December 6, 2008
A common theme of biblical “latter day” prophecies involves the inevitability of major wars at the end of our age. Many global trends are underway which are setting the stage for these eventual wars, and this blog will detail some of the latest developments as the world’s major militaries jockey for advantage. However, first let’s review some of the biblical prophecies about prophesied end-time wars.
When asked for about the signs that would indicate his return was near, Jesus Christ said in Matthew 24:6 that “wars and rumors of wars” would be one of the first signs to develop. He added nations and kingdoms would fight each other (Matthew 24:7) so there will be global or “world” wars. Christ also warned in Luke 21:20 that Jerusalem would be “compassed with armies” in the latter days just before a prophesied “desolation” will occur. Daniel 11:40-45’s prophecy warns of an end-time war in which a northern ruler will invade and conquer the domain of an unnamed southern ruler in the general Mideast region (see my article “A New Look at Prophecy” which examines whether the 1991 and 2003 invasions of Iraq by US/NATO forces fulfilled this prophecy). Ezekiel 38 prophesies an alliance including Russia, China, Iran, etc. will invade from out of “the north” the latter day nations of the ten tribes of “Israel” (the NATO nations and their allies) at the very end of this age. Joel 2 is an end-time prophecy paralleling Ezekiel 38. It also warns the nations of Israel (the ten tribes) will be invaded “from the north” in the latter days. Revelation 6:8 warns warfare will kill many in the end-time and Rev. 16:12-21 warn that an alliance of eastern powers will invade out of Asia westward across the Euphrates River in the direction of the Israeli nation at the end of this age. Zechariah 14 describes the warfare which will occur when the “kings of the east” reach Jerusalem. Other prophecies could be mentioned, but these are sufficient to document that global wars and intercontinental invasions are prophesied to occur in the latter days. Now let’s look at recent global developments which indicate the preparations for these prophesied wars is occurring already.
The primary antagonists of the end-time period will be the “Gog-Magog” alliance led by Russia, China, Iran and their allies vs. the alliance of the ten tribes of Israel (NATO), Judah (the Israelis) and their allies. The primary warfare preparations will involve these major players and their allies.
Russia under Vladimir Putin has become very hostile to the USA and the West, and old Cold War actions are becoming increasingly common (as readers of this blog have seen in previous postings). Russia has developed and is deploying new categories of ICBMs. China is building modern weaponry at a break-neck pace. The USA is racing to develop an anti-ICBM capacity, as the first link documents. The USA has successfully tested an anti-missile missile which is designed to shoot down ICBMs launched from Asia, and this occurred soon after Russia successfully launched an ICBM several thousands of miles to an intended target zone. To minimize tensions, the USA announced its anti-ICBM program was intended to guard against a rogue nation like North Korea launching ICBMs vs. the USA. While that may be true, the test also demonstrated very clearly that the same defensive missiles can be used to down Russian and Chinese ICBMs too. The anti-missile system being placed in Poland is intended to shoot down Iranian missiles, but it is obvious that the same defensive missiles could shoot down Russian missiles as well. Previous blogs have discussed China’s anti-satellite missile which was tested some time ago and was intended to show the USA that China can now shoot down US satellites. Previous blogs also discussed Iranian missile tests which indicated Iran was testing a missile which would climb above an intended nation and detonate an electro-magnetic pulse that would “fry” all electronic circuitry in the target nation (which obviously would be the USA, identified by Iran’s leaders as “the Great Satan”).
Even as NATO has come threateningly close to Russian borders in trying to add the Ukraine and Georgia into NATO’s alliance, Russia has retaliated by showing it can move its military forces to the USA’s doorstep. Russia has found an eager ally in Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, whose nation recently hosted Russian intercontinental bombers and Russian naval ships. One of those Russian naval ships is now transiting the Panama Canal. This is major step for Russia as none of its ships were allowed to transit the Panama Canal during the Cold War. This is described in the second link, which adds even more ominously that Russia will also be sending an aircraft carrier-led fleet to the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea (NATO waters) for maneuvers. Russia’s message is clear. It is saying: “If the USA/NATO send their warships to our backdoor in the Black Sea (which NATO did do), then we will send our warships to your backyards as well.” Indeed, both Russia and China have sent high-level delegations to Cuba recently and both Asian nations may eventually be drilling for oil off America’s continental shelf near Cuba. If this happens, Russia and China could justify permanent naval and air force bases on Cuba to “protect their oil operations.”
The third link discusses the reactions of India to the attack on Mumbai by terrorists who were based and trained in Pakistan, India’s long-time enemy. This terrorist attack has gravely deteriorated Indian-Pakistani relations, and is likely to have great-power ramifications in future years. It is drawing Pakistan into the Gog-Magog alliance, which was prophesied in Ezekiel 38:5 as “Cush” (“Ethiopia” in the KJV) will join Russia, China and Iran’s alliance. The Hindu Kush Mountains straddle the Afghan-Pakistani border region (a hotbed of anti-Americanism), so both Afghanistan and Pakistan are likely to slip away from the West. As Pakistan slides into an anti-Western stance, America’s endless and costly war in Afghanistan will become untenable. Conversely, India is sliding ever closer to the USA and NATO and recently inked a major deal with the USA which virtually turns these nations into strategic nuclear partners. The third link also makes a notable point that India is allying itself with the Israelis in an effort to possibly attack Pakistani terrorist training bases. Readers of my previous blogs know that I regard India to be the “Sheba and Dedan” of Ezekiel 38:13 which is prophesied NOT to ally itself with the Russian-Chinese-Iranian axis. It is important to note that India is drawing ever-closer to both the USA/NATO (the house of Israel) and to the Israelis (the house of Judah). However, in the interests of balance, it must be noted that India still has important ties to Russia (see fourth link below). This is understandable as Russia supplied much of India’s military equipment during the Cold War period and Russian industry will supply major projects (such as nuclear reactors and power plants) without all the environmental “strings” required by the politically-correct western nations.
The fifth blog below reports of a major American naval fleet positioned off the coasts of Iran, Pakistan and India while another internet report I saw indicated that Iran was declaring parts of its waters off-limits to conduct its own naval maneuvers designed to sink major naval ships (obviously this is intended as a message to the US fleet). India’s navy has joined NATO’s navy in anti-pirate patrols in the Arabian Sea and an Indian vessel even sank a pirate “mother-ship.”
The sixth link below reports on a joint Israeli-German effort to develop a sophisticated defensive system which could determine which missiles in an incoming missile strike actually carried nuclear weapons and which missiles would merely be decoys. This joint cooperation between the Israelis and a major NATO nation affirms Israeli long-term interests lie in an alliance with NATO democracies. It also shows how radically world events can change over a few decades. In World War II, Hitler’s maniacal Nazi machine tried to eliminate all Jews. Now Germans and Jews are working together on a joint military defensive system. However, as an example of the maneuvering for export dollars that all nations experience, this link also discusses Israeli efforts to sell military UAVs to Russia even as Russia provides a sophisticated anti-missile system to Iran (which would be used to shoot down Israeli warplanes in the event of an Israeli strike vs. Iran’s nuclear facilities).
The seventh link below warns that Russia’s next military move may be into the Crimean region of the Ukraine. Russia’s Black Sea fleet is based at a Crimean port on a long-term lease with the Ukrainian government. The current pro-western regime in the Ukraine doesn’t want to renew Russia’s lease for this port–an action utterly unacceptable to Russia. Expect Russia to either (A) do a “regime change” in the Ukraine to put that nation back in Russia’s orbit or (B) invade Ukrainian territory to annex the Crimean region to Russia in order to keep its fleet base in the Black Sea. Russia invaded Georgia to warn that nation not to join NATO. Expect Russia to take the same action with the Ukrainians if necessary. Russia will fight to keep its Black Sea base if necessary. If you look at the world from Russia’s viewpoint, that is an obvious vital interest to maintain.
Finally, the last link comments on the deployment of a powerful American X-band defensive radar system to Israel which can provide early detection of any Iranian missile attack vs. the Israelis. However, this X-band radar will be manned and controlled exclusively by American military forces stationed on Israeli territory, and Israelis will not be allowed to help operate the facility. This argues that the X-Band radar (which can monitor all kinds of military radio traffic and actions) is designed not only to watch for Iranian missiles vs. the Israelis, but to monitor all Israeli military activity as well. Look for some tensions to develop between the USA and the Israeli governments if Benjamin Netanyahu of the Likud Party wins the Israeli elections in February, 2009. The current Israeli led by Prime Minister Olmert seemed ever-willing to subordinate Israeli security interests to American pressures. A Prime Minister Netanyahu will put Israeli security interests first. American-Israeli relations could also be affected by a proposal of President-Elect Obama to place NATO forces in the Palestinian West-Bank region as a peace-keeping force. This action, if implemented, would put military forces from many nations in the immediate vicinity of Jerusalem (remember Luke 21:20’s warning that a prophesied, end-time desolation is near when “armies compass Jerusalem”). NATO forces would arrive as a “peace-keeping force,” but you can be sure they would also be used to “keep a leash” on Israeli forces as this action would position NATO forces between the Israelis and the Iranians and prevent the Israelis from having a free hand to retaliate vs. Palestinian attacks. Of course, Hezbollah forces in Lebanon and Syria are armed to the teeth with missiles which could be used to attack the Israelis at any time.
If Obama leads NATO forces into an occupying role on the West Bank, Jerusalem will be “compassed with armies,” as Luke 21:20 warned. That prophecy doesn’t mention whether those armies are friendly, hostile or both. The placement of NATO military forces on the West Bank (joining American forces already stationed in the Negev desert) would make sense given the prophecy of Revelation 16:12-18 that the armies of many eastern nations will attack westward across the Euphrates River in the direction of Jerusalem at the end of our age–leading to the great battle of Armageddon. The “kings of the east” are surely the armies of the Gog-Magog alliance which are identified as eastern, Oriental/Islamic nations located to the east of Jerusalem. This prophecy shows the Gog-Magog alliance will attack into the Mideast even as Ezekiel 38 prophesy that it will also attack the homelands of the modern nations of the ten tribes of Israel “from the north”‘ at the same time. With American forces posted in Iraq and Israel and NATO forces stationed in the West Bank, you can see why Russia will attack NATO forces throughout the Mideast. Ezekiel 38:5 prophesies Persia (Iran) will be part of the Gog-Magog alliance and Iran has already declared openly they want to “wipe the Israelis off the map.”
We live in an era of “wars and rumors of wars,” just as Matthew 24:6 prophesied. Sometimes we will have “hot” wars, like the Russian-Georgian war, the American-Iraqi war and the Israeli-Hezbollah war. Many of the “rumors of wars” will not actually develop into shooting wars. This site makes no predictions re: the year that the final, prophesied, climactic war of our age will occur, but its footsteps are approaching.