|Syria may become fourth to fall in Union|
|Written by Chris Perver|
|Friday, 29 April 2011 05:23|
Syria has become the latest Mediterranean country to fall victim to the protests sweeping across much of the Arab world. Human rights organizations have reported that around five hundred people have been killed as a result of a violent crackdown against the protesters. Following the somewhat successful 'revolutions' in Tunisia and Egypt which saw the ouster of autocratic rulers amid violent confrontations with the security forces, the popular uprisings spread to Libya, which has since been engulfed in a bitter civil war involving the European Union and the United States of America. And now Arab uprisings in Syria are threatening to topple Bashar Assad's regime, and the Muslim Brotherhood is stepping up its involvement in the protests, calling for a 'day of rage' against the government.
Quote: “Significantly, Friday's demonstrations have the backing of the outlawed Islamist group, the Muslim Brotherhood, which was crushed by the regime in 1982. It is the first time that the Brotherhood has called directly for protests in Syria since pro-democracy demonstrations against Assad, nearly erupted six weeks ago. A declaration by the Brotherhood, sent to Reuters news agency by its leadership in exile on Thursday, said: "Do not let the regime besiege your compatriots. Chant with one voice for freedom and dignity. Do not allow the tyrant to enslave you. God is great."”
It is very difficult to predict what will be the outcome of all these protests. Certainly a new Middle East is being forged, one very different from the one we have known for the past 60 years. While it seems that the young people involved in these revolutions perhaps genuinely desire greater freedoms than they have been afforded by their dictators, there is a risk that Islamic groups like the Muslim Brotherhood will gain a foothold in the region, and secular states such as Syria could risk becoming the next 'Hamastan'. Already the British government has been meeting with the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, which has become the most organized political force in the country since the fall of President Hosni Mubarak.
It's hard to believe that Syria could end up being the fourth country bordering the Mediterranean Sea to topple this year. If you remember back a couple of years ago, French President Nicolas Sarkozy's vision of the Union for the Mediterranean was intended to bring stability and prosperity to the countries bordering Europe and the Mediterranean Sea. But it was said at the time that the authoritarian regimes such as Egypt, Libya, and others, which cannot agree amongst themselves never mind with anybody else, could ultimately doom the project to failure. And as you can see from this map (click for a larger image), the fall of these regimes could potentially pave the way for the revival of the Union for the Mediterranean, if the European Union acts quickly. In the map below, EU states are coloured blue, UfM states are in grey, and the UfM states now undergoing extreme political unrest are in brown. Could it be that this unrest will pave the way for the rising of the beast out of the Mediterranean Sea, as foreseen by John in the book of Revelation? Or will militant Islam, which has proved to be an enemy to Israel and the West, seize control of these countries and set up its own Islamic caliphate? Already we have seen an renaissance in relations between Egypt and Iran, which were once arch enemies. And of course Iran, or Persia as it was once known, is to take centre stage in a future war against Israel (Ezekiel 38-39). As I said, it is very difficult to predict what the outcome of these events will be.
One thing is clear though, the way is being prepared for the rise of the beast out of the sea (Revelation 13:1). I personally believe that this beast will be a revival of the old Roman Empire, in accordance with Daniel's prophecy. The word 'sea' in Scripture generally refers to the Mediterranean Sea area, around which the old Roman Empire and the present day European Union are located. Daniel 7:7-9 portrays the fourth beast, Rome, as being the final world empire before the return of the Messiah. Daniel 2 also portrays the final world empire, represented by the feet of King Nebuchadnezzar's image, as being a deteriorated form of the fourth world empire - the iron legs of the statue representing Rome and the feet being composed of iron mixed with clay.
As you can see in today's news, the way is most definitely being prepared for the setting up of the final world empire. That means that the return of the Lord Jesus Christ to this earth must be getting near. Praise God the Scriptures declare that in the days of the kings of this final world empire, the God of heaven shall set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed (Daniel 2:44). For as Daniel foretold, the stone which was cut out of the mountain without hands (a picture of Christ as the Rock - 1st Corinthians 10:4) shall strike the statue on its feet (the empires of men), and shall destroy it completely. And the Rock shall grow to fill the whole earth. Then that saying shall be fulfilled, the stone which the builders of the nation of Israel rejected is become the chief corner stone (Psalm 118:22). The Lord also said that whoever falls on this Stone shall be broken, but whoever it falls on, it will grind him to dust (Luke 20:18). Have you fallen on the person of Christ for the forgiveness of sins? Or will you face Him as Judge in a coming day? Do not wait until it is too late. Trust in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation today.