Yesterday’s Headlines in Light of Biblical Prophecy – Program 3
| October 10, 2013 |
|By: Dr. Jimmy DeYoung, Hal Lindsey, the late Dr. David Breese, Dave Hunt, Dr. Renald Showers, Dr. Randall Price; ©2002|
|God himself said that Jerusalem would be a heavy obstacle between nations in the last days. How have we seen that played out in modern times?|
Jerusalem, the Cup of Trembling
- 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. Almost all would agree that if there is to be any lasting peace agreement between the Palestinian Arabs and Israelis, some very crucial decisions must be made about the city of Jerusalem. Yasser Arafat claims that Jerusalem is the capital of the new Palestinian state, and promises there will be conflict until the city is theirs.
- On the other side, the Israeli government has declared that Jerusalem is the ancient and eternal capital of the Jewish people and it will fight all foes to retain sovereignty over the entire city. I find it interesting that the God of the Bible thousands of years ago said the city of Jerusalem would be a flashpoint, a heavy obstacle between nations in the last days. To learn what God says will happen to Jerusalem in the future, I’d like you to listen to an interview I conducted in 1996, not long after Israel and the PLO had signed another peace agreement. I asked international news correspondent Jimmy DeYoung about what both sides were saying about Jerusalem. I’d like you to listen:
- Ankerberg: The Bible says that God is going to make Jerusalem a cup of trembling to all the surrounding peoples. “It will happen in that day that I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all peoples; all who would heave it away”—wanting to get rid of it—“will surely be cut in pieces, though all nations of the earth are gathered against it.” Well, Israel, God said, someday would become a nation, come back into the land. People would be gathered from all over the earth. That’s happened even in our lifetimes, some of us. In the wars they have now recaptured their holy places right on the Temple Mount, Jerusalem itself; but the very point of that city being in existence and in the nation of Israel’s hands is a sticking point.
- Let me just read a few statements and, Jimmy, I’d like you to go further with us. Hanan Ashrawi. She’s been negotiating with Israel on behalf of the PLO. Very educated, very sophisticated lady. This is the statement she made about the city of Jerusalem and how important it is to the Palestinian Arabs. She said, “Jerusalem is an indivisible part of the occupied territories. It’s a fundamental issue. It is the heart of occupied Palestine. It is the heart of the Arab world. It is the heart of the Islamic world, and no person, no group or Palestinian leadership can relinquish it. We see Jerusalem as the capital of the Palestinian State and reject any attempts at defining its future in advance. Arab Jerusalem remains the Jerusalem of the Arabs, the Jerusalem of Palestine. It’s the essence and the beating heart of Palestine.”
- The Islamic Mufti of Jerusalem said this: “I am one of the holy warriors for Jerusalem. Jerusalem is a part of our religion. It is a part of the religion of every Muslim. We consider ourselves holy warriors for this city and we will not abandon it.” On the other side, before Rabin died, at the Oslo Accord, even though he put it on the table as a point to be negotiated the city of Jerusalem in the future, in doing so, he issued this statement: “Jerusalem is the ancient and eternal capital of the Jewish people,” and the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs right now has on the Internet this statement: “An undivided Jerusalem under Israeli sovereignty with religious freedom for all is and remains a fundamental Israeli position.” It won’t be changed.
- Well, now, friends and neighbors, we’ve got two people that say we’ve agreed we’re going to negotiate it. Both won’t let it go. What’s going to happen, Jimmy?
- DeYoung: It’s going to be an unbelievable conflict. Let me make a statement, though, as to the validity of both the statements that you’ve just read. Number one, I was at the celebration when they kicked off the three thousandth anniversary of the city of Jerusalem being named not only the political capital but the spiritual capital of the Jewish people. And that was in October 1995. Yitzhak Rabin made the statement you just quoted that Jerusalem is the eternal capital. And basically what he was doing was quoting David Ben Gurion who said that as well when the nation was established in 1948. But there is biblical undergirding for that statement. You go back to the book of 2 Samuel 5, you’ll see that King David, moving from Hebron, came to Jerusalem, was established as the king of all the Jewish people, and he needed at that point in time a capital city. He chose the Jebuzite stronghold, the city of Jerusalem, and he established it. That’s over 3,000 years ago that happened.
- On the other side of the coin, we hear the Palestinian leadership saying Jerusalem is going to be their capital for the Palestinian State and they say that it is very important. The Mufti said, “It is very important as far as our religiosity is concerned.”
- It’s the third most important city or most sacred city as far as the Muslims are concerned. Mecca, Medina and then Jerusalem.
- But let me tell you this, the Qur’an, the holy book for the Muslim people, never, ever mentions the city of Jerusalem. Never, ever says a word about Muhammad coming to the city of Jerusalem. And never, ever in the history of the city of Jerusalem was it ever a capital of the Muslim world in any way, shape or form. Within the last 150 years, political decisions have moved these people to saying this is an important city as far as our religion and as far as our existence is concerned.
- The end result is going to be an unbelievable war over who has the sovereignty of the city of Jerusalem. I have read all of the Book. I know the book of Psalms, chapter 132, God says, “I have chosen Jerusalem. It will be my resting place. I will abide there forever with my people.” I think God has the last word.
- Ankerberg: Rennie, why is Jerusalem so important to the nation of Israel?
- Showers: Well, I think, for one thing, because of the historic background that Jimmy has just related to us. But I think for the sheer symbolism of it. Historically, that’s been the capital, this city, and that’s where the temples were located: Solomon’s Temple, the second temple which Herod enlarged and aggrandized and all the rest. So it’s been not only the political capital historically for the people of Israel, but it’s also the spiritual capital as well for them.
- And the prophetic Scriptures indicate that in the future Millennium the city of Jerusalem once again will be the capital city of not only the nation of Israel, but of the entire world. And you have Isaiah, you have Micah, other prophets indicating that during the Millennium that will be the spiritual and the political capital of the world. That’s where the Messiah will be ruling as King over the whole earth. And all the nations of the world during the Millennium will come up there to worship the Lord and to receive His law, His instruction on how they are to live. Zechariah Chapter 8 says during that time, ten Gentiles will grab hold of one Jew and say, “Take us with you up to Jerusalem to worship the Lord.”
- But, John, there’s a third element that enters into this not only what the Jews say about the city and what the Muslims say about the city, but what the world is now beginning to say. There’s a movement by our government as well as the United Nations and other nations to try to totally internationalize the city of Jerusalem and not let one nation control it but the world, in essence, must dictate to it. You know, ever since the end of World War II up until the last couple of years the Vatican refused to recognize Israel officially as an independent government. But when the Vatican heard that there’s a movement among the nations to take Jerusalem away from the control of Israel and internationalize it, very quickly the Vatican recognized Israel as a nation state so that they could have, in essence, an embassy there because they said, if the world is going to determine what’s done with this city, we want a voice in it. And you better believe they want a voice, because they’ve got millions of dollars worth of property in that city. And so there’s a third major factor here where the world now is getting interested. We want to control that city. And so you’ve got about three different elements here that are going to be in conflict with each other.
- DeYoung: John, in December of 1995 the United Nations had a resolution come to the floor to vote on and the basic element of the resolution was that Israel has absolutely no jurisdiction over the city of Jerusalem. There was only one nation that voted against that resolution, and, of course, that was Israel. Even the United States of America abstained in light of the fact that the U.S. House of Representatives, the United States Senate had voted that the embassy of the nation of the United States would be moved from Tel Aviv into Jerusalem by law by the year 1999. But it’s a controversy. And when you’re talking about the Third World, you’ve got to realize, I mean, within one week we had the President of France, we had the Prime Minister of Russia, we had the head of the European Union all come to Jerusalem and say why they felt they must have a say in the final status on the city of Jerusalem.
- Ankerberg: Now, not only is the city of Jerusalem claimed by both Arabs and Israelis, but so is the Temple Mount. Today, the Muslim Dome of the Rock sits on the Temple Mount. In the future the Jewish people believe their holy temple will sit there. Right after our break we’ll examine what the Bible says will happen in the future.
- Ankerberg: What does America and the world face in trying to negotiate a lasting peace between the Arabs and the Israelis when it comes to the city of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount? In 1994 we did a whole program on this topic. Here is how we introduced this important topic. Listen:
- Ankerberg: If you heard, Dr. Archer, that they were going to start rebuilding the Temple next week, according to your Bible chronology, what would that say to you?
- Dr. Gleason Archer: I’d say that the Tribulation is very near.
- Ankerberg: Gershon Salomon is the leader and chairman of the Temple Mount Movement in Israel. On October 8, 1990, he led a procession of Jewish people and attempted to bring the cornerstone for the third Temple to the Temple Mount. It caused a riot that drew worldwide attention and resulted in the United Nations condemning Israel for this event and Saddam Hussein firing SCUD missiles against Israel during the Gulf War. But concerning the rebuilding of the Temple, Gershon Salomon confidently states:
- Gershon Salomon: And I have no doubt that you and I, we shall see the Ark of the Covenant in the middle of the third Temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem very soon–in our life.
- Ankerberg: I asked Dr. David Breese to explain where in the Bible God talks about the Jews rebuilding their temple in the future. Listen:
- Breese: Now, in answer to the question, we live in a period of time called “the day of grace.” During this day of grace, God is working particularly to take out of the world a people for His name. He is producing a wonderful entity called “the Church” and the Church is the Body of Christ. And when we get to heaven we shall discover how much the Church was also the Bride of Christ and we’ll meet at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. But, when the day of the Church is finished and it will be concluded by the Rapture of the Church spoken of in the verse preceding the one that you have mentioned, there will then succeed this period of time an era called “The Day of the Lord.”
- The first section of the Day of the Lord is a seven-year period called “The Tribulation.” Now, back in those days the people at Thessalonica were concerned that maybe they had moved into the Day of the Lord and so Paul wrote them and said, “Now, we beseech you brethren, by reason of the coming of our Lord Jesus and by reason of our gathering together unto Him that you be not soon shaken in mind either by word, spirit, letter as from us as that the day of the Lord is present” (2 Thess. 2:2).
- But then he talked about the Day of the Lord and said, “That day shall not come except there come the apostasia” —the falling away—“first and the man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshipped so that he as God sits in the Temple of God, showing himself that he is God.” [2 Thess. 2:3]
- So Paul tells us that there will be an apostasy that will be one of the characteristics of the era of the rise of Antichrist and the Antichrist will set up a different system of worship. And the day will come when he will actually sit in the Temple of God and declare himself to be God. So we know from this that there will be a Temple rebuilt.
- Now, Daniel refers to this as well. Daniel says that the leader of the emergent Roman Empire, the prince that shall come, will make a covenant with the nation of Israel and he will break that covenant in the midst of the years and “he will cause the sacrifice and oblation to cease” (Daniel 9:27). So we have the Scripture–both in the Old and the New Testament–telling us that at the time of the rise of Antichrist, which is that period of time called the Great Tribulation, there will be a Temple rebuilt, that Temple will be, first of all, the object of great rejoicing on the part of the people of Israel because after 2,000 years the reality of their religious worship has come to pass. They will be grateful to this leader of Europe for having helped them build this Temple, but then when he breaks the covenant with them, this will be dashed to pieces.
- Ankerberg: Next, I asked archaeologist Dr. Randall Price, “Are there plans underway in Israel to rebuild the Jewish Temple?” The answer is, “Yes.” Listen:
- Dr. Randall Price: When I began the research on my book, I was of the opinion that this was simply a grassroots radical or fanatic movement that was taking place in Israel. But the more I got behind the scenes, I saw that it was not only the secular Jews who were interested in the Temple as a national monument to solidify their purposes and somehow reunite the Jewish people, it was also the religious leaders and also this more radical fringe who were very activist. But now we see in Israel implements being prepared for the actual conduct of sacrificial worship; we find vestments being made for the priests; a training school called Ateret Cohanim where young men are being prepared for the actual function in priesthood.
- Ankerberg: And this is going on right now.
- Price: At the present time. And they declare that they expect in their lifetime to actually fulfill that kind of function. We see that a site has been located for the Temple. We also see, very interestingly, that there are settlements being established all around the Temple Mount. Some of the things that are in the news about establishments of settlements in the city of David and in the Muslim quarter all have behind it the intent of bringing a Jewish presence to the Temple Mount so that when the Temple is constructed, people will be in place.
- Ankerberg: Why, Randall, have we heard other writers in America saying that nothing’s going on, truly? What are the politics involved here? Why would some people want to downplay what is happening in Israel?
- Price: I think the primary reason is because of the great sensitivity connected with this issue. The rebuilding of the Temple, and even the Temple Mount itself, has the potential to ignite a conflagration in the Middle East of the proportions of a third World War. We have already seen, October 8th of 1980, the Temple Mount incident in which there was a stoning of Jewish worshippers and retaliation by the Israeli police. Seventeen Palestinian Arabs were killed. The UN condemned Israel and as a result of that, Saddam Hussein used that as justification to say, “Israel is the real occupier. They’re the real aggressors in the Middle East.” And he launched the SCUD missiles hoping to divert attention from his occupation of Kuwait and then draw the United States away from their Arab allies. And this kind of thing has that kind of potential.
- Ankerberg: Alright, for people that don’t know what the Dome of the Rock is, Dr. Breese, what is the Dome of the Rock?
- Breese: The Dome of the Rock is a present Islamic worship center, sometimes called the Mosque of Omar, but its correct name is The Dome of the Rock and it has quite a history. It is the object of a very, very deep passion on the part of the Muslim world. In fact, when the Crusades took place, this area was defended by Saladin, the Muhammad general, and the city of Jerusalem was lost to the Crusaders and the remaining Islamic fighters took refuge in the Dome of the Rock and it is said that there was such a slaughter in this place that the blood ran out perhaps 18 inches deep from the doors. So it’s a place of blood and passion and worship and it’s also ascribed by the world of Islam to be the place from which Muhammad ascended into heaven. In fact, when you visit the Dome of the Rock, you can put your hand in one of those places and it’s purported that you are actually feeling the footprint of the horse that Muhammad was riding when he ascended into heaven. So, therefore I think that it’s very difficult for us to comprehend the passion with which this area is contemplated, looked upon, both by the world of Islam as well as by the world of Israel. There is not going to be a satisfactory answer to the question of the Temple, its location, until these passions are resolved and one point of view must triumph in order to bring that to pass.
- Ankerberg: But Dave Hunt, summarize the importance of the Temple and what does this mean in terms of prophecy and why should a person that is listening to us consider biblical prophecy seriously and invest his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ if he hasn’t done that?
- Hunt: Well, John, I’m just sitting here listening. This is fascinating to me. Fascinating for a number of reasons, one of them being – I’m almost laughing inside – what in the world are we talking about a Temple for? When you consider that Israel has a little postage stamp size of land, I think they have one-sixth of one percent of all the Arab land that the Arabs have around them. They don’t have any oil. Arabs have the oil. What in the world is the big struggle and all the importance of this? And not only that, this Temple, this ancient thing and the Jews are New Agers, they’re atheists, about 80% of them, you know. They don’t believe in God…they don’t believe… “Tradition.” Is that it? It’s got to be something more than that.
- And they can’t stick this Temple up in any old place. It’s got to be where the Holy of Holies was? It’s incredible. And yet the Bible said it would happen.
- Now, if this is a fulfillment of prophecy, we’d better take God seriously on everything else that He has said–and part of what He has said is, this Temple will be occupied ultimately by the Antichrist; Christ Himself will return in judgment, and all those who do not know Him, who have not received Him as the One who died for their sins on the cross, will be lost forever. And everybody ought to take that seriously, too, and I would just want to leave people with this thought. I mean, this is actually happening in our modern world! It’s insane on one hand. It doesn’t sound like anything that intellectual Jewish people and not only Jewish people, the whole world, the world of Islam, the Christian world, the Russians, everybody–atheists. You know that this controversy over this little area, where this Temple is and what it means to these people, isn’t something you can just slough off and say, “Okay, guys, hey, we’ll roll the dice and cut the cards and, you know, we’ll work it out this way.” This is a vital concern to the whole world! And it’s a fulfillment of prophecy and we better believe what God has said in every respect.
- Ankerberg: Next week, why is there so much anti-Semitism in the world? Where does the Bible say this is going to lead in the future? I hope that you’ll join me.