Yesterday’s Headlines in Light of Biblical Prophecy – Program 4

By: Dr. Jimmy DeYoung, Hal Lindsey, the late Dr. David Breese, Dave Hunt, Dr. Renald Showers, Dr. Randall Price; ©2002
The Rise of Anti-Semitism

Contents

The Rise of Anti-Semitism

Introduction

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: In recent days, television, newspapers and magazines have reported on the growing sentiment of anti-Semitism throughout the world. What is the cause of this? Very few people have ventured an answer. On the other hand, the Bible gives a clear answer as to why there has been so much anti-Semitism in the past, and where God says it is headed in the future. This topic came up in an interview we did right after the Gulf War in 1991. It goes back to the Book of Genesis and the promises and warnings God made to Abraham and again to Moses. I’d like you to listen:
Hunt: Well, you would have to go back to Genesis 12 to begin, where God chose a man called Abram, took him out of Ur of the Chaldees, out of occultism and paganism and idolatry, and promised that he would make of him a great nation and said that, “In thee and in thy seed all the nations of the earth will be blessed” and right there at the very beginning God said, “I will bless him that blesses you and I will curse him that curses you.”
A lot of curse has been thrown out on the Jews, on Israel, down through history—anti-Semitism, which we may have time to get into. Why? Because it would be through Israel that the Messiah would come. And Israel is the centerpiece of God’s prophetic timetable and it’s the main topic of everything that God talks about. So, Satan tried to destroy the Jews so there could be no Messiah. Even after Jesus defeated Satan on the cross, if he could still destroy the Jews today—what was behind Hitler? What’s been behind the pogroms and the Holocaust and so forth? If Satan could destroy Israel—this is how important Israel is—he would at least have a stalemate with God, because God could not fulfill His prophecies. Because the prophecies of the end times are all about Israel, as Hal has said, being back in her land and the Messiah will return to Israel and if the Messiah couldn’t return to Israel there would be no prophecies to fulfill.
Now, God said—He said it many times—Hal referred to “a time of great trouble,” Jeremiah 30:7. He calls it “the time of Jacob’s trouble.” And God warns that He’s going to punish Israel for her rejection of Him, her rejection of the Messiah, for her turning away from Him in disobedience and rebellion down through history. “The time of Jacob’s trouble” is coming—the Great Tribulation. But, He says in that same chapter, “Though I make a full end of all the nations whither I have driven you, yet will I not make a full end of you. And I will remember you, I will remember the land” —in Jeremiah 31—I know some of Hal’s favorite verses there—God says something like this: Look, if the sun is still in the sky, the moon is still up there, the stars are still up there, the tides are still going, then Israel will not cease from being a nation before Me and I will bring them back and they will be reborn in their land.
That, as I said last week, you can’t be an atheist—not only that, you better take God seriously because He said more than that. He talks about something that we must do personally in receiving this Messiah that came through Israel.
Ankerberg: Before we get to you, Hal, let me talk to Dave. Last time we were together, right after the Gulf War, and at that time they were talking about the peace treaty that would begin. And I asked you the question, I said, “Do you think that the Jews would ever give up land for peace?” And at that time you made the statement that I think has been written down in a lot of books that “Israel would give up land for peace when shrimp learn to whistle.” Apparently, shrimp are learning to whistle because Israel now has a government in there that is going to, or is talking about giving up land for peace. What’s taken place in just a short year of time that this attitude has switched?
Breese: Yes, I’m glad you used the word “talking,” John. We have to remember the position of the nation of Israel. Israel is a narrow sliver of land which, if the so-called “occupied lands” were retaken by the Arabs, that land will be only 16 to 18 miles wide, which is nothing in the days of jet warfare. A narrow sliver of land, 4 million people surrounded by one billion of the Arab/Muslim world—all of them characterized by tremendous hostility.
In fact, there are leaders of the Arab world—Saddam Hussein being one of them—who every morning when he gets up says, “What might I do today to destroy the nation of Israel?” He has said in recent days that “the mother of all battles is not finished yet” —meaning he still has dire intentions on Israel and the world. It is a characteristic of the Islamic faith. In fact, you cannot be a practicing member of Islam without believing that it is the destiny of Allah that the Islamic faith shall destroy the nation of Israel, capture the whole world, be the master of earth. It is very, very utopian. They’re going to take over the world.
Now, in the face of this, I have made the statement that Israel must not give up land, which is a real thing, for peace, which is a possible hypothetical promise—we don’t know what a promise of peace means in the Middle East, but I would concur that there’s been a very ominous development take place within recent weeks and that is that Israel has chosen a liberal government. And Perez has said that he will negotiate with leaders of the Arab world. He’s already been to Egypt and in my opinion playing a very dangerous game. Because the Arabs look at a sanguine attitude on the part of the leaders of the people of Israel as weakness. They have no intention whatsoever in the next thousand years of ever living and getting along on a peace equilibrium with the land of Israel. So the danger of Israel being destroyed is there at any given moment.
Even now, there’s a jet aircraft—an F15—at every major field in the nation of Israel with a nuclear weapon on board ready to retaliate. They’ve said the next SCUD missile will be the last one. So I will hold that Israel, while it is still sane, will never give up land for peace, because that would be, in a sense, committing suicide for this land.
But the new developments may force Israel to look for a new friend. Will that friend be the United States? Maybe. But “maybe” is not good enough for the nation of Israel. They’ve got to have “Yes.” Where must they look? The leadership of an emergent Europe. And so the possibility of a covenant between the Israelis and the leader of Europe who will finally be the Antichrist has grown more real, more likely, with each day that passes.
Ankerberg: Hal Lindsey, you’ve been to Israel over 50 times, and you’ve got contacts in the Israeli government, in the military; you keep up with the latest inside information. What can you tell us about the new Israeli government, the occupied territories, and relate this to the Bible. Why is this important that we’re talking about with Israel and how does this relate to Scripture? I think we’re leaving that out for the folks that are listening.
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. There’s one book that determines what Muslims are going to do, and that’s the Qur’an. It’s a matter of Qur’anic doctrine that they cannot tolerate the state of Israel to stay in control there.
There was a position paper prepared by the Pentagon a few years ago that outlined the minimal land that Israel had to have to defend itself. It included the Golan Heights and all of the West Bank. It included some of the Sinai, but that’s been given away. Now, they say Israel says right now, if they give up a good part of the West Bank and some part of the Golan Heights, they will no longer be able to defend themselves by conventional weapons.
Ankerberg: Will anti-Semitism ever cease, or will it escalate? According to the Bible, anti-Semitism will increase in the last days when a powerful, political world leader emerges with great charisma. He will use his popularity and influence to bring about a peace treaty with Israel and the Arab nations. We talked about this future political leader who would bring about this ultimate peace treaty in a past program. I’d like you to listen:
Ankerberg: What I want to do is, let’s go down the biblical path. The Bible talks about this crazy thing that is real. It’s [Israel] going to have a relationship with this guy. They’re going to sign a treaty and certain things are going to happen. Take us through the scenario quickly.
Lindsey: You know, I had a young rabbi tell me in Israel as I was talking to him about the situation in Israel and he said that they’re in the greatest danger they’ve ever been. And he said, “You know, we here in Israel would probably follow the devil if he would bring peace.” And my blood ran cold and I said, “Sir, that’s exactly what you’re going to do.” Because, according to the Bible, in Daniel 9:27, it speaks of this coming prince who will make a firm covenant–actually, it’s sort of a defense pact–with the people of Israel in the last day and that officially starts the time clock of God that has seven biblical years, 360 days per year, going. There’s an allotment of time that God made with the Jewish people during the time of Daniel. Most of that allotment of time is gone. There’s only seven years left in that time allotted to Israel in which God said He would accomplish all the things He predicted and promised He would attain with them. Now, it says that this person, this great leader…by the way, when we say “Antichrist,” I want to be very careful to point out, to the world he’s not going to be an Antichrist. To the world he will be the most beautiful, the most charismatic, the most wonderful person that’s ever been. He’s going to be a great leader. He will bring real solutions to desperate problems. And I believe the capstone of his diplomatic achievement will be establishing peace between the Arabs and the Israelis. This will be the thing that would catapult him from being a regional ruler in Europe to becoming a world ruler. And once he does this, then there will be a period of pseudo peace for three and a half years. And then, at the middle of this situation, he will attain such a following, he will be so worshipped because of his superhuman characteristics, his supernatural powers, that it says that he will actually take his seat in the temple of God in Jerusalem and declare himself to be God. Now, that’s what Jesus warned about in Matthew 24:15 when He said, “When you see the abomination of desolation sit in the holy place which Daniel the prophet predicted,” he said, “flee to the mountains.” Why? Because that marks the time when the whole world is going to erupt into war. That’s when there will be the tearing of the second seal of Revelation 6 when it says, “He shall take peace from the earth and war shall break out.”
Breese: In that regard, those who talk about Israel having occupied lands, Israel is the one nation on the face of the earth whose borders are defined by God Himself. And the borders of Israel reach from the river Euphrates to the great river of Egypt and I would hate to be the general commissioned to dislodge the Jews from that area. You’d have to kill every one of them twice. And so it’s just totally ridiculous what we are asking them to do, particularly in the face of a divine mandate.
Hunt: I’ve got to answer his question, first of all, which I didn’t answer yet.
Ankerberg: Yes.
Hunt: Because of Islam, you’ve got to understand Islam to understand the problem over there. The Qur’an claims to accept the Bible but in fact it contradicts it. It denies that Jesus died for our sins…
Breese: That’s right.
Hunt: Somebody else died in His place instead of He dying in our place. But more apropos to what we’re talking about, it says that it was not Isaac who was offered upon the altar and to whom the land was promised, his descendants the Jews, but it was Ishmael who was offered by Abraham upon the altar and it was the descendants of Ishmael, the Arabs, who were promised this land. Therefore, if the Jews exist, that cuts out the very foundation of Islam. The Muslims must destroy Israel or they must admit that Allah is not the true God and that the Qur’an does not tell the truth.
Ankerberg: Hal, we’ve got only about two minutes left. You’ve got this Arab world quoting what Dave was just saying. You’ve got the Jews that say, take me back to Moshe Dayan where they came into Jerusalem and they took over the Wailing Wall. But give me the scenario very quickly of what the Bible says is going to happen with these immovable forces.
Lindsey: Well, the Scripture says that the Jew does not own the land. It also says the Arab does not own the land. It says God owns the land. And, in Ezekiel 36 God says to them, “I also scattered them among the nations and they were dispersed throughout the lands. According to their ways and their deeds I judge them. Therefore say to the house of Israel thus says the Lord God,” verse 22, “it is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act but for my holy name which you have profaned among the nations where you were driven.” In other words, I’m about to lead my 48th tour to Israel May the 10th through the 19th. I go there because it’s a phenomenon to watch its prophecy coming to life in action. You see, when you go there you find that they’re not godly people, they’re not believing in the God of Israel. They are mostly agnostics. So why are we talking favorably about them and sounding as if we’re against the Arabs. We’re not.
Hunt: Everything they’ve done is not perfect, right?
Lindsey: Exactly. God loves the Arabs and He has provided a way of salvation for them through Jesus Christ. He also loves the Jew, but He has a covenant relationship with them. He has sworn to their fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, in spite of their sin—which He predicted would occur—He would bring them back and He would bring a believing remnant out of that. Now, there are those who would say, “That’s not fair. They don’t deserve it.” But can you say that you deserve salvation? No one does.
Hunt: Amen.
Lindsey: And that is by the grace of God that He is going to do what He did. He will fulfill His Word and if you’re listening in tonight, and you’ve never come to see that Jesus Christ died for every sin you’ll ever commit in your life, He has removed every barrier that stood between you and God. He now offers you a free pardon. You can receive that right now, just as He will deal in grace with Israel.
Ankerberg: Welcome. As you have listened to the news about plans for peace in the Middle East, the question arises, “Does the Bible say there will be an ultimate peace treaty between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs?” In past programs we have seen that the Bible predicted the Jews would be gathered from all over the world and become a nation. Against all odds, that became a reality in 1948. The Bible also predicted the Jews would recapture Jerusalem and in 1967, that took place. Today, we are witnessing another biblical prophecy. God says that in the last days He is going to make Jerusalem “a cup of trembling” for all nations, “a burdensome stone” for all the people.” That is happening before our very eyes. The nations of the world are literally turning against Israel, all except for the United States. And even for the United States, Israel is becoming a burdensome weight that threatens our relationships with Arab countries, our access to oil, as well as our relationship with Europe and the rest of the world.
Today we’re going to examine what the Bible predicts about the future of peace in the Middle East. Will there be an ultimate peace treaty that all sides can sign and abide by? You may be interested to learn that the Bible says there will only be an ultimate peace treaty when a powerful political figure guarantees it from outside the Middle East. Unfortunately, the Bible says this peace treaty will only last a short time and then terrible consequences will come. To understand what the Bible says about this coming peace treaty, I’d like you to listen to what international news correspondents and biblical scholars have said in the past when other peace treaties have been signed in the Middle East. It almost sounds like they are talking about events that are happening today. Listen:
Ankerberg: And Dr. Breese, in talking about Israel, the nation of Israel, right now we’ve got a peace conference that is going on. And it looks to me—and a lot of people are optimistic about the fact that there may be a peace agreement between some of Israel’s neighbors and themselves—talk about that and the significance of even having Israel negotiating for peace in light of Daniel, talking about what’s going to happen in the future. Is this the peace conference that the Bible is talking about, or is this kind of a prelude to what’s coming?
Breese: Well, first of all, John, the peace negotiations that Israel is conducting is an illustration of the fact that Israel is not a viable nation militarily on its own. It must be a surrogate of a larger nation. Now, the nation that has been the mentor for Israel—that has supplied it weapons up until now—has been the United States, really the only friend that Israel has had in the world seriously.
In fact, it is my opinion that there are two reasons why God continues His blessing upon the United States. One is because we are the fountainhead of world evangelism in many ways; secondly, because of our friendship to the nation of Israel. The Psalmist said, “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem; they shall prosper that love thee.”
But now, in the minds of the Israelis as they look toward America, they are not as sure of the friendship of America as they were once, and so they must look across the world and they must ask the question, “Who is the emergent power of the world? Is it possible that there is coming to pass a nation or a complex of nations that will represent a power superior to what we have seen in days gone by?” And their conclusion, as they look at the world as it is today, their conclusion in answer to that question is, “Yes.” They are looking north and west to Europe. They predict, as Europe itself predicts, that it is coming together as a “United States of Europe.” When it does, by the way, it will have 325 million people. It will have a gross national product larger than that of the United States, and so it is not that we are surprised when we see that Daniel Chapter 9, predicts that Israel will make a covenant with the leader of Europe who is called “the prince that shall come.” That covenant will be a basis on which perhaps many things Europe may do for Israel: help rebuild the temple, build up its armed forces, give it straight financial contributions, and other things.
But in the middle of that period of time called the Tribulation, the Antichrist will change his mind. He will decide that he is God. He will bring to pass, by the way, the final form of the great religion that will obtain across the world. He’ll put an image of himself up in the Temple at Jerusalem. This will so chagrin the people of Israel that they will rebel against him. Then there will be that last horrendous cycle of persecution in the midst of which the Bible says God will open for Israel a fountain of cleansing. He will put within them a new heart. A great curiosity will arise. They will say, “Why is all this happening to us?” And Christ will appear to them and they will say, “From whence are these wounds in thine hands?” He will say, “These are the wounds with which I was wounded in the house of my friends.” And a weeping, repentant Israel will turn to Jesus Christ. That will be a great day. They will produce 144,000 witnesses alone to tell the world about the Gospel of the Kingdom.
But as we see today’s scenario, it’s not doing violence to our mind, in a sanctified imagination, to image these things developing perhaps very soon.
Ankerberg: Hal, people want to bring that question up right off the bat and that is, “Boy, things look awfully peaceful right now.” I mean, for the first time the Arabs and Israel, they’re actually talking to each other and maybe we’ll come to some kind of a peace arrangement.” Do you think that the Bible is still correct in saying the greatest battle of world history—the Battle of Armageddon—is still going to be fought there and what would lead anybody to that conclusion that it actually might happen?
Lindsey: Well, as I said before, it’s impossible for Israel to give enough to ever satisfy the Muslim nations. The only thing, from the standpoint of the Qur’an, that would ever satisfy them would be the dismantling and destruction of the state of Israel. And so whatever is going on in the way of peace is all transitory. We know that there will be a temporary peace, a pseudo-peace established by this great leader from Rome; and yet, it will not be sustained.
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—in fact, I’ve just done a special report called “The Magog Factor.” As I look at Ezekiel 38, virtually all of the allies that are described in Chapter 38 of Ezekiel are now Muslim nations.
Ankerberg: Dave Hunt, in your book you talk a lot about the fact that we’re going to have peace before we have this big conflagration. Maybe you could talk a little bit in terms of Israel. The fact is, if a peace treaty is signed, what we should think about that peace treaty and then, even if you had a peace treaty, what might spark off a great conflagration right there in the Middle East?
Hunt: Well, John, let’s make it clear again to our audience, if they haven’t gotten the message already, this isn’t three sensationalists up here dreaming up scenarios, you know, to excite people. We are talking about what the Bible says, as you have indicated a number of times, and we have a solid basis. We have thousands of years of history that were written ahead of time where God said what would happen. He said what would happen with Israel. So, we’re not dreaming this up. We are simply going on beyond what has been fulfilled to what is yet to be fulfilled. And we’re basing it on the Word of God.
And as I think both Hal and Dave have already said, there will be peace. Whether shrimps learn to whistle and they give up land for it or not doesn’t really matter. There will be peace. And the whole world is focusing on it. The whole world knows you’ve got to have peace. And there will be a peace treaty. It says in Daniel 8, “Through peace he will destroy many.”
So, as Hal said, and as you’ve pointed out, the weapons that are being sold into the Middle East, that peace will be very transitory. It will be a delusion. It will be a setup. It will be a trap. Israel, instead of looking to her Messiah, instead of looking to God—the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob who made these promises and who brought her back to her land—is going to look to the arm of flesh. And cursed be the man who puts his trust in man, the prophets have said. And so Israel is going to pay for putting her trust in a human treaty instead of her trust in the Lord.
Ankerberg: In 1998, I talked with an international news correspondent who had the privilege of being in the southern end of the Jordan Valley near the Red Sea where he watched King Hussein, then Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, and President Bill Clinton sign the peace agreement between Israel and Jordan. I asked him why the different peace treaties that had been signed through the years were not working when there had been so much optimism around their formation. This is what he said:
DeYoung: Well, when we think about the fact that the Jewish people are being gathered over the last 100 years out of 108 nations of the world back into the land that God promised to give them, that is a significant indicator that God’s Word is right on target. And then the establishment of the nation. In 1998, I was at the president’s house on Independence Day and as we were standing there with all the ambassadors from around the world gathered for this special reception at the president’s house, four F-16s streaked across the sky. My heart started to pound within me as I thought about the fact that now these people gathered had formed into a nation and speaking Hebrew—I heard it in the background—which is all significant as it relates to biblical prophecy.
We thought about last week also the revived Roman Empire. I remember right after the Gulf Crisis there was a special meeting and I, as a journalist, attended it there in Jerusalem. A man from the European parliament was there and he was talking about the fact that they were forming the economic union, the European Community, and they said that Israel plays a significant role because they send so much of the food stuff into Europe—I think about 65% of what they consume comes from Israel—and in his conversation he made a statement. He said, “You know, we have so many requests from nations who want to come in and be a part of the European Union.” He said, “In fact, we have decided that we’re going to limit it to the original borders of the old Roman Empire.” Oh, man, when he said that, I checked my tape recorder to see if it was working, picked myself up off the floor, realizing what he had just said. And that’s all coming together!
But then, as I sit at my listening post in Jerusalem, very interesting to watch the nations around Israel. For example, back in 1979 Jimmy Carter pulled together Anwar Sadat, President of Egypt; and he pulled together Menachem Begin who was the prime minister of Israel at the time. They wrote together and agreed upon and then signed the Camp David Accords. In 1993 I sat as a journalist in the government press office and on a big screen television watched Yitzhak Rabin, then prime minister of Israel, Yasser Arafat, chairman of the PLO, and President Bill Clinton step out onto the White House lawn and sign the Oslo Accords. And then, of course, I had the privilege of being in the Arabah—which is the southern end of the Jordan Valley near the Red Sea—and watch King Hussein and then Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and President Bill Clinton sign the peace agreement between Israel and Jordan which I have right here in my hand. Unbelievable to watch this! And every time one of those agreements was signed, somebody would call me, knowing I was a student of prophecy: “Oh! Is that the peace agreement that the Antichrist is going to sign?” And three times I said, “No. No. No. Don’t call me anymore.” But then I finally said, “I better go back to the Word of God.” I went to chapter 9 of the book of Daniel, verse 27, where it says, “And he [the Antichrist] shall confirm a covenant with many [the Jewish people].”
I said, “Wait a minute! It didn’t say anything about signing a peace agreement. It said he would “confirm it.” And I got to thinking. The Camp David Accord is not working. President Mubarak of Egypt has never been to Israel in the 19 or 20 years now that that agreement has been signed. I knew the Palestinian agreement was not working because in five years there have been more Jews killed by the Palestinian people than in 45 years of the history of Israel before it. And I understood that this agreement, the peace agreement between Israel and Jordan, was really not being normalized. Actually, this agreement that is on the table is waiting to be confirmed. The word there is gabar in Hebrew which means “to confirm it, to strengthen it, to make it stronger.” And here it is, waiting to be confirmed.
Well, that Antichrist is going to come on the scene and he’s going to say, “Hey, I can take all those peace agreements and make them come together!” Then he’s going to tell the Jewish people, “Put your temple up. Put your temple up there on the Temple Mount.” He’s had it all in line with what’s going to happen: the temple will go up. It’s going to become his palace, his tabernacle. He’ll walk in and desecrate that temple and when he does, he will intensify persecution against the Jewish people in that last 3-1/2 years. I praise the Lord I’ve been to Petra and I know that there’s a place prepared of God—Revelation 12:6—that He’s going to house a group of Jewish people to keep them protected. But there will be many Jews–two out of every three Jews will be killed.
You know, the Jewish people went through a Holocaust back about 50 years ago. But the worst holocaust is yet to come. Only one-third of the Jews were killed at that time. Zechariah 13:8 says that in the future, two out of every three Jews will be killed. That’s the coming holocaust that will be the worst slaughter of Jewish people ever to take place in the history of this world.
Ankerberg: And Rennie, you’ve taught biblical prophecy for 38 years or whatever, and the fact is, you’ve studied these Scriptures and when people hear about these events that we’ve been talking about, that God is saying these things are going to come about, they say, “Why those events? What in the world is God up to?” Would you put that in focus for us, please?
Showers: John, they all have to relate to God’s ultimate purpose for history. His ultimate purpose is to glorify Himself by demonstrating the fact that He alone is the sovereign God of this universe. When you read Genesis 1:26-28, we are told that when God created man, He gave man dominion over the entire earth. The fact that God did that tells us that the original form of government for our world was a theocracy. A theocracy is a form of government in which God’s rule is administered by a representative. It was God’s plan that Adam be His representative, administering His rule over this earthly province in behalf of God and in accord with God’s will. When you look at the last verse in Genesis 1, we’re told that after God had completed creation, He looked at everything He had made and all of it was very good. No part of His creation had gone sour on Him yet. But then there was an exalted angel who through pride rebelled against God. God changed His name to Satan. Satan entered the earthly picture according to Genesis 3 and was successful in getting Adam and Adam’s wife, Eve, to join in his rebellion against God. And so there was a fall of man away from God that took place. That caused at least two major tragic consequences for mankind and the world.
Number one—Now that God has lost His earthly representative Adam, the theocracy was lost from planet Earth. And number two—Satan thereby was able to usurp the rule of the world system away from God and according to Scripture, Satan and his forces have been dominating and controlling the world system ever since and they are doing so today. This is why Satan, for example, when he tempted Jesus could offer Jesus the rule of all the kingdoms of the world system and told Jesus the reason he had that authority was because it was handed over to him. It was handed over to him by God’s representative, Adam.
Satan wanted to do this for an ultimate purpose. Satan’s purpose for history is to overthrow God as the sovereign Lord of the universe and replace God with himself as that sovereign lord. But there can only be one ultimate Sovereign and so this meant there was going to be all out war now between the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Satan throughout the course of world history. And that provides us with the key for understanding the purpose of history. It is for God to glorify Himself by demonstrating the fact that He alone is the sovereign God of the universe and no one can overthrow Him.
But the Scriptures make it very clear for God to do that, there are at least two major things He has to do before the history of this world comes to an end.
Number one—He must crush His enemy, Satan, and get rid of him and his kingdom rule from planet Earth altogether. And the Scriptures indicate that God will do that through a combination of the seven-year Tribulation plus the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus. According to Revelation chapters 6 through 18, throughout the seven-year Tribulation God will pour out three series of judgments upon His enemy Satan’s domain here on planet Earth: seven seal judgments, seven trumpet judgments, seven bowl or vial judgments. Through those series of judgments, God will systematically attack, beginning to tear down Satan’s kingdom rule. And then, according to Revelation 19, after that seven-year period of Tribulation, Christ will come out of Heaven on the back of a white horse–symbol of a victorious conqueror. And we’re told He is coming back to wage war; to wage war against what’s left of Satan’s forces here on planet Earth. And Revelation makes it very clear, He will get rid of the Antichrist; He will destroy the rulers and the armies of all the Gentile nations of the world. In Matthew 24 He makes it very clear He will rid the earth of all unsaved people and then after His Second Coming, in Revelation 20, He has Satan bound, casts him into the abyss where he is held prisoner for a thousand years, and then Revelation 20:4-6, Jesus and His saints will reign over the earth.
That says the second thing God must do to accomplish His purpose in history. After crushing Satan, He must restore His theocracy, where once again He will have a man, an Adam, functioning as His representative, administering His rule over this entire planet for the last stage of world history. And Revelation 20 says that will be for a thousand years. And Jesus Christ is that Adam. That’s why Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:45 calls Jesus “the last Adam.” The first Adam lost the theocracy by defecting from God in Genesis 3. Jesus Christ in His glorious Second Coming returns as the last Adam to restore that theocracy and then as God’s representative to administer God’s rule for the last one thousand years of this history. And by doing those two things, God will glorify Himself by demonstrating the fact that He alone is the Sovereign God of this universe.
Israel as a nation must repent of its rebellion. Today, it’s in rebellion against God. Most of the Jews in the world today, sad to say, even in the nation of Israel are totally secular and could care less about God and spiritual things. This is one of the reasons God will bring the Tribulation Period upon them, to break them of their stubborn rebellion and bring them to faith in His Son, Jesus Christ.
Israel as a nation must repent and receive Jesus Christ as its Messiah and Savior before God will crush Satan. And so to Satan’s way of thinking, “If Israel has to repent and believe in Jesus before God will crush me, if I can totally obliterate Israel from the face of the earth before it repents, then God will never crush me.” That’s what was ultimately behind the Holocaust in World War II. Adolf Hitler at 13 years of age got heavily involved in the occult and continued to do so throughout his life. When he became the chancellor of Germany in 1933, one of the castles he confiscated for his purposes in Germany he turned into an occult training center for his SS troops. The Nazis were heavily involved in the occult. PBS, the public television network here in America, ran a multi-week documentary on the heavy involvement of the Nazis in the occult. That’s why they went after so many of the Jews to annihilate them and that’s why Satan, as Elwood referred in Revelation 16, Satan is going to send demons into the world, fallen angels, toward the end of the Tribulation Period to persuade the rulers of all the Gentile nations to bring their armies against the nation of Israel. By the end of the Tribulation Period, he wants those armies to be his instruments to try and annihilate the people of Israel before they can repent and believe in the Lord Jesus.
Ankerberg: That’s why these events are going to be taking place and some of them are even going on right now.
Rennie, wrap this up. As long as you’ve got us on this topic, wrap it up. For people that are listening in, in light of God’s purposes, what should people who aren’t even Christians, what should they do with this information and what should Christians do in light of this information?
Showers: John, the Bible makes it very clear. God has revealed these future events in the Bible not to satisfy our curiosity of what’s going to happen, but to change hearts and lives right now. And for unsaved people, God has given these prophecies to warn them of what is ahead for them. If they don’t believe in Jesus Christ as their Savior before the Rapture of the Church takes place, they’re going to be left on the earth after the Rapture to go through this horrible seven-year Tribulation Period and come under the dictatorial power of the Antichrist. And when Antichrist, in the middle of that Tribulation Period, claims that he is God and requires everyone to worship him as God or else he’ll put them to death, they’re going to be faced with a horrendous decision to make. And either way they go, it’s going to be a no-win situation for them. So God wants to warn unsaved people ahead of time, “You had better heed the warning of what’s going to happen in the future from My Word now” and right now, before it’s too late, turn to Jesus Christ and receive Him as your Savior from sin.
For Christians, God has revealed these future events to shake us loose from our complacency and lethargy, make us face up to reality of what’s going on in the world around us and what we’re heading for as a world and as Christians, and therefore, as Christians, we had better be asking ourselves some pointed questions: What am I doing with my life right now that will count for all eternity? And what should be the priorities in my life now as a Christian in light of these things that seem to be on the near horizon which will certainly happen because God says they will happen.
Ankerberg: Next week, we’ll examine the question, “Do the events taking place in the Middle East now indicate Christ’s return to earth is near?” I hope you’ll join me.

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