Revelation 6:7-8 (KJV)
7 And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see.
8 And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.
What if the Horsemen of the Apocalypse are not symbolic references pertaining to war in general, but rather specific leaders in the world today? And if not symbolical, but actually leaders, that appear to be engaged in wars, rumors of wars, and proxy wars around such theaters in the Middle East as Syria, Yemen, Saudi Arabia...etc.
Let us consider the following about Iran and it's Supreme Leader (Ali Khamenei).
The Islamic Republic has had two Supreme Leaders since the Iranian Revolution in 1979. Ruhollah Khomeini who died in 1989 and was succeeded by its current leader, Ali Khamenei, who was elected by the Assembly of Experts on 6/4/89. Though Iran has a President (Hassan Rouhani), who is the head of Government of the Islamic Republic Iran, and is the highest popularly elected official in Iran, he answers to the Supreme Leader who functions as the head of state. Full control of Iran's foreign policy, it's armed forces and it's nuclear policy are ultimately under the control of It's Supreme Leader. Since Khamenei took power in 1989, he has shown no deviation from Khomeini's revolutionary ideologies. Opposing the United States, rejecting Israel's existence, supporting Palestinian and Lebanese armed groups against Israel, maintaining Iran's nuclear program, and positioning as the "Supreme Leader of Muslims", of not just the Shiites, but also of the entire Islamic world.
The Islamic Revolution began in 1979 and served as a catalyst for the Arab Spring.
Iran's Supreme Leader described the developments as an "Islamic awakening", and compared the popular uprisings to Iran's own 1979 revolution.
"Power was given over the 4th part of the earth" - The Shia Crescent moon.
The geographical region of the Middle East where there is a naturally shaped crescent moon, and the majority population is Shia. The nations are Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Lebanon, Bahrain, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Russia. The population consists of 200 million or roughly 1/4 of the earth.
"Death, and Hell follows him" - Shia brings forward the prophesied Maudi and the expectation that if they can throw the world into chaos, it will hasten his coming. He will establish a global Islamic known as the Caliphate, and will annihilate Israel and US.
Once united, these nations will seek to wipe Israel off the map. Psalm 83:1-18 - "...For behold, your enemies make a tumult... They have said, come and let us cut them off from being a nation..."
"To kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth"-
The classic depiction of the Pale Horse is of pestilence. Iran has a strategic alliance with Syria, and both are considered State Sponsors of Terrorism. Iran is seeking to bolster it's nuclear arsenal and has the largest laboratory for studying the effects of chemical weapons, while it's ally Syria has the 3rd largest stock pile of chemical weapons.
We are also advised to not assume that the "beasts" may not necessarily be visible to the naked eye. Due to re-emerging viruses, these beasts may be microscopic. Iran's biological weapons include anthrax bacilli and botulinum toxin.
The 2011 upheaval of the Arab Spring also unleashed the current Syria civil war.
As the current war in Syria continues and it appears that the Islamic State (isis) is losing more land to Iranian allies, Pro-Iranian Shiite militias (such as Hezbollah) are filling the void left by ISIS and are better equipped and trained than the Sunni extremist group. They are also hostile to the Saudi regime, wish to dismantle the kingdom and free Islam's holy places from the House of Saudi.
Iran is also engaged in a proxy war against Saudi Arabia which is taken place in Yemen. Recently, Iran's ally (Yemeni Shiite Houthis rebels) launched 2 long range "Volcano 1" scud missiles from Yemen and targeted Saudi Arabia's Faud Air Base and came close to Mecca, narrowly missing it by just a few miles. Saudi Arabia has accused Iran of backing the Houthi rebels.
There have also been recent incidents between the US and Iran and Yemen which have escalated the situation. There have been 31 unsafe encounters where Iranian gunboats have harassed US Navy Ships. Iran has threatened to shoot down US Navy Surveillance flying close to Iranian territory waters in the Persian gulf.
Iran's Revolutionary Guard Chief is urging the US to pull out of the Persian Gulf.
The US recently made a retaliatory cruise missile strike on Yemen radar sites after Houthi rebels fired on American warships in the Gulf of Aden. Supreme Leader declares Iran will hit hard in response to U.S. Aggression and is currently sending it's 34th fleet to Yemen opposite the US flotilla. What does Iran hope to gain from it's high sea antics? Is it trying to provoke a military response from the US? Is it trying to start WW3?
Iran has also expressed hostilities towards Israel as they paraded a new multiple warhead missile with the message vowing to destroy Tel Aviv following a US-Israel arms deal. Iranian officials have indicated that ‘If America Wants To Try Its Luck Against Us, [It Should Know That] We Are Completely Capable Of Mobilizing 9 Million Fighters… In Under 10 Days’; ‘We Have Warehouses Full [Of Missiles]… That Can Hit Tel Aviv’ - Mohsen Rafighdoost
Concerning Iran's nuclear situation - Vice President Ali Akbar Salehi claims that Iran has been fully compliant and that the West is failing to deliver on it's nuclear deal.
Iran is also believed to be funding it's nuclear program from the 400 million it received from the US for the 10 American sailor hostages abducted by the IRGC after their boats drifted into Iranian territorial waters in the Persian Gulf.
Russian made S-300 missile defense systems have now been deployed at their underground Fordo uranium enrichment plant against possible US or Israeli attack by plane, missile or UAV. Delivered to meet the Islamic Republic's specific requirements for strengthening defenses at their nuclear sites.
Iran's closest ally is Syria. This goes back to the Iran-Iraq war. Syria sided with Iran against Iraq and was isolated by Saudi Arabia. They have had a strategic alliance ever since and share animosity against the United States and Israel. Syria has cooperated with arms smuggling from Iran to Hezbollah in Lebanon. Iran supports several Palestinian groups such as Hamas and endorses the replacement of Israel with a unitary Palestinian State.
Iran also enjoys very close cordial relations and has a strategic alliance with Russia. Vladimir Putin is currently encouraging Iran to join the Russia-led Eurasian military alliance. Due to the recent Russia and Turkey alliance after a failed coup attempt, Some see an opportunity for Iran to join the relationship. They all regard the United States as a threat and see an alliance as a counter weight to the Americans. Iran has recently allowed Russian strategic bombers to fly out it's air bases and granted access to it's airspace to launch it's cruise missiles to hit terrorist and/or Rebel positions against the forces of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad. What makes this significant is that Russia and Turkey are actually led by Iran (Persia) in a prophesied event to invade Israel and are destroyed. This can be found in Ezekiel 38.
Now back to Iran's other proxy war in the Syrian theatre. During the recent US and Russian brokered cease fire agreement, US military unintentionally struck Syrian government forces. Russia suspended a US deal on disposal of weapons grade plutonium after the US cut off talks with Moscow.
Russia told it's citizens nuclear war could happen soon and stated that underground shelters have been built for the entire population of Moscow. Russia deployed the advanced anti-missile system (Sa-23 Gladiator) as well as the S-300 & S-400 air defenses to Syria in support of Assad. The Sa-23 Gladiator has a range of 150 miles, carries warheads containing 300 pounds of explosives. Russia also has microwave weapons which can take down US drones. Russia warns US not to interfere in Syria and threatens to shoot down any air attack attempts.
Russia is also combining forces with China in Syria and has issued a war ultimatum - Nato must step down and remove it's defense infrastructure from Eastern Europe and from the Balkans and Baltics as well as it's troops stationed there. Also insists that Washington's sanctions be lifted and compensation paid. Russia is also sending new warships to the Mediterranean.
What is the US response to Iran, it's allies and it's proxy wars?
Obama is considering attacking Damascus. The military is told to prepare for a Tactical Nuclear exchange with Russia and the US. Defcon warning system has been raised from Defcon 5 to Defcon 3!
Since the writing of this blog, much has recently happened. Donald Trump has won the US election, and although he has not formally taken office yet, he had previously indicated that the Iran Nuclear deal was a terrible deal and if elected, he would "dismantle it". Subsequently, on Dec. 1st, Congress moved to extend a 10-year sanction on Iran. Khamenei warned of retaliation, and has gained support from China. Also, on Dec. 7th, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman indicated that Israel had carried out an attack on the Almaza Air Base near Damascus. He later confirmed that it was to prevent a substantial threat in the area that involved the transfer of chemical weapons from Syria to Lebanon and to Hezbollah.
What does this mean to the Christian believer? Are we about to experience war, judgement, possible economic collapse? Are the prophetic seals are about to be opened? Thereby fulfilling other pending prophetical events such as the Magog (Russian/Iran/Turkey) invasion against Israel - Ezekiel 38-39; the Psalm 83 war -(Arab/Muslim) nations predicted to come against Israel in the last days; Isaiah 17 - (Damascus becoming a ruinous heap). We are truly living in dangerous, perilous times and must prepare our hearts and minds with the realization that Jesus is coming soon.