Israel — What Does the Future Hold?
By Arlen L. Chitwood
Past and Future
Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian. And he led the flock to the back of the desert, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God.
And the Angel of the LORD appeared to him in a flame of fire from the midst of a bush. So he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, but the bush was not consumed.
Then Moses said, “I will now turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush does not burn.”
So when the LORD saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.”
Then He said, “Do not draw near this place. Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground.”
Moreover He said, “I am the God of your father-the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look upon God.
And the LORD said: “I have surely seen the oppression of My people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows.
So I have come down to deliver them . . . .” (Exodus 3:1-8a)
The “Holocaust,” in modern vernacular, has come to be used as a somewhat synonymous reference to that which happened to the Jewish people in a German Third-Reich-controlled Europe preceding and during World War II (though many Jews prefer to use the Hebrew word, Shoah [meaning, a “Storm,” “Desolation,” or “Destruction”] to reference the Holocaust). This word is derived from the Greek word, holokaustos, referring to “a burnt offering,” with the thought of the offering being completely consumed by fire (the first part of the word, from holos, means “whole,” “complete”).
In view of that which occurred by the Third Reich’s anti-Semitic aim to produce a Jew-free Europe (which they termed, the “Final Solution to the Jewish Question”), a name derived from the Greek word holokaustos has, in one respect, been aptly chosen. The Holocaust was a systematic effort to completely destroy an entire race of people living throughout Europe — along with other means, to consume this race of people by fire through the use of the crematoriums in the death camps.
However, in another respect, viewing the nation as a whole, the name has not been aptly chosen at all. In fact, going by the exact meaning of the word — “a burnt offering,” with a view to the entire offering being completely consumed by fire — the word cannot describe the Jewish people at all. The nation cannot be consumed by fire; not a hair on the head of a single Jew can be singed in this respect. That is clearly spelled out in numerous places in Scripture (e.g., Exodus 3:1ff; Daniel 3:19ff).
Those having a part in that which was done in Europe during the reign of the Third Reich should have read the Book. They should have looked to see Who and What they were dealing with before attempting the destruction of this particular race of people, for not only did they attempt the impossible but they brought about their own destruction in the process.
Had they bothered to read the Book, among other things, they would have found that they were dealing with God Himself, in the midst of the Jewish people (Exodus 3:2-7). They would have found that they were trying to destroy a people who couldn’t be destroyed (Exodus 3:1ff; Jeremiah 31:35-37; 33:20-26; Daniel 3:19ff; 6:16ff), for God Himself would have had to be destroyed.
And they would have found that they were trying to destroy a people whom God had called into existence for particular and specific purposes, with any seeking to destroy these people destined for destruction themselves (Genesis 12:3; Exodus 1:8ff; 14:18-31).
And the matter becomes even more incredulous when the lives of many of the German people who attempted that which was done during the Holocaust are viewed. Though that perpetrated against the Jewish people during the Holocaust was a monstrous endeavor, many of the German people having a connection with the death camps were quite ordinary people, not monsters themselves per se (though there would have been monsters among them and monsters in places of command [e.g., Hitler, Eichmann, Mengele, et al]).
From available records of those days, many of the individuals caught up in the death camp work carried on some semblance of ordinary life when away from their work, which, in many cases, would have involved attending church on Sunday before going to work in the camps on Monday.
(The Catholic and Lutheran Churches were the two predominate Christian churches, so called, in Nazi Germany in 1933 [the year Hitler rose to power in Germany] and throughout the continuing twelve years. And, insofar as any proper or correct outlook on the Jews was concerned, the Catholic Church was actually the sounder of the two.
The German Lutheran Seminaries and churches were filled with Nazis, Nazi sympathizers, and anti-Semites — from the seminary professors, to the pastors of churches, to those in the pew. In short, the German Lutheran Church of that day was shot through and through with false ideologies and corruption.
Then there was the matter of Martin Luther [the one to whom the Lutheran Church looked back upon] having had an incorrect view of the Jews in his day, warning the German people about what he termed, “The Jews and Their Lies.” And Hitler, with his anti-Semitism, was looked upon in some circles as an individual carrying on a modern-day work of Luther in Germany — in one respect, setting the stage for the Nazi party and the German Lutheran Church to find very common grounds to work together.
The Nazis were, for the most part, looked upon as Christians [mainly members of either Catholic or Lutheran Churches], and many probably were “Christian” in more than name only. Even Hermann Goering was a faithful Lutheran and would remain that way until the day of his death [though that’s not to say that Goering was really a Christian; nor is it to say that he wasn’t, when he took his own life in 1946].
There was, of course, dissention among many Catholics and Lutherans relative to the policies of the Third Reich concerning the Jews [e.g., that of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a Lutheran minister; this though was centrally for humanitarian reasons or seeking the conversion of the Jews to Christianity, not for reasons involving the true identity of the Jew and how the nation of Israel fit into God’s plans and purposes as a separate and distinct people].)
Nazi military personnel assigned to one of the death camps and following the preceding type of lifestyle in connection with one of Germany’s churches (and, from existing records, it is evident that many of them did) would find themselves doing two completely incompatible things:
1) Listening to or reading material from a Jewish Book on Sunday, and, at least after some semblance, looking to a Jewish Savior.
2) Then, the next day, on Monday, beginning a work consisting principally of attempting to slay the very people who had given them this Book and Savior.
And the preceding could only have been a correct scenario in many instances of life in Nazi Germany during those years — again, in the light of available records — showing how little the German people in general evidently knew about the true identity of the Jewish people in those days.
Why didn’t those filling the churches on Sunday morning in Germany know that which Scripture clearly reveals about the Jewish people? And that question can be easily addressed and answered by asking the same thing concerning Christians in our own country today.
How many Christians in the churches of the land today can carry on some semblance of an intelligent conversation about the place lthat the Jews occupy in God’s economy — past, present, and/or future?
Any Christian that has been saved for any length of time at all should be able to easily handle the matter. But how many can do this? And if they can’t do this, why can’t they do it?
The answer, solely from a biblical standpoint, can only be singular:
There has been (over years of time) and continues to be a failure of those whom God has placed in charge of the flock to properly feed the flock, to proclaim the Word (cf. 2 Timothy 4:2ff; 1 Peter 5:2ff).
But, correspondingly, as well, there has been a failure behind the failure, resulting in the situation that presently exists.
It is true that numerous men leading the flock have been trained in the theology schools of the land — something particularly true in Germany at the time that the Nazi party came to power in 1933 — but how have they been trained?
The matter as it existed in Nazi Germany in 1933 would have been very similar to, if not the same, as it exists over eighty years later in our own country today.
In Germany, at that time, the correct place that the Jewish people occupied in God’s economy was not something taught in the theology schools or the churches — something that should have been uppermost in that taught by professors or pastors in any theology school or church, for this is crucial relative to any correct understanding of the Scriptures. And, as a result, the churches in Germany found themselves, generally, as not only weekend havens but sympathizers for numerous Nazi party members and their anti-Semitic practices in 1933.
Thus, preceding and during the war years in Germany, note what could only have been a connective, indirect role that pastors of churches throughout the land would have played in the Holocaust by not doing as commanded by the Lord in 2 Timothy and 1 Peter.
But, could the pastors in Germany have really done this? Because of their incorrect training, except possibly in isolated instances, such evidently would not have been possible.
And it is little to no different over eighty years later in American theology schools and curches. The lesson from history has gone unheeded.
The Past Holocaust
Why did the Holocaust occur?
The Holocaust occurred, not because an anti-Semitic person rose to power in Germany in 1933, not because other power-hungry anti-Semitic individuals joined themselves with this man, and not because of the sad state of the theology schools and churches in Germany concerning their understanding of and teaching about the Jews.
The past Holocaust occurred because of Jewish disobedience over centuries, even millennia, of time and their refusal to turn back to and call upon the God of their fathers. God simply used the existing state of Germany during that time — religious and political — to chastise His disobedient son, with a view to correction (Zechariah 1:15).
And, in His sovereign control of the entire matter, God allowed this chastisement to extend to the depths that it reached — anti-Semitic practices taken to what man would consider unimaginable sufferings and extremes, resulting in the death of 6,000,000 Jews during the twelve-year existence of the Third Reich.
(“The Third Reich” [meaning, The Third Empire] was supposed to last for 1,000 years. But, at the end of only twelve years, the empire ceased to exist, Germany lay in ruins, parts of Europe fared no better, and multiplied millions had been killed throughout North Africa, Europe, England, and Russia.
As is sometimes voiced, “Hitlers do not come cheap.”
The Third Reich began with an existing anti-Semitic setting in Germany. And the leadership of the empire took advantage of this setting, introducing ever-increasing anti-Semitic practices. Thus, the supposed 1,000-year empire, in reality, signed its own death warrant at the outset. It just took twelve years to bring matters regarding their actions to pass.
If a person wants to incur the wrath of a father, mistreat his son. That’s true in the human realm, and it is equally true in the divine realm. The Third Reich mistreated God’s son, incurring the wrath of the Father. And they paid dearly for their actions, taking a nation down with them.
When God said, “I will bless those that bless you…” (Genesis 12:3a), He meant exactly that! And when God continued, and said, “and will curse him who curses you…” (Genesis 12:3b), He meant exactly that as well!
Germany, under the leadership of the Third Reich, rejected the former and chose the latter of the two. And the Father, remaining true to His Word, reacted toward the mistreatment of His son in exact accordance with that which had been stated at a time over four hundred years before the son even existed.
Matters have existed that way since Abraham’s day 4,000 years ago, they exist that way today, and they will always exist that way.
Remain in line with that which God has revealed about His two firstborn Sons, and you will come out ahead every time.)
The Holocaust is history, and it has been fully documented for all to see.
At the time that the Allies went into Germany and Poland and liberated the death camps in the spring of 1945, they were instructed to take pictures and fully document that which had been done. And numerous other pictures have surfaced at times over the intervening years, even many taken by the Nazis who were there.
Then there were the Nuremberg war-crimes trials (1945, 1946), fully documenting the matter. And with the capture of Adolf Eichmann in Argentina in 1960 and his subsequent trial in Israel in 1961, the matter was fully documented once again.
Over the years many survivors of the death camps have told their stories, with some still alive and able to do so today. Understandably though, thinking back and talking about those years is not something many of them want to do. They don’t want to relive, after any fashion, the horrors which they went through.
Beyond the preceding are the numerous Holocaust centers or museums, particularly in major American and European cities, along with Yad Vashem (a memorial to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust) in Israel.
In short, the Holocaust has been so fully documented that it can only be impossible for anyone to deny that the Holocaust actually happened. But some, usually those openly opposed to the existence of a Jewish nation in the Middle East, attempt the impossible today.
And, a central reason that the Holocaust has been so fully documented in this manner is for educational purposes — educating people concerning that which happened, seeking to prevent anything like this from ever happening again to the Jewish people, or happening to anyone else.
But one thing will override all such efforts, guaranteeing that it will happen again to the Jewish people. And when it does happen again, matters will be far, far more horrendous than they were in the past.
The Future Holocaust
Why will a future Holocaust of this nature occur? The answer is exactly the same as the reason why the past Holocaust occurred.
There HAS TO BE a future Holocaust, for the very simple reason that the Jewish people have yet to be brought to the place of repentance.
And the future Holocaust will, of necessity, HAVE TO BE worse, far worse, than the past Holocaust, for the very simple reason that the suffering and death during the past Holocaust was insufficient to bring the Jewish people to the place of repentance.
The past Holocaust began in Germany and spread throughout Europe. Jews in other parts of the world were largely unaffected.
But the entire nation, together, must be subjected to a type of persecution — a Holocaust — of such a nature that they are left without a place to turn other than to the God of their fathers.
The future Holocaust, unlike the past, will begin in the center of Jewry, in Jerusalem, and quickly spread worldwide (cf. Matthew 24:15ff; Luke 21:20ff; Revelation 6:3ff; 7:9ff). No Jew, anywhere in the world, will be able to escape that which is about to occur.
Two-thirds of world Jewry (some 9,000,000 by today’s count) will not survive those days (Ezekiel 5:12; Zechariah 13:8, 9). But through this Holocaust, unlike the past Holocaust, the remaining Jews — all affected by that which will occur — will be brought to the place where the nation will cry out to the God of their fathers for deliverance.
And when the Jews are driven to this point, God will respond and send the Deliverer whom Israel rejected and crucified 2,000 years ago.
Israel will look upon the nation’s Deliverer (Zechariah 12:10; 13:6), there will be a great mourning throughout the camp when they realize the identity of the One delivering them (Zechariah 12:10-14), a nation will be born in a day (Isaiah 66:8ff), the Old Testament saints will be raised from the dead (Exodus 13:19; Daniel 12:1ff), and the Jewish people (the raised dead along with those living in that day) will be restored to the land of Israel (Deuteronomy 30:1ff; Matthew 24:31).
Gentile world power will be destroyed (Isaiah 63:1ff; Joel 3:1-16; Revelation 14:14-20; 19:17-21), and the scepter will be returned to Israel within a restored theocracy, a new covenant, and a Temple that Messiah Himself will build (Jeremiah 31:31-33; Ezekiel 37:21-28; Zechariah 6:11-13), ushering in the Messianic Era (Ezekiel 40-48).
The restored nation will then go forth, as God’s witness, to the Gentile nations with the message of the one true and living God (Isaiah 43:1ff; 53:1ff), with the nations being ruled by and blessed through Israel (Zechariah 8:20-23; 14:9ff).
(The preceding has been stated in a somewhat succinct manner, for all these things have been dealt with in chapters in this or other books written by the author. Refer particularly to Coming in His Kingdom, Israel – From Death to Life, and Middle East Peace – How? When?)