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 war.

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 (Daniel 4:29-37).

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 (Judges 7).

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 against Israel.

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.

Persia (Iran)

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 Israel.

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 the 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 period?

Gomer (Germany)

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- 25).

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.

Philistines (Palestinians)

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.

Medes (Kurds)

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; Revelation 17-18).
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). Whenever 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 2:13-17).

The point is that Christians should be meek before God, humble in His presence and submissive to His will. But Christians should also fight against wrong.

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 amen!