The world is again looking to annihilate the Jews. Will we sit back and allow deception to come in like a flood, or do we wake up and become warriors for truth?
Sometimes we need to do things that are unpleasant in order to gain a healthier or truer perspective. Words and statistics can numb our souls and give us a false sense of “understanding.” There are times when we need a dose of reality. We are living in a day where we sense a dramatic rise of Anti-Semitism, and yet unless we take the time to really see the end result of this demonic strategy, we can slip into the assumption that if we know something, that it is the same as actually doing something!
So, one of the end runs of Anti-Semitism was the Holocaust, and the world is again looking for the next opportunity to annihilate the Jews. No one in their right mind will want to read the following facts, but it is necessary for us to be reminded of our “recent history” so the revisionists and Holocaust deniers can be silenced:
- The word “Holocaust” is from the Greek holo “whole” + kaustos “burnt.” It refers to an animal sacrifice in which the entire animal is burned.
- It is also known as the Shoah, which is Hebrew for “destruction.”
- Six million Jews were exterminated during the Holocaust.
- Over 1.1 million children died during the Holocaust.
- Young children were particularly targeted by the Nazis to be murdered during the Holocaust. They posed a unique threat because if they lived, they would grow up to parent a new generation of Jews. Many children suffocated in the crowded cattle cars on the way to the camps. Those who survived were immediately taken to the gas chambers.
- The majority of people who were deported to labor and death camps were transported in cattle wagons. These wagons did not have water, food, a toilet, or ventilation. Sometimes there were not enough cars for a major transport, so victims waited at a switching yard, often with standing room only, for several days. The longest transport of the war took 18 days. When the transport doors were open, everyone was already dead.
- Carbon monoxide was originally used in gas chambers. Later, the insecticide Zyklon B was developed to kill inmates. Once the inmates were in the chamber, the doors were screwed shut and pellets of Zyklong B were dropped into vents in the side of the walls, releasing toxic gas. SS doctor Joann Kremmler reported that victims would scream and fight for their lives. Victims were found half-squatting in the standing room only chambers, with blood coming out their ears and foam out of their mouths.
- There were several types of concentration camps during the Holocaust, including transit camps, prisoner of war camps, and police detention camps. Six camps served as the main killing centers, all in Poland: Treblinka, Sobibor, Belzec, Chelmno, Auschwitz/Birkenau, and Majdanek. The last two were also slave labor camps.
- Auschwitz was the largest concentration and extermination camp built. It is estimated that 1.1 million people were killed at Auschwitz.
- At the entrance to each death camp, there was a process of selection. Pregnant women, small children, the sick or handicapped, and the elderly were immediately condemned to death. Signs on the entrance to the gas chambers read: “Baths and disinfecting rooms.” Other notices read: “Cleanliness brings freedom!” It took 20 minutes to kill everyone in the chamber. The chambers at Auschwitz/Birkenau could kill 6,000 people a day.
Today there is a notable rise of anti-Semitism as well as Holocaust deniers. Hitler’s propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels stated:
If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.
The War on Truth
Today, there is a war over Truth! As our new state religion “humanism” rises, we no longer find the need as a society to embrace any kind of absolute truth. We no longer live in a black and white world but rather one with a multitude of shades of gray!
The Bible knows nothing of this type of existence. In fact, the concept of truth dominates the pages of Scripture! Jesus Himself claimed to be Truth Incarnate:
For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
Friends, there can be no debate, Jesus and the Word of God proclaim Truth!
When it comes to the Jewish people, the Bible is clear about their destiny. God has promised them the Land unconditionally, but their ability to dwell in the Land does have to do with certain conditions! Because they failed, they were scattered and severely disciplined. But in this generation God has called His people back and has gathered them back in the Promised Land—even though it is currently in unbelief. He is not finished and part of the grand finale will be when His people turn from their rejection and cry out to Yeshua. Yes, they will look upon the One who was pierced and they will be redeemed!
And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn.
Now, as Christians, I believe that we have a part to play in the days that lie ahead. In Paul’s writings, he makes it clear that God is not finished with Israel and that Believers need to pray for Israel that they might be restored. We do know that the Bible teaches that there will be another Holocaust that will take two-thirds of the Jewish population, but that He is going to preserve a remnant and that remnant will be powerful and will usher in the Millennial reign of Messiah on Planet Earth.
Let’s get personal. As we embrace the facts of what the Scriptures dictate, we must determine what role we will play. Will we sit back and allow deception to come in like a flood, or do we wake up and become warriors for truth? Do we turn our back on Israel or do we passionately pray for their eyes to be opened and for them to embrace Yeshua?
When it comes to the first Holocaust, the Church did have a part in that and we must own up to that truth! As we repent we must seek forgiveness from Israel, but with that being said, we must not keep silent in regards to their need to receive Yeshua as their Messiah! Part of this repentance will require us to remember the Holocaust—not to minimize it or to pretend it never happened!
Besides the command to be light bearers and to dwell in the truth, the Bible also teaches about the importance of remembering! Think about it … how often in the Scriptures are we exhorted not to forget what the Lord our God has done for us? So, as Believers awaiting the soon return of our Lord, let us choose to remember!
First, let us remember the Holocaust and let’s passionately pray for the redemption of the Jewish people! It horrifies me to think about how ignorant most Christians are today regarding Israel. Let me ask a loaded question: “When was the last time your church prayed for Israel?”
Koinonia Institute is going on the offensive. We are calling upon our members to be praying daily not only for the peace of Jerusalem, but also that Jewish eyes would be opened to receive their Messiah! We are praying specifically for the hundreds of Messianic congregations that are popping up throughout Israel! And we are urging Believers to join us in the Holy Land to hear the song of the Land, the song of the People and the song of Yeshua!
Remember the Names
My wife and I are busy putting together the Israel program for 2015. There is something we do not want to do; but this very thing we do not want to do, we need to do. We are taking an extension tour to Auschwitz. On every tour we do, we go to Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Museum. Yad Vashem literally means: “Remember the Names.” When we take people to Yad Vashem, the reaction is varied. Some cannot even go in; others come out in tears; everyone is forever impacted by an event that is never to be forgotten.
And so we will go … to Auschwitz, to Berkenau, to the Warsaw Ghettos. We don’t want to go, but we need to go. We are called to do this. This will not be a “tour” … we could never call it that.
Details will be forthcoming for Remember the Names — A Journey to Auschwitz. Are we excited? No. Are we committed? Absolutely. This extension will immediately follow the Berean 2015 tour, so priority will be given to Berean tour attendees.
And one last thing. Whenever I am at Yad Vashem, not only do I seek to remember the names, but I also walk down the Avenue of the Righteous Gentiles and thank the Lord for the faithfulness of the few and I pray that one day, when the roll is called up yonder, that I will be numbered with those who chose to stand with Israel “for such a time as this”! Will you join me?
[Ed note: Dan Stolebarger is a featured speaker at this year’s Strategic Perspectives conference. See koinoniainstitute.org/conference for details. We hope you can join us!]