Moving Towards the End-Time Wars
Most of us would admit that we knew that the war in Iraq was coming. It seemed almost inevitable. Yet the quick commencement of hostilities following President Bushs 48-hour ultimatum to Saddam Hussein still caught many off guard.
War is indeed a terrible thing, but it is also a fact of life. Jesus said to his disciples when asked about signs of the end-times and His return: And you shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that you be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass ... All these are the beginning of sorrows (Matt. 24:6,8).
As patriotic Americans, we stand behind our Commander in Chief and our brave troops who have fought so heroically to remove a tyrannical dictator from power and to reduce the chances that weapons of mass destruction could be used against us. I believe we are also standing up as a protector of Israel, honoring the admonition of Scripture to Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love you (Ps. 122:6).
We pray for the safety of our troops, for their victory in battle, for the innocent civilians whose lives we hope to liberate from oppression, and for the souls of all who need to be liberated from the bonds of sin by coming to faith in Jesus Christ.
The Power of the Press
Early on in the war, a number of things became apparent.
1. The power of the American press to mold opinion. At the inception of broadcast news in America, there was a commitment to present the news without biasto offer the facts clearly and objectively so that the public could draw its own conclusions. Over the years, the line between reporting and editorializing became blurred, with some notable exceptions. People no longer seem to be able to differentiate between fact and opinion. Instead, they interview each other about their feelings and opinions and call it news. That is a great disservice to the public. In the war with Iraq, news reporting hit at the same time new highs and new lows. Many journalists showed their true colors. Some have gained new respect in our eyes.
2. The power of the foreign press to inflame the masses. It is a well-known fact that many foreign news organizations do not hold the commitment to objectivity that the American press is supposed to have. Especially in less-than-free states, the press has always been openly used as a propaganda tool. In Hitlers Germany, the state press whipped public emotions to a frenzy. The same was true of the Soviet press, that of Communist regimes in China, Cuba, and more.
The continued and ludicrous assertion by the Iraqi Ministry of Information that Iraq has massacred our troops at Saddam International Airport, added to their denials that American troops were in Baghdad, further illustrated this point. Obviously the Iraqis subscribed to Stalins statement that, If you tell a lie often enough, it becomes the truth.
The End-Time Wars
3. Now, as the war in Iraq hopefully draws to an end, new questions arise. The world is a far different place than it was just a few weeks ago. The United Nations has defaulted on its promise to face tyranny as it rises, leaving that to Britain and the United States. Many supposed allies, who abandoned the U.S. in the war, now want to be included in the rebuilding effort. Will it lead to a new world order? Could it possibly lead to Armageddon?
You can be assured that this is not the beginning of Armageddon. The battle of Armageddon will take place at the end of the 7-year tribulation period well after the Antichrist has taken control of the world and subjected the world to the mark of the beast. By the time Armageddon rolls around, nearly half of the worlds people will have died, and even more importantly to us, the Rapture will have already taken place long before Armageddon.
War is such a terrible thing! Why does God allow it? Cant He just stop it and make it all go away?
War is not new, nor is it peculiar to Planet Earth. War began long before Earth was created, and it began right in heaven, right in Gods own house! The greatest being God had ever created, Lucifer the lightbearer, who hovered over the throne of God and orchestrated the heavenly choir, became puffed up with pride. He decided that he was doing all the worknot Godand therefore he deserved the praise of the heavenly host. So he set out to tear God from His throne. In so doing, Lucifer became Satan, the great adversary of God.
The Bible indicates that despite fond hopes, frenetic negotiations, preemptive strikes, disarmament, peace movements, and cowardly compromises, there still will come upon the world the final wars of history. Mans inhumanity to man will reach a climax that finally must bring divine intervention.
What are these wars? Let us first remember that every war is, in a sense, a prophetic war. Speaking about not merely the ending of time but about all times, Jesus said, And you shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that you be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet(Matt. 24:6). So, despite every effort for peace, a constant state of war will prevail in history. The indication that we have from Christ is that nothing man will do will be able to change this constant danger of the sword coming upon the land.
Why is this the case? War in heaven is, of course, because man is a sinner, alienated from God. Having come short of the glory of God, he also comes short of his high ideals for a peaceful world. In the prophetic Word, God warns us of constant human animosity, and He tells us the inner reason for this, the sinful heart of man.
The Bible then teaches that there will be a specific war of awesome proportions come upon the world which will teach a lesson for all of the world to observe. That special war will be when the Prince of Rosh (Russia) and its allies move in an attempted conquest of the Middle East. Those allies are Persia, Turkey, Libya, Ethiopia, and possibly Germany. For a description of this frightful conflict, one need only read the pages of the Old Testament, Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39. In this war, Russia, that great king of the North, will think an evil thought. The bear will say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages and will move to the South, anticipating easy conquest.
What will be the outcome of this invasion? God says that He will call for a sword against this invading army and will rain upon it the deadly missiles of hailstone, fire, and brimstone. So great will be the carnage that it will take seven months of labor to bury the dead and seven years to burn for fuel the wreckage of the battle.
What will be the result of this war? A jealous God says, I will be known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am the Lord (Ex. 38:23)
Believers in the West should note the details of this battle. They will especially note that Israel is apparently without protection at the time of this invasion. The present human protection of the state of Israel is their friendship with the West and especially, America.
This battle will take place on or near the beginning of the period of time called the Tribulation and the end of the Church Age. The situation, therefore, in the Middle East, which could bring on this battle, ought therefore to cause us to be filled with anticipation of the Rapture of the Church. It is that time that the Lord Himself will descend from heaven and take up from the world every believing Christian. What a day that will be!
This battle is then followed by a period of time called the Tribulation, the end of which is called The Great Tribulation. In that short but deadly era, many wars will take place across the world. The result will be that, in the first round of things, one quarter of the population of the world will be killed with the sword, with hunger, with death, and with the beasts of the earth (Rev. 6:8).
This will be followed by another series of wars in which a third part of the remainder of men are killed (Rev. 9:18).
Finally, as The Tribulation draws to its close, the Antichrist will gather the nations of the world to make war against the Lord Himself. The Apostle John was given a vision of this awesome battle and finally informs us that the blood will flow to the level of the horses bridles (Rev. 14:20).
In the process of describing these wars, the Scriptures give us accounts which can only be apparently fulfilled by a vast nuclear confrontation between certain nations. Chemical war may also be suggested in that many of the rivers of earth are poisoned as a consequence (Rev. 8:11). We can, therefore, be very sure that for anyone to move into the days of The Great Tribulation is not a prospect that should be anticipated with anything but cold fear. This because The Tribulation will be the time of the prophetic wars, fought with such intensity as to threaten the survival of earth and the stability of heaven.
Are we moving into the days of the prophetic wars? We should surely allow for that possibility because, different from any other time, certain signs are in place which are to indicate the time of the end. Note that:
These and many other signs are multiplying in our time, becoming a backdrop which may indicate that coming upon us are the prophetic wars.
There remains then the question, What shall I do? The first answer is that I should become a Christian, a child of God. When I believe that Christ died for my sins and rose again, receiving Him I have life eternal.
Then, with equal earnestness, we invite every believing Christian to truly commit his time, talent, and treasure to the service of Christ. The world is looking for answers, and we need articulate believers who will bring that answer to our generation. An emphasis anew on the prophetic Word is a needed thing in the Church of our time. Then, lets stay with it, lets keep it up. Jesus said, And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall grow cold (Matt.24:12). How tragic! Many will run well, but in the last moment will fail to all that God wants them to be. Dont let this happen to you!
Updated from the writings of Dave Breese, with Ed Hindson and Dave Weeden
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