The More Special You Think You Are, the More Special it Gets
I’m always looking for something to watch while the birds are out of their cages. I found a channel that runs old episodes of Barney Miller in order; that was kind of fun, until I got tired of the Seventies a second time. I watch car shows, restaurant improvement shows…just about anything that isn’t the news and doesn’t feature naked people.
The other day I saw a short documentary about a documentary. A man named Klaus Lanzmann made a 10-hour documentary called Shoah, between about 1974 and 1985, and the newer documentary was about the difficulty of creating the longer one.
I had never seen Shoah, so I looked for a copy to buy. I tried to find a legitimate used copy, so the royalties would be paid, but the one I bought turned out to be Korean, which means its legitimacy is dubious. Oh, well. I did try.
The word “shoah” is Hebrew for “destruction.” Some Jewish people prefer it to “holocaust,” which describes an animal burned as a sacrifice. I suppose the notion of sacrifice seems to suggest that God sanctioned the millions of murders and other crimes.
Personally, I think “Holocaust” is the right word.
Not all sacrifices are holy. Pagans have always sacrificed animals. Satanists are known for it. If what happened to the Jewish people was a sacrifice, it doesn’t mean it was a good thing.
When I visited the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and saw their tabletop model of the killing area at Auschwitz, I was surprised how much it reminded me of the temple in Jerusalem. The people who were gassed were treated a lot like sacrificial animals. They were stripped (Jewish priests had to be covered, so that their private parts were not exposed from below; also, Jewish law requires modesty), and everything useful they had was harvested from them. Then they were killed with the blood remaining in them (Jewish sacrifices have to be bled out), and they were burned (Jews are not permitted to cremate their dead). The whole enterprise was hidden, and the point of it was to remove all evidence that the murders and the Jews themselves had existed. One of the worst curses in Jewish culture is to be forgotten; Jews who hated Jesus have written, “May his name and memory be blotted out.”
Auschwitz was a place of unclean sacrifice. It was a parody of the temple. It was Satan’s deliberate insult to God. “You like sacrifices? Here you go.”
The documentary (Shoah) tells a great deal about the extermination camps, using eyewitness testimony. Lanzmann even tricked Nazis into giving interviews. He and his assistant got a bad beating for doing that.
I will watch the remaining minutes of the documentary today. When it’s over, I will have finished it in three days. It’s hard to stop watching.
All the time that I have been watching it, God has been reinforcing a message he gave me a long time ago. The world belongs to Satan, and God is not as closely involved in it as we think. In fact, the world is a death camp. The majority of human beings who are born live as slaves to Satan, and then they die and go to hell. Not just people who aren’t nice; most people.
The world is a failure. It’s as if someone baked a beautiful cake, and before it could be served, a dog lifted his leg over it. It’s not basically okay with pockets of evil. It’s extremely evil with pockets of good. When God comes here, he doesn’t come as the hands-on supreme being who runs the operation. He comes the same way Red Cross volunteers go to POW camps, or the same way spies go into hostile countries during war. He is an insurgent leader, not a resident monarch.
We can’t get this through our heads. Human beings have the unfortunate ability to get used to anything; we laugh at funerals, and even people doing life in prison have days they enjoy. We are used to this horrible world, which is full of murder and anguish, so we think it’s not a bad place. The Holocaust serves to remind us that we don’t live in heaven’s waiting room; we live on hell’s roof, literally.
The Jews are precious to God, but he stood by while terrible things happened to them, just as he has stood by while terrible things have happened to Christians. He stood by because he had been rejected. He had one plan, and man had another, and when man chose his own plan, God folded his arms and waited. That’s how life works, for all of us.
I am tempted to say God is hard, but that’s not sufficient. God is infinitely hard. Stones are hard, but they can be scratched. God is perfectly just; his justice can’t be altered or defeated in the slightest way. There is no bad deed that will not be noted and dealt with justly. God’s commitment to justice is so strong, he came down and let himself be abused and killed by people who were like filthy apes compared to him. He had to have a release for his anger, so he released it on himself. If he will do that to Jesus, who was the only good person who ever lived, of course he will allow evil to land on the rest of us, who are extremely corrupt.
Americans are among the most spoiled people on earth. We feel entitled. We think everyone is entitled to good health, a wonderful spouse, a strong income, a nice home, and happy children who make us proud. We get extremely resentful when we don’t get these things. We have the audacity to go to God and say, “Why me?” We should be saying, “Why me?”, when things go well. Every one of us deserves to be dead, in a pit in hell, burning and waiting for the final judgment. The suffering of persecuted Jews and Christians should remind us that we are entitled to nothing, and that there is no limit to the anguish God will permit for those who rebel.
We are inundated with mercy and patience, and we think it’s approval. We think it’s a reward, when it’s just God, withholding punishment as long as he can. So we go on dancing on thin ice.
Meanwhile, hell continues filling up, and many of the people filling it are Christians.
If you want to do well in this life, you have to stop defending yourself and claiming you’ve been cheated. You have to stop complaining about your problems, as though they were unfair. All the bad things that happen here are more than fair. If it’s better than hell, it’s more than fair. Imagine how you would feel if you had a rotten, murderous child, and you helped him in ways he didn’t deserve, and all he did was complain and accuse you of unfairness. Would you keep helping him?
The world is Satan’s death camp. Before Satan, there was no death. He practically invented it. The world may be more pleasant than Treblinka and Birkenau, but it’s still a death camp. We should not be surprised if Satan allows things to go well enough to convince us life is good; the guards at Auschwitz told their victims they were going to be showered and given nice jobs. They lied right up to the point where the gas chamber doors were shut.
Between God’s mercy and Satan’s propaganda, it’s no wonder we expect too much from life. It’s no wonder we can’t see doom looking us in the face.
I have found that if I praise and thank God correctly, and if I take blame on myself instead of lying and saying I’m a victim, things go better. Problems I couldn’t beat disappear quickly. God works most strongly where he is welcome, and where he is not slandered. The more you defend yourself, the worse your life is likely to be.
When I think about these powerful lessons, I get very disgusted with the preachers I’ve known. I am exceedingly disgusted with the false “house prophet” at my last church. I am very unhappy to realize they poisoned me when they told me I was doing great, and that good things were right around the corner.
These people held me back! They made my life harder! They made me more of a failure! How can you claim to serve God if you reinforce the chains Satan puts on other people? When Jesus announced his status as Messiah, he said he had come to set the captives free, not to make them more the slaves of hell.
These churches taught people that “blessing” means something like money, power, advancement at work, children, or marriage. Totally wrong! Yesterday God reminded me: we are not rewarded for being good; being good is the reward.
Yes, if you improve, good things will come to you, and life will be better, but the real prize is the inner change wrought by the Holy Spirit. Under the law, men were required to behave well. Under the new covenant, we are expected to change so that bad behavior and evil thoughts don’t appeal to us any more. That’s “setting the captives free”; the evil inside us holds us captive. The disciples thought it meant routing the Roman occupiers. Before the Holy Spirit fell on them and changed them, they had the same materialistic mindset modern prosperity Christians have.
I realize why God has kept telling me to speak up. Many times, he has told me to be more outspoken, when people around me were telling me I was too loud. I could have helped more people if I had been louder. That may be held to my account eventually, as Ezekiel predicted.
God owes you nothing. You cause your own problems. Because you cause your problems, you have the power to fix them. The correct way to fix them is to become Spirit-led, ask God what you’re doing wrong, and ask him for grace to change. That’s how life works. You may be looking at painful lessons which are intended to be beneficial and regarding them as unjust attacks from the devil. If you don’t know help when you see it, you will never benefit from it. Help doesn’t always look like a box of frosted doughnuts. Sometimes it’s a disease or a problem with your marriage. The way you react determines whether it’s a curse or a blessing. The outcome of a thing, not the beginning, determines its nature; the outcome determines whether it goes in the plus column or the minus column.
I’ve complained about things I should have thanked God for. No wonder they didn’t work out well. What else should an ingrate expect?
I am closing comments on this post because I don’t want people to be distracted by misguided remarks from folks I am offending. Sorry about that. I hope you understand. I want people to be helped by what I write, so I don’t want the message to be lost in tangential noise.
Put this stuff to work in your life. Don’t wait till the floor caves in under you.