On Eagles’ Wings
World leaders recently gathered here in Jerusalem with friends and family of Shimon Peres to bid him a final “Shalom.” Peres’s passing marks the end of an era because he was the last member of the “founding” group that built this re-born nation, Israel. Peres was born in Poland as Shimon Persky. On an outing in the southern part of Israel, a friend suggested that he take the name “Peres”— the modern Hebrew word for “eagle,” the majestic bird spoken of in Isaiah 40:
31But they who wait for Adonai
will renew their strength.
They will soar up with wings as
They will run, and not grow weary.
They will walk, and not be faint.
Although revered in death, in life Peres was often a man of mystery. Most people remember and laud him as the dovish peacemaker of the Oslo Accords (a checkered proposition). Few in the West remember that Peres also insisted on Israel becoming the first nuclear-armed state in the Middle East! Against the conventional military wisdom of the 1950s, Shimon Peres led the move for Israel to acquire a Hiroshima-like capability for deterrence in this “rough neighborhood.” He was an original settler in the “peace…with security” camp.
As prophesied, God brought us Jews back to our land of origin, although we were in tough shape and reeling from WWII and the Holocaust. Yet, most of my people still arrive without a revelation of the Person of God, or even a clue that Yeshua is the Messiah of Israel and the Savior of the world.
Ezekiel 36: 24For I will take you from the nations, gather you out of all the countries and bring you back to your own land. 25Then I will sprinkle clean water on you and you will be clean from all your uncleanness and from all your idols. 26Moreover I will give you a new heart. I will put a new spirit within you. I will remove the stony heart from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27I will put My Ruach [Spirit] within you. Then I will cause you to walk in My laws, so you will keep My rulings and do them. 28Then you will live in the land that I gave to your fathers. You will be My people, and I will be your God.
These promises from God are not contingent on our holiness. God’s Word speaks of the massive aliyah (“going up/return to Israel”) that is taking place in our time. We are back, and the process of “sprinkling” us with clean water is underway. The Jewish followers of Jesus form a growing and creative part of Israeli society. Messianics participate fully: They serve faithfully with distinction in the military and contribute in all walks of life.
This ministry contends that by following Yeshua, Jews do not “convert” to become “Christian” in the institutional sense of Church history, with its sad treatment of Jews throughout the centuries. Accepting Yeshua the Jewish Messiah is the most “Jewish” action possible! Messianic Jews are not traitors to their fellow Jews, and they do not identify with people who persecuted, expelled, and murdered Jews in the name of the Church. We Messianics align with Jewish victims and lament the unholy “witness” that anti-Semitism fosters. At this time of thanksgiving, give thanks to God that He is awakening gentile Believers to their Jewish, Messianic roots, and thereby He is sparking a reparative love toward Israel and the sons of Abraham.
The dream of Israel belongs to God. He promised He would bring the Jewish people back to our homeland in preparation for His Messianic kingdom, which gets closer every day!
In the midst of this macrocosmic event, Katharine and I are ministering to 53 Holy Land pilgrims and experiencing some wonderful microcosmic moments with local Israelis. I must say, our tour group members are the best! They possess an amazing attitude of cooperative humility as they bond with each other, with Katharine and me, and with our Immanuel Tours team. They come from all over the U.S., and often from Canada, the UK, and Australia. We truly enjoy their company, treasure their prayers, and take encouragement when they express appreciation for the efforts of this ministry.
I took heart when I learned that many of them—and you, thank you!—had been praying for me this summer during my knee-replacement surgery and physical therapy that has me progressing on schedule. The exceptional love demonstrated among members of this group leads me to exhort you to join Katharine and me for a life-changing experience in God’s covenant land.
We would love to host you in the Holy Land. Please call Sandra, our Zola Tours manager, to discuss study tour options at 214-696-9760. You may also email her at email@example.com, or visit levitt.com/tours for more information.
|Israel & Petra||Mar 12–24||$5,488|
On our recent study tour, God’s love overflowed onto the land and the people of Israel. Seeing my natural family touched by my spiritual family filled this Jewish man with immense gratitude and satisfaction.
As the Israel tour ended, the TV crew finished shooting some brief, dramatic enactments based on the Gospels, and Katharine and I joined them for our on-camera part in the new series we’re calling Close Encounters with Yeshua. In conjunction with the dramatic scenes, Katharine and I teach from the words of Yeshua while interviewing Believers in Israel—Jews and gentiles, including Arabs. We designed this television series to give viewers like you an inside look at the journeys to faith that believers in Yeshua travel and the complexities that affect their daily lives in Israel. We hope its programs will encourage you and help you as you pray for our ministry and the whole Body of Christ in Israel.
During our interview segments, we experienced a wonderful Shabbat in Gary and Cindy Bayer’s Galilee home. Fourteen of us gathered to share the peace and rest of God while the Bayers exemplified Israeli hospitality, ably assisted by members of their close- knit neighborhood community of faith. That time of refreshing filled Katharine and me with a jealous admiration and impatience for the day when we can join them in the Land. For now, we continue to awaken the Church to the centrality of Israel in the return of Yeshua. Remember, in Matthew 23 the Master said,
39For I tell you, you will never see Me again until you say,
“Baruch haba b’Shem Adonai.
Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!”
In a surprising turn of events, we managed to interview Juan Solana, the Catholic priest who oversees the Magdala Project: a rare archaeological treasure and one of the oldest synagogues in the world, with traces of frescos and decorations dating from the time of Christ and the Apostles. Unearthed during a 2009 building project, the discovery captivated the archaeological and religious worlds as it revealed a complete first-century synagogue on the road between Nazareth and Capernaum!
This Close Encounters with Yeshua TV series will abundantly bless Believers and challenge seekers. Your prayers and donations make these unique programs possible. Watch for an expansion on this story “teaser” in an upcoming Levitt Letter. You will find Juan Solana’s journey remarkable; he is a man of true faith. Even under a very hot Israeli sun, this particular interview and teaching greatly blessed us, and I know it will bless you.
In a different series of moving interviews, this month we conclude our poignant Beauty for Ashes series on the Holocaust that we filmed on location in Auschwitz-Birkenau. We chose the series title based on God’s promise in Isaiah 61:
1The Ruach of Adonai Elohim is on me, because Adonai has anointed me to proclaim Good News to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound, 2to proclaim the year of Adonai’s favor and the day of our God’s vengeance, to comfort all who mourn 3to console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness, that they might be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of Adonai, that He may be glorified.
In the Beauty for Ashes series, you see example after example contrasting the cruel horror of the Holocaust with the splendid miracle that is the State of Israel.
After the Holocaust series, we reprise our still-very-relevant interviews and teachings from our series Israel in Prophecy.
Katharine and I always count it a privilege to serve as your pilgrimage travel hosts— in reality in the Land and virtually on TV— and as contributors to this ministry’s monthly news magazine, the Levitt Letter.
Please prayerfully consider a special “Thanksgiving” offering as our nation gives thanks for our divinely blessed country and its template of freedom throughout the world. Due to America’s Judeo-Christian foundation, we are still able to openly celebrate God’s active presence in the world. Please join us in this awesome adventure.
Shalom and blessings as you Sha’alu shalom Yerushalayim!—Pray for the peace of Jerusalem! (Psalm 122:6)
With awe in Him and gratitude for your prayerful support,
P.S. Keep your eyes on Israel—God’s timepiece—as we look to His soon return!
Shimon Peres has passed, but his vision for sovereignty, security, and community life in Israel continues to glorify the Abrahamic Covenant.
“Here is my Nov. contribution. Thanks for broadcasting enlightening and inspiring TV series like Beauty for Ashes and Close Encounters with Yeshua.”
Zola’s Ultimate Hebrew Primer teaches both print and script, so you will be ready to read, speak, and write Hebrew in Israel and in Heaven. Assumes no prior knowledge and progresses gradually, so even the fainthearted will find immediate value.
This unique full-color pin, with America’s and Israel’s flags, proudly encourages the unity of the U.S.A. and the Holy Land.
This eight-part series tells the story of the patriarch through drama at the actual locations in the Bible. Interviews with contemporary personalities illustrate the Jews’ seamless connection with the land promised to the descendants of Abraham and Isaac.