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Romans 3:1-20

What About the Jews?

Page 2

Continuation of Cecil Roth’s “A History Of The Jews, From Earliest Time Through The Six Day War”


There were, indeed, a couple of brief, ignoble interludes before the curtain finally fell.  The same mercenary considerations which had prompted the expulsion of the Jews soon made it advisable to encourage their resettlement.  Accordingly, in 1315, Philip the Fair's brother, Louis X, issued an edict permitting them to return to the country for a period of twelve years.  The few who cared to avail  themselves of this hazardous opportunity were entirely insufficient, whether in number or in intellectual calibre, to reestablish the great traditions of their fathers.  Almost immediately after, they had to undergo a period of tribulation barely rivaled even in the tragic record of the Jewish Middle Ages.   In 1320, a Crusading movement sprang up spontaneously amongst the shepherds of southern France, the so-called Pastoureaux.  Few, if any, ultimately embarked for the East, but all seized the opportunity of striking a blow for the religion of Jesus nearer to home.  A wave of massacres of almost unprecedented horror swept through the country, community after community being annihilated.  [Now in the 1940's, and more recently in the 1980-1990s we've seen the "ethnic cleansing" which has taken place in Jugoslavia, the murder of hundreds of thousands, the annihilation of whole communities.  So plug that understanding into what has been written here.]  In the following year, a similar wave of feeling, diverted this time into a purely ludicrous channel, brought about a recurrence.  A report was circulated widely that the Jews and lepers, brother-outcasts, had been poisoning the wells by arrangement with the infidel kings of Tunis and Granada [Spain].  This ridiculous pretext was eagerly followed up.  Massacres took place in many cities.  An enormous indemnity was levied on the communities of the whole realm.  Finally, contrary to the terms of the agreement of only seven years before, the new king, Charles IV, expelled the Jews from his dominions without notice. 

        A period of thirty-seven years elapsed before the experiment of toleration was tried again.  However, in 1359, after the financial crisis which followed the disastrous defeat at Poitiers, a few financiers accepted an invitation to resettle in the country.  The Crown protected them, until a charge was brought against the Jews of Paris of having persuaded one of their number to return to Judaism after accepting baptism.  For this heinous crime, the principal members of the community were arrested and flogged, and it was determined to banish the whole of the wretched remnant.  On September 17th, 1394, the mad Charles VI signed the fatal order.  A few months were granted them to sell their property and settle their debts, a process not made any more easy because of the subsequent order, by which their Christian debtors were absolved from paying their dues.  Ultimately, when the limit was expired, they were escorted to the frontier by the royal provosts.

        Some of the exiles sought refuge in the south, at Lyons, where they were allowed by the local authorities to remain until 1420; in the County of Provence, where they were not finally expelled until the beginning of the sixteenth century; or in the possessions of the Holy See about Avignon and Carpentras, where Papal policy of tolerance allowed them to remain permanently, in enjoyment of toleration if of nothing else.  Others crossed into Italy, where near Asti, they established a little group of congregations which continued until our own day to preserve the ancient French rite of prayers.  But the majority, in all probability, made their way over the Pyrenees or across the Rhine, where further scenes in the age-long tragedy had meanwhile been enacted. 

        From Germany, owing to its peculiar political conditions, there was at no time any general expulsion, as in England or in France.  It figures instead in history as the classical land of Jewish martyrdom, where banishment was employed only locally and sporadically to complete the work of massacre.  The famous Golden Bull of the Emperor Charles IV (1356) alienated all rights in the Jews, as in other sources of revenue, in the territories of the seven greater potentates who were members of the Electoral College.  Minor rulers, bishops, and even free cities, claimed similar prerogatives, subject only to a very remote Imperial control.  In consequence, when the Jews were driven out of one district, there was generally another willing to receive them, in consideration of some immediate monetary advantage.  Thus, though thee were few parts of the country which did not embark on a policy of exclusion at one period or another, there was no time, from the year 1000 onward (if not in Roman times), when Germany was without any Jewish population.

        On the other hand, there was barely any intermission in the constant sequence of massacre.  The example set in the first Crusade was followed with fatal regularity.  When external occasion was wanting, the blood libel, or a charge of the desecration of the Host, was always at hand to serve as pretext.  So long as the central authority retained any strength, the Jews enjoyed a certain degree of protection.  On its decay, they were at the mercy of every wave of prejudice, superstition, dissatisfaction, or violence.  In 1298, in consequence of a charge of ritual murder at Rottingen, a whole series of exterminatory attacks, inspired by a noble named Rindfleisch, swept through Franconia, Bavaria, and Austria.  In 1336, a similar outbreak took place in Alsace, Suabia, and Franconia at the hands of a mob frankly calling themselves Judenschlager (literally, Jew-slayer, or slayers of the Jews), led by two nobles nicknamed Armleder, from a strip of leather which they wore round their arms.  [This sounds like it is right out of World War II Germany, armbands, slaughter of the Jews-it all matches.  Hitler wasn't doing anything different, he just went a little further and was through Eichmann a little more efficient.]  The names of over one hundred places where massacres occurred at this period were subsequently remembered.  Yet this was the merest episode in the history of German Jewry.

        It was in 1348 and the following year that the fury reached its height.  The Black Death was devastating Europe, sweeping away everywhere over one-third or more of the population.  It was the greatest scourge of its kind in history.  No natural explanation could be found.  Responsibility for it, as for any other mysterious visitation, was automatically laid on the Jews.  The ridiculousness of the charge should have been apparent even to fourteenth century credulity, for the plague raged virulently even in those places, such as England, where the Christian population was absolutely unadulterated, and elsewhere the Jews suffered with the rest, though their hygienic manner of life and their superior medical knowledge may have reduced their mortality.  It was when the outbreak had reach Savoy that the charges became properly formulated in all their grotesque horror.  At Chillon, a certain Jew "confessed" under torture, that an elaborate plot had been evolved in the south of France by certain of his co-religionists, who had concocted a poison out of spiders, frogs, lizards, human flesh, the hearts of Christians, and consecrated Hosts.  The powder made from this infernal brew had been distributed amongst the various communities, to be deposited in the wells from which Christians drew their water.  To this the terrible contagion which was sweeping Europe was due!

        This ridiculous farrago of nonsense was sufficient to seal the fate of the community of Chillon, the whole of which was put to death with a refinement of horror.  Hence the tale spread like wildfire throughout Switzerland, along the Rhine, and even into Austria and Poland.  There followed in its train the most terrible series of massacres that had ever been known even in the long history of Jewish martyrdom.  Sixty large communities, and one hundred and fifty small, were utterly exterminated.  This was the climax of disaster for German Jewry, just as the great expulsions had been for England and France.  Never again did they recover their previous prosperity or their numerical weight.

        When the storm had died down, a large number of the cities thought better of the vows made in the heat of the moment never to harbor Jews again in their midst, and summoned them back again to supply the local financial requirements.  The period which followed was one of comparative quiescence, if only for lack of victims.  King Wenceslaus (1378-1400), however, initiated the shortsighted policy of the periodical cancellation of the whole or part of the debts due to the Jews in return for some immediate monetary payment from the debtors.  It was therefore impossible for the Jews to recover the position which their predecessors had held, and the hegemony of German Jewry passed, with the refugees, to the East.

        There followed an interlude when the Jews of Austria, who in 1244 had received a model charter which guaranteed their rights and safety, enjoyed a certain degree of relative  prosperity, succeeded as usual by intellectual activity and the emergence of a few scholars of note.  This was ended by the revival of religious passions following the rise in Bohemia of the Hussite movement, an anticipation of the Protestantism which was to make its appearance one hundred years later.  The Hussites did not show themselves by any means well-disposed towards the Jews.  Nevertheless, the latter were suspected of complicity in the movement, and were made to suffer on that account.  Every one of the successive expeditions sent to champion the cause of orthodoxy began its work, like the Crusaders of two centuries before, by an attack upon the various Judengasse, and massacre once again succeeded massacre.  In 1420, a trumped-up accusation of ritual murder and Host desecration resulted in the extermination of the community of Vienna, a disaster long remembered as the Wiener Geserah [Geserah in Hebrew means "evil decree"].

        For some years after, conditions continued precarious.  The General Council of the Catholic Church which met as Basle from 1431 to 1433, in order to remedy the deplorable condition of ecclesiastical affairs, solemnly re-enacted all past anti-Jewish legislation down to its least detail.  Not long after, a fiery and eloquent, but strangely fanatical Franciscan friar name John of Capistrano, almost the embodiment of the anti-Hussite reaction, was commissioned to see that the policy of the Council was carried into effect.  Everywhere, from Sicily northward, anti-Jewish excesses followed in his train.  At Breslau, in 1453, an alleged desecration of the Host led to a mock trial under his personal auspices.  Forty-one martyrs were burned to death before his lodgings in the Salzring.  All other Jews were stripped of their goods and banished, their children under seven years of age having previously been taken away to be brought up in the Christian faith.  The example was faithfully followed in the rest of the province.  Thus the Papal emissary passed on, attended by a constant procession of outrages, burnings, and massacres, toward Poland."  [And that is just a tiny portion of Jewish "Diaspora" history, taken from Cecil Roth's "A History of the Jews, From The Earliest Times Through the Six Day War".]  Is it any wonder why the Messianic Jews who have accepted Christ refuse to be called “Christians”?  They know their past, the history of their people.


God Has Not Forsaken The Jews


Yeah, it was prophecied that they would be scattered.  But God has not forsaken them.  Look at Deuteronomy chapter 30, verse 1, “So it shall become, when all of these things have come upon you, the blessing and the curse which I set before you, and you call them to mind in all the nations where the Lord your God has banished you, and you return to the Lord your God and obey him with all your heart and soul according to all that I commanded you today, you and your sons, then the Lord your God will restore you from captivity and will have compassion on you, and will gather you again from all the people where the Lord your God has scattered you.  If your outcasts are at the ends of the earth, from there the Lord your God will gather you, and from there he will bring you back.  And the Lord your God will bring you into the land where your fathers possessed, and you shall possess it, and he will prosper you and multiply you more than your fathers.  Moreover the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, in order that you may live.  And the Lord your God will inflict all these curses on your enemies and on those who hate you and persecute you”(Deuteronomy 30:1-7)  It's interesting, we've already seen this in our lifetimes beginning to be fulfilled as God has brought the nation of Israel back into their land to possess it.  [i.e. this prophecy Moses was giving was specifically to the Israelites, the Jews]  And as you watch the politics today, you'd better understand that God has promised them that land.  It's their land.  They were booted out of their land, some other renegade tribes came in, and have been squatting on their land that they were kicked out of.  But it belongs to Israel.  It doesn't belong to the Palestinians.  It belongs to Israel.  And if we're going to believe the Word of God, we've got to believe that.  It doesn't mean we're behind everything that the Israeli government does, because they're certainly not listening to God [at this moment in time, history].  But we need to understand that that nation is there in fulfillment of prophecy.  God said, "I'll scatter you!"  But he says in the last days, especially in Ezekiel 36, 37, and 39 "I'll draw you back into your land, you'll plant those vineyards, you'll plant those fruit trees, you'll make the desert blossom, I'll build the nation in one day"--which the Lord did, they became a nation in a day.  They're in the land in fulfillment of prophecy.  [Now for some denominations, the way they interpret prophecy, Ezekiel 36 is thought to have already occurred as of 1948 and the founding of the Israeli government. Others, pointing to the verses in Ezekiel 36 which talk about the Holy Spirit being given to the whole nation, being poured out on them, say this prophecy is yet to be fulfilled at the 2nd coming of Jesus, Yeshua, the Messiah.  But Pastor J. Mark Martin is correct in saying that has begun to be fulfilled.  Another prophecy, which does specifically prophecy about the event that occurred in 1948 is found in Zephaniah 2:7 “And the coast [talking of the Promised Land] shall be for the remnant of the house of Judah; they shall feed thereupon.  Timing of this prophecy can be established as the “end times” by vs. 3 in the same chapter, which states: “Seek ye the Lord, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the Lord's anger.”  That's a direct reference to the tribulation and verses 1-3 are a direct call by Yahweh, who became Jesus Christ, for the greater Body of Christ to unite, just before the coming of the tribulation, WWIII [see and scroll to chapter 2, verses 1-3]  Verse 7 thus must be in context with verse 3.  In 1945, August of that year, the world entered into the end times in the sense that man could now wipe himself off the face of the earth with nuclear weapons. I.e. the prophecies of global-threatening annihilation could now be brought about by mankind, whereas they couldn't before this date in history.  Then three short years after the events that occurred on two Japanese cities, Israel was born as a nation, i.e. “Judah returned to the coast” officially in 1948.  It all fits.]  "And God will turn their hearts toward him"  During that last three and a half years of this earth's history before the glorious coming of Christ, there will be a terrible time of tribulation for Israel, but during that time their hearts will be turned back to God, and their hearts will be turned toward Messiah.  I mean, we saw the way that God intervened in this last war.  And as I read my Bible, I see Ezekiel 38 and 39, as the former Soviet Union countries gather together with Islamic forces and attack Israel, God is going to rise up and defend them.  [Some denominations say this event described in Ezekiel 38 & 39 occur at the 2nd coming, while others say it occurs a few years after his 2nd coming, when Israel is dwelling safely under Yeshua's protection, as he rules from Jerusalem.  It really makes no difference, as the outcome for the poor hapless souls who will attempt to attack Israel is the same, swift death brought on by the Lord and his holy army.]  Do you know that Iran now has nuclear weapons?  It's not a matter of will they, they have them now.  And it's only a matter of time that Iran, with the other confederation of nations, mentioned in Ezekiel 38 & 39, that they'll enter in, attacking Israel, and we're going to see God defend, I mean, if we're here.  I'm not so sure we're going to see it, the rapture might occur before then, but I mean, we're close, gang, that return of the Lord is at hand [in a historic way of viewing time].  “When you see these things, lift up your heads and rejoice, knowing that your redemption draws nigh.”


The Jews Will Come To Recognize The Stone That The Builders Rejected, Their Messiah


‘But didn't Jesus say, Mark, didn't Jesus say that the kingdom has been taken away from the Jews?’    Yeah, we have nothing to hide.  Look at Matthew 21.  That's a good question.  Now I want you to get the whole context of [Matthew] 21, OK.  Matthew 21, the first eleven verses, this is the triumphal entry, and remember Jesus was entering Jerusalem as Messiah, in fulfillment of Daniel's prophecy there in Daniel 9.  Entering into Jerusalem on the exact day that Daniel predicted he would enter Jerusalem.  But he's rejected.  He weeps, 'Oh Jerusalem, Jerusalem, we've slain the prophets, if only you'd known this your day!' he says.  But instead, he predicts that Jerusalem would be destroyed by invading armies, and scattered because they've rejected their Messiah.  Then he tells, he curses the fig tree, again, symbolic of this nation that has a lot of leaves, a lot of potential, but no fruit.  The fruit is repentance.  No fruit, no repentance.  Then he tells two parables about a son who is rejected and destroyed by enemies.  And then he quotes the verse, Psalm 118:22-23, “the stone,” (verse 42 of Matthew 21), “The stone which the builders rejected, this became the chief cornerstone from the Lord, and it is marvelous in our eyes.”  Now this verse had lot of history behind it.  The tradition is that when they were building Solomon's temple, that as they were building the temple, all the stones had to be pre-cut, there was not to be the sound of a chisel or hammer on the Holy Mount.  It was all prefabricated, these huge stones, and put into place.  One stone was hoisted up early on, and they tried to find the place for it, it didn't look right, the timing [of it's placement] wasn't right.  So they said, ‘This is a mistake!’ and they rejected the stone and they rolled it down into the ravine, and forgot about it for a couple of years while they were building the temple.  But then, before they could dedicate the temple, there was one space, the cornerstone in fact, was missing.  The chief capstone, cornerstone wasn't there.  ‘Well, what happened?  How did we make this goof?’  And one guy remembered, ‘Wait, remember early on?  Remember years ago, this stone was sent to us, it didn't look right to us, we weren't expecting it then?  It didn't fit in where we thought it should fit, so what did we do?  We rejected it.’  And they went down and did some investigation, and they discovered that was the stone.  They hoisted it back in place.  Now that is exactly what happened to Israel, Jesus is the stone which the builders rejected.  He came to them, you see, but he came at a time when they weren't expecting him.  He came and didn't fit into their scheme of how things ought to be.  He came and the builders rejected him, they said ‘Forget it, you're not our Messiah!’ and they rejected him and cast him away, threw him into the grave.  But later he will come back and they'll realize ‘This is the missing piece.’  [Zechariah 12:2-9 is about the 2nd coming of Jesus Christ, and how he will save Jerusalem.  In verses 10-14 is described a great fast, a great mourning, and verse 10 graphically points out why all the Jews left alive in Israel will mourn and fast.  It states “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 mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.”  All the Jews left alive in Jerusalem, and by extension the whole Israeli nation, and maybe even around the world, will recognize Yeshua of Nazareth, Jesus, as their Messiah.  Zechariah 12:10 is living, prophetic proof of that.]  This is the one we've been looking for.  And Zechariah the prophet says They will look upon the one they have pierced, and they mourn as one mourns for an only son, and a spirit of grace and supplication will be poured out upon them.”  And there will be a tremendous revival in Israel.  [OT prophecy points out (Ezekiel I believe) that one third of the Israeli nation survives to the 2nd coming of Christ.  This entire one third will be mourning and recognizing Jesus as their Messiah.  God will then pour out his Holy Spirit upon them--a whole nation of Jewish believers in one day!  Currently, that's over one million people, folks.  This revival has already begun amongst Messianic Jewish believers in Yeshua, right now.  Be sure to check out the link at the end of this article titled The Two Branches of the Body of Christ, Jewish & Gentile.  Be sure to read about the beginning of this miraculous return of the Jews to their Messiah.]  [transcript of a connective expository sermon on Romans 3:1-20(page2), given by Pastor J. Mark Martin, Calvary Community Church, P.O. Box 39607, Phoenix, Arizona  85069]


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