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to a friend
By Norman Manzon
This article is the fourth in our
series on anti-Semitism, and the tenth and final article in our much more inclusive series on Israel. For a foundational
understanding of what is herein presented, it is suggested that a study
or review of previous studies in the series be undertaken via these
Antisemitism, Part 1: The Divine Aspect,
Part 2: The Satanic and Human Aspects,
As has been shown, the true roots of anti-Semitism are found in the spiritual realm, not the natural. Specifically, they are found in Satan's desire to thwart the ascendancy of Messiah - firstly, because it his long-time desire to usurp the throne and authority of God (Isaiah 14:12-14; 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4), and secondarily, to prevent his final and permanent demise and confinement in the Lake of Fire (Isaiah 14:15; Revelation 19:20, 20:1-3,10).
If Satan were able to destroy the Jewish people before the cross, prophecies concerning the first coming could never have been fulfilled. What this means is that Christ would never have been born, die for sin, defeat Satan, or be resurrected and seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Having failed to destroy the Jews before the cross, Satan has been unceasingly attempting to prevent Israel's national salvation. If he could do that, second coming prophecies could never be fulfilled. What this means is that Christ could not return, cast him into the Abyss for a thousand years, and then into the Lake of Fire for eternity (Hosea 5:15; Matthew 23:39; Revelation 20:2-3,10).
This study will demonstrate the futility of Satan's
attempt to achieve his goals through anti-Semitic means whether applied
directly, as in his provocation of David to number Israel (1 Chronicles
21:1), or through the agency of people and nations. Inasmuch as Satan often
employs people and nations as his agents, the human goals of anti-Semitism
will also necessarily be thwarted; and inasmuch as human anti-Semitic
motivated by Satan, the human goals
of anti-Semitism are ultimately the same as his: They do not want God in
their lives, but desire to be god of their own destinies and avoid accountability
for their actions. Edward H. Flannery's assessment, presented previously, captures it in a nutshell:
The ultimate conjunction of satanic and human goals is seen in the rise of the anti-Christ, the worship of him by the masses, and their combined effort to destroy Israel once and for all. (Revelation 12:1-17; 13:3-8)
Plainly and simply, Scripture declares that Israel will never be destroyed.
"For just as the new heavens and the new earth which I
make will endure before Me," declares the LORD, "so your offspring and your
name will endure." (Isaiah 66:22)
For I, the LORD, do not change; therefore you, o sons of Jacob, are not consumed. (Malachi 3:6)
With these passages, God has made it known unequivocally that He will never ever allow Israel to cease from being a nation before [Him] forever.
For this purpose and for every other purpose and plan that He has for her, God will be ever vigilant: Behold, He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep (Psalm 121:4). The Hebrew for keeps is shamar, which means to guard, to protect. With a Guardian like God, and with such promises as these, we can be assured that Israel will never be destroyed.
To illustrate the guardianship of God over Israel, let us view the unique phenomenon of Jewish survival by considering these observations, all by non-Jews:
"By every measuring stick of history there should not be even one identifiable Jew alive today." "What is the secret of his immortality?" Berdyaev answered correctly: "Their destiny reflects the indestructibility of the divine decrees." Specifically, I might add, God's unequivocal and unbreakable promises to sustain them.
The multitude of ways that Satan has tried to prevent the salvation of Israel include:
Notwithstanding all of Satan's schemes, preventing the national salvation of Israel is likewise impossible, as God has covenanted with Israel that He will save her.
The fulfillment of this
new covenant will take place at the end of the Tribulation period:
In that day a fountain will be opened for the house of David and for the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for impurity. (Zechariah 13:1)
Thus the words of Paul will come to pass:
Also Isaiah 19:24-25; 59:20-21; 61:8-9; 66:21-22; Jeremiah 32:37-41; Ezekiel 16:60-62; 34:22-31; 37:26-28.
God will surely uphold His decrees on the matter of Israel's survival and salvation:
Numbers 23:19: God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent; Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?
Judges 2:1: I will never break My covenant with you.
1 Samuel 15:29: Also the Glory of Israel will not lie or change His mind; for He is not a man that He should change His mind.
Luke 21:33: Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.
Romans 11:29:The gifts and the calling of God [on Israel] are irrevocable.
2 Corinthians 1:20: For as many as are the promises of God, in Him they are yes; therefore also through Him is our Amen to the glory of God through us.
Hebrews 6:18: It is impossible for God to lie.
James 1:17: Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.
We have seen that Satan's pursuit of his anti-Semitic goals is futile. In this section, it will be shown that people who are anti-Semitic will experience futility as well, not only as regards the goals of their anti-Semitism, but in very personal ways.
God has issued decrees concerning those who practice anti-Semitism, but they fall within a more inclusive principle, that of sowing and reaping:
David sowed adultery and premeditated murder, and reaped a harvest of each in his own household (2 Samuel 11-20, especially 12:9-12; 13:28-29; 16:22). Surely, those who sow anti-Semitic acts, be they Jew or Gentile, saved or unsaved, can expect similar harvests in their own lives.
Four key passages:
The blessing/cursing aspect of the covenant that God made with Abraham applied to Abraham personally (Genesis 15:1: Do not fear, Abram, I am a shield to you); but not only to him, but to all in his chosen line:
a. It is implied in God's stated intention to bless all the families of the earth, which He did through the descendants of Abraham in the writing of Scripture, the bringing forth of Messiah, and the establishment of the church; and which He will continue to do during the Great Tribulation in the completion of the evangelization of the world by 144,000 Israelites (Revelation 7:1-10), and through the Millennial Kingdom as saved Israel ministers to the nations of the world (Zechariah 8:23).
b. God stated it forthrightly to
Abraham in Genesis 17:7: I will establish My
covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you throughout
their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to
your descendants after you.
f. It is seen in Romans 11:27, where
Paul reiterated God’s promise concerning Israel for a time yet future:
This is My covenant with them, when I take away
their sins (Isaiah 59:19-21).
In His foreknowledge, God knew that the satanic attacks on Abraham and his covenant nation would be numerous and great. It is in this context that He declared the blessing/cursing provision. Without a doubt, the blessing/cursing provision is a regularly used tool that God employs to insure the fulfillment of His divine purposes through Israel. This is exemplified in God's destruction of the armies that will gather to destroy Israel at the end of the Great Tribulation (Zechariah 12:1-9; 14:1-2; Revelation 12:15-17).
According to Strong, the Hebrew for curses in the one who curses you can mean to "treat lightly" or "bring into contempt," and the word for curse in I will curse is based on a root that means "to execrate, to bitterly curse."5 The English Standard Version renders the clause, him who dishonors you I will curse. Holman's Christian Standard Bible: I will curse those who treat you with contempt; and Young's Literal Translation: him who is disesteeming thee I curse. The passage may very well indicate that God will "bitterly curse" those who even dishonor or disesteem the covenant nation; and if that is the case, then what will the magnitude of the curse be on those who treat the nation with severity!
2. Zechariah 2:8: For thus says the LORD of hosts, "After glory He has sent me against the nations which plunder you, for he who touches you, touches the apple [pupil] of His eye."
It is rather clear that this passage will have its
fulfillment in connection with the Lord's second coming:
3. Matthew 25:40,45: 40. Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me. . . . 45. 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 brothers of Mine are generally identified as the poor and needy, or as Tribulation believers; but there is powerful evidence that it refers to the Jews of the Tribulation, who will be singled out by Satan for annihilation during this time of Jacob's trouble (Jeremiah 30:7).
Strong defines ethnos, the Greek
word for nations, as "a race (as of the same habit),
that is, a tribe; specifically a foreign (non-Jewish)
one (usually by implication pagan): - Gentile, heathen, nation,
people." Jesus is telling His Jewish listeners that their descendants will be subject
to extreme tribulation at the
hand of all [Gentiles]. This is
consistent with God's pronunciation of end-time judgment on Israel in
Zechariah 14:2: For I will gather all the nations
against Jerusalem to battle; with Satan's ferocious persecution
of Israel during the Tribulation in Revelation 12:1-17; and with God's
pronunciation of subsequent judgment on all the
nations . . . on behalf of My people and My inheritance,
Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations; and they have
divided up My land (Joel 3:2).
Those who reside in
Judea are to flee
to the mountains. He could not mean that all Tribulation believers are to flee,
for they will not be residing just in Judea, but throughout the world! He
said that those who are in Judea, the
land of the Jews, must flee.
To conclude, these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, refers to Jesus' brothers, the Jews. Lest there be a question about His referring to multitudes of unsaved Jews as His brothers, let's remember what Paul called the unsaved among his nation: my kinsmen according to the flesh, who are Israelites (Romans 9:3-4).
To get back to the point, Matthew 25:40 and 45 again state the principle brought out in Zechariah 2:8, that the manner in which people treat Israel is tantamount to the manner in which they treat God and His Son. It is the Lord Himself who speaks in both passages.
4. Romans 12:19: Vengeance is Mine; I will repay, says the Lord.
Though Paul used the verse as an exhortation to believers to not take revenge for offenses (as can be seen by verse 17: Never pay back evil for evil to anyone), it has general application. It is a restatement of Deuteronomy 32:35, Vengeance is Mine, and retribution, in which God declares His impending judgment upon Israel because of her evil ways. It also harks back to Psalm 94:1, O LORD, God of vengeance, God of vengeance, shine forth!, where the psalmist calls upon God to take revenge upon those who crush Thy people [Israel] (verse 5).
Vengeance is Mine; I will repay, says the Lord. God will take revenge on those who crush His people Israel.
God's decrees concerning those who stir up and commit anti-Semitic acts apply to Satan, his demon host, nations and individuals. Historian Paul Johnson notes, "What is in any case clear is that anti-Semitism, besides being self-inflicted, is also self-destructive, and of societies and governments as much as of individuals."6 History bears out what God has decreed!
Some observations, all of which may be seen in examples
that will follow:
2. God may use Israel's enemies to judge her, yet He holds them accountable because of their free will decisions to harm her.
3. Dr. Fruchtenbaum observes, "When God operates on the cursing aspect of the Abrahamic Covenant, he works on the sub-principle of curse for curse in kind."7 In other words, God applies such curses in an "eye for eye" manner: Therefore all who devour you will be devoured; And all your adversaries, every one of them, will go into captivity; And those who plunder you will be for plunder, And all who prey upon you I will give for prey (Jeremiah 30:16).
In Revelation 13:10, God applies the same principle to those who persecute the saints in the Tribulation.
4. God's decrees apply to the saved and the unsaved.
5. God will apply His decrees in this life and in the afterlife.
6. God may delay the application of His decrees in this life for a long time, but they will be applied.
Immediately after Satan's most successful attempt at annihilating the Jews (Zechariah 13:8; 14:1-2; Revelation 12:15-17), God commands an angel to cast him into the Abyss for a thousand years.
Will his demons be bound with him? Perhaps some, but certainly not all. We can derive this from two groups of passages that reveal there will be demons in two locations on earth during the Millenniums. Isaiah 13:20-22; Jeremiah 50:39-40, 51:41-43; Revelation 18:1-2 and 19:3, when studied together, show that during the Millennium, Babylon (modern southern Iraq), will be a dwelling place of demons and a prison of every unclean spirit (Revelation 18:2); and Isaiah 34:8-15, which indicates that during the Millennium, Edom (modern southern Jordan) will likewise be inhabited by demons. According to Dr. Fruchtenbaum, hairy goat in verse 14, actually refers to a demon in goat form; and according to Keil and Delitszch, night monster [screech owl, KJV], also in verse 14, refers to a female demon.
As concerns eternal punishment, because of their pre-Adamic rebellion against God, the eternal punishment of Satan and his demons was decreed millennia before the birth of Abraham (Isaiah 14:12-14; Revelation 12:4). Nevertheless, their rebellion has never ceased, and the focus of their rebellion since the birth of Abraham has been the destruction of Israel and the prevention of their salvation. Their eternal destiny will be the Lake of Fire:
Revelation 20:10: And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
Matthew 25:41: Then He will also say to those on His left, Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels.
The law of sowing and reaping may work passively, as by the affliction of the conscience leading to migraines, insanity or other ailments, or it may work by active chastisements and judgments of God. This includes sins against Israel. However, it must be noted that whatever passive reaping may be experienced by anti-Semites, the cursing provision of the Abrahamic covenant guarantees active cursing by God above and beyond passive reaping: And the one who curses you I will curse.
Let us examine how these laws apply to those who engage in anti-Semitic activities.
1. Application to the Saved
b. At the Judgment Seat of Christ
Note that even believers who engage in horrible anti-Semitic acts will not lose their salvation. They will suffer loss, yet [they] will be saved.8
2. The Unsaved
In Genesis 20:1-3, Abimelech, king of Gerar, exercised his royal prerogative in exactly the same way, and took Sarah into his harem. But God came to Abimelech in a dream of the night, and said to him, "Behold, you are a dead man because of the woman whom you have taken, for she is married (verse 3)." As with Pharaoh, if Abimelech were able to follow through on his desire, Sarai's womb would have been closed in regard to Isaac. Therefore, the Lord followed through with a plainly observable "curse for curse in kind." Verse 18: the LORD had closed fast all the wombs of the household of Abimelech because of Sarah, Abraham's wife.
Another example is Haman, who schemed to have Mordecai hung, yet ended up being hung on the same gallows he erected for Mordecai. (Esther 6:4; 9:25)
b. At the Great White Throne Judgment
Some sins are greater than others (John 19:11); and the greater the sin, the more severe the punishment (Matthew 11:20-24; Luke 12:47-48). Surely, God will factor in sins against His people when degrees of judgment are pronounced for the eternally condemned.
2. No one's salvation or condemnation is ever decided on the basis of their deeds (Ephesians 2:8-9). The deeds of the goat individuals are indicative of their unsaved state, as faith is demonstrated by godly works, per James 2:14-26. Therefore, the fate of the goat nations is to be viewed as the fate of unsaved individuals, addressed above.
3. Entire nations, though they may contain saved as well as unsaved individuals, do suffer earthly judgments for wickedness. There were many saved Jews in Israel during the judgment of 70 A.D., yet they had to endure the judgment along with the unsaved Israelites.
Here are examples of nations who have suffered for their oppressive actions against Israel:
The sentence was carried out later in the chapter. What Saul nearly completed was completed by Samuel.
Obadiah 1:18: Then the house of Jacob will be a fire and the house of Joseph a flame; but the house of Esau will be as stubble. And they will set them on fire and consume them, so that there will be no survivor of the house of Esau.
There will be no survivor of the house of Esau. God also declared that during the Millennial or Messianic Kingdom, while virtually the rest of the planet will be restored to pristine beauty, Edom will remain a desolation (Isaiah 34:8-15, Jeremiah 49:17-18, Ezekiel 35:10-15, Joel 3:19).
The Nations of Anti-Christ's Army
Historian Paul Johnson, again: "Anti-Semitism is self-inflicted, which means that, by an act of will and reason, the infection can be repelled. But this is not easy to do, especially in societies where anti-Semitism has become common or the norm."9
If one who is engaged in anti-Semitic attitudes, words or actions is a believer, the biblical cure is confession and repentance (1 John 1:9; Revelation 2:5). If such a one is not a believer, repentance from anti-Semitism would best begin with belief in the Gospel, for being anti-Semitic is being anti-God, and Jesus said, He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me scatters (Matthew 12:30; Luke 11:23). True repentance from anti-Semitism will lead to pro-Semitism in attitude, word and action.
Pro-Semitism is not blinding oneself to the faults of individual Jews or Israel. Minimally, it is supporting fair treatment of Jews and Israel. The very least one can do is to speak up when one hears an anti-Semitic comment. Self-preserving silence and inaction in the face of anti-Semitism is odious to the Lord: Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin (James 4:17). Not every individual among the condemned goat nations will necessarily be an active persecutor of Jews; they will simply not get involved in the dangerous business of offering them succor.
For those who believe the Bible, pro-Semitism is an inclination to bless the Jews because God has chosen them to bless the world. For this reason, pro-Semitism ought to be a hallmark of every believer and local church or congregation. Believers' pro-Semitism must include bringing the Gospel to the Jews per Matthew 28:18-20, and doing so as a priority over other peoples per Romans 1:16. It should also include extending ministries of mercy to them as a priority. This is seen in Matthew 25:34-40, where the Lord is shown blessing those who so minister to Israel, and in Romans 15:27: For if the Gentiles have shared in their [the Jews'] spiritual things, they are indebted to minister to them also in material things. Another Gentile obligation is implied in Romans 11:11: I say then, [the Jews] did not stumble so as to fall, did they? May it never be! But by their transgression salvation has come to the Gentiles, to make them jealous. If Jews see the joy of salvation in the lives of Gentile believers, then many will desire to enter into the joy of their Jewish Messiah - and what better way to display this joy to Jews than in joyous ministry to them!
To be most effective in pro-Semitic activities, one ought to pray for Israel regularly according to Psalm 122:6, 137:5-6 and Isaiah 62:1,6-7, and become familiar with at least the basics of Jewish history and prophecy and what Scripture says about their unique call in God. One way to begin is by studying the ten studies in the Israel series via links on our Home Page or Site Map.
It is obvious from the weight that Scripture gives to these matters that pastors and teachers should teach them in their churches and take the lead in pro-Semitic activities. Will you carry the torch?
There's a flip side to the cursing aspect of the Abrahamic Covenant: and I will bless those who bless you (Genesis 12:3a).
God promises to bless those who bless Israel. Here are some examples.
Just as Satan and his demons are anti-Semitic because they are anti-God, the holy angels are pro-Semitic because they are pro-God. An example of this is in 2 Kings 6:8-17, where a host of holy angels gather to protect Israel against the Aramean army.
The holy angels will be rewarded with an eternity in the presence of God in Heaven:
In Genesis 39:1-5, Potiphar, an Egyptian, initially treated Joseph well, and the LORD blessed the Egyptian's house on account of Joseph; thus the LORD'S blessing was upon all that he owned, in the house and in the field (verse 5).
Another example is Ruth, the Moabitess, whose dedication to Naomi was
rewarded by her marriage to Naomi's relative, Boaz:
So Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife, and he
went in to her. And the LORD enabled her to conceive, and she gave birth to
a son (Ruth 4:13. See also Ruth 2:10-12). That, in turn, enabled
her to be a maternal progenitor of Jesus, a blessing she will enjoy forever
Two examples from the New Testament are the centurion with the sick slave (Luke 7:2-10, esp. v. 5) and Cornelius (Acts 10:1-48, esp. v. 2).
In addition to earthly blessings, believers who bless Israel will also receive rewards at the Judgment Seat of Christ in Heaven. If any man's work which he has built on [the foundation of Jesus Christ] remains, he will receive a reward (1 Corinthians 3:14).
3. Entire nations, though they may contain unsaved as well as saved individuals, are blessed because of kindnesses to Israel.
Pharaoh believed Joseph's interpretation of his dreams, elevated him to the highest position in Egypt save himself, and entrusted to him the project of storing up grain for the years of famine that Joseph predicted. As a result, Egypt was blessed: and the seven years of famine began to come, just as Joseph had said, then there was famine in all the lands, but in all the land of Egypt there was bread (Genesis 41:54). As for Pharaoh himself, Joseph bought all the land of Egypt for Pharaoh, for every Egyptian sold his field, because the famine was severe upon them. Thus the land became Pharaoh's (Genesis 47:20).
Few things make this author cringe more than to hear a Jewish name associated with a misdeed that causes people injury. If you are contemplating, or are engaged in, any such activity, please consider your responsibility to your people. The last thing we need is another excuse for an anti-Semitic outburst. If you do not believe in Messiah, may I respectfully appeal to you to reconsider. Your belief in Jesus will not only open up the blessings of God to you personally, but will plant seeds of salvation in Israel that will ultimately come to fruition in her national salvation, the return of Messiah, the end of anti-Semitism, and the dawning of the Olam Haba, the Messianic Age. These truths and promises may be looked into through a reading of HaB'rit HaChadashah (The New Testament) and consideration of studies on Salvation and Israel that may be accessed via links on our Home Page or Site Map.
Antisemitism, Part 1: The Divine Aspect
Antisemitism, Part 2: The Satanic and Human Aspects
Antisemitism, Part 3: Refutations of Accusation Against the Jews and Israel
Antisemitism, Part 4: The Futility of Antisemitism
For relevant studies, please
see the Home Page or Site Map
Links to all ten Concerning Israel studies and other relevant
studies may be found on our Home Page or Site Map.
1. Edward H.
Flannery. Judaism-now Blogspot,
1. Edward H. Flannery. The Anguish of the Jews: Twenty-Three Centuries of Antisemitism, first published 1965, latest edition: (Mahwah, Paulist Press, 2004).
By Dr. Arnold G.
By Mottel Baleston*
*Publications by Dr. Fruchtenbaum and Mottel Baleston are available at Ariel Ministries in various formats.