Iran’s president has been threatening to “wipe Israel off the map” for several years now. The world has braced itself for an impending military strike against Iran by Israel. Iran’s push to gain nuclear weapons has added to the deep concern many have felt of an impending nuclear attack on Israel. The Bible clearly states that Zion is the perpetual rest desired by God forever, it cannot be that Iran will destroy it and the people God has chosen.
Iran’s president has been threatening to “wipe Israel off the map” for several years now. The world has braced itself for an impending military strike against Iran by Israel. Iran’s push to gain nuclear weapons has added to the deep concern many have felt of an impending nuclear attack on Israel. Israel’s “Sampson Option” which would involve a retaliatory nuclear strike of its own if it were to face pending national annihilation has been an effective deterrent for many years. Iran’s leader, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, with his fundamentalist Shia religious, views is not deterred, but believes such an apocalypse would bring about the legendary return of the 12th Imam, the Islamic Messiah.
Bible students have wondered how Iran’s nuclear attack ability would be neutralized. One thing is for certain, they will never succeed in annihilating Israel in a nuclear holocaust. A nuclear attack would destroy the relative small country and render it uninhabitable. From Bible prophecy we know this cannot be the case.
When Israel was travelling through the wilderness God told them:
“But unto the place which the LORD your God shall choose out of all your tribes to put his name there, even unto his habitation shall ye seek, and thither thou shalt come.” (Deuteronomy 12:5)
When God spoke to king Solomon he clearly stated:
“And the LORD said unto him, I have heard thy prayer and thy supplication, that thou hast made before me: I have hallowed this house, which thou hast built, to put my name there for ever; and mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually.” (1 Kings 9:3)
This is the place that God has chosen for his habitation. We read in the Psalms:
For the LORD hath chosen Zion; he hath desired it for his habitation. This is my rest for ever: here will I dwell; for I have desired it. (Psalm 132:13-14)
Being as the Bible clearly states that Zion is the perpetual rest desired by God forever, it cannot be that Iran will destroy it and the people God has chosen.
So how would the nuclear threat be thwarted? Over the past few months and during this week we have witnessed how God will not allow his purpose to be stopped.
The Attack on Iran
Iran has been attacked, not from the air like the Iraqi Osiris reactor was, or the recent Syrian nuclear reactor bombing – but this time from the internet. The attack is in the form of a computer virus called Stuxnet. This virus was introduced into Iran and has done serious damage to Nuclear production. The virus moves by “memory sticks” which are plugged into a computer and transfer the virus. Once inside it transfers the virus to any computer the infected computer is attached to. It is then goes looking for specific computers used to service Programmable Logic Controls (PLC’s) which are responsible for giving operating instructions to industrial equipment.
What the Virus Does:
According to Alan Bentley of security firm Lumension, the Stuxnet virus is
"the most refined piece of malware ever discovered ... mischief or financial reward wasn't its purpose, it was aimed right at the heart of a critical infrastructure".
The virus implants itself in the PLC’s and then communicates with the hacker. It is capable transmitting information about the system it is attached to. Once this information is received the programmer can send back specific instructions.
Computer viruses are usually global – attacking any system they get onto and doing mischief or stealing files and information. The Stuxnet virus is aimed at very specific equipment. The software virus protection company Symantec claims that the majority of infected systems were in Iran (over 69%). This indicates it was designed to target "high-value infrastructure" in Iran including both the Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant and the Natanz nuclear facility.
The virus-worm was programmed to cause a catastrophic physical failure in industrial equipment. Its methods include overriding turbine RPM limits, shutting down lubrication or cooling systems, or sabotaging the high-speed spinning process of centrifuge arrays.
Symantec found that the worm speeds up rotation rates for the accelerators to the point where they break. The complex code of Stuxnet looks for a very particular type of system and controller, namely frequency converters made by the Iranian company Fararo Paya and the Finnish company Vacon.
The New York Times reported on November 18, 2010:
David Albright, president of the Institute for Science and International Security, a private group in Washington that tracks nuclear proliferation, and a colleague, Andrea Stricker, released a report saying that when the worm ramped up the frequency of the electrical current supplying the centrifuges, they would spin faster and faster. The worm eventually makes the current hit 1,410 Hertz, or cycles per second — just enough, they reported, to send the centrifuges flying apart.
Mr. Albright said in the interview, the worm ends the attack with a command to restore the current to the perfect operating frequency for the centrifuges — which, by that time, would presumably be destroyed.
According to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, on November 23, 2010:
Iran has temporarily ceased uranium production in its nuclear facility in Natanz, apparently due to a series of major technical problems.
Diplomats in Vienna said they had no specifics regarding why Iran had shut down production of thousands of centrifuges enriching uranium. But suspicions focused on the Stuxnet worm, the computer virus thought to be aimed at Iran's nuclear program, which experts last week identified as being calibrated to destroy centrifuges by sending them spinning out of control.
Iran's enrichment program has come under renewed focus with the conclusion of cyber experts and analysts that the Stuxnet worm that infected Iran's nuclear program was designed to abruptly change the rotational speeds of motors such as ones used in centrifuges. Such sudden changes can crash centrifuges and damage them beyond repair.
…. Tehran has taken hundreds of centrifuges off line over the past 18 months, prompting speculation of technical problems.
Getting Rid of the Virus:
Iran has set up its own systems to clean up infections and has advised against using the Siemens antivirus program. Siemens is the German company who sold the PLC’s to Iran. It is suspected that the Siemens antivirus program is actually embedded with codes which update Stuxnet instead of eradicating it.
Hamid Alipour, deputy head of Iran's Information Technology Company, was quoted by Iran's official news agency as stating, "The attack is still ongoing and new versions of this virus are spreading.” He reports that his company had begun the cleanup process at Iran's "sensitive centres and organizations."
However, the Jerusalem Post reported,
On Tuesday, Alipour acknowledged that Stuxnet’s discovery has not mitigated its destructive power. As he put it, “We had anticipated that we could root out the virus within one to two months. But the virus is not stable and since we started the cleanup process, three new versions of it have been spreading.”
Although Israel has not publicly commented on the Stuxnet attack, according to the Jerusalem post on September 28, 2010:
Cyber warfare has quietly grown into a central pillar of Israel's strategic planning, with a new military intelligence unit set up to incorporate high-tech hacking tactics, Israeli security sources said on Tuesday.
Israel's pursuit of options for sabotaging the core computers of foes like Iran, along with mechanisms to protect its own sensitive systems, were unveiled last year by the military intelligence chief, Major-General Amos Yadlin.
The government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has since set cyber warfare as a national priority, "up there with missile shields and preparing the homefront to withstand a future missile war", a senior source said on condition of anonymity.
According to security sources, over the last two years the military intelligence branch, which specialises in wiretaps, satellite imaging and other electronic espionage, has set up a dedicated cyber warfare unit staffed by conscripts and officers.
They would not say how much of the unit's work is offensive, but noted that Israeli cyber defences are primarily the responsibility of the domestic intelligence agency Shin Bet.
So we see the Bible in the News as we watch the angels busy at work, protecting God’s people and his land behind the scenes, using the forces of men as their tools. The times of Jerusalem’s treading down by the Gentiles have certainly drawn to a close. The Gentiles are not going to obliterate it. Rather, we read in Psalm 102:13-18:
“Thou shalt arise, and have mercy upon Zion: for the time to favour her, yea, the set time, is come. For thy servants take pleasure in her stones, and favour the dust thereof. So the heathen shall fear the name of the LORD, and all the kings of the earth thy glory. When the LORD shall build up Zion, he shall appear in his glory. He will regard the prayer of the destitute, and not despise their prayer. This shall be written for the generation to come: and the people which shall be created shall praise the LORD.”
We look forward with great anticipation to the fulfillment of Isaiah 2:2-5 when,
“…it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD’S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. O house of Jacob, come ye, and let us walk in the light of the LORD.
Although Israel will still have to experience the Gogian invasion, the land will not be destroyed and we look for the time prophesied in Isaiah 11:9 when
“They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.”
This has been Jonathan Bowen joining you. Tune in next week for another edition of The Bible in The News.