As the Gregorian/Roman/Western year comes to a close, the Hebrew year 5777, which began on October 2 with Rosh Hashanah, is well underway. Many events now corroborate the Bible’s accuracy and prophetic power, causing Believers to marvel at the beauty and elegance of God’s Word. Perusing and ingesting this written “bread of life” evokes adoration and joy for whoever delves into its mysteries. God’s Word is an unending source of wisdom, and I am a “forever student” since it is much deeper than I can fully understand. Theologians, with their finite minds, should remain humble when analyzing and interpreting the Word.
From the all-inclusive God (of both/and rather than either/or), His Word abides in us. And yet His words can continually enrich our understanding as we walk with Him.
I have written to you, children,
because you have known the Father.
I have written to you, fathers,
because you have known the One
who is from the beginning.
I have written to you, young men,
because you are strong,
the word of God abides in you,
and you have overcome the evil one.
—1 John 2:14
A prime example of deepened understanding occurs in the transformation that pastors and Bible teachers experience when they visit Israel for the first time. If they remain open, Katharine and I get to see their faces transform as the Bible changes from black & white to 3D Technicolor! We watch these pilgrims undergo a personal restoration and inner reformation as God re-forms their worldview and restores them to the truth of the Word—the unvarnished Word with none of the hidden meanings or over-spiritualizing that can lead to heresies like Replacement Theology. Replacement Theology is the devil’s way of trying, yet again, to invalidate God’s covenant with His Jewish people, and it constitutes the ultimate attack on the written Word and the Living Word, Messiah Yeshua.
The reality on the ground in Israel reinforces the words on the page, refuting many preconceptions that these pastors bring as pilgrims. They see real Biblical descendants who make up this family of Hebrews with an authentic history in genuine places—Israelis who have confronted terrifying enemies and then been protected by our awesome and powerful God. This entire panoramic epic has been taking place over centuries, forming a cohesive story that includes salvation and ongoing national transformation!
Some scholars suggest adding a section called “Israelology” to seminary studies because the Holy Land remains central in true Christian life. In God’s mercy, He has used my natural brethren’s rejection of the Gospel to open the way for gentiles to know Him:
Romans 11: 11I say then, they did not stumble so as to fall, did they? May it never be! But by their false step salvation has come to the non-Jews, to provoke Israel to jealousy. 12Now if their transgression leads to riches for the world, and their loss riches for the non-Jews, then how much more their fullness! 13But I am speaking to you who are non-Jews. Insofar as I am an emissary to the non-Jews, I spotlight my ministry 14if somehow I might provoke to jealousy my own flesh and blood and save some of them. 15For if their rejection leads to the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?
In today’s temporary phase—remember, a moment to God can be 2,000 years to us (2 Peter 3:8)—we Jews have a partially hardened heart so that the Nations can come into relationship with the Master. How gracious of God to “swing wide the heavenly gates, and prepare the way of the risen Lord” in the words of a contemporary song, composed by Martin Smith.
Ephesians 2: 11Therefore, keep in mind that once you— non-Jews in the flesh—were called “uncircumcision” by those called “circumcision” (which is performed on flesh by hand). 12At that time you were separate from Messiah, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13But now in Messiah Yeshua, you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of the Messiah.
These verses begin to dawn on our study tour pilgrims with a “kavod” (weight) of glory as the reality hits them with new insight about being “grafted in” to a long-planned love story.
Have you heard of the “Jerusalem syndrome”? This disorder occurs when visitors to the Holy Land succumb to an overwhelming combination of culture shock, jet lag, and delusional thinking. They wind up believing they are Moses, Elijah, Jesus, Mary, or some other Biblical personage. Some go as far as donning white robes, hoisting wooden staffs, and proclaiming verities on Israeli streets and to their fellow tourists.
“Oops,” saith the Lord (or so some might imagine). Treatment may include talk therapy, medication, and rest…followed by a flight back home.
I may be the first to suffer from “Mount Carmel syndrome.” This disorder does not debilitate, but it does change your life, especially affecting the direction of your ministry. Many years ago, Katharine and I attended a school of ministry at Or HaCarmel (Light of Carmel) in Israel. In the States, we had been celebrating Shabbat by opening our home to Christians from our local fellowship and area. Price of admission: “Bring a Jewish person who needs to know the Messiah!”
Thus began our journey into this Messianic, evangelical type of ministry. Within a year or so, the full house at every gathering required us to convene at a local church where I served on the pastoral staff. That expansion led to friends introducing us to the Davises, who had been planted on Mount Carmel by David Wilkerson and the Times Square Church in New York. Katharine and I needed to know more about Jewish ministry, so we headed to Israel and Mount Carmel.
Our two-week intensive mentoring program at Or HaCarmel included compressed teaching on the role of Israel in the End Times and an understanding of both Islam and the responsibility of the Church vis-à-vis the Jewish people and Israel. All of the teaching and touring took place in the context of Yeshua’s Second Coming—a mind-expanding and heart-wrenching experience. I wept for two weeks as God re-ordered my calling around the message of “Christianity through Jewish Eyes.” These events occurred years before we joined Zola Levitt Presents.
My emotions eventually calmed, but our calling was forever changed … or rather, refined to a laser focus: Yeshua, the Jewish Messiah is coming again…to Jerusalem! Believers need to stand with Israel, yet boldly proclaim the Gospel. The Arabs and all Moslems play a significant part in the Last Days, either through worship or warfare. They need the Gospel.
Katharine and I spread this three-part message everywhere we can: in our congregations, in writing, in casual conversations, on television, at www.levitt.com, and via social media. What a privilege for us, and how grateful we are for your prayers and financial partnership!
I would like to encourage you to come with Katharine and me and see for yourself how walking in the Land transforms one’s Bible perspective. Consider bringing, or sending, your children or grandchildren. Perhaps you cannot make the trip at this time, but you can provide for a family member to go. In this way, you partake of the l’dor v’dor—generation to generation—blessing.
|Israel & Petra||Mar 12–24||$5,488|
Why not bring (or send) your pastor to Israel with us? Most congregation leaders would treasure an invaluable gift like this ministry’s Bible study tour. A pilgrimage with us is the best way to deliver the message you love into the leaders you love, and from them to your congregation.
On Zola Levitt Presents in December, we finish 2016 by re-airing remarkable interviews and teachings from our television series Israel in Prophecy.
Then, we take a holiday break to teach you the striking origins and prophetic meaning of the Festival of Lights, which Jesus Himself celebrated in John 10:22.
After Hanukkah, we take a look back at our ministry’s 2016 broadcasts and offer viewers an opportunity to experience key Bible teaching from programs they missed. We also highlight some of the poignant moments from those episodes. Our ministry workers found producing our Beauty for Ashes series, regarding Israel’s rebirth after the Holocaust, especially gratifying. For the first time in nearly four decades of creating Biblical series for television, Zola Levitt Presents traveled to Auschwitz-Birkenau in Poland to give voice to the survivors of the Holocaust and to honor the memory of those murdered by the Nazis.
As we ask for many blessings on your house, please remember to Sha’alu Shalom Yerushalayim! — Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem! (Psalm 122:6)
Your friend and messenger,
P.S. As before, we sincerely thank you for standing with us, and suggest that this is a perfect time to consider a generous year-end, tax-deductible contribution. Clicking on “donations” at www.levitt.com will give you many ways to lend a hand with our important ministerial efforts.
Israel’s ongoing restoration and rebirth transforms theology’s impact as prophecy fulfillment corroborates the Bible’s accuracy, power, and beauty.
“Enclosed is my December donation. Your TV program “2016: The Year in Review” should inspire viewers to visit your free broadcast archives at levitt.tv.”
Various theories of the Lord’s return and the Kingdom examined in detail. The return of the Lord and the establishment of His Kingdom on Earth. Exact scriptural information contrasting the Second Coming and the Rapture of the Church.
From “Shalom” to the chai symbol standing for “Life!” itself to “Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem” to the flag of Israel, you’ll be ready for any occasion.
Zola teaches on the fascinating lives of some of God’s key men — from Abraham to the Messiah and the Apostles. An informative and stunningly beautiful history of the people God chose and the special men among them that He used for His purposes.