The number one sign of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ is the convergence of all the signs He said to look for. Jesus said, “When you see all these things take place, look up! Your salvation draws near” (Luke 21:28). What are the things Jesus and the prophets said to look for? Israel back in the land (Jeremiah 23:7-8)… The Jewish people back in control of Jerusalem (Luke 21:24)… The Gospel being preached to the whole world (Matthew 24:14)… And more. Today, we see these signs. Because we do, we can be confident we live in the season of His return. But Jesus cited other signs too. So did the prophets. And we see those signs as well. As 2019 draws to a close, what were the biggest prophetic news stories? Below is a list of what I believe were the top three:
1) Syria: The U.S. Moves Out, While Turkey Moves In
In early October, the United States withdrew from northeastern Syria. A few days later, Turkey invaded. This continued an ongoing trend in Syria. It’s a trend that sets the stage for fulfillment of bible prophecy.
Ezekiel said an invading force of many nations will attack Israel in the last days. In Ezekiel 38-39, he describes this force as coming from the north of Israel, and he says a man named Gog will lead them (Ezekiel 38:2-6). Below are the nations involved, followed by their modern day names:
Rosh = Russia
Magog = Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Afghanistan
Persia = Iran
Cush = Sudan
Put = Libya
Meshech, Tubal, Gomer, and Beth-togarmah = Turkey
If you’ve paid attention to the news, one thing from this list jumps out at you. The three most powerful nations – Russia, Iran, and Turkey – now reside in Syria. The decreased U.S. presence in Syria paves the way for further influence from these three nations. The leaders of Russia, Iran, and Turkey have met several times to coordinate their military forces. Over the past several years, their alliance has grown stronger, and their joint military forces are right on Israel’s border. And they’re not just on any border. They’re on Israel’s northern border. Why does this matter? Because Ezekiel said this invasion force will come from the north (Ezekiel 38:15; Ezekiel 39:2).
Today, we see the three most powerful nations in Gog’s invading force coordinating on Israel’s northern border. Never have these three nations been on Israel’s northern border at the same time. Never have they cooperated militarily. Until now. This sets the stage for the fulfillment of the Ezekiel 38-39 prophecies. This means eventually, Russia, Iran, Turkey, and the other nations in the Gog of Magog alliance will send an overwhelming invasion force against Israel (Ezekiel 38:8-9). The world will not come to Israel’s defense (Ezekiel 38:15-16). But God will. He’ll put His full power on display and supernaturally destroy Israel’s invaders (Ezekiel 38:18-23). The events of 2019 bring us closer to that day. Expect to see more and more events in Syria to align with Ezekiel’s account. Expect Russia, Turkey, and Iran to get closer. Expect other nations to join them. And expect Israel to become more isolated.
2) The Saudi Drone Attack
September 14, 2019 was a major milestone in the history of warfare. On that day, someone (thought to be Iran) launched a successful drone attack on two oil processing facilities in Saudi Arabia. At the time, almost five percent of the world’s daily oil consumption flowed through those two facilities. The news made headlines for a few days. Then, most people quickly forgot about it. But as we look back in the years to come, I think we’ll view that day as highly significant. Why? Because it was the first successful large-scale strike in the new era of drone warfare. Saudi Arabia invested millions to secure those facilities. In mere minutes, those defenses proved useless.
Unmanned drones have been used on the battlefield for years. But those drones were much larger, and they attacked as part of a larger military campaign. Because of the success of the September 2019 strike, expect to see more drone attacks. Expect to see smaller drones arriving in larger numbers. In the years to come, drones will get smaller. They’ll attack in sophisticated swarms piloted with artificial intelligence. Drone swarms are the future of warfare. They can inflict just as much damage as any conventional weapon, and because they’re unmanned, the attacking nation can deny any involvement. They’re less expensive to build and maintain than large standing armies. They don’t require large numbers of highly trained personnel. They can be controlled from a remote, secure location. They can be deployed anywhere in the world, often undetected. They can even evade radar. Because they blend into the environment, they can appear out of nowhere, surprising the enemy. They present a new threat, and most conventional armies are unprepared to defend against them. Drones magnify the military power of smaller nations. They close the gap between weaker nations and world superpowers.
The rise of drones is a turning point in modern warfare. Together with artificial intelligence, drones will overturn the post-war stability of MAD. Ultimately, this will lead to World War III and global domination by a single nation. This is exactly what the Bible says will happen in the end times. It says a global war (Revelation 6:4) will lead to a global empire (Revelation 13:7).
3) The Continued Popularity of Home Smart Devices
Another 2019 trend involved the continued popularity of home smart devices. In millions of homes throughout the world, Amazon, Google, and Apple are watching and listening. Popular devices such as Amazon’s Alexa products, Google Home devices, Facebook’s Portal, and Ring doorbells have placed cameras and listening devices in people’s homes.
Next time you go somewhere, take a moment to identify all the cameras around you. They’re everywhere, and they’ll only get more powerful. This isn’t surprising. Many people have long foreseen the rise of an intrusive government surveillance state. What hasn’t been foreseen is the willingness of so many people to aid in their own surveillance. Of their own free will, people have placed eavesdropping devices in their own homes, sometimes in their own bedrooms – allowing corporations, governments, and hackers to record their conversations and view their interactions.
Even if you avoid all these devices, you’ll find it hard to escape their watchful eye. Millions now have doorbell cameras recording everyone who comes and goes. Depending on their placement, these cameras are capable of recording everyone who comes and goes from every house in an entire neighborhood. In addition, other people can upload pictures of you on Facebook. Even if they don’t tag or identify you, Facebook often will. Through its facial recognition technology, it automatically tags people. Even if you don’t have Alexa or Siri devices, if you’re in the home of someone who does or within earshot of such a device, you’re at risk of being listened to and recorded. Do you trust all this personal and private information in the hands of a large corporation? What about your government? And what about foreign governments who will find it more than easy to hack into these devices?
As technology advances, devices like these will become smaller, cheaper, and far more powerful. Cameras and microphones will cover every square inch of the world. And ever more powerful forms of artificial intelligence will search those camera and audio feeds. What will they search for? They could search for you. A government in control of such a system will know everything you do and say.
In 2020, this trend will continue. These technologies will build the foundation for a totalitarian global government. The Bible says such a government will appear in the last days (Daniel 2:40). It will trample and devour the whole earth (Daniel 7:23). No one will be able to oppose it (Revelation 13:4), and it will have such total control over daily life, no one will be able to buy or sell anything without its permission (Revelation 13:7). The rise of the modern surveillance state is just the latest sign we’re approaching the fulfillment of these prophecies.
What to Look for in 2020
Hopefully, Jesus will return in the last few days of 2019. But whether He does or doesn’t, expect these same trends to continue in 2020. Look for increasing cooperation between Russia, Iran, and Turkey in Syria. Look for drones to become smaller, operate in larger numbers, and become more powerful. We may even see a Pearl Harbor-like event utilizing drone technology. Look for smart devices connected to the Internet to spread into even more homes. All of these things and more will probably mark 2020. This is why the #1 thing you should look for is the return of our Savior. As we enter the new year, all the signs tell us, “Jesus is coming!”
Britt Gillette is author of the free ebook Coming to Jesus as well as the books Signs of the Second Coming, Racing Toward Armageddon, and The End Times. Receive his book 7 Signs of the End Times for free when you sign up for his monthly newsletter.