Sunday, June 21, 2009

Iran Convulses – Will the King of the South Emerge?

Iran convulses – will the king of the South emerge?
By Wyatt Ciesielka Saturday, June 20, 2009

Tehran is boiling and world opinion is hardening over Iran’s recent presidential election. What is happening inside Iran today? How are the great powers reacting? Do recent events align with Bible prophecy? Could these events accelerate the emergence of the prophesied end-time king of the South? What are the implications for Europe, America and the world?

Claims are that more than a million Iranian demonstrators have taken to the streets with at least eight dead and many wounded. The government is attempting to block international press coverage and its citizens’ Internet access. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is claiming victory, Hossein Mousavi is crying foul – and the world’s great powers are taking sides.

When analyzing the Mideast, it is dangerous to oversimplify. Let’s consider these recent Iranian events through a religious, political, and Biblical lens.

Religiously: Iran is a powerful Shiite nation, and contrary to what many assume, Iran is far from a natural friend to its Arab neighbors. Those who assume that Iran will naturally lead the Mideast powers fail to understand many facts; including the historic division, suspicion, and hatred between the rival Shiite and Sunni branches of Islam.

The Sunnis see Shia Iran as full of “apostates.” Sunni strongholds such as the West Bank, Jordan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia are not only strongly suspicious of their Shiite Iranian neighbor, but are often even more violently opposed to Iran than they are toward the U.S. or even toward Israel (The Atlantic, July/August, 2009). This is profound when one considers that it was radical Sunnis (not Shia) who were behind the 9/11 attacks.

Politically: Like many of their Muslim brothers, neither Ahmadinejad nor Mousavi (or their spiritual and political master, the Ayatollah) are friends of Europe or the United States. Ahmadinejad is infamous for threatening Israel and the U.S. with destruction. But Mousavi is himself a “hardliner” who was “active in the Islamic revolution that overthrew the Shah.” Mousavi then “defended the taking and holding of American hostages by Iranian militants in 1979.” Mousavi also strongly opposed accepting U.S. aid during Iranian reconstruction (BBCNews, June 16, 2009).

It makes a lot of geo-political sense that Russia and China are strongly backing the Iranian government – whoever the presidential victor may be! This strengthens China’s and Russia’s influence (biblically: eastern powers) in the region at European (biblically: a northern power) and American expense.

Meanwhile, France and other European nations have claimed electoral “fraud.” And, the U.S. is encouraging Internet firms such as Twitter to ensure continued Iranian population access (Financial Times, June 17, 2009). Internet communication of alleged election fraud and civil unrest helps foment continued instability within a country whose government is anti-European and anti-American.

Biblically: Iran is a major Mideast player with nuclear capabilities. Iran will also continue to be a chess-piece that Russia and China use to counter European and U.S. regional influence. And, while Iran may become part of a coming southern, Arab alliance, Iran is not the prophesied end-time “king of the South” (Daniel 11:40).

Iran is not historically, politically or religiously aligned with the Arabic Mideast powers. Further, Iran is a Persian, not Arabic, nation – these are two very different and historically competitive civilizations. Finally, Iran is due east of Jerusalem (not “south” of Jerusalem; from which biblical directions are given). Thus, while Iran is not the king of the South, it is nonetheless a powerful participant in helping move many end-time prophecies forward.

God’s faithful Church has long and accurately warned of this coming conflict. But those who do not watch or who misinterpret these developments will fail to understand many crucial end-time prophecies that will shake our world!

For more on how Mideast violence will escalate before the Great Tribulation and Christ’s return, and how a mighty king of the South, a king of the North and the great eastern powers will soon collide (Daniel 11:40-44), please read “An Islamic Europe?,” and The Middle East in Prophecy.

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