Anti-Semitism is generally described as hostility or prejudice against Jews. But it is much more than that. Anti-Semitism is an insidious, irrational, supernatural hatred. Its source is demonic. Its father is haSatan, Satan, the arch-enemy of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Anti-Semitism exists in all cultures, countries and times. It even exists in countries that have virtually no Jewish population. When Satan’s fate was sealed in Gen 3:15, his hatred of God expanded to include the Messiah, who would ultimately bruise his head. Satan hates the Jewish God, the Jewish Messiah, and the people who worship the One, and gave the world the Other! He is the father of lies, and he specializes in lying about the Jews. Over the centuries, he has found millions of people who believe his lies.
One of Satan’s lies is believed by many Jewish people today: “Anti-Semitism is 2000 years old.” They really believe this, since many have read about or experienced persecution at the hands of so called “Christians.” But anti-Semitism, after originating in the Garden of Eden, found willing partners in Pharaoh, Haman, and Antiochus. Since God promised that the Seed of the woman, the promised Messiah, would be born from the seed of Abraham and Isaac (Gen 22:18; 26:4), Satan prompted Pharaoh to decree that all Hebrew male babies be killed (Ex 1:15-22). The enemy sought to destroy Israel so that the Messiah could not be born. Haman’s attempt to annihilate the entire people of Israel had the same satanic agenda. Antiochus Epiphanes, of the Hanukkah story, also participated in this evil scheme. In pre-Christian times, Satan failed in these and other attempts to annihilate the Jewish people, and Messiah was born in the days of Herod the Great.
A Classic Anti-Semite
The holiday of Purim, based on the biblical book of Esther, is celebrated this year from the evening of Saturday, March 15, 2014 to the evening of Sunday, March 16, 2014. Although Purim is one of the most joyous and fun holidays on the Jewish calendar, it contains a very solemn message about anti-Semitism. The villain in the Book of Esther is the wicked Haman, a descendant of the Amalekite King Agag. The Amalekites’ hatred of the Jewish people passed down through the generations, manifesting itself through the chief advisor of the King of Persia. Same horse. Different rider. The Lord had said to King Saul, “Go and utterly destroy the sinners, the Amalekites, and fight against them until they are consumed” (1Sam 15:18). Saul did not completely obey the Lord. He spared the king, making it possible for a future Amalekite (Haman) to be born.
We sometimes wonder why God asks people to be so ruthless, to kill whole peoples. But God knows the future. Sometimes His decrees, that we don’t understand, are for the protection of His people. It is never His will that men like Haman exist. But they do exist, because sin and evil still exist in the world. When men choose evil instead of God, good people suffer. Haman, like Pharaoh, Antiochus, Hitler and other anti-Semites, was enraged if men did not bow down to him and pay him homage (see Esther 3:5). If one Jew crossed him (i.e. Mordecai), he determined to take out his wrath on all the Jews. “…Haman sought to destroy all the Jews who were throughout the whole kingdom of Ahasuerus—the people of Mordecai” (Esther 3:6).
Haman, like others before him, was quick to believe lies about the Jews. He remarked to King Ahasuerus, “There is a certain people scattered and dispersed among the people in all the provinces of your kingdom; their laws are different from all other people’s, and they do not keep the king’s laws. Therefore it is not fitting for the king to let them remain” (Esther 3:8). (In other words, kill all of them.) Note the half truth. The Jews did have laws that made them different (separate) since God called them to be His own peculiar treasure (Deut 7:6). True. The accusation that they were not law-abiding citizens, not keeping the “king’s laws” was most probably, false. Haman, like other anti-Semites, was quick to believe the devil’s lies about the Jews, spread them, and devise evil schemes to annihilate them. Like other anti-Semites, he was doomed to fail. God is not mocked. Those who curse His people never succeed in the end. Haman’s wife and friends testified to this truth: “If Mordecai, before whom you have begun to fall, is of Jewish descent, you will not prevail against him but will surely fall before him.” (Esther 6:13) He did, and was hanged on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai, the Jew.
Over the years, many Gentile Christians who truly love the Lord have recoiled in horror when we have stated that there is such a thing as Christian anti-Semitism. Like many of you, they find this hard to believe, since a real follower of Jesus, the Jewish Messiah, would never hate a Jew, or anyone else. That is true. Nevertheless, atrocities and unthinkable inhuman acts have been perpetrated against the Jewish people over the centuries IN THE NAME OF JESUS. Of course they eren’t real “Christians,” but Jewish people don’t know that! How could they? If, like Neil’s other, your brother was stoned to death on an Easter Sunday in Poland because he made the mistake of walking near a church…. Wouldn’t you think it was “Christians” who murdered your brother? (Neil’s mother Pauline, by the race and mercy of God, received Yeshua as her Messiah at age 73.)Satan continued his diabolical attacks on the Jewish people during the Christian era since the Jews still had a role to play in God’s plan for history. God had plans to re-establish the Jewish people in their own land. The Nation of Israel was destined to be born in a day. Jews living in Israel, would one day cry out, “Baruch haba b’shem Adonai.” (Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.) All this would signify satan’s demise. His solution? Get rid of the Jews and instigate anti-Semitism wherever possible—especially through national governments and various forms of the organized “Church.” Over the last two thousand years the enemy has unfortunately been very successful in this, as seen from the following sampling of major anti-Semitic events:
- 167 Melito of Sardis was the first preacher to accuse the Jews of “deicide” – killing God.
- 315 Constantine established Christianity as the state religion, and passed laws against the Jews.
- 613 Spain forced all Jews who refused to be baptized to leave the country.
- 1096 In Germany the Crusaders killed over 12,000 Jews along the Rhine river.
- 1181 French King Philip banished the Jews and confiscated all their land and homes.
- 1189 Richard the Lionhearted had most Jewish homes in London burned.
- 1290 Edward I banished the Jews from England.
- 1348 Jews were blamed for the plague in Europe. Over ten thousand were burned alive.
- 1453 The King of Poland withdrew all rights of citizenship from the Jews.
- 1492 The Inquisition forced 300,000 Jews who refused to be baptized to leave Spain penniless.
- 1497 The King of Portugal forced Jews to be baptized. Those who refused were declared slaves.
- 1540-1550 Jews in the Italian cities of Naples, Genoa, and Venice were banished.
- 1794 Jewish men in Russia were forced to serve 25 years in the Russian army.
- 1828-present Muslims persecute, torture, tax, and expel Jews from their lands.
- 1903 Russia renewed restrictions of Jews, accompanied by massacres and intense poverty.
Anti-Semitic Misuse of the New Covenant
It is a very sad truth that Jews have been persecuted in the name of Jesus over the centuries. The New Covenant Scriptures that speak of Him have been used as the basis of slander, lies and undeserved hatred. Many years ago, we read an article by the Rev. Ludwig Dewitz in which he related an incident that happened in his life which shows how the enemy can twist the truths of the Bible for his purposes—in this case to defame God’s chosen people.
“I remember only too well the time, in 1934, when I walked through a street in Berlin, my home. Hitler had come to power and this fact was apparent everywhere. Since his will to destroy the Jews was a basic ingredient in his policy, official propaganda was quick to utilize that idea. All over Germany display cases were erected in which editions of a violently anti-Semitic and pornographic paper, Der Sturmer, appeared. On that particular day there was an article on the front page, its title in large letters and bold type being: JOHN 8:44-YOUR FATHER THE DEVIL. The argument then ran along this line: Christians are followers of Jesus and hence must take His words very seriously. He came from God in order to bring salvation to the world; He came to fight Satan and so confronted the devil’s people, the Jews. They, however, repudiated him, rejected the Gospel and finally put him to death….Christians now must continue the work of Jesus which means fighting against the devil and that is best done by destroying the devil’s people, the Jews.” (From the Messianic Outreach, Volume 4:3)
While this argument is crude, it seemed logical to many Germans. Of course, the verse was taken out of context. Yeshua was having a lengthy discourse with some teachers of the Law who were insisting that God was their Father. Yeshua said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me,for I proceeded forth and came from God…” (Jn 8:42) When Yeshua told them that they were of their father the devil, He was emphasizing the fact that just as the devil does not stand in the truth, they were not standing in the truth.
All people, Jews and Gentiles, who do not believe in Yeshua as the Son of God, King Messiah, Savior of the world, do not stand in the truth, and God is not their father! The Jews are not the devil’s people! The Bible says that they are a people dear to His heart. “For the Lord has chosen Jacob to be his own, Israel to be his treasured possession” (Psalm 135:4). The prophet Zechariah gave words of warning concerning treatment of the Jewish people. “…for he who touches you (Israel) touches the apple of His (God’s) eye” (Zech 2:8). Finally, Gentile believers are admonished in the New Covenant to have the proper attitude toward Jewish people. “Do not be haughty, but fear. For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either” (Rom 11:20-21). The book of Romans also makes it abundantly clear that God is not finished with the Jewish people. He has plans to turn away ungodliness from Jacob (Rom 11:26). The Jews are enemies of the gospel for the sake of the Gentiles, but beloved of God for the sake of the fathers (Rom 11:28). “For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable” (Rom. 11:29).
Anti-Israelism: the New Anti-Semitism
The enemy is clever. He has switched the focus from hatred of the Jews to hatred of Israel, tapping into the renewed passion worldwide for “social justice”–especially on college campuses. Anti-Israel rallies are common today due to the current Palestinian issue. Israelis are branded as “aggressors,” “instigators,” “violent,” and “brutal“. They are accused of stealing Palestinian land. Satan, the father of lies, has convinced millions of people, even Church organizations, that the Israelis are enemies of peace, and agents of cruelty against an oppressed people, often referred to as “poor Palestinians.”
What is the truth? God gave the Land of Israel to the children of Abraham, through Isaac and Jacob by covenant (Genesis 28:13). The word Palestine, from Philistine, is the name given to the land by the Romans to mock the Jews and their God. There is no such people group as a “Palestinian people.” This name was adopted by Yasser Arafat when he formed the Palestine Liberation Organization in 1994 so that a case might be made for “Palestinian statehood.” This would give them a foothold inside Israel to facilitate the ultimate goal of the PLO which is, and has always been, the entire destruction of the State of Israel and the Jews. (The hand of Satan is obvious here.)
Where did the Palestinians come from? Who is the real oppressor? In 1948, when the new nation of Israel was attacked by five surrounding Arab nations, the Arabs residing there were encouraged to leave Israel by Arab leaders who promised to purge the land of Jews. Sixty-eight percent left, around 630,000. These (and their descendants) are today’s refugees. (At the same time, Jewish citizens (850,000) were forced to flee from Arab lands due to Arab brutality, persecution and pogroms. Israel absorbed them. ARAB REFUGEES WERE INTENTIONALLY NOT ABSORBED OR INTEGRATED INTO THE ARAB LANDS TO WHICH THEY FLED, DESPITE THE VAST ARAB TERRITORY.
The “Palestinians” have indeed been victimized, but not by Israel. Arab regimes herded them into “refugee camps” where they were virtual prisoners, stripped of their dignity, deprived of any future hope, and brain-washed to believe that the Jews are to blame for their situation in life. The “Palestinian people” have been used as pawns by the Arab world for their own political purposes. They have been armed as suicide martyrs, and their children have been taught to hate the Jews.
The media worldwide has cooperated with Satan’s lie that Israel is to blame for the “Palestinian refugee problem.” It continues to affirm as truth the myth of a “Palestinian people” with “legitimate aspirations” to their “ancestral homeland.” World opinion would also have us believe that Zionism is racism (not true!) and that Israel is an apartheid state (far from true!). All lies—but believed by many throughout the world, and even in our country.
Palestinian terrorism is a reality in Israel. When Israel responds to this terrorism in self defense, the world condemns her and insists that Israel show “restraint.” Most don’t know that in order to avoid civilian casualties, the IDF routinely takes great risks and uses ground forces (instead of bombing from the air) to clean out terrorists, weapons and explosives from Palestinian controlled areas. The IDF is not perfect, but satan has maligned Israel’s defense forces so that when we go there on our Mercy Missions, Israeli soldiers often ask us, “Why do the Americans hate us?”
It is up to us to stand for truth, and stand against the lying anti-Semitic spirit!
GOOD NEWS! The enemy’s defeat will be final when Yeshua returns to establish His Kingdom and banish Satan from the earth. Until then… do all you can to bless the Jewish people, stand with Israel and God’s prophetic program, refute the lie that the Church has replaced Israel, and share Yeshua, the Jewish Messiah with God’s Chosen People.