“Now learn the parable from the fig tree: when its branch has already become tender, and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near; even so you too, when you see all these things, recognize that He is near, right at the door. Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.”
- Matthew 24: 32-34
According to my interpretation of this passage, this is a reference to Israel becoming a nation. This became a realization on May 14, 1948. The fig tree is a symbol for Israel. The Bible refers to the fig tree some 33 times – 18 times in the Old Testament alone. In context, the fig tree is always a symbol for Israel. Just as the general time of summer has arrived, so is the restoration of Israel to her land is a sure sign that the general time of Christ’s return has arrived. This is a reference to His second coming, not the rapture that occurs at least 7 years earlier.
Not everyone agrees with this interpretation for the last generation. My recent book is titled, The Last Generation: Prophecy, Current World Events, and the End Times. This can be found at http://www.focalpointpublications.com/.
The purpose of my book is to present the evidence that backs my thesis that the generation that was born in 1948 or later will be alive when Christ returns the second time, if they are not taken at the rapture. For those who do not believe that the birth of Israel was the start of the last generation, the evidence presented will still support, using other sources, that we are in that last generation.
There is an abundance of evidence that we are living in that last generation apart from how one interprets Matthew 24: 32-34. We know that certain things have to be in place before the second coming. For example, we know there will be a final one-world empire. We will look at the development of this one world empire through the lens of Bible prophecy, its relation to current events, and some of the predictions of scientists, academics, and other leading authorities, who are not Christian and, in some cases, are atheists. The starting point will be the birth of Israel in 1948. This coming One World Empire will consist of three pillars. These Three Pillars include:
1. One World Government [and a dictator that rules over all three pillars]
2. One World Economy
3. One World Religion
ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT AND DICTATOR (Daniel 2: 40-43; 7: 19-21; Revelation 13: 1-7)
There will be a one-world government ruled by a dictator, sometimes referred by names such as: the son of perdition, the man of sin, the lawless one, and is most commonly referred to as “Antichrist.” This one-world government will originate from the ancient Roman Empire. According to Daniel 2, the fourth and last empire was the Roman Empire. It was never taken over by another empire, but it literally broke into pieces, and a patchwork of individual kingdoms emerged. The revived Roman Empire will consist of a recombining of these pieces. The revived Roman Empire began developing in 1948, the same year that Israel was reborn.
THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE REVIVED ROMAN EMPIRE
A few of the developments of the revived Roman Empire since 1948 include the following events:
1. Congress of Europe (1948): Following WWII, the Congress of Europe met in 1948. They adapted seven resolutions on political union. The relevance of this is seen in Resolution # 7, which reads, “The creation of a United Europe must be regarded as an essential step towards the creation of a united world.” A one-world government was in the planning stages since 1948.
2. The Brussels Treaty (1948): This treaty added France and Britain to the Benelux countries (Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg) established by the Benelux Treaty (1948). The real significance to this treaty is found in the amended, or modified version in 1954. This will be discussed under “The Establishment of the Western European Union (WEU) (1954).”
3. Official European Symbols: link biblical imagery and mythology. Consider the following symbols and their significance:
The official European symbol: is a picture of Europa riding on a bull (Zeus). This symbol is taken from pagan mythology. This symbol also can be seen in the Bible. The symbol of a beast and a woman riding on it is described in Daniel 7 and Revelation 13 and 17. The beast represents the one-world government and the antichrist. The woman represents the one-world religion.
The European Flag: consists of 12 stars in a circle. This does not represent 12 member states of the European Union (E.U.). There are more than 12 member states. According to Leon Marshall, a formal Secretary General of the Council of Europe, the stars represent those of the “Woman of the Apocalypse”. This is a reference to Revelation 12 where the woman, according to Roman Catholicism, represents the Virgin Mary.
The European Union Poster: shows a partially built Tower of Babel with a crane in the background rebuilding the Tower. It has 12 eurostars above it. We all know that the first attempted one-world government was the attempt to build the Tower of Babel under Nimrod, a prototype of the antichrist and the one-world government.
4. Establishment of the Western European Union (W.E.U.) (1954): This was the result of an amended 1948 Brussels Treaty. Article 5 modified the original Brussels Treaty (1948). This modified Brussels Treaty allowed for the establishment of the W.E.U. and made them responsible for the collective defense of the E.U. The W.E.U. became Europe’s only Security and Defense Assembly. The WEU is a growing military power and a major player on the world stage. It is the enforcement arm of the EU.
OTHER WORLDWIDE DEVELOPMENTS
1. Establishment of NATO (1949): This was signed on April 4, 1949. The initial provision was to protect Western European Allies and the U.S. against an attack by the U.S.S.R. Many NATO countries now called “member states” are also members of the EU and the WEU. It is of interest to note that all 3 have their headquarters in Brussels.
2. Club of Rome (1957): is a German based think tank established in 1957. It has a limit of 100 countries. One major country not included is Israel. Purpose: figure out ways to solve humanities problems. Many years ago the Club of Rome advocated a “one world order,” dividing the world into 10 economic centers and called them “Mega Territories” and Kingdoms.” [Remember the 10 toes in Daniel 2: 41-43, the 10 horns and 10 kings in Daniel 7: 24 and Revelation 17: 12?]
Since 1974, we have almost completed 5 of the 10 designations or regions, called “Unions” on the world map proposed by the Club of Rome. They are:
The European Union (1993)
The African Union (2002)
The Mediterranean Union (July 2008)
The Union of South America Nations (UNASUR) [or possibly the South American Union] signed the constitutive agreement on May 27, 2008. These will soon be followed by the...
North American Union [Canada, U.S., and Mexico]
This one world government has been in the development stage in this last generation.
[Read more about the role the U.S. plays in prophecy in a book authored by Jerome Corsi, titled, The Late Great USA: NAFTA, the North American Union, and the Threat of a Coming Merger with Mexico and Canada.]
ONE WORLD ECONOMY (Revelation 13: 15-17)
The second pillar is the one world economy. It is of interest to note some of the developments that have taken place since 1948. These developments are only a small sampling of the many developments that have occurred during this generation. They include the following:
1. Development of the Transistor (1948): was developed by Bell Labs and AT&T. This opened the door to the modern computer. Once computers became common place, the banking system and financial institutions were linked to one another.
2. Development of a Global Authority: One of the roots of the global economy was the establishment of the General Agreement on Trades and Tariffs (GATT) in 1948. GATT was eventually replaced by the World Trade Organization (WTO) founded in the 1990”s. The WTO serves as an oversight committee of the second pillar, the World Economy.
3. The creation of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF)(1948): This pattern of events that had its origin in 1948 eventually led to the creation of the euro. This has become the common currency of the European Union.
4. The Current World Financial Crises (Not just the U.S.): may be moving us one step closer to a One World Economy. Time will tell.
ONE GLOBAL RELIGION (Revelation 13: 15-18)
This coming one-world religion will be characterized by tolerance and diversity. The exception will be Christianity and Judaism. There will be no room for a “one way to God approach”. Even Christians today have trouble believing this. Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me.” (John 14: 6 NASB). There is no place in a world religion for this kind of thinking. Followers of Jesus will be martyred (Revelation 17: 5-6). The following list of events is very limited as they were in the World Government and the World Economy, but they do give some idea of the direction the world has been moving since 1948. They include the following:
1. The World Council of Churches (WCC): was founded in 1948 in Amsterdam. One of the purposes was to develop a milder, gentler, all-inclusive religion. Tolerance and inclusion are the key words. The WCC and other similar organizations have diluted historic Christianity as described in the New Testament. The WCC takes an “all roads lead to Rome approach.”
2. The United Religious Initiative (URI): was founded in 1995. It is an organization that seeks to become the dominant voice of the United Nations. According to Bishop Swing, an Episcopalian from San Francisco who heads the URI, all religions are guilty of terrorism. His goal: “…To address the ‘problem’ of fundamentalism in our own groups…” The Gospel, preached or shared will become illegal in the “United Religious Zone.” The way is being paved for the martyrdom that will occur during the tribulation period (Revelation 6: 9-10; 17: 6).
3. Common Question Concerning a One-World Religion: “If the coming one-world false religion is characterized by tolerance and diversity (exceptions: Christians and Jews) how will the Muslims be integrated into this system?” Answer: There needs to be a strong common denominator between Muslims and the one-world religion. This common denominator may very well be Mary, the mother of Jesus. The Koran exalts Mary (not Jesus). The Roman Catholic Church exalts Mary. This along with the numerous alleged apparitions of Mary witnessed by both Muslims and Catholics creates a link between the two religions. Linking these two religions take in a sizeable portion of the human race.
WHAT DOES THE SECULAR WORLD (SCIENTISTS, ACADEMICS, RESPECTED AUTHORITIES) SAY CONCERNING THE END TIMES?
The following are some quotes by very credible and respected individuals:
1. Eugene Habiger, former Executive Chief of Strategic Weapons at the Pentagon, said the event of a nuclear mega-terrorism attack on nuclear soil is “…not a matter of if but when.”
2. Warren Buffett, calculates the odds against cataclysmic events for major insurance companies; he draws the conclusion that an imminent nuclear nightmare within the U.S. is “virtually a certainty.”
3. Paul Williams, a former consultant to the FBI on terrorism, indicates that empirical evidence does exist to substantiate if Al-Qaeda possesses nukes. He also reports that there isn’t just one team of terrorists but at least seven teams [he identifies the seven cities].
4. Dr. Graham Allison, Harvard professor and director of Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, said, “Is nuclear terrorism inevitable? Harvard professors are known for being subtle or ambiguous, but I’ll try to be clear. ‘Is the worst yet to come? My answer: Bet on it. Yes’”
There is also the Doomsday Clock with midnight representing "doomsday" or the destruction of our world. The Doomsday Clock represents the consensus of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists. Many scientists also believe our world is rapidly approaching the end times. There are many other sources besides the Bible that point to this generation as the last generation. These sources include prophetic beliefs of Islam, the Mayan’s, scientists, and others. The common denominator is the belief that the end times are near. The various interpretations as to what that means is very different. This is where biblical prophecy is unique and provides a standard to understand the differing views.
Biblical prophecy is interesting. It is not meant to produce fear, but to offer hope to all who put their trust in Jesus Christ. It is not enough to have head knowledge concerning prophecy. Knowing what the future holds should offer motivation to believers to share the gospel with an unbelieving world. Biblical prophecy can serve as an excellent tool to reach the lost. People yearn to know what the future holds. This is easily seen by the wide use of horoscopes, psychics, channelers, and the reliance on grocery store tabloids. These tabloids claim to predict the future by turning to people such as Nostradamus. This is sad especially when the truth about the future is unfolded in the Bible.
This article was extracted from the recently released book, The Last Generation: Prophecy, Current World Events, and the End Times by Jim Simmons. All of the material that originated from other sources is footnoted in the book. Ordering information can be found at: http://www.focalpointpublications.com/.