As I write this letter to our ZLM community of faith, I am watching a “fluid” situation in Southern California. “Fluid” is newspeak for “We dare not associate this latest shooting with Islamic terror, lest we offend the silent majority of peace-loving Moslems.”
Today’s tally: 14 dead and17 wounded. A recent tally: 100+ murdered in Paris. The body count goes on and on, and a steady stream of blood testifies to the fruit of the current retrograde reformation in Islam.
While many of us consider a new year as a time to renew our commitments to a more healthy and holy lifestyle, Islam dominates the news with hate and death. Instead of looking forward to becoming a more self-aware, repentant, and positive force in this world, Islam is going backward toward the seventh-century roots of its ideological foundation.
According to Islamic teaching, the Koran came down as a series of revelations from Allah through Archangel Gabriel to Prophet Mohammed, who then dictated it to his followers. Mohammed’s companions memorized fragments of the Koran and wrote them down. These were later compiled into book form under the rule of the third Caliph (spiritual leader) Uthman several years after Mohammed’s death.
The Koran is about as long as the New Testament. It contains114 suras (passages or chapters), which are composed of ayahs (verses). According to Islamic doctrine, around 610 A.D. in a cave near the city of Mecca (now in southwest Saudi Arabia), Mohammed received the first “revelation,” which merely commanded him to “recite” or “read.”
For approximately twelve years, other revelations formed a message to the inhabitants of Mecca to forsake their pagan ways and turn in worship to the one god, Allah.
While in Mecca, where he condemned paganism (for the most part), Mohammed showed great respect for the monotheism of the local Christians and Jews. The Allah of the Koran claimed to be the same God worshipped by Jews and Christians, and Allah now revealed himself to the Arab people through his “chosen messenger,” Mohammed. The scenario is problematic, because this same Allah eventually required some extremely stringent submission from these other “people of the book.” Furthermore, after Mohammed and his early followers left Mecca for the city of Medina and gained power, they transformed Islam from a relatively benign form of monotheism into the military-political ideology that persists today.
One important concept that Westerners (particularly our political leaders and media sources) do not understand is the principle of “abrogation,” which directs that verses revealed later in Mohammed’s career “abrogate” (i.e., cancel and replace) earlier ones whose instructions they may contradict. Newer passages revealed in Medina, overrule older passages that were revealed in Mecca. The Koran itself lays out the principle of abrogation:
Sura 2:106 None of Our revelations do We [Allah] abrogate or cause to be forgotten, but We substitute something better or similar: Knowest thou not that Allah hath power over all things?
The relevance of this for our time is spectacular: As the founder of Islam became militarily stronger, his doctrine changed with the times!
When the Koran was collated into book form under Caliph Uthman, the suras were ordered from longest to shortest, and not chronologically or by thematic content. In order to find out what the Koran says on a given topic, the reader must examine the other Islamic sources (e.g. Hadith) that give clues as to when in Mohammed’s lifetime the revelations occurred. The earlier suras (that originated in Mecca when the Moslems were smaller in number and vulnerable) are generally more loving, or at the very least, more benign. The later suras (that appeared in Medina after Mohammed became the head of an army) contain the paradigm of the caliphate and world dominion that we see in today’s jihadist groups.
Look at the current expansion of global terror and you see a direct correlation to Islamic population growth in a given area, country, or region of the world. Islamic scholars divide the world into two spheres of influence:
Islam means “submission.” So, the House of Islam includes those nations and individuals who have submitted to Islamic rule. The rest of the world, which has not accepted sharia (Islamic) law and so is not in a state of submission, exists in a state of rebellion or war with the will of Allah. It is incumbent on dar al-Islam to make war upon dar al-harb until all nations and individuals submit to the will of Allah and accept sharia law.
Islam’s message to the non-Moslem world is the same now as it was in Mohammed’s time and throughout history: Submit or be conquered.
This is where ZLM proves itself a vital ministry. For over 30 years, we have warned the West, educated the listening, and prayerfully reached for the Moslems of the world. Katharine and I recently reached Iranians via television thanks to Hormoz Shariat and his “Iran Alive” ministry, which broadcast our biblical teaching into Iran. You can watch our interview with him at levitt.tv/media/watch/1522.
We believe that only the love of Yeshua can overcome the hatred gripping the descendants of Mohammed.
As a counselor used to working toward reconciliation between people, I see clearly that love, repentance, and implementing new behaviors are the pathways to peace. The tragic sense of spiritual rejection going back to Ishmael in the desert became the fertile ground for the teachings of Mohammed, whose supposedly superior theology exacts revenge upon those who do not submit to his message.
Our ministry will continue to teach. We will continue to pray. We will continue to make pilgrimage on our study tours of Israel, Greece, Ephesus, and Petra.
We would love to host you in the Holy Land. Please call Sandra, our Zola Tours manager, to discuss travel options at 214-696-9760. You may also email her at , or visit levitt.com/tours.
Select your trip from spring 2016 study tour’s options:
Deluxe Israel (Israel only) March 13–22 $4,288 Grand Petra (Israel & Petra) March 13–25 $5,288 Our prices include airport tax, tips, & fuel surcharge (subject to change)
And our fall 2016 tour:
Deluxe Israel (Israel only) September 18–27 Grand Petra (Israel & Petra) September 18–30 Grand Athens (Greece & Israel) September 12–27 Ultra Grand (Greece, Israel & Petra) September 12–30
One of the most worthwhile gifts we can give to our Israeli friends and family is our commitment to visit them in spite of the threats against them. When you and I boldly travel to Israel, we support Israelis by our presence and by enjoying the beauty of the land and the unique spirit of the people. The Bible comes alive to Believers in special ways.
In the meantime, we know you will enjoy the programs on Zola Levitt Presents this season. In January, we look at upcoming projects for 2016, kicking off the month with:
2016: The Year Ahead
From Jerusalem, Katharine and I preview the series and programs that viewers like you will see in the coming year, including the following:
We continue our eight-program series, encouraging Believers to look beyond the troubling prophetic signs of our day and live in growing expectation of our Messiah’s return.
Katharine and I count it a privilege to bring these timely and well-produced TV programs to you. We could not undertake our extensive Bible teaching without your steady prayers and financial contributions. Thank you for your ongoing partnership. God has not given you a spirit of fear, but of love, power, and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7). And please, Sha’alu shalom Yerushalayim! … Pray for the peace of Jerusalem! (Psalm 122:6)
Your brother and messenger,
P.S. Please visit www.levitt.com/donate to see our updated portal for contributions. You’ll find that we’ve made it much easier to donate money, vehicles, electronics, gift cards, financial assets, etc. You can even donate by text, eCheck, debit card, and PayPal. It’s also totally secure from start to finish. Thank you in advance.
In spite of radical Islam, I believe love never fails, and our God of Love always prevails.
“Here’s my contribution for January. Please use it to reach Jews looking for their Messiah, and also Moslems hungering for meaning in their lives.”
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This effective moisturizing cream softens and renews rough feet and soles.
This quickly absorbing body lotion protect the skin while stimulating and elevating the natural hydration processes for a smooth, refined skin texture.
Beautiful and useful, this lovely Jewish calendar provides the dates of all the biblical feasts and sabbaths. Learn the names of the months, the Holy Days and all the rest through the English phonetics like in our monthly Hebrew Lesson in the Levitt Letter.
From his humble beginnings to his ascendancy as a leader of the known world, Joseph pictures the One to come.