Help for Today — Hope for Tomorrow
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[Darris McNeely] There is a key to unlocking the riddle of the Middle East and we need to understand what that is.
Where were you on 9/11? When America was attacked, the Twin Towers came down.
Washington, D.C. was attacked as well. You remember your thoughts? It was a very dramatic day in American history, we were glued to our television sets, we couldn’t believe what we were watching and what had happened to the United States of America. And the aftermath of that tragic day, people flooded to churches, all of Congress were saying, “God bless America” on the Capital’s steps. People asked, “Why do they hate us? Why this attack?”
What did you learn? What was your reaction at that time? Did it really change anything when it comes to Congress? They were back at it. Opposing voices shortly thereafter. It’s continued and actually worsened in the subsequent years. On that day I received two telephone calls from people who had at one time had held a very firm belief in Bible prophecy and when this happened, I was the one they called. “What does it mean?” They said. “Is this the beginning of the events described in the Bible as the time of the end? The tribulation leading up to the return of Christ?”
What do you think I told them? Well, hold that question. Let me ask you another. Could the devil have been behind this act? You know when you look at the headlines of the Middle East, ISIS forces near defeat, bombs from Gaza rain down on Israel. America recognizes Israeli control of the Golan Heights. Now these are very real current headlines in the Middle East today. Remember it was from the Middle East that the attacks on America, on 9/11 took place and it created a whole new awareness for Americans of where the Middle East was and what was taking place.
When you look at these headlines today and even the headlines of 9/11, do they really tell the whole story that we need in order to understand why it took place and what was behind it? The answer is an unequivocal, firm no. The Bible shows there’s more behind the scenes that we should understand if we are going to really appreciate what took place on 9/11, what’s happening today and what will happen in the future because the real headlines are not written in todays news stories. The real headlines are written by God in heaven. By other spirits who are waging conflict behind the scenes in the spirit realm, not here on earth always and there is a key to unlocking the riddle of the Middle East and we need to understand what that is if we’re going to fully appreciate what is God is saying and the relationship that we do have with our savior Jesus Christ.
Let me ask you another question; do you really understand what is taking place in the Middle East? Do you really know that region? And there’s really another question that goes along with this, why should you care? Sports goes on, life goes on and the grocery store shelves are full.
You know, my first awareness of the Middle East was in 1967, when there was this Israeli-Egyptian war, the Israelis reunited the Old City of Jerusalem and as this picture shows, Israeli paratroopers came to now what is called the Western Wall. A wall that was the only remaining part of the wall around the temple in time of Christ and they prayed there. It was a very dramatic moment, this is a very dramatic picture; an iconic picture there. Through the years I have made several trips to the region of the Middle East for purposes. And that’s where I really began to understand and be aware of this big area of the Middle East. You know for you, it might have been on 9/11 when you heard about a place called Afghanistan or Iraq or Iran, and America began to think about all this as the Twin Towers fell. For others it may have been just a few years ago in what is called the Arab Spring of 2011 where capitals and governments in the Middle East began to fall because of uprisings of people in the streets. And since then, there has been tremendous civil war in the nation of Syria that has led to something that’s even more recent that might have grabbed our attention and made us aware that there’s a lot going on in that place and it’s a bad neighborhood and that’s what is called the ISIS terror, these black shrouded individuals who created a reign of terror across the Middle East in an effort to restore a Muslim caliphate and that created big headlines and a lot of fear. Headlines of evil because they got engaged with beheadings of the people they captured and they committed great acts of terror and they were even able to stretch their hand out into the United States of America into places like California and Texas that we know about and create bloodshed. Influencing acts of terror in this country and Great Britain and also in France. You see conflict in the Middle East, it impacts real people in the streets and in villages. Terror. Unending war for which there seems to be no end. And then on top of that comes treaties of peace, shuttle diplomacy back and forth. Treaties that are signed but they do not bring about the desired peace.
And even today every week it seems there’s some new headline about some of the never-ending conflict that’s coming out of the Middle East. Again, why does it matter to us? Why should it matter? Well there’s one reason that it should and it’s because American, Australian, Canadian and European men and women are sent to these places to fight and they are sent with lofty thoughts of patriotism. I remember after 9/11, patriotism soared in the United States and people were willing to go to war over there. They go to defend democracy, they go to promote peace and they die and they come back wounded. And we watch about advertisements and pleas for help and assistance for the wounded warriors that come back, but there’s no lasting solution. Because it seems to be an never-ending cycle and there seems to be no real peace. And the question that we should really ask ourselves and come to understand is why?
Why treaties of peace? Why no lasting peace? Why no effective solution? Why no leader can even explain the why?
A few years ago I remember hearing an interview, reading actually the interview that was done with the man by the name of Charles Malik. Charles Malik was a Lebanese diplomat who was an original signer of the United Nations Charter in 1946. He was interviewed and quoted by a journalist named Jean Hogberg in 1986, 40 years after the founding of the United Nations at an anniversary celebrating that. Dr. Malik was interviewed and he spoke about the weaknesses of the United Nations, and for that matter any international agency that seeks to bring about an effective peace and solution of peace between the warring factions there within the Middle East and Dr. Malik said something that was very very interesting, he said that these treaties and these peace conferences do not actually deal with the issues of the human mind and the human heart. He explained that there is a missing ingredient in understanding the problems of the world in the Middle East and in other places where there is conflict.
Here’s a quote, here’s what he said. He said that, “There’s an old wisdom in the Middle East, with which we are fully acquainted, one of the basic things,” he said. “Is that you find that everyone believes?”
He said as he went on, “We believe the devil is at work in the midst of these events. And while the devil is at work and has not yet been completely conquered or vanquished, we will never have peace,” he said. This was a Lebanese diplomat who’s a signer of the original UN Charter, “we will never have peace.” He went on and he concluded, “Do you think that the United Nations is going to bring about peace so long as the devil is around? The devil is at work,” he said. “The devil is at work.”
Here is a man from the Middle East again, that tough neighborhood and he was speaking a timeless truth. Now can we confirm what he said? I think we can. But it’s going to take a little bit of study and in depth understanding that our booklet we are offering on our program today called, “The Middle East in Bible Prophecy” can help us get into and to begin to understand. There is a topic, the Middle East, that we do really need to understand in our world today if we are going to understand what’s happening, the problems that are there and continue to happen and also if we are going to be able to understand our Bible. So we would like to, I want to call your attention, those of you who are with us here today, to this booklet as a means of understanding and those of you that are watching to call the number on your screen and go to the website that is there to request this free copy of this booklet that is quite well-researched and written and put together to help understand this region, but the most important question beyond that, the why.
As we look at this, do you ever wonder why there seems to be an obsession with the Middle East? Again all these headlines and all this talk. The state of Israel creates a great deal of discussion, pros and cons, people for, people against the state of Israel. Over the years every American president, it seems, in our lifetime has said that they were going to move the American embassy to the city of Jerusalem. When it was finally done it created a great deal of distress in some quarters. But everybody said it was going to be done and it should be done and when it was done, it created more conflict and even the status of Jerusalem has been discussed back and forth, should it become an international city administered by some religious power?
When you look at Jerusalem, it is the center for three world religions today. It is also a place where it is an open recipe for conflict. We’ve got a book here that I’ve read, it’s a pretty thick book but the book is called, “Jerusalem — The Biography” and it traces the story from King David all the way to modern times in the city of Jerusalem. How many cities do you know that has its own biography written about it? Jerusalem does because it is mentioned in scriptures, and the Bible, it has played a key role in history outside of the Bible and is playing an important role in our world today. And when it comes to this matter of understanding the missing dimension in history, it plays a key role. There is a missing dimension that we should understand about the world, history and our place today. In the book of Acts chapter 17, the apostle Paul is giving one of the most famous sermons ever given in the history of the world in the city of Athens before a group of philosophers. And he makes a profound statement about God. As he describes to a group of people who basically don’t believe in certainly Paul’s God and may believe in other gods and some of them, probably many of them even atheistic. And he said, “God has set the nations in their boundaries and determined their rise and fall in history.”
That’s what he said. He has placed the peoples of the world where they are and he has determined when empires like Rome would rise, and when it would decline. And God has even determined when America and other nations have come on the scene to rise at a place and then to decline. God is in charge of history. That’s what Paul says in Acts chapter 17.
There’s another passage of scripture that’s quite fascinating for us to consider to understand. It’s in the book of Daniel chapter 10. In chapter 10 of Daniel we have an encounter where Daniel is wanting to understand some very important things about Bible prophecy. And he goes on a period of prayer and fasting for about 3 weeks to God seeking understanding and after 3 weeks, he still doesn’t have the answer, he’s probably beginning to wonder how much longer do I need to do this. But he goes on with that and ultimately an angelic messenger appears to him and he says, “From the very beginning, 3 weeks ago it was determined to bring this answer to you.” But he said, “The prince of Persia withstood me.” The prince of Persia. He said, but I’ve got through and I’m going to give you this and I have to leave.” He goes on, then he says, “Then the prince of Greece is going to come.” The prince of Persia. The prince of Greece. But he said, “Michael, one of the chief princes will help me.” What the messenger is describing to Daniel is this angelic world that we don’t see that is really writing the headlines of world history and is really writing the headlines of the Middle East. A prince of Persia, that is modern Iran. A prince of Greece, that’s speaking of Europe. And together we find that these powers battle the plan and purpose of God and that helps us understand what I call this missing dimension. That God controls the fates of nations.
Is there a missing dimension which the modern mind refuses to admit? There is, and scripture reveals that to us and that’s what’s important for us to understand. In the book of Daniel, chapter 5. There’s this fantastic story that we are all probably familiar with. Where there is a feast given by the last king of Babylon, Belshazzar. And Belshazzar in the midst of this feast it happens that a hand appears and begins to write on the wall, so called handwriting on the wall that comes down to us as a very famous saying nobody can interpret it and they have to call Daniel in to interpret it and Daniel’s interpretation is essentially that it is your kingdom has been weighed in the balance and it has been found wanting or lacking and it is going to fall and it did in that night because the Persians came in. It was a dramatic moment. But Daniel comes down to a point where he also reminds King Belshazzar that “the most high God rules in the kingdoms of men” Daniel 5:21. The most high God rules in the kingdoms of men. This is another piece of understanding of this missing dimension that we have in history and in the world today. Now that’s the past, but what about right now? There’s one other point that I’d like to take us to out of the book of Revelation chapter 16 because it describes the events of the future yet ahead of us today. Revelation chapter 16 describes the seven last plagues that are poured out on upon the world and at one point there is one plague that is poured out and it is to gather the kings of the earth together and in verse 13, John writes, “I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet.” Unclean spirits. “For they are,” he says, “the spirits of demons performing signs which go out unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.”
Spiritual warfare. Spirits that come out of the mouths of specific individuals but they are motivated by spirit beings and they gather the nations together for what is called the battle of that great day of God Almighty. It is the gathering of the final conflict and it will be driven by the spirit world. Now notice what Jesus says in verse 15 of this. In my Bible, and in yours it is in red, which means it is the words of Jesus Christ. He said, “Behold I am coming as a thief in the night. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame.”
Jesus Christ who is the revelator who gave the book of Revelation says to watch, lest we be caught naked. I am coming as a thief in the night. Watch.
This is an extremely important piece of understanding. The watching that you and I have to do is something that we can do when we better understand what we are dealing with not only in the missing dimension of history but also in the whole stretch of the story of the Middle East. And again the offer we have today as a study aid, “The Middle East In Bible Prophecy” takes you into greater study in depth into this and something that quite frankly I recommend to all of us to go back into. Get your free copy, you can write to the website on your screen or call the phone number that is there and get a free copy of this to begin to understand things that we just do not get in our world today, in our news and in our histories.
Now let me bring you back to something, to another question, and that is what does all this mean for our life? What is all this teaching us? Again our world goes on it’s pretty good right now, it’s pretty comfortable. We might not be all that concerned about this, why does it matter? Well, remember the 9/11 calls that I said I had at the beginning? From two friends, two people who knew about this and was shocked at what was taking place, and they had once had a pretty strong belief in Bible prophecy. Remember the response that you might have had to this? What did I tell them? Well I told them that it was a wake up call. There’s a scripture in 2 Peter 3:11 that talks about all of these events that culminate in the time of the end. And Peter who is writing it says, “Because all of these things will be dissolved,” he said. “What manner of persons should you be in holy conduct and godliness.”
The reason to understand the Middle East Bible prophecy is not just be smarter than everybody else and think we know the Bible better but it is to be motivated to better conduct, righteousness and godliness. I asked you, did 9/11 change your life? Or something since then caused you to dramatically be different? If another 9/11 happens, who will you call? Who will you call for understanding? What does it all mean? The point is this, we all need what I call a geospiritual world view. And what that means is this, a God-centered view of history and todays world. And you know what? You’re not going to get that on cable news, your favorite news source, you will not get it. Because it’s not conservative, it’s not liberal, it’s not socialist, it’s not capitalist, it’s not progressive. It’s none of those. It’s God’s centered view of the world and why it is the way it is. We are so polarized today with so many political views and ideologies, it’s creating a problem. The Bible is really the guide for you and I to set a correct view of this world. God sets the boundaries of the nations, he determines the rise and fall of nations but scripture shows us there is an opposing force and our challenge is to understand this evil spirit world, what it is and especially that it has no love for you. This world that we read about this spirit world where the devil is, it has no love for you.
It has blinded your minds from the glorious gospel of the kingdom of God and the glory of Christ. And it prevents us from understanding the reasons for the headlines that we read and to understand what is behind these acts that we see. We don’t wrestle with flesh and blood, scripture tells us we wrestle with spiritual wickedness. When we finally get to understand that, that Satan himself, the devil, as the Lebanese diplomat told us, is the true power behind the evil acts that are committed in the name of religion and politics today. That he is the god of this age that pits nation against nation and creates the evils that leaves millions in poverty and sickness. We look at our world and wonder whats going on and you, like me, you see things happening that are horrible, unimaginable to our eyes and to our senses. Frankly, we need to heed Christ’s warning that we just read it Revelation 16:15. Christ our savior, Christ the King, Christ the revelator. We need to have that response to what he said and watch and understand.
What’s He showing us? He’s showing us how the world really works. You’re not going to read about this in news accounts or from statesmen or spokespersons for anyone. I watch a lot of news programs and I read a lot of history books and everyday I see a lot of reporting and commentary of so many intelligent and knowledgable people that understand a lot about what happens in the world today, but I don’t get this from them. I don’t get this understanding from cable news, I get it from Scripture. I get the understanding that I need to recognize what is behind the suffering that is taking place in the world today and you can as well. And we all need to understand what is the unseen world that is involved in the headlines and the events that are shaping todays world. I have to go to this book, the Bible, to understand the spiritual dimension that impacts the big events that are in the world today. God is guiding history, Christ stands poised and he is watching in this world and our relationship with Jesus Christ, the revelator, God of salvation is the means by which we are going to understand what is taking place in the world today and also the means by which we will become the type of person that God wants us to be in all manner of godliness and righteous conduct. There’s something we have to do with that knowledge and you can make a difference in your life for good. But we have to step back from the world that we are in today.
The day is coming when our world will change overnight. A 9/11 event of even bigger proportions is coming and when that next big event happens, again, who you are going to call?
Everything about our world today is designed to destroy your faith in God and mine and we have to make sure that it is bolstered up. The booklet, “The Middle East In Bible Prophecy” helps us to understand that and I hope you will get a copy of that to begin to deepen your understanding of what is taking place in the world today. We all know what that world is now and why our world is the way that it is, let’s be sure that we are all praying, thy kingdom come.
[Narrator] Please call for the booklet offered on todays program, “The Middle East In Bible Prophecy” when you hear about disturbing, unsettling events in that critical region of the world you really need to understand its biblical and historical background. Our free bible study aid, “The Middle East In Bible Prophecy” will help you better comprehend prophesied events and how they will affect your life. Many Bible prophecies focus on the Middle East as the stage for events leading to the second coming of Jesus Christ and the kingdom of God on earth. This booklet, “The Middle East In Bible Prophecy” covers those important prophecies.
Order now. Call toll free 1-888-886-8632 or write to the address shown on your screen. When you order this free study aid, we’ll also send you a complimentary one year subscription to our Beyond Today magazine. The Beyond Today magazine brings you understanding of today’s world and hope for the future.
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