Last week marked the third anniversary of the Tree of Life Synagogue shooting. In that time I was personally seen antisemitism rise sharply. Some recent conversations and a recent commenter here inspired me to re-post a piece I wrote some time ago. There are fewer topics that I have such zeal for than sharing the Gospel with Jewish people, by means of street evangelism and establishing personal friendships with non-believing Jewish people whenever/wherever I can, be it in my living room, the streets of Pittsburgh’s Jewish neighborhoods, or even Israel itself. God revealed to us in the Bible about dealings with His Chosen people. It both comes with blessings and curses. Take heed!
The worldwide rise of antisemitism
Think about this, we are just a few generations removed from the holocaust perpetrated by Nazi Germany. And yet, it seems there is a growing spirit of delusion concerning the truth of it. Thirty years ago, if someone were a holocaust denier, they would have been carted off by guys in white suits.
Fast forward to 2021, and the factories of academia are currently churning out a finished product of indoctrinated anti-Semites. Academia is helping spawn movements such as B.D.S. (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions), calling for the economic destruction of the Jewish State. They indoctrinate young minds with lies about how evil the Jews are, and how evil Israel is. Does it surprise you that this results in violence against Jews? Last year, there was a record amount of Jewish people attacked in New York city. More recently in Los Angeles, “mostly peaceful violent protesters” looted and vandalized synagogues and other Jewish centers with antisemitic slogans. Now it is nearly to the point that, if you defend the fact that there was a holocaust, they’ll want to call the guys in white suits on you.
In 1945, the world was crying “Never Again! Never Again!” Today, the word is starting to cry “Again! Again!” Brethren, I clearly see this foul spirit arising. Even in the United States, antisemitism is rampantly increasing. The lion’s share of my ministerial commitment is serving a Messianic (Jewish Believers in Jesus) congregation located in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh, PA. Does that neighborhood sound familiar? Yes, correct, the Tree of Life Synagogue massacre. It was the largest mass murder of Jewish people in the history of the United States. Brethren, I fear this will not be the last mass attack upon Jews in the United States.
I have dear Jewish friends, born-again believers, leaving the United States for Israel. As one that has been to Israel and off the tourist trap, and among Israeli people, I can attest to you. It is not an easy life there. Nevertheless, they passionately and correctly believe persecution is coming for them (Jews); and despite the hardships, they feel called to move to Israel. I get a sense that God is starting to call the American Jews back to their land. Just as the prophet Isaiah wrote:
“Fear not, for I am with you; I will bring your descendants from the east, And gather you from the west; I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’ And to the south, ‘Do not keep them back!’ Bring My sons from afar, And My daughters from the ends of the earth” (Isaiah 43:5-6).
Brethren, in the span of many of our lives, this prophecy has been and is being fulfilled, the pinnacle of which was the birth of the modern nation of Israel in 1948:
“Before she travailed, she brought forth; Before her pain came, she gave birth to a boy. Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things? Can a land be born in one day? Can a nation be brought forth all at once? As soon as Zion travailed, she also brought forth her sons. Shall I bring to the point of birth and not give delivery?’ says the LORD. ‘Or shall I who gives delivery shut the womb?’ says your God” (Isaiah 66:7-9).
Starting in 70 A.D with the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple, and later culminating with the Bar Kokhba revolt circa 135 A.D., the Jewish people were dispersed in every direction out of their land. The Emperor Hadrian thus gave a final insult to the people and renamed the land after the mortal enemies of Israel, the Philistines. Hence the name Syria Palaestina, known today as Palestine. Do you not see this spirit of Haman (Esther 3) still at large in the world?
From the first Babylonian diaspora circa 587 B.C. to the holocaust during the Second World War. The call always starts off as “The Jews cannot live among us. Let us be rid of them.” And NOW that they have their own self-governed Jewish homeland again, much of the world says, “They cannot live at all; let us utterly destroy them.” All this despite the land being given to them by Almighty God Himself. “I will give to you and to your descendants after you, the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God” (Genesis 17:7-8).
Why are the Jews hated?
Whatever God Holds dear, Satan wishes to shake, sift, and destroy. Before Jesus came in the flesh, Satan, knowing God’s word, sought to destroy the people who would deliver the world this Messiah. The One that would bless all the nations of the earth with Salvation, Mercy and Grace. Just as the LORD promised Abraham:
“Indeed, I will greatly bless you, and I will greatly multiply your seed as the stars of the heavens and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your seed shall possess the gate of their enemies. In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice” (Genesis 22:17-18).
I would reckon, if I had advanced knowledge of a people group that would bring forth a Son of Man that would destroy me, I suppose I would want to destroy them. Thus, Satan tried to and still endeavors to accomplish even to this day. Some might say. “Well, Jesus already came. Why would the devil want to destroy the Jews now? After All, they rejected Him.” Right then, Let’s go there.
Firstly, Jesus IS the King of the Jews. He IS the King of Israel, the Son of David that shall reign on David’s throne forever…. “He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end” (Luke 1:32-33).
Secondly, Jesus is the Jewish Messiah. His second advent is to save His People, Israel. The final fury of Satan will be the attempted annihilation of the Jewish people. A time called “Jacobs Trouble” (The Great Tribulation). I suppose if you kill all the Jews off, there is no need for Jesus to return, at least as the devil might figure. However, even Satan knows his fate is sealed, and he knows time is running out. “Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time” (Revelation 12:12b).
Careful study of scripture will make it plain as the nose on your face that the adversary wishes to destroy the Jewish people from existence. The Holocaust was not unique in that the Jews were to be exterminated. From Pharaoh tossing the Israelite’s to the crocodiles:
“Then Pharaoh commanded all his people, ‘Every son that is born to the Hebrews you shall cast into the Nile’” (Exodus 1:22a) to Haman having the Pur (random lot) cast: “Letters were sent by couriers to all the king’s provinces with instruction to destroy, to kill, and to annihilate all Jews, young and old, women and children, in one day, the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month of Adar, and to plunder their goods. A copy of the document was to be issued as a decree in every province by proclamation to all the peoples to be ready for that day” (Esther 3:13-14). Not to mention Inquisitions, countless pogroms, and blood libels. I challenge you to read about these histories.
This same spirit that directed Hitler and Haman has always been among us. I suggest to you this evil enemy is waking up and will soon be beating that old canard, “The Jews Must die.” Even now I hear the usual fools pontificating that COVID 19 is a Jewish Conspiracy. Regrettably, there are multitudes of people that believe such lies.
That same spirit also presides in and over the U.N. Look at 2018 for example. The United Nations issued 27 condemnations, and 21 of them were against Israel. Only one against nations such as North Korea, Iran, and Syria. A big FAT ZERO against Venezuela, China, and Somalia. Right, let’s have a reality check here. In what alternate reality is this even remotely possible? I am not saying Israel is above any criticism. Quite the opposite, as any nation state governed by men, it will make its share of mistakes and blunders; and where truth dictates, criticism is warranted. However, the U.N. is a parrot organization of lies. The U.N. is the number one violator of the T.C. (Ten Commandments) resolution Number 8 which states…”Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour” (Exodus 20:16).
That Spirit is also gaining steam with the Left in American politics such as the squad and others that actually wanted to de-fund foreign aide to Israel to bolster the Iron Dome system, a purely defensive anti rocket/missile system. One must ask why?!?! Fortunately that was all halted but, the mere fact it was actually proposed and gained traction in the house, is an offense against God Himself.
“At least Christians are friends to the Jews”
Sadly, and regrettably, no. Not all Christians (so called) are. Have you ever heard of “Replacement Theology (supersessionism)“? That is that, somehow, the church replaced Israel for all the promises and blessings of the Old Testament. ~BUT~ Somehow, they do not get any of the curses of the Old Testament. Or course, they will tell you, “Those curses are reserved for the Jews.” Brethren, I am here to tell you, point blank, replacement theology is not only unscriptural; it is also a deep root of antisemitism. The rebuttal, by scripture of replacement theology, is a topic for a dedicated future article. However, in the confines of this article, it was necessary to give mention to it as a source of antisemitism.
How many of you heard this one? “Well, ok, but the Jews did kill Christ, it says it in the Bible, somewhere….” These people are speaking in ignorance and have a need of serious Bible study and correction. As infuriating as that statement is, I find it an opportunity to present that person with the Gospel message. The Simple Gospel message that says you and I put Christ on that tree at Calvary. It was for our sins He died. No one killed Christ. He laid His life down willingly:
“No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father” (John 10:18)
Statements like that need to be checked immediately. Just think of the bad testimony you give the Jewish people, saying such things. We are commanded to share the gospel with all people, and especially to the Jew first. Just as Paul wrote: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek” (Romans 1:16).
Then there are Christians who genuinely love the Jewish people, support Israel, and have a heart for the gospel. ~BUT~ they have come under the influence of false teachers, advocating Dual Covenant Theology; that is, Christian (Gentiles) are saved by the New Covenant, and Jews are saved by following the law of Moses which remains in effect.
Uh… Jesus *said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me” (John 14:6). Admittedly, my Greek is a little rusty. Let us look at this passage. “No one” in the Greek is (οὐδείς) oudeis. I’m looking at my Stephanus 1550; so, yes, that’s the word used there. It is an adjective-nominal-masculine-singular, literally meaning NO ONE, Not a One, or None. Therefore, if Jesus said, “No One Comes to the Father but through me,” how could there be another way to salvation? Oh, by the way, Jesus was speaking to a Jewish audience here in John 14:6.
Brethren, I believe that Dual Covenant Theology is brutally antisemitic and satanic at its rotten core. “Oh, they’re Jews. They don’t need the Gospel because they have the law of Moses to save them.” Do not fall for such lies. Bring the Gospel to the Jew!!!
The King is Coming!
Brethren, let each of us love what God loves. “The one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked” (1 John 2:6).
Jesus is the King of the Jews. If we claim to Love Jesus, how can we not love His people? How can we withhold the gospel from them? Not just sharing the words, but living them as an example. We are to provoke them to jealousy: “If somehow I might move to jealousy my fellow countrymen and save some of them. For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?” (Romans 11:14-15).
God partially hardened His people so that their rejection became our salvation. “For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery—so that you will not be wise in your own estimation—that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in” (Romans 11:25).
Brethren, I believe we are nearing the days of the fullness of the Gentiles. The King will soon return for His people. The Jews are “The least of these” that Matthew refers to. “Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life” (Matthew 25:45-46).
We as believers must stand to oppose antisemitism every place its head pops up. I know it is an endless match of “whack a mole,” but do not tire in doing good. Do not fear the masses and the popular world view of antisemitism. Be brave like a Corrie Ten Boom or give your last measure as an Oskar Schindler. When and if it becomes a popular fad to kill Jews again, stand up for them! If necessary, give your life up to oppose another holocaust. God will bless you for it. “I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (Genesis 12:3).
Let us as believers have the spirit of Ruth: “But Ruth said, ‘Do not urge me to leave you or turn back from following you; for where you go, I will go, and where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God’” (Ruth 1:16).
Soon the world will lose the last of the holocaust survivors. Let us never forget them, nor what happened to them for the crime of “being loved by God.”