As far as the Middle East was concerned the Arab nations all considered Israel as a hostile enemy. And Saudi Arabia may have been hostile to Russia and friendly with America but it resisted any idea of peace with Israel. Although there were changes here and there this persistent alliance made many to reconsider many of the prophecies and wonder if many had got it wrong. Even still today Nato is a fully functioning alliance however cracks are showing and nations are now considering their long held positions.
To start with I think it is worth reading the words of Grahame Pearce from the 1977 Milestones on page 32 under the heading “Two Mountains of Brass”:
“According to the last part of Daniel, chapter 11, there will exist when Christ returns two hostile powers north and south of the land, repeating the kind of situation outlined in such detail in the early part of the chapter. The idea of a north and a south power is not limited to Daniel, ch. 11; it is even more clearly expressed in Zechariah, ch. 6. In this chapter the four chariots go forth from standing before the Lord of all the earth to walk to and fro through the earth; the man whose name is the BRANCH becomes king and priest; the temple is built. Clearly, it is the time of setting up the kingdom. And the phrase of importance is that the four chariots go forth from between two mountains of brass. This conveys the idea of two 'mountain' powers north and south of Jerusalem. In Ezekiel, chapter 38, too, there is a power that challenges the northern invader: "Art thou come to take a spoil?" So we should be looking today for those movements that will provide "two mountain" powers antagonistic to each other established north and south of the Land.”
Graham Pearce was nothing short of excited about the developments with the Southern power but as far as peace with Israel, it still seemed along way off, in fact, Graham believed that it was possible that the temporary peace of Ezekiel 38 may develop after the return of Jesus Christ. Listen to the following quote from the same book on page 44:
“The excitement of seeing many forward moves relative to the 'King of the South' is somewhat dampened when we turn to Israel. There is little insight that points to that strange peace in the land before the great confederacy comes from the north to take a spoil. Israel is to "dwell safely all of them;" they are described as "them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates;" "in that day when My people dwell safely, shalt thou not know it?" As proposed in the booklet Russia, The Vatican and the Invasion of Israel this remarkable state of things probably follows on after the resurrection and the hidden unrecognized power of Christ as a major influence in this region. Nevertheless, we do well to look for signs that point in the direction of peace in this area; and they are not altogether absent.”
So 30 years ago in 1977 Grahame Pearce could see movements that indicated this north-south divide in the nations was starting to show however there was only slight movement as far as Israel’s peace was concerned. The picture today is far more developed and there are many signs that this reasoning from scripture was certainly sound. Interesting all the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle are coming into place at the same time, and even the events of the last few weeks have been significant.
We will first note the crisis in Qatar. Qatar has for some time faced criticism from its Arab neighbors after it supported the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt in 2014 and has been increasingly cozying up to Iran. Whether it is working in coordination with America or not, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) has come out and blasted Qatar for funding terrorism and interestingly including Hamas. Not only has the GCC blasted Qatar verbally but they have also shut down air, land and sea traffic between Qatar and Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. This has left Qatar scrambling for its fresh food and other supplies it gets from Saudi Arabia and the other neighboring nation. In fact, it has produced what it is being called the largest bovine airlift in history as Qatar airlifted thousands of cows in order to get fresh milk! However more interesting prophetically than a bovine airlift is, is the airlift of Iranian and Turkish forces into Qatar to ensure there is no late night coup putting Saudi Arabia and southern Arab powers into very public conflict with Iran and Turkey.
Out of the Qatar crisis interestingly Israel seems to greatly benefit. To start with the GCC is calling for Qatar to stop funding Hamas and other terror organizations, but it does not stop there. In Saudi Arabia and Egypt especially are no fans of the Al Jazeera news network which is run out of Qatar. It also so happens that Al Jazeera is hugely biased against Israel. In fact, this crisis has now brought about the language in the news of the “Saudi-Israeli entente.” The following quote is from the Huffington Post:
“By backing Saudi Arabia’s vision of the Middle East and boosting the Saudi-Israeli entente against Iran President Trump has sparked a geopolitical earthquake in the region, especially within the Saudi-led Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Egypt cut ties, attempting to isolate tiny but influential Qatar, accusing it of sponsoring terrorism. At the same time, the de facto Saudi-Israeli axis labels Iran an immediate existential threat, drawing their American ally back into the Middle East…”
It does seem to be awkward for America as it has a huge military base in Qatar, but either way for Israel it will be very welcome news. And for Bible prophecy we have been waiting a long time for these alliances to start to develop, in fact, Graham Pearce wondered if we would even see this prior to Christ’s return. Well, we are seeing it and a common enemy such as Iran seems to be doing the trick. Events may cool down again but I think it is clear the way they are going.
Add to the events of surrounding Qatar is the news regarding the Prime Ministers of India’s scheduled visit to Israel. The Jerusalem Post is reported the following:
“It is a ritual followed by nearly all presidents, prime ministers and foreign ministers who visit Israel: come to the country for 24, 48, or 72 hours, spend most of their time in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, but make sure to stop by Ramallah or Bethlehem for a few hours for a couple of meetings with Palestinian Authority officials. In this way the visit can be billed at home and abroad not as a visit to Israel, but rather to Israel-Palestine.”
However, the article continues that “Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi – who will be the first serving Indian prime minister to visit Israel when he comes here in the first week of July to mark 25 years of the establishment of diplomatic ties – is set to break the mold.
Unless there are last minute changes, Modi is coming to Israel, period. And with this act, he will send a strong message to his own people, to Arabs, and to Israelis, that he is – as the Indians themselves like to describe it – removing the hyphen from the country’s ties with Israel.
Modi will underscore with this move that India’s ties with Israel stand on their own, and are independent of Israel’s relations with the PA or the pace of the diplomatic process.
And for Israel this is huge, something it wishes the European Union would emulate. In stark contrast with India, the EU as a body – and a number of its individual states as component parts – have linked their pace of development of ties with Israel to the settlement issue or the diplomatic process. Modi’s visit is an indication that the Indians are having none of that.”
This is interesting prophetically as India, once a British colony is also considered the “eastern Tarshish” mentioned in 1 Kings 10:21-22 that reads “Once in three years came the navy of Tarshish, bringing gold, and silver, ivory, and apes and peacocks.”
Well not only are events with the southern powers taking shape, so too in the north. Since Trump took office the relationship between America and the Europeans has continued to cool off. We had the French election of Macron who has been openly critical of Donald Trump as well as the American withdrawal from the Paris climate agreements. Add to all of that just this week in America the Senate voted to bring more sanctions down on Russia. What is remarkable is the way in which Germany reacted. The following is from the BBC:
“Germany and Austria have sharply criticized the US Senate for tightening sanctions on Russia, accusing the US of threatening Europe's energy supplies… In a joint statement, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel and Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern said Europe's energy supplies were "a matter for Europe, not for the United States.”
And as for Britain, although it is in complete turmoil currently, Brexit will one way or another go ahead leaving Europe without the British influence or protection. A Europe distanced from America and Britain will no doubt look for protection elsewhere and it is the prophecy of Ezekiel 38 that tells us where the protection will come from, Gog, the prince of Rosh, Meschech and Tubal, or in today nations, Russia.
With the nations aligning along the prophetical lines it means only thing, we are near to the return of the Lord Jesus Christ, the one who has been directing all these events from the right hand of Almighty God.
Come back again next week as we continue to discuss the Bible in the news, at bibleinthenews.com