In my book, Hidden In Plain Sight, the heretofore hidden significance of several recent Middle East events has been identified. Even though we know that many more events in our future will continue to fulfill this interpretation of prophecy in Daniel 7 and 8 if the interpretation is true, I am still continually amazed at what is being actually revealed as time goes by. The next event we have been waiting for is the growing up of the second horn of the ram. And so in this last week I find I am amazed again how events are conforming to prophecy. God is in control.
I originally thought that the second horn of the Persian ram of Daniel 8:3 was suddenly going to make an appearance quite possibly as the man who is Iranian president Ahmadinejad. But I have just discovered some recent information that reveals that the second horn has been growing all along since 1979 and that Ahmadinejad is simply the most visible manifestation of this growing power. And not only has this second horn been growing all along, but astonishingly, it is ready to establish itself as an office!
New readers may be asking about the significance of this second horn which grows so that it is longer than the first horn. This event is the harbinger for the Second Signpost – the great invasion by Iran of much of the Middle East. And it is this invasion that will set the world on the path to the great Tribulation.
“I looked up, and there before me was a ram with two horns, standing beside the canal, and the horns were long.” (Daniel 8:3a NIV)
When Ayatollah Khomeini led the Revolution in Iran in 1979 he named himself supreme leader, the top power in all of Iran. In my book, I identified the office of the supreme leader as the first horn of the Persian ram. That first horn could be said to have started growing in February 1979 when Khomeini arrived in Iran, and became established as an office in November 1979 when the constitution was adopted.
The horn is long as Daniel says because its power is far-reaching. The supreme leader is the commander of all the Iranian armed forces including those forces outside Iran which empower and fund terrorist organizations such as Hamas and Hezbollah. It is the supreme leader who allows candidates to run for office in the Parliament and for the Presidency. It is the supreme leader that sets policy for Iran.
“One of the horns was longer than the other but grew up later.” (Daniel 8:3b NIV)
The second of the two horns was to grow up later, after 1979. That word for “grew up” which is ’alah (Strong’s #5927, pronounced aw-law’) means “to ascend.” It is used in Isaiah 14:13 where Satan says in his heart “I will ascend to heaven.” I suppose when we talk about a horn getting longer we would say a horn is “growing up,” but in this case in Daniel it really is just as appropriate to say the horn is ascending, since the horn represents an office of power.
In my book, I wrote that Ahmadinejad is possibly that second horn. Since 2010 he has become more outwardly antagonistic to the supreme leader and has challenged his power, and specific examples are shown. Additionally, no other president before Ahmadinejad had challenged the supreme leader. However, as could be guessed this picture is overly simplistic. Ahmadinejad originally caught my eye as the one who made it look like the second horn was ascending. However, articles written in the last two years now show what is going on behind the scenes in Iran, and it shows we are possibly only one internal Iranian crisis away from the realization of the second horn; the horn that grew up longer, and later, from 1979 to the present.
The political factions in Iran and the relationships between Ahmadinejad, Khamenei, the IRGC, the Hojjatieh, and other figures to each other, are now starting to be understood. The surprise finding in a nutshell is: the second horn has grown up from 1979 to the present, and is ready to assume power.
The source of the first horn’s power derives its power as the head Islamic cleric, claiming power as speaking for God and originally being respected by the people. The source of the second horn’s power is much more straightforward – it is the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). The IRGC is made up of an army, navy, the Quds force (which projects influence outside Iran), and the Basij (which defends the Revolution internally in Iran). The IRGC’s charter is to defend the supreme leader and the Revolution of 1979. Iran’s regular army and navy which are outside of the IRGC, defend Iran’s territory from external attack.
The IRGC is seen now as having grown through several stages, ascending in power, as the years have passed since 1979:
“The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), tasked by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini to defend the new regime from its foes after the Iranian Revolution of 1979, has outgrown its original role into a vast social-political-economic-security complex.” [Ref. 1]
It was in the years from 1980 to 1988, the IRGC fought the Iran-Iraq War. It was in these years that it transitioned from being a group of under-trained militias to a battle-hardened and organized fighting force. Following the war, the IRGC got involved in rebuilding the infrastructure of Iran. Its engineering corps was reorganized into a construction company which was granted billions of dollars worth of contracts to both rebuild the country and put so many veterans to work. By the late 1990’s the IRGC owned several companies worth billions of dollars, and has since spread into banking, oil production, energy, and even owns the nation’s telecom company.
From 1997 to 2003 the IRGC replaced the dedicated security and intelligence forces in Iran, so that the IRGC became the sole protector of the supreme leader against riots and insurrections. But it was in the years since 2003 that the IRGC entered politics. In a future post we will take a look at the ideologies and politics of this new force in politics in Iran, the IRGC. Of the candidates representing and supported by the IRGC, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has come out in the lead.
With Ahmadinejad in office as the country’s president since 2005, former IRGC officers have flooded his cabinet and the country’s parliament. But it was the election in 2009 when Ahmadinejad was “elected” a second time that the IRGC’s power became more obvious. Not only did the IRGC stuff ballot boxes (in one province there were more votes for Ahmadinejad than there were registered voters), but the riots instigated by the Green Movement were squashed by the IRGC in a matter of days. Essentially, the IRGC put the man they wanted into the presidency. That is a power independent of the supreme leader. And with Ahmadinejad’s cabinet being roughly half former IRGC officers, many opportunities would occur for the IRGC to cement its power throughout the country.
Most recently, the sanctions that western nations have put on Iran have actually helped the IRGC, because when the IRGC bids for oil field contracts and other work there are no outside companies to compete against.
I am often struck these days how writing in various secular articles and books not only parallel the Bible prophecies in content, but even in word. Daniel 8:20 says of the two horns of the ram,
“The two-horned ram that you saw represents the kings of Media and Persia.” (NIV)
Seemingly as an answer to that, Ali Alfoneh writes in one of his articles about the supreme leader’s position in Iran, as being that of “a Platonic philosopher king.” [Ref. 2] And of the IRGC’s rise and becoming the premiere de facto power in Iran, Emanuele Ottolenghi writes in his recent book, “…the IRGC remains the final arbiter of power and, as with the original Praetorians in Roman times, a king maker in Iranian politics.” [Ref. 3]
Apparently, all the IRGC needs to do now to realize their place as the second and longer horn is to reach out and establish a second office alongside and above that of the supreme leader. Perhaps the Iranian presidential elections this year will provide that opportunity. All we need to do now is wait and see who it is to be made “king,” whether Ahmadinejad or someone else in the IRGC political faction. And when this new highest position is realized in Iran, the invasion of the Middle East by Iran becomes imminent.
[Ref. 1] Safshekan, Roozbeh and Sabet, Farzan; The Ayatollah’s Praetorians: The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and the 2009 Election Crisis; Middle East Journal, Vol. 64, No. 4, Autumn 2010; Middle East Institute.
[Ref. 2] Alfoneh, Ali; Khamene’i’s Balancing Act; March 11, 2011; American Enterprise Institute (AEI); retrieved from http://www.aei.org/article/foreign-and-defense-policy/regional/middle-east-and-north-africa/khameneis-balancing-act/; January 9, 2013.
[Ref. 3] p. 39; Ottolenghi, Emanuele; The Pasdaran: Inside Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps; FDD Press; Washington D.C.; 2011.
Categories: Signpost #2: Iran