Pride Goes Before a Fall
What did Israel ever do to Iran that would generate such hostility of virtually an entire nation, especially high-ranking government and religious officials, against Israel? You can search every historical archive on this planet and end up with the same answer to this question: Nothing, absolutely nothing. No military attacks on Iran, no anti-Islamic propaganda, no racial profiling, no border disputes (because there is no border between Israel and Iran) … nothing. Of course, Israel has taken military action against Iran’s terrorist proxies, such as Hezbollah and Hamas, but only in self-defense. And Israel may have no other choice but to launch a pre-emptive strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities, but only because Israel’s very survival is at stake.
Persia became Iran in 1935, but it wasn’t until the Muslim Shi’ites took over the country from the Shah in 1979 that Iran decided to align with other Muslim countries in their collective scorn of Israel and the Jews. To be sure, Iran is at odds with several Arab nations; but when it comes to the Jews, they all share a common ground—hatred of Israel.
There was no war by or against the Jews when ancient Persia defeated Babylon and, thereby, assumed control of Jews wherever they had been exiled. Not long after Persia conquered Babylon, the Persian King Cyrus issued an edict which allowed many Jews to return to Israel, first to rebuild the Temple and later King Xerxes permitted them to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. One of the most amazing prophecies in Scripture is God identifying and naming Cyrus and what he would do against Babylon and for Israel, some 140 years before Cyrus was even born! (See Isaiah Chapter 45)
The Persians and the Jews have not interacted for nearly 2,500 hundred years. Thus, Iran’s irrational and illogical animosity toward the Jews and Israel is nothing more than another expression of anti-Semitism, which is straight from the gates of hell. Meaning that the source of this malevolent hatred is Satan, himself. How ironic that Iran calls the United States the Great Satan and Israel, the little Satan; when Iran is the very expression and embodiment of Satan’s kingdom.
More senseless is the fact that Iran is not even an Arabic country. Thus, it is not the age-old rivalry between Arabs and Jews. Iranians are Persians who speak Farsi; but the majority are also radical Shi’ite Muslims. Therein, lies the root of the problem. It is the god and religion of Islam against the God of Israel. Allah, the man-made god of Islam, has mandated the destruction of both Jews and Christians, whom the Koran calls infidels. Iran considers the United States a Christian nation and Israel a Jewish nation; so, both must be conquered. Regarding Israel, it’s more than just subjugation; it’s elimination from the face of the earth.
In a Stand for Israel article this past March, a total of seventeen quotes from high-ranking Iranian officials calling for Israel’s destruction was published. And those quotes are only from the year 2000 to the present. Obviously, there are more than seventeen. In this article I will quote just six, as a lead-in to another Iranian boast that was uttered a few days ago:
“If we abide by real legal laws, we should mobilize the whole Islamic world for a sharp confrontation with the Zionist regime … if we abide by the Koran, all of us should mobilize to kill.” (Mohammad Khatami, former president of Iran, 2000).
“With God’s (Allah) help the time has come for the Zionist regime’s death sentence.” (Yahya Rahim Safavi, former Revolutionary Guard commander, 2008).
“The Zionist regime is a cancerous tumor and it will be removed.” (Ayatollah Khamenei, current supreme Ruler of Iran, 2012).
“This barbaric, wolflike & infanticidal regime of Israel which spares no crime has no cure but to be annihilated.” (Khamenei, 2014).
“Today we are aware of how the Zionist regime is slowly being erased from the world, and indeed, soon, there will be no such thing as the Zionist regime on Planet Earth.” (Hossein Salami, deputy head of the Revolutionary Guard, 2014).
“The Revolutionary Guards will fight to the end of the Zionist regime … We will not rest easy until this epitome of vice is totally deleted from the region’s geopolitics.” (Mohammad Ali Jafari, commander-in-chief of the Revolutionary Guard, 2015).
Two of the seventeen quotes included reference to the Koran or to Allah (god’s help), both of which are listed above. In no uncertain terms, it’s the god of the Koran (Allah) pitted against the God of the Bible. There’s simply no other way to get around this issue of which god is God.
United States President Barack Obama and Islam
As alluded to in recent Eye of Prophecy articles, United States President, Barack Obama, refuses to acknowledge the obvious: That radical Islamic regimes such as Iran and militant Muslim terrorists organizations such as Hezbollah, Al-Qaeda, and ISIS are not merely an aberrant deviation or distortion of Islam. On the contrary: They are simply putting into practice what the Koran orders its adherents to do. They are reclaiming and activating the Jihad rights of Islamic conquest, which is to rid the world of any people or religion that would dare oppose Islam. Foremost of these infidels are Jews and Christians. It’s vitally important to recognize that the so-called militant Muslims of today’s world (including entire nations like Iran and Syria) are really mainstream Muslims because they are doing what is commanded in the Koran.
It has become equally clear that President Obama’s affinity for Islam—that trumps any ostensible empathy to the Christian faith—has shaped his world-view of and foreign policy toward Islamic nations. Here are three of many quotes attributed to Barack Obama concerning Islam (with some following commentary):
“Islam has a proud tradition of tolerance.” (Yes, of course … it must have been some “sacred text” other than the Koran that requires Jewish and Christian infidels to be hunted down and killed)
“Islam has always been part of America.” (Really? Where, by whom, and when did it become part of America? That is, until 9/11)
“The future must not belong to those who slander the Prophet of Islam.” (Such a tolerant thing to say! So, if based on the Bible, the Word of the true and living God, I maintain that Mohammed is neither a prophet of God, nor that the Koran is divinely inspired, it would appear that I have no future anywhere on this planet)
The god of the Koran, or the God of the Bible?
Multiple passages of the Bible irrefutably show that God protected and defended the Jews and Israel, until his people abandoned him and turned to pagan gods. Some of these gods were forerunners of gods worshipped by Arabs until their founding prophet, Muhammad, decided the only way to compete with the Jewish and Christian God (monotheism) was to choose one of these gods to rival and replace the God of Israel and the God of Messiah (Yeshua, who is, himself, God). And, so, Muhammad selected the moon-god, Allah.
Flags of Libya (top) and Iran, showing crescent moon symbol and emblem representing the name Allah (Iran’s flag).
As indicated, Allah commands Muslims to persecute and kill Christians and Jews who refuse to submit to Islam and even fellow-Muslims who violate the strict edicts of the Koran, especially those who leave Islam to follow Jesus. The God of the Bible is clearly called the God of Israel … the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. More than that: He is the God and Father of all who place their faith in his one and only Son, Jesus Christ. (John 1:12).
The point is: the god of the Koran (Allah) is not and cannot be the same God of the Bible. There’s absolutely no way they are both God. There are far too many differences. Several past Eye of Prophecy articles have explained some of these distinctions, but that is not the main purpose of this article. Rather, we want to demonstrate what the God of the Bible has done in the past and will do in the future to entire nations that blatantly defy him. That claim the right to eliminate Israel and the Jews by whatever means possible, including genocide.
Biblical history backed up by secular records show us that some nations and rulers have crossed the Divine red line of proud boasting or arrogant actions against Israel or God or both. As a result, God directly intervened with a supernatural display of power that crushed those who would dare challenge their very Creator. “I warned the proud, ‘Stop your boasting!’ I told the wicked, ‘Don’t raise your fists! Don’t raise your fists in defiance at the heavens or speak with such arrogance’ … It is God alone who judges; he decides who will rise and who will fall” (Psalms 75:4-7).
Which brings us to the latest tirade by a top Iranian official who said: “The government of the Islamic Republic of Iran has divine permission to destroy Israel … the Noble Koran permits … Iran to destroy Israel … Even if Iran gives up its nuclear program, it will not weaken this country’s determination to destroy Israel.” (Mojtaba Zolnour, a Khamenei representative in the Revolutionary Guards, italics for emphasis).
Divine permission? Ultimate divinity belongs only to God, and the God of the Bible declares unequivocally, “…I am the First and the Last; there is no other God. Who is like me? Let him step forward and prove to you his power. Let him do as I have done since ancient times when I established a people and explained its future” (Isaiah 44:6-7).
This is just one of many passages in Scripture where God states emphatically that there are no other gods. If Islam claims Allah as the only God, then where are the fulfilled prophecies and the miracles in the Koran? Where is the love? Where is the salvation that comes only through the redemptive sacrifice of God’s Son? The god of the Koran demands submission, subjugation, through force if necessary. The God of the Bible allows all individuals to make a choice—everlasting life through His Son, or eternal separation from God in hell.
God declares through Isaiah, “Who but a fool would make his own god—an idol that cannot help him one bit?” (Isaiah 44:10).
For Iran to claim divine permission to destroy Israel is a conceited “in your face” threat against not only Israel, but the God of Israel. And I’m convinced that God will deal with it just as he dealt with Pharaoh and Egypt, with Belshazzar and Babylon, and with Sennacherib of Assyria, as well as other rulers and nations who have crossed the divine line of God’s tolerance. Just as he will deal with the Gog/Magog alliance that dares to attack Israel, a campaign that will take place not long after the Rapture, which could happen any day now. Iran is part of this ungodly arrogant coalition which will be led by Russia.
What is important to grasp here is that Iranians are using their god Allah and the anti-Biblical text of the Koran as a divine justification to destroy Israel (the Jews) and eventually the United States. In fact, just a few days ago, Revolutionary Guards Deputy Commander Brigadier General Hossein Salami (who has previously threatened Israel with annihilation) included the United States as a future victim of Iran’s superiority. He boasted: “We welcome war with the Americans … The Americans should compare their past military victories over feeble armies … with the outcome and consequence of confronting the great (ness) of Islamic Iran.”
The words, “Islamic Iran” make Iran’s diabolical scheme a “battle of the gods.” It’s Islam against Judaism (and Christianity). It’s Allah against Yahweh (I AM), the God of the Bible.
Let’s take a brief look at what can happen to nations and rulers who deliberately confront the true and living God, who would dare to destroy what The Lord calls his, “special possession,” Israel.
Pharaoh and Egypt
Most of us know the story of God’s sovereign deliverance of the Israelites from their cruel bondage in Egypt. But what we sometimes overlook is that, although the Egyptians worshiped many gods, they had one god that was supreme over all … Ra, the sun-god who was the creator of all things. Moreover, Pharaoh, himself, was considered to be a god, virtually equal (regarding affairs of the empire) to any other god in Egypt. Thus, when Pharaoh repeatedly refused to listen to Moses to let God’s people go, he was denying and defying God; by asserting his perceived god-like power, which was really stubborn pride that made his heart as hard as a rock.
Before even one miracle was performed, here is what God said to Moses and Aaron: “But I will make Pharaoh’s heart stubborn so I can multiply my miraculous signs and wonders in the land of Egypt. Even then Pharaoh will refuse to listen to you. So I will bring down my fist on Egypt. Then I will rescue my forces—my people, the Israelites—from the land of Egypt with great acts of judgment. When I raise my powerful hand and bring out the Israelites, the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord” (Exodus 7:3-5).
We have two significant things going on here: (1) A ruler and nation who would dare oppose the true and living God. (2) God’s decision to personally intervene by bringing his fist down on Egypt, with the ultimate purpose to show that, “I am the Lord.”
Ten horrific plagues later, with the final judgment more devastating than anyone could have imagined (death of all the firstborn males of all Egyptians), then final destruction of the Egyptian army at the Red Sea, we see the collapse of the greatest nation on earth at that time. By the time God was through with her, Egypt would never regain the supremacy it once flaunted under the Pharaohs.
Babylon and King Belshazzar
“The handwriting on the wall,” is an expression that has traveled all the way down through the ages to our post-modern world. When something profound and often ominous has just happened, we still sometimes say, “I saw the writing on the wall.” As some know and some may not know, this expression came directly from a spectacular event in 539 B.C., the night before the mighty Babylonian Empire would be dramatically destroyed by the ancient Persian Empire.
You remember: Babylon’s King Belshazzar threw a huge party for his wives, concubines, and 1,000 of his nobles. Nothing different here, as palace feasts were commonplace in such empires. But this time Belshazzar decided to do something different: He ordered that gold and silver cups transported to Babylon by former King Nebuchadnezzar be brought to the feast so he and his guests could drink from them. So, was that a problem? Answer: Yes, a huge problem.
These cups had belonged to Solomon’s Temple and were used exclusively during Temple worship by the Levitical priests. They were ordained and consecrated (set apart) just for that purpose, as previously instructed by the Lord during construction of the Tabernacle, and later the Temple. Although Nebuchadnezzar had claimed these sacred cups as spoils of war, it’s evident that he had enough respect for the God of Israel not to irreverently use these cups. From the account in Daniel, the obvious inference is that these cups had not been used at all; instead they had just been part of the royal Babylonia artifact treasury.
Equally evident is Belshazzar’s motive for using these cups: An in your face defiance of God by exalting the gods of Babylon above the God of Israel. “While they drank from them they praised their idols made of gold, silver, bronze, iron, wood, and stone” (Daniel 5:4). The account continues:
“Suddenly, they saw the fingers of a human hand writing on the plaster wall of the king’s palace, near the lampstand. The king himself saw the hand as it wrote, and his face turned pale with fright. His knees knocked together in fear and his legs gave way beneath him” (Daniel 5:5-6).
Seriously, what would be your reaction? No Hollywood production with special effects. No sleight of hand (pun intended) practical joke by a member of the king’s court who may have had a death wish. We’re talking about an actual human hand, unattached to a human body.
I’m sure many know the rest of the story. None of the king’s astrologers or fortune-tellers, “…could read the writing or tell him what it meant” (verse 8). Only Daniel, prophet of the Most High God, was able to read the inscription and impart the meaning … because God gave Daniel the interpretation.
We know that the handwriting on the wall was a brief, but powerful indictment against Belshazzar and a prophecy that Babylon would be vanquished. And so it happened. That very night Darius the Mede (ruler of the Medes and Persians) conquered the city and subsequently destroyed the Babylonian Empire.
Of paramount significance is the ultimate reason why God directly intervened in the destiny and demise of Babylon. First Daniel gave Belshazzar a little history lesson by reminding him that it was the Most High God who had given Belshazzar’s predecessor, Nebuchadnezzar, “sovereignty, majesty, glory, and honor” (Daniel 5:18). But when Nebuchadnezzar’s, “…heart and mind were puffed up with arrogance, he was brought down from his royal throne and stripped of his glory” (Verse 20).
Then Daniel proceeded to tell Belshazzar why God was about to administer the same divine punishment against him. Said Daniel to Belshazzar: “You are his successor, O Belshazzar, and you knew all this, yet you have not humbled yourself. For you have proudly defied the Lord of heaven and have had these cups from his Temple brought before you … But you have not honored the God who gives you the breath of life and controls your destiny!” (Daniel 5:22-23).
Wow! That says it all.
Don’t miss next week’s Part II article, when another amazing example from Scripture will demonstrate what happens to a nation that arrogantly takes on Israel and the God of Israel, no different than what Iran is doing right before our 21st century eyes.
Things to Ponder
So, Iran has divine permission to destroy Israel? Really?
It’s too bad that the Koran doesn’t include the histories of Egypt and Babylon. The Iranians (all Muslims) could use such an object lesson before they act on their devious plan to wipe Israel from the face of the earth.
What about the divine permission given through divine promises of the God of Israel to, for, and about his people? Such as the following passage, one of many that speak of Israel’s victories over nations aligned against them in the end times, made possible by Messiah’s return to fight for and with Israel.
“Judah is my bow, and Israel is my arrow. Jerusalem is my sword, and like a warrior, I will brandish it against the Greeks” (Zechariah 9:13, the Greeks are representative of all Gentile nations in this verse).
And, “Now many nations have gathered against you. ‘Let her be desecrated,’ they say. ‘Let us see the destruction of Jerusalem.’ But they do not know the Lord’s thoughts or understand his plan. These nations don’t know that he is gathering them together to be beaten and trampled like sheaves of grain on a threshing floor. ‘Rise up and crush the nations, O Jerusalem!’ says the Lord. ‘For I will give you iron horses and bronze hooves, so you can trample many nations to pieces…” (Micah 4:11-13).
And, “The people of Israel will stand up to their foes, and all their enemies will be wiped out.” (Micah 5:9).
One more: “The Lord will give victory to the rest of Judah first, before Jerusalem, so that the people of Jerusalem and the royal line of David will not have greater honor than the rest of Judah. On that day the Lord will defend the people of Jerusalem; the weakest among them will be as mighty as King David!… For on that day I will begin to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem” (Zechariah 12:7-9).
Now then: What is it that Iran will do to Israel? When the moment of truth arrives, we’ll see who has Divine permission and who does not. And which god is God.