International Holocaust Day
A reminder of Bible Prophecy fulfilled.
January 27, 2012 - Audio, 16.50 MIN
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As the world prepares for International Holocaust Day, we see antisemitism on the rise and another reminder of how Bible prophecy has been fulfilled - with evidence for mass graves being discovered near a Nazi death camp in Poland. Hello, this is Matt Davies with you for another 'Bible In The News'.
The Jews - God's WitnessesThe Jewish nation is unique amongst all the ethnic groups that exist on our planet today. No other nation has been subjected to as many racial extermination attempts as the Jewish nation. No other nation has been scattered worldwide, had to flee from country to country, suffered persecution and abuse and yet has retained a distinctive national identity.
The Bible has much to say about the Jewish race. In Isaiah for example we have recorded God's words to them:
Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he... Isaiah 43:10
The burning question is, how can Israel be a witness to the existence of God? Again, to find out the answer to this question we have to turn to our Bible. One passage which is of interest in this regard is Deuteronomy chapter 28. In that chapter we have recorded Moses' last words spoken to Israel before they were to enter the promised land. Moses, an inspired prophet of God, warns Israel that they had to follow God's law as a nation or else terrible punishments would be sent upon them by God:
...ye shall be plucked from off the land whither thou goest to possess it. And the LORD shall scatter thee among all people, from the one end of the earth even unto the other... And among these nations shalt thou find no ease, neither shall the sole of thy foot have rest: but the LORD shall give thee there a trembling heart, and failing of eyes, and sorrow of mind:" Deuteronomy 28:63-65
Later in the nation's history the Lord Jesus Christ quotes this prophecy. He was living in the Roman period and warned his followers in Luke 21:20-24:
"When ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh… And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled” Luke 21:20-24
These prophecies of course were fulfilled when, in AD70, the city of Jerusalem fell. The great Jewish temple was destroyed and the Jews were scattered throughout the known world. They migrated from place to place - always as strangers, never able to completely settle down. Even throughout the middle ages evidence exists of Jewish persecution. It all came to a head when the infamous Austrian, Adolf Hitler came to power as leader of the Nazi party in Germany in the 1940's.
The Treblinka Death CampIn November 1941 the Nazis established a forced labour camp in Treblinka, 50 miles northeast of Warsaw in Poland. This camp became known as Treblinka I. The Nazis imprisoned hundreds of thousands of Jews from Eastern Europe here and forced them to work in a nearby gravel pit. A year later another camp was built only a mile away, not a labour camp but a killing centre. It became known as Treblinka II. The camp had four sides, was surrounded by barbed wire and trees to block the view of what occurred inside. Four great watchtowers were built to oversee and protect the mass-murder which was to take place within. Both the camps were alongside a main railway line and were linked by rail so that victims could be transferred to the death camp. It is thought that over 800,000 Jews lost their lives in the gas chambers within the camp.
In July 1944, with Soviet troops approaching, the camp authorities killed all remaining prisoners and dismantled the camp, hiding much of the evidence of what went on there. They did such a good job that Holocaust deniers have often claimed the camp was no more than a transit camp - despite many Jewish eyewitness accounts.
However this week on the BBC website, British forensic archeologist Caroline Sturdy Colls has been reporting on her new findings of her recent studies of the site. Although no digging has been done on the site because she wished to respect Jewish tradition for not exhuming the dead, she has found evidence of many mass grave pits using penetrating radar and electrical imaging - technologies which have only very recently been available.
The regathering of the Jews foretold in the BibleThis news story is another reminder of Bible prophecy concerning Israel and the Jews. How right the words of Deuteronomy have been - "And among these nations shalt thou find no ease, neither shall the sole of thy foot have rest: but the LORD shall give thee there a trembling heart, and failing of eyes, and sorrow of mind". In Jeremiah though we read this:
"Thus saith the LORD, which giveth the sun... moon... and stars... If those ordinances depart from before me, saith the LORD, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me for ever." Jeremiah 31:35-36
This verse tells us clearly that God has a special purpose with the nation of Israel - His witnesses. Although, as we have read, the Bible prophesies of their scattering amongst the nations because of their rebellion against God, it also talks about their regathering back into the land which God had promised them. The prophecy from Luke, quoted earlier makes this clear "and they shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled".
Again in Jeremiah 31:
Hear the word of the LORD, O ye nations, and declare it in the isles afar off, and say, He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him, as a shepherd doth his flock. Jeremiah 31:10
Many more verses could be called upon to prove this point. When we piece all of this together we realise how much God is in control of human afairs. God had said that if the Jewish nation failed to keep His national law they would be scattered. It occured. God had said that he would regather them. This occurred but only after the terrible judgments written had been poured out in the events of World War 2. The situation for the Jews became so bad that world leaders were compelled to help establish a homeland for the Jewish people and in 1948 the nation of Israel was born.
This event had been looked for by Bible students who had studied some of the prophecies we have already quoted. For example Christadelphian author John Thomas wrote this in 1848:
“There is, then, a partial and primary restoration of Jews before the manifestation (return of Christ), which is to serve as the nucleus, or basis, of future operations in the restoration of the rest of the tribes after he has appeared in the kingdom. The pre-adventual colonization of Palestine will be on purely political principles; and the Jewish colonists will return in unbelief of the Messiahship of Jesus, and of the truth as it is in him. They will emigrate thither as agriculturists and traders, in the hope of ultimately establishing their commonwealth...”
We see then how that the Jewish nation is indeed a witness to the fact that the author of the Bible, God Himself, exists and is at work - that indeed we may know the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men.
His work with Israel though has not yet finished. We are told in the Bible that they were to be regathered but that more trouble lies ahead which will eventually see the manifestation of the Lord Jesus Christ who will return from heaven to re-establish the Kingdom of Israel as it existed in days of old. We read of that time in many prophecies and we will quote from one in Zechariah:
For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city.... Zechariah 14:2
International Holocaust Memorial Day & signs of the times.On Friday 27th of January, the world is preparing for the International Holocaust Memorial Day, which marks the liberation of the largest Nazi death camp, Auschwitz. On the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust's website it says "Holocaust Memorial Day provides an opportunity for everyone to learn lessons from the Holocaust, Nazi persecution and subsequent genocides and apply them to the present day to create a safer, better future.". This is a well meaning statement however as we have seen, the Bible tells us that man will not learn from the horrors of the past. In Ezekiel 38:12 we read that the nations who will come against the regathered Jews have an evil thought to: "to turn their hand upon the desolate places that are now inhabited, and upon the people that are gathered out of the nations".
There were many signs in the news this week that things are moving in that direction. Reuters had an article entitled "Netanyahu cites Holocaust lesson in dealing with Iran" where the Prime Minister of Israel There were many signs in the news this week that things are moving in that direction. Reuters had an article (source: referred to lessons from the Holocaust and related them to a nuclear armed Iran. He is reported to have said "We must not bury our heads in the sand. The Iranian regime calls openly for the destruction of Israel, and plans the destruction of Israel and acts for the destruction of Israel." Iran appears in Ezekiel 38 under the title of "Persia".
On Wednesday The Jerusalem Post reported on the words of the President of the European Jewish Congress, Dr. Moshe Kantor about the rise of anti-semitism in Sweden. On Wednesday the Jerusalem Post reported (source In some Swedish cities the rise in Jewish hate crimes has increased so much that many Jews have had to flee cities like Malmo. Kantor is reported to have said that it was "unthinkable that in the 21st century Jews need to move from the city of Malmo to Stockholm and elsewhere.”
A report entitled "Court Keeps Hitler's Work From German Newstands", published by The New York Times on Thursday, also showed how antisemitism is on the rise in Europe. The article tells of how The German authorities have had to step in to stop excerpts from Adulf Hitlers anti-Jewish book "Mein Kampf" from being published after a publisher had proposed to provide German newsstands with 100,000 copies of important passages from the work. The book has been regarded as the source of much of Nazi ideology. The report also goes on to state: "This week, the government released the results of a two-year-long study showing g that one in five Germans still harboured anti-Semitic beliefs."
The final news story we wish to mention is the report from the BBC on a row which has erupted over a Holocaust memorial near the Russian town of Rostov-on-Don, which is south of Moscow. The memorial used to have a plaque which specifically mentioned the Jews who had died in that place. It read “On the 11-12 of August 1942, Nazis killed more than 27,000 Jews here.” A decision has been made which would replace the plaque with, instead of "Jews", the words "peaceful citizens of Rostov-on-Don and Soviet prisoners of war.”
The return of Christ is near to re-establish God's KingdomSo we can see clear signs that the world has not learnt the lesson from the Holocaust and that they are preparing, unwittingly, for the events which have been outlined in the Bible long ago. God will bring the nations against Israel once again. It is at that time says the prophet Zechariah that Jesus will return:
And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him... Zechariah 12:9-10
This personage who the Jews have pierced is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ, of whom at his birth, the angel said in Luke 1:32-33 that "the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end."
So we look and watch the signs of the times for the coming of the Messiah to re-establish the kingdom of Israel. To sit on the throne of David his father, to rule in righteousness over the whole world. The message of the Bible is one of hope and to all who humble themselves and listen to God's word we can be part of that glorious time of God's Kingdom in a wonderful age which will come upon the earth. The return of Christ is a sure thing - for the one who has promised it has already shown that His word has been fulfilled and therefore this confirms our certainty that He will fulfil the other prophecies revealed in His word.
Join us again next week for another 'Bible In The News' God Willing.
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