Copyright 1994 - 2018 Bill's Bible Basics
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Published On :
May 12, 1998
Last Updated :
January 25, 2017
Christian Persecution And Martyrdom, God's Vessels Of Wrath, Chastisement: A Token Of God's Divine Love, Child Discipline And Twisted World Standards, God's Righteous Judgments And Chastisements, Beware Of Having A Self-Righteous Attitude, Accusations Of Anti-Semitism, Real Tragedy Of The Holocaust, Holocaust Fits The Pattern Of God's Historical Chastisements Against The Jews, God Pleads With The Backslidden Israelites To Return To Him, Raul Hilberg's 5.1 Million Jews Figure And Why I Don't Trust It, Jesus' Comments Regarding The Severity Of The Great Tribulation, Contradiction Between the Holocaust Figure and The Great Tribulation Death Toll According To The Historians, Conditioned To View The Holocaust With Our Carnal Minds Instead Of With A Divine Perspective, Jews Painted As The Eternal Victims Of Everyone Else, Victims Or Objects Of God's Wrath?, Jews' Historic Rejection Of Christ, God Has His Reasons, Germans Blamed Jews For WWI, Feared A WWII, God Is In Control, Closing Remarks, Suggested Reading Resources List
Continuing our discussion from part three, just as we look back two thousand years in faith to Jesus Christ, Believers in the Old Testament looked forward in faith to the same. They knew who Jesus was. In fact, the Prophet Daniel saw our Heavenly Father and Jesus together in a Celestial Vision, as we can easily determine by the following two verses:
"I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire . . . I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him."
Daniel 7:9, 13, KJV
The point then is this: All of God's holy children from the Prophets of the Old Testament era to the Christians of today who have lost their lives to the sword of persecution in one form or another, have done so due to their faith in Jesus Christ and God's Word.
Now let us honestly ask ourselves a question. Did the Jews who died during the Holocaust die for the name of the Lord Jesus Christ? In most cases, the answer is probably not. We can attribute their tragic deaths to Adolf Hitler's insanity. We can attribute their deaths to the racial prejudice of the times. We can attribute their deaths to the fear surrounding the "Protocols of the Wise Elders of Zion". We can attribute their deaths to other socio-political motivations. However, we most certainly cannot attribute their deaths to faith in Jesus Christ. As such, to even compare Christian persecution and martyrdom to Jewish persecution during World War II is wrong and misguided, in my view.
In light of this fact, and the many other points I have presented in this series, this leads me to an interesting Scriptural conclusion. If all previous persecutions against the Jews were the result of God's scourge upon a wicked and unbelieving people, a people who still falsely claim to be His "Chosen People", even though they reject their very own Messiah, then it is reasonable to assume that regardless of how vile and despicable the Holocaust may appear in the eyes of the world, what Adolf Hitler did was simply more of the same.
In other words, as hard as it may be for some of you to grasp or swallow, Adolf Hitler may have served God's purposes, just as King Nebuchadnezzar did, just as General Titus did, etc. Where is the difference? In short, God used man's own wicked heart to fulfill His purposes. Not only that, but just as all of the previous persecutors of the Jews eventually reached their doom after God had used them to fulfill His Will, the very same thing happened to Adolf Hitler; unless you believe that he really didn't die in that bunker.
Likewise, it is also reasonable to assume that the Arab and Muslim nations which currently surround tiny Israel serve an important purpose as well. Despite Israel's obvious military superiority, those nations serve as a stern reminder that God's potential chastisements are not that far away. They serve notice that if the rebellious Jews push God too hard or too far, someday He may just let them have it once again. Consider what the Apostle Paul wrote in his Epistle to the brethren at Rome regarding the Lord's special "Vessels of Wrath":
"For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth. Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will? Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:"
Romans 9:17-22, KJV
So you see, some people are doomed to face God's wrath and destruction. But before that happens, He uses them in some way to fulfill His Divine Purposes. They temporarily become His vessels, to be used as He sees fit, and quite often it is to deal with His own children.
What we all need to remember is that whenever God chastises us, whether it is as individuals, or as a nation, it is a token of His Divine Love; even if we don't understand it at the time. A small child doesn't always understand a parent's motivations. He may even hold a grudge against that parent for chastising him. But hopefully, eventually that child will come to realize that the parent punished him for his own good, because he truly loves him and wants to see him turn from the error of his ways. This is precisely what the Apostle Paul tells us in the following set of verses:
"And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed. "
Hebrews 12:5-13, KJV
Likewise in the Old Testament, we find a number of verses concerning child discipline, such as the following ones. How different the world is today where everything is so twisted around, and in many cases and places, carefully measured and administered child discipline is viewed as child abuse and a serious crime. What I find so ironic about this is the fact that the authorities then wonder why we have so many problems with our youth as they hit their teens and later years. Could it possibly have something to do with the fact that agencies legally tie our hands and intimidate us so that we are afraid to be the parents that God intended for us to be?:
"A wise son heareth his father's instruction: but a scorner heareth not rebuke . . . He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes."
Proverbs 13:1, 24, KJV
"Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying."
Proverbs 19:18, KJV
"Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it."
Proverbs 22:6, KJV
"Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell."
Proverbs 23:13-14, KJV
"A whip for the horse, a bridle for the ass, and a rod for the fool's back."
Proverbs 26:3, KJV
"The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame."
Proverbs 29:15, KJV
As we have already discussed, while God's punishments may at times appear to be overly cruel, harsh and unwarranted from a human perspective, we must always remember that, unlike corrupt Earthly judges and impatient human parents who may at times be excessive in their dealings with their children, the judgments and chastisements of our Heavenly Father are always just, righteous and equal to the crime. I would much prefer to appear in His Courts, than in the courtroom of men.
As I mention in "Are Personal Tragedies Due to Sin?", one danger which we all need to watch out for, is that we do not adopt a self-righteous attitude when we see the Lord dealing with others. After all, we could be next in line. As the old saying goes, "There but for the grace of God go I". Jesus gave an excellent example of this in the following incident that is found in the Gospel of Luke:
"There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish."
Luke 13:1-5, KJV
Clearly then, whether we be Jew or Gentile, unless we repent of our wicked unbelief and sins, and accept the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior, we will all likewise perish.
It has occurred to me that certain people may accuse me of being insensitive, simply because I dare to question how many Jews were actually slaughtered by the German Nazis under Adolf Hitler, and just don't accept the "established figure". I wouldn't be surprised to learn that some people who are reading this series will have already thrown the anti-Semitic accusation at me in their hearts. If you are such a person, then I encourage you to read my article "Accusations of Antisemitism: My Personal Response".
So let me be very clear about this. Whether it was really six million Jews, or one million Jews, or just a thousand or even ten, it was still tragic. However, what is even more tragic, from my perspective as a Bible-believing Christian, is that God had to apparently allow it to occur in the first place. The only possible way that I cannot hold to such a statement, is to believe that God is really not in complete control of His creation. However, I am not prepared to adopt that position. The Holocaust happened for a reason. While the people who perpetrated those crimes against the Jews had their reasons -- justified or not -- God must have had His own reasons for allowing it to happen as well. Otherwise, the Holocaust would have never occurred.
I am not God; and as I stated at the very beginning of this series, I was not alive during that time. As such, I cannot provide a solid, bullet-proof answer to explain the Lord's motivations for letting the Holocaust happen, other than to suggest that it was one of many of His chastisements against the Jewish people, down through history. Stated another way, as tragic as it may be, the Holocaust simply fits the rest of the historical pattern regarding God's dealings with the rebellious Jews.
Now, while I believe that God did let the Holocaust happen, it does not mean that it did not break His heart to have to watch those people suffer that way due to their sins. We see the very same thing occurring in the Bible; particularly in the pages of the Old Testament. As I discuss in a number of other articles, such as "The Fruits of Disobedience", time and time again the Lord pleaded with the backslidden Jews to repent of their sins, and to return to their first love for Him. Consider the following verses, for example:
"Remember these, O Jacob and Israel; for thou art my servant: I have formed thee; thou art my servant: O Israel, thou shalt not be forgotten of me. I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee."
Isaiah 44:21-22, KJV
"Turn, O backsliding children, saith the LORD; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion:"
Jeremiah 3:14, KJV
"If thou wilt return, O Israel, saith the LORD, return unto me: and if thou wilt put away thine abominations out of my sight, then shalt thou not remove."
Jeremiah 4:1, KJV
"Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel; Like these good figs, so will I acknowledge them that are carried away captive of Judah, whom I have sent out of this place into the land of the Chaldeans for their good. For I will set mine eyes upon them for good, and I will bring them again to this land: and I will build them, and not pull them down; and I will plant them, and not pluck them up. And I will give them an heart to know me, that I am the LORD: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God: for they shall return unto me with their whole heart."
Jeremiah 24:4-7, KJV
"Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the LORD of hosts. But ye said, Wherein shall we return? Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation."
Malachi 3:7-9, KJV
Yet, as I explain in the aforementioned series, despite His pleas, those stubborn people just kept on hardening their hearts, ignoring the warnings of their own Prophets -- many of whom they even killed, as Jesus himself accused them of doing in the Gospels -- until God finally let the axe of His harsh judgments fall on them. Again, this very basic Biblical truth is plain to read in the Scriptures. There's nothing hidden about it. God extended His Patience and His Mercy as far as He possibly could, but quite often it did no good whatsoever. Those stubborn Israelites just did not seem to understand anything, other than harsh judgment. So again, in light of these other historical examples, the Holocaust does not seem so out of place. Tragic? Yes. But out of place? Definitely not.
But concerning the actual number of Jews who lost their lives during the Holocaust, in his 1985 revised, three-volume book called "The Destruction of the European Jews", Raul Hilberg -- who was a political scientist and historian, atheist, and likewise a Polish-Romanian Jew himself who lost twenty-six of his own family members to the Holocaust -- estimated that as many as 5.1 million Jews were killed as a result of the German's genocidal "Final Solution".
Now some of you may be saying to yourselves "Well, there you go, Bill. There's all the proof that you need." Well, I am sorry too, but not exactly. Mr. Hilberg -- who is now deceased -- provides me with three good reasons why I should not trust his statement. While you may do so, if you like, I am not about to trust a Jew who wants to convince me of how many fellow Jews died during the Holocaust. To me, that is like asking your cat if he really ate your pet mouse. Do you really think you are going to get the truth out of him?
Second, there is no way that I am going to trust the word of a man who did not even believe in God, and who also publicly declared himself an atheist. Third, as I stated a minute ago, Raul Hilberg lost twenty-six members of his own family to Hitler's ghastly slaughter. For me personally, that provides a very good motive for Hilberg to intentionally inflate the number of those Jews who perished during the Holocaust.
Even if you reject what I just stated, I mentioned to you in part one of this series that I have what I consider to be a very strong Bible-based reason for doubting the six million Jews figure. If you have taken the time to read some of my other articles where I discuss the events surrounding 70 AD, then you will know that Futurist-leaning Christians believe that some of the warnings and prophecies that were given by the Old Testament Prophets, by Jesus, and by the Apostles are yet to occur in our own future.
However, despite what I myself believed for a great portion of my life, in more recent years, I have become convinced by the Scriptures that certain events actually pertain to the distant past -- that is, to the First Century AD -- and that they are actually fulfilled prophecy. In particular, if you have read "Abomination of Desolation: Explained!" and "Jesus Christ's Return: Have We Been Deceived?", then you will know that one such event which I place in the past, and right in the middle of the First Jewish-Roman War, is what a lot of Christians refer to as the Great Tribulation, or Jacob's Trouble.
Now we come to the crux of the matter. Exactly what did Jesus have to say concerning the Great Tribulation period? How did He describe it? More specifically, how did the Lord describe the severity of the Great Tribulation? Let me just show you. The answer is quite obvious:
"For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened."
Matthew 24:21-22, KJV
So Jesus is saying that during the Great Tribulation, the Jews would suffer more than they have ever suffered before, and that nothing will be comparable to that suffering since the very beginning of the world. But that is not all, is it? Look at those next five words: "no, nor ever shall be." In other words, the persecution, suffering and killing will be so bad, that nothing like it will ever happen again.
So are you seeing where I am leading with this? As I said, I am convinced that the three and a half year Great Tribulation occurred during half of the First Jewish-Roman War, which was a seven-year war which endured from 66 AD to 73 AD. I don't need to tell you what occurred right in the middle of that war in 70 AD, because you already know it, or at least you should know it. It fits Bible prophecy to the letter. Now, to tie this all together, let me remind you of what I said in part one regarding the death toll from the aforementioned war:
----- Begin Quote -----
Different sources I have read state that during an approximate three and a half year period -- or half of the First Jewish-Roman War -- somewhere between six hundred thousand and one million Jews may have been killed by Rome's armies, or else they succumbed to such things as starvation, disease, treachery and other causes.
----- End Quote -----
Are you seeing it now? Six hundred thousand to one million Jews died during the Great Tribulation period of the First Jewish-Roman War, and Jesus clearly stated that this would be -- being as the war hadn't occurred yet when He said this -- the severest persecution that the Jews would ever face on this Earth, past or future.
So we have a very serious problem on our hands, because Raul Hilberg -- as well as many other Holocaust propagandists -- claim that 5.1 to 6 million Jews died during the Holocaust. I am sure you can see the huge contradiction we have here. If we believe what they are claiming regarding the death toll from the Holocaust, then we are basically calling Jesus a liar. We are indirectly accusing Him of being a false prophet. Of course, you know that I don't believe that for a minute.
Stated another way, there is no possible way that 5.1 to 6 million Jews could have been killed during the Holocaust, if Jesus said that the Great Tribulation period of the First Century would be the very worst, when 600,000 to one million Jews perished in different ways. We simply cannot believe both Jesus and the Holocaust propagandists. One of the figures has to be false, and intentionally inflated for reasons which I already explained in part one of this series. To reiterate that point, it is all about the Jews continuing to cast a heavy guilt complex upon the Gentile nations, so that they can continue to manipulate them. It is just that simple.
Please note that I am not saying that the Holocaust never occurred, so please don't accuse me of being one of those Holocaust deniers. There is sufficient evidence to prove it did occur. Where my dispute lies is with the Jews' fatality rate that has been assigned to the overall Holocaust, which, as we have seen, contradicts what Jesus stated in Matthew chapter twenty-four regarding the severity of the Great Tribulation period. Either the Great Tribulation period of the First Century was the very worst persecution that the Jews ever experienced, as Jesus said it would be, or else it was not. We cannot have it both ways, so you must decide what you want to believe, and who you want to believe.
If there is one final lesson I would like to emphasize in this series, it is the following, and it goes right back to what I was telling you in part two regarding the ongoing war of words. As I warned you at the very beginning of this series, while I am appalled by the vile events which were perpetrated during the Holocaust just as much as you are, I realized that there would be some things in this series which some of you would find very difficult to accept as truth. Why is this? It is because whether you realize it or not, you have been conditioned to view the Holocaust a certain way. You have been given a distorted version of the truth.
Some of you need to stop seeing things the way that man sees them, and start seeing them the way in which God truly sees them. Sinful man's perspective is totally twisted from truth and reality in many cases. To be more blunt, the Zionist Jews, as well as other pro-Israel people want you to see and understand the Holocaust from their perspective. They are in fact master manipulators, and they are no doubt very proud of this fact. One of their tactics has always been to paint themselves as the eternal victims of everyone else, and never as the aggressors or as the perpetrators. In our more recent times, this is exactly what they have done with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which I discuss in other articles.
But concerning the Holocaust, they have done the very same thing. They have painted themselves as the victims, and blamed the whole world for what befell them over seventy years ago, and they just keep rubbing salt in the wound year after year after year. They won't just let it go. As I said earlier, the Jews are a very unforgiving people. They may smile at you, but they do not easily forget. They may call themselves your ally, but they do not so easily forget.
But returning to my main point, if you are shocked or in any way offended by what you have read in this series, it is simply because you have in fact been deceived by the master manipulators. As I said, their goal insofar as the Holocaust is concerned, is to make you feel sympathy for them, to view them as the victims, and to never ever let the thought enter your mind that perhaps God was dealing with them once again, due to their rebellion and unbelief, just as He has done so many times before down through history.
But here's the thing, my friends. If you are going to fall for that deception and view them as the innocent victims of the Holocaust, and not as the targets of God's Wrath, then in order to not be a hypocrite, you also need to view the Roman conquests, the Babylonian conquests, the Assyrian conquests, the Philistine conquests, etc., in the very same manner. You need to deny what the Bible says regarding all of those sad situations being God's chastisements against a very wicked and rebellious people, and deceive yourself into believing that the Jews were just "innocent victims" in all of those cases. Have I gotten through to you yet?
But more to the point, the real victim here is God Himself. He gave us His very own Son two thousand years ago for the sake of our own Salvation. Yet just as Jesus cryptically told His audience in one of His many Parables, not only was the Son mistreated, but He was murdered as well. But you see, the problem isn't just that the Jews' ancestors of two millennia ago betrayed and killed their -- and our -- own Messiah. We can't blame modern Jews for what their ancient relatives did. That would be rather ludicrous. It would be like me blaming you for some horrible crime that was committed by one of your great-great-great grandfathers hundreds of years ago. It just wouldn't withstand judicial scrutiny in any court of law.
No. You see, the real problem is that the vast majority of the Jews have continued to reject Christ for the past two thousand years. That is not something they can easily pin on the unbelieving Jews of the First Century who did the same thing. In other words, as I have shared many times before, while God sometimes will judge a nation as a whole, He also views each of us, and judges each of us, as individuals. When it arrives to the point where God does judge a nation as a whole, as we have already seen with ancient Israel, then we know without a doubt that the situation has really gotten bad in a spiritual sense. In fact, perhaps that is where the United States of America is almost at today.
As I have already made clear, maybe that is why God allowed the Holocaust to happen as well. Maybe the Jews' cup of iniquity was filled up in some way. I really don't know for certain, but I do know that nothing in this life happens by mere chance, or by accident. There is a purpose and reason why God does what He does, and allows to happen whatever He allows to happen.
Now, of course, from a historical perspective, the German Nazis claimed that they had their own reasons for doing what they did. One of the big ones was the fact that according to their own speeches, they held the Jews very responsible for instigating World War I, and they were very fearful that the Jews were at it again trying to start yet another World War, which in fact did happen. You may also want to investigate who was allegedly behind the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia as well. That is also a very interesting study.
But regardless of what we personally choose to believe, we as Christians should never lose sight of the fact that it is God who is control of each and every situation, and as we have already clearly seen, when it suits His purposes, He will use leaders and nations -- whether it is the Philistines, Assyrians, Babylonians, Romans or some other power -- as His vessels of wrath, to execute His Divine Judgments upon the people of the Earth. This is a Biblical and historical fact.
With these thoughts I will bring this series to a close. I hope that you have found it informative, and I pray that it has been a blessing and an inspiration in your life. If you have enjoyed reading this series, please consider sharing its URL with your online friends. If you have an account with Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Tumblr, etc, I would also appreciate if you would take the time to click on the corresponding link that is found on this page. Thanks so much, and may God bless you abundantly!
For additional information and further study, you may want to refer to the list of reading resources below which were also mentioned in this series, or which are related to the topics which were discussed in this series. All of them are also located on the Bill's Bible Basics web server:
Abomination of Desolation: Explained!
Jesus Christ's Return: Have We Been Deceived?
Are Personal Tragedies Due to Sin?
Hurricane Katrina and Other Natural Disasters
The Fruits of Disobedience
The Children of God and Politics
The Seven Heads
Free Will and Personal Choice
Did the Devil Make You Do It?
Beholding the Evil and the Good
Backsliding, Divine Chastisement and the Divine Agreement
Love, Mercy, Forgiveness and Chastisement
Not Everyone Is a Child of God
Welcome to Greater Israel, USA!
The International Jew and the Protocols of Zion
Accusations of Antisemitism: My Personal Response
Satan: His Origin, Purpose and Future
Civl Disobedience and Christian Persecution
God of Peace, God of War