Satanically inspired attempts to destroy Israel are nothing new. Throughout Scripture we read of such attempts. In Moses’ day Amalek sought to destroy Israel. During the days of Esther and Mordechai, Haman a descendant of Amalek devised a plan to systematically destroy the Jewish people. Haman became the paradigmatic figure of the arch-enemy of Israel. Though the Romans destroyed Jerusalem in a terrible war, and perhaps a million and a half perished, Rome never sought to destroy the Jewish people in totality.
Anti-Semitism in the Western World
Though there have been terrible events throughout the history of Christendom, the danger of Israel being wiped out was never at issue. There were several reasons for this limit to danger. While Church theology taught that the Jewish people were under a curse and were to be kept in a second-class status, Church theology also taught that the Jewish people were to be preserved as a sign and a warning to people to never forsake the Christian faith. The Popes were part of an inter-generational tradition that maintained that the head of the (Roman Catholic) Church was to protect the Jewish people and assure their continuance. In addition, persecutions were sporadic and regional. The Crusades in the middle ages caused the murder of a small percentage of the total Jewish people and was contrary to papal policy. The Inquisition, beginning in the 1500s, was localized mostly in Spain, Portugal and later South America. Pogroms in the 19th century were erratic and while thousands perished, there was no systematic attempt to totally wipe out the Jewish people.
With the rise of the Nazis, a new and terrible philosophy calling for the total destruction of the Jewish people was established in a technologically sophisticated and militaristic nation. Nazi Germany planned a “final solution” to exterminate the Jews, a people deemed to be racially inferior. This new philosophy was an amazing combination of Darwinian concepts of evolution and occult religious ideas. The greatest concentrations of Jewish people in the world were in areas adjacent to Germany or just beyond neighboring countries, increasing the danger to the Jewish people. Anti-Semitism in the Christian nations, both Western and Christian Orthodox, established attitudes in those nations that allowed people to acquiesce to the Nazi horror. We all know the result: six million Jews died. Bible believers see all of this as the attempt of Satan to destroy the Jewish people and thereby to nullify God’s covenants and to prevent the fulfillment of God’s promises for Israel and the world.
The Nazi Response To The Jewish People
Much of the world, especially the Western world, responded with great remorse to the Nazi horror. Good things happened. For one, the United Nations voted to endorse the formation of the State of Israel. In addition, there was a season of repentance in Church bodies and the repudiation of anti-Semitism. Many Church denominations declared the continued election of the Jewish people, the most noteworthy being the Roman Catholic Church in 1968.
The Islamic Quest For A New Holocaust
Very few perceived that another potential Holocaust was possible. Some Bible believers did conclude that an even more dangerous Anti-Semitism would arise with greater danger to the Jewish people. One of these was our friend, the late Derek Prince, who argued that the State of Israel would not solve the problem, but would cause a great demonic opposition because history was moving to the climax of the salvation of Israel and the nations.
The teachings of the Koran and in the Hadith (the traditions about Mohammed and his teachings), include a very virulent Anti-Semitism. The Koran’s last days’ scenario envisions a time when the Jews will finally be destroyed. Moreover, Islamic doctrine demands that any territory that has ever been brought under Islamic rule must never revert to a non-Islamic government. It would constitute a deep dishonor; therefore the adherents of Islam are required to take such territory back. This doctrine has led to a deep hatred for Israel.
Because of their opposition to Jewish immigration to the Land of Israel, the Middle Eastern Islamic countries supported Hitler. They drank deeply of Nazi sources and embraced terrible propaganda that had not been prevalent in Islam. This included the forgery, “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” which claimed to be a book detailing the Jewish plot to take over the world. Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” is still a widely read book in the Arab Moslem world.
With the rise of radical Islam, a process that has been growing in significance for the last 50 years, an unprecedented level of hatred, jihad, and violence has been established in the Muslim world. According to the best studies, the great majority of scholars in the main Islamic Universities teach the most virulent Anti-Semitic hatred. Violent jihad is supported by the interpretation of many foundational Islamic texts. Destroying Israel is understood to be the first great step toward conquering the whole world for Islam. These violent teachings are supported in Saudi Wahabism (a sect of Sunni Islam). Saudi oil money and the oil money of other Islamic nations support spreading these teachings, through the building of Mosques, paying the salaries of Imams and building Islamic schools that train Moslems in this primitive and violent jihad mentality. These schools and mosques are not only in the Middle East, but in Pakistan, the Philippines, most of Western Europe, South America and the United States. There are thousands of these professors and preachers in the Islamic world.
The terror group Hamas that rules Gaza is fully committed to this teaching. Jews are depicted as apes and pigs that eat the blood of Moslem children in their baked goods. This is the old “blood libel” of medieval Anti-Semitism, regurgitated into a modern Islamic form.
Iran has its own violent and even more dangerous understanding of jihad. In Shiite Islam, a great conflagration at the end of days is a necessary prerequisite before the coming of the Moslem Messiah. A nuclear exchange that would destroy Israel, damage the West, and by retaliation would also decimate the Islamic world could be understood as just the type of event to bring about his coming. The destruction of Israel in this way would be worse than the Holocaust, for not only would we suffer terrible human loss, but the Jewish hope of self determination in our own land would probably be ended forever. It is a pain and tragedy beyond our imagining.
Never have the Jewish people faced an ideology so widespread and so dangerous! A nuclear bomb detonated by suicide terrorists off the coast of Israel or other Western ports is in the realm of real possibility. Iran is developing a nuclear bomb and the missile technology to deliver it. The population of Israel could be destroyed. Yet the relativistic and politically correct West refuses to face reality.
A Prophetic Evaluation
The danger of jihadist Islam is so great that many prophecy teachers think this could be the anti-Christ system that will bring about the conditions described in the Bible including the last days’ invasion of Israel in Zechariah 12 and 14.
How can this terrible power be defeated? No human government has the answer. Can the West go to war against the whole Islamic jihadist world? The War on Terror is hardly a beginning. The situation seems hopeless. Or is this also a stratagem from God? What if God has ordained events so that the very small nation of Israel is an instrument in the ultimate defeat of the prince of darkness over Islam? God loves the peoples of the world who are under the bondage of the Islamic system. The bondage of the peoples to hatred, honor/shame dynamics and the oppression of women are beyond what we can imagine.
Are Israel and the Church God’s instruments to bring His revelation and see hundreds of millions of people delivered from bondage in a new exodus of freedom? We are in an impossible situation and one not of our own making; God’s intervention is the only answer. This is why I am certain that the events in Israel, including the restoration of believers in Jesus, are part of God’s means of bringing the great victory of the Kingdom.