Gary: Welcome to Search the Scriptures 24/7, a radio ministry of The Berean Call with T. A. McMahon. I’m Gary Carmichael. Thanks for tuning in. In today’s program, Tom wraps up a two-part series with guest, Randall Price. Here’s TBC Executive Director, Tom McMahon.
Tom: Thanks, Gary. Our guest is Randall Price, and we have been talking about Israel, and what’s going on today. Randall is the founder and president of World of the Bible Ministries. He’s a research professor and executive director of the Center for Judaic Studies at Liberty University; he’s written numerous books – I want you to go back, folks, if you’re just joining us and missed part one, Randall was telling us about a project that he’s working on: a virtual tour of the temple, which sounds really exciting, so we won’t go back over that, but you need to check out part one.
So, Randy, welcome back to Search the Scriptures 24/7.
Randy: Thank you. I appreciate it, Tom!
Tom: I mentioned at the close of our last program about God’s commitment to Israel for His sake. We know they are there primarily – and primarily may not be the right word – they are there in unbelief for the most part, and yet God is keeping them safe. Yes, there are things that are going on there, but we alluded to Iran and the nuclear potential and the development of long-range missiles. Randy, what’s the story on that? What are people talking about, or thinking about that?
Randy: Well, of course, everybody’s concerned because the Iranians have not hidden their agenda to wipe us all off the map. Their state was created in 1979 on the basis of being, basically, the government of the twelfth Imam, who would come in and not only take over the world but especially would destroy the Jews, would destroy the Dajjal, which is the Jewish antichrist, and then reign for seven years from Jerusalem, so their agenda is set – they even believe that some of their present leaders are mentioned in some of their prophecies, so they believe this is quite imminent.
And so now when you talk about a nuclear program, this has been on the fast track – the United States has (I think, in my opinion) facilitated that by taking off the pressure, opening up huge financial resources that they had frozen to further the work. They call this nothing more than the same kind of treaty Muhammad made with the Koresh tribe, which was a ten-year treaty that he violated in two years when he was strong enough to get his way, and completely decimated the Meccans.
And they publically, since the negotiations, made allusions to what this being what they consider it as. So, at the same time, calling for death to America, death to Israel, these little war exercises blowing up mock battleships of the United States.
The Israelis, on the other hand, have had a game plan for a long time. They’ve been assured in their country that they are ready to handle this. They can handle it. The only thing that’s keeping them from doing it is, of course, world opinion and they have to pick the right time to do it. They can’t - they need to preemptively strike something like this, but they can’t do it without a more, or clearer, shall we say, threat to the international survival. I mean, that certainly is the case.
But our state department and others consider these statements of the Iranians as just posturing. “They don’t mean it. They’re just…you know, that’s just political talk.”
But Israelis, I think, are far more secure with this, which is, in a sense, strange, because they’re right next door, and the first attack will probably be on them if not on us. The plan, at least as Ahmadinejad used to put it in his program that was sponsored by the government called The World without Zionism, he saw Israel’s western defense – that is, the United States – taken out first before they took out Israel. That way, there’s no problem at all.
Israelis are aware of all this. I have to go on to say that you can’t fixate on that. You go about your daily life. You trust your government. You live your life. It’s certainly talked about, but I don’t think there’s any sense of a panic or even a perceived problem.
It’s very much like here. I think we’re just as much in the target as they are, so we talk about it in our news, but we talk about other things too. That’s just the reality.
Tom: Last week you mentioned Yoram Ettinger, who is a former Israeli ambassador, and I’ve been learning some things from him that I really had no idea about – not that I take everything that I read as absolute truth, but it seems to make sense. One of the things that he’s talking about – we mentioned Iran and countries like Saudi Arabia and other Islamic countries; they’re not fans of what’s going on in Iran, because it threatens them as well. For world domination, I don’t think they want the Ayatollahs running the show.
Randy: Well, but the reason, too, you remember that Saudi Arabia is Mecca, and it’s the center of Sunni Islam. And Iranians are Shia Islam, as well as about 40 percent of the Iraqis. And Shia Islam is radically opposed to Sunni Islam. The result is they really don’t care of the Saudis live or die. They see themselves as superior. They see the Sunnis as actually responsible for the death of Ali, their prophet, caliph. So they…the twelfth Imam, or Mahdi, they believe arises from them, not from Saudi Arabia. So you can understand the concern for the Saudis.
Tom: The thing that I find curious, almost contradictory – it’s actually stupid – so now you have the Shiites blowing up a Sunni school, and then you have the Sunnis blowing up a Shiite mosque, and, of course…so they get to Paradise – what’s the deal here? In fairness? It’s just outrageous in terms of its …not just contradictory.
Randy: And you’ve got ISIS blowing up everybody’s stuff. Their view is “Let’s destroy all the archaeological objects – whether they’re Christian, Jewish, or Muslim – doesn’t matter. Anything is game because it’s either pre-Islamic or it is a different type of Islam.
So they’re in the process of purifying, and…
Randy: Now, think about it though. Obviously, the Iranians, Shias, are opposed to ISIS, which is Sunni. But only – not in ideology–they’re opposed because they’re rivals for the same turf. They have the same goal. Just one is opposition to the other. So, that’s the world of Islam.
Tom: Let me throw something out there that – again, you think about all of this going on, the confusion and all that’s taking place, Randy, what is the status of Messianic Judaism today? Is it increasing in Israel? I know there are government issues. There’s laws and so on. What’s the status?
Randy: That’s probably the most exciting and encouraging thing that’s been happening in recent years in Israel. There’s been a tremendous increase – almost a revival – among Jews who believe in Jesus. Part of it is the openness – a new openness in Israeli society to hearing about this. Sort of a fear of the past is gone. I mean there’s certainly the fear of Gentile Christians, but of Jews, who are Israelis, who served in the army, who work alongside people who are known to be loyal and national – for them, then, to say they believe in Jesus, it’s a real curiosity and it’s opening up a lot of doors. Not because…the religious certainly oppose it. And when you come to the government, when you have a Shas party that is in there, they try, if there’s any way they can, through immigration laws and other things, to curtail Jewish believers coming into Israel.
But the general society, because they’re secular, and they’re kind of open to anything, are open to this. Just think about it. In…I would say, probably just ten years ago, there were about 3500 Jewish believers that could be counted in about 80 congregations. Today, we comfortably number 15,000 Israeli believers in over 200 congregations, and a lot of these congregations - used to be maybe a handful of people meeting in someone’s home - are now in large established buildings with two or three hundred for a service.
And that’s a remarkable thing! Just last year, too, there was a judicial tribunal that determined Messianic congregations could receive the same full tax exemption as synagogues. Now that’s quite amazing! That gives it a new status and recognition.
I’ll give you an example of just how things are. Anybody who’s watching television in Israel this Hanukah, they have a program called “HaKochav HaBa,” which is called “The Next Star.” It’s kind of like our “American Idol,” or “The Voice” – these programs that showcase young talent. And there was a 20-year-old girl named Shai Sol, who came on before the whole country on national TV; she performed, got her applause, they interviewed her. She came out and said, “I’m a believer in Yeshua. Jesus is my Savior.”
And they brought her mother on, and her mother even said more about it. And rather than being booed off the stage or being shut down, she had the opportunity to say this to the whole nation.
So this is the kind of openness, and the kind of testimonies that are being had, and I think that’s… We just haven’t seen that in the past. It’s emboldening more Jewish believers to do things – to do things on the street, on the beach, go door to door, to go out to congregations and not to feel threatened. So I think it’s a remarkable thing. For Jewish believers and leaders, it’s something you’ve just never seen before.
Even to the level – this is happening also in the Palestinian Arabic community – there’s a revival of believers there. A lot of this, of course, is underground, behind closed doors. Not a lot of mixture between Jewish and Arab leaders, but there is some. There is enough to find it very encouraging to see what God is doing.
Tom: Randy, this sounds like the true stuff, the good stuff. This is not “dual salvation,” one for the Jews, and one which…we’ve had a big spurt of that in this country through John Hagee and some others…
Randy: Look, Hagee’s position is that Jesus never came as the Jewish Messiah the first time. He’ll come the second time because of His own desire to have good relations with the Jewish community. He has to take a non-proselytizing position, and it’s not dual covenant, but it’s a strange thing that’s just never been heard before. The dual covenant is held by more extreme Christian Zionists, who would say that the Jews have a way of salvation through Abraham, the Christians through Jesus, and we should let the Jews alone. The Holocaust was actually the Tribulation. They’ve suffered enough now. We’re in the time of God’s kingdom, and the deserts are blooming through hydroponic gardens and on and on.
And so they try to read as prophecies being fulfilled today and that Israel, therefore, is being blessed by God, not under divine discipline. And of course, that’s a misreading of the Scriptures. God’s preserving His people. He promised He would not destroy them completely, but He also would keep them under discipline through the times of the Gentiles, ultimately leading them to the time when there is a national repentance and a nation is born in a day. Not the physical nation but the spiritual one.
Tom: Randy, with that point, just briefly, because I want to get on to the Temple and some other things so we don't run out of time, but just briefly, do you see Islam – and it’s being pushed in many circles – that this is going to be the religion of the Antichrist? That this is going to be the Antichrist’s religion in the last days? Do you see that?
Randy: I don’t. And part of the reason is because when we come to Daniel, the Antichrist is depicted in Daniel 11 as an individual that doesn’t have God. He’s – “Gods of his fathers,” is the way I would translate it. He doesn’t pay any attention to them. His god is a god of fortresses. As he is for power, might, I think that’s the thing that probably is why he’s groomed by Satan for that position because that’s what Satan also covets, and so he uses this man to achieve, ultimately, by usurping the place of God in the Temple to be like the most high - this ultimate authority and power.
But I think that he certainly has a religious component. It’s to come at the time of establishing his global rule, that is, he uses a religious new tenet to bring about through miracles allegiance to him not only as a man but as supreme.
Randy: And that, of course, the mark of the beast, and all the things we talk about. Now when you talk…but, I think as we look at what he does, I think that he certainly will deceive Islam. When we talk about the Mahdi or the Twelfth Imam, the characteristics they draw for that individual certainly parallel things with the Antichrist. Because their whole source was drawn from Judaism and Christianity, which contained a lot of these ideas. And so anybody who is coming on the scene to talk about global governments is going to fit the same mold. But I think he deceives Islam. Ultimately he will overcome Islam, he’ll overcome every religion, which, of course, has merged at this point.
Tom: Well, that’s an interesting point, Randy, because, you know, what we’re seeing is ecumenism. What we’re seeing is the bar being lowered so that everybody can get aboard. We’re not seeing sharia. We’re not seeing a legalistic thing by the sword as the religion of Antichrist. Now, I think there are going to be other elements that will draw people together. I think the Rapture is going to be a huge part of that. But I see that God is using Islam as a kind of a corrective thing. You know, as you mentioned, God is not allowing everything to go well for Israel because they’re there in unbelief. But I don't see them being overtaken by anything like that.
Randy: Oh, I think Islam also is sort of serving to prepare the ground for the global deception that’s coming. If you think of what they do, they have a political, religious form of warfare. They practice deception in every way. (…..) it’s a virtue.
Randy: And many of the things – even the beheadings, things like this, which people try to read into the Book of Revelation – all these types of things: the rider of the white horse, all these they talk about – these kinds of things certainly are setting a mental stage for accepting or adopting someone who’s going to come. When he comes, he’s not going to be their savior. He’s going to actually be the one who I think demands they leave whatever belief system they had and pledge allegiance to his government, which they probably will do. They’ve been trained also to convert or die, so it’s that type of thing. But I don't see any Islamic elements in the Antichrist.
Tom: Which moves us on to the Temple. People are getting excited about it, but the hope to rebuild the Jewish Temple, as I mentioned, well, there’s been an article here in this country about a red heifer being born…
Randy: In New Jersey…
Tom: Yeah, and there’s another…I’ve only seen part of one…but there’s…I think it’s on cable, it’s a television series called The Dig. Have you seen any of that?
Tom: Okay, well….
Randy: I don’t recommend it, but I have seen it only because it follows some of the outlines that I’ve mentioned in many of my books. I’ve even had people write me and say, “Are you watching this? Because it’s saying the same things you’ve said.”
Randy: Of course, it’s not. It’s Hollywood’s version of that…
Tom: But, Randy, my point in this is that there’s a mentality out there regarding prophecy, related to prophecy, that people are getting excited about it even though it may be erroneous stuff. What’s your take on that?
Randy: Yeah, and 25 years ago, Tommy Ice and I wrote a book called Ready to Rebuild: The Imminent Plans to Rebuild the Last Days Temple, and every year since, we have seen, and I have documented, things that increased that to move it forward and develop that – that no one in the Temple movement in Israel has gone backward. They’ve only gone forward. I mean, we have, yes, the government resistance to prayer on the Temple Mount. We have great fear of any provocation of the Muslim Waqf by any kind of activity of a religious nature by Jews on the Temple Mount.
And yet, saying all of that, we have these movements who have continued to develop blueprints, recently built an altar, have been doing…practicing sacrifices during Passover, and things, on the altar with the school of priests. You have a Davidic dynasty that’s been identified, and as you’ve mentioned, the red heifer. It’s been an ongoing project to produce a qualified red heifer based on Numbers 19, which requires this animal after its second year of life to be burned and its ashes used to purify those who would rebuild the temple or doing the work in it. And they’ve red heifers come and go.
The reason it’s important is because supposedly there was a statement made that ten red heifers were made to the world and nine since the existence of the time of Moses. So there’s one remaining, when the red heifer ceremony ended with destruction of the Temple, there’s still one red heifer to go, and they believe the current red heifer, whenever it is produced and qualified, will be the herald of the Messiah and bring in the Messianic age and the rebuilding of the Temple.
So that’s why it’s such a big deal. In fact, I read in that article you saw, the fellow who owns the red heifer. He said he was offered a million dollars from some people in Brooklyn, and he said, “I told them, ‘She’s not for sale. This is a gift from God.’” He said, “I was told that I was going to be the first in line when the Messiah comes.” So, this is all tied together.
This red heifer is different from the others in that it’s already reached two years of age, it doesn’t have any other colored hairs. The parents are black cows, but it’s pure red. Even the eyes are red, which they consider a real mark of a true red heifer. So, we’ll see.
No one touches the cow, because by Jewish law you can’t put a yoke on it or have any kind of mark or scar on it, so it’s all part of the process.
But the people of the Temple movement are really ambitious. They are limited by the political realities, but they haven’t stopped believing that what’s necessary for Judaism to move forward is a spiritual awakening that results in the building of the Temple.
Now, we know that’s not true, but from their point of view, they see apathy among religious Jews, and they believe the way to move that forward is to have a common goal.
And the rebuilding of the Temple, then, requires a new level of spiritual awareness and activity, even to the point of, you know, raising a qualified priest from infancy on a special compound – all of this kind of stuff is in The Dig movie. It’s fascinating, because I don’t know where they got their sources, because they’re not easy to find. They’ve woven it together in a very plausible tale. But, of course, in Hollywood fashion, they’ve thrown in their evil reverends, and all kinds of Freemasons and weird stuff. That’s what you get…
Tom: It’s entertainment.
Randy: …in Hollywood. Control.
Tom: In our couple minutes that we have left, Randy, how should our listeners – how should we, all of us- how should we pray for the people of Israel?
Randy: Well, I have a long list, but let me just say first, of course, that they would come to their Messiah, who is the Lord and Savior, Jesus. I mean, that…Israel needs that more than they need anything else. The true peace, the true security they long for, is in Him, and that will transfer them from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of His dear Son. That will give them stability despite all the hardships around them that they can’t find even in their democrat society or their unity as Jews. So we need to pray always for that. That was Paul’s desire. He said, “My heart’s desire and prayer to God is for their salvation.” That’s got to be at the top of our list. And not just the Jews of Israel but the Jews throughout the world, which are collective Israel.
Certainly, at this time, protection from the threat of war, terrorism, another war with Hamas in Gaza, Hezbollah is poised to do things, the Iranians, of course are threatening things. Isis was on the border with Jordan, and they have no…in fact, someone said…and I’ve got a picture of it – a flag of Isis raised on the Temple Mount. We have such worldwide hatred, and unfortunately, little support from those who are Israel’s allies. So, along with praying for its protection, we need to pray for those who would help provide that protection, and that is the United States, because I think certainly the Obama administration is at the lowest level of support for Israel from any administration we’ve seen. I mean, it was George Bush who first made the statement of a Palestinian state – no one had ever said that before. But Obama’s gone beyond all of that and speaks of a state that is so reduced in size that it’s indefensible, and [he] seems to have no understanding of the issues.
So, if we can survive the next two years and someone worse doesn’t get in that position, I think Israel still has its western allies, but we need to pray about that.
We certainly need to pray for believers in the land of Israel. As I said, there is a new boldness about them, but at the same time it’s still hard. You’re ostracized from family members, you may be ostracized at your work place. There’s still an understanding that it was “Christians” like Adolf Hitler, they would say, who brought about the Holocaust and have persecuted the Jewish people. So that sense of being a traitor or involved in the genocide of a people is attached to “faith in Jesus.” And we want to see that change. And the only way it can change is from dedicated believers who are real Israelis, who identify in every way with the Israeli society, saying, “I love Israel, I’m for Israel, I’ve fought for Israel’s defense, but I believe in Jesus.” That’s the kind of thing, I think, that will open up new dialogue and cause people to see it differently. So it’s not about Jesus. He’s not the problem.
And I think we certainly do need to pray for that less than 1 percent of all missions to Israel, because it’s marginalized, our congregations do not really support missions to Israel in the United States and Europe and Israel directly. Most of our mission giving just does not go there. There’s not a concern. Evangelical churches have taken the opposite direction. They have become more pro-Palestinian. They’ve seen Israel as probably the enemy. They oppose Christian Zionism that they believe is destructive to America through its Armageddon theology, and all this kind of stuff. And so, we need to pray also that the veil is lifted and the people who really know the truth of the Scripture can help people see Israel for what it is, and that real Christians would return to supporting it.
Tom: Amen. Amen. My guest has been Randall Price. He’s the founder and president of World of the Bible Ministries. Randy, terrific insights! I really appreciate it, brother. So God bless you, and thanks for being aboard Search the Scriptures 24/7.
Randy: You know we love and appreciate the ministry of The Berean Call, so you’re always in our prayers.
Tom: Thank you, bro!
Gary: You’ve been listening to Search the Scriptures 24/7 featuring T.A. McMahon, a radio ministry of The Berean Call. We offer a wide variety of resources to help you in your study of God’s Word. For a complete list of materials and a free subscription to our monthly newsletter, contact us at PO Box 7019 Bend, Oregon 97708. Call us at 800.937.6638. Or visit our website at the bereancall.org. I’m Gary Carmichael. We’re glad you could tune in and invite you to join us again next week. Until then, we encourage you to Search the Scriptures 24/7.