Current World Events and Biblical Prophecy – Program 6
| September 14, 2013 |
|By: Dr. Jimmy DeYoung, Dr. Elwood McQuaid, Dr. Renald Showers; ©1998|
|What role will Asian nations play in the events of the last days?|
Who Are the Kings of the East?
- Ankerberg: Welcome to our program. We’re talking about a fascinating topic: What does the Bible have to say about “Current World Events” or if you want, “How do current world events relate to what the Bible says is coming about in the future?” And we’ve talked about Israel; we’ve talked about what’s going on in Russia; we’ve talked about what’s going on in the European Union of Nations. We’ve talked a little bit about the Arab world. And now we want to talk to another fascinating topic that most people do not realize that the Bible even speaks to, and that is what I call “the Kings of the East.” That’s what the Bible says. The Asian countries.
- Dr. Showers, you’ve written many books, articles. I’d like for you to talk the point: Revelation 16:12 says, “The sixth angel poured out his bowl upon the great river, the Euphrates, and its water was dried up that the way might be prepared for the kings from the east.” Revelation 9:16 says two hundred million soldiers will travel southwest and enter the war with Israel. I think you have a different opinion on that one than some of our guys on the platform, so I want to hear both of them. But first of all, who are the “Kings of the East” in terms of the countries today? What do you think?
- Showers: The Bible doesn’t name them for us, but we’re forced to conclude that they’re Asiatic nations. And I take it they could include all the nations of the Far East moving toward the Middle East. And the key passage there really is the Revelation 16 passage because that’s where it clearly says “the kings of the east.”
- Ankerberg: When will that take place, by the way?
- Showers: Well, John indicates that will take place when the sixth bowl judgment is poured out by God upon the world during the future Tribulation period, and that is the next to the last judgment of the Tribulation. So that will transpire almost at the very end of the Tribulation period. And John is indicating that God will dry up the waters of the Euphrates River to make it easy for these Asiatic forces to move west toward the land of Israel and the Middle East. If you go on further in that same prophecy, it talks then about all the nations sending their armies there at that time so that it’s indicating that Asia will be sending its armies together with the armies of all the other Gentile nations of the world into the land of Israel there at the very end of the seven-year Tribulation period.
- Ankerberg: Most scholars have made this list. See if you guys would add something to this. We’ve got China; we’ve got Japan; we’ve got India, Pakistan, Taiwan, North and South Korea, Singapore. Others?
- DeYoung: Cambodia, Thailand, Indonesia. That makes this a group of about three billion people, more than half the population of the world. And when you’re talking about the Euphrates River that’s going to dry up, the Euphrates River is basically that border between the Middle East and the Far East. In addition to this, I was in Turkey this last May doing a television shoot and while there our guide told us of a Turkish government project to build 21 dams on the Euphrates River in Turkey because, number one, they don’t have the oil but they do have water. Somebody said the next great war is going to be over water rights in the Middle East. But they have water and they are going to build this dam to reserve their water. What has happened, though, they did put one dam up. They stopped up the Euphrates to just a trickle. And you’ve got to remember, the Euphrates goes through Syria, then into Iraq. President Assad of Syria, President Saddam Hussein of Iraq both went livid when Turkey stopped that water. I’m not saying that this is how God’s going to dry up the Euphrates River, I’m simply saying the potential is there even today for the Euphrates to be dried up.
- Ankerberg: Let’s get to a spot that we disagree with on the platform, okay? And Elwood, do you want to start off first, and that’s this very controversial statement of Revelation 9:16. I’m going to start with you, Jimmy, because you broke this story. Okay? It says that we’re going to have two hundred million who are going to travel southwest and enter this war. Now, you believe that’s 200 million actual soldiers. Never in history have we had it. How did you break that story?
- DeYoung: Well, I believe it’s 200 million soldiers. I don’t want to debate the great theologian Dr. Renald Showers here. But as I look at it, it has to be an army that’s marching. I had the privilege and opportunity a couple of years ago to be at the Pentagon. While I was speaking, I was speaking to those who were making decisions today that were going to affect tomorrow. And I told them, “If you’re going to make a decision today to affect tomorrow, you better know today what’s going to happen tomorrow.” I spoke on the Book of Revelation. I talked about an army, a militia of 200 million soldiers, two hundred thousand thousand, and after I concluded, the man who is responsible for watching the troop movements of the nations of the world came up to me and said, “Let me just say something to you. We now know that Red China has a militia of 200 million soldiers.” Time magazine right after that confirmed that fact. The only nations of the world that could put together 200 million soldiers in a militia and in particular one nation would be Red China. Part of the Kings of the East. Now, I happen to believe that’s the way it’s going to come. As I look at those judgments, the trumpet and the vial judgments, they are in the last three and a half years of the Tribulation period; but in addition to that, they are happening very, very quickly and I believe they’ll be close to the end of the time of the Tribulation that all of these come together.
- Ankerberg: Rennie, whether we take that view or the one you’re going to announce in a minute, two verses after that, 9:18, says that a third of mankind was killed by the three plagues of fire, smoke, and sulfur that came out of their mouths. Does that sound like nuclear war to you?
- Showers: No, I’m not convinced it is, John, and the interesting thing is, the Greek makes it very clear these are not one and the same instrument. They are three separate, distinct entities. Whereas, if it’s nuclear war, that would all be caused by one particular thing, nuclear weapons. I personally believe that these are not men. It doesn’t say that they are marching armies and it doesn’t say that they are the kings of the East. Many conclude that because what unleashes this is four evil angels who are bound at the River Euphrates being set loose. And some have grabbed hold of that and said this means they’re bringing in armies from Asia.
- But the interesting thing is, number one, that happens with the sixth trumpet judgment. According to Revelation 16, the “kings of the east” don’t come until the sixth bowl judgment, which is one trumpet and five or six bowl judgments later when the “kings of the east” come and when they come, the River Euphrates is going to be dried up so they’re able to come. On top of that, when you look at what it says in Revelation 9 about this 200 million, it’s not the riders who are on the back of the horses there that are causing the devastation. It’s the horses that are causing the devastation. And they’re not normal horses. They have horses’ bodies but they have lions’ heads. And they have snakes’ tails with heads of snakes on the back. And so out of the mouth of these horses are coming fire, smoke and brimstone or burning sulphur. But then in addition, the serpent’s heads on their tails are causing devastation to human beings as well. And you know, to me that’s not talking about human armies or human armaments; that this is demonic activity. It said that the four angels that were set loose there were bound before they were set loose. Holy angels are not bound; only evil angels are bound. And these would be demons who are set loose and as a result, then, you have these 200 million coming forth to kill one third of the people of the world. And it’s a judgment of God, you know, upon the people of the world. The interesting thing is, as well, it’s brought totally upon unbelievers, earthdwellers. You go back to the previous chapter, these same people are called “earthdwellers” and it talks about people whose names were not written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. So that the term “earthdwellers” in the Book of Revelation always refers to unbelievers. So it’s totally unbelievers that are being killed here so it’s the judgment of God upon these people.
- Ankerberg: Elwood, why do you think that the “kings of the east” will be interested in going into the Middle East against Israel?
- McQuaid: Well, I think one of the things that we’re going to have to consider is that the end-time line-up of the nations are entities of actual nations. Sometimes we overplay, I think, initially the importance of the Antichrist. He’s initially one player among many. We have the king of the North; we have the king of the South. We have the western confederation. We have the kings of the East. And these are, in my view, a confederation of nations that are under the domination of the prince of the power of the air who is moving a godless world system against God, against His Christ, against His people. Now, I can’t tell you all the motivations for their coming except to say that, number one, we have this phrase that we had in Ezekiel 38 of this obsession with dethroning God and that also includes destroying His people. It’s a satanic strategy. Anti-Semitism, for example, John, is all predicated–it doesn’t matter where you find it–on a very simple base and that is this: God has made some literal historical promises to the people of Israel. One day that nation will be reconciled to God through the Messiah. One day they’ll be reestablished. The King will rule over that Kingdom. One day every promise God has made in minutest detail will be lived out on the stage of human history in every way. Satan is attempting in destroying Israel, whether it’s the kings of the East, king of the North, king of the South, or the Antichrist, to wipe out the Jewish people before God can deliver His promises and they can realize their destiny.
- Ankerberg: We’re going to take a break here, and when we come back, I want to get to this thing of, what is the scenario of the nations getting involved and going to war with Israel? We’ve talked about Russia attacking. We’ve talked about the Arabs attacking. We have talked about Europe and then the Antichrist coming out and makes a peace treaty but then deceives Israel. We’ve got the “kings of the east.” I’d like to know, gentlemen, what the scenario is: A, B, C, D, during this time Jesus said is going to be the worst time on planet earth, the Tribulation. We’ll talk about that when we come right back. Stick with us.
- Ankerberg: Alright, we’re back, and we’re talking about “Current World Events and Biblical Prophecy.” We want to look into the future here and what the Bible says is going to happen in this Great Tribulation, or the Tribulation time period, seven-year period that comes after the Rapture. And gentlemen, we’ve talked about these different entities, namely, Israel and the Arab World; Israel and Russia; Israel and the European Union of Nations. Now we’re talking about the Asian countries and the Bible has something to say about all of them. And we have heard a lot about the Battle of Armageddon. But there’s a series of huge battles in this Tribulation time period. Jimmy, give me your scenario. What comes first? What comes second? What comes third? What’s going to happen according to Scripture?
- DeYoung: As I understand the Book of Daniel Chapter 11, which happens to be the most detailed chapter in prophecy that I’ve ever read in my life, looking into the future, down the corridor in time, Daniel is given the information. He talks about in verse 40 “the king of the north” and the “king of the south” coming at Israel. Now, you can go back to the first part of Chapter 11. The definition of the “king of the north,” Syria; “king of the south,” Egypt. And these two nations coming against Israel. This is prior to Antichrist coming into the glorious holy land–that’s chapter 11, verse 41. So I see Syria, who as we speak, is perched on the northern border of Israel at Mount Hermon with their elite commando fighting force, the fifth largest army in the world, ready to come in and take back the Golan Heights. And they’re going to have a coalition.
- By the way, after the Gulf Crisis, Syria and Egypt signed the Damascus Declaration which said these two nations were forming a coalition and they would go against anybody who hurt the Palestinian people or the Palestinian cause. Syria in the north, Egypt in the south, and as I speak, again, military exercise by the Egyptian army, the most populated Arab nation of the world, in the Sinai, both perched, ready to come into Israel. The Bible says Antichrist comes in, destroys Syria, goes through Ammon, Moab and Edom. Modern day Jordan–doesn’t touch it. Let me tell you why.
- There’s a place in southern Jordan in what was Edom in biblical times, Petra, which I believe is the place God has prepared to take care of at least one third of the Jewish people. He goes through Jordan, goes into Egypt, destroys Egypt, turns around, starts back towards Jerusalem. Then it says he hears something at his heels nipping away.
- First of all, he looks and he sees it’s Ethiopia, Sudan and Libya. Then he hears rumblings in the East and the North. Now, it’s not Syria any longer. They’ve been destroyed by Antichrist. The northern person there, the group there would be Russia and her group of satellite nations, Turkey. Then you have in the East Persia or Iran, Ezekiel 38. You have in the West Libya; you have in the South Ethiopia and Sudan. They come against Israel. Ezekiel 38 says God rains hell, fire and brimstone out of Heaven destroying these nations. I think this is after the Rapture of the Church, soon after the Rapture of the Church.
- Then it says, interestingly, in verse 44 of Daniel 11, what it says right there is, Antichrist goes at these attacking nations with fury and tries to make away many of these. In other words, it seems to say that he’s going to usurp the victory that God has over these attacking nations. And in verse 45 it says Antichrist then goes on to the holy Temple Mount and sets up the palace of his tabernacle. And you know what, he’s promised to give peace to the Jews; then he clears the Temple Mount with a SCUD, or an earthquake or whatever, and he says, “Put your temple up.” The temple is built. That’s the beginning of the Tribulation period in the first three and a half years. The conclusion is, when these nations, and we’ve already mentioned it before, three billion peoples out there in the Far East make ready to come in.
- It’s interesting to note, that coalition of the nations in the first three and a half years, mostly Islamic. And the Islamic threat can be taken out and Antichrist comes to power over a one world religion. The Moslem world, I think, is devastated at that time. Now, the other religiosities of the world, wanting to come in–and why would Red China? Why would the “kings of the east”? They’re going to become the great economic power. You said it at the beginning, the bridge to all the natural resources of Africa, that great continent, would be available for them. They have to have the opportunity to get those natural resources and become the great economic power of the hour. The strategic location of the state of Israel. They’re going to come in…and by the way, they then become the power of the Third World nations and the old saying, “Any enemy of a friend of mine is my enemy,” that’s the Jewish people. And they would be willing to come in and that is the end-time scenario prior to Jesus Christ coming back to the earth and establishing His Kingdom.
- Ankerberg: Want to add to that?
- McQuaid: The interesting question is raised: “How can the Tribulation temple be built? Who will build it?” We know how that any attempt to build a Jewish temple on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem would be a holy war and the entire Islamic world would come against it. The only way that could be done today would be if the United States, the number one super power of the world, would say, “We stand behind the Jews’ right to build a temple on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem and demand that the Muslim world stand back because we have the smart bombs. We demonstrated that in Iraq.” I think that the Antichrist, when he comes to power, is going to do exactly the same thing. Because the Islamic world, and remember, those “kings of the east,” some are from Indonesia, Pakistan, these are militantly anti-Israel Muslim countries. So they’re not going to be any more congratulatory to the Antichrist for allowing the Jews to build a temple on Mount Moriah than they would today. They’re adamant in that. And I believe that he’s going to say with that peace agreement with Israel, that confirmation, “Alright, the Jews can now build their temple. I’m going to guarantee it like Herod of old or like whoever in history. I’m going to guarantee it. The Muslim world and the rest of the world, stand back, you religions. Israel is going to have her temple.” And I think that’s one of the reasons why the Muslim world and some of the “kings of the east” and these others are going to have such hatred for the Antichrist that they’re going to want to move against him and destroy him. I think that’s very much a factor.
- Ankerberg: Rennie, wrap it up. We’ve got the fact of that midpoint of the Tribulation when he goes into the temple, proclaims himself to be God. Then take us through the last three and a half years and the climax.
- Showers: Antichrist in the middle of the Tribulation will turn against Israel and begin desolating it worse than it’s ever been desolated in all of past history. And as we’ve noted, as God is pouring out His judgments upon Satan’s domain, which will also be Antichrist’s domain, toward the end of the Tribulation period, Satan, the Antichrist, the false prophet will use demonic influence to persuade all the rulers of all the nations of the world to bring their armies together in the land of Israel.
- Now, again, going back to what Elwood has mentioned before, notice, Satan ultimately is behind this. Why does he want the combined military might of the Gentile world gathered in the land of Israel by the end of the Tribulation period? For two reasons. Number one, to try to prevent the Second Coming of Christ coming back to planet earth because he knows that when Jesus gets back here, it’s all over for him. But the second reason is to be his instrument to try to totally annihilate the Jews from the face of the earth.
- Why is it Satan wants to destroy that particular group of people? It’s because of a program God has committed Himself to, namely, that God will not finally crush Satan and get rid of him and his forces from planet earth until the nation of Israel repents and believes in Jesus Christ as its Messiah and Savior. Now, Satan knows the Bible very well. He quoted it to Jesus when he tempted Him. And so he knows that’s God’s program. And to Satan’s way of thinking, if God will not crush me until Israel repents, if I can totally annihilate Israel before it repents and believes in Jesus Christ, God will never crush me. And that’s why even down through the centuries of time why the Holocaust of World War II, and now, in the Tribulation period, Israel, over and over and over again, more than any other national group on the face of the earth has been pursued and hounded and attempted to be annihilated from the face of the earth. It’s all this same continuing spiritual war between the Kingdom of God and the kingdom of Satan as God is working out His purpose for history and Satan is trying desperately to prevent God from crushing him and the Jews are a key to that and that’s why he wants to annihilate them before they can repent.
- Ankerberg: Jimmy, the thing that we’re talking about and we want to get across to people, these events, do they seem that farfetched right now?
- DeYoung: The stage is set. Every actor is moving into place and the curtain is about to go up. Like never before in history, the scenario God lays out in His Word is moving into position. You pick up a paper, you tune in a television newscast or a radio news report, it’s giving us continuing evidence. I think I’m listening to prophecy features sometimes when I listen to national news or international news. It’s giving us the evidence of how God is allowing these nations to move into position to do exactly what Rennie just said.
- Ankerberg: In light of these events and what the Bible says, how should Christians live?
- DeYoung: You should live anticipating His coming today. Because there’s not one thing that has to happen before the Rapture of the Church comes to snatch those who know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior out of this world. Do you know what Jesus said in the Upper Room to His disciples? He said, “I tell you”—He was talking about His crucifixion and resurrection—“I tell you these things before they happen so that when they do happen, you will know I am who I said I am.” God lays out all this information so that we can know who He is and turn to Him.
- Ankerberg: Next week we want to talk about something that’s on the wire tonight. Henry Kissinger just wrote an article in his daily syndicated column, his weekly syndicated column in the New York Post calling for the PLO to change, to actually change 30 of the 33 clauses in the PLO’s national covenant that calls for the destruction of Israel or urges violence against Israel. And he says this was done in 1993. No such change has been made. Nor has the PLO specified which particular articles will be changed or when they will go into effect, and by not doing it, by leaving the covenant the way it is, calling for the destruction of Israel, the PLO, he says, “is sending a clear message that it has not renounced violence nor accepted Israel’s right to exist.” Talk about anti-Semitism. Talk about the Arab world turning against Israel. We want to talk about this in our next program. I hope that you’ll join us..