Yesterday’s Headlines in Light of Biblical Prophecy – Program 2
| October 10, 2013 |
|By: Dr. Jimmy DeYoung, Hal Lindsey, the late Dr. David Breese, Dave Hunt, Dr. Renald Showers, Dr. Randall Price; ©2002|
|What does God say will take place between Israel and the Arab nations in the end times?|
Israel and Her Arab Neighbors
- Announcer: The Israeli-Arab conflict has been raging for 53 years. Suicide bombers, brutal attacks and reprisals are causing many people to wonder, “Is peace possible in the Middle East?”
- Arafat: “We know but one word – Jihad, Jihad, Jihad, Jihad.”
- Jimmy DeYoung: I believe that we’re at a spot in history when there is no way there is going to be peace between the Palestinians and the Israelis. They want war.
- Hal Lindsey: Well, there are 1.2 billion Muslims in the world and there’s only one thing that unifies them. They disagree over many things, but they all agree that they must liberate Jerusalem and destroy Israel.
- Announcer: Today, Dr. John Ankerberg looks at world events from 1991 to the present in light of biblical prophecy.
- Dr. John Ankerberg: Everywhere that I’ve gone in the last months of time, people are saying, “How do the events that are taking place in the Middle East, how do they square with what the Bible is saying?”
- Lindsey: This is the first time in history that all of the prophetic scenario the prophets predicted would come together just before the return of Christ is actually in view.
- Dr. David Breese: Jesus, when He delineated these things said, “And when you see these things begin”—not end but begin—“to come to pass, then lift up your heads and look up because your redemption draws nigh.”
- DeYoung: Now, the Bible says all of that. I’m telling you what current events are in reality, but God’s Word prophesied over 2,500 years ago that’s the situation we’d be in the end times when all these nations, when all these people want to go against Israel and wipe them off the face of the earth.
- Lindsey: I believe that the Bible is very clear that the last war of the world will start with a war over Jerusalem.
- Announcer: What does the God of the Bible say will happen in the future? We invite you to join us for this very special program.
- Ankerberg: Welcome. What does the Bible say will happen in the Middle East? And today, specifically, what does it say about Israel and the Arab nations? Our emphasis is not political but biblical. What does the God of the Bible say about events that will take place? To answer this question, we’re going to go back to interviews we have conducted over the past twelve years when major world events occurred. The news correspondents and biblical scholars speaking at events at that time had no way of knowing about the events we’re facing today. Yet because they were relating those events to what the Bible says about where history is going, it almost sounds like they are talking about the present moment. So let’s begin. What does the Bible predict will take place between Israel and the Arab nations in the future? Listen:
- Hunt: Zechariah 12, God said, “In the last days I am going to make Jerusalem a cup of trembling for all nations.” A little later on He says, “A burdensome stone to all the peoples.” That this…what do they have, Hal? One-sixth of one percent of the Arab land? This is what all this battle is about? And that little insignificant piece of nothing—it was swampland or desert—that [is what] the eyes of the world are focused upon this today. And everybody, I don’t care who you are or what you believe, you know that the last battle is going to break out over Israel.
- DeYoung: The stage is set. Every actor is moving into place and the curtain is about to go up. Like never before in history, the scenario God lays out in His Word is moving into position. You pick up a paper, you tune in a television newscast or a radio news report, it’s giving us continuing evidence. I think I’m listening to prophecy teachers sometimes when I listen to national news or international news. It’s giving us the evidence of how God is allowing these nations to move into position.
- Lindsey: I believe that the Bible is very clear that the last war of the world will start with a war over Jerusalem. And as I look at Ezekiel 38, virtually all of the allies that are described in Chapter 38 of Ezekiel are now Muslim nations.
- Ankerberg: God says in Zechariah 12, “Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the surrounding peoples, when they lay siege against Judah and Jerusalem.” What is this “cup of trembling” all about?
- DeYoung: I believe it’s talking about that Jerusalem is going to be intoxicating. When you saw the cup and it was trembling, Proverbs, remember, it says, “Don’t go near that cup when the ingredients in the cup are moving.” I think what it’s talking about, in the end times there are going to be enemies of Israel, those who want to take over and take charge of Jerusalem which God has given to the Jewish people for His special purpose, and they are going to be intoxicated with power. For example, 1994, Bill Clinton came for his first visit to Israel. He came and in the Arabah they signed the peace agreement between Israel and Jordan. But then he came into Jerusalem. As a journalist I was covering this situation and Bill Clinton said he wanted to go into the old city and up onto the Temple Mount. He had never been there. Wanted to do some sightseeing. The Mayor of Jerusalem, Ehud Olmert, said, “I’ll be happy to take you up there.” When he said that, Yasser Arafat said, “You will not take him up there! Nobody will take him up there!” They locked every single gate to the Temple Mount. They put armed Palestinian guards behind them. And Yasser Arafat made the statement, “Nobody goes on the Temple Mount unless I take them up there and do the tour with them.” Well, this man has become intoxicated with power controlling what is the most important spot on the face of the earth for the Jewish people.
- And you know, for over 1,305 years, from 691 when that Dome of the Rock was put on the spot where the temples stood in the past, they have controlled the Temple Mount area. That’s longer than both the first and the second temple stood up there. I think the “cup of trembling” is talking about those who will be intoxicated with power as it relates to the city of Jerusalem.
- Ankerberg: Guys, what I’d like to talk about is an event that happened just from the time we’re taping the program, just a few weeks ago, basically, when Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel, opened up a tunnel close to the Temple Mount and the world over there actually erupted. I heard over a thousand people were injured and went to the hospital. There were about 78 people who died. Then Israel finally called tanks out into some of the cities, the first time since the last war.
- Jimmy, what happened? How close to war did we get?
- DeYoung: Let me say, first of all, it was a war. Seventy-eight people were killed—15 Israelis and 63 Palestinians were killed. The tanks were at Ramallah. They were aimed at the people. They were up in the Galilee at Naplouse. These people were at war. People were getting killed. Now, it happened to be a mini-war, and praise the Lord for that. It could have broken wide open and the entire Middle East could have been at war.
- The situation was that back in January under Shimon Peres when he was Prime Minister, the Israeli government made a deal with the Palestinians. The Palestinians wanted to expand their prayer space at Al-Aqsa Mosque. They weren’t going near the Al-Aqsa Mosque. They were not going near any Muslim archaeological remains at all. They had made an arrangement that you could, at Solomon’s stables basically, under Al-Aqsa Mosque they could put a prayer center for the Muslim people because they needed more space for prayer. What was actually taking place was that they were simply opening up a tourist attraction for the Israeli people, for the Christian people, for the Muslim people. All were invited to come there.
- I went through that day with Dan Bahat, who is the archaeologist in charge of the entire operation. I said, “Dan, are we endangering any building at all? Forget Muslim artifacts; forget Israeli archaeological remains. Are we endangering anything?” He said, “Absolutely not.” He said, “I respect the Muslim archaeology as well as I do the Israeli archaeology.” This was a non-issue.
- Three weeks before, Yasser Arafat tried to call the Palestinian people to a big demonstration on the Temple Mount. He wanted the Temple Mount flooded with people. They had 15,000 people show up. That’s a drop in the bucket. I’ve been on the Western Wall reporting news from that spot when they had upwards of 200,000 people on the Temple Mount there worshipping in the Muslim worship service. So it didn’t work. It did not come together for him. He needed an event. When Netanyahu returned from a European trip at the time all this took place, he said, “Whatever I would have done, Yasser Arafat would have used that to launch what he did.” And, in fact, he came out of a meeting in Gaza meeting with his cabinet and he told them, “We will accelerate this thing. This is the issue we’ve been looking for.”
- Ankerberg: Yes. Speak to this. One of the scariest things in doing the research for this program was to realize the police force that the Palestinian Arabs now have, the size of that, what Israel did in arming them, and what happened during this incident? Speak to all of that.
- DeYoung: The Oslo Accords set up a police force for the Palestinian people. And to be exactly that; simply a police force with small arms on their side. That’s all they were supposed to do. They were allowed by the Oslo Accords to have 9,000 members in this police force. As I speak, there are over 50,000 people involved in the Palestinian police force which has become a military might. Those Israelis were killed by their own weapons and by that I mean, the Israeli government under Shimon Perez gave the weapons, the long rifles, to these Palestinian police. They turned on the people of Israel with the weapons that Israel had graciously given to them to police their own people.
- Ankerberg: You know, Mubarak of Egypt said after this event, “If Arafat is not successful in negotiating with Israel, the Palestinians will not sit with folded arms. Violence may start, not only against the Israelis, but against those who support the Israelis.” Are we talking about terrorism coming our way?
- DeYoung: We’re talking about terrorism worldwide. That’s what they have guaranteed. You see, part of the Palestinian operation would be Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and Hezbollah, three of the most notorious terrorist organizations in the world; Hezbollah in southern Lebanon, and then in Israel proper you have Islamic Jihad and Hamas. They are a part of the PLO, Palestinian Liberation Organization. That’s a conglomerate of Palestinian terrorist organizations of the past, although Yasser Arafat, who happens to be the chairman of the PLO, has supposedly become a statesman instead of the world’s best-known terrorist.
- Anyway, as they have moved to a position where they are now endeavoring to take back Jerusalem, to establish a state in the land of Israel with Jerusalem as its capital and to annihilate the Jewish people, it is, in my opinion, a fulfillment of two very interesting prophecies. The Book of Ezekiel Chapter 35, the Book of Obadiah talks about in the last days there will be a people that will rise up with the desire of taking the land of Israel. Ezekiel 36:5 says, when that happens, these people with despiteful minds and joyful hearts will go in to try to take the land that God gave the Jewish people, take it away from them, and get rid of a Jewish presence in the Middle East. Now, whether you want to say that’s the Palestinians or not, whoever that prophecy is talking about have to arise in the last day and try to destroy the Jewish nation in the land of Israel.
- Ankerberg: Rennie, where are these things going, first of all, and why do they prove that the God of the Bible does exist and that we’re going the direction that He predicts in prophecy?
- Dr. Renald Showers: Let me point this out. You know, in the Prophet Isaiah God calls Israel, “Israel, my glory.” And the word “glory” refers to what is impressive or influential. And the way God reveals His glory through Israel is the way He deals with that nation historically. And the whole point is, through God’s historic dealings with Israel, He’s going to keep drawing attention to that nation, and the way He deals with that nation, in order to impress the world with His greatness and who He is and that He has a plan and a purpose and that He’s in control of things.
- In Deuteronomy 28 in the first fourteen verses God told Israel that whenever they would obey Him and His Word, He would bless them more than any other nation; and He told them why He would do that—so that all the other nations would recognize that they’re called by the name of the Lord. Then beginning in verse 15, going to the end of Deuteronomy 28, He told Israel, if they didn’t obey Him and listen to His Word, that He would curse them more than any other nation on the face of the earth and He told them why He would do that. He said, “You’ll be a byword; you’ll be a proverb.” What He’s saying there is, I’m using the nation of Israel, in my historic dealings with it, as a object lesson to impress the world with two truths about Myself: number one, I’m the kind of God who will bless those people who listen to and obey my Word; number two, I’m also the kind of God who will curse and frustrate those people who will not listen to and obey My Word.
- And it’s no accident that God placed that tiny nation in the most strategic geographic location on the face of the earth in ancient times and has brought it back there again. He’s simply setting the stage for one of the greatest displays of His glory through that nation. And so God in His sovereignty allows these problems to stir up to keep drawing the attention of the world back to Israel again. I know almost every week it’s in the news for one reason or another because of all the turmoil going on there. This is all part of God’s plan and purpose. He’s using that nation to impress the world with certain things about Himself.
- Ankerberg: One of the primary questions people are asking today is, “Are we ever going to have real peace in the Middle East or are we actually headed towards war?” We’re going to take a break and after the break, I’m going to show you some excerpts from Palestinian television that shows what President Yasser Arafat was saying to Arab audiences while the Oslo peace agreements were being signed. Stay tuned.
- Ankerberg: Why is it that the Arab world has yet to recognize Israel as a legitimate nation? How will there ever be peace if some of the Arab countries at the United Nations continue to call for the destruction of the state of Israel? Does it not seem that if there is going to be a peace settlement, Palestinian Arabs must be willing to recognize Israel? Well, in 1996 we produced a program in which we showed what Palestinian television was airing to its people while the Oslo Peace Accords were being signed. What was happening then is happening today. Listen:
- Yitzhak Rabin: We’ve decided to go ahead with an interim agreement with the Palestinians. And I’ll say it bluntly, I had butterflies in my stomach. I won’t deny it. But I reached a conclusion that there is no Palestinian partner except the PLO and then only on specific conditions, only on specific conditions.”
[Text of letter signed by Arafat]:
- PLO Commitment 1: “The PLO recognizes the right of Israel to exist in peace and security.”
- PLO Commitment 2: “The PLO renounces the use of terrorism and commits itself to a peaceful resolution of the conflict.”
- PLO Commitment 3: “The PLO undertakes to submit to the Palestinian National Council for formal approval the necessary changes in regard to the Palestinian Covenant.”
[Text of letter signed by Rabin]:
- Rabin: “Mr. Chairman, in light of the PLO commitments included in your letter, the government of Israel has decided to recognize the PLO.”
- Narrator: These commitments by PLO head Yasser Arafat were made more than four years ago. This was the basis for reconciliation and optimism in the Middle East. And yet the PLO Covenant has still to be amended as acknowledged by Arafat in a note for the record in January 1997: “The Palestinian side reaffirms its commitment to…complete the process of revising the Palestinian National Charter.”
- The opening ceremony of the school year in Gaza begins with these girls, with Kalashnikov rifles, dancing in the presence of the Minister of Education and Yasser Arafat. It takes two to make peace, but what education are these girls receiving? Dancing in battle dress at a school ceremony, what can they be thinking?
- Article 20 of the PLO Covenant:
- Young Child: “I finished practicing on the submarine gun of Return/ And I trained my friends from among the children and the youths/ And we swore to take vengeful blood from our enemies for our killed and wounded/ And we will board a bustling boat which will take us to Jaffa.”
- (A woman sings): “In exile, in hospitals, in the dungeons of rage, Intifada, revolution, revolution erupted at each nerve.”
- Narrator: In our efforts to achieve peace it is no less important to pay close attention to what is happening in the schools, summer camps, and on Palestinian television than in the political negotiations. It is just as bad to see children playing with guns and live ammunition as it is to see adults bombing the Mahane Yehuda market place or Ben Yehuda mall in Jerusalem.
- Narrator: The fundamental question the Israeli leadership must put to its partners in the peace process is, “Where are you leading your people, what are you teaching your children?”
- Arafat: “We know but one word: struggle, struggle, struggle, struggle, combat, combat, combat, combat, Jihad, Jihad, Jihad, Jihad.”
- Showers: John, the Old Testament prophetic Scriptures make it very clear, and even New Testament passages as well, that Israel will be the major trouble spot of the world in the future seven-year Tribulation. And one of the major sources of trouble that God foretells will be for that nation are Islamic nations of the world.
- In chapter 38 of Ezekiel, verses 5 and 6, God revealed five nations as they were known in Ezekiel’s day who would be allied with Russia in bringing their armed forces against Israel at this time in the future. The first nation named in verse 5 is Persia. That’s what that nation was known as in Ezekiel’s day. The modern-day Persia is the nation of Iran. God was saying Iran is going to bring military power against Israel in the future.
- The second nation named in verse 5 is Ethiopia. Some translations say Cush. I point out that the Ethiopia in Ezekiel’s day is not the same nation as Ethiopia today. The modern account of ancient Ethiopia today is the nation of Sudan directly south of the nation of Egypt there in North Africa. And God was indicating that Sudan was going to send military force against Israel in the future.
- The third nation named in verse 5 is Libya. Some translations say Put. But it is the same nation that is known as Libya today, due west of Egypt in North Africa.
- And then the fourth nation named is Gomer and all his bands, verse 6. Again, according to the best scholarship we have available today, Gomer in Ezekiel’s day was a tribal group of people who lived in the central part of the nation we know today as Turkey.
- And then the [fifth] nation named in verse 6 is the house of Togarmah of the north quarters and all his band. Again, according to the best scholarship we have available today, Togarmah was another tribal group of people who lived in Ezekiel’s day in the eastern part of what we know today as the nation of Turkey. So both Gomer and Togarmah seem to be implying that Turkey will be sending military force against Israel in the future as well.
- I would point out to you that all of these nations named in verses 5 and 6: Iran, Sudan, Libya, and Turkey today are Islamic nations and all of those right now, except Turkey at the present time, are ruled over by radical militant Muslims who want to see Israel totally annihilated. Turkey right now officially has a totally secular government but secular news services and intelligence services indicate that government is in increasing trouble with the population of Turkey and there is a radical militant Muslim political party that is gaining favor and getting into positions of government. And even secular sources say they are wondering if Turkey in the near future will not become another Iran. And if that’s the case, then it will be ruled over by militant Muslim forces as well which will want to see Israel totally annihilated from the face of the earth.
- Ankerberg: The next great problem that needs to be faced in the Middle East is the city of Jerusalem. Both the Palestinian Arabs and the Jews claim the right to rule this city. What does God say will happen in the future? We’ll look at that next week.