Bible Prophecy, War and the Middle East – Program 6
|By: Dr. Jimmy DeYoung, Hal Lindsey, Dr. Renald Showers, Dr. Elwood McQuaid, Dave Hunt, and Dr. David Breese; ©2003|
|Despite the many peace treaties that have been signed, there is no peace in the Middle East. What will it take for the nations of the Middle East to live in peace with Israel? What will it take for you to live in peace with God?|
“Peace, Peace, But There is No Peace”
Today, on The John Ankerberg Show: Bible prophecy, war, and the Middle East. In the midst of terrorist threats, divisions in the United Nations and events in Iraq, where does the Bible say history is headed? Today, in addition to events in Iraq, North Korean leaders sent shockwaves across the world threatening that any economic sanctions imposed against their nation would be regarded as a declaration of war and the start World War III. Are we approaching the last great war the Bible calls the Battle of Armageddon? What is the hope of Christians around the world? How close are we to the return of Jesus Christ?
Answering these questions, John’s guests are some of the most respected and knowledgeable professors and teachers of biblical prophecy around the world. They are: international journalist Jimmy DeYoung, who for the last 12 years has lived and reported from Jerusalem, Israel; also, Hal Lindsey, Dr. Renald Showers, Dr. Elwood McQuaid, Dave Hunt, and the late Dr. David Breese. We invite you to join us.
- Ankerberg: Each night as you watch the news, you can see massive crowds of people demonstrating for peace across the world. As the Bible says, they cry out for “peace, peace, but there is no peace.” Now President Bush says he would implement a Roadmap for Peace between the Israelis and Palestinians as soon as the Palestinians endow their new prime minister with the authority he needs to negotiate on their behalf.
- Now, the Bible predicts the most significant events in end-time events will take place in relationship to Israel and a future peace treaty. First, in Ezekiel 38 and 39, God said He would call the Jewish people back to the Holy Land out of all different nations of the world. This has happened in our lifetime. Israel, against all odds, became a nation and now is trying to live in peace with its neighbors. But for years its neighbors, including Egypt, Syria, Libya, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Iran have all fought against her and tried to destroy her as a nation. Now peace treaties have been signed with Egypt and Jordan and the hope is that there will soon be a peace treaty signed with the Palestinians. Jimmy DeYoung explains the crucial point we have reached in the Middle East. Listen:
- Ankerberg: And you have a unique perspective, having lived in Jerusalem since 1991. You got there just in time for Saddam Hussein’s SCUDs to fall all around you, and you experienced that. But you also have attended, as a journalist covering these news events, you have covered some of the peace treaties that have been signed. Take us back in history to the peace treaties that have been attempted; that have actually been accomplished; and then tell us why it is that they are not working.
- DeYoung: Well, the first peace treaty that Israel ever signed with one of its Arab neighbors, or one of its enemies, basically, was the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel. Because of the efforts of President Jimmy Carter, President Anwar Saddat of Egypt, and Prime Minister Menachem Begin at Camp David there just outside Washington D.C. in Maryland, they came up with what they referred to as the Camp David Peace Agreement, Peace Accord. That was in 1979 that peace treaty was signed the first time. The Egyptians and the Israelis were supposedly at peace.
- The next peace treaty signed was September 13, 1993. I was in Jerusalem at the time. I was not able to go back to Washington, D.C. to the White House where that peace treaty was signed, but I was in the government press office and they had a large screen television there for all of us foreign journalists who were in Jerusalem. We were all sitting there watching very carefully as Yitzhak Rabin, Yasser Arafat, and Bill Clinton stepped out of the White House and went to the lawn. After they signed that agreement, it was amazing to watch as Bill Clinton put his hand in the small of the back of Yitzhak Rabin and literally pushed him to shake hands with Yasser Arafat. Now, when that happened, there was astonishment in the whole room. “Ah!” Almost everybody could not believe what they had seen, these two sworn enemies shaking hands. That was the Oslo Accords signed.
- On October 25, our son Jim was visiting in Jerusalem with us and so Judy and I and Jim got in our car. We drove down to the Dead Sea resort of Eilat. We had a peace conference pre-press conference meeting and about a thousand journalists—all the famous journalists of the world: Peter Jennings of ABC, Tom Brokaw of NBC, Connie Chung was with CBS at that time, Jimmy DeYoung—all the famous journalists were there! (Laughter) Excuse me, I’m sorry. But they were all there to cover this. I’d never seen that many journalists for one event.
- Next morning they put us in air-conditioned buses. We went out to the desert in the Arabah, it’s the extension of the Jordan Valley. And there, there was a Bedouin tent set up, because it was going to be a peace treaty signing between the state of Jordan and the Jewish state. And I was about as close as from here to your cameraman over there from the stage where they signed this agreement right here: “Treaty of Peace Between the State of Israel and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, 26 October, 1994.” I witnessed the signing of this particular peace treaty.
- Then, since that time they’ve not had another peace treaty signing. They’ve had some meetings: the Wye River Memorandum that took place on the Wye River Plantation in Maryland there, where they discussed some of the ramifications of previous peace treaties, etc.
- There is a “peace plan” proposed, on the table right now. A New York Times journalist was visiting in Saudi Arabia there in Mecca in the office of the Crown Prince, Abdullah, and this journalist, Tom Friedman of the New York Times, said, “Why don’t you put together a coalition of Arab states who would recognize Israel?” And the Crown Prince said, “You’ve been reading my mind. In my desk drawer I have exactly that proposal which I’m going to propose at the Arab Summit in Lebanon in the near future, and see if we can get a vote confirming this is what we ought to do.”
- Well, that took off like a rocket! Everybody jumped on the bandwagon for this Saudi peace proposal. The only caveat to that is, it was introduced by Crown Prince Abdullah’s brother 20 years ago. It was floated among the Arab world. They all turned it down. But now, even President Bush, Tony Blair of Great Britain, everybody – Shimon Peres, the foreign minister of Israel: “Hey, this is a great idea. At least it’s a beginning point to talk about peace in the Middle East.”
- So, basically that’s how the peace process has worked its way through the years there in the Middle East.
- Ankerberg: Why hasn’t it worked?
- DeYoung: Because these peace agreements have never been normalized. Let me go back to, for example, the Camp David Accords. The president of Egypt now is Hosni Mubarak. 1979 is when they signed that agreement; that’s 23 years ago, and Hosni Mubarak has never, never made a trip to Israel. With one exception; he was there for the funeral of the late Prime Minister of Israel, Yitzhak Rabin. But he said, “This is not an official visit.” So they have not normalized the peace agreement. There has not been exchange of intelligentsia; there’s not been exchange of technology, etc. And in fact, almost every time a Jewish group goes down to Egypt, somehow there’s a terrorist attack against them.
- You go to the Oslo Accords. Now, if you’ve been reading the newspaper the last couple of months, even the last couple of years, you know the conflict is going on between the Palestinians and the Israelis. That peace agreement is not working. All the peace agreements on the table—not working.
- Ankerberg: Okay. So the president now says, “We’ve got to have peace.” I mean, everybody says we’ve got to have peace because you can’t have war, you can’t have suicide bombings, and you’re messing up the war on terrorism all over the world. And this could mess up oil for Europe, this could mess up oil for America if things really get bad. In fact, we could have a war in the Middle East if things really get out of hand. So we’ve got to have peace. So that’s the foregone conclusion. In order to have it, he’s assigned the “Quartet,” as he calls it, okay? It’s the United Nations, it’s the European Union, Russia, and the United States are supposed to meet sometime this summer. And the question is, what are those four going to cook up? What are they supposed to do that’s going to bring peace?
- Well, I want you to comment on one of the Quartet, but what I want to talk about is, what in the world is the European Union doing in talks about the Middle East? Talk to me about that, and how does that relate to what the Bible says is going to happen in the future?
- DeYoung: There is an underlying factor that must be understood as it relates to the European Union and that is, politically, they are very, very conscious of the Islamic influence they have within their own countries. Not that the leadership is Islamic. I didn’t say that. But the body politic is made up of a large population of Islamic people from all over the world, and particularly the Middle East, who have come to live in their countries, and the potential for terrorism because of that is very prevalent in these European nations as well.
- So, when you look at the European Union, they basically come down on the side of the Palestinians of the Arab world. You look at the United States, and most everybody says and observes that, correctly so, they come down on the side of the Jewish people because they are the only democracy and because of the long-term relationship that we’ve had with the Jewish people, etc. But the European Union is going to be a key player in the end times, John. The Bible talks about a revived Roman Empire. Daniel 7 talks about the Roman Empire, who had ten horns. Those ten horns explain—I’m not a great, great prophecy teacher or expert. I simply am a reader of the Word of God because the Bible explains what that prophecy is talking about—the ten horns will become a “unit” of ten states, ten nations, ten units of some type that will come together and form this revived Roman Empire from which the Antichrist will come, who will then confirm the peace agreements we’ve been talking about.
- And I was just in Europe. I’ve just returned from visiting Germany, Austria, Hungary, and the Czech Republic. By the way, let me show you one of the greatest evidences I think we’re moving close to the time of the revived Roman Empire. You see that right there? See what that is?
- Ankerberg: Goodness!
- DeYoung: A 20 Euro; a common currency. As of the first of this year, the European Union now has a common currency. There’s never been a common currency in that geographical location of the world since the Roman Empire when the denarius was the common currency. One of the indicators that we have an infrastructure at least for the revived Roman Empire is the fact that they have a common currency; they have a common financial economic system; they have a parliamentary system that’s operating—the European Parliament. I met a Parliamentarian from Belgium, I think it was, on the Mount of Olives not too long ago in Jerusalem. They are putting together a military operation. We’re seeing the infrastructure of the revived Roman Empire come together in what we know today as the European Union and thus we’re going to continue to see its influence grow because prophecy says they will be a major player in the end times.
- Ankerberg: One of the most controversial topics you can talk about is: What is the definition of a “true Palestinian”? Second, the proper definition of the words “occupied territory.” What do they refer to? International news correspondent Dr. Jimmy DeYoung tells us.
- Ankerberg: Define what a Palestinian is.
- DeYoung: A Palestinian is an individual that’s being called a Palestinian by the world, who is Arab today. But that’s not true prior to 1948. “Palestinians” were people who lived in what they refer to as Palestine. Now, that’s a misnomer as well. I mean, the word Palestine was introduced way back about 132 AD by Hadrian the Roman Emperor. It should never be used. The Bible refers to that piece of geography as Israel. No place in the Bible does it call it Palestine. But Jews and Arabs living in Palestine prior to 1948 when they established a state called Israel were called Palestinians. The Jerusalem Post was the Palestinian Post, for example. So you had Palestinian Jews, Palestinian Arabs. But they’ve taken that name now. They’ve moved ahead with it and they say, “We deserve a state. We have rights. Here’s our leader. Let’s move forward. We need to have two different states: a Jewish state and a Palestinian state in this part of the world.”
- Ankerberg: Take us through the definition of “occupied territory” and, you know, just tell it like it is. Go back to ‘48. We’re talking about people that say they have rights to the land, alright; that they ought to be allowed to come back in the land. Take us back to ‘48. What happened? Then take us to some of the different wars. What happened? And define what “occupied territory” means, because we’re using it in the news all over the place.
- DeYoung: We sure are! And you know, the media needs to use words properly. It’s not occupied territories, it’s captured territories. But I’ll get to that in a moment.
- Going back even to 1947, the United Nations came out with a partition plan. They said that, we’ll take this piece of geography. We will allow a portion of it to be given to the Arab peoples and a portion of it to be given to the Jewish peoples. Well, the Jews agreed. “Okay, that sounds fine with us. We’re just looking for a homeland.”
- The Palestinians, the Arabs, said, “No way.” And in fact, they sent their children out. They sent their wives out, the elderly out. Most of them went across the Jordan River into what we know as modern-day Jordan. They said, “Look, you go away for about three weeks. We’re going to wipe these Jews off the face of the map, and when we get finished, you can come back in.”
- Well, they left. And of course, we know the story. The Jews won that battle, or at least, that part of the War of Independence. Through the years, there have been many, many wars. I guess the main one that deals with the Palestinians and the Jews and what’s been going on would be the Six-Day War. There is a military strategy, as far as the Israeli government is concerned and their military might, two-pronged. Number one, you go for the jugular. They don’t like to fight, so they want to get the war over quickly. And number two, you don’t fight in Israel; you fight in your attacking enemy’s geographical territory. So what happened? Well, in 1967 in the Six-Day War, from the north the Syrians were attacking. Where did the Israeli defense force fight? In the Golan Heights, at that time controlled by the Syrians. They were attacked from the south by Egypt. Where did they fight? In the Sinai Desert. They were attacked in the east by Jordan. Where did they fight? What is referred to as the West Bank, Judea and Samaria, between Jerusalem and the Jordan River. And so they pushed their attacking enemies back. They set up buffer zones. And this was not to occupy this territory, but simply to capture it and protect themselves, put up a secure border so they could have their people sustain life. That’s all that has happened!
- Now, what they have done is, they have sent families into the Golan Heights. In 1967 until today, those families that have gone in there, they’ve raised their families, built their homes, started their businesses; the same in Judea and Samaria; the same in the south. And they’ve just tried to sustain life in a secure atmosphere for the Jewish people. That’s what has been going on.
- But now the Palestinians stand up and say, “Hey, wait a minute. This is occupied territory. We had a state here.” No. There was never a Palestinian state. Maybe at another time we can talk more about that, but “We want our state!” What state? You never had a state.
- You know, if you’re talking about occupied territories, I think the United States, as they push Israel to come out of those occupied territories better be consistent, because if you want to follow that philosophy to its ultimate end, we’d have to move out of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and Southern California. That is exactly what the United States did early on in their history. That’s all the Jewish people have done. And the world media needs to recognize the truth of what’s going on and quit using the term. You use the term “West Bank.” That’s a political term. It’s talking about the west bank of the Jordan River belonging to Jordan. It’s not the west side of the state of Israel. It’s the east side of the state of Israel. Occupied territories! Words have meanings, thus we have to use the proper words when we address certain issues.
- Ankerberg: While I was talking to Dr. Jimmy DeYoung, I asked him to define for us in simple, easy-to-understand terms: What is the rapture? What is the tribulation time period? Who is the Antichrist? What will happen when Jesus Christ comes back to earth?” This is what he said:
- Ankerberg: When General MacArthur left the Philippines, he promised the people, he said, “I will return,” and he kept that promise to the people in the Philippines. Very few people know that Jesus Christ, when He walked on this earth, said, “I am going to return.” I believe He intends to keep that promise. And I want to talk a little bit about Christ’s coming back to earth. And there are two aspects, if you want. One is called the rapture. Now, people who look in their Bible won’t find the word rapture, so where do we find it? If they had their Latin Bible, they’d find it real easy. But the fact is, where do you find the rapture? What is it? And what’s going to happen?
- DeYoung: Well, the rapture, as you say, that word is not found in the Bible. But in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 it talks about that the ones who believe Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior will be caught up to be with Him. And that Latin word is rapturo, which is where we get our word for rapture. But “being caught up” is the picture of us going to be with Him. Just before He left, He said, “Let not your heart be troubled. You believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions. If it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you…I shall come again and receive you unto myself, that where I am, there ye may be also.” That’s the promise that Jesus made to His disciples, thus to all of us who know Christ as Lord and Savior. “I’m going. When I’ve got the place prepared, I’m going to come and gather you up to be with Me.”
- First Corinthians 15 talks about, in a moment, in the twinkle of an eye we’ll be caught up to be with Him; our bodies will be changed. This corruptible will put on incorruptibility and this mortal will put on immortality. We will be there to be with Him forever and ever. The rapture; the next main event in God’s calendar of activities.
- Ankerberg: When Christ comes and He takes Christians out of here, there’s a whole lot of people left in the world. What happens then, what do you call it, where’s history headed?
- DeYoung: Well, I believe there are three main events in God’s calendar of activities for the future, John. The next, as you said, is the rapture of the Church, taking the Christians out of this land. Then, there’s a seven-year period of time before the next main event, which is the revelation of Christ, or the Second Coming. Now, that’s when He comes back to the earth. At the rapture, He comes in the air and we’re caught up to meet Him. At the Second Coming, He comes back to the earth, plants His feet on the Mount of Olives. Between those two events—and they’re two separate events—there’s a seven-year period of time. That’s called the tribulation period. After that there will be a 1,000-year millennial kingdom, and then the Great White Throne Judgment.
- Let’s think about that seven years just for a moment. That seven-year tribulation period referred to in the Bible as sometimes “the times of Jacob’s trouble,” which is really the last three and a half years of it, there will be many events that happen. The first three and a half years there will be the appearance of an Antichrist, a world ruler, who claims to be the messiah. He is referred to as the Antichrist—has actually 27 names—he will be headquartered in the city of Rome over a false church, a church that is in a seven-hilled city, the city of Rome, and we can see all the trappings for a false church in place in this world even as we live.
- During that time, the Antichrist will confirm a peace treaty with Israel. There will be an attack. The second seal judgment in chapter 6 of the book of Revelation talks about that judgment of war, and a coalition of nations with Russia, Iran, Libya, Ethiopia, Sudan, Somalia, Turkey, Syria, Egypt. These nations will come against Israel in the last days. And so we’ll see that all unfolding.
- Then they’ll build a Temple. That Temple will stand on the Temple Mount in the city of Jerusalem. Jesus talked about in Matthew 24:15, “When you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel.” Well, that happens at the Temple. Thus, there must be a Temple. There’s not a Temple in Jerusalem. All the preparations are ready to erect that Temple. They need to simply move that Dome of the Rock away and possibly a stray SCUD will hit that Dome of the Rock during that battle between this coalition of nations in Israel, wipe it out. The Antichrist will say, “Well, see, I took care of that for you. Now, build your Temple up there.” Daniel 11:45 seems to indicate that’s the way it’s going to happen. When that all comes together, they start to worship in the Temple, but at the midway point, the Antichrist moves from Rome and that false church to Jerusalem. He goes in, desecrates the Temple, and then he’s going to move over to the city of Babylon.
- Babylon? Yes. Literal Babylon, located in modern-day Iraq, Saddam Hussein. Those are synonymous terms with where the Antichrist is going to be headquartered. Now, don’t misunderstand me. I didn’t say Saddam was the Antichrist. It’s impossible for him to be the Antichrist. But Babylon, a literal city that has never been destroyed, Jeremiah 50 and 51 says that Babylon has to be destroyed, and Revelation 16:17ff and Revelation 18 talks about Babylon being destroyed. So Antichrist will be headquartered there. During the Gulf Crisis everybody said, “Can the Antichrist control this world from Babylon?” Well, Saddam Hussein was going in, took over Kuwait, was going into Saudi Arabia to take it over. That would have been 63 percent of all the oil deposits in this world within his control. Any economist will say, if you control 63 percent of the oil deposits, you control the economies of this world.
- By the way, our president is discussing, even as we sit here doing this program, the possibility of invading Iraq and taking Saddam Hussein out. Why? Because he’s concerned that Saddam Hussein, with his weapons of mass destruction, can control this world. We’re concerned about anthrax. You sniff anthrax and in three weeks you die. Saddam Hussein has VX nerve gas. You put a drop on the tip of your finger and in three minutes, you twitch to death. He has 200 tons of it—enough to kill every man, woman, boy and girl on the face of the earth. Again, he’s not the Antichrist. I’m simply saying, from Iraq, from biblical Babylon, you can control this world.
- That’s part of the scenario that is unfolding here in the book of Revelation during that seven-year period of time. In fact, if you want to read it, you can go to the book of Revelation 4:2 through 19:10, and that fifteen chapters unfolds what’s going to take place, along with some of the other things we’ve talked about on the program today.
- At the conclusion of that time, in fact, the last thing that’s going to happen before Jesus Christ comes back, is the destruction of Babylon and the capture of Satan, the Antichrist, and the false prophet—the Satanic “trinity.”
- And then Jesus Christ comes back. He sits down on the Mount of Olives. The Mount of Olives splits. I believe that false church that was built on the Temple Mount where the Antichrist desecrates with the abomination of desolation is destroyed. Zechariah 6:12 says then Jesus Christ builds a Temple.
- The armies of the world—we’re talking about, well, let’s just conservatively say, 100 nations; there’s probably 200+ nations in this world, and each of these 100 nations has one million soldiers—that 100 million soldiers gather at Jerusalem. Jesus Christ comes back. They flee to the valley of the mountains. What’s the valley of the mountains? Well, that’s the Jezreel Valley. It’s 67 miles long, 14 miles wide, 1,000 square miles. That’s a great battlefield. Napoleon said it’s the greatest battlefield in all the face of the earth. And the mountains surround it—Carmel, mountains of the Galilee, Mount Moreh, Mount Tabor, the mountains of Samaria—all of these mountains around it. Mount Tabor over there. Anyway, that’s where the battle is going to take place.
- Christ will go up there, He’ll speak, and all He’ll have to say…I don’t know what He’ll say. Probably, “Die!” and they’ll all die. And the Bible says the blood will flow as high as the horse’s bridle for 176 miles. Now, is that possible? Well, yes. If you’ve got 100 million soldiers up there, they have six quarts of blood in all of those bodies, that 600 million quarts of blood. That’s about 50 quarts of blood for every foot for 176 miles. I think the Bible is literal when it talks about that Battle of Armageddon. Do you know what it says in Isaiah 63? Messiah walks down that trail of blood to Basrah in Edom; that’s Petra. That’s that location in southern Jordan today which many people, many Bible scholars, including myself, believe that that’s the place God has prepared to protect the Jewish people. He goes down there. He gathers them in. He comes from the way of the East across the Mount of Olives, across the Kidron Valley, up through that Eastern Gate, and He walks into the Temple, into the Holy of Holies and sits down to rule and reign for that 1,000-year millennial kingdom.
- Ankerberg: That’s fantastic. For the person that does not know that Jesus, who has got just kind of a fairy-tale image of Jesus, talk to them about having a personal relationship with the living God through Christ.
- DeYoung: John, when I was eleven years old, December 23, 1951, Miami, Florida, I almost get teary-eyed on this, Mr. Cribbs, my Sunday School teacher, said, “You’re a sinner without Christ as Savior, and your eternal destiny is hell if you don’t receive Christ.” Now, at eleven, I understood that. I wasn’t a great sinner. I’d never stolen anything. Never even knew how to cuss at that age. I’d never smoked any cigarettes, drank any liquor, all the things we think are bad. But I’d been born in sin. And God said “that sinful nature cannot come into My presence.” And now Mr. Cribbs told me that Jesus Christ had come to take away my sin. He shed His blood on Calvary’s tree to take away my sin.
- You know, when he explained it to an eleven-year-old boy, it was as simple as A, B, C—A, I had to admit that I was a sinner; B, I had to believe in the death, burial and resurrection of Christ and that He would save me; and C, I had to call upon Him. That’s what the Bible says, Romans 10:13: “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord.” And in childlike faith, I received Christ. All of our friends listening in today, who have understood that we are approaching the time of the return of Jesus Christ, need to be prepared. They can follow the ABC’s – Admit, Believe, and Call upon Christ as their Lord and Savior.