Russia, Her Iranian and Chinese Allies, and World War III
TGP Prophecy Letter – February 23, 2023
Brethren, it appears that we are on the brink of what will almost certainly be called World War III. Seeing that his “special operation” in Ukraine has become more of an embarrassment than a success, Vladimir Putin’s pride and determination to win have resulted in the continual escalation the war, threatening now to bring it to the world stage. He has claimed that nuclear war, and therefore a global war, is definitely in the cards:
Putin warns of 'GLOBAL WAR' & makes veiled nuclear threat in deranged speech as he doubles down on Ukraine – The Sun
Putin reveals conditions for widening Ukraine operation — RT News
Serbia warns ‘everyone is preparing for war’ — RT News
A world-wide conflict seems to be just over the horizon, and as servants of the Most High, we must pay diligent attention! Russia and the other nations of the world are preparing themselves for a conflict of a scale that has yet to be seen on this earth! It’s not just the Ukrainian conflict that could spark this though. There’s also
It has been talked about for years, but it appears that Iran has officially reached the nuclear threshold. For good reason, Israel and the US are deeply concerned. The following news headlines speak for themselves:
Israel: 84% enrichment means it’s now or never to stop Iran – The Jerusalem Post
Israeli nuclear expert: Iran can create nuclear bomb with 84% uranium – The Jerusalem Post
'Deeply worrying' – Washington experts on Iran’s new enrichment level – The Jerusalem Post
Israel warns US: Issue 'credible military threat' to Iran 'immediately' – World Israel News
Netanyahu: I'll do everything in my power to stop Iran from getting nukes – Israel National News
IDF Navy raises alert level in Red Sea over concern of Iran aggression – The Jerusalem Post
Benjamin Netanyahu preparing for ‘attack on Iranian nuclear installations’ – Yahoo! News
It has previously been stated that uranium must be enriched to 90% in order to produce nuclear weapons. While Iran is technically still below this threshold by 6%, scientists say that 84% is in fact enough to produce a nuclear weapon. This should grab all of our attention, for Israel and the US will be forced to act in some capacity. In the coming days or weeks, I imagine we’ll see the two nations take decisive steps to neutralize Iran, even if this means simply setting their nuclear program back a few years. This will most likely be accomplished through cyber warfare as it is considered less bold, but it’s likely to include aerial strikes as well. Israel has demonstrated their ability to reach Iran on their own, and with US support this is even more feasible.
Iran, however, is one of Russia’s greatest allies, and this severely complicates the matter for Israel and the US. Throughout the Ukraine war, Iran has stuck faithfully to Russia’s side, even supplying them with rockets and drones. We can therefore be certain that when the US and Israel are contemplating how they will neutralize Iran, they are also weighing how their actions will be interpreted by Russia. Putin could well use a devastating strike on his ally as an excuse to officially bring the world to nuclear war.
With all of these factors, what is going to happen? Obviously, we cannot know for sure, but I have my own thoughts. The fact that Persia is named in Ezekiel 38 but is not mentioned in the earlier war of Psalm 83 leads me to conclude that Iran must somehow be temporarily kept “out of the game”. Iran is chomping at the bit to destroy Israel, and for them not to attack with their fellow “Axis” nations tells me that something must prevent them from attacking.
Current events seems to indicate that a combined Israel-US effort might be the means of accomplishing this. Such an attack would render Iran incapable of personally attacking Israel and would thus force them to call upon her Arab proxies to avenge her. This is when I believe the prophecy of Psalm 83 might begin.
Recent Israeli airstrikes in Syria make this more plausible. An article from The Jerusalem Post shows that, although divisions between the various Arab factions have existed, they are becoming more united by their shared hatred of Israel:
Airstrikes in Syria could lead to escalation by pro-Iran axis – The Jerusalem Post
This growing Arab solidarity coupled with Iran’s remarkable nuclear progress make the events of Psalm 83 and Zechariah 12 and 14 appear imminent. This now brings us to another nation who, it would seem, is likely to have a large role in the next world war:
Along with Iran, China is one of Russia’s greatest allies, and should the levy break and war finally spills onto the global scene, China has made it clear that they will align with Russia. Despite the global criticism Russia is facing, China has stated that their relationship with Russia is “solid as a rock” (USA Today), and this is largely due to the fact that both powers abhor western influence.
In recent years, the Chinese have surged as a military and naval power and are quickly becoming a formidable rival of the US. It’s well understood that Russia and China intend to replace the US as the world super-power, and a world war would be the ripe opportunity to make their attempt. China’s renewed power and ambitions have many Christadelphians wondering what their role will be in such a war and whether they are spoken of in latter-day prophecy. So, is China referred to in latter-day prophecy?
The most that can be said is maybe, but the possible reference has nothing at all to do with a third world war. The one possible reference is found in Isaiah 49:12. Here’s the verse in context:
Isaiah 49:8-13 – Thus saith the LORD, In an acceptable time have I heard thee, and in a day of salvation have I helped thee: and I will preserve thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages; (9) That thou mayest say to the prisoners, Go forth; to them that are in darkness, Shew yourselves. They shall feed in the ways, and their pastures shall be in all high places. (10) They shall not hunger nor thirst; neither shall the heat nor sun smite them: for he that hath mercy on them shall lead them, even by the springs of water shall he guide them. (11) And I will make all my mountains a way, and my highways shall be exalted. (12) Behold, these shall come from far: and, lo, these from the north and from the west; and these from the land of Sinim. (13) Sing, O heavens; and be joyful, O earth; and break forth into singing, O mountains: for the LORD hath comforted his people, and will have mercy upon his afflicted.
The name “Sinim” has been interpreted in various ways. The Septuagint reads, “from the land of the Persians.” Adam Clarke suggests it refers to a place in Egypt, but this doesn’t fit as the context alludes to it being a distant land. “Sinim” is understood by some Brethren to refer to Asiatic countries, specifically China. I cannot personally attest to this with full confidence as I have not studied it in great depth, and so I must heavily lean upon the conclusions of fellow students of the Word. A brief internet search of the word does bring up some convincing evidence for China though.
For the sake of argument, let’s move forward with the Christadelphian conclusion and assume that China is “the land of Sinim”. If so, the only Scriptural information we have regarding them relates not to their participation in a world war, but in coming to worship the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. The context clearly describes this to be after Christ returns and that much, if not all, of the warring has ended. There is simply no way to insert war in this part of Isaiah 49. That being the case, we have no Scriptural information regarding China’s role in a war to come.
Some might wonder, “How can this be? They are a formidable force and will almost certainly play a large role in the next world war. How can Scripture not talk about them?” Valid question! I believe a consideration of the focus of prophecy and a brief consideration of the first two world wars supplies the answer.
The information we are given in the Word concerning world events relates to Israel – God’s people. This is why so much of what the world deems “important history” is not mentioned in the Bible. We are typically only given details about the nations who relate to or impact Israel. This is what we see with the first two world wars.
World War I
World War I involved many nations. It began with the Triple Entente (pronounced On-tont) of Great Britain, France, and Russia against the Central Powers of Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, and the Ottoman Empire. Later in the war, the United States, Japan, and Italy joined the war on the behalf of the Triple Entente, after which they were called the Allied Powers.
Does Scripture tell us about the events of World War I? It certainly does, but only insofar as it relates to the Jews and the promised land. Daniel 11:44-45 and Revelation 16:12 depict the end of the Ottoman-Euphratean Empire as they were pushed out of the holy land. The British and Arab forces drove the Ottomans out of Palestine in 1917, the Mesopotamian and Gallipoli Campaigns of the British comprising the “tidings out of the east and out of the north” (Daniel 11:44). After the Allied Powers defeated the Central Powers, the Ottoman Empire was officially dissolved in 1920.
And so, we have information about the Ottomans as they were in possession of the holy land. We are also given information concerning the British and the Arabs as they were the means of pushing the Ottomans out of Palestine, thus clearing the way for the mass-return of the Jews to the land (this video exhortation discusses these events in greater detail). There is, however, no Scriptural commentary on the motions of France, Russia, Bulgaria, the US, Japan, and so on. Why? Because they had little, if anything, to do with the Jews or the land. They are therefore omitted from the Scriptures.
This same concept is perceivable in
World War II
In this conflict, there were again two main sides. The Allied Powers consisted of France, Great Britain, the United States, and the Soviet Union (we could also add Poland, China, Norway, Denmark, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Greece, Yugoslavia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, and Australia, though their roles were more minor). These were pitted against the Axis powers of Nazi Germany, Italy and Japan (assisted by Bulgaria, Hungary, and Romania). Of all of these nations involved in this cataclysmic event, the Scriptures only give us information about one: Germany. Why Germany? Because of their role concerning the Jews. A handful of Scriptures refer to their activities as being the primary means of not only punishing the Jews “double” for “their iniquity and their sin”, but also to bring them back to the land:
Jeremiah 16:14-18 – Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that it shall no more be said, The LORD liveth, that brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; (15) But, The LORD liveth, that brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north, and from all the lands whither he had driven them: and I will bring them again into their land that I gave unto their fathers. Behold, I will send for many fishers, saith the LORD, and they shall fish them; and after will I send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain, and from every hill, and out of the holes of the rocks. (17) For mine eyes are upon all their ways: they are not hid from my face, neither is their iniquity hid from mine eyes. (18) And first I will recompense their iniquity and their sin double; because they have defiled my land, they have filled mine inheritance with the carcases of their detestable and abominable things.
Note: See Daniel 12:1 and Jeremiah 30:3-9 as well. For more on this subject, see this article which was written last year.
Upon examining history, such Divine working will be seen as necessary. With the expulsion of the Ottoman power in 1917, it was thereafter given into the hands of Britain as a mandate. In exchange for Jewish support of British interests in the Suez, Britain issued the Balfour Declaration to support Jewish immigration to Palestine and create a homeland for them there. But with increasing Arab pressure through the 1920s-30s and the onset of World War II initiated by Nazi Germany, the British put their own interests above those of the Jews and began to act against them.
Along with Palestine, Iraq was amongst the other mandates Britain received after WWI due to the rich oil fields there. Having acquired this, Winston Churchill transitioned the British navy from coal to oil, and having virtually no oil reserves in their home country, this Iraqi oil was critical to the nation’s upkeep. It was often referred to as “the artery of Britain”. The issue for Britain was that Iraq had gained independence in 1932, and if Britain wanted to continue using the oil unhindered, they would have to placate the Arabs. They then issued the 1939 White Paper which limited Jewish immigration to 75,000 over the course of five years and barred Jews from buying land in 95% of mandatory Palestine (among other things detrimental to the Zionist cause).
This obstacle to Jewish immigration was overcome by reason of the Holocaust: the systematic attempt by Adolf Hitler to erase all Jews from the earth. Such terrors not only acted as the double recompense that Jeremiah 16 foretold of, but also won world favor for the Jews in place of the Arabs. The world sympathized with the Zionist cause and saw the absolute necessity for a homeland for the Jews if they were to survive as a race. Thus, under pressure from the world and simply sick and tired of the Palestine issue, Britain announced that its mandate would end in May of 1948. The same day that the British left, the nation of Israel was proclaimed.
We can now see that the actions and atrocities of the Germans in World War II were critical to the rebirth of Israel and the ingathering of Jews, and it is for this reason that the Bible tells us about their actions. As the other nations did not directly affect the Jews, none of them are mentioned in Scripture.
Having considered the first two world wars, this then brings us to a potential
World War III
As the conflict has yet to occur, we can’t say for sure who all will be involved, but the current circumstances make it apparent that the western powers of the United States and Britain, likely along with Australia, Canada, Ukraine, and potentially even Israel, will join forces against Russia, China, Iran, and any other Russia-sympathizers.
What can we know about this from prophecy? Again, we are only given information regarding events in relation to Israel. Of all of the nations mentioned above as possible players in the next war, we note the direct mention of only a few of them in Scripture: certainly Russia and Iran, and most likely the Lions of Tarshish (Britain, the US, Australia, and Canada).
I want to clearly state that I do not believe that Ezekiel 38 foretells the events of a third world war. Some use Ezekiel 38:13 to teach that the Lion nations and the Russian confederacy engage in fierce battle, but this makes the text say far too much. The only thing that can be positively maintained from Ezekiel 38 is what is clearly stated in the Word, namely that the Lion nations simply question Gog’s intent as he descends toward Israel:
Ezekiel 38:13 – Art thou come to take a spoil? hast thou gathered thy company to take a prey? to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil?
I find no evidence whatsoever of a direct clash between the western powers and Russian powers taking place in Ezekiel 38, but rather, if anything, the aftermath of a war that has already occurred. My reason for this is the seemingly inferior position of the Lion nations in merely questioning Gog’s intent instead of actively fighting him. This indicates to me that they might have been rendered incapable of physically resisting, so they do so verbally.
Nevertheless, it is clear that a coming conflict will involve multiple nations which is likely to include China. As their role in such a conflict is not clearly illustrated in the Word, we must conclude from both the testimony of Holy Writ and that of history that whatever their role might be, be it large or small, it does not directly affect Israel in any significant way. There is simply no Scriptural basis for a Chinese attack on Israel.
This does not mean that China can’t play a significant role in the war though, for the actions of many nations involved in the first two world wars altered the course of history, but were still not mentioned in Scripture. Neither does it mean that the repercussions of their actions will have no bearing on Israel at all. It’s plausible that China could be the means of weakening the Lion powers. Though not a direct attack on Israel, they would be impacted as their few remaining allies would then be incapable of assisting them. Perhaps China could be the driving force that forces Israel to stand completely alone against her Arab enemies (Isaiah 63:1)? We shall see.
What we are witnessing is remarkable. With prophecy, we are typically only given the account of what happens. What is often omitted is the cause or the circumstances leading up to their fulfillment, but these are the things that the diligent students of the Word will understand by keeping a careful eye on world affairs. We can now look out at the nations and plausibly see the causes and the circumstances which will result in their fulfillment; details which were impossible to foresee for Brethren of previous ages. Oh, how many things we are blessed to be witnessing! Truly, blessed are our eyes, for “many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them” (Matthew 13:16). Consider this as well: the first world war cleared the land for Israel. The second world war resulted in the rebirth of Israel. What could the third world war result in? The next logical step is for the KING of Israel to return! We shall see!