Gathering the Nations Against Israel:
Iran in the driving seat!
October 30, 2009 - Audio, 9.25 minutes
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Welcome to another edition of the Bible in the News. This is Paul Billington with you again this week scanning News headlines that connect us to the Bible and its prophecies. As usual there is the on-going game with Iran and its nuclear intentions, and the regular crop of anti-Israel propaganda disguised as news. Some political figures joined the cause of Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad - as for example the Director of Radio Globo of Honduras who said last week (I quote),
"Sometimes I ask myself if Hitler wasn't right when he wanted to finish with that race, through the famous holocaust, because if there are people that are harmful to this country, they are the Jews, the Israelites."
Similarly, Hugo Chavez of Venezuela allies himself with Iran and Hezbollah in championing modern anti-Semitism. What we are seeing in fact is the amplified voice of anti-Semitism throughout the world - more and more it is not only Iran's president, but other leaders also. This follows the recent appearance of Ahmadinejad at the United Nations - Yes, anti-Semitism is now respectable for many countries; not just the Arab Middle East.
An article in the U.K. TIMES this week highlighted the hypocrisy of the UN Human Rights Council. The article pointed out that:
"In three years, it has issued 25 resolutions against individual states: 20 of them targeted Israel. Basic maths suggests that Israel, a tiny democracy permanently threatened by dictatorships and terrorists, is guilty of 80 per cent of the world's human rights offences. This is ridiculous, as is a human rights body with member states that still view public beheadings as a wholesome leisure activity.
"The UNHRC's glaring spotlight on Israel blinds it to its official purpose: it is oblivious to the one million displaced people in Somalia, one million displaced in Pakistan or the 300,000 Tamil civilians currently languishing in Sri Lanka. In Darfur Sudan is responsible for at least 400,000 deaths. Yet the council has never condemned the Sudanese Government, and in fact praised it for its "co-operation".
"The UNHRC also remains silent over the systematic rape and torture of pro-democracy activists protesting against the stolen election in Iran. That's unsurprising. Last week, President Ahmadinejad once again spewed out an anti-Semitic rant at the UN General Assembly. But in April he was the keynote speaker of the UNHRC in Geneva. As the UN passes Mr Ahmadinejad the microphone, his regime recently silenced the leader of the Iranian bus workers' union by quite literally slashing his tongue."
Such matters are chilling - and it is very unpleasant for us to refer to them here on the Bible in the News programme. But facts are facts. This is the News! And the Bible has told us all about it through the prophets.
Historically, Israel's enemies included Edom, which is referred to by Ezekiel as mount Seir. Through the prophet God said:
"I will lay thy cities waste, and thou shalt be desolate, and thou shalt know that I am the LORD. Because thou hast had a perpetual hatred, and hast shed the blood of the children of Israel by the force of the sword in the time of their calamity, in the time that their iniquity had an end" (Ezekiel 35:4-5).
Well, Edom as such, doesn't exist any more - but there are those nations in the modern world that continue in the same spirit of hatred. What we are seeing is an illogical and fanatical phenomenon - a rabid enmity against the Jewish people.
This development is something that we read about in the Scriptures, and it is the Bible that tells us where this is heading. For example, the prophecy of Joel 3:2 which we have often cited, speaks of all nations coming against God's people, Israel. Likewise Zechariah 14:2 speaks of all nations coming against Jerusalem to battle.
The New Testament teaches the same thing. In the Revelation we read of the same event (chapter 16:14):
"For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty."
Now is that not what we are seeing today? A gathering of the world's rulers against the Hebrew nation? Verse 16 reads:
"And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon."
As we see Iran's President gathering support and the legitimacy bestowed upon him by the United Nations, do we not see the connections to the prophecies of the Bible? Why is it that all the nations are deceived into opposing God's chosen people? Is it sophistication of argument put forward by Ahmadinejad and his Arab and Latin American friends? Why are nations so willing to climb aboard this anti-Israel band-wagon?
Well there is a system mentioned in the Revelation that is said to deceive all nations by her sorceries. That is Revelation 18:23, where the word for "sorceries" is, literally, "drugs" (pharmacy). And it was Karl Marx who told the world that "Religion is the opium of the people." Well, that is what Revelation 18:23 is telling us in symbolic language - False religion is a drug, an opiate which dulls the senses so that the system which dispenses the false teaching can manipulate people and nations to do her bidding.
In Revelation 16:13 and 14 this is the spirit, teaching or influence that arises from the symbolic dragon, beast and False Prophet. Thus the spirit or teaching is both political (the Dragon and Beast) as well as religious (the False Prophet). The religious and political philosophy thus produced is that foolishness that governs the nations today. In the Old Testament it is expressed in the words of Jeremiah 51:7,
"Babylon hath been a golden cup in the LORDíS hand, that made all the earth drunken: the nations have drunken of her wine; therefore the nations are mad."
We can all see that idea reflected in the Revelation especially chapters 17 and 18.
The world's philosophy today claims that all peoples are equal - so the Bible teaching about a chosen people and a holy or special nation must be opposed - hence anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism is the obvious and logical result. The nations being deceived and drugged by this false equality, will be gathered against the Hebrew nation on a religious as well as political basis.
No wonder then, that the United Nations put Ahmadinejad of Iran on their podium.
As we see these things in the news, we open our Bibles and see its prophecies coming to pass in our time. But as Revelation 16:15 makes clear, Christ will come upon the world as a thief. He will come and restore the Kingdom to Israel; he will restore the throne of David and subdue the nations that oppose him.
Let us wisely prepare for his coming and seek his Truth now, and strive to obey it, that we may be found watching and clothed with the garment of his providing.
To help prepare further, listen in again next week God willing - www.BibleintheNews.com