THE PARABLE OF THE GOOD IRANIAN

         By some current estimates there are over 400,000 Christians in Iran. Past estimates from a few years ago put the number at about 100,000. Regardless of exact figures, it is a fact that there is a burgeoning underground house church movement in Iran and it is growing stronger every day. It is relatively new but growing fast.

         Most Christians in the West do not know this or consider it, but God is certainly doing a powerful work in that country. The core of this movement is composed of former Muslims, who, even though they know it is against the law to convert to Christianity are doing it anyway. It often costs them everything, even their lives.

REVOLUTION IN IRAN

         The pro-west Shah of Iran, Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, had been in power in the country since a 1953 coup d’état sponsored by the UK and the US. He was later overthrown by the internal Iranian Revolution of 1979. At that time, there was a sudden rise in America of extreme hatred for Iran.

         During the revolt, several American Embassy workers had been taken hostage by said revolutionaries. Ted Koppel started doing reports each night on what became known as the hostage crisis and these reports eventually turned into the news program Nightline which continues today.

         Amid all the hatred and the derogatory references to the “evil Islamists,” or “rag heads,” a new perspective was formed in America. A dividing line was crossed, and this dividing line even included Christians. Because of the Iranian Revolution it became culturally acceptable and even patriotic to hate not only Palestinians due to their clash with Israelis, but Iranians and Muslims in general.

         I remember a popular song parody back then, sung to the tune of “Barbara Ann” by the Beach Boys:

         We never bombed Iran then, but according to the way the US Congress and Senate were cheering Benjamin Netanyahu and giving him repeated standing ovations two days ago, the bombing looks to commence shortly.

         I mention all this because America can trace its current dislike of Muslims back to the 1979 Iranian Revolution. Of course, the new leaders of Iran hated America also and referred to it as “The Great Satan.”

         Those were fighting words.

         The world has never been the same since.

         Three years ago I wrote a couple of articles called The Christian-Muslim Hate Fest. You can find the links at the end of this article.

OF SOVEREIGN NATIONS AND WORLD EMPIRE

         Geopolitics is a very complicated thing and changes on a daily basis. Riding herd on such is often impossible. Every nation has its own agenda and must fight to stay alive, stay strong, maintain and increase market share among trading partners, and defend itself. When sovereign nations engage in what they believe is the proper course to take for survival and growth, other nations may disagree. But because trading among nations offers great benefits to trading partners, such partners often put lesser desires aside for the sake of those benefits.

         Diplomacy exists so the leaders of nations can talk things out, hopefully reach agreements, and remain partners. But in mankind’s history it has often been the case that agreements among nations cannot be reached. These nations may choose to simply cut off all trade and leave it that.

         Or they may choose to go to war.

         It has also often been the case that powerful nations who don’t much care about the sovereignty of smaller nations but do covet said nation’s natural resources make ulterior moves to gain said resources. If the smaller nation chooses to not trade, the more powerful nation will simply up the ante and sometimes go to war to attain the resources. This is how empires are built.

         The ancient Romans were masters of this process. In time, increasing their environs became relatively simple for the Romans.          

         They would tell a particular country that it had two choices: “You will either submit or we will destroy you.”

         “If you choose submission and surrender, we will take over your country, become your new rulers, and own everything. We will establish high taxation rates, use your people and resources however we see fit, and add you as conquered foes to our ever-burgeoning world empire.”

         “If you refuse to submit you are choosing to fight us and we will consider that a declaration of war against us. We will respond by killing your best people and enslaving the rest. Then, we will establish high taxation rates, use your people and resources however we see fit, and add you as conquered foes to our ever-burgeoning world empire.”

BREAKUP OF SOLOMON’S KINGDOM

         A thousand years before the Roman Empire in ancient Israel, King Solomon had appropriated similar tactics to build his personal empire, using his own people during what many Christians and Jews see as his glorious reign. Though he established a great monarchy, he also sinned to his heart’s content, which allowed for it’s soon destruction. The great nation of Israel imploded and was divided in two. This was largely because the northern tribes rebelled after Solomon died, seeking to free themselves from his subjugation, though God certainly had a hand in the division and announced it beforehand through a prophet.

         Remember, God never wanted Israel to have a human king in the first place since He was their King, but Israel rejected Him. He told everyone what would eventually happen though, and how their great rebellion against Him and their resultant great sin would destroy them.

         As a result of the division, the Northern Kingdom of Israel and the Southern Kingdom of Israel became hated enemies and many wars were fought between them. A couple of centuries after the split, the Northern Kingdom of Israel was attacked and defeated by the Assyrian Empire, and the people were taken captive as slaves and dispersed to other places, using the very tactics later used by the Romans. The Northern Kingdom was no more forever.

         Centuries later, the geographic area of the formerly Northern Kingdom of Israel was divided further by both culture and religion. The northern area became Galilee, where all the original apostles except Judas hailed from and where the Lord Jesus grew up in Nazareth.

         The southern area of the formerly Northern Kingdom became the home of the hated Samaritans who were seen as mixed-breed and half-breed Hebrews, to a greater degree than the Galileans. The Samaritans believed in the Pentateuch as God’s Word, or the first five books of the Law, but did not consider the rest of the Old Covenant. The Samaritans and Galileans had both religious and cultural differences and neither cared for the other.

         To the south of Samaria, the formerly Southern Kingdom of Judah had devolved into Judea and had long since been taken over by kings of other nations. During the Lord’s time all three—Galilee, Samaria, and Judea were ruled by Rome.

         The Judeans, composed largely of the kingly tribe of Judah, the priestly tribe of Levi, and what was left of the tribe of Benjamin, hated the Samaritans. The Judeans considered themselves the only remaining pure Hebrews, or Jews (Judah). The tribe of Judah had always been the dominant tribe among the twelve. It was the tribe of David and Solomon. It was also the tribe of the Lord Jesus.

FIRE FROM HEAVEN

         Late in His ministry, the Lord made plans to travel from the far north in Galilee to Jerusalem, the capital city of Judea to the far south. He would attempt to travel through Samaria:

         When the days were approaching for His ascension, He was determined to go to Jerusalem; and He sent messengers on ahead of Him, and they went and entered a village of the Samaritans to make arrangements for Him. But they did not receive Him, because He was traveling toward Jerusalem.

         When His disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?”

         But He turned and rebuked them, and said, “You do not know what kind of spirit you are of; for the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.” [Luke 9:51-56]

         Right here we see yet another big divide. Why was it okay, many centuries before, for Elijah to call down fire from heaven to consume his enemies but not then? And why did the Lord tell James and John, His own trusted disciples who had been with Him and were taught by Him throughout His ministry, “You do not know what kind of spirit you are of?” These men believed in the prophetic writings and certainly revered the prophet Elijah. And Elijah had even appeared with the Lord and Moses on the Mount of Transfiguration.

         Like other things in the Lord’s ministry that departed from what was perceived as the norm, this was a curious statement in the ears of His men. What “spirit” was He talking about? Their belief system at that time had obviously become infused with current cultural beliefs that had no standing in God’s Word or agreement with it. They believed, especially since they did not identify with the Samaritans, that they would be doing the right thing by destroying them with fire from heaven.

         But the Lord said the spirit that inspired them was not the Spirit of God.

         Could it be the same at present with so many Christians wanting to obey a spirit that is not of God? Why is such an attitude accepted and honored even though it violates the teachings of the Lord Jesus? The Lord was obviously more concerned about the Samaritans and their salvation than He was about going to war with them or killing them.

THE GOOD SAMARITAN

         He even taught in one of His parables that it was possible to be a good Samaritan, something most Galileans did not believe and from which the Judeans recoiled in shock and horror, especially when the Lord said the two Judeans in the story, who were otherwise seen as exalted followers of God actually failed God and were instead followers of that “other spirit:”

         Jesus replied and said, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among robbers, and they stripped him and beat him, and went away leaving him half dead.

         “And by chance a priest was going down on that road, and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. Likewise a Levite also, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.

         “But a Samaritan, who was on a journey, came upon him; and when he saw him, he felt compassion, and came to him and bandaged up his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them; and he put him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn and took care of him.

         “On the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper and said, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I return I will repay you.’ Which of these three do you think proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell into the robbers’ hands?”

         And he said, “The one who showed mercy toward him.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do the same.” [Luke 10:30-37] [1]

         There are three types of people in this story:

         (1) Evil robbers who stole the man’s stuff, including all his clothes and beat him almost to death, violating completely the Golden Rule.

         (2) Those religious ones of a high reputation who refused to get involved and help the victim because they were on their way to church and considered their religious practices and reputation of much higher value than helping a fellow human being. Like the robbers, they also completely violated the Golden Rule by refusing to love their neighbor, simply because they did not consider the unfortunate man their neighbor.

         (3) Those who are looked down upon by most of society including religious society but actually perform the will of God, have hearts of compassion and mercy, and obey the commandment to love their neighbor without even seeing it as obedience to a commandment but simply as a natural response to help a fellow human being, regardless of nationality or religion.

         The Lord is not calling for fire from heaven.

         He is calling His people to compassion and mercy.

         © 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

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FOR FURTHER READING ON THIS SUBJECT SEE THE FOLLOWING SERIES FROM THREE YEARS AGO (FEBRUARY 2012). IT PROVIDES EXCELLENT IN-DEPTH BACKGROUND INFORMATION LAYING THE GROUNDWORK FOR WAR WITH IRAN. IT ALSO PROVIDES INFORMATION ON IRANIAN CHRISTIANS, THE AWAKENING IN IRAN, AND THE SPIRITUAL BATTLE THEY FIGHT DAILY. PLEASE PRAY FOR THEM:

Iran In The Crosshairs (Part 1)

Iran In The Crosshairs (Part 2)

Iran In The Crosshairs (Part 3)

Iran In The Crosshairs (Part 4)

Iran In The Crosshairs (Part 5)

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THE CHRISTIAN-MUSLIM HATE FEST:

The Christian-Muslim Hate Fest (Part 1)

The Christian-Muslim Hate Fest (Part 2)

Posted on March 5, 2015, in Current Events and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. As a patriotic, flag-waving American, I do fear the rising tide of radical Islam. However, I’ve read the back of the Book, and I know Who ultimately wins this ages-long battle of good versus evil. And I am not afraid. I can only shake my head at the blindness of our people as they continue on their merry path to perdition. Those who will not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

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    • Yes. Thank you, Linda. Right you are. There is no doubt that those with eyes to see, according to the Lord’s definition, see the end result of the wrong path and steer clear of it. There is also so much to say about His many teachings referencing such things as love, mercy, forgiveness, and compassion that are often rejected as untenable and inapplicable yet there is great spiritual power in those things with miraculous effects. We must certainly defend ourselves and He certainly allowed for that, but He also taught us to take up our cross. Obedience is better than sacrifice. Be blessed.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Good title. Good point.

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  3. Thanks Bob

    As you posted, on Luke 9:9:51-56: “The Lord was more concerned about the Samaritans and their Salvation” than bringing down destructive fire (which He identified as being promoted by “another spirit”, one not in agreement with the Spirit of Truth).

    He Loved Samaritans just like He Loves Muslims today. He offers the same Love, Compassion, Mercy and Forgiveness.

    If we are to be truly Christ-Like we must be of that same attitude:

    Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. [Philippians 2:5-7]

    I sense that the Spirit is leading believers to repentance, forgiveness and active, more personal involvement. The greatest treasure we have to share is THE GOOD NEWS of CHRIST JESUS our LORD and SAVIOR…. May we be good stewards of the TRUTH and be about sharing the greatest treasure on earth.

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    • Thanks Don. Many things are coming together. There is a confluence of all the elements needed and necessary for an Awakening. I remember an old song: “You’ve Tried Everything (and Everything Has Failed), Try Jesus.” Everything but the Lord fails to satisfy the longing in one’s heart, and we live in a time when so many are burned out on trying and failing all manner of things that may satisfy one thing or another but never the spiritual heart.

      Part of the failing is a former rejection of the Lord due to the strong influence of liars and deceivers in high places, including churches and Christianity in general. Many, many people have started seeing through the deception and have been taking a second look, a real look, and giving the Lord Jesus a proper chance…

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