Meltdown in the Middle East/Program 3

By: Dr. Jimmy DeYoung; ©2007
Why is Jerusalem in the crosshairs of everyone in the world? What makes Israel so important to so many countries?




Today on the John Ankerberg Show, people look at events in the Middle East and say, it’s a real mess! But they don’t know the reasons why it’s a mess. To help you understand why a meltdown is taking place in the Middle East, today we will look at the internal conflicts are taking place in each country, those among the Palestinians, those in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Second, how these internal struggles are drawing people from other nations into joining these conflicts? And third, the underlying religious beliefs motivating government leaders to enter into armed conflict, even nuclear warfare, that could pull the entire world into war? My guest today, is news correspondent Dr. Jimmy DeYoung, who has lived in Jerusalem since 1993. He has interviewed many of the political leaders in the Middle East. Including every Israeli prime minister over the last 15 years, as well as Jordan’s King Abdullah, and the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. Learn why a meltdown is occurring in the Middle East and the dangers this causes the world, on this special edition of the John Ankerberg Show.

Ankerberg: Welcome to our program. We are talking with somebody who is very knowledgeable about what is happening in the Middle East. He has lived in Jerusalem since 1991. He has interviewed all the Prime Ministers of Israel since that time. He has interviewed King Abdullah of Jordan. He has interviewed the late Yasser Arafat. He knows the main players. He knows what’s going on; he has lived under the scud attacks that have happened in Israel, for 39 days. So he knows those experiences. And we are asking about how to interpret the events that are taking place in the Middle East in light of the Bible. And what we want to talk about in this program, why is Jerusalem in the cross hairs of everybody in the world.
In other words why does the whole planet seem to intersect across this little tiny nation? Why is the Muslim world calling for, in many places, the eradication of this entire state of Israel? What’s the problem? Well, we are going to talk about that, but would it interest you to know that the biblical prophets actually nailed down and actually named some of these nations that are making these statements about the eradication of Israel. This is in Scripture. You say where is it at in Scripture? We want Jimmy to take us through that. We are going to show you the map and name the countries; and we are going to talk about some of these countries as we go along. But, Jimmy, first of all Israel is in the cross hairs of the events that are taking place in the world. Why? Just give us an idea of what the world is saying.
DeYoung: Well, first of all Israel is a land bridge between three continents; Africa, Europe and Asia. It is a key piece of real estate if you are going to control that part of the Middle East. As it relates to the Islamic faith, Mecca is number 1 Medina number 2 they are both located as far as holy sites for the Muslim, in Saudi Arabia, but Jerusalem is the 3rd most holy site to the Islamic world. There are not a lot of riches that could be gained by capturing Jerusalem. But every major world power throughout the history of the world has wanted to have a control of the city of Jerusalem.
Now, in addition to that, the Jews are in this piece of real estate. Though it was a part of the house of Islam, back during the times of the crusades, Saladin captured Jerusalem, captured all of Israel. That thus made it then in the house of Islam. And there is a doctrine of Islam that once a piece of real estate is in the house of Islam, it cannot be controlled by anybody else. And in particular cannot be somebody living there that is prospering as they live there, which is seemingly what the Jewish people are doing. And so this is in the face of Allah, this is in the face of the Qur’an. This is in the face of Muhammad’s prophets and prophecies and what he said was to going to happen. It is in the face of eschatology.
Speaking of eschatology, many of the Islamic authors are writing about how, at the time of the end before that great judgment day as it relates to the Islamic faith, that the Mahdi, the Messiah, is going to come back. He will be focused on the city of Jerusalem, headquartered in that place, and that will be a part of bringing all of the world underneath the control of Allah into this Islamic republic. And so Israel is key, as it relates to what’s going on.
There is one other factor that I’m not sure if we will have time to discuss it, but the Jewish people, for 5,767 years, have believed that Jerusalem and the temple mount is the location for the original site of the Garden of Eden. Now I talked with Sheikh Sabri who is the highest ranking Muslim cleric in Israel. He stated basically the same thing. He said that Dome of the Rock up there on the mount is a Mosque and it dates all the way back to the times of the Garden of Eden and Adam and Eve. So Islam believes the exact same thing. As you study the prophets you have to conclude that they want that piece of real estate. Ezekiel 5:5 states Jerusalem is the center of the earth; and the Bible tells in numerous locations that Jesus Christ will come back, the true Messiah. Jesus Christ will come back, build his temple in Jerusalem; He will rule and reign in that location throughout the kingdom to come. And Islam does not want that to happen. They want to negate what God’s word has to say. When they negate the Old Testament and the New Testament, they get rid of the Jews and Christians, and than Islam is the lead religion.
Ankerberg: Alright, you’ve got Israel this tiny little nation and it’s surrounded by a group of other nations and many of those nations are calling for the eradication of this piece of real estate and the Jews being wiped off of it. Let’s start with Iran. What are some of the things that the President of Iran is saying?
DeYoung: He said, first of all, that there was no such thing as the holocaust; thus there is no premise upon which the Jewish people can claim a piece of land. They say that’s the safe haven for the Jewish people after the Holocaust in WWII. The Jews had to have a safe harbor by which they could then live and protect themselves and grow their families and prosper in the world. And so the United Nations agreed with that, and they gave them this piece of real estate. Well, Iran says they had no right to do that. That is not their land, it was in the house of Islam. And though there may be some differences between Ahmadinejad, who is a Shiite Muslim, and the sect of the Sunni Muslims, who would be Saudi Arabia and the Wahabis, they agree on the fact that Israel is their enemy. Your enemy, my enemy: we join forces together to try to destroy the Israelis.
Ankerberg: As well, Iran we all know has called for the eradication of Israel, period.
DeYoung: Absolutely, they want them removed from the world, their name to be forgotten forever. That is, in fact, almost a quote from Scripture in the book of Psalms.
Ankerberg: Alright, next one over, you have got what is happening with Hezbollah. Talk about what Nasrallah is saying in Lebanon.
DeYoung: He wants to take over Lebanon, first of all. He believes that because of the conflict that took place in July of 2006 between the Israelis and Hezbollah itself, and to most of the world the perception was that Israel lost that war and Hezbollah were the victors. And they have claimed to be the victors. They would like to control Lebanon. That puts them in a position to be the surrogate state Islamic republic right at the northern border of Israeli. This Hezbollah, of course, are Iranian revolutionary guards sent there in 1982 by the Ayatollah Komeini. So they can control the northern border; and then with Hamas in the South, also with relations between the Hamas led Palestinian authority and Iran. And then you have Syria at the northeastern corner of Israel. And you have, of course, Iran to the east of Israel. You have them boxed in and you can take over the land. So again, it’s just moving from place to place, taking control.
Ankerberg: What has Nasrallah said about Israel?
DeYoung: Nasrallah said we are going to take it, we are going to move…. notice, he says, “We are going to move to Jerusalem and we are going to set up our headquarters in the city of Jerusalem.”
Ankerberg: Take Syria with the President there. What is he saying?
DeYoung: He has joined forces with Iran. In fact, if you look at the coalition, and I think we mentioned it in our previous program, in Psalm 83 Iran, Lebanon and Syria are part of a troop that will come in and try and destroy the Jewish people. Recently the Prime Minister of Israel Ehud Olmert told his military leaders, “Prepare for a war with Syria”. Ahmadinejad has met with Bashar Assad in Damascus. They have military agreements. Recently the minister of defense from Iran was in to meet with Bashar Assad as well, saying that no matter what the situation is. I don’t care what America or the European Union may do as it relates to trying to place sanctions against you because of all of the support for the insurgency in Iraq or what you are doing as far as Israel is concerned. We are going to stand with you. If anybody touches Syria it is like touching us. We will join together, and Syria… Ahmadinejad has the absolute approval from the leadership of Syria, Bashar Assad the President of the country, that they will join with Iran in a coalition to try and do what going to be done …
Ankerberg: Let me take one more. We will take all of these, but take the Egyptian brotherhood down in Egypt.
DeYoung: That’s the granddaddy of all of the Islamic fundamentalist terrorist organization. That’s where Yasser Arafat came out of. He lived in Cairo, Egypt. There he went to school as a young boy. There the Muslim brotherhood indoctrinated him with his philosophical understanding of how to lead the Palestinian people. His name was not Yasser Arafat. He chose Yasser from a member of the Muslim brotherhood from way back in the 1930’s who was a famous terrorist, and in fact tried to kill Jewish people and did succeed in the Haifa area. Arafat is the name of the mountain over in Mecca that claims, when the Muslim people make their pilgrimage to Mecca, the hadj, they go there and they throw stones at Mount Arafat because that is the location of the devil. And so he had his undergirding, his foundational education, from them.
Out of that comes the Al-Qaeda group that has come into existence. Sheikh Yassin came out of the Muslim brotherhood, who was the founder of Hamas. I could go on and on. All of these Islamic Terrorist organizations around the world having a connection to the Muslim brotherhood. And they are wanting, in fact, to try to overthrow the Mubarak government. He has just made some changes in the constitution here in Egypt, which has put him in a stronger position. He would like to see his son come to power as he passes from the scene. But he is trying ward off every way he possibly can, Islamic brotherhood and them coming to power and establishing, as an Islamic republic, the state of Egypt itself.
Ankerberg: Alright, we are going to take a break right now, but when we come back. Would it make a difference in these countries that we have named, from Iran, to Syria, to Lebanon, to the Palestinians, to Egypt and there are some more countries that we are going to mention? Would it matter to you if in these countries that are in the news right now, and calling in part for the eradication of Israel, the Jews in Israel, would it make a difference if these countries were named in Scripture as part of that group that would come against Israel in the last days? I think it would. Stay tuned and we will show you where it says that.

Ankerberg: We are back. We are talking with Dr. Jimmy DeYoung. We are talking about why Jerusalem is in the cross hairs of the world right now. Why is there an X on that nation that seems like everybody is either trying to get rid of it or go through it or take it over? What’s going on? We have named some nations that have made some statements against Israel, are trying to get armies or forces to go against Israel. Would it make a difference if those nations that we have mentioned: Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Palestinians, Egypt, the Sudan and others; would it make a difference if these were actually named in scripture as being a coalition of nations that would come against Israel in the last days? Well, I think it makes a difference. And we want to show you where the Bible says this, and what it says is going to happen. Jimmy, start us off.
DeYoung: You know I have been studying prophecy since 1972 intently. Since 1951, when I came to know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, I had an interest in prophetic truth. But since 1972 I have specialized in the area. And passages of Scripture that have excited me the most are the ones that deal with this coalition of nations that are going to come against the Jewish state in the end times. I mean you don’t just, 2,500 years before the fact, put down a bunch of names and hope that they are going to come to pass. There has to be truth in these prophecies. And I think about Daniel, Ezekiel, Jeremiah, Isaiah, Obadiah, many of them talking about the nations that we have been talking about. In particular you would have to look at Daniel, I believe, and Ezekiel. Daniel in chapter 11 which is one of the most prophetic passages in all of scripture; and sometime if you have an opportunity look through Daniel chapter 11. Fifty seven years before the fact he names the leader who would be the head of the Persian Empire.
And his name was the Prime Minister, or the leader, of that book in the Book of Esther, Ahasuarus, the King of the Persian empire at that point in time. 200 years before the fact he names Alexander the Great. 300 years before the fact he names Antiocus the Great. 360 years before the fact he names Antiocus Epiphanies who walked into the temple. He talks about this in chapter 11. He desecrates the temple by slaughtering a pig on the altar; the abomination of desolation, a prototype of what will happen in the future. And all of this before the fact.
So when you study that background and then come to the last verses, chapter 11 of Daniel, verses 40-45, and it deal s with nations that will come against Israel you had better start paying attention. If He fulfilled prophecy in the past exactly like He said it would happen, then we need to look at what the prophecies yet to be fulfilled are telling us.
Daniel 11:40 talks about two kings. The King of the North and the King of the South. Now you go back earlier in chapter 11 and you see that the King of the North would be the geographical location that we know today as modern day Syria. The King of the South would be modern day Egypt. These two kings are going to come at the Jewish state. Now it says in the text in verse 40 they will come at him. He as in him. Those three pronouns used 17 times in that last portion of Daniel chapter 11, referring to a world leader that has many names. Most people would recognize the name the “antichrist. He would establish a peaceful co-existence in the Middle East for the Jewish people and their Islamic neighbors, their Arab neighbors, who are the enemies of the Jewish people and would like to destroy them. What is it talking about when it says that these nations would come against him? Well, if he has a peaceful agreement with Israel and these people, and Syria and Egypt attack, that means they are attacking them so he supposedly rushes in and he tries to shut everything down.
Meanwhile a group of other nations join the fray as well. That takes us back to chapter 38 of the book of Ezekiel and verses 2, 5 and 6. In verse 2 of the book of Ezekiel chapter 38 it talks about Gog in the land of Magog. Now Gog would be the person, Magog would be the place. I mentioned in a previous program, I am sure, that there is a hermeneutical principal that when you approach biblical geography. Who is the author writing about when he wrote the book? Ezekiel was writing about a location called Magog. And you can look at any ancient map. Magog was to the north of the Caspian and Black Sea, the area that we know as modern day Russia. Then in verse 2 it mentions Meshech and Tubal, down in verse 6, Gomer and Togarmah. Well, look at that same map again and you will see Meshech, Tubal, Gomer and Togarmah basically the four regions that we know as modern day Turkey. I can go for 15 or 20 minutes about what’s going on in Turkey.
Ankerberg: We’ll come back to that.
DeYoung: Yeah, there’s some things there that are unbelievable that could get our attention as to how they are going to play a role. Then you come to verse 5, Persia. Persia until 1936 was the name referring to the geographical location of three states, which would be Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan. It says, Ethiopia, or in some translations it says Cush. That would be Ethiopia, Somalia, and Sudan. And then Put, or Libya, whichever translation you have, and that is talking about Libya.
We are talking about a group of people that basically are on almost every newspaper front page almost daily. You have to go also to the Psalmist who wrote in Psalm 83. He mentioned a couple of others, one of them in particular, the Ishmaelites. The Bible tells us back in the book of Genesis, Ishmael the first son, the firstborn of Abraham, went to live in a place then called Arabia, now referred to as Saudi Arabia.
Now, let me go through those again. You have Syria and Egypt in Daniel 10. You bring alongside Daniel 10, Ezekiel 38; you have Russia, you have Turkey, you have Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Ethiopia, Sudan. You go to Psalm 83, you have Saudi Arabia and you have Libya. Those are the nations that are forming this coalition to come against the Jewish State. There is one common denominator; they are all Islamic in their faith. But you may say wait a minute, what about Russia? Well have you seen the demographics lately on Russia? By the year 2012, 50% of the Russian military will be Islamic. By 2020, 73% of the entire population of Russia will be Islamic.
Ankerberg: Alright, Jimmy, you have talked about this list of nations. But once more people might be skeptical about some of the nations coming against Israel that you named. And two that stand out, I think, are Turkey and Russia. What about those two?
DeYoung: We need to look at Turkey. Turkey has been known for supplying water to the Middle East. They have more water than any other of the Middle Eastern nations. In fact, they have an agreement with Israel to supply water for the next 20 years. The Turkish leaders say to the Arab world, “You’ve got oil, we’ve got water, let’s make a deal.” So they looked as somewhat friendly to all of the nations. But look at their Prime Minister, Tayyip Erdogan. He was the mayor of Istanbul. He was put out of office by the Turkish military for his radical Islamic belief. He then ran a group of Islamic Fundamentalists in the Parliament. They won the majority, and they changed the constitution of the state of Turkey. They made him the Prime Minister and now he is considering running as President of Turkey. And his Islamic fundamentalist beliefs are intensifying in his rhetoric, in his actions, as the Prime Minister. And you have to look at Turkey very suspect, because they are quickly moving into the area of the radical Islamic Republic.
Take Russia. Okay, now let’s look at Vladimir Putin. What has he been doing? Well, everybody thinks if you look at what’s going on in Russia itself, that he is becoming the dictator. He is not moving ahead democratically. He is moving back. He is digressing into what the Soviet Union was at one time. He is trying to bring all of the players together once again to re-form, I don’t know if he will call it the Soviet Union, but that coalition of nations that were a part of the Soviet Union. He has positioned himself to be more powerful than any Russian leader since the days of the Soviet Union. He just traveled throughout the Middle East. He met in Saudi Arabia; he had an agreement that they signed to supply nuclear power and/or weapons as far as Saudi Arabia is concerned. He went into Jordan, he met with King Abdullah in Jordan; he called for an international peace conference. He said, I know the players; I can bring them to the table. We can guarantee peace and security in the Middle East. Boy, that sounds like the phraseology of the Antichrist, the coming world dictator. Well I don’t believe that Vladimir Putin is the coming Antichrist, but I do believe he is going to be a key player moving Russia into position to form that coalition of nations that we have been talking about on this broadcast, into that alignment to come against the Jewish state in the last days.
Ankerberg: Alright next week we are going to talk about, what does Ezekiel 38 say is going to happen up ahead? Ezekiel 38 and 39. But before we get to that, some people say, “Man, the world looks dim, I need some hope here. I’m scared about the future.” What does Christianity offer? What does Jesus Christ offer to people in terms of all these things that are happening across the world?
DeYoung: Jesus Christ offers eternal salvation. An opportunity for you to live forever in His presence. In the presence of God, who created it all, who brought it all into existence. That through: admitting you are a sinner, believing that Jesus Christ the Son of God died to take away our sins; He resurrected to prove the one qualified to do that had done it. And then simply call upon Him in childlike faith trust in Him for Him to become your Lord and Savior. But in addition to that, He offers the hope of taking us out of all of this that is going to unfold in the future, that we have been talking about on this broadcast, as these nations do indeed come the Jewish state, where he will one day return and set up His kingdom to rule and reign.
Ankerberg: Alright, we are just getting started on this and the key question is, What does Ezekiel 38 and 39 say is going to happen in the future? And I hope that you will join us next week because we are going to go into that.

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