Dear Ministry Partner,
When you turn on the television or search the internet today, you can find a smorgasbord of ministries. There are Jewish roots ministries — like ours that Zola Levitt began decades ago — mega-church ministries, and individual Bible teachers who minister to people regularly, but are not pastors or preachers. You have a choice of where you receive your spiritual food, and we who work diligently to bring solid Bible teaching at Zola Levitt Ministries are grateful for your continued support.
It is important that each ministry set standards very early to stay on track and true to its purpose — delivering the Gospel to the world. Isn’t that the charge that Jesus gave His disciples in Matthew 28:19–20? “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
It was the Apostle Paul who called attention to the responsibilities in ministry for all of us in Second Corinthians. I call your attention to 2 Corinthians 4:1–18. Please join me in a brief study regarding practical advice from Paul. I believe you will find this advice relevant in all avenues of ministry.
Before we begin, let’s set the background for Paul’s letter. After writing his first letter to the church at Corinth, he visited for the second time. Following this disappointing visit, he wrote “the sorrowful letter” that is mentioned in 2 Corinthians 2:1–6, “For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote to you, with many tears.” According to historians, this “sorrowful letter” has been lost.
You may wonder why this context is important. Paul’s instruction in our study stems from the fact that many false teachers had besieged the church at Corinth. They were described as charming and impressive, and they were challenging Paul’s integrity, authority, and sincerity. Paul realized that it was necessary to counter these false claims, and he outlined specific ministry standards that not only showed their claims to be false but also gave future ministries a Biblical pattern.
There are three specific principles in the first six verses of our text, 2 Corinthians 4:1–18. Every ministry and each of us as we minister must implement them with integrity, reality, and humility.
Principle 1 — Integrity
The second verse informs us that integrity requires “not walking in craftiness nor handling the word of God deceitfully.” Integrity calls for adherence to the strictest of moral codes when ministering the Gospel. It is important to maintain the highest level of integrity, especially in these last days when there are many “wolves in sheep’s clothing” trying to lead Believers (“Believers” is short for “believers in Yeshua/Jesus as Messiah.”) astray.
Principle 2 — Reality
The second principle is reality. What do I mean by that statement? Notice verses 3–4: “But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine in them.” The reality is that the “god of this age” — Satan — has such great influence that many do not see the truth of Yeshua’s Gospel.
It cannot be denied that every ministry and minister (that’s you and me!) are constantly under attack by the evil one to distort and defeat every one of our efforts to teach and preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That is one clear reason why Zola Levitt Ministries needs not only your financial sustenance, but also your prayer support. No ministry or minister can survive the evil onslaught of our day without faithful prayer partners!
Principle 3 — Humility
The third principle is humility. Look at verses 5 and 6: “For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord … It is God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts.” Any God-anointed ministry or minister realizes it is not about them! Paul is quick to point out to the Corinthians that he and his fellow ministers are servants “for Jesus’ sake.”
Since I am writing this Personal Bible Study Letter for Zola Levitt Ministries, it is natural to point out that when Zola trusted Yeshua/Jesus as the Messiah, he immediately became burdened (concerned) for his Jewish family — worldwide. That was his impetus for starting this ministry. In the course of time, and with God’s blessing, the ministry grew to reach Jews and gentiles everywhere. Zola was carrying out the charge that Jesus gave His disciples in Matthew 5:16 “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” That is the charge given to all ministries and ministers who hold seriously the principle of humility.
You have probably heard the expression: “Caution: Fragile! Handle with Care.” That is the message of verses 7–9. I wish I could tell you that every ministry and minister is an indestructible force on a mission for the Gospel, but that is not true. Case in point: the founder of this ministry transferred to Heaven more than a decade ago. I’m sure that you can think of other godly servants who are now in Heaven.
JARS OF CLAY
Paul understood how vital it was to remind his fellow ministers and the church at Corinth that they were all fragile vessels. Look at what he said in verse 7: “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not us.” Personally, I need to be reminded of that in my own life. Whatever any of us may be able to accomplish, it is the power of God in us and not us. Go back to verse 6 where Paul talks about the magnificent light that God commanded to shine out of darkness; where is that light stored? It is stored in us — earthen vessels, clay pots. This great treasure — God’s glory — is stored in fragile containers.
The message of the Gospel is glorious, but it is proclaimed by just plain human beings. It is a great treasure contained in common “clay pots.”
Verses 8 and 9 describe more specifically the clay containers. “We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.” This difficulty in the lives of ministries and ministers arises from Satan and his opposition to genuine Christian ministry. When you read both of the letters that Paul wrote to the church at Corinth, you will find a list of difficulties that Paul suffered because of preaching the true Gospel.
A common misconception about Believers is that when a person accepts Jesus/Yeshua as Lord, all of their troubles on this Earth will end. Not true! Every Believer will go through the grist mill of life like anyone else. Moreover, mortal existence may become more complicated, as we can see from Paul’s life and writings.
HOW TO SPOT A GODLY MINISTER
From this study, we can see that “ministry done right” will be done with integrity, reality, and humility. God-anointed ministries carry on in the realization that we are “earthen vessels” and God reveals His glory through us as He determines.
Standing firm with Israel and ZLM,Tony Derrick
P.S. Be aware that as an earthen vessel, you may one day be broken for an extra special purpose that God has in mind for you. “For we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” — Romans 8:28
Zola Tours to the Holy Land
This fall, Zola Tours took over 80 pilgrims — many of them multi-generational families — from the U.S., Brazil, Canada, and New Zealand on a study tour of a lifetime through Greece, Israel, and the breathtaking ancient Nabatean city of Petra. You have the opportunity to experience this life-changing adventure with us next fall. Watching families walk through the Holy Land together is a real blessing for us. Please don’t wait for “someday” — begin planning now to join us!
There is still room for you to be a part of our Spring Tour this March. (No need to wait until the fall to see Israel and Petra.) The weather in March is ideal for a Holy Land pilgrimage. Spring in Israel is lush, green, and full of flowers. Experience it for yourself — bring your family! Get in touch with our tour director Sandra, who will guide you through the process. Call her during business hours at 214-696-9760, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit levitt.com/tours.
|Deluxe (Israel only)||Mar 16–26||$5,288|
|Grand Petra (Israel & Petra)||Mar 16–29||$6,488|
|Deluxe (Israel only)||Oct 19–29||Fall dates are tentative.|
|Grand Petra (Israel & Petra)||Oct 19–Nov 01|
|Grand Athens (Greece & Israel)||Oct 13–29||Prices to be determined.|
|Ultra Grand (Greece & Israel & Petra)||Oct 13–Nov 01|
A Note from David and Kirsten Hart
How did November get here so fast? It begins a busy season of celebrating and spending time with loved ones and family. As we usher in the holiday season, we’d like to offer a sincere thank you to everyone who has encouraged us throughout 2019 with your prayers and steady financial giving. As a ministry that solely runs on viewer and reader support, you are keeping alive Zola Levitt’s vision of a Christian-roots ministry.
As you get busy planning your festivities, would you consider a special end-of-year gift to Zola Levitt Ministries? We would love to begin 2020 economically able to plan stellar television programs while pursuing a new national broadcast timeslot. What a blessing that would be! If you cherish Israel, please realize that by giving to this ministry, you help us proclaim Israel’s legitimacy, refute anti-Israeli media reports, and support fellow ministries there.
Since we consider you family, here’s some good news we learned during our most recent Holy Land study tour: We’re going to be grandparents again! Our son Tyler and his wife Kari are expecting another Hart baby this May. We couldn’t be more thrilled. God keeps growing our Hart family as he upholds our ZLM family.
Blessings to all of you in this Season of Light. May the Lord bless you abundantly above and beyond your dreams.
On Zola Levitt Presents this month
We have been busily filming both in the studio and in Israel. Lots of exciting new programs are on the horizon for our weekly television program. While we were touring with our pilgrims in September, Dr. Jeff Seif, our producer Ken Berg, and the production team were filming in the Holy Land. If you enjoy vibrant, new teaching, you’re going to appreciate what’s happening on Zola Levitt Presents. You will want to see each and every program of our upcoming series.
Here’s a Personal Bible Study Letter insiders’ scoop: Ken Berg stayed in Israel an extra week to audition Israeli actors for some brand-new dramatic re-enactments for another new series in 2020. Dramatic re-enactments filmed in the Holy Land with Israeli Hebrew-speaking actors set this ministry program apart from others. We can’t wait to see what Ken has in store for us!
In November, we continue reprising our popular 10-program television series Return to Eden that explores key facets of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. To bridge the gap that resulted when Adam and Eve sinned, the Lord created a special relationship with a people and a land that eventually led to the Messiah. This series features teaching from Dr. Jeffrey Seif, insights from Sarah Liberman, and music written by Zola Levitt.
- Recreating Paradise
- For 369 years, the Israelites could approach the Lord via the Tabernacle in Shiloh. The Menorah symbolizes not only the Jewish people but also the Tree of Life.
- Eden and Old Testament History
- The Lord wants to restore fellowship with His creation and is rebuilding us and making us a testimony to His faithfulness.
- Eden and New Testament Prophecy
- Sin leads to loss, and rebuilding can take generations. In the end, the Lord will restore the relationship with His people and dwell with them forever.
- Eden and Israel
- Solomon’s Temple was a reconstitution of the Garden of Eden. Today, the Lord is bringing back the Jewish people to their ancestral homeland.
- Jesus and the Return to Eden
- When Messiah returns, New Jerusalem itself will be the Temple of God.
Sha’alu shalom Yerushalayim! —
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem! — Psalm 122:6
David & Kirsten
P.S. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for realizing the timely importance of keeping Zola’s vision and mission alive.
Zola Levitt Ministries is ECFA approved
I am very thankful for the collective “earthen vessel” that is Zola Levitt Ministries.
Here is my gift for November to continue teaching the Jewish roots of Christianity and the fulfillment of Messianic prophecies in Yeshua.
Return to Eden tells the Bible’s story from Genesis to Revelation. The Lord bridged the relationship gap (caused by mankind’s sin in the Garden of Eden) by creating a special relationship with a people and a land that eventually led to the Messiah.
Rich calligraphy with the meaning and history of each of the 12 Names.
For four decades, the producer of Zola Levitt Presents has traversed the Bible Lands with his camera at the ready. Now this well organized, full-color portfolio of Ken’s most inspirational shots chronicles key appointed places that God chose as backdrops for His Holy Writ, the Bible, to unfold.