(“Thread” 8 & 9)
SATAN’S ANCIENT HATRED FOR THE JEW
Satan’s war against the Jews has been extensive, starting from the time of Abraham and continuing to the present. For the very reasons that Christians should love the Jews, Satan hates them: They brought man back from pagan polytheism to worshipping the One True God. They saved the world from a moral deterioration by establishing God’s laws and commandments. They faithfully recorded God’s word for mankind and, most importantly, through the Jews God raised up Yeshua, the Messiah. Satan is still determined to destroy the Jews because the Jews are part of God’s End Times plan for the world culminating in the return of Jesus. If Satan can eliminate the Jews, if he can remove them as a people group, he saves himself from his own demise, his eternal judgement and eternity in the lake of fire (Revelation 20:10). This certainly is motivation enough for him to throw everything he possibly can at the Jews! That is why God wants the Church to pray for the descendants of Abraham; to stand in the gap for them (Ezekiel 22:30).
A study of the history of Israel and the Jews will give a clear picture of Satan’s continual and varied efforts in a detailed chess-like set of moves to thwart God’s plan and bring an end to the Jews. However, the short analysis written below should provide enough evidence to justify the claim that Satan is the mortal enemy of the Jewish people.
Satan’s first attack was on the lineage of the Jews: in Genesis 12:10-20 Abraham (Abram) moved with Sarah (Sarai) to Egypt because of a drought. Before arriving in Egypt, Abraham – fearing for his life because of his wife’s beauty – instructed her to tell people that she was his sister (cf. Gen.20:12). In Egypt, just as Abraham feared, Sarah was quickly identified because of her beauty and was taken in to Pharaoh’s palace. God stopped the union of Pharaoh and Sarah by bringing a plague on Pharaoh’s household, making Pharaoh aware that Sarah was Abraham’s wife and restoring her to Abraham, thus preventing the real probability of Sarah’s first-born son being an Egyptian!
A blatant Satanic attack on the Jews is recorded in Exodus 1:5-22. The Jews were slaves in Egypt but their population numbers became a threat to Pharaoh, so he ordered the midwives to kill all the Jewish boys. In time there would only have been Jewish girls left who would then have married into Egyptian society, ending the Jewish race. The evil idea was sound in theory but it had one major flaw: the midwives feared God and disobeyed Pharaoh. One such child who was saved was Moses. When he was forty Moses defended Israelite slaves and killed an Egyptian, he then had to flee Egypt. When Moses was eighty he returned to Egypt, after having established a relationship with the God of Israel, to lead the Jews out of Egypt to the Promised Land.
Satan was most assuredly behind the rebellion of the Jews in Exodus 32, at the base of Mount Sinai, when the people demanded of Aaron to make them a god (verse 1), and Aaron made them a golden calf (verse 4). Satan must have believed that God would destroy the Jews for their rebellion against Him.
In 2 Kings 17:5-6, The Assyrian king Shalmaneser took the Israelites from Samaria captive and moved them back to Assyria. In 2 Kings 24:10-16, the Babylonian king, Nebuchadnezzar, took those still living in Judah captive and led them to Babylon, destroying Jerusalem and the Temple in the process. This would have effectively ended the Jewish race as a people and separated them from their covenant promise of the land of Israel, if it were not for King Cyrus of Persia whom Isaiah prophesied (Isaiah 44:28; 45:13) would restore the Jews back to their land and allow them to rebuild their Temple
In 473 BC Haman the Agagite paid the king of Persia 10 000 talents of silver to write a decree ordering that the Jews be destroyed (Esther 3:9), as their customs were different from all other peoples and accusing them for not obeying the king’s decrees. With this one decree, Satan was seeking to totally wipe out the Jews as a people group. What Haman did not know was that Queen Esther was a Jewess who was marvellously used by God to deliver her people. Haman was sent to be hanged from the gallows that he had built for Mordecai, Esther’s uncle.
The story of the attempt by Antiochus Epiphanes to Hellenise the Jews and stop temple worship is recorded in 1 Maccabees 1-6. This (had it succeeded) would have severed the Jewish people from their relationship with their God, Yahweh. Unfortunately for Antiochus, Judas Maccabaeus led a revolt in 166 BC which liberated the Jews from the rule of the Seleucids.
The Roman General Titus conquered Jerusalem, who razed the city including the Temple in AD 70. Many of the Jews were sold to the highest bidder and taken into slavery. This is recorded in Josephus’ historical record of the Roman campaign called the War of the Jews, VI, ix, 3.
In AD 132 the Romans brought slaughter and destruction to the Jews once again when Simon Bar Kokhba led the Jews in a revolt against Rome. The revolt was crushed by the Romans, the victory being decisive and resulting in most of the Jewish survivors being dispatched to various parts of the Roman Empire. Very few Jews remained in the land and Israel as a nation was temporarily obliterated. Romans and later the Byzantines ruled the land. The two revolts against Rome would have been the end of any other culture of people. The foundation of the Jewish religion had been wiped out, the Temple was in ruins, their capital city was desolate, the population of the land had been sold into slavery… Satan seemed to have succeeded, but Judaism survived against all odds because God’s hand was on His people!
Both the Crusades and the Inquisitions were used by Satan to decimate the Jews. There were eight crusades between the 11th and 13th centuries, organised by the Roman Catholic Church. Although the main goal was control of Jerusalem and the Holy Land, the Crusades targeted Jewish populations for slaughter wherever they were found. The Crusaders were not holy men on a holy mission; many men joined the ranks of the Crusades because they believed the promise of the Pope that all their sins would be forgiven and their debts in this life and the next would be cancelled. The Pope also promised that their debts to any Jewish creditors would be cancelled. An added incentive for the Crusaders was that they were able to murder the Jews and rob them of their possessions with the support of the Pope, the ‘Vicar of Christ’.
The Jews were not the initial targets of the Inquisitions; the Inquisitors targeted Christian ‘heretics’ for punishment, but by AD 1288 the first mass burning of Jews tied to stakes took place. The burning of ‘heretics’ was preceded by torture to encourage the individuals to repent of their ‘heresy’. Jews became targets by the various inquisitions throughout the continent of Europe (not including the Scandinavian countries), and the Inquisitions continued until the late 18th century.
The Jews were continually victims of an intolerant “Christian” Europe with frequent outbreaks of anti-Semitism. Russia is a country with a poor record with regards to the Jews and had pogroms against the Jews from 1881 to World War I. Tsar Alexander II of Russia was assassinated and the Russian government blamed the assassination on the Jews, which resulted in the start of the terrible pogrom of 1881.
Adolf Hitler, the leader of the Nazi party which promoted national socialism and anti-Semitism, was elected to power in Germany in 1933 and began a campaign to eradicate the Jews. By the end of World War II, over 6 000 000 Jews had been murdered during the greatest pogrom ever against any people group.
More recently, Satan has turned to the religion of Islam as his new tool in annihilating the Jews. Arab nations fought to destroy the nation of Israel in the 1948, 1956, 1967 and 1973 wars. The latest war being fought by Israel is the war on terror, with numerous Islamic terrorist groups marshalling their forces against Israel with the end goal of the termination of the State of Israel (cf. Ps.83:1-4). The new threat on the horizon is the development of a nuclear weapon by Iran, a nation whose leaders have repeatedly sworn that they will develop the means to destroy Israel. When examining the historical record as solid evidence that Satan has continually made attempts to target the Jewish people with the goal of disrupting God’s plan for them, there can be little doubt that the Islamic hatred of the Jews is spiritually inspired by Satan. The Muslim nations have tried repeatedly to eradicate the Jews in Israel through wars, and Islamic terrorist groups are tireless in their efforts to find ways to kill the Jews.
Satan’s last attempt to destroy the Jewish people as a nation will be through the Antichrist, which is recorded in the book of Daniel 9:25-27 and Revelation 12. The start of the Tribulation period is determined by a seven-year treaty that the Antichrist will mediate with Israel to bring peace to the Middle East. The Jews will believe that the Antichrist is their long-awaited Messiah who is ushering in a time of peace after years of continual conflict. However, “in the midst of the week,” the Antichrist will double-cross the Jews and break the seven-year covenant, placing a statue of himself in the new temple and calling himself God. The Jews will fiercely object to this idolatry and the Antichrist will turn on the Jews to quell their rebellion against the New World Religion.
For the Church to ignore such prolonged and persistent attacks on the Jews, when all the evidence points to the attacks being perpetrated by demonically-inspired hatred which is directed and orchestrated by Satan, is blindness in the extreme. This mindset is to be equated with a man who overhears a neighbourhood gang renowned for its violent crimes making plans to break into a certain man’s house to murder him and his family, ransack the house and steal all the valuables. The man – having the means to prevent the crime by making a call to the authorities to give details of the planned crimes – thinks to himself that the victim has lived in the neighbourhood a long time, so must have mechanisms in place for the safety of his home and family, so he should be safe, and in the end does nothing. If after the murder of the man and his family and the theft of his goods the authorities found out the man’s neglect, he would of course be found culpable and charged. Surely God will find the Church culpable for its neglect of Israel? The answer is that He will. God gives the warning of this in Obadiah.
The book of Obadiah records the judgement passed on Edom for its treatment of Judah. It is a warning to other nations of what will happen to them if they harm Judah. We then also see that Edom – being the descendants of Esau – is ‘brother’ to the Jews. Some writers put the date of Obadiah at 848-841 BC because they see the judgement coming at the time that Edom aligned with the Philistines and Arabia to break away from being a nation bound to Judah. But most Biblical historians place Obadiah at the first year of Babylonian captivity at 585 BC, when the Edomites were spectators to the destruction of Jerusalem. So, the judgement of Edom includes both its rebellion against Judah in 848 BC and its neutrality at the time of the Babylonian destruction of Jerusalem. In Obadiah 1:11, God warns the Edomites that “on the day you stood aloof while strangers carried off his (Israel’s) wealth and foreigners entered his gates and cast lots for Jerusalem, you were like one of them.” You are either in FULL support of Israel or you are against Israel. There is no middle ground and no sitting on the fence. We will be judged by God if we side with Israel’s enemies who attack Israel or do her harm. We will also be judged by God for standing ‘aloof’ and not siding with Israel; there is no sitting on the fence – this is a repeat of the same phrase 2 lines further back. God does not allow complacency.
The Christians who do not believe that the Church must stand by Israel in support of her are spiritually blind and deceived. We have ample evidence that one of Satan’s main goals is to destroy Israel and that one of the main reasons that Satan seeks to destroy Israel is because of the important part she plays in God’s plan for the future. This may sound very harsh, but it is true that by not supporting Israel and by not praying in line with God’s prophetic plan, Christians are enabling Satan. God is using Israel as a revelation that He is the true God through the mighty works that He is doing through that nation. God therefore requires the Church to pray in support of the Jews. If Christians do not pray, they are not supporting God in His witness to the world, so once again they enable Satan!
ROMAN CATHOLIC ANTI-SEMITISM
The following is an abbreviated list of official canon and decrees given by the Roman Catholic Church that have never been revoked. The decrees therefore still carry spiritual force and effect to varying degrees.
From the Council of Nicaea in AD 325 until the Council of Basel in 1434, the Roman Catholic Church gradually built a regime that removed the Jews from society and locked them behind ghetto walls. The following are merely highlights:
- The Council of Nicaea I in AD 325 rejected the biblical date for celebrating the Resurrection Day, so as to sever any connection with the Jewish feast of Passover. This is one of the changes that Emperor Constantine introduced in an effort to prevent Gentiles and Jews from worshipping together.
- The council of Antioch of AD 345 ruled that any Christian celebrating Passover with a Jew would be excommunicated.
- The council of Laodicea in AD 360 ruled that Christians were forbidden from attending Jewish festivals (Canon 37) or receiving unleavened bread from them (Canon 38).
- In AD 425 Jews were required by law to observe Christian holidays and fast days, and to attend sermons designed to persuade them to convert to Christianity.
- The council of Agde, France, in AD 506, laid down strict rules for the baptism of converting to Roman Catholicism. The reason given was that Jews would quickly turn their backs on what was ‘sacred’, “like dogs returning to their vomit” – referring to the scripture in 2 Peter 2:22 (Canon 34). Clerics were forbidden from attending or being involved in Jewish festivals (Canon 40).
- The Synod of Clermont in AD 535 ruled that the Jews were prohibited from holding any public office.
- The Synod of Orleans in AD 538 ruled that the Jews were barred from owning Christian slaves or employing Christian servants; it is the Jews who were seen as the serfs of Christians.
- In AD 613, Jews were given the option of either leaving Spain or converting to Christianity. Jewish children over six years of age were taken from their parents and given a Christian education.
- The Council of Toledo IV in AD 663 (a ruling that would be repeated over the centuries) prevented Jews from holding public office, and authorised excommunication for those Gentile officials who did not comply.
- The Quinisext Council in AD 692, Canon II, put further pressure on Christians to separate themselves from Jews under threat of excommunication, by not being allowed to use Jewish doctors.
- In AD 694 during the Seventeenth Council of Toledo, Jews were defined as the serfs of the prince in Spain. This was based on the belief that God was punishing the Jews with continuous servitude as a judgement for their responsibility in the crucifixion of Jesus.
- The Council of Nicaea II in AD 787 required that Jews who fellowshipped with or joined the Church must first reveal names of other Jews who still openly or secretly studied and followed the Torah alone, and who observed the Sabbath or followed the Jewish festivals. Jews baptised into the Roman Catholic Church had to formally renounce and condemn all such forms of worship. These Jews would then be observed to ensure that they strictly followed these regulations and did not fall back to Hebrew practice (Canon 8).
- The Council of Narbonne in AD 1054 ordered Jews to wear a round patch of identification; this was followed by the Fourth Lateran Council in AD 1215 where Jews were required to wear distinctive dress and a yellow badge. This was the forerunner of the yellow Star of David Jews were forced to wear during the Nazi pogrom.
- The Synod of Gerona in AD 1078 ruled that Jews had to pay taxes for support of the churches to the same degree as Christians.
- The Third Lateran Council in AD 1179 stated that Jews were prohibited from suing or witnessing against Christians in courts.
- The Council of Oxford AD 1222 forbade the construction of any new synagogues.
- In AD 1231 Pope Gregory IX required that all Messianic Jews be investigated to ensure that none had returned to practicing Judaism.
- The Medieval Inquisition began in AD 1233 with Pope Innocent IV authorising the use of torture by the Inquisitors in AD 1252.
- In AD 1235 the council of Arles required that Jews were to wear a yellow circular patch to distinguish them from the rest of the population.
- During the Synod of Breslau in AD 1267 it was decided that Jews were to be separated from Christian society. These areas were to later become known as ghettos. “Ghetto” means “armory” in Italian and comes from the practice in Venice where Jews were kept in an armory factory in AD 1516.
- At the Synod of Ofen in AD 1279, Christians are prohibited from selling or renting homes, businesses or land to Jews.
- At the Council of Basel in AD 1434, Jews were no longer allowed to attain academic degrees.
- In AD 1492, Spain expelled all Jews (including Messianic Jews) who did not renounce Judaism and all Old Covenant practices. Those who did not comply, including many Messianic Jews, were burned at the stake. Converted Jews were forced to sign pledges that stated curses against unconverted Jews and sign vows not to interact with them.
- The congregation of the Holy Office in AD 1542, tortured and burnt at the stake Messianic Jews who followed Judaism and the books of the Law.
- Pope Leo XII decreed in AD 1826 that the property of Jews was to be confiscated and that the Jews were to be put into ghettos.
- In 1904 Pope St Pius refused the request made by Theodor Herzl, the Jewish Zionist leader, to sanction a Jewish homeland, saying that “the Jews have not recognised our Lord, therefore we cannot recognise the Jewish people.” He then made the offer to the Jews that if they travelled to the Holy Land, they would find Roman Catholics there willing to baptise them into the faith. The Pope’s idea of supporting a Jewish homeland was to convert the Jews to Roman Catholicism!
- On 8 July 1933, the Vatican signed a concordat with Hitler; under this agreement Roman Catholic bishops were to swear an oath of allegiance to the Nazi State. This was never repudiated even when news of the atrocities and the genocide was common knowledge. Roman Catholic churches helped the Nazis to identify Jews by providing them access to church genealogical records. Hitler enforced policies against the Jews that had been approved by the Roman Church over the course of history and was still official policy of the Roman Catholic Church at that time.
- The Roman Catholic Church’s passive submission to the Nazis continued when on 16 October 1943 German SS units rounded up the Jews of Rome and sent them to Auschwitz. Of these 1 000 particular Jews only 15 survived the war. It is of interest to note that both Hitler and Mussolini were Catholics yet neither was ever excommunicated by the Roman Church for their atrocities.
- In 1993 the Roman Catholic Church established diplomatic relations with the State of Israel and immediately took steps to bring the Old City of Jerusalem under Roman Catholic authority. Today, the Roman Church continues to persevere with diplomatic wrangling and will continue until it succeeds in its goal to control Jerusalem. The Roman Catholic Church is well aware that the Old City of Jerusalem is at the centre of End Times prophecy, and for the Roman Catholic Messiah to be accepted as genuine they need to have control of the Old City.
Through the centuries anti-Jewish pronouncements inexorably led to anti-Semitic violence. Organised violence such as the Crusades and the Inquisitions also inspired more sporadic violence in the form of countless local pogroms and Easter massacres.
With the weight of evidence of Roman Catholic anti-Semitism, it is clear why God continually supported Britain against her Roman Catholic adversaries and prevented Roman Catholic nations from gaining control of Eretz Israel. But the Roman Catholic Church still has its eyes on Jerusalem. It must not be forgotten that the Roman Catholic Church still holds to the belief that it is the new Israel. The Vatican’s claim of being the rightful heir of the Kingdom of God cannot be credible if Israel controls the Old City of Jerusalem. To correct this, the Vatican began to place pressure on Israel in 1993 to give the Old City international status and for the Roman Catholic Church to be the overseer of the sanctity of the religious sites. If this is ever allowed, it will give the Roman Catholic Church power and authority in the Old City and put the Roman Church on the road to a complete takeover.
A study of the early church in Rome reveals some interesting facts. It was in Rome that the seeds of Replacement Theology were planted when Emperor Claudius banished the Jews from Rome in AD 49 (Acts 18:2), leaving the Church entirely Gentile. The separation of Jew and Gentile resulted in the Roman Church refusing to accept the returning Jews when Nero rescinded the ban. It was in Rome after Constantine’s “conversion” to Christianity that the Church made compromises with paganism, allowing paganism to take root in Christianity and where man’s traditions became prominent within the Church. The once Jewish origins of Christianity were erased by paganism, firmly driving a wedge between Christians and Jews and making Christianity repugnant to the Jew. James Carol in his book titled Constantine’s Sword: The Church and the Jews, reveals that it was Constantine, the first Christian Roman Emperor who is the one largely responsible for the Biblical reinterpretations that would label the Jews as being responsible for the death of Jesus. It was also in Rome that Augustine (354-430) developed the doctrine of Amillennialism, which denies the Kingdom rule of Jesus in Israel and in which Replacement Theology finds a home. Augustine, the predominant Roman Catholic theologian, “compared the Jewish people to Cain who murdered his brother and became the first criminal in biblical history. The Jews, St Augustine wrote, were ‘a wicked sect’ and should be banished because of their evil” (1). Is it merely a coincidence that the foundations for Christian anti-Semitism are all laid in Rome, or is it possible that the seat of Satan, which the Book of Revelation indicates was in Pergamum (Revelation 2:13) has moved, and the theological foundations of anti-Semitism are also the foundations of the apostate church?
The tragic consequence of the continual persecution of the Jews by the Roman Catholic Church is that many Jews equate Christianity with Roman Catholicism and therefore associate all Christianity with persecution, not knowing that Catholicism has – over the centuries – killed far more Christians than Jews. Satan, in his battle against the servants of God, has used the Roman Catholic Church in an attempt to eradicate God’s true Church. The Bible-believing Church that rejected the authority of the Roman Church were called ‘Cathars’. ‘Cathar’ comes from the Greek katharos, meaning ‘pure’ – these believers were unstained by the teaching of Roman Catholicism. The two main groups of Cathars in Europe were the Waldensians and the Albigensians. The well-respected book, Fox’s Book of Martyrs, Devotes a chapter (IV) to record the extent of the Roman Catholic persecution of these believers. Pope Innocent III killed 60 000 Albigensian Christians, when he had the entire town of Beziers in southern France wiped out. Pope Innocent III called this act of barbarism “the crowning achievement” of his papacy. From the 12th century onwards, thousands of believers were killed as a result of the inquisitions against the Waldensians (from Italy and the south of France). Pope Innocent VIII issued a bull for their extermination in 1487. The worst single crusade against believers occurred in 1572 during the Saint Bartholomew’s Day Massacre of the French Protestant Huguenots. In a surprise coordinated attack, Roman Catholics across France turned on their Protestant neighbours and slaughtered them. Within a week, over 70 000 Protestants had been killed.
There are many charitable Protestant Christian organisations in Israel such as Christian Friends of Israel (CFI), Bridges for Peace and Joseph’s Warehouse that are changing the attitudes of Jews towards Protestant believers by their display of unconditional love and support for the Jews in Israel. Organisations such as these do valuable work in obedience to God’s call for the Church to support Israel; they are heavily dependent on donations and volunteer workers to fulfil this role.
(1) History of Anti-Semitism: http://www.southerninstitute.info/holocaust_education/ds1 .html