New Year’s greetings in the Name above all names! So, what is in a name? Or, for that matter, a place? Why is the world in such an uproar over the little country of Israel and the tiny population of Jews on the whole planet? What is it about my brethren that drives the masses, the nations, and governments mad?
I think I know. The very existence of the Jew points to the Holy God of the Jews, the veracity of His Word, and the uncompromising nature of His supremacy. “How dare He tell us what is right and wrong,” the humanists exclaim! “How dare He point out our inability to achieve perfection in our own strength!” The reality of the Lord flies in the face of secular humanism, the “religion” of modern times. This religion that poses as a non-religious point of view requires faithful adherence. When challenged by Judeo-Christian viewpoints, it institutes mind control, civil threats, and ostracism—to the point of imprisonment in some countries.
Humanists worship the human spirit and are offended by any god, but for the same reason as the anti-Semites, who are offended by this God in particular. Their reason? This God makes it very clear that humans are unholy and in need of a holy mediator— a Substitute, an Umpire, a Connector—to relate directly to Him in His righteousness. Every person needs Jesus / Yeshua, King of kings and Lord of lords.
Result: The nations are in a tumult at the upstart startup country, which continues to defy all the odds of survival and thrives, surpassing any of the surrounding nations and many in the traditional Western world.
As the psalmist wrote:
Psalm 21Why do the nations rage, and the people mutter a vain thing?
2The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take
counsel together, against
the Lord, and against His Anointed [Messiah], saying,
3Let us break their bonds asunder, and cast away their cords
from us. 4He who sits in the heavens shall laugh.
The Lord shall have them in derision.
5Then He shall speak to them in His anger, and terrify them in
His fury. 6I have set My king on My holy mountain of Zion.
God is the One who calls Israel and Jerusalem His own. This divine affection reminds me of our study tours to Israel. Early in the Jerusalem leg, Katharine and I take our pilgrims to the Mount of Olives to gaze across the valley to Mount Moriah. Atop the Biblically historical Mount where Abraham brought Isaac stands the iconic, and very visible, golden “Dome of the Rock.” It seems that every photo of the Old City uses the golden dome to instantly identify the location as Jerusalem.
On the Mount of Olives, we teach about Abraham’s journey from the south, from Be’er Sheva, up to Jerusalem to offer his promised son, thus foreshadowing the offer by God of His Son, the promised Messiah. I tell our tour group, “In all the world, there is a country: Israel. In that country, there is a city: Jerusalem. And Jerusalem has a mountain: Moriah. Beneath that mountain is HaMakom (The Place)—the site that tradition holds is the foundation of the earth and where God formed Adam and Eve before He placed them in a garden to the east. Because of this significance, the Holy of Holies stood on this site during Temple times.”
As Zola used to say and Katharine and I repeat: “What you see across the valley is an Islamic mosque over a Crusader church on a Jewish Temple sitting on Promised Land!”
So names and places do matter, and Israel’s restoration confronts the nations of this world with the eternal character of the area. The most contested real estate on the planet is the focal point of human history as we approach the return of the King.
Psalm 24 asks the requirements for mankind to go up to the mountain of the Lord/Adonai, and then provides the answers: clean hands and a pure heart…which means we humans need help from Above!
7Lift up your heads, O gates, and be lifted up, you
everlasting doors: that the King of glory may come in.
8“Who is this King of glory?” Adonai strong and mighty,
Adonai mighty in battle!
9Lift up your heads, O gates, and lift them up, you
everlasting doors: that the King of glory may come in.
10“Who is this King of glory?” Adonai-Tzva’ot
[the Lord of Hosts]—He is the King of glory!
Earthly kings come and go, and their modern counterparts—presidents, prime ministers, and governors—do as well. Much of the U.S. leadership will change this month, and many observers wonder about the new leaders’ effect on American-Israeli relations. The rockiness of recent years has caused eyes to focus on Washington and Jerusalem now, with Believers praying for a renewal of overtly close ties. We who observe from the sidelines can only guess at the covert status, hoping that relations behind the scenes are better than the news headlines imply.
A recurring campaign promise since the 1990s involves moving America’s embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, but it never happens. (Note: please see the January Levitt Letter cover article “U.S. Embassy in Israel.”) Meanwhile, Believers wait and watch for Messiah’s return (Luke 12:35).
Does God care about His Name and His places? Absolutely!
Next month, this letter will address the continuing attempts to rewrite history and erase the Jews’ connection to their ancient homeland, Israel—the land that Adonai gave to Abraham.
One of the ways you can participate in truth telling is to come with us to Israel. When you walk the Land and hear its true history from the Bible, you become a part of the solution to the world’s malaise. You become an ambassador and return home to affect your sphere of influence. Our Holy Land study tour is a transformational journey.
Please call Sandra, our tour manager, at 214-696-9760. She can help select the perfect trip for you and your family. Another way to learn more is to visit levitt.com/tours and follow the prompts to see itineraries and scenic videos.
|Israel & Petra||Mar 12–24||$5,488|
This month our TV programs include some personal notes from Katharine and me. After reviewing the series that aired in 2016, we look forward to the new and favorite programs planned for 2017.
THEN WE LOOK FORWARD.
Katharine and I look forward to seeing you soon, ideally in Israel or speaking in your church. And we hope you will see us regularly on the ministry’s weekly television program Zola Levitt Presents, which is also available 24/7 on demand at www.levitt.tv. Thank you for your prayers and financial support. Contributions that are postmarked before January 1 will be counted in 2016 unless you request otherwise. Please remember that our budget planning is eased and program production gathers steam when many people each give a little, but pledge it on a regular basis.
We can’t adequately thank the many who join Zola’s Monthly Gift Program, giving $15 or $20 each month. That represents less than the cost of a weekly coffee and is a relatively painless way to support the vital message that the Lord commissioned you and me to take to the corners of the Earth (Matt. 28:18–20). Will you kindly and prayerfully consider completing the enclosed monthly gift form? Working together, we proclaim the truth of the King and His Kingdom.
Please remember to Sha’alu shalom Yerushalayim! — Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem! (Psalm 122:6)
Your friend and messenger,
P.S. Today, as throughout history, Mankind — and even Church leaders—repeatedly try to pry control from the hands of Adonai (the Lord). But the Creator’s grasp is secure; He is our Rock (Ps. 95:1–5). His truth endures despite Man’s best efforts otherwise (Ps.119:90).
Anti-Semites despise Jews and Israel primarily because their existence and prosperity affirm God, His Word, and His eternal supremacy.
“Enclosed is my first 2017 donation. I want to add my voice to yours and help shape a Biblical future that will please Adonai (the Lord).”
Messianic Roots Label Pin or Tie Tac. An ancient Messianic symbol — believed to be used as a seal by the first Christians, who were Jewish — combines the menorah, Star of David, and the Christian fish.
Myles and Katharine Weiss encourage Believers to look beyond the troubling prophetic signs of our day and live in growing expectation of our Messiah’s return.