Parallels to 1914 Europe: Is the Second Horseman About to Ride?

If you are familiar with the geopolitical situation as it was in Europe back in July 1914 one could say that there are parallels to the situation in the Middle East right now. Both situations involve several countries in chains of complicated alliances. One major difference though, is that the winds of war in Europe were fanned by nationalism and today in the Middle East it is fanned by sectarian zeal.

In Europe in 1914 one country after another in a chain reaction declared sides and mobilized its armed forces. So we are starting to see the same thing in the Middle East today.

DEBKAfile reports a very disturbing set of developments in the last day or so. As I followed the story I wondered if other news agencies were reporting the same thing, and CNN confirms it.

The DEBKAfile site reports that King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia has placed its armed forces on the highest alert to defend its border with Iraq due fears of an advance by ISIS forces to seize the Iraqi/Saudi border crossing. In addition, Egypt is offering to airlift in commandos to help the Saudis. A mobilization of a country’s armed forces is a fairly strong sign that all-out war is a possibility.

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia

But in addition to the Saudis going on alert, airplanes full of armaments are landing at airbases to arm the two sides. Of Iran arming the Iraqi Shi’as on one side, the DEBKAfile article states,

“At least two cargo planes from bases in Iran were landing daily at Baghdad’s military airport, carrying 150 tons of military equipment. More than 1,000 tons were flown in this past week alone. Tehran has replicated for the Iraqi army the routine it established for Bashar Assad’s army, furnishing its needs on a daily basis as per its commanders’ requests. Those requests come before a joint Iranian-Iraqi headquarters set up at the Iraqi high command in Baghdad for approval and the assigning of priorities for shipment.”

And of support for ISIS,

“At the same time, Saudi arms are flowing to the Iraqi Sunni tribes fighting alongside the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) against the Iraqi army and the Shiite Nouri al-Maliki’s government,” and

“…on Tuesday June 24, unmarked civilian cargo planes landed at the base, bringing arms shipments from Saudi Arabia. The response was swift. Syrian warplanes, on their first bombing mission inside Iraq, tried to damage the partially repaired runways at H-2 to prevent any more Saudi air shipments from landing.”

What might have been a war between sides using rifles, is now escalating with more equipment. Also, this places Saudi Arabia at direct odds with Iran in what is so far, a proxy war for them. This report also sheds light on two recent news stories. The first is that just six days ago there was a report that the Saudis denied funding ISIS. Well, it looks like someone in Saudi Arabia is helping ISIS. So why would the Saudis go on high alert against ISIS? Perhaps the Saudis want to help ISIS, but only if they stay in Iraq. Secondly, it was reported that Syrian warplanes bombed ISIS positions in Iraq. And now we have a better understanding of what was bombed.

So Iraq is the battleground. ISIS fighters are setting up a terrorist state. Iran is assisting the Shi’a Iraqis with arms and Basiji fighters. The Syrians are now bombing ISIS positions, which, as DEBKAfile reports demonstrates, “the tight operational sync between the Iranian command centers in Damascus and Baghdad, which are attached respectively to the high commands of the Syrian and Iraqi armies.”

With Saudi Arabia mobilizing, and Egypt flying in troops, that makes if my counting is correct, five countries and one terrorist pseudo-state all involved.

With the escalation to a wider war with more nations involved, and arms and support flowing into both sides, it seems the ISIS conflict is blowing up into a regional war.

Since each of the four horsemen of Revelation 6 are themselves the sign that a Signpost is to begin, as the rider of the white horse was a prelude to the lion of Iraq being forced to be a democracy, are we seeing the second horseman riding out right now? When the second horseman rides out that will be the announcement that the Second Signpost has started – as war accelerates in the Middle East between Muslims. Let us look at the passage in Revelation 6:3-4,

“When the Lamb opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come!” Then another horse came out, a fiery red one. Its rider was given power to take peace from the earth and to make men slay each other. To him was given a large sword.”

The “peace” he is to take from the earth is peace of mind, not absence of war. This will happen when Iran takes over one quarter of the earth’s oil fields. The war itself is restricted to the Muslim realm as it says of all four horsemen in Revelation 6:8b,

“They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth.”

The first horseman was out for 24 years (1979-2003) before the lion was forced to stand and its mind was changed. The second horseman may be out for a time prior to the full and proper invasion by Iran. The Bible does not tell us how the invasion begins, but I cannot think of a better situation for Iran than this bubbling cauldron of growing war. Maybe this is why the ram of Daniel 8 is able to run out and do what it wants – all its neighbors will exhaust themselves against each other in the months ahead.

After all, thinking back to World War I, isn’t that one major factor why the United States advanced relatively quickly in the trenches in France in 1917 after two sides had been fighting each other for three long and bloody years?

Categories: In The News, Signpost #2: Iran

23 replies

  1. This definitely is looking like the trigger that will start the second signpost. I just got done reading Daniel Revisited. My oh my what an eye opener. Excellent work!

  2. Mark, do you see in any of what is presently going on (for some time already), and the build-up to what you believe to be the second sign post, Damascus falling and ceasing to be a city, as prophesied in Isaiah 17?

  3. Howard,
    Good question. I do not have an opinion of exactly when Damascus becomes a “heap of rubble.” I only have possible candidates. It could happen during the second signpost. It could be by Israel in the Psalm 83 war that I believe occurs during that time. It could even be caused by Iran. Or it might happen during the fourth signpost when the man to be antichrist is conquering lands and Daniel 8 says he is accompanied by great destruction.

  4. Thanks, Mark. We’ll find out soon enough, one way or another.


  5. The second seal on Daniel must be broken prior to the second horseman riding out. We need to be re-reading Daniel. While God is permitting the Middle East to be prepared for the AC, his is preparing his church with new revelations.

  6. Have you seen the latest on Fox News today 6/27/14? They say a regime change may be in the works. Do you know anything about the group known as MEK, or Peoples’ Mujadin Organization of Iran? The groups leader’s name is Maryam Rajavi.

  7. Is this the power struggle and the growing of the second rams horn?

  8. After reading your commentary twice now, Mark. It makes very good sense…on electronic paper. We will have to continue to watch and pray if this is the excuse Iran needs to blitz the Mideast and seize the oil fields releasing the Daniel 8 Ram and possible second pre-tribulation Revelation seal. This plausible regional war may continue for sometime and a pause in tensions maybe just the ticket as Ramadan starts tomorrow, June 28.

    We will see if this will continue to set the stage as tensions escalate within the Mideast for charge of the Iranian Ram.

    I find this all very fascinating as this is within the Blood Moon tetrad and conditions worsen as we enter the end of the tetrad…if I wasn’t a dedicated prophecy geek, people would probably have me committed!


  9. Mark,

    This morning I was going over Daniel 11. Joel R did a post about how the AC appears from as far back as 11:21. I agree (for reasons he points out in his post). This would mean that the preceeding rulers mentioned had to be his immediate predecessors.

    Do you think the two rulers in 11:2-3 might be the two horns/leaders in the Ram vision?
    1. There are two
    2. confrontation with Javan
    3. “do according to his will”
    4. afterwards, the kingdom is broken up and divided into the four winds of heaven. (same language used in the Ram vision, 8:8; also the four headed leopard)

    If this is the case, then it seems that the beginning of chapter 11 are a summary of the Ram/Goat Sunni/Shia War, and then details what will happen from there.

    PS, yes, the Yanks coming in after “The Year of Slaughter” to advance over dead bodies was a bit of a low blow 😉

  10. Tom,
    Maryam Rajavi joins a large crowd of people who have predicted the downfall of the current regime. If the Second Signpost is true, and if the current regime is chosen by God to carry out and fulfill the prophecy of the Second Signpost, then the regime will not fall. I have seen many stories like this over the years. Nothing has changed.
    However, her words are strangely prophetic when she said i nthe Fox interview, “I am confident that the mullahs’ religious dictatorship ruling Iran will not last in the 21st century and will be overthrown.” Yes, it will be overthrown in the Third Signpost, when the goat tramples the ram and breaks the ram’s horns.

  11. Tom,
    The growth of the second ram’s horn is the growth of power of the IRGC over the last 30 years. Check out the Excerpts Page on this website with the link to the Chapter 10 excerpt. That should answer your question. And it turns out it wasn’t really a power struggle, but the fitting in of the IRGC leadership with the Supreme Leader. If you follow the news closely on Iran watch sites you will see that the IRGC and Supreme Leader act together quite closely. Both kings are necessary – the Supreme Leader needs the IRGC to stay in power and the IRGC needs the Supreme Leader for legitimacy. Again, read the excerpt.

  12. Hi Giles,
    I saw Joel’s post and agree with it. However, Chapter 10 and 11 are telling one account and what is told at the beginning of Chapter 10 is about a great war. This great war is in the spiritual realm, manifested in our world. It involves many leaders over many centuries. Verses 3-16 follow history precisely and I was preparing a post for that. Verses 16-21 though don’t seem to have a precedent at all so I was going to dig deeper into history. So I believe verses 2-3 were fulfilled in ancient times.
    And about the U.S. and WWI, no offense was meant by it, brother. I realized you might see it from a different perspective, but I thought what trumped any nation you or I belong to here on earth, is that you and I are both citizens of Christ’s Kingdom and we are ambassadors here. And I’m certainly not happy with the way this country is behaving these days in the international scene. I used the illustration to point to how Iran’s invasion might begin, and the thread of the article just looped back to WW1.

  13. oh im not worried by it, im not even a real englishman….the english love giving our cousins across the pond banter about being late for every war due to a poor sense of geography 😉

    I’m glad though that you found some news on whats going on. The media here in the UK seems to have dropped the Isis Crisis, same as they dropped the Ukraine story before that, and the Syrian story before that. All they talk about is that Liverpool player biting someone at the world cup.

  14. Im pretty sure the context of Damascus becoming a heap of rubble is actually at the Day of the Lord (17:12-14 I believe are referring to the Gog invasion)

  15. I hadn’t thought of the Damascus prophecy in that context, but I think I agree with you. And on that day when the Lord of Hosts comes to rescue his people who call on his name, as it says in Revelation 16:19, “and the cities of the nations collapsed” due to the tremendous earthquake in the verse before it. Very good, Giles.

  16. Besides Ezekiel and Revelation, I think these more references to that great earthquake:
    Isaiah 2:19, 13:13, 24:1,20
    Haggai 2:6, 21
    Nahum 1:5-6
    Joel 3:16
    Its a common theme in the prophets.

  17. It seems that the prophecy of Isaiah 17 will take place within the great tribulation period. The whole chapter links the destruction and fall of Damascus and other regions of Syria with the diminishing of the glory and strongholds of Israel. The text seems to make a connection with both destructions. Whenever the Antichrist invades Israel and seeks to destroy it, he will also invade, conquer and destroy Damascus and other regions of Syria.

  18. Giles,
    I believe that Daniel 11 (the whole chapter) has a partial, yet substantial fulfilment in history, with Persian kings, Greece (Alexander), the Hellenic period with wars between kings (Seleucid and Ptolomaic kingdoms), culminating with the acts of Antiochus Epiphanes, however with no fulfilment as after Dan 11:36. Said that, I do also believe there is an final and eschatological fulfilment of the whole chapter 11, starting out with the Shia kings of Iran (Supreme Leaders – Grand Ayatollahs), then the Sunni 4 nation confederacy with Turkeys lead, the breakoff of this confederacy, power struggle and wars between Turkey and Egypt, culminating with the Antichrist (Dan 11:21-45).

  19. Reblogged this on Richard's Watch and commented:
    Since the 5th anniversary reprint of The End-Game Is Now In Play my blogging has mainly been upon prophetical developments for the UK, but I’ve continued to keep a ‘weather-eye’ on news from the Middle-East, especially DebkaFile. Therefore, I’m pleased to re-blog Mark Davidson’s analysis of the prophetical implications of the buried news about Saudi Arabia’s involvement in the war in Iraq. Mark interprets biblical prophecy from a novel, and perhaps more insightful, perspective than the predominant, mainstream one.

  20. Mark, in Dan 11:40 it says “at the time of the end, the King of the South will engage the King of the North in Battle.” Do I understand this right, that at some point in the future Egypt will go up against Turkey? Could the timing of this war be about the time when Iran pushes north, west, and South which concerns the King of the North with reports from the east and north?

  21. Hi Buzz,
    Daniel 11:40 will happen during the Fourth Signpost. At that time, the great new Sunni Confederacy ruling the Middle East will split into four new nations, where one of them will be a new version of Turkey and another will be a new version of Egypt. The man to be Antichrist will rise out of this new Turkish nation and attack and conquer the new Egyptian nation. In Daniel 8 it also says that his power will grow to the south and to the east. Read Chapters 11 and 12 to get the bug picture in which this scenario takes place.

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