The Coming Middle East Regional War

 

The following is an excerpt from chapter 10 of my book As America Has Done To Israel. This excerpt deals with the first war leading to the battle of Armageddon and the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Bible lists all the countries that are involved in trying to destroy Israel. The Bible also describes their destruction. I believe the rise of Iran , and its attempt to build nuclear weapons are the sign the first war is on the horizon.

Please read my book to get a full understanding of what the Bible calls the Day of the Lord.

Key Indicators The Day of the Lord is at Hand

There are certain general indicators in the Bible which must be in place for the Day of Lord to occur.  Remember, the Day of the Lord includes the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.  These indicators are now falling into place.

Some of these indicators are: the rebirth of Israel.  Jewish people return to Israel from a worldwide dispersion.   Jerusalem once again is the capital.   Israel is a great military power.  The nations of the world reject Israel.   Israel is the target of horrific wars.  Russia is a major military power.   Russia aligns with Iran and other Islamic nations.  Asia is able to field an army of two hundred million.  A one world system of government will be in place.

In addition to the general indicators, the Bible gives specific key indicators that the Day of Lord is near.  The first key indicator is the total destruction of Iraq.  The ancient name for Iraq was Babylon.  The Babylonian Empire of 2600 years ago was located in what today is Iraq.  The prophet Isaiah zeros in on Iraq , as the one of the key indicators to watch.

Isaiah writes that as the Day of the Lord nears, God brings a nation from the "end of heaven" to completely destroy the area of ancient Babylon.  This particular nation possesses fierce weapons which can totally destroy Iraq to the degree it is uninhabitable.

The geographical center of the Bible is Israel.  So the expression "end of heaven" means as far away as possible from Israel.  It appears from the way Isaiah describes this nation, it did not exist in Isaiah’s day.  This nation does exist just prior to the Day of the Lord.

At the time just prior to the Day of the Lord, the entire world is upset with Iraq.  It is the focus of world attention, but one unnamed nation, that is as far away from Israel as possible, destroys the land that encompasses ancient Babylon.  Isaiah writes that God is directing the actions of this nation to destroy the area of land that the Bible describes as Babylon.

"The burden of Babylon, which Isaiah the son of Amoz did see... (4) The noise of a multitude in the mountains, like as of a great people; a tumultuous noise of the kingdoms of nations gathered together: the LORD of hosts mustereth the host of the battle.

(5) They come from a far country, from the end of heaven, even the LORD, and the weapons of his indignation, to destroy the whole land." Isaiah 13:1, 4, 5.

Babylon is destroyed like Sodom and Gomorrah and it becomes uninhabitable.  These Scriptures about Babylon were never completely fulfilled.  God never judged ancient Babylon with awesome devastation.  The city of Babylon and the empire fell in 539 BC to the Persians; however Babylon remained a great city.  This total destruction, as described in the Bible, occurs far in the future from 539 BC.  The destruction takes place just prior to the Day of the Lord.

"And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees' excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah.

(20) It shall never be inhabited, neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation: neither shall the Arabian pitch tent there; neither shall the shepherds make their fold there." Isaiah 13: 19, 20.

The prophet Isaiah, writing in 700 BCE, reports the complete destruction of Babylon is the key indicator.  The total destruction of Babylon by a nation from the "end of heaven" is the sign for all to see that the Day of the Lord is at hand.  Let us look at this verse.

"Howl ye; for the day of the LORD is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty." Isaiah 13:6.

America fits perfectly into this Biblical scenario because it is a nation from "the end of heaven" and possesses fearful weapons which could completely destroy Iraq ; thus, it is possible for the soon fulfillment of Isaiah 13.  It is very possible that America is the very nation that Isaiah described!

In 1991, America entered into a war with Iraq.  Then in 2003, the United States for a second time engaged Iraq in war.  A nation from the "end of heaven" with awesome weapons of indignation came to " Babylon."  It appears that the two wars with Iraq are leading to a third which could result in the destruction of the entire nation.  This destruction is so horrific that everyone has to flee and the land becomes uninhabitable.

This complete and utter destruction has not occurred; however the circumstances for this possibility are now in place.  It appears that Iraq degenerates into total chaos that requires complete destruction.  Maybe the nation becomes a center for terrorists who use weapons of mass destruction.

Watch for the total destruction of Iraq and then know the Day of the Lord is at hand.  At this point, the world has run out of time with the holy God of Israel.  The terrible Day of the Lord is about to begin.  The awesome Second Coming of Jesus Christ is near.

"Howl ye; for the day of the LORD is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty. (7) Therefore shall all hands be faint, and every man's heart shall melt:

(9) Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it. (11) And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible." Isaiah 13:6, 7, 9, 11.

The First War

"For it is the day of the Lord's vengeance, and the year of recompenses for the controversy of Zion." Isaiah 34:8.

As the Day of the Lord nears, the Bible describes three different battles.  Each battle gets progressively larger in scope.  The first battle involves the destruction of Iraq , mentioned above, and the nations bordering Israel.  The second battle is lead by Russia with the rest of the Islamic nations, and the third is the battle of Armageddon which involves Asia with an army of 200 million.

The destruction of Iraq is the opening salvo of the wars, but along with Iraq other nations are destroyed.  It appears the people facing judgment with Iraqis are the Palestinians, Jordanians, Egyptians, Syrians and possibly Saudi Arabians.  God judges these nations when they attempt to annihilate Israel.

With the weapons of mass destruction that the nations have acquired, this war could eclipse all previous wars in horror.  A major war in the Middle East would soon destabilize the entire world, as even the hint of a disruption of the oil flow would send the world economy crashing.  Let us look at what the prophets say about the nations involved in this coming first war.

Palestinians - Philistines, House of Esau

On September 28, 2000, the final battle over Jerusalem may have begun.  The conflict over the Temple Mount which started on this day has not really subsided.  The major trigger point is Jerusalem and the Temple Mount.  Any disturbance on the Temple Mount or destruction of the Al-Aksa Mosque or the Dome of the Rock could instantaneously ignite an all out Muslim assault against Israel.   Jerusalem is the flash point for a war of no return.

The Bible speaks directly to the current Israeli - Palestinian conflict.  The Palestinians have fought Israel at every turn since 1920.  Many Palestinians participated in the attacks on Israel in 1948 and 1967.  They formed terrorist groups and attacked Israel non-stop.  In January 2006, the Palestinians elected the terrorist group Hamas to head their government.

The Bible states that as the Day of the Lord nears, the Jews drive the Palestinians completely from the land of Israel.  The complete removal of the Palestinians is another key sign of the approaching the Day of the Lord.

It is very easy to follow the explosive situation between the Palestinians and Israelis to an all out war and the elimination of the Palestinians from the covenant land.  The prophet Obadiah, writing in 600 BCE, speaks to us today about this situation.  The prophet ties this conflict with the coming Day of the Lord.

"For the day of the LORD is near upon all the heathen: as thou hast done (to Israel ), it shall be done unto thee: thy reward shall return upon thine own head.

(18) And the house of Jacob shall be a fire, and the house of Joseph a flame, and the house of Esau for stubble, and they shall kindle in them, and devour them; and there shall not be any remaining of the house of Esau; for the LORD hath spoken it.

(19) And they of the south shall possess the mount of Esau; and they of the plain the Philistines: and they shall possess the fields of Ephraim, and the fields of Samaria : and Benjamin shall possess Gilead." Obadiah 1:15, 18, 19.

The prophet Obadiah states that as the Day of the Lord draws near a horrific war erupts between the Jews, "House of Jacob," and the Palestinians, "House of Esau."  This war results in all the Palestinians being driven from the covenant land.  The prophet states that Israel will possess the Plain of the Philistines, which is Gaza.  Ephraim and Samaria located in the West Bank, are brought under Israeli control, along with Gilead.  Gilead is the East Bank of the Jordan River.

Hamas means strength and bravery, and this Palestinian terrorist organization refers to itself as the Islamic Resistance Movement.  Hamas formed in the 1980s, and on August 18, 1988, Hamas officially declared its covenant.  This covenant outlined the objectives and methods of Hamas.  In the Preamble, Hamas declared, " Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it"

Hamas does not recognize the right of Israel to exist as a nation.  Article Eleven contains this doctrine:

"The Islamic Resistance Movement believes that the land of Palestine is an Islamic Waqf consecrated for future Muslim generations until Judgment Day. It, or any part of it, should not be squandered: it, or any part of it, should not be given up"

The Hamas Covenant leaves no room for negotiations with Israel.  Hamas calls for the total destruction of Israel.  It calls for no negotiations with Israel but continual Jihad until Israel is destroyed.  Let’s look at Article Thirteen:

"There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors. The Palestinian people know better than to consent to having their future, rights and fate toyed with."

With Hamas now in control of the Palestinians, it is just a matter of time before an all out war erupts.  The circumstances for this happening, and leading to the Day of the Lord, are certainly plausible as even now the battle rages every day in Israel.  This fighting in Israel cannot go on forever.

The combinations of the Israeli - Palestinian conflict along with the United States involvement in Iraq are powerful signs that the Day of the Lord is drawing very near.

Syria and Lebanon

Syria is Israel ’s longtime worst enemy.   Israel fought Syria in 1948, 1967 and 1973.   Syria is the base for several terrorist organizations such as Hamas.   Syria also controls Lebanon and uses this country as a front to attack Israel.  Under the control of Syria many terrorist groups, such as Hezbullah, have attacked Israel , even up to July 2006 when fighting once again erupted.  The word hezbullah means "the party of god."

The relationship between Hezbullah and Syria is complicated.  Syria controls Lebanon , but Hezbullah is religiously aligned with Iran.  Hezbullah was first formed in Iran during the revolution started by Ayatollah Khomeini and transplanted to Lebanon.  Both Syria and Iran supply Hezbullah with weapons to attack Israel.  These weapons include thousands of missiles which can reach deep into Israel.

Hezbullah is a terrorist organization that formed in 1982 to fight against Israel.  In 1983, it was responsible for the explosion that killed 281 United States Marines.  This terrorist group now controls most of Lebanon ’s southern border with Israel.  It has evolved beyond a military organization to now reaching political power in Lebanon along with providing social services.  Hezbullah is well entrenched in Lebanon.

It also has grown into an international organization with agents all over the world including the United States.  Hezbullah uses illegal tactics to raise tens-of-millions of dollars in the United States.  Hezbullah is extremely well organized, supplied and trained by both Iran and Syria.  This is a formidable fighting force.

Hezbullah’s two main goals are to conquer the world through the spread of Islam and the destruction of both Israel and the United States.  The destruction of Israel is the main driving force behind Hezbullah.  The mere existence of Israel is viewed by Hezbullah as proof Israel is a terrorist state!  Hezbullah views Israel as organized terrorism supported by the United States , and therefore will use terrorism against Israel.  The following is a quote from a June 20, 1997, broadcast from Manar TV, Beirut, stating Hezbullah’s views and concepts:

"… Hizbullah views the Zionist Jews' occupation of Palestine, displacing its people and establishing the entity of Israel on its usurped land as the living materialization of the most hideous kinds of aggression and organized terrorism that is supported by the USA, the sponsor of international terrorism, and some other states that claim to be democratic and protecting human rights whilst they support Israel that was founded on invasion, killing and blood-shed, besides its daily violations of human rights in Lebanon and Palestine."

The Israeli borders with both Syria and Lebanon are now a flash point for a horrifying war.  During the Six-Day War in 1967, Syria lost the Golan Heights and wants it back while Hezbullah wants the total annihilation of Israel.  An all out war between Israel and the Palestinians would certainly bring Syria and Hezbullah right into this conflict.  As with Hamas, there cannot be a negotiated peace with Hezbullah.  Hezbullah completely rejects Israel.  It waits for the opportunity to destroy Israel.  Thus an all out war cannot be too far into the future.

The prophet Isaiah speaks of a war that crushes Syria but also weakens Israel.  This first war totally destroys Damascus and the nation of Syria ceases to exist.  The destruction of Damascus is so great the city is never rebuilt.  This war begins a chain reaction to the battle of Armageddon.  When Israel totally destroys Syria , this is another key indicator that the Day of the Lord is very near.

"The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap.

(3) The fortress also shall cease from Ephraim, and the kingdom from Damascus, and the remnant of Syria : they shall be as the glory of the children of Israel , saith the LORD of hosts.

(4) And in that day it shall come to pass, that the glory of Jacob shall be made thin, and the fatness of his flesh shall wax lean." Isaiah 17:1, 3, 4.

During this war, the fortress (military power) ceases from Ephraim (a name for Israel ).   Syria also ceases from being a nation.   Israel becomes thin, or loses a large percentage of its population.   Israel is presently a mighty military power and this means the war is horrific to the point of totally destroying Syria , and yet greatly weakening Israel.

The destruction of Damascus is also tied to the start of the final battle involving all the nations of the world, or as it is called the battle of Armageddon.  The destruction of Syria is the signal that the Day of the Lord is extremely close, and the battle of Armageddon is very near.

"Woe to the multitude of many people, which make a noise like the noise of the seas; and to the rushing of nations, that make a rushing like the rushing of mighty waters!

(13) The nations shall rush like the rushing of many waters: but God shall rebuke them, and they shall flee far off, and shall be chased as the chaff of the mountains before the wind, and like a rolling thing before the whirlwind.

(14) And behold at eveningtide trouble; and before the morning he is not. This is the portion of them that spoil us, and the lot of them that rob us." Isaiah 17:12-14.

Iran and the Mahdi

Iran ’s final confrontation with Israel is found in the second battle; however, it does have an important place in the first battle.  Iran is an extremely important player in the wars leading to the Day of Lord; therefore, it needs special attention.

On August 3, 2005, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad became the president of the Islamic Republic of Iran.  His election set in motion powerful forces in the Middle East rushing toward a climax in a cataclysmic war with Israel.  With both Ahmadinejad rising to power, and a few months later Hamas, the die was cast for a huge confrontation with Israel.

It is very important to understand Ahmadinejad’s theology to realize the depth of his hatred for Israel and the confrontation course he is on with the United States.  He follows Shiite Islam and fanatically believes in the coming of the Mahdi.  The Mahdi is central to his beliefs and motivates his agenda.  As time goes on the term Mahdi will become more and more common.  Let us examine the Islamic Mahdi.

The Mahdi is Arabic for "rightly-guided one."  He is a special ruler in rank just below the Prophet Muhammad.  The Mahdi is the restorer of Islam and justice who will rule just before the end of the world.  He is a military figure who leads the Islamic armies in conquering the entire world.  Under the generalship of the Mahdi, the entire world becomes Islamic.  Those who fail to submit to Islam must die.  This is the Islamic theology of the Mahdi.

The background of the Mahdi is very unusual.  Ahmadinejad believes that the Mahdi is the 12th Imam, Mohammed ibn Hasan, who was a direct descendant of Muhammad.  Ibn Hasan lived in the ninth century and when he was five years old he fell into a well.  He went into a state of concealment until the end of time when he emerges as the Mahdi.  Ahmadinejad believes this is the end of time and the Mahdi is soon to be revealed.

Ahmadinejad is then a mahdaviat, which means "the belief in and efforts to prepare for the Mahdi."  This is evident when he spoke before the United Nations in September 2005.  During his speech, he offered a prayer for the hastening of the Mahdi to bring "justice and peace."  This prayer follows:

"O mighty Lord, I pray to you to hasten the emergence of your last repository, the Promised One, that perfect and pure human being, the one that will fill this world with justice and peace."

Because Ahmadinejad is a mahdaviat, he has no fear of war with the United States or Israel.  To him, a war with Israel might immediately reveal his Mahdi and begin the Islamic world conquest.  Not since the days of Adolph Hitler’s Aryanism has the world seen someone with this religiously driven concept of world conquest.

Iran is building both nuclear weapons and long range missiles to deliver these weapons of mass destruction.  There is no doubt, if Iran develops these weapons, they will be used against Israel and possibly the United States.  Iran is on a course for the Islamic world conquest, and Israel is viewed as an obstacle in the way.

According to the Bible, Persia ( Iran ) is destroyed during the second battle.  During this battle, Persia is aligned with Russia and is part of the huge land army that invades Israel.  The fact that Iran is part of the second battle means it survived the first battle.  It appears that during the first war, Iran ’s weapons of mass destruction along with its long range capability to attack Israel are eliminated.  Iran survives only to be destroyed in the second war.

With Iran , Hezbullah and Hamas united against Israel , the picture has become very clear that terrible wars are on the horizon.  This first war is not far into the future, but is staring right now at Israel and the United States.  Iran wants this war and is providing the means to start it.  The LORD God of Israel is going to finish it.

Egypt

The fighting draws Egypt into this first battle.  The future of Egypt is very bleak as this war totally destroys the nation.  It appears that the fighting raging between the Israelis and Palestinians spills over to Egypt.   Egypt attacks Israel to its own doom.

The destruction of Egypt is so complete that the survivors flee into the nations of the world.  The Nile River stops flowing.  Prophet after prophet describes the terrible destruction coming to Egypt.  These prophecies about the destruction of Egypt have never been fulfilled.  They await fulfillment when the Day of the Lord is near.

" Egypt shall be a desolation, and Edom shall be a desolate wilderness, for the violence against the children of Judah , because they have shed innocent blood in their land." Joel 3:19.

"And the land of Egypt shall be desolate and waste; and they shall know that I am the LORD: because he hath said, The river is mine, and I have made it.

(10) Behold, therefore I am against thee, and against thy rivers, and I will make the land of Egypt utterly waste and desolate, from the tower of Syene even unto the border of Ethiopia. (11) No foot of man shall pass through it, nor foot of beast shall pass through it, neither shall it be inhabited forty years.

(12) And I will make the land of Egypt desolate in the midst of the countries that are desolate, and her cities among the cities that are laid waste shall be desolate forty years: and I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations, and will disperse them through the countries." Ezekiel 29:9-12.

Jordan - Saudi Arabia

In the Bible, the modern nation of Jordan is made up of three small nations.  These nations are Ammon, Moab and Edom.  Ammon is the northern section of Jordan.   Moab is the central section, while Edom is the southern.  The prophet Zephaniah speaks about the Day of Lord and the total destruction of Ammon and Moab.  This destruction has never happened and waits future fulfillment.

Jordan faces the same dire fate as the other nations.   Jordan ceases to exist because of its confrontations with Israel.  These three nations which make up modern Jordan have a long history in the Bible of warring against Israel.   Jordan was the first nation to attack Israel in 1948.  In fact, King Abdullah of Jordan led the attack.   Jordan attacked Israel in 1967 and was defeated.

Jordan has been at peace with Israel for several years, and it is one of the few Muslim nations which recognize Israel.   Jordan ’s population is about 60 percent Palestinian.   It appears the conflict with the Palestinians drags Jordan into the battle, and the war destroys this nation.  This destruction is a prelude to the Day of the Lord.

The prophet Zephaniah mentions the total destruction of Moab and Ammon with the Day of the Lord.  He does not mention Edom.

"The great day of the LORD is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the LORD: the mighty man shall cry there bitterly." Zephaniah 1:14.

The destruction is so great that it turns parts of Jordan into Sodom and Gomorrah.

"I have heard the reproach of Moab , and the revilings of the children of Ammon, whereby they have reproached my people, and magnified themselves against their border.

(9) Therefore as I live, saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, Surely Moab shall be as Sodom, and the children of Ammon as Gomorrah, even the breeding of nettles, and saltpits, and a perpetual desolation: the residue of my people shall spoil them, and the remnant of my people shall possess them." Zephaniah 2:8, 9.

The prophet Isaiah describes the awesome judgment on Edom.   Edom is also referred to as Idumea.  The region of Idumea would include southern Jordan but would also extend to the northwest corner of Saudi Arabia.  The fact that Idumea includes part of modern day Saudi Arabia is very important.

Isaiah says that during the Day of the Lord, this area is going to burn with pitch or oil!  The very nation known for oil is going to be on fire with oil!  The oil producing region of Saudi Arabia is near the Persian Gulf and not near Israel.  But, the Bible is clear in the future that sections of Saudi Arabia near Israel are on fire because of burning oil.

Isaiah calls the time of judgment on Idumea as the year of God’s recompense for what this nation did to Israel.  God’s judgment falls directly on Jordan and Saudi Arabia.  The judgment is on the land.

"For it is the day of the Lord's vengeance, and the year of recompenses for the controversy of Zion." Isaiah 34:8.

"For my sword shall be bathed in heaven: behold, it shall come down upon Idumea, and upon the people of my curse, to judgment." Isaiah 34:5.

This area burns so intensely that no one can pass through it.

"And the streams thereof shall be turned into pitch, and the dust thereof into brimstone, and the land thereof shall become burning pitch.

(10) It shall not be quenched night nor day; the smoke thereof shall go up for ever: from generation to generation it shall lie waste; none shall pass through it for ever and ever." Isaiah 34:9, 10.

Thus the Bible shows that the hostility against Israel by the Palestinians erupts into an awesome war with the destruction of entire nations.  The conflict draws in Egypt , Syria , Jordan and Lebanon.  It appears that weapons of mass destruction are used and entire nations cease to exist.  The combined population of Egypt , Syria , Iraq , Jordan and Lebanon is approximately 120 million.

How long can the tensions with Israel continue?  How long before a war erupts and quickly turns into the use of weapons of mass destruction?  The Muslim hatred for Israel is so strong it seems they would risk annihilation in an attempt to destroy God’s covenant nation.  These nations fail and face total destruction.

Ring of Fire Around Israel

This first war results in an impassible ring of destroyed countries to the south and east of Israel.  The nations of Egypt , Jordan , Iraq and part of Saudi Arabia are totally destroyed.  According to the Bible, they become like Sodom and Gomorrah.  This means a total wasteland that becomes not only uninhabitable, but also impassible.

This area of land becomes completely impassable because of the use of nuclear, chemical or biological weapons.  The soil of the destroyed nations is so poisoned that it is impossible to pass through.  The area of Idumea is on fire, much like Kuwait was after the 1991 Gulf War.  The approaches to Israel from the south and east are blocked.  This ring of fire results in the north being the only avenue left to attack Israel.

In the two wars that follow, the only avenue to Israel will be through Lebanon and part of Syria.  The Mediterranean Sea blocks a land invasion from the west.  This blockage results in huge numbers of soldiers compressed into a very narrow area of land focused in the Mountains of Israel.  It is as if the huge armies are funneled into a gigantic killing field, as they rush to take Jerusalem.  These armies are destroyed during the second battle and also Armageddon.

God has set the nation of Israel like a big trap and Jerusalem is the bait.  As the nations reject the everlasting covenant and attack Israel , they are destroyed.  In these wars God’s posture is defensive.  If the nations do not attack, God does not destroy them.  The nations are destroyed as they attempt to invade the covenant land, and not before.  Israel then becomes an anvil for God’s judgment of the nations.

This dreadful confrontation between Israel and the surrounding nations is the key sign of the approaching Day of the Lord.  These signs cannot be missed.  All the alarms, bells, whistles and warnings are going forth that the awesome Day of the Lord is near.  Only unbelief prevents a person from seeing these signs.

 

Meet author John McTernan
During numerous appearances on television, radio and in seminars, he has publicly defended Israel in light of Biblical prophecy. His current best selling book is As America Has Done To Israel.
He is author of the acclaimed book God's Final Warning to America, and co-author of the bestseller Israel: The Blessing or the Curse. From his experience debating, John wrote the Only Jesus of Nazareth series. This series includes: Only Jesus of Nazareth Can Sit on the Throne of David and Only Jesus of Nazareth Can Be Israel's King Messiah. Additionally, he has written several tracts, including Muhammad or Jesus: The Prophet Like Unto Moses, and The Koran vs the Bible.

 
2011 John P. McTernan
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