A few weeks ago, I jotted down my thoughts about God’s Game of Thrones. You can find it here. If you haven’t read it, please do so before reading this piece. Don’t worry. I’ll wait.
Alright, you’re back. Yes, we are in a Game of Thrones, but on a cosmic level both physically and spiritually. Life just got more exciting for you, didn’t it?
I want to return to God’s Game of Thrones (now in progress) to talk about antisemitism.
Uh…what? How do those two things relate? Glad you asked (even if you didn’t). First, let’s see what antisemitism is.
Abraham is a direct descendant of Shem, Noah’s son. That makes Abraham a Shemite. As a side note, it may be hard to believe, but Shem’s life overlapped Abraham’s life by 210 years. There’s also a strong case to be made that Melchizedek, “king of Salem, priest of God Most High” (Genesis 7) was, in fact, Shem. If so, imagine Abraham meeting his ancestor, the world’s oldest living man, and most famous person, talking face to face about the pre-Flood world!
Shem’s family line expanded to cover an area from Eastern Egypt to Iran and the southern tip of the Saudi Arabian Peninsula north into Turkey, I.e. the Fertile Crescent region. After the Tower of Babel incident and the formation of nations, some Shemites (known today as Semites) formed into various Semitic people groups.
Generally speaking, Semitic peoples include “member(s) of any of a number of peoples of ancient southwestern Asia including the Akkadians, Phoenicians, Hebrews, and Arabs.” (Source)
From among these Semitic peoples, God chose Abraham as part of His plan to create a nation, a single line of Semites, whom He would teach and train to trust Him, and through whom He would bring forth His plan of world-redemption and restoration.
Today, the term Semite has come to refer to the Hebrew people in general and the Jewish people specifically. So, when we talk about antisemitism today, it commonly means anti-Jewish-people-ism.
Antisemitism is “the belief or behavior hostile toward Jews just because they are Jewish. It may take the form of religious teachings that proclaim the inferiority of Jews, for instance, or political efforts to isolate, oppress, or otherwise injure them. It may also include prejudiced or stereotyped views about Jews.” (Source)
Antisemitism is known as “the longest hatred” and that’s truer than you think. I’ll get to why that is. There is a myriad of forms of antisemitism, but the focus is the same – the Jewish people.
An online search of “antisemitism” will quickly yield numerous links to a plethora of books, articles, and blog posts that document antisemitism throughout history. Here are just a few examples.
For general information about antisemitism and its brutal endpoint, the Holocaust, you can start with Yad Vashem, The World Holocaust Remembrance Center in Jerusalem, Israel. Read more. I’ve visited Yad Vashem more than a few times and each time I leave deeply saddened, angry, and appalled at how horribly human beings can treat one another. The Holocaust was true evil manifested.
Another great resource is The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Read more. Do a quick website “antisemitism” word search for a wealth of information.
The saddest part about that last linked article by Oliver Melnick, “The Church Fathers and the Jews – parts 1 & 2,” is realizing that once the Early Church’s Jewish Founding Fathers passed the torch to the next generation of Church Fathers (who were Gentiles), those Church Fathers 2.0 failed in a few of the most basic principles of theology. Though many of them did accomplish stellar work in developing Christian theology, they rejected its original Jewish context from which Christianity sprouted and grew and they took what was literal (about Israel and the Jews) and read the text as figurative (about the Church).
In short, they cut the Church community from its roots and replaced the Jewish people with the Christian community. We’re still battling this errant Replacement Theology today.
I will be blunt. Replacement Theology is a form of religious antisemitism. And yet, we still see it taught in Christian seminaries and from the pulpits of churches due to ignorance and outright bigotry.
Antisemitic acts continue today. From spray painting a synagogue with anti-Jewish slurs and threats to the mass shooting of Jewish worshippers at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, PA on October 27, 2018, antisemitic incidents happen around the world daily.
There are many reasons people cite for antisemitism’s cause. Some are based on psychology, some on sociology, some on history. Some, sadly, are based on theology as above. This last one – theology – seems to get closest to the truth and relates antisemitism to God’s Game of Thrones.
As I pointed out in the God’s Game of Thrones post, God has a plan to restore everything on earth back to its original design. That means humanity ruling over His creation as His vice-regents and God Himself ruling over humanity. The Fall was the Start and Jesus’ death and resurrection provided the Fix. All of it was accounted for in God’s plan. But His plan hasn’t ended. It continues to unfold.
It will be complete when God remakes the heavens and the earth (Revelation 21:1). But between now and then some very important things must take place as critical parts of God’s plan. How do we know that? God has already said so in His word! Okay, follow me on this.
God began with one man, Abraham.
From Abraham, God created a people, Israel, as He promised.
He gave the nation a land, the land of Israel, as He promised.
God chose a city within that land for Him and His people, Jerusalem.
Finally, He chose a king, David, to rule on a throne in Jerusalem, in Israel, and among His people. Here’s the pattern:
People --> Land --> City --> King.
From this pattern, God would bring forth His Messiah to establish our way back to Him through the forgiving and erasing of sin.
But Satan fought God’s plan all the way. Satan tried to eliminate humanity (Flood), disqualify humanity (Tower of Babel), eliminate God’s chosen family line (warfare, idolatry, exile, assimilation), preemptively strike down God’s Son (as a baby in Bethlehem), disqualify Jesus (the Temptation), and finally succeed in killing Him. The Jewish people were exiled from their city and land by the Romans in A.D. 70, ceased to be a nation, and dispersed throughout the world.
Game over? Nope.
The first half of the game was completed. The key strategy for victory was accomplished (Jesus' death and resurrection). The endgame is a given and it’s ready to roll.
What is the endgame? For Jesus to return and set things right and it involves the same pattern as above to precede His return.
People --> God promised to “gather the dispersed of Israel; he will collect the scattered of Judah from the four corners of the earth” (Isaiah 11:10-16). Starting in the late 1800s, the Jews have been gathering and returning to their ancestral God-given homeland.
People --> Land --> In one day (May 14, 1948), just as Isaiah prophesied, God brought forth the nation of Israel on their ancestral land that hadn’t existed for nearly 2,000 years. “Who has heard of such a thing? Who has seen such things? Can a land be born in one day or a nation be delivered in an instant? Yet as soon as Zion was in labor, she gave birth to her sons” (Isaiah 66:8).
People --> Land --> City --> On one day, June 7, 1967, God gave His people a reunited Jerusalem.
All that’s missing is Israel’s king. God has planned and promised that as well. “My servant David will be king over them, and there will be one shepherd for all of them. They will follow my ordinances, and keep my statutes and obey them. ‘They will live in the land that I gave to my servant Jacob, where your ancestors lived. They will live in it forever with their children and grandchildren, and my servant David will be their prince forever.” (Ezekiel 37:24-25).
Do you see the pattern of God’s Game of Thrones? And here’s where antisemitism connects with it.
This is all about the Jews.
Sorry to burst anyone’s bubble, but God’s End Time portion of His Game of Thrones revolves most closely around the Jewish people.
Jesus ain’t returning primarily to the Gentiles.
He ain’t returning to Italy.
He ain’t returning to Rome.
And He ain’t returning to be Pope.
He’s returning primarily to His people, the Jews.
He’s returning to the Land His Father promised to them, Israel.
He’s returning to the City of the Great King, Jerusalem. Why?
So He can be Israel’s King and complete His Father’s game plan.
Why antisemitism? I hope you see why now. But if you don’t, it’s because the Jewish people and God’s promises to them are an intricate part of God’s plan of Redemption. They are closest to the hub of God’s plan of Redemption.
And that Redemption plan declares Satan’s total annihilation when it comes to fruition.
Now you know why Satan has so virulently attacked the Jewish people and incited his minions, spiritual and physical, to be his antisemitic tools for a very long time.
The are many reasons claimed for what drives antisemitism and has made it “the longest hatred.” At its core antisemitism is a spiritual battle, a Game of Thrones played out on the world stage. Antisemitism is the longest hatred because it’s been going on ever since God called forth Abraham, the Founding Father of the Jewish people.
So how do you regard the Jewish people, with contempt or blessing?
In God’s Game of Thrones, you’ll want to make sure you’re on His side.
Pastor Jay Christianson
The Truth Barista, Frothy Thoughts