Crisis in the Middle East/Program 2
|By: Dr. Jimmy DeYoung, Dr. Renald Showers; ©2006|
|Who is behind Hezbollah? Who is providing them with money, manpower and munitions?|
My guests today are journalist Dr. Jimmy D. Young, who has lived in Jerusalem since 1991 and has personally interviewed many of the international leaders in the Middle East including every Prime Minister of Israel since 1991, as well as the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, the late King Hussein of Jordan, his son King Abdullah II, and many others. And second, author and professor of biblical prophecy, Dr. Renald Showers.
- Ankerberg: Welcome to our program. We’re examining the crisis that is happening in the Middle East. And with me we have news correspondent Dr. Jimmy DeYoung, who has lived in Israel for the last 15 years, since 1991; interviewed all the major players politically on all sides. And then we have Professor Dr. Renald Showers with us, who has taught biblical prophecy for over 35 years, and is the author of many, many books.
- And, Jimmy, I want to start with you in the sense that everybody admits that Syria is kind of calling the strings on Hezbollah, but really they are the second level; and the primary level, the first leader that’s pulling the strings, is Iran. Why is that significant? Tell me about Iran, what they are doing.
- DeYoung: John, you are right. Syria is the facilitator, but Iran is basically supplying all the manpower, all the munitions, all the monies for Hezbollah, which is basically a unit out of the revolutionary guard that Ayatollah Khomeini, back in 1982, sent into southern Lebanon for the purpose that we have seen unfold in these last several weeks.
- You have a radical, a man who goes back to 1979 when he was the co-leader of the youth group, of the terrorist youth organization, that took hostage the American Embassy there for over a year. He has grown up, he was the mayor of Tehran, and how he is the president of this Islamic Republic. They are an Islamic Republic, they are dictated to by Sharia law, the Islamic law that gives their government a right to do what they are doing.
- Ahmadinejad went into Mecca. He was making a pilgrimage to the holiest site in the Islamic world, and while there he made the statement that the Holocaust was a myth, that it never did take place. He backed up a little bit when he went back home, he said, well if it did take place, Israel should not be in the Middle East on Islamic property, on Islamic real estate. Maybe if they want to have a state they could have it in Germany or Austria or possibly the United States would be interested in giving them Alaska.
- This radical rhetoric continued on as this man said that Israel must be removed from the face of the earth. Two days later Hezbollah attacks. They are in the process of putting together a weapon of mass destruction, a nuclear weapon of mass destruction. Now they have chemical warheads, they have biological warheads. And they have a delivery system that can deliver any one of these warheads — chemical, biological or nuclear. And Israeli intelligence says that nuclear warhead is very, very close, within possibly a year it could be ready to be armed on that Shahab missile, that long range missile that can carry a nuclear warhead into any part of Israel.
- And so Ahmadinejad, who thinks that he is the forerunner of the Muslim messiah, doing everything he can to incite the Muslim Arabs street to get them ready for the messiah to come to take over control of the world. He believes he is one of the major players in that taking place and that Iran will be one of the major states to do that as well.
- Ankerberg: I think there are 23 nations now that are Muslim and operate under Sharia law, okay? And they all seem to agree that Israel needs to be eliminated, eradicated — not have peace treaties with them, not to co-exist with them, but they’ve got to be removed from that land. What is behind this hatred? What is driving this thing?
- DeYoung: Well, there is a philosophy in the Islamic religion that once a piece of real estate has been controlled by the Muslims, it is in the House of Islam. Nobody else has a right to live on that land, to rule that land, or to prosper in that land. Israel is living on a piece of real estate that at one time the Muslims controlled. They never had a headquarters there, by the way, even in Jerusalem. In fact, the word Jerusalem was not even used in the Muslim holy book, the Qur’an. It is never mentioned as a leading location for any type of governmental control. But with Israel living in the land, the Jewish people prospering in that land today, it is in the face of Allah, their God. And so because of that, for the honor of Allah, they must remove the Jewish people from that piece of real estate once controlled by the Muslim world.
- Ankerberg: One other thing I’ve noticed in all of the newscasts that the hatred used to be focused strictly on Israel. And then as we’ve gone through the years, it’s been Israel and the United States. Now you can’t see a newscast where they are burning the Israeli flag where they are also not burning the American flag. I think that our folks need to realize what’s happening is, now that hatred has been for Israel, and now it’s for the United States as well.
- DeYoung: I think early on, after 9/11, President Bush used the term, “We’re involved in a crusade.” When he used that term you noticed that almost immediately his advisors said to him, “Do not use that term anymore.” Because that takes them back to the 12th century when the Crusaders came in and tried to wipe out all of the Muslim world. And when they say “crusade” it genders up all kinds of thoughts. But in addition to that, President Bush claims to be a born again Christian. The Islamic world looks at all the West as “Christians,” and again that would cause them to want to get rid of basically all of the West.
- The European Union is very much concerned about the spread of Islam as well in their countries. But the United States, I think one of the things that has made America what it is today is because we have stood with the Jewish people. The truth is, the Rapture, which is an event that is going to take place that is going to take all Christians out of here, when that happens, the backbone of America is going to be gone. America will not stand to protect the Jewish people. Then you are going to see, not only Iran, not only Syria, not only Hezbollah, not only the Palestinians, attacking Israel, but a number of other states throughout the Middle East joining forces, a coalition, an alignment of nations to come against the Jewish state.
- Ankerberg: Alright, we talked about Syria last week. We are talking about Iran this week. And you are saying for the first time in history we need to recognize something has taken place with those two nations.
- DeYoung: Well, that’s amazing. You look at the Six Day War. Israel was attacked on three sides: in the north, Syria, in the east, Jordan, in the south, Egypt. No Iran. You look at the War of Independence, no Iran. The ‘56 war, the Yom Kippur War in ’73; again, those nations I’ve just mentioned, but no Iran. This is the first time in history, in any Israeli war, that Iran has been a major player and in correlation with Syria. Syria, according to Daniel, who makes the first move. According to Ezekiel 38, Iran, a major player. These two forces coming together.
- And during the time of the conflict in the last couple of weeks, the foreign minister of Iran met with President Bashar Assad in Damascus to coordinate. There were reports coming out — not sure that I can verify every single one of them — but reports coming out that an Iranian revolutionary general was in the basement of the Iranian Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, calling the shots, moving Nasrallah, Sheik Nasrallah, out of the way, calling the shots for Hezbollah. In addition to that there was a communication center in Damascus, Syria, in the Iranian Embassy in the basement there. So all of this happening together, this coordination between these two nations, it’s never happened in any war in the modern day history of Israel. It’s happening now, and the Bible pre-wrote that history 2,500 years ago.
- Ankerberg: Yes. I think, Rennie, for the first time people are interested in what the Bible has to say. I mean, as we go across the country people ask me the question, “Doesn’t the Bible have something to say about all these nations and the events that are taking place in the Middle East?” And it does. And I think for the first time they are willing to listen. And they now are saying, and Christians especially are saying, “Show me the verses, show me the passages. I want to read it myself.” So let’s tie this to the Bible, what Jimmy has been talking about. And let’s start with Syria and then Egypt and then there’s a coalition of five nations. Let’s nail these down, one at a time from Scripture where history is headed.
- Showers: John, in an earlier session we looked at Daniel 11, and we saw how Egypt and Syria would jointly attack Israel during the future seven year tribulation period. We saw how that will pull Antichrist, the revived Roman Empire ruler, into the Middle East. He will take care of Syria, march south through Israel, and will be mopping up Egypt down there.
- By the way, with Egypt, as you know, Anwar Sadat together with Menachem Begin and with one of our former Presidents of the United States, gathered together. And Anwar Sadat, as leader of Egypt, was willing to live at peace with Israel and in essence made a contract with Israel, “We accept you and your existence here in the Middle East.” US News and World Report, and other secular sources indicate that Mubarak has begun reversing, in a sense, what Sadat had agreed upon back at that time.
- And again according to US News and World Report, every official government office in Egypt, when they show maps of that part of the world, there is no state of Israel shown on those maps. And in the history books in the schools, with a map of that part, no nation of Israel shows on those maps again.
- Now according to Daniel 11 while Antichrist is down there mopping up Egypt, Robbing it of its resources, he has very disturbing news from the north and from the east. So disturbing that it says, “He will go forth with great wrath seeking to destroy many.” The implication is, he is going to rush his armies out of Egypt, apparently north up toward the land of Israel with a goal of trying to wipe out, if he can, another major force that comes against his ally Israel. And, of course, the question is, what’s the disturbing news, what’s the essence of it? Jimmy has referred to Ezekiel 38 and 39 where God has foretold ahead of time another massive military force that is going to come against the state of Israel again during the future tribulation period.
- Ankerberg: Alright, we’ll hold on to that, and when we come back we are going to look at what the Bible says, who those nations are. What specifically are they going to do? And we are going to tie that to current events. So stick with us, we will be right back.
- Ankerberg: Alright, we are back. And we are talking about the crisis in the Middle East. And we are talking about these events with news correspondent Dr. Jimmy DeYoung, who has lived in Israel since 1991. And professor Dr. Renald Showers, who has taught biblical prophecy, written many books on this.
- Guys, let’s tie this to the Bible. The current events that we are watching now are eye-opening if you read the prophets in the Old Testament. It just knocks you over. The people today, they say, “What are the verses?” You’ve talked about the fact is a coalition of nations, they are going to form and come against Israel other than Syria and Egypt. Let’s talk about who are those nations.
- Showers: They’re named in the prophet Ezekiel 38 and 39. And in verses 5 and 6 of Ezekiel 38, the first one is Persia. That’s what that nation was known as in Ezekiel’s day; but modern day Persia is Iran.
- Then the second one that is named there is Ethiopia. Now the Ethiopia in Ezekiel’s day is not the same as Ethiopia today. The counterpart of what was ancient Ethiopia is now the nation of Sudan, directly south of Egypt.
- And then the third nation named is Libya, the same nation Libya that is a western neighbor of Egypt today.
- And then we have two groups: one is called Gomar, the other is called Togarmah. And according to the best scholarship we have available to us today, those are two tribal groups that lived in ancient times, in Ezekiel’s day, in what today is modern day Turkey.
- Then we are told that there is another power that apparently is going to lead this coalition of forces against Israel in the Middle East. And in verse 2 that is described as Gog of the land of Magog. And again, according to the best scholarship we have, the land of Magog was located up between the Black and Caspian Seas in the southern part of what we have known historically as Russia or the Soviet Union.
- In verse 14 of Ezekiel 38, we are told that Gog will come and the Hebrew says “from the farthest parts of the north down to the mountains of Israel.” If you were to lay hold of a map of that area of the world, put a finger on the State of Israel and go straight north, as far north as you can via land mass should be in the land mass of what we have known as Russia or the Soviet Union. And so this appears to indicate that Russia will lead this multi national attack against Israel.
- We are also told that this will be in the latter days in the latter years, in other words as the world is moving in towards what is end-time events. We are forced to conclude that it is going to be some time during the first half of the seven year tribulation period that’s described for us in the Bible.
- But we are told that it will come into the land of people that have be re-gathered from the nations back to their homeland, referring to Israel. And we believe that it is today they are in their homeland, they have come back since 1948 in large numbers to reestablish the new state of Israel.
- It’s also time when Israel feel so safe and secure in their homeland it’s let down it’s own guard militarily to defend itself. It says it doesn’t have walls around its villages, etc. This is only one period of time between now and the second coming of Jesus Christ back to the earth to rule the world in behalf of God when Israel will feel that safe and secure. And that’s during the first half of that future seven year tribulation period as a result of a strong binding covenant.
- And Antichrist, the ruler of this future revived Roman Empire during that seven year covenant will guarantee Israel’s national security. And I take it that as a result the Israeli government says, “Why should we tax our people to death to maintain our military preparedness against all of our enemies in this part of the world, when we have this other great powerful world power guaranteeing our national security?”
- And we are told there that when that is the case, that’s when Russia and its allies will say, “This is our opportune moment. Israel has let down its guard defense wise. Let’s move in and take a spoil.” And we are told it’s going to be a massive military force like a cloud coming down to cover the land. And they get down in the mountains of Israel and that is when God intervenes supernaturally. And God says, “At that time my fury will come up in my face.” And God is going to intervene directly and supernaturally in the world events, causing earthquakes, landslides, torrential rains, hail, and everything else coming down on these forces and wipes out this massive military force that is in the mountains of Israel.
- Ankerberg: Alright, we’ve got Iran, Libya, Turkey, the Sudan, Russia, Syria and Egypt all on the table. Does that make sense in light of the crisis we are seeing in the Middle East right now?
- DeYoung: Well, if you look at the current events as it relates to all of those nations. For example, Iran, as we talked about previously, involved in putting together a nuclear weapon of mass destruction. Already weapons, chemical and biological, that could be warheads on these Shahab missiles, long range missiles, to deliver them, not only to Israel but any place in the Middle East.
- And then you have, as you look at some of the other nations, Sudan. Osama bin Laden had control of Sudan, he trained the al Qaeda forces in Sudan. They are an Islamic Republic; they are ready to join forces with any coalition of Muslim states that are going to come against the Middle East.
- You look at Turkey, Erdogan, who is the President of Turkey, was the mayor of Istanbul and taken out by the Turkish military who claimed to be the custodians of Islam. They are 99% Islamic, but basically it’s a secular Islamic faith. But he is a radical. And you’ve been watching things unfold in the Middle East, you have to realize that he is moving towards making Turkey an Islamic Republic as well. He has taken all the steps to accomplish that.
- If you look at Egypt they have been preparing for the years to go against the Jewish state of Israel. Not too long ago in the Sinai Desert they were having a military exercise and some of the journalist said, “Well, who are you preparing to defend yourself against?” They said, “Well, we are preparing against the Zionist State of Israel. You see, they are not under attack by any other nation; and in fact Israel is not attacking them because of their peace treaty.
- You look at these nations in the Middle East, a part of the coalition named by both Daniel and Ezekiel, every one of them prepared to do what needs to be done to try and eliminate the Jewish state.
- Ankerberg: Rennie.
- Showers: John, you know when the Soviet Union began to fall apart as a Union in August of ‘91, secular sources indicated that Iran hired some 9000 Soviet nuclear and missile scientists to help them develop nuclear warheads and missiles with enough long range capability to drop nuclear warheads on the nation of Israel in the Middle East.
- Libya, of course, you know about Qaddafi. And he’s been outspoken at some of their Arab conferences and everything, “We have to deal with Israel here in the Middle East.”
- Now, of course when he saw US and coalition forces attacking Saddam Hussein there in Iraq, he kind of said, “I’m going to be a good boy now and I’m going to give up producing weapons of mass destruction,” and all the rest. But now there are some question marks arising, is he really being committed to that and faithful to that now. And I just saw a statement that he issued about a week ago about Europe right now, and said, “We have 50 million Muslims in Europe.” And he said with the way the population, demography is going there in Europe with the way the European population is declining in number because they are not producing enough children to replace the population. And the Muslim population is expanding because they are producing more than they need to maintain their population. He said, “It looks like Allah is going to give us victory in Europe and it will become totally Muslim without firing any weapons or anything else, just through population explosion.”
- DeYoung: And Russia, in addition, has refurbished all the armament for both Egypt and Syria, those two nations that make the first move. So they have been rearmed by this Russian military might that Vladimar Putin is controlling. Russia was the sugar daddy in the past. Vladimar Putin, I think, is making the right moves to have that be the case as well in the future.
- Ankerberg: We have talked about the Antichrist, and people think about him as a mythical figure, let’s straighten that out. Who is the Antichrist?
- DeYoung: I believe the Antichrist is an individual that will be energized by Satan. He will be the world dictator during this period of time called the tribulation. The last seven years leading up to the return of Jesus Christ. I believe he comes out of the revived Roman Empire. The European Union I think is definitely an infrastructure for that. When you talk about Islam, as Rennie just did, moving into Europe, they have a force they need to deal with. But as they do that they are preparing, not only to come together economically, come together governmentally, but come together militarily as well, so they can fight off this Islam. That puts them in a position to fulfill the prophecies of Daniel chapter 7 and chapter 2, who says they will come to power, the Antichrist comes out of them and he rules with an iron hand, moving into the region of the world we are discussing.
- Ankerberg: Quickly give us a word of hope here.
- DeYoung: The hope is that Jesus Christ is coming again. That Jesus Christ, because he resurrected from the dead, can be believed when He says, “This is going to happen in the future.” In the book of Revelation, the book of Daniel, the book of Ezekiel, He lays out a scenario. We are seeing that scenario come into focus; and our only hope is the person of Jesus Christ and our relationship with Him as we face the future.
- Ankerberg: Alright, next week we are going to talk about, have we now entered the first stages of World War III? Newt Gingrich says he thinks we have. And we are going to talk about all of the things we are facing right now and how this ties in to biblical events. So I hope you will join us.