Posts Tagged ‘antisemitism’

NEW BOOKLET: THE REFORMATION: A Brief But Important Look (Some Things You Might Not Know)

2017 marks the 500th year anniversary of the Reformation period in history. This year, orthodox, ecumenical, emergent, liberal, and even secular groups will be “honoring” the Reformation. In this new booklet by Roger Oakland, certain aspects of the Reformation will be discussed, aspects you won’t find in these other circles.

 THE REFORMATION: A Brief But Important Look (Some Things You Might Not Know) by Roger Oakland is our newest Lighthouse Trails Booklet. The Booklet is 14 pages long and sells for $1.95 for single copies. Quantity discounts are as much as 50% off retail. Our Booklets are designed to give away to others or for your own personal use. Below is the content of the booklet. To order copies of THE REFORMATION: A Brief But Important Look (Some Things You Might Not Know), click here.

THE REFORMATION: A Brief But Important Look (Some Things You Might Not Know)

By Roger Oakland
A study of church history reveals that the plan by the serpent to infiltrate Christianity has been relentless through the ages. This plan continues today and is accelerating as the apostasy foretold in the Bible unfolds. In my book, The Good Shepherd Calls, I document how the counterfeit bride (what the Bible calls the harlot) is assembling an amalgamation of apostate “Christianity” with the world’s religions for establishing a peace plan. This peace plan will in turn set up a one-world religion in the name of Christ to further the cause of peace. What is happening right now in the political, economic, and religious sectors is a gradual unfolding of this plan that will build up speed and momentum as we approach the coming of the Antichrist.

While it is impossible to accomplish a complete study of church history in one small booklet, I have chosen one period of time that will help us to comprehend a number of principles we are trying to clarify. While Christianity can become distorted and separated from the foundation of the Bible so it is no longer recognizable as biblical Christianity, God always calls out those who hear His voice. As Jesus said: “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me” (John 10: 27).

Throughout church history, those who are called out form a remnant. Hearing the voice of the Good Shepherd in the midst of a Christianity that has gone astray and then speaking out against this deception is always met with opposition, hostility, and even death. Of course, this would be expected according to the battle described in the Bible between good and evil, God and Satan.

The area of church history we will be discussing in this booklet is a time known as the Reformation when the reformers split from the Roman Catholic Church in an attempt to re-establish what they believed was a Bible-based Christianity. The reformers, and those who followed their lead, then faced what was called the Counter Reformation (by Rome) and were persecuted. In many cases, they were tortured or killed because of their refusal to submit to papal teachings such as those that said Jesus could be found in a wafer (the Eucharist), and they would not pledge their allegiance to Rome or the pope. Many Christians today have either forgotten about the Reformation and the Counter Reformation, do not understand the implications of what took place, or have never even heard about this period of time.

It is also important to point out that those who led the Reformation were not infallible individuals. They were grieved by the way Christianity had departed from Scripture and had a desire to make corrections. But some of their corrections were not biblically based. How tragic it is today that many sheep follow these men (even naming themselves after them) and their ideas more than they follow the Lord Jesus Christ and His Word. Even though a correction to the course of Christianity was made, the corrections often did not go far enough, or in some cases veered away from biblical truth altogether. In other cases, some reformers did not want to leave the Catholic Church but rather desired to change some things but leave other beliefs that were just as detrimental intact. Nevertheless, many of these men and women suffered greatly for their efforts to stand for truth.

It is essential that we examine and understand the past because many proclaiming Christians today are being led down the same path as the past, as if they are trying to rediscover the wheel, and they don’t understand that the Bible was written so we don’t have to thrash about aimlessly in the tides of life.

As the reformers discovered, contending for the faith is not an easy road to walk. My prayer is that those believers today who are indeed contending for the faith and trying to warn the deceived can do so in love. Contending is not being contentious. Instead, contending should be sharing the truth in love with the deceived.

The Reformation

One source describes the Reformation in the following way:

The Protestant Reformation was the 16th-century religious, political, intellectual and cultural upheaval that splintered Catholic Europe, setting in place the structures and beliefs that would define the continent in the modern era. In northern and central Europe, reformers like Martin Luther, John Calvin and Henry VIII challenged papal authority and questioned the Catholic Church’s ability to define Christian practice. They argued for a religious and political redistribution of power into the hands of Bible- and pamphlet-reading pastors and princes. The disruption triggered wars, persecutions and the so-called Counter Reformation, the Catholic Church’s delayed but forceful response to the Protestants.1

More information from the same document suggests the goal of the reformers was to guide people away from a man-made system of power and control (purported to represent Christ) back to following Christ and His Word alone. We read:

Historians usually date the start of the Protestant Reformation to the 1517 publication of Martin Luther’s “95 Theses.” Its ending can be placed anywhere from the 1555 Peace of Augsburg, which allowed for the coexistence of Catholicism and Lutheranism in Germany, to the 1648 Treaty of Westphalia, which ended the Thirty Years’ War. The key ideas of the Reformation—a call to purify the church and a belief that the Bible, not tradition, should be the sole source of spiritual authority—were not themselves novel. However, Luther and the other reformers became the first to skillfully use the power of the printing press to give their ideas a wide audience.2

The most significant contribution of the Reformation is its illumination and recognition of the true Gospel of justification (salvation) by grace alone through faith in Christ alone apart from earning salvation through works; this fundamental truth exploded as the Word of God (the Bible) became available to the common people. We can even thank the more obscure events, such as the invention of the printing press around 1440 by Johannes Gutenberg and the efforts of Bible translators for making this possible. Meanwhile, many other extra-biblical dogmas and traditions that had reinvented biblical Christianity with outright non-Christian beliefs had been implemented to control the sheep as well. Some of these were:

Selling of indulgences
Purgatory
Praying to dead “saints”
A focus on Mary as the mother of God
The rosary and repetitive prayers to “Mary”
The “Holy doors” opened on Roman Catholic Jubilee for forgiveness
Transubstantiation
The Eucharistic Jesus
Eucharistic adoration
Popery and the infallibility of the pope

While there were many different Reformation leaders in various countries, we will reference only a few.

Germany and Lutherism

Martin Luther (1483-1546) was an Augustinian monk and university lecturer in Wittenberg when he composed his “95 Theses,” which protested the pope’s sale of indulgences in lieu of doing penance. After Luther read and came to understand Romans 1:17 that says, “For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith,” Luther’s spiritual life was radically changed as he came to realize he was not under this continuous weight of condemnation but through Christ had found justification through faith alone. This understanding helped spark the Reformation.

Although he had hoped to spur renewal from within the Catholic Church, in 1521 he was summoned before the Diet of Worms and excommunicated. Sheltered by Friedrich, elector of Saxony, Luther translated the Bible into German and continued his production of vernacular pamphlets. When German peasants, inspired in part by Luther’s empowering “priesthood of all believers,” revolted in 1524, Luther sided with Germany’s princes. By the Reformation’s end, Lutheranism had become the state religion throughout much of Germany, Scandinavia, and the Baltics.3

Sadly, Luther later turned vehemently against the Jews after becoming discouraged because they wouldn’t convert. Tragically, Adolph Hitler utilized Luther’s anti-Jewish sentiments to help convince the German people to turn against the Jews.4

As far as Luther’s contribution of his discovery of the essence of the Gospel, that justification is through faith and not works, it cannot be understated, and he did suffer persecution for his reform efforts.

Switzerland and Calvinism

The Swiss Reformation began in 1519 with the sermons of Ulrich Zwingli, whose teachings largely paralleled Luther’s. In 1541, John Calvin, a French Protestant who had spent the previous decade in exile writing his Institutes of the Christian Religion, was invited to settle in Geneva and put his Reformed doctrine into practice—which stressed an extreme view of God’s sovereignty and humanity’s predestined fate where man has no control over his fate nor the free will to choose or reject Christ, as these things are predetermined. These teachings have brought much confusion to Christians over the centuries in that Calvin’s doctrine contradicts the message of the Gospel that “whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16) and this verse from the Book of Revelation:

And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. (Revelation 22:17)

The result of Calvin’s work was a theocratic regime of enforced, austere morality. Calvin’s Geneva became a hotbed for Protestant exiles, and his doctrines quickly spread to Scotland, France, Transylvania and the Low Countries, where Dutch Calvinism became a religious and economic force for the next 400 years.5

Like Luther, Calvin was fallible, and in addition, he was the cause of much human suffering. This can be documented in the writings of Bernard Cottret, a university professor who greatly admired Calvin, and whose book (published by Eerdman’s) was intended to be a favorable portrait of Calvin, yet it describes more than 38 executions attributed to Calvin.

[Cottret] documents the dates of each of John Calvin’s despicable acts and shows that Calvin’s methods included imprisonment, torture, and execution by beheading and by burning at the stake.6

Michael Servetus was a scientist and a theologian who was born in 1511. Calvin had given Servetus a copy of his writings hoping for admiration and a favorable review. When Servetus returned Calvin’s writings to him with review and critique comments in the margins, Calvin was infuriated. On October 27, 1553, at the age of 42, Servetus was burned alive at the stake. To add to his agony, Calvin had Servetus’ own theological book tied to his chest, the flames of which rose against his face. While Michael Servetus’ doctrines may not have all been biblically sound, Calvin’s torture and execution of this man is inexcusable.7

Another problem with Calvinism is that it offers no assurance of salvation. The reason for this is that while the Bible declares “whosoever” may come, Calvin’s grasp and understanding of “predestination” was so all consuming as to become “another gospel” where one gets saved if and only if God has already chosen to save someone; hence, receiving the Gospel according to Scripture is both impossible and of no avail to someone predestined to Hell. It is worth noting that in his will, Calvin wrote a plea to God to save him if He can find it in His will to do so.8 This is completely contrary to Scripture that promises us assurance of salvation:

He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. (John 3:36)

These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God. (1 John 5:13)

England and the “Middle Way”

The history of Christianity in England is marked by some extreme highs and lows, often happening simultaneously, where good and evil were always present, clashing with but never eradicating the other. King Henry VIII had a highly questionable personal life, but through the course of related events, broke away from Rome, instituted an English church, and made the Bible available to the people. Below is a brief historical synopsis of this turbulent period of English history:

In England, the Reformation began with Henry VIII’s quest for a male heir. When Pope Clement VII refused to annul Henry’s marriage to Catherine of Aragon so he could remarry, the English king declared in 1534 that he alone should be the final authority in matters relating to the English church. Henry dissolved England’s monasteries to confiscate their wealth and worked to place the Bible in the hands of the people. Beginning in 1536, every parish was required to have a copy.

After Henry’s death, England tilted toward Calvinist-infused Protestantism during Edward VI’s six-year reign and then endured five years of reactionary Catholicism under Mary I. In 1559, Elizabeth I took the throne and, during her 44-year reign, cast the Church of England as a “middle way” between Calvinism and Catholicism, with vernacular worship and a revised Book of Common Prayer.9

Without a doubt, a reformation was needed. And the reformers paid a high price, some with their lives, to help pave a road away from the heresies of the Roman Catholic Church and toward biblical purity. But even though their roles in this were substantial, nevertheless, they were still just fallible men and women who were used of God and in some cases of our adversary. They should not have been put on spiritual pedestals to be esteemed so highly that centuries later, when a Christian challenges their writings, he is sorely ostracized by much of today’s Christian academia.

The Counter Reformation

Understanding some of the history behind Ignatius Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits, and the Jesuit agenda to bring back the “separated brethren” to the “Mother of All Churches” reveals one of the darkest periods of church history. Untold numbers (some estimates are in the tens of thousands, others in the tens of millions) of Christians, Jews, and other non-Catholics were tortured and killed if they refused submission to the pope, refused to accept that Jesus Christ was present in the Eucharist, or simply refused to be Catholic.

In fact, at this point, I would suggest our readers either read or re-read a copy of Foxe’s Book of Martyrs. This will give an excellent overview of the suffering and torture imposed on Bible believers during the Reformation and Counter Reformation Period by the Roman Catholic hierarchy. For those who are unable to read the book, we will provide an example, quoting a source that explains who the Huguenots were and the persecution they endured because they desired to follow the Good Shepherd:

The Huguenots were French Protestants. The tide of the Reformation reached France early in the sixteenth century and was part of the religious and political fomentation of the times. It was quickly embraced by members of the nobility, by the intellectual elite, and by professionals in trades, medicine, and crafts. It was a respectable movement involving the most responsible and accomplished people of France. It signified their desire for greater freedom religiously and politically.

However, ninety percent of France was Roman Catholic, and the Catholic Church was determined to remain the controlling power. The Huguenots alternated between high favor and outrageous persecution. Inevitably, there were clashes between Roman Catholics and Huguenots, many erupting into the shedding of blood.

Thousands of Huguenots were in Paris . . . on August 24, 1572. On that day, soldiers and organized mobs fell upon the Huguenots, and thousands of them were slaughtered. . . .

On April 13, 1598 . . . the newly crowned Henry IV [who favored the Huguenots] . . . issued the Edict of Nantes, which granted to the Huguenots toleration and liberty to worship in their own way. For a time, at least, there was more freedom for the Huguenots. However, about one hundred years later, on October 18, 1685, Louis XIV revoked the Edict of Nantes. Practice of the “heretical” religion was forbidden. Huguenots were ordered to renounce their faith and join the Catholic Church. They were denied exit from France under pain of death. And, Louis XIV hired 300,000 troops to hunt the heretics down and confiscate their property.10

Nothing New Under the Sun

This brief study of the Reformation and the Counter Reformation opens a window to the past that has either been forgotten or ignored. We know that most Catholics today would be totally against people being tortured and burned at the stake, and while it is not our objective to open old wounds or to be called “Catholic bashers,” it is important to understand what happened in the past from a biblical perspective with the hope it won’t happen again.

Unfortunately, something is happening in the Protestant church today that would shock and horrify those believers who have gone before us suffering torturous deaths because they would not bow the knee to the Catholic Church. Many of today’s Protestants, who at one time agreed that the Reformation needed to take place, have now proclaimed that the Reformation has no relevance anymore and that Protestantism and Catholicism need to see themselves as one church. While the same unbiblical dogmas, traditions, and ideas are being taught by the Catholic Church (and being labeled as harmless by many Protestant leaders), the martyrs of the Reformation are now considered by some to be anti-ecumenical crackpots who endured tremendous suffering and death for what is now seen as trivial and unnecessary.

The church that once relied on the Word of God now follows men who have compromised the truth or ignored the truth entirely. Church history is being repeated, perhaps for the last time, and many have fallen asleep or are willingly ignorant.

The last-days delusion is upon us. Many Christians who are attempting to maintain biblical integrity and not “go with the flow” of megachurch madness cannot even find a church to attend that has not compromised the faith. Denominations and associations of fellowships that were once on track have been derailed.

If we have heeded the warnings and instruction of Scripture, we must expect this attack on biblical faith. Like those who were willing to speak the truth in the past and suffer the consequences, the Good Shepherd is calling those who are willing to take a similar stand today.

To order copies of THE REFORMATION: A Brief But Important Look (Some Things You Might Not Know), click here.

Endnotes:
1. History.com; The Reformation: http://www.history.com/topics/reformation.
2. Ibid.
3. Ibid.
4. Toward the end of his days, Luther became profoundly anti-Semitic, and the publishers and author of The Good Shepherd Calls and this booklet wish to dissociate themselves utterly from the views he expressed on the Jewish people during these final few years. As Perry, Peden, and Von Laue point out, “Initially, Luther hoped to attract Jews to his vision of reformed Christianity. In That Jesus Was Born a Jew (1523), the young Luther expressed sympathy for Jewish sufferings and denounced persecution as a barrier to conversion. He declared, ‘I hope that if one deals in a kindly way with the Jews and instructs them carefully from the Holy Scripture, many of them will become genuine Christians . . . We [Christians] are aliens and in-laws; they are blood relatives, cousins, and brothers of our Lord.’”  Based on this point, Luther went on to say: “if it were proper to boast of flesh and blood, the Jews belong more to Christ than we. I beg, therefore, my dear Papist, if you become tired of abusing me as a heretic, that you begin to revile me as a Jew.”  Thanks in no small part to the appalling extent of Rome’s past persecution of the Jews ‘in the Name of Christ’, the vast majority of Jews did not convert to Christianity, and this, combined with Rome’s many false teachings about the Jews, prompted Luther toward his violent diatribes against them. It should also be borne in mind that he lived in a very anti-Semitic time, and in a very anti-Semitic part of the world. Tragically, centuries later, Adolph Hitler utilized the anti-Semitic sentiments of Luther to help justify to the Germany people his atrocities toward the Jewish People, which resulted in over six million Jewish deaths.  For further information on Luther’s views of the Jews, read William Shirer’s The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich.
5. http://www.history.com/topics/reformation, op. cit.
6. B. Kirkland D.D., Calvinism: None Dare Call it Heresy (Sarnia, ON: Local Church Ministries, www.fairhavensbaptist.com), p. 4.
7. Ibid.
8. Norman F. Douty, The Death of Christ, Rev. And Enlarged (Irving, TX: Williams & Watrous Pub. Co, 1978), p. 176.
9. http://www.history.com/topics/reformation, op., cit.
10. The Huguenot Society of America, “Huguenot History,” http://huguenotsocietyofamerica.org/?page=Huguenot-History.

To order copies of THE REFORMATION: A Brief But Important Look (Some Things You Might Not Know), click here.

A Pastor Discusses the History of Israel and Why Christians Should Care About Israel and the Jews

Photo: Athey Creek Fellowship

The following talk by Oregon pastor Brett Meador (from 2013) will be very helpful in understanding the biblical view of Israel and the Jews. Because anti-Semitism and replacement theology are becoming more and more prevalent within the church, it’s important to have a good understanding of this issue. We think this talk will help.

http://atheycreek.com/teachings/15566/the-history-of-israel/

Reminder: What Lighthouse Trails Believes About Israel and the Jews

We have been shocked and utterly dismayed at witnessing a growing distain for Israel and the Jews by those within the evangelical camp. Sadly, we have learned that even some who read Lighthouse Trails fall in this category. That has been surprising to us because we have been very vocal about where our sympathies lie since our inception. While not everyone who has crossed our path has been upfront about their own views on Israel and the Jews, Lighthouse Trails has never kept this a secret.

Recently, we heard a sermon online by an evangelical pastor who said that those who hold a special regard for the Jews need to repent. In a day and age when anti-Semitism is growing rapidly and were there are only 14 million Jews left in the world, we were very troubled by this pastor’s comments. He elaborated on how much evil the Jews had done to the world as if they were especially evil and wicked. This is a sign of the times.

As a reminder, here is what we believe about Israel and the Jews:

We believe God made an everlasting covenant with Israel. We do not believe the church replaces Israel (replacement theology). We believe there is biblical prophetic significance with Israel today. While we believe that individual Jews need to hear and accept the Gospel just like every human being does, the Bible is clear that Israel and the Jews are the apple of His eye, and as believers, we have been grafted in.

We reject and detest every form of anti-Semitism (which we are shockingly seeing growing strongly within the evangelical church today). We have published two books by living Holocaust survivors and carry numerous other materials about the Holocaust, finding it to be one of the most atrocious acts every committed against humanity and particularly against the Jews. We believe Satan hates the Jews and Christians with a special vengeance.

We have posted numerous articles in the past several years that illustrate our concern for and interest in Israel and the Jewish people. In 2011, we began carrying Tony Pearce’s book, The Messiah Factor, which we find to be one of the best books we have read regarding Israel and the Jews. Below are a couple extracts from that book. We have also posted some articles by Pastor Bill Randles and Mike Oppenheimer, both who have written extensively about Israel. Below are some of those articles as well as others we have posted. Hopefully, these articles will clearly show our views regarding Israel and the Jewish people.

We realize there are Christians who will not agree with us, and to you we say, there are many websites that will side with you, but Lighthouse Trails is not one of them.

 

Israel in comparison to Arab countries: Israel – Red; Arab Countries: Green

SOME OF OUR COVERAGE OF ISRAEL AND THE JEWISH PEOPLE:

LT Statement on Luther and His Later Views Toward the Jews by Lighthouse Trails

Hitler’s Plan to Replace Christianity with a “New” Christianity  by Tony Pearce

Who Really Killed Jesus? (A word to those who hate the Jews)  by Tony Pearce

Israel/Flotilla Coverage You May Not Hear in the Mass Media – “Israel Should Go Home to Germany!”

Balaam, On Being Paid to Curse Israel  by Bill Randles

New York Times: America’s Policy Towards Israel Officially Shifts from The Berean Call

The Anti-Israel Revelation

Holocaust Remembrance Day 2012 – Resistance in the Midst of Travesty

Why the Heathen Rage in a World Gone Amiss  by Bill Randles

Obama and the Mourning of Israel Video with Bill Randles

Media misleading on Jews evicting Arabs from Jerusalem  by WND

Interesting Times? . . . Actually it is the End Times  by Bill Randles

Israel and Prophetic Proof  by The Berean Call

A Right and Left Hook to the Bible  by Mike Oppenheimer

“Former senior White House correspondent renews venom [against Israel and the Jews] at Arab conference” by WND

Vatican synod calls for end to Israel’s ‘occupation’ – “no longer a chosen people.” by Jerusalem Post

 

U.N. Human Rights Council Retaining Its Bias Against Israel

Obama Defends “Robust Support” For Israel – Administrative Record Proves Differently  by CSN News

UN Textbooks for Palestinian Children ‘Explosively Anti-Semitic, Anti-American and Anti-Israeli’  by CSN News

It’s Official: Obama Administration Promotes Islamist Regimes; Insists They are Moderate

U.S. Preschool Teacher Urges: ‘Kill Some Jews’

Photo: WND

By Chelsea Schilling
WorldNetDaily

A Jew-hating Muslim preschool teacher in South Arlington, Texas, was fired Wednesday after she urged her social media followers to “kill some Jews” and tweeted: “How many Jews died in the Holocaust? Not enough…HAHAHAHA.”

Nancy Salem taught preschoolers at the Children’s Courtyard in South Arlington. She is also an activist with Students for Justice in Palestine at the University of Texas, Arlington, according to campus watchdog group Canary Mission. Salem also supports the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, or BDS, an anti-Israel movement that advocates severing global economic relations with the Jewish state. To continue reading, click here.

Related Information:

Holocaust Remembrance – When Hitler Was in Power – by a Holocaust Survivor

Anti-Jew, Anti-Israel, Replacement Theology Movie

 

Holocaust Remembrance – When Hitler Was in Power – by a Holocaust Survivor

When Hitler Was in Power – Memories of a Jewish Girl
by Anita Dittman
(From the booklet with the same name)

1939 Breslau, Germany
I was twelve years old and entering early teen years living in Nazi Germany. Often as the lights went out at night, I lapsed into self-pity and cried myself to sleep. I knew it would be a long winter with minimum food rations, crowded, substandard living quarters, and that never-ending dread of the Gestapo knock on the door. More and more Jews feared venturing into the streets.

Rising costs for tuition and school books and the increased anti-Semitism made my school life miserable and my future education questionable. In addition, home conditions were difficult. Two of Mother’s sisters had come to live with us in our one room, and we had to share the kitchen and bath with additional families.

Mother’s sisters—Aunt Friede and Aunt Elsbeth—were endlessly annoyed at my strong faith in Jesus and Mother’s growing interest in Him. Their nagging, coupled with the unbearable bedbugs in our apartment, made life a chore. I gave Aunt Elsbeth my bed and slept on a lumpy, bedbug-infested sofa, falling asleep each night while arguments rang through the room.

We hardly dared go to Pastor Hornig’s church. The macabre scenes we saw on the way caused bad dreams at night as our subconscious relived what we had seen: Jews by the hundreds being herded into trucks as they stared glassy-eyed with fear at being separated from loved ones. Since we were in a Jewish ghetto, we could look out our window almost any day and see such scenes on the street below. The more we were identified as Jewish Christians attending a Protestant church, the more free time we were given.

By fall, the war began in earnest. Germany surged ahead, optimistic because of her swift victory in Poland. The frighteningly diabolical trio of Adolf Eichmann, Reinhard Heydrich, and Heinrich Himmler was ordered to find a “final solution to the Jewish problem,” and it was generally understood that the final solution meant total extermination.

Auschwitz and Dachau, two of the more deadly camps, would strike similar terror within the Jews of Europe. Rudolf Ross was put in charge of the genocide at Auschwitz. Upon his orders, two thousand Jews would be gassed at one time. As men, women, and children were shoved together into massive “shower rooms” some were stamped on their chests with a coded number that indicated they had gold teeth. When they finally realized they weren’t taking a shower, they screamed and cried for mercy, but their cries fell on deaf ears. Amused guards watched through peepholes as they suffered and died. Hideous horror stories began to trickle out of the various camps, putting unbearable pressure on European Jews, who knew that they were all potential gas-chamber victims.

In 1939, Germans began experiencing a fear of their own as the country scurried for air-raid shelters. Bombs weren’t falling on Germany yet, but drills had begun. Homes and businesses complied with blackout regulations, and planes frequently raced across the German sky that fall, though without dropping any deadly weapons.

1940—Berlin, Germany—Away From Home
By the summer of 1940, the Führer had made himself the master of western Europe as he invaded Denmark, Norway, Belgium, Holland, Luxembourg, and France. They all would fall before the year’s end. It began to look as though Italy would enter the war as an ally of Germany. But as long as England remained undefeated in the war, a complete German victory was not possible in the West. British resistance stiffened that spring and summer under the incomparable leadership of Winston Churchill. Britain was sending her planes in increasing numbers over the skies of Germany. As the Germans attacked Allied cities and sunk Allied ships, Britain began to retaliate by dropping bombs, and Germany started melting beneath her burning cities.

That August we heard terrifying news: The Germans had bombed a residential section of London, and word got out that the British Royal Air Force would retaliate by hitting Berlin (where I was attending school). Thus, the war was brought home to Germany, and Berlin’s air-raid shelters became my home away from home. If life for the German people had once been an inconvenience, it now was a hellish nightmare. The siege began in Berlin, but soon the whole country would be in rubble.

When the bombing began, we children thought of the nightly air raids as nothing more than dangerous thunderstorms, during which everyone scrambled for the shelters—only basements really. At first the British hit only government centers in Berlin. Sometimes, however, the shrill sirens interrupted our light sleep as often as three times a night. And each time we would dash frantically to the shelter beneath our apartment building.

As the war got worse, so did general living conditions. Yet no true German dared to let defeat or discouragement cross his mind. It was still unthinkable. What about the thousand-year Reich? Hitler surely had things under control; this was only a temporary inconvenience. It was a small price to pay for the Fatherland and the glorious days that lay ahead for the Reich.
The air attack intensified in the fall of 1940 as Berlin received the brunt of the Allied bombing. The basement bomb shelters were almost useless against a direct hit, for a shell would race through ten stories to the basement, burying hundreds of victims. As Hitler intensified the fighting on the battlefront, the Allies intensified their reign of terror from the sky.

Life in the shelters was nerve-racking. We couldn’t move for fear of using too much oxygen. Even if bombs exploded all around us, we were careful not to utter an anti-Nazi statement because several staunch Nazis were sure to be in any given bomb shelter.

As the winter winds began to blow, I missed Mother and the familiarities of home even more. Christmas was in the air, and though Mrs. Michaelis assured me she would send me home for the holiday, I knew that at a moment’s whim she could change her mind. Then early in December, my school principal handed me a note: “Because of your non-Aryan background, you will no longer be allowed to attend classes at this school.”

Early 1941—Home Again in Breslau
Brown-shirted storm troopers were marching through the towns, terrorizing everyone and delighting in making life miserable for the Jews, whether by teasing and taunting or by acts of brutality. They ridiculed and beat Jews everywhere and randomly hauled off individuals or families to prison. Cattle cars were filled daily as trainloads of frightened Jews were shipped to secret destinations throughout the tranquil German countryside.

As I walked to the gymnasium of the school I was attending now, I saw bold signs proclaiming “No Jews Allowed” on nearly every store. Other signs warned Germans to stay away from Jews, who had been banned from theaters, parks, and all recreational areas. Everywhere I looked, I saw anti-Jewish slogans and posters. Many of the posters had the photograph of a Jew who had just been arrested for some concocted crime. In sharp contrast, flashing neon signs illuminated Hitler’s picture.
The Nazi flag was hung proudly outside of most homes in Breslau. Inside, Germans were required to have a picture of the Führer somewhere in the house. Hitler was pressing the Christian pastors to have his picture placed at the front of church altars.

Hitler’s contorted and strained voice blasted hate propaganda from the radio almost daily; he frantically blamed “international financial Jewry” for the war and warned Germans that every living Jew was an archenemy of the Reich. Jews had absolutely no rights and weren’t entitled to own property.

More and more Jews trembled behind locked doors. We learned that a brother and a sister of Mother’s had been picked up and taken to a camp. Another brother and his wife took their own lives rather than face a concentration camp ordeal. It was inevitable that the random confiscation of Jews should hit our house that winter.

Mother tried to be a peacemaker for her three quarreling sisters. However, when she attempted to help them, they would gang up on her because of her growing love for Jesus, who Pastor Hornig had told her was the Jewish Messiah. Mother could no longer deny the power of Christ in our lives. She had to talk about Him; it was a natural overflow of love. But her sisters insisted that it was Jesus’ followers who had hounded the Jews since the first century. They claimed the Nazis were all Christians on the basis of them being Gentiles and having attended Catholic or Lutheran churches. Many of those very churches had now sold out to the Führer, allowing his picture to be on their church altars. It made no sense to my aunts to worship Jesus, a phony dead man in whose name millions of Jews had been persecuted, tortured, and killed.

“But those people aren’t really Christians!” I insisted, not fully grasping the accuracy of my statement. “They just give real Christians a bad name.”

“Nonsense!” insisted Aunt Elsbeth. “All Gentiles are Christians.”

That month Bulgaria was peacefully occupied. Then Germany invaded Yugoslavia, and soon tanks would roll into Athens. Hitler gave an injunction demanding merciless harshness in the war. Whereas at one time the German code of ethics had protected civilians and property, now everyone and everything was to be destroyed by the German soldiers. But every such act of brutality only increased the Allied assault on Germany, so in the end every German paid for the Führer’s madness.

All internal affairs were being handed over to Martin Bormann, who began to carry out a ruthless assault on the Christian churches in Germany. More than ever we feared for the Hornigs and the believers at our church, for they would be prime targets for Bormann’s men because of their interest and love for the Jewish people. Gestapo agents always were planted in the church services now.

The fresh breezes of spring 1941 brought us little relief from our agony. I gave serious thought to dropping out of school because of the rampant anti-Semitism at the gymnasium. My teachers followed Nazi orders to be hard on all students who weren’t Aryans, and the other young people didn’t want to risk being my friend. I felt terribly lonely there—for a fourteen-year-old without a friend is like a violin without a bow.

One by one the apartments in our Jewish tenement were emptying as the arrests increased. In June, we heard the dreaded knock again. This time they came for Aunt Friede, who was seventy-three years old. We tried very hard to swallow our tears again, for we knew it would only upset Aunt Friede more to see us crying over her. Again, no explanation was given and no destination revealed.

A great part of the terrifying fear related to the arrests was the unknown factor of the prisoner’s destination. Was it jail or a concentration camp? Was it a work camp or a gas chamber or a firing squad? One seldom knew until sometimes family members received a postcard from prison or perhaps word was smuggled out that the person had been killed. The fate of millions would never be known. They would simply become statistics.

One by one or all at once, families disappeared and were separated in the ordeal of Nazi Germany in 1941. We never saw Aunt Käte, Aunt Friede, or Aunt Elsbeth again.

Hitler’s hunger for power and blood had no end. Next he invaded Russia in an effort to eliminate the “Eastern menace” of Bolshevism. The Führer didn’t realize, of course, that this was a fatal miscalculation. A world war was now inevitable. America pledged economic aid, and the Allies started fighting back even harder.

Burning synagogue - Photo from Trapped in Hitler's Hell by Anita Dittman - US Holocaust Museum - Used with permission

Burning synagogue in Germany – Photo from Trapped in Hitler’s Hell by Anita Dittman – from US Holocaust Museum – Used with permission

Hitler was sure the Russian campaign would be swift, a fair weather war. Thus the Russian winter became as much his enemy as the Russian soldier. More than 750,000 German soldiers would die from the winter elements as they became bogged down in their advance on Moscow. Because of the devastating defeat, the Jews would suffer even more and be made to pay for Hitler’s mistake.

Only one synagogue was left in Breslau after the burnings of 1938 and 1939. Recently it had been made into a prison for Jews who were waiting for processing before being sent off to the camps.

After school one day, I made my way to the crumbling synagogue. During the long walk in the December cold, I considered the paradox of Nazi Germany. As Christmas approached, Germans celebrated the birth of Jesus; yet they worshiped the godless Nazis. The peace, joy, love, and hope that are synonymous with Christmas were strangely muted in Hitler’s Germany, but few gave up the futile dream of the marvelous thousand-year Reich. Few were ready to allow the idea of defeat to enter their minds, even though smoke from burning Berlin rose five miles high in the sky and uncounted thousands of German soldiers were dying on the Russian battlefront. Routinely the Russians announced the names of their captured German prisoners over the airwaves of underground radio stations. The prisoners’ relatives knew they would never see their husbands or brothers again when they heard their names; the camps in Siberia never sent anyone home.

1942
Hitler’s attention was focused mainly on the Russian front in the spring of 1942, though the Africa corps drove further and further east toward the British-held Middle East. The Americans joined England’s Royal Air Force in dropping bombs on German cities. In the coming weeks and months, Cologne, Rostock, Lubeck, and Berlin would become piles of rubble. But, thankfully, the planes still avoided Breslau.

That spring brought both the bitter and the sweet. Our good friends the Sandbergs were finally taken away. We sorrowed as we remembered the longing of their hearts to be reunited with their sons, who had fled to England before the war.

That May I turned fifteen, and I finished my confirmation classes with Pastor Hornig. Mother scraped a few cents together to make me a lovely white dress. Pastor Hornig tested me in front of the entire congregation at St. Barbara’s; it was one of the highlights of my life. I was thrilled to be able to please Pastor Hornig and Mother as I gave all the right answers in my test. Mother looked at me proudly from the audience. My eyes flashed between Pastor Hornig and Mother as I drank in their looks of approval and praise. This was the best gift I could give them.

My eyes also saw an unfamiliar face in the congregation. We learned later that it was another Nazi spy. It was no secret to anyone in Breslau that Pastor Hornig aided Jews—both believers and unbelievers. Gestapo agents followed him frequently and planted themselves in the church services in order to monitor any anti-Nazi statements.

Shortly after this, I was handed another familiar note in school, telling me not to return to classes because of my Jewish heritage.

About the same time that spring, Reinhard Heydrich died. He was one-third of the Eichmann-Himmler-Heydrich trio—the masterminds behind the Jewish persecution. The blood of thousands—perhaps millions of Jews was on his hands.

To this day, the Nazi Holocaust continues to prevent many Jewish people from believing in God. Satan uses it as the biggest stumbling block for the numerous Jews who can’t accept that a loving, all-powerful God would allow such a horrible thing to happen. Granted, millions perished, yet God also allowed millions to survive.

The Reich suffered a terrible defeat at Stalingrad as the Russians captured 220,000 German prisoners in February 1943. Solemn music was played for three days on the radio as all Germans mourned the loss. At last, Germany was experiencing the type of pain she had been inflicting on others.

We had heard that defeat was also occurring in North Africa, and the air war against Germany was merciless now. A layer of smoke blanketed the land as Hamburg and other cities were being hit day and night. A concentrated Allied attack on German U-boats caused the Germans to lose the battle in the Atlantic.

Finally, the Allies demanded the unconditional surrender of the Reich, but for Hitler that was unthinkable. Instead, he declared that an attitude of defeatism would be punishable by death, and the empty propaganda that promised a glorious day for Germany continued to be screamed over the airwaves.

How much longer would the German people believe in the illusion of the glorious Fatherland? How much longer would they follow the mad pied-piper and trust him with their sons, fathers, and husbands, many of whom would never leave the Siberian prisoner-of-war camps? How much longer would they be blindly obedient to the Führer, who admittedly had no compassionate thought for a human life? He even willingly sacrificed his own German people if they weren’t perfect specimens of the Aryan race. When would the prayers of Christians around the world hasten the demise of the German demagogue and strangle Satan’s attempt to bring only sorrow and sighing into the world? How much longer, God? We knew that one swift blow of God’s judgment could end the despair, and we believed that real Christians around the world surely had calluses on their knees from praying for the nightmare to end.

1943
As winter turned into the spring of 1943, we heard that the Allies had won the war in Africa, which gave Mother and me a surge of hope. But true to the pattern, as the Reich suffered, our supervisor became more strict and rigid, allowing hardly any conversation during our long workday. Only hungry rats scurrying along the beams above us broke the monotony.

Rumors began to fly about some of the Reich’s concentration camps being liberated in the coming year. The camps now held millions of Jews from Germany, France, Belgium, Holland, Austria, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and the Balkans.

However, our dreams were suddenly shattered one balmy spring day when we heard about the destruction of the Warsaw ghetto. Five-hundred-thousand Jews had been herded into the ghetto to starve to death. Finally the Germans went in to kill them or crowd them into death camps; however, the starving but determined Jews fought back with everything they had. Then Hitler sent in three thousand more troops to quickly take over the ghetto with tanks, armored cars, artillery, and flame-throwers. Only five-hundred Jews lived to tell of the annihilation of the ghetto and its people.

That week we could hardly speak to one another without choking back tears of grief and anger; even within the purest heart, bitterness raged toward the Nazis. Our faith was shaken and our hope dimmed. The atheists among us cursed, while the Jewish unbelievers withdrew into themselves. The religious Jews prayed harder and asked why. We Christians comforted one another and realized that some answers would be available only in heaven.

1944
The Allies landed in Normandy. Rumor had it that everyone who had even one Jewish grandparent was now going to be picked up in a last-ditch effort to wipe out the Jewish race. Hitler would make the Jews pay, of course, for his mistakes in the war, a pattern that was never broken.

The stories from the camps told of massive gassings and shootings. Following a gassing, the bodies would be cremated in giant ovens. Giant smokestacks coughed out soot from burning bodies, blanketing most of Europe. Fellow prisoners, or in some cases family members, would then be ordered to break up the remaining bones and bury them in mass graves.

The worst horrors took place in Auschwitz, from which few ever escaped or lived to tell their stories. It was estimated that almost three million already had perished there, and at the end of the war it would be learned that eighty percent of those sent to Auschwitz died.

Antia today

Anita today

The most gruesome story leaked out early in 1944 and would later be documented. Hitler informed Himmler that it was not enough for the Jews to die; they must die in agony, for they were only germs, not people. Himmler was ordered to devise a plan to make thousands of Jews die a horrible death. He got the idea of placing Jewish prisoners in freight cars having their floors coated with a layer of dehydrated calcium oxide. The substance caused terrible burns, and prisoners often suffered for days before dying an awful death in the freight cars, which were left in a secluded place.

Hitler had only to whisper and ten thousand prisoners would die that day.

The human mind and body could not logically withstand such pressures and uncertainties, especially if a person had a loved one in a camp or if he himself was on the Nazi blacklist. Added to the other horrors was the constant threat that a death-camp experience awaited him after a harsh midnight knock on his door. The Nazi blacklist included more than just Jews. Christians who were suspected of hiding or aiding Jews were on it, as well as anyone who uttered an anti-Nazi sentiment. A time would come for all of us to be hauled off to death camps unless the Allies—with God’s help—could rescue us.

To order copies of this article in booklet format ($1.95),  click here.

Nuggets from “Judgment Day: Islam, Israel, and the Nations”

By Dave Hunt
Founder of The Berean Call

Much of the anti-Semitism to which we have referred and which appears on the surface around the world is only the tip of the iceberg. The most vicious and far-reaching anti-Semitism is that which has been exercised by governments, international corporations (especially oil companies), and religious institutions, both Protestant and Catholic. There are no moral principles or loyalties – the only motive for any partnership is profit.

One week before his death of cerebral hemorrhage on April 4, 1945, Franklin D. Roosevelt promised Ibn Saud that the US would not assist the Jews against the Arabs. His successor, Harry S. Truman (who would shock the world three years later by recognizing Israel only minutes after its declaration of independence), realizing that his ministers were betraying him, began an investigation that was stopped by Allen Dulles’s threats of oil sources drying up. Click here to continue reading.

Terror Against Israel

Old Town Jerusalem (Photo: bigstockphoto.com; used with permission

Old Town Jerusalem (Photo: bigstockphoto.com; used with permission

By Tony Pearce
Light For the Last Days Ministries (UK)
From the Winter 2015 Light for the Last Days Newsletter. Used with permission.

Israel is in the grip of a terror offensive as Palestinians have been attacking Israelis with knives and driving their cars at them. Between September 13 and November 30, 2015, 22 Israelis were killed and 215 wounded.

The attacks began after false accusations that Israel was defiling the Al Aqsa Mosque (on the site of the former Jewish Temple in Jerusalem). Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas has been telling his people that Israel was planning to destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque and “change the Arab and Islamic character and identity” of Jerusalem. He condemned Jews for “defiling the Aqsa Mosque with their filthy feet.” Radical Islamist and terrorist elements are calling on Palestinian youth to murder Jews. Statements by Fatah and Hamas have described the attacks as “heroic actions” and “the natural response to Israel”s crimes.”

All of the makes the possibility of a “peace settlement” even more remote. According to a recent poll, the majority of Palestinians don’t want a “two state solution” as proposed by the US, EU, and UN. They want a new “intifada” to replace the whole of Israel with a Palestinian state — preferably, one that now would be ruled by Hamas and jihadi organizations such as Islamic State and Al-Qaeda. Their problem is not with “settlements” or “poor living conditions” but with Israel’s existence. A majority believes that Israel can —and should —be destroyed.

After the Paris attacks, Netanyahu said:

“The time has come for countries to condemn terrorism against us to the same degree that they condemn terrorism everywhere else in the world.”

However, most of the world does not condemn terrorism against Israel but often supports it and turns its condemnation on Israel. In fact, the French government pays millions of Euros every year to Palestinian NGOs whose stated goal is to destroy Israel, thus helping to finance the radicalization of Palestinian society. Just two days before the Paris attacks, Netanyahu took the European Union to task for setting new guidelines for special labelling of goods produced by Israelis in the West Bank, Golan Heights and Jerusalem, which is widely viewed in Israel as a precursor to an economic boycott of Israel. He said:

“The EU has decided to label only Israel, and we are not prepared to accept the fact that Europe is labelling the side that is being attacked by terrorism.”

The world generally does not care about what happens to Israel and sides with those seeking to destroy her. But the Lord does care. Jeremiah prophesied a time when Israel will hear “a voice of trembling, of fear and not of peace.” This is the time of Jacob’s trouble, “but he shall be saved out of it” (Jeremiah 30.4-7).

At this time the Lord says:

For I will restore health to you and heal you of your wounds, because they have called you an outcast saying, ‘It is Zion for whom no one cares.”(Jeremiah 30.17)

Related Articles:

Remembering the Holocaust – Who Really Killed Jesus? by Tony Pearce

No Peace – No Messiah by Tony Pearce

 

 


Lighthouse Trails RSS Feed
**SHOP FOR BOOKS/DVDS**

SEARCH ENTIRE SITE
Categories
Calendar
July 2017
S M T W T F S
« Jun    
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031  
Archives
Show Buttons
Hide Buttons