The opponents of Israel have actually unleashed a huge air attack on the Promised Land. Numerous fighter jet streak throughout the sky. But prior to Israel have the right to be destroyed, fire rains from the heavens and also the foe jets explode in mid-air with no explanation. Hailstones the dimension of golf balls follow the fire. The soil shakes. Birds choose clean the bodies of the collapse attackers. The enemy is vanquished without a single Israeli casualty, and the nation is saved.

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These are few of the opening scenes the the bestselling 1995 book Left Behind: A Novel of the Earth’s critical Days, by Jerry B. Jenkins and the late evangelical minister Tim LaHaye. But don’t mistake this scenario because that a mere activity sequence: It’s based upon the battle of Gog and Magog, a biblical conflict prophesied in the book of Ezekiel. In the Bible, Gog is the leader that Magog, a “place in the much north” that plenty of evangelicals think is Russia. Follow to Ezekiel’s prophecy, Gog will join with Persia—now Iran—and various other Arab countries to attack a relaxed Israel “like a cloud the covers the land.” LaHaye, like numerous evangelicals, thought this fight would carry on the Rapture, the finish Times event when God spirits far the an excellent Christians to heaven prior to unleashing plagues, sickness, and also other horrors ~ above the unbelievers staying on Earth. Meanwhile, the Antichrist reigns supreme.

The story the Gog and Magog is central to the bloody eschatology long taken on by millions of American evangelicals. In recent years, end Times has obtained special political money as believers have seen any variety of Middle east conflagrations as fulfilling Ezekiel’s prophecy, significantly the US intrusion of Iraq and also the war in Syria. Gog and Magog take it on new relevance earlier this month, when the Trump management assassinated Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani, the commander of Iran’s elite Quds Force.

On countless levels, president Donald Trump’s self-created crisis in Iran appears to have actually no relationship to any kind of sort of systematic foreign plan or geopolitical setup for the future. The assassination has yielded couple of if any tangible rewards because that the US. But there is an passionate constituency because that Trump’s improvised plan toward the center East and also Iran in particular: the evangelical believer who see it together a method of introducing the return of Christ. Lured through the promise of conservative can be fried Court justices, anti-abortion measures, and also a commitment come Christian prominence under the guise of religious freedom, white evangelicals voted because that Trump in greater numbers than any other group—more 보다 80 percent.

He desperately requirements them if he is going to be reelected. And also while some have actually expressed concern around the administration’s inching towards war with Iran, many of those through what were when fringe beliefs have cheered the death of Soleimani. “Iran has actually this huge part to play in biblical history,” says religious historian Diana butler Bass, who thrived up in the evangelical church, attended an evangelical college and seminary, and also wrote her Ph.D. Thesis at battle each other University on American fundamentalism. “There are these specific prophecies from Ezekiel, whereby there is speak of a war that will happen at a very important moment in Israel’s history. And also that battle is going come kick turn off the end Times. Civilization in this prophetic community think Iran is going come be among these aggressors.”

“When Iran gets right into the news, especially with something to perform with war, it’s sort of a prophetic dog whistle to evangelicals.”

Bass thinks this worldview might be central to understanding Trump’s international policy. “When Iran gets right into the news, especially with anything to perform with war, it’s kind of a prophetic dog whistle to evangelicals. Castle will support anything that seems to edge the people towards this conflagration,” she says. “They nothing necessarily desire violence, but they’re passionate for Christ to return and they think the this war through Iran and also Israel has actually to happen for their bigger hope come pass.”

Not all or also most evangelicals think inthe literal fact of these sorts that prophecies, though nearly 60 percent of white evangelicals, follow to one 2010 poll, believe Jesus is certainly or most likely going to return by the year 2050. However those who carry out subscribe to this apocalyptic people view it seems to be ~ to be overrepresented amongst Trump’s religious supporters and also advisers. In October, a organize of prominent evangelical pastors came to the White residence to pray with Trump to safeguard him indigenous impeachment. Amongst those that laid hand on the president as he stood, head bowed, in the Oval Office, to be repeat visitant Greg Laurie, pastor of a California megachurch. A few days after ~ the killing of Soleimani, Laurie do a YouTube video with Don Stewart, writer of 25 signs We Are near the End, to comment on Iran and also the end Times. “The scenario the the holy bible predicted, seemingly therefore impossible,” Stewart promised, “is currently falling into place.”

Hagee is one of the most prominent of Trump’s evangelical supporters who check out a war through Iran together a crucial step in the direction of the finish Times, yet he’s far from the just one. The White House has actually hosted a stable stream of dominionists and NAR apostles since Trump took office, including Lance Wallnau, writer of God’s Chaos President. An evangelical leader with a consulting service in Dallas, Wallnau has come to be famous as one of the few evangelicals that accurately prophesied Trump’s choice after receiving divine inspiration to read chapter 45 of the book of Isaiah. That’s the story of King Cyrus, who Wallnau and also many various other evangelicals think trumped resembles. (For $45, Wallnau and also ex-con televangelist Jim Bakker currently sell a Trump/Cyrus coin that civilization can usage to pray because that Trump’s reelection.) Dr. Lance, together he’s known, has made several visits to the White House, consisting of for a exclusive briefing ~ above Jared Kushner’s Middle eastern peace plan.

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Facilitating plenty of of these visits is Paula White-Cain, the controversial televangelist associated with the Trinity broadcast Network who came to be Trump’s spiritual torture after he witnessed her preach ~ above TV in the early on aughts. White led a 20,000-strong megachurch in Tampa the was investigated by Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) in 2007 for lavish security on private jets and large houses and possible violations that its tax-exempt status. His report did no find any kind of wrongdoing—church leader refused come cooperate through the investigation—but in 2012, White’s church claimed bankruptcy. She went on to command a mainly African American church in Florida where she continued to be until critical spring, when her kid took end the ministry.

Now top top her 3rd marriage, White has actually long been at odds with an ext elite, mainstream evangelicals due to the fact that of her particular self-help brand the prosperity gospel. Southern Baptist leader Russell Moore dubbed White a “charlatan” and “heretic.” Nonetheless, in so late October, Trump installed her in one official short article at the White residence office of publicly liaison to do outreach come evangelicals, formalizing access for several of the more extreme members of that group. She has actually referred to Trump as a contemporary Esther and also called his adversaries “demonic.”