by Jonathan Settel
August in England is cool. That is, if you are just coming in from Florida. I departed from Fort Lauderdale at 2 PM Thursday afternoon. The sun and humidity danced together, causing a symphony of 96 degrees in perfect harmony of 96 percent humidity. After a brief stop in Atlanta, I flew straight to Gatwick Airport in London. Richard Guest, my host for the coming 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 twilight zone of green hills and blue skies; singing birds and polite folks who spoke a very different kind of English.
Our first stop was Shabbat with Rabbi Phil Sharp. Phillip is the founder of Chluzim (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 fast ten times!), after which we drove the night to Cornwall. Cornwall is a county (state) in England which is near the "Lands End," 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 in the county of Cornwall. This is a charming village. Green with hills and trees, alive with streams and singing birds that color the sky. I found the people to be quite serious about their faith and curious for their roots. I sang and spoke from Psalm 122; of seeking, of praying for and desiring the Peace of Jerusalem. I cherish the love that Messiah Yshuah has for Israel. I love nothing more than to bold the letters of God’s heart and to point out that Israel, the Land, and Israel, the People, are one and the same and cannot be separated. 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. I have found in my travels that there are many folks who love The Holy Land, but can do without her People.
When the service was over, I was in the grip of being gripped by the throngs!!! I was approached by a small group of local folk. I didn’t know them, but they seemed quite genuine and concerned. They told me that an array of them had just finished an intercessor’s tour of local defunct tin mines and they had been praying over them. According to these loving Christians, there was a soiled history in Cornwall with the Jewish people, and that they had a teaching from Geoffrey Smith of "Christian Friends of Israel." This tape, which they would send me if I was interested, spoke of local history and local treachery and how the Jews had been "mortgaged" to the Duke of Cornwall and, like so much cattle, been made into slaves to work, live and mostly die in the tin mines during medieval times. There had been a plaque laid by some commemorating the violent death of these Jewish people. Somehow this marker had disappeared and no one knew where it had gone. They did know that it’s presence made some in the community uncomfortable. This little group was very kind to me and encouraging. 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 of the "group" returned with a cassette in hand. They said they had entered their car and, much to their surprise, it was sitting right on the seat. They presumed by this amazing appearance of the tape 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 home to listen to this surprise package. Little did I know then that it would forever change the direction of my ministry in England.
The next day I was preparing for that evening. I went to my usual source, the Lord, and asked Him to please help me decide on what to speak. 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-sights. I felt anger and disgust. I felt sadness and shame. I felt that history was alive 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 that the Bible speaks about over and over again. I thought, "how could a people who knew the Lord, lived as Christians and purported to ‘be like Him’ contradict 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 form this tape that the infamous "Blood Libel" story began in the UK. I had always thought it started in Germany, but now I discovered it had it’s raw beginnings in York in 1144. A young boy named William was found murdered. The Jews of that city were blamed. The story tells of the Jews, in mockery of the crucifixion of Jesus, nailed to a cross this Gentile child and draining his blood, used it in the making of the Passover Matzo. Many Christian pilgrims heard this incredible tale and believed it. They visited the grave of William and brought with them a 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 Tames 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. They added that in order to be returned to Zion, the Jews had to drink the blood of a Gentile child and use it in accordance with the Laws of the Torah.
I learned that the famous Westminster Abby was financed, according to the guide book, 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. It doesn’t 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 their attire.
In Cornwall, where I was staying, there are old abandoned tin mines. They dot the hills of Cornwall like so many tears on an old abandoned baby carriage. At the bottom of these mines were the smelting houses, also known as "Jew Houses." The king of England had run out of money. He then mortgaged all the Jewish families in London to the Duke of Cornwall. Men and women and children were stripped of their lives and became the property of the Duke. They had to work the mines or die. They died anyway in long and suffering agonies.
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, repentance must replace the mind-set of the people who live there. On the night of the day of the eclipse I sang some songs . . . In this case they were songs that dealt with the depth of love of Messiah. They sang of 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 and ending with Romans 1:15 ("the Jew first") and Rom 11 pointed them to realize how much born-again believers were in arrears to Israel. Through the music and the Word, the Ruach Hakodesh pointed to the sins of our Fathers for which we are responsible 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." They knew that there would be healing and restoration; that there would be salvation and forgiveness. . . yet they didn’t know that this was the first element, first in a long process of rebuilding. In order to have a real revival Christendom the Body of Messiah must penetrate and merge it’s history with the Jewish nation. I must see and accept that what the Church Fathers have done to Jewish children, mothers and families were ungodly acts of pride and disobedience. It must bury that arrogance that prevents and perverts repentance . . . ("Hey, I didn’t do any of that. I wasn’t even there.") It must freely open the wounds of the past and pour in the cleansing water of forgiveness. To receive this, we must ask for it. It all starts with 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.