Many so-called prophecy experts have predicted that Russia will invade Israel just prior to the last seven-year time of tribulation. Some of them are now sounding the alarm, most notably Pat Robertson, given Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. They interpret the “God-Magog” war of Ezekiel 38-39 as occurring prior to the coming of the Antichrist. However, this is a misunderstanding of the text. That war does not occur until the very end of the Millennial Sabbath, after Christ and His elect have reigned for a full millennium, when Satan is released from his thousand-year incarceration. Russia is not going to invade Israel prior to the battle of Armageddon when Jesus Christ will return.
Yet there is something very significant that must occur on the world stage prior to the arrival of Antichrist, and the stage is being set right now for that to occur.
Rev. 17:12-14 (NKJV) 12 “The ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast. 13 These are of one mind, and they will give their power and authority to the beast. 14 These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful.”
In order for the ten kings to give their power and authority to the Antichrist, they must already have their own dominions before Antichrist arises. Yet they will continue to reign in league with the Antichrist until Jesus returns. That is, there will be ten confederate nation-states under one evil empire, with the Antichrist becoming emperor. In order to understand what geographical area this last empire will dominate it is necessary to understand Daniel’s prophecies and how they relate to Revelation.
In the first article in “The Time of the End” series we discussed the fact that the timing of the end-time events was “sealed up until the time of the end.”
Daniel 12:4,9 (LXX) “’And you, Daniel, close the words, and seal the book until the appointed time of the end; until many should be instructed and knowledge should be multiplied.’ … And he said, ‘Go, Daniel: for the words are closed and sealed up to the time of the end. Many must be tested, and thoroughly whitened, and tried with fire, and sanctified; but the transgressors shall transgress: and none of the transgressors shall understand; but the wise shall understand.”
“Sealing” of these things does not mean they are absent from the Scriptures. Rather, it requires that they are indeed contained in the Scriptures, but concealed in mystery until God chooses to reveal them and give His people understanding by His holy Breath. During that time God’s people will be tested as to their obedience, their trust in Him, and their loyalty to Christ and His coming Kingdom vs. their loyalty to this world. Many will fail that testing. The above passage indicates that God will indeed unseal these things during “the time of the end.” The Apostle Paul concurs.
1 Timothy 6:13-16 (LGV) 13 I charge you before the God who sustains life in all things, and Anointed Jesus, the one who testified over Pontius Pilate the good profession. 14 You are to keep this commandment, unblemished, blamelessly, until the Advent of our Master Jesus Anointed, 15 which [God] will reveal in His own appointed times – the King of kings and Master of masters, the Blessed and Sole Sovereign, 16 who alone holds immortality, housing unapproachable light, whom no man has seen nor is capable of seeing, to whom be honor and age-enduring dominion, Amen!
Since the mystery is “sealed” in the book of Daniel, this book contains the key to the entire mystery. The primary theme of the book of Daniel is the prophetic sequence of world kingdoms from Daniel’s day until the Kingdom of God is established with Jesus as King of kings and Lord of lords. The main outline for this is given in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of the great image in chapter two. This outline is expanded and details revealed in Daniel’s own visions in chapters 7-8, and in a personal visits to Daniel of an angel in chapters 9 &10-12.
The Kingdoms of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream are as follows:
1. Babylon (Nebuchadnezzar’s dynasty) was the head of gold.
2. Persia (Cyrus the Great’s dynasty) was the arms and chest of silver.
3. Greece (Alexander the Great’s dynasty) was the belly and thighs of bronze.
4. Rome (imperial) was the legs of iron.
5. New Roman 10-kingdom confederacy will be the feet of iron and clay.
The still-future Roman ten-kingdom confederacy is yet to manifest, but must be in place before Antichrist arises. The key to understanding that last empire which will bring about the final seven-year great tribulation is Daniel’s vision in chapters 7 and Revelation 17.
In chapter seven, Daniel saw a visions of a series of beasts which correspond to the kingdoms in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream.
1. The winged lion was the Babylonian empire.
2. The bear with three ribs in its mouth was the Persian Empire.
3. The four-headed and four-winged leopard was the Greek empire and its eventual division into four kingdoms upon Alexander’s death.
4. The dreadful and terrible fourth beast was the Roman Empire. This kingdom eventually has ten horns, which are the ten toes in Nebuchadnezzar’s image, and the ten kings who reign simultaneously in Revelation 17, and eventually give their kingdoms to the Antichrist.
5. The Antichrist is the “little horn” in verse 8 who will be overthrown at the coming of the Son of Man.
As Daniel was observing this vision unfolding, the Ancient of Days appeared in a heavenly court seated in heaven in verses 9-10. This corresponds to the heavenly court that John observed in Revelation 4-5, and the opening of the seven-sealed scroll which covers the entire last seven years prior to Christ’s return described as the 70th “week” of years in Daniel 9:24-27.
While the judgments of God are falling upon mankind as the seals are broken, Daniel observed the “little horn” speaking pompous words, and then the destruction of the fourth beast (Rome) from which the ten kings had arisen. This is described in detail in Revelation 17-18, with the burning of Rome. The ten kings who will rise out of the Roman Empire are the ones who will destroy Rome itself according to Revelation 17:16-17, and then give their kingdoms to the Antichrist according to vs. 12-18. After that, they will reign in league with the Antichrist for the final 3.5 years until Christ returns, and will oppose Him at His coming in the battle of Armageddon.
For our purposes, and understanding where we are in this sequence of events, the next prophetic event that must occur before the Antichrist appears are these ten-kings. They must arise from the territory of the “fourth beast” which was the Roman Empire because they are the ten horns on this fourth beast. The “little horn” (Antichrist) must also arise from within the territorial limits of the Roman Empire because he rises up among them according to Daniel 7:8.
We are very close to the end of the sixth millennium since creation. According to Daniel’s interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, “in the days of these  kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.”
We are seeing on the news the very scenario that will be the catalyst for the rising of the ten kings (ten toes / ten horns), who will reign “one hour with the Beast,” until Jesus returns. Once these ten kings are firmly in place, the “little horn” (Antichrist) will arise after them. The ten kings will almost certainly arise out of necessity, to defend Europe (the remains of the old Roman Empire) due to Russia’s aggression in pushing westward and the global economic consequences. Consequently, Russia’s aggression, as well as the ripple effect on economies, will become much worse in the coming months and years.
Time is running out for the virgins to procure the necessary oil for their lamps. In the years immediately ahead, the “time of the end” will become increasingly apparent. “Many must be tested, and thoroughly whitened, and tried with fire, and sanctified.”
 Rev. 20:1-10
 Daniel 2:44
 Dan. 12:4 (LXX)