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’re a first-time listener or missed our program over the last few weeks, Dave Hunt’s latest book Judgment Day! Islam, Israel, and the Nations is the topic for our discussion in this first segment of Search the Scriptures Daily. We’re about mid-way through chapter 11, titled “Rebellion and Judgment”, which focuses on prophesies to be fulfilled in the last days.
Now, Dave, you write, “Prophecy is history recorded in advance,” and that the entire history of the Jewish people and of the nation of Israel is foretold by the Hebrew prophets under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Now, could you elaborate on that?
Dave: Yeah, Tom, that’s one of things, I guess, that makes Judgment Day different from most of the books out there. You have books that either deal with prophecy and don’t really get into what’s happening, or you have other books, excellent books, that tell you about the terrorism in Islam, and so forth, but they have no correlation with prophecy, and we start this book out pointing to prophecy. These are God’s people. Two hundred and three times in the Bible He calls Himself the God of Israel, and the Bible lays out, as you said—it’s history written in advance—it lays out exactly what is going to happen to the Jewish people and what is happening in the Middle East. So we are continually referring to prophecy, and that’s really the foundation, because God is in charge. He tells us what’s going to happen. So we better follow that, and that is one of the major problems that I point out in the book: the nations of the world are defying the God of Israel. He has said what He is going to do with this land. He has made promises to these people, and the world is defying Him and taking that land away.
Tom: Dave, these are Hebrew prophets, so some of the things that we’re going to be addressing here, this isn’t something you made up, something that I’m contributing to—we are just quoting the prophets of Israel, and certainly there is going to be judgment on the world, but there’s going to be judgment on Israel, as well.
Dave: Well, Tom, the fact that they are scattered…they have been scattered, hated, persecuted, killed like no other people, that’s a judgment of God.
Tom: Well, let me quote. Let me quote from some of these prophets. This is Nehemiah:1:8—Nehemiah writes, “If ye transgress [speaking for God], I will scatter you abroad among the nations.” There’s a judgment.
“I will cause them to be removed into all kingdoms of the earth.” And that’s Jeremiah:15:4.
Dave: Now, these prophets are speaking for God. So really it is God who’s making these statements.
Tom: Right. “I will sift the house of Israel among all nations like as corn is sifted in a sieve.” And that’s the prophet Amos:9:9.
“Then shall they know that I am the Lord when I’ve laid the land most desolate because of all their abominations,” Ezekiel:33:29.
Jeremiah then writes, “And the Lord has sent unto you all His servants the prophets, rising early and sending them; but ye have not hearkened, nor inclined your ear to hear. They said, Turn ye again now everyone from his evil way, and from the evil of your doings. Yet ye have not hearkened unto me, sayeth the Lord; that ye might provoke me to anger with the works of your hands to your own hurt.” That’s Jeremiah:25:4,5,7.
“And as I live, sayeth the Lord God I have no pleasure,” I mean, this is really heart of God, “I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways for why will ye die, O house of Israel?” [Ezekiel] 33:11.
Dave: Tom, not to get us too far off the subject, but this relates to something Jesus said in the gospels. Remember, He weeps over Jerusalem. He says, “How often would I have gathered you together as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you would not.” It’s a powerful declaration by Christ that He is God. He is this God who has been sending His prophets, weeping over Israel, because you read the gospels, that is the only time it says that He wept over Jerusalem. Well, then if He says, “how often have I done it,” He can only be claiming that He is the God of Israel who has been sending His prophets and pleading with these people for centuries.
Tom: Dave, you also give really an amazing quote from Moses ben Maimon at Maimonides. He’s a famous Jewish physician and philosopher in the 12th century. He wrote his Epistle to Yemen, and let me quote from that…
Dave: It’s 1172 is the date.
Tom: Right. “It is…one of the fundamental articles of the faith of Israel that the future redeemer of our people will…gather our nation, assemble our exiles, and redeem us from our degradation….” Again, just as you said, we’re talking 1172 AD here. “On account of the vast number of our sins, God has hurled us in the midst of this people, the Arabs, who have persecuted us severely…as Scripture has forewarned us…. Never did a nation molest, degrade, debase, and hate us as much as they….” So this isn’t something Christians made up, you know, related to the end times. The Jews were aware of this because it came from their prophets.
Dave: Right. Maimonides makes it very clear: “Scripture has forewarned us.” But he also makes it clear: “Never did a nation molest, degrade, debase, and hate us as much as they.” Remember, Mohammed said that every Jew must be killed on the face of this earth. His dying words were, “May Allah curse the Christians and the Jews.” So the Jews are really the enemies of the Arabs. They’ve made them their enemies. The Jews don’t want to be their enemies, all they want is just to dwell at peace in that land. But Islam teaches that that land belongs to the Arabs, that it was Ishmael—we’ve been over this, but just a very brief recap—it was Ishmael who was the son of promise who was offered on the altar, and that that land belongs to them. And so long as the Jews retain possession of even a square yard of it, it says Islam is a false religion, Mohammed is a false prophet, and Allah is not the true God. So they must kill them.
So the Arabs—wow. We give the documentation in the book, some of the hatred, the horrible persecution, the horrible treatment and slaughter of Jews in Muslim countries. The Arabs and Jews got along fairly well before Islam came along. It was Islam that turned the whole thing, and of course it was Islam that took over the whole Middle East so that these are Muslim countries over there now, and that is why the hatred against Israel.
Tom: Dave, regarding God’s blessings and judgment upon Israel, you have a section in chapter 11, the heading of which is “An Incredible Event,” and you’re referring to Mt. Sinai. In terms of God warning His people, could you elaborate on what took place at Mt. Sinai?
Dave: Well, we get that in Exodus, and let me just turn there. I forgot to bring my Bible so this is an unfamiliar Bible here, but let’s go to it. Exodus 33…
Tom: In terms of you being able to find it, but that’s a KJV Bible.
Dave: Oh, yes, yes! This was an incredible event, [which] I guess is an understatement. These people have gathered at Mt. Sinai. Moses has brought them there under the guiding of the Lord. They’ve been led by a cloud by day, a pillar of fire by night that literally tells them where to go, where to camp, and so forth, and now they’re at the base of Mt. Sinai. This is Exodus:19:18—it says: “And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly. And when the voice of the trumpet sounded long, and waxed louder and louder, Moses spake, and God answered him by a voice.” So you’ve got about, I don’t know exactly how many, but I think about 3 million people. They’re gathered at the base of Mt. Sinai, and Moses has said, “God is going to talk to you from the top of the mount.”
I often hear people say, “Well, if God would just speak to me with an audible voice, then I would believe.” Of course, how would you know? How could you prove that this was God’s voice? Maybe it’s some demon, or maybe it’s some atmospheric condition, you know, that caused these thunderclaps to have come out with these words, and so forth.
But here they are. They have a visible display on this mount also that goes with this.
Tom: Probably more stunning than the parting of the Red Sea, which they just came through.
Dave: Right, it could be. “And the LORD came down upon mount Sinai, on the top of the mount: and the LORD called Moses up to the top of the mount; and Moses went up. And the LORD said unto Moses, Go down, charge the people, lest they break through unto the LORD to gaze, and many of them perish. And let the priests also, which come near to the LORD, sanctify themselves, lest the LORD break forth upon them.” It’s hard to understand this terminology, but it says that God dwells in a light that no man can approach unto, that no man has seen nor can see. Now, God has come down and here He is, and you don’t get close to God or you are consumed. This is what the Scripture says. I don’t understand it entirely, but certainly God is such a—wow, Tom! I mean, He creates the whole universe out of nothing. He knows where every subatomic particle ever was or ever will be, every thought that every person that ever lived or ever will live has ever thought or will think, every word that’s spoken…
Tom: And, Dave, just His holiness is enough to disintegrate us—I mean, because of who we are and what we are.
Dave: Right. So He says, “Keep your distance, and the priests also. And Moses said unto the Lord, The people cannot come up to mount Sinai: you said, Set bounds about the mountain and sanctify it. And the LORD said unto him, Away, get thee down, and thou shalt come up, thou, and Aaron with thee: but let not the priests and the people break through to come up unto the LORD, lest he break forth upon them.”
So Moses is up there and God tells him this, and so he goes back down. And now we have the 10 Commandments in Exodus 20: “And the Lord spake all these words, saying, I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out,” and so forth. And we get the 10 Commandments, which we won’t read. And it’s interesting that…
Tom, you were raised a Catholic; you know that the Catholic Church, at least for many years, they eliminated not to make a graven image, which was actually the second commandment, and so that they would come out with 10, they divided the last one into two. At the last NRB, TBN (Trinity Broadcasting Network) gave out a little key chain with TBN on it, and then you open it up and there’s the 10 Commandments in there. They also eliminated that one. It’s not honest, it is dishonest, it is tampering with God’s Word. They left it out because, apparently, they didn’t want to offend the Catholics, or maybe if you go to their headquarters there, you can see a few graven images in there. But anyway…
Tom: And that seems to be the way much of the evangelical church is going with its visual translations of the Bible.
Dave: When we get to Deuteronomy 4, Moses is reviewing before the children of Israel what happened, and he’s warning them about disobeying the Lord. And let me just read a few verses. He talks about “The day you stood before the Lord thy God, and you came near and stood under the mountain, the mountain burned with fire, and the Lord spake unto you out of the midst of the fire: you heard the voice of the words, but saw no similitude; only you heard a voice. And he declared unto you his covenant, which he demanded you to perform, even ten commandments; and he wrote them upon the two tables of stone.”
In Exodus:20:1, “God spake all these words, saying…” and then we have the Ten Commandments. And v. 18 says, “And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking; and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off. And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die. And the people stood afar off, and Moses drew near…”
We could make a little application to that today, Tom. Most people don’t really want to know God, they don’t want to study His Word—let the pastor be a man of God, let him study these thing, and let him come out from the presence of God and tell us. Give us a three-point sermon—not too long, because we’ve got a lot of other things we want to do.
You know, I don’t want to stretch it too far, but I think we can see that attitude. Most people are not like the psalmist who said, “As the hart (a deer) pants after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O, God.”
The Lord says, “You will seek for me and find me when you seek for me with all your heart,” but most people are not willing to do that.
But anyway, I better move along if we are going to get where we are trying to go. So the people heard the voice of the Lord, and it says they promised that they would obey. Then Moses goes up, because God is going to write these 10 Commandments on tables of stone. Moses hasn’t even gotten down from the mount, and the people have said, “Oh, where is this guy Moses that brought us up? We don’t know what’s happened to him. Make us some gods.”
The very first commandment: “You will have no other gods before me.” And then the second one: “You don’t make graven images.” The people heard it, they heard God speak audibly, and there they are, right before this mountain that is still on fire, and they say, “Let’s make us a god.” And so this is where they make the golden calf. And remember, by the way, that the Qur’an says it was made by a Samaritan. Now, that’s 700 years before Samaritans even existed.
But anyway, Tom, people say, “If God would just prove Himself to me…” Well, He proved Himself to the Jews, to Israel, like no one has ever experienced this, and the Bible tells us— these are Hebrew prophets now—they were the most rebellious people that you could imagine. They continually rebelled against God in spite of all of these signs and wonders. Now we have a signs and wonders movement today, and they say, “Well, if we could just do signs and wonders…”
I remember when John Wimber wrote his book about signs and wonders, and saying that we really have to have signs and wonders, we have to have miracles when we preach the gospel, or people have no reason to believe. But it’s really a matter of the heart.
Anyway, we get to chapter 32, and—well, Moses comes down from the mount, and when he sees what’s going on, and these people have fallen into immorality. They’re having an orgy before the golden calf, and Moses is so angry he smashes the tables of stone.
Tom: Well, before Moses got angry, what about God? Let me read this: “And the Lord said unto Moses, Go, get thee down; for thy people…have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them: they have made them a molten calf, and have worshipped it, and have sacrificed thereunto…a stiffnecked people: Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them…” And, Dave, here’s a verse that I didn’t notice, until you mentioned it in your book: “And I will make thee,” speaking to Moses, “a great nation….” Wow!
Dave: God is not going to wipe these people out. He says, “I will wipe them out and I will make of you a great nation.” He’s not going to do that, He doesn’t intend to do that, and He knows it won’t happen, but He’s testing Moses. And He says, “Moses, I’ll make of thee a great nation. You will take the place of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and it will be your descendants now that will be my people.” And it’s rather interesting what Moses says…
Tom: Now, why can’t God do that, Dave? Why can’t He just wipe them out and start all over again with Moses?
Dave: Because He made some promises, and that’s what’s happening in our world today. But the church has turned… God made promises to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and He continually says—for example, in Ezekiel He says, “When I bring you back to your land, and I establish you better than you were at the beginning, and the Messiah is reigning over you, and you will never forsake me again, I am going to give you a new heart so that you will love me, and so forth.” God says several times: “I am not doing this for your sake, but for my holy name’s sake, which you have profaned among the heathen.”
So let’s read Moses’ argument. Moses passes the temptation: “No, Lord, you’re not going to make of me a great nation,” because, he says [in v. 11], “And Moses besought the Lord his God, and said, Lord, why doth thy wrath wax hot against thy people, which thou hast brought forth out of the land of Egypt with great power, and with a mighty hand? Wherefore should the Egyptians speak, and say, For mischief did he bring them out, to slay them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth? Turn from thy fierce wrath, and repent of this evil against they people. Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, thy servants, to whom thou swearest by thine own self, and saidst unto them, I will multiply your seed as the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have spoken of will I give unto your seed, and they shall inherit it forever. And the Lord repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people.” Now, you get that the Lord repented several times in Scripture. It’s not the way we would understand repenting; He doesn’t really change His mind, because He knows what He is going to do. He’s testing Moses, but Moses passed the test. But the argument of Moses was, “Lord, if You do this, it will bring reproach upon You, because then people will say, ‘But God couldn’t do it. He couldn’t bring these people into this land.’” He’s got a tough job on His hands, because these are very unruly, rebellious people.
But it’s the same thing today, and we have—we’ve talked about it a bit—we have the replacement theology in the church today. They say that God has replaced Israel with the church. No, there are hundreds, and we give you most of them in the book, hundreds of promises God made to Israel, that he is not going to let them be destroyed as a nation. Israel will abide as a nation forever, and He is going to bring them back into their land, the Messiah will return to rule over them, and if Satan could destroy Israel, then he has proved God to be a liar. It’s a reproach upon God, and that is exactly what many leading Christians—we mentioned D. James Kennedy; we give quotes from his seminary there in Florida, how they say that this has nothing to do with today, those promises were all fulfilled under Joshua—and they have defamed the name of God.
And President Bush, with his Road Map to Peace, he is defaming God. He is saying to Israel, “Give more land, give more land, give more land,” and that will not happen, because God has made promises to these people, and if they could be wiped out, Satan is in control of this world, because he has proved God to be a liar.