The Holocaust Iran Prevented

The Holocaust Iran Prevented

Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Iran once had a special history with God.

Before 1935, the Islamic Republic of Iran was known as Persia. Persia’s ambassador to Nazi Germany suggested the name change after being influenced by Adolf Hitler’s regime. After 1935, many Persians turned to hatred and anti-Semitism.

Some of the most prominent images in Iran today are military parades showcasing various types of military hardware from scuds to ballistic missiles. Protests are filled with chants of “Death to America.” Its leaders constantly threaten to wipe out the Jewish state of Israel. Additionally, Iran is the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism—and despite the recent nuclear deal, there is mounting evidence that Iran is actively developing a nuclear weapon.

This past month, Iran held its third annual Holocaust Cartoon contest, in which anyone around the world could submit a cartoon, mocking the Holocaust. This is a perverse demonstration of the Iranian regime’s rampant anti-Semitism. Ever since the Islamic Revolution in 1979, hatred for the Jews has been one of the nation’s most consistent and enduring legacies. The thought of such a government acquiring nuclear weapons is terrifying.

This Islamist culture that now dominates Iran is actually a somewhat recent phenomena. When we look back at the history of the Persian people, we see an inspiring heritage that Iran has lost. The Armageddon doctrine of Iran’s mullahs comes from their Islamic teachings—not from Persian antiquity. The Persian people have a long, proud history that includes producing perhaps the most beneficent empire until the British Empire. Human rights, massive infrastructure investment, an efficient postal system and ancient dignity are among the achievements of the Persians. But the one aspect of Persian history that stands out among them all is their special relationship with the Jewish people.

Long before he was born, Persian King Cyrus was prophesied in the Holy Bible not only to conquer Babylon but to order the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar in 585 b.c. When Cyrus the Great conquered Babylon in 539 b.c., all of the details prophesied in the Bible were fulfilled to the precise detail. To study more of this astounding history, please read columnist Brad Macdonald’s article “The Startling Truth About One of History’s Greatest Kings.”

But there was another event that occurred after the reign of Cyrus that is important to understand. When the Persian Empire was at its zenith under King Xerxes, one of the most interesting and dramatic episodes of intrigue took place that almost succeeded in destroying all Jews in the known world.

These events can only be found in the biblical book of Esther.

When Xerxes was planning his invasion of Greece, he banished his wife, Queen Vashti, for not obeying his orders. A seemingly inconsequential event left the king companionless just before he implemented his plans to expand the Persian Empire. Consumed with the expansion, Xerxes did not worry about finding a new queen immediately.

Ten years earlier, the westward expansion of Persia was stymied at the battle of Marathon against the Greeks, which was one of the greatest last stands in military history. In 480 b.c., Xerxes’s army of 500,000 built a bridge over the Dardanelles (a great feat of engineering) and marched toward northern Greece, with its sights set on Athens.

Xerxes now determined to take his army to Athens through the Thermopylae Pass, which was only 50 feet wide at its narrowest point. Approximately 6,000 Spartans held off the Persian army until they were betrayed and surrounded. In the end, 300 Spartan hoplites made a last stand and perished, giving the Athenians enough time to organize their defense. At the brilliant battle of Salamis, the Persian navy was defeated and Xerxes was forced to withdraw.

Back in the palace of Shushan, Xerxes still reigned over the world’s greatest empire, but his defeat led to melancholy and thoughts of a new wife. He ordered his servants to gather all the beautiful virgins in the kingdom for him to choose from. These women would be given one evening with the king to make an impression on him.

Among these young women was Hadassah, known as Esther. She was a Jewess whose parents had died when she was young. Esther was raised by her Uncle Mordecai, who worked in the king’s gate, probably as a bookkeeper.

Jews lived throughout the kingdom since Babylon uprooted them from Judah. Some had returned to Jerusalem during Cyrus’s reign under Governor Zerubbabel, but most were scattered in the Persian Empire.

The process of choosing a wife took months. During this time, Esther gained favor with Xerxes’s servants. Mordecai raised Esther to fear God, and her respectful femininity won Xerxes’s heart. But she had one secret that she never told him. Mordecai commanded her not to reveal she was a Jew. Anti-Semitism was rampant in ancient times, as has been throughout history.

Just after Esther married Xerxes and became queen of Persia, Mordecai discovered a plot against the king. He reported it to Esther, the plot was thwarted, and the two offenders were hanged. Mordecai’s part in saving the king was recorded but remained unknown by Xerxes. Mordecai continued his work in the king’s gate, performing his regular duties until another character entered the drama.

King Xerxes established Haman as his new prime minister, the chief prince of the kingdom. Wherever Haman walked, the king’s servants were to bow in reverence to him. But when Haman walked by the king’s gate, Mordecai refused to bow—he would bow to no man.

Haman was a descendant of Agag, king of the Amalekites. Centuries earlier, a descendant of Agag’s claimed to have killed King Saul, and King David executed him for it. There was a great deal of tension between the Jews and the Agagites ever since.

To Haman, who disliked the Jews, Mordecai was a rebellious dissident. His refusal to bow before him made Haman furious, so he sought to have Mordecai killed. But it didn’t stop there; his hatred for just one man could not be contained. Haman ambiguously asked Xerxes for the authority to destroy a certain rebellious people who would not keep the king’s laws—a request that was granted. Xerxes did not know that the Jews were the target, and Haman now had the chance to wipe out an entire race.

The decree sent out to the four corners of the kingdom gave permission to any member of the kingdom, on a certain date, to kill any Jew—young or old, male or female. They could take their possessions for a spoil. It was Persian tradition that once a decree was law, it could not be repealed. Thus, Haman had a legalized holocaust.

The entire Jewish race seemed destined to perish. Mordecai started fasting in sackcloth and ashes, which was illegal to do in the presence of the king. When Esther heard of it, she sent Mordecai some clothes, but he refused to take them. It was then that she learned of the fate of her people.

Mordecai told her that it was her duty to ask the king to stop the holocaust. At that point, Esther hadn’t been called on by the king in a month. If she appeared before the king without being summoned, she could be killed. She would only be spared if the king extended his golden scepter.

Esther hesitated to go before Xerxes, but Mordecai told her that perhaps the only reason God had allowed her to become queen was to save her people from this holocaust. She sent back a response to Mordecai, asking that he and all the Jews in Shushan join her in a fast for three days and nights before she approach the king. She ended with the words: “If I perish, I perish.”

At the end of the three days of fasting and beseeching God, Esther went before King Xerxes. When Esther approached the king, he happily greeted her and extended the scepter toward her. She would not die, but she also wanted the same mercy extended to her people. She invited the king and Haman to a private banquet in an effort to gain the king’s favor. The first night of the banquet delighted both men. They both agreed to come back for a second night.

In the next 24 hours, two events occurred that are important to the climax of this history. As Haman returned to his house from the royal banquet, the sight of Mordecai launched him into white hot fury. He ordered the construction of a special gallows to hang Mordecai on the next day. This appeased his wrath, and he slept soundly.

That same night, Xerxes could not sleep. He used his time to read some of his kingdom’s recent history. It was then that he read that Mordecai had uncovered the plot against him and that no reward had been given. The king intended to make up for the oversight.

The next morning when Haman visited the king, Xerxes asked him what reward should be given to the man whom the king delights in. Haman believed the king must be referring to himself, so he described a royal parade of splendor. The king told him to do everything he said, to the minutest details, for Mordecai. Haman could not believe it, but he had to carry out the king’s orders, dressing Mordecai in the king’s apparel and leading him on the king’s horse through the streets of Shushan.

The humiliated and dejected Haman returned home to find that his wife had a dream in which Haman was destroyed by the Jews. The distressed man was then whisked away to the second banquet with Esther and the king.

As the king enjoyed the second night with the queen and Haman, Esther put her plan into action. She told the king that there was a plot to destroy her people from the kingdom. Xerxes’s wrath began to boil, and he demanded to know who was responsible. Esther pointed at Haman, who sat speechless, frozen in fear and bewilderment. Haman begged for his life, but to no avail. Xerxes had him hung on the very gallows he had built for Mordecai.

But the Jews were still not safe, even though their persecutor was dead. The decree giving permission to kill the Jews could not be revoked. So Xerxes issued a new decree, giving the Jews the right to defend themselves if they were attacked. When the day came that the Jews were supposed to be destroyed, over 75,000 anti-Semites died at the hands of the defending Jews. Thus their place in the kingdom was safe, and Xerxes and his Jewish queen ruled over a tranquil kingdom. Mordecai replaced Haman as prime minister, and the destiny of the Jews was preserved.

King Xerxes and the Persian Empire preserved the promises that were to transform the whole world. Years later, Ezra and the temple prophets would come and finish the temple in Jerusalem. King Artaxerxes, son of Xerxes, would send Nehemiah back to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. From those Jews in the homeland would come the seed of promise, Jesus Christ, through whom all men, Jew and Gentile, may be saved.

This is the precious history the people of Iran have forgotten. They played a pivotal role in fulfilling the plan of the great God. Instead of seeking the genocide of the Jews, the leaders of Persia became the guardians of their lives. If only the people of Iran would remember the great King Xerxes and how he helped the Jews, rather than seeking their destruction. It is tragic that a nation with such a rich history with the Almighty God, and who changed the world forever through helping a people that everyone despised, should descend into the slavery of hatred. Iran once stopped a holocaust, but today, it is planning another.

For more information on the incredible history of Iran, read “The Startling Truth About One of History’s Greatest Kings.”

Week in Review: America’s Next Pearl Harbor, Israel’s New Defense Minister, Austria’s Shift Right, Superbugs, and Much More

Week in Review: America’s Next Pearl Harbor, Israel’s New Defense Minister, Austria’s Shift Right, Superbugs, and Much More

Keystone/Getty Images; Jan Hetfleisch/Getty Images; JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images; istockphoto.com/zmeel

All you need to know about everything in the news this week

Get all the important news from May 21–27 by downloading the Trumpet Weekly.Click here to receive it by e-mail every week.

Highlights:

Space war: America’s next Pearl Harbor

  • Reliance on satellite-based technology is greatest in the United States, and rivals—particularly the Sino-Russian axis—increasingly see that as an incentive to attack U.S. space infrastructure.
  • “Not only is the space race becoming more competitive,” wrote Debra Killalea on May 24, “but global powers are continuing to militarize what has long been considered to be the final frontier.”
  • Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry has pointed to America’s reliance on technology as the nation’s Achilles’ heel. Its heavy reliance on technology makes it vulnerable not only to a cyberattack but also to a physical or electronic attack on its satellite systems.
  • Austria’s shift to the right

  • The fringe-right candidate of Austria’s Freedom Party, Norbert Hofer, lost the nation’s presidential elections—but only by 0.3 percent.
  • At 50.0 percent, “Hofer can claim victory even in defeat,” wrote Soeren Kern for the Gatestone Institute. “By winning half the ballots cast, Hofer has exposed Austria’s gaping political divide on immigration and relations with the European Union.”
  • “Hofer’s rise, which has effectively upended Austria’s political system, has also inspired antiestablishment parties in other parts of Europe.”
  • Israel’s new right-wing defense minister

  • In an effort to stabilize and expand its coalition government, the Likud Party of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu successfully signed a deal with the Yisrael Beiteinu Party of former Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman.
  • The deal awarded Lieberman with the powerful position of defense minister, making many unhappy because they consider him an ultra-right-wing nationalist.
  • Israel will be marginalized even more, but it still will not give up East Jerusalem without a fight—as the Bible indicates.
  • Dreaded superbug found in the United States

  • An antibiotic-resistant strain of bacteria was found in a 49-year-old Pennsylvania woman last month, and some officials fear that its spread could send us back to a pre-penicillin nightmare age.
  • The superbug has been traced to pork and the industrialized livestock-raising methods of modern agriculture.
  • A new German economic crisis?

  • Germany could be heading for an economic crisis that could revolutionize Europe, wrote George Friedman of Geopolitical Futures.
  • In an undated pamphlet titled “Germany’s Invisible Crisis,” Friedman warned that Germany’s export-based economy could take a major hit from the global economic slowdown.
  • What could this mean for German manufacturing and for German unemployment rates? Could Germany deal with that problem in the same way it did in the 1930s?
  • Other news:

  • After two years of strained relations (and pinching economic sanctions), Iran has resumed its financial support of the Islamic Jihad terrorist group. “Iran is the only state that supports the [Palestinian] intifada,” its leader reportedly said.
  • Hezbollah’s leader said on Wednesday he expected the region to witness a “hot” political and military summer and fall, and that none of the Middle East conflicts would find a resolution before the American presidential elections in November.
  • Pew Research Center says that for the first time in modern history, young adults are more likely to live in their parents’ home than with a spouse or partner.
  • Get more details on these stories and more by subscribing to the Trumpet Weekly!

    Why You Must Watch Jerusalem

    Not all cities are equal in importance. The most important city on Earth is Jerusalem.

    The Road to Hiroshima Was Paved by the Japanese Killing Machine

    The Road to Hiroshima Was Paved by the Japanese Killing Machine

    Keystone/Getty Images

    Listen to the Trumpet Daily radio program that aired on May 27, 2016.

    Many today view Japan as a victim in World War ii. United States President Barack Obama’s visit to Hiroshima, the first sitting U.S. president to do so, has helped promote this image. An objective look at history, however, reveals that Japan was no innocent victim. On today’s show, Stephen Flurry explains why the bombing of Hiroshima was necessary to end World War ii.

    Listen to or download Trumpet Daily Radio Show on:

    http://app.stitcher.com/browse/feed/68064/details

    https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/trumpet-daily-radio-show/id1003885427

    http://kpcg.fm/shows/trumpet-daily-radio-show

    Will Blockchain Technology Replace Cash?

    Will Blockchain Technology Replace Cash?

    THOMAS COEX/AFP/Getty Images

    If Europe is heading toward a cashless society, the loss of freedom will follow.

    The European Central Bank (ecb) decided on May 4 to withdraw the €500 banknote from circulation by the end of 2018. The stated reason is that the bill is often used for illicit cash transactions. Although most supporters of this policy say they don’t want to totally abolish cash, some economic analysts believe a cashless monetary system will be the next step, leading to the loss of many freedoms.

    The German government also plans to limit all cash transactions to less than €5,000, saying that terrorism is often sponsored by high-cash transactions. The March terrorist attacks in Brussels, Belgium, gave these advocates a significant push forward. Even after banning the €500 note, millions of euros could still be carried in a small handbag. Nobert Haring, a German economist and business journalist, explained in an interview with N-tv that terrorists would not be bothered by the planned limit on cash transactions. He said a total ban of cash would be required to have an effect on terrorists.

    But economists fear that a cashless society will give authorities unprecedented control over their citizens. Spiegel columnist Sascha Lobo wrote on February 3, “The ban on cash payments over €5,000 could be just the first step. Finally, the abolition of physical cash offers fantastic new surveillance capabilities” (Trumpet translation throughout). In a cashless society, the government could electronically track and control ongoing transactions.

    The majority of Europeans are against a cash ban. So far, the ecb has decided to just withdraw the €500 bill. Since this bill is not commonly used by the average citizen, its removal might receive minimal protest. But consider what else Nobert Haring said (ibid):

    The political will to enforce a restriction seems to be present—even if this goes against the will of the population. If at one point €50 or €20 bills, or something similar, are the biggest bills in Europe, then cash would be already so far marginalized that an abolition would no longer be a worry. In this very gradual way of making the bills smaller and portraying cash more and more as something indecent, it can also be achieved against the will of the population. If this works, major consequences for our privacy and our freedom would follow. That would lead the way into total control.

    Interestingly, the German Bundesbank does not support this “war on cash” movement. However, many forces are working against the Bundesbank.

    The Financial Technology (Fintech) sector works on cashless transfers. Investors in Fintech have been trying, unsuccessfully, to raise awareness of more efficient banking technologies. A government-enforced abolition of cash would be a boom to the industry.

    One of the greatest supporters and advisers for these banking technology start-ups is former German economic minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg. Through his adviser company, Spitzberg Partners, Guttenberg invests in the Fintech scene in Switzerland and promotes a change in the current banking system. Last April, he joined the board of directors for Mountain Partners, a prominent Swiss investment company specializing in technology start-ups. Guttenberg believes Europe is sleeping through the digitalization.

    At the Finance 2.0 conference in Zurich, Switzerland, attendees discussed the future of digital banking. Guttenberg said: “Today we have a customer base of ‘millennials,’ which grew up under a different star than the older generation.” Customers demand more flexible banking, and Guttenberg believes that blockchain is very important in this regard.

    Supporters of blockchain say that it might be the “greatest innovation since the invention of the Internet.” This new technology is the basis of the Bitcoin currency that enables cashless transactions without the need of a middle man. Although Guttenberg does not necessarily see a future for Bitcoin, he certainly does for the technology behind it. He wrote in an article for Handelsblatt in November 2015:

    [W]e are speaking about a blockchain technology that can safely and inexpensively manage decentralized databases worldwide—without parent supervision. As inconsequential as this may sound, it is a revolutionary idea in the field of information technology.A digital bank statement for transactions between computers is created. Every conceivable variation is recognized block-by-block (hence the name) and finally stored, decentralized and distributed to many computers: all-inclusive and for a long term. The information is transparent, hardly able to be manipulated, but verified. …[O]nce the digital information is verifiable; there is no need any more for a central facility with high-paid administrators.That’s why blockchain enthusiasm is rather limited among classic and modern “intermediaries”. Why is there a need for a correspondent bank or PayPal to vouch the legitimacy of a transaction, if the authenticity of the information can be recognized and ensured without these (even faster and cheaper)? …However, the potential scope of the blockchain is much wider. The imagination knows no bounds. From contracting one’s will or land, patent directories to traffic light systems, personnel records and operations in the “Internet of Things”—even Fifa’s [soccer administration] scandals could suddenly become history.

    Prominent investors like Microsoft founder Bill Gates, former United States Financial Minister Larry Summers and the founders of Silicon Valley see a great potential in this new technology. And for good reason: All future contracts could be based on this technology, which would offer enormous possibilities. Guttenberg wrote:

    Suppose in a few years, because of your midlife crisis, you buy a wickedly expensive sports car from a slick car dealer, and you pay it in installments. However, your divorce is expensive and you cannot manage the third installment. Nonetheless, you want to cruise though Italy in summer; maybe [you want to] even stay there until your dealer or his lawyer notices that you are already over the hill—quite some time could pass [without notice] in the present year of 2015. The following could never happen with the blockchain technology: When you want to break up, your sports car remains closed. Here, not a classic contract (which can be easily bypassed) or a third party, but a digital “Smart Contract” prevents you from breaking the contract. The individual constituent parts are ensured self-sufficiently and digitally: triggering the installment payment, but also the digital closing of the sports car in the event of default.

    Using blockchain technology, if a person misses a payment, he could be electronically locked out of his car; he also could find himself locked out of his new apartment; even his electricity or water supply could be automatically denied as soon as he stopped paying his bills. If his smartphone, laptop or tv is based on such a “Smart Contract,” it could be blocked as well. Citizens who refuse to pay taxes could be excluded from all public services, supposedly preventing anyone from cheating the system.

    If cash is eliminated, people who do not have access to blockchain technology will be unable to be involved in any form of trade. In this new system, one can’t even exchange things on a larger scale because all evidence that he or she is the owner of a house, car or anything is digital. Edward Budd, chief digital officer of Deutsche Bank, said that this technology could be implemented on a large scale in three to five years.

    Consider the danger in this new system—the potential control the government would have over its citizens.

    Blockchain is supposed to be free from control by outside forces—only the individuals are involved. However, that is only true to a certain extent. The nature of the blockchain technology is that it leaves a digital record, an electronic fingerprint. Governments could piggyback this technology, creating a massive surveillance state. In the age of supercomputing and the nsa, is this really so far-fetched?

    Concerning blockchain technology, Caroline Freigang wrote in the Handelszeitung on March 9, “The technology could speed up transactions and save banks money—the middleman will become obsolete. However, the danger still exists through regulators, which could, depending on the political situation, change their mind like the wind.”

    The Bible talks about this exact scenario in Revelation 13:17: “[N]o man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” Referring to this scripture, Herbert W. Armstrong wrote in 1952 (emphasis added):

    Everyone wants to be able to “buy or sell.” In this scriptural usage, the expression “buy or sell” more literally indicates being able to buy—not that stores or those from whom one might make purchases of the necessities of life would refuse to accept the money, but that the one refusing the “mark” would not be able to buy, would not be able to earn a living, to earn a wage or salary, or to engage himself in business.

    Those who want to participate in any form of commerce will have to take on the “mark of the beast,” meaning everyone will be forced to keep the government’s laws. Mr. Armstrong explained, the mark of the beast is Sunday worship. Sunday-keeping is already an established law in a few European countries. Catholic Bishops have been trying for years to establish it across Europe. This, in particular, becomes very important when a six-day work week is introduced, as it was once planned in Greece. Through this new technology, the government could easily enforce such a law and make sure it is being kept. If someone is found not keeping Sunday worship but rather having trade records on this day, he could be denied access to the technology. In the same way, if someone is found to be not working on another day when he is supposed to work, he too could be denied access.

    Guttenberg said that Europe should be the one leading in this digitization. The book of Revelation also speaks about an economic superpower rising in Europe. This superpower will force the world to take on the mark of the beast. The blockchain technology could offer the means to fulfill that prophecy.

    The fulfillment of this prophecy in Revelation was hardly possible in 1952 as Herbert W. Armstrong wrote about it, but in a few years, if cash is abolished, this reality could become true, just as it is recorded in the Bible. To learn more about why Europe is working toward abolishing cash and its imminent consequences, read “Why Is Germany Eliminating Paper Money?

    Japanese PM Wholeheartedly Welcomes President Obama’s Visit to Hiroshima

    Japanese PM Wholeheartedly Welcomes President Obama’s Visit to Hiroshima

    Chris McGrath/Getty Images

    Listen to the Trumpet Daily radio program that aired on May 26, 2016.

    United States President Barack Obama will be the first sitting U.S. president to visit Hiroshima in what is being viewed by many as another stop on the president’s “apology tour.” Just over seven decades after Japan tried to destroy the United States, America’s leaders are apologizing for dropping the bomb—a decision that ended a brutal war and actually saved lives. Today, even as America offers its apology, it simultaneously encourages Japan’s rearmament. Where is this leading? And what is Japan’s place in the near future of world events? Listen to today’s Trumpet Daily Radio Show to find out.

    Listen to or download Trumpet Daily Radio Show on:

    http://app.stitcher.com/browse/feed/68064/details

    https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/trumpet-daily-radio-show/id1003885427

    http://kpcg.fm/shows/trumpet-daily-radio-show