by Nathan Jones Students of Bible prophecy are always keeping a close eye on the news, looking for events that fulfill what the Bible explicitly says will lead up to Jesus' soon return. This past few weeks the news has been filled chock full with set-up events that have arranged the players in their proper place for an epic prophetic event.
Read through the following headlines and summaries and see if you can recognize just which prophetically appointed event we're looking at. (I'll give you a hint: there's more than one.)
1. Iran Leaders Pave Way for Messianic 'Mahdi' Iran last week held a multi-day conference... to plot what can be done to hasten the coming of the messianic, endtimes personage known as the Mahdi. Shiite Muslims believing the Mahdi is a messianic figure who will return after an apocalypse to elevate Shiite Islam to the status of the only true religion, with the consequence that all false religions, including Sunni Islam, will be vanquished. Israeli military intelligence experts are convinced that Ahmadinejad's expressed religious devotion to the Mahdi is genuine.
2. Famous quotes by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad:
"Anybody who recognizes Israel will burn in the fire of the Islamic nation's fury,â€
"The skirmishes in the occupied land are part of a war of destiny. The outcome of hundreds of years of war will be defined in Palestinian land. As the Imam said, Israel must be wiped off the map." 3. 5 more nuke plants spotted in Iran Deep-cover MI6 agents who found the previously secret underground uranium enrichment plant near the Iranian holy city of Qom have discovered a staggering five more similar plants.
4. Iran Has Enough Uranium to Build at Least 2 Bombs IAEA indicates that Iran now has at least 1,508 kgs of low-grade uranium. Thus, Iran now appears to have the essential materials to move steadily towards building two atomic bombs as soon as it makes the political decision to do so.
5. Gaza rockets can now reach Tel Aviv The head of Israel's Military Intelligence on Tuesday November 2nd warned that Hamas terrorists in the Gaza Strip now possess missiles capable of striking Tel Aviv.
6. Iran Threatens Oil Transport Route With the prospect of Israel bombing Iran's nuclear facilities looming, Tehran has renewed its threat to shut down the strategic Strait of Hormuz, through which up to 40 percent of the world's oil supplies pass.
7. Sudan wins a seat on the UN Human Rights Commission
8. Turkey: An Ally No More Turkey has taken a radical turn in their international policies, abandoning almost overnight its 2 decades long relationship with Israel. On October 13, 2009, Turkey cancelled a joint military exercise with Israel and instead signed a treaty with Syria that includes plans to strengthen military ties and to end visa requirements for each country. Syria is one of Israel's most aggressively hostile border enemies.
9. Armenian-Turkish Accord In the news is the historical geo-political establishment of protocols for full diplomatic relations between the Armenian and Turkish peoples. Armenia is also full member of the Russian-led military alliance known as the Collective Security Treaty Organization.
10. Large Quantities of Natural Gas Found off Haifa Coast Israel continues to explore the mother lode of natural gas deposits. Noble Energy and a consortium of exploration and drilling companies have after 5 years of drilling at the Tamar site 56 miles west of the northern port of Haifa discovered an estimated 3 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.
11. Russian-Syrian-Iranian Axis Russia, Iran and Syria have entered a defense pact that is in the process of altering the balance of power in the entire Middle East. The facts reveal a long, steady Russian commitment to the Iranian nuclear program and arms supply to Syria.
Painting a Prophetic Picture
Russia and Iran allies? Turkey turning on Israel and siding with Iran. Russia playing behind the scenes giving nuclear know-how and weapons for an attack on Israel? Mismatched countries now united by their Islamic hatred and jealousy of the Jews. Israel discovering exceeding wealth in natural gas? This all sounds very familiar, like I read it somewhere in the Bible. Indeed I did, in the book of Ezekiel, a prophet who wrote Godâ€™s prophetic word down almost 2,600 years ago.
Ezekiel in chapters 38 and 39 tell in great detail of an epic battle that will change the very world we live in â€” called the "Gog-Magog Battle." In this battle God entices the greed of a ruler designated "Gog" to lead the modern equivalents of Russia, Turkey, Armenia, the "Stan" countries, Iran, Sudan, Ethiopia, Libya, and Algeria in an effort to plunder and annihilate Israel. Their effort is in vain, though, for God miraculously destroys the invading Muslim horde with His signature fire and brimstone, earthquakes and hailstones.
The alliances for this battle are already in place. Israel will be forced to deal with this threat in the very near future. In their present humanistic ideological mindset the Jewish nation doesn't yet see that God has got their backs, so they will feel forced to act, and act expediently, or face extermination.
But first, there are the surrounding jihadist nations bordering Israel like Jordan, Egypt, Gaza, Lebanon and Syria who bewilderingly sit out the Gog-Magog Battle for Israel to contend with. And then, there is the question about whether the Church will be here for such a "time of Jacob's trouble."
The current news paints a grand picture showing that we are on the dagger's edge of the fulfillment of a great number of end time prophetic events.