The H-Bomb And The Battle Of Armageddon
“And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh” (Luke 21:25–28). Our Lord made it perfectly plain that prior to His second advent conditions would obtain which would paralyze the hearts of men. It is no rosy picture that He paints so far as the immediate future is concerned. Things are going from bad to worse at a speed which staggers the imagination. In spite of all the boasted enlightenment of the hour, obscurity covers the nations like a heavy blanket. To many the future is as black as midnight and they have no idea as to the final outcome of world affairs.
The strange thing is that men everywhere are seeking peace but cannot find it. Never before has there been so much talk about world peace as at this time, yet it seems to be an elusive condition beyond the capacity of man to produce. We have lived to see the reality of our Savior’s prophetic utterance when He spoke about wars and rumors of wars coming upon the whole Earth. In His great Olivet discourse the Lord Jesus has pulled back the curtain which hides the future from our eyes and has permitted His people to see the things which are coming to pass. Someone has well said, “Prophecy is a miracle of utterance just as supernatural acts are miracles of power.”
A local paper carried a statement made by a physicist of repute in one of the large colleges of Texas in which he declared that if several H-bombs were exploded high in the air they might change the earth’s orbit around the sun or speed up its rotation. He further declared, “Seasons might be changed—for instance, winter made longer and summer shorter—and we might have 370 days in the year instead of the present number.” Dr. Paul Elliott based his theory on the fact that the earth receives its energy from the sun at the rate of about four pounds of hydrogen exploding every second. A man-made hydrogen explosion conceivably could be made strong enough to effect a change in the movements of the earth. In the face of this, one cannot help but recall how Daniel was ordered to “shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased” (Daniel 12:4). But what do we see with this amazing increase of knowledge—men turning to God? It is quite the contrary, and when the Antichrist appears, “he shall speak great words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High, and think to change times and laws…” (Daniel 7:25). He deliberately seeks to enter into those realms which God has established but in his so-called super knowledge imagines he can change the laws which govern the heavens and the earth. The new type of bomb opens up a vast field utterly unknown in former centuries, and illustrates the possibilities of worldwide destruction as predicted in God’s Word.
The Potency Of It
Many of the top atomic scientists of our nation bear witness to the awful potency of this destructive force which they describe as a suicide bomb. One said, “It would kill slowly by poisoning everything and everybody with radioactive dusts.” There appeared in the United States News and World Report of January 12, 1950, an interesting discussion of the hydrogen bomb which was called the next super weapon.
This article stated that the principle of the new type bomb is just the reverse of atom bombs. Atomic weapons get their power from splitting an atom of uranium. The new bomb gets its power from building up hydrogen atoms to form the more complicated atoms of helium and, in the process, to throw off unused particles in the form of energy. That process is the one by which the sun gets its great heat and energy.
These things bring to our attention several passages of Scripture dealing with the final manifestation of God’s wrath during the Tribulational age. The fact that God will use the sun in His judgments makes us wonder if there is not a connection between this H-bomb and these prophetic utterances. The first one I call to your attention is in the last book of the Bible: “And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire. And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory” (Revelation 16:8–9). Again, “For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, and it shall leave them neither root or branch” (Malachi 4:1). It is evident that fire and heat are to be instruments in the hands of God and these are the things claimed for this terrible bomb.
Various church conferences are passing strong resolutions and frantically appealing to the President and the Congress to outlaw the H-bomb as a means of protecting the people. Scientists assert the only protection against it is the dispersal of the population out of the big cities which would involve from thirty to sixty million Americans at a cost of about twenty billion dollars a year for ten years. We can easily see how such an exodus from our great population centers would cause an enormous economic upheaval, the like of which this country has never known in all its history. The problem of defense in the light of all that is claimed for this hell-bomb is the most stupendous thing ever to confront the mind of man so far as material and physical things are concerned.
When we stop to think of the amazing destructive force of this newly-invented bomb, the books of Daniel and Revelation never seemed more real. These two great books of prophecy point to the times immediately preceding the return of Christ into the world to set up His kingdom, and both picture worldwide devastation. Looking at these times the prophet Isaiah wrote, “Behold, the Lord maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof…the land shall be utterly emptied, and utterly spoiled: for the Lord hath spoken this word” (Isaiah 24:1–3). It does not take any stretch of the imagination to connect what men are saying about the potency of this new super-weapon and what God reveals about the future.
As we think about the titanic conflict predicted in the Word which will result in the emptying of the earth, we want to consider:
The Period Of It
During the last quarter of a century it has been customary to call various great conflicts Armageddon. This has been done because men have a passing knowledge that the Bible predicts such a thing before the return of the Lord, but as to the time when it will take place they are woefully ignorant. Jeremiah wrote, “…I will call for a sword upon all the inhabitants of the earth, saith the Lord of hosts” (Jeremiah 25:29). The prophet Joel saw the same prophecy but gave more detail. He wrote, “Proclaim ye this among the Gentiles; Prepare war, wake up the mighty men, let all the men of war draw near; let them come up: beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruning hooks into spears: let the weak say, I am strong. Assemble yourselves and come, all ye heathen, and gather yourselves together round about: thither cause thy mighty ones to come down, O Lord. Let the heathen be wakened, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat: for there will I sit to judge all the heathen round about. Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe: come, get you down; for the press if full, the vats overflow; for their wickedness is great” (Joel 3:9–13). Coupled with these are many other passages all of which indicate that the time of their fulfilment will be in an age known in Scripture as the Tribulation.
It is a dark picture, nevertheless, it is the sure course of this age whose dominating figure is Satan himself, spoken of by Jesus as “the prince of this world.” It is the result of man’s doings and his readiness to lend himself as a tool to Satan. God did not plan it so, but is merely revealing what will happen as the result of man’s wicked devices. What we see before our eyes indicates how close we must be to the awful age which will break upon the world and witness “wars and rumors of wars” as the Savior Himself predicted. The world has not yet seen its darkest days nor its worst times, but is rapidly moving in that direction.
The question naturally arises as to what will bring about such a culminating conflict as is predicted for the end of times? What possible combination of circumstances could arise to plunge civilization into such a vortex of destruction? In the last two wars we had hoped for the death of war, but instead found revival with a vengeance, and World War III will be even worse, and perhaps the war which will end all wars. This leads us to the consideration of:
The Preparation For It
Preparation for Armageddon is twofold. It has a remote cause and a direct one. The more remote cause lies in the fact that men will turn away completely from the Word of God. Who can deny that a spirit of materialism prevails at this hour comparable to that which preceded the awful flood of Noah’s time? In those days men turned a deaf ear to the message of the Gospel with the result that judgment fell and they were swept away. A parallel condition obtains today. When the Bible is ruled out in churches, colleges and even in seminaries nothing else can be expected than a spirit of lawlessness.
The psalmist prophesied of this very thing when he wrote, “The kings of the earth set themselves [that is, they take their stand], and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against his Anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us” (Psalm 2:2–3). The truths of God’s Word are regarded as bands and cords which keep men in slavery, therefore man in his rebellion wants to get rid of divine restraint and be free to do as he pleases.
The more direct cause behind this forthcoming titanic struggle is found in the fact that in the midst of the Tribulation, Satan is to be cast out of the heavenlies, and in his madness, he will direct his power against the Jewish people and seek their destruction. “And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child” (Revelation 12:13).
The Place Of It
Armageddon is not an imaginary conflict nor is the battleground an economic condition. No doubt Armageddon will spread out over several months of time, and conflicts will be fought in various sectors, but there will be a final culminating place, and the place is spoken of as the plains of Esdraleon. This being true the final battle which will end all struggles will not be fought in the western hemisphere, nor will it center in Europe. Palestine will be the focal point and the ultimate objective of the devil.
The last book in the Bible states, “And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon” (Revelation 16:16). The place was predetermined by the nature of the case. No doubt all of Palestine will echo and reecho with the tread of marching millions and the people will tremble as H-bomb after H-bomb is dropped upon the land, destroying not only the country but the enemies of Israel themselves. God’s Word does not leave us in darkness concerning the future. We have come to the hour in the history of nations when we look out upon the stage of international affairs to see in passing events the foreshadowings of these final things.
The Participators In It
The Antichrist of the Tribulational age will head one army of demonized soldiery and the Christ of God with the mighty angels of heaven following Him will be the opposing power. “These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast. These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is the Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful” (Revelation 17:13–14).
The outcome of this conflict is never in doubt. The prophets saw the ultimate victory and spoke freely of it. “The Lord also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem: and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the Lord will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel” (Joel 3:16). So great will be the slaughter of the army of Antichrist that it will require seven months to bury the dead and cleanse the land. “And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will give unto Gog a place there of graves in Israel, the valley of the passengers on the east of the sea; and it shall stop the noses of the passengers: and there shall they bury Gog and all his multitude: and they shall call it, The Valley of Hamongog. And seven months shall the house of Israel be burying of them, that they may cleanse the land (Ezekiel 39:11–12). Even the fowls of the heavens will be called upon to assist, “And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God; that ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, small and great” (Revelation 19:17–18).
The final defeat of the enemies of our God and His Christ is set forth in the following passage, “And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone” (Revelation 19:19–20).
Immediately following, the Lord will set up His kingdom on the earth and for the first time since the curse of God struck it, peace will prevail and the whole Earth will be filled with the glory of the Lord. May God hasten that wondrous day!