The Next Holocaust

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The Next Holocaust

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In December, Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad hosted an eclectic gathering of scholars, Orthodox rabbis and Holocaust deniers in an international conference whose purpose was to debate whether the Holocaust of World War II that killed more than 6 million Jews really occurred. That one of history's most documented stories could even be questioned in such a setting shows the bizarre mind-set of the Iranian leader and his government. Ahmadinejad has repeatedly questioned the Holocaust as part of his continuing rant against the state of Israel and its main supporter, the United States. He told conference attendees, "Just as the Soviet Union was wiped out and today does not exist, so will the Zionist regime soon be wiped out." This conference highlighted Iran's position as a source of instability across the Middle East today. Iran is behind the Shiite unrest in Iraq and is well known to be the real power behind the terrorist group Hezbollah in southern Lebanon. The recommendations of the recent Iraq Study Group include approaching Iran as a partner in reaching a peace settlement in Iraq and the Palestinian territories. That Iran could be a serious partner in reaching an equitable solution for Jews and Arabs in the region strains the imagination. This leader speaks clearly, consistently and dogmatically about a world under his view of Islamic law. One must conclude that he represents a dominant view among Iran's ruling religious clerics. And his world is one without Jews and Americans or anyone else who fails to submit to the teachings of Allah and his one prophet, Muhammad. Anti-Semitism in Europe Anti-Semitism is still very much alive in Europe, the scene of the Holocaust. Synagogues have been attacked, Jewish cemeteries desecrated and angry Muslim immigrants have murdered some Jews. The situation is so bad in France that many French Jews have purchased second homes in Israel should the situation ever become intolerable. Government leaders are eager to deny the problem or denounce the random acts of violence. Germany has specific laws making it illegal to deny the Holocaust. German Chancellor Angela Merkel was quick to issue a repudiation of the conference in Tehran. Germany is very sensitive to its world image on this matter and has taken tangible measures to atone for its "departure from civilization," as it calls the Holocaust. On a trip to Berlin last September, I visited a Holocaust memorial near the site of Hitler's Chancellery in the heart of the city. It is a stark reminder of what can happen when evil drives out reason and logic from a people. Not all Muslims are anti-Semitic The violent hatred of Jews by Muslims is a relatively recent development. The Koran teaches believers to respect Jews and Christians as "people of the Book," since they share a common ancestor, Abraham. Iranian history does not reveal any deep resentment of Jews. The Persian epic, Shahnameh or Book of Kings, carries no hint of anti-Semitism. A study of Middle Eastern history will show that the disease of anti-Semitism was more prevalent among Christians than Muslims. The Crusades are a horror story of atrocities perpetrated against Jews. In one terrible episode, when Crusaders took Jerusalem in 1099, they herded the city's Jews into a synagogue and set it afire. It is not till after World War II that we see the eruption of anti-Semitism in the Muslim world and its subsequent impact on politics and culture. In The Looming Tower, Lawrence Wright states, "Jews had lived safely—although submissively—under Muslim rule for 1,200 years, enjoying full religious freedom; but in the 1930s, Nazi propaganda on Arabic-language shortwave radio, coupled with slanders by Christian missionaries in the region, infected the area with this ancient Western prejudice. After the war Cairo became a sanctuary for Nazis, who advised the military and the government. The rise of the Islamist movement coincided with the decline of fascism, but they overlapped in Egypt, and the germ passed into a new carrier" (2006, pp. 38-39). Somali immigrant Ayaan Hirsi Ali compares the way she was taught about Jews as a child with the manner in which the Nazi Party of Germany slandered Jews in the pre-World War II period. "As a child growing up in Saudi Arabia, I remember my teachers, my mom and our neighbors telling us practically on a daily basis that Jews are evil, the sworn enemies of Muslims, and that their only goal was to destroy Islam. We were never informed about the Holocaust. "Later, as a teenager in Kenya, when Saudi and other Persian Gulf philanthropy reached us, I remember that the building of mosques and donations to hospitals and the poor went hand in hand with the cursing of Jews. Jews were said to be responsible for the deaths of babies and for epidemics such as AIDS, and they were believed to be the cause of wars. They were greedy and would do absolutely anything to kill us Muslims. "If we ever wanted to know peace and stability, and if we didn't want to be wiped out, we would have to destroy the Jews. For those of us who were not in a position to take up arms against them, it was enough for us to cup our hands, raise our eyes heavenward and pray to Allah to destroy them" (Los Angeles Times, "Why They Deny the Holocaust," Dec. 16, 2006). The 1.2 billion Muslims are simply not fully informed about the Holocaust. In America and other Western nations, we take this information for granted. Museums, documentaries, books and firsthand accounts of Holocaust survivors have chronicled the atrocity for more than 60 years. I have visited the Yad Vashem Memorial in Jerusalem and have seen the evidence of the killing of 6 million Jews. I have been to Berlin and seen the public confession by the German government of what happened. And I have heard firsthand from survivors of the concentration camps what was done to eliminate the Jewish people. It is a fact of history no one can honestly deny. Could it happen again? The true Church of God has many beliefs similar to those of the Jewish people. Does the return of anti-Semitism portend an eruption of violence against this group as well? It is interesting to see what Bible prophecy says about this. In Revelation 12 is the story of a woman who gives birth to a Child and is subsequently persecuted by a dragon. The woman represents the people of God from the time of ancient Israel to the spiritual Church of God founded by Jesus Christ. The dragon is a symbol of Satan the devil who has always opposed the work and plan of God through the ages. Verse 4 describes the dragon as it "stood before the woman who was ready to give birth, to devour her Child as soon as it was born." Christ was born to descendants of the tribe of Judah. The Gospels of Matthew and Luke record the details of King Herod's attempt to destroy this prophesied child. Every Jewish boy in the districts around Bethlehem, aged 2 and under, was ordered killed. But God had already made plans by which Joseph and Mary had spirited their son off to the safety of Egypt (Matthew 2:13-14). Here was a first-century holocaust against the Jews! Revelation 12 gives a broad sweep of history involving the people of God. Christ is "caught up to God and His throne," and the Church endures through many centuries of world history (verses 5-6). In an event yet to occur we see Satan cast out of heaven, and knowing he has only a short time to work, he foments a time of tribulation on the nations and persecutes the Church, which is supernaturally protected (verses 13-16). It will be the unprecedented time of trouble spoken of by Daniel (12:1). The last verse of Revelation 12 shows us what to watch for in the future. "And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ" (verse 17). Here is a prophecy of violent persecution on a group who keeps God's law and faithfully follows the deepest teachings of Christ. This persecution goes beyond one ethnic group to attack a spiritual group bound together by the Holy Spirit as the Church of God. A time is coming when the world will witness a different type of Holocaust than that seen last century in Europe. At the heart of such persecution is man's animosity toward God. Anti-Semitism is merely an expression of mankind's hatred of God and anything that reminds man of what God requires of His creation. The law given at Sinai embodies what God expects of humanity. And the age-long hatred of the Jews reflects humanity's deep-seated feeling against the commandments of God. The Jews, being descended from Judah, one of Jacob's 12 sons, are the only remnant of ancient Israel retaining any of the elements that identify them as a tribe of the ancient people of Israel. The seventh-day Sabbath is a critical key to that identity. The Holocaust of World War II was only a forerunner of a broader form of satanic attack upon God's people. Revelation 12:17 defines this group as those who obey God by keeping the Ten Commandments to their fullest intent. They are not willing to compromise with convenience or the prevailing standards of this present world. They go so far as to keep the seventh-day Sabbath, the Fourth Commandment, one of the signs God gave as a badge of identity for His people (Exodus 31:13). This same Sabbath sign was neglected by the nation of Israel and was specifically mentioned by God as a reason they were removed from their homes and marched off to captivity (Ezekiel 20:12, 16, 20, 24). This is one of the main reasons that most of the modern descendants of Israel do not know who they are. They are nonetheless responsible for rejecting God's commands. They will also suffer Satan's wrath in this future holocaust. Don't be too sure that your present form of religion will protect you from this time of world upheaval. God has a great deal to say against false shepherds who control peoples' minds with false religion. You can read more of the story in our booklets The United States and Britain in Bible Prophecy and The Church Jesus Built. Sadly, the Muslim world stands largely silent when one of its larger nations hosts a conference questioning the truth of one of history's greatest tragedies. This should be a warning that many will turn a blind eye when a large end-time power will be the tool Satan uses to persecute sincere God-fearing people. Today's headlines foretell another holocaust. WNP