Persia Rising: The Political and Prophetic Implications (Part 2 of 2)

As we move into Obama’s waning years in office, his fundamental transformation of America continues unabated and in full throttle. This time, it is America’s relationship with its long-standing ally Israel and enemy Iran that is presently experiencing a radical alteration. Here, we once again see on open display the familiar foreign policy pattern of the Obama Administration in alienating our allies while simultaneously emboldening our sworn enemies. As Obama Administration diplomats left Vienna early last week, America appears to have now entered a historic and landmark deal with the Iranian regime regarding its nuclear program. The two most obvious words that come to mind regarding this historic agreement are “bad deal.” In our last post, we noted the various reasons why this deal is a loser for both Israel and America. In this post, we transition away from the political implications and toward examination of the prophetic implications. How does this deal fit into the prophetic blue print as predicted in the Bible regarding the last days’ scenario?

 

Polishing the Prophetic Crystal Ball

From the human point of view, this all seems like bad news. However, at least two reasons should cause Bible believing Christians not to be surprised by such trends involving America turning against Israel and Iran’s rising.

 

First, the Scripture predicts that in the last days, the entire world will oppose Israel. Zechariah 14:2 says, “For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city will be captured, the houses plundered, the women ravished and half of the city exiled, but the rest of the people will not be cut off from the city” (italics added). Christians often ask, “Where is the United States in Bible prophecy?” The answer is found in this verse, which predicts that all nations (including the United States) will ultimately oppose Israel. As Obama sides with Iran in its quest to cross the nuclear finish line rather than Israel, the prophetic scenario is rapidly coming together as predicted in Scripture whereby all nations will oppose Israel in the last days.

 

Second, the Scripture predicts a sinister role for Iran in the last days. God revealed Persia’s end-time role through the sixth-century exilic prophet Ezekiel. Ezekiel 38:1-7 mentions a confederacy of nine named nations that will invade Israel in the end times. The fifth name on Ezekiel’s list is Persia (Ezek. 38:5). Persia is probably the easiest nation to identify on Ezekiel’s list of nations because Persia has a long biblical history. For example, we know about the ancient Medo-Persian Empire through Daniel’s prophecies (Dan. 2:39a; 5:28; 8:20; 10:13, 20). The Persians represent a group of people that were predicted to become the second nation to trample down Israel during the Times of the Gentiles (Dan 2; 7). In Daniel’s sixth-century predictions, Persia was represented by the chest and arms of silver of the statue in Daniel 2, the bear of Daniel 7, and the ram of Daniel 8. Persia overthrew the Babylonians in 539 B. C. as per Daniel 5, which is the famous handwriting on the wall chapter.

 

Interestingly, the Persians were considered by the Jews to be the “good guys” around the time of Ezekiel. For example, just a few decades after the time of Ezekiel it was under the Persians that Judah was allowed to return to its homeland after the seventy-years of captivity. This return took place under the Persian king named Cyrus. What is striking to note is that about 150-200 years in advance Isaiah the prophet called out Cyrus by name as Israel’s future deliverer (Isa. 44:28‒45:1). In fact all three Jewish returns from the seventy-year captivity, as recorded in the Books of Ezra and Nehemiah, took place under Persian kings.

 

Persia continued on as a modern-day nation until Persia’s name was changed to Iran in 1935. In 1979, during the Presidency of Jimmy Carter, the nation was Islamicized and consequently re-named from Iran to the Islamic Republic of Iran. This all occurred as America was suffering from long gas lines as the Shah in Iran was deposed and replaced by the Ayatollah. Consequently, the climate of Iran began to change dramatically in 1979. While the Shah was a well-known human rights violator, at least under his watch Iran was a somewhat progressive and modern country. Today, Iran is a repressive Shiite Muslim dictatorship and regime and is perhaps the world’s most aggressive sponsor of worldwide terrorism. In sum, although Ezekiel’s prophecies seemed absurd in Ezekiel’s day and even prior to 1979, yet in our day Ezekiel’s prophetic scenario has become credible.

 

It is breathtaking to observe the speed at which Iran is moving into the very prophetic alignment spoken of by the exilic prophet Ezekiel. Ahmadinejad, the former leader of Iran, was both a holocaust denier and a “twelver.” As a Shiite Muslim, he argued that the twelfth Imam would return to earth during a time of great warfare, which he believed he could hasten through the destruction of the great Satan, the United States of America, and the little Satan, Israel. Notice the order: the United States of America is the great Satan, and Israel is the little Satan. Recall that it was Ahmadinejad who, at his “World Without Zionism” Conference in Tehran in 2005, voiced his ambition to “wipe [Israel] off the map.” Ahmadinejad was replaced in August of 2013 by Rouhani, who is currently being promoted to the world community as a moderate. However, under Rouhani, Iran’s nuclear program has accelerated and not slowed down.

 

Iranian Public School Text Books

Can Iran really be trusted with a nuclear weapon? To properly answer this question, one need look no further than the Iranian children’s indoctrination through their public school text books. Retired Ambassador and consultant Yoram Ettinger offers the following helpful and frightening insights:

Iranian school textbooks, such as The Qur’an and Life (Grade 12, p. 125) prepare Iranian children for the Ayatollahs’ sublime goal: the apocalyptic, horrifying, millenarian, military battle against the USA and other “arrogant oppressors of the world,” which are ostensibly led by “idolatrous devils.” While the “savior” – the infallible, immortal, divinely ordained and eventual global leader, the Mahdi – has not surfaced yet, Iranian children are taught that the battle is already raging throughout the world, awaiting their sacrifice. School textbooks of Western democracies are the most authentic reflection of peoples’ values and worldview. School textbooks of tyrannies are the most authentic reflection of the nature and mission of the regimes. Iranian school textbooks reflect the strategy and tactics of the Ayatollahs, much more authentically than speeches, interviews, diplomatic statements and conversations conducted by President Rouhani and Foreign Minister Zarif. The latter have mastered the art of Quran-sanctioned Taqiyya – doubletalk and deception-based agreements, aimed at shielding the “believers” from the “disbelievers,” to be abrogated once conditions are ripe. School textbooks are considered, by the Ayatollahs, a critical means to mobilize the youth, charting the roadmap to the final military victory over the infidel USA and the West. Hence, the crucial relevance of school textbooks to the Congressional debate on “the framework agreement with Iran” and on the clear and present threat of a nuclear threshold Iran to vital US interests. Therefore, it behooves the US Senate and House of Representatives – the coequal and codetermining branch of government in the area of national security policy – to conduct a series of hearings and colloquy on the significance of Iran’s school textbooks, on the nature of Iran’s conventional and nuclear threats to US interests, and on the role played by the non-war US military threat/stick, as an effective option to prevent a nuclear war. Holding these hearings and colloquy – before an agreement is reached in Lausanne – would constitute a vitamin – not a poison pill – to a constructive agreement, sparing the world a calamitous nuclear war. Prof. Eldad Pardo, of the Hebrew University, who has researched Iran’s school textbooks of the last 10 years, published a May, 2015 report for the Institute of Monitoring Peace and Tolerance in School Education. According to Prof. Pardo, “Iran had created a war curriculum to prepare an entire generation for global war, based on Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini’s vision of collective martyrdom…. The battle between the new Islamic (Iranian) civilization and the evil Western civilization is seen as one between good and evil, and is being waged on a global scale…. The school textbooks prepare the Iranian people for a constant state of emergency, requiring Iranians to foment revolutions throughout the world….” Pardo documents the apocalyptic theme in Iran’s school textbooks, as underlined by Defense Readiness (Grade 11, p. 11), praising more than 500,000 school children, who were sent to the front, during the 1980-88 war against Iraq. According to Robin Wright (Sacred Rage: The Wrath of Militant Islam, New York: Simon & Schuster, 2001, p. 37), “they led the way, running over minefields to clear the ground for the Iranian ground assault. Wearing white headbands to signify the embracing of death and shouting: “Shaheed, Shaheed” [Martyr, martyr], they literally blew their way into heaven….” Apocalyptic regimes are induced – not deterred – by Mutual Assured Destruction. Iranian children are prodded to martyrdom, in defiance of their parents: “The defense of Islam and Muslims is a duty, and does not require parents’ approval (Religious Rulings, Grade 11, p.14)….” Prof. Pardo established that “education to child martyrdom continues during first-twelve grades, with a new emphasis on girl martyrs (Defense Readiness, Grade 11, pp. 35 and 62 and Sociology 1, Grade 11, pp. 112, 114).” The apocalyptic, millenarian vision of the Ayatollahs is reinforced by Jihad-driven school textbooks: “alongside the fighting jihad, there is a spiritual ‘greater jihad’ (Jehad-e akbar) performed by the fighter-martyrs (Defense Readiness, Grade 11, pp. 28-32).” Religious Rulings (Grade 11, p. 12) teaches that the eternal Jihad means a battle in accordance with God’s way, in the defense of Muslims and the oppressed. The chapter on “Defense and Jihad” stipulates that a battle could mean killing, massacring, murdering and/or fighting. Children are urged to join a millenarian frenzy of military training and preparations, constant emergency, blind obedience and actual participation in conflicts, at home and abroad.” Iranian children study that in times of need, dissimulation and deceptive peace pacts — even with ‘un-Godly, idolatrous governments’ —are proper, but only until such time as the balance of power should change. In fact, we know from Khamenei’s own words, that the nuclear negotiations are predicated on the conclusion of a provisional treaty with an illegitimate [infidel] government, while not forsaking the permanent vision. Khamenei’s conduct is based on the 661 CE Treaty between Imam Hassan and Caliph Muʻawiyah, intending only to gain time, building power and gradually undermining rival dynasties— but never genuinely reconciling (Religion and Life, Grade 12, p. 104).” Thus, school textbooks constitute a very accurate detector of the nature, mission and legitimacy/illegitimacy of regimes, and their expected use of nuclear capabilities.1

As we have seen in America’s most recent “bad deal” with Iran in Vienna, one of the greatest facilitators to Iran’s crossing the nuclear finish line seems is the Obama Administration. Obama seems “hell bent” on pursuing his ambition of securing his own legacy in the annals of history through his entrance into the recent historic and unprecedented deal with Iran. As evidenced by its relatively recent Shiite Muslim trajectory, its nuclear ambitions, how the Iranian regime indoctrinates its own youth through its apocalyptic vision, and the most recent historic agreement between Iran and America, which virtually removes any significant hurdles in Iran’s pathway toward the bomb, it is apparent that Iran is fitting into the identical aggressive pattern that the exilic prophet Ezekiel predicted regarding Persia’s end-time role.

Iran Nuclear Deal

It remains important for Americans to voice their opposition to Obama’s policy of easing Iran’s pathway toward a nuclear Iran and the dawning of an atomic Ayatollah. On the other hand, perhaps it’s too late to resist this tide since the stage is now being set for the final events of world history. Given this eschatological perspective, things taking place in America and throughout the world are not really falling apart. Rather, they are falling into place.Endnotes


  1. Yoram Ettinger, “Iran’s School Textbooks‒Can Congress Afford to Ignore It?,” online: http://theettingerreport.com/Iran-and-MidEast/Iran-s-School-Textbooks-%E2%80%93-can-Congress-afford-to-i.aspx, May 29, 2015, accessed 30 May 2015. []

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