Last week, both President Ahmadinejad of Iran and Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel addressed the United Nations General Assembly – as did the President of United States.
One of the most critical issues under discussion was whether or not Iran is developing nuclear weapons, how soon they will be developed and ready for use, and when and how the world community – especially United States and Israel – might respond. The discussion focused on whether Israel would perform a “first strike” or wait for sanctions and other behind-the-scenes strategies countering the potential nuclear threat in Iran to have an effect.
Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, in his speech, used a picture of a bomb and drew a red line showing the point of no return regarding Iran’s progress in producing a nuclear bomb. He argued that once Iran passed this line, any military response from the Israel or any other Western power would be ineffective. Therefore, he argued, time is running out for a more decisive solution to the threat of a nuclear Iran. President Ahmadinejad, on the other hand, again assured the United Nations that their goal was not to develop nuclear weapons but to use nuclear energy in a peaceful way.
It really comes down to this – do you trust the president of Iran, and you believe he is telling the truth when he says Iran has no intention of developing nuclear weapons?
This seems to be the question everyone is asking, and of course, most of us do believe the Iranians have every intention of developing nuclear weapons. But even if Iran did not have nuclear technology, the threat it poses to Israel and the United States cannot be minimized!
Iran, under its current administration, is a threat to Israel, the West and to the church today. It will be an even greater threat, especially to Israel, when it develops the capacity to utilize nuclear weaponry.
I believe there are even more fundamental issues that need to be considered. What is the real attitude of Iran’s government towards Israel and towards United States and western nations? The Iranian president revealed his attitudes in his recent speech at the UN. He believes the West is corrupt, and that unless a nation faithfully lives an Islamic way of life – according to his view of Islam – then that nation is doomed for judgment. He has made this abundantly clear.
What are his attitudes towards Israel? Once again, he has made his position evident by calling for Israel’s destruction and the removal of the Jewish nation from the Middle East. He does not believe in the God of the Bible and therefore in God’s promises to the Jewish people. He also denies the Holocaust, and he has made all of these positions known through his speeches at the UN and in other public venues.
President Ahmadinejad has made his view of end-times doctrine very clear as well. He believes in a 12th Imam who will become the world’s greatest leader and will fulfill in the role that most Jews and Christians believe is reserved for the promised Messiah. He believes that chaos will rain until the coming of the 12th Imam, and that humankind can and should have a role in fueling this chaos so that the Imam will appear and take his rightful role as the “one world leader.”
For followers of Jesus the Messiah and those who believe the Bible, as I do, the parallels between the 12th Imam and the predicted Antichrist are all too striking. Scripture tells us that the coming Antichrist will hate God, the family of God, and the Jewish people.
One important question is whose voice do we listen to in order to understand what is at the heart of this ideology? Who really speaks for Iran? Is it President Ahmadinejad or someone else? Many do not realize that President Ahmadinejad is actually a spokesman for the true leader of Iran – and it is only when we hear what this leader has to say that we can fully appreciate the grave threat Iran represents to Israel and United States, and can understand why Israel feels so strongly compelled to act.
Ever since the revolution in Iran, the true leader of the country has been known as the Supreme Leader – currently Ayatollah Khamenei. The critical question for us – especially as believers and those who love the nation of Israel – is to try to understand what he really believes, and then decide whether or not we believe what he says.
This is the crucial question that we all should answer in order to know how to respond and even how to pray for the Middle East crisis!
Three following is a small portion from Ayatollah Khamenei’s speech in which he calls upon the United States to abandon Israel:
Now I would like to give a benevolent piece of advice to American politicians who always stood up to defend and support the Zionist regime. So far, this regime has created countless problems for you. It has presented a hateful image of you to the regional peoples, and it has made you look like an accomplice in the crimes of the usurping Zionists. The material and moral costs borne by the American government and people on account of this are staggering, and if this continues, the costs might become even heavier in the future. Think about the Islamic Republic’s proposal of a referendum and with a courageous decision, rescue yourselves from the current impossible situation. Undoubtedly, the people of the region and all free-thinkers across the world will welcome this measure.
It is a revealing speech that was made at the inauguration of the Summit of Non Aligned Powers meeting held in August 2012, and found on the website of the permanent Mission of Iran to the United Nations.
I believe the threat posed by Iran towards Israel is very real and very dangerous. Not only because of their development of nuclear weapons, but because of their values. In fact, their values, as so clearly expressed in the speech of Ayatollah Khamenei, are the values of the Muslim Brotherhood, Hezbollah, Hamas, the Bath party in Syria and of so many of the nations surrounding Israel at this critical moment in history. Once we understand the depth of hatred that these leaders and their followers have towards Israel, United States and even Christianity, we better understand why it’s so important to support and pray for Israel and to preach the Gospel more intensively than ever in the Middle East.
This is what Chosen People Ministries is doing in Israel at this very moment. We are building staff, facilities and the capability to proclaim the Good News to a new generation of Israelis as well as speaking the Gospel in love to as many non-Jews in the Middle East as possible. We are also making preparations to care for many who might be affected by war in the event that hostilities intensify in Israel, as we are already feeding hundreds – if not thousands – of Israelis every month at our Centers in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Sderot, Netanya and other cities around Israel.
We believe that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life, and the ultimate answer to the crisis in the Middle East!
Israelis are more open to the message of Messiah than ever before, because they understand that the answers to life, hope, safety and a peaceful future are in God’s hands and not man’s. So we need to do more right now to bring the love of Jesus the Messiah to our Jewish people – especially in Israel!
What Can You Do Today?
1. Please take a stand for Israel and the Jewish people and let President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton know that followers of Jesus believe in a secure homeland for the Jewish people… that God promised the Land to the Jewish people and as a nation we want to experience God’s blessing (Genesis 12:1-3) by standing with Israel.
2. Send a gift immediately to Chosen People Ministries for the work of the Gospel in Israel – now is the time that Israelis are more open than ever before!
3. Pray intensely for the peace of Jerusalem – for the Prince of Peace to reign in the hearts of Jews and Arabs, including leaders like Prime Minister Netanyahu, President Ahmadinejad, and Ayatollah Khamenei. It is only when Jesus rules in the hearts of men and women that they know the truth, the truth sets them free, and living at peace with our enemies is possible.
Thank you for reading this note – and for taking a moment to post it on Facebook and to get the word out that followers of Jesus the Messiah must support Israel and intensify efforts to reach Jews and Arabs with the Gospel!
Yours for the peace of Jerusalem,
Transcripts of the speeches at the U.N.:
- United States President Barack Obama
- Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu