One of the many interesting aspects of watching prophetic fulfillments in our generation, is the fact that so many different "signs" are all progressing towards the Tribulation and Second Coming. None of the signs that have appeared throughout this generation have "reversed course", or moved away from prophetic fulfillment.
Take, for instance the EU/Med Union. If we were to read that the EU was breaking up and the various countries were going back to full independence, with independent, separate country-specific currencies, I would start questioning that particular "sign" and its validity as fulfillment of Daniel 2 and 7. If Israel was to somehow break up and become dispersed throughout the nations (again), then I would immediately question the literal interpretation of Ezekiel 36-39. Or, if Iran were to elect a democratic, non-Islamic government and became close allies with Israel and the U.S., then I would question the popularly held prophetic views that we are watching the growing alliances called for in Ezekiel 38-39 ("Gog-MaGog" alliances).
But this never happens. Watching prophetic signs over the last 25 years reveals that every sign continues to march along, just as one would predict by having read the prophetic scriptures.
One aspect that has been interesting, in this context is the rise of Iran as a nuclear power, and their frequent threats to destroy Israel. Additionally, Iran's president Mahmud Ahmadinejah has specific prophetic views of the Islamic "messiah", known as the 12th descendant of the Prophet Muhammad, also known as the Mahdi, who is expected to return soon to establish Islamic rule throughout the world.
"Could Ahmadinejad's Mix of Mysticism And Politics Lead To A Power Grab": In this article we see a brief outline of how President Ahmadinejad sees himself as someone who is supposed to bring about the Islamic messiah, the Madhi. Ominously, the most popular theory is that the Mahdi will only return at a time of massive warfare in the Middle-East, similar to the biblical descriptions as written in the book of Revelation. President Ahmadinejad seems intent on bringing this scenario about, and the fact that he is pushing through nuclear development is seems to represent yet another "convergence of events".
Quotes from this article:
"This week, just before Ahmadinejad's inauguration for a second term, his government financed an event not seen in the Islamic republic before. Construction workers used water trucks to spray rose water over the entire surface of the mosque of the Mahdi in Qom. The Mahdi, the 12th descendant of the Prophet Muhammad, is the spiritual leader of Iran's majority Shi'ite believers, who await the eventual return to bring order and harmony to the world."
"The perfuming of the mosque, shown on television, is in line with the Iranian establishment's veneration of the Mahdi, who is believed to have gone into hiding as a child in the 10th century to escape enemies. But it is also the kind of symbol that has become a hallmark of Ahmadinejad's administration: setting the stage for the Hidden Madhi's imminent - not eventual - return."
"At the same time, Ahmadinejad, who leaves an empty seat for the Mahdi at his cabinet meetings, has at times appeared to claim his government is specially protected by the Mahdi. Upon his return from a speech at the United Nations in June, 2005, he said that others present saw a "light" envelop him as he spoke."
All of this, as Ahmadinejad races to complete his nuclear weapons development.
Then we see this article: "The Secret Sextet", which is a fascinating inside view of the top decision makers in the Netanyahu administration. We see the following quotes:
"If Iran really wants to, it will have nuclear weapons next summer...When the number of centrifuges in Natanz is not 7,000 but 30,000, Iran will be unstoppable. When it has enough fissible material for a dozen bombs, it will hold all the cards."
"All senior American officials visiting Arab states in recent weeks have broached one issue only - Iran...The message is simple. If Iran goes nuclear, the Middle East goes nuclear. Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Turkey are already preparing for it. The world could become a nuclear jungle before U.S. President Barak Obama's term in office ends."
Another interesting twist to this Islamic view of the Mahdi is this: if you read closely, it is easy to see the parallels of the biblical figure known as the antichrist, and the Mahdi. This leaves the obvious possibility that when the antichrist does come to power, will muslims recognize him as their Mahdi?
Personally, I think its an interesting possibility. The only absolute that I see comes from Daniel 9:26 (see below), where we read that the antichrist will come from the "revived Roman Empire", which we believe to be the EU/Med Union (I say "EU/Med Union" because the Med Union is essentially an extension of the EU, as it continues its growth).
The scripture (Daniel 9:26) informs us that the antichrist will come from the same people that destroyed Jerusalem (70 AD) - and we know from history that it was the Roman Empire who destroyed Jerusalem at that time. The EU/Med Union, also now commonly referred to as the "revived Roman Empire", includes the southern half of the Mediterranean which is predominately Islamic; therefore this scenario would be consistent with Daniel 9:26.
A summary of the parallels between the Islamic Mahdi and the biblical antichrist is found here, on the Rapture Ready site.
I am not endorsing this view, but it is interesting and worth watching. More importantly, we are again seeing events converging. The president of Iran awaiting the Islamic messiah, and he feels it is his job to precipitate war in the Middle East, which will hasten this return of the Mahdi. At the same time, he is drawing closer and closer to his goal of nuclear weapons. All while Israel watches and plans their response.
Converging events. Sooner or later these events will collide; its only a matter of time.