Yes, they “could be,” and I will give you my reasons for believing these events may indeed be setting the stage for Biblical prophecies that precede the Second Coming of Christ. First of all, let’s consider a major prophecy where Iran is mentioned. In Ezekiel chapters 38 & 39 it is prophesied that a coalition of nations will attack Israel sometime during the Tribulation Period (spoken of in Daniel 12:1; Jeremiah 30:7 and Matthew 24:15-22) which leads up to Christ’s return to establish His kingdom. In 38:2 we read of the head of this coalition, “Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him.” Many commentators believe this is describing modern-day RUSSIA (Rosh is Russia, Meshech is Moscow and Tubal is Tobolsk). In verse 4 we read of their army and then in verse 5 we learn of other countries that are allied with them: “Persia, Ethiopia and Libya are with them, all of them with shield and helmet.” No one disputes the fact that “Persia” is “Iran.”

Now let’s read of their invasion into Israel. “In the latter years you will come into the land of those brought back from the sword and gathered from many people on the mountains of ISRAEL….you will ascend, coming like a storm, covering the land like a cloud, you and all your troops and many peoples with you…You will say, ‘I will go up against a land of unwalled villages; I will go to a peaceful people, who dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates’—TO TAKE PLUNDER AND TO TAKE BOOTY…who have LIVESTOCK AND GOODS, who dwell in the midst of the land” (38:8-9, 11-12). We see here the main purpose of the invasion; in short, for ISRAEL’S RICHES! Israel had become extremely wealthy since millions have returned to their homeland over the last 100 years. They have productive farmlands and orchards, robust industries, rich mineral deposits in the Dead Sea, and oil (in abundance) has been discovered recently in the Golan Heights.

It is very interesting to see current events in Russia and Iran today in the light of this prophecy, for both countries are suffering extreme poverty due to heavy sanctions imposed upon them by the United States (and other countries). Both countries HATE the United States and Israel, with Iran calling the U. S. the “Great Satan” and Israel the “Little Satan.” Iran’s religious leader has vowed, time and time again, to “wipe Israel off the face of the map.” And for the first time in Russia and Iran’s history they have formed an alliance between their two countries, and it is primarily a “military alliance.” They have both gained a strong foothold in the Middle East and one of their greatest desires is to control Iraq with the desire to force the United States out of the Middle East. This would give them an even stronger position in that region and allow them to move their forces at will against Israel. When you put all of these facts together, it is easy to envision them invading Israel in order “to take plunder and to take booty.” One may be thinking, “How can Russia and Iran join forces when one is an atheistic nation and the other a Muslim nation?” Remember the old saying, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” Israel is their common enemy and thus with they will gladly set aside their differences in order to achieve their desired goals of destroying Israel and plundering their land.

One may also be thinking, “But Israel is not ‘a peaceful people who dwell safely,’ for they are being threatened constantly by Iran and other Muslim nations that surround them.” True, but there is a “false peace” coming for Israel that will begin the Tribulation Period and for a while they will be living in relative peace. We read of this in Daniel 9:27, “Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week.” There speaks of a 7-year peace treaty between Israel and some of her Muslim neighbors. As I write this President Trump and the Prime Minister of Israel have a possible peace treaty in the making with the Arabs living in Palestine. Eventually a treaty like this will come to pass, though it will be short-lived, as we see in 1st Thessalonians 5:3, “For when they say, ‘Peace and safety?’ then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman.” War will eventually break out in Israel and culminate in the infamous “Battle of Armageddon” prophesied in Revelation 16:12-16.

I will close by quoting the outcome of the invasion of Israel by Russia, Iran and the other countries that are part of that confederacy. We read of this in Ezekiel 39:1-5, “And you, son of man, prophesy against Gog, and say, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “Behold, I am against you, O Gog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal; and I will turn you around and lead you on, bringing you up from the far north, and bring you against the mountains of Israel. Then I will knock the bow out of your left hand, and cause the arrows to fall out of your right hand. YOU SHALL FALL UPON THE MOUNTAINS OF ISRAEL, YOU ALL YOUR TROOPS AND THE PEOPLES WHO ARE WITH YOU; I will give you to birds of prey of every sort and to the beasts of the field to be devoured. YOU SHALL FALL UPON THE OPEN FIELD, for I have spoken,” says the Lord GOD. And I will send fire on Magog and on those who live in security in the coastlands. Then they shall know that I am the LORD.” Here we learn the Lord Himself shall do battle with this ungodly alliance and they shall “fall upon the mountains of Israel” without a shot being fired! What a lesson this will be to all who dares to defy “the God of Israel” in that day!  (406.5)  (DO)