Global Tensions in Light of Biblical Prophecy – Program 7

By: Dr. Jimmy DeYoung, Dr. Elwood McQuaid, Dr. Renald Showers; ©1999
Are Russian leaders making agreements with Islamic states committing to aid and support them in the next Middle East war?” How do these political alliances tie into future events the Bible says will come about?


What will happen when Yasser Arafat proclaims Palestine an independent state?


Today on The John Ankerberg Show, we will examine “Global Tensions in Light of Biblical Prophecy” with my guests: international journalist Dr. Jimmy DeYoung, presently living and reporting from Jerusalem, Israel; Dr. Renald Showers, Professor of Biblical Prophecy; and Dr. Elwood McQuaid, Director of Friends of Israel and an expert on the issues dividing Islam, Israel, and the Western World. Today’s topic: “Are Russian leaders making agreements with Islamic states committing to aid and support them in the next Middle East war?” How do these political alliances tie into future events the Bible says will come about? We invite you to join us.

Ankerberg: Welcome! We’re talking about global tensions in light of biblical prophecy. We have Dr. Jimmy DeYoung from Israel; we’ve got Dr. Elwood McQuaid, and Dr. Renald Showers that are our guests. And these folks have a wealth of information that they’re sharing with us.
Last week we talked about how the Bible says in Ezekiel 38 and 39 that the country that we look at as Russia today, the nations that are around what we call the old Soviet Union, that the Bible talks about this group of people coming down toward Israel in the future—actually during the time that the Bible calls the Tribulation. And that with an alliance of Islamic states that we started to talk about last week that are in existence right now, that they’re going to invade Israel. We started talking about Primakov, the Prime Minister of Russia, right now, and some of the things that he has arranged with some of the Muslim states that are down near Israel. What other deals do you know that have actually been made that ties Russia to these states if war were to break out? Jimmy, start us off.
DeYoung: Foreign Minister Primakov—that was his title prior to becoming Prime Minister—had a great relationship with the Arab world: Egypt; Iraq; Iran; Syria; all the nations that are basically going to be coming against Israel in the last days. He played a key role during the Gulf Crisis in trying to defuse the coalition of states headed up by the United States that were coming against Saddam Hussein to try to remove him from the Middle East. So, Primakov and his relationship to the Arab world, the Islamic world, is of much concern for those who are biblical students of prophecy and understand what’s going to happen in the last days.
We were talking about, in Ezekiel 38 it says when Israel is a location of “unwalled cities.” I can tell you this: during the Gulf Crisis, it was a period of time—the first time in 4,000 years of history—when the Jewish people did not retaliate when they were under attack. And in fact, the United States sent in the Patriot Missiles, that was supposedly protecting the Jewish people. I personally talked with Moshe Arens who, at the time of the Gulf Crisis, was the Minister of Defense. He said there was one SCUD knocked out of the sky, out of 39, by a Patriot. So there was really no protection for the Jewish people, but their mind set was, “America is taking care of us.” I think that developed in the minds of the Jewish people in anticipation of what’s going to happen when there are unwalled cities. Primakov played a key role in pulling Russia and these other nations together in the relationships they’ve developed over the years, getting into a position for that attack.
Ankerberg: Yeah. Public Television actually did a special that I saw a couple of months ago that was shocking in what it portrayed, and that was exactly what you just said: that our Patriots did not work as advertised. George Bush was taking the credit, but actually the people in Israel were really making a lot of noise and saying, “Look, you’ve got to get these things to work.” They’d hit the SCUDs in the middle, not in the warhead area, and the fact is, that warhead would come down and it would go off, and they knew that. And why Israel did not go and protect themselves, this Public Television documentary couldn’t even tell you the reason why.
DeYoung: They were ready. The F-16’s were on the runway. The canopies were down. The pilots were in the aircraft. The engines were running. The foot was on the brake. They were ready to take off in an instant, but they did not. It’s the first time in 4,000 years of history. And I believe we’ve moved into the era when they’re going to be willing to have a city of unwalled protection around them.
Ankerberg: Yes. Elwood, we’re coming to you now. And the fact is that we’re talking about Israel in light of these things the Bible is going to talk about. And here we are, sitting here talking about it like it’s not really important. It’s in our lifetime; it’s in our world! What other deals have been made, while we have been existing even, that Russia has made with some of these Islamic countries that surround Israel that the Bible says eventually are going to join together with Russia and invade Israel?
McQuaid: Well, one of the problems that we have is that we have been so inundated by our affluence that it has inoculated us against the realities of the world. We are not, in America, living in the real world. If you go to the Middle East and if you look at these alliances that have been made between Russia and the rogue Islamic nations, you can certainly put Iran in that category. They have made agreements and alliances with them about building nuclear reactors; about assisting them in long-range missiles; assisting them in developing the capability for weapons of mass destruction.
They have been the protector, vocally and really almost vehemently, of Saddam Hussein, warning the United States not to attack. At one point saying, “If you do, it may jeopardize our relationship to the point that you’ll have a military confrontation with Russia.” They’re working to get the sanctions lifted. And this is the most dangerous man, in many respects, on the planet right now.
They are in league with the Syrians. The Syrians are the great protectors of the most militant, violent terrorist organizations. They harbor them. They finance them. They pipeline money to them; and Russian weapons that are by agreement given to the Syrians, knowing what’s going to happen.
They are collaborators with the Sudan, the Sudan that is Islamicizing that nation in such a violent way that over a million Christians have been starved to death or slaughtered in that country—and Russia is in league with them.
So, if you just walk around the Middle East, Russia is trying to reassert today what they fashioned before the Soviet Union fell when they were the chief arms supplier for every nation or organization that was opposed to the existence of the state of Israel.
Ankerberg: Rennie, take us back to the Bible again for folks that missed last week’s session, alright? When are we saying that Russia is going to come down into the Middle East? When is that going to happen and how does it relate to the time period we’re living in right now?
Showers: Well, we saw before, John, from Ezekiel 38, that this is going to happen when Israel feels very safe and secure. And we know that’s not true right now exactly. But Antichrist, the head of the future revived Roman Empire from Europe, at the beginning of the seven-year Tribulation period, is going to bring about a covenant relationship with Israel. The Hebrew language there is very strong. It even seems to imply, according to some Hebrew scholars, he’s going to enforce this covenant relationship with Israel. And during the first half of that seven-year Tribulation, according to Daniel 9:27, he will be Israel’s protector and benefactor. But in the middle of the seven-year Tribulation he will break that covenant relationship, will turn against Israel, and will desolate it severely during the second half.
So, it would appear that it’s only during the first half of that seven-year Tribulation that Israel will feel so safe and secure it will let down its own guard militarily and depend upon someone else to defend it. In light of that, we conclude that this attack by Russia and its Islamic allies against Israel will take place during the first half of the Tribulation, probably just before the middle of the seven-year Tribulation period.
Ankerberg: How close, Rennie, do you think we are to the events of the Tribulation?
Showers: Well, John, when you look at everything the prophetic Scriptures say is going to happen—and we’ve been looking at a lot during these sessions—and you look at the trends that have been related in these sessions, you cannot help but feel that the Tribulation is not that very far down the road.
Ankerberg: Summarize the trends that hit your mind as you’ve been talking. Summarize those trends for us. Some of the people haven’t heard all the things that we’ve said, so summarize it briefly for us.
Showers: Well, a revived Roman Empire, we believe is the European Union, right now is moving in that direction. Again, these things we’ve just related with regard to Russia and Islamic nations, the way that they’ve been developing in the Middle East; and some of the very bold statements that some of the radical militant Muslim leaders of the Islamic nations have made, that their ultimate goal is the total annihilation of Israel from the Middle East. Other things we’ve been talking about, how the Palestinians had promised to keep peace agreements with Israel. They say that to the rest of the world, but to their own people they keep talking about Jihad, holy war, that the only solution to the Israel problem is to annihilate them from the face of the earth. We’ve seen how they’re training children of grade school age with a mind set of devoting themselves to Jihad, holy war against Israel, carrying out terrorist activities whenever they’re old enough to do that type of thing. We see all these things seemingly to be converging upon the world at the same time. And, again, it seems that the world is moving clearly in the direction that God says will be true of planet earth in the future seven-year Tribulation.
Ankerberg: Yes, so in essence, if the Tribulation culminates with Christ coming to earth to set up His Millennial Kingdom and destroying His enemies at that time and rescuing Israel, let’s say that’s Christmas. If we can see some of the events that are leading up to that, we all know Thanksgiving is a lot earlier. And we believe that the Rapture, Christ calling the Church off of earth before the Tribulation, will precede it. So if we can see events, namely of the Tribulation, starting to form around us, then what would you say about the Rapture?
Showers: Well, we believe the Rapture will take place before the Tribulation begins and so if you see things moving in the direction of prophetic fulfillments of events of the future Tribulation period, that says the Rapture is going to happen before those things are fulfilled. So that would seem to say the Rapture is very close.

Ankerberg: Let me stick, Jimmy, with this thing of Israel and the radical Islamic states that are around Israel at the present time and this hookup that Ezekiel 38 and 39 is making. The other night, just before we did this program, on NBC News, the UN Arms Inspector that left his job deliberately because he thought that America was not doing the job we needed to do inspecting the weapons in Iraq, okay? He is now a commentator of NBC News. He made this statement, alright? This is after the peace treaty now was signed. He’s talking about the guys going in and inspecting and looking for the weapons of mass destruction that Saddam Hussein has got, alright? And he says, “If the UN inspectors do not search diligently and find the weapons of mass destruction” that he believes are there, “then in five years we will have a major problem.” Now, he said, “In five years we will have a major problem in the Middle East when Saddam Hussein starts a war and uses them.” What do you think?
DeYoung: I think he’s right on target. As you study the Scriptures, and as I understand, for example, Jeremiah 50 and 51, the destruction of biblical Babylon, which is modern-day Iraq, takes place and it’s completely wiped off the face of the earth basically. It’s like Sodom and Gomorrah. Then you go over to the book of Revelation, chapter 16, the seventh vial judgment is the destruction of the city of Babylon. You go to chapter 18 which I understand chapter 18 of Revelation to say is an economic power that’s headquartered in Babylon. The literal city of Babylon as we speak is being refurbished right there where it was in biblical times on the Euphrates River, not very far from the Euphrates and Tigris where they come together and flow into the Persia Gulf.
So, if God’s Word, as I understand it, is saying that at the end of this Tribulation period that we’ve been talking about, this seven-year period of terrible, terrible judgments upon the face of the earth and upon the people that live on the earth, if the culmination is that, before the Battle of Armageddon, before all the other nations gather, the destruction of Iraq or what we know as biblical Babylon, we are right on target to go along with what this analysis of this weapons inspector was, that in about five or seven years Saddam Hussein or whoever the leader of Iraq is—he can be off the scene—but whoever the leader of Iraq is, is going to come into a position where they’re going to go after Israel and God’s going to finish them off totally.
Ankerberg: When Hillary Clinton on radio said May 6 from Washington to a gathering of Arab and Israeli students in Switzerland, she said that she supports the eventual creation of an independent Palestinian state, how did that go down in Israel?
DeYoung: The Israeli body politick was very much concerned, because you see, the official stand of the Israeli government right now is, “No Palestinian State.” The opportunity to have autonomy over their areas—that’s the Palestinian Authority’s responsibility. Israel is moving to accomplish that. In the final status talks they will give them even more autonomy in the areas that they are now in control of with their administrative and legislative bodies. But when Mrs. President—or, excuse me, Hillary Clinton…. Freudian slip, but it proves my point. I did it on purpose to say that here, the President’s wife making almost an official pronouncement of the policy of the United States of America and making that statement against a people who are trying to exist, coexist peacefully, but realizing that the terrorists want to rid that region of the world of even their existence as it is today.
I’m talking about Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah, who want to come in and rid the Middle East of the Jewish people and they say put a Palestinian State up right in the middle? Divide the people, divide the land of Israel? Give back that which God gave to the Jewish people? He promised to give them all of it. He’s started to give them some of it. Maybe they’ll get it all in the Millennial Kingdom, but now start to give it back? Well, that was an irritant in the soul of the body politick of Israel as well as in the leadership of Israel. It should never have been said. Somebody outside of Israel has no right to tell the Israel people what they must do, and that’s what it seems like she was doing.
Ankerberg: Elwood, what do you think would happen if we actually did form this Palestinian State in the near future?
McQuaid: Well, I can tell you, just a few days ago I was in the office of the Prime Minister in Jerusalem and spent about an hour talking with his primary aide about this very problem. And, you know, here in the West and particularly in the United States, we are being told that if they allow the Palestinians a sovereign state, all of our problems will go away and there will be true peace in the Middle East.
You see, there’s a difference, a very serious difference, between saying, “We’re going to allow autonomy, we’re going to allow a limited sovereignty”—Israel says they can live with that—but if a Palestinian State has total sovereignty, they can make their own military alliances. If they wanted to bring in 100,000 Iraqi troops, they could do it. Nobody could say anything about it. If they wanted to build a great military infrastructure with weapons—and we have to remember that if they get what they want, the middle of the state of Israel will be eight to nine miles wide from the Palestinian State to the Mediterranean Sea. They can easily reach any point in Israel.
So what Israel is saying is that we cannot, absolutely cannot have a Palestinian State that has total sovereignty, because leadership is known by the friends it keeps. And who are the friends of Yasser Arafat? The most radical terrorists, militant groups and rogue nations in the Middle East. So Israel says, “We cannot allow total sovereignty. It just can’t happen.”
Ankerberg: Jimmy, this would seem to say, these events that we are seeing in our own lifetime that the Bible says are going to come about during the Tribulation time period, the time when the Lord comes back and takes Christians home to Heaven, has got to be soon. In light of that, what would you say to non-Christians and Christians that are listening tonight?
DeYoung: Never before in history, John, has it been exactly like it is today, indicating that the return of Jesus Christ could even be today. And in light of that, how then do we live?
Well, if you don’t know Christ as Lord and Savior, my exhortation to you, the Word of God’s exhortation, the Word of God says we must turn to Jesus Christ, a Messiah, a Savior, who washes us from sin and cleanses us and prepares us to meet our God for eternity. And then we who know Christ as Lord and Savior, we need to be at the task of living pure in light of His soon coming but being productive to tell as many as we possibly can of the soon coming of Jesus Christ and that we must all make preparation for that time.

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