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Iran Steps-Up Persecution Of Christians

Iran has sharply increased its attack on Christians and Churches and is in the process of ridding the Muslim nation of all Christians. Iranians that convert to Christianity suffer the most with severe torture and beheadings.  God once used the ancient Persians (modern Iran) to protect the Jews and even named the Persian King "Cyrus" before he was born. Cyrus the Great as he was named ruled the largest earth empire up to his time and was known for his human rights policies - he respected and protected all religions in contrast to the Iran of today that hates both Jews and Christians. 

When Gog of the land of Magog attacks the Middle East, namely the land of Israel, Iran is confederate with him.  The Lord God destroys Gog and his armies on the mountains of Israel (Ezekiel 38 and 39). The question is, who is Gog and where is his land of Magog?  Traditional Dispensationalists teach Gog is the same as the King of the North, that is, Russia.  However, some believe Gog is the Antichrist and Magog is his kingdom.  

One problem with Gog being the Antichrist is that Ezekiel says he is buried in the valley of Hamon-Gog in the land of Israel. The Book of Revelation says the Lord destroys the Antichrist upon His return and cast him into the Lake of Fire. Well, it is rather obvious Gog cannot both be buried in the land of Israel and in addition be cast alive into the Lake of Fire. 

Ezekiel 39::11 NIV

11 On that day I will give Gog a burial place in Israel, in the valley of those who travel by east of the Sea (probably Dead Sea). It will block the way of travelers, because Gog and all his hordes will be buried there(that includes Iran's armies). So it will be called the Valley of Hamon-Gog. 

Revleation 19:19-20 NIV

19 Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to wage war against the rider on the white horse and his army.  20 But the beast was captured and with it the false prophet who had performed the signs on its behalf.  With these signs he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped its image. The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur.   

If Gog is the Antichrist, then he cannot be buried in the land of Israel in the Valley of Hamon-Gog for the Lord casts him and the False Prophet in the Lake of Fire while they are still alive. Whether Gog is the King of Russia and Magog is the land of Russia remains to be seen. One thing is certain, he is some powerful end-time personage that is obsessed with conquering the Middle East and the land of Israel.  Personally, I think there is biblical evidence Gog may be the biblical name for an end-time Islamic leader that rallies the Muslim nations (Gog's hordes) to rid the Middle East of the Nation of Israel and to establish an Islamic Caliphate over all nations of the Middle East, Central Asia and North Africa. Daniel 11 seems to imply this:

Daniel 11:1-4 (NKJV) 

 "Also in the first year of Darius the Mede, I, even I, stood up to confirm and strengthen him.) 
 And now I will tell you the truth: Behold, three more kings will arise in Persia, and the fourth shall be far richer than them all; by his strength, through his riches, he shall stir up all against the realm of Greece. 
 Then a mighty king shall arise, who shall rule with great dominion, and do according to his will. 
 And when he has arisen, his kingdom shall be broken up and divided toward the four winds of heaven, but not among his posterity nor according to his dominion with which he ruled; for his kingdom shall be uprooted, even for others besides these. 

This 4th Persian King shall be greater than any before him, even greater than Cyrus the Great, and shall stir-up all(Hebrew rendering is to open the eyes implying he will convince all the Muslim nations to follow him in an effort to conquer the realm of Greece).  Greece is a bad translation of the Hebrew word Javan who was a grandson ofJapheth, one of the three sons of Noah and the seed from which the White Gentiles races originated. Realm is kingdom or dominion. This 4th end-time Persian King realizes that to establish a world-wide Islamic Caliphate, he must unite all the Muslim nations against the dominion of the Gentile nations that support and back the nation of Israel. How many times have we heard the Iranian Ayatollahs refer to the United States as the Great Satan and Israel as the Little Satan.  As far as they are concerned the United States, the present leader Gentile nation and Israel are joined at the hip and they are not wrong in that proclamation. 

Notice in Verse 3 a mighty king shall arise after this 4th Persian king, but in the context is not from Persia (Iran). He shall rule with great dominion or power and do according to his will. This seems to imply the 4th Persian King is defeated and no longer on the scene. If he is Gog then he is buried in the land of Israel.  Verse 4 indicates this mighty king will be defeated and his kingdom broken-up and divided into 4 lessor nations or regions. Obviously this mighty king is not the Antichrist, but an end-time Gentile superpower. If he is the leader of America, then with the United States defeated and weakened by division of its land as well as Iran and the Muslim nations defeated, what better time for the Antichrist to appear and begin his world conquest?

Whether or not this plays out as the prophetic end-time scenario remains to be seen, but presently the Arab-Muslims nations are not united in an all out war against the United States and Israel.  Saudi Arabia is suspicious of Iran becoming the leader nation of the Arab-Muslim world. The Shiites led by Iran are attempting to takeover Iraq. Egypt has outlawed the Muslim Brotherhood and Libya and Syria are in turmoil.  For a Muslim leader to step forward and unite all Muslim nations will require someone of great influence and power.  Perhaps it will be the 12th Imam whom the Iranians are looking for and expecting. Incidentally they believe he will appear in a time of great turmoil and violence so they will help him appear by inciting violence. 

The Middle East will be the place of the final war between good and evil at the time Jesus returns, so it is worth keeping a close eye on.

Dr. Allen Barber