By Gerald Flurry
America is celebrating after helping to drive the Islamic State out of Iraq and Syria. But it should not be celebrating. The reality of the situation is being dismissed: The United States has just suffered its greatest defeat ever in the Middle East!
As shocking as that statement may sound, I can prove it to you.
America may have helped drive the Islamic State out of Iraq and Syria—but now America is about to be driven out of Iraq and Syria by Iran! We are about to see a vicious turnaround. In many ways, it has already started.
We must look at what is happening here in the context of the prophecies of the Bible. That shows where events are leading and why. Those prophecies describe a lot of good news for America’s future. But that good news is preceded by very alarming news—terrible punishment coming on the U.S.
America’s problems in the Middle East are actually part of that punishment, and they are going to get worse. God provides those prophecies as a warning, and He has been sending that warning for decades. The nation simply will not receive the blessings God would like to provide until it heeds what God tells us to do, even in our foreign policy.
Look at the Middle East right now, and you get a clear picture of the danger in ignoring this truth.
The shocking barbarity of the Islamic State consumed a lot of the world’s attention the past few years. In one sense that was understandable. But if people had viewed those events in the context of Bible prophecy, they could have seen that there was an even bigger danger that was being overlooked.
I talked about this on my Key of David television program on Oct. 1, 2014: “We see the [Islamic State] terrorists doing all these violent acts and all of the bloodshed, cutting off people’s heads, and it really has attracted the attention of this world. But in many ways it is a distraction from the real danger in the Middle East and in the world.” That real danger is Iran!
Then in February 2015, I said: “[T]here is a U.S. general who said that the face of radical Islam is now [the Islamic State], but I disagree with that strongly. The face of radical Islam is still Iran, many times over, and the Bible tells you that because Iran is the king.” That was a reference to the prophecy in Daniel 11:40 of an end-time “king of the south.”
For more than two decades, the Trumpet has been stating our conviction that this role in end-time events would be fulfilled by Iran, leading the forces of radical Islam. You can read about this in my free booklet The King of the South. If God labels Iran “king of the south,” that means it rules the Middle East! Most people haven’t recognized that—especially in earlier years, although more people see it now. Nevertheless, this is what God says! To consider the Islamic State to be the “face of radical Islam” overlooked this basic reality—you don’t need biblical prophecy to recognize Iran as the bigger threat.
In that program, I continued, “But if you look at [the Islamic State], well, they don’t even have an air force, and they in many ways are a distraction. Now, they are dangerous—no question about that—but in many ways they are a distraction of what is happening in the Middle East through Iran. … [I]f you look at isis today, they’re like a mouse compared to the Iranian tiger. There is no comparison.”
That was absolutely true. If it wasn’t clear then, it certainly is now, judging by how rapidly the Islamic State was defeated in Iraq and Syria.
And while the threat from the Islamic State has been mostly neutralized, the Iranian tiger has grown even stronger and more dangerous!
In fact, by directing its firepower against the Islamic State, the U.S. vastly expanded the power of Iran!
This is how the Washington Post expressed it: “The U.S. Is on a Collision Course With Iran in the Middle East.” “President Trump’s assertive new strategy toward Iran is already colliding with the reality of Tehran’s vastly expanded influence in the Middle East, as a result of the Islamic State war” (Oct. 26, 2017; emphasis mine throughout). Extraordinary: America’s efforts to eliminate this radical terrorist threat are proving to have made the problem worse! How do you explain that?
Now that this reality is emerging, President Donald Trump is trying to adjust America’s policy. The Post continued: “The launch of the strategy signaled an important shift in the U.S.-Middle East policy away from an almost exclusive focus on fighting the Islamic State to an effort that also pushes back against years of Iranian expansion in the region.
“But the strategy offers no specifics on how to confront Iran’s pervasive presence on the ground in Iraq, Syria and beyond, raising questions about how easy it will be to push back against Iranian influence without triggering new conflicts.”
Truly, Iran’s influence has been expanding for years. This radical nation has proved over the years how dedicated to the death it is to its cause. How can America or any other power effectively push back? It will take some determined violence on the ground. And America is proving unwilling to make such a commitment.
Iran is backing more than 100,000 troops in Iraq in what are known as Popular Mobilization Units—an assortment of about 40 paramilitary militias comprised primarily of Shiite Iraqis. Many of them have officially integrated into the Iraqi military. Some of these troops include soldiers from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.
Iran has tens of thousands of troops in Iraq and Syria, and its presence is growing. The U.S. has about 5,000 troops, and there is great pressure within America to reduce even that. “Iranian-backed Shiite militias have fanned out into the Sunni and Christian areas of northern and western Iraq that were freed from Islamic State control—often with the help of U.S. air strikes,” the Post continued. Iran has simply taken over Iraq. It has even helped subdue America’s strong allies in the Middle East, the Kurds—taking over Kirkuk, which has tremendous oil wealth.
The situation is no better in Syria: “Alongside [Syrian President Bashar] Assad’s army, they [the Iranians] are now in a race with the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces to capture the last stretch of Islamic State territory in eastern Syria. There they hope to link up with their Iraqi allies to secure a land bridge between Tehran and their Lebanese ally Hezbollah in Beirut, securing an arc of continuous Iranian influence that stretches to the Mediterranean” (ibid). That is a bold move by the king of the south!
What a clear confirmation of Daniel’s prophecy! The king is not Turkey or Saudi Arabia or Iraq or Syria. The king is Iran—just as we have been proclaiming for over 20 years.
When you see what Iran is doing, it is dumbfounding that the U.S. has followed an anti-terrorism strategy that involves fighting alongside Iran, the number one state sponsor of terrorism! For America to be fighting alongside Iran, something is terribly wrong! We have fallen into a deadly trap!
Turning Iran into an “ally” in our battle against the Islamic State has not only eliminated this organization that has been competing against Iran among the radicals, it has also legitimized Iran in the eyes of the rest of the world. The Iranian mullahs have deployed their forces into Iraq and Syria, in effect conquering these areas and building that bridge to the Mediterranean—yet shamefully, they are being acclaimed for doing so, since it drove out the hated Islamic State!
America is not actually fighting alongside Iran—we are empowering it! Iran now looks like an effective and useful partner in the war against terrorism. America has helped to make Iran appear to be the savior in Iraq and Syria!
What a farce!
This radical power is far more vicious than the Islamic State ever was! But the world turns a blind eye.
And in spite of its belligerent foreign policy, Iran has continued to develop its nuclear weapons program.
Unbelievably, the great American superpower now finds itself surrounded by Iran! The Washington Post article quoted Beirut-based political analyst Mohammed Obeid as saying that any effort to challenge Iran in Iraq and Syria “will have a very negative effect on the existence of American forces in the region. They are surrounded by Iranians. This is a big question the Americans are going to have to face.”
Can you recognize this reality as clearly as this analyst does?
On October 22, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said, “Certainly, Iranian militias that are in Iraq, now that the fight against [the Islamic State] is coming to a close, those militias need to go home. Any foreign fighters in Iraq need to go home.”
Do you honestly think Iran will go home?
If you don’t believe what I am saying about this situation, think about how Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi responded to Secretary Tillerson. He strongly rebuked him—in a way that humiliated America! He said that these Iranian militias are an Iraqi institution. “Popular Mobilization fighters should be encouraged because they will be the hope of the country and the region,” Abadi said.
Another statement from Abadi’s office referred to Popular Mobilization fighters as patriots and stated, “No party has the right to interfere in Iraqi matters.” Think of all the blood and treasure America has poured into this country over the past decade and a half—supposedly to try to free it from tyranny and terrorism and to help it to stand on its own. But now it is led by a stooge of Iran who thumbs his nose at America!
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif also ridiculed Tillerson’s comments. He said that these Iranian-supported militias couldn’t go home because “they are at home.”
A high-ranking Iranian militia group leader tweeted, “To the U.S. Secretary of State: your armed forces have to prepare from this point immediately and without any delay to leave our homeland Iraq after the end of the isis presence excuse.” Apparently, America’s presence in Iraq to fight off a radical terrorist group was just an excuse! There is no gratitude for the resources we put into liberating that nation. We helped drive out the Islamic State, but now Iran is driving us out!
How truly did the great God prophesy of America, “[Y]our strength shall be spent in vain”! (Leviticus 26:20).
Nicholas Heras of the Center for a New American Security said, “No amount of strategizing and boots on the ground short of an invasion is going to push back against Iran’s ability to shape events in Baghdad and all of Iraq. And short of the U.S. Army marching on Damascus, Iran will not be ripped from Syria or Lebanon” (Washington Post, op cit).
With Iran backing tens of thousands of militia fighters in these regions, only a vast military confrontation could push them out. But the United States lacks the will to do that. Iran knows this—America knows it—and the whole world knows it!
What is happening here? How could such a disaster possibly occur, and where is it leading? These are questions with deadly implications that we must seriously consider. Do our U.S. officials realize what kind of force they are up against? Iran is not a normal power. No other nation matches its fanatical thinking and extreme religious beliefs. Iran believes the more violently it fights, the sooner its messiah will return!
America has been defeated in the Middle East! This is a grave reality you cannot afford to ignore!
This incredible nightmare is unfolding just as we prophesied it would, based on the outline provided in Bible prophecy.
In a Key of David program I taped in August 2011, I said, “[W]hat most people still do not understand is that Iran rules the Middle East, and they are going to drag nations into war. … We don’t realize and this world doesn’t realize how much Iran is ruling the Middle East and taking it over and giving it over to the most vile kind of terrorism and war.”
“Iran, the number one state sponsor of terrorism by far, had bludgeoned its way into controlling Lebanon and Gaza, and has become the backbone of Syrian terrorism,” I continued. “Iran also has bombed and butchered its way into the dominant role in Iraq and Afghanistan and is empowering the Muslim Brotherhood terrorism to get control of Egypt. Now America and the West have paved the way for another Iranian victory in Libya.” You can add Iraq to the list of Iranian victories that America has paved the way for.
Here is more of that prophecy in Leviticus 26: God says, “And if ye will not yet for all this hearken unto me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins. And I will break the pride of your power …” (verses 18-19). God warns that, because of our sins, our pride will be broken. That is why America is experiencing these disgraceful defeats.
In 2016, American sailors unknowingly drifted into Iranian waters and were humiliated by Iran before the whole world. Now, Iran is discrediting the U.S. before the nations—and America is just watching it happen. The U.S. possesses enough power to wipe Iran off the face of the Earth almost immediately! But it does not have the will to use its power. Iran can sense that like a shark can sense blood in the ocean.
As far back as 1996, we forecast that Iraq would fall to Iran. Then when the U.S. deposed Saddam Hussein in 2003, I wrote in the June 2003 Trumpet, “It may seem shocking, given the U.S. presence in the region right now, but prophecy indicates that in pursuit of its goal, Iran will probably take over Iraq.” How could we know that? Because of Bible prophecy! (You can read the specific reasons why we foresaw that Iraq would fall under its influence in my booklet The King of the South.)
Scripture makes plain that Iran is the king of the south. Iran is the tiger and the Islamic State is the mouse. There is no way we can ever solve our problems if we do not realize who our real enemy is and quit playing games.
Look at the disaster America has gotten itself into as a result of turning its back on God. These curses are going to intensify until we repent. When will this nation recognize that? When will you recognize that? Every person needs to answer that question for himself or herself—because the evidence is building all the time that something is dreadfully wrong with the U.S. today.
But even in all of this, there is good news. Daniel 11, which ends with the prophecy of the king of the south, should continue right through chapter 12 with no chapter break: “And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time …” (Daniel 12:1). This “time of trouble” is building now! We can see it right on the doorstep, and it is going to be unparalleled horror.
But notice how this verse concludes: “[A]nd at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.” God promises to protect His people—those who are faithful in obeying Him today.
The good news continues: “And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever” (verses 2-3). If we just obey God and give ourselves over to Him, then He is going to reward us beyond imagination! He says we will shine like the brightness of the stars forever! God will give us that reward if we get our minds where they ought to be and help proclaim God’s message to this dying world.
Events are rapidly developing into the worst trouble that this Earth has ever experienced. God wants to stop this madness. If we heed God now, He promises to greatly bless us. Although the events just ahead are some of the worst that this weary Earth has ever seen, we can be protected from them. And thankfully, good news is on the horizon. God promises that the trouble will only last a short time—and then He will establish His Kingdom on Earth!
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