TURKEY AND EGYPT
These two countries always occupy an important role on the eastern stage, and they will continue to play a leading role. Turkey will join itself with the king from the north, and Egypt will be the chief part of the king from the south. England will be the motivating source behind the coming ruler. The world does not know the prophecy in Daniel 11, and it is therefore observing these events with uneasiness. These events will lead to things which will shortly come to pass. Someone has said,
After the War, Turkey became a democracy and is aspiring to build up a new national life. Greece has a new national consciousness. Its population has greatly increased, and, through the help of the loan from the League of Nations, we can reasonably hope that it will have a renewed period of rebuilding.
Egypt has obtained limited self-rule from England. From now on, its prosperity will depend much on local leaders rather than on English initiative. Sudan has separated itself from Egypt, and Britain has moved its cotton industry here. A new dam has been built, and through this political force that is smaller than Egypt, the British cotton market can receive sustained supply. The national consciousness of Sudan has been awakened, and there is reason to believe that the local people will take a greater part in the development of their own country.
All these are a fulfillment of the writer’s word: "Pay attention to the things in the East." The movement of these peoples is a fulfillment of the biblical prophecy, in the same way that a gust of wind forewarns concerning the coming storm.
ONE SOURCE FROM THE EAST
Yemen in south Arabia may be an extremely conservative country, but a great and famous leader ______ has ruled over it. Although conservative forces are surrounding him, his modernization program is putting his country into a guaranteed advance in the new era.
The rising up of this leader is a proof of the possibility of a powerful personality. Four things can be distinguished: he comes from the East, he is a religious idealist, he is one who goes along with the tide of the age and who is in touch with the ideas of the times, and he has personal moral integrity that wins admiration and a following.
PALESTINE—THE SOURCE FROM THE EAST
An outstanding source that is obvious even to those who are not familiar with prophecy is the promised land. It is the center of disturbances and victories in the East. In addition to its direct fulfillment of biblical prophecies, there are four things which contribute to its being an indirect cause for biblical fulfillment. These are the things we should pay attention to:
(1) Palestine has turned from an insignificant province of Turkey into a focus of attention for many people.
(2) A solid British administration has brought about order, benefit, and trust.
(3) The Zionists are accumulating very large amounts of funds.
(4) There is a land link with Iraq for commerce, which is an indicator of a new era in the rebuilding of the nation.
Among all the other things, the one subject which is most talked about, and which is most interesting, is the strong and powerful Jewish movement. This is particularly true in America, where many have poured out money to help their friends to return to Palestine.
The promise made to Abraham mentioned the Great River. The river refers to the Euphrates. Things are happening here also. The Bible prophesies that Babylon will undoubtedly be rebuilt. Two factors help to make this possible. This nation is rich in oil production, and the amazing power of irrigation has caused it to express itself in beauty and efficiency. This is the point that the writer wants to make:
In addition to the help from Britain in building itself up as a new economic power, which ensures its political stability and developing ability, Iraq is now capable of being self-dependent. Since the invasion of the Huns, this is the first time that Iraq can look forward to building a strong nation of its own. One British committee with capital of fifteen million pounds has begun irrigation projects. Effective cotton farms have been planted, and oil fields are opening up under a joint British-Persian company.
In the future stage of God’s work, Persia will play a part. This country will make friends with the enemy of Israel and will suffer God’s severe punishment. The facts related to this country attract much of the attention of Bible students. We are not surprised to read of the following:
Persia is the same as Iraq: it expects a period of rebuilding. A powerful new Persian king is determined to build up a strong nation and to open up a new era. Financially, it has taken the advice of the U.S., and it is no longer attempting to conquer its neighbors by force. Instead, it is using its power for peacekeeping and order.
Ezekiel 38:1-6 mentions a league of the nations. They oppose Israel out of an evil intention. In this alliance, Persia was clearly and definitely mentioned. One outstanding thing of our time is that some insignificant nations will be ranked as prominent ones and will become strong factors in influencing the situation in the East. We should not be surprised that Persia will rank as one of the top countries.
A FURTHER REPETITION
ON "THE THINGS OF THE EAST"
Both the morning light as well as the rising sun comes from the East. It is there that we read of the Lord’s coming again—"His going forth is prepared as the morning" (Hosea 6:3). The morning is as accurate as God’s promise, as real as His authority, as definite as His faithfulness, as undiminishing as His love, as trustworthy as His word, as sure as His protection, and as eternal as Himself. Hence, may our eyes be turned to the "east", as the temple is toward the east (Ezek. 47:1-4). May our prayer be led to the mainstream of His grace, and may we receive the abundant leading in love in looking toward the "east," so that we would set our direction to the countries in the "east" according to His purpose, and so that the degrading wilderness of humanity there would be healed by the life-giving word from us.
(Collected Works of Watchman Nee, The (Set 1) Vol. 07: The Christian (5), Chapter 10, by Watchman Nee)