America and Israel vs World Communism
September 2nd, 1976
AMERICA AND ISRAEL VS WORLD COMMUNISM
Dr. W. A. Criswell
Now I preach without notes. I asked God when I started forty-eight years ago to bless me in preaching with just a Bible in my hand. But Dr. McCall said, "We want you to prepare and to read a paper at this convocation in Philadelphia." So, I pray that the Lord will bless it. I have no idea how it will be. This will be about my first time to do such a thing.
From Isaiah chapter 10, verses 1 to 5:
Woe unto them that decree unrighteous decrees, and that write grievousness which they have prescribed;
To turn aside the needy from judgment, and to take away the right from the poor of My people, that widows may be their prey, and that they may rob the fatherless!
And what will ye do in the day of visitation, and in the desolation which shall come from far? To whom will ye flee for help? And where will ye leave your glory?
Without Me they shall bow down under the prisoners, and they shall fall under the slain. For all this His anger is not turned away, but His hand in wrath is stretched out still.
O Assyria, the rod of Mine anger, and the staff in their hand is Mine indignation.
In the ancient world for centuries, 900 BC, 800 BC, 700 BC, 600 BC, the ruthless, merciless, brutal and cruel Assyrian Empire held the whole civilized world in an iron hand. Four times in the lifetime of Isaiah the prophet did Assyria overrun Judah; and Assyria destroyed forever the Northern Kingdom of Israel, with its capital Samaria. Assyria in the ancient world was a veritable ogre to the Jew. In our modern world, there is an empire far greater, more brutal, more ruthless, more merciless, and it is appeased and accepted by the modern nations of the world. There has never lived an empire so cruel or so oppressive as that of atheistic, communistic, Red Russia. Her colonies are held in an oppressive and terrible grip. All other modern colonial empires have been liquidated and dissolved. The British Empire is gone; the Dutch Empire is gone; the German Empire is gone; the Italian, the Portuguese, all modern empires have been liquidated except this one of communist Russia.
The poor colonies, such as Hungary and East Germany, that are held in an iron vise in Russia’s hand, have rebelled four times in desperation. Four times has the Red army crushed them. Today, this minute, there are thirty-one Red divisions occupying those nations, lest they rebel again. How is it that such a blood-thirsty, murderous, torturous, terrible, brutal empire is allowed to exist and to expand among the nations of the modern world? There are two answers.
One: the imponderables of Almighty God. When that question was raised in the days of Isaiah, as to why God permitted the brutal and merciless Assyrian Empire to overrun the people of God, the Lord sent word through Isaiah to Judah, saying, "Assyria is the rod of Mine anger, and the staff of Mine indignation" [Isaiah 10:5]. God raised up the Assyrian Empire to chasten and to punish His people for their sins.
There is a like imponderable today known but to God in heaven: it may be that God allows the ruthless Red Russian Empire to exist in our modern world as a scourge and a chastisement of the Christian nations of the West. It is an immoral miracle, communism.
Once I was a guest in the home of Dr. Black, the president of the Presbyterian Robert College in Istanbul. Did you ever see that college? He had married a Bulgarian. He was in Bulgaria when the communists took it over. When I asked him how it is that children of parents, children in a home will inform against their parents, knowing that the parents will be sent to death, he said, "I cannot explain it. It is something in the imponderables of God. As there is a kingdom of light and glory in the earth, presided over by Jesus the Son, so there is a kingdom of darkness presided over by Satan himself," end quote. That is a permissive will and choice that belongs to a mystery in heaven, into which I cannot enter. Why God allows the expansion of Red Russia as a scourge, as a chastisement of the decline of the Christian faith in the free and Western world I do not know; only God knows.
But this I can see: I can easily understand the acceptance and expansion of the Red Russian Empire in the nations of the world by an immediate and patent reason: it lies in the left-winger, in the socialist, in the welfare-stater, in the liberal, in the fellow traveler. Wherever they are in the world–and they are in all of the governments of the Western nations – they are soft on communism and easy on Russia. They are always open to governmental planning, to socialism, and to the nationalization of state resources. They are ever eager to support a government that more and more regiments the people and grasps the reins of industry. The only thing that a liberal is against in America, or any other of the nations of the world, is the conservative who believes in work, and in paying his debts, and in living within his budget.
Look at Britain: Hong Kong is administered by the government of Britain. In 1867, in the terrible riots that tore the city apart, the British government closed down all the communist schools. Since that time the British government has not only reopened all of those communist schools, but has allowed them to proliferate; and now there are more than seventy communist schools in Hong Kong alone. These are the schools that are teaching the children and the high-schoolers of Hong Kong atheism and Communism.
Missionary Victor Frank, with whom I broke bread, was describing a visit he made in the home of a Chinese family in Hong Kong. They were atheists, and announced to the missionary, "We do not believe in God." One of their little children who was in the communist school, spoke up immediately, and said, "I believe in God. His name is Chairman Mao Tse-tung."
This is the liberal as he opens the floodgates for the communists. While in Great Britain I listened to the great industrial corporations of England as they made reports to the British people. Night after night I listened to those reports on television. They have nationalized their industries. They live under a socialist government–at that time, then headed by Harold Wilson – this is last year. First of all, I listened to the electric utilities as they reported every month millions and millions of pounds in debt. I listened to the coal industry as it reported, every month millions and millions of pounds in debt. I listened to the steel industry as it reported, every month millions and millions of pounds in debt. I listened to the transportation industry, every month millions and millions of pounds in debt. And the taxpayer must pick up the tab. The British government is facing absolute bankruptcy! There is no government that can run an industry profitable – I don’t care what the government is. It cannot do it. When the government takes it over, when it regulates it, there is soon to follow scarcity, want, and finally absolute dissolution. The pound is buying less and less and less. And these are the people who have governments of the west-wing world: the left-winger, the socialist. Without exception they are soft and easy toward communism and toward the expansion of Russia. So Harold Wilson, while I was there, packed up his bags on the way to Helsinki to sign the document, called dÃ©tente.
The same thing is true in America: the left-winger and the liberal, the fellow traveler, the welfare-stater are the same anywhere you find them in the earth. And he, the left-winger in America, has brought our nation to disgrace and to despair! For the first time in the history of America, whose glorious two hundred years we are beginning to celebrate in this city of Philadelphia, for the first time in the history of America, we have seen our flag hauled down in defeat and in shame and in ignominy. We have seen the image of the American nation in the dust of the earth, with the result that the isles of the sea and the nations of the world are cowering before the onrush of the Red flood. And how did it come to pass? I will tell you exactly how it came to pass.
In the Orient, a man who has lived in Vietnam for years and years, a close friend of General Westmoreland who headed the armed forces of America in South Vietnam, told me that General Westmoreland said to him, and I quote, "I could conclude this war in victory in a matter of weeks. All I would need to do would be to take the armies of South Vietnam, our armed forces, our own armed forces, and march them to the DMZ, and call for the Seventh Fleet to stand offshore and send word to Hanoi, saying, ‘You will either withdraw your forces from South Vietnam, or face invasion and annihilation.’ The war would then be over, overnight," end quote.
Why wasn’t that done? Because of the left-wingers in the United States government, because of Senator Halfbright from Arkansas who was head of the Foreign Relations Committee, and because of the other members of Congress and in the Senate who were exactly like him. They so weakened the power of America to march and to fight for the liberties of our nation and the nations of the world that we lost the war in disgrace and in shame! A tiny nation that big pushed us into the sea.
Why should we be afraid of Russia? Why? Russia cannot feed itself. It cannot support itself. No socialist system can! A war is not won by numbers of men in the army or numbers of ships on the sea. A war is won by logistics. The logistician wins the war. The support of the nation for the men who are fighting is all-important. Russia cannot support itself. It cannot feed itself, much less gird itself to sustaining a war to victory. Russia is two and one-half times the size of the United States. Russia is forty-five times the size of France. Russia has thirty million farmers. The United States has six million.
I have flown over the great Ukraine from the north to the south, and from the east to the west; it comprises thousands and thousands of miles of the richest farmland one could ever look upon. Have you ever flown over Minnesota, over Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois? Those are the rich rolling farmlands that produce the food that America needs. Russia, in its Ukraine, is exactly like that. Thousands and thousands of square miles of black soil, productive and fertile.
What’s the matter? Why can’t it feed itself? It is because of the system; the system will never produce! The system has not produced, and for us to cower before Russia when it cannot feed itself is unthinkable, unimaginable and cowardly! What we do is this: we ship our food to Russia; we give them our technological achievements. They can’t excel in any kind of productivity. Russia exists because we sustain and subsidize their failures. Without us, they would not exist. They would fall to the ground in a short while.
In Vietnam, the tanks and the trucks that were used to slay our American boys were made in factories that our technicians showed the Russians how to build. The policy of America stated openly and followed undeviatingly is one of appeasement and concession to Red Russia. It has, our country, has never deviated from that awesome and tragic course. We think, "Let’s feed the wolf, and finally, he will go away." That has been the constant course and curse of the American government.
There has just come to visit us one of the greatest literary geniuses of all our time, Alexander Solzhenitsyn. This is a man who believes in God. This is a man who has dared to defy the Kremlin. This is the man who believes that humanity is not a mass of protoplasm, a hunk of evolutionary process, or animals, but he believes under God we are created in His image with sensitivity to right and wrong. This is Alexander Solzhenitsyn.
The White House and the American government snubbed him. Why? They publish a reason blatantly, openly, unashamedly, and I quote from the announced program and policy of the American government: "We will not invite Alexander Solzhenitsyn to the White House or to a public state affair of America because we are afraid of offending the Russians!" This has been our policy through the years and the years and the years. Our armies in victory stopped before Berlin. We would not take it–we might offend the Russians.
Churchill said, and I quote, "For God’s sake, invade the soft underbelly of Europe, and let’s snatch from Russia the nations of Eastern Europe."
"No," said Franklin Delano Roosevelt, "by no means, lest we offend the Russians." The Japanese were within a few days of unconditional surrender. We brought in the Russians and gave them the northern islands of Japan, lest we offend them in a unilateral victory.
And in this recent war in the Middle East, Israel surrounded completely the army of Egypt; I mean on every side. They were out there in the Sinai desert in the Sinai Peninsula, and the Israeli army had them bottled up, like a man would hold a bird in the vise of his fist. And when the Israeli army surrounded the army of Egypt, thereupon the United States government sent word to Israel, saying, quote, "Withdraw your forces and let the Egyptian army go, lest we offend Russia."
This is the policy that governs the life of America: not what we choose, not what we think, but what the Kremlin chooses and what those enigmatic, mysterious, convocations decide on the inside of those high, forbidding walls. And this is dÃ©tente!
So we pack up and send the president of the United States to Helsinki to sign the instrument. I do not know whether you saw it in America or not, but being over there in Europe at the time, all through the newspapers of Europe, we saw a picture of the president of the United States as he came to Europe to sign that accord of dÃ©tente. As he stepped off the plane, he slipped and fell. The picture of the president of the United States shows him prostrate; he is grasping and groping for a way to stand. As I looked at the picture – and it was in every newspaper that I saw in Europe – as I looked at the picture of a great, strong, mighty man, down on his face, grasping for a way to stand up, I thought, this is a picture and a parable of the great, mighty, strength and glory of America, down, down, down on its face, groping for strength to stand up. This is dÃ©tente.
What is dÃ©tente? Have you read that document? Look at what we give, and look at what we concede. First, what we give: forever we concede to Russia one hundred eighty-two thousand square miles – not acres – one hundred eighty-two thousand square miles of the land of Eastern Europe that belonged to Finland, Poland, and Romania. The borders of Russia have been extended westward into the very heartland of central Europe. That we signed in dÃ©tente.
What else did we give in dÃ©tente? Number two: we forever obliterated the little nations of Estonia and Latvia and Lithuania. They are now, by our decree and by our signature, forever lost, swallowed up in the ravages of the Russian Empire. That we did in dÃ©tente. Something else, a third thing: forever we said the nations of Eastern Europe are colonies of Red Russia. The boundaries are set: they belong to the Red Russian communist Kremlin rulers. In defeat and in despair, we have assigned them forever to a life of misery and of oppression. That we did in dÃ©tente.
Now, what did Russia concede to us? What did we gain by signing that document? We gained something this; number one: if there is a son or a daughter on this side of the Iron Curtain, he may have the privilege under certain circumstances of visiting his relatives. Number two that we gained: under certain conditions a correspondent on the other side of the wall can come out and look at us, and that’s it. My brother, every one of those things that we are supposed to have gained in the concessions of Russia are basic human rights: the right to visit a family, and the right to look at another people, nation, and government. That’s what dÃ©tente gained for us. Basic human rights by dÃ©tente, we concede to the Russian government, and in return give away forever the people who live in despair in Eastern Europe! That is dÃ©tente.
When you look at the future, what does it hold for us and for the nations of the world? The Red menace spreads and spreads and spreads. It is a story familiar now in India, in Portugal, in the nations of Africa, in South America, and around the whole earth. Does the future belong to them? Do we cringe and die in fear and foreboding before it? Is that the wave of the tomorrow?
In Hyde Park in London, I listened to a communist, on a tall stepladder with a little platform, and with an enormous Red flag flying above him. He mouthed the platitudinous axioms of Karl Marx. I wish I had time to repeat some of them just to show you how ridiculous they are in actual life and how oppressive they are in the life of the people. He was mouthing them up there, and as he did so, the people were heckling him from every side. That’s the privilege in Hyde Park.
As he was storming about the glories of communism, one of the fellows spoke up and said, "Tell me, you up there, explain to us the antisemitism of Karl Marx. Do that if you can." Well, the guy stumbled around because there is no answer. Then another heckler said, "You up there, you with the Red flag, tell us about the murders of the millions who were butchered by Joseph Stalin! Tell us." He mouthed something about that. Then another heckler spoke up and said, "You tell us about that wall in Berlin and the Iron Curtain that separates the people." He mouthed something about that. So they were heckling him on every side.
Finally, the fellow came to a peroration, and this is what he said – and on the spot I wrote it down – he said, "The wave of the future belongs to us. We shall have revolution in every nation of the earth, liberating the oppressed working mass. It has happened in Russia, it has happened in China, it has happened in Vietnam, it has happened in Cuba, it is happening in the nations of Africa and South America, in Portugal and in India. And the only one that can intervene is the United States of America, and she is somewhere playing some kind of a game called mumbo jumbo," end quote.
When he said that, you would have thought there would have been five hundred hecklers stand up and say, "That’s a lie. That’s a lie. That’s a communist lie!" But there was absolute silence. There was not a man or a woman who said anything – including me. What would you say? He said that it happened in Cuba, in Vietnam, in the nations of the world, and the United States is off to the side playing some kind of mumbo jumbo. As an American citizen, I bowed my head.
Is that true? If it is – the wave of the future is theirs – then it means the loss of human freedom and the destruction of the church, the home, and the family. It means the annihilation of our people, and it means the dissolution, extermination of our saints. Is that what we see in God’s world, where we live?
We have an answer from the Holy Scriptures and from the holy prophets. A vast, indescribable destruction awaits the nation of Russia. God will judge and will destroy those people who mock at His name and who teach their children that He does not exist. That annihilation will come to pass when the Red communists attack Israel.
Dr. Thomas S. McCall, our illustrious emcee, and Reverend Zola Levitt, his friend, have written of that coming Russian invasion in their exposition of Ezekiel, chapters 38 and 39, in their book entitled The Coming Russian Invasion of Israel. It is truly a terrible thing to fall into the hands of the living God [Hebrews 10:31]. We have an answer from heaven.
Along with those visiting Lenin’s tomb in the Red Square before the Kremlin walls, I lined up, and finally made my way inside the tomb, went on this side, on this side, and on this side, looking into the dead and silent face of Nikolai Lenin. He died in 1924 at the age of fifty-four. His death came as a shock to the communist world. When he died, the grand presidium of the Supreme Soviet of Russia gave the announcement to the world, and I quote it verbatim. The grand presidium said, quote, "No man ever wrought as Lenin. He was the greatest teacher of all time. He was the greatest leader among men. He was the author of a new social order. He was the savior of the world," end quote. But he is dead.
As I walked on this side, and that side, and the other side, I turned over in my mind that pronouncement of the Supreme Soviet: "He was the greatest teacher, the greatest leader, the author of the new social order. He was the savior of the world." But he is dead. Look at him! He is still and silent in death. Unknown to the grand presidium, and unknown to the Supreme Soviet that sits in the Kremlin, they spelled their ultimate defeat in the very sense of the word that they used: "He was the greatest teacher," but he is dead. "He was the greatest leader," he’s dead. "He was the author of a new social order"; he is dead. "He was the savior of the world"; he is dead! Look at him.
With what glory and with what triumph does the Christian stand in this dark world, raise his voice, lift his face toward heaven and say, "Christ is alive! He was raised from the dead!" There is no tomb before any wall which you can visit and say, "There Christ is buried." Why not? Because He is alive, and He reigns in heaven, and someday He shall reign in earth. He is! He is! He is! He is the greatest teacher of all time. He is the greatest leader among men. He is the Author of a new social order. He is the Savior of the world. And He is our coming and reigning King.
This morning I met a couple; they had just come back from Russia. As upon me, so upon them, the Christians gathering in the Baptist church in Moscow made a profound impression; those dear people weeping, crying, praying with hands uplifted to God. There is just one church, that church, for a city of seven million people. It is allowed to be a showcase for the tourists, who thereby are persuaded of religious freedom in Russia.
The worshipers in the Russian church are hurt, and oppressed, and you see it in their faces and lives. But they have a choir that sings gloriously. They were singing a song the day I was there; it had a triumphant note in it. But there were only three words that I could recognize; I don’t know Russian. But I recognized three words in the triumphant song that the choir sang. One was "Iēsous"; the other was "Christos"; and the other was "Hallelujah," a word that denotes praise to God in all the languages of the world. I turned to the Russian minister seated next to me in the pulpit, and said, "What are they singing about?" And he replied, "They are singing about the second coming of Christ, the triumph of our Lord when He comes back to earth again"; Iēsous, Christos, Hallelujah!
Jesus shall reign where’er the sun
Shall His successive journeys run;
His kingdom spread from shore to shore,
Till moon shall wax and wane no more.
["Jesus Shall Reign"; Isaac Watts]
Iēsous Christos, Hallelujah!
All hail the power of Jesus’ name! Let angels prostrate fall;
Bring forth the royal diadem, and crown Him Lord of all.
["All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name"; Edward Perronet]
Iēsous Christos, Hallelujah!
Lo! He comes with clouds descending,
Once for favored sinners slain;
Thousands thousand saints attending,
Swell the chorus of His train:
God appears on earth to reign.
["Lo, He Comes with Clouds Descending"; John Cennick]
Iēsous Christos, Hallelujah!
When He comes, there will be a people to welcome Him and to receive Him in the earth. What a faith, what a commitment, what a love, what a triumph, what an optimism, what an indomitable and indestructible spirit! The victory belongs to the people of God!
Our honorable congressman, may there be others who stand by your side as you seek to bring America back to the foundations upon which it was built by our forefathers. And please God, let us hand it down to our children without shame and disgrace. God bless America.