Messianic worship leader Paul Wilbur has sold over 3 million albums globally and recently felt a charge from God to release his latest, “Roar From Zion,” as a prophetic shout to usher in the return of the Lord.
Wilbur’s roar from Jerusalem happened last September during the Feast of Tabernacles and the 70th anniversary of the rebirth of the State of Israel when he recorded his live album, Roar From Zion in the heart of Israel. The new album, which is now available, releases what he calls a "prophetic praise" in hopes of impacting people around the world with a message that reaches beyond cultural, social and political borders.
Born of a Jewish father and Baptist mother, Wilbur's passion for music goes back to when he was 9 years old and he’s been making music now for 42 years.
After all these years of making music and many albums under his belt, Wilbur says he believes his latest project was a prophetic charge from God.
"It'd been years since we've done anything live in Israel. And the passion for Jerusalem, the throne of the King, Kingdom of God, our Jewish people, has always been on the front burner of the purpose of our lives, the music that we've created,” Wilbur told The Christian Post in May.
The talented musician recounted a moment last year when, while reading the Bible, he came across a scripture that he's read over many times before, Joel 3:14–16, which says: “Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision for the Lord is near in the valley of decision. The Sun and Moon will be darkened. Stars no longer shine, The Lord will roar from Zion, and under from Jerusalem.”
"Those words, I know I've read them before, many times. But that day, they seemed to take on a whole new life,” he recalled. “If we're not in the last days, I don't know what the last days are going to look like. Many lives hang in the balance, and the decision to follow Yeshua, Jesus, or not, and most of them in Israel, still have decided not.”
Wilbur paused to pray after reading the scripture and that was when the Lord spoke to him, instructing him to go to Jerusalem and create a “roar from Zion,” which is where the title of the album comes from.
"The verse continues: 'the earth and the sky will tremble. But the Lord will be a refuge for His people, a stronghold for His people, Israel,'” Wilbur explained.
“The two prongs of purpose of what we've done for all these years has been twofold. One, to give the church something to sing in worship and praise of the King, but also to provoke the heart of the Jew, to pursue the Lion of the tribe of Judah, our Messiah, Jesus,” he continued.
"So the release of the sound of Him roaring from Zion and thundering from Jerusalem, just lodged in my heart that day.”
Wilbur immediately called his friends and explained to them what his "next assignment" from the Lord was.
A free agent after having been signed with Integrity Music for over 27 years, Wilbur found himself looking for provision for this new "assignment." He contacted quality writers and musicians and moved ahead in faith, trusting that God would supply what was needed to create the album.
After all was said and done, the prophetic shout came with a cost of more than $200,000 to pay for studio time, musicians, travel to Israel, and hotel expenses. Although Wilbur didn't have the backing of a major record label like he once did, he saw God working a miracle.
"The Lord eventually raised up all of the funds that were necessary,” he testified. “It's incredible, in just amazing ways God, the Lord, paid for this project. Eventually, we all showed up in Jerusalem, halls were paid for, musicians were paid for, everything was paid.”
When describing why he believes God called him to “roar from Zion,” the 68-year-old talked about his latest book, A King is Coming.
"The title of the book really says it for me, because I get these questions all the time. 'How close do you think we are to the end? Is Jesus coming back? Is He really going to set his foot down in the Mount of Olives?'" he told CP. "The question is 'why so much anti-Israel, so much anti-Semitism, so much anti-Christian?’ Chopping off heads of Christians all over the Middle East. And the simple answer, but I think profound, is the title of my last book, it's because a King is coming.”
Wilbur talked of Lucifer being cast out of Heaven, which is described in Isaiah 14 and the declaration that Lucifer was going to exalt himself above God.
"He basically says, 'I'm going to own Jerusalem, I'm going to establish my throne, right there in the holy of holies and says, I'm going to take you down,'” Wilbur said of the Bible passage.
"What we're experiencing now is basically the outworking of his attempt, over all of these thousands of years, to overthrow the throne of God to put himself in that place, and to be king of the universe,” he said.
“Now, we know that there's no way that he's going to be able to do that, but as a father of lies, he's so deceived. He is sure that he can. And so there's no lack of trying.”
Wilbur has spent years of his ministry striving to draw Jewish people to their Messiah. His albums, Shalom Jerusalem, The Watchman and Jerusalem Arise! all shared in that goal and the music has easily helped shape the worship of Messianic and evangelical churches and congregations around the world.
Wilbur went on to say that his latest project, Roar from Zion, is following suit and has already impacted Jewish people in the Holy Land starting at the live recordings.
“There were two rows of Holocaust survivors who came to the concert, who were very moved,” Wilbur celebrated.
“We've seen lots of Jewish people come to faith in the Lord over the years, as a result of our declaration, our ministry, our presentation,” he added. “I realized that I can't even lead myself to the Lord but the Holy Spirit does it and uses what we present to Him. So I prayed with several after the concert there that day in Jerusalem, many expressed through tears that they never heard anything like this.
Wilbur's first trip to Jerusalem was in 1983 and he recalls there being only single-digit groups of Messianic congregations in the whole country back then. But today, he estimates there are close to 200 gatherings in the Holy Land. Although thousands of Jews have come to Jesus, Wilbur still considers it few because there are 6 million Jews living in Israel.
Nevertheless, the movement of Messianic congregations, synagogues, and Messianic churches continues to grow in the United States.
"The number continues to grow, the impact. Yes, I believe that these are the days of Elijah, I don't sing it for no reason. Yes, I believe that these are the last days. How close are we? Nobody really knows except that the signs, Jesus mentioned, 'When you see the fig tree blossom, know that my return is near,'” he explained.
“The signs are all around us, the nation's beginning to turn in again, against Jerusalem. The sound of saber-rattling from Tehran, and from the radical Muslim community gets louder and louder. They're chanting, 'death to Israel and death to America' gets louder. They're serious, they mean it. It's not a joke. Of course, 9/11 brought that home to us here in New York in a way that very few things could,” he concluded.