Signs of the Last Days/Program 2
| September 27, 2013 |
|By: Dr. Jimmy DeYoung; ©2011|
|Between the Rapture and the Second Coming of Christ, the Bible predicts two major wars that will take place. Dr. Jimmy DeYoung joins Dr. John Ankerberg to discuss the Ezekiel 38 War and the Battle of Armageddon.|
- Announcer: Today on the John Ankerberg Show: are we seeing an increase in natural disasters, earthquakes, famines and wars?
- In 1994 an Asian tsunami killed 230,000 people in 11 countries.
- In 1958 a giant wave 1,720 feet high, 470 feet taller than the Empire State Building, struck Lituya Bay, Alaska, causing absolute destruction.
- In January 2010, a massive earthquake leveled Haiti and killed over 200,000 people, while in March, 2011, one of the five most powerful earthquakes ever recorded hit Japan, creating a 30 foot tsunami that killed more than 20,000 people.
- In the first seven months here in the U.S. we have seen 1,621 devastating tornadoes.
- In Russia, the Ukraine, Argentina, and the southeastern part of the U.S., they are all experiencing severe draught, and have contributed to surging food prices and a new outbreak of famine in the world. According to the United Nations, over 970 million people go to bed hungry every night.
- Further, in the Middle East, 18 different countries are experiencing revolution, bloodshed, and war.
- Do the natural disasters and wars we see today foreshadow Christ’s return? Will these events get any worse?
- My guest today is journalist and prophecy scholar, Dr. Jimmy DeYoung. Join us for this special edition of the John Ankerberg Show.
- Ankerberg: Welcome to our program. I’m John Ankerberg, and we’re glad that you joined us today. We’re talking about the overall topic of the signs of the end times. We’re talking about natural disasters, and earthquakes, famines, and wars, rumors of wars. What does the Bible say is up ahead? And we’re matching that with world events. And today we’ve got a fascinating topic underneath that general topic, which is this: What are the two major wars the Bible says is up ahead, that are between the rapture and the second coming. It’s the Ezekiel 38 war and the war of Armageddon. And, Jimmy, what is the importance of knowing this information?
- DeYoung: Well, John, every single time somebody hears about wars at the end of time, they think about the battle of Armageddon. That’s not what we’re in focus on in this first segment of the broadcast. That’ll be in the second segment. We’ll talk about the mother of all battles, as Saddam Hussein referred to it. But, let me just refer to our columns again. The first column, the rapture of the Church; the seven-year period of time; and then the second coming of Jesus Christ. The battle of Armageddon is over there just before the second coming. We’re going to focus on the first six months of the tribulation period; in other words, right after the rapture of the Church. A coalition of nations, and we’ve talked about the nations often on this broadcast. They’re in the news almost every day. You’re talking about Iran; you’re talking about Syria; Egypt; we’re talking about Libya; we’re talking about Saudi Arabia; we’re talking about these Middle Eastern nations that will align themselves. It takes place in the first six months of the tribulation period. That means that rapture could be very close. We need to understand this.
- Ankerberg: So, next we’re going to show you a very unique segment that includes our interviews with the prime minister of Israel and some of the leaders there. We’re going to show you the map of the world, so that you can see how small, tiny, Israel is, in comparison to the countries that are surrounding her. You’re going to hear who the leaders of Israel think are the major ones that are coming against Israel right now. And then we’re going to compare that to what Ezekiel said in Ezekiel 38. This is going to be fascinating, folks. Watch this.
*** Clip from Israel Under Fire:
- Ankerberg: As you look down at the nation of Israel from space, you realize how small it really is. Israel stretches only 263 miles from north to south and its width ranges from 71 miles at its widest point to only 9 miles at its narrowest point. To the northeast Israel faces a 47 mile border with Syria; to the north a 49 mile border with Lebanon; to the east Israel has a 147 mile long border with Jordan; and to the southwest, Israel borders Egypt; and directly south has a small window onto the Red Sea. This map will give you an idea of Israel’s land mass as compared to the 22 Arab and Muslim countries surrounding it. With all of this in mind, we will begin with what Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister of Israel, told us about the threat Israel is currently facing from Iran.
- Benjamin Netanyahu: The militant Shiites in Iran are openly racing, and boasting that they are racing to develop nuclear weapons with the explicit announced goal of wiping Israel from the face of the earth, re-establishing the Caliphate, of course under militant Shiite Iranian rule. The Caliphate includes the territories from Iran to Spain, developing long-range ballistic missiles, first that are targeted to every European capital, and within a decade to reach the eastern coast of the American mainland.
- If Iran acquires nuclear weapons, everything that we’ve been talking about will pale in comparison. because the power to extend power, to threaten, to realize the threats, to make good on the threats, would be on a level that we have not seen, nor one that we can readily imagine. it will put the oil reserves of the gulf under their sway. They could easily bring down governments or fold them into their realm. They will inspire and encourage the radicals in the various Islamic communities that they’re targeting around the world and they will be, in turn, inspired by the fact that, obviously, the acquisition of nuclear weapons is a providential sign of the coming victory of the true believers. And, of course, they might make good on their twisted ideas of ending Zionism and extending their realm by other means. So this is threat to the entire world, and it cannot be seen as anything but that.
- Ankerberg: Like our American Speaker of the House, in Israel Mr. Reuven Rivlin is the Speaker of the Knesset.
- Mr. Reuven Rivlin: I really believe that Iran should be take care by the entire family of nations, and not only by Israel. Israel have to take care and to know that once they will have to face the threat of being destroyed by possible nuclear weapon from the side of Iran, they will have to do and we know what we have to do.
- Ankerberg: Then we asked Mr. Netanyahu about the threats Israel is experiencing from Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza.
- Netanyahu: There is a tremendous increase in the power of Iran’s proxies of Hezbollah and Hamas. It would have Hezbollah now with a tremendous base, and you can see that the international guarantees that were supposed to stop the flow of arms did nothing of the kind. And so we not only had 4000 rockets fired on the Galilee from that base, but we now have 40,000 rockets which are aimed at every part of Israel. And at the same time the same thing has happened in the south. We’ve had, by the way, a tremendous increase in the power of Hamas. It actually wasn’t only politically strengthened, but very shortly afterwards it militarily just took over the Gaza strip and kicked out the Palestinian authority, and it’s become… developed a base. They’ve rocketed 4000 rockets, that’s the number since the unilateral disengagement. If we walk out here, there will be an Iranian base here, right here, across this street, on the other side of the street. That’s what will happen.
- Ankerberg: If you are somewhat surprised at the forceful words that Mr. Netanyahu used, you will be amazed to learn that almost all of Israel’s leaders view Iran the same way. Mr. Moshe Arens was ambassador to the United States and served as Israel’s important Minister of Defense for three different administrations.
- DeYoung: Iran, according to the Israeli intelligence community, is the number one treat to the Jewish State of Israel. Would you agree with that assessment?
- Moshe Arens: Well, that’s correct. Because, first of all, Iran is the only state, unlike terrorist organizations, but the only state in the region, as a matter of fact the only state in the world, whose government, prime minister, president, I guess, Ahmadinejad, openly threatens Israel and says Israel has to be wiped off the map. So here you have a declared enemy. Now, Iran is not a miniscule state, and the Iranians are hell-bent on getting nuclear weapons. So when somebody is talking and working towards nuclear capability, and tells you that you need to be wiped off the face of the earth, it’s a real threat.
- Ankerberg: One day as we sat on the Mount of Olives and overlooked the temple mount, I asked Jimmy to lay out the specific nations God reveals through the prophets will come against Israel in the last days.
- Ankerberg: Jimmy, as we look across the Old City of Jerusalem and we see the Dome of the Rock, the third holiest site for the Islamic world; and you also see the Jewish temple mount here, which is the sacred mount of the Jewish people across the world. We see two opposing opinions and it talks about the battle for Jerusalem. And I want to ask the question, people want to know, what are the nations that are mentioned in the bible, in prophecy that will have a role in the end-time scenario of what happens here in Israel?
- DeYoung: You know, John, that Dome of the Rock speaks to that group of nations, that alignment, that will come against Israel, because that is a Muslim building. It’s a commemorative building that Omar, one of the Muslim leaders, built there on the temple mount in 691 AD. But the Islamic world is what is going to basically come together, align themselves to try to destroy the Jewish state. With one exception: Russia is mentioned in the book of Ezekiel chapter 38.
- Here in the book of Ezekiel chapter 38, which would be the main focus in Bible prophecy, other sections of the Bible we will look at, but in Ezekiel 38 it talks here in verse 2 about Magog; Gog in the land of Magog. Now, Gog would be the person, Magog would be the particular state that it’s talking about. And according to biblical geography, Magog would have been that land mass north of the Caspian and Black Sea, which is Russia today. Then in verse 2 it says, Meshech and Tubal, and down in verse 6 it says Gomer and Togarmah. When travelling in Turkey recently I picked up an ancient Turkish map. And in biblical times Turkey was actually divided into four parts, Meshech, Tubal, Gomer and Togarmah. So we are now talking about Russia and Turkey.
- There in verse 5 it says Persia. Until 1936 there were three nations we know today that were known as Persia. Those three nations are Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran. And then you continue on in verse 5, Ethiopia or Cush in some translations, that would be Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan. And then in verse 5 again it says here in my Bible, Libya, or maybe in another translation Put. Well, that’s modern day Libya, Colonel Qaddafi. You have to coordinate this with Daniel 11:40-45. It talks about the king of the north. Earlier in chapter 11 you find out that is what we know as Syria today. And the king of the south would be Egypt today. And then going over into the book of Psalms, you go over to the book of Psalms chapter 83 and it talks in Psalm 83 about a list of nations. It mentions here the Ishmaelites; well, that’s modern day Saudi Arabia. And then in verse 5 it talks about Tyre; that’s modern day Lebanon. So we are now seeing a list of Arab nations, with the exception of Russia, who will form this coalition to come against Israel in the last days.
- Ankerberg: Now, that was the Ezekiel 38 war. And next we’re going to talk about a battle that comes at the end of the tribulation, which is the battle of Armageddon. We’ll take a break, and then Jimmy’s going to take us through Scripture on that. Stick with us, we’ll be right back.
- Ankerberg: Alright, we’re back and we’re talking with my guest, Dr. Jimmy DeYoung. And we’re talking about the signs of the end times. And we’re talking about famines and earthquakes and pestilence; and we’re talking about wars and rumors of wars. And in this program, we first of all talked about the two major wars that are going to take place during the tribulation, that are still up ahead. We’ve talked about the Ezekiel 38 war and the coalition of nations that will come against Israel. And a lot of people, Jimmy, they use Armageddon, the battle of Armageddon, very loosely. They really don’t define terms. People don’t even know what that is. The Bible’s very specific about what that is. Give us a couple of the scriptures and tell us, what does God say is coming at the battle of Armageddon?
- DeYoung: John, I’ll do that in just a moment. But let me just remind everybody, as we look at our columns: you have next, the rapture of the Church; the seven-year tribulation; then the second coming of Christ; the 1,000 year kingdom; and the great white throne judgment before eternity future. Today, in our world, we’re someplace just prior to the rapture of the Church. Earlier we talked about Ezekiel 38 and that battle with Daniel 11, Psalm 83. That takes place in the first six months of the tribulation period. There’s going to be seven years of judgment upon the earth. These judgments will get more intense and more fierce as we move through the seven year period of time. But it’s going to culminate with this battle of Armageddon. And I don’t like that term necessarily; I think we should refer to it as the campaign of Armageddon. When you go to the book of Revelation, chapter 16, verses 13-16, it’s a parenthetical phrase there. It’s talking about Satan, the Antichrist and the false prophet; the satanic trinity. These demonic creatures are going to use signs, wonders and miracles to gather the armies of the world into Jerusalem. Now, this is going to happen just prior to Jesus Christ coming back.
- And before Jesus Christ does come back to the earth on the Mount of Olives there in Jerusalem, the Bible tells us some other things are going to have to happen. You cannot just have one prophetic passage stand alone. Zechariah 14, for example, says all the armies of the world, verse 2, will gather in Jerusalem. When the Lord sees this unfolding, then chapter 19 verse 11 of the book of Revelation, indicates that God the Father will tell Jesus the Son, “Get on your white horse, take the Church that is here in the heavenlies with you. Go back to the earth.” They arrive in the city of Jerusalem, Zechariah 14:4. And the Mount of Olives splits, making way for a valley to lead up to the Jezreel Valley. Probably, what, a hundred million soldiers gathered in Jerusalem flee to the valley of the mountains. There the Jezreel Valley, with the mountain ranges all around it, a thousand square miles, will be the actual battlefield for the battle of Armageddon.
- Jesus will do a number of things: build a temple, rearrange the city of Jerusalem. But then he goes to the battlefield. And the Bible tells us in chapter 19 of Revelation, he simply speaks. It’s not going to be a nuclear war. He speaks, they die. At that point in time, Jesus Christ will then walk for 176 miles through a valley of blood. Revelation 14:19-20 says the blood from that battle will be flowing as high as the horses’ bridles. Interestingly, it’s 176 miles from the battlefield in Armageddon, all the way to the entrance of Petra, where those Jewish people have been protected for that last three and a half years. He goes there, he gathers them in. Isaiah 63:1-6, gives us the location: at Bozrah, the entrance of Petra there in Edom. He gathers them in and he brings them into Jerusalem by way of the mountain to the east. Crosses the Kidron Valley—of course the mountain to the east, the Mount of Olives—goes through the Eastern Gate, the one he has built on the temple mount, previously. And then he walks into the temple, goes into the Holy of Holies and sits down as King of kings and Lord of lords. That’s the end times scenario with the campaign of Armageddon unfolding there in Jerusalem.
- Ankerberg: Yeah, let me put a couple of verses on the table, Jimmy, where God talks about this. Zechariah 14:2, God says, “I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken and the houses rifled.” Revelation 16, it says, “Evil spirits go out and they go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them for the battle on the great day of God Almighty…. Then they gathered the kings together to the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon.” A couple questions: Is part of Jerusalem taken? And does anybody take heed to Jesus’ warning in Matthew 24, when he says, “When you see the abomination of desolation take place [which is at the mid-point in the tribulation, explain that], flee the city.” Do people flee? And how do they know to go to Petra?
- DeYoung: Very interesting question, John. The Bible says, of course, that they’re going to flee to the valley of the mountains. And there, then Jesus walks, Isaiah 63:1-6, to the location of Petra, which is Edom at Bozrah. Bozrah is the entrance of Petra. So, the Bible does tell us that.
- In Matthew 24, the verse you referred to, verse 15, he says, “When you see the abomination of desolation,” in other words, the temple standing on the temple mount, at the midway point of the tribulation, when you see that happen, “flee from the wilderness.” Flee for the area of protection. When you see the abomination of desolation. Now, the abomination of desolation is when the Antichrist walks into the Holy of Holies and claims to be God, 2 Thessalonians 2:4. The Bible says in Revelation 12:6: I have prepared a place to protect you, it is Petra; and according to all the Scriptures we’ve discussed.
- But what is interesting to me, in 1994, when the Israelis signed a peace treaty with Jordan, they had a clause in the peace treaty allowing them to have cooperation in tourism. And at that point in time, just many, many of the Israelis made their way over to see Petra, even the young men. There was a challenge in their life, before that peace treaty, to sneak across the border and go to Petra. I asked people on the street in Jerusalem, “What do you think is the most significant point of this peace treaty between Israel and Jordan?” They said, “It gives us opportunity to go to Petra.” I believe God put in their hearts, that’s the closest location from Jerusalem to which they could flee to have protection from all that’s going on during the tribulation period.
- Ankerberg: Again, why did God tell us the information about the Ezekiel 38 war and the battle of Armageddon? What are we supposed to do with that, especially for Christians if we’re gone at the rapture?
- DeYoung: Well, it helps us to understand how close we are to the rapture. Everything we’ve talked about on this broadcast is about to be fulfilled. The prophetic passages that we referred to, meaning that the rapture, which takes place before all of these prophecies are fulfilled, the rapture has to happen. I believe we’re very snug up against that next event, the rapture of the Church. I believe it can happen at any moment. In every indication, that’s the case.
- But it also gives us information to give to our friends, our loved ones, who don’t know Christ. Help them understand the times in which we’re living. That may help them to realize, I had better consider the claims of Jesus Christ; he is the Savior. These events are unfolding almost as we’re talking about them; they had better be prepared for that rapture of the Church.
- Ankerberg: Folks, I really agree. Look to Jesus. If you haven’t put your faith in him, he’s the one that bore your sins on the cross. He paid the penalty we deserve. And you can have the free gift of his salvation. If you just believe in him, he will give it to you. Say, “Lord, come into my life right now. I believe on you, and I want to follow you.”