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 segment of our program, we’re currently going through Dave Hunt’s book A Cup of Trembling: Jerusalem and Bible Prophecy. Now, Dave, you write in chapter 18, I’m quoting, “The Jewish Temple will be rebuilt on Temple Mount in Jerusalem, and the daily sacrifices will begin again.” Now, given all that we’ve discussed over the last weeks and months regarding what Muslims believe their holy book, the Qur’an, teaches about jihad or holy war against the Jews, how could that possibly come about?
Dave: Well Tom, first of all we know that it will.
Tom: Because the Bible says it will.
Dave: That’s right.
Dave: The Antichrist, that man of sin, will sit in the temple of God declaring that he’s God.
Tom: So he has to have a temple to sit in.
Dave: That’s right. That’s 2 Thessalonians:2:4. Daniel 9 says it quite clearly in Daniel:9:27 that he will break the covenant and then cause of the daily sacrifice to cease. Well, then, it must have started. Who is this who will break the covenant? Well he enforces the Hebrew—it doesn’t say that he will confirm—although that’s what the King James says, that he will confirm a covenant. He will enforce this; he will cause it to be made. So the Antichrist is the one who will cause the temple to be rebuilt. It is not going to be rebuilt before then. He’s the only one who would have the power. How could he have the power? Well, this is Antichrist! He controls the world—the whole world worships him.
Tom: And Dave, this is—although it’s Antichrist, this is everyone’s messiah who’s left, right?
Dave: Oh, yeah.
Tom: This is not just some Christian idea.
Dave: Right. The whole world worships him. But he has power also. No one can make war against him. No one can oppose his will. The Jews think he’s on their side when he says, “Wait a minute! This temple’s going to be rebuilt.”
Tom: So he must be in a sense, a sweetheart. (Laughing) Of course, that’s not the right term to use. But he will be certainly not what many people think the Antichrist is. At least, on the surface.
Dave: Not an obviously evil ogre that would terrify you. He’s the good guy. He brings peace. You remember, I think we mentioned it a couple of years ago, a couple of sixteen-year-old young fellows were in Israel taking a tour, and they were asking, “Where can we find a rabbi who speaks English?” And they finally found one, and they had a little conversation with him. And they said, “We believe the Messiah’s already come.”
He said, “No, the Messiah is yet to come.”
And they asked him a simple question: “How would you recognize him when he came?” Well, of course the prophets gave many: first of all, He had to be crucified, and so forth.
But he said, “We will know who he is when he brings peace.”
Wow! That sent chills up and down their spines.
So the Antichrist will establish peace. It will be a false peace. Daniel:8:25: “Through peace he will destroy many.” First Thessalonians 5: “When they say peace and safety, then sudden destruction comes.” Okay?
So this is the man they’re going to trust—He brings peace. And how will this come about? Of course, the Jews think he’s their friend. But he really has in mind…he’s going to put his own image in this temple. He’s going to sit in the temple. He’s going to demand to be worshiped by everyone as God. And by that time, they will do it.
Well, Tom, there are a number of ways that it might come about. We had a major article, quite authoritative, in Al Azhar just a few weeks ago, and the man was saying, “There was no temple in Jerusalem for Muhammad’s journey on his magic horse.” Surah 17:1 is the only mention of Al Aqsa. Jerusalem is not mentioned of course, and it said that Al Aqsa means the “far mosque,” or—
Tom: Yeah, the distant place.
Dave: Or “the far place of worship.” And so this article said it didn’t exist. Not in Jerusalem but in Medina. And they really believe that the journey was Mecca to Medina on this magic horse. Furthermore, that it’s referring to his flight, and so forth.
I think the Antichrist, with his authority, he could very well tell them where Al Aqsa really is. Now, when the Dome of the Rock was first built by Abd al-Malik in 692, I think it was, somewhere around there, because Mecca had been taken over by a rival caliph, and he wanted to draw them over there to—he wanted to get the revenue from the pilgrims, and so forth. But a couple years later, he took over Mecca. He conquered the rival caliph, and then he abandoned the Dome of the Rock. But at the beginning, among all the verses—and you’ve been there, beautiful inside, the Arabic writing, the inscriptions from the Qur’an, Surah 17:1 was conspicuous by its absence. Now these rascals, Tom, they have added it since.
Tom: Is that right?
Dave: And not too long ago, right, they stuck it in there. But obviously it was not, the idea was not the idea that this was Al Aqsa when it was first built. So I think Antichrist could tell them…
Tom: Well, Dave, the verses that are in there—you point this out in this chapter in your book, chapter 18—the verses that are in there are anti-Judaism, anti-Christian.
Dave: Oh, of course.
Tom: Surah 19:35 and Surah 4:171. I mean, I can quote those if you like. Surah 19:35: “It befitteth not the majesty of Allah that he should take unto himself a son. Glory be to him.”
That seems to be….
Dave: He’s not a father, and he has no son…
Tom: Right, okay.
Dave: …the Qur’an says elsewhere.
Tom: And then, Surah 4:171, “Oh people of the scripture (that would be Christians and Jews), do not exaggerate in your religion nor utter ought concerning Allah save the truth. The messiah, Jesus, Son of Mary, was only a messenger of Allah. So believe in Allah and his messengers and say not three. Cease. It is better for you. Allah is only one god. Far is it removed from his transcendent majesty that he should have a son.”
Dave: Yeah, so it is very clear that Allah is not the God of the Bible. He’s certainly not the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
But Antichrist will have the power and the insight and so forth—I think he can tell them where Al Aqsa, the real Al Aqsa, is. It’s in dispute right now. And as I mentioned, a recent article said well it had to be in Medina, but maybe not. I don’t know, maybe it is Medina. But if the Antichrist, with his power and being worshiped by the world, says where it is, they would move it. Let’s get it in the right place.
Abd al-Malik, he didn’t really understand what he was doing, and so forth. In fact, if they looked in their history, they will find that the Dome of the Rock was actually built in commemoration of the Jewish Temple. And it had a number of Jewish families who were taking care of it at the beginning.
So, anyway, however it happens Tom, it will be moved.
Tom: Dave, you mentioned earlier the rabbi being asked by these teenagers how would he recognize the Messiah, and he says, “He will bring peace,” what about Muslims? Are they looking for specifically, for a messiah, or somebody to return?
Dave: Well, Tom, there are a number of traditions. The Shiites, who split off from the Sunnis and follow Ali, they are expecting that a true descendant of Ali—and some of them call him the Imam al-Mahdi—some of the Sunnis are looking for the Imam al-Mahdi. Some Ba’hai are looking for Maitreya. Whatever the name is, you will find it’s a commonality that many religions are looking for someone who will bring peace.
Of course, many of the Muslims are actually looking for Christ, who they say—the Qur’an says He did not die on the cross. It only appeared that he did. And he was taken alive to heaven, and He’s going to have to come back and live an ordinary life, and so forth. Whatever it is, Tom, there is an expectation of someone, a man who will bring peace.
The Antichrist certainly will do that, but more than that, he will have the power of Satan to work lying signs and wonders, and you cannot quarrel with him, and whatever he says is law. And he has in mind that he is going to have this temple rebuilt so that he will use it for his own ends.
And that is what happens. In the midst of the week Daniel:9:27, that would be 3½ years into this, the sacrifices have been restored in the temple; the Jewish priesthood and so forth—and you know, in Israel, in Jerusalem, they’ve got them all. They even have the menorah, gold menorah, on display and so forth. So they could step right into this and he will cause that to stop. He will declare that he is god and demand the worship of the world.
Tom: Dave you give an example of a type of Antichrist in Constantine. Here’s a man, political leader, and also the Vicar of Christ—he’s called Pontifex Maximus—he has it all.
Dave: Yeah, well, he was the first one to give himself the title Vicarius Christi, that’s the Latin equivalent. Vicarius is the Latin equivalent of “anti.” So he literally called himself anti-Christ.
Tom: And that’s what it is in the Greek. Anti Christ.
Dave: Exactly, but he didn’t mean that he was against Christ. He meant he was in the place of Christ. And in fact, the popes now have that title, which they took from Constantine. Constantine was the real ecumenist and we talked about that before. He called the first ecumenical council, the Council of Nicaea in 325. He wanted to unite his empire. Well, you want to study ecumenism or the Antichrist, I would say that Constantine is a good subject for that. And he did unite the world, the known world of that day. He united them with a religion. Christianity, amazingly—pretended to be a Christian.
So this I think is what the anti-Christ…he will be the Vicarius Christi. Maybe he claims to be the latest reincarnation of Christ. Or of the Christ-consciousness, or the Christ spirit, I don’t know. But he will be worshiped as God. So he’s the one that will cause the temple to be rebuilt for his own selfish purposes, of course.
Tom: Dave in some ways, these things seem a little far-fetched. You know, here we are, we’re in a highly technological world. Reason seems to prevail here. On the other hand, we’re turning back to pagan ways. I don’t know if you mentioned it in the book or where I just read it, but in Japan, didn’t they just restore, or not too long ago, restore Emperor worship or deity of the Emperor?
Dave: Well, Tom, that’s not surprising, because we cannot escape paganism. It’s in the bloodstream of the human race. And as we’ve pointed out, Islam is paganism. He took over everything. The Hajj, Ramadan—he took over so many traditions—the ritualistic cleansing (pagan Arabs practiced that for centuries, as did many other pagans. So there are certain pagan practices that are really counterfeits of what God has given us.
Tom: Dave, you have within Islam also what people call “folk religion”—many superstitions. So if you have a man who comes on the scene and has all kinds of power, is able to do things, not just political power, military power and so on, but magic in a sense, something that seems supernatural, the attraction is going to be overwhelming.
Dave: Tom, there are so many of these still left in Islam. For example, Muhammad said if you suddenly awaken in the night, blow your nose three times, because the devil spends the night in a man’s nostrils. (Laughing) Now, if you can imagine Muslims taking that seriously today. Some of them are highly educated. Or what we’ve mentioned, you know that the sun gets tired every evening and settles in a slimy pit. Alexander the Great went there and found it. And in Sahih Bukhari Hadith, you have the conversation with Mohammad. “Oh is that really true?” Mohammad says, “Absolutely!” And the most highly educated Muslims today, if they are not going to abandon their religion they must accept this.
So there are superstitions. But Tom, it’s beyond that. The antichrist will now have all the power of Satan. I’ve heard you often say if the pope suddenly began doing miracles like Benny Hinn supposedly does, wow! And you’ve got it, this man who brings peace, and he has real power from Satan, the world will follow him. And when he says the temple is going to be rebuilt, it will be rebuilt. He will impose this. Now this is a seven year covenant that he will impose and that is the final week of Daniel’s seventy weeks.
Tom: But Dave, what of who that say that Antiochus Epiphanes? That’s—you quoted Daniel and isn’t that who Daniel was referring to? And isn’t that the entire application of those verses?
Dave: No, because he didn’t do what the Bible said the antichrist would do. He didn’t make a covenant for seven years did he?
Dave: He did not cause the sacrifice to be restored. In fact he stopped it. So there’s no way that you can say Nero was the antichrist and so forth. Many people have tried to do this. But it doesn’t fit. It won’t work. This is yet a future event. The temple will yet be rebuilt and the antichrist will be involved. And Israel will be happy. Then he suddenly breaks this covenant.
Tom: In your book A Cup of Trembling: Jerusalem in Bible Prophecy, you have this quote which I find—it’s a question. It’s amazing. “Why would antichrist be interested in allowing—again this is different than how we started out—but why would he be interested in allowing the Jewish temple to be rebuilt? What’s in it for him? The Jews don’t have oil. They’re a problem the world over. The Muslims, they have petrol dollars, they have certainly one billion and a quarter at this point and time, growing rapidly. Why would he face them off and maybe others in favor of doing this for the Jews?
Dave: Well Tom, it just shows the validity of scripture. The Bible points out two cities. I think we have a chapter in here called “A Tale of Two Cities,” and I stole that from Dickens, you know.
Tom: You borrowed it.
Dave: Okay, thank you. What are these two cities? Rome and Jerusalem. The Bible doesn’t say New York, Moscow, London, Paris. No, the focus will be on Rome and on Jerusalem. Okay? Now, why is the whole world concerned about Jerusalem today? God said He’d make it a cup of trembling, a burdensome stone. Why would it be a burdensome stone? Who cares?
I don’t know, you figure that one out. But it is true. When the UN partitioned Israel in 1947, UN Resolution 181, part of the Resolution was Israel must never be in control of Jerusalem. You’ve got a 35-acre plot of ground up there. We mentioned it last week that this was where Abraham offered his son Isaac. This is where David bought the threshing floor from Ornan the Jebusite. This is where the Temple of Solomon was built, and this is the focus of attention. Jerusalem is mentioned 811 times in the Bible and not once in the Qur’an. Okay? Now, you say well, “It doesn’t make sense. I mean the Jews have got nothing.”
Well, that’s all the more proof that God said this. And how do we know that the temple will be rebuilt? You say that’s kind of outrageous—it doesn’t make sense why.
Well, this is the 70th week preceded by 69. These are the famous “70 weeks of Daniel,” of that prophecy in Daniel 9, and at the end of 69 of them, the Messiah would come and be cut off. And then the city and sanctuary would be destroyed. And “from the going forth of the command to rebuild Jerusalem…,” we talked about this before, but it bears repeating. Four hundred and eighty-three years and you can go back and count it. So we know this is going to be fulfilled because what it said that had to be fulfilled prior to that time has already been fulfilled. And this is part of this whole “70 weeks of Daniel,” which has been fulfilled precisely. The Messiah rode in into Jerusalem on the very day that He was supposed to. He was crucified, and then the people of the prince that would come, it says, they destroyed the city and the sanctuary. These were the Roman armies. So the prince who will come, the Antichrist, will come out of the Roman Empire. And he is the one who will then restore this. Tom, it’s just—
Tom: The purpose being to present himself to the world as God. What other place would you pick?
Dave: Tom, it is amazing. No country in the world is told where to have its capital. Israel is the only one. They have the Knesset there. The whole world says no, that can’t be your capital, it’s not allowed. The embassies, as you know, are Tel Aviv or Haifa or somewhere else. This is a unique place. You cannot escape it. Jerusalem in Bible prophecy—and no one can be an atheist. They cannot deny that God—He didn’t say Moscow, oh wow! He didn’t say Timbuktu, or some other place. He said Jerusalem! And it will be a burdensome stone around the necks of the whole world, and you know that this is exactly the situation today. It’s in the news everyday, and the world will have to solve that problem. Well, ultimately the Messiah will intervene and He will do it Himself.