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 IRAN ~ ISRAEL ~ SYRIA ~ WHAT ARE SOME BACKGROUND FACTS?
The Bible has some clear prophecies about the Nations of the M.E.
 [The following notes updated June 2013,
are a summary only with more details in other articles.]

STUDY 1. IRAN in Bible times was called Elam, and later Persia,
 (as in the books of Ezekiel and Esther)
Persians are a different Middle East ethnic group, speaking Farsi.

  The main Biblical prophecy about Iran is in Jeremiah 49: 35 - 39 -
Only 6 verses...
[Please open your Bible there.
We print quotes from the Scriptures in purple italics to honour God's Word]

This first prophecy is in 2 parts ~ as we now know, because one verse has already happened within the last 34 years~ since 1979 ~ in our lifetime!
This is an example of prophecies not fully understood until everything they wrote - actually happens. The amazing fact is that Jeremiah made these prophecies approximately 2, 500 years ago, between 626 and 586 BCE.

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POINT A.
THE FIRST (fulfilled) PART OF THE PROPHECY says in vs. 36, the LORD/ ADONAI speaking:

"I will bring against Elam [ancient name of Iran], The four winds from the four quarters of the Heavens; I will scatter them to the four winds and there will not be a nation where Iran's exiles do not go." 
>
This was only likely to eventuate in modern times
with increased world travel (by air) and fast news and communications like the Internet a reality, and now it has actually happened over recent years!
>
We have even made friends with some Iranian refugees in N.Z.
> However for many Persians there was a more serious reason, than ease of travel, for leaving Iran.

The first part of fulfillment of the verse, started from 1979, when Iran was made into an Islamic Republic following the return of the strict Islamic Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomenei. Many Persian Iranian people left and now they live all round the world, (the records show some 1.5 Million of them), exactly as prophesied in vs. 36! With a high level of literacy and skills they have settled well in the countries of their choice, though leaving must have been hard, and often meant leaving family and friends behind.

The present population of the Republic of Iran is 78. 800.000+ Mln,
which includes a large number of Arabs and other ethnic groups. Also they have thousands of refugees from Afghanistan and other places going into Iran. Yet now God's ways can be seen, since many Persian Iranians (about 100,000)
who are living in Western nations ~ have found the True Saviour and have chosen to become Christians! For a more complete study about the situation
for Iran, see for our longer study on 'Iran - 6 verses of Prophecy.'

Some Bible teachers agree with us that the events, written in the book of 'Esther' in the Tanakh or O.T, (and now celebrated annually by Jews in a holiday called 'Purim'), still has a similar philosophy, as Iran has taken on a strongly 'anti- Jewish-Israel' perspective.

This is expressed and supported by the highest Leaders in Iran today. The present 'Supreme Leader' Ayatollah Ali Komenei, (74) holds to [1979] previous reformist Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah KOMENEI'S - 'hard line' Muslim Shi'ite philosophy, very strongly. 
He is able to manipulate various other hard-line groups to his own way.

Prophecy fulfilled. Actually seeing a foretold event happen, is one of the most important proofs that the Bible is true and it really is the Word of the Holy God of the Universe, the Creator and Saviour of the world! Dear reader have you thought what this means for you? Because God has kept His word in these ways, He has shown you (through His Words in the Bible) that you too, can come to know Him and be part of His loving plans. Please find out more about this, today! Perhaps start by reading Romans ch 3 in the N.T.
In recent years 1,000s of Iranians have become convinced Christians, - though those still living in Iran, risk death or imprisonment for their new faith! [See
www.prayforiran.com/ ]
This is wonderfully vindicated through Joel C Rosenberg's great book, (after visiting every nation and both Muslim and Christian Leaders of the M.E) ~ "Inside the Reformation",
http://flashtrafficblog.wordpress.com/  or look at: http://www.elam.com/

Point B. THE SECOND PART OF JEREMIAH'S PROPHECY MAY HAPPEN SOON!

A repeated situation like at the time of Esther is happening in 2009 - 2014, with Iran (Persia) threatening to eliminate all Jews from Israel!

A NEW CLEVER PRESIDENT FOR IRAN IN 2013.
> This is a Muslim Cleric; Ayatollah HASSAN ROUHANI [also spelt Rowhani] aged 64.

> He speaks 4 languages, seems to be moderate, but has supported a very extreme Islamic philosophy, in line with other 'hard-line' Leaders in his past responsible positions. [Check with a search engine for more.]
> The June 2013 Election of a new President [under his friend, Supreme Leader: Ayatollah KHOMENEI] is not likely to make a difference.
This is following the 8-year term of Pres, Achmadinejad, who has 'retired'.
> The new President's term begins on August 4th, 2013, and although he won a big proportion of the people's vote, with ideas like, "better relations with the West" - and "freeing all Political Prisoners" - it remains to be seen by his actions.
> However -
it is very unlikely he will go against his old friend and immediate 'Boss', Khamenei! A record of his past positions of authority show his ideals.
[We offer more details in our June 2013, News Letter, here.]

>
Iran has often threatened to eliminate all Jews... as has been read about almost every day, in the past 8 years.

It is reported that the Supreme Leader, Khamenei, "is the only one that has ever publicly called for Israel to be destroyed by nuclear weapons".  
 [Writer Joel C Rosenberg, see -
http://flashtraficblog.com/ for 17th June.]
Not only is this a repeated threat, it is a bedrock belief of Muslims that Israel is an 'insult' to Islam, and as such, Muslims have a duty to do away with them, (also all non-Muslim 'infidels' - or 'unbelievers in Muhammad', including Christians.) However they would like to start with Jews in Israel, a Land they claim for Allah!

>
This is made more serious by clear plans to produce nuclear weapons.
At the same time they strenuously claim this is not true, and developments are simply to produce nuclear energy to produce electricity for national use. (?)
This is seriously doubted by most Western and Arab nations, and the UNO Nuclear inspectors, and by Iran's ongoing actions!

>
Iran sometimes claims that: "Israel is preparing for war!" It would suit Iran if Israel hit them first, as the religious concept that Iran's past and new President has, - is based on the belief that the Muslim 'Mahdi' (a messianic-type person) has to come when the world is engulfed in war.
This issue of Iran's threats, is not just something vague but the basis of intense diplomatic activity, in nations consulting on "how to handle the Iranian threat".

a. The reaction of many 'Western' nations, especially the USA, Britain, etc, is also a FULFILMENT of other SCRIPTURES
, especially in connection with Israel, which Iran is threatening to attack.
>
Zechariah promised that interfering with Jerusalem/ Israel  'would be like lifting an impossibly heavy stone and leave those who try - in a bad physical state!'  See Zechariah 12: 3.
>
In fact it does not matter whether a nation is for 'manipulating Israel' to please their own selfish gaols, like the P.A Fatah, or against Israel as nations that support Iran; - like Turkey, Syria, Russia, China or the 52 Muslim nations - that do - the prophecy will stand. - They will injure themselves seriously.
>
ADONAI 's Promise to Abraham and His descendants through Isaac, Jacob and the whole nation from the original 12 Tribes ~ right up to today's 'Jewish State of Israel' is still true:

"I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you."

> The time to see the fulfillment of these words is much closer that most people can imagine! We are thinking in the next decade, possibly.

b. Advanced weapons are now available, but the threat of a nuclear bomb - is a great 'weapon' feared by Israel and other nations!
 [However this ministry feels this is unlikely event.]
>
Iran's use of nuclear weapons against Israel - is not a very likely event, as we need to remember that 1.5 million (mainly Muslim) Arabs live in Israel.
> Also Muslim neighbours, (Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia) - would be seriously affected, along with their decorated Mosques!
>
It would make Israel less habitable - which would suggest they are not sincere about wanting to possess the actual Land of Israel, which they do want for Allah.
> Iran is more interested in becoming the leader of the Islamic world, (with the help of the Islamic 'messianic' Mahdi), then - the leader of the entire world!
> Recent developments in war torn Syria may affect the timing of Iran's efforts to replace Israel - so it may delay their desired plans for Israel.

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A DIFFERENT HEAVENLY'SUPREME LEADER' WILL WIN THE HEARTS OF EVEN MORE IRANIANS THAN AT PRESENT. [Thousands of Iranians are now able to read a new, life-changing Farsi Translation of the Bible!]
However we know from Scripture, that Iran will NOT succeed against Israel, because God's actions on behalf of Israel and then King Jesus/ Yeshua will be enthroned in the hearts of the People of Iran, some years from now.
 [Jer. 49: 38 & 39] God, Himself will win the wars in the M.E!

However by other Scriptures [like Ezekiel 38: 8,11 & 14] it will NOT happen yet!
ADONAI says: "I will set My Throne in Iran and destroy her 'Leaders' and officials.  I will restore the fortunes of Iran in days to come." It is 30+ years since the first part of this prophecy has happened, so it could be a few more years before the second part in verses 38 & 39, - in Jeremiah 49 actually happen, but they WILL!
May God give us patient FAITH to believe, pray and praise for that.

Briefly we note, [~see our other studies about Iran and Israel] we believe - IRAN will be given a leadership role of being "a blessing on the Earth, [along with] "Egypt My people, Assyria My handiwork" - [which included Iran in Bible times] - and Israel, My inheritance."
This is clearly stated in Isaiah 19: 23 - 25!

Talk about miracles? That sure will be a big one!
 [If you love Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt and nations of the M.E
~ please be encouraged.]

Satan is behind events now, as in Esther's day, but God is in control ~ yet we must never forget The GOD of Heaven, the Sovereign LORD, ADONAI, chooses ~ people, ~ and uses their sacrificial, prayerful obedience!
Can He use you and me to PRAY His Word into reality?

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>> STUDY 2. THE PRESENT SITUATI0N FOR ISRAEL IN RELATION TO IRAN.
From Ezekiel 38, it is clear that a KEY part of Endtime world events - is for Israel to finally have a time of (false) peace and security for a few years!
 [Here are the actual verses from Ezekiel 38, noting verses, 8, 11, and 14!]
"This is what the Sovereign LORD says: [8] '... in future years you [Islam] will invade a Land [Israel] that has recovered from war... now all of them live in safety.' [11] 'I will attack a peaceful and unsuspecting people - all of them living without walls...'  [14] 'In that day when My people are living in safety'... 'Will you not take notice of it'?"

FOR this reason, we believe that a more immediate war, or disaster will 'defang' Iran, putting their immediate plans on hold, so that Israel can have a time of feeling secure and even at peace.
However, clearly ~ Israel is not likely to have security while Iran is strong.

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ATTACK ON IRAN? Israel is 1,600Km from Iran, (over Iraq/ Jordan) in a straight line.
 (But Egypt reported USA and Israel have been plotting routes to attack Iran - possibly from ships in the Gulf?) USA is torn between wanting to stop Israel from taking 'unilateral action' against Iran by Israel alone, or USA assisting in destroying Iran's nuclear capability in a judicious attack using weapons designed for this. There is no doubt the cost will be HUGE!

BUT STOP PRESS!
Think about these words, - in only one verse in the same chapter given above: Jeremiah 49: 37!
God says He will " 'shatter' * Iran before their foes... I will bring disaster * upon them, even My fierce anger' declares the LORD. I will pursue them with the sword... and destroy 'her king and officials'... declares ADONAI".
[Swords = weapons in 21st C].
Maybe God will allow Israel to use her 'swords' ~ plus God's 'natural' disasters *?

A NOTE about words used by God.
1. 'Disasters' in Iran. Since 1991 ~ 53,000 have died in 4 big Earthquakes; one in Bam in 1990 when 35,000 died and 70% of homes were destroyed. In 2003, 26,000 died, and more in recent years.
Iran
has almost daily tremors, it seems. (Perhaps God will use another Earthquake - as He used the words * 'shatter' and 'disaster' in Jer. 49:37!)
But let us PRAY for 1,000s of Christians and innocent people!

2. 'War' - ('pursue with the sword')- could be what the prophecy indicates - from either Israel or US, but it could be Middle-East-wide, causing great destruction and death with Iran's 'proxies' also involved. Hamas, Hizballah, and Syria are sure to be involved using the huge number of weapons supplied (and even manned) by Iran's men.
Syria is already in debt to Iran for help in their 2011- 2013 internal war.

3. "MY fierce anger" - 'Hatred' of Israel is a serious 'disease' among almost all of the 57 Islamic nations, and sadly even other non-Muslim, - once Christian nations, are critical of Israel, acting in a negative way, like the Boycott, Divestment Sanctions organisation. [B.D.S] This will cost them dearly one day.
> USA may try to protect some nations like Saudi Arabia and Jordan, and recently they have supplied modern equipment to them, and some Gulf States.
>
Obama may reluctantly, even supply weapons to Sunni "Rebels" in Syria.

Any attacks on Israel, by Hizballah in Lebanon, Hamas from Gaza, or Syria could be serious, as Syria has sworn to "give Israel - whatever Israel 'gives' Syria or Iran." Russia is giving Syria weapons, and money 'big time'. Iranian soldiers, etc are already stationed in Syria, and now Shi'ite Lebanese Hizballah are there too. Even Iraq is hosting Shi'ite Iranian forces.

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STUDY 3 - WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO DAMASCUS?

 Isaiah 17:1 about Damascus is another Scripture prophecy written 2,600 years ago, about the oldest city in the world!
> It is
regarding the total destruction of Damascus [which is already happening due to vicious fighting.] This city, which was given the title of  "Arab Capital of Culture" and also named as a 'World Heritage Centre', (but needing protection.)
> Isaiah wrote:
"An oracle concerning Damascus: See, Damascus will no longer be a City, but will become a heap of ruins."

>
How this will happen only GOD knows.
>
Israel is a possible candidate, and could win both FEAR from other nations, (to give them the promised security and false 'peace'), but the price would be International ISOLATION. Yet again, Scripture indicates that is what GOD will allow, as He so longs for them to TRUST HIM! "A Nation in safety ~alone" - Moshe said in Deut. 33: 28! He is their Eternal God as verses 26 & 27 explain.
So this is a serious issue for all concerned in Israel, and needing Wise Leaders... and our urgent prayers.

5. Other nations like Russia and China are involved.
Russia is trying to walk a fine line of being recognised as a 'World Power' by the West, and yet pleasing the Muslim world of 57 Nations. A frightening development regarding China (that also has the same two goals) - will agree to with-hold their UN Security Council veto vote - and so allow a USA plan to increase 'Sanctions" to hurt Iran (with the hope Iran will not continue to build a nuclear bomb) - only if USA will agree - not to vote against other sanctions against Israel - (to limit and hurt) ISRAEL by putting pressure on them to give in to Muslim/ US demands regarding a Palestinian State!
This is another aspect of Zech 12. 3 of nations injured ~ by hurting Israel.

6. USA is reluctant to be involved. -
. Ever since 2010 USA is trying hard to stop Israel "acting unilaterally" (by themselves) but this writer believes that one day this [acting alone] is what God will use, to show His great goodness to Israel.
Other M.E. Nations are apprehensive ~ but those that are Sunni's (Jordan, S. Arabia) may support Israel if they attack Iran ~ (in a secret way?)
They themselves fear a take over by Iran/ Shi'ittes.
The tensions between Shi'ite Iran and Sunnis in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan - not to mention Taliban and the Al Qaeda factions is great!

7. It appears that whether sanctions work or (more likely) a military episode limits Iran, either scenario would ultimately lead to a time of 'false' peace for Israel, (that God has foretold) and some M.E. nations would benefit.
Israel cannot have security, while Iran is as powerful as at present.

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FINALLY: SCRIPTURALLY ~ TODAY'S EVENTS ARE ALL ABOUT ~ BRINGING 'JEWISH ISRAEL' TO BE GOD'S PEOPLE THROUGH ACCEPTING GOD'S MESSIAH.

In other words ~ all these events are really leading up to the Ezekiel 'Magog war' ~ in a few years from now. * See Ezekiel 36 - 39 for more background information or ask for our Study on 'Gog & Magog'.

HOWEVER supreme above all ~ is GOD'S desire for many more people, in the Middle East,
 And all over the world ~ to know Him as Savior from sin, through Jesus/ Yeshua, Who will then ensure they reach the true Heaven one day!
And Scripturally it will be through Israel's deliverance from the Islamic 'Magog Army'.
There is a phrase used over 40 times in the book of Ezekiel:
"Then the world will know that I Am ADONAI ~ the Sovereign God"

We believe God will vindicate Israel, and demote Iran in the eyes of the world, until they become part of the 'Magog War' - Eze. 38: 5, (as they are listed 1st in the nations under the leadership of Russia!) This would be a humbling role for Iran, even if they then become the main part of the 'Magog Army' (under a Russian 'Gog') to eliminate Israel! This is why we believe that the Jeremiah 49:37 event is next, and some 2-3 years before the Ezekiel 38 & 39 scenario.

It is now clear: God wants Israel to have 'peace' - but it cannot, while Iran has so much power - esp. over Israel's neighbours...
> Therefore an attack on Iran could be the next serious event in the M.E. -
this year or next.
> Military 'experts' have been working out a 'simulation' of an attack on Iran and think it could last 8 days, or so.
>
Possibly 1,000's would die in Iran and other parts of the M.E ~ but where thousands have already turned to Jesus as Saviour! God is reaching out to more people each day, through the Internet, radio and T.V. [See note #1 at end of this.] Our Part is to PRAY for all - NOW.
On the other hand Israel, (like no other nation) goes to enormous effort to limit Civilian deaths in a war.
It would be worth watching and praying, then we also need to keep our eyes on God's Word, the Bible!

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You can read more from one of our 'Endtime Time Line' articles', or articles on our web site if you have the Internet, www.watchmanspost.com/
For us ~ our part is to stand true to God's Word and pray urgently for all God's people in the Middle East as we've said, and try to do ourselves.

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EXTRA NOTES

1. You can read about an Iranian Persian Christian Preacher, Hormoz Shariat at http://www.iranaliveministries.org/ where you can find out and all that is happening there right now. God has been preparing over the last 30+ years for these events. It is most exciting - please see it!

2. God is also reaching out to Arab Muslim people right now!
If you have not already heard about the son of a top Hamas leader who has come to Jesus, please look at www.flashtrafficblog.wordpress.com ~ Joel Rosenberg's report of meeting Mosab Hassan Yousef. You can also find out a lot about him by putting his name in Google. His story is now in a book, and through the world (even Jewish) media. - He could influence many Arabs and other Muslims to investigate Christian teaching and turn to Jesus!

This is our prayer. Please show this article to your Christian or M.E. friends.
We will try to update it as the situation develops.

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