The Roots of Anti Semitism
Antisemitism is the longest and deepest hatred of human history..
There are those that would argue that anti Semitism is a social issue and others would argue it is racial issue. There are those who have tried to explain it as theological, philosophical or economic.
The Jews were always an alien minority with a distinctive culture of their own, out of harmony with the culture of the Gentile nations that they lived amongst.
What is at the bottom of this hatred that has persisted down through the ages?
Although it does manifest itself in these things, the root goes far deeper and in my opinion when you examine the history of the Jewish nation you discover that it is at it’s heart a spiritual issue. I believe that the answer is found in one source and that source is Satan.
To find the root of this hatred we need to go back to the beginning of mankind, for there we will see the initial reason for the acts of anti Semitism against Judaism.
Judaism is one of the oldest monotheistic religions and was founded over 3500 years ago in the Middle East. Jews believe that God appointed the Israelites to be his chosen people in order to set an example of holiness and ethical behaviour to the world. To be a light to the Gentiles nations.
The story begins in Genesis Ch 3, where we read of the fall of man into a state of physical and spiritual death.
Satan the fallen angel (Lucifer), who had been cast out of heaven to the earth for usurping the authority of God, tried to overturn the plan of God by tempting Adam and Eve into sin.
God set in motion a plan of redemption for mankind, that plan was to eventually send a Messiah to the earth and that this Messiah would be born into the nation of Israel.
The attempt to destroy the line that would eventually deliver the Messiah was begun in earnest as we can read in Genesis chapter 6 & 7. The story of Noah.
We are told how Satan tried to pervert the seed that would bring forth the Messiah by fallen Angels procreating with human women and creating a perverted race of giants and other hybrid races.
God decided to destroy everyone and everything that had living breath except eight people, Noah, a righteous man, his wife and three sons and their wives.
This was done by a great world wide flood.
However we are told that the evil began to prevail again after the flood.
3500 years ago, god called a man by the name of Abram and promised to make him and his lineage a great nation.This nation became the nation of Israel. The Hebrews, the Jews.God made an unconditional covenant with Abram and changed his name to Abraham.
Depart and follow Me and I will: Genesis 12: 1-31. I will make of you a great nation
2. I will bless you
3. I will make your name great
4. I will you shall be a blessing
5. I will bless them that bless you
6. I will curse them that curse you
7. I will bless all families of the Earth through you
Abraham was the first Jew. The promises were passed down through Abraham’s son Isaac and his son Jacob (also known as Israel). The religion was known as Judaism.
From this time forward, Satan would make many attempts to destroy or pervert the seed that would bring forth the Messiah. This was fulfilling the words of God in Genesis 3: 15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
From the birth of Israel as a nation onwards, Satan unceasingly sought to do two things: to entice them into idolatry, and if that failed, to completely destroy them as a nation. Satan’s attempts to entice Israel into idolatry are a recurring feature of their national history.
Israel would go after foreign gods, God would bring them back and forgive them and then they would do the same thing again.
We can read that history records two main attempts of Satan to destroy Israel as a nation. We read in scripture the slaying of all the male first born of the Hebrew nation by Pharaoh in Egypt and how God preserved Moses. If this had been carried through, it would have effectively terminated their existence as a nation.Later, Haman came very close to carrying through a decree for the extermination of all the Jews in the Persian empire—which was in effect all the Jews alive at that time. Esther Ch 3.
In the second century B.C. Antiochus Epiphane, the dictator of Syria, attempted by force of arms to compel the Jews to renounce their unique destiny as a nation and to merge into the idolatrous culture of the surrounding Greek
empire. If it had not been for revolt by the Maccabees, who foiled his attempt and ensured that a century and a half later there was a Jewish nation to which Jesus could be born as Messiah.
When the Messiah (Jesus) was born there was the attempt of Herod to do the same thing, to kill all the first male born to stop Jesus fulfilling His determined plan of redemption.
The greatest attempt of Satan to scupper God’s plans was to have Jesus crucified. By using Judas Iscariot ( the son of perdition) to betray Jesus to the Pharisees, but this was thwarted by God in that He raised Jesus from the dead and therefore destroying Satan plan.
Satan failed in his attempt to stop Messiah coming, so now he is engaged in the persecution of not only the Jews but also the Christian church.
Through His sacrificial death on the cross Jesus fulfilled the purpose for which He came. As the representative of Israel and all nations, He satisfied the requirements of God’s justice on our behalf and thus cancelled all Satan’s claims against us.
By this He imposed upon Satan a total, eternal, irrevocable defeat. The full outworking of this defeat, however, will only be consummated at the second coming of Jesus.
Satan continues his work in trying to pervert the true church of Christ and to continue to try and prevent the nation of Israel fulfilling Bible prophecy that will bring the return of Jesus Christ to the earth by His second coming.
Satan knows that he is still free to continue all his evil activities and to present himself as “the god of this age” (2 Corinthians 4:4).
There is only one event which Satan fears more than all others and which he opposes by every means in his power: the return of Jesus in power and glory to establish His kingdom at which time Satan will be removed from the earth and chained in the bottomless pit for a thousand years.
The opposition of Satan to the return of Jesus is the unseen force behind many of the conflicts and pressures in the world today.
From the beginnings of the Roman Catholic church with all it’s pagan teachings, through the Reformation and into modern day history, we have seen anti Semitism prevail.
This has not been helped by the views held by some sections of Christendom that believe that the Church has replaced Israel and all the promises of God made to Israel have been given to the church and Israel has been cut off from the covenants of God because of the rejection of Messiah.
Irenaeus (c. 180), wrote: “The Jews have rejected the Son of God and cast Him out of the vineyard when they slew Him. Therefore, God has justly rejected them and has given to the Gentiles outside the vineyard the fruits of its cultivation”
(The Ante-Nicene Fathers, Ed. Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson, [1885-1887], Volume 1, p. 493).
The writings of men such as Martin Luther, who whilst spearheading the fight for the truth of salvation by grace through faith alone and fighting the heretical traditions introduced into the Roman church, like purgatory, indulgencies, prayer to the dead, the worship of Mary, the mass etc, continued to teach Replacement Theology and A Millenialism which are based on a Gnostic interpretation of scripture, an hermeneutic that is “Allegorical” rather than “Literal” .
This led him to write in his book, “The Jews and their lies”
He wrote: “For such ruthless wrath of God is sufficient evidence that they [i.e., the Jewish people] assuredly have erred and gone astray. Even a child can comprehend this. For one dare not regard God as so cruel that he would punish his own people so long, so terrible, so unmercifully … Therefore this work of wrath is proof that the Jews, surely rejected by God, are no longer his people, and neither is he any longer their God”
(“On the Jews and Their Lies,” Trans. Martin H. Bertram, in Luther’s Works [Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1971], p. 265).
Luther said: “The Jews are miserable and accursed people. He warned of "such poisonous activities of the Jews". That "the blind Jews are truly stupid fools".
He called them, "these miserable, blind, and senseless people", and warned, "to be on your guard against the Jews.
They are nothing but thieves and robbers who daily eat no morsel and wear no thread of clothing which they have not stolen and pilfered from us by means of their accursed usury".
One should toss out these lazy rogues by the seat of their pants then eject them forever from this country.
Do not grant them protection, safe conduct, or communion with us.
Nor dare we make ourselves partners in their devilish ranting and raving by shielding and protecting them, by giving them food, drink, and shelter, or by other neighborly acts.
He referred to the Jews as: "this rejected and condemned people, the Jews, we dare not tolerate their conduct.
First, to set fire to their synagogues or schools and to bury and cover with dirt whatever will not burn.
This is to be done in honour of our Lord and of Christendom."
Second, I advise that their houses also be razed and destroyed. For they pursue in them the same aims as in their synagogues. Instead they might be lodged under a roof or in a barn, like the gypsies.
Third, I advise that all their prayer books and Talmudic writings, in which such idolatry, lies, cursing and blasphemy are taught, be taken from them.
Fourth, I advise that their rabbis be forbidden to teach henceforth on pain of loss of life and limb.
Fifth, I advise that safe conduct on the highways be abolished completely for the Jews.
Sixth, I advise that usury be prohibited to them, and that all cash and treasure of silver and gold be taken from them and put aside for safekeeping.
Seventh, I commend putting a flail, an ax, a hoe, a spade, a distaff, or a spindle into the hands of young, strong Jews and Jewesses and letting them earn their bread in the sweat of their brow, as was imposed on the children of Adam.
But what will happen even if we do burn down the Jews' synagogues and forbid them publicly to praise God, to pray, to teach, to utter God's name? They will still keep doing it in secret.
First, that their synagogues be burned down, and that all who are able toss in sulphur and pitch; it would be good if someone could also throw in some hellfire.
They must act like a good physician who, when gangrene has set in, proceeds without mercy to cut, saw, and burn flesh, veins, bone, and marrow.
(From Martin Luther “The Jews and their Lies”)
This kind of language contributed to hatred of Jews and anti Semitism and such statements as these were used by men like Adolf Hitler in his book Mein Kampf, and which resulted in the massacre of 6 million Jews.
In this we can see Satan at work. If the Jews can be exterminated , then this would stop the return of Jesus.
In Matthew 24:14 Jesus said, “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.”
The commission Jesus gave His disciples was: “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15). “Go and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19).
This commission is still in place. He will not return until His disciples have carried it out. Satan therefore uses every means in his power to hinder the church from completing its task. The longer the church delays, the longer Satan retains his liberty.
Just previously, however, in Matthew 23:38–39, Jesus had said to the Jews in Jerusalem, “See, your house [that is, the temple] is left to you desolate; for I say to you, you shall see Me no more till you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD.’
The way in which the Lord will prepare the hearts of the Jews for this is predicted in Zechariah 12:10: “And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they have pierced; they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn.”
Notice, that the Lord Himself is speaking in the first person, (look on Me). He refers to Himself.
At the time of His coming, the Holy Spirit will move in the hearts of the Jewish people to convict and convince them that Jesus is the Messiah and this will result in a repentance for having rejected and crucified Him.
Notice, however, that this description refers specifically to “the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem.” The restoration of the Jews to their own land and to the city of Jerusalem is an essential event that must occur.
Until this takes place, the defeat of Satan will not be finally fulfilled.
This, then, is a condition that must be fulfilled before Jesus will return: the Jews must be re gathered in their own land and in the city of Jerusalem, and their hearts must be prepared to acknowledge Jesus as Messiah.
Just as surely as Jesus came the first time through the Jews, so surely He will come back the second time to the Jews.
No wonder we see all that is happening around the middle East. The world is constantly focused on Israel and Jerusalem. Why?A strip of land no bigger than Wales is constantly in the media and has been the centre of contention. Why do we see such a concentration of world forces interested in Israel. Palestine, Syria, Turkey, Iran, Russia etc. The stage is being set for the battles spoken of in the Bible, Gog and Magog.The closing in on the nation of Israel to completely wipe them out and obliterate them from the face of the earth.However, God has always been there for His people and He will be there again.When Satan and his antichrist and his false prophet are revealed, Jesus will return and consume them with the breath of His mouth.
It would seem that wherever there was persecution of the Israelites, Satan has been there behind it. Wherever there was an attempt to wipe out the nation of Israel, Satan was there.From Egypt to Babylon, from Persia to Germany. From Spain to Britain, from Russia to the Arab nations. Wherever and in whatever country, anti Semitist feelings has shown a hatred of the Jews. Yet Israel still survives and not only survives but occupies the land that was promised to them by God.If God has finished with Israel, then what is 1948 and 1967 all about. Against all the odds and against all the attempts to wipe them out, the people known as the Jews have once again occupied the land that God promised to them.Although they as a nation are still in unbelief, we are told in scripture that this blindness is in part until the time of the Gentiles be fulfilled.
Romans 11: 25, 26, 27 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in.
26. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:
27 For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.
God will fulfil all that is written, all that has been prophesied.
It seems to me, that when we see a third temple built in Jerusalem, a lot of questions will be asked by a lot of Christians that teach a Replacement Theology.
Before the Rapture of the church can take place two things must happen,according to 2 Thess 2: 1-4, 1. Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,
2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.
3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. .
A great apostasy and the revealing of the man of sin, who will set himself up as God in a newly built temple in Jerusalem.
In the last days, God will gather Israel back to the promised land and will set His feet on the Mount of Olives,
Zechariah 14:4 And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which isbefore Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.
Israel will see Him for who He really is, there will be those of Israel that will see Him as their Messiah.
Zechariah 12:10 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, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.
All the attempts of Satan to remove the Jews from the earth will have failed and rather than being removed from the earth, they will, because of recognition of their Messiah will inherit the earth in the Millennial Kingdom of Jesus Christ.
Satan, who is behind all anti semitism will be removed and bound in the bottomless pit for a thousand years.
Revelation 20: 1-3 And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.
2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,
3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.