I believe it is a good time to address a couple of Bible prophecy-related questions that many people have about the ongoing situation in Syria. As most of you know, Russia is very involved in the ongoing Syrian conflict. I know that many students of Bible prophecy have suspicions about the role Russia might play in the end times and perhaps wonder if Russia’s involvement in Syria will soon lead to the fulfillment of a couple of major end time events.
I will answer a few key Bible prophecy-related questions many people have about Russia’s involvement in the Syrian conflict, including the potential for the fulfillment of Isaiah 17 & the Gog-Magog invasion.
- Could the current situation in Syria lead to the fulfillment of Isaiah 17, which concerns the destruction of Damascus?
I do not believe that the current conflict in Syria will result in the fulfillment of Isaiah 17. Instead, I believe that the fulfillment of Isaiah 17 will actually come in the latter portion of the seventieth week of Daniel at a time when both Israel and Syria’s populations will be dramatically reduced. Isaiah 17:3-4 highlights the dramatically depopulated states of Syria and Israel:
“(3) The fortress also shall cease from Ephraim, and the kingdom from Damascus, and the remnant of Syria: they shall be as the glory of the children of Israel, saith the Lord of hosts. (4) And in that day it shall come to pass, that the glory of Jacob shall be made thin, and the fatness of his flesh shall wax lean” (Isaiah 17:3-4)
In addition, I believe Isaiah 17 indicates that the destruction of Damascus is linked to a large group of nations who will see their destruction not too long after they destroy Damascus. These nations will attack Jerusalem when their destruction comes:
“(12) Woe to the multitude of many people, which make a noise like the noise of the seas; and to the rushing of nations, that make a rushing like the rushing of mighty waters! (13) The nations shall rush like the rushing of many waters: but God shall rebuke them, and they shall flee far off, and shall be chased as the chaff of the mountains before the wind, and like a rolling thing before the whirlwind. (14) And behold at eveningtide trouble; and before the morning he is not.” (Isaiah 17:12-14)
A complete explanation of my views concerning Isaiah 17 can be found in an article titled: “Isaiah 17: Pinpointing the Timing of Damascus’s Destruction”.
- Could the current situation in Syria be a springboard for the Gog-Magog invasion described in Ezekiel?
I do not believe that the current situation in Syria will lead directly to the onset of the Gog-Magog invasion. The Gog-Magog invasion is an event that I actually do not believe is imminent like many claim it to be. Many details in Ezekiel 38 correspond to a fulfillment in the Millennium (Revelation 20:7-9) and many details in Ezekiel 39 correspond to a fulfillment in the latter stages of the end times. See my article titled: “Is the Ezekiel 38 Invasion of Israel Imminent?” for a fuller explanation of my stance on the timing of the Gog-Magog invasion.
- Is there anything you glean from the current situation in Syria from a Bible prophecy perspective?
I believe it is quite possible for the Antichrist to someday emerge as the ruler of Russia (he’s not Putin) and for Syria to be an ally of Russia at that time. Russia’s current efforts to stabilize and defend the Assad regime in Syria helps improve the chances of Russia and Syria remaining allies for the foreseeable future assuming that the Assad regime continues to survive. Therefore, I believe Russia’s involvement in Syria keeps the likelihood that Russia and Syria will be allies when the empire of the Antichrist arises high. The alternative would be a new Syrian government that could be hostile to Russia for its previous support of the Assad regime and a Syria that might have to be conquered for it to be a part of the Antichrist’s empire (assuming that the Antichrist someday becomes the ruler of Russia).
Some people might be disappointed that I did not say that the fulfillment of Isaiah 17 and Ezekiel 38/Ezekiel 39 is about to commence. Please understand that I do not try to sensationalize headlines to gain popularity with people who are looking for someone to tell them that some current event is going to bring about the fulfillment of a major Bible prophecy event. I try to give people a realistic expectation of current events and upcoming events so they do not get paralyzed with worry when they do not need to worry.