January 12, 2024
Shevat 2, 5784


Dear Beloved Friends and Fellow Pilgrims,

We are in the midst of a very complex moment involving a number of mitigating factors. Since the war began I (arni) have been struggling to find a resting place from which it all makes some kind of sense. The shaking has affected every level of life…global, national, social, economic, natural, spiritual, corporate, and personal. Consequently it’s taken some time to discern what we’ve understood that was worth sharing. A common answer these days to “how are you” is somewhere between basically fine and coping. In a way, it would be right to say that no one here is really okay. After much prayer and waiting, thoughts have crystalized and dots have been connected to form a picture showing a way through the maze of madness. Perhaps we should apologize, or at least warn you that this letter is about twice what we usually write. It’s taken all this time to realize that we needed to share the fullness of what we have heard and seen. We pray that what follows will help you to find your way as it has helped us.


Israel today is a post-trauma nation with an open wound being exacerbated by daily reports of so many losing their lives. While our leaders voice a commitment to finishing the job of eliminating hamas, they tell us that the plan will move to a lower level of intensity and stretch over long months or even years. What that will actually mean for the state of the nation and the 200,000+ Israelis evacuated from their homes is hard to imagine.

From the onset of the present conflict, there has been much criticism concerning the decisions and actions of our leaders. The number of unanswered questions concerning how we were caught so off guard and why it took so long for the army to respond sits as a swirling undercurrent that cannot help but one day come fully to the surface. The consuming reality of the war has kept this matter on the back burner. The public have actually been directed to not ask those questions at this time. High-level military and governmental officials chose not to heed the reports and warnings of watchman positioned at ground level. We remember reports from around ten years ago that northern residents felt the ground under their houses rumbling in the middle of the night, and their reports were being essentially ignored. The list is long and damning. Were they naïve, prideful, blinded, or simply foolish? Or are they in league with a globalist agenda to prepare the way for a one-world governmental system? Did they know what they were doing? Were they complicit or complacent?

Israel is the spiritual center of the world. It is the land God chose as His dwelling place. Essentially the beginning of everything He does on earth in the realm of mankind in some way relates to Israel and the children of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. It is the front line. What manifests here, certainly spiritually speaking, will eventually spread across the globe. Knowing that God is aware of everything, everywhere, and at all times, the fact that He makes a point of telling us that His eye is always upon the Land of Israel (Deut.11:12) calls us to look through a lens of God’s sovereign eternal plans. In the midst of my anger towards our government officials, I was reminded of Isaiah 6:10 where God sends the prophet to declare a season of blindness and deafness over Israel. He says, “Make the heart of this people dull, and their ears heavy, and shut their eyes, lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and return and be healed.”  He goes on to say that this condition is to remain until an appointed time. How strange and difficult to digest that God has declared such a thing. Similarly Romans 11:32 says, “For God has committed them all to disobedience, that He might have mercy on all.” Romans 11:25 adds another facet to the picture: “For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fulness of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved.…” There is a mystery here. All is not as one might readily conclude. Something happened to Israel by the hand of the Lord (Isaiah 6) for a purpose set forth in Romans 11. In the light of this, I’ve had to take a step back from my judgment of our officials and thoughts of what caused what and remember that God’s ways are different from ours.

Another dimension to consider is the nature of the until that appears in both Isaiah 6 and Romans 11. The delineation in Isaiah is about the people coming to the end of themselves, whereas Paul relates it to the fullness of the nations. The Greek word translated “fullness” is beyond a simple numerical determination but speaks of a qualitative completion. It hearkens back to God’s prophetic word to Abraham about the timing of the deliverance of his descendants from a season of bondage: “In the fourth generation your descendants will come back here, for the sin of the Amorite has not yet reached full measure” (Gen.15:16). Here the dynamic is that only after the full manifestation of the sin of the inhabitants would Israel be delivered from physical bondage. We take the verse in Romans to be about a deliverance from spiritual bondage. If we see this in the context of the one-new-man Israel of God (Gal.6:16, Eph.2:12-15) and Romans 9:6, “they are not all Israel who are of Israel”, we conclude that this awakening is for the whole Body of believers…life from the dead (Rom.11:15). Putting it all together, we are confronted with the hard reality of what must come to pass for the glorification of the Name of the Lord and the manifestation of the Bride of Messiah.


The identification and marking of those who love the truth is taking place before our eyes. Israel’s situation is unquestionably clear for any who have eyes to see. To stand with the so-called Palestinians crying genocide over the the death of civilians blatantly ignores how the conflict began and the enemy’s goal of our total extinction. The line between good and evil is so clear. What we witnessed during the covid days seems like an entry-level kindergarten exercise in comparison to current circumstances. The worldwide explosion of antisemitism has been neither progressive nor sudden. It’s really a coming to light of what’s been beneath the surface all along. This had to happen!  Israel’s place in determining blessing or cursing is set forth in Genesis 12:3 and Matthew 25:31-46. We are the threshing board for the nations (see Isaiah 41:16). The nations who have chosen to reject the truth about current events have sealed their own demise, according to the immutable word of God (2Th.2:9-11).

From the onset of our current situation, many have held the government responsible for the state we are in. The reports and personal testimonies are clear, simple and damning. It has been personally challenging not to be overcome with anger by what appears to be gross negligence…at best. How can we explain or understand such blindness? Is this part of the God-ordained blindness of Isaiah 6 and Romans 11:25?


There are a few aspects of the October 7th tragedy that might not be readily noted. First, from the many documents discovered, it is clear that the attack had been planned as a coordinated effort between hamas, hezbollah, radical elements in Judea and Samaria, as well as some neighboring nations. But hamas acted independently, jumped the gun, and upset the plan. This was in effect a great mercy…perhaps even the result of Divine intervention. Had it gone as planned, the effect would have been far worse. Secondly, the dream of a two-state solution has never been more ridiculous, given the reality that each of the related entities are seeking our total extinction. And thirdly, all across Israeli society, people are calling out to God. From the far left to the far right, a recognition of our need for Divine help has arisen. People are open to discuss and consider spiritual things as never before.


Alongside identifying with the immeasurable suffering and grief and witnessing mankind’s headlong rush into darkness is the reality of Father’s hand and plan. While in no way absolving men’s failings or wickedness, we need to see what’s happened from a spiritual and eternal perspective. The land of Israel, Zion, is God’s chosen dwelling place. However, it is not eternal in character. A new heaven and earth and a new Jerusalem is coming. The Body and Bride of Messiah, the One New Man, the Israel of God, is His eternal dwelling place. It’s all about our heart. Everything God is doing, especially where Israel is concerned, is to glorify His Name, prepare for Himself a dwelling place, and bring forth a spotless Bride for Yeshua. Only seeing through the lens of eternal truth will give us the picture and perspective we need in order to know where to stand, what to think, and what to do. Our reality and course of life is determined by our understanding of what Father is doing. 


We want to consider the nature and implications of the present war in light of the prophetic relationship between natural Israel and the Body of Messiah. The natural and the spiritual are related (see1Cor.15:46). We find a significant message in the tunnels …even a central and defining aspect of the war. It’s hard to conceive that they were built over the course of many years without any intervention from us. It’s not that we had no signs or warnings. Going back some ten years, verifiable signs and warnings were considered irrelevant and they were ignored. Twenty-five years ago the Lord confirmed to us that the Church’s spiritual foundation would not able to support the weight of the coming glory or of the trials and shakings. If current events are in fact prophetic (as we believe them to be), the tunnels mirror the kingdom of darkness having surreptitiously woven into the fabric of the Body of Messiah the poison of a Greek, man-centered, temporally-oriented and humanistic pyramidical structure.  As Israel was unprepared in the natural, so are we in the spiritual. In one day, even as the nation was born in a day, life in Israel was changed forever. Practically, emotionally, spiritually and economically it will never again be what it was.   

We take it as no coincidence that three weeks after the outbreak of war in Israel, a great shaking hit one of the most influential ministries in the Church…the International House of Prayer in Kansas City. For any not familiar with this ministry, it began 24/7 prayer in 1999, and for thirty-five years has been a model for prayer houses around the world. Accusations surfaced in late October and have been substantiated that Mike Bickel, the visionary, founder and father of the ministry, had engaged in sexual improprieties going back decades. You may recall that we were there in August and spent a whole day sharing with Mike and other members of the leadership team about Israel and ministering to the Lord. The visit was very positive and opened a door to an ongoing relationship of some significance. Consequently, we have closely followed the unfolding events with sorrow. In short, from a natural perspective it’s been complicated and difficult. Neither Mike nor the leadership team have been forthcoming about the dynamics and details, leaving the devil a veritable playground in which to drop all manner of speculations, assumptions, criticisms, and judgments. For the purpose of this communication we’ll just note that though there has been only a vague general admission of guilt, Mike has been formally severed from the ministry and several of the senior leadership team have resigned. Setting aside the issues concerning Mike’s personal life, we consider the overall picture of what has happened in this globally-influential ministry as being a prophetic insight into foundational dynamics of the believing Body. Our purpose is to highlight the critical dynamic of being out of time. Beloved, we all here in Israel — believers, unbelievers, secular and orthodox — know that a great war is coming. What’s happening now is not it. This is just a warmup. We need to search out the hidden things, even and especially the small things that have made us susceptible to destruction. Consider the sin of Achan in Joshua 7. The disobedience of one man out of about three million brought God to say He would not be with Israel anymore. Though we sing and declare that the Lord is holy, from what we have observed over the fifty years since we came to know Yeshua, it does not seem that the Church has a visceral understanding of the fear of the Lord. The enemy’s tunnels are deep, hidden, and pervasive. My life experience brings me to say that we of ourselves are not able to find and deal with them, but Father knows where they are and wants to deliver us. The process before us is beyond a simple prayer, heartfelt though it may be. It is nothing short of a Jacobian commitment to not let go until we’ve been changed. Jacob pressed in with all he had because he knew his life depended on it. In the end, he came out a different person with a new name.

From the time we immigrated to Israel thirty-two years ago, the Spirit charged us with communicating to our brethren in the nations what we saw from our position on the wall at the front line, knowing that it all shows up here first. We find key aspects of this current conflict do not make sense. This tells us that there is more than meets the eye. Father is trying to give us a message and prepare us for what is coming. Our hope in writing what we have is to encourage us all to seek the Lord to reveal those things that are hidden that leave us open to destruction. The shaking of these days has had a dramatic effect on my life personally. I am not who I was before October 7th. I can only praise and thank God for his mercy, wisdom, and love.  I believe it has been so for many in the Land. We’ve witnessed this working of the Spirit even in Israelis that have not yet recognized Yeshua as Messiah.

It seems to us that the usual response to the manifestation of evil is to call out just how evil it is out there. Much time and energy is spent describing and delineating the absolute degradation of a world without God. Consequently our response, whether national or individual, from secular society or the believing community, is generally geared to deal with the natural circumstances. We need to fight those attacking us. We need to care for the many needs that are all around us. Oftentimes, the nature of our spiritual response is to pray that God would deal with the natural circumstances. The acknowledgement of our need for repentance does come out; however, it tends to be non-specific and does not as a matter of course bring us to the Lord asking if there is anything we need to see and to wait until He answers. The heart of the issue is whether there is something in our lives that is disturbing to His Spirit such that He is unable to freely dwell in our midst.


Beloved, there are good things taking place in the shadow of this present darkness. Brethren from the nations are coming to the Land to volunteer in harvesting crops and many other ways. Many have generously contributed financially to provide the needs of the soldiers on the front lines and the evacuees. A level of national unity has replaced the terrible strife that existed prior to October 7th. But naturally speaking, as things are politically and militarily, there is no acceptable answer to the overwhelming problems before us. Where will one million former Gazan residents go? Their homes and infrastructure have been destroyed. How will 250,000 Israelis return home if hamas is not destroyed at the expense of countless civilian deaths? Who can govern what’s left of Gaza? No Palestinian entity can live at peace alongside us. Who will govern Israel once the truth comes fully out about how October 7th was able to happen? The heart of it all, the answer to every question, the solution to all the problems, is resident only in the Presence of the Lord.


I want to share something more about the Kansas City situation. Being in the 24/7 prayer room I had a distinct impression. They speak of the activity of continuous prayer and worship as being in the spirit of the Tabernacle of David. But it wasn’t like the Tabernacle in any other way than it being continuous. People sat with their computers out. The expressions from the microphone were not directed to the Lord in the first person as things would be if God were actually present. When we saw that, it did not land as a criticism but rather as an understanding that the room there was like the Holy Place where the priests ministered daily and not like the Holy of Holies where every action was done in the very Presence of the Lord. After relating this perception with the leadership, I shared that I believed the Lord was calling them to institute another space that would truly be as the Holy of Holies. I was surprised that not one person responded to this vision. After what came out at the end of October, I understood that they couldn’t. The sin in the camp made it impossible for them to create a dwelling place for the Presence of the Lord. We believe that engaging more deeply with Israel (as they did in the Isaiah 62 initiative) brought them into an encounter with the holiness of God, forcing what was hidden to come into the light. If IHOPKC will allow everything to come to light, they will surely experience a manifestation of God’s glory beyond anything they have known. We have gone into this about them because we believe there is a message here for all of us. At all costs, we must do everything in our power to remove anything that brings defilement, which causes God to remain at a distance. Let us go beyond limiting our concern and grief over the sins of the godless world and set our hearts to seek the Lord about our own lives as well…we who are the Body and Bride of Messiah.

The preparation of the way of the Lord necessitates the removal of all worldly hope. When we see death and destruction rising all around us, when lies and deceit permeate the environment, when governing officials betray those who elected them, do we say, “Oh yeah, it was inevitable”? The rise of evil in the time of Noah did not take God by surprise. Even knowing the end from the beginning, there was a point in time when God became grieved that He made man. How does one live with such emotional opposites? In the end God will be glorified, the Israel of God will be saved, righteousness will reign, and we who love Him will be together in glory. Living in this reality in the face of such grief and suffering will be possible only as we abide in His Presence.


May we truly live all our days on earth…

For the Glory of His Name,

Arni and Yonit






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