Few people think much if at all about the Middle East nation of Yemen. But recent developments there have caused many people to think a lot more about it. Recent events have shown why Yemen is actually one of the world’s most strategically important countries. Events there are having dramatic effects that extend far beyond the Middle East.
When Hamas attacked Israel on Oct. 7, 2023, and Israel counterattacked, the Houthis responded by declaring war on the Jewish state. This Yemen-based rebel group began lobbing cruise missiles, ballistic missiles and drones toward Israel’s southern coast. They also targeted merchant vessels in the Red Sea connected to Israel.
Then on December 9, the Houthis announced an escalation: All ships heading to Israel, from any nation, are now targets. Since then, they have been indiscriminately targeting any ship in their sights in the Red Sea. Within days, several of the world’s largest shipping companies announced they were suspending all shipping through this vital choke point.
The Red Sea is one of the most important sea gates in the world. Clarksons, a ship broker, estimates that roughly 20 percent of all container shipping and 10 percent of all seaborne oil passed through the Red Sea in 2023! Closing off this sea gate affects nations all over the world, particularly in Europe.
The Houthis are sponsored and directed by Iran. They would never be making this confrontational move if Iran didn’t tell them to.
This provocation points to a biblical prophecy I have been highlighting for three decades, and a specific forecast I made several years ago. When events line up so closely with Bible prophecies, we need to pay close attention!
Sponsored by Iran
In 2015, the Houthis overthrew the internationally recognized, pro-American government of Yemen and gained control of the capital city, Sanaa. Now they control most of northern Yemen, and large sections of the west, including much of the Red Sea coastland.
Thanks to Iran, the Houthis possess a formidable military. Analysts believe they, at one point, had over 100,000 fighters and followers. They maintain what some consider “the most sophisticated arsenal of ballistic missiles and drones among Iran’s regional allies and proxies,” according to Semafor. Some of their missiles have a range of over 1,000 miles.
Iran sponsors many terror groups around the world. Helping the Houthis gain such a strong foothold overlooking this strategic area gives Iran a weapon it can use against the world!
After the Houthis’ coup in 2015, I wrote a booklet titled Germany’s Secret Strategy to Destroy Iran. In it, I wrote, “The Houthi takeover in Yemen proves that Iran is implementing a bold strategy to control the vital sea-lane from the Indian Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea. … The strategic importance of controlling this passage is equal to controlling the Suez Canal, since both are part of the same thoroughfare. … Now that Iran controls Yemen, it can virtually close or open the spigot on Middle East oil bound for Europe. And Europe is taking notice!”
What happened in December was a major illustration of exactly why that development in 2015 was so concerning. Iran decided to green-light the Houthis to shut down that trade route. And it happened very quickly!
Evidence shows that Iran directly helped the Houthis in their attacks. The Wall Street Journal reported December 22 that an Iranian spy ship was supplying the Houthis with the intelligence needed to bomb its targets. Citing Western and regional security officials, the Wall Street Journal claimed that “[t]racking information gathered by a Red Sea surveillance vessel controlled by Iran’s paramilitary forces is given to the Houthis, who have used it to attack commercial vessels passing through the Bab el-Mandeb strait” at the Red Sea’s southern exit point. Many ships sailing through this strait have been trying to avoid the Houthis by turning their radios off. The spy ship’s data enabled the Houthis to work around this. “The Houthis don’t have the radar technology to target the ships,” one security official said. “They need Iranian assistance. Without it, the missiles would just drop in the water.”
Iranian leaders said they had nothing to do with the Houthi attacks, that the Houthis operate independently. That is a lie! Iran has been preparing for this for years, and they showed just how much power they have at their command.
As I wrote in 2015, “Now rather suddenly, Iran—the world’s greatest state sponsor of terrorism—has basically become the gatekeeper to this strategic asset [the Bab el-Mandeb strait]. This really does threaten the peace of the world!”
As if the disruption in the Red Sea weren’t provocative enough, on December 23 an Iranian general suggested that more trade routes may come under attack. Brig. Gen. Mohammed Reza Naqdi told Tasnim news agency the West “shall soon await the closure of the Mediterranean Sea, Gibraltar and other waterways.” He didn’t say how Iran would do this, but given what happened in the Red Sea, we cannot ignore such a threat.
Iran is pushing. Its foreign policy is aggressive and provocative. This is exactly what Bible prophecy says we should expect from Iran.
A Jab at Germany?
Two more of Iran’s terrorist proxies are Hamas and Hezbollah. Abundant evidence shows that Iran also orchestrated Hamas’s October 7 attack on Israel. Many people expected it to also command Hezbollah to attack the Jewish state soon after. But then Germany made a strong show of support for Israel; Chancellor Olaf Scholz directly warned Hezbollah not to enter the conflict. After this, Hezbollah backed down. You can read more about this in my cover story from last month (“As You Watch Gaza—Watch Germany”), where I wrote, “Why did Hezbollah leaders back down so publicly when they had so many reasons to declare war? Is it possible they are afraid of Germany?”
It seems that Iran told Hezbollah to hold off. But then, soon after, it authorized the Houthis to attack. Was this Iran’s way of jabbing back at Germany?
Disrupting Red Sea trade hurts Israel—but it is also a direct attack on Europe. After the Houthis’ brazen December 9 declaration, the world’s largest shipping companies announced they would halt delivery through the Red Sea and instead sail around South Africa to reach the West. Four of the five largest shipping companies are European: the Swiss-Italian Mediterranean Shipping Co., Danish A.P. Moller-Maersk, French shipping group cma cgm, and Germany’s Hapag-Lloyd, which is headquartered in Hamburg. Disrupting Red Sea commerce allows the Houthis to hurt Germany in a way Hezbollah cannot.
You cannot overstate how alarming this type of activity is to Germany and other European nations! They simply cannot permit Iran to obstruct these crucial trade routes. Sometime soon, Iran’s pushy behavior will provoke a fearsome counterblow! Even Iran doesn’t realize how dangerous its actions really are—but Bible prophecy reveals it!
Daniel’s Stunning Prophecy
The Prophet Daniel recorded some remarkable details that expose what Iran is doing.
Notice it: “And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him: and the king of the north 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” (Daniel 11:40).
As I wrote in my 2015 booklet regarding this passage, “This is an end-time prophecy. It concerns the time we are living in right now, and it directly concerns these Middle Eastern nations.
“For more than 25 years we have identified the ‘king of the south’ as a radical Middle Eastern power led by Iran, and the king of the north as a German-led European power. This prophecy reveals that the Iranian-led power will push at Europe. It may be that this push could take place in the very area of Yemen or the Gulf of Aden.”
Now pay close attention to the verses that follow: They indicate the specific nations that will be part of this Iran-led Islamic bloc and will be conquered by the king of the north. “He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries: and the land of Egypt shall not escape” (verse 42). This indicates that Egypt will join an alliance led by Iran. But notice who else will be in that alliance.
“But he [the king of the north] shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt: and the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps.” “At his steps” means they will join his army or be under his authority. Why would Libya and Ethiopia be subjugated like this by the king of the north? Because they too will be allied with the king of the south.
Why would Iran seek an alliance with Libya and Ethiopia? These nations lie along the sea route from the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea! In April 2011, I wrote that these nations are “the key that unlocks the strategy of radical Islam. … They are on the two seas that comprise the most important trade route in the world! Whoever heavily influences or controls Ethiopia will undoubtedly also control the small areas of Eritrea and Djibouti on the Red Sea coastline. These areas only recently became independent of Ethiopia. Also, I believe the Bible view is that these small areas are included as a part of Ethiopia.” (My booklet Libya and Ethiopia in Prophecy explains all this in detail. All of our literature is free.)
Iran already dominates the Persian Gulf. Now it is working to take over the Red Sea—you can see this in its involvement in Yemen. Iran also has a heavy influence in Somalia. It has had a longtime relationship with Sudan, and prophecy tells us it will gain control of Ethiopia and Egypt. Egypt controls the Suez Canal, the gateway to the Mediterranean.
Putting all of this together, you can see that Iran seeks to control the greatest trade route in the world!
This is leading to a major clash between the king of the south and the king of the north.
The German Whirlwind
In 2016, I wrote the article “Mediterranean Battle Escalating Into World War III!” (theTrumpet.com/13891) explaining how important it is to Germany to control the Mediterranean, which is part of the same trade route as the Red Sea, connected through the Suez Canal. You could argue that the Germans might have won World War ii had they maintained their advantage in the Mediterranean. They have been taking steps since the early 1990s to claim that advantage in the event of another war. So they have been particularly alarmed to see radical Islam’s influence spread in recent years across North Africa.
“While the world is mostly blind to it, some in Europe are waking up to Iran’s plan to capture the Mediterranean,” I wrote. “The Europeans see the king of the south pushing through this policy! It is creating a sense of urgency in them to counter this push. … The current push by the radical Islamist camp across North Africa has accelerated Germany’s timetable for its own plans to dominate the Mediterranean.”
Look again at those verses in Daniel 11. They discuss not only an Iranian push but also a German whirlwind response to that push! Gesenius’ Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon says the Hebrew word for whirlwind is “used of the commotion of a storm or a tempest; to sweep away in a storm” (emphasis mine). Europe is going to throw everything it has at the Iran-led radical Muslims and utterly defeat them!
That drama all starts with a push from Iran. The current crisis caused by the Houthis is probably not the final push, but even if they are defeated in the short term, these events expose Iran’s intent and point directly to this prophecy!
Continue reading into chapter 12 of Daniel, which is part of this same prophetic vision, and we see that this clash will lead to catastrophic world war: “a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time …” (verse 1). Many other Bible prophecies reference this period. Jesus Christ described it as “great tribulation” (Matthew 24:21). This is the dramatic climax of this age of man—and once it is over, God will begin to intervene in world affairs in a powerful way.
Even this prophecy about catastrophic conflict that escalates into world war ultimately points to good news. The same Bible that prophesies this specific strategy with this powerful whirlwind also prophesies in detail that World War iii will end with the glorious return of our Savior, Jesus Christ!
“And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh. … [W]hen ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand” (Luke 21:28, 31).
Iran’s activities in the Red Sea are a literal sign that Jesus Christ is about to return! This is one of the most inspiring messages in the Bible. What we are seeing ultimately leads to the transition from man ruling man to God ruling man! And it is just a few short years away. As tensions heat up in the Middle East, this is the perspective you cannot afford to lose.