Many events in the Middle East continue to contribute to the Signpost’s fulfilling of end time prophecy. Once in a while a more significant event comes along, like Erdoğan being granted dictatorial power earlier this month. This past month saw another event – though more subtle – which could be just as earth-shaking. This subtle event might not only clue us in as to how Iran could invade eastern Turkey and get away with it, but also, incredibly, give us a harbinger for when the Second Signpost is about to start!
This subtle event in the news is something the Albanian Prime Minister, Edi Rama, stated in a recent interview. It won’t sound like much unless you understand the politics and history of the region.
This post is longer than most, but I believe it is needed to tell you what Rama said, why it’s explosive as understood by politicians and historians, and how it could potentially give us a couple more puzzle pieces to allow us to see the Second Signpost more clearly. I’ve also added the “Alert” Category to this post; the Alert is for those events that can be game-changers.
First, let’s start with the Second Signpost itself, Iran’s great invasion.
Iran’s Charge in Three Directions
The Four Signpost interpretation of Bible prophecy predicts that Iran will run north at the start of the Second Signpost, as it also runs west and south, from Susa, i.e. southwestern Iran.
We can guess how far the Iranian forces – the IRGC – will go to the west and south. The Bible says that “westward” is “seaward”, i.e. to the Mediterranean. To the south, it’s as far as the ram wills – the regime’s three-fold wish of conquering the holy cities of Mecca and Medina, occupying the gulf oil fields in order to cause chaos to bring out the Mahdi, and to kill the Petrodollar.
The Question: How Far to The North?
The question has been for the north, how far will the IRGC go? Will it stop at the Iraqi-Turkish border, or proceed in to eastern Turkey? It would seem at first glance that Iran would not dare cross the Turkish border because the second-largest NATO military would bear down on the IRGC.
But the regime will be able to do all it wants, per Daniel 8:4. That includes its wish to unite as many Shias as possible into one empire. Today we see the IRGC securing (most) Shia areas so that when the ram charges out it can take on the Sunni areas successfully, using the Shia areas as safe zones for its forces. Besides Shia populations in Yemen and the Gulf oil areas to the south, and in western Syria on the seacoast to the west, there is a sizable Shia population in eastern Turkey. This is the bait for the IRGC to go into Turkey.
But the question has remained – how could the IRGC go in and prevail against the Turkish military?
A Possible Answer ?!?
Incredibly, we may have just seen an answer in the last couple weeks!
Besides watching Iran, Egypt, Syria and Turkey, we should keep the occasional watch on Albania. As I wrote in Daniel Revisited, p. 113,
“We should be watching the nations of the Middle East instead of those in Europe, but Albania is the exception.”
This news story from Albania a couple weeks ago might actually give us a clue as to the best reason yet why Iranians could run into eastern Turkey and not be bothered – at least for a while. That’s right – the Turkish military would not be a problem for a period of time, until the Third Signpost begins. This news story makes me think that if Turkish forces are tied down already fighting a war perhaps that would be the opportunity that Iranian forces would need to charge into Turkey.
Old Enmity A Cause for New War
While the Ottoman Empire ruled the Balkan Peninsula for 500 years, Islam crept into the area, with some peoples being more accepting than others. The Serbs stayed staunchly Christian, having their own Serbian Orthodox Church. Albania though accepted Islam and its people enjoyed opportunities in the Ottoman government and military. Albania fought off the Ottoman Empire in the 1400’s (due to the efforts of that country’s historical hero, Skanderbeg) but once conquered, Albania embraced Ottoman rule.
However, with the Ottoman Empire gone, Serbia has for the last century or so forced an agenda to keep the Muslim peoples of the Balkans divided so they can never be a threat in Europe. In 2008, one of Serbia’s provinces, Kosovo, which is 95% Albanian and 90% Muslim, broke away and became its own country. Serbia is friends with those countries who do not recognize Kosovo, like Russia. Serbia does not keep relations with those countries who do recognize Kosovo, like the USA and Albania.
The Idea of “Greater Albania”
Albanians in Albania (which by the way is 99% Albanian), and Albanians in the little country next door, Kosovo (which is 95% Albanian), want to unite their countries into something called Greater Albania. A Gallup poll conducted in 2010 shows the majority of residents of Albania, Kosovo, and the northwest corner of Macedonia all want to form Greater Albania.
Before the Ottomans arrived, the Albanians’ territory covered the same areas as shown on the map inside the purple line, and it’s where Albanians live today. The purple line also outlines Greater Albania.
The problem seen by Serbia, is Albanians are mostly Muslim, and therefore cannot be allowed to unite. Five hundred years of fighting Islam has made Serbia “punchy.” This is probably the greatest cause for Russia to be Serbia’s ally: two Christian nations both being Slavic and both having fought Islam for centuries. Politicians in Albania and Kosovo mostly downplay the whole topic of Greater Albania so as to not light a powder keg.
So What Did Rama Say?
But this past week it seems the powder keg might have been lit. The Albanian prime minister was asked if unification with Kosovo was off the table, and Prime Minister Edi Rama said,
“No, because the only way to keep the Balkans in this peaceful and cooperative mode is to keep the path to the EU open, to keep the perspective clear, to keep emotions about the EU positive. No one would like to turn (in) on themselves and look for smaller unions, everyone would like to unite in the big union. But if there’s no hope, no perspective, no space, then, of course, little unions may happen.”
Albanian politicians both in Albania and Kosovo have said for the last several years that Greater Albania was not a goal, but EU membership was. Albania has been a EU candidate now for the last couple years. However, if EU unification is ever off the table – and this was never said before by a sitting politician – Albania and Kosovo would need to unite for their own sake. Kosovo is not even recognized by many nations so how can Albania or the EU unite with a nation not recognized by others?
Serbian Deputy Prime Minister Ivica Dačić spoke out about Greater Albania in this article as a response to Rama’s statement.
He is quoted in this article as saying Rama’s statement, “is another confirmation that the creation of a Greater Albania is a common platform of all Albanians, which represents the greatest threat to peace and stability in the Balkans and Europe.”
In other words, might Rama’s statement portend that unification of the Albanian peoples is a hidden priority to Albanian leaders? I’ve been watching Albania for the last few years and the statement Rama made was the most bold yet on the topic recently.
Two contrasting thoughts come to mind about Dačić’s statement. First, what’s the big deal? Most Albanians and Kosovars are secular Muslims and even when united they shouldn’t cause a problem. On the other hand, if Serbia begins a war over this issue to keep Kosovo separate from Albania, ultimately the threat to Europe is not a united Albania, but the war unleashing the Second Signpost leading to Antichrist.
In this article, Eli Rama is accused by Macedonia as being behind a movement for Albanians in Macedonia to break away. Rama shot back,
“There is a myth created in Skopje [the Macedonian capital] for political purposes that the Albanian parties are following a platform that is written in Tirana [the Albanian capital]. This is a lie, a myth created by the politics of very bad taste. The attack on the platform is very dangerous because it’s a kind of politics that fuels divisiveness and not unity … The last thing Macedonia needs, the last thing we all need, is to fuel interethnic conflict, because you can’t control these kinds of things.”
Well said. The entire west Balkan region is a powder keg and has been for a long time. Peace is always preferable. But developments in the wrong direction could bring a war – a new Balkan War.
A New Balkan War
The time may come when Albania, Kosovo and part of Macedonia try to unite. If Serbia perceives Albania, Kosovo, and provinces of Macedonia uniting, Serbia will likely attack. Other nations then could easily get pulled in, just as what has happened in past Balkan wars. Remember World War 1.
Who is Albania’s main ally? Historically, and today, it’s none other than Turkey. In addition, Turkey and Albania are both members of NATO.
Who is Serbia’s main ally? Historically and today, it’s none other than Russia.
You can probably see where this is going.
If a war for Albania’s unification begins it wouldn’t be that hard to imagine Turkey getting bogged down in a Balkan War, going against Russia ultimately. With, Turkey’s military being bogged down in a war, that could be the IRGC’s pass to charge out, even into Turkey.
As I suggested in this earlier post, Putin may know Iran’s plans for the Second Signpost. Supporting Iran’s Mideast plans is a win-win for Russia. Not only does Iran become a major threat to the Sunni Muslim, millennium-long, thorn in the side of Russia, but the price of oil shooting up many times over would make oil-exporting nations like Russia, rich.
Things Become Clearer The Nearer We Get
I had not thought of Turkey being bogged down in a war to make way for Iran in eastern Turkey. This event with Rama and Albania opened my eyes. If the IRGC is to run into eastern Turkey, this is really the only way it could happen – with Turkey already fighting a war.
Those of you who have seen our God work in your own lives, know that He usually kills two, three or eight birds with one stone. A new Balkan War would not only allow Iran to run in to Turkey unhindered, but if this war is major, and long, and Turkey and Albania are victorious, half the Sunni Confederacy might have already formed. It would only need Syria and Egypt to join.
Realizing A New Opener for the Second Signpost
And on top of that, if Iran invades Turkey it is because Iran has started the Second Signpost and is invading everywhere at the same time just as Daniel 8:3 seems to tell us. This means a new Balkan War also would be an opener – a harbinger – for the Second Signpost.
Therefore, we need to keep an eye on Albania and Serbia more closely. If we see in the headlines in the not-too-distant future a new Balkan War erupting this might be our big sign the Second Signpost is at the threshold! How long do you think Iran would wait after the start of a major war – one week; one year? My bet would be the shorter time, but only after Turkey has committed a large part of its military to the war.
Believe it or not, this may be an answer to a prayer of mine. I’ve been praying for years that God reveal an obvious sign ahead of time, that shows the Second Signpost is about to begin. A nightmare scenario would be to wake up one morning and the Mideast has gone Iranian. But with a large and obvious (obvious to Signposters not to anyone else) sign, it might give one a few days or weeks to get ready – move money, get garden supplies, cancel that trip to Europe, stock up on food, pay off debts, do things you’ve been procrastinating on, etc.
However, for your sake, please do not depend on a Balkan War as a sign. The safe bet is to stay in prayer and keep watching Iran itself. But if this Balkan War between Albania and Serbia erupts, God may have graciously given us a warning that you have a few days or weeks to get ready. And chances might be very high that “normal” living is about to end and the end times will commence in earnest.