May 1999: Volume 21, Number 5


Foreshadows of Wrath
(part 3)

by Zola Levitt


Zola Levitt
Zola Levitt

In this issue we conclude the third and final part of a chapter Zola was asked to contribute for an upcoming book of the above title.

          One cannot arrive at Replacement Theology by reading scripture. It's just not in the Bible. One has to first be motivated to find some doctrine to fit a bias against the Jews and their homeland. And so among what should be the best friends of Israel that America contains, a false doctrine based on anti-Semitism is rife.

          But to speak of prosperity is to cite the fact that the countries that took in the Jews and gave them at least freedom to be employed generally prospered by Jewish industry and ingenuity. The most anti-Semitic of nations — Germany, Russia, England — also profited by their Jewish communities, and history will attest to this ironic fact. Despised and yet respected, the Jews have put up with their hapless lot for some 4,000 years!

          What causes hatred of a people who have done little to earn it? The phenomenon may go all the way back to the argument between God and Satan in the first chapter of Job. "Hast thou considered my servant Job?" God asks his enemy, with reference to the idea of righteousness in the world, and Satan cynically points out that if God were to take away what Job has "he will curse thee to thy face." God replies, in effect, "If you think that, you don't know Job," and he takes up the devil's challenge and begins to persecute Job. In the story, Job, the symbol of righteousness, seems to represent the chosen people and the devil, their antagonist. In the end Israel will be saved, as we pointed out, and in the end Job declared, "Yea, though he slay me, yet will I trust in him." But as the story of each progressed, Job and the Jews suffered mightily, and the calamities that befell them only underlined their steadfastness. Are the persecutors of the Jews merely modern-day tools of Satan? Is the contention between God and his enemy still going on over the Jews?

          Ultimately, the Antichrist will bring the most horrific anti-Semitism the Jews have ever experienced. It is important to the Antichrist's counterfeit of Jesus that he be accepted as Israel's Messiah, and he evidently attempts to make that happen. He is rebuffed by Israel, which has a long history of rejecting false Messiahs (and the real Messiah), and so he ultimately enters the Temple itself and proclaims himself almighty God! At this, the Jews flee, and the doom of Armageddon is sealed.

          Many teach that Israel will accept the Antichrist as their Messiah, but this is nowhere indicated in scripture. The fact that they sign a peace covenant with him is an act of far less magnitude than accepting him as Messiah, of course. They have been signing peace agreements for years now, and the Antichrist's will seem to them to be just a longer term, more serious attempt to settle Middle East turmoil. Their mere acceptance of his treaty terms does not amount to accepting him spiritually. It is quite possible that they are rightly suspicious of him from the beginning, but they want so badly to have peace — and possibly to have some arrangement whereby they can rebuild the Temple— that his covenant will seem acceptable at the time. But when he later reveals himself as a true counterfeit of God, they will have no more of him. And that, of course, sets the stage for the world mobilization for that cataclysmic battle.

Who Is the Antichrist?

          I am getting the above question in speaking engagements more than almost any other these days. I tend to be asked to speak to Biblical churches who are reasonably well taught where prophecy is concerned. And the members of those churches have realized that the Antichrist is very likely alive and mature today. Some folks make educated guesses, but they've been doing that since the beginning. The various popes, Hitler, Henry Kissinger, etc. have been selected, among others, for this very special dishonor. Kissinger has been a suggestion for some 25 years, and that is because he is Jewish. People think the Antichrist is to be a Jew. This is almost universally believed in the churches, but there is just no evidence for that idea.

          The scriptural sanction for this theory is Daniel 11:37. "Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all." (King James Version).

          It is rendered this way in a different translation. "He will show no regard for the gods of his fathers or for the one desired by women, nor will he regard any god, but will exalt himself above them all." (New International Version).

          The second translation is the accurate one. The Hebrew word used for God is not Elohim, but elohai. The difference is crucial. Elohai means "gods" in the sense of idols. The verse states that the Antichrist will not worship the idols his father worshipped. The King James translators, living in particularly anti-Semitic times in England, must have fallen into temptation to use the ancient Jewish expression "God of his fathers." This indictment of the Antichrist being Jewish has persisted for all these centuries. ( The King James translators' aversion to Judaism is obvious again in Acts 12:4 where they substitute Easter for Passover.)

          The idea that the Antichrist is a Gentile is easier to support. All Biblical persecutors of the Jews were Gentiles from the pharaohs to the foreign kings to the Caesars. Also, Israel undertakes a formal covenant with the Antichrist. If he were one of their own, they probably would not have to actually sign a document. The policies of Prime Ministers Rabin, Peres or Netanyahu were accepted by their fellow Jews without the necessity of signing formal documents. But dealings with Gentile powers like the U.S., the Arabs, or the Oslo peace accords themselves were contractual matters more like the Antichrist's upcoming covenant.

          And finally, there is the lack of logic in assuming that this major anti-Semite will persecute his own people. It really is difficult to imagine a Jewish person blaspheming to the extent of claiming to be the God of Israel.

          But on the matter of just who among the world's Gentiles the Antichrist may be, I just don't know. And that is how I answer that question in the churches.

Where Do We Stand?

          There are many renditions of end times events and many educated guesses as to the motivations of the characters. Suffice it to say that the construction above fits with scriptural fact. Other factors not foreseen at this time may change some of the motivations, but I feel that this scenery fits well with what we understand now.

So where do we stand now?

          Today's society is as much on the verge of the end of the age as the newspapers say it is. That is to say, while there's no Biblical sanction for imagining the end to be at the change of millenium, it should surprise no Bible student if it were. There are any number of factors urging this point of view, including the satisfaction of all of the

          Lord's warnings in Matthew 24:4-14. The anti-Semitism, which the Anti-christ will utilize to justify his ultimate raid of Israel, and the idea that some peace covenant must be made in Israel are all in place. The analogy of a stage play with pieces of a set and certain actors being in their right places for the culmination of a play is often used, and it is very appropriate.

          Around that stage, besides what I have already mentioned, are global economic problems; alliances very similar to that described by Ezekiel in his invasion of Gog and Magog; a powerful European confederacy in the offing; a rising of the king of the East to a position where he could conceivably attack the Middle East; the proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons; the hostility of world Islam to democracy; the apostasy of the "liberal" churches: all conspire to make it seem that the world has either gone haywire or is simply conforming to our Lord's sad picture of the end of the age. If these are not forewarnings, then we are misunderstanding either the world situation or scripture. Any reasonable person ought to deeply consider his position with God at a time like this.

          I have always personally felt that prophecy is placed in scripture not only for the edification of the saints but as a tool of witness. Surely a common-sense appeal in a world like the one we now have is justified. Sometimes when I speak in churches, I am impressed to give an invitation — not so much an emotional appeal accompanied by stirring hymns, but rather a simple "Don't be a fool." In view of all of the forewarnings, this is the best time we have seen so far to expect the Lord's imminent arrival. With that in mind, make your peace with Him and reserve your place in a much finer, more peaceful, more wonderful life on Earth to come.


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"Brief Encounter"

Gershom Gorenberg
The Jerusalem Report, March 15, 1999

          With the turn of the millennium barely 300 days away, Pope John Paul II received Yasser Arafat, and accepted the Palestinian leader's invitation to visit Bethlehem in 2000. The Pope has also accepted Israeli invitations — but hasn't announced a date, raising doubts about how definite the visit is.

          Rabbi David Rosen, director of the Anti-Defamation League's Israel office and one of the people who negotiated Israeli diplomatic ties with the Holy See, is confident that the pontiff is coming. And, Rosen says, it's crucial to seize the opportunity presented by Christian pilgrimage next year.

Will the Pope come to Israel and the territories in 2000?

          I'm pretty sure, yes. Were I a betting man, I'd bet that if he's healthy, he'll be here between Purim and Pesah—late March or early April, before Easter.

So why isn't he giving a date?

          They are generally cagey about dates, especially given his health . . . When the Vatican secretariat of state [also] says the visit is contingent on political developments, especially in the peace process, in my opinion it's to protect themselves from Arab criticism. But even if the peace process were to regress, he'll come. He sees the visit as trascending local matters, as having universal significance . . . Still, the attitude of the local church is that it's not in its interest for him to come unless the peace process is progressing.


          The local church is Palestinian, inside an Islamic society. They'd probably be happy if he didn't come at all. Any visit that gives due accord to the State of Israel while Israel is controlling the Jerusalem holy sites could be seen as endorsement of Israel's position. That could make the local Christian minority uncomfortable . . . They are even more uncomfortable with the expected Evangelical pilgrims. When elements come along that see the State of Israel as part of the divine . . . it makes local Christians uncomfortable. Palestinian society says if your guys are in cahoots with Israel, you're part of the problem, not the solution. As Jews, we know the problems of a minority.

But all this won't stop the Pope from coming?

          No. But by emphasizing the peace process, the secretariat hopes to move it along.

Will his presence bring more tourists?

          In large numbers. As the fact of his visit and the expected date are becoming more known, it's already motivating the travel plans of the Catholic faithful.

Will he celebrate a public Mass in Jerusalem?

          I anticipate he'll do so in Nazareth. The logistical situation in Jerusalem is very complicated.

Some tourism industry sources say Israel has underpromoted Christian tourism in 2000 because of Jewish religious pressure.

          I don't think so. At the highest level, there may be a lack of understanding of the opportunity and a lack of effort to take full advantage of it.

Besides the economic side, what's the opportunity?

          It's the greatest chance since Israel's founding to present the vitality of the state and of revived Jewish life to millions of Christians throughout the world. The potential, from an educational perspective, is enormous. It would be — to use English understatement — a terrible shame to miss that opportunity.

Is Yasser Arafat trying to promote his own position as guardian of the Holy Land at Israel's expense?

          Well, of course. Who isn't here? That's why the PA is assuaging local Christian fears, assuring them that a papal visit will serve Palestinian interests. It could really serve everyone's interests. A basic point of Israeli-Palestinian relations is that we should see them as win-win.

Zola's Response:

          The above article seems to categorize three classes of nominal Bible subscribers who want to get the best political and economic advantage out of the Promised Land for the Millenium. And when I say "nominal Bible subscribers," you may read "unbelievers." The problem with being that candid is that I get voluminous letters, particularly from Roman Catholics about how terrific their church is, what good works they're doing, etc., to say nothing of the Jews and the Muslims and their sundry virtues. (Please see our Letters to Zola pages)

          But if we use the scriptures as the sharp sword they are intended to be, and we divide among the faithful by that measure, then they are simply groups of unbelievers that seek to exploit Israel for whatever worldly gains they can manage. With that said, let me deal with the above article paragraph by paragraph.

          To begin with, it seems that the Pope is favoring Arafat over Jewish administrators of Israel, and in fact, he always has. The Vatican ignores Moslem persecution of Arab Christians in Israel and elsewhere, and instead kowtows to an Islamic terrorist. Biblically the Jews are Jesus Christ's own family. The Moslems have no relationship with Himwhatever. But the Moslems have a much larger population, and therefore more influence with the Vatican. The Pope has never been to Israel in his life and evidently considers it of little importance.

          I know that our Catholic friends will send in long letters of protest, but the above is the simple truth, and that's all I can tell you. The Catholic church has many good points —and believe me, I'm made aware of them every time I mention it —but it has never been a very Biblical church.

          Rabbi David Rosen, who has appeared previously on our television program, has his hands full with the Catholic hierarchy, acting as a diplomat conducting relations with the Vatican and trying to inch the Pope into considering a visit to the land of Jesus Christ. In the paragraph about the peace process —that is the Papal visit contingent on "political developments," we come to realize that "peace process" means giving Arabs the land. When the Pope wants to see developments "especially in the peace process, [he protects himself] from Arab criticism," the writer observes, so we're not really looking for peace, but to change the land given to the Jews by God into an Arab land.

          And then as the article goes on, he talks about "the local church" in Israel, which we have to understand as the local unbelieving church. This "Christian church," composed of various sacramentalists including Eastern Orthodox, Catholics, etc., has as its prime mission the transfer of the land. Jesus Christ, for whom the year 2000 is named and celebrated, seems pretty far from their minds when the writer can observe "they'd probably be happy if [the Pope] didn't come at all. Any visit that gives due accord to the State of Israel while Israel is controlling the Jerusalem holy sites could be seen as endorsement of Israel's position."

          And then we come to the very small mention of the true believers referred to here as "Evangelical pilgrims," also referred to as "elements . . . that see the State of Israel as part of the divine plan." Well, what a strange theology that must be! Imagine thinking that the land of Israel is part of God's plan! Naturally, the land doctrine of the "evangelical pilgrims. . . makes local Christians uncomfortable" since those local "Christians" are Christians in name only. The United States is full of such Christians who are anti-Israel and, in fact, they make up the majority of what is called Christian in America. I speak in denominational churches once in a blue moon, and then for all that they get out of what I say, I might as well sing "Blue Moon."

          The article points out that "Palestinian society says if your guys are in cahoots with Israel, you're part of the problem, not the solution." The fact is if your guys are in cahoots with Israel, you're part of the Kingdom!

          The concluding paragraph about Arafat promoting his own position as "guardian of the Holy Land" is the kind of malarkey that makes this world turn the way it does. Imagine a Moslem terrorist with Israeli blood on his hands, his arms, his sleeves and everywhere else being the guardian of the Holy Land!? The rabbi's reassuring answer isn't very comforting; that the Palestinian Authority "is assuaging local Christian fears, assuring them that a papal visit will serve Palestinian interests" is understandable, but it seems to have occurred to no one that there are fake Christians and real Christians, and the PA could only appeal to the phonies.

          A serious point in all of this discussion is that what are called Christians in the Holy Land are not at all what we would refer to as born-again believers in the true church.

          And, unfortunately, our denominational churches are totally fooled (or their anti-Semitism guides them). They raise support for the "Christians of the Holy Land," and unwittingly assist Palestinian causes from legitimate economic support for charities to terrorism and bombings. But as we expect believers to stick together, apparently unbelievers do the same.

          All in all, it was a very enlightening article to read.


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A Note From Zola

Dear Friends,

          I did not really intend to create a "Catholic" issue of our newsletter, but things seemed to fall this way recently. The provocative interview in The Jerusalem Report concerning the Pope, and the lengthy letters I received from Catholics, seemed to come at the same time. And so I decided to deal with them together.

          I have had some experience with Catholic folks, many of whom are our good supporters. Once a Catholic man ordered 100 holy masses to be said in honor of our ministry, and I was touched.

          For the most part, I am discouraged with Catholic friends, because it's almost impossible to discuss Scripture with them. They just don't know the stuff, and they evidently don't get much of it in their churches. I am reminded of a friend who brought a Catholic woman to me who had questions about confession. I taught her that we are all to confess to the Lord and not to a man on Earth, however authoritative a church may make him seem. I pointed out that 1 John 1:9 says: "If we confess our sins, He [God] is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." After that interview, I saw the friend again who had brought the Catholic to me, and I asked her how my lesson had gone over. My friend said, "Well, she asked me if this First John was a book of the Bible."

          When I spoke in Clearwater, Florida, I passed by a modern, glass bank building on which the sun had etched some curved lines. The pattern in the glass looked like the outline of one of those Renaissance paintings of Mary — not like a first century Jewish maiden. This "miracle" was very popular in the community, and a large congregation of Catholic people were holding a worship service facing the bank. A priest was officiating. One problem for the community in this "appearance of the Virgin" is to collect and distribute to charity the cash that the Catholics throw at the window each day, apparently trying to purchase favors from Mary. Appearances like these have been common over the centuries, ordinarily in the most inappropriate places. In this case a six-lane highway puts this congregation on display for tens of thousands of people daily. It has gone on for some years.

          The veneration of Mary goes further. She is, in some Catholic circles, called a Co-redemptrix with Christ, dispensing salvation, miracles, healings, etc., along with our Lord in a parallel ministry. In some places her ministry is superior; I was told that priests advise parishioners to pray to Mary rather than Jesus because she is more compassionate.

          This is nothing more than goddess-worship, condemned in scripture and unspiritual on the face of it. An entire personality has been created for Mary, a character mentioned only in passing in the Gospels. We are nowhere instructed to worship or pray to her.

          I do understand that the above thoughts may deeply offend some Catholic people, but my ministry is to teach the Bible. And where there is error it must be spoken of. I can't tell you how difficult it is for me to criticize anyone's beliefs, but this is a serious part of my ministry. Truly, I feel led of the Lord to say what I have said here. I am aware that it may cost me some financial support, but to the degree that one is offended, that is the degree of the lack in Bible knowledge. It is a lack of Bible study that leads to such errors.

          Some time back, I was invited to a Catholic Bible study group. During the entire evening, they just took turns reading aloud from the Scriptures, stumbling over the Hebrew names. Finally, I asked if we could stop to discuss what we were reading. They just looked at me as though I had spoken out of turn. They didn't discuss or study Scripture; they were simply reading it aloud.

          That's not studying the Word, but worshipping it. When we just read the Word, but don't take it into our hearts, we're just hearing the words go by. Would you like to take a course in physics or chemistry and just hear the teacher reading from the textbook? Could you learn anything from such an experience? Studying Scripture should be a prayerful, deeply felt learning experience.

          Many of the Jewish people have the same set of habits. No one venerates Scripture like they do, carrying it around and kissing it with their prayer shawls. They read it aloud at every service, but they simply don't know any of it. They do not study it for what it means, and they do not really consider it the Word of God.

          I have been invited three times to speak to Catholic churches in 27 years of speaking. Two of these wanted me to speak to Sunday school groups, but only in someone's home, not in the church. It seemed having a Jew speak was too controversial for the church building itself (will our Lord be welcome?). The third church had me speak in the social hall. I demonstrated the Passover, and I was never invited back. Catholics believe in the doctrine of Transubstantiation, which says the bread is really Christ's body, and the wine is really Christ's blood, and what I taught did not fit with their belief. I had the impression that they did not understand the original story of the Exodus and the magnificent way our Lord utilized its various parts to illustrate His own ministry of salvation. Having little knowledge of the original, Catholic people look to Transubstantiation to build up their Eucharist and make it seem very sacred. The original Exodus story would certainly do that if they appreciated it.

          The unbiblical practices of Catholicism (and a number of Protestant denominations, as well) are varied and plentiful. For example, Acts 10:25-26 says, "And as Peter was coming in Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshipped him. But Peter took him up, saying Stand up; I myself also am a man." When Catholics kneel to a man and kiss his ring, they are worshipping the man, not God. Along with the hierarchy of the Vatican, calling priests "father," the Crusades, the Inquisition, anti-Semitism, holy water, veneration of Mary, confession to priests, prayer to saints, Purgatory, celibacy, etc., are simply the ideas of ordinary men and are unbiblical. Our worship should be built on Scripture, not the inventions of men.

          Things were interesting in Israel during our April tour. The whole country was talking about whether Arafat would declare a state, but President Clinton gave him a way out. As Netanyahu put it, Clinton helped Arafat "climb back down the tree." I sincerely think that if the Palestinians would declare a state, then the whole world would see what sort of state that would be. It might be the end of a lot of support for Arafat. We can see around the world the results of dictatorships, and they are not impressive. President Clinton studiously avoids Netanyahu and doesn't even mention his name. Once again he's trying to throw out of office a man who has pledged to hold Israel together.

          THE JERUSALEM POST ran an article about the Arabs of Israel considering whether to support General Barak or whoever else against Netanyahu. Not even one line of the article mentioned the idea that any Arab anywhere would vote for Netanyahu. That is what happened in the 1996 election. You were told that the election was razor-thin, but if you discount this monolithic Arab vote, it was a landslide. The Jewish people of Israel know better, and I imagine they will reelect Netanyahu.

          Watching the Orthodox people of Israel keeping their hard laws day after day put me in mind of Messianics in America and Gentile Christian people trying to venerate Jewish law. That actually is a lesser part of Judaism to admire than its more sublime virtues: monotheism, morality, decency, peace and brotherhood, care for the poor. Those are the finer virtues of Judaism, and the ones harder to practice. Anyone can wear a special costume, keep a Saturday Sabbath, and do certain festivals, but that's the easy way out. Christianity is full of law-keeping people whose denominations have reduced the faith down to mere performance.

          Israel is having a hard time with the situation in Kosovo. The Serbs helped the Jews in World War II, after all, as did the Kosovars. It is hardly mentioned that the Albanian Kosovars are Moslems, and the theory is never advanced that we're simply helping them because of our standard service to our Arab overlords. The Israeli army sent a field hospital and several doctors to Stenkovec Refugee Camp, where they are treating the wounded Moslems. Israel, recipient of the world's first and best public health laws, is conscious of how to help. While we dither and bomb, they get in there and do something. There is only scarce media coverage of their efforts, I'm afraid.

          We had an unusually well-subscribed tour of Israel in April, with a lot of happy folks who once again discovered that Israel is perfectly peaceful and a lovely place to travel. This could possibly be the last year to see Israel in this life.

          We are already seeing an enthusiastic response to our Fall Tour, September 4-15 for the Deluxe Tour or September 1-15 for the Grand Tour. The Deluxe travels to the Sea of Galilee and the Mount of the Sermon, the Upper Room, the Garden Tomb, and the Mount of Olives, as well as the Garden of Gethsemane and many other Biblical sites. The Grand Tour has an extension to Eilat and Petra. We will stay at a five-star hotel on the Dead Sea, from where we tour the Negev Desert and visit such sites as En Gedi, Beersheba, Eilat, etc. You have the option to visit Petra, a series of huge buildings and monuments chiseled out of the rose-red mountains before the time of Christ. Fall brochures are now available, so call to request one at (214) 696-9760 or call our answering service at 1-800-WONDERS, or email us at . View of Jerusalem from the Garden of Gethsemane

          We taped in the Holy Land during the April tour and brought home quite a bit of footage of the Valley of Armageddon, the Mount of Olives, and other key prophetic sites. We also discussed Israel's future with some important spokesmen. We want to include those interviews, along with Hal Lindsey, Gerald Schroeder, and other such personalities in our upcoming prophecy series, "Is This the End?"

          This would be a very good time to give us some support. I don't have to tell you after all these years how expensive location programming is to make, but where else except the Holy Land could one film the relevant sites to the upcoming Tribulation Period and the Kingdom on Earth? Thanks for your help.

And pray for the peace of Jerusalem!

Your messenger,

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The State of the Ministry

By Mark Levitt
Mark Levitt

          I am delighted to announce that we are moving our office, toward the end of May (our post office box will remain the same). The City of Dallas is about to widen our current street and overhaul the mix-master of the two major expressways that are only a block away. We will also reap the benefit of being good stewards, as our monthly rent will decrease.

          This isn't a red alert, or even a yellow one—and it is not addressed to those of you who are already supporting us as the Lord leads. The ZLM troops I hope to mobilize are:

  1. You readers who someday might say, "Gee, I really liked Zola's TV program. If only I knew he needed my help, I might have chipped in."

  2. You folks who know people that would enjoy our newsletters and TV programs but have yet tell them about Zola.

          Unfortunately, I can't even ask for help from where this ministry needs it the most — the 97% of our viewership who are not even reading these newsletters, the ones who have never contacted us and who never will. From where they sit, Zola will be in their living rooms each week, blessing them with the teaching you sponsor, until he possibly disappears. How sadly ironic that they probably need our Bible teaching even more than those who support Zola. I wish it weren't you "three percenters" that Zola and I always turn to, because I really would like to share our expenses evenly among the millions who have seen the majestic aspects of Israel, the biblical sites, on our program — and only on our program. May I suggest some ways to help this ministry:

  1. Our relocation will be an opportune time to install a six-line telephone system, preferably a Toshiba, with voice mail and caller I.D. I pray that one of our donors can donate this to us by very soon. With the bells and whistles that will maximize our efficiency, it will cost roughly $7,800.

  2. We need bequests; they have become a significant component of our making ends meet. Instead of being presumptuous enough to declare that you should put this ministry in your will, let me suggest that your dying without a will could be the most profound stewardship mistake of your life. And yet most Christians do precisely this —take their good intentions to the grave, neglecting the legacy they always promised themselves that they would make. Please request our booklet, Planning Your Christian Will, and let me know if you would like us to have a Christian attorney or financial consultant contact you.

  3. Visit our office, while supplies last, and we will give you three free record albums — Beloved Thief, Next Year in Jerusalem, and a classic Dallas Holm album. These are discounted on our order page. Our hardbound Sunshine After Rain poetry book with striking Holy Land photos, artistically enhanced, is half price, 50% off, until June 1. Please see our order page to get this treasure for only $10 — a gift that will look terrific on any coffee table. You can get 50 of our $3 study booklets for only $50 — that's more of a standing offer than a special, but what a bargain!

  4. Funding is only a means to an end with Zola's ministry, which of course is your ministry as well. We need to reach more people, and you can help. Pass on your newsletters instead of throwing them away. Order more of our materials —and share them. Enroll in our Institute of Jewish-Christian Studies. You can earn a diploma by mail, and you will cherish the knowledge you will acquire in one year more than most anything your professors taught you at college. Why not give our first Institute course, "A Survey of the Old Testament," to someone needing to re-establish his Bible study habits? Tell him to listen to the two cassettes in his car and to mail us his test when he completes the reading packet.

          Not knowing very much about investing, computers, and the Y2K problem, I have a suggestion for people wondering what to do with their teetering stocks: invest them, or at least some of them, in the Kingdom.

          As stated in Matthew 6:19-20: "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth . . . But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven." If you donate your stock to this or another 501(c)(3) ministry or a tax-exempt church, you can avoid paying taxes on your gain while earning a tax deduction for the full value of the stock. Wouldn't a break on your taxes be better than watching an investment's value decline if too many people liquidate their investments this fall?

          We are still negotiating for airtime for the primetime special on End Times prophecy. We'll keep you posted. Zola is doing more speaking engagements and attending more conferences than ever, which has expanded our mailing list. Our web site has expanded our outreach considerably. We have returned to taking four Israel tours per year instead of three. Our office's computer software is on schedule to be enhanced with open database connectivity — something that will preserve our old system's integrity while making it more user-friendly.

          The problem with fighting to bless as many people as you can is that the devil fights back on many fronts. Most of all we need your prayer — daily prayer. Hold up Zola's health, please, and the welfare of our staff's families. Pray for God to guide us as we navigate twists and turns while seeking His will.


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Letters to Zola

Moishe Rosen, founder of Jews For Jesus, will be speaking at our Prophecy Conference. He recently sent the following kind letter.

Dear friends of Zola's and of mine,

I am happy to write this letter of endorsement to be used or published by Zola Levitt. As the Founder of Jews for Jesus, I have been frequently asked about other people's ministries as concerning Jewish evangelism. This is the first time that I have ever felt right about giving my personal, formal endorsement to any ministry.

I have known Zola since 1972. From the earliest days I came to admire him and the high level of professional conduct. When he had a daily radio program, he interviewed me. The interview was conducted with such skill and spiritual sensitivity that he brought out the best of what I could have said to the radio audience.

I have personally read many of the books and pamphlets that he has written. As a writer of several books myself, I wish that I had the skill and ability which Zola exhibits. But whether it's broadcasting, writing or composing music, Zola Levitt has given himself to the task with a singular focus that always made me proud of him as a fellow Jew.

My own ministry and the ministry I founded has been more concerned with direct evangelism — the face-to-face telling Jews about the Messiah of Israel. Though Zola does not consider this his calling, he has accomplished far more evangelism than one might think. His television programs usually air on stations which only have other evangelists and Bible teaching ministries. Through the years I have found that Jews have sought him out, even though they didn't believe in Jesus, and listened carefully to his teachings.

His stand on the behalf of the state of Israel has been uncompromising. His willingness to fight anti-Semitism, whether in the academic realm or propagated by the modern Nazi bullies, has put Zola in a combative stance; more than would allow him to be comfortable.

What has impressed me over and over again is the number of Jewish people who have come to consider Y'shua, Jesus as Messiah, through watching the Zola Levitt program. Several who have come to faith in Y'shua through our ministry were influenced by Zola Levitt.

I have found a great deal of integrity when it comes to handling funds provided by donors. In one instance, a donor inquired of Mark Levitt regarding a rather large bequest, which was put into the hands of a niece as an executor. The money was to go toward direct Jewish evangelism. The Levitt ministry could have claimed that donation. However, when an inquiry was made, Zola and his son, Mark who manages the affairs, recommended that the gift go to Jews for Jesus. Zola said that it would better fulfill the desires of the person, who left the money to Jewish evangelism.

Such fellowship and sensitivity is indeed rare and greatly appreciated.

Most sincerely,
Moishe Rosen

Dear Zola:

I am writing to you as your sister in Christ. I am saved, not of works, but by my repentance for sin, and my faith in the gracious shed blood of Jesus Christ. I was born into a Catholic family, and raised to adulthood in Catholicism. But I left the church because I did not accept the Church Laws as God's Laws, and I didn't think they were based on scripture. I have been a member of the Baptist denomination for ten years, but first and foremost, I am a Christian. I have a passion for studying the book of Revelation, so anything that touches on it, has me by the heart. That is what happened when I read the editorial concerning Jerry Falwell's statements in your last Levitt Letter. I am afraid the doctrine and beliefs of Catholicism have been violated by some statements I see as erroneous. Please bear with me, as I take your remarks about the Catholic church, and ask my questions about each.

When you said ". . . the Catholics, and the European Protestants were all anti-Semitic . . ." you made quite a generalization. My great-great-grandparents were Catholic immigrants to the USA from Germany. Many families have kept stories alive for generations, about how Catholic homes hid Jewish people in a network of underground "safe houses," and risked their own lives by doing so. Great numbers of these hidden Jews were smuggled out of Germany through networks of such families. And many German Catholic families were killed for their involvement in this. . . The point is that not all Catholics were or are anti-Semitic!

. . .You made the statement, " . . . Catholics . . . do not hold that Jesus is Jewish even now." Would you please tell me what you base that statement on? I was never taught anything but the scriptural story of the life of Jesus, where He certainly is presented as a Jew.

You stated, ". . . Catholics . . . may read it in the Scriptures — if they read the Scriptures . . ." Let me assure you, my Catholic family read the Scriptures; my parents belonged to an in-home Bible study class. And we certainly read Scripture in school, since the first hour of each school day was catechism class. That's no less than five hours a week, each school year, for eight years. Can you share with me what prompted you to make that remark?

You go on to say, " . . . they (Catholics) simply don't see it ( Jesus is Jewish) that way. In their minds, He is the King of the Gentile church and belongs to them." I have never heard any Catholic teaching at any time that denied Jesus as Messiah, as Jewish, or as the Savior for all mankind, who choose Him. On what do you ground your statements?

It deeply concerns me to hear such warped statements being made, because, to the best of my knowledge, they are wrong. Has the theology of the Catholic Church changed that much? I really doubt it. But if so, I sincerely apologize to you for questioning you, and ask your forgiveness. But if your statements are erroneous, I'm afraid they were risky remarks and generalizations to make. Your statements could bias other readers in their attitudes toward Catholics, causing them to harden their hearts toward them, based on how you perceive them. It could also alienate any ex-Catholic readers you may have, and that would be a shame.

As a student of Revelation, I have some degree of understanding of what the "universal church" is doomed to become. But for the most part, I think that church hasn't quite come into completion yet, and there are, even in the Catholic church, some people who belong to our Lord!

We love you, Zola! You are a blessing from God. We watch your television ministry, have read a lot of your work, bought your tapes, etc. My husband and I hope to go to Israel with you someday. But I really need to know what you believe in regard to Catholic doctrine, and why, concerning the statements you have made. Is this a struggle between fact and prejudice? For this reason, I'm asking you to please respond.

May God continue to bless you and your ministry.

Most Sincerely and Respectfully, — C. Z.

Dear Sister C.Z.,

Thank you for your compliments and your patience. First of all, I did not really mean to say "all Catholics" were anti-Semitic, and I am aware of German-Catholic families who helped the Jews during the Holocaust. I only wish that the official church in the Vatican had done more. But the European countries, Catholic and Protestant, in general did not do well by the Jewish people. That is a fact of history, not a personal prejudice of mine. After all, people move from place to place when they feel unwelcome somewhere and that is the history of the Jews in Europe. Note that not very many Jews leave the United States because Jews are made welcome here.

As to Catholics not holding that Jesus is Jewish, I mean that in terms of how they act toward Israel and the Jews. Naturally, anyone who has even glanced at the Gospel understands that Jesus is Jewish, but do they put that understanding into action? How many Catholics witness of Christ to Jewish people? How many Jewish people do you have in your Catholic church? How much support do you give the nation of Israel? Do you know that the Pope has never visited there?

As to your family studying the Scriptures, I gave my experience in a Catholic Bible study in the "Note from Zola" on page 5. A church that makes so many elementary errors, knows no prophecy whatever, and doesn't care about Israel, simply can't be studying the Scriptures, and that's all there is to that. The Catholic church puts me in mind of the synagogue where the Jewish people indeed read the Scripture faithfully in every single service, but never study it for what it means. And they, too, ironically, know very little prophecy, even though practically 100% of End Times prophecy concerns Israel and the Jews.

And then you say that your Catholic teaching held that Jesus was "Savior for all mankind," but as I understand Catholicism, one must belong to your denomination to be saved at all. I think the teaching is rather that He is Messiah for all those who will absorb and practice Roman Catholic doctrine, and not that He is "the Savior for all mankind, who choose Him."

And if you are really a student of Revelation you will realize that the universal church is not doomed at all, but stands to receive magnificent rewards.

Truly, sister, I think you speak from an emotional bias and a complimentary view of the church of your childhood. I don't blame you for that, but I am not comparing the church against my ideas, but against Scripture. And, in that case, a number of denominations, including Catholicism, come up lacking.

In His service,



I experienced a great deal of sadness when I read your article which bashed United Methodists. You mistakenly accuse all Methodists of being anti-Israel. 200 Methodists do not speak for the Methodist Church. They do not speak for anyone but themselves. They certainly do not speak for me or my wife who are members of Christ of the Hill United Methodist Church here in Hot Springs Village, Arkansas. You are mistaken when you claim that salvation and the teachings of Jesus are ignored by our denomination. Our Pastor only preaches from the Bible. He has never failed to make an altar call and an invitation to make a decision for Christ since we have been attending this church. Every denomination has "liberals" in its ranks. But they are not in the majority in our church. We are not anti-Israel. One thing we have to remember is that all Palestinians are not Moslems; indeed, many of them are Christians. The same is true of the Lebanese people. I hope that you will reconsider your blanket accusation toward an entire denomination because of the actions of a few.

We have enjoyed your television show for a number of years. Your teachings about Israel are greatly appreciated by us. Let's all pray for the peace of Jerusalem.

In Christ,
F. B .

Zola's response:

I did not mean to offend you, dear brother. This is the sort of letter I usually get from Catholics. I never mean to indict an entire denomination, but I speak from personal experience. The 200 Methodists in question are the hierarchy of your church and they do speak for your denomination, while your church must be an excellent one (and I have encountered excellent United Methodist churches now and again). But in my entire career of speaking in churches, some 26 years, I've been invited by United Methodists less than five times and each time was very disappointed with their lack of Biblical grasp. Also please know that the Palestinian Christians and the Lebanese Christians you refer to would not be regarded as born-again believers in this country. They are typically sacramentalists of the Eastern Orthodox or liberal Catholic denominations and not knowledgeable about doctrines of Christ or Israel.

I do appreciate your compliments, and once again, please know that I don't mean to offend.


Brother Zola,
shalom in the name of Jesus my Lord and yours.

. . . How did you arrive at the conclusion as stated in your February newsletter under "Falwell Says," page 6, "The liberal churches, the Catholics, etc., do not hold that Jesus is Jewish even now. They may read it in Scriptures—if they read Scriptures—but they simply don't see it that way." You know as a scholar that the Catholic Church not only reads the Scriptures, but if it were not for the Holy Spirit working through the Catholic Church, we would not have the written word today. They preserved it. The fact remains that it is the only catholic community left. All the others are still to this day protesting. That is why there are over 300 denominations and only one Roman Catholic Church. If it were not for the Catholic Church, the reformers such as Luther would have taken out the book of Hebrews, James and Revelation. They were too Jewish. They did manage to take out 1 and 2 Maccabees, the only Old Testament books that referred to the resurrection of the body at the final judgment (2 Maccabees 7:8-9) as well as the Feast of Hanukkah.

Brother Zola, you and I do not have all the answers or all the questions, but we are commanded to love our neighbor as ourselves. Even Rabbi Paul did not criticize the Greek monuments to their gods. He only pointed to the unknown God as a means for conversion for the Greeks.

Be surprised by truth. Read Crossing the Threshold of Hope by John Paul II, especially the chapter titled "Judaism" starting on page 95. Then visit with the chief Rabbi of Chicago and ask him if deceased Cardinal Cook thought Jesus was not Jewish. Now if you really want to be surprised by truth, read Surprised by Truth by Patrick Madrid. Barnes and Noble will not put it on the shelf in fear that overzealous so-called fundamental Christians would start to protest. They cannot handle the truth. You can order it from Barnes and Noble's web site for $10.

Zola, I will continue to cherish your newsletters. I pray that someday Charlotte TV Cable will even air your programs. Until we meet here on earth or for certain in Heaven, keep on keeping on with the Good News. — Shalom,

J.M., Charlotte, North Carolina

Dear Brother J.M., I seldom get a letter where I have to disagree with almost every statement. The way I heard it, the Catholic church suppressed the Scriptures and even martyred some who translated them for the common folk to read— Catholic or Protestant. The Oscar-nominated movie, "Elizabeth," in its first scene showed Protestants being burned alive by Catholic clerics in medieval England for such missions.

I'm not sure you or I know who threatens to take books out of Scripture, etc., but I can tell you that the resurrection of the body and the Feast of Hanukkah are covered in our present Bible, without 2 Maccabees (see Job 14:11-15 and Job 19:25, etc. for the resurrection and the prophecies in Daniel 8 for Hanukkah. See also John 10:22 where Jesus is shown going "down to Jerusalem for the feast of dedication [Hanukkah]").

Paul deeply criticized the Greek paganism, and as a matter of fact, that was the theme of his entire lifetime. When he stood on Mars Hill in plain sight of the magnificent Parthenon, perhaps the most beautiful temple ever made by artisans, he taught that God does "not live in temples made by human hands" (Acts 17:24). In all history, I cannot think of a man who was more critical of Greek monuments to their gods.

So far as the writings of John Paul II, I'm sure they are inspiring, but the fact remains that the man has not in a lifetime visited Israel even once nor chosen to receive Jewish administrators with anything near the same honor he gives to Yasser Arafat and company. Please see my article on page 3, "Brief Encounter."

Thank you for your kind words about our program. While you pray that your cable will air us, I will pray that you will come into a Biblical church and give your whole zealous energy and drive to real service of the real Lord.

— Your brother

To: Mark Levitt

The anti-Christ will be Jewish because he'll be the real Messiah and he'll stand opposed to all the lies and false teachings of Jesus. Zola Levitt should think twice before lying about his "synagogue education." Because with what he says about Judaism, all of his knowledge is from a Baptist minister.
— Tim

Zola's response:

I attended Hebrew school seven years and Sunday school ten years. I was bar-mitzvad and confirmed. I chanted the Musef service at my bar-mitzvah, an extra honor reserved for the most accomplished students. I went on to sing in the synagogue junior choir and finally to become the conductor of that choir. I've never known any Baptist minister to be very knowledgeable about Judaism other than Dr. Thomas McCall, our senior theologian, who attended an orthodox synagogue for seven years and is fluent in the Hebrew language and has made any number of pilgrimages to Israel. And finally, the anti-Christ will not be Jewish for the reasons I gave in our February newsletter.

Dear Zola,

I watch your program every Sunday and enjoy it very much. I also read all the literature you send.

On Page 6 of the March issue of Levitt Letter you have a paragraph about criticizing Israel and "anti-Biblical mistakes of the liberal churches," which you listed.

I do not appreciate your ranking all these churches together, calling them "liberals" and accusing them of criticism of Israel. I belong to the Missouri Synod Lutheran Church . . . We are a Christ-centered, Bible-believing church and count all the Bible as the infallible Word of God. I also go to a Presbyterian church . . . Neither of these churches and many others do not prescribe to your accusation. Please rectify this error. You must be aware that all denominations have liberal sects, but not all churches in that denomination are "liberal."

— M.L.

Dear Sister M.L.,

I stand corrected. Indeed not all churches in any denomination are either liberal, conservative, or share any other position regarding doctrine. Frankly, I know that. My son, Aaron, whom you read about in last month's issue, attended a Lutheran high school in Dallas and was taught such unbiblical things as to make me come to the school and meet with the principal. For example, he was taught that "Christianity began in Greece."

Now, I'm not indicting your church for the problems at that school, but I have examined a Bible issued by Lutheran teachers which holds to Amillennialism, and I'm aware that the denomination itself is very liturgical and less literally Biblical than many others in general. Note, I'm not indicting your particular church, just speaking "in general."

Please know, dear sister, that my real purpose is not to irritate anyone, but to promote more Bible study. That is my task and my mission.

Yours in His service,



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They didn't let me down.


To the Editor of The New York Times:

          It is difficult to break off a relationship of fifteen to twenty years, but I refuse to read The New York Times any longer. I have complained before about your biased coverage of Israel, and you once printed a letter to the editor which I wrote on a related subject. I corresponded with your foreign editor because you simply get the facts wrong over and over again, and always in an anti-Israel manner. Your foreign editor wrote that your reporters were very experienced, competent, etc.

          I have led 60 tours to Israel in the past 26 years, and I am intimately acquainted with the situation there. I have televised interviews with government figures in both the Knesset and the Orient House, including Prime Minister Netanyahu and PA "Representative for Jerusalem," Faisal Husseini. I have friends on all sides of the complex issues there. I can tell you with some authority that The New York Times coverage is heavily biased against Israel.

          Your naive assumption, that the Palestinians are brave underdogs who need your help, has discolored your reportage and your selections for the op-ed page.

          The David Kimche article of this past week was the last straw. Kimche is obviously inclined to the Palestinian side of the peace process and is one of the few people acquainted with Israel who seems to think that Yasser Arafat really wants peace. I saw one off-point letter to the editor, which you inexplicably called "Israel Won't Give In," responding to that awful article. I don't anticipate any "equal space" contribution.

          I will miss The Times because I often quoted it in my own newsletters; but then again, people everywhere have come to regard your paper as strongly biased, and you are not "the newspaper of record" that you were when I first quoted you. In the upcoming book Foreshadows of Wrath, to which I contributed a chapter, I make the following prediction about The New York Times:

The New York Times . . . keeps up a steady drumbeat of criticism of [Israel] no matter what else in the world is happening. I would think that if . . . war broke out, the Times editor would order his reporters to keep . . . space open for its usual Israel coverage whatever else might be happening.

You didn't let me down.

Sincerely yours,

Zola Levitt


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Hebrew Alphabet

In response to our April "Personal Letter," in which I discussed the numerical values of the Hebrew alphabet, we have heard response saying the letter vav is not 6, but 7. The confusion lies in the peculiarity of Hebrew lettering. Some letters are changed by the addition of a dot (or what the Lord would call a jot, as in Matt. 5:18, "Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled"). The dot makes it what we would regard as a completely different letter, but to the Hebrew-speaker only a very slight change. Therefore, if you look in some Western encyclopaedia or the like it will tend to list two forms of the second letter of the alphabet. Bet and vet, however, are essentially the same letter, each having the numerical value of 2. It looks to the eye as though vav is the seventh letter, but it is really only the sixth, and the value of vav is 6. See illustration below.


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Copyright © 1999 by Zola Levitt Ministries, Inc., a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. All rights reserved. Brief passages may be quoted in reviews or other article. For all other use, please get our written approval.