Brannon Howse of Worldview Weekend has recently posted an article by Michael Snyder, “24 Signs That We Are Getting Dangerously Close To A Major War In The Middle East” The article is so accurate that there is no point in me rewriting it, although I do have some relevant comments to add;
All the signs are there. Obama is doing everything possible to avoid a war, but it is coming nonetheless. In fact, by procrastinating, he is actually going to make it worse than it needs to be, as is usually the case when we procrastinate.
Coming from a prophetic perspective, my first question is; Does this war have prophetic significance?
The first thing we need to understand is, it hasn’t happened yet. Until it does, the details are rather murky.
As I have detailed in The Spirit of Prophecy, there are at least two prophetically significant End Times wars that will occur during the Church age. These are the Psalm 83 invasion of Israel by the Arabs, and then a few years later, the Ezekiel 38-39 war.
The details of these wars are spelled out for us in Scripture, and most of them are pretty straight forward. One item of significance is that there is no overlap of the antagonists of these two wars.
One significant aside I see, is the rift developing between Russia and the Arabs. In the civil war in Syria, Russia is solidly on the side of Assad, while Saudi Arabia is supporting the Sunni rebels. Should the rebels succeed in toppling Assad, I expect a cooling of the relationship between the Sunni Arab nations and Russia. This all fits very well into the Psalm 83 war scenario.
The Arabs will make peace with Israel after being defeated in the Psalm 83 war, and are only in the Ezekiel account as neighboring nations who protest the war. They appear in Ezekiel 38:13 as “Sheba, Dedan and Tarshish”: Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof, shall say unto thee, Art thou come to take a spoil? hast thou gathered thy company to take a prey? to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil?
Many scholars have speculated that these entities could be European, or even the USA, but the use of the word “come” should tell us that they are in close proximity to Israel. The attacking armies have to “come” through their territory to get to Israel. I would expect that due to a peace treaty they have made with Israel, after the Psalm 83 war, their armed forces are relatively small, and cannot stop the invading forces, so all they can do is lodge a diplomatic protest.
I have looked and have not found a war in Scripture where Iran and Syria attack Israel together, except Armageddon. In that event they will be joined by the rest of the world.
It appears, therefore, that the events going on right now with the civil war in Syria, and the nuclear standoff with Iran, are preliminary skirmishes. These conflicts are serving to align the nations of the Middle East into the two factions that will ultimately make up these two wars.
I expect we will see a circle of nations surrounding Israel, join together to attack her in the Psalm 83 war. As I proved in The Spirit of Prophecy, these nations are Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the Palestinians, and Egypt. They may be joined by the other Arab states of the Arabian peninsula, but will not include Turkey, Libya, Russia, Sudan, and Iran.
These last nations will attack Israel several years later, during the Gog and Magog war, and will be joined by the nations of the former Soviet Union, as well as several eastern countries, likely including Malaysia. That war will look so much like Armageddon, that many professing Christians will identify it as such. This is a mistake, and is the result of not comparing Scripture with Scripture. The problem is that after Armageddon Jesus will return, but after the Gog and Magog war, the Antichrist will arise. Getting these two wars mixed up will result in professing Christians supporting the Antichrist, as if he was the returned Christ!
These two wars make up the framework of what I have dubbed a pseudo, or artificial Tribulation Period. The events surrounding these conflicts will include several duplicates of Revelation’s Tribulation scenario, including a European dictator who looks a lot like the Antichrist.
Can these two wars be stopped? No!
Can they be delayed? Maybe. They cannot be delayed by negotiation and appeasement, however. That will only serve to hasten them, as it did for World War II, with Chamberlain and Hitler. If the people of the earth were to turn to Jesus Christ, repent of their sins, and pray for Him to intervene, the war might actually be delayed for a generation or so, but it doesn’t look like anything of that sort is about to happen. It actually looks like the west has turned their backs on Jesus Christ, and is attempting to solve their problems on their own. This is a guaranteed recipe for disaster!
Dan Knezacek is the author of The Spirit of Prophecy