Is a New Wave of Worldwide Terror at Hand?/Program 2
|By: Dr. Jimmy DeYoung, Dr. Renald Showers; ©2004|
|Is it possible that we’ll have two Israeli- Palestinian states in our lifetime? Will it happen? And if so, will we have peace? And what does the Bible say about this? A look at other nations that the Bible says are going to form a coalition in the end times.|
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?”
- Ankerberg: Welcome. We’re talking about world events and biblical prophecy. And my guests are Dr. Jimmy DeYoung and Dr. Renald Showers. And today, we’re going to talk about the countries in the Middle East. What does the Bible say about coalitions that are going to be formed in the future? What is going to happen in history as we come toward the time when Jesus Christ comes back to earth? It’s just fascinating.
- Americans today are more aware than ever of certain countries. Libya, you’ve heard about what’s going on with Muammar Qaddafi. You’ve heard about what’s going on with Saudi Arabia. They are now being accused of being the single greatest force in spreading fundamentalist Islamic belief around the world via the Wahhabis to the tune of, according to Newsweek, 70 billion dollars from 1975 to our current time. Seventy billion dollars! That’s a lot of money to fund groups that are forming terrorist operations to come against America, the West, and against Israel.
- But you also have other countries like Turkey, supposedly our NATO ally that is friendly to America. But they wouldn’t let us go across their borders with troops. And others. We’re going to look at these. And today, I want to nail down, first of all, let’s get to the Scripture. Let’s define terms. Let’s tell the people what God says is coming up in the future, then we’ll say, “How close are we to those events transpiring?” It’s absolutely fascinating. Jimmy, you’ve been in the Middle East. You’ve lived in Israel for 12 years. You’ve studied biblical prophecy. You’ve talked about this. Start us off.
- DeYoung: Two sections in the Bible that deal with those nations that will align themselves against Israel—38th chapter of the book of Ezekiel. But I think before we get to Chapter 38, Chapter 11 of the book of Daniel is key to the understanding. And let me remind everybody, Peter, in the second book that he wrote, the first chapter, said, “There is no prophecy of private interpretation.” So these passages of prophetic Scripture have to fit together like hand in glove.
- In Chapter 11 of Daniel, a very prophetic chapter dealing with five major personalities throughout history: Ahasuerus, Alexander the Great, Antiochus the Great, Antiochus Epiphanies, and then the fifth in these major characters throughout history, the Antichrist. Talks about the Antichrist, gives us a bit of a description, and tells us how he’s going to play a role in the end times in coordination with these nations. You come to the 40th verse of Daniel 11—verses 40 to 45 deals with the two major players that make the first moves. And it refers in verse 40 to “the king of the North” and “the king of the South.” Now, early on in Chapter 11 we define the king of the North as what we know as modern-day Syria; the king of the South as modern-day Egypt, and we see that both of these nations will make a coalition agreement together to come against Israel: Syria from the north squeezing the Jewish state and Egypt from the south.
- By the way, when I was in Israel during the Gulf Crisis, the Secretaries of State Laurence Eagleburger and James Baker at the time would come into Israel trying to make certain the Jewish state stayed out of the 1991 Gulf Crisis. And then they would go and visit the heads of state, President Hafez al-Assad in Syria, Hosni Mubarak in Egypt. After these Secretaries of State would leave the region, these two leaders of these two nations would come together and discuss how they could coordinate their activities. That seemed to say, hey, there is a prerequisite here to the fulfillment of the prophecy in Daniel 11.
- Well, the scenario is that from the north Syria attacks; from the south Egypt attacks. When this is happening, the Antichrist, who I believe will be in the city of Rome, comes into the Middle East, verse 41 says, and he, the Antichrist here as we discern from our understanding of this chapter, enters into the Holy Land.
- He destroys Syria. He comes down, and the Bible says Ammon, Moab and Edom—biblical terms for modern-day Jordan—he doesn’t touch Jordan, and I think the reason for that is Petra, located in southern Jordan, the location where God has prepared a place to protect the Jewish people during this seven-year Tribulation, seven years of judgment on the earth. Anyway, he doesn’t touch Jordan.
- He comes into Egypt. He destroys Egypt. He makes his way back towards Jerusalem and all of a sudden at his heels, nipping at his feet, there is murmuring out of the east; there is an attack from the North—that’s not Syria because they’ve already been destroyed; and then it mentions Libya and Ethiopia, which is basically setting the stage for Ezekiel 38. But the Antichrist is going to deal with these first two states who make the moves, and we maybe can, after Rennie gives his scenario from Ezekiel 38….
- Ankerberg: Before we set up that scenario, talk about how friendly Syria and Egypt are to Israel right now. Are they friendly?
- DeYoung: Supposedly in 1979 there was a peace treaty signed between Egypt and Israel, the first peace treaty that Israel ever had with one of its neighbors throughout its entire 4,000-year history. But that peace agreement has never been normalized. It is in position, it’s on the table, it has never been normalized.
- What do I mean by that? President Mubarak has never been to Israel on an official visit. He was back in 1995, he came in at the time of the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin he came to his funeral. But he made this statement to all the world, “This is not an official visit by the leader of Egypt. I’m here as a personal friend of Yitzhak Rabin.” So he’s never come into the country.
- As we speak, right this minute there is no ambassador representing Egypt in Israel at all. Every time Jewish people, tourists, go into the land, there’s all types of trouble there. Many of them have been killed in Egypt. The Egyptians are allowing munitions to come through the tunnels in southern Israel and northern Egypt to be brought into the Palestinians. So there’s not that normalization of peace between Israel and Egypt.
- And Syria, I’m not sure I have to elaborate. I mean, it’s the fifth largest military might in the world. They are the facilitators and/or, I believe, the instigators of what Hezbollah [“party of God”] is doing at Israel’s northern border—one of the most notorious terrorist organizations in the world. Iran supplies their funding, supplies their munitions, their manpower, and that all comes through Damascus—the monies through the banks, the munitions through the air cargo flights coming into Damascus, and then delivered to the Beccan Valley. The activities they are involved in raising and supplying drugs to the world to get this funding: the possibility that they are harboring and have hidden some of the weapons of mass destruction from Saddam Hussein. And the fact is, they want the Golan Heights all the way down to the shores of the Sea of Galilee, which would put them in a position to destroy northern Israel. The fact is that there are eleven terrorist organizations headquartered in Damascus, Syria, and Bashar Assad, the President, saying that “we ultimately are going to take care of Israel.” They have refurbished all of their military might. I think we’re seeing Syria right on the edge of a moment of attack anytime—maybe before the broadcast is over today.
- Ankerberg: That’s no lie! I’ve just been reading some of the political magazines and one of the articles is, “Hezbollah Next,” and what they’re saying is, Listen, if you’re George Bush and you’ve declared war on every terrorist organization or state supported terrorist organization, Hezbollah has got to be at the top of that list! But then all the reasons why we really can’t touch them. The whole article goes on—it’s just a tangled mess.
- DeYoung: John, [Hezbollah leader] Sheikh Nasrallah made the statement the other day, just north of Israel’s border, “We are preparing. We’ve got rockets. We’ve got missiles that Iran has supplied us. We’ve got over 10,000 missiles right above Israel’s northern border. We are ready to liberate Israel and give it to the Palestinian people.” I mean, that’s how close it is.
- Ankerberg: Rennie, pick up the pace here with Ezekiel 38, because besides Syria and Egypt, the Bible puts in some other nations as a coalition that during this time of the Tribulation—we’re not in the Tribulation yet, but the fact that these nations are named and already positioned kind of gives us an inkling of how close we might be. So tell the folks what the Bible says about these other nations. Name them.
- Showers: John, when Jimmy was talking about the Antichrist coming into the Middle East as a result of Israel being jointly attacked by Syria and Egypt, we are told there in Daniel 11 that while he is down mopping up Egypt and taking a spoil of its resources and wealth, he hears very disturbing news from the north and from the east. And it’s so disturbing that he will rush north from Egypt, up to the land of Israel with the goal of trying to destroy a new invading force against his ally Israel.
- And I’m prone to think that what’s being described there is what God foretold some 2,500 years ago through the Prophet Ezekiel in Ezekiel chapter 38 where God revealed that in the latter years, the last days the text says, there will be a multi-national military force, even much larger than what Syria and Egypt brought against Israel, that are going to come down against the nation of Israel to try to obliterate it from the Middle East.
- And interestingly, in Chapter 38, verses 5 and 6, five nations, as they were known back in Ezekiel’s day, are named. The first one is Persia. Now, that’s what the nation was known as back in Ezekiel’s day, but modern-day Persia is Iran. And of course, we know what happened in Iran back in 1979 when the Shah of Iran was overthrown by Khomeini and his radical Muslim forces. And of course, you’ve had a strong, theocratic-mind-set Muslim government ruling the nation of Iran ever since. And being so strongly Islamic, Iran hates Israel with a passion; wants to see it obliterated from the Middle East. When the Soviet Union began to fall apart at the seams beginning in August of ‘91, Iran hired some 9,000 Soviet nuclear missile scientists to help them develop nuclear warheads and long-range missiles with which they could drop nuclear warheads against the nation of Israel.
- Ankerberg: Which is what George Bush is concerned about right now.
- Showers: Exactly. And U.S. News & World Report and other secular sources said that as far back as around 2000-2001 they did have a missile with that long-range capability. Now the thing is, do they have the nuclear warhead to deliver it against Israel?
- Ankerberg: Alright, we’ve got to take a break because we’re running out of time and we’re going to take a break and when we come back, we’re going to look at these other nations that the Bible says are going to form a coalition in the end times. So please stick with us.
- Ankerberg: We’re back. We’re taking with Dr. Jimmy DeYoung, who is a correspondent in Israel. We’re also talking with Dr. Renald Showers about world events and biblical prophecy. And right now, we’re looking at what God says is going to be a coalition of nations that’s going to come against Israel in the future. And Dr. Showers, proceed. You’re in Ezekiel 38. Talk about those countries.
- Showers: The first nation we noted before is today Iran, which is going to come against Israel. The second one, in the biblical text it says Ethiopia; but Ethiopia in Ezekiel’s day was not the same as the nation of Ethiopia today. Ethiopia in Ezekiel’s day was the nation that we know today as Sudan there in north Africa. And of course, if people have been following Sudan recently, they know that that nation is governed by a radical militant Islamic government that wants to enforce Shari’a law, Islamic law, upon the whole nation of Sudan and has been bombing Christian schools, Christian hospitals, and has been crucifying Christian pastors on crosses, kidnapping Christian women and children and selling them as slaves in Khartoum to wealthy Arabs there in the Middle East. So that Sudan hates Israel with a passion, too. Saddam Hussein years ago gave Sudan quite a few hundreds of Scud missiles and also helped them develop a chemical weapons factory there in Sudan to produce chemical weapons.
- The third nation named is Libya, the same nation of Libya that is Egypt’s western neighbor today. And of course, we know what’s been going on in recent years under the leadership of Muammar Qaddafi who has hated Israel with a passion. And when some of the Arab nations have gotten together to talk about Middle Eastern policies from what we hear, Qaddafi has been one of the most outspoken Arab leaders there saying, “We’ve got to deal with Israel here in the Middle East.” So that Libya is going to come militarily with these other nations as well.
- And then in verse 6 of Ezekiel 38, “Gomer and all of his bands” and also “the house of Togarmah of the north quarters and all of his bands.” According to the best scholarship available to us today, Gomer and Togarmah were two tribal groups of people that were located in what we know today as the nation of Turkey. And so this is indicating that Turkey is also going to be united with these other Islamic nations coming against Israel militarily in the future.
- U.S. News & World Report a number of years ago ran a fascinating article with this title: “Will Turkey Be the Next Iran?” And they indicated that although Turkey’s had a totally secular government since 1923, that there is a radical Islamic political party that is gaining favor among the population of Turkey and gaining influence. And a few years after that there was an election to determine which party would control the government of the capital city of Turkey, and it was that radical Islamic political party that won that election. And the leader of that party at that time said, “Our next goal is to gain complete control of the national government of Turkey,” and he said, “When we do that, we shall radically change Turkey’s relationship with Western NATO and we shall establish a totally Islamic NATO here in this part of the world.”
- So, those are five nations named there that jointly will come militarily against Israel. Now, they are going to be led by a sixth nation that is described as Gog of Magog, and we’re told beginning in verse 14 that Gog with his forces is going to come down from the remotest parts of the north against Israel with so many soldiers it will be like a cloud that had covered the land of Israel.
- Ankerberg: And I think people need to listen to what you’re going to say next because this is fascinating, that the coalition here in the Middle East has a northern partner and who that northern partner is. Go for it.
- Showers: Again, according to the best scholarship we have available today, the land of Magog in Ezekiel’s day was located up between the Black and Caspian Seas. In the southern part of what we’ve known historically as the Soviet Union or Russia. And we are also told here again that he will come down from the remotest parts of the north. Now, obviously, with Ezekiel being a Hebrew prophet, he would be referring to geographic locations from the vantage point of his homeland of Israel, and so if you were to put your finger on a map of the state of Israel in the Middle East and move it and go as far north as you can and still be in land mass, you’d end up in the heartland of what we’ve known as the nation of Russia. And so it appears that Russia will lead this multi-national military attack against Israel in the future.
- Now, we’re told here very clearly this will be in the latter years, or the last days. We are also told it will be after Jewish people have been restored to their homeland. And of course, that began in a grand scale in 1948, when they reinstituted the independent state of Israel there in their ancient homeland. We are also told it will come when Israel feels so safe and so secure, and using language of Ezekiel’s day it has “no walled cities.” In other words, it lets down its own guard, its own defenses because they feel so safe and so secure.
- Ankerberg: Yeah, let’s drive this in right now because the fact is, you’ve got requirement number one is, Israel is back in the land, they have a nation. They don’t feel secure right now. Okay?
- Showers: That’s for certain.
- Ankerberg: And we’re all working on these peace treaties which we’re going to talk about next week. And Jimmy, you’ve actually been at the signing of some of these international peace treaties with Israel. But the fact is, we’re still going toward the peace treaty, and it’s just bugging America that we can’t pull this thing off. But the fact is, the Bible says that somebody is going to be able to pull that off in the future. And when that takes place, then what?
- Showers: Well, according to Daniel 9:27, the Antichrist is going to bring this about, a seven-year treaty with the nation of Israel. Interestingly, Hebrew language scholars say the force of the Hebrew language there is so strong, it may imply that Antichrist will enforce this seven-year treaty upon the nation of Israel. But our understanding is that through that treaty he will guarantee Israel’s national security. And he’ll be the head, of course, of the great world power at that time—this future form of the Roman Empire. And so apparently, with this great military power guaranteeing Israel’s national security, Israel will let down its own guard militarily and feel safe and secure. But, Daniel 9:27 indicates that’s what it will have only for about the first half of the seven-year Tribulation Period because in the middle of that period of time, Antichrist himself will turn against Israel and then desolate it severely during the entire second half.
- In light of what it says here, I’m convinced this future attack will take place against Israel during the first half of the seven-year Tribulation Period, probably shortly before the middle of the seven-year Tribulation Period, and it can very well be as a result of Antichrist, you know, having invaded the Middle East because Syria and Egypt, Daniel 11, attacking Israel, and it could very well be, as we indicated earlier, this is “the disturbing news from the north and the east” that Antichrist hears while he’s down in Egypt.
- Ankerberg: My question, guys, is how close are we to these wrap-up events?
- DeYoung: Well, let me just give you a personal experience. Back in 1991, during the Gulf Crisis—I keep referring to that time—but it was a unique time in history.
- Ankerberg: I would remember it, too, if I was living in Israel and Scuds were coming down on my head!
- DeYoung: Well that’s exactly where we were, in Jerusalem, and our apartment faced right directly towards Iraq, so I thought one was going to hit us for sure. But I saw something happen that had not happened in 4,000 years of history. The United States encouraged Israel to stay out of the Gulf Crisis and what they said was, “We’ll put up Patriot missiles to shoot down these Scuds coming in.”
- So they put their Patriot missiles in place. And Israel, for the first time—their two-pronged military strategy is: Do not fight in their own land. Go into the land of their attacking enemy and fight—i.e., in the Six Day War they fought in Syria, they fought in Jordan, they fought in Egypt. The second prong of that strategy is “go for the jugular.” Somebody said, “How long would the Gulf Crisis of 1991 have lasted had Israel been involved?” I said, “About 15 minutes.” You know, they’d have flown to Baghdad and taken Saddam out.
- But they gave over to the United States and these Patriot missiles their freedom, their safety, their protection from these in-coming Scuds. I personally talked with Moshe Arens who in 1991 was the Minister of Defense. I said, “Mr. Arens, how many of those Patriots were effective?” He said, “We think maybe one.” And so under a false pretense they had given over the protection of their entire nation, all of their people, to the United States and the Patriot missiles. It was total subterfuge, it was not working.
- But that’s the first time they’ve ever done that. So they’re in a position, they have a mind-set now, okay, the Antichrist, this world ruler, comes on the scene [and says] “I’ll give you protection.” Whether it’s forced or they’re eager for it, the stage is set for that to happen.
- Ankerberg: I’ll give you one more. The fact is, right now, in the Security Council of the United Nations, there was a proposal made, I think by Syria and a couple of other countries, that all of the nations in the Middle East have their nuclear weapons banned, including Israel. And they want the United Nations to secure that the whole area would be peaceful and no nuclear weapons. Now, they only got six votes; they needed nine and they’re not going to get those nine. But just the fact that it’s on the table, that they’re talking about we can secure the whole Middle East, this thing the Bible talks about “peace and safety, unwalled villages” and all this kind of stuff is on the horizon.
- DeYoung: You know, Iran is saying the same thing, John. They have potentially an unbelievable nuclear arsenal with help from the technicians and technology from Russia, but they’re saying, “Look, we’ll give you open doors—any inspections you want to do. But first make certain you deal with Israel the exact same way.” So here you have Syria, Iran, the two major nuclear potential powers in the Middle East saying, “Okay, we want to be equal on the table with Israel forcing them to lay down their [weapons].”
- Ankerberg: So, Rennie, how close are we?
- Showers: Well, John, another interesting thing with regard to this that may give some implications is, several months ago it was reported in the secular press that one of the Israeli government leaders, talking with one of the leaders of the E.U., the European Union, said that at least there is some talk apparently in the Israeli government about the possibility of Israel filing an application to become a member of the European Union. And to me that’s very significant in light of what we’re seeing foretold in the Scriptures.
- Ankerberg: Answer the question, though, Jimmy. How close are we in terms of, you’ve got these nations that are named and they’re already in existence and they hate Israel. How close are we to these events taking place? How do you answer that question?
- DeYoung: Before this program is over! I am serious. 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. They have the armament. They have re-armed themselves, or refurbished their present military might. They’re ready to go. It could happen any minute.
- Ankerberg: Alright, let me go the opposite way. But people say, “Is the Bible wrong in saying that these nations will go that way because, look, Turkey is our ally in NATO. Libya and Qaddafi are trying to become a part of the international community. Egypt has agreed to a peace treaty with Israel. Saudi Arabia says they are turning over a new leaf. And Qaddafi, look at what he’s making noises…he’s never made those noises before.” Are you being pessimistic?
- DeYoung: I would say if you believe all those news stories, I’ve got some land in Florida I’d like to talk to you about. In reality, I’m serious about that.
- What did the Israeli government say when Libya said that they’re ready to allow the inspectors to come in? They said, oh, well, do you know about the intelligence that said that they were asking how to enrich uranium just before this announcement was made? And that Qaddafi is one of the major liars and that the Islamic faith allows for lying in order to accomplish an ultimate goal? What about Syria calling for this equal table for everybody turning in their nuclear capabilities, their arsenals? And they go to meet with Turkey. That’s the first time that a sitting president of Syria has ever met with the leadership of Turkey in the history of the world. But the pressure from all of the Islamic street is mounting against these leaders. The United States military might bringing all this pressure. They’re having to give a good face to this situation, but in reality, behind the scenes, the Islamic street and these leaders are really continuing to arm and prepare to do what the Bible says is going to happen.
- Ankerberg: Yeah. Even when Qaddafi was negotiating with Britain and America, right in the middle he was trying to transport a shipload of weapons into his country and he got caught. Now, the fact is, that was right in the middle of the negotiations. So, are you going to trust him just because he got caught?
- Alright, give us a word of hope here, Rennie, to people that say, “Where do I turn in these kinds of days of turmoil? What do I latch onto that’s an anchor for my soul?”
- Showers: Well, the very fact that the Bible reveals this says that there is a God who is in sovereign control of things. He is the One who has revealed these things that are going to happen in the future. God knows the end from the beginning and He has a plan and purpose for all these things that are going to take place. And so for the individual person, if that individual is not in a right relationship with God, the only hope they’re going to have in the midst of all this is to get right with the true and living God of the Bible. And the only way they can do that is by placing their trust, their faith, in His Son Jesus Christ who came to the earth, became a man to go to the cross of Calvary, die in the place of all of us as sinful human beings, to pay the penalty for our sins; was buried, resurrected bodily three days later, and so as a result of Jesus doing all the work necessary for us to become right with the Holy God of the Bible, if we place our trust, our faith, in Jesus Christ and Him alone, God will save us; He’ll make us a member of His family, and He’ll be our Anchor, our security. No matter what happens in the future, that will guarantee our eternal state is settled once and for all.
- Ankerberg: Absolutely. Alright, next week we’re going to turn to Israel itself and the Palestinian problem. You’ve just been there. You’ve come back. I can’t wait to hear what you’re going to say. There is all kinds of commentary about this in the press right now. So I hope that you’ll join us.