Crisis in the Middle East/Program 6
|By: Dr. Jimmy DeYoung, Dr. Renald Showers; ©2006|
|What will it take to win the war on terrorism? How do radical Islamic groups feel about America? Are there signs Jesus will soon return?|
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 are talking about the current crisis in the Middle East, and what possible answers there are to it. And we are talking with news correspondent, Dr. Jimmy DeYoung, who has been in Israel since 1991 covering all the major players there, interviewing them, knows them personally. And professor of biblical prophecy, Dr. Renald Showers.
- And, Dr Showers, the head of the Mossad, the former head of the Mossad, has just written a book and on the news telecast he was saying the main point he was trying to make is that the West has got to come to grips with the fact that the radical Islamic groups want only one thing, and that is total world domination. And I remember the newscasters saying, “Are you sure they want total world domination? Because that means over Europe, over America?” And his answer was, “Yes, and unless you come to grips with that, you are not going to win the world war on terror.”
- Now, you also have some illustrations about that, and so do you, Jimmy. Let’s talk about those things in terms of where we are at in the world and in terms of where history is going.
- Showers: John, within one or two days after 9/11, when the Twin Towers in New York City were attacked by Muslim radicals, Benjamin Netanyahu was interviewed on television and people were raising the question, “Is the reason America was now attacked by Muslim radicals because of America’s support for Israel in the Middle East?” And he said that’s not the major reason. He said, “You have to realize that the Muslims call Israel the little Satan, but they call America the great Satan. And they believe that it is the will of their God that they conquer the whole world and subject the whole world to Islamic rule. And they believe there is only one world power upon the face of the earth right now that can block and prevent them from doing that, and that’s America. And therefore they feel they must bring down America; and if they can do that it will be like a domino effect and they can pick off all the other nations of the world and subject all the whole world to Islamic rule.”
- Interestingly, back in July of 1997, one of the head Muslim religious leaders in Israel went up to the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount and on the Voice of Palestine radio. This is his opening statement, “Allah destroy America, for it is ruled by Zionist Jews. Forgive us, our Prophet Muhammad, for the acts of these settlers [he referred to Jews in the land of Israel], these sons of monkeys and pigs. Islam says to Britain, France, all the other infidel nations of the world, Jerusalem belongs totally to the Arabs. The only relevant party who controls that city is the Islamic nation.”
- He didn’t mean by that an individual nation state, he meant worldwide Islam. And he said that, “We will not regard anyone else’s right to the city of Jerusalem. It belongs exclusively to Islam and to the Arab people.” And so then he said, “Forgive us, Muhammad, for allowing the acts of these monkeys and pigs against your sanctity.”
- Now around that same time Benjamin Netanyahu, who was Prime Minister, made a contrary statement. He said, “We will not surrender our right over the city of Jerusalem.” He said, “Many nations over the years have told us what we may do or what we may not do. But there is one issue, we don’t care what the rest of the world says, we will NOT give up our control of the city of Jerusalem.” And even the word NOT was in all in capital letters, driving this home.
- You could not have had two more diametrically opposed and emotional expressions than those two over who is going to control that city. Now, interestingly, you know in the Scriptures it indicates the day is going to come when the whole world will be bothered with Jerusalem, that whole issue of Jerusalem. And interestingly, the United Nations in 1947 when it issued the mandate for Jews to be given one part of that area there in the Middle East for the new state of Israel, said, “We will internationalize this city. Not one nation will rule it.”
- But that didn’t happen. Israel gained control of the western half, the newer part of the city, and Jordan maintained control of the eastern half, by the end of Israel’s war of independence which ended in January of 1949. And that is the way it continued until the Six Day War in 1967. Then Jerusalem [Jordan?] gained control of the eastern half the old city with the Temple Mount, and they’ve maintained control of it ever since.
- But again the world recognizes that if we can’t settle that issue of who is going to control that city, it could blow up in our faces — an all out war. Israel has control of it right now, but the Muslims say “that city belongs exclusively to us and we will not tolerate any infidel nation such as Israel having control over it.”
- Back when NATO was bombing the Serbs in Kosovo, there was a key leader of NATO that said to one of the Jewish Israeli government leaders, “You see what we are doing with Serbs in Kosovo when they don’t do what we think they must do to have peace in that part of the world? If Israel doesn’t do what we think it must do to have peace in the Middle East, we may start doing to Israel what we are doing to the Serbs in Kosovo right now.” And that sounded an alarm, that’s a verbal threat, you know, to the Israeli government.
- Ankerberg: Yes. Let me stop you right there. The fact is, the reference to the Jewish people being monkeys and pigs, you see that phrase in a lot of Islamic literature. And the reason why I bring it up is, just in the last few hours that has surfaced in a cartoon of Condoleezza Rice, where Condoleezza Rice who said that, in terms of the Middle East, there’s going to be birth pangs in terms of bringing that peace about. That statement was taken, and Jimmy why don’t you tell us about it.
- DeYoung: Well, the Palestinians have in their media a caricature of Condoleezza Rice, and she had pronounced features of her body overemphasized. And they showed a picture of her womb and in her womb a monkey coming out of the womb – an attack against the United States and the Jewish state of Israel.
- Let me add something to what Rennie was talking about when he was saying something was going to focus or happen on the city of Jerusalem. The same time period of Kosovo, I was walking on the Temple Mount area, excuse me on the Western Wall plaza area, with a Rabbi, a man who is very much involved in preparing to build the next Temple in the city of Jerusalem. And I said to the Rabbi, I said, “What are you doing here?” He said, “I’m praying for the peace of Jerusalem.” And I said, “Well, what do you think is going to happen?” And he said, “Well, let me just say this in a short phrase, Kosovo today, Jerusalem tomorrow.”
- And that was emphasized when I had a meeting with the Mufti of Jerusalem, the highest ranking Muslim cleric in the state of Israel in his office just off the Temple Mount. I asked him, “Had there ever been a Jewish presence?” Now, in my mind I was thinking about Abraham brings Isaac to Mount Moriah, the Temple Mount, to offer Isaac. King David purchased from Ornan [Araunah] the Jebusite, his threshing floor. And then his son, Solomon, built the temple there. Jesus Christ — and I have had many Jewish people tell me that Jesus Christ, remind me, Jesus was on the Temple Mount.
- And I ask the Mufti had there ever been a Jewish presence on the Temple Mount, and he said, “Never in the history of the world. That mosque,” and he was referring to the Al-Aqsa Mosque, “has been there since the Garden of Eden, since the times of Adam and Eve.”
- I wanted to say, “Well, hello? You people have just taken off 1000 dump truck loads of artifacts and archaeological remains, which is the only evidence the Jews had that they had ever been up there, outside of the Word of God when it said that was the case. But this is a continuing program of the Palestinian people, the Arab world, the Muslims in this world to take control of the city of Jerusalem. And when you say the city of Jerusalem you’ve got to talk about the focal point of all of creation, the Temple Mount, where Jesus Christ will live and reign forever.
- Showers: And if the whole world is convinced that the only way they can have peace there is to take that city away from Israel, because the Muslims want it as well; and if little Israel resists what the world is saying, the whole world is going to come down hard upon Israel.
- And so the Scriptures reveal that when the next to the last judgment of the future tribulation period is unleashed that all the nations of the world — all of them without exception — are going to come with their political rulers and armed forces against the state of Israel in the Middle East. And Zechariah 12:2 talks about when all the nations come with their armed forces against Jerusalem and Judah, that Jerusalem, God will make it a cup of trembling, as was noted earlier, and a crushing stone that will crush the armies of all the nations that come there. And in verse 9 of Zechariah 12, God says that’s when He is going to go to war against those nations.
- Ankerberg: We are going to take a break and when we come back we are going to continue this. And I am going to ask you guys the question, Do you consider the world events that we are seeing as some kind of signs that show that Jesus Christ will return to earth soon? We will talk about that and we will hear your answer when we come right back.
- Ankerberg: Alright, we are back and we are talking with news correspondent, Dr. Jimmy DeYoung, and also Professor Dr. Renald Showers. And, guys, let me ask you this question. What events will lead up to the return of Jesus Christ, and are we seeing them happen now?
- DeYoung: The number one event, I believe, that gives us an indication the soon coming of Christ is about to happen is that the Jewish people spread across the entire earth, the four corners of the earth, have been re-gathered over the last 100 plus years. Jews from out of 100 nations of the world, 108 nations to be exact, have come back to live in Israel. And they are speaking Hebrew. Jeremiah and Zephaniah both indicate that when these Jews return to the land, God will give them their language back, a language that was dead, now resurrected; they are speaking it.
- In addition to that you have to look at the desire of the Jewish people to put a Temple upon the Temple Mount, and all the preparations for that. And that’s within the land of Israel itself.
- Outside of the land you cannot forget what is happening in Europe, in the European Union, the formation of what very much looks like the revived Roman Empire coming into existence. I’m not ready to say that the European Union is the absolute fulfillment of that. But every single step they are taking seems to indicate that they are right on track to form into the revived Roman Empire.
- You look at what’s going on in the Middle East, the alignment of the nations coming together, Syria and Egypt, Libya, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Turkey, Russia as the key player, the king maker in all of this that is going on. Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan all of these nations, Saudi Arabia mentioned in the book of Psalms 83 as the Ishmaelites, all of them coming together.
- And then you add to that the nations in the Far East. The Euphrates River is that natural border between the Middle East and the Far East. On the eastern side of the Euphrates River you have China, China a power that may well be stronger than any nation of the world militarily and economically in the very near future. They control all the sea lanes so they can get their oil into them between China and the Middle East. And look at India. India may well have a larger population than China within the next couple of years and they are armed with nuclear weapons.
- I mean this whole situation, the world is just perched for that scenario that is laid out in Bible prophecy to be fulfilled. And basically I think I’ve just skimmed the top of all the information we could talk about on the broadcast.
- Ankerberg: Yes. Rennie, talk about Matthew 24, because the events of Matthew 24, Jesus is really referring to the seven year period of time, the terrible time of tribulation. And we are not there yet, because that can’t happen until we have this thing of the Christians snatched out of the world, the word “harpazo” in 1 Thessalonians. The fact is that the Rapture, where we get the word “rapturo” from. The fact is, the Rapture takes place Christians are snatched out of this world and then things happen. Talk about that in relationship to the events of Matthew 24 that Jesus talked about. Nation against nation, and pestilence and earthquakes and false christ’s and all of these things. We are not there yet, but how do we read those events in relationship to where we are at?
- Showers: Well, in Matthew 24, beginning around verse 5, Jesus talks about the beginning of birth pangs. And He puts those in the first half of the seven year tribulation period. You’ve seen the birth cycle that a woman goes through as she is delivering new life into the world.
- By the way let me just back up a little bit. When you read ancient Jewish literature, the ancient Jewish Rabbis taught, the last seven years before Messiah is here ruling the world will be a terrible time of trouble. They call it, “the birth pangs of the Messiah.” The idea is just as a women has to go through a period of suffering birth pangs before she delivers a new life into the world, so Planet Earth is going to go through seven years of suffering of birth pangs before the new Messianic agent ruling the world, when Messiah is here ruling the world on behalf of God.
- And in light of that Jesus, Matthew 24 around verses 5 and following up to about verse 15, talks about the beginning of birth pangs — wars, rumors of wars, famines and that type of thing going on. And then in verse 15, going back to Daniel 9:27, speaking ahead of time to Jews who would be living in their homeland at that time, He says, “When you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet in the Holy Place.” Going back to Daniel 9:27, which indicates that in the middle of the future seven year tribulation period Antichrist will commit a detestable thing, the word abomination is “a detestable thing,” in the Temple the Jews will build there, going to put a stop to the sacrifice and offerings they re-instituted there, because he wants to take control of that Temple and set himself up there as God on behalf of his master Satan. And then Daniel 9:27 indicates that once Antichrist does that in the middle of the seven year period, than he begins desolating Israel throughout the second three and one half years of that period of time.
- And so Jesus, in Matthew 24:15, says to the Jews who are living there in their homeland at that time, says, “When you see Antichrist going into your Temple to lead that abomination, that detestable thing and set himself up there as God, those of you who are in Judah, flee as fast as you can to a wilderness area, get out of there as fast as you can. Pray that your flight not be on the Sabbath day. For women who are nursing children, it is going to be trouble for them to flee.”
- And get out of there because, verse 21, “then will be such great tribulation such has never has been in past history and never will be again.” He is saying that beginning in the middle of that seven year period that will begin the unparalleled time of trouble in all of world history.
- Now he is dividing that seven year period into two kinds of birth pangs, following a women’s cycle again. The beginning of birth pangs, they are tough, but they are not the roughest birth pangs. The hard labor birth pangs come later. So the first half of the seven year period is characterized by birth pangs, they are going to be difficult for the world, a lot of dramatic things going on. But then the hard labor birth pangs come to Planet Earth during that second half of that seven year period, when things just get totally out of hand. Huge amounts of people being destroyed and nature upon Planet Earth being devastated, probably all the infrastructure we are used to upon the earth being devastated here upon the earth, and everything else.
- And then he comes down in verse 19 says, immediately after the tribulation of those days, in other words, immediately after the end of the unparalleled time of trouble, great cosmic disturbance in the universe. The sun will be darkened, the moon not give her light, stars will fall from the heavens. It doesn’t say how long that will last. And then after this cosmic disturbance they will see the Son of Man appear in the heavens. He doesn’t say how long that will last. And than after that sign all the tribes of the earth will mourn, it doesn’t say how long that will last. And than finally, verse 30, they will see the Son of Man coming out of heaven together with His angels. And He is coming back to judge, you know, Satan’s kingdom here on the planet earth.
- Ankerberg: Okay, that seven year period of time, when you just talked about those events, also says that during the first part of that time you are going to have this coalition of nations that we have already talked about.
- Showers: Yes.
- Ankerberg: You also have Syria and Egypt before that making war against Israel. And we’ve got those major players already in the world and making noises like that right now. And again, the lay people want to know, how do we say that we know that Christ is coming back in the sense, in relationship to the events that are described?
- Showers: Well, you know there is another event there that precedes those things, and that is the Rapture of the church. And there are no signs as such for the Rapture. Because if there were you could almost say, “this is exactly when it is going to be.” The Rapture is imminent; you can’t tell exactly when it is going to be. If you set a date then it’s not in there, because immanency means it could happen at any moment.
- Ankerberg: So the Rapture could happen right now?
- Showers: Yes.
- Ankerberg: Okay, and then the fact is we also know that certain things are going to happen after that, starting with what?
- Showers: Well, starting I believe, Antichrist has to come to power over the revived Roman Empire. And once he does that then he enters into this seven year covenant relationship with the nation of Israel in the Middle East.
- Ankerberg: Peace agreement?
- Showers: Yes, with a peace agreement. And then all these other events we have been talking about transpire as a result of that. So that there are a lot of things that are have to happen before the second coming of Christ back to the earth. But biblically there is nothing that must happen before He comes to Rapture the Church.
- But before His second coming back to the earth you have to have that seven year covenant, you have to have the abomination taking place in the middle of the seventh week, but before that you have to have Egypt and Syria coming against Israel. And then Antichrist going into the Middle East, taking control there. And then Ezekiel 38 and 39 this whole group of nations led by Russia coming down and all the rest. All those have to happen before His second coming. But none of that has to happen before the Rapture.
- But when you see shaking up, as Jimmy has indicated, the players that are going to be in all of those things before the second coming, you know during the tribulation period, already playing significantly in world events, and causing the rest of the world to try to figure out who is going to do what and everything else, you cannot help but feel that this can’t be too far off. And so therefore if the Rapture is going to take place before that, the Rapture could be very, very near. And it could be at any moment according to the Scriptures.
- Ankerberg: Yes, if you can see Christmas, namely the second coming of Christ starting to shape up, you know that Thanksgiving comes before Christmas. And the Rapture has got to take place before that seven year period of time, so the Rapture could happen any time. Jimmy, sum this up for people who don’t know Christ. Christ is the Prince of Peace and He is the one that is going to bring peace. But the fact is, before we get there we’ve got a lot of tough sledding to go through, and the fact is, folks want to know, how does He help me now? Talk to that.
- DeYoung: As you’ve been listening to this broadcast, you must realize that we are quickly approaching the time that Bible prophecy says we will see Jesus Christ come back to this earth; before that, seven years before at least, the Rapture takes place. If you are not ready, prepared for that Rapture, do not delay. Immediately come to a conclusion within your own heart that you need a Savior. You need to admit to Him that you need one. And then look at Jesus Christ. I would submit to you He is the Savior, the only Savior. He died to take away our sin; He resurrected to prove he was the one qualified to take away our sin. That being the case, simply reach out and ask Him to give you eternal life. You see, it’s very simple. Here is a little three point prayer that you could give, “Jesus I am a sinner. Jesus, you save sinners. Jesus, save me right now.”
- Ankerberg: And I hope that you will do just that. Next week we are going to continue because we haven’t answered the question, does the Bible talk about the United States? Does the Bible talk about the UN? Does the Bible talk about Russia? Does the Bible talk about what we see in Europe happening right now? We will talk about that next week.