The Third World War

"For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them..." 1 THESSALONIANS 5:3

Everybody wants peace and we would really like to believe that we are at the dawn of a new age of peace, but the facts show otherwise. Since the beginning of mankind, history has been a constant succession of wars. However, modern war strategy, with all its brutality and perfect killing methods has no comparison. Since the end of the Second World War in 1945 there have been over 250 major wars in which over 23 million people have been killed, tens of millions made homeless, and countless millions injured and bereaved. In the history of warfare the 20th century stands out as the bloodiest and most brutal - three times more people have been killed in wars in the last 90 years than in all the previous five centuries. In 2003, global military spending had reached $781 billion annually (more than the total income of the poorest 45% of the global population) and there were still more than three dozen major active conflicts (those with over 1,000 casualties, both military and civilian) going on in the world.

Disarmament negotiations and UN Peace Initiatives have become familiar terms which are being expressed everywhere with optimism and hope for peace. Does this optimism have any real foundation? The Doomsday Clock has been used by a group of atomic scientists since 1947, to indicate the extent of danger from a nuclear war. The time shown is just before the twelfth hour. The Bible says Jesus will return at the “midnight hour” (MATTHEW 25:6).

Believe it or not, we live in a dying world. It is a lot ‘later’ than most people think! Jesus was asked by His disciples:

"What shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world (this age)?"

He answered:

"...Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows…" MATTHEW 24:3-8

Not only are we seeing more wars and civil uprisings in nations and kingdoms around the world, but all the other signs of the last days that Jesus spoke of appear in the headlines of our daily newspapers: Sects and gurus are increasing rapidly; reports of cruelties, rape, torture, violations of human rights, terrorism and murder get more and more shocking; many diseases are on the increase; the frequency of earthquakes and other natural catastrophes are increasing year after year.

Moreover, the whole world was shaken by the events of September 11th, 2001, when the ‘Twin Towers’ in New York City were destroyed by terrorists. This event was another “sign of our times” which the Bible says will be worse than the world has ever seen before:

"For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be..." MATTHEW 24:21

In spite of world-wide peace and disarmament negotiations, the Bible prophesies a Third World War. Eisenhower, the former U.S. president, once said pertinently: "Without a spiritual rebirth of humanity, the earth cannot spare itself from its 'Calvary' of the third world war."

ATOMIC WAR

The threat of nuclear weapons has been a fact of life on earth for more than half of the 20th century. The size of nuclear arsenals worldwide peaked in the 1980s and remains at approximately 30,000 warheads today, including strategic and tactical weapons. The sophistication of the science and the political dependence on the doctrine of deterrence - the threat of "mutually assured destruction" as a strategy for security - have both increased steadily since 1945. More and more countries have nuclear weapons or are in the process of developing them.

Since 1945, there have been over 2,000 tests conducted worldwide - about one nuclear test every nine days for the last fifty years, and despite the end of the Cold War, some 5,000 nuclear weapons are on hair-trigger alert, ready to be launched on a few minutes notice.

The horror of an atomic war has already been clearly described several times by scientific publications and films like "The Day After". Nuclear atomic reactions consist of elements dissolving in intense heat. Let us read the description of the nuclear bomb in an encyclopaedia:

"A bomb, whose devastating power is caused by a sudden disengagement of atomic energy. Its catastrophic effect is caused by very high temperatures during the nuclear explosion, which at the moment of the explosion can reach up to 10 million degrees..."

The Bible already foretold the effects and features of an atomic explosion thousands of years before it was developed and also prophesies a third world war:

"…But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men… But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up…" 2 PETER 3:7-10
"And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come." JOEL 2:30-31

It is interesting to note that in the original Hebrew, the word ‘pillars’ literally means ‘palm trees’ = “palm trees of smoke” - a perfect description of the mushroom cloud caused by a nuclear explosion. The following description of a ‘plague’ was written more than 2,500 years ago for the end time. What other disease fits this description as well as the effects of a nuclear bomb?

"And this shall be the plague wherewith the LORD will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth." ZECHARIAH 14:12

Many other references can be found in the Bible that vividly describe the effects of an atomic war, such as the darkening of the atmosphere, fire, earthquakes, etc. The Bible also describes these weapons as “arrows” (missiles) that cause mass destruction (See also EZEKIEL 39:3; DEUTERONOMY 32:22-23):

“Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; Nor for the (noisome) pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.” PSALM 91:3-7

The explosion of an atomic bomb:

The explosion of an atomic bomb

"The great day of the LORD is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the LORD: the mighty man shall cry there bitterly. That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, A day of the trumpet and alarm against the fenced cities, and against the high towers. And I will bring distress upon men, that they shall walk like blind men, because they have sinned against the LORD: and their blood shall be poured out as dust, and their flesh as the dung. Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the LORD's wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy: for he shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land." ZEPHANIAH 1:14-18

Apart from the radioactivity released from a nuclear strike, the effects of heat and the whirled up dust would have disastrous climatic conse­quences. The sunlight reaching the surface of the earth would decrease to a tenth of its normal power during the course of several months. On the continent, temperatures would fall to Arctic levels of -23ºC.

At an input of 5000 megatons of nuclear explosives (50% of the 1984 potential of nuclear weapons), the number of people killed immediately from the blast is estimated at 750 million. Afterwards, about 1.1 billion people would become victims of the fire and radiation.

How many of the 1.1 billion injured could survive is uncertain, as the majority of them would not be able to rely on medical care, in view of the breakdown of any civilisation. Thus, 30 to 50 percent of the total human population could be immediate casualties of a nuclear war. Millions more will die from famine, pollution effects and political upheaval in the post-WW period. Therefore, the consensus of modern science agrees with the biblical predictions of an atomic war.

THE THIRD WORLD WAR

In the book of the prophet EZEKIEL, chapters 38 and 39, you can find the prediction and exact description of an invasion by Russia and its allies into Israel "in the latter days", and of a war caused thereby, which will escalate by the use of atomic weapons.

"Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him, And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal..." EZEKIEL 38:2-3

The Bible uses the names of countries, peoples and persons in their original form. Ethnology (the study of human races) reveals that Russia is being described here: the tribes of Gog and Magog can be traced to Russia. Meshech, is modern-day Moscow and Tubal we know as Tobolsk. Gog refers to the prince, Magog is his country. EZEKIEL also stresses three times, that this great ruler will come from the "north parts" (EZEKIEL 38:6,15; EZEKIEL 39:2). If you examine which country is furthest north from Israel's viewpoint, you will find that it is Russia. In chapter 38, Ezekiel also mentions the allies of Russia:

"Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet: Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee." EZEKIEL 38:5-7

The significance of the most prominent countries mentioned here is obvious. Persia can easily be recognised as modern-day Iran; and Gomer as Germania, the Germany of today. These nations’ armies will join with Russia and move against Israel.

Interestingly, on a Russian 14 Kopek stamp of 1930, you can find the picture of an army of horsemen (Kosaks) being driven from the North towards Israel.

Russian 14 Kopek stamp of 1930After the initial attack Ezekiel states that the war will escalate as they go up over the North Pole and down into the land of "unwalled villages":

"…I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates, To take a spoil, and to take a prey; to turn thine hand upon the desolate places that are now inhabited, and upon the people that are gathered out of the nations, which have gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the midst of the land." EZEKIEL 38:11-12

This scripture is a perfect description of North America, which is the only location in the world where there are no “city walls”. The attack on these countries will ignite a world-wide war.

Jerusalem is described as a “cup of trembling” in ZECHARIAH 12:2-3 and in recent times the Middle East has become a centre of constant crisis and the focal point of world attention as the interests of various nations, including the superpowers, come into conflict. Rich mineral deposits in the Dead Sea, the political, religious and geographical situation of the country and especially the strategically important oil reserves of the Persian Gulf, are all causes of a possible confrontation. Jesus Himself said:

"And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh… And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.” LUKE 21:20-28

What Jesus Christ declared about the end times exactly confirms the predictions of the Old Testament prophets. God's Word clearly warns the people of His terrible judgment! The only way to escape this judgment upon all mankind is to follow God’s commandments:

"Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." ACTS 2:38

Repentance, baptism and receiving the Holy Spirit are the biblical conditions set by God for every person to obtain eternal life. Repentance stands for the inner return unto God, and turning away from your old life; baptism, by full immersion, symbolises the burial of your old sinful life.

When a person receives the gift of the Holy Spirit, they receive Christ and eternal salvation, evidenced by the sign of speaking in other tongues. See also ACTS 2:4.

These steps of obedience towards God's Word seal the act of being born again as described in the Bible. Never forget that one day you will stand before the throne of God to give an account of your life. Every moment of your life will be brought to your remembrance, and will be taken into account. God wants to redeem you, and calls on you to repent and to obey His Word.

(April 2004)