The calamity will not overtake or confront us.’” (Amos 9:9-10)
- “Therefore behold, days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when it will no longer be said, ‘As the LORD lives, who brought up the sons of Israel out of the land of Egypt,’ But, ‘As the LORD lives, who brought up the sons of Israel from the land of the north and from all the countries where He had banished them.’ For I will restore them to their own land which I gave to their fathers.”(Jeremiah 16:14-15)
Jeremiah describes specific geographical places from which the Lord would return the Jewish people to their land. He speaks of (1) the land of the north and (2) from all the countries.
Since 1990 over 1,000,000 Jewish people have moved to Israel, from lands north of Israel. When communism fell in 1989, the gates opened suddenly to let great numbers of Russian-speaking Jewish people out of the Former Soviet Union. This is a major move of God in our day, massively eclipsing the return of 50,000 Jews to the land of Israel in the time of Ezra and Nehemiah. Most of the church is unaware of this huge prophetic sign taking place in our generation.
Hatred of Jewish people is once again mushrooming across Europe. There is ongoing movement of Jewish people from France, the UK and other European countries relocating to Israel to escape persecution.
My purpose in writing this letter is to alert you
Without a doubt this wave of Anti-Semitism is moving rapidly to the West and has already found fertile ground to spread its poison in the USA.
Anti-Semitic crimes in the USA are sky-rocketing. Unprecedented in US history until just the last few years, Jewish people are being murdered in synagogues and beaten on streets in the US. Their tombstones are being toppled, hate-based graffiti is marring their community centers and houses of worship, their lives are being threatened, they are being chased and hounded.
Four murderous assaults on multiple Jewish people in the last three years (two of these were by perpetrated by white-supremacists, two by black Anti-Semites, all were ideologically based hate crimes):
- October 2018 Pittsburgh PA
- April 2019 Poway CA
- December 2019 Jersey City NJ
- December 2019 Monsey NY
Just one news item among countless others is this July 15 2020 article: “Former NYPD commissioner warns US Jews: protect your communities. We are in a dangerous place in history, Raymond Kelly warned”
There are approximately six million Jewish people now living in the USA. The societal upheaval in the USA, called a “revolution” by Abe Greenwald of Commentary Magazine, is already awakening some Jewish people. There is an increase in the number of American Jews seeking to make Aliyah.
- “Behold, I am going to send for many fishermen,” declares the LORD, “and they will fish for them; and afterwards I will send for many hunters, and they will hunt them from every mountain and every hill and from the clefts of the rocks. For My eyes are on all their ways; they are not hidden from My face, nor is their iniquity concealed from My eyes.” (Jeremiah 16:16-17)
- “In their affliction they will earnestly seek Me” Hosea 5:15
Many theologians and bible scholars have written about the “time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jeremiah 30:7, Zechariah 13:8). It’s not my purpose to explain or give my views about this doctrine in this letter. My hope is that Jewish lives will be saved.
Shouting out a warning that more trouble is coming
In the 1930’s a famous man named Ze’ev Jabotinsky repeatedly warned and shouted to Jewish people to get out of Europe.
The following is a translation from Yiddish of Jabotinsky’s touching and sad speech in Tisha B’Av, October 24, 1938, Warsaw, Poland. It was his prophetic warning to his people, to the masses of his brothers and sisters:
- “It is already three years that I am calling upon you, Polish Jewry, who are the crown of World Jewry. I continue to warn you incessantly that a catastrophe is coming closer, I became gray and old in these days, my heart bleeds, that you dear brothers and sisters, do not see the volcano which will soon begin to spit its all-consuming lava. I see that you are not seeing this because you are immersed and sunk in your daily worries. Today, however, I demand from you trust. You were convinced already that my prognoses have already proved to be right. If you think differently, then drive me out of your midst. However, if you do believe me, then listen to me in this 12th hour: In the name of G-D!! Let anyone of you save himself as long as there is still time, and time there is very little.
Corrie ten Boom is a model for me. Corrie, her family and many other righteous people risked their lives to save Jewish people during WWII. One-third of the Jewish people alive at that time perished in the Holocaust. Even more than 6,000,000 Jewish people would have perished if righteous people had not acted to save them. Like Dietrich Bonhoeffer, many who opposed the Nazi regime perished.
Tragically most Jews didn’t escape from Europe and they perished. There are not enough words. Only fountains of tears will touch the incalculable grief of this calamity.
- “Oh that my head were waters and my eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people!” (Jeremiah 9:9)
Right now there are about six million Jewish people living in the USA
Avner and I rarely watch films. Yet at the recommendation of one our sons we recently watched the six-part mini-series “Plot Against America.”
This film describes a dystopian scenario in which an extreme right-wing Nazi-allied candidate wins the US presidency in 1940. We see the story develop through the eyes of one extended Jewish family. The realities portrayed in this mini-series are disturbingly believable and ring out a prophetic warning.
Often mainstream writers and artists have their fingers on the pulse of history. Many accurately analyze the present and predict the future. This film describes what would have happened to Jewish Americans if extreme far-right or fascist forces had ascended to leadership in the USA in the 1940’s.
I believe the very same type of scenario could develop if just the opposite result took place — that is, if the far left ascended to leadership in the USA. Far-left/Marxist/Communist leadership in the USA would be as dangerous for the future of Jewish Americans as if the far-right were to be in charge.
With sorrow I write that I believe that whichever candidate wins the US presidential election in November 2020 — whether the right or the left prevails — the moral compass of the USA has already been severely damaged. In the last years I have seen America as a speeding car, dangerously careening to the left and to the right. I’ve seen an enormous ship in a severe storm, pitching severely toward the port side, swaying precipitously toward the starboard side.
I do not believe the future of American Jews is secure. If the Jewish people continue to have false hope of safety in the USA, their future will be jeopardized. This causes much grief.
The God of Israel is a covenant-keeping God. He fulfills His Word. His Word and history prove that He has always moved the Jewish people back — back to Him, back to their land, back to their promises, back to their destiny.
Jewish people who have sought to find safety in allegiance to godless or political or totalitarian systems have suffered. Forgetting or ignoring their covenant relationship with God and the privileges, responsibilities and callings He has given them as a people have often caught them up short and landed them in dire straits.
Totalitarianism of the left or the right ends up in the same spot. Seeking to find refuge in a political system is like hoping to find water in a cracked cistern.
Jewish people who hoped in flawed leftist and rightist systems
In the 20th century Jewish people of Germany were some of the most faithful German citizens, loyal to their land, government and way of life. Their loyalty was not rewarded. In France, Jewish Colonel Alfred Dreyfus, falsely accused of treason against the French government he served and then subsequently imprisoned, awakened Theodore Herzl to the need of a homeland for the Jewish people. In Russia, many Russian-speaking Jews rose to the top of the communist regime and ended up betrayed, persecuted or dead. These are just a few illustrations of Jewish people who put their confidence in political systems, both left and right, which ultimately betrayed them.
The present leadership of the USA has a plan on record to divide the land of Israel. This plan is in opposition to God’s future plans for the land of Israel. Concessions will be forced on Israel by either type of US administration, by the left or by the right. This increasing pressure on Israel will sift hearts and require Americans (believers in Yeshua, Jewish people and others) to consider the ramifications for their own lives. The present leadership of the USA is already compelling Israel to prepare for both the formation of a Palestinian state in the heartland of Israel and dividing the city of Jerusalem.
Whether the right or the left takes leadership in the USA, in the end the US government will not stand with God’s covenant purposes and promises for the Jewish people (Zechariah 14:3, Joel 3:2).
Here are some recent writings which illustrate potential dangers inherent in both the political left and right, from both left-wing alliances and right-wing alliances in the USA.
On the left:
On the right:
Jewish people in the USA are on both sides of the divide, though most side with the left. Most Jewish people who choose to side with the political left do so because they believe this will land them on the politically-correct side of future US history and will insure them some measure of safety. Without question I believe they are badly and dangerously deceived. Orthodox Jews tend to vote according to their conservative values: “the two outbreaks Orthodox Jews fear most are a breakdown of law and order and rising Anti-Semitism”). Yet, either way they lean, Jewish people’s lives will be altered by seen and unseen forces influencing events in the USA in the future. Ultimately all Americans will have to choose where they stand.
Revolution and civil war
We are witnessing an unprecedented and breathtaking display of hatred in the USA. At this point extreme left-wing forces are outdoing themselves in violence, intimidation, the cancel culture and historical revisionism in the media and on the ground (again Abe Greenwald’s “Yes, This is a Revolution” article in Commentary Magazine is the best analysis I have seen).
Along with others I hope for even a temporary return to some semblance of sanity and normalcy. However, I don’t think there will be a slowdown or course correction in the paradigm-shifting American scene.
Even more, I sense that extremist elements on the right side of the divide will not long remain as subdued as they are now. Remember, my whole point in writing this letter is to alert anyone who can be alerted that trouble is coming to the Jewish people of America.
Extreme right-wing forces may well raise their ugly heads in backlash against what they see as a flood of left-wing based violence, bullying and menacing threats.
Vivid and chilling dream that America was no more
In 1993, while staying with friends in Jerusalem, I had a short dream that I have never forgotten and indeed remember now more than ever. It is more relevant to me now than it has ever been.
I dreamed that Avner and I were in rural Kansas in what had been a small and poor town. Darkness and chaos prevailed. It was night. I could not see anything very well. The atmosphere was electric with danger and I knew that my life could be ended at any moment. There was no government. There were armed vigilante gangs roaming the countryside. No one was safe. Avner and I were in mortal danger. I entered a small convenience store at night looking to find food on shelves which were mostly empty. There was really no food to buy. There was no electricity and no light in the store. There were neo-Nazi signs against Jews on the floor of the store. I met just one man who had a gun. He said to me “all this has happened and the Jews are to blame.” I ran out of the store and said to Avner that we must flee from that place as quickly as possible.
My heart’s desire is the salvation of Israel and to see Yeshua sitting on His throne in Jerusalem
Some of my close friends know that I love to talk about the return of the Lord. I sometimes ask my friends “when do you think Yeshua is coming back?” Even knowing that no one can answer this question, I love to talk about His return. Lately I’ve sensed the Lord saying to me “don’t ask when,” but “just ask Me to come back.”
“Daughters of Jerusalem, help me find my Lover! And if you find my Lover, tell Him I am lovesick” (Song of Solomon 5:8)
I believe there is a myriad of lovesick lovers of Yeshua across the face of the earth who are increasingly desirous to see His return. I believe He is hearing our cries, prayers, petitions and pleas to Him to come back and fix this world. I believe He is counting our tears and hearing our wordless groans. I believe He is just as hungry to be with us as we are to be with Him. Creation is groaning. I believe the earth is experiencing birth-pangs leading to the Second Coming of Yeshua in a whole new way in these very days.
What can we do now?
- Keep informed about what is going on among the Jewish people in America
- Think about what you will do to help Jewish people in times of trouble
- Pray that believers in Yeshua in the US will be alert, sober and ready to help save Jewish lives
- Pray for the Jewish people to be awakened to their calling and destiny in God
- Pray that God will pour out His Holy Spirit on Jerusalem and on Jewish people everywhere
Feel free to forward and to share this letter with people who can help and pray.
With a sober but warm heart I send my love in Messiah Yeshua,
Your prayers and support hold up our arms and are the very practical enablement of God to us in the work He has called us to do.
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