According to the historically accurate usage of the term, Iran is not a theocracy. It could be called an “allah-cracy,” and one which appears to be dissolving at present. It is an allah-cracy and not a theocracy because as an Islamic republic it does not honor the God of the Bible. Let me explain…
Iran and other Muslim nations were not founded to revere the THEOS from Whose name (in the Greek new testament, written early in the first Christian century) the term THEO-cracy is derived. Instead, the so-called republic of Iran, ideologically antagonistic to Christianity and other religions, honors its god Allah presented in the Koran of Muhammad who died in June of the seventh Christian century.
The former Soviet Union, which existed for about seven decades of the twentieth Christian century, might be described as an “a-theocracy.” It was a state founded upon a-theistic, Marxist ideology – also consciously opposed to Christianity. That bump in the road of humanity’s annals (like other a-theistic, communist states which have come and gone to no one’s sorrow) was built not on the Rock of ages, but on utopian sand.
ANCIENT Israel – think Moses, the prophets, and David – was indeed a theocracy. It was established on earth by them and other servants of the God of the old testament, Who is the same new testament THEOS referenced above. Even that state failed! Yet throughout its existence the earnest expectation of its faithful citizens was for the coming of the unfailing, eternal kingdom of God.
One of those faithful citizens, the prophet Malachi, predicted the time when the very King of that heavenly kingdom would come into His earthly temple. When He did so c. A.D. 26 He was heralded by John the Baptizer. Both the herald and the King Himself preached the same thrilling message: “the kingdom of heaven is at hand!”
And so as the prophet Daniel had predicted c. 600 B.C., that kingdom came with power in the days of the Roman empire. After accomplishing the earthly part of His Messianic mission through His unlawful execution by the soldiers of Tiberius Caesar and His bodily resurrection from the dead to which hundreds of eye-witnesses testified, the King ascended victoriously into heaven.
From that place of supreme exaltation, and though He is presently unseen, He rules over all. The glorious reality which Daniel and all the old testament writers foresaw and foreshadowed is writ large and with crisp clarity in the new testament of the God of Abraham…of Job…of Noah…of Enoch, Seth, Abel, and of Adam and Eve the first parents of all mankind, who all are now invited by the King to His everlasting banquet.
And what did King Jesus command His subjects, whom He loved unto death? He told them to pray to His Father and their Father thus: “Your Kingdom Come!” Now alive forevermore, having all power in heaven and earth, He their good Shepherd King continues to love His subjects, cherishing them as His younger brothers and sisters. He has commanded us to make disciples of all nations by the power of His Gospel, proclaimed in the power of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of the Father and the Son.
And so like the mustard seed of His parable which grew into a great tree, that divine kingdom came, is coming, and will have no end. It continues to fill the earth by the peaceful yet inexorably prevailing power of the Prince of peace, displacing rivals without blood reddened swords or any modern equivalents. Like that plant in the parable, birds now nest in its branches. That is to say, temporal earthly kingdoms derive protection and benefit from its abiding presence and strength.
When nations reject the King of king and Lord of lords they are held in derision by Him. He sits in the heavens and laughs at them! They find only frustration, confusion, and failure. When they humbly “kiss the Son” (Psalm 2) they find blessing, prosperity, and peace.
Yes Lord! Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven!