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Monday, July 6, 2009

Bible prophecy about Iran elections...or not so much...

Someone posted a link and asked for comments. The link is below and my comments follow. I hope I don't come off as sarcastic or rude. (I'd like to save that for politics ;) ) Premillennialism is something I've tried to understand in the past. I really have not been able to connect the dots as to how people extract this belief from the Bible, given the context, meanings, and history. It is kind of a soapbox issue (like support for Israel and its crimes) because it is widely accepted, but I just can't figure out why.

Anyway, here goes:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=67G0E0Uquyc

My comments:
In Galatians 3, the Bible calls the old law a schoolmaster to bring us to Christ. Our reading of these fulfilled prophecies gives us hope. The modern state of Israel is not mentioned in the Bible, contrary to popular belief. The Israelites were God's chosen. Jews today turn their back on Christ and God's sacrifice of his son. People often confuse today's Jews with Israelites. This is a really common false teaching, or group of false teachings, called premillennialism.

Ezra 1:1

The prophecy being fulfilled here is in Isaiah 44:28-45:1. Ezra1:1-4 says this prophecy is being fulfilled by Cyrus’s action, but you seem to apply this to Ahmedinejad in present-day Iran instead of Cyrus in Persia in comments like: “it’s ironic that the king of Persia is building God’s temple in Jerusalem (Ezra 1), but Ahmedinejad, leader of Iran today, is “trying to destroy everything that has to do with God’s temple in Jerusalem.”

I have a problem with his equating modern day Israel and modern Jews with ancient Israelites (God’s chosen people) and land (conditionally) promised (and received…and lost) to them at that time. It’s not historically accurate. Biblically speaking, it doesn’t matter one bit with regards to our salvation or Bible prophecy what goes on in Jerusalem (how ever interesting it may be).

You seem to differentiate between time periods, here, but I wasn’t clear on whether you thought Ezra was indeed a fulfillment (he didn’t say it at all) as we know it to be, or a prophecy to be fulfilled in the future (as you do later).

I thought the comment – ‘Jerusalem’s supposed to be their 3rd holiest site, but when they pray, they turn their back on it. Doesn’t sound holy to me.’ had no real place in the discussion of Bible prophecy. It was kind of catty, snide, and very much opinion.


Ezekiel 38

Ezekiel 38:11 speaks of unwalled villages. Israel today has tons of walls and fences, checkpoints, etc. Being attacked in a time of peace when defenses were decreased is spoken of in Ezekiel, but Israel is on high alert, is a very militarized society, and is filled with walls. This clearly doesn’t fit today’s situation or any since 1948 (and likely any after).

Most premillennialists say Israel was restored in 1948, but by saying this is a future prophecy it goes against even premillennial thought.

Ezekiel 39:29 “poured out My spirit” reminds me of Joel 2:28 which refers to that time when the gospel was beginning to be preached and people needed signs and before scripture was completed as referred to in 1 Corinthians 13:10. One could at the very least surmise that the fulfillment occurred before the scriptures were completely revealed. The Israelite captivity is also referred to in chapter 39, so I’m guessing it was fulfilled much earlier than the time the scriptures were completely revealed?

If the northern lands are indeed today’s countries as you say, then they will be fighting with horses, swords and shields (?) and not planes, bombs and other equipment long removed from swords. That begs some explanation if we are to continue to assume this will happen in the “future” from today’s vantage point.

He says Moscow and Iran are leading a world war against Israel. Really, Moscow is becoming dependent on the West more and more and consequently is pressured to have good relations with Israel which will probably actually hurt their relations with Iran, so I would say their bond or association is not so tight as you say.

He also says about the Ezekiel passage “recovered from war” that Israel has had a few wars. I’d say yes, but they are in a constant state of war and are nowhere near “recovered” from it, so this doesn’t fit here either. He says we are already seeing verse 14 in that Iran won’t accept Israel’s right to exist, but I say we can’t be seeing it (even if you ignore the fact that this has been fulfilled) since Israel’s at “war”, not recovered.

 

Dan 10 “time yet to come” He says that means it hasn’t happened yet. In reality, at the time of the writing, it was yet to come. It is important to think about when it was written, to whom, by whom, context, when considering a passage.

It is essential to read Daniel 10-12 to get the prophecy here. The Persian, Greek, and in 11, the north and south (Syrian and Egyptian) kingdoms are discussed. History shows that these things did indeed happen.

Going back to your assertion, how do we know this is meant for us at this point in history, rather than events that have transpired already for which there is documentation? This is something I have always wanted to know from premillennialists. Why is it impossible that it happened thousands of years ago and by the time we read it, it has been fulfilled?

When prophecies were written, they were written about specific people and events, but folks like to insert current events all too often. It is astounding that things were prophesied 400 years before they occurred. We don’t need to put current events in there to reinject the “magic”. It is amazing and tells us God is faithful and takes care of those that obey him- for instance when we see Jesus and his life and message, the Israelites’ captivity prophesied or their return and each of them fulfilled.


V20- angel says soon I will fight against the king of Persia
and
Revelation 22:7 , 12 coming soon

Students of Revelation will realize that when the Bible says “soon” it means soon, not 2000 or more years later. For example, Revelation was written to Christians undergoing persecution we can barely comprehend. This letter was their comfort and many saw the comfort in their lifetime, otherwise what good would it have been? Soon, I’d gather, would be more like a generation than a millennia or two.

We are not given signs or even a timeframe (i.e soon) for his return:
Matt 24:36, 42-44

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