12 Sep The Day Heaven Broke Loose
August in England was cool and believe me – a welcome relief. The Florida sun and humidity had been dancing together, creating a symphony of 96 degrees in perfect harmony with 96 percent humidity. I gladly departed Fort Lauderdale at 2 PM Thursday afternoon. After a brief stop in Atlanta, I flew straight to Gatwick Airport in London. Richard Guest, my host for the next few weeks, was waiting with great smiles and big hugs. We picked up the car at Avis and off we went, driving on the wrong side of the road with the steering wheel on the right-hand side of the car. It was standard shift, and that too was incredible, to the left of the driver’s side! Along with the time difference and the absolutely cool temperature (about 65), I thought I had stepped into a backwards twilight zone of green hills and blue skies; singing birds and polite folks who spoke a very different but lovely kind of English.
Our first stop was Shabbat with Rabbi Phil Sharp. Phillip is the founder of Chaluzim (pioneers) Ministries and S’mah Yisrael Messianic Synagogue. I was to sing at the congregation for a special Motzie Shabbat service and then, after an overnight stay with the Rabbi and his family, we went on to Phillips’ other congregation in Bournemouth (bet you can’t say that ten times really fast!), after which we drove through the night to Cornwall. Cornwall is a county (state) in England, which is located near the “Lands End,” at the bottom of the UK. It has one city and several towns and villages. Most of the people who live there have done so for many generations. They are polite and charming, and are generally very pleasant to be around. The evening before the total eclipse of the sun, I had a service in Tredenham Christian Centre in a little village called St. Blazey. This was an idyllic village – green with hills and trees, alive with streams and singing birds that colored the sky. I found the people to be quite serious about their faith and curious about their roots.
I sang and spoke from Psalm 122; fervently seeking, praying for and desiring the peace of Jerusalem. I cherish the love that Messiah Yeshuah has for Israel. I love nothing more than singing out the Word of God’s heart and illuminating that Israel the Land, and Israel the people, are one in the same and cannot be separated. And I would think that it should stand to reason that one who professes love for the Land/the Holy Land must also love the people of that Land, a holy (separate) people called the Jews. But I have found in my travels that there are many folks who love the Holy Land, but somehow have little or no regard for her people.
When the service was over, I was approached by a small group of local folk. They seemed quite genuine and concerned. They told me that a group of them had just finished an intercessor’s tour of non-operational tin mines in the area. According to these loving Christians, there was a stained history in Cornwall concerning the Jewish people and these mines. They told me about a teaching they heard from Geoffrey Smith of “Christian Friends of Israel.” This tape, which they would send me if I was interested, exposed a historical act of treachery as the Jews had been “mortgaged” to the Duke of Cornwall and like cattle, been made into slaves to work, live and die in the tin mines during the medieval times. At one time, there had been a stone plaque erected memorializing the violent deaths of these Jewish people. Somehow this marker had disappeared and no one knew where it had gone. Someone added that the stone’s presence had made some in the community very uncomfortable. This little compendium was very kind and encouraging to me. They said goodnight and told me they would be locating this tape and sending it, “straight away.”
A few minutes later I was still “meeting and greeting” when one from the “group” returned with a cassette in hand. They said they had entered their car and, much to their surprise, the tape was sitting right on the seat. They presumed by this unexpected and amazing “appearance” that the Lord obviously wanted me to have it. I was pleased to accept it. I could not wait to get back to Richard and Liz’s house to listen to this “surprise package.” Little did I know that it would forever change the direction of my ministry in England.
The next day I was preparing for the evening service. I went to my usual source, the Lord, and asked Him to please help me decide on what to speak about. The tape sprung into my mind and so I sat to listen. What I heard moved me into a courtyard of emotions; a cacophony of thoughts and inner conflict. I felt anger and disgust. I felt sadness and shame. I felt that this horrible history had come back to life for me here in England, and I felt the sour taste of bitterness welling up in my spirit. I wept and felt my heart breaking once again for the Jews who had been denied the love of Messiah. Where was that special love then that the Bible speaks about over and over again? I thought, How could a people who say they know the Lord call themselves Christians and purport to be like Him yet spend their life contradicting the very reason He came to redeem the Earth? How could they have withheld the Father’s love to ‘the apple of His eye?’ How could a nation like England be the forerunner of the expulsion of the Jewish people even before the infamous Spanish and Portuguese Inquisition? How could a royal kingdom like England treat the Jewish people, the people who gave them their Bible and their God, like cattle and degrade them as they had?
I learned from this tape that the infamous “Blood Libel” story began in the UK. I had always thought it started in Germany, but now I discovered its raw beginnings started in York in 1144. A young boy named William was found murdered and the Jews of that city were blamed. The story goes that the Jews, in mockery of the crucifixion of Jesus, nailed this Gentile child to a cross, drained his blood, and used it in the making the Passover Matzo. Many Christian pilgrims heard this incredible tale and believed it. Countless people came to visit the grave of William and brought with them certain prosperity for the local parishes. The Church then perpetrated and advertised this “Blood Libel,” and the fable was told and retold, growing like fungus on the slimy side of a slug. Another child was found in the Thames River in London a few years later. Not to be outdone by the folks of York, the newly reformed Church of England denounced the Jews for the “ritual murder” of this Gentile child as well. They added to the lore some nonsense, that in order to be returned to Zion, Jews believed they had to drink the blood of a Gentile child and use it in accordance to the Laws of the Torah.
I learned, according to the guidebook that the famous Westminster Abby was financed by the “resources of the king of England.” As it turns out, the King was broke so he had to look to the Jews and take their resources as his own. After all, he was the King. The book fails to tell us that Jewish money financed the Abby because the king stole all this money. The story is punctuated by the fact that when the clergy of Westminster Abby needed robes, the local Rabbis were forced to sell the Scrolls of the Torah to finance the attire.
In Cornwall, where I was staying, there were old abandoned tin mines. They dot the hills of Cornwall like many tears on an old abandoned baby carriage. At the bottom of these mines were the smelting houses, also known as “Jew Houses.” When the king of England had run out of money, he mortgaged all the Jewish families in London to the Duke of Cornwall. Men, women and children were stripped of their lives and became the property of the Duke. They had to work the mines or die, often suffering in great agony.
I was now convinced that if revival was ever to break out in Cornwall, in England or any where else in the world where nations have been ungodly to Israel, to the Jewish people, a curse would have to be broken and a heart of repentance would have to replace the mind-set of the people who lived there. On this transcendent night after the eclipse I sang some songs . . . in this case they were songs that dealt with the depth of love of Messiah. The songs revealed the mystery of the quality of the love He has for us. All these were songs that people could personally identify with. All Christians can relate to the love of God, in relation to themselves and to the Church. Then I exposed them to some of the scriptures that deal with the love of God for His nation Israel. It is here that the first revelation came forth. That Israel – the Land, and Israel – the people are one and the same. That if you love the Land – the Holy Land, you must love the people who are also a holy, separate people, The Jews.
Ex 6:7, Nu 23:9, De 4:37, 2 Sam 7:23, Pm 135:4, Is 43. “Love scriptures” all lulled the listening hearts to hear the heart of our Abba. I ended with Romans 1:15 (“the Jew first”) and Romans 11 challenging them to realize how much born-again believers were in arrears to Israel. Through the music and the Word, the Ruach Hakodesh awakened the listeners to the sins of generations past for which they were still responsible for even to this day. It was a “wake-up call” for many. The people in this little Church in St. Dennis understood this. One by one, they came forward and spoke out their grief, their sorrow, their shame. They shed the cloak of generational curses and sins with tears and real supplication for the washing/cleansing power of genuine repentance and forgiveness.
Some thought there would be mighty miracles on “The Day All Heaven Broke Loose.” After all, there was a solar sign that day! They all knew that there would be healing and restoration; that there would be salvation and forgiveness . . . yet they didn’t know that a miracle was already happening. In order to have a real revival in Christendom, the Body of Messiah must come to grips with its history and the Jewish nation. Christians must see and accept that what the church fathers did to Jewish children, mothers and families were ungodly acts of pride and disobedience. We, as the body of Christ must remove and bury that arrogance that prevents and perverts repentance . . . (So many say- “Hey, I didn’t do any of that. I wasn’t even there.”) But biases still remain. We must freely open the wounds of the past and pour in the cleansing water of repentance and forgiveness. To receive this, we must ask for it. It all starts with the blessing of the Jewish people. “I will bless those who bless you; and I will curse those who curse you.” So says the Lord, Creator of all the Earth.