|A NOTE FROM ZOLA
by Zola Levitt, www.levitt.com
I received the following thought-provoking letter and couldn't help but pour my heart out in my reply.
Last year my husband gave me a New King James Open Bible by Thomas Nelson Publishing. It was a wonderful Bible, that is
until I started looking at the maps and reading the notes. Israel is more often than not referred to as "Palestine." This really
upset me so I called their Customer Service line and shared my extreme dissatisfaction with the fact that they called Israel "Palestine." I told her that nowhere in the Bible is Israel called Palestine and that I thought it heretical that Thomas Nelson
would do this.
She gave me some lame-brained excuse about this historical usage of the name. So, I hung up and wrote them an email. I got an even worse excuse. I could no longer stand to use that Bible (a very expensive one) and I gave it away.
This afternoon, a friend of mine brought me a copy of your newsletter and I was so happy to read your "A Note From Zola" which addresses in depth this problem of Bible notes. Kudos to you. Meanwhile, I am telling everyone (including Thomas Nelson) that I will no longer buy any of their publications -- including Bibles -- until they remedy this problem.
Here is my answer: Of course the problem with Thomas Nelson is that, like Zondervan, it is run by unbelievers, who only want
to make money. I am not surprised that their Biblical sensitivity has greatly declined. I had trouble with them when I authored
one book for them years ago. Likewise with Zondervan, who objected when our ministry questioned their publication of the awful A Survey of the New Testament, by Robert H. Gundry, which was used at Criswell College.
Unfortunately, Christians often sell their companies to the highest bidder when they retire, and then that new owner damages the faith while helping himself to Christian funds.
That goes right along with Revelation 2:9, in regard to "the blasphemy of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a
synagogue of satan." This passage, often misunderstood, refers to unbelievers who had infiltrated the highly Jewish church of Smyrna and dressed as Jews to appear as legitimate members of the church, while their real motive was simply to trade with the church members for their own gains.
When I was in college, I applied for a job with Metropolitan Life Insurance Company. I was asked if I would be available to go
to church every Sunday. I informed my interviewer that I was Jewish and had never been in a church, to which he replied something like, "Don't worry about that, we don't go for any other purpose but to sell insurance to church members."
So unbelievers who take over or infiltrate Christian congregations -- as with many liberal churches, with perverse Catholic priests, with Hollywood personalities making religious movies, and finally with these mediocre publishers, we simply have to watch out for what Scripture calls, "false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing; but inwardly they are ravenous wolves" (Mt. 7:15).
Time and again we hear from folks who object to the Levitt Letter dealing with "politics." It is really not politics we are trying to comment on, but rather prophecy apparently being fulfilled. The Biblical picture of the End Times projects a certain configuration of nations and powers, and we are in a ministry of comparing the actions of those nations to the observations of the prophets. Far more of our readers are heartened by the similarities between events today and Scripture than are offended by this coverage.
Please know that we do consider this type of commentary to be Bible teaching. The real problem is that many seminaries and
churches have been remiss in not preparing Believers for real application of the Biblical End Times scenarios. They just don't
teach accurate prophecy. As "watchmen on the wall" [Ezekiel 33:7], we must sound whatever alarms we perceive to be relevant.
Prime Minister Sharon's new idea for disengagement from Palestinians is effective, but sad. We must realize that the Arabs started in 1964 with a bogus claim to the land of Israel and have taken it to the point where the Israelis, the legitimate owners of the land, have to build a fence to protect themselves from murderers, and then are accused of promoting apartheid or some such malarkey. The sad part of it is that the Israelis really own all of the land, but are forced to fence off a part of it just to get away from these dangerous aliens.
It's as if the Los Angeles police decided the best policy to control the gangs would be to build a chain-link fence around their neigh- borhood, only to have the gangs accuse the police of stealing the rest of the city from the gangs!
American prejudice goes so far as The Orlando Sentinel, which recently ran the inexplicable headline, "Israel Threatens to Impose Border." Never mind that Israel would be ceding a very large part of a country they have owned since G-D gave it to Abraham, to illiterate murderers who want nothing but their total destruction.
Even the president expressed misgivings about this tragic plan to take land from a civilized 21st century country and concede large portions of it to Dark Age killers.
But the only issue of concern to Israel is the murders. The homicide bombers must be stopped.
The terrorism that just keeps on coming is what they are trying to prevent. They have tried 1) peace conferences, 2) actually giving away their land to their enemies, 3) going into Palestinian cities and towns to rout out the terrorists themselves, and now, finally, 4) building a fence across their own land to keep bombers out.
And it doesn't matter if nearly two hundred nations of the world are in opposition; and horrible calamity is threatened for building
the fence, they are going to do it, and that's all there is to that. No sane people will just wait for others to murder them.
I was recently asked which church denominations are pro-Israel and which are not. In the past, we picked on the United Metho- dists since I have personal knowledge of their anti-Israel policies. But suffice it to say, the distance of a church from Scripture equals the amount of anti-Israelism (and usually anti-Semitism) it will practice. I have found in 30 years of speaking experience that those who read the Bible faithfully and understand its doctrines love Israel and the Jewish People.
And, unfortunately, the converse is also true. Those who get into modernistic false doctrines, Bible criticism, disbelief in inerrancy, Progressive Dispensationalism, and a thousand other mistakes, share the characteristic of being anti-Jewish and anti-Israel. The Catholic Church stands out as one extreme. The liberal Protestant denominations are also included in that group, I'm afraid. But
the Bible churches invariably support the Chosen People and the Promised Land.
Shortly after Saddam Hussein's arrest, the Vatican came out objecting to his treatment by US soldiers and doctors. This also cor- relates with my theory: The distance of a church from Scripture equals the distance from G-D; from Israel, and from rationality. They "call evil good, and good evil" (Isa. 5:20).
Even our prisons here in the US reflect this hypocrisy. Prisoners are subjected to Islamic evangelism on a steady basis. Yet a Christian witness like the Levitt Letter is not allowed. The Michigan Department of Corrections, on November 19, 2003, claimed our newsletter was "advocating racial supremacy or ethnic purity which is reasonably likely to promote or cause violence or group disruption in the facility."
Yet Islam, which inspired the 9/11 attacks, continues to be preached there.
And as always, remember to pray for the peace of Jerusalem.
|LEVITT LETTER, VOLUME 26, NUMBER 2, FEBRUARY 2004
P.O. Box 12268 -- Dallas, TX 75225-0268 -- Telephone: (214) 696-8844