We have seen in the past how the false theology of Replacement Theology – the notion that somehow the Church replaced Israel in God’s economy – produced a mindset that set the stage for violent anti-Semitism and even the Holocaust. Last time out we reviewed God’s promises to Israel; the prophesied re-establishment of the physical nation and the return of the Jewish People from around the world. We witnessed Israel’s return to the family of nations in 1948. We are watching the return of His People even today. Yet anti-Semitism has not died. The desire to destroy the Jewish nation has not abated. It has just taken on a new form – and it is driving prophecy today.
ISRAEL & THE HEART OF GOD – 4
It’s been 70 years since the end of World War II; 70 years since the liberation of the camps; of Auschwitz and Birkenau and Treblinka; 70 years since the end of the Holocaust. That’s about the lifetime of a generation. Psalm 90:10 gives it this way: “The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.” (KJV)
But it has not been 70 years since the end of anti-Semitism. No, that never ended. There is a hatred there fostered by the Enemy himself, who has worked for the destruction of that People since history began. Yes, in the last century he used Hitler. But before that it was the Crusaders of Christian Europe and the ancient Persians in Esther’s day. Today that mindset is fed by Arabs of ISIS and the Palestinians and many of the nation’s that surround Israel. It is abetted by a wing of the professing Church who see Israel as an interloper in the Land and organize economic boycotts to hasten their compliance with internationally-defined norms. Seventy years have passed and little has been learned.
World War II was an incredible marking point of history. It changed the nature of modern war. In previous conflicts civilians died, sometimes in large numbers, but by and large it was a by-product of operations – not a goal of the generals in charge. But that changed. Killing civilians became the aim of the general staff. And in Germany it was not just enemy civilians that were targeted. The Jews of Europe (along with some other groups such as Gypsies, Catholic priests and Christian pastors) became the focus of the Nazi regime; all 11 million of them. However the remarkable thing is this: The Holocaust took place in a culture much like our own. This from a nation that claimed to be Christian and practiced Christian traditions. And the Christians of Germany watched and denied and hid their minds from the consequences of the actions they witnessed. And some loudly approved while others more quietly assented. In time the world too was its witness. And little was done.
It is interesting that for Hitler and the German General Staff there were two wars being waged; one against the Allies and one against the Jews. Over time this war against the Jews became the most important one. Even while the Normandy invasion was going on; even while Russia was driving back the German armies on the Eastern Front, the Nazi leadership determined that killing Jews was the central military goal. So they sacrificed any hope of military victory to pour resources into the mass-murder of Jews. This murderous blood-lust became their raison d’etre. And so the Nazi executioners and their henchmen were seen feeding the death factories until the last possible moment.
But anti-Semitism did not perish with the National Socialist regime. The mindset that had driven that hate had been inculcated into the masses for century upon century; a fabric of the culture; enshrined in religious thinking. So it went underground. Public anti-Semitism was no longer acceptable. Jew-hate dies hard. By 2014-2015 the generation that had lived through the last great war was passing away and with it the first-hand memories of that time in history. It is not surprising then that we are seeing an uptick in the public displays of hate, persecution and violence. Like the 1930’s there is little shame in the sentiment. Here’s the Washington Post’s coverage of an incident that occurred at a soccer game in April of 2015. “‘Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas,’ sang a section of the home supporters towards the fans visiting from Amsterdam, a city historic in part for its Jewish community. ‘My father was in the commandos, my mother was in the SS, together they burned Jews, because Jews burn the best!’” This was no unique incident. One English soccer league reported 59 incidents of anti-Semitism in just half a season. Shimon Samuels, the Director for International Relations at the Simon Wiesenthal Center explained this new form of anti-Semitism. “I think there is a shift going on. The troublemakers way back to the 1980s … were neo-Nazis. Today it’s a combination. It’s a new alliance between neo-Nazis and jihadists. In the first instance it’s the old anti-Semitism but also there is an understanding that as you attack the Jew as the quintessential symbol of Europe, you also attack the West and you attack the delicate fabric of liberal democracy.” One example was a game being played in Vienna between Bosnia and Austria. The Bosnian fans took to the streets for a pro-Palestinian demonstration. It degenerated into chants of “Kill, kill the Jews.”[i]
With that as the backdrop it is little wonder then that anti-Jewish incidents are mushrooming all across Europe. It further it is no surprise that the Boycott-Divestment Movement is gaining such strength. At its root, the BDS is a global anti-Israel movement using economic pressure to force Israel to end what they call the ‘Occupation’ of Gaza and the West Bank. It claims this is not aimed at the Jews – but only the State of Israel. In Europe, goods from the “Occupied Territories” are marked to discourage public consumption. Large chains in Europe will not carry Israeli goods at all. Now its purpose is the destruction of the State of Israel. So its goal is genocidal in nature. But its supporters cloak this in the mantle of their support for the human rights of the newly invented Palestinian people. This cause is being taken up by the liberal branches of the Christian Church even here in America. And Western governments cannot react because our culture is no longer anchored on Judeo-Christian values. We have bred that out of the system. So there is no basis for resistance. The generation that knew the past and its meaning is dying off. Our collective memory is being altered. It is as in the time of the passing of Joshua, that great leader of Israel. “And the people served the Lord all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders who outlived Joshua, who had seen all the great work that the Lord had done for Israel. And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the Lord, died at the age of 110 years. And they buried him within the boundaries of his inheritance in Timnath-heres, rin the hill country of Ephraim, north of the mountain of Gaash. And all that generation also were gathered to their fathers. And there arose another generation after them who did not know the Lord or the work that he had done for Israel.” (Joshua 2:7-10) (ESV) America and the West is living in that generation that does NOT know the Lord or what He has done for our civilization. And so we are operating in a mode of progress rejection of the divine.
All of this is setting the stage for the next major persecution of Jews and Christians. At the base are anti-Jewish attitudes that have never died off. These pave the way for actions like the sanctions, the BDS. These are seen by its practitioners as righteous acts, serving the good of humanity. The next layer up the pyramid consists of violent actions against property and persons. We saw this in Nazi Germany and we see it in the Europe of today, wherever the immigrant population has taken hold enough to influence the culture. The next and final step is justified murder; openly sanctioned as in the Holocaust or exercised through the studied looking-away by government authorities, as happens all around the world in areas hostile to Christians and Jews. In areas of the Middle East we are seeing this architecture in full flower against both today. Christians and Jews are being hounded and raped and driven from their homes and sold into slavery and butchered. The Islamists have brought that mindset to the areas they control. And the West is not exempt. These attitudes are taking hold in Europe – and authorities are doing little to combat them.
We have covered here before the situation in Sweden. Coinciding with the influx of Muslim refugees to that country, rape in Sweden has increased 1,472% since 1975. It is projected that 25% of Swedish women will be raped – and it’s not just women – men and boys have now become the target of rape gangs. Carol Brown in the American Thinker puts it well. “Muslim men rape non-Muslim women (and girls) in disproportionately high numbers in countries with growing Muslim minority populations. Rape of infidel women is part of Islamic law and Islamic tradition. As such, it’s been going on for centuries.” But it’s not just Sweden. Great Britain has seen an explosion in Islamic child-sex-trafficking, with possibly as many as 1 million victims. Rapes by “asylum seekers” in Germany is becoming epidemic. Roving gangs in France seemingly rape at will. In Oslo, Norway “10% of females over the age of 15 have been raped by Muslim men.” The governments of these countries do little or nothing to address the situation. The connection with Islam is routinely denied. Brown writes: “As is the case throughout the West, anyone who speaks the truth about this is labeled a ‘racist.’…. political leaders, the media, academics, Muslims, feminists, and/or garden variety lemmings assert that Islam respects women, that it does not sanction the mistreatment of women, and/or that Western culture is a rape culture on par with ISIS…. By denying the truth, these liars, apologists, and moral relativists fuel violence, rape, torture, enslavement, and death.” Convicted rapists are given exceedingly light sentences. German women are encouraged to ‘cover up’ to avoid “cultural misunderstandings.” And in Sweden, “a Somali Muslim was found guilty of raping a dying woman to death (which is horrific enough), the judicial system refused to send him back to Somalia because they determined he would be just as much a risk to women in Somalia as he would be to women in Sweden. And so Swedish women were disregarded out of deference to Somali women.”[ii] “Professing to be wise, they became fools.” (Romans 1:22)
We are no smarter here in America. While Europe cooperates in its own destruction, our President his supporters lobby and maneuver to bring in tens-of-thousands to hundreds-of-thousands of new Muslim immigrants from the region. A survey of American Muslims conducted in the summer of 2015 by the Center for Security Policy points up the danger of such a plan. Fifty-one percent of these American Muslims believed that they should have the right to be governed by sharia law. Only 39% believed they should be “subject to American courts.” But wait! It gets worse. There is a tolerance and even embracing of violence that undergirds the culture. Nearly one quarter polled agreed with the statement: “It is legitimate to use violence to punish those who give offense to Islam by, for example, portraying the prophet Mohammed.”[iii]
And so in opening the door to the enemies of God’s People we’ve laid the groundwork for our own destruction. We in the West live in a post-Christian culture. The societal bulwarks are no longer set to defend the Judeo-Christian structure upon which this nation was founded. A society without a cultural center is one that can defend neither itself nor its founding values. Like ancient Israel we are a nation that was founded on the Word of God – but has abandoned that foundation. Despite warnings and shakings we have been loath to turn back. There is a parallel in the Book of Judges that speaks clearly to the situation we are facing today. “Then the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord, and served the Baals; and they forsook the Lord God of their fathers, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt; and they followed other gods from among the gods of the people who were all around them, and they bowed down to them; and they provoked the Lord to anger. They forsook the Lord and served Baal and the Ashtoreths. And the anger of the Lord was hot against Israel. So He delivered them into the hands of plunderers who despoiled them; and He sold them into the hands of their enemies all around, so that they could no longer stand before their enemies.” (Judges 2:11-14)
When we abandon God’s ways, His Laws; when we turn our back on His People Israel: We turn our back on God’s heart. We “sow the wind and reap the whirlwind.” (Hosea 8:7) (NIV) So as believers: What is our role to be? Rabbi Jonathan Cahn wrote about it in his Sapphires issue of December 2015. It is to be watchmen on the wall. To separate ourselves more fully from the sins of the culture. To “dwell more deeply in the presence of God.” To take our stand. To live holy. To maintain our post. To raise our voice and our trumpets. We are to be a light to our failing culture.[iv] As Jesus told His followers in Matthew 5:14: “You are the light of the world.”
[i] Michael E Miller, Nazi chants at Dutch soccer game expose an ugly blot on ‘the beautiful game’, Washington Post, April 10, 2015
[ii] Carol Brown, Islam, rape, and the fate of Western women, The American Thinker, November 29, 2015
[iii] Poll of U.S. Muslims Reveals Ominous Levels Of Support For Islamic Supremacists’ Doctrine of Shariah, Jihad,
Center for Security Policy, June 23, 2015
[iv] Jonathan Cahn, Word for the Month, Sapphires, Hope of the World Ministries, December 1, 2015