You may have heard Mark Alan Siegel, chairman of Florida’s Palm Beach County Democratic Party, tell an interviewer the following about what he thinks about Christians and their relationship with Jews:
“The Christians just want us to be there so we can be slaughtered and converted and bring on the second coming of Jesus Christ.
“The worst possible allies for the Jewish state are the fundamentalist Christians who want Jews to die and convert so they can bring on the second coming of their Lord. It is a false friendship. They are seeking their own ends and not ours.
“I don’t believe the fundamentalists urging a greater Israel are friends of the Jewish state.”
It wasn’t too long before the interview went viral and Mr. Siegel was forced out of his political position.
Where did Mr. Siegel get such crazy ideas?
According to a very popular view of Bible prophecy, there will be another holocaust out of which a “remnant” of Jews will be saved. Here’s what Tim LaHaye’s Prophecy Study Bible says on this issue: “Prior to Israel’s conversion, Zechariah predicts that two-thirds (‘two parts’) of the Jewish people in the land will perish during the tribulation period. Only one third of the Jewish population will survive until Christ comes to establish His kingdom on earth.”1
This means that two of every three Jews who decide to make Israel their home will be killed during dispensationalism’s version of the great tribulation. Only the “survivors of the Tribulation period will go up to Jerusalem annually to worship.”2
To make this point, dispensational author Charles Ryrie writes in his book The Living End that the Bible predicts a future holocaust for Israel.
“Jacob’s trouble is that coming period of distress described by Jesus as He spoke to His disciples on the Mount of Olives. Jeremiah labeled it ‘Jacob’s trouble’ and said it would be unique in all history (Jeremiah 30:7). Jesus called it a period of unprecedented tribulation (Matthew 24:21) this will be the time of Israel’s greatest bloodbath.”3
John F. Walvoord follows a similar line of interpretation:
“The purge of Israel in their time of trouble is described by Zechariah in these words: ‘And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith Jehovah, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein. And I will bring the third part into the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried’ (Zechariah 13:8, 9). According to Zechariah’s prophecy, two thirds of the children of Israel in the land will perish, but the one third that are left will be refined and be awaiting the deliverance of God at the second coming of Christ which is described in the next chapter of Zechariah.”4
According to LaHaye, Jews living in Israel “now number over six million.”5 If two-thirds of the Jews living in Israel at the time of a future great tribulation are to die, this will mean the death of four million Jews!
In his 1994 book Planet Earth 2000 AD, Hal Lindsey offers this forecast for Israel: “only a tiny fraction of the world’s population will be left. Only a remnant will have survived. Many of the Jews would have been killed.”6 In The Final Battle, first published in 1995, Lindsey claims that the Bible teaches that “Israel is in for a very rough time. The Jewish State will be brought to the brink of destruction.”7
Here’s how Lindsey describes what will happen to Jews living in Israel during the dispensationalist’s version of the coming great tribulation: “their flesh will be consumed from their bodies, their eyes from their sockets, and their tongues from their mouths while they stand on their feet (Zechariah 14:12).”8 Death will be so pervasive in Israel that there will be a valley that “will literally become a sea of blood five feet deep.”9 In an article entitled “Haman, Hitler, and Now Hussein — Another Holocaust?,” Louis Goldberg, the scholar-in-residence of Jews for Jesus, describes a similar future for his fellow Jews.
“What horror! What destruction! How can we even talk about it? It should make every human being weep. With the ovens of Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen still warm in the minds of the Holocaust survivors, how can we even begin to imagine another carnage?”10
Can you imagine what would have happened if Mr. Siegel had the above quotations handy during his interview?
For several decades, some dispensational writers have charged non-dispensationalists with being anti-Semitic because they do not have a future redemptive place for national Israel. Anybody familiar with the history of postmillennialism knows that this is false.
Non-dispensationalists believe that Jews are sinners like everybody else and need a savior like everybody else. But neither amillennialists nor postmillennialists believe that a future holocaust awaits the Jews as part of God’s redemptive plan. If dispensationalists really are serious about reaching the Jews with the gospel and they believe what Lindsey, LaHaye, Walvoord, and Ryrie (and others) teach on this subject, then they should be warning Jews to leave Israel and offer them sanctuary in the United States.
So given all of this, Mr. Siegel was more right than wrong.
- Tim LaHaye, gen. ed., Prophecy Study Bible (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2000), 991, note on Zechariah 13:7–9.(↩)
- LaHaye, Prophecy Study Bible, 991, note on Zechariah 14:9–21.(↩)
- Charles Caldwell Ryrie, The Living End (Old Tappan, NJ: Revell, 1976), 81. “A Bloodbath for Israel” is the title of chapter 8. The book was revised and given the new title The Best is Yet to Come, but apparently not for millions of Jews living in Israel during the Great Tribulation (90).(↩)
- John F. Walvoord, Israel in Prophecy (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan/Academie,  1988), 108.(↩)
- Tim LaHaye and Thomas Ice, Charting the End Times: A Visual Guide to Understanding Bible Prophecy (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 2001), 91.(↩)
- Hal Lindsey, Planet Earth 2000 AD (Palos Verdes, CA: Western Front, 1994), 264(↩)
- Hal Lindsey, The Final Battle (Palos Verdes, CA: Western Front, 1995), 184.(↩)
- Hal Lindsey, The Final Battle, 257.(↩)
- Hal Lindsey, Apocalypse Code (Palos Verdes, CA: Western Front, 1997), 237.(↩)
- “Louis Goldberg, Haman, Hitler, and Now Hussein — Another Holocaust?” (January 1, 1992), www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/issues/8_1/hussein(↩)