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Iran, Russia And Israel

Commentary by Roger Oakland
www.understandthetimes.org

If you have never looked at a map of Israel, you should. Have your Bible in one hand and look for a number of the cities and towns that the Bible mentions – for example, Nazareth, Bethlehem and Jerusalem.

Now ask yourself, where did these names come from? Do these places have anything to do with the Jewish people? If you are wondering why I am asking these simple questions, I have a reason. Did you know there’s a trend in the world today to wipe Israel off the map and replace Israel with a Palestinian nation?

Consider the following article titled “UN Ceremony Includes Map of ‘Palestine’ In Place of Israel” published December 9, 2005. Here is how it begins:

The United Nations held a "Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People" last week. A large map of “Palestine,” with Israel literally wiped off the map, featured prominently in the festivities. The ceremony was held at the UN headquarters in New York and was attended by Secretary General Kofi Annan and the Presidents of the UN Security Council and the General Assembly. [1]               

Now, you should have picked up the significance as you read this statement. A meeting that was held at the United Nations, attended by the Secretary General of the United Nations to honor the Palestinian people, displayed a map of the Middle East - without Israel on the map.

But that is not all. There is more to indicate that UN officials knew exactly what they were doing. Quoting again from the article:

With the map hanging behind him, Secretary-General Annan addressed the public meeting at UN Headquarters. At the start of the ceremony, the dignitaries present asked attendees to observe a moment of silence. “I invite everyone present to rise and observe a minute of silence in memory of all those who have given their lives for the cause of the Palestinian people,” the master of ceremonies said. [2]

What was the purpose of wiping Israel off the map? Is this the direction the world is headed - a Middle East without Israel?

Iran, Russia and Israel

When I became a Christian over 25 years ago, I remember hearing Bible prophecy teachers talking about Iran, Israel and Russia with reference to a war in the Middle East. Now that these same countries are in the news and the subject is war, few seem to be listening.

However, God’s Word never changes. Sometimes God’s people do. This is especially true when it comes to understanding and proclaiming Bible prophecy. Have you noticed Bible prophecy is rarely mentioned these days in many churches – especially in the mega-churches that promote church growth at the expense of teaching the Bible. Apparently, the emphasis these days is on how to enhance your purpose in the present rather than be concerned about the imminent return of Jesus.

I am convinced this is just another sign of the times. It seems the closer we get to the return of Jesus, fewer and fewer people will be prepared for His return. Everyday there are more and more signs, but not all that many are paying attention.

With regard to Bible prophecy and war in the Middle East, the prophet Ezekiel laid out a scenario we read about in the Bible. [3] Some time in the future, in the latter days, the prophet foresaw an attack on Israel by a number of nations. The nations listed include the modern day countries of Russia and Iran. While this alliance of nations intends to destroy Israel, the Scriptures tell us that God wipes them off the map instead.

Recently, newspapers around the world have been reporting the Iran-Russia-Israel situation almost every day. We were also told that the president of Iran and protesting Iranians wanted to eliminate Israel altogether. As one article stated:

Tens of thousands of Iranians took part in the rally in Tehran which Iran organizes every year on the last Friday of the fasting month of Ramadan to show solidarity with the Palestinian struggle. Shouting "Death to Israel, death to the Zionists", the protesters dragged Israeli flags along the ground and then set them on fire. Many carried posters and placards sporting the slogan "Israel should be wiped off the map". [4]

Then, not long after, we were told that Russia was supplying Iran with expertise to develop nuclear power plants and arms so Iran could “protect themselves” from Israel. [5]

Now, I appeal to all open-minded reasonable people to ponder these events. First, Iranians and Iranian leadership call for the annihilation of Israel. Second, Russia promises to support Iranian leadership and provide assistance for developing nuclear technology and weapons of war for Iran’s “protection” from Israel.

Doesn’t this scenario ring a “prophetic bell” in your head? How much clearer would it have to be? The current president of Iran has called for Israel to be wiped off the map. Further, we documented that a map recently displayed at the United Nations did just that. Palestine was in the place of Israel. There was no Israel in the Middle East.

Of course, these are man’s plans. However, we know what God has told us in advance. Israel will prevail. How do I know? Read what happens in the Bible – Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39.

Finally, there is one more confirmation I would like you to consider. In Psalms 83 we are given further insight regarding Israel’s enemies and God’s deliverance:

Keep not thou silence, O God: hold not thy peace, and be not still, O God. For, lo, thine enemies make a tumult: and they that hate thee have lifted up the head. They have taken crafty counsel against thy people, and consulted against thy hidden ones. They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance. For they have consulted together with one consent: they are confederate against thee. [6]

Who said, Let us take to ourselves the houses of God in possession. O my God, make them like a wheel; as the stubble before the wind. As the fire burneth a wood, and as the flame setteth the mountains on fire; So persecute them with thy tempest, and make them afraid with thy storm. Fill their faces with shame; that they may seek thy name, O LORD. Let them be confounded and troubled for ever; yea, let them be put to shame, and perish. [7]

Yes, the signs of the times line up with the prophecies laid out in the Bible.

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