Is a New Wave of Worldwide Terror at Hand?/Program 4
|By: Dr. Jimmy DeYoung, Dr. Renald Showers; ©2004|
|Are America, Europe and Russia mentioned in future prophetic events? Is America mentioned in future prophetic events?|
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 with Dr. Jimmy DeYoung and Dr. Renald Showers. Guys, we’re glad that you’re here.
- We’re talking about the interesting topic this week: Are America, Europe, and Russia mentioned in future prophetic events? Let’s take the first one at the end. Let’s start with Russia. What’s happening in Russia right now? Is Vladimir Putin consolidating power in Russia? Is democracy disappearing? I hear some reports that that’s the thing that’s going on.
- DeYoung: Well, I do believe that’s exactly correct, how you analyzed it. Interestingly, for the last 12 years the largest emigration into Israel—1.3 million people from Russia and areas of the former Soviet Union, but mostly from Russia—and I’ve had opportunity to spend some time with these people. Mayton Sherosky, who was the man who really was the hero of all those Jews who were rebelling against the Russian anti-Semitism that was taking place, and many, many others—just people who were involved in leadership in universities, etc.—they say that they are very much concerned for their family, for kinfolk that they have living back in the motherland who are now coming under what seems to be Vladimir Putin putting in place the old KGB philosophy and taking iron-fisted control of the country.
- This latest election they had of the Duma put him in position to do exactly that. He does come out of the leadership of the KGB. He has put his men in positions of power, former KGB agents with him who served with him, to accomplish these goals. And he has been embarrassed because Russia, who was, if not the major world superpower, they were co-superpowers with America, and then the fall of Communism and they fell from that position of power.
- Everything Vladimir Putin has been doing, in my opinion, is to position again Russia as a superpower of the world. I think it’s subterfuge when you see Vladimir on a horse at the ranch in Texas with George. I think that’s total subterfuge. It’s his way of getting a control of or next to a relationship with George Bush to make them back off in some areas he needs or to turn a blind eye to some of the activities that he is involved in. I think they are gelling their power, centralizing that, putting them in position to accomplish what biblical prophecy says is going to happen.
- And then you look at not only that, but you look at the European Union getting stronger and stronger on a daily basis. You see NATO in position—NATO, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, was brought into existence to hold the Communist power from entering into Europe. But they’re not going to back up. I think the European philosophy—Rennie can speak to that much better than I could—but the European philosophy is, we don’t want Russia as a part of the European Union.
- Well, where does Russia turn if they can’t go to the West, if they can’t take over control of the European continent, the only place is to go back to the Middle East. I say “go back,” they were the sugar daddy for the Middle Eastern nations who were going after Israel in years past, and I don’t think that relationship has fallen apart. I can cite many examples.
- Ankerberg: Alright let’s come to that in a minute. Rennie, get us on the table, though, of the three: America, Europe, and Russia. We’re saying that Russia and Europe, the European Union, they are involved in biblical prophetic events. Nail that down where that’s at, first of all, and then we’ll come back to some of the specifics here.
- Showers: Well, one specific place is Ezekiel 38 where Russia, the power from the north, will be allied with what today are Islamic nations, leading this multi-national, massive military force in an overwhelming attack against the tiny state of Israel in the Middle East. And so, Ezekiel 38 makes it very clear that Russia is going to make a power move there allied with Islamic nations which, again, hate Israel and want to see Israel eliminated.
- The European Union. In Daniel 7, we have revelation to the effect that the last great form of Gentile world dominion, right up to the Second Coming of Christ, will be a future form of the Roman Empire, what’s often called a “revived Roman Empire.” And Daniel 7 indicates that initially, it will be a federation of ten divisions with ten equal co-rulers, co-ruling at the same time. But then after a while, there will be an eleventh ruler who will rise to power from within it and as the eleventh ruler rises to power, he will overthrow or subdue three of the original ten and thereby gain controlling power of that European Union. And if you look at all the prophetic Scriptures, that eleventh ruler is the one that John in 1 John 2 calls the Antichrist.
- Now, one of the things that people point out and say is, “But wait a minute. The European Union, you know, if we’re talking here this revived Roman Empire is going to be an outgrowth of the European Union or be the European Union, right now the European Union has 15 member nations in it. It’s going to quickly swell even this year to 25 and there’s a possibility of even more coming in. They’re talking about that. Then how come the number ten? You have the number ten not only in Daniel 7, you have it again in Revelation 17.
- Some of the thinking with regard to the European Union is this, and once they get their system fully consolidated and operating, that they’re going to do away with nation-states and reorganize the European Union into regions, and so it could very well be that the number ten in Daniel 7 and Revelation 17 is referring to ten regions that will be a federation of units there and everything, and eventually the Antichrist will come to power and take control of, and that will be the dominating world power upon the scene, according to the Scriptures, right up to the Second Coming of Christ.
- Ankerberg: Yeah. Jimmy, two things in relationship to what Rennie just said is that there is talk of a core group coming out of the European Union right now, and secondly, Tony Blair has just made some statements about the Euro and finally putting Britain under the Euro. Talk about what those two things mean.
- DeYoung: You know, in order to have a revived Roman Empire, I think there are probably three prerequisites: number one, a common economic system; number two, a legislative body; and number three, a military operation. Well, the Euro, that is the common economic system. I mean, the Roman Empire had the common currency called the Denarius, and so that prototype was set; that has to be. And when you see the major player in Europe, Britain, who is not under the Euro at this point, getting ready to give up the pound sterling and go into and under the Euro, oh, that’s some very interesting news.
- And then when you think about what Rennie just said, some of the thinking is they would break down into ten regions. Eleven is pretty close to ten, and at least we’ve got it moving in that direction. Let’s put a core group. This is going to be “We can’t manage 25 or 30 or 50 nations, so let’s bring it back to eleven maybe.” These will be the management team of such to operate the European Union.
- Showers: I’ve been privileged to minister in the United Kingdom about three or four times over the last four years, and it has been interesting to be over there as an American observing and hearing what the British people are saying. And the United Kingdom has been pretty much divided right down the middle: Are we going to go the whole way in with the Euro or are we not? And so there’s real friction even among their own people over that. But, several significant things: They were saying that the European Union is, because the UK right now has the strongest economy of all the member nations, the European Union is trying to weaken and cripple the economy of the UK so that it will be forced to commit to the European Union the whole way with the Euro.
- They also pointed out that the European Union is becoming very dictatorial in some of its decisions. For example, they put the whole fishing industry of Scotland totally out of business. And people whose families that has been their livelihood for generations, they are not allowed to fish their own waters now because the EU has dictated that some of our member nations, their whole economy is based upon fishing, and so these are the only nations that will be allowed to fish the waters of all the other member nations.
- And also, some of the Christians there express concern that if the UK goes the whole way in, that then the European Union will require Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland to unite. And they said that if that happens, every Baptist pastor and his family is going to have to flee out of Northern Ireland because they’re all marked to be assassinated. And so this has some incredible ramifications and implications of what’s going on there.
- Ankerberg: Alright, let’s take a break and when we come back, we’re going to talk about the third: Is America mentioned in future prophetic events? You won’t want to miss it. Stay tuned, we’ll be right back.
- Ankerberg: Alright, we’re back. We’re talking with Dr. Jimmy DeYoung and Dr. Renald Showers and we’re talking about world events and biblical prophecy, and right now, we’re talking about the topic: Are America, Europe and Russia mentioned in future prophetic events?
- We’re already talked about Russia; we’ve talked a little bit about Europe, and before we get to America, let’s talk a little bit more about Europe. There’s one thing that could happen even before this program airs, and that is, What will happen in the Roman Catholic Church, especially in Europe and then around the world, if and when the Pope dies?
- Showers: John, back in the 1990s a man by the name of Malachi Martin, who is regarded as an authority on the Vatican, published a fictional book about what can happen when this present Pope dies. And he was interviewed in U.S. News & World Report and he was asked, “Okay, you wrote a fictional book. How close is this to reality?” He said, “Very close.” And what he was indicating is that there are Cardinals in the Vatican right now who are one world government in their thinking, and that they don’t like the present Pope. He’s too conservative for them from a Catholic viewpoint, and so they’re biding their time until he leaves this life and hoping, I guess, that one of them will become the next Pope.
- But he indicates they’ve already been negotiating with secular government people and business people who are also for a one world government in their thinking and that they believe in order for a one world government to be firmly established and functioning in the world, there has to be some major organization that has incredible influence upon hundreds of millions of people all over the world. And they believe the Roman Catholic Church is that institution that can be the catalyst to help pull this all together.
- And so anyhow, he was projecting that that’s the thinking and it will be interesting to see what happens when the present Pope does die.
- Ankerberg: Yeah, it’s fascinating. Let’s jump to America here for a moment, and that is that America supports Israel. Very few Americans seem to realize that only America, out of all the nations of the world, supports Israel. I was listening to a call-in show, somebody like O’Reilly or somebody like that was talking and made the statement and everybody said, “Do you really mean that only America supports Israel?” And yeah, they went through even Great Britain and Germany and all around the country and China, and when push comes to shove in the United Nations as well as the politics, the fact is, only America stands and supports Israel.
- Further, if you travel—like we have all traveled in Europe—if you listen to the commercials and you listen to the commentary, it is very pro-Arab and it’s very pro-Palestinian and it’s very anti-Israel. It just hits you in the face when you come from America and you hear our stuff and hear their reports over there. It just slaps you in the face as to what they’re saying. You say, “It can’t be true.” But it is true. The sentiment is very strong against Israel politically.
- The thing that I find interesting is that America now, as a result of the war with Iraq, George Bush went to the United Nations. He got a solid approval. We went to war. But then to get other things from the United Nations, it’s like France, Germany, and all of these countries, Russia, stonewalled the President in trying to get things done in the United Nations and then later on in post-war Iraq. It’s just amazing. Even our NATO ally, Turkey, would not allow troops to go through their territory to fight Saddam Hussein. And it’s like the sentiment against America is changing in the world. This is being reported; it’s being one of the criticisms against the President right now. But the fact is, how does this tie into prophecy? Does America, as far as you guys know, show up anyplace in biblical prophecy? Jimmy, do you want to try it?
- DeYoung: John, that’s the most-asked question when we have prophecy questions & answers time. I was getting ready to answer it the other day and a guy jumped up and said, “I know!” I said, “Well, where?” He said, “Jerusalem.” I said, “Well, where do you get that?” He said, “J-e-r-U-S-A-l-e-m.” Everybody laughed just like we’re laughing, but you know what? I think that’s the only place I can see even a reference to America. That would be Zechariah chapter 14, verse 2: at the time of the end, before Christ steps back onto the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, all the armies of the world under the Satanic control of Jerusalem, will come together to wait on the return of Christ, and with these Satanic forces, Satan, Antichrist, and the False Prophet are going to try to defeat the return of Jesus Christ.
- So, I think that the scenario is, with the Rapture or the Church, the backbone of this nation will be taken out of here, a major superpower like the United States is will dwindle down to a second, third or fourth rate power. These other nations we’ve talked about on previous broadcasts will come into positions of power—Russia, European Union like we’ve been talking about on this broadcast. What has kept these nations from attacking Israel is the United States of America. You take us out, you take the backbone of the people who have really encouraged our leadership not to allow them to attack Israel, and the gates are open and these nations come in.
- Ankerberg: How about you, Dr. Showers?
- Showers: Yes. There is really no specific reference to America at all anywhere in the Bible. And I would agree, if we’re still in existence in the Tribulation Period as a nation, our nation will be sending military forces against Israel together with the other nations.
- Now, one of the mysteries is, why is the Bible silent, not only about the United States but actually all the Americas really? And all we can do is conjecture why. I mean, there is a remote possibility America would not be in existence as a nation then, or that we would decline and degenerate so much, not only economically but morally and all the rest that we just can’t figure significantly in world events anymore. Or that we would be part of the revived Roman Empire, which I really don’t see that from a biblical viewpoint.
- But as Jimmy was touching on it, when you start to think that so far in our nation, we’ve had the freedom of preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ and as a result, there’s a significant proportion of the total population of America that consists of born-again believers heavily involved in the economy of this nation, many of them business owners and people working in businesses. When the Rapture takes place and that significant proportion of the total population of America is instantly removed, it seems to me that one event has a possibility of, if not totally destroying the economy, at least so seriously crippling the economy of North America and the United States that it may plunge America into no significance whatsoever in world events.
- Now, one of the intriguing things is, as we’ve been just saying here, America has been the supporter of Israel. Our President Truman was the first world leader to recognize Israel as a nation state in 1948, and America has been supportive of Israel. Why is it, when the Tribulation Period is begun, Israel enters into a binding relationship with Antichrist, the head of the future revived Roman Empire? Where is America at that time? Either we’re not able to be supportive of Israel, or we’ve turned against Israel as a nation by that time.
- And when you think that when the Rapture takes place and it’s really the born-again Christians who are the major influence in support of Israel in this nation—even the Israeli government leaders say that—and even secular Jewish leaders here in America say that, they recognize the truest friends that Israel can depend upon are these born-again, Bible-believing Christians that are here in America. When all these Christians are removed and everybody instantly in America are unsaved, it could very well happen that America will turn totally against Israel like other nations.
- DeYoung: I think there’s one other reason that the United States will probably not be in prophecy in any way, shape or form. Not only have we been the protector of Israel, but we have been the propagator of the Gospel. This has been the launch pad for world evangelization, and God has used America. It’s not a Christian nation but He has used those men and women in the economy of this nation who have been prosperous to supply the funding to reach the world for Jesus Christ. After the Rapture, that whole focus changes to the Middle East. There are Two Witnesses in Jerusalem; 144,000 male virgin Jews who travel across the world to preach the Gospel. America is not needed; those monies are not needed. God has His other plan that goes into effect immediately.
- Ankerberg: Rennie, talk about the purifying effect of this knowledge, how it should purify our lives as Christians. We’re looking forward to Christ returning at the Rapture, and I’m not sure our Christians across this country are really, like the New Testament Christians, waiting every moment for Jesus Christ to come back. We’re so busy; we’ve got so much stuff. We’re all tied up with things. Talk about it. It’s supposed to be the hope of the Church.
- Showers: You’re right, John. But tragically, in many of our churches that truth isn’t even being emphasized from the pulpit at all because there’s increasingly very little prophetic teaching from the Word of God. We’re emphasizing everything else under the sun. Yes, I believe the fact that Jesus could come at any moment is intended by God to have a life-changing impact upon Christians.
- And you know, as you and I were talking about in one of our earlier sessions, the fact that Jesus could come at any moment, as James [5:9] said, “The Judge is standing at the door.” And the idea is, when we’re raptured and we get to Heaven, then we stand before the Lord at the Judgment Seat of Christ and give an account of things as Christians. And John in 1 John 2:28, says, “My little children, abide in Christ.” In other words, constantly keep yourself in right fellowship with the Lord Jesus so that when He appears, you may face Him with confidence and not be ashamed.
- So God intends the fact that Jesus could come at any moment to make a difference in how we live out our lives as Christians every moment of every day. And if we’re going to totally neglect that truth—that Jesus could come at any moment—that removes one of the motivations that God intends for Christians to be living Christ-honoring and holy, godly lives every moment of every day.
- Ankerberg: Yes, next week we’re going to talk about that. We’re going to talk about the Second Coming is under attack inside the Christian church here in America, as well as we’re going to talk about some of our Christian leaders that say that Christians are not going to be raptured before the Tribulation starts but they’re going to have to go through some of the tough times. We’re going to talk about that next week, so I hope that you’ll join us.