Current World Events and Biblical Prophecy – Program 4
| September 14, 2013 |
|By: Dr. Jimmy DeYoung, Dr. Elwood McQuaid, Dr. Renald Showers; ©1998|
|Russia is mentioned at least by geography in Scripture as one of the nations that will come against Israel in the last days. What is the relationship between Russia and Israel today?|
Where Does Russia Fit in Biblical Prophecy?
- Ankerberg: We’re glad that you’ve joined us. We’re talking about “Current World Events and Biblical Prophecy.” We have three distinguished guests: Dr. Jimmy DeYoung, an international journalist presently living and reporting from Israel; Dr. Elwood McQuaid, the executive director of The Friends of Israel, who is an expert on the issues dividing Islam, Israel and the Western World; 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, today we want to start with the area in biblical prophecy when it talks about the geographical area to the north that we know as the Soviet Union, Russia.
- Let me start you off with a verse here, Elwood, and I’d like you to comment on this. Ezekiel 38:15 says, God says, “And you will come from your place out of the remote parts of the north”—actually, the extreme north—”you, and many peoples with you, a great assembly, a mighty army, and you will come against my people Israel like a cloud to cover the land. It will come about in the last days that I shall bring you against my land.”
- Just a few weeks ago, Boris Yeltsin in Russia was operated on for heart surgery. He made it through that. As we tape this program, they’re trying to impeach him to get him out of power. The West has gambled in a big way. They’re banking everything on one guy staying in power. There is a fellow that in one of the elections, National Socialist Vladimir Zhirinovsky. He captured 25 percent of the vote for Russia’s lower house of Parliament. And he did so making this statement. He said, “When I’m elected, I’ll act as Hitler did in 1932.” He would go after the Jews in his own country, and I wonder what this would mean in terms of the Middle East. Start us off.
- McQuaid: Vladimir Zhirinovsky said, “I may have to kill as many as 100,000 people, but I will make 300 million people very happy if I do that, because I will be a tyrant and I will deliver Russian imperialism back to the Russian people and we will once again have our place on the center-stage of this planet.” That’s a paraphrase but that’s what he said. He’s the man who threatened to ring this planet with nuclear devices; to take back Alaska; to bring us to our knees. The reason why there is the move to impeach Yeltsin today is because of his concessions to Chechnya and that is being interpreted by nationalists like Vladimir Zhirinovsky and Lebed and other men as a concession that is unacceptable. They want an imperial Russia.
- We had the idea thinking like we do that we were going to send McDonald’s and Burger Kings and Pizza Huts and turn Russia into a democratic nation. That has not been true and will not be true. And we were just reading today, John, that with the economic union reaching out to include some of those places like Poland, Hungary, some of these nations that will strengthen them economically, that the Russian Bloc CIS nations who are not included in that are feeling like stepchildren and saying that “we’re going to come to the place that we’re not going to be impoverished. We’re going to rejoin and reconstitute the old Soviet Union and we’re going to have our day.” Now, that day includes, interestingly you mentioned anti-Semitism, and just remember the fact that the Soviet Union has been the chief arms agent for every nation that has set itself against Israel. That has historically been true and documented until the fall of the Soviet Union. Now what’s the Soviet Union doing? They’re getting again about the business of creating all the mischief they can in the Middle East against Israel.
- We have the spy case here in the United States just a few days ago. Russia is not out of the spy business. They’re not out of the totalitarian business. In Syria today, they’re attempting to help the Syrians develop chemical warheads for those SCUD missiles that are longer range that can reach the heart of Israel. They are working with the Iraqis; they are providing nuclear facilities for the Iranians, and they are demanding in Jerusalem that they have a significant role in the future of Israel and the Middle East. So they are rattling their sabers once again and we have much to fear from a newly constituted Soviet Union.
- One more thing I might add about that is, perhaps the most thought provoking element in this whole scenario, when you’re talking about Ezekiel 38, is that when Ezekiel 38 names those cohorts who will come with Russia, among them are the Iranians, the Lybians, the Sudanese, and those from Turkey. And they’re among…these are all militantly Muslim radical Iranian style “God is to defeat the infidels…that is, Allah”…and they’re on the side of the Soviet Union today. And the Word of God says they will be when they come down.
- Ankerberg: Two questions, Rennie. Start me off. The Bible says, “Son of man, set your face toward Gog of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal. Prophesy against him and say, ‘Thus says the Lord God, Behold, I am against you, O Gog, prince of Rosh, Meshach and Tubal and I will turn you about, put hooks in your jaw. I’ll bring you out, all your army, horses and horsemen.’” He’s going to bring them down to Israel. Why do we think Gog, Magog and this group, we’re talking about Russia and then, Jimmy, tell me about, where are we at in terms of stability in the Soviet Union? Where are we at in terms of if they did go back to a military dictatorship, what kind of force do they still have in terms of power? What would we be facing? Rennie, start us off.
- Showers: I think in response to your question, “Why would they do this?” certainly those Muslim nations, they want Israel annihilated because of what Muslim theology teaches. Muslim theology teaches that wherever Muslim feet had stood on planet earth, that area of the world from that time on belongs irrevocably and exclusively to their Muslim God Allah. And if any non-Muslim government, doesn’t have to be a Jewish government. It could be American, Canadian, German or French government, if any non-Muslim government is in control of that area or the world, that is a slap in the face, an embarrassment, a dishonor to their God, and therefore, if you’re really a devout Muslim, you are duty bound to do what you can to annihilate that non-Muslim government. And historically, many Muslim people have lived in the land of Israel, and so according to Muslim theology, that land belongs irrevocably to their Muslim God Allah and so for the honor of their God, they must try to annihilate Israel.
- Russia, on the other hand, I’m convinced, will want to lead this for more than one reason. Interestingly, there is a secular independent intelligence agency in Great Britain that says that here is the current thinking of the disgruntled officers of the Russian military. They’re very disturbed over how their great nation has fallen apart at the seams beginning in 1991. But they are saying that Russia can still have super power status in the world if it will ally itself with the Islamic nations of the world against Israel. And so they will ally themselves with the Islamic nations, again, to have super power status.
- Earlier this decade, I was on a ministry in Toronto, Canada, and a believer, after one of the services, approached me and said, “I want to share with you an interesting experience that I had in July of 1990.” This man had served in the Canadian Navy during World War II and his major tour of duty was on the Mermansk Run which was a constant supply of ships from the Allied Nations to Russia’s northern seaport, Mermansk, to help Russia in its eastern front war against Hitler and the Nazis. He said that in the summer of 1990, he and other Canadian seamen who served in that were invited to come to Toronto to attend a special ceremony sponsored by the Soviet government honoring those Canadian seamen from World War II. And he said after the ceremony, we were allowed to ask the spokesman of the Soviet government some questions.
- One of our men, he said, asked him this question: “Is your government still requiring your young people in your public schools to learn the English language as their second language?” That had been the Soviet government’s policy since the end of World War II. The Soviet government spokesman said, “No. We’ve now changed that.” The second question was asked, “To what have you changed it?” He said, “We’re now requiring all of our young people in our public schools to learn the Arabic language as their second language.” The third question was asked, “Why the change?” He said, “Because my government has drawn the conclusion that the future of the Soviet Union lies with the Islamic nations of the world.” And so Russia, I’m convinced, will lead that invasion as foretold in Ezekiel 38 for the purpose of having status, super power status, and trying to gain control of the most strategic geographic location on the face of the earth.
- Ankerberg: Alright, Jimmy, we’re going to take a break and when we come back, I want to set you up for what you’re going to say. Okay? In the book that I talked about a few weeks ago, The Samson Option, by Seymour M. Hersh, Pulitzer Prize winner. He made the statement—I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t know this. He talks about Moshe Dayan. He said he was the first in the Israeli Cabinet to predict that the Soviets, searching for any foothold they could get in their ideological struggle with the United States, now listen to this: that they would fill the power vacuum in the Middle East and become the major threat to Israel. In early July, Dayan warned in an interview with a “Frankfurter Allgemeine” newspaper of West Germany that if the Soviets chose to unite with the Arabs against Israel, he would not hesitate an instant to advise his government to fight and defeat the Russians just like the Arabs. And he’s talking, according to Hersh, about nuclear weapons. They actually had nuclear weapons pointed at Moscow using our satellite in the United States. They had pinpointed all the spots. Now when we come back—that’s what he said in the book—what I want to talk about is, the fact is, how capable are they? What would be the chemistry between the Soviet Union and the Arab world? I don’t understand that. Help us out when we come right back.
- Ankerberg: Welcome back. We’re talking about “Current World Events and Biblical Prophecy.” My guests are Dr. Jimmy DeYoung, Dr. Elwood McQuaid and Dr. Renald Showers. And Jimmy, you live in the Middle East right in Jerusalem. You have heard what the military defense people have said, the soldiers, what has been written in the newspapers. We don’t get all of the news that you get, and obviously, Israel is interested in what’s going on in the Soviet Union. From what I hear in Seymour Hersh’s book, The Samson Option, a Pulitzer Prize winner, that they have been afraid of the Soviet Union and thought that the Soviet Union was their main threat; that the Soviet Union could actually join with the Arab world. And I think all of us, we would like to know, what in the world is the compatibility between the Soviet Union and the Arab world? Why would they join together? Why would they be interested in going after Israel and how capable are they?
- DeYoung: Both hate the Jewish people, first of all. I talked to Russia yesterday in light of the fact that we would be doing this program. I wanted to find out. And the man I talked with was 13 years with army intelligence; an officer in army intelligence observing what was going on in the Soviet Union. He has lived there for the last six years and he told me that the Russian people are born anti-foreigner, anti-Semite, etc., and 95% of the Russian people, the former Soviet Union, are opposed to any type of foreigner, whether it be Jew, but especially Jew, because of what’s happened. I asked the Israeli government after the fall of Communism were they more concerned?
- You know, all the Bible prophecy teachers were saying, “Under Communism, that was going to draw the Russian people down into Israel to destroy the Jewish people.” I said, “Were you more concerned under Communism than you are today?” He said, “Absolutely not.” He reminded me of one thing. In 1917 it was two Jewish men who established Communism for the purpose of shutting down the Czars who were killing the Jews or under that leadership. I mean, it was a heyday. A Jew would walk on a Sabbat, on the Sabbath, through the park and they would take a rifle and kill them. Hundreds of thousands of Jews were killed prior to 1917. He said, “Communism, though it was an economic system doomed to failure, was established to stop the murder and the persecution of Jewish people. Now, out from under that, we are much more concerned.” And you asked me why the two together.
- Remember the six southern republics of the former Soviet Union are all Islamic republics and in line with and cooperation with the main republic Russia itself. And there’s 60 million people down there. In addition to that, the Russian Orthodox Church, the state church of Russia, totally anti-Semitic. And that is the leadership that undergirds even the political leadership of a nation. There are 60 million of those. That’s over 120 million people, more than half the population of the former Soviet Union, totally anti-Semitic in their nature.
- He talked about the instability as far as the leadership of Russia is concerned. Number one, I asked about Boris Yeltsin. He came through the heart bypass surgery. What did the people of Russia think? They said, you know, they don’t understand that technology. They believe he’s finished. They think he’s going to die. Meanwhile, there is all kind of jockeying for position from those men. For example, his former security chief, Alexander Lebed, a few moments ago Elwood was talking about Vladimir Zhirinovsky. Vladimir Zhirinovsky practically doesn’t have a chance to take over the leadership of Russia. Alexander Lebed does. And these are two men of the same ilk. The only thing is, Alexander Lebed has a felt glove. He’s a nationalist. He is a patriot. And the other day, they did a survey in Russia. He got 25% popularity rating of all Russians questioned. Boris Yeltsin had 15% popularity rating. This man is maneuvering himself into leadership of this nation. I’m not a prophet nor the son of a prophet. But I predict he would be the next leader. And he is the type of man who would do exactly what Alexander Lebed wants to do.
- Ankerberg: Listen to this. Today, on the news wire. Just came across. Lebed, the ousted Russian national security chief, just asked the United States for $400 million. Do you know what they asked for? To help safeguard Russia’s nuclear arsenal which he said is vulnerable to blackmail and terrorism. The money would guard nuclear missiles and stockpiles of an estimated—listen to this—1,500 tons of plutonium and enriched uranium. Lebed said, “Current safeguards were unsatisfactory and that a single terrorist could hold the world hostage.” He has made a bunch of other statements but tell us about the capabilities that are still there.
- DeYoung: The matter of life is that all of Russia is corrupt. They are deceptive. They would be willing to lie, number one. And corruption goes to the highest ranks of government. We know that even the chief of staff for Boris Yeltsin is at the point of being indicted for taking millions of dollars during the campaign. In addition to that, the Mafia controls the state of Russia and the concern that the people there have is that the Mafia, the only way that a nuclear weapon or some type of nuclear capability to get into the hands of a terrorist was through the opportunity the Mafia makes available and only with their approval. The situation is that the stage is set for all of that talked about in Ezekiel 38 to take place.
- And let me tell you about the “hook.” The hook that’s going to draw them down. I talked not too long ago to the chief geologist of the Israel National Oil Company, INOC. He said they are at the point of making the greatest discovery of oil. It’s called deep stick oil, and it’s going to be down at the Dead Sea. Now think with me for just a moment. Here’s Iraq. Here’s Saudi Arabia. Here’s Jordan. Here’s all the oil producing countries of the world. Here’s the Dead Sea at this elevation. And you know, when you stick a straw into a soda, you suck from the bottom and the top goes down. Wouldn’t it be just like God to let them put an oil well there and get that deep stick oil and pull the oil from all the Arab countries of the world and it be that hook that would reach into Russia and bring them down. They’re in a strategic location. They have foodstuffs. They’re the bread basket of most of the world. And Russia needs that. Somebody said, “Wait a minute. Russia has all the oil. In fact they have more oil than any nations of the world.” They don’t have the technology to get it out of the ground.
- Ankerberg: Elwood, Tom Clancy wrote a novel, The Hunt for Red October, which was about one typhoon submarine. It carries 200 nuclear weapons. That was just one at that time. They built 34 of those. Multiply 34 of those typhoon submarines floating around the world times 200. Every one of those warheads is capable of ionizing one of our American cities. Where are all of those submarines?
- McQuaid: An interesting side note to that is that Russia has just supplied three submarines of devastating capability to Syria and supplying them to these other countries and where are these submarines? The Israelis are very much concerned about this because they say, you know, there are other things we can track. We can’t track submarines. All of our supplies, I think some 93 percent of their goods come in by sea, what could submarines do against us in the event they were used against us? Where are they? They’re out to make mischief for sure.
- Ankerberg: Yeah. And add to that. Just doing a little research on Kazakhstan, okay, which is the majority of the people in Kazakhstan, which is one of the satellites that have broken off, is Muslim. The deal is that Kazakhstan, according to statistics, has within its borders enough nuclear missiles to be the fifth leading nuclear power in the world. Just this little cut-off of the Soviet Union.
- McQuaid: Exactly. And that’s the thing that brings what Jimmy said a moment ago, not only the historical focus but into very clear biblical focus. When we talk about the issues there and what are the bottom line issues in the Middle East? Why would Russia join these Muslim states in attempting to annihilate Israel? Well, the Scripture says in the twelfth verse of Ezekiel 38 that they come to take a spoil and to take a prey. That’s the motivation for coming down and joining together—these Islamic states and Russia. That’s only one side of the coin. Yes, there’s oil. Yes, there’s immense wealth in the Dead Sea. But it says something else that is almost universally overlooked, John, and that is this. And I think it’s more important. It says, “and to turn thine hand upon the desolate places that are now inhabited and upon the people that are gathered out of the nations.” This is vindictive as well as exploitive and I think it again manifests this Satan-God struggle. We mentioned Alexander Lebed. They don’t know a lot about him. He is the heir apparently to Yeltsin. The diplomats are guessing about what he believes, what he is really bottomline up to. But they do know two things about him. First of all, they know that he hates Jews. He is violently anti-Semitic. And that he wants all Evangelical Christians and Christian activity expelled from the former Soviet Union. So we know that. So to take a spoil, to take a prey, yes. But to turn a hand against the people and against the land. It’s vindictive.
- Ankerberg: Tell us, for the person that wants to know the Lord Jesus Christ, the One who is coming back, how would a person come into a relationship with that One?
- McQuaid: Well, let me say, first of all, it’s time for people to take that very, very seriously, because as we scan the prophetic scene and look at what’s going on, we look at the Middle East searching for peace. This desperate search for peace. It’s almost an obsession. They have not found it; they will not find it; because there’s only one source of peace and that is in the Messiah of Israel and the Sovereign Savior of the world, Jesus Christ. If there’s ever an object lesson that an individual can take from national catastrophe and international catastrophe, it is this. That there is no solution except in God. And if you narrow that down to your own heart and life, know this: that the only option you have if you want peace is Jesus Christ. And you can find Jesus Christ by receiving the gift of God which is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. But the time to do it is now, John. There’s no time to wait.
- Ankerberg: Alright. I agree. Next week we’re going to turn to another area of biblical prophecy that has started to take place within our own lifetime. 1993 you had the formation of the European Union, 345 million eager-beaver Europeans all went together. We think that has something to do with prophecy. It might even have something to do with the Antichrist. We’re going to talk about it next week. I hope you’ll join us.