by Don Koenig
As of this writing there are several prophetic pieces of the puzzle that are not fully in place, so the tribulation events and the second coming of Jesus is still a short time in the future. We will know that we are in the season of the events of the tribulation and the second coming of Jesus when we see the following pieces of the prophetic picture finally fall into place.
Israel must be at peace and living securely in the land.
This is her condition in prophecy just before the latter day northern invasion led by Gog (Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39). For this to happen Israel must have a peace treaty with all of her neighbors. If the war of Ezekiel 38-39 is before the final seven year covenant with the Antichrist, a period of peace must come prior. However, if the war in Ezekiel occurs after the Antichrist figure breaks the 7 year covenant mentioned by Daniel, then the peace will be in the first 3 1/2 years of his seven year covenant with many.
Whatever the timing of this northern invasion, we know that Ezekiel's prophecy of peace has not yet been fulfilled. We now see that the world powers intend to force a peace treaty on Israel and her neighbors but how this peace treaty will actually come about and be successful is anyone's guess.
The important thing to understand is that before there can be any meaningful peace treaty that will allow Israel to dwell securely as stated in Ezekiel 38, the radical elements in Islam that believe that Allah wants them to use violent means to advance Islam will have to be dealt with. Therefore, expect a regional or world war to occur against these radical elements of Islam sometime before the prince of a revived Roman Empire confirms a seven-year covenant (Da 9:27). That covenant apparently brings peace and allows for temple sacrifice in Israel.
The key to the defeat of radical Islam may be the military defeat of Iran and Syria while Iraq, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and most of the other oil states stabilize and make economic agreements with Israel.
Israel must build a third temple and animal sacrifices must be reestablished.
The scripture in Daniel is clear that in the midst of this seven years covenant this prince from the Roman Empire will break the covenant and stop the sacrifice and the offerings. Therefore, logically, there must be a third temple where the sacrifice and the offerings are being made by the Jews. The religious Jews now have all the plans and the preparations done to accomplish the rebuilding of the temple and the reestablishing of their sacrificial worship system. The present political climate prevents the Jews from doing this but apparently that changes in the near future. It is something to watch for.
Russia must become a military superpower again.
According to Ezekiel 38 and 39, in the latter years, Gog from the utter most parts of the north will come with a great splendidly equipped army against Israel. This will bring about God's intervention and Israel's spiritual rebirth. Gog is Russia and she comes with many allies including Iran and Turkey. As of this writing, Russia does not have the military capabilities to fulfill this prophecy. However, Russia is making a serious effort to rebuild her military. Russia most likely will achieve the military capability necessary to fulfill this prophecy by the 2020's.
The city of Babylon must be rebuilt.
The end time prophecies about Babylon cannot be literally fulfilled until the city is rebuilt. Much of the rebuilding may take place during the rule of the Beast Antichrist but I think some rebuilding will need to take place before that time. The intentions to rebuild Babylon as a U.N. world cultural heritage center have been reported recently. The announcement indicated that because of the damage done as the result of the Iraq wars, the United States and other nations of the world will fund the rebuilding of Babylon to make it a world cultural center and theme park. Thus, under the theme park guise, Babylon could be restored to reflect the beauty and pagan idolatry that she had in ancient days as one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. It will take a lot of money to do this, but the Beast/Antichrist will see that it happens. Also, keep in mind that Iraq is sitting on a sea of oil and other cities have been built in a decade in modern times. Bible prophecy indicates that the center of world wickedness will be relocated to the plains of Shinar in the end times (Zec 5, 5-11). Babylon Iraq is that area. Rebellion against the God of heaven began at Babel. Satanic religion became the counterfeit and the Devil was worshiped as god and this worship of the Devil is now practiced by all worldly religions. The rebellion against God that started at Babylon will also end at Babylon.
The Roman Empire must be reborn.
In Europe we see an attempt is being made to bring areas of the Old Roman Empire under the rule of a new centralized federal government. The present European Union is not yet the final form of any revived Roman Empire but it is laying the groundwork for it. The revived Roman Empire will probably cover much the same area as it did when the Romans crucified Jesus.
Kings of the East must be able to field a huge 200,000,000 man army.
This is not likely to be accomplished within the next several years but we should clearly see that China and India will become world superpowers before 2030 AD. Soon, for the first time in history, the Kings of the East will have the population and the means to field this huge army and fulfill this prophecy in Revelation.
I Believe Noah's ark will be found.
2 Pe 3:5 For this they willfully forget, that there were heavens from of old, and an earth compacted out of water and amidst water, by the word of God;.
I think this scripture implies that people will willfully disregard ample proof that there was a world-wide flood. Therefore, I think Noah's ark will be a matter of scientific record before the judgments of Revelation.
The rapture of the Church most likely will be one of the final prophetic signs to the world.
The rapture of the true Christian Church itself is not dependent on any sign and is imminent.
I do not believe all the pieces of the prophetic picture are in place as of the writing of this article. Nevertheless, every one of those pieces should be in place very soon. See Jesus is coming back soon for a reasonable timeline for the Lord's return. For more analysis on world trends and Bible prophecy see my 25 article series.
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