Wars and Rumors of Wars
By Daymond R. Duck
People have been fighting each other ever since the first two children of
Adam and Eve started disagreeing with each other. Their first child, a son
named Cain, killed their second child, a son named Abel (Genesis 4:8). And
that was the beginning of man's assault against man. As we well know, this
single act of violence has progressed to include the deaths of thousands in
countless wars. Although earlier wars probably occurred, the earliest
conflicts recorded in the Bible took place during the life of Abraham (see
Genesis 14:1-16). When four kings of the East and their armies attacked the
wicked city of Sodom, overcame its defenders and captured his nephew Lot,
Abraham quickly gathered 318 men trained for war. They followed the kings,
overcame them and released their captives-winning a great victory. Since that
time, many wars have been waged-and we can be sure war will continue to be
a part of life until the end of the age (see Daniel 9:26).
War Is the Result of Human Actions
Not a single day has passed since WWII without the drums of war beating somewhere on earth. The church, the United Nations, peace
treaties, peacekeeping missions, peace-
promising politicians, peace marchers, peacemongers, peaceniks and multitudes of sincere peace-loving people have not been able to
silence them. The record is truly
distressing. Those who ask why need look no further than the Bible for an answer. The apostle James said, "From whence come wars
and fightings among you? come they not
hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight
and war...(James 4:1,2).
War is the result of human beings acting on their lusts. People need to be regenerated through faith in Jesus Christ, but without
regeneration they yield to the wicked desires of
their hearts. And the Bible makes it plain that giving in to those desires leads to war. When human beings reject the only
solution, Jesus Christ, the only alternative is war.
"There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked" (Isaiah 57:21). This insightful revelation from God is very important. It means
that human beings are caught up in a great
struggle, a struggle between light and dark, good and evil, the ways of Christ versus the ways of Antichrist, a struggle with
righteousness pitted against sin, truth pitted against
untruth, honesty against deceit, faithfulness against unfaithfulness, the way of God versus the way of Satan. Whether we know it or
not, opposing principles are constantly
warring within us and forcing us to choose sides. Choosing the wrong side leads to war-war between families, races, religions and
nations. To satisfy their lusts, some human
beings are willing to do any vile thing a depraved mind can think of. The willing submission of many individuals to the
unregenerate desires of their hearts is ravaging the world.
In 1990, Saddam Hussein, lusting after money and power, invaded Kuwait and touched off the Persian Gulf War. That same kind of lust
and violent action threatens to ignite war
all over the
Middle East today. In Forewarning: Approaching the Final Battle Between Heaven and Hell, Chuck Missler writes,
The Middle East is a cauldron ready to boil over. Egypt wants the southern Negev; the Palestinians want all of Israel and Jordan;
Syria wants all of Lebanon, Jordan, Israel, and the West Bank;
Turkey wants part of Iraq; Iran wants part of Iraq and hegemony in the Persian Gulf; Iraq wants Kuwait and whatever parts of Saudi
Arabia it can get; Yemen also wants part of Saudi Arabia; and
everyone is desperate for water.
Bible prophecy declares that the Russian lust for Israel's gold, silver, cattle and goods will ignite the earth-shaking battle of
Gog and Magog (see Ezekiel 38 and 39). The
Antichrist will lust after a world government, uproot three nations to get it, and bring in the last Gentile world kingdom (Daniel
7:24). The false prophet will lust after a world
religion, impose the infamous "mark of the beast" to achieve it, and cause many to be cast into the lake of fire (Revelation
13:11-18; 14:9-11). China will lust after control of the
Middle East, move across the dried up Euphrates River to seize it, and touch off the terrible battle of Armageddon (Revelation
9:14-16; 16:12-14). Acting upon our lusts leads to
Supernatural Beings Influence Our Actions
Supernatural phenomena is one of today's hot topics, as evidenced by a steady stream of books and movies about visitations, UFOs and
the spirit world. Society's fascination
with satanism, witchcraft, divination, demons and angels is dramatic. The use of psychics, a worldwide phenomenon, reaches from
individuals to small-town police departments,
the FBI, the CIA, the top brass of the military, the White House and on up to the most influential people in the world. In Fast
Facts on False Teachings, Ron Carlson and Ed Decker
report that an estimated 50 to 60 million Americans are involved in some form of the occult.
Many Christians ridicule these things, but it is a mistake to lightly brush them aside. The Scriptures are saturated with teachings
about the involvement of the unseen world in
the affairs of human
beings. Consider these well-known examples of visitations for the good of
humanity: God visited the earth to talk with Adam and Eve in the Garden of
Eden (Genesis 2:15-17); He came again to talk with Moses in flames of fire
from the burning bush (Exodus 3:1-5); He came again to lead the Hebrews in
a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night (Exodus 13:21,22); He
appeared to the Hebrews at Mt. Sinai (Exodus 19:20-25); Jesus, Moses and
Elijah visited three of the disciples on the mount of transfiguration (Mark 9:2-
7); Jesus spoke from heaven when Paul was converted on the road to
Damascus (Acts 9:3-6); the Holy Spirit came down like a dove when Jesus
was baptized (Mark 1: 9-11); the Holy Spirit came again when the 120
believers were praying in the upper room on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-
4); an angel visited Joseph before Jesus was born (Matthew 1:18-25); the
angel Gabriel visited Mary about the same time (Luke 1:26-38); and
multitudes of angels visited the shepherds to announce the birth of Jesus
(Luke 2:8-14). The list could go on and on because earth has been visited by
the supernatural over and over again, including the great 33-year visitation
of Christ when He lived here on earth as a human being. He had always
existed, but He took on the form of a man and visited this earth so He could
qualify as a perfect sacrifice for the sins of the world (Philippians 2:5-8).
Without that we would have no hope. Without the indwelling presence of
the Holy Spirit we would not be saved.
Many Scriptures also refer to the unseen world's involvement in the affairs
of government. One good example is when God sent Moses to tell Pharaoh
to let the children of Israel go. Pharaoh refused, so God sent a variety of
plagues and forced Egypt's leader to release the people (Exodus 5-12). One
interesting aspect of the story occurred when Aaron cast down his rod
before Pharaoh. God performed a miracle and changed it into a slithering
serpent. Then Satan got involved and Pharaoh's wise men duplicated the
miracle (Exodus 7:10-13). Supernatural involvement offers the only credible
explanation for those acts.
Another example of supernatural involvement in governmental affairs
occurred when a "watcher and holy one" came to earth from
heaven "to the intent that the living may know that the most High ruleth in
the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up
over it the basest of men" (Daniel 4:17). The "watcher and holy one" saw to
it that King Nebuchadnezzar was afflicted with a mental illness and lost his
kingdom until he acknowledged the Most High God seven years later
And then there was the time when King Belshazzar tried to prove that he
wasn't afraid of anything or anyone, including Almighty God. He sent for
the holy vessels taken by Babylon from the temple in Jerusalem and
desecrated them by drinking wine from them. Suddenly the mysterious
fingers of a man's hand appeared and wrote on the wall. God was
intervening to put an end to the haughty king and his kingdom (Daniel 5).
The Almighty intervened again when King Herod foolishly let the Jewish
people believe he was a god. The angel of the Lord smote King Herod so
that he died a repulsive death (Acts 12:20-23). In yet another instance, Satan
stepped in when King David took a census in Israel. The Bible says, "Satan
stood up against Israel, and provoked David" to do it (I Chronicles 21:1).
Members of the vast unseen world have also been involved in wars on
earth. Upon entering the Promised Land, Israel's first target was the ancient
city of Jericho. The people of Jericho prepared by retreating behind the city
walls and shutting the gates. Instead of attacking them, the children of Israel
simply marched around the city and went back to their camp. They did the
same thing every day for six days. On the seventh day, they marched
around the city seven times, the priests blew their trumpets, the people gave
a shout, the walls of Jericho fell and the children of Israel took the city
(Joshua 6:1-16). On another occasion, the angel of the Lord called Gideon to
lead the children of Israel in their struggle against the Midianites. The angel
had Gideon reduce his 32,000-man army to just 300 men. Then he had the 300
men attack the 135,000 Midianites with, of all things, pitchers, lamps and
trumpets. The larger and well-armed Midianite army panicked and fled
The unseen world was involved in war again when the king of Syria decided
to eliminate Elisha the prophet for spying against
him for the king of Israel. The king took a large army and surrounded Elisha's village. Elisha's servant spotted the enemy troops
and was terrified, but Elisha calmed him by
saying, "They that be with us are more than they that be with them" (2 Kings 6:16). Elisha prayed and God revealed an unseen army
that was protecting him and his servant.
When the large Syrian army came in to attack, God's invisible army smote them with blindness (2 Kings 6:8-23).
On yet another occasion, the great army of King Sermacherib of Assyria was soundly trouncing all the militaries around him. He took
his experienced troops and surrounded the
city of Jerusalem. But before he could attack, an angel passed through his camp and killed 185,000 of his men (2 Kings 19:32-36).
Then there was the time when King Jabin of Canaan built 900 chariots of iron and used them to oppress the seemingly defenseless
children of Israel. After the Israelites
repented of their sins, God called a faithful woman named Deborah to deliver them. He had her assemble an army on the high ground
at Mt. Tabor. King Jabin's 900 chariots of
iron rolled out along the Kishon River and prepared to attack, but God sent a great rain causing the river to suddenly overflow its
banks and the chariots and men were washed
away. Then the children of Israel attacked from the high ground and won a great victory (Judges 4-5).
All of this has significance for Christ's second coming and the battle of Armageddon, when Jesus returns at the end of the
tribulation period with the unseen armies of heaven.
The battle of Armageddon will really be a war between the armies of the earth and the armies of heaven led by the Lord Jesus Christ
(Revelation 19:11-19). The powerful
weapons of mankind will not work in a war with beings from the spirit world.
It does not score points in the secular court of public opinion, but most Christians are aware of the fact that the Bible teaches
that supernatural beings are influencing the human
race. Most Christians know that a fallen angel, Satan, appealed to the lusts of two vulnerable human beings, Adam and Eve, and
caused the corruption of the entire human race
(Genesis 3:1-7). Most Christians
believe the church began when the Holy Spirit came to baptize people into the body of Christ (Acts 2:1-4). It may not be fashionable
in the secular world to believe in the Holy
Spirit, fallen angels, demons and other such beings, but the Bible says they are real and they have a vested interest in what goes
on in this world. Although many educated
people scorn the idea, it is important to understand that the war-producing struggle between good and evil in the heart of man is
actually the result of a greater struggle between
forces in the supernatural realm. The Bible even teaches that this struggle will heighten as we approach the end of the age. The
apostle Paul said, "The Spirit speaketh expressly,
that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils" (I Timothy 4:
1). Seducing spirits have caused a lot of trouble in
the world, but they are going to be an even greater problem in the days to come.
The prophet Daniel actually called this struggle between supernatural forces in the unseen world "a great war." He had been fasting
and praying for three weeks when he had a
vision of Christ, fell into a deep sleep, and was touched by a good angel from the supernatural realm. The good angel told Daniel
that he had been trying to reach him, but the
prince of Persia had prevented him from getting through. He said he made it only because another angel named Michael helped him. He
also said he would have to go back and
fight against the prince of Persia. Then the prince of Greece would come (Daniel 10).
Daniel's vision means there was a literal king of Persia who ruled in the physical realm. It also means there was a demonic prince
of Persia who ruled in the spiritual realm. The
same thing can be said for Greece: a physical king of Greece ruled in the natural realm and a demonic prince of Greece ruled in the
spiritual realm. Furthermore, God had assigned
an angel named Michael to rule over Israel in the spiritual realm, and he assisted the good angel in his struggle against the
demonic prince of Persia. This provides conclusive
evidence that Satan has a spiritual kingdom that includes a group of fallen angels called demons. It does not mean that Satan has
demons behind every door or under every bed,
but it does
mean that he has fallen angels who are real and often influence the natural
world in a negative way. Their evil effect on the vile passions of man is often
responsible for war.
This is consistent with the teachings of Jesus, who spoke of Satan's
kingdom and referred to him as the prince of this world (John 12:3 1; 16: 11;
Matthew 12:22-29). It is also consistent with the teachings of Paul. He said,
"We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against
powers, against the rulers of darkness of this world, against spiritual
wickedness in high places" (Ephesians 6:12). The apostle called Satan the
prince of the power of the air (Ephesians 2:2) and the god of this world (2
Corinthians 4:4). Many of the world's best scholars understand this to mean
that Satan has a kingdom governed by a system of powerful fallen angels
who influence the lusts of people on this earth. Their evil influence on the
lusts of unregenerate man fuels the fires of war.
It may not be a popular concept, but the temporary rule of Satan over
unclean spirits is something the world must contend with. Powerful unseen
forces have a lot to do with world events now taking place. The spiritual
realm will do much to make the headlines during the great tribulation. Jesus
compared the end of the age to the days of Noah (Matthew 24:37), whose
days were marked by the "sons of God" marrying the "daughters of men"
(see Genesis 6:1-4). That bewildering concept is nothing to sneeze at. The
list of scholars who believe the "sons of God" refers to fallen angels is
impressive (see also Job 1:6; 2:1). If they are right in their interpretation, the
end of the age will be marred by the massive involvement of fallen angels in
the affairs of the world.
We know with certainty that the Antichrist will come forth with the power of
Satan and give honor to the "god of forces," who also happens to be Satan
(2 Thessalonians 2:9; Daniel 11:38). We also know that Satan will open the
abyss and release millions of demon-possessed locusts, who will be led by a
fallen angel king named Abaddon (Revelation 9:1-12). We even know there
will be war in heaven with God's angels fighting Satan and some of his fallen
angels. Satan and his loathsome followers will be cast down to this earth
(Revelation 12:7-12). And we know that demon spirits from
the mouths of the satanic trinity will go forth to summon the kings of the
earth to the bloody battle of Armageddon (Revelation 16:13-16). Astute
scholars can infer different meanings from these Scriptures, but one thing is
clear: The Bible definitely teaches that fallen angels and/or demonic spirits
will wreak havoc and cause war on this earth at the end of this age.
The End of the Age
The prophets of old predict a spooky scenario for the end of the age.
Useless ear-tickling talk about peace will abound, but terrible weapons will
be in the bloody hands of violent people. The idea of world government will
turn sour, the lusts of power-hungry villains will be great, demonic activity
will multiply and the end of the age will actually be a time of war for the
whole earth. Here is a random look at some of the Bible prophecies.
God gave all of the Promised Land to the Jews, and He gave it to them
forever (Genesis 13:15, 17:20,21; 26:1-5; 28:22). He will not allow the Jews to
swap "land for peace" and get away with it for very long. He will not let the
Arabs-or any nation, group of nations or world government-take the land
away from Israel and go unpunished. He intends for Israel to possess East
Jerusalem, the temple mount and a whole lot more; no one can do anything
about that (see Ezekiel 47:21-23). The beautiful land belongs to Israel and
because God is God, the issue is settled forever. Those trying to divide that
land are making a terrible mistake. Although no doubt skilled in war, they are
setting up a confrontation with God they cannot hope to win.
Israel is the "rod of God's inheritance" and the Jews are God's "battle axe
and weapons of war." God will use them to "break in pieces the nations" and
to "destroy kingdoms" (see Jeremiah 51:19,20). Think about that! Israel is a
weapon, and God is the one who wields it. He will use that little nation to
chop up and destroy the big nations of the world. People skillfully destroy
each other today, but they know nothing about the precision of God's war machine.
And what about Jerusalem? God says He will "make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people; all that burden themselves with it
shall be out in pieces, though all the people
of the earth be gathered together against it" (Zechariah 12:3). Jerusalem is the one city on the face of this earth that God
intends to use to judge the world. He will bring the
armies of the world against it, and they will be crushed. Even if every army on earth unites against Jerusalem, they will all be
crushed. Jerusalem has supernatural protection;
God will destroy every army that attacks His chosen city (Zechariah 12:9).
Having said that, we need to understand that everything is not going to be a pretty bed of roses in Israel when the end of the age
arrives. Concerning the entire nation, God
said, "It shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the LORD, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall
be left therein" (Zechariah 13:8). Concerning the holy
city, He said, I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the
women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth
into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city" (Zechariah 14:2). These Scriptures mean that
veteran armies are going to attack Israel again and
again. Eventually, two-thirds of those Jews who live outside Jerusalem will perish, but one-third will never perish. One-half of
Jerusalem will be captured, but the other half will
never be taken.
Dr. David Jeremiah says, "The land of Israel has been the nerve center of the world since the time of Abraham. When Jesus Christ
came to earth, Israel became the truth center
of the world. There is coming a day in the future (the millennium) when the land will be the peace center of the world. Today, as
we look at that small piece of real estate in the
Middle East, it is the storm center of the world."'
The current peace process will produce a temporary and unworkable false peace. Soon after that worthless document is ratified by the
deceitful Antichrist and his band of lying
cohorts, war will erupt. Israel and Jerusalem will be in the middle of the storm. Why?
Because the world refuses to recognize the sovereignty of Israel's God, and He intends to vindicate His holy name by showing the
world that no one can defeat this tiny nation.
Ezekiel 38 and 39 record an amazing prophecy yet to be fulfilled. A great power, almost always identified as Russia by prophecy
experts, will organize a coalition of nations in the
last days and come forth from the north parts to attack the little nation of Israel (Ezekiel 38:16). Good prophetic scholars are
clearly divided on the exact time of the attack. Some
writers, including this one, place it at least three-and-a-half years before the tribulation period. Others place it at the
tribulation period midpoint. Regardless of the timing, almost
all agree that a terrifying day is coming when Russia and several of its allies will mount a poorly planned and ill-fated attack
Keep in mind the fact that war, as mentioned earlier, is the tragic result of lust. The prophet Ezekiel reveals that the Russian
leader will think an "evil thought" and attack Israel
"to take a spoil and a prey" (Ezekiel 38:10,12). He will desire to possess Israel's silver, gold, cattle and goods (see Ezekiel
38:13). Also keep in mind the fact that a powerful
archangel called Michael has been assigned to protect Israel (Daniel 10:21). This means that Russia and its allies will take a
great army with a huge reservoir of terrible weapons
and expect to win an easy victory over the chosen people. But their war plans will fail to consider the unseen world, the anger of
God and the awesome power of Michael and his
great army of mighty angels (Ezekiel 38:19). The Russian coalition will be composed of many mighty people of war, but they will be
mere mortals who cannot prevail against the
handpicked angels in God's unseen world.
Suddenly there will be a great earthquake-an earthquake so violent it will be felt the world over. Every animal and every human
being on earth will be shaken. Experienced troops
in the terrified Russian coalition will fight each other. While they are furiously destroying themselves, the angels of God will
drench them with
in, hail, blood, fire and brimstone (Ezekiel 38:20-22). Five out of every six
coalition troops will die (Ezekiel 39:2). Liberal preachers and theologians
have a problem with this, but it will be the judgment of God upon barbarian
nations wrongly trying to destroy His special people, the Jews.
Too many people ignore the fact that God can use war for His own good
purposes. He can be provoked into setting up devastating battles. When
the people in the Northern Kingdom of Israel turned against God and
refused to change their ways, He used the Assyrians to destroy their
kingdom. When the inconsiderate people in the Southern Kingdom of Judah
made the same mistake, He used the Babylonians to destroy their kingdom.
When the spiritually blind people of Jesus' day refused to accept Him as the
Messiah, He used the Romans to destroy their nation. He uses war to
soften hearts, to spark repentance, to influence worship and to save souls.
He will use the defeat of Russia and its allies to cause a great revival in
many nations (Ezekiel 38:23).
What do we say to those who want to cast aside this prophecy the people
who say Russia is no longer a threat and America is the world's only
superpower? They argue that the once evil empire would never attack Israel.
But God always fulfills His Word; that Russia still wants to be a
superpower; that Russia is still preparing for war; that Russia says she has
to keep her nuclear forces prepared so she can implement alliance
commitments. Despite all the changes in Russia, the nation still has more
than a million soldiers; several hundred intercontinental nuclear missiles;
several hundred bombers; several hundred fighter planes; several thousand
tanks; several dozen submarines and more. Many in the intelligence
community say Russia still has an appetite for war, and some are predicting
a Russian attack on Israel before the year 2000.
Scripture makes it crystal clear that this ancient nation will be one of the
main end-of-the-age contributors to the Russian coalition
of nations (Ezekiel 38:5). Tehran's Islamic fundamentalist government has
many agreements with Russia and bitterly opposes any agreements with
Israel. Iran is adamant in its opposition to the Middle East peace process
and gives fervent support to terrorist organizations operating against Israel.
It is using the bulk of its vast profits from the sale of oil to acquire Scud B
and Scud C missiles from North Korea, cruise missiles from China, nuclear
and biological weapons from Russia, and it was expected to have long-
range missiles capable of hitting Israel with nuclear and biological warheads
by the end of 1998. The Iranians are practicing for war. They believe they
can temporarily seal off the Straits of Hormuz, blockade U.S. warships, stop
the flow of oil and cause harm to those who might support Israel. They even
seem to believe that a strong coalition of Arab nations could quickly defeat
The nation of Iran demonizes anyone who does not worship Allah. It
persecutes and kills Christians and Jews alike. And it fails to consider the
possibility that Israel could be under the supernatural protection of God and
His mighty angels. Get out the long black robes of mourning. The Iranians,
their Islamic religion and their false god, Allah, are going to suffer a great
defeat. Multitudes of eager young men will delight in the opportunity to go
off to war against Israel. They will believe they can rapidly march into the
Holy Land and push Israel into the sea. But they will die an embarrassing
death on the mountains of Israel. And their bodies will become food for the
ravenous birds and wild beasts of the field (see Ezekiel 39:4).
Another nation headed for certain defeat as a member of the Russian
coalition is Libya (Ezekiel 38:5). This mostly Arab nation was a NATO ally
until about 1981, when the nation turned away from the West and began to
strengthen its ties with "the evil empire." Because of its involvement in and
support for terrorist activities, Libya is currently suffering under United
Nations sanctions. But Russia claims the nation is being falsely accused by
West and is giving Libya badly needed technical and military assistance.
With Moscow's help, Libya is building what CIA Director John Deutch calls
"the world's largest underground chemical weapons plant." In recent
months, Iraq's leader, Saddam Hussein, and Libya's Muammar Qadhafi have
become very friendly. The Libyan leader is helping Saddam hide his
outlawed weapons of mass destruction from United Nations inspectors, and
the Iraqi leader is returning the favor with stockpiles of deadly weapons and
sensitive military technology.
Libya will also lose many troops and weapons as a member of the Russian
coalition, but that will not end the suffering in that godless nation. At least
two other gloomy prophecies will be fulfilled during the tribulation period.
One prophecy says Libya will join a group of African nations, including
Ethiopia and Egypt, in another attack on Israel. That coalition will also meet
with disaster (Jeremiah 46:8-10). Another prophecy says the Antichrist will
move his great army into the Middle East. At some point he will decide to
protect his southern flank by attacking Egypt and Libya. He will easily
defeat them (see Daniel 11:43).
Cush (Ethiopia and/or Iraq and/or Sudan)
Another loser in the Russian coalition of nations is an ally that some Bible
translations call Cush and others call Ethiopia (Ezekiel 38:5). Some
authorities say this refers to Iraq and, perhaps, Sudan. Others say it is a
reference to the modern nation of Ethiopia.
Iraq's population is about 80 percent Arab. Roughly 95 percent are Muslim,
so anti-Semitism is a big problem. This nation of warmongers has "El-
Hussein" improved Scud missiles, Katyusha rockets, 115mm cannons, and
it seems to be on the brink of developing nuclear weapons. Most Iraqi
missiles can be fitted with chemical and biological warheads. The nation has
VX nerve gas, mustard gas, anthrax, smallpox and other biological agents.
According to the Jewish Minister of Defense, Iraq has enough poison gas
to kill every man, woman and child in Israel. It has already used chemical
weapons on its own people, the Kurds. It is developing, building
and storing weapons of mass destruction in both Libya and Sudan. Its
poorly trained and equipped air force was badly crippled in the Gulf War,
but the Russians have helped rebuild it. They have also sold Baghdad large
quantities of weapons. Iraq owes Moscow a big debt. Even if Iraq does not
join the doomed Russian coalition in the battle of Gog and Magog, Bible
prophecy still predicts a turbulent future for the nation. Isaiah predicts a
tribulation period attack by the Medes (modernists call them the Kurds)
(Isaiah 13:4-6; 17; 18). Jeremiah predicts that God will overthrow the famous
Iraqi city of Babylon as He did Sodom and Gomorrah (Jeremiah 50:40). The
apostle John says the city will be destroyed in one hour (Revelation 18:8-
10,17,19). Isaiah and the apostle John both predict that it will become the
home of wicked, unclean spirits (Isaiah 13:19-22; Revelation 18:1-2).
The modern nation of Ethiopia has a very large Muslim population with a
built-in hatred for Israel. In recent years the Ethiopian government has
adopted many socialist policies and developed strong ties with both Russia
and Iran. It has a large army, a small air force and a small navy. It will
probably join the Russian coalition and lose most of its military. Even if it
doesn't, its future is still not good. When the Antichrist attacks Egypt and
Libya during the tribulation period he will also bring the Nubians into
submission (Daniel 11:43; Ezekiel 30:4-9; Zephaniah 2:12). The Nubians are
from Sudan, Ethiopia and possibly Djibouti.
Sudan is showing the same signs as the other nations scheduled to join the
doomed Russian coalition. This sprawling nation has been transformed into
a militant Islamic state. Its military is trained and equipped by Iran. It
supports the PLO and many terrorist organizations opposed to the
existence of Israel. Having strengthened its ties with Iraq, it is helping
Saddam Hussein hide his Scud missiles and chemical and biological
weapons from United Nations inspectors. Sudan has also jointly built a
chemical weapons plant with Iraq on Sudanese property. The nation has
used mustard gas on its own citizens, murdered 1.5 million Sudanese
Christians and may be responsible for the disappearance of 1 million more.
Sudanese citizens are forced to convert to Islam, and some are even being
sold into slavery. Churches there are being burned, and Christian pastors
are literally being crucified. Can anyone question why God would use the
Antichrist to conquer this nation of wicked Nubians during the tribulation
Not all Bible scholars agree, but many think that Gomer is Germany (see
Ezekiel 38:6). It is hard to believe that Germany will join the Russian coalition
in an attack on Israel, but the nation does have a bad military history and
the unimaginable will happen. When the Berlin Wall fell and the East and
West were unified, many hard-line communists were brought into the new
government. Treacherous enemies of the West are still holding high
positions and Germany, a hard-working industrialized nation, has developed
strong ties with Russia, Iran and Iraq. Some German companies have given
substantial help to both Iran and Iraq for their chemical and biological
weapons programs. Passionate German anti-Semitic groups are increasing in
both number and size. Attacks on Jewish shelters, shrines and property are
steadily increasing. Germany, now with the largest army in Western Europe,
is deploying troops outside its country for the first time since WWII-and it
is not unusual for this militaristic nation to act independently of its
European Union allies.
Togannah (Armenia and/or Turkey)
The identity of Togarmah is confusing and debatable, but it is probably
Armenia and/or Turkey (see Ezekiel 38:6). Surrounded by three hostile
neighbors-Turkey, Iran and Azerbaijan-the small, often-conquered nation of
Armenia is vulnerable to their lusts. So its fearful government maintains
strong ties with Russia, supports that nation and looks to it for protection.
That may be enough to drag her into the Russian coalition.
Turkey is also in a difficult position. Following WWI, the nation embraced a
Western-type of government. Following WWII, it was strategically
important to the West as a barrier to Russia. During the
Persian Gulf War, it was an ally providing badly needed air bases for U.S.
planes. For years it was welcomed as a member of such Western
organizations as the European Economic Community (EEC), the Council of
Europe and NATO. But all that has changed. Turkey has been rebuffed in
its efforts to join the EEC. Its only option seems to be to seek other allies, so
it is looking toward some of those nations that were members of the old
Soviet Union. Our once faithful friend may well go down with the
Russian-led coalition on the mountains of Israel.
Sheba and Dedan (Saudi Arabia)
Sheba and Dedan, cities in Saudi Arabia, question why the Russian
coalition of nations is invading Israel, but they do nothing to assist God's
chosen people (see Ezekiel 38:13). Joining their verbal opposition to this
hideous attack will be the merchants of Tarshish, who most commentators
believe to be Great Britain, and another group of nations called "all the
young lions," who most commentators identify as the English-speaking
nations coming out of Great Britain-in particular, the United States and
Canada. No other specific prophecies are mentioned about the future of
Saudi Arabia, but the oil-rich nation will be included in the final world war.
Another unfulfilled prophecy concerns the fiery destruction of Syria's
capital, Damascus. Isaiah said, "Behold, Damascus is taken away from being
a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap. The cities of Aro-er are forsaken: they
shall be for flocks, which shall lie down, and none shall make them afraid"
(Isaiah 17:2). A few historians say this has been fulfilled, but they are wrong
because Damascus has never ceased to be a city. "The cities of Aro-er"
refers to the suburbs of Damascus. That area has not been forsaken and is
not at rest, so we can expect a future war. Concerning the question of when,
prophecy experts have long been aware that Russia's allies in the battle of
Gog and Magog do not include Syria and Egypt. Many experts think the
omission of these nations could mean they will be
defeated before then. Some even think their defeat may be what actually
triggers the battle.
A war with Syria seems to be shaping up. After the nation of Israel came
back into existence in 1948, Israeli farmers began to farm land and establish
villages in disputed areas along the Golan Heights between Israel and Syria.
The Syrians tried to stop that by using the high ground of the Golan Heights
to fire down upon the settlements below, but that didn't work. The situation
got tense, tempers flared and Syria attacked Israel. That set off the Six-Day
War of 1967. Israel won the war, captured all of the Golan Heights and
established more farms and villages.
Today, Syria is insisting that Israel return control of the Golan Heights. But
the nations are still in a stalemate. Israel refuses to return the land without a
peace treaty with Syria. And Syria refuses to sign a peace treaty as long as
Israel holds the land. Neither side will give in. The prospects for peace are -
dim; reports of an impending war are common. The reckless Syria has already
begun to get ready by digging bunkers on its border with Israel, moving
large numbers of well-armed troops into strike positions and upgrading its
forces in several ways. For example, it is spending billions of dollars on
weapons and has tripled the size of its military in the last two decades. It has
acquired Scud B, Scud C and Russian-made SS21 missiles that can deliver
chemical and biological warheads. It has acquired multiple launchers so it
can fire its missiles in a barrage. It has a sizeable air force and a large army
with hundreds of tanks. It has two factories operating at peak capacity
producing deadly biological weapons. Syria has thousands of bombs
containing nerve gas that can be dropped from planes, and it may soon
receive nuclear weapons from Iran. This is putting a lot of pressure on Israel.
It is not hard to find experts who say war is inevitable. When it comes, Israel
will respond with an overwhelming force. There will be nothing left of
Damascus except a ruinous heap of ashes.
But the prophecies are not all negative. Syria's afflictions will eventually
bring a spiritual change in the nation. God's chastening will "yield the
peaceable fruit of righteousness." The nation will
finally turn to Christ, form an alliance with Egypt and Israel, bless God and
serve Him during the millennium (Isaiah 19:23-25). This is a good example of
how bad news often has a happy ending.
War with fiery destruction is also coming to the beautiful mountains of
Lebanon. The prophet Zechariah said, "Open thy doors, 0 Lebanon, that the
fire may devour thy cedars. Howl, fir tree; for the cedar is fallen; because the
mighty are spoiled: howl, 0 ye oaks of Bashan; for the forest of the vintage is
come down" (Zechariah 11:1,2). Today, the world recognizes Lebanon as a
sovereign nation, but the northern part of the country is occupied by Syrian
forces . The government is controlled by Syrian-backed puppets who can't
do anything without Syrian approval. In essence, the nation is nothing more
than a Syrian province. As Syria goes, so goes Lebanon. So the war between
Syria and Israel will be like the vortex of a fiery whirlpool that sucks in
helpless Lebanon. The same planes that bomb the city of Damascus will also
bomb military targets in the mountains of occupied Lebanon-the base of
operations for some of the most barbaric and dangerous terrorist groups in
the world. With Syrian permission and support, they routinely attack Israeli
soldiers and targets. Their actions have already provoked several clashes
with the Israeli army.
Edom, Moab and Ammon (Jordan)
The kingdom of Jordan is the most moderate in the Middle East, the
friendliest to Israel and a mixed bag in Bible prophecy. Some prophecies
reveal that Jordan will become the possession of Israel before the tribulation
period begins (Jeremiah 49:1,2; Obadiah 1:15-19). Others indicate that the
ancient Jordanian city of Petra (the children of Ammon) will escape the
destructive clutches of the Antichrist during the tribulation period (Daniel
11:41). It is just speculation, but one scenario could be for Israel to get into a
war and be forced to expand her borders for protection-by occupying the
land of Jordan. At some point, the Antichrist would move in,
disarm Israel, break his covenant to protect Israel and, as a result, many of
the Jews would have to flee to Petra. That will be the only place on earth to
escape his clutches. (Note: The word Edom is used in different ways in the
Scriptures. It refers to Arabs who lived in the area of modern day Jordan,
and sometimes it refers to all Arabs.)
Next to Israel and the Revived Roman Empire, there is more prophecy in the
Bible about the poor, dry, windswept nation of Egypt than any other. The
nation's short-term future looks bleak, but its long-term future looks rosy.
One prophecy indicates that God will use war to make a large part of Egypt
desolate for 40 years (Ezekiel 29:8-12; also see Joel 3:19). There is debate
over whether this has already been fulfilled. Those who think not point to
the fact that all animals and all humans will completely avoid the area. That
has never happened. So many expect a future nuclear attack with radioactive
fallout that will make the area desolate.
But there is wide agreement on several other amazing prophecies. One
prophecy states that Egypt will lose a war and suffer greatly before the
tribulation period arrives (Ezekiel 30:1-6). Another prophecy indicates civil
war in Egypt, with the government being overthrown and the nation coming
under the hand of a cruel leader (Isaiah 19:1-15). The Nile River will be
diverted, the old riverbed and all the irrigation canals will dry up and the
crops will die. Another prophecy has the large Egyptian army going north
and being defeated near the Euphrates River (Jeremiah 46:1-10). Another
prophecy specifies that the Antichrist will attack and subdue Egypt during
the tribulation period (Daniel 11:42). And then there is the good news:
Egypt's calamities will cause the nation to turn from gloom to glory, from the
crescent to the cross, from Allah to Jesus. God will heal the torn nation so
that many of its citizens will serve Him during the millennium (Isaiah 19:16-
In 1978, Egypt and Israel signed the heralded Camp David accords. In
exchange for peace, Israel gave the Sinai back to Egypt.
The Jews also abandoned several settlements and military bases. Even
though Egypt agreed to peace, the nation still opposes Israel in many ways.
Some of its leaders still refer to Israel as an enemy. "Land for peace" has not
worked and normalization of trade and tourism is nonexistent. In many ways
the situation is growing worse, not better. A great struggle is going on in
Egypt for the heart and soul of the people. Islamic radicals are very strong
and have made several attempts to oust President Mubarak-even trying to
assassinate him. Their extremism and propensity for violence has forced
Egypt to harden its attitude toward Israel. It could even lead to civil war.
Military experts say Egypt possesses nuclear weapons and agree that Cairo
has chemical and biological weapons. The nation is also purchasing missiles
to deliver them. Its future is laced with war, and these kinds of weapons will
bring a quick and violent response.
Psalm 83 contains an interesting prophecy that seems to apply to the end of
the age. This song of Asaph identifies a group of Middle Eastern nations
who say, "Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation: that the name
of Israel may be no more in remembrance" (Psalms 83:4). This psalm seems
to apply to the end of the age because the nation of Israel has been neither
unified nor sovereign since the Northern and Southern kingdoms split. Since
the eighth century B.C., Israel has been a divided nation, a conquered nation
or a scattered nation.
But prophecy indicated that Israel would come back into existence (as it did
in 1948) and be surrounded by many nations who would be its enemies. The
Palestinians (PLO) are included among the list of enemies. Psalm 83 turns
into a prayer calling for their destruction. That will happen; the only
question is who will do it? Will it be Israel when it comes under attack and
lashes out? Or will it be the Antichrist who will move into the Middle East
and overthrow many countries (Daniel 11:41)? This psalm calls for the
unstoppable judgment of God to fall as it has in the past ... which does not
bode well for the Palestinians.
The Palestinians have a wonderful opportunity to get on the right side, but
they never seem to make the right choice. Every time a Syria, or an Iraq, or an
Iran threatens war against Israel, the PLO sides with Israel's enemies. Instead
of trying to stop terrorism against Israel, as they have agreed to do, they
often appear to be supporting it. Instead of changing the articles in their
Charter calling for the destruction of Israel, as they have agreed to do in the
Oslo accords, they seem determined to keep them. Also, in violation of the
Oslo accords, they are constantly threatening to declare a Palestinian state.
Instead of encouraging peace, they encourage demonstrations. Instead of
creating an atmosphere of friendly and peaceful relations, they often threaten
another Intifada. And instead of collecting some of the illegal weapons
possessed by Palestinian extremists, they are often out distributing more
weapons. They offer up a lot of flowery talk about peace, but all their actions
appear to be preparations for war.
Although approximately 10 million strong, the Kurdish people have no
country to call their own. Most live in Iran, Iraq and Turkey. A few live in
Armenia and Syria. Descendants of the Medes, they have a long history of
war. Struggling for a nation of their own, they are often betrayed, abused and
attacked by armies in the countries in which they live. Turkey wants them
destroyed, Iran wants to force them into Islam and Saddam Hussein has used
chemical weapons against them. According to the Bible, they will reappear as
the tribulation period approaches and join other nations in a successful
attack on Babylon (Isaiah 13). It's very interesting that powerful politicians in
the United States are calling for America to arm and train Kurds so they can
overthrow Saddam Hussein.
The United States
The United States did not exist as a nation when the Scriptures were written.
That probably explains why the nation is not mentioned by name in Bible prophecy and why the nation's prophetic future is
such a big question. America's future is a matter of speculation. And the
speculation has produced a variety of opinions:
1. The United States is prophetic Babylon (Isaiah 13,21,47; Jeremiah 50-51;
2. The United States is one of "the young lions" (Ezekiel 38:13).
3. The United States is "the eagle's wings" (Daniel 7:4).
4. The United States is "the great eagle" (Revelation 12:14).
5. The United States will become a second-rate power before the tribulation period arrives because of economic, military and/or monetary collapse.
6. The United States will become a second-rate power before the tribulation period arrives because so many citizens will be raptured.
7. The United States will abandon its role as a world leader because of problems or a military defeat.
8. The United States will be destroyed before the end of the age arrives.
We can be sure of one thing: The United States will not glide through the
tribulation period unscathed. For example, American involvement in NATO is
an ominous sign. This once valuable organization is being transformed into
the world's police-enforcers of United Nations resolutions. That makes
America the military arm of the emerging world government. Closely
connected to this is the NATO Expansion Treaty currently being considered
by the United States Senate. This treaty commits the United States to defend
Europe's NATO nations. The problem with this is that Bible prophecy
teaches that Europe will take over the world government and be involved in
many wars during the tribulation period. With the United States tied to
defending the Revived Roman Empire, Europe's wars will be America's wars-
and Europe is going to fall. We also cannot ignore the general prophecies
that apply to every nation. Three of them are as follows:
1. Every nation and every army will be involved (Isaiah 34:2).
Finland, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Greece, Austria and possibly Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia and others) are uniting to form what
many believe will be the largest and most
powerful group of nations on earth. This is the long-awaited Revived Roman Empire, the unfortunate group that will produce the
satanically inspired Antichrist (see Daniel 9:26).
But the uniting of Europe is not the only thing we see on the world's far-reaching and infallible prophetic radar screen. We also
see an elite group of powerful bankers,
industrialists and politicians constantly working to transform the United Nations into a powerful world government. They openly
admit they hope to achieve this goal near the
beginning of the next millennium. Bible prophecy indicates that their new world government will quickly be divided into the ten
toes-ten divisions with ten powerful kings or
rulers - on Nebuchadnezzar's famous statue (see Daniel 2:42-44).
Following the rapture, a charismatic leader in Europe will make a foolish agreement with Satan to obtain power, a throne and great
authority (Revelation 13:2). With satanic help,
this leader will rise to power in Europe and soon take over three of the new world government's ten divisions (Daniel 7:8,24). Then
the other seven divisions will be turned over
to him, and he will transform his newly acquired world government into a very powerful and evil world force. He will move his great
army into the Middle East where he will get
caught up in several wars and finally be destroyed (Daniel 11:41-45).
It should be interesting to watch the development of unity in the previous long list of European nations that are going to be
involved in these tragic wars before their combined
army is defeated.
The war of all wars will take place at the end of the tribulation period. No one will be able to sit on the sidelines. Demonic spirits will lure vast multitudes from all over the world to a plain near the Mountain of Megiddo in the northern part of Israel for what they will believe to be a final battle with Israel. This unity will be a grave
mistake because, in reality, they will be gathering to meet the judge of all mankind, Jesus Christ. They will gladly assemble to
fire their weapons at Israel, but God is in control
and they will find themselves standing before the all-powerful Lord of lords and King of kings. The result will be so terrible the
Bible pictures these people as being thrown into
the winepress of God's wrath. Their sudden death will produce more than little patches or small pools of blood on the ground. The
Bible says their demise will produce a river so
great the blood will be up to the horses' bridles for about 180 miles (Revelation 14:20; 16:12-16; 19:11-21).
We are not talking about a scrimmage, military exercises or war games. We are talking about a great battle when Jesus will pour out
His incredible judgments upon the armies of
the world because of the sins of all mankind and the mistreatment of His people, Israel. All the armies of the world will be there
thinking they will easily win a great battle, but
Jesus will return to fight for His people (Zechariah 14:3-12).
We already see the Jews gathering back in their land. The world already views Jerusalem as "a cup of trembling" and "a burdensome
stone" for all people round about
(Zechariah 12:2-11). These are signs that the tribulation period and the. ultimate battle of Armageddon are rapidly approaching.
The final siege of Jerusalem will bring Jesus into
the war. When it comes, the massacre will be terrible, but it will also bring an end to wickedness for a long, long time.
The Christian View of War
Jesus said, "Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God" (Matthew 5:9). Peacemaking is the high
calling of those who seek to enter the kingdom of
heaven. It involves loving our enemies, praying for those who spitefully use us and turning the other cheek.
But the Old Testament offers several examples where God commanded was
The apostle Paul said, "If it be possible, as much as lieth in you,
live peaceably with all men" (Romans 12:18).
possible Christians should seek peace. When that is not possible, war is
viewed as something similar to applying the death penalty on a national
scale. Christians are not in favor of war, but they understand that war can be
forced upon them.
The vast majority of Christians believe in a Bible-based concept called the
"just war." This idea was started by St. Augustine in the fifth century A.D.
Basically it says that most wars are wrong, some wars cannot be avoided
and some wars are necessary. It even spells out some of the conditions for
waging war. A few are as follows:
1. Last resort-War must be the last resort. All nonviolent options must be exhausted or war cannot be justified.
2. Just cause-War can be fought in self-defense, to right a wrong, to redress an injury and for other similar just causes.
3. Likelihood of success-War can only be fought if there is a real chance of success because there is no way to justify death and destruction in a hopeless war.
4. End result-War can only be fought if the end result will be better than the
conditions that would exist if there was no war.
5. Ultimate goal-The ultimate goal of war should be to establish justice, reestablish
peace, improve the lives of people, and so on. Otherwise the war is wrong.
6. Excessive or unnecessary force-Only that force which is needed to attain the
ultimate goal should be used. When the ultimate goal is reached, the war should stop.
7. Civilians-Innocent civilians should not be targets in war. Unless their deaths are the unavoidable result of an attack on a military target, it cannot be justified.
A small number of Christians are pacifists who believe all war is contrary to
God's will. Their main doctrine is appeasement and acquiescence, which is
unscriptural. The Bible does not teach that meekness means weakness.
Moses killed a man before he fled Egypt the first time. When he returned, he
faced down Pharaoh, the most powerful man on earth. He went up on Mt.
Sinai to meet God and
receive the Ten Commandments. He descended from the mountain and
found some of the ungodly worshiping a golden calf. He had them killed. He
was sometimes opposed by multitudes, but he always stood his ground. He
was a man of courage, but the Bible calls him "meek, above all the men
which were upon the face of the earth" (Numbers 12:3).
Jesus was also meek (Matthew 11:29). He made His triumphal entry into
Jerusalem "meek, and sitting upon a donkey" (Matthew 21:5). But when He
entered the temple and saw that the Jews had turned God's house into a
place of profit instead of a place of prayer, He poured out the changers'
money, turned over their tables and drove them out with a scourge (John
The point is that Christians should be meek before God, humble in His
presence and submissive to His will. But Christians should also fight
The End of War
Few people, including most world leaders, know or care what the Bible says
about the power and influence of spiritual forces. Some seem to believe in
spiritual forces, but they are more interested in the occult than the forces of
good. They hear not the voice of God, obey not His commands and totally
ignore His many warnings of a coming seven-year period of judgment.
Our wise God has always known that it would come down to this, that
people would be seduced by the powers of darkness; that people would
ignore Him; that people would not want to know what the Bible says about
abortion, homosexuality, pornography and the like; that people would not
want to know what the Bible says about worshiping false gods and
goddesses; that people would hate Israel and persecute and kill Christians
who tell them they are sinning. That is why He made this determination
approximately 2500 years ago: "My determination is to gather the nations,
that I may assemble the kingdoms to pour upon them mine indignation, even
all my fierce anger: for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my
jealousy" (Zephaniah 3:8).
Just keep in mind the fact that good comes from everything God does.
When He completes His terrible judgments the world will finally have rest
and peace, joy and singing (Isaiah 14:1-8). The nations will "beat their
swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall
not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more"
(Isaiah 2:4). Praise God and