In Jeff Kinley’s amazing book, Wake the Bride: Facing These Last Days with Your Eyes Wide Open, he uses a personal story as an analogy for how to study prophecy and understand our times.
Kinley shares a story about a hiking trip he took to view a 60 year old airforce plane crash site. The crash site was so remote that officials decided to leave the wreckage after the bodies were removed from the remote mountain peak. Kinley notes that after hours of hiking he wondered if he picked the wrong spot. Just then he stumbled on one piece of debris. Then after more hiking, another piece, then another larger piece. The closer they got to the crash site, the more debris they found.
I believe this is an effective metaphor for understanding our times. There are several clear key things that must fall into place in order for Biblical end-time events to occur. The Old Testament prophets and the New Testament Gospels and letters highlight specific end-time events that will occur. We see the conditions for those events clearly in our day unlike any other time in history. All of the signs and conditions are converging in our day.
Just like the hiking trip where Kinley saw small signs, then more and more signs as he moved closer to the site of impact, we should expect the same thing prophetically as we get closer to the culmination of all things. As I have been studying the end-time signs the past few years I’ve seen them increase in frequency and severity, just as Jesus predicted in his famous Olivet Discourse where he said the signs would be like birth pains. Older prophecy experts who have been watching and studying for decades note that there used to be one major prophetic event every decade, now we see prophetic developments WEEKLY and at times DAILY!
There are various categories of signs but in this post I want to stick with one category, the geopolitical signs. Below, I have described a few of the end-time conditions the Bible predicted, then I’d like you to ask yourself if we see those conditions today.
BIBLICAL CONDITIONS PREDICTED
I. THE RUSSIAN-IRANIAN PARTNERSHIP
Ezekiel 38 describes an end-time war against Israel led by modern day Russia and Iran and joined by Syria, Turkey and several other Arab/Muslim nations that, in our day, openly state they want Israel to be destroyed. Many Christians have never heard of this war even though it’s one of the clearest and most detailed end-time prophecies. Ezekiel 37-39 detail Israel’s return to her land followed by this end-time battle. Isis and the war in Syria have served as the means for the major players of this future war to form the unprecedented coalition.
II. NATIONS TURNING AGAINST ISREAL, FOCUS ON JERUSALEM AND BORDERS
Zechariah 12:3 tells us that Jerusalem will be the focus of conflict with surrounding countries and the focus of ALL the nations in the end times (note: “that day” in the Bible refers to the Day of the Lord, AKA the end-times when God’s judgement will fall). The description of Jerusalem as an immovable rock is a reference her borders. In ancient days, heavy boundary stones were used to mark territory. In the end-times all nations will be dead set on moving Jerusalem’s boundaries. We see that forming today (see note on UN Resolution 2334 below ). Israel is the apple of God’s eye. When people mess with Israel, they are poking God in the eye (Zechariah 2:8).
III. DESTRUCTION OF DAMASCUS, SYRIA
Isaiah 17:1 tells us about a coming day (see verse 4: “in that day”, i.e. the Day of the Lord) where Damascus, the oldest continually inhabited city in the world, will be destroyed overnight (vs. 14). This event may occur before, during, or after the Gog-Magog war referenced above. It also may occur before or after the Rapture of the Church. The Bible is not clear on the timing other than it will occur in the last days close to or in the 7 year tribulation period.
IV. INCREASE IN WARS, THREATS OF WAR, EARTHQUAKES, AND FAMINES
Matthew 24:6-8 tells us there will be a steady increase in these conditions as the Day of the Lord nears. Verse 6 tells us the end won’t follow immediately when we see these wars (WWI, WWII anyone?) but these signs will noticeably increase as the Rapture and the Tribulation draw near. I say this because Matthew compares the totality of the signs cited as birth pains in verse 8. Although we’re focusing on the geopolitical signs, since these verses also mention an increase in earthquakes I should note that earthquakes continue to climb to unprecedented levels. Consider this. In 1973 there were 4,539 earthquakes worldwide. In 2000 there were 19,131 and this trend has continued since then. In 2013 there were 89,622. In 2014 there were 118,404 and 118,955 in 2015!
V. EUROPE JOINED TOGETHER BUT UNSTABLE
Daniel 2:41-43 describes the conditions of the final kingdom or entity in the area of Europe (where the seat of the Roman Empire once was) as being united but extremely unstable. The vision talks about iron trying to mix with clay (power with fragility) which is an apt description of the European Union today.
VI. A CALL FOR “PEACE AND SAFETY”
1 Thessalonians 5:2-6 describes the conditions of the world just prior to the rapture and the tribulation period. It describes a sudden collapse of stability (I believe it will be global social and financial collapse caused by the rapture itself) to occur at a time when the world is calling for “peace and safety”. (Note: this phrase specifically shows up in the UN Resolution 2334 from 12/23/16 as well as in multiple public speeches from world leaders including several US Presidents.)
TODAY’S UNPRECEDENTED GEO-POLITICAL LANDSCAPE
In our day we see ALL of these lined up simultaneously. Russia and Iran are in partnerships with all of the key players, the nations are turning against Israel. In just a few days 70 nations (a Biblically prophetic number representing the whole world) will meet in France to take action on the horrible UN resolution cited above. Israel recently bombed a convoy carrying chemical weapons just outside of Damascus where there’s a high probability that hordes of chemical weapons are stored underground.
There are more wars and rumors of wars today than there have been in my lifetime. As I write this, the US recently kicked out 35 Russian diplomats and is putting troops on the Russian border just days before the inauguration of a new president. Virtually anywhere you look on the globe there is conflict or impending conflict. Insane dictators have or are close to having nuclear capabilities making for non-stop rumors of war.
The fragile global economy continues to move toward collapse, apparently only held together by God’s prophetic timing. Europe is destabilized by an influx of millions of people from the mid-east as it continues to melt down. Africa is a mess including South Africa where thousands of land owners have been killed. South America continues to decline. Various leaders continue to call specifically for “peace and security” in the context of Israel as cited above.
Ten years ago, this was not even on our radar. Think about how fast the geopolitical landscape has changed. I’m not a mathematician but I am certain that it is statistically impossible for these conditions to all line up simultaneously specifically as foretold in scripture for the end times unless the Lord showed his prophets history in advance.
Also, it defies logic to think that these conditions could fade away, then return together again at a later point in history. This demonstrates that the season of the Lord’s return is closer than most may think. There has never been a convergence of prophetic conditions similar to this. What we’re seeing is truly unprecedented and it should be getting our attention as believers.
IS THE BRIDE MOSTLY ASLEEP?
I love what Jeff says as he describes a common attitude of the day. He says, “Much like hikers, those attempting to scale “Revelation Mountain” typically fall into several categories. Some believe in last day’s prophecy, but choose to keep their distance, safely remaining in the valley below. They’ve concluded that Revelation and prophecy are far too complex for anyone to really understand. So they settle for general truth — “Jesus is coming back…I hope. And that’s enough for me!” So they remain in virtual ignorance about things to come. But this does very little for their present lives or future confidence.”
I fear that the Bride, the Church, many true believers in Christ, are mostly asleep. Somehow we’ve been convinced that His return is in the far distant future…if it’s really going to happen at all. There are many more signs and conditions than what I’ve listed above, but these alone should at least get our attention.
Every word of scripture is truth (2 Timothy 3:16-17) and every letter of prophecy will be fulfilled (Matthew 5:18). God means what he says and says what he means. Now more than ever before, we should take him at his word. Everything he said would happen is falling into place. All the more reason to trust every word of scripture and take it literally.
Let’s wake the Bride and allow Bible prophecy to give us a sense of urgency as we share Christ with our family and friends, and as we prayerfully consider how to live more boldly, more holy, and more intentionally for our soon coming Savior.