ISIS – the modern-day expression of “Muhammadanism”

khaled-asaad

Khaled Assad; Credits – International Business Times

Verily a week goes by that we do not witness the destruction by ISIS of a  churchmonastery, temple, or ancient artifact.  Read more. One of the most disturbing such events happened in Palmyra, Syria, recently. ISIS beheaded Khaled Asaad who had served as head of antiquities at Palmyra for over forty-years. Palmyra is the site of a plethora of Roman-era ruins, and its archaeological finds date back to the early second millennium BC. Khaled Asaad was 82 years old, and according to reports, was tortured to death rather than reveal the location of ancient artifacts that had been hidden before ISIS overran Palmyra. Khaled had been a captive for over a month before he was beheaded. As a final testament of its ideologue, ISIS hung his headless body on a column of a building near the town square which Assad had laboriously worked to restore. Khaled was the father of eleven children. When he retired in 2003, his son Walid took over his work at Palmyra. They both were reportedly detained by ISIS in August 2015. The fate of his son is not yet known, but if the fate of the father was torture untill death, the son is likely to experience the same– his youth has likely worked to his detriment. Death was a mercy to the father; may it come sooner than later for the son. The Economist reports that Khaled was a supporter of Bashar al-Asaad’s government. Bashar al-Assad is Alawite Shia. ISIS is Sunni Salafi– they consider Shias as unbelievers, infidels.

ISIS’ specific charges against Khaled Assad are as follows:

A board in front of the body set out the charges against him, which accused him of loyalty to the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, maintaining contact with senior regime intelligence and security officials and managing Palmyra’s collection of “idols.” Read more.

It is incredulous that a human being is beheaded because he restores, protects, and preserves ancient art.  This thought is echoed by historian Tom Holland, who recently stated:

Historian Tom Holland said the news was distressing. “For anyone interested in the study of the ancient world, it comes as – to put it mildly – a shock to realise that ideologues exist who regard the curating of antiquities and the attendance of international conferences on archaeology as capital offences.” Read more.

An hadith of Sahih Bukhari has this to say about pictures or images and what the great Muhammad has to say about them:

Um Habiba and Um Salama mentioned a church they had seen in Ethiopia and in the church there were pictures. When they told the Prophet (ﷺ) of this, he said, “Those people are such that if a pious man amongst them died, they build a place of worship over his grave and paint these pictures in it. Those people will be Allah’s worst creatures on the Day of Resurrection.”1 (Emphasis supplied)

We must remember the historical context when Muhammad received his revelation and first began to preach and teach in Mecca, the city of his ancestors.  Meccans were polytheists, i.e., they worshiped multiple pagan deities in the pre-Islamic society. Hubal was the chief god among many of the pagan deities of Arabia, and thought to be the “moon god,” one of 360-plus deities of the Arabian tribes in the seventh century a.d. The most common symbol of Hubal was the crescent moon. It is out of this polytheistic culture that Muhammad had his vision from Allah via the angel gabriel.2 Muhammad’s revelation went “against the grain” of his day– Islam is a monotheistic religion, i.e., based upon a one-god belief system. When a monotheistic, one-god religion, encounters a polytheistic many-gods religion, the stronger of the two will prevail. Muhammad’s forces prevailed against the polytheists of Mecca in A.D. 630. Here is the account of what Muhammad did to Hubal, the moon-god, along with 360 other idols:

At the Kaaba the idol of Hubal was made of red agate, and shaped like a human, but with the right hand broken off and replaced with a golden hand. When the idol was moved inside the Kaaba, it had seven arrows in front of it, which were used for divination. According to Karen Armstrong, in her book Islam: A Short History, the Kaaba was dedicated to Hubal, and contained 360 idols which probably represented the days of the year, and Hubal’s was said to be the grandest of the idols. As an infant, Muhammad was brought before Hubal by his grandfather Abd al-Muttalib, at-Tabari records in “The History of the Prophets and Kings” 1:157. When Muhammad conquered Mecca in a.d. 630, he ended the Quraysh’s tradition of idol-worship by smashing the statue of Hubal along with the other 360 idols at the Kaaba, and re-dedicated the structure to Allah, the one God.

What might drive a Salafi Islamist to smash the ancient art of Palmyra, including the removal of all Christian symbols from churches? Why behead an 82 year-old defenseless man, whose life was dedicated to recovering, preserving, and recording these same artifacts for human history?

Because Muhammad did in his day. And Muhammad is the perfect, supreme messenger of Islam who must be emulated by all Muslims. What Muhammad did in the 7th century, ISIS is doing in the 21st century. It is the root of Islam and it goes very deep.

Dr. Timothy Furnish states, in part, quoting Historian Marshall G. S. Hodgson:

Thus, “Shar’iah-minded Islam” eventually “banned all figural imagery … on the ground that it might tempt the weak to idolatry. … it is from this particular Islamic interpretive ideology that most of the world’s terrorists now come—including the al-Qa`idah-linked killers in Paris, and the ISIS destroyers of any and all art which they can get their bloody jihadist hands on.

And since Khaled Asaad restored such “idols,” he was cut-off from his work, literally, and the hanging of his headless body on a column in the city square was to have the same effect upon the witness as the visible ruins of a bulldozed church.  Islam is supreme; and there is none like Allah and his Muhammad. Khaled’s death is a statement, a testament to Islam’s need to protect Allah, as defined by the model prophet of Islam, Muhammad, and emulated by his followers.

In Islam, if someone goes apostate, he is liable to death. Why does Allah protect his numbers by directing his followers to kill the apostate? How is it that there is no “compulsion” in Islam when the death penalty greets the apostate (Qur’an 2:256)? If one insults the messenger of Islam, or Allah, or the Qur’an, why is death the penalty? On what basis does the threat to Allah, Muhammad, or the Qur’an warrant the death penalty? Witness the burning of the Qur’an several years ago by American soldiers who did so without intent to slander or impugn the Qur’an. Witness the Pam Geller event wherein people were invited to “draw Muhammad.” Why is a Muslim moved to kill because someone drew a cartoon of Muhammad? Can Allah not deal with the insult to his messenger by an infidel? Why must Allah instruct a suicide bomber to don an explosive to kill the blasphemer only to offer him sex with 72 virgins as a reward? Is Allah telling us that we will have physical bodies in heaven? How does that work since Allah is not flesh and blood nor any of us will be either in heaven (or hell)? At least that is what the Scriptures teach about the after-life. Why must Allah deny an old man his last years with his grandchildren because he restored art? To me, the insult is to Allah. He cannot take care of his own image so he causes his followers to commit the gratuitous violence in his name. I wonder how many “Allahu Akbar’s” were declared on the day that Khaled al-Asaad was hung headless on a column?  It is as if death in Islam is the solution to every threat to Allah; and, in death, not life, Allah is glorified. That is satanic. There are no rights in Islam but those of Allah; free speech, free will, is non-existent. There is only submission– and death.

This is one of the many differences between Islam and Christianity. In Christianity, Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life …  (John 14:6). In Jesus, there is life, and that life is the light that draws us out of darkness (John 1:3-4). Jesus is the life-giving Spirit, the last Adam, who redeems Adam’s sin passed down through the ages through the actions of the first Adam (1 Corinthians 15:45). Jesus is truth and there is no lie in Him. Muhammad is death; and the truth that is in him is only a half-truth (which explains the schizophrenia we find so prevalent in Islam). It is this half-truth that accepts Jesus as a prophet but denies Him as Son of God (1 John 2:22). It is this half-truth that denies the God-proving resurrection (Acts 17:31 NASB) by eliminating the cross altogether– for in Islam, Jesus was never crucified, only one who looked like him (Qur’an 4:257). In the process of proclaiming and teaching these half-truths, Islam guts the gospel of everything in it that gives it meaning, Islam commits the unpardonable: it makes God a liar since He has declared these things to be so (1 John 5:10). If we had to point to a Scripture that might properly describe the role of Islam in hardening the hearts of Muslims it would be this passage:

You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature; for he is a liar, and the father of lies. –John. 8:44 (NASB)

ISIS is the modern-day expression of Muhammadanism. As a Salafi Islamist sect it seeks to emulate every action of Muhammad (and his Companions). Its actions also are an emulation of the prince of darkness, satan. Compare the actions of the two and they will fit hand-in-glove. Muhammad lives through the beliefs and actions of ISIS. Revelation 13:15.

There are many of us writing about the Islamic paradigm these days. We may differ on who the Antichrist will be, or which nation/group he will rise from. Our differences may be even greater– whether Rome or Islam will be the revived beast and empire through which satan will rise. We may differ on specific and narrow interpretations of Daniel 2, 7, 9, 11, 12 or Revelation 12, 13, 17 & 18– but what we do not differ on is that Islam is rooted in darkness and in lies. In that root, this writer interprets that satan will wage his end-of-days war against the world.

Jesus come quickly.

Blessings.

Jack

Footnotes to post:
  1. Sunnah 63.99, Sahih Bukhari, Narrated by Aisha. http://sunnah.com/bukhari/63/99 []
  2. Islam the Cloak of Antichrist, p 29, quoting  Ira M. Lapidus, A History of Islamic Societies, 15. []

Iran – Stealth Takeover of the Middle East is Underway. Daniel 7 & 8 Being Fulfilled?

I encourage you to read the article linked below. Jonathan Spyer’s assessment of Iran and the danger it poses not only to the Middle East but also to the world is significant; and for those who believe the Bible foretells of the unfolding of actual events in the end-of-days, Spyer’s article is another in a growing line that predicts that Iran will be the key player in the end-of-days, and quite likely, the trigger to WW3.

Dispatch from Iraq: the Stealth Iranian Takeover Becomes Clear

by Jonathan Spyer
PJ Media
July 31, 2015

… An Iranian stealth takeover of Iraq is currently under way. Tehran’s actions in Iraq lay bare the nature of Iranian regional strategy. They show that Iran has no peers at present in the promotion of a very 21st century way of war, which combines the recruitment and manipulation of sectarian loyalties; the establishment and patient sponsoring of political and paramilitary front groups; and the engagement of these groups in irregular and clandestine warfare, all in tune with an Iran-led agenda.

With the conclusion of the nuclear deal, and thanks to the cash about to flow into Iranian coffers, the stage is now set for an exponential increase in the scale and effect of these activities across the region.

Read more.

Spyer goes on to discuss the ineffectiveness of the Iraqi army which plays into Shia Iran, and allows an intertwining of government forces, Shia militias and local police. The result is that the only barrier between Baghdad and ISIS are the Shia militias– of which, Shia Iran is the deep pocket.  The Iranian Quds Force commander Qassem Suleimani is regularly deployed throughout the area. Spyer states, “So this is Tehran’s formula. The possession of a powerful state body (the IRGC’s Quds Force) whose sole raison d’etre is the creation and sponsorship of local political-military organizations to serve the Iranian interest.”

But what is it that allows this multi-pronged, diverse, attack to be an imposing force against the religious fervor of ISIS? We must remember that ISIS is Sunni Salafi Islamist – violence is the means whereby this puritan Sunni force gains ground, and its religious fervor, is but the fuel for the growth of this cancerous tumor in the Middle East. Iran (and Shia Islam) is the one opposing force that matches religious fervor with ISIS. Shias are the progeny of Muhammad by the line of Muhammad’s only surviving child, Fatima, and her husband, Ali (also Muhammad’s cousin). Shia is the short form of the phrase “Shi-a-Ali,” meaning “followers,” “faction,” or “party” of Ali. Shias believe Ali was Muhammad’s only legitimate successor upon Muhammad’s unexpected death in A.D. 632. Sunnis, particularly Salafi Sunnis (ISIS), consider Shias as infidels, unbelievers. Shias are referred to by ISIS as “Rafida,” “those who reject,” because Shias do not recognize the first three caliphs of Islam, Abu Bakr, Umar, and Uthman as the legitimate successors of Muhammad. These three are considered by Sunnis to be the first three caliphs of Islam. Shias reject these three believing Ali was the legitimate successor.

One cannot ignore how the Shia uniquely fulfill Daniel 7:7-8

“After this I kept looking in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, dreadful and terrifying and extremely strong; and it had large iron teeth. It devoured and crushed, and trampled down the remainder with its feet; and it was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns. 8 “While I was contemplating the horns, behold, another horn, a little one, came up among them, and three of the first horns were pulled out by the roots before it; and behold, this horn possessed eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth uttering great boasts. –Daniel 7:7-8 (NASB)

Here is my interpretation of this passage: A leader considered caliphsforbookportrait.revised.2.pdf“little” will arise among the original ten leaders. This little one will usurp three prior kings. (Ali was rejected by Muhammad’s successors because he was too young.) It will be as if they did not exist. The text tells us that he will “pull out three” of the ten “by the roots.” Historically, Shias and Sunnis divided at the Battle of Karbala, 680 A.D., into two sects, Shias, the minority, persecuted sect (10%), and Sunnis, the majority sect (90%). From the Battle of Karbala forward, Shias considered Ali and his male descendants to be the only legitimate successors to Muhammad. Ali was, for Shias, retroactively made the first successor to Muhammad, effective with Muhammad’s death in 632, thereby eradicating the first three caliphs of Islam for Shias. This retroactive appointment by Shias was made even though Ali was already dead (Ali was assassinated in 661, and the irrevocable divide between Sunnis and Shias did not occur until 680 at the Battle of Karbala). Shias literally rewrote their history by electing Ali as the first legitimate successor to Muhammad. Hence, Sunnis refer to Shias as “rafida,” “rejectors” of the first three caliphs. Biblically, Shias fulfill Daniel 7:7-8 in an almost irrefutable way by the rejection of these three “kings,” caliphs. The chart to the right diagrams what happened historically for Islam.

I find myself in a conundrum these days. I began writing my book, Islam the Cloak of Antichrist, in the year 2006 and published it in 2011. My conclusion before I penned the first word was that Iran (and Shia Islam) was the glove through which satan would launch his end-of-days holy war (Revelation 13:7-8; 12:17). At the time I began, other writers were making similar conclusions but not that Iran (and Shia Islam) was the key player, but Turkey (and an Assyrian, prophesied by passages such as Isaiah 10:24, Micah 5:5-6). Although none of us can be dogmatic, I cannot help but see how Iran should be the line of Islam that we should be focusing on, not Turkey.

For a review of Daniel 8 and Iran’s fulfillment of this passage, read this post: Iran’s Nuclear Agreement – Is Daniel 8 about to be fulfilled?

Jesus come quickly.

Blessings.

Jack

Special Report: Ukraine struggles to control maverick [Crusader] battalions | Reuters

Korchynsky, a former leader of an ultra-nationalist party and a devout Orthodox Christian, wants to create a Christian “Taliban” to reclaim eastern Ukraine as well as Crimea, which was annexed by Russia in 2014. He isn’t going to give up his quest lightly.

“I would like Ukraine to lead the crusades,” said Korchynsky, whose battalion’s name is Saint Mary. “Our mission is not only to kick out the occupiers, but also revenge. Moscow must burn.”

Source: Special Report: Ukraine struggles to control maverick battalions | Reuters

I must say that this report shocked me. Perhaps I think with such a Western mindset that I couldn’t imagine that Daniel 7:21-22 could actually be fulfilled, literally, by “Crusaders.” Western nations doing battle against an antichrist force, yes, but not followers of the Only Begotten. Here are the NAS and NIV translations of Daniel 7:21-22 where hints of literal fulfillment are found:

I kept looking, and that horn was waging war with the saints and overpowering them
until the Ancient of Days came and judgment was passed in favor of the saints of the Highest One, and the time arrived when the saints took possession of the kingdom. –Dan 7:21-22 (NASB) (Emphasis mine)

As I watched, this horn was waging war against the holy people and defeating them,
until the Ancient of Days came and pronounced judgment in favor of the holy people of the Most High, and the time came when they possessed the kingdom. — Daniel 7:21-22 (NIV)

The NIV translates the Hebrew word “qaddish” as “holy people,”1 and the NAS translates it as “saints.” The phrase “holy people” often times refers to the Jews (Deuteronomy 7:6, 14:2, Isaiah 63:18 NAS) and rarely does it, if ever, refer to Christians (possibly, Isaiah 62:11-12 NASB). The NIV in Daniel 7:21 adds the word “people” to the translation since the Hebrew word is plural. However, the Hebrew word “am,” translated as “people” is not in the original text.2 This means that the NAS translation is more faithful to the original text and that “saints,” interpreted (by me) as Christians, are a distinct group from “holy people,” i.e., Jews. This view is supported by Daniel 7:18 which prophesies that after the four empires have run their course, the earthly empire that survives are the “holy ones,” that is, the people of God through faith in Jesus Christ (which will include Christians and Jews who have come to Christ. Zechariah 12:10 NASB).

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Patrick Maxwell, right, with Sheikh Jaafar Mustafa, center, the former Kurdish regional government minister responsible for the pesh merga, and Dillon Hillier of Canada, a fellow foreign volunteer. “We both thought it was important to help,” Mr. Hillier said.

If Christian militias are forming in the Ukraine to combat Russian forces, how long will it be before the same takes place around the world? I was watching the news last week and there was a report of a former military person who served in Iraq who had observed ISIS retaking areas around Fallujah, a place U.S. forces had liberated. This man had been a part of the liberating forces. The report concluded with the man stating he was headed back to Iraq as a volunteer to fight ISIS for the sake of his young sons. He didn’t want them to have to fight ISIS one day, and if ISIS is not stopped now, his son might have to. A New York Times article repeats a similar story, but with different people, and for different reasons. Read more.

I suppose that the most difficult thing to read in Bible prophecy is that the “saints are overpowered, worn down, or overcome.”  They are never victorius — until the return of the Ancient of Days, our Lord Jesus Christ (Daniel 7:21, 25 NASB; Revelation 13:7-8 NASB; Daniel 7:18, 22 NASB).

Jesus come quickly.

Blessings.

Jack

 

Footnotes to post:
  1. BDB Lexicon (Full), electronic version with BibleWorks 9 []
  2. In Daniel 7:18, the four empires have run their course, “the saints [lit., “the holy ones”] of the Most High will receive” the kingdom of God and possess it “forever—yes, for ever and ever. The word is plural, hence “holy ones. …” Miller, S. R. (1994). Daniel (Vol. 18, p. 211). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers. []

Iran: Nuke Deal Permits Cheating on Arms, Missiles

Iran’s foreign minister and lead negotiator in nuclear talks said that under the terms of the recently inked accord, the Islamic Republic is permitted to violate current embargoes on the shipment of arms and construction of missiles, according to recent comments made before Iran’s parliament.

Source: Iran: Nuke Deal Permits Cheating on Arms, Missiles

The above link is another article quoting a leading minister of Iran publicly bragging about the nuclear agreement negotiated by Iran with the P5 +1 powers. I encourage you to read the following post which outlines how the nuclear agreement, and its Iranian parties, fulfill the deception prophesied by Daniel 8:19-25.

Iran Nuclear Deal – Is Daniel 8 about to be fulfilled?

Jesus come quickly.

Blessings.

Jack

 

Turkey hits Kurdish militant camps in northern Iraq | Reuters

Turkey said on Saturday that its fighter jets hit militant camps of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in northern Iraq overnight, and Turkish ground forces struck the PKK and Islamic State fighters in

Source: Turkey hits Kurdish militant camps in northern Iraq | Reuters

This attack by Turkey is significant. It is the first by Turkey against the Islamic State (ISIS). Not only is Turkey taking an active role against ISIS in the attack, but the article states it is opening its airbases to U.S. forces which will greatly expand the ability of the U.S to continue its air assault against ISIS.

Where might we find this escalation in Bible prophecy? I have posted previously that ISIS fits many of the characteristics found in Daniel 11. Here are some of those prior posts.

Daniel 11:45 and the Islamic State

Will ISIS succeed in its jihad? Considering Graeme Wood’s Response

Here is how Turkey might fit in Daniel 11:

“But rumors from the East and from the North will disturb him, and he will go forth with great wrath to destroy and annihilate many. 45 “And he will pitch the tents of his royal pavilion between the seas and the beautiful Holy Mountain; yet he will come to his end, and no one will help him. –Daniel 11:44-45 (NASB)

Iran is from the East. Turkey is from the North. The text says they will “disturb him” — not destroy him. It seems as if all that Iran and Turkey will do to ISIS is aggravate him. Yet, notice the last phrase in 11:45, “…he will come to his end, and no one will help him.” ISIS will ultimately be defeated. The call of Caliph Baghdadi will no longer be heard the world over by jihadis. We have a way to go before that happens. ISIS has not yet “pitched the tents of his royal pavilion [his black flag] in the Gaza Strip (between the seas and the beautiful Holy Mountain).  The NIV translation interprets the Hebrew differently: “… between the seas at the beautiful holy mountain.” The NIV leads to an interpretation that Jerusalem will be taken by the Daniel 11 power. I cannot see ISIS taking Jerusalem. Iran perhaps, but not ISIS. If ISIS is the correct interpretation as that power then verse 45 should be interpreted as the Gaza Strip (HAMAS), not Jerusalem.

By the way, what church do you go to? The Scriptures not only warn us of the events of the last days, but encourage us to worship the Lord in spirit and in truth with other believers (Matthew 18:20 NASB). Hard to do that sitting in your living room watching your favorite TV preacher. God has blessed His church and when they worship together, we more completely experience His presence  and experience His call upon our lives (Hebrews 10:24-25 NASB). Go enjoy God on Sunday!

Jesus come quickly.

Blessings.

Jack

Iran Reaches $2 Billion Trade Deal with EU – Global Agenda – News – Arutz Sheva

Source: Iran Reaches $2 Billion Trade Deal with EU – Global Agenda – News – Arutz Sheva

It is beginning already. The economic benefit to Iran of the nuclear deal is not only the release of $150 billion in frozen oil and gas revenues but also the investment by global corporate giants in the wide open markets in Iran. Whether we want to admit it or not, economics drives the world, including our politicians. Economics are the key to influence; and influence is what Daniel 8:25 NASB prophesies will be the key to deception so that “mighty men” and the holy people are destroyed.

Here is my recent post to help you understand the Lord’s prophecy. I encourage you to read it. It will help you to in your understanding of the world’s headlines.

Jesus come quickly.

Blessings.

Jack

Iran Nuclear Deal – Is Daniel 8 about to be fulfilled?

GettyImages-461520104-640x480I have learned something about politics: politicians know how to “spin” a loss into a victory. Was the Iran nuclear deal a victory for the P5 +1 team (United States, Russia, China, Britain, France, plus Germany)1 or for Iran? I suspect we will not know the answer for some time. Rarely, however, is there truly a “win-win” agreement (as Iran’s President Rouhani stated). I must say that the look on Iran President Rouhani’s face was quite a bit more festive than that of President Obama as he stood behind the official White House podium. I can’t say that I’ve seen pictures of Americans (or Israelis) dancing in the streets– only Iranians. Of course, since the agreement released over $100 billion in oil revenue frozen in foreign banks, I imagine Americans would be dancing in the streets if the tables were turned. There is one little problem that remains for the Iranian citizenry: how do they know they will ever benefit from the $100 billion? Iranian leadership has been financing its Shia Islamist proxy-cells all over the Middle East, all-the-while its billions have been frozen and its unemployment rate has soared to a high of 14.7% (26.9% for youth) and inflation to 40%. If Iran used its billions to finance Hezbollah (Shia) in Lebanon, President Al-Assad’s Shia forces in Syria, the Houthis (Shia) in Yemen, HAMAS (Sunni Islamist) in Gaza (only at times), Shias in Bahrain, and Shias in Iraq (now leading the effort against ISIS in Iraq and northern Syria), why should anyone expect the financial windfall to make its way to the people on the streets of Iran? In fact, Iran’s Shia proxies surround the Middle East (see map in orange, except Russia which is an ally not a proxy) and the cost to finance their military activities has been estimated in the billions per year. Quoting Jonathan Spyer in the Middle East Forum:

“The ending of sanctions on the IRGC, and more broadly the likely imminent freeing of up to $150 billion in frozen revenue, will enable Iran to massively increase its aid to its long list of regional clients and proxies. Iran today is heavily engaged in at least five conflict arenas in the region.” Read more.

The financial windfall is only iranian.alliance.gcc.7.20.15beginning for Iran, according to many sources.  As the doors are opened to the world’s corporate giants, so will the tide of favor among the nations of the world. We should expect a groundswell of favor, including the P5 +1 nations. They have every reason to favor Iran. To do otherwise might undermine the prospects of the nuclear agreement working, and as we all know, politicians all have a legacy to build and protect. If the nuclear agreement begins to crack, they will do everything to ignore the cracks until the cracks are fissures of destruction. Of course, it will be too late then and legacy will not matter. By that time, the descriptors in Revelation 18 of a nuclear holocaust will have such a global impact that people will be more interested in simply surviving than figuring out who did it and why.
There really are only two sides of the road in this matter — Iran (and its new bedfellows (P5 +1)) on one side and Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt (and the Gulf Cooperation Council) on the other. Even if we were take a more magnanimous view of P5 +1’s ability to monitor and react if Iran fails to perform, the result will likely be the same — nuclear holocaust, whether Iran pulls the trigger or Israel does — a lot can happen in the ten years the nuclear agreement is in place.

Here is what Israel had to say about the nuclear agreement and its impact on the Middle East:

New York Times: Iran Deal Denounced by Netanyahu as ‘Historic Mistake’
By ISABEL KERSHNERJULY 14, 2015

JERUSALEM — Furiously denouncing the accord to limit Iran’s nuclear program on Tuesday as “a historic mistake,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel would not be bound by the agreement and warned of negative repercussions in a region already riven with rivalries and armed conflict. Read more.

CNN reported an unidentified Saudi official who stated that the deal marked a “monumental historical miscalculation.”  The Telegraph ran this article:

By Richard Spencer, Middle East Editor and Robert Tait, Jerusalem 8:53PM BST 14 Jul 2015

… Saudi Arabia regards Shia Iran as a competitor for leadership in the Muslim world, and sees its hand behind many of the region’s conflicts. The two are supporting opposite sides in wars in Syria and Yemen, while Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies fear Iran’s influence among their own Shia populations.

I must admit that most sources I read indicate America left the negotiating table with little more than “the shirt on its back,” while skillful Iranian negotiators gave Iranians something to cheer about. One expert writing for the Middle East Forum put it this way:

Iran Nuclear Deal Makes War More Likely, by Efraim Inbar, July 15, 2015

… The Obama administration was willing to offer almost unlimited concessions to the skillful Iranian negotiators, ignoring all its own deadlines and red lines. It is clear that President Obama was desperate for a deal in order to leave office with a “legacy.”

While Washington congratulates itself on a “successful” result, what counts is the perceptions of the countries in the region. Alas, all countries in the region can only conclude that America is indeed weak. America has capitulated to Iran. Read more.

Dare we guess what President Bashar al-Assad of Syria had to say? As one of Iran’s proxies (with a $1 billion line of credit from Iran), his statement should not surprise us:

In another message addressed to Iranian president Hassan Rouhani, Assad said: “In the name of the Syrian people, I congratulate you and the people of Iran on this historic achievement.” Read more.

The 15 member United Nations Security Council approved the agreement on 7/20/15. Similarly, the European Union on 7/20/15. The U. S. congress has sixty days to do so; alas, at this point little can be done as the favor of the agreement is snowballing down the hill at a momentum unlikely to change. According to one source, the first negotiation on the nuclear agreement and the lifting of sanctions occurred in May, 2003, when Iranian officials submitted a list of agenda items for negotiation. Read more. That means the agreement has been in negotiation for the last twelve years! Who would dare attempt to stop it at this point?

So how do we process the events of the day with Scripture in hand? The first thing is to look at who is on whose side. Israel and Saudi Arabia are on the same side — not a good thing to be on the side of Israel in the end-of-days (Zechariah 12:2-3, Zechariah 14:2, Ezekiel 38:9-12, Revelation 11:2). Yes, Israel will ultimately be victorious (Ezekiel 38:18-19, 22-24) for the Lord will never desert His people. He has demonstrated His faithfulness in protecting the remnant beginning in the days of Jacob’s sons in Canaan (then Egypt), continuing through the exile in Babylon, and the succeeding conflicts that scattered the Jews all over the world, yet returned them in 1948 by act of the United Nations. God will certainly not forget His promise to Abraham (Genesis 12:3, 17:7-8) by removing His protection in the end-of-day (Genesis 45:7, Ezra 9:8, Isaiah 10:20-22, Isaiah 11:11, Zechariah 8:11-12, Romans 9:27).

Saudi Arabia, the #1 exporter of the world’s crude has aligned itself with its unnatural ally, Israel, against Iran. In my book, Islam the Cloak of Antichrist, I propose that Saudi Arabia will be attacked by ten of its Muslim neighbors — led by a Shia nation, i.e., Iran, in fulfillment of Revelation 17:12-14. Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Islam, is destroyed in a nuclear holocaust as described in Revelation 18:8. I interpret Iran and Shia Islam to be the power through whom the wrath of God is poured out upon the world (Joel 3:2). The destruction of Saudi Arabia launches the Tribulation, and Israel is overcome subsequent to this event (although timing is never clear in interpreting end-of-days Scripture.)

We could likely add Egypt to align with Saudi Arabia and Israel in the end-of-days, at least so long as Egypt’s present leader, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi (Read more), continues to lead. President al-Sisi made some revolutionary statements about Islam at the beginning of the year when he declared to a group of leading clerics at Al Azhar University in Cairo, regarded by many as the world’s leading Sunni Muslim institution of learning, that the only hope for Islam was a revolution in its ideology, the ideology that created an “ISIS.” Read more.  And, as I recently posted, Egypt is the last country to align with in the end-of-days. Perhaps that is because the reform in Islamist ideology proposed by President al-Sisi will go further than he expected but not far enough. Read more.

There is another passapic.p5ge that possibly is being fulfilled in the modern-day nuclear agreement– Daniel 8:19 NASB, 23-25 NASB.  This passage describes the “final period of indignation, for it pertains to the appointed time of the end.” (Daniel 8:19 NASB). The passage further refines its time of application to “the latter period of their rule when the transgressors have run their course.” The “transgressors” are identified as Media-Persia and Greece (Daniel 8:20-21 NASB), the two empires that overcame the Jews in 535 BC (through defeat of Babylon) and 332 BC (through the defeat of Media-Persia), respectively.  However, the “transgressors” have “run their course” (NASB translation) so these empires have completed their dominion at the time of fulfillment in the end-of-days. The “king” that arises in the tribulation period will apparently be from one of these two empires, i.e., Persia or Greece (he cannot arise from both, and even though Greece is the last of the two empires to survive, historically, this does not require us to name Greece as the nation from which this king will arise; both empires have “run their course.”)  The king will be “insolent” (he does not listen to others, his view is the only one that matters; basically, he is a real hard guy to work with). He is “skilled in intrigue” (ESV translates “master of intrigue”). This phrase is one of the reasons bible scholars identify the Antichrist as a smooth talker, a gifted and charismatic person, and able to easily influence others. The phrase is further reinforced by verse 25 which states, “And through his shrewdness he will cause deceit to succeed by his influence…” In other words, the “king” will succeed because he has great influence on others. His influence will cause mighty men to be deceived, and because they are deceived, many people will be destroyed. The text states, “He will destroy to an extraordinary degree … He will destroy mighty men and the holy people…” (Daniel 8:25 NASB). The “mighty men” must be leaders of countries. To destroy the mighty men is to destroy the countries they represent. The “holy people” could be Jews or Christians, although I interpret them to be the Jewish people based upon Isaiah 62:12 NASB, Isaiah 63:18 NASB, Daniel 12:7 NASB.

It is important that we notice the phrase “while they are at ease.” I propose that they are “at ease” because the nuclear agreement, having been ratified, puts world leaders and their people in a false sense of security. The Middle East has successfully been calmed for a period, the nuclear arms race threatened by Saudi Arabia has somehow been abated through the treaty. It has set the world at ease. Iran is secretly preparing the materials and delivery system to successfully deliver nuclear explosives, at least so far as the “insolent king” is concerned.

ayatollahPerhaps this king is the only one aware of this plan? Even negotiators on his behalf are unaware of what his plans are. If that be the case, the profile of the insolent leader could not be more appropriately filled than by the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. The Ayatollah is the supreme leader in Iran, the spiritual leader in a Shia state that considers him to be divinity, literally. He is the final word in Iran. He said this after the agreement was signed:

“Whether the deal is approved or disapproved, we will never stop supporting our friends in the region and the people of Palestine, Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Bahrain and Lebanon,” Khamenei said at the end of prayers marking the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. “Even after this deal, our policy toward the arrogant U.S. will not change. We don’t have any negotiations or deal with the U.S. on different issues in the world or the region.” Read more.

The Times of Israel gives “Nine things Khamenei Hates About you” based on Khamenei’s address in Iran following the reaching of an agreement on the nuclear accord.  Read more. Does that qualify as “insolent” to you?

Another key phrase is, “…he will even oppose the Prince of princes” (Daniel 8:21). The Prince of princes is likely Michael, the chief angel and the protector of the people of Israel. Daniel 10 describes spiritual beings at war with one another (Daniel 10:13 NASB, 20-21 NASB). Daniel 10:14 NASB gives us the time of application, “… the days yet future.” Both Daniel 8:19 and Daniel 10:14 describe the same time period of application. Daniel 10:13 describes Michael as “one of the chief princes.” iran11-635x357Daniel 10:21 describes Michael as “your prince.” Daniel 12:1 states, “… Michael, the great prince who stands guard over the sons of your people, …” Based on these passages, Michael is likely the Prince of princes in Daniel 8:25, and Daniel 8:19f is prophesying that at the appointed time of the end not only will there be a battle taking place among the nations but also a spiritual battle in the heavenlies. 

Applying Daniel 8 to the modern-day, Iran and her skillful negotiators, under the direction of the Ayatollah, are the powers that deceive the mighty men, the world leaders. Treaties are signed, agreements are ratified, and the world is put at ease. The world (and the church) will believe all is well. Yet, one day we will awake to reports of nuclear bombs being launched against Israel — and then against the nations. Not only will the Middle East erupt but the planet.

I must tell you — It is not ISIS that Americans need concern themselves. It is Iran. Read more:

Abdullah’s Death and the Fall of Yemen to Houthis – Will Iran see the will of Allah?

Iran – The trigger for the beginning of Tribulation

Iran’s New Leader – Rouhani the “lamb”?

When a Lamb is Really a dragon – Ahmadinajad’s Veiled Message

Jesus come quickly, before the world erupts. Hallelujah.

Blessings.

Jack

Footnotes to post:
  1. Five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, the key trading partner of Iran. Iran’s nuclear program depends mainly upon German products and services. []