Israel My Glory In Depth with David Levy
Names matter! If you’re a parent, you probably understand well how significant a name can be. Scripture highlights many godly people whose names had special meanings. But the one that matters most, of course, is God’s name. Yahweh, the Hebrew name for God, is not only a unique title; it’s also a very revealing reference to some of God’s most incredible qualities. Chris shares just what those qualities are in this program.
Keep listening for a special, one-on-one interview with David Levy, author of the Israel My Glory article “The Future-Teller.” As he shares some inside information about his writing, you’ll be assured that biblical prophecy is a crucial part of our lives today, and you’ll be encouraged by knowing God’s Word matters so much in your daily life!
Check out David Levy’s article, “The Future-Teller.”
Chris Katulka: Let me ask you a question. Are you intimidated by the book of Revelation or have questions about what the future holds especially today? If so, I have good news for you. You're not alone. Join us March 5th through the 7th, for our online Look Up Virtual Conference, titled, The Ultimate Ending, where you're going to see your future unfold through the book of Revelation.
The Ultimate Ending is a free online conference where you're going to hear incredible teaching about important prophecies and truths, in the book of Revelation. You'll hear from our Friends of Israel teachers, Doctor Jim Showers, Doctor Mike Stallard, Steve Herzig and myself, Chris Katulka.
I'm also the host of the online conference and I know our team has been working really hard to make this an encouraging and uplifting series on the book of Revelation. You can register right now at lookup.foi.org. Again, that's lookup.foi.org and when you register, you're going to receive free access to the first chapter of our video teaching series that took place in Israel called The Common Thread.
Steve Conover: Welcome to The Friends of Israel Today. I'm Steve Conover. With me is our host and teacher Chris Katulka and we're so glad you chose to join us today.
Chris Katulka: We are glad because we are doing our Israel My Glory In-Depth Episode. Every two months, we like to highlight our bi-monthly magazine, Israel My Glory. It's an award-winning Christian magazine, and we've got a great lineup for you. We're going to be looking at the title, The Alpha and Omega. That's what this one's called. The Alpha and Omega, The One and Only God.
We're going to be looking at various articles from this issue and also I'm very excited, we are going to have David Levy, our former international director with us. He wrote a fantastic article about the Lord and really what God's prophetic word means for us and why we should hold fast to it. So, we've got a great program lined up for you today.
Now, before we get started though, I want to encourage our radio and podcast listeners to visit our website, foiradio.org.
Steve Conover: Yeah, all of Chris's teachings and important interviews are on that site. We have years worth there for you to browse and while you're there, you'll find a link to our most popular page that features trustworthy and accurate news on Israel and the Middle East. And don't forget while you're there, you can support our radio ministry by clicking on the donate button, to help us continue teaching biblical truth about Israel and the Jewish people. Once again, that's foiradio.org.
In the news, “it works”, reports the Times of Israel, Maccabi Healthcare Services has vaccinated a half a million Israelis, with both doses of the Pfizer vaccine, and the stats show that only 544 people or 0.1% have been subsequently diagnosed with the Coronavirus.
There have been four severe cases and no people have died. Israel is currently leading the world in Coronavirus vaccine immunizations. More than 60% of Israelis have been vaccinated already.
Chris Katulka: Yeah, Steve, that means the effectiveness rate for this vaccine in Israel stands at 93%. Israel is a perfect country to do stats like this and tests like this. They're extremely efficient in distributing the vaccine and they're a smaller country. They have a smaller population which helps them collect adequate data for testing.
I'd also like to add too, on top of this vaccine, there's been reports that a new immunotherapy is coming out that will help, on top of what the vaccine does, it will help cure the Coronavirus. With the stats that are coming out from this new medication that they have, it looks really, really promising for everything that's coming out of Israel. I think Israel is showing us this vaccine is promising and we're praying, really for the light at the end of this very dark tunnel.
My wife and I met at Dallas Theological Seminary, and we were both going there at the same time. I was studying the Old Testament and she was studying Christian Education and we didn't meet in any deep theological class. Believe it or not, we actually met at Dallas Seminary's first talent show and I was performing that evening for the talent show, with my dorm buddy Dixon Parnell. And so as Dixon and I were making our way to the stage, he started talking to this very attractive and very funny woman and I started talking to her and we both hit it off right away and we were laughing and talking and laughing and talking. And we were having such a good time, I forgot to ask what her name was. And I had to run up and play the guitar for my friend, but I knew I needed to ask for her name.
So the moment that we were done, I went down and asked her name and she said, "Karen. My name's Karen." And well, that name has been very important to me for the last 15 years. You know, knowing her name was a way for me to get to know her individually or else she was just another girl that I laughed with and had a good time with, for a moment.
But she wasn't just some other girl. She was Karen and now she's my wife and the mother of my four kids. And if you ask her, she'll tell you, it wasn't the talent from the talent show that won her over. You know, I needed to know her name. Names are actually very important in the Bible.
Abraham is a name that we all know. Abraham means “father of many”. Noah is another important name. It means “rest” or “comfort”. Jesus is a name we definitely know and that means “salvation, deliverance”, Yeshu. David means beloved. Israel means to wrestle or strive with God. You know, names in the Bible have meaning and significance and one of the most significant names in the Bible that often gets overlooked because it's not translated from Hebrew into English, is LORD.
You know, when you're reading through your Old Testament and you see capital L, capital O, capital R, capital D, spelled out, it's actually Hebrew word for Yahweh. It's God's name. Do you know the Lord has a name? It's Yahweh.
A personal challenge that I often give myself when I'm reading through the Old Testament is actually to replace LORD with his name Yahweh, when I see it. Personally, I just feel it helps me know the Lord more intimately, to know and to speak his majestic name is just awesome.
I say this because I want to introduce you to our latest issue of Israel My Glory, which is called Alpha and Omega, The One and Only God. And later on, we're going to give you some details on how you can get your hands on our most recent issue of Israel My Glory. In fact, not only will you get this issue, but you'll also get five more. That's right. You'll get six issues for free; a whole year of Israel My Glory. So, you're going to want to stick around, to find out how you can get your free year subscription to our award-winning Christian magazine, Israel My Glory.
But I want to come back. Think about our God's name, Yahweh, which means “I am”, The great I am. And in this recent issue of Israel My Glory, Tom Simcox writes about the name Yahweh. He says it consists of four letters in Hebrew; yud, hey, vav, hey (YHVH). That's right. Yahweh, as God's name, occurs 5,410 times and what's amazing is Yahweh really has three tenses, verb tenses, crammed into one name. God's name, Yahweh, is actually from the Hebrew verb, to be. It incorporates the past idea that he was. It incorporates the present idea, he is. And also the future idea that he will be.
In other words, Tom writes, "God is everything." This powerful concept runs throughout the Hebrew scriptures, particularly in the book of Isaiah. God showed the prophet Isaiah the future, because he not only knows the future, but orchestrates it. He is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end.
Listen, this vital truth about our God that he was, and is, and will be, is the answer to our struggling world, that just doesn't understand. That as we see this pandemic coupled with hatred and violence and our economic turmoil, it's global, we must remember God's still rules. He's seated solidly on his throne and is definitely not scared. He's definitely not frightened or astonished by these current events. He's Yahweh, that I will be what it shall be. That's the concept. God is in control of everything and his name gives us that confidence, that when we say, "Yahweh," we know he is the beginning and the end.
But what's so stunning is that God who is, and was, and will be, the creator of everything, is often replaced by idols that we set up in our lives. Yahweh, whose word reveals his kindness and mercy and compassion that drives us towards repentance, is often overlooked by man-made things.
Bruce Scott also wrote in this issue of Israel My Glory, about the absurdity of idolatry, the foolish notion of trying to replace Yahweh, God. Look, in biblical history, after the fall of mankind, man exchanged the incorruptible Yahweh with images fashioned after corruptible man and these ancient idols, what were they made of? They were made of wood and stone and gold and silver. Either way, adoration and worship were given to these idols and the gods they represent. And listen, we do this today.
Bruce Scott writes, "Idolatry involves replacing God with something else. It's that simple. It misrepresents the one true holy, omnipotent, relational living God, with something false, corrupt, impotent, dead and impersonal. We fill the heart with things like technology, food, cars, homes, money, prestige, power, and position. And these things become our modern day idols." And I love it. Bruce Scott ends his article with these words from Isaiah 44:10.
The Lord asked Israel, "Who would form a God or mold an image that prophets him nothing?" You know, Jesus actually asked the exact same question. "For what profit is it to a man, if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul." Matthew 16:24.
Let me say this. The name of God, Yahweh, is to affirm for us. When we say that name, his sovereignty over all of creation. It's his sovereignty that orchestrates every aspect of our lives. Nothing can give an individual more peace than wholly trusting in God who is in absolute control of everything and that's why I really believe this issue of Israel My Glory is so important. It's devoted to a small, yet important portion of the wonderful book of Isaiah, that emphasizes God's sovereignty.
And I don't have to tell you this, but we live in troubled times, yet our God holds the world in the palm of his hands and he has never dropped it and he never will drop it. He tells us, "I appointed the ancient people and the things that are coming and shall come. Do not fear, nor be afraid." That's Isaiah 44:7-8.
"I am the Lord and there is no other." Isaiah 45:5.
"I have made the earth and created man on it. My hands stretched out the heavens and all their hosts I have commanded." That's verse 12.
"Look to me and be saved, you ends of the earth." Verse 22.
"My counsel shall stand and I will do all my pleasure." Isaiah 46:10.
"And I will play salvation in Zion, for Israel, my glory." Verse 13.
Do you think God is trying to tell us something here in Isaiah? You know what he's saying? Don't fear. God has everything under control. We hope this issue encourages you and inspires you to worship and pray to the sovereign God of the universe, who loves us so much that he sent his son to pay for our sins, that we can live with him, eternally through faith in Jesus, the Messiah of Israel and Savior of the world.
Now, listen, we're going to be getting in a moment to David Levy. David Levy is going to share with us about an article that he wrote in our most recent issue of Israel My Glory, which is all about prophecy and how prophecy plays into this understanding of our Sovereign God, the Alpha and Omega. The one God who knows beginning to end and how prophecy impacts our lives as well.
But before we get to that, I want to share with you a way that you can get your hands on Israel My Glory. If you've never subscribed for Israel My Glory, you can get a free one-year subscription of our award winning magazine. You're going to get the copy of the Alpha and Omega, The One and Only God, what we've been talking about. But then you'll also get a full year, another five issues. Israel. My Glory, is a magazine that's been around since 1942. We're an award-winning magazine and we really pride ourselves on the fact that we remain true to biblical truth about Israel and the Messiah, while we continue to relate with our Jewish friends. We want to continue to teach biblical truth and that's why you need to get your hands on a copy of Israel My Glory.
You can do that by simply going to foiradio.org, and there you can get your one year free subscription of Israel My Glory. But you can also call our listener line at (888) 343-6940. Again, that's (888) 343-6940 and someone will return your call during our regular business hours. Again, that's (888) 343-6940. If you're in Canada and you're listening right now, don't worry. We want you to call (888) 664-2584. Again, that's (888) 664-2584. Don't miss out on this great opportunity to get your year free subscription of Israel My Glory.
We've been going through our most recent issue of Israel My Glory, which is all about the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. Our God is a sovereign God and that's why it's a joy for me to have David Levy, our resource specialist here at the Friends of Israel, and our very first Director of our International Ministry. David, great to have you on the program, sir.
David Levy: It's wonderful to be with you and the radio audience.
Chris Katulka: David, your article that you've written in this most recent issue of Israel My Glory, is called The Future Teller and you open actually with a very interesting statistic about fortune telling; the fortune telling industry actually. You write this. You say, "The fortune telling industry has grown in America. It generates $2 billion in revenue a year and employs roughly 85,000 people who are primarily mediums, astrologers, palm readers, and fortune tellers. According to the article about finance on Yahoo.com, people who work in the psychic services earn about $1.5 billion a year in total wages and draw clients from all walks of life, including executives."
David, I thought that was very interesting what you wrote. I want to know what is it about the human nature that we want to know the future at any cost?
David Levy: Well, people want to know, where they came from and why are they here, and where are they going? And remember that knowledge is power. Can you imagine if you could predict the future and you were in the stock market, what that would mean? If you could predict the future, how you could sidestep a lot of problems in one's life. So, knowledge is power and many don't turn to the Bible because either they're not familiar with the word of God or they have just not thought to be able to understand it.
So, there are many people out there that have a horoscope, and people go to read their horoscope. That leads them into astrologers and prognosticators and psychics. There used to be a psychic friends network on TV. So people want to know and they're going down the wrong road to find out, to be very honest with you, Chris.
Chris Katulka: When we talk about God in this issue of Israel My Glory, we're talking about the fact that God is the creator of everything. He is the beginning and the end. There is no time limit to God, as we understand time. Nobody created God. You know, but when we think about prophecy in the Bible, I think sometimes people could get the idea that a prophet was nothing more than a fortune teller. Is that a misconception about what a prophet was in the Bible?
David Levy: It definitely is a misconception, Chris. There are two chapters in the Bible written by Moses, Deuteronomy 13 and Deuteronomy 18.
In Deuteronomy 13, Moses sets forth the test of a false prophet in verses one through 11 and it goes down here and it tells Israel that God will test them and if they go off and do believing in false prophets, then they're going to have trouble. A prophet is not a fortune teller. A prophet, it has a message from God and what he does is he forth-tells that message, or speaks it to a group of people, or he was called on to forth-tell what was going to happen to Israel and to mankind in general.
So, he's not a fortune teller. And so, there are fortune tellers in the Bible, but God tells us to stay away from them. He gives very clear instructions in Deuteronomy 18, especially verses nine through 11. In fact, there are eight types of false prophets that are mentioned here. You mentioned the diviner. He mentioned the observer of times. He mentions witches. He mentions consulting mediums or a wizard or necromancy, which is communicating with the dead. So, it's very, very clear here that God warns about false prophets.
Chris Katulka: I find it amazing that God's prophetic word is rooted in his covenant relationship with his people, Israel. You know, when you read through Deuteronomy 28, God tells the Israelites, "If you obey me, I'm going to bless you. But if you disobeyed me, I'm going to judge you and bring curses on you. But through repentance, God's going to return to you and bless you again, Israel." He said all that in Deuteronomy 28 through 32. But the fortune teller though, the modern day fortune teller, is guessing the fortunes of your life, maybe even trying to tell you what you want to hear just to tickle your ears. But God's prophetic word is rooted in his promises and his covenants.
David, why is it so important that biblical prophecy is rooted in God's word and not some random vision for your life?
David Levy: Because there's no other way to tell unless it's in God's Word, whether it's from God and it's a true prophecy. We have people today that are predicting things. They don't come true or they are half-truths, or they're not really a prophecy, or they predict something and they say only part of this is true and we have lots of people in the world today that are acting as a prognosticators or people that are giving forth the prophecy, but it's not real true prophecies.
And you mentioned Israel. You know, in Deuteronomy 28, in the first 14 verses, God enumerates many blessings that would come upon Israel if she followed him. But beginning of verse 15, he mentions also, things that would come up on Israel, that would really undo this people and you can go down through these prophecies and they've all come true.
And you mentioned through verse 62 and God said, especially in verse 62, "And ye shall be left few in number, whereas ye were as the stars of heaven from multitude; because thou wouldest not obey the voice of the Lord thy God." And that has come true. Israel today is small in numbers but in saying that, and removing Israel from the land, God promised to bring Israel back to the land again and this was a very much prophesied in the book of Ezekiel.
And one can read it, especially in verses well, chapter 37, through the whole chapter and these prophecies have come true. God has promised in his covenant, especially the Abrahamic Covenant and the Davidic Covenant, that God would fulfill these promises and he has throughout the world, but yet many of them are future and when the Lord comes back again to set up his kingdom upon the earth, these will be fulfilled.
Chris Katulka: Amen. Hey, listen, I think David, you nailed it. I always loved the prophets because you know, they're not just making up stuff like modern day fortune tellers do. They're rooting themselves in what the word of God already said about what would happen to Israel. Prophecy isn't just something that comes up out of nowhere. God gives revelation to prophets, but a lot of times those prophets were going back into the word of God.
We need to be rooted in the word of God, because that's where we get truth, from the Alpha and Omega, the sovereign God, the beginning and the end. And so there's nobody else I want truth from then the God who can see the beginning from the end. So David, thank you so much for joining us today and being a part of our Israel My Glory In-Depth Episode.
David Levy: Chris, in closing may I give the audience one verse of scripture that I think they should read and think upon. It's Isaiah 46:10. God says, "That he declares the end from the beginning and my counsel shall stand." So what God has said, is going to come to fruition in his time table.
Thanks again, Chris. Wonderful to be with you and wonderful to be with the audience that's listening to this program.
Chris Katulka: David. Thank you very much, sir.
Steve Conover: Thank you. So for joining us today, It's always great to hear from David Levy, who is our guest. Where are we headed next week, Chris?
Chris Katulka: We're going to actually be doing a study, Steve, you and I and Tom were talking about this. We want to study the word of God and we want to look specifically at angels and demons. So we're going to take two episodes coming up, two weeks, we're going to be looking specifically at the theology of angels and demons. I think it's something that we're really going to have a good time studying.
Steve Conover: Our host and teacher is Chris Katulka. Today's program was produced by Tom Gallione. Our theme music was composed and performed by Jeremy Strong. Mike Kellogg read Apples of Gold and I'm Steve Conover, Executive Producer.
Our mailing address is FOI Radio, P.O. Box 914, Bellmawr, New Jersey, 08099. Again, that's FOI Radio, P.O. Box 914, Bellmawr, New Jersey,
And one last quick reminder to visit us at foiradio.org. The Friends of Israel Today is a production of The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry. We are a worldwide, evangelical ministry, proclaiming biblical truth about Israel and the Messiah, while bringing physical and spiritual comfort to the Jewish people.
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