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Behold: The Prince of Persia. . . the War in Iran has begun!
DÉJÀ VU (Where have I heard this before?)
(Note: May I warn you from the outset . . . this treatise may commence with the levitas of “secular” indiscretions, comments and analysis . . . but it will culminate with relevant theological gravitas . . . bear with me; and, oddly enough, the article actually “hangs together”)
“President Bush had signed a covert finding in late spring 2002, which authorized the CIA and US Special Operations forces to dispatch clandestine units into Iraq for the purpose of removing Saddam Hussein from power. The fact is that the Iraq war had begun by the beginning of summer 2002, if not earlier . . . as was the case with Iraq pre-March 2003, the Bush administration today speaks of ‘diplomacy’ and a desire for a ‘peaceful’ resolution to the Iranian question. But the facts speak of another agenda, that of war and the forceful removal of the theocratic regime, currently wielding the reigns of power in Tehran . . . as with Iraq, the president has paved the way for the conditioning of the American public and an all-too-compliant media to accept at face value the merits of a regime change policy regarding Iran, linking the regime of the Mullah's to an ‘axis of evil’ (together with the newly ‘liberated’ Iraq and North Korea), and speaking of the absolute requirement for the spread of ‘democracy’ to the Iranian people. (Scott Ritter, July 2005, RENSE.COM)
History tends to repeat itself. Yes, but this fast? Yes, again! Scott Ritter, beloved voice of the Left for his criticisms of the War in Iraq, is a former intelligence officer for the United States Marine Corps (where he served as the lead analyst for the Marine Corps Rapid Deployment Force concerning the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the Iran-Iraq War). Also, this “Army of One” was the key coordinator for the implementation of UNSC (United Nations Security Council) resolutions mandating the elimination of Iraqi WMD.
So . . . BAM! Ritter gets top billing in Aljazeera for his prophetic outbursts by likening Bush’s pre-invasion tactics of Iraq with what’s happening now in Iran. Indeed, the parallels are staggering and overwhelmingly convincing, even to the God bless America crowd—who, unfortunately, demand that the present conflict be expanded to include the entire “Axis of Evil” (along with a few lesser-rans like Syria and the rest of those mad bombers running around loose out there). They need to be hunted down and democratized, so the Free World can get on with globalization, along with unhindered economic growth in the USA.
Nothing, absolutely nothing, can stop the cheap money pouring into the US economy (and, ipso facto, the accelerated/unimaginable skyrocketing prices found in the US housing market today) from central banks, all to willing to finance the national debt in order to keep Americans buying their cheap products.
The foreign purchase of US bonds, in order to finance our nearly $8 Trillion Trade Deficit (now outpacing our National Debt (also $8 Trillion) by nearly twice as fast), places uninhibited pressure upon lenders and mortgage companies to keep interest rates artificially low, which in turn directly exacerbate the already inflated housing market driving the current “economic boom/bubble.”
One must ponder the intoxicating influences of that Great City prophesied in Scripture with a new understanding of what it means to be addicted to alcohol—talk about going on a bender (i.e., a massive drunken spree), with absolutely no desire for a 12 Step or “Wagon” experience!
“For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich through the abundance of her luxury” (Revelation 18:3).
Of course, all this apocalyptic hyperbole, according to our what-me-worry Preterist buds, took place years ago (like 1900 years ago) around 100 A.D. . . . . So, who cares about Bible prophecy anyway, right? After all, who wants to live in an encumbered future full of doom and gloom and “Ritter rhetoric” that smacks of “American hate speak” and, furthermore, borders (no, it actually is) malignant, traitorous propaganda. Alas! Ritter has become the replacement for Baghdad Bob; you know, that clown featured on news channels for his “all is love and oneness” remarks when all “Western hell” was breaking lose (now, come on, you lefties had to laugh at that character). His believability ratings were off the chart: “That wasn’t Saddam you guys captured, it was Santa Claus!”
THIS IS NO JOKING MATTER
O.K. Let’s get serious about this business of world conquest by democratization on a scale heretofore not seen since ancient Rome. The evidence mounts daily on US intentions (let alone Israeli intentions) regarding Iran’s pending demise (a.k.a., “regime change possibilities”). Most Americans have no idea, thanks to the complicity of the corporate media (and that’s not a cliché . . . check out this website next time (and excuse my purposeful digression), you’ll be glad you used a Westinghouse toaster while you’re watching TV; to wit:
“In 2004, Bagdikian's revised and expanded book, The New Media Monopoly, shows that only 5 huge corporations -- Time Warner, Disney, Murdoch's News Corporation, Bertelsmann of Germany, and Viacom (formerly CBS) -- now control most of the media industry in the U.S. General Electric’s NBC is a close sixth.” (See: http://www.corporations.org/media/ )
Pilotless drones scour the airspace above Iran, while the CIA-backed Mujahadeen el-Khalq, or MEK, an Iranian opposition group, once run by Saddam Hussein’s dreaded intelligence services, but now working exclusively for the CIA’s Directorate of Operations, pans out across Iran—a bombing here, a bombing there, man, we could be talking about a real bombing campaign here pretty soon.
And, of course, Bush/Rice continue to bash the Iranian efforts at “free elections” – naturally, the hardliners have rigged the whole smear, so what else is news. Meanwhile, a huge US military buildup continues unabated in, naturally, you guessed it: Just due north of Teheran, Iran: Azerbaijan (former Soviet bastion of infiltration and headaches for Persia’s Shah). Good night, read the entire link and weep (for “joy” if you’re a crusader; for “grief” if you’re an Islamic bureaucrat), and “you ain’t seen nothin’ yet!”
“Three air ‘lily pad’ bases in central Azerbaijan -- Kurdamir, Nasosnyy and Gyulakh -- which used to be Soviet air bases. Kurdamir was a strategic base, with Tu-22M ‘Backfire’ bombers located there. The base's upgrade, including its runway, already is completed, local sources say. This means the air base can receive U.S. strategic bombers or other heavy air transport. The Nasosnyy base used to host Soviet heavy transport Il-76es for Soviet airborne forces and other troops. With the Nasosnyy upgrade soon to be completed, U.S. strategic transport planes should be able to use it too, making the air base a major point in the Caspian air corridor from Western Europe to the Caucasus and Central Asia, where U.S. troops and aircraft are located. Initially, the United States probably will deploy some special operations forces aircraft, military transport planes, air surveillance and other spy planes (including drones) and perhaps F-16s.”
Of course, Donald Rumsfeld’s visits to the locals in Azerbaijan (be it ever so innocuous) normally portends an extension of Democratic Globalism nearby and/or a continued presence in the region guaranteeing abundant oil flows from the just opened Caspian oil pipeline, and perhaps, a little from Iran “on the side.”
Likewise, if Turkey doesn’t play ball with us, we can simply do one of two things: (1) Extend the pipeline directly through Georgia to the Black Sea and on to Europe (we figured that one out a long time ago); or (2) in general, make things miserable for the Turks! In our other articles we’ve presented a powerful case for the Islamic Turks to throw their weight behind Iran and Syria . . . you’ll have to go to those chapters in The Gog-Magog Scenario.
WHAT’S THEOLOGY GOT TO DO WITH RUMSFELD, RITTER, AND IRAN?
Not surprisingly, a whole lot, according to Thetribnet (us, of course); but little or nothing according to the otherwise brilliant evangelical eschatologist and New Age basher, Dave Hunt. You see, Brother Hunt sees nothing in the current possibilities of a Gog-Magog confrontation, lumping, as he does, the entire “initial prospects for conflict in the Middle East” into the final conflict itself: Armageddon. Consequently, all this sound and fury in the Middle East (although fun speculation making for great book sales: Judgment Day, Israel, Islam, and the Nations) is a whole long ways off (at least seven years) signifies nothing . . . besides, we’ll be “outta here”—especially us American Christians (because there’s so many of us righteous ones) and that will leave room for America’s economic collapse, and the revelation of the Antichrist from a resuscitated European Union). Hey, these guys actually believe this.
There you go again—meaningless eschatological food fights amongst otherwise nice people (they just are a little nuts when it comes to forecasting the future). Folks, bear with us. We do appreciate the absolute brilliance enunciated by one Dave Hunt and for his valiant synthesis of the occult incursions into the Church and of Rome’s pervasive influences to catapult ecumenism into the immediate present wherein Antichrist will have more than a firm base of support to inflict his dastardly script upon unsuspecting earthlings.
However, when it comes to this nuance (and we’ll get into why such “nuances” are paramount in how we live our lives today); i.e., the difference (yea, blatant distinction) between the Gog-Magog conflict and the horrific descriptions of the entire Armageddon Campaign (i.e., the FINAL conflict), we affirm the blurring of that distinction is tantamount to discrediting (seriously discarding) the very Biblical literalism we know he holds dear. In sum (as you see below) Hunt has cavalierly discarded all such differentiations as trivial and disproportionate to their theological value—i.e., there’s but one end of the age conflict and we, as Pretribulationists, have naught to concern ourselves, because we’re not part of the “Left Behind” crowd in any event: Sorry guys, we’ve been raptured from the final conflict—you’ll have to endure the Great Tribulation yourselves!
Quoting from Hunt’s 1995, “A Cup of Trembling . . . Jerusalem and Bible Prophecy” . . .
“It is true that there has been some unwarranted speculation and even sensationalism in attempts to apply apocalyptic prophecies. That fact, however, does not warrant throwing these prophecies out, but instead calls for care in interpreting them. Ezekiel 38 and 39 list certain leaders, peoples, and nations that will be involved in the future attack upon Israel. ‘Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya’ are specifically named. Others are not so easily identified: ‘Gog, the land of Magog . . . Meshech and Tubal . . . Gomer, and Togarmah of the north’ (38:5, 2, 6). Some prophecy writers have allegedly traced these names and peoples to Russia and northern Europeans. It is difficult, however, to verify the accuracy of such claims, and it is not necessary.
“There is no reason to believe that Ezekiel’s listing is intended to name each and every nation that will be involved in the last-days attack upon Israel. Moreover, we find ‘Gog and Magog’ mentioned again in Revelation 20:8, representing all nations on earth coming against Jerusalem and Christ at the end of millennium. Clearly that final battle is not the one mentioned in Ezekiel 38 and 39. If ‘Gog and Magog’ represent all nations in Revelation, then we may assume that the same is true in Ezekiel (monster conjecture on Hunt’s part here). There are two battles involving all nations: Armageddon just preceding and the battle in Revelation 20 at the end of Christ’s 1000-year reign. This is only one of several reasons for concluding that Ezekiel 38 and 39 refer to Armageddon and not to some earlier World War III” (pp. 414-415, Dave Hunt, “Cup of Trembling”).
It is baffling to me that Hunt’s Biblical literalism appears to be convenient only when it fits his presuppositions—in this case there are but two future conflicts of Biblical magnitude: Armageddon (a.k.a., Gog-Magog) and the final postmillennial Gog-Magog conflagration. The incredible specificity of Ezekiel’s constellation of nations in the initial Gog-Magog outburst is unparalleled in Scripture. What is even more incredible—notwithstanding turn-of-the-century Premillenarian hype regarding Russia’s identification with Gog-Magog—the current alignment of nations in Ezekiel 38 and 39 virtually fits the immediate contestation between the world’s super power, the USA, and the configuration of antagonists in the Middle East.
Likewise, those Middle Eastern nations either leaning toward US approbation or in its hip pocket (i.e., providing unwavering support due to military occupation and/or economic contrivance) provide ample evidence to prophetic fulfillment. A short list is too convincing (modern and Biblical names given):
FOR OR LEANING TOWARD USA (i.e., the West’s leadership; a.k.a., “Ships of Tarshish”)
Saudi Arabia (Dedan; includes Gulf States)
ANTAGONISTS (Not Mentioned in Ezekiel 38 and 39; but removed “somehow” …see Isaiah 17 and 18)
ANTAGONISTS MENTIONED ALIGNED WITH GOG (i.e., MAGOG) and THE KING OF THE SOUTH (Daniel 11:40-45)
King of the North/Gog:
King of the South:
Egypt (“US Ally” in name only)
Hunt’s complete omission of Daniel 11:40-45 (and the subsequent confrontations of major import wrought therein) is especially glaring. Robert Duncan Culver’s classic, “Daniel and the Latter Days,” conclusively substantiates the rise, exploits, warfare pursuits (prior to Armageddon and within the Middle East) of the Willful King found in Daniel 11:36-45:
“My own opinion (following the majority of recent Premillennial commentators) is that the prediction relates to Antiochus from verse 21 (of Daniel 11) to verse 35, but that beginning with 36, Antichrist (i.e., the leader of the Gentile World Power of Western Civilization; my comments), by the designation of ‘the king who shall do according to his will,’ is the theme of the prophecy, to the close of chapter 11. With the view mentioned above, that Antiochus is described in verses 21-35, and that the history detailed is typical of Antichrist’s future career, I have no quarrel. Yet I do contend that verses 36-45 are directly predictive of the career of Antichrist and of him alone.” (p. 164, Culver, “Daniel and the Latter Days”)
Culver (Theologian of the Evangelical Free Church) commences a through investigation of the exploits of Antichrist as seen in Daniel 11:36 on—listing no less than six definitive expositions of this Willful King. Highlighting his commentary are several sections which expound upon this unique figure that validates the DIFFERENCE between the Gog-Magog War (i.e., the immediate exploits of the Willful King in the Middle East) and the so-called Battle of Armageddon at the close of Daniel’s 70th Week:
From section (2), p. 165:
“The correspondence of the predictions of chapter 11 with now past history breaks down at the end of verse 35. I mean to say that if verses 36-45 were intended to refer to Antiochus, the last great Seleucid (Greek) king, then the author appears to be guilty of introducing error into the Scripture. There is nothing known in history which corresponds to the prediction of Daniel 11:36-45. Evidence of this is the utter confusion in the commentaries of those who insist that Antiochus is the chief figure down to the end of the chapter.”
Thus, Culver accentuates the personification of Antichrist as a latter day figure, juxtaposed to the mercurial prototype of Antichrist seen in Antiochus IV Epiphanes, the Greek Seleucid who attempted to Hellenize the Jews during the Maccabean Era (Daniel 11:1-35).
Culver explores this end-time’s figure extensively in section (4) pp. 165-166:
“This predictive section (i.e., Daniel 11:36-45) corresponds so precisely with other unquestionable predictions of Antichrist that the identity of the reference can hardly be doubted. Leupold, Young, and Keil of the Amillennial School as well as most of the premillennial writers agree in this. The behavior of the ‘little horn’ of chapter seven, the ‘man of sin’ of II Thessalonians and of ‘the beast’ of Revelation 13 is so strikingly similar that on this basis of correspondence alone a strong case could be built. This king not only does according to his will, but he ‘shall speak marvelous things against the God of gods’ (11:36), just as John reveals (Rev. 13:36) of ‘the beast.’ He also ‘shall magnify himself above all (11:37), just as Paul says of the man of sin (II Thess. 2:3 ff.). He meets his end at the end of ‘the indignation’ (11:36, 45) and that in an unusual manner, just as Revelation 19:20 says the ‘beast’ will come to his end. Each one of these features is found, as indicated above, also in chapter 7 (of Daniel) in relation to the ‘little horn.’”
Please do not be distracted by this rather elaborate theological contestation. It unequivocally necessitates an explanation as to Daniel’s amplification of the passages found in Ezekiel 38 and 39 (Ezekiel preceded Daniel’s exile into Babylonian captivity; and, therefore, expands upon the revelations found in his text.). Furthermore, the Willful King’s initial subjugation of both the King of the North and the King of the South demands an explanation—because its exploitive episode is of obvious magnitude (i.e., Gog-Magog!). Those who insist that the Willful King is Antiochus IV Epiphanes or another “time of the end” Seleucid monarch, confusing the antecedents of the “he” and the “him” in the text (Daniel 11:40, in particular), strain at extending the character (i.e., King of the North) throughout the entire chapter, neglecting the preponderance of evidence to the contrary.
Culver’s ultimate conclusion is noteworthy with respect to the sequence of events at the commencement and conclusion of Daniel’s 70th Week; to wit, (6):
“The conclusive and decisive evidence for an eschatological setting of the prophecy of the willful king (Dan. 11:36-45) is (as noted in passage above) the phrase at the opening of chapter 12 (of Daniel). This phrase is, ‘And at that time.’ Then follows a listing of three of the most important events of eschatology—the great tribulation of Israel, the resurrection of the dead, and the final reward of the righteous. It is unquestionably true that if the career of the willful king, and his conflicts with the king of the south and the king of the north, are at the time of these things, then he is none other than the final Antichrist.” (My emphasis.)
The point to be made here in Culver’s declarations that Daniel 11:36-45 speaks of a future Antichrist at the close of this age, is simply this:
Please see remainder of article at: http://www.the-tribulation-network.com
Doug is a member of the "Last Days Network"... a group of evangelical pundits providing news and analysis on Religion in Politics. "Applied Biblical prophecy," apostasy and deception, the impact of the New American World System, and the influences of the Religious Right and Left upon American culture, are topics discuss by the group. He is an educator based in Northern California; his articles appear on numerous blogs throughout the nation and the world.
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