Imagine the celebration when a beautiful baby boy is born in Jerusalem. He is from the lineage of the tribe of Judah and the first of his generation to be born in Israel after 2,000 years of Jewish exile from the land. This baby was Amir Tsarfati. His grandparents were Holocaust survivors who returned to Israel after it was declared a Jewish nation once again, on 14 May 1948, by the British.
Amir Tsarfati, Founder and President of Behold Israel, best-selling author and Bible teacher with a special interest in Bible Prophecy, and Barry Stagner, Senior Pastor of Calvary Central Orange County in the US and the host of The Line Up, World Events in Bible Prophecy News Chanel visited Vision Christian Media’s Brisbane studios for an exclusive interview to discuss End Times Bible Prophecy.
The Thief Comes Only to Steal and Kill and Destroy
While God had a plan for Amir’s life, Satan’s mission was to thwart the plan. Amir was only two years old when his parents divorced, leaving him without a family. After being shuffled around to different households, including foster care, he had a deep sense of not being wanted and confused as to who his biological parents were. Amir and his brother had to be rescued from their first foster carers, who were extremely abusive, leaving Amir with emotional scars that would haunt him into adulthood.
‘After my parents divorced, I was handed over to my father’s sister, my aunt, for about three years. Then my father took me and my brother for a trial with his new wife and her children. It didn’t work out, so he handed us over to the social services, and we were in foster care from that time on in different families until I was a bit over seventeen,’ said Amir. ‘There were a lot of bumps on the road along the way. Things I wish hadn’t happened. But all of that led me to a point in my life, at the age of seventeen, when I thought this world wasn’t fair and it wasn’t a place where I wanted to live because I saw no hope.’
Amir spent ten years with a foster family who had taken him in when he was rescued, at age seven, from the first abusive foster family. He worked at the foster family’s shop before and after school. Life was a constant struggle, and by the time Amir was seventeen, he had lost all hope of a happy future. In the depth of depression, he decided he was better off ending his life rather than continuing to exist just for the sake of it. The night he made a decision to end his life was when God shook him, and he decided to give the world one last chance.
‘The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.’ John 10:10 NIV
Jews Behaving Strangely
‘That was the week I discovered my best friend in school was a Messianic Jew, a believer in Yeshua (Jesus). I went to his house to study for one of the final exams in high school, and when we sat around a table for lunch, everybody was holding hands and closing their eyes, and they all prayed.’
Amir thought this was very odd because Jewish people don’t hold hands and pray over their food. Some Jews who are particularly religious might pray over their food, but they would not hold hands around the table.
‘Here, they all held hands and ended the prayer with the Hebrew phrase B’shem Yeshua, which means in the name of Jesus. This caused me to start asking many questions,’ said Amir. ‘I felt these people had an amazing connection with God, a God I did not know personally. I used to go to synagogue on holidays, as a Jew. I would enjoy the festivals, but I never really connected with what was going on there. I was looking at a dead religion.’
Amir was full of questions about Yeshua. His friend’s family answered them all the best they could and then suggested Amir ask God who Yeshua is. Amir had no idea how to pray, but that night, he prayed, asking God to show him who Yeshua was. Nothing happened, and he went to bed disappointed.
‘The next day, after I prayed and asked God to show me who Yeshua is, I went to work before school for my foster family. One of the things I did was to put together the different parts of the morning newspaper before the customers came in,’ said Amir. ‘As I was doing that, I flipped through the pages to read the newspaper and saw a big one-page advertisement with the word Yeshua on the main page of the highest-selling morning newspaper in Israel.’
Amir was astounded. The advertisement was promoting a film titled Yeshua being put on by Campus Crusade. The film was only showing for two nights at a movie theatre in Jerusalem. It was shot in Israel with actors speaking Hebrew, rather than subtitled in Hebrew. Because the locations and language in the film were familiar to Amir, it was very real to him.
‘I went to watch the movie, and everything clicked. I accepted Him as my Lord and Savior that day,’ said Amir.
The Price of Following Yeshua
His foster family were not impressed with Amir’s newfound faith in Christianity, especially when he told them they were all sinners and needed to repent and accept Yeshua as their Lord and Saviour. After a few weeks, when the foster parents realised Amir was serious about his decision to follow Yeshua, they kicked him out. Amir had to find another place to stay at a time when he was just about to complete his school exams. Amir made it through and got baptised. Not long after, he turned eighteen and joined the Israeli military—a compulsory three-year term for all Israelis.
‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for prosperity and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.’ Jeremiah 29:11 NASB20
‘You know, every day I wake up and I understand that I should have been dead long ago. And yet God decided that he has a different purpose for my life,’ said Amir. ‘That’s the only thing that keeps me going because honestly, there are many attacks, a lot of heartbreaks and a lot of issues to deal with. Traveling is not easy on your body and leaving your family behind. … It is a challenge. I don’t need to tell you when people write or tell me their opinion, it’s not all rosy. … I am someone that everyone loves to hate. Those who hate Jews hate me because I’m a Jew. Those who hate Christians hate me because I’m Christian. Those who hate the pre-tribulation rapture believers hate me. Those who hate prophecy buffs, hate me, and those who don’t believe that the Old and the New Testament go together, hate me.’
If it’s one thing Amir has learnt is not to look for affirmations from people. He is focused on spreading the Gospel and teaching from the Bible.
‘I feel like I’m in a race against time to produce as much as I can with books, teaching and travelling because time is near and I don’t know how long I’m going to be here,’ said Amir.
Amir is a gifted teacher who knows how to explain the Bible in a visual, clear way. He’s come a long way from a depressed teenager with no hope to someone who now travels the world giving hope to the hopeless.
‘God saves in spite of who you are, not because of who you are. That’s the great thing because I know who I am, and I still think I’m damaged goods. But by the grace of God, He uses us and makes us into something,’ said Amir.
‘Connect’ with Amir
In 2024, Amir will be taking a sabbatical from touring to set up a CONNECT network where he will report on local and global news and how it is lining up with Bible prophecy.
‘The Lord really spoke to me saying that next year, if we’re still here, will be a very critical year with major events that will require me to stay home and be with my family,’ said Amir.
For more information about Amir Tsarfati, visit Behold Israel.
For more information about Barry Stagner, visit Calvary Central OC
Amir’s passion to reach the lost makes him think of creative ways to present the Gospel. He has written a series of fictional novels, incorporating true military operations and espionage that tie in with end times Bible prophecy and the Gospel. Out of the Far North is his latest novel, soon to be released. To purchase Amir’s books, visit the Vision store.
Out of the Far North by Amir Tsarfati & Steve Yohn is the latest thriller in the Nir Tavor Mossad Series.
Tensions are at a breaking point. As Israel’s elite fighting forces and the Mossad go undercover, they detect the Kremlin is planning a major attack against Israel, using Syria as a cover. Will they be able to outwit their enemies — or will their actions have catastrophic consequences? Click here to purchase.
This article is part of a series based on Amir and Barry’s visit to Vision Christian Media’s Brisbane studios, in Australia.
To listen to Amir Tsarfati and Barry Stagner’s full interview, click the link below: