LAST DAYS PERSECUTED CHURCH

Listen to what this pastor in Iran said: “In the east, hearing God’s voice is absolutely crucial. Being led by the Spirit is the difference between life and death. We can not afford to get away with the sins that so easily entangle. The disciple-making lifestyle accelerates your maturity in God. You must have an active relationship with God. You must pray and remain in prayer. You must be in the Word. This is the only way forward in the days ahead – total absolute reliance on God.

 Loving your enemies is unnatural, but you can only do that if you are seeing with spiritual eyes. Natural eyes tell us to stand and fight against oppression…but what if oppression brings harvest and grows the church? That’s our tension.”

Moves of God happen in the most desperate places, and right now, Iran is one of those places. The political upheaval, economic distress, resource scarcity, social unrest, and religious persecution are creating a perfect storm for the Gospel to spread like wildfire inside Iran.     

Just as these Iranian Christians have discovered, being sold out to God is what will be required to live the Christian life in the prophesied “last days” before Jesus returns. In the west, since Gay Marriage and LGBTQ issues are now law Christians are coming under increasing persecution and this will only intensify.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.Hebrews 12:1-2

WHAT IS NEXT ON GOD’S AGENDA FOR THE MIDDLE EAST NATIONS?

Iranian TV Report about IRGC Navy’s new Martyr Soleimani Patrol Ship with Anti-Aircraft capabilities.

Iran claims it’s one of only three countries in the world to have a vessel of this type.

The report featured a brief interview with IRGC Navy Commander Admiral Alireza Tangsiri, and it said that the Martyr Soleimani has a helicopter pad and classified defense systems that include vertically-launched anti-aircraft missiles, enabling the vessel to provide anti-air cover for missile-bearing speedboats.

The report compared the Martyr Soleimani to trimaran boats used by the U.S. Navy, and it said that Iran is one of only three countries in the world to have a vessel of this type. In addition, the reporter said that the Martyr Soleimani has been deployed with the IRGC Navy’s southern fleet and that U.S. CENTCOM has admitted that Iran has air superiority in the Persian Gulf and that this makes Iran the “ultimate power in the region.”

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) officials declared that they are unsure Iran’s nuclear program is ‘exclusively peaceful’ after Tehran refused to answer requests for details on nuclear material at three undeclared sites. Agence France-Presse (AFP).

The Bible reveals a great deal about the nations that will be ruling in the last days before Jesus returns. One of the nations is Iran. In Daniel 8, Iran is the Ram that seeks to establish itself as the leader of the Muslim middle east nations. Iran has certainly been doing that, particularly with its proxies. There has been an increase in the size and capabilities of militias supported by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps-Quds Force (Iran’s paramilitary organization responsible for foreign operations) in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Yemen collectively. Iran is working to establish a land bridge across the region.

Harakat Hezbollah al Nujaba, an Iraqi militia trained by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards

What we should be watching for next is Turkey (Sunni) the Goat of Daniel 8 to come against Iran (Shiite) and exert its dominance, in its efforts to reestablish its previous glory as the Ottoman Empire. It must be remembered that 85 to 90% of Muslims are Sunni and it is important to recognize that the rise of Turkey as a global power does harmonize with Bible prophecies related to what will take place in the Middle East before the return of Yeshua. In Ezekiel 38-39 Ezekiel specifically predicted that Turkey would become one of the primary geopolitical enemies of Israel in the last days. Gog is the “chief (rosh) prince (nasi) of Meshech and Tubal” as found in the ESV, NIV, HCSB, TLV and JPS translations of the Bible. In Ezekiel’s day, Magog, Meshech and Tubal were all located in what is now modern Turkey.

And the ram (Iran) had no power to stand before him (Goat/Turkey), but he cast him down to the ground and trampled on him. And there was no one who could rescue the ram from his power. Then the goat became exceedingly great, but when he was strong, the great horn was broken, and instead of it there came up four conspicuous horns toward the four winds of heaven.Daniel 8:7-8

Note the revived Ottoman Empire does not survive long. It is broken up into four entities out of which the Antichrist ( the Little Horn of Daniel 8) emerges. The One World government that is birthed by the World Economic Forum, the United Nations, and the E.U will not countenance a revived Ottoman Empire.

Then the goat became exceedingly great, but when he was strong, the great horn was broken, and instead of it there came up four conspicuous horns toward the four winds of heaven. Out of one of them came a little horn, which grew exceedingly great toward the south, toward the east, and toward the glorious land.Daniel 8:8-9

We are blessed to know that God is in control of not only current events but of the future events that will unfold exactly as revealed in the many “end times” Biblical prophecies.

LAST DAYS WARS AND RUMOURS OF WARS

In a stunning rout, the Taliban seized nearly all of Afghanistan in just over a week, despite the billions of dollars spent by the U.S. and NATO over nearly two decades to build up Afghan security forces. Just days earlier, an American military assessment estimated it would be a month before the capital would come under insurgent pressure.

Afghan president flees country as Taliban move into Kabul
Taliban fighters take control of Afghan presidential palace in Kabul after President Ashraf Ghani fled the country, Aug. 15, 2021.

The fall of Kabul marks the final chapter of America’s longest war, which began after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks masterminded by al-Qaida’s Osama bin Laden, then harboured by the Taliban government. A U.S.-led invasion dislodged the Taliban and beat them back, though America lost focus on the conflict in the chaos of the Iraq War.

As the insurgents closed in Sunday, President Ashraf Ghani flew out of the country. Ghani later posted on Facebook that he had chosen to leave the country to avert bloodshed in the capital, without saying where he had gone.

The Taliban is a predominantly Pashtun, Islamic fundamentalist group that ruled Afghanistan from 1996 until 2001, when a U.S.-led invasion toppled the regime for providing refuge to al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden. The Taliban regrouped across the border in Pakistan and has led an insurgency against the U.S.-backed government in Kabul for nearly twenty years.

There is little doubt that many Afghans who initially joined the movement were educated in madrassas (religious schools) in Pakistan. Pakistan was also one of only three countries, along with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which recognised the Taliban when they were in power in Afghanistan.

On Monday, August 23rd, Prime Minister Imran Khan praised Afghans for “breaking the shackles of slavery”. On social media, retired generals and other Taliban boosters hailed the triumph of Islam.

Exultant Pakistanis shared a video clip from 2014 featuring Hamid Gul, a former head of the army’s spy agency, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).

When history is written, it will be stated that the ISI defeated the Soviet Union in Afghanistan with the help of America,” Gul says to a fawning TV studio audience. “Then there will be another sentence. The ISI, with the help of America, defeated America.”

It must be remembered that between 2002 and 2018, the US government gave Pakistan more than $33 billion in assistance, including about $14.6 billion in so-called Coalition Support Funds paid by the Pentagon to the Pakistani military. During the same period, Pakistan ensured the failure of America’s Afghanistan project by surreptitiously sheltering, arming and training the Taliban. One would think the Americans would have got the message when in 2011 US Navy SEALs killed Osama bin Laden in a safe house next to Pakistan’s premier military academy. But successive administrations — Republican and Democratic — refused to take measures that could have forced Pakistan to rethink its support for the Taliban.

At least for now, the Taliban’s victory fulfils the Pakistani army’s decades-old quest to gain “strategic depth” by controlling Afghanistan. But this will not sate the generals; it will whet their appetite.

The symbolic significance of an army of zealots humbling the world’s sole superpower is hard to exaggerate. In the Pakistani army it will strengthen the hand of those who view Afghanistan not merely in geopolitical terms, but as the fulfilment of a religious project rooted in an extreme interpretation of Islam that shuns all Western influence.

The same holds true in Pakistani society at large. If music-hating, anti-Western, anti-Shiite misogynists can seize power in Kabul, why can’t they do the same in Islamabad? At least one homegrown Pakistani jihadist group, the Tehreek-e-Taliban, is comprised of fighters already at odds with the Pakistani government.

In a phone interview from Islamabad, Afrasiab Khattak, a former Pakistani senator and Pashtun-rights activist, points out that Pakistan houses some 36,000 madrassas, or religious seminaries, some of which are militant. “The same places producing the Taliban are producing similar people in Pakistan,” he says. “They will contest for power in Pakistan too.”

In early 2009, when Afghan President Hamid Karzai pressed Vice President-elect Joe Biden to crack down on Taliban safe havens across the border, Mr Biden reportedly rebuffed him by pointing out that “Pakistan is 50 times more important than Afghanistan for the United States.” As president, Mr Biden may have ensured that Pakistan is 50 times more dangerous to the US and the world as well.

Watch as Bible prophecy plays out in the Middle East. The next big power play will come from Turkey (Sunni) in an effort to rebuild an Ottoman Empire. It will not tolerate Iran (Shiite) exerting its influence with proxies. Iran has built a network of proxies across the Middle East. At of beginning of 2020, Tehran had allies among more than a dozen major militias, some with their own political parties, that challenged local and neighbouring governments. Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and the elite Qods Force provided arms, training and financial support to militias and political movements in at least six countries: Bahrain, Iraq, Lebanon, the Palestinian Territories, Syria and Yemen.

Iran Proxy and Sanctions Map Dec 2020
“I saw the ram (Iran) charging westward and northward and southward. No beast could stand before him, and there was no one who could rescue from his power. He did as he pleased and became great.” Daniel 8:4

Turkey (Goat) in this next prophecy overcomes Iran (Ram) in its effort to re-establish its Ottoman Empire. It must be remembered that at least 80% of Pakistan’s Muslims are Sunni so it will support Turkey.

As I was considering, behold, a male goat (Turkey) came from the west across the face of the whole earth, without touching the ground. And the goat had a conspicuous horn between his eyes. He came to the ram (Iran) with the two horns, which I had seen standing on the bank of the canal, and he ran at him in his powerful wrath. I saw him come close to the ram, and he was enraged against him and struck the ram and broke his two horns. And the ram had no power to stand before him, but he cast him down to the ground and trampled on him. And there was no one who could rescue the ram from his power.Daniel 8:5-7

Bible prophecy then reveals that the re-established Ottoman Empire is short lived. It is broken up by the super powers into four and it is out of the four that the Little Horn (Antichrist) emerges.

Then the goat became exceedingly great, but when he was strong, the great horn was broken, and instead of it there came up four conspicuous horns toward the four winds of heaven.
Out of one of them came a little horn (Antichrist), which grew exceedingly great toward the south, toward the east, and toward the glorious land.
Daniel 8:8-9

10 YEARS IN PRISON FOR ESTABLISHING A HOUSE CHURCH

Nasser Navard Gol-Tapeh was convicted by an Iranian Court May 2017 to 10 years in prison on charges of “acting against national security through the formation and establishment of an illegal church organization in his home,” according to the Jubilee Campaign.

He has been in the notorious Evin Prison since January 2018 and had appealed his detainment and conviction, which was rejected.

Nasser has written open letters to the Iranian authorities, questioning his conviction.

“Would it even be possible for a committed Christian — who was born and raised in Iran and whose forefathers lived in this land for thousands of years, and who is a servant to the God who has called him to a ministry of reconciliation — to act against the national security of his own country?” he wrote in August 2018, according to World Watch Monitor.

“As the charges against me in my indictment states: ‘Action against national security through establishment of house churches,’ is the fellowship of a few Christian brothers and sisters in someone’s home, singing worship songs, reading the Bible and worshiping God acting against national security?” he continued.

“Isn’t it a clear violation of civil and human rights, and an absolute injustice, to receive [a] 10-year prison sentence just for organizing ‘house churches,’ which is a sanctuary sanctified as a place to praise and worship God due to closure of churches in Iran?”

Fortunately, Jesus told us that persecution of His children, Christians will increase in the “last days” before His return. Satan knows His end is near and is doing His utmost to take as many of the people God created in His image down with him. Note the strong warnings in the following Jesus prophecy, but also, that only when the Gospel of the Kingdom of God is proclaimed to all the world then the end will come. The Saints are taken up to heaven and then the wrath of God is poured out on an unrepentant world.

Only a Christian who knows his salvation is assured can smile and declare “I’m proud to be a Christian” before being put to death

Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” Matthew 24:9-14

THE RAM OF DANIEL 8 IS PUSHING WEST, NORTH AND SOUTH

One day after the United Nations Security Council voted in favor of lifting the arms embargo on Iran, the ruling mullahs unveiled a ballistic missile that reportedly can reach the United States.

Iran: ‘American soil is now within the range of Iranian bombs’

The headline of a report by Iran’s state-controlled Afkar News read in Farsi, “American Soil Is Now Within the Range of Iranian Bombs.” The report boasted about the damage that the Iranian regime could inflict on the U.S. By sending a military satellite into space, Iran now has shown that it can target all American territory; the Iranian parliament had previously warned [the U.S.] that an electromagnetic nuclear attack on the United States would likely kill 90 percent of Americans. The same type of ballistic missile technology used to launch the satellite could carry nuclear, chemical or even biological weapons to wipe Israel off the map, hit US bases and allies in the region and US facilities, and target NATO even in the far west of Europe.

For Iran’s ruling mullahs, compromises and appeasement means weakness. The more the international community gives the mullahs, the more the regime apparently feels empowered to pursue its malign behavior.

Iran is, according to the U.S. Department of State, “the world’s worst state sponsor of terrorism.”

End Times Biblical prophecy in Daniel 8 tells us that one of the major wars in the last days before the Antichrist appears on the world stage will be Iran (Ram of Daniel 8) will push west, north and south and this we see happening right now.

“I saw the ram pushing westward, and northward, and southward; and no beasts could stand before him, neither was there any that could deliver out of his hand; but he did according to his will, and magnified himself.” Daniel 8:4

Daniel 8 – Iran (Ram) pushing west, north and south.

 IRAQ: When the post-Saddam Iraq held the country’s first free elections in 2005, Shia parties, most of which had had long-standing relations with Iran, rose to power. Ever since, Iran’s influence in Iraq has only grown — first as a counter-force to the American occupation and then as a security provider to the Iraqi government.

LEBANON & SYRIA: Iran funded Hezbollah controls Lebanon and the deployment of Hezbollah foot-soldiers in Syria is ominous.

ISRAEL: Increasing attacks by the Iranian-funded Hamas into southern Israel.

YEMEN: Iran controlled Houthi are even launching rockets at civilian targets,

With billions of dollars of revenue pouring into the pockets of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), they are becoming more empowered and emboldened to pursue their revolutionary ideals of anti-Americanism and anti-Semitism and to become the leader of the Muslim nations in the Middle East.

Iran’s dominance in the Middle East will be short lived. Daniel 8 tells us what comes next. I will reveal that in a future post or better still you can go to Daniel 8 and check it out for yourself.

IRAN THREATENS TO ANNIHILATE ISRAEL

Head of Iranian army says his forces working to ensure collapse of Israel within 25 years; Hassan Nasrallah says his missiles can hit any target in Israel

Maj. Gen. Abdolrahim Mousavi, head of the Iranian Army. (Screen capture)

The threats from the Commander of Iran’s Army Major General Abdolrahim Mousavi come amid almost daily warnings of conflict from Tehran and Jerusalem, heightened by an alleged Israeli strike on an Iranian base in Syria earlier in the month.A day

“When the arrogant powers create a sanctuary for the Zionist regime to continue survival, we shouldn’t allow one day to be added to the ominous and illegitimate life of this regime,” Mousavi told a ceremony in Tehran on Saturday, April 21st, according to the Fars news agency. “The Army will move hand in hand with the Iran Revolutionary Guards Corps so that the arrogant system will collapse and the Zionist regime will be annihilated,” General Moussavi said.

He predicted this would take place within 25 years, a number frequently used by the Iranian leadership.

Speaking hours later Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah warned that the Lebanese terror group’s rockets could hit all of Israel.

A day earlier, Vice commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps, Hossein Salami, threatens Israel in an address in Tehran, Iran, April 20, 2018. (YouTube screenshot)

“Israel: Don’t trust in your airbases; they’re within reach,” Hossein Salami wrote on Twitter, also making similar comments in a fiery speech.

On Friday, the vice commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards warned Israel  that its airbases are “within reach,” in remarks apparently reacting to Israel’s publication on Tuesday of a map showing five Tehran-controlled bases in Syria.

Israel, said Salami, was living “in the dragon’s mouth.” Both northern and western Israel were “in the range of our missiles,” he threatened, in a speech given in Tehran.

“Wherever you are in the occupied land, you’ll be under fire from us, from east and west. You became arrogant. If there’s a war, the result will be your complete elimination,” he said.

“Your soldiers and civilians will flee, and you won’t survive. And you’ll have nowhere to run, except to fall into the sea.”

EZEKIEL 38 & 39 – Gog of Magog and  DANIEL 11: 40-45. Both Ezekiel and Daniel  give us a description of the last days invasion (Armageddon) of Israel led by the Antichrist (Gog) of Turkey (Magog). The five named nations (Muslim) involved in the Gog invasion are Persia (Iran), Cush (Ethiopia/Northern Sudan) and Put (Libya and other parts of Northern Africa). Gomer and Togarmah (modern-day Turkey) but they state “many” other nations will join them.

 

BE ENCOURAGED: HEAR WHAT GOD IS DOING IN THE MIDDLE EAST

Watch Joel Richardson interview Chris Mitchell, CNN Middle East Bureau Chief based in Jerusalem (16 years) on what is happening in the Middle East – ISIS, IRAN and ISRAEL. Chris has just released a new book: What you Need to Know about the Current Mideast Crisis and the Coming Mideast War.

Events are unfolding just as prophesied in God’s Word. The last reformation is underway in HIS church, make sure you are dead centre in God’s will for you in these last days.