Is a New Wave of Worldwide Terror at Hand?/Program 1
|By: Dr. Jimmy DeYoung, Dr. Renald Showers; ©2004|
|Israel is building this fence in their country to separate them from the terrorists. What’s the feeling about this fence? The Oslo Accords, Camp David, and the Geneva Accords: Did the Palestinians ever intend for any of that stuff to really be true or to happen.|
Announcer: In the last few months, terrorist bombings are increasing. How far will they reach? Is America at risk?
Dr. Jimmy DeYoung: Well, that’s exactly what we’re seeing. And we see a non-tangible nation, a group of peoples—militant Islam, basically—rising up, involved in a war against those who are opposed to their philosophy of life, opposed to an Islamic rule that would control the entire world.
Announcer: One year has passed since the war in Iraq began. Is the Middle East a safer place?
Dr. Renald Showers: I think what a lot of people don’t realize, at least in the Western World, is what Islamic theology teaches—that once an area of the world has been ruled over by Muslim rulers, if some non-Muslim power drives out those Muslim rulers and confiscates that land, that’s a smack in the face, that’s a dishonor to their Muslim god, Allah, and so for the sake of their Muslim god and his honor, they’ve got to eliminate that non-Muslim power that’s occupying that land.
DeYoung: I live in that part of the world. Before this program is over, everything could start to happen. I mean, the stage is set. Every nation we’ve talked about—Syria, Egypt, Iran, Sudan, Russia, Libya, Turkey—they’re all in position to make their moves.
Announcer: Clashes also continue to erupt in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. World leaders understand this conflict must be solved or it could pull the whole world into war. Will a new Palestinian state bring peace, or set the basis for an even greater conflict?
Showers: If there is a separate, sovereign Palestinian state there, side by side with Israel, once that becomes a sovereign state, then Israel is going to have another problem. If the Palestinians are developing weapons to use against Israel, the world will say it’s a sovereign state; Israel has no right to invade a sovereign state to try to put a stop to what they’re doing or take those weapons away from them.
Announcer: Today on The John Ankerberg Show, my guests are news correspondent Dr. Jimmy DeYoung, who has lived in Jerusalem, Israel since 1991, and has personally met and interviewed Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, and many other international leaders; and respected Bible scholar, Dr. Renald Showers, who has taught at Moody Bible Institute and Philadelphia College of Bible. We will examine worldwide terrorism, Iraq and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in light of the Bible, and answer the question, “Is a New Wave of Worldwide Terror at Hand? Is America at Risk?”
- Dr. John Ankerberg: Welcome. We’re talking about world events and biblical prophecy, and our guests are Dr. Jimmy DeYoung and Dr. Renald Showers. And we’re talking today about Israel and the Palestinian conflict: what does the Bible say? Where is history headed in the future? And what does the Bible specifically say about Israel and the neighbor nations around her? And we’re trying to tie what the Bible says is going to happen in the future to what’s happening today; and then ask the question, “How close are we to these things? How close are we to the Rapture and the Second Coming of Christ?”
- What I want to start with today, gentlemen, is that the news is filled with Israel building this fence in their country to separate them from the terrorists. We all know about the suicide bombings and it has just been, they can’t stop them. So finally they came up with the idea, let’s just build this fence.
- Mortimer Zuckerman, who is the editor-in-chief of U.S. News & World Report, just made this statement. He says, “Given that wishful diplomacy”—the peace programs and the plans and the road map for peace and all of this stuff—given that that’s dead, he says, “There is only one course for Israel, and that’s to continue building its defensive physical barrier between itself and the West Bank.” He goes on to say, “The fence”—and he quotes now the head of Israel’s Shin-Bet Security Service, the head of that service said, “The fence has already been paid for many times over in the fact of lives saved. No wonder that 80 percent of Israelis”—Jimmy—“80 percent of the people in Israel from both the left and the right consider the fence an absolute necessity right now. It’s a last resort in protecting themselves and their children from terror.”
- You’ve been there. What’s the feeling about this fence?
- Dr. Jimmy DeYoung: Well, I think there are several things we need to consider. First of all, those 80 percent of the Israeli body politick who believe the fence is essential; they need that secure feeling as well. So I think that Prime Minister Sharon is correct in moving ahead to give some sense of security to his people, albeit, recent reports indicate that you can climb over that fence and you can get inside on the other side fairly easy. So it’s not a barrier that is going to keep all terrorists out. It’s going to slow them down. It’s going to be a way of notification for the Israeli security forces that there is somebody infiltrating into Israel proper and possibly it would be a terrorist—why otherwise, then, would they be coming through the fence?
- Secondly, it psychologically is an excellent tool to use in the arsenal of trying to force the Palestinian leadership to do something. When I was in Israel—you referred to that a moment ago—I not only met with the Israeli officials and leadership and the prime minister’s office, etc., but we went over into Ramallah and we met with some of the Palestinian leaders—the minister of education over there, members of the Palestinian legislative council, went into the Yasser Arafat’s compound. And while there, the tone for these people that I talked to was that we’ve got to have them dismantle that fence! Why? Because they are setting up an area that they claim to be Israel.
- Well, one of the things that the Israeli government is not doing is, it’s not going along what would have been the borders prior to 1967 and the Six Day War, or they would be saying, in essence, “Hey, we are marking out the spot that belongs to the Palestinian people.” They’re not following that direct line between the Green Line and the line that is where the Palestinians are claiming is their [border].
- Ankerberg: Yeah, let me quote Zuckerman and then comment further. He says, “For the most part, the fence lies close to the Green Line of the 1967 border, but not exclusively. Therefore, it has been attacked as a massive land grab.” But then he argues, “That’s just politically smart to do because if you give them everything without them doing anything, then why would they negotiate? You can say, ‘This is where we’re at and we will give you what you want; but you’ve got to negotiate and do your stuff. And in the meantime, this is where we’re putting the fence.’”
- DeYoung: Absolutely. And some of the Israeli are concerned. I was at Ariel, which is one of the areas referred to as a Jewish settlement. It’s located just at the edge. I mean, here’s the fence and the entrance to Ariel is right there, so the residents of Ariel are much concerned about where the fence was going to be built around their own settlement and wanted to be included in that.
- But I think that Ariel Sharon is putting up this fence…he made the statement publicly, he said, “Look, you stop the terrorists, the infiltration into our part of society, killing our children, our women, our elderly, you stop that and I’ll tear the fence down personally myself.”
- So I think it’s a psychological barrier that has been placed in a position there to force the Palestinian leadership to do something. Let’s go to the negotiating table. Let’s talk about peace. Albeit, I think it’s going to be a pseudo-peace should they ever get to the table. But indeed, I think it’s a psychological weapon that Ariel Sharon is trying to use in his endeavor to get the Palestinians to the table and let’s talk about co-existing.
- Ankerberg: What strikes you biblically when you talk about this fence and the security of Israel and how the people feel about it and so on?
- Dr. Renald Showers: Well, first of all, before biblically, John, I think what a lot of people don’t realize, at least in the Western World, is what Islamic theology teaches—that once an area of the world has been ruled over by Muslim rulers, if some non-Muslim power drives out those Muslim rulers and confiscates that land, that’s a smack in the face, that’s a dishonor to their Muslim god, Allah. And so for the sake of their Muslim god and his honor, they’ve got to eliminate that non-Muslim power that’s occupying that land.
- And so, during the Middle Ages there were several Muslim powers that ruled over the land of Israel. But now Israel, by decree of the United Nations beginning in November 1947 has regained control of at least major portions of their ancient homeland. And so, to at least your radical Muslims, your really devoted Muslims, they can’t tolerate an Israeli state in that area of the world. They must do what they can to totally eliminate it. And so that there is more behind it than just politics here. There are strong religious beliefs about this on the part of the Islamic people.
- And as you know yourself, one of Arafat’s leaders, I think it was two years ago this month, made the statement publicly that, “Our peace talks with Israel are our Trojan Horse for Israel.” That it’s easier to destroy an enemy from within than from without.
- But biblically, John, again, to get what ultimately is behind all this, is a continuing spiritual war that has been going on throughout history between the kingdom of God and kingdom of Satan. God has revealed through the prophet Zechariah, chapters 12-14, the Apostle Peter indicated the same thing again in Acts 3, that God will not fully crush Satan and rid him and his forces from dominating the world system until the nation of Israel repents of rebellion against God and accepts Jesus Christ as its Messiah and Savior. And it’s not the Gentiles who have to do that; not the Samaritans that have to do that; it’s the nation of Israel that has to do that.
- Why Israel? Well, because through the Prophets God foretold that during the Thousand-Year Millennial Reign of the Messiah upon Planet Earth, Israel is to be the spiritual leader of the whole world. Isaiah 2, God foretold during that time there will be a new millennial Temple; Messiah will dwell in that Temple, and all the nations will come to Israel’s capital city Jerusalem to be instructed in God’s Word, and also the way that God’s rule is to be administered over them in the world; and says that the Messiah will judge the nations from that perspective.
- So what he is saying there is, Israel’s capital city during the Thousand-Year Reign of Messiah upon Planet Earth is going to be both the political and spiritual center of the whole world. Isaiah 61:6 God foretold that during that time the nations would call the people of Israel “the priests of God, the ministers of our Lord.” Zechariah 8, beginning at verse 20, says that during that time “People of all the nations will say, ‘Let’s go up to Jerusalem and pray and worship the Lord,’” and he says that at that time ten Gentiles will grab hold of one Jew and say, “Take us with you to Jerusalem because we see God is with you.”
- All these things are indicating that God is determined that the nation of Israel be the spiritual leader of the world during the Thousand-Year Reign of Christ upon Planet Earth. Well, the point is, you can’t have a people who are out of joint spiritually with God, rebelling against God, leading other people in the world in a right relationship with the true and living God. So God’s not going to end Satan’s rule over the world system and restore His own theocratic kingdom rule to the world’s system until that nation that is to be the spiritual leader of the world is itself spiritually right with God.
- Now, to Satan’s way of thinking, “if Israel must repent before God will crush me, if I can totally annihilate Israel before it repents, then God will never crush me.” And that’s why the Jewish people down through the centuries have been hounded and persecuted and genocide perpetrated upon them again and again and again, and that’s ultimately what’s behind all the uproar in the Middle East right now.
- Ankerberg: It’s certainly happening with their neighbors. Jimmy, we’ve got about a minute left here. The fact is that Zuckerman, in an editorial in U.S. News & World Report, said, “A recent poll showed 59 percent of the Palestinians right now wanted to see terrorism against Israel continue even after the creation of a Palestinian state.” And he goes on to say, “The Palestinians are far less prepared for peace now than they were ten years ago. They nurture a culture that longs not for the creation of a Palestinian state per se, but for the destruction of the state of their Israeli neighbor.” Is that what you’re seeing over there.
- DeYoung: Absolutely. Sheikh Yassin, who [was] the religious leader and the founder of Hamas [Hamas is the Arabic acronym for “The Islamic Resistance Movement” (Harakat al-Muqawamah al-Islamiyya)], one of the major Islamic terrorist organizations among the Palestinian people, said that, “We don’t need a Jewish state in the Middle East. If they want a Jewish state, Europe is a great place to have one. We do not want Jews living on Palestinian land. We need to eradicate the Jewish state.”
- Now, he is the religious leader of Hamas, and Hamas has grown by leaps and bounds in popularity, almost more so than even Yasser Arafat. But Yasser Arafat is making the exact same statements: This is the State of Palestine; not just the Gaza Strip, not just the territories, but Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa, Tiberius, all of these areas are the state of Palestine. There needs not to be a Jewish state.
- That’s their heartbeat. Thus, in order to accomplish that goal, they have to have a way of motivating their people to fight for that to happen, and that’s what’s been going on.
- Ankerberg: We want to continue that. We’re going to take a break now and when we come back, we’re going to talk about, you have met personally and interviewed Arafat. You have also met and personally interviewed Sharon. I want to talk about your personal impressions apart from the questions you asked of these two men. I want to ask the question, are we ever going to have peace with Arafat in existence or do we have to wait till he dies before something happens? And also, then I want to get to some of the reports that have just come out that the Palestinians, apparently, going all the way back to the Oslo Accords and to Camp David, and even in this latest thing of the Geneva Accords that were brought together by people who were just members of both Israel and the Palestinians, all three of them now, reports are coming out that the Palestinians never intended for any of that stuff to really be true or to happen. Okay? It’s just fascinating stuff but it’s also a bleak picture. We’ll talk about that when we come right back, so stick with us.
- Ankerberg: Alright, we’re back and we’re talking with Dr. Jimmy DeYoung and Dr. Renald Showers, and guys, we’re talking about world events and biblical prophecy and specifically in this program, about Israel and the Palestinian problem. And I find it fascinating, Daniel Pipes, in the New York Post in a recent article, as well as in the Jerusalem Newswire citing sources in other magazines, they are going back to Oslo, Camp David, the Geneva Accords that were just formed and so on, all of these different agreements that the world had so much hope for, members of the negotiating teams are now going public, saying, We never really intended it to happen. Or the fact is, we wanted to get the best deal that we could, but we still, on the Palestinian side, had the idea that we’re going to continue going after Israel until it was destroyed.
- Now, what are you hearing about this, Jimmy? And you’ve also been at the signing of the peace treaty with Jordan; you have been there over the last 12 or 15 years in terms of what’s going on in Israel. What have you seen? What’s the atmosphere in Israel? If this is true, it’s a very bleak picture.
- DeYoung: Well, everybody in Israel does want peace. I mean, that’s a given, from the most militant right-wing politico or military leader, they really want peace for their families, for their children, for the future. And so they all want peace. That’s an absolute.
- But their understanding of what they have been seeing presented as a potential peace relationship with either Egypt or the Palestinians or Jordan, they know that’s not reality; they know it’s not going to happen. You’re talking about this Geneva Initiative. Yossi Beilin, who was the architect, along with Shimon Peres of the failed Oslo Accords—the peace agreement signed in 1993 between the Israelis and Palestinians—he failed in one peace initiative and now he comes with the Geneva Initiative and basically he’s going to “give away the store.” He’s going to give away the Temple Mount; he’s going to give away the settlement areas. I don’t know exactly what he thought would be the benefit to the Israeli people from them agreeing to go with the Geneva Initiative.
- Ankerberg: Yeah and right there the fact is, right on the wire now Fatah [The Movement for the National Liberation of Palestine] admits Geneva was formulated to divide Israel. One of the chief Palestinian architects of that little conclave said they had helped draw up the radical plan specifically to create division among Israelis, thereby further weakening the Jews from within to benefit the Palestinian cause.
- DeYoung: They’re very pessimistic about ever coming to a peaceful coexistence with the Palestinians, much less all of the Arab World that’s surrounding them—22 Arab nations compared to one Jewish state—in the middle of a very, very tough neighborhood.
- When you think about the Road Map to Peace President Bush, other members of the Quartet—the European Union, the United Nations, Russia, all proposing, it’s interesting that they didn’t have any Israeli leadership, any strategists or military leaders from Israel sit at the table to put together this Road Map. They just developed what they see as the way to bring peaceful coexistence in the Middle East and then they say, “Implement this plan.” Well, the people say, instead of a “Road Map,” it looks more like—good old southern term, “Road kill”! Because that’s all we’re going to have happening to us is, we’re going to be killed.
- And as they tried to position the Palestinian leadership to reform, have Yasser Arafat to put up some type of a prime minister…—“What day is it? Oh, it’s your turn to be prime minister”—that’s a revolving door for the Palestinian prime ministers! They realize that Yasser Arafat is still at the controls; he’s orchestrating this whole thing, and so they don’t really see a way of coming out of this. They see a failed peace agreement with the Palestinians, the Oslo Accords. They look back at the Camp David Accords signed in 1979; they see that that’s not been normalized. There’s not that true relationship that you would want to have with people who have signed a peace treaty between Israel and Egypt.
- The Jordanian peace agreement which, as you say, I was there to watch King Hussein and Yitzhak Rabin and Bill Clinton sign that peace agreement—the peace agreement between the Israelis and the Jordanians—that’s really not working. They were compelled, the Israelis were, to supply so much water. They had a terrible drought at the time they were supposed to comply with the agreement. They did not follow through on that.
- And so none of the peace treaties are working. All on the table; none of them working—actually waiting for somebody to come along and say, “Hey, I can bring these together! I can give you the peace that you’re looking for.” This quest for peace in the Middle East is on the minds of world leaders and, indeed, it’s not coming to be.
- Ankerberg: Alright, let’s talking personally here. You’ve met both with Sharon and you’ve also met with Arafat. Just give me your personal impressions of both of them.
- DeYoung: Prime Minister Sharon is a big Teddy Bear, granddaddy type. A military genius. I mean, in the Six Day War he is the one that basically shut down Egypt when he went into the Sinai. And his men, still the remnants of that group of men that he led to battle then, stand with him, love him. He owns a farm. He’s a farmer from down in the Negev. Has grandchildren. He loves to just have them into his home.
- He ran into some problems when he was the Minister of Defense under Menachem Begin up in Lebanon. He was a key player for Benjamin Netanyahu when he was the Prime Minister and Sharon was his Foreign Minister. But he’s coming to the reality that he’s going to have to make some concessions if indeed he’s going to bring about peace. Now, as he gets older, he wants to bring that peace for his grand kids to the table. He wants to make it happen.
- He is known as the father of the settlement movement. And now he has even ventured out to say, “I’m willing to dismantle some of these settlements if that’ll bring about peace. I’ll make the unilateral decisions and the moves needed to bring about this peace.” That’s Prime Minister Sharon. I still think a brilliant man, I still think a man who, you know, he was elected to be Prime Minister with a greater margin than any man in the history of the nation of Israel.
- Yasser Arafat. I was in his palace there in Jericho. They’d selected Jericho to be the headquarters originally for Yasser Arafat. He made a strategic move in the decision that was very good for him to go to Gaza City because there are 1.9 million Palestinians up there. So it was better he be where the action is. But now he’s in Ramallah. In fact, just recently we were at the compound. They offered me an opportunity to interview him, but I just felt at this time in history I didn’t need to give him any more publicity.
- This man is orchestrating everything that’s happening. While we were there, he was on a sick bed. They had brought in six different doctors from Egypt and Jordan to check him out to see if he was all right. I was in the prime minister’s office and I asked, “What’s the report on Arafat’s conditions?” They reported to me directly from their intelligence that he had had a slight heart attack. “Is he going to live?” Shaul Mofaz, who is the minister of defense, said, “Really the only hope is for Arafat to die in order for us to come to some kind of a peaceful coexistence.”
- But he’s amazing. He’s a cat of nine lives, it seems like. His own people can’t kill him. The Israelis don’t want to kill him. If you’ve ever been to that compound, you’d realize, I mean, the Israeli defense force wiped out everything around there, and they left it right there. He can’t look out the window from the little room that he is confined to right now without realizing, if we want to take you out just in a moment, we’ll take you out, buddy.
- Ankerberg: When he dies, what’s going to happen? Who’s going to replace him?
- DeYoung: Oh, that’s probably more dangerous. We don’t know a name. His cousin, Faisal Husseini, was the man who was probably going to replace him, but he died mysteriously on a visit to Kuwait. And I’m not sure. There’s a lot of them vying for his position in order to be able to take it over, some young guys out of Gaza who he’s worked with very closely.
- But whoever it is is going to be more dangerous than Yasser Arafat. And they’re only going to be a player who is able to do exactly what he’s done, and then probably they’ll reap the benefits from his financial gain. He’s worth anywhere from two to six billion dollars, monies that these governments who want peace in the Middle East have sent to the Palestinian people, but he has stopped it; he has short-circuited it getting into their hands and he’s using it to accomplish his goals.
- Ankerberg: Alright. Rennie, we’re out of time, but in a minute, these events—next week we’re going to talk about, if a Palestinian state is established, will we have peace? And that’s a fascinating topic all by itself. But these events that we’ve talked about, that the Palestinians right now, they would rather see Israel destroyed even right now, okay, according to surveys among the people. There is a handful that want peace, but you’ve got this tension of back and forth that the majority still wants to see Israel destroyed. But this peace treaty that eludes everybody, put this in biblical context in about a minute here because we’ve got to wrap this up.
- Showers: Well, it’s obvious from the Scriptures they’re never going to be able to totally eliminate Israel from there, because the Bible makes it very clear there will be a state of Israel there for the Tribulation Period. And so that, again, what we’ve already been talking about, their only hope is maybe somebody from the outside to intervene that can either through force or diplomacy or some other means bring a semblance of peace there for the nation of Israel for a period of time.
- Ankerberg: Jimmy, to people that are saying, “You know what, it talks about these things in the Bible. I believe the Bible is true,” but they don’t have a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus, which is the key thing. The Lord Jesus is coming back to rule in His millennial kingdom someday, and people need to know Him. How can they come into that relationship with Him?
- DeYoung: Simple as ABC.
- Admit you’re a sinner before a pure and perfect holy God. We all live a life that is evidence of that.
- Believe in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ and believe that He will save you. You see, Jesus Christ died to take away our sin. He resurrected from the dead to prove that He was the One qualified to do that.
- And “C”—call upon Him. “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” I did it when I was eleven years old. He saved me just like that, and I’m saved for eternity. Admit you’re a sinner; believe in the death, burial and resurrection of Christ and that He’ll save you; call upon Him. Simple as ABC. And today is the day that that should be done.
- Ankerberg: I hope that you’ll do that. Next week we’re going to continue with world events and biblical prophecy. We’re going to talk about, Is it possible that an Israeli-Palestinian… that we’ll have two states in our lifetime? Will it happen? And if so, will we have peace? And what does the Bible say about this? We’ll talk about it next week. I hope you’ll join us.