Esther, Iran and the End Times
by Asher Intrater, Director, Revive Ministries

By Asher Intrater

I. Historic Truth

The book of Esther can be read on three levels. The first is historic truth. The events were real; they took place approximately 500 years before the time of Yeshua (Jesus).

Esther is the only book in the Bible that the name of God is not mentioned directly. Yet, the sovereignty of God is demonstrated in this book perhaps more than any other.

For instance, the same night that Haman plans to kill Mordechai, King Ahashueros can't sleep, and just happens to read how Mordechai saved his life. Haman just happens to be in the court when the King decides to honor Mordechai. God is in control, even when we don't see Him working and when circumstances seem negative.

Mordechai is the son of Kish, which means he was a descendant of King Saul (Esther 2:5). Haman is an Agagite (Esther 3:1), which means he may have been a descendant of King Agag. Some 500 years before this time, God punished Saul for not having executed Agag. The punishment seemed to be overly harsh. Only when we see Haman's plans for mass murder, do we understand that God was correct in telling Saul to execute Agag. God's judgments seem harsh to us because we don't see all that He sees. God's judgments are righteous, even when we don't understand why.

God's sovereignty also contains incredible grace. While Saul failed with Agag, Mordechai succeeded with Haman. God provided a second chance. If we have faith (and patience), God will work all things for our good, even if it takes a lot longer than we think.

II. Foreshadow of the Gospel

The second level of the book of Esther is a foreshadow of the gospel. Haman is an image of Satan, and Mordechai of Yeshua. The Bible says that the crucifixion was planned before the creation of the world (Revelation 13:8, I Peter 1:20. Therefore all the events of the Law and the Prophets were orchestrated by God in expectation of the crucifixion (Luke 24:26-27, Acts 2:30-31, I Peter 1:10-11).

There is no word in Old Testament for "cross." That is why in the New Testament, the apostles sometimes referred to the cross by the Greek word, "xulon" (in context translated as "tree", see, Acts 5:30, 10:39, 13:29; I Pe 2:24). The equivalent word in Hebrew is "ets". Both "xulon" and "ets" can mean tree, wood, or a wooden structure. In the book of Esther the word "ets" appears in 7 passages as the place of execution (Esther 2:23, 5:14, 6:4, 7:9, 8:7, 9:13, 9:25), translated as "gallows." Villains were executed by hanging them on this wooden structure. The righteous hero is almost hanged there. Then the same wooden structure suddenly switches everything from defeat to victory. Like Isaac on Moriah, like Joseph in the pit, and like Jonah in the fish, Mordechai is almost killed and then miraculously saved. Mordechai is then appointed to the second place in kingdom, with his throne above all other thrones.

III. End Times Prophecy

On the third level the book of Esther foreshadows end-times prophecies. Haman symbolizes the Antichrist, Esther the interceding Church, and Mordechai the Messianic Jewish movement.

The historical events took place in ancient Persia, equivalent to modern Iran. There was an evil man who called for the destruction of the Jews, like Ahmadinejad today. There was a confederation of 127 nations, reminiscent of the United Nations.

The closest word in biblical Hebrew for "antichrist" is "tsorer" translated enemy, adversary or foe). Haman is referred to as "tsorer" 4 times (Esther 3:10, 8:1, 9:10, 9:24). Like Haman, the Antichrist will try to kill Jews (and Christians) and unite the nations to attack Israel (Revelation 13, Ezekiel 38-39, Zechariah 12-14).

The root of anti-Semitism can be found in Esther 3:6, where the satanic figure is so offended at the Messiah figure that he is not satisfied just to kill the Messiah, but wants revenge on all of His relatives as well. Anti-Semitic, anti-Christ, and anti-Christian spirits come from a similar source.

Esther is a beautiful model of today's "Bride of Christ" (Ephesians 5:23-32, Revelation 12). She is enjoying bridal intimacy of worship with the king. She has Jewish roots, but no one knows. Although she tries to avoid it, she gets caught up in the horrible tribulation concerning the Jews. She is challenged prophetically that her own destiny and her privilege of bridal intimacy is primarily for the purpose of interceding for the salvation of Israel (Esther 4:14, Romans 11:11-15).

Although she is traumatized by this call to risk her life in intercession for the Jewish people, she decides to accept her prophetic destiny. It is through her beauty, grace, prayer and fasting that disaster is turned into victory and the kingdom delivered to the saints. (Many who know of bridal intimacy with Christ are being called as end-time Esthers today.)

During this drama, "many of the peoples of the earth became Jews" (Esther 8:17). This signifies two things: 1) a great harvest of souls for the gospel during the tribulation, and 2) many saints reconnecting to the covenants of Israel and the Jewish roots of the faith.

We would like to invite you, our dear friends in every nation, tribe and tongue, to join with us in a day of prayer, fasting and intercession in accord with the fast of Esther. You may pray alone, or sponsor a prayer meeting, or mobilize your church, Messianic congregation, or prayer network to join in with us.

The biblical fast lasted three days. The traditional Jewish fast is one 24 hour day, starting from sundown Tuesday, March 6. In Israel we will be fasting and praying with local congregations and prayer houses for a 12 hour non-stop meeting from 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM on Wednesday, March 7.

Your participation will involve three aspects:

  1. Public Scripture Reading - read out loud, as a devotional declaration and a prophetic proclamation, these three passages:
    • Esther chapters 3 and 4
    • Zechariah 12:203, 6-10; 13:1, 8-9; 14:1-9
    • Romans 9:1-5; 10:1-2; 11:1-29
  2. Fasting - at least the 24 hours from sundown to sundown on just water (with exceptions of course for those with special needs). For those who have the desire and the ability, we invite you to fast a full three days, according to Esther 4:16.
  3. Prayer - to intercede according to the themes of the book of Esther, and to emphasize at least these 7 major prayer directives:
    • Salvation for the Muslim peoples
    • Salvation for the Jewish people
    • Reconciliation between Jew and Arab through Yeshua
    • Bind spirits of anti-Semitism worldwide
    • Strengthen the local Messianic remnant in Israel
    • Guidance for government leaders in Israel and the nations
    • Prepare the Church to stand victorious in the events of the end times leading up to the Second Coming

With all the events in the Middle East, the uprisings in the Arab nations, the tensions with Iran, the persecution of the saints in Muslim countries, and the spreading of the gospel "underground" to Jews and Arabs, this year's fast has great importance, and may even represent a historic turning point. Thank you for joining with us.

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