Let’s go back and have a look at the current situation and see how it fits in with current developments in the Middle East, and then we’ll conclude with a word about the coming of the Lord.
Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 2 “Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal, and prophesy against him, 3 and say, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Behold, I am against you, O Gog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal. 4 I will turn you around, put hooks into your jaws, and lead you out, with all your army, horses, and horsemen, all splendidly clothed, a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords. 5 Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya are with them, all of them with shield and helmet; 6 Gomer and all its troops; the house of Togarmah from the far north and all its troops—many people are with you.Ezekiel 38.1-6
One of the issues relates to Russia, Iran and Syria, and China and the fact that Russia today has been weakened by the Ukraine war. It’s one of the questions I’ve sort of wrestled with.
I haven’t really come to a conclusion yet but the issue of Ukraine does raise questions about how prepared or able Russia would be to launch an invasion bringing its troops into another part of the world.
The Ukraine war has turned into a disaster for Russia with its army weakened, its morale, and weaponry destroyed. It’s economy is in trouble and the U.S. estimates around 200 000 Russian casualties in Ukraine killed or seriously wounded.
Up to a million men have fled Russia to avoid being called up into the army and the Russian army has been humiliated and exposed as badly equipped and guilty of war crimes against civilians.
Nevertheless, I read in yesterday’s Telegraph that defeated Russia is still a threat to Britain.
It says it’s very easy to look and think that the Russian military has collapsed and is dire trouble. However, General Cavoli, at a security conference in Tallinn, Estonia has said that Russian ground forces are greatly eroded and have run into big trouble but the Russian Navy has lost almost nothing. Their cyber capabilities have not deteriorated and their space program has lost nothing. The questions is therefore: How long would it take Russia to rebuild? How would long would it take them to rebuild to do what they’re capable of doing today.
There are all sorts of contradictory things being said about the state of Russia at the present time, but if it is right that Russia could rebuild, if it comes out of Ukraine, uses its Navy, its Air Force and it also uses its cyber capabilities to disable Israel’s technology, it is still possible that Russia could be the leading force in this army coming from the North.
You also have Russia and Iran. One of the things which we are noticing is the deepening relationship between Russia and Iran taking place. Putin speaks with the ayatollahs in Iran.
The Iranian regime itself is also in trouble of course. It has got many people today rejecting the Islamic rulers, crying out to freedom from the imposition of Islamic tyranny. We saw the end of the last year a rebellion led largely by young people who were fed up with being told what to do by Islamists whose main achievement since 1979’s Islamic Revolution has been to make Islam hated and feared by the majority.
Of course, many young people want a secular Western-style government and are open to Christianity and the Gospel. The present the Iranian regime seems to have contained the revolution which erupted in 2022 and has only done this by suppressing the people, by imprisoning members of the opposition thus making itself even more unpopular.
What we’re noticing though is that Russia and China are becoming more involved in Iran and both have a strong interest in helping keeping the present regime in power.
China has been giving them some cameras to put in Tehran and all around the place to pick up any troublemakers, pick out any women who are not wearing the hijab and finding them on the spot. They are basically controlling the people with the kind of mechanism which China is also using to control its population. China’s getting involved in these places.
If the Islamic regime should fall, or Russia should be defeated in Ukraine, it would make it quite difficult for this line up to happen and but all things are possible.
One thing that you notice with this Ezekiel is it implies that the leader of this Alliance is going to send a lot of troops to fight in this battle.
16 Now the number of the army of the horsemen was two hundred million; I heard the number of them. 17 And thus I saw the horses in the vision: those who sat on them had breastplates of fiery red, hyacinth blue, and sulphur yellow; and the heads of the horses were like the heads of lions; and out of their mouths came fire, smoke, and brimstone.Revelation 9.16-17
There is another interesting little fact here about Russia and Syria, Mr Assad, the president of Syria and Putin.
Russia came into Syria to keep Assad in power during their civil war and got a long-term alliance. Russia needs to keep Assad in power because Russia has two warm water ports which it uses in Syria: one at a place called Latakia and another at a place called Tartus on the Syrian coast.
It also has an air base in a place called Hmeimim and Syria is a very important strategic ally for Russia.
If you know your geography, Syria is just above Israel; so having Russia on the borders of Israel is ‘interesting’, to put it mildly.
Russia was used to keep Assad in power. One of the ways they did it was to bomb the opposition into submission, particularly, the city of Aleppo, the second city in Syria, which they basically reduced to rubble, just as they’ve done in parts of Ukraine.
Russia’s tactic for winning wars is to bomb places. Assad has asked for more Russian soldiers to come into Syria. There is a Russian soldier presence in every bombed out city in Syria and Assad has asked Russia to maintain permanent bases in Syria.
Russia has already supplying Syria with anti-aircraft missiles ss-400s with which it can control the airspace above Syria. Israel needs to get into the Syrian airspace to hit Iranian the targets they want to hit there. It has recently hit targets in Damascus which did not please either Assad or Putin, and you have this situation in Syria which is building up and could bring Russia further involved.
Now, Iranian and Turkish forces are also involved. So, you’ve got Russia, Iran, and Turkey already in Syria, just to the North of Israel.
You’ve also got China taking part in the situation. China is attempting to broker a peace deal between Iran and Saudi Arabia and that is as interesting as it is significant.
One of the things we notice is that China is taking a growing interest in the Middle East and increasing its power in the world. China sees itself as a partner now with Russia. And Russia and China have their plan for a Russian Chinese New World Order which has other countries including Iran and other nasty states involved in trying to make their new world order.
In fact, in this agreement, China is becoming the dominant partner not Russia. Especially since the Ukraine war, Russia is losing power and China is gaining power. China is pushing for a peace settlement in the Ukraine proposing that Russia retains control of Crimea and the Donbas region while committing not to take any more territory from the Ukraine.
Under China’s proposal, Ukraine is then defended by NATO from any further aggression from Russia. However, that is not happening at the moment. Russia is basically subject to China in this situation and Russia’s weakness is making it more dependent on China.
You may say that China is far away from the Middle East but, as Russia has used 20,000 troops in order to secure the Ukrainian town of Bakhmut which, observers say, has no strategic value. At the same time, it is losing control over a vast area of Asia, the Central Asian republics of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.
All these countries had a recent summit with China, which means that China is taking more and more interest and control over the region to the Far East of Russia which extends to the end of the Trans-Siberian Railway, to a place called Vladivostok which used to be a Chinese city.
Therefore, China is getting back into those old disputes and saying they want more active interest, they are getting control of the port city and you can see that China is actually making inroads into Russia’s Far East.
China is a dominant power. China is moving into all parts of the world including the Middle East and they have made this deal with Iran and Saudi Arabia, very big deal. Saudi and Iran have been historically at loggerheads with each other. Saudi leads Sunni power while Iran the leads Shiite power, and they are traditionally hostile to each other. Iran hit Saudi Arabia with missiles in the past and there has always been a possibility of an even greater conflict developing between those two countries.
Now, they’ve made a agreement and established diplomatic relations again and are beholden to China. Saudi is becoming more beholden to China as well. They are pushing to change the petrodollar system so that America will be pushed out and China will have growing control in that part of the world.
Interestingly, China is also making proposals for an Israel-Palestine peace agreement.
China also has an interest in Israel. It has got a lot of investment in Israel.
Remarkably, a few weeks ago, Barbara and I were in Tel Aviv and were stuck in a traffic jam where they are building a new transit system. We asked the taxi driver what was going on and he said they were making this transit system and that the people doing the work are Chinese immigrant workers. Apparently, they have got thousands of Chinese immigrant workers in Israel building up the infrastructure.
Is that a good idea? Probably not, but China is involved in the Middle East and it wants to be even more involved. China, of course, is building up its army and threatening Taiwan, making a big investment in it while it keeps an eye on the Middle East.
Is China part of the kings of the east of Revelation chapter 16? I think so.
12 Then the sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up, so that the way of the kings from the east might be prepared. 13 And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs coming out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. 14 For they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.
15 “Behold, I am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame.”
16 And they gathered them together to the place called in Hebrew, Armageddon.Revelation 16.12-16
So, watch China. They are already involved.
China also held Naval drills in the last few months in the Middle East, in the Gulf of Oman with Russia and Iran.
China and Iran are coming together as a unit to assert some kind of a power and to confront the United States and their power in a region which America sees as very significant to them. Russia, China, and Iran are moving into the region.