If you understand what is taking place in our world today, you know what motivates the enemies of Israel, what unites anti-Semites across the globe, and even confuses the loyalties of some evangelical leaders—it is the single word Zionism.
ZIONISM is a belief in God’s promise of the land (Eretz Israel) to His Chosen People.
Numbers 34:1-2: “And the LORD spake unto Moses … this is the land that shall fall unto you for an inheritance, even the land of Canaan with the coasts thereof…”
Standard history records Theodor Herzl as the founder of Zionism, but that is not correct. Zionism was declared and decreed by God Almighty, El Shaddai, the God of Abraham.
Thus said the Lord God: …you, O mountains of Israel, shall yield your produce and bear your fruit for My people Israel, for their return is near. For I will care for you: I will turn to you, and you shall be tilled and sown. I will settle a large population on you, the whole House of Israel; the towns shall be resettled, and the ruined sites rebuilt. I will multiply men and beasts upon you, and they shall increase and be fertile, and I will resettle you as you were formerly, and will make you more prosperous than you were at first. And you shall know that I am the Lord. I will lead… My people Israel to you, and they shall possess you. You shall be their heritage, and you shall not again cause them to be bereaved. (Ezekiel 36:7-12).
Mount Zion is where Abraham offered up Isaac as God directed. The word Zion occurs over 150 times in the Bible. It essentially means “fortification” and has the idea of something that is “raised up” as a “monument.” Zion is described both as the city of David and the city of God. As the Bible progresses, the word Zion expands in scope and takes on an additional, spiritual meaning.
The word Zion is also used in a theological or spiritual sense in Scripture. In the Old Testament, Zion refers figuratively to Israel as the people of God (Isaiah 60:14). In the New Testament, Zion refers to God’s spiritual kingdom. We have not come to Mount Sinai, says the apostle, but “to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem” (Hebrews 12:22). Peter, quoting Isaiah 28:16, refers to Christ as the Cornerstone of Zion: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame” (1 Peter 2:6).
Zionism is God’s prophetic plan for the future of our world.
Why does an all-powerful God permit pain and injustice in our lives? Mankind has struggled with this tough question since time began. For those who have been victimized and traumatized, the question becomes far more than just a stimulating topic for discussion. Driven by a desperate search to find truth and meaning, we eventually resolve the question one way or another. For some of us, the search leads to trust and faith. Others, too angry or anguished in spirit to continue the search, walk away empty.
The Old Testament Book of Genesis contains a story that rivals any current bestseller or famous classic for its suspense and attention-gripping plot. It is the incredible story of Joseph, a young man who victoriously overcame one injustice after another, any one of which would be enough to embitter or break the average person. It is also the story of Joseph’s incredible God and how He turned Joseph’s pain into preparation for promotion.
For years Joseph was the target of his brothers’ vicious jealousy, hatred, and rejection. Their father, Jacob, had never disguised the fact that Joseph was the favorite of his twelve sons. Because of their father’s partiality, his ten older brothers hated Joseph so much that they couldn’t speak a kind word to him.
When Joseph was seventeen, his brothers’ malevolent feelings reached the boiling point. Genesis 37 records the ugly scene. Instead of killing Joseph as they had originally planned, they threw him into a well in the wilderness and then sold him to a band of traders whose caravan passed by. In Egypt, the traders sold Joseph to Potiphar, a high-ranking officer and chief executioner of the royal guard for Pharaoh, king of Egypt. Jacob’s favored son was now a slave.
Things went from bad to worse, and Joseph ended up in prison on false charges. Then one day everything changed. He went from the prison to the palace. Thirteen years of some of the longest, darkest trials imaginable had neither embittered nor broken Joseph. His life serves as a strong reminder that it is not suffering itself, but our reaction to the suffering, that makes or breaks us.
In the final analysis, it was a powerful, sovereign God, not Joseph’s brothers, who sent Joseph to Egypt. But the Bible puts the responsibility for all the agony Joseph endured exactly where it belongs—not upon God, but upon the people whose offenses against Joseph caused his unjust pain and suffering. The Bible also clearly reveals that God took the wicked injustices intended for Joseph’s destruction and reversed them, making the offenses work together for Joseph’s development and deliverance instead.
In the middle of your darkest trial, keep seeking development as did Joseph. He learned to forgive. He learned to resist sin and serve God in a pagan society. He learned to defeat bitterness, loneliness, and hopelessness and to persevere in faith and prayer. Like Joseph, you will discover that as you seek development, deliverance will come in God’s appointed time, and the pain you have endured will become a necessary step on your pathway to promotion.
The story of a blind man named Bartimaeus in Mark chapter 10 is a beautiful illustration of how to unleash more of God’s favor in your life—even when your situation appears hopeless. One minute this man was begging along the roadside, just as he had done for much of his life. But in a moment’s time, everything changed for him.
Suddenly, he could see! He had received a new beginning beyond his wildest dreams.
Bartimaeus had stumbled upon the secret to unleashing God’s miracle-working power, and his life would never be the same. When he went to sleep that night, his life was completely different than it was when he had awakened that morning.
You see, the Favor of God (F.O.G.) is all you really need. Everything else will follow when you seek Him and His kingdom (Matthew 6:33). Bartimaeus started his day seeking favor from anyone passing by on the road, but then he heard that Jesus of Nazareth was coming by. Faith began to rise in the heart of this blind man, for he knew that Jesus was no ordinary man. “‘Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!’” (v. 47) Bartimaeus cried out. At that point, people in the crowd told him to be quiet, but he “cried out all the more” (vs. 48).
If you need some kind of breakthrough in your life today, it begins when you recognize that Jesus is nearby and you begin to call out to Him by faith. And a crucial principle here is to not let anyone talk you out of your plea to the Savior! There will always be naysayers, trying to discourage you and undermine your faith, but you need to keep crying out to Jesus for your miracle.
Something stunning happens at this point in the story: “So Jesus stood still and commanded him to be called” (v. 49). If not for the impassioned cries of Bartimaeus, Jesus would have passed right on by. But sensing faith in the voice of this blind beggar, Jesus “stood still.” If you’ve been crying out to Jesus for some kind of turnaround in your life, I encourage you to take a moment to picture Him stopping…pausing…standing right in front of you. Yes, the Lord of all creation is taking time to stop and hear your petition, ready to meet your need!
Jesus asked Bartimaeus one of the most important questions in the entire Bible—and it’s the same question He is asking YOU today: “What do you want Me to do for you?” (v. 51).
Let that sink in for a moment. Jesus is right there with you, and He wants you to tell Him what your greatest need is. What, exactly, do you want Him to do for you? This is a critical component of what it takes to unleash the F.O.G. in your life:
When Bartimaeus’ breakthrough came, it was sudden and amazing: “immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus on the road” (v. 52). Of course, Jesus could have told the blind man that his healing would come gradually, over a long period of time, but that was not the case with Bartimaeus. Jesus had unleashed the miraculous, and the results were instantaneous.
For many decades now, I’ve traveled the world as an ambassador for Christ and a herald of His life-changing favor. In every continent and nation, I’ve met people in search of new beginnings, and they yearn to live in the Favor of God (F.O.G.). They see the marvelous promises the Lord has given them in the Scriptures, but often they’re frustrated because they don’t know how to activate those promises.
When I talk with people in my travels, they tell me of their desire for breakthroughs in their life. Some need God’s healing touch in their body or their emotions. Others are desperate for a financial turnaround. Many are seeking a breakthrough in their marriage or with their children.
It grieves my heart that many of these precious people can quote Bible verses about the promises of God, yet they often are missing some crucial ingredient of implementation and activation. They lack the necessary tools to bridge the gap between the doctrine of God’s favor and the actual experience of that favor.
I want to help YOU experience more of God’s favor so you can receive the breakthroughs you need. As you learn how to implement these truths, your life will never be the same!
If you’ve spent any time reading God’s Word, you’ve surely seen that your Heavenly Father loves you and wants to bless you with the good things of life. Jesus makes this absolutely clear in Matthew 7:11: “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!”
As much as your earthly father may love you, your Heavenly Father loves you more…so much more. Your Father in heaven longs to show you His kindness, approval, and favor. However, it breaks God’s heart—and breaks my heart as well—to see so many of His children missing out on the abundant life He wants them to have (John 10:10). Often, they are trying hard to do the right things, but something is missing.
My friend, if you are frustrated today in some area of your life—such as your finances, your relationships, your emotions, or your health—I have good news for you: The Favor of God (F.O.G.) can reverse your losses and turn things around for you! Living in the F.O.G. will help you turn the head of God, touch the heart of God, and move the hand of God. It’s a place where you can gain affirmation from the Father and His Word rather than from those around you—at home, at work, or wherever else you may be. As God’s favor releases emotional, physical, spiritual, and financial success into your life, you will no longer have to allow people or problems to define you.
When we obey God, things the world thinks are impossible become possible. Nearly 40 years ago, God directed me to go to Israel…without telling me why. The only thing that I knew for sure is that I was supposed to meet with Prime Minister Menachem Begin. In the natural, that was ridiculous. I didn’t know anyone on his staff, and there was no reason to expect the leader of the Jewish state to meet with a completely unknown minister of the Gospel.
But the Spirit of God had spoken to me through the wonderful promise of Isaiah 43:19 about the new thing He was going to do in my life. I was at a very low point then, suffering from a serious medical condition that made it very difficult for me to speak and minister to others. I even considered leaving the ministry and finding something else to do. But God was about to replace my desert with springs of water that flowed freely.
In obedience, I made the trip. Through a series of contacts that could only have been the result of divine intervention, I eventually did meet with Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin in his office. After a few moments of small talk, he asked why I had come to see him. Of course, since God hadn’t told me, I couldn’t tell him! So, I changed the subject as best I could.
After that happened a couple of times, he pressed the point. Reluctantly I told him God sent me but hadn’t told me why. I was so embarrassed, but I didn’t know what else to say! The Prime Minister laughed and said to his secretary, “Shake hands with him—you’ve finally met an honest man!” After we talked a little while longer, Mr. Begin told me that when I found out the reason I was supposed to meet with him, I should come back and see him again. I promised him that I would and left his office.
The next day was the anniversary of the death of Yonathan Netanyahu in the daring raid that freed more than 100 Israeli hostages from the airport in Entebbe, Uganda. As I read the story in the newspaper, the Spirit of God led me to go to the family home and express my condolences. It was on that visit that I met Benjamin Netanyahu for the first time, beginning a friendship that has lasted for decades.
When I returned to meet with the prime minister the second time, I told him that God had revealed His purpose for my trip: to build a bridge between Christians and Jews. With a laugh, he asked, “Like the Brooklyn Bridge?” “A bridge of love and understanding,” I replied. “Then let’s build it together,” he said. And for the rest of his life, I had the privilege of working with Mr. Begin and being his closest Christian friend. The great worldwide prayer movement of the Jerusalem Prayer Team was born that day in the Holy City in the office of the leader of the Jewish state.
I had no idea what God had in mind when we started out. I certainly was the last person anyone who knew me would have expected to be meeting world leaders and speaking to thousands on behalf of Israel. I was terrified to speak in public because I stuttered so badly. My life was gripped by fears, and I had horrible ulcers. I didn’t have any hope, but when God has a plan for us, He equips us to do the work to which He calls us.
When He makes a new way, no one can oppose His plan. No physical, spiritual, emotional, or mental opposition can overcome His mighty power. “I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name” (Revelation 3:8).
Don’t let negative friends, the media, or critics rob you of faith in God. When a widow went out to gather wood to cook her last meal for her son before they died, she ran into Elijah who said, “Fix me a meal.” She responded in obedience. The next day, and the next week, and the next month, again and again, the oil and meal miraculously continued to flow because of her obedience.
There is a commanded blessing for obedience and generosity. It is time for you to be filled with faith and to have someone filled with faith to come into agreement with you that God will bless and favor your life in every way. The Lion of the Tribe of Judah will roar…and the whole world will shake and be amazed by what happens next!
When I began this ministry with my beloved bride, Carolyn, our first daughter was only six months old. We shared our vision for the first time in a tiny church in Indiana during a snowstorm. When we walked outside, our car had caught fire and burned. All we had was $725, and we had given it all to start the ministry.
A man named Gene Darnell approached us and took us home with him. The next morning, he handed me the keys to a new car. He didn’t have the money to buy it outright; he financed it and made the payments on it. He said, “The Lord told me that you are His chosen instrument for the Nation of Israel. Shiloh, Shiloh, Shiloh.” Gene Darnell had nothing to substantiate what he had said, but he was the first to sow a seed into our lives and ministry. God gave us a wonderful blessing through Gene, and He gave Gene a commanded blessing in return.
We climbed into that beautiful Buick Electra and started toward Texas. As we drove through Arkansas, I spotted a sign that said, “Bill Roetzell’s Motorhomes.” The Spirit of the Lord spoke to me, “Stop there and look at travel trailers.” It would have been as impossible for me to buy a travel trailer as it would to buy the Empire State Building. We had no money.
As I walked around the property, we noticed a trailer that was 35 feet by 8 feet and could be towed by a large car. Again, the Spirit of the Lord said, “Believe me for this.” I reached out, touched that travel trailer, and said a short prayer. I later learned that while I prayed, the owner of the company was in his office having his devotions. He looked out the window, saw me, and the Spirit of the Lord said, “This is a man of God. He is going to be My chosen vessel to the Nation of Israel. You are to give him a new travel trailer.” Bill came out and did just that. We hooked that travel trailer up to the back of the Buick Electra and towed it to Texas. Commanded blessing!
Many years ago, I had the privilege of meeting Corrie ten Boom. She told me that while she was in the Nazi prison at Ravensbrück for saving Jewish people from the Holocaust, God gave her a commanded blessing. It was the last verse of Psalm 91: “And with long life shall I satisfy you.” Corrie was 51 years old when God gave her that Scripture. Her commanded blessing was 40 additional years of life and a ministry that changed the world. What will your blessing be in 2021? I can’t wait to find out!