Now, Contending for the Faith. In this regular feature, Dave and Tom respond to questions from listeners and readers of The Berean Call. Here’s this week’s question: “Dear Dave and T.A., One of the things that doesn’t quite add up when one reads the Bible, especially the Old Testament, is that it implies that it is for the whole of mankind. Yet, its focus is almost totally on the Middle East. A number of great ancient civilizations are missing, as well as latter day world powers. Yet even when the Bible points to supposed last days’ events, it mentions such minor countries as Ethiopia and Egypt. Don’t you think this undermines the Bible’s credibility?”
Dave: Yes, well, Tom, instead of undermining the Bible’s credibility, I would say that that strengthens it.
Tom: Well, explain yourself. (Laughing)
Dave: Well, it doesn’t say—there are great cities, greater than Jerusalem, for example, Moscow, Paris, London, Berlin, New York, and so forth. Isn’t it interesting—the Bible doesn’t say…God does not say, “I will make New York a cup of trembling; I will make London a burdensome stone; I will make Moscow this…” But it says, “I will make Jerusalem…” Now on the one hand, you could say, “Well, that’s an awfully narrow focus.” But that is, in fact, where the action is. Jerusalem is the number one problem—the burdensome stone. So, what’s the point of talking about all these other nations? God’s plans are focused on Israel. These are His chosen people. These are the ones through whom He demonstrates the relationship that He wishes to have with all of the world.
Tom: It says they are His witnesses—a witness to the world, right?
Dave: Well, let me just turn to a verse….I could quote it but…let’s just turn there quickly. Zechariah:2:8. “For thus saith the Lord of hosts: after the glory hath ye sent me into the nations which spoiled you [that is, Israel] for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye.” You read the same thing in Deuteronomy:32:10, and one other place in the Bible.
Israel—these are His chosen people. He had to choose somebody, didn’t He? He can’t choose everybody.
Tom: And it’s not because of who they are. It’s because of Him.
Dave: Exactly. He says this. So the Bible just focuses upon the Middle East? Well, not entirely. It does talk about Rome. It mentions two cities for the last days: Jerusalem and Rome. And there, again, the Bible is right. Rome is the seat of the Roman Catholic Church. It will be the headquarters of the false world religion. Revelation 17—the woman riding this beast. The beast is Antichrist, the revived Roman Empire. It talks about the Roman Empire—revived Roman Empire. It is amazing what the Bible has to say. Now it does talk about some other nations. There are other nations, but they are all centered in that part of the world.
Tom: Moab, which isn’t a nation, but represents that area of the Middle East. Egypt, Ethiopia, as this person mentions.
Dave: Libya and so forth. These nations are the focus of attention because this is where Israel lives. This is where Israel was given this land, the promised land. This is where Israel was cast out because of their sin, and it is back there that Israel will return—the Jews will return. And in fact, we see that happening—a miracle—no other nation has been cast out of their land and brought back to that land.
Tom: Dave, we just came back from a conference, which dealt with prophecy, and one of the speakers said something very interesting—oh, and by the way, we’re taping the show two days after Saddam Hussein was captured in Iraq. Now, one of the things the speaker said is that there’s a process afoot to move the United Nations to Iraq. I don’t know how true that is, but my point is Babylon—Saddam Hussein, things changing there drastically, perhaps the United Nations may move there. Doesn’t this shift from Rome to—again—to the Middle East?
Dave: Tom, I don’t know of any plans like that. Just from a rational standpoint, I think it is very, very unlikely. Now, the speaker said that the reason was because of the—so much hatred against the United States, so we would move it from New York and the United States, so the United States would not have such a dominant role, and get it over there….I think it’s not only unlikely, I think it will not happen.
Now, people have been saying for some time, well that…Saddam Hussein was rebuilding Babylon, the ancient city of Babylon, and that this would be the headquarters of the Antichrist. Well, the picture that is painted for us in Revelation 17 does not fit. Babylon—ancient Babylon—has been in ruins 2,300 years. This city is built on seven hills, which Babylon is not. You can see it burning from the sea, which is not the case for Babylon. It has ruled over the kings of the earth—Babylon certainly has not done that. It is drunk with the blood of the saints—the martyrs of Jesus. That certainly has not been the case. Twenty-three hundred years in ruins….To move all of this over there—no. In fact, I used to say they’ll probably bulldoze that. Now, maybe they won’t, but I still wouldn’t put that away.
Tom: Isn’t Saddam’s image on every brick, or is that…
Dave: Not exactly—he has his name on every brick, and he fancies himself the new Nebuchadnezzar, and he was going to destroy Jerusalem, so…it remains to be seen, but I don’t think that is the case. So the Bible focuses on Jerusalem and Rome, and it is very accurate.