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Anti-Semitism in Europe
Does Bible prophecy predict another holocaust?
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March 1, 2020 - Audio, 17.00 MIN
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As we come to consider the Bible in the News this week, we observe a world further gripped in fear of the Cornavirus and world financial markets that have been thrown into uncertainty as a result. We are also watching heightening tensions between Turkey and Russia in northern Syria, where Russia has the upper hand, wondering where that will end up, and of course the ongoing developments in Israeli and US politics leading up to elections in those countries. The King of the Universe is continuing to work out His purpose and so we wait to see what may develop from these things that is of consequence to the end time events that God has told us about in His prophetic word.

In other news this week, the results of a poll of 16,000 respondents from 16 European countries were presented on Monday at an anti-Semitism conference in Paris organized by the European Jewish Association. The concerning results are part of an ongoing trend that is in line with what we would expect given where we are in the prophetic timeline. The Times of Israel news site reported on the results of the poll on February 26th under the headline, 1 in 5 Europeans say secret Jewish cabal runs the world, survey finds:

“One in five Europeans believes that a secret network of Jews influences global political and economic affairs, a recent survey found.

The same number also agreed with the statement ‘Jews exploit Holocaust victimhood for their own needs.’

The poll queried 16,000 respondents from 16 European countries. It was conducted in December and January in Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, the United Kingdom and Poland, and other countries.”

In other findings it was noted that “a quarter of respondents said that Israel’s policies make them understand why some people hate Jews.” The report continues,

“Holocaust revisionism and classic anti-Semitic stereotypes were more common in Eastern Europe, whereas anti-Israel sentiments, including anti-Semitic ones, were more common in the west, according to Rabbi Slomo Koves, chairman of the Action and Protection League. The Budapest-based group is affiliated with the Hungarian Jewish community’s main watchdog on anti-Semitism.”

The cover of a French edition of The Protocols
of the Elders of Zion, circa 1940.
Image Source:

It was similar stereotypes and propaganda that led up to the Nazi holocaust during World War II. A classic example can be seen in The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a fabricated antisemitic text first published in Russia in 1903, that described a Jewish plan for global domination. The Nazis used the text as propaganda against Jews. Teachers gave it to German schoolchildren to read, despite the fact that it had been exposed as fraudulent. Wikipedia notes that “it is still widely available today in numerous languages, in print and on the Internet, and continues to be presented by some proponents as a genuine document.”

Turning to Bible prophecy, we find a consistent theme which speaks of nations coming against Israel, in particular Jerusalem, contemporary with the restoration of the Jews to their ancient homeland and the return of the Lord Jesus Christ to the earth:

“For behold, in those days and at that time, When I bring back the captives of Judah and Jerusalem, I will also gather all nations, And bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; And I will enter into judgment with them there On account of My people, My heritage Israel, Whom they have scattered among the nations; They have also divided up My land.” Joel 3:1-2
 “For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city shall be taken and the houses plundered and the women raped. Half of the city shall go out into exile, but the rest of the people shall not be cut off from the city.” Zechariah 14:2
 “And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are the spirits of demons, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame. And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.” Revelation 16:13-16

The testimony from the book of Revelation is that this invasion of Israel (here identified by the fact that the place name is Hebrew) comes as a result of the frog-like spirits of demoniacal insanity that developed out of France and its Revolution working on the nations, and in particular on Europe, Russia and the Papacy. We have seen such a spirit in humanism which has manifested itself in anti-God and anti-Israel movements politically and on university campuses around the world.

Given what the prophets say, and given the parallels to the lead up to the Second World War, we may wonder if there will be another holocaust? Although a limited exile is described in Zechariah (“half of the city”), we do not believe that a holocaust will be the outcome considering the full testimony of Bible truth. However, Zechariah chapter 13 and verses 7 to 9 describe what sounds a lot like a holocaust:

“Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the LORD of hosts: smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered: and I will turn mine hand upon the little ones. And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the LORD, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein. And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God.”

What are we to make of this? If the words of verse 7 sound familiar from our reading of the gospels, it is because Jesus quotes them to his disciples after they leave the upper room, just before his trial:

“Then saith Jesus unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, ‘I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad.’
...But all this was done, that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled. Then all the disciples forsook him, and fled.” Matthew 26:31,56

To correctly understand the context of Zechariah 13 we must take the Lord’s valuable commentary here into account. When Peter opens his first letter writing to "the Dispersion" (Gk. diaspora), his reference to a coming trial of their faith may relate to the beginning of the refining process (which is not yet completed):

“Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ...” 1Peter 1:6-7

Similar language of three parts is used in Ezekiel, suggesting that the parts are representative (ch. 5:1-4):

“And thou, son of man, take thee a sharp knife, take thee a barber’s razor, and cause it to pass upon thine head and upon thy beard: then take thee balances to weigh, and divide the hair. Thou shalt burn with fire a third part in the midst of the city, when the days of the siege are fulfilled: and thou shalt take a third part, and smite about it with a knife: and a third part thou shalt scatter in the wind; and I will draw out a sword after them. Thou shalt also take thereof a few in number, and bind them in thy skirts. Then take of them again, and cast them into the midst of the fire, and burn them in the fire; for thereof shall a fire come forth into all the house of Israel.”

Verse 12 gives the interpretation of what would come upon the nation at the hand of the Babylonians:

“A third part of thee shall die with the pestilence, and with famine shall they be consumed in the midst of thee: and a third part shall fall by the sword round about thee; and I will scatter a third part into all the winds, and I will draw out a sword after them.”

The Christadelphian writer, John Allfree, in his book on Ezekiel comments on the similarity of language regarding the three parts in these two passages:

“It is interesting to note that Zechariah makes a similar prophecy concerning the Jews in the time of Jesus. Referring first to the cause of their judgement—the rejection of Jesus... He then speaks of the nation in a similar way to Ezekiel, dividing it into three parts. ‘And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the LORD, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein’ (v. 8). Of this third part that survived the Roman holocaust it is said, Ί will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried...’ (v. 9). The refining process, designed to remove the dross from that nation, continues and will not be finished until the Lord returns to deliver them from the ‘burning heat [and] bitter destruction’ (Deut. 32:24) that, intermittently, has been their lot since they rejected their Messiah.” Page 84

Arch of Titus in Rome commemorating the destruction
of the Second Temple, Jerusalem

As is noted here, the obvious implication from the context in verse 7 is that the cutting off of the two parts in Zechariah had a fulfillment with the horrors that commenced at the time of AD 70, 

“...that upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar. Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation. 
O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets... Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.” Matt. 23:35-39; c/p Zech. 13:9

As Jesus said it would be, it was a time of “great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be”, that time of “the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet” (Matt. 24:15-16,21).

Josephus describes the terrible devastation by the Romans on the nation in The Wars of the Jews, including the death of 1.1 million Jews in the siege of Jerusalem:

“...neither did any other city ever suffer such miseries, nor did any age ever breed a generation more fruitful in wickedness than this was, from the beginning of the world. Finally, they brought the Hebrew nation into contempt...” Book 5.5
“Now the number of those that were carried captive during this whole war was collected to be ninety-seven thousand; as was the number of those that perished during the whole siege eleven hundred thousand...” Book 6.3
“...the entire nation was now shut up by fate as in a prison, and the Roman army encompassed the city when it was crowded with inhabitants. Accordingly, the multitude of those that therein perished exceeded all the destructions that either men or God ever brought upon the world; for, to speak only of what was publicly known, the Romans slew some of them, some they carried captives, and others they made a search for underground, and when they found where they were, they broke up the ground and slew all they met with.” Book 6.4

The Jewish Encyclopedia (1906) summarizes the end of the second revolt around 135 AD:

“The war was ended, and Bar Kokba met his death upon the walls of Bethar. Indescribable misery spread over Palestine; the land became a desert; the Jews were slaughtered en masse; and Talmud and Midrash bewail the horrors of the Roman conquest. According to Dio Cassius, 580,000 Jews fell in battle, not including those who succumbed to hunger and pestilence... Indeed, the end of the Jewish nation had come.”

The outcome of Israel’s future humiliation could not be more different. Although the Russian Gog and his coalition will come with an evil purpose as a cloud to cover the land against the mountains of Israel “to take a spoil, and to take a prey”, and will get as far as setting up his palace in Jerusalem, the celebrations will be short lived. The Almighty will intervene with earthquake, fire and pestilence, and Gog will quickly “fall upon the mountains of Israel” and “shall come to his end, and none shall help him” (Eze. 38 & 39; Dan. 11:45).

No doubt, when this happens, the faces of Israel and Judah will be “turned into paleness” as the prophet Jeremiah says:

“Alas! For that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.” Ch. 30:4,6-7

God will break the yoke of the oppressor off the neck of His people and will speak words of consolation to them saying “fear thou not, O my servant Jacob, saith the LORD; neither be dismayed, O Israel... For I am with thee, saith the LORD, to save thee...” Jeremiah 30:10-11.

In the end, the faithful third will finally be refined and saved, and so we pray that a further holocaust will be prevented.

This has been Daniel Billington with you on as we continue to watch for the Bible in the news.

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