The huge demonstrations protesting the election issues in Iran put that country on the front pages of every newspaper.
For nearly two weeks, demonstrations have raged. Early on, some said that they didn’t know what would happen as to whether the protests would succeed in overthrowing the regime, but most recognized that the endgame was a foregone conclusion: the regime has the tanks, the guns, and the military. It was only a question as to whether how far things might get before they used them.
As it stands, they won’t have to, as an AP article entitled “Intensified crackdown mutes protests in Iran” indicates. While the demonstrations might well briefly flare up again (presidential candidate Mousavi has said he would appear at a demonstration on the 24th), there has never been any serious question that the theocratic regime would stand.
The serious question that remains is, stand as what? Will it become a more open society, more willing to seriously interact with the Western world, or will it become more hostile and more determined to pursue a violent agenda in the coming months?
Based on the prophecies in the Bible, and based on my own belief that we are entering the last days, my view is that Iran will become more hostile and violent as it is increasingly isolated in the Western world. Furthermore, my view is that it will engage in an increasingly close alliance/partnership with Russia and with other Islamic Arab and African states.
It is important to realize that the Iranian Constitution (Article Five) is inherently apocalyptic in nature. The still-revered Ayatollah Khomeini in 1979 proclaimed that the basis for Iran’s constitution and its government would be the authority of the Hidden (or Twelfth) Imam. This apocalyptic figure has been called the ‘expected one,’ (al—Muntazar), the ‘promised one’ (al—Mahdi’), or the ‘hidden one,’ (al—Mustatir) in the Shi’a tradition.
The threats of impending destruction of Israel and even of war against the United States have been issued in the name of this Twelfth Imam who will (according to Iranian/Shi’a Islam) come in the last days.
According to the tradition, the Hidden Imam was taken into hiding by Allah and kept there until he reappears in the last days to purify the umma and take the world for Islam.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and many others in the Iranian leadership passionately hold to the coming of the Hidden Imam. That in itself is not necessarily frightening: Shi’ite orthodoxy has it that humans are powerless to encourage the Twelfth Imam to return. However, in Iran a group called the Hojjatieh believe that humans can stir up chaos and violence to encourage him – even force him – to return. And Ahmadinejad is at least a former member, and quite likely a current member of this sect. When Ahmadinejad became president, $17 million was spent on the Jamkaran mosque, which is central to the Hojjatieh movement. And it is even more frightening when such a man sitting as President of Iran claims to have a direct link to God.
And Dr. Serge Trifkovic has said this regarding Ahmadinejad’s theology/eschatology:
Ahmadinejad, by contrast, shares with Trotsky an apocalyptic world outlook. He favors direct action in pursuit of a permanent Islamic revolution that will pave the way for the return of the Hidden Imam, pave it with blood, sweat and tears. Indeed he’d like to speed things up, as you point out, and implicitly he hopes to achieve this by twisting the arm of the Almighty – no less so than the cloners of red heifers and would-be re-builders of the Temple hope to do as a means of speeding up the Rupture. The fact that he is more sincere in his beliefs and more earnest in his endeavors than the kleptocrats of the House of Saud are in theirs, is alarming but unsurprising. He is a visionary; they are Machiavellian cynics.
A much-more detailed analysis that comes to much the same conclusion about Ahmadinejad’s apocalyptic vision is available via FrontPage Magazine.
Mind you, re-building the Temple or cloning a red heifer are scarcely the source of inherently cataclysmic activities that many too many Shiite Muslims are pursuing.
So when one considers Iran, under such leadership, to be dedicated to the acquisition of nuclear weapons after stating that Israel should be “wiped out from the map” – and with the current Ayatollah Khamenei stating that Israel is a “cancerous tumor” on the verge of collapse – well, one should be very worried. Wiping out Israel in a fiery blaze of atomic glory would indeed be a way to create the holocaust that would prompt the return of the long-awaited Hidden Imam (if anything ever could).
Clearly Jews understand this, as 1 in 4 would seriously consider leaving the country if Iran succeeds in acquiring nuclear weapons. Given that such an event would literally mean the end of the state of Israel even if Iran didn’t nuke them, Israel has little choice but to attack Iran’s nuclear capability (since – clearly – no one else will).
Would Israelis hold back from a planned attack of Iran if they believed the United States would prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons? Probably. But the problem is, they clearly don’t believe that any more. And they certainly no longer believe that America under Barack Hussein Obama is on their side. When George Bush was president, fully 88% of Israeli Jews believed the president was “pro-Israel”; today under Obama, only 31% of Israeli Jews think so.
Such an event, of hated Israel swooping into an Islamic country to destroy their Russian-built nuclear facilities, would itself be a likely cataclysmic event. Do you even dare to imagine how the Islamic world would react? And realize that just such an event is very likely coming – and coming all-too soon.
Now Vice President Joe Biden predicted that Barack Obama would be “tested” by an “international crisis” that would test his mettle. He went on to say:
I promise you, you all are gonna be sitting here a year from now going, ‘Oh my God, why are they there in the polls? Why is the polling so down? Why is this thing so tough?’ We’re gonna have to make some incredibly tough decisions in the first two years. So I’m asking you now, I’m asking you now, be prepared to stick with us. Remember the faith you had at this point because you’re going to have to reinforce us.”“There are gonna be a lot of you who want to go, ‘Whoa, wait a minute, yo, whoa, whoa, I don’t know about that decision’,” Biden continued. “Because if you think the decision is sound when they’re made, which I believe you will when they’re made, they’re not likely to be as popular as they are sound. Because if they’re popular, they’re probably not sound.”
Joe Biden quickly turned his discussion of this international crisis and Barack Obama’s seeming poor handling of said crisis to politics and the hopes of Democrats. But Iran obtaining nuclear weapons won’t be about politics; it will be about Armageddon.
“There has been no harsher critic of Barack Obama’s lack of experience than Joe Biden,” McCain spokesman Ben Porritt said in a written statement, according to CNN. “Biden has denounced Barack Obama’s poor foreign policy judgment and has strongly argued in his own words what Americans are quickly realizing — that Barack Obama is not ready to be president.”
Biden frequently raised questions about Obama’s lack of foreign policy experience during the primaries. “I think he can be ready, but right now, I don’t believe he is,” Biden said during one debate. “The presidency is not something that lends itself to on-the-job training.”
North Korea looms large, and may loom far larger in the days soon-to-come. But a nuclear Iran is an even more terrifying prospect. You’ll see.
As I turn to Iraq – and then to how Iraq relates to Iran in the context of Bible prophecy – allow me to first discuss Joel Rosenberg.
A Wikipedia article on Joel Rosenberg probably provides the most concise summary (accessed June 23, 2009):
Rosenberg’s novels have attracted those interested in Bible Prophecy, due to several of his fictional elements of his books that would occur after his writing of books. Nine months before the September 11th attacks, Rosenberg wrote a novel with a kamikaze plane attack on an American city. Five months before the 2003 invasion of Iraq, he wrote a novel about war with Saddam Hussein, the death of Yasser Arafat eight months before it occurred, a story with Russia, Iran, and Libya forming a military alliance against Israel occurring the date of publishing, the rebuilding of the city of Babylon, Iran vowing to have Israel “wiped off the face of the map forever” five months before Iranian President Ahmadinejad said the same, and the discovery of huge amounts of oil and natural gas in Israel (which happened in January 2009). The U.S. News & World Report have referred to him as a “Modern Nostradamus,” although Rosenberg tries to play down those proclamations, stating that “I am not a clairvoyant, a psychic, or a ‘Modern Nostradamus,’ as some have suggested.” He gives the credit for his accurate predictions to studying Biblical prophecy and applying to the modern world.
Why did Rosenberg predict that there would be a “kamikaze plane attack on an American city” by Islamic terrorists? Because he accurately understood the evil at the heart of Islam.
Why did Rosenberg predict a war between Saddam Hussein and the United States resulting in the overthrow of Saddam and his brutal regime? That’s where it gets interesting.
Joel Rosenberg had done a thorough study of the Book of Ezekiel and of the Bible (as a couple of overlapping articles summarize – Article 1; – Article 2). He learned that one day, according to the Bible, a massive army under the leadership of Russia and many of its former republics (Magog) and Iran (Persia) and consisting of many countries that are today Islamic [e.g. “Cush” (modern-day Sudan and Ethiopia); “Put” (modern-day Libya); “Gomer” (modern-day Turkey); “Beth-togarmah” (modern-day Armenia); and many peoples “along the mountains of Israel” (modern-day Lebanon and possibly Syria)] would form an “exceedingly great army” that would one day attack Israel.
What Rosenberg noted was the absence of two countries: Egypt and Babylon (i.e. Iraq). Egypt had been a perennial enemy of Israel until 1973, when Egypt alone in all the Arab/Muslim world forged a historic peace treaty with the state of Israel. That left Iraq. Rosenberg asked himself, “How could a nation like Iraq, under the leadership of someone like Saddam Hussein, NOT participate in this mega-colossal-last-days attack on Israel?
Rosenberg concluded that Saddam Hussein WOULDN’T refrain from such an attack. And that meant that Saddam Hussein would have to go.
And so, NINE MONTHS before the 9/11 attack, Rosenberg in his “fiction” created a scenario in which terrorists flew a plane in a kamikaze attack, and the United States took out the Iraqi regime and replaced it with a stable Western-friendly government.
And because the Bible is the true Word of an all-knowing God who knows the end from the beginning as revealed through His prophets, the scenario laid out by Joel Rosenberg turned out to be eerily true. It wasn’t a “lucky guess”; it was based upon the God who had revealed the last days to an inspired prophet named Ezekiel some 2,600 years ago.
Thus we have Iraq, its tyrant who had filled mass graves with the bodies of at least 400,000 of his own people, overthrown and a stable democracy growing in his place. And we have Iran, a country strongly allied with Russia; a country bent on acquiring nuclear weapons; a country that has announced its intent on the destruction of Israel; a country under the leadership of men who in all likelihood believe in establishing a future by an act of violent apocalypse. Two countries on two very different paths. And both paths known to God 2,600 years ago.