Religion

Iran in the Bible

Iran_president_hostage_taker Is that the Iranian president in a 1979 AP Photo taking an American hostage from the United States Embassy in Tehran?  Some say it is, others say no.  Whether that is actually him or not there is no doubt that he was involved in the uprising against the Shah. He was definitely committed and involved in the philosophy that brought in the Islamic Revolution of 1979.

Today Iran is flexing it's muscle and making waves on the world scene.  They are an ancient kingdom that believes that they will once again rise.  Iran is in the Bible, but known as Persia or the Medo-Persian kingdom in Bible times.

The Medes were a world governing Empire from 536 B.C. - 330 B.C.  Their rule extended through the Middle East - including the land of Israel - into Afghanistan and into Turkey. For a map of the territory Persia (Iran) once controlled click here.

For the last two thousand years Iran (Persia) has stayed out of the eye of most o f the western world, with occasional forays into the world scene. But they are back and they plan to stay.

There is a day coming soon when Iran (Persia) will align with other nations, including Libya and several nations to the north to invade Israel. Some say Russia is included in this equation to invade the land. You can read the prophecy in the Old Testament book of Ezekiel Chapter 38.  While some controversy exists as to the identity of all of the nations listed in Ezekiel 38 (nations and locations change names through history and following the chain of change can be difficult) but there is no doubt that modern day Iran will one day - some think very soon - invade Israel.

When this invasion happens it will be in the middle of a chain of prophetic events that are related to the soon return of Jesus Christ.  Keep your eyes to the sky and if you are not prepared to meet Jesus, now is the time to do that. Click here to find out how to be saved.


Is This the Great Grand-Daughter of Mary Magdalene?

Kathleen_mcgowan_the_expected_one Kathleen McGowan, the great, great, great grand-daughter - so she claims - of Mary Magdalene gets her book published by Simon and Schuster on Tuesday, July 26th.

She never really knew that she was a descendant of Jesus Christ until she was in the city of Jerusalem in 1997. While there, she had a vision of Mary Magdalene and later she learned that she had French blood in her lineage.  So....   put the two together and walla! you get a descendant of the Holy Grail.

The most amazing thing about the whole story is that all this happened before the DaVinci Code came out. Wow!

The book isn't about her ancestry, it's a novel. The cover of her book, has displayed prominently on the front, "A Novel." The DaVinci Code had the same. And that's only where the similarities begin.  In this story a scroll written by Mary Magdalene herself is found and then the fun begins.

The book - a novel - written by Mary Magdalene's descendant has murder, intrigue, religious backgrounds, architecture, history.. Wait a minute!!!  Are you sure this is not the DaVinci Code?  Yawn!!!

You can read a portion of the book here.   

I'm not a prophet, but I'm going to make a guess and say this book will not have anywhere near the success that DaVinci had.  The story line is getting old.

Beginning in September look for her on CNN, Inside Edition and Good Morning America. Kathleen will be on the road this summer promoting her new book.  If she is near you, go pay her a visit and pray for her.

How come everybody gets all excited about these strange books about Jesus, but they don't get very excited about Jesus?  I think it's because the heart is designed by God to be drawn to Jesus. But Jesus bids us to come and bow, to come to worship. Humbling ourselves and surrendering ourselves doesn't come easy. So we prefer a Jesus we can control , rather than the real Jesus, who is King of kings and Lord of lords for ever. And ever!

The picture above was taken by Mary Ann Halpin for Simon and Schuster.


Should a Christian Get A Tattoo of Jesus?

Rob1_1I like to tell young people, that are asking about the Bible and tattoos, that they should get a bunch of body piercing instead. That way when they’re tired of the look they can just take it out. If you do it when you’re young enough, the holes should heal up fine.  I also figure that once a young couple has a cute little baby, and the baby goes for that lip ring or eye ring that will be the end of that era. I know that’s not an adequate answer because it really doesn’t address the real question that is being asked, “What does the Bible say about getting tattoos?” Let’s give that one a try!

Many believe that the Bible prohibits all tattoos for believers citing a verse in the Book of Leviticus.  Leviticus 19:27-28 “You shall not shave around the sides of your head, nor shall you disfigure the edges of your beard. You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor tattoo any marks on you: I am the Lord.” Well, that seems pretty clear. But only at first glance. Most commentators agree that this passage is a specific warning to the Israelites not to mimic the practices of the Canaanites around them.  This ‘cutting’ practice seems to be similar to what the prophets of Baal were doing on Mount Carmel (see 1 Kings 18.)

God would never put a mark on anyone, would He?  Early in the Book of Genesis chapter 4, God put a mark on Cain, so that when others found him, they wouldn’t kill him.  We’re not told exactly what this mark looked like, but it seems to be permanent.  Isaiah 44:5 says, “One will say, 'I belong to the Lord'; another will call himself by the name of Jacob; still another will write on his hand, 'The Lord's,' and will take the name Israel.”  God uses a similar image of what He does with us, putting our name on His hands. Isaiah 49:16 “See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.” There is another passage where God marks those that are troubled by the sin of the nation. Ezekiel 9:4 "Go throughout the city of Jerusalem and put a mark on the foreheads of those who grieve and lament over all the detestable things that are done in it."

The Catholic Church until the 10th century had banned tattoos for Christians and deemed them 'devilish.'  Later many would tattoo themselves during the Crusades and pilgrimages to Jerusalem, signifying that they were believers and wanted a Christina funeral.

Many are opposed to tattoos because they say in the Book of Revelation, that tattoos symbolize that you have taken ‘the mark of the beast.’ In actuality in the Book of Revelation, both believers and unbelievers are marked, but for different reasons.  Revelation 7:3 says, "Do not harm the land or the sea or the trees until we put a seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God."

Most people are surprised to learn that Jesus comes out of heaven, back to earth in the Book of Revelation with a mark on Him with His identity. Revelation 19:16 “On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: King of Kings and Lord of Lords.”

Chris3 Why would a believer want to get a tattoo of Jesus? Some refer to tattooing as ‘inking,’ because of the permanence, while others refer to it as ‘branding,’ signifying ‘ownership.’  Many Christians are attracted to the concept of wearing a permanent display of ownership.  The last several years have seen a massive increase in Christian tattoos. Some tattoo parlors are reporting that anywhere from 10-50% of their clients are asking for religious symbols.  Many of these are born-again Christians “covering-up” some old tattoos that no longer represent the values of their life. Others are getting symbols to let the world know that they belong to God.  Many people are seeing their skin as a canvas that loudly displays their faith, rather than hiding it under a bushel.

Christians that take this view of tattoos believe they are fulfilling a verse that others use against the wearing of a tattoo.  1 Corinthians 6:19-20 “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.” Tattooed believers say of this verse that they are displaying God’s ownership of their body and declaring his glory with the art they wear everyday.

After examining the scriptures, we see that the Bible speaks both positively and negatively about ‘tattoos.’

So should you get one?  Wow! That depends on a lot of things. If your family doesn’t want you to get one, and if you are in your parents home and they don’t want you it, you shouldn’t. Honor your parents.  Let face it some of the new tattoos look great!  Especially some of the ‘sleeves.’ How will it look in 40 years? Hmmm… If you have any doubt in your mind at all, don’t do it!  Be prayerful, thoughtful, forward looking and wise! 

For more information and articles pro and con about Christians and tattoos see www.xtat.org

A PDF download of this article in a great handout format is availible for free @ www.revelation320.org under "Free Resources"