Iran in Prophecy
With the fall of Mohammed Reza Pahlavi — the Shah of Iran — and his subsequent death in exile in 1980, the world’s oldest existing monarchy, stretching back in time 2500 years, came to an abrupt end. The Ayatollah Khomeini’s tumultuous rise to power cast the rapidly developing world power of Iran into chaos. At the time, historical commentator and news correspon-dent, William Forbis noted:
“[T]his momentous event..contains the seeds of economic depression in the West from loss of Middle Eastern oil, and even the seeds of war, should the Soviet Union make a grab for Iran’s oil and its warm-water ports, or should Iran ally itself with some of the Arab countries in a holy war on Israel” (William H. Forbis, Fall of the Peacock Throne, 1980, vii)
Forbis, not without reason, voiced the very real concern and extremely precarious position the world (particularly the West) now faced as a result of the dramatic change in the political climate wrought in Iran since the Shah was overthrown. The revolution was not religious — not Islamic. It was not even socialistic. The revolution found expression in racial
differences. It was also political. (See F. Halliday, Iran: Dictatorship & Development, 1979, 310-322).
IRAN’S SUDDEN GROWTH UNDER THE SHAH
In 1967 the Jews took Jerusalem. From that date significant changes began to take place in the Middle East. Iran was no exception. For 15 years, under the meticulous (and sometimes brutal) guiding hand of the Shah, Iran wallowed in the glow of astonishing — indeed, spectacular — economic growth. The oil-rich country had been transformed, almost overnight, from a land symbolised by drifting camels and sweltering heat to a remarkably fast-rising industrial capitalist world power. Under the iron will of the Shah, the nations of the earth watched in awe as this ancient, rural land of Persia became the hub of Gulf Power — exploding from tents to teeming cities with incredible speed. Iran stood spotlighted as the Middle Eastern miracle.
Credit for Iran’s multifaceted expansion must not only go to a far-sighted, intellectually brilliant Shah (no matter how much of a tyrant he may, or may not, have been) but to the hundreds of billions of dollars that flooded the Iranian market as a result of oil exports. The nations of the world were invited by the Shah to invest in his nation’s progress. They responded eagerly and greedily, immediately reaping the spontaneous financial fruits of investment in Iranian black gold.
“The changes wrenched [Iranian] society back and forth between the seductive goal of wealthy, materialistic modern-isation and the equally powerful impulse to preserve the sweet Persian traditions of mysticism, poetry, and devotion to a… moralistic Islam. Potent forces lashed the Iranians. Universities sprang up in large numbers and the students – half of them children of illiterate farmers and city workers – learned to demand more change even as they suffered alienation from their families and the past. Industrialisation…mass car ownership, petrochemicals, and universal television. Villagers crowded into the cities, and mechanised agribusiness greened former deserts. Feudalism melted away in only fifteen years. The ancient …city of Isfahan became a centre for the Iranian military-industrial complex, reflecting the
fastest arms buildup in the world” (Forbis, ibid.,viii).
The plan of Mohammed Reza was to make Iran into an overnight Japan or Germany (ibid, 6). In this he virtually succeeded. But the Khomeini revolution threw the Shah’s plans for world power into unbelievable disarrangement, even disintegration.
“Scrapped, or deferred, were a new airport for Teheran, sixteen nuclear power plants, $7 billion in arms purchases, a Brasilia-like urbanisation in northern Teheran, a subway for Teheran, a 470-mile highway along the Caspian Sea, a giant industrial park south of Isfahan, and electrification of the railroads” (ibid, 6).
Then, equally unexpectedly, on top of the Khomeini revolution came fresh outbreaks in the Iraqi-Iranian conflict. This simmering war has, until relatively recent times, occupied the majority of prime international newscasts for its size and ferocity. Iran, with the eclipse of the Peacock Throne and the establishment of the Islamic Republic, has been plagued with war, blood, religious madmen, censorship, incompetence, violence, chaos, dictatorship, repression, and mass executions. The Bible says this will soon change. An Iranian is yet to appear who is destined to bring peace and stability to a number of Middle Eastern nations.
GOD OVERTHREW THE SHAH
From all accounts the late Shah was not a religious man. In fact, early in his career he sought out and welcomed the support of the mullahs — the priests of Islam. It was not, however, until about the year 1960 that Reza Pahlavi finally established his total authority, not merely with the help of the mullahs, but with the invaluable aid of his feared SAVAK — his secret police and terror squad, throwing away all pretense about religious appearances. He then emerged, in the words of Forbis, “as the nonreligious, even antireligious, managing director of the empire of Iran, orchestrating the country’s modernisation in day-to-day change. This confidence in his own skill at the profession of kingship…made him into a sort of monarchical revolution-ary, driving Iran from its only-yesterday feudalism toward today’s largely state-run industrial economy” (ibid, 64).
The Shah did not believe in anything but himself. Unlike another king of centuries ago who thought of himself in glowing terms, the last Pahlavi monarch failed to appreciably reflect on his fascinating past and the myriad tally of moments that brought him face to face with death — moments which, almost fatalistically, turned into good fortune for this “king of kings.” That an Unseen Hand seemed to intervene for this Iranian ruler, on numerous occasions, will one day be the verdict of history.
The great Chaldean king, the dwarf Nebuchadnezzar, was told by God through the prophet Daniel: “He changes the times and the seasons: HE REMOVES KINGS, AND SETS UP KINGS: He gives wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding” (Dan 2.21).
Early in the story this pagan king would not heed Daniel’s warnings about his pride and vanity. Finally God decreed that Nebu-chadnezzar be afflicted with the strange disease known as lycanthropy, and sent this emperor away into the wilds to live for seven years like an animal, “to the intent that the living may know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomsoever He wills, and sets up over it the basest of men” (Dan 4.17). The king was again told of the judg-ments of God. The disease would last “until you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whom-soever He wills…after that you shall have known that the heavens do rule…that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomsoever He wills” (Dan 4.25,26,32).
When Nebuchadnezzar, through the mental anguish of bitter, human experience, had paid the penalty which the LORD God had exacted (this was GOD remember, not haSatan), then this pagan king acknowledged the absolute sovereignty of the UNIVERSAL LORD.
“And at the end of the days, I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up my eyes unto the heavens, and my understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the Most High, and I praised and honoured Him…that…does according to His will in the legions of the heavens, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay His hand or say unto Him, What are you doing?”
Nebuchadnezzar learned in seven years what most Christians never learn at all — that God is sovereign! There is NO WAR going on between the Creative God and haSatan. The planet Earth may be under the control of the god of this world, but the Creative Intelligence of All makes all the ultimate decisions. The Dark Lord is nothing more than the tool expressly created by God to fulfil His sovereign will. There can be nothing more certain than this truth in the entire Holy Bible! What happens on this Earth is God’s responsibility, not haSatan’s, and most assuredly NOT ours! Any other doctrine steals from the Lord God His precious Deity.
When we read these Scriptures in the Book of Daniel, and scores of others like them, there is only one conclusion to be arrived at by any sane, thinking believer. And that conclusion engenders love for humankind, and faith and hope for the future. Had the late Shah been religiously inclined, he may no doubt have begun to notice a most significant number cropping up again and again, just prior to his abdication in Iran. That number was FORTY!
“In Islam, the fortieth day after a death is set aside for mourning. Mourning for [those Moslems brutally murdered by the Shah’s secret police] brought riots and new killings, and mourning for the latest victims forty days later brought another explosion…in Tabriz. Mobs stormed banks, stores, government offices, and movie houses that remained open in defiance of the clergy’s call for a strike…The provincial government sent tanks into the streets, and killed about a hundred demon-strators…forty days later, riots burst out again in fifty-five towns and cities, leading to another bloody explosion forty days after that” (ibid, 4).
Forty is God’s number for PROBATION, TRIAL, and CHASTISEMENT (E.W. Bullinger, Number in Scripture: Its Supernatural Design & Spiritual Significance, 1894, 266). The Iranian “Imperial Highness” was on probation. He did not seek God. This “king of kings” was on trial. He failed to repent, and turn to the Creative God. Only chastisement was left. That chastisement involved the overthrow of the Pahlavi Dynasty, his beloved country wasted in confusion and chaos with social, economic and political turmoil, and his own exile from the land which produced him. Just prior to his sudden end, the man who occupied the magnificent Peacock Throne said in an interview:
- “Nobody can overthrow me. I have the support of 700,000 troops, all the workers, and most of the people.”
But the Shah did not have the support of the Creative Intelligence who put him there in the first place, and who kept him there, and who had blessed his efforts to bring the ancient land of the Medes and the Persians into the twentieth century. The Shah had run out of time.
MODERN CHRISTIAN EXPOSITORS ARE IGNORANT OF IRAN’S FUTURE ROLE
There is an enormous array of books on the market dealing with biblical prophecy, and in particular the coming of an endtime Antichrist. Never before in the history of historic Christianity has there been so much interest in the future and what it holds for the world. Visit your local Christian bookstore and skim through the contents pages of titles related to prophecy and you will discover that they invariably narrow down to two basic areas concerning the end of the age and to which most Christians subscribe.
- The contemporary formation and emergence of a supposed ten nation alliance in Europe known as the E.E.C. — the European Economic Community, or more popularly The Common Market, which will threaten the West militarily.
- A future Russian expansionism involving the Middle East. This point covers a supposed union between the (pre-90’s) U.S.S.R. and its satellite, Iran.
Of course, most prophetic volumes with an emphasis on the activities of the former Soviet Union are being pulled off the shelves and recalled with acute embarrassment, and are being presently heavily edited to update them with an emphasis on the Federation of Russian States. But back in the late 70’s and early 80’s I had been predicting the complete politico-economic collapse of the U.S.S.R. and its eastern European satellite states (and I was in those days a very supportive member of the Russia-Australia Friendship Society and could already see — along with some others — the handwriting on the wall).
Let me say this emphatically! Neither of these options will occur as predicted by so-called Bible scholars. In fact, while the Dark Lord has his minions focusing the attention of Christians worldwide on the emerging EEC as the coming final Beast or Antichrist system of Revelation and Daniel, the real shapeup of fulfilment is beginning to occur behind the scenes in areas which most of us have been ignoring. These are major developments concerning which the vast majority of the Christian world is completely unfamiliar.
The celebrated king Solomon was the most learned man in the ancient world. Even Our Lord Yeshua referred to his unparall-eled wisdom (Mt 12.42). Solomon had access to the treasured writings of many of the world’s great libraries — containing hundreds of thousands, even millions, of rare volumes. Included in his own extant writings we find a residue of lost know-ledge, some of which is being rediscovered only in our own time. Among other things, for example, Solomon was a keen observer of nature. He early comprehended the concept of a water cycle (Ecc 1.7) one thousand years before the first Advent of Our Lord. It was not until the sixteenth century that this ancient understanding was commonly accepted. Pierre Perrault, Edme Mariotte and astronomer Edmund Halley (all three of whom demonstrated with valuable data the idea of a complete water cycle) were more than 2,700 years late with the information!
But Solomon looked to the hidden meaning behind natural events. He grasped what few have ever understood — that God was the Nature of nature, and that His Nature, as demonstrated in this present material universe, was Itself cyclical. This idea of natural cycles (Ecc 1.6,7) contains the germ of historical duality. To Solomon, all things specifically earth-related had cycles — they would inevitably return to their former state (Ecc 1.5). He noted,
“The thing that has been, it is that which shall be: and that which is done is that which shall be done; and there is NO NEW THING UNDER THE SUN. Is there anything whereof it may be said, See, this is new? It has been already from old time, which was before us” (Ecc 1.9,10).
The future, according to Solomon, can be expected to be a repetition of past events. Some of us more modern earth dwellers would use the outworn phrase, “history repeats itself.” It means just the same thing. The prophet Isaiah agreed. He observed,
“Declare us things for to come. Show the things that are to come hereafter” (Isa 41.23). “Let them bring forth and
show us what will happen: let them show the former things, what they be, that we may consider them, and know the latter end of them.” (Isa 41.22). “Behold, the FORMER THINGS HAVE COME TO PASS…before they spring forth I tell you of them” (Isa 42.9).
The prophet Isaiah most assuredly understood that the past was yet to be crystallised in the future — that there would be a certain repetition of cycles. Recall that Solomon felt there was a marvellous lesson for humanity to expect from their study of history (“his-story” or man’s story).
“I know that,” wrote this ancient Israelite king, “whatsoever God does, it shall be age-repeated [cyclical]; nothing can be put to it, nor anything taken from it: and God does it, that men should fear before Him. That which has been is now: and
that which is to be has already been: and God requires that which is past” (Ecc 3.14,15 Hebrew).
Yes! God requires that which is past to be studied to comprehend our present and future of our planet. Didn’t the emissary (apostle) Shaul (Paul) tell the Corinthian Messianic assembly the very self-same thing?
“Now all these things happened unto them [ancient Israel] for examples: and they were written for our admonition upon whom the end of the ages have come” (1 Cor 10.11).
Didn’t this same emissary to the Gentiles encourage the disciples (students) of Yeshua at Rome along the same lines? Of course he did. Notice:
“For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope” (Rom 15.4).
We Messianic believers, through a thorough knowledge of the holy Scriptures (both the Hebrew Scriptures as well as the
Messianic Scriptures) might have hope when we see certain events shaping up which are a fulfilment of ancient prophecies of the Bible about the future —fulfilments of the past repeating themselves.
THE EVIDENCE FROM DANIEL
The Scripture shows us clearly that the region of Medo-Persia (modern Iran of today) is yet to figure prominently on the world scene just prior to the “Day of the Lord.” Iran is to emerge as a world SUPER-STATE before the Advent of Messiah.
Bearing in mind the principles which we have gleaned from wise king Solomon, the prophet Isaiah, and the emissary
Paul let us notice carefully what the prophet Daniel had to say about a RENEWED, REVITALISED PERSIA at the close of this age.
Daniel mentions by name three animal powers which certainly held sway over much of the planet before Yeshua’s birth. They were Babylon, Medo-Persia and Greece (Dan 2 cf Dan 8.20,21. It is not the purpose of this lecture to consider the fourth nondescript animal power of the visions of Daniel. We will, of course, deal with that power in a future lecture).
The number of books and periodicals written concerning the prophecies of Daniel are legion, suffice to say, and most of them gravitate into two camps when it comes to the task of identifying the four animal and metal empires of Daniel 2 & 7.
Conservative-Traditional Critical Assessment
Let us consider for a moment, another view. This view is an unpopular one, but it is the one that considers the entire prophecy of Daniel as being yet future. Now, in the light of the revealed knowledge which we have inherited from Solomon, Isaiah and Paul, this must be taken seriously as a more than real possibility.
- THIS VIEW MUST DEMAND OUR TOTAL ATTENTION.
As we weigh the internal Scriptural evidence, let us not lose sight of the now-historical root-germinations of the prophetic content of the book, but thoughtfully and prayerfully contemplate the overview of purpose which blends the now-historical prophetic content (that is, that the past empires of Babylon, Medo-Persia and Greece have already seen their fulfilment in the distant past) in a binding transcendence into an age into which we are commencing to enter.
Daniel, it will be recalled, was taken captive by the Babylonians, and it was during his imprisonment that he received his visions. At the time, Babylon was luxuriating in the zenith of its power and prestige as the first authentic World Govern-ment of which we have any record this side of the Deluge. But, as surprising as it may seem to some, Daniel was actually shown a vision of a Babylonian kingdom THAT WAS YET TO ARISE (Dan 7.17) as are the other kingdoms which are also spoken of in the same vein as coexisting at the time of the Advent of Messiah (Dan 7.18).
This may not be a very comforting view for some Christians who reject the plain teaching of the inspired Word of God. Yet Paul said that in the truth of the Scriptural record there is comfort. True comfort comes from knowing what the Bible says will happen — it does not come in the form of fanciful romances which palm themselves off as “truth.”
When the visions were given to Daniel and his associates, the Jewish captives were also aware of the rise to power of Medo-Persia, and the kingdom of Greece that was to come. They are distinctly recorded and named in Dan 8.20,21
and Dan 2.36-38. But if the prophecies related exclusively to these powers IN THAT AGE, neither Daniel or his associates made any connection (Dan 8.27).
Look anew at these texts:
“…YOU [Nebuchadnezzar] ARE THIS HEAD OF GOLD. And after you shall arise another kingdom inferior to you, and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth. And the fourth kingdom shall be as strong as iron; forasmuch as iron breaks in pieces and subdues all: and as iron that breaks all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise. And whereas you saw the feet and toes, part of potter’s clay and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as you saw the iron mixed with miry clay. And as the toes of the feet were part of iron and part of clay, the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly weak. And whereas you saw iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave this with this, even as iron is not mixed with clay. AND IN THE DAYS OF THESE KINGS SHALL THE GOD OF HEAVEN SET UP A KINGDOM which shall never be destroyed: and the king-dom shall not be left to other people, but IT SHALL BREAK IN PIECES AND CONSUME ALL THESE KINGDOMS, and it shall stand forever. Forasmuch as you saw that the stone was cut out of the mountain which was not in hands, and that it break in pieces THE IRON AND THE BRASS, THE CLAY, THE SILVER AND THE GOLD. You saw until a stone was cut out which was not in hands, which smote the image upon his feet of iron and clay, and break them to pieces. THEN was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, the gold, broken to pieces
together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth” (Dan 2.38-45; 2.34,35 Hebrew).
And check these out too!
“These great animals which are four, are four kings WHICH SHALL ARISE out of the earth.BUT THE SAINTS OF THE MOST HIGH SHALL TAKE THE KINGDOM…[The Little Horn] shall speak great words against the Most High and shall wear out the saints of the Most High and think to change times and laws…But the Judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion and consume it and destroy it unto the end. And THE KINGDOM AND THE DOMINIONand the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High…As concerning the rest of the animals, they had their dominion taken away: YET THEIR LIVES WERE PROLONGED FOR A SEASON AND TIME” (Dan 7.17,18,25-27,12).
And these as well….
“…but he said unto me, Understand human being: FOR AT THE TIME OF THE END shall be the vision… Behold I will make you know what shall be IN THE LAST END OF THE INDIGNATION, for AT THE TIME APPOINTED THE END
SHALL BE…IN THE LATTER TIME of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up…wherefore SHUT YOU UP THE VISION, for IT SHALL BE FOR MANY DAYS” (Dan 8.17,19,23, 26).
“In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a thing was revealed unto Daniel…and the thing was true, BUT THE TIME APPOINTED WAS GREAT: and he understood the thing and had understanding of the vision. Now I am come to make you understand what shall befall your people IN THE LATTER DAYS: for yet THE VISION IS FOR MANY DAYS. For yet THE END SHALL BE AT THE TIME APPOINTED. And some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them white to THE TIME OF THE END: for it is yet FOR A TIME APPOINTED. And AT THE TIME OF THE END shall the king of the south push at him and the king of the north shall come against him…But you, O Daniel,
SHUT UP THE WORDS and SEAL THE BOOK TO THE TIME OF THE END…the words are closed up and sealed till the TIME OF THE END” (Dan 10.1,14; 11.27,35,40; 12.4,9).
Daniel received the visions and then was told immediately to close the book and throw the key away until the time of the end. What was to occur at the end time? The angel told Daniel that during a knowledge explosion many would “run to and fro” through the pages of his volume in a feverish attempt to obtain the answers (Dan 12.4). Startling as it may well be, the search into Daniel’s prophetic writings has begun in earnest with the newly recovered “Bible codes.” Unlike any time previously, millions of believers are studying Daniel in the hope of coming to a comforting knowledge of what the future holds! This is as it should be.
We have seen that most of these prophecies are placed right at the time period of the incoming Kingdom of God at the consummation of this age. Darius the Mede was on the verge of wresting control of the reins of government from the Babylon-ians and the Chaldeans when Daniel received the vision.
The image of Daniel 2 is struck by the stone (representing the Messianic government of God in the Person of Our Lord Yeshua at His return to this Earth) and the WHOLE IMAGE (not merely the ten toes as the vast majority of expositors are teaching) — the entire colossus of Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and the fourth nondescript animal power — is ground to fine powder and is blown away by the winds of history.
COMING – A MODERN CYRUS AND THE REBUILDING OF THE TEMPLE
We have seen from the Scriptures that Medo-Persia is yet to arise out of the earth. The time table is set, and the count-down has finally begun. Ancient Persia has emerged, through the tireless, personal ambition of the late Shah of Iran, as a super-power in the Middle East. It was well on its way to becoming a WORLD SUPER POWER but the extreme funda-mentalist insanity of the Ayatollah Khomeini changed all that…for the time being!
Events can now be expected to accelerate rapidly. The Jews have returned to their ancient homeland, just as predicted. The Iraqis have been flexing their military muscles, along with their Syrian counterparts, just as predicted. Babylon is rising on the Euphrates River, just as predicted. Petra is being restored by archaeologists, just as predicted. The Israelis have invaded Lebanon, just as predicted, and they have plans to occupy the ancient homeland of Laban and to populate its cities with Israelis — again, just as predicted. The Israelis have plans to restore the Kingdom of David, and the throne of David, just as predicted. The Palestinians (Philistines) will soon have their own homeland, to the south of present-day Israel, in and around the Gaza strip, just as the Bible prophesied.
But what of Iran? Won’t it ally itself with Russia — which has always lusted after Iran’s oil reserves and warm-water ports?
Iran must exist as a world power in its own right just prior to the Advent of Messiah, along with Greece and Babylon. For some people, used to the status-quo of American Coca-Cola influence in world affairs, it seems difficult to believe that world economic power could transfer itself dramatically to the region of the Middle East. Yet it is happening right before their very eyes!
The Scriptures state authoritatively that the economic and political power base of this world will finally settle in the Middle East and not solely in the Edomite United States. For many years BRI has predicted
- the rise of the city of Babylon.
Scripture states explicitly that there will also be a New Babylon that will dominate the world and which will create a global ten division WORLD FEDERAL STATE. This is well on its way! Immediately before Messiah returns
- we can expect the powerwealth of international banking organisations to deposit their “influence” in Golden Babylon.
Greece has been talking for years about breaking away from NATO and developing its own nuclear capabilities, as well as opening dialogue with leaders who presently occupy the political leadership of nations that were once encapsulated within the territory of Alexander’s Macedonian Empire.
- Almost needless to say, these nations today have been freed from the former U.S.S.R. BRI predicted with authority and power back in the 70s that the U.S.S.R. would not be around at the end of the age to invade Iran and swallow her up.
In print in the November/December 1982 issue of the old, original “BRI Newsletter” I wrote “the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics…believe it or not, will not be around at the end time to fight Christ at His coming, or to invade Iran…We may scoff now, but times are changing, and the Scripture will prove to be correct in all things!” (11).
Isaiah said that “a righteous man from the east” would eventually arise. He was also predicted to emerge from the north of the city of Jerusalem. “I have raised one from the north, and he shall come from the rising of the sun” (Isa 41.25).
This man will be looked upon by the Lord as “righteous.” This does not necessarily mean that he will be a Messianic believer, or a Christian. He will simply be a man who has a proper sense of right and wrong. He may well be a Muslim, or he may be an atheist or a humanist. The Scripture is silent in this regard. But God calls him “righteous.” He will be refined, and schooled in political diplomacy. Without doubt he will be of royal lineage. He may even be related to the late Shah! We KNOW this much — God refers to him as “my servant” (Isa 42.2; 41.26; 42.6).
- This man is a born ruler, to whom the Iranians will flock, as they did to the FORMER Cyrus of long ago.
Yet, while he is “righteous” and is aligned to the supreme will of God (Allah?) to the degree that the LORD refers to him as “my servant” he may well be oblivious to the reality of God’s presence in his life.
Why do I say this? Because this is what the Hebrew Scriptures seem to indicate! Notice it now:
“I have even called you by your name: I have surnamed you THOUGH YOU HAVE NOT KNOWN ME. I am the Lord, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I HAVE GIRDED YOU THOUGH YOU HAVE NOT KNOWN ME: that they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me” (Isa 45.4-6).
The Cyrus of old cast himself in the light of a Messiah — a liberator of the people (Merrill C. Tenney, Pictorial Bible Dictionary, 1967,193). Isaiah certainly referred to him as the Messiah — the “Anointed One” — which is, of course, what the term “Messiah” actually means (Isa 44.27,28; 45.1-5). His kind-hearted generosity, and his reverence for the gods of conquered nations, were determining factors which led to his policy of repatriation for the Hebrews, whom he determined should return to their country, and to Jerusalem, in order to rebuild their ruined Temple (2 Chron 36.22,23; Ezra 1.1-6).
In light of the fact that Scripture predicts a new Temple in Jerusalem under the control of a revived priesthood (under the commonwealth of a restored Davidic Kingdom and throne) it is more than likely that a new Cyrus in Iran will be the instigator of such a move like his predecessor before him.
The apostle Kefa (nicknamed “Peter” or “Rocky” by Yeshua) made it abundantly clear that before the Lord could return to this earth certain events had to take place.
- One was the national repentance of the Jewish people!
Strange as it may seem the Jews in Israel will swing to the religion of Christianity — but it will not be a paganised churchianity of the type we are used to in our western society. Rather, it will be a restored Nazarene Messianism — a revival of original Jewish Christianity, of the sort the apostle Yaakov (James) acknowledged.
Said Kefa, “Repent you therefore and be converted, IN ORDER THAT your sins may be blotted out IN ORDER THAT the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; and He shall send Yeshua haMashiach… whom the heavens must receive UNTIL THE TIME OF RESTORATION OF ALL THINGS that God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began” (Acts 3.19-21 Greek).
When Mohammed Reza Pahlavi died he left an heir. His son, Reza Cyrus, is today in exile in the United States. He has his own website (www.rezapahlavi.org) which our readers may like to visit. I wrote back in 1982 that this man may well plan a counterrevolution which will restore the Peacock Throne to Iran, and establish himself as the man of destiny for his beloved Persia. We must wait and see. Exiled patriots are certainly rallying to his side from all over the world. He may or may not be the new “Cyrus” prophesied to eventuate on the scene. But one thing remains certain — there will emerge another messianic “servant” of God who will encourage the Jewish people to rebuild their Temple. And Iran is yet to arise as a superpower in the time of the end, a period into which we are about to enter.
Political commentators and Bible students were shocked and dismayed to see the effects of the Khomeini revolution which stunned the world. Officially sanctioned abuse of human rights is widespread, with prisoners subject to torture as they languish in misery behind bars in appalling conditions. The freedom women took for granted under the Shah no longer exists. Those same students of prophecy saw in the tragedy of the fall of the Peacock Throne prophecy coming alive. And, indeed it is. However, events will not go in the direction most Christians seem to think.
I am reminded of a group of televised “Pentups” to my immediate north (at the time of this writing) who were very vocal in their claims that the Soviet Union would eventually swallow up oil-rich Iran, in its clumsy but aggressive drive to devour the Middle East. Israel, they also said, was the mad Bear’s real target. They pointed to Ezekiel (chapters 38 and 39) to try to establish their case. I laughed then, and I am laughing now. I have been called a “false prophet” by these same people because I verbally tore their “Bible tracts” to shreds. They had absolutely no authentic biblical substance to them. I told them then that they would “eat crow” when the Soviet Union dissolved. But I guess they all have short memories. The “Prince of Rosh” is not Russia! Meschech is not Moscow, and Tubal is not Tobolsk. And Iran will not be aligned with Russia, despite their protestations to the contrary.
A revived Medo-Persia is on the way. Perhaps, as the title suggests, Iran might yet prove to be a nation divided into two camps, flying two flags, two nations united under one strong charismatic leader. A restoration of all the ancient prophecies, some of them already fulfilled, is yet to occur before Yeshua can even think about returning to rule this rebellious planet in righteousness.
A modern day Cyrus (Koresh) is yet to walk onto the political stage. We live in exciting times. We are part of the final generation. We will live to see it all come to pass.