What Are Some of the Signs of the Times?

Manfred E. Kober, Th.D.

It appears that at the beginning of the 21st century we are surrounded by numerous signs of the times. By signs of the times we mean extraordinary world events pointing to the fulfillment of prophecy, either presently or in the near future. Discerning students of prophecy note several movements appearing to point to the soon coming of the Rapture. No prophecies need to be fulfilled prior to the Rapture, but Daniel and the Book of the Revelation predict a seven-year period of tribulation following the Rapture. Events prophesied for that period already cast their shadow.

1. The establishment of the state of Israel.

On May 14, 1948, the modern state of Israel was established, the miraculous revival of a country that had lost its independence in 586 B.C. Prophetically there is no need for Israel to be back in the land until Antichrist makes a covenant of protection with Israel at the commencement of the tribulation (Dan. 9:27). An Israel back in the land before the Rapture is of momentous significance.

2. The existence of the European Union.

During the first half of the tribulation the ancient Roman Empire will be revived in a ten-nation confederacy under Antichrist, the Roman ruler (Dan. 7:24). Since the early 1950’s there had been in existence the European Union, a “United States of Europe,” encompassing to date 15 countries in an economic, political and military confederation.

3. The emergence of the Ecumenical Movement.

During the first half of the tribulation Antichrist will tolerate a false religious system, the harlot of Revelation 17, centered in Rome, apparently comprised of apostate Christianity and the non-Christian religions. Such a religious union had its beginning in 1948 when the World Council of Churches was formed, comprising now 340 denominations from 120 countries, with recent efforts to unite all the world’s religions.

Interestingly, these signs of the times all emerged during one decade. The discerning Christian realizes that before their ultimate fulfillment, Christ will return for His Bride. Perhaps today!

Do You Discern Any Signs of the Times?

Frequently we are asked this question. Discerning students of prophecy realize that between now and the Rapture, when Christ returns for the believers and takes them to the Father’s House (John 14:1-4), no prophecy needs to be fulfilled. But as one observes the religious and political scene of the world today, it becomes apparent that events predicted for the tribulation period which follows the Rapture already cast their long shadow.

We noted in the Spring 2003 SEED that by the signs of the times we mean extraordinary world events pointing to the fulfillment of prophecy in the near future. Our discussion centered on three signs of the times:

1. The establishment of the State of Israel in 1948,

2. The existence of a European union since the 1950’s


3. Tthe emergence of the ecumenical movement with the foundation of the World Council of Churches in Amsterdam in 1948.

Two additional signs of the times deserve our close attention:

4. The exertion of Russia.

The Prophet Ezekiel predicts a Russian invasion of Israel in the battle of Gog and Magog (Ez. 38-39), which we believe will take place in the middle of the tribulation. Ezekiel foretells a decimation of the invaders through eight distinct divine judgments. The reasons for the invasion are spelled out in Ezekiel 38:10-12 and involves Russia’s hatred for Israel, a desire for Israel’s riches, and an effort to gain a strategic position in that area of the world.

Interestingly, since Israel became a nation in 1948 (and Russia a world power in 1949), the Arabs have launched five wars against this fledgling nation to exterminate it. In each case the Russians have supplied arms and military advisors to the enemies of Israel.

While Russia is not openly under Communist control at present, the situation could change very suddenly and drastically. Russia’s head of state is Putin, a former KGB officer.

Furthermore, the intensification of anti-Semitism in Russia, its territorial ambitions and the discernible consolidation of power by the hardliners could easily lead to the volatile situation described by Ezekiel. Thus far the Arabs have waged five proxy wars against Israel. A direct attack by Russia on Israel is not just predicted but, since 1949, very possible.

5. The endeavors of the UNO (The United Nations Organization), established in San Francisco in 1945, assumes the role of a supra-nation government.

The world has witnessed its reed for power (but also its dereliction of duty) in the recent Iraq war. The UNO makes no secret of its aim to establish a one-world government. Prophetically, this will take place after the Rapture. During the first three and one-half years of the tribulation Antichrist will revive the ancient Roman Empire as he exerts his rule over a ten-nation confederacy (Dan. 7:24). For the last half of the tribulation he is absolute world ruler, empowered by Satan, demanding everyone’s political allegiance and religious worship (Rev. 13:1-10). In effect, the UNO will see its dream fulfilled in the autocratic rule of the pseudo-christ.

Signs of the times abound. Russia’s efforts to gain influence in the near East and the establishment of the UNO with its agenda for world rule gives us reason to believe that the Rapture, preceding the culmination of these trends, may be very soon.

© Manfred E Kober

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