Last week, President Donald Trump made history by declaring Jerusalem Israel’s capital. In fulfilling one of his campaign promises, the proclamation brought joy to many in the evangelical community.
I happened to be in Washington, D.C., the day it happened and caught up with popular speaker and writer Lance Wallnau to discuss the significance of this event. You can listen to it on my Strang Report Podcast. (Lance is always one of my most popular podcast guests.)
The evangelical community showed its appreciation when the founder of the Friends of Zion Museum in Jerusalem, Dr. Mike Evans, presented President Trump with the Friends of Zion Award in a ceremony at the White House on Monday.
The Friends of Zion Award has been bestowed previously on world leaders like President George W. Bush, Prince Albert II of Monaco and Rosen Plevneliev, fourth president of Bulgaria. Dr. Evans—along with Shimon Peres, the ninth president of Israel and former chairman of the Friends of Zion Museum—presented these awards to honor their courageous support of the state of Israel and the Jewish people.
As you can see in the above photo, the event was attended by Vice President Pence, senior advisers Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump and faith leaders representing over 150 million Christians globally.
In a phone interview, Dr. Evans told me the award presentation had long been in the works.
“No president in history has ever built such an alliance for the state of Israel and the Jewish people, and no president has courageously stood up for the state of Israel on the global stage as you had, Mr. President,” Dr. Evans declared at the ceremony. “President Trump’s historic recognition of Jerusalem will secure his place in history as the first American president to take that step since the founding of the state of Israel in 1948.”
Dr. Evans told the president he is “Cyrus,” the Persian king raised up by God to let the Jews go back to Jerusalem from Babylonian captivity. It’s a comparison Dr. Evans says many Israelis are making. Both the Israeli ambassador, Ron Dermer, and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who knew about the award beforehand, encouraged Dr. Evans to present it to the president, but to wait for the right time.
Last week’s declaration of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel gave them the opportunity. The people in this photo enjoyed a working lunch, followed by a speech from the president, after which they prayed for Mr. Trump. Dr. Evans said my friend Jentezen Franklin led the prayer.
The award looks like the menorah, the official symbol of Israel, which goes back to the time of Moses and also Solomon’s temple. Dr. Evans told the president that the menorah represents light and divine revelation, adding “God has given you both.”
Dr. Evans also told the president he is “a master builder” and that his building an alliance with the Saudis and the Sunnis is historic.
I’ve known Dr. Evans since the 1970s, when Jamie Buckingham mentored both of us. It’s been interesting to see how Dr. Evans’ ministry has developed, culminating in the state-of-the-art $45 million Friends of Zion museum in Jerusalem, which I’ve visited twice and written about before.
The Friends of Zion Heritage Center has become one of the central institutions in the state of Israel, influencing the world and strengthening Israel’s relations globally while fortifying the pillars of the state of Israel.
In addition to more than 31 million members globally, the museum has hosted over 100 diplomats such as U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Melech Friedman, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, tens of thousands of Christian and Jewish leaders, NBA and NFL superstars and leading Hollywood actors and singers, and it has become one of Jerusalem’s must-see sites.
In a statement, the museum said that “President Trump’s historic declaration regarding Jerusalem takes its place as one of Israel’s historic milestones from the Balfour Declaration to President Truman’s acceptance of Israel into the family of nations. These heroes presented in the Friends of Zion Museum in Jerusalem tell the stories characters throughout history that have stood by the Jewish people and helped establish the state of Israel. These non-Jewish Zionists are engraved in history, and millions of people worldwide have learned of their heroism, thanks to the groundbreaking work of Dr. Evans and the Friends of Zion Museum.”
The next time you are in Jerusalem, I urge you to visit the museum. If you can’t visit in person, go online to get a simple overview.