Are We In World War III?
Prophecy Central Commentary
Ron Graff - Aug. 21, 2006
Is World War III about to begin? Or, as some have suggested, is World War III past (The Cold War), and World War IV is at hand? Many have recognized that, whatever we call it, we are truly engaged in a world-wide war: the War on Terrorism. Regardless of its formal name, it is likely that future historians will say this war began before the September 11, 2001 attacks on The World Trade Center and the Pentagon. They will probably cite the first World Trade Center Bombing in 1993 as the beginning of this conflict.
In any case, the current unrest in the Middle East has prompted many public figures to refer to the world situation as the early stages of World War III. CNN’s Glen Beck, and Alan Colmes from the Fox network are examples of this phenomenon. Newt Gingrich and President George Bush have made similar comments.
The Biblical Framework
Jesus said that there would be certain signs that the last days were near. One of them was “Wars and rumors of wars.” (Matthew 24:6) While there have always been wars, the past century was the age of World Wars I and II, the development of nuclear weapons, and the rise of terrorism. “Rumors of wars” would apply to the technological advances of the media and the Internet. The Cold War, daily coverage of terrorist attacks and attempts at peace-making, conspiracy theories, and misinterpretations of Nostradamus’ prophecies abound.
Three great wars are predicted in the Book of Revelation. There is one toward the beginning of the Tribulation: The Second Seal (Revelation 6:3-4). There is the Battle of Armageddon at the end of the Tribulation (Revelation 19:11-21) and other references in the book). And there is a final battle between Satan and The Lord at the end of Christ’s Thousand Year Reign (Revelation 20:7-10).
Major wars are also predicted in the Old Testament Scriptures. One of the most graphic accounts is the war of Gog and Magog described in Ezekiel 38 and 39. It is a war against Israel which will be settled by God’s intervention with “fire and brimstone” (Ezekiel 38:22 - Could of course be nuclear war). Biblical scholars have offered different opinions about where this war fits in the Revelation scenario. It is our belief that it fits best with the first war – the one that accompanies the opening of the Second Seal in Revelation 6. Ezekiel 38-39 follows immediately after the amazing prophecies of the rebirth of Israel in Ezekiel 36-37. The current alignment of Israel’s enemies is strikingly similar to the Ezekiel account, including Russia’s support for Iran (“Persia” in the passage). It is easy to imagine how the War on Terror could escalate from the current tensions in the Middle East.
It is significant though, that Ezekiel 38:8-11 says that the attack against Israel will be at a time that they are living in peace and security. For that reason we may expect at least a brief period of peace in Israel before the outbreak of this great war. Then, while Israel thinks it is finally at peace, this attack could come. 1 Thessalonians 5:3 says, “While people are saying, 'Peace and safety,' destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.”
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