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 first-time listener of our program, it’s called Search the Scriptures Daily, and it’s our encouragement that everyone, whether this program or wherever you are getting information that would be of a spiritual nature, religious nature, our encouragement is to check everybody out, check us out—search the Scriptures daily—use the Bible as your authority. After all, it claims to be God’s Word, and I know Dave’s going to jump right in here, and he says, “I can prove that it’s God’s Word,” and we can prove that it’s God’s Word. But the important thing is that, as you hear information, there are many great teachers—God has gifted many people to be excellent teachers—however, the responsibility lies with the individual. You have to know what you believe, why you believe it. You’re the one who has to search the Scriptures to understand the Scriptures—to know what God says so you can be discerning when you are hearing other people teach.
Dave: Let me interrupt right there, Tom. You said we can prove the Bible is God’s Word. Well, before anybody says, “Okay, how do you do that?” (and we won’t get into that on this program, because we have done it before), although one of the great proofs is prophecy….
Tom: Which we will be getting into over the next couple of weeks big time.
Dave: Right, but let me ask a question to our listeners out there. If you can’t prove the Bible is God’s Word, why would you believe it? If you can’t prove that whatever religion this is, whatever guru or whoever he is that you are following, if you cannot prove it, absolutely beyond the question of a doubt, why would you follow them? Why would you be a Catholic? Why would you be a Methodist? Why would you be a Buddhist or a Hindu or a Muslim? If you cannot absolutely prove beyond the shadow of a doubt that the teaching of that particular faith is 100 percent true, that this is from God, what are you going to do? Take a leap of faith? “Well, I’m just going to believe.” But anyone can do that with anything. So, think about it carefully, and in the next few weeks, of course, we will be looking at prophecy, and I think the prophecies verify the Bible. And by the way, there are no prophecies in the Qur’an or in the sayings of Buddha, or Confucius, or anywhere else except…
Tom: The Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants.
Dave: Right—except in the Bible.
Tom: Well, we are going to be going through Dave Hunt’s book, A Cup of Trembling, subtitled Jerusalem and Bible Prophecy. Now, if you have followed our program in the past, the last book we went through was called In Defense of the Faith. It was a book in which he’d collected questions over his many years of ministry—difficult questions, many of them—and they had to do with questions about the Bible. In this book, A Cup of Trembling, as Dave alluded to, we are going to be looking at Bible prophecy: Jerusalem, amazing kinds of things that have happened in history that were fulfillment and are fulfillment of biblical prophecy. And, Dave, we’re going to do it pretty much the same way, except in the last book you had many questions that you had collected. In this process, I’ve got the questions. I’ve gone the book. I’m going through the book…
Dave: O boy, you mean this book doesn’t answer the questions, it just raises more questions? And you’re going to ask them. Okay, Tom.
Tom: Well, not every one, but hopefully our listeners will write in their own questions about it. And we’re going to make the book, A Cup of Trembling—it’s actually an out-of-print book. but hopefully, by the time this program airs, we’re going to have an e-book—hopefully we will have it finished; we’ll have it in the works—but it will be available at least within the first couple of weeks in which we are doing this. So, my point is that it will be available if somebody wants to go through…
Dave: Now Tom, for people like me who don’t know anything about computers, what do you mean by an e-book? Like an e-ticket for airplanes?
Tom: No, it’s more like we will have on our website a place where you can order the book over the internet and then download it either into your computer or print it out at home. There will be a fee involved, certainly. It’s a book that you put a lot of time and energy in, and it helps the ministry. But nevertheless, my point is that somebody can track with us. We’re going to go through this book chapter by chapter, deal with the content, and then, Dave, you raise some questions, you answer some questions, but I’m not just going to read between the lines but look at some things that you have laid out and have you further expand upon them, even beyond what you have written in the book.
So, let me go with the first question, Dave. We’re in chapter 1, of A Cup of Trembling. Dave, here’s the first question: What is so special about Jerusalem that the world would focus so much attention on it? It certainly doesn’t have the strategic location, the size, the wealth, natural resources, industrial manufacturing capabilities, nor the climate. You’ve been there many times; I’ve been there once. So, it doesn’t look like much. I’ve been to some spectacular cities. I was born in Brooklyn, I know New York City, I’ve been to other spectacular cities, and from a spiritual standpoint, yes, it’s a wonderful place, and it was stunning to me, but compared to other cities, what’s the purpose? What’s the value of it?
Dave: Well, Tom, first of all, the whole world will have to acknowledge that it is a special city, it’s in the news every day. Furthermore, it’s in the news in a particular way—that is, it is a cup of trembling. It is a burdensome stone around the necks of the nations. This is the number one problem that the nations face. And the United Nations, for example, has spent about one-third of its time debating, deliberating, pronouncing, cursing, really, condemning, either Jerusalem or Israel, this little nation that has 1/1000th of the earth’s population. So, first of all, we know that there is something about this city, and that is, in itself, a remarkable fulfillment of Bible prophecy because when Zechariah, the prophet, in chapter 12, when he made this prophecy, that was 2,500 years ago. Jerusalem lay in ruins, surrounded by wilderness and so forth.
Tom: Now the prophecy you are referring to, it was referred to as “a cup of trembling.”
Dave: Right, “Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling, a burdensome stone around the necks of all the nations.” It says, in fact, “…will come against it when they are in the siege, both against Jerusalem and Judah.” And there is a siege on the part of the whole world—you can’t deny that. The number of times that the United Nations has condemned Israel for defending itself, I mean hundreds of times—never, ever condemned the Arabs, the terrorists, those who started wars, those who have made sneak attacks, those who have sworn to exterminate…have never been condemned. In fact, if I’m not mistaken, I would say it is somewhere—now these are individual votes now—I would say somewhere around 60,000 individual votes in the United Nations have been cast against Israel for one thing or another.
For example, the closest Israel ever came to being wiped out the Yom Kippur War, 1973. This was the intention of the Arabs who attacked her—to wipe her out. They caught Israel off guard on the highest holiday—hardly anybody is in uniform—and here they come, thousands of tanks across the Sinai, down the Golan, and so forth, and they could have cut Israel right in half. They had Israel in their hands, had God not intervened.
But anyway, when Israel turned the tide—and, by the way, Israel lost over 3,000 men in that war, and you put that, well, that would be like 150,000 Americans, by our size, and when that war ended, Israel, which also in that same prophecy, God said he would make them “like fire to devour the nations around them,” which is an incredible prophecy—this tiny nation could do that—their tanks were on the outskirts of Damascus and Cairo. Had they not been called back, they could have taken those cities.
What happened? Sixty-one nations broke diplomatic relations with Israel for defending itself! Nobody broke diplomatic relations with the Arab nations who had attacked her, who had sworn to exterminate her. So all I am saying, first of all is, Jerusalem is a cup of trembling. It is a burdensome stone around the necks of the nations. It is in the news every day, and if you don’t solve the problem of Jerusalem, you’ve got a nuclear holocaust on your hands because Israel has nuclear missiles they can launch from submarines.
Tom: Dave, you said something that I’m sure put off many of our listeners. You said Israel was in this situation, and it looked like the Arab nations were going to cut it right in half, but God intervened. Now let me up the ante a little bit here. You have, in chapter 1, just before the chapter, you have some quotes. This business that God is on Israel’s side? Let me read some of these, particularly related to Jerusalem. This is 2 Chronicles:6:6: “I [God] have chosen Jerusalem, that my name might be there...For now I have chosen and sanctified this house [the Temple], that my name may be there forever; and mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually.” That’s chapter 7:16, and then chapter 33:7, it says, “In this house, and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen... I will put my name forever.”
Dave, a couple of other verses—Psalm:87:3 comes to mind: “Glorious things are spoken of thee, O city of God.” Again, Psalm:48:1: “Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain [that is, Mount Zion] of his holiness.” According to the Scriptures, this is God’s city. Now people, don’t argue with us about this! Go argue with the Scriptures, right?
Dave: Absolutely, and by the way, God never said that about New York; he never said that about Washington D.C., or Paris, or London.
Tom: How about Rome? Supposedly the…
Dave: Well, unfortunately, and I don’t want to get ahead of you, Tom…
Tom: Yeah, we’re going to cover that….
Dave:…but Rome has taken for itself the titles that God gave to Jerusalem, “City of God,” “Eternal City,” “Holy City,” and so forth. Psalm:132:13: “The Lord hath chosen Zion; he hath desired it for his habitation,” and many other scriptures.
So, Jerusalem is unique. God has his plans for this city. He has made promises to Israel about Jerusalem, and He is going to fulfill them and the whole world is defying him. They’ve got their own plans. They are, somehow, going to divide up Jerusalem. Of course the Muslims, the Palestinians, so called, want it as the capital of their state, and when they say “their state,” they mean all of so-called Palestine, which includes all of what is now known as Israel, and there is not an Arab map in the world that shows the existence of Israel.
Tom: Dave, I just mentioned that I’m sure some of our listeners were upset that you had put God on the side of Israel here. But the Muslims—the Arabs—are outraged by this, claiming this place to be their own. They would consider what you said to be a blasphemy and this is their land.
Dave: Mmhmm. Well, we’re not saying it. God said it, and, for example, God…
Tom: Or Jerusalem, their city—this is what we are talking about.
Dave: Right. God calls Himself “the God of Israel” 203 times in the King James; 12 times He says, “I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob; this is my name, and this is my memorial to all generations.”
Okay, now, Tom, you tell me if I get off track here—I don’t want to run ahead of you. But why do the Muslims claim this belongs to them? Because they claim that they are the descendants of Ishmael. Now, that could be debated a bit, but let’s give them the benefit of the doubt. Ishmael, after all, was the firstborn, so he should have the inheritance, and therefore, if the Jews have this land—if Israel has one square yard of this land, it’s an affront to Islam. Because Islam says it wasn’t Isaac who was offered on the altar; it was Ishmael. And therefore, so long as Israel possesses this land, it says Islam is a false religion, Muhammad is a false prophet, Allah is not the true God, the Qur’an is not the true word of God. Therefore, by their own religion, they must destroy Israel and take it over, and that’s a major problem with all of these—whether it’s the road map to peace, Middle East peace, whether it’s the Oswald Accord, and so forth. What is this? Some kind of a joke that the world thinks they can bring peace without having the Muslims denounce their claim that all of this belongs to them? You could not possibly be serious and imagine that a Muslim who signs an agreement allowing Israel to have its existence, that he is serious—that he is being sincere. It certainly isn’t true.
And, Tom, our listeners need to know there is no one, Yassar Arafat, or some Imam—no Muslim alive has the right to sign over territory that Islam itself says belongs to the Muslims. Furthermore, the Muslims once possessed this land, and if you know anything about the Islamic law of peace and war and territory, you know that a Muslim cannot give up territory that they once possessed. Furthermore, a non-Muslim cannot rule over a Muslim, and that includes the United States. You had better recognize that. So, here we have non-Muslims ruling over Muslims in Jerusalem because the Israelis are in charge. You had an MK, Member of the Knesset, the other day, in Israel—an Arab Member of the Knesset, and he said, “We cannot go for this road map to peace because it acknowledges Israel’s right to exist and that violates…”
Tom: Wait a minute! You’re telling me a member of the Knesset…? And it’s amazing that to demonstrate the democracy that is in Israel, that an Arab would be a member of the Knesset, but on the other hand, he’s there to overthrow the very government he’s participating in. Would that be true?
Dave: Sounds like the United States. We give freedom to these people to build their mosques and so forth, and they intend to use that freedom to destroy the very freedom that we have given them because you can’t possibly have that.
But, Tom, you make a good point. Let’s make a contrast. You can’t even be a citizen of Saudi Arabia unless you are a Muslim. No Jew can set foot in Saudi Arabia; no Jew can own property in Jordan, and certainly no Jew could possibly survive inside PLO territory. You know what happened to those two reservists who made a wrong turn, ended up in Ramallah, and they were literally torn to pieces by a mob.
And yet in Israel, about 16 percent of the voting citizens are Arabs. They have the right to vote, they have the right to protest. Now, just…would anybody look at the difference and tell me that Israel is the usurper—that they are out to take over…? Come on! And the Arabs who fled Israel—the Israelis, in fact, in 1948 said, “Stay!” You can go back and read the very Declaration of Independence of Israel, as we have a Declaration of Independence in the United States, and they appeal to their neighbors, “We want to live in peace.” They did not ask for any more territory than the United Nations gave them, which was only 18 percent of what the whole world had designated belonged to them. Way back in 1917, and then in 1922, the Declaration of Principles by the League of Nations, the predecessor of the United Nations—Israel ended up getting 18 percent of what had been allocated to them, and instead of complaining, they said, “Okay, we’ll take it. Now, we want to get along with our neighbors,” and the Arabs, who got 82 percent attacked Israel because they wanted all of it. And they declared that they would exterminate…let me quote Azzam Pasha, the head of the Arab League on BBC May 15, 1948. He said, “This will be a war of extermination that will be spoken of like the Mongolian Massacres.” Come on! With that history and with these statements over and over and over, now we are forcing them—we’re going down a “road map to peace,” to sign deals, agreements, with an enemy that has sworn to exterminate Israel and its very religion that it practices will not allow it to do this.
Tom: Dave, what I would like to do, and we’re going to use your book…
Dave: Sorry, I’m getting a little bit worked up here, Tom. But I can’t help it!
Tom: I don’t have any problem with that, but what I want to do is stay on track with your book.
Dave: But I don’t even remember what’s in the book!
Tom: I know, that’s what I’m here for, Dave.
Dave: You’re supposed to guide me, all right.
Tom: Okay, I need a whip and a chair, Dave—a stool. Now, let’s give our listeners some background here. Why would Muslims consider Jerusalem to be their city? You know, again, it’s a cup of trembling. Why would they, historically?
Dave: Well, I explained, first of all, from their scriptures, their claim that it was Ishmael who was offered on the Dome of the Rock right there. And of course they say that it was from the Dome of the Rock that Muhammad launched to heaven on his magical horse. You get that in Surah 17:1—but, Tom, I was just having a discussion with a Muslim at Cal State Long Beach, a Muslim leader, and I said, “Jerusalem is mentioned 811 times in the Bible, not once in the Qur’an.” He gets up and he says, “Jerusalem is too mentioned in the Qur’an—Surah 17:1: al-Aqsa.”
Al-Aqsa is not Jerusalem. Al-Aqsa means “the Far Place of Worship.” Surah 17:1 says, “He came from the nearest mosque to the farthest mosque.” There was no mosque in Jerusalem. Jerusalem never was a place of worship, and al-Aqsa does not mean Jerusalem. So, Jerusalem is never mentioned once, but they claim—see, now we have Islamic history: “Oh, Muhammad went to Jerusalem.” In 691, refresh my memory…
Tom: Let me read this. This is not you speaking, Dave, let’s go to a historian, Will Durant. He writes: “In 684, when the rebel Abdallah ibn Zobeir held Mecca and received the revenues of its pilgrims, Abd-al-Malik…”
Dave: Let me interrupt one second, Tom, I know time is short—but listen, the Muslims have fought against one another all down through history! Three of the first four Caliphs were murdered by Muslims! Now we’ve got Muslims are in control of Mecca—a faction, and now this other guy, he sets up the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem. I’m sorry, go ahead.
Tom: Well, Durant goes on: “…anxious to attract some of this sacred revenue, decreed that thereafter this rock [where Abraham had offered Isaac and the temple had stood in Jerusalem] should replace the Kaaba [in Mecca] as the object of pious pilgrimage. Over that historic stone his artisans in 691 raised in Syrian-Byzantine style the famous Dome of the Rock, which soon ranked as the third of the four wonders of the Moslem world.... Abd-al-Malik’s plan to make this monument replace the Kaaba failed; had it succeeded, Jerusalem would have been the center of all the three faiths that competed for the soul of medieval man. But Jerusalem was not even the capital of the province of Palestine under the Arabs...”
Dave: Tom, let me just make a fast statement here at the end—I know we are out of time. Abd-al-Malik actually took Mecca back. Look, the Kaaba has been destroyed by Muslims and replaced, fighting one another as to who would have control over it—this is their holiest site. He moved from Jerusalem back to Mecca. That was why it didn’t work out. But actually, five Jewish families were working on this. After it was built, they served there, and, in fact, he intended it to be a memorial to the Temple, the Jewish Temple. And we can document this from early Muslim history, which they now deny. Anyway, it is a cup of trembling today, a burdensome stone, because of the rivalry of these various religions over this.