Why You Need to Watch Lebanon

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Why You Need to Watch Lebanon

This little nation is a linchpin for a biblically prophesied end-time alliance.
From the May 2014 Trumpet Print Edition

The first visible sign of a powerful prophecy is now manifest in the little Mediterranean country of Lebanon.

The Syrian civil war next door has opened an awesome opportunity for both Europe and Saudi Arabia to be involved in Lebanon. Their involvement marks a critical turning point for this small country, and is destined to lead to a far-reaching change of alliances.

Today, southern Lebanon is dominated by Hezbollah, a terrorist organization that is controlled by its Shiite masters in Iran. The Iranians are also continuing to prop up the Syrian government to Lebanon’s east, and are directing Hezbollah to cross the border into Syria and do a lot of the fighting on Bashar Assad’s behalf.

However, Hezbollah’s involvement in Syria has weakened the group’s political power within Lebanon. This is what has given the Sunni Arab population and Saudi Arabia, its traditional supporter, a tremendous opportunity to increase their power at Iran’s expense.

This may seem like a small development. However, your Bible says it is the beginning of a dramatic shift that will build into an alliance announcing the start of World War iii!

Saudi Arabia’s Grab for Lebanon

One recent visible sign of this alliance forming before our eyes was announced in December: a $3 billion gift from Saudi Arabia to the Lebanese military for use in purchasing military hardware and weapons systems. The conditions of the gift were very telling.

The Saudis specified that the Lebanese had to buy the material exclusively from French suppliers. This marked a dramatic change: Saudi Arabia has typically bought most of its own military equipment from the United States. Here the Saudis, in supplying the Lebanese, wanted to make certain the matériel came from Europe.

This large military donation also departed from Saudi Arabia’s historical policy toward Lebanon. In the past, Saudi Arabia and other nations fighting against the spread of Iran’s power didn’t arm the Lebanese military for fear those weapons would end up in the hands of Hezbollah, Iran’s proxy. The fact that the Saudis donated what amounts to twice the annual budget of the Lebanese military shows that they are confident those weapons will stay with the Lebanese military—and won’t be used by Hezbollah.

Saudi Arabia’s gift is a deliberate attempt to remove Iran’s hold over Lebanon. It is also part of a larger strategy to bring the moderate Arab states together with Europe to counter the Iranian-aligned Shiite crescent developing in the Middle East.

This was just a small sign of an alliance that is going to build into something enormous that will shock this world.

Civil War Coming

The majority of Sunni Arabs in Lebanon want to maintain peace within their fractured country. However, many Sunni radicals who are fighting against the Bashar Assad regime in Syria are crossing the border into Lebanon and bringing the fight to Hezbollah.

For the past decade, Hezbollah has developed a reputation for being moderate and friendly to the Lebanese by funding schools, hospitals, clinics and other social programs within southern Lebanon. This led to a general acceptance of the organization, even among many Lebanese who didn’t agree with its policies. As long as Hezbollah was looking after the Lebanese, the public accepted its presence.

Hezbollah’s involvement in the Syrian Civil War is provoking terrorist attacks within Lebanon.

However, Hezbollah’s contributions to the war in Syria are changing people’s view. Ever since the bloody violence spilled over into Lebanon, Hezbollah has refused to end its involvement in Syria. And the Lebanese people blame this organization for every bomb that goes off inside their country. Hezbollah is losing all credibility in the eyes of the majority of the Lebanese. The division between these two sides is threatening to turn violent.

Viewing this division, Saudi Arabia sees an opportunity: It believes that now is the time to act to undermine and uproot Iran’s influence in Lebanon.

At the same time, the United States—historically Saudi Arabia’s ally—is showing tremendous weakness in its foreign policy. (We have covered this trend in recent Trumpet issues, especially our January cover story, “What Happens After a Superpower Dies?”) That is why the Saudis chose to look to Europe for help in this endeavor.

The Saudis insisted that Lebanon get its weapons directly from France. Here is a comment from a journalist who sees what is really going on with this deal. Sami Nader writes in Al Monitor: “The amount is the highest ever to the army, but the most alluring aspect of the initiative is not limited to the allocated sum. … Rather, the bigger surprise is the emerging Saudi-French partnership, which constitutes a turning point in the Middle East” (January 6; emphasis mine throughout). Yes, this is a big turning point! It is happening right before our eyes, yet almost nobody recognizes its significance.

Why is this so important? Because the Bible prophesied it! Several aspects align exactly with what Scripture said would happen. Here are three of them.

What Prophecy Tells Us

First, many prophecies foretell the decline and fall of the United States. (Request our free book The United States and Britain in Prophecy.) Prophecies of end-time events in the Middle East leave out the United States. This shows that the power the U.S. has exercised in that region for years—which is now visibly collapsing—is about to end. Already we see Europe moving into the Middle East to fill the void left by American weakness.

Second, the Bible specifically describes an alliance between Arab states (including the Saudis) and a European power. We are almost 100 percent certain that France is going to be part of a multinational European empire that is prophesied to storm the world stage. We will look at that prophecy in a moment.

Europe coming into the Middle East is going to infuriate Iran. And it is such European intrusion that will cause Iran to PUSH at the king of the north.

Third, the deal represents an escalation of tension between Europe and the Middle East forces allied with Iran. To understand how this relates to prophecy, study Daniel 11:40: “And at the time of the end shall the king of the south”—speaking of an Iranian-led, radical Islamist axis—“push at him: and the king of the north”—which is an empire composed of European nations—“shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over.” This clash is going to come between what amounts to German and Iranian will.

Events today are building toward this epic clash! The Saudi-France deal is one example. We cannot underestimate what Europe’s involvement in this deal portends. Europe coming into the Middle East is going to infuriate Iran. And itis such European intrusion that will cause Iran toPUSHatthe king of the north. Iran is going to strike back with a lot of power!

However, as Daniel 11:40 states, that is going to lead to Iran’s destruction. A German-led Europe is going to conquer Iran and have controlling power over the other nations aligned with the king of the south, such as Egypt, Iraq, Libya and Ethiopia. Then, brimming with confidence following that victory, Germany will exploit its alliance with the Arabs to pursue even greater ambitions.

A Prophesied Alliance

Let’s look at a prophecy of what will occur immediately after the Daniel 11:40 prophecy. It has everything to do with Europe’s involvement in Lebanon.

“They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance” (Psalm 83:4). This is an end-time prophecy about Israel. But it is not talking only about the Jewish nation called Israel today. Anciently, Israel had 12 tribes; today there are 12 nations of Israel. We explain that truth thoroughly in The United States and Britain in Prophecy.

There are three of these nations in particular that God is going to deal with very severely because of their sins. This prophecy in Psalm 83 shows a significant part of how that punishment will come about.

Verses 5-8 list a number of nations that will be allied to bring about Israel’s destruction. Concerning this Psalm, the Anchor Bible reads, “History transmits no record of the national crisis when the nations enumerated in this Psalm formed a league to wipe out Israel ….” Lange’s Commentary states, “The 10 nations who are here enumerated as being combined against Israel are never mentioned elsewhere as enemies allied at the same time and for the purpose of annihilating Israel.” The fact that these nations have never come together to destroy Israel in the past plainly shows that it is a prophecy for the end time.

We can’t be precise in every boundary, but we can know the general idea of where these nations are today. Here are their modern names, as taught at Ambassador College under Herbert W. Armstrong: Edom is Turkey; the Ishmaelites are Saudi Arabia; Moab and Ammon are Jordan; the Hagarenes anciently dwelt in the land where Syria is today; the Philistines are the Palestinians now occupying the Gaza Strip; Gebal is Lebanon, and the inhabitants of Tyre are in southern Lebanon. Finally, Assur is referring to modern-day Germany.

Furthermore, considering that this is an end-time prophecy, there must be some people that God will give understanding to about who is who here—otherwise why even prophesy it?

Notice: Many of the nations listed in this Psalm fall into what many consider the “moderate Arab” camp, where mainly Sunni Islam is prevalent today. Also notice that none of the nations mentioned in Daniel 11:40-42 as comprising the king of the south, such as Iran and Egypt, are listed here. Iraq is also conspicuously absent, which indicates that it too will be allied with the king of the south. The reason those Iranian-allied nations are missing from this prophecy is that by the time the betrayal described in this Psalm occurs, the king of the south has been subdued and mostly conquered!

Once this Psalm 83 alliance between the king of the north and these Arab states emerges, it is going to ignite World War iii starting with the destruction of Israel!

Believe it or not, this is where your Bible says the Lebanon deal is leading.

Lebanon the Linchpin

Looking at Lebanon’s demographics, you can see why Europe would intervene there even though it refused to act in the Syrian conflict.

Lebanon is the only Middle Eastern country with a strong Christian population. Forty percent of Lebanon’s people belong to a Christian denomination; the largest is the Catholic-affiliated Maronite Church. By constitutional decree, the president of Lebanon must be a Maronite.

Lebanon’s Religious Diversity

Imad Salamey, professor of international relations at the Lebanese American University in Beirut, said this about the Saudi-French weapons deal: “This is an attempt by Saudi Arabia to present itself as a state with a positive attitude toward the Christians; that the Sunni-Catholic alliance is possible, that Saudi Arabia is not about supporting extremists, that Saudi Arabia wants to support state institutions and the army, and that Saudi Arabia is a supporter of moderation” (NOW, January 2).

He continued, “It can offer guarantees for the Christians in particular who can feel protected through the Lebanese Army.”

This heavy Christian population makes Lebanon different from the rest of the Arab world. By calling on Europe to participate in this deal—designed to protect the Lebanese from Shiite extremism—Saudi Arabia opens the door for a Sunni-Catholic alliance! (Note: No Shiite nations are mentioned in Psalm 83. That doesn’t necessarily mean that all Sunnis will align with a German-led Europe.)

Because of its high population of Christian Arabs, Lebanon has become a linchpin for the Psalm 83 alliance.

Once Lebanon receives the military hardware from France, a larger peacekeeping force could be needed on the ground to aid the Lebanese Army. Even many leaders in Lebanon are calling on other nations to do more than just supply weapons to the Lebanese Army: They are asking for direct foreign intervention. The Sunni Future parliamentary bloc, for example, made this statement on February 7: “The only realistic solution would be for the Lebanese Army, backed by UN peacekeepers, to deploy along the border with Syria to control the borders in all directions and [prevent] any violations, regardless from which side.”

The call for UN peacekeepers is significant. Usually it is mostly French soldiers that fill UN missions in Lebanon. However, also lurking in the Mediterranean off the coast of Lebanon is a German observer mission that was re-approved in January this year. As I wrote last month, Germany is changing to a more aggressive military policy (“Germany’s Urgent and Dangerous Military Decision”). Given that change, we should watch to see whether it decides to send its soldiers into Lebanon to make peace.

Time will tell how the details come about, but the possibility of European fighters coming up against Iran is something we have been watching for years. Here is a scenario, based on a budding Arab-European alliance, that could see Europe expand its footprint in the Middle East and hasten the massive confrontation of Daniel 11:40.

Once that clash takes place, a progression of globe-shattering prophecies will unfold leading to the time Jesus Christ describes in Matthew 24:21-22: “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.”

Thankfully, at that time, Christ says He will intervene in the affairs of man. He must come back and stop that nuclear disaster before everybody is wiped off the planet.

That is what we are facing! This is the real world that we live in! And it has everything to do with a deal involving the tiny nation of Lebanon in the Middle East. Continue to watch as Lebanon descends into another civil war, but as you do, recognize that bloody event as one in a chain reaction destined to end in the return of Jesus Christ.

God has laid it all out for us to see in His majestic prophecies. We are about to see a new and a wonderful world ushered in by Jesus Christ Himself! What greater news could we receive than that?