Israel - The Heart of Prophecy

By David Allen Lewis

We are living in the close of the church age and the "times of the Gentiles," as outlined in Luke, Romans, and the Book of Revelation.

Jesus predicted: 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 21:24).

Listen, Gentiles, it's about over for you. Born-again Christians, however, are not Gentiles (heathen). Paul spoke to believers as having formerly been Gentiles. He wrote to the Corinthian church: "Ye know that ye were Gentiles carried away unto these dumb idols..." (1 Cor. 12:2). "Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh..." (Eph. 2:11).

Although my ancestry is British and French (no Jewish ancestors), I am no longer a Gentile. But neither am I an alien to the commonwealth of Israel. It is important for us to know our identity in God. That, however, should not cause us to overlook His continuing plan for national Israel. The existence of the Church, the spiritual Zion, does not negate the existence of the original Zion - Israel. My identity with God is established in Christ as noted by the apostle Paul:

Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ (Eph. 2:11-13).

Paul's brilliant exposition to the Roman church includes a definite statement about natural Israel's future. Note the use of the name Jacob referring to Israel in verse 26. Never in the entire Bible is the name Jacob used to refer in fact or type to the Church. It always, without exception, refers to natural Israel.

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. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall [future] come out of Zion the Deliverer, and shall [future] turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall [future] take away their sins (Rom. 11:25-27).

The Israel that is to be saved cannot be the Church. The Church is comprised of people who are already saved. The Israel in view here is an Israel that will be saved at a future time when Zechariah's prophecies are fulfilled (Zech. 3:9; 12:10; etc.).

A Matter of Interpretation

I frequently hear the wearying, worn-out statement, -1 don't know about all this prophecy business. There are so many points of view. It's all a matter of interpretation." Exactly! It is a matter of interpretation. Either you believe the Word of God literally, or you explain it away. It is as simple as that, and there is no need for further complication.

Even symbols have a literal meaning, which are defined in the Word of God. No external evidence should be used to interpret biblical symbols. The moment you go outside the Scripture to interpret its symbols you introduce an anarchy of interpretation. Every person becomes a law unto himself or herself. Then you can make the Bible say whatever you want it to say, according to your own preconceived notions.

Israel, Duty or Dilemma?

Winston Theodore Pike's book, Israel Our Duty - Our Dilemma, is in fact a vicious attack on Israel. Although filled with distortions, misappropriation of Scripture, and scurrilous slander against the Jews, Pike nevertheless professes a compassion for the Jews. That is hard to fathom in the light of Pike's suggestion that the best thing for the Jews would be for Israel to cease to exist!

It is no wonder Pike cannot define our duty to Israel, and why he finds himself in such a dilemma.

Our duty to Israel is clearly declared in Isaiah's prophecy: Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem ... (Isa. 40:1-2). Who is to speak comfort to Jerusalem? It is not the Jews speaking comfort to themselves. What is in view here is a new people of God whose existence was in Isaiahs future. Those mandated to comfort Jerusalem are the born-again members of the Church, the body of Christ. We clearly see and know our duty, and it is no dilemma.

Days of Prophetic Fulfillment

The very existence of Israel is proof that we are living in the final period of this age of grace, the church age. Get Israel in place in the prophetic plan of God, and you can see the whole thing. Get Israel misaligned, and prophecy becomes incomprehensible.

Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that soweth seed; and the mountains shall drop sweet wine, and all the hills shall. melt. And I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof, they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them. And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the Lord thy God (Amos 9:13-15). God means what He says, and His Word has been fulfilled in most remarkable fashion, beginning with the miracle of the rebirth of the nation of Israel on May 14, 1948 (Ezek. 36, 37). There is coming a golden Messianic age when all of the visions of the prophets will be fulfilled. We know the church of redeemed persons, adopted into the commonwealth of Israel, will share in the glory of that age and in the complete fulfillment of the hopes and dreams of the ages that are now only fulfilled in a fragmentary way in Israel and in the Church. In the meantime we have God's mandate for the present age in which we live. We are to comfort and bless Israel.

In 1961 Rev. Louis Hauff wrote: The Scriptures show that the eyes of the nations will be upon the nation of Israel in the last days. We are aware that Israel is today the center of attention of the world. All nations are aware of the existence of the nation of Israel and are concerned about what happens there. Each one is taking sides either for or against Israel. This could lead to a world conflict.

In July 1958, a time of crisis occurred when Russian communists infiltrated Syria and supplied arms to the Syrians. Suddenly the United States fleet landed Marines in Lebanon, and Great Britain flew paratroopers into Jordan. The stage seemed set for a great battle. The battle of Armageddon seemed very close.

Look at a map of Palestine and you will see that Armageddon (Har Megiddo, Mount Megiddo and the Plain of Esdraelon) was surrounded by the United States to the northwest, Russia to the northeast, Great Britain to the east, Israel to the south, and Egypt to the southwest. Happily, the alert soon ended, but we were able to see how quickly the nations of the world could assemble at Armageddon in a great last conflict.

After the Lord fights for and delivers Israel, there will come a spiritual awakening to the people. The prophet Zechariah stated: "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, as one moumeth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn .... In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness." (See Zech. 12:9-10; 13:1.)

Although written over 25 years ago, this book is still up to date because Pastor Hauff relied on the Word of God for his insight into Israel's place in prophecy.

Is Israel in God's Plan?

The Holocaust is an event so horrible that millions have blinded their eyes to its reality. In a sense they have forgotten that it ever happened. Would you be surprised to discover that some people in your city could not even define the term Holocaust or the Hebrew word Shoah?

Some, having faced the horror of history, choose to deny it ever happened. They write learned books disdainfully proclaiming that the whole thing is a hoax perpetrated by the Jewish people themselves. St. Paul rightly says that Satan, the god of this world, is capable of blinding the minds of them that believe not. (As in 2 Cor. 4:4.)

In his compelling dialogue on Christian-Jewish relations in the Epistle to the Romans, Chapters 9-11, St. Paul makes some observations that are vital to the Church. First of all, the passage clearly establishes that God still has a plan for national Israel.

Perhaps my knowledge is limited, but so far as I know the only church body that gives recognition to this fact in its creed is the Pentecostal denomination, the Assemblies of God. Surely there are other churches that have such a statement in their creed. If you know of one, please inform us as we are anxious to expand our research in this area. On the other hand, since Evangelicals tend to base all their beliefs on sound interpretation of the Scripture, historically, an acceptance of Israel in God's plan has been common in our circles.

Raising the Question

Our faith does not rest on individual denominational or church creeds but on the revealed truth recorded in the sixtysix books of the Bible. Further, when I speak of a plan for national Israel, I am not referring to individual salvation. Individual salvation is personal, to be worked out in the light of God's Word between the person and God. The Evangelical view is clearly and universally established that the Mosaic (salvation) covenant is fulfilled in the New Covenant of Calvary. On the other hand, the Orthodox (and some other) Jewish people hold that the Mosaic covenant is still in force.

All agree that the Mosaic was always a conditional covenant. Is God still in covenant agreement with the people of Israel? Are there covenants other than the Mosaic to be considered? A major question that confronts the Church is this: Can God be in covenant with more than one group at the same time?

Multiple Covenants

The word covenant implies a contract or an agreement. It can be conditional, requiring the participation of two parties, or it can be unilateral, proceeding directly from God as a sovereign act of His will. In the case of the unilateral covenant, no condition or action is required on the part of the second (human) party.

To clarify, the conditional covenant always has God saying to mankind, "If you will do certain things, then you can expect Me to do certain things in response."

On the other hand, a unilateral (unconditional) covenant always depicts the sovereign determination of God, which He simply announces to mankind, letting man know what God plans to do - regardless of what we do or do not do.

God can be, and certainly is, in covenant with more than one group of humans at the same time. This is evident from a study of the Noetic covenant. After the Flood, God put His rainbow in the clouds signifying that He would never again judge humanity by a watery destruction. This covenant was totally unilateral in nature. This covenant with the whole human race was not and is not conditional.

The Abrahamic Covenant

The covenant God made with Abraham was a unilateral covenant. Once Abraham obeyed God on one point, to leave the land of Ur of the Chaldees, God entered into and revealed a marvelous and everlasting covenant to the father of the Hebrew people. This is revealed in the twelfth and fifteenth chapters of Genesis. God evidently wanted us to know that the covenant was unilateral, for it is stated in Genesis 15 that He put Abraham into a deep sleep as He entered into and established the covenant. Abraham had nothing to do with the covenant, except for the fact that he was there and was the original recipient of the covenant.

Christians believe that the Mosaic covenant has been fulfilled, but the Abrahamic covenant, which includes determinations concerning the nationhood and land ownership of the Israelite people is inviolable and unconditional. It is not dependent on what any human person or group does or does not do. It is based entirely on the integrity of God and His ability to bring His determinations to pass.

In short, God has declared that the natural seed of Abraham, the nation of Israel, will never go out of existence. Further, He has decreed that the tiny bit of land known as Israel (1/2 of 1 percent of the land mass of the Middle East) is in perpetuity to be the property of the seed of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob for all of time. The Scripture says that the Arabs have a right to exist there in the midst of their brethren, for they, too, are descendants of Abraham, though not of Jacob.

Caution, Boast Not!

In the light of this Abrahamic covenant, Paul cautions the converted Gentiles of Rome not to boast against the natural branches (Jewish people) that have grown out of the root of Abraham. We former Gentiles are wild branches grafted into the natural tree of Israel. The Wycliff Bible Commentary correctly establishes that Abraham is the root of us all. Note that Paul says, "Remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you."

While Israel can easily explain her existence without the Church, the Church cannot explain her existence without Israel. Jesus was Jewish, as were His disciples and followers. The only Bible Jesus and His followers had was the the First Testament. The entire body of Christian Scripture was penned by Jewish authors, with the possible exception of Luke and Acts.

At the very first, the Church was entirely Jewish in its membership. Paul is blunt in informing the Romans that the olive tree into which we Gentiles have been grafted is the property of Israel. What else could be derived from these words: "For if thou [Gentile converts] wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert graffed contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these [Jews], which be the natural branches, be graffed into their own olive tree?" (Rom. 11:24).

The early Church in its primitive days was never thought of by the Jewish people, in or out of the Church, as anything more or less than a Jewish sect. Gentile converts were thought, in the early years of the Church, to be proselytes to the Jewish faith and nation. It was not until after the Bar Kochba revolt in the year 135 that the Jewish and Gentile elements in the Church finally separated and went their own ways. The way the Gentile branch of the Church followed tragically led directly to the Holocaust. Can this be true?

The Dark Side of Church History

The sad saga of early Church history records the animosity that arose in the Gentile church against the Jewish believers and the Jews in general. As time went on, the Church became more and more anti- Semitic.

This situation reached a zenith when Constantine granted the edicts of toleration. Christianity was not made the state religion by Constantine, and Constantine never was a convert to Christianity (he submitted to baptism by sprinkling upon his deathbed, thus adding "Christ" to his list of pagan Roman deities, not an uncommon practice in the pagan world of multiple gods). Nevertheless, under the edicts of toleration, Christianity was popularized, and tens of thousands of unconverted pagans were baptized into the church because it was the popular social or politically expedient thing to do.

Malcom Hay, Fr. John T. Pawlikowski, Fr. Edward Flannery, and other Roman Catholic authors, along with many modem Protestant writers such as Roy and Alice Eckardt, Reinhold Niebuhr, Franklin Littel, Michael Brown, Isaac Rottenberg, and David Rausch have extensively documented the historic anti-Semitic bias of the Church.

Harsh Words From Early Church Fathers

Consider the harsh words of Saint Ambrose, who said that the Jewish synagogue was "a house of impiety, a receptacle of folly, which God himself has condemned." It is no wonder that his followers then went out and set fire to the local synagogue.

Saint Gregory of Nyssa spoke with eloquence, saying that the Jews are "Slayers of the Lord, murderers of the prophets ... advocates of the devil, brook of vipers ... men whose minds are in darkness ... haters of righteousness."

Saint John Chrysostom must have had some good qualities, for Cardinal Newman wrote of him, "A bright and cheerful gentle soul, a sensitive heart, a temperament open to emotion and impulse; and all this elevated, refined, transformed by the touch of heaven - such was St. John Chrysostom." A Protestant theologian wrote, "Chrysostom was one of the most eloquent of the preachers who, ever since apostolic times, have brought to men the divine tidings of truth and love."

It must have been difficult for the Jewish people of his time to see his good points for in his homilies against the Jews, St. John Chrysostom said, "The synagogue is worse than a brothel ... the temple of demons ... and the cavern of devils .... I hate the synagogue ... I hate the Jews for the same reason."

Even the Great Reformer

Martin Luther, beloved among Protestants and Evangelicals, made strong anti-Semitic statements late in his life. "Verily a hopeless, wicked, venomous, and devilish thing is the existence of these Jews, who for fourteen hundred years have been, and still are, our pest, torment, and misfortune. They are just devils and nothing more." Luther accused the Jews in terms that today we would consider vulgar:

When Judas hanged himself and his bowels gushed forth, and, as happens in such cases, his bladder also burst, the Jews were ready to catch the Judas-water and other precious things, and then they gorged and swilled on the herd among themselves, and were thereby endowed with such a keenness of sight that they can perceive glosses in the Scriptures such as neither Matthew nor Isaiah himself ... would be able to detect; or perhaps they looked into the loin of their God "Shed" and found these things written in that smokehole .... The devil has eased himself and emptied his belly again - that is a real halidom for Jews and would-be Jews, to kiss, batten on, swill and adore; and then the devil, with his angelic snout, devours what exudes from the oral and anal apertures of the Jews; this is indeed his favorite dish, on which he battens like a sow behind the hedge.

Regarding Luther, Malcom Hay comments, "His doctrine provided many suitable texts for Hitler's program of extermination. Today various hate groups reprint Luther's pamphlet, The Jews and Their Lies, to support their vengeful attacks on the Jews.

Haman in the Church

In 1558 the Protestant preacher Ehrhardt wrote, "We ought not to suffer Jews to live amongst us, nor to eat and drink with them." Following the precedent of Saint Ambrose he also recommended that "'their synagogues should be set on fire."

Our beloved church became a Haman to the Jews, bringing on the dark ages, the horrors of the inquisition, the bloody crusades, and ultimately producing the climate in which a Hitler could succeed with his diabolical plot. Hitler - who was a church member until the day he died.

Can we be offended at the Jewish scholar, who indicts Christianity as the prime cause of anti-Semitism for the past eighteen hundred years? it might be convenient if we could ignore the dark side of our heritage, but, if we ever hope to improve conditions in the world, it would be more practical to face up to history, ourselves, and our society.

Theological Anti-Semitism Today

What a perverse joke it is when present day replacement theologians accuse their premillennial brethren of being socially irresponsible in the face of the drastic, crisis needs of our world, and yet they themselves are provoking an evil hatred for the nation of Israel through their tired, old, worn-out anti-Semitic theology. How have they managed to resurrect these ancient errors and breathe such new vigor into them until they are now sweeping like an "ill wind that bodes no good" throughout the ranks of the Church? The two major anti-Semitic Christian doctrines are replacement and the theology of contempt.

What is being preached in certain quarters today is exactly what both the Protestant and Roman Catholic teachers were promoting in pre- Nazi Germany. We. had better be alert to these alarming facts. Don't ever say, "It cannot happen here."

I hear from some of my brethren that God no longer has any use for natural Israel. The Church has taken the place of Israel in God's economy. That is called the Doctrine of Replacement.

Then there is the Doctrine of Contempt. Simply stated it claims that since the Jews killed Christ they are worthy of any punishment that falls upon them. The Holocaust? Good enough for them.

In the light of this strange, unbiblical philosophy how should one view the killing of Christian martyrs under the old Roman Empire and more recently under the Comnmunists? Good enough for them? You cannot have it both ways.

Germany Then -America Today?

Dr. Roland Pritiken, a retired Air Force general, recently sent me an interesting list of comparisons between pre-Nazi Germany and conditions in America today. There is indeed cause for concern. The church in pre-Nazi Germany was preaching the twin doctrines of Christian anti-Semitism. They are the doctrine of replacement and the doctrine of contempt.

The theology of replacement contends that the Church has replaced Israel and that God no longer has any purpose for Israel. Contempt declares that the Jews crucified Jesus, therefore they are under a curse and whatever happens, including the Holocaust, is good enough for them.

While both of these errors have been refuted, nevertheless Hitler's henchmen were able to quote both Roman and Protestant theologians in justifying their heinous acts against the Jewish people. Thus, in a Christian nation, out of a perverted Christianity, came the Holocaust, costing the lives of six million Jews and millions of other casualties throughout the world.

Can Evangelicals Boast?

My Evangelical brethren cannot boast that our colleagues performed any better in the Nazi era. The late Dr. Oswald Smith, pastor of the great People's Church in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, came back from Germany with a glowing report in the mid-1930s. He spoke of over fourteen thousand Evangelical pastors who felt that Hitler was the answer to Germany's problems, and that probably the new Nazi movement would bring spiritual revival to Germany. Later Dr. Smith realized the awfulness of what was happening in Germany and recanted, but it was too late.

We still have time to speak out and prevent another holocaust in our times, but the handwriting is on the wall. If we are silent, history will repeat itself. The Holocaust is not mere history, it is potential.

Where is the Church of Today Heading?

Is the Church in America different from the Church in pre-Holocaust Germany? I hope that it is, but I have some deep concerns. Perhaps the fourteen thousand Evangelical pastors that Dr. Smith spoke of were not actively anti-Semitic. Perhaps they were simply unconcerned.

We have heard some strange things in recent times from modem churchmen. After Israel was savagely attacked by Syria and Egypt on the Day of Atonement, October 1973, Father Daniel Berrigan accused Israel of behaving like a "criminal" and "'racist state." Then Henry Pit van Deusan, former president of the Union Theological Seminary, likened the Jewish nation to Nazi Germany. To this, Methodist theologian Roy Eckardt commented, "Whenever Israel is assailed, certain suppressed, macabre elements in the Christian soul are stirred to sympathy with the assailants."

Have We Learned Anything From the Holocaust?

We wonder if the Christian world has drawn any lessons at all from the Holocaust. We should have because the greatest events of mankind's history will include the creation of earth, the fall of man, God's provision of redemption through Jesus, the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70, the reformation, two world wars, the Holocaust, the reestablishment of the nation of Israel, and the second coming of Christ.

Being an Evangelical, however, I should not presume to speak for the older churches. My colleagues in the National Christian Leadership Conference for Israel, Dr. William Harter, Presbyterian; Dr. Franklin Littel, United Methodist; Father Edward Flannery, Roman Catholic; Reverend Isaac Rottenberg of the Reformed Church, and a host of others have documented the anti-Semitic and anti-Israel bias that has been consistently manifested by the National and the World Council of Churches.

I have heard a Roman Catholic nun, the great and compassionate scholar Sister Rose Thering, professor at Seton Hall University, lament the Vatican's refusal to recognize the state of Israel. Concluding, therefore, that there are strong voices in the old-line churches calling for repentance in that quarter, I will speak primarily to my own Evangelical brothers and sisters.

Danger In Our Own Churches!

In the past we Evangelicals have prided ourselves in using the Bible as our mandate for action. Some of us have boasted confidently of the strong support for Israel and resistance against anti-Semitism that exists in our ranks. We still have great strength in such areas, but a certain erosion of these values is in progress. New waves of anti- Semitism are sweeping through our own churches. Strange new anti- Semitic doctrines are being promoted, and whenever there is anti-Semitism Holocaust is potential, not merely historic.

Kingdom Now, Dominion, Theonomy, and Reconstruction are labels attached to vigorous Evangelical movements that not only differ from us in eschatological interpretations but also have an agenda for political takeover, for establishing a world theocracy before the return of Christ, to abolish democracy, do away with pluralism, and put the Jews in their place. Of course, before the Dominionists can capture the world, they must first conquer the church.

It must be recognized that not all in the above mentioned theological camps are anti-Semitic, but in the most part they are, at least by our common definition of anti-Semitism. Surely to teach people that God has no more use for the Jews or the nation of Israel is not in the best interest of the Jews, hence it is against the Jews and Israel. Is that not theological anti-Semitism? Theological or philosophical anti- Semitism always precedes active programs and persecutions of the Jews.

To achieve the goal of world domination, a number of secretive, and, in some cases, hidden networks exist among the Charismatics and Evangelicals. There are also open conferences and conventions designed to effect major theological changes in our churches. "Their" leadership is encouraged to stay put in our ranks and work for control within. Newly appointed Charismatic apostles and prophets exert a selfaggrandizing authority to which some of my own brethren are willing to bow. The thirst for political power in the ecclesiastical world is wondrous to behold.

Who Will Dominate the Pentecostals?

Pentecostals and Charismatics represent a particularly vocal and aggressive branch of Evangelicalism. Their local churches are growing. A major percentage of the world's "super churches" with membership of five thousand to five hundred thousand fall into this category. They have more radio and TV time than any other segment of the church. The strength and influence of the Pentecostals and Charismatic must not be overlooked.

Who will be the Pope of the Pentecostals? With control of 176 million denominational Pentecostals and 156 million

Charismatics at stake, that is a foremost question! Which apostle will your pastor be asked to bow to? How will they overcome existing church governments and capture the clergy in classical Pentecostal churches? Will the cry, "Unity at any cost" be the nemesis of those stubborn people who insist on believing that Israel and the Jewish people are still significant to the plan and purposes of God? Are you even aware of what is going on?

Could the silencing of my voice and that of my colleagues open the door for a future holocaust? Does anyone even care? Even though a time of wrath is inevitable (i.e. the Great Tribulation), woe to those by whom it comes. Blessed are those who do the will of God and resist the darkness of error regardless of personal cost. Remember, "faith without works is dead."

The existence of the anti-Semitic Christian doctrines I speak of are further evidenced by an outpouring of attractive books and literature promoting theological anti-Semitism and thus potential hatred for the Jewish people.

Some Good News

For some years it looked like the anti-Semites in the Church were winning. We felt like we were on the run. They attacked and accused us in their papers and books. But now the tide is turning. Even in the ranks of the Charismatics there is an awakening to sound biblical doctrine in relation to Israel.

Christians United for Israel, The National Christian Leadership Conference for Israel, The International Christian Embassy of Jerusalem, the new Evangelical Christian Zionist Congress of America, Iowans for Israel, Bridges for Peace, Friends of Israel, and a host of others are making a difference simply by refusing to be silenced. But we must not let our successes go to our heads. The moment we let up, our opponents will advance again. I have seen some of their expansionist plans, and it is awesome. But we have plans, too, and we believe God for His constant aid and guidance.

Neo-Nazis Abound

We continually see articles about Neo-Nazi activity in the daily news. Recently a group of five radicals from Texas were apprehended in Washington, DC. The FBI reported that their possessions included an M-16 grenade launcher, machine guns, rifles, shotguns, handguns, and silencers, along with a Nazi flag. Law enforcement officials here in our area tell us that these Aryan groups are now common all over America. Our formerly quiet, rurally oriented area is a hotbed of Neo-Nazi activity. Our Evangelical colleagues are properly shocked at these media revelations. Even more shocking is the discovery that many of the Nazi groups claim to be fundamentalist Christians.

It is not enough to speak out against Aryan radicals in our culture. Never mind the fact that right here in Southern Missouri we are surrounded by the skinheads; The Order, The Covenant, the Sword, and the Arm of the Lord; Pentecostal Nazis; and that the Ku Klux Klan has moved its international headquarters to within 70 miles of my front door. We expect Jew hatred from the Nazis. The most serious problem is when anti-Semitism invades the churches.

The Deeper Problem

It is of even greater concern that the biblical position on Israel has been eroded, and even though we have seen an encouraging reversal of these trends, we still have a long way to go. A lot of theologically anti-Semitic literature is available right in your local religious bookstores. We hear the concepts of replacement and contempt on our local religious radio stations. It is preached in local churches.

Rousas John Rushdoony, creator of the Chalcedon Foundation and grandfather of the Dominionist movement, says that Christians who are supportive of Israel and the Jewish people are heretical.

Rushdoony wrote in his book, Thy Kingdom Come, "Premillennial and amillennial interpretations are tainted with the background of Manichaean heresy. A further heresy clouds premillennial interpretations of Scripture - their exaltation of racism into a divine principle. Every attempt to bring the Jew back into prophecy as a Jew is to give race and works (for racial descent is a human work) a priority over grace and Christ's work, and is nothing more or less than paganism. It is significant that premillennialism is almost invariable associated with Arminianism, i.e. the introduction of race into prophetic perspectives is accompanied by, and part and parcel of, the introductions of works into the order of salvation. This is the essence, after all, of the Phariseeism which crucified Christ and which masqueraded, as it still does, as the epitome of godliness. There can be no compromise with this vicious heresy."

The Holocaust Is More Than just History

We normally speak of the Holocaust as an historic phenomenon. But if we allow these ideas to advance in our churches, if we are silent, as so many were silent in Germany, it could happen here. It could happen again. The Holocaust must never be viewed only as history. It is potential.

The TV cameras were running in the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem where we were involved in the production of a Christian documentary on the Holocaust. The lights were on, and the videotape rolling.

Suddenly, out of the shadows stepped an elderly Jewish man who called out, "Mister, I was there. It really happened." Rolling up his sleeve, he thrust forth his arm, revealing a tattooed number on his wrist. "Look, look, I was there. Don't let them tell you it never happened."

His embarrassed wife pulled at his coattails until he backed away from the lighted area. We watched his retreating figure fading back into the darkness. We hear his plaintive final cry, "Mister, listen to me. Mister - it could happen again."


Almighty God, we confess our sins and the sins of the Church. As the ancient prophets of Israel sometimes confessed the sins of their nation - sins of which they had no personal guilt - so we confess the sins of our church and our nation. We have not pleased You when we have participated in slander against the Jewish people. Forgive us for remaining silent when we should have spoken out against evil hatred of Your people Israel. Forgive us for being intimidated in the face of anti-Semitism.

Having confessed our sin, we pray that You will give us the resolve and courage to act upon our faith. Anoint us by thy Holy Spirit to receive Your truth. Let our belief be our mandate to action. May we never again be silent when anti-Semitism raises its ugly head in our midst. Strengthen us in this determination. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

Yehuda's Story

I feel that God sent him to me for many strange reasons. Yehuda came to the hotel to listen to one of our lecturers. After the meeting we spent several hours talking of many things.

Everyone in Jerusalem has a story to tell. The air is full of parables. Mystery and intrigue permeate the atmosphere. The story Yehuda told me is like a parable. Though dark may be the night imposed on humanity by man's brutality to his fellow man, nevertheless there is a wheel of justice that turns full circle in the passage of time.

Yehuda came to us during the feast of Purim. That is the time when the Jewish people celebrate the victory of Mordechai and Esther over Haman, the Hitler of his day. Haman built a gallows on which to hang the Jews, but God turned the situation about, and Haman hung on his own gallows.

Yehuda told of an ex-Nazi Luftwaffe officer who engaged in conversation with him some time ago. The Nazi was loud, arrogant, and boastful. "You Jews," he argued, " are always stirring up the stink of the past. Why can't you leave the past alone?"

Yehuda inquired of him, "I suppose, sir, that you would admit Hitler started the Second World War?"

"'You see," said the Nazi, "that's exactly what I mean, always digging up old history. Why can't you forget it and live for today?"

"Well," said Yehuda, "I guess you could further admit that Hitler was responsible not only for the death of 6 million of my people, the Jews, but also for 50 million other casualties in World War ll?"

"Yes, yes, of course - we all admit that Hitler was a devil. We Germans made a mistake about him, but what good does it do to remember it now?"

Yehuda continued, "I must tell you, sir, that the Nazis did a "good' job on my family. All my family - mother, father, brothers, sisters - were killed in your death camps. All, that is, but me and one uncle."

"You have a sick mind," the Nazi shouted. "I know you have experienced personal tragedy, but you need to forget it. Leave the past in the past. Furthermore, I have had enough of this conversation."

"Not quite enough. I have one more thing to tell you. Something you do not know. You admit that Hitler started the Second World War, but what you do not know is that one Jew, my uncle, ended it!"

"What insanity is this? Surely you Jews are mad, but you especially! I have never heard such nonsense. And who might this uncle of yours be?"

"My uncle was Robert Oppenheimer," said Yehuda as his eyes pierced into the soul of the unrepentant Nazi.

The Nazi literally shook like a leaf in the summer breeze. Unable to say another word, he turned and walked away. You see, he recognized the name Robert Oppenheimer as the man who was chiefly responsible for the atomic bomb.

There is a wheel of justice that turns full circle with the passing of the years of time.

Haman hangs on his own gallows. Hitler burns the Jews in the gas furnaces and then burns himself in his own bunker in Berlin. They that curse Israel are cursed by the Almighty.

Robert Oppenheimer, a physicist, was a professor at the University of California and the California Institute of Technology. He directed atomic energy research and the manufacture of the atom bomb during the Second World War. From 1947 until 1966, he was director of the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton University. Oppenheimer served as chairman of the general advisory committee of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission until 1954.

After seeing the horrible effects of the atomic bomb, he refused to work on the hydrogen bomb. He was accused of being a security risk and was suspended from the A.E.C. in 1954. Allegations against him were never proven. It is well known that this man was responsible for guiding the research and production of the atom bomb, which so dramatically brought the Second World War to its conclusion, with victory falling into the hands of the free world.

Was Hitler a Christian?

Adolph Hitler, perpetrator of the worst horrors ever visited upon the world, was not a Christian, not in the light of our definition of the word Christian. However, it is apparent that not everyone defines the word Christian in the same way.

Ask the average American if he is a Christian, and about 77 percent will respond in the affirmative. You will hear: "I belong to the Presbyterian church - of course I am a Christian." And, "Yes, my dad was a Methodist- preacher." Or, "My Uncle Del is a missionary in Zimbabwe." Someone win say, "Sure, I was born right here in Christian America." But all of that has nothing to do with the question of being born again, being a member of the true united Church of Jesus Christ consisting of those, and only of those, who have been redeemed.

But, Hitler was a church member until the day he died, and in the view of most of the people in this world, a church member is a Christian. It is understandable that Jewish people view the Holocaust, perpetrated by "Christian" Hitler in Christian Germany, land of the Reformation, as a Christian phenomenon.

One Who Protested

American clergyman Arno C. Gaebelein, an outstanding EvangelicaI- fundamentalist writer and preacher of the early part of this century, was alert to the threat of Nazism. Long before Hitler's worst side had been seen, he was warning the world of the dangers inherent in Nazism. This is pointed out by Herman Voss and David Rausch in their book, Protestantism Its Modem Meaning. In 1930 Gaebelein described Hitler as being "an outspoken enemy of the Jews ... one of the most fanatical anti-Semites of Europe." Voss and Rausch describe Gaebelein's thought in some detail:

An avid reader with contacts around the world, including Germany and Russia, Gaebelein underscored the growing power of fascism in Europe in the 1920s, and in Our Hope (August 1932) remarked: "Especially threatening is it in Germany. Adolf Hitler, the clever fascist leader who is winning out in Germany and holds the power in his hands, is a rabid anti-Semite. When Hitler became chancellor in 1933, Gaebelein saw this as a serious setback for the German people, and he detailed Nazi boycotts of Jewish department stores, and limitation of Jewish rights. To Gaebelein, fascism meant the political conditions of the entire world are breaking up." It appeared as though the Great Tribulation was near.

And yet Gaebelein had no patience with those who tried to pinpoint or date prophetic events or who would try to guess who the Antichrist might be. His philosophy was well illustrated when he wrote in Our Hope (November 1933): "The editor has no use for day-and-year- setters, nor has he any use for figuring out the duration of the times of the Gentiles, nor has he any sympathy with men who prophesy that Mussolini, Hitler, Feisal, or any other person is the Antichrist. It is a morbid condition which seems to suit certain minds."

Gaebelein continued to write about atrocities against the Jewish people and the rise of German Teutonic paganism. An article on the Nazis in February 1936 was entitled The Devil Marches On In Germany. When Adolf Hitler used the 1936 Olympic Games as a great propaganda play and tried to hide the persecution of the Jewish people from journalists, tourists, and government officials, Gaebelein was appalled that even David Lloyd George (1863-1945), the British statesman, was misled.2

Wrong Assumptions

Many Evangelicals assume that the Evangelical church in Germany would have despised Hitler and rejected his leadership. This is not the case, however. There were few who stood up against him. I have personally met Evangelical preachers who were once in the Nazi party in Germany. Since their conversion to Jesus Christ, some have repudiated Nazism and Hitler's actions. However, some are still defensive of Hitler and the Nazi regime.

One preacher criticized me for mentioning the Holocaust. "Let the past be in the past," he said. "Don't keep digging it up. Besides, Hitler was not all bad. He was against the Commu- nists. He built the autobahn (superhighway) and promoted the Volkswagen. He loved little children. He was kind to animals, and besides, he made the trains run on time." It is impossible to treat such words with anything but the utter disgust of which they are worthy.

Suppose someone would say to you, "Yes, I know Joe Smith raped and killed my wife, murdered the rest of my family, and was the mass murderer of twenty-seven other people. But he wasn't all bad, after all he ran a nice ice cream parlor, and he was a faithful church member and always gave to the Red Cross Foundation." One could only say, "How disgusting! You have a sick mind."

Fooled by Hitler

The sorry fact is that the German church leaders in general, including the Evangelicals, did nothing to resist Hitler. In fact, many favored him.'

Voss and Rausch cite the late Oswald J. Smith, pastor of the great Evangelical People's Church of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, in this regard. Evidently, Oswald Smith was completely fooled by Hitler, although later on, his eyes were opened and he repented, reversing all his previously held opinions. Oswald Smith was a good man who simply misunderstood the situation in Germany.

Yet, Smith's article, "My Visit to Germany," shows how effective Adolf Hitler was in his Olympic campaign and in his brainwashing of good, decent Protestants. The forty-six-year-old Smith was taken in by the fervent testimony of "true Christians" he visited in Germany during the Olympic Games. "What," you ask, "is the real attitude of the German people toward Hitler?" Smith wrote, "There is but one answer. They love him ... every true Christian is for Hitler . . . ."

They also impressed upon Smith that "the Bolsheviks were prepared to take over the country," and "Hitler has saved Germany." Smith listened "spellbound" to the contented, happy Protestants, joyously writing that "all girls are trained to be mothers," use of makeup and lipstick had been eliminated, and mass immorality was being eradicated.

"Before Hitler's days, spiritism flourished," Smith rejoiced. "Now occultism of every description is banned." In addition, Smith was more than thrilled that Russellism. (Jehovah's Witnesses) was banned as dangerous to the nation.

He suggested that the "United States and Canada could learn a valuable lesson in this regard." In actuality, both Smith and the German Protestants were to learn that when one person's religious freedom is violated, all religious freedom is on the chopping block.

Smith was so completely deceived by the propaganda that he referred to the "spiritual awakening that is coming to the German people." The Cathedral in Berlin was full, with a minister who "preaches the old- fashioned gospel. He spares no one. And none interferes with him. He deals openly with sin and salvation." The "true Christian" Protestants of Germany had convinced Smith that they were on the brink of religious revival. "France I do not trust. France is Red, immoral and godless," Smith concluded. "Germany is Protestant. It was from Germany that Luther came. 113

Spiritual Treachery

Gerald Winrod, who died in 1957, quoted Smith extensively, and published his articles in his Defender Magazine. (Defender has since been taken over and retitled by a pro-Israel Pentecostalist, Hart Armstrong). Actually Winrod had been a defender of the Jews in the1920s, but by 1935 he was justifying Hitler and had turned against the Jews. Gaebelein was to identify Winrod as a "secret follower of Hitler."

It is startling to discover that Winrod, a strong biblical Zionist could turn about-face and persecute the Jews through his writings. Yet, we see the same thing happening today in certain Evangelical and Charismatic camps. May God deliver us from this spiritual treachery. May God deliver us from this spiritual insanity.

Currently, Rev. Gordon Winrod, a fundamentalist, is carrying on his father's tradition of Christian anti-Semitism. His anti-Semitic literature is published under the auspices of a church he pastors in Gainesville, Missouri. Gerald Winrod was a great believer in the spurious Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion, and he distributed copies widely. The Protocols purport to be an outline of a Jew-Zionist plot to rule the world.

American Evangelical leaders like Arno Gaebelein, Harry Ironside, Keith Brooks, and many other Evangelicals signed Dr. Donald Gray Barnhouse's petition denouncing the Proto-

cols as an anti-Semitic forgery. Pastor Barnhouse, a Presbyterian minister wrote one of the greatest commentaries on the Book of Revelation. Barnhouse was a premillinnarian and ardent supporter of Israel .4 At the same time, most German Evangelicals were silent, or even supportive of Hitler.

Good and Bad News

It is encouragement over that many American Evangelicals did actually denounce Hitler. Voss and Rausch state: During Hitler's "final solution" to the Jewish problem, Fundamentalist-Evangelicals believed that the Jewish people were being exterminated by the millions, while more liberal Christians, and periodicals such as The Christian Century, were labeling the reports of atrocity "propaganda." Gaebelein's Our Hope magazine gave factual reports of atrocities against the Jewish people during the 1930s and 1940s. The Fundamentalist-Evangelical world view lent it- self very well to such convictions, even when they seemed beyond the realm of belief and left the premillennialists in shock . 5

The good news is that there are many Evangelicals and Pentecostals, who are in tune with biblical truth in relation to Israel and the Jewish people. How I thank God for those who refuse to be intimidated, who rise above the general apathy that attends this subject. One might smugly take comfort in the fact that many American Evangelicals did resist Hitler from afar, while condemning our German colleagues. It is easy to be selfcongratulatory when surrounded by our agreeing brethren.

Looking at the current American Evangelical scene, however, in certain quarters, we see a shift away from biblical literalism. It reminds one of the kind of reversal made by Gerald Winrod on the Israel/Jewish issue.

I am distressed to see certain pastors and leaders who once took a strong biblical stance on God's promises to national Israel who are today hobnobbing with the Kingdom Now and the Dominion crowd. Some have openly embraced anti-Israel doctrine. The silence of others, formerly so outspoken, is significant. If Charismatic brethren are going to fellowship with our Kingdom Now brethren, they should take every opportunity to correct themon their unscriptural attitude toward Israel.

Strange Unity

Many have been silenced for the sake of "unity." But what kind of unity is it that calls for silence on major issues? What kind of unity is it that denies us the right to speak out on vital issues? What kind of unity is it when a few brethren with strange new doctrines, set the agenda for us all? What kind of unity is it that causes Kingdom Now friends to accuse those of us who are friends of Israel of being satanic, inspired by the devil, deceived, and guilty of preaching heresy?

I am told that I should either change my views concerning Israel, or if I cannot do that, then I should be silent for the sake of unity. What unity is this?

Some time ago I attended a leadership conference. We were told that Israel and prophecy are low on the agenda of priorities in the Church of today, so we should keep silent on the subjects. Is this unity or spiritual blackmail and brainwashing?

My view is that, regardless of disagreements, I am united with all born- again believers. We have one head, even Jesus Christ (1 Cor.12). We certainly need a more visible manifestation of that unity, but the neo- modernist Evangelicals and Pentecostals are not promoting that concept of unity.

Unity we have, but truth is elusive and must be pursued with vigor. Regardless of what you may hear or think to the contrary, the devil's principle end-time tactic is not to cause division but to promote deception. Indeed, division is deplorable, and Satan will use it, but deception is worse and can hinder the kingdom of God and, in the extreme, can even damn souls.

Neo-Kingdomists and Dominionists

Some of the Neo-Kingdomists (Kingdom Now) and the Dommionists are promoting the same anti-Semitic theology that the churchmen of Hitler's day were preaching. Hitler's henchmen actually quoted pastors and church leaders in justifying their horrible persecution of the Jews. Not all people in the Kingdom Now and Dominion movements are doctrinal anti-Semitics, but most of them are.

Let a major depression hit the world. Let really hard times come to this country. Let another Hitler arise, this time in our midst. Some of the modernistic Evangelicals I have described will be the first to follow him. They may not light the gas furnaces at Auschwitz, but, like their fellow German churchmen of the Nazi era, they will provide the fuel.

Pastor, I urge you to get involved in this important issue facing the Church today. Speak out and repudiate false teaching now, before it is too late.

Evangelicals ought to know that we have a vested interest in being protective of our Jewish friends. It is a fact that the same anti-God forces that have eternally wanted to destroy the Jews also want to destroy us. I appeal to my Kingdom Now and Dominionist brethren to rethink their theology and return to a biblical standard.

Only One Man

Only one man in the whole history of the world was given the privilege of choosing his birth place, his race, and his mother. That one man was Jesus who chose to be born in Bethlehem to a Jewish mama. He chose to be of the tribe of Judah, from which the word Jew is derived. He lived the life of an observant, orthodox Jew. He never had the privilege of attending a church service. He never saw a Sunday school. He worshiped, prayed, taught, preached, and healed the sick in the Jewish Temple on Mount Moriah, which He reverently referred to as His Father's house. He was a Jew when He died on the cross at the hands of the Romans, and when He rose up from the dead He was a Jew.

The one who makes intercession for you at the right hand of the Father is the Jew, Jesus. Our divine Lord retains His humanity (1 Tim. 2:5). That one mediator between God and man, the MAN Christ Jesus is still a Jew in heaven. When He comes back He will still be a Jew. He will be a Jew for all eternity, for He is the "Lion of the tribe of Judah" (Rev. 5:5).

Listen, anti-Semite, Jew hater, the Jew is coming back, and He is angry with you. I would not want to be in your shoes for anything.

Zion Calls

Theodore Herzil did not invent Zionism when he held the first Zionist Congress in the Stadt Cassino Music Hall in Basel, Switzerland in 1897. He simply jumped on a bandwagon that had been rolling through the corridors of history for thousands of years since the time of Abraham. The Almighty Jehovah is the inventor of Zion and Zionism. Listen to the joyous proclamation of the prophets:

0 Zion, that bringest good tidings, get thee up into the high mountain; 0 Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God! (Isa. 40:9).

Sing and rejoice, 0 daughter of Zion: for, lo, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the Lord (Zech. 2:10).

Thus saith the Lord; I am returned unto Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and Jerusalem shall be called a city of truth; and the mountain of the Lord of hosts the holy mountain (Zech. 8:3).

And I will bring them, and they shall dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God, in truth and in righteousness (Zech. 8:8).

Lord, haste the day of the reign of Israel's Messiah who will bring peace on earth, with goodwill toward all people.