Be Very Alert!- By Val Hollard (NZ)
On Watch at the Door. No 190, March 17, 2015
SHOULD NEW ZEALAND BE TRAINING IRAQI SHIA TROOPS?
There is no doubt that Sunni ISIS, the Islamic State, is an evil force which should be destroyed. We have all seen and heard about the beheadings and abductions of Christians, the pressure to convert to Islam, and all their other evil deeds.
Recently I was at a meeting where people were asked to give their opinions on New Zealand sending troops to Iraq to help train local security forces to deal with ISIS. Not unexpectedly, there was strong support for the proposal. However, we should be cautious. Why send our troops to Iraq when we are allowing Muslims to come into our country and build mosques and Islamic Centres, and teach children about Islam? It is well-known that when a country’s Muslim population reaches certain levels, there is an increasing demand for Sharia Law, which eventually leads to radicalism and the suppression of rights of groups such as Christians. New Zealand is already monitoring individuals who could be a danger to our nation. Japan is very much aware of the dangers of Islam and it is banned there.
Enter Iran! Iran is an Islamic Shiite (Shia) nation whose religious elite believe in an eschatology in which Muslims are required to wage global jihad until the Mahdi, the prophesied redeemer of Islam, will return and bring in a worldwide Islamic State, or Caliphate. With him will come Isa, the counterfeit Islamic Jesus, who will assist the Mahdi in killing off all Christians and getting rid of all churches. They also believe that a cataclysmic disaster is needed to get the Mahdi to return, and it is their job to bring that about. Hence the danger of a nuclear Iran! The only western world leader who seems to understand this is Israel’s present Prime Minister, Netanyahu. Iran has become the world’s premier exporter of worldwide terror but it has lacked what it desires most – a nuclear weapon capable of destroying Israel and the US. The emerging nuclear deal spells trouble.
In the meantime, Iran forges ahead in its attempt to bring other countries under its control and form a Caliphate. Iranian officials now boast that they control four Arab capitals: Beirut, Damascus, Baghdad and recently Sana’a (Yemen). President Assad in Damascus relies solely on Iran for his survival. Iran also has a strategic relationship with Sudan.
Iran supports various terror groups even though they may not share the same ideology. Iran has increased its presence in Africa, is known to work closely with North Korea on weapons of mass destruction, supports Al-Qaeda terrorists, and has provided the Taliban in Afghanistan with weapons.
Hezbollah in southern Lebanon has over 100,000 missiles pointed at Israel. Many come from Iran and are smuggled into Lebanon via an international weapons network controlled by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Quds Force. Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Ayatollah Khamenei has openly declared his intention to arm Palestinian terror groups in the “West Bank.” Iran already supports Islamic Jihad in Gaza.
But Iran doesn’t just want the capitals, they want the whole states. Sunni ISIS is a nuisance to them and they want it out of the way. So Iran has entered into the fray in Iraq. Some of the fighting in Iraq now is to take back cities which ISIS has taken, Tikrit (pop. 250,000) then larger Mosul, will be done by Iraqi Shiite troops and militiamen guided by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Quds Force which trained the same types of fighters in how to kill Americans during the 2003-2011 Iraq war.
Turkey and Iran do not see eye to eye over ISIS. Thousands of men and women who want to join up with ISIS travel freely through Turkey on their way to Syria and Iraq. ISIS radicals do their shopping in Turkey and get medical attention there when needed. Turkey does absolutely nothing to stop this. Like Iran, Turkey wants to rule over a Caliphate, especially as it lost the last Caliphate, the Ottoman Empire. Turkey is becoming more radical and ISIS seems to be operating as its proxy.
There is a growing concern by many Arab nations, particularly by Egypt and the Gulf states, about the indifference by the US and EU toward the Iranian threat to stability in the Middle East. In addition to the capitals mentioned earlier, Iran has now occupied three islands of the United Arab Emirates and is pushing into Bahrain. The Egyptian President el-Sisi has been meeting with Saudi King Salman for urgent talks. They realise they can no longer rely on Western powers to deal with threats posed by Iran and ISIS. El-Sisi would like to see a Joint Arab Force, not for attacking but for defending their countries.
At the moment, though this may change at any time, Iran is a far bigger threat than ISIS as it relentlessly spreads its tentacles in the Middle East and beyond. Since President Rouhani replaced Ahmadinejad Iran has become a much more dangerous place for Christians and other minorities.
Iranian officials already have a hold over the Iraqi capital Baghdad and the south of Iraq. They would like to take hold of all Iraq. So should New Zealand be on the same side as Iran in the fight against ISIS by providing training for Iraqi Shia troops which Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Quds Force can then make use of? An Iraq controlled by Iran could have a horrendous outcome. There does not appear to be a “good” side in the conflict in Iraq. Fortunately, God is in control. Joel Richardson suggests we may be witnessing the fulfilment of Daniel 8 which the angel Gabriel says relates to “the time of the end.”
In an article in the Free Canada Press, Heshmat Alavi writes: “The West must take into consideration that cooperation with the Iranian regime in the fight against ISIS is like asking arsonists help put out a raging inferno. This is a prescription that will no doubt lead to even more catastrophes.”
Listen to Joel Richardson’s exposition of Daniel 8.
TRIBULATION AND WRATH
There is much confusion about the meaning of “tribulation” and of “wrath.” The Greek for tribulation is “thlipsis.” Many passages say that believers will face tribulation in this world, e.g. In John 16:33, Jesus says: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble (tribulation). But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Other verses with thlipsis are Matt 24:9, 21, 29; Acts 14:22; Rom 8:35; Rev 1:9, 2:9, 22, 7:14. It is also translated persecution, distress, trouble and hardships.
We tend to refer to the whole 7 years of Daniel’s 70th week as a period of tribulation. However, the Bible never refers to the first half as any special time of tribulation that is different from the tribulation facing Christians now. Tribulation then will be the same sort of tribulation that many are already experiencing. Think of the suffering of Christians caused by ISIS! However, the Bible refers to the 2nd half as the Great Tribulation three times: Matt 24:21; Rev 2:22, 7:14. Neither does the Bible describe the whole 7 years as a time of God’s wrath.
Paul tells the Thessalonians: “For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thess 5:9) The Greek word for wrath here is “orge.” It is the wrath of God that believers will not experience. It is the same word that John uses in Revelation 6:16-17 when God the Father and God the Son begin to pour out their wrath on an unrepentant world in the form of the Trumpet and Bowl judgments. “They called on the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of their wrath has come and who can stand?””
Some other verses where “ogre” is used in connection with the wrath of God are Luke 21:23, John 3:36, 1 Thess 1:10, Heb 3:11; 4:3, Rev 11:18; 14:10; 16:19; 19:15. We will face tribulation as Christians, but not the wrath of God.
In Romans 5:9, Paul tells us why believers will never face God’s wrath. “Since we have been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!” At the cross, Jesus took on Himself all the wrath of God that was intended for us so that we never need face this wrath either on this earth or in eternity. There is absolutely nothing we can do ourselves to protect us from God’s wrath except accept Jesus as our Saviour. Only the blood of Jesus saves. (Heb 9:22) Good works, baptism, calling on Mary, wearing scapulars or anything else we try to do will not save us from the wrath of God. It is only the shed blood of Jesus.
Only those who have repented of their sins and have accepted Jesus as their Lord and Saviour will be spared the wrath of God. “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.” (John 3:36) As we watch the events in the Middle East we know that time is running out. Praise God for His great gift of salvation and means of escape from the wrath to come!
People can be too defiant “defending their beliefs, rather than pursuing truth.”
Russia/North Korea relationships: Ostracised by the international community, North Korea and Russia have declared 2015 a year of bilateral friendship that will be marked by a series of political, economic and cultural exchanges. North Korean state media said this year marks the 70th anniversary of Korea’s liberation from Japanese colonial rule and the “victory in the great Patriotic War in Russia.”
The American nanny state: On a day when school had been cancelled because of a winter storm, two teens went door-to-door in their New Jersey neighbourhood offering to clear snow-covered driveways. The cops told the kids they weren’t allowed to solicit business by going door-to-door without a permit from the local government. To get a permit for door-to-door solicitation in their area they would have had to pay the borough $450. Also, churches in Lake Worth, Florida, have been ordered to acquire a business license in order to preach and pray. These sorts of crazy laws are becoming commonplace in the US. In Louisiana, too, a law was passed in 2011 making it illegal to use cash to purchase anything secondhand.
Austria is seeking to reduce outside meddling by prohibiting foreign funding for mosques, imams and Muslim organizations in Austria. And for Muslims living in Austria, Austrian law must take precedence over Islamic Sharia law. The Turkish government has expressed outrage at the financing ban, which it says amounts of “Islamophobia.” Austria is traditionally Roman Catholic, but now Muslim students outnumber Catholic students at middle and secondary schools and it will soon be the same in elementary schools. Austria is also a major base for radical Islam.
Giulio Meotti writes: There are three “Romes”. Will each of them fall before the Islamic hordes? The Pope has already capitulated. There is a long Islamic tradition aiming at Rome, “Romiyyah”, aiming to make it the fourth holiest city of Islam (after Mecca, Medina and Jerusalem) and the base from which Islam will conquer the Western world. Rome is the greatest magnet of the mystical Islamic universe.
What is Chrislam?
The Christian servant must never forget that salvation is God’s idea, not man’s; therefore, it has an unfathomable depth. Salvation is the great thought of God, not an experience. Experience is simply the door through which salvation comes into the conscious level of our life so that we are aware of what has taken place on a much deeper level. Never preach the experience – preach the great thought of God behind the experience. When we preach, we are not simply proclaiming how people can be saved from hell and be made moral and pure; we are conveying good news about God. – Oswald Chambers
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