Iran’s Direct Attack on Israel … A New Strategy
“Israel and the Islamic Republic of Iran are on a collision course, a leading expert said on Sunday in the wake of Saturday’s clash between the Jewish state and forces loyal to Iran in neighboring Syria.”
These are the opening words of an article written by Benjamin Kerstein originally posted in the Israeli online news source, Algemeiner.com on February 12, 2018.
Before and especially after the outrageous Iran Nuclear Deal (finalized in April, 2015 … see Eye of Prophecy article, A Deal That Will Live in Infamy, posted 8-1-15), Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has warned Iran directly and the world-at-large secondarily that Israel cannot risk and will not tolerate a nuclear-armed Iran. Nor will Israel condone the transfer of precision-guided Iranian missiles (sold by Russia to Iran) through Syria into Lebanon. For several years now, Israel has launched strikes into Syria against these armament convoys. It’s clear that the IDF’s surgical strikes have been a deterrent to an even greater build-up and deployment of missiles in Syria and Lebanon.
This past Saturday (February 10th), in the early morning hours, an Iranian “stealth” drone was launched from a caravan near the T4 (Tiyos) airbase in the central desert of Syria, not far from Palmyra. The “elite” Iranian Quds Force took over this airbase some time ago and operates it to transport and release drones and missiles throughout Syria. In the past (it’s been several years), Hezbollah has fired rockets into Israel, but Iran itself has not.
(Iranian Drones & Iran’s Ayatollah)
The article by Benjamin Kerstein continues: “There is a ‘major strategic clash on the horizon,’ said Amos Yadlin, the former head of IDF Intelligence and Executive Director of the Institute for National Security Studies. ‘We are speaking about an attempt that has never been made before,’ Yadlin said of the drone infiltration, and added that the motivation was Iran’s desire to prevent Israel’s ongoing attempts to prevent weapons transfers to the Hezbollah terrorist organization in Lebanon.
‘The Iranians … wanted to show Israel that it is also capable of attacking (Israeli) territory,’ Yadlin commented. The Iranians hoped that Israel would not respond to the escalation, but were quickly proven wrong.”
*Note: The more immediate motive for Iran’s unprecedented action was retaliation for Israel’s raid on an Iranian/Syrian weapons production facility near Damascus a few weeks earlier. Yet, in the past Iran had not responded to Israeli raids on Syrian weapons facilities. Therefore, this was Iran’s audacious attempt to directly strike a blow against Israel, and to test Israel’s resolve.
The article concludes with, “Yadlin stated in a conference call that the ongoing conflict is born of ‘Iran’s determination to build a force in Syria, and Israel’s determination not to let them.’
“A former IAF pilot, Yadlin took part in 1981’s legendary Operation Opera, which destroyed Iraq’s nuclear facility in Osirak.”
Note: That daring Israeli attack into the heart of Iraq was subsequently acknowledged by the United States and most Western nations as the main reason why Saddam Hussein never developed nuclear weapons.
Iran’s Futile Scheme to Surprise Israel
As though the Iranians thought they would catch Israel off-guard or outwit Israeli defenses, they directed the flight-path of the drone through Syrian airspace into Jordan, with the drone then manipulated suddenly into Israeli airspace. After monitoring the entire course of the drone, Israel waited 90 seconds to determine if the drone would remain in Israeli territory. When the Israeli Defense Force concluded that the drone was heading deeper into Israel, an IDF Apache helicopter shot it out of the sky.
Slightly over an hour later, eight Israeli F-16 fighter jets were scrambled to deal with the original source of what could have been several Israeli casualties had this drone fired on whatever target the Iranians may have selected in Israel. Even if it was just a “spy” drone, there’s no excuse for entering Israeli airspace.
Not only did the IDF destroy the caravan that carried this drone to its propulsion point, it also took out nearly half of Syria’s air defense installations including Iranian military sites. Some of these targets were destroyed in the first wave of Israeli F-16 air attacks; others in a second wave after a surface to air missile brought down one of the fighter jets, which crashed in northern Israel. Fortunately both the pilot and navigator survived, albeit the pilot sustained serious injuries. This was the first fighter jet lost in battle by the Israelis since 1982 … the Lebanon War.
Said Ammon Ein Dar, head of the Israeli Training and Doctrine Division, “We carried out a wide-scale attack on the aerial defense system: radars, missiles, batteries, and posts.”
Here is the count of Israel’s swift and stunning damages to Iranian and Syrian fortifications, a total of twelve separate sites: Syria’s largest airbase, with 54 runways and a control tower destroyed; 3 weapons depots; 6 Syrian military installations; 2 Iranian military bases.
In an article posted on February 11, 2018 in the online news source Jewish News Syndicate (JNS), Yaakov Lappin writes: “The escalation is the latest in an epic struggle building between Iran, which is trying to turn Syria into a forward Iranian military base, and Israel, which is determined to prevent this from happening at all costs. Iran is now trying to set a new ‘rules of the game’ and limit Israeli defensive operations in Syria.”
Lappin concludes his article by saying, “The Israeli strikes hinted at an ability to do far more significant damage should Iran decide to escalate further. Iran has no assurance that its own territory would remain immune to Israeli firepower in the event of a future conflict. The stakes of this struggle remain very high. Iran will have to decide if it will again try to challenge Israel’s freedom to operate over Syrian airspace. The situation remains explosive. Israel does not seek war, but the signals coming out of Jerusalem indicated that it has no intention of backing down from its red lines.”
Meanwhile, the Syrian civil war is anything but over. In fact, fighting has intensified once again, including the recent killing of over 200 civilians by Bashar Assad’s Syrian government forces aided by Hezbollah troops, Russian airstrikes, and Iranian missiles. The humanitarian crises is getting even worse. In all, nearly 500,000 have lost their lives in this woeful war of attrition.
(Homs, Syria … Shows Massive Damage to Just One of Many Cities in Syria. See Eye of Prophecy Article, There’s No Place Like Homs; Posted 3-12-16)
Will Things Continue as Usual?
The Apostle Peter told believers that there would be many in the last days who would scoff at the very truth of Scripture, and would mock the idea that Christ would return anytime soon, if at all.
“This is my second letter to you, dear friends, and in both of them I have tried to stimulate your wholesome (healthy, sensible, practical) thinking and refresh your memory. I want you to remember what the holy prophets said long ago and what our Lord and Savior commanded through your apostles.
“Most importantly, I want to remind you that in the last days scoffers will come, mocking the truth and following their own desires. They will say, ‘What happened to the promise that Jesus is coming again? From before the times of our ancestors, everything has remained the same since the world was first created’” (II Peter 3:1-4, parenthesis mine).
Keep in mind that 1st century Christians (first and foremost the apostles) eagerly expected that Messiah’s return would happen in their lifetime. With, however, the Holy Spirit inspiring Peter to also remind believers of God’s perspective of time: “A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day” (I Peter 3:8).
Jesus arose from the grave in the very early morning hours on the 3rd day. It’s been two thousand years since his resurrection. Might the 3rd millennium A.D. that began just 18 years ago be the early morning hours of the 3rd day that will see his return?!
(See Eye of Prophecy article, Just How Imminent is Messiah’s Imminent Return? Posted 11-18-17)).
Jesus himself said:
Day or hour is literal (no one knows the specific day or hour) and also expressive or indicative of years; but not an indefinite period of time. In fact, Jesus narrows this down to a generational time-span in his lengthy and fascinating end-times discourse (Matthew Chapters 24 & 25). That’s why he said, keep watch. Watch for what?
Answer: The signs of the “birth pains” (Matthew 24:8). Which prefaces Peter’s advice to know and understand the end-time signs predicted by the Old Testament prophets (remember what the holy prophets said long ago).
Continuing with the Apostle Peter: “They deliberately forgot that God made the heavens by the word of his command, and he brought the earth out from the water and surrounded it with water. Then he used the water to destroy the ancient world with a mighty flood. And by the same word, the present heavens and the earth have been stored up for fire. They are being kept for the day of judgment, when ungodly people will be destroyed” (II Peter 3:5-7).
No different, said Peter, than the generation of the Great Flood. Like so many today, they were oblivious to or in denial disregard of the ark built right in front of them. They ignored Noah’s preaching for 120 years regarding the (obviously implied by Scripture) reason the ark was being built, including what they must do to survive God’s judgment of a world filled with evil and violence. In contemporary times, we have far more markers than just one ark. Indicators that are (should be) as obvious as an ark being built with no body of water nearby.
Jesus used the same analogy: “When the Son of Man returns, it will be like it was in Noah’s day. In those days before the flood, the people were enjoying banquets and parties and weddings right up to the time Noah entered his boat. People didn’t realize what was going to happen until the flood came and swept them all away. That is the way it will be when the Son of Man comes” (Matthew 24:37-39).
Thus, Peter said: “I want you to remember … I want to remind you.” Not the least of which was Jesus’s profound time-dedicated prediction: “…this generation will not pass from the scene until all these things take place” (Matthew 24:34).
Despite the extraordinary events of the 20th & 21st centuries and the ominous developments in the Middle East, most unbelievers and those Christian in name only continue to do what Jesus and the Apostle Peter said they would do in the last days. Sadly, in fact, many evangelical Christians have sometimes said pretty much the same thing, but not with a “mocking” mentality. Nonetheless, they are skeptical that the return of Messiah Jesus is very near, citing the constant chain of events in the Middle East and around Israel as an ongoing conflict with no end in sight. With a vague view that it could be decades or hundreds of years longer. That and they’ve forgotten the “generational” time frame that Jesus himself said would constitute the beginning (birth pangs) of the end.
As mentioned in several Eye of Prophecy articles, there are two time-parameters of a generation in Scripture: One hundred years and seventy years. One of the most prevalent prophecies of the Old Testament is the return of the Jews to Israel (including Israel’s rebirth as a nation), many of which were linked to Messiah’s coming to earth (his return) to rescue Israel from the godless Gentile nations. Two of these staggering predictions were the Gog/Magog invasion (Ezekiel 38 & 39) and the final assault led by the Antichrist such as found in Daniel 7, 9, and 11.
So, will things continue as usual? Answer: Yes and No.
Yes. The preponderance of people on this globe continue with (reckless) abandon their pursuit of the partying mentality at all cost, disregarding the “Arks” going up in plain sight around them. Signs that will affect their eternal destiny. For them, it is business as usual.
(Lasting Two Weeks, It’s The Longest Annual Celebration in the US. The Last Day of Mardi Gras Was This Past Tuesday, 2-13-18, Known as “Fat Tuesday” From the French: Mardi … Tuesday and Gras … fat).
Jesus isn’t saying there’s anything wrong with (in moderation) banquets and celebrations and business as usual. Messiah’s first miracle (along with dozens of other subsequent miracles) proving that he was the Son of God and God the Son took place at a wedding in Cana … turning water into wine.
What is wrong and eternally risky is to ignore obvious signs that the return of Messiah Jesus is drawing so very near.
Thus, the answer to the question is also, No. These amazing 20th & 21st century prophetic arks (end-time indicators) are anything but ordinary. When compared to the 18 centuries before (the 1st century A.D. was exceptionally uncommon) they are as unusual as it gets.
Things Are Different Now!
Considering Bible prophecy and its dramatic fulfillment, I don’t get how anyone could trivialize let alone ignore the notable end-times implications of events in the last 100 years. Our grandparents, parents, we and our children have seen or read about 20th & 21st century occurrences unprecedented in the annals of the human race.
Beginning with the First World War ever. One that, before it was even over, saw the mighty British Empire endorse Lord Balfour’s declaration that the Jews had a right to return to Israel, because it was their land to begin with. Then another World War, vastly more destructive than the first. Which, if it hadn’t (through God’s sovereignty) ended when it did, would have resulted in the success of Hitler’s diabolically malicious plan to exterminate the Jews. Then the rise of the United States to superpower status. A nation originally founded on Biblical Judaic/Christian principles, predicated on and patterned after the nation of Israel—God’s chosen and special possession. Then only three years after World War II, the miraculous rebirth of Israel as a sovereign nation, just like the Bible predicted long ago. Followed by a remarkable return to Israel of Jews from all over the earth.
Also the establishment of a United Nations; a European Union; a Russian-led hub of socialist countries; an Arab League of over 50 Muslim nations; the awakening of a sleeping giant (China—kings of the East); and two rogue-nation governments (Iran and North Korea) that threaten world security like no others. All of which have been inordinately focused for decades on the tiny nation of Israel … mostly in a negative way. With this spotlight increasing exponentially to the point where you can hardly pick up a newspaper or click online without more news of what’s happening in the Middle East, particularly in, around, and to Israel.
(See Eye of Prophecy article, Global Obsession with Israel … In Biblical Proportions! Posted 1-6-18)
ALL of these extraordinary new developments intricately tie in with old Bible prophecies. The old has become new again. It is more relevant now than ever before. It is an unusual interruption of business as usual. To include the amazing advancement of transportation, communication, and knowledge that has reduced the Global community to the size of the town where you live.
(See Eye of Prophecy article, The Seal of Approval, Posted 11-15-14)
Things are certainly not the same as they were before the 20th century, especially after Israel’s rebirth as a sovereign nation that set the last day’s wheels in motion. These dramatic developments are not only a fulfillment of Bible prophecy, they are also sovereignly (God’s plan) suggestive of Israel’s original birth as a nation, then their fall from God’s favor and protection when they abandoned the Lord. And now the beginning of Israel’s final restoration and redemption.
To become a nation the Jews had to fight against countries that were Israel’s immediate neighbors—in Joshua’s time, during the time of the judges, and finally when the twelve tribes were united under King David with Jerusalem as the eternal capital of Israel. Nations like Egypt, Moab, Ammon, Edom, Philistia, and others that Israel defeated in war. And peace treaties reached with a few nations either after Israel defeated them or instead of war.
However, when the Lord disciplined Israel beginning some two hundred years after the split of the twelve tribes when King Solomon died, he used powerful Gentile nations far away from Israel. Nations whose people had strange (wicked) practices and spoke strange languages as indicated in the Old Testament. Countries whose people were not descended from Lot or Ishmael or Esau nor who were Arabs. Nations like Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Greece, and finally Rome.
Remarkably, this paradigm resurfaced after Israel was reborn as a nation in 1948. The day after statehood was declared, Israel was attacked by modern-day versions (representations) of those enemy nations adjacent to Israel before the Jews were conquered by far away nations beginning in 722 B.C. (Assyria), then Babylon in 586 B.C., then under rule of Persia, Greece, and Rome for hundreds of years.
These nearby 20th & 21st century nations are Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and (to a lesser extent) Iraq. Against all odds, Israel defeated her Arab neighbors in the 1948 War of Independence. Likewise in the Suez War of 1956, the Six-Day War of 1967, and finally the Yom Kippur War of 1973.
The Arabs of these nations, including Palestinians living in Israel, realize they cannot defeat the Jews in a conventional war. Thus, they have resorted to terrorism, BDS, writing their own (false) history of the Middle East, and persuading the UN to pass (false, unjustified) resolutions against Israel.
(Height of Ignorance, Not Only Flying in the Face of God, But Boycott of Israeli Businesses Hurt Many Palestinians Employed By These Businesses)
(Good For You, New York!)
But now Israel has a peace treaty with Egypt and Jordan, and an implied understanding with Lebanon (it is the terrorist group Hezbollah who threatens Israel, not necessarily Lebanon itself). Iraq is no longer a viable threat because of its civil war, nor is Syria for the same reason.
In terms of national military threats, who are Israel’s main enemies now?
General Answer: Nations much further away from Israel, just like when the Assyrians, Babylonians, and Romans conquered Israel and dispersed the Jews. With Persia and Greece exercising control over the exiled Jews.
In the end times, things would be reversed between Israel and her enemies. God would use Israel (directly and indirectly) as a source of punishment for nations that would seek to once again destroy Israel. Rather than the Lord using those nations to punish Israel.
Which leads us to the more specific answer of who are Israel’s main enemies today?
Specific Answer: Russia, Iran, and Turkey, three non-Arab countries who will constitute, by far, the largest and most powerful components of the Gog/Magog coalition. Do you see this precedent and pattern?
In years past Russia, Iran, and Turkey have desired a dominant foothold in the Middle East nations surrounding Israel. And now all three have their wish. When the appointed time arrived, God would accommodate the warped wish of these nations, even to the extent of enticing them to march against Israel.
Said God to Ezekiel: “Son of man, turn and face Gog of the land of Magog … prophesy against him. Give him this message from the Sovereign Lord … I will turn you around and put hooks in your jaws to lead you out with your whole army…” (Ezekiel 38:2-4).
He also told Ezekiel that this would happen “in the distant future” (verse 8).
Does over 2,500 years qualify as the distant future? I certainly believe it does! That’s exactly what is transpiring before our 21st century eyes. Moreover, the global balloon full of war and rumors of war and threats and counter threats is far too full, not to burst in the near future. The chain of current events has been stretched so tight and so fast that there’s no way it can keep from snapping.
In just the past two years or so there have been dramatic developments in the Middle East involving the three major nations that will comprise the Gog/Magog confederacy, Russia, Iran, and Turkey. As we’ve seen, the most recent is Iran’s first direct intrusion into Israel via the drone—a test of Israel’s resolve and a measure of Israel’s response. Also a demonstration that the Iranians not only intend to remain in Syria, but will continue to enlarge their surrogate sway over Lebanon (Hezbollah) and perhaps even a greater influence over Bashar Assad’s Syrian government than their partner in crime, Russia.
With a practical and predictable rule-of-engagement result: Israel dealt both Iran and Syria a devastating blow, inflicting massive damage to twelve military and weapons sites in Syria. Which has undoubtedly led to Iran’s realization (now or soon) that it cannot accomplish its treacherous boast of eliminating Israel from the face of the earth without Russia and (more reluctantly) without Turkey. That mindset is precisely what will lead to the formation of the Gog/Magog invasion of Israel in the near future—but after the Rapture.
In the past few weeks, Russia, Iran, and Turkey have bolstered their tenuous political, military, and diplomatic ties as a (terrible) trio, each nation with the other. Not all that long ago they were at each other’s throats. What originally brought them together?
Two-part answer: (1) ISIS … a common enemy. However, Turkey is known to have actually assisted ISIS, mainly because Turkey hates the Kurds based in Iraq, Syria, and Turkey much more than it fears ISIS. The Kurds have inflicted more damage on ISIS than all other freedom fighting groups in Syria battling both ISIS and Bashar Assad’s government troops.
(2) Syria’s Civil War. Russia and Iran have supported Assad’s troops, mostly with air support and missiles, respectively. Also, both nations have advisors and Special-Ops in Syria. Here again, President Erdogan of Turkey doesn’t like nor directly supports Bashar Assad; nevertheless, Erdogan is more than willing to overlook this animosity if Turkish relations with Iran and Russia are enhanced.
One huge advantage of Turkey cozying up to Russia and Iran: both of those countries extending carte blanch authority to and approval of Turkey’s latest incursion into Syria in the past two weeks to do battle with the Kurds. As a reminder or if you didn’t know, the United States supports the Kurds both militarily (air strikes and military advisors) and, to a lesser extent, politically.
It just may be the strangest, most complicated war (several wars into one) of all time. Even a simplified version of it is mind-boggling: A is fighting B who is fighting C who is fighting A … often wondering who they will be fighting today. All of them fighting D (ISIS). With the United States (and its allies) and Russia actually coordinating their bombing raids with each other!
With, however, fulfillment of Biblical prophecy an absolutely direct result. Which as alluded earlier: Russia, Iran, and Turkey cooperating not long after each was a staunch opponent of the other two.
Concerning Israel: Iran’s hatred of and overt animosity toward Israel is the most obvious. By establishing military bases in Syria and now attempting to build missile factories in Lebanon—through their puppet regime of Hezbollah—Iran is nearing the threshold of Israel’s northern border.
(“Come, they say, let’s wipe out Israel as a nation…” Psalm 83:4. The Modern Day Threat to Eliminate Israel Is Yet Another Fulfilled Biblical Prophecy)
Russia’s design for Israel is more subtle as currently demonstrated by its friendly approach toward Israel; nonetheless a shrewd scheme to take over the newly developed Israeli oil and gas fields in the Mediterranean Sea. (See Eye of Prophecy: Gog, Magog, and Leviathan posted 1-3-15).
Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin is clever. He understands this strategy of diplomacy will take him much further and more quickly than outright hostility toward Israel. Plus, he knows that the United States would instantly come to Israel’s aid should he (with or without Iran and Turkey) decide to do something about Israel now. Which is one reason the Gog/Magog attack won’t begin until after the Rapture—when millions taken from the United States will cripple America’s superpower status. That and the fact that Antichrist’s treaty with Israel will give the Jews a false sense of security; enticing Russia, Iran, and Turkey to take advantage of this peace treaty while Antichrist (Nero) is still forming and consolidating (forcing three nations … see Daniel 7:8) his powerful ten-nation coalition during the first half of the Tribulation.
Turkey is somewhere between Russia’s olive branch approach to Israel and Iran’s malicious motive to eliminate Israel altogether. Turkey’s President Erdogan loathes Israel; however, he, too, realizes the folly of taking on Israel alone. On the other hand, Turkey will jump at the opportunity to invade Israel, should Russia and Iran invite Turkey to join them.
At Putin’s incentive, three times in the recent past these three nations have convened to discuss and devise a partition type map of Syria, with the assumption that Assad will win the war against Syrian freedom fighters. Although a measure of agreement was reached to establish four demilitarized zones (no military operations), by and large these meetings have failed in their objectives. The latest was held in Sochi, Russia called, “A Congress of the Syrian People.” It failed miserably. Pending is another tripartite meeting called by Putin, with a date not yet specified. Ironically, it’s the failure of these resolution meetings that will keep Russia, Iran, and Turkey that much more entrenched in Syria.
(One of Several Recent Meetings Between Vladimir Putin and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu)
The signs of the times are mounting with incredible frequency and intensity. Here again is a list of twelve major indicators of the Omega Generation (the last generation that will lead directly to the Rapture, Tribulation, and Millennial Reign of Messiah Jesus) originally summarized in Part II of Eye of Prophecy articles, Look Up, Redemption is Near (posted July 2015):
- Rebirth of Israel as a Sovereign Nation, 1948
- Recapture of Jerusalem in the June, 1967 Six-Day War
- Jerusalem, a Heavy Burden to the Nations
- The 3rd Rebuilt Temple
- Israel’s Phenomenal Agricultural Accomplishments
- Modern-Day Alignment of Gog/Magog Nations against Israel
- National and Ethnic Wars in the 20th & 21st Centuries
- Amazing Increase of Natural Disasters
- Moral & Spiritual Decline & Intense Persecution of Christians
- False Messiahs & Prophets
- Unequaled Increase in Quantity and Speed of Transportation and Information
- Unprecedented Spread of the Gospel of Jesus Christ throughout the World
Looking Back to 2016
The following excerpts are from one of several Eye of Prophecy articles about Gog/Magog, entitled: The Gog/Magog Countdown Has Begun! Posted 9-10-16. Since then, the terrible trio of Russia, Iran, and Turkey have tightened their ties and proliferated their presence in Syria that much more.
Russia and Iran
*Note: The first paragraph is an excerpt within the excerpts … from an earlier article, entitled. Beginning of the End, posted 3-5-16. As you read these excerpts (in italics) remember that they date back to 2016.
The two most powerful nations referenced in Ezekiel’s predictions are Russia, by clear inference, and Iran, by actual name. Once enemies by virtue of the Iranian’s (Persians) national adherence to Islam, directly opposed to Russia’s atheistic communism, Iran is now an ally of Russia. They have set aside their differences for the common cause of establishing a footing in the region, under the pretense of supporting Bashar Assad and his Syrian government. Russia’s main agenda is to take over the gas fields off the coast of Israel and newly discovered oil reserves in Israel. Iran’s objective is much less subtle. Their hatred of Jews and Israel has been repeatedly voiced by their leaders with genocidal threats to: Wipe Israel from the face of the earth.
To demonstrate how much stronger this unlikely alliance between Russia and Iran is getting: Less than a month ago, for the first time ever, Iran permitted a foreign nation’s (Russia, of course) fighter bombers and jets to take off from Iran’s Hamedan Air Base. If you’ve kept up with just a little of what’s happening in the Middle East, you’ll know that this military liaison between Russia and Iran pretentiously serves the purpose of striking ISIS targets in Syria. Because both Iran and Russia support the Syrian Government still led by Bashar Assad, they also bomb and strafe Syrian rebel militia fighting against Assad. These freedom fighters are supported by the United States and some Western nations. Although Iran subsequently restricted Russia’s use of the air field to refueling only, the sure fulfillment of the Gog/Magog prophecy will eventually lead to unhindered cooperation between these two nations. Their anti-God (of the Bible) and anti-Israel agenda will override any differences.
Turkey and Iran
In that same article, Beginning of the End, I also wrote about an improbable joint military exercise (war games) between primarily Saudi Arabia and Turkey that took place this past February, called Northern Thunder. It was meant to be a show of force directly against Syrian President Assad and indirectly against Iran, which supports and subsidizes Assad in Syria and Iran’s puppet regime Hezbollah in Lebanon.
…Just like Erdogan of Turkey and Putin of Russia have cozied themselves and their countries together; in just the past three weeks, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Zarif (the same Iranian official who met with the P5 + 1 nations to seal the Iranian nuclear deal last year) met with his Turkish counterpart, Mevlut Cavusoglu. In a joint press conference, Zarif announced that Iran has every intention of resolving all remaining disputes with Turkey.
Emboldened by its sudden reconciliation with Russia and Iran, Turkey just a few days ago sent tanks and soldiers into Syria, to ostensibly strike at ISIS targets. However, as any of us who monitors the pulse of the Middle East knows: Turkey’s main interest was to attack the Kurds who seek their own independent state.
Turkey’s incursion into Syria and the Turks newfound affinity for the Russians pleases Iran to no end. In his Gatestone Institute article published August 26th, Burak Bekdil quotes Meira Svirsky at the Clarion Project: “Not only will Turkey have to digest that (Russian-Iranian-Syrian) line, it will have to join it, entering into a pact with Putin and the ayatollahs. Clearly this is where Erdogan has decided is the best place to pledge his allegiance.”
*Note: A current reminder that in just the past couple of weeks Turkey reentered Syria to intensify its war on the Kurds.
Russia and Turkey
Next, is the unimaginable reconciliation between Turkey and Russia? It was only last November that Turkey shot down a Russian warplane that allegedly strayed into Turkish airspace. The infuriated Russian President Vladimir Putin immediately leveled economic sanctions against Turkey, which cost the Turkish economy billions of dollars. The sabre rattling of the two nations against each other was heard around the world, to include absurd boasts by Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that Russia was no match for Turkish military power!
In the article, Beginning of the End (March, 2016) I made this observation:
Although diplomatic relations between Turkey (the third most prominent nation in this Gog/Magog confederation) and Russia are currently strained, that will change dramatically…. In the classic mode of “if your enemy is also my enemy,” Turkey will go all in with Russia and Iran if it means conquering Israel.
Since that article was posted, the strained relations between Russia and Turkey have, indeed, changed dramatically. This past July, (once again, this would have been the year 2016) Erdogan apologized for shooting down the Russian warplane; in August he flew to Russia, and shook hands with Putin as a prelude to normalizing diplomatic relations between the two (former) rivals. Subsequently, they have set aside their differences to the point where the Russians not only didn’t oppose Turkey’s entrance into the Syrian civil war just a couple of weeks ago; they welcomed Turkey’s sudden and direct participation.
Things to Ponder
Essentially, we can dismiss the pretentious reasons that all three nations are establishing a foothold in Syria! Ultimately, it is not because Russia and Iran want to keep Assad in power or that Turkey wants to keep the Kurds from declaring an independent state in Syria and Iraq, next to the Turkish border.
Their ultimate goal: Israel. They all have Israel in their sights.
Which is the biggest (final) mistake they and the other nations joining Gog and Magog will ever make. For to do so is to make an enemy of the God of Israel.
“Give him this message from the Sovereign Lord: Gog, I am your enemy!” (Ezekiel 38:3).
“It is a terrible thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:31).
The Lord told Israel: The result of their refusal to enter the Promised Land because they didn’t trust the Lord to give them victory over the Canaanites, would be painful. Read with me what God said:
“Because your men explored the land for forty days, you must wander in the wilderness for forty years—a year for each day, suffering the consequences of your sins. Then you will discover what it is like to have me for an enemy” (Numbers 14:34)
If the Lord (temporarily) made his own people an enemy, how severely will he deal with those nations who deny and defy him and who seek Israel’s destruction?
“O Lord, pay back our neighbors seven times for the scorn they have hurled at you. Then we your people, the sheep of your pasture, will thank you forever and ever, praising your greatness from generation to generation” (Psalm 79:12-13).
Scripture’s repeated predictions that Israel would be reestablished as a sovereign nation—with Jerusalem as its capital and return of exiled Jews to Israel—has taken place in our generation. And they have returned to stay, as exemplified in the following passage:
Nearly all of the Old Testament prophetic books (Isaiah through Malachi) contain warnings of Israel’s punishment and also God’s wrath against godless Gentile nations, especially those that participated in or condoned Israel’s destruction. Correlating secular history (dates) with Biblical history, one phenomenon you’ll find is that, for the most part, once a prophet first forecasted what would happen to Israel if they didn’t return to the Lord their God, the event normally occurred within 100 years. As the time of punishment (whether Assyria’s or Babylon’s conquest of Israel and Judah, respectively … or other events) drew closer, God’s warnings through his prophets increased in frequency and descriptive severity. In principle and pattern, that’s exactly what’s happening in and around Israel in our generation.
The Balfour Declaration of 1917, followed by Israel’s rebirth in 1947-48, then Israel’s liberation of Jerusalem in 1967 (when Gentile domination of Israel ended) have all occurred within a 100, 70, and 50-year generational time span.
The big difference, of course, is that the current events will lead to a totally different result. In our time, “…the Lord will make you (Israel) the head and not the tail, and you will always (from now on) be on top and never at the bottom” (Deuteronomy 28:13, parenthesis mine).
Although there are other indicators of the last days, the frenzied pace of the Gog/Magog formation in which the three most prominent nations of that confederacy have a foothold right next to Israel, can only mean that it’s a matter of just a short time before Russia, Iran, and Turkey cooperatively conspire to invade Israel. Which, in turn, means that the Rapture is at hand like never before!