The World Tomorrow

The Middle East in Prophecy

by Herbert W Armstrong


A prelude to world peace at last after all these thousands of years of war and of troubles and of evils on this earth.

The world news spotlight recently has been primarily on the Middle East. Over there has been a boiling cauldron of animosities and wars in the Islamic religion which they all have; there’s been the hostage crisis, now in Iran, of course they are not Arab but they are Islamic in religion. There’s been the Arab-Israeli wars, the Arab oil crisis, and they have dominated world news recently.

The entire Middle East embroilment has stemmed, believe it or not, over a jealousy of two women over one man. And I want to tell you about that. It’s a factual story, stranger, more intriguing and more exciting than any fiction.

There’ve been seven modern events involving the Middle East, United States and Britain altogether, that is Britain and the United States have been involved in these things along with the Middle East and they all converge into a present forerunner before world peace - which is coming.

I’ve been indirectly involved in many of these occasions and many of these world news involvements. Now my personal involvement began before the establishment of the State of Israel even. After, or it would really be before the ending of World War II - we hadn’t yet finished the war with Japan - but after the surrender of Hitler the conference was held at San Francisco as the San Francisco Conference where the charter for the United Nations was drawn up. I attended that entire conference.

I met a number of world leaders there, and among them was one who represented all the Arab nations, Sheikh Hafiz Wahba, his name was, a plenipotentiary extraordinary who represented the entire Arab world. I had several meetings with him; I had two long meetings there at that time at the conference later, let me see, it was in 1947 and February, Mrs Armstrong and I were in London and the Sheikh was there and he was hosting a royal reception for Prince, Crown Prince Emir. Later Crown Prince Emir became King Saud of Arabia. He now is the late King Saud.

It was some years later, it was let’s see, it was 1958 I believe, we were in Cairo; the Sheikh was spending the summer over in Alexandria. He and his wife came over to spend the afternoon with Mrs Armstrong and me in Cairo at that time. So I became quite well acquainted with the Sheikh.

Now I attended after the San Francisco Conference I attended the first meeting of the security conference in New York, it was held in Hunter College out in the Bronx in New York. And there I met the leader of the Zionist movement that were pressing so hard at the time for a national home for Jews in Palestine.

Now he gave me the case of the Zionist people for a national home - for a national state that finally became the state of Israel. He said that God Almighty had promised that land to the Jewish people. He said it’s been called the Promised Land. It belonged to them; they had been there many, many years. And even though they’d been driven out and scattered that it belonged to them by Divine right. Well, that’s a pretty hard argument to get around.

However, Sheikh Hafiz Wahba had given me his side of the case. This was in the San Francisco conference back in 1945, he said, "Here in California you’re a part of the United States - do you feel that the land of California, and the land of the United States really belongs to your American people?" Well I certainly did. "Well" he said, "You’ve been here less than two hundred years as a nation" and he said, "You’ve only been in California less time than that." Now he said, "We Arabs have been in Palestine for almost ten times that long, at least seven or eight times that long; and supposing that the Japanese would come over and say that they had a divine right, that their god said that he had given this land of California to them and we should move right on out and let them come in and have an international home in California. What would you think of that?" Well I thought he had an argument too. So there were the two sides of the argument in the case for a national home for the Jews in Palestine.

Origin of Middle East Antagonisms (Play from 5:54)

Now, there were seven Middle Eastern events that I want to mention that have come on down and finally converged into the present forerunner to world peace.

But before I explain them I want to explain a little bit about the origin of all the Middle East antagonisms. The ancient Abraham that you read of in the Bible, Abraham was the father of both the Arab and the Israeli people, in other words, the Arabs and the Jews, as you read in the Old Testament in the Bible.

Abraham’s wife, Sarah, was barren, she was childless, and at that time, in those years way back then it was a disgrace for a wife to be childless. Finally, Sarah brought her Egyptian maid Hagar to Abram, Abraham and asked him to have a son by her so that Sarah could have what she would call her son through Hagar.

Well, when Hagar became pregnant she began to despise Sarah, and then a real antagonism arose between those two women. Sarah treated her very harshly. Finally Hagar fled. Now Hagar became the mother of a son, his name was Ishmael; (Genesis 16:15). Ishmael was the father of all of the Arab world. Ishmael had twelve sons, they were called twelve dukes.

Abraham loved Ishmael, Abraham pleaded with God to let the promises that God had made to Abraham, that is promises of the land of Israel, other great and national promises of national greatness as well as spiritual promises that came down through Christ and salvation through Him, the whole world. But Abraham wanted those promises to be fulfilled through what then was his only son Ishmael. God said no, you shall still have a son by Sarah. (Genesis 17: 18-19)

Now when Abraham was 99 and Sarah was 90 years old, by a miracle, Sarah had a son (Genesis 21:2-3). His name was Isaac and God said "in Isaac shall your seed be called", that is, your descendants and the ones that are going to inherit this promise. (Genesis 19:19)

So the biblical record shows that the promise was denied to the sons of Ishmael, or the Arab race, but was given to Isaac.

However there’s quite a little to the story that the world in general does not understand. Isaac was the father of Jacob. Jacob’s name was changed to Israel. Jacob was the father of twelve sons who became the progenitors of the twelve tribes of Israel. And the promises went on to them. Now what the world does not understand is that the birthright promise of the land and the possession of the land and of national greatness and of national wealth and of military superiority actually went to Joseph, one of the twelve sons of Israel. And it was passed on to Joseph’s two sons and Jacob’s name, or Israel, was named on them - Ephraim and Manasseh.

Now that promise was called a birthright, it was inherited by right of birth, it had nothing to do with grace, it had nothing to do with salvation, it was not a spiritual promise, it was wholly national and material. And the nation Israel in the Old Testament was based on that. Now the Old Testament nation of Israel was given the law of God, they were given the Government of God, they were made the nation of God and in the Bible they were actually called the wife of God. And the old covenant was called a marriage covenant. However, they were never given the Holy Spirit of God; they were never given a promise of salvation. They were only given national and physical and material promises and the world does not seem to realize that.

Well, anyway, there’s been an embroilment of hatred between the Arab people descending from Ishmael and the people that we think of as Jews today descended from Israel, who was also a son of Isaac the son of Abraham. And that’s the way it came on down to our time today.

The entire Middle East embroilment has stemmed believe it or not over a jealousy of two women over one man. It’s a factual story, stranger, more intriguing and more exciting than any fiction.

Seven Modern events involving the Middle East (Play from 11:31)

There were seven modern events I want to tell you about involving the Middle East, the United States and Britain altogether, that is Britain and the United States had been involved in these things along with the Middle East. And they all converge into a present forerunner before world peace which is coming.

I’ve been indirectly involved in many of these occasions and many of these world news involvements. Now the first was the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948. Now Britain had had a considerable part in that. Britain by the Balfour declaration had given over a large part of Palestine for them to settle but it was not made a national home. The Zionist Federation worked very hard and diligently to make it a national home. Finally the United Nations in 1948 did decree that the Jews could have a national home there and then ensued the war of 1948.

Now the second of these seven events that I want to specially mention now, were the four wars. Beginning with that war of independence in 1948 that made Israel - as they call themselves today - an independent nation and finally ending with what was called the Yom Kippur war or the Holy Day war in 1973. There have been four very bitter wars fought between the Arabs and the Israelis.

The third point that I want to mention, the third event was my own meeting with Golda Meir when she was the Prime Minister of Israel. I had this meeting in the Prime Minister’s office in Jerusalem. Golda Meir told me at that time, she said, "Mr Armstrong, I wish that the Arab leaders would come and sit just across the table from me in friendship. We could do so much for them - our scientists and technicians could do so much to increase their prosperity of all of their people, they would have so much more. And again our artistic people, our musicians our artists and people in the performing arts could do so much for them. We could help one another in so many ways; I wish we could be friends." Well that was a gesture toward peace.

Now the fourth of these events that I want to mention is the most incredible peace overture of our time. The most incredible thing that I have heard of. Actually it went almost unpassed - most of you probably don’t even remember it in the news because it wasn’t played up as it should have been. It happened on November 20th 1977. President Sadat declared - not war - he declared peace on Israel.

He braved a personal visit to Jerusalem to speak before the Knesset in Jerusalem. Now I want you to consider his position. Egypt was then the leader in the Arab world and Sadat was the leader in Egypt. The Arab Union had its headquarters in Cairo. He was the leader of the whole Arab world. He risked all of that and the irate hostility of the whole Arab world in going on a mission to peace to speak to the Knesset in Jerusalem of the nation of Israel. It took vision, it took courage, it took - let me say it - guts, it really did. And it took great risk, risk to his own person and risk to his political position.

President Sadat's Role (Play from 15:44)

Now previous to that time President Sadat had been cooperating with the Soviet Union, he was receiving a great deal of military material from the Soviet, tanks and all kinds of material and Soviet officers were training his soldiers and his people in the use of the equipment that they were sending over there. He ordered them out, he canceled the arrangement, he ordered all of the Soviet officers out of Egypt. Very few would ever have had the courage to do that because wherever the Soviets set their big boot they do not remove it, they go on until they have complete domination, unless a superior force can force them back and of course Egypt didn’t have a superior force except the courage of President Sadat.

One other thing, Sadat was the only leader in the whole Islamic world and among all of the Arabs who had the kindness to let the Shah of Iran come under his protection and to die in peace. None of the rest of them would do that.

Now the fifth event that I want to mention was the Camp David talks. That brought the United States directly into this whole thing and President Carter.

Alright, now the sixth event, Prime Minister Begin and the nation of Israel began giving instead of getting. They gave a good share of the Sinai Peninsula back to Egypt. That was a gesture of giving.

The seventh event I want to mention was my meeting with President Sadat just very very recently. And that brings me to the fact that President Sadat showed me, while I was there in conversation with him the architect’s rendering of his World Peace Center that he plans to erect on the base, or down at the foot of Mount Sinai. In this conference, President Sadat and I discussed world conditions for a while; we affirmed the idea of building an iron bridge of peace between Egypt and the United States. Then he showed me this architect’s rendering which showed this peace center - a walled complex in which were a mosque, a synagogue and a church in representing the three religions of the Arabs, the Jews and the United States.

And then he plans to build a resort hotel in the immediate area. Now, why should he build a peace center at Mount Sinai? What would be the significance of building it there?

I said at the beginning I spoke of an eruption at Mount Sinai. Well that eruption happened about 3,500 ago. And what erupted there was the one and only way to world peace. I’m referring to the time when the God of all creation handed to Moses the two tablets of the Ten Commandments engraved by God’s finger on tables of stone. And that was like an eruption coming on Mount Sinai.

Now Moses is regarded as a prophet by all three religions, Christianity, Judaism and Islam. The Ten Commandments are merely the ten points of the law of God which law is simply the way of give. I call it give, it’s the way of out-flowing love. It is love first to God and second to neighbor. Now the Ten Commandments, the first four, express the principle of four points of love toward God and the last six is six points of the summarizing the love toward neighbor, toward man.

I like to simplify it by the word give, and the transgression of that law is the way of get. Now the way of give is the way of cooperation, it is the way of helping, of serving, of sharing. But this world for six thousand years now has been operating on the motive of get. The get manner is, ‘I want to get everything I can, I want to take everything away from everybody else that I can’. It’s the way of competition, the way of strife, the way of vanity, and of greed, the way of ‘I love me but I don’t care about you’. Hostility instead of cooperation, resentment of authority, that is what has been going on in this world and is the cause of every trouble in the world today.

Now the Sadat peace center has a significance that it could have at no other place on the earth, right at the base of Mount Sinai. A peace center like that, showing cooperation instead of competition, peace instead of war, could not have such a significance any place except where God delivered to the prophet of all three religions, Moses, the Ten Commandments.

Why USA and Britain Involved (Play from 21:43)

Now why is the United States involved and why is Britain involved? Well there’s much more to that story and I don’t have time for it in this program. Where, let me ask you, where are our nations involved in both the history and in the prophecy in the Bible? Where do you find the United States or Britain mentioned in the prophecies in the Bible, or in the history in the Bible? Where do you find us mentioned in the Bible at all? That’s one of the most amazing things in the world.

The answer to that is a key to opening prophecies in the Bible to our understanding. That key has been lost, the world has lost it, the world has lost, as a matter of fact, lost the identity of the origin of the United States and of Britain. I gave you a while ago the origin of the Jewish people and of the Arab people, but where did the people of the United States and Britain originate, where did we come from? How are you going to understand the prophecies in the Bible?

Well I have written a book, as a matter of fact I wrote this book about 54 years ago. But it has been gone over, it has been updated, it has been corrected and now it is a book of – how many pages – let me see, it is a book now of 169 pages . It is very handsomely illustrated in color. A full book of 164 pages, well that doesn’t include the cover and the other pages at the beginning and the end – 164 actual printed pages. It is a very attractive book and it is an awful lot of book to give anyone free, and I’m offering that book to you free. It’s a book on 'The United States and Britain in Prophecy' Where are we mentioned in the prophesies of the Bible? Where are we mentioned in the history of the Bible? You will be surprised to find that our origin is mentioned as well as the origin of the other nations that I have mentioned in this program.

Now I will be happy to send you, free on request, a copy of this entire book – it’s a very attractive one – a very attractive color too. And there is no cost, no follow up, we have nothing to sell. We believe in giving.

Give is the way towards peace. Give is the way towards happiness. It is the way towards everything good. Get is the way of this world and has caused every wail of woe, every evil and every unhappiness and every trouble that has come on this world. We live in a world that can’t solve its troubles, and there is a reason, because all of our troubles are spiritual. Our problems are spiritual. We can do anything that has to do with materialism, anything that is physical and material, but we can’t handle our spiritual problems.

So until next time, this is Herbert W Armstrong saying, "Goodbye friends."