A Script for the Last Sign for the End Times
The Cloisters Apocalypse - - An Early Fourteenth-Century Illustrated Manuscript
The opening of the First Seal, the Rider on the white horse - - Antichrist
Famine, earthquakes, plagues, astronomical signs, lawlessness, violence, immorality, greed, selfishness, hedonism, rebellion, despair, war, civil and ethnic unrest, false prophets, apostasy, heresy, one-world government, one-world religion, one-world economy, persecution of Christians, occult and demonic activity, increases in knowledge and travel - - all of these have been catalogued by Bible scholars as signs of the approaching end times, and of the beginning of the Great Tribulation that will precede the Second Coming of Christ.
Trouble is, while many of these terrible events and trends will indeed increase in frequency and scale as the end times approach, all have been around in one form or another, and to a greater or lesser degree, since at least the beginning of recorded history over 5,000 years ago. Even Christ, in His Olivet Discourse, suggested to His disciples a dual meaning to the signs He mentioned – that they would occur within the lifetime of the generation of Jews living at the time of His crucifixion (with the Roman destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D.) and within the lifetime of the generation that would be alive at His Second coming.
Over the almost 2,000 years since Christ's Ascension, many periods of calamity and of social and political change have caused many to wonder if the time of the end was near. Yet the fall of the Roman Empire, the rise of the Holy Roman Empire, the Islamic conquests of North Africa and Spain, the fall of Byzantium, the Black Death, the Inquisition, the Protestant Reformation, the Napoleonic Wars, and World Wars I and II (just to name a few) did not herald the onset of the end times, though many speculated during these times that the end was near.
So how can we know for sure that the end times are near? That we can know was plainly taught by Christ in His Olivet Discourse. We can know the season, if not the day or hour, of His Second Coming. In order to know the season, we must look for specific signs. Signs recorded in Bible prophecy, but of such specificity that they cannot be easily mistaken as more of the same old misery that has been with us for millennia. A careful study of prophecy suggests that three distinct signs are required for the onset of the end times - - things that are unique in history, and stand out as necessary for the coming of the End of the Age.
Israel revived (center stage)
Prophecy clearly suggests that, prior to the onset of the end times, Israel will once again occupy the lands promised by God to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and will control Jerusalem. All past speculations of the End of the Age, prior to Israel's resurrection, were flawed in this one respect - - the end times simply could not begin prior to Israel's rebirth. Recreated in 1948 (after almost 2,000 years of dispersion) and in control of Jerusalem since 1967 (something that hadn't happened in over 2,000 years), Israel today is at center-stage for the unfolding of end-times events.
Rome revived (stage left)
In the Book of Daniel, the Babylonian king, Nebuchadnezzar, dreamed of a great statue that represented the empires around the Mediterranean Sea in existence at the same time that Israel occupied the lands promised by God to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob - - empires from the time of Babylon to the end times. Most interpretations of scripture suggest that the last (end times) empire would be a reunification of the fragments of the Roman Empire, which come together to form an imperfect union (the statue's feet of iron mixed with clay). The European Union, together with the Arab League, seem to fit this prophecy as no other political constellation since the fall of the Western Roman Empire (around 500 A.D.). This is especially true as the destruction of Israel, around 135 A.D., precluded the possibility of any empire after Rome existing in conjunction with Israel, until Israel's reestablishment in 1948. With the rise of Eurabia (a growing union between Europe and the Arab Nations) and the reestablishment of Israel, this sign of prophecy is met. It should be noted that modern Europe (and its evolving European Union and Eurabian manifestations) has had a continuous and checkered relationship with Israel, from being instrumental in creating the modern nation of Israel to championing its destruction in favor of a Palestinian state.
The Antichrist cometh (stage right)
Much is written in the Bible of the Beast - - the Man of Sin - - the great end times Antichrist. Scripture suggests he will arise as the leader of a ten-nation confederation in the Middle East (ancient Mesopotamia) and will make a seven-year peace treaty with Israel, setting off the events of the Seven-year Tribulation and the run-up to the Second Coming of Christ. This is the one sign that has yet to occur. The Middle East today is a region of predominantly Sunni-Muslim Arab nations (at least ten) squabbling among themselves and with others (especially America), while yearning for the revival of the great Muslim unity of the past (the Caliphate). Should someone of great charismatic and diabolical talent ever manage to unite these nations, the stage would indeed be set for the End of the Age.
Two of the very specific and necessary signs for the on-set of the end times have come into existence since the middle of the 20th Century. Today Israel is back within her borders and in sole possession of Jerusalem, a set of conditions that last existed well over 2,000 years ago. The Revived Roman Empire is a geo-political reality (one that had not existed previously), exactly as prophesied by Daniel.
Now all we need is the conquering rider on the white horse with the bow and the crown (the first Seal Judgment of Revelation - - the Antichrist - - the next Muslim Khilafah?). And given what we see happening in the Middle East on cable news each night, can he really be very far away?