March 2001: Volume 23, Number 3


Here's the second of three parts of a chapter which Zola will contribute to an upcoming prophecy book.

Enter the Antichrist (Part II)

Zola Levitt


A fascinating way of looking at whether events in Israel now propel us into the actual Tribulation Period to come is to consider the likelihood of the Antichrist entering at this time. We must all realize that the beginning of the Tribulation period is marked by the peace covenant to be signed between the Antichrist and the people of Israel (Daniel 9:27), and thus, the likelihood of the Antichrist actually appearing gives us clues to the proximity of the Tribulation Period itself.

This reasoning is based on the point that Israel is the timepiece by which we can estimate world events and the fulfillment of End Times prophecies. Without that knowledge, one is completely in the dark in judging the progress of events. I say this because our leading seminaries, Moody Bible Institute, Dallas Theological Seminary, Talbot Seminary and Biola College, just to mention a few (who were formerly right on track with God's workings in Israel), have de-emphasized that nation in recent times. A doctrine called Progressive Dispensationalism — basically a way of avoiding the inconvenience of witnessing to Jews and watching and praying for Israel — is rapidly coming to the fore in prophecy teaching these days. Whether this is political correctness — to side with the media against Israel — or simply classical Biblical error is unclear. But it should be known that when the Tribulation breaks out in Israel, and when the thousand-year Kingdom gets underway in that land, the least equipped to appreciate any of that will be the graduates of our "best seminaries."

In general, End Times prophecy has been relegated to conferences and special convocations rather than being the normal bill of fare in the seminary and the pulpit. A few pastors teach End Times prophecy, but in general it is considered "controversial" or perhaps too complex to undertake in the venue of the local church. Such thinking is unconscionable at just the time we need to most fully understand the Biblical revelations about the End Times.

With all of that said, we who understand that God is working in Israel today and may well be bringing on the very prophecy fulfillments we have always taught, are on the edges of our seats. Obviously, the Anti-christ's entrance is well prepared at this moment, if indeed this is the moment the Tribulation will come.

An actor's entrance is ordinarily announced by a cue, a single line that tells him when to step upon the stage and play his part. Usually that line is precipitated by some plot development that those familiar with the play are able to follow. And so we expect the appearance of such-and-such a character at such-and-such a moment, once the stage has been set and the other actors are properly motivated for that entrance.

And so it is in the situation of Israel and the Antichrist.

What we can see is this: the world inexplicably imagines that there has to be a peace treaty made between Israel and the Arabs of the land who call themselves Palestinians. I say "inexplicably" because the problems in Israel, while amazingly magnified by the media, are really localized ones occurring in probably fifty places around the world. Even the unrest of October 2000 — held by many to be the start of a general Middle Eastern war (or even World War III!) — was a matter of the sort of rioting seen from time to time in every democracy. And yet, virtually since the 1973 war, the Arabs have clamored for some sort of "peace" agreement, especially if the agreement contains the infamous "land for peace" principle.

In reality, there is no such principle in world history. No country ever gave up part of its land so that its neighbors would promise not to attack it. It's sort of like agreeing to lose the war before the war starts. But in a generally anti-Semitic world, Israel has found that it has been better to play along — to give up small portions of land, or at least non-strategic land — for paper promises that have not proven true.

The most remarkable exchange in all this "peace processing" was Barak's generous offers of summer 2000, and Arafat's refusal to even answer. Rather than counter-propose or at least continue the spirit of negotiation, the Palestinian dictator simply fomented ghetto rioting that the media was pleased to call an "armed struggle." Youthful zealots trashing their own neighborhoods, as also happens in Los Angeles or Detroit, were characterized as fighting some sort of "War for Independence" or "Battle for Jerusalem," and Israel tried gently to suppress the virtual gangsterism.

That situation is still pending as we go to print, but it appears at this point that the Arabs will accomplish little except in public relations with these latest demonstrations.

Zola's chapter will conclude in next month's newsletter.

Return to Index


A "New Jerusalem"

By Zola Levitt

How about this? You can now visit a very authentic-looking Israel theme park in Orlando, Florida. The excellent ministry called Zion's Hope has just opened up the "Holy Land Experience" and I was there for the premiere on February 4-6.

We also took our crew and did some filming at the site. Frankly, I had anticipated that it might be a little bit "American," or that it might come out kind of hokey. But I was very pleasantly surprised, and so was our producer and film crew. We utilized the splendid first-century temple (almost full size!) to include in our upcoming series Upon this Rock.

And we also very much enjoyed just strolling through the place like pilgrims. It's extremely authentic; you almost think you're in the streets of Jerusalem's Old City. In fact, it's first-century style, and so you feel you are back in Bible days. Even the real Israel can't provide that! People in robes bid you "Shalom" as you pass by, and Levitical priests blowing ram's horns are seen now and again. There are shops that persuade you that you are actually in first-century Jerusalem, and that's all there is to that. There are potters and carpenters of ancient times seen at their work. An artisan is busy making wooden cages for pigeons for sacrifices (but they don't do the actual sacrifices). There's even an ice cream flavor called "Milk and Honey."

You come to a very authentic Garden Tomb guarded by two menacing Roman centurions in full ancient uniforms, complete with long spears, and then a model of the Tabernacle with one of the most startling special effects for the "Pillar of Fire" that I've ever laid eyes on. Qumran with its caves where the Dead Sea scrolls were found is also perfectly represented.

The very street and its passersby — Biblical Christians all — have an especially pleasant spiritual atmosphere. There is also, of course, perfect safety. Even though I have talked myself blue reassuring people that the real Israel is safe for travel, I have found many people are still reluctant to go. It seems that this "Holy Land Experience" comes at a good time.

I haven't really done all the scheduling as yet, but I'm anticipating taking a tour of "pilgrims" to the Orlando Holy Land Experience in the first week of May. We will probably have two hotel overnights and three days at the site, along with teaching by our staff and me. The whole package with meals, local transportation, etc., will be in the neighborhood of $300 for the Friday afternoon through Sunday night experience.

Orlando is easily reachable by plane, of course, and folks throughout the southeast can probably drive there. The entire undertaking is much simpler than our Israel tours because it involves less time and less expense, but it provides the same solid Christian fellowship. On the other hand, the true Israel where our Lord walked is impossible to beat. Put it this way: if you have stayed away from our tours for reasons of distance, cost, disability, or time considerations, this probably would be a very good experience for you. Again, I can vouch for the authenticity of the place. If you're interested in this tour on May 4-6, 2001, we are going to print up a brochure and we'd be glad to take you through the site on a first-come, first-served basis.

If the tour is over-subscribed we'll simply continue on the following weekend with a second group, and so forth. If you wish to stay in Orlando between the weekends or to see the other attractions there, we'll be able to help you. Please call Tony Derrick at 214-696-9760 for more information [or click here for an online form].

I hope to see you in Florida, and in Jerusalem in this life or the next!

Garden Tomb

Return to Index

Zola's Bulletin Board

The Old Jerusalem

After reading "A 'New Jerusalem'" on page 3, you may think, "There's nothing like the real thing." You're right — there is simply no substitute for the electricity in the air at the center of the universe. The Holy Land Experience in Orlando may be the best choice for those with limited time and/or finances. Then again,imagine how few people say, "I wish I had spent less time with my children" or "If only I hadn't gone to the Land of the Bible...." Not likely.

Our April tours depart on the 11th, with a Greek cruise, and on the 16th for our Deluxe Tour. Both return on the 26th. We'll begin our Holy Land Experience weekend in Orlando on May 4. Our Israel Kibbutz tour runs from June 5 to June 15. Please call ASAP if you're prepared to create the memories of a lifetime — (214) 696-9760 during office hours or 1-800-WONDERS (966-3377) anytime.

Highest Murder Rates

The Top 10 book, published by DK, rates California (2,916) and Texas (1,496) as the worst states for murders per year. The worst cities are New York (983), Chicago (789) and Los Angeles (709) — outdoing, by far, the entire nation of Israel, which has always had a negligible violent crime rate.

CENSORED: For Zion's Sake

Good News: TBN is helping our program to go global. Bad News: Europe's counterpart to our Federal Communications Commission prohibits discussing to whom Israel belongs or anything that could be deemed political. If you watched Zola only on TBN, then you missed some of his most poignant commentary ever. On page 15, you can order the 30-minute TV program "For Zion's Sake — I Shall Not Keep Silent." [Or click here to view it online.]

Airing Updates

TBN will preempt our program on Monday, April 2, at 7:00 AM.

Expanding overseas presents two primary hurdles: language barriers and tape format differences. We can subtitle or lip-synch our programs, plus we can copy our programs onto other formats. In the midst of determining where the best foreign values are, we are wait-listed with a Canadian station. In Australia, we hope that a secular station will carry us affordably enough to make it practical for us to broadcast on their only Christian channel. Korea and Brazil may be where we add the most households. Of course, anyone in the world can watch Zola on Internet TV at

Our home page on the Internet is growing continuously. Besides offering you faster access to our newsletter than snail mail, it has:

Consumer Reports allows full access to their web site for $3.95 per month or $24 per year. Our price: free.

Return to Index

A Note From Zola

Dear Friends,

Where newly-elected Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is concerned, please ignore the media once again. That's my suggestion. I spent two hours with the man a few years ago, and he's nothing like they describe. They have one negative story about him, an accusation from the early '80's that doesn't hold much water, and on that basis our scandal-mongering media make him out to be hateful, brutal, blah, blah, blah, etc., etc.

And if the Arabs are upset with Sharon's election, they might answer the simple question, "When's the last time you had an election?"

I myself have visited the Al Aksa mosque (without causing a stir) and the Dome of the Rock, and both Moslem shrines are situated on the Temple Mount platform. The Dome is a quiet place, used mostly for women's prayers, and the mosque is mostly a cavernous single room, well attended by an audience of men during a Friday service but otherwise virtually empty much of the time. I can't help but be convinced that the Palestinians are not a very religious people, even though that's a big part of their propaganda. The buildings are not well-maintained, and the Palestinian police presence is rather off-putting. Only Moslem Arabs and Christian pilgrims are found on the Mount; Jews never go up there for fear of stepping on the Holy of Holies (except for some groups pressing for Jewish prayer on the platform). If it weren't so useful for the Arab public relations process, this Temple Mount would be an almost meaningless part of their culture. But to the Jews it's the center of their universe.

As one teacher said at a recent prophecy conference, "Israel is indeed precious to Christians and to Moslems, but it was promised to the Jews!"

These are some stray ideas that come off my pocket recorder, so again forgive the order and organization, but here are my thoughts for the month for what they're worth.

On page 3 is my report, "A 'New Jerusalem,'" on The Holy Land Experience in Orlando, Florida.

The media would have you believe there were tremendous protests going on during the premiere. That simply wasn't true. I was personally in attendance for three days and saw thousands of people go through the site. There was one protester with a sign that said, inexplicably, "Calm His Anger." The press in Orlando doubled it to two protesters, and I was told later that there was a grand total of three. That's compared to the thousands who enjoyed the place. The media in Miami, who I understand paid fifty dollars last year to some youngsters to set tires on fire so they'd have some thrilling video during the Elian controversy, played up the protesters instead of the magnificent recreation of first-century Israel.

The devastating earthquake in India, which came and went in the press within a couple of days, involved more than 30,000 violent deaths, or about 1,000 for each casualty in Israel during a much longer period of time. So a monumental Indian tragedy was relegated to an inside-page story in only a couple of days. Our media would obviously much rather bash Israel.

I spoke at the 9th Annual Pre-Trib Study Group conference in Dallas in December and received terrific applause when I mentioned the failings of the seminaries we have been criticizing. Those very knowledgeable professors, about a hundred of them in attendance, were completely on our side.

The suggestion of dividing the Temple Mount brings up a very interesting point in regard to prophecy (although the Jews certainly shouldn't give up an inch of the thing to anyone since it was the authentic site of their ancient temples). Some people are suggesting the Mount be divided between the Arabs on the top platform where their shrines are and the Jews below where the Western Wall is. If that were amended to simply splitting the top between the two factions, we would have a situation that would almost agree with Revelation 11:1-2, where an angel directs John to "Rise and measure the temple of God, the altar, and those who worship there. But leave out the court which is outside the temple...." The Scripture seems to allude to a divided platform — a sign of the End?

My son Aaron observed that Israel has gone from a false peace to a false war.

Pardon my weariness, but people are after me these days because, after all, I'm a Jew like Sharon and a Christian like our new Attorney General, John Ashcroft!

The Pan-Am verdict, in which we sentenced one Arab terrorist, cost $80 million. I just wonder at the entire cost to the civilized world of Arab terrorism. I am aware that the Israelis who depend on tourism have lost a fortune during the present "uprising," but that's not so much caused by the terrorism as it is the media playing up the terrorism. (As I've pointed out endlessly, the casualty rate in Israel, even during this difficult period, is no worse than any large American city. That nation is still 100% safe for tourism.) The cost of building huge missile defense systems, etc., against possible attacks from Iran, Iraq, Syria, etc., are enormous, and the time lost by airport questions and searches — primarily instituted because of Arab terrorism — adds up. All told, we pay a terrific price in this world to defend ourselves against a few rabble-rousers who beat their chests in religious pride over murdering innocent civilians.

And when it comes down to just why the world blames Israel for what is obviously the work of the usual Arab terrorists, I came up with four reasons (you may be able to add some more). Number one is cash. The Arabs have the oil and that's all there is to that. We must bow to them, please them and do what they say. If they want the cockamamie Palestinian police state to be a real country, then we have to make it become a real country, or they'll cut off our life-blood — the oil that runs our factories and automobiles and makes our plastics and cosmetics, etc. Reason number two is standard anti-Semitism. If the Jews did it (even the remarkable feat of building a modern nation in a generation), it's no good. Enough said. Reason number three is simply the unbeliever's philosophy — what the Bible calls the spirit of the Antichrist. Whatever God does, such as restoring His people to their land and causing them to prosper, the world inexplicably opposes. Reason number four is propaganda — the sort of baloney put out by Arafat and his henchmen about Israeli brutality, American imperialism, blah, blah, blah.

It comes down to the worldly vs. the godly, and the worldly are tired of seeing Israel do well. When I was in Florida, I chanced to be a member of a dinner party containing a number of unbelievers who thought they knew quite a good deal about the situation in Israel. I sat there forming these thoughts as they blared on, finally getting up and walking out. It is amazing how polarized our world is today over essentially godly things.

If you don't believe me when I tell you that Israel is safe for travel, then come on our June Kibbutz tour and I will show you that it is! The Kibbutz tour is scheduled for June 5th-15th, and it is a perfect summer holiday for students and teachers. This is also our most economical tour and one that is a little different from all the others, because our pilgrims get to experience life on an authentic Israeli cooperative farm. These farming collectives are the truly the pioneering foundation on which the State of Israel was built.

We will stay in comfortable farm guesthouses at the Sea of Galilee and in the forests of Israel and will enjoy the very same itinerary as our Deluxe Tours, visiting all the major Biblical sites. Along with the many spiritually enriching and educational experiences on this unique tour, we also have an added exciting adventure — we are going on an actual archaeological dig. If this sounds like the tour for you, call for more information at 1-800-WONDERS any time, or during office hours call Tony Derrick at 214-696-9760.

We'll introduce our new Orlando tour at The Holy Land Experience on the first weekend in May (Friday the 4th through Sunday the 6th). Please see the article titled "A 'New Jerusalem'" for our take of the premiere we attended at this Christ-honoring theme park.

During the upcoming April tour in Israel, our TV crew will be filming for our next television series, which will concern the happy subject of The Future of Believers. This ten-program series will involve a thorough discussion of what will happen to those who are saved rather than the same old stuff about what happens to the others. Thanks in advance for your help with this important project.

Our following tour will be what is becoming perhaps our most popular tour of all — the Ultra Grand Tour in September. Call for details on the Israel-Greece-Petra options from which you can choose. [Or click here for an online form.] This year in Jerusalem!

— Your messenger,


Return to Index

Letters to Zola

Greetings from Tiberias

Dear Zola,

I wanted to share this with you, to give you a little bit of a proper perspective on the current troubles here in the Land. Have a good laugh and please keep us in your prayers. Much Shalom,
Bill (not near the fridge)

From the pen of satirist Uri Orbach:

In America, everyone knows that it is terribly dangerous in Israel now, and it is not recommended to travel to Israel.

In Israel, everyone knows that it is dangerous only in the territories and in a little bit of Jerusalem.

In Jerusalem, everyone knows there is shooting going on, but only in the neighborhood of Giloh.

In Giloh, everyone knows that it is dangerous, but only on Ha'anafa Street.

On Ha'anafa Street, everyone knows that it is dangerous, but not all along the street, just in the houses that face Beit Jalla.

In the houses facing Beit Jalla, everyone knows it is dangerous, but mostly in a few apartments on specific floors that get shot at, occasionally.

In the apartments that get shot at, they know it is dangerous, but not in all the rooms, just in the kitchen. In the bedrooms and bathrooms, for instance, it is totally safe.

In the kitchen that gets shot into, they know it is really dangerous, but not in the entire kitchen, just near the fridge and toaster.

Those near the fridge know that where it is really dangerous is in the freezer, which is directly in the sights of the sharpshooter from Beit Jalla. You can take milk and cheese out of the fridge part without getting hit . . . usually. Word-of-honor.

And, in the freezer over the fridge part of the refrigerator, on one part of Ha'anafa Street, at the edge of Giloh, in Jerusalem, in Israel?? Oh boy, it is dangerous there! If you stand there and get some frozen schnitzels out of the freezer, you're taking your life in your hands!

So . . . for a few months, just until things calm down, we're not going to use the freezer.

Nu [So]? This you call dangerous?

Letter from Jerry Falwell,
National Liberty Journal
January 10, 2001

I returned January 10 from leading my 32nd tour to Israel over the past 30 years. Contrary to CNN daily reports and U.S. State Department warnings, our large group safely toured all the usual Christian sites in Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Qumran, Tiberias, the Sea of Galilee, Caesarea, Jaffa, Megiddo, Mt. Carmel, Calvary, the Empty Tomb, the Upper Room, Mt. Zion, and much more.

This is an excellent time to visit Israel. Sadly, tourism from America is almost non-existent in Israel. There are virtually no American tour groups due to unfounded fears about alleged unsafe conditions. We found it to be absolutely safe. It is also a good time for evangelical Christians to show their support for Israel.

I met with former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Jerusalem Mayor Ehud Olmert, Israeli patriot Natan Sharansky, Jerusalem Post publisher and CEO Tom Rose, and other national leaders. In unison, they expressed great appreciation for the unswerving support of American evangelicals.

Visit Zola's web site ( for information about tours to Israel and to find out how you can "bless Abraham" and show support for Israel at the same time.

Dear Zola and staff,

My sister and I watched your program on FOX this past Monday, Jan 22. I have to tell you that we both not only wholeheartedly agree with you, but you said exactly what we have been saying and feeling for years, and especially since last fall. Yes, you were passionate about the subject, but SOMEONE needs to be! We have been following the news stories since last fall on the news channels and over the Internet, and have become very frustrated and angry over the misinformation campaign directed at Israel. But we also keep up with the Jerusalem Post, WorldNet Daily, CAMERA, the International Christian Embassy, Hal Lindsey's site and, of course, Zola's site where we are kept informed of the REAL story. We have shared a pile of printed material from those sites with both friends and family with mixed results. People will believe whatever they choose to believe and whatever is politically correct at the moment. As Christians, we prefer to believe the Word that says, "I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you." We have visited Israel recently and hope to go back soon. Israel is a very beautiful and special place because the Jews have returned and their love for the land shows clearly in the way they have brought it back to life from the wasteland that it was not so long ago. Keep up the good work, Zola! You are needed!!!

Shalom, KB & KG

Dear Zola and staff,

Shalom! I am writing back a reply to your letter in regular mail by e-mail. I want to give my opinion. I think Zola MUST be bold for the Lord and he is right on target! I say: "Go get 'em, Zola!" Yes, Zola was strong, but truth IS. And it is sharper than any two-edged sword. I loved that show and am greatly looking forward to more. Also greatly looking forward to The Rabbi's Friends TV series, which is to come next. I am selfishly hoping some of us pilgrims that were on Zola's September 2000 tour will be in the video footage. Regardless of whether we are on TV or not, I will dearly love seeing Israel again, if only vicariously for now. I loved seeing our Red Bus driver, David Miney, in a brief clip as Zola was showing footage of Jerusalem in December 2000. I received recent e-mail from our guide, Zvi Rivai, and a regular mailed letter from Israel from another guide, Joni Arden. I was so thrilled to hear from her. It was so uplifting to read her letter. Zvi is still "just Zvi" and is glad to have supporters from the USA, whether it is tangible support or just emotional support. Joni expressed the same. So again I say, "Go get 'em, Zola!" And I am Sha'alu shalom yerushalayim! Thanks for all of the staff at Zola Levitt Ministries! You are God's shining lights. Keep up the wonderful work.

In Christ's love, BDM

P.S. I continue to count on Zola giving us the truth about Israel, as always. Another viewer expressed the view that I also hold: Zola is about the only source of truth in reporting on Israel out there. Thank you!


As a regular watcher, and a friend of Israel, there are only two (2) places that I get my news about Israel: you and the Jerusalem Post. You give me the Biblical perspective on Israel, and the Jerusalem Post gives me the secular news from Israel. There is only one show on television that tells the Truth about what is going on in Israel. Don't think that you should tone it down, to do so would be giving in to political correctness, and I don't see you doing that. People need to be told the truth, not made-up stories. It angers me that people have criticized you and what you have been saying and how you say it. I will continue to support you and the ministry and I am behind you 100%.

Yours in Christ, WM & NM

Hi, Zola!

I've been watching your show for a few years now. The Lord laid Israel on my heart even before I became a Christian. I had many Jewish friends. Anyway, I am so happy about your ministry; it's so essential to know the Jewish roots of our faith. I look forward to learning so much more! May the Lord continue to bless all you do! I was wondering why the media distorts what is going on in Israel so much? Thanks for all your hard work!



I watched your show on Jan 19, 2001, at about 9:30 PM central time, and I could not help but agree with your comments on how the media, and even some Christian organizations, distort the truth about Israel and the PLO. You mentioned the importance of knowing prophecy and added that many modern theological seminaries do not even teach it. I am a recent college graduate and am called to the ministry. I was planning on attending Dallas Theological Seminary; however, when you made your comment, I verified it with the catalog that the seminary sent me. I found only one class dedicated to prophecy: Eschatology. I realize now that, as a future minister of God's Word, I need to know more about what over a third of the Bible deals with. Please, send me a suggestion concerning a seminary, rooted deeply in the truth that the Bible is without error, whose teaching in prophecy is firm and substantial. Thanks, Zola. May our God bring peace to Israel forever. Christ bless you.


Dear Andy —

Anyone interested in prophecy, and I don't know what Christian wouldn't be in a time like this, shouldn't waste his time at a seminary that doesn't teach it. That includes Moody Bible Institute, Talbot, Biola and, unfortunately, most of the rest of our seminaries. We have previously given a short list of acceptable seminaries and we always print the letters of deans and so forth that contact us to defend their schools. Dr. Falwell's Liberty University is actually better on prophecy than any of our so-called "mainline" evangelical seminaries these days. Our "short list" is on the way to you under separate cover. Thanks for writing.

— Zola


I was extremely blessed by the information contained in the letter . . . and saddened by the apparent lack of support from Gentile congregations. Thank you especially for enumerating the blessings this world has received and is now receiving from the dear Jewish people. As one grafted in to be a child of father Abraham through faith in the Lord Jesus, I have longed to see emphasis given to the immense and uniquely overwhelming amount of the medical, scientific, cultural and humanitarian contributions which God is fulfilling of His promise to bless all the nations through the people of Israel. Without them we would not know of God or His indescribable gift — our Savior, Messiah! God bless you and your staff. If it were within my economic means, I certainly would be eager to tour Israel with you.


Dear ELT —

A trip to Israel probably is within your economic means. Please see our article, "A 'New Jerusalem,'" on page 3, concerning the new Israel theme park in Orlando and our upcoming tour of it. Thanks for your blessings on our ministry and on the Jewish people.

— Zola

Dear Zola,

You asked for our vote in response to your letter about your recent program dealing with the situation in Israel (we saw it on INSP on Friday, January 19, at 9 p.m.). We say "Go for it!" We thought the program was very well done. Knowing of your passion for Israel — as we've learned from watching your program — who better to speak up and speak out??!!

We were surprised to learn that some stations refused to air the program but, then again, guess this is happening more often lately than the general public realizes. You should have as much right to speak your opinion as the other media do when they bash the Israeli government and people. We don't subscribe to any major newspaper or to cable TV. We get enough of the "other-sided opinions" on regular network station newscasts. So, we're pleased to get your perspective, and — since you asked — whole-heartedly endorse your approach for airing your frustrations in this way once in a while.

Thank you, as always, for your program and the Levitt Letter ... and the book Satan in the Sanctuary — we look forward to reading it. We'll keep watching!

— Sincerely, A & J.M

Dear Zola,

My contribution will be minimal, but I consider it an honor and privilege to support my Savior's chosen. Hope in some way this will help. Since my request for the Levitt Letter you have faithfully mailed it to me without a request for any contribution. I am so appreciative.

Three years ago I had the opportunity to visit the Holy Land. This was a dream come true. While the people at home were getting reports of trouble that was escalating dangerously, we were comfortably traveling about visiting the chosen land of our precious Savior, enjoying every minute. Never once did we feel threatened or have any fear. As a matter of fact, when we arrived home to learn of the deep concern for our safety we couldn't believe it. (I can now understand your concern about the news media reporting.)

My advice to those wishing to make the trip: don't let the news media destroy an opportunity of a lifetime. There is no danger. Etched in my mind forever will be that beautiful land and all the wonders that I witnessed during Christ's time on earth. I would go back in a heartbeat.

Just an old "Granny" who felt she had a closer walk with Him.

Sincerely, RH

P.S. I watch you every Monday at 8:00 a.m. on TBN.


Sprague would still like to receive your newsletter. At the end of October, he moved to a nursing home. He took $10 out of his patient fund and hopes it is enough to cover the cost of another year of newsletters. He is still extremely sharp at 102, and your newsletter is his favorite one to receive. Thank you.

Dear Sprague,

Our newsletters are free, but in appreciation of your thoughtfulness we are enclosing double the value of your gift in teaching materials. You have inspired us to undertake this new policy for donors over 100 years old!

— Zola

Dear Zola,

My name is CC and I am 14 years old. A few days ago I was reading my history assignment on the formation of Isreal. It stated that as a result of the first Arab-Isreali war 900,000 Palestinians were forced to become refugees and settle in refugee camps. My book also said, "Hatred between Isrealis and Palestinians deepened as Jewish settlers set up communities on the West Bank. The Palestinians saw the Jewish settlements as part of a long range plan to drive them off their land." It also said that Palestinian youths began rioting because, "Although PLO leader Yassir Arafat had begun to take a more moderate stand toward Isreal, younger Palestinians were tired of waiting for change."

My mom said that she didn't think we were getting the whole story and that I should write to you. Therefore I am writing to you for more information on the Palestinians and Yassir Arafat. I would appreciate this very much.

Very Sincerely, CC

Dear CC,

As I told you by phone, your textbook is too "politically correct." All of Israel is Jewish land, as God promised. I was surprised when you told me you were home schooled, because those textbooks are usually accurate. But really, CC, "no man seeketh after God" and His Promised Land is a big part of Him. Hope you're feeling better, by the way, and thanks for writing.

— Zola

Dear Zola,

Why are the Israelis slaughtering the Palestinians? True ownership of the land belongs to God Almighty! The Palestinians were there living — you can't just gun them out. More of us Christians are behind the poor Palestinians. There needs to be a Palestinian State, independent of Israeli rule.

You make such a big deal about killing and yet history is being rewritten because Israelis are killing Palestinians. The Germans thought the Jews were subhuman and the Jews think the Palestinians are subhuman. Where is the lesson learned?

Help to fight anti-Semitism and help to fight hatred against a people who deserve to live side by side [with] the Jews. The neo-Nazis were and are evil but so are certain Zionists who destroy to gain. As long as we are alive our ministry promises to help fight anti-Semitism and protect the Palestinians. We must help both causes, neither alone are enough.

Please help bring peace to that complex issue. We believe the anti-Semitism found in today's pulpits (that you are so worried about) is brought on because the Israelis kill and destroy human life to prosper — like red ants. Hope your health has improved.


Dear M —

Thanks for your good wishes about my health. As far as your own health is concerned, if I worshipped a God whose Word to the Jewish people is "I will curse them that curse thee," personally I wouldn't refer to them as "red ants." There are many untrue statements in your letter, so let me just say that the vast majority of true believers support the Israelis. I don't think it is possible to fight anti-Semitism and to protect the Palestinians — who are at this moment, perhaps, the world's most anti-Semitic people. My serious answer to your letter would be to suggest that you look deeply into your heart about your problem with the Chosen People, lack of Bible knowledge and the truth of events in Israel.

— Zola

Dear Sir:

I am baffled by your plan of Jews returning to Israel. This is man's interpretation of Scriptures. Man's plans are often different than God's plans.

How can Israel absorb and sustain all these people? How can all these extra Jews have jobs, housing, schools, etc. They are shipping in more people from all over the world ( Jews, that is). Wow — no wonder there is unrest — it must be "bursting at the seams." Will U.S. Jews eventually return to Israel also?

Why not share your love and welcome to all fellowmen regardless of "labels." In other words — you talk about "anti-Semitism" — what about your "anti-Palestinian-ism?" God will be the final judge.

When Abraham gazed up at the sky, seeing the stars as being his descendents — some perhaps come from Ishmael and are Islamic. In the "great beyond" at the last trumpet call, I believe they will be there too — so we may as well learn to live with them here on earth. In reality this eruption in Israel is an "anti-Islamic thrust."

Why not share the Mount — we share the same God! It is a faith thing and we must share our faith in God. Some have different interpretations but we all are God's children. I, as a Christian, believe in Jesus, the Christ, but I can't thumb my nose at others. They are His creation too. The way we "act" who would want to be a Jew or Christian??? God must be shaking his head in dismay.

Let love of fellowman (which comes from God) reign and God will smile upon humanity — and we will smile in eternity.

I pray that the Holy Spirit will work mightily in the hearts of Prime Minister Ehud Barak and his people and Palestinian leader Yassir Arafat and his people as well as those trying to assist them.

Sincerely, LL

Dear LL —

The plan of Jews returning to Israel is not my plan, but I do work for the God who made that plan (Deuteronomy 30:1-5; Ezekiel 37:11-14; and innumerable others). As far as being "anti-Palestinian," I'm not precisely against Palestinians, but rather against the murderer and his henchmen who have control of them. Think about the Iraqis; we don't even know them but we do know that we dislike Saddam Hussein. It is strictly because of his rule that all the bloodshed, privation and things that bring suffering to the people are going on in Iraq. Likewise, it is because of Arafat and his gangster government that the Palestinians are poor, needy, and consequently belligerent. To tell the truth, I seldom meet an Israeli who "hates" the Palestinians. Again, when we hear of gang fighting we don't dislike each individual kid in the gang or their families, but we are appalled that they have formed a gang and are doing what gangs do. To clear up another misunderstanding, the passage about Abraham seeing the stars is in reference to his Jewish descendants; none of them are Islamic. Further, the god of the Moslems is not the same God that Jews and Christians worship. I hope you're less baffled now.

— Zola

A handwritten note from a grateful young reader.

Thank you, Reva. — Zola

Return to Index


What is the Olive Tree?

By Thomas S. McCall, Th.D.

The Olive Tree of Romans 11 has been an enigma to many Bible interpreters throughout the centuries of the Church Age:

. . . if the root be holy, so are the branches. 17 And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree; 18 Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee. 19 Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in. 20 Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear: 21 For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. 22 Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off. 23 And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in: for God is able to graff them in again. 24 For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert graffed contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be graffed into their own olive tree? (Romans 11:16b-24)

Most amillennial commentaries have jumped to the conclusion that the Olive Tree is the Church, beginning in Old Testament times and continuing on to the present in its current form. Thus, the Church becomes the New Improved Israel, and the Jewish people are relegated to the dustbin of history as an out-moded, irrelevant part of God's plan, sort of like an appendix — a vestigial organ. With this type of thinking, replacement theology was born and continues as the dominant teaching of the vast majority of Church scholars.

At the other extreme, some more recent interpreters have suggested that the Olive Tree is Israel, the Jewish people, and that Gentile believers, through their being grafted in, have become Israelites, now have a "Jewish heart," and should be considered themselves as Jews. While this interpretation may lie closer to the truth than the replacement theology noted above, it too seems to fall short of what the Apostle Paul, inspired by the Spirit, is endeavoring to teach us.

The Olive Tree is Not the Church

It should be understood that the Olive Tree is not the Church. Some people are born naturally into the Olive Tree, but no one is born physically into the Church, the Body of Christ. The only way one can enter into the Body of Christ is by being born again by personal faith in the Lord Jesus. Furthermore, it is clear from the New Testament that the Church began at the celebration of the Feast of Pentecost about 33 AD, when the believers were baptized into the Body of Christ, not in the Old Testament! The Olive Tree, which began with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the fathers, cannot be identical with the Church.

The Olive Tree is Not Israel

Also, the Olive Tree cannot be Israel. Some natural branches are broken off the Olive Tree, representing Jews who do not believe in Jesus the Messiah, even though they are physically still alive. They are physically alive but are spiritually dead, broken off branches. However, no one can be broken off of Israel, as long as he is physically alive. The often-heard dictum, "I was born a Jew and I will die a Jew," is an accurate saying. Once a person is born into the covenant nation of Israel, he remains within it until physically dead.

The Olive Tree is the Spiritual Commonwealth of Israel

If the Olive Tree is not the Church and it is not Israel, what is it? My conviction is that it is what Paul elsewhere refers to as the Commonwealth of Israel, and that the Olive Tree is none other than the Spiritual Commonwealth of Israel.

11 Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; 12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: 13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. (Eph. 2:11-13)

The Olive Tree is Spiritual, Composed of Righteous, Born-Again People

The word the Apostle uses for commonwealth is politeiva (politeias), akin to the English words politics, peoplehood or nationhood. Through the blood of Israel's Messiah (Christ), we Gentiles who were once aliens, have been made nigh (near) to the Commonwealth of Israel, but not identical to it. Thus we have the figure of the Olive Tree, which I suggest is the Spiritual Commonwealth of Israel. It is spiritual, because only righteous, born-again, blood-bought believers are in the Olive Tree, whether Jews or Gentiles. It pertains to Israel, because the root is the fathers of Israel — Abraham, Isaac and Jacob — and the natural branches are Messianic Jews, who remain in the Olive Tree by virtue of their faith in Yeshua, the Christ.

The Olive Tree is a Commonwealth, with Allegiance to the King of the Jews

An olive grove on the Mount of Olives, Jerusalem Furthermore, the Olive Tree is the Commonwealth of Israel, because Gentiles who have been attached (grafted in) to the Olive Tree owe allegiance to Israel's Book (the Bible), Israel's God, and Israel's Messiah. It is similar to the British Commonwealth, in which the people of Canada and Australia are not actually citizens of England, but owe allegiance to the Queen, and have a special relationship with the British people. We Gentiles who have trusted in Jesus the Messiah have a special relationship with Israel, its people and Land, and have sworn allegiance to the King of the Jews.

Gentile Believers have a Special Relationship with Jewish Believers

In addition to our special relationship to Israel, we Gentiles who have been grafted in to the Olive Tree by faith in Christ among the natural branches, have a special relationship to the Jewish believers in Christ, who are the natural branches. The tragedy is that the two kinds of branches in the Olive Tree (Jewish and Gentile believers in Christ) have such a hard time worshipping our Lord together. What a powerful testimony we would have to the unsaved world if we could find a way to be seated together in earthly places, as we have been positionally "seated together in heavenly places."

Return to Index


Tears from France

In a punitive action against Israel, Paris has banned shipments of tear-gas grenades and launchers to Israel. France's CIEMG state arms export licensing agency requested the ban. Israeli officials said that France was using "doublespeak" to urge Tel Aviv not to use deadly force while refusing to sell the Israelis non-lethal weapons. The French models are preferred over others, because they allow IDF soldiers to remain out of range of stone-throwing Palestinians. France has traditionally been sympathetic to the Palestinians, and Zola deems it the most anti-Semitic country he has ever visited.

Return to Index


Globes with Palestine

Wal-Mart sells a world globe that identifies the State of Israel, with Jerusalem as its capital. But in a curious twist of the half-century threat against Israel, it has something called "Palestine" floating in the sea. Above "Israel" and below "Lebanon" to the north, the word "Palestine" inexplicably appears on the globe, in the Mediterranean, without dots or demarcation. Should it say Palestine? Clearly there is no entity today called by that name. Tell 'em at Wal-Mart.

Return to Index


News Media "Priorities"

By Zola Levitt

Here is another perfect example of the upside-down way our news media prioritizes the news from Israel, a situation that is probably true in your town too.

In a terrorist attack in Israel on Valentine's Day, a Palestinian bus driver plowed into a crowded bus stop, killing seven IDF soldiers and one civilian, and wounding 23 others. The Dallas Morning News buried that news item of Palestinian violence on page 15. It shared hideaway space with an advertisement for Macys' white sale. On a day, however, when a mere scuffling match broke out between Israeli Jews (the Orthodox and seculars), the Dallas Morning News gave that story priority front-page positioning, so worthy of public notice that they threw in a full-color one-third page photograph capturing the scene! There were no casualties.

It's pretty obvious that bad-mouthing Israel is far more important than criticizing Palestinians for continued violence. The Dallas Morning News is a small, squeaky voice joining in with the likes of the New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN, etc., to continually trash our lone sister democracy in the Middle East.

Return to Index

Return to Levitt Letter Archive Index

Return to Home Page

Copyright © 2001 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.