Why did the Jewish Holocaust occur?

There has been a debate in certain theological circles as to why God allowed the Holocaust to occur. Some say that it was the Jews’ punishment for rejecting God’s Son, Jesus Christ, as the Messiah. I do not believe that at all. Rather I believe the Holocaust was an attempt by Satan to thwart God’s end-times plans. There is a long prophecy in Ezekiel that deals with the rebirth of the nation of Israel in the "latter days". In this vision God reveals to Ezekiel the future of the Jewish nation Israel. He shows Ezekiel a valley full of very dry bones that represent Israel. God speaks to these bones and tells them that He is going to put breath into them so that they may come to life. However, this process is going to occur in stages.

Ezekiel's Dry Bones vision

Ezekiel 37:1-14,21-28 - The hand of the LORD was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones, 2 And caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry. 3 And He said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord GOD, thou knowest. 4 Again He said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the LORD. 5 Thus saith the Lord GOD unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live: 6 And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the LORD. 7 So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone. 8 And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them. 9 Then said He unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live. 10 So I prophesied as He commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army. 11 Then He said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts. 12 Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. 13 And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves, 14 And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the LORD have spoken it, and performed it, saith the LORD... 21 And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land: 22 And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all. 23 Neither shall they defile themselves any more with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions: but I will save them out of all their dwellingplaces, wherein they have sinned, and will cleanse them: so shall they be My people, and I will be their God. 24 And David My servant shall be king over them; and they all shall have One Shepherd: they shall also walk in My judgments, and observe My statutes, and do them. 25 And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob My servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt; and they shall dwell therein, even they, and their children, and their children's children for ever: and My servant David shall be their Prince for ever. 26 Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them: and I will place them, and multiply them, and will set My sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore. 27 My tabernacle also shall be with them: yea, I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 28 And the heathen shall know that I the LORD do sanctify Israel, when My sanctuary shall be in the midst of them for evermore.

First, He will cause the bones to come up out of their graves. Then He will put sinews or muscles on them. Next, He will cause flesh to grow upon them and then cover them with skin. Lastly, He will put His breath or Spirit upon them that they may come to life.

There is a false teaching in some parts of the Christian Church known as Replacement Theology. This doctrine denies that the Jews have a right to live in the land of Israel. This teaching states that the modern nation of Israel is not a fulfillment of prophecy because the Jews are in unbelief when it comes to accepting Jesus as the Messiah. It is interesting that the description Ezekiel gives of these bones that represent the Jewish nation of Israel is that they are "very dry". In other words, they are spiritually dry or dead. It isn’t until the end of the process that they become spiritually alive. That the Jews do not currently believe that Jesus is the Messiah is actually a fulfillment of this part of Ezekiel’s prophecy.

God says that He will begin the process of restoring the Jews to the land of Israel by taking them up out of their graves and bringing them into the land of Israel. The metaphor God uses here probably refers to the “graves” that the Jews were in when He dispersed them to the nations around the world. He declares that He will take them from every nation and bring them back to the land of Israel. However, I believe that there is also a literal aspect to this metaphor.

In the 1930s and 1940s, the Nazi government of Germany tried to exterminate the Jewish people from the face of the earth. They did succeed in killing more than 6,000,000 Jews before the world stopped them. The Allied armies discovered the concentration camps and the gas ovens and mass graves that contained these Jews. Two years after World War II ended, the countries of the world, via the United Nations, gave the land of Israel back to the Jews. In this case, the Jews were literally taken from their graves and brought back to the land of Israel.

Satan's plan to stop God's plans

Since the creation of Adam and Eve, Satan has tried to thwart God's plans for the human race (The Book of Revelation indicates that Satan has a general if not specific knowledge of God's future plans - "Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he KNOWETH that he hath but a short time" - Revelation 12:12). God was going to use Moses to deliver the Jews from bondage in Egypt. Satan’s plan was to have Moses killed as a baby by inciting the pharaoh to issue a decree ordering the Jews to kill all their newborn male babies. This tactic failed and Moses did fulfill God’s plan. Next, God sent His Son to deliver humanity from its bondage to sin. Satan incited King Herod to kill all the newborn male babies in Bethlehem in order to kill Jesus. This attempt failed and Jesus fulfilled the mission that God gave Him. I believe that Satan knew God was about to fulfill His plan of bringing the Jews back to the land of Israel in 1948 and used the Nazis to try and stop this from occurring. Again, Satan’s diabolical plan failed and God brought the Jews back to Israel after eighteen hundred years. Though Satan may have been behind the Holocaust, he found willing human servants in the Nazi regime. (Likewise, I believe Satan is still trying to hinder God’s plan through the conflict between the Jews and the Arabs. The fact that many Arabs want to “drive the Jews into the sea” is illustrative of his influence to harm God’s chosen people).

Thus, in 1948 I believe that God raised the Jews from their “graves” and returned them to the land of Israel as a dry, secular nation. The next stage in the process involves putting sinews or muscles on the nation of Israel. This is mere speculation on my part but it may be that the powerful Israeli military may be a partial fulfillment of this part of Ezekiel’s prophecy. Muscles are an indicator of the strength of a body and the Israeli army has been an indicator of the strength of the Jews’ will to survive and live.

The next phase of the dry bones vision stated that the nation of Israel would have flesh and skin put on it. The Bible does not speak highly of human flesh. It uses “flesh” as a metaphor for our sinful natures, which try to please God by good works or rebel against Him by evil works. I believe it is possible that when the Jews rebuild the third or Tribulation Temple, this will fulfill the flesh stage of their rebirth as a nation. They will believe they are honoring God with their new Temple and sacrifices yet the Antichrist will actually be using them for his purposes.

This brings us to the final stage of the dry bones vision. God declared that He will put His breath or Spirit in the nation of Israel and they will be His people and He will be their God. This will take place at the second coming of Jesus Christ. The prophet Zechariah spoke of this event:

Zechariah 12:10 - “And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon Me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for Him, as one mourns for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for Him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.”

This passage is a reference to the second coming of Jesus Christ when the whole world will look on Him whom they pierced. God at that time will pour out His Spirit upon Israel and they will receive God’s Servant Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

Although the Jews have been persecuted since God chose them to be His special people (For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto Himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth. The LORD did not set His love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people - Deuteronomy 7:6-7) there was never such a persecution near to the scope of the Holocaust. This was a systematic attempt to annihilate the Jewish people from the face of the earth. That Satan would not be behind this extermination plan would require a suspension of all logical belief. God's plans for the future of the human race will be carried out to completion notwithstanding the attempts by Satan to thwart them.

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