The Middle East, the War on Terrorism and the Hope for Peace in the Middle East – Program 2
|By: Dr. Jimmy DeYoung; ©2002|
|What does the Bible say about Israel and what will happen to her in the last days? Is anti-Semitism increasing in the world?|
Israel in the Last Days
Today, Dr. John Ankerberg examines The War on Terrorism and the Hope for Peace in the Middle East. John’s guest is news correspondent Jimmy DeYoung, who lives in Israel. Today, he reports on what has been taking place in the last two months. Will a cease-fire between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs last? Will Yasser Arafat and other Arab leaders be willing to publicly denounce those involved in terrorist activities? Will Israel be willing to stop settlement activity in occupied territories, and be willing to give up land for peace? Who will govern the city of Jerusalem in the future, and what will happen in the Middle East if the peace plan fails? We invite you to join us for this special report.
- Ankerberg: Welcome. My guest today is news correspondent Jimmy DeYoung who lives and works in Israel and has done so since 1991. Over the years he has personally interviewed leaders of Jordan, Israel, and the Palestinian Arabs, including Israel’s Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, Israel’s Foreign Minister Shimon Peres, former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as well as Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. Besides being a noted journalist who holds full credentials allowing him access to any breaking news in the Middle East, he is also a noted scholar of biblical prophecy in which he holds a Ph.D.
- Jimmy, I’m really glad that you’re here today.
- DeYoung: Thank you.
- Ankerberg: I know that you have studied a long time and done a lot of research on what the Bible, especially the Old Testament, the Prophets, said about Israel in the end days. And it’s very interesting to me of how many nations are named surrounding Israel. They’re going to form a confederacy and come against Israel in the future. I’d like you to take us through some of those passages and bring us up to date in terms of the modern names of what the Bible is naming in those passages.
- DeYoung: John, one of the four major trends that you can find here in the Word of God for the last days, leading up to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ—now, I’m not talking about that “Rapture,” when the Church is taken out of here, but I’m talking during that seven-year period of time following the Rapture, leading up to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. One of those major trends would be the alignment of the nations, the coalition of nations that you’re talking about.
- And here in the 11th chapter of the book of Daniel we start to see how the prophetic scenario is laid out, in verses 40 to 45. Daniel is dealing with the king of the north and the king of the south coming at “him.” Another word, him, “he,” as in him—those pronouns are used, I think, 13 different times in this portion of Daniel chapter 11. But when it talks about the king of the north and the king of the south, early on in chapter 11, it defines the king of the north as Syria, and the king of the south as Egypt. Remember, all direction in the Bible comes out of Jerusalem—Ezekiel 5:5—Jerusalem, the center of the earth. And so the king of the north “will come at him” —that refers to the Antichrist; and the king of the south “will come at him” as well.
- Now, what is that talking about? Well, right after the Rapture of the Church—I say right after. It could be a week, a month, a year, whatever—after the revived Roman Empire comes into existence, the Antichrist comes on the scene, he will confirm a peace agreement with Israel. This will be a pseudo peace agreement, but the Jews will accept this world leader as their Messiah and go along with the confirmation of that peace agreement. And so, he will go out of the region, actually go into Rome to set up a false church, and in the region, the king of the north, Syria, “will come at him.” Wait a minute, what does that mean? Well, if you have guaranteed peace to the nation of Israel and someone attacks Israel, it’s like coming at you. And so it says that the king of the north, Syria, comes at Israel. The king of the south, Egypt, comes at Israel, and he—verse 41 says, “He shall enter the glorious holy land.” Antichrist comes in, goes up to the north, destroys Syria, comes through, it says Ammon, Moab and Edom. That is the biblical terms for modern-day Jordan. Doesn’t touch Jordan. Goes to the south, destroys Egypt, turns around, starts back towards Jerusalem, and at his heels—the Bible says here in Daniel 11, “the Ethiopians and the Libyans.”
- Now, when you talk about the Ethiopians, you’re talking about basically Ethiopia, Somalia, and Sudan; and the Libyans, of course, would be Colonel Qadaffi’s Libya—they’ll be coming at him. Interesting, the parallel passage over here in Ezekiel chapter 38 talks about those nations mentioned in Daniel 11. In fact, it also says in Daniel 11 that there will be some murmurings out of the “north” —that’s not Syria because Syria will have been destroyed—and out of the “east.” They are defined, when you come to chapter 38 of the book of Ezekiel. Out of the north, it says, “Gog”—in verse 2— “in the land of Magog.” Gog, the leader; Magog, the country. And most likely all Bible scholars would agree that would be Russia and probably the Ukraine as well.
- But then it says Meshach and Tubal. Verse 6 says “Gomer and Togarmah.” I was just recently in Turkey doing a series on the seven churches of Asia Minor. I picked up an ancient Turkish map and I looked at the map and I was amazed to see that Turkey, ancient Turkey, was divided into four parts: Meshach, Tubal, Gomer, Togarmah. So what the Bible is talking about here is modern-day Turkey.
- And then it says in verse 5 “Persia,” that’s modern-day Iran. Then in some Bibles it may say “Cush.” That would be Ethiopia, Sudan and Somalia. Or it may say “Put,” and that would be modern-day Libya.
- So, these are the nations in the beginning of that seven-year Tribulation Period that form these coalitions to come against Israel to try to wipe them off of the map. And, I mean, have we been hearing in the media about Syria, Egypt, Libya, Ethiopia, Sudan? We could go on and on about what is happening today as it relates to prophecy written by the ancient Jewish prophets some 2,500 years ago.
- Ankerberg: Yes, including Turkey. The last time we were together we had one of the Bible scholars who was telling us Turkey is a part of that; but hey, they’ve got a democratic society and the fact is, that he was kind of giving them a slip at that point but he was saying, “Stay tuned” because they could turn into a militant Islamic nation coming up. Well, they’re still a democracy as we’re doing this program right now, but in the last week, they, too, took a stand against Israel—joined the other Arab countries around Israel—and the militants, again, were making the same kind of statements as the PLO: “We’ve got to wipe them off the face of the earth” and so on.
- So, going all the way around the horn of what we’re seeing today. And I think people who have just watched the news realize that the whole Arab world, for whatever their reasons—we’ll talk about those reasons in a moment—they seem to hate the Jewish people.
- Now, let’s stop there because I was listening to [Bill] O’Reilly one night and he had a guest on and he said, “Do you mean to say that the United States is the only one that is backing Israel in the whole world?”
- And the guy said, “Yes.”
- “Do you mean Britain and Canada and there’s not people in India or any other place that is supporting Israel?”
- He said, “No. Just the United States.”
- And O’Reilly said, “Why?”
- And the man said, “Well, I really don’t know but I think it has something to do with our heritage.”
- Then he said, “Let me ask you this. Why is anti-Semitism increasing all around the world?”
- So you’ve got two questions here, Jimmy. Why does the Arab world so adamantly want to get rid of Israel? Why have they passed so many resolutions in the United Nations trying to wipe them off, push them into the sea? What’s behind that?
- DeYoung: I think it’s a five letter word: Islam. And I come to this conclusion by looking at the coalition of nations listed here in God’s Word and looking for the lowest common denominator. Now, you said Arab world. For example, we were talking about Turkey. Turkey is an Islamic nation. It is not an Arab nation. As is Afghanistan, Iran—they are Islamic countries, but they are not Arab countries. But they’re all forming a part of this coalition that will come against Israel in the last days. And in fact, Islam has really jelled this relationship between the countries. That’s why Turkey has been more attacking Israel because the pressure from the Islamic world has been on them. Turkey, for example, 98 percent Islamic. And the thrust is, it’s a democratic state, as such, but it’s really a military controlled state, because every time the Islamic voter starts to come to power there in Turkey, the military puts them down. And that’s what we see, a foretaste, the precursor to Turkey being a part of this coalition that will come against them.
- And that’s the common denominator among all of these nations and I think it is also the reason for anti-Semitism being on the rise. You go to Europe, you’re talking about the European countries—have you really stopped to think about, if you’re thinking through this whole situation, the influence of the Islamic world in the European community? France, I mean, there is a major Islamic population in France, for example; as well as in Great Britain and throughout all of Europe. That has been for many, many years now and it’s growing in power.
- Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world. It has grown at about 557 percent in the last ten years as compared to Christianity only growing at about 47 percent. One out of every four people in the world are Islamic, excuse me, one out of every five. In two years it will be one out of every four. This thrust, this undergirding for these Arab nations, for these Islamic nations getting ready to come against Israel, I think, is the bottom line for the purpose behind these coalitions that are being formed to go against the Jewish state.
- Ankerberg: Yes. There are more Muslim mosques now in Great Britain than there are churches.
- DeYoung: Yes.
- Ankerberg: And you see the anti-Semitism in France, in Spain, in the Netherlands and people even in the United States are starting to say, you know, “Why? What’s behind all of this?” Yes, so you’ve got to ask, “What is the part that Islam has in this?”
- Let’s take a break and we’re going to come back and I want to ask you a question about: A conflict between the Qur’an and the Bible in reference to the Land. In the Bible we are told, Abraham had two sons—Isaac by Sarah, and Ishmaelby Sarah’s maid, Hagar, the Egyptian. In the Bible God said Jacob was going to inherit land, not Ishmael. But in the Qur’an, Allah says Ishmael and his descendants will inherit the land. That’s certainly part of the problem. Who did God say would inherit the land when all is said and done? We’ll talk about that when we come right back.
- Ankerberg: Alright we’re back. We’re talking with my guest, Jimmy DeYoung, who is a news correspondent who lives in Jerusalem in Israel. And Jimmy, a lot of people don’t know that there is a conflict between who is supposed to get the land according to the God of the Bible versus Allah in the Qur’an. Explain that to us.
- DeYoung: Well, the Qur’an, of course, produces a wrong understanding of what took place when Abraham offered Isaac on Mount Moriah in the city of Jerusalem. They say that Abraham went to Mecca and there in Mecca offered Ishmael. And the land was promised not from Abraham, to Isaac, down to Jacob and on down through all the Jewish lineage from there on, but that it came from Abraham to Ishmael. Now, the Bible, in the 25th chapter of the book of Genesis says Ishmael would indeed have sons, 12 sons, who would be chiefs of tribes living in tents. Now, that’s a Bedouin, that’s a nomad. They would be Arabs–the original use of the word “Arab” was “nomad” or “Bedouin.” Go back to the 17th chapter, 20th verse of the book of Genesis. It talks about Ishmael who “would be the father of one nation.” That nation would be Arabia because it describes the geographical location of where it would go. And God promised, in fact, Jesus Christ, in a pre-incarnate appearance, appeared to Hagar, Ishmael’s mother, and said, “He will have that piece of real estate,” what we know as Saudi Arabia today. That would be the nation that he would father and the only nation. And he would not have a right to the land that we know as Israel today. That promise was given in the Word of God to Abraham, and in fact, in the Abrahamic Covenant, all of the land,… in fact, much of the land that is in question is only about 10 percent of what God has promised to give all to the Jewish people in the days to come.
- Because of that, there has developed out of that a philosophy in the Islamic world that once a piece of real estate is in the house of Islam, that’s meaning it’s only going to be controlled by the Islamic peoples. Well, Jerusalem, at one time was in the house of Islam. Now, the word Jerusalem has never been used in the Qur’an. It was never a capital for the Islamic world. Supposedly, there is tradition that Mohammed came to Jerusalem. That cannot be proven by any factual understanding of the truth. But in reality, what they have said, this is a piece of real estate in the house of Islam, thus, nobody else can ever control that piece of property. And then along come the Jewish people. In 1948 they establish a state. They prosper in the land. It is in the face of their god, Allah. By the way, Allah is not the God of this book [the Bible]! He’s a different god. He was a moon god. He was the same moon god, by the way, that Abraham’s father in Ur of the Chaldees worshiped way back over in the eleventh chapter of the book of Genesis.
- Ankerberg: Alright, take us back here in terms of how strong is this Islamic sentiment to wipe out Israel? Take us around the Middle East. Talk about Saudi Arabia, start there. Is Saudi Arabia really the friend that’s going to help us in terms of this struggle with Israel?
- DeYoung: The bottom line answer is, “No.” Saudi Arabia is not a friend to the United States. You go back, President Roosevelt, I think it was in the late 20’s, early 30’s, but in the 1940’s Roosevelt made a deal with one of the leaders of the Saud family, and they developed a relationship over the years because of that, and America has honored that. Basically, what it said was that Saudi Arabia would supply America with oil and we would supply Saudi Arabia with security. Now, that was very evident in 1991 during the Gulf Crisis when the U.S. troops went into Saudi Arabia, were headquartered there. They protected the Saudi Arabians because Saddam Hussein’s plan was, after he took over Kuwait, go into Saudi Arabia, control all the main oil deposits of the Middle East.
- But through the years, we have to understand that, number one, the holiest sites for Islam: Mecca and Medina are located in Saudi Arabia. The wildest strain of the Islamic faith has originated in Saudi Arabia. The monies for supporting terrorism, and it has been proven that Saudi Arabian money has been involved in the Intifada in Israel. It has also been proven that Saudi Arabian money has been given to the suicide bombers’ families—those who have killed Jewish people in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It has been proven that monies have been earmarked for high profile terrorists operating in Israel. We see the connection between Osama bin Laden and September 11 in the monies and even the manpower that comes out of Saudi Arabia. We understand that there has been an alliance that has been basically signed between Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Iran. Saudi Arabia is doing everything they now can to shut down any relationship between the United States and Jordan.
- There was a recent meeting in Sharm el-Sheik hosted by President Mubarak of Egypt. Notice who was absent from that meeting. You had the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, Abdullah; you had the president of Syria, President Bashar Al-Assad; and you had President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt hosting the whole meeting—but they left out King Abdullah over in Jordan. They’re talking supposedly about the Palestinian situation. Well, 66 percent of the population of Jordan is Palestinian. The king is married to a Palestinian. He should have been involved in that discussion.
- But at the same time, Saudi Arabia has moved at least half of their military might to the border, to the northeastern border of Saudi Arabia and Jordan. They are there. They’re saying they are there because it’s a military exercise, or they’re concerned about what’s going to happen if the United States goes after Iraq and Saddam Hussein starts to attack them. They’re trying to shut down a relationship between the king, Abdullah…and there’s an interesting background there because he is a Hashemite. His family comes out of Saudi Arabia. His great great great grandfather used to be the Sharif, which means that he had the responsibility as custodian of the two holy sites in Saudi Arabia. I’m giving all this background to say, Saudi Arabia is not a friend of the United States. They are fighting for their own survival and the family. September the 11th, what did the royal family do? They got on airplanes; they went to Austria to protect themselves because they thought they were going to be overrun. They have been buying off the relationship they had to the Saudis in the street.
- But now, this uprising of this very radical Islamism that’s coming out, the Jihadists that are coming out of Saudi Arabia—we’d better be aware of this fact: Saudi Arabia is not a friend of the United States nor to Israel and this Saudi peace plan that has been proposed, it’s totally against Israel. It’s really a “no-starter” as far as the Jewish people are concerned but now we’ve got everybody promoting it, even our own President saying this is possibly the way we can come to a peaceful coexistence in the Middle East.
- Ankerberg: Yes. I also heard that in that Saudi peace plan, when they say they’re going to recognize Israel, it does not mean they are actually going to recognize them fully as a nation, etc. It’s more of a diplomatic recognition that could be pulled at any moment. I didn’t understand that until I was reading some of the reports that our own government put out.
- DeYoung: You know, John, not only that, but it says that Israel must give up all the lands that they captured during the Six-Day War.
- Ankerberg: In 1967.
- DeYoung: Yes, absolutely. That means the Golan Heights. That means the Old City of Jerusalem. That means the Temple Mount, most sacred to the Jewish people. That means Judea and Samaria. All of those lands must be given back to these countries and that could be the death knell as far as the Jewish state is concerned.
- Ankerberg: We’ve got about two minutes left. Wrap this up. We’re going to come back to Syria. I want to go back to Lebanon. I want to talk about Hezbollah and what’s going on. But the fact is, you’ve started to paint a picture of the countries that are surrounding Israel and what the Bible has said, that in the future, coming up, the end days, Tribulation days, if you want. These countries that are going to be attacking Israel, well, goodness sake, we already have on the board right now these countries are against Israel, alright? We’re trying to implement some kind of a peace plan. Still hasn’t worked. We still have war. We could go different directions and enter into a world war because of what’s happening in the Middle East. We’ll talk about that as well. But why does God give us this information? Give us some hope to a person that’s listening to this, because the Bible does talk about Christ as being our hope. We’re looking forward to Heaven. He is going to come someday. He’s going to straighten out this mess. Share that information with a person that’s listening right now.
- DeYoung: Twenty-five hundred years ago, God breathed in to some ancient Jewish prophets information that is like reading the front page of the newspaper today. It said there will be a coalition of nations, and we’ve been talking about some of them: Saudi Arabia, Syria, Libya, Egypt, whatever, these other nations that will come against Israel in the last days. It also says that they will be talking about “peace, peace, peace.” And the Saudi peace plan, this is all evidence that we’re quickly moving into the prophetic scenario laid out in God’s Word. I’d have to say the stage is set. All the actors are moving into place. And what is so exciting about that is that Jesus Christ said He would come at that time. He would come. The only way this thing is going to be settled is for the return of Christ to take place; Christ coming back and then settling everything in the Middle East. Bashar Al-Assad said what’s wrong in the Middle East is, the Jews believe the Bible. They believe God has given them all this land, which includes half of Egypt, all of Israel, all of Lebanon, all of Syria, half of Iraq, three-quarters of Saudi Arabia, all of Jordan. Well, that’s true. But that only happens when Jesus comes back. And the evidence is that Christ could come basically at any day. According to the prophetic Word of God, there is not one thing that has to happen as it relates to these nations coming against Israel, and the desire for peace to be in place. Not one other thing has to happen before Jesus Christ can come back. That’s what is so exciting. That’s the hope that we as Christians have in the Word of God.
- Ankerberg: Next week, I’m taking you to your hometown. We want to talk about why Jerusalem is in the news so much; why it is just the key city in the world. Also, why it’s the key spot in biblical prophecy. A double-header. And I hope that you’ll join us next week.