Saturday, January 29, 2011

Rising Tensions With Iran As Apocalyptic

Today we present a very interesting guest post from a friend of ours named Mary. We think that you are really going to enjoy what she has to say....

Rising Tensions with Iran as Apocalyptic
Mary Grace Miller
January 22, 2011
In this writing, it is my aim to explicate some extraordinary parallels between the following apocalyptic Holy Scriptures and rising tensions with Iran against the "Great Satan," the United States.  The Scripture passages upon which this writing is based are: Genesis 27:39-40, Isaiah 14, Jeremiah 51, and Revelation 17-18.

Please read these slowly and carefully, hopefully more than once, before reading further.  It will really help to make more sense of what I've written, I think.  And then, if you made it to the end of this writing, read them again!

I am no authority on any subject much less the Apocalypse of the Bible, nor am I a theologian. I don't profess to know, anything, definitively, in terms of understanding the depths of meaning of the Apocalypse. I find little that is more annoying than reading a book that authoritatively presumes to have solved the riddles of the Apocalypse, when it is obvious there are serious holes, gaps, and bridges to nowhere in the answers given.

On the other hand, it is equally disconcerting when a possible solution to one aspect of one of the riddles is immediately discounted, because one does not possess a Ph.D. in riddle solving or is not a travelling salesman with a microphone and a deep voice selling books titled: The Apocalypse for Dummies.

I would like to start be encouraging you, if you have not done so, recently, to read the Apocalypse, or Book of Revelation. It is the guide given to us by God to help us live well through the darkest hours the world has ever known...."Amen, I say to you, this generation shall not pass away until all these things have taken place."(Matthew 24:32)

Before going further, I thought it might be useful to briefly address the various interpretations of the Apocalypse. I have found no clearer or more succinct writing on this than Catholic writer, Michael D. O'Brien's, in the introduction to his fiction writing about the Apocalypse: Father Elijah. I will give it here in full, as I think it will help dispel unfounded arguments against my aim:

As the drama of our century speeds toward some unknown climax, numerous speculations arise and new attention is given to John's Apocalypse, stimulating a plethora of interpretation. One school of thought has it that the book refers solely to John's own time; another asserts that it is exclusively a meditation on the end of things in some indeterminate future; still another believes that the book is a map of the Church's history, unfolded in seven major epochs. A fourth interpretation, one favored by most of the Church Fathers, holds that it is a theological vision of a vast spiritual landscape, containing descriptions of the situation of the Church in John's own time, and also the events that are to unfold at the end of time. For John, the "end times" begin with the Incarnation of Christ into the world, and there remains only a last battle through which the Church must pass.
This, in my view, is the fullest and best interpretation....

I concur.

Allow me to refer you to my previous writing: Amazing Parallels Between the Apocalyptic Babylon in Scripture and the United States. For the purpose of this current writing the U.S. is identified as the Babylon of the Apocalypse. The United States is experiencing growing tensions with many countries around the globe not the least of which is China. Yet, in keeping with my particular reflections on the apocalyptic passages of Scripture, I think the leaders of Iran will stand out in history as the West's, and particularly the United States', fiercest enemy. In terms of geopolitics, in time, I think the forces of Islam, led by Iran, will be shown to have the greatest negative impact on the world, and especially the United States, even more so than the spread of communism/Luciferianism around the globe via the Western global power elites. At some point, I think the forces of Islam will co-opt the Western global power elites' infrastructures put in place for their own evil purposes. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is a master strategist. But, I am getting ahead of myself.

How have you fallen from the heavens,
O morning star, son of the dawn!
How you are cut down to the ground,
you who mowed down the nations! (Isaiah14:12-17)
I am stirring up against them [Babylon] the Medes *(Iranians),
who think nothing of silver
and take not delight in gold. (Isaiah 13:17)

Allow me to refer you to one of the earliest apocalyptic verses in Holy Scripture: Esau's attempt to get a blessing from his father, Isaac, after he had foolishly given up his birthright to his brother, Jacob. I quote from the New American Bible and the Douay-Rheims. The Douay-Rheims version of Genesis 27:39-40 reads:

Isaac being moved, said to him: In the fat of the earth,
and in the dew from Heaven from above, shall thy blessing be.
Thou shalt live by the sword and shalt serve thy brother:
and the time shall come,
when thou shalt shake off and loose his yoke from thy neck.

The New American translation of the same verses is:

Finally, Isaac spoke again and said to him:
"Ah, far from the fertile earth
shall be your dwelling;
far from the dew of the heavens above!
"By your sword you shall live,
and your brother you shall serve;
but when you become restive,
you shall throw off his yoke from your

Amazingly, the modern version, in this case, seems to make more sense. Why would Esau want to kill Jacob if he was blessed with fertile lands? Not only did Esau not receive a blessing, he seems to receive what amounted to a curse from his father. The extreme contrast between what Jacob received and what Esau got was too bitter for him to bear. Thus sprung the impetus for his hatred of his brother. Further evidence to support the latter version is Malachias 1:3 - "Was not Esau brother to Jacob, saith the Lord, and I have loved Jacob, but have hated Esau? and I have made his mountains a wilderness, and given his inheritance to the dragons of the desert."

If Esau's heritage is viewed as predominantly the Muslim Middle East, and Jacob's blessing represents the West, it seems to make sense that what appears to be this earliest of apocalyptic Scripture is currently in progress. According to the Vatican, there are now more Muslims in the world than Catholics ("Muslims More Numerous than Catholics: Vatican", Reuters, March 30, 2008"). Europe is inundated. In his introduction to an article about the life of stigmatist, Teresa Neumann, by the late Father Urban Snyder, Michael Matt shared the following about him:

I'll always remember something he said while "holding court" one evening in our home in the early 1970's: "It's not Communism that should be our chief concern in the West...not really. It is Islam. Most of us will not live to see the rise of global, militant Islam, but that young man over there [pointing directly to me] certainly will." This was at the height of the "Cold War" - a full thirty years before the so-called "War on Terror."

The Middle East has been a predominant source of oil for the U.S. since the middle of the twentieth century. Apocalypse 17:3 and 7 prophesies:

Then he carried me away in spirit to a deserted place where I saw a woman seated on a scarlet beast that was covered with blasphemous names, with seven heads and ten horns....
When I saw her I was greatly amazed. The angel said to me, "Why are you amazed? I will explain to you the mystery of the woman and of the beast that carries her, the beast with the seven heads and ten horns."
[My emphasis]

Here is implied Babylon's dependence on the beast. Babylon is sitting on the beast and the beast carries her.
It seems plausible that this could mean an economic dependence as Babylon's wealth is frequently referred to.

Could it mean U.S. dependence on Mideast oil? The masses of Middle Eastern men have seen little of the wealth generated by their country's oil reserves. Their leaders have grown rich from Babylon's "drive for luxury", but little has trickled down to the people. Their standard of living is far below the West. They see the wealth all around them, and they know they receive grossly disproportionate compensation. Again Isaac says to Esau:

By your sword you shall live, and your brother you shall serve;
But when you become restive, you shall throw off his yoke from your neck.

The first real sign of becoming restive toward the United States began with the overthrow of the U.S. backed Shah of Iran in 1979. This was, in part, a rebellion against an unjust economic system of greedy rulers doing business with mostly the U.S. government and corporations. The Islamic Revolution has been gaining ground ever since. At the same time, the increasingly decadent and godless West has been in decline.

Isaiah 13:17 prophesies:

I am stirring up against them the Medes *(Iranians),
who think nothing of silver
and take no delight in gold.

Interestingly, the Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, is noted for his frugality and commitment to living as "every man." On his blog dated June 5, 2009, Dr. Abdul Ruff Colachal writes:

Mahmoud swept to power with the backing of Iran's devout poor, especially those in rural areas, who felt neglected by past governments and liked his promise to put oil wealth on the table of every family in a nation of over 70 million people....

Ahmadinejad is a small man who always wears the same crumpled suit, but wherever he goes he is the centre of media attention, repeatedly stealing the limelight from his heavyweight peers among world leaders. It would not be an exaggeration to say that he is the most influential person in the Muslim world at present. He declined the use of a presidential plane, drives an old car, takes a home-made lunch to the office with him and lives in a humble flat in Tehran. These populist habits and his rural, laboring background - he is from a family of blacksmiths - have endeared him to Iran's working classes whilst his conservatism ensures the support of those with a fundamentalist agenda.

Here is a Youtube of his home:

A most remarkable parallel between apocalyptic Scripture and the current situation with Iran concerns Ahmadinejad's belief in the return of the Twelfth Imam. Allow me to refer you to an excellent article on the subject by John von Heyking, Ph.D.: Iran's President and the Politis of the Twelfth Imam (November, 2005) on the John M. Ashbrook Center for Pulbic Affairs website. He writes:

Observers of Iran have been puzzling over Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's actions lately....Western obserers have paid less attention to the political and religious ideology behind some of Ahmadinejad's actions, which he has expressed in recent speeches that have had messianic overtones and are deeply troublesome....

In a speech on November 16, Ahmadinejad spoke of his belief in the return of the Twelfth Imam. One of the differences between Sunni and Shi'te Islam is that the latter, who dominate Iran and form the majority in Iraq, believe that Allah Shielded or hid Muhammad al-Mahdi as the Twelfth Imam until the end of time. Shi'tes expect the Twelfth return to save the world when it had descended into chaos....

Western observers need to be able to understand the ideological and religious overtones of the current situation in Iran. Ahmadinejad's peculiar references to the Twelfth Imam are no mere eccentricity to be taken lightly....Minimally, Ahmadinejad's speeches and actions portend a constitutional crisis for the Iranian regime. Maximally, there are times when one shold take bombastic statements not as double-talk, but for what they are.

Allow me to refer you to the U.N. speeches of Ahmadinejad. A short synopsis of a speech he gave in 2006 is as follows: The Security Council of the United Nations needs reform. As it is, it is unjust. The United States, the United Kingdom, and the Zionist regime are primarily responsible for the injustice and human misery of the world. He then says a prayer for the return of the Twelfth Imam:

I emphatically declare that today's world, more than ever before, longs for just and righteous people with love for all humanity; and above all longs for the perfect righteous human being and the real savior who has been promised to al peoples and who will establish justice, peace and brotherhood on the planet.

O, Almighty God, all men and women are Your creatures and You have ordained their guidance and salvation. Bestow upon humanity that thirsts for justice, the perfect human being promised to all by You, and make us among his followers and among those who strive for his return and his cause.

In a more recent U.N. speech in September of 2009, Ahmadinejad prays again for the return of the Twelfth Imam:

O God, hasten the arrival of the Imam al-Mahdi and grant him good health and victory and make us his followers and those who attest to his rightfulness....If the belief in Entezar (A waiting patiently for the Imam to return) will turn into a common and we join hands to achieve prosperity for all, then there will be more real and increasing hopes for reform.

The Occultation as defined by Wikipedia is as follows:

The occultation in Shi'a Islam refers to a belief that the messianic figure, al-Mahdi, who in Shi'a thought is an infallible male descendant of the founder of Islam, Muhammad, has been born but has disappeared and will one day return and fill the world with justice....

In Twelver Shia Islam, the Major Occultation reers to the longer duration of the Occultation of the final and Twelfth Imam, Muhammad al-Mahdi, continuing to the present day. Shia believe the last Saf'ir announced on his death-bed in 941 a.d. that the Twelfth Imam had decided not to appoint another Saf'ir and had entered into total occultation. From this p oint to the present is the Twelfth Imam's second occultation, or Major Occultation. According to the last letter of Muhammad al-Mahdi to Ali ibn Muhammad al-Samarri "from the day of your death [the last deputy] the period of my major occultation (al ghaybatul kubra) will begin. Hence forth, no one will see me, unless and until Allah makes me appear. My reappearance will take place after a very long time when people will have grown tired of waiting and those who are weak in their faith will say: What! Is he still alive?

It is interesting to compare Chapter 17:8-11 of the Apocalypse with this definition. Chapter 17:8-11 (New American Bible) prophesies:

The beast that you saw existed once but now exists no longer. It will come up from the abyss and is headed for destruction. The inhabitants of the earth whose names have not ben written in the book of life from the foundation of the world shall be amzed when they see the best, because it existed once but exists no longer, and yet it will come again.

Allow me to highlight the remarkable similarity between the description of the return of the Twelfth Imam on the Wikipedia website and the beat of Chapter 17 of the Apocalypse:

The Twelfth Imam:

...has been born but has disappeared and will one day return...

The beast of Chapter 17 of the Apocalypse:

...existed once but exists no longer, and yet it will come again...

Ahmadinejad sees Western power, i.e. Zionism, the United Kingdom, and the United States as the oppressors of the peoples of the earth. He sees the return of the Twelfth Imam as the savior who will come to save the earth from these oppressors by helping to destroy the infidel, to conquer the oppressive powers who won't obey Allah. Michael S. Milne's e-mail response to the September 2009 U.N. speech by Ahmadinejad is as follows:

This speech is not about imparting information or views. It is a baout offering Muslim conversion to the greatest mass audience everywhere. It can now be argued that everyone who has listened to the speech or read its text has been offered Allah's slavation. This man doesn't care whether people accept the offer or not, only that they have been offered the chance to do so. In that way, he can justifiably increase the potential destruction he may eventally take part in, with a "clear conscience" that he has been acting in accordance with the will of Allah.

One can hear Ahmadinejad on Youtube: leading thousands in chanting "Death to America" during the February 11, 2005 celebration of the birth of the Islamic Revolution thirty years previous. It is disturbing.

If the Twelfth Imam is the beast of Chapter 17 of the Apocalypse, if he is the antichrist, we have, I fear, quite a fireworks display ahead of us in the not too distant future. This beast will lead ten kings who "are of one mind and will give their power and authority to the beast." (17:13) "The ten horns that you saw and the beast will hate the harlot; they will leave her desolate and naked; they will eat her flesh and consme her with fire." (17:16)

Ahmadinejad is trying to prepare the way for the return of the Twelfth Imam who will lead the nations in the destruction of the "Great Satan," the United States, or, as I think, Babylon. With a brief perusal of the news over the past couple of years, it is clear he is making alliances with countries and terrorist organizations all over the world, against the U.S. These countries include China, Russia, Venezuela, and North Korea among many others.  A good read is NBC Foreign Correspondent, Richard Engel's - War Journal: My Five Years in Iraq (Simon and Schuster, 2008).  He shows how Iran has greatly benefitted, politically, in Iraq from the U.S. invasion there. 

The Times Online reported the following on Sunday, March 21, 2010:

The Taliban has received training inside Iran, Taliban Commanders tell the Time of London. Commanders tell the Times that Iranian officials paid them to attend the three month course on mounting complex ambushes and laying improvised explosive devices (IED's). One Commander says of the Iranians: "Our religion and our histories are different but our target is the same, we both want to kill Americans." Western officials tell that the accounts are credible.

Ahmadinejad is a master strategist.  He knows how to use the carrot and the stick, well.  Diplomatically, he has accomplished more around the world in the past five years since he became president, than several successive leaders could ever hope to have achieved in other countries.  I think this is, in part, because the alliances he is making all have a common enemy, the United States.  One of his great advantages is that Western power elites are too arrogant to take him seriously.  Ahmadinejad is working towards Osama bin Laden's "American Hiroshima." Again, Jeremiah prophesies (51:11):

Sharpen the arrows,
Fill the quivers;
The Lord has stirred up the spirit of
Media's *(Iran's) kings;
Babylon he is resolved to destroy.

Another good read is the book - Dunces of Doomsday: 10 Blunders That Gave Rise to Radical Islam, Terrorist Regimes, and the Threat of an American Hiroshima, by Paul L. Williams (WND Books/Cumberland House Publishing, 2006).

We, along with the U.K. and the Zionist regime are Ahmadinejad's "axis of evil." Paul Craig Roberts writes in his article: Is U.S. Financial Collapse a Good Thing for the World? (American Free Press, February 22, 2010):

American power is on the precipice, about to fall. Perhaps, it is a good thing. The world will be rid of bullying, of invasions of innocent countries based on blatant lies, of torture and murder of women and children, of redistribution of income fro the poor to the rich.

The criminal record accumulated by the United States makes it the least indispensible country on earth.

Isaiah 14:3-8 prophesies:

On the day the Lord relieves you of sorrow and unrest and the hard service in which you have been enslaved, you will take up this taunt-song against the King of Babylon:

How the oppressor has reached his end!

How the turmoil is stilled!

The Lord has broken the rod of the wicked,

the staff of the tyrants

that struck the peoples in wrath

relentless blows;

that beat down the nations in anger,

with oppression unchecked.

The whole earth rests peacefully,

song breaks forth;

the very cypresses rejoice over you,

and the cedars of lebanon:

"Now that you are laid to rest,

there will be none to cut us down."


How have you fallen from the heavens,
O morning star, son of the dawn!
How you are cut down to the ground,
you who mowed down the nations! (Isaiah14:12-17)

Imagine what the world would be like if it stopped striving to have what America has? If it stopped striving to get rich from America? If it stopped striving to come to America and be like America? What if the striving were to end and people were able to be content, once more, with who they are, what they have, and where they are in the world without a desire to have the "American Dream"?

Jeremiah 51:6 prophesies:

Flee out of Babylon;
let each one save his life,
perish not for her guilt;

And verse 45 of the same Chapter:

Leave her, my people, let each one save himself
from the burning wrath of the Lord.

And again, verse 50:

You who have escaped the sword,
go on, stand not still;
Remember the Lord from afar,
let Jerusalem come to your minds.

Three times in one chapter it warns to leave Babylon. The Apocaypse (18:4) prophesies:

Depart from her, my people,
so as not to take part in her sins
and receive a share in her plagues,
for her sins are piled up to the sky,
and God remembers her crimes.

Most people I talk to interpret this to mean a spiritual, not a physical, departure even though Babylon's punishment is compared to that of Sodom and Gomorrah in Scripture (Isaiah 13:19). Is it not indicative of those of us living in the comfort and convenience of "the richest country on God's green earth" to interpret these Scriptures in this way? That is, in a way that requires no physical sacrifice. No loss of earthly security and comfort. No risk of being hungry, thirsty, cold, or wet like those in poor countries. One has only to watch House Hunters International on HGTV to see the difference in perspective between Americans and others concerning what is needed in a house. A large, perfectly good kitchen needs "upgrading" if it doesn't have granite counters and steel door appliances. A master bedroom in which a king size bed is barely visible with binoculars from the door is "too small" for the average, middle income, American woman on this show. 

To the measure of her boasting and
repay her in torment and grief;
for she said to herself
'I sit enthroned as queen;
I am no widow,
and I will never know grief.
Therefore, her plagues will come in one
pestilence, grief, and famine;
she will be consumed by fire;
For mighty is the Lord God who judges
her. (Apocalypse 18:7-8)

Perhaps people interpret it this way, because the other possibilities seem so impossible. Humanly speaking, today it is impossible for most people to immigrate to another country. But what about faith? Has it not required believers down through the centuries to do what the world sees as contraindicated time and time again? Would faith be faith if it never required one to choose to do something that is not wholly understandable, practical, or reasonable from a merely human perspective in order to do God's Will? Of course, our supreme example of Faith in Abraham's willingness to obey God's command to go to Mt. Moriah and sacrifice his only beloved son, Isaac, must give us courage to take the necessary action when the moment comes no matter how difficult, incomprehensible, and impossible it may seem. We may be asked to begin building an ark, when everyone else around us is eating, drinking, and being merry! And then, Mary and Joseph were warned by an angel to flee to Egypt for a time, in order to escape from King Herod (Matthew 2:13-23). They went to a country where they didn't know the language to live among strangers.

What would have become of Lot if he had interpreted God's words to mean a spiritual departure, only? Of course, this doesn't make any sense. God warned Lot, because he was a godly man. Likewise, he warns us.
In love for His children, for those who have already separated themselves from the world as best they can, he warns ahead of time to get out of Babylon before He allows it to be destroyed. He says "Perish not for her guilt." (Jeremiah 51:6). He doesn't say, stay put, I will take care of you right where you are, just trust me. No.
He says "Depart from her, my people." "Perish not for her guilt."

Of course, the big question for those of us still remaining in the U.S. is - How? How to leave? If what I have written makes sense to you - if ever there was a time for Faith and Catholic charity among the remnant all over the world, it is now. Now, more than ever before since the beginning of Christianity, it is time for true believers to support and aid one another, and even lay down our lives for one another. We must have the courage to reject the materialism of our age that has creeped into our psyches to a degree to which most of us are still quite unaware. The difficult times ahead will reveal to us, more than the times of plenty, where our real allegiances lie: Our homes?, our jobs?, our children?, or, our Faith. It may come to this. Are we ready to be His disciples?

Will we have enough oil for our lamps when the moment comes?

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