Israel-First Millennialists are Sending Jews to Their Death in Palestine

Thomas Williamson, Christian News, September 23, 2002

B ASED ON A MISTAKEN interpretation of just one Bible verse—Zechariah 13:8, which describes the death of two-thirds of the Jewish people, there are many-Christians who believe that this will happen in the very near future, and that it is their duty to help make the prophecy come true.

American policy in the Middle East is controlled by this vision, which insists that the Palestinian people must be subdued and expelled from their homeland, even at the cost of a nuclear world war if necessary, so that the Jews can then occupy that land and then, in turn, be killed off.

American evangelical influence in Congress, while not powerful enough to enact a ban on partial-birth abortion, yet manages to exercise enough clout over Congress to ensure that there is no hindrance to this essential tenet of the Armageddon Theology: that Palestine must be turned over to the Jews at any cost.

Whenever the Israeli government talks of land for peace, or any kind of recognition of Palestinian human and property rights, some American evangelicals go into hissy-fits, insisting that Israel is going against God. In 1998 Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson flew to Israel on an urgent mission to torpedo any talk of peace between Israel and the Palestinians. Such a peace settlement would endanger the fulfillment of their belief that the Jews have to be slaughtered and that the blood in Palestine must flow up to the horses’ bridles.

Louis Goldberg, at that time professor at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, described the future Jewish holocaust in his book, “Turbulence Over the Middle East,” published in 1982: “As we view the darkness in Israel yet to come, it is with a wrench in one’s heart concerning what is yet to happen in the land...The prophet Zechariah described the holocaust in the land of Israel: ‘And it will come about in all the land, declares the LORD, that two parts in it [the land] will be cut off and perish; But the third will be left in it, And I will bring the third part through the fire, Refine them as silver is refined, And test them as gold is tested.’

“The dire proclamation is that two-thirds of the land’s population will perish. This means that of the three-million population today in Israel, should this horrible event take place now, two million will die because of the political Antichrist’s fury against Israel, in exact accordance with Satan’s desires.”

David Brickner, executive director of Jews for Jesus, makes the same prediction of doom, saying that this slaughter will come about as a reaction to Jewish attempts to rebuild their Temple in Jerusalem: “A full two-thirds of the population of Israel will perish in the ensuing conflict, according to Zechariah 13:8. The hope of the Jewish people in seeing the glorious Temple rebuilt will, in fact, lead to their greatest calamity and suffering.” (From the book “Future Hope, A Jewish Christian Looks at the End of the World,” 1999.)

So, is Jews for Jesus warning Jews to get out of Israel, or not to move there? On the contrary, books by David Brickner and Moishe Rosen contain material encouraging Jews to move to Israel, and supporting the radical groups that are trying to build a temple for animal sacrifices in Jerusalem, even though they believe this activity will trigger the massacre of millions of Jews.

One of the greatest dispensationalist authorities, John Walvoord, is in full agreement that most of the Jews have to die. In his book “Israel in Prophecy,” published in 1962, he says: “According to Zechariah’s prophecy, two thirds of the children of Israel in the land will perish, but the one third that are left will be refined and be awaiting the deliverance of God at the second coming of Christ.” (This is a strange sort of “deliverance,” that does not happen until two-thirds of the rescuees are dead!)

“Left Behind” novelist Tim LaHaye says in his “Prophecy Study Bible:” “Prior to Israel’s conversion, Zechariah predicts that two-thirds (‘two parts’) of the Jewish people in the land will perish during the tribulation period. Only one third of the Jewish population will survive until Christ comes to establish His kingdom on earth.”

The article “Odd Bedfellows” in the August 12, 2002 U.S. News and World Report states that hundreds of thousands of evangelical Christians in America are donating millions of dollars to relocate Jewish people to Israel. One group alone has received $60 million in the last 8 years, and there are many groups who are raising these funds. While Christian ministries in America go begging for money, American Christians are lavishing their money on schemes to move Jews to Israel, and to pay for the education of their children in Jewish religious schools. (Are there not any Christian schools in America, or Israel, that could use that money from churchgoing Christians?)

It is no secret that the reason that American Christians are helping Jews to move to Israel is because they expect to see them get killed there. This is a fact that is well-known to Protestant, Catholic, Muslim and Jewish commentators, as well as secular journalists, all over the Middle East as well as here in America. These writers often express their utter contempt and scorn for a religion that is motivated mainly by a desire to foment Armageddon in the Middle East, at the cost of millions of Jewish and Arab lives.

Jeffery Sheler states, in the August 12 U.S. News and World Report article, that “Many evangelicals view the 1948 founding of Israel as the first in a chain of biblically mandated events that will culminate in the return of Jesus and the end of history—a scenario popularized in the best-selling ‘Left Behind’ fiction series. Part of that scenario, based on a hotly debated interpretation of passages in Revelation, Daniel, and Ezekiel, involves a devastating ‘battle of Armageddon’—a nuclear holocaust that is stopped at its climax by the arrival of Jesus, who defeats the forces of evil and establishes an era of peace. But millions of Jews are killed in the battle, and the survivors accept Jesus as their Messiah.”

Almost all Christian Zionist organizations in Israel have taken an official pledge not to evangelize the Jewish people of Israel, or to seek converts among them. They do not want the Jews to become Christians. They want them to keep on being Jews, so that they can get themselves killed and fulfill the “Armageddon Theology” scenario. As Gary North has noted in his book “Rapture Fever:” “Dispensationalists want the Rapture to deliver them from all of their earthly responsibilities. Thus, they have taken this view of evangelism: ‘Let’s not bring the gospel to the Israelis, thus insuring that two-thirds of them will be killed during the Great Tribulation and roast in hell eternally.’ This view of evangelism is hidden behind a lot of rhetoric about concern for the State of Israel. There is indeed concern: to have millions of Israelis die horrible deaths, and spend eternity in the lake of fire for the sake of the pre-tribulation Rapture. This is why dispensationalists refuse to send missionaries to Israel to evangelize Jews.

“The preservation of the State of Israel is basic to the eschatology of the pre-tribulational dispensationalist. Why? So that the Antichrist will be able to wipe out two-thirds of Israel’s population after the Rapture of the Church, and during the Great Tribulation. The Jews of the State of Israel are to serve as God’s cannon fodder in the inevitable war of Armageddon.

“Without the Jews’ service as future sitting ducks, pre-tribulational dispensationalists would lose all faith in the imminent Rapture. The Antichrist would have no ducks in a barrel if there were no barrel. The State of Israel is the Antichrist’s barrel. The leaders of dispensationalism do not say in public that this is what their support for Israel is all about, but it is. Based on Zechariah 13:8-9, among other passages, dispensationalists conclude that two-thirds of the Jews are doomed. This is standard teaching from the dispensationalist pulpits.”

Grace Halsell, in her book “Prophecy and Politics,” commented on the zeal that some Christians have for seeing multitudes of Jews die: “Convinced that a nuclear Armageddon is an inevitable event within the divine scheme of things, many evangelical dispensationalists have committed themselves to a course for Israel that, by their own admission, will lead directly to a holocaust indescribably more savage and widespread than any vision of carnage that could have generated in Adolf Hitler’s criminal mind.”

The Christian Zionist, like the space alien from an old “Twilight Zone” episode, poses as an altruistic I benefactor of humanity, and carries a book entitled “To Serve (Jewish) Man,” but actually it’s a cookbook, with I Jews as the sacrificial lambs.

Those who have read the works of Josephus know that there was indeed a vast slaughter of the Jews during the Jewish Revolt against Rome in 67-70 AD.

Adam Clarice, in his commentary, states that Zechariah 13:8 was fulfilled “in the war with the Romans” and that the survival of one-third of the Jews means that “those who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ shall be preserved alive; and not one of these perished in the siege [of Jerusalem], or afterwards, by those wars.”

The historical record, as preserved in detail by Josephus, shows us that the terrible slaughter of Zechariah 13:8 already took place more than 1900 years ago. It means we can start genuinely loving the Jewish people, instead of plotting to get two-thirds of them bumped off.