This Bible study by Jack Kelley (Click here to read entire study. I've only copied the key points to peak your interest. I hope you will read it and be informed). [Emphases in italics bold and blue are from the text, but emphasized by myself]:
Seven Major Prophetic Signs Of The Second Coming
There are seven major prophetic signs of the Second Coming, and for the first time in history all seven are in some stage of fulfillment. As in years past, I'll list the seven with their primary biblical references and offer commentary from current events.
1. Israel Will Be In The Land... Ezekiel 38:8
After many days you will be called to arms. In future years you will invade a land that has recovered from war, whose people were gathered from many nations to the mountains of Israel, which had long been desolate. They had been brought out from the nations, and now all of them live in safety.
In 1948, when Israel took its place among the nations of the world again for the first time in nearly 2000 years, students of prophecy recognized the fulfillment of the primary sign that the end of the age was upon us. Jesus had said that the generation being born when that happened would still be alive when He returned (Matt. 24:34)...
2. Jerusalem Will Be In Jewish Hands... Luke 21:24
They will fall by the sword and will be taken as prisoners to all the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.
The Lord prophesied that the reunification of Jerusalem as a Jewish City would be a sign that foreign (gentile) influence over His land, and indeed the world, was about to end. When this happened in 1967, prophecy experts saw it as another major sign fulfilled...
...And remember, the culmination of End Times prophecies is the Second Coming, not the Rapture of the Church, which precedes it by at least 7 years...
...As the time draws nearer, the timing of the 2nd Coming will become more and more obvious. Those people around when a treaty is enforced permitting the Jews to build their Temple in Israel will know that it's seven years away. Those who witness the anti Christ standing in that Temple proclaiming himself to be God will know there are only 1260 days left until the end of the Great Tribulation, and the 2nd Coming happens right after that. As Paul so clearly put it, only those in darkness will be taken by surprise...
3. A Moslem Coalition Armed And Led By Russia Will Attack The Holy Land... Ezek. 38:2-6
"Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal; prophesy against him. This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am against you, O Gog, chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. I will turn you around, put hooks in your jaws and bring you out with your whole army--your horses, your horsemen fully armed, and a great horde with large and small shields, all of them brandishing their swords. Persia, Cush and Put will be with them, all with shields and helmets, also Gomer with all its troops, and Beth Togarmah from the far north with all its troops--the many nations with you."...
...Over 130 historical references make it plain that Magog stands for modern Russia, and the other countries named here form a coalition based on their common religion, Islam. (Today Russia is 30% Moslem and growing.) Among them are Iran, several North African countries, Eastern European countries along the Danube, and the Turkic nations of Asia Minor. A quick look at a world map will reveal that these areas are home to some of the most violent Islamic terrorist groups...
...The Russians are already a major supplier of arms for the Moslem coalition, just as Ezekiel prophesied......When the time is right, having recently taken His church to Heaven, the Lord will use this battle to orchestrate His reconciliation with Israel, and on its heels the anti Christ will emerge with a peace plan that includes a Jewish Temple. So once this battle takes place, end times prophecy will go on fast forward.4. The Ancient Roman Empire Will Re-Emerge As A Political Force... Rev 17:9-10
"This calls for a mind with wisdom. The seven heads are seven hills on which the woman sits. They are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; but when he does come, he must remain for a little while." (This one is a little obscure if you don't know your history. When John was writing this, about 95AD, there had been five great world powers; Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Persia, and Greece. All were conquered and absorbed. The current power was Rome, which was never really conquered and will re-emerge at the end of the age, according to Daniel 9:26.)...
...In the mean time the Western European Union (WEU) a 10 nation confederacy of the only permanent and fully vested members of the EU has assumed responsibility for creating its military arm, based on its Recommendation 666, passed earlier. And in January 2007 the EU's European Neighborhood Plan (ENP) takes effect. It's a seven-year treaty that brings 12 Middle Eastern countries including Israel and the Palestinian Authority into economic cooperation with the EU. The EU's Javier Solana has been fighting to get this program off the ground for years, and its coming implementation has made him the current favorite among those looking for the anti-Christ.
5. The World Will Embrace A Single Religion... Rev 13:8
All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast--all whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world.
The one world religion idea has been around for most of our generation, often under the guise of ecumenism. As the liberal denominations continue watering down their theology there are fewer things keeping them apart. Now some Evangelical leaders are questioning whether Jesus is really the only way to salvation. The flirtation between certain Evangelical groups and the Catholic Church is interesting, as is the dialog between the Pope and Leaders of Islam, and their common devotion to Mary. The Catholic Church is one of the richest organizations on the planet with over 1 billion members on 6 continents, and clearly thinks of itself as the world's dominant religious group. It's no secret that the Catholic church is posturing itself to be a major player in End times events.
But make no mistake about it. The rise of radical Islam is the chief threat to world peace today and their goal is nothing less than world domination. Their god is not the God of the Bible, and their fight with Jews and Christians actually began in the 7th Century AD when the Jews rejected Mohammed's offer of consolidation. Prior to that time he had counseled his followers to respect and befriend the Jewish people, but when they refused to join his religion, he declared jihad (holy war) against them. Christians were included 400 years later as a result of the Crusades...
...Much has been written this year about al Mahdi, a manifestation of Moslem prophecy that is strikingly similar to Christian prophecies of the anti-Christ. Both come on the scene during a time of great turmoil on Earth, both come claiming a desire to restore peace, both have a seven year reign, both head a one world religion and one world government, both claim supernatural origins, and both reigns end in a battle between good and evil that brings about Earth's final judgment. Some students of prophecy remind us that the Roman Empire had an Eastern component composed of the very countries whose people are the most militant advocates of Islam today, and that the anti-Christ could easily come from there...
6. The World Will Accept A Single Government... Rev 13:3
The whole world was astonished and followed the beast.
Earlier, I stated my view that a decline in US strength would be necessary to permit the Battle of Ezekiel to take place. This is also a necessary precursor to the emergence of a one world government....................
7. Babylon Will Re-Emerge As A Prominent City In World Affairs... Rev 18:2-3
With a mighty voice he shouted: "Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great! She has become a home for demons and a haunt for every evil spirit, a haunt for every unclean and detestable bird. For all the nations have drunk the maddening wine of her adulteries. The kings of the earth committed adultery with her, and the merchants of the earth grew rich from her excessive luxuries."
Babylon is still a ways away from accepting its destiny as a city of power in the end times. It's just a ceremonial city right now, but 15 years ago nobody even knew it existed at all. One of the shocks of Gulf War 1 was the discovery of Babylon standing there on the banks of the Euphrates again..................
You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains.
"Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. (Matt. 24:6-14)
Then he said to them: "Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven. (Luke 21:10-11)
"There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. Men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken. At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near." (Luke 21:25-28)
WARS AND RUMORS OF WARS ... Depending upon whose intelligence reports you read somewhere between 30 and 50 wars are currently being fought around the world, with a substantial number of additional disputes threatening to erupt into war at any time.
THE INCREASE OF NATURAL DISASTERS ... More frequent and more severe hurricanes, more frequent and more intense earthquakes. Killer storms and quakes continue to dot the news, although 2006 didn't achieve the record levels of devastation caused in 2005
SIGNS IN THE SUN, MOON, AND STARS ... The magnetic polar reversal, predicted by computer model for 2012 is gaining more attention since its likelihood was first announced. Having moved several hundred miles across Canada the Magnetic North Pole is currently headed for Siberia. While the effects of a Magnetic Polar Reversal have never been observed by mankind, it has apparently happened in the distant past. What's unique this time is that the Sun is due for a polar reversal at the same time. I've speculated that the effects of the polar reversal could fulfill Revelation 6 and if the projected time of 2012 is correct, it fits nicely into the End Times prophecy window we opened above.
PESTILENCE... Not only new diseases like HIV and SARS but also the return of old ones like Whooping cough. But the big news again this year is the likely spread of Avian Influenza (Bird Flu). A few cases among humans have lead to fears that the virus has mutated to thrive in a human host. Dire predictions are placing possible deaths from this pandemic in the millions
THE LOVE OF MOST WILL GROW COLD ... 3500 people die every day in defense of the Christian faith. Run away crime, children being abused and murdered by their parents, children killing children. Murder trials as public entertainment soon to be followed by televised executions. Ethnic cleansing, rape and forced pregnancy, pedophilia, random shootings, the incidence of disrespect is enough to make you sick.
THIS GOSPEL WILL BE PREACHED IN ALL NATIONS ... Looking at the state of the world, it's hard to be encouraged. But as world news gets worse and worse, more people are turning to the Lord for solace. According to some reports as many as 175,000 new believers are born again every day, mostly in Africa, China, and India. Reports of these conversions are accompanied by accounts of miracles, people receiving supernatural healings and even being raised from the dead. Just as He did at the beginning of the church Age the Holy Spirit is moving mightily at its End. I believe the Lord is issuing a giant "last call" before He suddenly takes the church out of here to begin the End Times judgments.
The above are given as indicators in the Olivet Discourse (Matt 24, Mark 13, Luke 21) and we'll continue to bring you periodic information on these as well.
As you know most of the signs in the Olivet Discourse are progressive and all are described as happening well before the end. Their main interest to us is found in the phrase "beginning of birth pangs." Natural disasters, the tendency toward war as a tool of diplomacy, famine amidst plenty (35,000 children die each day of starvation and related diseases) and pestilence are described as being common to the era but increasing in frequency and intensity as the end approaches. This was certainly the case in 2005 and is an indicator of how close we are to the end.
It's true that for over 100 years folks have been saying, "how much worse can it get?" Sadly, the answer now as it was then is, "Much!" It seems man's depravity knows no limits. But take heart. Though we are in the world, we are not of the world. We don't belong here, being citizens of heaven. And one day soon our long awaited King will return to take us there. Maranatha!