The Muslim “street” is rising up and demanding to be heard. That is what is happening in Egypt, Syria, Libya, Tunisia, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, and Bahrain. What our leaders wrongly identify as a yearning to be free in western terms is much more like a yearning to be far more radical in their Islam. As the dust begins to clear from many of these uprisings, we are slowly learning that the hand of Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood is often at the root of the call for change. Some of these uprisings began because of a lack of food and crushing poverty – but they are quickly being co-opted by groups who are using their ability to organize the people into a group who are demanding a more stringent type of Islam. What may have begun as a call for freedom and the throwing off of oppressive governments are quickly becoming a call for Sharia law and a truly Islamic Caliphate in the region.
The Muslim Brotherhood has now emerged as the strongest group in Egypt – and we are learning that they are also appearing as a political possibility in other regions as well. As embarrassing as it may be, we supported rebels in Libya who have ties with Al Qaeda and other radical Islamic groups. The Egyptian version of the Muslim Brotherhood has called for Egypt to break its peace agreements with Israel and take a far more anti-Israeli stance in their politics. Elements of Iranian influence have been arrested recently in Kuwait – and in countries like Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Yemen their influence is backing the movements to overthrown their governments. Where is all this leading?
This is leading in one of two directions, based on how you interpret end times events. The first option is that the kingdom of the Antichrist is going to be Islamic in nature. There is an astounding parallel between the eschatology (end times teachings) of radical Islam and the Bible. The problem is that the 12th Imam (who is also called the Mahdi) far more matches the actions of the Antichrist than he does anything God is doing in Revelation. Some think that radical Islam will be the vehicle by which the Antichrist rises to power and then rules over much of mankind during the 7 year tribulation period. They point to the likenesses between the Mahdi and the Antichrist – as well as other things like the ones beheaded for their faith – and the fact that one of radical Islam’s forms of execution for infidels is beheading.
I do not hold to this view – although I see its validity at points. My view is that we are watching the rising of group of nations that will be represented when the Gog/Magog invasion comes. These nations who are coming together in a far more radical Islamic practice – very closely parallel those in Ezekiel 38-39. I believe we are watching them come together – and as they do – they will spew their vehement brand of hatred toward Israel. This hate is on display regularly through the statements of Ahmadinejad in Iran, the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, the Palestinian territories, as well as in groups like Hamas and Hezbollah. It is difficult for me to see how these groups would ever make peace with Israel and allow them to rebuild the temple on the Temple mount. A much more likely scenario is that they will come together with Russia and Turkey (who has turned far more toward radical Islam after their most recent elections) to attack Israel after a localized war with the Palestinian Authority, Syria, and possibly Iran. What could bring such a situation? Unfortunately the Iranian nuclear problem is the perfect reason for this to happen. Iran continues to fund the procurement of rockets and military hardware in the region – helping both Hamas and Hezbollah to rearm with a vengeance on Israel’s borders. If the world powers do not halt the Iranian push to become a nuclear power I believe we will watch Israel be forced into taking measures into her own hands to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. What I believe will happen after that will be the destruction of Damascus as a city (prophesied in Isaiah) as well as the event which will bring all these nations together to punish Israel for her actions. Oh, the final thing will be as Israel braces for the hordes of troops that will descend from her north in terror – she will watch as Almighty God – Jehovah God – her God – will defend her by destroying all those armies by His power. Then Israel will know that Jehovah alone is God – and – we will be poised to see events like the rapture of the church as well as God bringing Israel to her Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ – over a 7 year tribulation period.
Let me state though that these are POSSIBILITIES of what is currently happening in the Middle East. What I have written is NOT meant to be a prophecy of what IS going to happen. It is an attempt to take what is happening on the current pages of history and postulate as to how they will work into what God has said WILL happen in Biblical prophecy. Some tend to get depressed or scared when they read things like this – even turning to survivalist tendencies and actions. Too often that is the case – and it almost always leads to a discrediting of prophetic studies. What we should do as we respond to such possibilities is to rejoice that our Lord may return soon – actually hoping and praying that He does. We should also decide that since He is coming soon, we will redouble our efforts to live for Him, witness to His gospel as the ONLY saving message for mankind, and prepare our hearts by walking in purity and righteousness so that we will not need to be ashamed at His appearing.