Tom: Thanks, Gary. You’re listening to Search the Scriptures Daily, a program in which we encourage everyone who desires to know God’s truth to look to God’s Word for all that is essential for salvation and living one’s life in a way that is pleasing to Him. If this is the first time you have tuned in, we’ve been going through Dave Hunt’s book, A Cup Of Trembling: Jerusalem and Bible Prophecy.
Dave, you know this has been a format that we have used for a couple of years now—that we have used your book as kind of a syllabus, and this book, A Cup Of Trembling, deals with Jerusalem in prophecy, and Dave, I think you wrote it—the copyright is ’96, so we are down the line a few years from when you wrote it, but I’m amazed at some of the points that you brought out then, almost seven years ago or so, that the points that you bring out are so relevant to what’s going on. It’s like news before the news.
Dave: Well, we go by the Bible, Tom, and the Bible doesn’t change, and the Bible has pointed out Israel’s history, the entire history of Israel—everything that would happen to them—down to the very end. In fact, if we went to Genesis:49:1, it says that Jacob gathers his sons together, and he says, “I am going to tell you what will befall you in the latter days”—the last days. Then we have prophecies about Israel, and that is just, I mean that’s not even the beginning. We have prophecies before then—God’s promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and so forth, of the land, what would happen to them, that they would disobey God, He would cast them out of the land, He would scatter them to every corner of this earth, where we call them “the wandering Jew”—they are everywhere. Even in Japan, you have many anti-Semitic books, if you can imagine, against the Jews. Anti-Semitism was foretold, the hatred of the world, the persecution, the slaughter of Jews was foretold in the Bible. And then God said He would not let them be destroyed. He would preserve them an identifiable ethnic group of people. He would bring them back into their land in the last days, and there He would make Jerusalem—this tiny little city, why should it be of such importance?—He said, “I will make it a cup of trembling, a burdensome stone around the necks of all the nations of the world.” And that has happened. We see it today. And it would not be a burdensome stone if you could push Israel around. The IDF—Israeli Defense Forces—are the best in the world, and that was foretold also. Zechariah:12:6: “God said, I will make the princes of Judah like fire that will devour the nations around them,” and that’s exactly true. Israel could wipe out these people. Those people would wipe out Israel if they could and they have threatened to do it and they have tried to do it many times. So, anyway here we are today, 2003, and the news in the media is exactly what the Bible said it would be.
Tom: If you have a copy of A Cup Of Trembling—it’s out of print now, and hopefully, by the grace of God, we’re going to do a revised updated version—we’re dealing with particulars, as you say, you’ve drawn from God’s Word things that God’s Word says are going to take place. But there are particulars that I think will be valuable to have updated.
Dave: And by the way, Tom, and we have often mentioned it but it bears mentioning again, this is prophecy—it’s unique to the Bible. You don’t find any prophecy in the Qur’an, the Book of Mormon, the sayings of Buddha, Confucius, you know, the Bhagavad-Gita, Ramayana, Hindu Vedas, anywhere. You find it in the Bible only, and this is the great proof that God offers of His existence and that the Bible is His Word. And no one can be an atheist! No one can be an agnostic! It is so clear. It is laid out. It is absolutely 100 percent proved by history, and these prophecies were given thousands of years ago, okay? There is nothing like that in the world.
Tom: Currently we are in chapter 2, and you have titled chapter 2, “Land of Promise—the Promised Land.”
Dave: Right. Exactly.
Tom: If it’s promised land, it had to be promised to someone, to somebody, to some group.
Tom: And again, in chapter 2, Dave, you say, “Three things must be remembered about God’s promise of the land to Israel: 1) The promise was not made to present-day Jews (who may seem unworthy by their behavior) but to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and therefore it is unconditional as far as the right of their descendants to the land, a land which belongs to them exclusively.”…
Dave:We have mentioned a number of times, Tom, that the title deed that the Jews have to that land is the Bible. You can’t argue with that. The Arabs claim it belongs to them; the Muslims claim it belongs to them. And this is the big problem that we have out there. But “this land shall not be sold forever,” Leviticus:25:23, “the land is mine.” So this land was given to the Jews. There’s no doubt about it. “Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and to their descendants for ever and ever” (Jeremiah:25:4-5 declares).
Tom: Again, an unconditional promise.
Dave: This is what the Bible says, okay? So, the title deed is about 4,000 years old.
Tom: Dave, the second point you make here is, you say, “Continued possession of the land is conditioned upon obedience to God, and those who disobey, though genuine descendants of Jacob, will be cast out if they do not repent and return to God.” That seems a little bit contradictory if it’s unconditional, but if they are cast out, then who is left? How is the land…how is the promise fulfilled?
Dave: Well, it’s unconditional and it’s perpetual as far as the promise goes, but God is not going to honor this to people who disobey Him and rebel. On the other hand, Israel was always rebellious. All through the wilderness, they went into idolatry. They were always disobedient, well, they just were a rebellious people—have been. But God’s promise is not dependent upon that. That land belongs to them, okay? It’s the best way I could say it. If they have been cast out because of their rebellion and disobedience, nevertheless, that land has not been given to someone else in their place. That land still belong to them.
And so we have a promise that God would restore them to this land and, in fact, that He would break their hard hearts and eventually, the people who would possess it would be Jews who are in submission to God and who believe in Him. So that restoration is yet ahead. On the other hand, we have the restoration is in process, and people often say, “Well, those Jews—they don’t belong there; they don’t deserve it. That doesn’t prove anything.” But the Bible foretells, Zechariah:12:10,for example, that Christ, in the midst of Armageddon, will return to rescue His people and only then will they believe on Him. So if they don’t come back to their land in unbelief, they could hardly believe on Him when they are in their land and when He rescues them.
So God’s promises are without revocation; He’s not apologizing for it—He knows what He is doing. On the other hand, Tom, there are many Jews over there who really do believe, and there are many Jews down through history, and I think of David ben-Gurion, the first premier of Israel. He had a lot to say about the promises of God. In fact, he rebuked his fellow Israelis, and they ought to remember it today. He said, “No Jew has the right to give away any of this land to anyone; it was given to us by God.”
And I don’t know whether we’ve mentioned it on this program—I think we have—the Israeli Pavilion in the 1967 World’s Fair. It was a testimony to God’s grace; it was a testimony to the fact that God had given them the land. It was an amazing testimony by an unbelieving nation. So there have been pockets of belief and of honoring God, and He is in the process of restoring these people. But in the meantime, Jeremiah:30:7, for example, says “the time of Jacob’s trouble”— the worst time for Israel yet lies ahead. Two-thirds of all the Jews on planet Earth will be killed.
Tom: Dave, the third point, “The promise was not for some limited time that has now passed but was for ever and ever and thus holds true today.”
Dave: That’s what the Bible says. We didn’t read Ezekiel:37:25: and “God says, They shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt; and they shall dwell therein, even they, and their children, and their children’s children for ever.” Forever is the promise over and over in the Scriptures.
We could turn to Genesis 13, for example, and in verse 15, God is talking to Abraham: There is no such thing as the children of Israel yet, there are no Israelis yet. Isaac hasn’t even been born yet. And God says, “And the Lord said unto Abram, lift up now thine eyes and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward, for all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it and to thy seed for ever!”
Again, no conditions, and of course, everyone listening, or most listening would know, the first thing you learn about the Jews, well, through Abraham their father, is that they have a land given to them by God. Genesis:12:1: “Now the Lord had said unto Abram, get thee out of thy country and from thy kindred and from thy father’s house unto a land that I will show thee.” And this is the land of Canaan, and God promised to give it to Abram’s descendants forever and forever. And anyone who disagrees with that is disagreeing with God.
And I don’t care what they say about the rights of the Palestinians. We could discuss that—who the Palestinians really are and what rights they really claim to this land, and they claim that Israel is occupying their land. No, they are occupying Israel’s land. We could talk about the difference between the treatment of Jews in Saudi Arabia for example, where every one was killed. It’s against the law for a Jew to set foot in Saudi Arabia. No Jew can be a citizen in Jordan, right next door, and they were given by Britain land that the League of Nations and the whole world recognized belong to Israel. All that land the world recognized belonged to Israel, and it was taken away from them. They are occupying Israeli land, but the Arabs, who did not flee during the War of Independence in 1948—they still comprise about 16 percent of the voting citizens of Israel. They have full voting rights—you have members of the Knesset who are Arabs, some of them who say pretty bad things against Israel, and so forth. Try to have Jew even have any rights in any Muslim land—so there is a big distinction and the world does not recognize it.
They will not honor God’s Word, and I’m sorry, I guess we have mentioned this a number of times, but President Bush, well, he’s not listening but maybe someone who knows him is listening—President Bush, you had better go back and read your Bible, because exactly what you are trying to do now with this Road Map to Peace so called, please read Joel:3:2, and you will find that God says He’s going to bring all the nations of this world into judgment for “dividing my land,” He says. And that’s exactly what this road map is—that’s exactly what the whole thing is about, and furthermore, anyone who reads history, anyone who pays any attention to what Arafat has said, or anyone else has said, knows that the so-called Palestinians do not just want some more land! They want everything. And they must destroy every Jew on the face of this earth before the last day will come—the last day promised by Muhammad to the Muslims. So, all this talk about, “give us a little more land, let’s exchange a little more land,” it’s a total fraud. It’s a lie, and the whole world ought to know it. And furthermore, the whole world is defying God.
Tom: Well, Dave, I think that’s a point that you make very strongly here. It’s not a matter of being pro-Israel or a matter of being pro-Arab or pro-Palestinian—it’s a matter of God’s will. This is what we are talking about, and we are referring to the Scriptures. So this isn’t your…these aren’t your ideas, not my ideas.
Dave: Exactly, and if the Palestinians, so-called, and that’s another subject, but they call themselves Palestinians, whereas a few years ago they refused to be called Palestinians. The Arabs would not be called Palestinians; they said the Jews are the Palestinians. But anyway, forgetting that, if the Muslim nations around Israel, and the Muslims within Israel, if they want to have peace, then they must obey what God has said. They’ve got their own agenda, and it isn’t going to work, and ultimately it’s going to bring destruction in this area of the world.
Tom: Dave, we can understand, just superficially, the Muslim attitudes about it, the attitude of the Jews about the land, they are wrestling over the land, and so on, but what about the Catholic Church? Why wouldn’t they be consistent with, or at least draw from, what the Word of God says about the land? But they don’t.
Dave: In 1994, they finally recognized it, and it was in December, so about 46 ½-47 years they would not recognize it, because the Catholic Church—and we have this teaching among evangelicals today—they say the Church is Israel! Israel is finished. The Catholic Church said, “The Church is the new people of God.” You had that in the statement in 1928, the Vatican Declaration. You find this in Vatican II, a denial that Israel has any place at all in prophecy. Well, they don’t recognize prophecy, as you know—you were a Catholic. The Catholic Church has nothing to do with prophecy.
Tom: Well, there were prophecies from the saints, so-called, down through the ages.
Dave: Oh, right. Right. But they don’t go to the biblical prophecies, okay? So, I mean I could go back down through history, the persecution of Jews by the popes, and we talked about some of that in here. We also deal with it in A Woman Rides the Beast what the Catholic councils have said. There are more than a hundred anti-Semitic documents put out by the Catholic Church down through the centuries.
You could go to Herzl’s diary—the founder of the modern Zionist Movement in 1904, that was the year of his death—and he records, he said he asked Pope Pius X for help: “Would you please help us? Our people have been scattered around the world, we are hated and persecuted—would you help us to get back into our land?”
And Pope Pius X said, “We cannot prevent the Jews from returning to Palestine, but we could never condone it,” he said.
And in 1919, Pietro Despari, who was the Vatican Secretary of State, a Cardinal, and he said, “The thing that frightens us the most is the thought of Jews returning to their land.”
And in June 22, 1943, we have a letter from Pope Pius XII writing to President Roosevelt, and he expresses himself very strongly. He says there is no precedent in history for people that have been cast out of their land for 1,900 years to be brought back. If a national home for the Jewish people is desired, some place other than Palestine would be preferred, because if you let them back in there, that will cause great problems for the world.” Well he was right about that, but we could give you other quotes.
The Catholic Church, in other words—I find it staggering—popes, cardinals, expressing a disdain for and a rejection of hundreds and hundreds of prophecies, promises that God has given that He would bring these people back into that land. The Catholic Church would not condone it, and you know that they have—why, the pope was there, what, in the year 2000? Meeting with Arafat. The pope has signed new documents—they have expressed themselves repeatedly that Jerusalem must not be under Jewish control. In 1947, when the United Nations partitioned the land, November 29, 1947, the Vatican was very firm. That’s UN Resolution 181, they’re an NGO, Non-governmental organization attached to the United Nations, and they’ve got a lot of clout. So UN Resolution 181 said Israel must never be in control of Jerusalem. That’s one of the reasons why Jerusalem is a cup of trembling, exactly as the Bible foretold. It’s a burdensome stone; it’s a burden around the necks of the nations of the world.
Tom: So Dave, the Catholic Church then, seeing itself as the new Israel, and having traditional attitudes with regard to the Jews, with regard to Christ, crucifying Christ, they believe that they have to control this area because it’s the birthplace of Christ. It has to be Christian, but it has to be Catholic Christian, in terms of control.
Dave: Yeah, well, that’s part of it, Tom. Let’s put it another way, and I’m sorry, our State Department is anti-Israel—they have been down through history. If someone wants to look up some of these things, you can get a book, The Secret War Against the Jews. I’m sorry, you would find out what former President Bush did behind the scenes, what some people we thought were Christians did behind the scenes to betray Israel, because of oil. They are catering to the Arabs because of the power of the oil, and of course, back in those days, I’m going back a little earlier now, we didn’t yet have our agreements and we were jockeying for power and for possession in Arab lands of this oil, and so forth.
So, the same with the Catholic Church—the Arabs, that’s a big group, they are powerful! They’ve got a lot of influence, and the Catholic Church always, as you know, wants to be on the side of influence and power. And on the other side, we have the Jews—despised people, very small group, a thorn in the side. People are jealous about them: “Those Jews, they got all the money, they control the banks, they get the good grades in school,” and so forth. There is a prejudice against them, and, Tom, you can see it coming. One day the whole world is going to say, “Why should we keep supporting these Jews? It’s just a problem to the world.”