“Iran, Russia, China and Syria will hold the Middle East’s largest ever war game, Iranian news outlets reported quoting unnamed sources,” reports the Jerusalem Post. “According to the report, 90,000 troops, 400 warplanes and 1,000 tanks from the four countries will take part in land and sea exercises. The war games will feature Russian atomic submarines, according to Iranian media, as well as warships, aircraft carriers and mine-clearing destroyers. Semi-official Iranian FARS news agency stated that the exercise was being planned in coordination with Egypt, which recently acceded to grant the passage of 12 Chinese warships through the Suez Canal. The report stated that the Chinese naval convoy is due to dock in Syrian harbors within the next two weeks. Regarding the timing of the planned exercise, FARS quoted unnamed Syrian officials as saying the war game would be held ‘soon’….”

The story is particularly intriguing — and disturbing — in light of Bible prophecies in Ezekiel 38-39 that indicate a Russian-Iranian military alliance will develop in the “last days” to attack the nation of Israel. In my first non-fiction book, Epicenter, and in my novel, The Ezekiel Option, I describe these prophecies in detail. While it remains too early to know for certain if the “War of Gog and Magog” prophecies are going to be fulfilled in the near future, geopolitical trends in recent years and even in recent months have been curiously consistent with the ancient Biblical text. A militaristic Czar — Vladimir Putin — has risen to power in Russia. Putin is the only Russian leader in history to visit Israel (7 years ago), and is preparing to visit again on June 25, trying to make the Israelis feel comfortable with him. Yet Russia has been selling billions of dollars in arms to Iran and other nations described in the prophecies. Russia is currently sending naval ships and forces to Syria. Israelis are living more securely in the land, and are more prosperous, than ever in their modern history, also consistent with the prophecies. To learn more about the prophecies of Ezekiel 38-39, please click here.

One thing we need to keep in mind as Americans, especially now, is that according to Bible prophecy, Israel — not the United States — is the epicenter of God’s plan and purpose for the last days of history leading up to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Israel is the central player in end times prophecy. America is not mentioned or even clearly alluded to in prophecy. As I write about in Implosion, the dramatic rebirth of the State of Israel in 1948 gives us proof that we are living in the last days, when seen in the context of other Old Testament and New Testament prophecies about the signs of the last days. The question is: what happens to America going forward that neutralizes or sidelines us from being a major, central player in God’s plans? I walk through a number of scenarios in the book, but none of them are that good. It is possible that the Lord is preparing to remove His hand of grace and favor from the U.S. because of our sins and allow us to decline, collapse or implode. We don’t know for certain because the Scriptures don’t say. But I believe we need to turn our hearts back to the Lord and implore Him have mercy on us according to 2 Chronicles 7:14, “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sins, and will heal their land.”

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