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. In this first segment, which we call our feature article, we’ll be discussing the last chapter of Dave Hunt’s latest book Judgment Day! Islam, Israel, and the Nations.
Dave, last week we said that we were getting very close to Armageddon, and I don’t know if that got anybody out there excited, but I think you’d better spell it out exactly what you meant by that.
Dave: Well, of course, we are at least seven years away, from my understanding. A pre-Trib Rapture…so the Rapture will occur first, take the true Christians out of here…
Tom: Which is imminent, could happen at any time.
Dave: It could happen any moment. Nothing is required before that event. That will leave this world, well, shattered. Why? They’re not going to miss them. Be more jobs for everybody. “Look at all the money they’ve left behind,” and so forth…
Tom: But there will be loved ones.
Dave: Yes, but a new sense of destiny will overtake them. The Bible says they will be given a “strong delusion to believe the lie.” No one will think that they were “raptured”—that is, only with the exception of those who are going to believe in Jesus. So there will be some during that time who will believe in Christ.
Tom: But, Dave, as you’ve mentioned, more than likely not anyone who has heard the gospel and has had an opportunity to receive the gospel.
Dave: I don’t think so, Tom, I can’t be dogmatic about that. Second Thessalonians 2 says, “For this cause, God will send them a strong delusion to believe a lie: Those who refuse to receive the love of the truth, and have pleasure in unrighteousness.”
So exactly what that means in terms of, “How many times did I hear the gospel? Did I really reject it? Was I ignorant of it?” I don’t know; that’s in God’s hands. But I certainly would not suggest to anyone, “Well, you’re okay. If you want to reject Christ now, then when the Rapture occurs, then you will know it’s all true, and then you can believe. That will be time enough.” You will have a strong delusion.
Tom: Dave, you know, that reminds me of Constantine, back in the 4th century. Supposedly, he became a Christian, but as I understand it, historians tell us that he wasn’t baptized until just before his death, because he wanted to make sure that he would instantly go to heaven, which is mainly a teaching of Roman Catholicism.
Dave: In other words, he thought that baptism saved him.
Dave: And he wanted it to happen just before he died so he wouldn’t have time to sin.
Tom: Exactly. In other words, it’s a procrastination kind of thing to cover yourself. So now, people may be thinking, “Well, great, I can just live as I would, you know. And then when I see these events take place, then I’ll turn to Christ.” But I don’t see that happening.
Dave: I wouldn’t recommend that. The Bible says you’ll be given a strong delusion to believe the lie.
Okay, so the true Christians are gone; the world is in panic. Nobody believes it’s the Rapture. “Where did they go? Who took them? Why didn’t they take me?” You know, we live in the day of space travel and all these space films—“Beam me up, Scotty!” The explanation could very well be some rogue civilization out there snatched slaves from this planet—“And who knows, they may come back for me later!” Why didn’t they get me the first time? So the world will be in a panic like we cannot even imagine.
Tom, I believe in the Rapture. I’ve believed in the Rapture all my life, but when you think of what would actually happen—people vanishing right out of elevators, off of escalators, out of cars, from the desk next to you at work, or whatever. And by the millions they are gone, and a strong delusion is given from God himself to believe a lie, the lie. What that lie will be, I don’t know, but it’s, of course, the lie that denies the gospel mainly; that’s the real problem.
Tom: Dave, how does strong delusion work? Would this be against their will, or is God imposing something on them that they then won’t be held accountable?
Dave: I don’t believe so. We see examples of it in the Bible. The Scripture says, “He gave them up to their own lusts.” He gave them the desire of their heart.
Tom: Mm-hmm, Romans 1.
Dave: And you want to live that way, “Okay,” God says, “I’ll help you. You want to reject Christ, and you have done it so often there’s no way to turn you back, I’ll help you do it.” And so this is what these people want. They do not want to believe the gospel; they do not want to believe the truth. They have refused to receive the love of the truth. Well then, God will help them in that. “You didn’t want to believe this was the truth. Well now, I’ll give you some good reasons, some delusions for not believing it, and you can continue on in that.” And at that point, there is no hope whatsoever. These people have crossed the line where God is not going to bother with them anymore except to help them believe the lie that they want to believe.
It’s the same thing with Pharaoh; God hardened Pharaoh’s heart. Well, not at the very beginning. Why did he harden Pharaoh’s heart? Because the point came where these plagues were terrifying, and Pharaoh was willing to let the people go, but for the wrong reasons. His heart was not changed; he would only do it out of fear. And that’s when God hardened his heart, and the word in the Hebrew means He gave them the moral stamina…
Dave: …immoral - right, backbone to continue to do what he wanted to do. He was frightened. He wouldn’t have done it, but now he’s got the stamina to do it. And it’s the same way at this point in the Great Tribulation, in my opinion. We’ve come a long ways in history. Of course, ultimately, the temple - I think very quickly the temple will be rebuilt. And the Antichrist will pose as the friend of Israel; the Bible says, “Through peace he will destroy many.” They’ll think he is on their side, but he’s really building this temple, authorizing them to do it…I think actually the Dome of the Rock will be moved. We’ve talked about that, I believe.
Dave: But because he is going to put his own image in the temple and demand the world to worship him as God, which, in fact, the world will do.
Tom: Mm-hmm. Dave, we’ve talked about how many things, with regard to the Antichrist, just doesn’t appear overnight. This doesn’t happen as soon as he comes on the scene; there’s preparation for that. And we also mentioned how the church, believing church, is subjected to these kinds of things. You have an apostate church that’s in development, and there’s a seduction involved, and true believers can be seduced by that.
Dave: Seduced up to a point! It says, “If it were possible, even the elect could be deceived.” In other words, the miracles that the Antichrist will do will be very, very convincing. But true believers are not going to be here at that point when he comes, but the forerunners… You get in 1 John:2:18, it says, “There are many antichrists in the world.” We know Antichrist will come, but there are already many. So these would be the forerunners, and as you are saying, preparing the false church, not the true church. But there could be even some true believers who are deluded, deceived.
Tom: Well, having not a love of the truth, some of us may try to isolate some area and be dogmatic about it, or fall into some delusion, although, you know, we know the Lord. But we can be subjected to that, just because my heart wants to hold on to something that’s not of the Lord, you know, and the Lord’s going to say, “Okay, Tom, if that’s what you want, go for it!”
But, Dave, about the temple: do you think any of those things are going to take place prior to the Rapture, or will this come about afterwards?
Dave: No, I do not believe the temple could be rebuilt before the Rapture, because—wow! the whole Muslim world would be up in arms, and Israel would not even try to do that, I don’t believe. So the Rapture is the event that terrifies the world to such an extent—the Muslims are terrified, everybody’s terrified. I mean, “Where did these people go? Why didn’t they take me?” and so forth. We cannot even imagine the terror on this world. That is, in my opinion, Tom, the only catalyst, the only event that could catapult this man into power, a man whom the world will now worship as though he were God. It will take this event to do it.
But, Tom, we started out by saying we want to deal with the question we raised at the end of the last program: How close are we? What evidence is there that we’re getting close? There’s a scripture in Isaiah—let me read it; Isaiah:66:8, the last chapter in Isaiah—amazing scriptures here: “Who hath heard such a thing? Who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once?” Nations don’t suddenly come into existence. It takes time; people gather there, you know…I mean, you could go into the history of nations, and it’s taken a long time.
Tom: Take the United States.
Dave: Right, a lot that happened to bring this to pass. But this nation Israel was born at once, born in a day. Well, first of all there was the Declaration of the United Nations, UN Resolution 181, November ’47, authorizing them to become a nation. That’s rather interesting, but the most interesting part of the scripture is: “For as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children.” I don’t know of any greater travail for Zion—that’s speaking of Israel—I don’t know of any greater travail for Zion than to lose 6 million of her sons and daughters to Hitler in the Holocaust. Had it not been for the Holocaust—I know for sure it certainly wouldn’t happen today—had it not been for the Holocaust and the momentary twinge of conscious on the part of the nations of this world, the United Nations would never have authorized Israel to exist. They would never have partitioned that land. Of course, they only gave Israel 13 percent of what belongs to her, but at least they did that much. And so UN Resolution  voted the partition of Israel. And it gave the go-ahead—the British pulled out—it gave the go-ahead for David Ben Gurion to declare the independent State of Israel, the birth of it, May 14, 1948. So that’s rather interesting.
“As soon as Zion travailed…” well, that travail had just ended. Then it goes on, and God says: “Shall I bring to the birth, and not cause to bring forth?” Now, Israel, although it was born in a day, its fullness, you could say, the full birthing of Israel is a process, and it hasn’t been going well so far. They have been losing territory because, in defiance of what God said, and we’ve gone over this in the past—Joel:3:2, God says, “I’m going to punish all the nations of this world for dividing my land.”
Every peace proposal: “Israel, give them more land.” Okay? So it’s been kind of going downhill. There is a process going on; it involves some more travail: the suicide bombers, the wars, and so forth, but that birthing process is going on now. And if we went to Christ’s words in Matthew 24, he talked about the signs in the last days: wars, rumors of wars, earthquakes, pestilence, nation against nation, kingdom against kingdom—really it’s the ethnic group against ethnic group, and we are seeing these.
And then it says, “All these are but the beginning of sorrows.” And the word for “sorrows” there in the Greek is kind of like the birth pangs of a woman. As she’s getting ready to give birth, they come more frequently and with greater intensity, and I think we’re accelerating. But notice what God says: “Shall I bring to birth, and not cause to bring forth? saith the Lord: shall I cause to bring forth, and shut the womb? saith the Lord.”
Now, we’ve come a long way in history to get to this point. Israel is back in her land; Israel is surrounded by enemies (Zechariah:12:2) who are all united against her, first time in history! And they are united against Israel in order to destroy her. Never before have they been. I don’t want to go back over that ground, but Israel had many enemies; never were they all united. They are all united now. They used to fight one another, and they would if it weren’t for Israel.
Now, that’s the only thing that unites them. But it is Islam that unites these people, and remember Muhammad’s declaration that all Jews must be destroyed, Israel must be annihilated. So when Ahmadinejad, the president of Iran, recently said, “Well, Israel must be wiped off the map.” Well, there’s not an Arab map in the world that even shows Israel. This is nothing new; they’ve been saying it for a long time. Okay?
Tom: Dave, I just want to underscore one thing that you said: What unites them? We want our listeners, now our viewers, to remember—what do we have to the South? We have Egyptians. What do we have to the North, and to the East? Persians, really Babylonians, and so on, Assyrians just directly to the North. They’ve been fighting each other for, you know, for centuries.
Dave: Right, and now they’re united. Amazing prophecy!
Tom: In Islam.
Dave: God said they would be, and that He would make Jerusalem a “cup of trembling” to the neighbors around, and a “burdensome stone.” Okay? Why is this? Well, Israel happens to be the best in the world—the IDF, Israeli Defense Forces. They have nuclear missiles, as we’ve mentioned. They can launch multi-war headed missiles from submarines, okay? They have the best missile defense system in the world, the Arrow Two. It can knock missiles out of the sky about 60 miles up there, and I think the Patriot can only get up about 20 miles, something like that. But we talked about last week that the Muslims, they’ve got all kinds of closeup missiles that—how are you going to knock those down? And if they happen to be nuclear, I mean, you’re spraying nuclear pollution everywhere right there. These are not launched from some distance. We’ve got a real problem over there.
We have the technology now for the Antichrist to trace everybody on the face of this earth. This is global positioning, the satellites up there, and they can tell where you are at any moment.
We’ve got the technology for one man to rule the world with a number. The international banking, the international corporations have really united this world in a way that would have been unimaginable just a century ago, okay?
Now, we’ve come all the way to this. All the players are in place: Israel is back in her land with her enemies united around her. We’ve got all the weapons, we’ve got everything in place that the prophets said would be, and God says, “I’ve brought this to birth now. Am I going to shut the womb?” Is this all going to kind of fall apart, and it will be another century or two or three, and maybe we can get it all back in place again? In other words, Tom, what I’m saying is it’s all in place! All the actors are just in the wings waiting to move onto the stage, and I don’t think it’s going to be shut down. Okay?
Now, one of the last day’s signs, Jesus said: “As it was in the days of Noah, and the days of Lot,” they’re buying and selling and building and planting and marrying and partying, and so forth. You see, it doesn’t sound like something at the end of the Great Tribulation when the world has been destroyed. Not one of the main reasons—well, one of many reasons for believing in a pre-Trib Rapture.
Tom, I can remember—when was it?—’85, I wrote…oh my goodness…
Dave: Right, right, and…or was it ’83? It was before we wrote Seduction of Christianity. That came out in ’85, I believe. And at that point I think the Dow Jones average was around 700, the interest rates were 23 percent, the popular books were The Death of the Dollar, The Imminent Attack of the Soviet Union on Israel, and so forth. And as you recall, my first chapter was titled “A Contrary Scenario.” And I said, “I don’t think so. We’re going in the other direction. Reaganomics is going to work; we’re heading for prosperity. It won’t be a real prosperity. We’re heading for peace; it won’t be a real peace.” I mean, this is a big movement today: “Peace, peace! We’ve got to get peace!”
Tom: Dave, does this make you a prophet?
Dave: No, because I only follow the Bible. It wasn’t my prophecy.
Tom: Exactly, all you were pointing out is what the Scripture said. All you had to do was know how to read, and have some understanding.
Dave: Right, and believe it says. I remember when I wrote—well, where is the Dow now? It’s up around 11,000; 700 to 11,000. Remember when I wrote in —’98 was it, ’99—Y2K: A Reasoned Response to Mass Hysteria? And in that book…
Tom: Now, come on, doesn’t that make you a prophet?
Dave: No, no, because I only went by the evidence! It couldn’t have happened.
But anyway, in my manuscript—you probably didn’t know this, Tom—in my manuscript I said—I don’t remember what the Dow was at that point—I said, “It probably is going to go beyond 10,000 within the year,” you know, something like that. And my wife told me to cross that out; don’t get involved in that! But anyway, it did, of course, and it’s been past there several times.
Tom, all I’m trying to say is I don’t think that the prosperity that we have is solidly based. Awful lot of debt, United States—wow! In the trillions. It’s an awful lot of debt on the part of everybody. You know, just watch TV or read a newspaper. Oh, they want to sell you this and that, and no payments for a year, or whatever—this is built on so much debt. What I’m trying to say is, Tom, I don’t know how much longer this prosperity can hang together, but the Bible says the Rapture will occur when they’re partying and buying and selling and building and planning, and I don’t see how this fragile situation between Israel and the nations around her can survive much longer.
And you know, Iran is determined to get nuclear missiles and wipe out Israel. And you know, we’ve talked about it on the program, you don’t have to be a prophet. Israel is going to go in there and take it out! What that will cause, you know, the outrage, the cry like there was in ’81 when they took out Saddam Hussein’s nuclear capabilities.
So, Tom, all I’m saying is I don’t think it can just kind of stagger on like this for much longer.
Tom: Which moves us close to that point in history […] predicts.
Dave: I think so.
Tom: Yeah. Next week, the Lord willing—and of course I always say, “I hope the Lord returns before I finish this next sentence, or this sentence,” and He will at some point, you know. And hopefully, “Maranatha. Come, Lord, come quickly.” But next week we are going to talk about the Antichrist, what the Scripture has to say about it. Some people believe he’s just a mythological figure, some think that he’s a personification of the devil, but we’ll go to the Scriptures next week and we’ll find out.
Dave: One thing you can count on, Tom, and everybody out there listening or watching, you can trust the Bible, and when it tells you something is going to happen, it will happen!