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The seeds of holy war in the Middle East.
Worldwide tensions rise over Iran while dividing world opinion.
September 8, 2012 - Audio, 8.50 MIN
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Worldwide tensions rise over Iran as Canada shuts down the Iranian embassy. This is David Billington with you for the Bible in the News. Canada has taken a bold position. Canada's Foreign Affairs Minister said in a statement: "The Iranian regime is providing increasing military assistance to the Assad regime; it refuses to comply with UN resolutions pertaining to its nuclear program; it routinely threatens the existence of Israel and engages in racist anti-Semitic rhetoric and incitement to genocide; it is among the world’s worst violators of human rights; and it shelters and materially supports terrorist groups, requiring the Government of Canada to formally list Iran as a state sponsor of terrorism under the Justice for Victims of Terrorism Act."
Meanwhile Russia has made a bold statement of it's own. The National Post headline reads: "Don’t attack Iran, Russia starkly warns Israel and U.S.". Another National Post headline says: "Harper, Putin spar over Syria strategy during ‘frank’ APEC meeting". These events put Russia, Syria and Iran on one side and Israel, Canada and the US on the other. This is exactly what we would expect from Bible Prophecy. In Ezekiel Iran is allied with the King of the North. The King of the North is a latter day empire of nations led by Rosh or Russia. Ezekiel 38:2 in the ASV reads: "Son of man, set thy face toward Gog, of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal, and prophesy against him." Rosh and the other peoples are ancient names which can be traced to those people who inhabited these regions of Russia and Europe in ancient times. Ezekiel 38:15-16 says that they are in the "uttermost parts of the north" and that they come against Israel. "And thou shalt come from thy place out of the uttermost parts of the north, thou, and many peoples with thee, all of them riding upon horses, a great company and a mighty army; and thou shalt come up against my people Israel..." In Ezekiel 38 there is another group of merchant trading nations which object to the invasion.

Zechariah 14 speaks of the time when there will be the great earthquake dividing the Mount of Olives, when living waters will go out from Jerusalem and Yahweh, "...shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one." Chapter 14 commences: "Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle..." Zechariah 12 prophecies of different aspects of the same time.

"The burden of the word of the LORD for Israel, saith the LORD, which stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him. Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem. And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it." (Zechariah 12:1-3)

The prophecy of Joel 3, tells us about the time when Judah and Jerusalem will be regathered and when all nations will be gathered against them to battle. "For, behold, in those days, and in that time, when I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem, I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat..." Joel 3:9 says, "Proclaim ye this among the Gentiles; Prepare war, wake up the mighty men, let all the men of war draw near; let them come up", The word here "prepare" is the verb to be holy, to consecrate. So the war against the regathered Jews of Judah and Jerusalem is a holy war - a consecrated war by the nations.

The Israeli news site Ynet reports that the European Union is considering a complete import ban on all products from Israeli settlements. The headline, "EU mulls settlement ban - EU said to be considering imposing complete import ban on Israeli settlements' products". The EU's longstanding antagonism to the Jewish settlements in Judah and Jerusalem is well known. I say Judah and Jerusalem, to make the connection with Joel 3, and because East Jerusalem is considered to be occupied territory by the EU as are the many large Jerusalem suburbs built on territory taken from Jordan during the six day war. The EU holds that the Jews in these areas should be deported. The Vatican and EU support for the expulsion of Jews in these areas, held by many to be the Biblical heartland, has created a small backlash against some Catholic Christians in Israel. Some minor acts of vandalism have been committed, probably by over zealous youth. The Vatican official given the title of "Guardian of the Holy Places" in Israel made a statement. Interestingly he noted that "Those who sprayed their hateful slogans expressed their anger at the dismantlement of the illegal Jewish settlements in the West Bank." No one has been apprehended for the crime and there have been several incidents where Arabs have vandalized to give the Jewish settlers a bad name. However, there is definitely some hostility against the EU and the Vatican because of their hostile stance regarding East Jerusalem and the settlements. The Telegraph reports: "The Israeli government's failure to respond adequately to Jewish extremist attacks against churches and monasteries is fostering a climate of intolerance towards Christianity in the country, a senior Vatican official in Jerusalem has warned."

This statement by the Vatican is leading to what will be eventually be a call to "sanctify war" for the liberation of the "Holy Places". This will lead to the invasion prophesied in Ezekiel 38 and the coming of the Messiah, the deliverance of Israel and the reestablishment of the kingdom of God.

This week as we look at the news, we see the Vatican issuing a statement accusing Israel of intolerance toward Christians and looking to guard the "holy places". We see Canada strongly opposing Iran and the Canadian prime-minister sparing with Putin over Syria. We have also seen Russia making a statement supporting Iran and its Nuclear program. Events are moving toward the expected conclusion, spoken of by the Hebrew prophets; when Russia and the Vatican allied with Iran, will lead a holy war against the Jewish state, with a group of merchant nations objecting, saying as in Ezekiel 38:13, "Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof, shall say unto thee, Art thou come to take a spoil? hast thou gathered thy company to take a prey? to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil?"

"And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever." Daniel 12:1-3

Come back next week as we eagerly watch the signs of the times and wait for the return of the Lord Jesus Christ to the earth.



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