Who Will Control the Middle East?

Who Will Control the Middle East?

Bible prophecy is concerned most of all with events in the Middle East. So should we be.

All major world powers are deeply involved in the power plays of the Middle East. While all eyes in the region are on the conflict between Israel and Hamas, a lesser-known battle is playing out over control of the Mediterranean Sea. This conflict will prove crucial to the future of the region—and of the whole world.

History shows that to win a war in the Middle East, control over the Mediterranean is vital. The Bible prophesies that such a war is coming—and the battle over the Mediterranean has already begun!

Iran is working with other countries and terrorist proxies to gain domination over this vital region. Their terrorist activities in the Red Sea have already shocked the world—but their plan is much grander. The recent death of Iran’s president and foreign minister won’t stop them. It could even accelerate these plans.

But there is another power that is seeking control of this same region. It has planned its moves meticulously for decades. Unlike Iran, this power is working in disguise, and is viewed as a force for good.

Iran Has Set Its Sights

Discussing Iran’s moves to take over Yemen, in 2014 Michael Segall wrote for the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs:

If the Shia rebels gain control of the Bab el-Mandeb Strait, Iran can attain a foothold in this sensitive region, giving access to the Red Sea and the Suez Canal, a cause of concern not only for its sworn rivals Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the Gulf states, but also for Israel and European countries along the Mediterranean. Arab commentators in the Gulf have warned in recent years about this Iranian push.

Iran wants to control one of the greatest trade routes in the world!

Mr. Segall used the same language as you find in Daniel 11:40: “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 ….”

A lot has happened since 2014 that reveals Iran’s strategy and illuminates this prophecy. Sadly, almost nobody is paying attention!

That passage in Daniel 11 goes on to show the specific nations that will be conquered by the king of the north: Libya, Ethiopia and Egypt (see verses 42-43). This would indicate that they will be allied with Iran.

Look at these nations on a map. Notice: They are located right around the Red Sea and the Mediterranean. This reveals Iran’s strategy, and it correlates with what we see happening.

Iran dominates the Persian Gulf. Through its terrorist proxies in Yemen and its influence in Sudan and Somalia, it also virtually controls the Red Sea. Even landlocked Ethiopia is gearing up to play a significant role here. Next Iran needs to control the Suez Canal, which is the gateway to the Mediterranean Sea and passageway for a large amount of global trade. For this, Iran needs to be allied with Egypt and Libya. One way or another, these relations will solidify soon—perhaps even in the next few months. The Gaza war is accelerating this development.

Ethiopia: Iran is a key military supplier of the Ethiopian military and thus has considerable influence. In 2022, the Middle East Institute wrote:

Ethiopia is Iran’s gateway to the Horn of Africa and the broader East Africa region. By helping Ethiopia in its ongoing conflict with the rebel Tigray Defense Forces (tdf), which represent the Tigray ethnic minority, Iran is preserving its so-called strategic depth in the region to bolster its influence. This enables Iran to project power in distant continents and engage in geopolitical maneuvering in Africa, while containing its adversaries and rival powers.

Eritrea and Djibouti are part of the Horn of Africa and lie on the Red Sea coastline. Iran will likely get control over these areas through Ethiopia.

In a stunning development, on January 1 Ethiopia announced that it will recognize Somaliland as a breakaway country from Somalia and give its government a stake in Ethiopian Airlines. In exchange, Somaliland will give Ethiopia control over a 12-mile stretch of its coastline to develop a naval base. This gives landlocked Ethiopia access to the Gulf of Aden, south of the Red Sea.

Egypt: Iran and Egypt severed diplomatic relations in 1980 after the Iranian Islamic Revolution. But in 2011, after Hosni Mubarak resigned under U.S. pressure and the Egyptians voted the Muslim Brotherhood into power, Egypt and Iran were suddenly aligned! It shows how much radicalism there is within the Egyptian people. But before long, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi led a military coup that put Egypt’s transformation into an Islamist state on ice.

Just last year, though, things began to change again. The Arab Center Washington DC stated June 9, 2023:

Egypt and Iran appear to be moving toward a closer relationship and a mending of ties. In recent months, officials from both countries have engaged in multiple rounds of talks, potentially signaling the beginning of a new chapter in Egyptian-Iranian relations, which have been strained for over four decades.

For four decades these relations have been strained, but now they are warming up again! In February, the foreign ministers of Egypt and Iran met in Geneva on the sidelines of a United Nations Human Rights Council session. In March they followed up with a meeting to discuss “the path of Egyptian-Iranian relations.” They also discussed ongoing tension in the Red Sea and how to end Israel’s war on Hamas. It appears that hostilities toward Israel are further invigorating these relations.

We need to watch this closely, because events are heading toward the fulfillment of Daniel 11:40.

Libya: Last year, for the first time in 17 years, a Libyan foreign minister visited Iran. Iran expressed its readiness to expand relations with Libya and to help in the reconstruction of the country. Last July, Iran reopened its embassy in Libya. The head of the Iranian diplomatic delegation in Libya, Einollah Souri, said the two countries held good meetings and are determined to expand relations, particularly economic and trade-wise.

After a Libyan delegation visited Iran in December, the deputy prime minister of Libya called for unity and solidarity among Muslim countries. Is it a coincidence that as world events are heating up, these nations are drawing closer? One way or another they will work together—so says Bible prophecy! And what is the biggest factor to unify them? A common hatred toward Israel.

Common Goals

Relations between these countries and Israel have dramatically worsened since October 7. Libya’s high council of state called for severing relations with countries that support Israel’s offensive against Hamas and for halting oil exports.

Iran has already used its power in the Red Sea to undermine support for Israel. You can see its strategy: The more they can control this area, the more influence they have throughout the region. This is getting Europe’s attention.

In many ways, these nations are already acting in the way you would expect, looking at Daniel 11:40-43. We will likely see more of that in the next few months.

We don’t have to speculate about what Iran’s next move will be—they declare it openly! Yemen’s Houthi terrorist group, which is backed by Iran, announced on May 3 that it would begin targeting Israel-bound ships in the eastern Mediterranean in what it calls its “fourth phase of escalation.” Days later, a high-ranking member of Iran’s Quds Force told Kuwait-based Al-Jarida newspaper that Iran is building missile factories deep in Yemen’s mountains—to protect them from enemy attacks—and has sent hundreds of military experts to help the Houthis use these weapons. This could significantly strengthen the threat to shipping from the Houthis.

These people are preparing for serious war! They know how important it is to control the Mediterranean Sea.

But there is another power that knows this as well: Germany—what prophecy calls “the king of the north.”

A Superior Power

As I explain in my new Trumpet cover story, Germany is allying itself with what are called the “moderate” Arabs and Turkey against Iran. But it also has a specific strategy for the Mediterranean.

Germany is closely allied with France, Greece, Spain and Italy and has longstanding relations with Turkey. Through the European Union it also has taken virtual control of the Balkans, Cyprus and Malta. Of course, Germany and its allies already control large parts of the Mediterranean—but the crucial passageways are further south.

That is why Germany is participating in the eunavfor Mediterranean Irini mission, the nato-led maritime security operation Sea Guardian, and the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon Maritime Task Force, as well as a nato mission in the Aegean Sea.

As I wrote in that article, “Germany and its European partners have been monitoring these waters for years using hundreds of sailors and a couple of warships. They have ports and military bases close by. They know the sea well and are ready to expand their mission at any time.”

The recent trouble Germany has suffered because of Iran’s proxies attacking Red Sea shipping has drawn German intervention in the Red Sea. But it refused to join the international United States-led mission. Instead, it spearheaded an independent EU naval mission: eunavfor Aspides.

Germany is not about to let Iran control this area!

Understanding German Strategy

Germany has a geostrategic vision. You need to understand how thoroughly and for how long Germany has prepared for the battle over the Mediterranean. They failed to conquer this region in World War ii, and they are determined not to make the same mistake again.

The Balkans: In 2003, EU Commission President Romano Prodi said, “[I]n the long run, Balkans belong strictly to the EU.” He said this just after a brutal war in this region and the breakup of Yugoslavia! It was that war that opened up the possibility of EU membership for the Balkan states. It was all by German design.

In 1991, Germany recognized the breakaway Yugoslav republics of Slovenia and Croatia, even though other nato members, including the U.S., strongly opposed it. Why? Because they wanted to control this area—and with it, the Mediterranean.

And how did the West react to Germany’s outrageous actions? They caved in! As the New York Times reported it, “The Security Council backed away from a confrontation with Germany over Yugoslavia today after Germany’s European allies on the council decided that they did not want a major clash with Bonn [Germany].”

These events led to a civil war in the Balkans, and Germany mobilized nato fire power to intervene. This is how Germany conquered the Balkans. (For a detailed explanation, read my free booklet Germany’s Conquest of the Balkans.)

Germany tried to conquer this region twice in the world wars. Look at a map and you see why. Albania’s Adriatic coast provides a gateway to the Mediterranean. For this and other reasons, Albania is a critical military location. Just this past March, nato inaugurated a tactical air base in Albania—its first in the Western Balkans. It is also working on a new nato naval base. Albania is a big fan of the EU, and you can be certain Germany will make use of all these military investments.

Malta: “Malta is the southern pillar of Europe …. I want to see Malta in the EU,” Prodi stated in March 2000. Gunter Verheugen, then European commissioner for enlargement, said that if Malta joined the EU it would “become a gateway. … For Europe, Malta has been described as a springboard to the whole Mediterranean region, and especially to the African and Middle Eastern shores.”

Malta joined the EU in 2004, and Germany got its “springboard” into the Mediterranean!

Cyprus: Cyprus also became an EU member in 2004 and plays a prominently role in Germany taking over the Mediterranean Sea. Additionally, it is also close to Jerusalem and much closer to Iran than the rest of Europe is. (Read my November-December 2019 article “Why Germany Conquered Cyprus.”)

Recently, Germany and the EU have used Cyprus as a military base and a means to provide Gaza with humanitarian aid. EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said about the aid shipments: “Cyprus has always been a bridge between Europe and the Middle East. And thanks to the Amalthea initiative, it is proving this historical role once again today.”

We have to understand the long-term vision of Germany and EU—a modern incarnation of the Holy Roman Empire. In 2002, Prodi said:

At a time when we are building a new Europe, a Europe that covers the continent, when we are trying to work out new ways for peoples and different cultures to live and work together, when we are creating a new diversity within unity, when the frontiers of Europe are stretching out, we must also develop our strategy towards the regions closest to Europe and, above all, be decisive in our Mediterranean policy. To build the new Europe but neglect the “cradle of Europe,” the Mediterranean, would clearly be a grave mistake.

This is a great world vision they have, just as they had during the time of the Holy Roman Empire. This is why they want to control the Balkans, Malta and Cyprus!

They are gearing up for a spectacular clash with the king of the south and will “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).

A Rising Empire

Remember, Daniel 11:40 is for “the time of the end.” Do you really believe this? I hope you do, because every word of it is going to be fulfilled.

The prophetic books of Daniel and Revelation foretell of four world-ruling empires leading to God’s divine intervention in the time of the end. The fourth was Rome. Out of Rome rose the Holy Roman Empire, which was prophesied to rise seven times. Today, the seventh and final resurrection is coming on the scene with 10 kings. Starting with the late Herbert W. Armstrong, we have been prophesying about this for over 75 years, and now you see it all coming to pass! When it was first prophesied, people scoffed—but they don’t anymore!

This Holy Roman Empire is prophesied to get control of the Middle East—and to do that, it will have to control the Mediterranean Sea.

Revelation 17:8 states: “The beast that you saw was and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the Earth shall wonder … when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.” It went underground, into the abyss. That is why people lost sight of it. But now it is rising again!

Mr. Armstrong wrote: “What the world does not realize is that, under cover, secret planning is proceeding furiously, uncovered by the news media, unknown by the public. But suddenly, unexpectedly, as biblical prophecy reveals, the whole world will be startled and shocked into wonder, to learn that a new third super world power has suddenly burst forth onto the world scene—a resurrection of the medieval Holy Roman Empire by a union of 10 nations in Europe.”

Look carefully at verse 10: “And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come.” This is the moment in time when Herbert Armstrong was on the scene and started to write about these verses to the readers of his Plain Truth magazine. Five kings of the Holy Roman Empires had come and gone, and the sixth was there! That was Adolf Hitler and the fascist axis with Benito Mussolini.

Now, that sixth empire has also fallen! One more is prophesied to rise—the one “not yet come.” But today, we are seeing this final superpower before our eyes!

Many prophecies show just how devastating this final incarnation of that old empire will be. The world truly will be shocked as it exerts its brutal power. But this same prophecy shows that its rule will be short-lived—and here is how it will end: “These shall make war with the Lamb [speaking of the glorified Jesus Christ at His return!], and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful” (verse 14).

These prophecies are directly linked to God’s intervention in world affairs!

Beheaded on the Mediterranean

This is the same hope that the apostles in the days of Christ declared. The Apostle Paul himself traveled all over the Mediterranean Sea to declare this hope. Rome ruled over the Mediterranean at that time, but Paul was warning them and telling them about God’s way of life and God’s truth. For that, he became a prisoner in Rome. That shows that something is desperately wrong with mankind! Paul was delivering the same message that Mr. Armstrong delivered and that you are reading right now: the very truth of God!

In 2 Timothy, Paul urged Timothy to arrive in Rome before winter with a warm coat and some of his scriptures. That was Paul’s last letter before he was beheaded! They killed the Apostle Paul right there on the Mediterranean Sea in Italy.

But here is something astonishing. Paul was full of joy as he was delivering this message—because he saw the beautiful ultimate outcome of all these events!

Proving and understanding God’s truth will bring real joy into our lives! In this dark and negative world, we need this good news: Jesus Christ is about to return to bring us eternal peace!

To learn more, read “Mediterranean Battle Escalating Into World War iii!