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 you are a new listener to the program, we’ve been going through Dave Hunt’s book, A Cup of Trembling, subtitled: Jerusalem and Bible Prophecy. And, Dave, this is a book that’s out of print, but hopefully, by the time this program airs we will have an e-book available, and that will be a device in which you can go online to thebereancall.org, and we’ll have that book available online, and you can download it, print it up for yourself, keep it on your computer, and it’s called an e-book, and Gary will have more to say about it later in the program. I think that’s exciting, Dave.
Dave: Yeah, I’d like to see it back in print as well; are we going to do that too? Not everyone has a computer and the capability of downloading an e-book, so are we going to get it in print too, Tom?
Tom: I hope so, the Lord willing, if the Lord tarries and we get after all our different projects. Dave, we’re in chapter 1 of A Cup of Trembling, and last week we covered some different things about Jerusalem. One of the things that I know puts people off—some people, not everybody—is that Jerusalem is referred to a number of times in the Bible as the City of God. What other city could be like that? That’s amazing!
Dave: There is no other city that God says such things about. In fact, He doesn’t say much about other cities except that they will be destroyed. But Jerusalem—God has plans for Jerusalem. It is called the City of God—40 times, I think, it’s called the City of David. We are told to pray for the peace of Jerusalem—not told to pray for the peace of New York or Washington, DC, Paris, London, you name it.
Tom: Bend, Oregon?
Dave: Yeah, Bend, Oregon. We need some prayer for that, but we are to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. This is a special city—you can’t get away from it, whether you like it or not, and the Jews are special people. He chose Abraham and his seed—the seed of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and that’s it!
Tom: Dave, briefly, this again part of the review, why “a cup of trembling”? Why is it referred to that way?
Dave: Well, this is exactly what God said through his prophet Zechariah 2,500 years ago, approximately. Jerusalem lay in ruins, having been destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar’s army. It was surrounded by wilderness. God said, “The day is coming when the eyes of the world will be on Jerusalem in fear and trembling. It will be a burdensome stone around the necks of all the nations…” because the next war, I think, definitely the next world war—a nuclear holocaust is going to break out over Jerusalem. Well, why is it so important? We talked about that last week. I mean, it’s a…you’ve been there, I’ve been there a few times—it’s a “nothing” place! I don’t want to offend any people from Jerusalem, but what’s so important about it? That is one of the amazing features of this prophecy. Here is a city that was destroyed, and yet, God said, “One day this is going to be the focus of attention,” and the United Nations has spent one-third of its time debating, deliberating, pronouncing, condemning Jerusalem and Israel—a nation that has one one-thousandth of the earth’s population. Now if that is not a fulfillment of a remarkable prophecy—and Tom, I know, we are trying to go through the book, so I won’t launch off on that, but I could give you enough fulfillments of prophecy concerning just Jerusalem that would absolutely prove God exists and the Bible is His Word without a doubt.
Tom: We’re going to do that. The chapters ahead in your book are going to give us the opportunities to address just those issues. But Dave, when people think of Jerusalem—this is a religious city. Different religious groups have very specific interests in Jerusalem, but are they valid?
Dave: Well, I guess we talked about that last week, as well. They are not valid for Muslims. Jerusalem is not even mentioned once in the Qur’an. Now there is Surah 17:1, it talks about al-Aqsa, but that means the farthest mosque, or the farthest place of worship…
Tom: Let me read it: Surah 17:1, “Glorified be He who carried His servant by night from the Inviolable Place of Worship to the Far Distant Place [al-Aqsa] of Worship the neighborhood whereof We have blessed, that We might show him Our tokens! Lo! He, and only He, is the Hearer, the Seer.” I don’t see Jerusalem there.
Dave: No, it’s not. The word in Arabic is al-Aqsa, so they now call the mosque up there the al-Aqsa mosque, but as we pointed out last week, Surah 17:1 is absent from among those verses inscribed, beautifully done in Arabic, inside the Dome of the Rock. Obviously that was not what the builder of it had in mind. Abd-al-Malik, and he built that, began it in 691; it was finished in 692. And as we mentioned—Tom, I guess we will give you a little review, I think it’s helpful—as we mentioned last week, Mecca and the Kaaba have been taken over by a rival. And we talked about the fact that the Muslims, down through history, they fight one another—fought, killed, murdered, poisoned one another. The Caliphs were in contest with one another and so forth, and so Abd-al-Malik decided, Well, I can’t get the revenue that is going to this guy who is in control of Mecca and the Kaaba—because you had to pay to get there; I mean, it was a money-making project. So he thought, Well, originally, you know, Muhammad, at the very beginning, had his followers—[there were only a handful of them at that time] pray towards Jerusalem. He was trying to curry the favor of the Jews and the Christians, and originally Muslims did pray towards Jerusalem. But when they would not—the Christians and the Jews would not accept him as a prophet, he turned against them, bitterly, killed them, fought against them, and he had his disciples pray towards Mecca. Now what was Mecca at that time? We talked a little bit about that the last program.
Tom: The source of pagan worship—it was the place.
Dave: The Kaaba, with over 300 idols in it, and now he’s got the Muslims praying toward Mecca. Why is that? And did we, last program, talk about how he went in and mingled with the new Muslims? This is a new religion, although he says it’s not a new religion—he claims Adam was a Muslim, and Abraham was a Muslim, and David, and so forth, and originally Jerusalem was a Muslim city, and everything in the Bible has been changed, you see. The Bible got messed up, or otherwise the Bible would be exactly like the Qur’an. So, the Christians and the Jews corrupted it, okay?
But anyway, here he is having his followers, the Muslims, pray towards the Kaaba in Mecca. And then he takes his followers and they go on a hajj—the pilgrimage—and they mingle with the pagans, and they follow all the traditions, all the rituals, involving this pagan temple. And even after Muhammad got control of Mecca, and he smashed the idols, including the idol that represented Allah, he still kept all the other pagan practices. I think we talked about them last week.
Tom: Yeah. Dave, let’s bring it up to the 1920s, 1930s. This was another thrust to make the Temple Mount—to make Jerusalem—a focal point for religious worship for Muslims. This was really under the instigation of Arafat’s…well, some say his great uncle.
Dave: Haj Amin el-Husseini, Arafat’s great uncle, who was a terrorist. Why the British made him the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem—they were in control over there. They were trying to cater to the Muslims, but they did, although he was a terrorist. Finally, there was a price on his head. He fled to Berlin—he was a friend of Hitler; we have pictures of him with Hitler. He broadcast over the radio: “Arabs, rise as one man, kill the Jews wherever you find them! This pleases Allah,” and so forth. And historians say he was probably responsible for the deaths of several hundred thousand Jews.
But anyway, this was Arafat’s model and mentor, and Arafat changed his name. His last name originally was Husseini, and he changed that, I presume, to hide his relationship with this man. But anyway, he’s the one who came up with the idea, as near as we can tell from history, came up with the idea that Jerusalem was a holy place for Muslims.
Tom: Dave, again, our point here is that, you could say, through these individuals, Jerusalem was really—would “co-opted” be the word?—they took it as a part of their own religion when there was no basis for it whatsoever.
Dave: Not mentioned once in the Qur’an—not once! Jerusalem is not mentioned once in the Qur’an, and yet they now take over.
Tom: And this is a major point for A Cup of Trembling—it’s what creates fury on the part of individuals with regard to this city. It has a religious basis, and although there is no basis in fact, for it it’s still there.
Dave: Now we have also the Catholic Church involved. This is a very important city for Christians. But the Catholic Church, I’m sorry, they don’t follow the Bible; they don’t follow the teachings of Jesus. When the Crusaders went there, the first Crusade under Pope Urban II, when they took Jerusalem they chased the Jews into the synagogue and set it ablaze and killed them all! They killed Turks and Jews, and they killed Jews all across Europe on their way, and the Vatican would not even acknowledge the State of Israel until 1994—46 years after their Declaration of Independence, because the Vatican has been opposed to Israel. And maybe we will get to that, Tom, we can certainly quote leading Roman Catholic bishops, cardinals, popes, to that effect. So, but they say this is the holy city for the Catholic Church, for Christians. And they say that the pope is the representative of true Christianity—he’s the Vicar of Christ on this earth. Now, there are those who are not Catholics who seek to follow the teachings of scripture and of Jesus Christ. And yes, when you went there the first time, Tom—fantastic experience, right?
Dave: To be in Israel, in Jerusalem where Jesus walked and all these events took place. And then, of course, for the Jews—this city was established by their great King David over three thousand years ago, and yet Arafat says the Jews “have never been there! This has been our city from the beginning!” And you know that they are up on Temple Mount trying to destroy every vestige of any Jewish presence. And in the War of Independence, 1948, when Jordan took East Jerusalem and what became known as the West Bank, they destroyed every synagogue—the same thing the Egyptians did in Gaza strip—they destroyed every synagogue. They tried to destroy every vestige of historical record that archaeologists could dig up that Jews were ever there.
Tom: Dave, again it’s the spiritual side of this. We could have added the Orthodox Church as well, with all of their holdings there. So it has religious significance. We’re looking at it from a biblical standpoint to understand what’s valid here, what’s really true about it. But nevertheless, there’s a thrust among all these religious groups, Islam excepted—they want the whole thing. But there is an attempt here, we see, going on to internationalize Jerusalem. We talk about this being the City of David, but to take those who are Jewish, to eliminate them from any rule, any control, over this city, that’s a…I think it’s a travesty!
Dave: Well, that was included in UN Resolution 181, November 29, 1947, when they petitioned so-called Palestine and designated to the Jews 18 percent of what had originally been marked out for them and the whole world recognized belonged to them. They have given most of it to Jordan to create the nation of Transjordan, and so forth, okay? And in UN Resolution 181, one of the provisions was, Jerusalem must be an international city. And there was heavy pressure from the Vatican to vote that, to put that in UN Resolution 181, and it must never be under the control of the Jews. And down through history, the Catholic Church has maintained this stance, as has the world.
So, although the Knesset is there, and although Israel says, “This was always our capital—under David and under the other kings, this was always the capital of Israel,” the world says no, and the embassies of the world are not in Jerusalem—they refuse to put them in Jerusalem. Now the U.S. Senate voted—how many years ago?—several years ago to move our embassy up to Jerusalem, and Clinton vetoed it. We have that on the table again, and as I understand it, President Bush has not approved it as yet. Because—Wow! this is going to cause an uproar! You’re going to offend the Arabs! Tom, I don’t want to just jump on my horse again, but God has stated in His Word His plans for Jerusalem, His plans for the land of Israel. And the world is cutting it up, and they are taking everything away from the Jews, leaving them with almost nothing, and the intention is, ultimately, they will have nothing. The Muslims insist they must have it all—they had better beware!
Tom: Dave, again, it’s why your book is called, it’s why the Scriptures talk about Jerusalem, as a cup of trembling. Give me an example of any other country in which we’ve had issues like this—where a country decided to move a capital from here to there, and all of a sudden the international community stepped in and said, “You can’t do it.”
Dave: Well, the Jews didn’t even move the capital—it was always there! That was it, and the world refuses to allow it. As you say, what other country is there that the world will not allow them to name their own capital city? How would we like it if the UN said, “Wait a minute, America! You cannot have Washington, DC, as your capital.” That’s ridiculous, and yet this is the situation with Israel, and it is another fulfillment of prophecy.
Tom: Dave, there are two things that you mentioned in this chapter that I find fascinating. The first thing is you’re talking about President Clinton vetoing the move to move our embassy to Jerusalem and so on, and external forces, the pressures, and so on, but you also find within Israel political entities who say, “No, we don’t want to go this way; we want to appease the world, we want to do that.” How can that be?
Dave: Well, you have, I think—what was it, a year ago, I can’t remember, Tom—you had about 20,000 orthodox Jews in New York, was it? Protesting the very existence of Israel. So, there is tremendous opposition. The fact that Israel exists today is a miracle.
But God said—well, let me just quickly read it from Jeremiah:31:35 what He says about Israel and Jerusalem. Beginning with verse 35, “Thus saith the Lord, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; The Lord of hosts is his name: If those ordinances depart from before me, saith the Lord, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me for ever.”
God says if Israel does not exist as a nation there is no sun in the sky, there are no stars up there. And then He goes on and He talks about the City of God, Jerusalem, and He says, “It shall be holy unto the Lord [it’s going to be rebuilt] and it shall not be plucked up nor thrown down anymore forever.” And it does not say that the Muslims will be in control or the Catholics will be in control or any Christian group will be in control—Orthodox or evangelical or anyone else. This will be when the Messiah rules on the throne of His father David from Jerusalem over His people Israel, who will possess the entire land that God gave them, and He will rule over the whole world.
Now this is what God says, and it is a cup of trembling, a burdensome stone, because the nations of the world literally defy God. And we have evangelical Christians, Tom—and I would say, I am not denying that they’re Christians—and they will stand true to the Bible when it comes to the gospel, praise God for that, but when it comes to what God says about Jerusalem and about the land of Israel, they deny that. They even go so far as to say that the church is Israel, okay? Tom, I’m sorry, I probably got a little off the subject.
Tom: No, that’s important, Dave.
Dave: But what Arafat has said—I mean, he has, over and over, he has never kept one provision of the Oslo Accords—he has repeatedly called for the destruction of Israel, destruction of all Jews, and a complete take-over by the Muslims. And when he signs these agreements, it doesn’t mean anything.
Back in September 21, 1995, the chairman of the House Formulations Committee, Ben Gillman, had put together tapes of Arafat saying these things: “Peace for us is the destruction of Israel…I’m only doing what our great Prophet did.” He made this peace treaty with the Quraish and then he broke it because…he only made it because he wanted to take over Mecca, okay? Arafat has said this again and again and again, and September 21, 1995, he called a press conference: “I’m going to show you what Arafat openly says in Arabic, and we will give you a translations.” Nobody showed up; the press wasn’t interested, and the most amazing thing was, Itamar Rabinovich, Israel’s ambassador to the U.S., he said, “Don’t show those tapes! Don’t rock the boat! We’re trying to make peace with these people!”
Tom, it’s insane, trying to make peace, and of course, this is Bush’s Road Map to Peace—we’re going to make peace with people who have sworn to exterminate us and take over our country and will not change it because this is what Islam teaches. It’s a cup of trembling, Tom, but it’s an amazing prophecy—exactly what the Bible said.
Tom: Dave, we have about a minute left in this segment of our program; next week we are going to pick up with that. I also want to talk about how Israel had—in 1967—it had the Temple Mount within its control and, who was it? Moshe Dayan turned it back over to King Hussein of Jordan. We want to discuss that. We want to discuss, certainly, this issue of Arafat—his speech at the Johannesburg mosque, and get some other perspectives on it.