by Don Koenig
There are several prophetic pieces of the puzzle that are not fully in place, so the tribulation and the second coming 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 when the Antichrist figure breaks the covenant with Israel, then the peace will be in the first 3 1/2 years of his seven year covenant.
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 will 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, 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 war to occur against these radical elements of Islam sometime before Israel's seven year covenant with the Antichrist. The key to the defeat of radical Islam may be the military defeat of Iran and Syria while Iraq, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon 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 scriptures are clear that during a good part of this last seven year period the sacrifices in the temple will be stopped. Therefore, logically, there must be a third temple where animal sacrifices had been offered. The religious Jews now have all the plans and preparations done to accomplish the rebuilding of the temple and reestablishing the sacrificial worship system. Only the present political climate prevents them. Some say that the building of the temple will happen in the first half of the seven year covenant with the Antichrist but a case can be built from Daniel that at least the daily sacrifice will be in place a few years before that time.
Russia must become a military superpower again.
Gog from the utter most parts of the north will come with a great splendidly equipped army against Israel in the latter years that will bring God's intervention and Israel's spiritual rebirth. Gog is Russia and/or the states near Russia and she comes with many Muslim allies. Russia today does not have the capabilities to fulfill this prophecy in Ezekiel. However, Russia has now recovered from a depression and has begun to actively rebuild her military. Russia most likely will have the military capability to fulfill this prophecy some time after 2020 AD.
The city of Babylon must be rebuilt.
The end time prophecies about Babylon cannot be literally fulfilled until the city is rebuilt. Although much of the rebuilding may take place in the time of the seven year covenant, I think major rebuilding could take place before that time. The intentions to rebuild Babylon have been clearly stated in the news recently. The announcement indicated that the United States and other nations of the world will fund the rebuilding of the city to make it a world heritage cultural center and possibly a theme park. Thus, under the theme park guise, Babylon can be restored to reflect the beauty and pagan idolatry she had in ancient days as one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.
The Roman Empire must be reborn.
In Europe we see that an attempt is being made to bring the area of the Old Roman Empire to be under a central federal government. The present European Union is not the final form of the revived Roman Empire but it is laying the groundwork for it. The revived empire will probably have nearly the same land area as in the time of Jesus.
A great power must arise in the East that will be able to field a huge 200,000,000 man army.
This is not likely to be accomplished within the next ten years but we should clearly see that China and India will become world superpowers by 2020 to 2030 AD. They will for the first time in the history of the world have the population and the means to field this huge army from the East and fulfill this Bible prophecy.
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 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 2015 AD when I last reviewed this article. (It was written ten years ago when some were thinking the tribulation would start within a couple of years.) Even so, every one of those pieces should be in place before 2030 AD, Jesus is coming back soon. For a more complete analysis of the world conditions and Bible prophecy see, signs of the end times and Bible Prophecy
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