The Signs of the Times (11): Wars

editor - 2 September 2018

“…When the Lamb opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come!”Then another horse came out, a fiery red one. Its rider was given power to take peace from the earth and to make people kill each other. To him was given a large sword…”
Revelation 6:3-4 NIV

When the Lamb opens the second seal (because He opens the scroll that contains what will happen in the future, leading up to the end of this part of world history, before the next part of world history begins, Revelation 5 – 6:1), the second horse with its rider is called forth.

Red like blood, with a large sword to kill. He will take ‘the peace’ from the earth deliberately and maliciously, inspiring people to kill each other. Satan is the father of all lies from the beginning and he is also the murderer from the beginning (John 8:44), and this second rider has a horse with his colour, the colour of the dragon/devil/Satan, Revelation 12:3.

This verse is not talking about a possible justified defensive war, or even an ideological war, or a war of economic interests. No, conditions are created and circumstances are manipulated that lead to mutual, uncontrollable rage. Think of Cambodia and Rwanda and other forms of genocide and ethnic cleansing.

And yet it cannot be limited to some local countries and places. It will happen on a worldwide scale. Nation against nation, kingdom against kingdom, says the Lord Jesus, Matthew 24:6-7.

Think of the French Revolution who ‘ate’ their own children after first shedding rivers of blood at the guillotine. Think of the conquest wars of Napoleon, Bismarck, Kaiser Wilhelm II, and Hitler. Think of the Holocaust in which 6 million Jews were destroyed, gassed and burned in the crematoria. Think of the Russian Revolution and the Chinese Revolution with millions of victims under Stalin and Mao-Tse-Tung. Think of Vietnam and the torture rooms of the Juntas in South America. Think of… we could go on forever. Has there ever been a time of real peace?

But what is yet to happen when the ABC-weapons (Atomic, Biological and Chemical weapons) will actually be used? We have seen a preview with Hiroshima, the chemical weapons of the First World War and Iraq and Syria.

How frightened in the days of the Apostle John people must have been at the thought that the Pax Romana – the Peace of Rome – that stretched out from Rome all around the Mediterranean Sea and far beyond into Asia, the great Roman Empire, would suddenly disappear? No more protection by the government or the laws of the Empire. Uncontrollable rage. No more punishment on the wrongdoer, but terror for those who do right, Romans 13:1-6.

To take away ‘the Peace’ from the earth. Awful to think about that. Or to hear about that, and to see it in the media. What will be left is: lawlessness and chaos. Structures collapse and justice disappears.

The Romans had a saying ‘Homo homini lupus est’. A man is a wolf to another man. Man is becoming more and more like a wolf in our day. Chaos and rivers of blood. Auschwitz and Hiroshima. There have been more victims in this past century with two World Wars than in all the wars in previous centuries even combined. Uncountable millions. Two World Wars. A large sword, to kill each other.

Will the people of the earth, the nations worldwide repent and change their way of behaviour when they realize this common threat? The possibility that those horrors really can come true? Some will. A great many won’t, Revelation 16:8-9. And what about us? There is still time…

Not all wars are bad and can be avoided. If the Allied Forces had not entered into the battlefield in Europe and SE-Asia in WWII, we in Europe might still be under the demonic Empire of Hitler who boasted that his ‘’Third Reich’ would go on for a 1000 years. In the Bible some wars are described as ‘wars of the Lord’. In which He fights on the side of His people Israel. The Old Testament is full of it. We today have also seen it in the defensive wars that Israel had to fight against overpowering enemies that immediately suddenly attacked when the State of Israel was established in 1948. God intervenes in order that the nations will know who truly is God: the Holy One of Israel. Compare Psalm 83 and Ezekiel 38 – 39.

Israel cries out in Psalm 83:13-18 “…Cover their faces with shame, Lord, so that they will seek Your Name. May they ever be ashamed and dismayed; may they perish in disgrace. Let them know that you, whose name is the Lord— that you alone are the Most High over all the earth…”And one-day that will be the case! “…The Lord will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one Lord, and His Name the only name…” it says in Zechariah 14:9. “…And so I will show My greatness and My holiness, and I will make myself known in the sight of many nations. Then they will know that I am the Lord…’ it says in Ezekiel 38:23.

The Signs of the Times
Many people are afraid of the future. Will the turmoil in the world lead to World War III? Or is there still hope? What do the ancient prophecies of the Bible teach us? Are we at the beginning of the end of this world? Or are we approaching a new beginning? Could Israel be a sign of hope? In this new series Rev. Willem Glashouwer looks at 52 of the many signs of the times that are mentioned in the Bible.The English edition of ‘The Signs of the Times’ will be published by Christians for Israel International in the coming months.

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