Syria’s “Arab Spring” has become much more than an internal political unrest. With other nations taking sides in the conflict, Syria becomes another link between Iran and Russia—a force prophesied to strike against Israel in the last days. Sanctions have been placed on Syria’s current regime under President Bashar al-Assad for their harsh crackdown on opposing political groups. Reuters wire service reported on April 26, 2012 that, “Sanctions prohibit EU and US firms from buying Syrian oil or doing business with Syrian companies handling imports of crude and refined products. Most former suppliers have dropped out for fear of violating measures designed to punish President Bashar al-Assad for his crackdown on opponents.” Who has stepped in to sell Syria the fuel supply they need for heavy vehicles such as tanks? Iran and Russia.
This isn’t the first time Russia has sided with Iran against Western governments. Russia has been adamantly opposed to the US and EU establishing antiballistic missile defenses in eastern Europe to protect against a potential Iranian nuclear threat.
While some of these geopolitical developments are new, it was predicted a very long time ago. The prophecies of Ezekiel 38 and 39 indicate in the future of Israel that there will come a time when Iran and Russia will invade Israel. The two countries particularly mentioned in Ezekiel 38:2, 5 are the nations of “Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal” (v. 2) and “Persia” (v. 5). These are united against Israel with other nations north of Israel and in north Africa. Linguists have said the word chief in our King James Bible is from the Hebrew word rosh. Rosh means “chief” or “summit,” and some have said that because of its association with Meshech and Tubal, identified as Moscow and Tobolsk (a Russian province), that Rosh may be Russia. Persia is modern-day Iran, which changed its name to Iran in 1935, and in 1979 to the Islamic Republic of Iran.
The significance for us is to see how these nations are developing alliances that will lead to an open assault on Israel during the tribulation. The Ezekiel prophecy is stating that Russia and Iran particularly along with their allies will invade Israel like a storm cloud that covers the land (Ezekiel 38:9). What we see in the present time is the distancing of Russia, Iran, Syria, and Egypt from Europe, Israel and the US
While Russia may be acting in cold self-interest, Iran’s desire to annihilate both Israel and the US comes from their own Islamic eschatology. In a Fox News report from November 7, 2011, the following was reported concerning Iran’s president and his view for the future and a coming Islamic ruler:
Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad are convinced that the End of Days has come. They believe the Shia messiah known as the “Twelfth Imam” or the “Mahdi” will appear soon to establish a global Islamic kingdom known as the caliphate.
What’s more, they believe the way to hasten the coming of the Twelfth Imam is to annihilate Israel (which they call the “Little Satan”), and the US (which they call the “Great Satan”). We should not, therefore, be surprised that Iran is probing for weaknesses in American intelligence and homeland security.
Khamenei told Iranians in July 2010 that he personally met with the Twelfth Imam. He also claimed to be the personal representative of the Mahdi on earth, and said all Muslims must “obey him.” Meanwhile, Western intelligence agencies say he continues to work with Ahmadinejad and the Iranian military to develop nuclear warheads and the ballistic missiles to deliver them.
Much of the media has focused on Iran’s threats to wipe Israel “off the map.” But journalists have generally ignored the fact that the Iranian regime is equally determined to destroy the US.
On October 26, 2005, for example, Ahmadinejad said, “God willing, with the force of God behind it, we shall soon experience a world without the US and Zionism.”
Iran and her allies will not be satisfied to live in peace with Israel and the US, but will only be satisfied when both are erased from the face of the earth. How this works into future events is obvious, and we should do all that we can to reach lost souls in these last days.