Current World Events and Biblical Prophecy – Program 7

By: Dr. Jimmy DeYoung, Dr. Elwood McQuaid, Dr. Renald Showers; ©1998
Some world leaders in the Middle East deny that Israel has any right to the land she occupies, or any right to exist as a nation. Can there be a peaceful resolution to the Middle East conflict given that stance?.


Does Israel Have the Right to Exist as a Nation?

Ankerberg: Welcome to our program. We’re talking about what the Bible has to say is going to happen in the future. The God of the Bible says that you can tell that He’s there by looking at events that He said would come about that have already come about in the past, such as Jesus Himself, the Messiah. But also we’ve got events that are still to be fulfilled and God talks about what the nations are going to do. What’s going to happen to Israel? And we’ve been talking about the Arab confederacy. We’ve been talking about Russia. We’ve been talking about the European Union of nations. We’ve been talking about the Asian countries and how these all play a role in prophecy that’s still to come and how world events are shaping up right now.
As we tape this program, it’s interesting, and Jimmy DeYoung, I’d like you to answer this if you would. Henry Kissinger in his weekly syndicated column in the New York Post has joined a growing list of prominent Americans and Israelis who have publicly now called on the PLO to change 30 of the 33 clauses in the PLO National Covenant that called for the destruction of Israel or that urge violence against Israel. Now, Kissinger is simply saying this, and I’m going to quote him: “Dropping from the PLO charter the mandate to eradicate Israel is symbolically important, which is the reason why the PLO’s delay in carrying out this commitment is so disquieting.” Actually, in 1993 they told the world they were going to change the charter; they haven’t done it yet. Kissinger says, “No such changes have been made nor has the PLO specified which particular articles will be changed or when they will go into effect. By leaving the covenant intact [the PLO charter] the PLO is sending a clear message that it has not renounced violence nor accepted Israel’s right to exist.” Jimmy, what is going on with the PLO? Why haven’t they changed the charter? Do you think they intend to?
DeYoung: I don’t believe they intend to. The reason they have not changed it, that is still their goal—to eliminate the Jewish presence in the Middle East through armed struggle. Right here in my file I have a copy of the Palestinian Covenant, and in my file also in my office I have a copy of a letter that Yasser Arafat sent the first week of September in 1993 promising Yitzhak Rabin, number one, he would denounce terrorism; number two, he would do everything he could to get rid of terrorism in the Middle East and in particular Israel, and number three, he would change the Palestinian Covenant taking out those clauses in question. In this last year, they have had a meeting of the PNC, the Palestinian National Council. The purpose was, propagated to the world anyway, that they were going to come together and change the Palestinian Covenant. At the conclusion of that meeting, Shimon Peres who was the Prime Minister announced to the world the most historic event in the last 100 years had taken place because the Palestinians had changed the Palestinian Covenant. President Bill Clinton, based upon that statement, invited Yasser Arafat to Washington, DC to be his special guest in the White House. This man who is the world’s best-known terrorist, responsible for more Jewish blood on his hands than any other man since Adolf Hitler, responsible for over 1,000 Palestinian deaths, those deaths coming at his command, this man was a guest of the President of the United States propagating to the world that they had changed the covenant. And as I speak, and as Henry Kissinger gives us evidence, that Palestinian Covenant has not been changed because their intentions are still the same: they want to wipe out the Jewish presence in the Middle East.
Ankerberg: Elwood, where is this going? Why is this continuing? We have another statement that was made just 30 days ago that the 22 nation Arab League condemned Netanyahu for opening the tunnel and actually urged the Palestinian Arabs to go toward violence.
McQuaid: Yes. And in addition to what Jimmy said, an integral part of the Oslo Accords states that the Palestinian Liberation Organization, the Palestinian Council, will amend that charter. I don’t believe they intend to amend it either. And I think in evidence of that is that Yasser Arafat is constantly making statements in various venues, that is, if he’s talking to those who are involved in the peace process, he is a man of peace. He’s calling for Jihad constantly when he’s talking to Arab audiences. That means holy war to destroy Israel.
The Arab League does the same thing. In Iran they have just initiated a new terrorist organization called International Hezbollah that is dedicated to more bombings, bus bombings in Israel; training people to do that, and to do more to not only commit terrorist acts in Israel but also in the Western World as well. Now, the reason for that goes right back to something we discussed during this series of programs: that the issue in the Middle East is not essentially territorial, it is not essentially even an Arab-Jew problem. It is the commitment by radical elements in the Islamic Movement, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the Palestinian Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Hezbollah, and we would include elements in Intifada and they are committed to destroying Israel because they believe it is an infidel entity that must be destroyed in the name of Allah. Yasser Arafat early on said this. He said, ‘I’ll make peace with Israel.” He said, “I’ll make peace with them back to the ‘67 lines. I’ll make an agreement back to the ‘48 lines. And if I can achieve a Palestinian state within those entities, I will give you a Jewless Palestine in the very near future.” Is he still committed to that? I believe he is. A growing number of Israelis and world leaders like Henry Kissinger believe he is also.
Ankerberg: Rennie, what strikes me is that you have not only the 22 nation Arab confederacy but you have a president like Hosni Mubarak from [Egypt] making a statement just a few days ago in Time magazine. He is “very, very, very upset and the whole Arab world is boiling over the issues right now.” You hear what Jimmy and what Elwood just said about this almost irreconcilable hatred that is stemming from the Palestinian Arabs. They said they would change the charter. They haven’t. The Arab world is joining them and the rest of the world doesn’t seem to be too upset about what is happening. How does this fit into biblical prophecy?
Showers: Well, for one thing you mentioned Mubarak, the President of Egypt, and Daniel 11 indicates that in the future Tribulation, Egypt together with Syria will launch a joint attack against Israel trying to destroy it. They will not succeed in that. That will pull in the Antichrist from the European Union into the Middle East. But, again, in the overall scenario it fits the picture again of Satan’s war against God; that Satan will use any instruments he can to annihilate Israel from the face of the earth because God has ordained Israel to play a key role in the fulfillment of God’s purpose for history.
Ankerberg: Questions [from the audience].
Audience: First of all, I want to say thank you for being here and presenting this program. I think it’s an opportunity to encourage men and women of God to study the Word and be prepared for these times that are coming. My question is, in Ezekiel Chapter 39, verse 9 talks about a time period immediately after the scenario of Magog attacks Israel. The weapons are gathered and it takes about seven years to burn these weapons. And we know that the Tribulation period is seven years long. My question is, two parts, real quickly, first of all, do you think that this attack upon Israel will happen before or after the Rapture? And secondly, why would the United States allow Russia to have such an opportunity to attack the nation of Israel?
DeYoung: To the second part of that question, Why would the United States allow it? I believe that at the Rapture of the Church, the United States is going to be nullified basically as a superpower of the world because there are enough Christians in the United States of America to give America the backbone that we do have today, whatever that backbone may be. You take them out at the Rapture of the Church, then America which is on the slippery slope to economic decay, the slippery slope to moral decay and every other kind of decay you can think about, the slopes will be greased and they will go immediately into oblivion as far as a superpower is concerned. The only physical entity that is stopping Russia, the Islamic world, the “kings of the east,” or anybody from coming in and trying to destroy Israel is the United States of America and that’s the only reason that God has blessed them in these last days.
McQuaid: The late Prime Minister of Israel, Menachem Begin, said some years ago in Washington, DC, “Israel has really only two true friends in the world. Some Evangelical Christians and some of our own people.” Now, that was a monumental statement reflecting the importance of what Jimmy just said. Evangelical Christians really hold the balance for the security of Israel in the United States today.
Ankerberg: What about the weapons?
Showers: John, let me address the first part of his question: Will this attack by Russia and Islamic nations against Israel take place before or after the Rapture? I’m convinced it will be after the Rapture. And the reason for that is, Ezekiel 38 makes it very clear. This will come when Israel feels so safe and so secure in its homeland that it has let down its own defenses. And that’s not true of Israel now, but it will be true of Israel during the first half of the Tribulation period as a result of that covenant that Antichrist of Western Europe will confirm with Israel guaranteeing its national security. And according to Daniel 9:27 that covenant is not confirmed until the very beginning of the seven-year Tribulation period and our understanding is the Church will be raptured out before the Tribulation begins.
DeYoung: It could leave actually a space between the Rapture and the confirmation of that peace agreement. It could be a day, a year, a month, ten years possibly. The battle that’s talked about in Ezekiel 38 could start to take place then, or at least it will start to take place in the very beginning of the seven-year period of time and I think there’s precedent in biblical studies that when you say “seven years” that could be the portion of seven years. So it doesn’t have to be absolutely 365 days times seven for those weapons to be burned. It could be a portion of a year which would then constitute seven years.
Audience: The panel has said that the Antichrist would be political but also a religious figure. So with the rise of the European Union as the resurrection of the Roman Empire and with the newfound interest of the Vatican with Israel, do you think that the Antichrist could come out of the Vatican?
DeYoung: Well, I don’t think necessarily that the Antichrist will come out of the Vatican. The Bible you cannot exegete it to say that. I do believe it will come out of the Revived Roman Empire which could possibly be the European Community or at least the European Community as the infrastructure for that revived Roman Empire. The Antichrist comes out of that and I believe that he is indeed going to rule over a one world church. It will be headquartered in the city of Rome, according to Revelation Chapter 17. At the midway point he moves to Jerusalem, desecrates the temple, and I think in the last three and a half years he’s headquartered in the actual literal city of Babylon where a worldwide economy is established and Antichrist will rule over that.
Showers: The prophetic Scriptures make it very clear that the Antichrist will be a political ruler. But Revelation 17 makes it very clear that during the first part of his rule, he will be allied with an apostate religious system. But once he gains full power and has gotten everything out of that religious system he wants, and then when he’s ready to declare he’s God, Revelation 17 indicates he will turn against that apostate religious system and annihilate it from the face of the earth and then announce that he is God. But then he will announce he’s God so that he’s going to be very definitely a religious figure in that respect because he’ll be worshipped by many people of the world but he’ll still be a great political ruler in the world.
McQuaid: I think there’s a practical aspect that we can learn from that today. There are so many people today who are voting their pocketbooks, even Evangelical Christians, and who are in actuality lining their religion along with their political commitments. And I think that the ones who mourn the passing of Babylon in 17 and 18 of Revelation are merchant kings who weep over this economic system that has fed them to the full and I think that there’s a very great lesson for that. The amalgamation of a religious leader and an economic leader is a natural in the last days.
Audience: First of all, John, I’d like to thank you for being on this program and answering our questions. Dr. DeYoung had mentioned the Ark of the Covenant. I’ve read quite a bit on the Ark and there are different theories about if the Ark’s even here yet. Some people think the Ark was taken off by God to the heavenly temple. Others under the Temple Mount. I’ve read some people believe it’s in Ethiopia. I’m sure there are some people in the world who believe Harrison Ford has it stashed in his basement. But my question is, what is your opinion? I’d like all three gentlemen’s opinion on this. What is your opinion on where the Ark is and do you have biblical Scripture to back that. And is it necessary for the Ark to be discovered before they build the temple?
DeYoung: I believe, number one, that it is necessary for the Tribulation temple for the Ark of the Covenant to be there because of the fact that in order for the Jewish people who are preparing to build the temple right now, they must have the Ark of the Covenant. In the Millennial Temple which will be standing in Jerusalem during the Thousand-Year Millennial Kingdom, Jeremiah 3:16 says we don’t need the Ark anymore. The reason for that, the Ark was a prototype of Jesus Christ, and when you have the real thing, you don’t need the model. So He’ll be here for the Millennial Temple, but for that Tribulation temple it will have to be there.
Is it in Ethiopia? I do not believe so. I believe it is underneath the Temple Mount. I have talked to two men, two very prestigious rabbis who said they came within inches of bringing the Ark of the Covenant out. One man said he took a mirror, looked around a wall and saw the Ark of the Covenant. He was a very prestigious rabbi. I would not stake my life on it but I believe he’s talking about what he said and he said, “By the way, that’s simple. Extrabiblical writing tells us exactly where the Ark of the Covenant is. And the Bible talks about Hezekiah, I believe the king was, who said, “Take the ark and put it in the special place prepared for it right now.” Not in the temple but a special place prepared.
Ankerberg: Oh, by the way, why did he not bring it out?
DeYoung: Why did he not bring it out? There was not any place to house it. You have to have the temple standing on the Temple Mount. He said, “We will bring it”…I asked him that question. He said, “We will bring it out when the temple is standing there and we’re ready to put it in its location.”
Ankerberg: Is that becoming the motivation to build the third temple?
DeYoung: Absolutely! And all those, I know every personality and every project involved in preparations to build the third temple, all of those personalities accepted this man as a very, very scholarly rabbi and believe exactly what he had to say.
Ankerberg: Elwood? Rennie?
Showers: Another view as to what happened to it was that it was destroyed by the Babylonians or carried by the Babylonians to their country when they destroyed Solomon’s temple in the city of Jerusalem in 586 BC. Interestingly, the second temple that the Jews built when they returned from the Babylonian captivity which later on Herod took over and enlarged never had the Ark of the Covenant in it. So for centuries the Jews worshipped God at the second temple without the Ark of the Covenant. So they didn’t have to have it there at that time to be worshipping God at the temple.
If it is in existence today, and it may very well be, I’m convinced as well it’s not down in Ethiopia. You know, the tradition has been that the Queen of Sheba came up from there. She had relations with Solomon. They gave birth to a son. And she and the son took the true Ark of the Covenant down to Ethiopia, left a duplicate of it in Solomon’s temple. To me, one of the big problems with that is, only the priests of Israel were allowed to touch that Ark and carry it. These were Gentile people. They would have been stricken dead on the spot of they had taken that. In fact, who could have gone inside the Holy of Holies to bring it out when only the high priest was allowed to go in there and one day out of the year, the Day of Atonement, and even then if he didn’t go in there exactly the way God prescribed, he would have been stricken dead on the spot. So I’m convinced it’s not down in Ethiopia.
McQuaid: There’s another theory that Jeremiah took the tabernacle and the Ark of the Covenant, hid it in a cave, and then forgot where it was; that they lost it. The best bet scenario is that it’s vaulted under the northeast corner of the temple. When the implements of the temple that were carried to Babylon were mentioned in Scripture, the Ark was not mentioned. They had plenty of time to hide it and the priests certainly would have done something responsible with the Ark before the Babylonians destroyed the city.
DeYoung: Let me just say this, John. I was wrong on the king. It was not Hezekiah; it was Josiah. And it’s 2 Chronicles 35:3 and Josiah tells the Levites to take the Ark and put the Holy Ark in the house. It had been in the temple already for 400 years. He wasn’t telling them to put it in the Holy of Holies, he was saying, “Put it in the house,” and the Hebrew word there basically is saying, “Put it in the special place prepared to protect it.”
Ankerberg: Question.
Audience: Earlier, one of you gentlemen said that you thought that the Revived Roman Empire would occupy largely the same geographical limits that the original Roman Empire did. In Daniel 2:40-45 the first prophetic picture of the Gentile world power was, of course, the image and the two legs was the bottom of the Roman Empire and the Scripture says that the Lord as a rock that was hewn out without hands would come and consume it. Why is it not a popular view that the Eastern Roman Empire, which all the Arab countries now comprise, may be the Eastern Roman Empire in place?
Showers: Okay, the two legs there of the image, I’m convinced, do represent the two divisions of the ancient Roman Empire. By Constantine’s time, the Empire becomes so huge that one man was not able to govern the entire thing and so Constantine divided it into two halves: the Western half with Rome the capital; the Eastern half with Constantinople as the capital. May I point out, though, that it’s not the Arab nations where they are today that really was the total part of the Eastern Roman Empire. In fact, the Arabs under Mohammed’s teaching and everything were the ones that kept hammering away at the Eastern Roman Empire to destroy it. And what they’re attacking was from Constantinople west in taking in your Eastern European nations. Granted, they did come up and take control of Israel and Egypt and parts of North Africa which had been part of the Roman Empire, but there was a major part of the eastern half of the Roman Empire that was totally separate from the Arabs until the Arabs destroyed it finally in 1453 AD.
DeYoung: And, indeed, the Ottoman Empire came to power–look at Turkey, for example, came to power and wiped out that Roman influence that had been there for the many years they had been.

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