The root of anti-Semitism lies in a person’s flawed attitude towards God in His election of, and calling on, the Jewish people.
Our objective is to heal believers of the ulcer of anti-Semitismand to convey a biblical understanding of this problem.
The Semites are descendants of Shem, the son of Noah (Genesis 10:21-31), and include the Jews, Assyrians, Syrians and the Elamites, who dwelled on the north side the Euphrates Valley and along its borders.
The term "anti-Semitism" was first used in the late 70’s of 19th century by German journalist, Wilhelm Maar, a radical anti-Semite who called his group of followers “Antisemiten-Ligo” (the League of Anti-Semites). Usage of the term began in Germany and gained momentum there before spreading to other countries.
Analysis of the term "anti-Semitism", from a linguistic perspective,offers additional information as to how the term began to spread as a way for people to label their shared views on the Jewish people. The suffix "ism" in most cases reflects a typical social phenomenon, behavior, or ideology based upon a unified system of principles (e.g. socialism, liberalism, communism, etc.).
Researchers highlight that the emergence and rapid spread of the term "anti-Semitism" was evidence of a new level of hatred towards the Jews that was related to the Judaeophobia and racial integration that had emerged in the second half of the 19th century.
Anti-Semitism is the deepest and longest ongoing type of hatred evidenced in the history of mankind. There is no other sustained, focused hatred that has spanned 23 centuries and taken the lives of over 6,000,000 victims of targeted genocide in more recent centuries. And, there are no signs of it ceasing or slowing.
Anti-Semitism is explicit or implicit hatred, anger or hostility towards the Jews. It also extends to enmity and hostility towards Israel, rejection and hatred of the Jewish people, and flawed attitudes in the Church towards the Jews. Anti-Semitism deeply contradicts the Word of God.
Common types of anti-Semitism
- Subconscious and inexplicable hatred towards the Jews
- Hatred towards one Jew transferred to the whole nation of Israel or all Jews
- Exemption of a few, but condemnation of most Jews (e.g. “The whole nation is guilty, but my Jewish neighbors are nice people …”)
Manifestations of anti-Semitism inside and outside of the Church
Within faith communities:
- The acceptance of Replacement Theology
- Misconceptions about the role of Israel in world and Church history
- The cursing of Messianic Jews by Jews in synagogues
- In 80AD, the Sanhedrin in Yavneh amended the Hebrew prayer, “18 Blessings” by inserting a curse against believers in Yeshua
- The justification of anti-Semitic views because, “God cursed the Jews, so we can and should curse them also because they crucified ‘our’ Jesus”
- Cursing Jews was not only permitted, but ordered by decree of church councils
- Perpetuating stereotypes about Jews justifying the need to be apprehensive, vigilant, protective and proactive in taking “appropriate” measures against them (e.g. the perception that Jews are greedy, cunning, insidious, and control everything in the world as evidenced by the world Jewish conspiracy).
- Mockery or distain of Jewish music, accent, cuisine, perceived way of thinking, lifestyle and traditions
- Telling jokes or sharing anecdotes/sayings about Jews that support stereotypes
Amongst the Jews:
- Hiding or suppressing of Jewish identity to avoid persecution (e.g., “Why should I suffer so much because of this nation?”)
- Evidenced in Jews sometimes not permitted to live freely where they want
- Prohibition for Jews to sometimes engage in certain activities (agriculture, warfare, etc…)
- Limitations put on the number of Jews who can enter certain universities (the percentage of Jews greatly exceeded the number of students of other nationalities in places where this restriction was removed)
- Certain economic and political limitations
The Causes of Anti-Semitism
The spirit of anti-Semitism is backed by Satan in his attempt to prevent the Jewish people, individually and collectively, from realizing God’s purposes and plans for them. Satan fuels this hatred of Jewish people because they belong to God.
Derek Prince was preaching in a local church in Jerusalem and suddenly heard himself saying the following words, “Anti-Semitism can be summed up in one word – Messiah”. At that moment, he realized that the source of anti-Semitism is Satan and what drives him is the fact that the Messiah, Who will ultimately defeat him, should come from the lineage of God’s chosen nation.
Through His sacrificial death on the cross, Yeshua fulfilled the purpose of His coming. He satisfied a just God’s requirements, and thus destroyed all of the claims that Satan had on the Jews. He gained complete, eternal and irreversible victory over Satan. However, the manifestation of this victory be fully realized only at the second coming of Yeshua.
Satan pays much more attention to biblical prophecy than most Christians do, or are even aware of. Satan knows that as long as Yeshua is still in Heaven, he has can continue with his evil deeds and be called, “the god of this age" (2 Corinthians 4:4).
Because of this, there is one event that Satan fears more than all others and tries with all of his limited might to prevent: this is the return of Yeshua in power and glory to establish His kingdom on the earth. Satan knows that this event will quickly and inevitably lead to his expulsion from the earth.
Satan’s opposition to the coming of Yeshua is the invisible force behind many of today's world conflicts.
Another cause of anti-Semitism is envy and hatred because ofGod’s blessings for His children. (Genesis 27:41 Genesis 29:13-31).
Manifestations of anti-Semitism
Since the genesis of the Jewish people, Satan has been consistently and tirelessly attempting to accomplish two things:
Pull them into idolatry (Numbers 22:25) by:
- Corrupting God’s people and turning them away from God
- Compromising the transmission of the Word of God to the Jewish people (e.g. killing the Jews in Egypt in an attempt to ensure that Torah could not be transmitted)
- Attempting to lead Jews into disobedience against the Word of God (although God has sent prophets to led them to repentance)
- Silencing God’s prophets
- Attempting to assimilate the Jews (e.g. Assyrian captivity, Hellenization)
Physically destroying the nation by or through:
- Leading Pharaoh to order the murder of all male infants in Egypt
- Attempting to exterminate the Jews living in the Persian Empire (which was the entire Jewish population at that time) through Haman’s near order to execute them
- The Holocaust
- Continued, long-suffering persecution of the Jews: pogroms (businesses, homes, synagogues, families and property are constantly under attack)
- Perpetuating indifference towards the Jews by the Church (and the world) who often turn a blind eye to the spiritual and physical attacks on the Jewish people
It is critical in particular that believers take a stand and understand what side they are on; God’s or Satan’s? There is no neutral territory in the spiritual world.
God’s Divine Purpose in Creating the Jewish People
1.The Jewish nation is the center of spiritual crystallization for all of humanity when they turn their backs on idols and superstitions and return to God.
God appointed Abraham and his descendants (from Sarah) to be “crystals” in the ocean of idolatry. Like salt crystallization, it all begins with one crystal which other crystals gradually join until they become one solid, beautiful and transparent crystal.
Abraham was the first Gentile who agreed to become a Jew “ivri” and crossed to the other side - the side of God. He left his comfort zone and all that was familiar to give his life to God, once and forever.
God expected that all of humanity would follow Abraham’s example as seen in the following scriptural references:
Deuteronomy 11, 12
2. Israel is called to become: A moral nation; a mentor of morality; and a representation of God’s morality for neighboring nations and for all of humanity.
Why? Because true morality; the kind of morality that comes from God Himself, was given exclusively to this nation. God established His covenant with the Jewish people at Mount Sinai and gave them Torah; the first written Word of God in the history of humanity. The Jewish nation is a nation of the Bible and the nation of the Law (Exodus 15:25, Psalm 19:7, 8). Nations without this Law, created their own code of law based upon their own human understanding of good and evil.
“Where there is no law there is no transgression”, (Romans 4:15). The Jewish people were given the Law in order to reveal the lawlessness of human beings (Romans 3:20). Paul said that he would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.” (Romans 7:7). When Gentiles entered into relationship with the Jews and heard of God’s requirements for people concerning morality, they began to feel some responsibility and true understanding of good and evil as they were enlightened by the truth.
3.Israel is called to learn and to teach others to have a personal relationship with God.
God Himself has always desired to have special intimacy with the sons of Israel (Exodus 19:11), He wanted to raise thirst in the nation for fellowship with Him (Genesis 32:24-30), (Exodus 33:1-4, 7, 15) and to show that the foundation of a relationship with Him is love (Exodus 34:6, 7), (Deuteronomy 7:7, 8), (Exodus 33:7-23), (1 Kings 8:27-51).
God wants to have the same relationships with other nations as well (Exodus 7:5; Deuteronomy 2:25; 11:22-25; Exodus 9:20; 15:14, 15; 12:37, 38).
4.Israel is called to be an example of how God fulfills His promises and carries out his warnings.
The entire history of the Jewish people is a dramatic example of how precise and faithful God is in fulfilling His promises given to His people as well as following through on His warnings. Scripture says that wars with other nations against the Jews as well as the scattering, slavery, captivity, death, etc… would be a consequence of disobedience of Jewish people towards God (Genesis 12:2, 3; Deuteronomy 4:25-31; 28; 29:14, 15; 1 Samuel 15:22, 23; Amos 3:2).
We live in the time when other promises are being fulfilled:
Zechariah 8:7, 8
Other promises will be fulfilled in the future:
The whole world can believe in the truth of God’s words when observing the Jewish people. For example, God said “I will disperse you”, and He dispersed them (Ezekiel 22:15). He said, “I will gather you” and He gathered them and continues to gather them (Isaiah 43:1-8; 11:11, 12; Zechariah 10:8-12).
5.Israel is called to build a spiritual family that will be an example for all believers of all nations.
Isaiah prophesied about the nation of God, “The people I formed for myself that they may proclaim my praise” (Isaiah 43:21). Exodus 6:7 reads, “I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God.”
In God’s family, it is God Himself who lays a cornerstone of mercy and sympathy between all members of the family. And the Father in this family is God, who is “the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands.” (Exodus 34:6, 7). Deuteronomy 7:7, 8 reads: “The Lord loved you (the Jews)”. As Father God, He provides for His children and keeps them from disease.
Exodus 3:21, 22
Psalm 105:37; 78:16, 24-25
In the Church, the spiritual connection with Yeshua; and through Him, with the Father, has remained despite all of the pagan customs that have been adopted. However, the biblical concept of blessed family kinship has almost been lost.
In the Jewish nation, the connection with Yeshua; and consequently with the Father, was lost, however the biblical concept of “family” on a human, moral, emotional and soulful level remains.
The Jewish nation’s collective ability to maintain this concept of spiritual family stems from God’s commandments. The raising children in Jewish families is largely based upon fulfilling spiritual law including the fifth commandment, “Honor your father and your mother.” (Exodus 20:12). This commandment represents parents as not only teachers, but as a representation of God here on earth. This illustration helps to ensure that all Jews from infanthood on, learn to the right attitude towards God. This attitude doesn’t come from focusing on oneself, but instead comes from focusing on the Lord and building relationship with Him.
6. Israel is called to fulfill all previous points (1-5) through God’s Word (the full Bible).
The full Bible includes Torah, the Prophets, Scripture and the books of the New Testament.
God’s promises and moral law are written in Torah and Prophets (Genesis 12; Exodus 20; Joel 2:32).
Throughout the Scriptures, we read about personal relationships between God and His people. A vivid example the perfect relationship between the Father and the Son is described in the Gospel (John 10:30; 5:17; 5:19).
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.” (2 Timothy 3:16). The apostles in the New Testament used the experiences of their ancestors and the teachings of Yeshua along with their own personal experiences to guide us in building our own spiritual family, instructing us to, “consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds” (Hebrews 10:24) and to live according to the principle, “Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.” (Romans 14:19).
Matthew 5:17, 18
7.Israel was instructed to accept the Word from God; and to continue to pass it from generation to generation and to all nations.
Israel accepted God’s Word as it is written, “The Jews have been entrusted with the very words of God” (Romans 3:2, Deuteronomy 4). Then, Israel was instructed to pass it from generation to generation (Deuteronomy 6:4-9; 6:20-25; 4:9; 11:19; Psalm 78:1-8), and then to all the nations (Matthew 28:19, 20).
“He has revealed his word to Jacob, his laws and decrees to Israel. He has done this for no other nation; they do not know his laws.” (Psalm 147:19-20). God showed Himself to Israel. Both Old and New Testaments are passed to us by the Jews.
8.Israel is called to give their Messiah to the world.
God gave Abraham His promise that “all peoples on earth will be blessed through him”. This blessing is Yeshua; the Messiah Himself, the Son of God, and through Him, God has blessed us with every spiritual blessing (Ephesians 1:3).
God chose Israel, and through Israel, Yeshua the Savior of the world had to come for "salvation is from the Jews" (John 4:22). Salvation of the whole world comes through Israel, from where the Messiah; Yeshua, the Son of God, has come (Rom. 9:4.5).
Luke 1:32, 33
Genesis 49:10 2
2 Samuel 7:12-13
9.Israel is called illustrate the great restoration of God to the whole world.
The promises of the prophets are being fulfilled, even some of the prophecies which had, until recently, remained unfulfilled for centuries and even thousands of years. A great restoration is taking place right before our eyes. Great ancient prophecies about Israel are being fulfilled one after the other.
- It is clear in this chapter that God is grieved by having to punish His people as that is contrary to His heart. So, after the punishment, He returns His people to Himself. When they return to His love; He promises a great restoration and His glory for His people and the city
Isaiah 60:8:9; 11:12
- Returning of Jewish people to the land that God had given them
Ezekiel 37:21:22; 36:24, 27, 38
- After the return of the Jewish people to their own land; to the state of Israel, the desert has blossomed and its wealth is being used by people again
Isaiah 60:5; 35:1, 2; Jeremiah 31:5.
- The nations of the world invest in Israel
Hosea 3:5; Ezekiel 37
- The Jews are beginning to turn to God
10. Israel is called to be the catalyst to awaken the Church in the last days.
We should be grateful to the Jewish people. Because of their backsliding, we are able to come to God in an incredible way. If such an amazing thing as God reconciling Gentiles to Himself resulted from the Jews turning away from Him, how much more amazing it will be when His chosen people finally turn back to Him and receive new life through Yeshua. (Romans 11:14-15)
The true glory of every church ministry should be to pursue the salvation of the Jewish people. A spiritual explosion will happen when salvation spreads to Israel and when more and more Jewish people begin to come to the Lord. This will cause a spark that will spread to the whole world. (Hosea 3:4-5)
11.Israel is called to accept the Messiah for the second time.
Zechariah 13:9, 12:9-10, 12-14
When the time of grace comes, Jewish people will finally accept their true King and Messiah and turn to Him in repentance. He will come for the second time from the Mount of Olives to the center of Jerusalem in great glory that will be seen around the world and will shake the very foundation of civilization as we know it to its core.
In the days of suffering, a remnant will call on the name of the Lord and He will answer them. (Zechariah 13:9). After that, our faithful Lord will have compassion on all the people of Israel (Ezekiel 39:25), will pour out the Holy Spirit on the people of Israel (Ezekiel 39:29) Zechariah 12:2-10 – and then all of Israel will be saved. (Romans 11:26). They “will see Him, even those who pierced Him”; and all peoples on earth “will mourn because of Him.” (Revelation 1:7), and, “they will mourn for Him”… (Zechariah 12:10).
12.Israel is called to be a kingdom of priests and a holy nation as an example to the world
Genesis 12:3; 28:14
- Israel will be a great blessing for all nations; they will perform a holy, spiritual service for the world
- God will use His people to proclaim His glory.
13.Jewish nation is called to be a touchstone for surrounding people, nations and the Church.
The way in which surrounding nations perceived Abraham (and his family) in the places where he lived and wandered, ultimately changed the environment and situations around him. In Genesis 12:10-20, Abraham was a touchstone for the pharaoh. Treatment of the Jewish people has always had consequences for mankind – positive or negative. God has used Israel to test the morality, fear of God and willingness to be corrected on other nations. This began long ago with the very first Jew and continues today.
Israel has been a touchstone for all the nations where the Lord scattered His rebellious children. Despite the fact that they were sinners, God warned, "The way you treat my children who have sinned, I will decide how to treat you."
Since New Covenant times, the Jewish people have been a special touchstone for those who believe in One God; the God of Israel and His Messiah.
God uses Israel and the Jews to test reality, sincerity, faith, and depth of the Christians of all nations.
Isaiah 28:16, 17
Matthew 21:42, 44
The Church’s attitude toward the Jews, tests faith and love in God as well as compassion towards humanity. We must admit that the historical Church did not pass this test. It is only more recently that there has been a revolution in the perception of Israel from the Church amongst leaders spanning different denominations and confessions. Better late than never.
It is through our views and perceptions of the Jewish people that it is determined whether or not we truly love the God of Israel. (Joel 3, Zechariah 12). This includes the most cunning, latent form of anti-Semitism – indifference. It opens the lives of God’s children to serious defeat with a hidden cause. The spiritual war against the Jewish people will escalate and not cease until the Second Coming.
The dangers and consequencesof anti-Semitism
- We can become tools in Satan’s hands
- It inflicts curses and defeat from God in ways that are far worse than any curse sent by the enemy
“I will make your oppressors eat their own flesh; they will be drunk on their own blood,
as with wine. Then all mankind will know that I, the Lord, am your Savior, your
Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob” (Isaiah 49:26)
"... whoever curses you, I will curse" (Genesis 12:3)
Biblical and historical examples:
- Hagar was banished to the desert when she mocked Sarai (Genesis 16:6-15). She never become part of the blessed house of Abraham, although God saved her life in the desert.
- God hated Esau (Romans 9:13) for Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing his father had given him (Genesis 27:41).
- Many once-powerful nations and kingdoms have disappeared from the face of the earth including Babylonia, the Roman Empire and the Parthians, Assyrians and Amalekites
- God sent a terrible plague on Pharaoh and his household. God Himself appeared to Pharaoh in a dream because Pharaoh took Sarah as his wife
- Because the leaders of Israel and a majority of other nations did not accept the Messiah, the Jews started to have serious problems:
- The Romans destroyed Jerusalem and the Second Temple, which has not been restored to this very day.
- A terrible defeat and subsequent scattering took place.
- “Anti-Semitism is a sin against God and humanity Anti-Semitism is incompatible with Christian faith" (from the International Catholic-Jewish Liaison Committee)
- Faith in God, in Christ, and in the Bible does not save us if it comes with anti-Semitism. We know that it is forbidden to hate our enemies. (1 John 3:15) We are commanded to bless those that curse us, and love even those who fight against God
- Rephrasing 1 John 4:20, we can say that whoever does not love the Jewish people, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.
- Many sincere Christians genuinely believed that true Christians must retaliate against accursed Jews for the death of "our" Lord. They even believed that by killing a Jew they would get to paradise.
- When we are indifferent towards the Jewish people and their plight, the price we will have to pay increases every day. If we know God’s seasons and divine purpose for the Jewish nation, we must decide which side we are on. How we choose will support either God or Satan. There is no third option.
- Anti-Semitism opens us up to demonic influence including fear, sickness, depression, envy, the spirit of death, limitations in walking in gifts of the Holy Spirit and the delay or prevention of release of one’s God-given anointing.
- The spirit of anti-Semitism is a source of destruction and control within the Evangelical and Orthodox churches in the former USSR.
- God will judge nations and each person separately according to their attitude towards the Jewish people.
Isaiah 60:12, 11:13
God’s Methods of Deliverance from anti-Semitism
- Belief in Yeshua and acceptance of Yeshua’s nature
- Repentance for anti-Semitic beliefs (Jonah)
- The fruits of repentance include a change in heart towards Jewish people
- Do not slow down ministering Jewish people
- To have God’s attitude towards the Jews
- For Jewish people
- For Israel and specifically for Jerusalem
- Demonstrate God’s love and compassion for Jewish people through ministry that is focused on bringing about the salvation of Jewish people
- Change un-Godly ways
- Love Jews despite their weaknesses
- True love can see the reality of a situation and does not reject a loved one because of their weakness
- True compassion can see the problems of a person and tries all the harder to help them because of it
- Do not put Jews on a pedestal
- Do not put unbiblical, seemingly positive, attention on Jewish people
- A new idol must not be made when one comes to realize that Jews are wonderful people despite their flaws. It is not helpful or biblical to put Jews on a throne of majesty and glory, singing their praises and grasping at their garments
- Jewish people should not be the object of universal admiration and indulgence. They urgently need their relationship with their Father to be restored through Yeshua
The Jewish people are desperately waiting for the Messiah, their King. Our top priority must be to help them find the path of truth and to ultimately to help them return to the embrace of their Father.