Current World Events and Biblical Prophecy – Program 2
| September 14, 2013 |
|By: Dr. Jimmy DeYoung, Dr. Elwood McQuaid, Dr. Renald Showers; ©1998|
|Jerusalem, it has been stated, is “the heart of the Arab world.” But it’s also at the heart of the nation of Israel. That makes it a source of much conflict in the Middle East.|
Jerusalem – The Cup of Trembling
- Ankerberg: Welcome to our program. We’re glad that you’ve joined us. We’re talking about “Current World Events and Biblical Prophecy,” a fascinating topic. The God of the Bible actually makes statements that we can look at in past history to see if He accomplished that; and then He says there are going to be events in the future. Some of us may be a part of those events as well. What we’re doing is, we’re going to be looking at some of those events, both past and in the present. We’re talking about Jerusalem, one of the hottest places in the world in terms of politics. And Dr. Jimmy DeYoung, an international journalist, is presently living and reporting from Jerusalem and he’s part of our program tonight. And Dr. Renald Showers, a professor, who has served on the faculties of Lancaster Bible College, Moody Bible Institute and Philadelphia College of the Bible. Guys, we’re glad that you’re here tonight. And, you know, we are looking at Jerusalem.
- The Bible says that God is going to make Jerusalem a cup of trembling to all the surrounding peoples. “It will happen in that day that I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all peoples; all who would heave it away”—wanting to get rid of it—”will surely be cut in pieces, though all nations of the earth are gathered against it.” Well, Israel, God said, someday would become a nation, come back into the land. People would be gathered from all over the earth. That’s happened even in our lifetimes, some of us. In the wars they have now recaptured their holy places right on the Temple Mount, Jerusalem itself; but the very point of that city being in existence and in the nation of Israel’s hands is a sticking point.
- Let me just read a few statements and, Jimmy, I’d like you to go further with us. A lady that was dating Peter Jennings at ABC News. She’s the official member of the Palestinian team. I think we’ve all seen her on television in some of the reports, Hanan Ashrawi. She’s been negotiating with Israel on behalf of the PLO. Very educated, very sophisticated lady. This is the statement she made about the city of Jerusalem and how important it is to the Palestinian Arabs. She said, “Jerusalem is an indivisible part of the occupied territories. It’s a fundamental issue. It is the heart of occupied Palestine. It is the heart of the Arab world. It is the heart of the Islamic world, and no person, no group or Palestinian leadership can relinquish it. We see Jerusalem as the capital of the Palestinian State and reject any attempts at defining its future in advance. Arab Jerusalem remains the Jerusalem of the Arabs, the Jerusalem of Palestine. It’s the essence and the beating heart of Palestine.”
- The Islamic Mufti of Jerusalem said this: “I am one of the holy warriors for Jerusalem. Jerusalem is a part of our religion. It is a part of the religion of every Muslim. We consider ourselves holy warriors for this city and we will not abandon it.” On the other side, before Rabin died, at the Oslo Accord, even though he put it on the table as a point to be negotiated the city of Jerusalem in the future, in doing so, he issued this statement: “Jerusalem is the ancient and eternal capital of the Jewish people,” and the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs right now has on the Internet this statement: “An undivided Jerusalem under Israeli sovereignty with religious freedom for all is and remains a fundamental Israeli position.” It won’t be changed.
- Well, now, friends and neighbors, we’ve got two people that say we’re agreed we’re going to negotiate it. Both won’t let it go. What’s going to happen, Jimmy?
- DeYoung: It’s going to be an unbelievable conflict. The Word of God talks about it. Rennie Showers shared with us last week on the program that indeed there is going to be a gathering of the nations of the world around the city of Jerusalem, Zechariah 14:2,1, and that’s going to be an unbelievable time. Let me make a statement, though, as to the validity of both the statements that you’ve just read. Number one, I was at the celebration when they kicked off the three thousandth anniversary of the city of Jerusalem being named not only the political capital but the spiritual capital of the Jewish people. And that was in October 1995. Yitzhak Rabin made the statement you just quoted that Jerusalem is the eternal capital. And basically what he was doing was quoting David Ben Gurion who said that as well when the nation was established in 1948. But there is biblical undergirding for that statement. You go back to the Book of 2 Samuel Chapter 5, you’ll see that King David moving from Hebron came to Jerusalem, was established as the king of all the Jewish people, and he needed at that point in time a capital city. He chose the Jebuzite stronghold, the city of Jerusalem, and he established it. That’s over 3,000 years ago that happened.
- On the other side of the coin, we hear the Palestinian leadership saying Jerusalem is going to be their capital for the Palestinian State and they say that it is very important. The Mufti said, “It is very important as far as our religiosity is concerned.” It’s the third most important city or most sacred city as far as the Moslems are concerned. Mecca, Medina and then Jerusalem.
- But let me tell you this, the Koran, the holy book for the Moslem people, never, ever mentions the city of Jerusalem. Never, ever says a word about Mohammed coming to the city of Jerusalem. And never, ever in the history of the city of Jerusalem was it ever a capital of the Moslem world in any way, shape or form. Within the last 150 years, political decisions have moved these people to saying this is an important city as far as our religion and as far as our existence is concerned.
- The end result is going to be an unbelievable war over who has the sovereignty of the city of Jerusalem. I have read all of the book. I know the Book of Psalms, Chapter 132, God says, “I have chosen Jerusalem. It will be my resting place. I will abide there forever with my people.” I think God has the last word.
- Ankerberg: Rennie, why is Jerusalem so important to the nation of Israel?
- Showers: Well, I think, for one thing, because of the historic background that Jimmy has just related to us. But I think for the sheer symbolism of it. Historically, that’s been the capital, this city, and that’s where the temples were located: Solomon’s Temple, the second temple which Herod enlarged and aggrandized and all the rest. So it’s been not only the political capital historically for the people of Israel, but it’s also the spiritual capital as well for them.
- And the prophetic Scriptures indicate that in the future Millennium the city of Jerusalem once again will be the capital city of not only the nation of Israel, but of the entire world. And you have Isaiah, you have Micah, other prophets indicating that during the Millennium that will be the spiritual and the political capital of the world. That’s where the Messiah will be ruling as King over the whole earth. And all the nations of the world during the Millennium will come up there to worship the Lord and to receive His law, His instruction on how they are to live. Zechariah Chapter 8 says during that time, ten Gentiles will grab hold of one Jew and say, “Take us with you up to Jerusalem to worship the Lord.”
- But, John, there’s a third element that enters into this not only what the Jews say about the city and what the Muslims say about the city, but what the world is now beginning to say. There’s a movement by our government as well as the United Nations and other nations to try to totally internationalize the city of Jerusalem and not let one nation control it but the world must dictate to it. You know, ever since the end of World War II up until the last couple of years the Vatican refused to recognize Israel officially as an independent government. But when the Vatican heard that there’s a movement among the nations to take Jerusalem away from the control of Israel and internationalize it, very quickly the Vatican recognized Israel as a nation state so that they could have, in essence, an embassy there because they said, if the world is going to determine what’s done with this city, we want a voice in it. And you better believe they want a voice, because they’ve got millions of dollars worth of property in that city. And so there’s a third major factor here where the world now is getting interested. We want to control that city. And so you’ve got about three different elements here that are going to be in conflict with each other.
- DeYoung: John, in December of 1995 the United Nations had a resolution come to the floor to vote on and the basic element of the resolution was that Israel has absolutely no jurisdiction over the city of Jerusalem. There was only one nation that voted against that resolution, and, of course, that was Israel. Even the United States of America abstained in light of the fact that the U.S. House of Representatives, the United States Senate had voted that the embassy of the nation of the United States would be moved from Tel Aviv into Jerusalem by law by the year 1999. But it’s a controversy. And when you’re talking about the Third World, you’ve got to realize, I mean, within one week we had the President of France, we had the Prime Minister of Russia, we had the head of the European Union all come to Jerusalem and say why they felt they must have a say in the final status on the city of Jerusalem.
- Ankerberg: We’re going to take a break and when we come back, I want to go one step further, that if we did go to war over that or over any of the other sticking points, I have a Pulitzer Prize winning author who has written The Samson Option (nuclear war in the Middle East). And it talks about Israel’s capability and we’re going to talk about that and what it means to all of us when we come back from our break. Stick with us.
- Ankerberg: Alright we’re back. We’re glad that you’ve joined us. We’re talking about “Current World Events and Biblical Prophecy” with Dr. Jimmy DeYoung, an international journalist who is living and reporting from Jerusalem, Israel, and Dr. Renald Showers, a professor in biblical prophecy.
- Guys, I was shocked when I read this book in preparation for this shoot called The Samson Option: Israel’s Nuclear Arsenal and American Foreign Policy. This guy is not a novice. He’s a Pulitzer Prize winner who first wrote about the My Lai massacre in South Vietnam. He has written for the New York Times in Washington. He has written a book about Henry Kissinger. He has won 12 major journalistic prizes, including the 1970 Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting.
- What is this book about? This book talks about the development of nuclear weapons by Israel. They call it “The Samson Option.” Well, who was Samson? Samson was one of the leaders in Israel who sinned but he had his eyes gouged out and finally God gave him his strength back; but the fact was, he went out by pulling down the pillars of the temple and he died with his enemies.
- This man says, “Israel is determined that no future enemy will be able to carry out another Holocaust.” The whole book documents this. Just as Samson brought down the temple and killed himself along with his enemies, so would Israel destroy those who sought its destruction. The message of the “Samson Option” is the stark reality that the next Middle East war might very well be nuclear.
- In this book, he goes back and talks about how every one of our American Presidents, starting with Eisenhower, Eisenhower thought Israel had nuclear capabilities or was building them but couldn’t prove it. Let it slide. Kennedy knew. Lyndon Johnson sold them F-4s knowing that they wouldn’t sign the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty. And he said, “Give them anything they want.” They got nuclear weapons. America kind of shut its eyes to that and actually some of our Presidents thought it was a good thing for parity in the Middle East.
- But during, what I didn’t recognize, according to Hersh here, is that during the 1973 Yom Kippur War which Israel won, the first three days of that war, Syria had invaded from up on the Golan Heights and had broken through. I think they had just 12 or 14 hundred tanks that broke through, came all the way up to Galilee. Egypt and Sadat broke through there. They were coming from two directions and Israel was losing every time. Moshe Dayan went before the press and said basically, “I think it’s all over. We can’t survive.” And they had Golda Meir’s kitchen cabinet that met all through the night and they decided to arm what they called “The Samson Option.” If they failed, they were going down with their nuclear weapons. They allowed the satellites, according to Hersh, of America and Russia to see the silos where the nuclear weapons were at so they could tell the Arab world. Russia actually told Egypt, “They’ve got three nuclear bombs. Pull back.”
- Now, when I read this, I was thinking, you know, what we just talked about in terms of the Temple Mount, when we talk about the fact that Jerusalem is a divided city or they want it to be an international city or the Arabs want it to be their capital and Israel says, “No.” We’ve got all of these points that could cause a conflict in the Arab world with Israel that could involve all of us that are living on planet earth right now.
- And let me give you a quote that just came out in the last 30 days. When that incident happened on the Temple Mount, the 22-nation Arab League meeting in Cairo made this statement October 7 this year, okay? They accused Israel of plotting the destruction of Islamic holy places and they praised, they hailed the Palestinians for confronting Israel’s repression. They said, “Go to it.” If we’re living under those kinds of circumstances, Jimmy, what have you heard about nuclear capability? How much of a powder keg are we sitting on as we even talk right now.
- DeYoung: We’re sitting on a powder keg, that’s for sure. As to what knowledge I have of the reality that Israel has nuclear capability, I cannot confirm it nor can I deny it. We happen to believe, the journalistic corps, by the way, the journalistic corps in Jerusalem is the second most populated in the world. Washington D.C. has more journalists but I believe the journalists of this world know something’s about to happen in Jerusalem, so they’ve gathered there. But we’ve talked together about the fact that Israel does have a nuclear capability. They will not make a statement about it. I don’t know how Mr. Hersh is able to get his information. Should he have gotten that from someone who was a part of the Israeli government, I would imagine they would be facing the death penalty, whatever it is.
- Ankerberg: The interesting thing I read in here is that he got it from our government documents; he got it from the Egyptian government documents; he got it from the Russian documents. It’s all in there, and again, this guy is not just a novice; he’s a Pulitzer Prize winner that really got my attention.
- DeYoung: I know it. Can’t question his credentials. That’s exactly right. I do know this, though, that continually Foreign Minister Mussa of Egypt is putting pressure on Israel to sign the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. They’re endeavoring to do that and the Israeli government, both under the Labor government, which was Shimon Peres, and now under the Likud government which is Benjamin Netanyahu, they are refusing ever to sign that Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. So as to whether they have it, I can’t confirm it or deny it. I do believe they would have it and I guess you can’t argue with all the facts.
- Ankerberg: Rennie, are there verses in the Bible that would suggest we’re heading for a nuclear holocaust in the future?
- Showers: I don’t see it, John, personally. Certainly not to destroy Jerusalem or the nation of Israel or most of the world because the Scriptures make it very clear that city is going to be there right through the end of the Tribulation and it’s going to be there when Christ comes out of Heaven in His glorious Second Coming, and the nation is going to be there as well and other nations are gathered against them. I do think there might be a side prophetic issue here. You know, the Bible does make it very clear Israel is going to have a new temple during the future Tribulation period. I take it there in Jerusalem. And I take it at the Temple Mount. And the question is, how are they going to get permission to put up a temple there? And it may be—and this is purely conjecture on my part. I can’t give chapter and verse from the Bible. That if the world wants to internationalize that in order to try to solve the dilemma between the Muslims and Israel, that perhaps Israel will be willing to negotiate and allow the world to internationalize that city if the world in turn will give Israel permission to build their new temple there in Jerusalem.
- Ankerberg: How about these verses here, Rennie, because you know your Old Testament. “I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth; blood and fire and billows of smoke. The sun will be turned to darkness, the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.” Or Jesus’ statement, “The day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulphur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all. It will be just like this on the day the Son of Man is revealed.” Or how about this one from Isaiah 24: “Therefore a curse consumes the earth. Its people must bear their guilt. Therefore, earth’s inhabitants are burned up and very few are left.” Now, the reason I bring it up, Revelation, which you have written on so well, you told me in the book, the first major war, one-fourth of the world’s population will be destroyed. Right after that, Revelation 9, the power coming out of the East of the Euphrates, one-third more dies. That means 50 percent, more than 50% of the earth is dead either in a few months or in a few years. That’s more than 2.7 billion people. How do they die, Rennie?
- Showers: Well, in the first reference you give there, that’s in the fourth seal judgment and God indicates there that they will be destroyed through four means. One is the sword, famine, pestilence and wild beasts. As far as with Revelation 9, with the sixth trumpet judgment, where one third are destroyed, I’m convinced those are not human forces there in Revelation 9. Many have said this is an army of 200 million men from Asia, but the problem is, you don’t have the kings of the East coming to Israel and the Middle East there until the sixth bowl judgment which is one trumpet and six bowls after the 200 million there in Revelation 9.
- In addition, Revelation 9, the 200 million, it’s not the riders on the back of the horses that are causing the destruction, it’s the unusual horses themselves that are causing destruction. Horses that have the heads of lions and a serpent’s tail with a serpent’s head and they’re destroying people through three means: one is fire, one is smoke, and one is brimstone. But that’s coming out of the mouths of these horses. And I’m convinced these are demonic forces involved there. Angels have the ability to take any shape or form that they have to in order to carry out an assignment or a task.
- Ankerberg: Yeah. Let me just roll on here, Jimmy. Okay, with Netanyahu this month, a guy asked him a question and he said, “I just recently read an intelligence newsletter concerning a possible nuclear, chemical and biological attack against Israel before the year 2002. What would Israel do to defend herself when the enemy is within her borders as we speak?” Netanyahu’s answer: “What Israel would do if these measures do not succeed is something that is best left undiscussed even in the era of the Internet.” What do you think Israel would do?
- DeYoung: Well, I happen to say what the Word of God lays forth and that’s going to take place. We can suppose according to world events something’s going to happen, and a lot of times I think we get in trouble prophetically by looking only at world events and what we believe would be the logical scenario of things to happen. God has interceded in the past for Israel. He will intercede in the future as He is now interceding for them. And I think we’re going to have to look at God’s Word and determine what God’s Word is talking about, exegete that Scripture dealing with these events.
- Now, I happen to believe that probably the nuclear capability of Israel would act as a deterrent. But I think that what’s going to happen, the Arab world, the enemies of Israel, are going to say, “We don’t care about that nuclear capability,” and they’re going to be intoxicated with power just like we talked about—the “cup of trembling” that Jerusalem will be. “We’re not concerned about that.” And in fact, when they come against Israel, the Bible says Antichrist, the false prophet, and Satan, the satanic trinity, will use signs, wonders and miracles to gather the people together. That’s a super power, a demonic super power. By the way, we have proliferation of signs, wonders and miracles today, and those things will draw these enemies of Israel into the land then I believe God will unfold His judgment out of the heavenlies which I think that’s what the Book of Revelation teaches.
- Ankerberg: Rennie, for someone that doesn’t know the God of the Bible but would like to put their faith in the God of the Bible’s Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, how would you recommend they do that?
- Showers: Well, they have to acknowledge the fact that they’ve sinned against God like all of us have and that condemns them before a Holy God. They have to admit the fact that there are no personal works that they can do to cancel out their sins or make themselves right with God. And therefore, they desperately need a Savior and they have to believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God who became a man so He could die as their substitute, pay the penalty for their sins on the cross of Calvary and that He was buried, that He rose bodily from the dead three days later, and believing that, put their trust totally in Jesus Christ and Him alone to save them from their sins.
- Ankerberg: Next week we’re going to talk about Bethlehem because next week is Christmas week and we’re going to find out what has changed in the city of Bethlehem over the years and what is it like right now. Hope you’ll join us next week.