The Iranian Revolutionary Guard have been placed on a war footing. Iran is again facing international pressure over it’s nuclear program, and it is now increasingly apparent that Iran will not give up it’s nuclear ambitions.
The Iranian government believe it’s nuclear program is the victim of a concerted and sustained attack from the West, beginning last year with a cyber attack directly upon it’s nuclear facilities. Iran also believe the West is responsible for two recent explosions, both military targets.
“It looks like the 21st century form of war,” said Patrick Clawson of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a Washington think tank, told the Los Angeles Times. “It does appear that there is a campaign of assassinations and cyber war, as well as the semi-acknowledged campaign of sabotage.”
Iran have been hitting back by raiding the British embassy in Tehran and shooting down a US spy drone. Iran have seized computers from the British embassy, and the US security services are concerned over the loss of the spy drone.
This escalation in the region has to be taken seriously. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has openly spoken of his belief that he is God’s chosen vessel to usher in the coming of the Mahdi, an Islamic Messianic figure.
The Mahdi, or 12th Imam is prophesied to come in the midst of an apocalyptic type war, resulting in the destruction of Israel. It is little wonder that the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is taking the threat very seriously. Prime Minister Netanyahu has said Israel would make “the right decision at the right moment”. For Israel, an Iran with a nuclear arsenal is not an option that they will tolerate.
Within Islam there is a belief that there is a coming messianic figure, referred to as the 12th Imam or Mahdi. Although this belief is more or less universal across the sects of Islam, the Shiites have a particularly fundamental perspective on the Islamic teachings regarding the 12th Imam. And these teachings ought to be taken very seriously by the West and the Church.
Iran is a predominately Shiite nation, and the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is evangelical in his beliefs. He sees himself as called by Allah to usher in the reign of the Mahdi, and that the Mahdi will unite the Muslim world, ruling from Iraq and bringing peace. However, to bring forth his appearing, terrible destruction must first be in place, as well as the destruction of Israel. Ahmadinejad has made no secret of his hate for the West and Israel, and has spoken publicly of his desire to see “Israel wiped off the face of the map”.
Ahmadinejad now sees the recent unrest in the Middle East as “prophetic” signs that the Mahdi is near. However, intelligence also suggests that Iran have been manipulating the troubles to bring about their own agenda. Iran have been circulating videos throughout the Middle East calling on the people to rise up and over-throw their rulers, sympathizers of the Iranian regime have infiltrated these countries, like Egypt and Yemen, in a bid to seize power and make alliances with the Iran.
As previously stated, the Mahdi will only appear after the destruction of Israel, and seeing Jerusalem in Muslim hands. What are the West doing? Ahmadinejad sees America as weak at this time, and looks to capitalize on her weakness, by pressing forward with their nuclear ambitions. The Church is called to “pray for the peace of Jerusalem”, however half the church is anticipating the destruction of Israel. This is especially a time for the Church to stand in the gap for Israel; and pray for America, that she will once again be a friend and ally to Jerusalem.